Newsletter 29 September

Newsletter 29 September

From the Headmaster:

A big thank you to all those of you who were able to rearrange your weekends to accommodate tomorrow’s Open Morning.  The staff have arranged a morning of activities which should enthuse the children, particularly given the fact that it is a Saturday morning!

An additional date for your diary, particularly for those parents with children in Years 3-6, is our ‘Year 5 and Beyond’ Parents’ Information Evening on Tuesday 7 November at 17:00, which highlights the opportunities open to pupils in the latter years of the Prep School.

My thanks to those of you who have supported today’s Macmillan Coffee Morning, either by bringing in cakes and serving refreshments, or by coming along and contributing to the fundraising effort by buying a cake. I shall ensure that we let you know how much money was raised.

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

We welcome back pupils from Year 7 and 8 who have been on a French residential trip to Normandy. They greatly enjoyed their opportunity to experience the history, culture and language of this historic region, and we look forward to hearing more in due course.

An early highlight of this week was the fish caught in Monday’s fishing hobby by Charlie B (Year 6) and Ethan C (Year 5).

 Thank you to all those who submitted entries for the Summer Art Competition and the Headmaster’s Photography Award.  The fish are looking splendid suspended in the Inner Hall. As I am away this week, we shall endeavour to let you have the names of the winners next Friday.

Well done to the U11 Girls who were crowned silver medalists at this week’s Framlingham Hockey Tournament.

Congratulations to Brady M in Year 6, who has won both the County U11 and U13 squash titles again this year, narrowly losing the U15 title in the semi-final.  Well done, Brady.

I also congratulate Arthur C in Year 7, who along with Jack W, William M and Archie W (all in Year 8) who have been selected to play for the County U13 Hockey squad.  Similarly, Sam H (Year 8) has been selected for the U14 squad.

For the cricket season just gone, Jayden B and Charlie H (both in Year 8) were awarded their County Caps for an excellent season for the U12s, and Elliot H and Campbell T (both in Year 7) were awarded their Caps for U11s.  For the coming season, Charlie, Elliot and Campbell have gained a place in the Norfolk Centre of Excellence. Well done to you all!

We also wish Grace H-K in Year 5 good luck as she participates in the County Cricket trials later in the term, although the squad won’t be announced until December.

Girls match reports

Boys match reports

Mr Jonty Tan writes:

The Music Department is back in full swing with the return of Mr Davison, following his paternity leave. Congratulations to him and the family on the new arrival! The Year 4 Ukulele Orchestra started on Monday with some new chords and a fun song they can’t wait to share at a Music Assembly soon.

Thursday morning’s musical treat started with the whole school singing together a beautiful hymn, ‘O Praise the Name’. This was followed by a stunning performance from Summer H (Year 8) singing ‘On My Own’ from the musical ‘Les Miserables’. Mrs Hamilton admitted to holding back the tears during this performance. Next week we look forward to a presentation of Indonesian music by some of Year 7.

Magna Voce sounded superb during Thursday’s rehearsal; a powerful sound resonating throughout the main building from their rehearsal in the Inner Hall. The children in Magna Voce are very much looking forward to performing at Open Morning.

We have missed various children who have been away on their School trip to France but are so pleased to hear they had a wonderful time.

Musical dates for your diary
Soiree 1 – Monday 16 October at 18:00
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:

It has been another action-packed week in the boarding community, even though we were missing some of our regular boarders who were on the French trip. It was great to welcome them back on Thursday evening and listen to some of their adventures.  Although they were exhausted, they seemed to have had a great time!

Many new or returning boarders stayed with us this week, and the girls’ dorm was especially busy enabling us to run a girls-only pool party, which was great fun and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.  With music and a wide range of inflatables, including a giant unicorn and hamster wheel, all of the girls had a great time! It was fantastic to see so many girls boarding and we look forward to welcoming them again very soon.

