In the penultimate week of term over 200 Old Boys and Girls came back to their Prep School to enjoy music, refreshments and a tour of the School. Two Old Boys from the very first School photograph in 1929 came back to a part of the day. The guests enjoyed a short musical concert in our summer marquee and then looked at old and new displays and archive material around the School hall and atrium. Some wished to tour the School and they were fascinated by how things had changed.
News 2009 - 2010
Summer Term 2010
On the penultimate Friday of term, the summer marquee was again full of people enjoying our annual prize giving event. The Head Master reviewed the year and Year 6, along with others, enjoyed receiving an array of prizes. All year 6 were given their lovely leavers books. The audience were privileged to hear The Honourable Mr Timothy Knatchball speak very movingly about his past experience. Timothy survived the bomb blast when the IRA blew up his family fishing boat in Ireland in 1979. The bomb killed his twin brother Nicholas, Earl Mountbatten, a friend and his grandmother. Recently he has written the acclaimed book "From a Clear Blue Sky" which tells the story, his recovery and the way he has come to terms with these events. His message was one of forgiveness and hope.
Last week all enjoyed our annual summer concert in our Speech Day Marquee. Hundreds of parents and friends enjoyed a lovely evening of music and picnics, with the children from Year 2 upwards showing off their skills. The choir were in fine voice, as were the Parent choir and staff choir! The School Orchestra, strings and brass groups played with great enthusiasm and showed much promise. Even Mr Folland was up on stage playing with the brass group, despite not blowing an instrument for a very long time!
Congratulations to Laurie Dawkins in Year 6, who became the National 100m and National 200m champion after winning these events last Monday in Birmingham, in the National Championships. Laurie ran personal best times to win the finals after coming second in her heats. We are all very proud of her. Laurie is also very busy at School at the moment, as she has a lead role in the Year 6 play "Arabian Nights," to be performed this week. Laurie is a popular unassuming and talented girl and we all want to say WELL DONE!
All pupils in year 6 have been working so hard towards their end of School play "Arabian Nights," to be performed on Wednesday and Thursday 7th and 8th July. The costumes are wonderful and all are very excited. On Tuesday they performed the dress rehearsal; to the School and this went very well indeed. The singing and acting was excellent and the children have learnt a huge amount of lines. Good luck to them all.
Year 4 recently had a residential trip to Beam House adventure centre.
The drama club performed 'The Princess and the Pea' to parents and the school today. It included many strong performances from year 4 and 5 pupils who concluded by singing 'I'm getting married in the morning'.
Thanks to Mrs Jeffs, Mrs Bruce who run the club and to Mrs Rhodes who put together the costumes.
Our new all-boy chamber choir joined the Blundell's Senior Chamber choir in the Blundell's Chapel to sing in evensong this week. The boys had practised hard under the guidance of Mrs Bruce and contributed to a lovely service, full of the most beautiful singing. It is hoped that further combined events will take place. A lot of male singing talent is clear within the school and well done to all for their excellent contribution.
On Thursday 13th May all the Prep school children enjoyed the latest Prep School Theme Day, this time the theme was Fair Trade, as we embark on our journey to be recognised as a Fair Trade School. The children enjoyed cooking Fair Trade biscuits and cakes throughout the day, working in specialised maths workshops, drama groups and listening to a professional storyteller. The children worked in mixed age groups and ended up by selling the produce at a Fair Trade café which was well supported by our parents. A good day was had by all!
On Saturday 15th May pottery was the order of the day for our latest parent café event. Parents enjoyed the opportunity to make a clay pot and learn from the experts of Cheriton Ceramics. They also enjoyed painting a mug, which the school will fire and hand back when ready. Those that attended really enjoyed themselves, experiencing a fun and relaxing hour over a cup of coffee. This event followed the successful café events held previously on butchery classes, internet safety and friendship and bullying policy. Our next event may well focus on child development and the challenges of parenting the modern child!
Spring Term 2010
Year 3 enjoyed a rather wet but busy residential trip to Beaford Arts Centre, Broomhill Sculpture Park and Saunton Sands in the last week of term. On the first day, the children painted Greek mythological creatures with the help of the resident artist at Beaford. They also had fun painting Easter craft. In spite of the rain, the children let off steam in the afternoon at the nearby playing fields, getting rather muddy in the process! A welcoming hot shower, delicious evening meal, games and a DVD completed the first day before the children retired to their dormitories.
On day two, we packed up and headed for Broomhill Sculpture Park. It was very wet here, but we spent 1½hours viewing the fascinating sculptures. At Saunton Sands, it finally stopped raining and we were able to spend a couple of hours on the beach, making sand sculptures, visiting the shop and playing cricket. All the staff, Mrs Nicholls, Mrs Ryan, Mr Mildren, Mrs Aldridge and Miss Bennett, thoroughly enjoyed the trip too and would like to thank the children for their excellent behaviour.
Mad Science rounded off our science week with a show about air and its uses. It was for both the pre-prep and prep schools. The 'mad' professor did a number of experiments to do with air.
