Tickets on Sale for Barbados Cricket Tour Dinner 27 February

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All are welcome at the Royal Hospital School Barbados Cricket Tour Dinner on Friday 27 February, 7.30pm.

Barbados Tour Dinner (3)

This promises to be a hugely enjoyable evening hosted by the Former England and Kent Captain, Chris Cowdrey.

To purchase tickets or reserve a table please contact dtopley@royalhospitalschool.org as soon as possible as we are limited to 150 people.

Mr Wynn speaks during Anti-Bullying Week: Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me

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I want to start today by linking some of the experiences that you’ve had in chapel and around school over the last week and a half. Recently we have been remembering those who have given their lives so that we may live in a safe and free democratic society. Nine days ago we had a most memorable Remembrance Day Parade followed by a fantastic service of Remembrance. Last Tuesday we all stood outside on Armistice Day and observed two minutes silence. And then Yesterday, Mrs Godfrey spoke to you about Anti-Bullying Week.

Coincidence or not, Anti-Bullying follows on from those so poignant events. You can interpret the act of remembrance in many ways drawing many valuable and hugely important lessons from the sacrifices made by others. What much of it boils down to though is that good men and women stood up to a bully and weren’t prepared to allow that bully to have their own way. You see, a bully only gets away with what they’re doing if no one does anything about it. If you and I stand around, doing nothing, waiting for someone else to act then the bully will simply continue, growing in personal stature, eventually believing in their own spin, convincing themselves that they are right and there is nothing wrong with what they are doing. Very soon they must be right – because it’s what they’ve always done and no one’s said or done anything about it before. And anyway, it’s what happened to them so why shouldn’t they do it to someone else.

Well that’s not what happens in a civilised society. A civilised society looks after the weak and vulnerable, it nurtures them and integrates them fully. It treasures all its members for what they have to offer and understands that they all have something to offer. My message to you today is simply that we all have a duty to stand up for those who are being bullied, not to stand around and watch, not to wait for someone else to intervene. It doesn’t matter what form the bullying takes, verbal, physical, cyber, psychological or whatever, we all have a duty as part of this community to stand up and protect others.

I want to tell you today about a man called Friederich Niemoller who was born in 1892 and died 1984. Niemoller was a German anti-communist, Lutheran pastor and theologian, a strong Christian who initially supported Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. Indeed Niemoller had even had a meeting with Hitler where Hitler had promised no anti-church laws and also, whilst there would be restrictions against the Jews, there would be no ghettos or camps. You see, there’s another thing, bullies are also liars.

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Friederich Niemoller 1892-1984

However, as we all know, Hitler systematically set about dismantling any opposition and many groups within German society were either disbanded or made illegal. When the inevitable happened and Hitler insisted on the supremacy of the state over religion Niemoller eventually became disillusioned. He became the leader of a group of German clergymen who opposed Hitler. As we all know from our History lessons, Adolf Hitler was not a great fan of opponents and on 1st July 1937 Friederich Niemoller was arrested and imprisoned awaiting trial. His trial didn’t take place until March 1938. Initially his sentence was less than the time he’d already spent in prison and so with a fine to pay Niemoller was released from jail. He was though immediately re-arrested and incarcerated in a concentration camp. First Saschsenhausen and then Dachau where he remained until the Allies released him in 1945.

Eight years in a concentration camp is one thing but Niemoller spent much of this time questioning his own conscience. Many say that he was wracked by guilt having stood by as other groups were victimised by the Nazis. Niemoller was determined to take his message to the people of the world. After the war he gave numerous speeches, effectively on the subject of Christian ethics and morals but more pointedly on how a truly civilised society should look after its own. He was determined to spread the message that had become clear to him whilst incarcerated in the concentration camps. He felt that, in effect, he had stood by and watched whilst Hitler had been allowed to get on with eliminating his opposition. Without any text to fall back on, the exact words of Niemoller’s speeches are not known, however the most famous comes in the form of a short poem:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

Well my message is simple, you can speak out and there many ways in which you can speak out. As you heard yesterday, there are many people in this community that you can talk to. You don’t have to be being bullied to speak to these people, if you know of anyone who is having a hard time, whatever form it may take, speak out, let someone know and play your part in our community.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

Once in a lifetime opportunity for RHS pupils at the Volvo Ocean Race

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Two recent leavers were given the once in a life-time opportunity to be involved in this year’s Volvo Ocean Race. As a result of a kind introduction by current parent, John Hawthorn of Central Oceans, Felicity Slatter and Freddie Chiddicks travelled to Alicante at the beginning of October as Race Academy Volunteers.

In their support roles, the first few days were filled with organising umpire briefings, sorting out equipment for stop overs in Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Aukland, Newport and Lisbon and preparing instructions for sailors and coaches. On Thursday and Friday they helped to run an Academy Team Racing event for young sailors.

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Saturday was the highlight of the week when they met the Volvo Ocean Race crews and even got pontoon passes to board the boats. For start of the Race, Felicity and Freddie were given a place on an official boat which followed the fleet for the first hour and half of the race with an amazing view of the action.

