Jazz at The Forge!
Parents and staff were treated to a dazzling array of sound and colour at The Forge just before half term. Performances included several inspirational numbers from our highly acclaimed Jazz staff members as well as pieces from our four Jazz Bands, two Percussion Groups and our Saxophone Ensemble.
The evening was a fabulous opportunity for The Hall school community to get together at an award winning music and arts venue, reflecting the diversity of London’s (and The Hall’s) eclectic music scene.
A Week at The Hall; 23rd-27th January 2017
What a week! Jam-packed with action and opportunity to take everyone’s mind off the horrible weather…
Evensong at St. Paul’s on Monday provided a moment of tranquility at the start of a hectic week. The service was led beautifully by boys of the Hall’s Chapel Choir, who took time at the end to reflect upon the beauty of the historic surroundings.
On Wednesday the U12s rugby against Arnold House had to be cancelled due to waterlogged pitches but the U13’s game was re-arranged to Allianz Park – what an opportunity, although there were some tired legs at the end from all the running around on a full-sized pitch! There were also an enjoyable set of Hockey fixtures against Westminster Under at Wilf Slack that afternoon.
Despite being one of the coldest and foggiest days of the year, Thursday saw a Year 3 History trip head off to Duxford Imperial War Museum, whilst Senior School boys in the Technology Enrichment group enjoyed an eye-opening day at the BETT show!
To complete the busy week, at lunchtime on Friday Mrs Casey and her team wowed us all with an amazing feast, in celebration of Chinese New Year. As they grappled with their chopsticks, boys were entertained by Chinese opera singers, mask dancers and musicians playing authentic Chinese instruments.
Lecture@The Hall – The making of Jungle Book & the future of digital VFX & VR
We were delighted to welcome Mark Benson, the CEO of the Moving Picture Company (MPC) to talk about the making of the most recent Jungle Book film. Mark described how, before a single frame was shot, each scene was meticulously prepared, camera moves designed, animal co-stars roughly animated, detailed lighting plans made, and models of terrain and trees arranged into technical plans. MPC’s visual effects team developed characters, worked out just how they would talk, and began crafting the movies full CG environments to bring the film’s most iconic characters to life. For each shot and each movement, animation artists followed extensive research in animal behaviour, so that even the subtlest behavioral traits would translate into performances the audience would recognise from reality. They used finely-tuned animation tools to animate by hand all the jungle animals, ranging from the kings of the jungle to the smallest of insects. Contributing to 80% of the frame 100% of the time, the jungle itself is the single biggest creation in the movie – Mark described how more than 100,000 photographs of real locations in the Indian jungle were used to build each scene, animators handcrafting each plant and vine, river, mudslide and grass stalk blowing in the wind. The audience of boys and adults could not fail to be impressed by the sheer believability of the results – what an amazing feat!
Hall Boys Hit the Slopes at Hemel
A mix of boys from the Junior School, Middle and Senior School thoroughly enjoyed the first of two training sessions this term at Hemel Snow Centre on the afternoon of Monday 16th January. The older boys proved exceptionally fine role models for their younger peers and several spectators commented specifically on the way our squad “looked out” for each other whenever someone took a tumble or had a problem with their equipment.
After a full two hours of coaching on the slopes improvements in technique and speed were very noticeable. I suspect that parents and older siblings may find they are given a “run for their money ” on the pistes during the forthcoming February half term and Easter vacations…… Madame Davies
New Year. New Sports.
It may be the coldest, wettest, darkest term of the school year, but nothing can dampen the spirits of The Hall School Games Department and the boys hardly seem to have noticed the freezing temperatures as they gear up for a hectic term of hockey and rugby!
For the first time Year 5 have had the option of Hockey, as well as Rugby, something which Year 6-8 have enjoyed for many years. The Year 5s have not played any fixtures yet, but Year 4 began their Rugby season with an ALL PLAY fixture against Arnold House, and their performances suggested plenty of potential for a great season. Elsewhere, the Year 6’s and U13’s played against Orley Farm, with two teams travelling away and two playing at home. All but one of the teams were victorious, with the U13B’s going down to a last minute try after a thrilling game that ended 35-30. Chris MacFarlane
Aryaman’s Charity Challenge
Aryaman Varma (6H) managed to raise £75 for charity by organising a ‘bottle flipping’ charity challenge. The event was attended and enjoyed by many Senior School boys, and all the money went to Planting Promise.
The History Boys
Last week, around 35 boys took part in the first round of the annual Townsend Warner History Competition. The boys had to answer a series of questions designed to investigate their knowledge across a variety of historical areas ranging from battles to assassinations, to literature. The papers have been whisked off for marking and results will be announced later in the term, as to who has made it through to the second round… Mr Gordon has high hopes for The Hall’s chances!
Brilliant Blue House Bake Off
The boys were asked to bake and bring in cakes and biscuits for sale. There was an excellent response, with some really tempting offerings! Everything was sold out and the total of £422.50 goes to our House Charity, the local hospice at St John’s Hospital. Tim Telfer
Busking and Baking for Purple House
Boys in Purple House in the Middle and Senior schools recently had an Initiatives Week to raise funds for the House Charity, Médecins sans Frontières. A range of cake, drink and craft sales added colour to breaktimes, with Joshua Jaegle (4D) doing his part by busking in Primrose Hill! The sum of £445 will soon be on its way to MSF. Robert Clarke
The Hall Music Tour of South Africa October 2016
Forty three musicians and members of the Chapel Choir in Years 6 to 8 played their way through a whirlwind of concerts and presentations during the exciting Music Tour of South Africa over half term.
