At the end of this term we say goodbye to Mrs Davies who leaves us to work full time in her family business. I am very sorry to see Tracey go and I wish her every success for the future. I am delighted that she will continue to run a First Aid club for us after school.
As you know, Hannah Winfield will be leaving us at half term and she will be replaced for the rest of this term by James Middleton. Many parents will know James from Smallwood Explorers. He knows the School well and is already spending some time shadowing Hannah, so he will hit the ground running after the break.
Choir Excel at Denstone
It was a pleasure to spend an hour up at Denstone College on Wednesday night listening to our choir perform with “Cantabile”, a local adult choir. The quality of music was quite superb and this was only enhanced by a solo from Camilla Vernon-Stroud, one of our former pupils who is now in Year 8, together with a wonderful harpist who is also in Year 8. Camilla had a marvellous voice when she was here and it has only got better over the past two years.
I must congratulate Mr Genders and every other member of staff involved for two very enjoyable and successful swimming galas. I think this is the second year that we have split the gala into two groups and it really does make a difference. Every child was involved and they were all able to gain points for their house and therefore contribute to their success. Both events went like clockwork, the competitors in each race were really well matched and the relays at the end, involving every child, were hugely entertaining.
If you get the chance, have a look at the displays that are currently up in the corridors and the classrooms. They really are quite outstanding and add another dimension to the topics that the children are studying.
I am sure that Years 4 and 6 will enjoy their residential trips next week. They are always exciting and there will certainly be plenty for them to do. Let’s hope that the weather stays good for them - and for everyone doing the Dovedale walk on Monday.
As Years 3 & 4 have only just started Spanish lessons, they won't be having a Spanish exam this term.
Year 5 Camping
Unfortunately the Year 5 camping next Thursday has had to be postponed.
Friday 26th May 1.30pm Teddy Bears’ Picnic - Everyone of pre-school age welcome - adults as well!
Thursday 8th June Mathematics cross-curricular day & 7pm Summer Serenade
Art Attack at Activity Morning!
Mrs Belcher had the children in Art Attack doing some mono printing. They got some brilliant results.
Congratulations to the large number of pupils who have passed their LAMDA examinations!
3D Charlie B for settling in so well
4EF Esther B for fantastic effort
4H Caiombhe for being attentive in class
5G Archie E for his effort in Yarlet cricket match
5Mc Mia S for a positive attitude and concerted effort in all aspects of school life
6B Jess B for trying so hard in everything
6L Lola, Amelia & Dan for their amazing Witches Potion's work! (see below)
3D Charlotte R for hardwork and excellent progress
4EF Nathan T for a calm and focused approach
4H Finley A excellent work on Food Chains in science
5Mc Eloise W for fantastic enthusiasm and effort with contributions & work in science
5G Joe B for continues hardwork in English
6B John N for excellent acting in the role of Macbeth
6B Jake W for excellent work on algebra
6L Max H for excellent mathematics work
First Aid Club - Level 1 certificates - well done to Cleo N, Will H, George H, Harry F, Tom C, Louis C, Jack Jack B-P, Evan B and Eloise W for achieving this level of first aid training.
Caught Badges - James Shaw, William Best and Sophie Tweddle.
Some other particularly special news is that Alex Greenwood, Zac Ireland and Leo Waterfield made it through to the 2nd Round of the BBC's 500 Word Competition. This is an amazing feat!! You should all be extremely proud!
U11 Swimming v Yarlet (08.05.17)
The under 11A swimming team dived into the unknown as they took on the challenge of an outdoor swimming pool at Yarlet School. The team led ably by Captain Sophie H started as they meant to go on with Sophie H and Celeste coming 1st and 2nd in the girls individual medley. (4 lengths consisting of a butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and front crawl length). This was likewise followed in the boys individual medley with Seb L and Oliver M also finishing 1st and 2nd respectively. Further excellent swims from Sophie T, Lola, Harry, Austin and Henry M gave the team more good results from individual backstroke. Individual butterfly saw Sophie H and Celeste for the girls and Seb L and Harry for the boys again finish 1st and 2nd respectively. In individual breaststroke, Amelia, Lexie, Tyra, George and Matthew D were particularly impressive. The relays followed and Denstone Prep were pretty untouchable as they swam to victory in the backstroke, breaststroke and medley relays. Finally, the team combined fantastically to give DCPS a superb victory in the whole team front crawl relay. Cheered on emphatically by Amelia, the team led off by Sophie H, took the team into an early lead before she passed onto Austin, Celeste, George, Lexie, Harry, Lola, Henry M, Sophie T, Sophie H doing her second leg of the race, Oliver, Tyra, Matthew and finally Seb L who swam the team home to victory.
