At Rookwood School, we are dedicated to fostering a lifelong love of learning, and this term has been nothing short of extraordinary. From our Little Rooks Nursery to the Sixth Form, our dedicated team has curated a multitude of exceptional learning experiences that have left a lasting impact on our pupils. Below is a sample of the range of experiences enjoyed by pupils this term.
Little Rooks Nursery:
In the enchanting world of Little Rooks Nursery, creativity knows no bounds. To honour Their Majesties’ Coronation, our littlest learners crafted a regal crown and card, which made its way to Buckingham Palace. The children were overjoyed to receive a heartfelt reply, now proudly displayed in the nursery’s entrance. View photos here.
Adding a touch of wildlife wonder, this term our nursery children thoroughly enjoyed an interactive session with Feathers Fangs and Furries Fundraising group. Meeting mice, a hedgehog, a tortoise, and a barn owl, the children learned about hibernation, nocturnal habits and had the chance to ask many questions about the animals. View photos here.
Earlier this month, Little Rooks children enjoyed a Christmas-themed scavenger hunt in Andover town centre. They were very enthusiastic and found so many of the items listed on their sheets. Highlights of the afternoon were the big Christmas tree and the gingerbread house. A wonderful time was had by everyone. View photos here.
Towards the end of term, our Nursery families enjoyed a heart-warming performance by the Little Rooks children of their ‘Come To A Party’ nativity. The air was filled with cheers and laughter as our littlest learners showcased not only their enthusiasm but also a remarkable display of confidence. A huge well done to our littlest learners.
Autumn came alive for our Prep School pupils during the ‘Autumn Day’ celebration, organised by the Friends of Rookwood School. Pumpkin crafting, doughnut-eating competitions, and nature-inspired activities took centre stage, providing a delightful break from the school routine. View photos here.
Year 2 pupils delved into the world of bees with a visit from beekeeper Mic, planting spring bulbs and planning a wildflower area. As part of their work in Science on plants and animal habitats, Year 2 were eager to learn more about the importance of bees and what we can do to encourage more bees in the school grounds and the local area. The highlight of the morning was wearing his beekeeping hat and tasting some delicious Andover honey. View photos here.
To celebrate UK Parliament Week, and the official opening of Parliament on the 7th November 2023 by the King, a mock House of Commons debate was set up for Key Stage 2 pupils. The speaker of the House, Mrs. Nias, proposed that vanilla was the nation’s favourite ice-cream whilst Mrs. House opposed the argument with mint chocolate chip ice-cream. In true parliamentary style, the assembly had the occasional ‘order, order’ as the pupils embraced their roles with celebrations and jeering! Prep School voted in favour of the ‘No’ votes, suggesting that the nation’s favourite ice-cream is, in fact, not vanilla but mint chocolate chip. View photos here.
Throughout the term, Prep School pupils have thoroughly enjoyed their Outdoor Learning sessions – from creating new and wonderful recipes in the mud kitchen and building animal shelters, to nature scavenger hunts and collecting items to create artwork with. We really are so lucky to be able to offer this within the school’s grounds. View photos here.
Throughout this term, our extra-curricular club offering has continued to develop and nurture pupils’ strengths and interests throughout all year groups. Particular highlights include Origami Club’s tulip masterpieces created by Years 5 and 6 and Lego Club’s fantastic structures created by Years 3 and 4. View photos here.
The magic of Christmas unfolded as Key Stage 1 pupils wowed us with their fabulous Nativity, ‘A Miracle in Town.’ Prep School also enjoyed signing carols around the Christmas tree outside Paddocks. Meanwhile, a visit to Elfridges, organised by Friends of Rookwood School, turned our little shoppers – from Little Rooks to Year 6 – into festive gift-giving experts. Read more about this, here.
History came alive for Year 7 as Mrs. Hall, a Viking re-enactor and Learning Support Assistant, brought weapons and equipment from the Viking era, enhancing their understanding of the Norman Conquest. View photos here.
As part of their English curriculum, the Year 8’s attended the Sky Academy in Osterley to create a special seven-minute news report on recycling and the effects of plastic on our environment. The report impressed the Sky Academy team, marking it as one of the best they had ever seen. View photos here.