Ten concerts and services were played over the course of the tour in a variety of venues ranging from churches to the Symphony Hall at the University of South Africa in Pretoria, a civic auditorium, school halls, outdoor marquees and amphitheatres.
The boys threw themselves wholeheartedly into every performance but especially rewarding were the outreach events. Following the opening of the new Khabi Mngoma Arts and Culture Centre that boys and parents from The Hall had raised funds to build in the grounds of Arcadia Primary, it was great fun for all the children to join together not only in a rousing concert but also in an impromptu game of football! Even more moving was the joint concert with Morning Stars Junior Brass Band in the township of Mamelodi, outside Pretoria, during which gifts of trumpets and wind instruments presented to the children and youth were ecstatically received.
The schedule was jam-packed with other sorts of opportunities to have fun; boys enjoyed game drives in the Pilanesberg National Park, swimming, a visit to a farmers’ market, a trip to The Cradle of Mankind, several spitbraais, a tour of the Union Buildings in Pretoria as well as drumming & marimba workshops and the chance to try gumboot dancing!
Huge thanks go to all the staff who accompanied the tour – and especially to Dr. Steyn for orchestrating such a successful event!
Successes for Hall 1st XI and Colts Football Tournament at Arnold House
In the first competitive games of the season, held at Arnold House, the boys’ enthusiasm for football was in evidence even though the weather was dismal. The 1st XI won their tournament and the Colts won two and drew two of their four games; a promising start to the season, well done boys.
Don’t Try This At Home!
On the Friday before half term, Hall School boys were lucky enough to be taken into the world of samurai and ninja warriors. In a spectacular presentation, Chris Bradford, best-selling author of The Young Samurai series, demonstrated his skills using genuine samurai swords and training sticks. He is also a martial arts expert but his expertise was largely saved for the afternoon presentation to the Senior School, based on his Bodyguard series. Carl Gilbey-McKenzie
Face Lift for the Junior School!
What a lovely surprise when the scaffolding came down and we could see the amazing renovations to the Junior School! Both 2, Buckland Crescent and 69, Belsize Park have been redecorated as the first phase of a significant refurbishment plan, to be completed next summer. The sunny weather is showing off the bright exterior to stunning effect and inside there has been some major reorganisation of space and upgrading of facilities – in particular the development of a large new bespoke room for class music lessons alongside a suite of smaller practice rooms in 2, Buckland Crescent.
In the finals of the English Primary Schools Chess Association tournament, each school team (comprising six members) plays all the others, but with only the top five students’ scores counting. At
the end of the first day, and having played four rounds, The Hall’s U9 team was lying in 7th position whilst the U11 team was in 1st place, one point ahead of Haberdashers’ Aske.
However, the following day, after two less successful rounds, the U11 team found itself lying in second place, one and a half points behind Habs, with only one round left – so the pressure was on as a 5-0 victory was required! In a very tense atmosphere the boys responded marvellously, securing an unbelievable result! It was then all down to Habs losing at least two matches. In fact, they shared the points with Homefield, 2.5 points each, which meant The Hall U11 team became the national champions for the first time in the history of the competition, winning by one point from
The U9 team finished the tournament in 7th place but no doubt gained valuable experience from the whole occasion and the boys deserve a great deal of credit for their performances over the year.
The U11 team rounded off the week in style by retaining the English Chess Federation National U11 team title at Uppingham School. Four days of intense competition had been rewarded with the “Double”!
Quiz Club National Final at Greenwich Observatory – winners!
Four boys from Year 3 to Year 6 made up the Hall Quiz Team that found itself at the National Finals this year! Wonderfully, Nobuki Smolders, Aarav Kurdikar, Lucas Payne and Alessandro d’Attanasio qualified through the regional and semi-finals to find themselves at Greenwich Observatory for the finals and through a strong performance in the latter stages managed to secure the title! Huge thanks to Mrs Gardener for her direction and support and many congratulations to the boys!
Chess Club starts at The Winch
A new chess club for primary school children attending The Winch after-school sessions has got off to a flying start this term! Led by three Hall boys in Years 8 and 6, the novice chess group consisting of Winch Year 3 boys has started meeting weekly to learn chess from ‘scratch’. The Hall boys are all experienced chess players, but this is the first time they have taught the game and so are making the most of a demonstration board in particular, to explain the names of the chess pieces and their moves. The generous donation by a Hall parent of some pack-up-and-go chess sets is also proving very useful. It has been very encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the younger boys as they begin to understand the need to ‘plan ahead’ to outwit their opponent and each session has resulted in bouts of laughter as they become more confident in their play. The venture is truly turning out to be mutually beneficial for both the ‘teachers’ and the ‘novices’ in the club and we hope to be able to recruit more keen Hall chess players to become teachers in the autumn term.
Visual Art & Design Event
The Art department worked incredibly hard to mount and frame the exhibits in preparation for this year’s event, a feat that was particularly significant in that every Middle and Senior School boy had a piece of art displayed. Parents relished the opportunity to admire the amazing talents and range of skill on show over four days in the marquee and pavilion at our Wilf Slack Playing Fields.
Following the great success of last year’s charity auctions, this year at the Opening Reception of the Visual Art & Design event, both a regular auction of selected boys’ pieces and donated items took place, hilariously managed by David Margolis, as well as a silent auction of boys’ work. A stunning £6,000 was raised for Coram and Planting Promise! Many thanks to everyone involved. Please see the photo gallery for images of the event.
