- The children in Year 1 have been learning about egg laying creatures. At the beginning of term Mr Heath brought three fertilised hens eggs to 1MT's classroom and installed them in an incubator. All the children have waited patiently for 21 days and on Tuesday morning were excited to see a hole in the shell of one of the eggs! During the day, under close observation by the children, one of the chicks hatched. It was quickly followed by a second chick. We watched the third egg rocking around and knew that we wouldn't have too long to wait. On Wednesday the final chick hatched! We have had a wonderful time looking at them and even stroked them. We are learning how to take care of them as they get a little bit bigger.
Each chick has been named by one class; welcome to SPS Brownie (1MT), White Wing (1M) and Minie (1H).
- Amongst the excitement of the chicks hatching the children also experienced a fabulous RE day run by Simon Shutt from FACT. The day was asking the children to think about the question "Where Do I Belong?" During the day they explored their own unique family units, discussed their individual role within the class and year group and engaged in conversation about Christians belonging to God's family. There were a lot of hands on activities to complete and fun parachute games which helped us see what can be achieved when we work as a team - belonging together. We learned a lovely song and had a wonderful time with Simon.
- Sunflowers children are enjoying playtime with the Reception children and getting ready for the next step in September. This gives us an opportunity to support the children as they learn the playtime routines.
- On Thursday morning we were treated to a visit from Mrs Alison Walker (a Sunflowers parent) who came to introduce the children to the cello. She performed Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter which the children recognised straight away and The Swan by Saint-Saens which the Year 3 children knew as they had been learning about it earlier in the year. She also played a Tarantella - a dance about keeping the poison away from Tarantula Bites! Alison then ‘strummed’ the cello like a guitar and sang Greensleeves.
It was so interesting to hear the different ways that the cello could be played and absolutely wonderful to hear it played so beautifully.
We are thrilled to announce that cello lessons will be available from September to children in Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Please see attached flyer for more details.
Many thanks to Mrs Walker for coming into Assembly and performing for us.
- In Assembly on Wednesday we celebrated Founders’ Day and the children heard some stories about Mr & Mrs Burges related by Miss Pullar and Mrs Roberts, including one about Mrs Burges losing her wedding ring when boating on the river. When you next look at the stained glass window on the stairs in No.3 House, see if you can spot the ring!
During the Assembly, Chairman of Governors, Mike Bannister, appropriately announced the name of our new building as The Founders Building. The name was selected from many submissions and we thank all of you who contributed suggestions. Although we are very much looking to the future and how we can use the new facilities to enhance the children’s experiences, it was also considered important to remember our roots and heritage.
- N2 children enjoyed an activity packed day on Wednesday with Simon Shutt of FACT starting with the hypothesis ‘What makes us go wow!’. The children explored various wonders of natures, reproducing them in their own way using bubbles and powder paint to create cloud pictures and looking closely, and painting, snails, ladybirds and spiders. Simon brought along a familiar friend, Cheeky Charlie, to reinforce the message of Wow!
N1 children are settling into the new term - our new starters are coming in confidently and beginning to understand and follow the Nursery routines. The outside area is very popular, as is water play!
- The children in Reception spent a fabulous day at Alice Holt Forest. Our walk in the woods incorporated lots of different activities, including a mini beast hunt, listening to the sounds in the forest, collecting coloured objects and searching for woolly worms!
Through these activities we learnt about the need for camouflage, the features of a forest and how to look for the creatures that live there.
Our Forest Rangers commented on how much they had enjoyed working with our children, saying how they were all receptive and eager to learn! Before we climbed back on the coach we used up our final bursts of energy in the playground where one parent made the point of telling us what well behaved and polite children we had in our care. Well done, Reception Year for outstanding behaviour and showing a real eagerness to learn!
- It was 'back to school' on Wednesday evening for a particularly enthusiastic group of Year 4 parents who attended the workshop on Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. The 'class' were a little apprehensive as they arrived to see the desks laid out in ‘exam style’. Nevertheless, everyone worked hard as they answered some questions under 'exam conditions' to help them empathise with what the experience will be like for their children when they sit the secondary schools' tests. Parents were also given tips about how to solve some types of questions used in 11+ examinations.
We hope those who attended found the evening useful and feel better placed to help their children. The handouts from the evening have been sent to parents who were unable to attend via pupil post.
If you have any queries regarding Verbal Reasoning or Non-Verbal Reasoning, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Roberts or Mr Amiss.
- Year 3 set off in high spirits on Tuesday in the beautiful sunshine for our trip to Kew Gardens. After an exciting train journey we arrived in the gardens to find that spring had sprung! The children were very excited to point out the blossom on the trees, the flowering daffodils and other signs that spring was finally here. In the Palm house we noticed the change in temperature with the tropical climate helping the plants to grow. We spotted the banana and papaya fruits growing high up and were able to have an aerial view of the amazing palms from the balcony.
After a picnic outside in the grounds we embarked on a senses walk through the secluded garden, listening to the wind blowing through the reeds and smelling the beautiful flowering blossoms. Finally a walk through the different climatic zones of the Princess of Wales Conservatory enabled us to see the wonderful flowering orchids and impressive cacti on display. The children were a credit to our school with their behaviour and a big thank you to all the staff involved on a fantastic trip!
- Congratulations to the 14 Year 5 pupils who made such a good impression on our European neighbours in the French twin town of Spelthorne, Melun, this week. We visited two schools and spent three days, the pupils divided into two groups, in each. Mrs Sabine Kerr, mother of Thomas in 5E, School Governor Bob Davies and his wife Cathy accompanied the pupils and Miss Eastaugh. The pupils mixed in extremely well, practising their French every day and they made lots of friends! We enjoyed fine weather for most of the week, especially for our day in Paris. The theme of the project for this year was cartoons, and we will show the parents our presentation 'Cartoon Characters Have Talent' on an evening to be held later in the year, along with the diaries we made of our trip and project. Well done everyone.
- We are pleased to let you know that following the consultation last term the Designated Area for admissions to Tiffin Girls’ School has been extended to include TW15, TW17 and TW18 post codes. This, we feel sure, is in no small part due to the submissions made by SPS parents and the Headmaster.
It is always heartening to know that people’s views are really taken into consideration when there is a consultation!
- It has been a particularly exciting start to the term, particularly for Year 3 children (and staff), but also other pupils, as we begin to occupy our wonderful new building and make use of the facilities for Music, Science and Art, Design and Technology.
As ever, it has been great to see the children happily returning to their work and we are all looking forward to the busy term ahead.
- It was an exciting morning in the School as the children had an opportunity to look around the new building. Whilst there is still some work to be done before completion, we were able to see the classroom spaces and the wonderful new Hall. During the holidays the classrooms will be fitted out and, hopefully, be ready for occupation at the beginning of the Summer Term. The tiered seating will also be installed.
The children were wide eyed at the new facilities with each choosing their own favourite part. One Year 6 pupil was even heard to say, ‘It was worth all of the money!’
We were also joined by the Chairman, his wife Cllr Chris Bannister and Cllr Sam Budd who, as Mayor, cut the turf to commence the building work this time last year. They too were amazed by the new facilities and considered how they could be used for the local community out of school hours.
