On Thursday students in Year 12 and Year 13 had their annual Reflection Day. The theme was Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, taking as a starting point a reading from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: we have one body, made up of many parts; we are one body, made up of many parts.
After an engaging quiz, the students worked collaboratively in mature discussion about issues involving equality, diversity and inclusion. Being right at the top of the school, they thought about how the messages that they thought were the most important could be shared with younger students. ‘Respect’ was a commonly used word: if each individual is shown due respect then everything else falls into place. I was struck by the parallel between this and Jesus saying that the most important commandments are to love God and to love neighbour, because with these in place the other commandments take care of themselves.
As part of the day we were joined, virtually, by a representative from the Cardinal Hume Centre in Westminster, who talked to us about homelessness, and the work of the Cardinal Hume Centre in supporting the homeless and otherwise vulnerable. This provided a very good insight and fitted well with thinking about inclusion: we are all unique individuals with our own story to tell; we are all loved by God.
Holocaust Memorial Day is an annual international day of remembrance, held on the 27th of January. The date marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp and since 2005 serves as the official commemoration of the six million Jewish genocide victims. The Memorial Day endeavours to promote Holocaust and genocide education; remembering and learning about the persecution of people around the world, throughout time. Every year in the UK educational institutions, workplaces, faith groups and local authorities complete thousands of activities to bring people of all backgrounds together to reflect and honour those who have suffered from oppression. The theme for the 2022 Holocaust Memorial Day is “One Day”, ‘in the hope that there may be one day in the future with no genocide.’
The word ‘holocaust’ originates from the ancient Greek meaning for ‘burnt offering’ and was sometimes used before the Second World War to describe the death of a large group of people. However, since 1945, it has become synonymous with the murder of Jews under the Nazi dictatorship. Although the direct cause of the Holocaust was the anti-Semitic Nazi ideology, for hundreds of years, European Jews had been subject to discrimination and maltreatment; they were held responsible for the death of Christ and in the Middle Ages, they were forced to live segregated from the rest of the community. During times of crisis such as the Black Death they were often singled out as scapegoats. In 1290 Jewish people were expelled from England by Edward I and were not allowed to return until over 350 years later by Oliver Cromwell.
After the German defeat in the First World War, right-wing extremists blamed social and ethnic groups for the loss, including the Jews who they accused of being capitalist exploiters or conversely, as supporters of the Communist Revolution. Adolf Hitler’s hatred for Jews was evident from his early speeches and semi-autobiographical book, Mein Kampf, however, it was only after he was appointed Chancellor in 1933 that life in Germany became increasingly impossible for those of Jewish heritage. The Nuremberg Racial Laws introduced in 1935 forbade them from marrying non-Jews and they lost their citizenship, officially turning them into second-class citizens. In November 1938, the Nazi’s organised the Kristallnacht, a night in which Jewish houses, synagogues, and shops were destroyed whilst thousands of Jewish people were captured and later imprisoned in concentration camps. In the middle of 1942, the Germans began deporting Jews from the occupied territories in Western Europe to Eastern Europe in overcrowded cattle wagons. Over a million people had been deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, which was established in the spring of 1940. Located in southern Poland, Auschwitz was both a labour and extermination camp, a programme often referred to as ‘extermination through labour’. The Jews who had survived a selection process based on age, health and ability to work, had to do forced labour in difficult and unhygienic conditions, on little nourishment. In January 1945, Auschwitz was overrun by Russian soldiers and although it was the largest concentration camp, upon liberation, only a few thousand Jews remained. In 1980, Georgii Elisavetskii, a Red Army soldier, recalled the reaction of the Auschwitz survivors on the day of their liberation –
“They rushed toward us shouting, fell on their knees, kissed the flaps of our overcoats, and threw their arms around our legs”
Anti-Semitism persisted in parts of Europe and the destruction of Jewish communities during the Holocaust made survivors fearful to return to their homes. Many found themselves homeless and migrated to the territories liberated by the Allies, where they were housed in displaced person camps and refugee centres.
