It seems like only a short while ago that we welcomed the children back to school after Christmas. With the conclusion of the final week of this half term, we are now exactly half way through the academic year. The pupils can look back with great satisfaction on their progress so far and of course we still have many highlights yet to come!
In The Classrooms
Our pupils have continued to work hard across the curriculum and no doubt are looking forward to a well deserved half term break. This week our Year 8 pupils have been working on their past tense in French and their linear graphs in Maths, whilst Year 7 have been busy studying Hinduisim, practising creative writing and learning about chemical compounds. Year 5 have really enjoyed their STEM subjects and were very enthusiastic about using “WeDo” programming to control robots in Computing, as well as learning about different types of microbes and Pasteurization in Science. Meanwhile Year 3 have recently been exploring magnetism in Science and in English they have written some very good pieces of reflective writing on the theme of ‘My best day’.
Year 6 Humanities
This week Year 6 were treated to an inspiring talk from our very own Mrs Critchley, who took part in a tall ships race in 1992 to mark 500 years since Columbus’ first voyage west across the Atlantic. Pupils were amazed to hear of the challenges she faced, including going on ‘watch’ at 3am, ‘all hands on deck’ to get through a hurricane, washing in seawater for several weeks and having very little privacy for sleeping and going to the toilet! She then contrasted conditions on board her yacht with what it was like for the sailors on Columbus’ Santa Maria, and pupils were left wondering at the bravery and fortitude needed to sail into the unknown in the 15th century! The photo below shows Mrs Critchley with a chocolate cake she made – the roll of the ship meant that it came out much thicker at one end than the other!
6F have recently been involved in some fascinating cross-curricular work. As background to their class novel, Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson, they have undertaken the task of independently researching and planning their own PowerPoints which they then presented to the class for review. They were commended for their research, the selection and range of material chosen, the quality and appropriateness of the visual presentation of their ideas and how well they presented to the class. A selection of the PowerPoints can be found in the index of this newsletter.
Below is a selection of the artwork which has been produced at school and at home, by the Year 8 Art Enrichment Group since September. The pupils in this group have worked hard to learn new processes and to develop their skills and talents; some pupils have undertaken the challenge to produce an impressive art portfolio which has supported their Art Scholarship application to their future school. In these portfolios, each pupil has displayed creativity, ambition, aptitude, a broad and varied range of artistic skills, and above all a strong commitment to Art & Design.
Pre Prep Book Character Dressing Up Day
On Friday, Pre Prep pupils were invited to dress up as their favourite book characters. Amongst the many characters, from Harry Potter to multiple princesses across the year groups, we also had Fantastic Mr Fox, Little Red Riding Hood, Matilda, Cleopatra, Beowolf and Mary Poppins. Staff also enjoyed dressing up as much as the children! We hope pupils will enjoy some of their favourite stories at home during half term and enjoy a visit to the local library.
Once Upon a Time…
This week Foundation have been reading the story of ‘The Jolly Postman’ as part of their topic ‘Once upon a time’. They have been writing letters to one another and drawing maps. They have also had great fun using balance bikes to deliver post to different fairy tale characters. On Friday, as part of their ‘Book Week’ celebrations, they enjoyed visiting some of these story characters, making potions with the Wicked Witch, making crowns to celebrate Cinderella’s wedding, and trying porridge with Mummy Bear.
Lifebus Education Visit
Over the past two weeks, pupils in Foundation through to Year 6 have had the privilege of visiting the Lifebus. The sessions complement and enhance the topics covered in our PSHCE (Personal Social Health and Citizenship Education) curriculum.
Year 5 enjoyed learning about their different emotional needs and ranking these in order of importance for their group. They also learned about each of the systems of the human body, with fascinating facts such as if you lined up all of the blood vessels in one adult they would stretch half way to the moon. They were also surprised to discover that the area of adult lungs flattened out would cover an entire tennis court! They then discussed the physical needs we have to stay alive – like food, water and oxygen, and the importance of our physical and emotional needs being in balance, and the different factors that might make us feel out of balance. To finish the session, the children picked up on a theme covered earlier this term in PSHCE lessons, assertiveness. After watching a video, pupils picked out what had made the characters act assertively and then tried to use these points and develop skills in their own role play.
Second Hand Book Sale
Thank you to everyone who donated books to the Year 3-8 book sale and all of those who came and enjoyed choosing new reading material. It was lovely to see so many children looking through the sale and giving books a new home. We raised over £300 in total and this money will go towards future Eco-Committee and School Council projects, chosen by the children. We are hoping to run another sale in the Summer Term after which, any remaining books will be donated to charities.
Special Menu for Start of Winter Olympics
This week, we have been marking the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 with a specially themed menu at lunchtimes. Mr Burt and the Chartwells catering team produced an array of delicious Chinese food which included Mu Shu Pork (wrap with stir fried pork and vegetables) and Zha Jiang Mian (fried sauce noodles with beef and soy sauce). Here are some examples of the dishes on offer, which were greatly enjoyed by pupils and staff alike.
With the evenings and mornings now getting a little lighter and some beautiful snowdrops around us, we are reminded daily that Spring is on its way – despite the rather unexpected hailstorm on Thursday afternoon! Thank you for all your support this term and I greatly look forward to seeing the children return ready for the second half of term. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at school events upon our return. Before then, I do hope that you are able to enjoy some rest and relaxation during the half-term break.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn