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  • Nurturing Excellence
  • Headmaster: Gus Lock MA (Oxon)

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Habs compete in the International Competition for Young Debaters

On the 20 March, four Habs teams competed virtually in the International Competition for Young Debaters (ICYD) hosted by the Cambridge Union. This competition was only open to those in Year 10 and below, and was one of many qualifiers held throughout the country for the finals of the competition which will be held in the summer. This meant the top 14 teams from the 60 teams participating would qualify.

On the day, a variety of topical subjects were debated. These ranged from motions discussing the responsibility of football clubs for their fans actions to the old question of whether juries are necessary in Western democracies. This led to many interesting arguments being heard from principles of democracy to promoting diversity and equality in representation within our legal system.

After four hotly contested debates and an extremely long day the results were in. The teams William (9S2) and Kalum (9C1), as well as Jack (10H2) and Yonal (10M2) unfortunately missed out on the qualification spots by just one point which was extremely impressive especially given it was Kalum’s and Yonal’s first ever debating competition. Toby (10R2) and Samadi (10J1) were also agonisingly close to qualification scoring the necessary number of points to qualify but unfortunately not having high enough speaker points to get through on tiebreaks.

The team consisting of Alex (10M1) and Fola (10M2) managed to qualify for the finals of ICYD having scored the second highest number of speaker points as a team out of all the teams participating on the day and are looking forwards to the finals.

At the end of the day, all teams involved can be proud of their results, with this competition once again showcasing the strength of debating at Habs, especially in the younger years!

SCS spread some Easter cheer

SCS have organised an Easter Egg collection over the past couple of weeks. Volunteers from Year 7 and Year 8 did a fabulous job of collecting donations from form rooms every morning and our Sixth Form SCS students sorted donations. In total we collected over 80 Easter eggs!

All Saints' Church in Kings Langley were thrilled to receive 40 eggs and bags full of food to replenish their foodbank! The eggs will be distributed to care home residents and families in need in the community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also delivered even more food and Easter eggs to the Watford foodbank, in the hope that no family will go without this Easter.

We sent care packages to the care homes we would normally visit weekly as part of our SCS program before the pandemic. These included a handwritten card, a quiz designed by our Year 10 SCS students and Easter eggs which we hope the residents will enjoy over the holidays.

Thank you so much to all the students and staff involved.

Easter Egg collection Helpers

Blake 7M

Rishi 7M

Jayden 8S2

Zeeshan  8S2

George L6J1

Veylan L6J2

 

Quiz Writers

Eric 10S2

Aaryan 10C1

Zain 10J1

Rufus 10M2

 

Skylight Spring 2021 - out now!

The School's termly newsletter, Skylight, is out now! The Spring 2021 issue is available to read here:

Holi 2021

"Holi is an ancient festival of India. Known as the festival of colours or the festival of spring, it emphasises the triumph of good over evil. This is a festival which has been celebrated for years, and poems containing accounts of the celebrations have dated back to the 4th century CE.

This year, Holi will be celebrated from the 28 - 29 of March. Holi related events have become major events around the world, taking place in cities such as New York and Berlin.

The main Holi celebration sees people gather in the streets, throwing coloured powders at each other. In addition, music is played, people are singing and dancing, as well as sharing cultural foods. After this, families gather together for festive meals. The distribution of sweets among neighbours and friends is common. As outlined, Holi is usually celebrated in different forms, and due to Covid-19, celebrations in the UK will be mostly virtual this year.

Aarush Mitra (11M1) had shared his experiences of Holi. He commented: “I have celebrated Holi as far as I can remember, and so it has a deep sentimental value to me. Holi, to me, signifies freedom, it’s a day in which one can let loose and spray water and colours at their friends, laugh without a care and a day where one can just relax. However, Holi also commands respect. The story of Holika Dahan is about good triumphing over evil (a motif commonly seen throughout Hinduism), and so the day of Holi also reminds me of how we should always act according to the Dharma.

From myself and the Hindu Assembly Committee, we wish everyone a Happy Holi!"

Written by Jatin Gupta (L6S2)

 

Video by Neil (1SS)

On Friday 19 March, one of our Year 10 School Community Service groups headed offsite to do some litter picking. They walked along the footpaths and into Aldenham Country Park where they collected lots of litter. The students did a fantastic job and the School hopes to run several more offsite expeditions next term to help clean up our local area.

The School would like to thank Mrs West, Mr Haring, Miss Farhan, Miss Adams and Ms Dall'Acqua for leading this group. 

 

Students join Zoom call to hear about applying to study in America

On Monday 22 March, 100 boys from Years 9-12 and their parents joined a Zoom call to hear about applying to study in America. Mr Gray, the Aske-Princeton Fellow, provide an excellent overview of the process.

Key to success in applying to America is selecting the right school and the University Applications Office is available to support future applicants in making the decision in where to apply.

He also highlighted the importance of knowing the reason for wanting to study at a certain American college and suggested flexibility was a key advantage to the US system. Tamilore Awosile (OH 2019) joined the call from Stanford where he is currently studying. He explained how and why he had decided to study in America. He felt that the broad curriculum offered huge potential and would allow him to develop academically as well as musically. He has taken courses in Nigerian politics as well as coding where he developed a new skill.

Life in California has been really exciting with the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley as well as perform in concerts in LA. Tamilore also had the opportunity to study as an exchange student at Oxford as part of his degree.

The prospect of studying abroad is really exciting and the School looks forward to supporting anyone who would like to make an American University Application in the future.

 

Habs Boys and Habs Girls welcome Dr Marc Balint

It was a great privilege to welcome Dr Balint back to Habs to explore with us how to deal with depression and anxiety along with providing us with an understanding of different therapies.

The talk was especially relevant in the times in which we are living, where concerns regarding mental health are becoming increasingly more common. Dr Balint gave an extremely detailed talk, one from which we can all take something tremendously valuable and meaningful away.

Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problems affecting individuals (16% of the UK society at any one time). In his talk, Dr Balint discussed depression, the symptoms and the exceptionally valuable and positive treatment for depression and anxiety, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). Nowadays, CBT is a field that is blossoming, and this together with newer third wave therapies are being used in both clinical and normal populations. Third wave therapies share an emphasis on acceptance of yourselves and mindfulness.  

Dr Balint also introduced us to an extremely common type of anxiety disorder: social anxiety disorder (social phobia). This is characterised by intense fear of social or performance situations that results in considerable distress and in turn impacts on a person’s ability to function effectively in aspects of their daily life. This can be treated using in situ processing which involves experimenting with dropping safety behaviours and focusing externally on social interactions.

I would like to thank Dr Balint for giving up his time to deliver such a fascinating and important talk, which explored issues relevant to us all.

Written by Ollie Davis (L6R2)

Pre-Prep supports Red Nose Day 2021

The Pre-Prep boys enjoyed dressing up as their favourite superhero to celebrate and support Red Nose Day 2021. The students learnt about the significance of Red Nose Day by watching Ethan’s story and discussed how the money raised in previous years has benefitted children all over the world. The Year 1 boys have written all about their superheroes and their powers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the afternoon, the School hosted ‘Laugh Out Loud at the Pre-Prep’ where the boys showed their talents and lifted everyone’s spirits with the power of laughter.

The School would like to thank everybody for their generous support and their superb costumes.

 

2021 British Physics Olympiad Senior Physics Challenge

The School is delighted to share the results of the 2021 British Physics Olympiad, the Senior Physics Challenge. This year's competition consisted of two 30 minute multiple choice papers that were administered online on Friday 5 March. Out of 40 Habs entries, the results were: 

  • 13 Gold
  • 19 Silver
  • 8 Bronze

The multiple choice format differed from the standard paper format, which emphasis problem-solving skills. In a report sent back to the School, it was stated: 

"This multiple choice competition looks for quick thinking and fluency in a range of small topic areas questioned. There are a number of puzzle-like questions which require the students to do small manipulations and at speed. There were 40 question in an hour, and this would have been a challenge." 

In acknowledgement of that, those who participated have done extremely well! Congratulations to all those involved.

 

HabsMUN 2021

Our annual HabsMUN (Model United Nations) conference was held online last weekend. We were joined by students from 18 schools from across the UK and overseas. The following is a report written by Lucas, one of our Year 12’s on the organising committee.

