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News from the Senior Department

Remembering to Remember

On Armistice Day we are asked to remember all the brave men and women who have fought in wars all over the world. The day itself is often called ‘Remembrance Day’: the word Remembrance meaning, the action of remembering something.

I am reminded of all of the things we ask our pupils to remember on a daily basis: revision; homework; their equipment for lessons; the timetable; music lessons; after school activities…

Our memory is a powerful tool and memories are important. It’s good to find ways to remember things that are important to other people, it helps us to build relationships with them. Remembering birthdays and anniversaries shows that we care. Remembering to ask someone about themselves or their interests can help make them feel valued.

We should also remember to take care of ourselves and our wellbeing. So, this weekend here is your list of things to remember:

  • Remember to laugh
  • Remember to share time with friends and family
  • Remember to spend time in nature
  • Remember to get enough sleep
  • Remember to do some exercise
  • Remember to relax!

On the subject of Remembrance, click here to listen to Reuben’s Top Form) moving rendition of The Last Post at today’s Armistice Day Assembly

Art Festive at Stowe

Five lucky Senior Department pupils were selected by Mrs Kelway-Bamber to be part of the Prep School Art Festival at Stowe on Wednesday.

They were treated to a jam-packed, Art-filled day. If you haven’t visited Stowe School before, then I highly recommend a visit if for no other reason than to admire the architecture. Leo, Otto, Isaac, Arisa and Sasha were awed from the moment we stepped foot in the grand entrance hall to when we left the extremely well-equipped Art Studio. There was even a unicorn next to the bathrooms and minibus sized golf carts to transport you around the campus!

The day was a celebration of the ocean and all aquatic life. We started by designing aquatic themed name badges whilst enjoying juice and chocolate croissants – it was hard to be entirely focused on the art work when sitting in a beautiful hall underneath an elaborate domed ceiling but we just about curtailed our excitement! We then made our way to the Art School alongside a variety of other Prep schools from around the country. During the first workshop, pupils made exotic sea creatures out of a huge array of recycled materials ranging from ping-pong balls to plastic takeaway cutlery to bubble wrap. After a delicious buffet lunch, they created a virtual reality ocean filled with fish, coral and sea grasses. It was an incredible experience to wear the VR glasses and explore the world they created. The pupils then made stencils of plant life and sea creatures ready to spray paint onto giant canvases. Finally, the pupils were taught how to etch on plastic and printed their own fish drawings. The day finished with an exhibition of all the artwork that had been created throughout the day as well as the announcement of the winner of the ‘Name Badge Competition’, which was won by our very own Isaac C with his jellyfish style name badge. What a brilliant end to a fun-filled, creative day.

Miss Mac

Quotes from the day

“I especially enjoyed the spray-painting task because we collaborated with each other from all the different schools. I made a mutant hammer-head fish and some coral!” Arisa T

“I liked the etching workshop as I learnt a new skill and I was really pleased with how it turned out. We had a piece of plastic and an image of a fish; we used an etching needle to trace the image and then added detail. We used a squeegee to apply ink to the plastic etching and then removed any excess blobs of ink with scrim. The plastic then went through a press with damp paper to transfer the image onto the paper. The artwork we created and the plastic etchings were then displayed.” Otto C

“I enjoyed the VR experience the most as it was a unique opportunity to express our creativity. We created a virtual, abstract scene of the ocean. I drew some seaweed and coral.” Isaac C

“I was so impressed with the ingenuity and composure of our pupils throughout this fantastic day. Thank you to Stowe for inviting us to be part of this wonderful experience.” Mrs KB

“I had a great day out with some of our Senior Department artists, it was wonderful to learn new skills alongside the pupils and be inspired by their creativity. They were very helpful, providing me with plenty of feedback throughout the day – even if I did receive many more ‘even better if’ suggestions, compared to ‘what went well’ comments!” Miss Mac

Here are some photos from the day:

Prep School Art Festival at Stowe

From the Drama Department

Year 7 have been inspired by the puppetry in War Horse to create their own paper puppet people. Look at how brilliantly 7LD brought them to life!

From the Maths Department

What a great start we have had to Barvember! Every day throughout the month of Barvember, the lovely people at White Rose Maths choose a winning class or pupil who has really impressed them with their Barvember efforts. This week, we were absolutely delighted when White Rose announced that Magnus in Year 4 was their winner!

