Head Boys’ Guest Blog: Preparing for secondary school

Elmhurst School for Boys

28th June 2019 | Headmaster's Blog

We were very lucky to be the first group of boys at Elmhurst to take part in Forest School with Mrs Mawanda and Mrs Lloyd. When people think about learning and preparation for schools, they often only think about the classroom. However, in the forest, we learned about nature and about collaborating with different members of our class to reach whatever goal we needed to. We often had to think very critically about the causes and effects of our actions during these tasks. Importantly, we learned that it was not only okay to make mistakes, but that it helped us to learn because we had to work out why something had not worked as we expected it to. Now, we are right in the middle of our final visits to the forest. We are all really sad to leave Forest school behind. It has helped us to become quick thinkers and resilient boys and has definitely allowed our creativity to run wild!

The Six Golden Rules for a Happy Elmhurst family have been really important values for us, both inside and outside school. They help us to consider others around us, how our choices affect other people and how we can make the best choices for a happy environment. The Golden Rules have helped us to see how an Elmhurst boy should be and they have reminded us to always try our best to be that boy.

In Year 5 we began to talk about the 4Cs: Collaboration, Communication, Creative thinking and Critical thinking. These skills help us to work together to work out a challenge and to join up and respect all the skills that each one of us has to find out not just the answers to questions, but why they are the answers and how we got to those answers. This has helped us with our learning. Instead of just looking at the marks that we have got for various pieces of work, we have been encouraged to look at how we got those marks and to learn from each other about the parts of our work that we have not yet understood and why that might be.

Booster classes in Year 5 have helped us to focus on examination skills by offering us extra time with our teachers when we are fresh, first thing in the morning. Sometimes, exams can feel a bit nerve-wracking and Madame Hargreaves has been very supportive in talking to us about those feelings and helping us with some mindfulness activities. Most importantly of all, we have felt that our teachers really know us, in our characters and in our academic abilities. This helps us to trust that our teachers can offer us great advice on which school we would learn most happily in when we leave Elmhurst.

I (Joshua), joined this school in Year 4, however, since then, the school has started preparing me, whether through the Stride Learning business and enterprise programme or the English Speaking Board exams and has helped our collaboration skills greatly. In Stride Learning we had to work together to make a business idea which would be successful. The English Speaking Board exams made us work together to create the best presentation we can and helped us be critical thinkers.

Mr Venier is a sports fanatic, he has really helped the entire school to become really fit improving us collectively as a group. There have been many sports achievements, for example, Chuckwuemeka recently won the national shot put championships and Javahn won the national 60m finals.

Overall this school has really prepared us for secondary school. Whether with sports or academics, Elmhurst has really affected our primary school lives greatly, building us up to be the best we can be.

Morgan Atkinson and Joshua  Ikpunuekhai
Head Boys 2018 - 19

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