Senior and Middle School boys go to the polls
As the duly unelected returning officer for the constituency of Hall School (Middle and Senior) I can confirm the result of the referendum vote as follows:
To Leave 17 To Remain 108 Spoilt papers 19
I therefore announce that the Hall School has chosen to remain in the EU, one small group of remains in this brave new world. Anthony Buss
Hall School Triathlon Team Victories at Blenheim Palace
There was a cold grey start to Sunday 5th June, but wonderfully it turned into the most sunny and beautiful day just as the Tri team, comprising over thirty Hall parents and friends, were setting off for their swim! There were some amazing feats of endurance and victory over the next couple of hours as the triathletes faced the challenges of icy cold water, steep slopes and sharp corners – but what proud smiles and warm hugs as each Hall School team member made it past the finishing line! Huge congratulations to everyone who raced and thank you SO much to all the friends and families who have supported the chosen charities – over twelve thousand pounds have been raised for St. Mary’s Hospital and The Winch!
Summer Gala Concert at St. John’s, Smith Square
On Monday 23 May 2016, 190 boys from the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools gathered at one of London’s foremost music venues, St John’s, Smith Square, to perform to a packed audience. The boys looked very smart indeed in their black-and-white concert attire, and impressed the audience with the high standard of their playing and their concert etiquette. Many thanks to all the peripatetic staff for their commitment towards the school’s enhanced orchestra and chamber music programme, to parents for their support behind the scenes and at the concert, and of course to all the boys who made this evening such an exceptional success.
Reception Fun Run
Grit and determination are words that spring to mind to sum up the Reception boys’ approach to running “as far as they could” last Thursday, 28th April, in their sponsored run to raise money for St. Mary’s Hospital. It was evidently great fun too though, judging from the number of laps they managed to accomplish in 45 minutes of racing around the track at Wilf Slack, raising over £1000 towards specialist play equipment for the children at the hospital. A fantastic effort boys, thank you so much!
Medieval Weapons Day
On Wednesday 27th April, Year 7 were treated to a new type of ‘activity’ day. Nick Checksfield, a Medieval Weapons expert, set up his ‘armoury’ in the pavilion at Wilf Slack and then spent the next 5 hours demonstrating and explaining a whole host of different medieval weapons to the boys. They saw him shoot a bow, they practised at the ‘quintain’, jousted on space hoppers, fought in shield wall formations and listened intently to his fascinating talks about medieval weaponry. Mel made lunch (no packed lunch required!), we had break times with acres of ‘space’ and then at 2.00pm the boys were in place for games without any travelling. All in all a great day!
lecture@TheHall – Oggy Boytchev – journalist and television producer
We were delighted to welcome Oggy Boytchev, TV producer, to give the final lecture of our lecture series this academic year. As producer for the BBC’s World Affairs Editor, John Simpson, Oggy described some of the numerous high-risk assignments teh two undertook to provide the news on our TV screens Boys were especially interested in Oggy’s insight into what it takes to work in the world’s most dangerous places, as he shared a compelling picture of the world of war journalism and reporting undercover from hostile places. He also spoke about why some stories get on the news and others don’t – a subject about which there were many questions from the audience.
The Big Sing!
On Tuesday 22 March, the whole Hall School community came together for the inaugural Big Sing, to not only celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but to have the opportunity of participating in a concert together with professional musicians. The audience joined in with real gusto supported by the Hall Festival Orchestra, a forty one piece orchestra of professional musicians including seven of our esteemed visiting music teachers (and an old Hall boy) and Chapel Choir supported by fifteen professional singers. All the Hall’s favourite hymns including Jerusalem and I Vow to thee my Country were included together with The National Anthem and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ arrangement for The Old 100th Psalm Tune that was commissioned for the Queen’s coronation on 2 June 1953 in Westminster Abbey.
Readings by Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory added another dimension to the event. First, we heard excerpts from two letters, one written by Henry VIII th at the height of his passion for Anne Boleyn, the other by Anne when she had failed to provide the longed-for male heir and had fallen from grace. The second reading was an extract from Queen Victoria’s diary entry for 28 June 1838, her coronation day in Westminster Abbey as an eighteen-year-old girl. The final reading by Damian from Henry V also paid tribute to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death this year
The final item on the programme, Rule, Britannia! was performed in great style by our singing teacher, Amy Wood while the chorus part was sung with great enthusiasm by everyone present. We are indebted to all the musicians, boys and audience members who participated to make this such a joyful event. Look out for next year’s Big Sing…
Jazz at The Forge
An audience of around 140 people were treated to an evening of exceptional jazz at The Forge in Camden Town on Monday. All four of our Jazz Bands and three of the Percussion Groups participated in this exciting new venture by the Music School. Staff from the Jazz Department opened the programme and set a fantastic tone for the evening. Grateful thanks to Mark Brown, Ben Reynolds, Josephine Davies and Martyn Kaine who prepared the boys to such a high standard. A massive thank you also to all thirty seven boys who participated with such great enthusiasm. Dr Steyn
Mexicolore at The Hall
On the 8th of February, a man named Ian came to the school to run a workshop on Ancient Mexico (the Aztecs and Maya).Year 4 assembled in the Cooper hall and were taught about the world of Ancient Mexico and its artefacts.The boys learnt the arts and ways of the tribes in ancient times the boys enjoyed chanting, playing musical instruments,dressing up and playing the oldest ball game in the world. The morning went without a hitch apart from the decapitation of a rain-shaker. Overall the boys had a great time and the workshop was a success. Zac Joseph
“The Hall Takeover” at Saracens
A group of 200 boys, parents and staff thoroughly enjoyed a visit to Allianz Park to see Saracens maintain their unbeaten home record for the season in a tightly contested match against Bath. It took a little while for Saracens to overcome the aggressive defence of Bath but The Hall contingent sitting in the South Stand were treated to a fine second half display by the home team as they lay siege to the Bath try line just in front of where we were sitting. Before the match a groups of boys were able to welcome the teams on to the pitch while holding “the big shirt”. Our thanks go to the Saracens staff for making everyone feel so very welcome. (Please see the photo galleries for images of the day).
