Trip and Activity Reports

Year 6 History Trip to Haddon Hall

Year 6 | Thursday 5 December

It was a wild, wet and windy morning but that did not put off our budding Year 6 historians who embarked enthusiastically on their journey back in time!

Haddon Hall was beautifully decked out in Christmas colours of gold, green, silver and red and the halls were draped in holly, mistletoe, red berries and ivy. It was a delight to feast our eyes on, the place was radiant and full of the joys of Christmas! Pine trees the size of giants clustered in the corridors and sparkled with gaudy baubles and tinsel, whilst the replica robins were joined at one point by a real robin who had flown in at a window. A delightful omen! As we passed through the main dining hall, we were entertained by bell ringers who chimed out Christmas carols and we accompanied  them with some of our own choral singing too!

However, we were here as history detectives and, though the children enjoyed the blazing fires and the festive decorations, we were keen to discover just what Tudor life was like at Haddon Hall half a millennium ago. We had excellent hosts who were hugely knowledgeable and also great fun. First up, the children dressed up as various ancestors of the Vernon and Manners dynasties and the history of the house was relayed in an exciting way that involved a story of a wild romance and elopement ……amongst much else. We then went to the matchless chapel with its fine examples of pre-Reformation wall paintings. Our tour leader, Bev, managed to bring these pictures to life; regaling us with the various stories the drawings depicted. Without delay, we then moved onto the enormous kitchens which, like much of the house, have remained untouched for nearly 500 years. Whilst in the kitchens the children made objects out of marzipan and helped with the making of wreaths to decorate the hall.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip that will fuel the children’s excitement about Christmas, ensure they have a deeper empathy with the people of the past and also aid them with their creative writing.  I was told by our guide Bev that the children were, “superb” and in fact she told me this three times. I was inclined to agree and I am very pleased that Ms Murphy, Mdme Edwards and I had supported this terrific extra-curricular outing that will remain with the children for years to come. Many thanks particularly to Ms Murphy who set up the trip and ensured it was a very great success!

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Year 2 celebrate all that is special about our Peak District

Year 2 | Thursday 14th November

On Thursday 14th November Year 2 celebrated their project ‘What makes the Peak District Special?’ by inviting their parents into a promenade theatre event around Bakewell. We reenacted the events of 1932 when people from Manchester and Sheffield met and walked on private land on Kinder in an attempt to change the law. Just over 10 years later the first National Park, The Peak District, was created. The children have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the geographical aspects of where we live, using and creating maps and learning about the Geology of the area. We learnt about these significant local people in History and the effect their actions had and how the land has been used in so many different ways over the centuries. We created pieces of art that were inspired by David Hockney’s work, both in paint and photography, allowing us to fully appreciate the beauty of our local landscapes. We learnt how even though it’s rural, industry also played a role in forming the area; quarries that provided stone to create millstones and what they symbolise now. We even made our own gingerbread millstones! The children wrote some beautiful poetry to describe the landscape as if a balloon was floating above us. The books the children made were beautiful and they received a very well earnt chocolate bar from Mrs Donnelly as a well done!

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An insight into the life of a Sheepdog

Year 2 | Tuesday 19th November

On Tuesday 19th November Year 2 children were very kindly invited to Mr. Critchlow’s family farm in Edale to research the benefits or difficulties of owning a working sheepdog. We are using our knowledge of the characteristics of the Peak District landscape to help us design farming machines for the future as part of the NFU’s schools STEM competition ‘Farmvention’. One idea the children had was a robotic sheepdog and so we needed to find out what features our machine needed to have in order to be of use to a busy sheep farmer. We met two dogs who work the sheep on the high ground at Edale, watched her gather the sheep and bring them into a pen to be sorted. The children had many questions for Mr. Critchlow and came back with a very clear idea of what their design needed to include. Many thanks to the Critchlows for allowing us to experience these very special dogs.

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Stretching those ski legs!

Prep and College | Wednesday 20th November

On Wednesday 20th November, many pupils attending this year’s ski trip to Austria decided to warm up their ski legs by spending an evening at Chill Factore in Manchester.

For some, it was their very first time on skis so they were introduced gently to the snow by an expert instructor. Others used the time to improve their parallel turns by following an instructor down the piste, whilst the final group of experienced skiers had a free ski with their friends down the main slope. The children were in good spirits throughout the evening and the teachers were pleased with their enthusiasm and attitude.

It was a great taste of what’s to come during our ski trip in January so let’s keep our fingers crossed for lots of snow!

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Kings of Bolsover Castle

Year 1 | Monday 4th November

Year 1 kick started their new project ‘King of the Castle’ with a visit to Bolsover Castle this week. They had the whole castle to themselves so they took on various roles such as the castle watchmen up on the wall walk; the lord lounging on the ‘throne’ and the dungeon guards!

