This week in Pre-Prep

W/E 5th July

At the end of every academic year the Pre-Prep come together to say goodbye to the staff and children as they move on up to the Prep school, or elsewhere. The “moving on” van has become a tradition that never fails to bring a tear to the eye. This year was no exception as we said goodbye to our lovely Mrs Norman from Nursery.

No let up this week in Reception. In amongst the tidying we found time to watch a volcano erupt in the woods. Rex’s Dad came and showed us a project Rex and he had been working on – a real live smoking erupting portable volcano. It was with great excitement that we carried all the ingredients down to the woods and watched it smoke and spew.

We worked together and built a fort in our playground. We had to follow instructions and listen to each other just like Billy Bee.  We also joined with the whole of Pre-Prep for our annual run down the hill and ate our picnic in the sun. A perfect end to our first year in school. Have a good summer one and all.

 

W/E 28th June

It has been a fun-filled week in Pre-Prep. Year 1 started the week by meeting Mrs Bennett’s turtles. The turtles have stayed in class all week and we have learnt interesting things about the way they live. The children also taught Year 2 all about them. On Wednesday, we went to watch the Year 8 play, ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’. The music and action had the children all dancing in their chairs. The children watched Year 2 practise for their concert and it was lovely to see some of the instruments that the children could learn. The Gym display was fantastic and all of the children tried their best. Thank you to all of the parents and family members that came to support the children.


W/E 21st June

Year 1 have had a fantastic week. The children have all been on new adventures and supported each other throughout. Year 4 visited us on Tuesday to teach us about the Romans. They had created fact booklets and shared the information with Year 1. The children could all recall interesting facts they had learnt and I am sure they would like to know more. The children went on a trek across the school tougher terrain and worked together to cross obstacles. They then challenged their balance on the logs. On Wednesday we joined Reception on their trip to the beach which the children loved, from rock pool exploring to sand castle making. The sun shone on the children running away from the waves which Mrs Bennett and Mrs Parkin had to get involved in. Sports Day gave the children a chance to share their fantastic skills and act like Billy-Bee as they cheered on their friends in all the races.


W/E 14th June

Well done to our amazing Reception children for their fantastic performances in “The Gruffalo”. We are so proud of you all for all your hard work!

In Reception we have not only been practising for our Gruffalo play. We have also been thinking about how we can turn our classroom from a woodland to a seashore. We have lots of plans for next week so we can enjoy the sun. We have had a lovely time doing bottle top art with our friends in Year 1 and 2. We have prepared our ticket booth for the Gruffalo and we have baked Gruffalo Crumble for our families to share after the play on Friday.

Year 1 have been fantastic this week too. They have put amazing effort into all of our activities and we have laughed a lot. All of the children enjoyed their art session with Mrs Konyu, where they looked at some of the environmental factors that impact our seas. Reflecting this they then used bottle tops to create artwork as a team with Reception and Year 2. On Thursday the children all enjoyed a brass demonstration by Mr Hollomby and the children thought it was absolutely brilliant. They all had a go at playing the trumpet. To complete our week, we all enjoyed watching Reception’s play ‘The Gruffalo’, which was excellent!

Year 2 had a magical afternoon on Wednesday creating clay mandrake plants and their own wands over in the Prep School as part of Activities Week.


W/E 7th June

We have had a ‘Wild’ Week in Reception. We are trying to get outside and do something in the wild as part of the Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild in June. We have hunted for animal homes in our woods and tried to work out who else the Gruffalo might bump into. We think we found a badger’s sett and lots of rabbit holes and possibly even evidence of moles. We are finding out about these animals to compile a woodland fact file. ‘The Gruffalo’ show is fast approaching, so we are practising hard. The highlight of our week was our trip to Dino Live in the Capitol Theatre in Horsham. It was fantastic to see so many of the dinosaurs that we have been studying and we were able to answer lots of the questions in the show. Arthur went up on stage and fed a big Segnosaurus. He was so brave. We have been writing all about the trip and we are pretty pleased with how our writing is growing and developing this year.

Year 1 have had a busy week to start off our final half term. On Monday we enjoyed sharing all of the Beatrix Potter books and creating our own characters in the theme of the stories. We have begun to look at Beatrix Potter’s life and how she was not only an author, but a botanist. We have been for a woodland walk to begin our art project focusing on flowers. We spent Tuesday morning gardening and planting a range of vegetables and flowers to hopefully harvest soon! On Thursday we visited Mr Dorman with his Year 6 Classes who had made chairs out of newspaper, which were fantastic. The children were involved in judging the chairs based on strength, stability, comfort and appearance. In maths the children have been exploring time and using it in day to day life. We have also been using non-standard units to measure our height, hands and feet to see if there is any correlation between them.


W/E 24th May

It’s been buzzing in Pre-Prep this week with our study of bees. We had a fascinating talk by Dr K in our assembly and we all got together to make a patchwork quilt with a bee theme. The children concentrated really hard on their designs and enjoyed learning to sew.

In Reception we have said ‘Au revoir’ to the dinosaurs for a short time and hello to bees. What a great week of all things STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths). We have worked out how bees pollinate flowers with the help of Cheesy Puffs, we used the iPad to record our hunt for flowers and bees at Vinehall. We engineered our own bee with a head, thorax, abdomen and six legs, sewed our patchwork, painted flowers and used bubble-wrap to make our own bee hive. Last, but not least, we have been working out some takeaway sums with bees flying away from the hive. We have also found time to cook honey flapjacks and we are going to enjoy them in front of the Bee Movie on Friday all dressed up as bees. BUZZZZZZZZ!

Wow! What a fantastic week Year 1 have had. We started by learning about the importance of bees and have continued to cook, create and build with bees in mind. Dr K visited us midweek to talk to us about the job of a bee keeper and the children all asked questions like Cassie Cat and found out new information. The Year 1s especially enjoyed creating beeswax candles and we hope everyone has spotted our giant bee visiting Pre-Prep. We finished the week by adding to our recipe book and watching the Bee Movie!

In STEM club this week the theme of bees continued as the children decided to make a giant bee. They worked together to decide on the materials we could use to build the bee as we walked around Pre-Prep. Reception had brilliant ideas, such as bubble wrap for the wings and pipe cleaners for the legs. We hope you can spot him flying around Pre-Prep.


W/E 17th May

Another wonderful week in Reception! We have extended our dinosaur topic because the children are all so engaged. The fossil museum is set up, together with the shop, and we have been busy baking biscuits for our dino museum party. We have written invitations, posters and tickets. (On Thursday, Year 3 visited our living museum and the Reception children were brilliant!) They were living exhibits in our museum and they popped up exactly as they were meant to. In maths this week we had to pay to read with Mrs Parkin and even pay to play games in Puzzle it Out and we have been exploring doubles. Only doubles are allowed in our “Double city”.

Year 1 have been preparing for their end of term Assembly this week which showcased some of the exciting activities they have done this term. The children chose what they would like to show in the Assembly to continue the theme of independence that has run throughout this topic. They all spoke incredibly well in front of the  Pre-Prep children and the parents that came to support. The children were proud of the work they had done and enjoyed sharing it.

Reception looked at structures in STEM club this week, with buildings being the theme. The children used a range of materials to fit Georgie the Pig in. This encouraged them to problem solve and ensure that they had considered shape and size. Some of them chose specific structures that influenced their design, such as the Pyramids and Eiffel tower.