An absolutely amazing effort from boys, parents and friends on behalf of the NSPCC has recently produced the outstanding total of £7086 raised in just two weeks! Following a visit by Alana Warner, from the charity, in which she gave the students a chance to see just what they do, boys were asked, in their year groups, to come up with their own fund-raising ideas. Some outstanding ideas were put forward; Year 4 boys made cookies and/or lemonade to sell to family, friends and neighbours; Year 5 boys made ‘breakfast in bed’ for members of their family; Year 6 did different things and some amazing sums of money were raised in a variety of innovative ways; Year 7 did the ‘bun run’ (see below); Year 8 boys wore their pyjamas for the day, braving the local shops, cinema and other social activities dressed in everything ranging from onesies to dressing gowns!
Boys really took this to heart and a massive ‘thank you’ goes to all who took part, including all the parents and other family members who have supported this initiative so whole-heartedly. The money that we have raised could, indirectly, help about 700 children in desperate need through, for example, Childline. Most of all, there was an awful lot of fun had in the process. Mr Cottam
The Bun Run
Monday’s ‘bleep’ test event for the NSPCC charity challenge The Bun Run was a sight to behold! The massed ranks of Year 7 and their tutors, some in fancy dress, pushing themselves to their limit, was an experience I hope everyone is proud to have made happen…in the end nearly eight hundred and two miles were notched up as well as a good few doughnuts! Thank you to all who supported us. Mr Buss
Year 8 Geography Coursework Exhibition
As part of the CE/Scholarship course, all boys in Year 8 recently completed their own individual coursework project. They were given a high degree of independence and ownership over the nature of what they researched, where they undertook it and how they presented it. Some fantastic work was produced, which went on show to parents and interested Year 7s in the form of an exhibition. Each boy made a research poster detailing their project and some even set up small displays to engage the audience in their findings. The evening was well attended and a fitting celebration of the geographers’ hard work and breadth of knowledge.
The Hall School Chamber Music Festival 2016
This all-day event took place on Tuesday 19 January. A total of 16 ensembles participated in masterclasses throughout the day, conducted by Tim Johnson, Director of Music at Eton. Boys were extremely responsive and accepted advice from Mr Johnson with both intelligence and enthusiasm. All groups then participated in the evening concert (held in the Lecture Hall at UCS), which was a real celebration of the school’s extraordinary chamber music tradition. Huge thanks are due to all the ensemble staff who prepared the boys to such a high standard, as well as congratulations to all the boys for their commitment and effort in making this such a wonderful event.
Fuze Workshops for Junior School boys
Junior School boys very much enjoyed participating in coding workshops using Fuze equipment. Fuze is a programmable computer and electronics workstation powered by the Raspberry Pi, supporting The Hall in meeting the requirements of the new National Curriculum for computing. The boys were controlling physical devices using the specialist equipment and were left inspired!
Under 13 Footballers in dominant form at Dursten House Tournament
With a record of 7 wins and 2 draws , the Under 13 6 a side squad emerged as worthy winners of the Durston House tournament on Saturday In a splendid display of teamwork and skill the squad of eight boys showed great commitment in securing the title for the second year in a row.
Scouts; Chiltern 20 Challenge, 2015
In a nerve-wracking race against the clock, three Hall School teams put their navigational skills to the test through 13 checkpoints over a gruelling 25km hike in the Chiltern Hills in this year’s Chiltern 20 Challenge last Saturday.
All the boys succeeded in completing the challenge despite various navigational mishaps en route – a feat leader Ian Frais was proud to report, as many of the ninety competing teams, from as far away as Devon, did not complete the course in time or retired.
The Wathen Wanderers, comprising Jonah Poulard (Leader), Finlay Jones, Rupert Halford Harrison, Yonni Kobrin and Harry Hughes, were the only team with participants who took part in last year’s challenge – and came in at a very significant 5th place. Team 2, The Crossfield Crew, led by Sam Strachan and comprising Felix Arnautovic, Jake McDermid and Ben Heyes came in a very creditable 19th overall. The Hall Hoodlums, comprising William Shackleton (leader), Robert Brettle, Louis Fenner, William Mullan and Freddy Hervey are also to be congratulated for managing to complete such a tough challenge – very well done to all who took part!
Chess; Lochinver U9s
On Wednesday 14th October The Hall’s chess campaign began with the U9 team – Arman Nedungadi, Zach Tydeman, Nicholas Lampert and Blake Bratley – competing in the Lochinver U9 Chess Tournament, an event comprising three rounds with eight schools participating.
