An Intellectual Culture at Bloxham School

At Bloxham, students can attend a host of academic talks and seminars over the course of a year. On Tuesday night, Biology students listened to a lecture on the topic of ‘How the Brain Changes Itself’ (which looked at how the brain can adapt when we lose a sense) and, recently, the English Society listened to a talk on ‘The Development of the Novel’. History students have engaged with revisionist views of World War I and students studying French deepen their experience of the culture by attending the French Film Appreciation Society.

This term also sees the start of a new and exciting discussion group for aspiring intellects. The Academic Seminar is where some of our older students will be able to meet regularly to explore and discuss ideas that have been important in Culture, History, Science, Art and Literature. Another forum where students can voice their views and practise the skills of argument is the fortnightly debate where all are welcome. This term’s motions have already included “This House believes in being business-like” and “This House Believes that The West Should Leave The Middle East”. The motion for the next debate is “This House Believes Britain is Best for Holidays”.

In addition, academic trips help to deepen understanding and appreciation of subjects. Economics students, for example, visit the Bank of England and the London Metal Exchange, whilst Sixth Form Biologists will soon be attending a talk by the Marine Biologist Monty Halls at the University of Oxford.

Bloxham Celebrates A Level Success

Congratulations to Bloxham A Level students!

Well done to all Bloxham students for achieving excellent A Level results. Their months of hard work and focus were justly rewarded, with many exceeding all expectations.

There were some really strong individual performances, with good results secured in maths, the sciences, humanities, arts and languages. Overall, these were a very positive set of results, with all but two students gaining entry to a university of their choice.


Paul Sanderson, Headmaster, said:

“I feel very proud of all of our students today. They have worked really hard, achieved their best and – in nearly all cases – got into a university of their choice.

“I am also delighted that our Lower Sixth students performed so well in their AS results, with many awarded the highest grades, providing a solid basis for success next year.

“Congratulations to them all.”

We wish them all well as they embark on the next, exciting stage of their lives.

Douglas Perrin R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that we share news of the death of our former colleague, Douglas Perrin, in a sailing accident on August 13th, 2014.

Father Michael Price, Deputy Head, Pastoral, who taught with Douglas said:

“I remember Douglas as a wonderful gentleman: kind, courteous and considerate at all times with a bright and engaging sense of humour. He was a quietly spiritual man who lived out his faith through care of others. At school he cared for all, but especially for students from abroad whom he taught and looked after with great kindness. After his retirement Douglas volunteered to teach in Zanzibar and then to serve in the Christian community on Iona. We are very lucky to have had Douglas on our staff at Bloxham. All his friends here are devastated by the news of his death, and we are remembering his wife Judith in our thoughts and prayers.”

Paul Sanderson, Headmaster, said:

“While I did not know or serve with Douglas, it is clear from the reaction of those who did that he was hugely well respected and very much loved. I extend my sincere condolences to his family.”

Enquiries and donations (in lieu of flowers) should be made to Arundel Funeral Directors, Main St, Schull, Cork, County Cork. Tel: 00 353 28 28112.


Douglas Perrin 1948 - 2014

Bloxham School and WW1

Bloxham School and the First World War

The first day of the 2014 summer holiday (June 28th) marked the 100th anniversary of the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the trigger for the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Bloxham pupils were more likely to have been concerned by cricket and the approaching end of term than by events unfolding in the Balkans. By the time pupils returned to school in September 194 from their summer holiday, Britain had declared war on Germany and the first, costly battles of the war had been fought. The first Bloxhamist to die in the war was not an Old Boy but a master, James Pastfield, who joined up in August 1914 and was killed in France on 21st December near Hazebrouck in Northern France.

Bloxham’s commemoration of the centenary focuses on two main events:

  • The centrepiece of our 1914 commemoration comes in November 2014, with a dramatic production entitled ‘79’, an ambitious collaboration between the Drama, Music and History departments. The piece incorporates music and drama to tell the stories of some of the 79 Bloxhamists who died in the Great War. This is an original piece based on research material used by the cast to devise the production, which our Head of Drama, Sam Brassington will refine into a final script. The production will take place in The Great Hall from 20th-22nd November at 7.30pm with a Friday matinee at 2pm.


  • The School Choir will be touring Belgium in March/April 2015, visiting Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges and giving a number of concerts. The tour will culminate in the party visiting the Ypres Salient at the very heart of the Western Front and the choir singing at the Menin Gate Last Post ceremony in Ypres on Wednesday 1st April. This is a great honour for Bloxham School and the choir, and we are very grateful to OB Matthew Dixon for his help in enabling this very prestigious engagement to happen.


  • The School’s chosen charity for the Michaelmas Term will be SSAFA (the Soldiers’, Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association), which was founded in 1885 and does excellent and unheralded work for the armed forces and their families.  In November, at the school’s Remembrance Day service, the name of another Bloxhamist, JC Wilson, will be added to our new Roll of Honour for the First World War (see the Old Bloxhamist section in this magazine for details).

The next in the school’s continuing programme of lectures on aspects of the First World War will take place on Wednesday 3rd December, when Old Bloxhamist Edward Dixon will talk on the artists of the Great War. This talk, which is open to anyone, will take place in the Vallance Library at 7.30pm.


Bloxham -1 July 1914

1st July 1914: In the aftermath of the assassination in Sarajevo, Bloxham School’s Camera Club visited Shipton for its annual outing. On a beautiful summer’s afternoon, boys lounged in the garden of Ellen Hinde (daughter of the Founder, PR Egerton), blissfully unaware of the effect that events unfolding in the Balkans would have on their lives. By the time the school returned from the summer holidays in September, Britain was at war and several of these pupils had chosen to leave school immediately in order to join up.


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