Naomi Toplis reflects on her trip with the Broadland Youth Choir to sing at the celebration of Richard III Reburial.

Naomi Toplis reflects on her  trip with the Broadland Youth Choir to sing at the celebration of Richard III Reburial.

On March 26th, I went to Leicester with the Broadland Youth Choir to sing at the celebration of Richard III Reburial. This event was run by the Richard III society and was an amazing opportunity for me. I travelled down to Leicester by coach and then spent the afternoon rehearsing. In the evening as part of the concert I sang part of the Middleham Requiem as part of the Broadland Youth Choir.

The person that wrote Middleham Requiem was Geoff Davidson. He commented that he was drawn to the world of Richard III by his wife. Also watching us at this celebration was His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester who is the Patron of the Richard III society.

I absolutely loved this opportunity and it is something that is only going to happen once. I will always remember it and I helped to make a piece of history.

Naomi Toplis, Year 7


Naomi, we are all really proud of your involvement in this significant event. Well done.

Reflections of a trip of a lifetime to Iceland

Reflections of a trip of a lifetime to Iceland

It’s not usual, when asked about your ‘trip of a lifetime’, to be able to answer the question at just the age of fifteen. However, my group of peers and I would all agree that this journey definitely fits the criteria. Action packed? Tick. Full of laughter? Tick. Fulfilling and inspiring? Tick. Incredibly tiring? Double tick. But every moment was worth it.

The teachers together with the fantastic organisers in Iceland put together the most amazing five days for our group, including a trip to the Blue Lagoon, viewing the Northern Lights, trekking on glaciers, visiting  breath taking waterfalls and volcanoes, the geysers and even catching a glimpse of some Minke whales in the Atlantic Ocean. I think the outstanding highlight from the trip had to be the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where we got a chance to drink the cleanest water on earth and even taste the icicles!

And now, of course, we have to give an absolutely enormous thank you to our amazing geography teacher and organiser of this breath-taking journey. Miss Hoggett has been with us since the beginning of year nine, and has never failed to work as hard as possible to keep us happy and productive. We have been excitedly anticipating this trip for months now, and it has become a memory that none of us will ever forget. So, from us, thank you so much Miss Hoggett. You have done so much for us over the past two years, and this has just proved how much hard work you have put in to make this journey so special. We will never be able to repay you for all the work you have done but we hope, somehow, we can show our appreciation. Thank you for the best trip that any of us have ever experienced.

Thank you also to Mr Spalding, Miss Beale, Miss Wharton and Mr Calvert for supporting Miss Hoggett and for giving up your time to be with us during the holidays.

written by Charlotte Drewell

Year 10

Duke of Edinburgh Award Summer 2015

Duke of Edinburgh Award Summer 2015


It is that time of the year again where a selection of students from years 10 and 11 get ready for their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze expedition. The expedition will be a twelve hour walk, spread over two days with an overnight camp, walking in small groups, each person with their own rucksack full of equipment and food.

To achieve the award students must plan their own routes, ensure they have all the necessary equipment and appropriate footwear and clothing. They will also have had some basic first aid training. The students will stop off at checkpoints along their chosen routes, to keep in touch with teacher leaders.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a great way to build on your teamwork and map reading skills and also a fantastic way of improving your health and fitness. Also future employers/colleges love to see this on your CV, and you can then progress to the Silver Award if you want to.

I am really excited to be taking part in it this year and as a group leader I feel it is very important to make sure everyone is motivated at all times and really try to work well as a team, drawing on each other’s strengths.

The practice is on the 8th and 9th of May so Good Luck everyone and enjoy your time!

Holly Tyler

Publicity Captain.

Young Chamber Visit to Bacton Gas Terminal

Young Chamber Visit to Bacton Gas Terminal
The Young Chamber is  a group of students  who hold a weekly meeting to organise business events, such as the business breakfast and BOOST, a day for Year 7 students to explore Business and Enterprise. We recently visited National Grid at Bacton Gas Terminal. We were welcomed by a video on health and safety and then toured the National Grid terminal, where we were showed the day to day operations taking place. We discovered many  things, not least that National Grid operate a monopoly on gas in the UK, that 1/3 of Gas supplied to UK is piped through Bacton and that UK gas supplies would last for just 2 days if Bacton were to shut down!
I learnt a great deal on what is required to work for the National Grid and it has opened up another career opportunity for me.
Thomas Spencer
Member of YC

Mock Election Update

Mock Election Update

Party leaders, their deputies and campaign managers delivered their manifestos at the first of two Hustings held on 13th & 14th April. Each Party represented gave food for thought to the school body, outlining the promises made by our country's political parties as they move towards Election Day on 7 May. For any young person engaging with the political process, this exciting opportunity will no doubt encourage social responsibility and a willingness to look beyond the classroom for skills for their futures.

the next opportunity will take place on Wednesday 15th, when our students meet with Mr Agnew MEP who will talk to them about his role in politics and government.