Other activities this week included a board game and puzzle evening and a special art challenge.  Our trip to the High Altitude Trampoline Park was good fun and everyone was exhausted after an hour with some very impressive gymnastic displays from some of our boarders.  I also received a very nice comment from a member of staff at the venue, mentioning how well behaved and polite all of the children were.

With the boarding numbers increasing, it is really important that the children look out for each other and help whenever possible. This week, we have seen some fantastic examples of this, with some of the older girls making the young boarders feel at home and acting like big sisters. Well done!

Our weekly Wednesday fun swim will return next week and we will organise a water polo tournament in the pool.  Don’t forget boarders can wear any swimwear to keep their School costumes dry.  Also remember £1 for the tuck shop!

Monday: Board Games and Puzzles
This was a great opportunity for the boarders to relax with a wide range of new games and puzzles to play. There was also the opportunity for some pupils to complete their prep then join in the activity afterwards.  Dingbats and Twister proved popular with the boarders, with some of the puzzles proving a bit tricky!

Tuesday: High Altitude
The fantastic behaviour and good manners shown by all of the boarders made this a very pleasant trip.  While some children displayed their gymnastic ability, some played Dodgeball whilst others simply bounced around.  Mr Hamilton was by far the smartest-dressed person bouncing, as he was still in his suit!

Wednesday: Girls Fun Swim and Boys Outdoor Activities
The lovely weather enabled the boys to play outside while the girls enjoyed their fun swim. With 16 girls joining in, the numbers made for a very busy pool!  Again, great behaviour enabled everyone to have a great time. Only three children made it onto the giant unicorn though!  Thanks to Mrs Hood for being lifeguard.

Note: Boarders can wear any swimming costumes so that their School costumes remain dry for lessons.

Thursday: Art Challenge
Always a fun activity, and this time Mr Edwards ran a self-portrait competition.  We will be judging the self-portraits and will announce the winner shortly.   All the entries will be on display around the boarding house soon!

Things to remember for 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 – Night Orienteering – Bring a torch!
Tuesday – High Altitude Trip
Wednesday – Fun Swim, Onesie Wednesday and Tuck Shop
Thursday – Chapelfield Shopping Trip (Tea at 18:00 then we will leave).

Dates for your diary!
Monday 9 October – Ten Pin Bowling
Thursday 12 October – Pizza Making
Tuesday 17 October – Girls Pamper Night
Thursday 19 October – Halloween Disco!

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.

Flexi-boarding bookings
Please note that regular flexi-boarding bookings must be renewed each term so please email Matron Ives at Beds will be booked on a first-come-first-served basis as normal

Latest from Pre-Prep

Mrs Allison Skipper writes:
We have had another busy week in Pre-Prep, despite some rather varied weather!  On Monday we were delighted to announce our Year 2 Council Members for this year: Sasha L and Taylor BS. Congratulations to them both. We are sure they will be excellent representatives for the Pre-Prep and Nursery.

Georgina S and Theo D proudly collected Mumbles the Behaviour Bear, who was dressed in his green Wrens’ T-Shirt, to celebrate their House winning the most behaviour tokens. Well done, Wrens!

Everywhere is looking wonderful with some fabulous displays by the children ready for Open Morning tomorrow. Please do have a look; the children will be delighted to share them with you.  Pre-Prep children should arrive in school uniform at 08:45 in their usual classrooms and can be picked up between 11:30 and 11:45 in the usual manner.

This week our Composer of the week has been Chopin.  Next week we will listen to the music of Handel. We would be delighted if you were able to play some of his works to the children at home.

We have introduced our second Growth Mindset Character ‘Participating Peter’ and the children have enjoyed trying to be more like Peter around the School. I have been delighted to hear them singing some of the Growth Mindset songs and once we have recorded them we are hoping to make them available to you to play at home.

