Archive for October, 2014

House Arts

From emails to flyers and most effectively the bribery of food (where desperate times call for desperate needs) united the four different houses individually to frequent practices about two to three weeks to the House Arts Competition. The House Arts Competition compromises of four categories: ensemble, dance, song, and poetry. The theme this year was: CELEBRATION! Leading up to the night, about a week before the competition, daily practices were called forth to polish up on harmonies, verses and dance moves.
Straight after our Saturday test all houses took turns for a final stage rehearsal in the theatre, to finalise formations on stage making sure for a smooth run during the night. When we weren’t trying to enhance our dance techniques, we were enthusiastically practicing out house song, which I believe will be stuck in my head for next couple of weeks.
The house captains finally decided a few hours before the competition that a break was  in need to save our energy for the real deal. An hour before the competition everyone gathered at their assigned backstage room. Everyone was already dressed up to perform and many were just adding finishing touches to their make up. At one end, you could here a group of people practicing their harmonies and at the other end people dancing while humming the tune of the song they were going to dance to.
At around 7:00pm everyone was called to take their seats in the theatre. From the very beginning, the crowd was already fully excitement and enthusiasm. The House Arts Competition kicked off with the house ensemble, which followed with the house dance. As a supportive Teresa member, I represented my house and participated in the house dance. Unfortunately, I was unable to see the other house dances, as I had to leave the theatre to prepare for the Teresa dance performance. Many of us who were waiting backstage were rather anxious yet excited at the same time to go on stage to perform after Mr Wilson’s opening speech. We all danced the dance for the last time on stage the best as we could. The feeling coming of stage was satisfying as we knew that we had fun and really enjoyed ourselves
The next event was the house poetry, which was very engaging. Finally, the last event was the house song whereby almost every member of each house had participated in. Teresa’s house song idea was the celebration of time. Therefore, we sang many retro songs from the 1950’s and 1970’s. In between our house song, we did some sort of a chant which was to show our unity as a house but at the same time could have successfully intimidated others.  Our house song ended with the song ‘Celebration’. At the end of the performance, all of us felt really proud of ourselves as we knew that we left every ounce of house spirit on the stage.
As the competition came to an end, the amazing performances had left the judges with a rather difficult decision of picking the winners. Despite that, in each category there was one house that had that little edge. The winners for the house ensemble and dance was TERESA! And the winners for the house poetry and song was Mandela! However, the overall winners for the House Arts Competition of 2014 is TERESAAAAAAAA! We were all over-joyed and couldn’t be happier. We also, realised how all the hard work and dedication had paid off.
Chloe Ho F5
Posted on: Oct 23rd 2014 in General

Form 5 Canoe Trip on Lake Bala

It started in the middle of the night for some, including me. Being a typical teenager, I can’t manage without my Sunday lie-ins and waking up at 6 am after going to bed after 1am is probably not the best of my ideas so far this term. Once I arrived at school at 7:30 we waited for everyone to gather around and get their bags ready; at 8:50 we all clambered drearily onto the usual Boultons coach.

After a long foggy coach journey through misty old Wales, we found out Aous’s bowels had churned when he realised that he couldn’t see anything because of the fog, but thanks to our bus driver we are still alive. Anyhow, we got the activity centre somewhere along the right bank of Bala Lake. We equipped ourselves with paddles and waterproofs an then carried our canoes down to the water.

It was still really foggy at this point and I honestly couldn’t see much at all, but the water was mysteriously still and made the view look absolutely breath taking. I found most of the morning quite tedious because I have been canoeing many times before; also we spent a long time trying to figure out good leading strategies on how to control the group most efficiently.

When it was lunchtime, we pulled up at a rocky beach besides a railway, where Jordan, Edward and I emptied the chilly water out of our canoe that had been sloshing around since the start. Previously, when we were still in the early hours of the morning Miss Taylor had told Jordan and I that she fancied her chances of managing to push him and I into the lake, but we had believe different. We had been planning and plotting on how to get her in instead the whole morning, so when we realised that we had the chance at our lunch break then we didn’t wait too long. We lured her closer to the water, which then obviously lead to her falling in and us not. (Sorry Miss if you’re reading this) Next Miss Taylor tried to push me in, but she didn’t manage (sorry again) haha.

