Year One children have been learning about churches as part of their R.E. curriculum; they visited the school chapel to find out about its special features. Here the children are looking at the altar, which was actually designed and made by former pupils. They thoroughly enjoyed hearing what Mr Hunt, the School Chaplain, had to say about it.
Pre-Prep News 2016/17
Summer Term 2017
Many of the Year Two children received their Gold Star Awards during assembly for the Holiday Reading Challenge. They have been taking part in the challenge for three years and were very proud to receive recognition for their efforts. Well done to them for persevering and enjoying reading so many books during the school holidays.
Year One thoroughly enjoyed their day to the Tiverton Museum where they learnt about the Victorian days. They took part in a Victoria school, played with their toys and learnt about the home-life of a Victorian family. The children thoroughly enjoyed learning about the wooden toys but I think they feel very lucky that their teachers are not half as strict as those of the Victorian days!
Kindergarten have been learning all about the care of animals as part of their 'Pets' topic. Michelle and Di from the Cats Protection Axhayes Centre visited one afternoon to talk to the children about the charity and the care of cats. The children learned all about what cats eat and drink, grooming, microchips, cat flaps and keeping cats healthy. They particularly liked the opportunity to try out a wide range of cat toys. As well as enjoying the presentation the children learned a huge amount and were also able to contribute information about their own cats. At the end of the afternoon we were able to present cat food and toys that the children had kindly brought in to donate to the charity.
The children in the Pre Prep have been busy digging up and planting their gardens. They are looking forward to watering the plants and eating the fruits and vegetables that they grow.
We enjoyed beautiful Spring weather when Mervyn Bedford visited the Pre-Prep to run two outdoor Music workshops. The children had a wonderful time joining in a number of action songs connected with the seasons. They loved using boomwhackers during the song Aiken Drum and shakers during a song about bees. There was some very enthusiastic pancake tossing from children in Years One and Two when they sang a pancake song!
Spring Term 2017
As well as enjoying an explosive Chemistry assembly put on by Andy Mead from the Senior School the children in the Pre-Prep were enthralled when Dr Matt Pritchard presented his 'Surprising Science' show. He used everyday objects to perform various magic tricks and Science experiments that the children could safely replicate at home. They were encouraged to think about how the experiments worked and put forward their ideas. When an empty biscuit tin was seen to roll up a slope there were many theories as to how it might happen from invisible threads pulling it to a hamster running around in the tin!
The theme of British Science week was 'Change' and the different year groups chose their own activities to explore changes. Cooking was a popular activity in many classes. Various substances and how they could change were explored in Kindergarten and the children enjoyed experimenting with ice, eggs, jelly and gloop!
Year 1 and 2 have had a wonderful afternoon playing in the Tag rugby festival against each other, Duchy and Willand. The children played in mixed gender and age groups and all played very well as a team. The rain did not put us off - in fact, it made getting muddy legs even more fun! As always, the festival was finished with a delicious snack and certificates, which the children thoroughly enjoyed. The Year 1's are already looking forward to playing again next year!
On Wednesday 15th March, there was great excitement in Year 2 as the children set off on a trip to visit Exeter Cathedral and Exeter Mosque as part of the Religious Education Curriculum about why some places are special. Lindsey, our guide, took us on a very informative tour of the Cathedral and the children saw many interesting features including the font, stained glass windows, various altars and the pulpit. Lindsey was delighted with the amount of information the children already knew and they asked some really good questions too. Later the children enjoyed doing their own brass rubbings to bring back to school before enjoying a delicious packed lunch.
After lunch, we got back on the coach and travelled the short distance to Exeter Mosque where the Imam met us. He explained the way in which Muslims in Exeter use the Mosque, not only for prayer but also for learning Arabic at weekend school for children from five to fifteen, youth clubs for boys and girls and women's yoga sessions. We were invited to watch some Muslims men pray and the children sat quietly and behaved respectfully, as they observed the rituals that they had heard about at school. The Imam then offered refreshments to the staff and children before we went on a tour of the Mosque to look more closely at different areas, such as the women's prayer area and the washrooms. All the children listened very carefully and they had the opportunity to ask questions about what they had seen and heard.
Year 2 l had a very interesting day and the children were very keen to share all the things that they had enjoyed on our return to school.
Year 1 and 2 thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of House matches. The children showed fantastic netball and football skills. They have proved that they can be competitive but that they are all very good sportsmen and women and all all enjoyed the afternoon without worrying about the score. Well done everyone and especially to Raleigh Netball and Drake Football for being the overall house winners. The children were just as delighted to finish their matches with a delicious healthy snack to re-energise with!
