School-News /

What’s New? School Summer Term News

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more


From world records to big birthdays, so far the summer term has been a ball.

Baking Bids at Benenden School, Kent

Hardwork complete – Benenden girls tucked in

Pupils from Benenden School created an enormous version of the School logo using more than 3,300 cookies in an attempt to set a new world record.

The girls have their fingers crossed that their arrangement of 3,336 cookies will bag them a new official Guinness World Record for the longest continuous line of cookies. The current record stands at 1,916 cookies, set last year in Turkey. The girls’ 315-metre long line spelt out the ‘B’ from Benenden’s well-known logo.

The attempt had to be carried out following strict instructions and the girls will now submit all their evidence to the judges to be ratified.

As part of the challenge, the girls were involved in the creation of the cookies across three evenings. Every girl in Year 7 to 11 had the chance to cut the dough into cookie shapes. Today the sixth formers laid out the cookies on the all-weather pitch, ensuring each one overlapped slightly to create a continuous line.

Once the final few cookies had been laid (on baking parchment, to ensure hygiene!) and the relevant photographs, the girls were able to dash onto the pitch and devour the cookies! As part of their ‘Muck Up’ day (when this year’s leavers are in token charge of the school for a day) – they were also dressed in Harry Potter outfits.

New School in Singapore

Brighton College, in partnership with leading global schools group Cognita, is delighted to announce the plan to open a new international school in Singapore in September 2020, subject to relevant regulatory approvals. 

Brighton College (Singapore), for children aged 18 months to 11 years, will draw upon the strengths of its parent school in the UK, established in 1845 and awarded Independent School of the Year 2018-19 by the Sunday Times, and Cognita, a growing family of diverse yet connected schools spanning 8 countries. The partnership involves Brighton College leading the educational philosophy, school ethos and curricula, while Cognita will lead the day-to-day operation of the new international school, with governance by a joint board.

The Oratory School, Oxfordshire is 160

The Oratory School was founded in 1859 by Blessed John Henry Newman with nine boys. The Oratory Schools Association now educates 700 children from the age of two to 18

Today, 2 May, marks the 160th anniversary of two linked schools in south Oxfordshire: The Oratory Preparatory School and The Oratory School

Notable alumni from the schools’ long history include the retired Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge; Lord Berkeley of Knighton (the composer Michael Berkeley); Actor and recent Olivier Award winner, Jonathan Bailey; the newly appointed Privy Counsellor, Sir Edward Leigh MP; Diplomat, Matt Baugh OBE; Rower, Lukas Haitzmann, the youngest person to row across any ocean; and Rugby Union player, Tamara Taylor.

The schools are celebrating this special year with a series of events and two social media campaigns. Celebratory events include a special Mass, BBQ and a charity ball supporting The British Lung Foundation and Launchpad Reading. In the summer, a whole day of activities will take place including a Question Time-style debate, a wine tasting, a book reading and cricket matches, bringing together the whole Oratory family.

Current students, staff, alumni and parents have been invited to share what The Oratory means to them in three words through a social media campaign launched at the beginning of February. Words such as ‘community’, ‘inclusive’, ‘welcoming’, ‘supportive’ and ‘fun’ were popular. This modern day campaign contrasts with historical images shared from the schools archives.

Boarding Options at The Dragon School, Oxford

As the school has one of the largest populations of full boarders of any UK co-educational prep school, from September 2019, the Dragon will be expanding its boarding provision. As well as offering its established full boarding and day boarding (one or more fixed nights each week, booked a term in advance) options for children aged between 8 and 13, the Dragon will be introducing a flexible boarding option, where at shorter notice, families can book between one and four nights of boarding on a flexible basis for children in Year 4 and above. This new and additional arrangement is intended to support the needs of modern families, as well as to allow children to gain an experience of all that boarding can offer. 

