It was lovely to see children from the Pre-Prep joining in with the older children at this year's Summer Concert. Some played violins and some joined in playing their brass instruments with the wind band. The Year Two children sang two songs. It was a good opportunity for them to listen to the older children and to see the sorts of things they will be able to achieve as they move up through the school. It was a super evening; families enjoyed their delicious picnics whilst listening to some delightful musical ensembles.
Pre-Prep News 2010/11
Summer Term 2011
Year One had a very exciting end to its year when it visited Torquay for the day in the last week of term. It was a super day spent looking around Babbacombe Model Village and Kents Cavern. The weather was kind and we managed to avoid the showers. We had a delicious picnic lunch in the gardens at the caves. The children found the tour of the caves very interesting and informative. The day ended with an ice cream and many happy children returned to school.
The children in Year One performed a wonderful play called "The Three Little Pigs". They all took part with great enthusiasm and spoke out and sang out clearly. The costumes were super and the play provided great entertainment for their friends and families.
We were determined to go ahead with the Pre-Prep Sports Day despite the weather; the forecast was dreadful so we decided to do the races in the Sports Hall. The children coped so well and the parents cheered them all on. They all joined in with a sprint race and then took part in different novelty races and skills races. To finish the afternoon, the Year Two children entertained everyone with a "Dress the Scarecrow" team race and the Year One children became very competitive in a team "Water Race". There was a skipping race for the dads and an egg and spoon race for the mums. The children were thrilled to see their parents take part. Afterwards, there was a super tea provided by the kitchen staff for the parents to enjoy. It was a fun afternoon.
The children in Kindergarten had a wonderful day at Escot Country Park. Maddie, from Escot Education, led the children in a variety of fun activities. The day started with making name badges before they went to the maze. Luckily nobody got completely lost! They then went for a walk through the park, stopping to feed wild boar, before having a great time in the adventure play area. After lunch they toasted marshmallows over an open fire. The highlight for the children who chose to do it was the barefoot swamp walk. There were shrieks of delight at they waded through the pond water up to their knees. The children returned to school rather damp but very happy.
"I liked eating the marshmallows. They were squishy. They tasted yummy." Ottilie
"I liked the wild boars. It was fun in the water. I got wet." Archie
"We went to Escot. I went in the maze. It was fun." Jake
The very youngest pupils in the school took to the stage this week with their retelling of the story of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." It was very entertaining; they sang songs and held up the food for the caterpillar to eat. There was a character called Arabella Miller who was frightened of the caterpillar until it turned into a beautiful butterfly. There were lovely garden flowers growing in the garden. Audience participation was requested to help with the singing. The children looked as though they were having a great deal of fun.
The Kindergarten children enchanted their audiences this week with their play which told the story of Billy No Buzz. It was a story about a bee that was different; he had no buzz. The other bees did not want to be his friend because he was different. By the end of the play, the worker bees had realised that Billy was special and that his lack of buzz did not matter. The whole year group was on stage throughout the play and they sang songs and spoke out their lines with enthusiasm.
Local author Amy Sparkes visited the Preprep to talk to the children about her recently published book which is called "Gruff's Guide to Fairy Tale Land". There was much laughter as she entertained them with tales of how to survive a visit to Fairy Tale Land. She also brought fun activities for the children to take part in afterwards; the older children wrote postcards to friends from Fairy Land and the younger children made bookmarks. We are now excitedly waiting for her next book to be released early next year.
Forms 2C and 2K recently visited Tiverton Castle. We were met there by Mrs Gordon who kindly gave us a tour. We looked at many interesting features which we had talked about in the classroom. The children particularly enjoyed finding out the origin of word 'wardrobe', which comes from the French word 'guardrobe' and learning how keeping clothes above ancient lavatories helped preserve them from moths! The children also liked trying on the helmets and looking at the armour. We all got to hold a cannon ball too. It was a very enjoyable trip and the children learnt many things about Tiverton Castle.
Year One children had an interesting time at Tiverton Museum where they learned about what life was like for children during the Victorian era. They experienced a Victorian washday which seemed to be a great deal of hard work. They played with Victorian toys; it was interesting to find out that most children played outside during the day. There was a very strict teacher who told them what school was like; they were very relieved that school has changed considerably since then! They also heard all about bath time and life in the kitchen. They had the opportunity to wear Victorian clothes and by the end of the day, had a very good understanding of how children lived over one hundred and fifty years ago.
