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CCF Summer Camp 2022

The hottest day on record saw 16 Cadets and five Officers set off to CCF Summer Camp at Kent Army Cadet Training Centre.

On arrival we set up camp, dining in style from Army ration packs. Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Freeman and Quartermaster Sergeant Instructor Hussein (our Year 12 Senior Non-Commissioned Officers) guided Cadets to deploy for two nights in the field.

Cadets put up Bashas (Army shelters – no tents allowed), which would keep them dry during the rain on Tuesday night.

We enjoyed archery, first aid scenarios and STEM problem solving on the hottest days.

More strenuous activities resumed on Wednesday, after a dramatic thunderstorm cleared the heat, with paintball target shooting and radio communication.

After two days in the Field, we moved into barracks, where Cadets took charge of their own room cleaning, and ate in the Cookhouse.

Even after such a brief time, firm friendships were forming between our Cadets and those from Haberdashers’ Knights, and a friendly football game kicked off on Wednesday evening.

The highlights on Thursday and Friday included:

  • blank fire practice
  • house and room clearance drills
  • training from Gurkhas
  • a Q&A with Privates from the Coldstream Guards
  • Tag laser.

We rounded off with a timed orienteering competition.

Friday’s Parade gave Cadets the chance to bid a fond farewell to Capt. Gannarelli, after over seven years of Officer leadership of the large Habs’ CCF Army contingent.

We will miss his humour, skills and energy but will hopefully see him for training days.

Finally, Sqn. Ldr. Pearson awarded Cadet promotions and prizes to complete a challenging and rewarding experience. Roll on Summer Camp 2023!

Old Haberdasher selected to carry the Commonwealth Baton

On 7 October 2021, at a special event at Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty The Queen placed her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton, signifying the start of the 294-day relay to the 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth. As it travelled, the Baton inspired people from different nations to come together and hosted moments of celebration ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Martin Dyan (OH 2002) had the honour as the basketball representative of being selected to carry the Baton at the Olympic Park on Tuesday 5 June during its travels through the UK on its worldwide  journey. In addition to the message from the Queen, the Baton contained a camera, heart sensor of the runners, and  atmospheric sensors.

Martin has been involved for many years with basketball, not only as Captain of the team at Habs, but also through recent training of players, national and international promotion of the game, tournaments for charity and, in particular, the 3X3 style of basketball.

By pure coincidence, Martin 'handed over' the baton to fellow Old Haberdasher Riyaz Dhalla (OH 2003), who had himself been selected to carry the Baton in recognition for his work during the pandemic setting up the Watford-based Hand on Heart Charitable Trust, providing essential packs to the homeless, refugees and underprivileged children across the country.


Inaugural joint Sports Day 2022

The events of Thursday 30 June 2022 will always be viewed as a significant day in the history of both schools. Indeed, the inaugural joint school sports day was a superb example of the benefits of collaboration and a fine illustration of what can be achieved when both schools come together to share the same common purpose.

Over 1,200 athletes all participated in at least two events, ranging from traditional track and field, through to the wagon wheel roll and the community mile. The intention was to create a sports day that would appeal to all students, regardless of athletic ability and we were adamant that the day should be as inclusive as possible. As one can imagine, the organisation required to fulfil this basic criteria was enormous and I am most grateful to Miss Scott of the Girls’ School PE department for ensuring that the selection guidelines were followed across the two schools.

Each participant would become part of a franchise team, created from the colours of the Houses across the schools, thus the Yellow Lions as an example, were made up of athletes from the houses of Millar (Girls’ School) and Strouts (Boys’ School). 

Every event was scored equally and each discipline contributed to the final result. It is also worth noting that we were able to filter the Boys’ School results for the benefit of the all-important Crossman competition!

As with many things at school, the relative success of an event is really only determined by the pupils themselves and we were delighted with the ambition and courage shown by all of the participants. Furthermore, each individual’s commitment to Sports Day was best illustrated by the fact there wasn’t a single empty lane in over 65 races on the track.

