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

 

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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

 

Virtual Keith Dawson Prize Assembly 2020

Wednesday 17 June 2020 marked the fourth Keith Dawson Independent Learning Project Prize-Giving Assembly, albeit virtually. The Dawson Project provides an opportunity for Year 9 boys at Habs to pursue a subject of special interest. Over a period of five months pupils research, engage with, and delve into a question of their choosing before presenting their project in any format they think suitable.

Haberdashers’ students are rightly known for their intellectual energy. It is this fact, along with the passion that Habs boys possess to explore new ideas, concepts and theories and to discuss these with their peers, that is fundamental to the vision of the project. 

This year’s prize winners reflect the outstanding quality of projects, academic engagement and intellectual accomplishments of our Year 9 students. It is especially pleasing to see projects in fields not usually considered on a Year 9 curriculum, such as Psychology, Sports Science, Economics and Law. We hope that this spirit of enquiry and the sense of achievement it brings will stay with our pupils for years to come. 

Keith Dawson Project Prize Winners 2020:

Humanities
Slava 

How did the battle of Stalingrad become the turning point of world war two? (History)

Yonel 
Is a ‘global country’ feasible? (Politics)

Aryan 
How will AI affect Religion and Morals? (T&P)

Nikhil 
The World’s Population is Increasing; Resources are depleting. Was Thanos Right? (Geography)

Maths/Economics 
Rishi 
Can technical analysis help your investment trading? (Economics)

Sai 
Mathematical Paradoxes: Friends or Foes? (Maths)

Science 
Kavin

Is Synesthesia the “Sixth Sense”? (Biology)

Sohan 
An investigation into the significance of HHV-6 in Catatonia and Mental Health Disorders (Biology)

James 
How to best optimise performance in endurance sport through nutrition (Sports Science)

Creatives
Christopher
 
Composing a Fugue (Music)

Fraser 
Is Jazz once again the music of the people? (Music)
 

Year 7 illuminated poems
Mr Dunne asked his Year 7 English class to take one of their own poems and transform it into an ‘illuminated’ or ‘kinetic’ poem. This is a digital art form that uses moving type and typographical design.
 
Below is a wonderful entry from one of his pupils, Laksh. It is called 'Counting My Blessings' and is an upbeat piece about what Laksh has been grateful for during the challenging recent months.
 
Well done, Laksh!
 

Varun sings in five languages on radio

As part of a quarantine home performances’ programme by Radio ARA Luxembourg, Varun (Year 11) recently had the opportunity to record a number of songs. 

Varun explained his love of music. He said: “Since the age of seven, I have always had a passion for singing and music. I train in Indian Classical music and Western Vocals. I’ve also been a member of the National Youth Training Choir since last year.

“During the lockdown, I was presented with the perfect opportunity to sing and explore various genres of music.” 

The genres varied from Indian Carnatic music, to Indian film songs, and to Western songs, including a piece from the play Les Misérables. Varun particularly enjoyed that the ensemble of songs he put together spanned five different languages and explored diverse music styles.

Varun recounted how he felt listening to the music back on the radio: “We turned on the radio first thing in the morning to listen to everything back, which was very surreal. Everyone listening in was incredibly encouraging as there were lovely comments coming through to the radio station via social media, which were read out by the anchor of the show.

Listen to Varun’s segment on Radio ARA Luxembourg here.


 

Shreyas selected for Isaac Physics Senior Physics Challenge

The School is very excited to announce that Shreyas (Lower Sixth) has been selected to participate in the Isaac Physics Senior Physics Challenge Summer School Competition, run by the University of Cambridge.

Places on this prestigious course, which will run virtually this year, are awarded for commitment and excellence in problem solving, and are limited to some 40 to 50 Year 12 physics students from across the United Kingdom. A talented and diligent physicist and mathematician, with strong problem solving skills, Shreyas will surely excel as the Summer School takes a deep dive into university-level problems in quantum mechanics.

Congratulations, Shreyas!

 

Actor Dominic West enters Habs Monologue Competition

Actor Dominic West (The Wire, Les Misérables, Tomb Raider, The Forgotten, The Affair, Brassic, and more) leaves a message and his own entry for the Habs Inter-House Monologue Competition! 

Watch it now below: