Corsham Court visit and fun in the Nursery Garden

The Nursery children quite literally sprung into action at the start of this term! They all fully embraced their spring topic work with beans and sunflowers sprouting on classroom windowsills and tadpoles wiggling in tanks, all of which have caused great excitement and fascination! We hope we have gone some small way towards creating a generation of nature loving children! Nursery have as always made good use of their outdoor environment with a variety of activities taking place. The addition of the mud kitchen in the nursery garden has proved to be extremely popular. Mrs Slade and Mr Gauntlett have been busy in our specialist PE lessons on a Wednesday morning developing the necessary skills the children will require for our Nursery Sports Day...we wonder if the parents will be as well prepared for their races......you have been warned!

Nursery children have also enjoyed some wonderful walks in our local community on a Tuesday afternoon, across the fields at Corsham Court, to the park and the library. In our Thursday morning Humbugs sessions, the children have enjoyed a variety of exciting activities with Mrs Williamson on the theme of mini beasts and animals. Both children and staff are looking forward a fun-filled and busy final half of the last term of the academic year with a wide variety of activities taking place including Sports Day, Graduation and Teddy Bears' Picnic. It always amazes us how far all the children have come in a year, how much they have all developed and achieved and what a very special journey we have all been on together. By the end of this term, our older classes will be well and truly "school ready"!


Discovering Prehistoric Dinosaurs

This term has seen the children entering the prehistoric world and being taken on dinosaur adventures far afield. The children have been fascinated by dinosaurs absorbing every piece of information and then taking it into their own learning within the classroom. In the dinosaur café, the children have been cooking and serving a variety of foods fit for the largest and smallest of dinosaurs, thinking very carefully about if each dinosaur is a carnivore or a herbivore. Mystery entered the classroom when small unidentified seeds appeared. The children planted the seeds and watched as a small plant grew in the classroom. We were all shocked to see a small egg growing on the plant by the end of the week. The children nurtured the egg watching closely each day until the egg finally hatched and out crawled a small baby dinosaur! The dinosaur became the focus of each child watching out for it every day, until one morning it disappeared! Dinosaur hunts around the school at lunch times and playtimes began but sadly the dinosaur could not be found. Then, to everyone’s surprise mysterious footprints of different sizes appeared in the classrooms! The children used their measuring skills to compare the differences in sizes of each footprint, and eventually our baby dinosaur appeared back in the classroom.

Throughout the term the children have been palaeontologists, searching for dinosaur bones, making fossils and creating skeletons of dinosaurs. The children were fascinated by the site of dinosaur poo in the classroom, using their tweezers to investigate what the dinosaur might have eaten! A real highlight of the term.

Our little explorers have been given wonderful opportunities to learn through play and carefully devised learning activities, to develop investigative skills, cooperation and resilience whilst they learn more and more about the world around them.



Antonia's Garden - preparing for the Summer mini-beasts.

Year 1 are involved in an exciting topic about minibeasts this term. They have been minibeast explorers, finding out who lives in the garden and are busy growing Painted Lady caterpillars in the classroom, ready to release later on in the term. They have created some scary super-bugs, who are the lead roles in their animation stories that they are looking forward to sharing with their parents at the Year 1 Film Premier in June!

They have spent this term working on developing the garden ready for all the Summer mini-beasts. They have been learning about life cycles and what each minibeasts needs to survive.

At Forest School they have been learning about the importance of collaboration whilst perfecting their shelter building, whilst the zip-wire definitely tested their confidence. No session would be complete without toasting marshmallows on the fire!

Outdoor learning is a wonderful opportunity for children to assume different roles than they might in classroom-based activities. We often marvel at how particular children develop into natural leaders in the outdoor environment, and draw on very different skills to those used in classroom-based learning - it is so wonderful to see their confidence emerging!

