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!
The school council and children have voted and we are very excited to announce this years cake sale charity is Winston’s Wish!
Winston’s Wish is an amazing charity which supports children and their families after the death of a parent or sibling. Last year they helped over 17,000 children.
We look forward to raising lots of money for them this year.
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!"