The gala was a brilliant event in the outdoor heated pool and thanks go to all the swimmers for their tremendous effort and performance throughout the afternoon representing the school so well.
Girl of the Gala: Sophie T for her support for all swimmers.
Guy of the Gala: Henry M for effort and commitment throughout.
U11 Swimming v St Bedes (10.05.17)
The under 11 and under 10 girls hosted at St Bedes in a wonderfully friendly competitive swimming gala. Captain of swimming Sophie H, led by example leading a 1st and 2nd with Celeste L in the Individual Medley. Both Sophie H and Celeste immediately returned to the water for the individual backstroke with another 1st and 2nd between them. This was followed by wins for Amber, Tyra and Pippa in the backstroke. Sophie H and Celeste completed their third 1st and 2nd of the afternoon this time giving an example of how to do butterfly properly as the girls were cheered on emphatically from the poolside. The individual breaststroke followed with more wins for Denstone Prep this time coming from Lola, Hannah, and Georgina. In the individual front crawl, wins were recorded by Sophie H, Amelia, Izzy C and Lola who in a tremendous race against Lexie won it by a fingertip.
The team backstroke and breaststroke races followed where super efforts from Izzy W, Faith, Grace, Mia, Izzy B before an incredibly quick length from Eloise helped their teams to victory. Sophie H being the ever honourable sportswoman that she is, kindly swapped teams and swam for St Bedes in the relays and continued to put in as much effort as she had done for Denstone Prep throughout the afternoon. The team medley brought more success for Denstone Prep and in the final team front crawl relay despite Sophie H, Celeste and Amber swimming for St Bedes to ensure the race was as competitive as possible still saw Denstone Prep win by a clear length.
This was a superb afternoon of swimming from both teams that showed the wonderful friendship the two teams and schools share and ensured the event had the correct spirit throughout the afternoon.
Girl of the Gala: Sophie H for her sportsmanship to both teams throughout the afternoon.
County Cricket Player
Lola has been playing cricket for the past 3 years for Clifton Cricket club, she trains once a week during Summer and Winter with the club. Lola has played in the U11 hard ball team (being the only girl) for the past 2 years. Last year Clifton nominated Lola to train with Derbyshire County U11 girls with the view to be selected for the team. Lola had to train with County throughout the Winter. We found Lola had been selected to play for Derbyshire County Cricket U11's in February. Lola is looking forward to a successful season with Clifton and Derbyshire.
Parents’ & Grandparents’ Golf Day at Denstone College - Friday 23rd June
- Start play 9.30am - Denstone College venue
- Stableford Rules
- Nearest the pin and longest drive competition
- The cost of the whole day is £15 including lunch at the Tavern pub.
To attend please let Mrs Shanley or Mr Bettaney know by completing the emailed letter/slip.
Pre- School News
This term the Pre-School children have been looking at animals in the Squirrels' Room and mini beasts in The Owls' Room for our topics. The Squirrels enjoyed making animal biscuits and were really delighted with the finished products. They were also really tasty!
In the Owls' Room we have been learning to look after our special visitor - 'Sarah' the giant African snail - as well as making wormeries and our own mini beasts from clay.
Reception have been learning about Farm Animals. This week we have been concentrating on the 'cow'. We have compared how a cow was milked long ago to how it is milked today. We made butter using an old butter churn and shaking milk. This was hard work! We also made some delicious ice cream.
Pre-Prep 1 have had so much fun making their houses. They have really had to think about suitable materials and how to attach them to their house. The children have also enjoyed writing their own story of The Three Little Pigs and designed a WANTED poster for the Big Bad Wolf! Super work Pre-Prep 1!
