The good old, bad old days!

The good old, bad old days!

Five old boys of the School were involved in QE’s second annual Enrichment Week. Four OEs who were at QE in the 1940s to 1960s helped Year 7 boys with a project on the history of the School, while Nik Ward (2003–2010) came in to assist Year 10 pupils with an Art project and inter-House competition focusing on architecture.

Enrichment is an important aspect of life at QE today: boys have scores of opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities (including clubs, sports, the performing arts, visits, competitions and House-based activities), while the academic side is catered for through subject-related clubs and clinics. Enrichment Week strengthens this provision still further, featuring activities that do not normally form part of the curriculum and developing in Years 7–10 boys a range of academic, personal and thinking skills.

The four older OEs accompanied the boys to the School’s original home, Tudor Hall, and worked with them on source material gathered from the archives. The four were: Ken Cooper (OE 1942–1950); Alan Solomon (OE 1951–1957); David Farrer (OE 1954–61) and Richard Newton (OE 1956–1964).

They recounted their own memories of School life, helping the boys understand points both of continuity and of change. The four recalled that in the post-war years, School took place on Saturday mornings, there was an open-air, unheated swimming pool, and corporal punishment was still quite prevalent –  albeit things had moved on from the Tudor Hall, where the central feature of the classroom is the whipping post in the middle of the room!

One OE remarked that whilst many people have a tendency to think things were better ‘in their day’, the opportunities and learning experiences available to current QE boys are better than they have ever been.

For his part, Nik Ward helped introduce the inter-House competition entitled Folding Architecture, which required boys to build a free-standing architectural structure using modular units, working with card, paper clips, tracing paper, acetate and fishing wire.

Head of Art Stephen Buckeridge said: “Nik gave a PowerPoint presentation documenting his journey from School to his completion of his MA in Architecture. He outlined the usefulness of the subjects that he had chosen at A-level (Art, Geography, Maths and Physics) for his studies and especially of Art. In fact, he reflected that many of his projects required a good knowledge of all the subjects that he studied at A-level.”

Nik assisted the boys throughout the project, providing technical, aesthetic and contextual advice. He judged the competition at the end of the day, selecting Pearce as the overall winner. He also stayed behind afterwards to talk to those boys who were interested in engineering and architecture, showing them his portfolio and projects and answering their questions.

Nik was among many OEs who came along to this year’s Elizabethan Union Dinner Debate, which took place in the spring.