Prep School newsletter
Foreword by Mr McDuff
Welcome to our new online newsletter. I am most grateful to all who have been involved in setting up this new medium and hope that you find it informative, enjoyable and easily shared with family and friends.
This has, once again, been an extremely busy and successful term. I am thrilled to see this reflected in these pages and continue to be thrilled by just how successful your children are. This does not happen by accident.
They are highly motivated, energetic and enthusiastic and this comes from your positive influence at home and our amazing team at school.
This newsletter is testament to what a winning combination that is. Whether it is the victorious Cooper Cup teams, our heartfelt charitable giving, or reading about our different inspiring trips,
I hope you share my great sense of pride in all that we do and find it an enjoyable read.
Education enhanced on recent visits
Our Year 4 pupils took a trip to Llandudno’s Alice in Wonderland trail to learn more about the fantasy novel, in preparation for their annual performance.
To make sure they were ready for the trip, the group worked on their compass directions, grid references, map work and comprehension skills during English and Geography lessons.
They took turns to lead the group along the route, stopping at the numerous sculptures and points of interest, which takes in sights such as Madoc Street, the Town Hall and promenade.
Mrs Chamberlain, said: “It was great for the pupils to add to their growing knowledge of the history, and the family, behind Lewis Carroll’s famous story.
“We caught the attention of many dog walkers and members of the public, who appeared most impressed with the children’s performances as rehearsals gather pace for our annual production.”
Year 2 took a trip to Techniquest Glyndwr in Wrexham on Tuesday January 12.
They took part in a number of activities during the visit, including the opportunity to sample different games, each with their own tasks.
Mrs Davies, said: “The pupils had to piece together nine different sized blocks to fit together into a bigger box and then arrange plastic balls into a pyramid.
“Then there was the conundrum of pulling four different ropes in order to manoeuvre a cargo of blocks onto the deck of a ship, followed by spinning balls around a large inverted dome without them rolling into the central hole.
Led by their Techniquest tutor Charlotte, our pupils then took part in two separate experiments, with the first of these were selecting materials best suited to rescuing a dragon from a locked cave high up a mountain and beyond a cactus swamp.
The second experiment required pupils to devise a safety structure for Humpty Dumpty (a raw egg), do enable him not to suffer any significant damage when dropped on the floor.
Our pupils travelled to Chester Museum on Thursday, March 10, where they took part in a special Roman experience.
During the trip they got the chance to learn about what life was like during the time of the Emperors, and also formed their very own legionnaries brigade.
Armed with battle shields and under the instruction of an experienced legionaries, pupils got to form a testudo, visit the amphitheatre, defend the walls and prepare for battle.
They were also given a fully guided tour of the reconstructions, excavations, museum and the hands-on room.
A number of topics were covered during the tour, including health, hygiene, medicine, food, drink, pottery, archaeology and Roman artefacts.
Our Year 5 and 6 pupils visited the Museum of Science and Industry on Wednesday, March 16, where they took part in a variety of fun-filled activities.
One of the highlights of the trip was a spectacular light earth show, which also saw Mr McDuff shot with a nerf gun to demonstrate how light reflects on surfaces!
They also got the chance to learn about magic, and were shown how magicians use the properties of light to create an illusion.
Among the magic tricks the pupils took part in included chopping off the head of John Dick and cloning hundreds of Ruby Merrick’s in a cube.
The group also took part in an explosion workshop, where they were part of an investigation into the “blow-up” of a factory, in addition to a number of fire experiments.
Year 1 pupils got the chance to find out more about toys and games at the picturesque Bodelwyddan Castle, where they took part in a special Toy Workshop.
During the visit, pupils learnt about toys from previous generations through observation, discussion and play.
They also heard stories of days gone by, handled vintage toys and found out how to play games that have long been forgotten.
In addition, they were also given the opportunity to explore the Victorian Inventions and Amusements gallery, to get a better understanding of when and where these toys and games were created.
Reception class pupils took a trip to the Snowdonia Mountains where they visited Piggery Pottery, situated in Llanberis, as part of their topic on materials.
They took part in a host of activities in throughout the day, including painting their own pot, pebble painting, canvas painting, mask painting and slate painting.
How important are trips like this for pupils?
Year 5 pupils got the chance to experience life at our neighbouring senior school when took part in a familiarisation afternoon.
During the event they participated in Chemistry and Modern Foreign Languages classes and there was also a break in-between where they were able to chat with Mrs Murphy and Sixth Form prefects.
Our reception class got up close and personal with creatures great and small when they visited Pili Palas Nature World on Friday, March 18.
During their trip the group got to learn more about the wide range of wildlife situated at the site, while also getting the chance to learn more about the life cycle of a butterfly with a special talk.
In addition we also got the chance to hold a number of creatures including cockroaches, giant millipedes and farmyard animals, before enjoying some activity in the outdoor play area.
The highlight for most of the pupils however was seeing the multi-coloured chameleon that is one of the star attractions at Pili Palas.
St David's Day
Pupils celebrate life of Welsh saint
We held a special assembly to commemorate St David's Day on Tuesday, March 1, where Mrs Pyves spoke about the history surround the patron saint of Wales.
She also told pupils about the myths surrounding St David, while also interacting with pupils to discover the extent of their knowledge.
A prayer was read out in both Welsh and English by Naina Babbar and Alys Peake-Jones, who dressed in the traditional attire of a Welsh lady for the occasion.
The highlight of the special assembly came from our Year 2 pupils, who performed a beautiful Welsh dancing piece and they received rapturous applause for their efforts.
Mrs Pyves said: “The Year 2 pupils worked hard during their PE lessons on their routine, and although they found it difficult they performed brilliantly.”
There was yet more St David’s Day celebrations for Year 2, who once again joined in the annual parade through Colwyn Bay.
Hundreds raised from Valentine's Disco
This term we managed to raise £735 for Disability Skiing Wales from our annual Valentine's Discos.
The cheque was presented to a pair of officials from the charity by skiing captain Chay Bonnington.
Mr McDuff, said: “We are extremely humbled by the work that Disability Skiing Wales do, and it is an honour for us to be associated with such a fantastic organisation."
There was plenty of fun to be had at the dance, including dressing up for their very own photo booth.
In addition there was plenty of music to enjoy from their favourite artists, and out little cupids kept their energy up with cakes, drinks and other Valentine’s Day treats.
MP David Jones visits committee
We had the honour of welcoming Clwyd West MP David Jones this term.
The long standing MP was given a warm welcome and our Eco Committee presented him with a special card as part of his visit.
The committee have been learning about the variety of problems facing our world, such as climate change and how animals and their habitats are being endangered by human actions.
In preparation for the visit, they drew messages on green hearts which said what they loved about the world and special wishes for the future. These were then assembled into one large heart for display inside the school.
Inside the card presented to Mr Jones by Ethan Bytheway, was a message for him to share about the pupils’ wish for action against climate change to help protect the world.
Katie Pritchard-Jonas was named as a runner-up in the Design a Panda competition, which was organised by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature.
More than 3,000 schools took part in the scheme, with Katie named amongst a handful of runners-up and received a certificate and goodie bag for her efforts.
On their templates, pupils were encouraged to design their panda to reflect what the WWF does to protect animals and their environment.
Mrs Woodthorpe, said: “We were delighted with the children’s enthusiasm for designing their panda picture, and their knowledge about endangered animals and the problems which affect our planet.
“It was fantastic to see their ideas reflected in such colourful designs.”
Pupils take part in RSPB Birdwatch
Year 5 pupils participated in the Big Schools’ Birdwatch, which is being run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
During the event we took part in a number of bird-related activities including making bird boxes, in addition to viewing and identifying birds in the area.
They made “Bird Cakes” and put them out in the hope of attracting more wildlife to the area, before locating and identifying the wide range of different birds than were on show.
They also built a number of bird boxes to encourage small birds to nest in the forest.
Results of their findings were sent to the RSPB to be correlated with others from across the country, which helps the charity draw a picture of the health of our bird populations.
It has been another busy term in the Forest, as all year groups once again had the opportunity to participate in some woodland fun.
Trophy retained in dramatic fashion
Our superstar rugby players retained the Cooper Cup after a thrilling second leg display against Colwyn Bay.
The U8 side triumphed 12-5 thanks to a majestic display from the tricky Biv Gilmartin, who was one of the standout performers on show.
This was further boosted by the U9 side, who came away with a hard fought 7-5 victory with fine displays from James Gilmartin, Henry Hibbert and Telor Jones.
Our U10 side ensured that the cup was retained after a 21-7 victory, with John Dick mustering a performance of genuine quality to get his side over the line.
Needing a draw or victory to win the cup outright, our U11s began well and Callan Earle gave them the lead with two stunning tries to put the home side 14-0 up.
A fine team move resulted in Jonathan Osbourne crossing the line to ensure that we went into the interval with a 19-0 advantage.
Bay fought back in the second half to make the score 19-19 at the final whistle.
Mr McLeod, said: “The lads made it hard for themselves in the first leg, but to come out and perform under pressure as this did was magnificent.
“It was a real group effort and they showed tremendous character to not only retain, but win the Cooper Cup once again, so I am delighted.”
Year 4 give fantastic performances
Year 4 pupils thrilled crowds over two nights in a performance of Alice the Musical.
After months of rehearsal and research, the group finally took the stage for opening night on Tuesday, March 15, and they put on two amazing shows.
There were a number of notable performances throughout, including Anna Heyes’ portrayal of Alice, the girl who gets thrust into a magical wonderland.
The funny Will Rutherford played the role of the White Rabbit, while Hattie Maddocks produced a sensational effort in her role as the Duchess.
Villain of the piece was Gabriele Subkovaite, who played the Queen of Hearts, and James Gilman brought the Mad Hatter to life.
Mr McDuff, said: “It really was a fantastic showing and everyone involved should be very proud of their efforts.
“You forget that these pupils are only young, such is the talent they possess, and our staff do a magnificent job of making them look fantastic with their makeup and costumes."