And after six hours of competition, spanning over 130 events, the final standings were as follows:

1st THE RED FOXES (Sprules and Hendersons)
2nd THE BLUE SHARKS (Harold and Russells)
3rd THE YELLOW LIONS (Millar and Strouts)
4th THE GREEN DRAGONS (Gilliland and Joblings)
5th THE PURPLE PANTHERS (Gillett and Meadows)
6th THE ORANGE GRIFFINS (Powell and Calverts)

As one might imagine, many months have been spent planning and organising an event of this magnitude. 

Well done to all who participated!

Class of 2022 Celebrations

On Wednesday 29 June, we said farewell to the outgoing Upper Sixth at their Leavers’ Evening. With Covid having caused so much disruption to their final years of school it was great to be able to give them a proper send off. The evening started with a ceremony where the whole year group was celebrated and academic and co-curricular excellence within the cohort was acknowledged. 

The celebrations then continued outside with a drinks reception for parents, students and teachers from the Boys' School and Girls’ School before the students headed into their Leavers’ Dinner. This dinner was a wonderful occasion, and it was fantastic to see students from both schools coming together to celebrate their time at Habs. As the evening drew to a close, there were hugs and tears all round as they said their goodbyes and looked forward to the future. 


Mencap 2022

On Sunday 26 June, Haberdashers' Boys' School and Haberdashers’ Girls’ School hosted the 2022 Habs Mencap Funday, which was organised by a committee of 12 Lower Sixth and Year 11 students from
our two schools.

Around 270 student volunteers from both schools looked after our guests, children between the ages of 5 and 16 with physical and learning disabilities. We were further supported by around 40 colleagues from both schools. We are extremely grateful for the generous donations from our Habs families. It is their generosity, which enabled us to host the event.

Each child was looked after by two, sometimes three students, depending on the need of care. The children are then able to participate in various games, arts and crafts, dance, or simply enjoy the chance to run in the open spaces. Each of these activities was led by other student volunteers. Further attractions included face painting, bouncy castles, a ball pool, a coconut shy and bubble shows. On top of this, Chris McGeever (OH 2006) again mesmerised us all with his magic show.

After a two-year hiatus and autumn restrictions delaying the start of our preparations, this year has been particularly challenging for our Mencap Committee, as only very few students had had any opportunity to experience a Mencap Funday before. Therefore, many of the seemingly obvious elements had to be re-learned, the school’s forgotten memory revived, and the vast team of helpers (staff and students) across the schools retrained. It is a credit to the attitude and resilience of the Committee that they managed to organise all the Mencap activities with commitment and ultimate success.

As always at the Funday, the work of all our students is a sight to behold. From the moment the guest families arrived in the coach car park, they were welcomed with warmth, smiles and care by our students. It is difficult to exaggerate the maturity that the students display, with which they take charge of the day and, importantly, with which they support each other.

We are very grateful again for the generous support from Mencap via their Barnet office, most importantly through Reshma Hirani, the Mencap Hate Crime Reporting Co-ordinator. Reshma provided invaluable advice for the training of our volunteers. Many of our regular guests' parents tell us that the day is one of the very highlights of the year for the families, one that both children and parents look forward to for weeks and weeks. The messages are moving and a joy to share with our student volunteers. Indeed, given the aforementioned context, they may also underline that our Funday
might now just be more important than ever.

Mencap committee: 

1. Ali D (Girls’ School)
2. Eden D (Girls’ School)
3. Krish (Boys' School, Co-Chair)
4. Kishan (Boys' School)
5. Michael (Boys' School)
6. Arun (Boys' School)
7. Tanush (Boys' School)
8. Ishaani P (Girls’ School)
9. Sienna P (Girls’ School)
10. Tabby P (Girls’ School, Co-Chair)
11. Dylan (Boys' School)
12. Evie S (Girls’ School)


Congratulations to Matthew (L6H1) who was awarded the Innovation award at the Triumph Design Awards final! 

A national competition that is open to A Level and GCSE students, Matthew's design for a refillable sun cream bottle (both liquid and propellant) that sense UV and warns when it is time to reapply embodies everything the department values: creativity and innovation. 

