The 2014-15 School Year culminated in our annual Project Week….a week full of discovery, excitement and learning. We all learn in many different ways but direct experience tops the list. The children were buzzing about their adventures and you can see some pictures of their exploits here.
The animal explorers saw animals in many different places, learned about their environments and how to protect them. The Go Outdoors Team tried out different sports and activities whilst the Field to Fork foodies learned where their food comes from as well as having many wonderful cooking experiences.
After the success of trip to Belgium last year, we returned the hospitality this year welcoming a group to enjoy English sights and activities with their English penpals.
The ever-popular Welsh Heritage trip helped children gain an insight into castles and the history surrounding them and the Hants and Dorset group pushed themselves to their physical limits. Two groups stayed in school to discover the joys of filmmaking from the development of ideas, to filming and editing. We will enjoy the finished products upon our return in September
Even our Pre Prep joined in the fun with a week off-piste…always good for the soul!
I was very excited and a little bit nervous as we approached St Mary’s for the Forest School PACE day. The FSM team was made up of four children from Year 4 whereas most of the other teams were made up of children from Year 6! Our team was made up of Ben M, Charlotte S, Alice B, Mr Humphreys and me.
We did the most amazing activities including swimming, field games and a game called Guess the Phrase. The final game was an orienteering challenge followed by a code breaking challenge. The code breaking challenge was incredibly hard but we managed to work out that the code word was CAKE! We then had lots of cake in a marquee.
At prize giving each member of the FSM team was given a medal and a certificate for Best Team Support. We were really pleased and proud of ourselves! See a few pix here.
by Finlay S
The world of STEM
72% of all UK businesses have an employee with STEM skills and it’s expected that by 2020, 75% of all new jobs created will be in this area. As an independent school there is a pressure on us to demonstrate added value to the parents of the 220 girls and boys we educate by ensuring their children achieve outstanding results in their exams. We were already teaching some coding but we wanted to expand our offering in this area to include Python so that our pupils were well prepared with useful computing skills which they could take forward with them to their next school.
Our aim is to invest so that in every lesson we really engage every child which was where the training really helped. Within two weeks of the start of term the teaching team was delivering lessons based on the resources, online tutorials and links shared by the trainer. The pupils were quickly on their way to getting to grips with Python as teachers made use of the single lesson and more in depth multi-lesson plans included in the course.
Increasing engagement in pupils through game play was an area we hadn’t previously explored and this helped to get the pupils on board and engaged straight away. Innovative games based on Cluedo which encouraged competitiveness amongst pupils.
We’ve looked at what attracts different groups of pupils and discovered that variety is key. We are bringing Python into our new STEM Club as engagement in particular from the girls in class has been much more active. We are also looking to engage pupils further by creating wearable technology to attract one group, as well as other tasks such as Lego robots and electronics which will attract another group.
Excellent teaching coupled with these new delivery methods and the teaching of an additional programming language has resulted in a new-found confidence and ideas for both teachers and pupils. The outcome is that we have seen a significant increase in the attitude to learning for the majority of the class which has delivered an improvement in both achievement and grades. A great outcome for teachers, pupils, parents and looking forward, for the STEM industry.
FSM Sports Day proved an exciting and enjoyable occasion. After mizzle threatened to put a dampener on the day, the weather decided to play ball with the sun appearing in the afternoon to reflect the happy atmosphere of the event.
Once the Houses had paraded Olympic style around the track, the athletes got underway. The track events started with the sprints – some great individual performances led by Georgie (Year 5 100m) and Aidan (Year 6 200m) both recording new school records. Towards the end of the day Broomy’s Intermediate boys relay team also ran away with a new record – great efforts which reflect the strength in some of our sprinting at FSM. The team element is central to any sporting occasion – two new events stand out this year from this perspective. Tug of War (the ultimate challenge of strength and teamwork) proved a huge success – Sloden won the intermediate while Broomy came out on top in the senior event. All competitors worked with impressive determination and the crowd created a great atmosphere to help encourage the teams. If anything the parent’s Tug of War proved even more exciting and was supported enthusiastically by the pupils. Rumour has it that some parents are already in training for next year!
The allcomers relay gave anyone an opportunity to put together a relay team for a fun race – any age any background. Many teams can forward to allow every lane to be filled – 32 competitors including old boys teams, Mums, Dads and families – all approached the event in the spirit it was intended – controlled competition and fun – well done everyone!
The field events also throw up some new records Imogen – Year 6 throw, Georgie (again!) Year 5 LJ, James – Year 7 Javelin. All great efforts. However, the stand out performance was that of AJ in the Year 5 HJ. AJ recorded a new record of 1.37m – an outstanding achievement in itself, but the way in which the school supported and enjoyed his success was wonderful and perhaps the highlight of the day.
The relays proved a fitting finale – enthusiasm, enjoyment and effort from all the competitors!
Well done to Broomy for winning sports day. However congratulations must be given to everyone for the spirit adaptability and willingness to just have a go! Here’s to next year! See Mrs Hartley's fab pictures here.
On the glorious grounds of FSM the boarders scattered around the field in their colourful costumes to take part in the term’s ‘Board Games’ Theme Night!.
There were dice, counters, monopoly characters, monopoly cards, dart boards, snakes, ladders and several characters that were caught in the library with the candlestick!
Supper was a concoction of yummy meats with operation spare ribs, Colonel Mustard’s favourite sausages, and Matt’s Mayfair burger. When we thought it couldn’t get any better out came the outstanding chessboard of brownies for pudding!
Once our bellies were full, it was time for the games to begin! The children battled it out in the life size games such as: Connect 4, Tic Tac Toe, Elephant trunks and Angry Birds!
Their mission was to collect Scrabble pieces, which they then had to put into the highest scoring word to gain an extra point for their group!
The grand finale proved to be most people’s favourite though. It was the moment where board games really did come to life at FSM;human ‘Ten pin bowling’ and human ‘Hungry Hippos’.
The children hurled their bodies down the slippery slide to knock over the skittles below! We saw cannon balls, penguin slides and some went down backwards but all with a massive smile!
And in the DHH, Four ‘hippos’ hopped on their skateboards with big ‘mouths’ in hands (clear plastic boxes) and were rolled out by their team mates to collect as many balls as they could. It was madness! An array of coloured balls and shouts from the children flew around the room as children threw themselves, some more literally than others, onto their team’s skateboards and put themselves in their hands of their team mates to be pushed out into the arena.
All in all, it was a smashing night! Have a look at the pictures to see the fun that was had!