Schools news round-up: Reddings duo have athletic success at county championships

Kieran Berrington and Bradley Andrews from The Reddings Primary School.
Kieran Berrington and Bradley Andrews from The Reddings Primary School.
  • Jack and the Beanstalk production at Chambersbury Primary School
  • Singing at St Albans Cathedral
  • A trip to WW1 battlefields for Longdean students

The latest news from schools in your area.

Trips aplenty for Longdean students

Jack and the Beanstalk at Chambersbury Primary School.

Jack and the Beanstalk at Chambersbury Primary School.

A group of 80 year eight students from Longdean School visited the World War 1 battlefields this month, to aid their study of the war.

On the first day of the trip, they visited the museum at Passchendaele, where one of the most bloody battles of the war took place. The students were able to look at some of the museum’s carefully maintained uniforms and weapons, and see the “dugout experience” which taught them more about what life in the trenches is like. After some free time in Ypres they attended the Last Post Ceremony, which takes place at the Menin Gate every night, and has done since 1928, only interrupted by the Second World War. Large crowds gathered in complete silence and two students laid a wreath.

On their second day, the students visited three cemeteries: Essex Farm, which inspired the famous poem In Flanders Fields; Langemark, the largest German cemetery in the area; and Tyne Cot, the largest British and Commonwealth cemetery. The visits were a reminder of how many lost their lives, on both sides.

Later on, the students visited the In Flanders Fields Museum, where they watched films and viewed exhibits which showed how Ypres became a lunar landscape over the course of the war. The staff and students have vowed to make it an annual event as it proved to be an emotionally charged and deeply rewarding experience, helping the students to better understand the horrors of the Great War.

There have been more amazing trips for Longdean School as the year 13 A2 geography class went on a trip to Iceland to study all the glaciers, volcanoes and beautiful scenery of the country. The students first visited the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa full of natural superheated water, after a 4am start, followed by quad biking over lava fields and up the sides of volcanoes. The rest of their trip was spent walking under and behind waterfalls, looking at the front of a rapidly melting glacier, exploring the beautiful capital city of Reykjavik and visiting a geothermal power plant on the top of a volcano.

Jack and the beanstalk proves a giant success

Chambersbury Primary School’s pupils put on quite the show last week, with three performances of Jack And The Beanstalk.

Years 2, 3 and 4 were the actors in the Roald Dahl adaptation of the classic fairy tale, and they did a fantastic job of portraying the timeless characters.

Jack was a confident lead, even if he was being oppressed by the horrible aunties. The giant was very imposing, especially when he ate the aunties and picked his teeth with their bones. The main characters were backed up by a band of farmyard animals, and they ensured it was a performance to remember.

The last performance was on Wednesday, March 25, when over 120 people watched. Mr Stack, Chair of Governors, was impressed with the performance He said: “I could clearly see the amount of work that you all put into this and that it meant so much to every single one of you; everyone worked so well together. I felt very proud to be a part of Chambersbury School.”

The Children decided to donate the money earned from ticket sales to the Children’s Ward of Watford General Hospital, where multiple students from the school have to go for treatment.

Grove Road students sing at St Albans

Grove Road Primary School’s year three children were given the privilege of singing at St Albans Cathedral.

The opportunity came about through the Chorister Outreach Project, organised by Hertfordshire Music Service, and required a few weeks of teaching from animateur Camille Maalaawy.

The songs the children were taught and subsequently performed were Tuweh, Tuweh, from the Democratic Republic of Congo; Shabbat Shalom, from Israel; Shams e Shamusa, from Egypt; and Vem Kan Segla Forutan Vind, from Sweden. The performance took place in the early evening of March 19, in front of parents and supporters.

The children also performed two special songs with the Choristers of St Albans Cathedral Choir and St. Albans Abbey Girls Choir, under the direction of their Master of the Music, Andrew Lucas.

The Grove Road headmistress, Sharon Sanderson, commented: “What an incredible opportunity for the children, to sing together in this awe-inspiring venue. Singing in a choir improves children’s learning, confidence, social development and sense of community. We all have a real sense of pride in their achievement.”

The Chorister Outreach Programme has so far worked with 54 primary schools in West Hertfordshire, involving over 5000 children.

Reddings duo soar to double county gongs

Two pupils at the Reddings Primary School on Bennetts End Road have become double county champions.

Year six student Kieran Berrington and year five’s Bradley Andrews were both part of the Dacorum Schools PAN Table Tennis team who were crowned county champions in December, and they have now become PAN Indoor Athletics county champions, along with another student from Leverstock Green School.

The three boys were representing Dacorum in the contest against stiff opposition from other Hertfordshire districts.

The boys, who both have physical or neurological impairments, did not let their difficulties get in the way of their sense of sport and competition. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see them competing at the Paralympic games.

John F Kennedy school visited by MP

Mike Penning MP has joined the list of local election candidates to visit the John F Kennedy Catholic School, along with Ukip candidate Dr Howard Koch and Liberal Democrat candidate Rabi Martins. Mr Penning held a talk with the year 12 and 13 students so that they could ask him questions about the topics that are important to them. The visit was especially important as some of the students are going to be voting for the first time in May

The school will also be visited by the remaining candidates, Sofiya Ahmed for the Green Party and Dr Tony Breslin for Labour.

The school could prove to be an important battleground for these politicians, as how they come across to these first-time and soon-to-be voters will matter for years into the future.