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December 2016

  • L6 Psychology students visit the City Pre-prep and Junior School

    Published 18/12/16

    The L6 psychology students had a most successful visit to the pre-prep and years 1,2 and 3 in which they carried out Piagetian tasks with the children to observe whether conservation abilities change once children reach the age of 7.

    Conservation is the ability to understand that simply because something has changed shape does not mean there is more of it. The results provided validation of Piaget’s theory in that the 7 year olds showed no hesitation in performing the tasks correctly while for the younger children it proved to be much more puzzling!

    Some students were also able to carry out tasks on egocentrism with the older children and again Piaget proved to be right!

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  • Singing and signing

    Published 18/12/16

    On Wednesday 5 February the Pre-prep children all joined together, from the City and Madingley, to sing and sign a song to raise money for deaf children. 

    In support of this event they all donated £1 and wore a scarf to sing in. 

    The scarves were worn as the charity's mascot, the monkey, wears a striped scarf. One of the PrePrep children kindly dressed up their own toy monkey and he came in to school to join the event too. 

    The PrePrep children have worked very hard to learn the song words and the signs for each part. We are pleased to announce that we raised nearly £70 to send to the charity, look out for us in the Cambridge News soon.

    The children also made movies, in iMovie, to show what they did today. Please see an example of their own independent work below.
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  • James Mayhew visit

    Published 18/12/16

    Year Two were very lucky to visit Dame Bradbury’s school this week to meet the author and illustrator James Mayhew. This children have been looking at James’ books in our Literacy work and have been really engaging with writing their own descriptions for different settings. They have worked hard to think of adventurous adjectives to describe and couldn’t wait to share their ideas and work with James himself.

    The event started with talking about James’ inspiration for his stories and we found out that his sister was called Katie and he went on trips with his grandma just like in his stories! Using our microphones we asked lots of thoughtful questions, Abigail found out that it takes 6 months to make a book and Ollie checked that there were people checking for mistakes. James then treated us to a story where he spoke and drew an illustration upside down, all at the same time! We were inspired by his amazing talents. He told us that when drawing in ink you had to be brave because you can not rub it out. We then had a go ourselves. Some children used chalk, others used pastels or pencils but we all tried hard to be brave and use our light bulbs to be creative. We were thrilled that James came to share his advice during our workshops and he stopped to spend time with everyone and offer his support.

    Having had a wonderful lunch at Dame Bs and of course a full experience of their playground, we returned for another story and illustration. This time we found out about a dragon and a knight called George. Again, James impressed us by being so multi-talented and we loved the gruesome bits in the story where the dragon was killed. We then had the chance to buy a book and James kindly signed them for us and he even drew each person a little picture in their book.

    The Year Twos from all three SPF sites were truly inspired by James and we thank him very much for his wonderful engagement and enthusiasm with the children. They are desperate to get writing and illustrating now!

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  • Visitors from Japan

    Published 18/12/16

    Four Japanese students came to visit the Pre-prep and taught us a great song about frogs. 

    We had to make a sound like a Japanese frog which is quite different to the sound we make. Having discovered this we then used our microphones to ask questions about the noises that other animals make in Japan which was very entertaining.

    Having practised our song in a four part round, we then learnt some new origami skills. We loved folding paper to make different shapes and we were very impressed that you could even make a ball made of paper which you had to blow up! 

    Thank you very much to our visitors and we hope you come back again soon or invite us to Japan you have inspired us to find out more about Japan and paper folding at an art form.


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  • Magnetic learning

    Published 18/12/16

    One of the girls in our Kindergarten class discovered a magnetic toy last week and was amazed when the toy attached itself to the chair legs “it sticked on the chair!” she shouted out. 

    In response to her interest we borrowed from Year 2 a variety of magnets and ball bearings. The children went around the hall trying to find surfaces for their magnets to ‘stick’ to.

    They soon realised that the radiator and gym apparatus were magnetic and soon they were covered in tiny magnets and ball bearings.


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  • Foundation-wide Assembly

    Published 18/12/16

    SOS Children’s Villages is an international charity based very near to the Senior School on Hills Road.

    The purpose of today’s assembly was to launch the new long-term, foundation-wide partnership we have established with the charity to staff and students.

    We were keen that the launch be announced to as many people as possible at the same time, so whilst Year 6 joined us in the SS Hall, we were also video linked to the College, and to the Pre-prep and Junior school students who had gathered in the JS Hall.

    The Head Girl and Chair of the Charities Committee will visit Dame B’s after half-term to deliver the same assembly there.

    The charity’s main focus is to provide loving homes and foster mothers to children who do have their own. The Stephen Perse Foundation will be linked particularly with a village in Chipata, Zambia, with whom we plan to exchange letters and hopefully build up a long-term relationship.

    SOS is the SS Charity of the Term but we are particularly looking forward to WOW (World Orphan Week – 3rd – 7th March), during which a range of activities to both raise money and, importantly, awareness of the charity and its work will take place across all schools of the Foundation, including members of the 6th form visiting Madingley pre-prep to help with a sponsored walk, Y11 heading over to the JS to help create a book of letters, pictures and drawings to send to the children at Damview school in Chipata, and much more.

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  • Photography Competition - the winners

    Published 18/12/16

    Congratulations go to everyone who entered the 2014 'What is learning' photography competition organised by the Stephen Perse Foundation Governors.

    The judges were extremely pleased with the response of almost 80 entries and the standard was so high that the decision was made to reward Highly Commended entries in each category with a prize as well.

