Year 4 have been doing poetry this week about rhyming couplets (see the poem by Luca under the Sports section) and here is another brilliant example from Orla.
Year 4 have been doing poetry this week about rhyming couplets (see the poem by Luca under the Sports section) and here is another brilliant example from Orla.
Year 3 have been simply amazing since remote school started. As it was Sasha's birthday on Wednesday, they celebrated by wearing funny head gear in their spelling lesson. It certainly made us all smile and we hope it brightened Sasha's day.
Each week during the Summer term, our Year 2 children will be looking at a different author or illustrator.
This week, the children have been looking at the work of Quentin Blake and the style of his illustrations.
The children in Reception joined with the rest of the nation this week to wish Captain Tom a very happy 100th birthday. They used balloons and drawings of balloons to show their appreciation of the inspirational veteran.
Over the past few weeks we have received some lovely communication from RHS families. We’ve had photos of children doing their home learning, been sent examples of beautiful, brightly coloured rainbows and even videos of cooking tutorials and NHS inspired songs and dance routines. If your child has produced anything at all that they, or you, are particularly proud of and would like to share with the school community, please do send it in to email@example.com.
Cross Country Report
Last Saturday, many children attended the Oxfordshire Cross Country Championships at Chiltern Edge. We had a good turn out from most year groups and the children competed with great determination and resilience. In Year 1, Oliver Buff and Jemima Watson both won their race, and Alice Vernon came 3rd, and in Year 2 Louis de Kerizouet finished in 4th place.
Our Year 3 runners did brilliantly to finish 2nd overall, and Year 4 finished in 3rd place overall. In Year 5, Allegra Wilson finished in 2nd place, and our Year 6 runners, Sophia Mason, Malika Stubbs and Isabella Miles-Kingston finished in 3rd place overall. This was their last race representing Rupert House, so a big thank you to them for all their commitment over the years.
With the results totaled up, Rupert House finished in 3rd place overall in the school standings. A great achievement and well done to everyone who came.
On Wednesday, our U11 teams and an U10 team played Lambrook.
The A team, captained by Annabel Buff, had a very challenging match. Both teams marked very strongly and finding space was difficult. Their extremely strong attack proved too good for our defence and they won 18 – 5.
The B team, led by Isobel Knight, also had a tough match. They worked very hard throughout the match but the opposition were clinical when shooting resulting in a 15 – 2 loss.
Players of the Match: Annabel Buff (Attack) and Chloe Pendlebury (Defence) (A team), Emma Hillman (B team).
The U10 B team, captained by Isabella Lumlock, played inside which was welcome but tricky due to the smaller court size. We played a spirited game but unfortunately couldn’t create enough chances to score and lost 11 – 2.
Players of the Match: Eva Hughes (Defence), Isabella Lumlock (Attack).
On Wednesday, our Year 4 pupils undertook an 'Oceans' art workshop as part of the Henley Youth Festival. The issue of sustainability is in the forefront of our minds as a school, so it was an added bonus that the workshop had recycling at its heart and the children were both excited and engaged by this year’s theme. We are so lucky to have the Henley Youth Festival on our doorstep. The diverse events are always enriching for our children, and we greatly appreciate the fact that the Henley Art Society are able to fund some of these activities.
Reception children have been busy planting edible flower seeds ready for an important upcoming Sunday. They used soil, seeds and collected rain water. Now they are excitedly awaiting germination.
There has been such excitement in our pre-prep this week - following the arrival of the 'living eggs' on Monday, we are delighted to announce that all the eggs hatched and all the school have been enjoying seeing the young chicks.
On Thursday, we celebrated World Book Day, both within School with a variety of activities and with the listeners of Heart FM!
During the Heart FM breakfast show, four Rupert House children spoke to Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon, providing them with clues to their chosen World Book Day identities. The children spoke really confidently and we were incredibly proud of them.
Our Whole School Assembly was a joyful affair. All the children showcased the myriad of brilliant costumes they had chosen and we are incredibly grateful for all the thought and effort which went into creating them. Staff then spoke about their favourite books, actively encouraging the children to give new genres of literature ‘a go’ and this was nicely complemented by the Book Swap, kindly arranged by the FoRH - very many thanks to Mrs Judge, Mrs Collin and the rest of their team for arranging.
