Trips & Workshops | Finton House School
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Category: Trips & Workshops

‘A Place to Call Home’: A Collaborative Art Project

1st April 22

On Tuesday 22 March, Year 5 pupils visited their collaborative ‘A Place to Call Home’ exhibition at Southside Shopping Centre, Wandsworth.

Earlier this year, Year 5 were invited to participate in the creation of a partnership art project titled ‘A Place to Call Home’, culminating in an exhibition (March 2022), which brought together independent and state schools in the borough of Wandsworth, reflecting on the isolation felt during COVID-19 and the importance of our shared community.

Year 5 pupil Krish describes the event:

“This was a collaboration across Wandsworth with fifty other schools taking part. Each school brought something new to the table, whether it was self-portraits or even Covid particles with words on them that students thought described home (this was our idea; pretty cool right?). This exhibition brought a sense of community and hope as we emerge from this global pandemic – we’re all affected by this and we’re in this together. For me, it highlights how we have stuck together through the toughest of times and shown resilience.

We were inspired by Miss Sophie Potter who painted Covid particles and we were allowed the artistic licence to put our own spin on them. I was blown away by the artwork on display and as soon as we were allowed to look around, we all rushed to find our panel. It was a scramble, to say the least, as everybody was super excited. Our facilitator gave us all sheets and we were split into groups with one group per panel. We were told to draw a picture of one of the artworks on the panels’ and answer a few questions based on our chosen piece. I chose a self-portrait of a boy who I thought went into amazing detail with his mark-making and his use of cross hatching. We all gathered back up again and this time the facilitator gave us a soundscape to ‘watch’ or should I say listen to. A soundscape is a video recording of lots of different sounds that you want to hear, it sometimes makes you feel you want to be where these sounds have taken place. This was interesting as lots of us said we ‘saw’ something even though we did not see anything! This to me highlights the power of sound and how you can visualise things with sound in more detail – two senses are better than one.

Finally, we were split into groups again and created some self-portraits and put our favourite things around us. Overall, this was a really fun trip, and it was so good to work as a team with 50 other schools, and I hope we can all do more things like this in the future.”

Year 1 Meet ‘Oreo and Friends’

5th November 21

Year 1 had a visit from a range of exotic animals on Thursday, including boa constrictors, an armadillo and a five month old skunk!

The workshop, which forms part of the Year 1 science topic on living things, was tremendously popular with both pupils and staff alike. Oreo and Friends is an organisation that aims to raise awareness about exotic animals, and Year 1 met some rescues and were able to stroke or hold them. They met a number of different animals, including a tenrec (looks like a hedgehog but is native to Madagascar), an armadillo, a tarantula called Charlotte and a five month old skunk.

To see some more photos, visit our Instagram page.

Poetry Week

31st January 20

“Poetry week was jazzed up by our visiting poet Joseph Coelho! He started his assembly off by talking about a useful method that he uses called MORERAPS, which stands for M-metaphor, O-onomatopoeia, R-rythm, E-emotion, R-repetition, A-alliteration, P-personification, S-simile. Then he read from some of his books and poems. Apparently he even has a poem that’s an hour-long! He explained that he writes novels, poems, non-fiction, fiction and picture books.

Later on the School Reporters, well two of us, had the opportunity to interview him. When asked what advice he has for future writers, he replied that he recommends always carrying a notebook for ideas, getting into the habit of observing what is around us and asking lots of questions. Joseph told us that science and non-fiction museums had a big influence on his writing, but he also got inspired by lots of other poets and writers, like Michael Rosen. We asked what he would do if he felt uninspired and how he gets his creativity flowing. He recommended to do something completely different and to take your mind off writing with for example gardening, watching a documentary or cooking. Lastly, he explained that the whole process of writing a book can take around 2 years.

We enjoyed the assembly and especially loved interviewing him.”
By School Reporters Sicily and Rosie (Year 6)

Victorian Workshop

21st January 19

The action takes place in Victorian London…

Children in Reception stepped back in time to experience the daily life in Victorian Britain this week. As the ‘new servants’ at Sudbury Manor the children had to complete household chores to the housekeeper’s satisfaction. After a day of hard work, they got to play with some typical Victorian toys, which they absolutely loved. What a memorable way to teach children about historical characters, periods and events!

An Extraterrestrial Appearance at Finton House

26th April 18

Finton House School were tasked with a challenging space mission on their STEM Day recently. The children arrived at school in the morning to discover a crashed spaceship in the playground which had appeared overnight. This rapidly fuelled some early morning speculation as to what may have happened.

