With an Amber Weather Warning in place and more than 100mm of rainfall expected to fall during the week, Activities Week could have been a washout: however, in true Belmont spirit, quite the opposite happened. Thanks to our backup plans play continued with not a single spirit dampened.
The linear house groupings have demonstrated a fantastic way of pupils making friends, showing initiative and practising their leadership skills. On day one, we had shy faces and new names to learn but my goodness, have they gelled: each group romped around the school en masse, racing to their next activity where even more fun awaited.
Year 6 have been working immensely hard on their play, a Woodstock variety show, within which pupils have been working with different friends and discovering musical and dramatic talents they may not have realised. I, for one, am very excited to see the performance next Wednesday.
Monday saw Year 3 and 4 pupils heading to Chiltern Open Air Museum and the Science museum respectively and Year 5 pupils competing in the House Games. Year 3 had a great day learning about Victorian schooling, cooking and gameplay, getting stuck in to different workshops and trying new methods of writing. It is safe to say they were alarmed when they found out the cane used to be a regular feature of school life!
Year 4 had an interactive museum experience, learning all about the human body in the Wonder Lab. Shining torches down throats, they learnt where all the yummy food they eat really goes and how different organs keep the body alive and working. Year 5 battled it out in house cricket, bench ball and team building with results being announced later this term.
Tuesday was House Games day for Year 3 and 4, whilst Year 5 had a brilliant adventure to Herts Young Mariners. They made rafts, kayaked, canoed and with almost all pupils falling in or capsizing, all pupils enjoyed a jolly good day at sea with friends.
From Wednesday onwards the pupils worked in their house groups and completed a carousel of activities. In amongst the torrential rain our temporary gym turned into a real-life Noah’s Ark. Pupils were entertained by the fabulous Safari Pete who introduced us to Crocodiles, Komodo Dragons, snakes, meerkats, owls and spiders! With nearly 20 activities on the go at one time and over 300 pupils getting stuck in, there was a brilliant atmosphere around the school. We also had a climbing wall, board game making, board game playing, French boules, baking and lots more.
Our Year 6 pupils took a break from their rehearsal schedule to get some inspiration from the best in the West End: they spent the afternoon at London’s Victoria Apollo theatre, watching Wicked, the untold story of the witches of Oz. Judging by the smiles on their faces they were blown away and thoroughly enjoyed the show.
All year groups came together on Thursday as Year 3-5 continued their carousel of activities, whilst the Year 6 pupils had their own drama-themed day of workshops. Pupils enjoyed spending the day learning about Viking history, honing their circus skills and mastering the art of stage combat. (Apologies if this spills into the back garden- at least they know how to fight safely!).
As I write this now, it is Friday, the sun has finally got his hat on (hip hip, hip hip, hurrah!) and I can hear the laughs and screams of pupils on the giant inflatable obstacle course. The scavenger hunt is back on and the graffiti artist is busy in our beautiful art studio teaching the children how to create cartoons and bubble art. This afternoon we are also joined by our colleagues from the International school and our FOB parents who are running language labs for some lucky groups, whilst the others continue with the carousel.
Being new this year, I heard great things of the famous Activities week: I was told there would always be sunshine, smiles on faces, and magic moments with the children and fun at every session. I’m so pleased to say almost all of the rumours were true in abundance – and I suppose the sunshine will be an added bonus next year!
Miss Goldthorpe, Director of Sport and Activities