Tel: 01993 823303

Year 11 – 13 Humanities Parent Forum

Year 11 – 13 Humanities Parent Forum


On Monday 21 October, Year 13 Humanities and Social Science students showcased some of the work they had been doing across History, Geography, Sociology, Politics and Psychology.  Students had completed projects on a wide range of different topics including cybercrime, regeneration, climate change, feminism and the Russian Revolution.  They were able to explain and discuss their work with both parents and students and some interesting debates were heard around the room!  The Psychology students ran a variety of popular experiments during the evening too.


During the evening a visitors were given the opportunity to hear a talk by Susan Buckle, Astronaut Flight Education Programme Manager.  Susan studied Psychology at university and currently works for the UK Space Agency.  She gave an interesting insight into her career path and some of the projects she has worked on including Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Station.  Everyone particularly enjoyed the footage from some of the training missions including how to eat in space!  The evening encouraged students to explore some of the connections between their subjects as well as considering how they could use them in the future.


Rugby Round Up

Year 9 Rugby

The Year 9 Rugby Team capped an impressive season by adding the County Vase Trophy to the District Champions prize won earlier this term.  Against a strong Matthew Arnold team, Burford started well and looked to dominate the possession of the ball.  Matthew Arnold grew into the game and both teams were evenly matched at half time.

The second half saw Matthew Arnold take the lead with a well taken try.  They stirred Burford into action and the team replied with two tries – from Captain Fred Rimell and No.8 Rodrigo Angulo.  This was not the end of the scoring and Matthew Arnold replied late on with a powerful try to make the end close. However, the two successful conversions by Freddie Rix were enough to seal a 14-12 win to end a season of hard work and progress.

Senior Rugby

The U19 Burford Rugby team embarked on a season of transition with the loss of a number of senior players last season.  The team have developed well under the leadership of Ben Hampson and Rohan Foggett and made great strides each week.  This development saw Burford reach the County Cup Final against a strong Abingdon 2nd XI, held at Burford School.  In front of fantastic support, Burford conceded an early try but kept their composure to score their first points through a Lucas Sprostan Penalty kick.

At half time, Abingdon led by 20-3 and Burford knew it would take a huge effort to get back into the game.  The second half started with Burford on the front foot and they soon scored their first try through Ben Hampson’s break.  Despite a huge effort and fantastic endeavour, the team were unable to convert their pressure.  Abingdon scored late on to make the final score 27-10.


Cross Country Success

Burford had five teams qualify for the County School Games Cross Country Finals.  The event was held at Radley College in typical cross country weather (cold)!  Despite the weather, our students competed incredibly well with the following team positions:


Year 7 Girls – 2nd place          Year 7 Boys – 6th place          Year 8/9 Girls – 8th place

Year 8/9 Boys – 2nd place          Year 10/11 Girls – 7th place

As well as team success the school were very proud of individual successes, with Elias placed 3rd in a very close Year 7 Boys’ race.


Competición Dia de los Muertos

Head of MFL Mrs Santovety reports: – Year 8 Spanish students took part in a very successful House Competition themed on The Day of the Dead after learning about the festival in lessons.  They were asked to produce a piece of work and could choose between three categories: food, artefact and poster.

The standard was exceptional this year with students producing high quality products.  This made it particularity tough for Headteacher, Mrs Haig, to decide on the winners!


Each house was awarded a first, second and third prize for each category, with other prizes awarded to:  Harley Bartlett-Setch (Wysdom) – Best Food, Lottie Goodwin (Warwick) – Best Artefact and Bethany Goodwin (Heylin) – Best Poster

İHasta la próxima!


A Time For Celebration

Charter Day

On Friday 22 November, Burford celebrated its four hundred and forty eighth Birthday in style beginning with the Charter Day Morning Service.  The students enjoyed amazing musical performances from All That Jazz and the Concert Orchestra, with a moving rendition of Bui Doi from Miss Saigon, performed by the Sound Collective Choir.



Heads of School and Boarding presented a recap of the year’s events, with the traditional aspects of the ceremonies including readings in recognition of the school’s founders and the school hymn, sung with gusto!


