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Raising the Roof with House Singing

There is simply no better way to wrap up a half term than with House Singing. Over 400 voices soaring with passion and pride in the Great Hall as the boys compete for the coveted Unison and Part Song Cups. 

This event, one of our highlights of the year, is the culmination of many months of practice and hard work, and, as ever, the result was breathtaking.  

After a nail-biting wait, which was entertainingly filled by Mr Roberts, this year’s adjudicator Cassandra White Director of Music at Heath Mount School returned to the stage to make the all-important announcements.  

The decision, as ever, was “not an easy one”, and Mrs White took time to praise everyone’s performances.

HOWARD

Unison – “Lovely dynamic sound”

Part Song – “Very moving performance”

BUNYAN

Unison – “Great energy”

Part Song – “Sublime opening soloist . . . amazing vocal range”

WHITBREAD 
Unison – “Engaging”
Part song – “Great crescendo”

HARPUR

Unison – “Expressive . . . sense of joy”

Part song – “Beautifully expressive”

However, this year it was the turn of Whitbread to win the Unison Cup, who impressed Mrs White with their ‘Friends’ medley, and the Part Song Cup was lifted by Howard who performed True Colours. Second place went to Bunyan in the Unison and Harpur in the part song.

“House Singing is, without a doubt, the best embodiment of the school spirit. The boys throw themselves into the competition, and it is an absolute pleasure to listen to them. A great thank you to them for providing us with such amazing entertainment.”

Ian Silk, Headmaster

Sporting Success to Finish the Half Term

It has been an action-packed half term of sport for our boys in the Prep School, with the vast majority of our boys playing in a hockey, swimming, badminton, table tennis, basketball, cross-country or football fixture against another school. The emphasis has been on enjoyment, participation, teamwork, skill development and fitness. 

In hockey, over the last six weeks, our 24 teams have played 96 matches, winning an impressive 60 of them! For many of our Y3 and Y4 boys, this was their first taste of competitive games, and we are pleased to say that they did brilliantly.  

However, this week alone, starting on Monday, the U11A team won gold in their regional IAPS qualifier after topping the table in the group stages to secure their place at the national finals at Rugby School in March. That very same day, our U13 team won the Bedfordshire County Championships and their spot in the regional finals.  

On Tuesday, fresh from their IAPS gold, it was the turn of the U11 team once again, this time at the Bedfordshire County Championships, and, once more, they won, securing their place in the regional finals. And just when we thought it could not get any better, the 1st VII, who remain unbeaten this season, won against Ipswich in the National Cup to reach the national quarter-finals. Some truly scintillating hockey across the board!

In other sporting news this week, we are delighted to say that the Bedford Prep quartet of Andy Wang (Y11), Aaron Qiu (Y11), Charlie Chen (Y11) and Joshua Ko (Y10) were crowned silver medalists in the county finals of the National Schools’ tournament. They recorded convincing wins against Cedars and Icknield School, only losing out to Redborne School in what was a very close encounter.

In Cross Country, both our Y7 and Y8 teams were crowned district champions after some excellent runs. They now look forward to the Prep School National finals in March. 

Y7 Cross-Country Team: Sam Deardon, Ben Coomber, Joseph Lee, Sam Barnes, Alfie James, Osca Wood, Owain Harries and Danny Chapman

Y8 Cross-Country Team: Edward Dagg, James Dagg, Arthur Proctor, Eric Breslin, Alex Deane, Jack Guest, Oscar Jewers and Sam Mullaney

National Nest Box Week

Our boys have been showing their love for their feathered friends by building nest boxes for National Nest Box Week. 

With a cacophony of hammering, the boys enthusiastically built the boxes in our DT workshops ready for Valentine’s Day: the traditional date when birds pair up for the new breeding season.

If you take a look around the Prep School today, you may be able to spot their finished nest boxes nestled in the trees.

The boys hope that the boxes will soon be helping species such as blue tits, starlings and house sparrows, whose natural nest sites such as holes in trees and buildings are disappearing.

Science Museum Sleepover

It was a dream come true for 54 of our Y5 boys when they enjoyed the unique experience of exploring London’s Science Museum after hours on Saturday 8 February.

Medicine was the theme for this year’s brilliant Astronight sleepover in the museum’s newly opened exhibit – Medicine: The Welcome Galleries. During the fun-filled evening, the boys listened to a fascinating lecture given by a transplant surgeon in which he outlined the current procedures involving robots and 3D printing. Afterwards, the surgeon complimented the boys on their questions, which he likened to first-year medical students! 

The boys also had a great time creating some fake wounds on each other using the very realistic make-up used in films. They also used their skills to bandage Mr Affleck and each other! So please do not be alarmed by the photos below – no children or teachers were harmed during the trip!  

