Today saw us head over to the Saxon Village and spend time exploring all sorts of different activities. Laurie spent most of his time in the forge with Matt, making a Saxon broach, ring and necklace. Oli decided that he'd like to be an apprentice blacksmith as soon as he is old enough. Isobel and I were captivated by the pole lathe which we used to create a wooden ball and skittle. These precious items, along with some silver coins will be coming back to school with us tomorrow. We were also taken on a tour through the woods, being taught about the plants that the Anglo Saxons would have eaten - why they ate them and what they tasted like. Some of us tried eating nettles, sniffing lemon balm, stroking the marshmallow plant along with other types of plants.
Our evening has seen us trying to solve a plane crash dilemma in the maze and we have finished the evening with a campfire. The children have seen this blog and have told me off for not mentioning one of their favourite things about the camp. We have a resident cat called Tigger. He is an elderly cat of about 13 who lives down at the camp throughout the summer months. Most of the week he has been asleep either on my bed or on Harry's and is often seen waiting in the kitchen around breakfast time - hoping that there will be some left over bacon for his breakfast. All of the children have enjoyed his company.
It is hard to believe that this is our last night. We have had a wonderful week. The instructors, Scott and Laura have been amazing and the children have been wonderful. We hope to be back at 2:30pm tomorrow ready to tell you all about it, have a long hot bath and then a long sleep! Once again - over and out!
In a change from the planned programme, today we went off site - not because there was a fire - but to learn how to build fires safely for ourselves. We headed up to a woodland away from the Park but still part of the estate. There we found a wonderful Forest School site (Miss Brimble had better not see it or she might get grand ideas!)
Here we built shelters in groups then tested them for aesthetic appeal, strength and how waterproof they were. The last element was the most fun to test as you will see from the photographs below! After a lovely lunch around the fire, we all made bread dough and got marvellously sticky in the process. We then left these to rise as we built our own fires. When our fires were going well, we wrapped our dough around a stick and cooked it gently over the embers. The end result was delicious. We had such a perfect day that none of us wanted to leave and so we stayed later, only getting back here in time for tea.
Our evening has been spent playing up in the park, seeing a resident beaver by the lake and then ending the night with another campfire before story and bed. Lights are now out - and all are settling down, ready for another exciting day ahead.
Over and out.
Year 6 did well at sleeping - particularly the boys who were first to sleep and last to wake. We set off early to a local stream to find what creatures live in the stream locally. We had lots of fun finding creatures and identifying them. Many of us got our feet wet paddling while some chose to stay dry on the bank. One young lady (who would prefer to remain nameless) was heard saying, 'I haven't wet myself, I just accidentally sat down in the river!' Much to the amusement of all!
As the rain came in, we headed back to the park to find out more about the wild animals living at Escot - all of whom once roamed freely in Great Britain - and some which still do. We watched the otters being fed and found out about them from their keeper; we fed the wild boar, found out about the Lynx, heard more about the wolf pack and even saw red squirrels. Finally the weather drove us inside and we finished the evening with 'Escot's Got Talent' and a story before settling down. All is now quiet here as the children settle - ready for their exciting Living History Day tomorrow.
Well, we are here! We have settled into our Yurts, have had a super time exploring the park and have been well fed. As I am typing this, I can hear the children singing songs around the campfire as well as the beautiful bird song which is surrounding us. We have all met the beautiful pack of wolves who now live in the park (safely behind an enclosure) as well as otters, wildcat, lynx, boar and owls. We were joined during our evening meal by a few chickens, a peacock and a peahen complete with her 4 chicks. A truly beautiful first day. Once this has loaded up successfully, I shall head back down to help celebrate Jennifer's birthday with some cake. We are all looking forward to some sleep! (Perhaps we will not all achieve this on the first night!) Over and out for tonight.
As with all types of technology, our website is frequently changing and updating to meet the needs of Parents, pupils and to fullfil our statutory obligations. The company who host our website have added a new feature for us 'Bishop's Hull TV'. Here you will be able to view videos which we have uploaded for you. These might be from recent productions, from class work or as an aid for home-learning. Please let us know if you have any ideas for what could be included in the future.
