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Other News - World Book Day, National Choral Competition, Merit Strips

Other News - World Book Day, National Choral Competition, Merit Strips

World Book Day 2019 - Such a Buzz!

There was indeed a real buzz around the school as we celebrated World Book Day this year. Children everywhere in yellow and black, with some pretty little queen bees from preschool right up to year 6 and some very handsome worker bees too! They were all kept in check by our beekeeper, Zac, who looked very professional in his protective suit. He brought in honey from his own hives for the year 5 children to taste.

Bees are a vital yet endangered part of our ecosystem. Chemicals used for crops and gardening are a growing threat along with loss of flowers and habitat for them. Meriet Duncan, a local beekeeper led the assembly and provided us with many ‘bee facts’. Did you know that one bee makes one twelfth of a spoon of honey in its lifetime?

The children enjoyed some lovely bee themed lessons - a mini beast walk in preschool, recognising that a bee is an insect in year 1, a whole lesson on bees from Meriet for year 2, measuring in year 3 (which bee is closest to the hive) and poetry in year 4 based on work from ‘UnBEElievable’.

Year 5 and 6 tackled the problem -how many bees does it take to make a jar of honey if 1 bee makes a twelfth of a teaspoon? Mrs O’Hare’s English groups made posters promoting how they could help bees in their own gardens.

All top off with delicious honey cake. (Thank you Michelle)

National Choral Competition - Monday 4th March

Chamber Choir had the most amazing day on Monday at the National Choral Competition Finals.  Last December, I submitted recordings of two songs which were adjudicated by the Head judge of the competition, Douglas Coombes MBE. Eighteen under 12’s and 6 under 18’s choirs were selected from recordings made by school and community choirs all over the country to compete in the competition final which took place at the prestigious Royal Festival Hall. Choirs travelled from as far afield as Glasgow, Cardiff, Calne, Huddersfield and York to take part, and the standard of singing was extremely high. Chamber Choir members have been working incredibly hard over the past couple of months and have made a huge amount of progress as a result. My sincere thanks must go to the children for their sheer hard work and commitment and to the parents for their support and encouragement.

We had an early start, as we were competing at 10.30, but we arrived in plenty of time and were able to hear a couple of the other schools in our category, before taking to the stage. The children looked fantastic, were really well focused and sang brilliantly, with lots of expression and clear diction. They really couldn't have performed any better - they gave 100% throughout. We sang a lyrical song called 'I remember' by a Canadian composer called Sarah Quartel following by a lively, upbeat 3 part version of Chattanooga Cho Choo, arranged by our very own Mr Mitchener, who accompanied us.

After the competition, we had a long break until the gala concert in the evening. We managed to avoid the rain when we visited the London Eye and were lucky enough to have a pod all to ourselves as we took in the sights of London. After a long and leisurely picnic lunch at the Festival Hall we returned to the Southbank to visit the London Aquarium in the afternoon and had a really super time. Later, we returned to the Festival Hall for a massed choir rehearsal - all of the 24 choirs took part in two songs arranged by Douglas Coombes. The sound of everyone singing was phenomenal - a real treat for the ears!

In the evening gala concert, all of the choirs sang one of their competition songs to a full auditorium, before the winners of the two categories were announced. We didn't win the competition but it was such an honour to be able to perform on the stage of the Royal Festival Hall in front of such a large audience, including our own Gateway supporters. All the children involved, although very tired by the end of the concert, had a fabulous day - a memory to remember and treasure forever.

Merit Strip Winners

Congratulations to Keya T and Emilia T who both received their merit strips this week.  

Well done!

Here's a link to a few photos from this week's activities.

Gateway in Pictures

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Gateway Pupil in music lesson