The last week before half-term saw a plethora of activities taking place around the Senior School in the name of Charities Week.
The week got off to a great start with The Grand Bazaar in which each form in Years 7-11 created fundraising stalls featuring everything from sweets and mocktails to ‘beat Mr Cusick at table tennis’! On Tuesday to Thursday, the Science Department ran an Escape Room competition, and other highlights included craft workshops and, of course, the ever popular Grange Talent Show which took place in the theatre on Valentine’s evening.
18 students from The Grange attended the MUN conference at Manchester High School for Girls which took place on the last weekend in January.
During the conference Grange students represented the interests of France, Nigeria and the UEA, and debated a wide variety of important international issues.
Year 11 pupil, Emma Bloor, commented: “This was my fifth MUN conference and my second time at MUNHIGH. I found it fascinating debating a varied range of issues with different people around my age, learning many new things and different ways of making my argument.
“This time there were two international schools from Latvia and Iran and it was really interesting talking with them and learning about their countries and traditions. I love being able to go to MUN conferences as you get to learn and debate so many things whilst meeting lots of new people and having a great time!”
Our trip to Ilam Hall, situated in the Peak District, was a thoroughly enjoyable, music packed weekend. Over seventy pupils attended, ranging from Year 7 to Upper Sixth.
We spent Friday night to Sunday morning rehearsing in many different ensembles, playing a wide variety of musical styles. Some of the highlights included ‘ABBA on Broadway’ for all the brass players, ‘Disco Lives’ for Concert Band, and ‘The Spider’s Web’ for the strings.
After a lot of hard work and fun we travelled back to school, where we performed all our newly-learnt pieces in a concert. The music was performed to a high standard, and it was an impressive ending to a lovely weekend.
On the 8th February some of our Year 5 children took part in the very first Junior School Inter House Drama Competition. Finalists had been selected from our heats which saw every member of Year 5 perform their monologue or duologue to the rest of their year group.
The finalists all performed with great confidence in front of a panel of judges and an audience of Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Every act should be incredibly proud of themselves for putting on such an entertaining and creative morning of drama.
Congratulations to Ghazi Abbas and Johnny Maxwell-Reid for winning best duologue, and to Rachel Tabb for winning best monologue. Congratulations too to Ollie Vail for winning the ‘Standout Actress’ award and to Shlok Ramakrishnan for winning the ‘Standout Actor’ award. And finally congratulations to everyone in Dane House for winning the House Drama cup.
Andrew Middleton and William Cooke, both Sixth Form students at The Grange, were invited to the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford as finalists in a UK-wide computing competition – The UK BEBRAS Computational Thinking Challenge.
Reaching the final of the Elite age group is an impressive achievement, as 5,174 students entered the first round for the age group (16–18). Andrew and William were among the top 60 highest achieving students invited to the final round in their age group, and were presented with their finalist’s certificates at a prize-giving ceremony at Hertford College.
The UK BEBRAS Computational Thinking Challenge, supported by Google, is designed to get students excited about computing and computational thinking. It is a problem-solving contest with questions inspired by topics in computer science. In the first round, held in their own schools, students have to try and solve as many problems as possible in the allotted time. There are six age categories. The highest scoring students from the four oldest age groups (Elite, Senior, Intermediate, and Junior) were then invited to the Department of Computer Science at Oxford for the finals over two weekends in January and February.
Wellfest, the school’s week-long festival of wellbeing and mental health, took place in the last week of January and focused on the five ways to wellbeing – one for each day of the week.
On Monday we looked at how beneficial it is to our own mental health to practise generosity and kindness towards others. At lunchtime, students took part in the Giving Challenge in which they were encouraged to carry out small acts of kindness.
Tuesday began with a special assembly led by our Sixth Form Peer Supporters. At lunchtime there was a lovely atmosphere in the Sports Hall as students and staff circulated around stalls learning new skills.
Wednesday was a chance to remember to connect with others and invest in our relationships, particularly through the buddy system.
Thursday focused on being ‘present’ in the moment and included workshops on mindfulness meditation and yoga. Mentor time on Thursday provided an opportunity for students to explore in more detail the previous week’s talk given by Gemma Fieldsend and develop individual strategies to develop wellbeing.
On Friday, the week ended with a lunchtime disco and an emphasis on the importance of activity and exercise in our wellbeing.
Comments Off on Netballers through to National Finals
As January drew to a close, The Grange School U14 Netball squad travelled to Ellesmere Port to play in the North West finals of the English Schools’ National Netball Tournament.
Having qualified as Cheshire Champions for the North West round of the competition, the team were immediately drawn against Withington Girls’ School – the top team from Manchester. However, The Grange team were not caught cold and secured their first win of the day 10-9. The Grange team then went on to comfortably beat Keswick, the best team from Cumbria, and Merchant Taylors from Merseyside. There was a slight wobble against Westholme, Lancashire’s top team, however, The Grange side hung on and managed to win by two goals to top their group.
The Grange then faced Wirral Grammar in the semi-final knowing that a win would book their place at National finals. It was a nail-biting encounter. Throughout most of the game The Grange led by three goals but, in the last few minutes of the game, Wirral made a comeback and brought it back to just one goal. Then, in the dying moments of the game, Wirral had the ball in the circle, under the post, but the final whistle blew just before they could make the shot, meaning The Grange had held on and secured a place at National finals for the second consecutive year.
The North West final was a repeat of the opening game of the tournament as The Grange faced Withington Girls’ School. It was another close encounter, but this time it was Withington who emerged victorious by the slenderest of margins. However, The Grange teams’ place in the National finals was already secure.
“It was a tense morning and an excellent standard of competition. Despite injury and illness, the team pulled together and executed their game play brilliantly. The girls should be really proud of how well they prepared for the competition and we now set our sights on the finals. The whole team performance was exceptional and what we have come to expect from this team, who always compete at the top level,” commented Miss Jess Fowler, Head of Netball at The Grange.
The Grange squad consisted of: Sophie Sellers (captain), Jessica Brocklebank (vice-captain), Katie Wakefield, Millie Peck, Alex Byrne, Emily Pugh, Emily Hills, Emily Cook, Alice Taylor and Sophia Stubbs.
Comments Off on Impressive Medal Haul at AJIS Indoor Athletics
With a total of 14 medals, The Grange Junior School left the AJIS indoor athletics at Robyn Park in Wigan feeling very proud.
A 3rd place medal went to Maddie Carlick in the U11 Balance. Silver medals were won by: Tahlia Bowcock in the U11 3-Lap; the U11 Obstacle Race team consisting of Maddie Carlick, Emily Hull, Hannah Laundy and Ffion Evans; the U11 girls’ Paarlauf team of Tahlia Bowcock and Harriet Smith; Joseph Eglin and Shlok Ramakrishnan in the U10 Paarlauf and Devon Phillips-Kayes and Luke Proctor who starred in the U10 girls’ and U11 boys’ soft javelin.
Winning gold was Toby Causton in the U10 vertical jump and, new 1-Lap record holder, Joseph Eglin, who beat the previous record holder, The Grange’s James Kendall with a time of 12.07. Well done to all athletes who thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Comments Off on Bree Livesey to Represent UK at International Geography Olympiad
Lower Sixth Form student Bree Livesey has been selected as one of only four UK Geography students to represent the country at the forthcoming International Geography Olympiad (iGeo).
The iGeo is an annual competition for the best 16 to 19 year old Geography students from all over the world. Students chosen to represent their countries are the very best, with only four being selected to represent each country from thousands of students who have competed in their own country’s National Geography Olympiad. Bree competed in the UK’s Olympiad in early December and following this the judges offered her one of the four places to represent our nation on Team UK at the iGEO Olympiad which will take place in Quebec City, Canada in July 2018.
“It is a fantastic opportunity and I am very much looking forward to the challenge and meeting other Geography students from around the world. I’m currently turning my attention to the fundraising I need to do in order to attend and the preparation alongside other Team UK members in advance of the event,” said Bree.
Additionally, in autumn, Bree was awarded 1st place in the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTIP) North West Schools Competition 2017. The competition involved designing a redevelopment scheme for a dilapidated site near the edge of Trafford Park, and Bree relished the opportunity to replicate the role of a town planner.
Comments Off on Charlie Stephens Wins Dramatic Award
After playing a leading role in a recent production of ‘Goodnight, Mister Tom’, Year 6 pupil, Charlie Stephens, won a NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) award for Best Youth in an Adult Production.
Charlie played the role of William Beech in an Encore production of the play that ran at the Pyramid Centre in Warrington, Wednesday, 31st May – Friday, 2nd June 2017.
In the NODA report, Charlie was described as: “a beautiful little actor, displaying much skill in this production. A brave young man to play this role exactly as it should be played… We could see him slowly coming out of his shell and glimpses of a happy boy popped through. This boy broke my heart I must admit, he acted so well. Every emotion he was feeling I also felt.”
Charlie has now been put through to be part of the Northwest Awards the results of which will be announced May, 2018.
Comments Off on Footballers make National Quarter Finals
The U14 football team secured their place in the national quarter final of the English Schools Football Association (ESFA) cup after a nail biting 2-1 win over Bridgnorth Endowed School.
In the last 16 game against Bridgnorth the Grange team showed great resilience in defence and team togetherness. Lead impressively by captain, Jamie Round, and benefiting from a fantastic goal scoring run from Deklan Hodson, the whole team have contributed to an excellent cup run which has included wins over Bridgewater High School, Newcastle Academy, Da Vinci Lead Academy and Bridgnorth, and left them two wins from a major final at a professional ground.
The team is also performing well on a regional level, reaching the last 16 of the County Cup where they are looking to improve on their semi-final showing of last season.
Comments Off on Cameron Named Outstanding Athlete at World Transplant Games
Sixth form student Cameron McGregor-Ogden returned from the World Transplant Winter Games with four gold medals and the Outstanding Athlete of The Games award.
The Outstanding Athlete award is presented to an athlete for a combination of sporting success and sportsmanship. Cameron competed against transplant athletes from across the world in Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G and Parallel Slalom. He was part of the 14-person Team GB, all of whom have received organ or bone marrow transplants.
The World Transplant Games (summer and winter) are held to highlight the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyle in the long term management and well-being of transplant recipients and to raise public awareness and increase organ and marrow donation.
Comments Off on National Recognition for Grange Hockey Players
Three Grange students, Beth Alexander, Ericka Morris-Adams and Cole Pidcock have been picked to play with the England and UK Lions Hockey squads.
In order to get in to the England U16 squad, Year 10 student, Beth, was first picked for the Futures Cup in August where she represented the North of England. Following the tournament Beth was delighted to make the squad of 30 players. Beth attends England camps every school holiday which can be gruelling – on her first day at the Lilleshall training centre in October they started training at 10am, played all day, and finished with a gruelling fitness exercise at 8pm. Beth’s main goal is to get picked for the 6 Nations next July, however she faces a tough challenge especially as she is a year young in her age group.
Ericka Morris-Adams is a member of Bowdon Hockey club where she trains twice a week with the Ladies 2s and 3s. Last year she played for Tensworth (Northwest regional team) where she was selected to play for the UK Lions, 2017-2018. Their first tournament is in December, at the Copper Box Arena, London. She has also selected to join the U15 England Performance Centre. All this is all the more impressive as she is still just 13 years old.
