The first half of term is always rather quiet as exams loom into view. The second half of the term is more relaxed as the year comes to a close and this year was jam-packed with ‘good things’ for the children to enjoy. As the second half of term hurtled into view, we hurtled through it! The STEAM week was visibly and audibly a great success, particularly with the younger pupils, who were excited to be introduced to the world of whizzes, bangs and combustion that is Chemistry. Our Head of Science, Mrs Gardener, carried out open air demos of various chemical reactions to a rapt audience in a manner not out of place at Hogwarts!
Thereafter, Years 7 and 8 headed off together to Dorset. The Year 8s whirled through a plethora of adventure activities, such as coasteering (a kind of extreme rockpooling), exploring the delights of the Jurassic coast. They took to the water too, with windsurfing and highly competitive canoeing sessions. Year 7 enjoyed similar adventures, also squeezing in some Geography fieldwork on the beaches of Purbeck. Year 5 embarked on their outdoor activity break at Ferny Crofts, with the annual raft-building competition a highlight. The children returned exhausted but happy and it was heart-warming to see the pile of thank-you cards the children created for the staff after their return. Good manners are still firmly on the LPH agenda!
For the other year groups, Curriculum Collapse week was an even greater enterprise this year – a week off-timetable to go full-tilt on outdoor learning and having fun. Year 6, unable to venture over the Channel for their MFL residential trip, headed off to Chessington World of Adventures for some thrill-seeking rides and spent an idyllic day at Bedgebury Forest in Kent, learning about the importance of trees to our eco-systems followed by mountain biking around the sunlit forest trails.
Back at school we had eye-catching graffiti art workshops and Greek dancing sessions amongst other activities. With some trepidation, we set up tents outside for our overnight camps. Our plan to wear the Year 6s out over the week had clearly worked as they were, to the relief of staff overseeing the camp, all fast asleep in their tents not long past 10pm. The repeat exercise for the Years 3 & 4 children proved very different. Excited by the prospect of the overnight camp well in advance, and having retreated indoors from the rain and wind, they became veritable night owls and it was not until the small hours that the staff (and I) could slump somewhat bleary-eyed from our supervisory duties.
Sports day events had to be scaled down and we finished with Giving Back Week – Year 8 organised a host of fundraising activities, washing staff cars in the car park, a day-long summer fete, as the PTA again could not hold their event, and the spectacular Colour Run which turned the pupils and the school fields into a rainbow cloud of pastel shades.
We adapted our end of term prize giving ceremonies, as we were unable to hold our traditional event in the Lancing College chapel and filmed these so that parents could enjoy watching them from home as term drew to a close.