June 26th, 2007
The first Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition training weekend took place on what proved to be the wettest weekend on record. The supervising staff were joined in Wales by Richard Bailey OA, who is now a professional mountain and expedition leader. He helped the boys hone their navigation skills, introduced them to challenging mountain routes and tested their first aid decision making on the hill.
Although the group camped in a field on Sunday night which was a lake by Monday morning, as Capel Curig received 4 inches of rain, the expeditioners showed perseverance and a brave sense of humour, completing their initial training successfully, in preparation for their practice expedition in the same area next weekend.
June 22nd, 2007
A number of boys fought viciously with sticks in the amphitheatre, wearing muddy and dishevelled clothes. Other people, including staff, sat around and applauded. This was not an outbreak of ill-discipline, however, but just the opposite. This was the Fourth form production of Lord of the Flies, a faithful dramatisation of William Golding’s classic novel about the breakdown of civilisation when a group of boys are stranded on a small island. With different groups swapping roles, the large contingent of GCSE drama pupils gave a strong performance, capturing the rivalries and tensions between the boys as their organisation and agreement on rules descends into murderous chaos.
June 21st, 2007
Lower Sixth formers learned the value of marketing, production and selling at the annual Business Conference, led by David Abrahams of Matthew Arnold & Baldwin. They listened to a range of presentations by experts from the business world, including Angus Kinnear, from Arsenal Football Club, Andrew Slight from Tesco, Lisa Milne from Clydesdale Bank and Ken Dougall from Allied Irish Bank. Inspired by these, the students participated in a number of business simulations, putting into practice some of the techniques they had learned. They were led in teams by other volunteers from businesses, a number of them Old Albanians. The activities gave the students a real sense of the decision making, risk and excitement of entrepreneurial business.
June 19th, 2007
The second First form Pen Arthur trip of the summer is well under way, as 1.2 visit the farmhouse in the Brecon Beacons for a week of challenging activities. Living together tests and often cements friendships, while the boys have opportunities which they may not normally face. Living in simple conditions, facing some rigorous physical activity, panning for gold and having a lot of fun, all First formers remember their Pen Arthur trip.
As trialled last year, the website will be carrying a Pen Arthur blog, so that we can all keep up to date with the group’s activities.
June 12th, 2007
What is the role of a prefect? What are the responsibilities? What kind of situations might arise? What authority might a prefect exercise? Such were the types of questions raised during the Prefects’ Training Day at Woollams. The new team of 36 prefects gathered for a day of evaluation, exploration and team building in order fully to consider their new roles in the School. Through discussion, problem-solving, presentations, command tasks and role play, they explored many facets of being a prefect and working with others, including other pupils, fellow prefects and staff. Mr Richard Laithwaite, the new Second Master who will be joining the School in September, joined the day’s discussions, and was very impressed by the quality of the new team with whom he will be working.
June 7th, 2007
At the end of May, the School’s Young Engineering team of Adam Warren, Adam Wagenfield, Ben Richards, Todd Davidson and Sam Miller presented their project to the President of the Institute of Civil Engineering, Mr Quentin Leiper. The team’s project brief was concerned with the possible relocation of St Albans City Football ground to a location near the Park Street roundabout on the outskirts of St Albans, with particular reference to transport and services. The core of their solution was a park and ride scheme which would serve both the proposed redevelopment of the relocation area and also St Albans itself.
The team gave an excellent presentation to some 30 professional engineers at the University of Hertfordshire, and it attracted many positive and appreciative comments. They were clearly impressed and awarded teh team a coveted silver medal.