The Leys is primarily a boarding school, and our emphasis is on providing a caring, friendly and secure environment for all our pupils. Each child, whether a boarder or day pupil, is attached to one of 11 houses, where study areas and comfortable accommodation are provided, along with a high standard of pastoral care and supervision from housemasters or housemistresses.
The Leys School has a total of 566 pupils, with 211 pupils in the Sixth Form.
The Leys Under 16s Squash team qualified for the Tier 2 Nationals, which were to have been held at Nottingham Squash and Racket Club on March 19 before the Covid-19 shutdown of schools and sport.
They earned their place among the eight finalists with good wins against Haberdasher’s Askes and Felsted B, and a narrow defeat to John Hampden Grammar.
Their day in Nottingham will be a tough one as they will be pitted against teams from much larger schools such as Sevenoaks and Bradfield.
Manager Peter White, PE teacher and Head of The Leys Sport Academy, said reaching the finals reflected the training and commitment of the squad over the past two terms. The players are: Gianluca Mews, Guy Alexander, Noah Thain, Tom Evers, Aston Laing and Richard Bramley. Squash Coaches at The Leys David Silk and Rob Dadds have been impressed with the progress and improvement all the players have made this year.
Diana Springall, the renowned textile artist and curator, was the special guest at a picnic lunch in the Art Department.
Ms Jessica Hebden, Head of Art, invited her to join Art scholars in the Art studio. The event was a way of thanking her for generously giving her library of art books, acquired during her long and illustrious career, to The Leys.
Diana Springall FDSC (Fellow of The Society of Designer Craftsmen) trained in Fine Art but made her name as the maker, designer and commissioner of many important works in textiles. These include panels for Chester Town Hall, hangings and panels for many places of worship, and a carpet for the London HQ of an international bank. She lectured on fashion and textiles for many years and has appeared on television to talk about contemporary embroidery. She is former chairman and Life Member of The Embroiderers’ Guild.
Art Scholar Tor L (L6) presented Mrs Springall with a framed copy of an etched bookplate she designed to put inside the donated books.
Mrs Springall was shown around the Art department by Ms Hebden. Commenting on the pursuit of an artistic career, Mrs Springall said: “To be an artist you have to love what you are doing. You will never be bored!”
The Leys was strongly represented in the recent Roy Burrell Cambridgeshire District Sports Awards.
The awards are given in memory of a Cambridge sports teacher. They recognise the sporting excellence and contribution to sport, inside and outside school, of Year 11 pupils nominated by their teachers.
Seventeen schools were involved, with around a 10th of the 220 nominees coming from The Leys. The Leys provided a dance show as an interlude at the annual presentation evening at Netherhall School. The performers were Emma B, India DW, Marianne F and Bea R.
The special guest was Sean Rose, double Winter Paralympian, who has achieved many of his own sporting dreams since breaking his back in a freak skiing accident in 2000.
The nominees from The Leys were: Cricket: Richard B, William R, Harry G, Nikkita C and Anna M. Rugby: James C-B, Ned G, and Leo M. Netball: Sophie C; Sophia B, Georgia D and Matilda W. Hockey: Hermione R, Liam S, Lucy S, Sachin C and Alex W. Dance: Emma B, India D-W and Emily D. Cross Country Miles B.
The annual Leys Musical Theatre competition is a well-established showcase which never fails to entertain and this year’s show was no exception.
Performance Director Cory Pulman Jones welcomed a large audience to the Winton Thomas Recital Hall. She explained that the coronavirus crisis had prevented Steven Levy , Old Leysian and guest judge, from coming because he had to deal with business matters at his Charing Cross Theatre. Max Kenworthy, Director of Music, stepped in to judge with Cory.
The audience was treated to a wide range of musical theatre pieces in three classes: Junior Solo, Duet, and Senior Solo. Each contestant spoke to briefly set the scene for their song. Piano accompaniment was provided by music teachers Scott Morrison and Chloe Emery. The judges deliberated, then Cory gave each contestant constructive feedback on their performances.
The Junior Solo winner was Enitan S’A, who was praised for her moving rendition of Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins. The Duet class winders were Tommy H and Joey C for Fine from Ordinary Days. The Senior Solo winner was Amira A, who sang Once You Lose Your Heart from Me and My Girl and Quiet from Matilda.
The annual Careers Forum was held in Great Hall at The Leys, with the support of a wide range of companies, organisations, professional bodies and educational institutions.
Leys pupils and students from across Cambridge attended this annual event, organised by Nick Robinson, Head of Careers and Sarah Campos-Bell, Careers Adviser.