This is the second here that, Year 9 student, Cole Pidcock has been selected to play with the UK Lions under 14 team having played last year when only 12. Last year Cole represented U.K. Lions in tournaments in Sardinia, Glasgow and Belfast and hopes to build on these experiences throughout the next few months. Cole has also been selected for, and currently trains with, the English Hockey U15 performance centre training squad and hopes to make the Futures Cup tournament in 2018. He has started playing senior men’s club hockey at Bowdon Hockey Club in the 4th team and trains within the 2/3/4 team group.
Comments Off on “Outstanding” Blithe Spirit Scoops Awards
The school’s production of Blithe Spirit did fantastically well at the Cheshire Theatre Guild Awards.
Lizzie Blakeman won the award for Most Promising Youngster (Female) for her performance as Ruth Condomine; Hadyn Cawley won Most Promising Youngster (Male) for his portrayal of Madam Arcati; and the school was also awarded The Adjudicator’s Award for outstanding work.
In awarding Lizzie Blakeman her Most Promising Youngster accolade, the adjudicator commented: “Lizzie Blakeman’s Ruth was utterly convincing… Elegant rather than matronly, Lizzies’s characterisation throughout was secure. Movements were fluid, vocal delivery was excellent and facial expressions were perfect, especially her timing and reactions to the crosstalk between Charles and Elvira…”
On the performance of Hadyn Cawley, the judges said: “That the audience was on his side from the beginning, and especially during the séance scene, betrays a rare gift: to be able to instantly connect with an audience. Cherish it, use it, develop it, embrace it. There’s only one word to sum up this performance. Exceptional.”
Special mention should also be made for Jamie Banks who was also nominated for Most Promising Youngster (Male) for his performance as Charles Condomine: “This was a tremendous performance from a supremely talented young actor,” said the adjudicators.
Finally, in awarding The Adjudicators Award they said: “This was theatre of the highest order – I would have happily paid to see this on the professional stage. That the cast and crew were 17 and 18 years old is all the more remarkable. Outstanding.”
Comments Off on Grange Artists Win Prestigious Competition
The Grange School achieved success again at the respected Chester Arts Fair where around a hundred professional artists from around the world show their work. Exhibiting alongside other schools from the Northwest, The Grange came away with several section winners.
Amber Skipper took the award for Key stage 5 (Sixth Form) and, with great excitement, Alana Ledwith took first place in the whole Art in Education programme with her beautiful GCSE work.
The Art in Education Competition is a celebration of the most innovative and talented students in the region. A highlight of the Fair, the competition allows students to experience the commercial side of a career in art and be part of a prestigious art event close to home.
“Congratulations to Alana and all the Grange students who exhibited their excellent work,” said David Kereszteny Lewis, Director of Visual Arts at The Grange School.
All three Grange School teams played some great netball in the Cheshire Round of the National Netball competition with one team becoming Cheshire champions and securing their place in the North West final.
The U19 team played some spirited and skilful netball. They lost Jess Walsh to an injury in the first 5 minutes so the rest of the team had to adapt early on. They played really well, eventually placing 4th. Congratulations to: Alice Gerrard, Charlotte Sellers, Katie Binns, Tess Hemming, Issy Edwards, Estela Sanchez, Jo Ravenscroft, Jess Walsh and Ella Stacey.
The U16 team had a frustrating morning playing some great netball but they narrowly missed out on a semi-final spot. The highlight of the morning was an excellent 6-5 victory over a very strong Fallibroome team. Congratulations to: Holly Chambers, Lucy Edwards, Megan Evans, Beckie Knowles, Simar Hare, Lottie Woodmansey, Lucy Exley, Katie Jones, Georgia Knott and Jemima Hawes.
The U14 team played brilliantly winning all of the games in the rounds convincingly and progressing through to a semi-final v Kings Macclesfield. Another dominant display in the semi-final secured our place at North West finals in January. The team then faced rivals Kings Chester and kept their composure to win 11-9 and become Cheshire Champions. Congratulations to Jess Brocklebank, Alice Taylor, Katie Wakefield, Sophie Sellers, Millie Peck, Alex Byrne, Emily Cook, Emily Rowland, Emily Hills and Emily Pugh.
The L6 Mathematicians spent the afternoon of Thursday 9th November at Maths Inspiration Manchester, finding out how maths turns up in some unexpected places.
The first lecture held by John Roberts gave us an insight into how maths is found in all aspects of the real world, including rollercoasters. We learnt about how the London Eye was built, which John Roberts was involved in, and a Top Gear stunt which was explained to us.
Ben Sparks, the next speaker, told us all about probability and even a little of how to win at poker. Including a few tricks, he made the lecture fun to listen to and enjoyable to learn the maths behind it all. He finished the talk with a song that linked it all together.
Finally, Colin Wright amazed us with his insane juggling skills. After showing us the patterns behind all of his moves he showed us how he could create new ones using a formula he created. As well as being very interesting, it also taught us something that no one knew about.
Comments Off on George Akka Wins Chester Young Musician of the Year
George Akka from 7ACD won his class in this year’s Chester Young Musician of the Year Competition, which took place in November. George was up against very tough competition with players of up to Grade 8 standard.
The competition was judged over a full day of performances by Simon Mercer, a distinguished conductor and ABRSM examiner. Each competitor was required to perform a varied recital of 10 minutes, with at least one piece from memory.
There were three winners on the day, one for each age group (up to 12, 15 and 18). George now looks forward to performing in a public concert in January, which is held in Chester for the winners and runners up.
The school’s Community Action Group organised a collection for Mid-Cheshire Food Bank in Winsford as part of The Grange Senior School’s annual Harvest Festival celebrations.
Mid-Cheshire Foodbank is part of the Trussel Trust which has over 400 foodbanks nationwide. Use of foodbanks in the UK has increased significantly in recent years, with 1,182,954 emergency packages being given out in 2016-17 alone, so it is a most worthy cause. Students, parents and staff gave very generously and the foodbank were extremely grateful for the donations.
The Junior School also recently organised their own collection for Mid-Cheshire Food Bank with a huge amount of food items being donated. They also raised over £700 for St Luke’s Hospice as part of the Harvest Festival celebrations.
Former Grange student, Dan Bruce, has been making a name for himself in the USA as a star of the university soccer scene.
Dan was recently named in the C-USA (the highest level of university soccer) team of the year playing for Charlotte 49ers. A skilful attacking player with an eye for goal, Dan is now captain of his university team.
After completing his A levels at The Grange, Dan left to take up a football scholarship at the University of North Carolina and things have evidently been going well! Whilst a pupil of The Grange, Dan played for the England School Boys FA team winning the Centenary Shield and was top goal scorer for three years running for the Independent English Schools FA team.
Comments Off on Promising Beginning for Netballers
It has been a very promising start to the school year for The Grange’s netball teams with success in every age group coming before the October half term break.
The school was the overall winning school in block fixtures v Kings Chester, Fallibroome and Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Blackburn. Meanwhile, the new Year 7 team have set the bar high and, after a narrow defeat in their first game v Cheadle Hulme have picked up the pace and have been undefeated since. The U13 team made the last 16 in the Independent Schools’ Cup after knocking out Withington and Loughborough.
The school’s netballers have enjoyed several coaching sessions from Manchester Thunder coach, Jen Fields. Jen has been impressed with the standard of play, skill and most importantly the attitude of our players.
Comments Off on Jensen Weir Makes Pro Football Debut
Year 11 student, Jensen Weir, became Wigan Athletic’s youngest ever player as he made his professional football debut at the age of just 15.
Jensen, who has been doing a good job of balancing school commitments with the demands of the football academy system, came on in the 69th minute of Wigan’s Checkatrade Trophy match against Accrington Stanley in November. It’s an amazing achievement with very few players making their professional debut at such a young age.
Will Broderick, 25, a past pupil and rugby coach at The Grange has been selected as a member of the Brazilian National Rugby Squad that is currently on a three-week tour of Europe, playing Germany, Belgium and Spain.
Will has been coaching and playing rugby in Brazil since August 2013. He was selected for the National Academy two years ago. A serious hip operation in September 2016 put his hopes of making the squad on hold. However, after 12 months of determined effort he now has his place in the touring squad. He plays for Sao Paulo Saracens Bandierantes and continues to coach a successful Women’s 7s team, and a local university team, as well training with the national squad.
Comments Off on Aiming High at Sixth Form Open Evening
The Sixth Form Open Evening in early November was an opportunity for our current Year 11 pupils, external candidates, and parents to sample the unique atmosphere of a Grange Sixth Form education.
Prospective students were able to talk through potential A level subjects with Heads of Department in order to help them make informed decisions about what they will study at A level. Guests also had the opportunity to explore the recently built Sixth Form Centre whilst hearing from staff and students about the supportive and aspirational atmosphere, the excellent relationship between students and staff, the wide range of enrichment and leadership opportunities, and, of course, outstanding public exam success.
Comments Off on Rugby Players Hold Nerve to become ISA Champions
The Grange Year 6 rugby team emerged as ISA Champions recently, but they were pushed all the way by, close rivals, Queen Ethleburga’s School.
Winning all the games up to the lunchtime break, the Grange boys were feeling confident of continuing that success into the afternoon session. However, Queen Ethleburga had matched us going undefeated in their early games. The crunch match came and both teams battled hard to earn a draw. This meant any slip ups in the last two games would hand the title to the other side. Both teams went on to win their remaining matches to set up a mighty clash to be crowned the champions of ISA.
Just as the big game began the heavens opened and it poured down for the entire match. This did not deter our boys who were sensational. Finally running out 3-1 winners. Congratulations go to Joe Rowlnd, Will Luandy, Ted McCaffery, Lucas Naylor, Harry Gaskarth, Barclay Noone, Ash Kasem, Jack Mann, Harvey Richardson and Tom Roberts.
All Grange trips are mind expanding but the Maths Department’s Catalyst Museum trip, which took place in October, may be the only trip in which pupils sit down afterwards to calculate the total volume by which their minds have actually expanded.
Among many activities, pupils made small planes fly with solar power; made electricity with their bare hands; investigated the speeds of different sized bubbles; and worked in groups to create room-filling tetrahedrons from sticks and rubber bands.
Comments Off on Sophie Akka Gains Place at Royal Northern College of Music
Year 10 student, Sophie Akka, has gained a place at the prestigious Royal Northern Collage of Music. After being invited to audition Sophie was thrilled to be awarded a place to start immediately studying voice, violin and piano.
Sophie was accepted to the U18 department of the College and her principle study will be voice. Following her audition, the College expressed she has an “unusual potential for musical drama singing”, and have allocated her a tutor who is a specialist in musical voice, as well as traditional/classical voice. While there, she will also be studying conducting, composition and perform with the college’s official choir, as well as performing vocal and violin solos at the various concerts open to the public.
Sophie was also recently awarded, along with a significant number of other Grange pupils, places in the Hallé Youth Choir and the Hallé Youth Orchestra, both of which she has now joined, starting with a performance of “Dream of Gerontius” at York Minster on November 4th.
There was, once again, an excellent response to the Junior School Harvest Festival appeal with £739 raised for St Luke’s Hospice and a huge amount of food items delivered to the Mid Cheshire food bank.
The cans and packets of food were displayed in the hall for Harvest assemblies before being packaged up again and delivered to the foodbank. Parents were invited to join the Year 3 to 6 children for a Harvest Festival Service lead by Rev. Nathan Phillingham from St John’s Church, before Mr Land lead a short celebration with the Reception, Years 1 and Year 2 children.
