Monday, July 09, 2012

Sutton Valence Primary School

Engelbert Humperdink and his mother celebrate not coming last in the recent Eurovision Song Contest.

Back to Kent today for a visit to Sutton Valence Primary School.  I managed to scare myself half to death the night before by looking up the school on the Internet only to discover there are two Sutton Valence Schools in the village.  ARGH!  Was I going to go to the right one? Well, yes I did.  Sutton Valence Primary School is a state school, whereas Sutton Valence School is a private school - and just to make things even more complicated they are both in the same road and within less than 400 yards of each other...  No wonder I was initially confused.  As it was it was nice to get to the correct school and a very warm welcome from all the staff.
It was a different sort of day today.  The school were celebrating a Horrible Histories Day and had all sorts of different events going on, with me just as one of them.  They had built a Viking long ship in their playground, there was a hunt the famous figure from history competition outside, plus a visit from a Falconer and his birds.  Things began with me greeting the entire school to a morning assembly.  I was only partially through this when the falconer arrived and rather stole any thunder I might have had by walking in with an American Bald Eagle on his arm.  Now that is a conversation stopper I can tell you.  He then wowed the children even more by first launching the bird across the school hall and it swooped low over their heads eliciting many excited whoops and squeals.  He did this several times, and then parted the children where they sat on the floor and had the Eagle trot across the hall again getting a great reaction from all present.  The falconer was a bit of a name dropper and mentioned once or twice during the day that the Eagle had appeared alongside Liam Neeson in the movie "Clash of the Titans".  Should I tell him I once had a beer with Rolf Harris?  No, I don't think it would have cut much ice to be brutally honest.
After the assembly I had an hour with year 5 doing the six wives talk, then I was with year 6 (a really mean and moody bunch of trainee teenagers) for a short while.  And so the day continued with me spending times with different groups.  The year four group that I did the stocks and punishment section with straight after lunch were absolutely brilliant and we had a big laugh.  The lunch was a magnificent Tudor banquet with tables set up in the main hall under superb flags and pennants.
My final section of the day was to be a jousting tournament with years 1 and 2.  I was a little worried as to how this would go as I had never done a tournament with such a very young group.  But I needn't have worried, they were absolutely brilliant!  In the main final a very good ladies team JUST pipped the Gents in a race off finale.  This makes what could be the final score for the school year to be:
A convincing win for the lasses!
Watching all of this was the Mayor of Maidstone and he very charmingly agreed to take part in a final joust between children and teachers, but obviously he was weighed down with his ceremonial chain of office and came a poor second to the ladies teacher's team. 
It was a really different sort of day and great fun all round!  A lovely school worth visiting and I was tired but very happy with the day.  A long drive home was not quite what the doctor ordered but I am sure I should thank him in the long run.

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