Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 25

This Week

Dear Parents,

An excited Year 3 set off for Tate Britain on Wednesday and were not disappointed by the trip. They moved around the galleries in four small groups, enabling them to perhaps feel more confident in expressing their views and understanding that there is often no right or wrong answer when it comes to analysing and discussing art. They thoroughly enjoyed having plenty of time to really observe the different exhibits and offer their opinions on them. A trip like this feels even more worthwhile when one hears it described as “epic”!

I recognise that all the boys here love an epic adventure of one sort or another however it has come to our attention this week in particular that there seems to be a pretty invasive, newly launched online game sweeping through the boys in Years 3 – 6 at the moment. I am currently not convinced it represents the sorts of adventures that are, in my personal and professional opinion, any good for them. We are hearing the boys discuss this game at school much more so than they ever have about any other, so I have looked it up myself. I am not at all impressed by what I have discovered; the content and aim of the game seems fairly age inappropriate to me for our pupils. Mr Richards carried out an ‘eyes closed – be honest – hands up’ survey regarding this game in assembly this morning and we were pretty astounded by the number of boys whose hands shot up to signify they were playing it. Mr Arnold shared his opinion on the game too and he explained he did not think the boys should be playing it, certainly not unsupervised by an adult in any case. Can I please ask you to read this guidance Mr Salt found for us here at school (from a US based site) and if you think your boy is playing this game I would recommend you discuss the nature of it with him:

           https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/parents-ultimate-guide-to-fortnite

We were delighted to host two teams apiece from four visiting Prep Schools this morning (Ashton House, Churchers College Junior School, Sunningdale and Twickenham Prep) and compete against them in the Quiz Club National KS2 Maths Competition. This was round 1 of what I believe extends into a number of further heats and a grand finale at some point before the end of this academic year. Our two teams did very well, taking the lead in the penultimate round to finish in 1st and 3rd place, with Ashton House coming 2nd in between us. I know Mr Campbell will have been disappointed not to be here this morning but his absence was for a very good reason. He is currently on paternity leave; we were able to congratulate him and his wife on the safe arrival of his second daughter, Eliza Mae, earlier this week.

Have a great weekend,

Tim Smith

Headmaster

Sports News

A week without rain! Lots of cricket has been played this week, with even more scheduled for today which will see all year groups play before the week is out.

On Wednesday the U11s and the U10s played a full fixture against King’s House which saw every boy in the two year groups playing. As the boys enter into Year 5 the formats that we play alter based on confidence, experience and ability.

For those that we feel are capable, standard hard ball cricket with full protective equipment is introduced, this may be played as pairs or for the most confident and able the 20/20 format is used.

For those less confident and experienced ‘incrediball’ cricket is played which does not use a hard ball and no protective equipment is needed. For some boys the introduction to hard ball cricket can be quite daunting and often detrimental to the development of their skills and so a gradual introduction to this format is really important.

As with rugby, pitting boys against opposition and in formats that they are not confident in can really dent their confidence and so more often than not patience is the key.

On Wednesday were up against some tough opposition and there were not many victories recorded. However, one victory of note was that of the U10 D team. Due to the number of boys in the year group we were only left with five players to represent this team in their pairs fixture, which usually requires eight players for a team. However, they battled on regardless of their obvious disadvantage.

In doing so they recorded a marvellous win and their attitude and team work were of such that Mr Richards went out of his way to tell me in person how impressed he was and talk about the team specifically in assembly. It is this marvellous spirit and attitude that shows real maturity and personal development in the boys and I am really glad that they were able to display this in a sporting setting and represent the school in such a fitting way.

Today the U8s and U9s field two teams each against St. George’s Windsor. For the U8s this will only be their second game and they have been working hard in games to develop their skills. As mentioned a few weeks ago the skill of bowling is really tricky to pick up and the majority struggle to begin with. However, on Tuesday in games, I was incredibly happy and if I am honest a little surprised to see how many boys are already able to do this skill. Clearly many have been practising in their back garden over the past two weeks and this work ethic is really pleasing to see.

Next week sees many fixtures, against St. Benedict’s for the U10s Newland House for the U9s, and TPS for all age groups. Tomorrow morning also sees the U11 A and U10 A play against Newland House at the NPL sports ground at 9.30am. So if any of you are at a loose end and you’re after some high quality cricket to watch then you know where we are.

Have a great weekend.

Prep News

A few pictures from events this week:

Year 3 Tate Britain

National Maths Quiz Area Heat

 

Pre-Prep News

We have enjoyed a shortened but nevertheless busy week in Pre-Prep and cannot believe it is only two weeks until half term – time really does seem to fly by here! We have been enjoying the sunny weather this week and, with this in mind, do ensure your child comes to school with their water bottle, sun hat and a liberal coating of sun cream.

