Newsletter 20 October 2016


I can’t believe that it’s half term already though I have to say that the children are ready for it. Such a lot of learning has been packed into such a small length of time and even our biggest ones could do with a bit of a rest – and that’s just the Teachers!

The photo above is of the most successful visit yesterday of Hand to Mouth Theatre. Su Easton held workshops in the morning for all the children in light and dark and they also had the opportunity to have a go at making a little shadow puppet. It was challenging for the children to understand that it didn’t really matter what it looked like – so no colouring was necessary. The important thing was the strong outline shape and the spaces and filigree which would allow light to filter through rather than be blocked and make a shadow. This was quite a tricky concept for some. In the afternoon all the children attended the ‘1,2,3 – Stories 3!’ in which three Traditional Tales were told, using shadow puppets, each of which had three main characters – The Three Billy Goats Gruff; The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. All the children were entranced. They joined in with repeated refrains and with the songs and very much enjoyed the performance. It was also lovely to have the children all involved and learning together. They always love that. Speaking of shadows and light the FSM Bonfire Picture Competition is running again this year. Perhaps your child would like to create an entry over the half term holiday? I hope that you all have a good break.

Newsletter 7 October 2016


We have had another busy week in Pre-Prep out and about the school and the area. So busy in fact that I had to ask some prospective parents to visit us a little earlier than they had originally planned so that there would be some children in the Pre-Prep when they arrived! The photo above is of one of these excursions. The Nursery made themselves a Gruffalo picnic and went up to the woods to eat it. Thankfully, there was no sign of Gruffalo Crumble but they did enjoy the pizzas that they had made that morning in Nursery. This morning they are out again, visiting dinosaurs and the Reception class have gone to track a can of beans around the Trussell Trust warehouse. Years One and Two have been practicing hard for the Dramatic Reading Competition this afternoon. We are going along to show the older children how it’s done rather than taking part in the competition! You are most welcome to come and be a member of the audience in the DHH.

On a different note, I would like to remind parents of the ‘Existing Injuries’ forms which are outside the classrooms in Pre-Prep. We are required to ask parents to complete one of these if their child had received an injury outside of school. Obviously your children will have many inexplicable little bumps and bruises but we would ask you to fill this in please for more significant injuries. I have also been asked again to request that you park and drive with consideration in the car-park and also not to let your children run around in that area. I appreciate that in the mornings especially some parents want to be in and out as soon as possible but please always be aware that there may be children in the blind areas of your vehicles.


Newsletter 30 September 2016


Year One set off yesterday, all togged up and ready for a wet and rainy visit to Corfe Castle. When they arrived, the sun was shining and they were perfectly dressed to explore the castle and play in the wet grass and they had a great day. Once again, we were fortunate to have a wonderful and knowledgeable guide who truly inspired the children and in the photo above you can see that the children have transformed themselves into archers and were living History! The Nursery have continued to learn about food and farming and today have taken time out to visit Lopshill Farm which is very generous of the Cowards. They were very excited when they left this morning. The rest of us are preparing for our Harvest Celebration Assembly which will take place this afternoon in aid of the Trussell Trust. We haven’t had an assembly for a while so it will be a busy one. Please do not hesitate to bring any last minute goodies should you wish to do so. Year One and Year Two will both be doing little presentations alongside one from the Trussell Trust and the Birthday candles and certificates. I also happen to know that there will be some fabulous singing because I have been in on the rehearsals! I hope to see you there. You will be very welcome.


Newsletter 23 September 2016

23-september-2016Isn’t this just the most perfect Autumnal picture? It was the first day of Autumn yesterday and the Nursery celebrated this by visiting Mr Carver’s beautiful allotment. Amongst other things, they were able to compare the length of leeks, count the pink beans inside pods and determine which had the most and the least. They ordered the sizes of potatoes and they examined all the fruits of the allotment’s harvest. They came back carrying huge marrows, leeks as long as your arm and a beautiful variety of seasonal vegetables, not to mention the fabulous dahlia’s which are currently on Pat’s desk. Thank you so much Mr Carver. It was a great learning and sensory experience and tied in very well with the Great British Breakfast which the children in the Reception and Nursery classes experienced this morning. They had toast and cereals, sausages, eggs and beans and they learned about the origins of these foods and how they are farmed to end up on our plates. All this will be in good time for our Harvest Celebration Assembly next week for the Trussell Trust. The Reception class are hoping to visit their Food Bank the day before and we will be asking you if you could kindly provide us with their required food stuffs for next week. Please see my letter for further details. Thank you so much in advance.

Newsletter 16th September 2016


We have had a super start to the Autumn Term. The Reception class girls have been very interested in babies since the term began and because this fitted in so well with getting to know each other and ourselves we have run with it! Mrs Wellman brought in her gorgeous baby to show and tell about and not only the girls but the boys too were absolutely fascinated and followed this up by playing with the baby dolls, bathing, dressing, feeding and role-playing. It was valuable learning and lovely to see. The Nursery class have settled in well. They have been writing their names and making woodland faces as well as getting to know each other and their new learning environments both in the Pre-Prep and around the school. Year Two have had a great start. They have been learning where India is in the world as well as the seven continents. They have been using ‘The Elephant Dance’ by Theresa Heine to help with their journey through India and this has led to some great work on similes as well as some fabulous elephant art work. Year One have also used a book as the foundation of their learning this week. Inspired by ‘The Kiss that Missed’ by David Melling. The children have been making and decorating swords using a variety of skills and this will lead them into the world of stories and fairy tales. Some of our parents have also been back to school and attended our Curriculum evening yesterday (thank you!). We talked about ‘Resilience’ – the ability to bounce back after difficulties or when facing challenges. I introduced the Resilience Tool Kit devised by Dr Martin Seligman et al, as it is easy to say that our children (and we) need these skills but difficult to do. Resilience can be learned and the tool kit provides a method of talking through difficulties which has proved to be very effective with both children and adults. If you would like a copy of the handout, I have put some on Pat’s desk and I am more than happy to talk through the process with you. We will be using it in school so it would be good if it were used at home too.

Newsletter 9th September 2016


Welcome back! I hope that you have had a fun and fabulous Summer Holiday and were able to enjoy the sunshine. The children have returned about six inches taller and buzzing with enthusiasm so we are ready for an exciting term. This term we all have slightly different themes. Year Two – ‘Spice it Up’ and Year 1 – ‘Once Upon a Time’. Reception and Nursery will be starting with ‘Marvellous Me’ before following any threads offered by the children. All the Years will be following festivals and celebrations throughout the year which we all really enjoy. Our stunning start this term is shared with the Prep school and we will be watching a performance of The Jungle Book here in school. This is taking place next Friday afternoon and will link readily with the children’s learning. There will be many events occurring over the term and whilst we will endeavour to inform you of these in good time it is important that you keep an eye on the calendar, which you will have received, and the web-site.

May I take this opportunity to remind you to park and drive carefully in the carpark. It is almost impossible to see the little children from some of the cars so please ensure that you look really carefully and that children are fully supervised.  We have now installed a camera in the carpark. Please could you also be aware that when the Pre-Prep finish school the Prep school children are still in lessons so please do not let the children play noisily outside the classrooms. Thank you for your understanding. Have a wonderful term.


And so the end of another year is upon us…

The Pre-prep have covered a lot of ground since last September – quite literally too! We started our Turrets and Tiara’s topic with a trip to Corfe and Porchester Castles which got us in the mood to learn all about knights. A modern day knight, in the form of PC Berresford came in to talk to the children about his role and he showed them that shields are still in use today which they all found fascinating. In stories, Knights tend to go hand in hand with dragons and both Years One and Two recited dragon poems in the Dramatic Readings competition, and to great effect. The children very much enjoyed seeing Sir Teachalot, and learning about knights of old and they were also keen to learn about current soldiers and enjoyed going Army Barmy with camps in the woods and tea in bivvy tins. We celebrated the soldiers of the World Wars too in our remembrance service which is always a very poignant experience. Our Christmas play this year was ‘Bethlehem Inn’ and I have to say that I really enjoyed this one. My favourite song still remains the wonderful ‘My Life is Getting Very Busy’ with the Year One boys dancing to it. Just brilliant!

The Spring term was also very busy. We all went to the Historic Dockyards to begin with to get an understanding of life at sea for our ‘Pirates, Parrots and Pieces of Eight’ theme but we did not stop there. Other interests joined the learning theme which included dinosaurs, penguins and Easter, to name but a few. Indeed, Years One and Two had a wonderful day of workshops at Salisbury Cathedral whereas the EYFS enjoyed trips to the Raptor and Reptile Centre and Marwell Zoo amongst others.

The Summer term began with an inspiring trip to Longleat to learn all about Rainforests and the area in which the Olympic games will take place this year. This was a wonderful topic which really engaged all the children. As always, there were lots of other things going on such as our fabulous Summer Concert and Year Two’s first field trip to Lulworth Cove. There have also been lots of sports this term with both a brilliant sports day and a swimming gala taking place alongside Year Two’s first fixture against Moyles Court. Other firsts have been the introduction of the House System into the Pre-prep, our first Quick Sticks Hockey sessions and our first Holiday Club which took place during the Easter holidays. Due to its success, we are running another Holiday Club during August this summer so if you have not yet signed up your Pre-prep aged children please do so as places are running out fast!

To be honest, this is only the tip of the ice-berg which is why I write a post each week. Do keep up with Pre-prep exploits by going onto the website, following us on Twitter or you can always have a Newsletter sent to you each Friday. Please just ask.

Have a wonderful Summer.


Mrs Spottiswood