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Year 7 Choral Competition

Year 7 Choral Competition


This year’s annual Choral Competition featured all the tutor groups in Year 7 who performed two songs to a very appreciative audience of family and friends. The competition was judged by a panel comprising Mr Cowley, Head of Year 7, Miss Skerten, Assistant Head and Head Boy, Eddie Gripper.

The judges were extremely impressed by the standard of the singing and found it tricky to decide on an overall winner, but the eventual victors were 7RBR who performed “All of Me” and “Fix You”.

District Tournament Winners all round


Our U15 Hockey team won the District Tournament on Wednesday at Woodgreen School. They won their first game and then lost the next two. The other teams at the end were all on 10 points. With Woodgreen on 9 points and Burford on 7, so there was all to play for in our final game against Woodgreen. With some skilful play we won, giving us a final score of 12 points overall.

In addition our U14 Hockey team also won their District Tournament. They played really well not losing a game and beat both Bartholomew and Henry Box to give them the most overall points.


Lockwood & Co come to Burford

On Friday 6 October, bestselling author Jonathan Stroud visited Burford School, along with a member of Penguin Books and a team from Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford.  He came to talk to students in Years 8 & 9 about his newest book in the Lockwood & Co series, The Empty Grave.

Jonathan began by signing books in the Library during the lunch period where he was mobbed by admiring fans – students, staff and our former Patron of Reading!  Speaking to around 400 students after lunch, most from Burford but also some from Chipping Norton School, he started his talk by playing a trailer to one of his books. It was a great way to begin and as the lights went out and everyone began to scream the perfect atmosphere was created. The students were hooked for the next hour.


People always want to know how an author became a writer and Jonathan explained that he’d started at about the age of 10.  He showed the students some examples of his early writing efforts – an effective way to illustrate how long the journey had been, from enthusiastic primary school boy, through editor in London to his current position as a highly successful author loved across the world.


He read a short piece from the first Lockwood & Co book The Screaming Staircase, before kitting out one of our Year 8 students in everything one needs to hunt ghosts. He then finished up the hour with a busy question and answer session and a further book signing in the Library.


Lenthall House – Life in Boarding

The first term  of the new academic year has flown by and new students across all the year groups have settled in very well and are all adding to the eclectic, diverse and rewarding life of the Boarding House. New friendships have been made and all the students have been fully encouraged to embrace the ever growing Activity and Academic programme, ensuring they are able to maximise their experience of Boarding School life.

The Activities Programme remains popular and events are well-attended.  Parents are keeping in touch regularly with all that is going on via the boarding twitter account (@BurfordBoarding) – a quick and easy way to see what’s happening.


The term has been busy so far with trips to Woodlands for our Sixth Form students, PGL for our Year 7s, Oxford, Cheltenham, Freedog trampolining, Tenpin bowling, and Wembley for the recent England International.  Alongside these, our Interhouse events continue to run. This academic year, we have all the usual activities, from the more sedate board games on a Saturday afternoon to Monday evening Kickboxing. Our links to local clubs remain strong, including Witney Vikings FC, North Leigh FC and Tower Hill FC, Witney RFC, Carterton Girls FC and Sturt Farm riding stables. We have also formed new links with Witney Ladies Netball Club, Oxford Girls RFC, Charlbury Volleyball Club and Matt Fiddes Martial Arts.

Our new History Society and a Boarders choir are both proving popular. The Boarding House Gym is also getting a lot of use as all the Boarders have undertaken induction training into the safe use of the equipment and we hope to add Dancemania, a local dance club, to our programme after Half Term.

Last week we were visited by the Director of the Boarding Schools Association, Mr Robin Fletcher. He spent some time touring the Boarding Houses with Mrs Kaaber, our Housemistress, before helping to plant a fruit tree, as part of the countrywide Boarding Orchard which the BSA are trying to create. A number of boarders joined us for the event together with Mrs Haig, Headteacher.


A busy start for our Sixth Formers

It’s been a busy and exciting start to the new school year for all our Sixth Form students, with Year 12 especially relishing the opportunities and the responsibilities of their new role as Sixth Formers. They’ve been keen to volunteer for all of the many extra-curricular activities and positions of responsibility on offer and were great ambassadors for us at our Open Evening in September.

The Senior Leaders are now carrying out their lunchtime duties helping ensure the smooth-running of key parts of the school such as the canteen and library, as well as overseeing the very popular table tennis tables – a great opportunity to act as role-models and develop leadership skills.


Even in the first few weeks of term there have been plenty of trips organised to support the delivery of our ‘A’ Level courses, with Product Design students visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, our Politics students going to the Houses of Parliament and field-trips for our Biology and Photography students. Young Enterprise has once again been a hugely popular part of our Extended Curriculum offer, with two teams attending the ‘kick-off’ event at Tudor Hall in Banbury.

Our boarders have been getting to know the new members of the Sixth Form who joined the Boarding Department this term.  They spent a long weekend at Woodlands, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons getting to know each other; helped out by manning the BSA Boarding Bus at Open Evening and Tristan, our Head of Boys Boarding, was on hand to help plant a fruit tree in the Boarding Orchard when the chairman of the BSA visited last week.