The weekend of the 13 March, I was fortunate enough to attend and even help chair HabsMUN 2021. It was the first online rendition in the entire history of the conference and thus no one knew what to expect, however, I am confident that it managed to exceed every expectation regardless. Reaching over 250+ delegates and over 50+ submitted resolutions was a staggering, surreal and ultimately really satisfying experience.

On the first day, delegates introduced themselves to each other and began to lobby their resolutions. Discussing critical topics ranging from the issue of Myanmar to vaccine equality and climate migrants, attendees maintained clear professionalism as they productively contributed to debates so passionate and powerful that one might expect to see in the real United Nations itself. Following some fierce debate from both the proposition and opposition, with many amendments and points of information thrown in, each committee laboured hard to produce the final resolutions they would pass and move into the General Assembly (GA). Having asked some of the other chairs, each committee seemed to have its fair share of eloquent debates and wild moments with some standouts being impromptu rap battle speeches and a speech being delivered entirely in the position of a handstand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Sunday, during the GA, the delegates were active, engaged and always prepared to thrust their placard proudly into the clouds (or should I say into the Cloud) which ensured a steady stream of well-articulated, analytical and impressive points throughout the day. Debating each resolution within a 25-minute slot, delegates had to think critically and fast on their feet and they managed this astoundingly, producing some of the best and most interesting speeches I’ve ever heard. Overall, the General Assembly was high-quality and it was encouraging to see just how many delegates and respective delegations wished to stay and focus on resolutions from other committees.

To conclude the day, we received a captivating and ultimately wholesome speech from the Secretary-General, Sean (U6H2) thanking all the delegates, the supporting staff and the wider organising team. With that came the awards, and participants seized a range of victories from ‘Outstanding Delegate’, ‘Distinguished Delegate’ and ‘Highly Commended Delegate’ to their delegation alternatives. Some special mentions must be given to St Vincent and the Grenadines, who took home not only the Outstanding Delegation award but additionally three Distinguished Delegate Awards, among others!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimately, working alongside a great team of PGAs, including George (L6J1), Julien (L6H1) and Aryan (L6J1) was a really enjoyable experience and further appreciation has to be given to Jatin (L6S2) for his help with management and planning. Moreover, the hard work of Nicholas (U6H2) in the IT department was appreciated and even more so than normal due to the special conditions of the conference – It truly could not have happened without him! Finally, a massive thank you must be given to Sean for all the hard work he put into planning and organising the conference; he put in quite literally hundreds of hours and it paid off, and I’m confident I speak for the entire organising team when I say he was an inspirational leader.

- Written by Lucas (L6H1)

 

History Near Me

In the first week of March, just before the end of the national lockdown and the return of school children across England to the classroom, Mr Clark set his classes the challenge of finding some interesting History in their local area. Below are some of the examples of place of interest the boys found while undertaking their regular daily exercise in North London and South-West Hertfordshire.

A Year 10 student from Pinner:

St John the Baptist Church is an Anglican church in Pinner, made in 1320. It was initially meant to be a chapel for St Mary’s Church in Harrow on the Hill but by 1776, it became an independent Parish. It was under the immediate jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury who was also the Lord of the Manor of Harrow. There is a memorial for a previous mayor of London, Sir Christopher Clitherow and graves for people like William Skenelsby, a man who lived to 118 and Henry James Pye, an official poet to King George III.

A Year 7 Student from St Albans

Edmund Beaufort was the second Duke of Somerset and a Lancastrian. He died in the first battle of St Albans, which the Yorkists won, and where they captured the Lancastrian king, Henry VI. There are roads in St Albans named to commemorate them.

A Year 7 student from Harrow-on-the-Hill

This 1898 Cattle Trough was built by the Metropolitan Cattle Trough and Drinking Fountain Association in memory of Miss J E Gordan. It is a rectangular trough made of grey granite with squat plinths at either end. It was a drinking trough for cattle and horses in the Victorian era. There was also a drinking basin for human use on the outside. The MCTDFA (Metropolitan Cattle Trough and Drinking Fountain Association) was made in 1859 by Samuel Gurney MP and was responsible for many troughs across the capital. However, later on, the Cattle Trough was then made into a flowerbed for public sightseeing. Take a quick walk around Harrow and you will find lots of reminders of the history of our borough.

