A team of talented students from Farnham Heath End School (FHES) headed to Trinity School in Croydon last weekend to defend their London History Bowl title – and again upset the odds by beating teams from illustrious public schools including Eton College to scoop victory.

Once again, FHES was the only state school to enter the contest – and proved last year’s win was no fluke as they retained their Middle School Division title with a seven-match winning streak. 

With a field of 27 teams competing this was the largest ever European History bowl tournament which also included team members Hayden and Amelie picking up medals in the individual Bee competition. Here is a report from FHES team captain AMELIE REED...

Article: On Saturday, Farnham Heath End School’s team (Amelie Read, Hayden Burton, Gethyn Jones, Dan Pierce, Nathan Brown and George Hurlow) made a flying start to the 2024 History Bowl season, winning the middle school age division of the History Bowl of London at Trinity School in Croydon. 

Farnham Heath End School's London History Bowl Team
The team from Farnham were the only state school team in the competition (Farnham Heath End School )

Although we were the reigning champions, as the only state school in the competition and with a highly changed team we were heavily the underdogs, but we prevailed against the odds, winning all seven of our matches by large margins, including two against Eton, to claim the title.

Meanwhile, in the individual competition, the Bee, we competed across two age categories, with Dan competing in the elementary Bee, and the rest of us competing in the middle school competition, the next age category up. 

With nine people competing in the elementary competition and 31 in the middle school division, some ferocious battling ensued with two of our new squad members, valiant Bee first timers Dan and Nathan, both succeeding in scoring against experienced opponents. 

While only the top 10 made it through to the regional finals, Gethyn’s placing of 16th was enough to see him qualify for European Bee and finish above many Etonians. However, reigning champion Hayden and team captain Amelie’s prelims were much more forthcoming when it came to scoring points, with Hayden reaching the maximum match score thrice in all his opening matches and Amelie twice, qualifying for Europe and the Bee finals as first and second seeds.

During a highly tense, suspenseful bee final, a student from City of London school, Micah Thompson – the third seed – won with four points, denying Hayden, who finished second, the the title by a single point. After four students, including Amelie, all tied for third with two points apiece, a nail biting four-way tiebreak had to be rapidly conducted, with Amelie emerging victorious and claiming third place answering correctly a question about cars used in Bond films!   

“I was very proud of the performance of all our students. They have been practising every week since September and this clearly paid off when you see the huge gap in the score line of each of their matches,” said Jonathan Boulton, FHES head of history.

“I had teachers and parents of the other school approach me and praise not only their remarkable historical knowledge but their team spirit and sportsmanship.

“We look forward to entering the European Championships in June this year hosted by the City of London school.”