Gad’s students are turning roving reporters to bring you news from the school.
Junior and Senior pupils have been invited to find, research and write stories about what’s going on at Gad’s.
Headmaster David Craggs said: “What better way to find out what life is like at Gad’s than from the children themselves?
“They have risen to the challenge of putting together quality pieces from our students’ perspective and I have been very impressed with their commitment and enthusiasm.”
Each week the group meets with Mr Craggs and e-newsletter Editor, PR and Marketing Manager, Mrs Carr, to discuss story ideas.
The meetings focus on what the student team thinks are the most relevant and interesting topics to tell parents about – Gad’s in the community; sport; personal achievements; groups and clubs and school visits ranking highly for the first e-newsletter.
After a brainstorming session, each team members is tasked with researching their story, interviewing staff and students, writing a news article and organising photography – and of course making sure they stick to the copy deadline!
Mr Craggs added: “By taking part responsibility for the e-newsletter, the students will strengthen their investigative skills, develop confidence and commit to the discipline of managing a project.
“It is another example of how we enrich the learning experience at Gad’s and link extra-curricular activities to core academic goals.
“By taking part, students will undoubtedly improve their personal abilities in English and comprehension, as well as developing their maturity and ability to work independently and with peers.”
Gad’s Hill’s actors are busy perfecting their lines to make sure they are prepared and ready for the annual Senior School production.
This year’s show is the fearful and musical spectacle “Sweeney Todd” with the title role played by Year 11 GCSE drama student Connor Anderson, 15.
U4B’s Eve Selby-Bennetts, 13, plays Todd’s daughter Johanna, and on asking how she prepares for the role she replied: “I learn my lines and write about my character to get ready, and yes I definitely get nervous, but doesn’t everyone?
“I try to block out the audience and really step into Johanna’s shoes so I know how she would feel.”
All Year sevens are taking part in the show. Nerves and excitement are typical emotions for many as often this is their first production, in a fully- equipped theatre, to such a large audience.
I know from experience that being part of the school play is one of the most fun things I have done. It built my confidence and allowed me to make new friends across the Year groups, while enhancing teamwork.
Connor Waite, 12, of ShellB, said: “I’m looking forward to playing a prisoner but am a little nervous as I have to act dead!”
Drama teacher and Director Mr Waite was asked to I sum-up his production in five words and stated: “Blood; tunes; darkness; fog and erm… romance!”
Freddie Masterson, 13, U4B
Gad’s drama students achieved a 100% pass rate in new-to-the-school examinations awarded by the UK’s oldest drama school.
Our Shell, L4 and U4 pupils received the accreditation from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) for their group presentations in devising drama.
After a full term of devising, improvisation and rehearsal the Senior School welcomed two moderators from LAMDA who observed the students and chatted with them independently about the disciplines they learned and demonstrated in their pieces.
Despite this being our first entry we achieved a remarkable 100% pass rate, with 53 students awarded merits and a stunning 12 students gaining distinctions, which is a remarkable achievement for those who have never entered exams like this before.
Several students also took their solo and duologue grading and, all passed, many with merits.
The 12 students who gained a distinction are:
Shell – James Bance; Mac Franklin; Carter Gagg; Edward Moore; William Porcher-Meen, Oliver Rainsbury-Davis; Connor Waite and Charles Welch
U4 – Olivia Chapman; Mollie-Ann Hardy; Scarlett Roswell and Bonnie Timon.
Gad’s Drama teacher Mr Waite said : “This is a truly excellent result that will help identify students who wish to take drama at a higher level.
“It builds on the school’s goal of making Gad’s a centre of excellence in drama and I am very proud of the students’ commitment to this new initiative.”
LAMDA has been recognising and celebrating learners of all ages and cultures for more than 130 years by uniting students with a passion for the arts and desire to develop skills for life.
Scarlett Rowswell, 13, U4B
As Gad’s students we enjoy a variety of sports from hockey and cross country in the winter to cricket in the summer, and most recently fencing.
We caught up with some Junior School pupils to ask their opinions on the school’s sporting choices.
J4’s Lily-Mai, 9 said: “I really look forward to games, it’s great fun.
“It’s good to work together in teams and netball is my favourite lesson.”
Eight-year-old classmates Olivia and Martha added: “PE is a great way to keep fit and we get to try so many new things, it’s never boring.”
We asked some of the PE teachers what they thought about the sport at Gad’s. Mr Tyler said: “We teach children from 3-16 so we need to make sure our lessons are challenging and varied.
“I especially enjoy teaching the GCSE athletes as we get to learn about the anatomy as well as perfecting physical skills and techniques.”
Longest-serving PE teacher, and Head of PE Mrs Gunnill told us her favourite sport to teach is netball, as all ages enjoy it – and students told us she is a brilliant coach.
Mrs Jago was busy introducing the Year twos to the beautiful game of rugby and judging from the beaming smiles, they certainly seemed to be enjoying it.
Headmaster Mr Craggs said: “We have come a long way in the past 16 years; there are opportunities for students to play many different sports and represent the school at national, and even international sporting events.”
“I’m proud of the variety of team and individual sports we now offer. Keeping active means Gad’s students are fit and healthy and able to perform to the best of their abilities on the sports field and in the classroom.”
U4T students Adam Ephraim, 14 and Ben Haywood, 13
Year nine cadets braved sub-zero temperatures to take part in CCF adventure training.
The 24 classmates spent a weekend at Crowborough Training Camp, where they had a go at clay pigeon shooting; orienteering and command tasks.
After a traffic-filled journey, and watching Donald Trump’s inauguration but losing signal just as it happened, we finally arrived and enjoyed a much-needed evening meal before exploring our quarters.
Favourite activities were a clay pigeon shoot; an obstacle course, where many pupils put aside their fears; an indoor 25m range shoot and some first aid and command tasks.
After a very inconvenient power cut we got to our evening activity where we were challenged with getting from the bottom to the top of a hill – it sounded easy until Mr Barrett explained the rules!
To finish our stay, we walked to a local park to take part in an orienteering exercise in which we had to collect pieces of a puzzle around the grounds. It was such fun, we didn’t even realise it was -6c when we left! – on the bus journey, back I am pretty sure every single person slept for the majority of the way!
A massive thank you to the CCF team, especially Mr Barrett for organising such a busy and enjoyable weekend. Thanks also to L5 cadets Daisy, Zara, Matt and Stewart who joined us to help develop our skills.
Mollie-Ann Hardy, 13, U4B