What a busy day today!
The sun shone which allowed Tawny Owl to dry some of the equipment which became so wet yesterday. The birds sang, and Willow group were able to do some tracking on their way to the Forest School area. We spotted deer footprints in the mud on the footpath, and also talked about rivers as the heavy rain yesterday had left a dry river bed on the footpath.
We began to create Woodland Journals today - each child created a leaf print and a bark rubbing to help learn how to identify some of the variety of trees on our woodland.
The children were keen to make bows and arrows like year 4, so Goldcrest helped some of them learn how to ties a clove hitch by using the story: make a fishy, then a dishy; place the fishy on the dishy.
The mud created after the rain was just the right consistency to make mud ice-creams.
The music tripod os also coming along and several children enjoyed creating melodies, while nearby others hunted for worms, centipedes and woodlice under the sitting logs.
One boy from Willow group also continued the work year 6 had begun on making a bridge.
Look at the class gallery for more photos.
Thank you to the Goudhurst Morris Dancers who entertained pupils, staff and parents this morning and helped us celebrate May Day. The sun shone, the music played, the men danced and everyone enjoyed themselves. What a wonderful community we are!
Year 2 had a wonderful day learning in the woods today.
They climbed trees and had a go at making shelters. Ratty showed the children how to create some woodland art, and Tawny Owl, Goldcrest, Blossom and Cuckoo worked together with Eva and Sebastian to begin creating a music stand. Thank you to Blossom who took the xylophone bars home to drill as using the brace and bit was really hard work, although Eva persevered to drill a hole in one of the bars with Goldcrest and Blossom's help, even though the wood was really hard.
Field Maple group sat quietly when they arrived, trying to see if the Thrush would visit it's babies in the nest in the Ash tree to feed them. Sadly the children did not see this happen as they were so keen to go and play! They all ran around playing noisily before settling down to make a see-saw, which the children enjoyed, and worked together to ensure everyone had a happy and safe time.
Tawny Owl showed the children a wood wasp nest which she found in the shed. Lily explained very well how the wasp makes the paper to create it's nest.
We had lovely weather today, although Field Maple groups had to rush to put their coats on when we had a heavy April shower.
Have a look at the class gallery to see more photos.
What can I say! What a wonderful evening was had by all yesterday at our third Arts Festival. Our school motto is 'Enjoy Achieve Together' and last night certainly was an example of this. It was so lovely to see the whole school community, parents, children, governors and of course the stars of the show 'children' coming together to provide an evening of entertainment, fun, laughter and celebration. This year the event was opened by an amazing performance from Emily Allen (known to you as Mrs Mckay who is an actress in her own right)-she certainly set the bar high! This was then followed by a showcase of a wide range of talent by children from the full breadth of the school, an ex pupil Charlotte Ensor, Mr Golledge (a music producer and teacher and parent) and a surprise appearance from Wonder Woman! All the acts received a rapturous applause from a full house of performer's family, friends and members of staff. The evenings proceedings were masterfully led by the schools Arts Council as the audience enjoyed performances ranging from instrumental, to modern dance, to poetry recitals, to the school Choir and forgetting the Staff SClub 8. Thank you to Ella for doing Lighting, Jake for the Sound and the PTFA for providing refreshments during the interval, indeed the evening was a truly magnificent affair, with children and parents beaming from ear to ear. Video to follow!
Alongside the celebration we made a presentation acknowledging the outstanding contribution to the Arts by one of our children. The Lindsay Roberts Arts Award recognises talent, commitment and aspiration towards achievement in the Arts, be it at performance level of something someone has simply done for joy. Congratulations to Gemma Brassley who was awarded the "Lindsay Roberts" Arts Award for 2018.
Her love of drama began with the school nativity plays in KS1 and she has participated in the drama club productions. She had her first major part last year, playing Prospero in her class production of The Tempest at the Shakespeare School Festival at the Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells. Mr Gilder describe his experience of working with Gemma:
“Gemma was a true leader by example when Year 5 rehearsed and performed The Tempest at the end of last year. I particularly remember one rehearsal, about two weeks in, when we were sitting in a circle going through the play and got to the final scene, in which Gemma's character had most of the lines and was responsible for tying up all the loose ends of what is Shakespeare's most complex play. Robin didn't have her script with her, so Gemma said she could borrow hers but asked Robin to keep it open so if she forgot any lines she could look down and see them. She proceeded to deliver all her lines crisply and clearly, with a total understanding of the script. When we finished the whole of the Year 5 cast were silent and just looked at her in astonishment. Then they clapped her. It was a great moment for Gemma but also for the rest of the children because it made them really believe in each other and that they really could do Shakespeare. So, when it came to writing this scene for the Arts Festival I knew I needed to stretch Gemma. I deliberately wrote her a character that firstly sits and listens which is a vital discipline for actors to perfect. Then she had the big wordy difficult speech towards the end that I knew she would relish.”
