The Headmaster's Weekly Routh Address




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12 November

Last Updated: 12/11/2018 12:33:21

Headmaster’s Routh Assembly Address
Monday 12th November 2018


Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

The author Salman Rushdie wrote:
“Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn't exist in any declaration I have ever read.

If you are offended it is your problem, and frankly lots of things offend lots of people.

I can walk into a bookshop and point out a number of books that I find very unattractive in what they say. But it doesn't occur to me to burn the bookshop down. If you don't like a book, read another book. If you start reading a book and you decide you don't like it, nobody is telling you to finish it.

To read a 600-page novel and then say that it has deeply offended you: well, you have done a lot of work to be offended.”
Yesterday we remembered the cost of war and acknowledged the freedoms we enjoy today as a result of great sacrifices made on our behalf.

As a quick aside, could I publicly acknowledge all who played a part in making last week’s Remembrance commemorations so successful. I was especially proud of the CCF cadets who were outstanding at a number of functions. But thanks also to the superb Chapel choir, to our excellent guides and ushers, to you all, for you respectful attendance at the various services. You honoured not only the fallen but also the School and I thank you for that.

Anyway, back to the freedoms that we were celebrating. So important were they, and so high the cost, immediately after the Second World War, governments around the world banded together and formed the United Nations to protect them. One of the first acts of which, was to produce an agreed list of the freedoms that all people on the Earth should enjoy, regardless of their nationality, race, gender, age or religion. It was to be called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

That declaration contains 30 rights that all people should have. You have just heard Lucia read one of them. Article 19, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.” Free speech. However, I have to assure you this morning, there is no such thing. No such thing as free speech.

The term is thrown around often enough, of course. And misunderstood just as often. Those who think freedom of speech is the right to say whatever you like, whenever you like, about whatever you like, are sadly mistaken.

Amnesty International says “Freedom of speech is the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, by any means.” That is closer to the truth. Freedom of speech and expression applies to ideas of all kinds, including those that may be deeply offensive to some people.

As long ago as the 1700’s, the great French writer Voltaire is reputed to have said “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

As the author Salman Rushdie said in the second part of that reading “Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn't exist in any declaration I have ever read.”
That is so. There is no article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that says you have the right never to hear anything that you don’t like. Unfortunately, that is a fact that some of our universities seem to struggle with at times, when they ban invited speakers because of student outrage, insisting on “safe spaces” where no opinion may be voiced that might upset someone. Of all places, universities should know that only by airing unpalatable and offensive opinions can they be countered are dismissed. Whether we like it or not, people have the right to cause offence with what they say.

However, your right to express your opinions comes with conditions and responsibilities and there are situations in most countries where free speech can be legitimately restricted.


Even in America, where the First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression, there are limits. Some may think there are not enough.

You only need to witness the appalling scenes of the vile Reverend Fred Phelps and his followers from the Westboro Baptist Church, picketing the funerals of dead soldiers to understand why. They chant slogans and carry placards saying that the person being buried deserved to die … because, apparently, God hates gays.

Their perverted logic being that because the American military doesn’t discriminate against people on the basis of their sexuality, God is killing troops to punish them.

An offensive enough opinion by itself, but to shove it in the face of a grieving family and friends on the very day of the funeral is beyond comprehension. Yet, as long as they do not incite violence or libel anyone , the Westboro disciples are within their rights of free speech.

Other nations have different limits and different consequences when they are breached. In Britain, Article 10 of the Human Rights Act guarantees everyone the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

However, the exercise of these freedoms may be subject to conditions, restrictions or penalties. Free speech in this country can be restricted for reasons such as national security, public safety, the prevention of disorder or crime, protection of health or morals, protection of the reputation or rights of others, preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary. In short, there are lots of reasons why you can’t just say what you want in the UK, especially if what you say will cause actual harm.

All of those rules relate to limiting your freedom to speak in some way and, in that respect, there is no such thing as completely free speech. However, that is only one interpretation of the word free, is it? There is another.

Not ‘Free’ as in being completely at liberty and unrestrained. But ‘Free’ as in not costing anything. That is more what I have in mind when I say to you that there is no such thing as free speech. Because I believe every word we ever utter, has a cost. No matter how impassioned, private, impulsive or justified, every time we express an opinion, there is some sort of consequence. So you have to be prepared to pay the price when you speak.

And by speak, I do not just mean with your vocal chords, but also with your writing, texting, posting of images. Even liking something on social media is a form of expressing your opinion. One for which you must be prepared to be accountable. There is always a cost. Banter that is taken personally – there is a cost. A private digital message that goes public – there is a cost. Retweeting or simply repeating something shocking you saw elsewhere, just for effect – there will be a cost.

When I spoke to prospective pupils at Open Morning on Staurday, I said that this was a school where debate, discourse and the sharing of ideas was encouraged. I believe that to be so.
But part of what we must also teach you is that there is a price to be paid when we make our thoughts known. Usually it is small, often it is positive. Sometimes though, it is worse than anticipated. It may well be that there is no law against causing offence to others, but there will inevitably be a cost. You must own the words that you utter and if they cause offence, you must bear the consequences. Even if there is no law against it.


Presentations
Intermediate British Biology Olympiad.

Nearly 7000 of the top L6th biologists nationally took part in this challenging competition in June, designed to encourage biology scholars to develop further knowledge and problem solving skills.
Bromsgrove was represented and I invite the following to receive their certificates:
Bronze (top 25%):Vanessa Chou, Georgie Muscutt, William Roberts, Lina Schlinkheider, Charlie Smart

Silver (top 10%):Anna Huang

The Senior Biology Olympiad will take place in January and any interested sixth formers can register their interest with Mrs Wright.


Junior House Basketball

A closely fought House basketball competition resulted in Elmhurst beating Walters in the final, 10-2.
I invite the Elmshurst captain to receive the trophy.

CCF Survival Course
The following cadets completed their Level 2 wilderness training during the half term holidays; I invite them forward to receive their certificates:
Adam Au, Freya Tweddell, James Bateman, Kalea Booth, Mitchell Hare, Ellie Johnson, Thomas Holroyd, Tori Kemp, Mitchell Jiang, Shona Mills, Radu Polschi, Heidi Newman, Harry Richards, Fenella Stone, Hayden Stanley, Thomas Ward


Review
Clay Pigeon Shooting

Isabella Walters competed in two further Clay Shooting Competitions for Bromsgrove, she performed well finishing 4th and 3rd respectively.