The UK Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day 2022 is being streamed online next Thursday at 7 pm. The link below will redirect you to a page where you can register to watch the Ceremony.
Elizabeth Clare, an ecologist, walked through Hamerton Zoo Park with a small vacuum pump. They ran the pump for half hour sessions around animal enclosures and collected 72 samples from 20 different sites. They then took the material from the pump filter back to the lab for analysis where they identified 25 different species, including zoo residents as well as unexpected ones. For example, in the Dingo enclosure they detected DNA from meerkats that live 245 m away. In addition to this, they also caught samples of human DNA too.
Around the same time, a team at Copenhagen Zoo used tiny fans, similar to ones that cool down computers, to trap air borne DNA. They also experimented with a vacuum. From this, they identified 49 different vertebrate species that ranged from living in sampled enclosures to surrounding exhibits.
Both methods successfully collected animal DNA.
Scientists knew they could use environmental DNA in the air to monitor land-based species, but this proved to be challenging before this technique was shown to be successful. This could now be used as a non-invasive way to identify where endangered species have been, by picking up on their genetic footprints.
Mrs Coles’ Year 8 students researched women in Elizabethan England and presented their findings in some very creative ways. Aren’t they amazing!?
Year 9 Theatre Workshops - Dramatising The Story of Macbeth
Today, we welcomed Ellie from theatre group Prologue. She worked with Year 9 classes, discussing tragedy, playing Romeo and Juliet themed games and dramatising the story of Macbeth. Here are some images of Mrs Chislett’s class, doing fantastic things in their workshop.
Ms Rusholme’s class (and guests) in their theatre workshop, retelling the story of Macbeth; playing witches, Kings and murderers:
In a tragedy, (pretty much) everyone dies; here are some pictures of Mr Mac and Mrs Coles’ classes acting out all the murders, plotting and deaths in Shakespeare’s play.
Thank you to all our children in EYFS to Year 3 for creating such wonderful artworks for our Christmas card fundraiser which raised £206.00. This money will be put to good use resourcing EYFS with extra art supplies. Thank you also to all the parents who supported this fundraiser and to our wonderful staff who facilitated it.
Year 4 Colour Wheels
Year 4 have been creating their colour wheels which will become part of a collaborative artwork of a Chinese Dragon. We look forward to sharing this with you when it is finished during the Chinese New Year festivities.
Yesterday 6S presented their class assembly which was all about New Year's Resolutions.
They devised a series of brilliant scripts to illustrate a number of their resolutions. These included being kind, being honest, getting fit, being organised and never giving up! They also recited poetry and then we joined them for a congregational hymn. Well done girls!
Mrs Morgan presented certificates for Music, Art and Maths achievements to the following girls:
She also read a few thank you cards which we had received from our very grateful friends at Whitely Village who had enjoyed opening their special Christmas hampers.
This week's assembly was all about Winnie-the-Pooh
It was Winnie the Pooh day on Tuesday and the Infants are going to learn about how this famous bear got his name as well as learning about the author AA Milne. Winnie the Pooh has lots of characteristics that are very special and match the characteristics we teach at school – kindness, patience, respect and problem solving!
Stars of The Week
We sang a beautiful hymn, celebrated our Stars of the Week and sang Happy Birthday to Giorgia.
Last Friday, Year 3 invited Mr George, our Chaplain, to come and make Rosaries with us! We have been learning about the Rosary prayer, and how Rosary beads help us during this special prayer.
Jamie said, “ The Rosary prayer is a big prayer with lots of little prayers inside it.” Josephine said “ The Rosary beads help us to keep track of what section we are on in the big prayer, so that we can concentrate on praying rather than worry if we have forgotten a section.” We made the Rosary beads, focusing particularly on colour choice to also help us with the sections of the prayer.
It was made even more special when Mr George quickly popped back up to his room to fetch his own precious Rosaries, including one from his Mum that we thought must have been at least 70 years old and was made of very delicate stones. He also showed us a Rosary that his friend had given to him many years ago, that had come from The Vatican and had been blessed by The Pope.