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Click here to view VOR

 

 

Sailors have some fun on a trip to Messini

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Greece Trip 7In the first week of half term 30 RHS sailors and four staff travelled to Messini in Greece. They made the very most of the water sports and activities on offer; from sailing and windsurfing to mountain biking, tennis and beach volley ball. There was an excellent range of high performance dinghies to enjoy including the popular RS800. Unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worse mid-week and storms bringing lightning and heavy winds stopped sailing for a couple of days. However, on the positive, the resulting large swell caused by the storm allowed the pupils to try kayak surfing and take part in the hilarious Beach Olympic Games. The trip was very successful and enjoyed by all. A big thanks goes to all the staff who were involved with the trip.

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Film Premiere dreams come true on 27 November for former RHS pupil

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Thanks to kind donations from the RHS Community, Thomas Laurance, Hawke 2005, was able to complete his short film and is pleased to announce that the William Laurance & Sons: Marine Engineers premiere will take place at the Genesis Cinema, Mile End, London Thursday 27 November at 19:00.

Tickets £4 from http://www.genesiscinema.co.uk/films/coming-soon/william-laurance-sons-marine-engineers/

Tom Laurance Film Prem2

500 children come to iSing Up Suffolk Workshop

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On Monday 10 November more than 500 primary school children from across Suffolk came to the Royal Hospital School for an inspirational singing day led by the hugely charismatic musical director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB), Dominic Peckham.

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The nine to 11-year olds enjoyed an energy-filled, fun-packed vocal workshop singing everything from Motown to Beyoncé, African street-songs to Chart Mash-Ups.

Dominic explains the purpose of his popular iSing workshops

I want to encourage young singers, in an un-intimidating fashion, to get them listen to one another and to learn to understand the many aspects of ensemble singing. I never, however, lose sight of the basic aim of making the experience enjoyable for all and I guarantee to leave the children with an infectious love for all music

Dominic is one of the UK’s finest young choral conductors and he is also the Head of Singing at the Royal Hospital School. His inspirational iSing workshops focus on the importance of encouraging inclusive singing in schools, and on promoting the enjoyment of music and social interaction which result from such music-making.

The event finished with a ‘gig’ of the day’s hard work performed to a large audience of parents and friends.

Thank you for all the hard work you put in to making yesterday such a great event. My team thought it was spectacular and had a great time – many parents have mentioned it today, too. The only drawback was them asking to sing what we’d done in assembly today…didn’t think I could quite step into those big shoes with conviction, but we’re going to work on our very own Mash Up and see what we can produce!”

“It was a wonderful experience for them all.  I had many parents AND grandparents enquiring about the school this afternoon on the school gates, as the children were so keen to come back!!

 

RHS pupils to play extras parts in The Picture of Doreen Gray

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Sixth Form Theatre Studies students travelled to the delightful Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds to see The Picture of Doreen Gray.

This brilliant and hilarious production was by the Lip Service Theatre Company and after meeting members of the Company, Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding, the sixth formers were offered the opportunity to be extras when they bring the show to the New Wolsey, Ipswich, in March.

Year 8 pupils mark 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

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On Tuesday 11 November Year 8 German language pupils built their own Berlin Wall across the East-West divide in the assembly hall. The wall included facts about why the Wall was built, the differences between East and West along with its demolition. They then went on to knock down it down to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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The night of 9 November 1989 was full of excitement as East Berliners poured across the  newly opened border points, curious to see what it was like on the other side of the Wall. Some sank their teeth into a Big Mac for the first time, whilst others sipped from their first can of real Coca-Cola. Almost all were wide-eyed with amazement at the range of goods on offer in West Berlins supermarkets. The Western world beckoned, with the prospect of freedom of travel, freedom of expression and crucially, democracy.

On Sunday when we were remembering our fallen at RHS, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago was a message to a conflict-torn world that “dreams can come true”. Merkel, 60, who grew up in the East, said: “The Berlin Wall was a symbol of state abuse, cast in concrete, that took millions of people to the limits of what is tolerable, and all too many beyond it. It broke them. Little wonder that after the border opened, people took apart that hated structure with hammers and chisels.”

The message of the fall of the Berlin Wall is that we can change things for the better.  This is true wherever you are in the world be it in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq or any other regions of the world where liberty and human rights are threatened or being trampled. The fall of the wall inspires hope that the world can tear down “walls of dictatorship, violence, ideology and hostility”.

Germany and Berlin celebrated the 25th anniversary of this event that symbolised the end of Cold War division by throwing a huge open-air party at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate. More than a million people gathered in the reunited capital; many flocking to see rock stars and political dissidents on stage amid fireworks to recall the peaceful breach of the despised barrier.

The ugly scar the Wall once cut through Berlin was marked by an art installation, with a string of nearly 7,000 illuminated white balloons. The balloons were released as a symbol of peace, light, hope and freedom and they floated into the sky to  Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” (the anthem of the European Union) and the unofficial Wall anthem “Heroes”, by David Bowie.

The Berlin Wall was brought down not by the force of bulldozers and armies; it was torn down by the power of ideas and whilst celebrating the fall of the Wall, we should recognise and respect intellectuals, artists and activists who nurtured these ideas, sometimes at the cost of their own lives and freedom.

The collapse of the Berlin Wall has become a very strong symbol of unity and of the values of democracy, liberty, human rights and the rule of law.

Science Photography Competition

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Well done to the Winners of the Science Photography Competition.

The winning photographs will join the canvases already up along the physics and biology corridor and each winner will receive their own canvas of their work.

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