December 16th, 2016
On the evening before the final day of term, Music School presented the Winter Concert – the culmination of a busy term of music for the pupils, with a variety of styles of music on display.
The evening opened with the orchestra ringing in the festive season by performing Sleigh Ride before bringing things up to date with the theme song from the popular TV series Game of Thrones. Other seasonal carols and songs included In The Bleak Midwinter by the Junior Vocal Group, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by the Year 10 band and Silent Night by the FretWrx guitar group.
As well as traditional carols, modern Christmas songs were performed too including Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, also from FretWrx, and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by the Concert Band. Both songs featured vocals from James Keegan, with the latter also including the Junior Vocal Group.
Alongside seasonal songs, a number of other classic and contemporary songs were performed showcasing the wide range of the more than 100 pupils who attend music rehearsals before school each morning. The House Band, with Freddy Hostettler on vocals, sang rock ‘n’ roll song Johnny B Goode and the Concert Band sang the Prince-penned 777-9311 in remembrance of the musician who died earlier this year. The Senior Choir sang Kirk Franklin’s I Smile while the Strings Section performed Mozart’s 40th Symphony.
The entire Music School came together for the show finalé, Never Forget, with Jonathan Pontes-Betu on main vocals.
More images from the concert can be seen in the gallery by clicking here.
December 15th, 2016
On the final Friday of November the school held its annual Founder’s Day – an event to celebrate the school’s founder, Reverend William Rogers, and the achievements of its students. The celebration held an extra significance this year as it is the school’s 150th anniversary.
The ceremony started with a fanfare from the Brass Quartet as the guests – comprised of parents, partners, governors and trustees – entered the room. Mr Brownhill, the Headteacher, then gave his annual address before the String Quartet performed Handel’s Bouree in F. Further music performed later in the ceremony included an instrumental big band version of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off by the Concert Band. The ceremony closed with the Chamber Choir singing the school hymn, Spe Labore Fide.
This year’s guest speaker was the Meg Hillier MP. Ms Hillier, the MP for Hackney South, had been a guest speaker at Founder’s Day over a decade ago and spoke about the importance of continuing traditions and legacy, tying in both her return visit and the school’s 150th anniversary. Echoing Reverend Griffith’s speech from last year’s Founder’s Day, Ms Hillier spoke about the importance of the school within the community of Islington as it is a constant while much around it changes. She asked the boys leaving to continue to take part in the community of the school, to act both as positive role models to the younger boys and also to help them as they face new challenges in life.
Speeches were also delivered by Mr Gurney, the Chair of the Governors and by Seven Jacobs, the House Captain for Alleyn. Seven remarked upon the optimism of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. He noted that it was ambitious, and encouraged every pupil to be similarly ambitious and not be afraid to fail as long as they try.
Ms Thain and Ms Smith hosted the event. In between speeches, awards were presented to pupils across the school to recognise their hard work and achievement throughout the year. Returning sixth formers and former Year 11s were awarded prizes for both attainment and progress in each subject. The highest overall achiever in attainment and progress were awarded for each Year group. After this, a series of special prizes were awarded for extra-curricular achievement and community involvement before the most senior awards were announced.
The Bendy Scholarship, which is awarded to the top performing A Level students who go on to study engineering at university, was presented to Hermone Berhe, Jake Gill, Ali Hachem, Mohamed Mohamed and Emil Sekerali. The Dr Beck Scholarship for exceptional progress was awarded to Ayomide Aribatise, Serkan Marasli and Aiyah Mahmoud in the lower school, upper school and sixth form, respectively.
The Montcalm Scholarship for achievement in vocational learning was awarded to Harlee Clare. The John Boston Scholarship for exceptional attainment was awarded to Abubakar Finiin in the lower school and Sirdas Aba (who achieved 11 A*s his GCSEs) in the upper school. Finally, the John Boston Scholarship for the top performing A Level student, who achieved an A* and 2 As, was awarded to Abdirizakh Buwe.
For more images from the event, go to the gallery or click here.
December 2nd, 2016
Eleven boys visited the Tower of London at the end of November as a reward for making the best castles in the Year 7 mediaeval castle making comeptition.
As their first piece of homework, every boy in Year 7 was tasked with making a model of a mediaeval castle and with the standard being so high, the amount of winners was increased to allow reward eleven boys.
The boys spent the day at the Tower of London that dates back to the 11th century, so that they could compare it to their own models and see a piece of history first hand. Inside the Tower are a number if exhibitions showing many aspects of the last millennium of British history from the Norman Invasion all the way to the Kray Twins being held prisoner in the Tower for desertion.
The focus of the day was on mediaeval history, with the museum’s exhibition on life in the feudal system. The students also saw the crown jewels and the White Tower, which houses Henry VIII’s armour. The exhibitions gave the students a thorough understanding of mediaeval life and a better context for their history lessons.