Kitebrook Preparatory School is celebrating incredible success at the Gloucestershire Schools Cross Country Championship, which resulted in two of their pupils progressing to represent the County at the 2020 English Schools’ National Cross Country Championship.
10th March 2020 — Representing the North Cotswolds Cross Country team, seven Kitebrook children travelled to Katherine Lady Berkeley’s School in Wotton-under-Edge, where they navigated the extremely muddy conditions in order to complete the 2km course.
All of the children ran superbly, achieving five medals between them, with exceptional achievements by 10-year-olds Bertie R. and Olivia R. Bertie had a great race, placing 8th, while Olivia reached pole position, coming 1st in the Year 4/5 Girls race, making her the best girl in her age group within the whole of Gloucestershire
Olivia and Bertie are now looking forward to attending the very prestigious National Primary Schools Cross country event at Prestwold Hall, Leicestershire, which is endorsed by England Athletics.
Head of Boys Sport at Kitebrook, Mrs Hughes, said: “This is a huge achievement for our pupils and we are incredibly proud of all of their enthusiasm and dedication. We couldn’t be more thrilled that Olivia and Bertie have progressed to the National Finals and we look forward to supporting them at Prestwold Hall.”
Tales of the Atlantic: The Seablings Return to Kitebrook
World record-holders and Gloucestershire siblings Anna, 25, and Cameron McLean, 32, visited the pupils from Kitebrook Preparatory School after successfully completing the Talisker Whisky Atlantic rowing challenge, travelling over 3,000 nautical miles from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, across to Antigua and Barbuda.
26th February 2020 — The rowing pair, who are also son and daughter of Kitebrook Headteacher Susan McLean, returned to the Cotswold school after visiting just prior to their Atlantic crossing. On their initial visit they brought in the two-person boat and kit they would need to take with them for their ocean crossing, giving the children the opportunity to gain an insight into the huge feat they were about the undertake. The industrious duo took on this extreme endurance challenge in support of UN Women UK, the UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, with the aim to break any gender stereotypes by putting to the test what it truly means to be in the #sameboat.
On their return to Kitebrook, after completing the mammoth journey, they were able to share stories and pictures from their 43 day, 15 hour and 22 minute ‘epic adventure’. Regaling the children with how they overcame rocky boat conditions, enormous waves, acute seasickness and being circled by a tiger shark; they even had willing volunteers to come and taste some of the packet food they survived on and feel the many blisters on their hands! After being entranced by their progress the whole time they were away, their amazing account was a huge inspiration to all the boys and girls.
When asked if they were able to sum up their experience, Anna said: “It was totally unpredictable. You have no idea what you’re going to face out there. Never give up and follow your heart—we made it!”. Cameron concluded: “It was an epic adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat”.
Praise for two Kitebrook Preparatory School sisters who ran in Gloucestershire’s Cross Country Championships, with fantastic results.
20th January 2020 — Hannah, aged 8, and Olivia, aged 10, spent their new year taking part in the annual race through the grounds of Rendcomb College, near Cirencester. Treated to a course that includes river crossings, woodlands and hills, the girls had to immediately conquer a steep 500m elevation. Despite the muddy conditions and undulating course, Olivia placed individual 2nd, Hannah individual 14th, and their running club, Bourton Roadrunners, finishing overall 3rd.
Both girls competed with the U11’s, an exceptionally tough race category, up against top runners from across Gloucestershire, and particularly so for Hannah, who was racing girls up to 3 years her senior.
Race spectator and Kitebrook teacher Mrs Scates said: “The girls performed exceptionally well, with their dedication to regular training clearly paying off. They should be immensely proud of their resilience, perseverance and stamina; as we all are here at Kitebrook.”
Two children from Kitebrook Preparatory School are to be praised for their altruism and dedication to support a local girl in need of expensive cancer treatment.
13th January 2020 — Scarlet and Freya, both in Year 4, planned and hosted a charity film night to support 7-year-old Anna Drysdale. Anna’s parents have been campaigning to raise £460,000 to send their daughter to the US to receive life-changing immunotherapy, having been first diagnosed three years ago with Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
Wishing to also increase awareness throughout the school, the two girls involved Kitebrook pupils by organising a non-uniform pyjama and jumper day, followed by a film night in the school hall to watch classic movie, Home Alone.
