2021 Summer Term 1
It has been great to see our pupils back enjoying school and making the most of the opportunities available to them. The staff team have continued to work hard to reconnect with the pupils and re-engage them with their learning in the classroom, helping them settle back into the routines and rules of school once again. Pupils and staff have appreciated being back at school and seeing their friends again.
We have maintained high levels of attendance, last week whole school attendance was 96% which is a higher percentage than the national average for mainstream schools. It is so important after this past year considering how much pupils have missed, that all pupils attend school every day to catch up on their learning.
Pupils have welcomed our new goats Candy and Nora enjoying walking, grooming and caring for the goats. The goats have had a positive impact on our pupils. The school has also purchased eight hand reared chickens of various different breeds and varieties from a local West Sussex farm. Pupils who are interested, will have the opportunity to collect eggs and feed the chickens and learn more about nature.
I hope that you all have a lovely break over half term and enjoy some good quality family time. We all look forward to pupils returning to school on Tuesday 8th June.
The cold weather has not been kind and the seeds have made slow progress, however the purple sprouting and spinach have grown well and the pupils have enjoyed eating them at every opportunity.
A local artist (Bee Sperring) and Mrs Woods painted the panels on the tool shed during the Easter break, these show the seasons and add some colour on gloomy days.
The broad beans in the polytunnel are ready for eating and have been a delicious snack during farm interventions.
The pupils have learnt some new skills this half term which include sowing tiny carrot, radish and lettuce seeds, pricking out the cabbage and coriander seedlings, and planting potatoes in deep channels to maximise our harvest.
We have tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and chillis ready to be planted in the polytunnel beds so fingers crossed for warmer weather and a bumper crop.
The Canine Centre has been a busy area this half term with lots of pupils benefitting from quality time with the dogs. Omah even made a trip down to Infants to introduce herself to the pupils.
The pupils have been noting the difference between our two regular Canine companions, Omah's favourite things are food and cuddles, and Buzz's favourite things are toys and running!
Dexter managed to get to meet Mr Anderson's new puppy Biscuit and it's fair to say it was love at first sight!
We are looking forward to sunnier days where we can go for long walks and sit in the sunshine!
This half term the pupils have been enjoying spring, now it is fully in bloom and the Muntham bluebells have arrived. With the better weather the main school pupils have been helping with maintenance of the forest school camp and helping to build a wood chopping area to ensure we have enough fire wood for when we really need it in the winter!
For the next half term we will be looking at what everyone in enjoys in life: food! I would like to show the pupils how and what to forage, starting off with stinging nettle tea! I can't wait to see who dares pick these and drink them!
It has been an exciting term as we have had a lot more freedom to venture further afield due to the relaxation of the government Covid restrictions. Mr Henderson and Miss Halsey have taken some of the pupils to Harrison’s Rocks, which is just over the Kent border. This Sandstone outcrop is nestled in a stunning broad-leafed forest, at this time of year it is brimming with bluebells and is very beautiful. The pupils have embraced the challenges set by the staff. They have had a lot of fun and stretched their comfort zones scrambling up and down and in and out of the rocks. We sometimes call this activity ‘weaselling’, but whatever it’s called it is a lot of fun!
We have done some awesome mountain biking on the trails at Bedgebury Pinetum. One pupil was heard telling Mr Henderson repeatedly that this was ‘the best day of his life’.
The Year 11 and Post 16 pupils also had a trip to Bedgebury to tackle the Go Ape Tree Top Challenge. Amazing views, it was definitely one to test your nerve and head for heights. All pupils smashed the course and had a great day.
Luckily the wetter weather recently has coincided with the planned trips to an indoor climbing wall in Brighton. We certainly have some keen climbers on our hands! Pupils have been beginning to learn some of the technical skills, and developing the fitness they will need to get out and climb on the local (ish) sandstone outcrops.
Next half term is all about watersports, so hopefully the sun is planning to get his hat on!
The Muntham Library is an important cornerstone of a healthy community. The Library gives our pupils the space to explore many things, medical research, experience new ideas, get lost in wonderful stories, while at the same time providing a sense of place for gathering. ...
The Library is a portal to all of the world’s knowledge. And we as a school make sure that knowledge continues to be recorded and saved for the future, even as information-storage devices and formats change. Our library is a unique and valuable resource.
A book review is a good chance for pupils to analysis and evaluation the significance of a book, allowing them the time to relax and discuss the text.
I would like to share one of the pupils Book Review - The Witches by Roald Dahl
What did you like about this book?
It’s funny because the witches turn the little boy into a mouse, then the boy gets help from his grandmother and they beat the witches
Would you recommend this book?
Yes, I would recommend to any age but not children under five because it is a bit too scary for them as the Witches kill children
Have you read any other Roald Dahl?
Yes, I have read Matilda
Did you like this book?
Yes, it was very funny
What book will you read next?
I will start The BFG by Roald Dahl and I will let you know what I think of it.
As normal, the pupils continue to work towards the Reading Challenge rewards, which is going brilliantly. I will look forward to sharing the pupils success at the end of the summer term.
Pupils in KS3 have been enjoying their science lessons even more since we have been able to use the Science lab.
The Year 7's have been learning how to use Bunsen Burners and how to be safe in the Lab. After this, they have been discovering the bright and colourful world of 'Acids and Alkalis' . 3B are now experts in using indicators to show what pH a solution has and have shown themselves to be scientists in the making, using the equipment methodically and sensibly. Towards the later part of this half term, they have even made their own pH indicator, generating some interesting smells to the dismay of anyone near the room.
The Year 8's have been learning about chemical compounds and have had fun making new substances and even being allowed to smash boiling tubes to analyse new substances that they have created (do not try this at home).
A very special mention needs to be made for the Year 11's. For nearly every 15-16 year old, the prospect of taking their exams is a daunting and stressful time. This has of course, been compounded tremendously with the emotional rollercoaster that has been the 'Lockdown'. With schools, teaching and learning being so disrupted, this has been made so much harder for them. I have been utterly astounded with how, in the last few weeks, those pupils that have been in school have risen to the challenge of working really hard so that we, as teachers, can give them the grades they deserve. They have tirelessly worked hard on completing seemingly endless written tasks and assessments, listened to advice and guidance on how to improve their work and persevered even when they may well be feeling anxious or just downright tired and out of sorts. I can not emphasise enough, how hard this year has been for them on top of the already great pressure that GCSEs pose. My highest commendations for these young gentlemen, whatever the outcome, they need to feel tremendously proud of themselves to have coped and thrived in times of extreme adversity.
Hever floor have been busy this term making the most of the great facilities we have at Muntham, we have been playing in our fantastic sportshall, enjoying forest schools activities in the school grounds, we have even been juicing our own fresh orange juice for our breakfast!
We also have been lucky enough to have had computers put on our floor so we can play minecraft and do our homework!
Petworth Deer Park
All the Bodiam pupils enjoyed a long walk around Petworth Deer Park. They all had fun exploring the surroundings, they climbed trees and were lucky enough to see lots of deer, which they were fascinated by! All the pupils enjoyed walking around the lake, which was beautiful.
The Bodiam pupils enjoyed an after-school trip to ‘Jump In’ which is an indoor inflatable park. They all jumped around, slid down the drop-slides, completed the inflatable obstacle courses and interacted well together as a team.
Overall, it was a great activity which all the pupils really enjoyed.
Finally after what feels like forever, indoor venues are now back open. On Wednesday the Arundel pupils were able to enjoy an evening out at Flip Out in Chichester, which they thoroughly enjoyed. Flip out is a great activity for the pupils to be active and to practice showing off their jumping and flipping skills.
This activity is also good for the pupils mental health and to relieve the stresses of the day.
Post-16 pupils have been working hard this term as part of their community skills curriculum. Working together they have successfully engaged within the community planning and purchasing resources within a set budget. Using these resources, they prepared and delivered an enrichment activity morning to year 7, offering great peer mentoring. Pupils worked well together and Post-16 pupils showed very good leadership skills in their approach with their younger peers.
Post-16, and Year 11 pupils successfully zipped their way through the treetops at Bedgebury National Pinetum Go Ape this term. As part of the Post-16 transition programme pupils were challenged to work both together and independently, as they navigated varying obstacles in the treetop challenge and faced 170 metres of exhilarating zip line.
All pupils showed outstanding effort and were a great credit to the school. They gave fantastic support and encouragement to one another, as they all faced varying personal challenges across the course.
We have had such a fun filled half term.
This term we have been learning all about the Victorians, we even got to take part in our very own Victorian Immersion day. Our classroom went back in time, and we got into character ready to experience a day in school back in the Victorian era.
With lockdown easing this term, we had access to more classrooms and activities than earlier in the year. We got to go up onto Bodiam floor and use the kitchen to make our own cupcakes.
This term we have also been having Music and Drama lessons, we are having lots of fun working on our own songs in Music and will soon be recording these onto CD's to bring home and share with our friends and families.
We also have been looking after ourselves by learning new Yoga poses and practicing mindfulness.
On Tuesday, 4th May the Primary unit at Muntham House took part in an exciting emersion day focusing on the Victorian era that the pupils have been studying since half term. The aim of the day was to give the pupils a real idea of how different school days were from 1837 - 1901 period, starting off with a line up in the playground and being addressed by the Headteacher, Mr Anderson himself. With both teachers and pupils enthusiastically throwing themselves into the day by dressing from head to toe in traditional Victorian attire.
Mr Anderson chose who he considered 'Best Dressed' for the day, which was won by Joe HF who was dressed as a conventional young chimney sweep.
Before lessons began, the pupils remained lined up to listen to a fantastic rendition of 'God Save The Queen' sang by Miss Baulch and a recital of a typical prayer of that era by Mr Fisk. With no electrical items for the day including the interactive boards/ipads, instead the pupils found their desks lined up one behind each other, each with an individual chalk board and pack of chalks.
Registers were taken as typical of that era by each of the boys standing behind their desks ready to say 'Good Morning Sir/Miss' when addressed by the teacher. The rest of day included practising their cursive handwriting, studying traditional poems of that time and drawing the Union Jack with their chalks.
After lunch, the boys partook in a selection of classic games enjoyed by Children in the Victorian era including skipping, spinning tops, tug of war & shoe polishing.
The end of the school day finished up similarly to how it started with a line up in the playground before the pupils were dismissed.
Both teachers and pupils alike enjoyed the activities of the day with a great appreciation for Miss Greenway who earnestly organised it all.
Post-16, and year 11 pupils successfully zipped their way through the treetops at Bedgebury National Pinetum Go Ape this term. As part of the Post-16 transition programme pupils were challenged to work both together and independently, as they navigated varying obstacles in the treetop challenge and faced 170 metres of exhilarating zip line.
All pupils showed outstanding effort and were a great credit to the school. They gave fantastic support and encouragement to one another, as they all faced varying personal challenges across the course. They demonstrated blazing perseverance moving out of their comfort zones and fully immersed themselves in the adventure of the day.
Extracurricular Sport - Football Academy
This term Mr Hyde, Mr Clarke, Mr Cusack and Mr West were very happy to kick off Football Academy for our Juniors and Secondary pupils. They have been extremely impressed with the increasing number of pupils participating in all age groups.
All the pupils have demonstrated excellent behaviour and a willingness to learn the beautiful game. This half term they have been focusing on dribbling skills, techniques and applying them into dribbling games such as American penalties, pirates and cannonballs.
They also have played some excellent training matches featuring a number of great goals being scored.
The players of the term were Charlie M for Juniors and George A for Secondary.
If you are interested in getting involved in football academy, please see more details below and register your interest with Mr Hyde at email@example.com
When: Thursday 4-5pm
Ages: All Juniors and Secondary pupils welcome
Meet: At the sports hall
What do I need: A change of sports kit, shin pads and football boots.
Coaches: Mr Hyde, Mr Clarke, Mr Cusack and Mr West
Eight chickens joined us and have settled in well, they will all have names by the end of this week, we currently have Benedict, Scrambled, Piri Piri, Marshmallow.
I am looking forward to hearing the other ideas!
Our new goats, Candy and Nora have settled in well. The Post-16 boys have made a wonderful job of painting their new stable and building them a wonderful pen with the help of our Construction Instructor, Mr Pusey.
The pupils have been able to groom the goats and care for them inside the goat pen. Pupils have also been able to walk the goats around the grounds, causing quite a stir from passers by as walking goats isn't something often seen in Barns Green! We are making an Agility Track for the goats, which the pupils will hopefully be able to persuade the goats to utilize; jumping over hurdles, round bollards, over see-saws and other obstacles.
As the weather improves the goats will be making regular visits to the Infants and Primary Classes. They will be walked by interested pupils around the lovely school grounds.
As part of the current school pond regeneration project, certain pupils have been helping place a new duck house on the island. This is ready for our resident ducks for when their ducklings hatch.
Pupils have enjoyed being involved in the project, particularly Charlie who has worked extremely hard with Mr Pusey getting this new area ready for the ducks.
As part of the schools drive to encourage physical activity and promoting positive Mental Health, a number of Scooters have been purchased for primary pupils to enjoying riding around the school grounds. These Micro Cruisers will be enjoyed by all of our pupils on the race track in their playground. Pupils will also have the opportunity to go offsite with staff on a Scooter Safari, where they will practice and develop their orienteering and numeracy skills in a practical fun environment.
Mr Benton kindly created this Skateboard cupboard for our pupils to use. Pupils can now access Rollerblades, Skate boards or Scooters to use withinin the school grounds. This is further work by the school to promote opportunities for regular physical activity in our drive to support positive mental health for all pupils.
This half-term the Year 7 and 8's have been busy creating scarecrows for the local Shipley Scarecrow trail. They will be displayed somewhere along the trail during the month of August 2021 and will be open to the general public. More details to follow.
The scarecrows have been taking shape and are almost complete.
Here is a preview of their efforts.
Please click on the video below to access the Virtual Tour and I hope you will enjoy seeing all Muntham House School.