Well done to the children in the Pre Prep who took part in the Summer Concert this year. It was wonderful to see so many instrumentalists taking part; there were trombones, violins, cellos and recorders being played by the younger members of the school. The Year Two children also sang "Under the Sea" beautifully. They boldly stood up on the stage in the big marquee and entertained a vast audience of mums, dads, grannies, grandads and friends. They thoroughly deserved their picnics outside in the sunshine after all that hard work.
Pre-Prep News 2014/15
Summer Term 2015
The Year One children looked as though they were thoroughly enjoying performing in their Summer Play this week. The play was called "The Gingerbread Man" and they came on stage with big smiles and loud, clear voices. They sang some super songs and there were one or two delightful dances as well. The Gingerbread Man managed to fool many of the different characters that were chasing him, even the wily fox! Luckily, there were some magical fairies who cast a magic spell on him to protect him. The friends and families who came to watch were all impressed with how well the children remembered their words and by how confident they all were.
Year Two enjoyed a fantastic day at Escot Country Park at the end of the Summer Term. The sun was shining all day and this added to the excitement. As soon as we arrived at the park we got straight on with the activities of the day with an exploration of the maze. A special mention goes to Theo McFadyen who managed to make it through the maze on his own and well before anyone else. Well done Theo! Once we had all escaped, we headed back to camp and made name badges using a hand-drill and bits of wood. Our next adventure was an encounter with some animals. First we went to the otter enclosure where we saw the otters eating. Then we went to feed some wild boar. We then had an amazing look at some birds of prey. They flew very close to us and some children felt a feather or two through their hair! Year Two then went off on an adventure into the woods where we enjoyed our lunch by an open fire.
After lunch we toasted some marshmallows on the fire and played in the woods. Then it was the moment that the children (and teachers!) had been waiting for - the challenging 'swamp walk'. To their credit, every child went into the swamp and most made it all the way to the end. Once we had climbed through the mud to get out we went for a swim in a pond before being hosed off! It was a great end to a fantastic day out. The children behaved really well and were a credit to the school.
All the children in the Kindergarten had a fantastic day out on Tuesday when they visited The World of Country Life, Exmouth.
On arrival, they went to explore the enormous pirate ship. They had great fun running in and out of the ship, jumping in the sand and darting over the rickety bridge.
They then went to feed the lambs. They had to hold on tight to the bottles as the animals were very hungry! After that they went to walk some of the young goats. This was very fun for the children as the goats had a mind of their own and they were definitely the ones in control!
Before lunch the children had great fun on the deer train. They saw lots of deer and even a two week old white calf. Nearly all the children had a go at feeding the deer including some very proud looking llamas. On their return they tucked into their rolls, ready for the afternoon's adventures. They had great fun on the adventure playground before heading off to see the Bird of Prey demonstration. The children loved this especially when the birds flew right overhead. Madeleine had an Eagle owl land right next to her – I'm not sure who looked more surprised! They were shown a Golden Eagle, an Eagle Owl and a very small African Scops Owl and a Harris hawk. Before it was time to board the coach they had a chance to go and visit the rabbits and ducks in the nursery.
We all clambered back onto the coach after a brilliant day with perfect weather…and it wasn't just the children who fell asleep on the way home!
The skies were blue and the sun was shining for our Outdoor Learning Day. Children in Year Two and Kindergarten made their own fires and then whittled sticks for the marshmallow toasting. Children in Year One made popcorn on the open fire. They all enjoyed a mug of hot chocolate that had been cooked on the fire and toasted their own marshmallows. All the children went off foraging for wild plants to put in a soup; the older Pre Prep children picked home grown vegetables from their gardens as well. During the afternoon, the children made shelters together whilst the soup was cooking. They made bread on the fire and enjoyed a hot bowl of soup at the end of the day. Archie said that it was the best day of his life. We certainly had a lot of fun.
The Busy Bees from Year One had a super time with Ruth from Party Pieces. She captivated their imaginations by telling them the story of Nemo the Clown. She dressed up as Nemo and organised the children to help her find her lost elephant. There were clues for them to follow and surprises along the way. Once the elephant had been found, the children took part in a celebratory dance. They all listened to the story unfold with huge excitement and interest. They agreed that it was the best ever Busy Bees activity.