During science week all the children took part in various task to do with air. The pre-prep built kites and the prep made parachutes.
To start off science week, Mr Guy from the senior school's chemistry department did a series of experiments to do with oxygen, in both pre-prep and prep school's assemblies. Everybody wanted to become a chemist after Mr Guy's demonstrations!
Mrs May, who is running the London Marathon in aid of Action for Children, recently organised an 'Action for Children' fun run. The cross-country run comprised of three laps of the sports pitches. Mrs Brickell held an aerobics session prior to the run to warm everybody up. Over £500 was raised on the morning, and fun was had by all.
The U11A Netball Team recently travelled to Bryanston School to compete in their annual Netball tournament. There were 24 taking part from near and far. The Blundell's Prep girls were very excited and very keen to make a good impression, which they did. I was very proud of the girls to hear such positive comments, about their performance and kit, from other parents and school coaches. They started well winning both games against Ballard and Sunninghill, followed by drawing against Knighton House and losing to Farleigh and Leweston, but again winning their final pool match against Port Regis. Lots of goals were scored and Jenny Prevett and Arianna Folland learnt valuable lessons about performing under pressure. Finishing third in the pool meant that the girls made it to the Bowl competition and faced FMS School. The semi final was exciting with end to end play. Blundell's Prep were victorious and made it to the final against Mount House. Unfortunately they lost the final, but not without a fight. A great day and great fun! The girls are looking forward to an exciting netball term and many matches to come!
Two staff will run the London Marathon this year and this is becoming quite a Prep School tradition. Good luck to Mrs May and Mr Swain. Training is already under way and please do join the Fun Run which is taking place at 10.00 am on Saturday 23rd January in aid of Action for Children. Come on parents and children! Entry Forms are winging their way home. Our thanks go to the children and parents for already supporting Mrs May by buying the wrist bands, which can be worn for the term. Well done to Mrs May and Mr Swain. A terrific challenge!
This term we welcome Gill Ryan to Blundell's Prep - all the way from Adelaide, Australia. Mrs Ryan will be taking 3HA, Miss Harrison's class for two terms on a teacher exchange. At the same time we say farewell to Miss Harrison as she travels to Australia to teach at Fulham North Primary School, Adelaide. It is an exciting opportunity for both and whilst Mrs Ryan is getting to grips with the current cold snap, Miss Harrison will be expecting temperatures of 30 degrees plus in Australia when she travels out later this month. It is also a fantastic opportunity for pupils and staff at both schools to learn about life across the other side of the world and we hope that Blundell's Prep and Fulham North will have continued association long after this exchange.
Autumn Term 2009
Years 4, 5 and 6 have been preparing and performing pantomimes in the last week of term. The Roald Dahl written pantomimes are (loosely) based on the traditional stories of Jack and the Beanstalk (Year 4), Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf (Year 5) and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Year 6). The pantomimes were prepared by the children in two full pantomime rehearsal days where they practised lines and songs as well as making and building props and scenery. There were many great performances alongside some great singing and dancing with highlights being the Giant's entry on the stage in Jack and the Beanstalk, the Wolf's costume change (into the Grandmother) in Little Red Riding Hood and the seven dwarf jockeys with their racehorses in Snow White! The performances were thoroughly enjoyed by the many parents and pupils watching.
Year 3 pupils performed wonderfully in the Nativity Play, 'Come on Curruthers' about the 4th Wise Man - who couldn't keep up with the Three Wise Men we hear more about! The play, written by Head of Drama Mrs Jeffs, included many humorous moments and was enjoyed by the audience of parents and pupils.
The annual Christmas dinner saw all pupils and staff celebrating with music, crackers and enjoying a fabulous spread of delicious food. As well as the traditional roast turkey and all the trimmings, there was a magnificent choice of puddings that included Christmas Pudding, Profiteroles and Banoffee Pie. Thanks were given by the staff and pupils to the catering staff for all their hard work throughout the year.
Blundell's Prep enjoyed two lovely carol services in the School Chapel this Christmas. Firstly, the choir joined with three local primary school choirs to enjoy a Festival of Carols. Two Moors Primary School, Tidcombe and Uplowman sung two carols each and shared readings in the fifth annual shared carol service last week, which was enjoyed by all who attended.
The School's individual carol service was also held in the last week of term, where the choir sang beautifully to a packed chapel. All children new to the Prep school this term placed candles on the altar during the hymn "Once in Royal David's City."
Happy Christmas everybody.
On the evening of December 3rd the choir went into Tiverton to sing on the occasion of the switching-on of the town's Christmas lights.
On Friday, the Prep School all had to dress in House Colours to raise money for "Balloons," which is a local charity that supports children who have suffered loss or bereavement. The School Council decided that the Head Master who cannot be a member of a House, as he supports all of them, should dress in pink! He rummaged around to find some of his son's pyjama bottoms and some very silly white shoes. At least the children laughed in assembly! It was Mrs Jeffs, however, who stole the show!
