Pupil pays tribute as his great grandad becomes oldest male Covid survivor
LOGS boy dresses up as Pfizer vaccine scientist for Red Nose Day
25th March 2021 — WHEN six-year-old Lewes Old Grammar Junior School pupil Dylan Brown, pictured on the right, was asked to dress up as a superhero by his teachers to celebrate Red Nose Day last Friday, he surprised everyone.
The Year 2 pupil showed up to school dressed as Ugur Sahin, the scientist who founded BioNtech which developed the groundbreaking Pfizer vaccine – all in honour of the fact that his great grandfather James Brown has become the oldest man in Britain to survive Covid-19.
Little Dylan, whose middle name is James after his great grandad, has been acutely aware of the dangers of the disease despite his young age and on being asked by teachers to dress up as his hero, told mum Nicola straight away that he wanted to dress as “the person who has helped to save everyone” by coming up with a vaccine.
Said Nicola: “Dylan’s great grandfather James, who is 103, was very ill with Covid in his care home in Devon and we were told he would not survive. But quite miraculously, he did, which of course was cause for great joy in the household. But even before this, Dylan has always paid a great deal of attention to what he has heard on TV. Last year he was out every Thursday banging the pots to applaud the NHS and drawing rainbows to display in the windows.
“So when LOGS told the children that they were invited to dress up as their heroes, Dylan immediately started talking about all the doctors and nurses and scientists who have made life better for us all. We soon arrived at Ugur Sahin as an idea and it went from there.”
James Brown, a Spitfire engineer in World War 2, came hours from death after contracting the disease in February and when he pulled through he became the oldest male patient to shake off the disease.
It seems, with 12 months of Covid behind us, the disease has left its mark on the very young just as much as the rest of us. LOGS pupil Josh Engelhart responded to the superhero call by arriving dressed as Captain Tom Moore (see pictures), the indefatigable centenarian who raised £33m for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden. He borrowed his great granny’s Zimmer frame for the day.
Lewes Old Grammar Junior School headmistress Carrie Whyte said: “The pandemic has had a huge effect on young children and it comes as no surprise to me that they have really thought hard about who their heroes are this year. Adults sometimes forget that children are listening and absorbing all that goes on around them and we have seen from our children today that they, just like their mums,dads and carers, are incredibly grateful to the people that have made a positive difference to our lives in the past 12 months.”
The children raised a healthy £446 for Red Nose Day too!
Two Lewes Old Grammar Junior pupils get cake-making for Shelter
Two pupils at Lewes Old Grammar Junior School wanted to help the homeless during the pandemic. Together they baked cakes to order for neighbours and asked for donations towards Shelter in payment, raising a total of £638 for the charity.
15th March 2021 — Two schoolchildren worried about the plight of homeless people on the streets during the pandemic raised hundreds of pounds for Shelter in the half term by baking.
Sophie (11) and Sam (8) Bannister were upset to realise the homeless were severely disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic as fewer people were around to help them and were less likely to carry cash to give to them.
So the two Lewes Old Grammar Junior School pupils set about baking cakes for neighbours and asking for donations towards Shelter in payment; they hoped to raise around £70 but ended up with a whopping £638.
Mum Helen said: "Sophie and Sam have both enjoyed cooking and baking since they were tiny, and over the lockdowns have both noticed an increase in the number of homeless people in Lewes.
"They came up with this idea as a way to raise money for something they both care about while doing something they enjoy."
She continued: "There were some lovely reactions from neighbours – everyone was so supportive and ordered a lot of cake!"
"I am enormously proud of them."
Sophie and Sam whipped up 33 squares of chocolate cake, four Victoria sponges, 30 chocolate biscuits, and a chocolate birthday cake.
Neighbours put their requests in via their street's Whatsapp group and Sam delivered them – running up and down the street to 21 different doorsteps.
Sophie commented: "We chose Shelter because we know homeless people are suffering more during Covid as people don’t have loose change to hand over as everyone uses cards
On top of that, more and more people are losing their jobs and becoming homeless."
Sam added: "When we go out we see homeless people almost always and by helping Shelter I thought we would help there to be fewer of them."
Lewes Old Grammar Junior School headmistress Carrie Whyte said: "Sophie and Sam stopped and noticed the lives of other people and decided to take action.
"That sort of kindness and compassion makes teaching children such a pleasure.
