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St Stephen's

Building Each Other Up in Love and Learning

Year 6


Hooke Court - Diary Entry - Day 2                                                                                                                   November 2018

Year 6 School Journey

Hooke Court: Tuesday 27th November 2018

Here we are again, our day two round up of life here in sunny and warm Hooke Court…optimistic thinking, it’s poured all day and been very cold but we all took an oath to be positive and embrace our motto: there’s no such thing as bad weather, simply the wrong clothes! And embrace it we have!

Over to breakfast first – a two course delight! It was cereal and juice followed by beans on toast or toast and a selection of different spreads. Perfect fuel for the day ahead and just what was needed after a good night’s sleep! But we weren’t here long, as we had a soldier’s life waiting for us!

Platoon A started off by learning how to cook as a Tommy in World War 1. Outside. In the rain. Getting wet. It was AMAZING! We prepared the SPAM (we apologise, but be prepare, many children are now requesting SPAM for tea!), chopped the cabbage, peeled the potatoes, grated the carrots for carrot biscuits and prepared the oats for oaty treats to enjoy in the trenches tomorrow.


Meanwhile, Platoon B were inside experiencing something incredibly special. We were lucky enough to get to handle artefacts from 100 years ago that had come straight from the trenches – barbed wire, shrapnel shells, death pennies, ration books and chocolate boxes. How lucky are we? Real artefacts straight from the lives of these soldiers and we got to handle them? It was very moving and incredibly thought provoking.

We then swapped over and had a go at the alternative activity before heading to the kitchens to have our boiled cabbage and potatoes, bejewelled with shreds of SPAM – you should’ve seen the queue for seconds and the empty bowls left by all! Back to base camp we go…


On arrival back at base camp it was lunch time – brilliant news for our hungry soldiers and Senior Officers (the teachers). We were lucky enough to have a spread of sandwiches that covered everyone’s favourite options, yoghurts, fresh fruit and home-made flapjack. There wasn’t a scrap left in sight by anyone today! Delicious and just what the troops needed to fuel them ahead of their afternoon out in the pouring rain and completing their drill training.


So once again, it was boots laced, hats on, rifles collected, standing to attention ready for Captain Alan and Captain Simon to lead us into the trench camp. You can always rely on the weather to be on your side here for at that very moment the heavens opened and we stood and marched in the driving rain and wind across the fields and into our now familiar WW1 trench camp. We can tell you one thing with certainty: we have begun to get a real flavour of the misery life would’ve been in these poor conditions for the young men who went to war.


When we arrived at the trench camp we worked as two separate platoons to explore the trenches in depth and leave our mark by carving our names with a nail on the wooden planks, visiting the Captain’s quarters, seeing the latrine (it really isn’t that pretty but luckily not in use!) and learning how to man the different stations like the young men would have done during the war.


Nonetheless, we marched on, rifles in arms, over the field (via a little stop to visit the sheep and pigs) getting absolutely soaked. But suddenly it was as if the weather gods took sympathy on us because at the very moment we had to stand to attention to begin our training, the rain stopped. Brilliant!

Meanwhile, we had to learn how to use the bayonets on our rifles to attack, practice throwing ‘grenades’ and then hitting the deck as soon as we could and finally, learning how to stretcher our casualties across tricky terrain to get them to safety.

Successfully passing our training for the day, we began the march back to base camp (again, via the sheep and the pigs – you may notice that we like this part of our march?) where our Senior Officers made jugs of hot chocolate and biscuits for the recruits.


Yet again no rest for the wicked here, for it wasn’t long before we needed to report to Captain Alan and Captain Chris for dinner in the Officer’s Mess. Glad rags adorned, brylcreem galore and before us we had 57 boys and girls in role for dinner and our old-time music hall sing-along!


There were 8 lucky members of our team that headed down early to dinner to become our ‘Orderlies’. They set the entire hall as it would’ve been in 1917, learned how to serve and clear tables correctly, adopted the language required to speak to Senior Officers at dinner and became all round superstars! After all the other children joined them and the Senior Officers had marched in to ‘The Land of Hope and Glory’, we were seated to enjoy dinner by candlelight. And oh, what a feast it was! A three-course meal of soup, followed by a full roast dinner, chocolate pudding with lashings of chocolate sauce and not to forget a glass of port (more commonly known as Ribena, other brands of squash available) as we learnt the old tradition of ‘pass the port’. We toasted to our King, our Senior Officers and each other and reflected on the strict rules we had to follow when at the dinner table through the course of the meal. Our particular favourite: ‘No elbows to be on the table! Any joints on the table must be roasted!’ (Boom, Boom!)


Toasts complete, belly’s full and orderlies still working hard, there was a short interlude for the rest of us whilst the hall was prepared for the ‘Old Time Music’. Led by our compére, we had a good ole’ sing song before bed time and I think our favourite was probably ‘How much is that doggy in the window!’. Not an iota of 21st century life in sight for the evening and it really was a delight for all. What an experience to have had!

