Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 29
It has been a very quiet week one way or another here at the Prep, with Years 5 and 6 off on their residential adventures. I have enjoyed hearing how everyone has been getting on from both Mrs Campbell and Mr Darmon, as the respective trip leaders, at various points this week. Boys in Year 5 have clearly been having a great time. A few fears have been faced and overcome, there was plenty to learn about wizardry and wild animals of all shapes and sizes from the day excursions to Harry Potter World and Longleat and the boys will have learnt a lot about themselves and each other as they shared their time away from home together. I was very pleased to hear that the Year 6 boys have been so equally impressive this week that the staff running the centre in Wales, a venue we have been visiting for more than 25 years now, made sure feedback reached me last night regarding how mature, thoughtful and cheerfully enthusiastic they have found our boys to be. I am very much looking forward to having them back here next week, sharing tales of their time away and I am sure you will all be looking forward to seeing them yourselves this evening!
Year 3 boys enjoyed a trip to Kew Gardens on Wednesday where they were able to demonstrate their understanding of Maths in the great outdoors. They measured the lengths of different sized leaves, worked out the perimeter of them and organised their findings into a graph. The boys also had time to visit the Palm Houses and take in the beauty of the blown glass sculptures currently featuring at Kew. A fun time was had by all, as I understand it, and Miss Wakeling and Mrs Lutz were very happy to report that the boys’ behaviour was exemplary.
Mrs Murphy wrote to you all this week as a reminder that we will be hosting a talk on internet safety next Tuesday evening for any parent at our School, as per our calendar. Peter Cowley, the presenter we have invited, will be running workshops for pupils and parents during the course of the day and the evening presentation is a wash up of all that he feels parents need to be aware of currently, in terms of staying safe online. Mr Cowley ran a session for all staff here earlier in the year, as well as training sessions for all staff at Hampton School. I can tell you from personal experience that he is a very entertaining and thought provoking speaker. I do hope many of you will be able to attend on Tuesday.
Have a great weekend,
Year 3 had a fantastic time at Kew Gardens on Wednesday this week:
Just a few snaps from the Year 5 residential at PGL, Liddington – they look like they’ve had so much fun!
Year 6 had a wonderful time in Wales this week, we can’t wait to hear of their adventures!
We had a fabulous day on Tuesday when Farms2Ewe visited Pre-Prep, the experience was memorable, interactive and educational all rolled into one – our thanks to the HPPPA who very kindly funded this event for us. We were hugely impressed by Farms2Ewe; it is run by real farmers, who run a real farm and in turn help to support British Farming. The farmers arrived bright and early with their trailer and in no time at all transformed the front garden into a living farm complete with a calf, four lambs, two nanny goats, three kids, three mummy guinea pigs with their ten piglets, ducklings, rabbits, a Peking Bantam with lots of chicks and Whinny the pony! The children had the opportunity to see, touch and learn first-hand about the different animals. It was delightful to observe the children tending the animals during their sessions.
We are all hugely disappointed that Sports Day had to be cancelled today but are very much hoping that the sun shines on Wednesday 19 June. The event will be in the morning, starting at 9.30am and we anticipate that the races will conclude by 11.30 am. After the sporting programme, the children will return to Pre-Prep to continue with their ‘normal school’ day. However, we appreciate that parents of morning Kindergarten children might like to collect directly from Prep, if so then please let Mrs Hand know in advance (firstname.lastname@example.org). The children must come to school, as per all previous communications about Sports Day, dressed and ready for their races. Please note, there is no need to provide a picnic on this occasion, as we shall be returning to Pre-Prep for our lunch.
It was good to see that some of you made it to Prep today to view our art exhibition. We are very grateful that you took the time to enjoy the children’s artwork, as you will imagine, it has taken considerable time and effort to coordinate this – we must say a huge thank you to Mrs Howell (Head of Art) for her role in this.
Further to my communication earlier this week about Peter Cowley’s online safety talk, I would just like to recap that this takes place on Tuesday evening (11 June) in the James Hall at 7.00 – 8.00pm. Pre-Prep parents (Kindergarten to Year 2) are encouraged to attend. I know that some of you may feel it is a little too early to be addressing this issue; however, I would strongly urge you to come along if you can, as it is never too soon to start having gentle conversations about this vitally important topic.
In assembly today, we viewed a beautiful piece of artwork in oil pastels entitled ‘Lion’s Gaze’ by Aashish (Year 2) – what a treat! He is a member of an art group in Walton-on-Thames and has been having great fun honing his skills in different media.
We also congratulated Aizhou (Year 1) for being awarded ‘Star of Day’ at his tennis club – well done!
