Autumn Term 2021
Mr Gillespie, Headmaster
William and Mustafa, First Form
On Wednesday 3 November, William and Mustafa interviewed the
Headmaster, Mr Gillespie, in his office at the School
Our first question was: ‘What would
be your number one piece of advice for
thriving at St Albans School?’ Mr Gillespie
explained that we need to get stuck in and
make the most of all the opportunities that
are on offer and give everything a go. When
he was at Bedford Modern School, he sang
in the School choir. If this had not been
mandatory, he would never have taken part,
but found it a beneficial experience. Mr
Gillespie also played the French horn!
When we asked the Headmaster what cocurricular
activities he would have chosen
if he was in the Lower School, he explained
how much he would have enjoyed Fun Fit
Friday where you can participate in a wide
range of sports. He would have divided his
time between sport and music. Mr Gillespie
would have liked Computer Science, noting
that computers had only just been invented
when he was at school!
Surprisingly, Mr Gillespie thought about
joining the army. However, he followed in
his parents’ footsteps by taking up teaching.
He taught French and German, which were
also his favourite subjects. He was inspired
by teachers that had a passion for their
subject and an interest in him as a person.
Although, he slightly preferred French if he
had to make a choice. Mr Gillespie never
planned on being a headmaster but has no
regrets about his life choices. The army’s
loss is St Albans School’s gain.
In terms of figures in public life who Mr
Gillespie finds inspirational, it is those
who model the values he aspires to - the
Queen for her service to the nation, Nelson
Mandela for his tenacity and resilience and
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (who he once
had the privilege of meeting). He doesn’t
really support a football team, but one of
his sons supports Chelsea. So, Mr Gillespie
tends to keep up with Chelsea results to see
what mood his son might be in.
With masks being reintroduced, we asked
Mr Gillespie what positive impacts the
pandemic has had on the School. In his
view, we have come to appreciate even more
the importance of human relationships - the
little and many social interactions every
day which before COVID we took for
granted. His greatest motivation is leading
a happy school and making the most of
the opportunity to serve other people in
fulfilling that role. It’s about looking after
everyone in our school and follows our
motto, non nobis nati.
Welcome to the Autumn Term Lower
School Newsletter. I am so proud that
in spite of the changing nature of the
world outside, life has been as busy as
ever for all members of the Lower School
community. In the past 12 weeks, new
friendships have been forged, existing
friendships have been rekindled, Joseph
songs have been performed, the tale of
Arabian Nights has been remodelled for
younger minds, Lower School PSHEE
Assemblies have been delivered, the
Choir has sung with gusto, individual
form Assemblies have been presented,
School Council meetings have discussed
fresh ideas, the Green Council have
initiated Meat-free Mondays, Rugby
matches have been won and lost, Hockey
matches played, Debates have been
held, Classics myths acted, Warhammer
Games played, Lego built, the Orchard
has seen games of football, Manhunt,
deep conversations have been shared,
Chess matches have been sweated
over, individual successes have been
applauded, trumpets have been blown,
guitars have been strummed, drums
have been played and as the backdrop to
all these events there has been laughter,
smiles and adventure! I hope you enjoy
reading these accounts and special
thanks to the editing fairy Rijkje for her
flair and to Iris for her photos.
Mrs Victoria Ginsburg
Deputy Head of Lower School
LS NEWSLETTER AUTUMN TERM 2021
AUTUMN TERM 2021 LS NEWSLETTER
Interview with the
Head of School
Interview with the
Head of Catering
A Day in the Life of...
I had the pleasure of interviewing
the Head of School, Robert Heaney
and asked him some questions
about what it is like being the Head
Firstly, I asked him about what he
would change in the School; he
responded that he would not like
to change anything but rather to be
able to adapt back to pre-pandemic
social life of students with co-curricular activities and be able
to meet with other years by the time he leaves the School.
