Geographical Society Lecture: London 2012 Games – What now?

bob_digby_geography_lecture_mrlyonBob Digby, ex teacher and author, and past president of the Geographical Association, outlined the legacies of past Olympic Games and explained how London, despite being underdogs, won the bid in 2005 on a promise of regeneration.

Fabulous images captured the environmental transformation from derelict warehouses and wasteland to a green, sustainable site. Measures even included importing worms to the site to clean the top soil. The proposed legacy was outlined and pupils were pleased to hear that they can swim in the Olympic pool for £3.50. The determination to provide a legacy was clear. The economic regeneration was evident despite concerns that east Londoners might be pushed out of the area because of inward migration. Although the amount of social housing was less than originally planned, Bob Digby remained optimistic about the Games’ legacy especially compared with other recent Olympics.

He hoped that our pupils’ generation would continue to talk about the 2012 Olympics and drown out those still harking back to the 1966 World Cup!

William Hamilton’s A Level Success

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William is to be heartily congratulated for achieving such outstanding A level results; 4 A* and an A is a remarkable achievement! As his Housemaster, I know how hard William has worked for this success and he has now put himself in an excellent position for his application to read Economics at Cambridge University following his Gap Year. However, William is more than just a talented academic. He was heavily involved in Rendlesham and as my Deputy Head of House was pivotal in its smooth running and successes over the year, of which there were many.  William deserves great credit for the way in which he effectively balanced his studies with a whole host of extra- curricular activities. He achieved the gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, a notable achievement in itself, and rose to the rank of sergeant in our CCF. William is a talented rifle man and he led the College shooting team with aplomb. William now embarks on a Gap Year and will soon be departing for the Far East, starting with work in a financial services firm; it is also typical of him that he has taken it upon himself to learn Mandarin whilst out there. I have no doubt that William will continue to make great strides in whatever he does and his future is very bright indeed.

Emma Vidler and Chris Hart’s Oxbridge Success

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We were delighted, but by no means surprised, when Emma Vidler secured her place to read Medicine at St Catherine’s College, Oxford.  Emma will embark on her six-year course having achieved A* grades in A-level Chemistry, Biology and Psychology, an A grade in Mathematics and an A grade in Latin, a subject she studied in Year 12 outside of her school timetable.  This outstanding set of grades is testament not only to Emma’s academic ability but also to her immense capacity for hard work.  Throughout her time at the College Emma has deftly balanced a demanding academic program with a number of significant responsibilities and commitments, always with good humour and good grace.  In March, Emma was selected by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Suffolk, The Lord Tollemache, as one of his Cadets for 2013.  This year she has also been an inspirational Head of School, and she will be warmly remembered as a cornerstone of the College’s shooting team and an invaluable asset to our Model United Nations contingent.  One of Emma’s strengths is her ability to rise to challenges and to set them for herself.  Indeed, her brilliant academic year has been completed in style with a near flawless performance in GCSE Classical Greek, which earned her another A*.

chris_hartWe were also delighted as  A-level results day brought the exciting news that Chris Hart had secured his place to read Economics and Management at Worcester College, Oxford.  Economics and Management is one of the most popular degrees at Oxford; competition for places is fierce and only around 9% of applicants are admitted to the course each year.  Chris’ success therefore represents a very significant achievement, particularly, perhaps, because he did not study Economics at A-level.  Chris read widely and intelligently during his time in the sixth form, developing his interest in Economics whilst studying for his A-levels in History, Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology.  An impressive academic, Chris also showed flair and leadership ability in his role as Head Boy and skill and assurance as a member of the 1st XV Rugby team.  In all his roles and positions of responsibility, Chris has been an excellent ambassador for the College.  We firmly believe he will thrive in an Economics department which is consistently ranked among the best in the world.

A full-house of A*s for Framlingham College GCSE students

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Charlie Green and James Walker have hit the jackpot with a full-house of GCSE A* grades in their recent results. Both boys who are in Stradbroke House at the College were delighted with their results, as was their Housemaster, Mr Bernard Dyer who said, “Charlie was obviously delighted with his clutch of results but in his very typically modest way expressed some surprise at how good they were. As his Housemaster, I was far less surprised than he was: he thoroughly deserves his outstanding results. James is one of the most disciplined and focused young men I have had the pleasure to work with. Coupled with a very sharp brain, it was almost inevitable that he would achieve such fantastic results. James is a highly organised young man who has always been meticulous in his approach to all that he does.”

Framlingham College’s newly appointed Deputy Head (Academic), David Ashton added, “A very impressive achievement from the boys and it reinforces my belief that  excellence across a range of disciplines is a goal that students should aim towards.”