Throughout the day, there were a number of literary activities including story telling in our Early Years classes which included reading a French story. Our Prep children enjoyed putting speech into a comic; writing news and school reports; and creating menus in a ‘Book Tasting Dinner’ exercise. During their French classes, they were encouraged to to talk about what they like to read and what their favourite book is.
Year 1 have enjoyed learning about capacity this week. They used a special green potion to investigate how much different containers held. They counted carefully and were ecstatic when they noticed a ‘bubble’ skin on the top of their filled containers!
On Tuesday 25th February, Year 6 took a trip to Henley Town Hall, as part of their 'Citizenship' provision, to meet Henley’s current Town Mayor, Ken Arlett. The children were very impressed with the vast rooms within the Town Hall and were shown the Mayor’s ceremonial gown and the ‘Chain of Life’, both of which are worn on official occasions.
The children were then given the opportunity to participate in a mock council meeting in the Council’s Chamber, where Isabella Miles-Kingston was given the role of Deputy Mayor and Monty Fordham the role of Clerk and all the children were invited to ask questions. Mrs Lynas took advantage of the moment to ask about designated parking for our minibuses.
The children thoroughly enjoyed the trip and came back to school having learned a lot about the Mayor, what his job entails and our home town.
Year 1 had a fantastic day at the Winchester Science Centre. Highlights of the day were trying on a life-size astronaut suit, visiting space from a comfy reclining chair and watching a space movie on the planetarium ceiling! The children were ecstatic to use real purple rocket fuel and to shoot their rockets across the ceiling.
Last year, our former Year 6 pupil's came runner's up in the Henley Schools Environmental Science Competition, winning the School a Bramley apple tree and a peach tree. These were delivered into school today by Patrick and Andrew from Greener Henley, and both Mrs Wells and our Year 5 pupils had great fun planting them in the school grounds. The first step towards self-sufficiency.
This afternoon, our Year 3 pupils took a trip to the River and Rowing Museum. They enjoyed doing experiments to get a better understanding of rivers before an informative walk along the riverbank in the brisk February air. We braved Horse Bridge and we were impressed with the power of the water at the weir. A wander through the galleries and the Wind in the Willows Exhibition completed a super day.
This afternoon, three of our Year 6 pupils attended a debating competition organised by The Oratory. Although they were pipped at the post in their section of four schools, they spoke very professionally and with much humour, verve and passion. The motion they were given was: ‘This House Believes Books are More Important than Television,’ a subject which they supported and which they, of course, won before an audience full of English teachers! No one knew any of the various topics until an hour before the debate started! In the morning events, Sophia Mason won her ‘Balloon Debate’ (where you are a character in a sinking balloon and you have to persuade the others not to throw you out) against eleven other prep schools. She chose to be Ariana Grande, and cleverly cinched the winning argument by pointing out she weighed the least so there was little point in evicting her! Molly Crichton bravely did ‘Just A Minute’ twice and Annabel Buff teamed up with a pupil from another school in the ‘mini-debates’ section. I was so proud of them all, as were the parents who were in the audience. They were a great credit to Rupert House and several people commented on how wonderful they were.
Independent school inspectors have found the quality of a Rupert House School education to be ‘Excellent’ – the highest grade on offer - in a report released following an ISI inspection of the school on 14-16th January 2020.
This was just one of the glowing tributes in the report that judged Rupert House School, an independent prep school for children aged 3-11 in Bell Street, Henley on Thames, to be ‘Excellent’ in both headline categories: the pupils’ achievements and their personal development.
Inspectors observed the pupils’ excellent personal development with regards to general behaviour, self-confidence, self-awareness and social skills, as well as noting that the children exhibit ‘extremely proficient communication skills’. They attributed this strength of self-confidence and resilience to the teachers’ encouragement and ‘have a go’ attitude.
Staff were also commended for their ‘highly enthusiastic’ and ‘highly effective’ teaching, offering a high level of challenge and support.
