Friday, 14 December 2007

Year 3 at Cedar School

Year 3 were a credit to the school today when they attended the Cedar School Christmas performance, The Star that Couldn't Twinkle. They joined in with the songs, saw Santa and got into even more of a Christmassy mood (and they got some exercise on the walk!)

They were very privileged, because this is the first time another local school has been invited to be part of the audience at Cedar; we want to work much more closely with all our partner schools and give our children lots of chance to be part of other communities.

We all met new friends as we shared breaktime after the performance.

Thank you, Cedar, for your hospitality!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Ahoy there, Captain!

Do you recognise these boys looking so smart? And do you know where they are?

Conor, George, Luke and Nathan were lucky enough to spend some time aboard Southampton's newest cruise liner, the Queen Victoria before she left port on Tuesday 11 December.

It looks like they were nearly recruited to be stewards!

They had a good look around...

...but they didn't have time for a swim!

...and they were allowed to get off before the ship sailed!

Well done boys!

(PS You can have your own virtual tour of the ship too!)
(PPS You can also see where the Queen Victoria is now by looking at the bridge webcam!)

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Hansel and Gretel... and the Robbers' Tango!

Years 3 and 5 put on an excellent performance of Hansel and Gretel this afternoon and evening. We're sure you enjoyed it if you came to see either of the performances.

The acting was great, the singing was amazing and the costumes were out of this world!

A highlight of the performance was the Robbers' Tango, where several shady looking characters went sneakily around the school and helped themselves to various goodies. But they didn't know they were caught on CCTV...

(Well done to James and Conor who actually made and edited the video!)

Thank you to Edgy Productions who wrote Hansel and Gretel and very kindly gave us their permission to use the Robbers' Tango music on our blog...!

Is it supposed to look like that...?

Here's the latest news on our new playground seat...

It's not had much done to it in the last few weeks. The seats have been bolted on, but it still looks a bit new and featureless.

The soil is coming this week and the planting will be done early in the new year. A big feature tree will go into the middle and shrubs and bushes will be planted to soften the edges.

By the end of January, we're expecting it to look really fabulous! Keep your fingers crossed...

Monday, 10 December 2007

An Artistic Christmas!

Once again, some of our talented artists have designed the Christmas cards the school will be sending to all its friends and partners this year...

...but this is the very first time you can see them online!

Well done to... Bradley and Ellis and Leah and Lewis and Matthew and Megan and Miriam and Rachael and Tate! (Phew!)

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

There's a whole lotta shoppin' goin' on!

Our fabulous choir performed to family and friends (and hundreds of Christmas shoppers) today at West Quay in Southampton.

This has become an annual event for us at Oakwood and all the money raised goes towards the Hampshire Autistic Society. Choirs from lots of Southampton schools provide a whole morning's Christmas entertainment!

Here you can see Miss Smith keeping everyone under control, singing in time and in tune! One of their favourites (and good for West Quay) is "Come on everybody, there's a whole lotta shoppin' goin' on!", but they also sang some more traditional songs.

Well done, choir!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

School Travel Plan Award

Oakwood Junior School has been given a very important award by the Road Safety department at Southampton City Council.

We have supported and organised lots of ideas for keeping everyone safe on their way to and from school. These include:

  • Walk to School Weeks
  • Walk on Wednesdays
  • Respect the Zig Zag
  • Parking Enforcement sweeps
  • Promoting the Actionline (0800 5 19 19 19) to report inconsiderate and dangerous parking
  • Road Safety messages on OJS News

In the new year, Mrs Barr will be organising a Road Safety Action Group, so you can expect our work to get even better!

Mrs Barr was presented with this very special plaque at a recent School Travel Plan Meeting.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

A Big Christmas THANK YOU!

It as a very busy evening at the Christmas Fair on Monday as you can see from these photos!

Everyone worked really hard, but enjoyed themselves too, and started to get into the Christmas mood. You can see here that Miss Beavill, Mrs Barr and Mrs Whitmarsh were on the bottle.

(Sorry, on the bottle STALL!)

Both the Infant and Junior School halls were packed with visitors, parents and friends of the schools...

...and even Santa himself turned up, giving his reindeer a rest for the evening and giving rides in his sleigh around the playground!

Best of all, the grand total profit for the evening was an amazing...

That's the very first time our Christmas Fair has raised over £3,000 so a big thank you to you all (and especially to Mrs Handley-Garland and all members of the OSA!)

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Year 3 are all Angels!

What do angels look like?

Well, in Year 3, we thought they all looked like they do on Christmas cards, but Chris Davis came in and proved us wrong! We read descriptions of angels from the Bible and found out about Cherubim, the second order of angels.

They have four wings and four faces: a lion, an ox, an eagle and a man. You can see two of the angels we made and hear our explanations in our video.

Shoe Box Appeal...

Look at the shoe boxes that we have collected for the children in Uganda. Thank you to everyone who has brought in a shoe box. The boxes will be collected from Lordshill church on Sunday and sent to Uganda in time for Christmas!

