Therfield Summer Fete
On Friday 7th July, our active Friends committee put together a wonderful summer fete for our small school. Families were invited to spend a couple of hours together in the glorious sunshine enjoying a range of stalls, games, refreshments and entertainment. You cannot beat Therfield in the sunshine!
Fairy Garden Re-opening
There was huge excitement across the school when the children found a mysterious key in each classroom with the message ‘Bring me to the forest school circle at 10:30am.’ When the school gathered around, we found a letter written by the fairies. They thanked the school for the newly refurbished fairy garden and said that they have already moved back in. They left a tray of rainbow fluffs for the children (and staff) to enjoy - yummy scrummy! Our new fairy garden is absolutely stunning – seeing really is believing. Awe and wonder at its Therfield finest!
On Wednesday 5th July, I was honoured to take our Year 4 pupils to attend part of the local Age UK 10to3 club. During our time there, our children sang some songs whilst the attendees played some light instruments as an accompaniment. This was followed by a group sing-along which was heart-warming to see. Our children then pulled up a chair and had the most wonderful intergenerational conversations. Some of the attendees had hearing, sight or memory difficulties and our children were beyond brilliant with them. We learnt that Donald used to be a Headmaster, Ruth used to bake cakes (to wedding cake standard, no less!), Ron (aged 91) used to drive the Flying Scotsman steam train and Troy taught Robert a magic trick with an elastic band! I genuinely believe that our children left different to when they entered – they truly understood the gift of giving and the powerful impact that they can have on others, and on themselves. I know we made the attendees day too.
Monthly GAP Sessions (Generations at Play)
On Monday 3rd July, 14 very excited Year 1 pupils joined me for our monthly GAP (Generations at Play) session in the chapel. Across the year, each year group gets to lead these sessions twice. During the session, children played traditional board games with members of the village older generation. For many of the people joining us, this is one of the highlights of their month. It is always a joy to see everyone chatting away, with big smiles on their faces, or laughing at a shared tale. Part-way through, conversations continued over cups of tea, hot chocolate and a homemade cake/biscuit. To round off the session, the children buddied up with their ‘new friends’ for a game of bingo. The children are always excited to take part in GAP sessions and the personal development I see from them is huge.
Whole School Afternoon at Greys – Monday 22nd May
What does Therfield First School do when they have two special visitors in on one day? … Paula ready to lead her half termly Mindfulness workshops with the children and Rachel Lawston, author of Mia Makes a Meadow ... they do what they do best … they walk the whole school down to Greys so that the mindfulness sessions can take place set within the idyllic countryside grounds and Rachel can read her book, actually surrounded by glorious real wild meadows! Throw a still life water colour painting session into the mix and we have an afternoon that dreams are made of. What a magical way to spend our days.
STEM Week – Tuesday 9th – Friday 12th May
There was a huge buzz across the week for our awe-and-wonder STEM week. Each day, focused on a different STEM subject and our school motto of Bringing Learning to Life permeated through all activities.
Tuesday 9th May – Engineering
Jenifer from KAPLA Clubs led very exciting workshops for all of our classes, taking over the entire school hall! Children worked together, using thousands of identical planks, without glue or clips, to create large-scale grand structures. Parents were invited in to look at the masterpieces before the big demolition!
Wednesday 10th May – Maths
We were delighted to welcome the Happy Puzzle Company to Therfield to lead workshops with each of our year groups. Working in small groups, children undertook a range of puzzles and challenges, demonstrating team work, logical thinking, resilience and growth mindset.
Thursday 11th May – Technology
Children used the drawing programme on Purple Mash to create an ‘All About Me’ design. This was printed onto Iron On Transfer Paper and ironed onto a fabric tote bag. The bags looked fantastic and the children were very proud to take these home to use as a sustainable product.
Friday 12th May - Science
Across the afternoon, children took part in a rotation of three awe-and-wonder practical science investigations; Magic Ink, Magnetic Mazes and Balloon Blow Up!
The King’s Coronation – Friday 5th May
In true Therfield style, we were all very excited to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III. On Friday 5th May, the whole school came together, dressed in red, white and blue, to undertake a range of Coronation-themed activities. The day started with a whole school assembly, outlining what the day ahead had in store for us. Activities included:
At lunchtime, the whole school ate a buffet lunch together, followed by a Coronation playground party. Children were able to take home all of their keepsakes to mark this very special moment in living history. After school, our Friends committee led the May Ball disco in the school hall.
