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Magic Moments in Music

Magic Moments in Music

The build up to Christmas has begun, and the Music Department is a hive of activity with rehearsals taking place in preparation for the festive season.

In amongst all the preparations, however, there have been some other exciting events and achievements! At the beginning of November, our talented brass players put on a lunchtime concert, which was well attended and featured a trombonist, two trumpet soloists and the brass quartet.

The senior ensembles, the Burford Camerata and the Symphonic Concert Band, performed as part of the Charter Day celebrations, playing a variety of music which ranged from War of the Worlds to Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite.

A highlight of the month was a departmental trip to see Aladdin in London – the students thoroughly enjoyed this highly entertaining show with all the favourite musical numbers from the animated classic.

Later that week saw students take to the stage for the annual competition Star for a Night. This event is an inter-house challenge and gives the singers a chance to perform with a live band in front of a large crowd. As usual the evening was extremely popular and full of talented individuals from across all year groups (and the staff!)

The overall winning house was Wysdom, and special mention must go to Eva and Izzy who wowed the audience with their rendition of ABBA’s Mamma Mia, and were chosen to close the show with a repeat performance.

The month drew to a close as one of our Rock School bands successfully competed at Oxfordshire’s Spotlight Talent final and were crowned overall winners, beating 12 other acts from across the county – congratulations to Toby, Jacob, Luke and Fletcher for this fantastic achievement.

As mentioned at the start, we have some wonderful festive events coming up in December to get you in a festive mood. Tickets for all our events can be booked online here:

Cricketer Good Schools Guide 2019

The Cricketer has published its Good Schools Guide 2019, featuring the top 100 secondary schools and we are thrilled that Burford School is one of those listed!  It follows an exhaustive process which saw more than 350 schools submit entries to be included in the guide. All entries were judged against an extensive set of criteria, with all the chosen schools having outstanding facilities, fixture programmes and coaching.

The Cricketer magazine editor Simon Hughes commented: “This is a superb publication that serves both as an informative guide and as a tribute to all those teachers and coaches out there who are nurturing the talents of future club, county and international cricketers.”



Our thanks to Mr and Mrs Williams and their team of hardworking and enthusiastic staff, on ensuring a place for us in this prestigious magazine through a fantastic set of fixtures and training opportunities.

The publication is available on newsstands now and will be made available on The Cricketer website from Friday December 14. For more information please visit:

County Final for U12 Hockey Team

Congratulations to the girls U12 hockey squad, who represented Burford at the District Tournament this week.  Thanks to great team work and skill, they were awarded 2nd place.  They now qualify for the County Final.

Young Enterprise Cotswold Cup Company

Sixth form students at Burford School have had the opportunity to choose Young Enterprise as part of their extended curricular activity programme, which is a widely recognised organisation across the country.

Teenagers in Year 12 are given the opportunity to set up their own company with a product or service of choice, which they must market and sell to the public. Young Enterprise is a not for profit business and enterprise education charity aiming to inspire and motivate young people through business, encouraging them to learn key skills to succeed in the future and world of work.


This year’s team have successfully produced a selection of unique and quirky reusable cups. Dishwasher safe and made from a mix of naturally sustained bamboo fibres and corn starch, the cup will provide an easy and eco-friendly alternative on single use disposable cups which may end up in landfill.  The team have designed and created handmade padded sleeves to further insulate and create a unique innovative design to each product bought.

The product will be available at upcoming events at Burford and around the area, such as: the Beauty and the Beast musical, Burford School’s Christmas Miscellany, Burford Christmas Market, Banbury Trade Fair and many more, so keep an eye out for the Cotswold Cup Company’s stand, and get your hands on a reusable cup.

The Cotswold Cup Company – Saving the planet, one cup at a time.


Biology Trip to Margam Discovery Centre

Year 13 Biology students set off on a warm October day to Margam Discovery Centre; a beautiful setting to undertake ecological studies surrounded by wild deer, stunning scenery and bubbling waterways.  They soon set to work comparing the biodiversity of two woodlands.