The second question I asked him was how he felt, and what
it was like being the Head of School in this first half term. He
responded that it was very stressful starting with all the events
he had to organise and attend but most importantly, about
adapting to the public speaking aspect of the role which shows
that speeches are only part of his role, and how he enjoys
having a more widespread role in the School.
The third question that was asked was what message he wished
to convey to the Lower School and the type of advice he
would give. He responded to this by saying that he hoped that
everyone was settling in, especially after the unpredictability of
last year and for the students to have fun and make memories
with their friends as their time at St Albans School will fly by
and soon, they will find themselves in their final year of school.
The fourth question I asked was if he thought he was a
good Head of School and how he felt that he was doing in
his role. He answered that he can't say whether he is a good
Head of School as it isn't his judgement. But he said that his
communication skills and leadership are his best asset to the
role and advises us to listen to the messages in his speeches.
The final question I asked was why he wanted to be the Head of
School and what drove him to apply. His final answer was that
his brother was the Head of School previously and he always
wanted to be like his brother because he admired him. He also
has a desire to make a good name for himself in the School
throughout his journey. Overall, his message was that his wish
has become his reality and it is possible for anyone to be the
Head of School if they want to be.
Neeam, Second Form
For pupils and teaching staff, we may not consider the work and
planning that goes into one day’s worth of food and feeding the
entire school. I was fortunate enough to be able to interview the
Head of Catering, Mr Agnelo Louis, to look at his background in
food and catering and to see how he and his team manage to feed
all of us every single day.
Firstly, I asked him how he got into the catering industry. He
replied, “I started my catering career unknowingly in 2005. I
took a part time job at Costa Coffee to support myself financially
as I studied. I enjoyed what I was doing and decided to pursue
it as a full-time career. Since then, I have worked for Café Nero,
YO! Sushi, JP Morgan, Cancer Research UK, The University of
Law, Computacenter, The University of Bedfordshire and now St
Then I asked him what he enjoyed about his job. He responded,
“Food! A big part of my job revolves around food. I am
constantly looking for new ideas and trying to implement current
food trends into our catering such as plant-based dishes, vegan
and other popular food trends. It’s a challenging but enjoyable
Next, I asked about the planning that goes into one day’s
worth of meals for all the pupils and teachers? He said, “We
write our menus months in advance, keeping in mind current
seasonal vegetables to incorporate into the menu. It takes a
week, sometimes a bit more, to order ingredients and have them
delivered to our kitchen. One day’s worth of meals takes about a
week, a week of planning and a day of preparing. We cook food
fresh on the day.”
I then asked him how the catering staff decide on the menu. He
said, “Our head chef, Gavin, produces the menu and I review it
and make tweaks if necessary. We work to a three-week menu
cycle, which changes every season. We also try to have themed
days at least once a week, like Bonfire night on 5 November.”
Finally, I asked him what gave him an interest in food. He replied,
"There are so many different cuisines and so many variations of
those cuisines available these days to try. St Albans street market
is a good example of this. There is so much to explore.”
I am grateful to have the answers to these questions and now
understand the amount of work that goes into one day’s worth of
food preparation at St Albans School.
Daniyal, Second Form
Bursting with a mixture of emotions, starting
First Form was big for me. New school, new
teachers, new friends and now I even had to
remember where to get off my coach. I knew
no one- it was all new!
It was exciting, but I had lots of worries.
Although, one thing I didn’t have to worry about was lockdowns,
bubbles or wearing masks in class. So, I did count us lucky!
Being a First Former can be challenging. My day starts much earlier,
making sure I don’t miss my coach. Walking around the School to
get to different lessons is completely new and it is very easy to get
lost. Everyone is kind and helps you find your way. It's a good idea
to leave enough time, as running never ends well!
It wasn’t too hard to make friends, we all got to know each other
quite quickly. As a First Former, everyone wants to try out all the
fun clubs. A lot of subjects we learn are new to us and they are fun.
The teachers are very helpful.
