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5 April

Rowing, climbing, netball, drama & more!

A night of adventure at Himalayas & beyond

It was such a fun evening last Saturday as we welcomed back OVs, members of the wider King’s family and keen travellers and climbers, as we marked 25 years since Hon OV John Walton founded the Himalayan Club here at King’s. As a result of this incredible initiative, pupils, staff and parents have benefited from amazing trips and treks to Nepal, Peru, Morocco and Tibet, to name just a few of the many locations groups have visited over the years.  The evening was in aid of both the Himalayan Trust UK, of which both Hon OV and Former Headmaster Tim Keyes and John Walton are trustees, and Open the Door to King’s bursary appeal. John and Tim worked alongside Liz, Sophie and Alice in the King’s Foundation Development & Alumni Relations Office to plan this evening, and it was such a pleasure on Saturday to see all the hard work and planning come to fruition.

The evening began with a drinks reception in the Michael Baker Boathouse which was followed by a brilliant lecture by OVs Jon Bracey (Br 90-95) (pictured right) and Nick Robertson (Br 89-94). Jon is one of the UK's leading alpinists and a former competitor at the Ski Mountaineering World Championships and Nick has scaled Everest and also reached the highest point on five of the seven continents! They had some absolutely incredible stories to share and no peak was left unturned as they talked about their various trips, the inspiration and motivation behind what they do, and the highs and lows of their incredible adventures. It was particularly amazing to see how their early lives and time at King’s helped shape a passion for travel and challenge.

Following the lecture we entered into the dining hall, adorned with Nepalese prayer flags and beautifully decorated tables for a traditional Nepalese dinner – a real feast of flavours and spices, for which we must send sincerest thanks to the King’s catering team. Then followed an incredible auction, full of truly unique lots; candlelit dinner in Edgar Tower, tickets for the Royal Ballet, a climbing session with Jon Bracey himself, a beautiful original painting by David Birtwhistle and a driving experience with Derek Bell MBE (S 56-58) all amongst the many prizes on offer! The bidding got incredibly lively as people battled for their intended lot ….and nothing will beat the Headmaster securing 18 holes with Hon OV Russ Mason!

The entire evening was filled with fond memories of amazing Himalayan experiences and good times spent at King’s, and it was lovely to raise funds for two truly fantastic causes whilst enjoying a thoroughly inspiring and fun night with so many who have King’s and travel in common.


OV Rowers

We are so impressed with the level of rowing shown by our pupils and OVs and many of them are able to carry on their love for rowing at University. At Oxford University, last year’s Head of School, Alice Evans (S 11-18) and fellow OV Iona Davies (W 10-17) have been part of the winning crew in the annual ‘Bumps’ competition. (Iona and Alice are on the far left of photo)

Alice explained, “Bumps is a four day competition between the Oxford college eights which runs in the Easter term and is known as Torpids, and then in the Summer term as Summer Eights. The boats are lined up in divisions and set off at the same time as a staggered start, the aim is to catch the boat in front of you or 'bump' them before you are bumped by the crew behind. Iona and I raced in the same eight this season and won blades by bumping on each of the four days without being bumped. We also moved up a division by bumping crews in the division above, boosting our position in next year's Torpids competition.” 

Oxford seems to be a great place for rowing! OV Lara Drew (K 09-16) is the current president of University College, Oxford Boat Club and Rufus Tilt (Cr 10-17) coaches one of the men's crews in Oxford.

superball news 2019

We are so proud of our King’s Netball girls who did a fantastic job at the Superball last Sunday but sadly lost out to worthy winners RGS. Although King’s did not regain the Superball trophy, spectators enjoyed some fantastic netball. The afternoon was jam packed with activities for the whole family, from face painting, to shoot outs to a dance showcase that had been practised and put together by both RGS and King’s dance troops. The occasion marked the 6th year of this annual event that is put together for the whole family to enjoy.