Badminton
Both the Girls’ 1st and 2nd teams played well to beat Cheltenham Ladies College.

Basketball
The U16 team lost in a good game against Alcester Grammar School.

Cross Country
We hosted an invitational match on Saturday and it was pleasing to see so many participating. Special mention must go to Orla Walker who finished second in the girls race.
Meanwhile, our intermediate boys and girls teams competed in the Midlands Finals; all runners ran well and congratulations go to Natalie Hatfield, who won the race.

Hockey
The U15 boys’ team beat Solihull School 3-2.
Sadly though, a disappointing set of results for the girls teams in the matches against Uppingham School, with only the U15B team registering a win.

Netball
Better news in Netball, where the U16 team reached the semi-final of the county tournament before losing to eventual winners Kings Worcester.
However, congratulations to the U14 netball team, who were crowned county champions on Saturday. They won their pool comfortably; beat Malvern College in the semi-final and RGS Worcester in the final. This means Bromsgrove have retained this title for the 7th year in a row. We now progress through to the West Midlands finals in the New Year.

Rugby
Finally, an excellent afternoon for the rugby teams with all 11 teams winning their matches against Sir Thomas Rich’s School. The 1st XV winning 40-12.

Preview
Fourth Form House Drama Competition

Today sees the launch of this year’s Fourth Form House Drama Competition, the final of which will take place in the third week of next term. Last year’s inaugural event was a great success and a showcase for the acting talent that we know exists in each House.

The competition is open to performers in the Upper and Lower Fourth, however your play may be directed by a 5th or 6th Former.

There is no specific theme; each house should perform an extract of no more than 7 minutes which can be from a previously published play or something that you may choose to write yourselves. The Performing Arts Department will assist you in finding a suitable piece, if required and you each House is asked to select a representative who should contact Mr. Norton by the end of this week.

This year's first edition of the school magazine 201 is out and available to read in both printed and electronic versions. Find yourself a copy and read the thoughts of your peers' on "success". Remember that the next issue has the prompt "Inside or outside the box?" and contributions are due to Alia or Vivianne by this Friday.
If you are interested in a career in Law, do not miss out on a talk from Old Bromsgrovian Myles Griffiths, who will be presenting a session at 5.30 pm on Thursday in the Lecture Theatre. He will then be interviewing potential Law students at the U6 Interview Evening. Please email Mrs Ashcroft for a seat.

Also on Thursday evening before the U6th interviews, Dr William Bolton (OB Lupton House) will be giving a presentation at 6pm in H20 on his research in the medical field. This is an excellent opportunity for all students studying sciences (not just Medics) to gain insight to assist your studies. Dr Bolton is a Clinical Research Fellow in Global Surgical Technologies at the University of Leeds. His talk is entitled ‘Technology in Healthcare: From Robots to Sausages’. This is open to all students in the 5th and 6th form.

A reminder that Marmite’ seminars are also an excellent extension of your studies. Participants, new or old, are always welcome. Please email Dr Ruben, who also reminds you about the next Marmite Movie and Pizza Evening, this Friday, 5.15pm at 5 Conway Road, where Marvel's Black Panther will screen.

Early notice that everyone is welcome to Routh on Tuesday 20 November, at 5.20pm to hear Jude Wynter perform Chopin, Haydn, Rachmaninov, Ravel and Barber as part of his Licentiate Trinity College London Diploma.

Finally, all the best to teams playing important cup matches this week and especially to the 1st XV, who meet Warwick School in their next Nat West cup match tomorrow. A lesson from the All Blacks gentlemen – never panic and never say die.

Please stand as we say the Grace together.



5th November

Last Updated: 05/11/2018 10:09:25

Headmaster’s Routh Assembly Address
Monday 5th November 2018


A warm welcome back to you all – I trust that you had a rewarding break and have returned physically and mentally refreshed for the second half of Michaelmas. Unfortunately, our readers can’t be with us this morning, on account of the fact that they died some years ago. Their words are recorded for posterity though, so listen now to the voices of two old soldiers:

Reading: (Audio recording from Imperial War Museum archives)
Edwin Bigwood, of the Worcestershire Regiment: “What we felt; we’d rather lose a leg, be wounded, anything but to have shell shock. We were all afraid of shell shock. Oh, it hit the nerves and the fellows that’d come out their fingers would be waving about like tissue paper. They never really recovered in mind, you know, a lot of them. We felt sorry for them, anyway. I should imagine the medical profession must have too because they were tragic cases, very tragic. We dreaded that – all of us dreaded that more than being wounded; we didn’t mind being wounded it was the dread of being shell shocked.”
Joseph Clements, wounded on the Western Front in 1916: “I began to feel this business coming on more, more so than usual; this shell shock. I was walking down with a pal of mine down to what they called The Hard at Gosport where the ferries started from. We were going down to a photographer’s shop and we had to cross a road to go down to this side road. And looking back to my left, coming towards me was a tram – the old trams were still going then. And it was about 100-150 yards away, just coming round the bend there. And I stood in the middle of that track and I couldn’t move, just couldn’t move… And my mate had got across to the other side, looked back and saw that I was stuck there and he came back and gave me a pull and started me off again. So I got across. And then we, of course, we went into the photographer’s; photographs taken; ‘What’s your name?’ I had to go outside and bring him in to tell the person my name! And that’s how it affected me. It got very… pretty bad at times.”

I apologise for starting the Term off on a somewhat depressing note, listening to those voices of men who fought in the First World War describing the effects of shell shock. As you will be aware, this weekend is not only Remembrance Day in the UK, it is also the centenary of the end of that terrible conflict. At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns at last fell silent. 100 years later, exactly to the day this coming Sunday, we will acknowledge that momentous day.

It should have been the day that suffering ended, of course, as armies on all sides ceased firing. A day that was long overdue. In the five years that the war had raged, a staggering 17 million people had been killed. Seven million of them where civilians. A further 23 million had been wounded, often severely. Once again, many of those causalities were innocent civilians. Those mind-numbing figures mean that the First War ranks among the most deadly conflicts in human history.

You may also know that Bromsgrove School also paid a heavy price during the First War. 92 Old Bromsgrovians were killed, many of them not much older than you are now. Their names are engraved on the stone plaques that hang in the front of the Chapel.

92. Except that it was actually 93. This week, one further name will be added to the World War 1 tablets, chiselled by a stone mason to join the roll of honour.

