Music with Mrs Williamson
At play, fun in the Nursery

During the second half of the Autumn Term the nursery children have been very busy practising for their nativity play. It has been wonderful to have our Head Boy and Head Girl plus the Year 6 Music Maestros to help with this; they have shown great patience and understanding towards our "little people" at rehearsals and it has very much reminded us that it is this sense of community and whole-school ethos that makes Heywood Prep the very special place that it is.

As well as their number and phonic work the children have enjoyed taking part in Miss Amy's Change4life activities and exploring and learning outside using natural materials in Miss Gina's activity sessions.

The nursery has been awash with glitter and cotton wool as the Christmas creative activities got underway, we're sure you will all enjoy the lovely cards and calendars they have all created and are very excited about bringing home for you all.

Of course, the highlight of the term for the children was a trip on Chuffy the train to see Santa in his magical grotto and our very enjoyable Christmas party with the reception classes at which the children delighted in taking part in various traditional party games and craft activities.


Nativity Play - 'Wriggly Nativity'

This term has flown by for the children in Reception with the sounds of Christmas all around. Each week in the role play area a magic box appeared with a different theme inside from fireworks and Diwali to pirates and the ocean. The children waited with anticipation to see what would be revealed each week sparking the children’s imaginations and learning. A trip to Corsham library helped to ignite the children’s love of reading.

The children have learnt a variety of nativity songs wriggling their way through a ‘Wriggly Nativity’, impressing us all with their confident performances and energetic singing. Their dazzling costumes completed the show as they performed to teary-eyed parents. The children have worked incredibly hard this term and we cannot wait to see them grow and flourish in the Spring Term.


Year 1 have continued with their journey from Page to Knight. The finale to the topic was a medieval afternoon where the children invited parents and grandparents to an afternoon of fun. Each child skilfully created a shield, had fun seeing how far they could shoot a small ball from their catapults, and there was even a competition for families to enter their homemade catapults. Each child then graduated from Knight School as a Dame or Sir. Much fun was had by all!

Year 2 have had a very busy half term. They have continued with their 'Fire' topic, with a trip to the Scrapstore in Lacock and a trip back in time with Samuel Pepys. The children had fun creating amazing dragons using a range of scrap modelling resources, and each model looked stunning; they also learnt about real-life Komodo Dragons.

The grand finale to our Fire topic involved Samuel Pepys taking us back in time to explore life in 1666. The children learnt about the job of a night watchman, and how he would have alerted everyone to the fire. The afternoon came to a fantastic end with a real fire at Pudding Lane with our model Tudor houses. The fire enthralled the children and we watched as it began at the bakery in Pudding Lane and quickly spread to the houses along the road with the help of the wind! In addition to this, they have been busy in their classrooms writing stories about dragons based on the myth, George and the Dragon.


Ultraviolet light, drawing pictures with highlighters

After half term both 3E and 3C presented their class assemblies. 3E’s assembly was linked to the previous half term’s work in Humanities and told the story of the building of Stonehenge. 3C’s assembly introduced this half term’s Humanities topic on settlements and focused on Corsham and other local communities.

In English the children really enjoyed creating their own potions when looking at instructional writing and wrote how to care for some rather interesting pets they created. They also looked at information texts and were eager to use the computers to produce their own pieces on different animals.

The classes have been investigating light in Science. They were intrigued with their lesson on ultraviolet light when they used highlighters to draw pictures on dark paper and then looked at them using a UV torch.

In Maths the children increased their understanding of fractions by making ‘fraction pizzas’. They practised measuring in their topic on perimeter and have also extended their use of written methods in arithmetic.

Year 4 worked hard on producing sci-fi robot stories in English, with many focused on themes of teamwork and friendship to surmount challenges. They then looked at free verse poetry, using chance to generate sentences which they then recrafted into typography posters. In maths they have looked further at coordinates and the four methods, applying their skills with problem solving. In Science, they got stuck in to a seasonal science special making bath bombs from kitchen cupboard ingredients. In RE, both classes narrowed the nativity story down into a 6 panel comic strip - choosing 6 key points to portray the entire story was challenging!


Year 5 and 6 have had a busy lead up to Christmas. The choir have been very active; Years 5 and 6 have led Carols by Candlelight and their performances of 'Love Shone Down' and 'We’re Walking in the Air' were of a very high standard. Year 6, through their performance of The Christmas Gift, have reminded us all about the true meaning of giving at Christmas.

It’s been another active half term on the sports pitch. The children have played hockey, rugby, football and netball against a number of local schools and have impressed with the sporting manner in which they conduct themselves and have achieved some good results.

The children have not just competed against other schools but this term have taken part in an increased number of house matches. They have played basketball, rugby and run cross country races. Mrs Mitchell also held the traditional end of term inter-house quiz. All houses managed a win in at least one of the competitions.

In French, Year 6 have been introduced to some basic grammatical concepts which will stand them in good stead for senior school. Mrs Shoukry is looking forward to introducing them to Spanish in the New Year. Year 5 have been practising hard and learning silent night in both French and German in collaboration with the Music Department.


