Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Gymnastics Success

After school today two of our teams (Year 1&2 and 3&4) took part in the High Suffolk Gymnastics Competition at Thomas Mills High School. With wonderful individual and team performances both teams achieved top 3 finishes with the younger children earning silver and the older ones a thoroughly deserved bronze.
A great deal of practice and hard work was ultimately met with success AND enjoyment. Thank you to everyone (including adults) who were part of a great team effort.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Touch Rugby - SILVER

This morning our team of 5 boys and 5 girls took part in the Touch Rugby Tournament at Hartismere High School. After some rather determined performances our team finished in second place claiming more medals to go with their silver achieved in the TAG Rugby earlier this year.

School Farm & Country Fair

Wow! What a fantastic day out our Year 3 & 4 children have just returned from. Held at Trinity Park, Ipswich the School Farm and Country Fair (organised by the Suffolk Agricultural Association) was a day full of interest, excitement, interaction and education about many aspects of country life.
The children were able to hold and stroke a variety of animals, they watched gun dogs, sheep dogs and a falconry display, saw horses being shod, tasted a range of foods and so much more. Words cannot really do the day justice - hopefully the pictures can...

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Red Class Outdoor Area - Day 2

Yet another glorious day saw the canopy project progress nicely. Most of the structure is now in place with the cedar tiles due to be fitted on Tuesday next week.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Red Class Outdoor Area

Today work started on our new canopy - phase 2 of our improvement project at the front of the school. As you can see from the pictures below it is starting to take shape and should be completed this week. It has proved more complicated than expected with a rather random network of pipes!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Paper Airplanes

Having followed instructions on how to make 5 different designs of paper airplanes yesterday, today was the day of testing! The children had worked in pairs to make their craft and now were required to choose one each to see which would fly the furthest.
Gabriela from Year 2 was in the lead for quite some time but was overtaken by Martha in Year 3. However, the prize for achieving the longest distance was taken by the 'dream team' of two Year 4s superbly piloted by an aspiring Amelia Earhart!
It was an end to a great week to end off an action packed term.

African Adventure Day 5 Update

We had solved all but one last problem: the water we collected for the village was not suitable for drinking. It was going to need to be filtered, but all we had was a bucket, some tin cans, a length of hosepipe and a piece of cloth! This problem nearly had us beaten, but with some clever engineering we managed to rig up a simple filter and began to clean our water. 

Although the results looked better than the water that went in, we still weren't keen on drinking it.

Thankfully, a charity, Samaritans' Purse, had the answer we were looking for: a slow sand water filter. This simple (and cheap) concrete box, with its layers of gravel, coarse and fine sand, was just what was needed to turn our dirty water into something drinkable.

We have completed the mission that we were sent here for. The village is now ready once more to hear the sounds of life.

Our week of hard work has paid off, and by attending this week, we have been able to provide a real family in Africa with a water filter and changed their lives for the better.

Our African Adventure is over, but as we return to our daily lives in Suffolk, we are much more aware of just how fortunate we are. And now we have a new task - to raise money for more water filters to help families all over Africa to have access to something we take for granted: clean water.

This is Mosuwe, for the last time, signing off.

African Adventure Day 5

We survived the night with no lion attacks, and now have our final task ahead of us: transporting water into the village and cleaning it to make it drinkable. 

African Adventure Day 4 Update

Yesterday afternoon we helped to bring livestock back to the village, using traditional Maasai herding techniques.

We enjoy our break times between activities, and have made good friends. Our teamwork extends into our free time too.

The highlight of the week has to have been the camp fire, which was full of fun, hilarity and talent.

This was followed by our night in the African Huts. See you in the morning.

Mosuwe, signing off.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Easter Egg Hunt

This afternoon saw the children take part in the traditional Easter egg hunt. They were required to find matching coloured pairs of a variety of Easter themed pictures which resulted in being rewarded with various types of confectionery! It was lovely to see the younger children paired up with older ones and likewise siblings working together. Thanks to the PTFA for funding the chocolate!