At the end of round one we were tied with Heathside on a maximum 4 points, but by the end of the second round we had lost one match whilst Heathside had won all theirs. The pressure really started to build then, as up until this point none of The Hall team had played any of the Heathside players, but in the final round one of our team had to face a Heathside player. Unfortunately we lost that game which resulted in being placed second in the tournament. We return to Lochinver next term for the U11 & U13 tournaments.
Andrew Marr Inaugural lecture for new series at The Hall
“If there is a single art which the people of these islands have excelled at, beyond all others, it is surely poetry.”
Our new series, lecture@TheHall was launched in style by Andrew Marr last Wednesday. Speaking about his new book WE BRITISH, on the eve of National Poetry Day, Mr Marr entertained with excerpts and snippets of poetry and prose from across the centuries.
His series of readings illustrating how poetry of the past reflects the issues of today included Walter Raleigh’s The Lie, which rails against corruption in the church and state, elements from the works of William Shakespeare and William Wordsworth as well as verses from less familiar figures such as Anne Askew and Anne Bradstreet, and anonymous writers of medieval ballads.
“I can’t remember British history being told in this way, through the directness of poetry,” said Mr. Marr, “But if we want to get a real sense of what life was like in early medieval England, or how people felt about the plague or the fanaticism of the wars of religion; or the trauma of the slow decline of religion during the arrival of science, then the witness offered by great poetry is a very good way in”.
Aviva Premiership Trophy at The Hall
We were delighted to be able to welcome Hugh Vyvyan and Tom Bingham from Saracens along with the Premiership Trophy to our assembly recently. Hugh who made 245 appearances in the premiership for Newcastle Falcons and Saracens spoke about his playing career and Saracens victory in the final last year with Bath as well as answering many questions from the boys and Mr Godwin!
The Hall Ski Team continues to go from strength to strength
At the British Independent Schools Ski (BISS) competition this week, The Hall A team comprising Zach Tydeman, Xander Szerkowski, Michael Smith (standing in for Aurelien Josserand) and Max Fairfull won the boys’ schools team trophy! In the individual age categories we also took 1st place in the Under 14’s (Max Fairfull) and 5th in the Under 10’s (Zach Tydeman). The event was on a large scale, with 150 racers across the age groups – so competition was fierce.
Under 10’s; Zach Tydeman, Xander Szerkowski, Archie Marlow, Michael Smith, Lukas Chartourni, Eshan Hall and Kai Szerkowski. Under 12’s; Jaime Neale, Freddie Robertson, Joe Beagles, Tommaso Lombardo. Under 14’s; Max Fairfull
Noteworthy times were also achieved at ESSKIA, in spite of the boys not being used to dry slopes. In particular, the under 12’s showed they could rise to the occasion despite being such a young team.
Under 12’s (Year 6 and under); Jaime Neale, Xander Szerkowski, Kai Szerkowski, Sam Perry. Under 14’s (year 7/8); Max Fairfull, Aurelien Josserand, Freddie Robertson, Gus Beagles
Very well done to all competitors!
Macmillan Cake Sale and Auction
After a fantastic breakfast to support Macmillan, 3.30pm saw the Middle School Hall full of pupils and parents eager to buy cakes at the Staff Macmillan Cake Sale and Auction. Throughout the day staff had brought in their cakes, bakes and showstoppers – the event certainly brought out the competitive streak in some!
By 4.00pm all cakes were sold except those waiting to be auctioned. Mr Godwin, armed with a slotted spatula as a gavel, gave a sterling performance as auctioneer with the auction lots hotly contested and bringing the total sales to £1,768.00
Huge thanks to everyone who made and bought cakes and helped out.
Macmillan Charity Breakfast
Friday 25th September started sweetly with the Macmillan Charity Breakfast, hosted as usual by Mrs Casey and her team, all up at an early hour to present a wonderful continental breakfast spread to families and staff. Huge thanks go to everyone who struggled out of bed earlier than normal to support the event – the turnout was larger than ever and a massive £873 was made in just 40 minutes for the Macmillan appeal!
Great Start to the Football Season
The first full week of fixtures saw sixteen teams representing The Hall against a variety of schools. For the senior boys it could not have been a tougher start to the season with City of London and UCS the opposition. Some very encouraging results were achieved with the 2nd XI completing the double with two 3-2 victories while the 3rd XI were in goal scoring form with a 6-3 win over City and a 3-3 draw with UCS. The 1st XI enjoyed success at the Arnold House tournament winning on goal difference over a much fancied Wetherby team while congratulations also go to the Under 10 squad who won the Westminster tournament yesterday with a victory over Thomas’s Fulham in the final. Read a report of the tournament on the Westminster School Website.
National Cycling Success for Year 8 Pupil
Having won the National Schools Under 11 overall cycling championships last year Cal Gorvy competed in 5 events in the next age-group-up this year in his national championship jersey winning gold in the National Rollers Championships in Lichfield, silver in the National Circuit Race Championships at Darley Moor and bronze in the National Grass Track Championships in Leeds. Despite not managing to maintain his overall championship position, Cal came a close 2nd to a boy who is in his last year in this age group (Cal is eligible again this coming year). A considerable achievement for Cal and a product of a huge amount of hard work and dedication on his part.
National Title for U11 Chess Team
The chess continued on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd July at Uppingham School, for the finals of the ECF competition. For the first time, The Hall managed to have two teams that qualified for the finals. This is an U11 tournament, so the U11 team from Birmingham became the A team and played in exactly the same order at Uppingham, with Jacob’s position counting this time. The B team consisted of Luc Levene, Bora Alpay, Arjun Bhaduri, Aryaman Varma, Tobias Potel and Christopher Noe-Nordberg.