It was lovely to hear all the children who play string instruments perform in assembly this week. They played tunes that related to a sea theme with the favourite being the pirate shanty. There were cellos and violins in the concert and they made a super sound for everyone to listen to. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear the songs that they have been playing in their lessons. Well done to the children who took part.
Every child in the Pre-Prep took part in this term's French Assembly. They sang French action songs beautifully; they all looked as though they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. It was super to see and hear what they have been learning in their French lessons recently. Mr Southgate presented children with special certificates and prizes for working hard at their French.
Grey clouds and drizzle did not spoil the enjoyment of the Pre-Prep children when Mervyn Bedford, of Musikgarten, visited the school. The inclement weather meant the younger children started in the hall for their session with a variety of weather related action songs and rhymes. The sun came out just as they were singing about a rainbow and so the children were able to go outside where they learned a song about a mole which caused great excitement as they crawled through a tunnel. The most popular activity was pretending to be a long train with Mervyn, like the Pied Piper, leading the children around the trees. The second session, for Years One and Two, included some of the same songs and activities. In addition the children learned about pitch and identifying low and high sounds. The children had the opportunity to play different kinds of bells to accompany a song about bluebells.
Year 2 were very excited on Thursday 30th April to be setting off in the school minibuses to visit Tiverton Castle. Mrs Gordon was there to give us a cheery welcome when we arrived and then she gave us a guided tour. The children were fascinated by the information they heard and they listened really well to Mrs Gordon to learn all about the history of the castle and those that had lived there in the past. They looked at many interesting features and the children could clearly see where the people used to make their fires and how the floor was held up. The children were fascinated by the old castle toilet in the round tower and were really pleased that they did not have to clean them as young children had to in the past. The children really enjoyed looking at the armour, trying on the helmets and holding the heavy cannon ball. They were all very well behaved and Mrs Gordon commented on their good manners. We all had a lovely time at this lovely local historical site.
Year One children spent a thoroughly interesting morning at Tiverton Museum learning about a Victorian Childhood. They dressed up in Victorian clothes, helped with laundry day, played with Victorian toys and learned about home and school life. They were particularly interested in finding out about how strict teachers were in the Victorian times! After the workshops, they were then able to go around the museum looking at the different artefacts. They were very excited about all that they had seen and heard about upon their return to school.
There was great excitement in Kindergarten when Diane and Phil from the charity Cats Protection visited the Pre-Prep.
After watching a DVD about the charity and the work that they do the children listened carefully while Diane and Phil told them all about the care of cats. The children who have cats were very keen to talk about their own pets and one of the children had brought in photographs of her cat to show everyone. The children had the opportunity to test various cat toys and see how a microchip scanner works. Many of the children had kindly brought in donations of cat food and toys for Diane and Phil to take back to the Axhayes Adoption Centre where they work.
The children in Years One and Two have been busy planting fruits and vegetables in their garden areas this term. They have been taking great pride in regularly watering the plants and watching them grow. Hopefully, by the end of term, they might be able to taste some of the things they have grown.
Well done to the forty nine children who took part in this Easter Holiday's Reading Challenge. Mrs. Nash had many awards to present in assembly. Thirteen children received Bronze awards, nine children received Silver awards and eleven children received Gold awards. She thoroughly enjoyed reading all the wonderful book reviews that were completed.
It was very exciting to return after the Easter Holidays to find that a huge pirate ship had been built in the Pre-Prep playground. The "Friends of Blundell's" kindly raised enough money to purchase this really wonderful addition to our play facilities. The children couldn't wait for the first playtime so that they could enjoy clambering all over the various decks and the ship has proved to be a huge success. Mr Southgate held a launching ceremony during his Wednesday assembly and Mrs Williams, the chairperson of the committee, cut the ribbon and released the bottle of Champagne. The children clapped and cheered to say a big thank you to the mums and dads who have helped to make this possible.
Spring Term 2015
On Thursday 26th March 2015 Form 2K and Form 2R visited Exeter Cathedral and then Exeter Mosque as part of their Religious Education Curriculum about places of worship. Children were taken on a guided tour of the Cathedral and they saw many interesting features. 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. They asked lots of good questions and Jemima was able to try on the Bishops robes and Harvey put on a choristers outfit. The children then participated in a fun activity whereby they had to follow a map of the cathedral to find brass rubbing plaques and then once they found them they needed to follow clue s as to which part they needed to rub over for their worksheet.
After a delicious packed lunch we got back on the coach and travelled the short distance to Exeter Mosque where we were able to see many of the things we had talked about at school. The Imam talked to us and answered lots of questions. The children saw where Muslims wash before praying and they were very interested that men and women washed and prayed in different places within the Mosque. They were also invited to watch some Muslim men pray and they sat beautifully and watched the rituals that they had heard about at school. The Imam then offered the children and adults refreshments and happily answered the questions that children had about what they had seen and heard.
We all had an enjoyable day and the children were chatting about all that they had seen and done all the way back to school.
The theme for this year's Science Week was Birds. The week started with a fabulous display of bird models and posters which the children had made for our Science Week competition. As well as making a model or poster the children were asked to learn a few facts about their chosen bird which they presented to their class. There was an amazing variety of birds from small garden birds like robins to exotic birds such as parrots and peacocks. They had obviously put a huge amount of effort and enthusiasm into what they produced.
Later in the week we had a visit from Amy and Di from Yarak Birds of Prey. They brought with them nine birds of different species. The children had the opportunity to see three of the birds flying and learned all about them. Each child that wanted to had the chance to hold either Briar the Barn Owl or Tig a White Southern Scops Owl. The children were fascinated by the birds and thrilled to have the opportunity to get close to them.
It was wonderful to be able to welcome four local schools to our annual Tag Rugby Festival. Sixteen matches were played in total and the children thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to play against each other. After the event, they devoured a tea that had been provided by the school kitchen; for many of the children, this was a highlight! They were also presented with certificates and tee shirts as souvenirs of the event. It was super to see so many parents and friends who came to support the teams and all who took part thought it was a really fun way to spend the afternoon.
The Year Two play was a delight to watch. The children told the charming story of "The Moon Thieves" which was about a Granny who lived with a rat, a cat and a boy; they were very poor and had no money to buy food. They dreamt of having enough money for some treats in life like a saucer of cream for the cat, a piece of cheese for the rat, a penny for the boy and a cushion for the Granny. They even went to the market to see whether they could raise some money but they had no luck. They were about to give up when they were saved by the woodland creatures. The story ends happily with the family realising that they had friends who cared about them. The children sang some super songs and spoke their words confidently. The performance was well supported by many friends and family members who thoroughly enjoyed watching the story unfold.
The Year One and Two children really enjoyed taking part in the House Match Festival this week. For some of them, it was the first time they had played in a proper match. All three Houses played well but the winning House for the Football was Drake and the winning House for the Netball was Raleigh. It was wonderful that so many mums and dads came to support the teams. Well done to all who took part.
There was a great deal of excitement on Red Nose Day as children came to school dressed in their home clothes. Many were wearing red noses and glasses. Some children had painted their faces. Many families donated money for Red Nose Day. It is always a very well supported charity and thank you to all who contributed so generously.
On Friday 13th March Year 2 enjoyed an outdoor learning morning. The weather was overcast and raining but that did not stop us! It was Red Nose Day so it was quite fitting that is was quite chilly so most of us had red noses by the end of the session!
The children enjoyed learning how to make fires and we managed to heat some milk to make hot chocolate. This took longer than we imaged. They also look for suitable sticks then crafted them so that they would spear a marshmallow – which they then toasted on the fire.
Later on the children had opportunities in their groups, which they had organised, to build a shelter. They were just getting started when their Year 5 Buddies arrived to lend a hand. It was a very enjoyable morning where lots of cooperative working was going on as well as lots of fun.
An exciting treat for the children in Years One and Two this week was an invite from the Year 6 children to join them for a programming lesson in the Prep School Computing room. The older pupils have created games for the younger children which they taught them to play. They then introduced them to coding using a program called Scratch. The children loved the games that had been made for them and enjoyed learning how to play them and how to create their own games. The younger children are going to continue with programming next week during their own computing lesson.