Following the assemblies, Mrs Price accompanied two Year 6 pupils, Sophie Hughes and Connor Reeves, to the Mid Cheshire foodbank in Winsford to drop off the food.
Upper Sixth Form student, Lachlan Chavasse, proved that he is among the country’s brightest up and coming scientists as he won a prestigious Cambridge Chemistry Challenge Roentgenium Award.
Lachlan was one of only 55 award winners out of over 7000 young chemists who entered the demanding competition. The Challenge is significantly tougher than A Levels and is designed to test the thinking skills of the country’s most promising young chemists. Lachlan can now count himself in the top 0.7% who achieved this status this year. He will attend the Presentation Ceremony in London later this year.
The Conservative Party conference pitched up in Manchester in early October providing a perfect opportunity for our Upper Sixth A-level Politics students to get a taste for the hurly burley of the political circus.
The busy and intense atmosphere captivated our enthusiasm for the day’s speeches from figures such as Minister of State for Justice, David Lidington and the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox. Impressive speeches were heard from the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd and, as a pleasant surprise the adventurer, Bear Grylls made a passionate appeal for government financial support for the Scouting movement.
In addition we also spotted political heavyweights, Philip Hammond, Jacob Rees-Mogg and the long anticipated Boris Johnson, all being ushered through the crowds of reporters and the Tory Party faithful. The reporters paid particular interest in us due to our youth with Conor Holland and Alice Baldwin being interviewed and appearing on Northwest Tonight. A busy and fascinating day which put the study of British politics into context during these uncertain times.
Nine boys and girls from Year 3 put in a strong performance at the Manchester City football festival which took place at the Premier League giant’s training ground in early October.
The Grange team made a solid start to their group with a 0-0 draw against Altrincham Prep School. This was followed by an excellent 2-1 win over Manchester Grammar School. A 1-0 loss in our final group game against Rydal Penrhos meant a tough semi-final draw against The Ryleys School. However, the team produced perhaps their best performance of the day to beat a strong Ryleys team 3-2 with Billy Holland (2) and Leo Evans providing the goals. Unfortunately, the team could not overcome the Bridgewater School team losing 3-1 in the final. None the less, an excellent performance overall.
Hundreds of visitors experienced The Grange and got a taste of what the school is all about on the Senior School Open Morning in late September.
Visitors were guided round the school by our enthusiastic students and got an insight into what makes the school such a happy, caring and successful place. A small selection of highlights included:
The Art and Design department in which our guests saw Printing and Drawing workshops in action, whilst in the Lower Sixth studio, students worked on their routinely excellent coursework portfolios.
The bespoke Physics, Biology and Chemistry labs where a huge range of hands on experiments took place, as well as scientific “magic” involving liquid nitrogen, lasers and giant Bunsen burners, to name just a few.
The Drama department showed off its award winning recent productions in the studios, whilst our musicians performed live in our 300 seat theatre.
The Pupil Support department gave visitors a feel for the ways in which the school supports pupils academically and emotionally during their time at the school.
A number of live demonstrations in the PE department showed off the high level of sporting attainment and facilities in the school, whilst also looking forward to the opening, next year, of our new £6 million Sports Centre.
If you didn’t manage to come to the Open Morning but are interested in our school, we would be delighted to arrange a private tour.
Comments Off on Grange Students support Chester Cathedral’s Grand Organ Appeal
Five organ pupils from The Grange, along with their teacher, former Director of Music Andrew Millinchip, raised over £600 in sponsorship as they presented an hour-long recital on Chester Cathedral’s famous Grand Organ recently.
The organ, which is in use every day, needs some extensive restoration work and the cathedral’s Organ Marathon event was an opportunity to support the fund-raising effort.
The pupils, who ranged from beginner to Grade 7 standard, included Rosie Allen, Harry Barker, Hannah Bloor, Oscar Jolliffe and James Todd, and the programme ranged from Bach to Hindemith.
Andrew Millinchip, pictured here with the pupils after the recital, commented, “It was great to be able to support this event, which provided a wonderful opportunity for our students to play in the cathedral. It is lovely to see interest in the organ really taking off at The Grange”.
Comments Off on Temples, Tuk-Tuks and Tropical Fish
Exploring a foreign country is a great way to broaden horizons and they don’t get much more exotic than Thailand. From tuk-tuks to tropical fish, nearly fifty Year 11 and Lower Sixth students had a truly amazing experience on the Summer 2017 Biology trip to the Southeast Asian country.
A packed itinerary began in Bangkok with a visit to the magnificent Royal Grand Palace, which houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; a long tail boat canal tour; and a visit to the Damnoen Saduak floating market. As the group moved beyond Bangkok the once-in-lifetime experiences continued to pile up with close encounters with elephants; thrilling white-water rafting; and Himalayan hikes through the tropical flora and fauna.
The trip ended with a week on Koh Tao island where students were able to get some sand between their toes, learn to dive and explore the marine biology beneath the surface of the sparkling blue sea.
A group of Senior School Art and Geography students crossed the Atlantic on a Summer trip to the USA and Canada that ranged from the urban hustle of New York to the natural wonder of Niagara Falls.
In New York the students got a flavour of the pace of life in the ‘city that never sleeps’. They took in the stunning architecture of the sky scrapers and Brooklyn Bridge, they wandered along the urban garden that is the Highline, visited the Met Art Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art, and visited many of the world famous sights including Macy’s, Broadway and Times Square.
Moving on to Niagara the students had the intense experience of being aboard an open-top boat, called the Hornblower, as it sailed into the noise and spray from the falls. “The Hornblower really helped to put into perspective the size of the falls and gave us a good idea of how the processes shaped the river,” said George Oglesby.
Next came the vibrant and multicultural city of Toronto including a visit to the top of the vertigo inducing CN Tower. “Wondering round Toronto allowed me to explore interesting parts of the city and see Toronto’s true diversity and people,” commented Alex Scarr Hall.
Finally, a short journey from central Toronto lead the group to the tranquillity of Algonquin Provincial Park with its beautiful forests and lakes where the students had the opportunity to finish this amazing trip at one with nature as they canoed on one of the many lakes.
Comments Off on Amazing Achievements Celebrated at Prizegiving
The entire school community, comprising children from 4 to 18, parents, staff and special guests, came together at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall to celebrate the remarkable achievements from the 2016-17 school year whilst also showing our gratitude to those who go the extra mile.
Following a beautiful performance from the Junior School choir, the school’s Head, Mrs Leonard, took to the lectern and proceeded to remind us all of what makes the school such a special place in which to learn and develop. A selection of the remarkable achievements and moments from the year mentioned by Mrs Leonard included:
The excellent GCSE and A-level exam results including the value added to predicted grades;
93% of EPQ students achieving A or A*;
Remarkable sporting achievements with various teams and individuals winning national competitions and a significant number of the school’s students competing at an international level in their chosen field;
The development of the new £6 million Sports Centre that will add further to the school’s already rich sports offer;
The achievements of the school’s successful Art department which saw our students invited to exhibit their work at a number of prestigious galleries, not least the Simply Cheshire event in which Grange students scooped the 2nd prize despite exhibiting alongside professional adult artists;
The extremely high quality of the school productions which saw a number of the cast being recognised at the Cheshire Theatre Guild awards;
The remarkable sight of Model United Nations students debating confidently with students three years older than themselves.
Mrs Leonard also underlined the strong sense of community that exists within the school but also introduced the word “team” to suggest a cohesive and mutually supportive unit striving towards a shared goal of excellence in all areas of educational provision and attainment.
Further evidence of such excellence was duly provided in the form of the school’s musicians who produced stunning, spine-tingling performances. “That was stunning,” said Mrs Leonard following the Senior School Choir performance of ‘You Give Me Wings’, “I have worked in six schools and I can say that the standard of choral singing in this school is really exceptional.”
The Day Cup, awarded for exceptional contribution to the school, was presented to Mrs Julie Ward, the Senior School’s Office Manager and PA to the Head and Senior Deputy Head. As Mrs Leonard said, Mrs Ward “embodies the school’s values of wholeheartedness, commitment and supportiveness, she practically lives at the school, even volunteering at the Rowing Club on Saturdays. She won’t see anybody struggling and will go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that everybody is happy.”
The evening ended with Mrs Karen Williams, Chair of Governors, who echoed Mrs Leonard’s earlier sentiment that we all “write our own stories”, leaving us with some questions: How can we challenge ourselves? How will we branch out? What are we going to do to make ourselves even better?
A group of Grange Senior School students travelled to the beautiful German town of Boppard during the Summer holiday where they practiced their German skills and soaked up the sights and culture of the Rhine gorge.
Highlights of the trip included a ride on the Sesselbahn (chairlift) which afforded beautiful views of Boppard and the Rhine; a boat cruise on the Rhine; a visit to the spectacular medieval castle of Burg Eltz; and thrills and spills at the Phantasialand theme park. As always the students were a credit to the school and took every opportunity to try out their language skills.
The Plas Menai trip, which took place at the very beginning of the Summer holidays, turned out to be one last marvellous adventure for last year’s Prep 6 and a fitting denouement to their time at the Junior School.
Activities during the five days of exploration and adventure included sailing, cycling, orienteering, raft building and gorge walking. The pupils threw themselves in (sometime literally!) with energy, confidence and enthusiasm. It was a wonderful bonding and confidence building trip that will stand the pupils in good stead as they move up to the Senior School and face the challenges to come.
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A remarkable aspect of this Summer’s A-level results was the stunning success of those students who opted to do the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) on top of their standard A-levels. No fewer than 93% of those who took the largely self-directed qualification achieved a Grade A or A*.
The EPQ puts the students in the driving seat, allowing them to explore in depth a subject that fascinates them. The qualification is highly valued by universities and many employers because it showcases the student’s ability to work independently, carry out in-depth research and present their findings in a number of different ways – including the nerve racking Presentation Evening which took place in March. Each student is assigned a staff mentor who helps to guide them through the process.
Last year’s students chose to do EPQs on subjects as wide as supervolcanoes to black holes to the Nuremberg trials. No doubt their EPQ success will help to launch them to university and beyond!
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Grange students Jay Cushen and siblings Gabriel and Tyler Melbourne-Smith all came away with fantastic medal hauls from national swimming competitions which took place over the Summer holidays.
Year 10 student, Gabrielle Melbourne-Smith, attended the British Summer Championships in Sheffield where she came away with a silver and a bronze medal for the 50 and 100 metre butterfly races. She was joined in Sheffield by fellow Year 10 student, Jay Cushen. He swam personal bests in every race and came away with 3 gold medals (1500m freestyle, 200m individual medley, and 200m butterfly) more than any other competitor in his age group!
There was barely time for Gabrielle to catch her breath before she headed straight off to the Welsh National Championships in Swansea where she captured 3 golds, 4 silvers and 2 bronze medals in a seven-day consecutive championship swim. She was joined there by her little brother and Year 8 Grange student, Tyler, who walked away with an impressive collection of medals which included 11 golds and 1 silver!
For the new Lower Sixth the 2017-18 school year started with a residential trip to Lancaster University that allowed the students to bond as a group, welcome new arrivals and get to know their new form tutors.
The trip was also an opportunity for the students to get a preview of university life as they stayed in the halls of residence, used the sporting and leisure facilities and worked in the seminar rooms.
As is the case throughout the Sixth Form, the students were expected to work hard on the various activities including a Dragon’s Den style task, and duly obliged: “I was very impressed with my new form particularly their energy and creativity,” said Sixth Form tutor, Mrs Chaplain.
