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At our Remembrance service this morning Rev Magee reminded us of the importance of remembering things. Obviously with a focus today on remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice but it is important that we all take time to stop, remember and reflect on what has gone before as it helps us to make better decisions going forwards.

I will now try and remember all the wonderful things the children have been up to over the last week working backwards from today…

The children read, sang and performed superbly at the service this morning and it was wonderful to see examples of Form 2’s artwork and Form 3’s independently written poems on display in the church too.  It was lovely to welcome so many parents but it was a real honour to welcome a group of veterans and residents of Glencairne Care Home too.  They were very keen to share how impressed they were with the children throughout the service; they were a real credit to themselves, the school and yourselves.  A huge thank you also to Mrs Nolan-Stone and her team for coordinating everything to make sure all went smoothly. 

Thursday evening was a lovely evening where, I am sure, in a reversal of roles, that the children would be proud of their parents. The PTFA Quiz Night saw some very impressive scores from all teams and much fun was had by all. Thank you all for coming along and I hope we can do many more events like this. Next Wednesday at 7.00pm we have the PTFA AGM where we can put forward ideas about future events and activities for the whole community.

I really enjoyed my visit to Form 4’s classroom on Wednesday and Mrs Moss explains what the children have been doing.

This term Form 4’s have been busy writing the story of ‘The Whale’ based on the picture book by Ethan and Vita Murrow. Through a series of story ‘plot points’, the children have been learning to use a variety of writing lenses from our ‘Writing Rainbow’, for example, expanded noun phrases, pathetic fallacy, fronted adverbials and rhetorical questions.

The main character in our story is Lucy – she is passionate about tracking down a particular whale, but sadly her boat was destroyed in a terrifying storm. Whilst recovering on dry land, using her rusty, damaged binoculars she saw this magnificent whale for the first time. Lucy knew that there was no time to waste…..she had to get back on the water.

In our ‘experience day’, when Mr Newberry joined us, Form 4 had the challenge to re-design and re-build her boat from materials salvaged from the wreckage, in order to get Lucy back on the water. Using a variety of materials (lollipop sticks for the wooden planks from the damaged hull, a paper straw for the mast, paper for the sail and string for the rope) the children built their models and then we had a competition, with our own miniature model of Lucy, to see if any were sea-worthy.

The children were so creative; they thought carefully about what they had learnt at our recent the Tank Museum about increasing the surface area and they worked brilliantly as a team- problem solving, planning and adapting their designs.

I am delighted to say, that Lucy is able to once again, return to the sea…….now where is that whale?

Wednesday evening was also all about the parents when we held our first Textile Workshop in the Art Room, for grown ups.   The first of four sessions, making handmade felt Christmas tree decorations.

After an explanation of the recommended wool needed (merino wool is particularly good for felting and how it reacts when friction is applied), Mrs Saines moved on to the creative process and explainesd to me tha the group really enjoyed handling and laying out the wool after teasing the carded fibres and organising three layers of wool setting each down at right angles. Hand carders were used to blend a range of tonal greens to add depth and interest in their felt. In addition, different fibres were used to decorate the surface prior to wet felting the fibres. Mulberry silk and crimped woollen tops!  The creative group are looking forward to next week when they will be wet felting and designing for the making process!

If you would like to join them next week please let the office team know and they will sign you up.

This week our Director of Music, Mrs Nolan-Stone took four of our senior wind and brass pupils to Bryanston for a Jazz day. They had a fantastic time learning about the language of Jazz in workshops led by Bryanston staff. They started off the day using movement and clapping to get used to improvising and working as a team. The pupils learnt the importance of listening and responding and worked on echo responses and question and answer phrases. The day culminated with a performance to parents, where all the pupils performed together and stood to perform an improvised solo using the skills they had been learning about within the day.

Congratulations to all involved and thank you to our parents for coming to support the pupils. It was also lovely to bump into Will BK who left last year and came down to see us. Former Sunninghill pupil Erin P, who is now in Year 11 and studying music, also popped in for a chat and to watch her brother perform.

Photos from the day can be found on the following link

Bryanston Jazz Day 2022

Bryanston, our hosts, said they hoped that the children came away with new skills and techniques and that the improvisation was particularly impressive.

Lennie, one of our super Sunninghill musicians, said she really enjoyed the jazz day at Bryanston. Her mum tells me that she came back brimming with excitement and talking about how much her confidence and musical creativity had increased in just a few hours.
Thank you for organising it. Lennie was certainly inspired!

I must also thank Mrs Nolan-Stone for taking the children and supporting them with their musical journey.

I received this lovely write up from our Well Being Coordinator, Karen King.

As part of their PSHE lessons, last weekl Forms 5 to 8 were lucky enough to be entertained by Belle, a very talented pop singer. Belle has just turned 16, but has already produced seven songs and is in the process of making an album! The children particularly enjoyed listening to “Run” which can be seen on YouTube. Belle had a powerful message for the children about online safety, keeping your personal information safe and protecting yourself from cyber bullying. She was able to relate to her audience, having experienced bullying herself. The children enjoyed dancing to her last song, getting a signed photograph of Belle and being stamped!

Amelka in Form 5 wrote – Belle is an amazing singer and she is also very creative and not afraid or ashamed of herself. She also helped me to understand that I don’t need to be like anyone else, just myself. I was very grateful to her for talking about mental health and cyber bullying. After her speech she actually made me feel really good about myself.

Louis in Form 5 wrote – Belle’s music was great! Her songs were inspiring and active and my favourite was “Traitor”. Her mental health speech was good because it gave us some information to help me stay safe on the internet. Sadly Belle has to be homeschooled because she was bullied at school. She had good knowledge of cyber bullying and told us important things like not to share personal information and don’t talk to strangers online.

As a school we will of course continue to share important e-safety information with both parents and children. Should you have any concerns please do speak with Mrs Smith, our Designated Safeguarding Lead

After another busy week in school, it just leaves me to wish you all a relaxing weekend.

David Newberry

David Newberry

Author David Newberry

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