On Sunday morning, after a fun session in the Wonderlab gallery and a trip to the museum gift shop, the boys ventured outside into Storm Ciara to board the bus back to Bedford, which, fortunately, proved uneventful!

Wonderful World of Harry Potter

Our Y3 and Y4 boys once again immersed themselves in the wonderful world created by JK Rowling as they celebrated Harry Potter Day 2020.

Potter Potion word problems and ‘Spell’-ing lessons were on the timetable on Thursday 6 February as we transfigured lessons for the fun-filled day. Of course, Quidditch was the hotly contested sport for afternoon games – complete with quaffles, bludgers and even a speedy human snitch who appeared at random!

After a morning of magic, our young wannabe wizards were ready for the feast that awaited them in Hogwarts’ Great Hall (aka the Dining Hall). Full of chocolate frogs, shortbread snitches and butterbeer, the boys then let their creativity run wild in the library, creating origami monster bookmarks, quill pens and their very own dragon egg designs with great enthusiasm.

In a special session after school, and in honour of this year’s theme: The Goblet of Fire, the boys, still happily wearing their cloaks and clutching their wands, had a great time making fire-breathing dragons and marble mazes. All too soon the day came to a close, but not before some readings about the exciting Triwizard Tournament – magical story-telling for a magical day celebrating the wonder of imagination and reading.

Fantastic Form and Function

Boys in Y5 to Y7 have been extremely busy designing and creating in DT this half term.

For our Y5 boys, the challenge has been a musical one; they have been learning all about sound, including how a sound wall works, and creating wooden speakers that can amplify a phone’s audio without any electricity. In the process of creating their speakers, they learned the key skills of measuring, sanding, filing, drilling and waxing, as well as gaining an understanding of the use of different materials. 

Our Y6 boys went back to the 1930s to draw on the Art Deco movement to design and manufacture clocks. After covering the theory of design, the boys took its principles to heart to combine form and function to achieve some practical and highly attractive Art Deco clocks. Along the way, they honed their practical skills and knowledge of manufacturing processes as they measured, laminated, drilled, sanded and finished their creations.

For our Y7 boys, the challenge lay in thermoplastics, the use of nets, measuring accurately and using the pillar drill along with the manufacturing process of line bending. Their end product will be a toothbrush holder. We cannot wait to see their designs and finished creations.

Winning Fencing

We were delighted to host a friendly fencing competition on Sunday 2 February, and even further delighted when Rocco Sarro (Y6) won the age 10-12 category.

Rocco, along with six boys from the Prep School and two from the Upper School, competed in the foil competition against children from Aylesbury High, Swanbourne House, Foxdell Junior School and several local fencing clubs.

Special mentions must also go to Ayran Sohanpal (Y6), who finished sixth overall, and Selim Sheikh (Y7) and Harry Brown (Y6) who both finished in the top 12.

“It was a brilliant day of fencing, which showcased the boys great skill and sportsmanship. The boys were all a real credit to the school – well done everyone.”

Mr Mallalieu

Bedford Prep’s Eco Angels

Bedford School’s little devils and eco angels (otherwise known as our teachers) had the boys in stitches in assembly last week when they shared their top tips for saving energy and the environment in a highly entertaining film. Brimming with wonderful advice, the teachers showed the boys how little things that they can do every day can make a positive difference.

We hope that everyone will consider using their top tips, which include:

  • Turning off lights and electrical items when not in use
  • Switching to energy-saving lightbulbs
  • Recycling or reusing, especially plastics
  • Keeping radiators clear – don’t cover them up
  • Taking a shower instead of a bath
  • Composting food waste to help the garden
  • Popping on a jumper instead of turning up the heating

If your son has not already mentioned the film, do ask him about it.

May we also say a big thank you to the staff involved, who proved what great sports they are.

Eco-Schools of the Future

Our Y5 boys have been busy designing eco-schools, taking inspiration from the architecture, drawings and methodology of the artist and environmentalist, Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Initially researching the basic styles governing architecture through the centuries, the boys started with a broad understanding of buildings. Taking a walk locally, the boys then endeavoured to recognise and characterise the architecture around them. Then came the truly fun part; the boys delved into the weird, wonderful and childlike mind of Hundertwasser, before designing their very own, fully functioning eco-schools. Like Hundertwasser’s paintings, the boys’ designs had no straight lines (as they do not exist in nature) and were full of vibrant colour. The results – exciting, bright and striking visions of schools of the future – all unconventionally wonderful!

 

Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000)

”A visionary artist who promoted a life that is harmony with nature through his art.”

Hundertwasser was an artist and architect whose work became popular during the mid-late twentieth century. In addition to his work in art and architecture, he was also well-known as an environmentalist and eco-activist. Through his art, Hundertwasser tried to show people the possibilities of a better world with a safe environment and protected nature.