The school was praised for its attitude towards learning and achievement. Pupils’ achievement is deemed to be ‘Excellent’ overall with their reading, writing, comprehension, mathematics, knowledge and understanding all being advanced for their age. Non-academic achievements were adjudged to be ‘outstanding’.
The report highlights the strong emphasis placed on the Arts and Sport by leadership and governance. It also states that ‘Rupert House fully meets its aim to deliver excellent opportunities for every pupil’ and underlines the fact that ‘pupils are highly successful in obtaining places at the destination schools of their choice’.
Mrs Lynas, Head, is extremely pleased with the findings. She said: ‘This report has recognised both the commitment and the caring approach of our excellent staff team and the personal development and rounded achievements of our pupils. The inspectors were quick to perceive what a magical place this is. I couldn’t be more delighted with the outcome.’
Our Kindness Week was a HUGE success: the children managed to achieve over 1,000 acts of kindness in just over 4 days, which was astonishing. Many thanks, indeed, to Leonie Brown for instigating this and to all the staff who encouraged the children and helped display all the multi-coloured hearts around the school so beautifully. There is nothing more important than learning to be kind, so the initiative will certainly continue.
Heart FM Breakfast show, with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden, came to visit us, LIVE, in assembly on 31st January, as our 1,000 Acts of Kindness matched so well with their 1,000 Feel-Good deeds! We also had a rather exotic producer with us for an hour or two, which livened up the morning, and the local press came along to catch the fun. All rather nerve-wracking for Mrs Lynas, but it went very well in the end and the children were great.
You can listen to the show on demand and Rupert House is featured approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes into the Breakfast Show.
Congratulations to our fantastic team of U11 and U10 runners who competed in the Oxfordshire Schools Finals, the day after we broke up last term. The event was held at the stunning Radley College. The race had 17 schools represented by over 100 runners, who had all qualified by finishing in the top 3 in their regional event. The race began on a running track and it was the fastest start to a race that I have seen in a while. However, our runners all completed the challenging course, and when the results were announced we finished in 2nd place, just 3 points behind Woodcote. A fantastic achievement! Ms Nicholson, Head of Sport
Our Year 1 children performed 'Prickly Hay' - a Nativity which centres on the story of a stable boy called Sam who receives some very special visitors to his stable when the crowds gather in Bethlehem for the census and the miracle birth of baby Jesus is celebrated by all.
Today, for our final Cookery class of the term (and year!), we made festive Christmas Tree cake pops. The children baked, made icing, piped and decorated! The results were tree-mendous. Yule-love them! Happy Christmas, with jingle bells, Mrs Wells and Mrs T xx
For other recipe ideas, visit The Great Rupert House Cooking Blog
Our Year 4 children made their way earlier this evening towards the River and Rowing Museum to participate in the annual Lantern Parade which is part of the Henley Late Night Shopping Event. The beautifully created lanterns were inspired by the River and Rowing Museum's festive exhibition ‘The Snowman and the Snowdog’. It was a wonderful way to launch the event and great fun was had by all.
Our Assembly today took on a totally different beat as the school was treated to several performances by the Drumming, Composition and Tuned Percussion Clubs, lead by our drumming teacher Chris Marshall. Pre-Prep started off the assembly with an amazing rhythmic performance, followed by a more advanced sequence by the Pre-Prep Drumming Club. The Tuned Percussion Group performed the Havana Pop Song as a finale. What a very uplifting way to start the day!
Year 6 walked to Phyllis Court to sing for the shoppers at the NSPCC Christmas Fair this morning. A few of the children sang solos and the whole year sang two Christmas Carols to get everyone into the Christmas Spirit. Well done, Year 6!
An enormous thank you again to all pupils, parents and staff for fundraising for Children In Need. Our grand total from the day is a phenomenal £618.75!
Today our Year 2 children enjoyed an exciting day out travelling back in time to the Victorian era at Milestones Museum. The children were taught the three ‘R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic) in a Victorian schoolroom. They also got to explore the shops in the Victorian street, buying items for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee party.
