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  • Nature Reserve Trips

    Published 18/12/16

    One of the great joys of the summer term is the opportunity to get out and explore the wonderful array of living organisms to be found in the natural habitats surrounding the school, particularly at the SPF Nature Reserve.

    Our Year 6 pupils complete their series of three seasonal visits this term.

    The enthusiastic and experienced naturalists of 6A managed to fit in a productive trip between the early summer showers, to find the reserve teeming with invertebrate life of all shapes and sizes. Some groups had to push their way through lush, almost tropical, vegetation in order to find their specimens, something which added to the sense of exploration and problem-solving which the Nature Reserve helps to nurture. The students were particularly delighted by the huge, colourful dragonflies buzzing around in the reeds! 6Alpha will embark on their final expedition later this month.

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  • Music Collaboration Day

    Published 18/12/16

    On Thursday 19 June 2014, 19 pupils from the Junior School orchestra travelled to Saffron Walden and joined forces with Dame Bradbury's school orchestra to rehearse and perform four pieces of music in a short afternoon concert.

    There was a good mix of instruments from recorders to cellos as well as a french horn.  All the children worked and played extremely well together.

    The whole day was a very rewarding experience for the children and also for Mr Jones, who said that he had waited 16 years to have a school orchestra like this one!

    The performance consisted of music from 'Pirates of the Caribbean', 'Jurassic Park', an arrangement of the slow movement from Beethoven's 7th symphony and a rousing performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, all of which were very well received by an appreciative audience of pupils, staff and parents.

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  • Year 5’s ‘Out of the Box’ week

    Published 18/12/16

    Year 5 pupils experienced a different kind of learning during their 'Out of the Box' week.

    They took part in a range of activities designed to help them develop their learning habits, from adventure learning at Mepal to stretching their problem solving skills with K'Nex and making the most of the first ever Junior School sleepover.

    Each day they focused on just four of the learning habits and completed their 'Out of the Box' diary reflecting on what they had learnt. Here's what members of Year 5 had to say about some of the activities:

    I have improved my perseverance because I used my common sense on the murder mystery problem. We got stuck but we didn't give up or ask the teacher. Eventually we managed to work it out for ourselves.

    For the problem-solving we had to use good judgement because there were a different number of points given for each problem. Every group had to choose if they wanted to start off with harder problems that got you higher points or easier problems that didn't get as many points. It was difficult to make a decision.

    We did one challenge where there were lots of possible answers and everyone had different opinions and we didn't know who was right. We all had to consider each other's points until finally we discussed it and found the answer.

    I took a risk at Mepal because when I was doing the high ropes I asked to go up the pole first knowing that I would have to wait at the top on a wiggly platform for the others to arrive. I had to use my courage too because halfway through climbing the pole I got scared and didn't want to do it but I used my courage and got to the top.

    When we were at Mepal we had to use empathy when we were encouraging others because when you see and think about it from a different perspective, you can easily understand their emotion.

    We needed to use perseverance at Mepal in the kayaking because there was one bit where two people were in one kayak and had two paddles so it was hard to know which way to paddle.

    When we did our animations I used direction to decide with the group what we wanted to do and then we worked out what we needed to do to get there. By the end of the activity I had learnt the importance of precision in things like this and that you can't jump from one scene to another saying 'That will do'. You have to have precision.

    We needed direction for the animation because we had a set time to do all the pictures so we had to keep it moving. We also had to use a lot of humour as we made quite a few mistakes. We had to be able to laugh at them and move on.

    When we used the K'Nex I found that you need to have humility so you can give other people the chance to use their idea even if you have one yourself. I learnt that if you give other people a chance you feel really good and that you can often use your idea at a different time.

    When we made our K'Nex windmills we had to use flexibility because we all had different opinions on how to make the structure of the windmill.

    When we made our windmills we worked together and joined our ideas which made us co-operate and collaborate better. Whenever we made a big mistake we used resilience to bounce back and correct it instead of getting cross.

    Today we had a nice relaxing day at the Visual Arts Centre making rainforest masks out of cardboard. We had to have a lot of concentration and self-discipline because we were all very tired after the Year 5 sleepover, but we still needed to concentrate on the work.

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  • Year 6 trip to Paris

    Published 18/12/16

    Paris is known as the City of Lights and it certainly sparked the imaginations of Year 6 when we spent three days in the French Capital. 

    Eurostar treated us kindly and we were whisked through the tunnel to meet our smiling, French coach driver.