Well done to Oscar Genders for his Gold Certificate, Tom and Evie for gaining their Platinum Certificates and a huge congratulation to Sammy Emmerson for getting the first ever Ruby Certificate of Pre-Prep 2. You have all worked so hard to reach them, we are very proud of your achievements.
PP2 have had an amazing Pirate Day, they have enjoyed dressing up and learning to speak like a pirate. After finding out about the importance of pirate flags, each of our scurrilous pirates made their own designer pirate flag and created their own pirate name. Now no pirate would be a pirate without their own treasure map, we created a pirate map using map symbols and aged them to make them look over three hundred years old. They are amazing maps Pre-Prep 2, well done!
After a hearty pirate lunch PP2 were challenged to solve Pirate Blackbeard’s clues to find the long lost treasure. They accepted the challenge and set off on their adventure around the Smallwood Island, exploring deep into the darkest woodland and entering the volcanic caves before using the sun to tell the time and crossing the perilous zip wire. Great work Pre Prep Two, you made it and discovered an amazing treasure chest full of yummy chocolate doubloons.
To end the day our adventurous pirates still had not had enough and were eager to continue by decorating their own unique gingerbread pirates. They looked good enough to eat!
Thank you for an amazing fun filled Pirate Day Pre-Prep 2!
Main Prep News
Year 3 Magnet Mazes & Buddies
Year 3 produced some fantastic Magnet Mazes to help develop our understanding of Magnets and Springs. The children used their imagination to create some wonderful mazes. All staff were amazed at the brilliant work the children had completed. The children really enjoyed testing out each others mazes. Well Done Year 3!
Year 3 had a wonderful time meeting their Year 2 buddies for the first time. Here at DCPS the buddy system is a very special tradition that demonstrates the caring nature of our pupils.
Year 3 are looking forward to taking their responsibilities very seriously. They hope to ensure a smooth transition from Pre Prep to Main Prep for their special buddies. Well Done Year 3, we are all so proud of you!
Year 4 Habitats
Last week Year 4 incorporated their Forest School learning and Science lesson into an outdoor session all about their topic, ‘Habitats’.
In four groups, the children explored the grounds of Smallwood Manor looking for organisms and examining their habitats. We looked at small bugs and creatures lurking in the undergrowth and up in branches and trees and we looked at plants and trees. Using a ‘branch key’ the children were able to identify the mini beasts and we had various reference books to ascertain the names of the plants and trees.
We also had permission to visit Tom and Jerry, the guinea pigs belonging to Charlie Gear and his family, where we discussed their habitat both as pets and in the wild.
Some us were lucky enough to witness a crow flying away from the area with a rat in its claws, a great example of how the food chain works and why the habitats are so important to the wildlife in the school grounds.
We loved our outdoor learning!
Year 5 - World War 2
Year 5 were incredibly lucky to have a visit from Mr Peter Armitage MBE and Mr Mark McKenzie to talk to the children about World War 2. In addition to the talk, many items (real and reproduction) were brought in which the children were invited to wear, hold, and fire! Pleasingly, we were not short of willing volunteers or victims to demonstrate them. Mr McKenzie, who is of German descent, wore his German Engineers Captain uniform. He then proceeded to speak to the children in a completely foreign language to us all, but luckily Max W was on hand and translated the German to English so we could all understand!
The children then got to look at various British, adult, child and baby gas masks as well as the German versions of the masks. Miss Bennett was even ‘encouraged’ to teach timetables whilst wearing the gas masks. The masks caused great difficulty due to the suffocating feeling of them and trying to concentrate when reciting timetables was harder than you’d believe! We also got to hear stories of the Blitz and watch as Grandma Eloise, Grandad Ben, Mummy Hannah, daughter Izzy W and son Archie gathered their things to go to their Anderson or Morrison shelter. This was shortly followed by Warden Waterfield running around the classroom shouting at people to ‘Put that light out!’ and ensure that people were safely tucked under the tables. A bit of British army drill was led by Captain McKenzie and it soon became clear which children knew their lefts from their rights! Charles in a smart Hugo Boss German army uniform and Grace in an itchy British army uniform shuffled their way around the drill square along with the other children who found marching in time and ‘right dressing’ especially difficult. Finally the children got to handle a German army rifle as well as a British Enfield rifle and found the German weapon much easier to load and fire than the British counterpart. We also got to sound the air raid siren and covered our ears as the end of the air raid clapper was deafeningly sounded.
