Prep Notice Board

Salter’s Institute Chemistry Festival

Lottie, Jemima, Scarlett and Lucia had the exciting opportunity to take part in the Salter’s Institute Chemistry Festival. The first part of the day was the Salter’s Challenge. After navigating their way through the corridors of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, the girls found themselves in an extensive working laboratory. Lab coats and goggles on and they were off, trying to find the missing element using a variety of chemical tests. The judges kept a close eye and asked lots of questions about the results collected. After lunch it was time for the challenge set by the university, using column chromatography to separate colours in food dyes. Careful team work and scientific procedure resulted in a successful conclusion. After a morning of hard work it was time for some fun! The ‘Table Talk’ lecture about the periodic table was full of pops, bangs and amazing demonstrations. A great way to round off a day of chemistry.

Space Day

Years 5-8 took part in a Space themed cross curricular day. The children were split in to different teams, all named after famous astronauts, and spent the day completing different tasks. They competed a literature quiz based on Sci-fi books in English, designed a rocket in maths using different 2D shapes, and made a moon landing animation using Scratch in ICT. In Art and DT, the children were challenged to design a t-shirt based on the planet that represents their House. Science was all about rocket fuel! The children were given the task of finding the best fuel for launching the rockets highest in to the sky. History and geography joined forces for a joint challenge in which the teams had to make a quiz based on the pictures Tim Peake took whilst on the International Space Station. The historical element saw the children researching space travel and exploration. The most popular session was the team building in which the children had to work together in order to gather clues from across the Britten Hall with out touching the ground.

All the children had a great day and learnt lots, not only about the how the subjects they are taught have a relevance to the Space but how to work effectively as a team.

Big Bang Fair, Birmingham

Science week continued at breakneck speed here at Old Buckenham Hall.

Having just recovered from the epic Leicester Space Centre visit the Science department were off on another adventure early Thursday morning. Year 8 students along with Mrs Blackhurst, Mr Miller and Lucy set out on the long trip to the NEC in Birmingham to attend the Big Bang UK Scientists & Engineers Fair.

The Big Bang Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for students in the UK. The Fair gives young people the chance to hear from inspiring engineers and scientists from some of the UK’s biggest companies and find out about the opportunities available to them in the fields of science and engineering. Our students were lucky enough to engage with a massive range of activities from being astounded by the Army divers who were swimming in giant fish tanks, the Racing Point Formula 1 car and the Red Arrow Hawk, to being challenged to solve tricky problems such as ‘Is a grape magnetic?’

The GSK stand proved incredibly popular, which had nothing to do with the Periodic Table pens I am sure! But it did give our students the opportunity to see how attractive they were to 1,000 live mosquitos, learn about global health challenges through gaming, make skin cream, learn about the ingredients in toothpaste, inflate a set of real lungs (a healthy donor and a smoker), race against the clock to deliver transplants to the most needy patients and get absorbed in virtual reality!

The Accelerator brought out the competitive streak in some of our boys, with Charlie H, Austin, Greg & Freddie DLR determined to beat their personal bests! They lined up side by side ready to sprint through a 10m inflatable tunnel, racing the lights that lit up alongside them at the speed of some of the greatest athletes on Earth. Unfortunately no one managed to beat Usain Bolt on the day and we learnt that nothing travels faster than the speed of light!

This was an exceptional educational event, enjoyed by all of our Year 8, even the adults who attended had fun! Although the journey was long the students felt that it had absolutely been worthwhile and we may just have inspired the next set of ground breaking scientists and engineers.

3,2,1… BLAST OFF by 4SG

This week, Year 4 went to the National Space Centre at Leicester to find out all about our universe – the Milky Way. As soon as we arrived, we saw a giant rocket tower. We were all speechless. Getting off the bus, we walked along the footprints of astronauts and into the tower. Once inside, we looked up and saw the enormous rocket. We all went up in the lift – it was a bit of a squish. When we were at the top we saw a moon rock and learnt about the space race between Russia and America.

