It is always hard to believe that the term that ends with the Carol Services magically lighting up the cold, dark evenings is the same one that started in the heat of summer when we were all still in our shorts. It has been a long, long term and I know that all of us, students and staff alike, are thoroughly looking forward to a well-deserved break. But the term has gone well and a lot has been achieved over the last 15 weeks. Could I congratulate in particular the new Lower Fours. This has been a big step up for them but they have really risen to the challenge and in addition to working hard in lessons they have thrown themselves into all the other aspects of College life. It has been a real pleasure getting to know them and they have been a major addition to the community.
The autumn term is important above-all on the academic side. For the Upper Sixth in particular there has been a lot to manage but with the Extended Essays and most of the Internal Assessments now behind them the most pressured part of the course is over. I am also very pleased that their university applications have gone so well. The offers have been rolling in since September and with the IB's reputation running as high as ever – and the IB celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – the students already have some excellent offers from some of the best universities in the country. As term ends we have students on interview for Oxford and Cambridge and we keep our fingers crossed that they receive good news in the New Year.
The immediate priority for the exam groups are the 'mock' exams in January. This is a key moment to get ahead of the game and start the whole process of revision and we do expect the Upper Sixth and Upper Fifth to put significant effort in over the holiday. Time and time again we have seen that success in January gives the students a real boost of confidence and it lays the foundations for a successful summer. For the other years it is somewhat less critical, but they too should be putting in some concerted effort in that final week of the holiday – once the Christmas festivities are over.
The term has also been busy in a host of other ways. Drama has been showcased in the MAD and LAMDA evenings and we all thoroughly enjoyed the House Drama Festival last week. Congratulations to Dickson! There have also been many opportunities to hear our musicians perform and the Carol Services are for so many us the real start of the Christmas season. Those taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award have been tramping the Manx hills and a record number have been joining the CCF and, courtesy of the separate army, navy and air force sections, taking part in shooting, sailing and flying respectively.
But for many it is sport that characterises the autumn term. Many congratulations to the girls' First XI hockey team who rounded off a successful season by coming fifth in the finals for the whole of the north of England. That was an enormous achievement and the girls successfully took on and beat some much larger schools along the way. They were already Island champions having beaten Castle Rushen in the final and given that we are the current Island netball champions they have had a very successful 12 months. The boys have also had a good term. The First XV rugby team drew against Liverpool College (our oldest continuous fixture going all the way back to 1903) whilst they beat another long-standing opponent, Giggleswick. And our unbeaten record against Castle Rushen was maintained with a very successful 27-10 victory. Many of our junior teams have also had a very successful term both on and off the island and it is not only the First teams that end the season island champions. Congratulations to them all.
Rugby has always had a high profile at College and we were reminded of this during this year's very poignant Remembrance weekend. Throughout the centenary of the First World War we have been remembering the 139 OKWs on our roll of honour and I would like to thank Alison Schreiber for the enormous amount of research she has done to uncover their stories and to make their names familiar once again. If you have not already done so please do look at our KWC Remembers Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KWCRemembers/ One of the photographs she found was of the 1912 First XV. Of the 17 boys pictured 9 were later killed in the war. It is very hard to comprehend the scale of what happened and what the loss of 139 young men meant to the community but that photograph makes it all too real. It is very important that we remember them and the various events of that weekend, I hope, did justice to their memory.
The end of term is always the time for some goodbyes. We say farewell to our South African and Australian exchange students who have been with us this term. They have made a big contribution to the school, especially in the boarding houses and on the sports fields, and we wish them a safe journey home. This is also the end of an era as we say a fond farewell to Susie Ross. Susie, an Old Buchan girl, has been a mainstay of the Sports Department for the past 28 years and she is a key reason why girls' sport at the College has such a high profile and is currently so successful. We are extremely grateful for all she done for the school over these many, many years and we all wish her a long and very happy retirement.
A long term, but a lot has been accomplished. And it has most definitely had its highlights. The GCSE geographers visited Iceland at half-term and experienced some early winter snow whilst I was fortunate enough to accompany the IB historians to Cuba – where the danger was heatstroke (together with being filmed attempting karaoke on the group bus...) But it is time for a holiday and I wish everyone a very joyful and relaxing Christmas.
Do please join us for our Christmas Eve service in the Chapel if you are able to. The service begins at 5.30 pm and will be led this year by Reverend Erica.
With best wishes,
JOSS BUCHANAN - PRINCIPAL
Please note there is one small change to our published term dates. In September 2019 the Induction Days for Lower Sixth, Pre-IB and Lower Fourth will be on Wednesday 4th September and the remainder of the pupils will return to school on Thursday 5th September.
