Schools News: Including Duke of Edinburgh successes

Pupils from Longdean School, Hemel Hemsptead, who took part in the Duke Of Edinburgh Award schemePupils from Longdean School, Hemel Hemsptead, who took part in the Duke Of Edinburgh Award scheme
Pupils from Longdean School, Hemel Hemsptead, who took part in the Duke Of Edinburgh Award scheme
The latest news from schools in the Dacorum area.

Pupils from Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead have been celebrating their success in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

The awards were first established in 1956. It is a programme of actvities that can be undertaken by anyone aged between 14 and 25. Currently, over 275,000 people are involved with the award in the UK, and it is seen as being both rewarding and valuable for school students to be involved in.

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Pupils at Grove Road Primary School in Tring during their science dayPupils at Grove Road Primary School in Tring during their science day
Pupils at Grove Road Primary School in Tring during their science day

The award is looked upon very favourably by universities and employers alike and helps to demosntrate an additional set of transferrable skills that can be taken into higher education and further careers.

Forty-five bronze level and three silver level Duke of Edbinburgh Award certificate awards were presented to students at Longdean at a recent headteacher’s assembly.

The school has been running the bronze award for four years and this year has seen a very good pass rate. The award saw students volunteering with clubs and after school activities. Students also participated in a physical pursuit, completing a challenging two or three day expedition.

Many of the bronze participants enjoyed the course so much they have signed up for the silver award.

Grove Road is mad for science!

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Children from Grove Road Primary School in Tring dressed up as mad scientists, had a .

The day kicked off with an assembly from Cosmic Chris of Mad Science who managed to transform laboratory science into an engaging, interactive learning experience.

The children discovered how sound travels in invisible waves and that the compositition of air helps sound to travel.

They saw how the power of air pressure is so strong that when two sink plungers are put together to form a sphere they also create a vacuum and it is very difficult to pull them apart.

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Cosmic Chris demonstrated how air flow around objects can help keep them in the air by using a hair dryer to keep a ping pong ball and two balloons up in the air at the same time.

What with looking at gravity and how different objects fall to earth, and also watching a cool chemical reaction when paper dipped in a chemical made a bright white light when lit, it was a captivating assembly!

Back in the classroom the children then conducted their own experiments, ranging from dissecting owl pellets in Year 6 to building towers with marshmallows and sticks in Year 4, and looking at what is reversible (freezing/thawing water and melting/hardening chococlate) and what is irreversible (toasting bread) in Year 2.

Reception and Year 1 both spent time investigating gravity and learning about air resistance, whilst Year 5 enjoyed seeing what happens to milk when food colouring is added to it and the chemical reaction when washing up liquid touches it.

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Year 3 had to rescue Bob the Lego man from an ice block and investigated how melting ice is a reversible change.

In nursery, children learned how to create static electricity with balloons.

Grove Road science coordinator Chloe Lea said: “Science day helped to spark the imagination and curiosity of the children by providing them with fun, interactive science demonstrations and experiments.

“From nursery to Year 6 the children had fun with science and also got the chance to dress up as mad scientists for the day!

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“Days such as these help to develop the children’s understanding of what science is and how it affects the world.

“It also raises the profile of science as a core subject in the curriculum and opens their eyes to how fascinating it can be.”

Recognition for Kings Langley School

Kings Langley School has been named as the regional winner for the East of England in the recently announced “Schools of Character” awards and will be presented with a prize and a cheque for £15,000 by Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education on the March 16 in London.

A trip down to the woods on a sunny day for a creative photographic session

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Hemel Hempstead School Year 11 BTEC Art and Design students are currently investigating and researching for their external assessment ‘The Secrets of the Woods’.

Students were lucky enough to go to Ashridge woods on a beautiful sunny day to take some creative photographs for this up and coming assessment.

Pay as you go creche is launched and all day nursery coming soon

A woman with 26 years in the child care industry has launched an affordable pay-as-you go crèche and plans to soon open a fully fledged nursery.

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Jasmin Gregitis, who lives in Woodhall Farm, launched the crèche at Grovehill’s Youth Centre in Stevenage Rise last week.

It offers child care slots of up to two hours for children aged up to five years old.

Jasmin, a mum of two sons, is just waiting for the green light from Ofsted before she can launch Robin’s Nest Children’s Nursery, which will provide all day care.

She said: “Parents will only pay for the time their child attends. You don’t have to pay during the holidays or on sick days.

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“We feel very strongly that we want to help and support parents and with the community centre helping me start up as a new business with lower rates it means that I can reflect that in my prices.”

So far around 15 children have attended the crèche and parents have been getting to know staff through free stay and play sessions.

“We don’t charge for the settling in sessions,” said Jasmin “because we know the biggest thing you are ever going to do is leave your child in someone else’s care.”

The businesswoman has been supported in her new venture by the committee at Grovehill Community Centre.

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“A big thank you from me to Grovehill Community Centre,” said Jasmin.

To find out more about the crèche, nursery and forthcoming free stay and play sessions, like ‘Robin’s Nest Children’s Nursery’ on Facebook or call Jasmin on 07572 041558.