Upon return to our dormitories it was a record for any school journey - all in bed and fast asleep within half hour – we did warn you that soldier life was a tough life! Who knew 57 children could brush their teeth and put on their pyjamas so quickly, hey? And it’s a good job too because we’ll need all the energy we’ve got when we head back to our trench camp tomorrow again!

Check back in tomorrow at 9am for the next instalment of life here in 1917…it’s a day of two halves for us. We’ll complete our final stages of the WW1 experience which includes planting poppies in the fields and getting muddy - and we mean really muddy - as we prepare to go ‘over the top’ into ‘No-Man’s-Land’, before moving on our teamwork activity where we’ll have to use our skills from our STEM learning to complete bridging the moat!

Please follow the link to see images and videos from throughout our first day here. When we return we will upload them all to the school website!


Hooke Court - Diary Entry - Day 1                                                                                                                   November 2018

Year 6 School Journey

Hooke Court: Monday 26th November 2018!

  After a short journey without any hiccups along the way (well, only the small difficulty of turning down the wrong country lane and having to reverse the double-decker coach safely back to where we needed to be!), we arrived at Hooke Court, Dorset.

There was no rest for the wicked here! We were straight in for lunch and met by Captain Alan and Captain Simon within the hour. Warm clothes on, boot laces tied up and standing to attention, our WW1 experience begun. Hands by our sides and most definitely not in our pockets (you know who you are if you didn’t follow orders!), we set off to ‘sign-on’ to the British Army and pledge our allegiances to our crown and country. Not a Bic biro (other brands are available) in sight but instead we rolled back the clock to 1917 and used ink to sign the dotted line. We must admit, many of us didn’t really know what we signed ourselves up to but then that isn’t too dissimilar to how the young men felt who went off to war.

Sign-on complete, oath taken and payment received, it was time for weapons training. There were pistols which we learnt were used in a devastating way against members of the British Army, rifles, hand grenades and bayonets that had been taken from the Battle of the Somme – wow!

With weapons training now finished, it was time to learn how to march in formation and it must be said that Platoon B – headed up by Miss Mizon, Mrs Lunn and Ms Pidgeon – earnt their stripes and came out on top. It was tricky learning all the different commands, learning the skill of balancing our rifles, staying in straight lines and marching in perfect synchronicity yet we did it and by the end had two perfect platoons ready for battle! We predict there might be some fine officers who come out from here and proceed through the ranks the next two days!

A little bit of well-deserved down time was to follow with dormitories being announced, beds being made and bags being unpacked. So far, so good! But it’s fair to say…some were better at making their beds than others and they’ve been told that upon returning to home they need to help in the home and make a few more beds!

Boots laced up once again, and this time as many layers on as possible. It was time for dinner (pasta Bolognese with apple crumble for dessert) and then an evening round the campfire in our trench camp. Despite the biting cold, across the fields we marched and were in awe at watching the moon rise and seeing it turn from a deep, rich red, through to orange and finally the glistening white we know and love. Not to mention we were able to stop and spot the constellations too with Captain Alan giving us a lesson in star-gazing.

It wasn’t long until we were sat round Captain Simon’s fire, passing the time with well-known songs sung by the young men who went to war and telling stories. Think ‘Run, Rabbit, Run, Rabbit’ and ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ to name just a couple of the tunes we learnt!

As it was time to depart, the mist set in over No-Man’s-Land and we had to negotiate our way through the trenches in the cold, dark conditions just as the men did in 1917. We had to avoid the low ceilings, barbed wire and other creatures scuttling in the night but we made it back to the safety of our dormitories and all tucked up by 10pm ready for a good nights sleep.

Check back in tomorrow at 9am for the next instalment of life here in 1917…it’s a long day out in the trenches for us troops where we’ll be cooking our lunch over a fire in camp, learning how to go ‘over-the-top’, earning our opportunities for promotion to Officer and spending the evening having dinner in the Officer’s Mess! We wonder who will be the unlucky ones to not survive life in the trenches and must serve the troops?

Please follow the link to see images and videos from throughout our first day here. When we return we will upload them all to the school website!


July 2018                                                                                                                                              Year 6 present Peter Pan

Last month, our Year 6 children outdid themselves with a fantastical performance of the JM Barrie classic, Peter Pan. The Lost Boys were spectacularly mischievous, the Pirates were captivating and the Darlings were...well.. just darling!

So much work goes on behind the scenes with the costume management, scenery, music and props - and every member of Year 6 showed tremendous resourcefulness to help create a masterpiece. 

Of course, none of it would have been possible without Miss Mizon and Mrs Kekeh's spectacular input. 

