It's Good to be Back
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Nursery Enjoy the Garden
It has been wonderful to have the Nursery once again full of the sound of excited children, both returning and new to the school, as they explore their environment, renew old acquaintances and begin to make new friends. The newly enlarged outside space has been particularly popular this week, with the children choosing to spend much of their time in the Nursery garden. They have really enjoyed making use of their giant, new sandpit, working together to transport, build and take part in imaginative role-play games. They have also made very good use of the new set of outside building blocks and ramps, perfect for encouraging sustained cooperative play, shared discussion and problem-solving skills. It has been amazing to see how quickly all the Nursery children have settled and the sense of community and purpose that has already begun to develop among the children. It is hard to believe they have only been back in school for just over a week!
Mrs Sam Forster, Head of Early Years
Reception Go Biking
The Reception children were surprised, and a little worried, to find their class bears missing on Wednesday but they were quickly reassured when they found messages from them on their own blog. The children discovered that Sunny and Percy had set off on an adventure on their bikes and that they wanted the children to join them. How lucky that the children had brought in their own bikes that day! After a safety briefing, the children set off on their bikes, following clues of bike tracks and bear paws around the school grounds. The children showed their friends their biking skills as they searched for the cheeky bears. Kindness was shown by many, helping friends to put their helmets on or offering words of encouragement when the going got tough. Peals of laughter and shrieks of delight could be heard as they cycled across the playing fields where thankfully the bears were found hiding in a bush and safely returned to the classroom, hopefully not making a run for it again!
Mrs Georgie Hunter, Head of Reception
Year 1 Make the Rules
The children relished the opportunity to explore the larger Forest School site this week as new and responsible Year 1s. They impressed us all with their ability to recall the Forest School rules before venturing into unfamiliar territory. Some children shared new ideas for rules that could be introduced in order to make Forest School as much fun and as safe as possible. The area gave them many more trees to climb, bugs to discover and of course endless opportunities for team work and collaboration. The children began to create games with their rules, using their imaginations and ensuring everything was fair and that everyone was involved.
Mrs Olivia Shepherd, Year 1 Class Teacher
Year 2 Become Explorers
Year 2 have had a wonderful start the the school year. An afternoon at forest school enabled the children to mix across the year group and settle into meaningful woodland activities. There were plenty of bugs to study and dens to collaboratively build. The highlight of the week has been our engaging virtual visit from Nick Carter. Nick is an explorer who has walked across the Sahara Desert alone, climbed Everest and spent some time exploring the Amazon rainforest. Nick kept the children and teachers captivated with stories, videos and photos of his Amazon adventures where he had to face his fears head on and make life changing decisions quickly. He spoke to the children about how to become more courageous and how to keep going when things gets tough. He was truly inspiring. The children had some excellent questions prepared and learnt a huge amount about the beauty, diversity and dangers of life in the rainforest. What a great start to our new topic.
Mrs Kerri Wilkes, Head of Year 2
Year 3 Lead The Way
As they begin their final year at Brookham, it is fitting that the Year 3 topic for this term is 'Ice Worlds and Adventurers'. These are the children who will be the role models for the younger Brookham children, the House Captains, the responsible older children who look out for their younger peers and develop their own skills as independent, resilient lifelong learners and demonstrate trust, teamwork, resilience and responsibility. Similar skills to adventurers tackling extreme conditions in remote and icy corners of the globe?
It has already been a busy start to the year: balancing on melting 'icebergs', rescuing a casualty with a broken leg, crossing rivers of lava, building shelters, whittling sticks, forestry skills and starting fires (under safe supervision!). Nick Carter also visited Year 3, talking about his two ascents of Mount Everest and the challenges he faced in such an extreme climate. Nick had planned to visit in person, but due to the global pandemic, this session was a Brookham 'first', conducted online as a result of the current global pandemic. The children listened, spellbound, as Nick described his journey to Base Camp, provided toe-curling gory details of frostbite, accidents and daring rescues, and watched headcam footage of his final ascent with wide eyes. They were then invited to ask questions, and the adults were most impressed with the thoughtful questions they posed. Although many of the children have decided that they have no wish to climb Mount Everest themselves, they came away from the talk buzzing with excitement about adventures in general and looking forward to learning about other famous adventurers in the weeks ahead.
