Pond Clearing

The older pupils of Henley in Arden Montessori Primary are working towards their Eco School Silver Award. They had observed that the pond near the Medical Centre was needing some attention. Under the supervision of a zoologist they have started to clear the pond to prevent it changing state from wetland to grassland to woodland. For three hours they worked tirelessly removing lots of rubbish and cutting back nettles. There is still much work to be done so watch this space over the next few weeks.

“MiniBrum” Museum

On Thursday 16th May, seven pupils from Henley Montessori Primary school, attended the opening of “MiniBrum” at the Thinktank Science museum, Birmingham, a creative city for children. This has been the culmination of being part of a long-term project starting September 2018.  The pupils involved had been asked to design and create a museum within “MiniBrum”, from the choice of objects to the creation of exciting displays. They designed everything that the public can now see and do within a fantastic museum.

Having the opportunity to work in collaboration with the Thinktank Science museum has been an excellent opportunity to showcase how our pupils learn at Henley Montessori Primary School. Much of what we do is based around the process of each pupils learning, their confidence, resourcefulness and having the freedom to develop interests.

The Thinktank Learning Team gave our pupils ownership of the project right from the beginning, their ideas were listened to and encouraged. In the classroom they had the time to use the whole curriculum in a purposeful way, drawing knowledge from previous experiences and developing new skills. In maths by working on scale drawings and plans, language producing presentations and stories for the exhibits, science, geography and history in research about the objects; with art and music for the finished exhibits and incorporating features like braille that will make the museum inclusive for all.

If there were any financial or logistical issues to overcome, they were still involved in the decision making, meeting regularly with their teachers and representatives from the Thinktank to shape the finished project. The finished museum is a replica of their original designs and ideas, testimony to the whole process they were involved in. An opportunity that I don’t think any of them will fully realise the significance in their education until they are older.

For anyone with children “MiniBrum” is well worth a visit, it provides an inspiring environment for children to explore and question their understanding of the world around them. Through play the city gives children the confidence to think like scientists and engineers in a real-life context, to test their ideas, to problem solve and create.

As a school we feel nothing but pride and pleasure we have all gained from this collaborative project.

Helen Everley, Headteacher, Henley in Arden Montessori Primary School

The museum designers with their adult collaborators

High School Transition

At first I thought I wouldn’t have been able to transfer very easily but on my first day I found out that I was actually better at Maths, English and other subjects than I thought.
In the first week my bus was a bit late which was quite stressful but I found out that all my teachers were ok when I told them what had happened. My form tutor is really nice and he reassured me it would all be fine.
I have made lots of friends.

One of the hardest things was the school timetable. At Primary school my timetable was flexible but at my new school each lesson is an hour and you have to be in a certain place at a certain time. You can’t be slow and if you are you will be late to class.

One of the things that Henley Montessori Primary has done for me is that it has given me lots of self confidence. I do not think I would have done anything as well as I have done for example: coping with stress of the bus, answering questions in class, finding my way around the school.

If I had not been in this environment with these people and had this experience I think I would have struggled.
By Alice Wasley

One of the questions which we faced often when describing our choice of school to others was ‘How will Alice cope when she has to move on?’ I was always hopeful that she would be capable and interested enough in learning to succeed wherever she moved to at secondary age. Without doubt Alice’s self-confidence has grown during her time at Henley in Arden Montessori Primary and she left equipped with the skills and knowledge that she needed to make a successful transition to a new, much larger school.

The school website advertises that they “provide a place where children can have confidence in themselves, develop into life long learners and reach their own unique potential. When the time comes to move on to other schools they are happy, confident and resourceful.” This certainly seems to be the case for Alice and our experience has been an extremely positive one.

Claire and Andrew Wasley

Hands On fun with the fire engine

On Friday 28th September, the emergency services were extremely busy with the accident on the M40 and M42 which caused delays in and around the West Midlands and Warwickshire. Many of our pupils took twice as long to get to school. But it was worth it, when the firefighters returned to the station they had to clean the engine. As usual the pupils were watching but this time they were invited to help!


Helena’s 10 month Pupdate

Helena is over 10 months old and nearing the end of the time that she will be spending with her Puppy Walkers, Robin and Catherine. At this stage Catherine is mostly working on fine-tuning all of the skills that Helena has learnt so far to help prepare her as much as possible before she hopefully makes the move to one of the national training schools or Mobility Teams to begin her formal training in a few months’ time.

Catherine says that when Helena is on a training walk she does pull a bit too much at times when she’s keen to explore new places, but hopefully with continued practise, and as she matures, this will improve. Helena is wearing a collar which should also reduce this behaviour as well.

Helena continues to travel well on a variety of forms of transport and is great when travelling by train where she will happily relax and go to sleep. When she’s in the car, she is well behaved most of the time, but as soon as they pull into the car park where Helena has her puppy classes, she gets very excited as she loves to socialise with her fellow guide dog pups. Although she doesn’t get spooked by anything when she’s out and about, she does have an aversion to the vacuum cleaner when she’s at home and will bark at it when it comes out!

Helena has come so far during the time that she’s been with her Puppy Walkers and they await the date to be set for her move to big school and to meet her Guide Dog Trainer.

Watch this space!