The latest instalment of the Wycliffe Prep School Exploration Days took flight on Wednesday 28th September, with pupils in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 thoroughly enjoying a morning with the UK Space Agency, as they set off on a journey towards lift-off.
7th November 2016 — The latest instalment of the Wycliffe Prep School Exploration Days took flight on Wednesday 28th September, with pupils in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 thoroughly enjoying a morning with the UK Space Agency, as they set off on a journey towards lift-off.
The morning began with a Tim Peake-themed assembly, in which the UK Space Agency’s Dr Hannah Garrett and Emily Gravestock, dressed in full astronaut suit, shared various pictures, videos, facts and information on Tim Peake’s historic mission to the International Space Station, and his subsequent journey home.
Following the assembly, the pupils were split into five separate groups, and began to work their way through a carousel of five space-themed workshops, all of which prepared the pupils for rocket launch.
5 - Space Applications Led by the UK Space Agency’s Emily Gravestock, pupils were taught about some of the key resources that astronauts used on the International Space Station. Although they were shown a number of space specific items, such as high spec food packs, the pupils were surprised to find that a number of day-to-day objects have a key role to play in space also. The pupils also learnt a little more about what life in space was like for Tim Peake, and other astronauts, including the high importance of exercise to prevent muscle wastage, how they had to adapt to eating a smaller amount of food, and the wonder of experiencing a new sunrise and sunset every 90 minutes.
4 - Hydration Station Dr Hannah Garrett took pupils through the important process of keeping hydrated in Space, and how astronauts have to regularly check their hydration levels. This was achieved through a fun hands-on practical activity involving water, apple juice and Marmite, in which pupils had to mix a series of the three ingredients in a bid to make their mock urine more or less hydrated. Each group were given hydration colour charts to compare hydration levels, and could visibly see the impact that adding water to our bodies, and the monitoring of our urine, has on keeping our hydration at a safe level, whether in space or back here on Earth.
3 - Crater Impact In this workshop, pupils learnt that rocky planets, such as Earth and Mars, and the moons of our Solar System, often have many craters, caused through the impact from meteorites. Led by Astronaut Bloodworth, pupils then investigated what happens to land masses when hit by a meteorite. This was achieved through setting up a contrast of trays of sand, and flour topped with cocoa powder, to represent different rocky land masses, and dropping spheres of different densities from varying heights to measure the size of the crater impact.
2 - Crew Assembly Led by Astronauts Sinclair & Lewis, this workshop taught, thrilled and frustrated the pupils in equal measure. The purpose of the task was to create a cube using KNEX. However, what would usually be a relatively straightforward task was made far more difficult by each pupil having to wear a pair of oversized gloves, and complete the challenge against the clock. The task was designed to replicate the assembling or maintaining of objects in space, where astronauts must have good dexterity and hand-eye coordination, especially due to the size and shape of astronaut gloves.
1 - Astronaut Training In the final preparations before launch, the pupils were put through their paces at the astronaut training camp, led by Astronauts Wainwright & Boswell. Pupils learnt of the physical demands on the body when going into space and, in training for lift-off, the pupils took part in a series of physical challenges including a balancing and catching activity, a gravity related jumping and rolling drill, and a series of physical exercises that left our astronauts in waiting gasping for their oxygen packs.
LIFT-OFF The day ended with all pupils assembling on the school field to watch the Griffin Voyager Rocket, complete with all personally signed names from all 115 pupils in years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Lift-off was controlled by Hannah, Emily and one very lucky Wycliffe pupil, Ethan Fey, who pressed the ignition switch to launch the rocket to a height of approximately 300 feet, which was met with amazement, gazing eyes, and no shortage of ‘ooohs and aaahs’ from the pupils.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, and one which not only taught the pupils a great deal, but also inspired them to explore space and other elements of STEM further.
Many thanks to the UK Space Agency, and especially Dr Hannah Garrett and Emily Gravestock, for giving their time in creating such an exciting opportunity for the school.
This year Wycliffe Prep School entered into the English Schools Cricket Association (ESCA) County Cup for the second time. The competition is a straight knock out format and offers schools the opportunity to play added fixtures through the season.
16th September 2016 — This year Wycliffe Prep School entered into the English Schools Cricket Association (ESCA) County Cup for the second time. The competition is a straight knock out format and offers schools the opportunity to play added fixtures through the season. The matches are 20 overs per innings.