That name is John Rupert Wilson. John Rupert Wilson was in School House between 1904 and 1912. Then, two years after he left Bromsgrove, the war broke out and he was made a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Sussex Regiment. Just one year later, he was wounded in the first battle of the Somme, in France. Left for dead, unconscious in No Man’s Land.

Yet John Wilson was not to be one of the 17 million killed during war. Not yet, anyway. Stretcher bearers eventually reached him and he was taken home to England to recover. Unfortunately, he had also contracted malaria in the trenches, so healing took a long time and he suffered greatly as a result.

However, the wounds that were eventually to claim John Wilson’s life were not physical ones. The mental scars ran much deeper. For the next decade, he struggled with depression. Sadly, in 1932, he took his own life.

The local newspaper reported simply “The Deceased had been very depressed ever since he came back from the war. Witnesses had known him from a child, and before he went to war he was bright and cheerful, but after he came back he did not seem the same man.”

The voices from the past that you have listened to earlier were describing a new phenomenon of the time. They named it ‘shell shock’. Quite simply, the shock of being shelled or bombed. Today, we call it PTSD – ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’. A mental illness brought on by constant exposure to extremely high levels of life-threatening stress. In the First World War, as in all others since, shell shock or PTSD was just as deadly as bullets or bombs.

It was not simply a case of cowardice. Pride, honour and courage were highly valued in Britain in the early 1900’s. Too much so, perhaps. Back home, some women would walk up to young men who weren’t in uniform and press a white feather in their hands, publicly branding them a coward for not fighting. Conscientious objectors who refused to fight were locked up. Deserters on the front line were captured and shot by their own side.

Soldiers in that war may have had no time for cowardice, but, as you just heard, they recognised that shell shock was something different. It was involuntary, not something to be overcome with a stiff upper lip. The mind simply could not cope with the unrelenting stress and it shut down.

Thankfully, we live in a more enlightened age when it comes to understanding the impact and importance of mental health. Those who face dangerous or life threatening situations are better cared for today. Not just soldiers, but Police, Fire and Ambulance crews. Anyone who experiences a traumatic event is susceptible to PTSD and it can be as crippling as any physical injury they may sustain. Humans have evolved a response to threat that we know as “Fight, Flight or Fright.” Most times, we either retaliate or run away – fight or flight. Sometimes though, our brain is so overwhelmed, it just freezes. Shell shock, PTSD; they are the fright response. Not cowardice, but mental overload.

Those are extreme cases of course, but there is a lesson here for each of you as well. You will all, at some times in your life, face high levels of stress. God forbid that any of you are ever called to war. Or thrown into situations where your very life is at stake.

I also hope that you never confront more common modern day traumas; car crashes, fires or physical assault. However, you will, inevitably, face periods of lesser stress. Examination pressures, relationship breakdowns, online harassment or humiliation.

None of them actually a physical threat to your body, but here is the sad thing – your brain won’t differentiate. It will respond to those types of stress exactly the same way as the brains of soldiers being shot at and bombarded. Your brain will release huge amounts of stress hormones to help your body prepare for attack.

Adrenaline to speed up your heart, dopamine to minimise pain, cortisol for extra strength, serotonin to calm your thinking. You are unlikely to bleed to death from receiving a nasty text message, but your body will dilate your blood vessels just in case. Sitting an exam doesn’t require anything more strenuous that lifting a pen, but check your pulse next time you enter the hall to do one. It will be racing.

Nobody is trying to kill you, but the next time your brain perceives a threat, social or emotional, it will respond the only way it can. You will either fight back, run from the threat, or, occasionally, freeze up.
Our job is to help you learn how to manage those pressures and respond appropriately. Your job is to learn to recognise how you react to stress and to protect your mental health.

So, amongst the many other things we should remember and be thankful for this coming week, are the lessons learned following the war about the fragility not only of the body but also of the mind. John Rupert Wilson was killed by the war as surely as if he had been shot. We owe it to his memory to be mindful of the need to protect our mental health as much as our physical.


Presentations
Duke of Edinburgh award

I would like to invite the following forward to receive their Silver award: Max Campbell, Ben Russell, Amin Makkawi, Jack Scott

Honorary Scholar
Following on from the announcements of Honorary Scholars before Half Term, I am also delighted to inform you that Phoebe Fletcher is awarded an honorary academic scholarship. I invite her forward to receive our congratulations.

Junior House Rugby
In the final of the Plate competition, Lyttelton beat Lupton 15-0
Meanwhile, in the Cup competition, final Walters beat Elmshurst also 15-0.
I invite both winning captains forward to receive the trophies.

Review
School trips

During the break, three School groups headed out on quite different excursions. The Expedition Club travelled to Snowdonia, where they experienced the elements in all their glory and completed an outstanding scramble in one of Britain’s most beautiful wilderness regions.

Meanwhile, CCF cadets took part in a 3 day survival course, living in shelters in the woods where they gained survival and life skills, returning with a new appreciation of the world around them.

And Upper Sixth Global Politics students also had their perspectives broadened when they visited Belfast, seeking to understand how far the peace process was evolving. Their trip included a visit to Londonderry, and to the Falls Road and the Shankill areas, two deeply sectarian areas where feelings still run strong, fuelled by heavily emotive symbolism and memorialisation. They also met with prominent political figures on both sides of the divide. argument as well as visits to key historic sites. I understand that they were left feeling that the peace was fragile, with recent Brexit events causing tensions to rise once more.

Preview

As to the week ahead, a reminder that there is the Sixth Form Open Morning next Saturday and the boarders have a dining-in night on Saturday evening.

As I have already mentioned, Remembrance commemorations will occur throughout this coming week.

Later this morning, 93 individually handcrafted artificial poppies, one for each Old Bromsgrovian who died in the First War, will be laid in an installation around the flagpole, where they will remain until Sunday night. It is intended as a poignant and visual reminder of the School’s great sacrifice and I thank the DT Department for their talent and initiative in producing it. It goes without saying, this is sombre, sacred display. During the week, relatives of those who died will come to see their individually engraved poppy – I know that you will respect the site and leave it completely undisturbed.

On Friday there will be a Remembrance flag pole ceremony at 10.55 am, to allow those who may not be able to attend the weekend services to pay their respects. You are welcome to observe and again, I know that you will show a respectful silence.
That evening in Routh, there will then be an hour of War-related music and readings from a variety of sources, as well as music by the Orchestra, Big Band, Prep Chapel Choir and soloists. Again, you are welcome to attend and some tickets still remain at the box office.

