Events 2020 – 2021

Whilst grey clouds loomed ominously overhead, the children enjoyed racing, galloping and giggling their way down the athletics track, in our much-anticipated Pre-Prep Sports Day.  What a joy it was to finally be able to welcome spectators – seeing their grown-ups cheering, smiling and clapping undoubtedly made the occasion extra special for the children.

Masks on and capes flapping behind them, the Reception children delighted us with their ‘Super Gardeners’ race whilst in Year 1, the children combined movements to represent the lifecycle of a butterfly. To the sound of rapturous cheering, Year 2 provided the finale with a nail bitingly close relay race, which saw 2H claiming victory this year after a brilliant effort by all the children.

Fingers were squashing, rolling and squeezing, and feet were tapping, this week, as Dough Disco fever swept through Pre-Prep on Wednesday 9th June.  To the sounds of lively, upbeat music, it was not the children’s dance moves that were being developed, but their motor skills!  The malleable properties of play dough are perfect for helping to build up strength in the muscles and tendons of young hands, a pre-requisite for nurturing essential pencil control and scissor skills.  Movements such as squashing, rolling, flattening and poking all develop children’s fine and gross motor dexterity, hand-eye co-ordination, concentration and listening skills – the benefits are endless. In fact, because it stimulates all of the wonderful ‘happiness chemicals’ inside of our brains, it does wonders for our mental well-being and memory development too!

It gets better still … Wednesday was actually ‘International Dough Disco Day!’ and Spratton Hall Pre-Prep were just one of many schools all over the world who had signed up to take part.  Dough in hands and ready for action in front of our Smartboards, every class joined the live Zoom link that connected us with thousands of other schools from the UK and far beyond!

Friday 30th April saw us take part in the ‘Captain Tom 100’ Form Challenge and Pre-Prep got the school off to a great start with lots of exciting activities! RY – 100 natural treasures hunt, RB – 100 gold coin and 100 square challenge, 1N – find and decorate 100 pebbles, 1A – running 100m, 2P – 100 teddy bears’ picnic, 2H – 100 natural objects scavenger hunt in 100 minutes!

As the end of the Spring term draws upon us, the Pre-Prep department finds itself taken over by chick shaped splodges of yellow paint, pink and white fluffy cotton wool bunny tails and an array of brightly coloured decorated egg shapes.  The children have thoroughly enjoyed immersing themselves in a variety of Easter themed activities, both in the classroom and out and about in ‘Five Acres Wood’, our forest school.

A fabulous rainbow of coloured legs and feet could be seen peeking out from underneath uniforms as staff and children ‘Rocked their Socks’, in recognition of World Downs Syndrome Day, a worldwide event celebrated every year on 21st March.  From sparkly to neon, spotty, sporty, patterned and mis-matched socks, we finished the term in style!  All the money raised has been sent to the Northamptonshire Down Syndrome Group, which relies entirely on donations in order to provide invaluable support to many families.  Thank you so much to all our parents for their help – it is a wonderful feeling to know that we will be making a difference to others.

Mothering Sunday ~ a wonderful opportunity to say thank you!  With big smiles and hearts full of love, the Pre-Prep children set about decorating beautiful ceramic hearts, decorating cupcakes, making cards and recording a special song for their mummies.  The children even had their own little bunch of daffodils to give to their grown-ups, just to let them know how very loved and appreciated they are.

Despite not being able to come together, there was still a great sense of belonging and excitement as different book themed activities unrolled across the school virtually, in celebration of World Book Day! Our ‘Spratton Hall Story Readers’ collection was well-received ~ reading dens were wriggled into, dogs curled up with and family cuddles enjoyed on the sofa, as children dipped into the different stories that had been recorded by staff.

Our ‘Masked Reader’ event proved to be a resounding success. The identity of the 16 disguised readers had even been kept tightly under wraps amongst the teachers and teaching assistants, and there were certainly lots of chuckles and questions being asked. Darth Vader, Witch and Penguin definitely proved the most elusive across the school, with Cow, Cat and Buzz Light Year being guessed with a little more speed. By four o’clock, many of us were chanting ‘who are you?’ in desperation at the reveal video!

As always, the children themselves brought the greatest amount of joy to the occasion. Seeing their faces lit up with happiness, as they proudly posed for photographs in their costumes was a joy to see. From Matilda, Stick Man, Paddington Bear, Goldilocks and many, many more, it was amazing to see book characters coming to life, even on screen in lockdown.

Practised and performed in two year group bubbles, before being cleverly woven together with technology, Reception and Year 1 delighted us with this traditional recount of the Christmas story. ‘An Angel, a Stable and a Star’ warmed hearts and brought smiles to faces with all the elements that a nativity should – beautiful angels, dazzled shepherds, proud kings carrying their gifts and narrators to lead us through the story. As well as learning and performing all of the songs, Reception added two very special dances to the play and thoroughly enjoyed their time on stage as ‘sheep’ and ‘stars’.

There is no better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus, than with a glitzy, fun, show-biz style version of the nativity. In Lights, Camel, Action, our Year 2 children brought the razz-a-ma-tazz to Bethlehem, when they performed a ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ twist on the Christmas story. From bopping ‘Disco Stars’, Morris dancing Shepherds, a Nazareth line dance and even an Inn Keeper’s Tango, the children gave a toe-tappingly spectacular performance to be proud of! A special thank you must go to the Northamptonshire School of Dance for their support with our beautiful Angel’s ballet dance.

You only need to look around at the magnificent reds, golds and oranges of the trees around the school grounds to know how true the saying is that ‘Autumn paints in colours, that Summer has never seen.’  It may well be musty and damp outside, but with the crunch and swirl of leaves underfoot, the crackle of fallen twigs and clusters of red berries laden on branches, Autumn cannot fail to excite and spark the imagination.

Over half term, many children took part in our get ‘Arty in Autumn’ challenge.  From leafy collages, prints and wreaths, mobiles, decorated boxes and even a shield made of conkers, it is clear that the children put huge amounts of effort, imagination and thought into their creations.

The children have been quite remarkable in the way in which they have adjusted to all of our Covid safety measures in school.   From one way systems, to the need for regular hand washing and sanitising, to keeping safe in ‘bubbles’, all has been gently and sensitively explained to our little ones.  However, with so many changes in place, understanding them all must weigh heavily on the children’s minds.  To this end, we injected some fun across the whole school last week, by holding an impromptu home clothes day.  Emotional well-being is so important and the only goal we had in mind was to light up the children’s faces and boost their spirits with a day of smiles, laughter and excitement.  The icing on the cake was that the theme for our home clothes day was one that we knew the children had been desperately hoping for, for some time.  Ready for it …… pyjamas, onesies and crazy hair!!

Pre-Prep looked bright, colourful and very smiley in their blue and orange – all to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

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