Head of School, Mrs Leonard, was equally impressed and looked forward to seeing the cohort progress through the A-level course: “This seems to be a really good year group with a great attitude. I look forward to seeing what they will do, both in terms of achievements and results, over the next two years,” she commented.
Upper Sixth pupils were celebrating yet another terrific performance at A-level, maintaining its position as a high achieving school.
An impressive 100% pass rate was achieved from this year’s cohort, with 81% gaining a grade B or above and over half (57%) achieving nothing lower than an A grade in all of their subjects.
Students have been successful in gaining places on a diverse range of courses including Medicine, Textile Design and Engineering in many of the top universities across the UK, along with all applicants to Oxbridge admirably securing their place.
Our Chemists were not to be outdone this year with all students all achieving no lower than a B grade, of which 85% achieved an A*/A in the subject. A fitting recognition for the continued pursuit of excellence retiring Head of Chemistry Mr Carl Howe has given to his pupils after dedicating 20 years of teaching at The Grange School.
Those students studying and EPQ in tandem with their A levels produced some excellent and thought provoking presentations earning 93% of students an A grade or above, over 73% of these candidates gaining an A*.
Head Mrs Debbie Leonard said “The leaving Year 13 students have consistently showed their dedication to not only their studies, but in their generous contributions to the whole breadth of life within The Grange community. The results reward the commitment and determination they and their teachers have shown to making the very best of their ability. We are incredibly proud of their success!”
It’s always a real pleasure to welcome pupil’s and staff from our local community to learn with our students and this years Activity Days were not exception.
Welcoming pupils and staff from the local Charles Darwin Primary School, Grange members of staff were on hand to greet them in traditional Spanish style! Taking the role of the teacher our Lower Sixth Spanish Ambassadors spent the morning with our visitors teaching them Spanish and creating cultural maps to enhance their knowledge of Spain.
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In the Summer Term, students from Prep 6 were invited to visit the Food and Nutrition Department at the Senior School. The students experienced a Healthy Eating lesson exploring the Eatwell Guide, they were given the opportunity to analyse their previous day’s food intake, linked to the concept of the Eatwell Guide. The students then worked in groups to make yummy carrot and orange cupcakes containing fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and unsaturated fat.
There was a lovely atmosphere in the room as excited students got the chance to bake and sample the delights of their creations. When the students arrive at Senior School in September, they will study Food and Nutrition for two years, and it has been a real advantage for them to get a taste of what’s ahead!
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After a thrilling semi-final victory against Lymm High School, which required a penalty shootout to decide the winner, The Grange 1st XI team played Kings Chester in the Cheshire Plate final at the end of March.
In what would be, for many, their last ever game representing the school, the players were determined to do themselves, and the school, proud. Unfortunately, a slow start saw The Grange put on the back foot. In a fairly even half in terms of possession, Kings were very clinical in front of goal and The Grange were unlucky to find themselves 3-0 down.
The players rallied in the second half and quickly reduced the deficit after a cool finish into the bottom corner by Mike Newsholme. As the minutes ticked by, The Grange pushed players forward in search of another goal but this allowed Kings to score a goal on the break and leave the final score 4-1.
“Thank you to all the players for their excellent commitment and attitude they have shown for the full duration of this season. I would like to wish all the leaving Upper Sixth players all the best in their future footballing endeavours,” said Mr Cusick, Head of Football.
Performed by a student cast of Fourth to First Years and supported by a theatrical crew of senior school students and staff, the production of Sir Terry Pratchett’s comic fantasy, “Mort”, was a delightfully strange concoction with outstanding performances from the actors.
Death comes to us all, but when he came to Mort, he offered him a job… When Mort is finally left in charge for an evening, he allows his heart to rule his head and soon the whole of causality, and the future of the Discworld itself, is at risk. As Death is not the kind of boss you want to admit mistakes to, can Mort put everything right and save the universe before he destroys the fabric of reality and gets fired?
The whole cast numbering over forty pupils, including the ensemble, were fantastic but special mention must go to the following: Jack Furlong and Orla McEvoy who shared the role of Mort; Rory Webster and Matt Kenyon as Death; Anton Ball as Death’s mysterious manservant Albert; Amelia Rogers as Death’s daughter Ysabell; Scott Watson and Sean May as the Wizard Cutwell; and Sophie Akka and Lottie Woodmansey as Princess Keli.
Mrs Chaplain expertly guided proceedings from the Director’s chair, whilst the tireless efforts of an army of backstage crew and volunteers enabled the magic to happen.
Year 10 students visited the Manchester School of Art degree show to see a range of varying work from Graphics, to Product Design to Textiles in Practice.
The students had the opportunity to meet some of the students and talk with them about their work as well as record observations through photography or sketching to inspire their current body of work. The students could also see the level of the degree show work and look at what degree courses might possibly attract them.
Manchester School of Art is the second oldest design school in Britain and is home to around 3,500 students from all corners of the world. Graduates of the school include Art Director, Peter Saville, Actress, Julie Walters, and the great documenter of industrial Manchester, L.S. Lowry.
Sixth Form student, Amber Skipper, emerged as the winner of this year’s Parker Infographic Design Challenge. Her prize? A week’s invaluable work experience at Parker Design’s Cheshire studio.
The competition offers our Sixth Form Graphics students an insight into what it is like to work on a real-world commercial design project. 17 of our A-level Graphics students submitted responses to the brief, which was to help United Utilities tackle a growing problem: blocked sewers caused by people flushing things down the toilet that don’t belong there, such as wet wipes.
The entries were whittled down to six finalists who were invited back to the agency to present their designs to the professionals.
“It’s been great to be involved in judging this competition. I’ve really enjoyed meeting all the students, talking about what makes a good infographic and most of all seeing their fantastic work – the standard has been amazing, and listening to the six finalists talk about how they came up with their ideas was great. I was so impressed with the amount of work and thought that they all put into the project and am looking forward to welcoming Amber to the studio in a few weeks!” said Graphic Designer, Nicola Vernon-Smith.
The Grange’s own Head of Graphic Design, Mr Paul McAleny, highlighted just how valuable an opportunity the process was for our students: “Visiting Parker Design’s studios, responding to a challenging brief and, for those students who were shortlisted, the experience of discussing their work with professional designers has, I know, enthused them and has really broadened their appreciation for the important role creativity and visual communication plays in industry. Thank you to Andi, Mark and Nicola for their time and enthusiastic support for our students and their work!”
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Grange Sixth Form student, Cameron McGregor-Ogden, is to represent Great Britain in badminton at the World Transplant Games which are due to take place in Malaga at the end of June.
Cameron, who had a bone marrow transplant in September 2014, to treat leukaemia said: “Before I was ill I was a very keen ski racer, but after recovering from my transplant I felt I wanted to try different things, and I took up badminton. The chemotherapy, radiotherapy and transplant had left me very weak but badminton gave me an opportunity and drive to build up my strength and stamina. A year later I won a bronze medal in the British Transplant Games 2016 which earned me a place on Team GB&NI at the World Transplant Games this year.
“Joining the team in Malaga is a great honour and I couldn’t have made it without loads of help along the way – above all from my sister Holly who made this all possible by donating her bone marrow to me.”
Team Great Britain will join 1000 other transplant athletes from 60 countries across the globe.
Lynne Holt, Team Manager commented: “Not only are these athletes ambassadors for our country, but they are also representing the charity, Transplant Sport, and hope to raise awareness here in the UK and globally of the need for more people to sign on to the Organ Donor Register and discuss their wishes with their family and friends”. Those 16 – 30 years old and in good health can also sign up to the Anthony Nolan register as a potentially lifesaving match for someone with blood cancer (www.anthonynolan.org).
The Upper Sixth celebrated their transition from Sixth Form students to Grange School alumni during the Upper Sixth Leavers Social which was held at the Portal Hotel, Tarporley, in May.
The students officially left the school earlier in the day before reconvening at the Portal Hotel for the ball which included a three course meal, speeches and a disco. Organised by the Head Boy and Girl team, the evening was attended by the whole year group as well as over forty members of staff.
Many of the students were celebrating a fourteen year Grange School education, having joined the school’s Kindergarten as four year old children, whilst others chose to join at sixteen in order to reap the benefits of the Grange Sixth Form. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of a leaving gift from the students to long serving and immensely popular Deputy Head, Mr Testard.
The young people now return in June to complete their public examinations before heading off to take up exciting opportunities and places at top universities at home and abroad.
Head of Sixth Form, Mr Andrew Reeve commented: “This is a year group which is highly thought of by staff at the school and the way in which they left was emblematic of this. As a school we are very proud of our former students and they should be very proud to call themselves Grange School alumni. We wish them all the best in their examinations and beyond.”
On Thursday 18th May, The Grange School carried out its own mock snap election.
Having had to respond even faster than Theresa May to ensure that the school community got a chance to discuss the issues of the day, we needed to move fast before most year groups moved to study leave and examinations.
On this occasion, unable to mobilise a full election campaign, the school community was treated to an informative session delivered via form tutors during a mentor period. This saw all year groups engage in lively discussion to learn what a ‘snap election is, how we can have one when we moved to fix-termed parliaments in 2011 and what some of the key party political issues of the day might be.
Younger students were able to discuss key issues and learn about the basics of our political system, whilst some sixth formers got even more involved and formed their own political parties to launch their own manifestos and campaigns in order to win the support of peers.
All students and staff were invited to cast their votes with the Conservatives winning a handsome majority overall.
Many thanks to all students and colleagues for getting involved and yet again we proved that the process of democracy is alive and well and there is no participation crisis here!
Pupils in the Junior School enjoyed a day of outdoor learning as nature became their classroom on Outdoor Classroom Day.
Thousands of schools throughout the world took part in May’s Outdoor Classroom Day with the aim of celebrating and inspiring outdoor learning and play. On a day that ranged from heavy rain to bright sunshine, teachers at the Junior School took pupils outside to support curriculum based learning or to participate in a nature based learning activity.
Examples of some of the outdoor learning activities which took place included: working in teams to build the tallest free-standing structure possible using natural materials; mapping and navigation skills; potion making using natural materials found in the woods; and experimenting with sound and how it changes over distance.
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The Head’s Award Presentation Evening, which took place in The Grange Theatre in May, proved to be a very interesting, thought-provoking and stimulating evening.
Ten students from Years II and III in the Senior School presented on topics as varied as designing a tsunami shelter; how music affects the way we learn; the geology and mythology of the Giant’s Causeway; and pros and cons of re-introducing wolves to Scotland.
With the help and guidance of a staff and sixth form mentor, the pupils were encouraged to use their own research to produce either a written project, physical artifact, or piece of creative work. The pupils present the resulting work to an audience of staff, family and friends, who are then invited to ask questions about their findings and the process itself.
“This year’s Head’s Award Presentations were particularly memorable both for the sheer variety of projects, and the high quality of research, creativity and presentation skills on display throughout the evening. Congratulations to all the participants!” said project lead, Mr Ben Madden.
This year’s Alderley Edge festival of music and drama was an astonishingly successful one for the school with more pupils than ever winning awards and many being invited back to perform at the festival finalé.
The success at the festival was a fantastic return on the investment of hard work made by the pupils, under the tutelage of Miss Jessica Lloyd, herself a former Grange student. Pupils competed in a range of disciplines including Group Mime, Piano Solo, and Verse Speaking.
