At Down Ampney, we aim to expand and enrich children’s experiences and view of the world through a range of exciting, fun and unique experiences. Here are the activities and events we have taken part in this year.
18th November 2022
Pupils at a Gloucestershire primary school had a mammoth blast from the past today when they were visited by the experts behind one of the most significant British archaeological discoveries in decades.
Children at Down Ampney Church of England Primary School followed in the footsteps of David Attenborough by learning all about the remains of five mammoths direct from the husband and wife team who uncovered them.
As well as hearing from Sally and Dr Neville Hollingworth about the incredible discovery – which was the basis for the BBC documentary “Attenborough and the Mammoth Graveyard” – the pupils also had the chance to view some of the finds for themselves.
The ancient treasures were unearthed in the silt and gravel of a quarry in the Cotswold Water Park, Gloucestershire – just a few miles from the school – operated by Swindon firm Hills Group, and representatives of the company also joined the visit to the school.
Down Ampney Headteacher, Rebecca Gray said: “We are so grateful to Sally and Neville for coming to share their amazing story and discoveries with us. The pupils have been learning all about fossils over the last term and were hugely excited to get the chance to actually see some real-life mammoth bones for themselves.”
“Sally and Neville, with the support of Hills, brought the whole subject to life for the children and this might even inspire some of them to go on and be future David Attenboroughs.”
The remains of the five Steppe mammoths – ancestors of ‘woolly mammoths’ – were discovered in 2017, along with a flint hand axe, which is evidence of early humans dating back more than 200 millennia.
Our Eco Council have been working hard this year in preparation for the renewal of our Eco Schools Green Flag award, which we were awarded last year. Read their annual update here
17 June 2022
A Year 6 student from Down Ampney Primary School today had the opportunity to showcase her work in front of national children’s authors at a Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils event organised by Cheltenham Festivals.
The event saw Milly Baker reading her story in front of nearly 1000 pupils from across Gloucestershire, one of only a handful of students from the county selected to do so.
Milly wrote a continuation of the Carnegie Medal shortlisted novel October October, and amongst the audience at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, hearing her read it out was the book’s author, Katya Balen.
The event followed a 24-hour sponsored readathon held by Down Ampney pupils in March that raised over £1000 for new books for the school’s library and attracted national attention, including congratulations from Katya herself.
Down Ampney Headteacher, Rebecca Gray said: “This was a proud moment for the school and we were delighted to see Down Ampney represented at such a major event. One of our key values is “Everyone Achieving” and what Milly has accomplished is a great example of the hard work and creativity we see from all our pupils.”
“The support we have received from Katya and many others, including for our recent readathon, has been wonderful and a real inspiration to the children. Well done and thank you to everyone.”
Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils (RTRP) is a national network of twenty-two teacher reading groups designed to inspire children to read for pleasure, because research shows that children who read for pleasure experience high levels of well-being, engage in learning and are successful in life. For more information about RTRP please visit: https://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/rtrp