Year 5 get back to nature with a trip to Bushcraft
Last week, Year 5 set off into the wilderness to spend 3 days at Bushcraft, camping in Blenheim Woods.
The children were split into two tribes, ‘the Mud Warriors’ and ‘the Wild Wolves’. The children had a wonderful few days building upon their team building skills and getting back to nature. They worked together to build shelters, set humane traps for animals and light campfires.
Our guides Josh, Belle and Lou also taught the children lots of other skills including first aid, carving tent pegs, bracelet weaving and how to prepare a salmon. Two brave volunteers even ate the eyeballs!
Everyone had a brilliant time sleeping in tents, playing games in the woods and cooking food over the campfire.
Inspired by our Prep Production of 'Alice the Musical'
Well done to Maya in Year 4 who is our Artist of the Week. Inspired by the Prep Production of 'Alice the Musical', Maya has produced a delicate pencil drawing of the White Rabbit. She worked hard to include as much detail as she could. Great work, Maya, he definitely looks as if he is late!
Making structures out of spaghetti
This week in Science, Years 4, 5 and 6 have all attempted the spaghetti structure challenge. The aim was to build the tallest free-standing tower using only uncooked spaghetti, marshmallows, tape and string. Congratulations to Emily, Maddie and Carys in Year 6 who built the tallest tower at an impressive 94cm tall!
blah blah blah blah
Year 5 Bushcraft
Last week, Year 5 set off into the wilderness to spend 3 days at Bushcraft, camping in Blenheim Woods.
The children were split into 2 tribes, ‘the Mud Warriors’ and ‘the Wild Wolves’ working together to build shelters, set humane traps for animals and lighting campfires.
Our guides Josh, Belle and Lou also taught us lots of other skills including first aid, carving tent pegs, bracelet weaving and how to prepare a salmon. Two brave volunteers even ate the eyeballs!
Everyone had a brilliant time sleeping in tents, playing games in the woods and cooking food over the campfire.
A buzzing success
Rupert House was buzzing this week as the Pre-Prep children performed their summer production - ‘The Bee Musical’. This brilliant story imparts the vital role of bees with a wonderfully musical twist. All the children, from Nursery through to Year 2, performed with great energy, confidence and zeal – well done to each and every one of them. Special thanks to all the teaching staff who worked tirelessly to make sure the performance was a success and to all the parents for their help with costumes and practicing at home.
Let's talk about bees
Years 1 and 2 enjoyed learning all about bees, hives and honey this morning in a talk from a local bee keeper. They discovered how to identify a male bee, how a queen bee is created and how the different elements of a hive work. They even got the chance to taste some yummy honey and vote for their favourite!
Year 1 create their own icebergs
Year 1 have been learning all about Explorers this term. This week we have been studying Sir Ernest Shackleton and his journey to the Antarctic. We created our own imitation stain glass iceberg pictures to portray the South Pole. Brrrrriliant work Year 1!
Rupert House shortlisted for an Independent School of the Year Award
Rupert House School is delighted to announce it has been shortlisted by the Independent Schools of the Year Awards in the category of Outstanding Response to Covid-19.
Head of Rupert House School, Nick Armitage, comments: “Established to highlight the excellence of the student experience in independent schools, the Outstanding Response to Covid-19 category recognises those Independent Schools who surpassed themselves to deliver a first-class educational experience to their pupils despite having to live with ever-changing levels of restrictions.
“Being shortlisted for this award is testament to the speed with which Rupert House responded to the impact of the Covid Pandemic which was as quick as the impact of the pandemic itself.
“We were early adopters of a one-way system throughout our school site; we set up different entry points and staggered entry and exit times to accommodate different bubbles; we instigated temperature checks of pupils and staff; and set up hand sanitiser stations across the school. Parents and teachers wore masks and we integrated NHS track and trace into our e-reception system.
“It quickly became apparent an alternative means of educational provision was going to be essential for the Summer term of 2020. Our staff worked throughout the holidays, undertaking training and uploading provision on Firefly, our on-line learning platform of choice.
“Through Firefly, teachers could create and disseminate learning materials and resources to students in a user-friendly manner online; set tasks and homework; effectively communicate with parents; and allow parents to observe and monitor children’s progress. Daily live lessons throughout all year groups were delivered on Zoom including a continued sports and outdoor education provision to encourage children to exercise outside in the fresh air and take a break from screens.
“In short, pupils had as close to an in-classroom experience as was possible and, when further lockdowns were imposed, we were able to switch our on-site provision to a virtual one. During periods of self-isolation, children were still able to receive a full education. In-line with other schools, we provided on-site provision for children of critical workers and vulnerable children who were allocated toys for playtime and personal headsets, with equipment thoroughly cleaned between sessions.
“Recognising the impact to the pupils’ and staff mental health, our pastoral care team was restructured and Mental Health First Aiders were introduced to assist those suffering from anxiety, and a number of initiatives adopted. For pupils, we introduced a nature photography competition to encourage daily exercise and focus on their surroundings, and ‘Talk Time’ for children to discuss any problems in a safe environment (either in person or virtually). When we physically returned to school, we organised dedicated days full of fun, team-building activities to re-acclimatise to school life. For parents, we hosted specialist talks to provide insight, guidance and tools on how to manage home learning, anxieties and other challenges. For staff, we arranged a number of wellbeing initiatives.
“Finally, after lockdown 1, when Year 6 and Nursery children returned to school full-time, our staff went above and beyond so we were able to bring all year groups back on a full-time basis – the only school in our area to do so. We consider this to be quite a feat, given the logistics which had to be implemented in order to ensure a safe return for all.
“This parent testimony speaks for itself:
“Being able to adjust the syllabus and teaching on a day’s notice to online learning is an enormous credit to you. At Rupert House you manage to pull together online learning with style and creativity, and a superb curriculum. It's a remarkable achievement.”
Arabella sketches the Thames
Our Artist of the Week is Arabella, Year 4, for her sketch of the river Thames. Using a sketching pencil, she successfully created a drawing with movement and interest. Arabella did well to capture the mood of the scene...all during a five-minute challenge!
First Live Performance at the Kenton by Rupert House
Rupert House was delighted to once again be able to use the Kenton Theatre for its annual Prep School Production which, this year was their rendition of ‘Alice the Musical’.
And what a success it was. Livestreamed to parents, due to Covid, but with a live production to the parents of those in Year 6, the audience was transported on the magical journey of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale with a wonderfully musical twist. After weeks of rehearsals, the children gave a confident and accomplished performance with the Rupert House Year 6 pupils in the lead roles, supported by children in Years 3 to 5 in the accompanying parts.
Everything from the brightly coloured costumes, to the choice of cast members, made this a production which was both fun and whimsical for all.
Nick Armitage, Head of Rupert House School, comments: “We were incredibly proud to be the first live production back at the Kenton Theatre since Lockdown was eased. The experience of working in an actual theatre is of incredible value to our pupils, who are able to see first hand the intricate workings of life in a theatre. I am incredibly grateful to the Kenton Theatre and their staff; the staff at Rupert House - especially Mrs Breen and Miss Lau; and, of course, our fantastic pupils who gave such a brilliant performance.”
Year 2 get a feel for the Fife
The Year 2 children have had a lovely term learning the Fife with Mrs Armitage. They have made great progress and have really enjoyed learning some tunes using the notes B, A and G. Mrs. Armitage has brought in a new flute each week for them to hear too, which has been very inspiring. If any of the Year 2 parents would like them to continue next term, please do contact Mrs Breen who can arrange this for you.
Year 2 have a wonderful time at the Story Museum
We were really pleased that our children in Year 2 were able to do a day visit to the Story Museum in Oxford this week. The children listened to stories; as well as making up and acting out their own. The children particularly enjoyed going into the whispering woods and finding hidden animals. A great day was had by all.
A Sporting Day
We were so relieved and delighted that, despite not being able to include our parents, Sports Day for the children at Rupert House was able to go ahead as planned.
The children have been full of excitement all week leading up to Sports Day and refused to have their spirits dampened by the rather soggy start to the day. The clouds soon cleared, however, and the day began with our Pre-Prep event.
Grasping House flags, designed by our pupils and printed using our new Dye Sublimation Printer, the children were able to wave and cheer on their fellow competitors in each of the School Houses - Amazon, Everest, Nile and Sahara. Each and everyone of our Pre-Prep children participated - in our Early Years classes, the children participated in egg and spoon races, novelty races and running races, whilst Years 1 and 2 enjoyed some house relay races and sprinting.
The Prep event took place in the afternoon, with a number of field and track events taking place - the children jumped high and long and ran fast and with purpose. Well done everyone - we hope you had fun!
Getting artistic for Alice
The children in Prep School have been working really hard to create designs for the cover of our Alice the Musical programme. We have been so impressed by the quality and attention to detail of the designs, two of which will be selected for next week's performances. Well done everyone and thank you so much for all your hard work!
'Head'ing to the Theatre
Our Year 4 children started making costumes for their roles in this year's Prep School Production, Alice the Musical. They designed, and made, mythical creature headdresses ready for the show. Well done Year 4, you've done yourselves proud and will all look fantastic!
Inspired by American artist, Georgia O'Keefe
Inspired by the American artist, Georgia O'Keefe, who we have been learning about, Jessica, our Artist of the Week, has effectively used a mixture of paint and oil pastel to create this fantastic over-sized flower. This is a beautiful effort, well done Jessica!
Prep go Cartoon Crazy
The Prep children went comic crazy this morning! They thoroughly enjoyed creating a story about a yeti and an octopus in their super engaging virtual comic strip workshop with James from Crazy Comic Club.
First Aid Matters
Year 6 took part in a morning of First Aid workshops run by paramedic and First Aid instructor, Suzanne Stickley. As well as learning what to do in a first aid situation and how to call the emergency services, the children were taught several important First Aid skills, including how to use a defibrillator. They were able to practise CPR on dummies and had great fun bandaging each other’s ‘injuries’!
Every pupil in the school planted a sunflower seed on Reunion Day back in March. They have been growing nicely and this week we saw the first two flowers bloom.
Our school pond is also looking really colourful now that we have a number of pretty pink lilies sitting on the surface.
Reception spend a sunny day at Sutton Courtenay
Reception spent a sunny day at Sutton Courtenay Environmental Education Centre this week. The children had lots of fun exploring and having a go at all the activities organised for them throughout the day.
They went on a nature walk, using their eyes and ears to see and hear the wildlife around them. They saw rabbit holes, caterpillars and ladybirds, and could hear lots of birds singing in the trees. The children also had a go at being moles (blindfolded and using their touch sense they had to navigate around a course of trees using ropes as guidance), and got up close to some sticky bugs!
A little bit of France at Rupert House
Bonjour tout le monde! Year 6 weren't able to go on the annual trip to France this year, so our specialist French teacher, Madame Sheriff, brought France to Rupert House.
Dressed in the colours of the Tricolore, they enjoyed a treasure hunt (solving clues in French), a French menu for lunch and "a little bit of France" was incorporated into their daily lessons. C'etait formidable! #france #ruperthouse
This week, Holly is artist of the week
Our Artist of the Week is Holly in Year 6, who worked in the style of Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto, using vibrant colours and angular patterns as a visual expression of hope, dreams, and happiness. A really successful piece, Holly!
Year 6 spend a fun-packed week at PGL Osmington Bay
What a week year 6 had at Osmington Bay PGL! Among the activities were climbing, orienteering, abseiling, raft building, sailing, beach fun, zip wiring, survival skills, buggy building, and the giant swing. Over the fun-packed week, every single person faced fears, overcame challenges, laughed (a lot!) and were complemented by staff for their impeccable behaviour and manners.
Introducing My School Portal
Investing in Better Communication, Rupert House is delighted to announce that we have signed up to the market-leading school and parent communications platform My School Portal.
My School Portal is an online system designed to streamline communications between our school and parents, by bringing all information and services together into one easy-to-use dashboard. Parents and guardians will have instant access to information about their children, such as school timetables, sports fixtures, activity bookings, exam results, and school reports.
All information is accessed securely online using one username and password, and is accessible via your desktop, tablet, or mobile device.
All student information is shown on one dashboard, so you won’t have to log in to multiple services to see what you need.
All communication is displayed in the portal. Emails are stored and displayed in the ‘My Email’ section, making it quick and easy to retrieve and receive information.
We are very excited about this new system and look forward to implementing it in time for the start of the new school year in September 2021.
Full details and information on how to use the system will be given once we are ready to launch.