The event was a huge success, with 145 children enjoying the entertainment, raising an impressive £870, kindly matched by a Kitebrook parent.
Class teacher, Miss Norton, said: “Both Scarlet and Freya have demonstrated an amazing amount of empathy and passion for helping Anna; knowing that they were in a position to help they were absolutely determined to make a difference. The initiative came from them, and as a class, and school, we were absolutely delighted to facilitate their charity work. We are all incredibly proud.”
Anna’s campaign has recently received a large anonymous donation which means she will now be able to travel to America to receive the essential treatment she needs.
Kitebrook Orator tops National English Speaking Awards
Kitebrook Preparatory School is celebrating the success of one of their Year 6 pupils, who has been selected as an English Speaking Board Young Speaker of the Year finalist. Ten-year-old Archie C. has been named as one of the top 10, selected from over 12,000 candidates nationwide.
12th November 2019 — Kitebrook was one of the first schools to take the English Speaking Board exams – known affectionately as OE (Oral English). Now, these Oral English exams are part of the inherent fabric of the school, giving the children the confidence to speak in public – a skill and an asset they take with them into their lives forever. Each child gives a talk, reads an extract chosen by the examiner from a chapter of a book the child has particularly enjoyed and recites a learned poem or piece of drama.
Archie was selected for this elite award after his hilarious rendition of traditional Burns Night poem Tae a Fart, with the visiting OE examiner visibly amused to tears: “To see a child of this age deliver this poem in a perfect Scottish accent and with so much charisma, which he chose to do because he has Scottish relatives, although he himself speaks with a very English accent, was something to behold! Honestly, there were 3 adults in the room and we were all crying with laughter” the examiner regaled.
The award winners are invited to attend the Young Speakers of the Year Showcase being held at Aintree Racecourse in mid-November. The presentation ceremony, watched by families, teachers, ESB Trustees, ESB staff and Assessors, will see Archie perform his outstanding recital once again. All learners nominated as ESB Young Speakers will receive a Highly Commended Certificate in recognition of this remarkable achievement.
ESB Chief Executive, Tina Renshaw, announced: “Congratulations to all our Young Speakers and Spirits this year! We enjoyed reviewing all the magnificent learners who were nominated. This is a tremendous achievement.”
Kitebrook’s Head of English Juliet Carron said: “All the children at Kitebrook love participating in the ESB English examinations and is a highlight of their year. Archie’s rendition of his poem was particularly outstanding and we are so thrilled that he has been selected as one of their 10 finalists.”
Kitebrook Preparatory School has launched a unique partnership with l’Ecole Elementaire Jean Moulin, a school located near the city of Pau, in South-West France, as part of eTwinning, the digital community for schools in Europe.
9th October 2019 — As part of the partnership, the two schools will use online tools to develop joint projects so that pupils can share insights into the lifestyle and culture of their own country. The children will also develop their foreign language skills and exchange letters on a regular basis throughout the course of the academic year.
eTwinning is the digital community for schools involving over 500,000 teachers in 43 countries across Europe and beyond, funded by the European Commission as part of the Erasmus+ programme and managed in the UK by the British Council. In the UK over 12,000 schools have been involved in eTwinning.
Kitebrook’s European Languages Day saw the launch of the eTwinning project for their Year 6 -8 children, who began writing their first letters to their new correspondents along with many other French activities, including building an Eiffel Tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows, playing boules and taking part in the European-themed bake sale, which raised over £780 for the Macmillan Coffee Morning.
Miss Ruth Hogg, Head of French at Kitebrook Preparatory School, said: “Our pupils are really excited about this new project and getting to know their correspondents. It will be a great opportunity for them to put their knowledge and understanding of the French language into practice and gain a new insight into the culture of France. We have already exchanged treasure boxes with Jean Moulin, containing gifts from our respective regions and opened these as part of our European Day of Languages Celebrations”.
eTwinning aims to develop knowledge and understanding of different European cultures and languages and help young people gain skills for their future lives and careers. Through the eTwinning portal, schools and colleges can search for partners in Europe and access online tools to take part in joint projects free of charge.
Ruth Sinclair-Jones, UK National Agency Director for Erasmus+ and eTwinning, British Council, said: “We have a responsibility to prepare young people for life and work in our global society.
“Participation in eTwinning has enabled young people to connect with others across Europe, share ideas across borders and develop as global citizens.”