Our first Video is of Eloise Reed in Year 1 reading 'A Squash and a Squeeze' by Julia Donaldson. Please go to 'children' then 'Bishop's Hull TV' to find it.
Another feature which we could add, should parents want it, is an app which parents can download. This would then allow the school to send out push notifications to remind you of key events, changes to sports fixtures etc. Parents would be able to join groups within the app such as 'Rowling Class' or 'Football Club' or 'Sports Fixtures' which would ensure that Parent's only received notifications which were relevant to them. We would really like your feedback on whether this would be a useful feature to add to our site. Please follow this link to leave feedback on this issue. Thank you.
This week's Blue Beacon contains details of Year 6's election contest. Groups of pupils have created their own political party, have decided on the key issues that are facing the Country today, and written manifestos to try and convince you to vote for them.
Please follow the link below to our Survey Monkey site where you can make your choice. Remember, each vote placed earns your house 20 bonus points!
Year One have been looking at the story of 'Too Much Talk' by Angela Shelf Medearis. This tell the story of unexpected objects beginning to talk and is lots of fun to join in with. Once the children knew the story well enough to be able to re-tell it with confidence, they decided to twist it and change it and make it their own. We call this aspect of the process 'innovate'.
I was thrilled to read this innovated story which the children wrote collaboratively and which captures our school brilliantly.
One day a teacher at Bishop’s Hull School started to mark some maths books. As she was marking a book said to her “you did not make me and you did not buy me, but here you come to write all over me !”
“Aiyee!” screamed the teacher. She ran and she ran up the corridor and down the corridor. She ran until she reached Miss Harman’s classroom.
“Why are you running up the corridor and down the corridor?”asked Miss Harman.
“Well”, said the teacher. “My maths book talked to me.”
“Oh,” said Miss Harman, “that can’t happen.”
“Oh yes it can,” said her computer.
“Aiyee!” screamed the teachers. They ran and they ran up the corridor and down the corridor. They ran until they arrived at Miss Heaney’s classroom.
“Why are you running up the corridor and down the corridor ?”asked Miss Heaney.
“Well”, said the teacher. “My maths book talked to me, then Miss Harman’s computer talked.”
“Oh,” said Miss Heaney, “that can’t happen.”
“Oh yes it can,” said the smartboard.
“Aiyee!” screamed the teachers. They ran and they ran up the corridor and down the corridor. They ran until they arrived at Mrs. White’s office.
“Why are you running up the corridor and down the corridor?”asked Mrs. White.
“Well”, said the teacher. “First my maths book talked, then Miss Harman’s computer talked, then Miss Heaney’s smartboard talked”
“Talk, Talk, Talk,” said Mrs. White. “Too much talk. Books don’t talk. Computers don’t talk. Smartboards don’t talk. All this foolish talk will disturb the school. Go away before I report you to the governors.”
So they all ran away.
“Imagine,” said Mrs White, a talking book! How can that be ?”
“So true,” said her desk.” Whoever heard of a talking book?”
“AIYEEEE!” screamed Mrs. White and she ran up and down the corridor and was never seen again.
Apologies that this blog is later than planned, we were struggling to get the website to upload!
What a fantastic time we had on Saturday 29th April at our 'Almost May Fayre'. There was so much for families to do and enjoy together! The afternoon started with the Country Dancing, including the May Pole this year. All of the stalls then opened and families got involved with Hook A Duck, the stocks, the coconut shy and many other traditional fair games. Thanks to all of our Year 6 who came and helped run their house stalls. Thanks also to Gary Pearce who ran our sports section again - this was really popular with many of our children taking part.
Thanks to the pupils who designed my Hero Headteacher costume - I hope that they enjoyed seeing the results. I certainly enjoyed having the excuse to ride a motorbike into school and onto the playground!
This was the final event for our current PTA, many of whom are standing down this year after many years of amazing service. Huge thanks to the fantastic team! If we want more such wonderful events next year, then a new team will need to come forward to support those members who are able to continue. Could this be you?
