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

 

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Historic Habs Boys celebrate A Level results

The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School warmly congratulates our Year 13 students on achieving an excellent set of A Level results enabling them to secure, once again, places at prestigious universities the most popular this year including Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, LSE, UCL, Bristol, Warwick and Durham. Despite many Centre Assessed Grades being moderated down and the vagaries of this year’s grading system, our students have still secured over 40% of grades at A* and close to 80% at A*-A with 33 students achieving 3 or more A*s. This is an outstanding achievement. With nearly 20% of Habs pupils receiving some financial assistance, the School is enormously proud that its academic and extensive co-curricular opportunities are available to all. 

During what would have been their exam time, Sixth Formers were offered a ‘Frontiers Programme’. At its core, it was a holistic programme of live online sessions with the aim of giving students greater insights into the area of study that they have opted to read at university. The programme also continued to broaden their intellectual horizons and support their pastoral wellbeing, enabling them to maintain the momentum needed to start university informed and on the right track.

School Captain Zamaan, who received 4 A* and will go on to study Engineering Design at the University of Bristol, said: "I am overjoyed with my results and am glad that all my hard work paid off, despite not sitting the exams! The school provided lots of support during lockdown, both academically and pastorally, which really helped during such an uncertain period of time. Remote learning was brilliant - teachers adjusted their normal lesson plans to fit the needs of the students and the online environment that we found ourselves in.

Throughout my time at the school, I’ve always been quite active outside the classroom, taking part in activities ranging from music to sport. I especially loved representing the school on the hockey pitch and being part of the famous Habs Big Band!

I would like to thank all my teachers for always being there to support and educate me. After being at the school for 11 years, I think the teachers play a big part in making Habs the school that it is and there’s no way that I would have been able to get this far without them. 

The last few months have been quite tough for everyone, and I am extremely proud of the students and staff alike for their resilience and resolve - the mark of a truly exceptional group of people."

 

Josh, who achieved 4 A* and will be going on to study Mathematics at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, said: "I’m ecstatic about my results – after an extraordinarily tough year, unlike no other, I am so pleased to see my hard work having paid off. After working throughout lockdown towards them, I am especially pleased with my STEP (Cambridge maths entrance exam) results. The school was particularly helpful and supportive towards me. I would especially like to thank my teachers for going above and beyond throughout my time at Habs, and especially during the last few months.

The Frontiers Programme was a highly enjoyable fortnight, seeing a side of teachers’ expertise that we wouldn’t normally get to see during a normal school year. The breadth of the content delivered was phenomenal, and hopefully this programme can continue for other pupils even when school returns to normal.

During my time at Habs, I have had the opportunity to participate in many co-curricular activities but dedicated most of my time over the past few years to Model United Nations (MUN). I was Secretary-General of the infamous Habs MUN 2020 that was cancelled immediately beforehand due to the pandemic but loved every minute of planning the conference with the rest of the team, who I am extremely close with."

Jamanvir, who has confirmed his place to study Natural Sciences at University College London with two A* and an A, said: "Probably the biggest feeling right now is just relief. There was a level of uncertainty going into these results and I am grateful for getting what I need for next year.

Having continuous zoom calls with our teachers and friends, created a sense of normality and unity, something absolutely crucial for so many kids struggling with the lockdown. Online lessons, as well as the Frontiers Programme, helped us to keep a daily routine, whilst of course keeping us intellectually stimulated and interested. Speaking for both myself and others, this was a really great and important thing the school provided, not only on the academic side of things but more importantly, keeping us mentally healthy and alert. 

At school, I loved to represent in sport, drama and music. Some of my greatest memories lie there on stage in the Bourne Hall, performing in amazing concerts or incredible theatre productions. I have a huge collected thanks to everyone at Habs: to all the teachers who saw me through my time there, to Hendersons for guiding me all the way up the school, to all the Joe's and Bates staff who were always so kind and generous and to the friends and teachers I grew closer to in the last few years, who undoubtedly went out of their way to make school such an amazing and inspirational place."