Scientist on Covid battlefront set to return to Lewes Old Grammar School
Former student has developed testing game-changer and will visit current pupils next term to talk about his love of science
23rd June 2020 — A FORMER Lewes Old Grammar School schoolboy whose biotechnology company is in the throes of producing a game-changing rapid response mobile Covid-19 test says he plans to return to the school where he developed his passion for science.
Jonathan O’Halloran is the founder and MD of biotechnology company QuantuMDx which is already producing millions of disposable Covid-19 testing kits that are being sold globally and require labs to study the results.
But he has also spent years developing a hand-held device that can diagnose a range of diseases without the need for sending off swabs to a lab. This device, called QPOC, can now test for Covid 19 in just 20 minutes, by a patient’s side, and will launch in September.
One of the most urgent needs to help the world control and eliminate the Covid-19 pandemic are tests that can diagnose the disease quickly and accurately and affordably. The device will be used anywhere from pharmacies and schools to airports and ports.
Mr O’Halloran attended Lewes Old Grammar School (LOGS) in the early 1990s and says it was there that he first fell in love with science.
The biomedical scientist said: “It was my biology teacher Dr Bishop’s classes which really inspired me Everything just clicked for me and I absolutely loved those lessons. Genetics was amazing and I actually found it quite easy to grasp, which was unusual for me. I am colour-blind, tone deaf and dyslexic, so the arts were never going to be my thing, but genetics explained my issues and I found it fascinating.”
After leaving LOGS, Mr OHalloran studied genetics, biotechnology and genomics at Sussex University and Harvard and then launched into his career in science which would eventually lead him to develop the QPOC – even meeting with philanthropist Bill Gates, whose foundation has been instrumental in funding vaccine research, to talk through his technology along the way.
He has always kept in touch with LOGS and so when the school’s bursar Tim Laker asked him to come in to talk to the students about his device once classes are back in the autumn, he happily agreed.
He said: “I am really looking forward to coming back to LOGS as I have so many fond memories of the school and I am still in regular contact with the teachers that taught me. We are providing technology than can have a real impact for contact tracing and testing and it will be great to talk to the students about it.”
Little Oleta finds Marvel-lous way to cope with Covid
Lewes Old Grammar School pupil draws superhero cartoons to help her manage her fears for her medic brother
11th May 2020 — SMALL children struggle to understand how their world has changed since Covid-19 stopped life as we know it but one five-year-old Lewes Old Grammar School pupil has found a solution through the Marvel super heroes.
Little Oleta Sherlock-Chappell has had to cope with the fact that her older brother James, an NHS A&E staff nurse at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, caught the coronavirus, recovered and then has gone straight back to work.
With her world turned upside down and unable to describe her fears for her brother, you might think little Oleta would feel unable to cope. But thanks to a newfound love of reading Marvel comic books, she has found a way to express herself.
Her mum Lisa explains: “Oleta has been worrying a lot about what is going on in the world and especially about her brother James. He is the first point of contact to all emergency patients at Edinburgh’s A&E, he then got the virus himself but after recovering went back to work to help colleagues fight the cause. Oleta knew all this and thinks he is very brave.
“She has always been proud of her brother’s work - when he worked with children with specialised disabilities and geriatric patients and now dealing with the virus. But this is a lot for a five-year-old to deal with.
“She started learning about the Marvel super heroes and how they always win in the end and then we saw that she was drawing what was happening around us in Marvel cartoon form. She drew a cartoon of her brother as a super hero fighting the virus and sent it to her teacher at LOGS.
“It seems it really helps her when she translates her worries into comic drawings in which the super hero always prevails against evil. Oleta always reads the stories with me, looks at the pictures and then summarises how good has beaten evil, just like her brother is beating the virus.”
Every Thursday, Oleta rushes outside at 8pm to bang pots and pans for the NHS.
Lisa adds: “When it comes to Thursday evening at 8pm, Oleta bangs her pots and pans and when she is finished she always says: ‘That’s for you, James” even though he’s hundreds of miles away.”
Lewes Old Grammar School head Carrie Whyte said: “Superheroes are a perfect way to capture children’s imagination. They can be used as great role models if emphasis is put not so much on their ability to fight evil and always come out on top but on their kindness and helpfulness, their strength and perseverance. The idea of superpowers is so appealing and can make children braver about trying new things. Pretending to be someone else helps them to empathise and there is then a natural step towards real life superheroes like firefighters, vets or policemen, and of course doctors and nurses.”
LOGS pupils put best foot forward during Covid crisis to help others
THE pupils of Lewes Old Grammar School may not be able to attend their regular classes right now but they have been putting their spare time to good use in helping their communities in these difficult months.