Year 2 have been finishing off their wonderful stories this week, as well as practising hard for their swimming gala which takes place straight after half term. They are enjoying playing over in the Prep school at Friday break times and having a go on the zip wire and in the Monkey Bush! Frankie and Freddie trotted off to School Council on Tuesday afternoon, where they  shared Pre-Prep’s ideas confidently with Mrs Payne and the Prep school children.

 


W/E 10th May

In Reception we have been finding out about Mary Anning who hunted for fossils. When she was 11 she found a whole dinosaur in Lyme Regis. We have decided we want to set up a dinosaur museum, so we have been busy finding fossils and writing labels for them. We have even made our own fossils out of salt dough and they have spent ALL week drying. Some of us have written to the dinosaur to tell her about the eggs that hatched and on Thursday Mrs Stenton delivered us some special post from Mrs Dino who had written back to us! It has encouraged us all to have a go at writing to her. Today we have been down to the woods and have created our own talking roaring dinosaur face in the woods and animated on our iPads.  

Year 1 have been enjoying creating their own animal poetry this week; they have focused on choosing adjectives to create descriptive phrases.  They have also been learning how to code our new train in order to teach Kindergarten and Nursery how to use it.  The children are keen to launch their bottle rockets which they have now built and we will update you on our results next week.

This week in STEM club Reception explored vehicles with four wheels; we discussed the purpose of different vehicles and why they need to be different.  The children then built their own vehicles using junk modelling and they all came up with different ideas; the only thing that was the same was the solid wheels. Reception worked just like Ollie Owl throughout this session and they were all very excited to take the vehicles home at the end.

This week our Year 2 news comes from Bertie M:-

“Yesterday we went to the National Maritime Museum. When we got to school with our back pack we packed our lunch and went in groups then we went on the bus. We drove for one hour. When we got there we took off our back pack and we looked around. Then we had a lesson. We were finding out where food came from. Then we went on the world map and we had iPads. Then we had to run like a mad man. We got on the bus and Steve Wright had a shout out on the radio! When we got to school we went home.”


 

W/E 3rd May

We began this week by discovering more about rockets. We watched videos of different rocket launches to get a better idea about the take-off and shape of the rocket. We then designed rockets using a bottle as the base. The children have been using adjectives this week to create descriptive poetry in groups.

Reception had their first ever STEM club on Wednesday and they had a fantastic time building towers. The children built towers using Lego to start with and they were encouraged to think about the size of their tower in order to make it more stable. We then used masking tape and paper straws to build a group tower. The children quickly realised our tower was leaning and so they created support struts. We then used our tower as a physical puzzle where the children had to climb in and out without destroying the tower!

Reception also had a very exciting week as we came in on Monday to find their dinosaur eggs had hatched! However, they were all covered in ice so the children had to find a way to carefully chip off the ice. We spent the week caring for our dinosaurs and we created a whole dino-world, complete with caves, volcanoes and meteorites! We practiced being palaeontologists and carefully digging, dusting and cleaning our exhibits. We ended the week with a trip to the woods to try and camouflage ourselves and blend in with our surroundings like true explorers.

Year 2 have had a lovely week and like the Nursery children we have been down to the woods to see our magnificent display of bluebells. Back in the classroom we have started writing our Bog baby stories to accompany the fantastic pictures that we did last week and we have also concentrated hard on multiplication and division. To relax a little after all our hard work we have started making soft toys out of felt, using templates to cut out the shapes and then using contrasting coloured embroidery thread to stitch the sides together.

Finally, this week our children started back to their clubs, including some new additions to the clubs on offer such as Mrs Lomas’ balance bike club which the children thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you Mrs Lomas!


W/E 26th April

Year 1 have had a fantastic start to the Summer Term. We have dived straight into our topic by reading ‘Monty’s Magnificent Mane’. The children enjoyed their first athletics session of the Summer with Mrs Towner. On Friday the children were inspired by Mr Powis’ assembly and asked if we could go on a woodland walk to look for bluebells. The children were amazed by how fragrant the different flowers were and they also started to compare shape and size of  flowers. The children then took a leap off a large tree stump, like Maisie Monkey! It is lovely to see the children have returned brave and curious.

In Year 2 we were excited to welcome two new children, Archie and Mia, to our class and both have settled in very well. We have started our ‘Bog Baby’ topic and the children have made some fantastic pictures to start their designs.


W/E 29th March

This term has flown by and has been packed full of fun and of course plenty of hard work! On Tuesday we held a fun football tournament on the Astro which all the children took part in and we were so pleased to see so many parents cheering everyone on from the sidelines. Friday morning saw a wonderful end to the term, with a visit from the Easter Bunny and then we all went out into the glorious spring sunshine for an Easter egg hunt. The Easter Bunny had left plenty of eggs for us all!

“Spring has sprung ” in Reception this week. The highlight of the week (after the Easter Bunny visit of course) was our trip to Arthur’s house. We followed the signs to his four chickens. The chickens had been busy laying eggs and we collected 13 in total. One was laid when we were there and it was still warm! We were then treated to cupcakes and fruit in the garden and Mrs Parkin and Mrs Powis enjoyed the sun. We also saw the Year 3 & 4 play. It was great fun and we spotted Mrs Garwood’s son. Arthur’s brother was harder to spot dressed up as a glamorous woman!  We have busied ourselves in between all the excitement with trips to the woods, making Easter goodies and buying train tickets with our money and we tested our rafts that we made in the woods last week. They ALL floated and were able to help Mr Grumpy’s friends across the river. We are all ready for a big holiday now!

Wow, Year 1 really have had a fun-filled week to end the term. They started the week by watching the Juniors’ Play ‘Ye Ha!’, which was fantastic and the children thoroughly enjoyed it. They finished talking about crop production by looking at oats and using them to make a range of cookies, including using some of the rhubarb that is grown in the Pre-Prep garden. The children had to work in groups to prepare their ingredients and shape out the cookies. All of the children took part in the class vote for our topic for next term and set out some of the questions they would like to answer.

Year 2 had a ‘Survival Day’ on Wednesday. We had an incredible time building dens, making flatbreads over the camp fire which we had made ourselves with flint and steel! We practised our map-reading skills for our treasure hunt and then we sang songs accompanied by the ukulele while we roasted marshmallows. All in all it was a fantastic day in the wild and we had such a wonderful time that nobody wanted to go back inside!


W/E 22nd March

Last Friday all the children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 hopped onto a coach (the first time for many and very exciting indeed!) and headed down to the White Rock Theatre to take part in the Hastings Music Festival. Many hours had been spent practising and finally the time had come to show the audience and the judges just how hard Pre-Prep had worked…Well, Scales and Arpeggios and Nelly the Elephant have never sounded so good! Against some pretty tough competition we were awarded first place! Well done Pre-Prep, and a huge thank you to Mrs Sheppard for all her hours of hard work and enthusiasm.

Year 2 have been working on their wonderful atlas-inspired books this week. We are onto our fifth double page full of lovely drawings and independently researched information. There has been a real buzz in the classroom as the children lead their own learning and support each other to produce their best work. In Maths we have been working on division and spotting the difference between grouping and sharing. Even though it is tricky the children remain enthusiastic and keen to build on their previous knowledge.