 

Rohan, who received three A* and will be studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, University of Oxford, said: “I am both elated and grateful to get the results that I wanted. This results day was unlike any other that I’ve experienced and was something we’ve all been waiting for since March, so to finally receive our results was both exciting and a relief.

Habs have supported students as much as possible during these difficult times, so much so that sometimes it felt like I was back at school! I have thoroughly enjoyed remote learning and, in many aspects, the school has made it just as good as in normal times. The Frontiers Programme was very different. It gave us a chance to diverge from the general curriculum and delve deeper into areas that we are more interested in. It also gave us a taster as to what university life may be like. The sudden changes have made me further appreciate the extensive support that Habs offers. It highlighted to me that Habs is a school that really cares about their students and their staff.

During my time at Habs, there’s always been a plethora of activities on offer and I took full advantage of them. Playing 1st XV rugby and representing the school on a national level for athletics have definitely been a highlight for me. With so many opportunities at hand, students can find that anything they want to do is already an established club or society.

I’d like to thank all my teachers, who I felt went the extra mile when it came to our learning. For example, when Oxbridge interviews were approaching, many students, myself in particular, would ask difficult and sometimes unrelated questions. The teachers would not only answer these questions, but inspire a deeper interest and provide a greater understanding that helps in all realms of academia. Safe to say, my Oxford application would have been far more difficult without the knowledge and confidence Habs afforded me. I hope that I can give back to the community that has helped me so much one day.”

Mr Gus Lock, Headmaster, warmly congratulated the pupils: “The theme for recent school assemblies has been ‘resilience’ and that is exactly what our Year 13 pupils have demonstrated over the best part of five months. I am very proud of their character, strength and positive attitude. Whilst it is a great pity that they were unable to sit their public examinations this year, they have worked exceptionally hard during their time at the School, excelling not only in the classroom but on the sports field, on the drama stage, in music performances and in the many rewarding charity and community events at Habs. I want to thank our immensely dedicated staff for their expert, passionate teaching and guidance. I also want to thank our very supportive parents who can be justly proud of their sons’ achievements.  Warmest congratulations to our Year 13 pupils who, having endured and overcome obstacles during this unusual year, will no doubt go on to enjoy some quite remarkable careers and become the problem-solvers of the future.” 

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 – this cohort will certainly go down in history and will continue to thrive! 

Habs Geographical - out now!

The School's Geography department has published the 2020 edition of Habs Geographical.

Take a look now:

Ishaan delivers two talks at London Climate Action Week

In honour of the Mayor of London's ‘Climate Action Week’ (Monday 29 June to Tuesday 7 July), a week-long United Nations London Sustainable Development Goals Summit, showcasing businesses, activists and social change-makers who are paving the way for our Sustainable Future was held (virtually). These were a series of sessions where people showcased action they have taken; we can take and solutions we must adopt to make a difference.
 
Ishaan (Lower Sixth) was invited to speak at the Summit about efforts in tackling modern slavery and human trafficking. He focused on ‘No Poverty’ and ‘Climate Action’.

He explored the links between poverty and human trafficking, highlighting that: “traffickers will prey on vulnerability and often, that is economic vulnerability… Especially during this COVID-19 crisis, we can see that people are becoming increasingly economically vulnerable and traffickers are taking advantage of this.”

In his second talk, he discussed that the links between poverty and human trafficking are not just occurring in faraway communities and countries, but also here in the UK: “27% of victims referred to the UK Modern Slavery Helpline in 2019 were UK nationals themselves”.
 
Throughout the week, Ishaan provided the audience with four calls to action that they can take to tackle both human trafficking and climate change today:

  1. Educate yourself and raise awareness about these two issues and the links between them.
  2. Write to your local councillors to adopt a robust strategy to tackle modern slavery and pollution on a local level.
  3. Put pressure on businesses and companies to become more sustainable. This involves urging them to become eco-friendlier and also making sure that workers in the supply chains are treated and paid fairly. 
  4. Buy second hand clothing or even share, exchange and borrow clothes with friends and family. In doing so, not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, but you are also playing a part in countering the fast fashion industry. 

Ishaan concluded his last talk by urging young people across the globe to take action on these very important issues. He said: "Do not be afraid to speak out if you see something that needs to be changed."

