Winchester Science Museum

Year 5 and 6 started the new academic year with a trip to the Winchester Science Museum on 25th September 2018. After a quick trip up the motorway, we arrived ready to experience the Planetarium and take part in the Sound workshops.

There was so much there to touch, pull, push, run along that it was extremely difficult to decide what to do first. Fortunately, the decision was made for us as the guide showed us into the planetarium. This was amazing. The lights went down and we could see the night sky above us. Luke pointed out the North Star, the different constellations and how stories were made up about them. We zoomed in and out of the Galaxy (a little bit disconcerting..and stomach churning!) to look at some of the other planets. We learnt so interesting facts, for example, if we wanted to travel to Mars, it would take six months to travel there and there would be no return trip!

After this, we were able to visit the new space area. This was full of exciting and wonderful exhibits. Some of us were able to step into an actual spacesuit, walk in a room that was an optical illusion and see how the planets rotate around each other. We were able to talk from side of the room to another through a large tube reminding us of the cups and strings we had made back at school.

Next was a quick lunch and then we started our Sound workshops. We were shown two metal poles – one longer than the other. The teachers heated up the poles and then turned them over. They made low and high notes. Do you know which one made which noise? We do! We also put strange hats on our heads and tried to work out where the sound was coming from. This was much more difficult than it sounds. The tubes on the hats seem to distort the sound and represented how animal’s hearing has evolved over time.

All in all, it was a great trip with many children asking to go back again…..and soon!

[Written by Mrs Landon]

Blast Off!

Blast Off – “If one person takes up a brass instrument in the future we have done our job”

On Friday morning, the children were filled with anticipation as ‘Blast Off’ was launched at Holbrook. Blast Off was initially designed to introduce primary school aged children to the wonderful world of brass and percussion playing. Recently, there has been a significant drop in youngsters taking up a brass instrument so to encourage children to pick up a brass instrument, Blast Off was designed to offer huge amounts of fun whilst teaching children the art of improvising and experimenting with different brass instruments.

As we welcomed Rich Harvey, the bandmaster of the Royal Hospital School to Holbrook, the children were immediately hooked by the beautiful sights of the brass instruments that were laid out for them to admire.  In assembly, the children were introduced to the brass family and amongst gasps of excitement from the children, Rich demonstrated the bass notes of the tuba, the lyrical melody of the baritone and French horn, the melodic capability of the trumpet and the sweet notes of the King of brass instruments; the trombone. Which is personally my favourite!

After assembly, the children took part in an interactive workshop, which allowed the children to experiment with the revolutionary pBuzz. During the workshop, the children were first taught how to make a sound through the instrument (it was at this point, the children enjoyed blowing raspberries at each other.) From the minute the workshop started, Rich, made sure every child was involved and made to feel part of the pBuzz orchestra. To make the experience interactive and fun, Rich held competitions to see who could hold a note for the longest.  Congratulations must go to Lee Wright and Katie Pullan for showing the school that they’ve got the most puff and possibly the biggest lungs. As well as this, Rich taught the children how to listen to the music and as the 40-minute workshop came to an end the children enjoyed rehearsing ‘I Feel Good’ complete with dancing. The school hall at this point felt alive and there was a buzz in the atmosphere as the children perfected their performance. I now know that Holbrook has talented singers, (from Holbrook’s Got Talent) dancers and prospective musicians. The future is looking good for Music!

Following a day of workshops and interactive activities, the children came together under one roof to deliver a one off performance of “I Feel Good.” The hall was filled with laughter, dancing and joy as the children came together to celebrate their achievements of what they had learnt in a day. They should be incredibly proud of what they achieved in such a short period of time. But more importantly I hope they left school on Friday thinking, “I would love to do that again.” Please do take the time to talk to your children about this event as the excitement that oozed out of the children all day was infectious. There was not a single person in the room that did not have a beaming smile on their face. And I suspect many parents were asking the question that evening ‘Why are you humming ‘I Feel Good’?’

Thank you’s…

First, a huge thank you must go to Rich Harvey, who has without a doubt, inspired our youngsters. His wicked sense of humour, love of music and generous nature made the day enjoyable for all 253 children in the school. His energy and passion for music was outstanding throughout the day and the children learnt from the very best. We hope in the future, the children at Holbrook have more opportunities to extend their love of music. As well as thanking Rich, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Royal Hospital School for allowing Rich to bring Blast Off to Gosport and for their generosity and support in organising and planning this magnificent event.

Finally, Warwick Music Group, must be thanked for their generous contribution towards the event. Without their support the event could not have taken place. On a personal level, I would like to thank Warwick Music Group for designing the revolutionary pBuzz and allowing more doors to open for children across the county. With their brightly coloured design, the pBone and pBuzz offered the children an opportunity to experience live music and most importantly have fun, whilst getting a chance to discover a brass instrument for themselves.  I hope this opportunity stays with the children for a long time to come and as Rich and I said together, “If one person takes up a brass instrument in the future we have done our job”


Miss Price



Year 6 Summer Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope that everyone had a good Easter break and it has been great to see the children back in school and hearing all about their holidays. The school has been a great place to be this week with the beautiful weather and everyone refreshed after their well needed break.

Continue reading “Year 6 Summer Newsletter”

Year 5 Summer 1 Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope that everyone had a good Easter break and it has been great to see the children back in school and hearing all about their holidays. The school has been a great place to be this week with the beautiful weather and everyone refreshed after their well needed break.

