Owls, Vikings, Kings, Queens and a Wolf in the Junior School

Pupils throughout the Junior school have been transported to distant times and wild places in a series of special activities this week.

Nursery and Reception children started their week meeting some beautiful feathered friends at a JAMBS Owl workshop, where our youngest pupils were introduced to visitor-friendly barn owls and little owls and learnt about how owls survive in the wild, what they like to eat and their nocturnal habits.

Year 2 got to play Kings and Queens for a day at a trip to Leeds Castle, designed to enrich the current Kings, Queens and Castles topic.  The children took part in a special workshop led by education staff at the castle, had a guided tour, before dressing up themselves and playing the roles of kings, queens and other royal figures.

To support Humanities topics for other year groups, Virtual Reality workshops were held for pupils in Years 3, 4 and 6, run by VR education workshop company Prime VR. The world of the Vikings was brought viscerally to life for pupils in Year 4, who were transported back in time over 1,000 years to explore a typical Viking village. Year 6 experienced the sights and sounds (and heights!) of the rainforests, river systems and mountains of South America, flying a helicopter to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil and even getting up close to a giant tortoise from the Galapagos Islands. Year 3 pupils, meanwhile, explored the Wonders of the World, from the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China to the Colosseum while tasked with identifying and finding each site in an atlas.

The week also saw some special musical enrichment events. Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 enjoyed presentations of Prokofiev’s classic Peter and the Wolf, the dramatic composition illustrated by using different instruments to represent each character in the story. Kindly performed by a parent and associate, the story unfolded through the performances of the pianist and narrator, with various props in use. The pupils from all year groups were enthralled by the story from beginning to end, with the young pianists particularly captured by the piano performance.

Year 5 pupils got to experience music in a different way, with a high-energy body percussion workshop led by The Beat Goes On. The ‘Bamboo Tamboo’ workshop explored rhythms and cultures from around the world, the children using boomwhackers (hollow, plastic tubes that make a specific pitch when hit) to experiment with movement and melody, and even composed their own music using the boomwhackers and bamboo tamboo.

Judging from pupils’ feedback, each of these special events proved extremely popular:

“Seeing the world of the Vikings was brilliant, it was really fun to see how they lived.” Stan, Y4

“The boomwhackers and bamboo tamboo was really fun and energetic. We learnt how to make lots of rhythms and sounds with the boomwhackers and we really enjoyed learning the movements that go with it – I even showed my mum and dad when I got home.” Zac, Y5

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