Getting a Teacher’s Commendation is very exciting and a goal
to work towards. If you get six TC’s you get a Headmaster’s
Commendation which is great. Homework is substantially more
than at primary school. It does feel a bit overwhelming some days
but ‘Learning to Learn’ helps us to be more efficient. Lots of tests
which make you strive and feel extremely proud when you ace it.
Finishing off my first half term with a HC was very satisfying.
Ethan, First Form
I arrive at the bus stop at 07:15am and get onto
the big, bright yellow coach, where I talk and
have fun with my friends on the way to school.
We arrive at 8:20am and I make my way to my
form room in the math block. The form tutor
arrives at 8:30am. We then have assembly or
Abbey until 9:15am. After this, our lessons start.
This year, we get to sit in new classrooms, learn
new different, exciting things and even meet new teachers.
At 11:00am we have break. This is a time to have snacks and have fun
with your friends, as well as cool off from the first two lessons. After
this we get back to lessons and then, at 12:10pm, we have lunch. We
exit the refectory at 12:40pm after an amazing lunch and continue
with our lessons. When 1:30pm comes around, we all go to the
Orchard and runabout, playing football, rugby or just chasing each
other in the leaves. This is half an hour of time to get fresh air and
Football Club, Tuesday I do Science Club at lunchtime then after
School, I enjoy Chamber Quartet and String Quartet, Wednesday is
Rugby Training, Thursday I go to Swimming Squad and finally on
Friday, I relax in the pool for some Fun Swimming. At 6pm, I finish
my club and make my way back to the unmistakable St Albans
School coaches. At 7pm, we arrive at my stop, and I head back
I arrive home at 7:30pm and have dinner. Then it is time for,
unfortunately, homework. Once I finish with my homework, I
shower and go to bed to charge up for the next day.
Nikolaj, Second Form
At first, I was afraid
But, how could I be brave?
I entered through the gate
Then they gave me a handshake
Still shivering, I walked forward
Thinking of the awkward
Meeting new people
Was I too feeble?
They toured me around
While I frowned
Why was I frowning, I did not know?
As my knowledge began to grow
When my mood changed
It began to rain
But I stayed hopeful
Because I did not want to be moanful
I met a few teachers
Spotting some interesting features
This put a smile on my face
As I began to race
Then I walked out of the School gate with pride In Modern Times
And from then I was a St Albans School pupil
There were tough times last year, with online
learning and getting used to wearing masks
everywhere but that’s just School and you have
do what you’ve been told. Also, the teachers
are fantastic so if you have a problem, go and
What does that old phrase say: ‘You reap what
you sow’. Meaning that whatever you put in
you will get something out of it. It will work. So have a brilliant
year in the First Form.
After a day full of lessons, I look forward to the club that
I have next. From such a wide selection to choose from,
it’s quite hard not to choose one for each day, whether it
be during lunch break or after school. On Monday I have
Rishabh, Second Form
LS NEWSLETTER AUTUMN TERM 2021
AUTUMN TERM 2021 LS NEWSLETTER
Interview with Dr Gray, Head of PSHEE
PSHEE is a very important subject that teaches us
the skills and attributes we need to manage our
lives. PSHEE is not simply a subject but something
we learn life lessons from. The subject takes a step
away from the academic side of school and teaches
us about health and safety, and generally prepares
us for the future. Here is my interview with Dr
Gray, the head of PSHEE:
Why did you decide to do PSHEE?
I've always been interested in PSHEE: I used to run lots of
youth groups, I saw the need for young people to understand
drugs, alcohol and relationships.
What is PSHEE about?
I think that PSHEE is about teaching students how to live
their life, not just for now, but in the future, preparing them
for future life. I think PSHEE should be incorporated more
into the School's curriculum.
Why do we learn PSHEE?
Well, I think it helps us build character, it helps us understand
the world around us and ourselves. It also helps us to make
Do you think PSHEE is the most important subject?