Peer Mentors

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Over half of our Year 12 students took part in the very successful Peer Mentoring day last Sunday in the Headmaster Porter Theatre. They participated in several lively and amusing activities enabling them to make new acquaintances during the day, and to learn a range of mentoring skills. We now have over a hundred trained Peer Mentors in the College who provide valuable support to our younger students.

 

Historical Association success for Will and Bertie

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William Hall won the 2013 Historical Association’s ‘Key Stage 3 Local History Award’ for his engaging and highly personal Year 9 project on the USAAF base at Metfield, Suffolk, in the Second World War and its impact on the local community. The judging panel were ‘fascinated by his research into such a recent phase of local history’. As a result William has been invited to receive his award at the HA presentation ceremony at the Union Jack Club on 15th October. Bertie Southworth’s entry on his great-grandfather, Reginald R. Smith, and his role with the Green Howards in the Normandy Landings was ‘highly commended’ and he also received a book prize (Cruel Crossing – Escaping Hitler across the Pyrenees by Edward Stourton) and Spirit of Normandy Trust certificate.

This is very much part of a pattern – although we missed out last year, in previous years we have received significant numbers of HA awards, not only at Key Stage 3, but also at Years 11 and 12.

Latin trip to Ipswich

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Most of the Latin students in Years 9 and 10 attended the Pompeii Live from the British Museum experience at Cineworld, Ipswich, on Wednesday, 19th June. 

They were able to join with schools around the country to get the first glimpse of this new exhibition at the British Museum which took five years to plan and develop.

This was the first live cinema event produced by the British Museum and gave the students an exclusive and private view of Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition.

Year 12 Geographers investigate sand dune ecosystems on North Norfolk coast

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Last Friday a group of 33 lower sixth geographers visited the impressive dune system on the Norfolk coast near Burnham Overy Staithe. The weather was bright and warm which helped in the data collection on this otherwise wind swept and remote coastline. 

The dune system is part of the Holkham National Nature Reserve with the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The field research included surveying of the dune relief, identifying characteristics of the vegetation succession and recording the microclimate and soil conditions. This was a most enjoyable and productive fieldtrip in which the various groups followed transects from the strandline and embryo dunes inland to the dune heath.

The photographs show the entire group being briefed at the start of the investigation. Further images will be available on the College website.

GCSE Drama Performances

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Last Friday the entire GCSE class completed their Unit 3 Practical exam in front of their examiner and a supportive crowd in the HPT. This year’s theme was ‘performances that make you watch and think’, and all four shows did just that. Vicky Easey, Raefe Newton-Jones, Violet Taylor and Georgie Clarke-Gifford explored ideas of memory and the afterlife in a literally blinding play 100, whilst Seb Baker, George Coulson, Liv David, Oli King and Molly Drnec performed their devised play Corrections, looking at the validity of the death penalty. Knife crime was explored in by Seb Treacy, Emily Heldreich, Rose de la Rue, Cressi Sowerbutts and Sarah Maran in the play Mugged, and finally Say Yes! put a darkly comic spin on the Orwellian idea of government control of our thoughts and the power of branding. Amy Hunter, Lilie Waring and Hannah Rowell pulled off a difficult piece with some style, particularly in their dance moves.

Ahead of our Autumn production of Hamlet, Dorothy Englert went to South Lee Preparatory School in Bury St Edmunds to workshop ideas around themes and issues in the play with students in Years 6 and 7. The session ended with some spectacular Shakespearean deaths gruesomely enacted and presented with terrific enthusiasm.

Framlingham wish South Lee all the best for their production of Alice at the end of this term.

Geographical Society welcomes Dr Geoffrey Griffiths

Unknown-3Last Tuesday evening, Dr Griffiths of the University of Reading Geography Department gave a presentation to over a hundred pupils, staff and parents on the issue of land grabs in Liberia. 

These are caused by the growing demand for palm oil in the developed world. Palm oil is used in many food items of our everyday diet yet the extensive clearance of rainforest to satisfy this production is having serious environmental and social impacts in West Africa. Dr Griffiths also told us how he monitored and mapped this loss of primary forest, working for an NGO; he has particular interest in the practical use of GIS.

Not only was his presentation intrinsically interesting and useful for geographical study, but it also gave insight into the style of lecturing and the fieldwork of a current university academic of the kind our pupils might encounter in further education.

Geographers evaluate effects of urban planning in Ipswich

On Tuesday, 30th April, a group of thirty-three Lower Sixth geography students were taken to diverse parts of Ipswich to study changes in the urban environment.

Unknown-4Mr Boatman’s group focused on Bridge Ward, an area of inner city redevelopment, and also the various suburbs of St Margaret’s Ward; Mr Kendall’s group studied the rural-urban fringe, the original Victorian planning of Christchurch Park, and also the Cobbold Street area.

Both groups ended up at the Docks, to assess the effectiveness of the much vaunted Waterfront Scheme.