Gardeners Bloom at the RHS

When it is pouring down with rain, we often say it is good for the plants, but it wasn’t quite so good for our excited gardeners as we made our way through the showers to the RHS Garden Bridgewater. Fortunately, the showers were not too heavy and within a short time of our arrival they stopped altogether.

Off to our tour. We started with a fruits and vegetable hunt in the Peel Learning Garden before moving on to the Kitchen Garden. Armed with a list of plants to find, Izabella proved to have the keenest eyes for the crops, using her own knowledge of plants to spot those we were looking for – a close eye was needed though to make sure she wasn’t sampling the produce. Occasionally, a little bit of help was required. “It begins with a letter ‘P'” said Mr. Suter. “Radishes?” enquired Oliver. Hmmn…

Having a small group in the gardens meant that we were able to visit areas that we would not possibly normally go to. Beatrice noticed that the RHS have chickens and a sign indicated that one of them was indeed called Beatrice. So off we trotted. We couldn’t quite work out which was which, although one of them did seem a little noisier than the others (!). We also managed a tour through the greenhouses in the Paradise Garden, where we were surprised to find lemons, peaches, apricots and melons to tick off our list.

We headed off to the Chinese Streamside Garden for lunch, enjoying a pleasant view across the lake while we munched our sandwiches. If you want any advice on the National Lottery, ask Ying Wun, as a bird ‘deposited’ on her seat just as she was about to sit on it – apparently it’s lucky! Leonard was slightly perturbed when a mother duck brought her five ducklings from the lake past his feet – it turned out she was leading them to a lower pond and was not, after all, after his sandwich.

After lunch, we walked through the Lower Middle and Upper Middle Woods, using our Woodland Trust leaf identification sheet to see what kinds of trees were growing there – we did find a very mixed variety. We did stop in the ‘Once upon a time…’ chair, where Mr. Suter started a story, and then the children had to continue it when it was their turn to sit in the chair. He wasn’t quite sure what he had done to upset them, however, as in the story he ended up falling in the lake and drowning! To round off the day, we headed for the Woodland Play area, which was quickly turned into Queen Florence’s Palace – Mr. Suter was slightly concerned to hear Lady in Waiting Ruby calling for a paramedic, but it turns out that it was only because Luca had been hung, drawn and quartered at the Queen’s insistence!

The gardens were lovely, the sun did shine, and the children have made several suggestions from their observations at the RHS as to things that we could bring back to our own school garden – although we are yet to see how Mr. Rooney takes to the idea of us having chickens! A great day out and, as we would expect, the children were impeccably behaved. Thank you to the RHS for hosting us.

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On your marks…

Prep V and VI recently competed in the AJIS Athletics Championships.  It was a very strong competition, with over 20 schools participating, and there were some very talented athletes on show – not least our own.

While special mention should go to Amelia, who achieved a bronze medal in the 80m sprint, a number of other team members narrowly missed out on podium finishes.

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It’s all in the numbers…

It’s been a numbers game recently – David and Raghav took part in the United Kingdom Maths Trust Junior Mathematical Challenge, while they and Raj (sadly with fourth team member Adam poorly) competed in the Quiz Club Maths Challenge national semi-finals. With bronze certificates in the former, and the team narrowly missing out on a finals place in the latter, we think these boys have done extremely well in representing Bridgewater. Well done!

If you wanted to test your own mathematical knowledge, you have 60 seconds to solve this question – this is one of the challenges the boys faced in the quiz! (and they got it correct!).

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Right Royal Jubilee Celebrations in Prep…

If you were lucky enough to be there, you would have experienced a fabulous afternoon on the front lawn, celebrating Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. Well done to all our classes and their teachers, and the Choir, for a wonderful musical procession through the ages. If you missed it, hopefully these photos will give you a flavour of the afternoon…

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Prep runners achieve 5km landmark…

On Wednesday, the Senior School hosted a 5km charity run through Worsley Woods and the Loop Line, raising funds for St. Ann’s Hospice.  Over fifty runners took part, but invited to participate with them was a small selection of especially dedicated Prep VI runners from Mr. Grant’s Cross Country Club. Our six runners did not just run on the day, but have put in a deal of practice in the last few Club runs, running longer distances on Friday lunchtimes to get themselves ready for the 5km.