We were so impressed by the girls’ perseverance of bead threading and intricate tying of knots, and we were thrilled to host Mr George during the activity.
As part of our ongoing topic, ‘People Who Help Us’ we had some doctors come to visit. Dr Clare and Dr Cheytna spoke about their roles, where they work and how to use a stethoscope. The girls had great fun listening to their heart beats and each other’s lungs.
Thank you to our supportive parents for helping to enrich the curriculum for the girls.
At Notre Dame Forest School our aim is to build on the children’s motivation and positive attitude to learning. We want our pupils to engage with the outdoors and foster a love, respect, understanding and responsibility for our environment. Our pupils are offered opportunities through practical activities, to take beneficial risks whilst building on their decision making, creative thinking and problem solving skills.
Here are this week's activities that took place in Forest School!
Please do note that all of the Forest School activities and photos are shared on our EYFS Firefly Page
A special visit to FS this week and we celebrated Adam’s Birthday - they created an amazing mud pie and lit some cotton wool. We all sang happy birthday! We made some bird feeders, taking care of the birds in winter is important, making sure they have enough food.
Second visit of the week to FS we hugged lots of trees and writing in the mud was so much fun We finished off our session playing lots of team games
Reception were in for a treat at Forest School this week. The new topic in Reception is People Who Help Us, so we extended the classroom learning by inviting a very special guest, none other than Mr Plummer aka Park Ranger at Richmond Park. He loved our Forest School site and the children delighted in showing him around. He was a fountain of all knowledge and delighted us with stories of his new job as Park Ranger. In return we taught him how to use a fire flint stick to start a fairy fire, which he loved. We then all toasted marshmallows and had a campfire with songs. On our return journey we came across a gigantic nest on the ground containing some very unusual and colourful large eggs!!! We will be keeping an eye on them to see what happens and keep you updated. Enjoy our photos.
We're Going On A Dinosaur Hunt.
This week Year 1 went on a very scary Dinosaur Hunt. The girls, Mrs Barnes, Miss Sergeant and Mrs Skuse adapted the story We're going on a Bear Hunt to fit in with the current topic "All About Dinosaurs". As we trudged through tropical rain forest and murky swamps on our adventure the children explored the Forest School environment secure in the knowledge that there was an adult nearby to help if needed. The chorus could be heard for miles .....
We're going on a Dinosaur Hunt. We're going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We're not scared. Uh-uh! Grass! Long wavy grass. We can't go over it. We can't go under it. Oh no! We've got to go through it! Swishy swashy! Swishy swashy! Swishy swashy! We're going on a Dinosaur hunt.
We found Tyrannosaurs-Rex, Triceratops, Pterodactyl, Velociraptor and many more. We were relieved to be back at Forest school safe in our natural surroundings. We finished off our session with just enough time free play in the mud kitchen, reading our Dinosaur books with amazing Dino facts and some time for relaxing. This was one busy Forest School Session.
At Tooled Up, we’re still busily updating some of our resources. Did you know that giving children small chores around the home supports the development of their executive functions, which includes the ability to plan, prioritise, focus and remember instructions (listen to our podcast with Professor Adele Diamond to find out more)? Our Chores List has always been a popular download, but we wanted to make it even better, so we’ve given it a revamp and broken it down into three different age categories - chores appropriate for children aged two to five, those of primary age and young people over 11. We’ve also written some tips for encouraging children to get involved in chores. We hope you find them useful!
As oral health is now part of the school curriculum, we are currently making Tooled Up video resources and tip sheets on dental hygiene for younger children (we've already created a list of relevant books), and are seeking an enthusiastic 3-6 year old who would like to kick-start their acting career. If interested, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
If any of our Tooled Up parents happen to be dentists in the Herts/Beds area, and would like to offer up their surgery for a little bit of filming, let us know! We can all make going to the dentist part of our 2022 plans. Why not add it to our new goal setting planner?
We have a new Researcher of the Month for January, Dr Rachel Nesbit. She spoke to us all about the importance of adventurous play and what we can do to ensure our children are getting enough of it. The podcast is available for you to listen to now!