We feel that parents will be equally impressed and we will be sending invitations to visit early in the Summer Term when all of the work has been completed and the building is fully functional.
- It has been another very good year in terms of the secondary school entrance results, especially bearing in mind the fierce competition for places at Grammar Schools and selective Independent Schools.
As indicated in the Chairman’s letter, ten pupils (26% of the year group) have been offered Grammar School places. In addition, seven girls were offered places at Sir William Perkins’s School, five boys at Hampton School (one academic/music scholarship), seven boys at Halliford School, eight boys at St James Senior Boys’ School, six places at The Licensed Victuallers’ School (one academic scholarship), four girls at The Marist School and the two boys that sat for Reed’s School were both offered academic scholarships. Further places have been offered at a number of other independent secondary schools.
- The SPS Tournaments which form part of the UK Chess Challenge have been played throughout the term with each competitor playing seven matches.
There were again so many entrants that the tournament was split into two sections; Senior for Years 5 & 6 and Intermediate for Years 3 & 4. Special thanks go to the older children who assisted in the Intermediate Competition as Arbiters.
The Intermediate Competition was won for the second year running by Arjan T (4J) who again remained undefeated and scored a splendid 20 points. Runner-up was Eleanor S (4H) with 19 points and third with 18 points was Matthew T (4H).
The Senior Competition was a particularly exciting affair with everything going to the final round of matches. Ellen McG (6E) and Stephon U (6E) finished joint first with 19 points with Gurman S (5E) just one point behind in third with 18 points.
There was considerable competition for minor places in both sections with nineteen children recording three or more victories in the Intermediate Tournament and fifteen in the Senior Tournament.
All competitors scoring 17 points or more have achieved automatic qualification to the Middlesex Megafinals to be held in May. In addition to these pupils, the highest placed girls in their year groups have also qualified.
Congratulations to the following pupils who have qualified for the Megafinal stage of the UK Chess Challenge. The Middlesex (South) Megafinal XIII will take place at Isleworth & Syon School, Ridgeway Road, Isleworth, TW7 5LJ on Saturday 25th May.
Years 5 & 6
1st = 19 points - Ellen McG (6E) & Stephon U (6E)
3rd 18 points - Gurman S (5E)
4th 17 points - Avi T (6E)
Top Year 5 girl - Sahar K (5E).
Years 3 & 4
1st 20 points - Arjan T (4J)
2nd 19 points - Eleanor S (4H)
3rd 18 points - Matthew T (4H)
4th = 17 points - Michael P (4H), Farhaan S (3M) & Siddant S (3P)
Top Year 3 girl - Megan H (3P).
It was good to see the enthusiasm from the fifty boys and girls who took part in this seven round tournament and we wish the qualifiers every success at the Megafinal stage.
There will be another opportunity for those who missed out on qualification if they play in a "Last Chance Saloon". There will be one at Hinchley Wood School, Surrey on Saturday 13th April: details can be found at email@example.com.
- We thoroughly enjoyed hosting the Discos and the Lower School Easter event last weekend and hope that all the children had a good time.
On Friday evening the two Discos for Years 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6 were great successes with the children taking part enthusiastically and really showing off their dancing skills. At the end of each Disco a number of children looked exhausted, showing the effort they had put in during the previous hour-and-a-half.
On Saturday, at the Lower School Easter Event, the entertainer Magic Mel put on a great show and even brought her own Easter Bunny, Billy, with her. Everyone came prepared for the cold weather and the snow did not stop the children having a good time taking part in the Easter Egg Hunt!
Each child gets an Easter egg, but there are three eggs gold, silver and bronze which are placed hidden in extra hard to find places.
The winners of the Easter Egg Hunt were:
Gold - Brandon U (2E)
Silver - Ronit R (1H)
Bronze - Mahir G (1H)
Congratulations to all three children on winning these extra hard to find eggs!
The Friends would like to say thank you to all the teachers and parents who helped out at these events.
The Friends have also donated Easter Eggs to all the children in Nursery. We hope you enjoy them!
- Monday started off for the Upper School with a review of the discoveries made using the wildlife cameras in the environmental area which were focussed on the log piles set up for our project with Royal Holloway. A great variety of bird life and mammals have been captured on film both day and night. Later on, Year 6 pupils went into the classrooms of Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 to carry out exciting demonstrations which entertained and educated all who watched and took part. Well done to all of Year 6 who presented their experiments so enthusiastically and enjoyably.
Wednesday saw the Year 5 Electricity and Magnetism projects on show, firstly to pupils in the Lower School and later on to parents. It was a delight to see how well informed the constructors were about their projects and how willingly they shared their knowledge with all who came to visit the exhibition. Well done Year 5, you did a great job! Many thanks for all the help given by their parents to ensure that the projects all did what they were supposed to do.
As we go to press Year 3 are in the Hall testing out their gliders to see which designs give the best flight. Watch this space for the outcome!
Pupils in the Upper School have also been taking part in the Science and Engineering Week Quiz. One lucky person drawn out of a hat full of the top scores in each Year Group will be winning a prize once all the entries have been marked.
The colourful chemistry talk by Miss Wood from Halliford School will take place in the Whole School Assembly on Tuesday 26th March.
- Our Spring Festival celebration this year was very well attended by the grandparents of children in Reception to Year 2. The children sang and performed beautifully and our guests thoroughly enjoyed their morning with us. It was wonderful that the Staines Prep Singers sang two songs that they have learnt in their lunchtime club with Miss McLean and Mrs Walker. Our visitors left us after refreshments and a hot cross bun. They were given a card made by the children and some daffodils as a gift from us all.
- Thank you to all those who came to the Book Sale on Wednesday. The Hall was buzzing and we are very pleased to report that due to your generous support the School will receive £652 worth of books to be used in the Library for all our pupils to enjoy. Special thanks to Mrs Ollason and Mrs Spicer for organising the event.
- Congratulations to Mrs Natasha Tait, Registrar who received a surprise bouquet on Monday morning this week! The trainers from RSA Admissions, who work with Independent Schools, had called ‘secretly’ and taped Mrs Tait’s telephone manner as an example of how a good customer friendly call should be handled. Mrs Tait had previously attended an AMDIS (Association for Marketing and Development in Independent Schools) course run by RSA Admissions when she was asked if she would mind being a ‘victim’ of their mystery shop. The call was handled exactly as was expected and the flowers were just to say ‘thank you’ from AMDIS.
- Last week, Year 6 were treated to a week’s programme of Business Studies, led by Sixth Form students from Lampton Road School. In groups, the children had to design and market a new product with a London theme for Subway. The presentations, which included edible elements, were excellent. The week’s project highlighted a wide variety of literacy and numeracy skills as well as highly valuable experience of group work. Our thanks go Mrs Gill and her students of Lampton Road School for organising a very successful week.
- Year 5 have been performing their work on cyclic patterns in their Music lessons and it was lovely that Jesal S (5C) and Shaan S (5C) dressed for the occasion!
- On Friday Year 2 visited Legoland where we visited Mini land with models of buildings from around the world. During the Tall Towers workshop we learnt about what makes a strong structure before we took on the challenge of designing and building our own towers to test on the Tremor Tables. Will it “stay strong” or will we all cry “timber?”
