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Visit To Advanced Fibreoptic Engineering

Visit To Advanced Fibreoptic Engineering

On Thursday 17 October, Mr Elliot Head of Computer Science and ICT took Year 13 students to visit a local business, who design and build fibreoptic technologies used in products around the world.  If you have ever had a problem with your superfast broadband, it may have been checked using technology from AFE.


As well as a highly informative presentation on the origins and technology behind today’s superfast fibreoptic communications, students had the opportunity to engineer their own fibre cable, using the high tech equipment in the specially designed ‘clean room’.

It proved to be a very enlightening visit!


Engineering Apprenticeship

Take a look at this hi-tech engineering apprenticeship from UK Atomic Energy for aspiring engineers.


Tapas, Towers & Dancing Horses

Mrs Santovety and Miss Iasisen of the MFL department accompanied seventeen Year 10 students to Seville, leaving school on Wednesday 2 October for a visit to the wonderful Andalusian Capital.

Our partner school the Instituto Hermanos Machado, is named after two famous Spanish poets who were brothers and is located in the town of Dos Hermanas in the outskirts of Seville.

The planning for the trip had started way back in May and continued right up to the day we left.  All that was left was to get to the airport on time and make sure we made it to the beautiful city of Seville where the weather promised to be “back to summer temperatures”.  The climate and the city did not disappoint!


The students spent the week visiting places of historical interest in and around Seville:  The 12th century Alcazar Palace, the Sanllehi Cathedral which is the biggest gothic cathedral in the world featuring it’s magnificent tower, a fascinating tour round the famous Sandeman winery and a memorable visit to see “How Andalusian Horses Dance” in Jerez de la Frontera; not forgetting the day spent attending lessons at the Instituto Hermanos Machado.

Students also had the opportunity to experience family life with their host families and socialise with their partners and friends.


Despite initial nerves, all students immersed themselves into “Andalusian life” and by the end nobody wanted to come back, including Miss Iasisen and myself, having fully enjoyed the culinary experience of eating tapas in Seville!

These are some of the comments from our students:

Lucy Howarth –“My overall impression was good and it helped me to learn what life is like in Spain.  They always give you food!”

Emily Tinney – “The exchange was one of the best school trips I have ever been on.”

Francesca Haworth – “If I could, I would do this trip all over again, I would recommend this trip to everyone.”

Lucy Harold – “I thought the Spanish exchange was amazing.  Living with a Spanish family and putting myself out of my comfort zone really helped build my confidence and improved my Spanish skill.”

Blood Brothers Theatre Trip

On Tuesday 8 October, Mr Warren led a trip of one hundred and nine Year 9-11 students to the Birmingham Hippodrome to watch a performance of Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, a musical revolving around the fraternal twins Mickey and Eddie, separated at birth; one being raised in a wealthy family, the other in a poor family.

Students really enjoyed the experience and for some it was the first time visiting the theatre.

GCSE students will be using this to help apply their creativity whilst studying the text for their exams.

Let’s Go Dutch


Burford played host once again to fifty eight students over two days from The Revius School in Utrecht, Holland.  Our Dutch guests were buddied up with Burford students in Years 8 and 9 and enjoyed taking an active part in lessons and discovered what it’s like to be a Burfordian.

We look forward to hosting them again next year.

Singing Sensations

Open Mic Night 2019


This was the Music Department’s second Open Mic Night, and it was a really fantastic evening. Fourteen students from Years 9 to 13 performed, and there was a wonderful array of talent on display. The event, which took place in the Drama Studio, gave our performers a wonderful opportunity to showcase their own compositions as well as play some popular cover versions. With accompaniment from guitar, piano and even ukulele this was a real treat for the audience who commented on the quality of the performances and asked when the next Open Mic Night will be.

Year 7 Choral Competition


The Year 7 Choral competition is the first opportunity for our newest Burford students to perform in public, and they all rose to the occasion. Each tutor group took to the stage under the guidance of their Music teacher and sang two songs, ranging from Coldplay classics to 1980’s ballads – complete with audience participation. The judges, Mr Cowley, Head of Year 7, and two A-level Music students, had an extremely difficult choice as the standard was very high. However, a winner had to be chosen and 7JBE were pronounced the victors, closing the show with their performance of “When I Grow Up” from the musical Matilda. 

Raindrops Keep Falling for Bronze DofE

In the words of Mr Count, it was ‘The wettest weekend of any Duke of Edinburgh Expedition he has ever been on”.  On one of the toughest, most grueling and damp weekends to undertake the Bronze DofE assessed expedition, the students were absolutely phenomenal and were a credit to themselves and the school for the determination they showed.

One hundred and eight Year 9 students visited White Horse Hill camping overnight at a farm just outside Uffington.  With forty two tents pitched in the rain, food barely cooking  on trangias and the wind setting in, it would have been easy to think that students may have been put off; but no!


The first days walking went extremely well with spells of sunshine and every team back within seven hours of departure.  The night brought its own challenges, but the students overcame these with ease and stormed through the second days walking.  It was a hugely successful expedition and I would like to thank parents and students for the commitment to the award and the staff that helped guide our students through the weekend.

It was rewarding to have feedback from parents too after the event – ‘My daughter came home buzzing from the weekend. I was fully prepared for a bedraggled, soggy excuse of a teenager but not at all. Well done to all of you for powering through and to all you wonderful staff who went with them and encouraged them all the way.’

Tectonics, Volcanoes & Earthquakes

Emily Paterson, Emily Sone, Belle Fletcher-Howarth and Amelia Smith report:

Miss Searle led the Year 8 Geography trip to the Natural History Museum on Wednesday 9 October.  Setting off early, we eventually arrived at our destination at 11.00am.  A long journey but  definitely worth the wait! As we went through the large archway (the main entrance to the museum), we were greeted by a large blue whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling!

Travelling up the escalator, we passed through into the centre of the model earth showing the world’s formation.  This gave us a chance to visualise the earth from a different perspective.

On reaching the top, we were each given a ‘Volcanoes and Earthquakes Discovery Guide’ to complete and then went on the earthquake simulator, which helped us understand how it was to be in a real life earthquake.

After stopping for a well deserved snack, we continued to the Rocks the House Show for an interactive and fun demonstration.  Some of our students helped out in the demonstration about the Fold Mountains and how seismometers work.  This was followed by an interesting talk about tectonic plates and their different formations.

By lunchtime we were all ravenous, so found the picnic area to eat food – YUM!, before visiting the Restless Surface Gallery which displayed rocks and how they were impacted by water; it was interesting that the salt was a liquid that made the rock expand when it froze.  At the From the Beginning Gallery we saw a timeline and interactive displays to learn about how the earth was created and the final highlight of the day was the exhibition about dinosaurs where we found many models of dinosaurs and learnt some new, interesting facts.

Come and sing with us again!

Two years ago we enjoyed a wonderful performance of Fauré’s Requiem in Burford Church, following the creation of a Community Choir.  Our Community Choir will be rehearsing again after half term and we are inviting parents, friends, local residents, staff and students to join us for one, or both, of our annual Christmas Miscellany evenings on 17 & 18 December. (See poster below for details)

On 12 March we will also be performing Vivaldi’s Gloria and Handal’s Zadok the Priest.  More information will follow about this event later in the term and rehearsals will begin in January.

You are invited to join us for one or both events.  No previous singing experience is necessary.  Just come along and enjoy!



Introduction to Apprenticeships Fair

Students and their parents are invited to attend the West Oxfordshire Learning Partnership’s (WOLP) Apprenticeship Convention in order to explore apprenticeship opportunities with a wide range of employers representing a range of occupational sectors.  This event takes place on Tuesday 22 October at Witney Lakes Resort.  Around 30 different employers will be attending eg: Oxford Mini Plant, Air Tanker, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, Thames Valley Police, Oxford University, Blenheim Palace and Witney College.  In addition there will be talks by current young apprentices who will provide a first-hand view of the experience of taking up an apprenticeship.

WOLP Convention 22 October 2019