Did you enjoy the Year 4 annual production?
Huge success for young stars
Our U11 and U9 teams performed exceptionally at the National Primary Schools’ Team Chess Competition quarter finals.
In what was a dominant performance throughout, the U9 team of Grace Watkins, Tristan Griffiths, Liam Farrell, Jonah Craddock, together with twins Rhys and Harry Buttle accumulated 22.5 points out of a possible 25 to finish runaway winners.
Catching the eye in particular were Grace and Tristan, who both scored maximum points from their contests.
There was even further success for our U11 team of Jonathan Osbourne, George Watkins, Christian Cheesley, Llion Morris and Adam McGuigan, who finished third to book their semi-final slot.
Mr Camp, said: “It was a marvellous effort from everyone involved and they all performed brilliantly.
“For the U9 team to finish nine points clear of their nearest rivals was a tremendous achievement, and for Grace and Tristan to get maximum points was superb.
“Despite the U11s making a bad start and playing catch up throughout, their 5-0 win in the final game ensured they not only qualified, but made it to the podium.
“This was quite an achievement since four out of our five players were Year 5s and most the other teams were all Year 6s, so they were competing against older and more experienced opposition.”
Three of our chess stars were part of a regional squad that reached the national final of a prestigious competition.
Liam Farrell, Tristan Griffiths and Grace Watkins were selected to compete for the U9 Cheshire and North Wales team at the Inter-Zonal Northern Chess final.
After a highly competitive day of action, the team finished in third place and will now head to the national final, which will take place later this year.
Early Years turn into Astronauts
Early Years pupils' turned into astronauts for the day to mark the end of their Space topic.
Our little stars held a special Space Day on Wednesday, February 10, where they came in fancy dress and even made their very own space helmets for the occasion.
Activities included making space food, creating a large space rocket, hunting for aliens, a colouring competition and space party.
Theatre group visit for workshops
We were visited by the award-winning National Dance Company Wales on Thursday, February 11 for a series of fun-filled activities.
A large group of our pupils were put through their paces with movement and exercise based tasks, which were extremely well received by our pupils.
Mr McDuff, said: “We were delighted to have the National Dance Company Wales visit us once again, and I know the pupils had a great deal of fun during the workshops.
“We have a number of talented performing art pupils at the school, so it was good for them to get some expert tuition from one of the leading companies in their field.
“It was also pleasing to see the boys get out of their comfort zone to take part, and they all had a fabulous time taking part in activities that were generally unfamiliar to them.”
Great term for talented teams
Our Fives players flew the flag for Wales in a national schools' tournament held at Eton College on Thursday, March 10.
We were the only team in Wales that competed, and Osca Clark, Joshua Stewart, Henry Battersby, John Williams, Chay Bonnington, Adam McGuigan, Jacob Cousins and Laurence Richardson all performed well.
Notable wins against the more experienced Ipswich School and Summerfields School earned them a quarter final place, but were eliminated at the final eight stage.
Mr McLeod, said: “This was an excellent first Fives competition from the team who are very new to the sport and only had six training sessions in the lead up to the tournament.
“We were the only representatives from Wales to participate and the pupils can reflect on an incredible performance competing against far more experienced sides, and to reach the quarter final stages of the plate was very pleasing indeed.”
Our U11 netball aces finished plate runners-up in a special tournament, held at Ellesmere College on Sunday, March 13.
Competing against eight other teams, a crucial victory in their final group game thanks to impressive performances from Ruby Merrick, Priscilla Fu and Katie Pritchard-Jonas, they advanced to the plate finals.
Despite missing out on the trophy after a 4-2 defeat to White House, the squad performed exceptionally well as they look to finish off their season in style.
This rounded off a fine season for our talented girls, with some playing their last games for us before they depart for senior school.
They have all come on as players throughout the season, and have been rewarded for their hard work with a number of impressive displays and victories along the way.
What has been most pleasing is how our girls have worked as a team, and they should all be extremely proud of their efforts on what was a memorable and successful season.
Congratulations to our star swimmers, who all performed well at this year's Urdd National Gala.
Despite coming up against some of the best young swimmers in the country, the team managed to come home with two silver medals.
Our Year 3 and 4 boys’ freestyle relay team of Liam Farrell, Cieran Milligan, Ethan Akroyd and James Gilman put in a fantastic display to achieve second place, finishing in a time of 1:29.26.
There was even more success for the same foursome in the boys’ medley relay, where they achieved their second silver of the event.
We were unlucky not to claim a third relay medal, with Year 5 and 6 boys’ medley relay team of Matthew Stubbins, Zac Roberts, Josh Stewart and Laurence Richardson coming in a very creditable fourth place.
Osca Clark and John Williams, the two individual qualifiers from the school, swam well in the face of stern competition.
Mr Ruszkowski, said: “The competition this year was incredibly tough but it was fantastic to see our young swimmers putting in very good performances.
“Special praise must go to Liam, Cieran, Ethan and James for their exceptional efforts in claiming a pair of silver medals, and I think we deserved to come home with more."