Continue reading “Year 5 Summer 1 Newsletter”

Year 6 Spring 2 Newsletter…

Dear Parents and carers,

Welcome back to school after a soggy half term. I am looking forward to the first signs of spring and some nicer weather.

Last half term was very busy after the Christmas break. Year 4 children were amazing ambassadors for the school on their residential at Fairthorne Manor, they were adventurous and keen to try lots of new things whether it was abseiling or carrot and coriander soup! Year 6 wowed their parents with some excellent monster dance and their gruesome Frankenstein writing. Year 2 showed their charitable nature and held a sale for ??? following their work looking at life in Kenya raising £nnnn. Year 3 were exploring life at Hogwarts and producing some excellent newspaper articles and diary entries written as either a witch or wizard. Some even tried to write as Draco Malfoy. Meanwhile, Year 5 have been exploring what it is like in Space and writing some haikus about getting old! They are well worth a read. Year 1 have been busy learning about African animals and enjoying the drum workshops along with the Year 1 classes at Bedenham. Finally, Year R have been celebrating Chinese New Year and enjoying ordering meals at their in class Chinese take away. They have been practising their chop sticks skills too!

This half term promises to be just as busy! Please enjoy the newsletters blogs to read more about what your child has been getting up to and what is coming up for them this half term.

I look forward to seeing lots of you in school again this half term, your support is very important to your children.

Mrs Zoë Dudley

Head of School.

Welcome back after our half term holiday where I hope everyone enjoyed the rest from all the hard work we have completed so far in a very busy start to 2018.

We ended the half term with our ‘Monster afternoon’ which despite the cold, we all enjoyed. As one parent wrote, “It’s nice to see them smiling and enjoying themselves. Always a pleasure to be invited into school.”

We start this half term with Book week during which we hope that you will be able to join us for the ‘Tea and Read’ on Wednesday afternoon at 2.30pm. This will give you (and the children) time  to share favourite stories whilst having a cuppa! Another exciting event during Book week was our visit to Bedenham school to meet the author, Guy Bass. This gave the children the opportunity to discuss how he creates his books and where he receives his ideas.

Maths will continue to cover the curriculum and working hard on applying their mathematical knowledge. Please do practise the times tables with your children as it has been proved how important it is for the children to know these fluently. It is not just knowing them in order but also being able to use connected facts eg if I know 3 x 2 = 6, I also know……

Within English, the children will be writing newspaper articles about the amazing tightrope walker Philippe Petit. They will research the aerialist to support their writing and will be amazed by his death-defying stunts. Alongside their English, they will be reading the book Boy in the Tower and linking themes and symbols with other books that they have read.

After a very successful Tag Rugby coaching by Mr Gander last half term, we will now be developing our tennis skills alongside orienteering – so they can find the balls when they have hit them too hard!! PE is on a Monday and Wednesday so please ensure that their PE kit is in school.

On Thursday 1st March 2018, we’ll be holding a Parent meeting to explain more about the SATs process and what will be expected of the children. You will be able to see some past papers and we can give you some hints of how to make this as a stress-free occasion as possible.

On Thursday 8th March 2018 at 3.30pm, there will be a Sex and Relationship Education meeting for parents. During this time, we will share the resources that we use when presenting this programme so that you can discuss any questions that you may have. This will be held in either Dolphin or Orca Class.

We will also be holding a Wales meeting in the next few weeks.

As the last half term was so short, we will be continuing to cover Mountains in geography, Sound in Science and developing a Kendal Mint Cake style for people to eat while climbing those cold mountains!

Maths and Reading boosters will continue during this half term. They will run from 2.30 until 3.15 on a Wednesday and we would really appreciate it if the children who have been invited, do attend. They have been put in place to boost the children’s confidence ahead of the SATs.

Just a quick reminder:

  • Homework is handed out on a Friday, to be handed in on the following Wednesday
  • Daily reading for at least 10 minutes. Remember to have your book signed
  • Practice your times tables and related facts.

Thank you again for your continued support – we really do appreciate it as I am sure your children do too.


Monster Afternoon

Our ‘Monster Afternoon’ got off to a very scary start with Year 6 changing into monster movers. Both classes danced in front of their parents frightening most if not all of them! There are some very talented gymnasts who seem to make back walkovers seem incredibly easy whilst others pulled particularly zombie-like faces. With the decorated masks on the back of their heads, the whole effect would have gone down well in any monster movie. Well done all and many thanks to Mr Plow for choreographing the whole thing.

Once our hearts had returned to normal, the classes split with Dolphins leading their parents off to share the stories that they had written about Frankenstein. Along with the gruesome instructions on how to build their own monsters, the children read with great enthusiasm using the tone of their voices to make it sound even more frightening.

While Dolphins were in the warmth, Orcas were outside in the sun (with a chill factor of at least -30 degrees – or at least it felt like it!), showing off their rugby skills. It is amazing to see how far both classes have come on. Some of the children have shown a particular aptitude to the game and possibly there could be some future England players amongt them?? After a while, both classes swapped much to the delight of the parents! A big thank you to Mr Gander who had given up his free time to come in and coach – he did a brilliant job.

Thank you so much to those parents who were able to join us on yet another very successful afternoon. As one parent said, ” Really enjoyed the show, all the children looked as if they were really enjoying themselves.”

We look forward to seeing you again during Book Week.