Siblings, Sophie and George Akka achieved 8 first place finishes between them. George won 5 trophies for Piano, Violin, Singing, Verse Speaking and Prepared Prose, whilst Sophie won 3 trophies for Violin, Singing and Drama.
The full list of Prize winners is as follows:
Kamran Nafisi and Ainsley Norton: 1st place Duologue Years 5 and 6
Charlotte Critchley: 1st place Verse Speaking Year 4, 2nd place Solo Drama Year 4 and under, 2nd Place Solo and Group Mime Years 3 and 4.
George Akka: 1st place Verse Speaking Year 6, 1st place Prepared Prose Reading Year 6, 2nd place in Solo Drama Years 5 and 6, 1st place Piano Solo Year 6, 1st Violin/Viola solo Years 4-6, 1st Vocal Solo Year 6, 2nd String Solo Grades 6 and 7, 3rd Piano Solo Grades 6 & 7, 3rd Vocal Solo (Musical) Year 6.
Remi Livesey: 2nd Verse Speaking Year 6, 2nd Prepared Prose Reading Year 6, 2nd Verse Speaking Year 6.
Elizabeth Cotton: 1st Verse Speaking Year 4, 1st Solo and Group Mime Years 3 and 4, 3rd Prepared Prose Reading Year 4.
Max Hildred and Oliver Millar: 1st Duologue Year 5 and Year 6.
Arthur Moore: 1st place Mime Years 5 and 6.
Charlotte Wilkinson: 2nd place Own Choice verse speaking Year 5 and 3rd place Solo Drama Years 5 and 6
Sofia Sutton: 2nd place Prepared Prose Reading Year 5.
James Aspinall: 2nd place Set Verse Speaking Year 3.
Sophie Brenninkmeyer: 3rd place Mime, Years 3 & 4.
Tahlia Bowcock: 3rd place Own Choice Verse Speaking Year 5.
Ella Stephens: 3rd place Own Choice Verse Speaking Year 5 and Prepared Prose Reading Year 5.
Matthew Pennington: 3rd place Prepared Prose Reading Year 6.
Harriet Storer: 3rd place Solo Drama Year 4 and under.
Samuel Woolley: 3rd place Own Choice Speaking Year 3.
Amelia Hough: 3rd place own Choice Verse Speaking Year 3.
Year 6 Junior School pupils had a fantastic experience on the recent trip to Harry Potter Studios as they went behind the scenes and delved into the magic of the blockbuster movies.
The studio tour includes a variety of fully realised and detailed sets from the movies. The children visited Harry Potter’s home on Privet Drive, strolled down Diagon Alley, peered into the cabinets of Dumbledore’s office and admired the well-worn furniture in Gryffindor common room.
The Year 6’s also had a workshop in which they learned about the process of writing the Harry Potter screenplays and thought about costume design. They also got an insight into the creation of the many mythical creatures, props and visual effects that went into the making of the movies.
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Former Grange School student, Tom Ford, was part of a Men’s Eight crew that secured the Silver medal position following an exciting race at the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade in March.
Making his debut for the Senior GB rowing squad, Tom was in the stroke seat at the front of the boat. From there, he dictated the stroke rate and drove the crew off to a blistering start. At the 500m mark, three crews were neck and neck in the medal positions before the British started to ease into the lead. They maintained their slender advantage for most of the rest of the race but were just unable to hold off a late charge from the crew from the Netherlands.
It was a performance full of promise for Tom and the GB crew who are at the start of the Olympic cycle, the only slight disappointment being that they had come out on top in an exhibition race against the same three crews a day previously.
“We are so proud of Tom’s achievements. He started his journey in our Junior School, took his opportunity in the Senior School, continued his passion at University and was rewarded today,” said The Grange School’s Head of Rowing, Graham Jump.
The Junior School trip to Spain, which took place in the Easter holidays, included sea kayaking, salsa dancing, Spanish lessons and amphitheatres.
The 41 children and 5 members of staff travelled to their beachside residence near the historical city of Cartagena. The first full day began with Spanish lessons in preparation for a trip to Cartagena where the pupils took in the breath-taking Roman amphitheatre. The afternoon was filled with fun in the sea including sailing, kayaking, pedalos and even time for building sandcastles. The next day began with more Spanish practice before the morning’s traditional market challenge. An evening of salsa dancing and a Spanish style barbeque finished the day off.
“During the entire trip the children were amazing, they joined in everything, had lots of fun, practiced their Spanish and were a real credit to the school. I must also say how fabulous our Spanish guides were. They took the time to really get to know our children and they made the experience so very enjoyable,” said Mrs Hales, Head of Languages at the Junior School.
40 students from Years II to V enjoyed the wonders of Rome and Sorrento on the Classics Department trip this Easter.
They say the best way to see a city is by foot, so with that in mind the students marched stoically from the Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and the Piazza Novona – and that was just day one! Day two encompassed the breath-taking Vatican Museums and the tremendous Colosseum, and the final two days were spent visiting the hauntingly beautiful ruins of Pompeii from our base in Sorrento and climbing the devastating Mount Vesuvius. Particular highlights for our students appear to have been the miraculous Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, painted by Michelangelo, and Pompeii, where our students enjoyed having the freedom to enjoy exploring this fabulous World Heritage Site in their own groups.
The students were a pleasure to supervise, receiving praise from hotel staff, and they have made experiences and memories they will never forget. Those who threw a coin in the Trevi Fountain will be certainly be guaranteed a return to Rome…
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The Grange School Big Band’s winning performance at the Alderley Edge Festival on Tuesday afternoon was met with whoops and cheers from the audience.
In awarding the band an “outstanding” mark of 90, the adjudicator commented that she didn’t want to have a write a critique as she did not wish to be distracted from enjoying the musical playing.
Conductor Abi Barnett lead the band in renditions of Paganini’s Caprice, Aurelia (which featured a beautiful trumpet solo from Upper 6th Student Hannah Fallon) and to finish, Donut King.
After the performance the band were invited by the festival Chairman to play for the opening of the Gala concert on Saturday night – an honour reserved for the very cream of the festival.
Director of Music Andrew Millinchip commented: “I am very proud of the achievements of this outstanding ensemble, and all credit should go to Abi Barnett for her brilliant direction. If you want to hear what all the fuss is about, come to Friday’s Dr Graham’s Homes concert in the school theatre where they will be performing again.”
House Art saw the application of no small amount of artistic talent allied with teamwork across the age groups to produce some fabulous final pieces. The theme for this year’s competition was our very own Mrs Leonard!
Each House interviewed our new Head of School and then used the information they had gleaned to inform the creation of two or three canvases. Sixth Form members of the teams showed great leadership in directing proceedings whilst younger members played a full role in the process, from ideas generation to the end product.
After much deliberation the judges declared Bollin House the winners with Dane coming a close second, and Gowy and Weaver coming 3rd and 4th respectively. The judges were very impressed with all the entries but felt that time pressure had effected some more than others.
In her feedback, Mrs Leonard said of the winning entry, “I feel Bollin got a good sense of who I am during our interview and this was reflected back on the canvases at the end. The messaging of aspiration resonates strongly with me and symbolises the theme of our conversation.”
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Following her excellent 8th and 2nd place finishes at the recent Great Britain junior trials, Year V rower Ellie Cushen has been invited to attend the Great Britain J16 sculling camp which will take place in Nottingham over Easter.
“It has been a pleasure watching Ellie mature since becoming a National Champion last year and equally pleasing to see another pupil start the sport in school and grasp the opportunities available to her,” said Graham Jump, Head of Rowing at The Grange.
Both the U14 and U16 Hockey teams qualified for the county finals which were played in the last week of March. Both teams played excellent hockey with the U14 team scooping the title of Cheshire champions.
The U14 team won all of their games to become the school’s first outdoor champions. They have now completed the double and are Cheshire Indoor and Outdoor champions. The U16 team, meanwhile, played well but could not hit the back of the net, eventually finishing in a creditable 4th place.
“Both teams should be very proud of their efforts in making it to the county final. To have two teams in the final of the competition is a first for the school, and shows the increasing strength of Hockey within the school,” said Ms Helen Lawson, Head of Hockey.
We are absolutely delighted to announce that planning consent has been granted for a new 2500 square metre Sports Centre. Construction work will begin on the £6m scheme in July, 2017, with the new exciting facilities fully completed for September 2018.
The new Grange Sports Centre will provide a high level facility including premier netball, badminton, football, and basketball courts. Other facilities will include an area tailored for activities such as yoga, dance, gymnastics and aerobics, a dedicated area for rowing machines and free weights, an external climbing wall and bespoke classroom facilities. As part of the build there will also be a new multi-use games area for sports such as netball and tennis, which will be fully floodlit and laid with a high performance surface. New changing and catering facilities have been incorporated into the design which will further enhance the user-experience.
Sport and exercise is an integral part of a Grange education both within the curriculum and as part of an extensive enrichment offering. In recent years the school has enjoyed considerable national success in netball, hockey, rowing and athletics, whilst also encouraging participation at all levels of sport for general fitness and wellbeing.
This fantastic new facility will encourage even greater participation in sport and the development of a healthy and active lifestyle for all. It will also act as a home for the school’s elite performers and, no doubt, a springboard to further sporting success at the highest levels for many years to come.
Chair of Governors, Karen Williams has expressed her delight for the project. “The addition of updated, well-designed sports facilities will make a difference to everyone in The Grange community, not only those who play competitive sport at the highest level. By creating an outstanding Sports provision, we know we are encouraging pupils to develop personal fitness, health and wellbeing habits that should last a lifetime.”
Comments Off on Netballers Claim Prestigious National Cup
The Grange’s U13 netball squad powered their way to glory in the final of the School Sport Magazine cup emerging victorious from an incredibly tense match against renowned netball school, Goldolphin and Laytmer.
In what proved to be a free scoring, end to end, match the first quarter was nip and tuck, ending 8-8. In the second quarter, The Grange team managed to get their noses in front ending with a 3 point lead, 19-15. It remained on a knife-edge with The Grange maintaining their 3 point advantage going in to the fourth quarter. Could they hold on? Of course they could! The girls carried it home to claim a truly tremendous 42-37 victory to cheers of delight from players, coaches and parents.
The Grange side arrived at the final having worked their way through the local and regional rounds of the competition. In the semi-final, they came up against the formidable Berkhamsted School team, who had beaten The Grange at the same stage in last year’s competition. This year, however, The Grange managed to reverse the result, coming from behind to claim a 37-33 victory in a thrilling encounter.
“I wanted to write to congratulate you on this evening’s performance. I thought it was terrific. It was just the right mix of serious, emotional and fun music. Seeing the children enjoying themselves so much whilst performing was wonderful.”
These were the words of a parent after yesterday evening’s Cantores Roborienses Juniors concert at Vale Royal Abbey, the last full length juniors concert to be directed by Andrew Millinchip, who retires as Director of Music in the summer.
A large and appreciative audience enjoyed a varied programme of favourites, with some fine soloists from within the choir providing instrumental interludes between the choral pieces. The concert raised over £300 for charity and Mr Millinchip commented that he had never heard the junior choir sing better.
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A group of intrepid budding TV journalists from Years III to V at the Senior School took part in BBC School Report Day in mid-March. The students produced a marvelous report, available here and subsequently submitted to the BBC, on the effect of stress on the mental health of their fellow students.