Year 3 enjoy a day trip to PGL
Year 3 went on a wonderful trip to Marchants Hill, Hindhead this week in the glorious sunshine. The children went on a zipwire, obstacle course, climbing wall and finally a low rope challenge. Each activity needed an element of courage, resilience, team work at also creativity. The children displayed all these qualities and it was a pleasure to take them away for the day. A big thank you to Mr Armitage and Miss B for coming with us on our trip.
A busy week for Reception
This week has been an extra busy week for Reception. With various year groups from Prep away on trips, we were lucky enough to have a cricket lesson with HCC one afternoon. The children loved learning to throw and bat and thoroughly enjoyed a taste of what is to come in Year 1. But, the highlight of the week was, without a doubt, eating lunch in the hall! Traditionally Reception would eat in the hall but due to Covid we have been eating in our classrooms. The children were amazing and carried their own lunch tray from the serving hatch to the table and they ate very well. Some even went up for seconds!
Swallows and Amazons
Year 2 have been reading the book Swallows and Amazons. Today we designed and made our own boats and we will be testing them in our science lesson later this week.
Year 4 PGL Trip
Year 4 had an amazing / awesome / incredible / fantastic time at PGL this week! They championed the school values of courage, creativity, resilience and respect whilst braving the zip wire, playing wacky race games, building and launching rafts into the sea, flying high on the giant swing, scaling the heights of the climbing wall and creating a disco in a bedroom! Everyone smiled, laughed, cheered and sang and threw themselves into all the activities. Miss Jones, Mrs Trimmings and Mr Baxter could not be prouder of them. Well done, fantastic Year 4!
Year 1 visit Cotswold Wildlife Park
Year 1 had a great day at the Cotswold Wildlife park today. We loved having the freedom to explore and saw all kinds of animals. We had talks with the park keepers about conservation and have learned a little bit about how we can protect our planets amazing animals. One of the best bits was the incredible adventure playground, we had so much fun! Finally we cooled off with an ice cream before heading back to school…
Well-being Wednesday assembly
We made the most of the beautiful weather this morning with a 'Well-being Wednesday' assembly outside on the lawn. With Year 5 about to start their exams, Mrs Newman talked about feeling happy, healthy and managing stress, about looking after ourselves, and each other.
We did some breathing exercises and some of the children were given cards with letters on - they all worked together to figure out what word they spelled out.
Trying our best
Obeying the Rules
Getting our work done
Expressing our ideas
Thinking kind thoughts
Enriching our minds
Respect each other
A little May Madness
The Rupert House children kicked off their half-term break today with a little May Madness.
Whether they were wellie wanging, sponging the Head (Mr Armitage got a soaking!), getting down with the dance challenge, or colouring in some bunting, there was plenty of fun to be had. To make it Covid safe, each year group bubble rotated round the activities after a 15 minute slot. They even managed time for an ice-cream.
A particular thank you to the Rupert House Pastoral team, Mr Woodley (who constructed the coconut shy) and the Sports Department, plus all the staff who made it possible and brought a little May Madness into our lives.
RHS celebrates Poland at lunchtime
It was Polish Day at Rupert House today in honour of our Emilia, our Catering Manager's birthday. We had the most delicious lunch of pork schnitzels, cabbage rolls and traditional sernik for dessert!
Whose got mail?
Reception's topic this term is all about Henley. This week they are focusing on the Post Office. They have written some letters and today they walked to the postbox to deliver them. They met a lovely postman on the way who showed them inside his cart and explained how their letters will be collected, sorted and delivered to their recipients. It was all very exciting!
The wheels on the Nursery bus go round and round...
During STEAM week, Nursery built their very own bus from a very big box.
The children had a great time decorating their bus and enjoyed the view from the windows they cut out themselves with a plastic saw.
They added horns, lights, registration plates and (of course) 23 wheels - one from each child!
Great work Nursery!
The wheels on the bus go round and round..! 🎵
Year 1 Make Boats out of their Natural Surroundings
To tie in with their explorer topic this term, it was all hands on deck this week when Year 1 had lots of fun making boats out of their natural surroundings. Watch out Bear Grylls, new explorers ahoy!
Année 2 goûtez à la france
Voudriez-vous un croissant? Year 2 were treated to a French breakfast this morning. Complete with pastries, baguettes and chocolat chaud, they ordered their food in French and ate together to the sound of a bustling French cafe. Délicieux et amusant!
J'aimerais que tu sois ici
Despite the current travel restrictions, the children in Year 5 have been travelling during their French class. They have all written some lovely postcards in French. Well done Year 5!
Je voudrais un menu sil vous plait
Our Year 4 children have been having a fantastic time imagining themselves in French cafes and restaurants this week. They have practiced how to order food and drink and created some wonderful and very interesting menus! Bon appétit!
This week's artist has been inspired by Constable
This week’s featured artist is Ovia in Year 5. Inspired by John Constable’s Impasto style, she has successfully created a restful, water-themed painting. The use of acrylic paint allowed her to add texture to her work. Well done Ovia.
Flying the flag for Rupert House
The children have been competing to create designs to adorn their House flags. Our Year 6 House Captains had a difficult job picking a winning entry from our Prep and Pre-Prep, but finally decided on eight winners. Very many congratulations to:
Amazon: Jemima Watson and Carys Willey
Everest: Zara Maloney and Piper Seddon
Nile: Isla Wrottesley and Eva Hughes
Sahara: Alice Vernon and Aphina Stubbs
The winning designs will be printed onto a flag for each of our pupils using our new dye sublimation printer and we look forward to seeing these being waved as the children cheer on their houses at Sports Day later in the term.
Rupert House Hosts Lambrook at Henley Cricket Club
This Wednesday, in another step along the road back to our lives, we had our first Cricket fixture against Lambrook.
The U11s had a fantastic afternoon hosting Lambrook at Henley Cricket Club.
Both teams looked delighted to be outside and couldn't wait to get started.
The A team, captained by Sienna, played with great energy and bravery – to have a go both when batting and bowling. They won the match convincingly 252 to 221.
The B team, captained by Charlotte, also played with great enthusiasm and focus, particularly when bowling and fielding. They lost the match 285 to 260, and have already decided that they would like to work on their batting.
STEAM week at RHS
17th-21st May was STEAM week at Rupert House!
STEAM learning happens naturally everyday as children explore, play, and try new things.
This STEAM week was all about encouraging the children to be curious about maths and science based activities and to adopt a Growth Mindset as they embraced the challenges they were set.