A big part of being in the sixth form is our charitable fundraising. Already this term we’ve raised £300 by wearing ‘double denim’ on Jeans for Genes day and baked cakes galore to raise £150 at our Macmillan coffee morning. The Sixth Form charity this year is ‘Lib Fest’ and the students are already dreaming-up more fundraising ideas for this worthy cause. The Amnesty International group is up-and-running again and getting ready to launch their campaign for this year.


Music and sport always play a big part in the life of the sixth form, with many of our students playing leading roles, not only in the wide variety of orchestras, ensembles and bands that the school organises, but also in our 1st teams, be that rugby, football or hockey. CSLA (Community Sports Leader Award) is also a popular choice from our Extended Curriculum offer and our CSLA students have already helped put on a hockey session for Years 5 and 6 from our partner primary schools. For those interested in their personal health and fitness the addition of our new fitness suite, which is available for all sixth form students to use, is proving to be a very popular.

All in all a busy but very successful start to the year!

Take four A-level photographers and just add water!

At the start of October, Mr Sutcliffe took four intrepid ‘A’ Level Photography students on a residential landscape photography trip to South Wales. They stayed at Margam Park near Port Talbot, sharing facilities with Burford’s Year 13 Biologists who were on a separate course.


Over the three days they photographed the dramatic rocky coastline and beach at Dunraven Bay; three different and atmospheric waterfalls in ’Waterfall Country’ in the southern Brecon Beacons, and finally spent some time photographing the romantic ruins of Coity Castle near Bridgend. In between their main outings, they were also lucky to see the most spectacular coastal sunset behind the heavy industry of Port Talbot steelworks!


Lots of walking, lots of aching limbs… and dozens of photographs to edit!


U13s are WOSSP Winners

The U13 rugby team won the WOSSP tournament for the first time since 2012 last week, winning all three games in the round robin tournament held at Chipping Norton School. Captained by Sam Turberville, the team are starting to gel into a cohesive unit and at times produced some outstanding attacking play and resolute and brave defence on their way to winning the tournament.


The opening game was against hosts, Chipping Norton, who inflicted a 20-10 league defeat on the team earlier in the season. There was to be no repeat of this despite falling behind to an early try, and the team ran in three unanswered tries of their own to win 15-5 in a hard fought game. The team found it hard to maintain this intensity in the second game against Bartholomew School but did enough to scrape home 5-0.


In the final game against Wood Green, a solid performance against a sizable pack saw Burford win 15-0 to take the spoils.


This sets the team up nicely for their Half Term tour to Cornwall, where, based just south of Padstow, they will play both matches and a triangular tournament over the weekend.


Year 7 visit PGL Liddington

Another fresh new academic year has seen lots of brand new faces at Burford School and what a start all the Year 7 students have enjoyed.  All the students have made an excellent beginning and enjoyed a plethora of new and exciting experiences, from musical events and fixtures in the sporting arena, to achievements away on their first school trip and on the classroom.

The second week of term (13–15 September) saw the students leave for PGL Liddington for their ice breaker style residential trip. They had a brilliant time and their ‘give it a go’ attitude was something to be admired. The three days comprised of team building exercises, daring heights and the ultimate test of nerve in the giant swing. Friendships were strengthened, new ones were made and the Tutor Group bond was certainly growing strong. Well done to all that were involved.


FA Vice-chairman visits Burford

On 18 September 2017 we were extremely lucky to be joined by a true advocate of the Modern Football Game and a ‘legend’ amongst the Arsenal FC fans, David Dein.

The hour long presentation took place in the afternoon and was delivered to our Year 10 and 12 Business & PE students to inspire and aid curriculum subject development.

A little bit about David…

David joined the Arsenal Board in 1983 and was made Vice-Chairman in the same year. He also rose to Vice-Chairman of the Football Association and has served on numerous UEFA and FIFA Committees. David was an early proponent of women’s football having been President of the hugely successful Arsenal Ladies Team

He was the man who had the foresight to bring Arsene Wenger to Arsenal in 1996. During David’s reign, the Club won:

  • The League x 5
  • The FA Cup x 5
  • The UEFA Cup Winners Cup x 1
  • The League Cup x 2
  • The Community Shield x 5

David was a prime mover when the Premier League was launched in 1992. As Greg Dyke, the former Chairman of the FA, told the Financial Times

“David Dein was the most revolutionary bloke I’ve met in football. David Dein created the Premier League, it was his idea.”

Last year the Daily Mail published a list of the 50 most influential people in the history of the Premier League and David Dein was in the top ten with people like Sir Alex Ferguson.

The talk was enjoyed by all that attended and was an extremely inspiring insight into how modern day sport is created, maintained and marketed.

Supporting the BSA’s Boarding Orchard

We were delighted to welcome Robin Fletcher, Chief Executive of the Boarding Schools Association, to Burford yesterday and made the most of his visit by asking him to plant a new fruit tree in our orchard, next to the Boarding House.

The Boarding Orchard was launched by the BSA in 2014. It aims to be the largest orchard, by distance, in the UK and involves boarding schools planting fruit trees in their grounds. The trees symbolises the ‘tree of knowledge’ and demonstrate each school’s commitment to growth and caring for the environment. Since launch, schools across the UK and as far afield as Switzerland and the USA have taken part so we were glad to be able to become part of this great initiative.

Attending the ceremony with Robin were the headteacher, Mrs Kathy Haig, Mrs Sandi Kaaber, Housemistress, Tristan Yu, this year’s Head Boy of Boarding and two further boarders.