Before the students could start filming there was a lot of preperation to do. In February, they carried out an investigation into mental health at The Grange and challenged a group of GCSE students to take part in different activities to improve their mental health through reducing stress levels. The student groups were asked to undertake either ten minutes of mindfulness each day, walk outdoors for at least ten minutes each day or avoid ‘screen time’ for two hours before bedtime each night. The final group made no changes and acted as a control group against which the reporters could judge their results. Our reporters measured the stress level indicated by a psychologist-recommended questionnaire before and after the fortnight’s challenge and this formed the basis of their report.
On the day of filming, 16th March, the student team arrived bright and early to set up their newsroom with a green screen, ipads and well-rehearsed scripts. Jodie Sale and Charlotte Lloyd moved straight to the front of school to interview students about their experience of stress, whilst Miranda Nosziewicz and Kate Murphy swiftly got to grips with special software to place Kate at a BBC news desk, ready to deliver the headlines. From there, the team carefully scheduled their day around editing and filming, taking turns in front of the camera. Footage of lessons, an interview with Mrs Leonard about the range of support on offer at The Grange and a review of the results of the mental health challenge were all edited into the eight-minute report, along with a prestigious interview with the government’s ex-mental health tsar, Natasha Devon. Ms Devon later said it “was such a treat to be grilled by pupils” and praised the final report in a tweet sharing the link.
Ms McKeown and Ms Hughes who coordinated the day for the reporter teams were impressed by the enthusiasm and independence demonstrated by the team throughout the day, even in the face of unexpected delays. Ms McKeown praised their determination, team-spirit and problem-solving, whilst Ms Hughes drew on her experience in production at the BBC, to help the team work on developing professionalism and how to operate as a journalist.
The Grange production of Blithe Spirit, Noel Coward’s supernatural farce, proved to be an intriguing melodrama full of laugh out loud moments, shot through with flashes of neck-prickling creepiness.
The play begins as novelist Charles Condomine invites his aristocratic friends for a light-hearted séance which backfires when Charles’ first wife, Elvira, unexpectedly materialises from the spirit world; a scenario that turns into a nightmare for all concerned as Charles finds himself stuck in a love triangle between Elvira and his second wife – the prim and proper Ruth.
Everything about the production, from acting to set design, had a professional feel to it. Jamie Banks, playing the role of Charles Condomine, brought out his character’s internal conflicts and exasperations beautifully; Lizzie Blakeman’s unravelling of the tightly wound Ruth Condomine was expert; Tom Cowell and Grace McKenna played Doctor Bradman and Mrs Bradman with just the right level of aristocratic incredulousness. Mia Robinson was ever-so innocent as Edith, the maid; and Kirsty Nolan was fabulous at bringing out the indolent vivaciousness of Elvira’s character. Last but not least, what can be said about Haydn Cawley as Madam Arcati? Haydn attacked the role with gusto, going for and duly receiving the laughs, but never at the expense of character – to Madam Arcati, after all, it’s all a very serious business!
We should not forget the many people who worked on making the set of a professional standard; the backstage crew who made everything appear seamless; the many willing volunteers who served interval refreshments; and, of course, Mrs Bloor and Mrs Sunners who stitched everything together into something, not only coherent, but altogether wonderful.
Comments Off on A Winning Weekend for Grange Netball
The U14 / U16 and U18 teams recently played in the National ISA tournament resulting in some magnificent results for the teams. The U14s played some fantastic netball, winning all of their games.
They won their first 2 games easily and then had a very exciting game against Princethorpe winning 8-7 with Katie Jones scoring a penalty shot in the final seconds. The team went through to the knock out stages of the tournament as winners of the group and continued their winning streak in the finals securing a win against local rivals, Alderley Edge.
The U16s had a tough first match drawing 8-8 with Red House. This fuelled their determination and they went from strength to strength in the rounds and also topped their group. Making it through to the quarter final and winning by 1 goal in the semi-finals they were then up against Red House again in the nail biting final. They won convincingly and secured the title of National ISA champions for the 2nd consecutive year. The team played excellent composed netball all day and they adapted well to the different environment; executing their game play perfectly.
The U18 team competed brilliantly in a tough group and enjoyed an excellent day of netball. They eventually placed 3rd in the round robin competition.
The U12 team competed in the County Tournament beating Lymm and Hartford. They drew with Fallibroome and lost by 2 goals to King’s Macc. Kings Macc had beaten this team convincingly early in the season showing the progress that this team has made. Unfortunately Falibroome went through to the semi-finals on goal difference and went on to win the competition. The 1st year team showed that they can compete with the best schools in Cheshire and all coaches are very proud of the progress that they have made.
The U13 team were under pressure in the same County Tournament after winning last year’s competition. They beat Christleton, King’s Macc, Fallibroome, Lymm and Holmes Chapel to secure a semi-final v Wilmslow which they won convincingly. This meant a final against their main rivals King’s Chester. A gripping final followed, it was 5-5 at full time and then 8 – 7 following 2 minutes of extra time resulting in The Grange securing the title for the 2nd year running.
The Grange Junior School recently hosted a fun, informative and free Science and Technology workshop. The School felt with such stimulating facilities and enthusiastic members of staff they would open the doors on a Saturday to entice young scientists and designers in for a morning of hands-on experience and fun!
The popular workshop of which 30 children attended and many more interested allowed the children the opportunity to learn more about Science and Technology. With an overarching Pirate theme, in the Science session the children used chemical reactions to find the treasure inside a treasure chest, made “liquid gold” using a simple polymerisation reaction and rescued treasure from quicksand using ideas about states of matter.
In the Technology session, the children learned how to make and launch paper Cannon rockets and produced their own personalised gold coins using a 3D printer. Led by Science and Technology specialists from the primary sector, it was a terrific opportunity for young children to learn more about Science and Technology and have access to our state-of-the art facilities.
Comments Off on ‘Land Ahoy’ for the GSPA Pirate Ship
Back in October 2015, The Junior School Prep 6 School Council Representatives inspired us with the idea of additional apparatus for the prep 1 and 2 playground for the children to play on and so the idea of the Pirate ship began!
The School Council developed the idea over a number of meetings, met with Mr Grant, our Estates Manager, to discuss various options and fine-tuned their ideas. Then upon approaching The Grange School Parents’ Association (GSPA) to help fund the project and they were delighted when they agreed. The ideas for the various elements, such as the cannons, the acorn instead of a figurehead, the ‘walk the plank’ all came from the children and it was a designer from “Flights of Fantasy Ltd” who pulled it all together. In October 2016, the installation of the final design began and ever since, all the children at the school have been able benefit from this wonderful playground apparatus.
We decided to wait until this spring to officially ‘launch’ the ship with members of the GSPA and allow the school to publicly thank them for their support as well as to recognise the work of the School Council.
The U18 County Rugby 7’s Tournament held at St Ambrose College, hosting some of the top teams in the country saw The Grange placed in a strong group with Lymm, Calday Grange and Sandbach School.
Starting each game with an excellent display of attacking free flowing rugby, The Grange dominated possession but failed to put points on the board when the opportunity was presented.
Despite losing against Calday with the last kick of the game and conceding a try in overtime against Sandbach, their spirit could not be broken.
Giving Lymm a scare in the final game demonstrated the growing reputation of The Grange as a talented and respected group of players .
Students from Prep 5 to Lower Sixth experienced clear blue skies and a vast array of slopes on the 2017 ski trip in Serre Chevalier.
With encouragement from instructors and friends alike, everyone from beginners to advanced skiers all succeeded in improving their techniques. All students reached the highest slopes by their second day. New boundaries were pushed and new styles were invented such as skiing on one ski down the whole run to sliding rather than skiing!
From supervolcanoes to time travel; the Nuremberg trials to black holes; the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) presentation evening in early March proved to be as impressive as it was fascinating.
Fifteen Upper Sixth students mastered their nerves to give extremely impressive presentations based on nine months of research into their chosen fields. The presentations, which took place in either the school Library or Sixth Form Centre, lasted for 20 minutes in all including time for the students to field some very tricky questions.
The EPQ allows students the freedom to research a topic of their choice and personalise their learning. The topic for this may be an extension of a topic studied in the Lower Sixth, a topic that spans the different curriculum areas or something completely different.
“This is the third year I have been involved with EPQ at The Grange and the standard of presentations this year was simply outstanding. The depth of knowledge and research shown is a clear indication of what this qualification is all about. Well done everybody!” said Mr Andy Lumley, EPQ Co-ordinator at The Grange.
Comments Off on Battling Performances at AJIS Hockey Tournament
The Prep 6 Hockey team competed in the AJIS hockey tournament at UCLAN, Preston, in early March.
The first match was against a strong team from King’s Chester, which we lost 2-0. The girls played much better in the second game, winning 1-0, but the score could have been higher – Aisling Stott scoring an excellent goal. In our final group game we faced Rossall. The game was evenly matched, ending in a 0-0 draw. Although Rossall had more goal-scoring opportunities, excellent defending by Zoe Hildred and some fantastic saves from Eve Ransom ensured that The Grange team held on.
That meant the Grange team finished second in their group and progressed to face one of the favourites, Queen’s Chester, in the knockout stages. Despite defending magnificently, with a stand out performance from Zoe Hildred, The Grange eventually lost 2-0. Overall, an excellent result that the girls should be very proud of.
Following in the footsteps of last year’s massively successful Senior School charities week, Mrs Dunn and the charities team organised several events over the course of a week in February and raised over £2,500 for the school charities.
Beginning the week in high spirits, the traditional Grand Bazaar took everyone by surprise, from press-up competitions to chocolate raffles, money was generously donated from pupils and teachers alike. On Tuesday, pupils faced gripping challenges inside the ‘Cube’, a student edition of the famous TV show. On Wednesday the First Years took the limelight and were quizzed against the teachers in ‘Are You Smarter than a First Year’. To follow, on Thursday, was the screening of the ‘Great Grange Bake Off’ and in the evening the notorious Talent Show took centre stage in the sold out theatre where outstanding performances and high standards delighted the audience. To end the week The Giant Grange Kahoot quizzed students and staff on their Grange knowledge and top teacher secrets.
The charities committee worked extremely hard to organise these events, and every penny donated will go to the Grange charities; Reuben’s Retreat, Young Carers, CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) and Project Gambia. A huge thank you to all who took part!
This year’s Orchestral Weekend at Ilam Hall was as enjoyable and intense as ever. During the course of the weekend, everyone had the opportunity to take part in numerous ensembles and trek through the Derbyshire mud, as well as some time to relax.
The musical content was as varied as in previous years, ranging from The Lion King performed by Brass Group, Pirates of the Caribbean by Concert Band, to Purcell’s Chacony by the Senior Strings. Other movie favourites were tackled by Junior Orchestra (The Great Escape) and Senior Orchestra (Gladiator).
As always, the trip displayed the musical talents of both staff and pupils, with Mr Millinchip’s final performance on the cello, and Mrs Livesey’s debut performance on the tenor saxophone!
I would like to thank Mr Madden, Mr Millinchip, Mr Gandee, Mrs Bushell-Wye, Mrs Hackett, Mrs Thayer, Mrs Livesey and all pupils for creating such a memorable Ilam Hall.
The whole of Second Year gathered in the theatre for an interesting talk on the enigma machine by mathematician James Grime.
He gave a brief history of sending secret messages in code throughout history from tattooing messages on slaves’ heads and waiting for the hair to grow back in ancient Roman times to cracking the enigma code. The complex enigma code was thought to be unbreakable until Alan Turing created the Bombe machine, capable of cracking the code before the Germans could receive it.