The STEAM activities we organised this week at Rupert House were based on the theme of 'designing for the future of transport'. They required gathering and using evidence to create knowledge or solve problems. In addition to these fun, stimulating and engaging activities, the fascinating talks given by members of our local and parent community helped to trigger a zest for learning, and open their eyes to STEAM related careers and opportunities in the wider world.
It’s walk to school week! We encouraged our pupils to walk at least one day this week if they could.
Well done to Catherine and her Mum who walked 7km to school on Thursday morning. They left home at 6.30am and it took them 1 hour 22 minutes! Great job 👏🏻
Jemima and her Mum battled the miserable weather to walk from Sherpherds Green to school this morning (Friday 21st May). That's around 6.5km.
Well done girls!
Fruit and Veg with a French twist
This week, the children in Year 3 have worked really hard on learning the name of different fruits and vegetables in French. The children have taken their favourites and written all about them - Madame Sheriff has been extremely impressed and very proud of their French writing. Well done Year 3!
A Banksy in Henley?
Two of our Prep School children were amazed to spot a piece of Street Art in Henley this week. In support of Walk to School Week, Year 6 pupil, Bella and her brother William (in Year 3) spotted this rat mural on a doorstep next to Starbucks Coffee. The rest of our Year 3 children are debating whether or not it could be a Banksy original - we are still, as yet, undecided!
Well done to our Artist of the Week
Well done to our Year 6 pupil, Carys, who has been named Artist of the week. Her monotone portrait is detailed and life-like, making it very successful. Carys has also successfully included a range of tones and shading to bring the subject to life. Bravo!
Pop Art Piece makes Maia Artist of the Week
Well done to Maia in Year 6 who is our Artist of the week. Her Pop Art-inspired picture of our iconic Big Blue Door is in pride of place in our main school office. Maia was careful to use blocks of colour to balance the piece, while also keeping the Rupert House signature blue and yellow in mind. The overall effect is extremely eye-catching.
Year 1 Create their own River environments
Continuing their topic on rivers this term, Year 1 have been busy creating their own river environments using items they have found around the school grounds. They can’t wait to add water and see what happens! Well done Year 1.
Nursery get stuck into science
The Nursery children have thoroughly enjoyed getting stuck into some science this week. They each had a go at using pipets to mix coloured water - discovering which new colours can be formed when you mix the primary colours of red, blue and yellow.
Reception get their hands dirty!
As part of Mental Health Awareness week, Reception S have planted their sunflowers that they potted when they returned to school after lockdown. We are embracing nature and we enjoyed being outside on a sunny afternoon, getting a bit muddy with soil and wet from watering. The roots were really interesting to look and digging in the flowerbed was great fun. We will try our very hardest to remember to water them regularly!
First Cricket Fixture of the Year proves a bit hit with our Under 8s
Last Friday, our U8s had the first Cricket match of the season (and for a very long time) against Eagle House. This proved to be a great learning experience where all the children could put their newly found skills into action.
The Hawks, captained by Tekle, played very well both when batting and fielding. Our batting led to a convincing win – 316 to 282, with William scoring 24 runs.
The Eagles, captained by Jemima, also enjoyed a win – 235 to 213, with all the children contributing both with the bat and when bowling.
Very many thanks to Maeve and Seren in Year 4 for stepping in to make up the teams.
The next match is against The Oratory and we are already very much looking forward to it.
Local historian, Mike Willoughby 'talks war' with Year 6
The Year 6 children at Rupert House were delighted to welcome Mr Mike Willoughby, a local historian, to talk with them in a socially-distanced manner about life in the trenches in the First World War earlier this week. Mr Willoughby came dressed in uniform and brought with him a full array of the kit an English solider would have had with him. The children were fascinated to hear about the food that was eaten, to hear the sound of the whistle which would have signalled the troops going ‘over the top’ and to see a number of objects which Mr Willoughby had himself found on the battlefields. Our thanks to him for giving up his morning to come and share his expertise.
Fitness Friday at Rupert House
Instead of Friday assembly this week, Rupert House pupils took part in the very first of our Fitness Friday's. Each of our 'bubbles' were given a fun activity as a positive way to start their day. Activities ranged from running, hopping, skipping and jumping to caterpillar races and cycling.
Head of Pastoral, Mrs Newman, comments: "Positive physical and mental wellbeing is central to our ethos at Rupert House and, given the restrictions of the past year, even more important now. Fitness Friday's help our pupils' with a number of skills including team building and resilience but they also build on fitness levels and are a lot of fun - the perfect way to start the day with our friends."
Year 1 River Walk
Tying in with the children's classic 'The Wind in the Willows' which they are currently reading, this week, our Year 1 children enjoyed a walk down the Thames Path to the Marsh Lock as part of their topic lesson. They all concentrated very hard knowing that their creative writing lesson later this week will be based on the trip. Mrs Pettifer and Mrs Harris can't wait to read all about the exciting things Year 1 saw and heard.
Year 2 are inspired by the work of Quentin Blake
Our Year 2 children have been studying Quentin Blake this week, as part of our authors and illustrators topic. The children have been copying some of his pictures and painting them in water colours; and they have been putting together some wonderful and imaginative examples of nonsense verse too.
Year 3 go outdoors
Mr Malkin and Year 3 had fun exploring local woodland in their outdoor learning lesson this week!
Year 5 describe their homes in French
Our Year 5 children have been working hard in French this week and have successfully described their homes with great accuracy. Madame Sheriff, Head of French at Rupert House, has been incredibly impressed by the high standard of work. Here is a fantastic example.
Everything is going swimmingly
The Reception children love their weekly swimming lessons. The whole event is exciting…going on the mini bus, getting changed and getting in the pool with Ms Nicholson. Then when they get back to school they eat their snacks that they brought from home and have their French lesson! Learning to put their heads under the water or swimming along with a float came top of the list of their favourite things about swimming at school!
Chloe is our Artist of the Week
Well done to Chloe in Year 5 who is our Artist of the Week. Chloe’s wonderful underwater themed piece has been achieved with the careful use of coloured pencil. Her delicate touch has created a subtle yet alluring effect with depth of shading and tone which is very effective.
Year 2 find the fife fabulous!
Year 2 have been the very first children in the school to start learning the Fife with our fantastic new flute teacher, Mrs Armitage. The children had a brilliant time learning how to hold and make a sound out of their colourful Fifes this week and made good progress! They were also treated to a performance by Mrs Armitage, who showed them all that the Fife can do which was very inspiring. They will have a weekly lesson in groups until the end of the summer term and will be taking their Fifes home to practice each week too!