After working late on the first night, the students took a stroll to a local haunted house on the Margam Estate, an impressive gothic mansion silhouetted against a dramatic night sky.


The following day, they set off to Crymlyn Burrows to consider sand dune succession and looked at the difference in the curling marram grass and succession across a transect.

Statistically analysing the data during the evening, led to two pieces of the required practical’s being completed.

The final day was interesting as Storm Callum arrived in Wales! The students spent the morning analysing invertebrates in a stream and we all left for home before the waters rose.




Visit to the Oxfordshire Book Awards 2018

The sun may not have been shining on the day of the Oxfordshire Book Awards, but there was certainly a warm glow inside Oxford High for the ever-popular awards ceremony.

Students packed the hall to hear Greg James and Chris Smith enthuse about their book Kid Normal and create a world exclusive by reading from their latest book in the series, which is currently awaiting publication.

Greg James, currently the hugely popular Radio 1 Breakfast show presenter, and Chris Smith, Radio 1 Newsbeat presenter, were entertaining, warm and friendly and wowed their young audience, including many of the seventeen Burford students who took part in the trip – among them Eva, Rhianna, Poppy and Isabella from Year 7.



Greg and Chris were winners of the Best Primary Book Award.

Best Secondary Book Award for 2018 was Katherine Rundell for The Explorer, with past winner Lisa Williamson scooping a shared Highly Commended this year, for All About Mia with Pam Smy for Thornhill.  Both Lisa and Pam gave powerful talks at the ceremony, but unfortunately winner Katherine was unable to attend this year.

Other authors who attended included Matt Carr, Matt Brown, Tom Pollock and Nicki Thornton so it was a great opportunity for students to meet and talk with published authors and learn about their journey into print.

Rock Band Win County Music Competition

Jacob, Luke, Fletch and Toby, Inner Edge Rock Band from Burford School, won the County Music Service’s Spotlight Talent Competition at the Centre for Music in Oxford on Friday 23 November.


Performing an original song written by band member Jacob, the boys played to a packed audience with competition fierce among the thirteen acts that took part. The band are members of the very popular, Burford Rock School, run by guitarist and teacher, Andy Skittral.

The students were delighted to receive prizemoney of £500 for the purchase of equipment from PMT Oxford.

U14s Win at Badminton District Tournament

After the U16 victory in the District Tournament last week, our U14 Badminton team made it a double victory, by securing the District title at Wood Green School.



The team, consisting of Ben, Sam , Jacob and Barney, won all of their matches against Henry Box School,  Carterton Community College and Wood Green School.

They now look forward to playing in the county round of the national tournament in the new year.

U15s win Rugby District Final

The U15s continued their unbeaten season with an emphatic 45-12 victory over Bartholomew School, in the District Final at Chipping Norton RFC.


They now look to progress further in the County Competition, when they entertain Blessed George Napier School, in the quarter final on the 20 November.

Musical Delights

The Music Department staged a variety of exciting events involving students from every year group during Term 1.

The inaugural Open Mic Night was held in the Drama studio.  The event showcased the talent of our singer/songwriters, in an evening of relaxed music making. Eleven students performed a mix of covers and original material in front of an appreciative audience of friends and family.  It was a really fun evening and one which we will definitely repeat in the future!

Our second lunchtime concert took place in the Music Department, this time featuring our woodwind players – a clarinettist, an oboist, a flautist and a saxophone duet, all took part and performed a variety of repertoire in this latest in our concert series.  Their enthusiasm was very apparent and it was lovely to hear these instruments taking centre stage.

‘All That Jazz’ performed in Milton under Wychwood where they played to members of the local community in a fund-raising event. They performed such favourites as Freebird, Fields of Gold and an ABBA medley.  The group was on fine form and received many positive comments.


The final event of the term was the Year 7 Choral Competition, an annual event which sees the tutor groups sing two songs each in a bid to wow the judges.  This year’s event was a great success and the students performed very professionally and enthusiastically in front of a sell-out crowd.  In a close competition, the eventual winners were 7RNU, who sang Power in Me and Hear the Wind.