Author Archives: Daniel Hopa

Our Moment In History

On the 21st of June 2016, Stanborough School was invited to Parliament to watch and participate in the Disenfranchised Voices: The Big EU Youth Debate.

Were all the students who attended debate training interested in debating? No. To be honest, at first the only reason some of us attended was because our friends were going. However, we started to engage with the project because we realised that we had been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to debate – not in a room at a local school, not in a local church hall, but in the Houses of Parliament! Imagine our excitement as we researched and debated our points. There were times when we doubted our own courage to speak before the dignitaries, but we were determined to make our teachers, our parents, and ourselves proud.

During our preparation we learnt an important lesson, that with great opportunity comes great sacrifice. We sacrificed much of our free time to practise. However, this became less and less of a hardship: we began to enjoy it. We were given meaningful opportunities to practise arguing and rebutting and in the process, we became more confident in our ability to present and support our arguments. One activity that was particularly helpful was called “Hot Air Balloon Challenge”. Just imagine our laughter as we tried to formulate arguments designed to convince our peers not to throw us overboard, because we had knowledge and skills that could save humanity!

Finally, the big day came. We were nervous, yet excited, as we set off for the pre-debate training at Parliament House on 21st of June. Despite all the preparation, things did not go as planned. In an attempt to ensure that all participating schools were represented, some Stanborough School students were asked to give up their opportunity to participate in the debates. Selflessly and without hesitation, we graciously allowed other debaters to take our place at the podium. Were we disappointed? Yes, we were. However, we recognised the importance of providing others with the same amazing opportunities.

Surprisingly, this gave us the opportunity to exercise one of the fundamental British values we have been learning about: democracy. After voting to decide who would participate, those of us not debating gladly supported those who were chosen to debate. As a result, although not all of us debated in the Houses of Parliament, we still felt a sense of achievement as we helped our representatives to organise themselves and practise their arguments.

Consequently, we swelled with pride as Khaleel and Luana, our first speakers went up and demolished the opposition. At the beginning of the main debate, thirteen people indicated that they wanted to leave the EU. Luana and Khaleel managed to persuade 6 people to change their votes with their public speaking skills and arguments they put across. Imagine that! Two of the youngest speakers at the event had swayed the public’s opinion on an important issue!

Not to be outdone, both Jazzmine and Leah also argued with a passion and conviction about their chosen topic – the security of our country. The whole day demonstrated to us that regardless of the challenges we might face, if we work hard together and do our best, we will not only persevere, we will excel.

In summary thanks to the dedication of the IDEA staff and our teachers, we, the students of Stanborough Secondary school were given an amazing opportunity to voice our opinions and play an active role in one of the most significant moments in our history as a nation. Every student who attended left Parliament House with a greater knowledge about Brexit and immigration. Personally, I gained more confidence as I talked to people I would not normally approach and I developed important skills such as projecting my voice and using my words to captivate an audience.

I would like to close by once again thanking our teachers, our parents and the staff at IDEA who collaborated to provide us, students, with this incredible once in a lifetime opportunity. We are proud to be a part of the Stanborough family. Excelsior- Ever Higher!

Written By Zahra in Year 10

My Time In Parliament

Throughout this year I have attended our schools debate club. This club gave me the necessary experience and skills I need for debating. It taught me how to debate in public, and to put across my points convincingly, so that I am now able to persuade others to join my side. Then on Tuesday 21st June 2016 I was given the opportunity to speak in parliament regarding the EU referendum. It was an experience of a lifetime that was partly made possible by Stanborough School.

I had my speech prepared and I had read it through over and over again; I thought I was completely prepared and that nothing could throw me off balance. However, when we got to the last debate class and I listened to the sixth formers share their points, I was shaken. I realised that their ideas could easily annihilate mine! Therefore, when it was my turn to speak I had to change my speech. I completely rephrased my words so that the sixth formers couldn’t object to any of my arguments.

Then the debating began, and as each opponent was speaking, I was quickly noting down key points of their speech to refute. This way I was ready to counteract their points, hoping to persuade people to vote to against the motion of Brexit.

Then my name was called; I timidly went up to speak. I was extremely nervous and my hands began to tremble, but as I began to talk the nerves escaped my body, and I began to regain control of myself. I spoke fluently and tried to project my voice as best as I could. Fortunately, there were no objections to the points that I made, therefore I had no interruptions.

I went on this trip not only to make my school and my parents proud, but because when I researched the topic, I realised how much it would affect my future. I couldn’t just leave my future in the hands of adults who might not know all the facts, without sharing my point of view. I was eager to make everyone join the remain side, and to oppose this motion.

