St Edward's Prep December 2018

“Inspired to Collaboratively Serve the St Edward’s Family and Community”

Now that the ‘dust has settled’ on a tremendous first term as Headmaster of St Edward’s, it is with a great deal of gratitude that I reflect upon the term that has whizzed past.

I am overwhelmed by the sense of family and community at our school and I am deeply appreciative of the welcome I have had from the children, parents and teachers at St Ed’s. This has certainly made the transition from Italy to England and from International School to Prep School a seamless and easy move for me. Simply put, I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this term and our school is in a very good place indeed. I work with superb teachers who are excited and passionate about teaching and learning, an enormously supportive Senior Leadership and Administration and an outstanding Site Maintenance and Driving Team, as well as a lovely community of parents and children.

What more could a new Headmaster ask for?

The confidence shown by our ‘little ones’ in the Pre-Prep Nativity was exceptional – our three year olds are amazing and the rest of the Pre-Prep were equally fantastic. As I said at the time, I have seen many Nativity plays in my time in teaching but few would match the quality of ours. An enormous thank you is extended to the children, teachers and Mrs Hagyard for their hard work and dedication.

Our Carol Service was beautiful and poignant in equal measure. Held in honour of Stuart Morgan-Nash, the pupils performed brilliantly and I am enormously proud of them all. Thanks again to Mrs Hagyard and Mrs Andrew for their dedication to a very special performance. Music, English and Drama are clearly a shining light at our school and I hope that this continues to be an area of influence for us in the months and years ahead.

Academically we have achieved a great deal too – we have been to theatre productions for English, performed tremendously in the Primary Mathematics Challenge, held an exciting STEAM week and several of our Year 6 boys have been offered places and scholarships to leading Senior Schools in the area. I am once again grateful to our team of inspirational teachers and their hard work and commitment to maintaining excellent academic standards at St Ed’s.

From a sports perspective too there have been notable successes. All of our Football teams have performed very well against much larger schools and we have left the football fields humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Our swimming has also developed, we have now instituted Water Safety Awards for our young swimmers and there is a clear progression to the further development of swimming in the younger years. The Inter-House Cross Country held recently was an enormous success and I am delighted to see that we have so much potential in this area, I am very much looking forward to St Ed’s competing against other schools soon! A very heartfelt thank you to Mr Bovingdon and his team for their hard work this term.

As Christmas draws ever closer, I wish the St Ed’s Family a wonderful festive season. I hope that you are all able to spend time together and that you are able to share in the spirit that makes this time of year special for children and adults alike. I should also like to wish the St Ed’s Family a New Year filled with peace and prosperity; I hope that the forthcoming months for the children are filled with excitement and joy for learning.

On my part, thank you all for welcoming me to the St Ed’s Family this term – I truly feel that I have come ‘home’ and I cannot wait to work with you and your children in 2019!

Full ‘STEAM’ Ahead in the Pre-Prep!

In line with the school-wide theme of ‘Future Cities’, the Pre-Prep have been busy investigating the components of a city, building design and town planning. Their task: to collaboratively construct a city.

For inspiration, all 49 children, along with their teachers, visited Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield – the oldest model village in the world! This provided a safe environment for the children to meander through walkways and see buildings up close and personal! They were fascinated by the intricate designs of both the interior and exterior of buildings and the incredible attention to detail by highly skilled craftsmen. They even managed to catch a glimpse of the craftsmen at work in their workshop. The children gained a good perspective of the layout of buildings and spaces within a settlement, preparing them perfectly for their task of designing their own city.

Once back at school, each child shared with their class the building that most inspired them, and decided upon a structure that they would most like to contribute towards our collaborative city. The pupils spent the half-term break creating various structures, from Tudor houses and ancient castles to pizzerias, rugby pitches, police stations and party shops! Once back at school, much fun was had inspecting each other’s designs and assembling the city into zones. Each child took great pride in their work and enjoyed justifying their design choices to their peers.

Great learning for our future generation of city planners!

Tara Blackburn

Pre-Prep STEAM Coordinator

Diwali 2018

‘Good over evil, light over dark – let’s celebrate the festival of lights!’

Shaurya, Year 1

The Year 1 boys were very fortunate that a group of Year 1 mums gave up their morning to create a colourful, beautiful Diwali celebration in class. Siddhant, Avi, Vasisht, Shubh and Shaurya’s mums came to class very early in the morning in traditional dress, in order to set the classroom up for our special celebration. After a welcome message from Shaurya, Shubh’s mum told the story of Rama and Sita, emphasising the importance of honesty, dedication and sincerity – values that are not only important to those who celebrate Diwali, but to everyone in the St Edward’s family.

The children made Diwali cards and decorated the floor with Rangoli patterns using stencils and powder paint. Many boys were keen to try on traditional clothing as they really got into the festival spirit.

Collectively, the mums had made each child a little gift to take home with them – an exquisitely painted clay Diya; there was even one for Mr Suttie!

‘Dhanyavaad’ (thank you)

! शुभ दीवाली !

Tara Blackburn

Year 1 Teacher

Remembrance Day 2018

The Year 5’s led the School’s commemoration of Remembrance Day, by reminding us of the importance of remembering and sharing some useful tips to help us to not forget. From shopping lists to a knot in a handkerchief, they showed us how we can remember and why we need to remember. Writing poetry is another way to remember and a group of Year 6 boys recited (beautifully) Lt. Col John Mc Crae’s poem, ‘In Flanders Fields’. Only one living thing survived in Flanders – poppies. These colourful red flowers grew everywhere, where the soil had been disturbed – turning the sea of mud into a field of red flowers. It was this sight that inspired Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a doctor in the Canadian army to write his poem ‘In Flanders Field’ after the death of his friend Lieutenant Alexis Helmer during the Second Battle of Ypres. Mc Crae wrote his poem, sitting next to his friend’s grave, the day after he was killed. The wearing of poppies, today, continues to be a symbol of Remembrance and hope.

Mrs Andrew.

My Mummy says I’m a miracle!

What a treat! ‘Matilda – The Musical’ was absolutely brilliant and the Prep. School were lucky enough to enjoy this spectacular performance. Tim Minchin’s genius captures Dahl’s dark humour and touches of anarchy fantastically. We were riveted by the wonderful story telling, talented acting and fantastic music. The nastiness of Crunchem (children-are-maggots) Hall and the fearsome Miss Trunchbull was brilliantly depicted as was the comfort and solace one finds in books, along with the ability to travel in the world of our imagination. Given that this trip was in anti-bullying week, Matilda deftly displays how a little rebellion and protest can defeat the bullies (along with a touch of telekinetic powers!) It was, in short, utterly exhilarating and we had a very good (who can forget that burp) time!

Mrs Andrew.

Young Mathematicians' Award Competition

Selected Year 6 boys took part in Round 2 of the Young Mathematicians’ Award competition hosted by Explore Learning at Sainsbury’s Calcot. The competition was very close and Explore Learning were impressed with how all the teams approached the problems with which they were presented.

St Edward’s were the winners of their Round 2 competition and we are eagerly awaiting to hear whether we are one of four teams selected from all the Round 2 winners to go through to the final at the University of Cambridge.

Explore Learning extended a huge well done to our boys who took part in Round one and two as they were very impressed with their mathematical abilities and team work and this is what their overall score was based on.

The individual feedback for the team members was glowing and boys were praised for their hard work, initiative, collaborative and systematic approach, encouragement, delegation, teamwork and morale boosting phrases! Well done boys!

Mrs Hunt.

Cross Country 2018

St Edward's School had its yearly House Cross Country Event at Reading Blue Coat School. All of Pre-Prep and Prep boys made their way over to Sonning to represent their houses. What turned out to be a very cold afternoon didn’t hinder the efforts of the boys and the St Ed’s parents to turn out for a very exciting afternoon of sport. All the boys showed excellent levels of athletic ability to gain points towards the House Trophy. From Reception to Year 6, boys ran different distances. Reception ran 500m and Year 6 ran 1.6Km. All the races were very tight but we did have a winner for each year group. Boys can be very proud of their achievements in Sport as we continue to grow our sporting reputation.

This year’s winner were:

Reception: Fletcher

Year 1: Rory W

Year 2: Alexander B

Year 3: Thomas S

Year 4: Dylan W

Year 5: Joseph S

Year 6: Josh PC

The House order finished as:

1st St David’s

2nd St George’s

3rd St Patrick’s

4th St Andrew’s

Well done to everyone involved

Mr Bovingdon.

A Great Stocking Filler or Holiday Book!

We are looking forward to Tom Palmer’s visit to St Edward’s on the 5th February. Tom has written many exciting stories about spies, ghosts, planes, rugby, football, running and history which are suitable for both girls and boys. ‘Armistice Runner’ would make a fantastic Christmas present or holiday read.

“It’s utterly compelling – a pacy tribute to the athleticism and bravery of men such as Ernest Dalzell, fell-runner extraordinaire and soldier. With its themes of loyalty, competitiveness, heartbreak and endurance, Armistice Runner is full of authentic emotion. I love how Lily learns that she shares her fitness, speed and eye for navigation over tough terrain with her great-greatgrandfather. A connection that gives her an edge of fortitude when she most needs it … Armistice Runner will enhance readers’ understanding of the tragedy of war – and I hope, too, it inspires some to lace up their studs and head out into the fells.” Emma Hargreave.