Sam Ashworth - Rugby
Angela Aumonier - Hockey
Isabelle Barber - Drama
Anna Blayney - Drama
Louisa Burton - Hockey
Emma Courtie - Hockey
Matthew Holt - Rugby
Jessica Loader - Hockey
Angus Macleod - Drama
Illiam Parnell - Rugby
Jamie Raatgever - Rugby
Charlie Yau - Rugby
Angela Aumonier - Cross Country
Isabella Barnes - Hockey
William Corlett - Rugby
Joshua Duncan - Rugby
John Dutnall - Rugby
Natasha Ellis - Hockey
Molly Gibson - Hockey
Polly Glynn - Music
Anna Glynn - Music
Mia Hall - Hockey
Alexander Kneen - Music
Celia Madgwick -Hockey
Luca Simmons - Rugby
Angus Wheeler - Rugby
Christina Adcock -Drama
Cate Atkinson -Music
Florence Barber - Hockey
Darcey Bateson - Drama
Jake Black - Basketball
Sienna Dunn - Cross Country & Hockey
Lily Ellison -Hockey
Alice Gibson - Drama
Jasmine Harding - Hockey
Seb James - Rugby
William Kearns - Rugby
Alasdair Kelly - Rugby
Sophie Long - Hockey
Ruari McNally - Music
Charlie Millward - Cross Country
Ella Page - Hockey
Joshua Parker - Rugby
Edward Pegge - Rugby
Sebastian Sgouraditis - Music
Elizabeth Shooter - Drama
Grace Templer - Music
Haydn Waddington - Rugby
Julian Wilson - Rugby
Maeve Wilson - Drama
Jaime Amoedo-Garcia - Rugby
Martha Broderick - Hockey & Football
Isabella Craig - Hockey
Jasper Davies - Rugby
Mikhaela Harris - Cross Country
Macy Hillier - Cross Country & Football
Dollin Jansen - Basketball & Rugby
Sarah Long - Music & Cross Country
Sam Parker - Rugby
Joseph Peck - Rugby
Magnus Taggart - Drama
Henry Telford - Rugby
The U13 Girls' Hockey XI had a very successful season by winning all of their league fixtures and they took this good form into the Island Schools tournament where they won the trophy convincingly.
The U14 XI started and finished in the same strong fashion and dominated all of their IOM Schools' fixtures retaining their league and cup titles. Off Island they showed why they were 5th in the North in March in the mini game. The North West regional competition was heart breaking for them; they lost on sudden death penalty flicks to Sedburgh who qualified for the North and have gone off to the National Stadium at the Olympic Park.
The 1st XI had a successful campaign both on and off Island. Retaining the league and cup on Island and the girls can be proud of their effort and commitment to training and matches. Off Island the girls competed well and can be proud of their recent visit to Leeds University to compete in the North final where they achieved 5th in the North. Our final two winning fixtures were against Ripley St Thomas (5-1) and Queen Ethelburgas (6-2).
Currently the girls are competing in Football leagues against the Island schools to which they have all made a good start.
On Thursday 6th December the annual IOM Schools' Cross Country competition took place on a demanding Ramsey Grammar School course. Both the Senior and Intermediate teams won their category.
The 1st XV beat Castle Rushen High School 27-10. Jamie Raatgever was voted man of the match and therefore received the 'Dosch MacLeod Memorial Cup'.
The 1st XV drew with Liverpool College 5-5 in the home fixture. Man of the match is awarded the 'Mark Richard Wheeler Memorial Cup' in memory of Cameron and Angus' father and on this first occasion it was awarded to Sam Ashworth.
1st XV reached the last 16 (North West Final) of the NatWest Bowl Competition.
The final two fixtures of the season were again Ripley St Thomas where we won 22-0 but unfortunately lost again Queen Ethelburgas.
The U15s are in the Isle of Man Shield final this week vs Castle Rushen High School.
This half of term House Drama has taken over the theatre and classrooms with Colbourne, Dickson and Walters, providing a fun and uplifting night's entertainment while competing for the prizes. There were many wonderful and, at times, hysterical performances. At the same time it was an example of the importance of team work. The adjudication of the results were as follows:
KANE CUP for BEST INDIVIDUAL ACTING PERFORMANCE - Farrel Ewanena – Colbourne
FREDA JEAVONS CUP for BEST ACTING PERFORMANCE - Angus MacLeod – Dickson
DOROTHY LOWEY CUP for 'WOW' FACTOR - Magnus Taggart - Dickson
BOWRING CUP for BEST SUPPORTING ROLE - Patrick Gough – Walters
BOWRING PLATE for TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE - DICKSON
TATTON SHIELD for BEST PLAY - DICKSON
There have been many opportunities for pupils to be involved with all things Drama related. This has included our Junior MaD and LAMDA evenings as well as Fourth Form drama club and rehearsals for House Drama. The studio and many other classrooms have been full in the evenings with pupils rehearsing for their various performances, including our forthcoming whole school production of Macbeth.
