Our Year 1 children have really been embracing the start of the New Year and the start of lockdown. The children were asked to create their own maths resources to assist with their on-line learning. What fantastic and creative ideas they have come up with - bravo Year 1!
Over the course of this term, our Year 5 children have been competing against each other in an internal hockey league. Many congratulations to the 'Walkers' team who won overall and have received the Year 5 Mixed Hockey League Shield Autumn term 2020! There were some cracking matches, enabling the children to display their skills, and the final table was very close.
The EYFS have finally finished filming their Nativity and the video is now being put together. We are all very excited about it and everyone is feeling very festive.
Mrs Steer, Mrs Brown and Mrs Macartney
Over £1,800 was raised for Helen Douglas House through the Virtual Christmas Fayre last weekend. Organised by Rupert House parent, Mrs Hudson, the event featured local traders and businesses across the Henley community, and not forgetting the carol contribution of our Year 6 vocal group whose performances of 'Oh Come all Ye Faithful' and 'Holly Jolly Christmas' was shown on the Saturday.
As part of the Henley Virtual Shopping event, children from around the Rupert House community have been having a marvellous time finding out about all the unusual places you can read a book whilst also fundraising for Helen & Douglas House. Thank you to everyone who took part and those who sponsored them.
The School Council were asked to choose the winners of the category 'Reading in an Unusual Place' and there were some fantastically extraordinary locations.
Very well done to the winners who will be given an age-appropriate book by Mrs Hudson.
The Year 1 children working hard on their end of term Big writing assessment. It was based around the book Dinosaurs in my school. The children’s imaginations have been running wild!
Year 3 built and tested moon landers in Science this week as part of their ‘How to be an Astronaut’ topic. They learned how squashy marshmallows would make good shock absorbers to soften the impact of landing on the moon and then created their own models out of folded paper and card. All of the groups managed to land their astronauts safely in their moon landers, taking Year 3 one step closer to being the first children on the moon!
Throughout the two periods of lockdown this year, our catering provider, Thomas Franks, have helped to make and distribute thousands of meals for carer's who are unable to receive any respite. We are so proud of our catering team who last week cooked 100 meals of sausage and their headline winning mash for a community feeding project to help carer's in rural Somerset.
This week was Anti-Bullying Week. We kicked off with Odd Socks day on Monday where the children (and staff) wore odd socks, encouraging them to express themselves and celebrate their individuality and what makes us all unique! A pound was donated by each child in aid of Anti-Bullying Alliance. Pupils also watched the Anti-Bullying Alliance assembly in their classroom bubbles which was hosted by CBeebies Andy and the Odd Socks and broadcast to schools across the country.
Throughout the week, pupils have taken part in various activities including in role play scenarios and in designing anti-bullying jigsaw puzzles. The jigsaw theme was a key part of the Anti-Bullying Alliance theme this year ‘We’re all a piece in the puzzle, and together, we’re united against bullying’.
All pupils have also been encouraged to play with different people within their school bubbles at playtimes and have been sharing kind words with their peers.
Anti-bullying week is just one of the many important activities we take part in during the school year which puts a focus on kindness - a key and consistent element of the Rupert House ethos and a trait that is instilled in our pupils throughout their journey through the school.
Year 5 have been learning about Electricity this term and we finished off the topic this week by inventing our own switches to use in an electrical circuit and making our own batteries. We didn’t quite get enough power to light up a bulb but we had lots of fun building them! Well done Year 5.
Year 2 have been 'visiting' Japan in their studies of artists this week. They have been making and painting pumpkins in the style of Yayoi Kusama; learning about Japanese culture; making an origami monster; and have even written Haiku poems. Here are a selection for you to enjoy:
Autumn is here now
Different colours coming
Hedgehogs are hiding
The trees are swaying
The leaves shimmer in the sun
I lie in the sun
Ruby red leaves
Beautiful, blowing leaves swaying
The sun shines on me
Leaves are falling down
Beautiful shimmering leaves
Wet and soggy leaves
The Autumn leaves fall
Sunbeams shining through the trees.
Reception S have been talking about autumn this week. The children followed a step by step video showing how to draw leaves, which really helped them to develop their listening and instruction following skills! We made some lovely autumn baskets in ICT where we had to use a computer mouse, rather than our fingers, to change the colours and colour the vegetables. Really well done Reception!
The Nursery children were so excited this week to have their first ever Forest School session. They loved exploring, going on a Bear Hunt and hoped very much that a real Bear might emerge at any moment!
