1st February 2019
I’m very sorry to have to pass on the sad news that Peter Cook’s wife, Jan died on Saturday after a long illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with Peter and his three sons at this very sad time. Anyone wanting to write to Peter can do so via the School and donations can be made to Helen’s Trust and Ashgate Hospice, two local charities. I will pass on further details when I get them.
Senior Leadership Cover
We hope to have Helen Griffith back at the beginning of February, but my recovery is likely to take most of this term at the very least. I am in work every day, as most of you will be aware, but my energy levels aren't back to where they were prior to my accident and I am going home most afternoons for a rest. As you know, Jackie Pakes, a retired head, is helping us out for 2-3 afternoons each week and Wendy Gordon, head of Abbots Bromley Prep School will also be with us for 2-3 days a week. They are both providing a great deal of assistance and Richard Udy, the head at Abbots Bromley is providing some support as well, although this will mostly be remotely. These people are helping us with the administrative side of the senior leaders’ role, which will free Helen up to sit in for me, should this be necessary. Helen and I should still be your first port of call, but we do now have a great deal of experienced support to help us keep going until we are both back to full fitness.
Helen will be leaving us at the end of this term, returning to the legal profession and pursuing her passion as a hockey umpire. Don’t be surprised if you see her officiating in a full international at some stage in the future. I would like to thank Helen for all that she has done for us and I am sure that everyone will join me in wishing her every success and happiness for the future. I am delighted to let you know that Elaine Wheat will replace Helen for next term. Elaine is a very experienced teacher and has been working with us on a voluntary basis since September.
Wind in the Willows
The Main Prep visited the New Vic Theatre to see Wind in the Willows last week. They have written reviews of the play and some quotes are listed below:-
"Wind in the Willows was excellent. It was full of action and laughter." Tilly D
"My favourite part was when Portly kept going missing and Mrs Otter kept looking for her in the water". Su Shan
"My favourite part was where the Toad tried to escape from prison and he dressed up as a girl." Darcie
"I rate this play 5 stars for the editing, lights and props. Everything was amusing." George H
"The actors were really good. It was a 5 star production." Evangeline
"My favourite part in the play was when Toad stole the car and then crashed it! I thought it was humerous and funny!" George W
The Squirrels have had an exciting couple of weeks learning about Winter and Snow. We have built our very own snowman in the classroom and the Squirrels have made their own snowmen using lots of glue and tissue paper. We have not let the cold weather stop us from exploring the garden, learning about ice and having lots of fun sledging down the hill.
The Owls have been looking at hot and cold items and how heat and cold can change how something looks and feels.We had lots of ideas of how to melt the chocolate, but the best bit was using it to decorate our biscuits.
At Forest School we are going to be making a fire and enjoy a hot chocolate and melted marshmallows.
Mums' Supper Night
Hoar Cross Hall hosted another wonderful Mums’ Supper for us last night. Thank you to all those who braved the icy conditions to enjoy a beauty talk, delicious food and drink and, of course, lots of chat. It was great to welcome lots of new mums to the evening and get to know each other a bit more. The Clarins Goodie Bag was also a little treat for us all and we shall all be looking more stunning than ever having applied the contents of that bag! We look forward to our next Supper in the Summer term, hopefully at the newly opened Meynell Ingram Arms. MG
Smallwood Explorers is running holiday club from 18th – 22nd February 2019.
To book please click here to go to the online Booking Form.
Stoke City 7's
On Tuesday, Stoke City 7’s had an assembly with Main Prep and Pre-Prep 1 & 2. City 7’s is an initiative to introduce children to their local club and possibly attend a live sporting fixture. This is the second year we have been invited and it has proved enormously successful. Pupils in PP2 have been given two free match tickets and a free Stoke City shirt. All pupils in the school will be able to attend a match against Aston Villa for £5 with discounted tickets for family members. The assembly was (nearly) as loud as the Bet 365 stadium itself and pupils had enormous fun.
Some of the children wrote some amazing thank you letters which have been sent to the City 7's reps.
Reception have been continuing with the topic of Winter. This week we have been looking at animals that live in the Arctic. We have learnt lots of new facts about Polar Bears. We made polar bear faces and polar bears out of play dough. We also took our own photographs of arctic animals using the Tuff Camcorders and programmed the Bee Bot Polar Bear to move over the snow and ice mat. We particularly enjoyed going on a bear hunt! Next week we will be learning about Penguins and comparing them to Polar Bears.
PP1 are really enjoying the Space topic this half term. They have been learning about the Planets and discovering lots of facts about the Sun and Moon. The children had great fun making rockets in Science last week. Well done PP1, not long to go for our trip to the Space Centre!
Recently the children of Pre-Prep 2 took part in a theatre workshop. The Freshwater Theatre Company came in to work alongside the children and develop their understand of the Great Fire of London. The children enjoyed a great number of drama activities including learning rhymes, dates and the names of people from the past. Pre-Prep 2 worked hard to recreate events through drama and brought to life the devastating fire of 1666.
Main Prep News
Year 3 Magnets
Year 3 have been investigating the link between the size and strength of magnets by using paperclips to compare the strengths of different magnets.
We then looked at a variety of different metals: aluminium, mild steel, stainless steel, copper, lead, cast iron, zinc, brass and bronze. We then predicted which metals would be attracted to our magnets. We thoroughly enjoyed testing out the metals to see which are magnetic. We’ve decided that we need to find some cobalt and nickel to test.
This term Year 4 have been reading many different versions of Cinderella, from all over the world. We have learnt that whilst there are cultural differences represented in the dress, food and animals that are referenced in the story, the message of good versus evil is always present at the core of the story. Also, the down-trodden heroine/hero is always made to work hard.
In Outdoor Learning we made a traditional 'besom' broom using natural materials we gathered. Unsurprisingly, Year 4 were more interested in using their brooms to fly than to sweep and clean! They did do a great job of making them though.
The U11 ‘A’ team played a competitive fixture against Twycross House. Thankfully the weather held out and both sides were able to play some lovely football. We were playing the ball out from the back and Seb and Freddie were spraying the ball out wide well. Twycross had a very powerful forward and although he scored a good goal, Jimmy and Zach were putting in some excellent clearances. After half time, we conceded another goal and were thankful to Nathan in goals for some acrobatic saves. Finley was a constant threat on the counter-attack and helped himself to a fine solo goal. Just as we thought we were going to equalize, Twycross scored another goal to seal victory. Man of the match for our side was Matthew who led by example with his tenacious tackling from the outset.
DCPS Under 11’s – 14
Twycross House Under 11A’s – 4
DCPS under 11’s made a slow start to their match against Twycross House under 11A’s with Twycross House scoring 2 goals to give them an early lead, before team DCPS started rallying. The Under 11 team consisting of Captain Daisy (GA); Vice-captain Emily F (WA/GS/WD); Su Shan (GK); Verity (GD); Caoimhe (WD); Darcie (C); Phoebe (GS) and substitutes Cleo; Isla Sp; Tilly D and Evangeline though began rallying to leave them on level par with the opposition at the end of the first quarter thanks to a goal each from Captain Daisy and Phoebe (2-2).
The changes were rung going into the second quarter with V-C Emily moving to GS, Isla Sp coming in as GK and the introduction of Tilly D at WA who made an immense difference to the link up between defence and attack saw DCPS dominate the second quarter with much greater accuracy at goal thanks to a hat-trick of goals each from Emily F and Daisy and a much more solid and assured defensive three now settling into the game saw only one goal conceded and a further 6 added to DCPS score to give them a healthy 8-3 lead (6-1 for the ¼) at the end of the first half.
The team started to tire in the third quarter and a strong fightback from Twycross who, had they been a little more consistent in front of goal could have really turned the game, won the third quarter 0-1 but their lack of accuracy in the D meant that DCPS still led 8-4 going into the final quarter.
With 8 more minutes to play, the team were encouraged to rally for one final time and to continue playing pro-active netball rather than reactive, dominated the final quarter. The ball flowed much more easily into our attacking D and with the defenders (Evangeline, Verity and Caoimhe) so much sharper to intercept in such a deadly manner and Darcie using her fitness to out-run the opposition Centre, the ball was fed time and time again into the D where Daisy was so sharp and accurate with a double hat-trick for the team to finish the final quarter in style (6-0) with a 14-4 triumph!
Girl of the Game: Tilly D for completely changing the team dynamic with her 2nd quarter introduction finding space throughout the court.
Goal-scorers – Daisy = 10, Emily F = 3, Phoebe = 1
DCPS Under 10’s – 0
Twycross House Under 11B’s – 3
The Under 10’s fought tirelessly throughout their match with the Under 11B’s of Twycross House but were unlucky to lose 3-0 in the freezing conditions. With half of the Under 10’s missing the match the team consisting of Honorary Captain Eve (GA); Heidi H (GK); Lydia (GD); Katie (C); Ellen (WA); Holly (GS) and a guest appearance from an Under 11 for each quarter (WD), worked incredibly well as a team to defend wholeheartedly and attack as best they could. The team continued to improve collectively throughout the game working on their passing and moving, and deserved the very respectable result. A great effort from everyone.
Girl of the Game: Ellen for continued effort and development spotting free spaces throughout the match.
In Science this term Year 5 have been learning about night and day, seasons and how the sun appears to travel across the sky. The children were able to play with torches and discovered that light travels in straight lines. They also discovered how to create and change the size of shadows and how this relates to the movement of the sun. At present the children should be working on their research homework projects. We always look forward to the superb range of projects that are created and the many facts that we learn from the children. Please ensure that the projects are ready to be handed in by Wednesday 13th February.
On another note, there will be no written homework for English this week. The children have been told to learn their poems off by heart for the first round of the poetry competition on Tuesday 5th February. Try to make your poem performance expressive and interesting, good luck!
Now that the entrance exams are over Year 6 have been having a blast in science investigating how high they can launch a rocket. They split into groups to plan their own investigations and considered what variables would affect how high the rocket would go. Would the amount of Alka Seltzer, amount of water or the temperature of the water make a difference? Once each group had decided what they wanted to test, they designed their own rocket around a film canister and took to the launch pad. The results were spectacular and the outcomes of each investigation will be discussed next lesson to see which was the optimum fuel mix to launch a rocket.
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