To celebrate the beginning of our new Quest for this term - 'What a Wonderful World' - 210 children and around 25 adults walked down to Netherclay to explore. The children were paired with an older or younger pupil to encourage talk and discussion about what they saw. The children responded really well to this and it was lovely to see the older pupils really supporting the younger ones. Here is a selection of photographs so that you can see a little of this super afternoon of learning.
Each Monday afternoon, I have great fun with Year 5 and Year 6 as we are working on a blogging project. Each class has devised their own fictitious scenario and are writing their own blog alongside a class blog.
Year 5 have based their writing on 'The Secret Life of Pets'. Here is their opening blog:
We have been piecing together evidence of what our pets have been doing whilst we are out. We are aware that some of our pets have watched 'The Secret Life of Pets' and we are concerned that it might have influenced them to be disobedient. We are also concerned that they may be leaving the house during the day while no-one is at home, they might get caught and taken to a pound as though they were stray or they may be pet-knapped!
We have attached a miniature CCTV camera somewhere on each of our pets so that we know what they get up to. It will show where the pets go, what they are doing and who they are spending time with. If they get lost, we will know where they are.
You may think this is funny - but to us - this is a serious matter! If you would like to hear more on this subject, keep reading this blog and those of the rest of the class.
(This is a fictitious blog - no animals were harmed in its writing!)
Year 6 have based their's on 'The Secret Life of Year 6'. Here is their opening blog:
The children in Horowitz class (Year6) may seem normal, but don't be fooled! Each and every one of them is something else in disguise. May it be spies, wizard, cats, dogs, super-heroes - or something else.
This morning, the people of Taunton turned on their television sets to discover their heroes relaxing with a cup of tea. What on earth had happened? Where had the villains gone? As the children watched, the televisions started to flicker and all of a sudden the TV villains popped out of the screens and into people's living rooms across the town.
In each and every house, the villains told the inhabitants, 'We have escaped from our prisons! We are free!' Without warning, the villains barged out of the houses, taking the televisions with them, and rampaged through the streets.
What this town needs are super children. Where will we find them? How will we make contact with them? Will they help us?
Read our blogs to find out more!
Both classes would love you to visit their blogs and leave them a comment or two. To find them go to :Children :Blogging :Children's Blogs and then chose a class. Please be aware, all comments will be approved before they go live. Thank you!
Our intrepid Year 4 pupils set off for Kilve yesterday and have been busily involved with all sorts of activities. Mrs Fielding contacted me today to say...."Storm Doris has been a bit blowy but not enough to affect activities! Fab walk and awesome shelter building have happened alongside lots of creative clay work. The children love it here and are excited with everything, I would like to say we're missing school but that would be a lie!"
Here are a couple of photos!
On Thursday morning, 68 excited children set off for the Taunton Festival of Music and Drama. They were singing in Queens College Theatre along with 5 other local choirs; Bishop Henderson, Kings Hall Junior Choir, the Pyrland Choir, the M and Ms and Queens College Junior School Choir. It was a wonderful morning of music with all of the choirs performing at a very high level.
Our children remembered everything that had been asked of them and performed beautifully. They sang 'Knock, Knock, Knock.' which is a lively song telling the story of the wolf waiting outside Grandma's house trying to get in. Our year 4 and 5 singers played the part of a very sinister wolf, whilst our Year 3 and6 pupils were suitably dreamy as Grandma. The second song played tribute to the late, great Leonard Cohen with a poignant version of his Hallelujah based on the events at Easter. The children dealt brilliantly with this tricky song and sang it with passion and feeling.
The whole performance was watched by an adjudicator who then gave every choir feedback. Here are a few quoted from our feedback sheet, 'your blend and diction were very good indeed', 'you sang with commitment and musicality', 'you watch your conductor and concentrate at all times so that you are always together', and finally, 'Well done - a very fine and organised choir.' We were thrilled with these comments alone. Although this was a great morning concert in itself, it was also a competition. The adjudicator then said that the choir she felt was the best was us! The hall erupted as our pupils were so excited by that news.