Our Science topic this half term has been forces and we certainly put our learning to good use on the space tower ride pulling ourselves to the top and on the fire truck ride as we pushed and pulled a lever to power our truck and pump the water. In spite of the weather, we still had a great but very tiring time.
- The Year 5 visit to Christ’s Hospital School was indeed an experience to remember. The magnificent back drop of the buildings and uniformed pupils of this world famous school really complimented the various activities and falconry display. Also, it is not every day that you are entertained by a string ensemble in the school chapel, having just taken part in a massed march accompanied by one of the country’s leading 80 piece march band!
- On Tuesday 12th March the Reception children enjoyed a day with Simon Shutt from FACT. The theme of the day was ‘What makes our world wonderful’. The children heard the story of the Creation, completed craft activities and sang songs. The final part of the day they were able to reflect on how we look after our world.
What a busy week we have had! On Thursday we went out for a Spring Walk. We were looking for signs of Spring. There was great excitement when we found frogspawn in the pond, we saw some pussy willow, birds, squirrels and some daffodils. The bird feeders that we put out earlier in the year have all been eaten!
- Year 3 set off on the adventure to Kingswood on Tuesday in high spirits despite the snow and wintery conditions! On arrival the children had their first challenge of making the bed - some were more successful than others but all showed great enthusiasm and team spirit in helping each other through! The rest of the trip continued with the same level of encouragement and togetherness with all the children cheering and supporting one another in the various team activities which included throwing themselves off a Zip Wire, scoring goals in Aeroball and hitting the target in Archery! We were all very proud of the children's level of maturity and exemplary behaviour on which, for many, was their first night away from home.
Many thanks to all the staff involved and to all the parents for your support in creating such a memorable trip for the children.
- The pupils in Year 4 showed their stamina and positive attitude to challenges when they tackled not only the tasks set for them but also the Arctic weather conditions down in Kent. Their team skills paid dividends with many successful instances of problem solving outside with Team Challenge and indoors with Team Tech. Vehicles and shoe racks were assembled from large Meccano pieces and whole groups were able to avoid falling into the boiling larva or the crocodile infested waters as they shuffled their way along balancing posts and tyre islands. Valliant attempts to climb Jacob's ladder were rewarded with aerial views of the site. Teams of intrepid orienteers made their way around the grounds gathering clues to build the words which would give the key to their map reading challenge. Adrenaline flowed freely as the effects of the 3G Swing were felt.
The teachers were all delighted by the way all of the children attempted the activities and set themselves targets to improve their experience and skills. They were also delighted by the many compliments paid to the pupils for their good behaviour and perseverance from the activity leaders and teachers from other schools. It was an action packed three days, we came back tired from the experience but invigorated by the accomplishment of so much, as well as the warm camaraderie of fellow pupils and new found friends.
- This was our first venture to the Kingswood Centre on the ‘sunny’ Isle of Wight. However, there were some signs of things to come as we drove through snow showers on the way to Southampton. We decided to remain indoors on the ferry crossing and admire the snow covered seats outside. Upon arrival at the Kingswood Centre, we quickly unloaded and headed for the beach to play some games. It was cold - very cold! So we decided to get out of the blizzard conditions and head back to the Centre for an indoor activity in order to get warm. After a hearty dinner we embarked on The Trail of Mystery, where staff played the parts of suspects in a crime and the children played the detectives.
Tuesday morning was again very cold and the children must be commended on how they kept going despite the icy wind. In the afternoon things brightened up and we saw some lovely sunshine. During the day, the pupils took part in a wide range of activities including the Balance Beam, Caving, Climbing, Abseiling, Archery, Radio Play, Orienteering, Jacob’s Ladder, The Leap of Faith and Orienteering. In the evening, we relaxed in front of Finding Nemo before heading off for a well earned sleep.
On the final morning the groups completed the activities they had not done on the first two days, before a dash back to the coach which arrived at the Cowes ferry terminal in the nick of time.
- Our fantastic new development is nearing completion and we need your help to come up with a name!
The new building will link the existing Jubilee Wing, named in celebration of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and the Burges Wing, named after the School’s Founders, Mr C T and Mrs Betty Burges, and will offer a wider range of facilities where pupils can do new sports and activities, learn new skills and have fun.
If you have the perfect name, then please, simply click on the attached link; or drop your suggestion into the Friends’ mailbox at the School Reception by 12.00 noon on Wednesday 13th March 2013. Please remember to include your child’s name and class.
- The Inter-House Poetry recital competition took place on Wednesday. As usual, the standard was extremely high, which made judging very challenging. The winners were Rasnaam G (Year 3), Tia M (Year 4), Remy M (Year 5) and Hazelle M-I (Year 6).
Our thanks go to Mrs Sice, Mrs Robinson (both Governors) and Mr Roberts for judging.
Blessed by the now famous Fishbourne weather, the Year 4 pupils had a very enjoyable visit to the Roman Palace at Fishbourne. Apart from the magnificent mosaics and hypocausts on view, the pupils also participated in some fascinating workshops about Roman everyday life. There was also the bonus of some delicious Roman delicacies on offer in the museum to cap off a great day out.
- On Thursday 14 February, a special time capsule was buried at Staines Prep to mark the imminent completion of the school’s visionary and exciting new £3m building project.
The capsule was packed with a variety of artefacts gathered by the children who represent the school at the present time. Some of the chosen items included photos, a school badge, blazer and tie, and school literature. A keyboard and mouse, stamps, newspapers and a calculator were among the other items.
The capsule has taken residency outside the entrance to the new building, which houses the awe-inspiring, multi-functioning hall and state-of-the-art classrooms. It will be interned for 50 years until 2063. A specially designed bronze plaque marks the site.
The event was attended by pupils, staff and distinguished guests. The morning began with a poignant address given by the Headmaster Peter Roberts and closed with a tour of the new building.
Mr Roberts said: “The school is surrounded by fabulous new developments and exciting plans for the future but we also wanted to recognise the value and importance of its present and past for the coming generations to appreciate. “
The new building development is due to be completed next term. The project is intended to work in synergy with the school’s ethos and long-term strategy to enhance its curriculum and provide the widest range of opportunities for its pupils.
- On Tuesday 12th February Ms Yang came to talk to the Reception children about Chinese New Year. The children were fascinated by the slide show - we learnt that it is a 15 day celebration. Chinese people travel home to share special food and fireworks with loved ones. The children are given Lucky Money Envelopes and for good luck they should sleep with the envelope under their pillow! To finish, Ms Yang taught us to sing Happy New Year in Chinese. Kung Hei Fat Choy!
- Thank you to everybody who attended the Family Bingo night on Saturday, it was a fun and enjoyable evening raising an amazing £427. This was the most successful bingo night that the Friends have run. We look forward to hosting another family night very soon.
- Our Science investigations into gravity were fun and noisy! We tried to make a marble travel up the tower we built and found that we couldn't. We then experimented dropping a range of objects and discovered that they all fall to the ground. When we looked more closely, we realised they fell at different speeds and we thought this was interesting. We enjoyed watching a video of astronauts floating in space!