Year 8 and 9 pupils took part in TeenTech 23 – an annual event focusing on STEM subjects and careers and opportunities using technology and innovation. Pupils had the chance to listen and question three guest speakers about current trends and themes in healthcare. Following this, the pupils had to design and consider new technologies they would like to develop further. The pupils’ ideas ranged from apps to help people with dementia to automated hospital beds.
Following this, ten pupils in Year 9 represented Rookwood School at TeenTech Live in Basingstoke. The event looked at different roles in STEM subjects, giving pupils an insight into the amazing opportunities available within different industries. View photos here.
We held Taiko drumming workshops for Years 6 to 9 and Years 10 and above who have taken Music as a subject choice. The sessions were led by Mark from Taiko Meantime and culminated in some fantastic performances. It was a vibrant and exciting workshop enjoyed by all and the pupils were thrilled to be asked to hut a drum as loudly as they could! Watch a video here.
In November, pupils from Year 4 to Year 9 took part in the Oxford University UK BEBRAS Challenge, a nationwide competition to test computational and logical thinking skills. Last year, 365,000 pupils took part. This year is the first time we have entered the challenge, and the pupils really enjoyed trying to solve the different tasks. It really challenged their thinking, and they demonstrated great determination when trying and completing each task. View photos here.
Year 8 explored The Courtauld Gallery, immersing themselves in the French Impressionist paintings studied in art lessons. In the afternoon, pupils visited the South Bank Christmas Market and had a walk through ‘The Graffiti Tunnel’ in Leake Street—providing an inspiring adventure into urban street art. View photos here.
Senior and Sixth Form:
Andover College and The Lights Andover Theatre became hubs of inspiration for Year 11 and Lower Sixth students during the Andover Schools Careers Fair. The event was well attended by local colleges and universities, as well as many businesses, who showed off their technologies and discussed career pathways and apprenticeships.
In November, our GCSE and A level students enjoyed a trip to Tate Modern in London. They explored the exhibition and chose works of art to sketch for their upcoming projects. View photos here.
On 22nd November, our budding A Level scientists delved into the world of biology at A-Level Science Live. Inspiring talks from renowned scientists included Professor Lord Robert Winston on the intricacies of human reproduction and manipulation, as well as Dr Jenny Rohn unravelling the fascinating and terrifying world of bacteria.
In addition to the theory, our students gained valuable insights into A Level exam techniques and common mistakes from an experienced examiner. Commenting on attending the event, A Level student Elysia said: ‘It was a brilliant trip that helped to expand my passion for biology and science as a whole. I would love to go again!’
Boarding, Duke of Edinburgh and Exchanges:
Earlier this term, our Boarding House welcomed some very special Spanish visitors, creating lasting memories and fostering international friendships. Commenting on the stay, the visitors said how welcoming and friendly the team had been and thanked Rookwood for the ‘amazing memories’ they had made. Read their feedback, here.
Home-from-home care and fun activities have continued this term in Boarding. From pottery painting in Newbury and trips to Salisbury Cathedral, to fun activities including the infamous ‘Savage Bingo’ and Spa Nights. It is safe to say that the boarders have had a thoroughly enjoyable term.
In October, our Bronze Duke of Edinburgh group went on an expedition in Andover. They made an excellent start to their training camp and worked so well as a team. Mrs Moon, who was leading the group, said: ‘The pupils’ map and compass skills are coming on greatly and it was an absolute pleasure to be out in the beautiful countryside with them.’ View photos here.
This month, we launched an exciting partnership with the Georg-Büchner-Gymnasium, a school in Kaarst, near Düsseldorf. Our Year 10 and 11 GCSE German students had a fantastic time staying with exchange partners, exploring Christmas markets, towns, museums, and cathedrals, and attending school lessons. The experience provided valuable language practice, especially for Year 11s gearing up for their May oral exams. We eagerly anticipate the German students’ visit to Rookwood in March. View photos here.
As we reflect on this term, it’s clear that Rookwood School continues to be a place where learning is not just an activity but an adventure, leaving our pupils with memories that will last a lifetime. A special thank you to our dedicated team and the Friends of Rookwood for making it all possible. Here’s to many more unforgettable learning experiences ahead!