Global Gardens: developing children's curiosity through their exploration of nature

Year 2 are fully immersed in the topic ‘Global Gardens’. They are using their natural curiosity to explore this topic in every subject. In English they looked at the Aboriginal tale ‘Rainbow Bird’ and they explored how birds would move through the trees and sky by running around Antonia’s Garden to create as many movement adjectives as they could think of. These adjectives were then used to write their own poems. In Science lessons the children have enjoyed dissecting tulips to discover the different parts of a plant, and they learnt all about different poisonous plants - did you know that every part a yew tree is poisonous except the red berry which surrounds the seed? Year 2 do! In Art they looked at the Rousseau picture ‘Tiger in a Storm’ and used water colours to create their own version of the picture.

The highlight of the topic this half term was their visit to Westonbirt Arboretum. The children (and teachers and parents helpers!) had an enormous amount of fun listening to trees as they suck water up from the soil and as a whole year group they created a giant model of a tree!


Exploring 3D Shapes

In English, Year 3 have looked at newspaper reports and rewritten famous Viking myths involving such colourful characters as Loki, Thor and Odin. Their Maths topic on scale involved the children building scale models of famous tall building out of Lego. The results were impressive! The children also enjoyed exploring 2D and 3D shapes through a variety of practical activities.

In Humanities the children have enjoyed learning about life in Britain after the Romans left and have been finding out about the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. They found out about the exciting discovery at Sutton Hoo, Viking ships and traders and have also practised writing in runes. They particularly enjoyed the story of Beowulf and listening to Viking myths. Flowers have been a topic in both Science and Art, with the children making detailed drawing of flowers and starting to create flower collages - do pop into the art room if you are passing, and take a look at their work!

Year 4 have been studying the digestive system of the human body, including looking at teeth. They have investigated the impact that different liquids have on our teeth. Instead of subjecting their own teeth to the perils of acids, they used eggshell which has similarities in chemical makeup to our teeth. They exposed eggs to vinegar, water, fizzy drinks, milk, orange juice and mouthwash, and learned that each liquid has different effects, but they definitely don't want to leave their teeth in vinegar overnight!

Music and Drama Evening

The Music and Drama Evening provided the opportunity for children to display their talents in singing, playing a variety of instruments and performing poems and drama pieces. The children enjoyed showing what they have been doing in their Music lessons with 3E revealing their African drumming skills and 3C demonstrating bowing and plucking on violins. Each and every participant contributed to a wonderful evening of music and drama - what talented children they are!


Year 6 - Bikeability

What a whirlwind! Flashing by in a series of action-packed enrichment activities and engaged learning, this term has been enjoyable, memorable and highly productive for all Year 5 pupils.

Scientific highlights have included the celebration of children’s science projects in a simply outstanding display at the Science Fair; tasting freeze-dried ‘astronaut’ space food; all ‘cadets’ graduating from Mrs Evans’ legendary Space Academy and a visit from Bath astronomer Simon Holbeche, who taught the children how to calculate return trajectories, using differently sized marbles.

To support the new STEAM curriculum, we took a trip to British Aerospace in Bristol and were delighted to be able to board Concorde! Pleasingly, pupils left a very positive lasting impression as, during the practical session (whereby children created rockets from paper, which they then launched) the workshop’s leader informed us that Rebecca was the ‘first pupil to have EVER correctly identified the pioneering female astronaut Valentina Tereshkova. Another ‘first’ for the Aerospace educational team was the performance of Guy’s rocket, as its clever design led to an incredibly high launch! Indeed, it boldly went where no rocket has gone before and is, and forever will be, firmly lodged at the very top of the hangar!

In class, pupils have enjoyed writing ‘thank-you’ letters to Mrs Mitchell for buying our school the adorable baby bunnies: Warren & Woody. Children have also written their own playscripts, discussion texts, and taken part in ‘The Big Debate!’ which was inspired by the children’s interest in recent current affairs with regard to the Lord Mayor of London’s proposal that fast-food adverts be banned from public transport to minimise children’s exposure to them. Thus, the issue ‘Should Junk food be Banned?’ was posited to the whole of Year 5. Mr Siman chaired the debate brilliantly; all children enjoyed debating this issue and wholeheartedly contributed their points – a culmination of confidence and communication!

Finally, form times are worth a mention here too… being particularly rousing of late! Renditions of ‘Luck be a Lady Tonight’ are regularly sung at the top of children’s voices in readiness for the production of Guys & Dolls in a few short weeks!

