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Latest news from the Stephen Perse Rosedale House. You can also read our parent newsletters, written by the Head of School, here.

December 2016

  • Year 3 go on an Island Adventure!

    Published 18/12/16

    As the sun rose in Saffron Walden on October 13th, 'An Island Adventure' awaited the Year 3 castaways from Dame Bradbury’s and the Junior School.

    The day revolved around a series of activities designed to get the children thinking, not just thinking their own thoughts and ideas but thinking collaboratively. After walking the gang plank the adventure began!

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  • Pupils wrap up warm in woolies for Wintercomfort

    Published 18/12/16

    Pupils at the Stephen Perse Foundation Junior School wrapped up warm on Monday to raise money for a city charity to help the homeless.

    Wacky hats, gloves and scarves were worn to school on the chilly morning for Wear Your Woolies for Wintercomfort Day.

    Each student gave a donation to Wintercomfort to wear their woolies during their journeys to and from school, and during form time, assembly and break times.

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  • Collaborative Day

    Published 18/12/16

    On Thursday 6th October, on a gloriously sunny Autumn morning, Year 5 pupils from Junior School and Dame Bradbury's met at Latham Road for their collaborative day on the theme of 'Go Wild'. 

    They quickly and enthusiastically got into groups, renewing old friendships and starting to form new ones. Tracy Grant, from the Exploration Society, kindly donated her time and skill to light a welcoming fire around which we all gathered to sing some campfire songs. Throughout the morning everyone had the opportunity to toast some marshmallows - a gooey treat enjoyed by all! The groups then set to work, collaborating in small groups to create artwork using natural materials foraged from their surroundings - within no time pine cones, sticks, leaves and grass were transformed into ladybirds, dragonflies and other insects. 

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  • Year 4 take a step back in time for Roman Day

    Published 18/12/16

    Roman Day found the Year 4 classrooms inhabited by very authentic looking and extremely excited Roman soldiers, ladies and slave girls. After a photo session using green screen technology to pose in front of suitable Roman backgrounds, the children launched into the day's activities.

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  • A trip to Epping Forest Field Centre with Year 5

    Published 18/12/16

    On a lovely autumn morning Year 5 pupils set off bright and early for Epping Forest. This visit was to launch our new topic of 'Run, River Run'. The day began with learning about our location and the source of Loughton Brook.

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  • Year 6 visit the North Norfolk coast

    Published 18/12/16

    Despite a rather daunting weather forecast, which caused Mrs Long to request that all the Year 6 geographers brought many layers of waterproofs, the sun shone, the wind dropped and the temperature rose. We were even treated to some beautiful rainbows which made everyone 'ooh and aah'.

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  • Smera competes in the Junior Language Challenge finals

    Published 18/12/16

    JLC (Junior Language Challenge) is the National Language Competition for children aged 10 and under in the UK. The JLC, which is great fun, is designed to encourage young people to learn unusual languages like Romanian, rather than Spanish or French.

    There were more than 1000 participants from all over the UK who took part in the JLC 2016 Finals. Only 200 who topped in the score board in the initial round were selected for the regional semi-finals and only 30 from semi-finals were selected for the finals. The first language this year to learn was Romanian followed by Korean and Swahili, for semi-final and final respectively.

    Initially I was not very sure whether I should take part in this competition. After playing a few games with my mum in Romanian using the JLC app, I started liking it. Although I started at the bottom of the Cambridgeshire leader board, I was delighted to finish in first place. Finishing first, meant I went through to the semi-final. For the semi-final I had to learn Korean and all summer I worked hard.

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  • Year 6 take a trip back to Victorian times in Stibbington

    Published 18/12/16

    Victorian Day was sunny and bright, and our Year 6s all looked the part as they set off for Stibbington. Upon arrival, they were introduced to their teachers, Miss Flack and Mr Hendon, and each pupil was given the persona of a child who lived in the village during the Victorian era.

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  • Anti-Bullying Week sees pupils use 'Power for Good'

    Published 18/12/16

    After an initial whole school introduction to this year’s theme for Anti-Bullying Week, ‘Power for Good’, each year group spent time discussing what it means and how we can keep this important message at the heart of relationships in school all the year round.