Director of Netball, Emma McKenzie said, “This event is a great way to showcase girls’ sport and talent in a big arena, in front of a sell-out crowd. The overall hope is that it will breed confidence and enthusiasm to start or continue whatever activity they enjoy, knowing that they could be performing on a big stage, at some point in the future”

We absolutely loved this photo of OV Trevor Burgess (Cr 44-49) showing his support for King’s last Sunday! We are always so impressed by how many OVs return to support King’s at fixtures and are very much part of the King’s family.

back at school

Professor David Brodie (Br 57-64) spent the day at King’s recently and shared some of the wealth of his experience with King’s biology students. David is a Professor of Cardiovascular Health, having initially gained a degree from Nottingham University in Education, Physical Education and Biology.

During his career David has held a number of positions, including teaching at Abingdon School, Senior Research Fellow at Carnegie School, Leeds Metropolitan University and was awarded a Personal Chair as Head of the Department of Movement Science and Physical Education at the University of Liverpool. David was more recently awarded a DSc for research work in body composition and cardiovascular health. During his talk at King’s David talked about his research experience in Nepal and how people living in the rural areas of Nepal experienced high iodine deficiency, which then caused medical conditions including congenital deficiency and abnormal mental and physical development. Simple by adding iodised salt to the diet of these Nepalese children meant that the iodine deficiency has been eliminated, thus preventing the various medical problems.

David also touched on his time at King’s and talked about his memories of King’s from the 1950s. David was able to attend King’s via the Direct Grant scheme, for which he is very grateful. Nowadays, the King’s Bursary Programme means that financial support for children to attend King’s, comes primarily from individual donations. Throughout its history King’s has strived to be an inclusive school and our bursaries mean that The King’s School in the future can continue this long tradition.

Hellos and Goodbyes

We say a fond farewell to OV Owien Harriott-Davis (Os 16-18) today who has been assisting in the King's PE and Reprographics departments as part of his Gap Year. Owien now heads off on a trip around the world starting in Jamaica and then travelling to Thailand, the Philippines, Bali, Australia and the USA!

We wish Owien all the best and look forward to hearing about his amazing travels!



We were also delighted to meet OV Beth Robins (Os 13-15) who was working in the Art department earlier this week with their printing press. Beth is in her final year at Plymouth College of Art and is working on her final pieces before heading into the RAF. Good luck Beth! 


Technicolour Memories

Head of Alumni Relations, Sophie, was delighted to meet OV Mike Rugen (Cl 98-05) on Monday and to show him around school. It had been 10 years since Mike had last visited King’s and he took the opportunity this week as he is on holiday for Easter from his role as Housemaster and History Teacher at College Alpin Beau Soleil, an international boarding school based in the rather enviable Swiss Alps. Sophie so enjoyed showing Mike around the school, visiting familiar classrooms, house rooms and College Hall and also visiting the newer additions to the school site including the Michael Baker Boathouse and the Keyes Building. It was fantastic for Mike to meet some Hon OVs and teachers who still work at King’s today, including Richard Davis, Sarah Le Marchand, Matt Parkin, Rachel Worth, Simon Cuthbertson and Russ Mason.

Mike had been heavily involved in music and drama whilst at King’s and he was very impressed to see the Wightman Drama studio and the Crow Dance studio, and a quick peek into the John Moore Theatre brought back many memories. A trip into Archives was very special as not only had Archivist Harriet Patrick found some lovely house photos with Mike in, but also programmes from productions which Mike had performed in here, including Bugsy Malone and A Small Affair. One absolute highlight was Mike finding past production photographs lining the stairway in Choir House in which he quickly spotted a photo of himself playing Potiphar in Joseph & His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

It was such a pleasure to hear Mike’s incredibly varied and fond memories of his time at King’s. He spoke of how many different areas of school life he was able to be a part of and the many opportunities he and his friends were fortunate to experience. As a teacher now himself, he said how much he understood the incredible drive that his teachers had, and their unfailing commitment to ensuring he challenged himself and achieved his potential, something he didn’t fully appreciate it at the time ….!