Well… What can I say? WE ARE OPEN! Thursday 6 September 2018 was an emotional day for so very many people as all the hard work finally came to fruition and St Bees School once again got down to its real business of working with young people and their families.
Although there was lots to celebrate, we were concerned to ensure that nothing got in the way of the children’s learning and so we quickly settled into our normal timetable. Our first day included an assembly in the chapel, a Fusion Maths lesson, and a trip to St Bees Head and beach to conduct a geological survey.
Further experiences have included a service at St Bees Priory led by Rev. Becky Gibbs, coaching in Eton Fives and indoor cricket, weekly swimming lessons, as well as a whole range of classroom work. Pupils have made good progress in beginning Mandarin Chinese, are exploring biographies in English and Drama, and learning about chronology in History.
It has been wonderful to be able to make this start with such a lovely group of children and a magnificent team working across all functions at St Bees School. Well done, and thank you to everyone.
Gareth Seddon, Headmaster
Inside the Classroom
We are incredibly lucky here at the School to be joined by such an experienced teaching team, who have a wealth of knowledge and passion for their subjects. Here is an update from Mrs Hall, our Mathematics, Physics and Computing teacher. Amongst other subjects, she has been introducing the children to Fusion Maths. This is an exciting way of learning which combines the best methods of teaching from the East and the West.
“In summary, it allows the children to explore Maths, and to develop a much deeper understanding of the fundamental basics and connections with other topics. Even I have been surprised by the links the children have made and the patterns that they have discovered.”
Alongside Maths the children have been exploring Science with the use of a few fun props.
“In Science, we have been learning about how to think scientifically; how to ask scientific questions, how to collect, record and analyse data and very importantly, how to be safe in the science lab. We’ve had fun with beakers of water, bouncy balls, springs and model cars!”
Extracurricular activities in the first week included bridge building in Engineering Club and a taste of aerodynamics.
“In Engineering club on Monday we had great fun building and destroying bridges made of paper. We were exploring how we could make a piece of paper strong enough to hold kilogram weights across a gap of 25cm between two supports. We had some successes and some disasters!”
Luckily the weather was on our side for Wednesday’s activity.
“On Wednesday we learned how the shape of an aeroplane wing creates lift to make it fly. We then each constructed 2 or 3 paper aeroplanes of different designs and took them outside to test their ability to fly (or in some cases the ability of the pilot!). Luckily the weather stayed dry and the wind was just enough to give us that extra push.”
“I’ve had a fabulous week getting to know the children, and having fun with lots of activities in Maths, Science and Engineering.”
During their first full week the children were introduced to Eton Fives.
England is home to 40 sets of Eton Fives courts. We are lucky enough to have the most northerly Eton Fives courts in the world here at the School.
Eton Fives is a hand-ball game played in a three-sided court. The game originated at Eton College with the inside of the court being based on a bay formed by the buttress at the base of the chapel steps at Eton College.
After an explanation of this unusual game and its rules, the children had a two hour masterclass with Laurence Gribble.
The session compounded the basic skills of throwing, catching and hand-eye coordination. After familiarizing themselves with the bounce of the ball and basic start techniques, the class was divided up and experimented with match simulations.
Laurence said “It was a great opportunity to introduce this extraordinary game to the children. They showed real passion and natural flare on the courts. They all enjoyed the experience and look forward to the next session. It was a pleasure to teach them.”