Miss Sophie Delacombe, Year 3 Class Teacher
Year 4 Welcomed to Highfield
It has been a real joy to finally meet, and to get to know our Year 4 children. It is quite amazing to see how quickly they have picked up our new routines. We have been exceedingly lucky with the weather and Year 4 have taken full advantage of the Chapel lawn for football, the mini adventure playground, the sandpit and the areas where they can play or just sit and chat. Wednesday afternoon saw our first venture to a different part of the woods. The children were set the task of working in small groups in order to plan and construct a shelter. They chose their own working parties and immediately set to the task. Mrs Peerless and I were so impressed by their teamwork and enthusiasm, foraging for just the right sized stick or branch, all selected from the floor of the woods and not broken or torn from living trees. There were quite a variety of designs, shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, much to the children’s dismay, the time seemed to run away with us and all too soon we had to make our return to Form rooms but there will definitely be an opportunity to return and complete their wonderful shelters in the coming weeks.
Mrs Martine Melling, Head of Year 4
Year 5 Relish the 'New' Cricket Season
It has been a great start to the Cricket season, all of the boys have come out to every games session very excited and with a great willingness to learn no matter what the drill is. Luckily, the weather has been amazing so that it does feel like the Cricket season, and everyone has given their all in the bright sunshine. Year 5 have been working on all aspects of their Cricket, bowling, batting and fielding. There are some new members to the year who have not played cricket before and it has been good to see the willingness of the slightly more experienced children helping them out with parts of their game, and to witness their improvement over the last couple of sessions. They are all looking forward to the two day tournament which starts today. All the boys will be involved and have the opportunity to put into practice everything that they have learnt.
Mr Elliott Hall, Cricket Coach
Year 6 Consider Ecology
It has been so good to find a class of children in front of me rather than a screen; I hope that this feeling is reciprocated by the children enjoying actually having the teacher right there with them. The children have also clearly enjoyed playtime in the fantastic weather.
Year 6 have started the new school year by thinking about ecology; particularly food chains and food webs. They have been learning a lot of scientific vocabulary and then using this to explain the relationships between the organisms within food chains and food webs. The children can identify producers, primary and secondary consumers, explain predator/prey relationships and say how a change in one part of a food web might affect the other organisms in the web.
Could you identify a herbivore and the secondary consumer within the food chain?
Could you explain why plants are known as producers?
They will then learn how to use keys to identify things and find out about how scientists classify living organisms; paying particular attention to the vertebrate groups (FARM B – Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Mammals and Birds).
Mr Peter Hesselmann, Teacher of Science
Year 7 Get Creative
Year 7 has had a fantastic start to Art. After settling into their lesson, learning about new Covid guidelines in the Art Studio as well as welcoming new pupils to their class, Year 7 enjoyed getting reacquainted with their sketchbooks and looking at work they have produced over the years. Pupils had a great time designing a covering page for their year ahead using interesting font and images. I look forward to getting more stuck in with this year group and our first topic will be self-portraits. Luke Goodburn and Caspar Harriss were overheard chatting about their new iPads and how they can now take their own selfies on their iPads to prepare for our first unit. Hina, a new pupil from Japan, created some stunning letters on her covering page and had many "oooooohs" and "ahhhhhs" from her classmates. Well done to all of Year 7 for a fantastic start. I can tell you are all so happy to return to the studio and I must admit I am so delighted to be back with you as well!
Mrs Olga Houghton, Head of Art
Year 8 Top Of The School
It's been an interesting start to the term for everyone - new routines to learn, different venues for lessons and activities, rooms that are currently off limits... The Year 8s have coped admirably with these changes and the different circumstances that we find ourselves in, and I can't praise them enough for their adaptability and patience. After five and a half months out of the classroom, it takes a little while to get used to all being together in one place and to seeing everyone face to face. But lessons have started well and cricket is proving to be a welcome bonus for everyone five afternoons a week. The fine weather has helped break times to be good times of socialisation and there's a sense that things are relatively 'normal'. In an ideal world, we would have been in Normandy this week, visiting cemeteries and D Day landing beaches, the Bayeux Tapestry, castles, cathedrals and markets, and squelching in the mud and quicksand during a guided tour of the bay at Mont St Michel. But sadly, this year that isn't possible, so instead, in our History lessons, we have begun our studies with an examination of the Tapestry, not in person, but by using an excellent website. We've started to piece together the events of 1066 and discovering why this was such a vital year in both English and French history. Next Thursday evening we have our meeting for Year 8 Parents, and a look to the year ahead. We look forward to seeing you and please do let the School Office know if you are able to come.
Mr Simon Mason, Head of Year 8
Brookham House Points
Ash 436 • Oak 449 • Willow 373