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Collaboration on location: QE Together support local school

Members of the QE Together partnership have now begun editing after spending two days filming in a Barnet primary school as part of a community outreach project.

A team from the partnership – consisting of senior pupils from QE and Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School – visited QE’s near-neighbour, Christ Church Primary School. The filming was the latest stage in a project that the team have been working on for several months to create a promotional video aimed at encouraging prospective parents to sign up for Christ Church’s nursery.

Lead Enrichment Tutor Kanak Shah said: “All the students – our boys, the girls from QEGS and the Christchurch pupils – did very well, and the little ones were adorable!”

The QE team comprised the 2023 School Captain, Darren Lee, and two of the 2023 Vice-Captains, Shuaib Adam and Anthony Bartlett.

Shuaib, of Year 13, explained that the QE Together team had first held meetings with Christ Church’s head, Mrs Elena Print, to map out ideas and plan the key messages of the video.

During the two days, the team thoroughly explored the school in their filming, as well as shooting B-roll footage (supplementary video) to support the visual story-telling at the heart of the film.

“We engaged with children, including those as young as nursery, guiding them to express the school motto [‘Through God’s love, we learn, aspire and achieve; we flourish’] and ethos. This collaborative effort not only enriched the visual narrative, but also provided an authentic perspective on the school’s values and identity.

“The experience so far has taught us many valuable skills, especially teamwork skills – both within our team and in collaboration with other schools – which has strengthened our capacity for effective communication, task delegation, and collective problem-solving. The cross-school collaboration has not only expanded our network for QE Together’s future, but also deepened our understanding of community dynamics and the importance of collective efforts.”


QE’s ‘New Year’s honours’: 2024 top team take up their places

Chanakya Seetharam this week begins his year as the 2024 School Captain, supported by Senior Vice-Captains Saim Khan and Rohan Kumar.

The three, who were appointed by Headmaster Neil Enright, head a team of ten Vice-Captains, as well as House Captains, their deputies and other prefects.

Mr Enright said: “My congratulations go to Chanakya, Saim and Rohan – a talented trio, who were chosen from a strong field of candidates in Year 12 – and indeed to all our new prefects. These appointments reflect the confidence of their peers and of School staff, who all had the chance to vote in the process.

“Pupil leadership is a significant part of the culture at QE and all the new office-holders will be invested with wide-ranging responsibilities and the opportunity to shape the continued development of the School.

“I must thank our 2023 School Captain Darren Lee and his team for shouldering the responsibility of leadership during our 450th anniversary year with such distinction.”

Head of Year 12 Micah King also congratulated the new top three. “Chanakya exemplifies what it means to be a QE boy. He is kind, and this come across in his interactions with peers. He is exceptionally able, achieving top grades in his GCSEs and routinely standing out in his classes for his high ability. And Chanakya is extremely responsible. I have no doubt that he will rise to the challenges and demands of being School Captain with aplomb.”

Chanakya is a strong musician, while he, Saim and Rohan are all involved in debating and have therefore contributed to the current strength of the Elizabethan Union, QE’s own debating society.

Rohan plays rugby for the School. He also holds the distinction of having played a role during the 450th anniversary service in Westminster Abbey in March last year: Rohan’s poem was the winning entry in the anniversary poetry competition and he, therefore, read it during the service.

“Rohan is dedicated and determined,” said Mr King. “He’s consistently stood out during his time at QE for his effort and perseverance. He’s also extremely dependable and calm under pressure. In a challenging situation, you’d want Rohan’s steady and thoughtful nature to guide you through it. He has earned the respect of his teachers and peers. I am confident he will shine as a Senior Vice-Captain.”

“Saim has similarly been a model student throughout his time at QE. He has stood out for his studious nature and willingness to contribute wherever he can to the School community.  Having won a superb number of accolades throughout his time at QE, his appointment is a crowning achievement. He will be a superb Senior Vice-Captain.”


Diverse musical excellence and well-earned awards at Winter Concert

The Winter Concert brought entertainment across an array of genres with just one common factor – the high degree of musicianship on display.