Special mention must go to Alex – although the aim was participation rather than performance, he put in a cracking run to finish 9th overall. An incredible achievement!

Well done to all – there was a sense of weary self satisfaction when they posed for this photo with Mrs. Hilton!

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Howzat?! Prep VI cricket season opener…

It was a testing first cricket outing of the season as our Prep VI boys took on Pownall Hall School. Hampered slightly by Anton’s injury in practice earlier in the week, the team battled bravely against a well organised and well practised Pownall side. Despite the result not going in our favour, the boys had a good time and performed well. Many thanks to Pownall for their excellent hospitality!

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Rounders team strike the winning note

Our U11 Rounders team played a great match last night against Rishworth Prep, running our victors by two and a half rounders. Given that this was the team’s first outing together since pre-pandemic times, this was a great performance, with the team showing great spirit and skills throughout. A special mention to Frankie who was awarded player of the match from the opposing team.  Well done team!

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Lizards for lunch…

Prep V spent an entertaining and informative afternoon learning about the Maya people last week with history facilitator Del Bannister. The Maya were an ancient civilization form Mesoamerica, and we found out about their culture, rituals, diet and clothes by working in teams to sort a range of artefacts. These included musical instruments, materials, cocoa pods, masks, fabric, a chocolate whisk and a tiny worry doll, (Mrs. Sweeney’s favourite artefact!) as well as an incredibly intricate calendar.

Having studied the artefacts, we could begin to appreciate that the Maya were a lively and colourful civilisation, and this was clearly seen in the clothes which they wore. Leila and Luca modelled the typical outfits of a Maya man and woman beautifully and looked very smart. The clothes also reflected the warm climate of Mayan lands.

We also arranged our class so that it reflected the organisation of a Mayan city. This was great for the city ruler, and the powerful priests, who told everyone what the gods wanted them to do. Then came the nobleman, who also enjoyed positions of authority. The farmers, soldiers and peasants were next in the social pyramid, and finally there were the slaves, any of whom might be needed for a human sacrifice if the gods needed appeasing. This last group were not too happy with their place in the city’s hierarchy!

Our final challenge was a food quiz, and we used our senses to identify nine different foods which the Maya people ate. Some of these were very familiar – we all recognized the vanilla pods and the cocoa pods. Rather more surprising was the lizard and the monkey… we were not sure we would like to find either of the on our school dinner menu!

Prep V engaged in all the activities with enthusiasm, asking and answering questions thoughtfully like true history detectives. Our thanks go to Mrs. Bannister for all her hard work and organisation, and to all our parents for their continued support.

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Online Safety for Under 5s: 10 Top Tips for Parents and Carers

According to Ofcom’s most recent research, a significant proportion of children are already online by the time they start school, with 17% of 5-year-olds owning their own mobile phone and 50% using messaging platforms. As becoming familiar with technology is generally encouraged in younger children – and has been essential for education during the pandemic – it is essential that trusted adults recognise both the benefits and the risks of infants and toddlers going online. We’ve compiled our top tips to help the under 5s start their online safety journey.

In the guide, you’ll find tips such as managing screen time, block in-app purchases and using devices together. (Source: National Online Safety)

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Prep Crack the Code!

Last week the Prep Department enjoyed a visit from The Clever Cogz Learning company which was postponed several times due to Covid……however the staff and children all agreed it was well worth the wait!

The Early Years and Prep I children all took part in the Superhero Academy where they became ‘superheroes’ helping the Police to solve crimes and tackling the superhero assault course. This gave the children the opportunity to develop their reading, maths, communication and physical skills.

Then it was the turn of the children from Prep II to Prep VI to enter the Egyptian themed escape room. They worked in groups of 15 children to solve puzzles and crack codes to escape the room. I am glad to say each group worked fantastically well and all made it out in the time given. Some groups had only seconds to spare….phew!

This was a fantastic opportunity for all the children to work as a team solving complex problems and the Clever Cogz team were very impressed with our children’s abilities and team work. A fantastic experience for everyone!

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