Exciting times ahead!

The Chair of Governors, Mr Mark Edwards, told Speech Day that the future for Queen’s was looking extremely positive.

He said that the new Head (Mr Julian Noad) was starting in September and investments were planned within the fabric of the school over the coming year.

“When we started the process of looking for a new Head, it was the perfect time to sit and hink about what we are looking for and the future shape of Queen’s College.”

He thanked all those who had contributed to the parental research project as part of the exercise.

“This work is invaluable in helping us to make sure we are delivering what is wanted and critically focus on areas we can improve or, indeed, strive to aim higher where it’s clear we excel.”

Mr Edwards added: “The Board of Governors are committed to realising the ambition of Queen’s being a modern all-through college, truly fit for the 21st century.”

He paid tribute to the current Head, Dr Lorraine Earps, who is leaving after five years in charge to take up a headship in Cheshire.

“We want to thank Lorraine for her leadership, and wish her well for her future career.”

Dr Earps thanked everyone who had supported her, particularly during the many challenges in the Covid-19 pandemic.

She singled out members of her leadership team and also praised the teachers and support staff, along with the pupils who had been “amazing”.

In her final speech, she showed two films – a collection of her favourite memories at Queen’s and a specially-recorded farewell song with students.

Speech Day also heard from the Head Boy and Head Girl, Ollie and Molly, and Mr Oscar Webb, president of the Old Queenians Association, below right.

The guest speaker was Mr Richard Browning (OQ 1987-97), our very own Iron Man, top right.

He spoke of his remarkable from Queen’s to launching his own (literally) high-flying business.

***

We also enjoyed a successful Junior Speech Day in the Queen's Hall.

As well as the speeches, there were prayers, poems, presentations to leaving staff, and plenty of prizes to give out.

In his speech, Mr Edwards announced that Junior would be changing its name to Queen's College Prep School.

He also launched his Chairman's Challenge – inviting all the pupils to write poems which will, hopefully, be published in a book.

Meanwhile, Mr Henry Matthews thanked everyone who had supported him through his first year at Junior School Head.

He also paid tribute to the children, telling them: "Your resilience, compassion, creativity, positive attitude and enthusiasm have been a guiding light to us all."

Award winner joins the staff

We are delighted that award-winning teacher, Mr Joe Mann, is joining us in September as Head of Food and Nutrition.

Mr Mann – who currently holds the same position at Torquay Girls' Grammar School – was named ‘Best Teacher in England’ by the British Nutrition Foundation in their 2020 Education Awards for championing Food and Nutrition.

Previously, he has won both 'Devon Teacher of the Year' and the award for 'Best School Food Education' in Devon.

Set to take over from Mrs Yvonne Mackey, who is moving to a teaching role in Dubai, he said he was “extremely excited” with the new appointment.

“I know I have some very big shoes to fill after Yvonne has done such a fabulous job, but I am really looking forward to the opportunity of teaching at Queen’s.” 

Mr Mann has developed resource materials for both primary and secondary schools and written Food and Nutrition teacher training modules for the Department for Education (DfE).

He was also commissioned for a series of educational teaching films for GCSE examining body AQA and presented educational films for GCSE publishers Hodder Education (all filmed at Queen’s with Mrs Mackey).

Mr Mann is also Senior Associate of the country’s largest network of Food Teachers and has been a consultant advisor for the Department for Education (DfE) and two All-Party Parliamentary Groups.

He is pictured with Mrs Mackey on a visit to Queen’s.

New Head starts in September

We are delighted that our new Headmaster, Mr Julian Noad, will be able to join us in September.

Chair of Governors, Mr Mark Edwards, said: "We are extremely grateful to the Chairman and Board of Governors at Oswestry School for releasing him from his position early so that he can start with us at the beginning of the new academic year.

"Julian has a clear vision for Queen's College which he articulated to us throughout the interview process and is excited and honoured to be the next Head.

"He will now be able to share his vision and thoughts with the school community in the Autumn Term."