Both the Upper Fifth and Upper Sixth created entirely original devised work this term – which took much dedication and commitment. Their performances were eye opening and informative; from the Upper Fifth pupils looking at the pitfalls of social media to the Upper Sixth who looked at the theme of addiction and the message to "choose wisely".
LAMDA examinations took place in the penultimate week of term with an impressive 34 candidates. Pupils were examined in Acting, Public Speaking and Speaking of Verse and Prose Examinations from various Grades, entertaining the examiner with their talent and skills.
We wish them all the very best for their results.
The autumn term has been full of Music with a diverse mix of the usual concerts and a few new exciting ventures.
At the very start of term we were delighted to welcome John Holmes, Chief Examiner of ABRSM, to KWC to lead a performance masterclass with our senior musicians. John gave some fantastic and insightful feedback, focusing on a wide range of performance issues with the common aim of playing as musically as possible at all times and developing confidence when performing. It was a great privilege to welcome John to College and we look forward to an ongoing close collaboration with ABRSM.
On the 4th October the Autumn Concert took place in the King's Court Theatre and was a marvelous showcase for our many talented musicians as well as our ensembles. There was the usual array of items, ranging from Polly and Anna Glynn performing Concert in A minor by Bach, to performances of hits from the stage and screen by Cate Atkinson, Ruairi McNally and Maeve Wilson. The Orchestra performed a variety of contrasting pieces under the direction of Mr Chris Sullivan and special mention must also be given to pupils in Lower 4, who came together for the evening to perform as a choir. They gave a rousing performance of 'This is Me' from The Greatest Showman.
Junior MAD presented the opportunity for our younger students to shine and, for many; this was their first performance at KWC. The performances were of the usual high standard and all those involved are to be congratulated on their confident and engaging performances.
The following day, Lower Fourth pupils joined with pupils in Form Four of Buchan for a workshop delivered by Pop UK. Over the course of the morning, they learnt a variety of songs on the theme of social media and later recorded them whilst learning about the process of recording and editing at the same time.
On November 10th, Chapel Choir was honoured to accept an invitation from the British Legion to be part of the Festival of Remembrance held at the Villa. This commemorative service saw Chapel Choir perform alongside members of various other choirs on the island whilst also having the opportunity to be part of an incredible important event on the island. As part of the Drum Head Service, Evan Darroch performed 'Homeward Bound' arranged by Jay Althouse, followed by a somewhat poignant performance by Chapel Choir of 'There Will I Be' by Craig Courtney.
That same weekend, a number of our pupils also attended the inaugural workshop of Mannin Youth Choir. This new ensemble has been set up for singers from Year 9 and above and we were delighted to host this event in the Music School. There is no doubt this talented group of singers from schools from across the island have a bright future together as a choir, and there are already plans in place for the next few rehearsals and first public performance.
A number of our musicians joined with pupils from Buchan to perform to the residents of Abbotswood. This is always a great event and the residents are incredibly welcoming and always pleased to hear our musicians perform for them. On this occasion, the KWC musicians who attended were Alex Kneen, Louise Van Der Merwe, Ruairi McNally and Grace Templer.
Our association with the Friends of KWC has very much continued this term. Our Lower Fourth choir was invited to sing at a fundraising Cookie Exchange and, under the direction of Miss Winstanley, they certainly helped spread some festive cheer in the Barrovian. Only a week later, Seb Sgouraditis, Francesca Warren and Elina Keig provided the entertainment at an evening event organised by the Friends, and the audience were treated to some fine performances indeed.
Once again, we were given the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our pupils in both Music Theatre and ABRSM exams. A significant number received either a Merit or Distinction, all of which is testament to the hard work they put in in preparation, alongside the expert guidance they receive from our team of Visiting Music Teachers.
Chapel Choir continue to be incredibly busy and there is certainly no let up as the end of term approaches. Our annual performance at the opening of the 'Festival of Trees' took part at the end of November and we now look forward to the services of nine lessons and carols, which take place this week.
The 2018/2019 Sixth Form Lecture series opened with the annual Downward Memorial Lecture. College hosted Ella Al-Shamahi, a paleoanthropologist and archaeologist specializing in Neanderthals. Her work involves searching for fossils in caves in disputed, hostile, and unstable territories, and believes that large parts of the planet's potential contribution to science are overlooked due to instability. Ella spoke passionately about her recent discoveries, raising the question of how closely we are related to Neanderthals. Interacting with the audience, she asked our Sixth Formers to identify the differences between Neanderthal and Homosapien skulls which were 40000 – 50000 years old. Through examining the DNA, it became apparent that the two groups had bred together, hence leading to the intriguing realisation that many of us have Neanderthal genes in our DNA.
