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Crich Junior School



Kim Mihaletos 17.4.1972 - 7.12. 2016

Chair of Governors


Kim Mihaletos‘Hello – I’m phoning from Wales. We’re moving to Derbyshire. I’ve looked on the website. I love your school. When can we come?’ – all spoken in a torrent of enthusiasm and joy.

South African born and bred, Kim’s motto was to live each day to the full. And boy, had she lived life – from Las Vegas showgirl, to florist, care worker and governor. But what brought her most happiness and fulfilment? – Being mum to Andoni.

I couldn’t wait to meet Kim. A mass of red curly hair matched her bubbly personality. It wasn’t long before Kim became established in the school community. She relished each new day and the opportunities it brought her. . From Mum on the playground to fundraiser and, eventually, our Chair of Governors. She embodied the ethos of the school – inclusion for all.

Thanksgiving Day was the most important and looked-forward-to social event of the year for Kim. Pumpkins from the school growing beds were carved and menus set. The most important tradition of the day was the sharing around the meal table, with family and friends, of everyone’s reasons to be ‘thankful’ for the past year.

Kim met the challenges of her illness with her usual determination to beat it, as well as to see it as an opportunity to become a better and more enlightened person. And so to you, Kim’s amazing friends who supported her during the last year of her life, I would like to share her last pearl of wisdom: ‘your friends are a reflection of who you are’.

Cheryl Julian.


Thanksgiving breakfast


children, parents and helpers all enjoyed the Thanksgiving breakfastThe first Thanksgiving dates back to November 1621 when the newly arrived pilgrims celebrated their first successful harvest. They had three days of celebrations with the Wampanoag Indians at Plymouth in Massachusetts.

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving Day in school. It started early in the morning with our Family Thanksgiving Breakfast. Andrew, from The Loaf, made a truly American breakfast possible by supplying delicious pancakes and crispy bacon and all-American grits, popular in the Deep South. Grits are made of corn and they were first produced by the Native Americans centuries ago.

During the day, as is the Thanksgiving custom, we all shared for what we are thankful.


Annual School Bake Off


The challenge – to produce a classic American bake that could either be sweet or savoury. The bake (in the best Mary Berry tradition) was judged on taste, quality of the bake, presentation and item description. The competition was judged by Andrew, from The Loaf. Andrew commented, “This year has been the best ever standard for the Junior Bake Off!”

The bake off was won by Ellie, in year 4, for her Grasshopper Pie. She was particularly commended by Andrew for her research work as well as the deliciousness of her pie. Ellie had discovered that Grasshopper Pie was a favourite dessert of American housewives in the 1950s and 1960s. It has a chocolate biscuit crumb base and a green filling flavoured with mint or Crème de Menthe.


Blues Brothers and Soul Sisters


Following on with our Deep South theme we have composed our own blues songs:


The Sibling Blues

Daniel, Ivy-Rose, Ben and Ellie singing their 'Sibling Blues'I’ve got the bad sibling blues ’cause they always boss me about.
I’ve got the bad sibling blues ’cause they always boss me about.
I swear I’ll get them back one day, there just isn’t any doubt
I’ve got the bad sibling blues ’cause they always boss me about.

By Daniel, Ivy-Rose, Ben and Ellie



The Bedtime Blues

Eddy, Robert, Jorja and Caitlin perform their 'Bedtime Blues'

I’ve got the going to bed blues, ’cause I don’t wanna go to bed.
I’ve got the going to bed blues, 'cause I don’t wanna go to bed.
I prefer to be downstairs so instead I put my teddy to bed.
I’ve got the going to bed blues, ’cause I don’t wanna go to bed.

By Eddy, Robert, Jorja and Caitlin




Native American and Joseph Wright


Joseph Wright's painting of The Widow of an Indian Chief watching the Arms of her deceased Husband’ – 1783, courtsey of Derby MuseumWhat is the connection between America and Derby’s greatest painter, Joseph Wright?
(Picture courtesy of Derby Museum)

What story does this picture tell?

That is the question we set our pupils.

Here are two of their stories:



The Native Business

Once, in a dark and tragic place, a Native American tribe boy was born and his name was Ahiga. His dad was Apollo, leader of their Indian tribe. His mother was called Elna and she was a doctor who helped the tribe community by healing her patients in magical ways.

At 9 years old it was time for Ahiga to leave. He had to find his own food and survive out in the wilderness as this would prove his manhood.

