December 16, 2020

Festive Final Collect

The end of term was marked as ever with Final Collect today as our students and staff celebrated the successes of the Autumn months and reflected on the experiences of 2020, our unprecedented year. The gathering, which usually takes place in Main Hall, was live streamed from the foyer of the Michael Malnick Centre for Music and Media, with a few additional pre-recorded appearances from staff who are currently not in School. Thanks to the wizardry of our tech team, Joe and Jacob, it was possible not only for students across the Park to participate but for pupils and teachers working from home plus our parents and guardians to also share in the event.

Opening with a musical piece by the talented Sixth Form quartet singing ‘Lully Lulla Lullay’ and punctuated midway by a gorgeous Christmas Medley by Eliza (Year 9) on the harp and a fun arrangement of the LP Orchestra featuring Joe (Upper Sixth) and Grace (Lower Sixth) by Emily (Upper Sixth), the event offered the opportunity for us all to consider the many things we have to be grateful for in our lives, despite the difficulties of the year.

Compered by Eddie Falshaw, Deputy Head, Collect began with Isaac Walker, our Outdoor Education Manager, who was pleased to award Bronze level Certificates of Achievement to a number of adventurous Year 10s and more to Silver level Year 11s who have completed everything for their DofE awards except their expeditions. The expeditions have been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions but this has not deterred our enthusiastic Year 9s who have signed up in record breaking numbers for their Bronze award this term.

Mark Budge, Maths teacher and STEAM Co-ordinator, next presented the Maths awards, showcasing the Maths Olympiad for girls, with Sixth Formers Annie scoring in the top 25% and Xinji in the top ‘few’. The Senior Maths Challenge this term also saw nine participants achieve silver and three participants achieve gold. The gold winners went on to the Senior Maths Kangaroo where Xinji also achieved a merit.

“Photography can be so much more than technical prowess” said Mark Wood, Head of Art, introducing the Pause exhibition which featured so many poignant images captured by members of the community throughout the lockdown period. The judge’s favourites were shared, with commentaries on the artistic merits of the pictures, but the People’s Vote went to three photos: ‘Time for Stargazing’ by Peter (Upper Sixth) and to the before and after Covid shots of Pablo’s family revealing the toll coronavirus has taken on us all, including our hair!

Drama Awards were presented by Peter Scoggins, Head of Drama, for achievements in many Drama projects and Rosemary Scales, Director of Music, presented the Reinstein-Alldis award donated by Old Leightonians Dominic Alldis and Dan Reinstein, keen Jazz musicians who are passionate about music providing the inspiration for life. This award for the greatest academic and musical development this term was won by two Sixth Formers for demonstrating outstanding musical progress: Taran Beavon and Grace Andrews.

The sports round up was presented by Jez Belas, Director of Sport, PE and Wellness, recalling the huge whole school cross country, won by Jacob and Maja in Fryer, James and Charlotte in the Junior Race (Years 9 and 10) and Ben and Mia for Seniors (Years 11 to Upper Sixth). The Sports Switch Up with girls playing rugby and boys playing hockey was a great success, as was the limitless competition run by the ISA and championed at LP by Zoe Macpherson. Leighton Park came 3rd nationally and Diana (Year 7) was the national winner of her age category! Additional individual athletic achievements include Ellie’s (Upper Sixth) nomination for ISA Athlete of the Term and Zak (Year 9) for achieving an incredible Bronze award nationally in the BRIC Rowing Competition.

This term the House competitions have run slightly differently with the introduction of an Inter-House Sports League, and new sports including badminton, cross fit and rowing, the latter driven by Luke in Upper Sixth. The Fryer House Sports Trophy, running since 2002, went to Cadbury who narrowly beat Huntley by just half a point to claim the shield. The Richard Coleman Shield, running since 1901 will not be awarded until the end of the Summer Term but so far, the leading House is School. The inimitable and entertaining Housemasters’ Ashes, this term, a tea bag throwing event(!), was won by Adrian Stewart, Head of Lower School, ably assisted by his lovely dog!

Merits were introduced by Eddie, with Eva in Year 7 receiving a special mention for being the only Silver Merit Certificate winner with over 50 merits. Natasha Coccia, Assistant Head: Co-Curricular, awarded the Sissons Cup for the greatest number of co-curricular merits to Reckitt House, with merits being piled up in cooking, drama, sport, dance, music and eco-schools amongst so many other amazing hobbies. In the overall Merit Cup, Cadbury were delighted to be the winners in Fryer and Field took the Senior House cup.

The finale was a magnificent version of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, a traditional highlight of the Christmas Concert, which has moved online for 2020 and was just as phenomenal an experience as it usually is, just in a completely different way! Do feel free to enjoy it again if you missed it!

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