Framlingham College Choir Tour: Prague 2013

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The Choir toured to Prague in February half term and took with it 40 students, 8 staff, and a versatile and interesting programme for the Czech public to enjoy.

SONY DSCThe tour started with a Mass at St. Vitus Cathedral and upon arriving at the impressive building, we were told that we were the first British Choir to be allowed to sing Mass at the Cathedral in nearly 2 years; some accolade! We sung 4 anthems appropriate to Mass and the Choir sang beautifully in freezing conditions to a very appreciative and respectful congregation. At the end of the service, we were allowed to perform a 15 minute recital and it was noted that many of those who enjoyed the service and stayed afterwards, were Tourists who had travelled across Prague to be a part of the service and hear the Choir.

SONY DSCAfter the service, we were treated to a guided tour through the beautiful city and allowed to enjoy some local goulash as well – highly recommended in the cold conditions!

Next day, we travelled to Pisek (a small town an hour and a half away) where we performed in Trinity Church. We were delighted to be joined by former student Christina Johnston who currently sings with the National Theatre and Prague State Opera. She sang Eternal Source of Light Divine with the Director of Music Tim Rhodes accompanying on Baraque Trumpet and tour accompanist Geoff Lavery playing the organ continuo. She then sang Mozart’s Laudate Dominum with the choir accompanying her. It was a real treat for both Students and audience that Christina was able to give of her time to come and sing with the College Choir. The Choir sang superbly and we returned to our hotel delighted with our efforts so far.

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The final concert was at the Chapel Korunni in Prague, and an audience of 250 packed the church to listen to a repeat of the previous night’s programme. This included the entire Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten who we are celebrating the centenary of his birth this year. Accompanied beautifully by our visiting harp teacher Helen Sharp, the choir performed magnificently and the audience were generous in applause and feedback afterwards.

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After the concert, we were treated to a local folk evening with dancing and music in the local Brewery. The food and refreshment was fantastic, and everyone spent the evening reminiscing about the concerts and experiences enjoyed whilst on the tour.

The Choir returned to the UK after a tough, tiring, but thoroughly cultural, memorable and successful tour; the first of its kind in years.

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My thanks to the staff and students for making it a tour to remember! Here’s to the next one!

Mr Tim Rhodes, Director of Music

An exciting week at FramSoc

‘Hilarious’ ‘So clever’ ‘More please!’ ‘What a story teller!’ ‘Word perfect, funny and pleasant to look at!’.

It would seem churlish to this reviewer not to let the comments received after last Friday’s performance of The Brandreth Papers in the HPT speak for themselves.

Unknown-1Brandreth, lugubrious in black tie and alone on stage with only a mobile phone and a pistol for company, was mesmerising and beguiling, with an ability to spin a yarn and a dexterity with words which left even the most conservative members of the packed audience acknowledging that sometimes it is essential to take ‘the broad view’! Yes indeed ‘More please!’.

Well, FramSoc, always keen to show willing, did provide more on Wednesday evening, when we were treated to the delicious double act of Galton Blackiston and his unflappable side-kick Mr Alston.

They made our mouths water and our tummies rumble as they cooked up a sumptuous three course meal with effortless flair and humour. It was gripping theatre, but oh how I would have liked to sit down and eat their creations.

I am surprised that the two people who won the raffle prizes of the main course and the pudding made it out unmobbed!

History Society: The first four wives of Henry VIII

A lively meeting of the History Society was held last week on St Valentine’s Day, when members of Year 12 considered the first four wives of Henry VIII. 

The earlier queens were deemed women of considerable ability, Catherine of Aragon as capable of acting as regent, and Anne Boleyn as able to hold her own for many years in Henry’s court. However, the later wives elicited great sympathy too, perhaps over-praised for their needlework skills, but placed in very difficult situations. Jane Seymour in the end won the popular vote, having fulfilled her wifely duties admirably, and being united in death with Henry in his tomb in Westminster.

The four pairs of students presenting all quitted themselves well, and with Mr Robinson as compere what could go wrong?

Framlingham College at CERN for the Long Shutdown (1) of the Large Hadron Collider

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Following a very early start, Year 13 Physics students flew to Geneva for a whirlwind tour of CERN and the Large Hadron Collider. Our visit coincided with a very special day at CERN – the scheduled Long Shutdown of the LHC for a major upgrade.

We first visited the (very snowy) CERN Globe – an exhibition centre full of high-tech interactive pods on the ‘Universe of Particles’. Following our tour of the Microcosm Museum, housing old detectors and detailing the history of CERN, we were privileged to be able to visit the CERN restaurant, a bustling cosmopolitan environment where we did see working scientists arguing over their equations over a three course lunch.

In the afternoon we were given a brief lecture on the work going on at CERN by a final year PhD student before being taken on a guided tour. We visited the magnet monitoring facility where were able to see the testing of the accelerating magnets used in the LHC and where the next generation of magnets is currently being developed. Our final stop was the ATLAS detector control centre where we saw the post shutdown tests being conducted.

The day showed our students cutting edge research and development and the biggest questions being addressed by this international collaboration of theorists and engineers. The interactive exhibits and knowledgeable guides kept us fully occupied, leaving us time for a brief visit to the shores of Lake Geneva and supper before catching our evening flight back to England.

