October 30th, 2011
The U16 Rugby squad was given some lessons in the sport when they went on tour to France over half term. 25 boys and 4 staff left Woollams at the conclusion of House sport for Montpellier, in the rugby-mad Languedoc-Roussillon region on the Mediterranean coast in southern France.
Three fixtures were played and, although only one match was won, valuable lessons were learnt, most notably about the physicality and intensity of play to which this improving team should be aspiring. The successful fixture was against Poussan, where McKenzie Colfer was Man of the Match. Dan Gott and Felix Turk took that accolade in the defeats to Verdes and Lycée Mermoz, which feeds a number of players to the Montpellier academy.
Although the results were mixed, this was a hugely successful tour. The boys were excellent company throughout the week, demonstrating commendable maturity and togetherness both on and off the pitch.
October 12th, 2011
With the BLR fit to burst, the new academic year for the Harry Schofield Maths Society began in earnest with Rob Eastaway, who graduated from Cambridge with a degree in Engineering and Management. Interested in the practical applications of maths, such as algorithms generating the cricket world rankings, he has written a number of books in this field, including: “What is a Googly?” and “How many socks make a pair?”
This talk was entitled, ‘10 ways to win a maths bet in the pub’ and Mr Eastaway immediately outwitted the majority of the A level mathematicians with some ‘basic arithmetic’ that misled the audience into expecting the next number in a simple successive sequence. This warm-up demonstration set the tone for an afternoon of curious mathematical mélange.
Probability was next on the agenda; an unwitting member of the audience was baffled when Rob was able to easily beat him at a supposedly simple game of chance involving merely the toss of a coin. The trick involved leading the audience to the false assumption that Tails, Heads was equally likely to come up as Heads, Heads. Needless to say, the unfortunate individual now owes Rob a drink.
Rob surprised the audience when he had 10 numbers chosen at random from the day’s paper and, as predicted, over half of the numbers began with a 1,2 or 3. Although this seems counter-intuitive, it was deftly explained through Benford’s Law of multipliers. Going through the birthday coincidence, the Monty Hall problem and Darren Brown’s 1089 trick, the talk got even more intriguing as it progressed to its finale where another audience member failed to win a drink from the speaker.
With the audience’s wallets slightly lighter than before, we warmly thanked Rob Eastaway for his insightful lecture.
Report by Alex Shavick, Harry Hamer and Charlotte Fraser
October 8th, 2011
Max Monk is making waves in one of the more unusual sports. Max has competed at swimming from a very early age and since being about 12 years old, has gone on to play Underwater Hockey. He has shown such skill in the sport that a scout from the U19 England squad picked him out at a recent match. He will now be training with the England team one weekend a month at the training facilities at Loughborough University. It is likely that his first U19 competition will be in early November, taking place in Sheffield. We wish him the best of luck.
October 4th, 2011
An inaugural shooting tour, to Jersey, proved a great success over the weekend. Eight students and two staff took on Victoria College, which has a particularly long history of top level shooting, producing many world champions over the last hundred years. While the SSI from Victoria College was very impressed with our students’ weapons handling skills, it was therefore no surprise that Victoria College won both the senior and junior competitions. However, the latter was only secured by a single point. Top scorer for the senior team was Chris Oates and Tom Chapman took the honours for the junior team. The following day, students joined 7.62 shooting with the Jersey Rifle Association. Though only two of the students had any experience of this kind of shooting, their good practice in the School range quickly came to their aid and the Jersey coaches were impressed with their rapid improvement through the two shoots. Other delights of the weekend were a Thai curry on the beach, a barbecue, rock climbing and swimming. The students were lucky to enjoy such fine weather at the beginning of October and they entered into all the activities with good spirit. All the adults they worked with commented on their enthusiasm and maturity.