Year 7 Author Visit
Year 7 enjoyed a wonderful talk from children’s author Alice Hemming on the morning of Friday 13 March. Alice spoke about her life as an author, covering how she became a writer, what inspired her as a child, how she moved from picture books to full length novels and her dreams of owning an amazing writing shed. We were also treated to a reading from her most recent book, The Darkest Unicorn, published only last week! It was a real treat to find out about how she plans her books, with a unique insight into the processes involved in developing plot and characters and keeping track of word counts. Year 7 had dozens of questions afterwards and were then able to have copies of Alice’s books signed and dedicated.
HOUSE : Creative Writing Competition
We were delighted to welcome Alice back at lunchtime to award the prizes for our House Creative Writing Competition, after judging the entries with Mrs Newbold and Ms Hobbs earlier that morning. Students had been challenged to write the opening chapter of a mystery story in 800 words or fewer and the interpretations of the task ranged from chilling supernatural tales to wisecracking New York detective stories. All of the entries were hugely enjoyable to read so it was a daunting job selecting the winners. Everyone who entered is to be congratulated on their imagination, attention to detail and inventiveness; we certainly have a lot of talented budding authors at Presdales!
The winning authors were:
Year 7 – Martha Ker – Curie House
Year 8 – Daisy Reid – Pankhurst House
Year 9 – Evelyn Youngman – Nightingale House
Year 10 – Madison Carter John – Windsor House
Year 11 – Anthe Beston – Windsor House
Sixth Form – Deborah Green – Parks House
Staff were also encouraged to enter and the joint first prize in that category was awarded to Mrs Teal and Mr Boyter.
Thanks and well done to everyone who entered and to Alice for so kindly giving her time and expertise.
Our Lingofest – the Languages Faculty House Competition – was a Speaking Competition which saw over 120 students from Years 7-9 represent their Houses in the finals of a foreign language reading competition. They read aloud songs and poems in 5 languages and were given points for pronunciation, intonation and dramatic effect. All of the finalists rose to the challenge and should be proud of their performances! The results can be seen below.
Italian Lingofest was full of impressive performances! It was hard to decide a winner for Year 7 and their poem – Sembra Questo Sembra Quello – was performed very well by all contestants, but Bella Gray (Parks) won with a great performance including an array of ingenious props! The Year 8 competition was won by Lola Colley (Nightingale) who confidently handled a poem with a tricky rhythm and lots of unusual vocabulary. In Year 9, Isabella Abraham (Windsor) read her poem with careful attention to pronunciation and pace and just edged to victory over some other strong performances! In all, lots of work went into the performances – congratulations to all participants!
The German Lingofest final saw pupils read a variety of texts in front of our German conversation teacher, Frau Birgitt Wilmanns. The atmosphere was buzzing as Year 7 read and brought to life the nursery rhymes ‘Backe, Backe Kuchen’ and ‘Das Farbengedicht’. There were lots of props and gesticulation to entertain and make the meaning clear. Year 8 read or sang the well-known and much enjoyed carnival song ‘Das Fliegerlied’ with appropriate sound effects. Year 9 read a poem written by another student about how the colours can make us feel. All of our finalists gave their very best and scored lots of House Points for their efforts.
For the second year running, the French Department decided to explore poems by the famous French author Jacques Prévert for our popular Lingofest House competition. Years 7, 8 and 9 students represented their respective House in the Final by reading either “Le Cancre”, “En sortant de l’école” or “Le chat et l’oiseau”. Our French Assistante, Mme Hunt, was so impressed with the intonation and pronunciation of our students that she found it very difficult to score each performance, which explained why the results were so close. Well done all! A special mention goes to Cara Conway-Baker in Year 8 for creating a fantastic video and recording of “En sortant de l’école”. See a few still pictures of it below.
For Lingofest, the Year 7 Russian students learnt a playground rhyme: Aty-Baty shli soldaty (Аты-Баты, шли солдаты). It has a strong, marching rhythm, repetition, questions and answers and lends itself brilliantly to clapping along. The Year 7 competitors were outstanding in team work, pronunciation, pace, fun and communicating meaning through gesture and intonation. Some competitors had also learnt the text by heart, which was most impressive.
Year 8 and 9 House teams read aloud a Russian folk-tale: ‘Repka’ (Репка, The Turnip). It is a quaint, comic, simple tale with a message: team work overcomes problems and the smallest member of the team is as important as the others. Some competitors dressed up in traditional peasant accessories, some acted out the events, others made visual aids showing the characters in the story, including an almost life-size model of the giant turnip. The performances were very entertaining!
