Dear parents and guardians,
Junior School pupils and staff have enjoyed a wonderful second half of term packed with events, from two involving the whole school community to those involving just one year group or even fewer pupils.
Sports Day and the Summer Concert, at Latham Road and West Road respectively, were both very successful and we are enormously grateful to those of you who supported these events, both through your attendance and by ensuring your children enjoyed participating.
Family picnics, followed by the House parade and chants, set the scene for Sports Day. The track and field events were well underway when a heavy shower attempted to ‘stop play’. Fortunately the ten minute downpour did nothing to dampen spirits and the programme continued as planned. It was great to see pupils in all year groups working so hard to earn points for their House and also to see records tumble. Congratulations to the members of Cattley who achieved an impressive 902 points; Rose came second and Kennett was third. Very well done indeed to all the athletes who excelled in their events, especially to Jaylan and Juliette who won the boys’ and girls’ pentathlon competitions.
Our attention quickly turned from sport to music and summer concert rehearsals began in earnest. Miss Buczak drew up an ambitious programme, designed to showcase what Junior School pupils had learnt in class music lessons, as well as their work in weekly year group performance music slots and a variety of clubs. The result was an eclectic mix of pieces which captivated the audience, thanks to the fantastic standard of performance matched by real enthusiasm and delight on the part of those performing. It was a real pleasure to watch group after group stride confidently on to the stage and deliver their pieces with style. Several parents mentioned that they appreciated the cultural diversity of the programme and there is certainly no doubt that Calypso, Hey Brother, Baris - an Indonesian Warrior Dance played on gamelan, and two amazing African pieces left us feeling well travelled and thoroughly entertained!
Smaller scale events have included the Year 5 class assemblies, Year 3 & 4 performers’ platform concert, Year 6 speech pupils’ recital and Scottish dancing club’s annual display. All were thoroughly enjoyable, thanks to the pupils drawing in their audiences with great charm. 5A pupils even persuaded us to cast a vote to reveal whether or not we felt we knew more about computational thinking after their assembly presentation, the result was a resounding ‘Yes’!
The pupils in each year group has had a specific learning focus or two during the last month. While Year 5 worked towards their assemblies and a residential trip to an activity centre in rural Norfolk, Year 6 made the most of some amazing opportunities to extend their understanding of outer space.
Year 4 members have been working hard in preparation for their drama production of Beowulf, which they will perform in the Junior School Hall on Monday afternoon. Alongside rehearsals, they have been out and about locally - to the Botanic Garden, to the Nature Reserve and to a beautiful garden in Chaucer Road, as part of their Wild About Gardens topic. It has been lovely to see the links between these trips and their work in Design Engineering on ‘bug hotels’ and in French on ‘Les Mots Perdus’, une collection de dessins, poèmes et descriptions inspirée par ‘The Lost Words’ de Robert Macfarlane et Jackie Morris. Read about Nature Reserve trips here.
Year 3 have been a little further afield with recent trips to Cambridge Gurdwara, The Centre for Computing History and Dame Bradbury’s.
We are very grateful to Mr and Mrs Bhachu for welcoming the Year 3 to the Gurdwara. The children were thrilled to see for themselves the Diwan and Langar Halls, where the Guru Granth Sahib rests at night and ‘real 5 Ks’. Highlights of the visit, in the children’s words, were ‘wearing a scarf all the way from the Golden Temple’, ‘Mrs Bhachu in her beautiful sari’, ‘waving the chauri’, ‘holding Mr Bhachu’s baby kara’ and ‘seeing the long kirpans though I have to admit they were a bit scary’.