On Wednesday, we took our U10 teams to play Netball against Lambrook in the new High 5 format. The children were so excited to be playing a match and loved the opportunity. It was a super afternoon and both schools were extremely respectful of the England Netball Covid-19 guidelines. Well done to all the players for being so sensible and it was a joy to watch them practice their skills in a competitive fixture once again.
Players of the Match: Clarissa (A team), Freya (B team), India-Jane (C team), Millie (D team).
Nursery have been dancing this week with the Elephant movement from the Carnival of the Animals, to go with Grey week! They have also used body percussion to create sounds they could hear from the rainforest.
Reception have been singing their hearts out about oats and beans as they are getting ready for the upcoming Harvest Festival.
Y1 have focused on Dinosaurs these few weeks and we were creating our own song with different dinosaurs jumping, skipping, hoping and running up and down, we look forward to showing our dinosaurs in our assembly next week!
Y2 have recently started to learn how to play the recorders. They have been learning the notes, B-A-G, and have successfully played Hot Cross Buns and Mary Had a Little Lamb in our Music Lessons.
The Nursery children have settled remarkably well into their new 'normal' of school life over the past couple of weeks. As have the parents, grandparents and carers, who have let their charges go at the Courtney’s gate to the ‘choo choo’ of the Nursery train as we work our way to our beautifully set up room of learning through play.
When we arrive, the children all busy themselves in the small worlds of dinosaurs, fairies and farms; or make sandwiches, ice creams and smoothies in the café; or build the tallest tower or the longest line of cars on the construction carpet.
And, how I wish you could see their art, sounds and number work up on the wall and know that they are making friends and learning their way around the routine of the Nursery room and the school at large. But, as this is not possible in the current climate, I wanted to share these photos which I hope will illustrate how happily engaged your children are.
Amongst them you will find images of the first day of Nursery at the Smoothie café, Launching Pink week, Castle and Fairies, Launching Blue Week, Synthetic Phonics with Tapping sticks, Animal Yoga, Maths longest and tallest towers, Builders site and Smoothie shop open for business, Dinosaur small worlds and the ever popular Handwashing!!!
As ever, feel free to write me a note in the home/school book or email me if there is anything you need or want to discuss.
To continue our weekly theme of celebrating diversity, our Friday assembly focused on Black History Month. A time is set aside each year to celebrate the achievements of black men and women in the past and today. We talked about various black people from the political, medical and sporting worlds.
Children throughout the school have been attending the virtual Henley Literary Festival over the course of the week.
Our Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes did a drawing session with Marion Duchars on Tuesday which focused on Bob the Artist and gave the children the opportunity to draw their own cartoons. They are definitely all budding artists!
The Reception children heard one of Judith Kerr's well known stories 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea', read by Russell and Laura Brand, which inspired the children to invent their own version 'The Lion Who Came to Breakfast'. The children also enjoyed Katinka's Tail read by Louse Roe and Mackenzie Huskin and then Leah and Ricky Boleto with their baby retelling Mog The Forgetful Cat.
In Years 2 and 3, the children had a session with Leila Rasheed; whilst Year 4 'attended' the Cressida Cowell; and Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohammed events. Year 5 and 6 were treated to a session with Chris Riddell, amongst others.
Year 4 have been learning about Sound and this week they have designed and made their own set of ear defenders to block out loud noises. There were some very inventive designs and, when we tested them, they actually worked too! Great inventing, Year 4!
In Year 2 the children are learning the days of the week in French. Not only they have been fantastic at singing the days of the week but also they have all made beautiful caterpillars! Well done year 2!
We want to welcome former pupil, Alexandra Dunn, and her fellow Reading university student, Lucy Potts, both of whom are currently undertaking their PGCE. Miss Dunn and Miss Potts are primarily assisting the Year 1 and Year 2 classes but will also have contact with other year groups when doing games and playground duty. They will be at Rupert House until the end of this term and we feel very fortunate to have them.
Year 1 enjoyed pretending to be paleontologists in this week’s topic lesson. We discussed all the equipment paleontologists would use on digs to discover fossils and dinosaur bones. Then we pretended we were on a fossil dig and used a tooth pick to dig chocolate chips out of cookies!
Miss Ives and Mrs Harris
At 9am, Rupert House tuned into the Big Anti-Bullying Assembly, pledging, along with schools all over the UK, to put an end to bullying, celebrate diversity and continue to strengthen kindness within our community.
Supported by a plethora of celebrities, who shared their own experiences of being bullied at school, the children were all encouraged to think about five people they might go to if they experience bullying themselves or see one of their friends being bullied.
