S. Anselm’s Day 2016
Every two years S. Anselm’s School takes a day off timetable to celebrate S. Anselm’s Day. This year was another spectacular event with the children enjoying activities and pastimes those who lived in c. 1033 – 1109. Morning registration saw the whole School dressed up in Medieval clothing from Kings and Queens, Knights and Jesters to Peasants and Executioners.
Form 8W introduced the day with a superb assembly on the key events from the Middle Ages, including Agincourt, the Black Death, the Battle of Hastings, Thomas Beckett, the Peasants’ Revolt and the Crusades. It included little sketches and some interesting facts.
Did you know that the Battle of Hastings actually consisted of three battles?
Fulford Gate (Saxons v Vikings); Stamford Bridge (Saxons v Vikings) and Hastings (Normans v Saxons).
Flora K played the Oboe, or as it was called in Medieval times the ‘shawm’, before Mr Percival has us all singing a Medieval song with gusto in around.
We had Form time after assembly where each form designed a section of the S. Anselm’s Bayeux Tapestry which was put together by Mrs Bennion and her team. You can see this hanging in the main School corridor on the way down from Hargreaves Hall towards the Junior Forms Classrooms. Each year group were given a theme including Teachers, Houses, Buildings, Sports, Curriculum, History of the School and Pre Prep. These sections, which consisted of material and acrylic paint and fine liners have been sewn together to produce a 12m tapestry!
At 10.00am, dressed in our colourful and decorative garments, we took to Stanedge Road on our way to Church. Mrs Seddon and Canon Tony prepared a wonderful service, which included the Lord’s Prayer in Latin, exactly as S. Anselm would have read it during his time. Thomas H read S. Anselm’s Prayer and the Year 8s all read their individual readings well. ‘I Vow to Thee’ was sung with Gusto before we headed back up to School for break.
After break there was a timetable of events led by enthusiastic teachers and external staff. We had Medieval Dancing with Mr Percival, Mr Robinson, Mrs Dinnigan and Madame Scroggs. The boys and girls were learning the routines and individual moves. They came away far wiser and in a cheerful mood after throwing some Medieval shapes on the dance floor. There were Medieval Games with Mrs Brailich, Mrs Scott and Miss Renshaw, which involved apple bobbing and sweet bobbing in flour. This was concluded with a great game of splat the rat, kindly constructed by Mr Scroggs.
No medieval carnival would be complete without stilt walkers, so the children got the opportunity to build and try out their own classic stilts. Before we started, Mr Wood made it look easy by having a leisurely stroll around on his stilts but it did not come this naturally to everyone! During the sessions, Miss Flack helped the groups construct the stilts in the DT room by using a power drill to screw in the foot blocks. Once complete, the groups had a go on the stilts and also tried out a few old fashioned games, such as juggling and plate spinning. It was tricky for most to not only keep balance, but to move the stilts using their hands and not their feet. Working in pairs seemed to be the best way to overcome it, as a partner could keep the stilts steady until the rider had got used to using them. We were particularly impressed with both Year 6 and Kinder, who were the best at stilt walking.
After much activity and excitement the boys and girls were ready for lunch. The pig was on the spit as we enjoyed a Hog Roast courtesy of New Close Farm in Bakewell. A delicious feast for all. Some of the Year 8s didn’t want to waste any of the pig and so took away the ears and tail for consumption.
In Science, the children have been introduced to the wonders of Alchemy. Alchemy is medieval chemistry which was based around the four elements of the world; Earth, Fire, Water and Air. Most Alchemist spent their days trying to turn lead into gold, and to create and Elixir of Life. Although today we have been unable to produce any gold ourselves (much like the original Alchemists!) we have managed to create lots of magical and mystical Chemistry experiments. The children have seen Miss Howes turn water into wine, burn lots of different metal compounds to produce lovely coloured flames, make cannon fire and even set herself and other teachers on fire! Each session ended on a bang, with Mr Watt creating his own mini hydrogen explosion. Tom, the knight, returned to entertain the Pre Prep and the whole School, dressing up a lucky teacher or older child each time in full armour explaining much about the battle and life back in the middle ages. It was fascinating hearing about where much of our language comes from today and incredibly in those days a full set of armour would have set you back about £300,000!!!
The children in Year 1 embraced the opportunity to dress up as their favourite princesses, noble kings and fierce knights. Over the course of the day we made medieval gingerbread, created our own coats of arms thinking about the meaning of each colour, printed handprint castles and built our own castles using sandpaper. On reflection the children agreed that gingerbread today is much nicer than it used to be and our clothes are far more comfortable, however we really would like to live in our own castles! A delightful day was had by all.
We brought in our very own Robin Hood. The children had a slot where they learnt about the Medieval art of Archery. Not only did they get to fire a longbow, shortbow and other bows, they also understood and saw how in battle the archers would fire hundreds of thousands of arrows into the air to create a wave of death on the enemy. Interesting and exciting and with arrows flying across bottom field we kept well clear! The purpose of the day was to learn about S. Anselm and his time and so the iPads were put to good use with a Medieval research and quiz in the Library with Mr Carr, Miss Wooley and Mrs Taylor.
At 16.15 we had a demonstration from the Archers before all gathering in the Sports Hall for the finale. The House Tug O’ War. We had a junior and senior competition where the strongest and finest athletes from each year group, one boy and one girl, were selected to represent their Houses. Congratulations to Churchills who won the Junior tug o’ war and to Nelsons who beat Churchills in the final of the Senior Tug. The winners had to then have one final tug against Kinder who were waiting the finalists. In the end and with much cheering Kinder’s weight and strength prevailed and they claimed the victory.
A very successful and enjoyable day.