Mr Moore had the very difficult task of judging this year's "Best Decorated Poem" Competition. The winners were announced during assembly this week and they were presented with Book Tokens as their prizes. There was a winner chosen from each year group. There were many super entries in the competition and Mr. Moore thoroughly enjoyed looking at all of them. They are now on display in the Pre Prep and are well worth a visit. Thank you to all the children who took part.
It was wonderful to see that the Pre Prep children and staff had made such a super effort to dress up for Poetry Day. They all came to school dressed as their favourite character from a poem or a Nursery Rhyme and there were some fantastic costumes. Many of the children entered the Recital Competition and it was a very difficult task for Mr Rochfort, a Drama teacher from the Senior School, to judge winners for the various categories. It was a real treat to have pupils from the Senior School who joined us for the morning to recite a poem. They were fantastic and very entertaining with their poem about school lunches. It was a great way to end Creative Arts Week and to focus on the joy of poetry.
The Pre-Prep have been very busy this week creating art work and music inspired by the theme of the outdoors. We were lucky enough to have Stefan Jenkins in for two days at the beginning of the week to help make four wonderful deer out of willow with all the children, from Nursery 1 up to Form 2. The children were completely enthralled in making these magnificent deer and they are now standing proudly in the grounds.
As well as the deer, Form 1 and Kindergarten made beautiful dream catchers with the willow. These can be found outside hanging in the trees around the Pre-Prep. Form 2 designed and made sun catchers. These are bringing a lot of colour to the Prep-Prep foyer and hopefully will attract some good weather! Both Nursery classes have been very busy making vibrant dream catchers and totem poles to go outside their classroom. Totem poles made by Forms 1 and 2 are now up in the grounds of the Prep-Prep and the children have been so excited to see all of their hard work on display both in and outside of the department. A busy and thrilling week for all!
It was lovely to see so many grandparents at our annual Grandparents' Morning. The event started with an assembly about growing up. Each class went on stage to recite a poem or talk about what they would like to be when they grow up. Then the grandparents followed the children back to the classrooms to join them in their lessons. The children loved receiving their help and showing them their work. The grannies and grandads enjoyed finding out about what their grandchildren do in school. They were impressed with all the opportunities they have now. The morning ended with fresh coffee and cakes which were very much appreciated.
Neil Vaughan paid his annual visit to the Nursery and Kindergarten with his Really Wild Encounter. The children were excited to have the opportunity to learn about three different creatures from the rain forest. Giant Hissing Cockroaches from Madagascar were the first of the animals that they had the chance to stroke. They found out that their skeleton is on the outside of their body and that they eat the leftover fruit on the jungle floor. Ginny the Bird Eating Spider from Chile was the next creature and the children loved it when they waved at her and she waved one of her legs back! The final animal was Norris a Blue-Tongued Skink from Australia. One of the children was brave enough to allow him to rest on her head!
As part of the History topic on the Great Fire of London, the children in Year One spent a morning outside making a fire, making charcoal, collecting wood and singing campfire songs. They had a great deal of fun as well as learning about fire and its effects on wood. It was a frosty morning; they all enjoyed a mug of hot chocolate to warm themselves up at the end of the session.
The Year One children had a wonderfully exciting workshop on the Great Fire of London. Mister Hugh Scrivenor, a merchant from Exeter who had been staying in London at that time, came to school to tell them all about what had happened. They took part in practical activities as well and learnt about money, clothing, food, housing and portraits.
They had the opportunity to use quills and feathers and to practise writing in the handwriting style of the time. The day ended with a lively retelling of the story which they all acted out with great enthusiasm.
Well done to all the children who completed their Holiday Reading Challenge during the Christmas Holidays. Fifty five children received certificates during assembly in the first week of term. One of the Year Two pupils was awarded her Gold Award for having read thirty books which was a great achievement. Mrs. Nash thoroughly enjoyed reading all the book reviews and looking at the pictures that had been drawn.
Autumn Term 2014
The Christmas party on the last day of term was such fun and very exciting for the children. Father Christmas managed to fit in a visit and had a sack full of presents to give out. There was a delicious party lunch and games were played with great enthusiasm.