We have since had many lovely comments from the audience and from the other schools taking part, congratulating our pupils on their wonderful performance.
We could not be more proud of each and every one of our young singers.
Below is a photograph taken at the moment that Grandma realises that it is the wolf at the door!
Our Year 6 writing group were busy this morning, writing phrases to describe three dull everyday objects - a chair, clock and shelf. They then turned these into three short free-verse poems. I was really impressed by what they produced in just 20 minutes and thought I would share them with you.
Today, I had the privilege of attending the Gamelan workshop with Year 4. This was an opportunity which was fully funded by 'Action Track' and was a rare opportunity to play an Indonesian Gamelan. The children were fantastic, listening really carefully, learning the names of the various groups of instruments and then playing with great respect and care. Nick Brace from Action Track mentioned how impressed he was that Year 4 pupils had played with such concentration. Mrs Fielding, Mrs Norrey, Mrs Taylor and I were all very proud of both their playing and behaviour. Well done Year 4.
To launch our new whole-school quest - Heroes and Villains, we have had great fun dressing up as our heroes. I have been amazed by the huge range of heroes that the children have chosen, we have Doctors, Nurses, Coastguards, Mounted Police, Astronauts, various Grandparents, Teachers, Midwives, Mummies, Daddies, Dancers, Footballers, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Batwoman, our favourite Teddy Bear.........the list goes on! We even have a 'Mrs White' which made my day as you can imagine. Thank you all for helping your children, finding costumes and talking with them about heroes.
The children have visited two different classes this morning, heard about the teacher's heroes and then talked to each other about who they have come dressed as and why. We look forward to our parade at the end of the day today. See below for a slide show of photographs.
On Thursday of this week, our pupils have the opportunity to dress up as a Hero. I have been so interested to hear pupils discuss who they are coming dressed up as. I know that one young lady is coming dressed as a coastguard, another as a nurse and a few as police men. I am sure that we will have some fictional characters as well, I wonder how many of us wanted to be Wonder Woman, Cat Woman or even Hong-Kong Phooey when we were younger? (Perhaps I am showing my age a little too much there!)
There has also been a great deal of discussion in the staff room around this theme. We made the decision as a staff not to dress up this time, we did not want the children to think that we were turning the idea into a joke, but we also realised that it was going to be tough as adults to pin point a hero, particularly challenging to narrow it down to just one.
I spent time reflecting on this over the weekend and decided that my hero was my Grandad. Walter Frank Childs was a real character, completely eccentric and individual but the sort of man who would do absolutely anything for anyone. I remember at the age of around 7, being taken into the back garden and shown how to strip down the engine of a petrol mower - he certainly didn't believe that such things were only for boys. I remember my parents not being quite so thrilled when my brother and I tried out our knowledge on the mower at home! There are many, many stories that I could bore you all with, but I would not want to stop you reading this page!
The reason why he is my inspiration though, was that he always clung fast to his beliefs and ensured that he never wavered from them. He was, I suppose, a 'ronseal' character. He did exactly what he said he would, responded to everyone in the same gentle but determined way and showed compassion to everyone.
I wonder who inspired you?
What an amazing end to the term! I loved seeing all of the work that they children have been doing over this Quest. From a pile of shoes inspired by 'The Elves and the Shoemaker', to group paintings of Egyptian Art; from beautifully detailed pictures of Egyptian Gods to Mayan Headdresses, the children have clearly demonstrated how much this Quest has inspired them to design wonderful things. I love Receptions Paw Patrol house, they have put so much thought into creating it.
All of the classes had the opportunity to come and visit the gallery during the afternoon and we were then overwhelmed by how many parents, grandparents and friends came to see it once school had finished. Huge thanks to the children for all of their work, and huge thanks to the staff for mounting and displaying all of this work at the end of a very busy term.
Forget being the 'third lobster' in the Christmas play, our pupils had the opportunity to be part of the cast of 'Lights, Camel, Action' and become stars in the Strictest of ways!