The Shearly Hall was packed to the rafters and saw hundreds of boys participating in 15 different ensembles, watched by parents and other family members, staff, friends of the School and VIP guests.

Alongside the customary presentation of Junior and Senior Music Colours, Headmaster Neil Enright presented the Music department’s new Music Bars – normally to be given to boys who have already achieved colours, but have continued to excel.

Mr Enright said: “Our Winter Concert was aptly named – some families had to de-ice their cars before heading home afterwards – but was held in a very warm atmosphere and was a great success.

“There was super music, supported by excellent production from our sound, lighting and stage crews, both pupils and the professionals from School Stage. These concerts are a big team effort – the culmination of much hard work from the boys and the Music department, but also other parts of the Elizabethan community, such as: the site team; parent volunteers from The Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s providing hospitality, and our pupil volunteers – my thanks go to them all.

“There really were no weak links musically, although the Indian Ensemble stood out, with excellent vocal performances from Year 7’s Param Jani in their opening piece and Rishi Watsalya in their second.

“The evening was balanced with dynamic numbers: the Senior Winds’ playing of Stephenson’s Rocket (conducted by current University of Connecticut intern Mason Armstrong) and the School Orchestra’s Beethoven in the first half, and the two Guns N’ Roses pieces in the second – Sweet Child o’ Mine from the Electric Guitar Ensemble and the Jazz Band’s rendition of Welcome to the Jungle.”

The concert was attended by the Worshipful The Mayor of the London Borough of Barnet, Councillor Nagus Narenthira – who, Mr Enright said, has been a great supporter of the School, as Deputy Mayor and now as the borough’s 58th Mayor.

The Music colours went to boys who have shown outstanding commitment to music at QE and displayed musical excellence.

The presentation of the bars was to two sixth-formers:

  • Jason Tao, of Year 12: his citation praised his leadership and his being a superb role model for younger students;
  • Indrajit Datta, of Year 13, who, exceptionally, received his Senior Colours and bar at the same time, in view of his recent sterling efforts on the Music technology side of the Music department’s work. He is currently in the midst of producing a recording of the School’s specially commissioned 450th anniversary anthem, And Be It Known.

“The way in which the boys so enthusiastically cheered the recognition of their peers through the colours and bars presentations was heart-warming – evidence of the genuine support they give one another,” Mr Enright said.

  • Click on the thumbnail images below to scroll through photos from the concert.


Stayin’ alive…and saving lives

Year 12 St John Ambulance volunteer Jason Tao and a team of senior pupils demonstrated to other Elizabethans how they could save lives in a special lunchtime event open to all.

Around 40 boys came to the Main School Hall to learn CPR and recovery techniques for casualties in what is expected to be the first of a series of first-aid workshops.

Jason said: “One key takeaway was that you don’t have to be part of St John Ambulance or a paramedic to potentially give someone – a loved one, a close friend, or just someone on the street – a second chance at life.

“One of the most decisive moments for me setting up this workshop was coming across this shocking statistic that for every minute without receiving CPR, the survival rate of someone in cardiac arrest (i.e. their heart has stopped beating) falls by 10%.

“Equipped with the knowledge of what to do in these scenarios, those who attended would now no longer be passive bystanders, but active life-savers. That’s what makes workshops like this quite special: what greater power than to save lives!”

The first part of the workshop focused on how and when to do CPR (answer: when a casualty is unresponsive and not breathing). The second part covered how and when to put someone in the recovery position (when the casualty is unresponsive, but breathing).

Former footballer Vinnie Jones famously fronted a public information campaign some years ago championing the use of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees in performing CPR, because its tempo is in the correct 100-120 beats per minute range. This track is still useful, Jason said. He included it on a CPR playlist during the workshop, although he spared the attendees Baby Shark, which is also recommended because of its tempo. “I do think it was for the best that this was not played out loud in the hall!” he said.

