The Leys has enjoyed a busy and varied Summer term, with the following events being among the highlights:
Award for inspiring Art teacher:Julie Stobbart, Head of Art at The Leys, Cambridge, has taught many prize-winning pupils – now she has won a prize herself. She has been awarded the Painters-Educators Prize for Art Education, which recognises the contribution of inspirational teachers. She is pictured receiving her award at Painters’ Hall in London with, from left: Colin Goodman, the Master Painter of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, John Leighfield CBE, the Master-Elect of the Educator’s Company, and Fiona Adler, Sheriff of the City of London.
Nominating Julie, the Headmaster of The Leys, Martin Priestley, wrote : “We see in her someone with a genuine love of her subject – an absolute commitment to getting the best quality of outcome for her pupils whatever their starting-point or level of ability.” Julie runs after-school studio and life-drawing sessions, organises day and residential trips to museums and galleries and is involved in cross-curricular ventures such as making stage props for School drama productions. Under her guidance, pupils have achieved success in the Saatchi/Sunday Telegraph National Schools Art Award and other national and regional competitions. Julie said being awarded her prize was “a real privilege”, and said of her work: “no two days are the same and after about 30 years I think I actually like what I do more than I ever have.”
Learning about democracy at the school ballot box:
Pupils took part in a mock election on Thursday, May 7, the day of the UK General Election. Five groups of Year 9 pupils represented the five main UK-wide political parties – Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Labour, Green and UKIP. They drew lots to see which party they would campaign for, and were each helped by a teacher whose party was also allotted to them to prevent personal prejudice from affecting the quality of the hustings. They made and distributed posters and leaflets before their candidates took part in the hustings, held in the School Chapel. The candidates were asked to set out their policies in three key areas: health, education and the economy. Their campaign teams made party political films which were screened to an audience of 160 pupils from across the year groups at points in the debate. In all, 250 pupils voted at the polling station set up in the school. The History department staff acted as the Electoral Commission and the Headmaster, as Returning Officer, announced the result in the School Assembly on May 11.
Sporting stars talk at tour fund-raiser: Sport lovers at The Leys, Cambridge, had a chance to hear from current and aspiring international sportsmen at “An Audience With…”, presented by BBC TV presenter Tom Williams – an Old Leysian (OL) – to raise funds for the school’s summer Rugby and Hockey Tour to South Africa. The guest stars were Alex Goode (OL), who plays Rugby for Saracens and England; recently-retired Hockey international Glenn Kirkham who made 223 appearances for England and Great Britain; Will Hooley (OL) of England Under 20 Rugby and Exeter Chiefs; and Nick Thompson, former Hockey International for Great Britain and England. Tom Williams amused the audience with tales about his own experience of going on tour to South Africa with The Leys in 1996. He then chatted with each star in turn about their own sports before broadening out the discussions and inviting questions from the audience. The evening concluded with the auctioning of sporting memorabilia.