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Crich Junior School



It has been another busy summer term for us here at school - with great weather, gardening has been a priority.


Memorable Gardens


Carole Bonsall and Roger Phipp at the celebration tea partyAt school this year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of help and support from Roger Phipp and Carole Bonsall from Crich Horticultural Society. In 2007 we started gardening with 3 small beds. Our gardens have since flourished; we now have 15 beds, 2 ornamental gardens, a chicken shed and pen, fruit trees and bushes and a polytunnel. The commitment and dedication of Roger and Carole and other gardening volunteers, who have joined us along the way, in helping our pupils to learn is a much-valued contribution to school life.

Here is what some of the children have to say about what Roger and Carol have taught them.

Roger and Carol have helped me to learn about when fruit and vegetables are ready for picking and how to look after plants in the polytunnel.” - Sophie

The gardeners have helped me to learn about how to plant and water seedlings and how to grow strawberries and rattle seed grass in the sensory garden.” - Sebastiaan



Garden Helpers

Different jobs, big and small,
The garden helpers do them all.
From sowing seeds to building fences,
They are like little gardening dancers.
From growing plants to picking weeds
Always having dirty knees!

Amelie (Y5)


Gardening at 50


It has been a big year for ‘50’ at school this year, and the gardening experts have been hard at work to commemorate this! This is the speech they gave when they unveiled their special surprise.

Megan: This year, 4 of the staff will have their 50th birthday: Mrs Hardy, Mrs Robinson, Mrs Glover and Mr Orridge. Mrs Julian asked us to make a garden to celebrate this.

Izabela: First we made a number ‘50’ out of golden marigolds. Then we made a pattern with other plants that we grew in the polytunnel.

Poppy: Then we asked the 4 people whose birthday it is about some of the things they liked.

Archie: We asked them about the flowers, colours, interests and places that are their favourites.

Jasmine: We used these ideas to plan a part of the garden just for them. Can you tell which is yours?

Lydia: The gardening experts have grown a scented pelargonium for each of you to wish you ‘Happy Birthday’.

Reuben: Mrs Robinson likes purple and reading. Here is her deckchair – she also likes travelling to Australia and Gambia.

Daniel: Mrs Hardy enjoys going to America and New York is her favourite place. We have planted red, white and blue plants and we have a postcard from New York.

Josh: Mr Orridge is a rugby fan. We have used yellow and blue plants – the colours of Matlock Rugby Club.

George: Mrs Glover likes red roses and white plants. She also enjoys dancing and ‘Northern Soul’ – so we have a record and a disco ball.

Megan: We hope you like your garden.



4 teachers had their 50th birthday this year and the children created a special garden for the occasion



Our organic yearly Food for Life visit


Weleda is an organic eco-friendly nature based company in Ilkeston that produces cosmetics and medical products. At Weleda they have a large variety of wildflower meadows. These have a range of uses including medicines and attracting insects and bees for pollination. Everything at Weleda is eco-friendly, including the toilet! Only the girls got to use it – the boys had to use the chemical loo. I wonder why?

We were really interested to learn that some of the plants grown are extremely poisonous including Hemlock, Poison Ivy and Poison Nightshade. You wouldn’t want to get too close to the roots of a Hemlock plant as they can be deadly – the roots are 9 times more poisonous than the leaves!

the pupils were kitted out in their white suits before approaching the bee hivesBee keeping is fascinating as we discovered on our trip to Weleda. When arriving at ‘Mick’s Bee Shed,’ we climbed in to our white suits ready for our bee keeping experience. Before entering the main area, which had approximately 6 hives, Mick puffed smoke around the homes of the bees. The smoke is used to interfere with the bees’ line of communication. Smoking bee colonies also makes bees less likely to sting because they go into survival mode, making the human a less of a concern to them. When the hives are smoked, the bees begin storing up as much honey in their bodies as possible. Once they’re full they are less likely to sting as they know they will die, which will mean the honey is lost.

After gathering safely around the hives (standing quietly and still), Mick started to take them apart to show the structure and interior of the hives. We were very surprised at how many bees there were – up to 35,000 bees can work in 1 hive during the summer months!

Here are some of the many interesting bee facts we learnt from our visit:

  • Bees get fed candy in winter, if necessary.
  • If bees died out, it would have a massive impact on plants, animals and humans so they must never be killed.
  • Oliver taught us the names of 7 different types of bee – 1. Buff-tailed bumblebee 2. Red-tailed bumblebee 3. White-tailed bumblebee 4. Common carder bee 5. Garden bumblebee 6. Early bumblebee 7. Tree bumblebee.

We would like to thank Weleda for allowing us to visit their gardens. We had a great time and learnt lots of fascinating facts. For example, chamomile has many uses: it can be used to soften the skin, relax and calm the mind and it can also be made into tea!


Years 5 and 6


Our work with Derby Refugee Centre


Recently, five Year 6 pupils went to the Derby Refugee centre with Mrs Julian, Mr Julian and Mrs Shakespeare to take our donations of food and toiletries. We were excited because we were going to discuss our ideas and plans for when the Centre visited our school! The board games that we had previously brought had been used and enjoyed by lots of the asylum seekers. We were told that they were very excited about coming to our school because they don’t have a lot to do as they are not allowed to work. It must get so boring. During the discussion, we were invited to join in with a minute’s silence at 11 o’clock because of the terrorist attack in Manchester. We all gathered in one room and firstly Janet explained what we were going to do and then five other interpreters explained it in other languages. We felt very sympathetic for those who were injured and those who had died. It was a particularly powerful experience observing the silence with all these people from different places and backgrounds. It reminded us that no matter where we come from, we are all part of one world.

As the visit would take place during Ramadan, we agreed we would set up a prayer room for the visit. We have a Quran and prayer mat in school for when we study Islam in RE. We also learnt that the volunteers at the centre record everyone’s troubles and what their week has been like. They are really busy with asylum seekers coming from as far away as Newcastle for help. The best part about the visit was meeting everyone there and even having a selfie with one kind man!

If you would like to help us in supporting the Refugee Centre, we would be very grateful for any donations of tinned food and toiletries brought into school. Thank you.


The Visit


the pupils entertained a group of asylum seekers who live in DerbyOn Thursday 25th May, some of the asylum seekers (and some interpreters) from Derby Refugee centre came to Crich Junior School. The pupils kick-started the day with the orchestra playing ‘Tequila’ and we all sang a song called ‘I Believe’. We wanted our visitors to feel welcome. After that we got into little groups to do different activities. Lots of the visitors wanted to play football with us, they were all good enough to play professionally! They certainly tired out Mr. Orridge! Meanwhile in the classrooms we had different activities, one of them playing board games. Olly M. got beaten at checkers! They were really interested in our garden, especially learning the names for the different vegetables and how fast they grew with our weather conditions. Our visitors told us about the vegetables that grew in their countries. They were also really interested in our polytunnel and particularly liked our solar panels. We showed our new friends the chickens and they liked holding them. They said it brought back memories of their childhood. It started to rain so inside a group of children set up a mindfulness activity, giving hand massages to our visitors, who felt much more relaxed now! Another group did origami. Everyone had huge smiles on their faces! Our visitors had a great time with us and we had a fantastic time with them. It was a brilliant experience and helped us to understand the life of an asylum seeker.


By Henry, Noel and Megan


As we go to press the summer term is just finishing. We would like to thank our Year 6 Leavers for all their contributions to the life of the school and say well done for amazing results in this year’s SATs. As we start the autumn term – lots more exciting projects! – watch out for the next issue, when we will update you on an exciting joint project with the Luncheon Club up at the Tramway Museum.