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larKhall news issue 25

Written and produced by St Mark’s and The Valley Schools

School Reports

New Headteacher for St Mark’s Swainswick Primary Celebrates 150 Years The St Stephen’s Technological Dream St Saviour’s Infants Burn London St Saviour’s Juniors’ Dramatic Tale

Festival Fun in Larkhall Get Creative & Crafty at St Mark’s Larkhall In Time Exhibition

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alice park nursery

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in this iSSue St Mark’s School News Valley Schools News Legends of Larkhall Larkhall Festival 2014 Open Studios 2014 Community News & Reviews The Larkhall News is a not-for-profit enterprise published by St Mark’s School, Bath. Our next issue will be out Summer 2014. Editorial: Contact us on 01225 478416 or at St Mark’s School on 01225 312661. Advertising: Contact Paula Hawkins, St Mark’s School, Bay Tree Road, Larkhall, Bath, BA1 6ND Tel: 01225 312661 or email, The Larkhall News is available online at: Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. The publisher does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or errors in content. Whilst every reasonable care is taken, the publisher shall not be held liable for any loss occasioned by the failure of an advertisement to appear, or any damage or inconvenience caused by errors, omissions or misprints.


‘Change in all things is sweet’ - Aristotle. Our humble school magazine reaches its 25th edition today. I am proud of its achievements and the hard work that a team of very dedicated people have put into it and I am still excited about its future and the opportunities that it can provide to the children and young people of our community. This year, for the first time, our magazine is brought to you in the beauty of technicolour! ‘About time’ you may say, but as a not-for profit enterprise, our priority has always been to offer value for money to our advertisers without compromising on the quality of our magazine and the space available to our young reporters to showcase their work. With the help of our Valley School Partners, our advertisers and sponsors, I am absolutely thrilled that we have managed to finally move beyond black and white and embrace the diversity and fragrance of colour! Change is also on its way for St Mark’s School as we welcome a new Headteacher from September 2014. Mr Barnaby Ash will be re-locating to the West Country from London over the summer, ready to start his new post in the autumn term. His vision is quite clearly for an outstanding secondary school in our community and we are all very excited by his appointment.

It does not go without saying that we are approaching the Larkhall Festival and I am very pleased to see a programme full of fabulous events and activities right on the door step. The full programme is available on the St Mark’s School website so if you haven’t already got a copy, you can download one from there. St Mark’s School will be hosting its annual Creative and Crafty workshops for children to come along and enjoy with the usual café serving treats to eat. In addition, there will be two exhibitions of artwork and I would urge you all to come along and see the amazing work that has been created. This year, we have worked on two very different projects, the first is reflective of our school community and has been created with the help of local artists Dawn Lippiatt and Simon Hodges and the other is reflective (quite literally) of our local community, made possible by the generous support of Bath In Time and author, Paul De’Ath. Turn to page 6 for more information. Happy Festivalling one and all!

Paula Tel: 01225 312661 or email,


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St Mark’s school by Chris Ryan, Head of School

I wonder if when leaving a hotel you have completed one of those ubiquitous customer feedback surveys? It seems that everywhere one turns businesses are asking us to rate their product or service. Let me assure you that this phenomenon also happens in schools. At St Mark’s, we annually survey all students in order to glean their opinions of our work and how we can improve all aspects of our work: teaching, toilets, school dinners or the school environment. I am proud to say that out of this work and the realisation that, quite frequently, the customer does know best, we decided to launch a ‘Learning to Lead’ programme. This now nationally recognised scheme was conceived at The Blue School, Wells. It involves a few members of staff training students in the art of leadership. Students learn how to form committees, write agendas and chair meetings, lobby for change and fundraise. We started the process by surveying our students as to what they liked about our

school and what they would like to see improved. Suffice to say the scheme has proved popular with our students where currently we have the following teams: The Milkshake Crew (it does what it says on the carton), Indoor Decor team, the Radio Team and a Comic Team; ably supported by Steve the proprietor of the Comic Store in Walcot Street. All of the teams aim to make life at school better and/or more exciting for all students. The Radio Team have created and broadcast a number of humorous, Pythonesque news programmes, which have been screened at school assemblies - much to the delight of all students. The Indoor Decor crew have re-painted a set of girls’ toilets, which are now a delightful shade of lilac. The scheme is now about to expand and we will be bringing online another three or four teams including Free Running. I am having cold sweats already wondering about the health and safety aspects of this particular venture, but I guess the customer knows best!

NEw Head for Sam and St Mark’s by Toby This September, St Mark’s will have a new Headteacher. Mr Barnaby Ash will be joining St Mark’s School from his current post at Blackheath Bluecoat School in Greenwich, London. He has already visited the school on a number of occasions, most recently to speak to prospective parents and parents of our new Year 7s, who will also be joining the school in September. The Larkhall News reporters had an interview with Mr Ash to ask him a few questions about his plans for the future of St Mark’s and how he will enhance our school and local community. Mr Ash took up a career in teaching as a result of his love of sport. He became a Teacher of PE and from there he worked up to become a senior leader and eventually a Headteacher. Speaking of his vision for St Mark’s, he said, “I would like to make St Mark’s an outstanding school. St Mark’s is a school with a very warm and friendly atmosphere and I would like it to become the school of choice for the local area. The children here are happy which is important and I’m looking forward to developing the opportunities for them and making school a fun, yet challenging place to be.” Mr Ash will be visiting the school again in the summer term, providing an opportunity for parents and carers to also meet with him and talk about St Mark’s School and his plans for making it even better.


