June 29th, 2006
The School celebrated the achievements of the Upper Sixth and made its farewells to an outstanding year group at the Graduation Ceremony. The Headmaster paid warm tribute to a cohort which had demonstrated considerable academic strength as well as making its mark through drama, music, sport and charitable fundraising. President of the Old Albanians, Andrew Barnes, welcomed the now former pupils immediately into the Old Albanian Club, encouraging them to keep in touch by registering with OAconnect (link in the menu bar above). Over the past five years, the ceremony has been marked by Poet-in-Residence John Mole reading his commissioned poem Flying with Icarus, but this year saw that baton handed on to Mr Pat Taylor, who read his poem, Vita Brevis, written for the occasion, which urged its listeners to make the most of the moment and grasp opportunities. Following the formal ceremony, students, parents and staff mingled and chatted over wine and nibbles for the remainder of a warm summer’s evening.
June 23rd, 2006
The Pen Arthur experience is an essential part of the education offered at St Albans School, with all First formers taken for a summer term trip to the isolated Welsh farmhouse in the Brecon Beacons. The penultimate group of this year, 1.2, have just returned from an action-packed sunny week in Wales. The boys began with the famous Ridge walk, accomplished in perfect conditions on Saturday, and visited the Dolaucothi gold mine, Oxwich Bay and Carreg Cennan Castle. Activities of the week included canoeing, pot-holing, swimming and a waterfall walk. Nineteen boys were supervised by five staff over the course of the week, and all of them thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The final group, 1.4, left for Pen Arthur on Friday 23rd, and we received a daily weblog of their activities, which we posted on the website.
June 23rd, 2006
Sunshine, T-shirts, wigs, capers and boisterous action in the amphitheatre – it must be the summer term 4th Form show. This year it was Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters, a subversive and irreverent adaptation of several Shakespeare plots, played with a freewheeling sense of fun by a large troop of actors. Switching roles frequently to accommodate everyone, they told the story at a cracking pace, entertaining their evening audiences, and on Friday afternoon, their pupil audience, enjoying the show in the sunshine. Each part was performed with relish and such bravura that the challenges of the Abbey bells and the planes from Luton airport were shrugged off with ease.
June 22nd, 2006
Midsummer Day 2006 may always be remembered now as the date of the School’s inaugural Ultimate Frisbee fixture. Mill Hill met SAS at Woollams. Despite a slow start, conceding 2 points, St Albans went on to win 6-2, the points scored by Eric Gale, Katie Harrison, Fotis Toumazos and Rob Crookston. The scores, though, were the end result of strong team spirit, good fitness levels and accurate final ‘assists’, especially from Toby Clarke and Stefan Siwak. To celebrate the formation of the School’s new UF team, there is a competition from now until the end of term, to design a logo for the SAS UF team kit. The design needs to include the School crest, the abbreviation SAS UF, and a catchy nick-name. The base colour for the polo shirts will be either royal blue or white. Further information is available from Mr Bateman, to whom designs should be submitted. Mr Bateman is hoping to follow the success of the Mill Hill fixture with a knockout competition with local schools and a House competition.
June 20th, 2006
On Tuesday, the newly appointed prefects-in-training trooped off to the Woollams playing fields to take their first steps towards fulfilling their responsibilities under the guidance of Mr Corns, the Second Master. They took part in a range of team building exercises and discussed thought-provoking hypothetical scenarios, designed to test their natural instincts in a given situation, as well as their ability to follow directions and to respond well to authority.
The new prefects thoroughly enjoyed the exercises, including a particularly hectic challenge which involved a line of blindfolded prefects being directed by a fellow trainee, but their purpose was clear to all: to unite the prefects in the face of a problem, and thus to have the problem solved through teamwork and discussion of possible solutions.
The day was extremely successful on all counts, and we look forward to the new school year when the prefects can implement the new techniques they have learned during their training day.
Report by Doug Pontin
June 16th, 2006
A beautiful summer’s evening provided the perfect backdrop for one of the most highly anticipated musical events in this year’s School calendar. The Lower Orchard was transformed into an outdoor music venue as over 300 people lazed on the grass, picnicked, danced and enjoyed the musical offerings of the evening. The headliners were The Sultans, a L6 band composed of Jack Bailey, Adrian Hau, Luke Howard, Miles Howell and Jonathan Ketley. The band’s flexibility was apparent as the musicians regularly swapped instruments and covered artists from Coldplay to Don McLean. The band were supported by Mainstream, who filled the orchard with al fresco jazz, and the acoustic and vocal talents of Tim Boardman, Matt Burgess, John Butterworth and Lizzie Elsey. The main purpose of the evening was to raise money for charity and, thanks to an exceptional concert, Cancer Research UK will receive over £1400.
Report by Sam Kirsop