Midhurst Rother College
Midhurst Rother College has always been profoundly charity-minded in my experience; thinking back to my lower years in the school, we enjoyed the highly anticipated annual ‘Charities Week’ in which the usual excitement of ‘sponging the teacher’ and the fancy dress competition dominated the school week.
The events have since developed with fresh ideas over the years and now, as a Sixth Former, I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to be at the forefront of this. Our first assignment as the fresh batch of Year 12 students was to organise the events of Children in Need back in November, so a group of us put our heads together and concocted a plan.
The cake sale and own clothes went down a storm, unsurprisingly, as the whole school swarmed to the stand to enjoy the treats which sold out incredibly quickly and all donated £1 to wear whatever they so wished. There were also some popular activities such as the Mario Kart tournament, crash mat surfing (which, for anybody that doesn’t know, consists of the students throwing themselves at a crash mat in an effort to push it as far as possible across the Sports Hall) and the three-legged teachers’ race- an extremely amusing phenomenon to watch as various staff members fought it out to become the winner to the delight of multitudes of students donating to watch the events unfurl.
Our first charity event as the new faces of the Sixth Form was complete and had been a huge success with a grand total of £1,300 raised for this vital charity. Now, all we must do is live up to the benchmark set out by ourselves and hopefully make every event even greater than the last to raise awareness and funds for the charities we support.
Sophie Cooke, Year 12 student www.mrc-academy.org
Petworth C of E
As a new year hits us it is great to reflect on a very successful autumn term, as well as look forward to the many events we have planned for the coming term. Our ethos at Petworth C of E Primary School is to ensure our curriculum engages every child and that there is not just a focus on English and Maths.
I fully understand why schools would focus heavily on English and Maths, as these are the subjects on which schools are judged, with the end of key stage tests and progression scores. In any profession in the world, if you are being judged on just three areas (in education it is reading, writing and maths) then why wouldn’t you focus on these areas? Businesses would not deviate and ensure they did nothing but what they are judged on. Thankfully we are not a business and we believe it is essential that children should learn essential skills in all areas of school life, be it the curriculum, social or spiritual skills.
The origin of the word ‘school’ comes from the Greek word ‘skhole’ and originally meant leisure, free time. Therefore it is imperative that we try to make school fun and put in the foundations for children to want to learn, which will help them develop in all aspects of their life, including in their leisure time. That is why the activities we have planned for our children must have an element of fun, but be challenging, as even in our free time we want to be challenged of which there are endless examples e.g. participating in sport, reading a book, exploring a new computer game.
Sharing what happens in our school is essential, to give people an insight in to how different schools are in the 21st century. Therefore we are very grateful to have this opportunity to write an article for this magazine and be at the start of something very exciting as we share with a wider audience about life at our school.
John Galvin, Headteacher, Petworth C of E Primary School www.petworth.w-sussex.sch.uk
Every other year, a team of adults and our older
children from the school join the Big Sleepout outside Chichester Cathedral to raise money for Stonepillow, a wonderful charity that supports the homeless in the area. This year was our third sleepout and we fundraised in earnest, raising almost £1,400!
In Key Stage 1, children from Hedgehogs and Squirrels held a tea party for their grandparents to find out about how their childhood was different from their own and share childhood photographs. The children wrote invitations and developed their cooking skills by making fairy cakes for the guests to enjoy. Our oldest two classes, Foxes and Otters, enjoyed their residential to Gaveston Hall and enjoyed a range of activities including river walking and climbing.
Meanwhile, children from Otters Class found a bat in their class bin! Mr Taylor, their teacher, called the local Bat Conservation Trust on loudspeaker and everybody listened in. The advice was to put the little bat in a shoe box or something similar and cut some air holes for him to breathe. The children added a milk bottle lid with 3 drops of water. An hour later, Martyn Phillis, a local bat expert, arrived to take the bat away.
We had daily updates from Martyn and an e-mail saying that he had put on a whole gram, so he now weighed 4.6g, and was ready to be released. That evening, Mr Taylor, some Year 6 children and their parents came to watch as Martyn released the tiny bat back into the wild. The clicks (‘barks’) that the bat made when he was picked up registered 55 kHz which told Martyn that he was a soprano pipistrelle. Everybody watched, fascinated, as he swooped across the playground and into the forest.