    In no time we were climbing to the open-air terrace on the 59th floor of the Montparnasse Tower to take in the 360 degree panorama of the entire city. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the view was spectacular.

    The morning of Day Two found us strolling around the Louvre, past the symmetrical beauty of Venus de Milo, beneath Icarus carelessly tumbling to Earth from a ceiling painting and, of course, to where the Mona Lisa was waiting for us to gaze upon her.

    Whilst our heads were still brimming with art, statues and golden crowns we were taken to the Seine to board our Bateau-Mouche for a cruise along the river. If there is only one site that it is essential to see in Paris, then surely it must be the iconic tower called Eiffel. We saw it from Montparnasse, we saw it from our boat and, finally, we saw it up close from beneath. It did not fail to impress (and nor did the conveniently placed souvenir shop where we spent the first of our Euros!). The rest of the afternoon involved admiring the Pompidou Centre (and its shops), walking up the steep steps to see Sacré-Coeur and taking in the superb view from there.

    Before heading for home on Friday 13th, there was one more stop for us: Notre Dame, another amazing site to tick off on our list but one we shall surely remember with its cool, quiet interior, beautiful carvings and magnificent stained glass windows.

    The 2014 Year 6 trip to Paris was one of excitement, culture, history and memories that will last a life time. Au revoir, Paris, à bientôt.

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  • ‘Technology in Beekeeping’ – a Junior Inspire Me Event

    Published 18/12/16

    The Science Room is always a 'hive of activity', but on Friday 20 June this became literally true, when Mr Phil Webb, a Junior School parent and keen beekeeper, came to present our latest Junior Inspire Me Event.

    An enthusiastic audience of Year 5 students listened intently as Mr Webb outlined the history of this ancient, yet ultra-modern, practice, which has always demanded the utmost patience, ingenuity and even courage. The students were wowed by the daring involved in collecting wild honey, where being stung is often the least of the collector's worries, as pictures of men suspended on rickety rope ladders above sheer cliffs amply testified!

    We learned, therefore, that safety was one of the main reasons why people started to keep bees in artificial hives; another that this process of domestication ensured a more reliable source of honey, and the possibility of greatly increasing yields.

    Mr Webb brought in a 'virtual' hive: a full-size model of the real thing, which allowed the students to take it apart, examine the beautiful, complex structures of the honey combs and see with incredible clarity where the bees live, where they keep their pollen, how they feed their young, and so on.  

    This opportunity for a hands-on experience of a three-dimensional hive also served to reinforce the central point of Mr Webb's talk, as implied in the title, that the key technological advances in beekeeping actually involve space. The most important of these, we learned, is the idea of the "bee space" - a precise distance which allows bees to crawl between two surfaces, and which has turned out to be critical to creating an efficient, productive hive.

    As well as learning about the amazing potential of simple low-tech ways of solving practical problems, the students were also fascinated by what they learned about the biology of bees, including their complex social organisation, precise, geometrical construction skills, and the phenomenal reproductive capacity of the queen: able to produce up to 2000 eggs per day!

    A highlight of the event came at the end, when the students relished the opportunity to sample some honey straight from the comb and the elegantly packaged end product itself: thus satisfying more than just their intellectual appetites!

    We are very grateful to Mr Webb for all the effort he put into organising and delivering a most stimulating session. The many questions and contributions from the Year 5s demonstrated that the event had engaged their scientific, mathematical and social understanding, and they went away with a lot more appreciation for the humble, hardworking, honey bee!

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  • Lucy Hawking visits the Junior School

    Published 18/12/16

    Junior School pupils and staff went on an adventure in space when Lucy Hawking came to visit on 25 June 2014.

    Guided by Lucy and with the well known characters of George, Annie, her dad Eric, and Cosmos, the supercomputer leading the way, we travelled back in time to when the universe began, flew round far away planets and contemplated the physics behind black holes.

    Lucy talked about the importance of imagination and creativity in Science and, through brilliant animations and interesting interviews, we learnt about the lack of gravity in space and even managed to answer questions like, 'Is it possible to gargle in space?' The answer, of course, is ‘no’ but it was fun watching the astronaut try!

    Lucy shared her experience of her zero gravity flight which is the closest she has ever got to space itself and now she has told the children the minimum age to have a go is 10, there may well be a few requests made at home.

