We were delighted during last week’s assembly to listen to Poppy perform her piano piece “Confrontation” for the Prep department during our awards assembly on Friday. Poppy has been playing since she was two, and practises every day. What a great example for us, and well played Poppy!
Prep III’s Burwaldsley trip fell on just the right day – weather wise!
We crammed a whole wealth of activities into just one day (with a quick break for lunch).
We learnt about Stone Age times all the way up to Celtic Britain during the Iron Age. We learnt to hunt woolly mammoths with bows and arrows, like the Stone Age ‘hunter gatherers’ and how to weave willow to build Celtic roundhouses. Some of us even helped with the messy wattle and daub to weather-proof our structures. Take a look at our exciting photos.
Our Prep V football team travelled to Birkenhead for a round robin tournament against three other schools. Sadly, the results did not go our way but the boys showed flashes of inspiration and exceptional teamwork that showed that they are becoming a well-drilled, competitive unit.
The U10 Netball team played their first match in the Worsley Netball League last night against St. Marks. It was a very close match and the girls had some great chances to score. Unfortunately we narrowly missed out on a win by one goal. The girls gave 100% effort throughout the match and worked together as a team. Once again they made us all proud and will continue to improve the more they play.
Special mention to Lucie who was Mrs. Tunney’s Player of the Match and was chosen by the opposition as their player of the match too. (Mrs. Tunney promises a team photo next time!)
Bridgewater Under 10 Touch Rugby team arrived at Stockport Grammar School with a quiet confidence after some encouraging training sessions with Mr. Rooney.
The team consisted of nine players, many of whom do not play rugby outside of school. It was clear at the end of the tournament that they all should! After Mr. Rooney explained to Keane what a ‘skipper’ was he led his team out against St Mary’s Prep. Keane by name and keen by nature was certainly the theme as he ran hard and straight with the ball and encouraged his team mates. Bridgewater took an early lead and never looked back in the first game, scoring a plethora of tries.
The next game was against AKS Lytham, a rugby playing school with some impressive players. Impressive tries from Jacob and Oliver were the difference in the match with Bridgewater continuing their fine form for victory.
Our third game was the local derby against Bolton School. Jensen came to the fore in this game with some highly impressive tagging and some powerful running through the white lines of defence. Bridgewater once again won impressively with a comprehensive victory.
We were then told that the fixtures were to be repeated. After thinking we had won our group we realised that we were only half way up our rugby mountain. St Mary’s were much more impressive in the second game. They took the lead with a deserved try and Bridgewater seemed on their heels. Then the moment of the day was the catalyst for the team when Harrison scored a wonder try in only his first ever experience of competitive rugby. Bridgewater were now on played 4, won 4.
AKS were another strong challenge with tries to-ing and fro-ing from both sides who were level with a few minutes to play. It was then that Sam and Mason turned on the burners and swayed their way to the line for two impressive tries. Daylight was now between the teams in terms of scoring and victory was assured.
In the final game Henry’s patience paid off when he received the ball out wide on several occasions and scored some impressive tries and assists. Oscar was also rewarded for his hard work and intensive running and tackling with a Man of the Match award in our final victory once again against Bolton.
A perfect return to the oval shaped game for Bridgewater who yet again win a rugby tournament. Well done to all.
Fresh from the workhouse, Prep V arrived at Styal Mill to see if we could be taken on as apprentices at Mr. Gregg’s cotton mill. Apprehensively, we walked up to the Apprentice House where the strict supervisor Mr. Shawcross put us through our paces.
Firstly, we visited the kitchen where we learnt about the apprentices’ diet; we were particularly unimpressed by the breakfast porridge which was so thick that it could be held in unappetising lumps in one’s hand! However, fresh fruit, vegetables (grown by the boys in the garden) and meat were also included in the meals, and much better than the meagre workhouse rations. We also peeped in at Mr. Shawcross’s accommodation, which looked very comfortable with a cosy fire, four poster bed and even a cake for tea!
Next it was time to visit the dormitories, with one bed between two for the next nine years – the mattresses were stuffed with straw (and included a few “guests” such as spiders and bedbugs!) Under the beds we spotted chamber pots, as the apprentice children were locked in at night time. Florence bravely volunteered for emptying duties… that cold tea looked alarmingly realistic! Bed making was completed by Lucie and Daniel, although Mr. Shawcross told them that they would need to be much faster to arrive on time for work at the mill by 6.00 am! As a modern and philanthropic employer, Mr Gregg ensured that his apprentices had the most up to date medical care, and we learnt about the explosive qualities of brimstone and treacle, and were suitably horrified when the pot of blood-sucking leeches was passed around. This was a remedy for sore eyes, which was a common complaint from those employed in the dusty cotton mills.
Next we visited the schoolroom downstairs. As the boys’ brains were considered by Victorians to be superior, it was only the boys who received lessons, while the girls had to turn their thoughts to tasks such as ironing, sewing, laundry, cleaning, cooking and mending.
The afternoon was spent exploring the mill itself where we learned how the deafening clattering of machinery caused the workers to use lip reading and sign language. We tried out some of the tasks which the apprentices would have done: Oliver and Jensen practised carrying the can, Florence and Lucie were doffers and Sam and Emily did some excellent scavenging for bits of cotton dropped under the machinery. Some of us particularly enjoyed the gory stories of industrial injuries way back before health and safety rules existed. Well, it is nearly Halloween….
We headed back to school reflecting on the lives of Mr. Gregg’s nine year old apprentices. While it was fascinating to step back in time, few of us would swap our twenty-first century lives for the daily grind of twelve hour shifts in the mill. Our thanks go to the excellent and inspiring staff at Styal who brought the past to life so vividly, to Mr. Rooney and Mrs. Seward for driving and to Mr. Connolly for accompanying us.
Prep V stepped back in time on Tuesday when Del Bannister visited and taught us about home and school life in Victorian times.
Once we were seated in our rows, girls and boys separated as was appropriate in Victorian times our lessons could begin. Firstly, we learned the importance of the three “r”s: reading, writing and arithmetic. Leonard was our pupil-teacher, who helped us with our repetitive rote learning by tapping the cane firmly on the board. There were harsh punishments for inattentive students; Izzie experienced the finger-stocks for fiddling in class, and we all winced when we heard the swish of the cane. We used slates and scratchers to calculate sums in pounds, shillings and pence – some of us found farthings, which were worth a quarter of a penny, a little tricky. Next it was time to use dip pens to practise our Victorian copperplate handwriting, and we found it very difficult not to blot our copybooks! Finally, the bell was rung by Olivia with great enthusiasm, to signal the end of morning school and we returned to the twenty-first century, reflecting that our modern classroom with its carpet, colourful displays, interactive whiteboard and light, airy windows is very different from the crowded, dark and rather gloomy classrooms in the photographs we studied.
In the afternoon, we found out about home-life for Victorian families, many of whom lived in two up two down terraced houses with a privy in the backyard. (Strangely no-one fancied the job of the night soil-man, who emptied out the privies every few weeks…Perhaps it was the rats that put us off?) They certainly made Izzie jump when she pretended to visit the privy in the night time! Often as many as fourteen people lived in one house, and we learned how to top and tail in a bed, which the girls demonstrated for us which much wriggling and giggling! We also found out which members of the family were allowed to sit round the dinner table. Mason was the head of the family and sat at the head of the table. Sorry girls, your place was in the kitchen, cooking and waiting on the men and boys in the family.
We concluded the afternoon by looking at a range of artefacts from everyday Victorian life, and tried to guess their uses. While we all recognised the nutcrackers, the jelly mould, darning mushroom and potato masher proved somewhat more baffling! Finally we embarked on that oh-so-important Victorian activity, making privy paper. Some of us proved especially talented at this task; however, Mrs. Bannister suggested we stick to our usual softer brand in our own bathrooms!
Many thanks to Mrs. Bannister for her expertise and enthusiasm, and thanks also to all our parents for their continued support with the children’s practical learning.
Right now, humans aren’t living sustainably: we’re taking too many resources and not leaving the world in a fit state for future generations. Old tech products are a clear example: if we throw them away, the poisonous lead and mercury inside can get into the food chain through the soil. Recycling tech, though, has its own issues: it’s often exported to countries where the law doesn’t protect people from hazards. Whole villages (including children) sort through discarded devices to remove useful parts and substances like gold, silver and copper – often putting their health at risk. Finding ways to re-use tech is the greenest option.
In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of tips such as donating your old devices to charity, reusing your smartphones and recycling the batteries.