Year 1 have enjoyed finishing off their own versions of Handa’s Surprise this week and we used the fruit  to talk about healthy snacks. We then designed are own cereal bar that we could have for our snack. We took our bars to Reception to help us taste them. On Thursday, Year 1 had such a fantastic day at Plumpton Agricultural College. The children started the day by visiting the calf shed and looking at the different stages of a cows life. From here we made our way to the milking parlour and the children found out about milk production. A highlight of the day was visiting the lambing shed where we were lucky enough to see a lamb being born. We then stroked and fed lambs that were only a couple of days old. After lunch we learnt all about sheep’s wool and how it is used to make clothing and other things around our homes.

In STEM club the children had lots of freedom this week as they could create a mode of transport or a building out of any material they liked. This led to amazing creations such as tanks, basketball courts and helicopters. The children had to use their own initiative and creativity to create their piece. Many of the children used recycled materials, Lego and paper.

Reception have finished their STEM junk models this week and we have a great selection to choose from – rocket motorbikes, monster trucks, trains and a selection of farm machinery. We have spent the afternoon in the woods building rafts to test out next week. We can’t seem to stop wanting to write this week. Arthur , George (B&R) Rex, Harry, Bee and Betsy were all spotted in the Writing Den… and we have made some lovely Mother’s Day cards (Shhh!). In Maths we have been racing cars down a ramp to see whose car goes the furthest. We had to keep drawing longer number lines all the way up to 20 because our cars went so far when we made the ramp steeper and steeper. We also worked together to make a courgette boat that we are saving for our Friday snack…. yummy!


W/E 15th March

In Reception we started the week by having push bike races around the tennis courts. We timed each other and recorded our speeds. We designed the title page for our Naughty Bus project books and they have now been ‘published’ and we are so pleased with them. Thank you for helping us Year 2!

We have done lots of singing to prepare us for the Hastings Music Festival and we all sound great. We have made a food train full of healthy vegetables and also had lots of fun making some junk models of combine harvesters, motorbikes, tractors and cars.

Year 1 have continued to look at Guiseppi Arcimboldo this week and used soft pastels to create their fruit faces. The pastels took a little bit of practice to get used to! In Maths the children have begun to learn about multiplication and we have used lots of concrete resources to explore. The children have enjoyed creating their own British versions of Handa’s Surprise where they are going to visit a friend. They focused on including exciting adjectives to describe the fruit and animals.

Finally, our amazing Pre-Prep choir won their class on Friday against some very talented opposition. Well done everyone – we are SO proud of you all!


W/E 8th March

To celebrate World Book Day we had a competition in Pre-Prep to see who could find the strangest place to share a story. Nursery and Kindergarten went to the woods to huff and puff, Reception opted for the monkey bush, Year 1 invaded Mr Powis’s office, while Year 2 chose the swimming pool!  We also had a more traditional venue of the Pre-Prep hall where we all sat together to share a story to start and end the day.

What an exciting week in Reception. Not satisfied with Pancake Day, we had World Book Day thrown in too AND the same day as swimming! The children all looked fabulous in their book day costumes. Thank you for all the effort that has gone into them. The children decided that the craziest place to read a story would be in the monkey bush (A sacred tree normally reserved for the Prep School children). It wasn’t such a crazy idea after all as it was sheltered from the wind.

After reading the fantastic book ‘Naughty Bus’ we have all been busy creating our own story with our own ‘naughty’ vehicle that the children had unwrapped earlier in the week. We planned our story and then staged the photos that we took on the iPad. Mrs Fernau, a wonderful Year 2 parent artist, came and helped us with our illustrating and Year 2 came and helped us with our writing. We had a wonderful publishing house set up.

We have been weighing and measuring things in Maths and were able to order objects that were lighter and heavier than our naughty bus.

Year 1 have had a very busy week and have enjoyed all of the exciting activities in which we have taken part. On Wednesday, the children enjoyed spending the morning with Year 3 testing the games that they had created in Science. Year 1 had such a brilliant time and I think they would have stayed there all day! It was amazing to see all of the children and staff in their costumes for World Book Day. The children tried to recreate book covers that they like and some of the children tried to make alternative front covers.

As STEM club was on World Book Day, we incorporated this into our project for the afternoon. The children had to create a book with two levels to hold as many books as possible. The children found the double layer tricky but some of the designs held more books than we thought!


W/E 1st March

In Reception we came back from half term raring to go. Some of our glove beans grew during the holiday, especially Bee’s who said she put hers near the AGA,  so we have been able to replant them in soil and hope that they will grow as tall as Jack’s Beanstalk.

We ‘kick-started’ our Super vehicles topic with a visit from Andy and his model Rocket train. Unfortunately, the gas wasn’t flowing through the piston so we had a good look inside and he is coming back on Friday for take two! We have enjoyed the wonderful weather and  built train tracks outside and then did some number line maths. On Thursday we had our Train Ride to Hastings. We saw so many things out of the window and were able to go into the ticket office and see all the machines. We then met the driver of our train who showed us his tiny driving cabin with LOTS of buttons on his control panel.  He had been up at 4.00am and had already been to London and back. He must have been as exhausted as we all were, because we then came back and Mr Guy took us swimming. What a great week!

Year 1 have had a brilliant start back to term and have enjoyed many creative opportunities this week. This term in Art we are looking at the famous Italian painter Guiseppi Arcimboldo, who used objects to create portraits. The children used fruit and vegetables to create their faces. In English we have read Handa’s Surprise and tried some of the exotic fruits that are in the book. We then tried to recall the order using time connectives. To make the most of the glorious sunshine on Thursday afternoon, Year 1 worked like Billy Bee with Year 2 to create a giant fort. The children had to consider size, shape and style. They all did an amazing job and worked really well as a team.

Traction Man and Scrubbing Brush arrived in Year 2 this week! In English we have been busy creating new characters for a Traction Man story of our own, as well as designing and describing a brand new outfit for Traction Man’s next adventure! In Computing we are learning how to make films this half term so that we can film our own Traction Man stories!

We have also been mapping our new garden area and drawing up design plans for what veggies and flowers we want to plant. In Nature Detectives we all sprinted down the hill to the Gully to splash about and jump across the stream. Lots of muddy fun was had by all, even those who misjudged their jumps and ended up with a boot full of water!


W/E 15th February

Reception made another wolf discovery this week. We found wolf footprints outside and he delivered a letter to each of us. We also had a GIANT letter from the giant who wanted us to find things that were longer, shorter and the same size as his footprint. Luckily, the weather has been fantastic so we have been able to get outside lots. We have built beanstalks in the woods, explored lots of different types of magic beans and even planted some beans to take home and watch grow over half term.

Year 1 enjoyed testing each other’s Blue-bot mats to see if they could find the most effective route. The children have also continued to look at pirate ships by creating them with different materials such as Lego and paper. Within Maths we have been exploring 2 digit numbers with dienes this week which has helped us understand place value better.

In STEM Club this week the children have investigated shoes to find the best material properties. They worked in pairs to create shoes made out of different materials. We then tested the shoes to compare a range of factors such as comfort, appearance and re-usability.

In Year 2 we have been practicing hard for our assembly this week now that numbers are nearly back to full strength. Everyone has been enthusiastically learning their lines and trying on costumes. We have also been tackling multiplication in Maths, something which the children found easier than they imagined they would! Maisie Monkey has been making an appearance here and there, reminding the children that it’s okay to make mistakes as they can help us to learn.

