St Swithun’s Prep School


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  • Category: Nursery / Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 0 (Boys) 190 (Girls)
  • Age Range: Girls aged 4-11 years with a coeducational nursery.
  • Founded: 1884

General Information

At St Swithun’s Prep School we believe a child’s education should be about discovery, a sense of adventure and a spirit of excitement and fun; that good academic success and a great deal more is achieved as a result of this ethos. As a non-selective school our academic success is achieved through good teaching in small groups, excellent resources and facilities, supportive parents and motivated children who enjoy coming to school. It is the children that we are most proud of and we spend a lot of time building their self-esteem. All children have different talents and skills and we are committed to finding and developing these. Success in one area leads to a boost in confidence elsewhere and this helps our pupils feel secure enough to explore and take risks.


Pupils and staff are enjoying the outstanding new facilities of their brand new building at St Swithun's Prep School, Winchester site which opened in September 2015. The new performing arts space and gym opened in Easter 2016.

The new school replaces the existing school buildings and, among many other things, enables the Prep School to have smaller class sizes. The development includes specialist teaching rooms, a science laboratory, an art studio, a media/computing room and, in the next phase, a new performing arts space and gym. The new prep school is a light, bright, modern space; it is a wonderful environment for both children and staff. The building is flooded with natural light and the huge expanses of glass looking out over trees and fields. Internally the building has been designed with light wood finishes, oak floors and white walls giving a feeling of light and space and modern furniture compliments the space. The furnishings are age appropriate to help learning to be a comfortable and enjoyable experience. The library which is in the heart of the school is particularly inspiring; the bespoke curved shelving and soft seating will allow the children to access the books easily. The calm atmosphere pervades the whole school.

Outdoors the school is surrounded by beautiful naturalistic planting; floor to ceiling glass look out onto grasses and verbena blowing in the wind and the scent of the lavender and rosemary comes into the school through the open windows. New sports courts and the playing fields can be seen beyond. Pupils also benefit from our splendid indoor swimming pool. There are extensive and well-equipped grounds for sport and play. Music pulsates throughout the school. Thriving ensembles include the string and chamber orchestras, wind band and quintet, senior and chamber choir as well as two steel bands. Individual tuition is offered in a wide range of instruments. Sport is enjoyed during the day and after school. Netball, Hockey, Football, Pop-Lacrosse, Lacrosse, Games' Skills and Tag Rugby are played in the winter and Rounders, Short Tennis, Kwik Cricket and Athletics in the summer. Swimming, Gymnastics and Dance are taught throughout the year.

A variety of clubs is offered for both core sports as well as Golf, Judo, Football, Science, ICT, Watercolour Painting, Calligraphy, Touch Typing, Music Theatre Workshop, Steel Band and Chess.

For children who may have need of extra support we have a specialist Learning Support teacher who gives additional help, on an individual basis or in groups. A range of educational and cultural visits are arranged, both day and residential. Both Before and After School Care is available.

Entrance Requirements


Open Days

2019. Sat. 15th June, 12pm.


2018/2019. Years 3, 4, 5 and 6: £4,657 per term. Reception, Years 1 and 2: £3,615 per term. Nursery: £1,808 per term (mornings)*/ £3,615 per term (all day). *This includes lunch. Additional afternoon nursery sessions will cost £39 per session.


ISI Inspection 2017

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mrs Rebecca Lyons-Smith

Contact for enquiries: Mrs Sara Mathieson, Registrar

St Swithun’s Prep School
Alresford Road
SO21 1HA

[t]: 01962 835750
[f]: 01962 835781

Location Description

Set within 45 acres of grounds on the outskirts of Winchester, overlooking the Hampshire Downs.

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School News

St Swithun's independent girls preparatory day and boarding school Hampshire

St Swithun’s Prep School was thrilled to welcome British athlete Mark Lewis-Francis, MBE for a recent visit. Mark is perhaps best known for his role

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anchoring the Great Britain and Northern Ireland 4 x 100 metres relay team to a famous gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

During his visit to St Swithun’s Mark worked with year 5 pupils, talking them through sprinting mechanics such as dynamic movement, and explaining how best to switch on short fibre muscles, how to achieve an explosive sprint start and the importance of using your arms. The students participated in a number of drills and fun races.