A Year 9 student from Mill Hill:

The student's image is of a sign saying you must wear a mask inside. It is interesting because it is very representative of the time we are in. Our free action is limited in the aim to protect the safety and well-being on the world. I believe this will become a very interesting part of history due to its rare, but necessary, circumstances.

A Year 10 Student from Stanmore

This is a picture of what used to be Stanmore Village Station. It was a station built in 1890 by Frederick Gordon in order to attract people to come to Stanmore. However, in 1932, the current Stanmore Station was built which is now at the end of the Jubilee Line, leading to the closure of the village station in 1952. It has now become the house in the picture above.

Lower Sixth Student from Hampstead

The student took this picture of Pitt the Elder’s garden entrance in Hampstead Heath. William Pitt the Elder (The Earl of Chatham) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1766 to 1768. The plaque says that it was designed by James Paine who was a early 18th century architect and it was built by Charles Dingley, who helped build one of the first toll roads in London in 1756.

Year 7 Student from Edgware

Alms houses are a charitable form of self-sufficient, low-cost community housing that is held in trust for local people in housing need. The above Alms houses were built in 1828, in Edgware. They were paid for by Charles Day. There were eight on a one-acre plot, fronting onto Watling Street at Stone Grove. Day himself selected the Alms people and in his will he left the Alms houses and land to trusties and provided £100 a year for the welfare of the property and Alms people. The buildings were restored in 1959.

Year 9 student from Maida Vale

Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio established in 1931 by the Gramophone company. The Gramophone company a predecessor of British music company EMI owned the studio until 2009.The studio gained English Heritage status shortly after in 2010 due to the musical history embedded within its walls. The studios held many notable clients throughout its years recently holding Kanye West and Kylie Minogue. Although the studio held recent stars, The Beatles truly made it and it’s crossing famous. The crossing which also appears in the photo was used as The Beatles 1969 iconic album cover 'Abbey Road' and has later become a symbol of pop culture. It attracts tourists all year round!

Year 7 Student from Northwood

Pinner Cottage Hospital was a purpose-built facility. This was built as a memorial to all those who died in the World War I. This is a small building which was opened 1920 but sadly closed in 2008. To this current day many ambulances and emergency vehicles are parked here. The hospital closed after the lack of funding and too high prices to keep the operation going. This has high interest to the student and reminds them of the soldiers who lost their lives to protect the country.

Habs Boys qualify for European Youth Parliament UK National Session

A number of Habs students recently took part in the East of England and the London and South East regional forums of the European Youth Parliament UK. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic these took place on Zoom and involved a weekend of team building, committee work and debating resolutions in general assembly. This year’s forums included the innovation of students working in teams with other young people they had not met before. The School is delighted that four Habs students: Jatin, Jonny, Lucas and Zaver have been asked to take part in National Sessions taking place later in the year. Congratulations and best wishes to them all. 

The boys take up the story: 

Jatin said, “The EYP Regional Round was an exciting and an extremely memorable experience! The topic of my committee was ‘Misinformation’. On the first day, we transformed and constructed our ideas regarding this topic into a resolution, presenting it to the General Assembly the following day. Our resolution passed and we also had the opportunity to debate the resolutions of other committees. Through this, I was able to further enhance my critical thinking skills, as well as develop my understanding on how to put forward logical arguments, in addition to gaining knowledge on important topics in our world today. Overall, it was an enjoyable weekend, and I am looking forward to the National Finals!” 

Jonny commented, “I enjoyed the weekend I spent doing EYP thoroughly, not only due to the diverse range of issues that were debated but also in regards to the highly sociable environment which was in no ways limited by the fact that discussion took place over Zoom. I revelled in the highly intellectual and sometimes heated debate that surrounded issues such as vaccine distribution equity and the protection of employment during a pandemic that culminated in resolutions on these issues being presented to the General Assembly. Over the weekend I feel that I learnt a lot, working constructively with new people to construct viable and multi-faceted responses to very topical issues as well as having to articulate these solutions in speeches to other committees and members of the conference. I look forward to meeting new people and discussing more fascinating topics at the next conference!” 