Rupert House competed in the South Oxfordshire County Team Cross Country event today. Each race had approximately 90 children on the start line. Our U9s ran extremely well and with great determination, over, what proved to be, a long and muddy course. Two of our finishers completed the course in the top 20; with four of our U10 and U11 team finishing in the top 10 and, overall, finishing the event in first place, becoming South Oxfordshire County Champions out of twenty schools. Our team has qualified for the finals which will be held in December.
Ms Nicholson, Head of Sport at Rupert House, said: "I am extremely proud of all the children who ran and represented Rupert House with great enthusiasm and determination."
Our Year 6 pupils had an amazing residential visit to the PGL Outdoor Education Centre in Liddington just before half-term. Year 6 lost no time in tackling challenges such as the Vertical Challenge, the Giant Swing and the Zip Wire. It's a fantastic environment for the children to develop social skills, resilience and determination as well as providing an overall sense of achievement and self-confidence.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and, when needed, helped support and encourage each other to overcome fears and conquer a challenge - Bravo!
Over the course of the term, the children have been encouraged to undertake good deeds for which they've been collecting 'kindness' stones. This week, the class launched a kindness project in order to thank the kind helpers at our school. The class practiced flower arranging - where each child cut and put together part of a flower bouquet - and then presented it to Mr Woodley who was surprised by the children while working at this woodshed building a gate. They had so much fun, they made another bouquet for the kitchen staff on Halloween to thank them for a special spooky themed lunch.
Many thanks to our catering team who excelled themselves today, creating sumptuous food with a spooky Halloween theme.
Nursery children have started a little project all about recycling plastic. We are trying to understand that not all plastic can be recycled and it can be harmful to our environment. The children in Nursery are bringing in their clean plastic from home to squash into 2 litre water bottles to make Eco Bricks. Eco Bricks are strong as the plastic has been compacted in the bottle so tightly it becomes solid. They can be used to make walls in some poorer countries. Our aim is to make a small seat or stool for our play area by the summer. So far we have completed 1 brick and we have 3 more on the go as we have so much plastic to fill them with! Thank you to all the families who are helping us to fill them up. Nursery are amazed at how much plastic is going in the bins.
On Tuesday afternoon Millie Newman, Zoe Brindle, Ella Knight and Lilian Graham took part in the Eagle House Year 6 Maths Challenge. This is always a very popular event and this year 40 schools took part, represented by 81 pairs of mathematicians in total. Several different rounds were completed, with everyone working at speed to try and gain as many points as possible. The afternoon ended with the exciting build up to the results, where it was announced that a pair from Rupert House, Millie and Zoe, had come first! Huge congratulations to them on a fantastic achievement.
Although Rupert House received a peppering of snow this week, Year 4 solved the problem of being chilly by paying a visit to the Living Rainforest near Newbury. The aim of the trip was to help support their studies on ‘Rainforests’ which they had started this term. The children had a wonderful day, perusing the different plants and creatures that you might find in a rainforest and even learned about adaptation in a specialist workshop. The trip was well worth the journey and they were interested to hear that the centre aims to breed endangered creatures before releasing them into the wild.
Today (Friday, 18th January) Mr Nick Woolley, Deputy Ambassador to the Congo Republic (and godfather to Alice Vernon!) visited Rupert House School Reception classes as part of our topic ‘Around the World’.
Mr Woolley spoke about the role of the Foreign Office and an Ambassador helping to keep people safe and healthy. He told us about the animals that live there, and we all enjoyed playing a game of Nzango.
On Thursday 17th January, Year 1 took part in the RSPB’s Big Bird Watch. Children recorded lots of Red Kites, Wood Pigeons, Magpies, Crows and Black Headed gulls in addition to a small number of Robins, Collared Doves, Blue Tits and Chaffinches.
Year 4 welcomed Rabbi Zvi Solomons to school today to consolidate their learning on Judaism. The Rabbi is a regular visitor to Rupert House and asked the girls some insightful questions about religion and spirituality in general. He was incredibly impressed by the girls’ mature and thoughtful questions about Jewish practices and customs. Year 4 enjoyed wearing and learning about the significance of some of the garments Jewish followers wear, as part of their faith.
