Blog Archives

Garston School wins 3rd prize in Suffragette Competition

Richard Harrington MP recently invited schools to an art competition to commemorate 100 years since the Representation of the People Act 1918.  Mr Harrington said “The Representation of the People Act 1918 was a vital step towards the rights women have today, and the centenary of that Act is an important opportunity for us to reflect on our progress.  That we’ve seen two female Prime Ministers shows just how far we’ve come.”

Stanborough Secondary School pupils were moved by the realisation that the struggle for equality still has some way to go and duly accepted his invitation to create an art piece.  One of our year 9 pupils, Stephanie, won 3rd place.  Mr Harrington is seen here with Stephanie’s art piece in his right hand.  Stephanie received a bundle of gifts from Mr Harrington including a certificate of completion from the House of Commons.

Runners up were celebrated with a special assembly: 1st prize an £80 art set for Stephanie, 2nd prize,  £50 set for Nusaiba and 3rd prize, £30 set awarded to Evie.  12 additional pupils received consolation prizes for their effort, they were Kristiyan, Rohan, Marlon, Clyde, Carlos, Nyasha, Thea, Mikaela, Sarah-Jane, Melissa, Ethel and Leah.    


Up For Marine Engineering?

I have never thought about being an engineer before, so I was not particularly excited about this workshop. I like to study maths and physics, but engineering wasn’t an option that I considered until the Marine Engineering Workshop that Stanborough School organised for us.  A friendly marine engineer came to deliver the workshop and it was an interesting experience for me: it opened my eyes to a number of careers in Science, Engineering and Technology.

In the first part of the workshop, the instructor explained to us what marine engineering is, what marine engineers do and what this profession aims for. I was amazed at the fascinating things that marine engineers build; being a marine engineer means more than simply building boats and submarines. It is building whatever needs to be built in a creative and innovative way.

In the second part, we had a practical activity and a competition. The class was divided in groups of three and our task was to build a boat with thick paper and some wires. We would then put all the boats in water, filling them with some marble balls. Finally, the boat that could hold the maximum number of balls without sinking, would win. In the end, it was harder than we thought. Building a little paper boat is difficult enough; this made me realise that to build a real boat is not an easy job.

By the end of the workshop, engineering was becoming a very viable and attractive career option. While I might not necessarily opt for marine engineering, other areas of this profession are definitely worth exploring. What intrigued me most about engineering is how it has comprises maths and physics principles, along with creativity and originality.

Text by Lisia

How Do You Know Summer Is Knocking?

How do you know summer is knocking? Simple: it starts knocking straight after Stanborough’s Arts Festival! And this year has been no different. Arts Festival was an evening to dazzle: instrumental and vocal music, poetry, drama, drums, dancing and even a wedding. That’s right, Mr Hopa finally shared with the school the truth about how he chose a wife some years ago. Whether you were there or missed the night, enjoy the highlights.


Text by Mrs Milis-Hopa
Video by Mr Zapotichny

Garston students return from India teaching trip

Five teenagers from a Garston secondary school spent two weeks in India in February on a character-building trip teaching children in a school attached to an orphanage.

Pupils from Stanborough Secondary School have been involved in annual trips to India for the past twenty years since recently-retired science teacher Kish Poddar took a group of 14 students to a small orphanage in Thally in Tamil Nadu to build a chicken shed to help the orphanage become more self-sufficient. The second project undertaken the following year was to paint the newly constructed boys dormitory, sponsored by the UK based Charity STOP International for the same orphanage.

For the next seven years the annual trips involved helping with basic construction work and decorating in various orphanages in Tamil Nadu state as part of the students’ coursework for the International Baccalaureate examination although one year they acted as volunteers at an eye camp in northern India. After this it was decided to give the Year 10 students the opportunity to help underprivileged youngsters in the children’s homes.

After months of preparation, planning lessons and gathering resources – with the help and advice of the English teacher who accompanied the group – five students ( three boys and two girls) and three staff (including Mr. Poddar) from the school travelled to India during the February Half Term break to start two weeks of teaching at the BESSO Primary school delivering ten 40-minute lessons each day for eight days.

Returning students have always claimed to find the opportunity a very special experience and this year’s group proved to be no exception. As one, summing up the views of the rest of the group, said, “Year after year I would sit on the same Stanborough chairs and listen to the previous Year 10 students explain how this trip changed their lives. However, I did not really believe that a trip could really be that moving. I loved seeing the children so happy and enthusiastic with so little and in the end it was very hard for me to let them go. This experience has touched my heart and I would surely love to come again.”

Organiser Mr. Poddar explained that the school’s director felt that the orphans benefited from the experience as well by having their ties with the UK strengthened and having English-speaking natives teaching their lessons. The teachers benefited by observing a different teaching style and being exposed to new resources. That the children enjoyed having the students each year was obvious from the way they remembered and asked about those who had visited them during previous years.

He added, “During their time in India the students had a set routine of waking up and lights out times, meal times and recreation times and had to put up with the novel experience of a mobile phone curfew from 10:30 pm to 7:30 am by handing in their phones to the staff. To make the trip more enjoyable the timetable included two days of sightseeing and one day of shopping. The team visited the Maharajah’s Palace in Bangalore and the beautiful Bannerghetta Wildlife Safari Park and Zoo.”

Explaining the rationale behind the scheme Mr. Poddar continued, “These trips are designed for the physical, mental and spiritual growth and development of the students. Humanitarian projects such as these play an enormous role in building character. We believe that Stanborough School leads from the front in this area.”


Spectacular Swimming Gala

On Monday January 15th, Stanborough students took part in the much-anticipated Annual Swimming Gala. Despite the cold, grey and rainy weather, Mr Allen, Mr Prince and Mrs Zivanov drove the excited students to Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre.