We had lots of fun in Nature Detectives rolling down the hill and enjoying the (slightly) warmer weather. We stood under the old oak tree and watched the bees buzzing in and out of their hole in the trunk – it must be warm because they would usually be huddled up keeping their queen cosy in February!

The children did some wonderful presentations to an audience of eager Year 1s and Year 3s to round off this half term. Such hard work had gone into them and they were rightly very proud of what they had achieved. Thank you to our fabulous Year 2 mums, dads, grannies and grandpas for spending time to help the children with their extended homework projects.


W/E 8th February

Reception have had a busy week. We started the week celebrating Chinese New Year. We danced, made lanterns, used chopsticks and learnt about Chinese culture. We discussed what makes us feel happy and healthy as part of Child Mental Health week. We decided that it was really important to have friends and play games together. We played a Chinese game – Catch the Dragon’s tail altogether. We also have been thinking about Red Riding Hood’s Granny who is sick. We thought about the kind of things that would make Granny feel better that Red Riding Hood should put in her basket. We then made her some currant buns. We went to the woods to find Granny and give them to her. We also investigated what was the best type of material for a waterproof hood so Red Riding Hood wouldn’t get wet.

This week Year 2 have been busy finishing off their poems about Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni! They wrote them up beautifully and then performed them in front of their friends. They also had some brilliant Maths breakthroughs with column subtraction and addition of three or more numbers. The children raced down the hill for a very windy Nature Detectives and looked hard for signs of spring around the grounds. Freddie brought his guitar in and Miss B showed everyone a mandolin and a ukulele as well. Matilda impressed and inspired all of us by playing Happy Birthday on the guitar and then we all sang Nelly the Elephant and London’s Burning together. What a fab week!

This week the After School Club children made bird-feeders for our garden. We melted lard and added breadcrumbs, sunflower seeds and gingerbread crumbs.  Then we squashed the mixture into cookie cutter shapes and put them into the fridge to set.

Prize Winning Pirates!

 

W/E 1st February

In Year 1 we designed and built a pirate boat out of recycled materials which we tested on the pond.  We had to predict which boat we thought would work best and explain why; we then evaluated them after testing.  The children worked hard to create their pirate adventures and have been sharing their tales of the sea with the rest of Pre-Prep.

Peg Contenders was the theme of STEM club last week!  The children had a range of pegs of different materials and size and had to determine which one was the most successful.  The children had to maintain a fair test and make recommendations based on their results.


W/E 25th January

Freddie and Frankie scampered off confidently to their first School Council meeting on Thursday. They were very excited to share all the great ideas that Pre-Prep had come up with and to show everyone how we are using our Pals in the Prep-Prep.

In Reception we have been building houses for the Three Little Pigs out of lots of different materials. The Big Bag Hairdryer tried to huff and puff and blow the house down!

Year 1 have enjoyed exploring 2D and 3D shapes this week, building onto grouping and sorting. We looked at different features that pirates might have and then we all created our own pirates to write an adventure story. In art, the children enjoyed using dye to decorate their pirate flag backgrounds. We have also started to explore materials that could be used to make a recycled mini boat to sail on the pond. This has built upon the material investigations that we carried out last week in STEM club.

Year 2 have been practising their note-taking skills by both reading and listening for information. They have produced some beautiful work on Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, as well as some lovely pictures of Boudicca, using only their listening skills to work out what she looked like. Miss B is very proud of them!

In our French lessons this week we continued to learn through rhythm and songs: Year 2 sang “Le Bonhomme de Neige” and learnt French names for clothes, Year 1 sang “Que’est-ce Que Tu Aimes?” and learnt how to say fruit and vegetables and finally, Reception practised saying colours, numbers and parts of the body.


W/E 18th January

In Reception our theme has been traditional fairy tales and nursery rhymes and we ended our week dressing up as our favourite character from the stories and rhymes we have been reading about.

In Year 1 we have continued exploring the realm of pirates. We found an S.O.S note from Captain Bluebeard who had been stranded after his ship had been attacked. We discussed ways in which we could help Bluebeard and followed this by making ‘Wanted’ posters. In our maths lessons we have been adding and subtracting through partitioning which, although we found it tricky, we have been like Terry Tortoise and persevered. Finally, we have been having a closer look at the jellyfish and the tonal colours of their bodies. We used a range of palettes to create our own jellyfish.

In STEM club the children started the first investigation towards their CREST Awards by trying to fix a hole in an umbrella. They tested a range of materials that could be used to fix holes and focussed on fair testing. They then discussed the properties of waterproof materials.


W/E 11th January

In Pre-Prep we began the year by tasting some “galette des Rois”, a sweet flaky pastry filled with “pommes” to celebrate the visit of the Three Kings at Epiphany.  Pupils in each class learned how to say “Je voudrais de la galette, s’il vous plaît”, “merci” and “mmmm, c’est bon!”  They took it in turns to wear the “couronne” (crown) and eagerly looked out for the “fève” (charm).

Year 1 started their pirate topic with a treasure hunt around Vinehall.  A mysterious pirate had left us clues to follow! Although we did not find any treasure on our hunt this time we did bump into a rather cheerful pirate named Captain Jill Sparrow. She read us a story and asked if we could share our treasure and the children then used this to inspire their pirate flag designs.

In Reception this term our topic is traditional fairy tales and rhymes and we made muffins while we learned the Muffin Man rhyme and we had fun climbing Jack’s beanstalk!


For previous updates from our Pre-Prep please click here


W/E 29th March

This term has flown by and has been packed full of fun and of course plenty of hard work! On Tuesday we held a fun football tournament on the Astro which all the children took part in and we were so pleased to see so many parents cheering everyone on from the sidelines. Friday morning saw a wonderful end to the term, with a visit from the Easter Bunny and then we all went out into the glorious spring sunshine for an Easter egg hunt. The Easter Bunny had left plenty of eggs for us all!

“Spring has sprung ” in Reception this week. The highlight of the week (after the Easter Bunny visit of course) was our trip to Arthur’s house. We followed the signs to his four chickens. The chickens had been busy laying eggs and we collected 13 in total. One was laid when we were there and it was still warm! We were then treated to cupcakes and fruit in the garden and Mrs Parkin and Mrs Powis enjoyed the sun. We also saw the Year 3 & 4 play. It was great fun and we spotted Mrs Garwood’s son. Arthur’s brother was harder to spot dressed up as a glamorous woman!  We have busied ourselves in between all the excitement with trips to the woods, making Easter goodies and buying train tickets with our money and we tested our rafts that we made in the woods last week. They ALL floated and were able to help Mr Grumpy’s friends across the river. We are all ready for a big holiday now!

Wow, Year 1 really have had a fun-filled week to end the term. They started the week by watching the Juniors’ Play ‘Ye Ha!’, which was fantastic and the children thoroughly enjoyed it. They finished talking about crop production by looking at oats and using them to make a range of cookies, including using some of the rhubarb that is grown in the Pre-Prep garden. The children had to work in groups to prepare their ingredients and shape out the cookies. All of the children took part in the class vote for our topic for next term and set out some of the questions they would like to answer.