As part of its RE curriculum, Year One visited Blundell's Chapel. The School Chaplain, The Reverend Tim Hunt, talked to the children about different aspects and features of the Chapel. For many it was their first visit and they were fascinated by its size and beauty. They were able to tour around and see such things as the organ, the altar, the stained glass windows and the pulpit at close quarters. It was an invaluable and enlightening visit.
This year the ballet show was based on the story of Peter and the Wolf. Children of all ages performed from the youngest children in the Pre-Prep up to the girls in Year Six. They coped very well with remembering their dances especially considering that the show was straight after the school holiday. There was some wonderful dancing and acting and it provided great entertainment for the audiences who watched.
The kindergarten recently had a visit from Mr & Mrs Pugh, volunteers from The Blue Cross, to talk to the children about pet care. The children enjoyed learning about how to look after different kinds of pets and were very keen to tell Mr and Mrs Pugh all about their own pets.
Spring Term 2011
Nursery One enjoyed their annual Spring Walk and Easter Egg Hunt at Knightshayes. The trees were coming into leaf, the daffodils flowering and the wind produced a marvellous ripple effect on the pond. We walked, had a picnic, egg rolled and then discovered mini Easter eggs, possibly left by the Easter Bunny. A thoroughly enjoyable morning trip.
It was hard to contain our excitement in Year One this week because of the anticipation of our first Mid Devon Tag Rugby Festival. Six local primary schools took part and it was wonderful to see so many children, parents and teachers descend on the school. The children played really well against each other and were great sportsmen and women. An added highlight at the end on the games was a special tea provided by the kitchen staff. Everyone enjoyed the matches and hopefully it will become an annual event.
Form 2C and Form 2K recently visited Exeter Cathedral as part of their Religious Education Curriculum. Children were taken on a guided tour of the cathedral and they saw many interesting features. The children were then able to take part in some craft activities in the Chapter House. They made mosaic pictures of candles, crosses or patterns and they also did some brass rubbings using wax crayons. After a delicious packed lunch the children went back into the cathedral to do some sketching of some of the things they had seen. Form 2K particularly enjoyed sketching in St James Chapel as there were lots of flags and Form 2C enjoyed sitting outside and sketching the gargoyle. Many people commented on how well all the children behaved in the cathedral and in the afternoon Sophie Elstone and Finlay Williams were selected to read the 2 o'clock prayers with the minister. We all had an enjoyable day and it was hugely beneficial for the children to see some of the things such as the font, stained glass windows and the pulpit, which we have studied in the classroom.
The children in Year Two performed a wonderful play for their friends and families last week called "H2O". It was an informative play describing all the different functions and properties of water; it even covered a description of hydrogen and oxygen atoms! There were snowflakes, sunbeams, stars, ice fairies, winds, fire and even a Jack Frost and a TV weather presenter. The children looked as though they were thoroughly enjoying themselves with the singing, acting and dancing; they kept their audiences captivated throughout.
The Pre-Prep was full of all sorts of creepy crawlies during this year's Science Week. The theme of the week was mini-beasts and the department was inundated with a fantastic variety of models and pictures depicting real or imaginary creatures for our competition.
Jack Pressman from The Animal Lecture Service visited the school one day with four fascinating creatures. The children in the Pre-Prep sat entranced while he talked about them. The chinchilla was the most popular of the animals and the children enjoyed learning about it and having the opportunity to stroke the wonderfully soft fur. He also brought a giant hissing cockroach, a bearded dragon lizard and a beautiful barn owl called Boo.
Later in the week the children in Kindergarten and Year One took part in an activity called 'Mini-beasts in the compost bin' which Demelza Annison from Resource Futures organised. She also worked with Year Two on activities about compost and planting seeds. The children learned about the importance of making compost and which materials can be put in the compost bin. Year Two had the opportunity to look for mini-beasts in compost whereas the younger children became different kinds of mini-beasts when Demelza waved her magic wand!