This week, Year 1 have been learning about volcanoes which culminated in making a real erupting volcano in Forest School on Thursday afternoon. There were lots of 'ooh's and aah's' as the volcano erupted!
We have had a busy, fun filled week this week in Reception. The children have started their phonics lessons and have started to take home reading packs. These come home on a Wednesday and a Friday and need to be returned to school the following day (Thursday and Monday). They have also been very busy learning counting, sorting and number recognition!
We have had lessons with other teachers - Ms Nicholson and Mr Brown for PE and games, Madame Sheriff for French and Miss Lau for Music and ICT. The children love these lessons, and all the teachers were very impressed with them.
We have been making the most of the dry weather and joining in with whole school assemblies outside on the lawn, socially distanced in our bubbles. The children sit beautifully and listen with the rest of the school.
We have been talking about ourselves and our families in our topic, ‘All About Me’ and the classrooms are full of lovely self portraits and paintings.
Lunches are going well, and the children are trying new things they are unsure of. They are remembering their manners as well as using their knives and forks.
Keep up the good work, Reception!
Mrs Brown and Mrs Steer
The children are finishing off a marvellous piece of collaborative work, inspired by the French artist, Henri Rousseau. It is big enough to take up a whole display board!
Year 3 have started to learn about how Pneumatics work. They have been experimenting with the power of air and the next step is to design and make a 'Pneumatic Moving Monster'.
Year 2 have used water colours to paint Lowry like figures this week; and they have made street scenes in collage and pencil drawing. They have loved this artist and have been intrigued by his life and how he came to be an artist. They have even written letters to Lowry asking about his work.
Our Reception children have been settling into being at school and learning routines. We have counted dinosaurs and sung phonics songs. We have tried yoga and rugby, played instruments, sung songs and painted pictures of ourselves. We even learnt what a mouse is. We’ve had a very busy week – and now we are exhausted!
Last weekend, Holly (Year 6) and Daisy (Year 4) White; and Elin (Year 6) and Alise (Year 2) Barr hosted a sale in aid of Cancer Research. The event has been in the planning stages for months and, having been delayed several times, due to the restrictions surrounding Covid, was finally able to safely take place last Sunday outside Holly and Daisy's house in Marlow. The children sold cakes (which they had baked themselves), books, toys and clothes from 10.30am until 4pm and successfully raised over £570 for this worthwhile cause. Way to go!
This year many events have had to be adapted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and our traditional RHS Sports Day is no exception. So we decided we would hold separate Sports Activity Days for each year group, from Nursery to Year 6, whilst keeping the classes in their separate bubbles.
The format involved some traditional running and novelty races on our lawn and a selection of challenge activities on the Astro-turf. Nursery and Reception children enjoyed their Rugby race, Howler and Quoit throwing, and Target rolling. Year 1 and Year 2 had a Football dribbling race, a Taekwondo challenge, and Howler and Javelin throwing. Year 3 to Year 6 took part in a Sack race, Javelin throwing, Netball passing and shooting, and Hockey shooting. But the most popular event in every year group was the Egg and Spoon!
Points were collated from every year group and the Sports Day House Cup was presented by Mrs Lynas in assembly. Congratulations to the winning house, Everest!
Year 6 did a fantastic performance of Disney's Beauty and the Beast this week. This was particularly impressive given the social distancing restrictions and the limited time in which they had to learn their roles. It was filmed and is currently being edited ready to be sent to parents to watch in the comfort of their own homes.
Bravo Year 6 and Miss Lau!
Year 6 entered this annual competition with our food project, split into 4 strands: Food Wastage, Meat Free Monday, Local & Seasonal Eating and Grow Your Own. We collated all our hard work, much of which we completed remotely, into a blog which the judges said would inspire future entries. https://fwells3.wixsite.com/website
We attended a virtual prize giving held by Greener Henley along with the Mayor of Henley, Councillor Mr Ken Arlett and we were very pleased to be awarded joint first prize along with St Mary's School.
Mrs Wells said "I'm so proud of all the Year 6 pupils who pulled together and were engaged and enthused by this project, even raising money for NOMAD through the sale of their beautifully designed Seasonal Calendar. (which are still for sale from the Front Office)."
Even during these unusual times, Year 6 were able to complete their First Aid course as part of this term's Science curriculum. Suzanne from First Aid Matters joined us via the wonder of Zoom and enthusiastically delivered lots of super advice and skills for the pupils to use if they faced an emergency. Instead of bandaging one another, they bandaged the limbs of a favourite teddy. Even though I also had to join the bubble via Zoom, from the other side of school, I saw their smiles and enthusiasm following the session. Thank you Suzanne.
