Blog Archives

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

Superb GCSE Results!

As you are undoubtedly aware, students sat new GCSEs in English Language, English Literature and Maths for the very first time this year. Not only is the content of the new GCSEs more challenging, the grading format has been amended from letters to numbers – from 9 to 1, with 9 being the top grade. Despite the changes made, 100% of students who took GCSE exams at Stanborough Secondary school achieved five or more A* – C grades, with 93% including Maths and English. The students have worked hard and we are extremely proud of their accomplishments! In all subjects, with the exception of Physics, our students outperformed the national average. These outstanding results reflect the commitment of each student and the dedication of every teacher. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our students and thank our staff for successfully managing the challenges of the past two years to produce these superb results!

Lorraine Dixon

Students “excelled at Stanborough School, in Stanborough Park, Watford, as 100 per cent of students achieved A* to C”, reported the Watford Observer. “Head girl and president of her class Zahra Bharwani smiled from ear to ear as she discovered she got all A*s in everything apart from Business. She said: ‘I’m very happy, as I got the results I wanted.’  Assistant head teacher Eileen Hussey could barely contain her delight at her students’ results. She said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted, as both the students and staff have worked really hard to get such fantastic results.’”

To read their full article,  please follow this link


Congratulations Mr and Mrs Zivanov!

Aila (née Heck) and Nebojsa Zivanov met at Stanborough School. This super-cute pair fell in love while working at the Boarding School and got married on Monday July 24, 2017 at the beautiful Club Reset, Serbia. Around midnight, when the party was ending, the newlyweds and many of the guests jumped into the club’s swimming pool, with gowns and all. It was a perfect ending for a memorable day. We wish them much happiness!  

Farewell Mr Poddar

After teaching at Stanborough School for an impressive number of 29 years, our beloved Mr Poddar is retiring. To celebrate his outstanding contribution to our school community, we hosted a special Assembly on Monday 10th July. It was an emotive occasion with many black and white pictures, tales of older times and tears. Several former students travelled to share in the moment, to tell all of us how Mr Poddar’s teaching inspired them. Many commented how his generosity and moral values, as much as his teaching, left an undeletable mark in their lives. “Thank you” seems so inadequate to express our gratitude to you, sir, for your life-commitment to educating young people. You’ll be sorely missed!


“I remember the high standards you set for your students in Biology. However, your classroom was not just about high standards; it was about the success of each student. They knew that you cared about each of them. And that you prayed for each of them.” Andrea Luxton

“Thank you for making Biology a great subject!” Becca Dean-Roberts

“Thank you for all your dedication and hard work and for being a servant of God. You truly left a long-lasting impression in me. I thank you for contributing to my love for the medical profession to which I have dedicated my life.” Rebecca Greco

“Thank you for your commitment to the success of your students.” Lydia Dean

“I admire the amount of time he put into helping others and his charitable work, I think that this is one of the greatest testaments of his character.” Shane Castagnet

“Thank you for your inspiration and everything you did for me.” Karlene Myers

“Thank you, Mr Poddar, for everything you did for me while I was a student at Stanborough. Not only were you a fantastic teacher, you also fostered my continuing interest for badminton, gave me the opportunity to travel to India twice and supported me through my school years.” Adam Gibbard

“To this day, I still want to greet him as Mr Poddar, he will always be my Biology teacher. However, beyond teaching me Biology, in the most recent times he has taught me humility, he has become a role model of faith and love.” Nick Dean

“You never doubted I could make it (although at first it seemed difficult), and were always available to help me when I needed it, whether it was with my homework, improving my English or just giving me advice about life.” Sara Pasor Ferri

Spanish Day 

On Thursday 06th July, Stanborough School celebrated a very special Spanish Day. Our students practised their language skills by presenting a whole assembly in Spanish.  Their power point presentation on important Spanish festivals captivated the audience. To top it off, the Cafeteria organized a great selection of Hispanic food that tickled our taste buds. There was even a Piñata, which the students loved. Thank you Mrs Mabhena, the Spanish teacher, for making it possible! 

Viva España!

Would you like to improve your Spanish in Spain? That is precisely what our students did during the last halfterm break! From 30 May to 5 June 2017, a group of seven students and two teachers visited Colegio Adventista Sagunto, our sister school in Valencia. Yet, the programme involved much more than taking Spanish lessons. Our students explored the Hope Channel studio and became radio hosts for a day; they learnt to dance flamenco; visited castles and historic towns and, of course, went to the beach! The Spanish Exchange programme was a resounding success. Thank to you all who made it possible, and special thanks goes to Mr Juan Antonio Lopez, the Spanish programme coordinator.

Stanborough Goes Sporty

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:

International Night 2017

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:

Tribute to Ms Byng

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.