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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Calshot 2018 – Day 1

Hello everyone from a sunny but blustery Calshot. After leaving school at about 9.25am, we had an uneventful journey reaching Calshot at 10.40am. The children dropped off their bags in their rooms before meeting their group leaders and having a tour of the site. There was then a quick fire drill before we went to lunch. Most people went for the beefburger and potato croquettes option.

Our afternoon activities began at 1.45 pm. Groups 1 & 2 went kayaking and had a lot of fun although some of the children seemed to enjoy collecting seaweed almost as much as the kayaking itself. Groups 3 & 4 had a great time sailing – an honourable mention to Bradley Downing who leapt out of his boat to help another pupil who had capsized. Group 5 spent some time on the dry ski slope with their first ski session before moving on to cycling skills. A number of the pupils loved the velodrome and wanted to go as fast as they could. Group 6 also had a ski session before developing their teamwork skills on the initiative test. Finally, Group 7 enjoyed the challenge of trying to reach the top of the climbing wall after cycling earlier in the afternoon.

Dinner was a choice of cottage pie or macaroni cheese before the children headed down to the Schneider Hanger for Rushing Rockets (Groups 1 – 4) or Games (Groups 5 – 7). Everybody seems to have settled in well and are having lots of fun. More news tomorrow night!

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Installing a wildlife camera at Liss

Warm greetings to all our friends in  Kafuro, other Ugandan schools and our colleagues in the UK. This week, two of our pupils have been working with Geof, a volunteer helper at the school, to construct and install a wildlife camera in our nature area.

It took Jake and Oscar about 90 minutes to build the camera from a kit under Geof’s supervision.  After they finished, they installed the camera low on a tree in the nature area. The camera has a heat sensor which reacts to the proximity of animals (or indeed humans) and takes photos. As you can see from one of the photos below, we have an active badger sett in our nature area and the camera caught a glimpse of a badger walking through the long grass. Many thanks to Geof for all the time and effort guiding the boys and helping out the school.

In other news, we now have a colony of bees again, and we didn’t have to go and pick up a swarm. Yesterday, Mr Stanley noticed bees flying in and out of our Number 1 hive, and when he checked again this morning the numbers had greatly increased. It seems as if  a swarm of bees were looking for a home and found our hive. Happy Days!

We will keep you informed as to how the bees are settling in during the next couple of weeks.

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Ugandan-style food tasting

For our Year 6 DT project this term, the children will be designing, making and eating a Ugandan-style  meal. The children have already carried out some research on the internet about popular Ugandan foods, but today Mr Stanley prepared some Ugandan food for the children to taste. The food included:

Roast potatoes – In Uganda these are known as Irish potatoes

Sweet potatoes – some of our Ugandan friends refer to them as sweat potatoes

Beef muchomo – pieces of beef marinated in oil, garlic and mild curry powder grilled to perfection.

Plantain chips – Green banana chips lightly salted.

Salad – red onion, carrot & cabbage

Chapatti – made from flour, water with a tiny pinch of salt.

Katchembali – another salad with tomato, green pepper, onion and chilli.

The children took the opportunity to taste all the foods. They then had to complete an evaluation form giving each food a mark out of ten and explaining why they awarded the mark. Next, the children will have to design their own Ugandan plate of food covering the major food groups.

We would like to ask our Ugandan friends what British food would they like to eat?

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