Next, we went to the Space Cadet training centre where there was a really cool ride. It was an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) chair that was used for a spacewalk. It was a two person ride and it was so much fun. It was tricky to control and two of us managed to accidentally drift it and do some donuts too!

In the afternoon, we went to the Planetarium where we learnt lots of amazing things. We found out about star constellations and how some things that look like stars aren’t actually stars but instead are galaxies or nebulae – where stars are born. We also learnt about the planets, saw how they orbitted and found out how big they are.
The trip was amazing and we loved it. Thank you so much for the staff who organised it. Oh, and one other thing: good-bye earth-lings…

Easter Holiday Camp

Mr Bolt and his team will be running a Sports camp on Tuesday 9th April (9.30 am-3.00 pm). These camps are very popular and will involve tennis, football, Rory’s Place, Britten Hall games and a special Easter egg hunt in the afternoon. The cost is £30 for the day and is open to all children in the prep school. Please email Josh Bolt.

Food at Old Buckenham Hall

Becky Griffiths together with Jane and Mike, our chefs, look forward to seeing any parents who are interested in learning more about our menus, how we cater for allergies or raise any concerns or comments either next Tuesday 19th March or Tuesday 26th March at 2.00 pm in the Drawing Room.

Superleague Netball

The girls were very excited to be travelling to Hertfordshire University to watch Saracens Mavericks v Loughborough Lightning Superleague netball on Friday night. They had a brilliant evening watching current and ex-England players take to the court for a fast and physical match. I could hear comments such as ‘wow…did you see that? And ‘that was amazing!’. The evening finished off with a fantastic win for Mavericks which was then topped off with the girls meeting and chatting to the players, a definite highlight of the trip for them! The girls are now looking forward to welcoming Mavericks player Ellie Kelk to OBH in March, when she will be taking a coaching session with them.

Cross Country

Following qualification from the first round of the Suffolk Cross Country, five boys travelled to Ipswich High for the next qualifier. Having previously run extremely well the boys knew that this round was going to be harder as numbers had been whittled down. They needed to finish in the top 40 to get through to the B race at Woodbridge on the 10th January. They all ran incredibly well in horrendous conditions and ALL of them qualified. Amazing work from Archie, William, Freddie, Jasper and Austin.

Success at The Suffolk Music Festival

Congratulations to Sergey who received the George Fairburn Memorial Cup at the recent Gala Concert and Prize Giving ceremony for The Suffolk Music Festival in which he won first place for
the Grade 8 and Over competition playing Prelude Fugue by Bach.


Over the course of this term six students from Years 7 & 8 have been working towards their Level 1 National Indoor Climbing Award at the Cragg climbing wall in Stowmarket. Each Thursday during activities we have ramped up the excitement levels and raised the adrenaline levels as the students have been challenged both physically and mentally. They have learnt to trust their climbing partner to belay them safely as they attempt a number of more and more complex climbing problems. Caroline, our instructor, has been impressed by the student’s determination to succeed and relentless desire to tackle even greater challenging routes.

To earn their Level 1 certificates students have had to demonstrate excellent knowledge of safety rules, harness fitment, key knots, belay technique and effective communication. Then, of course, there is the climbing itself, routes are graded according to level of difficulty and a minimum of 10 successful climbs have to be completed before students can earn their Level 1 certificate.
It therefore gives me great pleasure to congratulate; Anthony, Charlie, Fenella, Fergus, Joshua and Lucia on being awarded their Level 1 NICAS. It has been an impressive feat given the short time frame that the students have been working towards their award and that most had never climbed before. Each and every one should be proud of what they have achieved and we look forward to celebrating them achieving their Level 2 next term.

The Friends

After nearly two years of fund raising, all those cake sales, quiz nights and Christmas Fairs have finally paid off… the refurbish-ment of Rory’s Place is finished. The final instalment was nearly 50 cubic metres of wood chip that was delivered last week. A huge thank you to the Estates Team for the lovely job that they have done spreading it out! Also a very special thank you to Mr Morgan, Rory’s father, who heard of our fund raising efforts and sent us a very generous cheque.