Leanne from The Happy Puzzle Company visited the school with a variety of games and puzzles. The children had great fun working as a team to solve them. Penguin Pile-Up proved a real challenge to the children in Kindergarten.
The children in the Pre-prep entered into the spirit of Red Nose Day with great enthusiasm. They wore their own clothes to school and had crazy hats and hair styles. They brought in donations for the Children in Need Appeal.
The children in the Nursery put on a wonderful performance this week for their friends and families. It was an ambitious production called "Eddie the Penguin Saves the World". It was an environmentally friendly play which involved a group of penguins travelling around the world finding out why the ice is melting. They then taught the different countries how to look after the planet. The children sang beautifully and spoke out clearly. The costumes were super with penguins, polar bears and even a Prime Minister. It was a delight to watch!
On Tuesday 15th March there was great excitement and anticipation in Year 2 as they met with children from Kelly College Pre-Prep for their first match experience. The girls played several netball matches and showed excellent team work as well as scoring three good goals. The boys completed a number of football games in which there was plenty of action and effort on the part of all players. Goals were scored by both sides and the friendliness and good sportsmanship shown by both sides throughout the afternoon resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable and successful time for all concerned.
In the Pre-Prep On Wednesday 2nd March 2011 children in Year 2, Year 1 and Kindergarten met in the hall for a Maths quiz to mark World Maths Day. In each team there were two children from Year 2, two children from Year 1 and two children from Kindergarten. There were three teams and all the children tried really hard with some tricky questions. The Blue team won but everyone was congratulated. The winners each received a prize. The rest of the children sat beautifully and supported their friends during the quiz.
On World Maths Day Nursery children moved into different classrooms and used outside to explore different elements of maths. They had fun using number in and out of Mrs Hulse’s room; from Mrs Pym’s room children had opportunities to play with shapes, and lots of sand and water was available with Mrs McDowell. The children enjoyed all the activities and liked visiting all the classrooms and outside areas too.
The Busy Bees children had great fun this week when they learned to sew and make their own puppets. They then decorated their faces. They were delighted with the end results!
The Otters Club recently watched the dance sequence from the film of Singing in the Rain and then enjoyed creating their own version of the dance - but without the puddles or rain.
The children in Year One have been finding out about "Homes" in their History lessons this term. They have drawn pictures of their own houses and found out how old they are. They arranged themselves in order to show the oldest house and the newest house in the class. The oldest house was around one thousand years old and had been mentioned in the Domesday Book - quite possibly a record for Year One!
It was an exciting week this week at Busy Bees because it was "Showtime." There was a wide variety of acts and things on show. We had a visit from Michael Jackson who demonstrated his amazing dancing and singing. There was a judo display and a pirate showing off his pirate talk. Everyone remembered to bring something in to show or do and it was a lot of fun for all.
It was wonderful to see the preprep violinists performing in the Prep School Tea Time Concert. They have been practising hard for the event and played particularly well.
Nursery One enjoyed the experience of riding on a double decker bus to Tiverton Parkway Station. This was linked to talking about different forms of transport and also looking at buildings in our locality. Riding on the top of the bus and looking out gave a new perspective, making us realise how many times the road through Halberton and Sampford Peverell crosses the canal.
As part of their topic about changing materials Form 2K visited the Food Technology room to make some sultana buns. They were investigating whether the ingredients would look the same when the cakes were cooked. They found out that the sultanas were the only ingredient that looked the same after cooking, as when they added them at the beginning. The children were excellent cooks and Mrs Watson was really impressed with them. They were even keen to wash-up at the end! Everyone took home six of the cakes that they made and they were reported to be delicious.
We ended the week with a French Day in the Pre-Prep. The children came to school dressed in the colours of the French flag. They all sang French songs during assembly. They enjoyed eating brioche at snack time. We read French stories and spoke French as much as possible. There was a delicious French lunch with baguette, French cheeses, pâté and salads. The day was rounded off with a fantastic French show during the afternoon. The children loved watching the different acts and hearing the French commentary. C'était superbe!
