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Habs Rugby team move through to U15 RFU Bowl quarter finals

Congratulations to the U15 Rugby team who have reached the quarter final of the U15 RFU Bowl competition with a win over Richard Hale, Hertford! 

Two fantastic tries from Ore (9J1) and Victor (10H1) along with some brilliant defensive work from the team led their success. Their ambition and desire to win drove the team to continue with their training over the festive break by meeting up at their local park. 

Mr Metcalfe said: "The squad was superbly led by Alex (10M2) and his vice captains Lucas (10J1) and Lorcan (10C2). It's full of enthusiasm, desire and commitment; these three students have managed to create an environment within each player feels valued and respected. An indomitable team spirit was in evidence throughout a wonderfully committed team performance."

Well done, U15 Boys Rugby team! 

 

Year 8 student competes in The Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships

Congratulations to Sam (8S) who played in The Junior Orange Bowl in the US before the end of term. 

Sam played in warm up tournaments before the main event to become acclimatised where he lost to the Canadian number 16 before going on to beat the Canadian number 17 and number 14 in consolation matches. 

The main draw for the Orange Bowl started Wednesday 15 December and Sam went on to win his first match before facing his next opponent who was ranked 8th in America. Despite the loss in that match, Sam went on to win his two consolation matches against the US number 107 and the Canadian number 1. His next game saw Sam up against a player ranked 10th in America and, after a well-fought match, Sam lost 6-2 and 6-4.

Sam's results placed him 32-48th out of 128 players at the tournament! This is a fantastic result on such a big and prestigious stage in the junior division.

Well done, Sam!

 

 

Sixth Former accepted into the University of Chicago

Congratulations to Benjy (U6J1) who was accepted into the University of Chicago, ranked number 6 in the US! Early Action acceptance rate this year was around 3% and we are delighted to hear that Benjy has been selected.

Well done, Benjy!

 

Year 11 student performs in Guy Barker's Big Band Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall

Congratulations to William (11R1) who recently performed with the Guy Barker Big Band in the Royal Albert Hall! 

Director of Co-Curricular, Mr Andrew Simm, said: "His performance was simply breathtaking."

Two years ago, William wrote directly to Guy Barker to tell him how much he had enjoyed the concert he had just seen and that, one day, he wished he might get the opportunity to perform with his world class Big Band (featuring some of the world’s very best players). William also attached a clip of him playing with Habs Big Band and Guy was instantly impressed offering him the chance to play in the 2020 concert. Covid, however, intervened and he was not able to play. However, Guy stuck to his word and kept the slot open for him to perform in the 2021 concert.

It was a stunning concert but the highlight of the evening was Will’s duet which saw the crowd take to their feet in appreciation – a once in a lifetime experience.

Click here to watch Will's performance.

Now on sale: the Habs Charity Calendar 2022

We are delighted to announce that the Habs Charity Calendar 2022 is now on sale for £10

All profit will be donated to our school charities - Third Hope and Green Pastures - who provide education and rehabilitation programs for child soldiers in Uganda. 

The calendar features:

  • 13 single sided pages (24 x 10.5 cm) running from January 2022 to December 2022
  • The winner of the Habs monthly photo competition, entries ranging from Year 8 to Upper Sixth
  • An environmental theme designed by the School Council and Charity Committee
  • A monthly fact about how climate change is effecting our world

Click here to buy now!

 

 

 

Habs performs River, by Joni Mitchell

This video is a special collaboration between the Boys' and Girls' schools, with a mixed cast, orchestra and band. The song, written and recorded by Joni Mitchell for her 1971 album Blue, has been beautifully arranged especially for us by our musician-in-residence Matthew Herd and recorded in stages over the second half of this term.

Once the song was complete, we made a short film to accompany it, devised and directed by Rich Weinman, and shot by a professional camera crew. Captured all in one evening, using only the music school and Aldenham House, it aims to explore how small acts of kindness can bring people together, especially at Christmas time.

There are too many musicians and actors to mention every one, special thanks to Amy Delaney for singing the song so wonderfully and all other students and staff who have given their time for this project.