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  • Year 6 ask important questions to council during Parliament Week

    Published 18/12/16

    With one eye on our PSHEE scheme and another on promoting the importance of fundamental British values, Year 6 invited Andrew Limb, Head of Corporate Strategy at Cambridge City Council, to come into school to give his perspective on rights and responsibilities, voting, elections and decision-making in local government.

    His fascinating and informative talk covered topics such as constitutional monarchy, when our parliament was first established and who can and cannot vote in elections in this country. He even pointed out that we belong to a country where people like to talk and hold discussions, with which Year 6 certainly agreed!

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  • Going on a church search with Year 3

    Published 18/12/16

    As part of their unit of study on Christian places of worship, the two Year 3 classes each made a visit to Emmanuel United Reformed Church, which is just a short walk from school.

    Before reaching their destination the children were impressed by the exteriors of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Peterhouse College and Little St Mary’s Church. As they settled down for an introductory talk with Penny Flynn, an elder of the church, the children showed great interest and gradually the questions, which they had thought of back at school and on arrival, were answered.

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  • Sports results: Hockey and football

    Published 18/12/16

    Junior School Hockey

    It seems like a long time ago when the girls’ pre-season hockey camp marked the beginning of the hockey term. Since then the action has arrived thick and fast, and the rising levels of skill, tactical understanding and composure have supported the hard work and team spirit of the teams to produce some fantastic results.

    The style of hockey on display has been free flowing, concise and aesthetically pleasing. Throughout the year groups the girls have not struggled to create chances, which is a great sign for future years. However, in the world of sport, results do not always go your way and there have been some narrow defeats, missed opportunities in front of goal and frustrating mishaps at the back. It is therefore pleasing to note the evident determination and positive attitudes of the girls that have led to growth in sporting character and ultimately produced a winning season.

    There have been numerous highlights throughout the season across the year groups and it has been pleasing to see a good number of parents supporting the girls from the sidelines. A special mention should go to the U10A team who are currently on course to complete an undefeated season. They have to negotiate a tricky rearranged fixture away to Bedford Girls’ School on Saturday, but if they can do this it will be a fantastic achievement.

    All girls are to be commended for their approach to the season and many have left the PE department with some difficult decisions to make before Junior School Sports Awards in the summer.

    Click here for hockey results

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  • 'Inspiring' Philosophy for Children event

    Published 18/12/16

    I was privileged to be able to spend a most inspiring three days in Oxford attending an advanced level training course on Philosophy for Children. Having facilitated P4C for a few years now, this was a wonderful opportunity to gain an even greater understanding and appreciation of the theory and practice behind this pedagogy. Three leading P4C experts at the helm combined with the wealth of backgrounds and experience of the eighteen delegates, who had come from as far afield as the USA and the Philippines, in thought provoking and lively debates into philosophical concepts such as childhood, ethics and politics in education.

    Just as engaging in discussion as a community in the classroom helps the children articulate and develop their thoughts, ideas and opinions, these rich and valuable discussions were shaping mine. P4C is not only fun but it gives opportunity to discuss the meaningful, deeper issues that we all wonder about. I have returned to the Junior School with lots of ideas, which I can't wait to share with the children.

    Marcelle Dobson

    Junior School PSHEE Coordinator

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  • Royal Society ‘Cutting Edge Classrooms’ Event

    Published 18/12/16

    On 18-19 November, I had the privilege of attending an event organised by the Royal Society, titled "Cutting Edge Classrooms". I was invited to participate as part of the Junior School's membership of the Associate Schools and Colleges Scheme, which the world's oldest and most prestigious scientific organisation has set up to facilitate links between academics and teachers and to allow teachers to share best practice in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education. The scheme forms a central plank of the society's strategy, set out in its "Vision" document, to promote STEM education, in order to ensure the UK's future in science and technology.

    The event took place in the stunning surroundings of Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire, a former stately home, part of which is now run by the Royal Society as a conference and social venue. Clearly, a lot of work had gone into preparing a stellar line up of speakers and providing plenty of opportunities to share ideas. Teachers from a wide geographical range and representing every phase of education were treated to fascinating talks by some of the leading researchers in fields including drug development, atmospheric chemistry and astrobiology. Each talk was followed by a discussion period, during which we had the opportunity to speak to the scientists themselves, and then share ideas with fellow teachers about how we could translate what we had learned about in the talks into tangible activities back in our schools.

