Welcome to the latest edition of Purcell’s Weekly Highlights!

2020 BBC Young Composer Competition

Last year, Purcell student Rowena (Year 11) was one of 6 national winners in the 2020 BBC Young Composer Competition – a triumph that she shares with alumna Jasmine Morris. This week, on Wednesday 24th March, she met her mentor Dobrinka Tabakova and learned what her commission will be! Rowena will be composing a new piece for the BBC Concert Orchestra based upon the theme of ‘New Beginnings’ which will be performed at the 2021 Proms. Heartfelt congratulations to Rowena. We cannot wait to hear what you create.

National Children’s Orchestra 2021

We were delighted to hear this week that French horn player Alex (Year 9) is joining the 2021 National Children’s Orchestra 2021 intake. Alex will be spending the Easter weekend with the NCO’s (National Children’s Orchestra) main orchestra, taking in masterclasses with the London Symphony Orchestra Horn players. Our congratulations to Alex!

2021 Mill Cup

We are excited to announce that The Purcell School has entered a team in the 2021 Mill Cup. The tournament is an ethics bowl competition in which teams of secondary school students match their wits with each other discussing ethical issues of public concern. The team that best displays the virtues of insightfulness, thoughtfulness and civility take home the cup.

Our Philosophy students have been practising hard for this event, and even took part in a mock round against Lord Wandsworth School last Saturday, in which Purcell’s Philosophy teacher Theresa Strydom reports ‘they did extremely well’. They have today (Friday 26th March) taken part in the regionals, hosted by St Andrews University, and we wish them the very best of luck for the rest of the competition.

Bird Song Research Project

Nothing lifts the spirits in the morning more than the dawn chorus – caffeine for the soul – and Purcell Science teacher Svetlana Emelianova has set an Easter break Bird Song research project for her students which aims to do just this.

The notion of the Bird Song project has been received so favourably, that Svetlana would like to extend it to staff and parents also. She has provided the following information for anyone who might be interested in trying to identify a bird from its song alone.
Dear Staff, Parents and Students,

This Easter holiday all of us hopefully will be spending a lot of time outdoors doing walks and observing nature.

I thought that it would be a really great time to explore the amazing choirs of birds singing, calling the spring and the new beginning to all of us.

I would like to invite you to observe, research and tell the rest of us about the birds you encounter during the Easter holiday time.

  • Which birds can you hear when you wake up?
  • Which birds can you hear during the day and in the evening?
  • Does the bird choir intensity change during the day?
  • At what times does it stop and start?
  • Can you recognise the songs of different birds?
  • Why do the birds sing?
  • Do you think they sing all year around?
  • Which birds are the best singers in your opinion?
  • Can you photograph some birds?

Maybe you can record a song and use the link provided to identify the bird from its song. Very often it is difficult to see singing birds, so the only way to identify them is by their song. Do all birds of the same species sing exactly the same song? There are many questions here and not all of them you may be able to answer this holiday time. Or, perhaps, you have your own interesting questions to find answers to.

Please use the link provided and do research on-line for anything interesting. There is also a fun test to see which bird you are :-).

I would like you to come up with 1 page of A4 research and photos of your favourite bird/s.

Please send your work via e-mail to s.emelianova@purcell-school.org.

Have a great holiday! Enjoy the outdoors and admire the incredible singing talent of birds.

Svetlana Emelianova

Useful Links:

Which Bird Are You?
What Bird Is It?
Birdwatching Wildlife Guide

#PositivePurcell: A Poem for Year 6

Purcell Juniors teacher Deborah Harris has written and would like to share a poem for her Year 6 class – Elara, Willow, Mahla, Saule, Josh, Luca, Tony, Seth, Mason and Kutay.
Believe In Yourself

Believe in yourself!
Your kindness shines like an inner light
You have choices to make every day
To make your light shine more brightly
To illuminate another.

Make good choices!
Think each day of something you are proud of
Stand a little taller
Reach a little further towards your goals
Help others every chance you get
Every smile and kind word makes a difference.

You make a difference!
Your feelings are important
Your words and actions are powerful
Use them wisely
Stand up for each other
And always
Be kind.

A Fond Farewell

On Wednesday evening, New Boarding House (NBH) had their end of term and goodbye party for Senior Houseparent Rachel Tagoe-Torkornoo. Much fun was had by all with 40 large pizzas and 80 cookies consumed! The Year 13 NBH boarders also had a small social after, and all students each received an Easter Egg.

Rachel Tagoe-Torkornoo was given a beautiful keepsake book from the house, with numerous photos and messages. She writes ‘It has been such a privilege running the house. The students have been wonderful and the staff a fantastic team. I will very much miss every single one of you within the house and also in the wider Purcell community. Thank you for all the support and the wonderful memories. Wishing you all the best for the future’.