Tuesday 30 November 2010

Stir it up!

This morning in assembly we looked at getting ready for Christmas - Advent.
The children worked together to make a Christmas Pudding, carefully adding ingredients and following instructions - they certainly were 'stirred up'.

At the end of the assembly, the children took part in the 'Collect' (short prayer): 'Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that richly bearing the fruit of good works, they may by you be richly rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord.'

Although the prayer could refer to a pudding, it is in fact about making the most of life - let's hope that is what the children wished for whilst adding the ingredients.


Building Work Commences

Following the arrival yesterday of fencing and a 'well-being' hut for the builders, work started on our new entrance lobby and canopy this morning.

We are expecting about 4 weeks of upheaval, but are sure that it will be well worth it by time of completion. Please bear with us during this time and refer to last week's letter sent home for procedures at the beginning and end of school.

Monday 29 November 2010

Snowy Monday

Children arrived this morning to be met with a good covering of fresh snow. Once the icy approaches to the school had been overcome, the children settled down to a range of science and literacy activities based on the cold white stuff! We also had great fun during break and lunch time.
During this period of inclement weather, please make sure that the children have got suitable clothing and footwear to change into to enable them to make the most of the outdoor conditions.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Severe Weather Information

With warnings of severe weather being imminent, here's a reminder of the procedures at Earl Soham Community Primary School.
We will always aim to keep the school open during bad weather, however, in exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to close the school.
If the school is closed, the quickest way to find out will be right here, on the school blog.
As well as on the blog, the Local Authority will inform all local radio stations of any closure - however, there is often a time delay (as experienced last year) with the school reporting a closure and the information being announced. Please listen out for information on BBC Radio Suffolk who update their information during such occasions every 20minutes.
Whatever the events of the next few days unfold into, please stay safe.

Friday 26 November 2010

Wall of Fame

Writers of the Week

Close Encounters of the Peachy Kind

Following the strange events of Tuesday and Wednesday, yet another disturbing sight greeted Mr Pearce as he approached the hall yesterday morning. Growing from the very drain into which he had poured the bucket of cold water (in which he had doused his itchy, green-spotted head the previous day), was a bizarre pink-tinged plant.

A further surprise awaited on the hall computer - the creature, clearly getting to grips with its ICT skills, had left a message warning the headteacher to be more careful about where he emptied infected water in future!

Department of Health Investigates
During lunchtime on Thursday, Dr Alan Carter, from the Department of Health paid the school a visit to follow up on the bizarre reports of the past few days.

He conducted a thorough site survey and talked at length with the headteacher about similar occurrences in Norfolk and Essex, before leaving to write a detailed report, copies of which can be requested from the school office.

Based on similar experiences in other counties, there report suggested that the creatures were adversely affected by the cold, and that the sharp change in temperature and chance of snow was likely to bring an end to this unusual series of events.

They were proved correct this morning as when the children arrived in school, the peach had gone. All that remained was this note from the creatures who inhabited it.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Formidable Fruit Causes Chaos

The morning of Tuesday 23rd November 2010 seemed like any other morning, but all was not well at Earl Soham Primary School, as headteacher, Mr Pearce, discovered when he made his routine tour of duty.

Mr Pearce arrived at school as normal at 7:15 on Tuesday morning, but when he carried out his usual site safety inspection, he discovered something very strange indeed. In the centre circle of the meadow, lay a peach. An unusual enough find for a November morning, but, even odder, alongside it lay a message, a note which read "Super-size me!" and a pot of magic dust.
The message invited pupils to write a magic spell and sprinkle it with magic dust to make the peach grow. 

When the children arrived the magic truly began, with children chanting magic spells and pouring on the glittery dust, but alas, it seemed, to no avail. A further four peaches were discovered on the field, all smaller than the first, and without the message and note. The 'magic' peach remained obstinately peach-sized and the children shuffled off to registration confused and disappointed. 

However, a surprise awaited them when they returned for assembly just a few minutes later. The magic had worked! The once-small peach now towered above the tallest children, dwarfing even Mr Pearce with its enormity.

In assembly it came to light that Mrs Barker had been given some very bizarre-looking 'seeds' from a stranger at the gate the previous Friday. She had shown them to Mrs Exton, who, despite the red and green colour of the seeds, thought they were a variety of pumpkin and suggested that they be planted in the conservation area. Mr Mansell, who was on playground duty at the time, offered to take a handful of them up and plant them, but was shocked when halfway across the meadow the weird seeds began to wriggle in his hand. In fact, so shocked was he that he dropped the seeds, which quickly wriggled away into the soil, and no amount of digging could retrieve them. 
Mrs Barker, upon hearing Mr Mansell's (rather girly) squeals, quickly threw the remaining seeds into the hedge and thinking no more of it, both left for the weekend, unaware of the potential consequences of their actions.