Our Strictly Come Dancing inspired show was a real hit this week, with pupils pulling off performances that dazzled the parents as well as the judges. The amount of enjoyment that the pupils got from this was evident as they tangoed and pirouetted their way across the stage. Huge thanks to all the staff for their input, to Mrs Turner for her fantastic set design and of course, to Mrs Norrey for pulling the show together beautifully.
With the school term ending so early in December this year, our Nativity Season kicked off in magnificent style - in November! Undeterred by this, the pupils sang their hearts out as they told the traditional story through the eyes of the Census takers. Mrs Norrey, our Maths Lead was very impressed by the amount of counting required throughout the performance. Our Reception pupils were fantastic at dancing, our Year 1 pupils performed the roles such as Shepherds, Census takers, Kings and the Holy Family whilst our Year 2 pupils narrated the story beautifully.
Many thanks to all of the adults who worked together with the pupils to make this such a lovely event. Special thanks must go to Mrs Perks for writing the script and for pulling the whole thing together. Well done to all!
Well, this time last year, I spent the day as Cruella De'ville, trying not to make children cry and generally being nasty. This year - I have been equally horrid as Miss Trunchball, I am concerned about what may await next year!!! To be honest, it is always more fun playing the part of a baddy though! I was a little concerned that many of the parents said that they had guessed I would come as this character - whatever must they think of their headteacher?
We had a great day, check out this week's Blue Beacon for just a few photographs of the amazing costumes and outfits that the children wore today. Thank you to all the parents who worked hard to make these amazing costumes.
I am sure that lots of children came home from school on Tuesday, full of the the fun they had with James Carter. He talked to everyone in assembly, reciting poems, making children laugh and playing a variety of instruments. He then worked with the teachers in KS1, giving them ideas of poetry to write with their classes, and did poetry and editting sessions with Years 4 - 6. We finished the day with a performance in the hall of the poems that we had written. Please scroll down to find some videos and transcripts of the poems. We really hope you enjoy them!
Under gleaming moon
Crunching twigs below wild paws
Red eyes stab cold night
Can you guess which animal Clare is hinting at here?
Of all the hunters I'm the best,
I'm a ...shh... have you guessed?
Rowling Class wrote this Kenning together linked with their Quest which is all about the Egyptians.
Krissha wrote this amazing poem all about the impossible gifts that she would give to her dad.
These are the gifts that I would, if I could, give to you:
A pinch of silver stardust from the corner of space or even a block of bismuth
The purest of peridots or a great taste of summer.
From the end of the rainbow, a blinging pot of gold
Or maybe a dark secret never to be told.
A shining scale from a mermaid or even a large dragon wing bone,
Crimson red feathers that came down from heaven.
The brain of a scientist to make you even more clever.
A touch of immortality or a soothing song of spring,
The happiness of Christmas, the joy of being loved.
A handful of beauty, a pinch of good luck
Wonderful happy spirits, a fluff of sky-high clouds
These are the gifts that I would, if I could, give to you..
Can you guess which animal Sam is hinting at here?
Of all the animals, I'm the best
I'm a .....shh..... have you guessed?
Can you guess which animal Harvey is hinting at?
Of all the animals I'm the best,
I am .....shh.... have you guessed?
Yesterday saw the start of our book week. This year we are all following a poetry focus and will finish the week with a celebration of the life of Roald Dahl by dressing up as characters from his books and poems. To kick things off, our singing club performed two songs from an adaptation of one of Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes - Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf.
As always, the children sang brilliantly and the whole school enjoyed this special treat. You may like to share the poem as a family (if it new to you - it has a super twist at the end!) Watch out on Friday to see another Revolting Rhyme courtesy of the staff!
|LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AND THE WOLF
As soon as Wolf began to feel
That he would like a decent meal,
He went and knocked on Grandma's door.
When Grandma opened it, she saw
The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
And Wolfie said, 'May I come in?'
Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
'He's going to eat me up!' she cried.
And she was absolutely right.
He ate her up in one big bite.
But Grandmamma was small and tough,
And Wolfie wailed, 'That's not enough!
'I haven't yet begun to feel
'That I have had a decent meal!'
He ran around the kitchen yelping,
'I've got to have another helping!'