Mrs Boxall and her cellists performed in assembly this week. They demonstrated the skills that they have been learning in their lessons. They have only been learning for two terms so it was very brave of them to perform on the stage in front of their peers. They showed how to use the bow properly and how to pluck the strings. It was a super start to the day listening to their lovely songs.
Congratulations to the winners of the "Best Decorated Poem" competition in the Pre-Prep. The children were very excited to hear which poems had been chosen by Mr Moore as the best in each year group. He was very impressed by all the poems that had been entered into the competition. Well done to all who took part.
Poetry Day was a fantastic finale to our Creative Arts Week. The staff and children came to school dressed up as some wonderful poetry and nursery rhyme characters. Poetry Slam visited the Pre Prep for the day and helped every child to create and recite a poem with actions. It was lovely to see so many children enter the recital competition; a lot of hard work had gone into the learning of some great poems and many children had to summon huge courage to recite their chosen poems in front of an audience. We were delighted that the Speech and Drama pupils from Year Eight were able to join us in the afternoon to help judge the recital finals and to recite their own poem in front of the Pre Prep. The younger children watched in awe as they recited "The King's Breakfast" by A.A. Milne. There were also some super entries into the "Best Decorated Poem" competition, which will be displayed outside the computing room for all to see.
Number Day saw the children arriving at school in their old clothes and wet weather gear. They were ready to tackle a number of mathematical challenges. The children, from Nursery 1 to Year 2, were put into mixed age groups and worked together on 3 activities. In the specially constructed sand areas the question was - Which group could build the tallest sand structure and which would have the largest perimeter? The children worked together producing a range of structures and with the assistance of some Year 4 children, they were able to measure them and record it. A second challenge involved making symmetrical pictures using the resources around them. The staff were very impressed by the innovative ideas and the final pictures they produced. The shape hunt was extremely popular. The children donned their waterproofs and wellies and shrugged off the rain to explore the school grounds to find the hidden shapes and numbers. Once this had been achieved they returned to The Hub where they worked together to crack a code.
Throughout the day, the children were fully engaged with the activities and were exemplary in their behaviour. It was such a pleasure to see them all working so co-operatively together and embracing the outdoor learning opportunities.
Year 1 thoroughly enjoyed their Outdoor Learning day where following the theme of their history topic 'The Great Fire of London' they collected all the necessary sticks and wood to have a fire. We finished the day making music to 'London's burning' using claves whilst having a delicious hot chocolate.
Many grandparents came to school for the morning to be with their grandchildren to see how learning has changed since their childhood. The children loved having them there to help with their lessons. There was a special assembly to start the day with children performing with their musical instruments and reciting poems. The grandparents enjoyed a cup of coffee and some delicious cake before heading home. It was a great way to start the week.
Year One thoroughly enjoyed their Great Fire of London day. They learnt to write with a quill, study the coins and clothes used during the 17th Century and created a drama piece retelling the events of 1666. The children all decided that they would much prefer to be a rich person than a poor person during the reign of King Charles II!
Screams of excitement could be heard from the Pre-Prep hall when Neil Vaughan made his annual visit to the children in the Nursery and Kindergarten. During his Really Wild Show the children had the opportunity to meet some Giant Hissing Cockroaches, a Chilean Pink Bird Eating Spider and a Blue-tongued Skink. They found out all about where they live, what they eat and other interesting information. Some of the children were brave enough to stroke the cockroaches or let one crawl up their arm! Many of the children carefully stroked the Skink and one boy even allowed Neil to place it on his head!
Autumn Term 2016
Christmas Lunch was delicious. The children tucked in with great gusto! There was Roast Turkey and all the trimmings followed by a choice of puddings. They all looked so delicious it was hard to decide what to choose. The kitchen staff did us proud.
Term ended on a high with the Pre-Prep Christmas party. The children came to school in their party clothes and enjoyed playing games and having fun together. Father Christmas surprised us all by turning up half way through the afternoon with a sack full of presents. He even had presents for the teachers.
The talented, local author, Amy Sparkes, joined us in the Pre-Prep this morning to present prizes to two lucky winners of the Robo-Snot Competition. The inspiration for the competition came from the recent publication of her latest book, Robo-Snot. The two winners were delighted to receive signed copies of her book as prizes.
