Summer Term 2012
Olympic Honour for Blundell's Prep
Eight pupils from Blundell's Preparatory School were part of the Guard of Honour which lined the route for athletes making their way to the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Each of the 249 schools which formed the Guard of Honour supported one of the competing teams, with the Blundell's contingent supporting St Kitts and Nevis. The pupils later met the team and the athletes signed the banner the school had made and displayed along the Olympic route. Louiza May, head of girls games, who organised the school's involvement said 'The children were so excited to meet the athletes; it was a wonderful moment.'
The school had already learned about the country during lessons in the summer term and exchanged gifts and letters with its twin school, Beach Allen Primary School on St Kitts and Nevis. Blundell's Prep School was selected to be part of the Guard of Honour because of its commitment to living the Olympic and Paralympic values and incorporating them into their school lives and curriculum.
Westonbirt Science and DT Day
At the end of June, four Year 5 girls were selected to attend Westonbirt School for Girls' Science and DT Challenge Day in Tetbury. The girls took part in 3 egg-themed workshops in the morning; making an egg cup, cooking meringues and using chemicals to investigate the composition of eggs. In the afternoon they worked together as a school team to compete in the Egg Race Challenge. The girls had to buy materials and then make a capsule for an egg that would be catapulted across the school grounds! Our girls won 'Most Eggcellent design' (!) for their capsule and the unbroken egg came second in the catapulting competition. The girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves, with the chemistry session being their highlight of the day!
Tea Time Concert
Our last tea time concert of the year took place last Thursday (24th May). For some of the pupils it provided them with the opportunity to play in their last tea time concert. It was lovely to see so many of our younger children performing and the confidence with which they performed was amazing. It was a varied concert with the children singing, playing solo pieces on the piano, clarinet, cornet and saxophone as well as piano, flute and violin duets and recorder groups. Our drummers also performed their own compositions.
Well done to everyone involved in this concert and thank you to everyone who has supported our tea time concerts this year.
Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
The sun smiled down on Blundell's Prep on Tuesday as we prepared to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The playground was bedecked with bunting and balloons favouring the national colours of Red, White and Blue. The whole School, including staff, dressed to match this and sat as a Street Party to enjoy their mid-day repast. Flag waving, the singing of the National Anthem and many a Mexican Wave accompanied the delicious lunch. Our talented kitchen staff baked a wonderful cake to be shared and enjoyed by all.
Jubilee Celebration Preparations
Our Prep children were invited to join in the Tiverton Celebrations for the Jubilee by each designing a pennant to form part of the Bunting which will festoon Tiverton Town and the Grand Western Canal during the Jubilee weekend.
Beaford Trip for Year 3 Artists
Year 3 had a very exciting rain-free residential trip to Beaford Arts Centre where they enjoyed creating Olympic head dresses under the guidance of a professional artist. They also designed their own art aprons which looked fantastic! The following day, after a good night's sleep?!, they headed off to Broomhill Sculpture Park where they studied some amazing sculptures and then tried out their own sculpting abilities in the sand at Saunton Sands.
Maths Activity Morning
On Thursday 10th May the children in years 5 and 6 had an exciting morning of Maths activities under the inspirational guidance of Ms Angela Gould.
Year 6 started the day with a shape challenge in which they were given four irregular quadrilaterals and asked to form a square from them. Once they had completed this challenge, which they all did effortlessly, they were set the harder challenge of creating two squares with the same shapes. This proved slightly trickier, although not beyond them, as the second square lay in the middle of the shape. From this challenge the children were given a word search with a slight difference: the words that they had to find were their names. In all cases this challenge goes on still! Finally, the children were shown how to make perfectly regular hexagons and pentagons from a normal piece of A4 or A5 paper. Once they had made about twenty hexagons and ten pentagons they were able to make a very large football or beach-ball in the same design as a Premiership football. The children loved completing this challenge and enjoyed it enormously. The next challenge will be to make a pyramid, big enough for them to sit in, from sixty-four pieces of paper.