    By the end of her talk the children were really buzzing and many commented they would be doing some research of their own tonight. They asked many superb questions both about the universe itself and Lucy as an author. Her answers to big questions such as how the universe started, what is outside the universe, what is in a black hole and how fast is the universe expanding showed an affinity with the age group, their quest for understanding and their enthusiasm for learning. The complex theories in this area of Science were brought to a level that could be easily understood and then given life through the characters of her books.

    This inspiring session ended with an extremely well attended book signing. A huge number of copies of ‘George and the Unbreakable Code’, and a few of the earlier George books, left the library clutched by young readers eager to further their knowledge and understanding of this most fascinating of topics.

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  • Junior School Summer Concert

    Published 18/12/16

    Junior School Summer Concerts at West Road are always a treat but the sparkling event held on 26 June 2014 was exceptional and we are immensely proud of everyone involved, across all four year groups. The programme was ambitious but the great variety of pieces really showcased Junior School pupils' musicality, talent, enormous enthusiasm and also their stamina.

    From the sensitive opening with the whole school singing 'I am a small part of the world' to the rousing grand finale of songs from Disney's 'Lion King', the audience was captivated by polished performances, with their roots in astounding potential, and owing much to rigorous rehearsal schedules, both at home as well as in school.

    Throughout every item on the programme, including solos, small group ensembles, singing groups and bands, the massed orchestras of Years 4-6, numbering 115 instrumentalists performing ‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic’, and whole school songs, including Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’, there were fabulous contrasts of tempo and mood, and it was wonderful to see young musicians of hugely differing levels of expertise and experience performing with confidence and sheer delight.

    There are too many pieces to mention by name but ‘The Lion King’ was a delight from start to finish with fabulous singing and spoken dialogue between choirs, accompanied by Junior School Concert Band which was augmented for the occasion by some Year 10 GCSE music students who certainly added flair to the overall production. The narrators, drawn from Years 4-6, beautifully placed the songs in context and the visual effect of the title and the familiar lion king face was magical. Anisa Habibi and Holly Thompson deserve special mention for their vocal and recorder solos respectively.

    The four Year 6 soloists, all of whom have achieved music scholarships for the next stage of their education, gave breath-taking performances. To hear Chopin, Correlli, Beethoven and Vivaldi played by 11 year olds, is nothing short of remarkable. Huge congratulations to Juliette Richards, Mila Henderson-Gill, Kira Bhamra and Hannah Seo. These musicians will go far and it has been a privilege to watch them blossom into such highly accomplished performers.

    The Music Department are to be congratulated on producing a ‘big serious concert’ to quote Matthew Rudd, Director of Music. We are particularly indebted to Hannah Vincent, Junior School Music Co-ordinator, for her musical direction underpinned by amazing levels of energy and patience. Thanks also to Susan Roberts, Junior School Deputy Head, whose creative energy and organisational skills greatly enhanced the entire proceedings. It was a ‘night to remember’ for a very long time.

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  • Year 3 trip to Norwich

    Published 18/12/16

    On Monday 16 June, Year 3 spent a wonderful day in Norwich.

    Our first stop was the Cathedral where the girls thoroughly enjoyed their Grand Tour.

    They were mesmerised by the roof bosses, stained glass windows and font, which had previously been used for boiling caramel in a chocolate factory!

    After a well-deserved picnic lunch in the cloisters we headed for Norwich Puppet Theatre. Within minutes the girls were transforming newspaper, canes and cardboard roll into their very own rod puppet. Feathers, buttons and beads completed their creations and two hours later the puppets were brought to life and were being introduced enthusiastically by their makers on the stage.

    We headed back to Cambridge on the coach with the puppets safely resting in the luggage racks and many stories to tell.

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  • Stephen Perse Foundation Photographic Competition shortlist announced

    Published 18/12/16

    'What is Learning?' Stephen Perse Foundation Photographic competition shortlist announced!

    Students from across the six schools of the foundation were invited to submit photographic entries that captured their experience of learning, in any digital format.

    Students with access, or their teachers, simply had to upload their image to a Google Drive folder by the deadline of 13th June.

    Judges from the Governors, The Head of Visual Arts, and the Marketing & Communications Department selected a shortlist from almost 80 entries.

    The range of creative responses can be viewed in this gallery below:

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  • Match report: Hockey U11

    Published 18/12/16

    Stephen Perse Foundation U 11 v King’s College School

    SPF U11 B’s 3 – 1 KCS

    This was a superb start to the season for the B team.  In a fixture that is always fiercely contested, the girls battled well to take a 2-0 lead through Imogen Frost-Smith and Gabrielle Marciniak.  SPF enjoyed a majority of the possession and looked very dangerous on the break throughout the entire game.