Mrs Martin introduced the children to the cello on Thursday morning telling the children all about the workings of the cello and the sounds it makes as well as playing some musical games with them.  If you would like your child to play an instrument in School please contact Mr Tan via his email

Details about the Taverham Tigers holiday club which will be running during the first week of half-term are available to view on the Parents’ Portal, so please sign up your child if you would like them to attend. School events for the rest of this term are listed below so that you can add these to your diary.


  • Please can we ensure that children have the correct colour hair accessories for School each day. We currently have some very sparkly ones appearing which are beautiful but not School uniform!  Plain navy blue hair accessories only please.
  • Children should also wear their blazer to and from School.
  • Please can we request that parents do not use the door from Pre-Prep opposite the Nursery or the gate at the top of the steps into the Nursery. If it is necessary to use this gate at any point, please could we ask that it is double bolted afterwards to ensure the safety of the children at all times.
  • Please could I also remind you that smoking is not allowed anywhere on School premises.
  •  We very much enjoy the fact that the children like to play in the play area both before and after school (until 03:45 when after school club children then use this) but would kindly ask that parents ensure that the children are supervised at all times on the apparatus.
  • Sadly due to so many arguments about football at break times we have removed this game temporarily until the Summer Term when we will take a group into the walled garden to play. The sand boat has been placed against the wall in this area and the older children are going to paint a mural on this wall of a sea scene.  If we have any budding parental artists out there who would like to join them they would be most welcome!  Until the boat has sand in it we kindly ask that the children do not play in it before and after school for their own safety.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Mr and Mrs Littleboy for their kind donation of sand for the boat and the nursery sandpit. The children have such a lot of fun playing in the sand.

Looking Ahead

30 September    Open Morning – Pre-Prep children to attend
3 October             Reception and Nursery Harvest Festival 14:30 Pre-Prep Hall – parents welcome
3 – 5 October     Pre-Prep Book Fair in the Pre-Prep from 15:30 – 16:00 each day  – parents welcome
5 October            Reception Trip to the Dinosaur park
6 October            Year 1 and 2 Harvest Festival 14:30 St Edmund’s Church, Taverham – parents welcome
9 October           19:00 Meeting with Peter Sheppard (Chairman of the Governors) – parents welcome
11 October          Year 1 Trip to Bressingham – details on the Parents’ Portal
17 October         Individual and year group photographs
18 October        Visit from local Author Karl Newson – details on the Parents’ Portal
19 October        Year 2 trip to Nelson’s Museum
20 October       Puppet Show in Nursery
20 October       Break up for Half Term

On Tuesday morning the Pre-Prep had a special assembly from an important visitor – Rob from the Fire Service.  He began by asking if anyone could tell him what the Fire and Rescue Service might do?  Lots of hands went up and among the answers were: Emily D: “You make the fire go out”, and Fergus GG:  “You get people out very quickly”.

Rob explained that they were there to help us by putting out fires and helping at accidents; making sure that people stayed safe. When asked, many of the children knew that they had to dial 999 to get help and were able say who would help them – the Police, Ambulance and Fire Service – and Rob added that they could also get the Coastguard if they needed help at the seaside.

The talk then turned to Halloween and Bonfire night and the children were encouraged to use LED tea lights in their pumpkins, and exciting as fireworks are the children should never touch them. Theo C explained: “They could go off”.  Rob also explained the importance of wearing gloves when holding sparklers and to only use them with an adult. He explained that if any of the children found matches or a lighter that they must give them to a grown up.

Rob then talked about having a smoke alarm in your home and the importance of checking it every week to make sure it is working correctly so that it can let you know if there is a fire. He also talked about having a fire plan – to know what to do if there was a fire like we practised at School. The children were told to remember to walk not run as they could bump into things and hurt themselves, and not to go back for anything. The children all learnt a lot about staying safe.

Reception Team News
The children in Reception have had a busy week in Literacy learning lots of facts about hedgehogs! They found out where hedgehogs like to sleep, what they like to eat and why they choose to hibernate all winter. They also learnt that they are nocturnal animals as they sleep in the day and stay awake through the night. The children loved learning so much about them and each wrote their own fun facts to create an interesting display.