This term the school council members wanted to find out what all the children thought of the school, so they could establish how they could help and support in the next two terms. The school council prefects have been sending out our new pupil voice books each week, with two focus questions, which the school council members discuss with their classes. This has really highlighted what the children enjoy and are passionate about, but also the areas of the school which they can see potential for development in the future.

The school council prefects have also been keeping very busy, helping to organise fundraising events for our charity of the year, Wiltshire Mind. They did a marvellous job running the cake sale after the Great Heywood Bake Off raising an impressive £357.70 and made sure Christmas Jumper Day was well advertised around the school. With their great teamwork and commitment, as well as the generous support of all the school community, we have already raised £743.40 for Wiltshire Mind. There are many exciting and new fundraising ideas for the Spring Term!

Our new playground equipment has been very popular this term and we would like to thank everyone who collected the ‘Active School Vouchers’ last year. The school council and eco elves have been very responsible in looking after it, but also teaching the other children how to use it appropriately.


The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes (1880-1958)

This term a group of students have been critiquing and deconstructing the famous Alfred Noyes poem ‘The Highwayman’. The poem itself is lengthy and full of poetic functions and it is only after analysis that the true meanings of its features start to morph from the opaque to the transparent. The aim of the students’ work was to create a modern reworking of ‘The Highwayman’ engendering Noyes’ nuance for storytelling using the underlying pillars of unrequited love and a star crossed atmosphere.

Meticulous study revealed Noyes’ penchant for repetition and a hint of the gothic overshadowing each stanza. Whilst this revealed the stylistic nature of Noyes’ preference, it became apparent that if one were to write like Noyes it would be necessary to decipher if there were any evident patterns which recurred. Two patterns which quickly came to light were the number of lines per stanza, six, and that each line contained six beats (hexameter). If Noyes’ style were to be replicated, this pattern would have to be widely adhered to.

The end results have been quite spectacular. Due to the sheer length of narrative poetry, some are still undergoing creative construction, but the poems themselves are of the highest quality. We are certain that if Noyes were to read about ‘The Cabby-man’ or ‘The Speedboat driver’ he would be equally impressed!


Carols by Candlelight, Bartholomew's Church, Corsham.
Carols by Candlelight Service at St. Bartholowew's Church, Corsham

Our Carols by Candlelight service brought the term to a close in a most magical way. By the light of a single candle, William J opened the service with his ethereal solo of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’. By the end of the carol, light had flooded the church with all parents passing the flame from candle to candle. Year 6 led the service beautifully with their lively acting of ‘The Christmas Gift’, which reminded us all of the true meaning of Christmas. This mini play was interspersed by rousing congregational carols which were beautifully accompanied by Shreya on the violin, William G on the flute and Charlotte on the clarinet. The Flute Choir’s rendition of ‘Silent Night’ was fabulous and Years 5 and 6 gave a wonderful performance of ‘Love Shone Down’, with lovely solos by Emily M and Darcey. With a beautiful solo by Roxy, Advanced Singers demonstrated their commitment to singing with their spine-tingling performance of ‘Walking in the Air’. Everyone left St Bartholomew’s feeling thoroughly festive and ready to celebrate Christmas.


Nursery Nativity Play
Reception Nativity Play
Year 1 and 2 Nativity Play

The nativities this year reminded us all of the true meaning of Christmas. First of all our youngest children took to the stage and performed a traditional retelling of the Christmas story. Parents were treated to some confident performances, including 'Alice the Camel', 'Shine Star, Shine' and 'Little Donkey'. We were very impressed with the final performance as it was the first time that all the nursery children had performed on stage together. For many children this was their first time on stage and we were ever so proud of them all.

The Reception ‘Wiggly Nativity’ was a tremendous amount of fun and it was wonderful to see how the children had grown in confidence. Every single child said their lines clearly and Molly’s solo of ‘Angels’ was particularly moving.

Super Star, the Year 1 and 2 offering, retold the nativity with a modern twist. The children's passion for music and drama really shone through in the singing and dancing and even the teachers joined in with their animal noises in the shepherds’ song! Aoife’s Guardian Angel song was beautiful and Faye performed with outstanding comic timing and confidence.

Finally, we would like to say a huge thank you to our talented Head of Music, Mrs Williamson who makes these performances possible. Merry Christmas!


Lego Robotics Team: Heywood Hydros

The Lego Robotics team, 'Heywood Hydros', have been busy preparing for their upcoming competition in Bristol. The team have been had at work to try to gain points with our robot on the table, a challenge far trickier than they initially thought! The team have taken it all in their stride however, focusing on core values of inclusion, team spirit and friendly competition. Following their visit to County Hall in Trowbridge, Various members of the team have been hard at work to show how they have followed the Engineering Design Process to solve a real life problem. They created the Hydro Helper, a little 3D printed fish that can test for the acidity in water supplies. Fingers crossed for the team!

'Heywood in the Snow' by Alison Mearns-Spragg.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from all the staff at Heywood Prep.

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