Blog Archives

Check out the brand new issue of The Stanboroughian!

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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!

The Stanboroughian 2015 -2016

Vanesa Pizzuto
Editor

School trip to the London Central Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre

As part of the RE curriculum, Mrs. K. Jackson organised a trip to the London Central Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre, on Wednesday 28th September. Students in year 10 and 11 took part in this educational trip to discover more about the Islamic culture and faith.

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Boarders visit London

On Sunday, 25 September 2016, our boarders had a fun day in London. For some of them, it was the first time seeing London’s attractions. Scroll down to enjoy the pictures and memories of their trip.

A big thank you to the Boarding School staff for organising this lovely day out!

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.

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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!”

And

“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/donate/makeDonationForCharityDisplay.action?charityId=1004073

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:

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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 TheEngineer.co.uk 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: http://www.theengineer.co.uk/sea-change-life-as-a-graduate-naval-architect-for-bae-systems/#.VyosgnCfN30.linkedin

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 lmilis@spsch.org. To order a hard copy please e-mail lmilis@spsch.org 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

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