Magnus had popped up to see his Maths teacher, Miss Mac, with a question about bar modelling and ended up completing the challenge question using a very complex bar. We were super proud of Magnus and so were White Rose Maths.

A prize is winging its way to Magnus and he will definitely be entered into the Chocolate BAR draw!  Why not follow our efforts and successes on our Twitter page @BWPMaths

If you would like to try the question that Magnus solved, then you can try it below. Remember, you need to use bar models to solve the problem!

Good luck.

What are confidence conversations? 

  • They are an opportunity to chat about how we feel about Maths. Love it or loathe it, everyone has something to say! There were no calculations in the sessions – just a chance to share thoughts and experiences.
  • 49% of the UK’s adults have the numeracy skills expected of children at primary school. This holds people back in multiple areas of their life and makes challenges like the current cost of living crisis, even tougher to face. However, everyone can improve their numeracy and talking about numbers is a fantastic first step.

Why not continue the confidence conversations at home, or try some of the activities in the attached booklet.

Parents and carers don’t need to be Maths experts to be able to support their children. All families can make a difference to their children’s Maths learning by following these top tips:

  1. Talk positively about maths. Children learn from example, so avoid saying things like “I can’t do maths” or “I hated maths at school.” It’s easy for children to take that on board themselves. Keeping things positive is more likely to help children develop self-confidence with maths.
  2. Point out the Maths in everyday life. Maths is all around us – it’s not just something that happens in school! Showing children the numbers in things like cooking, using money and travelling is a simple way to bring Maths to life. This will help them see the value of learning Maths.
  3. Praise children for effort rather than talent. Giving children praise is important, but the type of praise we use can have an impact on how they feel about maths. Praising children for the hard work they’ve put in, or for working out the steps to get to an answer, is more helpful than simply telling them they’re clever. It helps them see that it’s not about natural ability – but that by working hard, they can always improve.
  4. Help yourself to help others. A fear of Maths can make helping children hard. Whether as a parent, carer or teacher, building our own confidence with numbers helps us feel more prepared to help children learn, and helps us pass our confidence onto them. If you struggle with Maths yourself, try the free online tool the National Numeracy Challenge to improve your Maths.


Times Table Rockstars

We’re celebrating Maths Week England by taking part in a friendly times tables (and division) competition. The competition runs from 0730  Monday 14 November to 1930 Wednesday 16 November. It’s all done online via

Children can play in any game-mode with every correct answer to a multiplication or division question, earning themselves, their class and the school a point. The Times Tables Rock Stars platform will calculate the class average (the number of correct answers per pupil in the class who play during the competition hours, subject to a daily 60-minute limit (see below)). Winning classes in the school and in the competition as a whole will be the ones with the highest average.

To support player wellbeing, there is a daily time limit of 60-minutes per player. In other words, each player can earn competition points for up to 60-minutes between 0730 and 1930 on Monday 14 November and between 0730 and 1930 on Wednesday 16 November. Once the player goes beyond 60-minutes of play on that day, they will still earn coins but will no longer earn points towards the competition.

In the spirit of the competition, please don’t play on their behalf but by all means encourage and support them to the extent that it doesn’t cause high stress levels or impact on family plans.

Good luck and happy rocking!

Mrs Wright
Head of Mathematics

From the Senior Library

Keeper of the Lost CitiesStellarlune by Shannon Messenger

This week sees the release of Book 9 of Keeper of the Lost Cities and it’s probably the most eagerly awaited book for Beechwood pupils this year, in fact we’ve had pupils waiting for it since last November! 

Keeper of the Lost Cities is a highly addictive, action packed series following Sophie Foster as she learns to control her telepathic powers.  Initially her powers are buried deep inside her, however she soon discovers that she’s actually not human, but is from another world that exists side-by-side with ours.

This latest adventure picks up from where book 8.5 finished, with Sophie and her friends seeking to find the truth in the Lost Cities. As the Neverseen’s plans sharpen into terrifying focus, it appears that everyone has miscalculated. The Lost Cities’ greatest lie could destroy everything. And in the battle that follows, only one thing is certain: nothing will ever be the same.


Congratulations to this week’s recipients of Mr Balfour’s Commendations:

Nurture Engage Inspire
Year 6 - -, Neil R, Jack W, Joe K, Alex R, Jasmine E, Jane C, Elliot M, Alex R
Year 7 - - Charlie N, Isaac C, Mattie J, Charlie N
Top Form - - Josh D, Adam C, Tommy H, Aiden B