I don't think PSHEE is an academic subject, but it teaches us a
different set of skills that will help us in our future careers and
studies, so I think it is very important.
From this, I think that we can tell how important a subject
PSHEE is. It is something that we all can learn from and is
something that will undoubtedly help us in our lives.
The day started with us gathering in the Hall ready to learn
about some new study techniques. A very experienced
lady from a company called Positively You was in charge of
helping us with learning strategies. She introduced herself
and told us that she had been working for Positively You for
Second Form PSHEE Day
20 years. As we got settled, the presenter explained to us how
important it is to revise in the right way otherwise you will get
overwhelmed and that makes for pointless revision.
We were shown several techniques to help us remember
crucial information that can also be fun. We were shown
ways to revise by including the right and left side of the
brain. The right side responds to colour and is responsible for
daydreaming and more creative aspects, the left side responds
to words and helps us to read and write. As I said before, this
can make revision both thorough and exciting. These methods
can help you to remember facts and information for a long
time instead of just for a test.
After break, we learned a bit about goals and targets. The
speaker explained that you need to know what you are
working towards. We were told that it can be far in the future
such as a particular career you want to have or getting a
certain score on your next test. We were told that our goals
need to be specific and have a time limit.
Personally, I found this extremely helpful, and I think in the
future I will be able to incorporate these techniques into my
revision and will start making goal maps, so I have a clear idea
of what I want to achieve.
Daniyal, Second Form
Zaid, Second Form
First Form PSHEE Day
Alex, Second Form
PSHEE Day for First Formers started very early, a few days
after the students had settled at the School. Cheerfully, the
new Albanians thronged into the assembly room (having
no regular lessons) to begin one of the most fun filled and
informative of days. The students learned everything in fun
activities and sat down in the Hall to listen to presentations by
specific teachers. These presentations depicted what we would
be doing in our new life as Albanians and what would be
expected of us during our time at the School.
Furthermore, we got to participate in fun activities on PSHEE
Day, which helped us learn useful life skills. Ecstatically,
after break and lunch on that day, we poured into the Hall,
eager to absorb the wisdom, as well as anticipating the
exciting activities the teachers had prepared for us. Some
of the activities gave us the opportunity to cook our own
scrumptious dishes. In one of the activities, the students used
bottles and pans to make music. Everyone had the time of
their lives! For me, the most enjoyable part was being allowed
to make the loudest noises we could, on school property and
get away with it, whilst the teachers cheered us on! We had
a ball. Moreover, we also learned about crucial CPR which
could help us to save people in emergencies.
Gratefully, PSHEE Day has helped us fit into the School and
has taught us some core information, as well as skills that
could help us in the future. The day was an informative, fun
day where we made memories that we will remember for a
long time. Whoever thinks that learning isn’t fun, well they
haven’t been to St Albans School!
Matthew, First Form
The experience of Prizegiving, in the Abbey, was one which
has been a defining feature of this year. For this event, I was
very lucky to be given an opportunity to give a speech about
the importance of School values, which I took with both
hands because an opportunity such as this may not come
around again. Before this event, I hoped that my preparation
would be sufficient, because speeches are not always my
forte, especially without enough practice. Thinking about it
now, I can say that I am quite happy with how the delivery
of my speech turned out although, by the time I arrived at
Prizegiving, it was very nerve-racking for me, especially as
I waited during the Headmaster’s speech. Much of what I
thought during that time was about the audience’s reception
to my speech that I was about to give, but looking back now,
I think there was not much to worry about, as there was a
full range of students in all years who would go on to give
fantastic speeches after me. Giving the speech, however, was
something I shall not forget because it has helped to better
myself as a pupil – in progressing my public speaking and
giving me more to draw on during future performances. The
experience will continue to be a special one from my time
here, and though in time much of the audience will probably
remember little about me, the event will be something that I
will keep close to me as I continue my journey through the
LS NEWSLETTER AUTUMN TERM 2021
AUTUMN TERM 2021 LS NEWSLETTER
I enjoy Art Club as it has freedom but also guidance. I have
a passion for nature watching and photography, and Art
Club allows me to incorporate some of my pleasures into the
artwork I do. At Art Club there is a wide variety of media you
can work in, and this makes every session enjoyable. Recently
I have been on a holiday to RSBP Minsmere in Suffolk, which
has made me appreciate how Art can change your view of the
world and can bring you great pleasure. Whilst I was looking
for wildlife to photograph, I saw some incredible creatures
such as the very apparent red deer, the elusive reed dwelling
bittern and a pair of hobbies, who were doing aerial acrobats
Liam, First Form
Chess Club takes
place on a Monday
Monday session is for
the more experienced
players, whereas the
is for players who
want to learn and have fun. You can choose whether to play a
match, or you can ask someone for tips with your strategies.
