The Leys has enjoyed a busy and varied Autumn term, with the following events being among the highlights:
The Chapel Choir joined a 600-strong choir accompanied by the Philharmonia Orchestra in London’s Royal Albert Hall for a special performance of The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins. The concert was to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Leysians joined youth choirs from Germany Belgium and France, four principal countries involved in the First World War, in a spirit of peace and reconciliation to make their own special contribution to the centenary commemorations. The school’s choir has also has released a CD of British choral music and favourite hymns. Jubilate! was recorded by Priory Records at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and was directed by Rob Hall, Director of Music.
Sixth-formers, staff and parents were given advice on how to get a good night’s sleep when Cambridge-based mindfulness and relaxation specialist Sam Thorogood, founder of the “Tiny Pause” project, came to The Leys to speak. He explained that sleep was essential for well-being, with only one in 40 people needing less than 7.5 hours of sleep each night. He described the ideal environment to promote good sleep and gave tips on eating, breathing and exercise techniques. Caroline Wiedermann, Director of Pastoral Care, said: “The HSMs and matrons have been concerned about sleep issues, particularly about the use of screens. Boarders in years 7 to 10 have to hand their phones in before bedtime. I think we all found the talk very relevant – not just the sixth-formers there, but the staff and busy parents.”
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the highly-successful Japanese Exchange run by The Leys and Aoyama Gakuin High School, both Methodist foundations which have enjoyed close links since they were founded in the 1870s.This year, one pupil, Jesse (Year 10) went to Japan with Mrs Ann Muston, Head of International Support, and the school is looking forward to welcoming two pupils, the school principal and two members of staff from Aoyama Gakuin High School, in January 2015.
Sixth-formers interested in becoming surgeons had a chance to learn more about the profession from Cambridge University medical students and experienced consultants at a workshop held at The Leys. A group of 45 pupils from The Leys and three other schools in Cambridge attended the event, which was run by the Cambridge University Surgical Society (CUSS). Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon Neil Donnelly gave a talk, and the members of CUSS explained how to go about getting into medical school. Two orthopaedic surgeons demonstrated suturing and the pupils tried it out for themselves .CUSS was founded in with the aim of making surgery more accessible and to promote surgery as a career choice. The workshop, funded by the Royal College of Surgeons, was the first to be held by CUSS and it is hoped it will become an annual event.
The newly-formed Girls’ Eight made a great start in the Cambridge Autumn Head rowing competition, winning the Women’s Novice Eights. They beat all other junior crews and many other University and club eights who had a least 12 months’ experience.
Prize-winning artist Ken Stuart Burnett, who completed his education at The Leys this summer, has held a one-man exhibition in London. “ksb chronicles” comprised self-portraits Ken has done since he was just five years old. During his time at The Leys, Ken won the School Art Prize, was highly commended by the Granta and Cam Decorative and Fine Arts Societies and also won a Painter-Stainers Prize which was awarded by the Lord Mayor of London.
UPCOMING EVENT The 133rd Varsity Match, to be held at the Headquarters of English Rugby, Twickenham, on Thursday, December 11, will be doubly significant for The Leys: a recent Old Leysian will be playing for Oxford on the day, and tribute will be paid to an Old Leysian Cambridge Blue who died in World War One which broke out 100 years ago. Fraser Heathcote, an Old Leysian now studying Engineering at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, will be flanker for the Dark Blues in the Varsity Match, the so-called “Battle of the Blues” which has been the focus of Oxford and Cambridge rivalry since 1872. This year’s match is being dedicated to the 55 Blues who died in World War One. The Leys School has been invited to lay a wreath in memory of Leysian Bernard Henry Holloway, who was killed at the Battle of Loos in 1915, aged 27. Holloway was one of 149 Old Leysians who died in the “war to end all wars”. His name is on the school’s own war memorial and at the Loos Memorial at Pas de Calais. Headmaster Martin Priestley and the current captain of Rugby will lay a wreath at the RFU (Rugby Football Union) war memorial before the match and the names of the 55 Fallen Blues will be read out prior to the kick-off.