Isn’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.
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.
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.
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.
This has been such a busy term but I did not want you to think that I had forgotten Sports Day! This was a fantastic event with the perfect balance of fun and competition to enable each child to play to their strengths and have a go. Mrs Golding had organised the entire event and little touches such as the music and bunting as well as careful attention to detail, made for a very welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. The children competed for their Houses in a range of events which included Bean Bag Target, Javelin Throw, The Pirate Ship Obstacle Course and, pictured above, The Water Relay, to name but a few. The children then took part in sprints in their own year groups. My very favourite race was the Open 200m lap. Mrs Golding expected only a few hardy types to participate but we were all delighted to see that nearly every child in the Pre-Prep chose to take part which was wonderful and which was a great demonstration of the good sportsmanship and enjoyment which permeated this entire event.
Mrs Golding also arranged the Swimming Gala which took place yesterday. This too was a carefully thought out blend of competition and fun. All the children took part from Nursery to Year Two in a variety of races. They swam in heats, such as Backstroke, Sinkers, Relay and Freestyle, after which there was a final which enabled all the children to take part and achieve at their own level. Again this was a fabulous and well supported event. Thank you Mrs Golding!
Wednesday morning dawned dull and drizzly but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the Pre-Prep. We set off on our 2 ½ mile walk around Hasley, in the New Forest, with great enthusiasm and we had a brilliant morning. The sun soon broke through and all our children, from our littlest three year old to our biggest seven year old managed to make it the whole way around – though it has to be said that some had a little more support than others. We are now collecting in all the sponsorship money, so if you have not already done so, please could you proudly inform your child’s sponsors of their achievement and ask them to pay up forthwith!
On a less happy note I need to confirm that Sarah-Lou Carver will be leaving us in September, after continuing to work in our Holiday Club over the summer holidays. She is leaving to train to be a Teacher in the Early Years and Lower Primary and the profession will welcome her with open arms, of that I am certain. Sarah-Lou is a truly wonderful young lady. I have never found her anything less than warm, willing and open-hearted. She works with our youngest children with a gentle and very kind manner and she is always smiling. The children really love her and respond to her sense of humour and readiness to listen. She will be a brilliant, hard-working, dedicated and caring teacher as she embodies my belief that ‘Teaching is a Work of Heart.’ We all wish her every success and happiness.
Wasn’t the Summer Concert wonderful? The Toy Story song performed by our brilliant soloists was so beautiful – I really don’t think that there was a dry eye in the house and it was so lovely to share the children’s obvious enjoyment of ‘Stand By Your Man’ and Year One turning themselves into galloping horses to songs from Oklahoma. I so admired the children as they played percussion and strings – I love the concentration on their faces. They put on such a fabulous performance and I was so proud of all of them. We ask such a lot from them and they always deliver. It is easy, sometimes to forget just how little they are. Huge thanks of course go to Mrs Miller, Mrs Rowntree, Miss Irene and Mr Radford for a lovely afternoon of entertainment.