What a wonderfully busy and exciting week!
On Monday, eight children from Deer Class, along with two members of staff were given the wonderful opportunity to attend the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey. The lucky children, who were picked at random by drawing names from a hat, had to be at Leighton Buzzard Railway Station at 9.30am on Monday, to catch the train into London. It was a beautiful sunny day, so the children were able to do lots of sightseeing in the morning, taking in Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace amongst other attractions.
At Buckingham Palace, the children were particularly fortunate to witness the ceremony to start the Commonwealth Games baton relay. The Queen handed the baton to Australian cycling champion Anna Meares, who was joined by British cyclist Victoria Pendleton, and the baton will now travel across seventy-one countries, before finishing its journey at the Gold Coast for the Commonweath Games in April 2018.
Following lunch in the Crypt Cafe in St Martin-in-the- Fields, the children arrived at Westminster Abbey in time to see the baton arrive with another famous athlete, Jessicca Ennis-Hill.
The service in the Abbey was a true representation of our varied Commonwealth. There were a number of different speakers and performers from a range of countries and cultures. The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry were in attendance along with many other well known public figures, politicians, school children and members of the public. It really was a wonderful occasion.
Wednesday was a truly fantastic day for Rabbits and Badgers Class. They had a early start, leaving school by coach by 8.00am, with Birmingham as their destination, and a day at Cadbury World! The topic for this term is "Food" and Cadbury World provides a great educational experience, for children to find out all about one of their favourite foods - chocolate!
The Cadbury Experience involves exhibitions and hands-on activities, demonstrating how chocolate is manufactured, where the raw materials are produced, how it is packaged and marketed, and so on. There is also lots of information about the history of chocolate and about Cadbury's the company, the Quaker beliefs around which the company was established, and how that ethos carries on today, with the importance of Fair Trade.
The children thoroughly enjoyed the exhibitions, but perhaps their favourite part of the day was the trip to the factory shop, where they were able to spend their pocket money on huge slabs of chocolate to take home!
Thursday was "Science Day" and the school was full of young scientists performing experiments and investigations in every classroom! Younger children in Hamsters and Hedgehogs looked at colour, and experimented with mixing colours - paint and food colouring - with interesting and exciting results.
Children in Key Stages One and Two largely focused on transportation, and had to use their scientific brains to come up with ways to transport items from one place to another. Otters children were given the task of making boats, which would carry passengers without sinking, across a body of water. They were given a variety of different materials to use, including lego, plastic tubs and bottles, and card.
Squirrels children made zip wires, and had to think about the height difference between the start and end of the wire, so that their lego man wasn't left dangling in mid air! Rabbits meanwhile, made bridges, using twenty-five lolly sticks each... and lots of sellotape. They were given the instruction that the bridges had to be long enough to fit between two tables (a distance of 30cm) strong enough to support a weight, and had to look attractive.
Foxes children had the challenge of transporting tomatoes across the room, using a variety of ingenious methods. The whole classroom was transformed by a system of strings and chutes, from which tomatoes were suspended or propelled down. Deer children did something similar, but with marbles, devising their own marble runs. It really was all quite impressive!