Choral Workshop

Seven Year 5s visited Royal Hospital School to take part in a singing day with Dominic Peckham, conductor of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, and a choral animateur in demand all over the world. They had a great time learning six songs really quickly, making lots of silly noises and singing with 200 other children from schools all over Suffolk. Mr. Peckham was an inspirational choirmaster, and gave the children an amazing day.

Year 3 visit Maynard Apple Orchards

On Tuesday, Year 3 came into school dressed very smartly in their Sunday Best ready for our trip to Maynard Apple Orchards. Clive Williamson (OBH alumni) gave us a fascinating tour and the children found out about pasteurisation, bottling and labelling. They were treated to some delicious local apple juice and walked away with two (or sometimes a small handful) of juicy local apples.
3GG and 3EW were wonderfully polite visitors and Mr Williamson was very impressed with the children’s engaging questions. Once again, they proved to be the best possible ambassadors.

Year 8 Sports Scholars

The candidates for Sports scholarships have started their leadership and interview stage of training. On Mondays they are leading the Year 2 in sporting based activities. They each take it in turn to produce an activity and lead the other candidates in teaching the children. This week it was agility and basic hand eye co-ordination exercises. The Year 8s clearly enjoyed the experience and will no doubt produce some fun and exciting sessions in the next few weeks.

Melford Court Musicians

Some dozen of our musicians entertained the residents of Melford Court Care Home last week with their singing and playing. Visits like these really make a difference to elderly people’s lives, and the audience were very appreciative of the efforts of the children, giving up some of their Wednesday afternoon to give cheer. The performances were all very good, and even had some residents singing along.
Well done, everyone!

Friends Halloween Cake Sale

The sale raised a whopping £186.30 !! A very big thank you to everyone for all their amazing contributions and for their support in buying lots of spooky cakes.

Year 4 visit Colchester Castle

The excitement of the Year 4’s outing to Colchester was evident from the start of the day. Immaculately dressed in their Sunday Best, armed with packed lunches, clipboards and enthusiasm to learn about the Romans they climbed aboard the coach.

There were many hands-on learning opportunities. The children worked in teams to build an Iron Age round house and Roman Villa where they compared the materials and building methods. There were also surprised to learn that the Romans invented under floor heating. There was time to explore the museum and see the many artefacts on display and learn how important  Colchester (or Camulodnum ) has been over the past 2000 years.

The tour of the vaults was perhaps the highlight of the visit. They were treated to Roman stories, re-enacted battles and discovered the fate of Boudicca! Year 4 were a pleasure to accompany and the visit to the castle will help bring this term’s History topic to life.

Year 5 visit the iFly Centre in Milton Keynes.

The children have been learning about ‘forces’ and the best way to teach the them about air resistance, mass vs. weight and gravity, is to let the children feel the forces in action! They learnt all about the importance of air resistance when designing cars and wind-powered vehicles with Professor iFly. Once armed with a wealth of knowledge, they were set the task of building their own wind powered car. They worked well in their teams to construct the most stable and aerodynamic car possible. Time was soon up and they were ready to find out how quickly they would travel down the track.

The highlight of the day was the trip over to the wind tunnel where the children experienced air resistance on an extreme level! Once briefed on the best flying position and the relevant hand signals, all the children got dressed in their flight suits ready to enter the tunnel. All the children waited with anticipation for their turn to fly, watching with interest as their friends flew high into the tunnel. Everyone really enjoyed the chance to float in mid-air and some even held their positions long enough to soar up to about 15ft. Once everyone had flown twice, the instructors showed us how changing your body shape can make you soar up to the top of the tunnel before quickly plummeting back to the bottom again. All the children were extremely polite and well behaved, with staff commenting on their good manners. Everyone had a great day and certainly learnt a lot about the forces around us.

House Maths’ Challenge

This first House event of the year was contested by all pupils from Reception through to Year 8. Pre-Prep children completed as many addition calculations as possible whilst the Prep School recalled their times tables swiftly. When the children complete the second round of the challenge just after half term they will need to improve their own score by as many as they can so that the House average per child increases. Well done, to MARS on this occasion.

