As part of our Castles topic in History, Cedar and Birch visited Mountfitchet Castle and Norman Village to explore the only Wooden Motte and Bailey Castle reconstructed on its original site in the world. We arrived in a light drizzle and thought we were going to be lucky with the weather. The children were fascinated with how the castle was constructed and enjoyed exploring the palisade straight away. Mountfitchet Castle is set up as a self-guided tour and the children happily wondered from exhibit to exhibit with their natural inquisitiveness spurring them on. They visited the kitchens and smelt the oven fires. They went up the flanking watch towers and discovered how important the location of your castle was for views. They also visited the peasant’s house and the great hall and directly compared how the lowly members of the castle lived compared with the Lord and Lady. As part of the experience the children were able to feed the many animals which roam freely around the castle. This provided great joy for the children and they were incredibly excited to feed the many chickens and ducks. The highlight for many of the children was exploring the more gruesome side of the medieval period and they saw the various punishments people received. I think many of them left being thankful to live in the 21st century! As the weather grew wetter, and the children grew damper, we retreated to the indoor Toy Museum where we were able to explore a vast collection of old toys and movie memorabilia. The Star Wars and Doctor Who collections were a huge hit with the boys. Despite the weather the children had a wonderful time and really got a hands on experience of what it would have been like to live in a wooden Motte and Bailey Castle. Miss Hughes
On a beautiful sunny evening, you might have thought you were in Italy, ten wonderful chefs gathered to raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children which is the charity The Grove Independent School is supporting with the amazing School Council members.
The evening started by making pasta, a staple dish in Italy, using original pasta machines to thin out the endless sheets as one group managed to roll out one measuring over a metre! The filling provided an insight into the world of traditional cheeses by using ricotta and spinach alongside nutmeg and seasoning, a beautiful marriage Figaro would say… singing for us in the back ground with the superb operatic voice of Pavarotti.
The Arancini (rice balls filled with pesto and cheese from Sicily) provided an opportunity to get very messy, which most of the adults enjoyed by creating a culinary delight once fried, which resembled a scotch egg, albeit with an Italian twist.
Finally the last course in the form of Affogato al Caffé. This is a traditional dessert which involves using hot Italian coffee poured over good quality ice cream, topped with chopped nuts and Amaretti biscuits. What a finale to a beautiful night in which everyone learnt something new and raised money for such a worthy cause. The Next Culinary Fundraising event will be during the Autumn term 2015, do join us! Ms Casiraghi
Spruce were aware that a general election was underway but were not aware of the process and the vocabulary involved. After a discussion around the governance of the country and the idea that different political parties had different ideas and ideals as well as the roles of some of the ministers, Spruce were given the opportunity to set up their own party to present their thoughts. They were encouraged to discuss and explore issues that were of concern to them and create a manefesto.
On Tuesday 5th May, the children in Spruce presented their manifestos during assembly to the rest of the Prep department and posters went up around school.
On Thursday 7th May, Spruce transformed the hall into a polling station. We discussed that they were not able to influence the voters in the polling station. The Prep children were invited to vote in a secret ballot – their names were ticked off the list and they were issued with a voting paper before they headed to one of the booths to put their tick or cross next to their preferred party. It was a very serious affair!
The results were:
The Grove Council of Politicians: 33
Helping Children Achieve: 53
Everyone for Everyone: 10
Congratulations to Toby Dason-Barber, Kyle Gomes-Payne and Naledi Komane from Helping Children Achieve who successfully campaigned for greater opportunities within education and training for children with disabilities to help them achieve their goals.
On Thursday 7th May, Hawthorn and Poplar accompanied by four members of staff travelled from The Grove to Chichester and then on to East Meon (Portsmouth) to spend two days visiting Fishbourne Roman Palace & Butser Ancient Farm. This was in connection with our History studies into the Celts and Romans.
We first visited Fishbourne Roman Palace where the children saw an audio visual presentation of how Fishbourne was discovered by builders in the 1960s. Afterwards, the children took part in a workshop where they learned about what it was like to be a child living in Roman times. After lunch, we visited the magnificent mosaics which are considered the best in Northern Europe as well as investigating which plants the Romans grew for their medicines and for cooking in the renovated gardens.
Late afternoon, we left Fishbourne and journeyed to East Meon where we were staying overnight.
The following morning, after breakfast, we travelled the very short distance of 4 miles to Butser Ancient Farm to study the lives of the Celts. We were able to find out about their roundhouses and discovered what it was like to actually be inside one! We undertook some workshops and tried our hands at wattling, chalk carving and making jewellery. We also had the opportunity to see some breeds of sheep which were similar to those that the Celts would have had.
All too soon, it was time for us to depart Butser and begin our journey back to The Grove. With this experience, all children had the opportunity to be able to sample at first-hand what life may have been like for a Celt or Roman living in Britain 2000 years ago.
