The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School and Haberdashers’ Aske’s Girls’ School were delighted to welcome, via Zoom, English television personality, broadcaster, journalist and Old Haberdasher Vanessa Feltz.
Vanessa provided her talk through a ‘Question and Answer’ format, which was warm, open and erudite. Pupils and staff who logged in via Zoom had the opportunity to hear about her career in journalism, time on Strictly Come Dancing and the root of her love for words, which she attributed to her father.
There was also a shout-out by Vanessa to all the students who were, at that moment in time, self-isolating at home.
The Schools were both also warmed to hear that, in response to a question put forward by Rehaan in Year 7: “Are you still in contact with anyone from your time at Habs?” Vanessa gave a categorical: “Absolutely!”
Thank you to Vanessa Feltz for attending and providing such an interesting and engaging talk.
Habs is excited to announce that the School has, once again, been selected as one of the Top 100 Cricketing Schools listed in The Cricketer Schools Guide 2021.
Mr Simon Hughes, Editor at The Cricketer: "This year’s Schools Guide is particularly important in showcasing our schools who have kept the game alive through a very challenging summer. Whether it has been remote video sessions, drills in the garden or even Zoom quizzes, schools cricket has emerged resolutely from this pandemic and the appetite to get back out on the playing fields is palpable.
"There should be deserved praise for all the teachers, coaches and volunteers who have put in so much hard work, in the most difficult of circumstances, to preserve a love of the game among the next generation. Congratulations to all of the schools included and we look forward to hearing about all of your future successes."
Despite this being a particularly challenging year for school sport, especially cricket, there have been many positives to take here at Habs. There is still a growing desire to play cricket and since the return to school, cricket training has been very well attended and successful. The School is putting in place more fixtures at C, D and E team level, as well as increasing the level of rigour for our more elite players. It is encouraging that we have more players than ever representing Middlesex, Berkshire and Hertfordshire at county, regional, borough and district level. Including three students currently on the Middlesex Academy.
Mr Lock, Headmaster, commented: "I am delighted that The Cricketer Magazine has again placed Habs in the Top 100 Schools. We pride ourselves on excellence not only inside the classroom but beyond it as well. Despite the restrictions brought on by the pandemic, it is encouraging to see the continuing development, and success, of cricket at the School. Congratulations to our pupils, teachers and coaches for adapting to make this year another outstanding one at Habs."
Year 10 pupil Faraz received 'Highly Commended' recognition for his entry into the 2020 Royal Geographical Society Young Geographer of the Year competition. He was one of three who received this acknowledgement in the Key Stage 4 category.
The competition theme was set during the summer and invited students learning from home to explore the World Beyond My Window. Faraz chose to focus his work on his local area, extending the ideas he explored as part of some Changing Places fieldwork in 2018. He completed two short enquiries, collecting primary data on environmental quality and the 'clone town' characteristics of the high street.
The Lower Sixth A Level artists have had a sensational couple of weeks with the launch of their pop-up Live Studio! The small studio was positioned centrally in the Bourne Foyer (ensuring that a two meters plus distance from other students could be kept at all times) and consisted of a quad of large boards with each student taking ownership of one. In each of their lessons the boys worked in the Foyer, leaving their work displayed from week to week. They have developed numerous pieces in a range of media, scales and styles including expressive greyscale paintings, refined conte drawings and ambitious self-portraits, scaled at around 10 times larger than life size!
Klennen (L6H1) commented, “In my large scale self-portrait, I have aimed to depict my own presence: the colour palette, pose, viewpoint and mark making I have used are designed to reflect hidden aspects of my personality which effect my presence. Painting in public was new to me and I have enjoyed the opportunity; it has taken me out of my comfort zone in a positive way.”
Felix (L6M2) said, “It’s cool! It is nice to talk to other people about my artwork. Other teachers and pupils who have seen it are keen to discuss my ideas which I really enjoy. This has been a great opportunity to get people involved in art and I look forward to doing it again later in the year. It has been wonderful to overhear the Year 7s in the background (over two meters away) getting excited about art. When they say that they wish they could do that, about our pieces, I take pride in encouraging them and opening their eyes to their potential.”
Having begun their A Level with a mastery course in drawing, painting and contextual studies, these practical lessons focussed on observational drawing and the development of personal ideas which, inform the start of the students’ personal investigations. They have certainly impressed everyone with their expertise in tackling fast paced challenges and high level of skill however, perhaps the most important outcome is that they have demonstrated resilience in sharing the ups and downs of their process and confidence in tackling mistakes and allowing these to inform creative leaps.
Bailey (L6S1) added, “This experience has boosted my self-esteem and I think it’s really good practice for the future when as a practising artist/designer I would need to present my work to a wider audience.”
On Tuesday 10 November 2020, we were fortunate to have Mr Andrew Quinn, a Global Digital Advisor for the multi-national technological corporation Microsoft, give us a talk on 'Digital experiments to tackle curious challenges'. Mr. Quinn’s talk certainly developed my curiosity in the intriguing field of Computer Science, through the fundamental idea of ubiquitous computing.
Whether desired or not, technology is no longer a want, but a need.
As we look around ourselves, we can unquestionably appreciate the paramount importance of intelligence-led computing in all that we encounter – most of which has enhanced human advancement. There are a plethora of examples, some of which we can simply see in our routine life – be it the AI-powered predictions on our favourite social networking sites, or smart email categorisation or even fraud protection in online credit card transactions.