PICtured: Above: A ver y early view of Larkhall. Below: the construction of St Mark’s School. Both images will be featured in this year’s exhibition at St Mark’s School, May 3rd. Below left: Mr Barnaby Ash, new Headteacher for St Mark’s School from September 2014.

Larkhall In Time Ever wondered what Allen and Harris Estate Agents use to be? Or what was at the junction of Cleveland Place to control traffic in 1929? Or what St Mark’s School looked like – without the school? Children at St Mark’s and St Saviour’s Juniors have been working together to create a unique exhibition of images and photographs for this year’s Larkhall Festival. The project, supported by Bath in Time and local author, Paul De’Ath, has been organised as a collaborative event for children in Years 7 and 4, to encourage them to take a closer look at their local community, studying old photographs of the area and comparing it to today. Using photographs from the Bath in Time collection and images from the personal collection of Paul, the children have been asked to re-photograph the scene in 2014 to see how a landscape and community can evolve and change. This fascinating exhibition of their work will be held on Saturday 3 May from 11am – 3pm at St Mark’s School as part of the Open Studios Trail. The schools would like to thank Bath in Time, Paul De’Ath, The Larkhall History Society and Bryan Chalker for their kind loan of historical images.

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St Saviour’s

Infants & Nursery ANDREW PEPYS by Andrew In our class we have been learning about the Great Fire of London and how Samuel Pepys kept a diary. I thought I would become Andrew Pepys and write a diary about our school. During our topic we wrote a diary extract for each day of the fire on old looking paper stained with tea. We made 3D Tudor houses out of boxes and then put them together to make London Town. We all lined up and watched the houses burn and sang ‘London’s burning’ Instead of saying ‘fetch the engine’ we changed the words to ‘fetch the buckets’ because this was 1666 and there were no fire engines. We made information booklets and did lots of Drama and hot seating. We even wrote our own stories about being on a school trip and travelling back in time to the Great Fire we were helping Samuel Pepys bury his wine and cheese and helped James I make a decision about using gun powder to blow up the houses to try and stop the fire spreading. Our new topic is going to be Pirates and volcanoes. Oscar is already a bit of an expert, he says, “Lava comes from the Earth’s core and when they don’t erupt for a while they are called a dormant volcano.”

iPAD FUN by Zerryn At St. Saviour’s we use iPads for lots of our learning and for fun! We use iPads to research animals for our Literacy. My favourite app is A.L.E.X. because you get to learn about directions. We didn’t even realise we were doing maths during A.L.E.X. until our teacher Sara told us! Daisy said, “My favourite game is Taco monster because I like cooking and making.” Amel said, “My favourite app is Hair Salon because you can cut Santa’s hair and it is fun!” Jasmine said, “My favourite app is Kid Doodle because it is fun. While you draw the pens light up!” Isaac said, “My favourite app is Doodle Maths because you get to learn maths.” Everybody loves using the iPads for playing and for learning! PICtured: Above right: London’s burning. Above: Andrew Pepys. Below: Zerr yn tests out the iPads!

St Saviour’s Juniors

PORRIDGE by Nina and Harvey ‘Porridge’ was the whole school production in which Year 6 starred as the cast, supported by a chorus and backstage team drawn from Years 3 to 5. The plot revealed the evil Papa Bear trying to take over Happy Valley and build a giant porridge factory in the forest. Only the detective, Jack Spratt, and a few other friends could stop him! It was all organised by our Headteacher Mr. O’Shea and supported by all of the teachers and staff at our school. “I have been involved in the productions for the last four years, and I definitely thought this one was the best,” said Lily Smith (Jack Spratt). “I found it exciting performing in front of lots of people!” said Sammy Wright (Dwayne Pipe). However, it wasn’t only the cast who earned the audience’s applause. “I really enjoyed operating the lighting system with Joyee and Adam,” said Jamie Luton (Lighting crew). Now we are all looking forward to next year’s grand production!

THE LARKHALL FESTIVAL 2nd - 5th May by Leon and Emma The Larkhall Festival was invented by my (Leon’s) Dad, Nick Bird, and Julia Bowen. They thought of the idea in November 2007 but the first festival was in May 2009. The Larkhall Festival will be mainly held in the New Oriel Hall but spread into other places in Larkhall, for example: St. Saviour’s Church and St. Mark’s School. There is an Alice in Wonderland theme in 1 or 2 activities this year but there will also be other themes for different activities. There will be lots of stalls, games, food, raffles and many other things happening in this year’s festival. The arts and crafts will be in St. Mark’s school, St. Saviours’ Church and the New Oriel Hall. This year it is also the New Oriel Hall’s 10th birthday so there will be a big party there. The Larkall Festival committee, who are volunteers, help out with the Larkhall Festival and make sure everything runs smoothly. You must come to the 2014 Larkhall Festival because you will have great fun!