This week, the children in Year 4 have been creating their own Anglo-Saxon runes (as well as bags to keep the runes in). Runes were the alphabet the Anglo-Saxons used and were a way of writing messages. However, the Anglo-Saxons also believed runes had a religious meaning and, if used in the right way, could have magical powers! Quite often they were used as a charm or a spell and also as part of religious ceremonies.
In Art this week, the Prep children have been busy taking photographs of their toys. They tried to tell a story with a picture and gave their photographs depth to make their figures look life-sized. Here are a selection: Sydney's menacing shadow, Aphina's 'Lion King' scene, Luca's terrifying dinosaur and Sophia L's swimming duck.
Many of you may know of former Rupert House parent, Kristie Shemilt who, six weeks ago, set up HOT Scrubs - a community initiative relying on the work of volunteers to assist in making scrubs and PPE gowns for The Royal Berkshire hospital. It is quite an undertaking, requiring a large number of committed volunteers to work four hour shifts. We wanted to give a big shout out to all the volunteers from our Rupert House community who have been helping Kristie - amongst them, our very own Mrs Burns; School Governor, Alison Ashby; and Chair of FoRH, Katrina Judge. They and many others have been working incredibly hard to produce the high numbers of protective clothing required for front line NHS staff. Next week on Thursday, when we join together to clap for the NHS, let's also spare a clap for Mrs Burns, Mrs Ashby and all at the HOT Scrubs initiative. Bravo!
On Friday 8th May, families from the Rupert House community, came together with the rest of the nation to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War and to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.
Many of our pupils made bunting to decorate their homes, many more hosted 40s themed tea parties. One of our talented pupils spent her day playing music from the era to residents at a care home (maintaining a safe distance!).
Year 4 have been doing poetry this week about rhyming couplets (see the poem by Luca under the Sports section) and here is another brilliant example from Orla.
Year 3 have been simply amazing since remote school started. As it was Sasha's birthday on Wednesday, they celebrated by wearing funny head gear in their spelling lesson. It certainly made us all smile and we hope it brightened Sasha's day.
Each week during the Summer term, our Year 2 children will be looking at a different author or illustrator.
This week, the children have been looking at the work of Quentin Blake and the style of his illustrations.
The children in Reception joined with the rest of the nation this week to wish Captain Tom a very happy 100th birthday. They used balloons and drawings of balloons to show their appreciation of the inspirational veteran.
Over the past few weeks we have received some lovely communication from RHS families. We’ve had photos of children doing their home learning, been sent examples of beautiful, brightly coloured rainbows and even videos of cooking tutorials and NHS inspired songs and dance routines. If your child has produced anything at all that they, or you, are particularly proud of and would like to share with the school community, please do send it in to email@example.com.
Cross Country Report
Last Saturday, many children attended the Oxfordshire Cross Country Championships at Chiltern Edge. We had a good turn out from most year groups and the children competed with great determination and resilience. In Year 1, Oliver Buff and Jemima Watson both won their race, and Alice Vernon came 3rd, and in Year 2 Louis de Kerizouet finished in 4th place.
Our Year 3 runners did brilliantly to finish 2nd overall, and Year 4 finished in 3rd place overall. In Year 5, Allegra Wilson finished in 2nd place, and our Year 6 runners, Sophia Mason, Malika Stubbs and Isabella Miles-Kingston finished in 3rd place overall. This was their last race representing Rupert House, so a big thank you to them for all their commitment over the years.
With the results totaled up, Rupert House finished in 3rd place overall in the school standings. A great achievement and well done to everyone who came.
On Wednesday, our U11 teams and an U10 team played Lambrook.
The A team, captained by Annabel Buff, had a very challenging match. Both teams marked very strongly and finding space was difficult. Their extremely strong attack proved too good for our defence and they won 18 – 5.
The B team, led by Isobel Knight, also had a tough match. They worked very hard throughout the match but the opposition were clinical when shooting resulting in a 15 – 2 loss.
Players of the Match: Annabel Buff (Attack) and Chloe Pendlebury (Defence) (A team), Emma Hillman (B team).
The U10 B team, captained by Isabella Lumlock, played inside which was welcome but tricky due to the smaller court size. We played a spirited game but unfortunately couldn’t create enough chances to score and lost 11 – 2.
Players of the Match: Eva Hughes (Defence), Isabella Lumlock (Attack).