Then added with a frightful leer,
'I'm therefore going to wait right here
'Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood
'Comes home from walking in the wood.'
He quickly put on Grandma's clothes,
(Of course he hadn't eaten those.)
He dressed himself in coat and hat.
He put on shoes and after that
He even brushed and curled his hair,
Then sat himself in Grandma's chair.
In came the little girl in red.
She stopped. She stared. And then she said,
'What great big ears you have, Grandma.'
'All the better to hear you with,' the Wolf replied.
'What great big eyes you have, Grandma,' said Little Red Riding Hood.
'All the better to see you with,' the Wolf replied.
He sat there watching her and smiled.
He thought, I'm going to eat this child.
Compared with her old Grandmamma
She's going to taste like caviare.
Then Little Red Riding Hood said,
'But Grandma, what a lovely great big furry coat you have on.'
'That's wrong!' cried Wolf. 'Have you forgot
'To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got?
'Ah well, no matter what you say,
'I'm going to eat you anyway.
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature's head
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change! No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, 'Hello, and do please note
'My lovely furry WOLFSKIN COAT.'
Over the past week, pupils in Morpurgo and Horowitz classes have been making flour tortillas in the style of the Ancient Maya Civilisation. The smell has wafted from the square all around the building making us all feel extremely hungry. They have then eaten their creation with a tangy tomato salsa and guacamole sauce. I had the privilege today of being brought my own tortilla complete with dips. It was delicious! For those of you who would like to try this at home the recipe is as follows!
1tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
300ml warm water
3tbsp olive oil
Yesterday we spent the day building shelters and dens as part of our new whole-school quest - 'Grand Designs'. The children designed these first in class and then gathered all sorts of bits and pieces together from home in order to build their shelters. The whole school arrived on the field and it soon looked like a festival site as colourful shelters appeared across it. When it came to lunch time, I didn't feel it was right to leave all of the fun and so our lovely lunchtime staff pulled out all of the stops to enable us to eat lunch in our shelters. I know that the children learned a great deal about structures, about working together as a team and had a huge amount of fun along the way. I hope it was a day that they will remember. Here are a few of the photographs taken on the day. Have a look at our photo frame in the office area to see more. This week's Blue Beacon challenge will be to create another Grand Design of your own. Another den perhaps, or something entirely different that you can construct! Bring or send in a photograph to achieve your bonus house points.
Today I have had the great pleasure of spending a day teaching in Brazil class. We have been exploring the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We began by telling the story using a group of bears and then wrote a description of one of the characters. Then we got out the KAPLA blocks and created different sized chairs, beds and porridge bowls for the bears. There are some photographs showing you our fantastic creations. We also spent some time learning the Three Bears Rap - if you have a child in Brazil class, you might like to ask them if they can remember any of it for you!
What a fantastic day we have had today and what wonderful weather!
We split into two separate groups for the day. One half headed down to the beach to look in the rock pools for crabs, anemones and other creatures. They found out about the history of smuggling and ate ice creams in the Chantry.
The other half headed up to an abandoned quarry to take part in a real-life simulation. The children were given roles and told that there had been a plane crash with 10 live casualties. There were a team of paramedics and a team of accident investigators who needed to deal with the casualties and find out what had happened. I was so impressed by how well all of the children entered into this, stayed in role and sustained it for a substantial period of time. They have asked to complete another similar piece of drama back at school so we need to get thinking of something else to surprise them!
It’s hard to believe that this time tomorrow we will all be home – in fact – many of them may already be asleep by this time! We have had a fantastic week. They have all been willing to challenge themselves, to try new things, to survive without Mum or Dads, and to join in with everything that they were presented with. Members of the public and the instructors here at Kilve have complimented us on their beautiful manners and good listening.
We have all been so proud of all of our young people.
You know that song 'The Bear Went Over the Mountain'? Well, we could write our own version - it goes a little like this.....
Year 6 went over the Quantocks,
Year 6 went over the Quatocks,
Year 6 went over the Quaanntoooocks,
To see what they could see.