 

SCS Recycling Group Plans for a Greener 2022

This term, the School Community Service (SCS) recycling group have been busy planning and setting up plastics recycling for 2022.

The Year 11 students recycle the school's paper on Friday afternoons then come back to the Design and Technology department to plan the reduction and responsible disposal of plastic in the school. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their long-term goal is to reduce the amount of plastic the school brings into the site by stopping the use of plastic milk bottles, single use plastics such as water bottles and pudding containers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The group will educate pupils to refuse single use plastic, reduce their consumption and recycle plastic correctly by presenting in a Lower School Assembly in January 2022. Hopefully, in the future, the 85 Habs bins will be replaced with modern recycling bins so that 100s of kilos of plastic waste doesn't end up in landfill. 

Until then, a shredder is being built, and in 2022, our micro-recycling centre will be up and running. The SCS recycling group will turn the school's waste plastic into useful products that can be sold to highlight how precious a resource plastic is! 

 

A Helping Hand from Habs and its Donors

Haberdashers’ Boys’ School and Haberdashers' Girls’ School will award £3.2 million in financial aid to students’ families this year.

Habs Boys and Habs Girls, have committed to awarding a record £3.2 million in financial aid, during the 2021‐22 academic year, to help students whose families could not otherwise afford to send them to the schools.

In all, the families of 161 senior school students across Habs Boys and Habs Girls will receive financial support this year. That is an average of 23 students in every class year.

A total of 84 students are on ‘full bursaries’, meaning their families pay no school fees at all – another record-setting number for the schools. Many of these students also receive support for coach transportation, school lunches, academic trips and music lessons.

The schools aim to award a similar amount during the 2022-23 school year, applications for which have just closed.

Habs said this was part of a long-term strategy to ensure that students are drawn from a wide range of economic, ethnic and social backgrounds, representing the broader society they will join when they leave the schools. The strategy also reflects a commitment to community and philanthropy the schools consider among their core values.  

“We want to attract bright and capable students who would thrive here even if their families have limited financial means,” said Simon Cartmell OBE, chair of the schools’ governing body. “That’s what Habs has always been about.”

The schools trace their origins to a generous legacy left in 1689 by Robert Aske, a former Master of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers. His will specified that the funds be used to build an alms house for destitute freemen of the company, and to provide ‘Meat drinke cloathing and Schooling’ for ‘twenty poore Boyes’.

This provision was very strict: If a boy had the good fortune to come into money, he had to leave the school to make way for another whose need was greater.

Nearly 350 years later, Habs has grown tremendously.  The school for 20 ‘poore Boyes’ is now a 1,400-student Boys’ School and a 1,200-student Girls’ School that share a semi-rural 100-acre campus in Elstree, Hertfordshire. They are widely considered among the best schools in the UK.

“Both schools have fantastic teachers, facilities and, of course, students,” said Rose Hardy, headmistress at Habs Girls. “But given our location, there’s a risk of becoming isolated from the communities that surround us.

“One way we aim to prevent that is by building partnerships with neighbouring schools and community organisations,” she added. “Another is by widening access to high-achieving local students whose families couldn’t afford a Habs education without financial assistance.”

When students apply for admission to the schools, their families can apply for means-tested bursaries at the same time. A family’s income, assets and financial obligations are all considered in determining whether they qualify for assistance, and how much. As a guide, though, families this year were eligible for a free place if their total household income was £40,000 or less. Families who earn £85,000 or more are not eligible for financial assistance.

“We know there are many local families who don’t consider Habs because they think they can’t afford it,” said Gus Lock, headmaster at Habs Boys. “We are trying to get the word out locally that if you’re a well-rounded student with a curious mind and a love of learning, Habs might be the place for you, and your family might be eligible for financial support.”

Habs said it aims to help even more families in coming years, and to increase the number of free places the schools can award to those who qualify for financial assistance. To achieve this, however, will require support from the wider Haberdashers community.

A charitable foundation initially established to support the Boys’ School has been expanded to support the Girls’ School as well, and it has been renamed the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Elstree Schools’ Foundation (or Habs Foundation, for short).

