The excitement had been building for weeks with rehearsals stuffed into every nook and cranny of the school day. On Saturday at 1300, amidst the chaos of performers and props, costumes and instruments, members of the FOSM Committee were gathering in in the Dudley Hill Hall to magically transform it into a posh cabaret Christmas venue.
Costumes and scripts and instruments had begun to inexorably pile up in the Music Room and there were worries…. Bev Miller had practially no voice and even adorable little Chelsea was looking worried at rehearsals! And then the keys to the car went missing! And there was stuff in the boot.
No one would have known, as keen with anticipation; the parents and grand parents arrived to the popping of champagne corks and the busy flurry of activity in the glorious Front Hall.
In the Sapphire Ball Room, dimunitive waiters and waitresses were marvelling and in the Control Room Mr. Ed was giving the final corrections to Marcus on lights.
Suddenly it was time and the lights went down. The tables were filled, the tinkling candles and balloons glowing, and THE MUSIC started. It was the Senior Brass Ensemble to start us off with a medley of Christmas tunes to a rollicking Big Band Beat.
Connors Snr. (a veteran Cub Dad of some many years…) welcomed the guests in a warm and polished way and then it was Joy to World with the Jazz Group and then Jingle Bell Rock and the audience were humming and tapping. There was a hushed silence for the delicate ballet by Darcy and then amazing Journey of the Angels with the Senior Voice Ensemble.
But… stand stock still in amazement. Didn’t you laugh at the polished, delightful “The Visitor” with the Stage Strutters. Phoebe B led a troupe of ‘the most glam’ astonished by the sudden arrival of ‘an old friend’. Gosh it was funny and so well done!
Let it Snow by the Special Guests was followed by the Blues Brothers's Christmas Jam.
Claire Rowntree’s, The Colours of Christmas (even with the absence of Richard singing at the Sydney Opera House on the night) was full of wonder. Not only did they look glorious, the song was peerless and haunting.
The arrival of supper, delivered by a myriad of cheery pixies (ours was the ever attentive Ollie) was a welcome respite and all of the fun of Heads and Tails from the inimitable Phil!
The second half was just as good as we settled into the rhythm… the variety of presenters and the gags were great! I loved the big music of the Senior Brass Ensemble’s Fanfare and then the full orchestra with, "Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year". Did you see that Chris was not only the Top Drummer but first violin doing both with his iconic very wide grin. What a talent among many!
Our Canadian gappie, Dave, came on with Zack, and Mr. Harvey (wasn’t he in the groove?) for Low Stuff. The jiving Stradivarious version of 'Rest Ye Merry, Rock Ye Very' had every toe tapping.
The African Bell Carol with all of Year Seven was a great tune and full of rhythm. It was followed by the Mass Staff Extravaganza of the “The Great British Cub Cook-out”. The audience certainly enjoyed the Ging Gang Gooliness and the gags surrounding the Domestic Goddess’s fall from grace. There was some very interesting cooking and a flurry of flower eggs, accents and tea cakes as we moved to the grand finale, to sing: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas accompanied by our own Mr Hartley and his talented daughter along with Evie and Hannah, (Did I spot a tear among the sentimental in the audience?) After the well deserved thanks to the tireless FOSM committee and the music staff we stood for a rousing finale of Auld Lang Syne.
Wow! what an evening, and such a complex and perfect curtain raiser to the glory of Christmas together. It was an amazing and dedicated talented Team and they delivered a wonderful Sapphire Ball! Thank you ever so much! See some pictures here.
The Last Toasted Marshmallow of 2013 - The sky was alive with stars and the fire crackled
merrily as the aroma of fire-tested marshmallows drifted across the moor drawing Glen
Lockyer, the Scout Commissioner for New Forest West. Glen graciously declined a
battered blackened S’More, but told a great camp-fire story and presented
badges for Mums and Dads to sew on at home! It has been a great term packed with activity. With Science Night starting us off next term, our pack of 40 boys will no doubt continue to thrive! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.”
And so it was for our time travelling boarders as they went ‘Dr Who’ tastic. Our meal of Fish fingers and custard, followed by fish fingers and custard went down a treat as the boys and girls then chose how they spent their evening whether creating the biggest and baddest Daleks, making sonic screw drivers, hunting Adipos or evading the clutches of the evil Weeping Angels. Some even chose to just relax and watch ‘The Day of the Dr.’ before strutting their stuff and doing the ‘Time Warp’ at our Disco. See some pictures here!
Sir Teachalot returned for his annual visit full of exciting stories, facts and very dangerous looking weapons from the Middle Ages. This was all interactive with not one word being written down. What a great way to learn!
As the morning unfolded the children began to see what is was like for a Medieval knight to get dressed up in armour which was very heavy and hot to wear. Joe looked very dashing in full armour with the girls swooning over him.
After a breather it was on to how to construct a castle. We learnt that there were some very clever ideas put into how they were designed so that castles were very hard to actually attack and break through. Instead, the method often used to force people to surrender was by besieging it for long periods until there was no food or drink left and they had to come out or starve to death.
Year 6 started to build a concentric castle thinking very carefully about how the walls were constructed, where to put the doors, what to put on the roof and what type of windows to have. Gradually our castle began to emerge layer by layer. As it did so various theories were tested about the best way to defend when under attack. Mrs Whitlock was called upon to use her firing skills to attack poor old Digby, but Henry and Milenka got their own back by returning fire, learning a valuable lesson about why different features of the castle get higher the close you get to the centre.
But of course when the castle was complete what we needed to do next was to test its strength. What better way than by bombarding it with rocks (beanbags) from a trebuchet. The atmosphere in the room got tenser and tenser each time a missile got closer and closer but not enough to hit. Until finally with a scream of delight that almost lifted Miss North’s roof off her classroom the castle was blasted into a pile of rubble.
A few of the children’s comments included:
‘I enjoyed building the castle and smashing it down.’
‘It was good fun trying on the clothes and seeing the different types of weapons that were used.’
‘I liked it when I got fired at by Mrs Whitlock.’
Year 3 very much enjoyed the visit of Sir Teachalot who, dressed as a Viking, brought to life the Viking invasions with his story telling and artefacts. There was much excitement trying on the replica helmets but the ‘duel’ didn’t come to much as we couldn’t lift the swords! We puzzled over Viking riddles and the boys beat the girls, but only just, in seeing how many they could solve. Throughout the afternoon we gained a greater understanding of the Viking people and how their invasion impacted on Britain but had fun at the same time. See the pictures here.
The children in years 5 and 7 took part in a competition which was open to all local schools, to design a poster for GOAPE at Moors Valley Country Park.
The prize was to take the whole class to Goape. However, the judges were so impressed by FSM’s entries that they felt unable to choose a winner and so invited all who took part to experience GOAPE (and their teachers went too!)
We all had a brilliant time! See some pictures here!