Despite being in Year 9, I am so happy that I was allowed to join the years 10s on this trip. It was extremely beneficial, and helped me to build up confidence even though i was only up there for 5 minutes. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to make my parents proud, and get my name across to other people. I couldn’t have been prouder to represent my school, Stanborough.

Throughout this whole experience I am happy to say I learnt how to project my voice meritoriously, mesmerising the audience.  I gained confidence in public speaking. I managed to convince several people to oppose the Brexit motion. In addition, I was thanked by many individuals that I would normally be too shy to speak to, this led me to be given the opportunity to attend more debating classes offered by an ambassador and a barrister. The head of this organisation proposed that he would also like to invite me on more trips to speak in the parliament, in the future.

Evidently, this trip turned out to be both fantastic and advantageous. Nevertheless, it was also entertaining! One exceptionally funny moment was when I was appointed to guide Mr Allen, who was driving the bus for us, to parliament, as there was diverted traffic everywhere. So I learnt that not only can I be a good debater, but I could now also pursue a career of a tour guide, as I successfully guided Mr Allen to parliament (even though I may have used a map…)

Without Ms Smith and Mrs Jackson this trip would not have been possible, they put in sleepless nights so that this trip would be perfect. And not to forget Mrs Dixon who is the one that comes up with all the incomparable ideas.

IDEA pictures posted on Facebook

Written By Khaleel  in Year 9

STOP International London to Paris Cycle Ride 2016

After months of planning, gruelling training, and meticulous preparation, we were one week away from the start of the fourth STOP International Sponsored London to Paris cycle ride, when we heard the news. Paris was in the middle of a fuel crisis and there were protesters on the streets. The media informed us that the situation was growing worse by the day, almost all the fuel stations in France were dry and British travellers were finding it increasingly difficult to buy fuel to return home to England.

London to Paris 4

I checked the internet daily, only to learn that the situation was not getting any better. We had to question if we were going to go ahead with the cycle ride, so I prayed for God to show me what to do. My analytical common sense was warning me to be cautious and to cancel the ride, however something did not quite feel right about cancelling. Regardless, I emailed the team of nine and asked for their opinion. The feedback I received was mostly positive but there were a few lines which resonated with me the most, they read:

“I think we should go ahead with the trip in faith but be flexible according to the situation i.e. if Paris is a danger zone we can still do the mileage but in another town nearly or so. As for the fuel I think we are going to be ok. So much preparation and fundraising has gone into it, it would be a shame to cancel and doing it locally would not be the same. Let us continue to pray. God is ABLE!”


“Our Father in heaven is with us in this mission, so will take care of us. Prayers can remove the mountains, so with this fear too, therefore PRAY.”

Since God has never let us down before, I had an inner peace that all would be well because as God is in control. We had a number of friends praying for us and God is not short on hearing prayers.

London to Paris 1

Then on 29 May 2016, we drove to Tower Bridge in two support vehicles and after a short worship on Psalms 121 our journey began. On our first day we had three main challenges: Shooters Hill, Chatham Hill and the long climb on the A2 outside Canterbury, for which we needed divine help and we received it. All six riders, Ravi, Teddy, Jean-Paul, Simeon, Laxmi and I covered the 78 miles safely but a little worse for wear. We reached Dover with enough time to spare to catch the 5:20 pm ferry.

London to Paris 2

For the second day the weather forecast was heavy rain and none of us were very pleased about it. We woke up to heavy winds but unbeknown to us our prayers were being answered, as the storm clouds were blown elsewhere. Although, as we were upon our second destination, Abbeville, the rain that was due in the morning descended and we were all soaked. However, all that we needed was a good hot shower and dry clothes, and our temporary woes were forgotten.

When we woke up the next day we were disappointed as it was raining. The forecast indicated that the rain would stop at 9 am but the rain did not get the message, so the start of the ride had to be delayed. Due to the rain, the day’s cycle was extremely challenging as the terrain was not kind to cyclists; however, God provided us with the strength and energy to keep riding in spite of very cold and damp conditions. We covered 57 miles but it had seemed more like 570 miles by the time we arrived at Beauvais.

London to Paris 5

Day 4 was the final leg of our journey. As we approached the French capital, we were relieved that there is no sign of unrest, fuel shortage or the demonstrations that had been promised by the media. After a short stop for brunch we stopped to fill up with fuel (there was no queue or fuel shortage) and rode into Paris without stopping for lunch. Ultimately, we arrived at the Eiffel Tower, our final destination. God had brought us safely across the 262 miles from London to Paris, so we took the opportunity to thank him on top and under the Eiffel Tower.

London to Paris 6

We thought that this was the end of our story but only after we arrived in England did we learn that the River Seine had flooded and some of Paris was under water! By God’s wonderful Grace He protected us from the elements, gave us the strength to ride the 262 miles, led us through the fuel crisis, kept us from the protesters and got us out of the city before it flooded. We could not have been blessed more. This trip demonstrated once again that God is in control, just as Psalms 121 assured us.

