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Monday, 11 July 2016 09:32

Travel Week 2016

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Current ETA: 5:45 PM

Travel updates: 

5:30 PM - updated ETA to 5:45 PM

4:05 PM - Following a quick toilet stop at Thetford we are now back on the road.

1:55 PM - We have left Hilltop and are on our way back to The Grove.

Friday: A memorable week with challenging and exciting activities is drawing to an end. We are slowly waking up to the sound of bags being wheeled along the paths as we empty our rooms. Once we have all eaten and finished packing, we will start our last activities for Travel Week 2016. We have The Journey, 3D Maze, Team Tasks, High Ropes, Big Zipper and Rockpools.

We will keep you updated with our ETA as we travel this afternoon. Follow us on twitter for travel updates or visit this page. I would like to take this opportunity to say that the children have all been fantastic this week. The Hilltop staff have been amazing and so have The Grove staff, what a great Travel Week. We look forward to seeing you all soon and sharing our Travel Week stories with you. We will of course continue to upload some more photos for you before we depart.
Scroll down for the Twitter feed and a selection of photos or visit our gallery website to take a look at our large selection of photos from the week.

Thursday Evening:We have all had an action packed day. As a treat for the children we will all be going to the beach after our supper. We will upload the photos from today once we return from the beach.

Thursday: 
The groups are fed and prepared for their last full day at Hilltop. This morning we have another group heading out for their Coastal Erosion session, we have more Super Swing which was a very popular activity yesterday, Tree Top Trail, Big Zipper, High Ropes, Climbing, Power Fan, Vertical Challenge and the list goes on! The middle groups are going to see the Seals this afternoon and if the weather remains good we might have a chance to take all of the children to the beach later on today.

Wednesday: It is another clear and sunny morning at Hilltop. The children are enjoying their breakfast before we meet for our activities. The children in Beech, Holly, Larch and Rowan will be visiting the Dinosaur Park for a day trip. Some of the groups are taking part in Coastal Erosion today, an educational and entertaining activity at the beach. We also have: 3D Maze, The Journey, Super Swing, Crates, Archery, Assault Course, Low Ropes & Low Bridges, Ponds & Woodlands.

Tuesday: We have had a busy start to the day at Hilltop. A range of activities have been taking place, Archery, Crate Stack, The Journey, Bikes, Big Zipper, Ponds and Woodlands to name but a few. We have offloaded the photos from this morning and the cameras are back out for the afternoon activities. We are currently preparing the morning photos for uploading. All of the photos from Tuesday morning, afternoon and evening are online.

Monday: We arrived at Hilltop at 1:05pm just in time for our lunch. After their lunch the children were shown to their accommodation and unpacked their bags. We then got the children into their day groups and the Hilltops staff introduced themselves to us before going through safety procedures and discussing how each day will run. The staff were all very helpful and welcoming.

This afternoon the groups have taken part in a range of introduction activities including Mad Hatters, Swimming and Team Activities. Following their supper, the children in Foundation, Larch and Rowan had a relax and play in the games room. They have now gone to bed to rest before our first full day tomorrow. The older children are returning from their evening activities and will soon be in bed too.

We will be relying on 4G for our photo uploads and our photos from today will be online later this evening. We will be taking the day group photos tomorrow morning. We look forward to a fantastic #TravelWeek

We have left The Grove and have begun our journey to Hilltop Outdoor Centre in Norfolk. Hilltop is a fantastic centre, the staff and children are very excited. We will be stopping for our lunch on the way.


During Travel Week we aim to upload as many photos as possible, a selection of photos will be uploaded here, the rest will be uploaded to our gallery website. If you require a password reset, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. If the data connection is strong enough we will also upload occasional photos to Facebook and Twitter.

 

Friday, 08 July 2016 13:09

Shakespeare Rocks Production

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Well done to the entire cast and all those who helped backstage, what an amazing show. The audience showed their appreciation with a standing ovation, what an experience for the performers, thank you to the audience for your participation and for treating us to your wonderful singing voices towards the end. Here are a few photos from the last night of the show and we will let you know when the Blu-ray and DVD copies are available.

Tuesday, 05 July 2016 14:59

Art Contracts New Building Safety Talk

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This morning Art Contracts visited us with Ivor Goodsite for a presentation about construction site safety. Art Contracts will be on site when we return from Travel Week to begin construction of our new building. Our new building will be providing exciting new facilities for our Art Department, Mr Slater is very excited about the new space and our new gas fired kiln. The building also includes new classrooms, changing facilities for our Sports Department and a new Library and Performance Space. We will also be landscaping the woodchips area adjacent to our new building and the Saucer area.

