News Archive

Spring 2011

Grimsdell Eco Project

Eco Project

Planning for the exciting Grimsdell Eco Project began in late November last year, with about 50 Lower Sixth students coming together to begin organising lessons to teach all the classes from Reception to Year 2.

The Eco project was set up to teach the generation who will be saving the planet, how to do so, one step at a time. Reception and Year 1 were taught about recycling and how to sort litter into categories, learning the three famous Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Year 2 concentrated on electricity; where it came from, how to reduce it (involving more than turning off Sponge-Bob Square Pants when it was over) and the different ways on how to generate it, learning of the environmentally-friendly renewable resources and the hostile non-renewable ones.

Group photo

Prize giving

The activities used to engage the children included word searches, white board activities, poster making, making objects out of reused items and many more. In addition, a writing competition was held amongst Year 1 and 2 for the best article on how to save electricity or water. The winners had their articles published in the Grimsdell newsletter and were awarded some great Eco prizes for their efforts.

To finish off the programme a little prize ceremony was held in March, awarding each class an Eco present for their hard work. Overall, the project was a great success and gave the Grimsdellians an excellent introduction on how to help protect our Planet from further harm.

Charlotte Dickson: Year 12, Weymouth

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Ten and Five Mile Cup

This years’ races were held in cool, damp conditions but this did nothing to qwell the crowd’s enthusiasm. There was a tremendous “house spirit” throughout the races with much vocal support.

The winning boys and girls teams

As well as teams from all ten Houses, two staff teams earned the pupils’ respect and seemed to enjoyed the challenge. McClure won both races emulating the success of School House in 2007.

Joe Sherry (McClure) and Naomi Kendall (Weymouth)

Individual successes included Naomi Kendall (Weymouth) beating her own record by completing the course in 6 minutes 15 seconds whilst Joe Sherry (McClure) shattered an already unbelievable record with a time of 4minutes 48 seconds (previously 4 minutes 56 seconds by Jack Perry-Williams).

The music department organised live entertainment during the event whilst Mrs Miner ran a food corner in support of our Partnership School in Nicaragua.

Well done to all those who played their part in this event.

The ladies team

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Jewish Assembly

Beefeater being interviewed

Over the February half term, we (Tommy Lennard and Sebastian Balcombe, both Priestley) travelled around London on a mission to find out what Londoners knew about Judaism, titled a ‘Mensah on a Mission’. This was all in aid of Mill Hill’s Separate Assemblies; the results were varied yet highly amusing for the casual viewer. The trip covered Camden Town, Covent Garden, Waterloo, Embankment and Westminster. Whilst it was incredibly cold we both had a thoroughly enjoyable time and delivered a truly first class assembly which will resonate in the minds of all those who were present. As you read this enthralling review, plans are under way for the next gripping piece of cinematography. Tommy and Sebastian invite all at Mill Hill to come and view this epic finale of the Jewish short film trilogy.

Filmed, interviewed, directed, edited and cast by Tommy Lennard and Sebastian Balcombe.

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Heroes: Ralph Tubbs

Dome of Discovery

In the second of the Heroes series of talks, Deputy Head Peter McDonough looks at the life and works of Ralph Tubbs, one of the key architects of the South Bank site, and identifies the legacy of Tubbs and other Festival of Britain architects and designers.

Old Millhillian Tubbs was both a fellow of the RIBA and an OBE; his Dome of Discovery was the centrepiece of the South Bank site in 1951. The Dome established his reputation and gained him much notoriety in his lifetime.

The lecture takes place in the Music School on 5th May starting at 6.30. Click here to book your tickets online, and for more information please contact Karen Willetts on 020 8906 7865 or by email. Refreshments will be available.

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Remove ‘Stretch and Challenge’ Day

The debate

Millhillians in the Remove and 4th Forms were joined on Monday 28th March by students from Mill Hill County High School for a Mock Parliament day, run by a specialist tutor team from ‘The Debate Chamber’.

