For many, Project Week is the exciting culmination of a brilliant school year. It combines the passion and expertise of the teachers with the enthusiasm and energy of the children...and what a winning combinationthat is! Please enjoy some of the photos in the galleries.
Our young animal lovers enjoyed a week looking at all sorts of animals and learned how we can protect some of the world’s endangered species. Some of our creative children enjoyed a week of music, dance and art from different countries whilst young adventurers braved the elements and learned all about bushcraft. There were physical challenges too with hiking in the Peak District, surfing in Cornwall and cycling through Hants and Dorset. Our history buffs headed to Wales to study castles while keen geographers flew to Iceland to study tectonics, glaciers and try out their photography skills. We took advantage of our proximity to the sea and looked and fins and fossils and a group of keen linguists travelled to Belgium to spend a week with their pen friends. Our Year 8s ended their Prep School career during a happy week together in Cornwall.
I think you will agree that the breath and scope of opportunity is wonderful, the children gain so much through these rich experiences. Plans are already afoot for 2015 and we can’t wait!
The final week of school was a wonderful blend of completing work, athletics, swimming, project week follow up and a bit of fun thrown in. The houses were each challenged to come with a song to perform all with a Disney theme. They were judged not only for their singing and musical talents but on creativity, teamwork and energy. All groups performed beautifully much to the amusement of the assembled crowd although Pittswood (in Yellow) stole the show. (see pictures here).
The week ended with a tearful farewell to our Year 8s and a celebration for all the children's achievements. It was a wonderful year and we look forward to welcoming you back in September.
A lttle late but nevertheless, heartfelt! After a bit of delay with the bus we made it to the Blue Lagoon which Alex found a bit peculiar that you couldn"t see the bottom even though it was only a metre deep. Sam found it relaxing and they all found it very funny that they could swim to the bar and order 'KRAP'! The girls felt that it was like being in a giant hot tub, with no bubbles and really 'creamy'. Their faces felt so smooth and Lily says that her spot has actually gone!
Our guesthouse was a million miles away but it is awesome (Joe). Our (late) dinner for fresh haddock, salad and potato balls was so nice. It was delicious.
Alex's birthday was celebrated all day long with gifts on the plane and a special gift from the staff at the Blue Lagoon.
We had a midnight photo shoot when most had a go with the 'big lens' as the late night sun lit the distance mountains (Is that snow on the mountain!)and the Icelandic horses, curious as ever, came to say good night.
Today’s breakfast was amazing with a huge array of choices
including a waffle machine. It was better than a four star hotel. After breakfast, we met an arctic fox cub which had been rescued from the mountains. We had make funny noises to coax it out of its hut. We had a chance to hold it and it was as soft as velvet. (Hattie)
We headed to the Kerio crater which filled with water and when we climbed inside, we discovered that the water was cold. We stopped at a quarry where you could see different layers of rock formed by different volcanic eruptions. Most of the rock was really red! (Phoebe)
We arrived at Pingveiller to see where the two tectonic plates were pulling apart. We walked up to the waterfall and took turns trying out
fast and slow shutter speeds to see what the difference would be. After a quick picnic lunch, (including a new variety of sandwich…cheerio and cucumber!) we walked to the little church and cemetery. The walk around the Park was historic because it was the home of the first parliament. (Alex)
Geysir was very colourful. There was a strong smell of sulphur and lots of steam coming off the ground. There were four geysirs but only Strokkur erupts. We had a bubble competition to see who could capture the blue bubble just before it exploded which was really difficult because you had to wait a long time and when it erupted we jumped. There were two people in Japanese
costumes who went over the line and danced by the geyser..weird! (Lily)
The bug nets might have been weird but were so helpful when we got to Gullfoss. Everyone else was flapping their arms to scare away the flies but we were able to walk calmly! We walked to the railing to get a good view and we took pictures and then walked down a long pathway. The mist from the enormous made a spraybow. (AKA a rainbow). We carried up to the top of the waterfall with lots of levels of slippery rocks but we were safe…..a rope 3 feet off the ground! (Sam)
...and then came the riding (as if the day wasn't full enough)! Lily and Sam have decided this is the greatest activity ever after a cautious start...all the others are full of the joys and they even had the chance to tolt...(if you are not in the know, ask Tilly!). so...as I write, they are relaxing in the hot tub before bed...PHEW!! What a great day!
