Cotswold school, Kitebrook Preparatory, transported themselves back to medieval times, when they were joined for the day by The Knights of Middle England.
7th October 2021 — The delighted children, who relished diving back into activities after months of national restrictions, spent their day being knights, maidens, friars, jesters, kings and queens, learning fascinating skills, such as jousting, ancient ballista, longbow archery and sword fighting.
Along with the interactive weapons workshops, the pupils were encouraged to touch and try on pieces of armour, chainmail and helmets to understand how it would feel to be a real medieval knight.
Gushing about their experiences, the children said:
“I loved watching the jousting; it looked so real!”
“It felt like we were really living in the Middle Ages!”
“This day couldn’t get any better!”
Their step back in time culminated in a falconry display and jousting tournament with four knights pitting their skills against each other. Kitebrook parents were invited for the afternoon display, arriving in suitable medieval attire, to also enjoy the school’s historical transformation.
History teacher and organiser Lawrence Wild said: “This level of hands-on learning is wonderful for the children. Our teaching ethos at Kitebrook is to make education as interactive as possible, but turning the school into a time from the past with all the authentic medieval pursuits has been absolutely incredible; an extremely enjoyable day for us all.”
The long awaited return to competitive fixtures this summer has seen great success for Cotswold-based school, Kitebrook Preparatory.
5th July 2021 — The children have also smashed their way to success on the tennis court this term. Year 4 pupil, Willoughby Orchard, recently sealed wins against Shropshire, Staffordshire and Herefordshire & Worcestershire while representing Warwickshire County’s U9 team in the LTA’s County Cup. He then brought his winning form to his Kitebrook teammates with 3 enthusiastic doubles performances, and triumphs, against Magdalen College School. His brother, Barnabas, also played for Warwickshire in the county cup under 11's, and fellow Year 4 pupil, Marko, participated in the 9 and under County Cup for Oxfordshire.
There has also been great footballing news for a 5-year-old Year 1 pupil, who following a successful trial, has been offered a place at West Midlands Foxes, playing for their Elite Team. West Midlands Foxes is an academy set up and their Elite Teams play against Pro Club Academies as well as being coached by Leicester City FC coaches.
Furthermore, earlier this month, 11-year-old Rosie Campbell and her pony Toorboy Tommy won at Keysoe International Pony Premier, making her a 128cm Horse of the Year Show qualifier in October. She has also just been selected for the English team at the Welsh Home Pony Show, scheduled for later this summer.
Head of PE, Anna Edgerton, said: “After a turbulent year for competitive sport, we are not only delighted to be back on the pitches and courts, but it is fantastic for the children to be excelling in both our fixtures and extracurricular pursuits.”
Despite the restrictions that the sporting arena has endured this year, Kitebrook Preparatory School has still been jumping ahead with their Equestrian Team eventing.
10th December 2020 — With Kitebrook becoming NSEA (National Schools Equestrian Association) members just last year, the team have already begun making an impact across the events. Two team members, who are in Year 4 at Kitebrook, found success at the Kings Equestrian Centre, Herefordshire, with a 1st rosette in the 75cm, a 2nd in the 70cm and placing 5th in the 60cm.
Additionally, one of the girls from team Kitebrook qualified for the NSEA Grass Roots Regional Championships in both Showjumping (60cm) and Dressage (Intro & Prelim), while there was qualification for a Year 6 representative, for both Hickstead and Olympia. The pupil also qualified for Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham.
With the hope that the current restrictions will begin to ease in the new year, the Kitebrook Equestrian contingent are looking to further expand their team.
Teacher and club organiser Charlotte Tudge said: “With the amount of additional children who are keen to sign up, we are really looking forward to the next few months. They all demonstrate such huge potential we are hoping for even greater success.”
Kitebrook Preparatory School pupil Molly J. has had her theatre script chosen to be recorded by a team of professional actors and shared with audiences across Oxfordshire as part of a competition.
