Newsletter 1 December

Newsletter 1 December

From the Headmaster:

The Parents’ Forum Group meeting this week was a very positive gathering. There seems to be great satisfaction with so many areas of School life and the School will ensure that recommendations for greater clarity with regard to Effort & Attainment Grades and other suggestions are built into future plans.

I very much enjoyed Thursday’s musical treat provided by the children in Assembly where we practised carols whilst the snow was falling outside.


It is always a lovely time in schools when children start looking forward to Christmas and my thanks go to the parent volunteers who decorated the trees and gave the School a festive feel yesterday, in preparation for the PTFA’s Festive Fayre today. I am a very aware that yesterday’s volunteers only make up a percentage of those parents who give up their time to help in School – from working in the Library each week to preparing for various events. This is much appreciated.

There are a number of productions throughout the Nursery and Pre-Prep to look forward to, followed by the Pre-Prep Carol Service at St Edmund’s Church and the Prep School Carol Service at St Peter Mancroft on the final day of term.

Keeping children and data safe when buying smart toys and devices this Christmas
This Christmas there will be more tech toys than ever before, and many of them will use Bluetooth or wifi to link to apps and the wider internet. Some of these toys will have cameras and microphones recording the environment and the child’s play. The Information Commissioner recently published an article looking at the risks of using smart toys and a link to this can be found below and may be of interest:

Poppy Appeal
I am delighted to confirm that the School raised £259.95 for the Poppy Appeal this year, and my thanks go to all those who made donations.

Dates for your Diary
Please check the Parents’ Portal which lists all latest events and changes:

Autumn Term 2018 Dates
Please note the start of the Autumn Term 2018 will be on Wednesday 5 September. Staff INSET days will be Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 September. Term will finish on Friday 14 December, with half-term from Saturday 20 October to Sunday 4 November.

Open Morning Dates for 2018
Saturday 20 January 2018 and Saturday 5 May 2018

Please note that boarding will be available on the Friday night before each Open Morning and beds can be booked through Matron Ives in the usual way and priority will be offered to our weekly boarders.

Information added onto the Parents’ Portal w/c Monday 27 November
Parents Board
PTFA minutes

The Parents’ Portal can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

Headmaster Signature

Excellent – ISI 2016
Open Morning on Saturday 20 January 2018
Flexi-Boarding Bookings for Spring Term 2018 from 09.00 on Monday 11 December
Soirée 2 at the Prep School on Monday 11 December at 18:00 – all welcome!
Carols Around the Yew Hedge on Tuesday 12 December at 18:00
PTFA Christmas Fair for Parents in the Inner and Outer Hall on Wednesday 13 December from 18:30-21:30
Year 2 Carol Service at St Edmund’s Church on Friday 15 December at 10:30
Prep School Christmas Service at St Peter Mancroft Church on Friday 15 December at 14:00

Latest from Prep

Key dates for your diary
This information can be found at the top in the Parents’ Portal on the School website. We would encourage parents to check this each week to stay abreast of the latest events and changes:

Mr Ed Wood delivered some very important messages this week in Monday’s Assembly with a particular focus on what makes pupils effective self-managers:

Year 4 were warmly welcomed at St Edmund’s Church to learn more about the Christian Church’s celebration of Christmas:

I managed to pop out and see the three U9 rugby sides in action on Tuesday where tries were coming thick and fast, from all the teams! The RFU’s focus on running rugby with little stoppage time certainly ensures there are high-scoring games with plenty of action.

Many congratulations to Evie B-S in Year 3 who was awarded the trophy for the best member 12 years and under at this week’s Norfolk Showjumping Club Presentations. What a fantastic achievement. Well done, Evie.

Both the Boys’ first team Rugby side and the Girls’ U11 Hockey side finished runners-up in their respective tournaments this week. Both sides lost only one game but such are the margins between 1st and 2nd place!

We are delighted to announce that we have received our THIRD consecutive GOLD School Games Mark Award, 2016/17:

A mixed U11 Boys’ football side played a friendly football fixture v local Taverham Junior School’s A-team:

Boys match reports:

Girls match reports:

Mr Jonty Tan writes
Monday kicked off the week with a wonderful concert by the Rock Band Hobby at lunchtime which was broadcast live on the School’s Facebook page. Thank you to all who joined us and to those who watched, liked and commented on Facebook! The next Lunchtime Concert will be on Monday 4 December with the Brass Ensemble performing.
There is a hustle and bustle in the air around the Music Department as children prepare for Soirée 2, which has the fullest bill of all Soirées so far!
Magna Voce are excited to be performing at the turning on of the Christmas Tree lights at the Forum on Wednesday and have been working incredibly hard to prepare what is a very challenging song – you’ll get to hear it at our Prep Christmas Service at St Peter Mancroft on the last day of term.

Lunchtime Concerts at 14:00
Monday 4 December – Brass Ensemble
Friday 8 December – Neat Beats Drum Ensemble

Musical dates for your diary
Soiree 2 – Monday 11 December at 18:00
Carols inside the yew hedge – Tuesday 12 December at 18:00
Christmas Service at St Peter Mancroft – Friday 15 December at 14:00

From the boarding community

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – Flexi-boarding bookings for the Spring Term 2018
Flexi-boarding bookings for the Spring Term will be taken from 09:00 on Monday 11 December 2017. Bookings will only be accepted via email to Matron Ives at Due to the high demand for boarding beds, bookings will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and any emails received before 09:00 on the 11 December will not be accepted.

Lots of activities have been on offer this week to enable the boarders to spend time together and relax as a community. With the pressures of exams over, it is time for us all to begin to get festive. The girls have got there first with their tree and decorations already up. Amazing job, girls – well done!

I have been impressed by how the boarders have got themselves organised for activities and helped one another. This is especially true of the older boarders looking after our newer recruits!

We all welcomed returning boarders this week, Alex M and Daisy S. Hopefully you enjoyed your stay and we’ll see you again soon.

Please remember if you have been invited to the Boarders’ Christmas Party, you need to accept by emailing Matron at This will confirm your bed for the night. Remember: dress code is Christmas!

Monday: Sports hall – Sports Hall Activities
This was a great opportunity to use the Sports Hall for activities. Expertly refereed by Mr Sayer, Swedish Longball was the game of choice which was enormous fun. All of the boarders took part and enjoyed the competition.

Tuesday: Pamper Night and Boys’ Pool Competition
The girls thoroughly enjoyed the Pamper Night which involved foot spas, face masks and nail painting. They all looked relaxed and rejuvenated after their array of treatments. The Pool Competition was great fun, although many of the boys were jealous of the girls and ended up wearing mud packs themselves.

Wednesday: Boys’ Swimming Pool Party and Tuck Shop
It was the boys’ turn to have a pool party this week, with great fun had by all. The challenge of riding the Unicorn was great to watch, with only a few boys achieving it. The girls took this opportunity to decorate their dorm for Christmas. They now have a beautiful tree, lights and decorations ready to start the festive fun. Boys…this is your job next week!

Boarders can wear any swimming costumes so that their School costumes remain dry for lessons. Please can the boarders have £1 if they would like to buy sweets from the tuck shop. Weekly boarders can use the boarding bank.

Thursday: Bake off
The boarders had the opportunity to create and decorate their own dessert! A massive thank you to the Catering team for helping us, and providing all of the cakes and decoration. The evening was a great success, with the cakes tasting amazing. Jack W was the winner with Campbell T in a close second. Prize to follow!

Things to remember for the coming weeks
All boarders will be asked to read for 10 minutes at bedtime. Therefore, please ensure your child has a suitable book with them to read. Ideally their school reading book.