4th May 2020 — THE pupils of Lewes Old Grammar School may not be able to attend their regular classes right now but they have been putting their spare time to good use in helping their communities in these difficult months.
From the little ones in the junior school to pupils who’ve had their GCSEs cancelled, many pupils are finding ways to support the NHS, key workers and the vulnerable.
Year 9’s Connie Mathieson has been busy helping her mum Rachel deliver hot meals around Brighton two days a week to the young and vulnerable homeless people who have been put in temporary accommodation during the COVID 19 crisis when social distancing is so important. Connie and Rachel are doing this vital work through a joint venture with the Brighton and Hove council, the NHS and local charities.
Zain Agnihotri in Year 8 has been helping his dad Minesh, who owns Indian Cookery Club Kariclub.com, prep and cook vegan soups to NHS workers. Every Tuesday and Friday the pair create 60 pots of delicious home-made soup which is collected and delivered to front line workers. Dad Minesh says: “Zain has been helping me with the labelling and packaging of the soups. Some labels are nice and straight, others not so straight!”
Year 11’s Hurstpierpoint resident Paddy Warren have shown great initiative with a venture he has started in his home village. With GCSEs cancelled and seeking direction, Paddy set up a food delivery business for the locals. After delivering fliers, he approached local high street shops and local Facebook Covid-19 groups and provided a connection between the two for those who need to self-isolate or are vulnerable to the virus.
Mum Kerry said: “There has been an incredible amount of positive reaction and enthusiasm for his business and everyday he receives new calls from those requesting his services. Paddy is well practiced on observing the social distancing rules, is being generously tipped and even made it into the Mid Sussex Times with a mention from a local contributor. We are proud that he is becoming a great asset to our village in this important time.”
Meanwhile Year 11 trampolinist Daniel Bradford, who has won many titles across the south east, sprung into action when he heard the local club where he trains, the Sky High Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, was in danger of closing though lack of funds after Covid 19 prevented it from holding a major fundraiser. He decided to try and run 2.6 miles in 26 minutes on April 26 and to collect sponsorship to do it to pass onto the club. Having completed the circular route from home around Buxted, Pound Green and Etchingwood Lane to bring him back home, he has so far raised £293.52 through his Virgin Money Giving page.
Dan said: “I wanted to be able to show my support, the club and everyone involved in the centre are a big part of my life and they have always supported me to achieve my dream in becoming the best trampoline gymnast I can be. It’s so important to give back to the club so it will be there in the future for everyone.”
Year 7’s Nat Stephens and his sister Daisy meanwhile, took it upon themselves to go to their local supermarket and buy two rucksacks worth of healthy snacks and then walk a mile up the road to their old primary school where an NHS wellbeing centre has been set up. The staff said they were impressed how much they had managed to cram into their rucksacks!
On the last day of the spring term, little Ivy and Alfie Prior from Year 2 and 4 respectively, agreed between themselves to wear their school uniform as they did their schoolwork from home in exchange for a £1 each from mum and dad Nicki and Dan - which they wanted to give to the NHS. Their parents topped it to £10 each and the children donated it to the NHS.
Year 12 Lewes Old Grammar School pupils plays the mandolin he made in 3D Art and Design at concert
24th February 2020 — TALENTED musicians put on a showcase of tunes old and brand new, including a first outing of a mandolin handmade by its player.
Pupils from across the year groups at Lewes Old Grammar School put on a dazzling display at the school with the audience enjoying everything from Lewis Capaldi hits to Schubert and Bach classics.
17-year-old Felix St Maur Sheil chose the showcase to reveal the mandolin he has crafted himself as part of his BTEC in 3D Art and Design. The gifted instrumentalist, who plays guitar and ukulele, took just 25 hours to make it and played Hummel’s Mandolin Sonata 3rd Movement.
He said: “I started making it in December and I just researched how to do it online. I enjoyed it so much I might make a loot next!”
You could hear a pin drop when Mia Battle belted out On My Own from Les Misérables while Max Dahlberg-Hughes held captivated everyone with his own acoustic guitar composition.
Year 11 flautists Phoebe Hatch and Lily Ellis treated the room to their GCSE piece Telemann’s Dolce Duet and Joshua Reid produced a beautiful Rachmaninov’s Elegy.
Head of music Matt Casterton said: “What makes us so proud at LOGS is that there are pupils here from all across the year groups. Music really is an integral part of the LOGS experience and it’s lovely for people to be able to hear what the students work so hard on throughout the year.”