Twelve teams competed, and at the end of the first day the B team were lying in 8th position and the A team were joint first. The competition became quite tense when the whole match result cam down to the final round on the Friday afternoon. The Hall A team were matched against Magdalen (Oxford), both teams having the chance to become the champions. It all came down to the final match between Victor Mikheev and his opponent. Victor played with great skill and caution, and after a long battle he provided the final point to ensure The Hall boys as the outright winners! The B team played well on the second day, missing out by one point to become medal winners in third place. Once again, this showed the strength in depth of chess at The Hall when the B team finished in 4th place in a national competition. Tobias and Christopher deserve a mention for winning all their matches.
Congratulations to Year 8
Congratulations are very much in order to the pupils in Year 8 following their success in the recent Common Entrance and Scholarship exams with six pupils gaining academic scholarships – two each at Eton, St Paul’s and Westminster. Our latest leavers will be starting at the following schools in September.
Westminster 11, Eton 10, St Paul’s 10, Mill Hill 4, Harrow 3, Highgate 3, King’s Canterbury 3, Tonbridge 2, UCS 2, City of London 1, Oundle 1.
2nd Place Secured at National Chess Final
Two teams travelled to the EPSCA finals in the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport, on the 30th June and 1st July. At the end of the first day’s play and four rounds of chess, the U9 team were in last place and the U11 team were in 2nd place. The situation improved for the U9 team who after avfurther three rounds ended the tournament in 8th place, but the U11 team narrowly missed on winning the tournament eventually succumbing to Westminster Under in the final round who they had previously beaten in the semi-finals at Pontins. However, a second place was very creditable since four of the five boys in the team will be eligible to play in this tournament next year. Victor Mikheev played exceptionally well, winning six of his seven matches, and Michael Gough won five of his seven.
U11 Team: Remy Rushbrooke, Luca van dear Lubbe, Alex Richards, Victor Mikheev, Evan McDermid and the ‘reserve’ Jacob Leigh.
U9 Team: Tobias Potel, Aryaman Varma, Christopher Noe-Nordberg, Michael Gough, Maahir Puri and the ‘reserve’ Harry Webber.
Semi-Finals of the EPSCA chess championships at Pontins, Camber Sands, 5th – 6th June 2015
Forty eight Hall boys plus siblings, parents and three chess coaches, descended on Pontins Holiday Camp, Camber Sands, East Sussex on Friday 5th June for the English Primary Schools Chess Association National Schools Chess Championship Semi-Finals. The Hall had 8 teams that qualified for this event. Ninety teams in total took part.
After two hard fought rounds on the Saturday, The Hall U9 A team were in joint equal first place with Westminster, but the boys had to play them in the last round of the day. A 4-1 victory left the U9 team finishing the day in first place, whilst the U11A and B teams were in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The next morning saw the clash between the U11A team and the reigning National Champions Westminster – which The Hall won 3 1/2 – 1 1/2 and went into the lead in round 5. Two further tough rounds saw Westminster sneak ahead to gain 1st Place and so the U11A team finished clear in 2nd place. However, the U9 team continued playing successfully and finished in 1st place. This means both teams have qualified for the Finals to be held in Birmingham on the 30th June and 1st July.
It was a successful weekend of chess, fine weather and well behaved boys. Already we are looking forward to Pontins 2016!
Successes in the Junior Maths Challenge
The JMC is aimed at the top third of Year 7s and 8s nationally, with the top 40% getting certificates in the ratio of 1:2:3 for gold:silver:bronze (ie. the top 6.6% get gold, the top 20% silver, the top 40% bronze). In addition, the top 0.5% qualify for the Olympiad and the top 4% for the Kangaroo.
This year, we had 177 boys from years 5 to 8 sitting the JMC (all of years 6-8, a selection from year 5) and achieved: 64 gold; 52 silver; and 31 bronze. In addition, we had 7 qualifiers for the Olympiad and 31 for the Kangaroo. We should receive these results before the end of term. Very well done boys!
The first fieldtrip to Iceland from The Hall proved to be an exciting and memorable time for all involved. A group of thirty eight boys from Year 7/8 spent an action packed four days in south west and southern Iceland encountering volcanic, glacial and coastal environments.
The many highlights included glacier hiking for over two hours with crampons on the Solheimajokull glacier, visiting the Pingveller National Park, standing above the Gullfoss waterfall, witnessing geysirs and visiting the volcanic beaches near Vik. For many it was also the first opportunity to go caving with the group being led through narrow caves in a lava field. While a visit to the area around the Eyjaflallajokull volcano reminded everyone of the impact of the eruption in 2010.
There was also great excitement when for half a day, “Superjeeps” became the main mode of transport with some unique off-road moments experienced!
See a short film of the trip.
Hall Boys win The Townsend-Warner History Prize Trophy!
The Townsend-Warner History Prize, started 128 years ago, is one of the oldest institutions in the preparatory school world. It is not linked to any national testing or examinations, but aims to provoke interest and delight in historical reading, facts and analysis. The Prize consists of two papers. This year over 800 boys and girls entered from prep schools around the country, with around 190 qualifying for Paper Two. The Hall had eleven boys in the second round; Ivan Sebag-Montifiore, Robert Daniel, Francesco Volpin, Daniyal Hameedi, Cosmo van Steenis, Faiz Ghaffar, Oliver Anderson-Shah(all Year 8), Jonah Poulard, Tej Shah, Alexander Procopis (all Year 7)and Robert Brettle (Year 6). Clearly the boys wrote with much enthusiasm and in great detail to win the shield.
