How often do you need 30 Phillips screw drivers?
A good clue to the answer is when one committed Science Teacher spends three weeks machining off-cuts into squares and trapezoids, and chops up bike tyres, and drills them with holes for screws (we reckon over 800 including the big one for the new home owner).
We had an amazing evening, and thanks to a huge crew of bemused Mums and Dads.... very little blood.
Mr. James explained the plan, pointed to the 40 bird box sets complete with bag of screws and rubber hinge, and we set to work. It was amazingly quiet and successful and slowly and surely, sturdy near perfect starter homes for families emerging from what looked like chaos.
It was a challenge.
Some of the new homes did look like they had been subjected to severe and serious stress, and it could be said that a few might require draft proofing ( Mr. James was ready with one of the large goo filled syringes that builders also use to correct small mis-alignments).
And hey presto, we had 42 proud new builder/ handymen, several sets of astonished parents and 40, yes count them, 40 bird boxes (and some massive Owl Homes), all scrawled not only with the builder’s names, but often with “Welcome to your new home” or the like.
Thanks Mr. James. Amazingly impressive and it should keep Gordon and the grounds crew up ladders and busy for days.See a few more pictures here.
The whole school has manned up and taken part in a gruelling two and a half mile run in the New Forest in aid of Sport Relief. There were comic outfits on display and many big hearts shown. That, however, was the easy part. Now the hard part is for everybody to collect in some sponsorship in aid of Sport Relief. Bring this in to Mr Humphreys at the beginning of the Summer Term. Many thanks for your support. See some of the fun here.
You could smell the salt air in Will Peak’s Piratical Production of RLS’ classic! The scene opened in the Old Admiral Benbow Inn with the rousing strains of ‘OOOray and Up she Rises, OOOray and up she rises" and swept us into the dark doings and plotting of Flint’s Crew. There was the death of Billy Bones (Ryan F) hiding out with the map and the arrival of Back Dog, (Annabel M), Blind Pew, (Ollie M) and perfidy.
I loved the excellent costumes and the pacy careering of the plot on to the tavern scene complete with real barrels (from the Bottle and Barrel in Fordingbridge where they also do a fine drop of Doombar), silver tankards and tumbling boys.(Aidan and Sean)
Long John (played by Hannah C) definitely carried the plot with the requisite mixture of charm and menace and a glorious coat and mane of hair!
Historians say that most pirate crews of the time were up to a quarter female (disguised as men) and this was certainly true of the old “Hispaniola” and her crew of cut-throats recruited by Long John. Molly was a charming Jim Hawkins the saviour of the captain(Jack S), the doctor (Emily H), Abraham Gray (Evie R) and Squire John (Darcy B). Viv J played the treacherous Isreal Hands and Olivia L was the vicious mutineer, Tom Morgan.
There is a great storm scene when a man is lost overboard and throughout the lighting, singing and firing of muskets and pistols admirably done and synced to.... Shiver me timbers!
The parrot was remarkable and the amazing staging with the toffs gathered on the poop deck peering about regally, villainous riff raff in the hold and live pipes and drums on the forecastle was impressive.
There was a great plot uplift with the appearance of Old Ben Gunn (Finn R)and then the tale is so twisted and speedy as virtue is rewarded and villainy either spared or punished. The death speech of noble Readruth (Angus B)is well done and one scene actually brought a tear to my one good eye.
It just rollocked along with loads of flare and lots of sinister threats and mood, interspersed with humour, speedy set changes and wonderful evocative music.
Well done Year Eight and Mr Peak! Catch a glimpse of the show here!
For the second consecutive Friday the Dudley Hill Hall came alive with the sound of music!
This time the senior children from Years 6, 7 and 8 all took to the stage in an outstanding presentation across a wide range of music al styles and genres. Another concert in which all the children were represented in their musical work which deserved high praise indeed. After speaking to parents who had attended the concert most were left almost speechless with jaws dropping and they just uttered ”wow!”