The children were then quickly ushered into assembly where a newsflash told them that an alien had apparently crash-landed at Finton House. A few CCTV clips showed the alien in various parts of the school, including sitting at the Headmaster’s desk. As the assembly continued there was sudden uproar as the alien walked past the window behind the presenter. Clearly something had to be done.

Throughout the day, children completed various problem-solving activities (relating to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to return the alien to its home planet. Our young engineers in Year 1 helped the alien by designing their own rockets and making straw rockets with fins to give them stability. Working in teams, Years 5 and 6 used Spheros (controlled by the iPad) to calculate and programme a route through a giant map of the universe back to the alien’s home.

Everyone visited the giant Science Dome, which was like a planetarium, to see footage of the space station, enjoy a journey to each planet and even a rollercoaster ride through the rocks and ice of Saturn’s rings. “It was totally awesome” reported one Year 3 pupil.

Another highlight of the day was the self-built rockets launching in the playground. To the amusement of the children, one of the rockets was so well built that it landed on the School’s roof.

At one point in the afternoon, a UFO was spotted in the sky: “Perhaps that’s the alien’s friend coming to rescue him”, cried the children in Year 1.

It was a very memorable day filled with valuable hands-on learning experiences, engaging the whole school and every member of staff!

Ben Freeman, Headmaster of Finton House, said: ‘there’s nothing like this kind of immersive learning to trigger massive enthusiasm for a whole range of subjects. It takes a great deal of planning and resource, but the dividends are incalculable.’

Plastic Ocean Presentation

26th February 18

Did you know that more than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year?

Upper School pupils at Finton House listened to a thought-provoking assembly about the environmental impact of plastic waste in our oceans. Jo Ruxton, who is a founder of the Plastic Oceans Foundation, stressed the importance of spreading awareness of the issues amongst our youngest generation.

“We should never underestimate the harmful impact waste can have on the oceans and its habitants.”  Miss Jo went on to tell the children that plastic pieces can be found broken up in tiny pieces in the ocean which are then consumed by marine animals and release toxic chemicals in their bodies. As an example she highlighted that a shocking 90% of all seabirds are found to have plastic in their stomachs, since mother birds think the shining small pieces of plastic are squid and feed it to their babies.

Not only does this harm the marine animals but it is very much a concern for human health as well. For example, we eat fish without realising that those toxic plastic pieces also enter our bodies.

Jo made sure that the children are aware that it is never too late to make a difference by changing our daily habits to protect our environment. Avoiding the purchase of packaged vegetables at the supermarkets, drinking tap water instead of bottled water and recycling plastic are only some of the things every single one of us can do to live responsibly.

At the end of the presentation, the children were not only deeply touched by the fate of many sea animals who have sustained injuries because of plastic pieces in the ocean, but also realised how much our daily actions can impact the planet’s environment.

It was lovely to hear the children proudly sharing their examples of picking up litter at the local park, recycling plastic at home and throwing away litter at the beach. Well done Fintonians, keep up the great community work!

As always, we were very proud with the way our pupils showed respect and listened attentively to the presentation. We hope they will remember this assembly the next time they go to the supermarket or throw away their plastic waste at home.

Thank you Miss Jo for coming to Finton House, and for delivering such a memorable talk.

An Aboriginal Virtual Learning Adventure

23rd January 18

Year 3 pupils discovered one of the oldest surviving cultures in the world.

Guided by local indigenous guides, Year 3 pupils were transported in seconds to Australia in an exciting Virtual Reality Workshop. Not only was the workshop a lot of fun, but the children also learnt a lot about Dreamtime stories, Aboriginal dances and Australian scenery in a full 360 degrees view. One child commented that it felt like she was actually in Australia experiencing everything for herself.

The workshop leader encouraged interesting discussions about the aboriginal life pre 1788, which showed just how much our pupils already knew about the topic. But the workshop definitely expanded their knowledge even further and deepened their learning through incorporating historical facts in 3D experiences.

The workshop definitely also made a few of the staff interested who dropped in to have a go themselves!

Miss Bridget, Deputy Head at Finton, commented: “While it was a cold and wet morning here in London, our children were transported to hot Australia in seconds which was an exciting experience for them all!”

Language Learning Made Fun!

18th January 18

What started with a rather long and complicated French introduction and lots of puzzled faces; ended up being one of the most entertaining shows the children have ever seen. Not only did they burst out in laughter on a number of occasions, but they also were impressed by how many French words they recognised. The play was performed by two actors, one Native English and one Native French. The children were perfectly able to follow the story in both languages, which certainly boosted their confidence about their language skills.

Lyra (Year 4) wrote a lovely review about the performance: