Each year the children in Prep are asked to produce a science project on a specific topic. This work is done in addition to their normal classwork and homework. Each time the projects are handed in I am amazed at the wonderful pieces of work that are presented to me and the effort and time that most of the children spend on their work is immediately obvious.
Between October half term and Christmas it was the turn of Pine & Acacia to do their project and the topic was famous scientists and inventors. The children had to have a main focus for their work but would also look at someone from more than 2000 years ago, as well as two other people linked to their chosen person. Whilst some focussed on the more famous scientists or inventors, such as Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and Leonardo da Vinci, others chose less celebrated people such as Maurice Hilleman (worked with vaccines after WWII), Carlo Rovelli (theoretical physicist) and Hedy Lamarr (Hollywood actress who invented remote guidance mechanisms for torpedoes in WWII and who’s work led to Bluetooth technology)!
Their wonderful written projects were accompanied by amazing models and pieces of art work. There were examples of da Vinci’s helical screw (helicopter), hands covered in pox blisters for Edward Jenner’s work against small pox, movie posters for Hedy Lamarr’s films and mobile radiation scanning trucks, used by Marie Curie.
Deciding on winners is always very difficult and I often seek other teacher’s opinions. In the end I was so impressed that I had to have three special mention prizes to recognise the effort that so many children made.
Scientists and inventors chosen: John Dalton, Nikola Tesla, Dian Fossey, Rosalind Franklin, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Edward Jenner, Maurice Hilleman, Hedy Lamarr, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Carlo Rovelli, Stephen Hawking.
Best Written project: Shiv Das
Best model: Emily Garwood
Special mentions: Chloe Cave, Maya Shah, Carolina Diniz Fernandez-Lomana
Reverend Walker is a Baptist minister who has visited the children of Cedar and Birch today in order to enrich their learning on Christianity and 'Rites of Passage' in particular.
He shared with us a wealth of information about his ministry which stretch as far away as Africa. The children enjoyed sharing their own prior learning about the meaning of a Christian Baptism, Holy Communion and a Marriage with the Reverend who also answered most sensitively a variety of amazing questions about the existence of God and his relationship with the Holy Trinity!
We thanked Reverend Walker for his visit by offering a card we created. Its content depicted a variety of Rites of Passage, churches and Jesus Christ which demonstrated further the children's enjoyment of this Religious Topic.
We look forward to Reverend Walker visiting our school again and sharing his knowledge with other year groups.
We had a wonderful afternoon in Foundation on History Day. The children and adults all looked fantastic dressed up as different people from History. We followed the theme of Royalty in our activities and in our house groups each child turned into a Prince or Princess and created a bejewelled crown. They then visited the Royal kitchens and prepared their own tea party cakes using of course, Royal Icing. All of the Foundation team were incredibly proud of the children and how well they worked together. It was a pleasure to see the excitement and wonder on their faces throughout the day. We look forward to our next special day.
The children in pre-prep had a fabulous afternoon dressed up as their favourite characters from the past. After the excitement of the cake sale the children all took part in some historical themed activities during the afternoon. Working together in their Hobby Groups the children made some medieval gingerbread whilst listening to some medieval music. It was really exciting to taste the flavours and the smells of the ginger, honey, cloves and basil which decorated the gingerbread. The children also got the opportunity to learn some facts about Mary Anning and her discoveries in Lyme Regis of fossils. The children got an opportunity to make their own salt dough fossils which was great fun!
Our Harvest Festival this year was a celebration of wonderful water. Beech and Holly got the whole thing started for us telling everyone their favourite watery things to do and singing their song with wonderful actions to go with it. Next came the Science Bit! Autumn, Harry and Jessica from Cedar and Birch explained how an amazing H2O molecule is made using 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom, how they bond and come apart again to make liquid water and how the water cycle works.
Walnut and Maple sang us a very charming song about three little clouds. The clouds rained on the dry ground and the sun shone and three very colourful flowers grew. Well done Walnut and Maple!
Barnaby and Ellie read us their own evocative poems ‘Peaceful Stream’ and ‘The Brook’. These two poems were chosen from the many that the children had written in creative writing lessons. We thought you might like to read them again, so here they are!
Peaceful Stream, by Barnaby Davison
One Autumn afternoon
A little stream wandered across a Maldive Island
Drifting over the soft sands
It is not deep, it is shallow
And a vivid blue like azure.
Winding its way past palm trees
Sometimes feeling the gentle plop of a leaf
On its back
The Brook, by Ellie Ying-Clifton
Do you have a tale to tell?
As you chatter and laugh – guffaw and jump,
Through my Autumn-time garden.
As you babble, as you blow,
Smell the fresh breeze blow you along.
You’re fresh and ripe like a golden-apple tree.
Feel your ripples splashing my grass in the breeze.
But soon, it will be Winter – what will your tale be then?
