Autumn Term 1
May I take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues, parents and pupils for responding so well to the situation bought upon us by COVID-19. The bubble systems in place in school and on floor are working extremely well to protect our community and keep everybody safe. If I am honest, it seems as though many of our young people prefer working and remaining in one area of the school. National attendance figures for mainstream schools are at 88% attendance currently, at Muntham House I am proud to report that our school attendance figure is currently at 96%.
It has really impressed me to see how all of our pupils have adapted to the new normal in school and have engaged in their schoolwork and care curriculum. The Staff Team have done an amazing job to maintain interesting and purposeful environments across the school. I would like to give particular thanks to the Housekeeping Staff Team for doing double shifts every day to keep the school clean and hygienic. The Estates Team for converting and extending classrooms and residential accommodation to ensure social distancing is maintained. The IT Staff Team for facilitating and supporting online learning platforms for all of our pupils. Finally the Catering Team who have provided healthy and nutritious food for all pupils and staff throughout lockdown and this term. We are very lucky to have such a dedicated and committed staff team.
I wish you all a happy break over half term and hope you enjoy some quality family time together. Please have a read of the attached leaflet regarding COVID-19 and please do remember to follow Government Guidelines if your child displays any of the symptoms, rather than sending them back to school. Please contact email@example.com with any concerns or queries during the half term period.
The dining hall has had a recent revamp and the results are amazing! The modern new area helps to creates an environment in which the pupils are very happy to be in. This healthy theme helps to promote and encourage pupils to make healthy eating choices from the school menu. Fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy food options are provided everyday for all pupils.
The bright colourful displays include healthy statements and slogans to support and celebrate the start of our Food 4 Life initiative Healthy Eating campaign. All pupils that want to take part will have the opportunity to grow and cultivate vegetables from the School Farm which will be be used by our Chef in the school kitchen. The new environment has made a real difference for the pupils and has helped to create a modern interesting design for the pupils.
Muntham House School has been successful in achieving the first stage of accreditation for the Food 4 Life Award.
This is official recognition of our pupils growing and cultivating their own fruit and vegetables within the School Farm.
This national award ensures that naturally sourced supplies are being sourced from organic farm shops and local butchers.
The concept has been very positive so far encouraging and supporting healthy diets and positive wellbeing for all of the pupils and staff at Muntham House School.
After half term our new Canine Centre opens for pupils to work in school with the school Therapy dogs and our Canine Therapist. The school Therapy Dogs are Buddy, Blossom and Omah.
Pupils will be provided with a six week block of Canine Therapy where they will use the school Therapy dogs as a vehicle to start walking and taking and working through any anxieties or problems which they may have. Pupils will learn to look after the dogs and work with them in a therapeutic environment.
Muntham House Farm has been very busy since we returned after the summer, thankfully plants don’t know about COVID so they have continued to grow with great enthusiasm.
We harvested over 100 cucumbers which pupils had the opportunity to eat both at the farm and in the lunch hall. The pupils have enjoyed harvesting radishes, carrots, tomatoes, beetroot, courgettes, broccoli, sweetcorn, runner beans and french beans. Chef has been using all the vegetables in the kitchen adding to our lunch menu and improving healthy diet options.
The pupils have been learning about weeding, sowing seeds and patience! The broad beans have shot up in their pots, we are now planting them out ready for a spring harvest.
We dug flower beds and will be planting daffodils and tulips along with annual and perennial flowers to encourage pollinators. We had a colony of Ivy bees that decided to make home in the poly tunnel, they have been great to watch, but we are all very happy that they have now flown away.
After half term we will be planting fruit trees, raspberries, onions, garlic and rhubarb. We are hoping to have carrots, radish and lettuce all year round as the poly tunnel provides the best growing environment.
Well done to all the pupils who have participated and taken part so far.
I am thrilled to let you know that the we have been able to reopen the school library in these difficult times, we as a community have worked hard to make the library COVID safe.
We have enjoyed watching the students continue to become critical thinker, enthusiastic reader, skilful researcher and user of information!
We are buying new books all the time to keep our shelves stocked with the latest and greatest books, supporting lessons in the classrooms and finding new ways to get the best resources into the hands of our students.
This Term KS3 have been reading Stig of the Dump by Clive King, Stig of the Dump is a very nice, old, classic story book about when two boys, who are complete opposites of each other, become friends.
As always MyOn and Accelerated Read our online reading resourse has been available to all students in school and at home, all students are encourage to join in the reward schemes that are on offer for all ages.
Here are two of our latest arrivals
Tom Fletcher is famous for being a member of the band (McFly) and has gone on to become a bestselling children's author. He had a No.1 bestselling adventure called The Christmasaurus and The Creakers.