    In the second half King’s pulled a goal back, but a calmly taken third goal from Aoife Screaton restored the two goal margin.

    Special mention should go to Isabelle Rolls who, on making her debut, was awarded player of the match for her solid tackling and intelligent distribution of the ball.

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  • Year 6 day trip to Brancaster in North Norfolk

    Published 18/12/16

    On 23 September 2013, Year 6 met at Panton Street post box at 8.00am. It was a chilly, grey Monday morning. We boarded the coach and set off for Norfolk on a field trip as part of our geography studies. As we passed Hunstanton, the fog disappeared, the sun came out and we spotted the sea for the first time - it was time for a round of ‘I can see the sea!’ We were all ecstatic and jumping for joy when we arrived at Brancaster Beach, even though we had to trek for ten minutes to get to the sea as the tide was so high it had covered the road. It was really hot by the time we had split into two groups.

    In the morning Group 1 walked beside the salt marsh where they had a very heated debate about whether or not the Environment Agency had been right to spend thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to create a fresh water pasture for the farmers. There were some really good points made during the debate. Meanwhile, Group 2 spent time on the beach collecting beach materials in order to create models of different sea defences which are found on beaches around the country. They also learnt about erosion, deposition, transportation and about the sea defences at Brancaster. Did you know that these have been so effective they have almost disappeared?

    All that hard work made us really hungry. After lunch we had time to turn a few cartwheels, write our names in the sand and spot a few crabs. Real crabs! Then we swapped activities for the afternoon session before heading home - tired, happy and only a little bit sandy!

    Written by Kira Bhamra 6Alpha, Catherine Caley 6A, Georgina Ibrahim 6Alpha

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  • Science of the Future - A Cosmic Challenge

    Published 18/12/16

    If you could have a robot to do anything you wanted, what would you ask it to do? Children in years 4 to 6 at Junior School have been busy thinking about this question, the universe and how to solve problems as a scientist. Taking part in a questionnaire for alumna Lucy Hawking (who left school in 1989), novelist, writer and daughter of Stephen Hawking – the questionnaire will help with Lucy’s research for her latest book in the ‘Cosmic George’ series.

    Children were asked to suggest what they would want a robot to do if they had their own, and draw what it would look like. Answers ranged from the not-surprising ‘Homework, to ‘Make another cosmos’ through to ‘Eat my vegetables which I don’t like’. The children were keen that robots didn’t tell lies, cook, go into water, take over the universe or blow up the house.

    Lucy would like to thank the children who took part “How wonderful to read some of the fantastic ideas from the Junior School children – it was especially touching to read responses of children from my old school. These ideas really do help build a picture of how children view science, the cosmos and what is beyond. The research will not only be used in my writing, but also in a talk I am making in Toronto next week.”

    We are delighted that Lucy will be visiting the Junior School library to do a reading of her new book next year, and will also be speaking at a forthcoming ‘Inspire Me’ event next year.

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  • Photography Competition - the winners

    Published 18/12/16

    Congratulations go to everyone who entered the 2014 'What is learning' photography competition organised by the Stephen Perse Foundation Governors.

    The judges were extremely pleased with the response of almost 80 entries and the standard was so high that the decision was made to reward Highly Commended entries in each category with a prize as well.

    Students from across the Foundation were invited to enter. All entries will be displayed on spflearning.com soon, and the highly commended and prize winning entries will be displayed in an exhibition at the Senior School in Cambridge in the Autumn Term.

    Five competition winners will all receive a £25 Amazon voucher and highly commended entries win the prize of a £10 Amazon voucher.

    Results

    Pre-prep:

    Winner - Campbell Lee 'What is learning'

    Highly Commended - Abigail Holdstock 'The recipe for learning is fun'

    Dame Bradbury's:

    Winner - Isaac Cowell 'Learning, reading, seeing and doing'

    Highly Commended - CiCi Tilston 'What is learning'

    Junior School:

    Winner - Julia Marshall 'Learning to climb'

    Highly Commended - Sirisha Gorantla 'What is learning' (#1 - the scrabble board)

    Senior School - Years 7 & 8:

    Winner - Charlotte Lane 'What is learning'

    Highly Commended - Catherine Humphrey 'What is learning'

    Senior School - Year 10:

    Winner - Aoife Husband 'What is learning'

    Highly Commended - Hannah Brock, for her triptych 'What is learning'

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  • Year 6’s autumn visit to the Nature Reserve

    Published 18/12/16

    It was a warm and sunny day. All you could hear was the twittering of the birds and the occasional cry when a member of 6Alpha made an exciting discovery! We were split into six groups, covering every habitat in the Nature Reserve, plus a data collecting group who roamed over the entire site. We enjoyed analysing what we found, and the highlights included the flood meadow group seeing a flock of grouse flying overhead and the stream dipping group finding a caddis fly larva coated in its beautiful protective case of leaves and twigs!