The School is very proud of Ishaan!


 

Skylight Summer 2020 - out now!

The School's termly newsletter, Skylight, is out now! The Summer 2020 issue is available to read here:

Year 10 Drama pupils rehearse on School grounds

The Drama department was delighted to welcome back the Year 10 GCSE Drama group, who came into school last week and spent the day in the beautiful grounds exploring rehearsal approaches to a script.

After whole group activities, the boys worked in pairs on duologues, applying what they had learnt about objectives, use of space, stillness and silence and eye contact.  At the end of the afternoon each pair performed their extract to the group using the glorious sunshine as stage lighting!

Music Festival 2020

The Music Festival has continued to be one of the musical highlights of the year, and despite lockdown we had over 130 individual performances submitted, showing that music-making is still going strong within our community. The music department has been bowled over by the quantity and quality of performances of boys who have really embraced this opportunity to share their musical talents during this lockdown period. Performances varied from Classical to Popular to Jazz, from singing to whistling to rapping, from exam pieces to composed performances to 5-part arrangements, from US to UK to India. The diversity, passion and talent has been incredible.

Year Winner by Year Runner-up
Year 7 Viraj Toby & Jonny, Freddie, Tom, Nathan
Year 8 Alex Dylan, Robert, Parsa, Joshua
Year 9 William Joseph, Dylan
Year 10 Louis Robin, Armaan, Christopher, Thomas, Anurag, Abim, Yash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to all the finalists (above) who put on a fantastic musical display, showing confidence, expression, maturity and passion. 

The musical expertise of our external adjudicator Iain Carnegie was extremely useful to decide the overall winner and to award the accolade of the Young Musician of the Year 2020. He agreed that the standard was exceptional and that it was extremely difficult to pick just one winner. However, he was won over by the “technically polished” and “truly dynamic performance” of Louis in Year 10, who played Pieces One and Three from Stravinsky’s ‘Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet’
  
Winner of the Music Festival & Young Musician of the Year 2020: Louis (Year 10)


Winner of the Audience Prize: Abim (Year 10)


Winner of the House Music Shield: Russells House

A huge congratulations to Louis, Abim, Russells and all our finalists - well done!

Horizons Week 2020

“Horizons Week has been my highlight of lockdown and I have loved every moment" - Charlie (Year 7)

Last week, the boys in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 took a break from remote learning and positively engaged with the Horizons Week programme.

The week was a unique opportunity for pupils to learn something new and move out of their comfort zone. The diverse programme celebrated the very best of our Haberdashers’ community; enabling staff, parents and students to share and showcase their interests and passions to inspire our boys to broaden their horizons. 
 
Over the course of the week:
•    Every pupil was given the opportunity to 'speak out' and develop their oracy skills.
•    Over half of the staff body celebrated their love of reading with every student through the reading symposium.
•    Over 300 of our students learnt how to save a life from a masterclass delivered by two parent consultants.
•    Staff, parents and students delivered over 30 masterclasses and over 20 virtual trips/tours to broaden our boys’ horizons.
•    Our Senior students ran and hosted the first ever virtual, student-led Habs MUN debate with over 450 Years 7-9 students making the most of this opportunity.

For many staff and students, Horizons Week was the highlight of the past 13 weeks and our thanks go to everyone who was involved in making it such a success.

Here's what our community had to say:
 
“Horizons Week has been my highlight of lockdown and I have loved every moment - from the Masterclasses and Virtual Trips to the Habs MUN today.”
Charlie (7J)


“Horizons week was a fabulous week. It enabled us to be able to take a break from normal lessons and enjoy an entertaining range of activities regarding topics ranging from Diversity to The John Muir Trail to the Habs MUN. Each day was truly an experience worth treasuring.”
Evan (7M)


“Thank you so much for today and the week. It has been amazing. I have really enjoyed it and I will consider Habs MUN for the future!”
Frederick (7J)


“We just wanted to say how much we enjoyed doing the masterclass on CPR for the boys last week. We are most impressed by the engagement and interest shown by both the groups. The questions they asked were relevant and demonstrated their inquisitive mind.”
Ambalika and Shyam Das


“I loved it and think it was a great success and should happen every year in some form or other.”
Mr Roncarati (Teacher of DT: Bike maintenance masterclass)
 

New College of the Humanities Essay Competition 2020

Many congratulations to Ahan (Lower Sixth) who has been awarded third prize in the Economics category of this year’s New College of the Humanities Essay Competition.