In his report on The Townsend Warner History Prize 2015, Patrick Gent, who has been running the competition for over forty years, commented; ‘The team prize was a close run affair, featuring Westminster Under, St. Paul’s Preparatory, King’s Junior, Wimbledon and The Hall School. It was The Hall School that triumphed with five in the first twenty five and an overall mark just above the other three. Over the years, the papers from this school have always stood out for their refreshing enthusiasm, their choice of a wide variety of subjects and their willingness to engage with history. It is a pleasure to welcome them back into the winner’s enclosure’. Very well done to you all!
Year 4 General Election by Timothy Gutsev
On Thursday the 7th May two exciting elections were going on. Of course there was the general election but the other election was the mighty Year 4 election! There were six parties in the election: the DHE (Defence Health Environment), DEH (Defence Education Health), NFP (National Freedom Party), EJP (Environmental Justice Party), HEED (Health Economy Education Defence), and the BP (Burger Party). Our class has been hard at work making pledges, writing speeches and putting up posters. We changed our positions in the class so we could work more easily. We told our dramatic speeches in front of lots of the senior school and all of Year 4. The polling station was in the fridges and the ballot box was a shoebox. The results were DHE was first, BP was second and third was DEH. We all enjoyed the exciting experience of the election.
15th May 2015
Ski Squad go from strength to strength
A squad of twenty four boys represented The Hall at the Independent Schools Association ski races at the Hemel snow dome and returned laden with medals.
The competitors, aged between seven and 13, were racing through stubby and full slalom gates in six teams of four – with the best three times counting. The Hall not only won the whole preparatory school section – they recorded the best time of the morning with 13.80 seconds – but their teams also took the second, fourth, sixth and eighth spots in the boys’ school team category.
There were four individual medals in the Under-14 section – Max Fairfull came first ahead of third-placed Fred Potter, fourth-placed Aurelain Josserand and fifth-placed Andrew Smith. Meanwhile, Xander Szerkowski was third in the Under-10s’ category, and Zach Tydeman finished fourth with Michael Smith close behind in fifth.
It is a far cry from when the skiing team started out three years ago, when The Hall boys were real novices and a long way off the podium. The boys have been training regularly at the Hemel snow dome, while racing abroad at the Interschool Challenge in Les Houches in France and in the UK to become a force to be reckoned with.
“Dégustation de mousse au chocolat “
The boys in Year 6 were , to say the very least, both delighted and amazed to discover that the final lesson of their topic on food last term involved a tasting session comparing a range of different chocolate mousses….some home made and others from brand leaders.
Each boy had a French tasting sheet to complete which required him to score each mousse on qualities as diverse as taste/ “goût”, lightness /” légerté” and texture “consistance”.
As you can see from the photo the boys took the task very seriously indeed! Our thanks go to the parents who coped admirably with a demand for chocolate mousse to bring into school at the very end of term. Apologies if any of the boys did not do justice to their supper that evening…..!
30th March 2015 French Department
Suzuki Strings at The Hall
A number of boys from The Hall have been performing in recent concerts, at the North London Festival Viola Day and at the Cadogan Hall, as part of The London Suzuki Strings Group.
They are all viola or violin pupils of Hannah Biss who teaches Suzuki method at The Hall, Westminster School and elsewhere. The group, currently comprising Cal Gorvy, Kit Mattich , Robert Brettle, Joe Beagles, Louis Kirkpatrick, Zak Bartfeld and Felix Johnson (plus ex Hall pupil William Shirras), works regularly with Hannah every Friday before school, starting at 8am. In keeping with an authentic Suzuki approach, the rehearsals involve boys of all ages across the School, plus sisters and siblings, making music together.
The Suzuki method places an emphasis on aural learning, repeated listening to music to learn pitch and tone like a language, freedom of movement whilst playing, a belief in a child’s capacity to learn an instrument at very young age and the belief in the benefits of learning alongside older and younger players. In Suzuki concerts the children perform every piece from memory, standing up not seated, nor playing from sheet music as in traditional style. The method clearly works for our young learners, as demonstrated by the fact that so many successfully and seamlessly cross over into more conventional chamber groups, orchestra and ABRSM examinations.
28th March 2015
Haileybury Maths Challenge
Hall boys came away the overall winners of the Haileybury Year 5 Maths Challenge that took place on 27th March. A total of 28 prep and primary schools took part in the competition. Alessandro d’Attanasio & Bora Alpay came 1st in the First Division section with a score of 118, and Thomas Finch & Raphael Michael came 3rd in the Second Division with a score of 116.
27th March 2015
Lochinver House Chess Tournaments 2015; congratulations to Hall boys on winning the U9, U11 and U13 chess tournaments at Lochinver this academic year.
Norfolk House U11 Chess Team Event; The Hall were placed first after 3 rounds of competition involving six North London prep schools.
27th March 2015
BBC News Day
A team of twelve Year 8 boys took part in the BBC News Day becoming reporters for the day and producing their own unique take on the school. Read their report here.
21 March 2015
A Week of Music
It has certainly been a very musical week with not only the Chapel Choir singing Evensong at Eton College Chapel, but also a Middle School Concert, a series of class concerts and the Year 2 production of the musical ” The Pied Piper of Hamlin”.