Year 5 took over after morning break and, once they had completed their word searches they were set a puzzle trail. The questions were enormously varied but all of them encouraged the children to think outside the box slightly. For example, one question was as follows:
"A family is made up of two parents and seven daughters. Each daughter has a brother. How many members of the family are there?"
Answers on a postcard to the school office!
All of the children enjoyed the morning thoroughly and the differing activities every one of them was able to gain a huge amount of knowledge from the experience.
Church Visit for Year 4
On Wednesday all of Year 4 went to visit the Methodist and the Anglican Churches in Sampford Peverell. The children enjoyed the morning and everyone had the opportunity to play the organ with their feet – and bell ringing proved to be the total opposite of a 'let down'.
Inauguration of the Mayor of Tiverton
Tuesday (08-05-2012) saw our Head Boy and Head Girl attending the Inauguration of the new Mayor of Tiverton. This is an ancient ceremony, the first Mayor was elected in 1615. Ralph and Anna-Rose did a fantastic job representing the school by presenting a bouquet and congratulating the new Mayor on his election.
Grandparents Return to Their School Days
Monday morning lessons took on a slightly different style as we welcomed over 80 grandparents in to our classes. They were able to participate in lessons alongside their grandchildren with Maths being the main theme of the morning. Many commented that Maths now seemed much more fun than in their school days and one or two wondered if they could come back to school!
The Grandparents were also invited in to assembly during which a few brave grandparents sat a test with their grandchildren in front of the Prep School. Luckily they got the questions right and did not have to stay behind for detention! During a question and answer session with the Head Master our grandparents showed an amazing knowledge of technology today. A debate ensued on the merits of an IPad versus a Kindle with Apple pitted against Microsoft Word. Mr Southgate also rated the merits of books highly as well. This was our fifth annual Grandparents' Morning and an event that we hope to hold for many years to come.
Spring Term 2012
Trip to Buckfast Abbey
On Friday March 9th Year 3 had a fascinating trip to Buckfast Abbey to learn more about life in a Benedictine Monastic Community. When we arrived we all enjoyed a wide variety of lively 'hands – on' activities in the Education Centre before being given a guided tour of the hugely impressive Abbey by Bother Nicholas who has lived as a monk at Buckfast for the past thirty years. Brother Nicholas then spent time with us answering questions from the children and all of us were fascinated to learn that his favourite hobby is bird watching (the feathered variety!) It was a real privilege for us all to gain so much insight into his life as a Monk and to learn more about the history of the Abbey.
The children behaved beautifully throughout the trip and it was lovely to hear many positive comments from other visitors to the Abbey referring to our good manners and smart uniform.
Creative Arts Week
A flock of fluffy sheep, a troupe of jostling jesters, a crew of menacing pirates and a cluster of colourful birds invaded Blundell's Prep School this week. Creative Arts Week allowed the children to explore their environment through a musical walk through the woods and to experience the arts of papermaking, weaving and batik. Battles ensued as pirate ships clashed with each other in a drama workshop and we are happy to report that all survived the perilous high seas. The creative arts of Music, Art and Drama are fundamental in giving the children a rich and fulfilling education and by devoting a whole week towards them, allowed the children to create pieces of work which would normally be put together over a number of weeks. He was also amazed by the contribution of time and energy given by the School's parents who worked alongside the staff in making the week such a success.
Pancake Race 2012
The Pancake Race like the famous Blundell's 'Russell' carries the distinction of being older than any of its competitors. This year's race was keenly contested and was won by Grenville, Raleigh being second and Drake coming third. A big thank you to Mrs Edge for her Michelin standard pancakes and I think we can all say that this year's event was no flip flop but a 'flipping' good time.
House Music Competition
The hotly contested House Music Competition took place yesterday afternoon after weeks of hard work and preparation by both the children and staff, particularly the music staff. A range of musical talent was much in evidence as the children sang in small and large groups, performed trios on the piano and played a wide range of instruments from recorders through to saxophones.