Mr Noad is pictured, right, with Mr Edwards during a recent visit to Queen's.

Head of Rugby joins team

More great news on the sporting front with the appointment of a new Head of Rugby.

We are delighted that up-and-coming coach James Vecchio will be joining us in September.

Mr Vecchio previously worked at King Edward’s School in Birmingham and has been working with Bath Rugby as a Development Coach, before recently switching to a similar role with Bristol Bears.

Our Head of Sport, Mr Tom Walter, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to bring someone with James’s expertise and enthusiasm into the Sports team at Queen’s.

“Through his links with Bristol Bears and other well-respected coaches in the South West, I’m confident we will be able to build a fantastic rugby programme for the students.”

Mr Vecchio added: “I can’t wait to get started – it’s so exciting to be joining Queen’s.

“This is a major opportunity to grow a programme and develop the young players at the college.

“It’s a holistic approach aimed at boosting participation and giving the students a better rugby experience.”

Mr Vecchio played for Bath U18s and Cardiff Met Uni before joining Bournville RFC in the Midlands. He completed his teacher training at Bath Spa.

PHOTO: Mr Vecchio is pictured (right) with Mr Walter.

End-of-term events going ahead

Following the Government's announcement on Monday (June 14), our contingency plan for end-of-term has swung into operation with, thankfully, the vast majority of events still going ahead. Here’s the schedule with full details to follow:

School plays and concerts

These will be filmed and a link to the film will be made available to parents.

25 June – Year 11 Prom

Formal Dinner for Year 11 students will be held in the Wyvern Hall.

2nd July  Pre-Prep Sports Day

Will continue as planned.

3 July  Queen’s Day

We will be running our Senior School House Cricket matches as planned.

7 July – Senior Sports Day

This will be unaffected and parents are invited to watch.  Please remember to maintain social distancing protocols at all times with students, staff and other parents and visitors.

7 July – Junior Speech Day

This will be held for all pupils from Year 2 to Year 6 in the Queen’s Hall.  It will be filmed and streamed for parents to watch at home as, unfortunately, parents will not be able to attend.  

8 July – Senior Speech Day

This will be for Year 13 students and their parents and prize winners from other year groups (they will be notified ahead of the date).  It will be held in the Queen’s Hall and will be filmed and streamed for parents and other students to watch from home. Only students involved in Speech Day should be in school that day.

8 July – Leavers’ Ball

Formal Dinner for Year 12 and 13 students only will be held in the Wyvern Hall.

Accolade for Head of Boarding

It has been great to learn that our Head of Boarding, Mrs Carla Shearman, has received national recognition.

She has been granted a Boarding Research Fellowship Award by the Boarding Schools’ Association.

This scheme, launched by the BSA in 2016, gives senior members of the boarding community the chance to undertake a unique research opportunity.

Mrs Shearman, who joined us last September, said: “This will give me the opportunity to visit three different boarding schools in order to collate data in a research project, analysing the different schools and their boarding provision.

“My research proposal was focused on boarding induction for International and UK pupils.

“I am keen to see how schools use the time at the start of a new academic year to work with new boarders as well as managing staffing and CPD (Continuing Professional Development).

“I want to be able to understand how the ethos of each school is reflected in their induction programme, and one area I am keen to focus on is how an inclusion and diversity policy can feed into this period.

“My findings will be presented at the Annual BSA Boarding Conference in February 2022.”

Mrs Shearman added: “This is a fantastic opportunity on a personal level but it will also allow me to bring fresh new ideas to Queen’s in order to further enhance our current boarding provision.

“Having joined the School last September and worked with our fantastic Pastoral Team through such a difficult period, I am excited to continue to enhance the experience and opportunities available to our boarders.”

The Head Teacher, Dr Lorraine Earps, said: “This is a great opportunity for Carla and Queen’s to really understand how the first few days in a new school establishes the right foundations for a happy and successful boarding experience.

“We are delighted the BSA has recognised the importance of the work Carla is doing by supporting it in this way."