Wycliffe were off to a great start in the first game, beating Rednock School, with Will Naish scoring a magnificent 99 and Andrew Uys his first 50 in the 1st XI.
Next opponents were Marling School with another great batting display from Naish (94) and some excellent bowling from Flynn Walton 4-3-2-1 and Freddie Christie 3-1-4-3. The Under 13 team eased through to the next round with some excellent fielding.
Farmors School were the next team to play. Farmors batted first and set 108/6 from their 20 overs. Wickets were shared around and another good fielding display helped to keep the total within reach. Wycliffe managed to see off the runs in 15 overs, with Naish again top scoring 85 not out with good support from Hugo Murray 14.
Next we played a strong Deer Park team in the semi final. They set a very competitive total of 111/4 to chase, with Flynn Walton again the pick of the bowlers. Andrew Uys (15) and Will Naish (77*) took this target on, winning the game by 9 wickets.
We then had a home final played on the Senior School 1st XI pitch in the final week of term against Sir Thomas Rich’s School. They batted first and set a target of 96/8 in their 20 overs. Flyn Walton, Will Naish and Sam Grimstead all had excellent bowling figures. Will Naish and Andrew Uys managed to achieve the target in just 10.4 overs, with Naish not out on 80 taking him past 1000 Prep School runs for the season with Uys in great support on 14.
This was a fitting end to an excellent and highly enjoyable year. This competition also gave the opportunity for two Year 6 boys and one Year 7 to play at this level so it has been a real success.
On Monday 11th April at 6:30 a group of half-awake children (Dan Taylor, Archie Bankes, Alex Quilliam, James Palk and I) assembled at Wycliffe Prep for the beginning of the best part of a week playing 10 tense games of chess.
9th May 2016 — On Monday 11th April at 6:30 a group of half-awake children (Dan Taylor, Archie Bankes, Alex Quilliam, James Palk and I) assembled at Wycliffe Prep for the beginning of the best part of a week playing 10 tense games of chess.
Our team was the first from Wycliffe to be playing like this in IAPS. We were both curious and dreading what the results of these few days would be.
With a few packets of sweets to keep us going during the journey, we set off for the unknown school where we were to be playing. Accompanying us was our chess master, Mr. Broadhead, who had organised the trip.
After a tedious ride of around 4 ½ hours, we arrived at Aldro School. We continued into the school and were shown to our dorm room, which was called ‘Sherwood’. We immediately settled in and began unpacking.
The plan was that we were to play four games that day; two games before lunch and two after. We were all dreading our first match. Would we win? Would we lose? What would the team think of me if I lost my first match? What if we all lost!
It seemed like centuries before Mr Archer (the man arranging all this) stopped talking and finished with: ‘When you are ready, shake hands with your opponent and you may start your match’…
Soon, we all emerged from the chess hall. One by one we explained that we all had won our matches. We were all very relieved that we had at least won one match that day.
The following day, we were divided into groups according to our results of the four matches from the previous day. Alex, Archie and I all won 2 of our 4 matches so we got into the ‘B’ team. James and Dan won 3 of their 4 matches so they qualified for the ‘A’ team.
Once we were in our groups, Mr Archer explained that we would now play a 6 round Swiss tournament. This meant that whatever your result, you would go through to play another game until all your 6 games were played.
It was Tuesday, we had all played 3 matches. I had unfortunately only won one of the three that day, James, Archie and Alex won 2 and drew 1. Dan won two.
After lunch, we went to Chessington (Quite fitting really!) we had fun time with Mr Broadhead and Archie’s mum; it gave us a relaxing period to ease the extreme tension of the chess tournament. Archie and I stuck to smaller rides at the start but James, Alex and Dan drove head first into probably one of the scariest rides on offer, they were crazy in the eyes of Archie and me...
In the end Archie and I summoned up the courage to go on this ride before we all left, while the other three thought it was a good idea to go on a ride that turned them upside down then sprayed water right in their faces. I can’t believe they have the logic and brain power to play a very good chess game but are so fixed on being plunged into ice cold water upside down when someone says the word ‘Chessington’!
