We had our September 2020 Achievement assembly on Wednesday 30th September. The children were able to watch the assembly live in each classroom with their form teachers handing out certificates and awards whilst Mrs Berkin (Principal) delivered the assembly from her usual spot in our school hall. Mrs Hodges was on hand with the piano ready for the monthly birthday song which was broadcast to the rooms at the end of the assembly.
Our Yew and Aspen pupils have been learning to play brass instruments in their music lessons since September. Their progress has been so good that we were able to take them to the Orchestra day at Uppingham school just before half term. We also took a number of other orchestral musicians from other year groups.
The day included sectional rehearsals in the morning and a full rehearsal in the afternoon. A number of other prep schools were invited, and the full orchestra comprised nearly 300 musicians. The theme of the day was ‘Out Of This World’ and the Head of Music at Uppingham selected a number of pieces on the theme of space.
At the end of the day there was a concert for parents and teachers, it was lovely that a number of our parents were able to make the journey to attend. The concert started with Also Sprach Zarathrustra (Richard Strauss’ piece used as the them for the iconic film 2001 a Space Odyssey). This was followed by the strings playing Fly Me To The Moon and a medley from the Planets Suite. The wind and brass then played Fanfare For The Third Planet and The Forge of Vulcan. The concert concluded with the whole orchestra playing a very challenging arrangement of melodies from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The pupils worked very hard and focused through long and challenging rehearsals. The brass players are hoping to be able to perform a little closer to home in the near future.
Thanks to Mrs Lawrence, Mrs Hodges and Henry Berkin who supported the pupils throughout the day.
The year eight group went out today to complete the first section of their fieldwork investigation, for their common entrance project. The students went to Oldbrook, in Milton Keynes. They are also going to complete a self-led investigation in their own street with their parents, over half term to give them an opportunity to compare areas. This fieldwork links to their current unit of work, that looks at: House design; environmental quality; crime statistics and perception of place. The students carried out a range of surveys in the area and were also fortunate to meet a local councillor who told them about transport around the borough. The students had the opportunity to visit a range of different areas and enjoyed looking at the difference between them. They are now going to be writing up their first of many projects to help them as they progress into secondary school next year.
With storms Ciara and Dennis hitting the UK’s coastlines this week, it seemed quite fitting that the Grove Independent School had their own dramatic whirlwind in the school hall. The Junior Prep pupils of Yew, Aspen, Hawthorn and Poplar have been singing, dancing and acting their socks off in rehearsals for The Tempest. Their passion for this piece was clearly shown through two magnificent performances on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. With such a challenging piece of theatre to tackle, the pupils approached it with a huge amount of focus, energy and maturity. The audience were captivated from the moment the lights dimmed. The audience were led expertly into the plot line by Autumn Pim as Ariel; who introduced us to all the characters and her own struggles with being a servant to Prospero, the island’s ruler. Prospero, played by Jacob Millburn, summons up not only a mighty storm but a mighty performance. Emily Foster delivers a beautifully articulate and passionate performance as Miranda and light relief is provided superbly by the comedy (drunken) duo of Stephano and Trinculo (Tabitha Simpkins and Lacey Weatherley). Further appreciation goes to Jeremy Berkin who embodied the role of Caliban (the island slave) and jumped feet first into the role (with tap shoes on!) heading up “I'm A Miserable Monster.” From gruesome Goblins and elegant Sprites, to our brilliant year 3 pupils - who provided vocals and dancing throughout; everyone had their part to play in telling this story of power, revenge, justice and compassion. Moments of highlights were had when the full company all sang together for “The Time Has Come” and the closing number of “It’s Over Now”. Huge well done to all involved!
Many thanks and appreciation to all that made this production another success for The Grove Independent School.
Tasmyn Simpkins – Deputy Chair
The purpose of the Advisory Board is to provide counsel and advice to the School’s Leadership Team regarding the operation of the school.
The Advisory Board is comprised of seven members (current and past parents), and the length of service on the Board is typically two to three years.
The Advisory Board’s focus is the continuous development of pupils and staff at the school, in accordance with the school’s ethos:
"The Grove will provide excellent education and welfare within a creative family environment where each child and adult is stretched to achieve their full potential. We will enrich the human mind, body and spirit by delivering outstanding knowledge to all, alongside ideology and healthy living".
The Advisory Board meets at least once per term to review various aspects of the school and nursery including:
• The quality of education provided (curriculum and teaching);
• The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils;
• The welfare, health and safety of pupils;
• Suitability of staff and supply staff;
• Premises and accommodation;
• The provision of information;
• The way complaints are handled; and
• The quality of leadership and management within the school
On Monday 18thNovember, Spruce and Juniper went on a trip to Blenheim Palace. The Palace was wonderful and the gardens were amazing. Once we got there, we had a little walk around the formal gardens. We saw the Diana Temple, which is where Winston Churchill proposed to his wife, Clementine. After that, we saw the Churchill timeline that told us about where Churchill was born and where he went to school. We also learnt that Winston Churchill went to Sandhurst Academy, where he trained to be a soldier. He became an MP in 1900 and worked his way up to becoming Prime Minister, in 1940.
After our walk, we got to the café, which had a lovely view of the gardens and this is where we had our lunch. From there we were escorted by a lady who was in charge of the workshop. She took us to a room to leave our bags and then explained to us what we were going to do, that afternoon. First, she said that we were going to tour the Palace. We saw all the rooms where Winston Churchill did his painting and wrote his books. We even saw the actual room where Churchill was born, in 1874. We looked at the writing and drawing rooms, in which the family would have enjoyed time together, after dinner.
