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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.