Here, our Year 2 children are getting to grips with how to make a sound- they started by using a drinking straw to get the right embouchure (flute mouth!) before trying this out on the real thing!
Celebrating Captain Tom
Rupert House children are joining with much of the nation to celebrate the amazing achievements of Captain Tom. In our Assembly today, Mrs Newman challenged each of our pupils to do 100 tasks or a task in a 100 seconds or minutes. Some of the ideas are 100 keepie uppies; bouncing a ball 100 times and, two of our Year 3 boys have challenged themselves to do 100 press ups!!!
Even our in-house catering team, Thomas Franks, have joined in the celebrations by finding a WW2 recipe for carrot scones which made an extremely tasty and nutritious mid-morning snack for all our busy boys and girls.
Year 3 soak up some knowledge
Our children in Year 3 are using what they know about how plants absorb water to see if they can make white roses into coloured roses. We have mixed different food dyes into some water and put the roses into it. We can't wait to see what will happen!
Year 1 use their senses
The rain held off this afternoon so that Year 1 could enjoy more time outside with their pencils and clipboards!
They thoroughly enjoyed using their senses to explore the school grounds. There are so many amazing things to discover on our doorstep.
Have a lovely bank holiday weekend everyone. May the sun outshine the rain and let you too get out and about to explore your surroundings!
Going batty for cricket
Our partnership with Henley Cricket Club got off to a great start this week, with the children thoroughly enjoying the lessons and After-school clubs taken by the ‘expert’ cricket coaches. Some of them were ‘wowed’ as they entered the grounds and are really looking forward to playing some fixtures there. One of the coaches remarked, ‘I don’t think I have come across such an enthusiastic, helpful and willing group of children in my 6 years of coaching’, after the Year 5 and Year 6 lesson – which of course was great to hear!
We start with an U8 home match against Eagle House next Friday.
Year 1 brave the rain with their sketch books
A little bit of drizzle wasn't going stop Year 1 enjoying their outdoor sketching lesson this week!
Working together outdoors is proven to improve children’s emotional, intellectual and behavioural development. Learning outside not only develops creativity, problem-solving, independence and confidence, the fresh air also boosts their emotional, physical and mental well-being.
With plenty of outdoor, green space to enjoy and explore at Rupert House, we take every opportunity to get outside to learn and play.
Year 1 go exploring
As part of their topic on explorers this term, Year 1 have been making their own maps at Forest School. We're lucky enough to have our own Forest School here at Rupert House so we can go exploring as often as we like!
Artist of the Week is Chrissie
Congratulations to Chrissie in Year 5 who has been named Artist of the Week. Inspired by our Banksy Day last Friday, in which we celebrated the work of street artist, Banksy, Chrissie made a stencil-based piece with a message. Her thoughtful message is: ‘When you are feeling sad, always look up for the joy’ - an admirable sentiment for us all.
Art you can Banksy on
The children at Rupert House celebrated the work of street artist Banksy this week with a special dedicated ‘Banksy Day’ on Friday. Head of Art, Mrs Poulter, started the day with an informative assembly providing pupils with background information about the artist, his work and some of the controversy surrounding it!
Throughout the day in both our Pre-Prep and Prep Schools, there were a wide variety of activities and lessons which had a Banksy theme. In Pre-Prep, Nursery children did chalk drawings on the ground; our Reception years were inspired by Banksy’s ‘Hope’ piece, and painted their own design and did chalk drawings on a wall. In Prep, our Year 3 pupils were asked to design their own graffiti tag and then paint the results onto a brick wall within the school grounds; and our Year 6 children were asked to do Banksy inspired paintings.
The day was even embraced by our in-house catering team, Thomas Franks, who prepared Banksy decorated shortbread for pudding at lunch!
The big surprise of the day was ‘Live Rat’ - a genuine piece of Banksy art which the School was kindly lent for the day. All the children were given the opportunity to view it and were very excited to have seen a true Banksy.
Mrs Poulter said of the day: “It has been an absolutely fantastic way to celebrate the work of one of Britain’s most well known and controversial artists. The children have had a wonderful time and the day has really helped spark their imaginations and encouraged them to try out a different form of art.”
Rupert House is delighted to launch its new D&T room
The Rupert House prep school children have been itching to try out our new D&T room, courtesy of funding from our parent committee, the Friends of Rupert House. One of their first tasks will be to design house flags to wave at Sports Day. The winning designs will then be printed onto fabric using our new dye submission printer. Everyone is incredibly excited to see the results.
Year 6 Celebrate Earth Day 2021
The importance of our environment and the impact we have on it is always something we strive to instill in our pupils at Rupert House. With this in mind, on Thursday to celebrate Earth Day 2021, our Year 6 pupils made bird ‘kebabs’ and a bug hotel. They also busied themselves by 'litter picking' and helped our self-sufficiency drive by watering the vegetables in our garden and greenhouse. Well done Year 6.
Welcome Back to School Rupert House
After a lovely Easter break, the children of Rupert House returned to school on Wednesday and what a fun packed week we've had.
After a Spring term predominantly spent in lockdown, followed by only a couple of weeks reunited with friends and teachers, we celebrated the start of our Summer Term with a team building day, designed to alleviate anxiety and celebrate being back together again.
The weather was on our side and everyone embraced the team building challenges which were held throughout the day. We are still not absolutely certain which was more popular at lunch - the hotdogs or the ice-cream! It's certainly great to have everyone back!
This week's artist of the week is Mary
Our Prep School Artist of the week is Mary in Year 5. She painted a colour wheel, using only primary colours, tints and shades. Afterwards, using Mandala designs as her inspiration, she designed her own pattern and added it to her wheel using radial symmetry. Bravo Mary - it is stunning.
Fun and laughter sees school raise vital funds for Comic Relief
What a fantastic fundraising day the Rupert House community had today. The building was adorned with red balloons and our very own giant red nose (courtesy of our talented Head of Art, Mrs Poulter) as well as lots of red nose pictures and jokes. This caused great chatter and excitement amongst the children whilst they waited for the doors to officially open!
We were tremendously impressed by the effort all the children and staff went to – some came in red, some in their home-made super hero outfits and almost all had a red nose.
Very many thanks to our student council and Miss Jones for all their efforts in organising – it was a brilliant effort full of fun and laughter. Our school community is on target to raise well in excess of £300 in aid of Comic Relief so well done Rupert House and many thanks for your support!