Your eyes closed tight, dancing to your Winter song.
And the September raindrops drop straight on your palm,
Refreshing, cooling. You gather strength to move on…
And you wind past the flower bed, camping my boat.
Sing me the story of a brook…
‘Riversong’ was a triumph! The Prep children sang their song cycle with great expression, attention to detail and commitment. Working hard in their music lessons really paid off and after a couple of focussed rehearsals altogether they once again showed how they can work as one to make a wonderful sound that filled the church.
The song ‘Waterfall’ was a particular favourite with a soaring theme and two parts that sound magnificent when sung together.
The percussionists of Acacia and Pine showed that they could be sensitive, listen and play to enhance the effect of the water ‘crashing bashing down through the craggy rocks’ and add sparkle to the ‘lazy river’ that jazzily made its way to the sea. Hana and Emily played their string parts beautifully, warming the sound.
The percussion ‘on the seashore’ with it’s exciting chant ‘I can see the sea, I can see the sea, I CAN SEA THE SEA!’ brought the river to it’s end and as it flowed out into the sea Findlay, Elijah and Ryan’s dramatic rap took us to the finale.
The whole school thoroughly enjoyed the fantastic song ‘The Deep Blue Sea’ which in fact is known throughout the Grove as ‘Mark the Shark’ (for obvious reasons). Larch and Rowan had made some fabulous sea creatures which danced in the waves with colourful splashes and smiley faces!
Our last song was AMAZING!
What more can I say!
Friday: The children have packed their bags and are heading off for their last activities. It has been a great Travel Week this year and we are looking forward to getting back to The Grove to see you all.
Thursday: The rain has arrived! Only a little bit of rain though and iOS thinks it will be clear by 7am… We have lots of photos to finish uploading so don’t forget to check back soon. We will let you know when Wednesdays folders are complete.
This morning we have the following activities.
Group 5 – 8 will be taking part in Kayaking and Raft building this morning on Condover Hall Lake.
Group 1: Rocket Launch, Conquest.
Group 2: Lazermaze / Grid of Stones.
Group 3: I.E’s, Abseiling.
Group 4: Abseiling, Swimming.
Group 1: Tunnelling / Vortex, Abseiling.
Group 2: Abseiling, Sensory Trail.
Group 3: Conquest, Rocket Launch.
Group 4: Conquest, Lazermaze and Grid of Stones.
Group 5: Conquest, Fencing.
Group 6: Climbing, Conquest.
Group 7: Lazermaze and Grid of Stones, Conquest.
Group 8: Circus Frenzy, Conquest.
Wednesday: Another beautiful morning in Shropshire, the thunderstorms have not made their way over from Milton Keynes. We have an early start which will give Pre-prep plenty of time to prepare for their lake activities after breakfast.
Groups 1 – 4 will be taking part in Kayaking and Raft building this morning on the Condover Hall lake.
Group 5: Circus Frenzy, Dance Mania.
Group 6: Sensory Trail, Circus Frenzy.
Group 7: Rocket Launch, Archery.
Group 8: Tunnelling/Vortex, Abseiling.
Group 1: I.E’s, Lazermaze/Grid of Stones
Group 2: Circus Frenzy, I.E’s.
Group 3: Dance Mania, Circus Frenzy.
Group 4: Climbing, Dance Mania.
Group 5: Lazermaze/Grid of Stones, Climbing.
Group 6: Tunnelling/Vortex, Abseiling.
Group 7: Abseiling, Tunnelling/Vortex.
Group 8: Fencing, I.E’s.
Tuesday: Good morning! The children are wide awake and playing on the netball court before breakfast. We have the following activities this morning and will number the group photos for you.
Group 1: Circus Frenzy, Climbing.
Group 2: Archery, Swimming.
Group 3: Sensory Trail, Archery.
Group 4: I.E’s, Tunnelling Voertex.
Group 5: Tunnelling Vortex, Sensory Trail.
Group 6: Fencing, I.E’s.
Group 7: Dance Mania, Fencing.
Group 8: Sensory Trail, Dance Mania.
Group 1: Dance Mania, Swimming.
Group 2: Climbing, Dance Mania.
Group 3: Swimming, Climbing.
Group 4: Archery, Circus Frenzy.
Group 5: Rocket Launch, Archery.
Group 6: Lazermaze, Grid of Stones.
Group 7: I.E’s, Sensory Trail.
Group 8: Fencing, I.E’s.
Monday: We left The Grove as scheduled at 10:00am and stopped for our picnic lunch on the way. The children were all full of energy and excitement as we got closer to Condover Hall.
We arrived at Condover Hall at 2:15pm. The children were very excited as we announced their rooms. Just before their first activities, we split the children into their day groups for group photos (online soon) and this afternoon we have: Archery, Rocket Launch, Tunnelling/Vortex, Sensory Trail, I.E's, Dance Mania, Circus Frenzy, Lazer Maze and Grid of Stones.
