Page 4 - Independent Schools Magazine
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 Honour –
& a new solar car
Farewell to Archbishop
  Dr Andrew Spiers, Director of Science and Technology at Ardingly College, Sussex, was honoured with an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list. The award was bestowed on him for services to Education.
On discovering his nomination, Dr Spiers said: “I’m very honoured to receive an MBE. I never dreamt I would receive such an award – it’s such a wonderful surprise to be recognised in this way. I’m very lucky that every day I combine the two things I love most: science and teaching. I work with young people whose minds are full of energy, enthusiasm and inquisitiveness.”
Dr Spiers is leader of the innovative Solar Car project at Ardingly.
Ardingly Solar (established in 2009) is a student led movement. The team successfully entered the 2015 Bridgestone World Challenge (BWSC) a 3000km
race across Australia (Darwin to Adelaide) and holds the following records:
• First UK team to enter and compete in the Cruiser Class
• First school team to enter from Northern Europe
• First school to enter the Cruiser Class
The team now consists of 50 students from 3 schools working with 19 major companies, three universities and two institutions, bringing industry & research right into the heart of the classroom.
The team is presently building the “Basking Beastie”, a state of the art solar powered car designed
to complete the 3000km in the BWSC under solar power alone. This would be a  rst for any school and a  rst for the UK.
The second aim of the team is to use the knowledge gained to build a  at packed solar car for the developing world.
Prince Albert II of Monaco is patron of the Ardingly Solar Team. Prince Albert, a keen sportsman, environmentalist and automotive enthusiast, heads a foundation committed to the promotion of renewable energies and the role they play in the transition towards a low carbon economy.
He says “Ardingly Solar’s approach and values are in line with mine, adding: “I wish the solar car team every success in the design, build and race of a new solar car.”
Roman Catholic Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who died
last autumn, was Archbishop of Westminster, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and uncle to Prior Park College, Bath, Head, James Murphy-O’Connor. Last month (January) Cardinal Cormac’s family, friends, former Headmasters at Prior Park College, staff, students, parents and alumni came together at Our Lady of Snows Chapel to pay their respects and pray for the Cardinal.
Following the entrance procession, James Murphy-O’Connor spoke about Cardinal Cormac, “the man and the uncle,” whose motto was ‘Gaudium et Spes’, Joy and Hope.
Throughout his time, Cormac remained a committed and
supportive alumni of the College (1943-1950), and remained President of Prior Park Educational Trust until his death. The Chapel
is at the heart of the College and so it was a  tting venue for the Cardinal’s Commemorative Mass.
 UK’s largest orchard
Farlington School, Sussex, welcomed the Boarding Schools Association’s Chief Executive, Robin Fletcher,
to be part of the tree-planting ceremony for the BSA’s Boarding Orchard.
The orchard aims to be the largest orchard, by distance, in the UK
and involves boarding schools joining the orchard by planting fruit trees in their grounds. The trees symbolise the ‘tree of knowledge’ and demonstrate each school’s commitment to growth and caring for the environment. Since launch, schools across the UK have joined
‘The Boarding Orchard’ and trees have also been planted at boarding schools in Switzerland and the USA.
Farlington Headmistress, Louise Higson, accompanied by boarding staff and pupils, planted the tree close to the Orchard Nursery.
“We were delighted Robin Fletcher was able to join us for the event. We chose a pear tree as our tree of knowledge, kindly donated
by Newbridge Nurseries Garden Centre, to show our commitment to this excellent initiative,” said Sue Powell, Farlington School’s Head of Boarding.
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