In the evening we played a 5-a-side football tournament against all the other chess teams. Unfortunately Archie had a broken thumb and couldn’t play so we stole our faithful goalie, Jude, from another school. Our tactics were that in theory anyone good at chess would be bad at football (except us, of course), which was partially true – except from the team that we played in the final…
Unfortunately, on penalties, we lost…
On day 3 (Wednesday) we all played 3 matches again. This time my luck improved – I won 2 out of the 3 matches, Alex won only 1 and drew 1, Archie and James won 2 and drew 1, Dan won 2.
We stayed for the award presentation ceremony. James won his category (the ‘A’s) and Dan won the ‘B’s and Archie came second in the ‘B’s.
Overall, we are very proud of what we achieved as with a small team of 5, we made a huge impact on the leader board. Many other schools had around 20 per team. Dan Taylor can now qualify to go to the championships (the level up from us) now that he is in the ‘A’s. Mr Broadhead hopes to bring a chess team again next year because of our amazing success.
Wycliffe Preparatory School only entered three players in the IAPS Squash Tournament in April but each one of them came home with a trophy and a title.
14th April 2016 — Wycliffe Preparatory School only entered three players in the IAPS Squash Tournament in April but each one of them came home with a trophy and a title.
Daisy Hartson, in Year Six and aged 10, stormed to victory in the girls' open event, winning without dropping a single game. The tournament, held at Millfield School in Somerset, marked her first title but there could be many more to follow.
Jack Bloomfield, aged 13, in Year 8, a member of the school's elite squash programme, retained the Senior Singles title he won last year, again without dropping a game. Jack has had a phenomenal year, one of the best in the school's history. He won the U13 Canadian Open, came third in the English National Championships and finished in the top 10 of the British Junior Open for his age.
Jack was in action again to seize the school's final title in the doubles alongside Will Cottrell, who really held his own over the weekend, especially in a tight final that was won 3.1. Will, aged 12, in Year 8, has been playing the sport for less than a year as part of the Wycliffe Prep School activity programme, highlighting the school's dedication to developing the game at grass roots level. This was the 48th IAPS Squash Tournament and the first time Wycliffe, in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire had won three titles at the event.
Wycliffe win National Prep School cross country championships
13th April 2016 — On Sunday 13th March, we travelled to Malvern College to take part in the National Prep School cross-country championships. Having finished 3rd overall last year, the pressure was on our under 13 girls’ team to deliver a performance this year. This they did in style, winning the National title with a phenomenal 38 points, ahead of Cheam (55pts) in 2nd and Millfield (140 pts) in 3rd. This was achieved by fantastic individual performances from Evie Green (4th), Rachel Hatherell (8th), Millie Porter (11th) and Maddy Palmer (15th), along with Holly Lovell (38th) and Harriet Thompson (129th). Having finished 5th earlier in the season in the English Schools Cup, this performance really reveals what a talented group of runners these girls are.
Two Wycliffe Preparatory School pupils have got sore legs after sitting in almost every seat at Kingsholm Stadium for a school fundraising challenge.
24th February 2016 — Two Wycliffe Preparatory School pupils have got sore legs after sitting in almost every seat at Kingsholm Stadium for a school fundraising challenge.
Ben Bayliss and Hugo Murray challenged themselves to sit in as many of the stadium's 16,500 seats as they could in one day.
After eight hours of bending their legs and shuffling their bottoms 30,000 times they'd sat in more than 15,003 seats each.
The Year 8 friends decided to do the venture as part of Wycliffe's annual Kirby Challenge which asks pupils to complete an activity that benefits the community or school. They set themselves a target of making £500 and smashed it.
The money they raised will go to Wycliffe Preparatory School's chosen charity, The Wallace & Gromit Grand Appeal which funds life-saving equipment for Bristol Children's Hospital.
The boys received a message of support from Mike Tindall and thanked Gloucester Rugby Club for letting them use the stadium.
Ben and Hugo said: “We are so proud of our achievement of sitting on 30,064 seats together. Our shoulders and legs are still aching but it’s worth the pain for the money we raised.”
Hugo’s mum, Nicky, added: “We didn't realise the enormity of what they had done until we reached the stadium and realised that they had to put down every seat before they could sit on it.
"They loved it. We would have collapsed in a heap at the end but the first thing they did after they finished was run on to the pitch to kick a ball over the posts.”