On Friday May 1st 2015 Beech and Holly and Larch and Rowan children went to see a performance of ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ at the MK theatre.
On arrival the children went to their seats and the magic began.
This traditional story was told entirely by dance and from the outset the children were mesmerised. The Northern ballet cast were captivating as they danced about the stage amongst the striking backdrop of the shoemakers shop.
The children were all enchanted and sat on the edges of their seats and quite literally had their mouths ajar in wonder! We heard children remark in awed voices: “The elves are coming, look!” and “It’s magic!”
Afterwards all of our children described the performance as “epic”, “awesome,” “amazing,” “brilliant” and “fantastic”.
And of course all of our wonderful children behaved beautifully and were a credit to The Grove.
What a success!
On Thursday 26th March, LVAC Dance pupils marked the end of the spring term with a Showcase. Two performances were given in one night to a packed audience in the school hall. Modern dancers performed group dances specially choreographed for the occasion by Miss Emma. Emily Pugsley and Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio opened the show with a charming duet to In Summer from everyone’s favourite Disney film, Frozen and the students of Grade 6 Modern, Ingrid Christie, Yekta Kassaei and Annabel Hunter, closed the show with a powerful and moving trio to Sam Smith’s Stay With Me.
Tappers gave an entertaining performance of syllabus amalgamations they have spent four weeks learning. They demonstrated the different music styles that are learned through the ISTD syllabi from The Reggae to Urban and from Schottische to the fast and technical Quick Jazz.
Sophie Hartley-Wiley started the Ballet section demonstrating her well placed demi-plies and leg extensions in Bend and Point. Performances followed showing a mixture of class work and dances that had been learning for exam sessions in December and March from Grade 1 through to Intermediate Foundation and Grade 8. This was a Swansong for Isha Sabnis who has been learning Ballet with us for nearly ten years. She performed her Grade 5 Grand Allegro and Character Dance. This was also an emotional final performance for Grace Bradbury and Laura Beeken who will be sitting their A Levels this summer. Both are ex-Grove pupils and have been learning Ballet since they could walk! Now they have both passed their Grade 8 exam and gave a beautiful performance of some of their work.
Congratulations to all who performed and thank you for all your hard work to make a great evening of entertainment!
The end of March saw pupils from The Grove Independent School compete in the Eighteenth Midlands Independent Schools Gymnastics Championships 2015.
The competition proved to be another great gymnastic success, with 22 children taking part in 5 categories, U7 girls, U9 girls, U9 boys, U9 mixed and U11 girls.
U9 boys, Charlie Taylor, Alfie Taylor, Yuzuki Kato, Samuel Hurdley and Alexander Lee were focused and performed with determination throughout their round. Some excellent scores on vault and set floor resulted in Alfie gaining a 6th place medal overall, Charlie finishing 3rd and saw Alexander crowned U9 Boys Champion for 2015. Their scores, combined with those of Samuel and Yuzuki were enough for the team to achieve 2nd place overall, meaning that by lunchtime on day one, The Grove had 4 titles to its name.
The U9 mixed team, Hana Iguchi, Eve Bailey, Alexa Berkin-Evans, Alfie, Yuzuki and Charlie competed in Round 3, performing their voluntary floor sequences and vaulting. Both Charlie and Alexa were brave enough to perform a handspring on vault, which is the hardest vault allowed at the competition. Sadly, the team missed out on 3rd place by 0.25 but given that the boys had competed earlier that day, and that 5 out of the six were competing 2 years out of age, to be within touching distance of a medal was by no means a defeat.
In the final round of the day, Tiya Mistry, Iman Komane, Maya Shah, Emily Garwood and Caitlin Hendry went up against some tough competition in the U9 category. With 4 out of the 5 girls inexperienced at competing away from home, the girls demonstrated the same determination and focus as those who had competed in previous rounds. Despite some great scores on both floor and vault, the girls were denied a bronze team medal by a mere 0.75. Individually, Iman finished 7th with a score of 16.9, missing out on the 6th medal by only 0.1.
Day two saw more success, Jocelyn Shih, was crowned 2015 Champion with an overall score of 18.5 out of a possible 19.6. The U11 girls, Rachel Hubbard, Danielle Trzeciak-Hicks, Georgia Millburn, Abigail English, Jocelyn Shih and Elizabeth Gross performed better than ever, all girls scoring 8’s and 9’s across the two pieces. With a combined team score of 69.83, the girls were rewarded with a 3rd place team spot, bringing The Groves medal tally up to 15.