Heartfelt thanks go to Mr Armitage and Mr McKenzie for their time. Much hilarity, giggles and laughter were heard throughout the morning as well as the children getting to understand and appreciate the serious nature of the bombing, Blitz and evacuation that took place.
Year 6 Igloos
Year 6 children have continued to focus on Polar regions in geography. As such, they recently learned the impact global warming is having on Polar ice sheets and its implications for people and Polar Bears especially. More recently the children have looked at structures built by Polar people to survive in extreme conditions and the focus for this was the snow houses or snow huts originally built by the Inuit (Eskimo) people, better known to us as igloos. Igloos are normally built when the snow can be easily compacted and as such, Inuit people tended to use snow to insulate their houses, which were constructed from whalebone and hides. The Inuit people found that the best snow to use for igloo building is snow which has been blown by wind, which serves to compact and interlock the ice crystals. Animal skins were also used as door flaps to keep warm air in.
Having looked at the construction of igloos, year 6 were then set a challenge – to build their own polar igloo. Unfortunately in the month of May, Uttoxeter lacks the right quality of snow, and has insufficient numbers of whalebones, animal hides and animal skins available so they adapted and made do with the next best thing – squashies sweets, marshmallows, Mars bites and lego!
Whilst igloos can sometimes be susceptible from attack by polar bears, our igloos were much more prone to attack from other serious predators – 31 sweet eating year 6 children, Miss Bennett and Mrs Wilson!
Our independent Inuk judge (Mrs Wilson) then had the incredibly difficult task of choosing the best construction. The igloo’s were so fantastically built with children taking their time and using great care in placing each ‘block’. The results were incredibly impressive indeed. However, after much time and thought, she awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd as follows:
- 1st: Faith, Sophie T and Tyra’s pink and white squashie igloo
- 2nd: Archie, Jake and Oliver’s green and pink squashie igloo
- 3rd: Austin, John and Matthew’s lego igloo.
The children were impeccably behaved and followed the rules of no eating of the sweets whilst their igloo was under construction, so as a reward left over sealed sweets were shared between the children as a thank you for their behaviour and to stop Miss B eating any more sweets!
In a Year 6 English lesson, we completed some drama activities in the outdoor classroom. The scene was Macbeth's return to the witches where three apparitions emerged from the fire pit. The pupils' performances were fantastic and they coped extremely well with Shakespeare's language challenges.
Year 6 visit to Chester Zoo
Year 6 spent a lovely day in the Cheshire sunshine at Chester Zoo. On arrival they were able to see the 3 baby elephants in their enclosure before carrying on further into the zoo stopping to see a Rhino, vultures and Congo buffalo on the way to the Realm of the Red Apes.
The children paused for a lesson on conservation where they were able to see for themselves the items confiscated by H.M. Customs of illegally traded animals, skins and ivory, that had been seized as they were attempted to be smuggled into the UK. Items included an elephants tusk, an elephants foot – intended to be used as a stool / umbrella stand, crocodile shoes and other crocodile ornaments and cheetah, tiger and snake skins. The lesson also focused on the impact of hunting/poaching on the rhinoceros species (they are currently being slaughtered for their horns as people believe the rhino horn holds the cure for cancer) and how habitat loss (deforestation) to grow palm tree plantations for palm oil has been so detrimental to the survival of the Bornean and Sumatran orangutans (endangered and critically endangered status’s)
After lunch the children went off exploring and spotting as many animals as possible. Children found the python (the largest in Europe at 27 feet) along with other snakes, lizards and spiders. Children oooohed and aaaaahed as they saw the orangutans, lions, penguins, meerkats, capybara, giant anteater, painted dogs, black rhino, flamingos, zebras and giraffes amongst other animals.
Huge thanks go to Mrs Lea, Mrs Wilson, Mr D’Arch-Smith and Mrs Morris for such a fantastic day and the thanks to the children who were impeccably behaved throughout.
Please don't forget to show your children this newsletter, so that they can see the photos and news too.
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