And all that they could see,
And all that they could see,
Was the other side of the Quantocks,
The other side of the Quantocks,
The other side of the Quaanntoooocks,
Was all that they could see!
They were fantastic though - and loved the chance to build a dam across the river at Holford. Look below to see photographs of their efforts and of the beautiful baby Jay that kindly sat on a branch to be admired.
We started the morning by celebrating Eliza's birthday - thanks for the lovely cakes!
Today has been a day of challenges. We have spent the day at the centre and have all challenged ourselves to go that bit higher, that bit faster, that bit harder than we have gone before.
Look below at the huge array of photographs detailing the fun that was had on the High Ropes – climbing Jacob’s Ladder as a team; some of us overcame real fear and pushed ourselves to the limit to get just one beam higher. All of the instructors were impressed by determined our children were to achieve.
Also today, the children have learnt how to safely load, aim and shoot a rifle and became a true ‘Robin Hood’ with an archery bow.
Finally, all of our children have learnt to abseil down a tower, initially from a low door and then from one which was dizzyingly high.
We have had a fantastic day and now – stocked up on a delicious meal – we are off to complete the evening with team games.
Tomorrow – we walk!!
What a super way to start our time away! We arrived at the Outdoor Centre, put on coats and boots and set off for a walk across beautiful fields, through the village of East Quantoxhead - pausing for lunch beside the beautiful church - and onto the long stretch of Kilve Beach. Once there, the children loved searching for fossils and scrambling over the shelves of rocks. We found an amazing number of fossils - some tiny and some huge! Please see below for some photographs of their finds.
Once we returned to the centre, we were greeted by Dave - the centre manager - and then the children got to see inside their cabins. They are all in groups of 2, 3 or 4 and everyone was happy with their cabin mates. They are currently having some well-deserved free time before coming into the hall for their evening meal. Once they have been fed and watered we will set out for our evening activities. Tonight these are grass sledging and the maze.
We have been really pleased with our first day - and though it has rained a little - this certainly has not dampened their spirits. Hopefully, the long walk has tired them out enough to let them sleep - at least a little tonight!
Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of attending a community concert at The Castle School. It was so lovely to see pupils from Castle, Bishop Henderson, Trull, Parkfield and of course... Bishop's Hull - clearly all loving being part of a big musical event. It shows that despite all of the pressures of the new curriculum, our local schools are holding firm to their beliefs that all pupils should have a broad and balanced curriculum which encompasses the arts and values them highly.
Our pupils were a credit to our school - both in the way they performed and in the way that they conducted themselves throughout the evening. I am looking forward to the next one!
Along with every school in the country, our Year 2 and Year 6 pupils are busy preparing for the hardest tests seen in primary schools yet. Our Year 6 pupils are about to be tested on a four year curriculum which they have only been learning for two years, and our Year 2 pupils are being tested on ideas and knowledge previously reserved for Year 3 and Year 4 pupils. In fact, as many of you will have read in the press, some of the requirements of the Year 6 grammar test are above those required of GCSE pupils and have stumped PHD graduates.
That said, the children are giving their all both at school and at home, working hard to learn new concepts and apply them; there is a real sense of dedication and purpose in the classrooms.
The important message for children though is this - there is far more to you than these tests can ever show! They are a tiny snapshot of a very narrow range of skills and do not define the person you are or will be! We know far more about your sense of humour, your compassion for others, your enjoyment of being outside and the random facts that you have at your fingertips! We value your musical ability, your love for sport and for painting. None of these are affected by your knowledge of fronted adverbials or continuous progressive forms of verbs!
I hope that whatever the test results show - we know how highly we value our pupils and know that they are not defined by these results - neither do they define the value or success of our school as a whole.
Just give them a go and do your best.
On Wednesday morning this week, I had the privilege of taking another local headteacher on a tour of the school. As a new headteacher, I have been assigned a mentor - another head in their first three years of teaching - to be a listening ear and a source of advice. I was assigned Gareth Jones, the headteacher from St John's school in Wellington.
We went on a learning walk, dropping into every classroom, talking to children, looking at books and seeing the environment that the children have around them.