Once we had toured the Palace, the lady took us back to the room and we did some – really fun – public speaking exercises. We did really tricky tongue-twisters (which I do not know how people were meant to say because they were so hard) and read one of Churchill’s speeches, ‘We shall fight on the beaches’, published on 4thJune 1940.
We had a really entertaining time at Blenheim Palace and if I could, I would go again!
By Carolina Diniz Fernandez Lomana, Juniper
The children in Foundation and Pre-prep had a great time on History Day. They arrived at school very excited and in some amazing costumes. The children all spent the day working in their Hobby Groups instead of their class, this gave them a chance to work in a different group.
The Foundation children made some medieval jewellery with Miss Wood, some medieval biscuits with Mrs Jovic, royal crowns with Miss Ascough and castle construction with Mrs Maulkerson.
Meanwhile the children In Pre-Prep made medieval coin purses with Mrs Okuwadigbo, created Egyptian hieroglyphics with Mrs Vass, Plasticine fossils with Miss Casiraghi and decoupage castles with myself.
The children really enjoyed the range of activities and learnt lots of interesting historical facts. It was a great end to a busy first half-term.
In History Day the children were asked to recreate a war between two neighboring territories separated by natural boundaries. They were asked to consider the origins of the conflict and how to respond once peace was lost. We recreated several battles with progressively difficult scenarios. This included border defenses moving closer to the front line, enemy infiltration and more powerful weapons, so their strategies had to adapt to the new circumstances. To finish we had a discussion on the impact war had had on the lives of those affected, in both parties. The children really enjoyed the activity and put a huge amount of thought and energy into it.
This year’s Harvest Festival was a traditional celebration. The children thoroughly enjoyed learning all the songs, even Foundation did the ‘Harvest Rock‘n’Roll’!
Foundation were super stars, they sang beautifully. ‘The Big Red Combine Harvester’ was great fun, with fantastic actions and the gentle song ‘Autumn Leaves’ sounded beautiful. The leaf print artwork was very effective too.
The colours of Autumn were also celebrated in Kiann Fesharaki’s poem ‘The Mellow Season’. He captured so much of the character of this time of year with a rich pallet of words. Jeremy Berkin’s poem ‘Wheat’ celebrated the harvest itself with some skillful rhymes and rich descriptive words too.
The joint choirs sang ‘Look At The World’ by John Rutter. This tricky piece was performed carefully, and with good heart. In the same way Yew and Aspen shared their thoughts about the word HARVEST itself and found that many other words can be made from it. They made us think about our own thankfulness. When we HAVE so much whilst others STARVE we should be more appreciative. The ‘Simple Song Of Gratitude’ was sung sensitively and accompanied by Chamber Group it sounded warm and graceful.
It is always good to have a ‘Science-y Bit’ during our harvest service. This year Chestnut and Sycamore helped the Cedar and Birch children to ‘Eat A Rainbow Everyday’. The vitamins within our colourful plates of food were brilliantly explained and the song itself was a hit from Beech and Holly right up through the school.
‘Change The World’ expressed so much of the Grove pupil’s own feeling. Many children in our school have great concerns for our world and for those less fortunate. This song began with stunning solos from Alexa and Summer O’Kane and cello accompaniment by Emily Garwood. The sisters sang so expressively whilst the children in Poplar shared their thought-provoking movement with a poignancy that cannot be taught.
‘Harvest Rock’n’Roll’, the reprise, finished off our wonderful celebration and set us up for the rest of the day with it’s fabulous dance moves and enthusiastic singing.
Thank you for all the kind donations made. The money and food will go to MK Food Bank this year.
Nursery had lots of fun celebrating at our Harvest Festival. We learnt all about harvesting the crops and how wheat turns into the foods that we eat.
The children got the chance to explore different elements of the stages in harvesting through a few sensory activities.
First of all we sang our favourite song 'Big Red Combine Harvester', followed by smelling, touching and tasting some of the vegetables grown.
We had a variety of free play where the children made pasta tube necklaces, colouring and sticking materials onto a giant scarecrow, touch and feel the inside of a pumpkin, handling wheat, pulling vegetables out of compost and having their face painted.
We finished off ou celebration with some more harvest and Autumn songs and sitting as a group talking about our favourite part odf the festival.
Despite a large entry from the schools in the London North regional Independent Schools Association area and some very stiff competition with a lot of outstanding art work, The Grove art completion entries drew favourable comments from both staff from other schools and the judges!
Alexa O’Kane contributed some extremely high quality work in both the drawing and 2D art categories (separate and totally different pieces of work), and was justifiably rewarded with two first places! Which means these two pieces will go on to be entered into the national art competition later in the year.
As well as these awards, Dillon Franklin in Spruce got 2nd place in the Year 7 to year 9 category for drawing with a very sensitively drawn autumn still life, Jacob Millburn in Hawthorn got 2nd place for his excellent “conkers” vibrant pastel study and Gaia Mesonero-Perez from last year’s Pine group won 3rd place in the 3D art category.
As well as this, both Lily Gibbon and Tabitha Simpkins drawings (Poplar) were singled out as being to a very good standard and close to award level.
Overall the standard of Grove entries was to a very high standard with a deservedly high award level this year.