His dad, Apollo said, “Son I will miss you.” Those words buzzed around his head in a hazy way. As the sun set, his mum got his back pack and waved him goodbye. It was an astonishing sight watching his mother crying, tears rolling down her cheeks. He walked away through the muddy green grass not quite believing that he was taking his first steps from home.

Soon he couldn’t see his mum or dad or the camp anymore. He pulled the water bottle from his back pack at the entrance to a large forest. Next, he got his fire tools out and then his wooly blanket that his mum had made him.

What Ahiga hadn’t realised was that it wasn’t an ordinary forest. It was a magical forest and a very lovely one. He thought of his parents and remembered his dad as a vain man who didn’t really care about him, always looking at his muscles like he was the strongest person in the world. His mum however, actually cared about him he thought.

Back to the forest – Ahiga lit a fire just as he’d been taught. He had no idea that there were things in the forest with him: A fairy den full of fairies, talking creatures, glittery vines and precious jewels. Ahiga suddenly heard a sound. He stood up and started walking carefully towards the sound. He didn’t get very far though as WHOOSH! An arrow shot past his head. The arrows kept coming with red and white feathers. He hid behind an old tree. He sat on the dirty ground and looked at the glowing yellow sunset. Suddenly the Indians came and he heard a tough voice…

We will feast on you,” said the Indian Chief. Ahiga wanted to sound tough and strong, but at that moment Ahiga was terrified.

Please don’t eat me. I’m a warrior like you.”

No, No! you’re not.” The chief didn’t like Ahiga at all. And those he didn't like, he usually ate! He was called Crazy Horse and he wasn’t a nice man to be honest.

Just as Ahiga thought he was going to die, the fairies from the magical forest flew over Crazy Horse’s head and sprinkled fairy dust over him and his tribe sending them into a deep sleep full of nightmares and bad dreams. Ahiga was able to safely make his escape.


Readers, you'll probably want to know what happened to Ahiga. Well, eventually he had a wife and children of his own and had a very nice life as leader of his own tribe, which he called Native Business.

By Lilli-Su - Year 4


Spirit of Alahy


I remember it vividly, as if it was yesterday; at the time it was all a blur – a merge of colours – but now ... but now I keep seeing myself (as a tiny baby) being carried up Piper Hill by my dear mother. Her face crumpling with sorrow when she said goodbye. Goodbye forever. She took me up there to start a new life but I couldn't forget my old – let me tell you my story…

It started as a whisper, but soon war had turned to thunder. A thunder that crashed down on houses and scarred you with terrible images that flashed like ambulance sirens in your mind. The wind started howling. But suddenly silence struck on ‘Atrother Village’. Rapidly the silence was broken into mirror shards with one piercing gun shot. Mother ran outside and spoke in a soft secure voice.

My son ... war is coming ... for me. I cannot go on any longer. I won’t be able to be with you and that is the biggest shock of my life, but this can prepare you my darling.

A tear rolled down her cheek as she handed me a second-hand handkerchief full of food that could satisfy my hunger, and jars of water that could quench my thirst. Arriving carefully, we came to the scene I started with. My mother pressed something into my ice-cold hand that day (which I still have to this day). It was a token of her love, a thing to remember her by. She left with pace, not wanting to stare back and face the guilt.

I remember peering down from the hillside with my vulture eyes and seeing my mother’s pale face for the last time before the last bomb dropped... CRASH!


13 Years Later

Sitting silently, I had learnt to cope with this harsh world. But now I see it in a different light. I feel my chest and my mother’s heart beats along with my own. As I sit and stare I feel the world revolving around me, warning me that new dangers are approaching. As I stare into the sunlight I see hope. Often, as I lean back onto ‘Ceaser’s Tree’ I feel the vines are my mother and they’re comforting me with sweet words.

I do not have a tribe. I do not have anybody in the world. All I have is my talisman. He understands and allows me to enter the labyrinth of my twisted thoughts. I lie back and let the grass tickle my face and I think about my mother. Staring ... and staring. I look into the sky. My pain is ineffable. I just want to see her again and with a flash, the encircling clouds get so close it’s like a golden halo…

My name is Alahy and the name means spirit. I am now with the spirit of my mother. She welcomed me to the land above the clouds with my talisman, his name is Mothro (meaning mother) and that is the end of my story...

By Matilda - Year 6


Then we revealed the title of the painting: ‘The Widow of an Indian Chief watching the Arms of her deceased Husband’ – 1783.