OBH musicians treated to a dazzling display of cello and piano virtuosity at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

The programme included works by Debussy and Martinu performed by Yalda Davis (cello) and James Recknell (piano) who were an inspiration to our young listeners. After the recital, the children met Ms Davis who kindly answered all of their questions and reinforced the importance of practice. It was a real pleasure to accompany our musicians who made a very positive impression during the musical outing with positive comments from members of the public, staff at the cathedral and the performers.

 Art and Design Technology Scholarship Workshop

We held a super Art and Design Technology Scholar’s Workshop, which enabled both groups to come together and create some exciting extended projects for their portfolios/folders. Our Designers created their own fantastic upholstered stools, whilst our Artists created some wonderful figurative sculptures, inspired by
Giacometti’s work. What a great way to spend an afternoon and it is clear that we have some really talented pupils!

Looking ahead…

Sports Camp

Mr Bolt will be running a Sports Camp at school on Thursday, 20th December (9.30am – 3.00 pm). The camp will consist of Tennis, Football, Dodgeball, Rory’s place and plenty more fun in the Britten Hall. It is open to all children in the Prep school and the cost for the day is £30. Any questions or to register your child, please email

Sporting Success…

Selection to Suffolk Netball Development Squad

Congratulations to Phoebe and Maya who impressed selectors at trials and have been invited to join the Suffolk Netball Development Squad, the first step on the England Pathway!

Evalina selected for Suffolk Hockey Academy

Well done, to Evalina who has again been selected for the Suffolk Academy Centre 2018-19 programme. She will part of the U14s girls hockey (squad having progressed from the U13 squad).

Albie qualifies for Grassroots Showjumping Championships

Last weekend Albie represented Old Buckenham Hall at the NSEA Inter-Schools Regional Points League Show Jumping 2018. Albie and pony Freddie (aka Red Mist) won the individual section of the 50cm and were 2nd in the 60cm. They have qualified for the Grassroots Championships in both classes, a super achievement.

Any budding riders wishing to join Albie in representing the school, please contact Julia Campbell or Linda Williams.

Orlando crowned as U8 Suffolk County Tennis Champion

At the end of August, Orlando won The Suffolk County Tennis Championship, thus becoming County Champion for his age group (U8). What is even more remarkable about this achievement, is that he did so whilst still a year younger than his rivals. Congratulations from us all – it is VERY well deserved!

Alumni news…

Congratulations to former pupil, Harry Rowland, who was part of the winning U18’s Denmark rugby team in a recent match. Harry has recently been visiting US universities in order to apply to study for International Business and Politics and be considered for a College Rugby Scholarship programme.

OBH Making a Difference

House Charities

Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn have been busy discussing and deciding which charities they would like to support next year. The children have made lots of suggestions and with so many worthy causes, it has been a difficult decision. Each House will hold a fundraising day for their charity. They have lots of exciting plans with all sorts of fun ideas for raising money! More details to follow next term.

Jupiter- The Charlie Watkins Foundation
The Foundation looks to help improve the lives of those suffering with mental health, through the support of charities. It was set up in memory of Charlie, an old boy of OBH, who sadly took his own life in 2017 after suffering from depression.

Mars- Lizzie’s Fund
Lizzie’s Fund is raising funds for research into childhood brain tumours for the Brain Tumour Charity.

Mercury- The East Anglian Air Ambulance
The charity provides a helicopter emergency medical service for the people of East Anglia.

Saturn- The Little Princess Trust
The Trust provides real hair wigs free of charge to children and young people who have sadly lost their own hair due to cancer treatment and other illnesses.


Second Hand Uniform Shop

The Second Hand Uniform Shop, run by the Friends of OBH, is located in the balcony area of the Britten Hall and during term time will be open:
Every Tuesday morning from 8.30am-9.30am and every home weekend Friday
from 3.15pm-4.00pm.

If you have anything you would like to donate (full profit going to the Friends) or to sell (you will receive 50% of the sale price) please come and see us or email the Friends on