On Wednesday, our Year 4 pupils undertook an 'Oceans' art workshop as part of the Henley Youth Festival. The issue of sustainability is in the forefront of our minds as a school, so it was an added bonus that the workshop had recycling at its heart and the children were both excited and engaged by this year’s theme. We are so lucky to have the Henley Youth Festival on our doorstep. The diverse events are always enriching for our children, and we greatly appreciate the fact that the Henley Art Society are able to fund some of these activities.
Reception children have been busy planting edible flower seeds ready for an important upcoming Sunday. They used soil, seeds and collected rain water. Now they are excitedly awaiting germination.
There has been such excitement in our pre-prep this week - following the arrival of the 'living eggs' on Monday, we are delighted to announce that all the eggs hatched and all the school have been enjoying seeing the young chicks.
On Thursday, we celebrated World Book Day, both within School with a variety of activities and with the listeners of Heart FM!
During the Heart FM breakfast show, four Rupert House children spoke to Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon, providing them with clues to their chosen World Book Day identities. The children spoke really confidently and we were incredibly proud of them.
Our Whole School Assembly was a joyful affair. All the children showcased the myriad of brilliant costumes they had chosen and we are incredibly grateful for all the thought and effort which went into creating them. Staff then spoke about their favourite books, actively encouraging the children to give new genres of literature ‘a go’ and this was nicely complemented by the Book Swap, kindly arranged by the FoRH - very many thanks to Mrs Judge, Mrs Collin and the rest of their team for arranging.
Throughout the day, there were a number of literary activities including story telling in our Early Years classes which included reading a French story. Our Prep children enjoyed putting speech into a comic; writing news and school reports; and creating menus in a ‘Book Tasting Dinner’ exercise. During their French classes, they were encouraged to to talk about what they like to read and what their favourite book is.
Year 1 have enjoyed learning about capacity this week. They used a special green potion to investigate how much different containers held. They counted carefully and were ecstatic when they noticed a ‘bubble’ skin on the top of their filled containers!
On Tuesday 25th February, Year 6 took a trip to Henley Town Hall, as part of their 'Citizenship' provision, to meet Henley’s current Town Mayor, Ken Arlett. The children were very impressed with the vast rooms within the Town Hall and were shown the Mayor’s ceremonial gown and the ‘Chain of Life’, both of which are worn on official occasions.
The children were then given the opportunity to participate in a mock council meeting in the Council’s Chamber, where Isabella Miles-Kingston was given the role of Deputy Mayor and Monty Fordham the role of Clerk and all the children were invited to ask questions. Mrs Lynas took advantage of the moment to ask about designated parking for our minibuses.
The children thoroughly enjoyed the trip and came back to school having learned a lot about the Mayor, what his job entails and our home town.
Year 1 had a fantastic day at the Winchester Science Centre. Highlights of the day were trying on a life-size astronaut suit, visiting space from a comfy reclining chair and watching a space movie on the planetarium ceiling! The children were ecstatic to use real purple rocket fuel and to shoot their rockets across the ceiling.
Last year, our former Year 6 pupil's came runner's up in the Henley Schools Environmental Science Competition, winning the School a Bramley apple tree and a peach tree. These were delivered into school today by Patrick and Andrew from Greener Henley, and both Mrs Wells and our Year 5 pupils had great fun planting them in the school grounds. The first step towards self-sufficiency.
This afternoon, our Year 3 pupils took a trip to the River and Rowing Museum. They enjoyed doing experiments to get a better understanding of rivers before an informative walk along the riverbank in the brisk February air. We braved Horse Bridge and we were impressed with the power of the water at the weir. A wander through the galleries and the Wind in the Willows Exhibition completed a super day.
This afternoon, three of our Year 6 pupils attended a debating competition organised by The Oratory. Although they were pipped at the post in their section of four schools, they spoke very professionally and with much humour, verve and passion. The motion they were given was: ‘This House Believes Books are More Important than Television,’ a subject which they supported and which they, of course, won before an audience full of English teachers! No one knew any of the various topics until an hour before the debate started! In the morning events, Sophia Mason won her ‘Balloon Debate’ (where you are a character in a sinking balloon and you have to persuade the others not to throw you out) against eleven other prep schools. She chose to be Ariana Grande, and cleverly cinched the winning argument by pointing out she weighed the least so there was little point in evicting her! Molly Crichton bravely did ‘Just A Minute’ twice and Annabel Buff teamed up with a pupil from another school in the ‘mini-debates’ section. I was so proud of them all, as were the parents who were in the audience. They were a great credit to Rupert House and several people commented on how wonderful they were.
Independent school inspectors have found the quality of a Rupert House School education to be ‘Excellent’ – the highest grade on offer - in a report released following an ISI inspection of the school on 14-16th January 2020.