Artistic Director appointed

A hugely experienced figure in the stage world, Mr Ian Trafford, is joining us as Artistic Director after Half Term.

The newly-created, full-time position has been described by the Head, Dr Earps as ‘something quite unique to a school environment’.

As well as overseeing all school productions, Mr Trafford has been charged with launching Queen’s On Tour – our own travelling theatre company.

He said: “Having visited Queen’s and met some of the amazing students, my mind is already racing with dozens of exciting ideas for diverse performance opportunities.

“I look forward to a huge explosion of creativity and fun!”

Dr Earps added: “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming Ian to join us in June.

“Queen’s has an outstanding reputation for Performing Arts and the introduction of an Artistic Director to develop the creative vision for the arts will enable us to enhance our provision further.

“The opportunities which will be available for our students to work alongside an experienced professional director on projects, both here in our amazing theatre and on tour, is something quite unique in a school environment.”

Mr Trafford trained at the University of Exeter and Central School of Speech & Drama.He has a Master’s Degree with Distinction in Directing and Drama Education, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Directing Text with Young People.

Having started his career as a child actor in London and won the National Student Playwriting Competition with an adaptation of Orwell’s 1984, it was probably inevitable that a theatrical career beckoned.

Rated among Mr Trafford’s favourite professional directing credits are national tours of Godspell, Amadeus, Educating Rita, An Inspector Calls and My Baby Just Cares For Me.

He also inaugurated the Exeter Rep and a career highlight was teaching Dani Harmer (CBBC’s Tracy Beaker) to perform Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.

Having gained a PGCE in Drama, Mr Trafford has led workshops for the National Youth Music Theatre, RSC On Tour and National Theatre Connections.

Most recently, as Head of Drama at the multi-award-winning theatre training school, Stage by Stage Academy, he has directed everything from Much Ado About Nothing, Mother Courage and Waiting for Godot to Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors and Sweeney Todd in Devon, at the Edinburgh Fringe and in London’s West End.

News of Mr Trafford’s appointment comes in the week England Women cricketer Katie George joined our Sports team as a coach. 

England cricket star joins team

We are thrilled that England Women cricketer Katie George is joining our coaching team.

The announcement yesterday coincided with Millie (Year 11) making history by becoming the first girl to play for our 1st XI.

Katie is a left-arm seam-bowling all-rounder who also plays for Western Storm and Welsh Fire.

Head of Cricket, Mr Jake Lintott, said: “We are delighted to have Katie joining us for the Summer Term when her England training and playing commitments allow.

“We have seen a huge growth in the women’s game over recent years and this is mainly down to the success of our national side.

“For Queen’s to have an international player coming to work with our cricketers is fantastic and I know our girls will relish the opportunity of working with her.”

Katie added: “I am really looking forward to working with the girls at Queen’s. The staff’s passion to provide a platform for girls’ cricket to thrive is second to none and I can’t wait to get to work.”

Meanwhile, Millie made her 1st XI debut in the prestigious fixture against the MCC yesterday.

She has captained both our girls’ 1st XI and U15s, and also played for Somerset Girls at both U17 and U15 level.

Millie said: “I’m very proud to become the first girl to play 1st XI cricket for Queen’s.”

Mr Lintott added: “Millie is a great role model to all of our girls.

“She has worked very hard at her game and deserves this opportunity.

“We are all really proud of her and hopefully this will inspire other girls at the school to try and achieve the same.”

Amélie hits high note in Rotary competition

Congratulations to Amélie (Year 13) who triumphed in the vocal category of the Rotary Young Musician competition at the weekend.

She was competing via Zoom in the District 1200 round – which covers Somerset, Dorset, half of Wiltshire and Avon – and now goes forward to next month’s Regional Final – covering from Penzance up to Basingstoke and Gloucester.

Amélie had to perform for 11 minutes and chose three songs: Trip to the Library from the musical She Loves Me; the folk song Blooming Heather; and Everything I Know from another musical, In The Heights.

