Dear Parents and Guardians
It was wonderful to see so many current and prospective parents at Junior School Open Morning and we are very grateful to all our pupils who helped in preparation for this important event and also on the day itself. The tour guides did a fantastic job of showing visitors round school and they received many compliments for their efforts.
I really enjoyed working with the guides beforehand and was blown away by their enthusiasm and inexhaustible list of questions, including one Year 5 pupil who asked, ‘Can we talk about the wheel?’ Clearly our work this term on the Stephen Perse Learning Wheel has made an impact!
From hockey, football and netball games on the Court and busking in the Hall, to sessions designed to get visiting children and adults reflecting on what it takes to be Future Thinkers, Creators, Innovators, Leaders and Change-makers, the building buzzed with activities throughout the morning.
The open events at other schools across the Foundation were also highly successful. There was particular interest in the Senior School, of course, due to the first visitors being welcomed to the new building. This is a truly spectacular addition to the Foundation’s facilities and I would urge pupils and parents in our 3-11 schools to accept the invitation to attend the Senior School Open House on Thursday 9 November, between 5pm and 8pm.
Collaborative days - Years 3 and 5
During the last few weeks, Junior School pupils have enjoyed a greater variety of outdoor lessons than usual. The first events came shortly after Open Morning. Every year our pupils team up with their counterparts at Dame Bradbury’s for special collaborative projects.
These are fairly evenly spread across the three terms and, on Thursday 5 October, the first projects of the year were held; both of these involved time spent learning in outdoor environments. A coach took our Year 3 pupils to Saffron Walden and brought the Year 5 pupils from Dame Bradbury’s up to Cambridge.
‘Outdoor Classroom Day’, part of a global movement designed to celebrate outdoor learning, on Thursday 12 October inspired the Junior School teachers to ensure that our pupils all participated in lessons beyond their classrooms, in addition to the usual sports lessons and outdoor learning sessions, during October.
Our Latham Road site has proved highly popular, with all three Year 6 classes having lessons on the Nature Reserve and Years 4 & 5 basing themselves in the relatively new Eco-Classroom, for Art and Science lessons respectively.
Meanwhile, Year 3 pupils have made use of an outdoor space even closer to home. Their study of maps and plans has taken them to Cambridge University Botanic Garden where they have practised their map reading skills. They were also very keen participants in an outdoor session organised by Mrs Russell, Junior School coordinator of outdoor learning. Mrs Russell led an inspirational assembly on ‘Outdoor Classroom Day’ and challenged the children to create collages, using natural materials gathered at Latham Road, in the style of Andy Goldsworthy. The results were stunning and quite a number of children pursued their interest in this activity at home last weekend, photographing their creations and sharing these with us in school.
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Creative and Performing Arts
Last Wednesday we enjoyed the first concert of 2017-18 when musicians in Years 5 & 6 contributed to their autumn performers’ platform. The incredible variety of instruments and pieces made this a concert to remember.
The performers were all soloists, apart from a trio, comprising voice, electric guitar and drum kit. Congratulations to everyone involved on showing great courage, as well as musicality.
On Monday morning Years 5 & 6 were invited to watch a performance of ‘As You Like It’ by the ‘Handlebards’, an incredibly young and energetic group of actors, in the Senior School Hall.
After lunch the Year 6 pupils returned to the Senior School, in two groups, to participate in a workshop led by the actors.
Language and Communication
Earlier this week we were very excited to discover that an entry submitted by Mrs Neely, on behalf of pupils in Year 5 & 6, in an international competition linked to EDL (European Day of Languages) has achieved the position of runner-up!
Two days after EDL we marked NPD (National Poetry Day). Miss Bluck led assembly on NPD and challenged Junior School pupils to write poetry on this year’s subject of freedom.
As part of the Foundation’s vision we aim to embolden our pupils with a drive towards developing their social responsibility. We believe that to look outwards and support those less fortunate than ourselves, in this increasingly inward facing world is crucial. To this end, Junior School families were extremely generous by bringing in items of food for our harvest assembly on Friday 13 October. During assembly we focused on harvest celebrations around the world, in order to shine a light on the global outlook for our learners.
Year 3 pupils wrote harvest poems during their RS lessons and eight children read aloud their wonderful work in front of the school. In addition, we looked at the local charity we chose to support. For over 20 years, Jimmy’s has been providing help for the homeless in Cambridge. They work within the local community and their volunteers deliver 24/7 emergency accommodation and supported housing for those who would otherwise be homeless or vulnerably housed.
To help the children in Years 3-6 understand that these volunteers are just ordinary people, and that time is as important as giving items, one member of staff spoke about her personal experience of being a volunteer and told the children about helping out and serving breakfast every few weeks on a Sunday morning. This opportunity to look outward into the community we live in is really important and we would like to thank all those parents for supporting this fantastic charity with their kind donations of what was an amazing amount of food, thank you.
Our hockey and football teams have all worked hard throughout a comprehensive programme of fixtures during the first half of term. Well done to all those who have represented the Foundation in U9, U10 & U11 matches.
We wish them all the best for the second half of term, especially our U11A hockey players who have qualified to compete in the IAPS Nationals at Millfield School on Friday 10 November!
Abbey's Tang Soo Do success
Warm congratulations to Abbey who recently competed in an international Tang Soo Do competition in Ireland.
She competed in three disciplines against girls of up to 13 years old and two ranks above her. Incredibly she achieved three gold medals and has qualified for the World Championships.
The count-down to Christmas officially begins when we announce the names of those who have achieved prizes in the PFA Christmas Pudding lid design competition. Congratulations to this year’s winner, Oliver, whose design will be atop the 2017 puddings. Well done also to Allegra on being runner-up and to Zhouchen, Lucinda, Arsalan, Elizabeth, Diya, Natalie and Imogen whose designs were all highly commended.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful half term break. We look forward to seeing you at the PFA AGM in the Junior School Hall at 7:30pm on Monday 30 October, the Open House at the Senior School on Thursday 9 November, and at Parents’ Evenings and House Assemblies on the dates previously shared.
Head of Junior School
Please visit the Junior School calendar for all our upcoming events.