It is said that sports reveal character and this was certainly true on Stanborough’s Sports Day. Our students dreamed big, tried hard and aimed high. Here are the memories we made:
Much anticipated, the International Night was a resounding success. Not only the school saw the Head Teacher dance, but the rich tapestry of cultures represented at Stanborough Secondary and International Stanborough Schools was tantalising. See a glimpse of it for yourself:
Dear Ms Byng,
You have left us too soon, but what you have given us will stay with us forever. You have shown us what it means to live life to the full, every day, not just to exist. You have taught us that life is all about God, service, laughter, friendship, love, maths and mangoes. You have given us the gift of singing, helping, exercising and hard work. We thank God for the present your life has been to all of us, students and staff alike. We will treasure this present and cherish our present, reaching in and reaching out.
Laverne Byng (1962-2017) d. 23 February. Laverne was born in Trinidad on the 19th September 1962 to Henry and Gloria Byng. The seventh child of the couple, Laverne learnt early the joys of having a big family. And the family continued to grow until Laverne had five younger siblings too!
Laverne’s passion for learning took her from the little village school in Laventille, to Bishops Anstey High School, in Port of Spain, at a time when few children of her upbringing could enter a prestige school. An avid reader, Laverne would stop at the bookstore, on the way home from school, and read half of a Nancy Drew novel. Once at home, she would recall it in detail for the benefit of her younger siblings.
In her early twenties, Laverne’s love for learning paid off. After working at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago for some time, she won a scholarship to study in England, where she gained a Diploma in Professional Studies in Accounting (ACCA) and then a Masters of Business Administration. Having graduated, Laverne worked for the Allied Irish Bank and then at the BBC as a Financial Controller. Being the only black female manager at the BBC presented some challenges, but Laverne faced them with steadfast kindness.
Years later, Laverne’s passion for sharing the gospel led her to get involved with Adventist-Muslim Relations. She worked tirelessly to communicate the hope we have in Jesus, specially to women. Through her ministry, Laverne was blessed with many long-lasting friendships, including her “adopted” sister Mahera.
In 1998, Laverne was diagnosed with a Churg-Strauss Syndrome, a rare autoimmune condition. There were days when her muscles were so weakened that she could not walk, but Laverne found much comfort in prayer and singing. With the support of doctors and friends, Laverne braved the pain and eventually trained as a fitness instructor, a passion she retained till the end.
During the last seven years of her life, Laverne worked at Stanborough Secondary School as a bookkeeper and took every opportunity to serve others. Her office was always filled with music, laughter and students who needed help with Maths assignments. Staff members were blessed with her Tuesday fitness lessons and her smile, which she wore permanently.
This term was packed with special lessons and events:
On the 14th and 15th September our students attended a Study Skills Training Session delivered by Mr Gordon Sparke from Study Skills Zone. Our students learnt a variety of skills, including how to improve your memory, how to discover your learning style, ‘mind mapping’ and how to ‘grow’ your brain!
On the 20th and 22nd September our students took part in a series of Awareness Sessions, focusing on the harmful effects of pornography. Ps Ray Patrick, Little Eden’s Chaplain, Gloria Tukeba, from Our Great Commission, and Carole McWhinney, from No Ordinary Woman Chat Show, delivered these relevant sessions.
On the 13th October Ms Sinclair organised an Art Lesson at the Tate Britain museum. Students from Year 7, 9, 10 and 11 had the opportunity to admire British contemporary art and engage in workshops with artists in residence.
Night photography can produce some great images! On the 26th October, Mrs Smith delivered a fantastic Photography Lesson. Using torches, sparklers and glow sticks, the students learnt about long exposure while having lots of fun.
On the 1st November our football team visited Francis Combe Academy to play a friendly interschool match. Our team took the opportunity to unveil the new school kits. Even though Francis’s team won the match (5:2), it was a great learning opportunity, and the event was well-supported by students and staff.
As part of the celebration of Black History Month, on the 1st November the School’s Cafeteria hosted an African and Caribbean Food Fest. They served a delicious variety of dishes such as: banku and okra stew, vegetarian curry goat, rice and peas, and fried plantain. Yum!
On the 4th November our students attended a whole-day Leadership and Self-esteem Training Session delivered by Mr Jackson Ogunyemi, better known as “Action Jackson.”
On the 8th November the School’s Cafeteria hosted a Brazilian Food Feast. Students and staff were truly delighted to try Feijoada (bean stew), Farofa (fried cassava flour), Pão de queijo (cheese bread) and even brigadieros (Chocolate truffles)!
