Twelve of our Prep students were invited to attend a lunchtime concert given by the Open University choir on Thursday this week.
The programme included a specially commissioned piece to commemorate Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday – A New Kind of Urban. The composer, Liz Lane, and the lyricist, Judi Moore were at the concert along with Mayor of Milton Keynes.
There were also some much older pieces in the programme, including a piece by Monteverdi who would be celebrating his 450th birthday this year.
The children enjoyed the concert and wanted to share their thoughts:
‘It was a privilege to go to the Open University because the music was inspiring.’ (Maya)
‘The brass was very good and had loud and soft parts.’ (Rohit)
‘The Open University made a brass ensemble and a choir to celebrate 50 years of Milton Keynes, it was very good.’ (Henry)
‘I found it really interesting to listen to a piece about where I live.’ (Damilola)
‘I really enjoyed the older piece by Monteverdi.’ (Alexander)
‘The brass instruments were awesome’ (Emily)
‘I liked the world premiere of ‘A New Kind of Urban’ because the music took you on a journey through MK.’ (Emily)
‘I loved the brass section and the choir, don’t forget the organ!’ (Carolina)
‘My favourite parts were the trombones and the drums.’ (Ryan)
The Palace was very grand, we split into two groups, with Middle Prep in one and Senior Prep in another. My group (Middle Prep), learned about public speaking and about Sir Winston Churchill.
In public speaking we learned:
- Facial expressions
- How to captivate your audience
- Look at all the people not just one person because the other people will get bored
- Do not bore the audience!
The tour of the palace:
- We saw the room where Churchill was born on 30th November 1874.
- He died on 24th January 1965 in Kensington, London.
- We saw the room where they would have Christmas dinner and other dinners
- We saw the green drawing room which was very green and beautiful. There are a lot of gigantic paintings in the room.
- We went into the Long library where there was a statue of Queen Anne.
Then we had lunch in the Indian room. The walls were painted with pictures of Indians dressed in old fashioned clothes.
We also visited the Secret Garden which was amazing, there were lots of plants and there was a gazebo where it was very dark. There were a lot of small ponds and streams and a lot of ways round to get to the gazebo. There was a bridge and a pond going into a stream under the bridge.
By Jaina Kavia
(Sycamore Class - Age 9)
Acacia and Pine had a good trip to Cambridge's Fitzwilliam gallery to see an exhibition by the French Impressionist artist Degas. The children carried out a series of drawing and creative imaging exercises with string in the exhibition area. This was followed by a monotype drawing workshop using the same process as Degas with the specialist museum staff, which really caught the children's interest and imagination. After lunch the children carried on to sketch the middle eastern and traditional English ceramics ware ready for later work next year.
Sycamore had an exciting visit to "The Higgins" museum and gallery in Bedford, looking at lino-print work by Edward Bawden, (one of Englands top artists of the pre and post second world war period), where some excellent research sketching took was done by the children. This was followed by a very good print workshop in a studio at the gallery with some variations on block printing and layered printing methods resulting in striking prints from the children.
The children arrived at school bright and early last Thursday and we made our way over to Oxford. In the Pitt Rivers Museum, the children were able to explore the anthropological artefacts and saw some interesting items ranging from Ancient Egyptian mummies to shrunken heads and model boats. After lunch, we attended a workshop in the Natural History Museum. In a room surrounded by incredible fossils and preserved creatures from the natural world, the children learned about how different aspects of dinosaur fossils reveal how they lived. The workshop was very engaging and really emphasised how important it is to ask questions and use all five senses, to be a successful scientist. The children enjoyed handling delicate and fascinating fossils and were even invited to have a sniff of some fossilised poo! The children benefitted from the interactive nature of the workshop and saw some amazing exhibits, on the trip. All in all, a successful day out.
This term Cedar and Birch classes travelled back in time by visiting a very special home in Stratford Upon Avon: Williams Shakespeare's birthplace. As part of their Famous People topic, the children attended a varied workshop in which they experienced first hand what William's life would have been like. They created a beautifully crafted version of a horn book which Shakespeare would have used to learn Latin in school. They practised Elizabethan handwriting by using ink made with egg and used a quill to create their own names in the style of Queen Elizabeth's I signature. You could not hear a pin drop such was the level of concentration! They explored the social class divide of the era by sorting objects used by the poor and rich. Finally they all dressed up in the characters of Shakespeare's plays and fantastic looking donkeys were galloping around the large room alongside Cleopatra and Macbeth. The children thoroughly enjoyed the first hand historical experience these activities provided.
In the afternoon a tour of Shakespeare's house took place and as our children moved from room to room a general feeling of excitement began to emerge as in the words of one of our children..." I'm walking on the same stone floor as William did!" The house has been restored to its original characteristics and it was an incredible experience to view the authenticity of some of the furniture and objects replicas. The tour naturally took us into the garden where we joined a group of actors and took part in one of the plays they were performing. It truly was an amazing experience and all of our children were part of the cast from being a ferocious lion to representing a wall!
The day came to an end in the late part of an unusually warm afternoon with the children talking about this amazing historical trip all the way back home.
On Tuesday 3rd October, Juniper travelled to London to visit the Natural History Museum. They were accompanied by Mr Pendry and Mrs Howes and had the opportunity to build on information learned in both Science and Geography.
When we arrived we took the opportunity to admire the new display in the main hall of a blue whale skeleton, which has replaced the touring diplodocus that has stood there for so long. We followed this with a visit to the human biology section where the children were able to review topics such as muscles and bones, cells, eyes and how the senses work.
The children then had the opportunity to choose their next two locations and so we went to the earthquakes and volcanoes centre, where they experienced what it was like to be in a supermarket during the Kobe earthquake. We followed this with a visit to the giant sequoia tree on the top floor. Whilst it was only a slice of the giant tree, we were all stunned by the size and age of this colossal plant!
We then enjoyed lunch before visiting the hall of mammals and finally a trip through the dinosaur exhibit, highlighted by a face to face encounter with a full size, animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex.
The children enjoyed the day out and were great ambassadors for the school.
Upon our arrival at the Living Rainforest we were greeted by, very experienced and friendly, staff who escorted us to the glass houses. Inside, we saw a wonderful variety of animals, fishes, reptiles and birds who are native to the worlds’ rainforest areas. The interior space was very warm and was filled with fantastic plants, trees and flowering bushes. Larch and Rowan children were so excited, their cries of delight were lovely to hear; especially when they saw toucans, monkeys, snakes, lizards and lots of other beautiful animals. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable and made our visit lively and exciting with all children engaged in their activities. The staff were very impressed with our year one’s knowledge and understanding of rainforest species and praised them on the depth of their knowledge and understanding of the rainforest and its animal and plant species! We all felt that the highlight of the day was when the sloth decided to wake up (they sleep for 18 hours per day!) and head down from their canopy to look at us watching her. The children we amazed at her hanging upside down and look at us with equal curiosity. We all had a super day, it was so interesting to see such a vast assortment of rainforest animals first-hand and to hear the children’s excited talk about their day out.