Then, on Remembrance Day itself, next Sunday, our School services will be held at 9.50am for Fourth Form and 10.55am for Fifth and Sixth Forms. I would remind you that this is an obligation and all are expected to attend.

Finally, that evening, we host a truly unique and spectacular screening of an original silent film, shot during ‘The Battle of the Somme’ in Routh Concert Hall.

A somewhat sombre start to the second half of the term, but also an opportunity to reflect upon how lucky we are that the greatest threats to our well-being today do not equate to the horrors our ancestors experienced.

Please stand as we say the Grace together.



15th October 2018

Last Updated: 29/10/2018 08:53:15

Headmaster’s Routh Assembly Address
Monday 15th October 2018

Reading
A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while
But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn't play
And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died

Good morning
On a dark and stormy winter’s night in February 1959, a light aircraft took off from a small town near Iowa in America’s Midwest. A few minutes after take-off, for reasons that have never really been explained, it veered sharply to the right and crashed at high speed into a remote cornfield, killing everybody on-board. Which would have been a sad accident, but probably soon forgotten, were it not for the fact that three of those on-board were the greatest musicians that America, and possibly the world, knew at the time.

Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P Robertson, better known as the Big Bopper, were seen by many as the architects of a new style of music called rock and roll. Following the lead of Elvis Presley, they were creating music that would define a generation. In America, but also here in the UK, the birth of rock and roll was linked to the massive social changes of the Fifties and Sixties. The civil rights movement, racial equality, women’s liberation and the sexual revolution, anti-war protests; every major social change of that period had roots in rock and roll. It was the soundtrack for the social revolutions that changed the Western world.

When that plane crashed into a field in 1959, three of the greatest pioneers of rock and roll perished. A 13 year old boy called Don Maclean was on his round delivering papers before school when he heard the news. Just like any teenager, he had bands that he idolised, singers that he worshiped. Buddy Holly was one of them. That morning, for an impressionable young boy in middle America, it felt like that was the day that music died.

Twelve years later, in a small coffee shop in New York, Don Maclean, now 25 years old and a musician himself, sat down and wrote the lyrics of a song that would also go on to define a generation. It was more than a song about grief at the untimely deaths of musical idols. It was a song that compared their loss to a loss of innocence in America itself. Bye bye, Miss American Pie. The day the music died.

American Pie captured the turmoil of the times, the raw emotions of adolescence and the power that music has in our lives. It is a song full of imagery and symbolism. It contains veiled references to Elvis as the King, Bob Dylan as the jester. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones are name-checked. Charles Manson, the Cold War, and many other elements of Sixties culture show up in the lyrics.

Over the years, Don Maclean refused to discuss or offer interpretation of his lyrics. The most he ever said was recently in 2015, when his original manuscript for American Pie was auctioned. In the catalogue he wrote, "Basically in American Pie things are heading in the wrong direction. Life is becoming less idyllic. I don't know whether you consider that wrong or right but it is a morality song in a sense.” That manuscript sold for $12M, by the way. A tangible piece of social history.

Many of you will have recognised the lyrics of the two verses that were read this morning, but many may not. It was a song of my generation, not yours. Nevertheless, it is a safe bet that there will be similar songs that resonate for each of you. English, Russian, German, Chinese; whatever your nationality or first language, music of one sort or another will feature in all your lives.

American Pie also contains the lyrics: “Do you believe in rock and roll? Can music save your mortal soul?” Don Maclean saw rock and roll replacing religion as something in which young people placed their faith. You may be that passionate; maybe not. He also wrote “I believed if I had the chance / I could make the people dance / and maybe they’d be happy for a while.” You, too, may be a maker of music, an entertainer of others. Maybe not. Producer or consumer, music is in your life.

All of which is to say that when you stand up here, every single one of you, to participate in House Song on Wednesday afternoon, do so with the understanding that to sing together is more than just another inter-House competition. Music is a fundamental part of human existence. There is no people, no culture, now or in the past, that does not have a rich musical tradition. For some of you, music will be like wallpaper, a backdrop to your daily life. For others it will be more prominent. Something you hunger for every day; favourite bands, singers you obsess over, styles of music that help define your identity. Sometimes your passions may be apparent, sometimes not. Dr Thompson channelling Bob Dylan is obvious. Mr Ruben being a closet heavy metal fan, not so much.

Whatever your tastes though, you should recognise the power of music to unite people, as it will in House Song. Music gives people a voice. Sometimes in protest, sometimes in praise. Songs like American Pie can speak for an entire generation. Others may simply speak for how you as an individual feel in a single moment. Music is primarily meant to be joyful but even when it is not, it brings people together. Miss McCanlis has done a huge amount to prepare you all for Wednesday, so when you do come together to sing then, share the bond and lend your voice with confidence. Most of all, enjoy yourselves.

Presentations

Honorary Scholars
With all public examination results from last summer now confirmed, I am delighted to award some honorary academic scholarships. The following pupils attained at least 9 A* grades in GCSE, which is a remarkable achievement and they are to be honoured for their exceptional academic commitment. I invite the following Scholars forward to receive our congratulations: (2 lots)

Shams Ali Baig, Kalea Booth, Sebastien Atkinson, Gabriella Brown, Max Campbell, Lauren Court, Alex Florov, Olivia Dalby, Artur Levashov, Georgia Doohan-Smith, Alex Moskalevskyi, Lucy Lyu, Joshus Osborne-Patel, Hannah Pover, Marky Prakaisriroj, Catriona Ranger, Tom Reynolds, Judy Wu, Jack Scott, Mulan Yang, Freddie Harvey-Gilson, Vivianne Zhang, Jacky Wong, Rosie Butts, Joshua Howell, Artem Khodachuk.

Duke of Edinburgh

I invite the following to receive their Silver Duke of Edinburgh awards:Matthew Goodwin, Ash Kandola, Phoebe Fletcher

Siviter-Smith Cup

Congratulations to the 1st XV on their victory against King Edwards Birmingham in the 2nd round of the Nat West cup last week. That match also doubled up as the annual Siviter-Smith Cup match, which is reputed to be the longest running school sports fixture in the world.