Christmas lunch was as delicious as ever this year. It was even more exciting than usual because it was followed by a trip to the Northcott Theatre to watch a performance of Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine. It was a wonderful way to end the term.
The annual trip to Killerton House was as special as ever this year. The trees around the National Trust property were beautifully decorated with large, colourful baubles which twinkled in the sunlight as we walked up the path. The House was decorated in the theme of the story of The Nutcracker and every room reflected part of the famous story. To add to the occasion, the children dressed up in Victorian clothes. They learnt about what Christmas was like in the past. They learnt to waltz and waltzed from room to room; they were all naturals! They played party games from the Victorian times and handled and discussed Victorian toys. They also sang Victorian Christmas songs. It was a lovely experience for them and one that enhanced their understanding of the past enormously.
Nursery 1P and Nursery 2A delighted us all with their performance of The Noisy Nativity. There were the usual nativity characters of Mary, Joseph, a donkey, shepherds, inn keepers, three kings and a dancing star. All children enjoyed wearing their costumes singing the songs and performing actions to them too. They were extremely well supported by Mrs Allen, Mrs Pym, Mrs Mettham and Mrs Barfoot. The audience played there part too by joining in with clapping and singing to support this very young cast. Everyone involved should be very proud of all that was achieved. Well done to all the children in the Nursery.
The violinists played Christmassy sounds and songs during our Celebration Assembly this week. It was lovely to hear what they had been learning in their weekly lessons; we were impressed by what they could do.
The Kindergarten children told the story of a very grumpy sheep in their Nativity play. The sheep felt grumpy about everything. She didn't want to walk anywhere; she was jealous of the angels because they had wings to fly and she was jealous of the Kings because they had camels to ride. Finally, she made her way to the stable and seeing Baby Jesus transformed her into a very happy sheep who smiled her first smile ever. It was a delightful performance; the children had obviously worked so hard to learn their words and songs. They looked wonderful in their costumes. Their families and friends thoroughly enjoyed watching them perform.
There were no shrinking violets in the Year One Christmas Nativity play this year. The children were full of confidence and you could hear every word they spoke and sang. They told the story of a little angel trying to find out about something special that was about to happen; along the way she met dancing snowflakes, children decorating their house in time for Christmas, a chef preparing the Christmas food and Father Christmas with a sack full of bulging presents. It was only when she followed the star that she was led to the stable where she found Baby Jesus lying in a manger. The loud clapping at the end of the play showed just how much the parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles had enjoyed the performance.
We have had our first Christmas performance this week. The Year Two children performed a Nativity play called "The Landlord's Cat." It told the story of the birth of Jesus through the eyes of the landlord's very clever cat who knew that something special was about to happen. The children entertained us all with songs and well-rehearsed words and actions. Their friends and families came to watch them and thoroughly enjoyed the story. The play was followed by a cup of tea and hot mince pies; the audience went home feeling very seasonal!
Children from the Nursery all the way up to Year Two took part in this week's French Assembly. It was delightful to hear them sing the songs that they learn during their French lessons and to watch them accompany these songs with some lively actions. They all looked as though they were thoroughly enjoying themselves; Mr. Southgate awarded two children from each year group with a certificate and pencil for working hard this term during French.
It was a great treat to have a visit from The West Midlands Children's Theatre Company this week. They gave us a lively performance of the story of the Fire Bird. Children were chosen from the audience to help the actors tell the story. They listened spellbound as the story unfolded.
We thoroughly enjoyed hearing the cellists and recorder club children play during assembly. Despite the fact that they had only been learning their instruments for half a term, they all played amazingly well. It was interesting to see that the cellists had learned how to hold their cellos properly and how to pluck the strings and use the bow. It was so impressive that I am sure many children will be wanting to take up learning an instrument!
The children in the Pre Prep had fun raising money for the Children in Need Appeal this week. They had a non-uniform day and came to school dressed in their home clothes. They were allowed to bring a cuddly toy into school for the day. There was a "Guess the Bear" competition; all the Pre Prep staff had brought in their own Teddy bears and the children had to guess which bear belonged to which member of staff. They had bear biscuits to decorate and enjoy eating at snack time. Some very generous donations were made to the Appeal and it was super to be able to support such a worthy cause whilst also having a great deal of fun.
