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Middle School Production Articles from each year group ISA South West Cross Country Theme Week

A termly review from Hatherop Castle School

HATHEROP CASTLE

Six pupils from Prep 5 and 6 took part in a Prep School Humanities Challenge at Stowe School, competing for the Winton Cup. The children had a number of challenges to rise to involving History of Art, Philosophy, History and Geography which encouraged the pupils to think in different ways and to use a variety of skills. The day was a great success and although they did not win, they thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Where to begin! It has been such a busy, packed term and so much has happened and been achieved. A great deal of what we have done is covered in this issue of “Connect” and I do not wish to be repetitive. I have very much enjoyed my first term of blogging and I appreciate all the positive comments I have received from parents. I am pleased to hear that some of my thoughts and comments give rise to conversation and debate. It has been a very successful term with regards examination success and my congratulations go to all of Prep 8 who have received awards for their senior school. I am so proud of them, not just for their own success but because they show that when the full programme of study is followed, we do achieve the success we and they deserve. The beauty of being independent is that we can follow a curriculum that allows us to develop skills at a rate commensurate with success at the top of the school and that is Prep 8. It is so good to see the children being their own person and watching them develop their own distinct personalities and range of skills. It is so exciting that no two children are alike and yet they all flourish at a school where they are encouraged, happy and become so productive in all areas of school life. Any of you who saw the Middle School Production of “Pinafore Parents” will have seen first hand the levels of enthusiasm and commitment generated by the school and its staff. We had great fun putting it together and our rehearsals were a time to really enjoy each other’s talents and skills. They were all so complimentary of each other and applauded everyone’s efforts. The number of opportunities given to the children this term has been incredible and a large proportion of our pupils have represented Hatherop Castle outside of the school’s grounds and classrooms. You will be able to read about their involvement in all these things in the pages of this issue of “Connect”. I believe passionately that the future for our school is bright and I applaud and respect those parents who are sticking with us. My very best wishes for a very happy Easter and I hope that we can all take time to remember why we celebrate Easter and how we should be grateful and treat each other with courtesy and kindness. Also let’s enjoy the spring, it is after all the season of new beginnings and nothing could be more apt than that for Hatherop Castle at this time.


Back in September 2013 we decided to opt into the exciting Cirencester Hare Festival. We were very pleased to be involved in this project for a number of reasons but to be honest with you had not totally taken on board all that was to be done. Everything went quiet until the New Year when, as sponsors we had to raise money to pay for our Hare. We decided to hold a “Mad Hare Day” which was enormous fun and added a certain element to our first Inter House singing competition. Then, he arrived and what a handsome chap he was, but this only highlighted the enormity of the project. I felt such a responsibility to make sure that we fulfilled all the criteria that we had set. Having abandoned a number of ideas due mainly to practicalities, I decided to use our Ginko leaf as the starting point. Each child from Kindergarten to Year 8 was set the task of producing a butterfly Ginko leaf. The variety was outstanding with a wide range of media being used. The next challenge was to decide where to place the finished piece. As he was to include additional elements (which would be fairly easy to remove) we knew he would have to be placed inside. We approached Waterstones in Cirencester and they were thrilled to be chosen to host “Haretherop.” We thought that it was important that he could change positions within the shop regularly. Mr Lay came to the rescue here, building us an excellent trolley that he could sit in and be moved to any new position, perhaps even a sunny spot by Costa Coffee on a pleasant summer’s day. Waterstones have been extremely accommodating and helpful, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank the store manager John Weeks and his team. If you have not had the opportunity to visit “Haretherop” please do. The trail continues until the 14th September so you have plenty of time.

The Speech and Drama Evening held annually, took place in the Dr. Moorhead Room on Friday 7th March. Thirty-seven children from Prep 4 to Prep 8 rose to the challenge of performing a selection of poetry and scenes from plays that included comedy and tragedy by a variety of playwrights from Roald Dahl to George Bernard Shaw. The evening culminated in the scholarship performances by the talented Prep 8 drama students.

Yet again everyone enjoyed a day of activities linked to Literacy. This year we had the chance to work with the poet Christine Michaels, a puppeteer, Tamasin Cuthbert, and we were also lucky enough to work with two authors, Charlotte Gillians; who writes non-fiction and her husband Adam, who writes fiction. Everyone had their favourite workshop but it was generally agreed there was something for us all to learn from each of workshops.


The topic for this year’s theme week was “a night at the cinema”, and each form worked to produce a film for the end of the week. The end results ranged from historical films to fantasy, and everyone demonstrated a great amount of teamwork, ideas, and a wide range of skills. At the end of the week was the “Hatherop Oscars” ceremony, for which we all dressed in our finery and had photographs taken on the “red carpet” . There were nominations and awards for a variety of categories. It was a hugely enjoyable week for all, a chance for forms to pull together and produce a memorable piece of cinema. Everyone enjoyed watching the films during the Oscar ceremony. These can now also be seen on the school website.

