Yr1 and 2 spent a day in Bedford learning about the castle that was there many years ago, they also went into the museum and were able to handle artefacts that had been found when the castle site was excavated. The guide at the museum was really impressed with the questions that children asked and the knowledge that they already had about castles.
Pictures of the visit can be seen in the gallery
Firemen in the Rain
Yr 1 and 2 had some very exciting visitors when firemen came to talk to them all about fire safety. The children were very excited when they had a competition to see who could be the quickest to put on the fire officers’ safety clothing.
Later, even though the wind was blowing and the rain pouring down, the children went out to see the fire engine and everyone had a chance to use the fire hose to make the playground just a bit wetter!
Snowy World Book Day
The snow and blizzard conditions that came on this year’s World Book Day certainly did not put a stop to the fun at school. The children all looked fantastic in their book character costumes and had lots to share with friends about their character and what they did.During the week the children also found some really unusual places to read a book, a wheelie bin, a skip, the boot of a car, in the barn with the cows and upside down in a fridge to name but a few!
The children made scenes from their favourite book in a box, how colourful and creative they were, so well done to everyone.Many thanks to the parents who trudged through the snow to share a book with groups of children on World Book Day everyone enjoyed sharing so many wonderful stories.
Pictures of the day can be seen in the gallery
School Hall Theatre
Our school hall was transformed into a theatre by the Full House Theatre Company who performed a play called ‘In the Light of the Moon’. We enjoyed watching the actors as they told us the story of a little cat that was afraid of the dark.
They sang some lovely songs and made us all laugh and sometimes be a bit sad.
Year R are looking forward to going to a real theatre in Leighton Buzzard to see the actors perform another play called ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ in the summer.
Scoot to School for Sport Relief
We decided that we would raise money for the Sports Relief Charity by riding our scooters to school and challenging ourselves to scoot around the playground as many times as we could in 10 minutes. It rained nearly all day but we still went outside and had great fun getting fit, wet and dirty all at the same time! We raised £44.50 for Sports Relief.
Easter Experience at All Saints ChurchClass 3 visited All Saints Church to learn about the Easter Story. Thank you to Father Grant and all the other adults in the church who helped the children understand the importance of the Easter Festival to those who follow the Christian faith.
Blue and Green Day
May was Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month so we had a special Blue and Green day to help raise money for the Childhood Tumour Trust charity which helps children who have this condition. We has an assembly and found out how MF1 can effect children and how they can be supported and helped in school. Thank you to the parents who made the delicious blue and green cakes which we enjoyed buying and eating! We raised £147 for the charity so very well done everyone.
Dell Farm Adventure
Dell Farm Adventure Children from year 3 and 4 had an amazing 2 night stay at Dell Farm that was filled with new experiences and learning opportunities. They shared the visit with children from Totternhoe and Kensworth Lower Schools and soon made new friends. The children walked to the woods where they climbed trees, made dens and played hide and seek. Then after a picnic on Dunstable Downs they had great fun flying a kite!
During the stay they were able to be farmers feeding the animals and grooming the donkeys and Shetland ponies. They learnt about Anglo-Saxons and re-enacted a battle! One of their favourite activities was caving, it was very dark in the tunnels but everyone was brave and had a go. On the final morning there was a survival challenge, the children worked in groups to make a shelter and then build a fire that they had to keep alight for 5 minutes.
Everyone showed excellent teamwork and co-operation through the visit and had a wonderful time.
See more photos of the children at Dell farm in the Gallery
Maths in Science Week - a report by Robert
On Day 1 we had a visit from teachers at Vandyke Upper School. They taught us science in a fun way! I especially liked the cars rolling down the ramp.
On Day 2 we had a competition and what you had to do was make a pyramid with newspaper and tape and it had to have the correct properties of a pyramid. I won the competition!
Day 3 we were making bridges - my bridge was made using an old ruler and it could hold a lot of weight. In the afternoon we had to explore with dominoes and make an interesting run - but the dominoes never did get finished because they kept being knocked down!
The other thing we did was count invertebrates in the soil for a survey. More photos of children learning during Maths in Science Week can be seen in the Gallery
The Owl and the Pussy Cat - a report By Class 1
We listened to the poem The Owl and the Pussycat. We mixed blue with yellow and white to make paintings of the sea. We used stencils to draw then cut out the owl, the cat and the boat from patterned paper and we used them to make collages. We went to the theatre to watch the story of Owlie-cat finding out about her ancestors. We learnt the poem and performed it in our assembly.