Year 2 had a ‘Survival Day’ on Wednesday. We had an incredible time building dens, making flatbreads over the camp fire which we had made ourselves with flint and steel! We practised our map-reading skills for our treasure hunt and then we sang songs accompanied by the ukulele while we roasted marshmallows. All in all it was a fantastic day in the wild and we had such a wonderful time that nobody wanted to go back inside!


W/E 22nd March

Last Friday all the children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 hopped onto a coach (the first time for many and very exciting indeed!) and headed down to the White Rock Theatre to take part in the Hastings Music Festival. Many hours had been spent practising and finally the time had come to show the audience and the judges just how hard Pre-Prep had worked…Well, Scales and Arpeggios and Nelly the Elephant have never sounded so good! Against some pretty tough competition we were awarded first place! Well done Pre-Prep, and a huge thank you to Mrs Sheppard for all her hours of hard work and enthusiasm.

Year 2 have been working on their wonderful atlas-inspired books this week. We are onto our fifth double page full of lovely drawings and independently researched information. There has been a real buzz in the classroom as the children lead their own learning and support each other to produce their best work. In Maths we have been working on division and spotting the difference between grouping and sharing. Even though it is tricky the children remain enthusiastic and keen to build on their previous knowledge.

Year 1 have enjoyed finishing off their own versions of Handa’s Surprise this week and we used the fruit  to talk about healthy snacks. We then designed are own cereal bar that we could have for our snack. We took our bars to Reception to help us taste them. On Thursday, Year 1 had such a fantastic day at Plumpton Agricultural College. The children started the day by visiting the calf shed and looking at the different stages of a cows life. From here we made our way to the milking parlour and the children found out about milk production. A highlight of the day was visiting the lambing shed where we were lucky enough to see a lamb being born. We then stroked and fed lambs that were only a couple of days old. After lunch we learnt all about sheep’s wool and how it is used to make clothing and other things around our homes.

In STEM club the children had lots of freedom this week as they could create a mode of transport or a building out of any material they liked. This led to amazing creations such as tanks, basketball courts and helicopters. The children had to use their own initiative and creativity to create their piece. Many of the children used recycled materials, Lego and paper.

Reception have finished their STEM junk models this week and we have a great selection to choose from – rocket motorbikes, monster trucks, trains and a selection of farm machinery. We have spent the afternoon in the woods building rafts to test out next week. We can’t seem to stop wanting to write this week. Arthur , George (B&R) Rex, Harry, Bee and Betsy were all spotted in the Writing Den… and we have made some lovely Mother’s Day cards (Shhh!). In Maths we have been racing cars down a ramp to see whose car goes the furthest. We had to keep drawing longer number lines all the way up to 20 because our cars went so far when we made the ramp steeper and steeper. We also worked together to make a courgette boat that we are saving for our Friday snack…. yummy!


W/E 15th March

In Reception we started the week by having push bike races around the tennis courts. We timed each other and recorded our speeds. We designed the title page for our Naughty Bus project books and they have now been ‘published’ and we are so pleased with them. Thank you for helping us Year 2!

We have done lots of singing to prepare us for the Hastings Music Festival and we all sound great. We have made a food train full of healthy vegetables and also had lots of fun making some junk models of combine harvesters, motorbikes, tractors and cars.

Year 1 have continued to look at Guiseppi Arcimboldo this week and used soft pastels to create their fruit faces. The pastels took a little bit of practice to get used to! In Maths the children have begun to learn about multiplication and we have used lots of concrete resources to explore. The children have enjoyed creating their own British versions of Handa’s Surprise where they are going to visit a friend. They focused on including exciting adjectives to describe the fruit and animals.

Finally, our amazing Pre-Prep choir won their class on Friday against some very talented opposition. Well done everyone – we are SO proud of you all!


W/E 8th March

To celebrate World Book Day we had a competition in Pre-Prep to see who could find the strangest place to share a story. Nursery and Kindergarten went to the woods to huff and puff, Reception opted for the monkey bush, Year 1 invaded Mr Powis’s office, while Year 2 chose the swimming pool!  We also had a more traditional venue of the Pre-Prep hall where we all sat together to share a story to start and end the day.

What an exciting week in Reception. Not satisfied with Pancake Day, we had World Book Day thrown in too AND the same day as swimming! The children all looked fabulous in their book day costumes. Thank you for all the effort that has gone into them. The children decided that the craziest place to read a story would be in the monkey bush (A sacred tree normally reserved for the Prep School children). It wasn’t such a crazy idea after all as it was sheltered from the wind.

After reading the fantastic book ‘Naughty Bus’ we have all been busy creating our own story with our own ‘naughty’ vehicle that the children had unwrapped earlier in the week. We planned our story and then staged the photos that we took on the iPad. Mrs Fernau, a wonderful Year 2 parent artist, came and helped us with our illustrating and Year 2 came and helped us with our writing. We had a wonderful publishing house set up.

We have been weighing and measuring things in Maths and were able to order objects that were lighter and heavier than our naughty bus.

Year 1 have had a very busy week and have enjoyed all of the exciting activities in which we have taken part. On Wednesday, the children enjoyed spending the morning with Year 3 testing the games that they had created in Science. Year 1 had such a brilliant time and I think they would have stayed there all day! It was amazing to see all of the children and staff in their costumes for World Book Day. The children tried to recreate book covers that they like and some of the children tried to make alternative front covers.

As STEM club was on World Book Day, we incorporated this into our project for the afternoon. The children had to create a book with two levels to hold as many books as possible. The children found the double layer tricky but some of the designs held more books than we thought!


W/E 1st March

In Reception we came back from half term raring to go. Some of our glove beans grew during the holiday, especially Bee’s who said she put hers near the AGA,  so we have been able to replant them in soil and hope that they will grow as tall as Jack’s Beanstalk.

We ‘kick-started’ our Super vehicles topic with a visit from Andy and his model Rocket train. Unfortunately, the gas wasn’t flowing through the piston so we had a good look inside and he is coming back on Friday for take two! We have enjoyed the wonderful weather and  built train tracks outside and then did some number line maths. On Thursday we had our Train Ride to Hastings. We saw so many things out of the window and were able to go into the ticket office and see all the machines. We then met the driver of our train who showed us his tiny driving cabin with LOTS of buttons on his control panel.  He had been up at 4.00am and had already been to London and back. He must have been as exhausted as we all were, because we then came back and Mr Guy took us swimming. What a great week!

Year 1 have had a brilliant start back to term and have enjoyed many creative opportunities this week. This term in Art we are looking at the famous Italian painter Guiseppi Arcimboldo, who used objects to create portraits. The children used fruit and vegetables to create their faces. In English we have read Handa’s Surprise and tried some of the exotic fruits that are in the book. We then tried to recall the order using time connectives. To make the most of the glorious sunshine on Thursday afternoon, Year 1 worked like Billy Bee with Year 2 to create a giant fort. The children had to consider size, shape and style. They all did an amazing job and worked really well as a team.

Traction Man and Scrubbing Brush arrived in Year 2 this week! In English we have been busy creating new characters for a Traction Man story of our own, as well as designing and describing a brand new outfit for Traction Man’s next adventure! In Computing we are learning how to make films this half term so that we can film our own Traction Man stories!

We have also been mapping our new garden area and drawing up design plans for what veggies and flowers we want to plant. In Nature Detectives we all sprinted down the hill to the Gully to splash about and jump across the stream. Lots of muddy fun was had by all, even those who misjudged their jumps and ended up with a boot full of water!