What a wonderful week our Year 2 children have had. We went up to Forest School and, working in teams, made pirate boats. The children worked brilliantly together and particularly loved the challenge of gathering gold, canons, flags and walking the plank!
Celebrating St Patrick's Day
The Rupert House community came together on Wednesday 17th March to celebrate St Patrick's Day with a specially themed lunch, courtesy of Thomas Franks, our school caterer. The children were treated to soda bread, Irish stew and colcannon potatoes, followed by Barmbrack, a traditional fruit cake. It was absolutely delicious and everyone had a really fun time.
It's going to be an 'egg'citing Easter!
What a busy week our Reception classes have had. Not only have they been learning digraphs and writing sentences in phonics but they've also been very busy at our Forest School creating ‘eggciting’ Easter surprises! Well done Reception.
Rupert House Celebrates British Science Week
The children have been actively celebrating British Science Week this week (as well as being back in the Science lab!). Each day, the children have been doing an exciting experiment, ranging from skittle rainbows and bendy water to lemon volcanos, sticky rice and colourful daffodils - each one celebrating and using the 'magic' of Science! All the experiments are simple and easy to do and it was great to hear that some children were inspired to try the experiments at home, under adult supervision.
We will be holding our own RHS STEM week in the summer term with lots of exciting activities! If you can’t wait until then, follow this link to find out how to make a rainbow using skittles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0T3KokCFAg
Navigating with Year 3
Year 3 have been making compasses out of magnets in their science lessons this week. Thy then used them to conduct a treasure hunt around school.
Year 6 get gardening
This week Y6 spent some time working in the school garden, tidying it up and planting seeds in the vegetable patch. We discovered a lots of carrots in the soil! We also did some litter picking and general tidying to make the grounds look spick and span.
Year 1 get baking for Mother's Day
Year 1 children at Rupert House learnt all about weight in their maths lesson last week and then wasted no time in putting their new found knowledge to the test as each of the children got baking to prepare cupcakes for Mother's Day. Really good work Year 1 - those cakes look yummy!
Artist of the Week
Well done to Yi Jia in Year 3 who is our artist of the week this week - our first week back at school since December! Very aptly, this beautiful piece of artwork has been created with positive and negative space in mind. It is very carefully planned and extremely effective.
Both wanting to celebrate a return to being together and also fully anticipating that, following on from months of lockdown, some children may be anxious by a return to school, Rupert House decided to provide its pupils and staff with a specially planned ‘Reunion Day’ of fun activities on Monday.
Organised by Rupert House’s dedicated pastoral team, the focus was on wellbeing and celebrating being back together. The first class ‘bubbles’ arrived at 8.15am to find the school adorned with bright balloons and banners welcoming its entire community back. The joy on the children’s faces and the chatter and laughter outside the school was an uplifting start to the day. There followed a whole school assembly, hosted by Head of School, Nick Armitage, which took place outside within the grounds.
Mr Armitage said of the event: “I have been so impressed by the enthusiastic approach and the hard work of all our children and the exemplary educational provision our staff have delivered during this latest period of lockdown. That said, we are very mindful of the impact lockdown has had to everyone’s wellbeing and so, in recognition of this and in celebration of being able to be back together as one school community, we wanted to mark everyone’s return as a special Reunion Day designed for all of us – pupils and teachers alike – to readjust to our school environment, rekindle our friendships and lessen any anxieties some may have felt about coming back to school.”
Throughout the day the children participated in a number of activities and events, specifically designed to promote team building (in classes, year groups and as a school) and focusing on fun. Amongst them, tasks included the children made shapes and words, including the School Crest, with their bodies on the school Astroturf. Every child planted their own sunflower seed which will ultimately be planted throughout the school grounds. The Year 6 class planted an apple tree in the grounds for future years to enjoy. They named it Stanley the Bramley! Each class decorated a canvas with their names and a symbol or word representing their time in lockdown. The canvases will be linked together to make one large piece of artwork. Everyone shared their own lockdown memories which were written on jigsaw pieces which were then connected together. The school also created a Covid capsule with each class choosing an item to include. Each class also engaged in a Word Cloud Activity where teachers actively encouraged the children to talk about and create a word cloud to decorate the classroom walls. All children made their own sandwich lunch which was followed by an ice-cream factory; and the Prep School children wrote down and illustrated growth mindset messages.
Susie Newman, Deputy Head adds: “That the Rupert House Reunion Day proved to be a success is indisputable and we have received some extremely complimentary feedback from parents and others within our community. The focus of our day was intended to be about pupil and staff wellbeing but, ultimately, it proved to be about creating a happy, fun time for all within our school community after months of being separated.”
Continuing their topic of Space this week, our Year 1 classes have enjoyed making jetpacks in Art. The children can't wait to zoom back to school wearing them! Well done Year 1.
Year 2 become mermaids for the day
It's Mermaid Day for Year 2 today! 🧜♀️ As part of their topic on Oceans this term, they have spent the day dressed as mermaids and had great fun making mermaid peg dolls and masks, a big mermaid tail, writing mermaid stories and decorating mermaid tail cookies!
Friday's live music concert
We are really going to miss hosting our live music concerts on a Friday but we can't wait to hear the children performing in the flesh again as of next week. Mrs Breen and Miss Lau have been so impressed with the way the children have performed and the effort and enthusiasm they have shown. We'd also like to thank all our parents who have joined the concerts, some of whom have performed alongside their children. Don't forget to tune into our last concert this Friday, 5th March.
This week's artist of the week is Zahra
Our Rupert House Artist of the Week in the first week of March is Zahra. Not only did she paint with the unusual media of coffee and tea, but she also successfully managed to create a wonderful portrait with expression and tone. Bravo Zahra.
Fantasy Rugby Update
The Fantasy Rugby competition is well underway. People had to adapt to one game not being played last weekend, but scores are still high. Here are the latest scores. Well done to Slick's Machines who has stayed at the top so far. Will someone catch up soon? Here are the latest scores.
Year 6 Tackle Tessellation
This week, our Year 6 children worked on tessellation in Maths and created some lovely designs using translation and rotation of shapes. Here are some examples of their work. Well done Year 6 - we are really impressed.