This term has been a particularly busy one for the music department with a number of new events taking place. The Senior Chapel Choir has certainly worked hard and performed at a high standard on a number occasions. They have represented the school at the Fairford and Lechlade Business Club dinner and in the Hatherop Community Choir concert, where their renditions of ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ were a particular highlight. This term’s Recital Evening was a particularly enjoyable event for all who performed and attended. Congratulations must be given to the seven pupils who each introduced and performed a short recital of pieces – Holly Harvey, Sophie Iles, Matthew Hoult, Harvey Cullis, Georgia Rattigan, Emily Kelly and Annabelle Rigg. Both the Senior Chapel Choir and the Junior Choir sung very well and helped to round the evening off with an impressive performance of Do-Re-Mi. If proof were needed that music can help to bring a community together, then this term’s House Singing Competition demonstrated this perfectly. All the pupils and staff in each house put a huge amount of time and effort into perfecting their songs and delivered them with great spirit and enthusiasm. Congratulations to Fyfe on winning the competition and we look forward to another keenly contested competition next year.


On Tuesday 4th March Prep 3 enjoyed a trip to Lechlade Garden Centre as part of their maths topic on money.

All the children enjoyed using money in a real life situation.

behaviour was commented upon by members of the public.

Many of the children’s parents joined the trip and the children’s excellent

The children visited the café where they picked an item to eat and an item to drink. They mentally added up how much these items would cost and then subtracted that amount from the £5 they had brought with them. The children enjoyed what they had bought and then completed a number of money based activities , looking at the addition and subtraction they had used to buy their drink and snack.

The Lent term has been a very busy one for the boarders. We welcomed Lucia, Jaime and Pedro for four weeks and thoroughly enjoyed having them in the boarding house. Memorable weekend trips included Madame Tussauds, Legoland and Cadbury World. More and more children are choosing to flexi-board and are quickly realising how much fun it is. Earlier in the term, Prep 8 joined seven other schools at the Marlborough Philosophy and Theology Day. They took part in four workshops that challenged their thinking about perception, freedom, creation and religious philosophy. All of them contributed significantly to the debates and came away with a real interest and enthusiasm for the subject of Philosophy.

We are all looking forward to the lighter evenings and the chance to get outside and have barbecues and use the swimming pool in the summer term.


For the first half term in Transition our topic about hats gave us the opportunity to be chefs for the week and interview Matron and Sergeant Gloyn from Cirencester Police Station about how they help people. We finished this topic with a ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ with delicious hot chocolate poured from a tea pot.

Caterpillar and Goldilocks, allowing plenty of opportunities for exploring the natural environment whilst out for walks around the grounds.

This half term Transition have enjoyed finding out about growing. The children have planted seeds and bulbs and learnt about what plants need to grow. They have created seed collage pictures, baked seed bread and made books about growing a bean.

In French lessons, Prep 6 have been studying sports and activities, learning to say what they play and do, and also how to ask for things they would like. This fits in with preparations for the French trip during the Easter holidays, where they will be able to take part in a great range of activities and will use what they are learning in the real context of their meals and day to day living.

In Kindergarten the children have enjoyed a variety of different topics based on individual interests.

We are all looking forward to what promises to be an excellent experience for all participants.

These have been as diverse as dinosaurs, owls, vehicles and stories such as the Hungry

On Tuesday 4th February Prep 4 visited the Roman Baths, as part of their History work on Roman life. This trip followed on from their visit to Chedworth Roman Villa the previous term. They had an excellent day, spending the morning touring the baths and tasting the spa water the city is famed for. In the afternoon

they had three workshop activities, involving making Roman mosaics, wearing Roman clothes and identifying and touching real Roman artefacts. It was a very informative day and all the children thoroughly enjoyed learning about Roman life at first hand.


Reception have had a very busy term enjoying all of the whole school activities such as Literacy Day, a visit to see Harold in the Life Education Caravan and Readathon which has inspired in them a love for reading and enjoyment of books. One of the highlights of their term was doing their first class assembly for their parents and the whole school. Theme Week was enormous fun too where the children found out all about how to make a film and all the exciting activities linked to this new project. Latterly, they have been very excited about using the ICT suite for the first time and logging onto Mathletics. Reception have also been out and about in the school grounds doing assorted activities with both Transition and Prep One.

Prep 2 have had a fabulous time at Forest School this term.