A single team has also been appointed to oversee fundraising and alumni relations across both schools. This is a new approach for Habs, whose schools have traditionally operated almost entirely independently of each other.

“The schools have been remarkably generous in helping families who have financial need,” said Bill Friar, the director of development at Habs. Friar was appointed this year to lead the new fundraising and alumni relations effort. “But we know there is still substantial unmet need.

“We have families who make great sacrifices to give their kids a Habs education, and the pandemic has made things even tougher,” he added. “We don’t want parents to have to work two or three jobs to keep their children in school.”

To increase the amount of financial assistance Habs can award, the schools increasingly look to their supporters, including alumni of the two schools (known as ‘Old Haberdashers’), current and former staff, and current and former Habs families with the means and inclination to help through philanthropic gifts.

The schools ran a telephone campaign this autumn during which recent school leavers called alumni and parents to ask if they would like to support one or both of the schools. Families were also given the option to donate their deposit when their child left Habs. This raised more than £91,000 from 175 Old Haberdashers and parents. Nearly all of them gave either for bursaries or for hardship funding to families in crisis.

“It’s been wonderful – but not surprising – to see the generosity of the wider Habs family,” said Roger Llewellyn, the director of the Habs Foundation. Llewellyn is himself an alumnus and donor.

“Our donors come from a wide range of backgrounds, but they tend to have one thing in common,” he added. “They say Habs was the making of them -- or their child -- and they want others to have the same experience.”

Additional support has come from the St Catherine Parents’ Guild, which is the parents’ association representing parents at Habs Girls. Every year the guild hosts a wide range of fundraising events and activities for parents and children at the school.

Traditionally, such organisations use these funds to make improvements to the school facilities or to purchase needed supplies. The guild intends to maintain this aspect to their fundraising but have also considered how they could make a wider impact.

The guild committee voted unanimously this year to award 75% of the funds it raises from now on to the bursary fund. This was endorsed by the parent body.  Even though COVID has severely limited the events the guild can hold, it has already given £31,000 to the fund.

The change in direction was led by Rubia Parvez Noordin, the chair of St Catherine Parents’ Guild. 

“We are a diverse and inclusive community at Habs,” she pointed out, “and we want to support the school’s strategy for becoming even more so.”

Noordin is a Habs parent twice over: one daughter is still at Habs and the other is now studying medicine at University College London.

“We know that a Habs education has the potential to transform lives,” she said, “so if the parents’ guild can help to make that happen for even one child, we will have achieved something truly worthwhile.”

If you would like to support a means-tested bursary for a Habs student, you can make a tax-efficient gift online or by contacting the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Elstree Schools’ Foundation at foundation@habselstree.org.uk . You may choose to support the Boys’ School, the Girls’ School or both schools through the foundation.

Christmas Carol Service 2021

After a year absent due to Covid, on Monday 6 December, the school made a return to St Albans Cathedral for the annual carol service; one of the most important events in the school calendar.

The building buzzed with anticipation as the choir lined up for the traditional opening solo of Once in Royal. This was the first opportunity the school choir had to sing in public since the Carol Service in 2019 and they did brilliantly. From the 7th century Advent canticle Creator of the Stars to the modern Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day (Gardner) the choir navigated all expertly and professionally performing almost 50 minutes of music interspersed with traditional readings and prayers. The customary brass ensemble sounded wonderful and the congregation sang enthusiastically throughout.

A wonderful start to the holiday season as ever.

 

Mooting Club welcomes first guest speaker, Old Haberdasher Daniel Barnett

This term a group of Boys' School students in the Lower Sixth with an interest in Law have launched the Habs Mooting Club.

On Tuesday 7 December in the afternoon in the Old Refectory, the Mooting Club hosted its first guest speaker, Daniel Barnett (OH 1988 and a current parent) an Employment Lawyer who also presents the Legal Hour on LBC. To a large audience of students from the Boys' and Girls' schools, Mr Barnett spoke about his work as a barrister and how to present a case in court.