Children in Need!

Look at the dot-to-dot that we made on the floor! We joined up the dots with silver coins to raise money. We also had a 'dotty disco' to help raise money. Altogether we raised £209. Thank you everyone who contributed!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Final Few Friday Hours...

We had to fit a lot in on Friday morning!

First we worked with Josh to create performances about all our Minstead beads and we sang the Fire Fairies song, accompanied by the mandolin.

Then we moved up to the Mizmaze where we remembered the messages our creatures and plants had taught us during the week and earned our badges...

We also had to pack up our dormitories and check how eco-friendly we had been during the week...

We used only 3280 litres of clean water during the week, which is the lowest total of any school at Minstead, so we were really pleased. (Don't worry, we still kept clean, but we remembered to turn off taps when we weren't using them and have short showers!)

We used 1750 litres of recycled rainwater to flush the toilets (big and little flushes...), 88kw/h of electricity and only 1 cubic metre of gas. Even in winter, the solar panel on the roof of the eco-dorm got up to 23ºC during the week, although it was only 11ºC this morning.

All our efforts helped towards looking after Planet Earth, and you can see Alex doing just that right here...

Thanks to all the staff at Minstead for a fabulous week! You can learn more about the centre here...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Life and Death!

Our purple bead means biodiversity and there are thousands of species of animals and plants which live near Minstead! Here is one of the most famous...

It's Erithacus! (And he's quite fat! We think he's been eating Lumbricus from the compost heap...)

And here are the girls shovelling leaves for the compost heap. They made layers with old paper towels, leaves, horse dung and lots of other biodegradable items.

Deeper into the grounds lies a former resident of Minstead who didn't make it through the winter a few years back. He's guarded over the snake wall ever since. His name is Equus. (And he can look quite creepy in torchlight!)

And several other creatures met their deaths tonight too. Our fire fairies fulfilled their destiny by being consumed in flames! They looked amazing and we sang the Fire Fairy song as they burned...

Paper and Poo!

Year 4 went to the Down to Earth Centre in Millbrook this week.

We made new sheets of paper by getting scraps of newspaper that had been soaked in water then blended with a hand blender. We then scooped it up in a frame and pressed out excess water to make a sheet of paper.

It was very messy... but not as messy as...

...mucking out the animals! (It's a good job you can't smell it through the web!)

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Bog Blog!

Warning to Minstead Parents!

This blog post contains scenes of a muddy nature. There may be very dirty clothes in the washing bag on Friday!!

The bog is a very beautiful and protected area of the New Forest...

Here's what is looks like from up on the heathland...

Here's what is looks like from the air...

And here's what it looks like close up!

The surface of the bog is like the skin of very thick custard. A small insect could walk across the bowl of custard without breaking the skin and falling in, and we can do the same on the bog.... if we are very careful!

A plant called sphagnum moss grows on the bog and it can hold twenty times its own mass of water, which makes the bog like a giant sponge which is springy to walk on. It's a very strange feeling even in wellies, but even stranger if you decide to to go barefoot, like lots of children did!

We nearly had to leave Mrs Vaudin behind because she got stuck in the mud on her birthday! (Those aren't her legs in the photo, by the way!)

And from the bog, we had the most beautiful view of golden reds and browns which make up the autumn colours of the forest...

And all only 15 minutes drive from Oakwood!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Getting to know the village...

It's been a really busy day in the New Forest!

One group got their feet wet again in the Fleetwater stream. We borrowed many creatures from the stream so that we could look at them carefully under microscopes, identify them, learn about how they live and then put them back again...

We found this creature, and you can see what's special about it by watching the video...

...isn't it fantastic? (If you know what it is, you can leave a comment for us!)

We also went into the village of Minstead. (We had special help on the journey from Edelweiss - that's Miss Beavill to you and me!) In the churchyard, we found the grave of a very famous author...

- if you know what books he wrote, you can leave us a comment... the pipe is a clue!

In the evening, we were helped out by Delphinus who came to visit us from Oakwood too. (Mrs Barr!)

We made gruesome faces from clay, which we will fire in the fire on Thursday night.

We also made colourful bandanas, each with a pattern made from two motifs which tell a story of Minstead. We'll wear them at the camp fire too!

And have you ever wondered what Mrs Whitmarsh's wellies look like?

Well, now you know!

Monday, 12 November 2007

The Wild Woods!

The Year 4 Minstead people have arrived in the Wild Woods!

(Well, Acres Down, which is here...)

The sun was really low in the sky (because it's nearly winter) and it shone beautifully through the trees...

...and even though it was cold, it didn't stop us from making a stony snake, getting our birth stones, following a maze, splashing in the ford and filling our wellies, making human camouflaged cocoons with leaves, counting the points on holly leaves, following the stream under the road, passing the thenga...

...and listening to tunes through trees! (You'll have to ask someone how that worked when they get back!)

In the evening, we made decorated lanterns from jam jars...

...and we'll be using them later in the week for a night time Shakespearean performance!

Come back for more news tomorrow...