Mark later led a whole-school assembly where he talked about his fascinating journey from his early years to the Olympics and beyond. He highlighted to prep school children the importance of always giving their best and having grit and determination when pursuing goals.

St Swithun’s Prep headmistress Rebecca Lyons-Smith said “Mark’s message about failure being an important step on the road to success is very much one we subscribe to at St Swithun’s. It was great to hear him say that it was his failures which enabled him to become a gold medal-winning Olympian. Our girls have all been inspired by Mark’s visit, especially after having the chance to hold and wear the gold medal!”


Photo caption: Mark Lewis-Francis leading a PE lesson at St Swithun’s Prep School

St Swithun's independent girls' preparatory school Hampshire

Crew from the legendary yacht Maiden visited St Swithun’s Prep School in Winchester at the start of their two-year world tour to promote equality in

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global education.  Maiden made history in 1990 with the first all-female crew to sail in the Whitbread round the world yacht race. Original crew member Jo Gooding visited St Swithun’s together with new skipper Nikki Henderson who is the youngest skipper ever to complete the Clipper Round-the-World yacht race.

Maiden’s tour, in support of the charity The Maiden Factor, will cover over 54,000 miles and include 23 stopovers in 13 countries. Pupils from St Swithun’s added to what will become a rainbow spiral of children’s handprints on one of Maiden’s 260sqm spinnaker sails. They also wrote messages of hope that will be carried on board as part of a collection from children at each stopover on the journey.

The patron of The Maiden Factor, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein is the daughter of the King of Jordan, who funded Maiden’s original 1990 round-the-world challenge. The charity’s vision is to remove the barriers to girls’ education around the world.

Kate Grosscurth, deputy head of St Swithun’s Prep School said ‘We are so pleased and inspired to be working with this charity and to follow the incredible journey of these amazing women around the world. They demonstrate the grit, gratitude and generosity which are an important part of our school culture and it is very appropriate that they visited us on the United Nations International Day of the Girl’. 

Photo caption: Pupils from St Swithun’s Prep School placed their handprints on one of Maiden’s spinnaker sails.

St Swithun's Prep School Independent Hampshire Two 10 year olds from St Swithun’s Prep School raise £1,500 for premature birth charity Borne

10 year olds Lois Macdonald and Freya Austin, both students at St Swithun’s Prep School in Winchester, have raised £1,500 for the Borne charity which

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carries out research into the causes of premature birth. They raised the money through a sponsored triathlon involving a mile long swim, a 5km cycle ride and a 5km run.

Lois, whose family has been deeply affected by premature birth, and her best friend Freya set out to donate £600 to Borne. They used the swimming pool, playing fields and athletics track at St Swithun’s to complete the triathlon challenge in scorching late summer temperatures. Both were delighted to learn that they had more than doubled their pledge with a huge £1,510 for the charity.

St Swithun’s Prep School sports teacher Katy Iliffe said “40 minutes of tough swimming, a 5km cycle and 12 and a half laps of the track on tired legs was a huge challenge. Lois and Freya needed real grit and determination to achieve their goal. I am so proud of the way they just kept going”.

In recognition of their contribution, the girls have been invited to the Borne laboratories in London to see the charity’s work in action. They also received a letter of commendation and thanks from Borne’s founder.

Lois and Freya’s fund-raising page is

St Swithun's Junior School Independent Girls Hampshire Local students think ‘outside the box’ at St Swithun’s School to support homelessness charity Trinity Winchester

On Thursday last week, over 100 students from five local schools joined the Big Sleep Out Shelter Build at St Swithun’s School to raise money

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and awareness for the homelessness charity Trinity Winchester.