“I was so shocked to win,” she said. “It was all done from home and so you didn’t have the adrenaline of a live performance.

“I didn’t quite know how it would come across on screen so I was really excited to win and qualify for the next round.”

Amélie joined us for Sixth Form in 2019 from Taunton’s Heathfield School. During her first term here, she played the starring role of Deloris in our production of Sister Act, earning rave reviews.

She added: “I was thrown in at the deep end with Sister Act but it allowed me to make so many friends on my first term and, since then, everything has continued to exceed my expectations.

“The teachers have given me so much support, and Queen’s really feels like my second home and family.”

Our Director of Music, Mr Ed Jenkins, said: “I am delighted with Amélie’s success in this high-profile competition. She is a highly skilled vocalist, and this achievement is very well deserved.”

The Regional Final of the competition takes place at the end of May, with the successful performers moving on to the prestigious National Final later in the year.

Welcome to our new Headmaster

Mr Julian Noad - new Headmaster of Queen's

We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new Headmaster.

Mr Julian Noad, Head of Oswestry School in Shropshire for the past seven years, will take over from Dr Lorraine Earps “no later than January 2022, hopefully sooner”.

Prior to joining Oswestry, he was Deputy Head of Rydal Penrhos – like Queen’s, a member of the Methodist Independent Schools Trust (MIST). He also spent 12 years at Clifton College, Bristol, including six as a Housemaster.

Married with two children who are both at university, Mr Noad has a lifelong passion for sailing including yacht racing.

He has also enjoyed playing and coaching rugby, football, squash and fives, but has more recently concentrated on cross-country running, coaching as well as running himself.

Mr Mark Edwards, our Chair of Governors, said: “The Board of Governors have a clear vision for our school and its future, focused on a blend of academic, sporting and the creative and performing arts, sitting alongside strong individually-tailored pastoral support for the wellbeing of our whole community.

“We offer a true education for life, an ethos which is shared by Julian and we truly look forward to welcoming him to our school so we can continue to strengthen that vision.”

Mr Noad said he was “honoured, excited, and delighted to be invited to be the next Head of Queen’s College.”

He added: “I very much look forward to getting to know everyone and working with pupils, staff, parents and governors to embed a vision for outstanding education, rich experience, and individual care.”

Dr Earps, who became our first female Head when she was appointed in 2016, is leaving to become Head of The Grange School, Hartford in Cheshire.

Congratulations to our Head of Cricket

Jake Lintott - our Head of Cricket

Queen’s College are delighted that our inspirational Head of Cricket, Jake Lintott, has agreed a three-year contract with Warwickshire County Cricket Club, covering all forms of the game.

We are also extremely pleased that he will continue to be an invaluable part of our cricket programme, developing, supporting and mentoring our passionate young cricketers.

Jake, a former Queen's student, starred for Birmingham Bears in last season's T20 Vitality Blast tournament, including two man-of-the-match performances.

Head Teacher, Dr Lorraine Earps, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Jake has realised his sporting ambitions.

“At Queen’s, we never lost our belief that Jake would be recognised for the talent we have seen for so many years. He is a true role model for our students, demonstrating that with hard work and perseverance you really can fulfil your dreams.”

Director of Sport, Mr Tom Walter, added: “We are so pleased that, as he continues his cricketing journey, Jake will still be able to continue to work with our fantastic students.”

Jake joined Queen’s in 2006 when we was offered a Sport Scholarship from Danesfield School, Williton, and he was a regular member of both our cricket and hockey 1st XIs. He returned to Queen's in 2017 as a sports graduate and was appointed Head of Cricket in 2019.

A successful club player - captaining Clevedon Cricket Club in the West of England Premier League – Jake is a slow left-arm unorthodox bowler.

He moved up into the professional game with 2nd XI appearances for a number of counties before playing in the T20 competition for Hampshire in 2017 and Gloucestershire the following season.

But his career really took off with the Bears last season as he played a starring role in a campaign which saw them pipped for a place in the quarter-finals after an agonising defeat by Northants in the last group game.