- In the Whole School Assembly on Tuesday the children learned more about the Time Capsule that will be buried under part of the new building on Thursday 14th February. A child from each class placed an item in the Time Capsule to reflect SPS life in the School Year 2012/13 as well as some items to reflect society as a whole.
- On Friday 25th January the Year 1 children went on an exploratory visit of the local area as part of their Geography topic "Our Local Area". We wrapped up warmly and set off from the school. We saw lots of buildings we recognised, and some we didn't. We looked at the similarities and differences between the buildings and talked about who would work in each place. We spotted the new building from the site entrance by the Council Offices and were very excited to see how nearly finished it looks!
We enjoyed ourselves but were very tired and hungry after our forty-minute walk and were glad to be back to school in time for snack and playtime!!
- A very excited Year 3 set off on Wednesday 16th January for a visit to The British Museum. The beautiful ceiling covering The Great Hall was the first captivating sight we saw, with the children were amazed at how much light it allowed into the museum. The Egyptian Galleries enabled us to see the incredible Tomb paintings of the scribe Nebamun, whom we had been learning about in class. The children were also fascinated by the different styles of mummy sarcophagus and the mummified 'Ginger' still buried in the sand. The sculptures gallery provided an opportunity to witness the sheer size and scale of the Egyptians’ building capabilities, with Rameses II dominating the vast space. Overall this amazing experience has provided the children with renewed enthusiasm and knowledge of this incredible topic. We would like to praise the children for their fantastic behaviour in representing the school and thank all the staff and parents involved.
- Last Tuesday 15th January the Choir took part in the Young Voices Concert at the O2 Arena. It was very exciting to sing with live musicians and such a large choir. One of the highlights was singing the song Sing by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber with the Africa Children’s Choir that had performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert.
It was a very long day for the children but they kept up their enthusiasm throughout and enjoyed every moment.
- On Monday Year 2 went back in time to learn all about the history of the seaside. Jenny from the Chertsey Museum came to see us and brought with her lots of artefacts, some over 100 years old for us to look at and lots of exciting activities for us to do. We wrote postcards, looked at and ordered old photos, put on a Punch and Judy show, made our own punch puppets and thoroughly enjoyed dressing up and ‘walking along the promenade’ in our Victorian finery. None of us liked the idea of a penny lick though! We all had a great time and certainly learnt a lot.
- Year 4 travelled up to London to visit the Tate Modern Art Gallery. This was a new experience for the majority of the year group.
During the morning we looked at the Energy and Process Collection. Most of this work was made in the 1960s and 1970s. The artists used simple everyday raw materials such as nails, cotton and aluminium to create their work. In the afternoon we went to the Structure and Clarity Collection. These galleries explore the development of abstract art from the 20th Century and include works by Matisse, Bridget Riley, Kandinsky and Picasso.
The children drew some of the works of art and wrote about what they saw. A great day out was had by all.
- Year 6 took the train and tube up to South Kensington to learn more about science. The journeys went very smoothly in both directions. We started off by visiting the Flight gallery and learning about the development of flight from the very earliest days of gliding and balloon flight all the way up to the present day Airbus A380. This was followed by a fully hands-on time in Launchpad which flew by.
A brief stopover was made, on the way to lunch, to get an electric shock and learn a little about the way we use fuels to make electricity and the need to find alternatives. After lunch we looked at the Space gallery and learned more about life in space and how astronauts cope with zero gravity, as well as how rockets have developed over time to get us and our equipment into space. This was followed by a lively and entertaining show on "Glorious Blood".
After all that activity we made our way back to Staines Prep feeling a little tired but happy with the experiences we had.
- Well, what an exciting morning with the teachers and staff creating their very own X-Factor Show for the children.
Don't give up the day job!
Below are some photos taken from the event.
- Down in the Stable
Sunflowers Nursery children delivered their take on the Nativity story in their own inimitable fashion. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed taking part in acting out Down in the Stable for parents and friends. Well done children.
- Ralph the Reindeer
On Thursday afternoon Year 1 performed Ralph the Reindeer to an enthusiastic audience. The costumes and set were splendid, the singing and dancing magnificent and acting very impressive. A huge well done to all the children for learning their words and speaking so clearly. An extremely enjoyable show - well done!
Year 5 entertained pupils, staff and parents with their wonderful production of Hoodwinked - the legend of Robin Hood. With toe-tapping songs and dances the audience were taken on a journey through Sherwood Forest to meet Robin and his Merry Men, the evil Sheriff of Nottingham, Maid Marian and her Ladies, the greedy Friars and many more.
The children were all in fine voice and gave a very colourful and enthusiastic performance. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the show. Well done!
- Wriggly Nativity
There were tapping feet and nodding heads as Reception performed their Wriggly Nativity. There was not a dry eye in the house! We were enormously proud of the children as they sang, danced and acted their hearts out to provide us with such a wonderful production.
- Christmas with the Aliens
Thank you to all our parents who came along to watch the Year 2 Christmas presentation. We hope that you enjoyed watching our production as much as the children enjoyed the preparation and performance of it.
All the children looked amazing and did a super job of acting out the show. Well done to everyone!
- Panto Pandemonium
Year 4 brought Panto Pandemonium to life to the delight of an enthralled audience. Four children took us on an adventure through various pantomime stories recovering three magic objects in order to defeat the Wicked Witch. The children had great fun portraying their characters and wowed the audience with their enthusiastic singing.
Year 4 wish to thank their parents for all their wonderful support in providing costumes and preparing the children for this presentation.
- When Sasha Got Swept up the Chimney
The children were very excited at the prospect of perfoming this new play and were all very keen to take on their acting and speaking roles.
Fine acting and expressive delivery brought the characters to life, whilst memorable songs carried the story along. It was a magical experience for the children and the enchanted audience of very proud parents and staff. Congratulations to all of our Year 3 pupils on a wonderful performance.
Thank you to Miss Pullar and Mrs Williams for being such good sports and delivering the parts of Berty and Gerty with such enthusiasm!
- Christmas started in earnest on Monday evening when the Carols by Candlelight Service took place at St Peter’s Church. The children, and in particular the Choir, sang beautifully in a packed church and parents, governors, children and staff enjoyed the evening. Special mention should be made of the Head Boy and Girl, Avi T(6E) and Chandini S(6E) for their readings.
Our thanks go to Rev Cosh for presiding, Mr Ian Harman for playing the organ so ably, to Mrs Poole, Mrs Aujla, Mrs Pearson, Mrs Shilston and Mrs Lloyd for decorating the Church, Miss Jeppeson and Mrs Walker for their work with the Choir and Mr Amiss for his general organisation.
- Thank you to everyone who supported the Christmas Fayre last Saturday. We were very lucky that the weather was on our side and drew the crowds - especially as we were competing with a number of other Christmas events. We are especially grateful to Mrs Milton-Thompson and Mrs Robinson for enabling the Staines Prep Singers to open the Fayre, and to Mr Amiss and The Mubtones for closing it in such style!! The atmosphere was wonderfully festive and it was a very successful event.
We have raised £1,500 from the Fayre, with all the stalls doing extremely well. The children particularly enjoyed the games (“Splat the Rat” being a particular favourite!), the Arts & Crafts and Glitter Tattoos.
