OMK Newsletter # 14
April 2020

Solidarity & Cheerfulness in Adversity

We live in challenging times and Covid-19 is having a dramatic impact on the lives of all of us - regardless of where we live in the world. 

The Development & Alumni Office are here to support you through these troubled times in any way we can. As such, we are taking the opportunity to phone as many as we can of those in our OMK Community who may be feeling isolated or vulnerable, to ensure all is well and to offer practical help and a friendly voice. We have emailed all those over the age of 70 for whom we have an email address.

Please use the link below if you would appreciate this support, if you would like to be put in touch with old friends, or have a story to share (or if you wish to opt out of a call).

We have already spoken to a number of OMKs, put old school friends back in touch, and are very much enjoying hearing some stories of your schooldays which are both hair-raising and entertaining! We will share some of these stories with you over the coming weeks via this Newsletter. In the meantime, please do continue to pick up the phone, email or write to us to let us know how we can help, and to stay in touch.

Get in Touch

OMK Magazine 2019 online

We are delighted to announce the latest OMK Magazine is now available online. It covers OMK news and stories from 2019, as well as school news for the 2018/2019 academic year. We hope you enjoy reading it and find it of interest. When reading the magazine on our website, you will need to use the password EQMkDiaL. This password is also valid for all editions of the annual OMK magazine on the same web page.

Read the Magazine here

OMK Jon Scott star guest on stage

It was a very great privilege to welcome back to Mount Kelly, and on to the stage, OMK Jon Scott (1978-84) as special guest at the Charity Cabaret night, held in aid of the School's chosen charity for 2020 - Surfers Against Sewage. Jon is one of the pre-eminent trumpeters of his generation, having played lead trumpet for Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Band for over twenty five years. Three separate stages featured the School's own Big Band, pupil singer-songwriters, and special guests The Martin Jenkins Trio, who were delighted to have Jon join them for a couple of numbers.

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National Arena League Champions

On their debut appearance in the National Arena League A Final, Mount Kelly claimed victory in the most exciting final in many years. Having only graduated to the National Arena League in 2016 after the inauguration of the 50m Olympic Legacy Pool, Mount Kelly's journey through the League has been seamless; winning every Western Division over the last four years, the National B Final in 2019 and now the National A Final in 2020! This is a truly historic moment for the Swim Squad, defeating much larger clubs including Millfield, Plymouth and Guildford to win the country's most prestigious title

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Barnardo's School Choir of the Year

Congratulations to the Mount Kelly Chamber Choir, which was crowned Barnardo's Senior School Choir of the Year 2020 at the Royal Festival Hall on 9 March. Competing against some of the best school choirs in the country, our talented young singers impressed the judges with their energy and precision in performances of Fairest Lord Jesus by Norwegian composer Frode Fjellheim and the traditional gospel song Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel? In addition to the prestigious title and a beautiful silver trophy, the Chamber Choir has been invited to perform at a Barnardo's Young Supporters Concert at the Royal Albert Hall and will have a new song written for them by the head judge, Conductor and Composer, Douglas Coombes MBE.

Listen to the Choir 

on YouTube

Bristol Gathering

On a cold and wet mid-week evening in February, a large gathering of over 30 OMKs braved the elements and joined Head Master, Guy Ayling, and Fran Reid from the Development & Alumni Office, for a convivial drink and get-together in a pub in Clifton Village. There was plenty of jollity amongst those who attended, and we welcomed OMKs of all generations from Mount Kelly and both former schools, the eldest having attended in the 1950s and the youngest having left just last year! We were also delighted to be joined by our Head of Sixth Form, Becky Callard, and many former staff including Anne Williams (1970-1995), Hugh Walkington (1997-2014), Trevor Ryder (1979-2012), Steve Martin (1975-2016), Liz Rowley (1983-2007) and Norman Wright (1981-1992).

More photos

OMK Hockey

This year's OMK men's hockey match against the School's 1st XI took place on Saturday 25 January. We are very grateful to OMK Captain, Nick Boot-Handford (1996-2003), who organised an alumni team made up of players from various generations and geographical locations. This year's game was arguably one of the most closely-fought matches in recent years with the skill level the highest it has been. Highlights of the match included the Grove brothers combining for the OMK side as well as sibling rivalry between both the Staig and Walker brothers, whose boys found themselves on opposite sides of the generational divide. The OMK team certainly matched the MK team in fitness and skill but it was the School side who walked away with the bragging rights, thanks to two fine goals from Will Hutton which sealed the victory for the School.

More photos

OMK Netball

The OMK Netball match was played in the Sports Hall on Saturday 8 February. The OMK team, jointly captained by Amity Carr (2017-19) and Beth Watmore (2010-16), played a triangular tournament against the School's 1st and 2nd teams. In order to give everyone maximum court-time, seven periods of 7 minutes each were played, allowing changes at each interval. The Firsts played the OMK's in the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th periods coming away with a 17-9 win. The Seconds played the middle three periods, beating the OMK team 10-6, to leave the overall score 27-15 to the School. Nonetheless, there was some great play by the OMKs, who proved that they still have what it takes to challenge our current teams!

More photos

Mount Kelly - supporting our community during the Covid-19 pandemic

When the Government closed schools on Friday 25 March, our pupils were able to continue to learn in the last week of term, and by embracing technology, our pupils and staff remained busy with online lessons and work. In these challenging times it has been heartening to see the Mount Kelly spirit shine through in the face of adversity.

Mount Kelly has signed up to the CBRE database, offering its buildings and facilities to help the NHS with additional premises and parking facilities. In addition, the Head Master has also written to Ann James, Chief Executive of the Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, to offer any practical support the School is able to provide. The School is also gathering any PPE equipment from the Science and other departments in the School to donate to NHS Devon.

The Mount Kelly Bursary Fund

We are very grateful to all OMKs, parents, staff and governors who are supporting the Mount Kelly Bursary Fund with regular or one-off gifts. Our aim is to enable a wider range of talented pupils to access a Mount Kelly education, and experience the life-changing opportunities that it provides.

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Alumnet Online Platform for OMKs

Over 400 OMKs have already signed up to Alumnet - our OMK networking platform. Alumnet allows OMKs to keep in touch with friends, and is especially useful in making new connections for business/career purposes, such as sourcing work experience or career advice.

Sign up or access 


Learning Resources for School Children

Follow the School's Facebook page for some fun and educational challenges which parents can set their children. Something to help pass the time during lockdown!

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OMK Events 2020

It is with great regret that we must cancel the following OMK events due to the Covid-19 pandemic as follows:

Saturday 2 May 1pm-6:30pm
OMK Golf (Tavistock Golf Club)
Saturday 2 May 2pm
 OMK Day 
Saturday 2 May 2pm
OMK Cricket v Mount Kelly

Saturday 2 May 7pm
OMK Dinner


Tuesday 9 June 6pm
OMK Pub Gathering in London
(The Sekforde, Farrington)

Saturday 5 September
OMK Ladies' Hockey v Mount Kelly 1st XI

Click here to enquire about 

any of the above events
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   Mount Kelly
College: Parkwood Road - Tavistock - Devon - PL19 0HZ
Prep: Mount Tavy Road - Tavistock - Devon - PL19 9JL -

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