World Book Day 2023
At Therfield First School, we LOVE all things books and every day feels like a celebration of reading. This year for World Book Day, we took part in two days of exciting events. On Thursday 2nd March, all children and staff came to school dressed as a character from a book. Throughout the day, the children took part in a whole school Character Catwalk, shared their character facts with their class, attended LIVE lessons run by the BBC, chose a book to keep from our book-swap table and listened to different school adults reading their favourite books in different places across the school.
On Friday 3rd March, the whole school travelled by coach to the big Waterstones store in Cambridge. Throughout a fun-packed morning in the store, children took part in a rotation of three activities; listening to a read-aloud story, undertaking a book scavenger hunt and choosing a book from the children's section to take home to keep. The books were gifted to the children from the school, and The Rotary Club, Royston contributed £300 towards this. Our children had the most amazing day and they couldn't wait to start reading their new books. How exciting!
The Day the Author Came to Therfield!
On Wednesday 8th February, we were very excited to have Rachel Lawston come to spend the day at our school. Rachel read her book, Mia Makes a Meadow, to the whole school and answered a range of questions from the children. At breaktime, Rachel signed copies of both of her books for the children. Throughout the rest of the day, children wrote poems based on the hedgehog and fox characters, made bird feeders and created collage foxes and hedgehogs made from clay and pinecones. Rachel also led a creative writing master class with a group of children from Years 1-4. We collated everything together from the day to make a stunning entrance hall display. We had the most amazing day, as did Rachel, and we are already looking forward to her return in May.
First Aid Workshops for all Classes
On Thursday 19th January 2023, each class undertook a fun and practical First Aid workshop led by Daisy First Aid. Children as young as four years old learnt how to get help in an emergency, DRABC (Danger, response, airway, breathing, compression), how to put people in the recovery position and practiced compression skills (CPR) using a manikin. Older children, aged 7-9, also learnt how to respond to chocking or bleeding. First Aid training does not currently feature on the curriculum for schools. However, we feel that it is an integral life skill and children should be exposed to potentially life-saving strategies as young as possible. You never know when these skills might be needed. “I can’t believe that I can actually save someone’s life!”, Said Emily Oram, aged 8.
A huge Thank You must go to Andy Osbourne from the Therfield Parish Council and Jo Straham, at the C2C group for funding these sessions.
Bringing Christmas to Life!
What a fun time it is at Therfield First School in the lead up to Christmas. Festivities start on our annual Decorations Day, when the whole school comes together to create the large Christmas hall display and the decorations to turn the entrance hall and corridor into a winter wonderland. Each year, we use a book as the stimulus for the decorations and this year we used the classic text, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Children worked with an adult in small groups to create a scene for each of the twelve days. These were then hung VERY high across the beams in our school hall.
Throughout the month of December, we also celebrated Christmas with a Christmas fete, Christmas dinner day, whole school trip to the pantomime, special visit from Santa and a whole school Nativity performance in the village church. We were very excited that one of Santa's elves, Mr Bojangles, spent the entire month with us, hiding in a new place every day. The children wrote letters to Mr Bojangles to ask him questions and he wrote back and answered every single one of them. In total, over 400 letters were written to Mr Bojangles. He loved his time at Therfield so much that he promised to come back next year too!
Monthly GAP (Generations at Play) Sessions
Every month, a year group of children accompany the Head to the chapel opposite the school for a much-loved GAP session. Our children spend an hour playing traditional board games and puzzles with the more elderly or isolated members of the village and school community. Mid-way, all participants enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or tea with a home-made cake or biscuit. These sessions are the highlight of everyone's calendar and are great for supporting mental health and wellbeing.
Baking Workshops for all classes
In October and December, all classes undertook themed baking workshops, led by Herts Catering Ltd. We linked our October session with our exciting Harvest festivities in school. Each class made a bread-inspired bake, including seeded rolls, pretzels and pizzas. In December, all classes undertook a gingerbread making workshop. Rooks Nest Class used a Tudor recipe that they found in a class text linked to their half term topic on Tudors. They even created their gingerbread into a peacock design to match that displayed in the book. Next stop ... hot cross bun baking at Easter.