This was just one of the glowing tributes in the report that judged Rupert House School, an independent prep school for children aged 3-11 in Bell Street, Henley on Thames, to be ‘Excellent’ in both headline categories: the pupils’ achievements and their personal development.
Inspectors observed the pupils’ excellent personal development with regards to general behaviour, self-confidence, self-awareness and social skills, as well as noting that the children exhibit ‘extremely proficient communication skills’. They attributed this strength of self-confidence and resilience to the teachers’ encouragement and ‘have a go’ attitude.
Staff were also commended for their ‘highly enthusiastic’ and ‘highly effective’ teaching, offering a high level of challenge and support.
The school was praised for its attitude towards learning and achievement. Pupils’ achievement is deemed to be ‘Excellent’ overall with their reading, writing, comprehension, mathematics, knowledge and understanding all being advanced for their age. Non-academic achievements were adjudged to be ‘outstanding’.
The report highlights the strong emphasis placed on the Arts and Sport by leadership and governance. It also states that ‘Rupert House fully meets its aim to deliver excellent opportunities for every pupil’ and underlines the fact that ‘pupils are highly successful in obtaining places at the destination schools of their choice’.
Mrs Lynas, Head, is extremely pleased with the findings. She said: ‘This report has recognised both the commitment and the caring approach of our excellent staff team and the personal development and rounded achievements of our pupils. The inspectors were quick to perceive what a magical place this is. I couldn’t be more delighted with the outcome.’
Our Kindness Week was a HUGE success: the children managed to achieve over 1,000 acts of kindness in just over 4 days, which was astonishing. Many thanks, indeed, to Leonie Brown for instigating this and to all the staff who encouraged the children and helped display all the multi-coloured hearts around the school so beautifully. There is nothing more important than learning to be kind, so the initiative will certainly continue.
Heart FM Breakfast show, with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden, came to visit us, LIVE, in assembly on 31st January, as our 1,000 Acts of Kindness matched so well with their 1,000 Feel-Good deeds! We also had a rather exotic producer with us for an hour or two, which livened up the morning, and the local press came along to catch the fun. All rather nerve-wracking for Mrs Lynas, but it went very well in the end and the children were great.
You can listen to the show on demand and Rupert House is featured approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes into the Breakfast Show.
Congratulations to our fantastic team of U11 and U10 runners who competed in the Oxfordshire Schools Finals, the day after we broke up last term. The event was held at the stunning Radley College. The race had 17 schools represented by over 100 runners, who had all qualified by finishing in the top 3 in their regional event. The race began on a running track and it was the fastest start to a race that I have seen in a while. However, our runners all completed the challenging course, and when the results were announced we finished in 2nd place, just 3 points behind Woodcote. A fantastic achievement! Ms Nicholson, Head of Sport
Many thanks to our catering team who excelled themselves today, creating sumptuous food with a spooky Halloween theme.
Nursery children have started a little project all about recycling plastic. We are trying to understand that not all plastic can be recycled and it can be harmful to our environment. The children in Nursery are bringing in their clean plastic from home to squash into 2 litre water bottles to make Eco Bricks. Eco Bricks are strong as the plastic has been compacted in the bottle so tightly it becomes solid. They can be used to make walls in some poorer countries. Our aim is to make a small seat or stool for our play area by the summer. So far we have completed 1 brick and we have 3 more on the go as we have so much plastic to fill them with! Thank you to all the families who are helping us to fill them up. Nursery are amazed at how much plastic is going in the bins.
On Tuesday afternoon Millie Newman, Zoe Brindle, Ella Knight and Lilian Graham took part in the Eagle House Year 6 Maths Challenge. This is always a very popular event and this year 40 schools took part, represented by 81 pairs of mathematicians in total. Several different rounds were completed, with everyone working at speed to try and gain as many points as possible. The afternoon ended with the exciting build up to the results, where it was announced that a pair from Rupert House, Millie and Zoe, had come first! Huge congratulations to them on a fantastic achievement.
Although Rupert House received a peppering of snow this week, Year 4 solved the problem of being chilly by paying a visit to the Living Rainforest near Newbury. The aim of the trip was to help support their studies on ‘Rainforests’ which they had started this term. The children had a wonderful day, perusing the different plants and creatures that you might find in a rainforest and even learned about adaptation in a specialist workshop. The trip was well worth the journey and they were interested to hear that the centre aims to breed endangered creatures before releasing them into the wild.