A few special thank yous:
- to Guido Cresto for building the most incredible Santa’s Grotto - we cannot thank you enough for your efforts
- to Wendy, Diana and the rest of the team who helped decorate and, even more importantly, dismantle it and return the room to its rightful state
But also a big thank you to everyone else who donated their time; we simply couldn’t have done it without your help.
If you have any feedback for us, please do let us know so that we can continue to improve what we do and run successful events for the children of the School and their families. We really do value your thoughts and suggestions: could we offer different stalls/different events?
- Last Friday Year 5 enjoyed a wonderful concert of film music given by the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican. It was inspiring to hear such well known music played live and showed all the children where learning a musical instrument can lead them!
Congratulations to Isobel G (5C), Elliot H (5C) and Sahar K (5W) whose pictures were chosen from hundreds to be displayed on the big screen during The Firebird.
- The fantastic news is that the grand total is now £4,300! This is a real achievement and, once again, we wholeheartedly thank parents, relatives and friends for their support and enthusiasm for this project.
- Congratulations to Marsiya P (5W) who won this year’s Christmas poster competition run by Miss Coles in Computer Club. She was awarded her prize, donated by the Friends, in Assembly recently and her poster has been used locally to advertise the event. A Christmas bauble was also given to all the competition entrants as the quality of the posters was so high this year; it was a very difficult decision for the judges!
- Staines town centre was full of Christmas spirit on Sunday 25th November as over a hundred enthusiastic individuals participated in the annual Spelthorne Santa Sprint.
Our thanks to the children, parents and ex parents who motivated each other as they ran, walked and skipped their way around the route, raising a marvellous £400 for the School.
Congratulations also to Eleanor D, ex Head Girl (2009/10) who was the first under 16 female to finish the race.
- Thank you very much to everyone for their generous donations of blue bags this week. Special thanks go to the Friends for their tremendous efforts in helping with the collection and to Miss Block and the pupils who assisted at the time of the collection yesterday.
Staines Pupils launched a new recycling initiative to help others less fortunate overseas – whilst also raising funds for their School.
Children at Staines Preparatory School worked with Bag2School, an organisation that specialises in collecting second-hand clothes and other items in their original condition and exporting them for use in other countries.
Cllr Robert Watts, Cabinet Member for Environment for Spelthorne said “We estimate that in Spelthorne we throw away over 200 tonnes * of textile waste every year. Children need to be educated about the importance of recycling clothes so that it becomes second nature to them and also to future generations. The Bag2School scheme is an excellent way of encouraging children in Spelthorne to recycle their unwanted clothes at the same time as helping people in poorer parts of the world and raising money for their school.”
Sue Rogers, Bursar, said: "We already recycle paper and cardboard, monitor energy and water consumption and conduct litter picks outside of the School. We have incorporated energy saving and recycling ideas into our new multi-functional hall and specialist classroom block and are looking at ways of extending these ideas into our existing buildings.
We are currently working with our caterers to reduce food waste in line with Surrey’s ‘Love Food’ campaign.
“Our ‘nearly new’ uniform shop enables re-use of items in excellent condition in school, with other items being sent to our link schools in Uganda and South Africa. The Bag2School initiative is a great way of expanding our clothing recycling operations to benefit others”.
- On Thursday a very excited Year 2 went to the Barbican to see a concert by the world famous London Symphony Orchestra. The theme of the programme was birds and the children looked wonderful in their ‘beaks’. It was a marvellous experience for the children to see all the different orchestral instruments and to listen to a varied programme which included music by Grieg, Britten & Benjamin.
There was an added bonus when the coaches gave us a sight-seeing tour of London. We saw many famous landmarks but it was especially nice to see St Paul’s Cathedral which Year 2 had been learning about as part of their history topic of the Great Fire of London.
- The children in Year 4 have been busy writing a story suitable for a younger child in their English Lessons. They took their stories to their ICT lesson and learnt how to combine pictures and text to create a colourful piece of work.
During this week all the children in Year 4 read their stories to a child in the Reception Year. It proved to be a very special occasion which the children will remember for a long time.
- No less than eleven Governors attended Governors’ Day on Tuesday. For the majority the day began with a tour of the new building and, by the looks on their faces, they were truly impressed. Following a brief lunch it was off to lessons and a taste of the afternoon timetable. Here they had the opportunity to talk with the children and staff. At the end of the afternoon some of the Governors visited the Extra Activities that were taking place whilst others chatted with parents in the playground. At the meeting that followed, Governors expressed they had been delighted to see the School in action and that it emphasised to them why they maintain their involvement with the School.
- The festive season started on Wednesday for Years 1 and 2 children with a visit from the Image Theatre Company. The children thoroughly enjoyed watching the cast putting on the show of Pinocchio. All the children joined in with singing songs and a lucky few even acted out a part in the show. Hopefully the day will inspire all the children when it comes to performing in their own Christmas production!
- Thank you to everyone who supported the SPookStacular event, it was a fantastic evening and we have a video clip on the fundraising website: www.stainesprepfundraising.co.uk with photographs to follow shortly! We would especially like to thank those people who volunteered on the day and are so grateful to those who ran more than one shift, without whom we couldn’t have kept the stalls running.
- Thank you to everyone who donated cakes for the cake sale. Sam Sekhon, Amanda Geraghty and Meeta Walia, among others, did a fantastic job of organising the sale, which raised £280.40 towards the fundraising appeal. We would like to thank Mrs Davis for the use of the Garden Room and everyone who helped out. It was a lot of fun with a lot of spooky-themed cakes, getting us in the mood for Saturday’s SPookStacular!
- Challenge Day was a huge success with children from Years 3 - 6 taking part in a wide range of activities, including learning more about birds of prey. Year 3 heard about the work of the RNLI and about water safety, did some practical First Aid and took part in a Cargo Challenge. The Year 4 litter pick was part of their support of the local community. In addition they learned about risk assessments in different situations from local police officers, made a 'radio broadcast' and tried to protect eggs fired from a catapult! Year 5 took part in an exciting 'team challenge', visited the local greengrocers to purchase fruit or vegetables for a healthy recipe of their own creation, attempted a Chop Stick Challenge and were introduced to Morse code. Once the buzzer circuits were successfully built some messages were even transmitted! Year 6 completed a Junior Apprentice project which ran throughout the day and ended with a presentation, including their own film to promote their product, to Governor, Mr Chadburn, and the Headmaster.
A great day was had by all.
- Many thanks to all of the children who contributed a donation to the Lower School Harvest Festival. It was a lovely Assembly including Harvest songs and an opportunity to think about the different jobs farmers have to do in order to grow the crops for food. The children looked at the Harvest Loaf, kindly shared by Mrs Milton-Thompson, and tried to spot the hidden Harvest mouse! The Staines Prep Singers performed for the first time this year and received a warm reception.
The Harvest food was collected with many thanks by representatives of The Besom charity. For information about The Besom Charity and their work explore their web page at http://www.besom.com.
- Mr Tom Langridge from Staines Library joined the Assembly on Tuesday and presented certificates to children who had taken part in the Summer Reading Challenge.