This is a superb achievement and Matthew also reached the final of the DTE Engineering awards. 

Well done, Matthew! 


Habs F1 in Schools teams watch F1 in Schools World Finals

On Monday 11 July, two F1 in Schools teams visited Silverstone to watch the F1 in Schools World Finals.

Phalgun and Krish of Team Celestial Velocity were massively excited to meet the legendary Pat Symonds, Chief Technical Officer of F1 who gave advice on what they need to do to become Formula 1 engineers.

The students learnt a lot from their trip to the F1 in Schools World Finals, visiting as representatives of their F1 in Schools team. They took notes to back up their research for future competitions and saw the amount of work that was put into getting to the Finals by teams representing a variety of countries, from Scotland to Vietnam. 

Team Celestial Velocity are competing in the regional finals in October and hope to progress to Nationals. You can find out more about Team Celestial Velocity on their website or their YouTube channel.


CCF Royal Navy summer Sailing course 2022

The CCF RN staff spent four glorious days at Rickmansworth Sailing Club teaching 30 cadets how to sail dinghies. Over the past 10 years, 211 Habs students have learned how to sail.

The Year 10 students finished the course with six races and all students showed fantastic levels of skill (considering they had only been sailing for one-and-a-half days), expertly navigating the start line and the triangular course.

It was a pleasure and a privilege to teach our students – they got stuck into all that was on offer and have considerably broadened their horizons as a result.


Year 8 Waterpolo tour to Belgium

As the clock struck 12pm, marking the end of the academic year, the Year 8 Water Polo squad met at the Medburn ready for the End of Season Tour to Belgium. Leaving as soon as possible, we drove via the Channel Tunnel to the small city of La Louviere, some 50km south of Brussels. Haberdasher's U13 team were the guests of the local league team "ENL La Louviere" and would be playing a two-match series of full length games, each one four seven-minute quarters. After a hearty pizza in town and an opportunity for some to practise ordering their food in French, the pupils headed to bed at our hotel mindful of the matches to be played the next morning.

La Louviere were fantastic hosts, and the matches were played in an impressive 50m pool right in the centre of town. Habs Head of Aquatics Mr Brkovic was nervous as he knew that ENL is a strong club with a tough reputation. In the first game, the Habs team showed immediately that they weren't going to be a push over. They stuck rigidly to their defensive plan, marking tightly and frustrating their hosts who were trying to push forward. Some of the Belgian players were bigger than their Habs counterparts, but Habs were tenacious and resilient - going on to score two on the counterattack and winning the first quarter 2-0. This was a great start and the Habs team relaxed into the match - from there, it was a backwards and forwards affair with great play on both sides, lots of shots and plenty of goals. After a pulsating final quarter where a Habs team, with fewer substitutes available, was starting to tire the final score was an 8-5 victory for Habs.

No time to rest on their laurels for players from either team, as there was only a twenty-minute break before the second match of the series began. Mr Broadwith was despatched to the local cash and carry to buy some emergency water supplies and then the team was back in the pool. Again Habs started very strongly, taking an early lead in the first quarter. However, tiredness was starting to show and they lost the second quarter 6-0. This was a tough blow and it was evident that heads were starting to drop. Fortunately, Mr Brkovic was able to deliver a rollicking team talk at half time, and the team responded - starting to get their heads back in the game and stick to their plan. They needed plenty goals in the final two quarters and that was going to take accurate passing and decisive finishing. Finally, the passes came together and some sharp shooting upfront (and brave goalkeeping at the back) meant that they were able to level the score in the dying minutes for an 8-8 draw and an overall series victory.

After the matches, our Belgian hosts took us to the nearby Central Canal where we were able to see one of the unique local boat lifts in action. Dating to 1888 these are impressive structures, working on huge hydraulic pillars. We then enjoyed some downtime in the local park where both teams played football together in the sunshine. Returning to the pool in the evening we held a joint training session and then played another couple of "mixed up" matches which was a great opportunity for them to spend time together and learn some Belgian names. Dinner together for both teams, accompanied by table football and pool was a great way to end the day with some new friendships forged.