Next week, we have two trips going off site, on Monday Year 1 will be off to the Science Museum in Winchester and on Wednesday Year 2 to The Living Rainforest near Newbury.  Please do read the information sent out from your child’s Class Teacher very carefully to ensure your child comes to school fully equipped for their outing.

A quick reminder that in the week after half term, we will be having our first ‘moving up’ day, Tuesday 5 June. You are very welcome to visit your child’s new classroom and meet their next Class Teacher after school. Do bear in mind that the teachers need to safely dismiss their current class before they are able to welcome you in to their classrooms so please be prepared for a short wait!  Entry will be through the blue side gate.

Today in assembly, the Courtesy Cup and Badge were awarded to Aarav Tegginamath (Year 2) for always being so kind and helpful towards his friends.

and Stars of the Week  went to the following pupils:

Year 2: Niam Thakrar-Vara for always trying his best and for being a wonderful friend to everyone.

Year 1: Arthur Band for being so brave and not complaining at all about his broken leg.

Reception: Batu Kirbay for working hard all week – both in his classroom jobs and his play.

Here is what we have been up to in class ….

This week in Kindergarten we have been looking at the life cycle of a butterfly and learned all about their journey transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly. We discovered that the butterfly’s wings are patterned exactly the same and this is called ‘symmetrical’. We painted our own ‘symmetrical’ pattern on our butterfly wings using our fingers and paint. We printed on one half of the butterfly, and then folded the paper in half. We were amazed to find the pattern transferred to the other wing and this was the same. We have read different caterpillar stories, including the well-known story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. We were able to retell and sequence the story in the correct order using large and small picture cues.

In maths, we have been ordering caterpillars and butterflies in order according to their size, working from the smallest to the biggest.

It has been fun watching our caterpillars grow big, we do not think it will be long before they reach the next stage in the life cycle and we look forward to watching this happen right before our eyes.

Next week we continue this topic looking at the life cycle of a frog. If anyone could provide some frogspawn for us to observe in class, we would extremely grateful.

 This week in Reception we have loved looking at the artwork of Klimt. Inspired by his use of gold, black spirals and colourful flowers we all created our own drawings and collages in the style of Klimt. We have also been thinking about a healthy, balanced diet and sorted foods into traffic light groups – food that contains sugar and salt (red), foods that should be eaten in moderation (orange), and foods that can be eaten freely (green). We spoke about the importance of having five fruits and vegetables a day, and the children impressed us with their knowledge of the vitamins contained in different foods. We wrote the final entry in our gratitude diary – all about things that make us laugh. We thought about feeling grateful for things that make us smile, and maintaining a positive attitude.  In our mathematics lesson on Friday, we were faced with a dilemma! We only had 15 biscuits at snack time but 20 children! What could we do? The children came up with some creative solutions to the problem – including sending the teachers going out to the shops to buy more! We settled on breaking the biscuits in half and sharing them that way. The remainder were split in quarters to ensure it was completely fair.

Year 1 have enjoyed learning about Superheroes this week. We discussed our favourite superheroes and wrote captions. We read the story ‘Superheroes – All Sorts’ and learnt that superheroes come in all different forms!

In maths, we learnt how to add 3-digit numbers by using our knowledge of number bonds to 10. The children found the pair of numbers that equalled 10 and then added on the final digit.

In RE, we have been learning about different places of worship. This week, we talked about a Jewish Synagogue and looked at pictures to see and name what we may find inside.

We are very much looking forward to our class trip to The Winchester Science Centre on Monday. The children need to remember to bring a nut free packed lunch in a small back pack, dressed in their PE kit and trainers. Please do remember a coat if the weather isn’t kind!

In maths this week, Year 2 have been learning all about position and direction using some quite grown-up vocabulary, such as right angle turn, clockwise and anticlockwise.

On Tuesday, a mysterious monster had visited our classroom and moved lots of things around just before our English lesson! We had to use prepositions to describe where it had put the objects and to decide where they ought to be instead. We have also been learning how to write non-chronological reports, linking this to our topic work on rainforest animals.

In science, we learned all about food chains and how they work, including what consumers, producers, predators and prey are.

We continued our work on rainforest layers in topic by investigating the forest floor and learning things such as what lives there and why they are suited to living there. We are very excited about our trip to the Living Rainforest next Wednesday!

Have a super weekend!

headmaster's picture
Tim SmithHeadmaster