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Success for the S. Anselm’s Equestrian Team

A marvellous day was had by the the seven pupils representing S. Anselm’s at Beaver Hall, Leek on 20th October in the National Schools Equestrian Association Regional Show Jumping Qualifier and Final. All of them rode with great confidence and maturity

Ian D competed in the 40cm and 50cm, did two fabulous rounds but unfortunately was not in the ribbons.

S. Anselm’s has two two teams in the 50cm, the jump off section was not about speed but good turns;  S Anselms Reds were the  triumphant winning  the team, with individual places of 1st Arabella L, 2nd Lydia H, 3rd Sasha H.

In the 60cm we had one team (Arabella L, Lydia H, Sasha H, Oliver G) and one individual. 

The team came 2nd overall with individual places of 2nd Arabella L and 4th Lydia H.

Amelia G jumped a great clear as an individual but unfortunately was out of the ribbons.

Following on from the success at Beaver Hall four students went to Epworth for the Regional Final on 2nd November. 

In the 50cm Team S. Anselm’s were the Regional Final Winners with Sasha H, Lydia H, Arabella L and Ian D all doing fabulous rounds.

In the 60cm the team were 3rd overall with Sasha H and Lydia H going clear but an unfortunate 4 faults for Arabella L

Well done everyone!

If pupils are interested in joining the S. Anselm’s equestrian team for dressage or jumping please contact the school office.  Competitions start at grass roots level so even if still on the lead rein, there are classes available.

2019 Boarders’ Zombie Chase

Boarders | Thursday 31st October

Last week was Halloween week, one of the highlights of the Boarding calendar. On Wednesday the hills of Bakewell were alive with screaming, as 60 Boarders enjoyed the annual spooktacular Zombie Chase!

A huge thank you to all of the boarding staff, Wednesday duty staff and other staff volunteers, for dressing up so scarily, they were all awesome zombies! The course was devised by Mrs B and Miss Pink with teams having to un-fathom the clues to discover the location of a large number of Halloween props including rats intestines (cooked spaghetti died blue this year) and Zombie flesh (strawberry jelly); all the while being stalked by a team of zombies, with creepy Halloween music playing inside and out. Great fun was had by all; with Halloween pass the parcel with forfeits, a bat piñata, dangling doughnuts, musical bumps and apple bobbing for those not up for being chased by zombies. At the end of the evening all were accounted for and safely tucked up in bed, firmly clutching their teddies!

Year 3 Look Through the Key Hole

Year 3 | Thursday 31st October

Year 3 have had a wonderful start to their new project about Early Man. In order to find out more about the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age the children have had a series of exciting trips and events to really inspire them. They have recently visited Creswell Crags to find out all about what life was like in the Stone Age where they were able to handle real bones of Stone Age animals, build shelters, experience life in a cave as well as trying their hand at fire lighting and spear throwing!

Back in the classroom, they have become archaeologists where they identified a series of Stone Age objects. The pupils have also visited a Bronze Age stone circle where they found out all about the history of the circle. A village study of Great Longstone and Little Longstone also helped them to understand how sites were chosen and the factors which influence settlement growth.

Over the next few weeks the children will continue to study the different eras in their Project lessons with the grand finale allowing them to choose one era to design and make a mini dwelling. The children will then present a ‘through the key hole’ type talk where we will try to find out ‘Who lives in a shelter like this?’

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History Society Lecture, “The Treaty of Versailles 100 Years On” (Jonathan Allard, Head of History Oundle)

Years 7 to 11 |  Thursday 31st October

Mr Allard delivered a superb lecture on this much maligned treaty. He managed to explain the fundamentals of the treaty to those new to this topic as well as adding significant details that many  of us were unaware of. Various anecdotes and illustrations brought this event to life. For example, some of us were unaware that the French Premier, George Clemenceau, lined disfigured French soldiers up in the Hall of Mirrors so that the defeated German leaders had to see the damage that had been done by the war as they stepped up to sign this punishing treaty. Such an anecdote illustrated the anger the French felt and how this treaty was inspired by the desire for revenge.

The treaty has been criticised as a key event that triggered the Second World War and gave Hitler the fuel he needed to rise to power. However, Mr Allard urged us to consider the complexity of the treaty and suggested we should empathise with those who designed it and who did not have the benefit of hindsight.  It was a fascinating talk that inspired our historians and was pitched beautifully.

Many thanks to all those who supported this event.

Derwent and Kinder Tour of Haunted Bakewell

Derwent/Kinder |  Thursday 31st October

We ventured forth in warm autumnal sunshine but soon the darkness began to descend and a murky evening presented itself; perfect for the occasion!

We began our tour with Susan and Denise from the Old House Museum at the ancient bridge. Moving through the town, we learnt of witches, headless visions of spectres, apothecary chairs that moved in the night, the sounds of ghostly horses’ hooves that woke Bakewell residents and we even stood at the place where an unknown woman’s skeleton had been excavated from behind a wall. The pupils scribbled extensive notes writing down snippets from the stories they heard as well as creating word banks that would help them with their Gothic narratives. The students were great fun and entered into the occasion in the right spirit. We anticipate some ghoulish tales from our budding writers next week!