In the evening, students took part in the Upper School Prize Giving, a chance to recognise the achievements and talents of the students and staff of the school in the last academic year. They received their prizes from guest speaker, Mr Bill Williams.





WOLP Apprenticeship Event

The annual WOLP Apprenticeship Event took place on Tuesday 22 October at Witney Lakes Resort and was well attended by Burford School students.

A wide range of employers and training organisations were present to inform students and parents about the many apprenticeship opportunities available.

Employers represented included: JSP, Blenheim Palace, Abbott Diabetes Care, Oxford Mini Plant, Thames Valley Police & GCHQ  with training organisations such as the Engineering Training Trust and JTL.  Abingdon and Witney College were also in attendance.

In addition to this, OXLEP Skills delivered a formal presentation – Introducing Apprenticeships and were joined by apprentices from the University of Oxford. Such events demonstrate the partnership working at its best.

The next WOLP Careers Fair is being held at Abingdon and Witney College (Witney campus) on Wednesday 29 January and is open to students in Year 9 and above.



Parliament Week


Burford launched its own school parliament to coincide with Parliament Week which commenced on 2 November. Four students were chosen from each year group to act as representatives. A visit from Conservative Candidate for Witney and West Oxfordshire Robert Courts launched the initiative.


Thrilling Visit to Bletchley Park

On Wednesday 20 November, Year 11 students studying Computer Science, visited Bletchley Park, “Home of the Codebreakers”.

During the day, students enjoyed using a real enigma machine and learnt how people working at Bletchley Park shortened World War II by two years, saving millions of lives on both sides.  It was amazing to see The Bombe (designed by Alan Turing) actually working as it would have been when decoding enigma messages.



In the afternoon, students saw how cryptology progressed to use Lorenz cipher machines towards the end of the war, which were again decoded at Bletchley using the Tunny and Colossus machines, (the first programmable electronic computer predating the American ENIAC by two years).

It was amazing to learn that Colossus remained a secret for the following thirty years, as it was being used to decrypt Russian communications during The Cold War.

After a brief visit to the modern computer section, everyone agreed that today’s internet and mobile technology owes a huge amount to the efforts of the amazing people who worked at Bletchley Park.


Students Prepare for the Workplace

As part of the Careers Programme at Burford School, all Year 11 students are provided with the opportunity to have some practical interview practice with feedback.  This is an important part of preparing our students for life beyond school.

A large number of employer volunteers were recruited from the local community to conduct the interviews over the course of a week in November. The feedback from them was extremely positive.

“The standard of the students and the quality of their CVs and preparation was extremely high” commented a representative from Nationwide.  Another employer commented, “I have been impressed with how much the students get involved in and out of school, how passionate they are about their school work and extra-curricular activities.  A great number of them already know what they want to do when they leave school and are consciously involving themselves in relevant experiences and activities.  Great work Burford!”

Many of the students were apprehensiveprior to their interviews and indeed for most this was their first experience of a formal interview.  However, having taken part in the process and been given both verbal and written feedback on their CVs and interview performance, the overwhelming majority of students now feel much more confident about interview and CV writing in the future.


Magical Music Events – December

The Music Department is an eventful place to be in the build up to Christmas with rehearsals taking place in preparation for the festive season.

There have, however, been some other exciting events and achievements recently! At the beginning of November, our Rock School musicians put on a lunchtime concert which was well attended and featured two bands from our active extra-curricular sessions.



November also 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 audience. As usual the evening was extremely popular and full of talented individuals (students and staff) from across all year groups. The winning house, Falkland, closed the show with their rendition of Somewhere Only We Know by Keane.



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 Hootenanny to Palladio by Karl Jenkins.

There was a very enjoyable trip to see Wicked in London – the students thoroughly enjoyed this highly entertaining and spectacular show.

We have some wonderful festive events coming up before the end of term. An evening with All that Jazz takes place on Friday 13 December and there will be two Christmas Miscellany concerts, featuring our community choir, on Tuesday 17  & Wednesday 18 December. Tickets for all events can be booked online.