Egyptian Day - a report by Annabelle
On Monday, 11th June, we had an Ancient Egyptian Day. I dressed up as Cleopatra and so did Kayleigh and Ruby. Everyone looked really good in their costumes. When school started, we wrote number hieroglyphs and used them in maths to solve calculations. At snack time we tried some Egyptian foods. On our plates were: flat bread, honey cake, 2 dates and pomegranates. My favourite was the flat bread. Instead of speaking English we spoke in Arabic. In the afternoon we made Falcon neck collars and mummy cases.
See more photos in the Gallery
Fathers' Fun Afternoon
This year we invited the Dads in on the Friday before Fathers’ Day to take part in a number of sports challenges with their children. Our coach from Future Games organised the different sports including hockey, tennis, golf, cricket, basketball, throwing and a speed radar competition. Many dads, grandads and children commented on how much they enjoyed the afternoon - there was definitely a sense of competition around the playground!
You can find more pictures in the Gallery
Class 3 pupils gave an amazing performance as part of a combined schools choir at the Grove Theatre. They were also chosen to perform as a school a selection of the tunes they had learnt to play on the ukulele. There were a few nerves and stage fright as the time for the show got nearer but once the curtains went up they all sang and played with great enthusiasm. The school and all the parents who came to watch were very proud of their performance and it was an incredible experience for them. Thanks you to the Inspiring Music staff who worked with them at the school and provided the opportunity for them to perform. I am sure it is an occasion the children will never forget.
Ancient Egyptian Adventure Cutting out organs, putting them in jars, smashing up brains and hooking them out through the nose- the customs of Ancient Egypt were certainly disgusting! Year 3 and 4 provided their parents and the other children in the school with a fantastic performance sharing these customs through acting and singing. It was a brilliant end of year show which everyone and enjoyed - they will certainly remember the songs for a long time to come. Well done to all the actors and dancers.
Goodbye as well to our wonderful year 4 children who are off to middle schools in September; thank you for all your hard work and smiles, we wish you all good luck in the future.
Colours of Autumn At this time of year our school grounds look beautiful in the autumn sunshine. Look at the wonderful pictures Year 3 and 4 created to represent autumn using the leaves they collected around the school.
Celebrating the HarvestWe ended this half term with our Harvest assembly, all week we learnt about bread; we tasted different breads from around the world, we wrote poems about bread, we found out how wheat is grown to make the flour for our bread and we made our own bread which was really delicious! We think it is always important that people should think about reducing their carbon footprint so we explained to the parents how they could use their L.O.A.F by buying food that is…
Year R told us the story of the Little Red Hen, they spoke their parts really well even though it was their first big school assembly.
We collected £86 which we are going to send to the Save the Children charity to help feed children across the world who are hungry and suffering from malnutrition.
A lady came into our school on Wednesday to give us a judo taster session. First we did a warm up where we needed to try and pull each other’s belts off. Next we had to kneel on the floor and it was called turning the corner, we had to flip each other over. After that we did a game where we had to play rock, paper, scissors. Whoever lost had to lie on the floor and the other person lay on top of them, the person under them had to get out by the count of 10, if they did they won. After she gave out the medal; I won the medal!
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the First World War came to an end. To commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day the children worked together to create a school Remembrance Garden. Each child made a poppy from recycled materials and painted a pebble with a poppy design. One of our parents and our site agent made a soldier silhouette and a cross for the garden. As the sun’s rays shone across the garden the children each laid their pebble, planted their poppy and stood in silence for the last post.
Villagers and parents joined us for what one described as
‘a beautiful, dignified and moving ceremony’.
A Magical Christmas Journey
Our Christmas show this year was a brilliant production of A Magical Christmas Journey. The show had everything: talking and dancing Christmas trees, walking crackers, presents, mincepies and Christmas cake, beautiful angels and a magical star that led the children to the stable in Bethlehem so that they could ‘Welcome the Special Baby’. The singing was amazing as always and everyone acted really well, the audience even got the jokes! It was a truely professional performance and all the parents and grandparents said how much they enjoyed it.