Pupils from Oliver’s Battery Primary, Nightingale Primary, Winnall Primary, St Bedes and St Swithun’s Junior School designed and created shelters out of cardboard boxes. The shelters were then used during Trinity’s Big Sleep Out, at Wolvesey, the Bishop of Winchester’s Palace, on the night of Friday 11 May.

In addition to the shelter building, pupils took part in recycling activities using waste materials to design and create something new and joined in with discussions about homelessness and the local community. Volunteers from local construction services company Osborne supported the event by providing cardboard, other resources and prizes for the best shelters. They also helped with creation of the shelters during the day.

St Swithun’s School headmistress, Jane Gandee said “We were excited to be able to host the Big Sleep Out Shelter Build this year, and help students from across Winchester think about homelessness in our city by engaging with Trinity’s work.”

In addition to donating their shelters, local school children have supported Trinity’s work with homeless and vulnerable people by holding mufti days and fundraising sales.

There is still time to support those who slept out, by visiting

St Swithun's independent preparatory school Hampshire

St Swithun’s Junior School recently welcomed artist and activist Holly Budge to talk about her award-winning exhibition and fundraising initiative How Many Elephants? Inspired by

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her work, every child from Reception to year 6 designed and coloured their own elephant to create a whole-school display in support of Holly’s campaign.

Ninety-six African elephants are poached in the wild each day for their ivory. At the current rate they will be extinct by 2025. Holly has turned this disheartening statistic into a powerful exhibition to raise awareness and much needed funds for elephant conservation. St Swithun’s pupils from years 2 and 3 visited Holly’s gallery in Alresford and took part in workshops. They were inspired to join her digital petition and create their own exhibition which they invited Holly along to see.

Holly said “It has been a pleasure collaborating with such a forward thinking school. St Swithun’s Junior School has truly embraced my exhibition How Many Elephants?, with two year groups visiting the exhibition and taking part in my workshops. They have also joined in with my digital petition campaign leading them to hold their own impressive exhibition of 168 elephants. It has been a pleasure inspiring young minds and introducing new ideas and knowledge. The parents and teachers have played an active role throughout and have been very supportive and generous.”

Holly is raising funds for the Black Mambas, South Africa’s first and only all-female front line anti-poaching team, and is planning to participate in their intensive training course to raise awareness and help support the work of these brave and courageous women. She aims to take her award winning exhibition on the road to New York, Beijing and Hong Kong with the hope that she can change attitudes towards the ivory trade worldwide. 

Photo: Holly Budge with staff and students from St Swithun’s Junior School

St Swithuns girls independent preparatory school Hampshire

St Swithun’s Junior School, Winchester is delighted to announce the arrival, at the beginning of the summer term, of the new headmistress, Mrs Rebecca Lyons-Smith.


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Lyons-Smith has been the deputy head at Stroud, King Edward VI Preparatory School, since 2013. As well as the day to day management at Stroud, she has been responsible for pastoral care and has played a significant role in the strategic development of the school.

Mrs Lyons-Smith was director of studies at West Hill Park School from 2011 to 2013, and head of English at Stroud from 2007 to 2011. Prior to that, she taught across the primary age range in both the maintained sector and internationally from 1997.

As well as a first degree from the University of Northumbria and a PGCE Mrs Lyons-Smith holds an MBA from UCL. She sits on the governing body of a local state junior school and is an inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

Mrs Lyons-Smith lives in the New Forest with her husband Trevor, a consultant gastroenterologist at Southampton General Hospital, and her two step-sons, aged 11.

Mrs Lyons-Smith, who was selected from a strong field of candidates said, “I have received the warmest welcome imaginable and I am thrilled to finally be here getting to know the children, parents and staff. I am looking forward to working with the St. Swithun’s community to build on the considerable strengths of the junior school – not least those highlighted in the outstanding inspection report received last term. St. Swithun’s children are wonderfully confident, open and erudite and I’d encourage parents near and far to come and visit us and see what a special place this is.”