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St Mark’s Through The Eyes of the beholder Local artists Simon Hodges and Dawn Lippiatt have been working with Year 7 pupils at St Mark’s School to create individual pieces of art that celebrate all that is great about the school.

the community to enjoy, but also giving them unique experiences and ownership of their environment. I’m really looking forward to seeing the final piece on the front of the main building at St Mark’s later this year!”

Working initially with the English department, the children have been involved in ‘Word Workshops’ to build a list of meaningful words that describe how they feel about their school.

Artist, Simon Hodges, said, “Whilst this is the third year that I have taken part in a project with children at St Mark's it is still a challenge for an artist who likes to work alone. I always think of my art teacher at school who, when I look back didn't teach me anything I can remember, but had a genuine enthusiasm for art in all it's shapes and forms and encouraged a need to try and if necessary fail in an effort to achieve something good.”

Over a series of art workshops run by Dawn and Simon, the children will be expected to turn these words into individual pieces of art using a range of techniques and styles. Each piece will be exhibited for visitors to select their favourites, so that the most popular can be turned into a bigger outdoor installation in the summer. The project is one of a series organised by the school and artists from the Larkhall Open Studios in the lead up to the Larkhall Festival. It provides an opportunity for young people to work alongside professional artists and use their creativity to produce an installation that celebrates the community. Organiser, Paula Hawkins from St Mark’s School, said, “Our collaboration with the Open Studios artists continues to grow year on year and I’m so pleased that Simon and Dawn are joining our school once again to take part in this project. Sharing skills, knowledge and experience in this way, allows the children to have huge amounts of fun whilst learning about art and the different mediums through which they can express themselves.” “It’s not just about creating a wonderful piece of art for

“He provided materials and gave me the confidence to try. It has taken me a long time to begin to take this philosophy on board again and if I do nothing else it is to pass on this desire to give it a 'genuine' go even if it may not result in a final picture or design first time.” Dawn added, “I think that working in school as an artist is a very symbiotic relationship in that I learn as much from the children as I hope that they do from me.” “I’m a great believer of learning through play and I still haven’t stopped! Frankly I have no idea what the final outcome of this work will look like. I do however know that it will be the children who made it and not me, not Simon and not the staff.” “Hopefully it will develop self confidence in what the children can achieve, a sense of joy at its boldness by their contemporaries and pride from the families and local community.”

(Opposite St Saviour’s Church)

PICtured: Simon Hodges and Hayley during one of the ar t workshops at St Mark’s School

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Re-Build Mexico The Larkhall Link by Miguel and Joseph Two local school boys, Laurie Maylor and Tobias Little, from St Mark’s, are joining a Christian project run by the Urban Saints foundation. In April of 2014 they will travel to Mexico, where they and a group of other young people will spend 10 days involving themselves in the local community and constructing a house for an under-privileged family. The pair will have their work cut out, and that’s even before they go to Mexico. Between them, they need to reach a target of £2,600 from fundraising, a target of which they have reached the halfway mark. We decided to interview the duo to ask them some questions about their journey. Q: What are your motivations? A: “We want to help people who aren’t as lucky as us and haven’t been born into a society like the UK’s, but instead into a world full of poverty and crime.

Q: What do you hope to achieve? A: “It’s our aim to provide not just shelter, a basic human right, but also love, to people around the world. It’s also beneficial for us to experience other cultures and hopefully take something back from this trip. I want to get a supersize McDonalds whilst we’re there as well!” – Toby

PICtured: toby and Laurie with their home-made cakes at St Mark’s.

Q: Do you have any fears or worries about this trip? A: “Yeah, but we’ve got to look past those. I’m worried about the climate and mosquitos; I’m not good in hot places.” – Laurie Q: How are you raising the money for this trip, and where is it going? A: “We’re doing a lot of different things. We’re doing bike rides and other tough physical challenges and hoping people sponsor us. We also do cake sales at our school. The money will

go to supplies and materials used to construct the houses, as well as the costs of plane tickets.” – Toby The boys have a tough task ahead of them, but with support from the amazing local community of Larkhall and through their own dedication to this good cause, they should be able to reach their goal and spend time helping others. We wish them the best of luck in their noble cause, and implore you to donate even the smallest amount of your money to their project. All support is greatly appreciated not just by them but by the people it will benefit over in impoverished parts of the world.


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Larkhall Festival The annual Larkhall Festival takes place on 2nd – 5th May, starting on Friday evening with the popular Choirs by Fire, come and listen to local talented choirs. The grand opening will be at 12 noon on Saturday 3rd May. This year we are pleased to announce that our local fabulous fashionista Jean Woods has agreed to cut the ribbon. The ever-popular Craft Market will now take place on both Saturday and Sunday. To book a table send an email, address below. The children also get a chance to be creative with arts & crafts workshops at St Mark’s School, St Saviour’s Church and New Oriel Hall.

Get Creative & Crafty at St Mark’s School Saturday 3 May 11am-3pm

This year is the 10th anniversary of the opening of the New Oriel Hall and to celebrate, they are throwing a party. As with everything at Larkhall Festival this is free, so come along to eat cake and dance the night away.

