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.
ETA: 5:15pm (please see our twitter feed for further updates to the ETA during our journey)
Friday (Home Day!) Good morning, the children have packed and are gathering their bags in the holding marquee before breakfast. We have two more sessions of activities before our lunch and departure.
Group 1: Climbing and Aeroball
Group 2: Aeroball and Climbing
Group 3: Climbing and Aeroball
Group 4: Aeroball and Climbing
Group 5: Climbing and Buggy Building
Group 6: Buggy Building and Climbing
Group 7: Buggy Building and Climbing
Group 8: Climbing and Buggy Building
Our last night: We have finished our activities for today and as it is our last night of Travel Week 2019 we are going to have a camp fire. We will be uploading photos again later this evening.
Thursday Morning: Our last full day of activities begins; the children are gathering outside before we head over for our breakfast.
Group 1: Raft Building and Buggy Building
Group 2: Buggy Building and Raft Building
Group 3: Abseiling and Buggy Building
Group 4: Buggy Building and Abseiling
Group 5: Archery and Sports and Team Games
Group 6: Sports and Team Games and Archery
Group 7: Archery and Sports and Team Games
Group 8: Sports and Team Games and Archery
Group 1: Sports and Team Games, Beach Games.
Group 2: Sports and Team Games, Beach Games.
Group 3: Sports and Team Games, Beach Games.
Group 4: Sports and Team Games, Beach Games.
Group 5: Aeroball and Trapeze
Group 6: Trapeze and Aeroball
Group 7: Aeroball and Giant Swing
Group 8: Giant Swing and Aeroball
Wednesday Morning: Another glorious day with plenty of fun activities!
Group 1: Archery and Orienteering, Group 2: Orienteering and Archery, Group 3: Raft Building and Orienteering, Group 4: Orienteering and Raft Building, Group 5: Raft Building and Problem Solving, Group 6: Problem Solving and Raft Building, Group 7: Trapeze and Challenge Course, Group 8: Challenge Course and Trapeze
Group 1: Abseiling and Coastal Walk, Group 2: Coastal Walk and Abseiling, Group 3: Archery and Coastal Walk, Group 4: Coastal Walk and Archery, Group 5: Abseiling and Challenge Course, Group 6: Challenge Course and Abseiling, Group 7: Problem Solving and Abseiling, Group 8: Abseiling and Problem Solving
Tuesday Morning: The time is 06:48am, all of the children are wide awake with excitement. An amazing sunrise earlier this morning and plenty of fresh air with a hint of coffee… We will be heading over for our breakfast once everyone is dressed and ready which will provide energy for our exciting morning activities below:
Group 1: Giant Swing and Survivor, Group 2: Survivor and Giant Swing, Group 3: Giant Swimming and Survivor, Group 4: Survivor and Giant Swing, Group 5: Jacob’s Ladder and Survivor, Group 6: Survivor and Jacob’s Ladder, Group 7: Jacobs Ladder and Riffle Shooting, Group 8: Rifle Shooting and Jacob’s Ladder
Group 1: Challenge Course and Sensory Trail, Group 2: Sensory Trail and Challenge Course, Group 3: Challenge Course and Sensory Trail, Group 4: Sensory Trail and Challenge Course, Group 5: Giant Swing and Rifle Shooting, Group 6: Rifle Shooting and Giant Swing, Group 7: Raft Building and Survivor, Group 8: Survivor and Raft Building
Monday: Please arrive by 8:00am to enable us to depart on time. We will be traveling to Bawdsey Manor in Suffolk for Travel Week 2019. We will publish daily updates to this page during the week and travel updates.
Evening update: Once we arrived at Bawdsey Manor we met with the team and introduced them to the children. We made the most of the fantastic grounds for our lunch and outdoor games. The children are all in bed asleep getting their rest before our first full day of activities tomorrow. The group photos are on our gallery website.
Photos Update: We have uploaded most of the photos up to Wednesday afternoon.
Today, during our Eco House Day, we are celebrating the wonders of the Earth, organised a plant sale in order to raise money for our current charity Thames Valley Air Ambulance. Katie, a fundraising volunteer, joined us on this special day to give our thanks and encouragement for all the past and future fundraising our School Council, children and generously supporting parents are engage upon. We had a very important whole school assembly and learnt the amazing work the Air Ambulance does every day, with the support of all who raise money for it to respond to all emergencies. There are 21 helicopters nationwide, along with cars and medics which will fly or drive to any serious emergency, which is usually due to road accidents. Katie’s presentation showed us the work of all the people involved, from pilots to doctors and paramedics. Iman, from Spruce, got to model and wear the official uniform, an all in one red suit to keep the wearer warm as they could be called out at any time of day or night. This was teamed with a very technical white helmet which also sported a microphone on it.
It was a very special moment and we are so thankful to everyone for the support given on this very special day to this charity and for our school.
On the 16th of October The Grove was pleased to host a delegation from Barclays and Barclaycard. They came to school to run a workshop with years 7 and 8 covering life skills and financial management. The sessions included:
Practical financial management.