The children are all in bed resting for their first full day tomorrow. We are now uploading photos from this afternoon and evening to the gallery website.
The twenty-five children performing in our June lunchtime concert gave us so much to feast our ears and eyes upon. Congratulations to everyone who took part.
The cheeky chaps in Beech and Holly didn’t let us down with their speech and drama renditions, Jacob Okwaudigbo. Matthew Coomber, Dimitri Korontzis, Freddie Lancaster and Arjun Sohal told their funny tales of cats, lost socks, tastes and pancakes. Zayne Quinton joined in with his concert debut piano piece ‘Yankee Doodle’ that he managed to play so quickly that he didn’t even have time to sit on the piano stool!
Maanika Phul confidently played ‘Little John’ a clarinet piece. This was the first time she’d played in a concert. It’s good to see some younger pupils taking up different instruments. We need more to play brass and woodwind instruments so that we can have a Grove School orchestra.
David Ogundeji gave a beautifully rhythmical performance of his piano piece ‘Russian Song’ and Ife Adekanmbi made a lovely sound on her guitar as she played ‘Song of the Mountian’. Elise Reeson played her gentle piano piece ‘Bluebird’ peacefully and Sheyan Kothari’s ‘Elephant’s Waltz was counted very carefully.
It’s been very encouraging to see our young musicians and drama students making so much progress throughout the year. Don’t forget to keep playing over the summer holidays everyone. Your teachers will be so amazed in your first lessons in September when you can play them a beautiful piece. They will think it’s Christmas already!
On the 26th of May we held our, now customary, end of half term House Day. This term the theme was celebrating our school Charity the Farakunku Foundation from The Gambia. All of the day’s activities were based around the customs, traditions and values of The Gambia. Activates ranged from designing a House Trip to the small West African nation, interpreting a traditional dance, playing Gambian games and designing Gambian Jewellery. As ever the houses were completely self-reliant during the day, in terms of deciding when to move from one activity to the next and who would be in charge or specific tasks in an activity. At the end of the day all the houses displayed their trip posters on the kick-wall and performed their dance to the rest of the school.
At the culmination of all the performances the final scores for the day were announced with each task awarding points for Growth Mindset, Self-Reliance, Timekeeping and Teamwork. All the Houses showed a great deal of empathy and understanding for a culture very different to our own and despite all the scores being very close, Arden came out winners of the day with Rockingham, Dean & Wyre close behind.
A warm, sunny Sunday morning greeted around 50 Grove bike riders for this year’s FROGIS Bike Ride on 14th May. Caldecotte Lake served as the venue for the second year in a row and proved to be a worthy venue as riders could choose between a 2 mile course and a 1¼ mile course.
Armed with quiz questions and clutching pencils, our flurry of biking enthusiasts embarked on the course ready to hunt down the laminated A4 quiz questions that were pinned to trees, posts or other suitable inanimate objects all the way around the lake.
Course completed, (most) questions answered, and bikes abandoned in cars or chained to fences, the riders gradually filled up a large section of the Caldecotte Arms where a variety of pub lunch options had been pre-ordered, ready to feed the hungry peloton.
The weather had been so impeccably organised by the FROGIS committee that several families, after eating their fill, leisurely moved out of the pub and directly into the playground for further fun time for the kids and chat time for parents.
A successful event overall and one quite possibly to be repeated in years to come due to its popularity with children and parents alike.
Well done and thank you to all who attended!
Our lunchtime concert was packed full of stories this month. The children sharing their Speech and Drama poems and excerpts told us many. Tales of scary snakes, (delivered with intensity by Sophia Shaikh), of herbaceous pods and beaches, (clearly spoken and with great timing by Freddie Lancaster and Dimitri Korontzis), and of Father’s Day cards and beautiful new days, (excellently performed by Autumn Pim and Samara Saanvi). Suspense filled stories like ‘Mrs Mather’ kept us on the edge of our seats, (performed by Maya Shah), and a lovely rendition from ‘Little Women’ read by Emily Ying-Clifton that made some of the older audience members want to read the whole story again.
Stories can be told by music too. We heard the gorgeous tune of a waltz singing out over the top of a beautiful left hand accompaniment played by Emily Garwood and the ringing tones of a twinkling star played by Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio on his guitar. Barnaby Davison’s ‘Cheeky Monkey’ was very playful on his violin and Thomas Huggin’s ‘Saints’ were brilliant at marching in time. Damilola Omotosho showed us some real ‘Attitude’ at the piano and Joseph Imonioro’s clarinet playing ‘Guinea pigs’ were marching almost more in time than the saints.
The cutest story told was Kylie Dissanayake’s, she is so small she needed to climb on to the stool to play us those famous Big Ben chimes. Well done to everyone for another delightful concert, especially to those I haven’t mentioned, you were all so good at your very special storytelling.