There was a great deal of healthy competition between the Houses, with Mr Hirst giving some very lively, animated support to his fellow House members, but a mutually supportive atmosphere pervaded the whole afternoon with every pupil willing the others to do well. Freya Marr deserves a special mention for the contribution she made to Grenville but each pupil gave their best effort and they should feel immensely proud of their achievements.
Mrs Edge and Mrs Filmer-Bennett had an incredibly difficult job marking each musical item and making the final decision as to who should be awarded the highly coveted House Music Cup for 2012; it was a very close call with just one point between first and second place. Drake just pipped Raleigh to the post and took first place in this year's competition.
St Petroc's X-Country
A purple wave descended upon the freezing shores of Crookleaze Beach, Bude, last Friday for the 20th Annual St Petroc's Cross country competition. Blundell's Prep, who competed against 25 other schools, swept the board winning all four team events – U9 Boys, U9 Girls, U11 Boys and U11 Girls. Each runner competed extremely well and all our runners finished in the top 21 out of a field of 100 plus runners.
Tea Time Concert
Our first tea time concert of the New Year took place last Thursday (26th January 2012). Children from across the school played a variety of pieces from traditional pieces to a piece by Snow Patrol. We heard the theme from 'The Flintstones' played as a piano duet and many of the audience's feet were tapping as we were treated to two pieces by Abba.
The children's performances reflected all the hard work that they have put into preparing for this concert and the enjoyment that they get from performing to their parents. Well done to everyone involved.
Henry VIII Visits for Tudor Day
Blundell's Prep School was privileged to receive a royal visit this week. Henry VIII and his court (alias Year 5) all dressed for the occasion and re-visited Tudor Times. At the end of a fun filled day, we could all say that 'things ain't what they used to be' – thank goodness, and not a single member of Year 5 lost their head.
Bryanston Netball Tournament
||Lost 5 - 1
||Won 6 - 2
||Won 5 - 1
||Won 3 - 0
||Won 8 - 1
||Won 6 - 4
||Won 8 - 5
It is always a lovely event to attend alongside the U13 team. The journey is always long but the Netball is well worth it. All coaches, staff and players agree that such an early tournament really helps get the season off to a flying start.
Both Blundell's teams were in great spirits and up for the challenge of the pool matches before the afternoon playoffs. Twenty seven Prep schools participated in the event from all over the South of England, so it was great to be able to wave the flag for Blundell's and Tiverton. Both our teams certainly made the spectators take notice.
With the news of the U13 team winning their pool it boosted the U11 to work hard in their final pool matches. We finished a very pleasing second in the group, only losing out to Hoe Bridge from Woking, Surrey. Second place took Blundell's Prep into the Plate Competition and meant a semi-final against Port Regis. After a tricky first half and a stiff team talk the girls pulled some fantastic team work out of the bag and won the match 6-4 and a place in the final against Amesbury. It was a nail biting game with the scores level, 5-5, at half time. Blundell's Prep won the final 8-5 with an outstanding performance. It was a great moment for the team and their supporters! Their hard work had certainly paid off, well done!
Gym Club 'Prepares' for the Olympics
Some of the Year 6 girls from our senior gym club travelled to the O2 Arena to watch part of the rhythmic gymnastics competition that was taking part as part of the 'London Prepares' Series. Gymnasts from all over the world competed individually, performing a routine using a ribbon and another one using two clubs. Following this there was a group competition in which five gymnasts performed a longer routine in which three ribbons and two hoops were used. It was absolutely amazing to see how five gymnasts could all work together to throw, catch, spin and roll these pieces of equipment together and in time to their music. We even saw hoops being bounced off one gymnast and caught by another. It was a fantastic competition in which Spain won the group competition. We were so lucky to see some extremely talented rhythmic gymnasts as well as some very sparkly leotards!
Autumn Term 2011
A 1940's Archaeologist from 'Time Travellers' visited Year 3 children to take them all back in time. As would-be archaeologists, the children, through artefact handling, studying of images and dramatic role play, learnt to piece together the evidence about life and death in Ancient Egypt.
The highlight of the day was an afternoon of Mummification. All had a role to play as they mummified an important person and gained a greater understanding of the different stages of this process and why each took place.