Eoin Colfer is an Irish author of children's books. He worked as a Primary School Teacher before he became a full-time writer. He is best known for being the author of the (Artemis Fowl series)
During this first busy half term our pupils in the Infant class have been letting their creative juices flow. When they haven’t been working hard through their literacy and numeracy lessons they have been outside developing their skills of team work and communication!
As you can see from our pictures the boys worked incredibly hard as a whole group to create a den using all the props available to them. During this time the boys were supported in developing their speech and language skills, focusing on their peer to peer communication skills and how co-operative interaction achieves the best outcome. As we are sure you’ll agree the final den is testament to how hard they worked and as a bonus they were then able to make use of it for the following week.
We couldn’t talk about this half term however without mentioning the new up and coming band of the moment! The Infants are an acoustic percussion band with an incredible sense of rhythm and imagination to create instruments! By the time they have honed their skills further and joined the senior school Mrs Purdy will have a fully fledged new band to add to her music department!
Our Junior pupils have been learning all about their bodies this half term, which has led to some very exciting practical lessons!
They have learned all about their teeth – why we have them, what each type of tooth is called, why it is important to care for them properly and how we should do this. They also learned that their teeth are the first important part of their digestive system which they have explored in a very sensory way!
As you can tell from the photos, the digestive system is quite mucky! The boys began by collecting a banana, biscuits and some orange juice in the ‘stomachs’ (a plastic bag), then they had to do the job of the teeth and stomach in mashing the food into a smooth a liquid as possible. At this point they then had to sieve the stomach contents through their ‘intestines’ (a pair of tights) to collect all the nutrients that the bodies would get from their food. Following this there was the need to expel the remaining waste product which they did by cutting their tights.
They then moved on to explore the circulatory system, how it works, what it does and what parts of our bodies are involved. After learning about how hard the heart pumps and trying yet failing to ‘pump blood’ (scoop water from one container to another) as fast as their heart, we decided it’s lucky our hearts have more energy than our arms! We then explored our blood! The pictures show how we created our own blood trays to discover the different elements needed within our blood and discovered it was more complex than we had realised before. We used red jelly for red blood cells, table tennis balls for white blood cells, cough candys for platelets and hair gel for plasma plus the addition of extra water.
Year 7 create some ‘scary’ Pumpkins
In Year 7, we took time out from our busy educational schedules to relax. What better way to kick back than by getting creative and carving out scary pumpkins? The pupils were able to follow safety guidelines perfectly, and showed a fantastic imagination for ghoulishness!
Look at the photo. I think you’ll agree, they smashed it!
Since returning to school in September, Year 7, have shown terrific teamwork and cooperation skills in the Schoo Forest and School Farm. Pupils worked collaberatively to move the large tree trunks and establish a camp fire base. Pupils were taught how to light fires safely and were able to keep their own fires burning, it was impressive to witness all of the pupils acting safely and maturely throughout these sessions.
The pupils also helped out on the School Farm focusing on the plantation of strawberries and cultivating other vegetables from the raised beds. All of the vegetables which the pupils collected were used by the Chef in our school kitchen.
The smell of sausages sizzling on the fire was a great incentive for them!
Year 9 Bubble takes flight
Pupils have been studying forces and aerodynamics for Science in the Year 9 Bubble this half term. The topic concluded with a paper aeroplane competition with prizes for the furthest flight and duration of flight.
Congratulations to the winners who were Solomon (Distance of flight), and Dexter (Duration in the air) who’s innovative designs took the spoils. The effort and attitude from all pupils during this topic has been exemplary and this mirrors much of what has been happening in the Year 9 Bubble at Muntham House School.
Pupils studying music in Years 10 and 11 have been focusing on the Blues during Black History Month. Pupils have been looking at the origins, history and culture of the Blues whilst listening to numerous examples. They have also enjoyed looking into the folk-lore and superstition surrounding a number of early Bluesmen. One big element of the Blues is improvisation and pupils have been exploring different ways of doing this whilst playing in a small ensemble. Special mention goes to Leigh, Alfie, Charlie and Alfie C.
A drum! A drum! Macbeth doth come!
The year 10 bubble have made a fantastic start to studying William Shakespeare's Macbeth. After only a few lessons, they were able to identify and comment on different figurative language techniques. Who knew that Shakespeare used a plethora of similes, extended metaphors and alliteration to hammer his points home to the audience? To be fair, he would have had to, to keep the poorest members of the audience engaged, given that they would have stood in the mud and mire of the central area of the Globe Theatre, exposed to the elements! After the half term break, Year 10 will be embarking on the excellence and mystery that is J.B. Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls'.
In Year 11 there has beena noticeable step up in the complexities of studying English Language. After only the first two weeks of being back at Muntham, our Year 11 pupils have been tackling exam questions: breaking them down (the questions, not the boys, though sometimes I guess they feel like it!), understanding all the elements of our beautiful language that each question assesses, interrogating an author's use of language features and structure, and using comparatives to extol the virtues of one extract against another.
Key Stage 4 and 5 English is going well, and we are so very proud of the efforts being shown and new skills being learned and applied by our pupils.
KS3 Humanities – The Norman Invasion
You will all be glad to hear; we have survived the Viking raids. Now, we prepare to meet the Norman invasion. In preparation for this, we have been building Motte and Bailey castles. As you can see from the pictures, we should be safe during any sustained Norman siege!
The pupils engaged fantastically well during the building tasks, and have learnt all about how England turned into a country of French rule, and saw the demise of the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, King Harold.
If you would like to test their knowledge, ask them to describe who the ‘four claimants to the throne were’.
The pupils in KS3 have now read the wonderful book by Clive King, ‘Stig of the Dump’. This modern classic took the boys on a historical journey where they learnt about
Y9 bubble loved listening to Mr Barnes amusing character voices that helped bring the text to life
Very impressed with the work in by Leland, Rio, Ben, Oliver and Jamie in Y7 who have all created their own chapter that could be added to Stig and Barney’s adventure. This has been further enriched by being taught by our Design Technology specialist, Mr Benton, who has also helped them to design and make their own cardboard tools and weapons. Furthermore, our inspiring History teacher, Mr Hind, then suggested they also create Motte and Bailey structures moving their knowledge on from the Stone Age through the Bronze Age and on to the Iron Age and their settlements – which as you can see led to some outstanding work by the pupils!
For the first half term, pupils at Muntham House School have been focusing on the importance of exercise and the benefits it has on their physical and mental health. New guidelines and social distancing have meant that pupils have not been able to attend external football competitions and other events as they have in the past. Whilst in school, the good weather has allowed pupils to get outside and take part in activities such as mountain biking, scootering and outdoor education activities.
All pupils have had the opportunity to compete in virtual challenges both in school and with other schools across Sussex. Some pupils have also been completing a daily Muntham Mile challenge during the school day. This has been a useful tool to allow pupils to reflect on their days, enjoy being outside and getting some exercise where they ordinarily may not.
Some Bubbles have been able to achieve nearly 30 miles over the last 6 weeks. Special mention goes to the Year 9 Bubble where Aaron has completed 9 miles. The Year 6 Bubble in Primary have been leading the way with a big well done to Harry, Ben, James and Liam for their efforts so far. In Key Stage 4, both Jack and Michael have managed to complete 23 miles each as well. Well done to all the pupils taking part.
This half term the pupils have been learning how to safely light fires. To achieve this the pupils are given a flint and steel and cotton wool. From there they need to gather their own materials in order to keep their fires burning. The pupils have learnt how to select the correct materials to start a fire and have experimented with each of these.
Pupils have learnt two different methods to lighting fires, using materials from the woodland and have learnt the different processes which can be used. To be successful the pupils need to plan and prepare their materials before lighting the fire. Pupils have learnt about the fire triangle and fire safety.
The final task of this last week of half term, to see what the pupils have learnt about lighting fires, will see the pupils boil hot water for a hot chocolate. No hot water, no hot chocolate!
It’s been a very busy and lively start to the Post-16 pupils college careers. Our largest amount of pupils ever are attending further education this year. All 12 pupils have completed their induction days and have started their college lives with great success. We have 12 pupils at 4 different colleges doing courses. We have a number of pupils in Chichester College doing a range of courses from Food Prep to Graphics and Photography. We also have pupils in Brinsbury college doing Furniture Making and we have a pupil doing an Extended Diploma in Performing Arts in the Institute for Contemporary Theatre in Brighton.
All the staff have been very proactive in supporting the pupils in their remote blended learning as some of colleges have required Muntham to have the pupils attend their classes virtually which has been a new way of learning for all of our pupils. Special mention to David and Callum for adapting so positively to this new technology.
We are receiving really positive reports across all colleges about their application and involvement in their courses. We are really proud of how the pupils have used the support of the Muntham staff and how they are adapting to their new futures. Special mention to Liam who has excelled at his Food Prep and cooking course.
One of the main development points behind the Post-16 area is to instil independence in the pupils which will allow them to progress onto the next stage in life with confidence. Travel training is an integral part of this. After a series of support travel sessions by the staff we now have 8 pupils travelling independently too and from college on a daily basis.
This hasn’t been without its hiccups but the pupils have managed the situations of delayed trains and missed trains very well, all the while being guided by the excellent team in the Post-16 area.
Wow! Our pupils in Post-16 really have embraced the idea of independent cooking. From simple burger and chips to elaborate fish pies and steak dinners, they have excelled.
We had a pizza making evening with two of the residence, and were lucky enough to have an ‘expert’ in Dean. He was well versed in the making of the dough and how to put a pizza together and helped a peer make a tasty ham and pineapple pizza while he went for a pepperoni classic.
Callum M wanted to get more adventurous and plumped for a tasty fish pie one week and salmon-en-croute another.
Junayd was concerned he would not be able to present anything edible, and we all know Junayd likes his food. But he made a fabulous macaroni cheese with a bacon twist, a chicken curry and a lovely pizza.
Nyirrone likes to cook for himself every evening and can make a lovely quiche.
All the pupils looked comfortable in the kitchen from handling knifes to dealing with the cooker settings.
Independent cooking is a valuable life skill. It also builds on their self-esteem as well as being practical. There is fun, cheeky banter and wonderful results.
Staff are reassured that when these pupils get out on their own, they at least will know how to cook and enjoy their efforts. Well done all.
Duke of Edinburgh
Post-16 pupils have made an excellent start to The Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) this term. They have started to explore the aims and principles of each section that contributes towards achieving the Bronze award. This has included selecting and planning their programme for the Physical section, which focuses on pupils improving an area of sport, dance or fitness across a period of six months. In addition, they have taken part in a variety of practical sessions to improve their own personal fitness, such as mixed terrain mountain biking, ascending 242 meters to Chanctonbury Ring and completing skilled circuits of the local Pump Track. All pupils have shown excellent effort throughout.
A special mention to Dean B for his outstanding leadership and Alex K for his fantastic resilience.
POST 16 – DRIVING ON!
The pupils in the Post-16 placement really are driving on with…………the road to passing their driving tests and learning to drive!
So far this term of the 12 pupils in the Post-16 Unit, nine have now applied for or actually have their Provisional Driving Licences. Pupils have also been practicing their driving theory and hazard perception test. With marks getting higher and higher some pupils will soon be ready to take their Theory driving test at our local test centre!
Pupils in the Post-16 placement also learn about many other aspects of motoring such as road safety, general car maintenance, insurance, motoring costs and much, much more!
We look forward to seeing our present pupils being able to drive up the Muntham Drive one day, as we see many of our ex-pupils doing already.
This half term has been a busy and exiting term, we have had some new pupils on floor who have all settled in really quickly and certainly seem to be enjoying the care provision at Muntham House School. All pupils have developed relationships with other peers and staff members quickly.
We have been on lots of trips in care time to places such as local beaches. Pupils have enjoyed this experience and it certainly seems to be a popular choice despite the Autumnal weather! Lovely walks exploring both the Arundel Castle grounds and the Warren in Storrington. Trips to Flip Out Adventure Park and the pupils have enjoyed long bike rides around the Muntham House Grounds.
It has been a different start to term this year because of the COVID-19 restrictions. Pupils have adjusted surprisingly well and have thoroughly enjoyed the trips on offer. Pupils have spent a lot of time baking in the kitchen improving their cooking skills, we even managed to cook a three course meal together.
When the weather has been on our side they have ventured out climbing trees and nice walks getting covered in mud in the grounds and at Arundel. Pupils have been practicing their golf swings down at the Horsham Driving Range which has seen a lot of healthy competition between the pupils.
Trampolining at Flip Out was a great success which all pupils enjoyed doing. This allows lots of pent up energy to be burnt off through exercise. Some of our pupils have joined the local Gym and now go every week.
The pupils have been growing their own vegetables during care time at the Muntham Farm. Once complete these vegetables will be used on floor to support the pupils in cooking and in the school kitchen for Chef.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the Bubble System in place across the school, we have appointed a number of new staff at Muntham House School. The following staff were all successful through the interview process and I am pleased to report have now started as additional members of staff.
Harry Fisk - Primary Teacher
Margaret van der Watt - Primary Teacher
Claire Greenwood - Primary Teacher
Thomas Cusak - PE Teacher
Mitchell Kersley - LSA
Ann Louder - LSA
Sarah Hall - LSA
Carol Matthews - LSA
Lewis Jones - LSA
Ann Hesketh-Carthy - LSA
Morag Currie - LSA
We are pleased to announce that Mr Barnes has been appointed as Assistant Head Teacher of KS3 / KS4. Mr Barnes has worked at the Muntham House School for 9 years as Head of Science and is well respected from pupils and staff alike. Mr Barnes will provide valuable leadership skills across KS3 / KS4.
Mr Barnes - KS3 / KS4 Assistant Head