Monthly Archives: December 2014

Look at Laurel’s Lanterns and more…

Laurel Class joined the design a decoration challenge today and worked well to create some very interesting designs for their classroom.

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Christmas Decorations – Searching for The Year 6 Apprentice

Year 6 had great fun working together against the clock to produce the most creative Christmas decorations to decorate the class.  In true Apprentice style the teams had to present their ideas and products to the class at the end.  The winning team was selected by a class vote.

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Christmas Crafts At Newton Field Centre

What a beautiful day welcomed us all at Newton Field Centre for our 3rd Christmas event. Many thanks to Georgina Hand, the centre manager, who worked extremely hard to prepare a fantastic range of festive activities.  We started the morning with a very enjoyable guided tour around the beautiful learn a bit about the history of the reserve and learn to identify a few of the many trees and hedges that grow there.  A great morning was had by all with lots to keep us busy – from using the microscopes for detective work to creating Christmas decorations from Willow and Dogwood, printing Christmas cards with Jean from The University of Northampton to making Christmas gift bags and bird feeders for the winter birds.  More information about the fantastic outdoors activities Georgina delivers for schools in term-time or to hire the centre for your own events, check out the Newton Field Centre website.


The view from Newton Field Centre overlooking the meadow towards Boughton Estate woodland

1024px-Phytomyza_ilicis_IMG_0145_1280A holly leaf damaged by the Holly Leaf Miner – Detective work….If you look at a damaged holly leaf under the microscope it is possible to work out if the larvae have escaped or been eaten… A small round hole in the damaged part of the leaf is a sign of a parasitic wasp attacking the larvae, a triangular tear in the leaf could indicate a Blue Tit has attacked it or if a ‘trap door’ is present – the larvae has successfully left the leaf.

P1100188Georgina’s Willow Christmas tree

P1100197Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), also known as ‘sloe’, is a small deciduous tree native to the UK and most of Europe. Its very spikey so makes excellent hedging for keeping out intruders!

P1100211Jean’s beautiful sketch of the day – wow! Practise does make perfect. Jean has been doing a sketch every day for the past few years….

P1100212The ingredients for our high fat bird feeders – pastry, cheese, raisins and seeds to fill pine cones

P1100234Christmas bags – lots of great suggestions to fill them included – a mug with sachets of hot chocolate and marshmallows, woolly socks and seeds for gardeners, toys, sweets, cosmetics, travel soaps and sachets for travellers… the list is endless

P1100248Can you find the winter twigs and identify them?  – Georgina’s challenge – answers included – Ash, Willow, Lime. Alder, Hawthorn, Dogwood, Blackthorn and Dog Rose

P1100184Alder, Oak and Willow wreaths – a very therapeutic activity

P1100186Can you make a Christmas start? It helps to soak the Willow overnight

P1100203Frosty plants by the River Ise


P1100214A Christmas feast for the birds – messy but fun to keep the winter birds going over winter. Lard mixed with seeds, rolled out, cut out then hung up on the trees


Last KCC Youth Session of the Year

Numbers are climbing as the end of the year is fast approaching.  Another great session today with skills improving and confidence rising.  Well done everyone!  We are all looking forward to delivering more at Brambleside and Rothwell in 2015.  Our next session is on 10th January 2015 at 10.00am at Rothwell Community Centre.

All updates for future sessions will be posted on the Kettering Cycling Club website






Solar Ovens in Bungoma

Solar Ovens in Bungoma

Our school Nourish manager, Micheala Frankcam and Trevor Kendrick, Chair of Governors, have recently linked Brambleside School to a school in Bungoma, and found that teaching children and families how to make and use solar ovens an extremely rewarding experience. Micheala has been very enthusiastic to share her experiences in Bungoma with the staff and children at school.  Working with Nourish over the last 3 years has made Micheala’s  outlook on volume cooking a reality, and she was very interested to see how they coped on this even greater scale in Kenya.


Michaela Frankcam leaving a little bit of ‘Nourish’ in Bungoma, Kenya Africa

A background and more details of this project, led by a team from St Andrews Church in Kettering can be found in this article.


An article from The Cross Keys Magazine about the Solar Oven, Bungoma project

Michaela discovered that close to 3 billion people, use indoor stoves using wood, dried leaves, dung, or hay as their main source of fuel for cooking and heating.  The cooking huts are often poorly ventilated, filled with smoke, and crowded with several women at once, it would be easy for a person’s hair, clothing, or even the home to catch fire (said to be equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes a day for anyone standing in the hut).

In the words of Rev Kane Taylor of The St Andrew’s Church, Kettering Team, it is the hope that through this Solar Oven project technology will make a difference to the lives of Africans, environmentally and economically.  It is hoped that it will be a break with the culture of the region and local people will be enthused to manufacture their own solar ovens to generate an income and incorporate them into the local way of life



Hill Climbing, Mud and Free Wheeling Fun At Rothwell

Drizzle, muddy soft grass and cold winds didn’t deter the 3 KCC coaches and 7 riders and their parents that turned up determind to improve their cyclo cross skills and stamina today. Their hard work paid off and great fun was had by all especially through the challenging woodland trail at the end of session.

Keeping Steady!

Keeping Steady!

The NFU cape saves the day!

The NFU cape saves the day!

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Sponsor A Pup – Vaughn Visits Brambleside

At last after more than a year of fundraising and selling our nearly new uniform for The Guide Dog Association,  Sponsor a Pup Appeal, children were treated to a very special visit from Vaughn.

Guide Dog Puppy Vaughn socialising in Foundation class. whilst experienced dog Adam keeps a watchful eye over him.

Guide Dog Puppy Vaughn socialising in Foundation class. whilst experienced dog Adam keeps a watchful eye over him.

Adam and the Guide Dog Team visiting the Reception Class

Adam and the Guide Dog Team visiting the Reception Class