Finally, we've added a brand new, exciting feature to the Tooled Up website this week. It is designed to help you find the resources that you need more quickly. Can you spot it? Let us know if you can, the first person to email the correct answer will win a Tooled Up water bottle.
On Monday evening the U9 girls played hockey against Tormead under the floodlights and full moon! Well done to the ND girls who won their game 5-0 and showed great skill and sportsmanship. Sadie was awarded player of the match. It was great to see the girls using all their skills learnt last term.
U8 Netball v CLFS
Last Friday the Year 3 and 4 girls played in their first netball matches of 2022. The Year 3 girls travelling to CLFS and played very well, applying the skills they have learnt in lesson as well as gaining more understanding of the game.
The A team drew 3-3
The B team lost 1-2
The C team lost 1-2
U9 Netball v CLFS
The U9 girls played at Notre Dame and, similar to the Year 3 girls, they worked hard to apply skills learnt and gaining a better understanding of the game, unfortunately all 4 teams lost but there is plenty to work on for their next matches.
U10 Netball v Rydes Hill and Halstead
On Tuesday we held our first Triangular BEE Netball fixture against Rydes Hill and Halstead, it was a wonderful evening of our 50 girls playing netball, learning and applying skills learnt last term and this term. There were some very exciting goal for goal games.
The Notre Dame A team won 1, drew 1 and lost 1 of their games.
The Notre Dame B team lost 1 and drew 2 of their games.
Football Club- Monday 4:00-5:00pm
We will be sending out information shortly about our Year 5 and 6 football club that is starting after half term.
Good Luck to the girls playing in the Tormead Hockey tournament this Saturday!
Advance Notice about clubs
Thursday 10th February- Year 6 Gymnastics Cancelled
Monday 21st February- Year 5 Gymnastics Cancelled
Clubs until end of January
Saturday 22nd January- U11 Hockey Tournament at Surrey Sports Park
Monday 24th January- U10 Hockey v Milbourne Lodge (H) 2:30pm
Monday 24th January – U11 Cross Country Relays @ Stoke Park 2:30pm
Tuesday 25th January- U11 A and B netball v Rydes Hill (A) 4:00pm
Wednesday 26th January- U10 A-D Netball v LEH (A) 4:30pm
Friday 28th January- U8 Netball v Ursuline (H) 2:30pm
Monday 31st January- U9 Netball v Tormead (H) 4:00pm
Prep Swimming Lessons and Clinics
Kerry Jones (Mrs Jones’s daughter) is running the following swimming lessons / clinics during half term.
Senior Sports Board Jan 21st
On Wednesday the U12 A + B Hockey Teams had matches against Prior’s Field School. Both teams played well and should be proud of their performance; the A team were 3-1 up at half time and finished the game as 4-1 winners with Amelia H scoring three of the goals, and although it was Prior’s Field who won the B match 3-0 ND defended really well with some excellent goalkeeping from Emma S to keep the score goalless in the second half. Congratulations to everyone who played.
A Team: Ava G, Daisy S, Elsie F, Millie H, Isla G, Scarlett T, Amelia H
B Team: Emma S, Francesca S, Anna L, Lucy F, Lucy M, Tallulah R, Luella W, Grace P
Year 8 showed great teamwork during their buggy building activity yesterday afternoon!
On Monday 17th January the U12,U13,U14 and U15/16 A&B swimming teams swam in a gala at St Catherine’s Bramley. This was a triangular gala with Priors Field. There were lots of exciting races and fantastic 1st place finishes for many ND girls! Miss Mulcahy has not had the overall results yet but wanted to share the fantastic swimming from the swimmers of the night:
U12 - Tallulah R
U13 - Nicole G
U14 - Alexia W
U15/16 - Maya O
Well done to all the girls who swam!!