On average, we are able to play two matches per session so
not only is it a place where you can socialise and meet other
people, it is also a great place to improve your chess abilities
whilst also having fun. Chess Club accepts anyone no matter
what their level of skill is. It has helped me develop strategies
Erind, Second Form
Fun Fit Friday
Fun Fit Friday takes place after school on a Friday. There are a
range of different sports for you to try out such as swimming,
badminton, table tennis and rock climbing. It is an amazing
opportunity to hang out with your friends and relax.
During Swimming, we play underwater games and have
swimming races. Underwater volleyball is particularly fun,
especially when you dive forward to hit the ball. We also
practise diving and perform gigantic jumps. Landing in the
water is very refreshing. It is extremely fun!
It is also a good way to compete with your friends in some
of the sports. Table Tennis is a good activity for this. Some of
the teachers stay late and participate in the sports with us. We
have a great time and it is an amazing and fun experience. I
choose to attend every week, so I never miss out.
Ethan, First Form
The Lower School Hub
The Lower School Hub is a place to relax and have fun away
from the busy school day. Everyone from the Lower School
is welcome to pop in and have fun. There are a variety of
board games that you can play such as Monopoly Deal and
The Hub takes place at lunch time on a Monday. You can pop
along to have a break from the noise and chat of your form
room and instead spend some time quietly playing a game or
designing some Jenga constructions. When you arrive, the
atmosphere is welcoming and unjudgmental. You can talk to
boys from other forms, and as a bonus you can also play your
own music as long as it’s not too loud.
I have personally found it a useful tool for making new
friends in the Lower School. I have made friends with a First
Former, as I remember how I felt when I was new and how I
appreciated other boys talking to me and helping me to settle
into a new environment. It is a great place to connect with
people who you wouldn’t connect with normally and just have
Neeam, Second Form
Every Tuesday at 1:30pm, students from the Lower School
who play a brass instrument can go to the Brass Ensemble. It
is run by Mr Bentley, and currently there are four members:
two trumpets, one cornet (me) and a euphonium. We
are keen for anyone who plays a brass instrument and is
interested in playing in an ensemble to join us. We meet up
in the Hall, so if you want to join, email Mr Bentley and then
We play a large variety of pieces, from slow and peaceful
pieces like the main theme from Titanic to happier pieces like
Super Trouper. They are all very fun to play and are not too
hard either. Everyone is very friendly, and it doesn’t matter if
you make mistakes. So come to Lower School Brass Ensemble,
every Tuesday at 1:30pm in the Hall.
Nicholas, Second Form
This club is brilliant because it is just so relaxed. Don’t get me
wrong, sometimes it is utterly chaotic, but a lot of the time
it’s just joking around and having a laugh. Yes, there’s the
parts you don’t want to do, like learning a script or getting
an accent right, but if you work hard enough, you really
do get rewarded. Last year, the First Form all watched our
performance from their form rooms, and it was strangely
satisfying to see that people were actually enjoying and
laughing at it when you had put all of that hard work into it.