This year’s essay title was: ‘Which problems will economists need to solve within the next 20 years and will artificial intelligence help them?’

This is a great achievement by Ahan, reflecting his great dedication and tremendous capacity for independent work and thought. 


 

Black Lives Matter: Update on Habs' response to Open Letter 

The tragic death of George Floyd and the powerful response from across the world has moved us all and brought to the fore significant injustices that remain in our society. In recent weeks, current and former students from independent schools across the UK have highlighted the persistence of racism within our schools.

At Habs, we have been in contact with a number of our Black students and alumni regarding their experiences. We have sought, wherever possible, to respond and engage personally, to listen and to understand. They have spoken to us with great honesty and openness and have challenged many of our perceptions and assumptions. Criticism is often uncomfortable, but it provides an opportunity to learn and improve. Our pupils and alumni have put their trust in us to listen and act, and we are committed to doing just that. 

The School would like to believe that Habs is a community where no discrimination exists, however, it is clear that this has not always been the experience of every pupil here. We are both upset and deeply sorry that this is the case. It is not acceptable for any racism to exist here. It is not enough to not be racist; the School must be proactive in being anti-racist. The testimony of pupils is that more needs to be done to eradicate casual racism, to diversify the curriculum and to ensure a more diverse representation among teachers and school leaders. We fully accept this and we embrace the opportunity to do better. 

As a community, the School takes a strong stand against racism and all other forms of bullying and discrimination. Habs is a remarkably diverse community, in which equality is a core value and where every child must feel welcomed and nurtured. There is much within the School that confirms this, such as the wide range of faith assemblies each Thursday, our annual Diversity Week, the African-Caribbean Society and Black History Month, or the clear behaviour policies and practices which take a firm line against any form of racism or discrimination. It is our role both to nurture every pupil in our care and to prepare them to contribute positively to the world, with a strong sense of morality and decency.

In recent weeks, we have taken feedback from alumni, pupils, parents and staff on ways in which we can do more. We have addressed all students, staff and parents to acknowledge and highlight the importance of this issue. We have held pupil-led assemblies and discussions, focusing on the experiences of Black students at Habs, Black Lives Matter and the importance of diversity and inclusivity.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to reach out and listen to our community; listening must be a process, not an event. We are engaging the support and advice of experts in diversity and inclusion and will build a working party focused on the specific issues of diversity and inclusion to engage pupils, staff, parents, governors and alumni and to define meaningful solutions to long-term problems.

All staff will undertake unconscious bias training this September and we are exploring how best to embed this within the PSHCEE curriculum for the pupils.

We have started reviewing our ten-year strategy, in order to ensure that we embed positive responses to these issues. For example, our curriculum can better reflect the diversity of our pupil body and we have begun the process of reviewing and addressing our curriculum to address this.

We will review our pastoral policies and procedures to evaluate why historic issues have not been sufficiently identified, and how our policies and systems can be improved to ensure that all boys feel able to speak out, that any issues are robustly addressed and that parents are supported in their roles. 

We will also review our practices and materials relating to the recruitment of staff and governors, to ensure broader selection pools and increase exposure to suitably qualified BAME candidates.

Habs has always been proud of its diversity and inclusivity. Change will not come overnight, however, we are committed to listening and learning and to taking meaningful action, both now and over the long term, to ensure we truly are the community that we wish to be.

The School would like to thank our Old Haberdashers, current pupils, parents and staff for their help, advice and guidance over the past month, particularly to those in our Habs community who have engaged in positive discussions and have helped shape current and future plans to improve.


 

Pupil named Volunteer of the Year

Jack in Year 9 has been recognised as a Volunteer of the Year, working with Project Impact.