What was noticeable in every classroom, and wonderful to see, was the warmth with which the children welcomed us into the classroom and wanted to talk with us about their learning. They were evidently excited by what they were doing and wanted to share that with us. We saw a huge range of experiences during that short time, from writing biographies of family members in Year 6 to a prime number maze in Year 5; from categorising the sizes of angles in Year 4 to finding one more and one less in Reception.
The classrooms were exciting, vibrant places to be and learning was evident everywhere. I was very proud of our school, our pupils and our staff.
As you will have seen in the Blue Beacon last week, we have applied to Tesco for a grant to adapt the use of the Copse slightly so that we can provide Forest School opportunities for our pupils. The final bid has been submitted and we await a response.
Thank you to all the folk who have popped in to say that they would be happy to help with construction if we were to be successful - it is lovely to see the high level of practical support that the community is happy to offer!
I will let you know once we have had a response!
Welcome back everyone to the start of the Spring Term. This morning was great - seeing the new haircuts - the new shoes (lots of shiny ones) and to be handed lots of photographs from our recent Blue Beacon Challenge - Extreme Reading. We have had all sorts of different photographs - reading at the hairdressers, under a brolly beside a waterfall, reading to sheep - even reading to Santa's Reindeer. It was great to see people getting involved and also to see the huge number of pupils who have read over the Christmas break - look out for Friday's Blue Beacon to see the percentage of children who read.
Here's hoping that the weather improves a little and that January is not as much of a washout as December was!
I have had a great afternoon exploring music and the affect it can have on your feelings with Greece Class. We listened to different styles of music on the piano and discussed how each piece made us feel, then we did the same with the flute and bass guitar.
Then we explored the world of silent films and discussed how the music used helped us to understand the feelings of the characters when there was no dialogue to help us. I really enjoyed seeing their amusement at the likes of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin and their particular brand of slapstick humour.
For those who wanted to find out more - here are links to the You Tube clips that we watched. Please remember: ask permission before watching You Tube!
Yesterday was another first for me. It was the day that the school brought in Christmas Decorations for the tree. What an amazing range of decorations came in - from simple and elegant trees to tiny mobiles, from massive glittery stars to little lolipop stick Santas. They were all amazing and you could see the effort and time that had been put into each of these beautiful creations.
What is even better though is the fact that every one of these appears on the Christmas tree. We spent a very happy hour last night flinging tinsel at the tree (yes - literally) and then carefully hanging each of the children's creations on the tree. It looks very wonderful and perfect for in a school. Well done to all involved.
I met with the school forum officially for the first time today. Emily Payne did a very good job as Chair at keeping us all in order. We discussed many different issues, from agreed charters for the use of playground spaces - to larger mats for the classrooms.
One class raised the issue of Bullying - particularly as we have been discussing Anti-Bullying Week in school this week. The Forum members felt that we should look at ways of helping anyone displaying bullying behaviour to realise the effect that they have on other people - rather than just punishing them. I thought that this was a really mature attitude to this very tricky subject. We have agreed that we will look at this further at our next meeting and draw up a policy for how we want to approach this type of behaviour from now on.
Well done to all of the forum - I look forward to our next meeting.
It was lovely to spend time in Canada class today teaching them Maths whilst Mrs Fielding was in a meeting. I was really impressed with how well the children understood division and with the great way they settled to their work. I enjoyed the chance to sing some songs with them as well - if your child is in Canada class - ask for a rendition of 'The Old Austrian' or 'The Lady and the Crocodile' - neither of them are terrible sensible I'm afraid but they're great fun.
Thank you Canada for a really enjoyable morning.
Our sharing assembly today saw the very first Golden Leaves handed out. Each teacher has carefully selected a pupil who they feel has worked really well throughout the week,or who has persisted with a particular challenge, or has behaved exceptionally well. This child has had their name written both on a Golden Leaf to go on the tree, and also in the golden book with an explanation of why they were there.
It was lovely to see the excitement of the children as they received their leaf and to hear the wonderful things that they have been working on this week.
Look out in the Blue Beacon for a photograph of our first winners!