When I was self-isolating, I felt as if I missed all my clubs,
but in particular this one, and I am grateful to carry on with
it now. This year Mr. Wass and Mrs. Drucker are running the
club and they are doing just as good of a job as any movie
director. You even get a day off school to rehearse and to
film, so it’s a win-win! You don’t really need to be any good at
Drama, because you will learn and become even better at it.
James, Second Form
Debating Society is a co-curricular club running from 1:15pm
to 1:50pm on a Tuesday in the BLR. This club is a great
opportunity to express your opinions and use many persuasive
skills that could be helpful in other subjects. It can also be a
great time to learn new facts that you never knew before.
Debating Society covers many topics which you might find
interesting. These include; "Who would make a better leader
a man or a woman? Should English be spoken nationally?
Should we deactivate our nuclear weapons or not?" If you are
not sure which side you should vote for, there is always the
choice to abstain. The Society is a great way to teach you how
to present and articulate your words and how to express your
opinions in persuasive ways.
Mustafa, First Form
Orchestra is not only a great activity but it includes the entire
School from First Form to Sixth Form. This means that there
are many different skill levels, which helps you to improve
your playing of an instrument. There are two groups in this
club, string group, (violin, cello and a lot of others) and brass
group (trumpets, saxophones, oboes and many others). On
top of that, there is a percussion group which accompany the
brass and strings sections! I am in the Second Form and play
the trumpet. I have found Orchestra great fun and an amazing
learning experience. So far, we have played quite a few pieces
together. The last half-term was quite hard, due to Covid,
however that didn’t stop us from having a great time! All the
older boys are very friendly and kind, helping with anything
you’re struggling with, and if you haven’t already, you can
find loads of people who play the same instrument as you.
We also play in concerts and events throughout the year, for
other people to come and watch. Overall, Orchestra is a very
exciting, fun learning experience for any instrument that you
Stanley, Second Form
I had no knowledge a hobby such as Warhammer existed.
My interest was piqued when Mr Wass exhibited some of the
figures used to replicate fantasy battle scenes. Immediately I
Warhammer is described as a popular miniature board war
game, often accompanied by an extensive book of rules
that is used during a battle. There are many versions of the
games with different rules, themes, and miniature figures,
all with their own unique play style. It’s based on creativity,
strategy, and a vivid imagination. Meticulous precision is
required when painting, moulding, cutting, and assembling
the miniature figures, then placing them in the designated
spots ready for battle to commence! It’s enjoyed by adults and
children alike. All over the world there are specialised groups
exclusively for Warhammer enthusiasts.
I really enjoy attending the club every Monday. Everyone has
their own figures and scenery to work on. Sometimes, we
work as a group, cutting out pieces and sanding them. I find
this procedure very therapeutic.
Once completed, the real game begins, and it’s time to play.
It can get very competitive with even the teachers joining in!
We once observed a very interesting match between Mr Wass
and Mr Phillips, the latter who became victor! We’ve even had
completed scenes displayed inside the D&T building for all to
Ismael, Second Form
AUTUMN TERM 2021
Football is one of the co-curricular sports that you can play
after school and most people chose football in my year, so I
assumed that it was quite a popular sport. Football is played
on one of the many big football pitches at Woollams. I find
football a very fun and enjoyable sport and it is an exciting
co-curricular activity to try after school with friends. We
play matches every week and we also do some drills, which
everyone finds fun. The teachers for football after school are
very motivated and dedicated to make football entertaining
for everyone who plays. Although this year we sadly could not
play the last two weeks of football, I enjoyed every moment of
it with my friends.
Hockey is a co-curricular club and also a games option. At
the start of every Hockey session, we do stretches and warmup
drills. I have found it quite fun because the teachers are
Pre-season rugby training gave many of the First Form an
opportunity to visit the School site for the first time since the
entrance exam. Every Tuesday and Wednesday morning, we
were able to meet new people and learn how to play Rugby.
The first three weeks were at school, and the final week was at
Woollams. The pitches were amazing!