Run up to Mock Election Day

Run up to Mock Election Day

Leaders, their Deputies and  Campaign Managers met with Mr Keith Simpson MP on Friday 27 March in support of their campaign preparations for the Mock Election taking place on 7 May. All parties learnt a great deal about the General Election, including how to canvass effectively and preparations for Hustings, which will take place in front of the whole school on 13th and 14th April.

Our thanks to Mr Simpson for taking time out of his very busy schedule, to help us with ours!

AHS Mock Election Media Team

Thoughtful reflections following a vist to the school by Steven Frank, a Holocaust Survivor.

Thoughtful reflections following a vist to the school by Steven Frank, a Holocaust Survivor.

A short while ago students in years 8 and 9 were given the immense privilege of listening to holocaust survivor Stephen Frank, speak about his personal experiences with the holocaust,

including his struggle to survive in multiple work camps, as well as the liberation of his camp just days before every single one of its prisoners were due to be gassed. Despite living through the horrors of the holocaust, in my personal opinion, Mr Frank’s talk was one of the most life affirming and deeply moving experiences I’ve experienced in my life, and one it is unlikely I will be able to repeat. To hear the story of how he went from a happy childhood to a young boy faced with the horrors of the Nazi regime, and finally to a man, in his own words; “at peace with himself”, surrounded by family and loved ones was incredibly inspiring and thought provoking. It is not an experience that myself, or many others present will ever forget. 


By Ana Marques (year 9)


We recently had a visit from a Holocaust survivor, Steven Frank. He gave a two hour talk to Year 8 and 9 about in his experiences in 3 camps.

Steven, his mother and two brothers were taken to Barneveld, after his father, a Jewish lawyer, was arrested, taken to several camps, and was finally gassed to death at one of the new concentration camps at Auschwitz.  He said,’ we could have left if we wanted to, but we were promised that we wouldn’t have to go to a camp. So no one left in case they were taken away. We had a garden and could grow things. I grew radishes, but then we were taken away.’

They were taken to Westerbork, a transit camp in September 1943.  In September 1944 they were sent to Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia. The whole family survived  as the Russian Army liberated the whole camp on the 9th May 1945, after the war had ended.  Because of the typhus epidemic, no one left the camp for nearly a month.  Steven told us ‘The Russians had lorries full of food, sweets and chocolate. They threw it from their cars and lorries. People who hadn’t been properly fed for years were scrambling on the floor, getting every last bite, or saving it for their children.’  At the beginning of June 1945, the Dutch began to be put on trains back to Holland, but Steven’s mother fearing that there would be no survivors, wanted to leave for England.

Steven’s mother persuaded two RAF pilots to take her and her 3 boys over to England. They flew from Pilzen in Southern Czechoslovakia to Paris and were finally dumped on the runway of Croydon Airport. Steven said ‘We were dumped without knowing where we would go, or what we would do. Technically, I am an illegal immigrant, and so are my brothers, as we landed here without being legal citizens. But I think I have been in this country to long for them to send me back to Amsterdam.’

He then told us about his life in Britain. His mother was born in England, and could speak English fluently, as it was her native language, but her boys couldn’t speak it at all. Steven remembered ‘I always seemed to be bottom of the class, and if I wasn’t at the bottom I was second or third from the bottom.’  He was told at the end of secondary school he shouldn’t have great ambitions, as his lack of the English language was still a great struggle for him. However, in his thirties, Steven left university with a First Honours Degree. His final message to us was ‘You aren’t hopeless. You may get told not to have great ambitions, and at high school I was always bottom, but I have a First Class Honours Degree, and I didn’t let my lack of language stop me. But they only way I got there was by hard work.  And if you want to get good grades, to get good college places, then university places, you need to work hard.’ 

Steven, we thank you so much for coming to our school and giving us your wonderful presentation. It was marvellous to hear about your experiences, and thank you from Years 8 and 9.

Olivia Bullen (year 8)

Rotary Technology Competition

Rotary Technology Competition

On Friday a handful of students represented Aylsham High School at the 2015 Rotary Technology competition, at Broadland High School. The Year 8 students had the chance to compete with various schools from all over Norfolk.

We arrived in the morning and the participants divided themselves into two groups of four. They worked as teams and were briefed on the task for the day. Our students were asked to devise a small, motorised vehicle that would be able to transport a load along a cable (unassisted) using a pulley and gear system.

The students were able to deliberate an array of solutions before beginning their final design. Both teams were able to complete the task with real skill and ingenuity that surpassed all expectation.

We narrowly missed out on first place, nonetheless, students represented their school impeccably and their creative solution was noted by all of the judges. The day was extremely engaging and students were in high spirits upon their return to Aylsham High School.

I would like to congratulate all of the students who were selected to represent their school.


