School Captain’s Blog: Spring & Summer Term 2015

It has been yet another tremendously busy term; it seems that every term is increasingly full of success and new innovations, alongside more familiar school traditions.

Once again the school took a large group of students to the Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. The group represented the school superbly and to the envy of myself and much of the rest of the school had some truly unique experiences, using the only B52 flight-simulators not in the hands of the US military as well as flying their very own space mission.

As part of the rugby 1st XV, I have thoroughly enjoyed the rugby 7s season and it culminated in a superb victory in the Staffordshire Plate. However the success of the Year 7 rugby teams, coming 3rd out of 30 teams in the Staffordshire Cup is an impressive feat, and it is good to see the success of the seniors emulated by the junior teams-they certainly have a promising future ahead of them in school rugby.

It doesn’t seem like a whole year ago that I was on my Geography field trip in Farchynys, however two groups of 61 students have now completed their fieldwork in preparation for their exams in the summer. Project Horizon have also scheduled a launch from the coach house in the summer term but have also been working hard closer to home. The team of ‘experts’ presented the project to members of the public at the Thinktank in Birmingham, and have also been invited back next year, a huge reward for the last few years hard work.

One highlight of the term was a donation of a plaque recognising the school’s new Confucius classroom status. It recognises excellent teaching of Mandarin Chinese in the classroom and the opportunity to promote teaching of the subject in local schools. Members of the school community have also received national recognition in Mr. Sunley’s Tenner Challenge. A special mention should go to Jay Sikka who despite annoying much of the sixth form with his ‘Café 6 express pass’ , was rightly highly commended for his enterprise.

The open evening towards the end of the term provided the school with an opportunity to showcase the successes of the term, and Mr. Vause’s band did well to prepare for the Spring concert which was also a huge success. As my last open evening it filled me with a sense of pride to see the changes and successes on display since my first open evening, spent guiding visitors around the school.

However, perhaps the most publicised successes this year have been those of the DT department with Irfhan Ahmed’s commemorative plaque to Charles Bonner VC being unveiled in Aldridge, a great success for him and the school. It does seem inevitable that at some point the name ‘David Pearce’ is going to come up when describing this term. I would like to congratulate David on his fantastic achievement on designing a side of the new £1 coin. This seems to be a fitting way to celebrate yet another busy, successful and enjoyable term.

Finally, it was a pleasure watching the staff well and truly beaten by the sixth form side in this year’s charity football match, raising money for a great cause, playing in a fantastic match and seeing off a truly amazing term in style.

Summer term

This term (if you can call it that) was actually only a few short weeks in school for 6.2, as the countdown to exams and leaving intensified for the upper sixth.

Sport at school is usually restricted to just cricket at this time of year. However, not only has one the most ambitious cricket schedules ever seen at the school materialised under the leadership of Mr Gibbons, but the return of Mr Taylor has allowed the sports department to offer competitive tennis and golf lessons to members of the community who may not usually be involved in summer sports.

The CCF also played to Air Commodore David Prowse for its biannual formal parade, as he visited to inspect the contingent. He went away very impressed by the commitment of both officers and cadets alike and on the whole, the parade was a huge success.

The first year seven Farchynys weeks also took place as seven years at Queen Mary’s came to a close, adding to the nostalgia no doubt experienced by all of those that will be leaving. My time at Captain of School has been the busiest of any of the seven years I have spent at the school in terms of the sheer volume of things that continue to go on at school. It is clear from my time that the school is continuously changing, and progressing, and I am extremely proud to have been a part of that progress. Finally, I’d like to wish Liam O’Connor the very best of luck as the newly appointed Captain of School. I know that he possesses the necessary character to do an exceptional job.

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