DT GP Race Team

As mentioned at Routh last week, our high performing DT GP Race Team, otherwise known as the Chicken, raced in the International Kitcar and F24 finals for two days of back to back racing. The first race was the most important, which the organisers summing up by writing: “There have been some very impressive teams running kit cars this year, but in the end it was the famous black and gold of The Chicken from Bromsgrove School that stormed to victory, shooting out of the blocks, not to be caught, and setting the fastest lap too.”

We won by a whole lap and that victory saw the team crowned as World Champions.

Battery issues hampered the car on the second day of racing, but throughout the weekend the Chicken also set a new Rockingham speed record, lap record and distance record. Further to what I said last week about good sportsmanship, I also want to acknowledge the fact that after the racing the Bromsgrove team presented a masterclass to the other teams, sharing the secrets of their success and giving useful tips. A presentation that the CEO of Greenpower called the best he had heard in nearly 20 years.

Therefore, I invite forward to collect the two trophies from that weekend:
Team Manager and driver: Hamish Sutherland;
Drivers: Polly Dakin, Aggie Warner and Noah Rogers;
Engineers: Jeffery Soo, Luke Weller, Howard Goldstraw;
Senior team advisers: Will Edwards and Scarlett Bond.

Review
Malvern Walk

Last Wednesday the LIVth took part in the annual Malvern Field day. With fabulous weather allowing them to see the views of Malvern and surrounding countryside from the top of the hills, the whole year group managed to complete the walk in excellent time, an achievement of which you should be proud.

Last week we also learned that, after attending several auditions, Joshua Osborn Patel, has again been selected in the Horn section for the National Youth Orchestra.

Badminton

Well done to the Senior boys’ and girls’ teams who won their fixtures against Rugby School.

Cross Country

Well done to the boys and girls teams who finished 2nd in the qualifying round of the National Cross Country Cup and will go to the regional finals in November.
In the Gloucestershire Cross Country League, the Junior boys ran well across a hard course with Seb Purvis finishing 4th. In the Senior race, strong runs also from Will Ayliffe and Maksym Korotych.

Golf

The School golf team beat Malvern College with good wins for three pairs, the highlight of the afternoon being Anabel Crowder getting five net birdies in five holes to win her match.

Hockey

In last week’s matches, the 1st XI narrowly lost against RGS Worcester, Rugby School and Millfield School. The U14 team have qualified for the Regional rounds after finishing 2nd in the County Tournament.

Netball

The U14 netball team won the District Tournament, meaning they qualify for the County finals next month. Also well done to the U15 team who beat St Helens and St Katherine in the Independent Schools Cup.

Rugby
In a NatWest Cup match this week, well done to the U15A rugby team who beat The King’s School, Worcester 24-5.
In the matches played against Rugby School there were wins for U15A’s & C’s, U16A’s & B’s, and the 2nd XV.

Squash
The School lost two close squash matches against Stowe School and Rugby School this week.

Table Tennis
Our table tennis players played against Littleton Table Tennis club on Saturday, with the boys’ team winning their fixture.

Preview

Please remember there is an extended tutor time this afternoon for you to be able to discuss your academic progress, especially AEO grades, with your tutor.

This evening we host a masterclass given by Lord Digby Jones in Routh Concert Hall. If you haven’t heard him speak, you should. There are a handful of tickets still available - please book them through the box office.

As I have already mentioned, we look forward to the annual inter-House Unison Song competition that will be held in the Arena on Wednesday afternoon.

A number of our politics students will be visiting Northern Ireland on Thursday and Friday.

There is an UVIth Parents’ Evening on Thursday.

As the final touches to the first issue of School Magazine 201 are being made, we are now asking you to reflect upon the next essay prompt over half term break: “Inside or Outside the box?” Email contributions to Alia or Vivianne before Friday 9th November.

Lastly, as this first Half Term draws to a close on Friday, I wish you all a relaxing break. May you look back with pride on what you achieved over the past seven weeks and come back prepared to do even more next month.



8th October 2018

Last Updated: 08/10/2018 14:53:26

Monday 8th October 

Reading:
During the infamous 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany’s leader Adolf Hitler, was greatly irritated the success of the African American athlete, Jesse Owens. A black man winning numerous gold medals did not fit his racist view of the world.

However, on the day of the long jump final, Owens struggled against his fiercest rival, the German athlete, Luz Long. Jesse Owens was the world record holder in the long jump, but he recorded faults in his first two attempts to qualify for the final. One more fault and he would be eliminated. At which point, Long would certainly have won the gold.

But Long did something unexpected. Although blond-haired and blue-eyed, Long did not share the racist opinions of his country’s leaders. He approached Owens and offered him advice for his next jump, even helping measure out the best point from which to take off. Long’s advice helped keep Owens in the running. He qualified and went on to beat Long and win the gold medal.

After the competition, the first person to congratulate Owens was Long. Owens said, "It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler. You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't even be a plating on the 24-karat friendship I felt for Luz Long at that moment.”

Sadly, Luz Long was killed in World War II. However, he was posthumously awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for Olympic sportsmanship.

Good Morning,
That is a remarkable story, is it not? A black American athlete winning gold medals at Germany’s first ever Olympic Games, under the hateful gaze of Adolf Hitler, who believed people of colour were inferior. Worse still, he was helped to victory in the long jump by his closest rival, who was the poster boy of the Aryan ideal; blonde-haired, blue-eyed, tall and handsome.

Remember, this was just before the start of the Second World War. If you Google the event, you will find a powerful black & white photo (forgive the irony) that seems prescient of what was to come. Standing on the winner’s dais are Owens, giving an American military salute, Luz Long, arm raised in a Nazi salute, and the third place getter, Naoto Tajima from Japan, who is standing rigidly to attention, as was his culture’s custom. Little did those three men know what the coming years held in store for their respective nations.

Which makes Luz Long’s decision to help his rival even more courageous. Not only was he risking losing the gold medal to Jesse Owens, which is of course what happened, but he was also risking hatred and rejection from his own fans. Which is also what happened. It was an act of great sportsmanship.
A quick aside, before I go on. I want to talk about sportsmanship this morning, but before I do, I need to acknowledge that it is, unfortunately, a gendered term. I am not just saying that to be politically correct. I genuinely feel uncomfortable about using the phrase ‘sportsmanship’ when I am referring to the admirable behaviours of all of you who play sport for this School, male and female. Indeed, some of the greatest examples of sportsmanship I can think of, come from sportswoman.