He reflected on the benefits of being a St John Ambulance volunteer. “I joined at the start of 2021 just after the lockdown had ended, and I think like many others coming out of lockdown, I needed a way to get some form of human contact back into my life. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into a local St John Unit, and I’ve had absolutely no regrets ever since!

“Volunteering for St John Ambulance is so rewarding and satisfying – when you finally use those first-aid skills to treat actual patients at events, that sense of accomplishment from a job well done (and of course from having a grateful patient!) is definitely one of the best parts of the experience.

“Through volunteering and gaining first-aid skills, I’ve found that other skills like communication and teamwork have developed alongside, as you put yourself ‘out there’ at more and more events and work alongside other St John volunteers.” These events have included sports fixtures at the Emirates Stadium, Lord’s and London Stadium, among other venues.

Jason thanked staff members Bryn Evans and Rhys Peto for the work they did behind the scenes to make the workshop possible, including sorting out the venue, getting access to mannequins and making it all run smoothly on the day. Dr Evans is a Physics teacher and QE Flourish tutor, while Mr Peto, from the Facilities team, has first-aid training experience through his work with the Combined Cadet Force.

He also thanked fellow St John members who helped out at the workshop:  Year 12 pupils Pranav Haller, Joshua John, Sai Suhas Parsaboina, Reshwanth Kanukollu, Girish Adapa, Yathoosan Suthash, Adi Kaneshanathan, and Krutarth Behera, of Year 11.

“We all thoroughly enjoyed teaching these skills to the participants, who all came with an eagerness to learn and were really engaged, picking things up much faster than we had expected! We introduced an element of competition (something that we know students here never shy away from) looking at who had the best technique after three minutes of CPR – something they all really enjoyed, although a few were left slightly breathless!

“We even had a few pupils who stayed behind after the workshop to ask how they could join and start volunteering for St John Ambulance.

“Following the success of this workshop, we certainly won’t be stopping at one, with future workshops covering a range of life-saving skills, like how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). We also hope to potentially add an exciting element of fundraising to these first-aid events.”


“A reminder and an inspiration”: Queen Elizabeth’s School remembers its fallen

The Combined Cadet Force remembered QE’s own war dead in an act of remembrance at the School, before then playing their part in Sunday’s commemorations in High Barnet.

One hundred and thirteen old boys of the School died in the First and Second World Wars, while others have been injured and killed in conflicts since.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “On this important day, we remember all those lives lost in conflict, reflecting upon the sacrifices they and others made to secure our freedoms and security.

“We honour the Elizabethans killed in the two world wars, and think, too, of all those affected by conflict around the world.”

On Friday, the School day closest to Armistice Day this year, the whole School paused for a two-minute silence at 11 o’clock.

The act of remembrance was led by the School’s CCF. The boys marched to the School’s World War I memorial in the Crush Hall before laying a wreath, demonstrating funeral drill they had learned for the occasion.

They were overseen by Staff Sergeant Rhys Peto, the CCF’s School Staff Instructor, who is a member of QE’s Facilities Team.

There was a reading from Laurence Binyon’s poem, For the Fallen, from which the Ode of Remembrance is drawn. The Last Post was played by Joel Swedensky, of Year 12, on the trumpet.

On Remembrance Sunday, 24 cadets turned out, joining High Barnet’s Remembrance Sunday parade, marching from the Army Reserve Centre in St Albans Road down the High Street to St John the Baptist Church, where all attended the church service. Wreath-laying at the war memorial there was carried out by Shubh Rathod and Chinthn Santhalingam, both of Year 13.

The School has recently fielded a number of enquiries from the families of Old Elizabethans killed in the two world wars and has been able to use QE Collections to provide them variously with images and information about their relatives from the digital archives.

Among the thousands of artefacts in QE Collections is the speech made by Headmaster E H Jenkins (1930–1961) in 1948 at the dedication service for the School’s World War II memorial. Of the 65 who died in that conflict, 52 had been his own pupils, and, he told the congregation, he remembered them all.