Project Impact is a Jewish youth volunteering programme that Jack has worked with throughout this year. He has worked with a number of charities, including Beit Halochem, a charity that helps rehabilitate war veterans; Crisis, a charity dedicated to helping end homelessness; Jewish Blind and Disabled; and Norwood, a charity for helping those with learning disabilities. Sessions ran on a Sunday afternoon and included activities such as learning basic sign language, making posters for Beit Halochem and running a fair on Mitzvah Day. Throughout lockdown, the programme continued to run, as Jack listened to guest speakers and made baked goods for key workers.

The School is proud of Jack for making such a great contribution to the local community. 

 

Weekly Art Challenge

The Art department has been setting a weekly creative challenge for Year 7- 9. Each week they are set a theme and encouraged to create an artwork based on that title. It is entirely open to the boys as to how they wish to interpret it and what materials they wish to use. The themes so far have been ‘Fantasy/Surreal/Sci Fi’, ‘Animals’, ‘View from my window’ and ‘Portrait’. Wonderful creativity and imagination that has gone into their work.

 

 

School Diversity Week 2020

"Why a School Diversity Week? Because it asks us to consider others and where we stand on issues and freedom of expression."

From Monday 22 June, Habs celebrated Diversity Week as part of the School's enrichment, education and awareness of issues about race, gender, identity and our values as a community. The prime aim has been to reflect upon the Black Lives Matter campaign. The School also affirms support for LGBTQ+ freedoms, hence the logos of Black Lives Matter, Progress Pride and Stonewall School Champions alongside each other this week.

 

The major events were the two assemblies on anti-racism, given by pupils to their peers in the Middle School and the Sixth Form. These pupils - and one former School Captain - were exceptional in their presentations; frank, honest, dignified and composed. Tamilore Awosile (OH 2019), Dayo (Year 12), Malcolm (Year 10), Tolu (Year 13), Abim (Year 10), Jamar (Year 12), Samadi (Year 9) and Jonathan (Year 11) deserve our heartfelt thanks and respect.

The week started with a ‘Speak Out’ competition for the whole of Year 7 and Year 8. After an opening Zoom talk on why we support and promote diversity, pupils had the day to create and record 90 second ‘speak outs’ on the challenges, benefits or heroes of diversity. The calibre of the entries was incredible. The finale was a brilliant event and the quality of public speaking and content was very high. The winner was Freddie in Joblings. His speech was original, articulate and persuasive. And he did it from his garden, using examples from nature!

The ever popular HabsDashGo! was transformed into 'RaibowDashGo!', as it has been before. Each of the School's House Captains led by example, running 3.5km to kickstart the campaign with a determination to show that sport is everyone's game at Habs!

There was also a separate HabsDashGo! session dedicated to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Other events during the week included protest poetry writing, poster design and a fantastic ‘Heart and Home’ Cookery Club task bringing together favourite and meaningful recipes. Resources for reading and educating ourselves about Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ support have further enhanced understanding and commitment. Form time throughout the week has been spent reflecting on what diversity and inclusion means and we will continue our efforts into the future.

Habs can, and will, do more!

Mini Olympics House Competition

Pre-Prep and Prep School pupils spent the past week completing Olympic-style events both at home and in school.

The five events were selected to test speed, endurance and power, allowing pupils to push to their physical limits. Every pupil who submitted a score earned points for their House, and in the end every single point made a difference.

Congratulations to Andrews who narrowly pipped Patricks to the top spot.

Well done to all the pupils who took part and a special well done must go to our Victor Ludorum:

Year 1: Mylo

Year 2: Reeday

Year 3: Lewis

Year 4: Francis

Year 5: Lani

Year 6: Samuel

House Distance Challenge

Boys from Year 1 to 6 recently took part in a House Distance Competition. 

By walking, running or cycling as far as they could over a period of seven days, they 'collected' kilometres for their House. The effort and motivation shown by all pupils was only topped by the enjoyment they experienced taking part.

Collectively, the boys managed to travel an incredible 3,913.29km, with Georges pipping the other Houses to top spot, contributing 1,239.04km.

Whether boys used this a fitness challenge or a chance to spend some family time outside in the sun, it has been fantastic to see so many taking part. Well done, Prep boys!

Click here to see more photos on our Instagram account