African Adventure Day 4

We woke this morning to another beautiful day, and although we are feeling tired after our busy week, we were ready for more activities. One of the biggest problems we still have to solve is getting access to clean water for the villagers. We learnt about Wecelina Chalk and her family who have dug their own well, but still have a three mile walk to and from their home to fetch water, which is still contaminated. We set out on a walk of our own to see just how difficult a task she has.

Our walk took us along the cliff-top, and wound down to the beach where we undertook a scavenger hunt.

Upon our return (having walked a distance equal to just over a quarter of the total distance Wecelina has to cover daily), we competed to fill our water containers.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

African Adventure Day 3

Today we set out to solve a number of problems facing the village. Firstly, we tried to understand how it would have felt for the villagers when the attack came and they had to escape into the wilderness. One of their immediate needs would have been to find shelter from the hot midday sun, and to keep them warm and dry during the cold nights. We sett about building our own shelters from natural materials we could find around us.

We then headed out onto the plains to hone our archery skills and begin to restock the village's food supplies in preparation for the villagers' return.

After a welcome break for lunch, we experienced the sort of journey that some African children have to face on a daily basis just to get to school. We traversed a 'cliff face' using the hand- and footholds we could find, even having to climb through difficult cracks in the rock and avoid poisonous snakes.

Our afternoon task was to collect firewood ready for our camp fire tomorrow.

Next, we took some quiet time to reflect on our lives. We produced strings of life beads as is the local tradition among many African tribes.

We are off to dinner shortly. We still have lots of work ahead of us tomorrow, but we are optimistic now that we will be able to save the village.

Mosuwe, signing off.

Young Art East Anglia Competition

Congratulations to all of our children who took part in the recent 'Young Art East Anglia' competition aimed at celebrating children's art and raising money for Cancer Research UK. The theme for the artwork was 'myths, legends and fairytales'.
A number of pieces were entered by pupils from our school...
 Nicely done - Will, Martha P, Fynn, Holly, Ben, Matty, Tamsin, Edith, Alice B, Charlie, George, Grace, Tamsin and Sophie L.
And also well done to the four children who had their pieces chosen by the judges to be exhibited - Lucy (highly commended), Roly, Sam and Molly R.

Duxford Follow Up

Today we continued working on our theme of 'flight' with a variety of activities. Some children produced fact sheets based on their favourite aircraft seen at Duxford, flip books with a flight theme, paintings of aircraft and plenty of role play in the outdoor area for the younger children. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

African Adventure Day 2 Update

Our final activity for the evening gave us a taste of what it was like to be blind, as many victims of landmines are. We had to rely on each other to pass on information down the line as we followed a trail, blindfolded.

Here are all the photographs from today.

African Adventure Day 2

After a restful night's sleep, this morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of cereal and toast.

Unfortunately, three of the team's elders (me included) were struck down with Amoebic Dysentery, Cholera and Typhoid after breakfast and it is up to the younger members of the group to help find us the necessary medicines to ensure our survival!

With this in mind, plus the problems identified yesterday, we had our work cut out.  There was news of a doctor in the area, but he had unluckily been caught in a flash flood and his jeep sewpt off the road. All that remained were the keys to the medical supply chest which he had attached to the life-ring on the top of his vehicle. Each group attempted to build a bridge across the lake to reach the keys.

We also set out to clear the minefield and prepare it for the villagers' return.

The team had to cross the raging rivers left by the flood on rope bridges. This required careful planning and good team-work.

After all our hard work, the elders were saved when the medicine chest was found. We then enjoyed a short respite on the beach.

We have more activities ahead of us this evening. I will keep you updated with our progress.

Mosuwe, signing out.

The Extraordinary Egg Drop Challenge

As the first part to our follow up to yesterday's trip to Duxford all of the children took part in a day of designing and making a way of ensuring that an egg dropped from a height of 2metres would remain intact upon landing.
The morning started with the story 'Egg Drop' by Mini Grey. This excellent story featured an egg that wanted to fly but was too young and simply wouldn't listen. The result after leaping from a 583 step tall tower was inevitable and nothing could repair the damage.
The children were set the challenge (working in mixed-age groups) of producing something which would enable the egg to survive...
Some were more successful than others. However, the real success was the excellent teamwork shown by all and the nurturing leadership shown by the older children.