Peter from Art Contracts ran a questions and answers session for the children at the end of the assembly, he shared some very interesting project facts. Did you know that 1500 tonnes of earth will be excavated which would be enough to fill the school hall almost three times? He also explained what will be happening in the coming weeks, what kind of machines will be visiting The Grove and described a large crane which will be occupying our admin car park for part of the construction. Popular questions included “When will you finish”, the project is due to take 45 weeks completing on Whitsun week. “Do you have lots of breaks?” Peter said not personally he doesn’t take breaks and is the hardest working person at Art Contracts.

We look forward to welcome Art Contracts on site when we return from Travel Week.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016 15:49

Zoolab visit The Grove

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On Tuesday 26th April the school was visited by Zoolab who brought several exciting animal visitors for the pupils to meet.

The focus for Junior Prep pupils was Geography (habitats and the rainforest), their workshop started off with a rather elderly cockroach who was followed by a large millipede who could do a rather spectacular Mexican wave with its many, many legs.

The Bearded Dragon surprised us with his ability to store fat and water in his tail. We loved the grass snake who crawled around on us and constricted our arms. We were really fortunate in seeing a tarantula too! There were plenty of giggles and lots of excitement when holding these animals and we all learnt a lot of interesting facts about them.

Mid-Prep pupils had an interactive hands on workshop about classification and were able to meet several vertebrates and invertebrates. There was Rowena the giant African millipede, Mrs Norris the Chilean rose tarantula, Puff the bearded dragon and many more. The children responded enthusiastically and for many it was their first opportunity to see and touch these magnificent animals. Our pupils' knowledge of Charles Darwin was enriched by having a session on his voyage around the world on HMS Beagle. Despite encountering several amazing animals, there was no doubt that the highlight was the opportunity to meet Khaleesi, the Argentinian black and white Tegu (a monitor lizard). At 10 months old Khaleesi was meeting children for the first time and the pupils were excellently behaved and enthralled by this large (around 3 feet) “baby” who is as intelligent as a dog! High-Senior Pupils had the opportunity to show off their knowledge about adaptations in a lesson that also provided them with the chance to meet and touch many spectacular creatures. Many brave souls even got the chance to hold the likes of Casper the ghost corn snake and a large Madagascan hissing cockroach. This experience pairs up beautifully with the trip to Woburn Safari Park on Thursday 28th April for Yr7/8, where they will study adaptations and conservation.

We must thank Zoolabs and especially Bryony for coming to the school and providing us with such an amazing experience!

Ms Casiraghi

Friday, 18 March 2016 14:56

Maple Class Assembly

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Maple class greeted Pre-Prep and their parents this morning with a very warm welcome, marking the start of their first class assembly. It was a terrific assembly, well done!

We saw some very creative artwork, and enjoyed listening to their assembly songs. Maple class shared with us lots of different animal names and the names of their offspring.

We look forward to seeing your next assembly.

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Wednesday, 16 March 2016 16:32

Lunchtime Concert

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For the second Lunchtime Concert this term we were treated to an excellent lunchtime concert. The children played with great expression and confidence. Our two solo singers, Rayna and Amy sang their folksongs beautifully. These have to be sung unaccompanied which means it’s very difficult to stay in tune both girls did this brilliantly and really conveyed the spirit of each song.

The many pianists played very well. I especially enjoyed the pieces that had a lot of dynamic interest. I can’t mention all of you but Harini Sivavakeesa and Jacob Foster come to mind straight away.

Brass group performed Mr Wakeley’s wonderful creation’ Naughty Boys March’. It made me want to play the trombone and join in with them in the funny glissando section.

Speech and drama excerpts and poems always colour our concerts with tales of adventure, comedy and fun. I love being taken on a journey into different worlds for little while. Well done to all who shared their poems and again I’ll just mention a couple; Rahul Thakra for his Alien Sandwich Snatcher and Emily Garwood, who brought to life all those amazing feelings you get from playing the piano and making it sing, with her poem My Piano.

Our two young violinists Chibugom and Mikayla played well too, carefully keeping their bow holds while changing strings. George Skillings played Spanish Dance on his guitar with a delightful sense of performance. This is not an easy thing to do.

Chamber group treated us to their amazing rendition of Star Wars. This was one of the pieces that they played at the Milton Keynes Music festival gaining a bronze medal. I think they played it even better this time. They always have to stop themselves from shouting,” Yes” at the end.

Although the concert lasted for a full 45 minutes it seemed to fly by.

Thank you everyone for making it such an enjoyable Thursday lunchtime.

Mrs Hodges 

Friday, 11 March 2016 17:15

Walnut Class Assembly

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This morning Walnut treated their parents and Pre-Prep to a wonderful class assembly. This was the children's first class assembly and they did a terrific job.