ABRSM Exams Spring Term 2022
The timetables for ABRSM deadlines this term are as follows:
Monday 24 January: PRACTICAL EXAMS: Deadline for instrumental teachers' candidate lists to Mrs Shaw
Monday 31 January: PRACTICAL EXAMS: Deadline for parental Candidate Registration for Practical exams on Firefly
Monday 14 February: PRACTICAL EXAMS: ABRSM Absolute Candidate Deadline Online - by this date your exam fee is non-refundable
Monday and Tuesday 7/8 March: PRACTICAL EXAMS: Proposed Rehearsal Days
Monday and Tuesday 14/15 March PRACTICAL EXAMS: Proposed Exam Days
Monday 7 February: THEORY EXAMS: Deadline for instrumental teachers’ candidate lists to Mrs Shaw
Tuesday 22 February: THEORY EXAMS: school deadline for parental Candidate Registration for Online Theory exams on Firefly
Tuesday 1 March: THEORY EXAMS: Booking Period closes: ABRSM Absolute Candidate Deadline for Online Theory exams - by this date your fee is non-refundable
Wedneday 2 March – Wednesday 30 March: THEORY EXAMS: Exam Window
Senior Music Board Jan 21
Latest news from the Senior School Music Department!
Senior Teatime Concert
The inaugural Senior Teatime Concert will take place on 9th March from 4.20-5pm in the Lytton Parlour. Teatime Concerts will regularly occur just after half-term each term. They will provide an informal environment for performers to demonstrate their skills. The Teatime Concert is also a perfect opportunity for students preparing for music exams to give their pieces an airing!
Update regarding choirs at the Senior School:
Choirs will continue to rehearse after school each Tuesday but after this half-term a new Chapel Choir will be launched. Mr Hodgson will publish full details to the pupils over the coming few days.
The Senior Easter Concert
The Senior Easter Concert will take place on 29th March in the Chapel. This concert will feature the school Orchestra, Choirs and selected soloists. Time TBC.
Senior Inter-House Music Competition
Senior Inter-House Music Competition will take place in the Summer Term. Mr Hodgson will provide all the necessary information about the competition before the end of this term.
Mr Hodgson, Head of Music
Prep Music Board Jan 21st
Faith and Music assemblies – upcoming - (all from 8:30am to 10am)
Friday 28 January: 5S Faith and Music Assembly
Friday 25 February: 6A Faith and Music Assembly
Friday 11 March: 4S Faith and Music Assembly
Congratulations to these girls who were able to receive their certificates in yesterday's assembly. Both received a Distinction for their singing exams!
Prep Drama Board Jan 21st
Year 3 and 4 Production - Mystery at Magpie Manor
The Year 3+4 Production “Mystery At Magpie Manor” is fast approaching.
It will be performed on Thursday 10th February at 7pm in The Montaigne Theatre. Details of tickets and audience invitations will be released soon.
Keep learning those lines girls!
The scripts can be found on Firefly by clicking on the following link:
National Storytelling Week 29th January - 5th February 2022
Stories belong to all of us, and this week of storytelling events is celebrated all over the country. The Society for Storytelling has promoted the telling of stories, as opposed to just reading stories, for over 25 years. Everyone has a story to tell, and many folk tales and myths are shared stories that belong to everyone.
Listening to stories is an important way of helping children to learn as it improves both reading and listening skills, and is an ideal opportunity for families to enjoy a shared experience together. The website provides useful fact sheets and online resources, as well as highlighting events organised by the storytelling community.
This year’s World Book Day will be the celebrating its 25th anniversary! A celebration of all things related to books and reading, information on World Book Day is now available on its website including resources and ideas for ‘reading for pleasure’ all year long.
The World Book Day Author & Illustrator Academy will contain videos and other resources, and a series of online events will run from the 28th February to the 4th March.
The £1 vouchers are available once again, to be exchanged for free books, helping to put more books directly in children’s hands from toddlers up to teenagers. Tokens can be redeemed up until Sunday March 29th 2022.
Please put 3rd March 2022 in your diaries! The best way to keep updated is to sign up for the newsletter.
Winnie the Pooh Day is celebrated every year on January 18th – the birthday of the author A.A. Milne. It is a day of celebration which fans of all ages like to embrace – whether it is by having teddy bear’ picnics featuring plenty of honey, or walks in the Hundred Acre Wood (Ashdown Forest in Sussex) and of course playing pooh sticks!
What makes it a classic?
The Winnie the Pooh books are timeless - due in part to the characters’ relatability, the soft but clever humour and the funny storylines, which are often at the character’s expense.
“Everyone knew an ‘Eeyore’ or a ‘Tigger’,” James Campbell, who runs the EH Shepard Trust and is the author of The Art of Winnie-the-Pooh, says, “Readers could recognise these characteristics in themselves or their friends.”
“The simplicity of the prose and illustrations also served to heighten the beautiful and philosophical undertones, which were key not only to their appeal, but to their endurance. Pooh’s philosophical musings – such as the poem, The Two of Us, which ends with the line:
“It isn't much fun for One, but Two, Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. ‘That's how it is,’ says Pooh” – are now regularly read out at weddings.” Jessica Salter, The Telegraph
A.A. Milne released his first volume of stories in 1926.
Many of the locations that inspired the books and Disney Film are in Sussex – where Milne lived when writing the stories. The Hundred Acre Wood is actually Five Hundred Acre Wood in Ashdown Forest.
The character Christopher Robin was inspired by Milne’s son who was also called Christopher Robin. The characters Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore were based on his toys.
The origins of the bear are said to have been influenced by a Canadian black bear at London Zoo during WW1 – who Christopher would often go and visit. Interestingly, in his poem ‘The Mirror’ A.A Milne mentions a swan called Pooh.
In 1960, the book of Winnie the Pooh reached the prestigious New York Times Best Seller List.
In 1961, Milne’s widow sold the rights to Disney.
In 1977 Disney released “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” which featured a new character (Goffer) who was not in the original books.
Winnie the Pooh’s adventures have been translated into 50 languages.
Winnie the Pooh is one of a few animated characters who appear on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Everyone has a favourite Winnie the Pooh quote. However some of the quotes are not written by A.A. Milne, but are from the Disney adaptation. Here are a selection of quotes:
“I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.” Winnie the Pooh
“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”- Eeyore
“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like, 'What about lunch?'” - Winnie The Pooh
“This Writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it.” – Eeyore
“Some people care too much. I think It’s called love.” – Winnie the Pooh
“A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”- Winnie the Pooh
“They’re funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you’re having them.” - Eeyore
“I think, said Christopher Robin, ‘that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan’t have so much to carry.”
“It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine.” – Eeyore
“An ambush,' said Owl, 'is a sort of Surprise”
“So is a gorse-bush sometimes,” said Pooh
“Rivers know this: There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” - Winnie the Pooh
"If you live to be a hundred, I hope I live to be a hundred minus one day, so that I never have to live a day without you." – Winnie the Pooh
Currently on the Library window, we have the quote:
“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”
Ashdown Forest is a popular destination for Winnie the Pooh fans. There is a Pooh walks leaflet with details of the trails you can visit Eeyore’s Gloomy Place and the Heffalump trap. Inside the forest there is also stone memorial to A.A Milne and E.H Shepard, who was the illustrator.
Christopher Robin and his father played Pooh sticks at Posingford Bridge, Sussex and it is a popular spot to play the game. There is even an annual World Poohsticks championship which takes place in Witney Oxfordshire.
A.A. Milne wrote a number of Winnie the Pooh books including:
The House at Pooh Corner
*When We Were Young
*Now We are Six
The Christopher Robin Story Book
The World of Pooh
The World of Christopher Robin (which contained *these titles). In this version he wrote:
“In some way the name of Chrsitopher Robin has caught the fancy of children, and the child to whom it belongs has always been identified with the two books of verse into which his name (actually) so seldom comes”.
Patsy Ferran has been nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award for her performance in ‘Camp Siegfried’ and International theatre producer Eilene Davidson, another Notre Dame alumna, also has three shows nominated in this year’s awards