This afternoon we enjoyed a wonderful Tea Concert by pupils in the Prep School. There was a tremendous feeling of mutual support and enthusiasm amongst the Prep pupils and they all performed their songs or pieces with huge poise and flair. It takes great confidence to sing a solo to a room full of people and we were thrilled at the number of pupils willing and eager to undertake that. Our kitchen provided lovely cups of tea and mince pies at the beginning and, in all, it was a super event. Many thanks to Mrs Rincon and, particularly, Mrs Field, for taking it all on in the absence of Mrs Breen and producing such an impressive afternoon’s entertainment.
On Friday morning, we honoured the annual ‘Children in Need’ day, with lots of excited dressing-up and face paint, designed to raise money. Miss Jones and the School Council had worked extremely hard and there was lots of home-made ‘Pudsey’ bunting decorating the Hall. The School Council explained why we were raising money. Each class had covered a large Pudsey with coins and we had a fun fashion show for each group in turn. We raised the fantastic sum of £833! Many thanks to Miss Jones for her tireless leadership of the School Council.
Year 4 entertained the whole school and their parents on Thursday 15th November, when they performed their assembly on ‘Settlements’. Following on from some thorough and informative work undertaken in their Geography and History lessons, and at home, the children not only performed how and why the Anglo-Saxons invaded and settled in Britain, but they also presented work on their own ‘Settlements’. This was the result of a research project set for half-term where the children had to show their independence and creative skills and find out the origins of where they lived. The quality and variety of the projects that greeted Mrs Earp on the return to school, was outstanding!
Mrs Earp was very proud of them all for working independently on their projects and collaboratively on their assembly where they supported each other in saying their lines mostly off script!
On Tuesday 13th November, we were excited to welcome Team GB and Reading Hockey player, Jo Ellis, to officially open the school’s new all-weather astroturf pitch. Our Chair of Governors, Charles Lowe, accompanied by other governors, parents and children from local primary schools were invited along for the occasion. Jo Ellis spoke to the children before cutting the ribbon across the entrance to the pitch.
Jo has represented GB & England 87 times. She played in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 as part of Team GB, she was European Bronze medalist in 2009 with England, part of the GB Hockey Centralised Programme from 2009-2011 at Bisham Abbey and she then captained the World Cup Masters Gold medalist team in 2018.
Twenty eight Year 4 pupils from both Nettlebed and Valley Road Schools then joined our Year 4 girls for a hockey masterclass held by Jo Ellis, accompanied by our own Olympic hockey internation, Ms Nicholson. The children had a great time practising their dribbling, tackling, shooting and defending skills. They then had the chance to watch Jo in action as she demonstrated the different methods of shooting at the goal followed by a Q&A session and a delicious match tea.
Year 2 tested their creativity and resourcefulness this week by making authentic Victorian toys. They gathered materials from home and have followed well thought out plans to put them together. We’ve had doll houses, spinners, tea sets, a rocking horse and much more!
They also went on an adventure into the past, at Milestones Museum, where they went shopping in a Victorian shops, explored a Victorian train station and tried not to get the cane in school! The children really enjoyed seeing the real steam engines and machinery and imagining life as a Victorian!
We enjoyed a lovely Halloween-themed lunch on Wednesday 31st October, with super decorations, masks and little toys supplied by the kitchen. Our toad in the hole worked well as ‘witches fingers’ and we finished lunch with delicious ‘pumpkin’ cupcakes. Many thanks to Thomas Franks and our kitchen staff.
Also for Halloween, the children in Nursery had fun hollowing out and carving a class pumpkin. They felt the flesh and the seeds from inside and all drew on it for Mrs Steer to carve! We turned all the lights out in our room and drew the blinds, to see it glow with LED lights. Some children designed their own cauldrons too.
We were very excited to have three of our Year 5 pupils in the finals of the 8 -12 year age group of ‘The Dragonfly Short Story Writing Competition.’ This competition was run by The Dragonfly Tea Company, in conjunction with the Henley Children’s Literary Festival, and was open to all children between the ages of 8 and 11.