Key Stage 1 children have been learning about the The Great Fire of London. There was great excitement in school when the children set their London on fire! It really helped the children to understand how scared and sad the people of London must have felt as their homes were burnt in the flames.
Jack and AJ wrote about their learning:
Winter Maths Week
All the children had an amazing creative learning week focusing on Winter Maths Investigations.
Here are some photos and reports the children have written about the week.
Our focus for maths week was using money to make snowflake patterns. First we used the same coins to make a snowflake and work out the value of it. Next we used different coins to make our own snowflake designs and they looked really good. We added the different amounts up to find the cost of our snowflakes. Finally we made snowflakes to order, so someone would order a snowflake for £2 and we would make one with £2 of coins.
By Dudley and Monty
In Year R we made our own counting games with giant penguins and an iceberg track We made a triangle Christmas tree advent calendar. We made winter games and snowmen for our song 10 White Snowmen.
For our Winter Maths Week, our theme in Rowan Class was measuring. The question we were exploring was: ‘can you measure a snowman?’I made a paper chain snowman. First I had to decide if I wanted to stack my snowman or loop the pieces together. I chose to stack because I thought it would be bigger. I had to use a ruler and measure a 10cm by 2cm strip of paper. The second piece had to be double the length and the last piece had to be three times as long. I answered the question - yes you can measure a snowman!
We wrote a newspaper report about the fire. We know how the fire started. It started at the bakery in Pudding Lane and burned from Sunday till Wednesday. The houses were made of wood so the fire spread really quickly. We built our own houses out of paper to see for ourselves how the fire spread and Mr Stanbridge helped us be safe as we set them on fire. There was smoke and ash. We were happy that our own houses are made of brick.
A samba band, a string quartet, a theatre group, a visit from the National Gallery and an Irish dance display- just another week at Hockliffe Lower School!
On Shrove Tuesday pupils from Gilbert Inglefield School came and gave us a samba band concert, they were amazing. The sound was so loud; almost deafening and some of us covered our ears! They played snare drums, surdo and agogo bells, we even got to play with them and clap the different rhythms.
Our Cultural Art Week
A quartet of musicians came to play string instruments and teach us about the violin, viola, cello and double bass. They played different pieces of classical music, we recognised some of the music by Tchaikovsky that we heard on a CD but it sounded better live! The musicians were brilliant players and we really enjoyed listening to them and joining in by keeping the beat and singing.
Two actors came to school to perform a play for us called Full of Beans. It was about two gardeners who worked in fairyland supplying plants for fairy tale characters, like the rose for Beauty and the Beast, they always made sure everyone got their orders quickly. Once they had to use a spell book for an order of magic beans, they needed the wishes of children so we all had to help. Guess what the beans grew into!
We were very lucky to have an artist from the National Gallery in London visit us. She helped us study a painting of St George and the Dragon and then use different techniques to create a storm cloud, we even printed with bubble wrap which was great fun but a bit messy. We drew pictures of fantasy dragons and added them to our pictures.
On Friday one of our pupils shared her hobby with us, she is learning Irish dancer. She told us how she goes to lessons after school and enters competitions at the weekend, she has already won lots of medals and trophies. When she danced for us we clapped and cheered, she is an excellent dancer.
Reports by children in year 3 and 4
On Wednesday 27th March year 1 and 2 visited The Shuttleworth Collection as part of our transport topic. We saw lots of aeroplanes and did lots of activities there. The planes were really old but they can all still fly and some are very bright colours. There were lots in each room. We matched planes with photos of mud, desert, earth and sea to learn about camouflage. Then we put lots of pictures of planes on a timeline from 1900 to 2019.
We also tried on different pilot headgear from the wright brothers in 1903 to modern times. Some were very fluffy and warm inside because it is cold in the sky.
When we got off we played at a really fun park! It has swings, slides and lots of climbing frames. It was a great trip with lots of amazing planes and fun things to do.
By AJ, Georgia, Monty, Ilsa and Amelia
We also learnt about the Comet which won a race from England to Australia and they got £10000 for winning! Then we had lunch. After we all got to ride on a vintage double decker bus that was over 10 years old. It was very bumpy! Some of us went on the top and some on the bottom then we swapped half way through the journey.