    By Priya Babla, Gabrielle Marciniak & Zara Rimi, 6Alpha

    On Thursday 3 October, 6A went to the Nature Reserve. There were 6 groups: pond dipping, stream dipping, scrub bank, flood meadow, bank under trees and data research. There were three or four people in a group, so we worked collaboratively and got lots out of it. The people who worked in the scrub bank, flood meadow and bank under trees looked for minibeasts in the soil, air, bushes and trees and the pond and steam dipping teams caught water minibeasts and put them in white trays. They used classification keys to identify them, before releasing them back into their natural habitats. The data research group had a very busy time, collecting a wealth of information: the temperature of the air, soil and water, nutrient levels, the pH of the soil and the pond and stream water, and the weather conditions. We all learned a lot about animals in their natural habitats and had a fantastic time!

    By Maddy Frear & Isabelle Goodman, 6A

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  • L6 Psychology students visit the Junior School and City Pre-prep

    Published 18/12/16

    The L6 psychology students had a most successful visit to the pre-prep and years 1,2 and 3 in which they carried out Piagetian tasks with the children to observe whether conservation abilities change once children reach the age of 7.

    Conservation is the ability to understand that simply because something has changed shape does not mean there is more of it. The results provided validation of Piaget’s theory in that the 7 year olds showed no hesitation in performing the tasks correctly while for the younger children it proved to be much more puzzling!

    Some students were also able to carry out tasks on egocentrism with the older children and again Piaget proved to be right!

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  • Hockey report U10's

    Published 18/12/16

    Stephen Perse Foundation U10 Hockey v Bedford Girls' School

    U10A 0 - 1 Bedford Girls' School

    This fixture was a good test for the girls. It proved to be a very even game, with both teams having plenty of possession. The A team started strongly and showed their ability to move the ball with purpose and attack with width. As a smaller, but more skilful side, the girls penetrated the opposition circle plenty of times and were unlucky not to score. Just before half time the opposition broke away to take a 1-0 lead despite the quite outstanding efforts from goalkeeper Lara Hassan.

    The second half was a similar affair and both Frances Webb (Capt) and Isabelle Thomson went close with some accurate shooting. Daisy Bathe and Izzy Beardsworth continued to work tirelessly ensuring that Bedford didn't score again and the match finished 1-0. Player of the match is awarded to Nafisah Nasser for her great stick skills playing at centre midfield.

    U10 B 2 - 1 Bedford Girls' School

    This was a game of two halves, with bedford taking a 1-0 lead into half time. Having come from behind in previous fixtures, the B team had plenty of belief that they could in fact still win. The pace of Alicia Hainsworth-Adams combined with the accurate passing of Isabelle Brown allowed the Stephen Perse team to play lots of hockey in the opposition's half. It wasn't long before the momentum had shifted and Daisy Thompson popped up to score an equaliser. With five minutes remaining, Jemima Wrigley received a ball from the right and calmly slotted the it beyond the goalkeeper to clinch the victory. Player of the match is awarded to Poppy Challis for continually winning the ball back from the opposition.

    U10 C 1 - 0 Bedford Girls' School

    The C team, having not played a fixture beforehand, were tremendously excited about the opportunity to represent the school. The girls started nervously, but soon settled into the game and began to move the ball well. Olivia Moss and Alessandra Learmount worked very hard to keep the ball wide, whilst Bethany Barnett (player of the match) defended with great determination. It fell to captain Tara Bhachu to provide the spark that the game needed as she skilfully dribbled into the D to score past the goalkeeper. It was the winning goal and girls enjoyed discussing the crucial moment during the coach journey home.

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  • European languages day!

    Published 18/12/16

    Learning and fun - no better combination at the Junior School.

    See our full photo collection on Flickr

    IMG_2490.JPG

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