Jolly hockey sticks!

Hockey was on the agenda for some of our younger sporting stars yesterday as Prep II (playing against Prep III opposition) and Prep III children faced Light Oaks in a friendly encounter. Although the final results did not go our way, the children’s effort and endeavour could not be faulted. Well done too to Sam and Victor in their respective teams, who were chosen as their respective Player of the Match by the opposition coaches. Well done all!

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What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Influencers

The concept of influencers is hardly a new one. Through newspaper columns and TV spots, we’ve long been accustomed to hearing informed opinion from, say, Martin Lewis on money, Nigella Lawson on food or Mark Kermode on cinema. How the digital revolution has changed the game, however, is by providing a plethora of platforms from which literally anyone can have their say.

Online, you’ll find hordes of people holding forth on any number of topics: gaming, beauty, travel, fashion, fitness … virtually anything you can think of. What qualifies them as ‘experts’, however? Is it safe for young people to consume the oceans of content that they generate? Our #WakeUpWednesday guide brings you the essential info on the influencer phenomenon. (source: The National College)

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Thank you from Mr. Connolly!

We recently reported on Mr. Connolly’s excellent efforts in the Manchester Marathon, where not only did he achieve a fantastic time – and frankly, just completing a marathon is a fantastic effort! – he also managed to incorporate fundraising for the ABF (Army Benevolent Fund) The Soldiers Charity. Excellent achievements both!

Mr. Connolly wanted to extend a warm thank you to those who he was not able to thank personally for supporting him in his efforts – the importance of this fundraising was highlighted in the letter he received from the ABF.

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Runners in the mix at Mini Great Manchester Run

We love nothing better than hearing about our children’s achievements outside of school, and are delighted to report on the success of siblings Arthur and Florence who recently participated in the AJ Bell Mini Great Manchester Run. Arthur came home in 14th position, an amazing achievement given the number of runners participating. Florence did even better, coming in fourth and narrowly missing a podium finish by a mere 11 seconds! Well done both – we’re very proud of you!

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Reception by Reception

Our Reception children turned into budding photographers during their latest Computing lessons, learning about digital cameras and using them in small groups to take photographs of each other, and then exploring the school grounds to see what other interesting things they could find to snap.  We’ve a few wobbles, blurs and decapitated heads, but I’m sure you’ll agree the resulting shots here are pretty good.  Amazingly (thankfully!?), none of the children had heard the term ‘selfie’ but they certainly know how to pose!

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Looking After Your Wellbeing Online

The online world and digital technology has become such a significant part of our lives – and integral to so many aspects of our daily routine – that we shouldn’t be surprised at the degree of influence it can wield over what we think and how we feel. Many experiences that young people have on the internet are hugely positive and uplifting … but sadly, that’s not always the case.

Negative incidents online – such as disagreements with other users, stumbling across upsetting content or feeling left out by friends – can be intensely damaging to a child’s emotional state. Our #WakeUpWednesday poster has some useful tips for young people and trusted adults on how even small, simple actions can help to protect our wellbeing when we’re on the internet.(source: National College)

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Jack’s on Trial in Prep I

Prep I have been studying the story of Jack and the Beanstalk as part of their topic on Plants. Today we set up our very own court room and put the character of Jack on trial for theft. We had witnesses in the form of the giant, the giant’s wife, Jack’s mother and even Jack’s teacher. We had a jury of 12 and of course Jack himself. Judge Davies questioned each witness and Jack himself about exactly what occurred in the castle at the top of the Beanstalk and then each juror decided if Jack was ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty.’

The vote went 7-5 in favour of finding Jack ‘guilty’ of theft and he was sentenced to life imprisonment!

Prep I thoroughly enjoyed this activity and it gave them a great opportunity to discuss Jack’s actions and if he really was the ‘hero’ of the famous fairy tale. 

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Monkey for lunch with Prep V Mayans

Prep V spent an entertaining and informative afternoon learning about the Maya people today 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, feathers, fabric, cocoa pods, masks, a chocolate whisk as well as an incredibly intricate calendar. 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. Daniel and Emily 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, Jacob and the powerful priests, Henry and Oliver who told everyone what the gods wanted them to do. Then came the nobleman, Harrison and Sam (and their doting wives Izabella and Florence) 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. The priests recommended sacrificing slave Lucie, who was to be dropped down a well, as there had not been any rain in the city of Tikal for some time. The slaves 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 recognized the chilli flakes, vanilla 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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Planting for the future with Prep III at the RHS

We all know that plants need water to thrive, so really we couldn’t complain too much with the sporadic showers that accompanied us on our visit to RHS Bridgewater with Prep III today as we know how much good the plants were getting from it.. We were met by Petra, and our first activity to was assess the practical good that plants do for the world. Joey had modelled Earth for us, and the expansion of cities and vehicles, the chopping down of trees and the gradual heating of the atmosphere certainly focussed our minds on the good that plants can do to redress the negative things humans have done. The absorption of water, production of food thus limiting the need for vehicle emissions delivering produce, shelter for insects and pollinators… the children came up with plenty of suggestions as to the value of plants.

Splitting into groups, we then investigated the COP26 gardens, where we looked at a variety of different gardens – some with AstroTurf and paving, some with living roofs and water butts, some with plants for arid conditions, some with ponds… The children’s job was to rank each garden feature as to how good it was for the garden. Interestingly, there was a consensus that gardens with lots of trees and plants were clearly best, and that AstroTurf was a bit of a no no for gardens. What was good to hear were the groups discussing and justifying their decisions.

Having assessed all the positive features, the children’s job was to design their own garden, incorporating the positive features they had decided on. All the groups produced excellent Lego designs, although the 20ft Harry Potter was certainly going to cause a stir. We then planted seeds of our own, which will be coming home soon.

After lunch, we went on a plant hunt through the gardens, searching for plants on our list – a little tricky at the moment as there aren’t many fruits and vegetables to see just yet. Potatoes and courgettes were elusive, although both can be seen in the Prep garden and so we can catch up with them back in school. A walk through the woods, and then no visit to the RHS is complete without a session in the Woodland Play Area.

A great day out – and we suspect there might be some tired children this evening (and we won’t even mention the staff!).

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Prep Leadership Team Elected

Last Thursday, as local government elections were taking place, a much more important election took place here in school. Ten prospective candidates for next year’s Head Boy and Head Girl positions pitched their campaigns to the rest of the school. Each candidate creted their own election videos, which were then seen by every member of the school, who then exercised their democratic right to vote in our school election.

Firstly, congratulations to all of our prospective candidates, as the standard of presentations across the board was exceptionally high. However, special congratulations must go to our new Head Boy and Girl, Henry and Florence, and our Deputy Head Boy and Girl, Jacob and Ruby.

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