To the Moon and Back
Our final assembly of the year was a fantastic show which celebrated the 50th anniversary of man’s first step on the moon on July 20th 1969. There was some fantastic acting, singing and dancing to songs which the year 4’s choreographed themselves.
It was also our chance to say goodbye to our year 4 children and to wish them luck as they move on to middle school in September.
Courage and Determination at Grafham Water
Recently some children from year 3 and 4 had an amazing adventure on the residential trip to Grafham Water. They spent two nights away from home and took part in activities which required great amounts of courage. They climbed high ropes which soared up into the sky and they later climbed up the vertical face of a climbing wall. Many of the children were worried about going so high but they conquered their fear and all of them achieved the target they set for themselves.
Out on the water they paddled canoes, sailed fun boats and built a raft to sail out and save Mr Custance, who was stranded on the reservoir. The excellent co-operation and teamwork the children used showed them that by supporting each other they could achieve so much.
The marshmallows toasted over the fire they helped to build were a delicious treat!
Give Nature a Home
We have been working outside to help nature. We are learning about hedgehogs. We have made hedgehog hotels. One is at the back of the learning lodge where it is quiet. Six boys have been carrying big sticks to make a log pile. Hedgehogs get their name from the way they do their hunting. We have been researching about hedgehogs because they are a very endangered but beautiful animal! Also, they are nocturnal and can grow up to 25 cm! We planted flowers and painted stones so that the bees and butterflies will come to our garden to collect the pollen.
By Lucas, Jasmine and Monty
You can find more photos of our show and rocket launching in the gallery.
3 2 1 Lift Off
Rowan class had an amazing time in science lessons making their own rockets and launching them into the sky- they did not quite get to the moon!
Healthy Living Week
We enjoyed a busy, exciting week learning about how to live a healthy life style and why this is so important. We were invited to the Harvester where we learnt about and sampled food from the Salad Bar. Mr Bolton, our governor, visited the school and brought a garden full of fruit, vegetable and herb plants so we could see where the healthy food we eat comes from and understand that so much of it can be grown in our own gardens.
All the children in the school Jogged a Mile, yr 4 did Bikeability and the other year groups completed Scootability challenges. Year 4 young leaders organised a Pirate Sports afternoon for the rest of the school. We learnt about the importance of a good sleep routine and how different types of exercise are needed to keep different parts of their body fit.
Rowan class were visited by scientists from Vandyke school who helped them test for the sugar and carbohydrate content in food and monitor their heart rate after different exercises. There was also lots of singing about healthy eating and exercising to music!
How Does Your Garden Grow?
As the school year comes to an end the school grounds are looking beautiful. All the flowers and herbs we planted in May have grown, they are so pretty and colourful and we have all enjoyed learning and playing out in the ground. Maybe over the summer when the school is quiet some creatures will come to live in the homes we built.
Look in the gallery to see more pictures of our beautiful school grounds this summer.
New Running Track for our school!
At Hockliffe Lower School we have used a Healthy School Grant to create a track around the edge of our field. It has been exciting to watch it being built until the day we could finally run on it. Hopefully it will help us all keep very fit!
From field to
dirt path to
bouncy running track!
A Report by Rowan Class
When we came into school, we all saw the running track - today was the day it was going to be opened! We wanted a race track because last term we jogged a mile in a week and because of that we had the track made. The workers built a very bouncy all-weather track, which had to set for a few days before we could use it.
After a very short assembly we went outside for an official track opening ceremony. Mr Custance (the fittest member of staff) used green scissors to cut the ribbon. He said “I declare the new running track open”. We all cheered “hooray”! After the ceremony, we were allowed to go around the track twice. We went round it one by one to try the track out. “I was exhausted” said Amelie. “I was puffed out” said Jack . We are allowed to go on the track at playtime and lunchtimes any time of the year. Because it is made out of all-weather mulch it means we can use it all year long and whatever the weather.
We are all going to have a record card and every time we run round the track we will have a stamp on the card. When we have run one mile we will start another card. Who will run the first marathon? We will keep a record in each class to see who runs the furthest.
Mr Stanbridge worked really hard to help finish our track. He made a special ribbon with the school logo on it and tied it to a stand. He has put signs all around the edge. They say which direction we have to move around the track. They tell us which is the walking lane and which is the one for running, so we can all stay safe. “When I was running, I saw lots of smiles and that made me smile” said Nicola.
