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Haileybury pupils make outstanding start to 2012

As the first weekend of the New Year, last weekend epitomised Haileybury’s commitment to, and success in, all-round excellence. Whether it was academic success, sport or charity work, Haileybury pupils were involved all the way.

We had seven Oxbridge offers confirmed, across a spread of IB and A Level pupils. Congratulations especially to our Head Boy, Dhruv Sarma, and Deputy Head Girl, Rowena Sharp, who both received offers.

On the sporting front, we put out 35 competitive teams, most of whom had success, but particularly our footballers, who won all of their matches against Oakham.

All this activity was followed by a fantastic James Bond Evening Ball on Saturday, which raised money for the three official school charities for this year – The Brittle Bone Society, HYT and the Attlee Fund.

The ball was held in Big School for all Removes, Middles, Fifths and the Sixth Form. Pupils Lewis Colson (Charities CP), Katrina Rawson-Mackenzie, Harry Hall and George Garthwaite were the main organisers. Although the final tally is yet to be calculated, the charities committee hope that somewhere in the region of £4,000 was raised.

The "in-weekend" was led on Sunday morning by Chaplain Rev Chris Briggs in a whole school service. He preached from John 2. 1-11, the story of Jesus’ first miracle, turning water into wine at the Wedding in Cana.

To add dramatic effect to the sermon, Rev Briggs had consulted the Chemistry Department in an attempt to replicate the image of the miracle.

"They provided me with the acid-based indicator phenolphthalein, which turns a mild rosé colour with the addition of an alkaline (sodium hydroxide). The water into wine miracle shows the super-abundance of God’s generosity and the joy of the Kingdom of God," he explains.

"At the end of the sermon, I suggested that some might not wish to embrace this great joy, and perhaps the best thing was to put the wine back into the bottle – to turn it back into basic water again. So I returned the ‘wine’ to the bottle (now a different bottle) containing some hydrochloric acid, which turned it colourless – a little bit of fun. A prize was offered after the service for the first pupil to tell me how I had done it."