On the 20th November the PTA held a fantastic Quiz & Curry Night at Saffron Restaurant. The Top Cats team, Sheila, Karen and Mike, won resoundingly! The event raised £110.
On 21st November the School’s Cafeteria hosted a Brazilian Food Feast. Students and staff were truly delighted to try Feijoada (bean stew), Farofa (fried cassava flour), Pão de queijo (cheese bread) and even brigadieros (Chocolate truffles)!
A big Muito obrigado (thank you) goes out to all Kitchen Staff!
On 20th November the PTA held a fantastic Quiz & Curry Night at Saffron Restaurant. The Top Cats team, Sheila, Karen and Mike, won resoundingly! The event raised £110. Congratulations to all for supporting Stanborough’s PTA.
Have you ever wondered what boarders do during school breaks? During our last half-term break Stanborough International School and Stanborough Boarding School joined forces to organise a variety of activities and trips. On Sunday 24 October our boarders visited Cadbury World to discover the delicious history of chocolate! In the afternoon, the history theme continued. This time, the boarders used their chocolate-fuelled energy to explore Warwick Castle, a medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068. It was a great day out!
But that wasn’t all! On Monday 25 October, our boarders visited one of the most famous megalithic monuments in the world: Stonehenge. It was a such a windy day, but they managed not to fly away like Mary Poppins. In the afternoon, another surprise awaited: a visit to Bath. The students had the opportunity to explore the beautiful Roman Baths and even to do some shopping. It was a fantastic school break, how will we ever top it?
Our love parcels are on their way to Ghana! Thank you all for supporting the ADRA Gift Box Appeal 2016. Together we packed 93 beautifully-decorated boxes and donated £207.64 towards shipping costs.
Additionally, staff members donated £283.21 to top up all the boxes, making sure they were packed to the rim with toys and school supplies.
Each box will bring a sparkle of joy to an underprivileged child in Ghana. Thank you for your generous giving!
On Thursday 20th October 2016, we celebrated the achievements of our students in the academic year 2015-2016. It was a memorable occasion!
Clyde A. mesmerised the audience at the start of the evening with his piano rendition of Sonata in C Major by W. A. Mozart. He played it by heart and received a well-deserved standing ovation.
The Head Girl, Zahra B., introduced our Guest Speaker, Mr Victor Pilmoor, a former student, teacher and governor of Stanborough Secondary School. In his address Mr Pilmoor shared his experiences from his time in the Boarding School, including some mischievous deeds, like how he used to change the clock time for the bells, so he wouldn’t have to worry about being late.
The School Orchestra and School Choir, both conducted by Ms Ji Eun Ahn, graced the evening with their performances of “Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar and “When You believe” from the Prince of Egypt.
The Fletcher Cup, awarded to alumni who have overcome life obstacles and excelled, was presented to Mr Jean-Paul Theanne.
An outstanding evening with congratulations to all those involved!
Difficult conversations… We don’t exactly look forward to them! Yet, good teachers cannot afford to shy away from controversial topics. If our students are to develop critical thinking skills, our classrooms need to be places where questions –especially hard ones- can be asked. This is why, in this issue of The Stanboroughian, students explored capital punishment.
According to Amnesty International, at least 1,634 people were executed during 2015, the highest record in 25 years. As Christians, how do we form opinions on topics that are truly a matter of life and death? And what impact do our convictions have?
As I write these lines, Mel Gibson is working on a film based on the life of private Desmond T. Doss (http://adventist.org.uk/news/2016/buc/desmond-doss). A Seventh-day Adventist conscientious objector, Desmond T. Doss won a Congressional Medal of Honor for saving dozens of lives in the Battle of Okinawa -even though he refused to carry a weapon as a matter of religious conviction.
Our opinions matter greatly, thus, we should form them carefully! Looking for first-hand information, our students-journalists interviewed Harold Wilson (page 14), an American who spent 17 years in Death Row before being acquitted; and Shane Claiborne (page 18) a Christian activist and author. Additionally, the year 10 students ran an essay competition. You can read the winning essay (page 16), as well as some other conflicting opinions on this issue (page 17) side by side. Quite deliberately, no final verdict is reached on the topic of capital punishment. That’s your job, dear reader!
Our cover article is a tribute to Dr John Woodfield, a centenarian who served as Stanborough’s second Headteacher and penned the lyrics to the school song. It is with deep gratitude that we share his story of faithful service to God and our school!
The Stanboroughian would not exist without the dedication, support and skills of all its contributors. Thank you for making yet another edition possible!