Tuesday 30 April 2013

Touch Rugby - Bronze

Following their success in the recent TAG Rugby tournament, Earl Soham travelled to Eye for the Small Schools' Touch Rugby Tournament. There were a total of seven teams present for this fast-moving and highly competitive event. The spirit shown by all players from all teams was absolutely first class with some fantastic play on show.
Out of their 6 matches, Earl Soham won 4 and lost 2 resulting in a 3rd place finish. Congratulations must go to all players from all schools for their approach towards the event. 
Earl Soham - well done, you never gave up and worked your socks (new) off! You also certainly gave your loyal band of supporters plenty to shout and scream about!!!

Friday 26 April 2013

African Adventure Day 5

Now feeling somewhat weary, but proud of our achievements so far, we had one final challenge ahead of us to make the village safe. We had to find a way of purifying the water supply to give the villagers clean drinkable water.

We used some very simple equipment to build a water filter on the beach, using different sized stones to trap the dirt. By repeatedly running our water through our filter, we were able to make it much cleaner.

However, it wasn't yet drinkable - just like the water for two-thirds of the world's population. However, a rapid water filter installed in the village, which used the same principles as our own, but using layers of sand, was able to do the job much more effectively. The water we started with, which was full of mud, leaves and goodness knows what else, was finally as clear as any we might get from a tap and safe to drink.

Our job in Karyango village was complete. We had succeeded in our task of making the village safe for people to return to. Yet this is not the end of our work. Before we left, we learnt that through our actions this week a real village in South Sudan had been supplied with one of these rapid water filters at a cost of just £40. Such a small amount that will change the lives of a family in Africa. As we left we were set one further challenge for the coming weeks: to raise money to provide more of these water filters and begin to redress the balance, so that one day we will be able to say that everyone has access to that fundamental human right: clean, safe water.

African Adventure Day 4 Continued

Last night we kept our spirits high with some entertainment. Members of the team performed songs, recitals and regaled us with stories and jokes.

We continued our entertainment around the campfire...

Then we headed into the village where we spent the night to ensure it was safe for the villagers to return.

We have just one more problem to solve tomorrow - cleaning the water supply to make it safe to drink.

Thursday 25 April 2013

African Adventure Day 4

This morning we heard the story of Wesselina Chalk, who has to walk 5km every morning to reach the nearest well, only to return with contaminated water. We took a walk along the coastal path to the beach, where we enjoyed a scavenger hunt.

We discovered just how hard it is to carry water when we had a water race.

And after lunch we solved the problem of bringing water into the village by setting up a pipeline.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

African Adventure Day 3

Ah, that wonderful restorative, sleep! With everyone sleeping like babies last night, we felt refreshed and ready for anything this morning. Until, that is, the staff were struck down with Cholera, Belharzia and Amoebic Dyssentery. Thankfully, a UN vehicle was dispatched with medical supplies. However, due to a freak accident, the truck crashed and the medicine boxes were spread across the site. We had a new challenge - to find the missing boxes and get the right medicines to the staff to save them.

This morning we continued with our task of restoring access to the village by clearing the landmines from the side of the compound. This was a dangerous process which left some members of the team injured, but everyone pulled through.

After a break, we learnt about Kwesi Lawson, who lived in Ghana. He developed cataracts, and for 15 years was virtually blind. He lost his wife and children, his livelihood and self-confidence. He had to live on handouts from his friends. Fifteen years later a Mercy ship came to Ghana and his friends persuaded him to make the journey to see the doctors on board. Crossing narrow rope bridges, his friends led him to the ship, where a simple 20 minute procedure was performed to remove the cataracts and restore his sight.

We re-enacted his perilous journey on the low ropes course where we discovered just how hard it would be to cross narrow rope bridges, and teamwork and trust was paramount.

This afternoon we learnt about the life of a Massai sheep herder. Each team elected a shepherd and had to direct their sheep safely into the pen, using a range of vocal commands.

As we get closer to restoring the village, our thoughts turn to providing fuel for the fire, to keep out wild animals and cook the food we have hunted, when the villagers return.

A Grand Day Out - Ipswich Museum, Christchurch Park & Mansion

Earlier today the school went on a day trip to Ipswich. We started in the museum during the morning. There was so much to see and do as you can hopefully see from the photographs...

Then we walked to Christchurch Park for a picnic lunch (summer had finally arrived) and then a period of energetic fun in the adventure playground.

African Adventure Day 2 Continued

What a busy day we had yesterday! With such a wide range of activities, keeping constantly on the move, we were very tired last night. But the evening was also great fun and one of the best tasks we have had yet. We wanted to learn how it would have felt for the villagers who had lost their sight to disease or from land mine explosions, so we donned blind-folds and completed a complex obstacle course.

There were a number of difficulties to overcome, including low tunnels, jungle passes, mountainous terrain and even at one point a dead badger to negotiate. I hope the pictures below give some indication of the obstacles we faced and overcame.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

African Adventure Day 2

After a restful night, listening to the sound of the waves breaking on the shore, we prepared for another day of hard work and adventure. Today, we had some important tasks to complete to help the villagers make a successful and safe return.

We divided into four teams to complete our challenges: archery - to shoot food for the village...

Shelter building - where we learnt how the escaping villagers made a temporary shelter when fleeing from the attacking soldiers...

Following a hearty lunch of jacket potatoes and salad, our group divided into two teams. One team headed back into the woodland to complete a further, more complex, orienteering exercise. This was finished quickly, allowing time for some rest and relaxation. A water fight ensued and was followed by an opportunity for some of the girls to set up a hair salon. I think Mr Ngwenya came off worst!

When the salon closed, we enjoyed a time for reflection and contemplation as we learnt about life beads and the importance of beads in African culture.

We then planned and produced our own life beads: a bracelet with beads to represent key moments in our lives.

Bridge Building - THE TESTING

After two days of designing and construction, this afternoon saw the ultimate challenge for our budding engineers. Would their bridge span the 1metre gap? Would their bridge support the weight of a large toy VW Beetle? Would the car be able to travel smoothly over the bridge? Did it look aesthetically pleasing? And finally, what was its breaking point? 
In front of a packed hall these tests took place with a variety of outcomes!

Earl Soham Bridges
Busy Bridge Builders
Epic Earl Soham Builders
Big Busy Builders
Bella's Jolly Great Builders
Golden Bridge Builders of Great Britain
The outcome was that every group was successful in one way or another. Ultimately, teamwork was vital and was apparent throughout this mini project. 

Bridge Building - The Making

As part of their activities week, children in Years 2 - 5 were given the task of planning and designing a bridge which would span a 1metre gap and provide support for a rather large toy car. The idea was based on the fact that the Orwell Bridge is likely to reach capacity in 2015 meaning that planning needs to be in place to build another crossing. 
Having watched a fantastic programme on how the Milau Bridge in France was made, the children set about their task. However, they could only use sheets of newspaper and PVA glue, had to keep company accounts (due to a limited budget for materials) and research bridge designs from all over the world too . 

Testing pictures and results to follow soon...