Welcome to our New School Council Members
Congratulations to our newly voted school councillors who will start on our return to school for the rest of the academic year. Year 6 - Isabella and Allegra , Year 5 - Liza and Mary, Year 4 - Chloe-Maya and Charlotte, Year 3 - Tekle and Jemima and Year 2 - Sophia S and Scarlett H. Our school councillors brainstorm effective ways to raise money for charity and assist with fundraising and fun events at school. Their first task will be to help organise Red Nose Day on 19th March which we are all really looking forward to!
World Book Day fun!
Lockdown could not deter the energy and zeal of the children at Rupert House School in dressing up and having a lot of fun for World Book Day 2021.
Teachers, admin staff and pupils alike collectively came to virtual lessons dressed up as their favourite book characters and what a lot of effort everyone went to!
In Nursery, the home corner was converted into a wonderful Mr Men book shop where the children could buy, write and sell their own books. A reading wigwam was set up for quiet reading and the children had some magical adventures in their story playtime, using just a cardboard box, a fleece and some fruit!
Our Reception classes had a fun circle-time sharing their costumes and books and playing ‘Guess the Story’. They also read ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and had a busy week sequencing the story and learning about the days of the week, healthy and unhealthy food, symmetry and the life cycle of a butterfly.
In Year 1, each child chose their favourite book, wrote a clue about it and then read the clue out loud whilst their classmates tried to guess which book it was. Then the children used their creative writing skills to write an additional chapter for their chosen book, as well as creating a new design for the front cover.
In Year 2, the children challenged each other to guess the character they were dressed as – from both their costume and a short excerpt from the book in which the character featurees. They then wrote their own fantastic book blurbs.
Children in Year 3 attended the live event: ‘Books that make you LOL!’ which they greatly enjoyed. They also had a whole class book club (including a drink and a biscuit!) where children brought their favourite books to talk about and to recommend to their friends before writing their own book review.
Inspired by some online academy classes, hosted by the authors Abi Elphinstone, Robin Stevens and Kiran Millwood-Hargrave, our Year 4 class were shown objects and had to think about how they could be used in a story.
After listening to authors Derek Landy: 'How to make characters feel real' and Nadia Shireen: 'Bringing Characters to Life’, Year 5 wrote some entertaining school reports for their favourite book characters.
In Year 6, our children joined author Holly Smale’s academy class: 'Bury Deep and use your Emotions' in which they worked on reading extracts from stories using expression, putting on character voices and some acting.
Well done Rupert House – no one could doubt your enthusiasm for, and love of, books.
Mr Malkin's signs of spring
Mr Malkin set us a task to look out for the signs of spring when out on our family walks over half term. We spotted pretty flowers, emerging buds, and even some sunshine! Well done to those that send in your photo collages.
Sports Update - Virtual Run
We had a great time running around Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand as children in Years 3 to Year 6 have joined Ms Nicholson for a virtual run this week. Children are encouraged to download their certificate of achievement (found on Firefly).
The next destination for Years 5 and 6 will incorporate the Winter Woods in Norway - so look out for the TEAMS link in FireFly. Get your woolly hat and gloves ready, it's chilly out there!
Snood lockdown project complete!
And just in time to catch the last of the cold weather. Olivia has been working tirelessly during Mrs Breen's knitting club and also in her free time at home. Great job Olivia!
Nursery children making their mark
The Nursery children have been getting creative with chalk outside in the fresh air today. Their mark making is everywhere! They are really looking forward to the other children coming back to school in March.
Nature Photography Competition
Very many thanks to all those who contributed to our Nature Photography Competition.
There were so many fantastic entries that Miss Gibbon and Mrs Poulter found it incredibly difficult to judge.
However, after much deliberation, the winners are:
Pre-prep: Flowers by Monty Dougan (Reception S).
We like the bright colours and the contrast of the petals against the moss. it is a joyful photograph and full of hope.
Prep: Droplets by Lucinda Taylor (Year 6).
The sharp focus of the foreground drew us in, and the glistening jewel-like drops have a magical quality.
And very well done to the runner's up which are:
Pre-prep: Moss by Mollie Sturges (Reception B).
This scene sparks the imagination in an abstract way. The composition has made a wooden post into a character; we particularly liked his lockdown haircut!
Prep: Squirrel by Chloe James (Year 5).
This cheeky squirrel looks a little bit cross that he's not invited inside with everyone else. A really unusual and well-timed snap!
The Artist of the Week
The Artist of the Week is Chloe-Maya in Year 4.
Her Notan design is particularly effective as she has chosen Complementary colours (opposite on the colour wheel); they really 'pop'. Chloe-Maya carefully cut and flipped complicated shapes to make her work very successful.
Year 1 Space Rovers
Year 1 have made some out of this world planetary rovers as part of their topic on Space this term. Lego was a very popular choice for construction, but there were all sorts of other creative ideas too! Next stop... Mars 🚀
What a busy week in Reception!
Reception’s busy week has included making owl on toast (or an owl pancake), weaving fish, designing a sea picture and investigating if the difference between fresh water and salt water by trying to float an egg.
Thank you to all the children who have joined in with our Musical live clubs this week! Here are Singing Club learning their song ‘Lovely Day’. It was brilliant to be joined by some children and teachers in school, as well as pupils at home.
Celebrating la Chandeleur
This week all the Rupert House children were encouraged to make French pancakes (les crepes) to celebrate "la Chandeleur" in France: a day dedicated to baking and eating pancakes! The children have enjoyed celebrating this French tradition. A fun activity away from screens!
Nature Photography Competition
It has been lovely to see what changes there have been in only a few weeks as the seasons continue to evolve. We are so impressed by the quality and diversity of the subjects you are managing to snap. Keep going everyone! Get all photos into us by Friday 12th February.
Jasper and the teddies took over Year 4 registration today to see how remote learning was going at Rupert House. The verdict was it is brilliant!
RSPB Bird Watch
This weekend was the annual RSPB Bird Watch and several of our Rupert House families got involved!
We hope you all had fun identifying the different variety of birds and helping count so the RSPB can build up a national picture of birds across the country.
A week in the life of Reception
Reception children have really thrown themselves wholeheartedly into learning at home. We have baked gingerbread men and made posters to persuade people to buy them. We have tried science experiments putting water outside overnight in cups containing toys to discover freezing and melting. We have been learning about birds in preparation for the Big Garden Birdwatch next weekend. We had a challenge to made a picture using just three different resources.
Year 1 Maths
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!
Year 5 Internal Mixed Hockey League
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.
It's a wrap!
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
Henley Virtual Christmas Fayre
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.
Big Writing in Year 1
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 Learn How to be an Astronaut in Science
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!
