Displaying items by tag: Trip
Our Yew and Aspen pupils have been learning to play brass instruments in their music lessons since September. Their progress has been so good that we were able to take them to the Orchestra day at Uppingham school just before half term. We also took a number of other orchestral musicians from other year groups.
The day included sectional rehearsals in the morning and a full rehearsal in the afternoon. A number of other prep schools were invited, and the full orchestra comprised nearly 300 musicians. The theme of the day was ‘Out Of This World’ and the Head of Music at Uppingham selected a number of pieces on the theme of space.
At the end of the day there was a concert for parents and teachers, it was lovely that a number of our parents were able to make the journey to attend. The concert started with Also Sprach Zarathrustra (Richard Strauss’ piece used as the them for the iconic film 2001 a Space Odyssey). This was followed by the strings playing Fly Me To The Moon and a medley from the Planets Suite. The wind and brass then played Fanfare For The Third Planet and The Forge of Vulcan. The concert concluded with the whole orchestra playing a very challenging arrangement of melodies from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The pupils worked very hard and focused through long and challenging rehearsals. The brass players are hoping to be able to perform a little closer to home in the near future.
Thanks to Mrs Lawrence, Mrs Hodges and Henry Berkin who supported the pupils throughout the day.
On a beautiful February morning Spruce and Juniper set off for Milton Keynes train station to travel to The Tower of London. We arrived in glorious sunshine and immediately went in to see the Crown Jewels, they were amazing and more brilliant than you could ever have imagined!
Next we went into The Bloody Tower, so called because it is believed it is in here that the two Princes were murdered by their uncle Richard. It was also where Sir Walter Raleigh and his family were imprisoned for plotting against James I. After lunch we had a short tour by a Yeoman Warden. He told us about all of the prisoners who took a one-way trip into The Tower of London through Traitors’ Gate. He also told us the stories of the seven prisoners who were beheaded on Tower Green. He told us that the saddest tale of all was about Lady Jane Grey, a hapless pawn of her father-in-law to ensure Protestant succession. Lady Jane rules for nine days, she was beheaded on 12th February 1554.
After a walk around The White Tower where we saw the Royal Armoury we headed back to Milton Keynes after a fantastic day out in London.
The tour spent some time explaining and demonstrating working reconstructions of Enigma and Turing-Welchman Bombe machines and the Colossus computer (the world’s first electronic computer) the latter two were used in Bletchley Park during the Second World War. Both of these were instrumental in breaking the Enigma cipher (150 quintillion possible keys) and are credited with shortening the war by months and saving tens of thousands of lives.
The tour continued by moving through the generations of computing from vacuum tubes through transistors and integrated circuits to microprocessors.
All in all it was an ideal blend of history, theory and practical with a large amount of hands on exhibits to engage the children.
After a fun warm-up, the children were transformed into actors. They exuberated confidence as they assumed roles, repeated lines and added their own actions. This continued with group work and culminated in a wonderful mini-performance of The Tempest. This was fully accompanied with props, sound effects, singing and even acrobatics!
A highlight was attending a special effects session. Unfortunately (due to the highly secret tricks of the trade revelations), we were ‘sworn to secrecy.’ However, we can reveal that the following ingredients can be used to create extremely convincing props and fake injuries: porridge, coffee, sugar and lychee! Extra thanks to Samuel and Nes; who were transformed into a one-handed pirate and a beautiful, lilac-haired ethereal lady (respectively).
Mrs Ramsay, Mr Stewart and I hope that these highly memorable experiences will ensure that Hawthorn and Poplar will go on to have a deep love of Shakespeare’s work; a passion which will remain with them throughout their lives.
To launch the new Art Scholars term we went to MK Gallery to see the nationally touring George Stubbs horse artist exhibition. The exquisite drawings and paintings showing incredible anatomical studies, family portraits with pets and prize cattle and horse `portraits` were used to inspire a very strong set of drawings from the group. These studies have formed the basis of a quite demanding animal and mythical creatures compositions from the group this half term.
