Congratulations to our Year 6 debaters who spoke fluently and persuasively on Friday (top marks from Mrs Byrnes!). The motion ‘This House would ban scientific testing on animals’ was defeated by the slimmest of margins with 50 votes to 49 – a surprise result and largely based on the strength of the counter-arguments put forward by opposers Daisy, Rosie and Scarlet. Very well done to both teams and to chair, Henry, and timekeepers, Chloe and Arata.
We are delighted to share the news that Year 8 pupil, Harry, has been awarded a Sport Scholarship to Radley College; this is in addition to the Thompson All-Rounder Award which we reported on earlier in the year. A fantastic achievement Harry and thoroughly deserved! .
To support Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme of ‘nature’, pupils across the school have been taking part in land art projects with Mrs Palmer. Seeking inspiration from the natural world, they have created some fantastic pieces of work and have also enjoyed discussions with our trained Mental Health Team, Mrs Manley and Mrs Tarrant, about our emotions and how they can be represented by the colours around us. A fantastic week which has encouraged us all to think about our emotions and the positive effects of nature on our mental health.
Last Thursday Years 7 and 8 listened to an inspirational lecture on the work of Key4Life, a charity which aims to reduce youth reoffending for prisoners and those at risk of going to prison. The charity’s founder and CEO, Eva Hamilton MBE, and former prisoner turned mentor, Renardo, spoke passionately about the charity’s rehabilitation programme and the importance of giving young men a second chance. Joining Eva and Renardo was Rick Wates OBE of the William Wates Memorial Trust, who has been instrumental in funding Key4Life’s ground breaking work. It was an extremely enlightening and worthwhile lecture for our senior pupils.
Our Nursery and Reception children welcomed a very special visitor last week – none other than the Nick (aka the Bugman) from the brilliant Bugfest. Armed with his troupe of many-legged friends, Nick showed off his selection of minibeasts, including giant centipedes, scorpions and tarantulas, and talked to the children about their characteristics and natural habitats. The visit consolidated the children’s learning about minibeasts as part of the EYFS curriculum and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Thanks for another entertaining and educational morning, Nick.
We finally broke our duck in style on Wednesday afternoon with the long-awaited return of competitive sports matches against other schools. Many thanks to Hazlegrove for a great afternoon of cricket – big smiles all round!
Our Pre-Prep tennis players have been in fine fettle this week. Under the watchful eye of coaches, Richard Douglas and Jan Vincent, the children have been practising their volleying at the net. Great work Years 1 and 2; keep it up!
Year 7 have been encouraged to unleash their inner architect in ICT with Mr Andrews, using Sketchup to design their dream house. Last week, their designs were sent off for judging and we are delighted to reveal the winners. In 3rd place is Rosie for her farmhouse style with paddock; in 2nd place is Magnus for a well thought out design and clear labelling of spaces; and in 1st place and being crowned the winner is Barnaby, who impressed with his contemporary design and great use of materials. Very well done to you all and we look forward to seeing what you achieve in the future!
4H had great fun making water filters in science yesterday, as part of their work on separating techniques. Meanwhile, Year 5 are investigating the reaction between acids and alkalis (in this case, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda). They learnt first-hand how it can produce enough carbon dioxide gas to pressurise a film canister and launch it 30ft into the air! A great few days of practicals with Mrs Layfield.
It was all about minibeasts in EYFS last week! On Wednesday, the Reception children went on a minibeast hunt around the school and found tadpoles, bees, ants, flies and woodlice, before returning to the classroom to write about their adventure. Meanwhile, in Nursery the children read Eric Carle’s ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and made their own caterpillars using recycled egg boxes. Many thanks to our wonderful Pre-Prep staff for a great start to the term.