Mr Barnett explained that barristers are specialist advocates who represent people in legal matters. He talked about the differences between the work of solicitors and barristers, as well as some of the routes in a legal career for those who are interested.

He explained the difference between civil, criminal and family law and how Bar Schools have evolved in recent years. He discussed the various stage posts of a barrister's career including pupillage and tenancy. He told students that the bar is a very competitive area of work with no guarantee of employment or success.

Most barristers need to market themselves to get work. But he strongly encouraged those interested to embark on legal careers, saying there was always help to be find and that it is a very rewarding and fulfilling career for those individuals who like arguing and being challenged.

We are extremely grateful to Mr Barnett for giving so generous of his time to speak with authority and enthusiasm to our students and answering all their questions politely and with expertise. We look forward to hosting more Old Haberdashers and current parents for future speaker events.

 

Inter House Art December 2021

Before the end of term, students participated in the Inter House Art competition.

They were tasked with creating an abstract A2 acrylic painting in response to live music, composed and performed by Habs pupils, in the Seldon Hall. They had 30 minutes to generate these outcomes, painting in front of a live audience. They all took on the challenge beautifully!

First place Second place

 

 

 

 

New Middle School assembly prefects

Our newly appointed Middle School assembly prefects, Aryan (11C2), Suren (11H1), Zain (11J2), Cameron (11M2), Aryan (11R2) and Dhilan (11S1), delivered an outstanding section assembly on the growing concerns around Climate Change. Evaluating the successes and failures of COP26, nations’ commitments to reversing deforestation and methane and the role that we have to play today, our prefects set out their vision for change.

 

Prep pupils hold charity day for Auditory Verbal UK

At the Prep School, our Andrews House held a charity event for Auditory Verbal UK (AVUK). This included an assembly by Orson (3BG) who spoke about his hearing loss and what help he had from AVUK when he was younger. The Prep also invited Year 11 Girls' School student Lauren to speak to pupils about her own experiences.

All the Prep pupils wore bright coloured clothes for 'Loud Shirt Day' and the school also held a cake sale. 

Mrs Bruce-Green said: "We are very proud of all those who spoke confidently about their personal experiences and gave information to the school about how their peers could help them." 

The Prep School raised £614.44 for the charity, well done to all involved!

 

The Cricketer Schools Guide 2022

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 2022. 

Huw Turbervill, Editor at The Cricketer: “It has been incredibly heartening to see schools cricket making such a comeback after a very different 2020. Of course, not all schools’ programmes have been the same due to varying restrictions, facilities, and many other understandable reasons but what has been consistent across the spectrum is that the dedication to the game in schools has, not only remained unaffected, but increased. 

As a parent myself, I would like to place on record my thanks to all the teachers, coaches and volunteers who have worked so hard, in the most difficult of circumstances, to ensure the next generation are given opportunities to grow within, and love the game, that we cherish so deeply. Congratulations to all the schools included and we look forward to hearing about all your future successes.” 

There have been so many positives to take here at Habs as sport returns to some relative normalcy. The school is continuing to support all levels of play and all teams from A to E, 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. 

Mr Lock, Headmaster, commented: “I am delighted that The Cricketer Magazine has again placed Habs in the Top 100 Cricketing Schools. We pride ourselves on excellence not only inside the classroom but beyond it as well. It is encouraging to see the continuing development, and success, of cricket at the school. Congratulations to our pupils, teachers and coaches for making this year another outstanding one at Habs.” 

 

Winter Spotlight Concert 2021

Our Winter Spotlight Concert was held on Tuesday 30 November and it was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the depth of young musical talent we have at the school.

The audience was treated to an incredibly broad programme, ranging Dvorak to the Incredibles, with some festive treats snuck in as well. We heard from Philomusica, Wind Sinfonia, Jazz Orchestra, FT Band, Studio Strings, Soul Band, as well as the Trumpet and Flute Ensembles.

Watching these young musicians perform it is clear that the future is very bright in Habs music, it was wonderful to see the students so energised about their music making.

The Spotlight Concert Series features our younger musicians and will continue next term on the 15 March 2022.