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Join us for an evening with ‘All That Jazz’

Join us for an evening with ‘All That Jazz’

1st XV win through to County Final

Burford 1ST XV, put in a very impressive performance on Wednesday by beating Wallingford School 34-0. They are now in the Oxfordshire U18 County Final, where they will play local rivals, Chipping Norton School. They will also be up against them in the West Oxfordshire District Final, the following week.

This will be the first time that the Senior squad has competed in both finals in the same year.

Day of the dead

This term the Year 8 students have been studying the festival of the Day of the Dead and analysing a film, ‘The Book of Life’.

Students were asked to produce either a poster, some typical food eaten during the festival, such as pan de muerto (Bread of the dead) or sugar skills, or an artefact linked to the festival. The results were very impressive with a wide range of items produced by students from each house.  The winners were as follows:

Artefact Prize

First: Lucy Walker   Second: James Elderfield   Third: Saskia Nowell

Poster Prize

First: Taryn Langley   Second: Freya Hickman   Third: Megan Wilson

Food Prize

First: Sophie Ayres    Second: Logan Masey    Third: Leah Moreno-Shadbolt




Year 9 & 10 visit Paris

From 21 – 24 October several of our Year 9 and 10 students visited Paris.  They had a busy schedule of sightseeing and thoroughly enjoyed their few days enjoying the French food, culture and shopping.


‘The Paris trip was a great experience that I will never forget. Spending time in the famous city of Paris with my friends was brilliant and some of the places we went to were breathtaking. Even the ferry was fun. The B&B we stayed in was big and comfortable, with a lot of space for everyone and the buffet breakfasts were just what we needed to start us off for the day.

Every day we went out to see some of the best tourist attractions and sometimes had a break of free time to do amazing things like shopping on the Champs Elysees. Some of my favourite places we visited were the Stade de France where we got to go into the changing rooms where the famous footballers change, Montparnasse to stand on the roof so high up and see the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, and the beautiful Sacré Cœur both on the inside and out.


Another amazing thing we did was go on a river cruise down the Seine, which was beautiful. We sat on the deck and watched the beautiful city and admired all the amazing bridges that we passed under. I also really enjoyed the night tour and seeing Paris lit up in the dark and shopping in the souvenir shops and especially down the stunning Champs Elysees.

It was an amazing trip to enjoy with my friends and one I would definitely do again.’

Eve Wightman – Year 10

Year 11 Geography Field Trip

On Wednesday 18 October and Friday 20 October, 111 curious Year 11 Geography students visited the idyllic honeypot town of Bourton-on-the-Water as part of their GCSE fieldwork.


With a clipboard, noise level app and data collection sheets to hand, they were presented with the task of measuring key environmental and human characteristics in order to judge the impacts of tourism and the sphere of influence of the town.

Following an east-west transect through the centre of the town, students collected data ranging from traffic counts to noise surveys, sketches to visitor impact surveys.  Our students conducted themselves admirably as they interviewed visitors from other regions of the UK, Germany, and some of our Boarding students even conducted interviews in Cantonese with fellow residents of Hong Kong.

With all relevant data now collected and collated, students will be able to draw conclusions and test their predictions back in the classroom, thus preparing them for their upcoming examinations.


Juniors enjoy their trip to Twickenham

On Saturday November 11th, forty nine Rugby players from years 8, 9 and 10, along with six members of staff, visited Twickenham stadium for the Autumn International, clash between England and Argentina, which was won by England.

The boys were situated in the lower part of the North stand and were very excited to be captured on camera during the National Anthems at the start of the match.

This is an annual trip organised to give our junior rugby players the ‘Twickenham Experience’.

Artist in Residence – Harry Barker

This year the Art Department offered its first Artist in Residence position to former student, Harry Barker. Harry studied GCSE Art at Kingham Hill School in Oxfordshire and then came to Burford School to complete his ‘A’ level Art. Harry said:

‘As Art was my passion and highest scoring subject at GCSE, I needed to carefully select a school which had a strong Art Department. After researching past Art ‘A’ level results for schools within Oxfordshire I noticed that Burford Art Department had secured 100% A* at ‘A’ level for two consecutive years. My choice was made.’