Despite driving rain, fierce wind and bitter cold , we had an amazing adventure.
We started the day with a trip to the supermarket to buy food for lunch and then we headed to Landmannalaugar through the mountains. We passed Hekla, the biggest volcano which had wiled out the surrounding towns and farms in 1100. It erupted seven times in the 20th century but 2000 was the most recent. (so it is due to go again!)
We stopped to take photos along the way but we were almost blown over because of the wind and the cameras got soaking wet. We stopped to have lunch in the bus (because of the weather) . We were in a huge field of lava dust (black as far as you could see in any direction). We were just finishing our sandwiches when a truck pulled over in front of us. It turned out to be a ranger who told us that we weren't allowed to pull over 'off road' because of the environmental impact (although she had too). She threatened to call the police if we didn't cover our tracks and gave us two rakes to clean away out tire tracks so we got to work in the pouring rain. Then, in the middle of nowhere, three cars arrived, saw us raking in the driving rain and wind and started taking our pictures!! It must have looked pretty silly!
Having crossed two rivers in the bus, we finally made it to Landmannalaugar and we were all brave enough to go for a swim in the hot spring. After the hot spring we had to run across the boardwalk with all our stuff to get to the showers....it was sososososo cold!
After hours off road crossing 15 rivers, we arrived at our guesthouse (www.hrifunesguesthouse.is) which is warm with a crackling fire. They welcomed us with a delicious dinner. Now we are catching up with our jounals and having an early night..phew! (Harriet)
The morning started with the howling wind rattling through the house at about 4:00am. The rain was pelting against the windows and the forecast was dire. HOWEVER, undaunted and feeling optomistic, we headed out across the flood plain towards the enormous Vatnajokkull Glacier. Much to our delight, just as we pulled into Skaftafell, the clouds lifted, the rain stopped and the sun (almost) shone! We enjoyed a picnic in the park and had a quick hike to the glacier snout enjoying some of the amazing geographical features along the way.
We were fitted up with crampons and harnesses, "Children are small and can easily slide into crevasses", said our cheery guide, Anna. We took the bus to the foot of the glacier and once kitted out with ice axes and given a few safety rules, we were off in single file along the ice. We learned about technigues of ups and downs on the glacier as well as the formation and recession of glaciers. The children spent a happy hour cutting steps in ice with their axes (could there be any greater joy?) and we searched for a pool from which we could drink.
All too soon, our hike was over and we jumped back in 'Fiona, the four wheel drive and headed to the hotel with a quick stop at the glacial lagoon to whet our appetite for tomorrow.
The day started on a high for all of us because we all had a lie in (8am) but it was a rush to get through the showers (the girls took forever!!). We made our way up to the restaurant/museum where we had a 'beast of a breakfast'. There was an an amazing buffet with a heathy option (cereal) but most of us stuck to the unhealthy version of pancakes, chocolate cake, maple syrup, cookies, salami, ham and cheese all washed down with apple juice! (Alex)
We drove to the Glacial Lagoon which was full of fantastic icebergs all floating around in a big lake. Those who didn't forget their coats at the restaurant stayed to photograph the birds and bergs and, because we are a lucky group, we saw a berg flip over...it was suddenly bright blue because the ice underneath was compressed and over 1000 years old! The colour doesn't last long so it was great to see.
It was soon our turn to go on the boat. We had to put our life jackets on (very stinky) and find a seat on the amphibious boat. Soon we were on the the water driving amongst the icebergs. We could only see 10% of the iceberg above the water. The zodiac came along side with a chunk of ice which we could taste. It was 800 years old! Miss Fish, with her beady eyes, saw two seals!