W/E 15th February

Reception made another wolf discovery this week. We found wolf footprints outside and he delivered a letter to each of us. We also had a GIANT letter from the giant who wanted us to find things that were longer, shorter and the same size as his footprint. Luckily, the weather has been fantastic so we have been able to get outside lots. We have built beanstalks in the woods, explored lots of different types of magic beans and even planted some beans to take home and watch grow over half term.

Year 1 enjoyed testing each other’s Blue-bot mats to see if they could find the most effective route. The children have also continued to look at pirate ships by creating them with different materials such as Lego and paper. Within Maths we have been exploring 2 digit numbers with dienes this week which has helped us understand place value better.

In STEM Club this week the children have investigated shoes to find the best material properties. They worked in pairs to create shoes made out of different materials. We then tested the shoes to compare a range of factors such as comfort, appearance and re-usability.

In Year 2 we have been practicing hard for our assembly this week now that numbers are nearly back to full strength. Everyone has been enthusiastically learning their lines and trying on costumes. We have also been tackling multiplication in Maths, something which the children found easier than they imagined they would! Maisie Monkey has been making an appearance here and there, reminding the children that it’s okay to make mistakes as they can help us to learn.

We had lots of fun in Nature Detectives rolling down the hill and enjoying the (slightly) warmer weather. We stood under the old oak tree and watched the bees buzzing in and out of their hole in the trunk – it must be warm because they would usually be huddled up keeping their queen cosy in February!

The children did some wonderful presentations to an audience of eager Year 1s and Year 3s to round off this half term. Such hard work had gone into them and they were rightly very proud of what they had achieved. Thank you to our fabulous Year 2 mums, dads, grannies and grandpas for spending time to help the children with their extended homework projects.


W/E 8th February

Reception have had a busy week. We started the week celebrating Chinese New Year. We danced, made lanterns, used chopsticks and learnt about Chinese culture. We discussed what makes us feel happy and healthy as part of Child Mental Health week. We decided that it was really important to have friends and play games together. We played a Chinese game – Catch the Dragon’s tail altogether. We also have been thinking about Red Riding Hood’s Granny who is sick. We thought about the kind of things that would make Granny feel better that Red Riding Hood should put in her basket. We then made her some currant buns. We went to the woods to find Granny and give them to her. We also investigated what was the best type of material for a waterproof hood so Red Riding Hood wouldn’t get wet.

This week Year 2 have been busy finishing off their poems about Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni! They wrote them up beautifully and then performed them in front of their friends. They also had some brilliant Maths breakthroughs with column subtraction and addition of three or more numbers. The children raced down the hill for a very windy Nature Detectives and looked hard for signs of spring around the grounds. Freddie brought his guitar in and Miss B showed everyone a mandolin and a ukulele as well. Matilda impressed and inspired all of us by playing Happy Birthday on the guitar and then we all sang Nelly the Elephant and London’s Burning together. What a fab week!

This week the After School Club children made bird-feeders for our garden. We melted lard and added breadcrumbs, sunflower seeds and gingerbread crumbs.  Then we squashed the mixture into cookie cutter shapes and put them into the fridge to set.

Prize Winning Pirates!

W/E 1st February

In Year 1 we designed and built a pirate boat out of recycled materials which we tested on the pond.  We had to predict which boat we thought would work best and explain why; we then evaluated them after testing.  The children worked hard to create their pirate adventures and have been sharing their tales of the sea with the rest of Pre-Prep.

Peg Contenders was the theme of STEM club last week!  The children had a range of pegs of different materials and size and had to determine which one was the most successful.  The children had to maintain a fair test and make recommendations based on their results.


W/E 25th January

Freddie and Frankie scampered off confidently to their first School Council meeting on Thursday. They were very excited to share all the great ideas that Pre-Prep had come up with and to show everyone how we are using our Pals in the Prep-Prep.

In Reception we have been building houses for the Three Little Pigs out of lots of different materials. The Big Bag Hairdryer tried to huff and puff and blow the house down!

Year 1 have enjoyed exploring 2D and 3D shapes this week, building onto grouping and sorting. We looked at different features that pirates might have and then we all created our own pirates to write an adventure story. In art, the children enjoyed using dye to decorate their pirate flag backgrounds. We have also started to explore materials that could be used to make a recycled mini boat to sail on the pond. This has built upon the material investigations that we carried out last week in STEM club.

Year 2 have been practising their note-taking skills by both reading and listening for information. They have produced some beautiful work on Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, as well as some lovely pictures of Boudicca, using only their listening skills to work out what she looked like. Miss B is very proud of them!

In our French lessons this week we continued to learn through rhythm and songs: Year 2 sang “Le Bonhomme de Neige” and learnt French names for clothes, Year 1 sang “Que’est-ce Que Tu Aimes?” and learnt how to say fruit and vegetables and finally, Reception practised saying colours, numbers and parts of the body.


W/E 18th January

In Reception our theme has been traditional fairy tales and nursery rhymes and we ended our week dressing up as our favourite character from the stories and rhymes we have been reading about.

In Year 1 we have continued exploring the realm of pirates. We found an S.O.S note from Captain Bluebeard who had been stranded after his ship had been attacked. We discussed ways in which we could help Bluebeard and followed this by making ‘Wanted’ posters. In our maths lessons we have been adding and subtracting through partitioning which, although we found it tricky, we have been like Terry Tortoise and persevered. Finally, we have been having a closer look at the jellyfish and the tonal colours of their bodies. We used a range of palettes to create our own jellyfish.

In STEM club the children started the first investigation towards their CREST Awards by trying to fix a hole in an umbrella. They tested a range of materials that could be used to fix holes and focussed on fair testing. They then discussed the properties of waterproof materials.


W/E 11th January

In Pre-Prep we began the year by tasting some “galette des Rois”, a sweet flaky pastry filled with “pommes” to celebrate the visit of the Three Kings at Epiphany.  Pupils in each class learned how to say “Je voudrais de la galette, s’il vous plaît”, “merci” and “mmmm, c’est bon!”  They took it in turns to wear the “couronne” (crown) and eagerly looked out for the “fève” (charm).

Year 1 started their pirate topic with a treasure hunt around Vinehall.  A mysterious pirate had left us clues to follow! Although we did not find any treasure on our hunt this time we did bump into a rather cheerful pirate named Captain Jill Sparrow. She read us a story and asked if we could share our treasure and the children then used this to inspire their pirate flag designs.

In Reception this term our topic is traditional fairy tales and rhymes and we made muffins while we learned the Muffin Man rhyme and we had fun climbing Jack’s beanstalk!


For previous updates from our Pre-Prep please click here

W/E 14th December

It has been a wonderful end to the term this week.  We have exciting visits from Father Christmas and also from Mrs Richardson and her adorable new puppy, Ted!  On Tuesday we all enjoyed our Christmas lunch – thank you to Chef Ian and all his amazing team for making it so special. Finally, we ended the term with our traditional Christmas assembly and we welcomed all the parents with mulled wine and mince pies. We wish you all a very merry Christmas and we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.


W/E 7th December

This week was our Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Christmas production and after lots of hard work the children put on two fantastic performances.  The hall was packed with friends and family and they all agreed how well the children did and we are all SO proud of them.