Well done to the following children who took part:
Theano A (6E)
Daniel B (1H)
Jake B (4H)
Sofija C (5C)
Charlie C (4J)
Harry C (6W)
Sanjana E (4J)
Emilia G (2H)
Isobel G (5C)
Avinash G (1H)
Anjali L (RW)
Avni L (2S)
Olivia M (6E)
Aidan M (1M)
Tia M (4H)
Isabel P (4J)
Darshanna PK (2E)
Eleanor R (1H)
Monty S (1M)
Amy S (6E)
Eleanor S (4H)
Jessica S (1H)
Phoebe T (1M)
Stephon U (6E)
- We have been delighted to receive donations and pledges over time from governors, parents, staff, former pupils and a prospective parent over the past week which has moved the ‘thermometer’ up on the fundraising website. The donations, which are enhanced by 25% through Gift Aid, are much appreciated.
Can you help to make the ‘thermometer’ rise?
- What a busy week we have had! This year the theme for Book Week was heroes and heroines - we had lots of fun finding characters in our story books that fitted this description and designing our own super heroes.
Lower School were very spoilt by all our special visitors this week. We were excited to see Mrs Mirza again and to hear her read us a super story. The children were also very lucky to meet some very special, real life heroes and ask them some questions. Detective Constable Sekhon arrived in his police car and we were all excited to hear about his job and how he helps people. The local Fire Brigade also came to see us in their big red fire engine and showed us all the equipment that helps save people from danger.
To end Book Week the children came dressed as a real life hero or heroine and it was wonderful to see so many children inspired by the people we met.
A big thank you to all the parents who came in to help make Book Week so special.
- Year 1 enjoyed a visit from Chertsey Museum on Thursday 4th October. The children listened very well to Heidi talking about toys from the past. They were delighted to be allowed to play with and find out about the old toys. A particular favourite was the pop gun! The children made their own thaumatropes, carefully drew a selection of old toys and sorted the contents of a toy box into different categories; whether it was old or new, soft or hard, noisy or quiet.
The children had fun learning what children in the past would have played with and many of the Year 1 children thought it would be good to go back in time to play with old toys! An excellent visit which was enjoyed by all.
- Book Week was launched by the successful visit by the author Ann Bryant. All the children from Nursery to Year 6 enjoyed a variety of activities based on her books.
Lower School were captivated by Ann’s stories which were told to music. Ann told us all about what types of book she had written and showed us lots of different examples of her work. Upper School learnt how to be an author, with Ann describing the most important qualities of a writer - discipline and imagination.
All the children loved listening to Ann's stories and were inspired in their own story writing in class this week.
After school there was a successful book sale and signing where the children had an up close encounter with Ann. Thank you to all of you who supported the sale.
Ann Bryant told us she had a lovely day with the children at SPS and is looking forward to being involved with our School in the future. You can always have an update on Ann’s activities via her website www.annbryant.co.uk.
- Come along to our new exciting event - ”SPookStacular!” on Saturday 27th October 2012 from 5.00pm until 7.00pm.
We are unable to have our traditional fireworks event due to the building works, but our new event will be equally, if not more, amazing. We don’t want to give too much away, but there will be stilt walkers, fire-eaters, glow sticks, crockery smash, hot food, drink and a Spooky Room. The finale to the evening will be a spectacular display set to music! There will also be a fancy dress parade, so come in your Halloween costume!
It will be a fantastic event for the whole family in the safe environment of Staines Prep School – not to be missed. Entrance is by ticket only and an invitation form has been sent via pupil post today.
As always, we are in need of volunteers to help with the event, if you are able to help please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thank you to everyone who came to the Friends’ Annual Meeting on Wednesday. It was lovely to have such a mix of new and familiar faces, including parents, staff and Governors. In addition to the formality of electing new Officers of the Friends (please see below), lively discussions have given us some great ideas for events and fundraisers, so please watch this space - and also the notice boards around School! We will be starting the year with the “SPookStacular!”, and more information is below. It will be a fantastic event and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there!
2012/13 Officers of the Friends:
Chair - Emma Poole
Vice Chair - Clint Theophilus
Treasurer - Tracey Fogden
Secretary - Helen Pearson
- Staines Prep School has now lifted the lid on its £350k fundraising appeal just as the new roof was being placed on its £3m development at its Gresham Road site.
The appeal is the biggest in the school’s history and will help towards the purchase of specialist equipment and resources to bring the new facilities on line quickly so that its pupils can reap the benefits as soon as possible.
The extensive facilities will also be made available for local community use when the building is opened next Spring.
Headmaster Peter Roberts said: ” Whilst the 'bricks and mortar' are being paid for through existing school funds and bank borrowing, we have set up the appeal to fit out the building with high quality equipment for all of the new areas, particularly the multi-functional hall and specialist teaching areas.
“We are deploying a wide range of fundraising initiatives and approaches which we hope will appeal not only to our existing parents and pupils, but former-pupils, businesses and the local community as well.”
Chair of Governors Mike Bannister said: “This has been a long awaited dream which is becoming reality before our eyes. It is part of our vision to continually improve Staines Prep, keeping the school out in front with cutting edge facilities for our pupils, staff, parents and the local community."
Emma Poole, Chair of the fundraising arm of the school, The Friends, said: “We have an amazing team of volunteers who want to help the School and are working together to make this appeal a success. We have a variety of exciting events in the pipe line from a “SPookStacular” event, to a summer fayre and a multi-media auction”.
People who would like to make a donation can do so via the School’s dedicated fundraising website www.stainesprepfundraising.co.uk or via the Virgin Money Giving link http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/stainesprep
Individuals or businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities including naming options for the multi-functional hall, the science suite, the art design and technology suite, the music room or other new rooms are asked to email email@example.com
- We celebrated this week by giving an assembly to Upper School using seven pupils who speak a different language at home! Well done to Michael P (4H), Andreas A (4H), Sofia C (5C), Isobel G (5C), Rochelle L (5C), Shaan S (5C) and Luiza C (5W) for speaking Dutch, Cypriot Greek, Serbian, Gaelic, Cantonese, Urdu and Portuguese respectively. We have also been studying which languages pupils speak across the world in PSHE lessons, as well as looking at the history of alphabets and languages in general.
- Thank you to everyone who came to the Fundraising Launch Evening yesterday. At the start of the evening we took a walk around the perimeter of the site and the Headmaster pointed out some of the key features of the new building. We enjoyed talking about the building, our aspirations for how it will be used and about our plans to fundraise to enable us to fit it out and use it as quickly as possible. It was great to hear the views of everyone and there were some excellent ideas about how we may achieve our £350,000 target!
During the evening Mr Adams (Governor) showed us the Fundraising Website where you will be able to keep up to date with fundraising news and keep an eye on how we are progressing towards our target. We have already received our first donations and the ‘thermometer’ has started to rise!
For those of you who were unable to attend, there will be another Information Evening on Thursday 11th October at 7.30pm to which former parents, pupils, etc will also be invited. Please let Mrs Lee, the School Secretary, know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend.
People enjoyed the walk around the building so much that we have decided to do a number of further ‘mini tours’ over the forthcoming weeks the dates of which will be sent next week.