Photo: St Swithun’s Junior School new headmistress Mrs Rebecca Lyons-Smith

St Swithuns girls independent school Hampshire

‘The quality of pupils’ academic and other achievements’ at St Swithun’s school ‘is excellent’, independent school inspectors have found. During their most recent educational quality

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inspection of both St Swithun’s senior and junior schools, carried out in February, the quality of pupils’ personal development was also awarded the highest rating the inspectors can use.

In the senior school, pupils’ outstanding success in academic examinations and national competitions was noted, together with achievement in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, with county and national recognition in several sports. Pupils had exceptional communications skills and the ability to analyse complex problems. A highly effective academic tracking and monitoring system was found to support strong progress. The report highlighted collaborative working among pupils, considerable positive commitment to others, both within and beyond the school, and a strong sense of moral responsibility as features of pupils’ personal development.

Children in the early years’ foundation stage at St Swithun’s Junior school were said to make individual progress through a carefully planned, broad curriculum. Across the school, outstanding achievements in a range of activities, including sport, music and drama were noted by the inspection team, as well as pupils’ success in winning places at independent day and boarding schools against strong competition. The report found ‘there are excellent relationships between teachers and pupils themselves, who are highly supportive of one another’, and that pupils at all ages show high levels of self-knowledge, self-esteem, self-confidence and resilience. Staff at the junior school plan to set out more clearly the system of merits and house points to maintain levels of motivation amongst all pupils.

In the context of the ‘excellent’ grading awarded by the inspectors, St Swithun’s school was advised to increase opportunities for pupils to use digital and ICT skills to support their learning. The school’s digital learning programme, which began in September 2016 and is being rolled out, aims to establish integrated, consistent digital learning practices throughout the school and confirm St Swithun’s staff and students as leading practitioners of digital learning.

The report of the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate follows recent results for St Swithun’s of baseline predictive tests administered through the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at the University of Durham. The tests predict the most likely grade outcomes for students based on the performance in the past of other students nationally with similar academic profiles. They also provide ‘value added’ data for students’ results in public examinations. The 2016 analysis shows that girls at St Swithun’s achieve approximately ½ grade higher than their baseline ability across all A-level subjects suggests, and almost one grade at GCSE.


Headmistress, Jane Gandee, said “I am delighted that the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate has recognised the hard work of the staff in both schools to ensure that we provide an outstanding, rounded education at St Swithun’s. These positive inspection findings and our strong value-added scores demonstrate the success of our unique blend”.

St Swithun's Junior independent School Hampshire

In a field of more than 1500 competitors, the St Swithun’s Junior School U11 team of Mia Goodale, Immy Watson and Amelia Johns finished with

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bronze medals in the National Biathlon Finals at Crystal Palace last weekend. Mia won silver in the individual event. Hermione Murray finished 8th in the country thanks in part to an 800m run in which she broke the school record and Charlotte Orman smashed both her PB’s in the 800m and 50m swim. All girls who competed managed to better a PB in one event or in both which shows how hard they have been training.

At the same time that the St Swithun’s girls were battling it out at Crystal Palace, Olympian Kate French, who had worked with the St Swithun’s team on the track and in the pool two weeks before, won Gold in the World Cup Pentathlon Event in Cairo. It may have been the case that Kate inspired our girls and a little bit went the other way too!

Photo: Mia Goodale, Isabelle Law, Charlotte Orman, Hermione Murray, Immy Watson and Amelia Johns

St Swithun's girls' independent preparatory school Hampshire

St Swithun’s junior school recently welcomed Olympian Kate French to help its biathlon team prepare for the National Schools Finals at Crystal Palace.

Kate competed in

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Rio in the modern pentathlon and only recently secured a silver at the World Cup in Los Angeles.

At the track, Kate worked with the girls on dynamic warmup, mobility and form. They then headed to the pool to work on stroke technique and tumble turns. Kate spoke at length about her training schedule and her journey so far before touring the junior school with sports scholars, Mia Goodale and Sasha Law.

Director of sport at St Swithun’s Junior School Roger Marshall said “To have someone like Kate, at the top of her game, come into school shows the girls that if they work hard at their chosen field they can achieve great things, as she has done over the last 12 months. Kate had a great rapport with the girls.’

The St Swithun’s pupils competing in the National Biathlon Finals at Crystal Palace are Mia Goodale, Isabelle Law, Charlotte Orman, Hermione Murray, Immy Watson and Amelia Johns. Grace Clark is out with an injury.


Photo: Mia Goodale, Isabelle Law, Charlotte Orman, Hermione Murray, Immy Watson, Amelia Johns and  upcoming biathlete Theya Dare Bryan warm up with Kate French


St Swithun's girls' independent day and boarding school Hampshire

St Swithun’s Junior School, Winchester recently hosted the final event of the junior school girls’ cross-country tri-series. Other junior schools competing were Oliver’s Battery Primary

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School, Portsmouth High and Portsmouth Grammar School. This final stage of the competition was a handicapped relay event with teams setting off at different times based upon their results in the first two events of the series, held earlier this year. The races were fast and fiercely fought. St Swithun’s started at the back of the field in each race, based on the previous gold medal-winning performances of their teams.

In the mixed relay race one runner from each year group (3, 4, 5 and 6) ran one lap of the course before handing on the baton. The lead changed numerous times before local primary school Oliver’s Battery took the win in a nail biting last leg.

The Year 3 and 4 teams from St Swithun’s won their respective year group relays, with Portsmouth High winning the Year 5 event. The Year 6 race was the final event, and St Swithun’s were victorious once again.

Director of sport at St Swithun’s Junior School Roger Marshall said “The tri-series has been a wonderful opportunity for local girls to experience an event like this. For some, it was their first taste of competitive running. Here at St Swithun’s,  we have been overwhelmed by the number of girls voluntarily coming out to our daily lunchtime runs and enjoying the grounds as well as the running itself. But the whole event has been a huge success and we can’t wait to get next season’s series of races underway”


Photo: St Swithun’s School Year 3 relay team winners : Aleksija Blow, Issy Hastie, Emily Philips, Amalia Sargent


St Swithun's Prep Independent Hampshire

The U10 netball team from St Swithun’s Junior School, Winchester have won their second tournament in the space of a couple of months. Having previously

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won the Portsmouth Grammar School tournament in November they have now won the Durlston Court School, New Milton tournament.

Ten competing teams were split into two groups with the St Swithun’s U10 team playing Dumpton, Stroud, Walhampton and Bournemouth Collegiate School.

The St Swithun’s team played well, winning all their games and progressing to the semi-final where they played the second placed team in the other group, Ballard. The team had a significant win of 13 – 0 in this game which put them up against the host team Durlston Court in the final.

There were some tense opening moments as the teams traded a goal each but then the St Swithun’s girls play started to flow and they won with a final score of 14 – 2.

Director of sport at St Swithun’s Junior School Roger Marshall said “What really impressed me was the way the girls took control of the pre-final talk, leaving me rather redundant! It was great to see their confidence, understanding and team spirit shine through”.

The St Swithun’s U10 team was: Emily Maclay, Isabella Bruce (capt), Emilia Richards, Isla Fanshawe, Hermione Murray, Imogen Watson, Amelia Johns, and Elfye Richards

St Swithun's Junior independent girls school Hampshire

St Swithun’s Junior School, Winchester is delighted to announce the appointment of Miss Rebecca Lyons as the new headmistress with effect from the beginning of

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the summer term 2017.

Miss Lyons has been the deputy head at Stroud, King Edward VI Preparatory School, since 2013. As well as the day to day management at Stroud, she has been responsible for pastoral care and has played a significant role in the strategic development of the school.

Miss Lyons was director of studies at West Hill Park School from 2011 to 2013, and head of English at Stroud from 2007 to 2011. Prior to that, she taught across the primary age range in both the maintained sector and internationally from 1997.

As well as a first degree from the University of Northumbria and a PGCE, Miss Lyons holds an MBA from UCL. She sits on the governing body of a local state junior school and has recently become an inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

Miss Lyons lives in the New Forest with her partner Trevor, a consultant gastroenterologist at Southampton General Hospital, and her two step-sons, aged 10.