But as is often the case with gendered language, ‘sportsmanship’ is a word that has become embedded in our language. One that is not easy to shift. I could keep saying ‘sportspersonship’ over the next few minutes, but it sounds clumsy and laboured. I could say ‘sporting behaviour’ I suppose, but to my ear, that sounds quaintly English, possibly a little patronising. I even went to my trusty thesaurus for a gender neutral alternative, but all that gave me was ‘gamesmanship’, which is not much help. I rely on words in this job. I love the breadth of the English language and it annoys me that I haven’t got a better alternative for ‘sportsmanship’ this morning. So, I hope you will forgive me if I stick with that for the moment, understanding that what I am saying applies to young women as much as it does to young men.

My point was, Luz Long demonstrated great sportsmanship by helping his opponent, even to the point that it ultimately led to him being beaten. There are plenty of other famous examples of similar honourable behaviour. You might remember the dramatic images of last year’s Triathlon World Series in Mexico? When Jonny Brownlee from Britain, who was leading the race with only 700m left, began to weave all over the road due to heat stroke and dehydration. Around the corner came his teammate (who also happened to be his brother). Alistair Brownlee saw what was happening and instinctively gave up his own chance for gold. Instead, he propped up his sibling for the final couple of hundred metres, before pushing him over the line ahead of him.

Those of you who are football fans may know of the actions of West Ham's Italian striker, Di Canio, who won a FIFA Fair Play Award during his side's Premier League game at Everton in 2001. Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard rushed out of his area to make a challenge but fell to the ground injured, leaving an open goal. As the perfect cross came in, Di Canio simply reached up and caught the ball to stop play, rather than shoot towards the empty net. It earned him a standing ovation from the Goodison Park crowd.

Or for followers of rugby, there was the moment during a 2003 Test match between New Zealand and Wales, when the Welsh number eight was knocked unconscious by a tackle from his opposite number. The All Blacks surged forward at the Welsh line, but arguably their most lethal weapon, the centre Tana Umaga, turned away from the attack and ran over to help Charvis, taking out his mouth guard and rolling him into the recovery position. Like Luz Long, Tana Umaga was later given the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship.

They were all moments of generosity of spirit and good grace. It is equally easy to think of examples of bad sportsmanship of course. Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace as a drugs cheat. The ball tampering scandal that blighted the Australian cricket team last year. Serena William’s threats to a tennis umpire in an outburst last month. Plenty of sportsmen and women have let their obsession with winning cloud their morality and humiliated themselves as a result.

Thankfully perhaps, the reality is that most of you are unlikely to ever face the high drama decision of whether to sacrifice your team’s chance of a win in order to help an opponent. Let alone the opposite dilemma of shaming yourself on the world stage. Nevertheless, that does not mean you cannot act in a sportsmanlike manner. In fact, you have opportunities to do that every day. We are now well into the sporting season and the vast majority of you are playing each week, in the astounding number of codes on offer at Bromsgrove. Your conduct on and off the pitch or court is already being talked about. Individuals are already standing out for their dignified and honourable play, as are certain teams. Your character, your restraint, your courtesy and honour are already being noted.

I want, therefore, to take a moment to commend those of you who have already demonstrated those admirable qualities of sportsmanship. Whether in team competitions or individual pursuits. I am always proud to read out your sporting successes at Routh each week. We have a reputation as a highly performing sports School and you are maintaining its great traditions. It is right to use this valuable time at the start of each week to reflect upon your performances.

However, none of your impressive results matter a jot if they come from poor play. Sportsmanship is not about talent or skill. It is about character. More than filling our trophy cabinets with silverware, I aspire to fill each of you with the values of fair play, humility, honour and grit. They are the greatest rewards of any sport.
You might not pass up the chance for Olympic glory this coming week, but you can still demonstrate sportsmanship.

By turning up to training, on time and with a positive attitude. That simple action respects the commitment the rest of your team is making.

By encouraging others, passing the ball, supporting from the sidelines, not making it all about you.

By respecting your opponents, before, during and after a match. A friendly welcome before the first whistle and a warm handshake after the last. And in between, by refraining from the childish and rather arrogant behaviours we sadly see all too often in some professional sports. Booing a penalty or cheering when the opposition drop the ball or make a mistake. Pathetic. If you need to rely on the opposition making unforced errors to win, you shouldn’t be playing. Or sledging individuals the other side. Presumably because if you aren’t good enough to beat someone physically, you are desperate enough to think you can psych them out. I am very thankful that those sorts of behaviours are not part of this School’s sporting ethos.

So kudos to you all, sportsmen and sportswomen, for being sportsmanlike when you play for this School. We expect you to play honourably, as pupils have done here for centuries. Perhaps the better word would simply be ‘Bromsgrove-like’?

Presentations
The ‘Chicken’

Some truly superb news from the Chicken race team, competing in the world championships held at Rockingham raceway over the weekend. They are now, quite simply, the World Champions in their class. We will make a proper presentation of that trophy at Routh next week, but I cannot let that remarkable achievement go unacknowledged today, so congratulations to you all.

Duke of Edinburgh

I invite the following to receive their silver Duke of Edinburgh award:
Olivia Dalby, Elizabeth Hambling, Jade Jenkins, Theo Gardner, Tina Cai, Naimh Middleton, Ethan Cockayne, Jack Peplow, Jack Gibson, Abigail Hughes.

Geography Photography

A superb response to the Geography Department’s photography competition, with subjects ranging from volcanoes in Italy, Egrets in the Florida mangroves and waterfalls in the Lake District. The entries are now on display in the LRC and Geography department, so enjoy the talent of all who entered. As to the competitive side:
First place
to William Bayliss, in Lower Fourth, for his photo of "The Hidden forest" on a beach close to Aberdovey, Wales.
Second place to Henry Scott, for capturing a fascinating waterfall.
Third place to Luke Weller, for a lovely photograph taken at Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.
Highly commended were: Ellie Roskell, Kate Stepanova, Ben Turner & Vivanne Zhang Wei

Review
Badminton

In matches played against King Edward’s School Birmingham the 1st team won and the 2nd team lost (both by the same score as it happens - 7-2).
On Saturday, both the Boys and Girls’ Senior teams had good wins against Repton School.

Basketball
The U16A Boys team lost 43-63 to Shrewsbury School

Hockey

In midweek games, well done to:
• the boys' U15A who beat Bablake 8-2
• the girls' 1st XI beat Solihull 4-0, and
• the U16 girls, who beat Kings School Worcester 9-0 in a National cup match.