This week the Courtesy Cup and Badge went to Harry H for always being kind to his friends and for politely holding the door open for staff and children.
and Stars of the Week to:
Year 2: Krrish (2 stars) – For always trying his absolute best, especially when joining in on the carpet.
Year 1: Jonny – For being an excellent sportsman and team player during our PE sessions this week!
Reception: Avyan – (2 stars) for being gentle and kind with our farm animal visitors – especially when helping to groom the pony.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
Kindergarten have enjoyed learning about the farm and farm animals this week. We used the computer and whiteboard to find out the correct name of the Mummy, Daddy and baby animal names. We also found out the sheep’s coat is sheared off using a special tool and then the wool is washed and spun to make one long thread before it is dyed at the factory.
We were very excited to see the farm in the front garden on Tuesday. We were able to be ‘hands on’ with the animals. We held chicks, fed the rabbits, brushed the Shetland pony and stroked the rabbits, guinea pigs, calf, goats and lambs. We loved watching Zachary feed one of the lambs its bottle of milk and were surprised how strong they were!
We met our new teachers Miss Johnston and Mrs O’Brien in Reception class this week. We had great fun playing with lots of toys. However, the hidden treasure in the sand tray was by far the best! Miss Johnston also read us a story about starting school. We are looking forward to spending another morning in Reception class in a few weeks.
Next week our topic is ‘Minibeasts’.
This week Reception class have been down on the farm! We all loved our visit from the animals and spent time grooming Whinny the pony, stroking baby guinea pigs, cuddling ducklings and watching the lambs drinking their bottles.
Back in the classroom we were inspired by the visiting farm and all the animals we saw. The children enjoyed imagining and writing about a day in the life of different animals. We thought that rolling around in mud like pigs sounded rather a lot of fun, but that perhaps the sheep dogs may get tired out chasing all those sheep! In mathematics, we continued learning about clocks and have focused on half past this week. We are pleased that many of the children are pointing out the time during the school day, and are beginning to know that certain things happen at the same time each day.
On Thursday, all the children were so excited to visit their new classrooms. The boys loved going up the stairs to Year 1 and getting to know their new space. They were very sensible and mature and Mrs Doyle, Mrs Swain and Mrs Timba all felt they were really ready for the transition to Year 1. Well done boys!
This week has been very busy at Pre-Prep! Year 1 absolutely loved having the farm on Tuesday and they particularly loved naming one the lambs “Cheeky” as it kept trying to eat their clothes! We have been busy practising for Sports Day, so we were devastated that the rain decided to come today. Instead, we spent the morning designing medals and improving our fine motor skills through some different activities.
Yesterday, the children spent the morning in their new Year 2 classroom! They looked very grown up sitting on the bigger chairs and enjoyed having a go at some Year 2 maths challenges. Together they decided on a new class mascot (a bunny) and set their own goals for areas they would like to improve next year.
We have been practising the alphabet this week, making sure we know it really well before heading to Year 2. This included having a snippet of the alphabet and having to fill in the missing letters. In maths, we have been practising our addition and subtraction skills, including missing number problems such as 5 + ? = 9. During our science lesson, the children had to match up statements to the correct season such as “Days are long. It is usually still light at bedtime”. This proved to be quite a challenge so we will keep working on this!
Year 2 have come back to School full of energy and ready for their last half term at Pre-Prep! We have begun talking about their move to Year 3 much more, starting with the word transition in life skills. We discussed transitions that the children have already been through, such as moving house, and those that are yet to come, such as moving into Year 3 and even later on in life things like going to university or learning how to drive! As part of our focus on transition, on Thursday the children spent the day at Prep. Amongst other things, they met and chatted with Mr Ford, had an activity where they had to find various rooms and think about when they might go to these, had playtime with Years 3 and 4 and (most excitingly for a lot of them) had lunch! Mr Smith ate his lunch with the boys and had a good chat.
During the rest of the week, we learned how to use the column method when adding and subtracting. We had to be really careful when writing the numbers down to make sure that we had the tens and the ones in the right place and always began with the ones column.
In English, we had a report to read about rainbows. We then had to answer questions about the report, looking really carefully for information and trying hard to answer in full sentences.
We learned about endangered rainforest animals in topic and why these animals are under threat. The children had some fantastic knowledge of why rainforests are at risk and steps they can take to prevent this from continuing to happen.
Finally, in science we looked at seeds and had to try to guess which plants different seeds came from – this was really hard! We spoke about why seeds have to move away from their parent plant and methods of dispersal. We then made our own helicopter seeds.
Have a wonderful weekend!