After assembly, the children were eager to return to their classrooms where excited discussions took place about where the peach had come from, why it wanted to be super-sized, and what may be inside it.

Mr Pearce began complaining of itchy, tingly fingers, so when the children in blue class began investigating one of the smaller peaches that was found, they took no chances and Mr Mansell wore gloves. 
The small peach, upon close inspection appeared to contain a tunnel, which on a larger scale would be big enough to house a sizeable creature. This sparked further discussion about what kind of creature might be living inside and the children produced fact-files about the creatures they imagined to be residing within. 

Worrying Developments
Around breaktime, there were a series of worrying developments. 

Firstly came the discovery of large green footprints leading away from the peach and over the hedge where the remaining 'seeds' had been thrown. Yet, even the nature of the seeds was now put into doubt, as it appeared that these so-called seeds had hatched. Could they possibly be eggs instead of seeds? Only time will tell.

The second discovery was of worm-like creatures wriggling out of the tunnels in the small dissected peach. They were thankfully contained and appeared to stop moving once they had left the peach. It is still unknown what they were. 

Despite his careful handling of the peach, Mr Mansell soon erupted in spots which oozed copious amounts of pus. 

Blue class spent the rest of the morning and much of the afternoon planning and writing a newspaper report about the arrival of the peach. 

A further development at lunchtime saw a second set of footprints, much smaller than the first and with more toes, leaving the peach and exiting through the hall window. 

Midnight Snack

It seems that this second creature was not content to remain outside however, as when Mr Pearce opened up the school this morning a new scene of devastation greeted him. A window had been forced open, and a trail of half-eaten food and some sort of gooey substance coated the route from the hedge, back to the giant peach.

The area was quickly cordoned off and Mr Pearce sought advice from the Department of Health. Thankfully, he received a quick response from Dr Cillit Bang, urging caution, but giving the headteacher discretionary powers to grant pupils access to the restricted zone. 

The children in blue class wrote letters of application asking for permission to investigate the unknown liquid substance covering the hall floor. Permission was granted to all on condition that appropriate protective clothing was worn. 

The children took on the role of forensic scientists, collecting evidence in Petri dishes and sample bags to return to the laboratory for analysis. 

In the intervening period, and in a moment of what can only be described as sheer stupidity, Mr Pearce decided to taste some of the unknown gloop to try and find out what it was. He very quickly became ill and was seen frothing green at the mouth. He also developed large green spots over his head.

Just in time, a fax from the Department of Health advised that the symptoms could be relieved by immersing his head in cold water, a remedy which was quickly applied.

Following lunch, a range of experiments was devised to ascertain the nature of the gloop. One team investigated whether the substance could be dissolved and found that it would dissolve in hot water. A second team worked with an adult to see whether it could be burnt. A third group used microscopes to examine the microscopic structure and a fourth group heated the substance to determine whether it would melt. 

This fourth experiment was deemed the most useful as it gave us valuable information about the nature of the creature. The children concluded that the gloop, which was in a solid, jelly-like form, at room temperature, must have been liquid when it hit the ground, and therefore came from inside the creature, whose body temperature had to be between 32 degrees (the temperature at the which the substance melted) and 94 degrees (the temperature at which it boiled). 

Examining all the evidence the class concluded that the creature's normal diet was the peach flesh, but being trapped outside the hall over night, it had raided the kitchen and tried to consume human food. This had disagreed with its digestive system and had been regurgitated when it finally managed to break back into the hall. 

Whatever Next?

No one is sure what tomorrow will bring, but everyone hopes that the creature will reveal itself and solve some of the remaining puzzles, such as:
  • Why are there two different sets of footprints?
  • Why did the peach grow here?
  • What will become of us all?

Sports Hall Athletics

After school this evening, the valiant efforts of 21 Year 4, 5 & 6 children saw Earl Soham finish in a tremendous 3rd place in the Sports Hall Athletics competition.
As a result of this, Earl Soham have qualified for next week's final where they will face an even tougher challenge! Earl Soham will be the snallest school in the final, lining up against All Saints Laxfield Primary, SRH Debenham Primary, Bungay Middle and Halesworth Middle Schools.
Congratulations also to Mrs Barker for winning the 'Sorest Throat' competition.