'The Night Before Christmas' came a bit early this year - as performed by the Drama Club. The play was based on the classic Christmas poem, as well as having an additional story line which included some worried old toys, some greedy mice, excited children and a dog called Bella. The play would not have been complete without a visit from St Nicholas and some of his reindeer.
Year 6 enjoyed a ramble along the Grand Western Canal as part of a Science topic on foodwebs. A Canal Ranger led the group in looking at plant and animal life living in hedgerows along the canal, and all had great fun splashing through the mud on a Fungus Scavenger Hunt.
Three Blundell's Prep Pupils played in the Prep School Barbarian U11 rugby. Jack Lockwood, Ben Clarke and Tobias Francis played in a terrific game, with boys selected from all over the South West to represent their School in the South West area match, held at Blundell's Senior School. We are delighted that Tobias has been selected to represent the South West Barbarian team in the next stage. The standard was high and the event gives the boys a great opportunity to pitch their skills against all the other leading school players and to mix with them socially throughout the day and train together. Jack, Ben and Tobias enjoyed a great day. Well done to all of them and our thanks to the senior school for hosting such a lovely event.
On Monday the Year 6 Prefects ran assembly. Our theme was "decision making" and the Prefects acted out a playground scenario where a dispute was occurring and asked the assembly to decide the way they would behave to help the situation. Would they join in with the dispute, tell a teacher, or try to sort it themselves? Most opted for telling a teacher as their answer. It was then explained by the group that often in life there are no absolute right or wrong answers and that decision making can be very difficult. The prefects then opted for some fun, with the whole School singing "This is the way to Amarillo!" All in all, a very jolly assembly!
Christmas came early at our teatime concert recently. Our programme contained lots of Christmas tunes including a jazz arrangement of Jingle Bells.
Another pupil has only been playing the piano since the beginning of term, yet she performed Merry Go Round beautifully.
Years 5 and 6 thoroughly enjoyed watching Macbeth, which was performed by Shakespeare4Kidz, at the Queen's Theatre in Barnstaple. Before going to the theatre the children had looked at some aspects of the play in English lessons and everyone had participated in a drama workshop, led by actors from Shakespeare4Kidz. Most of years 5 and 6 can now do a very good impression of the three witches...!
Congratulations to these two pupils for winning the Prep School Poetry Writing Competition with their poems on the theme of 'Heroes and Heroines'.
Blaze of glory... Everyone had a great time at the Friends of Blundell's Prep Bonfire Party. The weather held out, the hotdogs went down a treat and the bonfire soon roared to life after a spectacular fireworks show!
The children in Year 5 visited a farm in Halberton as part of their geography work on farming. They toured the farm on the back of a (very bumpy) tractor where they were shown all the different crops that were being grown. They also learnt about how the land on a farm is used, soil types, the importance of crop rotation and how to make a living from farming.
Author and illustrator Shoo Rayner visited the school to run some inspirational workshops on story writing in October. Shoo has illustrated books for authors including Michael Morpurgo, Rose Impey and Michael Rosen, adapted Rudyard Kipling’s Just So stories and written over one hundred books of his own, featuring such characters as Viking Vik, Ricky Rocket, Dark Claw and Monster Boy. He told us a little about his life (including how he got that name!) and talked about different approaches to the writing process, as well as reading some of his stories and drawing some of his characters. He also involved the children in some creative writing of their own, before staying for a book signing session after school.
Year 3 took a Geographical and Historical trip around the Tiverton area to learn about different types of settlement. This included a visit to Bickleigh Castle where they were kindly hosted by Mr and Mrs Hay, who had organised a wonderful history trail for the students to follow.
This term, year 6 art students have been exploring rural and urban landscapes as a starting point for two dimensional work using watercolours. They visited the People's Park in Tiverton to collect ideas in their sketchbooks, to use in their own compositions.
This week all the pupils in Years 5 and 6 took part in a drama workshop with actors from Shakespeare4Kidz. They learnt much from these experienced actors and took on roles from Macbeth. Next week Years 5 and 6 will travel to Barnstaple to see Macbeth at the Queens Theatre.
As a finale to the Head South appeal for the Devon Air Ambulance and Blundell's Foundation last Sunday pupils turned out to support a sponsored cycle ride around school. The Pre-Prep pupils cycled around the car park at the Pre-School whilst the older pupils, including Year 7 and 8 pupils, cycled around the senior school campus. In total over 600 miles were cycled and of particular note Tommy and Max cycled over 25 miles each. Well done to all who took part and for raising more money for this worthwhile cause. The total money raised will be announced soon on the Head South section of the web site.
The Prep School enjoyed a lesson away from the classroom, when they watched the Tour of Britain cyclists pass the school. The excitement started with the Police motorcycle outriders stopping by the school to ensure road closure while the race passed through. The cyclists were travelling at some speed and the flag waving and cheering helped them on their way.
A rugby tournament took place at Port Regis School on Saturday 19th September. We came third in the Plate Competition.
Last week the school hosted Swanbourne House on a Rugby Tour to the South West. A competitive game led to a convincing win for the visitors. After the match the captains exchanged mementoes of the game. It was enjoyable afternoon.