Annual Harvest Gift-of-Giving Project
Each year, in October, the whole school comes together for our Harvest gift-of-giving event. This is just one of our many 'making a difference' community projects. This year, in small groups, we made just under 400 chocolate cupcakes during the morning session. In the afternoon, children put two cupcakes in each cellophane bag and wrote their names on personalised tags. The next day, the children hand-delivered the treat bags to over 180 houses in the village. Every year, we are inundated with cards, emails and phone calls of thanks from the village residents. This project develops our pupils personal development and makes them feel good about the positive impact that they can have on others. We also enjoyed a harvest breakfast at school, where children come to school dressed as fisherman, farmers, farm animals, fruits or vegetables! This year, we even had two tractors and a trailer!!!
Marking the Passing of the Queen
To honour the very sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we decided that we would celebrate her long life and all of the amazing work she has done in our country and across the world. We hand-painted pebbles with pictures linked to the Queen, wrote messages in our Book of Condolences and created craft flowers using egg cartons, which we joined together to make a special wreath. We had a tree planting ceremony on the school field, arranged our pebbles next to the tree and sang a special song. At the end of the day, children took their parents onto the field to look at our new tree and pebbles. We then took our flower wreath to the village church, ready for their special weekend service.
The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
What didn't we do to celebrate the Queen's very special Jubilee? Throughout the week we ... had a special museum workshop taking us back in time to the Queen's Coronation, had an art masterclass where the whole school drew a portrait of the Queen, were visited by a famous author and her Corgi, Ditto!, played old-fashioned games at playtime, made willow crowns in forest school, re-enacted the Coronation in the local church and finished the week off with a special lunchtime street (playground) party! Another example of how we bring learning to life at Therfield.
World Book Day 2022
At Therfield First School, we are always passionate about books - but we are especially excited during our annual World Book Day celebrations. A range of reading-based activities took place across the day, including a special assembly, character cat walk, book swap, story-themed lunch and a 'choose a school adult/story' read-aloud session. Mrs McGovern's may have been the most popular!!!!!
The Sky's the Limit!
As part of our Outdoor Adventurous Activities (OAA) PE curriculum, pupils in Years 2, 3 and 4 set off for an exciting afternoon at Clip 'n Climb in Cambridge. Our children were adventurous indeed; showing huge leaps in bravery as they challenged themselves throughout the session.
The Big Burn!
As part of their Great Fire of London topic, Duckpuddle Class worked together to recreate a cardboard version of Pudding Lane. With the help of Royston Fire Service, Pudding Lane was set on fire!
In mixed-aged groups, the whole school took part in a den building challenge. Each group worked collaboratively to erect a den/shelter using the same set of equipment. The children were very resourceful and worked together brilliantly to achieve the goal. Go Therfield!
The Fairy Garden - Ssssssssh - you might wake them!
Throughout the summer holidays and autumn term, we have been developing our outside forest school areas for children to enjoy during outside play and lunch times. Take a peek below at our finished fairy garden area. How magical!
Harvest Gift-of-Giving Project 2021-22
To celebrate being able to come together again post-Covid, this year we decided to go extra large with our Harvest community project. We made over 180 Afternoon Tea gift packages which were then delivered to every house in the village. Each goody-bag consisted of 2 home-made scones, 2 jams, 2 butters and 2 teabags. The children worked in small groups to make over 400 scones in total across a morning session. During the afternoon, they bagged and tagged the gift packages ready to be delivered the following day. The children felt very proud when handing over their Harvest gifts to the local residents. The villagers LOVED their gifts and the school was inundated with messages of thanks, addressed personally to the children. This project really is the gift that keeps on giving!
Wellbeing in Nature - developing our outside spaces
Throughout the summer holidays, we were very busy developing additional 'awe and wonder' spaces for our children to use during their outside play and lunch times. These have included digging sites, fairy garden, den building stations, hideaways, bird hide, treasure island sand pit, wooden train and ticket station. Happy children make happy learners!
The Big Day In Festival
In the summer of 2021, due to Covid restrictions, we were unable to take the whole school out on our annual trip. So, we set up 'The Big Day In Fest' and brought the fun to the school field instead! Children had to remain in their 'class bubbles' but that did not stop our rotation of festival activities for everyone to experience across the afternoon. Groovy!
Go Ape Adventures
In the summer of 2021, our Year 3 and 4 pupils spent a wonderful day at Go Ape. Children challenged themselves out of their comfort zones and took part in many team building, problem solving and adventurous activities. The treetop challenge was VERY high!