The children in Form One had a wonderful day out this week at St. Nicholas Priory in Exeter where they learned about the Great Fire of London. The Priory, which is a house owned by the Exeter Museum, is a building from Tudor times and is set up in the style of a house from that period. The children attended four different workshops based on food, portraits, clothes and the diary of Samuel Pepys. They were given a real insight into what life was like during the time of the Great Fire of London. They took part in some drama based on the Fire and were also involved in a problem solving challenge about what would happen if there had been a similar fire in Devon at that time. We stopped half way through the activities to eat a delicious picnic provided by the school kitchen; this was also one of the highlights of the day! It was an excellent trip and a lot of fun as well as very educational.
Mr Folland visited Kindergarten to teach the children some sign language as part of their work on the topic of ‘Sounds’. They were fascinated to learn how to sign the letters of the alphabet as well as signs to show different emotions such as happy and sad.
On the 18th January Neil arrived with a ménage of mini-beasts and animals for Kindergarten and Nursery 1 to meet. There were cockroaches called Cedric, Shirley and Charlie and new arrivals on the day! Actually about 25 new baby cockroaches had been born that morning while at Blundell's Pre Prep.
We then met the Bird Eating spider called Ginny who was very bravely held by Rosie in KGP. Finally we were treated to the Skink lizard Norris who was very happy to lie down on top of Toby's head! Neil is always a favourite in our calendar and we really look forward to seeing him again next year.
Autumn Term 2010
We were so lucky that Father Christmas had time to fit a visit to Blundell's Preprep into his busy schedule this Christmas. He joined in our Christmas Party celebrations and brought a huge sack filled with presents for all the children and staff. We had a lovely time playing games, singing, dancing and eating the delicious party food.
It was delightful to hear the Preprep violinists playing in assembly recently. They have obviously been practising very hard in their weekly lesson and played beautifully for us.
The Nursery performed a charming Nativity play called "The Star Who Couldn't Twinkle." The story was about a star that was looking for someone to help her to twinkle like all the other stars. She asked the angels for help and Mary who led her to the stable. The sight of Jesus in the manger helped her to twinkle like all the other stars. The children who performed were from the youngest in the Preprep Department with the three year olds acting as the cows in the stable. They sang all the songs and accompanied them with some wonderful percussion. The older Nursery children acted out the story with great confidence and enjoyment.
The children in Year One were in for a Christmas treat this week when they visited Killerton House to experience a Victorian Christmas. They were shown around the house by Lady Jill and Lady Marianne. They learned about Victorian toys; they were shocked to find out that Victorian children did not receive presents at Christmas; it was only the grown ups that opened presents on Christmas Day. They enjoyed seeing the decorations and splendid Christmas trees around the house; they learnt that it was the job of one of the servants to stand by the Christmas tree all evening to prevent the candles from causing a fire! How times have changed! They loved playing the Victorian party games and listening to the carols and stories that were part of the entertainment at the end. In return for such a lovely afternoon the children then sang carols that they had prepared for the ladies of the house. It was a great start to the Christmas season.
The Kindergarten Christmas Nativity story was centred around a grumpy sheep who is not only cross but lazy as well. During the play, the grumpy sheep sees the error of her ways when she actually gets herself to the stable to meet the little Boy King. She even learns to smile and never be grumpy again. Every child in the Kindergarten was involved in the singing and acting. Some even played instruments. It was a super play that was enjoyed by all.
The Pre-Prep Christmas Nativity plays started this week with the Year Two performance of A Christmas Alphabet. The children told the story of Christmas by reciting a special Christmas poem. They also talked about all the different Christmas traditions in alphabetical order. It was a wonderful celebration of all that goes on at Christmas time; they sang lots of lovely carols and recited poems. It certainly made everyone in the audience feel very Christmassy.
Year One performed a Christmas Nativity play called The Raggedy King. It told the story of the shepherds finding Jesus in the stable. The children sang beautifully and their words were loud and clear. It was a moving story and caused quite a few in the audience to reach for their tissues!
It was a real treat to come to school in the snow this week. The children couldn't wait to go outside at playtime to play with their friends and have fun in the snow.
There was an added bonus in this week's games lessons in the Pre-Prep when players from The Natal Sharks Rugby Academy joined the lesson and helped to coach the children in their rugby skills. The children loved having the opportunity to play alongside such renowned rugby players. Some even managed to obtain an autograph or two as well.