Chestnut & Sycamore, 13th January National Gallery & Bridget Riley special exhibition at the Haywood gallery Trip report. The children had a smooth train ride into London and down the Northern line to Leicester Square and the National Gallery. There they were taken to look at 3 paintings in some detail, doing inventive and very engaging drawing and thinking exercises in a very well led set of mini-workshops. After lunch they had a scenic walk across the Thames seeing St Pauls and the Shard amongst other buildings on the London skyline, with very good behaviour and sensible movement on the footway before arriving at the Haywood gallery. The very striking and effective Optical art by Bridget Riley certainly got their attention with lots of discussion of "how does that do that?" and quite observant comments about the wide range of visual effects being demonstrated. A straightforward train return on booked seats allowed thinking and conversation about the work with an enjoyable time had by all.
On a dreary day in November, Cedar and Birch set off for a Trip to the Roald Dahl Museum in Aylesbury and enriched their learning by attending two well organised workshops in which they experienced the wonderfully scrumptious world of this amazingly inspiring author. The morning workshop consisted in hands-on activities in the Gallery, our children showed scrumdiddlyumptios excitement throughout, where they explored Fantastic Mr Fox's Den, Mrs Trunchbull's Library contained a huge surprise as children discovered the terrible Chokie Room...we were totally sure that we heard a noise coming from it! We tried on a selection of costumes and the favourite was the one worn by Oscar who took on the part of Charlie, owner of the Chocolate Factory and Lola who got to impersonate Augustus Gloop!! Cedar and Birch also managed to shrink just like Mike TV, and to the delight of the adults...they resume their physical features only after being gobbled up by the Enormous Crocodile. In the afternoon we had a lesson on the interesting life of Roald Dahl and learnt that he had been a very brave RAF pilot during World War 2. This was followed by a very creative workshop based on Matilda so we created tripolicious bags using our creative skills as well as a myriad of sequins, felt shapes and fabric pens. The results were truly glumptious along with being enthused and keen to take up creative writing.
The trip to Oxford Castle was a huge success and we have had some very positive feedback from children and parents, alike! We travelled to the centre of Oxford, to find the castle nestled quite inconspicuously, in its contrastingly modern surroundings: the brand new Westgate Centre, situated just feet away from the ancient building that once acted as the epicentre of defence against the Vikings, for the entire city. Of course, in comparison to the settlement that sat on the Cherwell and the Thames in 1009, the Oxford that we see nowadays is a far reaching and comprehensive infrastructure. In a city which lives and breathes its historical gravitas, the remaining sections of the motte and bailey castle are hidden gems, which provide yet another angle to the depth of Oxford's history.
On arrival, we were whisked into a tour of the castle and prison. The children ascended all 101 steps of St George's Tower. Built in a clockwork spiral (or as the children pointed out, more of a helix) the tower was cleverly designed to prevent Vikings from swinging their swords in attack, as they climbed it. Around two thirds of the way up, we discovered a room in which King James imprisoned parliamentary sympathisers, during the civil war of 1642. At the top, the view was astounding and the children spent some time absorbing the beauty of the great city.
Subsequently, we toured the prison, learning about the dismal and desperate lives of the prisoners who were incarcerated there, during Victorian times. Some of the children carried out demonstrations of the punishments that would have befallen those, unlucky enough to be caught stealing something insignificant or being charged with owning a 'saucy mouth'. This was, of course, as equally shocking as it was entertaining; I'm sure we all learnt something that we will never forget, that day! //// In the afternoon, the children took part in creative writing and drama activities, which explored the story of Prince Stephen and Empress Matilda. They had the opportunity to dress-up and act out the tale, which was refreshing in that it ended with a diplomatic compromise and peace: Stephen taking the throne and Matilda striking a deal, which guaranteed a place on the throne, for her son. The children planned and acted-out scenes from the story in small groups, with plenty of ad-libbing and sound effects to bring the performance to life.
The children also had the opportunity to climb the mound and stand at the top, observing the city from yet another great height. They could see first-hand, the importance of the higher ground in order spot and prepare for an attack. Many of them practised their archery skills using imaginary bows and arrows and set off on impromptu battles of their own, in high spirits. Speaking of spirits, we were also terrorised by a phantom shoulder-tapper, throughout our time at the castle. Most of us assumed it was Mr Stewart, until we were made aware that the castle is likely haunted. The mystery has not been solved, even now!
A superb time was had by all. Thank you, Oxford Castle!