Our U7 girls competed in the correct age group for the first time at MISGA. Moira Alvi, Pippa Barney, Sophy Pearce, Eve Bailey, Hana Iguchi and Alexa Berkin-Evans represented the school with passion and steely determination. Some outstanding individual scores on set floor and vault meant the combined team total was an incredible 71.25, crowning the team as 2015 Champions in their category 3.6 marks clear of the 2nd place team. As well as being team champions, Hana was placed 3rd overall and Eve 2nd overall with Alexa Crowned 2015 U7 champion. These three girls have been representing their school in gymnastics 2 and 3 years out of age for the past 13 months, so the medals were long overdue and proved that they are ahead of their game in gymnastics when against children their own age.
Gymnastics at The Grove has been hugely successful since we began competing little over 12 months ago. 2015 has so far given us 3 individual champions, a silver medallist, 2 bronze medallists, a 6th place medal, a team bronze, team silver and a team gold at MISGA. Add that to the medal tally from the ISA Nationals in February and we have achieved 36 medals for gymnastics in less than 2 months. Coaches Mrs Taylor and Miss Lubbock are extremely proud of the children’s achievements; ‘They have all worked extremely hard since gymnastics was introduced at The Grove and it has been a privilege to watch their skills develop and see them demonstrating superb team spirit and confidence at competition level.’
The Grove has certainly earned itself a reputation as ‘one to watch’, and I hope the children continue to enjoy the sport and succeed at competitions in the future.
Miss Lubbock & Mrs Taylor
This year’s Easter service started with a celebration of all things Springy!
The ‘Season of Singing’, our first song, summed up how we all feel about spring brilliantly, especially as the Prep children sound so tuneful when they sing together. The Foundation children sang a wonderful song about five shiny eggs. It was fun to count the chicks as they hatched. Then the Pre-Prep had their turn, reading their poem and singing their song all about the animals waking up after their long Winter sleep. They also sang with great performance quality.
I love the jazzy song March, April, May and was glad that it fitted in nicely to this year’s service. One or two of us had to pretend that we can click both our fingers!
It is always good to allow the Mums and Dads a chance to sing with us. We can’t have them feeling left out. They were encouraged to join in with our hymn ‘Lord of the Dance’. This is a song that uses a traditional American Shaker folk tune. The Chamber Group played their recorders to accompany this hymn, their music was learnt in less than a week! They begged me to allow them to learn it. Well done, what a team!
The Easter Story was then retold with members of Senior Prep as the characters. They did extremely well as they only had a short time to rehearse. This effective and moving play took us from Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey on Palm Sunday through to His death on the cross on Good Friday and then on to His glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday. Injila Ocal as Judas and Lauren Hawkins as Peter both sang their solos with great feeling and Danielle Trzeciak-Hicks captured the strength of Jesus’ character, being both gentle and strong at the same time. Well done to all the actors who took part, your contribution was much appreciated even if you had no words to say.
Once again the children thoroughly enjoyed performing, singing and playing. This was a wonderful end to a very busy, but rewarding term at The Grove.
The children in the Pre-Prep department have taken part in some lively and enthusiastic assemblies this term.
Cedar and Birch showed us lots of lovely artwork that they had produced when they learnt about the country of Africa. They also shared with us their topic on Pirates which they seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed!
Rowan Room told us the tale of The Parable of the Sower, whilst Larch Room told us the stories of Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria. Both classes danced a Scottish reel at the end of their assembly which was very lively and entertaining.
Beech and Holly told us all about their topic on toys, they showed us lots of old fashioned toys that they had been playing with.
Walnut and Maple ended the term with their assemblies about the Spring. This was a lovely way to end the term with the promise of the better weather, beautiful flowers in the gardens and blossom on the trees.
The first concert of term proved to be a very inspiring event. So many people had been chosen by their instrumental teachers to play that I was worried that those who would normally have to wait until after the concert before they can have lunch would miss out on their lunch altogether! Twenty six performed, a record number, it was wonderful. Oh, don’t worry, the concert finished on time (well nearly) and everyone’s rumbling tummy was full by two o’clock. Everyone played brilliantly.
Our second concert was a real delight! We were treated to some excellent performances that ranged from an extremely dramatic ‘Dragon Dance’ played on the piano by Naledi Komane to ‘Happy Birthday’ played on his guitar by Tobore Yerifor and a beautiful song ‘I see the light’ from Tangled sung with great tenderness by Danielle Trzeciak-Hicks to ‘Ode to Joy’ by Beethoven played carefully by Alice Alder, one of our youngest piano players, and joyfully by Harriet Hughes. We can never hear Ode to Joy too many times!
I always feel very moved by the commitment of the performances the children give in any of our concerts and especially admire those, like Danielle, who stand up and sing. Elizabeth Gross and Anjali Kumar both sang for the first time in a lunch time concert, really proving to me that song is such a wonderful gift to us all.
Well done to all of our ‘First Timers’, all twelve of you! Please make sure you keep practising hard so that we can hear you play again soon.