“Their graves are worldwide. In the Far East, in Burmese jungles, on the Western Desert, in the waters that wash around Crete, among the Guards on the Tunisian frontier, in Salerno’s bay, beneath the flak of Berlin, in our own seas… in our own dear homeland, on Normandy beaches, at the crossings of the Rhine – to all of these they have borne, and left to eternity, a part of our Elizabethan heritage. They are gone from us.

They will not grow old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,

but we will remember them: we will take up the charge they have left to us, the service of our country and the cause of tolerant freedom which they loved, and for which they died. God helping us, we can do no other. And to masters and boys of this school, as they pass it upon their daily vocations, this bronze, which is now to be dedicated and unveiled, shall be at once a reminder and an inspiration,” Mr Jenkins concluded.

Chamber Choir and organists impress in evensong at Southwark Cathedral

In only their second-ever choral evensong, the boys of QE’s Chamber Choir shone amid the splendour of Southwark Cathedral.

They sang music by composers including Mozart and Stanford, while three QE organists took their places at the console of the cathedral’s mighty 1897 instrument.

The boys sang to a congregation that included staff, governors, parents and friends of the School, as well as members of the public.

The cathedral service followed their first-ever choral evensong at Barnet parish church in the autumn and their appearance in the service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on 24th March, the 450th anniversary of the founding of the School.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “The boys were very impressive and the whole service was remarkable, given that this was only their second-ever evensong.

“The experience of singing at Westminster Abbey had stood them in good stead, so they were unfazed by the more intimate (but still large) scale of Southwark Cathedral.”

The service followed the centuries-old pattern of Anglican choral evensong and took place in a building that has been a place of Christian worship for more than 1,000 years.

The organ music played before the service by Year 7’s Zach Fernandes, Year 9’s Noah Morley and Year 11’s Joel Swedensky was written by Bach, Pachelbel, Böhm, Green and Stanley.

During the service, the choir sang the introit – the famous hymn, Abide with Me, with lyrics by Henry Francis Lyte and music by William Henry Monk – as well as pieces by Philip Radcliffe, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (B flat, Millington responses) and Mozart (Ave Meum Corpus).

The service included QE’s School prayer, reproduced below.

QE Director of Music Ruth Partington said: “Evensong presents an opportunity for the Chamber Choir to really challenge themselves and experience a unique musical tradition. There was a great deal of complexity in many of the responses and anthems sung, and our singers acquitted themselves very well.

“The three budding organists who played before the service are already highly accomplished on an instrument that all of them only took up this year: you would not have known that there was a Year 7 boy playing!” QE is now offering organ lessons in partnership with Barnet’s parish church, St John the Baptist.

“It was super to see some visitors who had just wandered in stay for the duration of the service. There was lovely feedback from the Cathedral’s volunteers. I am grateful to the Cathedral clergy and staff for their welcome,” Miss Partington added.

“The Music department hope to continue this programme in future years, singing a couple of such services each academic year. It forms part of the huge variety of musical opportunities on offer to the boys at QE.”

The School prayer

O Lord God, the Maker and Builder of every house not made with hands, we give thee thanks for this School in which we have our share.

Give thy blessing, we beseech thee, to all this our body, to the Head Master, to the teachers, to the boys, and to those who minister our needs.

Inspire us, O Lord, so to do our work today that, even as we are being helped by the remembrance of the loyal lives of those who came before us, so our faithfulness in thy service may aid those who shall take our places.

Remember, O Lord, for good, all who have gone forth from this School, to labour elsewhere in thy kingdom. Grant that both they, and we, may fulfil thy purpose for us in this life, and finally may attain thine everlasting kingdom. Amen.

Take us to the river: QE Together open up a new front in their war on litter

Sixth-formers from QE and Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School lent their support to efforts to clean up the River Brent in their battle against the scourge of litter.

The litter pick in Dollis Valley Park was the latest activity for QE Together – a Sixth Form partnership between the two Barnet schools formed early in 2022 that has a focus on projects to support the local community. As well as litter picks, QE Together has undertaken a primary school assembly and a concert for nursing home residents.