Then we moved to the beach where the sand is black. It was full of icebergs and we all tried to capture the beauty of the crystallised icebergs. (Lily) We had stayed all day but we had to get on the road again.
We were all hungry so we stopped unexpectedly at a roadside restaurant. Everyone insisted they were starving so we went inside to look at the food. Once we saw what was on offer, we couldn't leave. We ordered some mouthwateringly good burgers. Everyone ate with relish until we couldn't eat another morsel but it fuelled us for the long drive ahead.
On route to Vik, we saw turf houses, some exquisite waterfalls and breathtaking landscape. When we arrived in Vik we were allowed a tour of the gift shop before wandering down to the beach to admire the headland and stacks.Our guest house is lovely. The owner greeted Miss Fish Mrs Cochand with a big hug. (Hatty)
We started the day with a puffin hunt way up in the cliffs above the sea. Sadly for us, they were mostly out at sea although the odd one landed now and then. Half the group split and went into town for provisions while the keen photographers stayed behind hoping to bag one elusive shot. It was not to be,sadly, and so when the rain started we headed out along the track to see oif we could catch some Arctic terns. (we did!)
Next was a trip to the Skogar Museum which had an entire village recreated as it would have been one hundred years ago. The buildings, mostly turf houses, had been moved from their place. The people of the area used driftwood, bone and horn as building materials and horses were their only means of transport until early twentieth century.
Skogafoss is quite nearby and it is HUGE waterfall. We got absolutely drenched when we got close. We climbed the 435 step to the top (phew!) and what a view we had!
Then we drove on to the waterfall which we could climb behind...that was really exciting and so loud! From there, we walked along under the hill until we reached a secret waterfall hidden deep in the canyon. It was so deep and so far from the car park that there were very few tourists!
Now we are in our guest house which is so so cool...complete with hot tub. We can't believe tomorrow is the end of our great adventure.....
Four fortunate Year 6 children, James, Milly, Alexander and Milenka were invited to a DT challenge day at Bryanston on Thursday 19th June. They met with children from nine other prep schools. The task was to design and make a vehicle that would withstand the impact of travelling down a, ‘three meter slide of doom’, into a solid wall. To add to the challenge, the slide was inclined by a further 20 degrees at the end of each round until it was vertical. To compound the challenge even further, the children had to secure an egg within the vehicle, which had to remain undamaged as it descended the ramp and crashed into the wall.
The FSM vehicle survived the 80 degree drop before succumbing to the slide of doom. A great day was had by all.
After a gruelling two year selection process in our Forest School lessons, an elite group who specialised in problem solving and teamwork, were whittled down to represent FSM at the first ever Team Challenge Day at St Mary’s school, Shaftesbury.
The purpose of the day was to provide pupils with a fun, challenging experience of tasks and activities enhancing and developing multi skills such as co-ordination, balance, speed and agility, as well as some brain teasers and team building skills such as co-operation, communication and problem solving skills.
The day was led by the sports leaders of St Mary’s school and they deserve a special mention for their enthusiasm and energy with the younger children. They were certainly a credit to their school.
FSM’s dream team began with ‘Braniac Maniac’ with activities such as the famous corn, chicken and wolf river crossing on planks. Our Forest School RICEPOT skills of Communication, Problem Solving and Teamwork were put to good use. This was followed by Dingbats and a relay with a twist.
The next session was titled ‘Wild Wilderness’ and FSM’s navigational skills and fitness were put to the test orienteering round the school grounds.
After lunch, our evaluation skills were put to the test before we headed off to the pool for swimming ‘Splashdown’ challenges. It was good to see our boys shaking hands with other teams after the event.
At the final ceremony, from 26 teams, FS came 3rd in the Orienteering challenge, 3rd in the swimming challenge and were awarded the prize, chosen by the older sport leader girls, for the ‘Teamwork’ award.
It was a cracking day and the boys slept soundly on the way home. Take a peek here.