Get Creative and Crafty Saturday 3rd May at St Mark’s School Get creative and crafty at St Mark's School Main Hall on Saturday 3rd May from 11am - 3pm as we let our hands do the talking and the making!

Saturday’s Food Festival in the Larkhall Inn garden includes a baking competition, open to all ages. Bring your masterpiece along to the garden on Saturday 3rd May.

There will be a range of art and creative projects for children to get messy, with something for all tastes and skill levels so come along and get mucky!

On Sunday 4th May the NOH car park will once again be transformed in to Larkhall Village Green with circus skills, a dog show, martial arts, maypole and more. At the same time there will be bands playing over the wall in the Larkhall Inn Garden.

The St Mark’s Cafe, serving snacks from 11am - 2pm, allows parents to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with some homebaked treats whilst the children enjoy the activities on offer.

Local artists will be exhibiting their work both in the NOH and in various open studios throughout Larkhall. Also, not to be missed is the opportunity to visit some lovely gardens. Details on a map in the programme. In addition to this we have stand-up comedy, shop window dressing, treasure hunt, church tower tours, gospel singing, paint the park, gurning and a cockney sing-along. It is all rounded off with a big party in Alice Park on Monday 5th May with bands, food, children’s activities and the ever popular boules tournament. The Festival could do with your help:Donate a raffle prize Donate money Give 1 hour of your time volunteering at the Festival All timings and events are detailed in the programme and were correct at the time of printing; any changes will be on our website To contact the Festival organisers email


There will also be a summer BBQ from 12pm for those who are slightly more peckish! A small charge will be payable on the door for creative workshops to cover the cost of materials only. We will be using recyclable materials where possible. Booking is not required, just come along and join in!

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Open Studios Open Studios this year promises all the visual diversity of previous years with the addition of new artists, reflecting the breadth of artistic talent in this unique corner of Bath. Ironart will be opening up their newly refurbished workshop for the first time and you can follow their involvement in Open Studios via their blog and newsletter. Ilene Sterns will enlighten photography enthusiasts with her unique photography using a Holga camera, as Ilene explains ‘. . . Holga photographs are like dreams or visions — places where reality is suspended and the imagination takes over.’ This year Ilene is teaming up with painter Mark Gale at Deborah Keiller’s Open Studio whilst Sarah Targett will be curating the New Oriel Hall group exhibition. Sarah is a talented print maker and member of The Bath Society of Artists. Sarah will be showcasing some new artists alongside more familiar names. Sadly we will be saying goodbye to one established artist, notably Rick Sanderson one of the founder members of The Larkhall Open Studios. Rick has left a legacy that goes beyond the Open Studios. He encouraged everyone who visited his studio to appreciate the gift of art and this is reflected in his parting thoughts to the Open Studio Trail. ‘. . . For me, painting is for people of all walks of life and level of art experience. There is immediacy in painting that can only be translated into words with the proviso that words are only an attempt to interpret and share the experience. By its nature, painting is a language of our senses, to engage with and explore, each from our own perspective.” Rick is moving west to Land’s End in Cornwall but will be maintaining links with Larkhall and would certainly welcome visitors to his new studio. In November Ione Parkin exhibited her solo show at the Victoria Art Gallery. A member of the RWA, Ione has her work exhibited in public and private exhibitions internationally. There will be the opportunity to speak to Ione about her solo show over the weekend and the prospect of exhibiting in commercial galleries in New York. Bath Printmakers are celebrating their 30th anniversary; their involvement with the Open Studios Trail coincides with an exhibition of their prints at The RUH. Visit Rosie at Crockadoodledo to find out about the fun to be had for participants of all ages creating your own ceramics. Elsewhere art workshops for children are being held at St Mark’s to engage the younger audience. There is so much more to see. With beautiful views to enjoy en route the Open Studios is not to be missed! The exhibition runs from the 3rd to the 5th May 2014 at various venues in and around Larkhall. Full details of times and locations can be found on the website. Look out for the brochures being distributed around Larkhall and Bath in the coming month and for the April edition of The Local Look magazine. PICtured FrOM tOPLeFt, CLOCKWISe: Alice Park, Olive Webb, Simon Hodges, Ironar t and Creative and Crafty at St Mark’s School


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Alice MacVicar Re-Visited Cllr. Bryan Chalker, B&NES Member Champion for Heritage & Historic Environment, focuses once again on the lady who gave her name to Alice Park and highlights two fascinating future projects relating to her . . . The history of Alice Park and its creator, Herbert Montgomery MacVicar, has been well documented in the Larkhall News over the past few years and the relatively unknown Alice brought into focus. Frances Alice Harriet MacVicar (nee Wallis) has also emerged from the shadows to be revealed as a beauty, born on July 14, 1883 and dying tragically young on 27 November, 1936, leaving a distraught husband, Herbert, or Bertie, as he was known affectionately, to create a park in her memory in 1938. That former tract of grazing land was gradually transformed into Alice Park and opened to the public on 28 May of that year. Alice and Herbert MacVicar were well-connected people and numbered among their friends such luminaries as legendary cricketer, W.G. Grace and famed authoress, Agatha Christie. It is known that Queen Mary visited Alice Park on a number of occasions and actually planted a tree there. Of the many features installed in the Park for the benefit of the public at large, including a play area for children, tennis courts and tea room, perhaps the most poignant of all was a flag-pole, the flag of which was intended to be lowered every 27 November to honour Alice’s memory. The flag-pole was erected a few yards inside the Park’s main gate on Gloucester Road, Lower Swainswick, and can be clearly seen in early photographs. An old millstone, no doubt retrieved from the nearby Lambridge Mill, the ruins of which can still be seen in the grounds of Pitman Court, was used as a solid base for the flag-pole but, where the pole once stood, a large tree now stands in its place. The millstone, however, remains intact and will hopefully be retrieved in due course and used as the base for a replacement pole. This ‘new’ flag-pole will take the form of a ship’s mast, donated to the project by fellow Lambridge councillor, Dave Laming and currently stored in a yard close to Deadmill Lane.


Another project in hand is the creation of a small memorial garden within Alice Park to commemorate the two World Wars, using the flag-pole as a focal point and honouring the late Herbert MacVicar’s wish to have it lowered to half-mast on 27 November each year in memory of Alice. BEAUTY OF BATH Alice was just 53 when she died but, in 1936, this would not have been deemed out of the ordinary. In 2014, however, we look upon such a life-span as relatively short. The MacVicars were, by all accounts, a devoted couple, who adored children but were childless, save, it is rumoured, for a baby which died at birth. The MacVicars were wealthy, even by today’s standards, and when Alice died, Herbert lavished a staggering £350,000 creating Alice Park as a lasting memorial to his loving wife, a true beauty of Bath. A number of early photographs have emerged of Alice MacVicar and it is felt that one of them should be digitally restored, framed and hung in the All-Organic Café (formerly named the Jellicoe Tea Pavilion), together with a photograph of Queen Mary visiting the Park in 1941. With the gracious help of Bath & North East Somerset Council, it is hoped that the memorial garden, situated close to the Larkhall Community Garden, will be completed by August to commemorate the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 and either a Union flag or flag of St. George will again fly from the pole to honour Alice MacVicar and remind the public of the heritage of this wonderful public green space. It is hoped that pupils from St Mark’s School will maintain the War Memorial Garden and perhaps either Tony Hickman or Russ Crook, of the All-Organic Café, can take responsibility for lowering the flag on 27 November each year.

PICtured: Left: Alice MacVicar - a beauty of Bath. right: the flagpole as it was but a mature tree has replaced it.

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Business News FACILITIES TO HIRE St Mark’s School has indoor and outdoor facilities available to hire at very competitive rates. Please call or email Mrs Hunter on or 01225 326604 for further information.

ASHMAN JONES VETS It has been almost four years since practice owners Murray Jones and Pippa Ashman first opened the doors of Ashman Jones Veterinary Centre on the London Road. From humble beginnings of two vets and three part-time receptionists, they have grown into a team of three vets, three vet nurses, three receptionists, a complementary medicine veterinarian and a consultant animal behaviourist! Opened in January 2014, Ashman Jones Widcombe has now been around for nearly three months, but from the moment they put up the sign for a future vet practice, they have been welcomed into the community with open arms. Ashman Jones’ ethos has always been to be a personal vets that you can get to know, and to see it reciprocated by the local area is a joy to any business.

Since the beginning, Ashman Jones have always tried to find new ways to suit their customers and pets’ needs. From March, Ashman Jones London Road became the only practice in Bath to opens its doors 7 days a week. Though only being open a few years, Ashman Jones has had more than its fair share of awards. First winning the Start Up Business award in the Bath Chronicle, they have gone on to win 2nd Most Loved Vets in the UK for both 2012 and 2013 (this year’s is still being counted). If you would like to join an award-winning vet practice that is open every day of the week then pop into either surgery today or give us a ring. As Murray puts it, “We understand that many people in Bath prefer a small, personal service from vets they can get to know well.”

BUSINESS BREAKFASTS AT ST MARK’S & THE NEW SIXTH Local business people and community groups were recently invited to attend a free business breakfast aimed at bringing the business community of Larkhall together in a unique networking forum. The event was hosted and organised by St Mark’s School in Larkhall, Bath on Thursday 23 January. Speaking at the event was Richard Tidswell, of Business Doctors and Louise Ladbrooke of Business West.

Growth Manager for Business West, Louise Ladbrooke supported Richard’s presentation. Louise complimented the school’s efforts to bring the community together at such an event, “My congratulations to St Mark’s School on such a successful event, there was such a buzz in the room and I was very happy to be part of it.”

“Focusing on creating and maintaining business plans for small businesses, Richard provided an insightful and interesting presentation to stimulate strategic thinking and future proofing,” said Paula Hawkins from St Mark’s School.

Speaking of future events planned, Paula said, “As well as the obvious gain for our students we hope to develop mutually beneficial partnerships and to support one another through the sharing of ideas and resources.”

“For many small business owners, regularly spending time on their business rather than in it can be difficult and often time is consumed in the day to day operations and running of the business,” said Richard. “However, finding the time to plan ahead, developing a clear strategic plan for the business and setting yourself measurable objectives is invaluable.”

St Mark’s will host the final Business Breakfast of this academic year in June with guest speaker Linda Donaldson from Geometry PR.

“Our next event will be at our new joint sixth form, The New Sixth on Tuesday 29 April from 8-10am. Our guest speaker will be Professor Veronica Hope Hailey, the Dean of the University of Bath School of Management.”

“Many of our local businesses attending the Business Breakfasts have asked for support and advice on their marketing and PR strategies and so I am really pleased that Linda has agreed to come along and provide her expertise and advice.” Anyone interested in booking a place should contact Paula Hawkins or Emily Oliver on 01225 312661.


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Swainswick Primary By Zac, Finlay and Rex in collaboration with all of Oak Class

Have you wondered what Swainswick School is celebrating this year? Well wonder no further! We have written an article about the 150 year anniversary. 150 Years Ago In 1864, Swainswick School started in the house next door to the present school. As Ivy and April remember, ‘Looking down on our new school, it is giant and way too tall for my liking. Staring up at the big casements (windows) gets me into trouble. I am Ivy and I’m writing on April’s behalf. As it says she wasn’t paying attention and has now got a throbbing hand from the cane. I’m not sure I enjoy education. I haven’t met any new children and there are too many rules.’ 70 Years Ago Swainswick School was there in both World Wars. But what happened in the Second World War? In 1939, the Second World War broke out and many new children arrived for they had been evacuated. The Juniors and Infants shared the main room and the London children had a smaller room. The Somerset children attended from 8am to 12pm. The London children attended 12.15pm to 4.15pm. On April 27th 1942 the school was closed for a fortnight to be used as rest centre because of the Bath Blitz! More Recent History! Our teacher Mrs Warne said that when she was a pupil at Swainswick the Year 3 and 4 classroom was just being built and there was a climbing frame in the playground. There were only two classes, one for infants, one for juniors. There is a house opposite to the school (School House) and the Head lived here and there were only four members of staff (including the Head). The way you got to school was by walking or by bus. The pupils of Swainswick went swimming at Colerne Air Hangar. Mrs Grayson, a teaching assistant who has been at the school for a very long time, said that there was no Office or Library. The Year 2 classroom was the office. There were drama days on Manor Farm for all the local schools. On one of these, they acted out the Battle of Lansdown; they even used real cannons! Swainswick Legacy 150 As Swainswick School is celebrating 150 years, amongst the other celebrations, we thought we should give some money that we raised. We wanted to give something back on behalf of all that Swainswick School has provided for children over the last 150 years. Four children who used to go to Swainswick School and two of their friends are going to St. Michael’s, a school in Uganda. The team will go to Uganda and help out with the education. The school lacks a lot of things we take for granted in Britain. To raise money, the boys have done a cycle ride from London to Bath. At Swainswick School we have been raising some money to help them get there and have helped a lot. The School Council organised a cake sale which raised some money and our Harvest and Christmas collection went towards the fund.


Four of the boys came to talk to us in assembly to tell us about Uganda and what they were going to be doing at the school. They wore T-shirts that said ‘a group of motivated teenagers have a dream of changing lives and making better ones’. The Climbing Frame Project This all began when Zac designed a poster and won £100 from a safety competition. The children in School Council discussed how we could spend it to improve safety at the school. Then people started signing a petition for a climbing frame, so they could have a safe place to climb in school. School Council asked the Friends of Swainswick if they would like to help raise money for a climbing frame. Friends of Swainswick agreed to help raise money to go towards the climbing frame to add to Zac’s £100 to provide something for all the children in the school to enjoy during the school’s 150th year. They thought that it was a very good idea. Fifty Years From Now . . . ‘Today I went to my old school that I was in 50 years ago when I was 10. Instead of blackboards they now have interactive touch screen whiteboards. Every book on the shelf has now been turned into lots of Kindle Fires. All of the children have office chairs instead of plastic ones. They’ve now built a garden shed on the so called Top Grass. Now they have also built a swimming pool for KS2. It is cleaned every morning and night. The children can wear their home clothes and their hair down when we had to do the opposite! Every year group has two teachers each when we only had one teacher for two years. I wonder what the school will be like in another 50 years. ‘

PICtured: Swainswick School celebrates 150 years.

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St Stephen’s Primary IT’S TIME TO LET TECHNOLOGY TURN THE PAGES by Luke, Beatrice, Katie and Jack, Year 6 It seems remarkable that in today’s world of electronic gadgets, when we are puppets, our strings pulled by new technology, we don’t seem to have acknowledged the educational value of the E-Reader. Our recent telephone survey of Junior schools suggests that they are either banned or are restricted in some way. So what is the reasoning behind their limited use? Is it only due to the concerns regarding E-safety as pupils are able to access the internet or is it a problem of liability? Who is ultimately responsible if something inappropriate is downloaded? Yes, all of the above! But how is this so very different to the mobile phone? I think we would all agree that having a mobile phone, especially if you walk home, which is greatly encouraged by “healthy schools,” is paramount to our personal safety. Indeed, on one day, 36 out of 60 pupils had a mobile phone in school that can potentially access the internet. We trust our pupils not to switch them on in the day. Surely, we could exercise the same trust with a Kindle. Equally, could we not ensure that Kindles are subject to the same security, filters and parental controls as the mobile phone? Our suggestion for their use comes also from a financial basis. Material available to gain the level 6 grades in reading is limited at present and thus requires a huge financial input from the school with almost no resources. In fact, this article

was inspired by a pupil who wished to read the classics to enhance his level in reading. He could download the texts free on an electronic reader (as opposed to paying a small fortune in a book shop) and, at the same time, gain access to a complex Dictionary and Thesaurus. Our argument for the use of E-Readers in school strengthens when we analyse the benefits for pupils with Special Educational Needs. The positives are wide ranging and will certainly meet the target of our ITC Policy that highlights the importance of, “harnessing the power of technology to help pupils with SEN.” The child who is less advanced in their reading and, let’s face it, are put off because they do not want others to see the book most appropriate to their needs, can keep their material anonymous. Who can tell the difference between “War and Peace” and “Biff and Chip” on a Kindle? The child with a visual impairment can change the size of a font or add a backlight and those pupils with English as an additional language have the use of a Dictionary at their immediate disposal. Even the most technologically nervous of us, cannot fail to see the advantages of the E-Reader in these circumstances. We cannot stop technology advancing but we can educate our pupils to use it safely! Let’s open our minds and a lot more books! WE DO HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED READING OUR ARTICLE AND WILL BE ABLE TO ACCESS THE KINDLE EDITION IN DUE COURSE.

Pastures New. . . by Bea and John, Year 6 After a successful 9 years at St Stephen’s Primary School, everyone was shocked and disappointed to hear that Head Teacher, Mr Pete Mountstephen, was giving up his job. Three St Stephen’s pupils decided to interview Mr Mountstephen about the highs and lows about being a Headteacher. The first question we put to Mr Mountstephen was, “Do you want to leave?” His answer was a simple “No”. PICtured: Pete Mountstephen, Headteacher at St Stephen’s Primar y School

He went on to explain that sometimes it is the right thing to do things that we don’t exactly want to do. Sometimes we might not want to go to bed, but we know we need our sleep. Or perhaps we don’t always want to have a bath, or eat our greens, or make time for visiting a relative, but it is the right thing to do . . . so we do it. The next point we put to him was, why are you leaving? He explained that he wanted to take up another challenge before he retires and let someone else have the joy of running St Stephen’s. Shortly after, we questioned what Mr

Mountstephen wanted to do next, he didn’t give a definite answer however, and he did say he has another job in him. Then we put to him, will you come back and visit? Sadly, he replied with a firm “No” as he said it would not be fair on the new head trying to settle in to have him tramping around the place. We asked him about his time in St Stephen’s and whether he enjoyed it, he said he loved his time here and was very sad to be going in July. We then thought to ask him about his favourite moments. He has lots of very special moments, such as talking to pupils and being head of the school. He will especially miss the people, staff, parents and governors who have become very dear to him. He also said he would miss the music, although perhaps he could still become a rock star and keep the music going! All the children and staff will be very sad to see Mr Mountstephen leave but we all wish him well for the future.


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News from

New Oriel Hall

As with the crazy British weather, things change here on a daily basis. New classes come and go. Activities vary from chocolate making courses to personal growth workshops. There’s always something different and unusual happening, alongside the staple diet of exercise classes, life drawing, slimming sessions, meditation and mindfulness, choir, drama and dancing. At the moment we are glad to be expanding community activities. On the last Tuesday of every month, at 10.45am, there’s a new Friendship Circle for older people. It’s lively and welcoming, a great way for retired people to meet new friends over a cup of tea or coffee. The next session is on March 25th at New Oriel Hall and April’s gathering will take place at Hanover Court, on Salisbury Road, off from the Square.

Our little gem of a community library continues to flourish, run seamlessly by a group of lively volunteers. There’s a friendly atmosphere and it’s packed full of the sort of books lots of people have been looking for and are dying to read. Space is limited so we are discerning and choose books very carefully. Parents and grandparents with pre-schoolers are welcome to amble along, choose a book and sit and read to the little ones, a pleasant way to pass the time of day. Out of the library a book club was born. Full to capacity and turning people away, we decided to start a second book club, which is happening at the moment. It’s a great way to meet people and read books you might never have come across otherwise. If you are interested in joining the new club call Sarah on 01225 287789 or mob: 07869 591189.

