Boarding Blog

24th March 2016

Here is the much anticipated second edition of the Boarding Blog! Apologies that it has taken so long for us to produce our second instalment, we will be sure to post a bit more frequently next term.

This term has been busy, with Mock Exams, Young Enterprise, Spring Concert, the House Song Contest and our regular Table Tennis fixtures to name but a few events that have taken place. It is pleasing to see that the Boarders have involved themselves in all the school has to offer. Vincent and Drew provided some stunning performances in the House Song Contest! Drew – I’m sure your dance moves clinched it for Parrs.

Dugards Photo

Parrs Photo

Elvis has been attending fencing regularly at the Gilberd School this term. Paco and Kevin have been playing badminton at the Stanway School too.

Some of the Boarders have put together a few words on the activities they have been involved in this term, you can read these below.

Dave Ratcliffe, Assistant Boarding Manager

E-Sports, the notion that a video game can be treated as a sport is every parents' nightmare and every 12 year old's dream. In recent years the gaming market has boomed solely because of this notion, making it one of the fastest expanding and most volatile that currently exists. So where do the CRGS boarders fit into this?

For two years now I have managed a small team in an incredibly new game: Vainglory. We have placed in the top 4 teams in Europe since day 1 and as a result been able to earn a little bit of pocket money (current prize pools are 25,000) but more notably beautiful week long holidays all over Europe with the most recent being Katowice, Poland and London, England.

Managing this team has been a long and arduous journey riddled with obstacles but also an incredibly rewarding one. I have since decided to leave the industry and focus on my studies but a small list of skills gained from this experience include:

  • Contract writing
  • Contract negotiation
  • Business management

Edward Gokmen, School House

It was exciting news when we found out that a new building with three new Science Labs, three new Computer Suites, and an extension to the Gymnasium was being built at CRGS.  The construction site can be seen clearly from Gilberd House and I have been recording progress by taking pictures of the site, with the aim of producing a time-lapse video. I hope to have produced the short video by the time the building is ready to use.

New Building

New Building

Kevin Poon, Gilberd House

A big part of upper sixth is our application to university, which is done through the UCAS website. The variation of interests in the boarding house means that it is extremely likely that we have seen someone in the previous year apply for the same course at a top university. As we are a close knit group we have already talked about the various steps with the boarders in the year above, our uppers, needed to present a strong application. This is all done early in lower sixth, as this is when our uppers are going through the application process. This means we have a great advantage in the application process and it allows us to push on for courses at top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge when it becomes time for us to apply for university in upper sixth.

Jack Skinner, School House (Head Boarder)

This has been a very successful season and, with one game to play, the team lies 4th in Division 4 of the Colchester & District TT League. For 20 years the school team has been made up of sixth form boarders and we tend to perform in 2 yearly cycles: promotion is never part of the plan! As our players leave for university, consistent team performance can never be guaranteed so we are happy to stay in Division 4 and involve as many players as possible, irrespective of ability.

Table Tennis

Yet during the last 2 years our strongest team has been able to beat the best opposition in the league. During his time at the school, Jonathan Ma has an unbeaten record and he has shown that he would be a match for any player in the Colchester area. Jonathan could have chosen to play for a team in the top division but he wanted to represent the school and use his skill and past coaching experience to help his team mates. He has a 100% winning record after playing 42 games in the 2014/15 season and is on course to keep his unbeaten record for 2015/16. He has never lost a leg during his best-of-5 games.

Table Tennis

13 players have represented the school this year. Kenneth Tsui also has a 100% winning record and, together with his twin brother Anson (87.5%) and Jonathan, they have been comfortably the best line-up in the league, beating the two promoted sides. However, work has been a priority for all the players and a special thanks must be extended to Ronaldo Chan and Aaron Lee for turning out regularly, often when a last minute essay has got in the way of the initial selection.

Our thanks also go to the school for allowing the team to use the George Young Building as our home venue. It has allowed us to play in a superb facility and has given us the opportunity to act as hosts to local opposition from the Colchester area, many of whom have never visited CRGS. However, the opposition occasionally includes former students who have returned to the school after an absence of perhaps 40 years and it has been a delight to welcome them and exchange stories of the many changes which have taken place. The boarders have been wonderful ambassadors.

As the season draws to a close, we will say goodbye to our year 13 players. In addition to Jonathan and Aaron, our thanks go to Adrian Ngan, Justin Wong, Jack Skinner, and Soumya Baxi. We wish them well in their university studies and their chosen careers as, respectively, dentist, 2 x lawyers, economist, engineer, and doctor.

Roy & Anita Flanagan, Boarding Manager & Senior Residential House Parent

During the penultimate week of the Spring term the Geography department set off on its annual Year 12 field trip to Slapton in Devon. The group of thirty or so students - including boarders Keith and Nicolas - spent the week intensively studying hydrology dynamics along the River Lemon, which rises up on Hay Tor, Dartmoor and meets the English Channel down at Newton Abbot. This was not a trip for shy types, as the Geographers needed to pull on their waterproofs and get right in the river! There was also a day studying coastal management strategies along Start Bay, as well as some analysis of the flood management systems in place at Harbertonford - a village that has spent more than its fair share of time under water in recent years. There were no complaints about the weather - sunny with the freshness of Spring - whilst the Slapton Field Centre catering offered the usual boost to morale three times daily! 

Geog trip

Judging by the way they slept all the way home, the boarders reaped all the benefits of a proper week being immersed in the English outdoors. There's nothing like Physical Geography and fresh air to bring the subject to life and a thoroughly positive week was enjoyed by all.

Mr Fox (Boarding and Geography)


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