It was delightful to see the very youngest children in the Pre Prep performing on the stage with such pleasure and confidence this year. They were all smiling and waving at their friends and families whilst retelling the traditional Christmas story. They looked very proud of their costumes and took their individual roles very seriously. It was a joy to behold.
Year One spent a very festive morning at Killerton House. They dressed up as Victorian children and learnt all about the Fairy Tales written by the Grimm brothers. They thoroughly enjoyed going from room to room and guessing which tale the room was based upon. Two great favourites were the Gingerbread House and Rapunzel's hair which was so long it wound all the way down the staircase. The house looked beautiful with all the wonderful Christmas trees and decorations. It certainly made us all feel very Christmassy.
The Pre-Prep thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas Sports afternoon. Dressed with a Christmas item, the children worked in mixed-aged teams to complete a number of different Christmas-themed sports. These activities included relay racing, building a Christmas tree with a variety of sport's equipment, musical balances to Christmas-themed songs and many more fun-filled activities. The afternoon concluded with a bite of fruit and water.
The Kindergarten performed a story called "Shine, Star, Shine" for its Christmas Nativity Play this year. It was a story about a star that couldn't shine. The other stars tried to help it to shine by telling jokes, singing songs and doing silly dances but to no avail. It was not until it saw Baby Jesus in the stable that it began to shine out brightly. The children looked extremely proud to be wearing their costumes; they sang their songs and spoke their words cheerfully and loudly. The mums, dads, grandparents and friends all thoroughly enjoyed the production.
The festive season has officially started. Year Two performed their Christmas Nativity Play today; it was called "Christmas with the Aliens". The story was about a group of aliens who landed on earth when their space ship broke down. They were invited by a group of school children to find out what Christmas was all about by coming to their school Nativity Play. The cast of the play has battled with colds, coughs and all sorts of bugs and have missed lots of their practices. However, it all came together today and they gave us a super performance. They sang and acted superbly well and provided us with great entertainment.
Parents and friends thoroughly enjoyed the performance of this year's Year One Nativity Play which was called "The Raggedy King." It told the story of the shepherds finding out about the birth of Jesus and running down from the hills to the stable in search of the raggedy king. The children had a lot of fun singing and dancing in front of a packed audience and there was not a dry eye in the house!
The highlight of Book Day for the Pre Prep children and the staff has to be Book at Bedtime. The children returned to school in their pyjamas clutching their teddies and sleeping bags. They snuggled down to stories by candlelight and enjoyed a hot chocolate and cookie half way through the evening. It was the perfect end to what had been a wonderfully fun day.
The Pre-Prep has been full of amazing book characters today. We have had the BFG, pirates, princesses, rabbits, Harry Potters and even a warship from a non-fiction book. The children all looked amazing. The talented, local author, Amy Sparkes, joined us for the morning and read her stories to the children and talked about being an author. In the afternoon, the teachers all put on special story sessions in their classrooms. It was a super day for celebrating the joy of books.
It was so interesting to hear about the duties of the Tiverton Mayor today. During his visit to the Pre Prep, he talked about his role in the Tiverton community and about the uniform he has to wear. There was a great deal of interest in the gold he wore around his neck; it looked incredibly heavy. The Beadle that accompanied him showed the children the mace that he has to carry in order to protect the Mayor.
The children in Kindergarten and Years One and Two had a treat when they visited the Prep School hall to see and hear Mrs Jenkins, a harpist, demonstrate two of her harps. They enjoyed listening to her play a few pieces and then watched as some of the older children had a go themselves. At the end Mrs Jenkins asked the audience who would like to learn to play the harp and many hands went up including some of the teachers! Thank you to Dr Leaman for organising the visit and to Mrs Jenkins for her wonderful enthusiasm.
Thank you to the many families who have contributed to this year's harvest appeal. We are supporting the very worthwhile, local charity called CHAT, which does an amazing job of providing food and shelter to homeless people in Tiverton. There will be many people who benefit from the generosity that you have shown. Year Two children provided us with a super harvest assembly which reinforced the message of how fortunate we are to have enough food to eat. After only seven days back at school, they managed to learn their words and to speak out confidently in front of a large audience of friends and family.
It was very exciting to watch the Tour of Britain cyclists race past the school at full speed. The children lined the pavement outside the Pre Prep in order to cheer them on loudly.
Fifty four children enthusiastically took part in this summer's "Holiday Reading Challenge." Mrs Nash thoroughly enjoyed reading all the book reviews. It was particularly exciting for twelve children who received their Bronze and Silver Star Awards.
Well done to all those children who took part.