A fascinating talk

On Monday, Rowan Class were visited by Mr Munro, who came to give a talk about some of the dangers of computer and video games particularly those which are ‘free to play’. Mr Munro told the class that they were being sold as companies now employ psychologists and behaviour specialists who advise them how to keep people playing games. Often this  comes in the form of small rewards which makes gamers think that they are succeeding, but this is a design!  Mr Munro showed the class how psychologist F.B. Skinner conducted research on animals such as rats and birds. Skinner’s research showed:

1.Animals will do boring things for small rewards.

2.They will do it more for certain types of reward.

3.They develop a ‘fear of missing out’.

4.You get a bad reaction if you force them to stop.

5.It works on humans

Mr Munro argued that if you are aware of this design, then you will know when to walk away. He was clear that games can be highly stimulating, but there are also so many other things that you can do and there needs to be some sort of balance.

We would like to thank Mr Munro for his time and for giving such an interesting talk.

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Visit to Ure Museum, University of Reading

Today, Rowan Class visited the Ure Museum at the University of Reading as part of our history topic on the Ancient Greeks. The children handled some artefacts and had to come up with an explanation of what the artefacts were used for and how they knew. Next, the children sketched a vase they particularly liked and needed to explain the significance ofd the vase. Finally, the children needed to work in groups to storyboard their own myth based on a painting which they had seen.


The children had a great time and will be writing a trip report as part of their history topic.

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Discussing Ritual

In our RE lessons we have been discussing ritual. Ritual is defined as: a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. We compared ritual with routine and identified some of the rituals we take part in. The children identified: baptism, birthdays, weddings, Christmas, New Year and Easter. The, in groups, they created freeze frames to show each ritual. Can you guess what they are?


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Learning all about Nancy Wake

Welcome back to the Rowan Class blog for another year. This week the new Rowan Class have been learning all about Nancy Wake aka ‘The White Mouse’. Nancy was born in New Zealand, grew up in Australia, but settled in France. When World War Two broke out, she initially smuggled allied troops, airmen and refugees out of France to neutral Spain. She trained at a Special Operations Executive (SOE) saboteur before parachuting back into France and joining up with the resistance. Her courage and bravery led to her becoming one of the most highly decorated people of the conflict.

The children wrote diary entries imagining that they were Nancy Wake and also made communication masts using a limited range of materials. They also created their own World War Two propaganda posters and cooked on rations creating a WW2 carrot cake and cheese swirls.

Philosophical questions were also posed throughout the week. As a class we discussed the question, “Should you always tell the truth?” and the children’s answers were well thought through and nuanced.

A selection of the photos is displayed below as is some of the children’s work.


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Jamie & Sammy

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Harry & Toby

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Emma & Oliver

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Gracie & Lucy

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Calshot 2018 – Day 3

It’s been an absolute scorcher today at Calshot: the rumour is that they’ve had to drop an iceberg in the sea just to cool it down! For the first time this week we awoke to bright sunshine and it didn’t take too long to warm up either. As well as the usual sausages and bacon there were omelettes available for breakfast this morning. The children and staff were extremely hungry and polished them off. The itinerary this morning was as follows: Group 1 had shooting, followed by cycle skills; Group 2 had cycle skills then archery; Group 3 initiative tests then skiing; Group 4 had archery then climbing; Group 5 had orienteering then shooting; Group 6 had archery then climbing while Group 7 had initiative tests before their second session of skiing. There were many highlights during the morning, but to pick out two I would mention the fun that Group 3 had when they were skiing – Charlie Humphrey especially. Additionally, Sam Bevan (in Group 5) showed he has potential as an SAS sniper when shooting. It didn’t matter how small the target was, Sam continued to shoot bullseyes.

Lunchtime came and went with sausage rolls or cheese and bean pasties along with a range of potatoes or pastas and a very nice cheesecake pudding. We were joined by Mrs Myers for the afternoon; she accompanied Group 7 on their sailing activity for the afternoon. Groups 1 & 2 were terrific trawling; Group 3 had ski 2 and then shooting; Group 4 had cycle skills then Ski 2. Groups 5 & 6 had kayaking all afternoon. Because it was very windy they started in the pool before moving on to the sea once the wind had dropped and the tide had come in further. With bright blue skies, it was a blissful activity.

Dinner was Italian themed with a choice between a meat or vegetarian spag bol followed by a (lush) chocolate brownie. This evening Groups 1 – 4 were had a games night while Groups 5 – 7 were building Rushing Rockets.

Tonight, we begin the process of packing as we have to be out of our rooms by 9.00am tomorrow morning : only clothing needed for tomorrow’s activities will not be packed. It’s hard to believe that we will be home in less than 24 hours!

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Calshot 2018 – Day 2


Good evening everyone from sunny Calshot where we are currently experiencing a beautiful sunset. Everyone had a good night’s sleep and very few children were up before the scheduled wake up time of 7.15am. Breakfast was a full English, which the majority of children opted for. After that, we returned to Lawrence House for room inspections. Mr Parrott and his team reported to me that many of the children had made a good effort to keep their rooms tidy – cue puzzled parents looking at each other and saying, “Well, they don’t do that at home!”

At 9.00am the morning activities began. Groups 1 & 2 alternated between initiative tests and skiing this morning; Group 3 had climbing and archery; Group 4 had skiing and shootin where Jamine Edwards and Molly Hudson excelled; Groups 5 & 6 were terrific trawling while Group 7 had shooting and skiing. Among the stories to emerge this morning were that Jessica East is a sharpshooter and knocked down a tower of plastic cups in a single shot. Group 6 caught a couple of jellyfish when they went trawling – one of which was pregnant as it had purple rings, and Charlie Humphrey had the time of his life on the climbing wall swing.

Lunch was a choice of meatballs, enchiladas or paninis. As usual, we’ve been really impressed with the variety and amount of food on offer. We quickly moved on to the afternoons activities and Group 1 & 2 went sailing. As it was very blustery, they were accompanied out on the water by instructors rather than pairing up with their friends. Groups 3 & 4 went kayaking while Group 5 had initiative tests and then moved to the climbing wall. There are some very good climbers in Group 5, but it was also nice to see some of the first time climbers such as Holly Aynsley really do well at this activity. Group 6 spent their afternoon on cycle skills and orienteering while Group 7 went trawling.

Dinner was a choice of roast beef with all the trimmings or a quorn fillet before we went to the evening activity: egg drop. The children were split into teams and had to use limited materials to create a protective device for an egg which would be dropped from the roof of the main hanger. The eventual winners were Scarlett Leduc, Gemma Lapicki, Phoebe Hopkins and Lottie Weavis whose egg survived not one but two drops.

Lawrence House is very quiet tonight as the children sleep after a very long but enjoyable day. More news tomorrow.


Photos tend to be Group 5 centric. Don’t worry, other photos have been taken

Group list is published below as requested.

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