Sport Relief Mile (or two)

The whole school from Badger Cubs to Year 8 gathered on the Michael Wheeler playing field after lunch on the last day of term, to do their bit for Sport Relief.  The children came dressed in their House colours, and went around in House groups, with the Year 8s leading each grouping – who were only allowed to go as fast as the slowest member.  A great time was had by all on a fabulously sunny afternoon.  The current total collected is just over £400.  Thank you to everyone who helped organise this.

Sport Relief Mile

House Cross Country

The house cross country competition took place in glorious sunshine.  The majority of the children from Year 3 to 8 took part in an afternoon of running to see which House could win the coveted cross country shield.  The afternoon started with the children from Years 7 and 8 volunteering to run with the youngest to help them around a hilly and tiring course, in the school’s woodlands, before coming back to join the other Year 7 and 8 children to run an extended course of just under two miles.  Records were broken again this year, and a number of personal bests were achieved.  At the end of the afternoon though it was Studland House who took the trophy. Thank you to Jake from Year 5 who took the photos below: left to right, Jed, the new boys Year 5 and 6 course record holder, the girls on the cross country course and Elsa the new girls Year 5 and 6 course record holder.  Both Jed and Elsa beat their own records set in 2011.

Jed, new record holder for the Boys Year 5 and 6 raceElsa, new record holder for Girls Year 5 and 6 cross countryCross country course

Year 7 French trip


Year 7 have recently returned from our inaugural trip to Château de la Baudonnière, near Avranches in Normandy.  The 7 day trip featured 5 fun- and action-packed days of outdoor adventurous activities: climbing, orienteering, assault course, night-time treasure hunt; as well as creative workshops:  bread-making; dark-room photo creation and development and sports and games ranging from the familiar to the more exotic: fencing, archery, aeroball (a basketball / trampolining crossover!) and hunt the flag, to name just a few.  All of the above delivered entirely in French, ensuring a week of intensive immersion in the foreign language.

Year 7 French trip

Year 7 French tripYear 7 French trip

Meal times, too, were conducted in French, with pupils asking others in French to pass food and drinks at the table and even heading off to the kitchen to ask for more in French as well!  Life at the chateau is full-on, with activities all day, including on into the evening, run by a large team of enthusiastic ‘animateurs’ – who never speak English to the pupils.

As well as enjoying the wide variety of activities on our programme at the chateau, we had a day trip to the local market at Villedieu-les-Poêles, where pupils interacted with the locals in French, in order to fill in their questionnaires.  We also went to a café, where pupils ordered their own drinks in French.  After un pique-nique, we went on to the extraordinary Mont Saint Michel, which is in Normandy…or is it in Brittany?  Both regions lay claim to this characterful walled town which gets surrounded by the sea at high tide – so it depends on who you ask!

As well as having an amazing time, from the team-building, self-discovery and outdoor educational perspectives, pupils benefit enormously from a linguistic point of view.  This prolonged and intensive input of French pays dividends in lessons and assessments over the following weeks, months and even years.  Real-life experience of a foreign language in its own cultural setting is an essential part of the language-learning mix, which cannot be replicated in the classroom, no matter how hard teachers work to bring their subject to life. 

As well as being highly memorable, such visits abroad at a young age can lay the foundations for a lifelong journey of enjoying learning foreign languages.  Early experience of the thrill of understanding and making oneself understood in a foreign language abroad, as our Y7 pupils had on this trip, helps keep them motivated learning the grammar and amassing the vocabulary and idioms needed to become confident and, in time, fluent speakers.

Easter Egg Hunt

What will we find in the woods today?  Well recently it has been teddy bears and eggs!  Children from Badger Cubs, Badgers and Reception made Easter hats, learnt some Easter songs and then ensured that they had made piles of Easter biscuits before inviting their parents and grandparents to an Easter Egg Hunt in the Castle Court Woods.  The teddy bears marked the spots where the eggs were hidden, and once all the eggs were found the children sang their songs before all relaxed over coffee, juice and biscuits.

Easter Egg HuntEaster Egg Hunt

World Book Day Across the School

World Book Day by Years 5 and 6World Book Day is a time when as a school we celebrate what books mean to us.  This year we have done this in a number of different ways.  Year 1  have looked at owls in literature and couldn’t believe how many owls were characters in their favourite books – The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark, Owl Babies, The Owl and the Pussycat and Winnie the Pooh were the favourites at the last count.  They then made their own owl costumes.Fabulous!Years 5 and 6 decided to do something totally different and put together a short video about books.  It certainly made us laugh when we saw the end result in assembly, and so thought we would share it with you.  World Book Day by Years 5 and 6