We were delighted to welcome Dr Santiago Fouz Hernandez to College, Professor in Hispanic Studies and Film Studies and Director of Undergraduate Education at Durham University. Santiago challenged the Sixth Form to consider national stereotypes in Spain, looking at the film Jamon Jamon as an example of how "macho" masculinity is perpetrated in Spanish film. Following the lecture, Sixth Formers were fascinated to discuss gender stereotyping in current society, with conversation progressing to an evaluation of the inequalities certain groups face in Britain today.
In the second half of term, we welcomed Dr. Olivier Restif, a lecturer in Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, Department of Veterinary Medicine. He spoke passionately about the need to research how infectious diseases are transmitted from animals to humans, citing the recent Hendra virus in Australia and the Ebola outbreak of 2014 as examples. Delving into the biological details, he asked the audience to consider if we can prevent disease spillover from bats without resorting to extreme culling measures. After the lecture, Olivier gave prospective medics and Oxbridge applicants a useful insight into applications and interviews from Dr. Restif, who is a Fellow of Robinson College.
It seems like a long time ago, when the Silver and Gold participants went to the Lake District and completed their Qualifying Expeditions. All the participants were a credit to the school and it certainly was one of our best expeditions away ever... so far! As always a big thank you goes to all the participants and their families for their commitment and to the Venture Centre staff that helped the groups. On this occasion, I would also like to particularly thank the Harwood family for their support and generosity towards the Award.
This busy term has also seen the enrolment of this year's new participants, one of the largest at all the levels, proving just how popular and worthwhile this programme is. The Bronze participants completed their training and their practice expedition but sadly due to bad weather conditions their qualifying expedition will have to wait until the summer term.
This last week of term, this year's participants who had completed their Bronze and Silver Awards received their badges and certificates, taking home a wonderful reminder of all of their hard but fun work and dedication.
This term, cadets have been busy with preparations for the Centenary Remembrance Services. Mastering Standard bearing and foot drill are key components for this. Considering we had the largest uptake from the Upper Fourth year group in as long as we can remember, this was a challenge in the short time frame. Our services started with the College Remembrance service followed by services at Castletown and then St. John's. The cadets were a credit to the college.
We have managed two flying trips to RAF Cosford to enable cadets to fly the single engined Grob Training Aircraft, and a trip with the Navy Section to HMS Charger in Liverpool where cadets got to helm the ship in the Mersey (supervised!)
The cadets are in the middle of learning how to handle a new rifle which we have had delivered (small bore target rifle), which will enable us to get more use of our indoor range. If you are interested in shooting, speak to Sgt Headon and we will get you involved in the Tuesday lunchtime session. This is from 1300-1400hrs.
The autumn term is always a very busy and exciting time for the boys and girls in School House and Colbourne House. 90 boarders from 20 different countries have bonded together as a vibrant community, becoming firm friends and seeking to make the best of the opportunities on offer. Outside the classroom the boarders have enjoyed a varied activity programme during the week and at weekends. Midweek Merriment and Friday morning fun have been organised energetically by the Heads of House, Vela and Louis. These activities have encouraged and maintained the strong sense of community spirit. Other highlights have included bowling in Ramsey, a visit to the House of Mannanan, yoga, afternoon tea and scones with Reverend Erica, mountain biking, lots of baking, pottery, karting, meals out in Douglas and of course various Christmas events, such as Secret Santa, to finish the term. The boarders were also fully involved in preparing for and performing the House Drama festival in the second half of term, many of them acting in their second language. It has been particularly pleasing to see how many full boarders have been invited to stay with local families this term. These social bonds are so important and our thanks go to the host families for making this possible. All the boarders have contributed to a very successful term in both houses and will enjoy a well deserved festive holiday.
It has been great to catch up with alumni this term, both at the College and further afield. We welcomed Thomas Dutnall (2010-2017) back to KWC in November to talk to the Upper Sixth about his experience this summer with the Barrovian Alumni Internship with Strix in Hong Kong. This internship is now in its third year and is a fantastic opportunity that I would encourage our Upper Sixth and young alumni to apply for. The application deadline for the 2019 Internship closes on 14th January and all the details of how to apply can be found in the alumni section of our website.
Friends of KWC have kicked off the year with a busy start, hosting a number of different events. Their first Coffee Morning of the year was a perfect opportunity for parents to meet the Committee and each other. Nicole Perry Ellis (Chair) talked about the importance of the school community and encouraged everyone to get involved. She also unveiled the theme of the 2019 May Ball – Masquerade, and announced that Friends this year would be raising funds for the renovation of the Bragg Lecture Theatre. To get us all in the festive spirit, Friends then hosted two 'Cookie Exchanges', one as a coffee morning at College and one as an evening event. We were entertained at both events by some of our young musicians and it was fantastic to hear some of the talent that we have throughout the school. Once again, we thank Friends for all of their hard work and support, both through their fundraising and their community building.