London to Paris 3

Thank you for supporting the 2016 STOP International London to Paris cycle ride this year with your sponsorship as well as your prayers. We pray that we have raised sufficient funds to put 50 orphan children of the Way to Life Children’s Home through school for one more year.

If you would like to make a contribution to help us reach our target of £5000 please follow the link below.

Kish Poddar 2016
 Assistant Headteacher of Stanborough School

Stanborough Short Stories Book Is Here

A few days ago…

We have worked tirelessly to write and illustrate a book of short stories this year and lo and behold, the proofbound copy of the book has arrived already and it looks…

Judge for yourself!

Judge for yourself!

A few more days and all the budding authors will get to hold a copy of the book they’ve written in their hands!

And now…

The books are here and I could not be prouder. From the looks of it, Stanborough authors are in the mood for some good stories themselves:


Congratulations to all students and staff and enjoy your very own ipad made of trees;)

Mrs Milis Hopa and Ms Rebolledo, Project Coordinators

Adam Gibbard – Alumni Update

Recently published an article about Adam Gibbard  – a former Stanborough Student. The article talks about his path into BAE Systems, what the placements have been like so far and what interesting projects BAE has lined up for the future. For the full article please go to:

Needless to say, we are very proud of Adam and his successes so far!It is always exciting when we hear back from our former students and we would love to hear from many more of you. Get in touch with us and tell us where you are and what you are doing via our alumni email, or visit us at our alumni web page.

Telephone Scam Warning

We have been informed of an unscrupulous person who contacted people pretending to be a school parent and requesting funds for school fees.

Should you have any doubts about the authenticity of a phone call or an email, please contact us immediately.

Stanborough Short Stories Book 2016

Thirty students have written and illustrated a 180 pages book of short stories! To puchase the e-book please e-mail Mrs Milis-Hopa at [email protected] To order a hard copy please e-mail [email protected] by Thursday April 7, 2016.

Short Stories Sample

The prices are as follows:

E-book: 5,00 GBP

Hard copy: 15,00 GBP

Congratulations, all the young budding authors!

Mrs Milis-Hopa, project coordinator

9x starring in “Much Ado About Nothing”

During half-terms III and IV year 9x students have been studying Shakespeare’s, “Much Ado About Nothing”. No, not studying it! Falling in love with it! 🙂


Now, if we had a choice, “Much Ado About Nothing”’s characters would talk like this:

But we don’t have a choice, and so we, as “Much Ado About Nothing” characters, had to sound like this:

Something I Like About Stanborough

On Friday 18th of March the Year 7 students took assembly. They delighted us by recounting what they liked about Stanborough. We were so touched, we wanted to share their speeches with you…


I like Stanborough School because the staff always take care of us and are always concerned that things are going well and that we are feeling happy. All the teachers help us with our homework and make sure that we understand it.

My favourite subjects are: History, Biology, and Spanish.

I like Biology, because I enjoy studying about the human body, plants and these types of things.  I like History because I like to study about the past and about our history.  I really like Spanish because I like to learn other languages.  Stanborough is a great place to learn.


My three favourite teachers at Stanborough School are: Mrs Hussey, Mr Poddar, Senior and Mrs Anderson.

I like Mrs Anderson because she is, most of the time, in a good mood, she gives us fun activities, she encourages us to do our best and when you need help, you can talk to her.

I like Mrs Hussey because she encourages you at any time, and when you need help she is always there for you.

I like Mr Poddar Senior because he, most of the time in a good mood as well, and always encourages you to do your best.


The things I really like about Stanborough include some of the classes like PE, French, Music, KAZ (touch typing) and Chemistry. The motto of our school is ‘dominus magister ludi nostri’ which we all know the meaning. This school has helped me to learn new skills that I didn’t know before. When I first came here, I thought it would be like any other high school, but it wasn’t. Most people here are so nice and accept people’s backgrounds etc. Another thing that I really like about this school is the homework – it is fun and not boring whatsoever.


I came to Stanborough School because according to the website, it is a private school and a great place to help students increase in both education and faith. In my own opinion, they were not wrong because I have experienced this in every subject.

In the past seven months of attending Stanborough, I have displayed my intelligence best in three subjects which are French, Biology and English. The teachers also encourage me to always reach the highest level I can achieve and, although they can be very strict at times, they are all very good teachers in spirit and encouragement.