The children were asked to write short stories of 500 words (or less) about ‘The Wild Garden’.
Making the final was wonderful, and our three girls, along with their families (and Mrs D and her husband), were invited to a special Prize Giving Event at Henley Town Hall. It was beautifully done, with little published books of all the finalists’ stories left on the chairs, an impressive stage set up for the presentations and, of course, tea being served.
Isabella and Imogen won runners up certificates, which was great, and … to our great delight, Georgie won!
Her story was read out to the audience, along with Floella Benjamin’s very flattering comments about her story. Georgie was given £50 for herself and £100 for Rupert House.
In the first week of the holidays 28 RHS pupils took part in the ‘Complete Musician’ Summer School. There were children from Year 1 to Year 6 and they spent the 3 days doing a vast array of different musical activities; singing, drumming, ensemble performance, ‘boom whacker’ playing and instrument making to name but a few! All of the girls were a credit to the school and we were particularly lucky to be joined by Mr Marshall and Mrs Jones for the 3 days. The course will be running again this year, so please watch this space for more details. Thank you to all the parents of the children for their support and encouragement with this course.
The week after this course, my family and I were lucky enough to be invited by Mrs Jones and Mr Marshall to watch the Last Night of the Welsh Proms in Cardiff where Mrs Jones was the headline performer. As well as some stunning performances from Mrs Jones and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the concert was also the first performance of Mr Marshall’s newest orchestral work which was incredible! As I was watching the concert, it made me realise how lucky we are to have such fantastic world-renowned musicians teaching our children at Rupert House! (Mr and Mrs Jones flew out to America the next day for a two week harp course!!)
The talent of the Lower School never ceases to amaze and they excelled themselves with a fantastic production on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Despite the climbing temperatures in the hall the children were just super and remembered their lines and songs. The play was written by Anne Wheeler and Susie Newman as we wanted to engage the children with the need to look after our planet and they certainly succeeded in that, as anyone who witnessed the final song ‘Earth We’re In It Together’ will testify. Jennie Breen wrote some of the music. Thank you to everyone for all their hard work - you were just amazing.
At the end of a very busy week at Rupert House the children showed their PSB skills off beautifully in Rupert House’s Got Talent. Collaboration, independent working and presentation skills were seen in abundance. On the lawn, in the sunshine, there was singing, dancing, musicians playing, acting, gymnastics and comedy, an enthusiastic and attentive audience and a happy, encouraging panel of judges.
A huge congratulations to all the entries and to the student council for coming up with the idea, creating posters and sign-up sheets, helping to organise and judging in such a positive way.
Choosing the winning acts was the final, incredibly difficult act for our student council this term. The winners were...
- Libbie White, Mia Rosai, Jemima Brewer, Hope Hawkins, Madeleine Tooley and Sophie Pendlebury, amused us all with the duck song.
- Darcey Hogan, Charlotte Lumlock, Ellie Dent and Tilly Heverin sang and told us a lovely story.
- The granny gymnastics from Freya Hillman, Mary Yan and Millie Cullen-Highway was very funny
- Leila Cranstoun, Malika Stubbs, Annabel Buff, Chloe Pendlebury and Molly Crichton sang and danced a super routine.
And a huge well done to all the other entries who practised and worked so hard on their acts. We all loved watching them.
On Saturday 12th May a group of brave Teachers and Assistant Teachers from Rupert House walked the 26.2 mile Moonwalk around London in aid of breast cancer research. The 'Rupert Ramblers', made up of Mrs Lynas, Mrs Burns, Mrs Lamb, Mrs Stirling and Mrs Newman, walked through the night raising a total of nearly £2000 between them. Mrs Newman said "we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and felt it was a big achievement. It was wonderful to support and encourage each other throughout what was a long night, and we developed a real camaraderie. It was hard work, but worth it knowing how much money we have raised for such a worthy cause. For both of these reasons it was very emotional crossing that finishing line. The organisation of the event was excellent and we were helped through the night by an army of cheery volunteer marshals. Would we do it again? Ask us when the aches and blisters have subsided!"