Footballers kick off for the term

For the first Prep V and VI football matches of the season, our teams came up against a strong Pownall team. Prep V have proved themselves to be tough opposition to play against, and then continued this in this game. The VIs are finding their feet as a team but demonstrated great potential in their play. Both teams were competitive but also exhibited good sportsmanship in their play, led especially by Oliver and Oscar. A good first outing – well done boys!

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The Extraordinary Life of Queen Elizabeth II

Take an appreciative look back over the remarkable life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with our timeline poster.

When Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died, Britain – and the world – lost a respected ruler who could always be counted on to do her best, even in difficult times. Since her death, leaders of other countries have described her as “warm”, “kind”, “funny”, “wise” and “dignified”. She will be sadly missed, but let’s remember that for the 70 years she ruled the UK, The Queen always kept the promise she made when she was crowned – to serve her people and her country. (source: National Online Safety)

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On Top of the Lakes!

Our Friday afternoon achievement assemblies constantly remind us of just how much our pupils get up to outside of school. Football teams, dance, scouts and guides… We have an extremely active bunch.

One massive achievement was sent through to us this morning, however, which we think – given that the two boys in question are in Prep IV and Reception – is an absolutely incredible feat! The following was sent in by Mum:

The boys wanted to do something of significance to commemorate our recent Queen’s reign and sad passing, so we decided, as a family, to take on the challenge of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, at 978m.

The route was not without its challenges and there were some moments when the boys felt as though they could not go on. Particularly on the approach to the Lingmell summit (807m). However, when we reached the Lingmell summit, Scafell was visible and with a renewed determination, the boys both pushed through and managed to complete the fantastic achievement, completely unaided and with a smile on their face.

We were so incredibly lucky to have near perfect weather conditions, albeit extremely windy, and were able to see Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, whilst informing Oliver and Nikolas that they were highest 4-year-old and 8-year-old in England, which they found highly amusing.

In total, we walked for 11 miles, 8.5 hours and, with the rise of fall of the peaks, completed a total ascent of 1712m!!

I am so incredibly proud of both boys and just wanted to share this fantastic achievement with the school.

Next stop….Snowdon! 

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Prep III complete residential week…

Bridgewater junior department rounded off an adventurous week of residential visits, with  Prep III’s extended day trip. We may as well have been there for a week with the number of activities we crammed in!

An amazing weather forecast beckoned as we set off from school (on time, remarkably) with one minibus serenading Miss Gill with the latest Ed Sheeran track. Mrs Seward had similar in the other minibus I’m sure! Our fantastic instructors Paul and Fran met us on our arrival, commenting on our fabulous driving skills – for those that have been to the centre this week, the entrance is extremely narrow.

Straight to the zip wire, where Miss McEvoy harnessed up with the class. Both Ben and Honorah were adamant they would not be partaking in such an event, but there were beams of joy all round when they did! And even more smiles when the class realised that now Miss Gill had to partake (having unwittingly told Ben that she would jump if he did…) 

Off to the huge tree, which oddly resembled a ‘Grip and Go’ wall. Oh no. We actually had to climb it! While waiting patiently for assistance, Asa was confused as to who was throwing acorns at his helmet, until Miss McEvoy pointed out that it was, in fact, the large oak tree we were under.

Carly, Carter and Joey all set the standard by whipping up the tree like little monkeys! Much to Miss Gill’s dismay, instructor Paul clipped her into the safety rope and proceeded to lead her to the ladder… After a spine chilling climb, without once looking down, she rang the bell at the top, to cheers from the class and then shook uncontrollably and kissed the ground! 

Finally the childrens’ prayers were answered! It was lunchtime!! After a bit of food and a play on the equipment outside (and a few smaller tree climbing attempts) we headed off for archery!

After a well needed lesson, we attempted to shoot balloons in the centre of a target. For the most part, we managed to hit the actual board, particular mention to Asa, Noah, Poppy and Casey – some budding archers in our midst. Miss Gill managed to hit a balloon, after many attempts. Olympic Games next. Between us all, we only lost one arrow, which may well be in the field next to the centre. Word is Paul is still searching…

Finally – or so we thought – we partook in an assault course. Energy levels were still at peak due to the many snacks we had nibbled during the day.

We joined forces at the end of the day to complete a team building challenge. Fran assisted one of the teams who accidentally left some team mates behind… But we managed to rejoin forces and make it back to the minibus in time for our journey home.

Thankfully, the motorways were kind and we made it back on time (yes I’m surprised too!) Everyone, especially the teachers, we’re ready for a relaxing evening. What a day!

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Prep VI day 3 – The Return!

Wow! What an adventure Prep VI have had. 

Yesterday started off with an early rise, followed by a delicious breakfast which went down a treat! 

Our first task of the day was to canoe down the canal to the Gowy Tunnels. Once we were set with helmets, buoyancy aids and paddles we set sail with ease – apart from when Layla and Luca were terrified by a spider and Leo’s leg took a dip in the canal! 

Half way down the canal we hopped off our boats and had a lovely bite to eat as well as a trip down into the tunnels. Our waterproofs and head torches certainly came in handy here! 

At the campsite we put up our own tents successfully! Layla, Lilly and Sofia were particularly impressive. We cooked our own dinner which went down a treat and EVEN did the washing up so no excuses at home now! Leo’s Scout training certainly came in handy for the group.

The rest of the evening consisted of roasting marshmallows and singing sounds around the toasty campfire. Today we woke up bright and early to sail back down the canal to the Conway centre. 

Early night anyone?