After the formation of four new political parties during the morning sessions, students eagerly developed manifestos and campaign strategies in the hope of being voted into government. After these exciting electoral campaigns, in the spirit of the age a coalition government was elected with Prime Minister Finn Keenan (Authority Party) leading the afternoon’s parliamentary session alongside Deputy Prime Minister Lindsey Fransman (Democracy Party). Three bills were voted into legislation and an energetic Prime Minister’s questions ended the session with congratulations from the Right Honourable Toby Davies to the Prime Minister and his party.

The day not only provided a thrilling insight into the workings of Britain’s political system, but also allowed students to develop their critical thinking, public speaking and team work skills. An excellent opportunity for all.

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Joshua Wins Creative Writing Competition

Joshua Jackson has won the Evans Schools Short Stories Competition and will have his work published on World Book Day, Thursday 3rd March. One of only 24 young writers to be published out of more than 3,800 entries from over 2,700 schools in Britain, Joshua’s creative rap poem Rick in de Rapland will appear in Imagination Station and Other Stories and Poems, an anthology of the best secondary school entries to the 2011 Evans Schools Short Stories competition. The competition was judged by children’s author Pauline Francis.

As the starting point for his poem, Joshua chose Benjamin Zephaniah’s first line “Once upon a time on Rapland/ Where words were wicked and cool”, and the poet added special encouragement for Joshua: “You are great: I know now where to go when I need help.”

L-R: Head of Belmont Lynn Duncan, Head of English (Belmont) Matt Russo, Evans Books’ Sarah McMillan, Joshua Jackson, Joshua’s uncle Mr Princewell Nwankwo; Mill Hill School Deputy Head (External Relations) Peter McDonough.

Joshua is soon to become Belmont’s Head Boy, before moving to Mill Hill in September where he has been awarded a major academic scholarship. The anthology will go on sale in bookshops around the country from Thursday March 3rd, with all profits donated to World Book Day.

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Gold Medal for Swimming Champion

Emily Dean (Year 11, McClure) and the Enfield Water Polo Club team achieved a record-breaking time to claim gold in the UK Cold Water Swimming Championships, beating 65 other teams. The event, which was held at Tooting Bec Lido in January, was swum in water measuring just 3° Celsius (air temperature was down to 1°C) and contestants are not allowed to wear wetsuits! The team were presented with their medals by the Mayor of Wandsworth.

Emily has been swimming competitively since she was 6. She has competed in County and Regional Championships every year since she was ten and at National Level since she was 11, qualifying for National Age Group Championships in the past at both 800m and 1500m freestyle. In 2006 Emily was a National Age Group Finalist in the 1500m freestyle, and finished 7th. She currently trains for 14 hours a week with Hatfield Swimming Club coached by Nick Juba and Sean Bailey, and swims up to 21,000m per week.

Emily Dean and the swimming team with the Mayor of Wandsworth

Emily’s emphasis in swimming is now moving towards open water swimming, an Olympic discipline. She is planning to swim in a number of open water events in the UK this summer, including the Epic Lake series 500m race in Ullswater in July and the Speedo series 800m swim in the Thames at Marlow in August.

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Millhillian Achieves Distinction at DipABRSM

Benedict Kearns

Congratulations to Benedict Kearns for his outstanding achievement in gaining the Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (DipABRSM), with Distinction. The Diploma is a professional qualification, normally taken by students who are already at music college, but Benedict was just 15 at the time of the exam which makes his success all the more remarkable. The exam was held at Imperial College just before Christmas, and consisted of a viva voce, sight-reading test and a 35-minute recital – a varied programme of music by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Debussy, Rachmaninov and Copland – which Benedict chose to play from memory. As part of his preparations for the exam, he practised at least two hours a day (no mean achievement with his school work and other activities) and gave recitals at both Westminster Abbey Choir School (where he had been Head Chorister) and at Mill Hill as part of the Friday lunchtime recital series.

While the immediate future is firmly focussed on GCSEs, music is clearly a major part of normal life – aged 12 he had already reached the level of a Grade 8 High Distinction on the piano, and subsequently gained top marks for Grade 8 flute and voice. On Saturdays Benedict attends the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music as well as studying conducting with Peter Stark. Conducting has become Benedict’s main passion and he is currently Acting Choir Master at St Jude’s on the Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb. Benedict is clearly one to watch (and to listen to!).