On the Sunday, the Habs pupils were able to visit a local water park with flumes and rapids before driving to the coast and the beach resort at De Panne. On what turned out to be the warmest day of the year, they were able to enjoye some well deserved rest and recovery on the sand and along the promenade before the drive back to Elstree.

With many players excelling in unfamiliar circumstances, we were proud of the whole team for the way that they performed. In the "Player of the Tour" competition, the runners-up were Adam (8C) and Krish-Vir (8S). The overall winner, and recipient of the exclusive Belgium pin-badge, was Rohan (8S).

Many thanks must go to Edi Brkovic for conceiving of this Tour and liaising with the local club in Belgium. Many thanks as well to the U13 Head Coach at ENL, Tara and her team who were welcoming and generous hosts. Finally, thank you to Jenny Adams and Andy Simm for their support on the UK side, without whom this trip would not have been possible.


Year 8 poetry reading competition

Year 8 pupils learned a poem off by heart  and presented it to their classmates. A number of them reached the finals and had to present it in front of other finalists and teachers in any way they wanted! Congratulations  to the winners who were Arav B and Luca P and Rishi P.


Year 9 tourist competition

Year 9 Spanish students have undertaken a project in which they had to advertise a Spanish speaking country. All pupils carried this out with much enthusiasm  and many attended the final to see the other finalists but special congratulations go to the two sets of winners for their presentation and short film. Fantastic work – Neev S and Rian S for presentation on El Salvador and Alessandro C and Meko N for their short film. Both groups showed an impressive level of Spanish and great pronunciation!


Joblings charity shoe collection

Well done to Joblings, who have been doing a final charity collection of the year for Sal’s Shoes, a charity proposed by Ben (10J1). The school community has been most generous and this was the final collection pile of shoes today. My thanks go to everyone that donated. There must be at least 200 pairs of shoes for teenagers and children in the collection.


Habs students win Independent Schools Tennis Championships

Congratulations to U13 tennis players, Sam Z and Kaaviyan P won the Independent Schools Tennis Championships!

There were 50 teams from all over the country converging on Eton to compete in the four-day annual tournament – the most prestigious event in the school tennis calendar.

In the preliminary rounds the team topped their group with wins against strong tennis schools such as KCS Wimbledon, Warwick and Whitgift. This morning they eased past specialist tennis academy Reeds (Tim Henman’s old school) to progress to the quarter finals, which is as far as Habs had ever reached and only once before back in 2016.

In unchartered territory in the quarter-finals the team battled past former champions New Hall, then in the semi-finals they had to raise their level to beat Hampton. The final this afternoon against Sevenoaks was full of intensity and drama but after superb shot-making and real grit Sam and Kaaviyan won 6-2 to win the ISTA John Barrett Cup – a truly incredible achievement!


Team Marl1n visit Alpine F1 factory

Before the summer holidays, one of our F1 in Schools teams, Team Marl1n, were fortunate enough to tour the factory of Alpine F1 Team. They were shown around by Ian Goddard, Head of Technical Innovation Partnerships, who explain in detail every step of the development of an F1 Car.

From Wind Tunnel and CFD Testing, to composite fabrication, to CNC machining and 3D printing, the students were amazed by the thousands of design iterations and petabytes of data needed to bring the car to the track.  

Thank you to Team Alpine F1 and to F1 in Schools for making the visit possible. Marl1n won the 'Research and Development' award sponsored by Alpine F1 for the excellent portfolio and wind tunnel testing they included in their entry to the UK National F1 in Schools Finals 2022.


GCSE Drama performs for Woodlands Primary School

After delighting Year 3, our very first audience, in the new Lime Tree Studio with performances of their devised pieces, Icarus and The Incredible Book Eating Boy, Year 10 took their props (including feathered wings, sticks and sheets) to Woodlands Primary School where they gave a performance to a Year 3 class.

The children enjoyed watching the GCSE students transform into boats, monsters and magic trees and eagerly shouting "Icarus, don't fly too close to the sun!" After the performance, Year 10 helped to run a workshop which celebrated the joy of games, magical transformations and the imagination.