Year 6, learning road safety skills

What an exciting half term this has been for Year 6! Year 6 began the term by gaining their Level 1 and 2 ‘Bikeability’ awards and it is wonderful to hear that they now feel confident making the journey to school on the road. Following this came a trip to the Lifeskills centre in Bristol. The instructors provided the children with a selection of hazardous situations (including fires and crossing the road) and equipped them with the skills to stay safe and in control. It is always pleasing to hear the words, “That was the best trip EVER!” on the way home.

Mrs Evans and Mr Ruane have continued to develop the children’s scientific and problem solving skills this term and this was clearly evident during the inaugural ‘Years 5 and 6 Science Fair’. The children had clearly gone to great lengths to investigate questions that captured their imaginations and it was a real pleasure listening to how they completed their investigations.


Quote, "What we learn with pleasure we never forget" by Alfred Mercier

Gifted, Able, Talented and Interested by Annette Bidgood, Head of Learning Enhancement

This term, we have continued to ensure that are Gifted, Able, Talented and Interested pupils have been given the opportunity to extend their skills across the curriculum. We have welcomed visitors to the school and our pupils have worked with pupils from across the county to develop their potential in both core and foundation subjects. All of our pupils have collaborated, been creative and confident whilst showing real commitment to improve in their area of interest and talent.

MATHS - This term we have pushed some of our mathematicians really hard. We chose a number of children in Years 5 & 6 to sit the Dauntsey’s Dodecahedron paper. This is a paper set by Dauntsey’s School that really challenges the children. The paper requires a working use of algebra, co-ordinate geometry, nets and magic squares to name but a few of the many topics. Calculators are allowed but as one of the children commented, 'they don’t really help'. Well done to everyone for having a shot but a special mention to Kate in Year 6 and Rebecca in Year 5 for being the top scorers in their year. For more information about this challenge, please see Dauntsey’s School website: https://www.dauntseys.org/life-at-dauntseys/academic-life/dauntseys-dodecahedron-2018 On Wednesday 25th April, four Year 5 pupils with interest and talent in maths attended a primary Math masterclass at Sheldon School. Many locals schools and our pupils thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and experience.

ROBOTICS - Osborne Clark International Legal Practice came to visit us to learn about robotics for a future team event. Our Y5/6 Science Fair competition winners and runners-up completed this all-day STEAM workshop, led by Mrs Evans. The adults and pupils formed three teams, each building a robot from scratch and programming it to run the set course for Osborne Clarke's competition. The pupils collaborated and communicated brilliantly, the adults were very impressed with their confidence and commitment whilst using the Engineering Design Process to fine tune their builds and programs. We were delighted to hear that the team the children helped won the competition! The children thoroughly enjoyed sharing their skills with them.

SPORT - This term has seen the introduction of the Sports Individualised Learning sessions for both Pre Prep and Prep children led by our Director of Sport, Mr Knight. These sessions have been incredibly fun whilst developing children’s strength and body condition, in order to allow them to perform at a high level. Children have experienced cardiovascular tests, strength tests and also specific skill related exercises, including the high jump. We very much look forward to seeing how both groups perform in the eagerly anticipated sports day in the next few days. Please take a look at some great videos showing the Pre-Prep groups.

ART - Our new Sketchbook Club, led by Leonora Martin, our amazing Head of Art is designed specifically for pupils who are interested and able in Art, and these pupils over the last two terms have been given the opportunity to extend their skills in the subject. Using a sketchbook is one of the most useful ways for pupils to develop their creative skills. Sketchbooks are a place to record ideas and to most importantly make mistakes and refine designs. In Sketchbook Club, pupils are regularly introduced to new techniques, skills or mediums and given the opportunity to practise working with these in their sketchbooks. This term, they have been working on the tricky application of perspective in thier work and are now creating desert perspective paintings.


This half term has seen our Year 2 students absorbing and responding to Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood). Encouraging students to be word detectives, hunting for cognates and trying to deduce the meaning of new vocabulary has paid dividends: a new word means a real determination to work it out!

