After more than a year, it has been absolutely wonderful to take a sports team on an away fixture! It seems like forever since I hopped on a minibus and travelled to another school for a match – but it has been worth the wait. I drove the Boys’ Colts C team and Mr Behan to play Edgeborough. Armed with sat nav, our own equipment, refreshments and hand sanitiser we took to the field and had a wonderful afternoon of cricket. As ever, the British weather played its part and it was a question of when the heavens would open as to whether we would complete the match as the clouds rolled across and the temperature dropped during the second innings. Unfortunately, it was not to be as following the first flash of lightning accompanied with a loud rumble of thunder signalled a mad dash to the minibus. Still, onwards and upwards! Even though there was an air of disappointment at the abrupt end, especially as we were playing well it was an occasion enjoyed by all – once I had navigated the country roads of Surrey through the hail storm! It has reminded me what an important part sport has to play in our lives.
Research points to the fact that sport helps children develop character and humility, and to learn important social and brain skills such as problem-solving, resilience, perseverance, confidence and teamwork. Over many years of teaching and coaching I have certainly seen how sport benefits us, both as children and adults. Children look forward to matches and it is wonderful seeing them learn, adapt and employ their skills on the field and off. As parents and members of staff we take part in sport in a whole range of activities in the evenings and at the weekends and being able to go out for long walks, a run or cycle ride during lockdown did wonders for our mental health as well as providing physical benefits.
Sport also brings us together socially and I am delighted to see us taking the first steps to what will hopefully become a return to ‘normal service’ at some point in the not too distant future. I look forward to the end of term when we can invite you all to sports day, to cheer on your children. Then, next term, to watch a match on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon and afterwards head back to Great Roke for a well deserved cup of tea and slice of cake. Until that time comes, let us hope the sun returns and the rain falls for the gardeners and farmers, but not when our cricket matches have been scheduled!
Another positive for me is that I am now able to roam more freely around the school. Yesterday, I popped into Mrs Tennant’s maths class and I thoroughly enjoyed joining Year 4 in developing their learning of decimals and fractions. I must say that I was mightily impressed with their attitude to the varied tasks set and their comprehension of ordering decimals and converting them to fractions. My school day ended with Year 8 activities. I enjoyed three presentations and their resulting discussions on current affairs issues such as NASA’s mission to Mars, the Russia-Ukraine tensions and Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd. I have experienced two very stimulating and enjoyable days and it has proven to me that our children’s development benefits from the broad curriculum on offer at Barrow Hills.
For children and staff (particularly Ms John!) in Pre-Prep, a highlight of the week seems to have been Forest School – dancing in the woods like Morris dancers around the Green Man with Mrs Wilson for May Day! Do have a look at the photos in the Forest School update.
Other highlights included the return of the dressing up clothes to Nursery, making clocks to play ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’, planting a herb garden, broad beans and sweet peas, designing our own shields, discussing castle defences due to us being an island and creating Egyptian death masks – a busy week in Pre-Prep! Sand pits have been replenished and now we just need a little more sunshine and less hail! After school tennis lessons seem to have dodged the rain which was very fortunate.
In our Year 1 and 2 assembly this morning we visited Aesop’s Fable ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’. Everyone was sure they were more like the tortoise than the hare when asked but a good discussion was had about all our different talents too.