With case studies and working exercises with the pupils covering:
Security Basics (PIN numbers, Passwords).
Online Security – scams via cold calling, social media
Good vs. Bad Spending Habits, checking statements, only withdrawing money required.
Budgeting, savings and basic accounting.
Self Confidence and Meeting challenges.
The Pupils then undertook group work on inspirational characters / success stories / heroes. Through discussing the character traits of inspirational people, the pupils were encouraged to analyse and identify the attributes that made these people exceptional. The kind of qualities that came out in the discussions were determination, leadership. The kind of people mentioned were Muhammed Ali, Christian Coleman (World record holder for 60M dash). Mr Owen
I can tell that this year is going to be a very special one. The children who performed in the first lunchtime concert of the year were brilliant. It was a delight to hear all of their contributions and can’t wait for the next instalment.
Harini Sivavakeesar’s piano piece ‘Allegretto Grazioso’ was played with great musicality, she felt the music from the bottom of her toes to the top of her head. Emily Foster sang ‘We’re off to see the wizard’ with a rich round sound and Barnaby Davison’ ‘Catch a falling star’ was beautifully observed, full of confident feeling and the last note was awesome.
Elijah’s Speech and Drama poem ‘Cats Protection League’ was wonderful, funny and scary all in one great rendition! Freddie Lancaster’s ‘Theme’ was a stunning Mozart-like piece that sounded very tricky.
We say ‘Ye Ha!’ to Chibugum Iwuagwu, ‘Yo Ho Ho!’ to Giovanna Opoku and ‘AHHH!’ to William Lam for their fun filled performances. Teachers who are cowboys, pirates who play the piano and sharks for Father’s Day cards were a big hit with us.
Isobella McCall played ‘Old Mac Donald’ on the black notes for her very first piano recital after only five lessons and Tabitha Simpkins sang a beautifully sunny ‘Ride on a rainbow’ after only a handful of lessons too. How amazing girls!
All of our performers remembered to bow and we were very proud of them, especially the ones who carried on even if something went a bit wrong.
Please don’t forget to come along to our next concert. You will be amazed at the talent that is being nurtured in our school.
Practise makes perfect everyone!
ETA: 6:10pm (please check twitter for updates during the journey)
Friday: What a week, we are looking forward to seeing you all very soon. The children are all taking part in team games and challenges on the pitches with the group leaders and instructors. Our bags are all out ready to load up once the coaches arrive. Most of the photos from Thursday are now on our gallery site.
Thursday: Today is our last full day on Travel Week. We have had a fantastic time this week, the children have been amazing. The impromptu cricket match last night went down well!
Pre-Prep groups (1-4) will be taking part in camp craft and beach activities. The Prep groups (5-8) have power boat driving, canoeing and raft building.
We have arranged for all of the children in Pre-Prep and Prep to have some time together on the beach at the end of the day as a treat for our last night.
Wednesday: Some incredible views this morning, the mist is rolling over Poole harbour, the children are enjoying breakfast and talking about their activities.
Morning Activities - Groups 1 and 2 are visiting with beach for power boat driving and canoeing. Groups 3 and 4 have archery and team games. Groups 5 and 6 have camp craft. Groups 7 and 8 have low ropes and high ropes.
Afternoon Activities - Groups 1 and 2 have archery and team games. Groups 3 and 4 have power boat driving and canoeing. Groups 5 and 6 have low ropes and high ropes. Groups 7 and 8 have camp craft.
Tuesday: Good morning, we are enjoying the cooler start to the day. The children are all awake and getting ready for breakfast, an exciting and busy day lies ahead.
Morning Activities - Groups 1-4 will be heading to Burnbake Ropes Course this morning to work their way around the low ropes course.
Groups 5-6 will be climbing and abseiling on sea cliffs this morning, and Groups 7-8 will be taking a ridge walk to Corfe Castle.
Afternoon Activities – Groups 1-4 will be taking on the high ropes course after their lunch. Groups 5-6 will be taking a ridge walk to Corfe Castle and groups 7-8 will be climbing and abseiling on sea cliffs.
Monday: We left The Grove at 9:30am this morning and began our journey to Brenscombe Outdoor Centre. We stopped for a short break and then again for lunch on our way.
There was a spot of traffic on the way down, but we have now arrived at Brenscombe Outdoor Centre (3:05pm).
We will unload our luggage and settle the children into their rooms. Once the centre have completed their safety talks and fire drill the children will be free to get to know the centre and staff. We will gather the children into their day groups for the group photos before dinner, these will be uploaded here.
What a beautiful part of the country, the views towards the closing stages of our journey have been incredible. The children are very excited, Travel Week is amazing!
Evening update: The children in Pre-Prep are in bed resting for their first full day of activities tomorrow. Prep are showering before bed. All of the children have had a great day today and we look forward to waking up bright and early tomorrow.
Photos from Monday have now been uploaded to our gallery site.