Gemma is also an enthusiastic and committed member of the school choir and has enjoyed two trips to the O2 as well as performances at the Summer fetes and church services. This year I am sure you would agree that she flourished in delivering her first solo performance to you this evening. She has singing lessons with Kent Music at school and will be taking her Grade One exam this Summer.
She is also a member of the Kilndown Youth Choir meeting every Saturday morning. Her choir master, Julian Wells says "Gemma is a truly inspirational member of the Kilndown Community Choir. She has a beautiful singing voice, incredible musicality for her age and an ability to really engage her audience. Her ability to learn all of the words is also legendary! She inspires all of her fellow choir members, both children and adults and is such an asset to the choir." She has performed at several concerts and sang her first solo at the Advent Family Service in Christ Church.
Don't worry if you missed it, click on the video to find out more.
....and a memorable finale to this years' Arts' Festival - S Club 8 hit the stage.
Almost year 6's last ever Forest School Session.
They planted tree seeds for their buddies - the idea being that the seeds will be germinated and growing before the end of the year, when year 6 will hand them on to their buddies in YR, who will then nurture them throughout their time at Goudhurst and Kilndown; planting out when large enough.
'Poetree' was composed, practised and performed. Friendship and teamwork was a key theme to today's sessions.
Leon and Jack were noticed especially for all their hard work in composing, practising and performing their poem as well as finding and transporting LARGE pieces of timber for cutting for the fire. Well done boys!
Look at the year 6 gallery for more photos, and watch this space for a video of their poetry.
Year R had their last Forest School session today for this year. We were blessed with some lovely warm sunshine which meant we could do some more 'static' activities rather than having to keep moving all the time. Goldcrest lead the day and the children had fun making music, playing in hammocks and making bird feeders.
Have a look at the class gallery for more lovely photos taken by Daffodil.
Ten Pieces aims to open up the world of classical music to 7-14 year-olds across the UK and inspire them to develop their own creative responses to the music. On Thursday the whole school went to Benenden Prep School to see 'Kidenza Classical Music Concerts for Kids' for the 4th consecutive year. The theme of the concert was 'A Recipe for a Musical Feast' where the children enjoyed learning about all the different ingredients involved in creating a classical composition. A great time was had by all. Thank you to the parent helpers that volunteered on this trip and particular thanks to Ms Lane for organising it. We are looking forward to next year already.
Well done and thank you to everyone invovled in the Choir - Young Voices Concert at the 02 on Monday. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric, all the children sang enthusiastically and their amazing voices filled the arena. I would like to share some comments that I received from one of the parents in the audience:
Dear Ms Lane, Mr Gray and Mrs Mileham
We wanted to say a huge thank you to you both for the wonderful experience of last night’s Young Voices choir at the o2, the culmination of your months of hard work and dedication to our children.
Some of the singing and harmonies, particularly ‘Africa', were spine-tingling, it really was a joy to be part of and what a rewarding and memorable achievement for our school choir to be part of something bigger than themselves and which needed a great deal of self-application and stamina on their parts.
One of the many things we love about our school is that you lovely teachers go that extra mile for our kids - this event must be a headache to organise but so worthwhile and you must feel very proud! Last night is an evening that Will as part of the choir, and Gus and us as part of the audience, will never forget.
You are amazing - thank you!!
We are looking forward to next year already!
On Friday, it was wonderful to celebrate, as a whole school, the annual Christingle service. The service and the 250 Christingles were prepared by Year 6; the readers, in particular, spoke with real confidence, clarity and expression. Year 6's performance was only equalled by the superb singing from the rest of the school during our special Christingle hymns.
Click here to watch the video that was collated by Year 6 to show what the Christingle represents:
Thank you for all your kind donations to the Children's Society. So far we have raised £398.10 which is amazing.
Over the last few weeks, we have been learning how to read music, and have now mastered recognising and playing three notes, and knowing whether they are 1, 2 or 3 beats long. We have used 'boomwhackers' and xylophones to create music.