20 March 2015
Success for the Rugby and Hockey Squads
The under 13 hockey squad brought their season to a successful conclusion with a good victory at the Arnold House Tournament and in doing so maintained their unbeaten record which now runs across two seasons. Two rugby sevens squads were also in action at Arnold House and both squads produced some excellent rugby to secure the A and B team titles. The 1st XV are looking forward to the final fixture of the season against Wetherby when they hope to also finish the season unbeaten and repeat last year’s feat!
19 March 2015
Geography Ambassadors Photo Competition Winners enjoy a visit to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition
A group of keen photographers enjoyed a visit to the Natural History Museum to see some splendid wildlife photography as part of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition. The boys had recently entered the photo competition organised by the Geography Ambassadors with their images being featured in a calendar that was sold in aid of charity. The boys were inspired by some incredible images of wildlife, natural phenomena and spectacular landscapes with a good number of the boys thinking that they might enter the junior competition next year! The trip was rounded off with a visit to the earthquake and volcano section of the red zone – nothing like a bit of physical geography on a Saturday afternoon! A gallery of the prize-winning images from the school photo competition is available here.
15 March 2015
Reception boys invite Grandparents for ‘Afternoon Tea at The Hall’
A gathering of proud and excited grandparents found themselves in the hall of the Junior School last Friday, being treated to a feast of Nursery Rhymes, sung and recited by boys in the Reception classes. Through renditions of The Grand Old Duke of York, to Baa Baa Black Sheep, the boys joined in with gusto and rhythm – and then could barely contain their delight at being asked to invite their own ‘special people’ in the audience back to the Reception department for tea and homemade cake! A particular ‘Well Done’ goes to the waiters, who unwaveringly wielded wobbly plates of biscuits and cake across crowded classrooms to satisfy everyone’s appetites! Click here for images of the afternoon.
9 March 2015
125th Anniversary Concert at St John’s Smith Square
A large and very appreciative audience enjoyed a splendid concert at St John’ Smith Square last week as current pupils, old boys of The Hall and our music teachers joined together to celebrate the music talent and tradition at the School. Five Year 8 pupils who recently achieved a music award at their next school performed as soloists and congratulations go to Oliver Anderson Shah, Theo Nash, Matthew Malik, Hatam Barma and Angus Currie for their stunning performances. Beethoven’s Symphony No.2, a work of drive and energy, was performed with exhilaration and good humour by an orchestra of staff, old boys and friends of the School. The Chapel Choir’s uplifting performance of Rutter’s Requiem Mass was delivered with sensitivity and emotion, accompanied by former pupils playing the unaccompanied cello solo in the setting of Psalm 130 and the plaintive oboe solo in the setting of the 23rd Psalm. Click here for a recording of the Pie Jesu.
5 March 2015
Success for Year 7 pupils in the Bryanston Science Essay Competition
For the first time, a number of Year 7 pupils from The Hall entered the Bryanston School Science Essay Competition which is open to pupils from prep schools around the country. Very special congratulations go to Ben Vlasto who was named as overall winner with his essay on “Cosmology and Light”. It was also marvellous to see commendations awarded to Zachary Potel for Biology, Cal Gorvy, Jonah Poulard and Zaki Siddiqi for Chemistry and Timothy Gutsev for Physics.
4 March 2015
Impressive performances in the Quiz Club
Recently the Y7/8 General Knowledge team only just failed in their bid to become national Quiz Club champions. In a fiercely contested final at Harrow School, the team of Hatam Barma, Constantine Polychronopoulos, Tej Shah and Nat Swift ended the final in second place with 2015 points and 15 points behind the winners Shrewsbury House.
The two Y3-6 teams kicked off their campaign in the regional round of their Quiz Club competition with some excellent performances. The Hall School A team of Max Zimdahl, Alessandro D’Attanasio, Lucas Payne and Will Haywood finished in 1st place with a total of 2235 points while the B team of Emerson Allen, Ben Heyes, Jaap Hoogeboom and Luqmaan Markar ended in 3rd place with 1970 points. We wish the A team further success as they now head towards the semi final round.
1 March 2015
The Hall Under 11 Chess Team secure the Barnet Junior Chess Title
After six rounds of the Divison 1 competition, The Hall Chess team proved to be resounding winners of the title after seeing off the challenge of North London Collegiate School who eventually finished in second place.
Congratulations are also in order to the The Hall teams in the English Primary Schools Chess Association regional competition where the U9 team came first and the U11 teams first and third.
26 February 2015
Sri Lanka Cricket Tour 2015
Over half term, 24 boys and 6 staff enjoyed a wonderful 9 day tour of Sri Lanka. Based in Kandy, Columbo and the coastal town of Hikkadua, the tour party soon came to realise that they were in a ‘cricket-mad’ country with every school delighted to have an opportunity to play a team from England! Matches were played at the international grounds in Kurenegala and Matara as well as at a number of picturesque and large school grounds. The level of competition was very stiff throughout the tour but the boys rose to the occasion with the narrow victory over Royal College in Columbo being one of the main highlights. When the boys were not playing cricket they went rafting on the Kithulgala river, visited a spice garden, enjoyed time at the elephant orphanage at Pinnawala as well as visiting the famous Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. The tour was brought to a fitting end with a final tour meal in a restaurant on the beach at Hikkadua, during which a turtle plodded up the beach to add to the excitement!
24 February 2015