The busy programme comprised 20 talks and over 30 exhibitors, giving valuable insights into exciting opportunities, from applying to university, gap years and charity volunteering, to careers in architecture, banking, engineering, law, medicine, technology, the arts and many more.
Hockey girls put up a valiant fight in National semi-finals
It was a case of so near and yet so far for The Leys 1st XI Girls, who put up a valiant fight in the semi-finals and place play-off in the Investec Girls Schools U18 Tier 2 National Cup.
They took on the eventual tournament champions, St Lawrence College, Ramsgate, in the semi-final at the Lee Valley Olympic Park. The Leys scored first courtesy of a fine finish from Saunderson early in the contest. A crucial penalty stroke awarded to St Lawrence changed the course of the game; as The Leys girls searched for another goal, St Lawrence took their opportunities and eventually ran out winners 1-4. St Lawrence went on to win the final defeating RGS Newcastle 4-2.
The Leys played Queen’s College Taunton in the play-off for third place the next day. QCT took the lead early in the first half from a penalty stroke. Taunton scored a well-worked field goal to go 2-0 up. A rousing team talk brought renewed vigour to The Leys side and they dominated the rest of the game. A Miska-Alvarez deflection found the back of the net. The second crucial goal came from Saunderson who beat the keeper with a fine strike. The Leys succumbed 3-4 on penalty stokes to finish in 4th place in the Tier 2 competition.
Six of the team were playing in Leys blue and white for the last time as they are in their final year at the school. They have been part of a team that have seen great success over the years.
James Clark, Director of Sport, said: “Our girls have been exceptional; it has been such a pleasure to watch this team grow and bond in the last few years. They should be truly proud of everything they have achieved and despite a number of girls moving on to further education, the future remains very bright for Leys Hockey with a considerable number of outstanding players coming through the Junior ranks.”
A Highly Competent performance makes James a Master Cadet
Cadet Sergeant Major James P (L6) has become the first Leys CCF cadet to be selected for the tough national Master Cadet course at Frimley, Hampshire
James was one of just five of the 60 participants to be assessed as Highly Competent, the highest level, on completing it. He spent three nights and four days on exercise, learning about tactical fieldcraft, teaching, leadership, personal resilience and military careers.
The physically and mentally demanding course is designed to broaden and develop further the leadership, instructional and administrative responsibilities of 4* cadets.
James said: “The biggest challenge I faced was acting as platoon sergeant (second-in-command of the course) for a full 24-hour period. The role is one of the busiest in the pecking order. The combination of constantly being responsible for the upkeep of 30 of my peers, and looking after myself, in both a tactical and administrative context was mentally and physically draining.
“That being said, the course was an unforgettable experience. Having the chance to work with Sandhurst- level instructors, meeting so many great cadets with much more experience than me and being able to push far past what I could ever do in a classroom was a priceless experience. It was a real honour to be the first to represent the school at a national level on this prestigious course. I hope that I am the first of many, and that this achievement is testament to the fact that the CCF and Outdoor Education at The Leys really does punch above its weight. I hope to become a Royal Marines Officer and the lessons that I learnt on Master Cadet have reaffirmed this ambition.”
Russell Mcalinden CCF Contingent Commander and Head of Outdoor Education, said: “James is a marvellous example of what can be achieved through CCF and I very much hope that he helps to inspire others in the future.”
The Master Cadet course is only open to those who are at least 16 ½, qualified on the Senior Cadets Instructors’ Cadre, and have reached the rank of sergeant or above. James had to prepare for the course by being fit enough to take part in up to 10 battle exercises a day, able to plan and conduct a fieldcraft lesson, understand section battle drills, and know how to navigate using an Ordnance Survey map by day and night.
Old Leysian Noah Gifford, JP (School House, 2013-18) has just been appointed as one of the country’s youngest magistrates.
He is pictured at Cambridge Crown Court shortly after being sworn into the judiciary at the age of just 19. Noah is studying Law at the University of Bristol, with the ambition of becoming a barrister and perhaps a judge. Although magistrates do not need any specific legal training they do receive training before sitting in court and they are allocated a mentor for their first year. They are expected to serve a minimum of five years on the Bench and to sit a minimum of 13 full days a year.
His mother, Lisa, says: “Needless to say, we are immensely proud of his ambition, in getting shortlisted and chosen to be a magistrate out of a huge number of applicants.”
Forthcoming Open Days
Sorry. No Open Day dates have been provided by the school.