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Prep IV – day 2: hokey cokey canoeing

Apologies for not wrapping up our Prep IV residential with some more pictures – so here you are! Our Prep IV canoeists paddled stylishly along the canal on their last day, as you can see here. The hokey cokey reference? “You put your left leg in, your left leg out…” Just ask Findlay!

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Prep VI under canvas

Prep VI packed up the luxury of their dorms in the Conway Centre this morning in order to travel on an epic adventure to the next overnight stay – under canvas. No minibuses for them though – they paddled their way along the Shropshire Union Canal to get to their next destination.

Whilst those there know what they are up to – rest assured! – details at this end are sketchy, given the lack of WIFI connection in the campsite. What we do know is that the children and staff are having a fantastic time. We have a few photos here to whet your appetite – we will post more once our explorers return!

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Splish, splash, fortunately no one took a bath – Prep V day 2

Row, row, row your boat… gently down the canal

After an excellent night’s sleep (no, really!) both staff and children woke up refreshed and raring to begin our next challenge. First, we needed to fuel up for our next day’s adventure, and the ladies in the cafeteria did us proud with cereal, cooked breakfast, toast and jam. Some of us bravely tried hash browns for the first time and we were entertained by Mr Suter’s musical rendition of “Underneath the Arches” as we queued up… he promises to learn the second line for next year.

Then it was time to return to our dormitories to pack and strip our beds, expertly supervised by Izzie and Mason whose domestic training proved very useful! With our cases outside, it was time to don buoyancy aids and helmets ready for canoeing. We drove through the pretty village of Tattenhall (Mrs Sweeney will definitely be returning to try the tearoom) and down to the Shropshire Union Canal, where we received our safety briefing.

Our next challenge was to tie two canoes together; especially well done to Emily whose reef knot was spot on. Once we had selected our teams of five, it was time to launch our boats into the water. We climbed gingerly aboard clutching our paddles, and after a few unintentional 360 degree rotations, we managed to head down the canal in the right direction. Now and again, we had to pull over to the left side as colourful canal barges sailed past. Some of us zigzagged a little closer to the banks then we planned, but the wild berries and autumn leaves were very picturesque at close quarters!

After stopping to inspect the rope marks on the bridge, evidence of the many canal horses which pulled the heavy boats in the early days of the Canal Age, we returned to our canoes and made our way rather more purposefully back up the canal. We climbed out and returned to the Conwy Centre, where we had a picnic lunch and a final play before it was time to load the minibuses and set out back to school, tired but happy, in true Enid Blyton style. As we travelled, the minibus gradually grew quieter and quieter, as a bevy of Sleeping Beauties caught up with their beauty sleep!

A huge thank you to all the excellent staff at the Tattenhall Conwy centre for looking after us so well, and to Mr Rooney for organising the trip. We’re also grateful Mrs Tunney for driving, and Mr Suter and Miss Gregory for their cheerful and unstinting hard work throughout the two days. We are already looking forward to next year!

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Prep VI get to grips with their residential – day 1

While Prep V were out on the water, it was the turn of Prep VI to experience the challenges that the Conway Centre had to offer.  First up, the zip wire and the oak tree climb – who could make it up to the top to ring the bell?  Not everyone did, but everyone did have a go and manage to get some way up the tree – personal challenges achieved for all.  A subdued lunch as the great chess challenge got underway, the pace picked up again as the 6s went about the archery and low rope challenges.  Mr. “Two Balloons” Suter’s record still stands, but Romano, Daniel and Mr Grant all managed a bullseye!  The World Bridgewater record was then attempted for the most people hanging off a bouldering wall at one time – photographic evidence on this blog post attests to the success of this.  Cassius, Layla and Frankie were fantastic, while Luca’s ‘horizontal hanging’ stance was particularly impressive.  Finally, a chance to put teamwork skills together effectively as our pupils took on the orienteering challenge around the centre’s generous grounds.  The Prep VI champions were Vincent, Cassius, Toby and Frankie, whilst Isaac demonstrated a keen eye for this too.  Tomorrow is an especially busy day, so Willy Wonka is entertaining the troops before an ‘early’ night ready for tomorrow’s expedition! 

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Prep V high fliers… Residential day 1

We only had time for a quick snack upon our arrival at Tattenhall before we were whisked off for our action packed day of fun here at the centre. First up, we donned our snug fitting hard hats – always looking delightful! – and safety harnesses, before variously tackling the zip wire and climbing the huge oak tree that filled the grounds. Despite the nerve-wracking challenge of both, every one present managed both. A pause for lunch, and then back again for our archery challenge – who could pop the balloons on the target – and the team work low ropes. Let it be said Robin Hood’s archery skills were not pushed too hard but several arrows did hit the target and Mason managed to pop one of the balloons ( Mr. Suter would like now to be known as “Two Balloons”). The teamwork skills on the low ropes were exemplary, with the children encouraging each other through the challenges – and the ‘link’ command, which required everyone on the course to link up within 20 seconds. Not always easy when dangling precariously on a rope! Dinner – with a jelly and ice cream highlight – was followed by our final outdoor activity: orienteering around the centre grounds. All hail Alfie and Leonard, our new orienteering champions! And then to chill time: movie night before bed…

Highlights (among others): Ying Wun flying up the tree without realising just how high she had gone; Jacob and Oscar’s new found sweeping skills (and not on the football pitch); Sam’s traversing of the bouldering wall; Daniel’s double traverse (sadly not believed as none of the teacher’s witnessed it); Izabella and Mason’s confidence to shake hands at the top of the oak tree; and the numerous others who overcome various fears and challenges.

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