After that, we had some more canoeing which was again not that interesting for me, and was quite tedious, but I hope everyone else enjoyed it. Towards the end of the day, my group and I had finished early and our instructor, James, decided to be especially mean and make us all have two different races. One being the two (or three in my case) members of the boat sit at the very front of the canoe, and the other as you may have guessed, all of us perched at the back. After these races were over it was time to go in, but just to top it all off our instructor made only my boat paddle back to shore in the most awkward position I could think of; it was as if Crystal was almost on top of me at the back of the boat. Therefore we managed be the only boat to capsize the whole day (I’m sure watching this was Miss Taylor’s favourite part of the day).

Finally, to end the day a number of us decided to jump into the water just for the sake of it. To their surprise there was a layer of something like sludge about 40cm thick in the bottom on the lake. Quickly we all got out, got changed and in no time we were back at school.

Joe Parker F5

Posted on: Oct 15th 2014 in General

Busy Weekend!

Murmurs of “Whoa, that’s so good,” were left lingering in the theatre while the different acts were on stage performing. The Talent Show 2014 evoked many different kinds of reactions from the audience. From ‘oohs’ to  ‘OH MY GOD HAHAHA’.  There were different types of performances ranging from dancing, singing and people showcasing their musical abilities. However, a surprise act from the Wrekin House boys to end the Talent Show was what kept the audiences laughing. Clad in suits, the boys sang to ‘Rude’ by Magic while expressing their frustrations about school (and of course, wanting to sit next to the high achieving 99.8% Ryan in tests…)

While all the acts performed superbly that night, the judges (Mr Kerslake, Dami and Emma) still had to pick the top three best acts of the night. It came as no surprise – to me at least – that Lisa Koh won that night for her acoustic cover of “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran. Following closely behind, we have Joshua Mountford, who performed an amazing cello piece, which kept us on our toes due to the intensity of the song. Lastly, the amazing trio – Alisar, Mia and Chloe performed an astounding version of “All I Want” by Kodaline.  A special mention was also made to Greta who performed Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C Minor beautifully on the piano.

Besides the performances, a whopping £455.40 was being raised that night. All proceeds will be split into 50:50 between a Women’s charity and the Xavier Project’s work in Uganda. It was truly a wonderful Saturday night and of course… 10:30 registrations.

Besides the Talent Show, which happened on a Saturday, the International Food Fayre also took place on Sunday. Societies like Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Eastern European, Indian, International (a new society) whipped up their best local dishes and everyone just went around nipping on different finger foods or even having noodles from the Indonesia and Singapore society!

We all know how much we miss home cooked food. I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t get homesick from time to time but food that comes from home instantly makes me feel better!  Being able to have a taste of different people’s cultures and where they come from was fascinating. All of the foods tasted so different, yet so good in their own special way. Seeing people from the college come so close together for yet another event made me feel like I was at home with such a great community. It really was another amazing weekend!

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Nicole Lim F5

Posted on: Oct 8th 2014 in General

Road Race

With our usual Saturday Test being pushed a little earlier, and all of us whining and complaining, Mandela has kicked off the start of a new term by winning the Road Race, which has set an exciting pace to the upcoming House Arts. The Lower School Road Race was won by none other than Joe Parker. In second was Ben Legeais and in third Filip Skierski. The first for girls was Lucy Fairbanks. Joe has also set a new record for the Lower School Road Race at 6 minutes and 11 seconds which left him panting and bending over in a bush, with a side attraction of Wilfred, Eugene and I casually walking the Road Race and finishing the last.

The point of the Road Race was not to win or to be competitive with each other, but it is one of the few times the whole of our school would come together and participate in the same event. It didn’t matter if you walked, jogged, skipped, or ran the race. It was a small track that went around the school; Lower School students had to run one lap, whereas upper school students had to run two laps. In both events, there were people cheering by the side, encouraging and motivating runners to keep going.

Mandela did not have anyone who came in first or second or even third in the Lower School Road Race and they still won. Every place counts, if you come first or second or even last it still gives points to your house so even if you are not athletic you could still contribute to your house unless you broke your leg, not mentioning any names.

The Road Race has brought together each and every one, from their respective houses to show their enthusiasm and compassion to win the first of many house events. With the House Arts approaching I am sure that each and every house will be even more enthusiastic and hyped than for the Road Race.

Edward Goh Form 5

Posted on: Oct 1st 2014 in General