Date Posted: 17/02/2017

13 February; the week at Read

Long Live The King! (And I)

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Another ground-breaking production at Drax’s West End this year of the all-time classic, The King and I. I trust that many of you reading this had the opportunity to make the time to come and watch this very well produced show on stage last week as a mammoth amount of effort was created across the school to make the show as fantastic as it was.

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The production had taken months of planning, rehearsals and construction to put the show on. It was a chance for the thespians, musicians, the sparkies in the lighting department, hair and makeup girls and the handymen who helped build the set to all come together and work in unison to make sure the 350th Anniversary of the School be celebrated in style.

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The on-stage cast was made up of an array of different skills and abilities and was a chance to enhance these even more. Our King of Siam, Nic Lee is one of our international pupils from Malaysia. He played the role with a huge amount of dedication as he had to learn hundreds of pages of lines which was hard enough, but to make it more of a challenge, he did so in his third language! With little experience on stage he stepped up to the mark and played the King with huge passion. Evangeline Barnby another major lead played the role of Anna, an English school-teacher trying to westernise Siam: another excellent performance from Evangeline. These are two stars to watch out for in future productions.

There was also a number of other lead roles taken on by a vast array of ages, Francesca Turton and Charlie Addy of Year 9 played the runaway lovers Lun Tha and Tuptim, Tom Scholefield playing the King's son and Ben Abrams playing the son of Anna, both from Year 8. Daisy Speak in Year 10 played “head wife” to the King, Lady Thiang, the king's preferred choice. Matthew Roberts from the Upper Sixth played Sir Edward, a pompous 19th century British Ambassador and finally myself as The Kralahome, a sort of Prime Minister, the King's right-hand man you might say. Not forgetting also the amazing ballet performance led by two Year 11 girls, Steph Burrows and Philippa Musson who would give Billy Elliott a good run for his money. The huge amount of talent on the stage ascended even into the ranks of the teaching staff where we had some “celebrity” special appearances!

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There wasn’t just hard work and talent on the stage, oh no! There was an unprecedented amount of work put in by the people who just "make things happen!" There was a team of young gentlemen including myself who with the guidance of Mrs Rothwell-Wood helped to bring Siam to Drax. We spent weeks designing and building elements of the set which included the main dais-cum-four poster bed-cum-bookcase-cum-boat design (you can imagine the design complexities of the blueprints for that one!). The A-team was devised of Max Hammell, Spencer Smith, Zain Kahn, Rory Ansdell and myself. Another crucial element of the show was the technical team. The sparkies were led by Jake Henry, our very own lighting expert and assisted by his younger apprentice Alex Rivett who was our professional spotlighter. Finally, Read School's very own Health and Beauty therapists Ellie Williams, Charlotte Bielby and Jess Liddle who made us all look good!

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As you can see, a huge amount of work, time and effort was crammed into this school production by the pupils. However, I haven’t forgotten the staff! The production could not have happened without the great work of the teachers; Miss Newman’s choreography expertise which helped create the brilliant ballet; Miss Williamson's art skills, making the detailed props; Miss Gibbins on costume; Mr Moulson and the 250 pages of piano music; Mrs Rothwell-Wood constructing the stage and finally Mrs Maunsell, the superglue of the whole production.

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Captain Gisbourne marshalls Ben Abrams

A huge thank you to all staff from myself, mainly for the five years of plain attention-seeking on stage I’ve enjoyed and on behalf of the cast, another huge thank you!

Alfie Thomlinson

Netball: Read v The Mount School

11th February

U13 8-0 Defeat

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U13s : The U13 girls start with their England netball warm-up we picked up last weekend!

On the 11th February Read under 13s played a netball match against The Mount School.  After a thorough warm-up we began the match. The Mount got off to a good start by scoring. We tried not to let the goal get to us as we carried on the match, however it was hard because they scored another 3 times putting them up 4-0 going into the second quarter. After a team talk we began the second quarter. We knew what we needed to put into the game and tried really hard to fight back. Unfortunately, we let them score another 2 goals! After half time we knew the score was 7-0 so we set ourselves a target of scoring at least once. The third quarter was better than the first two and although we didn't score we only let The Mount score 1 goal meaning that this was the best quarter yet. Going into the final quarter we held it together well and with some great play we managed to perform effectively but it was a little too late so the final score was 8-0 to The Mount.

Georgia Beaumont (captain)

U15: 34-31 Victory

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U15s: Grace Handforth moves in for a dynamic interception

After watching the opposition warming up I knew this was going to be a tough match for our girls. There were clearly two or three very strong shooters and the whole team looked dynamic. However, it was obvious that our girls picked up on this quickly and so it was essential that we focussed on the strengths of our team and developed positive thoughts that gave each other confidence. We were already missing a few of our usual team players and so Polly Brooks in Year 8 was promoted to the Year 10 team. We started hard and although we were down by three goals at quarter time, this could be turned around. The girls tightened up their marking, ensured strong passes were made and looked for interceptions to turnover the ball. By the final quarter there were two goals in it. It was vital that they played with determination and kept this positive spirit up. Unfortunately for The Mount they missed a few crucial shots and this gave us a window of opportunity and with Alex Collinson and Katie Watson shooting with such precision, we were able to go into the lead. Annie Henry, Anya McAvoy and Polly Brooks played a valuable part in linking the mid-court through the defence to attack after being fed from Grace Handforth and Lucy Barrick's outstanding interceptions. The final score was an impressive 34-31win. I am so proud of these girls.

Mrs Prosser

Selby Primary Schools' Indoor Athletics Finals


Owen Harker presenting certificates to some of the young primary school pupils

On Friday we welcomed six local primary schools to our sports hall where they were competing in the Indoor Athletics Finals. We played host to the event which gave our Year 10 and Year 11 GCSE PE pupils the opportunity to officiate, lead and score the competitions. It proved to be a hugely competitive afternoon with boys and girls from Year 6 taking part in many events; ball throw, foam javelin, standing long, triple and high jumps plus numerous relay races negotiating hurdles along the length of the sports hall. The leaders were very professional and numerous positive comments of thanks and admiration were said of them. The winners were Hambleton School, they will progress into the Yorkshire final. Well done and thank you to Harrison Green, Alex Marsh, Elliot Burgess, Jackson Gray, Toby Evans, Oliver Weston, Diljit Singh, Owen Harker, Nick Reed, Alex Collinson, Grace Handforth, Katie Watson and Annie Henry.


Toby assisting one youngster with the Long Jump


Relay racing for the primary pupils, literally bouncing off the walls!


A busy event!

Awards in Assembly this Week.

A busy week in assemblies this week, with both Tuesday's and Thursday's being taken up with a number of award ceremonies for children at both ends of the age spectrum and from all across the globe.


Chinese students receiving their certificates today


Year 10 CCF cadets receiving their passing out certificates


Pupils who received their music certificates in assembly on Tuesday; Joe Scholefield; merit, step 2 piano; Lexie Maw; distinction, grade 2 singing; Isla McLellan; merit, grade 2 singing; Ben Abrams; grade 2 singing; Heather Grimshaw; grade 3 singing; Ellie Williams; grade 4 singing; Alice Simmons; merit, grade 5 singing.


Pupils from the Jining Experimental School in China who spent the morning here on Monday