View the presentation by clicking here

A2 Drama performances

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Love Lane, the Unit 3 devised performance for A2 Drama and Theatre Studies, was an interesting and complex piece that used as its starting point Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.

Students enjoyed exploring the explosive issue of gender politics in the work place and framed their ideas on the set of a soap opera. They played with ambiguity and levels of reality. The audience was both engaged and entertained with a well-executed performance which showed students working together in exciting ensemble work.

This performance was marked by teacher-examiners and will be moderated by an external examiner for Edexcel.

Amy Hulley selected for England U18 Hockey Trial

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Congratulations to 1st XI captain, Amy Hulley, who has been selected for an England U18 trial after her outstanding school season. She will join the U18 group in their half term camp at Lillelshall National Sports Centre.

Congratulations must also go to Maddy Baker who is yet another of our pupils to join the Suffolk U15 JAC Hockey squad.

Sir Michael Gambon Lights Up Garrett House Dinner

image005Last Saturday saw the boys of Garrett and their guests come together for the annual House Dinner. A great time was had by all, with musical entertainment provided by Charlie Bullen and Oliver Trevers and an excellent and funny speech from Will Crosland, Head of House.

The highlight of the evening, though, was the guest of honour, Sir Michael Gambon, latterly a star of the Harry Potter films, but also one of the legends of the British stage and, of course, inspiration for the legendary ‘Gambon Corner’ in Top Gear. He delighted all present with a question and answer session focusing on the highlights of his long and distinguished career, answering everything the boys could throw at him with wit and honesty.

Now we wait to see whether Garrett can top this next year….

13+ Scholarships

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Last week we have been welcoming the 13+ Scholarship candidates for their assessments across a range of disciplines. Drama applicants enjoyed a group workshop before performing their individual auditions for the Head of Drama.

Music Scholars performed for both the Director and the Assistant Director of Music. Art and D&T applicants were given the chance to present their work to the Heads of Department and candidates for the Porter Scholarship for Sciences were given both a written Science paper and subject-specific science interviews.

Hats off to all the Academic Scholarship candidates who coped admirably with two challenging days of written papers and interviews, as well as a seminar with the Head of Scholars and the Headmaster on the subject of ‘Nudge’ Psychology. With candidates coming from thirteen different schools it has been a very busy and rewarding week for both pupils and staff.

We are looking forward to welcoming a very talented and diverse Year 9 in September.

Framlingham College Sport: Netball Update

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It has been a fantastic half term for Netball. The weather did disrupt our training programme and fixtures for a long week but the effort and determination from our girls before, during and since the bad weather has been outstanding. Starting the term with the annual pre-season Netball training day set the bar very high and my expectations were great for the 1st VII Squad. They have certainly not disappointed, winning all their matches so far. Greshams were particularly strong and after being behind the entire game they closed the gap in the third quarter and then Framlingham even went one goal down at the start of the fourth but rising to the amounting pressure on their shoulders, the shots remained consistent and defence tight and the winning result of 35-30 was well deserved and all the girls looked visibly relieved and delighted! The other Senior teams have had strong performances across the board with the U16s notably winning against Norwich after a hold up due to a nasty injury for the opposition. The girls still played on  with only one goal separating both teams but Framlingham cemented their win in the final eight minutes with a 26-20 victory. The 2nd and 3rd VII have had competitive matches and a very pleasing set of results. Each team having enjoyed success during this half term.

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The Junior Netball section is moving from strength to strength with the U14A side showing utter dominance since their shaky 12-12 draw against Culford in their first match. Their most recent results in the triangular fixture against RHS and Woodbridge highlights how much the team has improved with Donna Sullivan’s weekly training, beating both sides comfortably and accumulating a massive 83 successful shots in their two 30 minute games and only allowing 14 goals to go against them. The U15A’s have had a testing start to their Netball term but have shone in their two latest matches with improving performances and victories as a reward for their hard work. The B teams in both age groups have been fulfilling their potential on court and are now really finding their stride. They continue to impress during training and each week are exciting to watch in their fixtures. We are fortunate enough to have a good number of girls to play C team fixtures in the U14 and U15 age group and the depth of players we have in these teams are outstanding. The two C teams are a pleasure to watch as their rate of improvement has been steep since the start of term and they have become well-rounded teams in their own right. They are definite ones to watch in the future and I look forward to watching their progress after half term.

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I am very pleased with all the efforts of our Netball girls this half term. They have played through snow, wind and rain yet still played to the best of their ability and produced many superb performances of which they can all be proud. They can all look forward to a well-deserved half term break and I am most looking forward to watching how the second half of the Netball season progresses.

Many thanks to all the parents and supporters for your continued presence at all our fixtures. It really is much appreciated!

Leah Webster, Head of Netball

Geographical Society – Forthcoming Lecture by Nick Crane

nick_craneNick Crane, presenter of the BBC Coast series, is to address the Geographical Society at an evening lecture on Tuesday, 12th February, 2013 in the Headmaster Porter Theatre at 7.00pm.

The talk is expected to be of interest to pupils and parents of all year groups and is entitled‘Filming Our Island Story’.

Nick Crane is well known as a geographer, explorer, writer and broadcaster and has written and presented four television series for BBC 2, including Great British JourneysMap Man, and Town. He is pictured below on the cover of his latest publication Our Island Story.

All parents, pupils, staff and OFs are warmly invited to join us and to meet Mr Crane informally after the presentation. Light refreshments will be provided.