Harry completed his ‘A’ levels at Burford School and was awarded an A* grade in Art. The quality of his work, and his ability to engage and interact with students, made him an ideal candidate for this new and exciting position.

Harry joined us in September 2015 and within a few months he was working in oils on very large canvases. Harry’s subject matter was human form and his first model was his friend Joe, a keen sportsman with an athletic build. He has two very large, powerful, and photo-realistic paintings of Joe on show in the Art Foyer. These paintings are having a real impact and drawing a great deal of attention within the school.  Harry has gone on to produce impressive work across a range of subjects, such as his superb subtle colour painting of our life model, John, and his highly reflective and intricate composition ‘Three Men.’ Both are on display in the Art foyer and show off his masterful skills as an oil painter. Harry was awarded an A* grade in ‘A’ level Art in August 2017.


Harry states he only paints in oils because “oils are a very forgiving medium to work with and I find I can manipulate them to create a real depth to my paintings.”

He divides his time between teaching GCSE and ‘A’ level students techniques for painting in oils, and creating his own photorealistic works. His studio is in the main foyer of the Art Department and its central location within the department allows students from all year groups to observe Harry at work at any time.

Harry is an inspiration and an excellent role model for all of our students and is proving to be a real asset to the department.

Check out Harry at work through his time-lapse video.



The hunt for our new Patrons of Reading is over!

In July we waved a reluctant goodbye to the fabulous Jo Cotterill and we found ourselves in need of a new Patron of Reading to spread a love of reading and writing throughout Burford School. After some long and lengthy deliberation, we are delighted to announce that not only do we have a new Patron of Reading, but we have two!



Our new Lower School Patron of Reading is local author Ian Johnstone Ian writes middle year fantasy fiction, and has so far released two books in his Mirror Chronicles trilogy, with the third due in 2018-19. Ian has many years of experience in publishing and will bring a knowledgeable and encouraging voice to his talks and workshops for Years 7, 8 and 9.

Our new Upper School and Sixth Form Patron of Reading is not-so-local author Martin Stewart Martin’s debut novel Riverkeep had a path to publication as unique as Martin’s literary voice, and it has made the longlist for a number of awards including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. His new novel for young adults The Sacrifice Box will be released in January of 2018. Martin lives in Glasgow, and in addition to visits to Burford School will be interacting with classes remotely via Skype.



We can’t wait to share these remarkable authors with our students and look forward to welcoming them both back to Burford School.

Oxfordshire Book Awards 2017


The 2017 Oxfordshire Book Awards were a great success, with thirteen Burford School students attending Oxford High School to see their favourite authors and illustrators speak. We enjoyed everything from an only slightly inappropriate reading by comedian/author David Baddiel to a literal hug-fest with former Burford School Patron of Reading Jo Cotterill, who took home the prize of Best Secondary Novel for her book A Library of Lemons.

We were also treated to a sneak preview of next year’s longlist with a talk from writer and illustrator of Thornhill Pam Smy, and had a look into the life of one of our new Patrons of Reading Ian Johnstone and his fantasy trilogy The Mirror Chronicles.

Afterward, we celebrated the day with cake, then vanquished the crowds to buy books from Blackwell and have them signed by the authors. It was a brilliant day and we are extremely excited to start reading for next year’s awards.

Burford Students perform at the Royal Albert Hall

Seven musicians from Burford School performed with Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra at the Music for Youth Prom at the Royal Albert Hall last night.

The event, which involved over 1,000 young people from across the UK, took place in front of an audience of more than four thousand at the prestigious London venue.

The Youth Orchestra performed the final piece of the concert – The Pines of Rome by Respighi – a spectacular item which used recorded birdsong and a large offstage brass ensemble.

The evening rounded off with a massed finale, a specially commissioned work by Pete Letanka in which all 1,000 performers participated and which was led by the Oxfordshire students.