I have a few things interesting to say about Stanborough. One of them is the subjects I like – ICT, Religious Education, Citizenship, Art and Music because they are very easy subjects and I’m good at them. Another thing I like about Stanborough is the friends and some of the clubs after school. When you are bored and have nothing to do, your friends become handy and when your friends have gone home and your parents are not going to pick you up as soon as school ends after school clubs are really useful. That‘s what I like about Stanborough.


Hello everyone! You may not know this but I really like experiments. At Stanborough I find discovering new things really interesting. Another thing I like about the School is that there is a large field for you to play football. My favourite sports are football, table tennis, tennis and basketball. It’s very kind of the school to provide a basketball.  Also, if two different groups want to play basketball there are two rings for them to play which is a real advantage. I like that when there is a problem you can talk to your Form tutor at any time.


Ever since I first came to Stanborough I’ve enjoyed PE.  I like PE because it isn’t a lesson. It is a fun part of the day. I am an active person and PE lets me let out all the energy that I have. In any class I feel the need to stand up because all I’m doing is sitting down but in PE I’m always doing something actively.  I also like the teacher, Mr Poddar Junior, because he is kind and he has helped me to be better at football, basketball and he taught me a new sport – badminton.


Is that it helps us to learn more about God. The motto of our school is ‘God is the master of our school’ and every time I come to school, it reminds me of how we should be polite. Also, it helps us to be better and more obedient. Stanborough teaches us about God and how we should respect people. The environment is very nice and has a positive view. The teachers are very caring and pray before lessons, which brings me closer to God each time we pray. Also, assembles are quite fun too.


I like that in Stanborough you can get help with anything. For example, if you need help with your school work you can always go up to the teacher and ask for help. If you are troubled by something or someone you can always find a teacher to talk to without being judged. Help is always there.

I like that the students are friendly.  If I needed to pass something on to someone, they would do it for me. It’s easy to talk to people. We live by the rule – Do unto others what you want done to you.


Something I like about Stanborough is that it has a caring environment. The teachers they believe in you, they don’t let you call you stupid and put you down. They show tough love to help you in your future. They help you with your presentation skills like telling you to iron your blazer and care about personal hygiene. The school is all about moving you on and helping you develop your relationship with God by bringing you closer to God. I have learnt that every problem can lead you to a better horizon.

God is the Master of our School.


My experience in Stanborough School is that it is a private school and you can get more attention than you would in a state school. The teachers give up their time for after school clubs because they want us to do well and enjoy ourselves. My favourite subjects are Biology, PE and ICT. The teachers also encourage us and the reason I like these subjects is because I have learnt some things I have never learnt before and in PE you have a lot of fun in the lessons. I really like Stanborough School – a great and excellent school.


I am here to share my experience at Stanborough.

In Stanborough I’ve felt love and happiness like never before. I’ve had friends – best ones in fact. I’ve felt as if I’ve walked on sunshine and frolicked in meadows of beautiful daffodils but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t had my fair share of horrible, bad emotions.

I’ve had horrible emotions – ones that I wish I could have never uncovered.  But here too I have found people who accept me for who I am.  I also know that there is a God who has a plan for my life.


The one thing I have learnt in Year 7 at Stanborough School is that some of the teachers here are very nice and they realise when you are upset and they cheer you up.

I like most of the subjects in this school.

Out of all the teachers, I like this person the most. The person is Mrs Anderson because she is very strict and funny; when she gives out work she explains them and helps us with experiments.

I have learnt great things in most of the subjects. All the lessons were fun and they were enriching for me.

Sarah Jane

In Stanborough I’ve learnt a lot of new things. I’ve learnt a lot especially in Art. I never knew that there were so many key words like elements (line tone colour shape pattern texture). In different subjects in could mean different things like in English in means things you use for example elements of a short story you need to use plot, character etc. I also learnt especially about plagiarism. It was something I never really thought about before because I didn’t think it was important. But now I know not to plagiarise because you could get into serious trouble.


I have learned at Stanborough School to be closer to God.

In assemblies I have learnt that God has plans for me.

I have grasped how to do the opening prayer by listening to my friends.

The teachers always pray for us before the lesson and tests.

The school welcomes every religion.

They are supportive of all races.

The school gives us the knowledge of Christ.

They aid people who are going through bad times.

The school guides us to choose God over sin.

I want to learn even more about God.

God is truly the Master of our school.

ADRA Gift Box Appeal 2015 Update!

In 2015 our students decorated and packed 101 boxes for the ADRA Gift Box Appeal! Then, in February 2016 our staff member Ms Pizzuto travelled with ADRA and a team of volunteers to Swaziland to deliver the boxes. Despite the fact that volunteers only helped to distribute roughly 2,000 boxes (out of the 5,000 collected by ADRA), Ms Pizzuto was blessed to come across many of our students’ boxes!

We are so happy to be able to share the tangible results of our students’ generosity.