Afterwards we had the opportunity to ask James any questions we had, then we split up into our forms for a code breaking session with him. It was a great day that inspired us to do more code breaking of our own.
Grange Art students experienced drawing in new and challenging situations on a ‘drawing weekend’ in the dramatic Snowdonian environs of Cwm Pennant. The Art department organised the trip, the first of its kind, in response to the increasing focus of all exam boards on drawing.
The students started Saturday with a 6:30am start at the beach to experience the emerging light and then a drive to the head of the valley to see the river in spate over the roads and the amazing waterfall of flood water coming down the mountains.
The students worked like demons, drawing from the misty yet dramatic landscape as well as studying natural forms such as plant life, fungi and mosses.
Sunday morning saw the artists visit the beach again and then Criccieth and its castle before heading back to the studio to work on their drawings in the landscape before the rain set in again. It was a really worthwhile and rewarding experience for both staff and students and we are all looking forward to the next event.
Comments Off on Vikings and Anglo Saxons at Tatton
Children in Prep 4 learned all about the Vikings and Anglo Saxons during a trip to Tatton Park at the end of February.
They visited the remotest part of the Tatton estate in the area near the Old Hall where there was once an Anglo Saxon farming community. Archaeologists have found evidence of several buildings including an Anglo Saxon Longhouse.
The children learned about Saxon armour, grinding wheat to flour, rowing in Viking longships and braiding wool. They were also fortunate to witness the estate’s deer being fed.
As part of the Prep 6 JSCA Award, pupils have been looking at coding using different platforms from creating their own games to building Android apps.
This term the children have been writing code to control some Travis Cargo Mini-drones to either complete set tasks or perform synchronised displays as a group. Teamwork, effective planning and testing were all essential skills required to complete the tasks.
Comments Off on An enchanting evening of Music and Drama
Earlier this term we had a chance to sample the considerable musical and dramatic talent which exists within our current First Year. The First Year Music and Drama Evening has become a firm tradition at The Grange, and each year the whole year group get together to perform a couple of songs.
This year we chose an arrangement of the folk song, ‘Drunken Sailor’ and ‘From a Railway Carriage’ by Steve Pickett. There was a good range of solo and ensemble items from our instrumentalists and singers, and a contribution from the new First Year members of our school choir, Cantores Roborienses. The drama items were provided by pupils who had scored distinctions in their recent examinations.
Comments Off on Mud, Sweat and Tears at ISA Cross Country
The Grange sent 6o runners from Preps 4, 5 and 6 to the regional ISA (Independent Schools Association) Cross Country Competition where they picked up three team trophies including that of overall champions.
The weather was good, the mud was deep; trainers got filthy; trainers came off; runners fell; some got injured; but everyone did their best representing the school in front of a large number of spectators and other schools.
All the Grange teams finished in 1st, 2nd or 3rd place with three achieving the top rank – these were the Prep 4 Boys who came joint first, the Prep 5 Girls, and the combined Prep 5 Girls and Boys team. The excellent results across the board meant that The Grange team retained its status as overall champions.
Comments Off on Apartheid Campaigner Visits Grange
Apartheid campaigner and published author, David Evans, offered a glimpse into his fascinating life and his reasons for joining the African Resistance Movement when he spoke to Sixth Form politics students at The Grange.
Providing us with snapshots of his former life, he put into perspective just how recently such profound racism occurred. He spoke of his bravery, revolting against the state using words instead of violence and how his actions in the Sharpeville protests landed him in jail for 5 years. He spoke of the privileges he received even in prison because of his skin colour and how experiences as a child lead him to rebel against the racism that had been instilled in him from an early age.
Having moved to England after gaining a place at Oxford University, he carried on with his protests against racism in English cities. It was extremely insightful listening to David. His bravery in the face of something that looked so permanent contributed to a change for the good when, in 1994, Nelson Mandela won the popular vote. David was accompanied on his visit by old Roburian Alastair Harper.
Five Junior School children represented ISA North at the National Swimming Championships. Swimming in the Olympic size pool in London, they competed against schools from all over the country and The Grange Community was thrilled to welcome them home with a whole host of medals!
Congratulations go to the following pupils:
Remi Livesey Gold Backstroke Medley and Freestyle Relay Anna Crossland Gold 50m Butterfly, Silver 50m Breastroke & Bronze Freestyle Relay Oliver Jolliffe 4th Freestyle 200m Relay Eve Ranson 5th Medley Relay and backstroke 50 metres Tahlia Bowcock Bronze Freestyle Relay
Comments Off on Sophie and George Win Places in NCO
Grange School siblings, Sophie, in Year III of the Senior School, and George Akka, currently in Prep 6, have both successfully auditioned for the National Children’s Orchestra (NCO) meaning that they have retained their places in the orchestra for 2017.
The siblings earned their places in the orchestra despite competition from around 1,200 children of the highest musical standard from all over Great Britain.
Every place in the orchestra is strictly earned from scratch, whether you have previously been a member of the NCO or are applying for the first time.
Sophie and George will take part in week-long residential courses in Lancashire and Dorset, before performing concerts at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Colston Hall in Bristol and the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
The Grange School Sixth Form, in response to national government A Level reform, is launching an exciting new A Level curriculum which will see students undertaking a programme of study that is stimulating, personalised to the individual, and relevant to the demands of the modern world.
The new curriculum has been carefully planned to fully support the needs of our students. These needs are diverse and therefore the concept of flexibility – a curriculum which is tailored to the individual – lies at the core of our academic programme.
At the heart of the curriculum are the three subjects that students will study in a linear style over two years. However, if a student wishes to study four A Levels this is also possible. As ever, students are enabled to do the precise A Level option combination that they favour and are taught in groups which are among the smallest in the area, with an average class size of just 8.
All students studying three A Levels are also required to select an additional course which will be taught over one or two years. Study of these courses will provide students with academic breadth and further support them in making a first class application to a leading university. A flavour of the courses on offer include AS Level Mathematics, Level 3 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), GCSE Psychology and Level 3 Sports Leaders Award.
Students studying three A Levels will also take a Liberal Arts course for one double period a week during the Lower Sixth year. Academically rigorous and intellectually stimulating, these courses are free from the constraints of examination specifications and will cover subject areas that cross the traditional boundaries of academic departments.
Our Liberal Arts programme encompasses families of subjects (e.g. Foundations, Sciences, Creative) within which a variety of stimulating and topical courses will run, all of which will explore university-level content and deliberately cross subject boundaries.
Our hope is that these sessions may provide a spark of inspiration for many as they plan their future in Higher Education and beyond. Liberal Arts courses are increasingly popular in the most prestigious universities in both Europe and the United States and leading graduate employers are keen to look for the skills that they develop.
The academic curriculum is enriched with extension activities, leadership opportunities, and coaching for the most prestigious of world universities. This is complemented by outstanding pastoral care, careful monitoring and a fully developed enrichment programme.
Comments Off on U13 Netballers Northern Champions Again
After emerging victorious from a fantastic game against Yorkshire’s South Hunsley School, The Grange’s U13 netball players have retained their status as champions of the North in the prestigious School Sport Magazine Cup.
The 46-27 victory means this group of players become northern champions for the second year in a row. The northern final also serves as a national quarter-final meaning that the Grange team will now go forward to contest a national semi-final.
The Grange team allied an excellent defence with great control and composure from the shooters in the mid-January match-up. Sophie Sellers got girl of the game with her dynamic attacking play proving too much for the South Hunsley squad.
In the previous round The Grange came up against a very strong Bury team. Seen as underdogs by many, the Grange team produced an excellent performance with Emily Hills turning the ball over to great effect in defence whilst Jessica Brocklebank and Katie Wakefield were ice cool when it came to converting their shots.
The team will now go on, as representatives of the North, to play Berkhamsted School in the national semi-final on February 10th.
Comments Off on Footballers into County Semi-Final
Our U13 football team produced an impressive display of football to beat Wilmslow high school last week to move into the County Cup semi-final.
We looked the more threatening side in the first half with our pace up front but it was a set piece which gave us the lead after 10 minutes. A rocket of a shot from Matt Williams shook the crossbar, luckily Jamie Round was following up to slot home. A second goal from Jamie came early in the 2nd half and a third was added by Finn Shearn after a quick counter attack was finished emphatically in the top corner. Wilmslow did pull a goal back with 10 minutes to go but the defence held strong to move into the Semi-final.
Children at The Grange Junior School joined the quest for life on Mars in January as they took part in the European Space Agency backed Tim Peake Primary Project.
Sue Andrews, a “space ambassador” from ESERO-UK, the European Space Education Resource Office for the UK, visited the school to inspire and lead all Year 5 classes as they took on the roles of space scientists looking into the possibility of life on the Red Planet.
After watching an exciting animation of the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars, the children learned about the quest to discover whether planet Mars has, or once had, the conditions required to support life.
The children then worked scientifically in order to decide which of three soil samples was most like Martian soil. Their investigations involved close observations of the colour and texture of the samples, testing for acidity, timing the filtration rate of water through the soils and finally recovering salt by evaporating.
Lots of fun was had but most importantly, the children practised vital scientific and mathematical skills that will be useful throughout their school life and possible future careers.
The Tim Peake Primary Project uses space to increase the engagement of primary school children with science, numeracy and literacy.
Comments Off on Matt Langridge Inspires Junior School Children
Children at the Junior School made the most of an incredible opportunity to meet Olympic Gold medal winning rower, Matt Langridge, and be inspired by his story.
Matt, who is currently employed by the school as an Elite Rowing Coach, spoke about the many achievements of his glittering career encompassing World, European and Olympic titles and what it took to achieve his aims. Following his talk, Matt let the children wear his medals and posed for photos with the eager young people.
Comments Off on Oxbridge Hopefuls get Inside Track
Sixth Form students got the lowdown on life at Oxbridge recently as two Grange alumni, now studying at Cambridge, and several Grange staff, who also studied at the hallowed institutions, gave the benefit of their experiences during an event in January.
Two former students Tom Roe (Vet. Science, Cambridge) and Sam Williams (Philosophy, Cambridge) returned to school to talk about their experiences with current Lower Sixth students who are considering making Oxbridge applications. They were joined by members of staff who attended the Universities of either Oxford or Cambridge in a lunchtime meeting to allow students to find out what life at these universities is really like. Tom and Sam discussed how their expectations of life at the Universities have compared well with the reality and gave the Lower Sixth students an insight into the wider life of the universities.
Students also took the opportunity to mine the experiences of the many Oxbridge alumni currently on the school’s teaching staff with discussions about the Oxbridge tutorial/supervision system, the relationship of students to their college, and the nightlife.
“It was a chance to get an honest view through the myths and a welcome chance to ask the basic questions that I thought everyone else knew,” said Lower Sixth student, Conor Holland.
Lower Sixth politics students were guided round Parliament which included central lobby, the House of Lords and the House of Commons on the visit to Parliament.
It was amazing to see a place with such historic and current importance. It was also exciting to see familiar political faces such as John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, and Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development.
We were lucky enough later on in the day to sit in the gallery of the Houses of Commons to watch the MP’s at work and see them debate an issue.
It was extremely interesting learning about how Parliament works and how it functions on a daily basis. The trip also gave us more insight into how the country is run and developed our knowledge of Parliament and British Politics.
Comments Off on Girls’ Football Taking Centre Stage
Girls’ football at The Grange has taken off with some enthusiastic coaches and very talented players pushing the game forward at the school.