Christmas magic is happening in Reception! The children were so excited because  a special visitor arrived last night to read their fantastic letters that they wrote to Father Christmas.  The children were so pleased that they all wanted to write thank you cards back to Father Christmas.

STEM CLUB

What can we make in this windy weather?  A kite of course! We looked at a range of kite designs and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the different designs and materials.  The children then designed their kites from a range of materials and fabrics. We then went outside to test them in the wind. All of the kites flew, but the children were quick to discuss the good and bad things about their kites. Weight was discussed as one of the main factors that made the kite struggle.

In Year 1 this week we have read ‘Orion and the Dark’ by Emma Yarlett. We created our own versions of The Dark and have written stories of the adventures they will go on. The children have enjoyed exploring numbers up to 20 and beginning to find patterns between the number words.


W/E 30th November

Father Christmas’s Little Helpers have arrived in reception this week!  The children have loved constructing bridges to help the Gingerbread Man cross the river safely.

The children all wore their onesies and pyjamas last Friday in support of our charities. As the children were in their onesies we thought we would continue that theme by having a film afternoon in the Pre-Prep hall. The children spread out on bean bags and cushions and enjoyed the animated versions of the Julia Donaldson books ‘Room on the Broom’ and ‘Stick Man’. The movie afternoon was topped off by popcorn!

Year 1 have enjoyed exploring different materials this week in science and sorting objects into opaque, translucent and transparent categories. They have finished their adapted version of the Three Little Pigs, which they are all very proud of. We have been playing games to explore positional language in Maths, which the children have found quite tricky, but they persevered!

Culinary Chemistry

This week in STEM club we explored a few mini experiments with cooking ingredients. We started by exploring what happens when you add food colouring to milk and then pour washing up liquid in the middle. The children then voted on which vinegar they thought would cause more foam, as we tested the vinegar by adding bicarbonate of soda the children were amazed at the chemical reaction occurring. Finally, we made honeycomb to apply the reaction of bicarbonate of soda within real food and the children all tried the honeycomb. Although the honeycomb looked perfect, the children decided that Mrs Bennett put too much bicarbonate of soda in the recipe. We will have to remember for next time!

The After School Club were busy helping to make the decorations for the Christmas Tree competition at St Mary’s Church in Battle.  The theme this year was a favourite poem or book. We chose the poem….

‘A Sussex Legend’ by Charles Darwin

Above the place where children play

A window opens far away.

For God to hear the happy noise

Made by His little girls and boys.

 


W/E 23rd November

Many of the children enjoy the range of dance lessons provided within Pre-Prep and therefore on Tuesday, we had a brilliant dance demonstration from Jeffrey in Year 6. The children and staff were captivated by Jeffrey’s routines, especially the jive which Bertie then tried to kick and flick alongside Jeffrey. The children enjoyed asking Jeffrey questions and seeing what is possible with a lot of hard work and dedication.

Which shoes to choose?

Last week in STEM club we made shoes out of materials you could find in the classroom, if you had left your shoes at home! We then tested the shoes to see if they could withstand a puddle. We then rated the effectiveness of the shoes against whether they were still functional and if their feet were wet. The children all decided that if your shoes go missing then plastic bags are the most effective replacement!

In Reception we investigated different materials and thought about the appropriate language to describe them.  We focussed on the book Aliens Love Underpants and used lots of different things to create our own alien.  Who is pulling Santa’s sleigh?  The Aliens!

Year 1

In Year 1 this week we have started looking at the traditional tale of The Three Little Pigs.  The children had to build a brick house out of Lego with set criteria. The house had to have one window, one door and a chimney. Some of the children took their houses further by adding gardens, cars and ramps. The children have started writing their own version of the three little pigs. We have also explored Diwali and we watched a video telling us the story of Rama and Sita. We then celebrated by creating Diwali lanterns and Rangoli patterns using the Hama Beads.


W/E 16th November

In Reception this week we have been looking at non-fiction books and we learned all about owls.  We read all about owls, then tried to remember the facts we had read and write them down.  We also made tasty and healthy owl snacks for our snack time and we made owls out of brown paper bags as well.

Year 2 had a brilliant time out at Nature Detectives this week. We had a competition to build the biggest leaf pile and then everyone did their best superhero impressions and leapt into the middle of the hugest pile! We were also very excited to welcome Year 5 to the Pre-Prep. They came over to teach us all about the history of trains as part of our Learning Journey. They delivered a very interesting lesson with great confidence, and then spent time with us designing a ‘kindness train’ as part of Anti-Bullying Week. Thank you to Year 5 and Miss Bridges!


W/E 9th November

The children returned in good spirits with lots of stories about what they had got up to in half term. Miss Bidwell’s half term was spent transforming the corridors with new displays and restructuring the library area and we are sure you will agree that it all looks fantastic.

Pre-Prep have been really enjoying Book Week! The theme this year is ‘Feel the Rhythm’ and each class has been busy learning and listening to lots of lovely poems.

In Year 2 the children have been learning poems with steam trains hidden inside them, linking to their Learning Journey topic. It was almost like having a steam train in the classroom when we started to learn and recite From A Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson! On Thursday Mrs Alderson visited to lead a drama workshop based on the poem Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat. What fun we all had! The children worked with great focus and excitement and Miss B and Ms Sander joined in as well!

The children all enjoyed testing balloon rockets in STEM club this week.  We had to predict which balloon would travel the furthest based on the amount of breaths it took to blow it up.  We tried from 2 breaths up to 14, but we found that 10 was the most successful as it crossed the breadth of the Pre-Prep hall!  We measured it each time and recorded it three separate times to give us more accurate results.

Year 1 have been learning As I Walked Out One Morning by Colin McNaughton which is full of nonsense and funny words! They chose it themselves and have been having great fun with lots of drama activities and silly voices. They chose different characters and costumes to help their performance and are really looking forward to reciting it in front of an audience.

Kindergarten have enjoyed learning Humpty Dumpty…they have been changing the words and putting themselves into the rhyme! In Nursery the children have been planting Mary’s garden from the nursery rhyme Mary, Mary Quite Contrary. Lots of beautiful little gardens with silver bells, cockle shells and pretty maids have been springing up in the Early Years! We can’t wait to hear their performance!


W/E 19th October

In Reception we have been looking at the life cycle of pumpkins and we carved Halloween pumpkins and we used the seeds as counters to help with our Maths.  We also roasted the seeds to see what they tasted like.  Then we made delicious chocolate witches hats, inspired by our reading of the book ‘Room on the Broom’ which we acted out after reading it through.

Of course our main topic this week has been Mrs Richardson!  This half of term has flown by and the time to say goodbye to Mrs Richardson  has come all too quickly.  Friday’s assembly was an emotional affair and the Year 2 children did brilliantly with their presentation of Mrs Richardson’s time here at Vinehall and it was so lovely to see so many parents in attendance, especially those who had themselves been taught by Mrs Richardson.

Throughout the day many children and staff tried to find the words to say goodbye and thank you, but it is almost impossible to express the immense gratitude we all feel for the dedication and hard work that Mrs Richardson has put into Vinehall in her 34 years of service.  She has inspired and nurtured so many children (and staff!) and it is testament to her great work that so many of her former pupils have in turn entrusted their own children to her care here in Pre-Prep.