Learning about classroom items for Year 3 has reinforced not only gender, but also how to say ‘a’ or ‘some’ rather than ‘the’ in French. Another challenge has been learning to say ‘I don’t have a / any’ (je n’ai pas de …). Mrs Shoukry was so pleased by the results of the listening exercise they did: well done everyone!

Who would have thought Ancient Rome could be studied so enthusiastically in French? Year 4 have taken to it like ducks to water! Once again underlining the similarities between French and English, our students De-coded a huge amount of information from French about the history of Rome, Roman deities, what it was like to be a rich or poor child and how many aspects of Roman culture and inventions have passed down to us. Once again, French texts hold no fear for our intrepid linguists!

This term heralded the arrival of Spanish for Year 5. They looked most surprised to hear Mrs Shoukry say ¡Levantaos! rather than ‘Levez-vous’ at the start of the lesson, but soon got the hang of calling her Señora and have shown great enthusiasm for this new language. Upside down exclamation and question marks, along with a squiggly line over an ‘n’ have raised a few smiles, but the phonic alphabet, complete with its actions and funny sounds, has been the most fun for them. They have concentrated on being able to give personal information first, as well as looking at Spain and its place from a global perspective.

Although Year 6 have only just started Italian this term, their excellent progress and sound base in French, as well as their Spanish last term, have allowed them to storm ahead. Already they are able to give their name, age, where they live and count to twenty. They will be tackling nationalities and working on pronunciation in the next few lessons. Italy and Italian culture will also come to the fore.

It has been very rewarding to see the confidence and ability of our students grow over the course of the year. Mrs Shoukry has been really delighted by how positively new languages have been accepted this term and looks forward to challenging the girls and boys even more next term!


Language of Learning, "give them wings so they can fly"
Language for Learning launch day.

This term saw the launch of our Language for Learning programme, an initiative unique to the ethos of Heywood Prep. The Learning values, that were decided upon by our school community, will not only help the children to achieve their academic potential but also gives them important attributes and skills that build character, ensuring that they are fully equipped to be lifelong learners.

During our launch day the children engaged in various activities that used different ‘Cs’. At the end of the day, they had ‘checked in’ at a variety of learning experiences and filled in every one of the ‘8 Cs’ in their passport. It was wonderful to see children in mixed-age groups working together with compassion, collaboration, excellent communication and confidence.

Creativity - We are able to think up and design new inventions, produce works of art and solve problems in new ways. We can develop an idea based on an original or unconventional approach.

Commitment - We are able to work through our problems and show positivity and determination when facing new and challenging obstacles.

Curiosity - We have a desire to learn or know about new things, we are able to ask questions and will always challenge ourselves to find new ways of looking at things.

Craftsmanship - We spend time developing our skills and abilities to achieve our goals to the best of our ability.

Confidence - We have the courage to try new things. We believe in ourselves and know that good things can happen when we try our best.

Compassion - We treat others with kindness and respect and show tolerance and understanding of others’ differences.

Communication - We are able to share with others our thoughts and ideas and listen carefully to what others have to say.

Collaboration - We are able to work together with others to solve problems or reach a goal


Year 5 and 6 Athletics against Hatherop and Cricklade, Hatherop Castle School
Team Bath Netball, Flag bearers for the match versus the Severn Stars, including House Swimming event at Ashwicke Hall School

Without doubt this has been an incredible half term of sport at Heywood Prep. Some of the highlights have been our first ever Inter House Swimming event which we held at Ashwicke Hall School, with the eventual winners being Danes House; and our first ever sports tour for the Year 4 and 5, where we travelled to play cricket and athletics matches against Hatherop Castle and Cricklade Manor Schools. The children on the sports tour were also able to enjoy staying the night at PGL Lidington, Swindon where they had a great time burning their marshmallows! In between the usual cricket and athletic matches and Bath schools' festivals, the senior girls enjoyed taking centre stage at Team Bath operating as Flag Bearers for the match versus the Severn Stars. Finally the department's blue ribbon event, Sports Day, is shortly to occur and Mr Knight is looking to introduce the school to a series of new field and track events bringing us in line with the ISA Sports programme.

Wishing you all a lovely half term holiday!

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