Larkhall Athletic These are exciting times for Larkhall Athletic on and off the pitch. Off the pitch, work continues to improve the facilities at Plain Ham. The new dressing rooms and extended clubhouse (completed last August) have been very much appreciated by all their various users so far this season. Work is also well underway to expand the facilities around the pitch: the vintage turnstile has been repaired and repainted in Larkhall blue and a new stand has been erected on the allotment side. If you haven't visited Plain Ham for a while you will be amazed at how much the ground has changed and improved in the last few months. All this hard work is directed towards getting Plain Ham to the standard required for the next level of the football pyramid, and the first team are doing their very best to win the league in order to gain promotion to the Southern League. The Larks recently achieved a record third successive appearance in the 5th round/last 16 of the FA Vase competition. Earlier in the season they got through 3 rounds of the FA Cup. As far as the league is

concerned, the Larks are in the top 3 in the whole country for league form at their level. At the time of writing, they have not dropped a single point at home and they remain unbeaten in the league after 26 matches, another club record. The season is now into its last third and it's going to be an exciting race to the finish for Larkhall Athletic. With all this success, the attendance at Larks' fixtures has reached an alltime high and now averages some 120 people, the highest in the league. The other sections of Larkhall Athletic are doing well too. Having only been promoted last season, Larkhall Ladies are more than holding their own in the South West Women's Combination League. Indeed, they currently stand 4th in the league above Exeter City, Chichester City and Southampton Saints. The Larkhall Athletic

Reserves, who struggled to stay in the Somerset County League last season, are now 6th in their league. Last but by no means least: it's the Club's centenary this year and to celebrate the Club is holding a number of special events. One of these is a Sportsman's Dinner on 14th March at the New Oriel Hall, where the guest speaker will be legendary England goalkeeper Gordon Banks. This event is sold out, but keep an eye on the Club website.

LARKHALL SPORTS CLUB Charlcombe Lane, Larkhall FULLY EQUIPPED CLUBHOUSE AVAILABLE FOR PRIVATE HIRE AT COMPETITIVE RATES Licensed for up to 100 guests Catering and disco facilities available For further information and booking enquiries, please contact:


Clive Burge on 01225 311156 Special discounts to all Club Members

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Reviews BOOK - THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by Nancy “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, by John Green, is in every way this book. Hazel Lancaster is 16 years old and is like many girls obsessed with a book called ‘An Imperial Affliction’ which she describes in the quote above. Hazel is in many ways different from other girls. Hazel has stage four thyroid cancer which has spread to her lungs, she is a terminal case and this beautiful book is from her unique perspective; that only one close to death can provide. She meets Augustus Waters at a cancer support group her mother forced her to go to and we see this couple fall in love, but life for cancer patients is never as easy as that. Life and death stand between them and one is doomed to cross the veil. The questions are what scars will be left behind and when will the rest of the world slip into the inevitable oblivion? ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ is different from any other book that I have had the pleasure to read, which makes it remarkable. This book is thought-provoking, funny, and heart-breaking. It offers the complete truth about life and death and love, making it one of the best books I ever read. The only complaint I have ever heard about this book is that it is predictable, which is the entire truth but that’s the point, cancer can lead to death and John Green doesn’t change the world. There is no miracle cure for Hazel and that’s what makes this a brilliant novel. This book is worth your time.

TV - NUMBERWANG by Corey David Mitchell and Robert Webb have been on our televisions for almost a decade now, and in 2006, through their successful comedy sketch show ‘That Mitchell and Webb look’, with its four series, they produced a unique sketch known as ‘Numberwang’. Its running time is only varied between two and three minutes, but captivates people in different fashions. Due to its name ‘Numberwang’, it gives a clear indication that it is numbers or maths related. Ultimately, it is, but it takes a very different take on numbers and what they mean, unlike other, serious mathematics programmes, and is based obviously, on the art of comedy. It consists of a host, played wonderfully by Robert Webb, and two contestants, which are consistently Simon and Julie. They battle it out to ‘Wangernumb’ their opponent. Both players are given varying backgrounds on each occasion, putting the present audience in stitches. It became very popular, and with this, an additional sketch of ‘The History of Numberwang’ was produced. As the sketch grew, it was later put onto YouTube, where various countries and cultures were able to view the hysterical world of ‘Numberwang’. Personally, I find the sketch a great three minutes of laughter. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who enjoys something a ‘little bit different’, and maybe even Number Guru’s would give it a chance. Obviously, like everything, it is not for all audiences. It is certainly not a show for anyone who takes life too seriously. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but popular nevertheless, and maybe that’s due to the unique way in which the show is conveyed.

The Larkhall

Village Kitchen

The column that puts creativity back into cooking with the majority of ingredients sourced from Larkhall shops, gardens or allotments.

QUEEN SCALLOPS Ingredients: 6 scallops 1 tablespoon lemon juice 3oz. breadcrumbs 3oz. grated Cheddar cheese Salt to taste The Sauce: 1 1/2 oz. butter 1 1/2 oz. flour 2 1/2 oz. grated Cheddar cheese 1/2 pint of milk Method: Scrub the scallops and place in a warm oven (325 F, 163 C, Gas Mark 3) until the shells open.Remove the black part and gristly fibre, leaving the red coral intact. Boil in salted water with the lemon juice for 10 minutes. Drain. To make the sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour and heat gently for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the grated cheese. To serve: clean the scallop shells. Place a little sauce in each shell and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Place a scallop on top, cover with a little more sauce and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese. Dot with butter and bake at the top of a fairly hot oven (375 F, 191 C, Gas Mark 5) for 20 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve with a light salad.

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Larkhall News March 2014  
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Larkhall News March 2014