Within our year group, before we touched a Rugby ball, we
played some classic games to help with our speed and fitness.
These included Ultimate Tag, Stuck in the Mud, Rugby,
Netball and Bulldog. However, without a doubt the Pancake
The swim team has performed phenomenally for the School
this half-term. Although we didn’t qualify for the relay
competition, all the swimmers in the team have showed great
signs of improvement. I think that with a bit more training
and preparation, we could become an extremely promising
group. This year so far, every swimmer has given it their all
and everyone is proud of their performance. I hope that in
the coming few galas, we will improve our placing. Thanks to
our coach, Mr Odgers, we have been able to train efficiently
and effectively so that when it comes to competition time, we
perform outstandingly. I think that if I were to pick the most
impressive swimmer this half-term, I couldn’t because they
Football and Hockey
friendly, and they help us when we struggle. The teachers
give clear demonstrations, and they also explain clearly what
we are going to do. We are very lucky to have Sixth Formers
helping us and by watching them play, we have learnt a lot
of new strategies and skills. They have also taught us tactics
and very useful information to use in real life matches against
other schools. Hockey is played at Woollams. There is a cage
that includes a big pitch with six goals for Hockey on an Astro
Turf pitch; the pitches are very smooth and easily accessible
when dribbling around the hockey field.
I have really enjoyed representing the School in both these
sports and I would recommend them to new boys starting St
Albans School, as a way to make new friends, learn new skills
and feel part of the School community.
Ivan, Second Form
game was the best. Pre-Season Rugby Training was brilliant
as an introduction to playing Rugby, and meeting my new
teammates and school friends, which meant I was comfortable
on the first day of school.
William, First Form
I love Rugby because unlike just about every other team sport,
Rugby is about all players having the same opportunity to run
with the ball, pass the ball, and play defence. It's very difficult
to dominate even a game with only one really good player.
This year I wanted to achieve the A-team in Rugby. I am very
enthusiastic about the sport, so when I heard that pre-season
Rugby was on, I took the opportunity to participate. I found
that pre-season was not only balanced training for each stage,
but also a catch-up and the opportunity to see your friends
before the start of the new school year. It also provided the
opportunity to play some friendly fixtures and increased my
familiarity with Rugby and contact.
So far, I have played three matches with the A-team against
Stamford, Bedford Modern and Robert Clack School, and it
has made me love Rugby even more.
Jasper, Second Form
have all performed equally well. I am sure that every single
swimmer on the team has been happy with their performance
so far and will strive to be better in the coming school year.
Although we did not place very high in our first gala, we will
be prepared for the next. With more time and experience, our
team can become a contender in the swimming league.
Samuel, Second Form
Only people who haven’t tried the wonderful language of
Latin can ever say this isn't great to learn, fun to write in and
intellectually astounding. I myself have tried this ancient language
and recognized so many different etymologies, or word origins.
The joy of finding out the English word ‘venue’ comes from ‘veno’,
meaning ‘I walk’ is immense – it is incredible to finally know
where words come from. An ambulance might amble up the
street, or you might claim the clamorous people were exclaiming
things. You might say learning a dead language is ridiculous, but
that’s Latin for ‘laugh’. Even people who don’t like Latin can’t help
The grammar rules are simple to remember, and people who
know French, Spanish or Italian will find this an excellent way
to practice their skills and Latin is known, thanks to a US study,
known to increase your grade in Maths, English, Science, etc.
Over 60% of words in the English dictionary come from an
Ancient Greek or Latin word - usually Latin.
"I hope that even if you remember not a single word of mine, you
remember those of Seneca, another of those old Romans I met
AUTUMN TERM 2021
Latin Lessons at St Albans School
On Thursday 14 October, the First Form performed Joseph and
the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The First Form performed
on their own as the Second Form were affected by multiple
positive Covid Tests.
The performance itself went amazingly and everybody involved
had a great time. It was fantastic that the performance went
ahead, as many in the last few years have not due to the
The practice and effort that everyone put into this was
astonishing and definitely something that everyone will
continue to put into future performances.