“It was a magnificent day and I enjoyed going on it” said Ilsa. We are looking forward to using the new track and to keeping fit.
Maple Class wrote a poem inspired
by their first run on the track
Smooth curved track,
Bouncy when we run,
A good place in the grass,
With a view of the fields.
Slower on the inside,
Faster on the outside,
15 laps for a mile,
Overtake if you can!
Puffed out but excited,
Tired but happy.
Exercise for a healthy heart,
Strong legs and a happy life.
Outdoor Music and Art Fun
During half term holiday a fantastic new garden was created in our school grounds- a recycled Creative Music and Art Garden!
Mr Stanbridge our site agent and Mrs Surgett our science and eco co-ordinator used their time to build and position a wonderful collection of instruments created from unwanted household items and toys; dining room chairs, old football goals, bathroom towel rails and food cans and bottles have taken on a new life.
Look at the pictures to see if you can work out what the instruments used to be. We love experimenting with all the different sounds the instruments make during playtimes and we have had music lessons in the garden as well.
In one corner Mr Stanbridge has used unwanted pieces of wood and carved them into flower blackboards so we can draw colourful chalk pictures, we also get to do pavement art on the unwanted paving slabs.
The school garden club have also been very busy planting flowers and planting wild flower seeds around the instruments. Thank you to the Village Youth club and HSA who donated the money to buy the plants seeds turf and shingle for the paths.
It is a brilliant garden that we can all enjoy - thank you Mrs Surgett and Mr Stanbridge, you are amazing!
Around the World to Bethlehem
This year our school Christmas play took us on an amazing journey with a Genie on a magical carpet. The children visited different countries like Jamaica, India, Brazil and America where they saw the fantastic Mickey Mouse Club Band at Disney land. Children from the different lands came with them to Bethlehem where they saw the baby Jesus and presented him with gifts from their countries including wellington boots and a fishing rod! We learnt that no matter what our colour or creed we should work together in our world to share friendship, peace and love.
Forest School Festive Fun
Willow Class have been finding out about reindeers that live in the cold countries like Canada and Russia near the North Pole.
They printed some amazing reindeers with mathematical shapes and tried to make sure they all had symmetrical antlers! Then in their Forest School sessions they made a reindeer from the logs and twigs they found.
Indoor Gardening Club
Just because it’s cold and damp outside doesn’t mean that Gardening Club can have a rest! We have been busy thinking about the birds who visit our school grounds. We have hung different kinds of bird food on our bird feeders and have enjoyed watching all the lovely birds who have been visiting our gardens.
We have been learning some useful carpentry skills with Mr Stanbridge - using chisels, sandpaper, electric screwdrivers (all whilst wearing protective eye goggles of course)! Look in the gallery for the photos which show how we made some amazing bird nesting boxes to hang in the trees in our school grounds. We smoothed all the rough edges, fitted the pieces of wood together like a puzzle, fastened all the pieces together and finally painted them. They look amazing.
In preparation for making our hanging baskets and planting our summer pots, we have planted seeds to try and grow our own summer annual plants. Fingers crossed they grow well!
Water ,Water Everywhere!
On 30th January 2020, we had a visit from Anglian Water. They are very important because they are our local water company. We met a kind lady called Caroline. She came to teach us how water is cleaned and what we should and should not be putting down our drains. We took part in lots of different activities all morning, which we all enjoyed. We learnt that water has lived longer that the earth! Did you know that the water you drink from your taps today is the same water the dinosaurs and people before you drank?
Caroline told us how water is cleaned. She let us make sewage soup. We made it with water, washing powder, tea, oil, poo and wee! We mixed it all up with a spoon. When the oil went in it went to the bottom and then came back up to the top of the bowl. She told us that microbes clean out the water. I was amazed! Microbes are tiny bugs. We used some plasticine and decorations to make our own microbe. I loved it!
After we made the sewage, we talked about what should and should not go down the drain. First she said that no wet wipes or flushable wipes should go down because they have tiny bits of plastic in them which can block your pipes and get into the rivers and seas and pollute them. She said the best way to remember what to put down is remember ‘The 3 P’s’ that is pee, poo and paper!
After that we watched a video of how our water is cleaned and then played a card game. We had to order the cards in the right order of how the water is cleaned.