The children loved this off-curriculum theme day and I'm sure you can guess what they all want to be when they grow up!!
Halberton Court Farm Field Trip
Year 5 had an interesting trip to Halberton Court Farm. Mr Stevens welcomed us and took us for a tractor ride around his farm. The children learnt about modern farming methods and the types of vegetables grown at different times of the year.
IAPS Girls Hockey at Millfield
28 teams competed for the 4 qualifying spaces available. Our first match against Warminster went well and we had a comfortable win. Unfortunately BGS were unable to attend which resulted in a lengthy delay between matches and the weather did not help. It was wet, miserable and chilly but the girls kept their spirits high – unfortunately it was not enough.
It took a few games for the girls to warm up again, which resulted in only coming 4th in our pool – however we did make it through to the Plate Competition.
v Warminster, W 2 – 0
v Mount House, D 0 – 0
v Queens (Pool winners), D 0 – 0
v Hazelgrove (2nd in pool – National Qualifiers), D 1 – 1
v Clifton (3rd in pool), L 1 – 0
We played Truro in the quarter finals followed by Clifton in the semi-finals which went to Penalty flicks – Imogen Hamilton Green saving all three of Clifton's attempts – and then Port Regis in the final. The team won the Plate final 2 – 0. Despite the weather the girls' team performance was outstanding and they were well-deserving of the Plate.
Geography Field Trip for Year 3
Year 3 set off in two minibuses to explore Tiverton and the surrounding area as part of their Geography syllabus. After learning about John Heathcoat and his textile factory, they drove up to Knightshayes Court to see where the Heathcoat-Amory family used to live. The children explored the confluence of the River Exe and the River Lowman and learnt that the name Tiverton is derived from 'Twy-ford-town' meaning 'Two ford town.' Before returning to school, they visited Tiverton Canal and discovered that the canal was built to carry limestone to the kilns at Tiverton by horse drawn barge.
Tea Time Concert
Our first Tea Time Concert of the school year took place last Thursday. It was a varied concert with the children playing solo pieces on the piano, clarinet, flute, drums, violin, guitar, cornet and saxophone as well as some recorder, clarinet and piano duets. For some of the children it was their very first Tea Time concert and for one pupil, Barney Titchener, it gave him the chance to perform his very own piece 'Barney's Bash'.
The children had worked so hard over such a short period of time to be ready to perform. Their pieces were performed with confidence and with a real sense of enjoyment. Well done to everyone involved.
Proclamation of the Fair
Year 3 children attended Tiverton's Proclamation of the Fair on Thursday 6th October. This event is held bi-annually in the town centre, to remember an ancient tradition that is thought to date back to the 1300's. At historical proclamations, the Lord of the Manor stated the rules and regulations that the fair's stallholders needed to abide by. Today this is read by the beadle, before the mayor and councillors throw tuppeny pieces into a crowd of school children. Some of the origins of why pennies are thrown at children remain a mystery, but it is thought that the aim was to give them pennies to spend at the travelling fair. Blundell's Prep children thoroughly enjoyed collecting the rolling coins and all the money was put into one pot, before being shared out equally.
Children's Author Jon Blake Visits
Popular children's author Jon Blake travelled from his home in Cardiff to visit the school in September. Jon has written humorous and serious fiction for all ages, and has had more than fifty books published, including the Stinky Finger, Little Stupendo and Dogsbottom School series, The Supreme Dream Machine, The Last Free Cat, Mutiny on the School Ship Bounty and Oshie, his most recent book, which details the adventures of an amazing boy with cerebral palsy. Jon has also contributed to the Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme.
Jon ran several sessions working with children from across the school, talking about life as an author and fielding questions on writing for a living. He gave readings from his comic book Holiday Mania at the House of Fun, and played a video presentation based on his best selling picture book You're a Hero, Daley B. He also ran a creative writing workshop for the older children, encouraging them to come up with their own ideas for character driven fiction.
Jon left behind a number of signed copies of his books, which are available to borrow from the Prep School Library. You can find out more about Jon by visiting his website at www.jonblake.co.uk.