Vinehall will not be the same without her, but Mrs Richardson has always embraced change and so we will do the same and we know that Miss Bidwell will take over the reins with energy and enthusiasm, backed by the passion and commitment of the whole team in Pre-Prep.  We also have no doubt that Mrs Richardson will be a frequent visitor to Pre-Prep and we hope she calls in regularly (with her puppy!) when she has time to take a break from her house renovation, gardening, golf and all the other exciting projects we know she has planned!


W/E 12th October

As summer changes to autumn we have been exploring the movement of different animals at this time of year. This week in Woodland Learning our focus was on birds; the children started by discussing what they know about birds. We focussed on what birds eat and then we used seeds to create pictures of birds.  When we returned to the classroom we created bird feeders using some of the foods we had talked about and we decorated the feeders with autumn themed covers.

In Reception we have been learning about vegetables and we started by reading the book “Oliver’s Vegetables”.  Inspired by this we planted peas in our Pre-Prep garden and then we used beetroot to dye some cloth.  Back in the classroom we wrote about what we might choose to put in a soup, but the children did not restrict their list to vegetables; some interesting choices of ingredients included donuts and hot dogs!  However, once in the cookery class we made our vegetable soup with more traditional ingredients!

In Year 1 we have also been gardening this week and we decided to add some colour to our raised bed. First of all, we had to pick the weeds out and then turn the ground over in order in order to be able to plant the flowers. We lined the middle of our bed with bright yellow chrysanthemums and the children watered them in well to give them a good start.

This week Year 2 were visited by a Thing! After reading all about an anxious yet fairly demanding Thing in Cressida Cowell’s wonderful Emily Brown and the Thing, we ordered and followed instructions for how to stop a Thing’s tummy rumbling (it turns out you make him a jam sandwich). Imagine our surprise when on our return from break a Thing had invaded our classroom! He was feeling ‘rather peckish’ and took big nibbles out of all the sandwiches and spilt milk everywhere! This led to lots of lovely writing and huge excitement. Watch out!


W/E 5th October

Year 1 Trip to Pizza Express

We all had a brilliant morning becoming pizza chefs at Pizza Express. First we were given aprons and hats ready to begin cooking. We were shown a traditional method of rolling the sauce around the pizza base without touching it. The children all enjoyed this even though we had a few spills! We then added mozzarella and put it in the special ovens that could cook 36 pizzas at one time. We all took home our delicious margherita pizzas to enjoy.

This week in STEM club we looked at the different shapes involved when building tall and long structures. Two teams looked at building a tower and a bridge using art straws and masking tape. Both teams had to meet different criteria. The tower team reached their two-meter height requirement before a tricky rectangle collapsed their tower. The bridge team had a tricky task ahead creating a bridge the length of the Pre-Prep hall. The children almost reached their target with a small gap in between. All of the children showed brilliant team work and problem solving skills!

No Pens Day was wonderful this year and the children got so much from a less traditional day. Year 2 had so much fun in their Maths lesson where we were joined by Mr Borrows. The children became human Dienes (Base 10) and practised making 2-digit and then 3-digit numbers. They decided that Mr Borrows would make a good ‘100’! Having made 105 (a Mr Borrows plus 5 crouching children!) they were challenged to find and make ‘10 less’. By working together, they swapped Mr Borrows for 10 upright children and then sent one packing – it was very impressive teamwork!

In Reception we have been looking at the story of The Little Red Hen. We investigated wheat and turned it into flour!  We all enjoyed taking turns and acting out the different characters in the story.


W/E 28th September

On Wednesday Year 2 visited the Brighton Toy Museum. We looked at a variety of toys from the Victorian era to the modern day. We explored the different mechanisms that enabled the toys to move and which forces were needed to play with them. Everyone had a chance to handle some very interesting toys and to have a go at making the model trains move round the track. We had a great time!

In Reception we have been learning about all the people in our school community who help us and we went to visit Sister Kate.  We saw the San where boarders stay when they are unwell and we saw the Dispensary where all the medicines, plasters and bandages are kept.

The leaves changing colour was the theme of our Woodland Learning where we found many different colours and types of leaves and we talked about why they might change colour. We then chose four leaves each and used acrylic paint to print them onto clear plastic. As the leaves dried we cut them out and hung them in the trees to make sun catchers.

Marble Mania

In STEM club this week Year 2 created homemade marble runs out of cardboard and old tubes. We made a template and then used three techniques to guide the marble: channels, tunnels and steps.  All of the children managed to include these within their designs. After we had tested them we had time to adjust landing zones, as some of the marbles built up so much speed they missed the drop.

Balance Biking in Pre-Prep After School Club

We are now bringing our school balance bikes out for After School Club and in Friday lunch time playtime.  Balance bikes build confidence, spatial-awareness and dynamic balance skills, enabling young children to cycle without ever needing stabilisers. The children are enjoying exploring this opportunity.


W/E 21st September

We had so much fun at Nature Detectives, collecting lots of conkers and huge pine cones. We made a house for Eeyore and collected lots of ‘haycorns’ for Piglet to enjoy! On the way home we found an owl pellet and took it apart to find all the tiny bones inside!

In Reception and Year 1 we have been learning all about hedgehogs for our woodland learning. We thought about building special homes for the hedgehogs to hibernate in. We also made our own hedgehogs using clay and sticks and this encouraged the children to think about the shape and features of a hedgehog, including all 5000 of their spines. We finished by learning a song about hedgehogs which the children created actions to.

Reception have also been enjoying their gym sessions this week and have been trying to master the art of balance!

In Year 1 we have continued with our Italian theme by making calzones.  We started by comparing calzones to pizza and we found many similarities. The children then suggested ingredients we could use to fill our calzones. From these ideas the children created a shopping list of the ingredients they would need.

We started by making the dough base and then we filled it with lovely ingredients. The children had the opportunity to try some of the ingredients that they may not have eaten before such as olives. All of Year 1’s hard work paid off when we heard the buzzer go off for the oven and we were able to pull out our hot, tasty calzones.


W/E 14th September

In Reception we have been learning about our bodies and we made life-size cut outs of our own bodies.  We also have had great fun making pizza faces with healthy ingredients.

Reception and Year 1 found out about the Forest King while woodland learning and how he was given his crown. We then used natural materials from the woodland to make nature crowns.

Year 2 have been learning how to explain things clearly to each other this week. We went through the steps of teeth brushing, revising time connectives and learning what a comma is along the way. We hope our written explanations will help other children in Pre-Prep to know exactly how to look after their teeth!

This week also saw the start of clubs, including our very popular STEM club where we had to design an escape capsule for an egg.  The children had to choose the materials they thought would be best to absorb the most impact. They worked in pairs to create the capsules, we then dropped the eggs in two stages off of the Prep School staircase. We had only one crack in the first round and only one survivor in the second. The children were able to suggest how to make their eggs better if we did the experiment again.


W/E 7th September

It was lovely to welcome the children this week and they have all settled very well into the new term.  We have been having lots of fun outside in the sunshine and 2B went on a walk to explore our beautiful grounds. They gathered fir cones and there was great excitement that the conker season has arrived!

Our Year 1 children have been learning about keeping their teeth clean and healthy and playing at being dentists and we have all enjoyed the delicious, healthy lunches that Chef Ian has prepared for us.

Finally, our Reception children thoroughly enjoyed their first swimming session.