The Centre for Computing History hosts an array of hands-on exhibitions and activities. An amazing invention met Year 3 in the foyer when they arrived, the MegaProcessor. Designed by Cambridge engineer, James Newman, and standing at two metres high and ten metres end-to-end, it has recently been verified by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest functioning microprocessor. After admiring this amazing creation, the children rotated through three zones giving them an opportunity to explore the past, present and future of computing. The Gaming Zone was a particular highlight for many, as we took part in activities that encouraged us to think about the development of games consoles, game design and graphics. The pupils were encouraged to explore the different gaming consoles on display and they had fun whilst at the same time learning fascinating facts. The programming workshop ‘Pi Power! Controlling External Objects’ also proved to be very popular. There was excitement when correctly written code resulted in flashing lights. This visit not only brought the past alive and showed how the developments of previous generations contributed to the technology of today, but it might also have inspired the next generation of computer programmers. (by Mrs Russell)
The sun was shining brightly, the air was warm and was that the lovely smell of paella wafting over from the kitchen? This could only mean one thing....Year 3 Spanish Day, our collaboration day with Dame Bradbury’s. Mrs Foreman welcomed us with a snack and after a short introduction we were off on our colour hunt. We walked around the grounds, spotting nouns of colours: rojo, amarillo, verde, azul.....and then read and performed some colour poems. We looked at the colours and patterns in moorish tiles and then, using our newly acquired dictionary skills, wrote our own colour poems on to tiles and decorated them. Paella and tortilla were on the lunch menu and we finished the afternoon with a quiz. I think this has left the Year 3 children looking forward to developing their Spanish skills further next year. Thank you very much to Mrs Foreman for organising this fun event. (by Mrs Neely)
And, while Spanish has been a fresh focus for Year 3 pupils, the whole Junior School community greatly enjoyed a visit from Onatti Productions, a touring theatre company. Le cha^teau was a well-paced and hilarious show, based on a series of misadventures expereinced by an English knight sent to France in order to paint a portrait of a potential fourth wife for Henry VIII. This event provided pupils of all ages with an ideal opportunity to enhance their listening skills and, with audience participation, at times their speaking skills. Merci Madame Parente!
Last Wednesday eight members of Year 5 were involved in the launch of a new social responsibility project which Miss Bluck has set up between the Junior School and residents of the Royal Albert Homes on Hills Road. This first meeting were very well and we look forward to it becoming established next academic year. Read more here.
The last week of term is no less exciting than the previous few - with Induction Day when current pupils ‘moved up’ to their new classes and we welcomed pupils who will be joining the Junior School in September, Year 6 Leavers’ Assembly and Disco, Year 5’s visit to the Senior School for the Festival of Learning, the Swimming Gala and the School Houses’ 500th birthday fund-raising event in aid of Coram. What an exciting finale to an absolutely fantastic year!
With best wishes for a wonderful summer and for the new school year, whether your child is returning to the Junior School in September or moving on.
Head of Junior School @SPFJuniors
What a superb term of Sport we have had at the Junior School. The pupils have utilised the recently hot weather to enjoy an array of physical activities in the sunshine. The Summer sports are always looked forward to by the pupils and standard across the board is continually rising.
The Junior School cricket teams have provided a steady flow of impressive results throughout the age groups. It is pleasing to look back and see our strapline ‘Cambridge is our Campus’ fully in use and aiding the delivery of cricket sessions. The opportunity to play cricket in the winter at Fenners and then play hard ball at Gonville and Caius has been vital to the success of the teams. The U10 girls’ A team remain undefeated, whilst the U11 girls continue the tradition of performing fantastically at the various tournaments. They finished runners up at the Regional IAPS competition and at the annual Holmwood House 6’s, before clinching the title at the big New Hall tournament. Both the A and B teams performed brilliantly throughout and it was actually the B team that went further at the Holmwood House 6’s! Meanwhile the U11 boys have been improving each week recording impressive wins against Wisbech and an amazing last over victory against the Perse Prep.
The athletics season is always hotly anticipated and it was great to send a team of Year 6’s to the Bedford EAPS (East Area Prep Schools) meeting for the first time this year. The team performed well and learnt a great deal from competing at that level. The Year 4 and 5 teams also went to the EAPS meet for their age groups and recorded some fabulous results. Many athletes made finals in their respective events, but we had some overall winners in Verity Valentine (800m), Pia Wrigley (75m) and the Year 5 girls’ relay team (Beatrice, Verity, Eleanor and Willow) winning the 4x100m in the final event of the day!
Tennis clubs have also been heavily attended and the standard keeps improving year by year. The Kate Murley competition was again a great success seeing a good number of Year 6’s entering the draw. Marton Howe pipped Ben Musk in the final of the cup, whilst Abigael Samson clinched the plate by beating Haruka Nagano. The annual parent and pupil event was also a good spectacle and Team Howe (Marton and Mother) were this year’s winners.
The PE department are looking forward to the Year 5 and 6 Pre Season camps in August, where girls’ hockey and boys’ football will be back on the agenda.
Latest news and blogs
What have our Junior School pupils been up to?
- Language Collaboration for Year 3
- Adventure learning for Year 5 at Hilltop
- An out-of-this-world Y6 Space Week
- Inspire and Guide lecture by Professor Malcolm Longair
- Nature Reserve visits - June 2018
- Junior School liaison with the Royal Albert Homes
- Building links with Cambridge University Library
- Extreme collaboration!
- Celtic Harmony Trip
- East Area Prep Schools Athletics Championships