- We would like to invite you to attend our MEET THE FRIENDS EVENING (followed by our Annual General Meeting) on Wednesday 26th September at 7.30pm. This informal event is your chance to find out more about “The Friends”, who we are and what we do and also give you the opportunity to meet up with other parents.
Over the years, The Friends have raised thousands of pounds which has gone towards teaching aids, playground equipment, etc and in addition run many fun events for the children of the School.
You too can make your own contribution, by helping The Friends’ Committee. To see what we have done over the past years and to find out more, please join us on Wednesday 26th September. You can meet the current committee members, find out what we do and also meet with other parents.
We would very much like to welcome everyone, new and existing parents.
- Year 6 pupils attended an action packed morning last Friday at the British Airways Community Learning Centre where Spelthorne Borough Council Community Safety Officers had set up a series of challenging activities to raise safety awareness amongst pupils.
They found out how to cope in many emergency situations including fires, contacting the emergency services, how to help a person who had fallen into deep water and dealing with unconscious casualties, as well as how to stay safe online. The children enjoyed themselves and will no doubt benefit from the experience, which will stand them in good stead should an emergency ever arise.
- It was an absolute delight seeing the children return to school with such enthusiasm. They were clearly glad to be back and looking forward to the year ahead.
- The forty-five children returned safely from their trip to the Opal Coast. During the five days the group successfully dodged the showers, they experienced a mixture of leisure and cultural activities, including the Museum of the Battle of Agincourt, Nausicaa Sea Life Centre, a French market, a Snail Farm, a Chocolate Factory and St Joseph’s Village. A splendid time was had by all. Our thanks go to all of the staff that attended the trip and to Mr Amiss for his organisation.
- Forty-five children visited the Opal Coast for five days at the end of last term. Successfully dodging the showers, they experienced a mixture of leisure and cultural activities including the Museum of the Battle of Agincourt, Nausicaa Sea Life Centre, a French market, a Snail Farm, a Chocolate Factory and St Joseph’s Village. A splendid time was had by all. Our thanks go to all of the staff that attended the trip and to Mr Amiss for his organisation.
- Over the past three weeks Year 2 have been working hard using books and the internet to research different countries as part of the Our World topic. All the hard work paid off as the children took part in an Opening Ceremony, sang songs about the continents, listened to National Anthems and using their passports and ‘travelled’ around the World completing various fun activities.
We were also very lucky to have a VIP (Mr Amiss) come to watch the presentations of the countries that they have learnt about. The children all looked lovely in the colours of their country or in their traditional dress. We are proud of how hard they have worked during this topic.
- What a fabulous end to the Pirate themed week!
Today has been an exciting culmination which started with an opportunity to admire all the wonderful pirate costumes during the Pirate Parade, included a Pirate Picnic, paired Maths work with children from another year group and a Maths treasure hunt!
A most memorable week - thank you for your support with your child's costume.
- Year 5 were lucky enough to pick a rare dry day on the banks of the River Colne as they investigated different aspects of the river’s course across Staines Moor.
Much splashing around was involved as the children measured the speed of the river, the shape of the channel and tried to find out which creatures lived in and around the river. Luckily nobody got too wet and everybody had an enjoyable time.
Many thanks to the staff who helped out with the trip.
- Grace Dowdeswell from Staines Prep has won a prestigious nationwide competition run by Raleigh Bikes and high-street retailer Argos, to design the creative artwork for a brand new bicycle.
The contemporary, slick design was centred on a skeleton theme using grey and black monotone colours with a splash of orange. Impressively named the ‘Biskull’ the bike also features Grace’s name.
As the unanimously chosen winner from entrants throughout Britain, Grace visited the Raleigh UK headquarters in Nottingham on Friday 29 June where her Biskull was officially unveiled. She was then presented with a special bespoke Raleigh bicycle featuring her own design.
Raleigh’s Jayne Bakes, kid’s bike product manager, said: “Grace’s skeleton-themed ‘Biskull’ received a unanimous thumbs up from the Raleigh judging panel. With her clear illustrations and imaginative design we are confident that the bike will sell well in the kid’s bike market this Christmas.”
The Biskull will be sold in Argos stores from September and will be featured in the Argos Christmas gift guide.
Raleigh Press Release can be found here: http://www.raleigh.co.uk/Company/News/
- On Wednesday PC Caroline Barnes, Youth Intervention Officer for Spelthorne and Police Community Support Officer, Lucy Uttley came to school to speak to Year 4 in PSHE lessons about the prevention of bullying. They explained that bullying amongst young people can be physical, verbal or cyber.
They highlighted the importance of turning the other cheek, walking away from any trouble witnessed outside or inside school and that the age when a child can be arrested is as low as 10. The children listened attentively and the officers presented the many ways of dealing with problems. We were reassured that we do all at Staines Prep that is possible to deal with problems of this nature and that the authorities have measures are in place to counter errant behaviour outside of School.
- In the Spring Term we ran the Churchill Fundraising event ‘Goals for Gold’ for our chosen charity this year. We were delighted to welcome Lynn Stanier – the founder of Their Future Today into assembly on Tuesday. She told us about the amazing work her charity does in helping to support children and their families in Sri Lanka. We were delighted to present her with a cheque for £560 towards this worthy cause. Many thanks for all your support.
- After much weather watching Year 2 were spoilt by a lovely sunny day for our trip to Windsor. The children thoroughly enjoyed getting to Windsor by train and, once there, began our day of sketching. We were lucky enough to catch the Changing of the Guards twice and were amazed at how smart they looked. After that we had a stroll around the town, spotting all the different types of buildings as we went. We then had our picnic in Great Windsor Park where the children got to play in the playground and then sketch the view of Windsor Castle.
A fantastic day was had by all and a big thank you goes to the parents who helped out on the day.
- Year 6 were invited to attend the Armed Forces Day Ceremony on Monday at the Spelthorne Borough Council offices. As the Last Post was played by a bugler, representatives from a veterans’ association and the Mayor made short speeches. Once again, our children were a credit to the School.
- The Upper School Sports’ Day was held at the Thames Valley Athletic Centre last Saturday morning and we were blessed with some fine weather. The children enjoyed the opportunity to represent their Houses in a ‘real’ stadium. Every pupil took part in at least one running, one throwing and one jumping event, plus their special year group race.
As well as the general events there were a number of ‘elite’ events for the faster runners from each House.
Brunel had given themselves an unassailable lead prior to the final Relay Races, but competition was still fierce for the minor placings.
The final scores were:
Brunel - 125 Points
Raleigh - 104 Points
Shakespeare - 100 Points
Churchill - 91 Points
Our thanks go to Miss Block for her organisation of what was a most enjoyable occasion.
- As part of a Spelthorne collaborative project, Year 4 have had an artist working with them to produce a sycamore seed, a lantern and poems for an exhibition. Marsiya P, Saran G, Luiza C, Muhib A, Remy M, Hannah J and Mati S went to the Sunbury Walled Garden on Monday 18th June when Della James-Pascoe, who competed in both the Mexico ’68 and Munich ‘72 Olympics came to launch the exhibition. She showed us her certificates and her husband’s silver medal. Our work looked brilliant in amongst the trees and all the Year 4 names are on the wall in the Sunbury Gallery. All Year 4 students will see their work on the 27th June.
