Sunday, 21 July 2013

Wall of Fame


As part of our topic on Darwin, we have been learning about evolution. To finish off the term, we had a bit of fun learning about how a creature can adapt over time to suit its environment, and how changes to environmental factors can drive adaptation.

The children made small changes to a blob of plasticine to simulate the large-scale evolutionary changes that might occur as the habitat alters. These are the resulting creatures - what diversity!

Ice Balloons

On Wednesday of last week the whole school came together to experiment with Ice Balloons. Mr Pearce, Karren and Tracy had prepared the balloons earlier in the week, filling them with water and placing them in the freezer. By Wednesday they were ready to investigate.

Combining Art and Science, the children prodded and probed the ice, using a variety of different materials, including: nails, drills, hacksaws, thermometers, food colouring, salt, bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and a healthy dose of imagination.

They predicted what would happen to the ball of ice before trying each experiment. They looked closely at the results using magnifying glasses and saw what happened to the ice when placed in a tub of water.

Everyone had a huge amount of fun and kept cool on a very hot day! Apologies for the colourful socks and clothing - they were all wearing aprons, but kids will be kids!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Butterfly Conservation

Now you have no school for the next six weeks, no doubt you'll soon find yourself getting bored. Why not try your hand at the The Big Butterfly Count and keep yourself busy. You can find details by following the link.

Enjoy the sunshine and count those butterflies!

Mrs Exton

Goodbye and Good Luck Year Six

Goodbye to an amazing group of Year Sixes. Best wishes for the future. Have a great summer break and a super start to High School.

Keep in touch!

P.S. I have sent each of the year sixes a link to download a copy of their leavers slideshow video. Check your school email accounts.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Emerald Crown

Wow! Last night was the first time in 13 years that I've been able to sit in the audience to enjoy an Earl Soham end of term production, and what a treat it was! I am so pleased I was invited back to watch. You told the story beautifully- and with such superbly colourful costumes. I was slightly worried at one point that the bats might have sweaty hands in the 'tropical heat' but they hung on valiantly. Obviously all those gym club sessions we did with hanging upside down came in useful at last!
Well done everyone - children and staff alike. It just reminds me (again) how much I miss you all.
Mrs B.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Dr Dan Poulter MP Visits

On Friday 12th July, local MP Dr Dan Poulter visited the school. It was a rather hectic morning with a full dress rehearsal for the upcoming production in full flow. Nevertheless, it was an interesting hour spent discussing all manner of issues regarding education. Please visit Dr Poulter's website for his view of the visit...

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Gymnastics and Dance Routines

Below are the excellent Gymnastics and Dance routines performed at the Suffolk County Finals in Bury St Edmunds and at Suffolk Schools Dance Jam. 

Amazing work!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Writer of the Week

Wall of Fame

Sports Day

Yesterday afternoon, we held our annual sports day. The sun came out for us as parents arrived to join their children for picnics on the school field and at one o'clock the children came together in their colour teams, for the first half of the afternoon: a carousel of field events. They competed at javelin, standing long jump, speed-bounce, netball shooting, hockey shooting, mini-hurdles, and throwing and catching events.

After refreshments at 2:00pm, everyone headed to the rear of the field for our track events: flat races, sack races, egg and spoon and skipping races. While the points were totalled, the children finished the afternoon with a team relay.

Despite fierce competition, the red team took the Mai Castle trophy.

Thanks to Mr Pearce for orgainsing the afternoon and all the adults who supported by running events or coming to watch. It was great to see lots of familiar faces, including Mrs Barker and Mrs Castle, and some ex-pupils with their families.

The slideshow below contains over 450 photos, so make yourself comfortable and enjoy reliving a great afternoon of sport.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Pond Dipping

Following our science work on making keys to classify different animal species last week, we put our skills to the test identifying some less exotic, but perhaps even stranger species in the school pond. The children took turns to dip the nets into the pond and study the weird and wonderful creatures to be found within. They then used keys to work out what their creatures were.

We discovered newtlets, freshwater hoglice, water boatmen, and copious water snails. We were also visited by some beautiful damselflies and some much uglier looking leeches and larvae.

Alton Water

On Monday, Year Six pupils from our school, met up with their friends from Bedfield and Helmingham for a fun-packed day of water sports at Alton Water.

The children were arranged into three groups and after the tricky job of putting on wetsuits, headed off to learn windsurfing, kayaking and sailing. There was a lot of time spent in the water, but the weather was glorious so it was lovely and warm. I was even persuaded to don my wetsuit to join in!

We took lots of photographs, so pour yourself a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy the slideshow.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

School Fete

Today was our annual school fete, and what a day it was! The weather was perfect and pupils past, present and future turned up, eagerly dragging their parents behind them. There were stalls a-plenty run by parents, staff, members of the PTFA and pupils.

It was clear that everyone had spent a lot of time and effort preparing their stalls for the "best dressed stall award" and judging was very difficult. In the end, however, the adults' prize went to the Refreshments stall, which looked like something from the pages of Country Living magazine. The junior prize went to the French portrait artist who had captured the essence of the fete in his poster and taken the 'dressing' part of best-dressed stall personally.

