Christmas Message from Mrs Bradburn

This year I have been astounded with our children’s resilience, strength, and determination. They have not only readily adapted to life during a pandemic, they have also risen and exceeded the challenge of staying positive and focused on both their academic studies and future aspirations. They impress and inspire me every day.

As we end the Autumn term, I would like to share some of the highlights with you:

Reception have been busy settling into school and getting to know their new teachers and friends. They had a virtual visit from the local fire service, made ‘superpower’ vegetables, evil pea soup and learnt about our amazing world and space. They even had a spaceship land in our classroom and tried some freeze-dried astronaut food.

Class 2 have had a fantastic start to the year getting to know their new teacher, Miss Cook. A particular highlight for me was watching the children’s ideas come to life in DT where they designed their own superhero capes for their teddies. The children were careful with their needlework and produced some great work of which they were proud!

This term has been a steep step up for Year 3, and I must say they have all risen to the challenge. They have been learning how to survive the Stone Age when building replica axes; discovered their bearings by creating their own magnetic compasses; explored the local geology and bedrock of Stonehouse during the rock walk and started to develop essential (and lifelong) coding and multimedia skills.

Y4 have risen to many creative and academic challenges this term from the Roman invasion, creating their own haikus, tankas and cinquains. In DT, they have carefully planned, designed, and finally constructed individual ‘Toy Theatres’ for a live performance of ‘The Owl & The Pussycat’ by Edward Lear. The project was complex from the very start, however Y4 greeted every lesson with enthusiasm and a determination to succeed and they should be very proud of their achievements. A paper and card theatre can be bought from Amazon, but no shop bought construction can match the imagination and vitality of the hugely successful Y4 work!

This term, Year 5 have enjoyed learning about the crime and punishment in history in all its grizzly glory! Learning about the planets and constellations in science has been fascinating for all, especially discovering how big and messy the craters created by meteorites can be when they hit earth. They have also enjoyed the ‘Christmas’ activities with Mrs Elmore and creating fragmented horses in art. And of course, the best thing of all was ‘Barvember’ in maths!

This term, Year 6 have enjoyed making practical face masks in DT, creating mountain formations out of cake in geography, experiencing what it would have been like to live during an air raid in history and dissected pigs’ hearts in science. In ICT they have learned how to use code to create their own challenging point scoring games. As well as this, they have even had time to rescue Miss Porter from her worst nightmare – a huge spider stuck in her hair!

Last, but not least, we end this term with an immense sense of pride as a we have recently been ranked 35th Top Independent Prep School in the country (Sunday Times 2020). What an achievement for a small prep school like ours.

As you can see, it has been a busy and successful term for your children, and I hope you agree that Hopelands remains true to its ethos in that it is a very special place where children are able to grow in a safe and nurturing environment.

As a small school, we have fortunately not been as affected by Covid-19 as some of the larger schools in the country. This has meant that your children’s education has not been compromised by the continuous disruptions the pandemic has created. I am very pleased that at Hopelands we have not had to return to online learning during the autumn term as all lessons could be delivered in school. The very few children who have had to isolate have received online lessons and we will of course continue with this for as long as is necessary. I am hopeful however that the positive trend continues. I thank you for the support you have shown to the school in this unpredictable time.

Finally, the festive season is on the doorstep. Christmas is such a special time of year, the opportunity to spend time with our families and taking time to reflect on and appreciate all that we are thankful for. I obviously want to wish all our families a wonderful Christmas break with lots of time for family fun, food and festivities. I always feel privileged that I get to spend part of the Christmas period with young children, for surely, Christmas is the perfect time of year for being around young people. The pure joy, innocence, and magic of Christmas for children is simply infectious.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year, and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year to kick-start the spring term.

Mrs Bradburn

Head Teacher



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