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Hot Topic: “How Gordon Brown Saved the World”

Hot Topic

A capacity audience packed into the McClure Music School to hear Lower Sixth Formers Nathaniel Barling and Andrew Moore present a vigorous defence of Gordon Brown’s premiership. Taking a broad overview of the world’s economic situation Nathaniel Barling was a confident and assured presenter. Barling was perfectly teamed with the urbane and witty Andrew Moore who focused on Brown’s performance during the darkest days of the world’s banking crisis. The questions from the floor were plentiful and none were more challenging than those from 5th former Hamish Nash who amazed sixth form economists with the depth of his knowledge. 75% of the audience felt that the Barling/Moore duo had modified their view of Gordon Brown. The next Hot Topics presentation will ask the controversial question “Are public libraries a thing of the past?”.

Nathaniel Barling and Andrew Moore

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Production photos

Mill Hill’s production of Oklahoma! was a huge success, selling out every night of its run. The show that put Rodgers and Hammerstein on the theatrical map in the 1940s, it is set in the early 1800s and follows the fortunes of men and women setting up the new state of Oklahoma and takes a light-hearted look at the conflict between cowboys and farmers. The show was directed by Mill Hill’s Head of Drama David Proudlock, and the wealth of wonderful songs and dances were expertly presented by the cast and musicians. The two couples going through the torments of ‘getting hitched’ were played by George Richardson, Natalie Kosky, Olivia Bernstone and Ricki Horwitz-Crook. Congratulations to everyone on a fantastic show!

The cast of Oklahoma

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“But Is It Accurate? Historical Films and the Use of the Past as Entertainment“
The Sir James Murray Lecture

Unfortunately we have had to postpone this lecture, due to illness, so we will be contacting people who have already booked tickets. We hope to reschedule for the Autumn, and will announce the new date as soon as it is confirmed.

The next lecture in our series promises to be a fascinating one as Dr Mark Glancy, Professor of American and British film history at the Queen Mary University of London, examines the way that history is portrayed in the cinema. Subtitled “The use of the past as entertainment”, the lecture will question the accuracy of events as presented on screen. Dr Glancy’s book Hollywood and the Americanization of Britain, from the 1920s to the present forms the basis of his current research which centres on the reception of American films in Britain.

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Farrow Singing Competition

Emily Glassberg Emily Glassberg
Rose Miller Rose Miller

The Farrow competition began with heats over three evenings in late January, and culminated in a final of outstanding quality on the evening of the 3rd February in The Large. Tim Rogers was the guest adjudicator, and he needed every bit of his extensive experience as a West End musical theatre actor and opera singer to pick winners in each category, as the quality of everyone taking part was so high. In his feedback at the end, he was full of praise for the musicianship of winners and runners-up alike, reminding everyone how useful choral singing is for developing a good ear.

The choir were on hand to show how enjoyable the choral repertoire can be, with lively performances of Mais Que Nada and Homeless. Congratulations are deserved particularly by Emily Glassberg, for winning the Hellmore Cup, awarded for the most outstanding junior performance, and to Rose Miller, for winning the Farrow Cup, awarded for the best performance of the night. Finally, no account of the competition would be complete without mentioning the incredibly hard work put in by Kevin Kyle in organising and accompanying the heats and the final itself.

The winners were:

Junior Art Song:Molly Duncan
Junior Opera/Oratorio:Michael Evans
Junior Musical Theatre:Emily Glassberg
Junior Pop Song:Oliver Warren
Senior Art Song:Ekin Karasin
Senior Opera/Oratorio:Rose Miller
Senior Musical Theatre:Ben Glassberg
Senior Pop Song:Chad Vigano
Ensemble Song:Natalie Kosky and Chad Vigano
Audience Award:Ben Glassberg and Natalie Kosky
4th Form Singing Award:Sophie Loizou
Hellmore Trophy:Emily Glassberg
Farrow Cup:Rose Miller

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Millhillians’ Rugby Success

Tom Lindsay

Tom Lindsay OM (Priestley 2001-2006) has been offered a Senior Club Contract at London Wasps, following ten appearances for the 1st XV last season and captaining the side in the Guiness A League. Tom, who graduated from from the academy last year, was thrilled to be offered his contract, saying: “I’m over the moon. It’s something I’ve dreamt about since I joined Wasps at the age of 16.” Tom played in the backs on the wing for Mill Hill, but he’s now a front-row forward for Wasps where he has flourished, playing the last seven 1st XV games for them.