- Year 6 were treated yesterday to a talk on journalism by Mr Tony Birtley, a very experienced foreign correspondent. They will be using his ideas and expertise in their English work. Our thanks go to Mr Birtley for taking the time to share his knowledge with the children.
- A group of eight Year 5 pupils visited local company J P Kenny on Thursday morning to deliver some artwork which will be displayed in their office block. The main piece of work was a textile piece about the life and achievements of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, which had been made by the year group.
The party were welcomed by Managing Director Dave Baker, who explained to them that the artwork was particularly appropriate, as all of their meeting rooms are named after famous engineers. During the visit Mr Baker presented the Headmaster with a cheque for £250.00 to provide additional art materials for the pupils.
- Last Thursday some seventeen budding violinists took to the stage at our informal violin concert. The programme was varied and there were many good soloists, as well as some very impressive group playing. The children were all very eager to play and there was a lovely, relaxed atmosphere.
It was a wonderful evening and we would like to thank Mrs Price, for accompanying, and Mrs. Moore for her fine work with the children and her organisation of this event.
- Thank you to all of the Friends’ Committee and helpers for all their hard work last Saturday. Although initially threatening, the weather turned out well and there was a festive atmosphere with the accompaniment of Staines Brass Band.
A great time was had by all, especially the children who managed to soak their teachers with wet sponges in the ‘stocks’!
- Torrential rain was not going to stop year 3 children enjoying their visit to Marwell Wildlife on Monday. Many of the species we saw are threatened with extinction and we learnt how Marwell is safeguarding their futures through conservation breeding programmes. The children impressed the instructor at the Education Centre with their knowledge of vertebrates and their feeding habits. They identified skulls and most were brave enough to stroke cockroaches, rats and a python!
Even through the wet weather the animals still made some exciting appearances for us. We were able to see the tiger in its specially designed enclosure, the cheetah was very sensibly sheltering from the rain and the giraffes with their two babies were also very popular. Thank you to the staff who accompanied the children and to the pupils for being so well behaved and enthusiastic in such trying conditions!
- During half-term several current and former staff, some with partners, headed down to Devon to do some walking on Exmoor. The group stayed with a former colleague and her husband, who were most hospitable. On the first day the party enjoyed a bracing ‘stroll’ near Combe Martin in glorious sunshine. However, things were to soon change for the main walk on the following day. The group started in heavy rain from Malmsmead and followed the Badgeworthy Water river valley before an ascent onto the moor. Fortunately, the weather brightened and everyone was able to really take in the beautiful scenery of the moors and river valleys of ‘Lorna Doone country’.
- The Celebration for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee included an assembly this morning. The children formed a remarkably colourful picture in their reds, white and blues. The assembly concluded with the singing of the National Anthem.
- The pupils in the Lower School were treated to a host of Year 2 children performing in the assembly this week. The pianists, violinist and guitarist played with such enthusiasm. Well done to all involved!
- The annual Year 6 Field Trip to Derbyshire was another enormous success.
During the trip the children were involved in a wide range of activities some of which form part of the Staines Prep Challenge Award. After the journey north on Monday morning we had lunch in Darley Dale. We then walked across Stanton Moor in lovely sunshine before visiting Magpie Mine. It was then time to head to the Youth Hostel at Eyam, famed as the Plague Village. After dinner we went for another walk Mompesson’s Well and then through the village and back to the Youth Hostel. On Tuesday and Wednesday the party was split into two groups and over the two days the children did some bouldering, scrambling and weaselling at The Roaches, kayaking at Tittesworth Reservoir, visited the Speedwell and Treak Cliff caverns and completed their climb up Mam Tor and the 10km+ ‘Challenge’ walk along the Great Ridge near Castleton. Thursday included visits to Peak Cavern and Peveril Castle in Castleton and the Mining Museum and Temple Mine in Matlock Bath, where we panned for ‘gold’. On Friday morning we took a pleasant walk through Dove Dale and looked at some of the limestone features.
The children had a wonderful week and enjoyed all aspects of the trip - even the food got a big ‘thumbs up’ from the majority. Finally thanks go to the staff who accompanied the trip; Mr Evans, Mr Roberts, Mr & Mrs Tait, Mrs Thapar and Miss Walden, but especially to Mr Walker for his excellent organisation.
- On Monday Year 4 pupils attended a workshop at St Peter's Church arranged by FACT (Faith Awareness in Children Trust).
We visited three different tents - the Rock Station, the Prayer Tent and the Good Fruit Tent. In each we learned about the good inside us, which can't always be seen on the outside but should be nurtured and encouraged at all times in order to do good and show good too. We also saw how important it is to wonder at the world around us and to appreciate that we are all special and unique. We said a prayer of thanks for those who are special to us too. Thank you to FACT for arranging this thought-provoking day for us.
Below are some of the drawings we did after the day.
- Year 4 pupils took the opportunity to develop their measuring skills by keeping a record of the growth of their caterpillars and mixed herbs; presenting the data in bar charts. Sharp eye-sight and a piece of thread helped them tackle some very wriggly caterpillars; thankfully, the seedlings moved in one direction - upwards!
Year 4 wish to thank Mr Heath for providing the caterpillars and local company JP Kenny for their kind donation of the mixed herbs.
- A wonderful day of activities was had by the children in the Upper School for this year's Challenge Day! All survived the heat of the day to participate fully in the exciting activities and new learning opportunities. Trying their hand at the circus skills was an enjoyable activity for all the children and lots even managed to walk on stilts, spin a plate and learn to juggle. Miss Gallop was especially pleased to have learnt the skill of juggling!
In addition, the children in Year 3 were treated to a presentation by Mr Thompson from the RNLI, have learnt and practiced first aid skills and worked as a team to construct the tallest tower out of jelly babies and cocktail sticks!
Year 4 children manufactured decorative sweets and served in the local community by participating in a Litter Pick. Mrs Tracey King, from the Makaton Charity, taught some simple sign language. Among other signs learnt the children can now sign when singing Happy Birthday! Mr Heath utilised an inventive catapult to launch carefully wrapped and packaged eggs across the field. A great many eggs survived being flung - a testament to the team work and group decisions involved in the preparation.
Miss Block provided an exciting "Team Challenge" at Staines Park for Year 5 which involved tackling eight problems to win individual letters to create a word. Great success was had by all and the children demonstrated good team work. The children also attempted the Chop Stick Challenge and were introduced to Morse Code - once the buzzer circuits were successfully built some messages were even transmitted!
Year 6 were participating in their own "Junior Apprentice"; designing a breakfast cereal and writing and producing an advert for their cereal. All the children worked well in their groups and were able to demonstrate the highly transient skills of leadership, delegation and compromise.
Many thanks to Mrs Robinson (Governor) and Mr Roberts who sat on the Panel to judge the finished adverts.
Certificates were awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed groups but huge commendations to all the children.
- The Music Evening provided an opportunity for many children to show off their talents to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.
It was indeed rewarding to see our children performing so ably and with enjoyment. We are grateful to our team of highly talented music teachers and are, once more, indebted to Mrs Walker for her enthusiasm and organisation.