In Topic the children all worked together to create a 3D model of a Diplodocus. They used sticky brown paper tape to construct the body and helped build layers to make it secure and strong. They will later paint the dinosaur using a variety of different colour textures and paints. The children also made their very own dinosaur fossils using clay which will also be painted and glazed.

In Forest School the children continued with their new interest in hedgehogs as they worked in groups to build homes for them. They searched the woods for leaves, sticks and other natural materials to help make their homes warm and soft. They then left their homes in the hopes that they might find some special visitors on their return.

Year 1 Team News
In Year 1 this week we have been learning about time – how to read analogue and digital clocks for half past and o’clock.  We played lots of games and did some practical activities and the children very much enjoyed this. Any help at home with learning how to tell the time would be very much appreciated as we are sure you understand how difficult this concept is when you are six!

In literacy we extended our topic of ‘Ourselves’ to write instructions as if we were an alien trying to build a human. The children were excellent at using bossy words and forming well punctuated sentences and had lots of fun sharing their instructions with the rest of their class.

We have been busy practising for next week’s Harvest Festival, learning about the season of autumn, and very much enjoyed taking part in music and movement where we were role-played animals dancing to ‘The Carnival of the Animals’ by Saint-Saens.

On Tuesday the children enjoyed a follow-up session with Rob the Fireman learning about staying safe around fire and understanding the role of the firefighters as well as what to do in an emergency.

Our Growth Mindset character ‘Peter Participator’ has featured prominently in our learning this week and the children have all gained a good understanding of the importance of participating appropriately in their lessons.

Year 2 Team News
This week Year 2 have continued learning about how to eat healthily. We talked about the importance of eating some fruit each day and the children had the opportunity to taste some mango, kiwi fruit, pineapple and pomegranate. The children turned their plate of fruit into a face before eating the delicious fruits. Each child then chose their favourite fruit and after completing a tally chart the children made their own pictograms to represent the data they had collected. There is a wonderful display in the corridor near Mrs Sayer’s class of the tally charts, pictograms and photos of the fruit faces.

On Tuesday we had our own special session with Rob the Fireman. He talked about the importance of staying safe and making sensible safety decisions around candles, fireworks and log fires. After watching a video clip about what to do if there was a fire, the children talked about making a family fire plan. Please ask you children about this as the Fireman thought this was very important. Talk to your child to see if they can remember any of the sensible actions that they should take if a fire is encountered at home. Your child might also like to help you test your smoke alarms.

In Geography the children have been looking at maps of Norfolk and locating their homes and places that they have visited. In Art the children have again drawn self-portraits, but this time looking at their work critically and being resilient by improving their work through several drafts. All children could see an improvement between their first draft and the final drawing.

Our ‘Read Write Inc’ lessons are now up and running and we were delighted that all the children have been learning their spellings using the method of ‘look, cover, write, check’.

Latest from Nursery

Nursery team writes:
This week in Acorns the children have been reading the book ‘Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose’ and have based their activities around this. The children spoke about feelings and what makes them happy and sad which relates to how Duck is feeling in the story. At one point in the story Duck says that carrots are ‘yuck’ so the class had a group discussion about which foods are good for them to eat. Then they had carrot sticks for snack and with those left over used for carrot-stick painting. The children put their baking hats and aprons on and made a chocolate mousse just like Greedy Goose in the story which was very successful. The children then enjoyed pasta play; they used pasta for threading and decided it would be fun to paint it and make it into a bracelet. Music and Movement was a great success for the Acorns this week; they joined in with the songs and actions well.

In Oaks, we have been continuing with our ‘Autumn’ and ‘All About Me’ topics. We have started to transform the Nursery with the children’s lovely artwork such as autumnal pictures and a tree where the children used blue and yellow paints to print their hands to represent leaves. This was a great opportunity for the children to learn about which primary colours need to be mixed together to make the secondary colours. The tree we made is now looking gorgeous with different tones of green.

We have had a brilliant variety of objects brought into Oaks this week for our sound of the week ‘a’. We had armbands, antelopes, acorns as well as the Disney princesses Ariel and Anna.  Rafe brought in his daddy’s army medals to show all his peers. These were very special objects to have in Nursery and all the children were fascinated.

We were delighted to see Mr Hyatt, the Deputy Head, who read stories to the Nursery children. He read ‘Five Minutes Peace’ and ‘Not Now Bernard’; the children were very excited to see him!

In Forest School, we had a walk to the laurels and made some apple cups. We spooned out the inside of the apple and filled it up with apple juice; such a yummy treat! Then a bit later on we went for an afternoon walk to collect leaves to add to our autumn tree display. This was a good opportunity for the children to become like our Growth Mindset Hero Peter Participator as the children all made a good effort to join in with the activity.

For our ‘All About Me’ topic, the children have been looking closely at themselves in the mirror and have been painting their self portraits. We talked about skin, hair and eye colour and the children were able to identify the colours which would match them best. They are now hanging proudly on one of our display boards.

Next week the book of the week for Acorns will be ‘Hippo Has A Hat’ and Oak’s sound of the week will be ‘s’.

Information about the Tiny Tigers Holiday Club that will be running during the first week of half-term has now been posted on the Parents’ Portal, so please complete and return the slip if you would like to book your child in.  The dates for the rest of this academic year are at the end of this letter for you.


  • Please can we ensure that children have the correct colour hair accessories for school each day. We are currently beginning to have some very sparkly editions which are beautiful but not school uniform! Plain navy blue hair accessories only please.
  • Please can we request that Nursery parents do not use the door from Pre-Prep opposite the Nursery or the gate at the top of the steps into the Nursery. If it is necessary to use this gate at any point please could we ask that it is double bolted to ensure the safety of the children at all times.
  • Please could we also remind you that smoking is not allowed on the school premises.

Looking Ahead

  • 30 September     Open Morning – Nursery children NOT required to attend
  • 3 October             Reception and Nursery Harvest Festival 14:30 Pre-Prep Hall – parents welcome
  • 3 – 5 October      Pre-Prep Book Fair in the Pre-Prep from 15:30 – 16:00 each day  – parents welcome
  • 9 October             Meeting with Peter Sheppard (Chairman of the Governors) 19:00 – parents welcome
  • 17 October           Individual and year group photographs – parents are welcome to bring their children in for this if they are not in Nursery on this day.                                         Please contact for details.
  • 20 October          Puppet Show in Nursery

Latest from Toddlers

We had another new addition to our Toddler group this week – Miles joined in with the Acorns class and their fun activities.

Our Toddler group is a brilliant way of beginning the transition into the Nursery classes. The sessions are run by our fantastic Acorns’ practitioners Linda Jones and Alison Wyatt who love spending their time with the little ones who come through the doors. There is so much to enjoy when attending the Toddler sessions including arts and crafts, music sessions and cake! Toddlers runs on a Tuesday afternoon between 13:45 and 15:00; we would love to see you and your little ones there.



PTFA AGM & Quiz & Chips – Friday 6 October at 19:00

Meeting with Peter Sheppard, Chair of Governors – Monday 9 October at 19:00

‘Year 5 & Beyond’ Parents’ Information Evening – Tuesday 7 November at 17:00

Open Morning Dates for 2017/2018

Saturday 20 January 2018

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:

Memos section

Letter from the Headmaster – Getting involved in School life

Pre-Prep visit by author Karl Newson – permission slip

Y1 Trip to Bressingham – permission slip

Pre-Prep Taverham Tigers and Nursery Tiny Tigers half-term holiday club booking forms


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

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2017-09-29T09:29:01+01:00 September 29th, 2017|Newsletters|