Tom already has international experience as part of the England Saxons team that went on to win the Churchill Cup in 2010. Tipped as a star of the future in a recent Observer article, Tom’s name is put forward for the next generation of the senior England team – and with the 2015 Rugby World Cup being held in England, he’s clearly one to watch!

We are also delighted to announce that Ben Calder (McClure Year 11) has been selected to attend the U16 England camp to be held at Abingdon over this coming half term. 72 young players have been selected for the camp, and from this the selectors will choose their players for the England U16 team, England A and England B squads.

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F1 – The Coming Together of Science and Sport

One of the more mouth-watering fixtures on the Lecture calendar this year was Peter Prodromou’s lecture on ‘F1 – the coming together of Science and Sport’, and Red Bull Racing’s Chief Aerodynamicist and first-time lecturer truly rose to the occasion.

Peter Prodromou delivering the lecture

Drawing in an impressive crowd, Peter had gone to great lengths to create a fantastic media accompaniment to his lecture and he treated the audience to some spectacular racing clips that ‘drove’ his points home, as well as giving them a virtual tour of the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes.

Most importantly of all though was the content of the lecture, and Peter managed to cater to the tastes of both seasoned F1 fans as well as budding engineers, which of course explained the large crowd, and the insight he gave into the exciting, glamorous world of F1 no doubt reinforced the desires of those sitting there, myself included, to one day work in the industry. A true role model, Peter reinforced the importance of not just university degrees but A-levels too, and he encouragingly promoted access routes into the industry by advertising Red Bull’s annual placements for students.

Presentation to Peter Prodromou

As Britain continues to be a centre of excellence for F1, with 8 of the 12 teams who raced last year based in the UK, Peter Prodromou’s inspiring words will no doubt have encouraged many of the pupils in the audience to follow his example and pursue a career in engineering.

Aiden Kelly (U6, Priestley)

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More Sporting Success

Mill Hill pupils have, once again, excelled in cross country events, with the following Millhillians being selected to represent Barnet in the Middlesex Championships on Tuesday 15th February:

Jack Perry-Williams
Joe Sherry
Alex Warnakulasuriya
Gareth Kong
Marcus Godfrey
Naomi Kendal
Daniella Zimmerman
Joe Whitby
Jonathan Ellis
William Rowe-Parr
Yiannis Fafalios
Ella Duthie
Sophia Humphreys

Marcus Godfrey, Joe Sherry and Jack Perry-Williams, Naomi Kendal

Adam Rossington Adam Rossington

Jack Perry-Williams was Barnet Champion (Y12 + 13) and Mill Hill School teams are the current Champions in several age groups: Y12 + 13 Boys, Y10 + 11 Girls, while our Y10 + 11 Boys are runners-up.

Our rising cricketing star, Adam Rossington, is currently representing England U19s in Sri Lanka. In his opening game, Adam scored 113 (176 balls, 3 sixes and 13 fours) in the first Test against Sri Lanka U19s… as well as keeping wicket. The match was eventually drawn. The ECB website quotes England Development Programme head coach Tim Boon describing Adam’s achievement as ‘key’ to the team’s result. Follow the team’s progress on the ECB website by clicking here.

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Lecture Series

Our next two events are both science-based, but from very different perspectives. On 19th January Peter Prodromou, Chief Aerodynamicist at Red Bull Technology will present a wide-ranging look at the world of Formula One racing. An accomplished authority in the field of aerodynamics, Prodromou worked for McLaren for well over a decade in which he introduced and developed Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). This promises to be a fascinating evening, as does our second Francis Crick Lecture on 2nd February when Professor Steven Humphries explains his work which aims to identify genes that contribute to the development of heart disease. The Director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Genetics at UCL, Professor Humphries can give us a unique insight into this pioneering research which could have massive implications for large numbers of people.

All lectures start at 6.30. Click here to book your tickets online, and for more information please call Karen Willetts on 020 8906 7865 or by email.