There was a very strong field from which to choose, and headmistress of the senior school and acting headmistress Jane Gandee, and the School Council are delighted with the appointment of Miss Lyons.

Miss Lyons said “It is a great honour to be joining a school with such a strong reputation, and an ethos that resonates with my core belief – that as well as striving for academic excellence, the broad talents of all children must be nurtured and celebrated.  I was immediately stuck by the warmth of relationships between children and staff at St Swithun’s, and I look forward to working with staff to build on the considerable strengths of the Junior School in the coming months”.


Photo: St Swithun’s Junior School new headmistress Miss Rebecca Lyons

St Swithun's Junior independent girls school Hampshire

 The U10 netball team from St Swithun’s Junior School, Winchester fought hard to become ultimate winners at the Portsmouth Grammar School tournament on Wednesday 16

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The team played nine other teams in their group, including Portsmouth Grammar School, Churchers, Edgeborough and Highfield, winning eight of their matches and drawing 2 – 2 in a tough match against Hoe Bridge. This put the team second in their group on goal difference to Hoe Bridge. They went on to play Twyford in the semi-final and after an early 2-0 lead by Twyford the team fought back to win 5 – 4.

The final was against initial opponents Hoe Bridge. St Swithun’s juniors started quickly with a 4- 0 lead but then Hoe Bridge scored three times in succession. Both teams then scored once again, finishing with a victory of 5-4 to St Swithun’s.

Director of sport at St Swithun’s Junior School Roger Marshall said “The girls have continued to develop their game over the past year and have really developed their court sense, seemingly able to solve any problems that occur independently. They played two very good games to win the semi-final and final and they can be proud of their achievement”.

The St Swithun’s U10 team was: Grace Clark (Capt.), Emily Maclay, Emilia Richards, Immy Watson, Amelia Johns, Hermione Murray, Izzy Bruce and Elfye Richards.


Photo: St Swithun’s Junior School U10 netball team



St Swithun's Junior independent girls school Hampshire

Pupils at St Swithun’s Junior School, Winchester were thrilled when Pudsey Bear, icon of BBC Children in Need, paid them a visit on Monday.

The children

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brought in donations for Children in Need and wore their very own spotty accessories and Pudsey ears to tie in with ‘The Big Spotacular’ theme this year.

Pudsey spent some time with the youngest children in Nursery and Reception classes before greeting the entire school and having his photograph taken. They all thanked him for taking time out of his very busy schedule this week to come and see everybody.

Olivia Pickard in Year 6 from Alresford was the lucky winner of a ‘Pudsey Smartie jar’ after correctly guessing the total amount of Smarties in the jar to within 4 Smarties of 429.


Photo: St Swithun’s Junior School children with Pudsey Bear in their school foyer

St Swithun's girls independent day and boarding school Hampshire

Pupils at St Swithun’s Junior School, Winchester regularly use the school’s extensive Hampshire grounds for outdoor learning but last week on global ‘Outdoor Classroom Day’

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there was an even greater emphasis on using their natural environment as an integral part of their learning.

In a maths lesson Year 4 were building on work they had done earlier in the week when practising column addition.  The girls really enjoyed making place value charts out of sticks and using stones, leaves and conkers to represent the answers to 3-digit addition sums they were given.  They practised subtraction by expanded decomposition and represented their answers in the same way.  They finished with some problem solving around the maximum number of natural resources they would need to show both the sum and the answer to any 3-digit subtraction.

Years 3 and 5 worked outside on teambuilding activities which formed part of their PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education) curriculum.  Some teams tried to create particular shapes with a piece of rope whilst blind-folded whereas others were tasked with working out how to lift a bucket from the middle of an imaginary minefield without stepping into the field or dropping the bucket.

Reception classes enjoyed some woodland artwork by working in pairs to find their art resources in the form of twigs, conkers and leaves and then discussing and creating pieces of transient artwork together.



Photo:  Year 5s taking part in PSHE teambuilding exercises


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