Meanwhile in the block fixture against Stowe on Saturday, the School won six and drew one, out of the 11 matches played

Netball

Well done to the girls’ first team who beat Oakham School 56-20 in the National Cup.
More good news for the Senior netball team – they played at the University of Worcester Invitational tournament, winning all four games. Special praise to Taylor Watson, who was awarded Player of the Tournament.

Rugby

Over 200 boys represented the School in the fixtures against Millfield School, with good wins for many teams.

Squash
The U16 Squash team played extremely well to take a creditable 3rd place in National Qualifying matches and now progress to the plate competition in February.

Swimming
Our swimmers competed in the first round of the national competition, all swum well and we are now waiting to see if we have qualified for the national finals.
Table Tennis
It was pleasing to see the table tennis teams play Holte School on Friday evening. Wins to the Girls and U16 Boys’ teams and a narrow loss for the Senior Boys’.

Tennis
The girls and boys U15 tennis teams both competed well in the regional tennis finals; a special mention to the boys who lost narrowly in the final.

And just to reinforce my earlier point about the ever-increasing number of sporting codes on offer at Bromsgrove, last week Artim Veprev travelled to Nottingham to take part in a Fencing competition, where, I am pleased to report, he fenced well, winning three out of five of his fights in his pool.

Meanwhile, last Friday, Paolo Romanengo and Justus Krauel competed in an indoor climbing competition in Worcester, with 63 competitors from 12 different schools across five counties. So something for everyone.

Finally from last week, the cake sale for MacMillan Cancer Care raised over £500. Well done to Thomas Cookes and Hazeldene and everyone who helped.

Preview

Today the Upper Fourth will be taking part in a PSHE workshop on stress management.

All are welcome to attend the Teatime Concert in Routh on Tuesday at 5.30pm to hear solo and ensemble performances by musicians from prep and senior schools.

The annual Lower Fourth walk on the Malvern Hills takes place on Wednesday. This is a great opportunity for the newest members of the Senior School to show leadership and teamwork skills alongside resilience and determination to complete the day.

On Thursday the four winners of our creative writing competition will be going on a Battlefields Tour to France and Belgium, where they will be laying a wreath at the Menin Gate on behalf of the School. A worthy prize for your efforts.

There is an Own Clothes Day on Friday in aid of Action Aid.




1st October 2018

Last Updated: 03/10/2018 12:10:16

ROUTH HALL ASSEMBLY: Monday 1st October 2018

Routh Assembly was taken by Mr McClure while the Headmaster is attending the HMC conference. 

Last week, the Headmaster encouraged us to look up at the trees and enjoy the additional sphere which nature can provide for our daily lives. If you have taken him at his word during the week, you will recognise how apt the poem you have just heard is right now, with autumnal colours starting to change the palette of the trees around the magnificent campus which we are able to call our base as we go through each term. The poem mentions the hedgehog storing up food for hibernation. Much more obvious for us at the moment are the squirrels – I cannot recall as many scampering around the greens as we have seen here in the last couple of weeks, usually with some nut or berry in their mouths. And of course they are not the only ones gathering food at present – most of you will have contributed to your House’s stash of food which will fill the ledges in the Memorial Chapel for our Harvest School services this coming week. Much to the frustration of my own young sons, I imagine it is the Page House boarders who have been mightily efficient in clearing the pathway above Masters’ Walk of any early conkers. And that is without any mention of how much cake was provided by TC on Friday, or indeed bought and consumed by those of you with a sweet tooth.

Equally, the talk of a chill feeling in the morning air is something we can all recognise from the last week – the School scarves have certainly now appeared in force, yet we have all enjoyed some lovely warm sunshine in the afternoons. That contrast was probably felt keenly by those of you who have been on various expeditions over the past few days. So Autumn has well and truly arrived as we begin the month of October this morning.

It seems that every day of the year now has a cause to promote - some might argue almost too many to focus profitably upon. Today, 1st October, is no different, listed online as being all of the following:

International Coffee Day
World Habitat Day
Lincolnshire Day
Older People’s Day
World Vegetarian Day
World Day of Bullying Prevention
CD Player Day
World Architecture Day

Now, that may not be news to those who you who have already planned to buy your elderly relative a cappuccino and halloumi salad when they visit this evening from Spalding in order to show you the CD-Rom plans for their new sustainable eco-house, which is going ahead despite the spiteful protests of their next door neighbours. However, for most of us, it probably seems like a fairly random list of largely incompatible topics to consider at one time.

In truth, World Day of Bullying Prevention sounds a worthwhile cause for a School assembly at the start of another week, but I have already shared my thoughts with you this term on mutual respect and thinking carefully about the potential consequences of your actions.

More personally, and perhaps nostalgically for a few colleagues sitting behind me, CD Player Day appeals to me since it reflects Sony’s landmark introduction of the Compact Disc in the early 1980s, which moved music and technology on from cassette tapes and floppy discs. Perhaps I can make that more relevant for a young Bromsgrovian audience by providing you with a bit of pop trivia: the first CD album to sell more than a million copies was Brothers in Arms by the band Dire Straits – before he found fame as their bass guitarist, John Illsley was a pupil here at Bromsgrove School.

I digress, but that is what memories can do to one’s train of thought. Some memories will fall into place by chance or context, others are moments you will create for yourself and others. They can be both positive and negative, which is why they can create the range of lyrics which I am sure will cover the many emotions and situations apparent in your House Song competition entries on that very theme in just over two weeks’ time. Memories can also highlight poignant lessons from history, which we will all experience as we enter the annual season of Remembrance. If you have a couple of hours on Tuesday evening, I really do encourage you to attend the first of our School events commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War. In a talk about our School and those from our community who lost their lives during the Great War, the former Deputy Head, Mr Bowen, will inform you (in photos and extracts from the Bromsgrovian magazine) of pupils who shared many of the same pursuits as you, and who would recognise all of the buildings you still see around Gordon Green, but for the more modern Staff Centre and the Chapel which is of course the very memorial to the lives they sacrificed for the cause.