Students from Year 7 all the way to Year 10 joined the competition. The time-keepers and referees were Ms Brewster, Mrs Pavlovic and Mr Muraya, working alongside Mr Kumi, the Head Referee and Order of Events.

As the swimmers raced against each other, loud cheers could be heard from the supporters of each house: Greenfell, Livingston and Shaftsbury. Heartfelt thanks go to our dedicated staff, Mrs Sinclair, Mrs Dixon, Mrs Gengan and Mr Nalli, for keeping the happy students in tip-top shape as they were representing the school. A big thank you also goes to Mr Zapotichny, our photographer, for taking amazing shots of the students as they swam and cheered each other on.

Congratulations to our athletes for their fantastic performance!

Text Mr Muraya

A Big Thank You, ADRA Gift Box Appeal 2017

Thank you all for supporting the ADRA gift Box Appeal 2017! Together, we packed 106 boxes which will bring joy to children at the Ksizbia Refugee Camp, in Rwanda.

During the last half-term break, we loaded the school minivan with all the boxes, and even strapped the seat belts on to make sure they made it to ADRA’s storage house in pristine condition! After quality control, they will start their long ship journey to Rwanda.

Our non-uniform day in aid of ADRA raised £205.55 for shipping cots. Additionally, staff members donated £ 619.76 to top up all the boxes, making sure they were packed to the rim with toys and school supplies. A big thank you to all for your generosity and commitment! Special thanks also go to Ms Sinclair, our Art teacher, who did a great job co-ordinating the decoration of the boxes. They all looked super creative.

The Stanboroughian

Check out the latest issue of The Stanboroughian!

Stanborough Ultra Academy Business Club

There was a buzz of excitement as the students made their pitches.  One pitch was for a cupcake business, while another was for slime – yes, slime! 

Students have been attending the UltraAcademy business club for four weeks now, on Wednesday afternoons, after school.

 They have learnt about business and entrepreneurship, how to create a product, how to make a pitch and how to price a product.

 The facilitator, Sam Appiah, is happy with the progress that the students have made so far.  The students are  very happy and excited, too.

The club is open to students in all year groups.

Text: Mrs E Hussey

Wembley Stadium

On the 5th October, our boarders went to Wembley Stadium to watch the England vs Slovenia match. Harry Kane scored the goal that secured England’s place in the 2018 World Cup!

A Day in Cambridge: A Student Perspective

It was a sunny and bright Sunday with endless, clear, blue skies. At ten in the morning, on the 24th of September, the boarders and staff got on a coach to spend the day in Cambridge.

The journey lasted an hour and a half but it felt shorter because my friends and I were chatting, listening to music, singing, and some of us were even sleeping. When we got there, we walked a shortwhile and then sat down to have a little snack. There was a small shop selling souvenirs next to where we were. The owner of the shop listened to us speaking Spanish and he started talking in Spanish with us too!

The friendly shop keeper said that he visited Barcelona a couple of years ago and there he learnt a lot of Spanish words. He did not speak fluently, but we could understand him without making much effort. He told us that he remembered a very famous restaurant in Barcelona, but he could not remember its name. We thought he had a luxury and unique restaurant on his mind, but suddenly he recalled the name, and it was a restaurant called Cien Montaditos. This restaurant is known for being very speedy and cheap and there is a network of almost 400 of these restaurants around Spain. We were amused because the man liked the restaurant for having cheap beer.

Soon afterwards, we got on the famous punts on the River Cam which flows through town. We divided into three groups, about ten people per punt, and each group had a tour guide explaining things about Cambridge, the different universities and places that were along the river bank. I really liked this part of the day, the experience of seeing universities in a very original way.

After punting for about an hour some of us were starving, so we started on the sandwiches that the school provided for us. Then we met two tourist guides, who divided us into two groups for a walking street tour. The guide for my group was a man in his fifties, who was carrying a hiking rucksack and he seemed very professional and very prepared to walk for a long time.

He started talking about Cambridge’s students and how one can apply and get accepted to such a prestigious university. He showed us some pictures of students who had graduated with excellent marks. He also explained to us how challenging the work is at Cambridge. Terms are shorter and there are a lot of exams, so basically, students spend three hard and stressful years studying every single day. But all hard work pays off in the end, right?

The guide spoke about the town’s history, and that Cambridge University is second most ancient university in the world after Oxford. Its colleges have been working since 1209. He also told us that a lot of their documents were lost because monks were the ones in charge of writing and copying things, but during the Black Death, a lot of them died, and all the rest of people did not know how to write or barely even read.

After the walking tour, we had some free time, so I went with my friends, María and Daurio, all around town. Although they were a little expensive, we bought some jumpers at the university’s gift shop because we wanted to have a memory of the trip. Then, we walked around streets what were very cute, small, and uncrowded. We also checked out a street market in the square that had many different stores with souvenirs, clothes and food for sale. There was even a Spanish food stand, and we talked to the man who was running it. He was selling croquetas, tortillas, cocido, churros, and many typical Spanish dishes that looked delicious.

In the last few hours of free time, we went to the shopping centre, bought random things and just walked around. Before we had to head back, we decided to grab a couple of coffees at Starbucks, and surprisingly, the girl who was attending to us, was Spanish too! The girl had been studying in England for a year, and on weekends, she worked at Starbucks to earn some money.

As our trip was coming to an end, we went back to the bus. I was upset that the trip was over because I wanted to have more free time to relax with my friends and explore the beautiful city. However, I did have a lot of fun doing all the exciting things on the trip. It turned out that we met a lot of Spanish people in Cambridge. On the ride back home, almost all of us slept because we were tired from all the walking. All in all,  we had a great time and a memorable trip.

Text: Susana, year 10x