For this activity, they first worked in small teams comprising pupils from both schools in various areas of the park, before converging on Dollis Brook, a tributary of the Brent, where they laboured with Ben Morris, founder of CURB (Clean Up the River Brent), to clean up the waterway.

Crispin Bonham-Carter, Assistant Head (Pupil Involvement), said: “I congratulate all the students for working hard and persevering to complete what was, at times, an unpleasant task.

“We were both exhilarated and a little depressed at how much rubbish the QE Together team pulled out of a tiny section of the Dollis Brook. Thanks also to Ben from CURB for the inspiration!”

The afternoon began with the groups of three or four students amassing litter such as plastic bags snagged in brambles and bottles buried in the earth. They used bags, gloves and litter-pickers provided by the venture’s sponsors, Signature Care Homes.

Omar Siddick, of Year 12, said: “We were struck by the sheer amount of commercial packaging we found littering the grass, hedges and riverbank. Cans of beer and drink were among the most frequent findings, but we uncovered even more obscure items, such as derelict tents and car batteries.”

With stage 1 of the day complete, and nine or ten bin bags duly tied up and piled together, the whole Sixth Form team came together to tackle the brook.

Seyi Esan, also of Year 12, said: “With the help of Mr Morris, we were able to recover a host of surprising items from the riverbed, such as: a heater; two big trolleys; one small trolley, a plastic tricycle and a bike.

“Retrieving these (and more) items seemed easy, but pulling them up the steep riverbank proved more difficult than anticipated,” Seyi said, adding that teamwork was the key to completing the job successfully.

At the end of the day, everything collected was placed next to the public bin in the park, ready for the municipal waste collectors.

It had been, Omar concluded, “a productive and enriching exercise”, both because of the public service performed in collecting the litter and because it provided the QE boys with a welcome opportunity to collaborate with the girls.


The 47th QE Annual QE Sevens: great rugby, impressive logistics and strong showings from the home sides

This year’s Rugby Sevens – the first to feature the U14s as well as the U16s since before the pandemic – saw Tonbridge and Harrow schools claim the honour of being named champions in QE’s 450th anniversary year.

A total of 64 teams took part, confirming the event’s place as the country’s second-biggest schools rugby sevens tournament.

Many leading rugby schools joined the fray, with Tonbridge and Harrow both unbeaten on the way to their U16 and U14 Cup victories, while Framlingham College and Ipswich School respectively took the U16 and U14 Plate titles. Tonbridge’s results included two victories by a margin of more than 50 points, while Harrow saw off Berkhamsted School convincingly in their final.

QE’s own players also put in impressive performances, with emphatic wins achieved in both age categories.

Head of Rugby, James Clarke, said: “It was a great day with some excellent rugby on show, including from our own two teams.”

The tournament usually uses nine pitches, with games played at Barnet Elizabethans RFC, as well as at the School.

“It stays on track and is such a success every year due to the immense efforts from the PE staff, with my colleagues taking on the planning, organising, coaching and refereeing. Added to that are efforts of the prefects, who take charge of a lot of the logistics on the day including directing 62 visiting teams and their minibuses at both sites. And then there are our Year 7 and Year 8 helpers, who run all of the fixture cards to the two control centres when a game is finished, so that results can be updated live across our tournament site on TV screens, website and app.

“My huge thanks go to everyone who made the day possible.”

“Our U16 team, captained by Rohan Kumar, put in some impressive attacking play, scoring high- quality tries throughout the day,” said Mr Clarke. Having performed strongly against Gowerton School from Wales, they then lost to Woodlands School, Essex. “They regrouped, though, and won their final group game convincingly over Robert Clack School, Essex to finish third in the group, but unfortunately missed out on the knockout stages.”

“As for the U14s, they acquitted themselves brilliantly. Led by Victor Varbanov, they got off to a great start with a hard-fought 19-14 victory over Reigate Grammar School, Surrey. Caterham School, Surrey, proved too strong in game two, and it all came down to the final group game to decide whether QE would progress to the knockouts. An emphatic 40-0 win over Norwich School, Norfolk saw QE duly progress in second place and move into the Plate competition quarter-finals against local rivals St Albans School.