Gcse Coastal Study

Derwent |  Wednesday 9th October

Catching the end of the autumnal fair weather, the Derwent Geographers headed to the Yorkshire coast to further their understanding of coastal geography.

First stop was the Holderness Coast at Mappleton, where the soft boulder clay slumps into the North Sea. The students worked diligently to collect data about the beach and its sediment, the cliffs, the long shore drift and also how the coastal defences influences the processes operating.

After a successful morning, we travelled north to the stunning chalk scenery of Flamborough Head. The near vertical cliffs were studied and we were delighted a bob of seals watched us as intently as we did them! It was a wonderful site and added to the atmosphere. Again a number of pieces of data were collected and the two sites will be compared and contrasted back at school. This will be really helpful to add depth to the Paper 1 study on Physical Geography and also the Paper 3 emphasis on practical geography.

College Study Skills

College |  Saturday 28th September


On Saturday all of the College were invited to attend two Study Skills workshops put on by Study Skills Zone. The first centred around Kinder and Derwent and promoted organisation, participation and teamwork. The second session was for Arkwright and focussed on revising for exams and the techniques needed to efficiently learn course content, rather than revising at the last minute. Both sessions were fun and engaging and the College got a lot from them. Through discussion, collaboration and individual challenges, everyone approached the sessions with maturity.

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Year 4  |  Friday 27th September

Pupils in Year 4 took a trip to the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham last Friday to find out more about the science topics the children are currently studying; Electricity and State of Matter.

We took part in two workshops: ‘State of matter’ in which we made paint and then we showed off our knowledge about ‘Circuits’ and different components.

We were able to explore the full educational centre at Magna and all the different areas; Air, Water, Earth and Fire and were lucky enough to see a fire tornedo and shoot water at different targets.  We were nearly blown away by a gigantic fan and became super diggers in the earth area.

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Kinder River Study

Kinder  |  Thursday 26th September

To enhance the learning of river concepts and theories, Kinder explored Burbage Brook and a section of the River Derwent, luckily catching some of the fairer weather! Working in small groups the students worked together to collect information on the cross-sectional area, river depth, sediment shape and size and also flow rates so both sites could be compared and contrasted.

It was a wonderful first hand experience and one which is presently being followed up in a collaboration between the Geography and Maths department. Data is being carefully analysed, allowing graphical and statistical analysis before conclusions will be drawn. This is a really good grounding in some of the higher level demands of the GSCE specification in both subjects.



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Battle of Bosworth

Year 6  |  Tuesday 24th September

Our pupils braved the weather and ventured to Bosworth Heritage Centre to retrace the steps of Richard III and Henry VII in the Battle of Bosworth.

As we drove through the torrential rain on the coach, we were all wondering whether the conditions on the battlefield might be a little too realistic for our liking! But, as the day progressed a sliver of sun emerged and we were treated to a tour of the battlefield and the interactive exhibition centre by our guide, Frances. Our students had the opportunity to touch medieval objects and weaponry, learn about medieval surgery, and some even tried on chain mail and medieval armour – all agreeing that being a medieval soldier was heavy work indeed! Except, as we learned, if you were unlucky enough to be a poor solider in which case you probably would have worn no armour at all…

We arrived back at school a little tired and sodden, but in high spirits from an excellent day out. Congratulations to our Year 6s for being fantastic representatives of our school and for showing themselves to be critical historical thinkers with their intelligent comments and questions to our guides throughout the day.



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Blists Hill Victorian Day

Year 5  |  Thursday 19th September

Our Year 5 pupils experienced a wonderful day as Victorian children at Blists Hill, Ironbridge.

We all dressed up in authentic clothing – girls in smock dresses and bonnets and boys in jackets, neckerchiefs and caps.  We filed down to the school room in silence and began lessons with the formidable Ma’am.  Hands were checked for cleanliness, nobody was allowed to speak unless spoken to and all lessons were based upon rote learning and chanting responses.

Our two left-handers were singled out, hauled to the front and ‘caned’.  Somebody got one of their times-tables wrong – he was sent to the corner and repented later. Writing in chalk and slate wasn’t easy and one or two children were humiliated in front of everyone and told never to produce untidy work again.

Outside we had ‘Drill’ (Games), which involved marching and a variety of stretching exercises – a far cry from the huge variety of sport children experience today.

After the challenging hour in the classroom, Ma’am reverted to Dawn, the lady who had welcomed us to Blists Hill and the children visibly relaxed and sighed with relief!

It was an amazing roleplay experience to really empathise with Victorian children.  Never has schooling now-a-days been so appreciated!

The remainder of the day was spent visiting shops in the town, spending Victorian money, which we had previously exchanged at the bank. The Sweet Shop was very popular as was the Fairground. Other fascinating shops were the Chemist, Print Makers and Blacksmith’s.

Before returning home, we drove into Ironbridge to walk over the actual bridge (a 20 metre cast iron bridge, first opened in 1781) to see it for ourselves. The children were very impressed!

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