They shared some lovely artwork and sung clearly during their assembly songs. It was entertaining and insightful to hear what our Foundation pupils would like to grow up to be. We had future Doctors, Accountants, Nurses, one or two Mummies and Daddies, a Witch and even a Gruffalo amongst other ideas.

Well done and we look forward to your next assembly.

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Thursday, 10 March 2016 09:30

Mr Mistry, an Optometrist, Visits The Grove

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As part of the Visitors to School Curriculum, The Grove welcomed Mr Mistry, who is an Optometrist, to give an instructive talk to all the children in our school about the eyesight. Using a comprehensive presentation, Mr Mistry took us on a most fascinating journey of this important human sense.  Initially we found out facts and scientific information on how the eye works and its components, giving us the opportunity to consolidate prior learning from Science lessons. The talk progressed into the  work of an Optometrist and how vital it is to have our eyes checked regularly for any possible changes which may occur over time alongside the need to follow a healthy diet rich in vitamins and omega oils. We had the opportunity to look more closely at some of the aids used during an eye test, such as  images to detect any colour blindness or 3D vision. Our children showed great interest and focus and asked pertinent and detailed questions which enriched their knowledge. We are very grateful for Mr Mistry's time and for also having shared with us background knowledge on his profession.

Ms Casiraghi

The Grove School celebrated World Book Day with great enthusiasm this month as all children, together with the Staff, were dressed in amazing costumes to represent a personally favourite character related to a memorable book: from Fantastic Mr Fox to a Viking warrior, a gentle Little Red Riding Hood, rubbing shoulders with Pippi Longstockings, to a selection of wands and Professor Sprout from a famous magical series. Without any doubt, all characters made a wonderful appearance! 

The Grove invited famous children's author Julia Jarman, a prolific writer who creates books for children of all ages, from the very young to teenage years. Her style is very unique as she has a passion for alliteration and offers magical and intriguing plots. She shared some of her inspiring stories with all year groups and had the audience in complete awe.

The children in Prep experienced an inspiring workshop by Julia based on how a book is made, from the initial idea to the final print. All children gained a great deal from the experience of understanding how to create a story as well as consolidating their existing skills. The experience gave everyone of us  a true inspiration of the importance of reading and the positive impact it has on the writing skills we all use.

Pre-Prep went into the school hall with Julia and were treated to a session of story telling. Julia read to us her fantastic stories including. Class Two at The Zoo and Class Three all at Sea. We loved her rhyming stories with their funny characters! She also told us some of her tricks for story writing and showed us the mind maps that she wrote which helped shape the books that she read to us. We all left the session truly inspired and eager to get writing our own stories, so watch this space.

Maple, Walnut, Beech and Holly had a lovely session with Julia Jarmen. She captivated the children by reading her story ‘The Big Red Bath’ with the use of puppets. She then asked the children to be some of the characters which they were very excited about. Julia then read two more of her stories about Bella and Ben (her grandchildren); The Big Yellow Digger and The Big Blue Train. The children loved hearing her read and wanted more stories read to them throughout the afternoon.

Ms Casiraghi, Mrs Carlin & Mrs Vass

Tuesday, 23 February 2016 15:01

Chinese New Year Visit to School

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In our school Mandarin Chinese is taught, to the delight of our pupils, from Foundation Stage to Junior Prep.

Mrs Skillings, our Mandarin teacher, gave a very informative cultural talk on the traditional celebrations taking place in China based on her own childhood experiences:

'We discussed the Chinese New Year, known as the Spring Festival; the colour Red which represents happiness, fortune and goodwill; we talked about the Year of Monkey and discovered quite a few of our pupils (and teachers!) were “Monkeys”. We shared some beautiful artwork that the children had produced with their teachers and we wished everyone a Happy New Year新年好xīn nián hăo). We ended the presentation with a traditional Chinese Dragon Dance.'

All the year groups who are currently taught mandarin presented a selection if beautifully made artefacts from a huge firework to Chinese lantern and homemade recipes of traditional dumplings to perfect Chinese cutouts of the word 'Spring'. The talk ended with a dragon dance which the whole school took part in with great gusto, at the sound of Chinese drums expertly played by Joseph, Michael, Jeremy and Arnold.

The Chinese New Year Celebrations continued with an authentic Chinese lunchtime menu which culminated with an array of fortune cookies thus generating great excitement as the fortune messages contained inside were read with interest by all recipients. Our children had a very rare opportunity to experience a traditional event of this most fascinating and ancient culture.

Ms Casiraghi



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Location: Nestled in the idyllic Loughton Valley area of Milton Keynes, but a convenient 5 minutes from Milton Keynes Central train station.

 
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