2018 Gala Upper School

What a fantastic finale to an extraordinary week of competition. The weather has been perfect and therefore to hit the pool this afternoon was appropriate, I suspect that a fair few parents and staff wouldn't have minded getting splashed or even finding an excuse to fall in...

When you consider just how much Upper School pupils have given in the past month, whether on a stage, in a concert or in an exam they have simply not stopped giving of their best and therefore this week represents so much more than just another Sports Day or Gala. There is such spirited rivalry between the Houses as well as between each other. However, ultimately it comes down to creating an outlook in our young learners that will outlast everything. I have no doubt that events today will shape the way that your children respond to all sorts of events long into the future.

Our week of Sporting Extravaganzas came to a conclusion this afternoon with our Upper School Swimming Gala. Again, it was an absolutely scorching event, both in terms of the weather with the mercury topping the 30s and also the fierce levels of competition between the houses (parents and staff included as well as pupils!).

A total of 66 races were swum – 56 of them individual and 10 relays – and the stamina and energy reserves the boys and girls found at the end of a physically demanding week in a physically demanding term in a physically demanding year bordered on the remarkable. Set the bar high enough and Orley Farm pupils find a way of clearing it!

In terms of competition, it was a mightily close one between the four houses but Broadrick pipped 2017 winners Hastings to the House Cup by just six points as they finished on 504 points. Well done to the competitors for their astonishing efforts and to the parents (and others) as ever for supporting these superb events with such passion and encouragement for their children.

Our guest of honour today was Mrs Love who has given so much to Orley Farm in ways that few people will see, however, individual pupils will appreciate her support in so many ways. She is so patient an willing to try everything to help young learners to find new ways to solve challenges. Thank you Mrs Love for all that you have done and we certainly wish you all the very best in your forthcoming retirement.

Congratulations to Broadrick for closing the sporting events with a House cup...how might this influence that final result, time will tell!

I am a very lucky and privileged person to work with extraordinary colleagues. I am sure that parents will join me in thanking all staff but especially the Sports department who have given us a fantastic week. Today was led and organised by Mr Bloom but as he is the first to point out, this is a team affair. Across the school, staff came together to celebrate the numerous successes in your children but above everything to make sure that they grow up in the knowledge that they contribute to making the world a better brighter and happier place...long may that remain the case!

Tim Calvey

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