Belhaven Hill School

Co-ed Boarding & Day School for ages 5-13

Pre-Prep: Spring Term in a Nutshell

Pre-Prep: Spring Term in a Nut Shell

Even though the Spring Term is the shortest, it is often the busiest. The final fortnight has been particularly exciting and the children have really challenged themselves by taking part in a number of sporting, performative, creative and charitable events. Well done to everyone!

Here are some of the highlights from the past few weeks; an outline of the children's classwork and, finally, our teachers' favourite moments from this term. 

Flora and Cleo both entered the 500-word story competition, which was launched in preparation for the school visit from master storyteller, Sir Michael Morpurgo. They didn’t win on this occasion but both girls were very courageous for having a go. 

Last Friday, the Pre-Prep performed in their Spoken English Competition. This is a brilliant event that gives every child the opportunity to challenge themselves and be courageous. They were excited and nervous but delivered their talks with confidence. Form 8 performed a wonderful group piece taking us on a submarine trip.  Form 7 led us on a tour of the solar system – well done to Hughie, the runner up, and Harris who won. Form 6 treated the audience to their own talks on a huge range of topics, including chickens, Greek gods, football, the town of Elie, being a twin and many more – the runners up were Max and Flora and the winner was Jemima, who talked so movingly about her great-grandparents. A huge thank you to, Head of English, Mr Purkiss for his incredibly warm and thoughtful adjudication, ensuring every child had feedback. 

The final week of term has been especially exciting with the Whole School Sponsored Walk in aid of SCAA, the Senior Play, A Midsummer Night's Dream and even a very lovely visit from two lambs (many thanks to the Hamilton family)! The children have shown a huge amount of resilience and determination and have done themselves proud.



Last night, the Senior Play was truly magical – well done to all involved and to Mrs McGrath and Miss Lloyd for helping to prepare the children for their performance.  You can watch this here (Pre-Prep full scene starts at 27.36).



Form 8 

Form 8 have been very busy learning about place value to 50. This has included counting forwards and backwards! The children in Form 8 enjoyed spotting patterns as we added more numbers to our 100 square. We have also enjoyed learning about mass and volume, making sure that we are using mathematical language as we answer questions.  

We have continued to apply our phonics knowledge by reading every day and writing increasingly more difficult sentences which have descriptive language.  

Everyone in the class is becoming increasingly confident using their iPad independently. Everyone can now unlock their iPad and use a QR code. The children are also being encouraged to create digital drawings.   

Form 7 

Form 7 have come to the end of their multiplication and division unit in maths and have really impressed me with their knowledge of times tables! Their ability to make links between multiplying and dividing has really helped them to solve complex problems. Next term, we’ll focus on fractions which will link nicely to this term’s learning. We’ve also completed our money unit, and the children can now confidently use coins and notes to make varying amounts. We’ve introduced the concept of ‘change’, although this has been slightly more challenging to get our heads around!  

In phonics and spelling, the class have continued to apply their knowledge of more complex digraphs, and have been introduced to silent letters for the first time, for example, knee and knit, which they’ve very much enjoyed!  

In science, we’ve started learning about the different diets that animals consume, and how their habitat influences the food they eat. We have been categorising animals by using scientific vocabulary such as herbivore, omnivore and carnivore.  

In Form 7 and 8 French, we’ve been leaning all about fruit. The children have enjoyed learning to sing, “J’aime les fruits”, and can now express their preferences by using ‘j’aime’, ‘je n’aime pas’ and ‘j’adore’! 

Form 6 

Form 6 all managed to finish writing their talks for Spoken English, with an amazing variety of topics from 'My Chickens' to 'Greek Mythology'. They enjoyed using the bluetooth keyboards with their iPads to type up their talks.  

In maths we have been working on our column addition and subtraction, which the children have really enjoyed. They are continuing to improve their –2, -5, and –10 times tables by playing round the world and answering as many questions as they can in a minute. 

In science we have moved on to learning all about rocks. We have discussed the make-up of the Earth and how the continents used to be part of a super continent called Pangaea. We have been discussing how rocks form and the different categories they can be placed into; Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Next term we will look into this in more detail and we will start to look at fossils. 

Staff Favourite Moments

Mrs Macdonald  

Mrs Macdonald’s favourite moment this term was seeing the children all dressed up in their fantastic costumes for World Book Day. They all put in lots of effort and enjoyed talking about their characters. 

Mrs Gibson 

Mrs Gibson’s favourite moment has to be Spoken English. It was amazing to hear all of the children in the Pre-Prep talking so eloquently about their chosen topics. Mrs Gibson loved watching Billy educate the whole room on Giant Siphonophores and Lettie making the whole room laugh with her comedic delivery of her first line about stingrays. Every single pupil in Form 8 put a lot of work in to learning their lines, especially Jasper who had lots of lines! Form 8 did so well and everyone showed our school value of courage by standing up to share what they had learned about their sea creatures.  

Miss Birrell

Miss Birrell’s favourite moment from this term was the Michael Morpurgo visit. The Form 7 boys were absolutely hooked on their class story, The Puffin Keeper. They listened so well to the story and paid close attention, asking questions about unfamiliar words and trying really hard to understand the tricky parts. It was extra special when we discovered that Hughie had actually visited the island on which the story takes place – The Isles of Scilly! Michael Morpurgo enjoyed talking to us about The Puffin Keeper and was impressed by our ability to recall the important details.  The children also enjoyed going to the Book Fair in the morning, before the great author's visit. 

Mrs Johnstone 

Mrs Johnstone’s favourite moment was in the Spoken English when Jemima did her talk all about her lovely great-grandparents. She shared some amazing stories, including how her great-grandfather had run a marathon under 3 hours when he was 54. The highlight however was that they came to watch, and at the end Jemima asked them to stand up while we all gave them a big round of applause. There was barely a dry eye in the room!