Pre Prep children in Years One and Two joined the Prep School children for the Remembrance Service in the School Chapel. Mr Southgate talked to the children about an old Blundellian pupil called Phillip Perkin who had fought in the First World War and had died in active service at the age of twenty two. The Reverend Hunt, our School Chaplain, led the prayers. After the service, the congregation gathered around the School War Memorial and children from each year group lay a tribute to those who lost their lives during the First and Second World Wars. Two trumpeters from the Senior School played The Last Post and Reveille. It was a very moving service and lovely to see so many of our school families represented in the congregation.
On Tuesday 14th October we celebrated 'Maths Day' in the Pre-Prep. The children again enjoyed the opportunity to work in mixed-age groups and it was fantastic to see the older children supporting the younger ones. The day began with a problem solving number trail around the school grounds. There were 15 questions set out on a circular route. The children did a great job of finding each clue and then working out the attached problem. They also collected letters along the way which they had to re-arrange to make a maths-related word. All of the teams managed to complete the trail and were rewarded with cookies and hot chocolate before playtime! The winning team turned out to be Miss Purvis and Mrs Norwell's Speed Team – Sam Curtis, Elwyn Thomas, Ruby Corbin, Atticus Kerr, Ophelia Thorpe and Purdy Knight. They were the only team to get full marks!
The next activity challenged the children to invent a new maths game. The children continued working in their maths trail groups and it was impressive to see the creative ideas which went into their games. Some chose to make sports-related games in the playground while others opted for the more traditional board game. All of the games were very original and the children had fun playing them. Mrs Spencer's Scary Monsters team, consisting of, Isabella Thorpe, Savannah Kerr, Alexander Morrison, Charlie Willatt, Thomas Jerreat and Freddie Cox, won an award for the best outdoor game with their 'football wall' entry. The award for the best board game went to Mrs Allen's Super 6 team - Charlie Cave, Daniel Ellson, Rafe Worcester, Jesse Aldridge, Alexandra Tarrant and Anni Butterfield – who invented the 'shape race' game. Both games can now be played over in the Pre-Prep for anyone who would like to have a go!
The maths day was a great success and the children enjoyed using their maths skills in different contexts.
It was super that so many children enthusiastically took part in this term's story writing competition. Mrs. Nash thoroughly enjoyed reading them all. Many children received certificates for their wonderful stories and book tokens were awarded to the two best stories in Years One and Two. Well done to everyone who took part.
Many children in the Pre Prep have been involved in Outdoor Learning this term. All areas of the curriculum have been taken outside. Children have enjoyed experimenting with the new equipment in The Hollow. Storytimes have been a frequent occurrence in The Hub; Mr. Richards even organised a Bear Hunt across the school grounds on Book Day. Year One created some amazing outdoor art in the style of Andy Goldsworthy. The fun experienced by children and teachers alike has been enormous.
Book Day was a super, fun day. It started with a pirate hunt for treasure; finding a treasure chest full of eighty gold bars under the climbing frame was an exciting mystery. The well-known author, Julia Jarman, read her stories and talked about how to make books. She was passionate about reading and the children were spellbound as they listened to her. The teachers read their favourite stories in the afternoon. Book at Bedtime was the highlight of the day when children returned to school after dark to have bedtime stories read to them by candlelight.
We had a Harvest Assembly with a difference this year. Parents, teachers and children gathered outside in the open air in front of the Outdoor Learning Hub. The morning was fresh and bright and it provided us with a lovely atmosphere and setting for the Harvest Assembly topic which was "Underground and Overground." The Year Two children led the assembly; they read out clues that the rest of the Pre Prep enjoyed deciding which vegetables they were describing. They were then asked to think whether it grew underground or overground. Mr. Southgate helped the children to dig up various types of vegetables to discover how they grew. The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal in the process.
Well done to the forty six children who enthusiastically took part in this summer's "Holiday Reading Challenge". Mrs. Nash thoroughly enjoyed reading all the book reviews and looking at the super pictures that all the children had so carefully drawn. Four children very proudly received their Silver Awards and three children received their Bronze Awards. It was an excellent effort.