Here are some highlights, but for the full picture, please click here.


May 27th 2018                                                                                                                                   THE GENERATION GAME

It's been a hectic half term for Year Six, but it rounded off on a relaxing note for 6M with a wonderful visit to our friends at the Dalemead Retirement home in St Margarets - don't worry 6K the residents are looking forward to seeing you after half term.

6M put on a fabulous show, with our musical members giving a splendid concert. Performances included cello, recorder, piano and singing turns.

Following some chatting over squash and biscuits, the children treated the delighted residents to some fancy footwork with a flossing dance display.

Much merriment was had by all.

YEAR 6 REALLY PUT THEIR HEART INTO SCIENCE THIS WEEK                                                                 May 11th 2018

Year 6 had the pleasure and experience of dissecting 30 lambs hearts recently as part of their Science learning about circulation and the heart. Alongside their experience making blood as part of Science Week, they got to undertake some of the slightly ‘ickier’ part of scientific enquiry - dissection.

They discovered the four chambers of the heart, different arteries and veins and got to look at the different sides to compare muscle thickness before trying to find the valves to understand how they work.

MONKEYING AROUND                                                                                                                                    March 16th 2018

This week our Year 6s enjoyed a walk on the wild side with a visit to historic London Zoo, nestling in beautiful Regent’s Park - a fitting setting for some science on the hoof!

As Miss Mizon said: ”It was a day of awe and wonder for our children! We lost count of the ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhs’ as we made our way around. It just goes to prove, sometimes a trip out of school, with your peers and teachers, can put all that work in the classroom into context.” Even the sun smiled on us as we got up close and personal with many species we knew … and some not so familiar.

The children had recently been studying how animals adapt to their environments and the trip was topped off with an illuminating talk on adaptations by one of the in-house staff. There was also feeding time at the zoo (our packed lunches) and then home.

Our children behaved impeccably and treated our fellow travellers and their new animal friends with lashings of respect.

RETURN TO SENDER                                                                                                                                       January 19, 2018

There are those who maintain communicating by putting pen to paper is a thing of the past.

However, that's news to these Year Six epistle writers. When the call went out for children to be penpals for the residents of the Dalemead Retirement Home in St Margarets, these young  scholars volunteered to become missive monitors. We have recently set up links with the home, making regular visits with groups of children to read and enjoy art and singing sessions with the residents. So successful has been the scheme, that we thought it would be wonderful to set up our own 'Adopt a Granny' letter swap scheme. To kick off the youngsters wrote to their new friends, giving details of their hobbies and families and were thrilled to receive similar notes from the residents.


Plans are afoot for a face-to-face meet with their new chums, as well as a continuation of postal exchanges. The instant gratification of messenger and what's app are all well and good, but the thrill of receiving a crisp, paper-based message through the post is a mite more satisfying.

The smiles on the faces of the children when we told them 'you've got mail' was a joy to see and it appeared in an envelope, not an inbox ...

       IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM                                                                                           December 2017

This week our Year 6s continued their historical and military tuition by spending time in the WW1 galleries at the Imperial War Museum. They explored the interactive zones and artefacts left from WW1.

In the afternoon, the children kick started their WW2 projects by meeting three evacuees who lived through the blitz to tell their stories.

Moving, remarkable and very special.



PUTTING THE BUSY INTO BUSINESS                                                                                              December 2017

Thank you to all the parents and pupils who attended – and splashed the cash – at the St. Stephen's Enterprise Fair. Our budding entrepreneurs set up a bustling market to showcase their businesses as part of the 'Putting Young Minds to Work' programme run by Stride Ventures.

Sponsored by Tech 21: a local technology company based in Twickenham, our young impressarios will be spending today counting up their profits, evaluating their performance and hopefully enjoying the spoils of their success.

    INTERNET SAFETY WORKSHOPS                                                 December 2017

Last week our Year 6 pupils took part in a forum theatre Cyberbullying Workshop which aimed to get the children thinking about the choices and consequences around cyberbullying. This was followed by individual classes to coach the children, preparing them to cascade their learnings to their fellow pupils in Year 5.

This included working on their own play or workshop or delivering information in different styles – I.e. a TV advert, a comic book, a game show or a computer game. They then worked on their own ideas within the classroom setting with their teacher. The following day, the separate classes examined the various ideas that had been generated and put together their presentation, going on to deliver their workshops to the younger classes.

These are valuable opportunities for our older children to not only learn about important issues themselves, but to also understand how they can lead by example and influence their peers by sharing their own experiences.

Year 6 Trip to Belgium

Year 6 Trip to Belgium This week, Year 6 embarked on their school trip to Ypres, Belgium. 

Year 6 Trip to Belgium - the next instalment...

Year 6 Trip to Belgium - the next instalment... The Menin Gate, Messines and the Passchendaele Musem