Foundation had a wonderful day celebrating our British Values. The children explored the value of tolerance with Ms Casiraghi who transported them to a Venetian festival and they made masks and gondolas and dressed up ready for the parade. With Mrs Vass they visited the local library as part of the value for embracing their local community. They had a wonderful time exploring the children's section and were wonderfully behaved following the library rules of being quiet. Mrs Vass thought that they were so beautifully quiet in the library that she quite fancied teaching all of her lessons there! In their outdoor session the children role played the values of Common Law and with the bikes had to follow the laws of the road around the Noah's Ark. There were some very good traffic inspectors and they ensured all pedestrians used the appropriate zebra crossing and waited for the bikes to stop. Even Mrs Berkin was able to cross safely much to the children's delight. With Mrs Collins we discovered the idea of democracy and team work and had to listen to each other as we attempted to build a den which all the children could fit under. All the groups were very successful and we snuggled inside and listened to stories and were transported on a camping holiday with pillows and blankets. The children had just as much fun taking down the dens as putting them up and worked really well together. For all of the Foundation Team adults it was an absolute delight to watch the children exploring and investigating together. We were so proud of their behaviour and cannot wait for our next House day together.
The children in the pre-prep department of the school had a fun packed day during the house day that took place just before half term. The theme of the day was British Values so the Teachers decided to base their activities on the four countries that make up the United Kingdom. In Mrs Okwadigbo’s room you visited Wales. Here the children learnt about welsh customs as well as making the welsh symbol of the daffodil and some yummy welsh cakes. Miss McCall took her children to Ireland. Here the children learnt about St Patrick, as well as the story of the Irish leprochorn, the children all made their own lucky four leaved clover! Mrs Prigmore-Wells focused here activities on England, here the children learnt about St George and the Dragon, and the symbol of the tudor rose! The children made some cucumber sandwiches and practised the art of an English tea! With Mrs Carlin the children visited Scotland. Here they learnt about Scottish customs and places of interest including castles and loch ness! The children also listened to some traditional Scottish music and made some shortbread.
The children all really enjoyed the activities that they took part in on the day and by the end of the day had a better understanding of some of our British Values!
Following from the success of International House Day in the Christmas Term, we had British Values House Day on the last day of the 1st half of term. As before, all of the houses were working together from Yew & Aspen to Spruce & Juniper, to score points based on how successful and how well they worked together to complete a task. All the tasks were based upon ‘Fundamental British Values’ such as The Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect & Democracy. The tasks required all the pupils to work together physically and mentally with the aim of stretching their boundaries and challenging them to work with new groups of people, many of whom think completely differently to themselves.
The pupils demonstrated an excellent ability to work together in some stressful environments and were able to discuss their thoughts and feelings at the end of each session and as a school at the end of the day.
After all the points for the various activities had been collated the results of House day were as follows:
On Thursday the 9th of February we welcomed Mr Kirk, from Uppingham School, to The Grove to run our very first house quiz event. The teams were made up of the top 4 scorers in each house after the whole school quiz last week.
Mr Kirk brought with him a University Challenge quiz machine that allowed the teams to buzz in to answer questions and electronically keep track of the scores. In the first round Dean took on Rockingham, in what proved to be a see-saw of a tie. The lead repeatedly changed hands throughout and it was not until the final round of questions that Rockingham were able to secure the victory by just 30 points. In the second match Arden and Dean faced of in another close encounter. However this time Wyre raced into an early lead until some excellent late answers from Arden saw them mount a fine come back to with by 60 points.
The final ensued with the Arden and Rockingham teams both keen to take the title. Again it was a very close affair that swung both ways at the start before Rockingham looked like the were going to run away with the title. However, Arden showed great resilience again and were able to pick up a lot of extra points in their bonus rounds to haul Rockingham back in. Going into the last question there were just 10 points in it but Arden managed to take control of the final set of bonuses to win by 20 points.
Congratulations to everyone who took part in the quiz and the spectators who supported their houses so well. We look forward to the event returning in the future.
1st - Arden (Jasmine Fadayini, Juimeriah Francis, Jacob Foster, Gabriella English)
2nd - Rockingham (Findlay Hovell, Iraa Kulkarni, Rohit Rajaraman, Emily Ying-Clifton, Mariam Elakama)
3rd = Wyre (Isaac Henshaw, Dean Quinton, Darina Vieceli Fitch, Elijah Martey) & Dean (Harry Dunning, Dami Omotosho, Chloe Cave, Tiya Mistry)
Year Winners School Quiz:
Year 8 - Joseph Gwena
Year 7 - Jasmine Fadayini
Year 6 - Darina Vieceli Fitch
Year 4 - Findlay Hovell
Year 3 - Sophie Hartley-Wiley