A Pinch of Spice. To most, it simply sounds like an ingredient in a recipe. However, to those who attend Newstead Wood School, it is known as the one of the most anticipated events of the Winter Term. A Pinch of Spice (better known as ‘APOS’) is an annual event celebrating Afro-Carribean heritage as well as supporting the JAGS Foundation – a charity with aims to raise awareness on youth violence. Being solely run by the Year 11s, with the aid of a few teachers, APOS never fails to bring the Newstead student community together; with attendants from outside the school also joining in, it’s just another chance to prove that the girls at Newstead are able to reach and exceed every bar set for them.  


There are some key elements of APOS that make the event. The incredible cultural food brings a piece of home to the school and for those who have never had the privilege of trying some of the delicacies that is offered, like the jollof rice or rice and peas, it becomes an additional unforgettable culinary experience. The guest artists this year brought nothing but good energy to the evening, and although it is unsure how the Year 11 team managed to pick such talented acts, it is certain that they were selective in who would truly heighten the atmosphere of the event. Finally, the Year 11 dance. Unfortunately, I can’t just transport you to the evening that it was performed as that would be the only way to describe the energy and do it justice. It is an act that everyone knows is going to be good, and usually manages to steal the show, but the pride it fills in not just the Afro-Caribbeans in the audience, but also all the students who attend the school is indescribable. Knowing that the team of girls elected to organise and take part in the event can come together, choreograph an electric dance that sparks energy throughout the crowd, whilst also visibly enjoying themselves is what makes the community at the school special. Shortly after the event, I interviewed Nadine Uzodike, an attendee in Year 10 who voiced her “doubt” that they would be able to supersede the girls of this year. However, it is unarguable that those nerves are not unique to the current Year 10s. But the power of joining forces and finding ways to express your dignity in your heritage as well as the need to properly represent your school and culture is truly underestimated.  

That is what makes APOS so special. Watching the result of teamwork and pride fuse to make an amazing spectacle that winds an infectious energy through those who attend. You cannot watch it one year and not feel immediately feel excited for next year’s. And trust me, next year’s will be worth it.