Our Reading Garden is officially open! This afternoon, in the middle of hail and torrential rain, the author Guy Bass cut the ribbon and declared the garden open. Guy also entertained the children with workshops in the hall during the day. Judging by the amount of laughter coming out of the hall, I would say that a good time was had by all!
Year 3 have been busy designing all kinds of weird and wonderful sandwiches as part of their DT work and today the moment of truth arrived as they had to make and taste their creations! As I walked through the hall this afternoon, chocolate spread seemed to be playing a big part in the proceedings, sometimes in unusual recipes with other ingredients such as ham and tomato, chicken and apple, cheese and raisins and so on! The children seemed to be having a great time and really enjoying trying out new flavours as well as more conventional combinations such as egg and cress or ham and cheese.
Thank you to all the parent helpers who gave up their time to make this such a successful and enjoyable event for the children.
Excitement is mounting over the annual school production. Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Daniels have been busy buying fabric and making costumes and yesterday after school, it was lovely to see so many teachers involved in rehearsing the different scenes. One of the things that struck me was how much laughter was going on - from children and staff. I think we are in for another superb production.
I often talk to the children about how we sometimes do things at school that are great fun and sometimes do things that are very serious and that there is a time and a place for both. Yesterday, the serious business of SATs in the morning contrasting with the enjoyment of rehearsing a production illustrated the point beautifully.
Following our parent and pupil poll, we have devided not to change the colour of the Year 6 jumpers. There was a small majority in favour but we felt that it was not conclusive enough to make the change.
It seems that we have some budding Oscar winners in our midst! Yesterday we found out that a team of Year 4 children have won a Hart District Council Fairtrade film making competition. All the children enjoyed watching the short animation in assembly and it made us all laugh. Well done the Year 4 team.
Second prize in the competition was awarded jointly to Chruch Crookham Juniors and the All Saints Year 6 team! Well done Year 6 for a very amusing cookery show.
On my way home last night I went to buy some flowers and although they were slightly more expensive, I chose the Faritrade option - proof that although we had fun making and watching the films, they succeeded in putting across a serious message!
Thank you to Mrs. Scott for helping the children with this project.
We are the champions...!
Last night our boys football team beat St. Joseph's, Aldershot by 3 goals to 2 in the final of the Standing cup. We were 3-0 up by half time but St. Joseph's came back strongly in the second half and set up a nail biting finish. However our boys showed the All Saints value of perseverance and hung on for the win!
Well done Mr. Lewis and all the boys.
I am delighted to report that all the players, on both teams, (and the supporters!) behaved impeccably and set a good example to some of our Premier League 'heroes' who should know better!
Happy St. George's day!
We heard at the weekend that our Chamber Choir and drumming/dance group have been invited to the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham. The choir will sing in the Adrian Boult Hall at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music whilst the drummers and dancers will perform in Symphony Hall. This is a fantastic achievement by our children as the festival is such a prestigious event and involves young musicians from all over the country.
Find out more at http://www.mfy.org.uk/coreseason/national
Well done to the Chamber Choir for an excellent performance on Saturday afternoon and to the boys football team who were runners up in the Aldershot Town shoot out competition.
On Thursday the football team are again in action, this time in the final of the Standing Cup. Kick off is at 5.30 at the EBB Stadium (Aldershot Town's ground).
Come on All Saints!
More congratulations to our football boys who have now reached the final of the Aldershot Town half time shoot out competition. The final will be played at the Aldershot v Dagenham match on Saturday.
It is a pity that Shots, unlike the All Saints team, couldn't find the net and lost the game. Mr. Lewis and I thought that if they had used Angus as a substitute it would have been a different story!
We haven't been given details of the cup final yet - watch this space!
I am looking forward to tomorrow's lunchtime club when, I am told, we will be tasting chocolate from all around the world. It's a hard life!
Congratulations to Mr. Lewis and our boys football team for getting to the cup final! As soon as I have more details I will share them with you and we will try to get as big a crowd as we can to cheer them on.
I discovered today that the staff have a Wednesday lunchtime club which has been conducting a series of scientific experiments into weighty matters such as which Snickers bar is best and whether Kit Kat Chunky is more tasty than the original. Today's findings were that Marks and Spencer's hot cross buns are superior to eleven other brands! I am told that the next experiment, after Easter, will investigate the merits of chocolate from different parts of the world. If anyone would like to donate chocolate for this important test, please contact the chief researcher, Mrs. Roke!!!
Thank you very much to Jeremy, Bev, Natasha, Tracey and the ASSA team for a fantastic curry night last night. As a result of a lot of hard work, the hall underwent an amazing transformation from multi-purpose junior school hall to Indian restaurant! The food, from The Gulshan, was very good and the Bollywood movie, the henna artist and the traditional dancing all contributed to a really super evening.
I really do appreciate having such a dedicated, creative and enterprising PTA. What fantastic role models they are for all the children at our school.
I have just found out that on Friday we raised a staggering £1,001.93 for Comic Relief! We had a lovely day which got off to an excellent start with a class assembly by 5MM in which they explored the serious side of Red Nose Day as well as making us all laugh.
The children then had lessons based on various aspects of global education before running their own stalls in the afternoon. I have to say that the atmosphere around the school was terrific as everyone worked together in the spirit of our Olympic legacy values. The children were mature and independent about sharing the running of the stalls so that everyone had a chance to have a go themselves.
Congratulations to all involved.
Yesterday our choirs, orchestra and drumming & dance group performed in the regional part of the National Festival of Music for Youth. All four groups were superb and got excellent comments in the feedback sessions. I will scan the comment sheets and send them to parents so that you can read them for yourselves.
A big thank you to Mrs Mabin, Revd. Roy, Mrs Evans, Mrs Brett, Mrs Porter and Miss Reece for all their hard work towards the event.
Well done everyone who took part and thank you parents for all your support.
Last night we took part in the local dance challenge. I know that the children and staff were very disappointed not to have won one of the awards however the children performed extremely well and were a credit to us.
Due to the nature of the competition and the limited seating in the auditorium, there is a lot of waiting around for all the performers at this event and they can get a bit bored. However, in a wonderful expression of our Olympic legacy values of love, joy and community, our children started a circle game and invited the dancers from other schools to join in. This gave everyone involved something to do and added to the enjoyment of the evening. The children ended by teaching their peers our Gambian song ‘I am on the rock’ which, given that our dance was all about the Gambia and learning through friendship, seemed particularly fitting.
We may not have experienced success in the conventional sense of winning a prize but I am left feeling that one way and another it was a very successful evening. Congratulations to all involved.
Next week sees the annual local dance challenge and this year, I am particularly excited about our entry because it is all about Soma and really encapsulates what our Learning Through Friendship project is all about.
Two years ago whilst I was at the Soma School, some children started drumming spontaneously under the shade of a huge tree in the grounds. I immediately reached for my notebook and wrote down the rhythms that I heard.
In the summer, my son Ralph, a music student and former pupil at All Saints who has himself visited Soma, wove the rhythms into a djembe (West African drum) piece.
This term, a group of our own musicians has learned the piece and Miss Reece and Mrs Porter have choreographed it using moves and ideas that they have learned from their many visits to The Gambia. The dance team has been practising hard and the result is a performance piece called ‘Soma Stomp’.
Last month whilst on our annual staff visit to Soma, Miss Reece and Mrs Scott bought fabric in the market and then employed a local tailor to make costumes for the All Saints drummers and dancers.
The result is an inspiring piece of work that underlines that our link is all about learning from each other and enriching each other's lives. On this occasion we have had great fun learning about African music and dance and have been able to give something back by supporting the local Gambian economy through the purchase of the costumes.
We often raise money for the Soma School but this is only one aspect of our work and I think it is worth reflecting on the fact that the link was set up for educational reasons and our dance project demonstrates that we really can learn from each other though friendship.
According to the Bamana people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying "Anke djé, anke bé" which translates as "everyone gather together in peace" and defines the drum's purpose. I think that in this case, it has truly done its job.
In Monday's assembly I played my horn to the children and talked to them about our Olympic legacy value of perseverance. On Saturday, I will be playing Mozart 's fourth horn concerto with the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra and I was telling them just how much practice I have had to do over the past year and how difficult that has been at times. Tonight was no exception - what I wanted to do was watch Manchester United but what I needed to do was practice the horn! In the end I have to admit I went for a compromise where I played my concerto to a CD backing whilst watching the football with the sound turned off!
It sometimes occurs to me that because there is so much going on in school, I haven't had the chance to tell parents about all of the events that have taken place. So, I thought that a blog might provide an opportunity to share my thoughts about some of the things that haven't made it into the weekly bulletin.
I am writing this having just returned from the League 2 Aldershot Town v Gillingham match which, in a way, was a mixture of business and pleasure. I am a 'Shots' season ticket holder and often spend my Saturday afternoon on the terraces but today, the All Saints football team were taking part in the half time shoot out competition and so I attended with them.
I have to say that the pleasure part definitely overwhelmed the business side of things because not only did Shots put in a reasonable performance to draw against top of the league opposition, but our boys won 4-0 to go through to the semi-final of their tournament.
Congratulations to the all the boys involved and thank you for giving me such a pleasurable busman's holiday!