So, as I have said in a previous assembly, use every day here to create some positive memories of this place and its people which you will take with you for the rest of your lives. Those memories will stay with you as the seasons continue to change and the years roll by. The songs you are practising in House now will become associated with these moments in your life whenever you hear them, either by choice or unwittingly, in future. In my penultimate year in Lupton, I can remember a very proactive Upper Sixth Form instinctively organising a post-Song competition medley in which the majority of the House crowded the Day Room and worked their way singing back through the last five years’ worth of House song choices, with the younger year groups dropping out with each change of song until it was just the Upper Sixth left belting out the song they still remembered from their Lower Fourth year. Music has that power to help create, and date, memories.

Some of you will already have created some memories this term – perhaps a winning goal, a well-worked try or a last ditch tackle; a speech in Othello, a reading in public, a moment of friendship, maybe simply your first day here. However, this is probably where we should take stock of the seasons compared to the academic year. Autumn is a time for nature slowing down, shedding some of its summer finery; seemingly shorter days when many of the day pupils will find themselves both leaving and returning home in the darkness; it can be bleak, cold, and blustery, with conditions testing the spirit and leaving us hankering for the emergence of Spring.

In contrast, at School, the rest of this term is not the time to be hunkering down and considering hibernation like the hedgehogs and squirrels. Whether you are a relatively new Lower 4 or an old hand in the Upper 6, you have now had a month to settle into your individual niche, but do not let yourself become too comfortable or you may start drifting off only to wake up in January when a season has passed you by. In academic terms, the rest of this Michaelmas term should really be the equivalent of your Spring. Whatever year group you are in, the choices of your academic subjects have now been metaphorically planted, along with your intentions to be in whichever extra-curricular pursuits suit your talents – you will know which musical groups you have joined or what grade you have set your sights on, which sporting squad you have made, whether you are in the Grease cast, and so it goes on.

So now is not the time to rest on any laurels, but to focus and push on, to strengthen those roots and provide the green shoots which will be in a better state to blossom and bloom in the Summer. Research your subjects, refine your notes, analyse your written techniques, be fully prepared for the mock examinations, don’t procrastinate about your UCAS form, practise your instrumental pieces, learn your lines and train hard on your specific sporting skills. Those of you already in examination years will recognise that improvements can always be made with some hard work at the eleventh hour, but why not employ some graft now to turn this autumn season into a springboard for even more satisfying summer success. If you prefer to opt for some level of hibernation, you may look back on aspects of this term with some regret, which would not be a positive memory to stay with you as you move on to the next season or year.

And so to a review of last week:
• Well done to the Upper Fourth CCF recruits who performed well on their field day at Tiddesley Woods on Friday. They took part in seven different exercises ranging from camouflage techniques to first aid and navigation skills.

• Congratulations as well go to the 70 Fifth Form students who completed their Silver Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition from Thursday to Saturday on the Long Mynd. I am pleased the weather was so kind for them.

• IB1 Geography pupils travelled to the Carding Mill Valley to complete the data collection for their internal assessment. They too enjoyed a very sunny day and worked hard to collect river data at 12 sites, including velocity, river depth and bed load.

• Our Senior Badminton team played a triangular match on Saturday afternoon beating Uppingham School but narrowly losing to Magdalen College.

• The Boys U18A Basketball team lost 24-46 against Shrewsbury School.

• In the first round of the Schools’ Challenge shield for Clay-Pigeon Shooting, Isabella Walters finished a creditable 2nd with 43/50; Demitri Starikov also performed well scoring 40/50.

• Congratulations to Orla Walker who won Gold at the Midlands Counties Cadet Force cross-country championships, as well as finishing 11th in the senior girl category at the English Schools’ fell running championship.

• Congratulations too to James Humphries who secured the Worcestershire Junior Golf Order of Merit which was presented at Moseley golf club. He was awarded this after playing 17 qualifying rounds during 2018. We lost 2-1 to Warwick School at Blackwell on Wednesday, but Anabel Crowder and Lili-Rose Hunt played very well to secure Bromsgrove’s point.

• In midweek hockey matches, the Girls 1st XI won 2-0 against Kings High School Warwick and both the U15A and U14A teams beat Solihull School.

• In the hockey matches played against Shrewsbury School last Saturday, the U15B and 1st XI drew, whilst the U14A and U15As won.

• Well done to the Senior Girls’ Netball team who finished 3rd at the prestigious Sheffield High School Invitational tournament. At the district tournament, the U16 team finished runners up and have qualified for the county finals.

• In the first round of the Nat West cup in Rugby, the First XV beat King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys and the U16A’s beat King Edward VI Five Ways School in the regional cup.

• In Saturday’s Rugby fixtures against Solihull School, the U14B, U15A, 2nd XV and 1st XV all registered wins, with the 3rd XV drawing.

• On Tuesday, we competed in the Stowe invitational swimming relays for 18 schools. Bromsgrove swam well to attain silver medals in the:
Senior girls’ 4 x 50m medley relay
Senior girls’ 4 x 50m freestyle relay
U16 girls’ 4 x 50 medley relay
U16 girls’ 4 x 50m freestyle relay
and bronze medals in both the U16 boys’ 4 x 50m medley relay and 4 x 50m freestyle relays.
• And, just yesterday, in the County Table-Tennis championships, Jade Ngan won all her matches to be ranked number 1 in the county whilst, in the boys’ competition, Murat Shafigullin also played very well, only losing one match to be ranked number 2 in the county. Well done to both pupils.

Finally, a preview of this week:
• With the many performances that we stage at Bromsgrove, we are looking to develop the technical crews – one for Drama, one for Music. For those of you interested in music and live sound engineering, setting up and working on a live stage, how to be a guitar/bass/drum or backline technician, concert lighting engineer or live recording engineer, please listen on. We are now running a Sound, Stage and Backline technician activity every Monday from 5:15 to 6:15pm in Routh. There will also be smaller bespoke lunchtime activities running throughout the year, along with evening concerts. Open to all senior school students - no previous experience needed.

• We hold our Harvest School Services this week, on Tuesday morning for Sixth Form, and on Thursday morning for Fourth and Fifth Form pupils.

• Tomorrow lunch time sees the remaining House photographs taken – details published in Houses.

• As I mentioned earlier, former Deputy Headmaster Mr Bowen will present a talk on the history of Bromsgrove School 1914-1918 on Tuesday evening at 7.30pm in Routh Concert Hall – please book your free ticket online.

• We wish all the best to the students attending the World Challenge expedition this Saturday and to those who are competing in the World Finals at Rockingham raceway this Friday.

I hope you all have a good week. Please stand as we say the Grace:

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, for ever more. Amen.


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