    Students from across the Foundation were invited to enter. All entries will be displayed on soon, and the highly commended and prize winning entries will be displayed in an exhibition at the Senior School in Cambridge in the Autumn Term.

    Five competition winners will all receive a £25 Amazon voucher and highly commended entries win the prize of a £10 Amazon voucher.



    Winner - Campbell Lee 'What is learning'

    Highly Commended - Abigail Holdstock 'The recipe for learning is fun'

    Dame Bradbury's:

    Winner - Isaac Cowell 'Learning, reading, seeing and doing'

    Highly Commended - CiCi Tilston 'What is learning'

    Junior School:

    Winner - Julia Marshall 'Learning to climb'

    Highly Commended - Sirisha Gorantla 'What is learning' (#1 - the scrabble board)

    Senior School - Years 7 & 8:

    Winner - Charlotte Lane 'What is learning'

    Highly Commended - Catherine Humphrey 'What is learning'

    Senior School - Year 10:

    Winner - Aoife Husband 'What is learning'

    Highly Commended - Hannah Brock, for her triptych 'What is learning'

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  • Stephen Perse Foundation Photographic Competition shortlist announced

    Published 18/12/16

    'What is Learning?' Stephen Perse Foundation Photographic competition shortlist announced!

    Students from across the six schools of the foundation were invited to submit photographic entries that captured their experience of learning, in any digital format.

    Students with access, or their teachers, simply had to upload their image to a Google Drive folder by the deadline of 13th June.

    Judges from the Governors, The Head of Visual Arts, and the Marketing & Communications Department selected a shortlist from almost 80 entries.

    The range of creative responses can be viewed in this gallery below:

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  • PrePrep Book Day

    Published 18/12/16

    The PrePrep was busy with books as a central theme on Wednesday 28 March 2014. All the children dressed up as a favourite book character and many shared why they had chosen that story.

    Many children were inspired by characters that they felt reflected their own characteristics or went on adventures.

    Luckily the knights and pirates in Kindergarten could protect us from the dragons in Year Two. With at least eight Harry Potters, magic spells were flying about all day and the passion for reading across the PrePrep was obvious to all. One child decided to write her own story and then came dressed as her own character, Cowgirl Alice!

    The staff shared in the fun and the children loved to see the adults dressed up too, the Matildas just had to watch out for Miss Trunchbull!

    As part of our celebration of books the Madingley KS1 children performed an excellent assembly at Latham Road all about books and reading. The parents were treated to recorder playing, songs, poems and a complete word bank of new words! From now on any new creations are 'scents' thanks to Year One.

    Well done to all the children involved and thank you to the parents for supporting this wonderful assembly.

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  • Pre Prep is now on Tumblr

    Published 18/12/16

    We are now posting 'blog' content directly to Tumblr. Teachers are generating content on the iPads in class, processing using PicCollage app and sending straight to Tumblr. It gives you an amazing insight to the schools and the daily life of the children and teachers.

    The fun will soon begins with the children themselves start to use the iPads and iPad minis to make their own collages - learning in a digital world. So important and so powerful! Follow the link in the image for the Tumblr site.


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  • Amazing new library and classrooms

    Published 18/12/16

    The Junior School library - an area of inspiration, discovery, reflection, relaxation. There is far more to a library than the books on the shelf. There is far more to a librarian than the protector of those books as well!

    The Stephen Perse Junior School library will be a new source of enjoyment this term. Opening its doors on this first day of the new school year, I think you will agree that this space is worth celebrating. The video and pictures were taken just before the shelves were filled and the work will continue for a short while yet. The new classrooms for year 3 give a more flexible working space - interconnected rooms with freedom in location of furniture and use of technology. In the pre-prep a similar theme is followed. Age-appropriate spaces for all.

    We know that the next generation of Junior School girls and boys will find great excitement in this space.

    The video is also available via this YouTube link.

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  • From fossils and dinosaurs to maths and baking

    Published 18/12/16

    We keep a blog of what we get up to at the Stephen Perse Pre-Prep - don't forget to come back to see what we have been up to!

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  • Food glorious food

    Published 18/12/16

    The KS1 children have been busy this week finding out about food around the world and where the food we eat comes from.

    We have been visiting local shops to investigate food in our stores.

    As part of our food topic the children said that they wanted to find out how far food travelled, so on our return to school we plotted on world maps where the foods came from and used the iPads to find out how far away these countries were.

    Some food travelled really far!

    During our trips to Morrisons and the Co-Op we looked at food in general, and were surprised to see that some foods said that they were from multiple origins! We didn't think that sounded very good, but we understood that food was checked carefully before being put onto shelves in our shops.

    We then found our own baskets and selected the ingredients for our very own world fruit cake. We're very much looking forward to sampling the results and look forward to sharing pieces at home too.

    All the children decided that they would look more carefully at foods from now on, to try and find foods to buy that hadn't travelled too far.

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  • Fitzwilliam Trip

    Published 18/12/16

    The KS1 children have returned to the Fitzwilliam Museum to investigate using their magnifying glasses and research using their binoculars. 

    Cambridge truly is our campus as the children are now asking if the Fitzwilliam Museum is their new classroom! 

    They went to find out more about ancient jewels and armour that kings and queens over time had in their possession. 

    The children used the images to collect information and then made Pic Collages on site. 

    They also collected numerous sketches and read labels carefully to get further information. 

    We hope that our clay versions of what we saw will be equally as impressive.

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