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Millhillians selected for National Rugby Squad

Mason Caton-Brown and Tom Rosenkranz

We are delighted to announce that after two selection days, both Mason Caton-Brown (Ridgeway, Year 13) and Tom Rosenkranz (McClure, Year 13) have been selected for the national Independent Schools Barbarians rugby squad. Places in the squad – motto “velociter audacter certandum – you must strive to play fearlessly and fast” – are hotly contested, so it is a great achievement for two of our boys to get through.

Mason and Tom’s first game will be on January 23rd against Irish Exiles in Lancashire, followed by fixtures on February 5th against Crawshays Welsh at Glamorgan Wanderers, and on April 2nd against 2010 National Club champions Cobham U18s. After the domestic fixtures, the Independent Schools Barbarians set off for their tour of Zimbabwe, which will be a fantastic opportunity for Tom and Mason. Congratulations to both boys – this is a wonderful achievement and we wish them every success.

On a separate note, Old Millhillian Tom Lindsay is currently starting games for London Wasps alongside many International players. He had a great game recently against Newcastle Falcons, doing Mill Hill very proud.

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Mill Hill’s hugely popular series of ‘Unplugged’ events continues on Thursday 20th January at 6.30pm in the Patrick Troughton Theatre. The line-up for this evening includes:

  • The Answer‘Written in the Stars’ by Tiny Tempah and Eric Turner
  • Callum Thomas‘Colours’ by Donovan
  • Rose Miller‘Remember’ by Rose Miller
  • Chad Viggano‘Do It Like A Dude’ by Jesse Jay
  • Mubin Shah‘The A Team’ by Ed Sheeran
  • Emily Maister‘I’m Kissing You’ by Desiree
  • Ekin Karasin‘Heartless’ by Kanye West
  • Jonny Ellis‘Haven’t Met You Yet’ by Michael Buble.
  • William Rowe-Parr‘Running Nowhere’ by William Rowe-Parr
  • Refuge from Insanity‘Reptilia’ by The Strokes
  • Plus a few guest appearances

Tickets can be reserved by contacting Karen Willetts on 020 8906 7865 or by email, or you can buy them on the door tonight. Tickets cost £5 each (cash or cheque only payable on the door), with proceeds going towards one of our chosen charities.


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Hot Topic: The Heated Issue of the White Poppy

Hot Topic

This week’s Hot Topic saw a departure from the normal format of the weekly lunch-time debates, with an issue debated by members of the Fourth Form with support of members of the Upper Sixth. The issue debated was whether or not the white poppies, produced by the Peace Pledge Union as a pacifist alternative to the traditional red poppy, should be allowed to be worn at the school on Remembrance Day in November. In contrast to the red poppy sold by the British Legion, the white poppy raises money for pacifist education projects, aimed at raising awareness of the social values and habits which make violence and war a more likely outcome.

Lindsey Fransmann and Sophie Iliffe

Starting off the debate and proposing the motion that they should be allowed to be worn, Lindsey Fransmann (McClure, Year 9), supported by Sophie Iliffe (Cedars, Year 12) argued that over the years the red poppy as a symbol had become inextricably linked with militarism and war, and as such is no longer simply a sign of remembrance. He argued that the focus now should move towards attempting to confront and deal with the root causes of conflict and war, whilst simultaneously honouring and remembering those who had given their lives in the past. He argued that through the wearing of the white poppy, awareness of war and its causes could be increased and therefore it could help reduce the likelihood of war occurring in the future.

 Isobel Whitby, Sophie Loizou and Alex Warna

The opposition, Isobel Whitby (McClure, Year 9) and Sophie Loizou (McClure, Year 9), supported by Alex Warna (Weymouth, Year 13), argued, however, that the white poppy itself was an insult to those who had lost their lives fighting for their country in the past and moved away from the essence of the idea of the red poppy which is to remember those who have died in war. They argued that to allow the white poppy to be worn in the school would lead to a reduction in the money raised to support war veterans and their families and more generally a hijacking of Remembrance Day and the act of remembrance itself. At the end of the debate a vote was taken, with the opposition winning by 17 votes to 9. The topic was ably debated throughout with both teams presenting their arguments lucidly, with cogency and excellent public speaking skills.

Jonathan Bertulis-Fernandes (Priestley 2010)

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