I have to admit I was staggered at the logistics of moving all the Brownies, Guides and Cubs to the Planetarium (largest digital projector in Europe) near Winchester. Mrs. C is a marvel and should be with the Army!
There were at least 51 scarves to check followed by high tea at 16.15 and then the challenging choice of ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ minibus.
The entire staff of the planetarium was waiting for us including Julian the Director of Schools! After a little play on the amazing gadgets, the children lined up and filed into The Dark Dome, each adult clutching a red beam torch in case of ‘an emergency’.
Jennie explained what we would see as we reclined on comfy seats and then the vault lit up with twinkling stars and story of the night sky unfolded. The children were presented with what our night sky would look like that very night.
It began with the Plough or the Big Dipper and the way to Polaris the North Star and then the Big Bear (Ursa Major) in all his fierce glory and the Little Bear (Ursa Minor) follwed by Cassiopeia. We enjoyed a close look up at the Space Station as it orbited the Earth before we visited the planets and their moons. There were tons of questions about Black Holes and suns and the view from the Moon and the magic of all the star signs emblazoned on the sky.
It was very good and the best evidence is that the assembled multitude were rapt in silence.
The schools team followed up with snacks and two good workshops that built on what we’d seen. We then had a visual presentation outside (with Winchester Hill Fort in the distance and measured out the distance between the planets.
If the Sun was the size of a pebble… then the farthest planet planet was 25 feet away.
If the sun was 12’ feet wide then the furthest planet was somewhere near Basingstoke… impressive in the late afternoon sun.
We had more snacks and squash and then embroiled in extraordinarily heavy traffic exacerbated by road works, only arrived back at the school at 21.20…
but it was a brilliant evening! See more pictures here.
The sun was shining, the camp was ready, the fire lit all it needed was nine very excited Guides to bring it to life.
We arrived and the peace was shattered but for all the right reasons
After a few rules and guidelines it was time to get our tents ready before it got dark later.
Then it was all hands on deck to get camp ready, water to fetch, firewood to collect and then our attention turned to food.
Lamb koftas were on the menu. The Guides were soon chopping onion, slicing red cabbage adding spices to the lamb, before rolling them into sausages. They were soon cooking on the fire and starting to smell good. Whilst we waited a quick game of sardines was played and just as our tummies started to rumble the food was ready.
We each assembled our own dinner; we filled a flat bread with salad ,a kofta, yoghurt, sweet chilli sauce, onion//and then the art of folding. Oh they were delicious. In fact, so good some of the girls had thirds!!
By time the washing up was done it was time to do our swaps. The girls had each made a small, crafty gift to swap with each other and to keep as a small memory of camp.
Then, it was time for the real highlight of the evening; the campfire. As the sun started to set, the marshmallows were being toasted, the s’mores made ready and the girls tucked in. We celebrated Miss Brown's birthday with a cake delivered by the Headmaster. Then the Guides beautiful voices sang songs, some quiet ones, others noisy, some had actions and some made the girls giggle.
As if they hadn’t eaten enough it was time for hot chocolate and a story before bed!!
The girls crawled into their tents and the chatting began and went on and on till eventually every Guide was sleeping peacefully tucked up in their sleeping bags.
The night went by far too quickly. At 7am, sleepy Guides began to emerge and gather by the fire in their pyjamas and woolly hats. They slowly began to wake up as the task of preparing breakfast began. Eggs broken and whisked and ‘boil in the bag scrambled egg’ was soon being eaten to more cries of, ‘This is delicious, oh so tasty!’
Reluctantly it was time to pack up, lower the flag and head back to school.
This was the first ever Guide camp and I hope the girls enjoyed it as much as I did and that they will take away happy memories that they will remember forever.
However this was only possible by the generosity and kindness of Mr and Mrs Cochand who worked so hard and gave up their time for us. The Guides and I would like to say thank you for making this camp such great fun. See more pictures here.
Welcome to the Summer term in the Pre-prep. As usual we started the term and our new topic with a ‘Stunning Start’ trip to Portsmouth Blue Reef Aquarium. Whilst the majority of our children will have been to Aquariums before and enjoyed wildlife programmes, not to mention ‘Octonauts’, it was very useful to consolidate all their knowledge and find out a great deal of new information. The talks and the workshop on sharks were very useful. Did you know that a shark lives for thirty years on average and that the majority of them are fished before they reach maturity, resulting in a rapid decline in the population? This could mean that there may be no sharks left in as little as five years and the entire population of our seas and oceans is similarly threatened. It makes it all the more important that our children are aware, not only of the wonders of our world but of our responsibility to it.