Today (Friday, 18th January) Mr Nick Woolley, Deputy Ambassador to the Congo Republic (and godfather to Alice Vernon!) visited Rupert House School Reception classes as part of our topic ‘Around the World’.
Mr Woolley spoke about the role of the Foreign Office and an Ambassador helping to keep people safe and healthy. He told us about the animals that live there, and we all enjoyed playing a game of Nzango.
On Thursday 17th January, Year 1 took part in the RSPB’s Big Bird Watch. Children recorded lots of Red Kites, Wood Pigeons, Magpies, Crows and Black Headed gulls in addition to a small number of Robins, Collared Doves, Blue Tits and Chaffinches.
Year 4 welcomed Rabbi Zvi Solomons to school today to consolidate their learning on Judaism. The Rabbi is a regular visitor to Rupert House and asked the girls some insightful questions about religion and spirituality in general. He was incredibly impressed by the girls’ mature and thoughtful questions about Jewish practices and customs. Year 4 enjoyed wearing and learning about the significance of some of the garments Jewish followers wear, as part of their faith.
This afternoon we enjoyed a wonderful Tea Concert by pupils in the Prep School. There was a tremendous feeling of mutual support and enthusiasm amongst the Prep pupils and they all performed their songs or pieces with huge poise and flair. It takes great confidence to sing a solo to a room full of people and we were thrilled at the number of pupils willing and eager to undertake that. Our kitchen provided lovely cups of tea and mince pies at the beginning and, in all, it was a super event. Many thanks to Mrs Rincon and, particularly, Mrs Field, for taking it all on in the absence of Mrs Breen and producing such an impressive afternoon’s entertainment.
On Friday morning, we honoured the annual ‘Children in Need’ day, with lots of excited dressing-up and face paint, designed to raise money. Miss Jones and the School Council had worked extremely hard and there was lots of home-made ‘Pudsey’ bunting decorating the Hall. The School Council explained why we were raising money. Each class had covered a large Pudsey with coins and we had a fun fashion show for each group in turn. We raised the fantastic sum of £833! Many thanks to Miss Jones for her tireless leadership of the School Council.
Year 4 entertained the whole school and their parents on Thursday 15th November, when they performed their assembly on ‘Settlements’. Following on from some thorough and informative work undertaken in their Geography and History lessons, and at home, the children not only performed how and why the Anglo-Saxons invaded and settled in Britain, but they also presented work on their own ‘Settlements’. This was the result of a research project set for half-term where the children had to show their independence and creative skills and find out the origins of where they lived. The quality and variety of the projects that greeted Mrs Earp on the return to school, was outstanding!
Mrs Earp was very proud of them all for working independently on their projects and collaboratively on their assembly where they supported each other in saying their lines mostly off script!
On Tuesday 13th November, we were excited to welcome Team GB and Reading Hockey player, Jo Ellis, to officially open the school’s new all-weather astroturf pitch. Our Chair of Governors, Charles Lowe, accompanied by other governors, parents and children from local primary schools were invited along for the occasion. Jo Ellis spoke to the children before cutting the ribbon across the entrance to the pitch.
Jo has represented GB & England 87 times. She played in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 as part of Team GB, she was European Bronze medalist in 2009 with England, part of the GB Hockey Centralised Programme from 2009-2011 at Bisham Abbey and she then captained the World Cup Masters Gold medalist team in 2018.
Twenty eight Year 4 pupils from both Nettlebed and Valley Road Schools then joined our Year 4 girls for a hockey masterclass held by Jo Ellis, accompanied by our own Olympic hockey internation, Ms Nicholson. The children had a great time practising their dribbling, tackling, shooting and defending skills. They then had the chance to watch Jo in action as she demonstrated the different methods of shooting at the goal followed by a Q&A session and a delicious match tea.
Year 2 tested their creativity and resourcefulness this week by making authentic Victorian toys. They gathered materials from home and have followed well thought out plans to put them together. We’ve had doll houses, spinners, tea sets, a rocking horse and much more!
They also went on an adventure into the past, at Milestones Museum, where they went shopping in a Victorian shops, explored a Victorian train station and tried not to get the cane in school! The children really enjoyed seeing the real steam engines and machinery and imagining life as a Victorian!
We enjoyed a lovely Halloween-themed lunch on Wednesday 31st October, with super decorations, masks and little toys supplied by the kitchen. Our toad in the hole worked well as ‘witches fingers’ and we finished lunch with delicious ‘pumpkin’ cupcakes. Many thanks to Thomas Franks and our kitchen staff.