Lucas added, “Our conference was exceptional. Throughout the session, there was a friendly atmosphere that promoted teamwork and kindness, leading to everyone developing confidence in their speeches and speaking more and more. Similarly, the public speaking skills developed through the conference will inevitably be extremely useful in later life and thus I'm grateful I had the opportunity to attend. Not only was the debate highly productive with interesting, engaging points but the topics covered were both immensely significant in the modern world and accompanied by detailed explanations which massively broadened my understanding of some key issues. Overall, qualifying from the regionals feels like a dream come true and I'm excited to see what's in store in the next round!” 

Zaver had this to say: “I recently took part in a two-day virtual European Youth Parliament (EYP) event and was allocated to a committee focusing on privacy, big data and misinformation. The first day was spent taking part in various team building activities, followed by working with fellow delegates to write a resolution. The next day was the General Assembly. I was selected to give the opening speech for our resolution after which there was an open and lively debate followed by a vote. Fortunately, our resolution passed with a large majority.  Being able to collaborate with people I had not met prior to the event was an important skill and I formed a lot of friendships over the two days. EYP provided me with the chance to hear from a diverse range of people who were equally passionate as myself to solve important issues. This opportunity gave me the chance to hone my debating skills and express my opinions whilst also learning and collaborating with others to come up with solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems.” 

The School is grateful for EYPUK for continuing to provide excellent conferences that provide wonderful opportunities for young people to improve their skills and their understanding of contemporary issues. Together with Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls, the Schools are committed to providing students with first-rate co-curricular experiences. 

 

Year 1 create gifts for Mother's Day

The Year 1 boys have worked incredibly hard these last few days to learn some lovely songs and have also been very busy in the classroom, creating special gifts for their wonderful mums!

 

This Unknown Plain - a short film

The School is thrilled to present 'This Unknown Plain', a short film made in collaboration between two of our most talented creators, Joe and Felix. This project brings together music and film, speaking of art’s ability to connect and unite us, even when we find ourselves physically apart. 

Felix and Joe offer their insights on the process: 

“The result of a series of artistic reactions, ‘This Unknown Plain’ is representative of an interaction of ideas, and, in drawing from a broad bank of points of reference, of which the majority were things we had found and enjoyed throughout the lockdown, is in a sense a culmination of our individual and joint experiences.” - Felix

“This project began in lockdown with Felix and I wanting to put together some music with video. There was no real main focus, but we began bouncing different ideas off each other and sitting on Zoom watching cool videos together (it was a great laugh). After a couple of weeks establishing the direction of the film, we each worked on some different ideas, sending them back and forth, reacting to each other’s ideas. With a few ideas established, I already knew for the music that it would be more about creating a feeling and a sense of place than a song. As a result, there were a few edits of the music which were more rigid and more of a ‘song’, but in the end we felt that what ultimately worked best with the video was something freer and more open to interpretation. It was a lot of fun working with Felix and reacting to someone else’s work – hopefully this is only the beginning!” - Joe

Habs welcomes Professor David Read

On the 2 March, the School was delighted to host Professor David Read, a Professorial Fellow in Chemical Education from the University of Southampton. A compelling, confident, and extremely intelligent speaker, I was captivated throughout the presentation and took regular notes throughout. Combining modern social issues with scientific evidence and reasoning helped convey critical information to an audience with interests ranging from environmental science to pure chemistry.

Professor Read discussed and portrayed a wide range of key modern issues and especially their environmental consequences, focusing on their relationship with scientific innovation and ideas of eco-friendly science. Ranging from questions of decreasing oil supplies to the acceleration of global warming in recent years, Professor Read repeatedly emphasized the immense importance of sustainability and how scientific developments were facilitating cleaner technologies and would continue to do so in a likely exponential rate in the future.

Additionally, Professor Read spent significant amounts of time highlighting the sheer significance of the scientific approach and methodology, demonstrating just how innate scientific reasoning is to the solutions to many pressing problems within the modern day.

One of my personal favourite aspects of the presentation was the sheer level of interactivity; by regularly establishing polls and asking questions, he ensured the audience remained not only engaged but actively excited and inspired, with a peak of 38 voters out of 56 total participants.

Resultantly, those in attendance left the talk empowered, with a sense of increased understanding regarding modern social issues and scientific involvement alongside a feeling of newly developed, encouraged passions for environmental sciences.

Written by Lucas (L6H1), Science Society Committee