Thirteen female members of staff have challenged themselves to enter the London Moon Walk on May 16th in aid of the Breast Cancer charity. Our team name is Ladies of the Manor and we have opted for the half marathon which is a sneaky 15 miles around London at night. We have been trying hard to fit power walking training into our busy schedules but are determined to complete it in 3 1/2 – 4 hours. Each year the Moonwalk takes on a theme and this year it is ‘A Night at the Movies’ and we will be attired as 101 Dalmatians…well 13 of them to be precise! We are aiming to raise £2000 and to boost our fundraising we held a huge cake sale on Monday and raised a fantastic £350! The spread of cakes was mouth-wateringly delicious and a huge thank you must go to the staff and Mrs Walker who kindly brought in goods to sell. Thank you also to the children for the enthusiasm with which they devoured the cakes!
If you would like to support us in raising money for this important charity please visit the team’s fundraising page at moonwalklondon2015.everydayhero.com/uk/ladies-of-the-manor
Welcome to FSM's first STEM Club! It is an exciting new venture that aims to create further interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in an hands on way! The students will be experimenting, investigating and discovering new skills that they will be able to identify within the four specific subject areas.
STEM is a National initiative that is closely linked to the supply and demand of STEM professionals in industry, research and academia. The practical skills, theories, rote learning and formulae practiced in the FSM STEM Club will be motivating for students as they are linked to real-life examples. FSM already embraces enquiry-based learning, providing opportunities for developing deeper understanding and student’s personal interest; FSM STEM Club is striving to continue to further this again. We aim to investigate interesting topics and have a fantastic time doing it!
This week’s STEM afternoon was just as exciting the first. The group were exploring balloon rockets and had to design their own rocket that would cross the length of Mr James’s lab. There was a huge range a different shapes and sizes from part balloons to water balloons. The groups had to make a decision on what balloon to use and then strap their straw on somehow and then thread the strong through that would prove to be its desired path.
The classroom was filled with laughter, the sound of puffing from exerting so much energy into blowing them up and the odd squeak from the balloon when letting them off in a comical way. There were several attempts and some achieved more success than others. It was great to see those who didn’t quite get their straw structure standing last week achieve more success in this challenge.
The afternoon saw many different balloons being trusted up into the air, down onto the ground, and sometimes down the string in the path that we wanted them to go. Well done to all students who really showed some resilience in this session and determination to engineer a suitable balloon rocket prototype!
Next week we’re heading to the IT lad to get technical!
Mission: to support Yorkie bars on a 50cm tall structure.
Materials: straws, blue tac and Yorkie bars.
Time: 40 minutes.
Armed with straws, blue tac and some chocolate incentive FSM’s Stem club worked in teams to build 50cm high structures that would be able to support the surprisingly heavy Yorkie bars! A task they thought would be a ‘piece of cake’ but after some failed attempts, found it quite harder than it looked.
We had triangles, squares, pyramids, cubes being created and numerous straws being strewn across the science lab. The children were trying different techniques and collaborating on ideas to come up with a strong building.
Toby and Archie R were the first to complete their structure with 7 minutes remaining. A strong building that supported their Yorkie bars for an infinite amount of time if needed. They utilised the use of triangles and double, sometimes triple supported their straws.
Next were Archie S and Charlie B whose structure resembled something that we could have received a radio signal from, but it did the job. Again their use of triangles was necessary and the single skyward straw ticked the box for achieving the height of 50cm or more.
As the clock started to tick down, groups started to panic. Louis was a bit too eager to test his structure and their Yorkie bars turned their structure into a sunken mess on the desk. Sam, Aidan and Will’s fell in the dwindling seconds and unfortunately Grace and Tessa’s didn’t have the needed support that they were trying to finish in the last dying minute. Sam and Alex, Charlie R and Hamish and Daniela and Peter all had fine constructions but ran out of time also.
With very minimal help from the staff, FSM’s Stem club all came up with great ideas. Some achieved greater success than others but they all learnt a lot and are already thinking how they could do it differently if given the challenge again. See pix from week 1.
Stay tuned…next week we’re constructing some rockets!