Prep Newsletter - 12th January 2018

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Our first week has brought the usual plethora of activities and there is a sense of business and excitement around the School.

In our first school assembly, I talked to the pupils about a new term, new beginnings and the opportunity to set themselves new challenges. Today in form time, they have been setting their academic and wellbeing goals for the term. This might be a nice conversation to have around the dinner table over the weekend. We are also delighted with how our four new pupils have settled in and my thanks to their guardians for making them so welcome.

Tomorrow, we are holding our scholarship examinations which will be attended by 35 pupils from both Wellingborough and other schools. 13+ candidates will also be undertaking music, art and drama auditions over the next few weeks. We wish all pupils the best of luck.

Rehearsals are well underway for the Year 8 production of “Archie Dobson’s War”, a story about the reality of WW1. Tickets will be available shortly but please note the date in your diaries for a show which should not be missed. Thursday 25th and Friday 26th January at 7pm.

Attain is the official magazine of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) and there are interesting articles on “growth mindsets” and the need to champion children. Should you wish to read these articles, and others, please click here.

I wish you, our pupils and staff a most excellent term.
Mrs Knox, Headmistress

Academic Update

This term began on Monday for our staff when we held our INSET day. It was super to have members of our own Prep School team delivering informative and practical sessions about different elements of teaching and learning. You will see details below from Mr Dean about his session and, in addition, Gemma Saunders gave useful information about maintaining staff wellbeing, Mrs Roberts and Mrs Colabuono put us in the place of the pupils with an Art session which enabled us to be creative whilst reflecting on being in the position of the learner rather than the teacher and Mrs Drye talked to us about what she had gained from the ‘Think for Yourself – strategies to increase the independence of learners’ conference which she attended last term. We look forward to a Lent term full of exciting lessons and I shall be out and about on Learning Walks to see these firsthand. In addition, we shall be exploring ideas about outdoor learning for our pupils.
Mrs Owen, Deputy Head Academic

Update from the More Able Coordinator

During the INSET training on Monday I delivered a training session to all teaching staff within the Prep School entitled “Practical Teaching & Learning Ideas to stretch the More Able”. The session focused primarily on a variety of different questioning techniques that can be included within lessons. One of the best methods for stretching all pupils within lessons, especially the more able is by using Higher Order dialogue and questioning. For example, asking pupils to think more deeply by explaining or analysing lesson content rather than simply identifying or describing.

Some of the questioning techniques introduced to staff include:

  • If that is the answer, what is the question (from Mock the Week)
  • Thunks (
  • Pointless Questions (using the format from the TV series)
  • Pose, Pause, Pounce, Bounce
  • Think, Pair, Square, Share, Pointless

Hopefully, your son/daughter will experience some of these questioning techniques within their lessons in the coming weeks.

Starting next week on Tuesday lunchtime we will be running a Chess Club. Pupils in all year groups are more than welcome to attend. It doesn’t matter if they already play chess or if they are a complete beginner. Furthermore, we are in the process of setting up a Prep School Debating Club. It is likely that this will begin the week after February half term taking place after school. How to sign up for both clubs will be discussed with pupils in forthcoming assemblies.
Mr Dean, Head of Sport and PE

Acclaimed Author Visit

On Monday, the English Department is looking forward to another exciting, award winning author visiting the School for the day. Educated at the Universities of York and Cambridge, Ruth Eastham has written several acclaimed books and worked in many countries as far flung as New Zealand and Italy. Her novels are inspired by real events and deal with hard-hitting issues, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, refugees, fracking, pacifism and adoption: “I believe that there are few limits on the themes that can be explored in children’s books, so long as the stories are handled sensitively, and that it’s important not to shy away from issues.”  An extract from Waterstone’s review of her latest book: “Award-winning children's author Ruth Eastham weaves twists, turns and adventures into the rollercoaster ride that is Arrowhead: aspects of Norse mythology, the importance of friendship and teamwork, race-against-the-clock tension, and terror as the world as you know it is turned upside down.”  Critic Tony Bradman, of The Guardian, called it a “powerful new thriller” and was “simply desperate to know what was going to happen next.”  She will be completing workshops with each year group during the day, and we can’t wait!
Mrs Drye, Head of English

Welcome Back

A very warm welcome back to School from the Pastoral Team. It has been lovely to see so many smiling faces this week as pupils embark on another busy and exciting term.

Start of the School Day

A polite reminder that all pupils should be at School and ready for registration by 08:25.

Mobile Phones

Pupils should only bring mobile phones to School if they are needed for communicating with parents at the end of the day. All mobile phones must be handed in at the Library before 08:25 and can be collected from 16:10 onwards.

Extra-Curricular Clubs

Due to Year 5 Parents' Evening there will be no after school clubs next Thursday, with the exception of Year 8 Play Rehearsal, which will run as usual. Prep will be available as normal.


All parents should have received an email with information about the roadworks which are taking place on Irthlingborough Road this weekend. In summary, Irthlingborough Road will be closed outside the School between 08:00 and 18:00 on Saturday and Sunday. There may also be some disruption on Monday between 9:00 and 13:30, although morning drop off and buses should be unaffected. For more details, please see the email which was send out yesterday.

Car Park Safety

To ensure the safety or our pupils, parents, staff and visitors to the school site, can I please ask all parents to:

  • Adhere to the one-way system around the car park
  • Keep to the speed limit
  • Park considerately and only in the designated areas
  • Adhere to the left in and left out for entry and exit to the car park
  • Ensure that young children are supervised at all times and are not allowed to run around the car park

Mr Pickett, Deputy Head Pastoral

Prep School Ski Trip

The day after we broke up for Christmas, 18 very excited children along with 3 very excited big children set off for Austria for the annual WPS Ski Trip. After a long coach journey we arrived in the snowy Zillertal Valley. The skiing conditions were the best I have experienced and were outstanding all week. In between the skiing lessons the children also took part in a variety of activities including a trip to the Innsbruck Christmas market, Austrian bowling and the very popular Tyrolean evening - a particular highlight of which was Niall Mahon's efforts at milking a cow! The children all made excellent progress on the slopes and conducted themselves superbly off the slopes as well. A big thank you to the children for their company and also to Mr Dean and Mrs Ferguson for all their hard work and support. Roll on December 2018!
Mr Dennis, Trip Leader

Music Ensemble Photographs

We will be having professional photographs taken of all music ensembles on Thursday 18th January. Members of ensembles should report to the Recital Room with their instrument at the following times:

08:00                Chapel Choir 
08:35                Clarinet Group
08:50                String Group, String Quartet
09:05 (P1)        Orchestra
09:30 (P1)        Brass Group
09:45 (P1)         Recorder & Flute Group
10:00 (P2)        Guitar Group, Percussion Group
12:10 (Lunch)   Pops Choir

Photograph order forms will be sent home with pupils when we receive them from the photographers.

Music Parents' Evening

Parents of pupils taking individual music lessons will be able to discuss their child's progress at the Music Department Parents' Evening on Tuesday 23rd January from 5.30pm to 7.00pm in the Recital Room. A list of the teachers who will be available on the evening will be published in next week's newsletter.

Music Lesson Timetables

To view next week’s timetables of individual lessons, which are also displayed just inside the main entrance to the music department, please click here.
Mr Leutfeld, Head of Music

Swimming Lessons

In PE lessons next week (w/c: Monday 15th January) the following groups of pupils will begin swimming lessons:

  • Year 4 girls (Tuesday)
  • Year 5 girls (Thursday)
  • Year 6 boys (Monday)

This will continue until the end of the Lent term.

Pupils must ensure they have the following kit with them: dark swimming trunks/costume, yellow swim cap (Waendel Leisure Centre policy) and towel. They may also wish to bring goggles. Swimming caps are available from the Main Reception priced at £1.00.