Mr Harvey once again penned his pentatonic pieces for all the children from Year 7 which opened proceedings beautifully taking us to the sounds and mysteries of the Orient and straight after this the stage scene changed for the entire Year 8 collective. Year 8 took us through the cheeky Latin fusion beats of Guaglione- a piece originally arranged for full Big Band and dancers. The Year 8s had practised this in class on glass bottles filled with water prior to moving across to their own personal instruments and the tuned percussion instruments for the performance and the swinging sounds shimmied seductively.
The Senior Vocal Ensemble took us to the Caribbean climes with ‘Shake the Papaya Down in sweet harmony and this contrasted hugely with the eclectic Electro Trance from Senior Rock Group with their own composition Metal Construction 5:2. There were some old favourites in this concert too. The Jazz Group enjoyed the fun Soul Bossa Nova which had been made popular in the Austin Powers film and some invited guests from Year 5 were a part of this large and impressive ensemble. Not to be outdone we heard music from the film Pirates of the Caribbean played by the Stradivarius Strings and we were all most grateful to Mr Peak for allowing us to perform this exciting high seas adventure on the staging for Treasure Island! Not that the strings needed visual assistance, but it added something extra to an already accomplished performance.
Moving swiftly across the world to the indigenous music of Brazil, all of Year 6 performed the rhythmic beats of Samba Batucada with a rousing and driving groove and the carnival was certainly among us as the DHH echoed the sounds more commonly heard in the shadow of Sugar Loaf Mountain.
One of the biggest challenges in this concert was fitting the 41 piece FSM Orchestra on the stage, but with careful placement we did it and it was wonderful to hear a medley of three pieces from yet another film, this time The Wizard of Oz. The Orchestra romped through the jolly dotted rhythms of ’If I Only Had a Brain’ before cruising swiftly along in ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ and then closing their performance with a beautiful account of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ complete with full percussion section and an oboe solo to boot!
I can appreciate where the Wow! comments stemmed from as I reflect on such a fabulous concert. Already eight performances under our belts and then came an exquisite quartet of young ladies in the Celtic Group. Rosannagh, Tash, Emily and Darcy to be exact, who gave a heart-warming account of ‘Farewell to Stromness . You could have heard a pin drop as the beautiful Folk melodies weaved effortlessly through the air with calming qualities in abundance.
And so we reach our Grand Finale and boy, what a finale it was! Another 40 personnel up on the stage and drum kit and two pianos by way of accompaniment. So what was the chosen piece that required such feisty support? The Rhythm of Life of course! It was immense in sound from the singers, in four parts at times. A truly exceptional ending to a high quality concert and in the words of both Mr Hartley and Mr Thackery ”The best we have ever heard the Senior Choir sound”.What a high on which to leave for exeat weekend.
Thank you to all the amazing performers, none of whom was any older than 13 save those lovely ladies of the Orchestra repeating Year 8, namely Mrs Allsopp, Mrs Gemmell, Mrs Hartley, Mrs Jarvis, Mrs Roe. Your support and musical input is delightful!
And finally, my grateful thanks to all the music staff in the crew. Such efforts with the children underline your talents and you can afford to be duly proud of yourselves and all the children. See the children playing here.
The love of photography among our children is growing at FSM. With such a successful trip to Stourhead in November there was a very enthusiastic group who signed up for a second workshop with John and Clive from Pixel Rowz photography. They are inspiring teachers who put a great deal of thought and planning into our trip to Corfe and Swanage. The touch of rain in the morning did not deter our keen photographers and, in fact, gave them more reason to explore the church and all its delights. We looked at details of colour and shape, line and pattern both in the village and throughout the ancient castle.
We returned to our base for lunch and some classroom based instruction. We discovered the aperture and ISO settings and how they affected the shot. Armed with new knowledge, we headed to the beach near the pier in Swanage. This was a feast for the eyes as not only was the light perfect with stormy skies, flashes of bright sunshine lighting up the fishing boats but the area was filled with texture, line and even a few obliging cormorants!
Now the children have the job of sorting their pictures and finding their 'hero shot' from the day to put on display. With a photo competition in May and another in July, our young, talented children will be making pictures aiming to capture the 'decisive moment'. See them at work here. Group picture courtesy Clive Minnitt.