As part of a trip exploring the possibilities of studying Modern Languages at Oxford, a group of students from Lower School gained a key insight into life at university.
The trip took place on the 8th of March, and along with pupils from a local school in Church Stretton, we enjoyed both interacting with the undergraduates at Pembroke College and the group work on poetry. We were also grateful for the opportunity to ask questions about applying to university, the courses offered, and the advantages of studying Modern Languages. Later, a visit to Christ Church College and the Modern Languages Taylor Institute Library allowed us to see the beautiful architecture and history of the area.
Thanks to all the accompanying teachers and especially to Mrs. Somerville, who put a great deal of time and effort into the organisation of the trip. We are very appreciative to Oxford University colleges Pembroke and Christ Church, and the Taylor Institute library for giving up their time and hosting us.
Lucy Hampton & Madeleine Lempert F5
The Arabian Nights was this year’s Form 5 GCSE drama assessed performance. The Arabian atmosphere was set beforehand by traditional Arabic music playing when the audience was filling up the theatre. The story starts off with an introduction to Shahrazad and her family: her father the vizier and her younger sister. Abby, Priscillia and Steven fitted their parts perfectly. The bar was set very high by the first scene.
The second scene introduced the king, Thomas, who found out that his wife, Altyn, was being unfaithful to him with another man. Thomas used variation of volume in his voice to show the sadness caused by his wife’s betrayal and the anger induced by it. Some of the audience was taken aback by the power of Thomas’ voice. The king promised to kill a virgin every night for 1000 nights, because he felt that women are “filthy creatures”. Shahrazad sacrifices herself and goes to the king to ask him to let her be his next queen. She then persuades the king to allow her sister to come and ask Scheherazade to tell her a story. Once Shahrazad’s mouth opened and the story started coming out of her mouth the king was immersed in the story.
The main highlights were Ali Baba played by Henry, captain of the thieves, played by Camlo, Ferne acting out Ali Baba’s faithful wife and Altyn acting as Kasim’s (Ali Baba’s brother) wife and Heidi playing the faithful servant. Heidi played the servant amazingly making the best facial expressions. Because this was the actual GCSE examination of the actors that night there was an examiner sitting right at the front but it did not affect the atmosphere even slightly. It seemed that he was very impressed by the performance and enjoyed it as much as anyone else in the audience.
Camlo acted many impressive roles in this play but the highlight for many was when he was the captain of the thieves, his Scottish accent differentiated him as an actor with a lot of talent. Heidi adapted to her role very impressively, and played her part out without the slightest error such as stumbling on her words. In the background Thomas was playing the king and he was literally in the story himself, showing interest from the back of the stage. This night was definitely one of the bigger successes of the Drama GCSE crew, as well as a success for Mrs de Quincey. Everyone was very pleased and impressed by the play.
Alan Yeginchibayev F5
About one week ago, it was Concord College’s Spring Concert 2016. This is not the first school concert I’ve participated in, but it is definitely one of the best ones I’ve ever experienced.
The drama in the first half of the concert was absolutely astonishing and hilarious. However, from the aspect of musicality and my own opinion, I enjoyed the second half more. The violinists were highly skilled, and the music was nicely shaped with depth. The tempo was controlled sensitively and beats were with high clarity. It was also surprising the way they coped so well with each other, which seemed like they had put a lot of effort into it, which is admirable.
I was performing the third movement of tempest sonata by Beethoven, since this is not the first time I have performed in a school concert, I adapted to the environment backstage quite well and the atmosphere was nice, people were chatting with each other, except for the fact that it was a bit too hot! The night before the concert, I performed in a showcase in Shrewsbury. Acting on advice from the examiner, I put my whole effort into this and I was quite satisfied with my playing on the night. Hence I would like to tell you guys that it’s a great opportunity to participate in the Spring Concert, so give it a try, and cherish the opportunities we have.
Jacky Jin F5
The Chinese New Year dinner was fascinating. We departed from the school early in the morning and took a coach heading towards Birmingham. The bus ride was filled with excitement and never-ending laughter.
As soon as we arrived, we split into multiple groups and wandered around the vast city of Birmingham, many went directly to China town, immediately settling down at shops and restaurants, the most popular being Wagamama, with a staggering queue behind it that seemed to go on for hours.
As the city approached night, the streetlights shone vigorously, keeping the city alive. The students gathered around the China Court restaurant at 6pm and one inside sat in groups of 10 to 11 people. The students settled down and listened to an opening speech by Charles, introducing the prizes and lucky draws that would take place shortly after the dinner. Following the speech, several large plates of Asian delicacies appeared out of thin air, including steamed fish, sweet and sour pork, roast pork, duck, goose and more. The food continued on coming for 2 hours, each dish being devoured quickly.
At last, we ended the night with an excellent closing speech by Mrs. Coward and we headed back to the coach for the ride back to Concord. This was definitely a night to remember.
Rhyme Luk F5