“It was a fiercely contested game that could have gone either way. In fact, had it not been for a last-ditch tap tackle on captain Victor, just as he appeared to have successfully burst through the St Albans defensive line, the boys may well have made the plate semi-finals. As it was, St Albans scored at the other end to seal a 24-12 win shortly after.

“Overall, some really competitive performances, though, among many of the best rugby schools in the country.”

The winning Cup finalists in both age groups will receive tickets to a Premiership Rugby match (as will members of QE’s soon-to-be-announced Rugby Team of the Year, in what is fast becoming an annual School tradition).  “My thanks to our tournament sponsors, inspiresport, for making this possible,” said Mr Clarke.

The QE teams:

  • U16 (all Year 11, except for Year 10 boys who are ‘playing up’): Rohan Kumar (captain), James Conway, John Chum, Akaash Gill, Zeyuan Wu, Theo Moses, Shreyaas Sandeep, Karan Chauhan, Aadam Aslam (Year 10), Timi Banjo (Year 10), Ubaidah Rahman (Year 10).
  • U14s (all except Lakshmi are Year 9): Victor Varbanov (captain), Akira Norimura, Thomas Young, Aashir Irfan, Yashinth Sivananthan, Yashwant Reddy Sunkara, Oscar Kaltenbronn, Aarav Paul, Peter Atanasov, Faaiz Adil, Olic Fan, Lakshmi Chirumamilla (Year 8; playing up).

Tournament finals results

U16s Cup – Tonbridge School 21-14 Dulwich College

U16s Plate – Framlingham College 15-14 Berkhamsted School

U14s Cup – Harrow School 43-7 Berkhamsted School

U14s Plate – Ipswich School 21-7 St Albans School


Stepping up: new top team for QE’s 450th anniversary year

Today the 2023 School Captain, Darren Lee, and his large team of prefects officially take up their posts.

The team, all from Year 12, will enjoy the distinction and honour of being pupil leaders during the School’s 450th anniversary year.

Darren, his Senior Vice-Captains, Ugan Pretheshan and Mustafa Sayfi, and the wider Vice-Captain team, were all called to the Headmaster’s Study in late November to be offered their roles, following a selection and voting process. They are pictured above with the Headmaster, Neil Enright.

Mr Enright said today: “My congratulations go to all our prefects on their success. By virtue of their appointment in this momentous year for QE, they will, in a sense, themselves become part of the School’s history.

“Darren, Ugan and Mustafa make an excellent trio, contributing fully to the life of the School and displaying exactly the sort of positive character attributes that we prize in our senior Elizabethans. I am sure they will be a great example to their peers and to younger pupils, and that they will help us drive further improvements at the School.

“I with them every success in their respective roles as they follow the sterling example set by the outgoing School Captain, Theo Mama-Kahn, and his team, to whom I offer my thanks.”

Darren is both a keen linguist and an enthusiastic engineer. He has won prizes and commendations in a number of language competitions, while he and his fellow Year 12 student, Yash Patel, were also named as recipients of highly prized Arkwright Scholarships after successfully navigating a long and exacting application process. As Arkwright Scholars, the pair will enjoy financial and mentoring support throughout their A-level studies.

Ugan’s extra-curricular involvements have included Young Enterprise and jointly leading the School’s personal finance society, together with his contemporary, Roshan Patel – a reflection of his keen interest in banking and finance. Ugan has also enjoyed playing cricket and rugby at a senior level. A peer mentor, he plays in the School’s Saxophone Ensemble, while practising his debating skills in the Elizabethan Union.

Mustafa is an aspiring lawyer who is studying Mathematics, Chemistry, Philosophy and French. In his role as the leader of Harrow Youth Parliament, he has recently had a leading role in helping tackle the cost-of-living crisis locally, as he and his fellow parliamentarians hand out hot food and drinks to Harrow residents.