Also for Halloween, the children in Nursery had fun hollowing out and carving a class pumpkin. They felt the flesh and the seeds from inside and all drew on it for Mrs Steer to carve! We turned all the lights out in our room and drew the blinds, to see it glow with LED lights. Some children designed their own cauldrons too.
We were very excited to have three of our Year 5 pupils in the finals of the 8 -12 year age group of ‘The Dragonfly Short Story Writing Competition.’ This competition was run by The Dragonfly Tea Company, in conjunction with the Henley Children’s Literary Festival, and was open to all children between the ages of 8 and 11.
The children were asked to write short stories of 500 words (or less) about ‘The Wild Garden’.
Making the final was wonderful, and our three girls, along with their families (and Mrs D and her husband), were invited to a special Prize Giving Event at Henley Town Hall. It was beautifully done, with little published books of all the finalists’ stories left on the chairs, an impressive stage set up for the presentations and, of course, tea being served.
Isabella and Imogen won runners up certificates, which was great, and … to our great delight, Georgie won!
Her story was read out to the audience, along with Floella Benjamin’s very flattering comments about her story. Georgie was given £50 for herself and £100 for Rupert House.
In the first week of the holidays 28 RHS pupils took part in the ‘Complete Musician’ Summer School. There were children from Year 1 to Year 6 and they spent the 3 days doing a vast array of different musical activities; singing, drumming, ensemble performance, ‘boom whacker’ playing and instrument making to name but a few! All of the girls were a credit to the school and we were particularly lucky to be joined by Mr Marshall and Mrs Jones for the 3 days. The course will be running again this year, so please watch this space for more details. Thank you to all the parents of the children for their support and encouragement with this course.
The week after this course, my family and I were lucky enough to be invited by Mrs Jones and Mr Marshall to watch the Last Night of the Welsh Proms in Cardiff where Mrs Jones was the headline performer. As well as some stunning performances from Mrs Jones and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the concert was also the first performance of Mr Marshall’s newest orchestral work which was incredible! As I was watching the concert, it made me realise how lucky we are to have such fantastic world-renowned musicians teaching our children at Rupert House! (Mr and Mrs Jones flew out to America the next day for a two week harp course!!)
The talent of the Lower School never ceases to amaze and they excelled themselves with a fantastic production on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Despite the climbing temperatures in the hall the children were just super and remembered their lines and songs. The play was written by Anne Wheeler and Susie Newman as we wanted to engage the children with the need to look after our planet and they certainly succeeded in that, as anyone who witnessed the final song ‘Earth We’re In It Together’ will testify. Jennie Breen wrote some of the music. Thank you to everyone for all their hard work - you were just amazing.
At the end of a very busy week at Rupert House the children showed their PSB skills off beautifully in Rupert House’s Got Talent. Collaboration, independent working and presentation skills were seen in abundance. On the lawn, in the sunshine, there was singing, dancing, musicians playing, acting, gymnastics and comedy, an enthusiastic and attentive audience and a happy, encouraging panel of judges.
A huge congratulations to all the entries and to the student council for coming up with the idea, creating posters and sign-up sheets, helping to organise and judging in such a positive way.
Choosing the winning acts was the final, incredibly difficult act for our student council this term. The winners were...
- Libbie White, Mia Rosai, Jemima Brewer, Hope Hawkins, Madeleine Tooley and Sophie Pendlebury, amused us all with the duck song.
- Darcey Hogan, Charlotte Lumlock, Ellie Dent and Tilly Heverin sang and told us a lovely story.
- The granny gymnastics from Freya Hillman, Mary Yan and Millie Cullen-Highway was very funny
- Leila Cranstoun, Malika Stubbs, Annabel Buff, Chloe Pendlebury and Molly Crichton sang and danced a super routine.
And a huge well done to all the other entries who practised and worked so hard on their acts. We all loved watching them.
On Saturday 12th May a group of brave Teachers and Assistant Teachers from Rupert House walked the 26.2 mile Moonwalk around London in aid of breast cancer research. The 'Rupert Ramblers', made up of Mrs Lynas, Mrs Burns, Mrs Lamb, Mrs Stirling and Mrs Newman, walked through the night raising a total of nearly £2000 between them. Mrs Newman said "we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and felt it was a big achievement. It was wonderful to support and encourage each other throughout what was a long night, and we developed a real camaraderie. It was hard work, but worth it knowing how much money we have raised for such a worthy cause. For both of these reasons it was very emotional crossing that finishing line. The organisation of the event was excellent and we were helped through the night by an army of cheery volunteer marshals. Would we do it again? Ask us when the aches and blisters have subsided!"