Anti-Bullying Week

Having spent a week working on a variety of bullying issues and having covered the theme through whole school assemblies, children in Blue Class were set the challenge of producing a poster with a clear message relating to bullying. The results were extremely pleasing and very powerful, as clearly a good deal of thought had gone into them. Well done to all who spent a great deal of time on producing their posters. The winning entry, and others are shown below.

Friday 19 November 2010

Children in Need

Children arrived today in an array of spotty outfits, with pockets laden with coins for a coin trail around the school, in aid of Children in Need.

Children in blue class spent their maths lesson engaged in a very practical activity - counting and sorting the money! Once we had weeded out the handful of foreign coins and those with George V on, we had a very respectable total in excess of £80.00 to donate to Children in Need.

A big thank you to everyone!

Writers of the Week

Wall of Fame

Tuesday 16 November 2010


This morning in assembly, we looked at the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Adha. This is also known as the 'Festival of Sacrifice' and marks the end of the Hajj. The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Makkah which is the fifth pillar of Islam and therefore a very important part of the Islamic faith.
The Kaaba in Makkah during the Hajj

The festival of Eid-ul-Adha celebrates the occasion when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, as an act of obedience. The devil tried to tempt Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead.
Today, Muslims all over the world sacrifice a sheep (sometimes a goat) as a reminder in Ibrahim's obedience to Allah. The meat is shared out among family, friends and the poor. Muslims also go to a mosque for prayers, dressed in their best clothes. Muslims also give money to charity to help poor people buy new clothes and food so that they can also celebrate.

Saturday 13 November 2010

Ipswich Town v Barnsley

The 26 Earl Soham fans swelled the crowd at Portman Road to over 18, 000 on a rather mild autumn afternoon. Having taken their seats, an impeccable 2 minutes silence was observed by all.
Unfortunately, for those children experiencing their first ever taste of 'live' football, entertainment was rather lacking. Highlights did include the rather yummy hot chocolate and the rather nice mini hob-nobs which were being passed around. Still, there are some of us that are hopeful that we might get to see a win for the home side some time in the near future.

Writers of the Week

Wall of Fame

Thursday 11 November 2010

Earl Soham Remembers

This morning, the whole school gathered on the top playground to participate in an act of remembrance.
The wet and windy weather didn't dampen the spirit of the whole school who had been developing their understanding of what, how and why, we remember during the week.
As the St. Mary's Church bells stopped ringing, an impeccable two minutes silence was observed by all.
Two Year six children summed up the feelings of everyone with the following quotes:
"Peace lives on in spirit" and
Those who go through war should always have peace".

A group of Year 6 children them walked to the war memorial in the village to pay their respects and to lay crosses of remembrance.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Unihoc Tournament

This afternoon, after a series of good displays, Earl Soham secured fourth place in the Small Schools' Unihoc Tournament at Debenham Leisure Centre.

Results in the leagues stage were:

Occold 0 Earl Soham 2, Stoke Ash 1 Earl Soham 0, Worlingworth 0 Earl Soham 1 and Helmingham 2 Earl Soham 2.

This saw Earl Soham progress into the semi-finals as group winners, where they met Wetheringsett. In a well-matched game, Wetheringsett scored a super goal which saw them progress into the final.

Earl Soham then faced Stoke Ash, for 3rd place overall, but unfortunately were on the end of
a 1 -0 defeat. However, the spirit by all involved made it an afternoon where all children from all schools ended up as 'winners'.

Monday 1 November 2010

Bomb Blasts Blue Class!

During this morning's assembly Blue Class received a direct hit in an air raid. So unexpected was the raid that the sirens failed to sound and Mr Mansell was caught by the blast and knocked unconscious.

Much of the outside of the building was damaged.
"A scene of devastation met the children's eyes..."

A scene of devastation met the children's eyes as they returned to the classroom, expecting to start their literacy lesson. Much of the outside of the building was damaged, with bricks strewn across the ground, making entry to the classroom difficult. Inside the room, tables and chairs had been thrown around by the blast. 

Thankfully the teaching assistants quickly took charge of the situation and kept everyone calm. When Mr Mansell finally came round, and the gash on his head was cleaned up, the job of tidying up the mess began. 

"We were very lucky really," remarked Mr Pearce (headteacher). "The damage was all superficial and nobody was seriously injured. The children were very sensible and remained relatively calm in the circumstances."

Mrs Lander, a qualified first-aider, who was amongst the first on the scene, told us, "Mr Mansell bravely soldiered on in the true British spirit, despite receiving a nasty head wound." 

In spite of the damage and mess that the blast caused, everyone involved was determined not to let their spirits flag.

"If Hitler thinks sending his bombers over here will make us surrender he's another thing coming," said Mr Mansell. "He'll have to do better than that!"