Nativity 2018

Pre-Prep kicked off this year’s St Edward’s Christmas festivities with a heart-warming nativity. The boys took us back in time from the modern day celebrations of Christmas trees, presents and Santa Clause and reminded us of the true Christmas story by transporting us to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus. The boys did a fantastic job bringing the story to life as Year 1 and Reception acted it out on stage and Years 1 and 2 narrated clearly.

As always, the staff were incredibly proud of all the children. It was wonderful to receive so many positive comments about the boys’ performances and the way they sang with confidence and clarity. The audience particularly enjoyed ‘The Guys with the Camels’ performed by a cool Year 2 sporting Christmas jumpers and shades! And everyone in attendance was impressed with the way our youngest boys in Little Griffins and Reception sang ‘We’ve come to see the baby’ with fantastic energy and actions.

Well done everyone and thank you to all who came, it was wonderful to see our school hall packed full with parents and the extended St Edward’s family.

Mrs Swift.

The St Ed’s Family and our community were treated to a wonderful Carol Service at All Saints Church in Reading.

The service was held in honour of our previous Headmaster, Stuart Morgan-Nash, and a candle was lit and a contemplative silence was held in his honour. However, Stuart would not have wanted the Carol Service to be a solemn occasion – on the contrary, he would have wanted our children to celebrate and enjoy the festivities to the fullest and our children certainly did!

Our impeccably behaved boys sang at the top of their voices and we raised the rafters with renditions from every class in our school. Our readers also demonstrated our school values and were confident and delivered their pieces beautifully. It was a particular delight that each and every child performed and that we have some tremendous choristers in our Chamber Choir – we even had Ukuleles and Recorders playing along!

I would like to say an enormous thank you to Mrs Hagyard, our Music and Drama teacher, who has clearly inspired our children to superb heights in her music lessons and would like to thank Mrs Andrew for arranging and directing our readings. The Carol Service was simply superb and I am proud of our children and the St Ed’s Family.

Mr Suttie.

A festive feast followed by a very special visitor!

Over the last week all of the children in Pre-Prep have written a letter to Father Christmas. They thought carefully of examples of what they have done this year that would persuade him to put them on his ‘good’ list! These included doing their homework without fussing, setting the table, keeping their bedrooms clean and tidy and always doing as they were asked. I’m sure you can recognise your own sons in these examples! Many of the letters also included a question to Father Christmas such as: ‘How old are you?’, ‘Where do you go on holiday?’, ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ along with the all-important gift list.

So it was very fortunate indeed, that in the midst of the activity of the Pre-Prep party on Tuesday afternoon, that the man himself paid us a visit! With much excitement each Year group crept into his makeshift grotto full of anticipation and awe. They not only got the chance to ask him the questions they had penned in person but were very lucky to receive an early Christmas gift. Christmas lunch, jazzy jumpers, a fun packed party and a visit from Father Christmas made for a very special day at St Edward’s.

Mrs Swift.

The first German air attack took place in London on the evening of the 7th September 1940. As the night raids became more and more frequent, many people who were tired of repeated interrupted sleep, took to installing Anderson shelters in their back gardens. This term, the Year 6 boys were tasked with making a model Anderson Shelter as part of our History curriculum. They needed to research how Anderson shelters were built, what materials were used to build them and how they were made safe for a family to spend the night in. They have certainly produced some exceptional examples. The finished pieces were judged against the following criteria; research, design, materials, creativity, originality and effort. All the boys who produced an Anderson Shelter must be commended for the considerable time, thought and energy that they applied to the task. Mrs Blackburn has chosen seven prize winners and our congratulations go to Max H, Joshua PC, Jacob B, Zach TC, Aniket S, Oliver C and Alex L.

Mrs Andrew.

Carols in The Oracle

On the 11th December, the St Edward’s Choir went to The Oracle to sing Christmas carols. The boys delighted the public with 12 different festive songs and drew in quite a crowd! The commitment shown by the boys over the past few weeks has been fantastic and their efforts can be clearly heard through their fabulous singing! The Oracle obviously agree as we have already been invited back next year!

Well done boys! Merry Christmas.

Mrs Hagyard.

Year 3 Acrostic Poems
Panto Trip

Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, we smell lots of panto fun! The Christmas festivities continued with gusto on Wednesday morning when Pre-Prep attended the exciting St Edward’s annual Pantomime trip to Newbury Theatre. We were bombarded with adventure, mayhem and a gigantic helping of magic at Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack thrilled us, the giant scared us and the chicken made us chuckle!

The boys belly laughed throughout the performance, tapped their feet and swayed along to catchy songs. They couldn’t resist getting to their feet and dancing along with Jack and his friends in the finale. Exhausted, we had a quieter coach journey on the way home while the boys dreamed of gigantic beanstalks, golden eggs and giant baked beans!

Mrs Swift.

Have a very Merry Christmas! We will see you back at school on the 8th of January.

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