We were very proud of our students on Friday. Not only did our U11 Boys football team play their hearts out but all of our Year 10 students provided superb support to Mr Kelsall and Miss Fryers in running the ISA U11 Boys East Region Football Tournament at Stoke.

Sadly our team did not make it through to the playoffs but they finished their morning with their heads held high, proud of their win against CIS and their sustained commitment through all three matches. Well done to Thomas Hearn for leading the team so well.

A number of our Year 10 students were referees and kept cool heads as the stakes got higher and the games became more intense. It was a good leadership experience for them and helped to build their confidence to handle fast moving situations.

Taking part in the wider curriculum is very important at Stoke and doing things a little differently at times to engage the imagination is part our approach. Our Year 9 students went with their visiting Winter School buddies to Ipswich Museum on Thursday and our boarders had a very interested time visiting both the London Museum and St Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday. Few are aware of the connection the school has with the architect of St Paul’s, Christopher Wren, but the staircase in the main house was originally used by him in his London home. It was later sold off and bought by the Elwes family to install at Stoke.

In the Senior School the Year 9s this week also took part in an egg parachute challenge in science. Ms Stansfield gave each team a notional budget of 100 coins and a price list of materials so they had to really think about their resources. Each team then used their materials to design a means of protecting their egg from a fall from the first floor of the Main House onto the tarmac outside. There were a lot of good ideas but the challenge proved tough and only one team was completely successful. It was good to see our students working together with our visitors, developing cooperation skills as well as testing their creativity.

Not to be outdone the Prep School had an exciting week too. Kingfishers went on a mini beast hunt in the Walled Garden and had an experience of how it felt to be Michaelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with Mrs Loveridge. What you can see in the picture is not an earthquake drill! It is actually the children creating their pictures on the underside of their desks.

Finches meanwhile were making Andy Goldsworthy natural sculptures in the Forest School with Mrs Taylor Aldred and Eagles were doing practical maths in the Prep School lobby with Miss Pye. They taped out a four quadrant graph on the carpet and plotted points and lines in a kinaesthetic approach to their maths topic.

Creative approaches to learning really stimulate children and I am looking forward to reporting more examples to you in the coming weeks.

Please remember Open Morning for the Senior School is on Saturday 24th February and for Prep School on Friday 23rd. Please do let any friends and colleagues know who may be interested in learning more about Stoke.