Prep 5P have enjoyed trialling a new online maths resource called ‘Mathletics’ this term. We have used the resource to play each other and other children around the world in maths games and challenges, collecting credits and gold bars along the way. The trial was such a success that the resource has now been rolled out to the whole school, with every child from Reception to Prep 8 receiving a login before the end of term. Mathletics will prove very useful in supporting the teaching of all aspects of maths, both at home and in the classroom.

It has been both educational and good fun. We wondered what we night find in the forest. We used all our senses to discover the secrets of the forest, such as frozen puddle mirrors, smelly fungus and sticky bark. In teams we created 3D maps using natural materials. Some highlights of our visits have been finding frogspawn while pond dipping, orienteering in the forest and, of course, making our theme week films ‘on location’ with our special guest star, Forest Pete! You can see our completed films, along with all the other class films, on the school website. Our memories of the time we have

spent in Forest School will remain with us all for a long time and the children are already looking forward to returning to Forest School in Prep 3!


Prep 1 visited the Co-Operative Farm at Down Ampney to find out about where their food comes from, the children learn how crops are grown and the links with healthy food.

It was a busy term for the cross country runners with more children running in and outside of school than ever before. Luke Buck has had a successful season, having qualified through the Cotswold schools league to enter the Gloucestershire County Championships. A creditable 8th place out of 80 runners was a good result. Luke was also one of 3 other children, Emily Mullin, Saskia Thomson & Hector Mackellar, who represented the ISA Schools South West at the Cross Country National Finals at Princethorpe, following strong performances at the ISA South West trials, which were held at Hatherop.

and a keen group of runners who regularly attended the Friday lunchtime club, the future of middle and long distance looks strong!

At the National Finals, Luke came in 6th. A tough course and muddy conditions made it extremely hard going – well done! As well as the annual house cross country and Hatherop relays, which all children in the school ran, a number of team and individual races took place. With over 25 children competing for the school

On Thursday 13th March and Friday the 14th of March the Science department held a competition. The children had to give their 'Vision of the Future'. There was great enthusiasm for the event which attracted 96 pupils in total. There was a wide variety of ideas ranging from flying cars to future animals to whole cities of the future. The children worked hard on their presentations and had produced a fantastic range of PowerPoints and models. Well done to all that entered and particularly to the winners.

We went on a walk and found the footprints of wild deer and a special home for the farm’s barn owls. We also found out about what they eat, how they hunt, and could see bones of mice in their droppings. Later we made bird feeders to help lots of birds survive the winter. It was a great activity which everyone enjoyed. After lunch we decorated bags for the fruit and vegetables that we were going to use to make “healthy pizzas”. The pizza making was fun; we rolled the pastry, then made balls of it, threw it into the buckets and learned about yeast and why the pastry was left to “rise”. We tasted everything and this was evident on our clothes! We tidied up, singing our tidy up song before going back to school.


Hatherop Castle is pleased to have joined the Wishford Schools group. Wishford Schools is a family-run group of independent prep schools. The schools pride themselves on providing a friendly, caring environment in which children thrive and achieve amazing things. The group currently comprises of Hatherop Castle, Heywood Prep in Corsham and St. Faith’s in Kent. See www.wishford.co.uk information.

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The Middle School children performed to two packed houses on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in the last week of term. This year, the show was ‘The Pinafore Pirates’, a story telling the tale of Daisy, daughter of Buttercup, who seeks help to thwart a band of outrageous female pirates, who have taken her beloved hostage. With the help of Iolanthe, the Fairy Queen, and the Princess Ida, she enlists the aid of The Mikado, The Scorcerer, The Duke of Plaza-Toro, Admiral Sir Joseph Porter, and Major-General Stanley to save the day. All children from Prep 3-5 worked tirelessly to learn their lines, dances and songs to enthrall delighted audiences. Well done to all involved! Photographs from the performance will be on the school website shortly and a DVD will be available after the Easter break.

1st April saw Prep 7 visit the dungeon at Warwick Castle. With some trepidation they entered the scene of many a peasant and noble’s gruesome end. The dungeon did not disappoint and they were treated to a history of torture and pestilence with some unexpected frights on the way. The screaming could be heard from outside the metre thick walls! After they had calmed down, they enjoyed a sunny day rampaging round the battlements and discovering the history of this great castle. A very enjoyable day with a lot to bring back to the classroom.

The Knights and Princesses of Prep 2 had a brilliant day at Warwick Castle. The Kingmaker tour was both informative and exciting. The children learned a great deal about castle life in medieval times, from how to make armour and train to be a knight, to how the knights got paid. The toil and drudgery of a female servant’s life was also explained! Prep 2 showed their stamina by walking the 530 steps up and along the ramparts to the top of the tower and back down again. Later, whilst eating our picnic in the sun, we were entertained by a falconry display. After touring the State Rooms and visiting the jail, we finished our day with the all-important visit to the shop, for our knights to purchase their swords.


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