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A Trip to the Opera

A Trip to the Opera


The Burford Institute of Music took a group of Sixth Form musicians to London for a backstage tour at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The venue is home to both the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet and has a grand and impressive auditorium, which the students were lucky enough to be able to see during a break in rehearsals.

They experienced what it would be like to sit in the most expensive seats in the house, and learned about the restoration that had taken place in the late 1990s. The tour also showed the ballet studio and the vast backstage area -‘offstage right’ – where the sets are stored for the different productions which are currently taking place.

The tour guide explained in great detail the work which goes on behind the scenes and how many people are involved in putting on the final operas and ballets throughout the year. It was a fascinating and enlightening tour and a great insight into the working of such a prestigious venue.

Success at The Great Debate

On Thursday 25 January, Sixth Form students Grace Ford and Owen Hooper took part in the regional heat of the Great Debate at Didcot Girls’ School. The Great Debate is a national public-speaking competition for sixth-form students with an interest in history and politics. Students had to present a five-minute speech answering this year’s question: ‘Was the 1918 extension of the franchise the most significant moment in British democratic history?’

Both Owen and Grace delivered fantastic speeches clearly defining how they view democracy and their criteria for judging an event to be significant. Owen confidently argued that the Magna Carta is the most significant moment in British democratic history whilst Grace gave strong evidence to support the 1918 extension of the franchise.

This year’s competition is being held in partnership with the UK Parliament’s Vote 100 project commemorating 100 years since the Representation of the People Act. I am really pleased to say that Grace won the regional heat and will now represent Burford School and Oxfordshire at the Grand Final which will take place at the Houses of Parliament on 10 March 2018.

Sixth Form visit to Oxford Brookes University

On Thursday 11 January, 120 Year 12 students enjoyed a day at Oxford Brookes University. ‘Experience Brookes’ was to give ‘A’ Level students a better insight into what studying a degree course at university would be like.

Students were able to opt for two academic ‘taster’ sessions, selecting from a large range of courses such as Fine Art, Architecture, Biology, Computing, Law and Midwifery, to name just a few.  They also attended presentations about student life, how to choose a university course and student finance, as well as being given a tour of the exciting new Oxford Brookes campus.

By the end of the day, all agreed that they had a much better grasp of what being an undergraduate was like and felt much more informed about possible courses of study – a great benefit when it comes to making university choices in a few months’ time.

Apprenticeship Opportunities

Throughout the year there are a number of events which may allow students, and their parents, to explore apprenticeship opportunities.  Listed below are those coming up shortly.  Details are also available on the Work Experience and Careers page of the website.  Please keep checking this page if you are interested in Careers Events as we will be adding any event brought to our attention on a regular basis. Posters will also be displayed on the board outside the Careers Office.

If you have any questions, please contact our Careers Officer, Mrs Judith Knowles at:


NHS Clinical and Business Opportunities

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Diamond Light Open Day

Plumbing Apprenticeship Event – Oxford Energy Academy

Creative Media Days in Oxford

UKAEA Apprenticeship Event – Culham

Abingdon & Witney College Open Days

Great Start to Basketball Season

Our U19 Basketball team began the District League season, with a convincing 55-33 win over Marlborough School, Woodstock.

Tristan Yu, who scored 18 points and Shay Paige, who scored 12 points, were Burford’s main protagonists.

The team now move on to play Woodgreen School, Witney on 25 January.


Five stars again for our Boarding House Kitchen

We are delighted to announce that once again our kitchen staff have attained the very highest standard in the latest food hygiene rating at the Boarding Department.

Always working hard on behalf of the boarders it’s good to have their hard work and high standards acknowledged.




Do join us for our latest drama production, featuring our two #shakespeareschoolsfestival pieces of Julius Caesar and Much Ado about Nothing #shakespeaReignited.

Tickets available now for a Dinner and Theatre evening on Wednesday 31 January or Theatre evening only on Friday 2 February. Tickets available from

Year 7 Badminton Tournament

The annual Year 7 Badminton Singles Tournament, took place this week in the Sports Hall and produced the following results.

In the boys competition, Sam Warwick beat Jonah White and in the girls competition, Maisy Regan beat Sophie Fisk-Ndah.

All four players will now go forward to represent the school at the District Tournament, at Bartholomew School, at the end of the month.

Well done to all involved!