National Rugby Finals - Epsom College

The Years 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Rugby A squads will all take part in the Rugby National Finals at Epsom College on Sunday 18th March. Training for this event will take place every Tuesday after school (4.10-5.10pm) for pupils in Years 5-8. It is very important that the boys attend. Boys will require their normal rugby kit. In addition to boots, please ensure pupils also bring trainers in order that training can take place on grass/astro dependent on weather conditions.

*Year 4 training will commence after the February half term holiday.

After much discussion and thought it has been decided that we will travel to Epsom College on the day of the tournament rather than staying overnight in a hotel. It is likely the coach will depart from Wellingborough at 07.30 and return at approximately 18.30 (exact timings will be communicated nearer the time). If you will be transporting your son direct to Epsom, or staying overnight independently please can you kindly communicate this with your son’s coach. This will help us in planning suitable transport for the tournament.

Mr Dean (Year 4), Mr Williams (Year 5), Mr Buck (Year 6), Mr Pickett (Year 7) and Mr Russell (Year 8).

Cricket Success

Many congratulations must go to Poppy Bevan, Iris Kirk and Ella Harvey who have all been selected to be part of the Northamptonshire County Cricket programme for the forthcoming season. We wish the girls every success with their training and matches at Wantage Road. Who knows, we may have the next Heather Knight or Anya Shrubsole within our midst.

Prep Sport Update

To view details of weekly fixtures and team sheets – please click here
Mr Dean, Head of Sport and PE

Country of the Day

To continually improve location knowledge in the Prep School, here is a daily challenge from 7LW. Your focus for each day is to locate the country on a map! If that is too easy, there are some extension questions too…
Monday 15th January – Cuba
Tuesday 16th January – Bolivia
Wednesday 17th January – Sudan
Thursday 18th January – Madagascar
Friday 19th January - Pakistan

Challenge questions:

What is the capital city of this country?
What does the flag look like?
How many people live in this country?
What are the most notable features of this country?

Star Easter Camp

For more information about the Star Easter Camp scheduled for 2nd-6th April please click here. Early booking and sibling discounts available.

Gala Dinner

To raise funds for the Senior School Sports Tour and the Cynthia Spencer Hospice a Black Tie Gala Dinner has been organised for Saturday, 24th February at The Saints. For more information, please click here.

Clarion Information sent to Parents

The following information has been sent to parents this week via Clarion:

Years 4-8 Visiting Author – Ruth Eastham
Year 7 Buddy Scheme
Year 8 Play Costume Requirements
Year 8 Kew Gardens Trip

Forthcoming Calendar Events

Please check the dedicated sports website for details of weekly fixtures.

Monday 15th January 
09:05 16:00 Visiting Author: Ruth Eastham (Book signing at 4.10pm in Cube Corner)
Tuesday 16th January
09:05 16:10 13+ Drama Scholarships and Awards Auditions
Wednesday 17th January 
08:15 09:00 Nearly New Shop (School Uniform)
Thursday 18th January
08:00 16:00 Music Ensemble Photographs
17:00 21:00 Year 5 Parents' Evening (after school activities to be confirmed)
Friday 19th January 
08:40 09:05 8PD Assembly
09:00 15:00 13+ Music Scholarships and Awards Auditions
Saturday 20th January 
09:00 15:00 Year 8 Play Rehearsal
Monday 22nd January 
09:05 16:00 11+ Music Scholarships and Awards Auditions
Tuesday 23rd January   
17:30 19:00 Music School Parents' Evening
Wednesday 24th January 
08:15 09:00 Nearly New Shop (School Uniform)
Thursday 25th January 
19:00 21:00 Year 8 Play 'Archie Dobson's War'
Friday 26th January 
15:30 16:30 Nearly New Shop (School Uniform)
19:00 21:00 Year 8 Play 'Archie Dobson's War'
Sunday 28th January 
10:00 11:00 Senior School Civic Service (PS Chapel Choir required)




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