Excitement was high on Children in Need Day. In order to raise money for this worthwhile cause, children were allowed to wear their own clothes to school with a dotty theme. As you can see from the photos, there were some very imaginative ideas for dotty clothing!
This year, the West Midlands Theatre Company performed a play called "Arabian Adventures." Children from the Pre-prep and Year Three were very excited to be able to spend Friday afternoon being entertained. It was hilarious and had the children and staff in stitches. Some children were chosen to help the cast with various parts of the play and they were cheered on by their classmates. It was a super way to end the week.
The children in Year Two were each presented with a certificate in assembly because they have taken part in a riddle writing competition. They have all written riddles that will be published in a riddle book that will be available for purchase. They were very proud of their achievements.
Pre Prep have had their first Art Day on the 1st November with two more booked for Spring and Summer terms. All years from Nursery 1 to Year 2 participated in a day of printing as this was the main focus for this particular day. There were many activities including using, in some years, a program on the computers to paint or draw a picture using the mouse as a paint brush or pen.
The Exuberant Early Years enjoyed many activities but particularly the opportunity to print using a selection of objects which they had to paint first and then produce a repeating pattern or a picture. Kindergarten also really enjoyed using their sketch books to design a model, before constructing it using recyclable materials.
Year 1 had the opportunity to produce, among many other art based ideas, a mono print using printing ink – a technique acquired from Mrs Aldridge. The results were fantastic.
Year 2 had a tremendous morning of art related activities, including designing their own fireworks and using printing tiles to reproduce their image with printing inks added and the support of Mr Mildren – the results were excellent.
The day was a huge success only due to the hard work of the children and all the staff involved. We are very excited to announce our next Art day will be in March when drawing will be our main focus. The results of all the childrens' hard work will be on display at the Summer Term Exhibition in June.
The children in Year Two have been learning about the life cycles of animals. As part of their science curriculum, they have had an incubator in their classroom with six eggs ready for hatching. The eggs all hatched within twenty four hours of being in school. The children were fascinated by the process of the chicks pecking their eggs and slowly making their way out into the world. They then watched them grow for the following few days.
There was great excitement on Monday when book week started with "Teachers' Favourite Books." This is when the teachers 'advertise' to the children what their favourite stories are and then the children get to choose whose story they go and listen to. There were books about dragons, pirates, cats, dogs and even a sad King. The children loved going to a different classroom for story time.
The children in Kindergarten and Form One enjoyed finding out about what the local library has to offer. They looked at the books and listened to some great stories.
There was great excitement amongst the children at this morning's Book Quiz. Teams were selected from the three top year groups in the Pre-Prep with children representing each class. There was a Red team, Yellow team and Blue team. There was a feeling of tension as the three teams vied for first place. It was very close but the winners were the Yellow team by just a few marks. They were very pleased with themselves and will be presented with prizes at assembly on Friday.
The well-known children's author, Rebecca Lisle, gave a talk to the children about how she came to be an author and where she gets her ideas from. She brought books with her that she had written as a child and was inspirational to our young, budding writers who came away with lots of ideas about how to get started on a good story.
Book at Bedtime was as always a wonderful occasion. Children from the Nursery upwards came back to school dressed in their pyjamas clutching their Teddy Bears and sleeping bags and settled down for some bedtime stories. Candles added to the atmosphere and hot chocolate and cookies at half time were definitely popular.
On the final day of Book Week the children and staff came to school dressed as book characters. We had Harry Potters, Cat in the Hats, pirates, princesses, fairies, soldiers, cats, dragons and even a Where's Wally. The children loved the fun of coming to school in costume.
This week the Pre-Prep celebrated its Harvest Festival. The children in Year Two performed a play about some church mice who enjoyed sharing the harvest in their church at this time of year. Mr Folland played the part of the church vicar, wearing a vicar's collar to help stay in character! The children brought in a huge selection of food and toiletries which was then taken by Mrs Filmer-Bennett to St Petrocs in Exeter, which is a charity that supports homeless people. They were thrilled to receive so much produce.
As part of their history curriculum, the children in Form One have been finding out about the first Teddy Bears that were ever made and about how bears have changed over the years. They brought in their bears from home and they made a timeline with them. The oldest bear was 47 years old!