All of these transformative technologies have been democratised, and accessible to all, hopefully resulting in a world where everyone is connected, and is empowered to use these technological services, whether or not they are part of the technological industry. Mr. Quinn accentuated the idea that people are indispensable to growth of technology because of the fact that without the customer obsession for progressing ideas, it would be increasingly demanding for corporations such as Microsoft to evolve their ideas. Similarly, there are various examples which may not be familiar to all – yet are essential for humans to progress: from Industrial Robots to Solar energy technology to DNA sequencing!
Personally, Mr. Quinn’s explanation of Microsoft’s response to recent technological trends, was very fascinating, because I gained an insight into how Microsoft has made philanthropy a corporate mission. Microsoft has a growing interest in the Earth’s ecosystem where it hopes to invest in the long-term viability of ecosystems in the communities where humans operate. For instance, Microsoft’s Project Premonition aims to use scalable monitoring of the environment, using robotics and genomics, to detect potential pathogens early – before they cause large disease outbreaks.
Microsoft has developed robotic smart traps which have sensors that monitor the environment for important species of insects, such as mosquitoes, because they transmit pathogens to other insects, and they collect blood samples from other animals. Concurrently, Microsoft’s cloud-scale genomic analyses have been detecting several different species of viruses in our environment in order to recognise transmission patterns that have not been encountered before. Likewise, Microsoft’s AI empowered iNaturalist platform is one of the world’s most popular apps which helps identify all the plants and animals around you.
iNaturalist engages a community of over a million scientists and naturalists to collect data that increasingly advances our understanding of wildlife species, their unique behaviour and locations, and protecting them by analysing the risks posed for their futures. This initiative helps generate research data for many scientists who work together to make strides in protecting our planet.
On behalf of all the students who attended the online Teams Session, I would like to thank Mr. Quinn for his thought-provoking talk, which definitely captivated my attention and has made me intrigued into the boundless fields where technology can impact.
Having received a message from Sir David Attenborough on the School’s environmental Art crane project, part of The Big Draw and themed A Climate of Change, Habs has now received a letter of support from 𝐇𝐑𝐇 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐖𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐬!
Habs is delighted to announce that Dr Saqib Qureshi (OH 1992) has been selected as a Silver Winner for the Non Fiction Book Awards!
Dr Saqib's book, titled The Broken Contract, calls for his fellow citizens to assert their voice in the dialogue of democracy. He puts forward solutions to fix the democratic system and suggests that it is up to the public to turn things around.
A Fellow of the London School of Economics and Political Science, Saqib has also written for the Financial Times, the Independent, the Spectator and the Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of Reconstructing Strategy: Dancing with the God of Objectivity.
The History Society was delighted on Tuesday 17 November to welcome Professor Jeremy Black (OH) who spoke about George III, King of Great Britain and King of Ireland (1760-1820).
Professor Black has written two books about the Hanoverian Monarch, America's Last King published in 2006 and the recently published George III: Majesty and Madness. The event was held virtually with Lower Sixth students listening in from the Bourne Meeting Room and Upper Sixth historians watching from History Library.
We are delighted that former colleagues, old boys and friends of the School were able to participate in the event. We are extremely grateful to Professor Black for improving our students' understanding of the past and of History as an intellectual pursuit.
The boys in Year 6 went back in time on Thursday 19 November as they re-lived what life was like for a soldier in the trenches during World War One through the medium of Virtual Reality.
Richie, was the knowledgeable and engaging tour guide for the students, dressed in military uniform. He led a series of fascinating workshops covering trench routine and daily life, going ‘over the top,’ describing what soldiers would have done for a gas attack and finally an explanation of the medical treatment in the trenches.
The students were also shown a variety of historical artefacts including a ‘Brodie’ helmet, soldier’s pack, gas mask, rifle, a ‘Five Nine,’ shell casing and shrapnel. The boys were buzzing with enthusiasm and the workshop slotted in perfectly with their analysis of World War One poetry, providing them with a deeper and richer level of understanding.
The School would like to thank Riche, Nick and the Time Travel Education team!
On Wednesday 18 November, a group of students from across the Boys' and Girls' School took part in the first online workshop with writer Paula B Stanic, as part of the National Theatre's New Views.
New Views is the National Theatre’s playwriting programme for 14 to 19-year-olds. Every year, students from across the UK learn about playwriting from some of the finest writers in the industry and develop their own 30-minute scripts. One play will then be selected to be produced by the NT with a professional cast and crew, alongside rehearsed readings of the shortlisted plays.
Over the next six months, our students will take part in workshops with professional writers and form part of a writing group across the two schools, giving them the opportunity to read new work, hear their writing performed, work with actors to improvise moments and offer each other support, provocation and feedback. They will submit several drafts to the National Theatre, as part of this process and receive continued mentorship by Paula B Stanic and Mr Weinman.
This is an exciting opportunity to not only develop their playwriting skills but also to challenge them to discover their authentic voices and create work about ideas and issues that are important to them.
The School would like to thank Paula B Stanic for providing some fantastic advice and so generously giving her time to answer questions during this workshop.
The Year 3 and 4 boys really enjoyed taking part in their rugby festivals this week. The boys in each year were split into 10 teams of five-a-side and all teams played each other. The teams worked hard to collect the most points as possible in order for them to finish as high up the league table as possible.
Teams were awarded a bonus point for three tries or more scored and the boys worked very hard to achieve this and there were some brilliant tries scored. The festival finished with a final round where 1st place played 2nd place, 3rd played 4th and so on.
It was fantastic to see the boys taking part, they were full of enthusiasm and loved the competitive element of the festival. They also took part in the desired spirit and we were delighted to award the following boys a values medal:
Habs was delighted to receive a note from Sir David Attenborough! He responded to our community art project, part of The Big Draw and themed ‘A Climate of Change’. It means a great deal to us to have our project acknowledged in this way. Thank you, Sir David!