7th August 2020 — While schools were forced to close during the lockdown period, Kitebrook Preparatory School in the Cotswolds brought their pupils together in distance learning classrooms, building on their education as they would have in school, while also encouraging the children to get involved with new and exciting projects.
One such project came from The Chipping Norton Theatre, who while also physically closed, continued to reach out to theatre-goers and locals, launching ‘Speak as One’, an invitation for members of the public to write their own short audio play, creating a collage of voices from within the community.
Year 5 pupil Molly J. captivated the reader’s panel of award-winning playwrights, producers, actors and theatre-makers with her piece, Missing!, chosen to be recorded by a team of professional actors and shared with audiences across the county, airing on BBC Radio Oxford and as part of the theatre’s newly launched podcast series.
Proud Kitebrook teacher Emily Scates said: “Molly is a fantastic creative writer and certainly a talent to watch. She has always enjoyed writing and acting and wrote a moving play for the Year 5 production and then took the initiative to enter a national competition, succeeding in her script, Missing!, becoming one of the 14 entries selected for production by The Chipping Norton Theatre. Molly has used lockdown to really hone a skill and we applaud you.”
A Kitebrook Preparatory School pupil is the voice of a cartoon character called Lucy in the Hidden Cheltenham Trail, which guides visitors to the town through local points of interest and aims to raise the profile of local businesses.
17th July 2020 — If you are walking around Cheltenham this summer, look out for the town’s updated Interactive Hidden Trail. Cartoon character, Lucy, who guides visitors through local points of interest, is voiced by 8 year-old Kitebrook Preparatory pupil India D-W, who during lockdown managed to combine working on school projects with an exciting opportunity to perform as a voiceover artist.
Year 4 India, who was also part of The Stagecoach Performing Arts Global Guinness World Record in 2018, used her drama training to support this year's Augmented Reality (AR) enhancement to the Hidden Cheltenham Trail provided by The Cheltenham BID (Business Improvement District), with their endeavour to raise the profile of the businesses within the town.
Developed by marketing agency Red Lemon, in conjunction with Neil Morgan Design, the AR enhancement allows you to scan codes found on floor stickers placed around town to unlock local curiosities. Lucy, aka India, while also referencing new social distancing measures, relays historical information, fun facts and introduces interactive challenges and a competitive element.
India, who was delighted to be involved said: “I really enjoyed being Lucy as it was so much fun helping create a new character. I am excited to hear the end result and hope people enjoy listening to her along the trail.”
Kitebrook teacher Emma Norton said: “India is a mature, well-spoken pupil and we are delighted she took the initiative to use her time away from school so productively. The experience has really helped grow her confidence and we are incredibly proud to see her channelling interests into something so creative and beneficial for the community. A wonderful achievement.”
A ten-year-old Kitebrook Preparatory School pupil has achieved a school first by qualifying for the annual IAPS National Swimming Finals.
30th June 2020 — The extensive swimming competition involves 40 qualifying galas, organised throughout the spring term, which sees more than 400 Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) enter the competition. The fastest 1500 swimmers are invited to the national finals at the London Aquatics Centre at the end of the academic year.
Entering for the first time, Kitebrook took 13 children to the qualifying event at The Dragon School, Oxford, competing against some tough teams. Max H. represented Kitebrook in the U10 boys 25m freestyle race, achieving 18th place out of 118 swimmers, with a time of 16.08s. As the top 20 swimmers in each event qualify for the finals, under normal circumstances he would have joined his preparatory school peers from across the UK, for the final event at the 2012 Olympic swimming venue, supported by 3000 spectators. Due to the unprecedented circumstances, unfortunately the final is unable to be held this year. However, this does not detract from Max’s incredible success.
Head of PE, Anna Edgerton said: “Although it is disappointing that the Finals have not taken place, this is a huge achievement that Max should be extremely proud of—we certainly are here at Kitebrook! Our team will be keeping up the training and we look forward to going back next year.”