‘I’ve never seen a better school performance in 30 years of watching!’
‘This show was like watching a West End production!’
These were just a few of the comments from audience members at the end of our three incredible performances of the musical ‘Oliver’ this week. The Key Stage 2 pupils have put on an amazing version of the well-known, well-loved musical and it has been a really special time to have parents back in school, watching their children taking part in a performance.
Of course, the performances are really the very end of a much longer process, which began several months earlier. To begin with, when ‘Oliver’ was announces at the production for the July, the Key Stage 2 pupils asked the question, ‘Oliver? What’s that?’. From that starting point, the children have travelled a long way and our Year 5 pupils created a large display about their own personal experiences on the journey. Their comments describe the experiences they have gone through, the challenges overcome and the emotional rollercoaster of feelings throughout it all. Needless to say, the main theme emerging from their comments is just how much they have grown in confidence and how the memories of such a wonderful school production will stay with them for many, many years to some!
Last week, we held our Sports Day for the first time in 2 years! We introduced a number of COVID restrictions so that we could still have some parents and families attend and it was absolutely lovely to have an outdoor event that included 90 visitors! The weather was kind to us and the children really gave 100% into their race events. In total, we held 56 races and it was fantastic to see the excellent attitude show by all of our pupils to competing. At the end of the afternoon, Team Woodpecker came out on top as the 2020-21 Sports Day Champions! However, the biggest winner of all was really the event itself! The children were exemplary throughout, visitors had cheered themselves hoarse and staff were exhausted – welcome back Sports Day – we have missed you!
Today, the school was invaded by a hoard of fierce Vikings! Well, actually, the Vikings were struggling to be fierce and nasty because they were having so much fun as they took part in their class ‘Viking Day’. These were the pupils in Blue Spruce who have been learning about the Vikings this term, and today they put all of their learning into practice with a series of activities with a Viking theme. The Blue Spruce pupils and staff dressed up in Viking costume, had Viking names for day and spent the afternoon making shields which they used to then create a ‘shield-wall’ – a tactic the Vikings used in battle. It has been a ‘fabulous finish’ to their learning journey this term and one that the children will rember for a long time to come!
‘Consider Yourself’ nearly ready! That is the message from our staff and pupils in Key Stage 2 who have been rehearsing so hard for the Oliver musical production that’s almost on us. Today, we started our final week of rehearsals and run-throughs before the three performances happening in the last week of term. As with all school productions, everything is suddenly coming together as costumes, props and scenery appear on an almost daily basis in the school hall and we hear the familiar songs from the musical drifting through the corridors on the air.
We have had to build in additional restrictions to ensure that our audiences are still socially distanced, but as a result we have arranged for THREE performances:
Monday 19th July – afternoon
Thursday 22nd July – morning
Thursday 22nd July – evening
We are very excited about the performances for next week and, judging by the by the fantastic sounds coming out from the rehearsals in the hall, we are certainly in for a treat!
Gardening club have been working really hard over the past few weeks to help paint flower pots, plant them up and put them around the school site. They have brought a lovely splash of colour to the outside areas and the Key Stage 1 children who attend gardening club have really enjoyed helping with this project. It has not been, however, the only project gardening club have undertaken this term – they have been involved in planting, growing and watering a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in our raised beds too! A huge thank you goes out to the parent helpers who support the children every week – they are all superstars!
Our Evergreen pupils have spent time over the last two weeks working with a group of classical musicians to create and perform their own pieces of music. This is something that our Year 5 and 6 children have been able to for a number of years, as part of the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival. The creative workshop would usually lead to our children performing to a public audience with the musicians at one of the festival venues. This year sadly, the public performances are not possible but the children held their own ‘concert’ in school. They were also treated to the musicians performing a number of amazing musical pieces to them – from Mozart to Chopin. It is an amazing experience for our pupils to work with and listen to a group of world-class classical musicians playing and will be something we know the children will remember for a very long time!
Every year, our Year 5 pupils spend a week developing their cycling skills and improving their road-awareness so that they can enjoy cycling safely. Due to the interruption to school last year, our Bikeability week could not take place and so just before half term, we had all of our current Y5 and Y6 pupils braving the weather to complete their Bikeability training. Despite a few torrential downpours to contend with, the pupils were magnificent on the road and every one passed their Level 1 and Level 2 assessments. Well done to each one of them, and we hope they have dried out by now!
As the children were being dropped off this morning, there was great excitement and fascination at the events going on in our neighbour’s garden, across the road from the school. A huge construction vehicle had pulled into the driveway and then slowly opened its long arm – much to the excitement of the pupils arriving at school! What was happening? Was it a crane or something else? We all watched as the arm extended higher into the air and then slowly reached out over the entire house. It gradually became clear that our neighbours were having concrete poured for some building work at the back of their house and the huge arm was to lift the hose up and over the roof, to the back of the property. It was fascinating to watch the skill of the crane operator manoeuvering the enormous arm in such a confined space, and it was certainly a ‘different’ start to the week!
Sophia, one of our Year 6 pupils has amazed us at the end of term by bringing in 100s of cakes that she decorated and sold to raise money for the school. Her amazing cup-cake designs were incredibly popular at a socially-distanced cake sale, orgainsed after school on the last day before the Easter holidays.
Sophia uses special cake decorating equipment to create the amazing effects with her icing techniques, and today she raised over £130 for the school through her efforts! Wow – well done Sophia…and, yes, they were yummy too!
This year, World Book Day was different! The national day coincided with schools still not fully reopened and so at Beckley, we decided to delay our celebrations until all the pupils had returned. As always, a huge number of our children (and their parents!) had got their creative hats on to design and make some glorious costumes that celebrated characters from our favourite books. In order to keep socially distanced, the school gathered outside to take photographs and it was a lovely opportunity to gather the school together as a whole community. There were lots of Harry’s and Hermione’s, along with some Hulks, Pirates, Marvel characters, dinosaurs, Fantastic Mr Fox and an amazing Mr Twit!
Staff joined in the fun as well, with Robin Hood, the Wicked Witch of the East and we even had a Demon Headmaster…scary!