Helping in the Community
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.
Bright Young Sparks!
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 Visit Japan
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!
Nursery Discover Forest School
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).
From Dinosaurs to Recorders - This Week's Music Update
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.
Black History Month
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.
The Henley Literary Festival
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 Science
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!
Year 2 French
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!
A warm welcome to our PGCE students
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.
Paleontologists for the day
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
The Big Anti-Bullying Assembly
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.
Volcano Erupts at Forest School
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
Year 5 Inspired by Henri Rousseau
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 Get Arty
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.
Getting stuck in
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!
Putting the Fun into Fundraising
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!
Message from the Head
Having seen how well settled all the children are back at school, it is hard to believe we are only just coming to the end of our first full week of term.
We started the week with another whole school assembly outside on the lawn, making the most of the glorious weather. The theme for the assembly was the first of our values, Courage, and I was ably assisted by Jack in Reception, who very bravely volunteered to take on the role of David, to Harriet in Year 6’s Goliath. In a modern day take on the King insisting that David try on his armour, which he then rejected, Jack gamely donned full cricket kit (see picture above!). I talked about courage taking many forms – being brave when facing a new challenge, be that a new school, trying an activity for the first time or coping with change. Mrs Newman and Miss Waters led a super assembly this morning, again outside, with a lovely story about a Monarch caterpillar who wanted to be a butterfly with the message that we need to be brave enough to be ourselves and appreciate that we are all different. Please see the picture below of our volunteer actors, Sienna, Catherine and William.
I very much enjoyed speaking with many of the parents last night in the form of a Zoom ‘drink’, which was organised by Sarah Morbey and Lucy Sheikh, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Friends of Rupert House for the next two years. Sarah very kindly hosted the event and started by welcoming the parents, particularly those new to the school. She talked about the role that FoRH play in supporting the school and asked for any ideas the parents may have about events going forward, bearing in mind the current COVID restrictions. She reminded the parents that they are all most welcome to attend the FoRH meetings, the first of which is scheduled for next Tuesday.
Thank you all for your continued patience this week with the drop off and collection points and times - please see details below of the revised times for Early Years from next week.
Final message from Mrs Lynas
Thank you, thank you enormously for all the many lovely cards and gifts – not to mention a tremendously generous gift from the parent body! The cards and personal messages mean a great deal. Retiring feels very strange and I certainly have had mixed feelings all week as the days moved inexorably towards Thursday. I hope those of you who were able to join us for the live-streamed Prize-Giving, enjoyed it. The event is always very focused on our Year 6 leavers, but this year it may have seemed particularly so, as we were only able to include one ‘bubble’ in the Hall. I felt it was important to ensure that Year 6 had a good send-off as their final term had been such a challenge with lockdown and Covid restrictions.
Thank you to the Year 6 parents, too, for the stunning framed pictures for Year 6 staff and for their very thoughtful collective gift of a new projector for the Hall. As my leaving gift to the school, I will match the new projector with a new screen, so the Hall can start in September looking really smart!
All staff have worked astonishingly hard this term and it feels unfair to single anyone out, but I would like to say an extra thank you to Mandy Nicholson for organising such successful and enjoyable sports afternoons for all year groups in their bubbles. Thanks are also due to Jane Lau for pulling together a brilliant version of 'Beauty and the Beast' with Year 6, despite all the restrictions.
I hope you will indulge me if I offer some nuggets of advice gained from experience as a parent and also from watching parents and children over the course of my career.
Enjoy and appreciate your children: they will be off and away (as they should) before you know it. Worry less and trust more: your children have every possible advantage and will grow into wonderful adults despite your anxieties. You and the school are on the same side. The teachers want the same wonderful outcomes for your children as you do.
As I said at the end of my speech yesterday, the RHS Vision, known as ‘Our Commitment’ says that: ‘Our happy, confident children are inspired to learn and are committed to their futures and to making a difference’.
I hope and believe that any child who has been through Rupert House will feel that urge to make a difference in the lives of others. I think they will also want to be ‘encouragers’ and ‘do-ers’, not critics, in line with the spirit of the RHS values. As Teddy Roosevelt said: ‘It is not the critic who counts. ... The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly ... who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.’ So, I would wish for the children to be valiant, to pluck up their courage and to strive valiantly to make a difference in the lives of others: personally, at a local level and, if they are brave enough, on the international stage, too. Go on, RHS, you can do it!
There is some practical information below regarding holiday homework, school uniform and such information as we have about timetables for September.
I will miss Rupert House hugely: children, staff and parents – the whole community – and I wish you all a very happy summer holiday and every happiness for the future.
With all good wishes,
Sports Day with a difference
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!
A Tale As Old As Time
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!
The Henley Schools Environmental Science Competition 2020
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)."
First Aid Course
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.
Prep School Art
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.
That's another thing sewn up
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!
Our Virtual V.E. Days
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!).
Poetry in motion
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.
Adapting to on-line learning
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.
Authors and Illustrators
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.
Happy Birthday Captain Tom
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.
Getting Creative at Home
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).
Year 4: 'Oceans' Art Workshop
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.
Planting for Mother's Day
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.
World Book Day
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 Go Crazy about Capacity!
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!
Year 6 Visit the Town Hall
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 in Space
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.
Prize trees from Greener Henley
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.
Visit to the River and Rowing Museum
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.
Rupert House competes at 'The Oratory Prep Schools Debating Competition'
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.
Rupert House School Rated 'Excellent'
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.’
Rupert House Live On Heart FM Breakfast With Jamie Theakston And Amanda Holden
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.
Rupert House 2nd in the Oxfordshire Schools Cross Country Finals
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.
Recycling Plastic in Nursery
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.
Year 6 Eagle House Maths Challenge
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.
Year 4 Hit Tropical Climes
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.
Visit from the Deputy Ambassador to the Congo Republic
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.
Year 1 Birdwatching
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.
Rabbi visits Year 4
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.
Another fantastic Christmas Tea Concert
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.
Rupert House raises record total for Children In Need
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 tell us all about ‘Settlements’
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!
Official opening of the Rupert House astroturf pitch
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 go back in time
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!
Halloween at Rupert House
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.
Henley Children’s Literary Festival Dragonfly Short Story Writing Competition 2018
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.
Summer Holiday Music
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!!)
Earth We're in it Together
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.
Rupert House's Got Talent
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.
The Rupert Ramblers Moonwalk for charity
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!"