We did not have long to practice, which meant that it would
be really hard for most people to remember all of the words.
However, there was a solution around this, practise! This is
something that everybody did a lot of and definitely just before
when I fled down the Classics corridor, in retreat from career
ladders, in search of ancient wisdom," quoted JK Rowling after
receiving her honorary degree.
As you can see, there is no reason not to love Latin. The teachers
are great, and the language is engrossing - from Latin grossus
meaning large in Latin. We get grocer - someone who sells large
amounts of things - and French gros, meaning large from it. The
word is related to grease.
I end with some Latin
words: ico 'vale' ad omnes
homines qui in futuro
erunt. spero te bene esse.
In other words, bye!
Parth, First Form
First Form Performance of
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
the performance as we went through the whole thing a few
Just before the actual performance we were treated with
sausages and chips and then a film of some of the actors from
various different Joseph performances, singing what we were
about to sing. After this, everyone was really excited and ready
to do their best.
When we went in and took our positions, we didn’t realise how
many people were watching us until we heard how loud it was
at the end when they clapped.
It was an amazing experience that would have never happened
if it wasn’t for all of the adults involved who organised it.
Daniel, First Form
AUTUMN TERM 2021
I attend a boxing league for
teenagers from the ages of 11
(of a certain height and body
weight) to 15. We compete in
different matches against other
participants. The matches are
four rounds long with each
round consisting of about two
and a half minutes; however
sometimes the rounds can
be even longer than this. The
training is brutal and gets very
tiring however if you are able to persevere with it can help
you to keep fit which will help you to win the matches.
I train with my personal trainer at a gym near where I live.
We do not only do boxing, but we also do cardio work which
helps mid-match because it improves the circulation in the
body. At the end of each round, both participants go to their
designated corners for about a minute where their trainer will
give them tips and encouragement for the next round. Then
we drink some water and wait for the bell that rings to starts
the next round.
Christos, Second Form
On the 13th of November 2021, I took my blackbelt grading.
It was a three-hour examination on my own, in front of 9 of
the highest senseis in the association, ESKA. ESKA stands
for the English Shotokan Karate Association. Shotokan is
the style of karate that we practise. I had to demonstrate the
basics, which are the fundamentals of karate, kumite, and
sparring, which is a set of controlled fights
and 3 katas, which are a pattern of moves,
purely for demonstration that show control,
timing, and speed. I also had to pass an
exam for which I learnt karate terminology,
in Japanese, and also explanations of
techniques. I then had to talk about my
achievements and my trophies. Thankfully,
I passed so all my hours of teaching,
practising and learning were worth it.
Oliver, Second Form
My Bar Mitzvah
To a Jewish person a Bar
Mitzvah is a huge milestone
that marks the end of
childhood in the religion
and gives the person
independence on their path
of faith. This also means
that after your Bar Mitzvah
you have to fast on certain
Jewish holy days. It is meant
to be a great honour and is
one of the most important
events in a Jewish person’s
life. When I was studying for
my Bar Mitzvah, I had to learn how to read Hebrew so that I
could lead a service in this language and sing my piece from
the Torah (the Jewish holy book). It took a lot of practice as I
had to attend a zoom lesson every Monday and Thursday for
the entirety of year seven and practise for thirty minutes on
most days during the School holidays. As it got closer to the
event, though I was invited into the synagogue on Thursdays
to perform on the bimah (a raised platform) what I had been
practising, it was a bit scary but something I knew I had to do
to get the necessary skills to do it on the big day. When the
day finally came, I did my piece almost perfectly in front of
my grandparents, their friends, a few of my uncles, aunties,
a friend, as well as a few members of the congregation.
Afterwards I was able to relax and have a nice lunch with my
family to mark the beginning of my Jewish adulthood.
Sam, Second Form
St Albans School
Abbey Gateway, St Albans, AL3 4HB