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‘Always be a little kinder than necessary.’  J.M. Barrie 

This week across the country it is Anti-Bullying Week and, as well as wearing our odd socks very proudly in the Junior Department, we have also learnt more about the differences between being : 

  • Rude
  • Mean


  • Bullying 

In my assembly on Monday, I asked the children for their ideas about these and they came up with some interesting suggestions, most of which centred around the idea that bullying was more of a physical act whereas being mean was linked to our words and how we use them. 

I showed them the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s definition of the three words and explained it to them as well. 

Teaching young children about bullying can be like walking a tightrope. Introducing the vocabulary and indeed the word itself means that they are likely to practise using it! The first playtime after such an assembly invariably sees lots of children telling us that ‘so and so is bullying me!’ We are always prepared for this and help the children understand what is actually happening and why. You may also experience your own children telling you that they are being bullied in the next few days and weeks. I would encourage you to listen to them, of course, but also to delve a little deeper and unpick what is actually going on and help them label it correctly. 

Whilst preparing for this week and my assembly I also came across this acronym to use with the children to help them remember what bullying is. 

  • Several 
  • Times 
  • One-sided 
  • Mean 
  • Purposeful 

But perhaps most effective of all is, in focusing on the power of kindness and friendship. I told the children that if we ALL put kindness first in everything that we say and do and we remember to think about how the other person or people are feeling, then we won’t need to worry about bullying because it wouldn’t exist! 

There are so many amazing picture books that explore the idea of friendships and how to navigate them (and the children are still learning to do this!). Here are just a few: 

Have a lovely weekend. 

Mrs McIntosh
Head of Junior Department

This Week in Reception

Reception pupils absolutely loved finding out about playing the bagpipes during a fantastic parent-led session which supported our Knowledge and Understanding of the World learning, by the end of the session we had also used our speaking and listening skills, carried out some physical activity and got creative!

We found out all about the kilt and the tartan on the bagpipes. The bagpipes would be a bit too loud for us to listen to in the classroom, so we headed outside and joined in with marching, dancing and moving to the music.

Reception Learn about the Bagpipes November 2022

Tickets are now available for your Children’s Christmas Performance

Request your tickets here for the Reception Nativity Play on Thursday 1st December

This Week in Year 1

Year one have been investigating light sources and reflection in science this week. We focused on the skill of predicting, based on what we have already learnt. We chose different materials for our investigation. We used torches to see which materials reflected light, then compared the results to our predictions. To make sure our investigation was accurate, we set up the ‘dark den’ in the classroom. We decided that the shiny, gold paper was the most reflective.

Year 1 Investigating light sources and reflection

Tickets are now available for your Children’s Christmas Performance

Request your tickets here for the Year One Christmas Performance on Tuesday 6 December

This Week in Year 2

French Experience Day

Year 2 packed their cases on Tuesday for a virtual trip to France. We started the day by completing a passport ready to travel, followed by a postcard once we had settled in.

Upon arrival in “France”,  the children sampled ‘ une glace’ which they thoroughly enjoyed!  Ready for their shopping experience,  they played a shopping trolley game identifying groceries in French.

In the afternoon our French shopping and café experience was  ‘fantastique’ (as Barnaby Bear would say!)  – especially the croissant, sold by the friendly “boulanger”  Monsieur Packer!

Each child also made a tricolour bracelet to commemorate the day although the highlight had to the be the Eiffel Tower Challenge where pupils worked in teams to recreate the iconic landmark.

Thank you to Madame Fairburn and her assistants – the Middle and Senior Department French teachers Monsieur Packer, Madame Balfour and Mlle Burton –  who made it all possible. Tres Bien Year 2!

Year 2 French Experience Day November 2022

Tickets are now available for your Children’s Christmas Performance

Request your tickets here for the Year Two Christmas Performance on Wednesday 7 December

Sports News from the Junior Department

Thank you to Paul Davis, who runs our Fencing Club, for joining the Junior Department Assembly, ably assisted by his team of “ninjas” who attend after-school Fencing Club, to give a demonstration to the rest of the Year 1 and 2 pupils.  With over 100 children throughout the School taking part in Fencing, this is one of our most popular co-curricular clubs.

Paul and his assistants explained a few of their fencing moves and positions as well as sharing the many different skills that fencing teaches – teamwork, respect and fitness –  but the highlight was definitely when the lights were dimmed and the lightsabers came out!

Year 1 and 2 Fencing Assembly November 2022

From the Junior Library

Big Sky Mountain: The Beach Otters, by Alex Milway

Third in the series by Alex Milway, author of the ever popular Hotel Flamingo, The Beach Otters follows Rosa and her Grandma Nan as they seek to look after their local beach.

Initially, they head down to Toe-Dipper Bay when they spot a distress flare but when they arrive they are faced with a sea of plastic and a family of friendly otters trying to clear it all up. They are keen to join in but they also need to reach whoever has sent up the flare. 

A gentle adventure based story of animals and helping the environment, this latest instalment is perfect for newly confident readers.