Remembering our war dead, honouring their sacrifice

QE held its traditional act of commemoration on Armistice Day, while members of the Combined Cadet Force took part in High Barnet’s Remembrance Sunday parade.

Through the two events, today’s Elizabethans remembered the 113 old boys who lost their lives in the 20th century’s two world wars and those who have been injured or died in wars since.

The ceremonies followed some ten days of poppy-selling within the School and a History trip during which Year 8 boys had the opportunity to see the World War I display at Hampton Court Palace, which focuses on the Indian regiment who camped there after taking part in the conflict.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “By collectively commemorating and honouring Elizabethans of the past who have fallen in war, we recognise their ultimate sacrifice while also encouraging the present generation of pupils to reflect on the School’s tradition of service.”

QE’s traditional 11.00am act of remembrance took place at the School’s World War I memorial in the Crush Hall. It was led by representatives of the School’s Combined Cadet Force, who were joined by Colour Sergeant Rhys Peto, the CCF’s School Staff Instructor, who is a member of QE’s Facilities Team.

Wreaths were laid on behalf of the School and the Old Elizabethans, the Last Post played on the trumpet by School Captain Theo Mama-Kahn, of Year 13, and the poem, Taking a Stand*, read by Mithil Parmar, also of Year 13. There followed the national two-minute silence, which was observed around the School. Those out of earshot of the Crush Hall could watch a video featuring the Last Post which used images from the National Memorial Arboretum. At 11.02am, Theo played the reveille and the cadets fell out.

Two days later, 36 of the School’s cadets and CCF staff representatives participated in High Barnet’s Remembrance Sunday events. After assembling at Barnet Army Reserve centre in St Albans Road, they paraded down Barnet High Street and joined the church service at St John the Baptist Church, where there was the playing of the Last Post and a wreath-laying ceremony. Events concluded with a march-past, where Martin Russell, the Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Barnet (and the parent of an Old Elizabethan) took the salute.

In the run-up to Armistice Day, pupils had visited form rooms with poppies and cash tins. For the first time, boys and staff could also make donations via contactless transaction in reception and via Parent Pay in the School Shop.

During the same week, Year 8 visited Hampton Court Palace for a history trip. In addition to exploring Tudor life at the palace, they enjoyed finding out more about the Indian soldiers who camped there for two months in the summer of 1919. They had returned to Europe by ship from Mumbai (then known as Bombay) and were brought to the UK to join in the national peace celebrations with soldiers from around the British Empire who had fought alongside each other.

Helen Edmunds, Head of History & Politics, said: “Hampton Court provides excellent contemporary sources, including a display of diaries and letters written by the soldiers who were there just over a century ago. This links in well in with the work our pupils will do next year when they enter Year 9 on the role and importance of Empire troops during World War I and World War II.

“We enjoyed lovely weather and, despite traffic hold-ups, we made it in time for a good visit and were able to enjoy a picnic lunch in the sunshine and a visit to the gift shop, which always goes down well!”

Year 8 made the trip over two days. With the M25 shut on one of the days because of the Just Stop Oil protests, the group instead went via the North Circular, giving the boys the opportunity to take in some extra sights along the way – Wembley Stadium, Kew Gardens and Twickenham Stadium.

* This is the poem that Mithil read:

Taking a Stand

I ask you to stand with me
For both the injured and the lost
I ask you to keep count with me
Of all the wars and what they cost
I ask you to be silent with me
Quietly grateful for our lot
As I expect you’re as thankful as me
For the health and life we’ve got

I ask that you wish them well with me
All those still risking their all
And I ask that you remember with me
The names of those that fall
I expect that you are proud like me
Of this great nation of ours too
So enjoying all its freedoms like me
Support those upholding them for you

I hope that you are hopeful like me
That we’ll soon bring an end to wars
So you’ll have to stand no more with me
And mourning families no different from yours
‘Til then be thankful you can stand with me
Thinking of those who now cannot
For standing here today with me
At least we show they’re not forgot

By John Bailey