Ever popular was 'Soak the Teacher' with a long queue of people putting their throwing skills to the test with very heavy wet sponges. I wished at times that I hadn't taught them how to throw so well!

Certainly the most popular activity of the afternoon was the water slide, with children queueing half the length of the field to have a go. Thank you to Mrs Barker for returning to man the hose!

A huge thank you must also go to all the members of the PTFA who worked tirelessly to organise, prepare and deliver a fun-packed afternoon. Now comes the job of totting up the takings. Thanks to everyone who put their hands in their pockets and dug deep for our lovely school.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Special Report - County Finals...

Having contested the county TAG Rugby final 6 weeks ago, today was the day for the remaining 4 county finals in U7 and U9 Gymnastics, Swimming and Hi-5 Netball. A large entourage set off from Earl Soham, taking various routes to Bury St. Edmunds where the finals were to be staged. Having gathered our thoughts the first two teams took part in their respective competitions of Swimming and U7 Gymnastics. There was simply superb action in both the pool and the hall with Earl Soham showing their true spirit by competing with much larger primary and middle schools.
The under 7 gymnasts performance to 'Skyfall' was simply great. This, along with their performances on the bench saw them finish a highly creditable 11th place out of 14 finalists. 
Even better was to come in the pool with a brilliant 5th place out of 16. It was a great squad performance but it would be unfair not to single out the tremendous individual achievements of two of our pupils who recorded the quickest times in the morning for the 25m freestyle. Fastest in Suffolk sounds good!

Back in the hall the under 9 gymnasts took to the floor and with a polished routine finished in the top 10, coming 8th out of 16 schools.

It was then on to the netball court. The games were fast and frenetic, lasting only 4mins each way. The squad of 9 was rotated (as per the rules) resulting in children swapping positions to ensure that all children develop an understanding of the different positions. The 12 entrants were split into two groups of six. Earl Soham remained unbeaten in their group (winning 1 and drawing 4) resulting in narrowly missing out on the semi-finals but a fantastic result of finishing 5th overall. What was also incredible was that 5 of these children had been part of the swimming competition earlier in the days and that 6 of them had had a late night yesterday after their exertions at DanceEast!
I'm not sure if the children realise how magnificent their achievements are - there are over 200 primary and middle schools in Suffolk! Reaching these finals is an 'awesome' achievement in itself. Not only did you take part, you really competed, with smiles on your faces and with the right attitude. As headteacher, I can't ask any more of you. Thank you to everyone for their efforts in enabling the children to have such wonderful experiences.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Suffolk Schools Jam!

Earlier this evening, following a morning of technical rehearsals, two groups of children performed at the Suffolk Schools Jam held at DanceEast. One group consisted of current pupils in Years 3 -6, whilst the other group consisted of ex-pupils who are now in Year 7 at Thomas Mills.
Both groups were simply majestic. It is almost impossible to express how good they were and how proud of them we are. Sadly, photography was not allowed so a pictorial record doesn't exist, but vivid memories will linger long in the mind. So good was it that many a tear could be seen in the eyes of parents and grandparents alike
Mrs Jarvis has done yet another incredible job in inspiring these children to such a high standard, whilst never forgetting the importance of enjoyment. Thanks also to Mrs Barker for her continued support.
Finally, thank you to everyone who supported this children in a real team effort, I'm sure that you'll agree that all the hard work was well and truly worth it.
Alice B, Bella, Rebecca, Poppy, Alice K, Emily, Joanne, Joseph, Sophie, Laura, Grace, Molly, Katie, Sadie, Jamie and 'old hands' Jeremy, Natalie, Jasmine, Jack and Ellie you were absolutely brilliant!

A Musical Liaison

Yesterday we were delighted to welcome year ten and twelve students from Thomas Mills High School, along with their music teachers, Miss Scott and Mr Handley, to our school. They treated us to some sensational performances, from Jazz ensembles to Metallica, violin duets to solo singing and even some simply astounding magic tricks.

We finished the afternoon with a joint performance of the song This is Our World, which was delivered with feeling and great gusto.

The afternoon certainly inspired our pupils, with one year six girl telling me this morning that she wants to learn violin and saxophone when she starts High School next year. A big thank you to all the pupils who gave up their time to visit us, and to Miss Scott and Mr Handley for all the hard work behind the scenes preparing and organising the event.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Year 5 Science Morning

Earlier today our Year 5 children attended a morning of scientific exploration and discovery at Debenham High School. The children worked on designing, making and testing a lunar landing module as well as working in an Astrodome during a presentation regarding the Solar System and the wider Universe. Wow!

More Photos from the Zoo

Monday, 1 July 2013

Colchester Zoo

Thanks to our School Council Chairman for some hard work and organisation, today the whole school set off to Colchester Zoo for an educational visit a fun-packed day out!

We divided into groups and enjoyed visiting the animals, as well as posing for photos.

The children behaved beautifully and everyone had a wonderful time. The pictures shown here are a selection of photos from three of the cameras we took. There are several other cameras with photos still to be downloaded, so check back for more pictures soon.