Jake said: “I am so grateful to Dr Earps – she has been very supportive throughout my time at Queen's and, without that support, I wouldn't have been given this fantastic opportunity.

“I can't wait to get back to school soon and see all the students and am looking forward to helping them prepare for the new cricket season with, hopefully, the return of competitive fixtures in the Summer Term.

“I will still be fully involved in cricket at Queen's for the foreseeable future and look forward to continue to develop our thriving programme.

“I am delighted to be joining Warwickshire on a three-year deal – it’s something I have had to work hard to achieve and I hope the students at Queen's can take a lot from my journey.

“There have been many obstacles along the way but to finally secure a professional contract at 27 years of age is reward for all the effort and perseverance.”

Announcing the contract, Warwickshire’s Director of Cricket Paul Farbrace said: “Jake made a fantastic impression during our Vitality Blast campaign in 2020 and we’re thrilled to secure his immediate future with the club.”

He added: “Slow left-arm unorthodox bowlers are not easy to discover and Jake provides another dimension to our spin bowling attack.”

To discover more about Sport Scholarships at Queen's, CLICK HERE.

To visit our Queen's Sport website, CLICK HERE.

Former Head Girl awarded OBE

A former Head Girl at Queen's was awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours for her work in the Cabinet Office.

Mary Jones, who comes from Nynehead, left Queen’s in 2005.

She took History, Maths, French and English Literature before going on to study Law with French Law at Oxford.

After graduating in 2009, Mary joined the civil service in the Ministry of Justice, where her early career focused on criminal justice and constitutional issues, followed by a stint in Ministerial offices ahead of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

This led to Mary joining the Cabinet Office - the heart of Government - where she spent nearly four years managing Government decision making on home affairs (eg immigration), Brexit, the Union and Northern Ireland.

Mary’s OBE was awarded for this work, and in particular for setting up intensive decision making structures in the run-up to various Brexit deadlines and a possible ‘no deal’.

Mary has recently moved to a new role in the Business and Health departments, creating opportunities for the UK’s life sciences industry to contribute to our economic and health recovery.

Head of Junior School is appointed

We are delighted to welcome Henry Matthews as Head Teacher of our Junior School.

He has taken over from Mrs Tracey Khodabandehloo who retired at the end of the Summer Term after ten successful years as Headmistress.

Mr Matthews said: “It has been an interesting time to start a new headship but I have been blown away by the strength of the Queen's community in adapting to all the recent changes in learning.''

“I have received such a warm welcome from everyone I have met and am thrilled to have joined such a brilliant team.”

''As a school, we learn from the events of the past year and take advantage in the significant developments in the use of technology in learning.''

Mr Matthews was previously Head Teacher of St Joseph’s School in Launceston, Cornwall, where he started his teaching career in 2012.

He became Deputy Head three years later and was appointed as Head in 2018.

New Director of Sport joins team

Our new Director of Sport started work as the Autumn Term got under way.

Mr Tom Walter has joined us after six years at Shiplake College, just outside Henley-on-Thames.

He held a number of positions there including Head of Physical Education and Head of Hockey. He was also been responsible for developing the Girls' Sport programme.

Mr Walter has played hockey for Cheltenham and Exeter University and most recently for Henley.

He said: “It’s been a pleasure getting started at Queen's and working with the brilliant staff both in the Sport Department and around the College.

“While these are challenging times for everyone, we hope that, with the launch of a new Sport website, we will be able to continue the athletic development of all students.

“I am really looking forward to getting to know the whole community and driving the development of the sport programme.”

In recent years, nearly 20 of our students have represented their country on the international stage in a range of sports including hockey, swimming and athletics.

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School Office: +44 (0)1823 272559

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© 2016 - 2021 QUEEN’S COLLEGE, TRULL ROAD, TAUNTON, SOMERSET TA1 4QS

Methodist Independent Schools Trust

Registered Office: Methodist Church House. 25 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR

Charity No. 1142794. Company No. 7649422