Headmaster’s Bulletin – Friday, September 23rd
Students in all year groups have made an exceptional start to the school year with a particularly impressive first three weeks for our new starters in Years 7 and 12. All students have an extremely high bar to aim for, following school record breaking GCSE and A level results in the summer for the outgoing Year 11 & 13 students. An outstanding 51% of all A Level results (702 total entries) were graded A* / A and at GCSE, 43% of all entries were awarded the highest grades of 7,8 or 9 against a national boys' average of 22% and an all-national students' average of 26%.
There are a huge number of impressive achievements by NSB students over the course of the summer to reflect on in this first Bulletin of the year:
Newly appointed Head Boy, Abdul Benhayoun in Year 13, was drafted into the play 'Heroes' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on the day before it opened. Despite the incredibly short notice, Abdul managed to be 'off book' almost immediately and feedback from the producer indicated that he captivated audiences 'making them laugh and cry in every show'. Abdul was instrumental in helping 'Heroes' to win one of the coveted 'Pick of the Fringe' awards for best shows and we thoroughly look forward to his performances on the NSB Stage this year!
Harry Bradley-Brophy Year 8 and Salvatore Rendina Year 10 have both fought off thousands of applicants from all over the world to make the final 100 of the International Sketch for Survival Art Competition, which is a global art initiative in aid of conservation, run by the charity Explorers Against Extinction. Congratulations also to Miss Clarke who penned a late entry for the adult competition and has also progressed to the final for her category! Their outstanding entries can be seen here:
At the very end of last Term, 25 students completed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Expedition. This is always an incredibly difficult aspect of the assessment criteria and it was made even tougher by falling in the middle of one of our many heatwaves of the summer. The students walked from Coniston to Eskdale via Langdale and Wasdale, enjoying some brilliant views on the way to help ease the tiredness! There was a particularly big celebration one evening for Ed Baker who received the NSB Sportsman of the Year Award via Zoom and all students who have completed the course will receive their much sought-after Gold Certificates from Buckingham Palace later this year. Many thanks also to the D of E staff team of Mrs O'Neill, Mr Beaumont, Mr Riches and Mrs Rutherford who annually give up their time to enable the students to have the opportunity to achieve at such a high level.
On the outdoor and adventurous theme, Oscar Rockingham Year 9 undertook a monumental challenge with his father over the summer, walking the entire River Severn Way (220 miles and the UK's longest river) in 11 consecutive days. Oscar demonstrated great positivity and resilience despite the immensely draining physical demands and can now add the Severn to his river tally after also circumnavigating around the entire River Thames when he was just 10!
It has been wonderful to see so many students enjoying a vast range of extra-curricular activities that have already started this term. In Expressive Arts the outgoing Year 13, ably supported by the new Upper 6, wowed a packed Cripps with a vibrant performance of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In sport, the rugby teams have started particularly strongly, with all 5 of the lower school age groups excelling in games against Denstone College, Ipswich School and Wellington College. The First XV have also enjoyed outstanding performances against Wellington and Ipswich School, with an excellent victory against the latter under the NSB lights last Friday. The game had an exciting finish and was live-streamed with commentary by NextGenXV Rugby - you can access a rerun here: https://nextgenxv.com/2022/09/19/schools-rugby-weekend-roundup-16th-17th-september-a-weekend-to-remember/
Well done also to the Year 10 football team who held their nerve in a penalty shoot out to make their way through to the next round of the U15 National Cup, to last year’s Year 7 and 10 cricket teams who won their County Cup finals which were carried over from last summer to the start of this term and to Cian Morrow in Year 8 who has recently been making great progress with the Republic of Ireland U13 football training squad. A full list of lunchtime and after school activities will be posted on the school website by Mrs Greenaway over the course of the next few weeks.
Earlier this week we welcomed just shy of 2000 Year 6 students / parents / carers into the Cripps Theatre for the four Year 6 into 7 NSB Information sessions which are followed by morning tours of the school next week. A special well done across the evenings to the newly appointed Head Boy - Abdul Benhayoun and Head Girl - Emily McKenzie who both delivered inspirational speeches as their first main responsibility in post. Abdul and Emily were selected after a rigorous interview process last week from a field of 20 exceptional Year 13 candidates. Well done also to Ameet Hari and Neeya Bhadresha who were selected as Deputy Head Boy and Deputy Head Girl, respectively.
Finally, a reminder to parents / carers to please adhere to parking regulations when picking students up from roads adjacent to NSB at the end of the school day. Concerns have been officially raised by local residents over parental parking directly in front of open driveways, on prohibited areas of the St Andrews Access Roads, across Billing Road cycle lanes and on the double yellow lines at the end of Ardington Road particularly.