    In order to ensure that the conference would result in actions which will promote STEM education, and spark the kind of excitement about discovery that will help nurture the next generation of scientists, engineers and technology entrepreneurs, the second day culminated in each the attendees writing an action plan, setting out concrete proposals for how to take forward the exciting research findings we had learned about, and turn these into activities in which our pupils can participate.

    All the participants went away buzzing with excitement and energised to share what we had learned. I am sure that this is a gathering which has sowed seeds that will help inspire many young minds throughout the country to learn more about the exciting possibilities which science and technology are opening up all the time. Personally, I have come back with a range of ideas to share with Junior School pupils, so with no astrobiology pun intended: watch this space!

    Gordon West

    Junior School Science Coordinator

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  • Love for Strictly sees Lucy reach finals in Latin and Ballroom dance competition

    Published 18/12/16

    I am sure many of you enjoy the programme ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Did you watch it when Ed Balls danced the Salsa Gangnam Style? I wonder who your favourite couple is?

    I absolutely love the show and this is how I got into Ballroom and Latin American dancing. When I was only six, I dreamed that one day I could be a professional dancer like Janette Manrara and Natalie Lowe. We tried finding a local Ballroom dance class but there are not many around. Ballroom dancing as we know it today originated from dances held in the royal courts back in the 16th century and has only recently come back into fashion due to the show’s popularity. We did some research and found The Studio at Flint Cross near Royston, where I go twice a week to dance. It is so much fun.

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  • Finding out what scientists do at Junior Inspire talk

    Published 18/12/16

    Tuesday afternoon’s Junior Inspire Event really lived up to its billing, with a truly inspirational talk entitled, ‘What do scientists really do in their work?’ by Dr Emily Camm from the Department of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, who is also the parent of one of our Pre-prep pupils.

    Dr Camm gave her Year 6 audience a unique insight into the daily tasks carried out by a research scientist, looking at her varied weekly schedule of activities. This includes practical tasks like collecting tissues for research studies and preparing chemicals for experiments, using computers for data analysis and statistics, administrative tasks like reviewing PhD applications and progressing her own career, and teaching responsibilities like lecturing, supervising undergraduate practical classes and marking essays.

    It was really helpful for the girls to gain more of an insight into the links between what they learn in Science at school and what happens in the real world of research. For example, Year 6 have recently been learning about dissolving, something which Dr Camm puts to good use in making up solutions in the lab, and they get lots of practice at recording and presenting results from practical activities in the form of data tables and graphs, which Dr Camm uses on a regular basis in processing her results for publication in scientific journals.

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  • Year 6 Drama Club entertain at showcase

    Published 18/12/16

    On Thursday 1st December we performed in the Drama Club showcase. The Year 6s who attended the club were divided into three groups and each group acted out a different scene from ‘Peter Pan’. The club was run by some Year 10 and Year 11 students, supervised by Miss Wood. They made the performance a fun experience and enjoyable for everyone, including the performers and audience. Personally, my favourite parts of the showcase were the movement sequences in each scene because they were exciting to do and watch, especially the fighting sequence. Florence

    In our Drama Showcase we performed extracts from ‘Peter Pan’. Each group had a movement scene to act out and they were all put to music. In the actual performance we had costumes to wear and props to use. It was really fun and the Year 10 and 11 students were helpful and kind. Madeleine

    I really enjoyed taking part in Drama Club this term as we had two Year 10 students and one Year 11 helping us. I loved playing the part of Michael in the showcase as it was really fun. I got to wear my dressing gown and the games we played were fabulous! ‘Peter Pan’ was such good fun and I wish I could do it again as I liked learning how to fly! Lara

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  • Year 4 visit the Romans at Colchester Castle

    Published 18/12/16

    To support their topic on the Romans, Year 4 visited Colchester Castle Museum on 1

    During the course of the day, the pupils had the opportunity to engage with interactive museum exhibits in the galleries. The simulated chariot race proved to be very popular. The children also worked together to complete the challenge of building a Celtic roundhouse, a Roman villa and identifying and sorting Roman artefacts.

    The castle itself is built on the site of the Roman Temple of Claudius. The children walked down the many steps into the vaults to learn more about Boudicca’s revolt against the Romans and the burning of the Temple by the Celts.

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