Charlie Austin-Fell

Anna-Li Highton

Oliver Holt

Adam Knight

Elaine Pike

Orla Shaw

Isabel Swindells

Joseph Veriod


Mr Brown


Thank you Mr Brown for organising the visit and for inspiring and supporting the students on the day.

Abbie Craske wins inaugural Pupil Library Assistant Award

Abbie Craske wins inaugural Pupil Library Assistant Award

Abbie Craske  in Year 11 has been named Pupil Library Assistant of the Year. Abbie was one of seven committed young pupil librarians shortlisted for the award, who assist in their school libraries. The new national award is made jointly by the CILIP School Library Group and the School Library Association.

The event was held at the BT Centre London and sponsored by Authors Aloud, CILIP, Hachette Children’s Group, Macmillan Children’s Books, Peters Books and Furniture, Puffin and the School Library Association.

Abbie was nominated by the school librarian, Mrs Walker, who said “Abbie has worked hard at raising the profile of the school library, including helping and supporting other students, organising events and bringing fresh ideas, plus supporting reading and literacy. Working with Abbie has been inspirational. She is kind, considerate and supportive to students and staff. I am delighted Abbie has won this award, it celebrates her achievement and support in our school library”.

Other finalists included students from as far afield as Antrim, Northern Ireland.

At the award ceremony each of the seven shortlisted students was assigned an author, to read a personal citation. Caroline Lawrence, author of, The Roman Mysteries Series read how Abbie was a keen reader who loved all genres particularly Historical Fiction she talked briefly about the work Abbie does in her school library.

Charlie Higson presented Abbie with her award; a magnificent glass book engraved with the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award logo designed by Chris Riddell and takes away other prizes including a specially commissioned artwork, designed by multi-award winning Chris Riddell.

When asked “what does the library mean to you” Abbie said:

“In the beginning the school library was my escape from life, and now it is a privilege to give something back to the place I love”

Each of the finalists received a goodie bag from Macmillan’s Children’s Books and a huge pile of signed books to take home.

Presenting the award, author, writer and actor Charlie Higson paid tribute to the work of librarians calling them “irreplaceable”. Librarians share the love and magic of books and when pupils get involved in spreading that excitement, which is incredible; at a time when there are so many competing distractions for their time and attention”.

The idea of this award originally came about after a Mass Lobby for School Libraries was organised in 2009. It received a tremendous amount of support from pupils, people who used their school libraries on a daily basis and sought to tell MPs how much it meant to them. Barbara Band, immediate Past President of CILIP, whose idea inspired the award, said “The award highlights the reciprocal relationship between school libraries and pupils, with both sides benefitting and the impact a school library can have”

The award was planned between CILIP SLG (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) and the School Library Association. Sponsors of the event include: Authors Aloud UK, CILIP, Hachette Children’s Group, Macmillan Children’s Books, Peters Books and Furniture, Puffin and the SLA (School Library Association.

Five judges, included Barbara Band, Head of Library at the Emmbrook School, Wokingham, who is also the Immediate Past president of CILIP, Sue Bastone, Head of Learning resources at LVS, Ascot and a Chartered Librarian with over twenty years’ experience in a variety of school libraries, Annie Everall, Director of “Authors Out Loud UK” and Chair of the Literacy & Reading Section Committee of IFLA (International Federation of Library and Information Associations), Dawn Finch, Vice President of CILIP, a published author, writing fiction and non-fiction for children and Susan Staniforth, Manager of Gloucestershire School Library Service, Susan is also a library consultant and Treasurer of the School Library Association.

Students at Aylsham High School are encouraged to use the library for independent learning, reading for pleasure and study. Our aim is to create a warm, relaxed atmosphere where students can relax and socialise during break and lunchtimes as well as reading for pleasure and working. It is important that we recognise and celebrate our student’s achievements.   We are delighted Abbie’s contribution to the school library has been recognised with a national award.


Abbie, we are all tremendously proud of your success and would like to thank you for being such a wonderful ambassador for our school.

We would also like to say well done and thank you to Mrs Walker for her dedication to making the  Library such a warm and inspiring place for our students.

Mock Election 2015

Mock Election 2015

I am delighted to have been voted in as the Leader of the Labour Party for the whole-school Mock Election on7 May. I will be working on our campaign with Nick Sadler (Year 11) as my Deputy and Molly Bean (Year 8)as the Campaign Manager, alongside our Party Members. We are standing against the Conservative, UKIP and Liberal Democrat Parties.

In order to secure advice on running a campaign, I met with​ our local Labour Party Candidate Chris Jones, who came to offer me support and resources to run our campaign.

We are also excited to be working with Mr Keith Simpson MP next week, and Mr Nick Conrad from BBC Radio Norfolk, who is supporting us with our Hustings preparations.

Ben Waller  Year 9

Labour Party Leader