Fifth Year Senior School student and England goalkeeper, Francesca Bentley, impressed in the recent England Women’s U16 football game against Norway, playing a half and keeping a clean sheet – helping the team to a 2-1 win. Congratulations are also in order for Year II student, Millie Wilding, who has been selected to represent Cheshire, also between the sticks.
Meanwhile, U17 England Captain, Manchester City ladies player, and BBC young sports personality of the year nominee, Georgia Stanway, gave generously of her time recently to coach and inspire the girls while sharing her experiences of playing an increasingly popular sport at a very high level. She attended our 1st and 2nd year girl’s fitness and football session and inspired our young players with her enthusiasm, skills and drills. Miss Arbonés and Miss Robertson, as keen ex-footballers with promising careers curtailed by injury, were delighted to be put through their own paces like the old days too!
In the summer The Grange entered the Cheshire schools U12 and U13 girls’ football tournaments and did the school proud with an excellent display of team work, effort and tactical know how. Both teams were extremely competitive and played within the spirit of the game.
Fitness and Football club for Junior girls takes place on Wednesdays 4-5pm and players of all abilities are warmly welcome.
Comments Off on JSCA: Innovative, Stimulating, Challenging and Rewarding
The Parents’ Guide to the Junior School Curriculum Award (JSCA) promised a programme of learning for our children in Prep 6 that was “innovative, stimulating, challenging and rewarding”. Now that the new course has been up and running for a term we can begin to analyse and assess the positive impact that this programme has had on the experience of our children.
Utilising the expertise of the Heads of Subject, who have spent the last eighteen months planning the delivery of their subject, and combining this with the existing excellent facilities, which are being further improved by the upgrade of the Prep 6 classrooms, it all provides a strong basis for the JSCA.
Further to this, we have embedded the use of mobile technology into the children’s learning, facilitated through the provision of individual iPads to each of the children to use as and when is necessary. Gold, silver and bronze grades are given for effort and achievement to spur our children on to fulfil their potential.
But what do the children think…?
“I love the idea of linking the subjects together in Past, Present and Future.”
“All the work is very challenging but I always have lots of fun doing it.”
“I like the outdoor education because of the team-building.”
Much like the waves of the ocean, life constantly throws obstacles at us. No matter how many we overcome, another will take its place and in many ways, overcoming the obstacles helps us to grow, develop and believe in ourselves.
The focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which took place from the 5th to the 9th December, was the idea that we all face challenges and that there is real value in talking openly about how we develop the capacity to ride the waves (even if we can’t surf!) and look after ourselves and others when things get tough.
The week was also designed to promote some of the ways we can be kinder to ourselves and look after our mind and our body, promoting the idea that talking about our mental wellbeing is just as important, and just as acceptable, as talking about our physical health.
There were inspirational and eye opening events going on all week with some highlights including, yoga and meditation sessions; a whole school assembly in which Olympic Gold medal winning rower, Matt Langridge, spoke about managing the stress of training and competing at the highest level; a fun House obstacle course; and many other opportunities for members of our community to come together, be inspired, and talk about mental health.
Comments Off on Rugby Team to Contest Cheshire Shield Final
The 1st XV Rugby team has rucked and mauled their way through to the final of the Cheshire Shield Cup becoming the first Grange team to make it through to the final of the competition in the 15-a-side format. The final will take place on Wednesday 14th December when The Grange will take on the fearsome Rydal Penrhos team.
In the semi-final, The Grange came through a physical encounter with Fallibroome. A quick start saw the team score two tries in the opening 20 minutes before an injury forced a change of pitch. After that the game became a rather bad tempered affair. The Grange limited Fallibroome to very few scoring opportunities and were able to capitalise by shifting the ball through the hands of the backline twice more to finish the game off.
It was a nerve racking finale with Fallibroome aggressively fighting back the tide of pressure. The Grange began to tire and lost momentum and focus but managed to see out the game to achieve a 26-0 victory and qualify for the final.
The Grange School entered three delegations into the MUN at Cheadle Hulme (MUNCH) Conference, where they represented the countries of Vietnam, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
Our 15 delegates were a mix of MUN, short for Model United Nations, old hands and completely inexperienced Year II pupils and, in addition, Upper Sixth Form student Alex Woodfinden had been selected to be a Guest Chair and Elle Woods-Marshall, also in the Upper Sixth, was working for the Press Team.
MUN conferences and debates are a simulation of the United Nations in which students explore solutions to a range of challenges that the world faces today. Investigating issues such as human rights, the environment, economic and social development, disarmament and education, participants analyse and debate the most challenging contemporary concerns, always representing the views of a country other than their own.
The whole team finished the weekend looking exhausted but jubilant. They had thoroughly enjoyed the conference, learnt a huge amount and made new friends. I was immensely proud of the way they all developed over the course of the conference. Alex Goldie and Rory Ewing, both Lower Sixth, were in a very challenging committee and really held their own. The younger students (Y2 and Y3) were debating with delegates so much older than themselves, often 6th Form but they were undaunted. Each delegate managed to contribute to debates and lobby for amendments within their committees. Rosie Landon, at her first conference, was awarded a Commended Delegate certificate. Most importantly, I was thrilled by their enthusiasm and am very much looking forward to future MUN conferences with this group of students.
Comments Off on Up Close with the BBC Philharmonic
Our GCSE and A Level Music students travelled to the BBC Rehearsal Studio at MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, to experience an open rehearsal given by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
We heard the orchestra working on Benjamin Britten’s dramatic Sea Interludes from his opera Peter Grimes. The whole session was imaginatively and very engagingly presented by members of the orchestra, for the benefit and engagement of a packed audience of students from secondary schools across the region. It was a riveting, insightful and invigorating glimpse into the life of a professional orchestral musician, as well as a unique opportunity to hear great music performed close-up by an internationally-renowned ensemble.
There was a great atmosphere at the Junior School during our first ever ‘All our Yesterday’s’ event in which the pupil’s elderly relatives were invited to come into school to share memories of their own school days whilst also experiencing what makes a Grange education special in 2016.
Forming part of the Prep 6 Junior School Curriculum Award (English strand) focusing this term on the past, the children set out to write to Waitrose asking for donations toward the refreshments to be offered throughout the morning. They were awarded a £30 voucher and subsequently went shopping to select a variety of tempting cakes and biscuits.
Grandparents and elderly relatives were invited for refreshments, accompanied by the music from the Junior School Orchestra followed by interviews from the pupils to glean a more in-depth view of their elderly relative’s experiences of school, which forms part of this terms focus on the ‘past’.
Pupils then provided their relatives with the opportunity to tour the school and see their new classrooms.
In November 2016, two pupils took part in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Programme. Participating in two seminars in Manchester and a visit to Poland to visit the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Auschwitz Birkenau, pupils Lauren Novelli and Liv Brougham tell us their account…
On 15th November, we visited Poland. We began by visiting the town of Oświęcim, more commonly known by the German name of “Auschwitz”. Here we observed the town where pre-war Jews would visit the market place and it really hit us how these people had lives, hopes and dreams before becoming victims of the Holocaust. We then visited the camp of Auschwitz. It is one thing being in a seminar learning about the horrific events that took place there, but standing in a place where millions of Jews were sent to their deaths is quite another. What hit us about visiting Auschwitz most was going into the gas chamber where the murder took place. It is a surreal feeling and one no one can describe to you, standing in a place where such horror took place. Our final, and possibly the most emotional visit was to Auschwitz Birkenau. We stood on the iconic train tracks that brought various groups from all over Europe and even though we were stood there, it is quite unimaginable to think of what the scene was like 71 years prior to our visit.
We are now ambassadors for the Holocaust Educational Trust and it is our job to spread awareness of what happened during the horrific events of the Holocaust, and how we can avoid something like it ever happening again. Therefore, we will be working hard during the next year and beyond and have planned various events in order to do this such as conducting an assembly and teaching a lesson to the Year 9 History classes in January. We are looking forward to completing our Next Steps Project and making sure we can spread awareness of what happened during the worst genocide mankind has ever seen.
Comments Off on A season to remember for Grange Hockey
A superb start to the season saw the U16 represent The Grange at the National Schools North Semi-Final of which they were placed fifth out of all the participating schools in the North.
Not to be out done, the U14 squad spectacularly went through to the National Schools North Final, although victory slipped through the net by one goal.
The success for both the U16 and U14 squads didn’t end there, as the U16 represented the School at both the County Outdoor and Indoor Championships and the U14 in the indoor, yet to play their outdoor tournament. The girls proudly went through the first round and are to play in the final in the spring.
The U13’s have secured a place in the quarter final of the Independent Cup. The U15 squad play in their next round of the same competition later in December. A win will place them in the quarter final.
There was also notable individual success for Amelia Cooper who was selected to play for the North of England U16 team.
Comments Off on A Splendid Shakespearean Production
Splendid Productions once again visited The Grange School and performed ‘splendid’ their modern adaptation of Macbeth. With only three members of the cast featuring Genevieve Say, Scott Smith and Mark Beirne they narrated the story and involved the students from both The Grange and our visitors from St Nicholas Catholic High School with interactive performances that produced a show with energy, vigour and style!
The performance was followed by a workshop for the A level students which focused on understanding the physicality and focus demanded of the actors who had to switch convincingly between all the roles that they were playing.
Students from both schools worked together to take part in a
variety of exercises focusing on their stage presence and vocal skills to portray the depth of the characters like MacDuff and Lady Macbeth. As well as being very valuable for the A level course, it was extremely amusing and rounded off a fabulous, nay splendid, afternoon.
Comments Off on Digital Leaders Keeping our Community Safe Online
Ten Senior School students in Years III and IV have become the school’s Digital Leaders. Five of the team recently participated in a Cheshire Police course to learn about e-safety issues and have recently begun to share their knowledge with the rest of our community.
“E-safety is an issue that affects us all, whatever year group we are in. Technology changes continually and it’s really important that we all keep up to date with how to stay safe online. We have worked together to create an action plan for the year of events and support systems to help raise awareness of e-safety at The Grange.
“Our first challenge was to teach a mentor period lesson to Year I students about cyberbullying and staying safe online. This was a really daunting task but we worked hard to plan our lessons and activities. The lessons went really well and we had lots of positive feedback from teachers and from the students we taught. We were nervous but it was great fun to do and we felt that a lot was learnt by our students and ourselves,” commented the Digital Leaders Team.
The Digital Leaders Team is co-ordinated by Mrs Dostálová and consists of: Ben Kelly (III HC), Cam Brougham (III HC), Molly White (IV VKL), Lottie Woodmansey (III ALJ), Naomi Hill (III APB), Tom Kendall (IV WDM), Rosie Allen (III SJH), Toby Kennedy (IV FEL), Sean May (IV WDM), and Tom Roberts (III HC).
The team recommends the following link for more information on this topic:
Comments Off on Talent recognised at the Chester Arts Fair
Massive congratulations to Sixth Form student Rachel Glover for achieving overall winner status at the Recent Chester Arts fair ‘’Art in Education’’ award.
Rachel was one of seven students from The Grange whose work was selected to represent the school at this exciting and prestigious event. Staged at the Chester Racecourse, the Chester Arts fair attracts thousands of visitors over the weekend where professional Artist exhibit their work in this highly successful commercial exhibition.
The Grange has been privileged to be invited to participate for the last couple of years and we are incredibly proud of the recognition all student receive for their work and especially Rachel’s achievements.