Ardingly School in West Sussex were celebrating the Olympics in a big way on Monday. Arriving at the school with Belinda Rapley (author of The Pony Detectives) we were met with an amazing spectacle of all of the Junior school out on the front lawns, all in costumes depicting the various countries competing this year. There were fencing displays, acrobatics and all the children got into an Olympic rings formation for the main photo.
Belinda had been invited to the school by Victoria Tolworthy, the librarian, as Belinda's showjumping skills and new series of pony books were just the ticket for the girls at the school who are in the main, pony mad.
For the older year groups, Years 5&6 Belinda concentrated on her writing and idea's processes and the girls were very interested in her top tips on how to become a writer. Belinda's photo's of her horses and the yard along with descriptions of the four girls in her books were really interesting and provoked lots of questions.
With the younger age groups Belinda had devised a really fun activity - she had made some jumps (not quite the Fratton Cup Course for the purists) and we got the girls into groups and timed them jumping over the fences. They loved it!
And then the winning teams came up for the medal ceremony to receive their gold winners medals.
When it came to the Year 3's - (still in their national costumes) they burst into the national anthem to add a note of authenticity to the occasion - much to the surprise of a passing teacher.
Belinda has promised to bring in a pony next time she visits Ardingly ....
Thanks to Victoria and colleagues for a great day - and of course to the girls and boys at Ardingly.