Multi-Skills Festival at Rowan Prep, Surrey

Sixty children from six local schools are gearing up take part in the inaugural Multi skills festival hosted by Rowan Prep School on 5 June. The fun afternoon of new sport skills will be held at Oaken Lane Sport Ground and is organised by United Learning, a schools group. The afternoon will be ledby United Learning’s sport ambassadors, Jenny Pace, former GB long jumper and Wayne Gordon, former GB bobsleigher who are both now working in education, motivating young people through physical activity.

The Multi-Skills Festival brings together fundamental movement skills including agility, balance and co-ordination for Y1’s. The main focus of this festival is for children to have fun and to learn new athletic techniques in a positive learning environment to foster a love of sport in early years.

Public Schools’ Fencing Championships Success for Hurst

Jamie Briggs fencing for Hurst College

Two students, Jamie Briggs and Lauren Elliott, represented Hurst College in the Public Schools’ Fencing Championships.

Jamie took part in the Junior Boys Foil competition, which had 110 entries. He comprehensively won all his pool fights, was given a bye in the last 64, knocked out an Abingdon fencer in the last 32, beat a Welsh national fencer from Charterhouse in the last 16, a fellow GB squad member from Westminster in the quarter-final and was eventually knocked out in the semi-final (15-11) to another fellow GB squad member from Aldenham, Elstree. Overall he achieved third place.

Lauren competed in the Senior Girls Foil, which had 31 entries. She won most of her pool fights with some exceptional performances, only narrowly losing to a GB U20s fencer from Millfield. She was knocked out in her first direct elimination to take eleventh place.

In addition, both Lauren and Jamie recently took second place in their respective groups for the South East regional heats of the British Youth Championships and now progress to the national finals.

Kingswood School Sing at Bath Festival

Kingswood students at Bath Festival

Kingswood School students came out in force again at Green Park Station for the biggest night of the year in Bath. Kingswood’s headline spot in the annual ‘Party in the City’ was a triumph, with an electric atmosphere and great entertainment.

Kingswood Jazz Orchestra (KJO) started the show with a bang with an energetic performance of ‘Rock Around the Clock’. This set the tone for the rest of their set as the big band sound filled the area and drew people in off the streets.

The variety of styles made for an eclectic but fun mix of songs, with everything from the RnB stylings of Amy Winehouse’s songs, to the pop ballads of Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra swing, and of course a couple of cheesy ABBA classics.

Another special moment was having performances of songs written by some of the Sixth Form. By the time the final number came – a fitting up-tempo version of Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ – the whole station roared with shouts, cheers and applause.

Rowan Prep School Contact Space

Nick Hague answered questions from 10 girls from the International Space Station

On Thursday 20 June 2019 at exactly 1.48pm, Rowan Preparatory School in Claygate made history as one of a small number of schools in the country to make radio contact with the International Space Station. ARISS (The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) arranged an exclusive 8-minute radio interview with the astronaut Nick Hague and the girls from Rowan.

A radio mast was built by ARISS in the playground and the girls had written questions for consideration. After a short delay, Nick Hague answered questions from 10 girls of different ages. Six local schools, governors and Susan Buckle from the UK Space Agency attended to share the once-in-a-lifetime experience of being in contact with a real astronaut currently in space.

One Year 6 girl said: ‘I most enjoyed the moment of suspense just before we spoke to the International Space Station. Then suddenly, Nick Hague responded over the crackling radio! It was a magical 10 minutes when our creative questions were answered. It was a once in a lifetime experience that we all loved.’

Fairfield Prep School Pupil Gets Gold!

Anthony Cimurs, a pupil at Fairfield Prep School, part of Loughborough Schools Foundation, has achieved the title of U12 200m National Prep School Athletics Champion at the Alexandria Stadium in Birmingham.

After qualifying for the Championships at Bedford Athletics Stadium he raced ahead in the initial heat at Birmingham, and powered home over the last 50 metres in the final. 

READ MORE: Best of Summer Camps 2019