We thank all those who took part for your efforts. Special mention goes to students who were the only person representing their House. The winners were: Parks in Year 7, Pankhurst in Year 8, and jointly Frank and Parks in Year 9. The competition was judged by Mrs Parry, the Russian Department’s native-speaker teacher.
Visual representation of Year 7 poem ‘En un trozo de papel’
Year 8 poet: Federico García Lorca
Year 9 poet: Pablo Neruda
Spanish pupils at Key Stage 3 put on some lovely performances of a variety of poems by writers from the Spanish-speaking world. Year 7 acted out an excerpt of ‘En un trozo de papel’, a beautiful dreamlike poem by Galician poet Antonio García Teijeiro. Year 8 produced some thoughtfully performed and well-pronounced performances of ‘Mariposa’ by one of the 20th century’s most famous Spanish poets, Federico García Lorca. Meanwhile, Year 9 really entered into the spirit of Lingofest by producing a variety of renditions of ‘El viento en la isla’ by Chilean poet and Nobel Prize-winner Pablo Neruda. They brought the character of the poem alive with rhythmic chanting, dance, actions, and even sound effects to help create extra atmosphere. Well done to all who participated both in class and in the finals!
Well done to all the students who took part in the recent House Football competition. The results are below:
Well done to all the students who took part in the recent House Table Tennis competition. The results are below:
House totals so far …
On Thursday 6th and Friday 7th February, nearly 120 pupils took part in our first ever Inter House Music Competition. We had a fantastic variety of instruments and pieces across five classes: Strings, Woodwind & Brass, Piano, Drum kit & Percussion and Vocal.
The adjudicators were choral conductor Mr James Davey and Royal College of Music postgraduate opera singer Ms. Annabel Clapham. They had the unenviable task of providing clear and detailed feedback for all competitors and awarding the winners and highly commended prizes for each class.
Mr James Davey writes, ‘It was a pleasure to listen to so many talented instrumentalists and singers during the course of the two days. In every class, there were exceptionally good performances representing every level of musical development and skill. I was particularly struck by the supportive environment the students provided for each other, and the spirit with which everyone entered into the competition. Congratulations to the winners and to everyone for performing with courage and confidence.’
Ms. Annabel Clapham writes, ‘What an honour it was for me to be invited to adjudicate Presdales first ever inter-house music competition. I must say I was very impressed with the high standard of entries – which made my job very difficult! All the students should be extremely proud of what they achieved.’
The winners and highly commended awards for each class are as follows:
String Class Beginner-Grade 3
Winner: Gemma Archer
Highly Commended: Abbie Oldham
String Class Grade 4-6
Winner: Lucy Kennard
Highly Commended: Adesola Jinadu-Adewale
String Class Grade 7-8+
Winner: Charlotte Waring
Highly Commended: Grace Farrell & Sophie Pratt
Woodwind & Brass Beginner-Grade 3
Winner: Louisa Safo
Highly Commended: Gemma Archer
Woodwind & Brass Grade 4-6
Winner: Caterina Daffada
Highly Commended: Georgiana Fowler & Kittie Walton
Woodwind & Brass Grade 7-8+
Winner: Hope White-Heath
Highly Commended: Caterina Daffada
Piano Beginner-Grade 2
Winner: Imogen Warhurst
Highly Commended: Amelie Holmes
Piano Grade 3-4
Winner: Rachel Harvey
Highly Commended: Saranya Lister & Ishara Hettiarachchi
Piano Grade 6-8+
Winner: Annelise Apling
Highly Commended: Deniz Isingor
Drumkit & Percussion
Winner: Safia Sipi
Highly Commended: Alicia Sharpner & Jessica Pryke
Vocal Year 7
Winner: Poppy Croucher
Highly Commended: Saiunnati Siddantham & Madison Scully
Vocal Year 8 and 9
Winner: McKenna Hunter
Highly Commended: Esmé Sabin & Amber Wingrove
Vocal Year 10-13
Winner: Connie Marshall
Highly Commended: Amelia Acheson
Please do show your support to all these pupils by attending the Inter House Winner’s concert later on this year (more details to follow). We hope to see you all and more return next year.
Well done to all the students who took part in the recent House Badminton competition. The results are below:
House Totals for this term …