Activities next week
• Monday – High Altitude Trip (Leave straight after tea at 6.30pm)
• Tuesday – Festive Fun
• Wednesday – Fun Swim and Tuck Shop
• Thursday – Boarders’ Christmas Party (invite only)

Can we please remind boarding parents that all items (uniform, home clothes and bedding) should be clearly labelled with sew-on nametapes in a visible position (shirts should be labelled on the collar, skirts/trousers on the inside back of the waistband). This is in preference to ‘iron-on’ labels or permanent marker – pen vanishes and iron-on labels become detached during the wash, making it very difficult for our staff to then determine who items belong to.

Latest from Pre-Prep

Key dates for your diary
This information can be found at the top in the Parents Portal on the School website. We would encourage parents to check this each week to stay abreast of the latest events and changes:

Mrs Allison Skipper writes:

Please note that following hobbies will not run on the following dates due to Christmas events:

Friday 1 Dec (Ballet & Tap, Art & Crafts)
Tuesday 5 Dec (Drama)
Wednesday 6 Dec (Mad Science)
Thursday 7 Dec (Football & Swimming)
Friday 8 Dec (Ballet & Tap, Art & Crafts)
Monday 11 Dec (Fun Dance)
Tuesday 12 Dec (Drama & Tennis)
Wednesday 13 Dec (Mad Science)
Thursday 14 Dec (Football)
Friday 15 Dec (Ballet & Tap, Art & Crafts) Nursery and School finishes at 12:15

After School Club will run every day except Friday 15 December. If you wish to book your child into this club, please email

Nativity Shows
We have spare tickets for all the morning performances and a very limited number remaining for the afternoon shows. If you would like tickets, please pop in and see Mrs Julie Berry in the morning or email Tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please ensure you bring your tickets with you. Refreshments will be available before each of the performances.

The official photographer will be taking photographs of the children and these will be available to buy at the start and end of the performances.

Christmas events
Parents are invited to bring their children to sing Carols inside the yew hedge on Tuesday 12 December at 18:00.
The Pre-Prep Carol Service is at St Edmund’s Church at 10:30, followed by the Prep School Carol Service at 14:00 at St Peter Mancroft on Friday 15 December. Children not in the Pre-Prep Choir should be collected from School by 12:15 after the Pre-Prep Carol Service.

For the next two weeks in Pre-Prep the children are invited to bring in a CD with Christmas music that they would like us to play as they enter and exit Assembly each day. Please ensure that these CDs are clearly named with their favourite track clearly highlighted before passing the CD to Mrs Allison Skipper.

Holiday Clubs
Please return your forms for any holiday clubs that you may be interested in. The clubs will not run unless we have sufficient numbers. Forms can be found at the Memo section of the Parents Portal on the School website:

Christmas Post Box
The Post Box can be found in Pre-Prep by Mrs Julie Berry’s desk. The Year 2 children will act as postmen and women each day and deliver the post to the other classrooms! Please could you encourage your children to write first names plus the initial of the surname and the year group as in YR, Y1 or Y2.

Finally, a huge thank you to Mrs Doughty and Mr and Mrs Hopkins for spending Thursday decorating the Pre-Prep and Nursery ready for Christmas plus bringing the snow with them too! The children are all so excited now the decorations are up.

Road safety was the focus of a special Pre-Prep Assembly this week:

Reception Team writes
The children have started preparing for Christmas so there is much excitement. They have listened to the Christmas story and decided which nativity character to make using a fairy liquid bottle and papier mache. These are now drying in the classrooms and will be decorated next week. They have been working hard learning their lines and dances for the nativity play and were very excited when they put their costumes on for the first time today. They have had a fun week watching the Year 2 and Year 1 Christmas performance dress rehearsals and can’t wait to perform for their families next week

In Mathematics they have started working on addition and are really enjoying all the adding activities and games on the interactive whiteboard.

Year 1 Team writes
The children have been extremely busy with play practices this week and our dress rehearsal gave much excitement as children wore their costumes for the first time. We encourage the children to do the very best they can in remembering lines, knowing their cues and behaving immaculately. We are sure you will enjoy the results next week.

