Principal’s Blog – 1st July 2016

  • Cambridge Visit
  • Sports Day 2016


Non-Uniform Day

Last Friday was a non-uniform day. Students and staff raised over £1,000 for our nominated charities – an outstanding effort!

Oxbridge here we come!

At Minsthorpe there is no limit to ambition and we encourage all students to aim high. This year we have a number of potential Oxbridge students who we are hoping will continue their education at one of these prestigious institutions. To help prepare them, Alys Finch – our SCITT Strategic Lead – herself a Cambridge graduate took the students for a taster session at St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge. The students visited King’s Trinity, St John’s and Jesus College and experienced a number of university lectures before eating in the college and spending a night in student accommodation. The students soaked up the atmosphere and we hope that they will be making an application to either Oxford or Cambridge in 2017.

Sports Day

The term ‘Sports Day’ is an inadequate description of the annual spectacle that we hold at Minsthorpe. Friday July 1st was my third and it has lost none of its awe and impact for me. What starts as a fairly traditional sports event in the morning transforms into a glorious pageant of students in an incredible variety of fancy dress outfits competing in their P&A groups. Staff and students are united and it is a sight to behold from up on the banking – it is like a scene before a battle in Game of Thrones with students awash with colour, formed in phalanxes behind brightly coloured banners. Fantastic stuff!

Battle of the Somme

At 7:30 a.m., on July 1st 1916, the British launched a massive offensive against German forces in the Somme River region of France. 100,000 British soldiers poured out of their trenches and into no-man’s-land on July 1, expecting to find the way cleared for them. However, scores of heavy German machine guns had survived the artillery onslaught, and the infantry were massacred. By the end of the day, 20,000 British soldiers were dead and 40,000 wounded. It was the single heaviest day of casualties in British military history. The age of mechanised warfare had begun and the disastrous Battle of the Somme stretched into a stalemate that lasted for more than four months, with the Allies advancing a total of just five miles in that time. Every 100 yards gained was at the cost of 1,000 allied lives and mass slaughter resulted in a total gain of just 125 square miles for the Allies, with more than 600,000 British and French soldiers killed, wounded, or missing in the action. German casualties were more than 650,000. So many many lives not lived who we must remember.

Ray Henshaw