Christchurch Priory and Barton and Highcliffe Beaches
We arrived at the Priory to be greeted by the ‘Welcomers’ and the Wardens who were very happy to share their experience with us. We split into two groups, one went inside into the roasty toasty church, whilst the others braved the elements without. Then we swapped.
The Twelfth Century AD was a time when people’s beliefs were very different from today. Superstition reigned. Fed by the fuel of religious beliefs it is small wonder that stories such as this became the stuff of legends.
Hence, the tale of the Miraculous Beam!
It was decided that the foundation stones for this priory church were to be laid two miles to the north of the present church. Local people disagreed, wanting the stones laid on the existing Saxon site. However, the powers-that-be overruled the local populace and the stones were taken to St Catherine’s Hill, the new site. The very next morning when the workmen returned, they discovered that the stones had been removed and placed on the site of the original Saxon church. The workmen moved the stones back to St Catherine’s Hill, but again, the following morning they were to find the stones back on the Saxon site. This game of cat-and-mouse continued for some time until eventually, the Project Manager, one Ranulf Flambard, decided enough was enough. God had given them a clear message. The building work should be done on the Saxon site.
One day a mysterious stranger appeared. A carpenter by trade he neither took his meals with the other men nor was he present when they were paid. A large beam was necessary for the roof. The lumber was measured and carefully cut. It was hoisted up to the roof and horror-of-horrors, found to be too short. It had to be lowered back to ground and work finished for the rest of that day.
The very next morning when the workmen returned, the beam was missing. They looked high and low. Where could it be? They eventually discovered it in its proper position in the roof and measuring the correct length. How could this be?
The mysterious carpenter never appeared again. They had the answer to their question. He was Jesus of Nazareth, a known carpenter by trade. It was Jesus who had helped them to build HIS church! From that day it became known as ‘Christ’s Church’ of Twynham. In succeeding centuries the ‘Twynham’ was abandoned and the name simply became “CHRISTCHURCH.”
From the Priory we made our way to the coast where we had a fine packed lunch. The wind continued to blow and although it was a tad chilly, we were blessed with a dry day.
At Barton Beach we saw the effect of some days of rain on the soft unconsolidated Barton clay cliffs. In places, they were literally a river of mud as the rain and the rivers of the New Forest drains down. We saw the ends of pipes and cables where the infrastructure of the Naish Holiday Park has been exposed by the landslides and slumps of the cliffs. On the beach there was a massive drainage inspection chamber, presumably fallen from above. Such is the power of weathering and erosion on our coastline.
In contrast, we walked a few metres west to the relative stability of Highcliffe Beach where they have spent millions of pounds saving the cliffs. Here we saw evidence of rock groynes, cliff drainage, surface drains, beach nourishment, salt resistant plants and terraced landscaping, all of which have worked together to retain the cliffs.
The children were, as ever, diligent in their approach to the work tasks – perhaps some rather more than others – and were rewarded for their efforts with a choice of seasonal goodies from the Cliffhanger Café. The double 99s were the favourite choice, all consumed outside in the slight shelter of the café! Well done Year 6 and many thanks to Mrs Whitlock, Mr Way and Mr Humphreys.
Mrs Fisher 02.03.15
On Tuesday 24th February 2015 we had a fair to raise money for the Marine Conservation Society. It’s about the animals in the sea all around the world, because when people throw things in the sea it can kill animals and we want to raise money to stop this. To raise money, the Middle School made some games for the other children to play and there were also doughnuts to buy, too! We made posters to advertise our charity event, and I most enjoyed running the 4VW stall where you had to guess where Donald the Dolphin was hiding! See more pix here.
by Phoebe I
Personally, Valentine Supper is one of my favourite children’s social events in the year. The run up in the Boarding House of pretty dresses and smart shirts, the wonderings of who will be my partner for the evening, oh gosh! Will I be with a teacher?... and lots of questions from the Year 6s as this was their first time joining us.
The evening started with the children meeting in the FOSM room for the pairing of couples with lots of cheers and clapping. Each couple then moved into the dining room, all decorated with soft lighting, roses and hearts…their task was to find out as much as possible about each other over their ‘romantic’ dinner. We enjoyed a delicious supper of stuffed chicken breast, herby roast potatoes and mixed vegetables, followed by a heart-shaped fruit meringue and cream. A huge thank you to Matt and his super team in the kitchen.
Next, the game of how much you know about your partner and how much you remembered started. ‘What’s your partner’s favourite colour?, are you a marmite lover or hater?, your Dad’s name?, which famous person would you be for a day?’ to name a few of the questions they were asked. All the children did extremely well but eventually we were down to the last 3 couples: Milly A, Ben B, Harriet N, Max C-S, Flora A and Felix N. Mrs Cowper had run out of questions, but luckily the teachers were able to help.
Our winners were Harriet and Max, followed by Flora and Felix and Milly and Ben.
A fantastic evening with lots of laughter, cheers and noise! See more pictures of the happy couples here.
Year 7 headed to the Olympic Park in London as part of their Geography studies into sustainability around the area.
After a long journey from the sleepy New Forest there was a purposeful buzz of excitement on the bus as we headed into the urban craziness of central London, passing famous landmarks such as the O2 arena on the way.
Our first destination was at House Mill, a tidal mill on the River Lea, built in the 16th Century. The children were given a guided tour and questioned about their views on sustainability. The tour guides were impressed by our children’s ability to think ‘outside the box’.
Next, we headed to the Three Mills Lock, a £20 million structure built with the purpose of flood management and delivering resources in a more sustainable way to help build the Olympic Park. These Olympics were stated as being ‘the greenest Games ever’ after all. The children were excited to hear that this was where David Beckham raced through, bearing the torch, during the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
Under beautiful blue skies, we leisurely strolled along the purpose built cycle/footpath to the actual Olympic Stadium where we heard about the initial plans for the stadium to be a temporary structure, to be dismantled after the Olympics. There has since been a re-think and after much consideration, the stadium will be adapted to feature athletics during the summer and be the new ground for West Ham United in the football season. Being built at a cost of £500 million and costing a further £200 million to be adapted, the stadium caused much controversy, particularly to those of us paying our taxes to fund it!!!
Alongside the Olympic Park sits Hackney Wick, one of the more affordable areas of London where the children admired some of the art work on display! It proved a good opportunity to compare the sustainable features of the area with the more recently developed Olympic Park, particularly the athletes’ village, now re-named East village which is where we ended our tour.
It was a long day but one that has provided the children with plenty of ideas and ammunition to tackle their ensuing enquiry of ‘Is the recent regeneration of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park more sustainable than the nearby historic Three Mills?’ Thank you to Wayne for helping to get us all in and out of the jungle that is central London and thank you to the Year 7 parents for your adaptability with the early drop off and late pick up. Catch us at work here.
On the 9th February a very excited Year 3 spent the day at the Tank Museum to help our understanding of World War 1. We very much enjoyed exploring the mock trench that they have built and all agreed that we would not have liked to have spent any time in them. One of the boys was dressed up with some of the kit that the soldiers would have worn and we were all surprised at how heavy the rifle was. A World War 1 gas mask was tried on by one of the girls and it didn’t look very comfortable but our guide explained how it may have saved lots of lives during a gas attack.
After we had escaped from the trenches we were allowed to go inside a tank that was 100 years old! It was very small and cramped inside and must have got very hot and noisy. We learnt why the tank had been developed and what problems some of the early tanks had like getting stuck in the trenches!
In the afternoon we visited the War Horse exhibition to find out what it must have been like for the horses in the war. We then started to write a letter from a war horse that we are going to complete in class. See some pictures here.