We have been working on sequencing and shape patterns this week in Mathematics. If children are able to see and create patterns easily, they find it much easier to understand new concepts. We have endeavoured to keep to the curriculum whilst focusing on our rehearsing, and Literacy subjects like news writing and spellings have all been completed. The children’s news stories are always lovely to read, as they are their own ideas and all the children are progressing nicely, putting the strategies of Read Write Inc into practice. They have added lovely illustrations as well and we are always amazed by the detail and care that children take in producing these.

Year 2 Team writes
The Year 2 children entertained the rest of the Pre-Prep with this week’s wonderful dress rehearsal. The children all delivered their lines clearly and with loud voices. Please continue to practise your child’s lines over the weekend so that they are fully prepared for next Friday’s performances. Mrs Dawn Chamberlin has been choreographing some super dance moves to accompany the songs. We all thoroughly enjoyed watching the Year 1 dress rehearsal which was a real treat.

As part of our Science topic on electricity we made a circuit using wires, batteries and a bulb. The children have also been predicting whether a circuit will work or not depending on the way it has been set up.

On Tuesday the children all enjoyed their play time with the Prep School pupils. Great fun was had running around playing ‘it’ in all the space. Some children organised football and cricket games.

We are looking forward to seeing you on Friday at 09:15 or 14:00 for our fantastic pantomime.

Latest from Nursery

Key dates for your diary
This information can be found at the top in the Parents Portal on the School website. We would encourage parents to check this each week to stay abreast of the latest events and changes:

The Nursery team writes:
Please remember that Nursery finishes at 12:15 on Friday 15 December.

Reminder: Please bring in your child’s Christmas show costume (snowman, Santa, angel, reindeer) in a named bag for our dress rehearsal on Monday.

The children have been tuning into their feelings by passing a ‘feeling stick’ around the circle at Forest School:

Acorn Team writes:
We have had a very exciting week in Nursery as Christmas has really begun. We have made reindeer cards, snowmen and pretty Christmas lanterns and much much more. The book of the week has been ‘The Three Bears’, so we made porridge for breakfast which the children were careful not to make too lumpy! The children have had fun putting bears into the correct size boxes and talking about large, medium and small. The week finished with the arrival of a Christmas tree which was soon beautifully decorated with the children’s help.

Oak Team writes:
This week we have been talking about seasons and recognising the changes around us. At circle time the children were thinking about winter and what it means to them. Harry told us “frost, the leaves fall down, they turn to brown” and William B. told us “In Slovakia I play in the snow, it’s a long way away”. The children had fun printing on our backdrop for our new winter display. We have been busy making a start on our wonderful Christmas surprises that will be ready to take home at the end of term. The children have been brilliant during our show practices in preparation for next Tuesday’s performances and we were able to watch Year 2’s dress rehearsal of ‘Aladdin’ which was amazing!

Our sound of the week has been ‘G’; we made yummy gingerbread men on Monday and we have read the Gruffalo story which Charlie N kindly brought in. We are supporting the children with the formation of letters and recognising initial sounds. We really praise ‘good effort’ and encourage the children to ‘be brave and have a go’.

We are introducing the sound ‘O’ next week.

Toddler & Parent Group
This week the Toddlers enjoyed spending time with a variety of activities set out for them, from playing musical instruments, threading beads and painting pictures to construction activities and exploration of switches, buttons and levers. Role-play cooking and serving tea in Acorn’s play area was also popular.
The session ended very happily with a story of the ‘Three Little Bears’, which is a particular favourite, with lots of huffing and puffing and some lovely singing of action rhymes and songs.
Next week is our last Toddler Session before Christmas and we are looking forward to Christmas Craft Activities with the children.

If you would like to join our Toddler and Parent Group, please contact The session runs on a Tuesday afternoon (during term time) in the Acorn classroom of the Nursery for children aged 6 months to 2 years old from 13:45 until 15:00. The cost is £3.50 per session. A FREE trial voucher is available for new starters whilst parents who have already registered to join our Nursery are able to attend the weekly Toddler and Parent Group free of charge.

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2017-12-01T14:14:53+00:00December 1st, 2017|Newsletters|