All Posts By

Tracey Hooker


We are embracing “Healthy Eating Week ” next week at Philpots. We have lots of fun and exciting things for our students to be part of.

A Selection of weird and wonderful fruit will be delivered to classrooms on Monday morning for the students to try and will have a sensory tasting sheet to fill in for this activity.

On Tuesday we will be encouraging the students to engage for 30 minutes in a new activity. The activities on offer will be “Boostfit” (dance to modern music with mental wellbeing and positive vibes encorporated. Students will be offered hand massages, further dance activities and Yoga. Both staff and students will be running a “Philpots Mile” around site during lunchtime.

On Wednesday we will be having a whole school picnic and providing healthy options to all. These include things like fruit kebabs, salads, noodles and a wide variety of options for all. Our Cookery Students will be making some lovely dishes to add to the picnic.

Thursday is our “Get Active Day” – This will include a penalty shoot out and football sessions, Balloon tennis for our younger students, and some bleep tests with Stuart.

Friday our focus is around “Drink Plenty” – One of our students will be doing a higher/lower sugar in assembly and this will then be followed by a celebration of the involvement and achievement of the Students over the week. We will be giving out water bottles to those students taking part in healthy eating week and encouraging them to always stay hydrated.

May Day Celebrations

We welcomed local Morris Men to Philpots on May 1st this year. They entertained us and the children with some traditional dancing and music. This was followed by our annual happy birthday Philpots celebrations, and then we treated all staff and students to birthday cake and ice cream. It was our 59th Birthday this year looking forward to the big 60 next year.

Philpots Snow Heroes

We have to say a huge thank you to two members of our staff. Julie Hart (Stable Manager) and Cherry Sutton (Groom). Both these members of staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty this week to ensure our horses were looked after. Julie had to park her car in the neighbouring village of Sharpthorne and walk to our site just so she could get in. Cherry had to walk across the neighbouring fields to gain access to us. Both these ladies have managed to look after the horses so well in these arctic conditions. The pipes are still frozen and the water troughs solid ice. Both ladies have had to lug water from the school kitchen to the stables to ensure the horses could have a drink. They have fed and cleaned them out every day. Then faced walking miles home and back to their vehicles in plummeting temperatures. We cannot express how grateful we are to these two “snow heroes”. Our horses adore them and we are so proud and thankful to have them as part of our team.

The photo is of Julie during warmer times at Philpots!

“Beast from the East” hits Philpots

Given our rural location in the heart of West Sussex, we have been struck by the dreaded snow. The wave of weather nicknamed “The Beast from the East” by the National Weather teams, has struck Philpots. With further snow due and Arctic conditions due to arrive for the next few days we are hoping it melts very soon!

Alistair’s Motor Vehicle Service & Repair

Ali has now enjoyed work experience at two different garages and is in his second year at his current placement. He is in his last year at Philpots and is also attending Plumpton College studying a Level 2 Diploma in Motor Vehicle Service and Repair.  A bright future ahead for Ali.

Anti-Bullying Day at Philpots

Here at Philpots we celebrated anti bullying week by wearing blue for the day.  The children completed many fun activities and discussions within their classrooms during the week.  The students were encouraged to design a poem, picture, poster, presentation or acrostic design. There were many prizes handed out for their wonderful efforts.

This week culminated in both staff and students wearing “blue” for the day. Donations were given by both staff and students  and we raised £66.00 for the Anti Bullying Charity.

Nadia takes a well earned sabbatical

Just before Bobby Cornell left earlier this year to go to Ruskin Mill he read out a letter to the school. It thanked all those who had taught him and helped him through his many years at Philpots, and gave particular appreciation to Nadia for, among many things, finding him such a great college. Many students and staff share these sentiments and recognise how Nadia has ‘walked that extra mile’ for the students in her care, helping them, not only while they are here, but also in their transition to life outside and beyond.

Another much appreciated aspect of Nadia’s work throughout has been her dedication and commitment to the Steiner curriculum. Nadia has always endeavoured to bring beauty, goodness and truth in an age appropriate way, to all her Main Lessons. And she has shared this with staff during Inset days by bringing the Speech Activities, Ball Catching, Movement and Music games that she teaches her class to us colleagues, getting us all in a tangle of clumsiness, laughter and fun!

Thank-you too for enhancing the social and cultural aspect of the school with parties alive with Circle Dancing, the firing of the outdoor bread oven and staff volley ball matches. Enjoy your sabbatical, wherever it leads you.

Volcanic Eruptions at Philpots

In the latter half of the summer term, Carol’s class began to study Volcanoes. They learnt lots of fun facts about Volcanoes and this culminated in them building their own volcanoes and with the help of our Science technician, Glenn, were able to see them erupt for real.

Some fun facts that they learnt…

  • Volcanoes are openings in the Earth’s surface. When they are active they can let ash, gas and hot magma escape in sometimes violent and spectacular eruptions.
  • The word volcano originally comes from the name of the Roman god of fire, Vulcan.
  • Volcanoes are usually located where tectonic plates meet. This is especially true for the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area around the Pacific Ocean where over 75% of the volcanoes on Earth are found.
  • Hot liquid rock under the Earth’s surface is known as magma, it is called lava after it comes out of a volcano.
  • Some famous volcanic eruptions of modern times include Mount Krakatoa in 1883, Novarupta in 1912, Mount St Helens in 1980 and Mt Pinatubo in 1991.
  • Most people think of volcanoes as large cone shaped mountains but that is just one type, others feature wide plateaus, fissure vents (cracks were lava emerges) and bulging dome shapes.
  • There are also volcanoes found on the ocean floor and even under icecaps, such as those found in Iceland.

And here are some photos of the children and their work building and demonstrating the volcanoes.

A Visit to South of England Show

Every year the students at Philpots get the opportunity to go to the South of England Show at the Ardingly Showground. This year was even more spectacular as it was the 50th Anniversary for the show.  Our students were able to see and discover all aspects of farming and get hands on with some of the animals too.

The students got to see lots of competitions including show jumping, cattle, sheep, goat, pig and poultry breeds, wool fleeces, horticultural displays, trade stands, arts and crafts and much more. We were very fortunate for some lovely weather on the day we visited and the students even enjoyed some ice creams to cool off.

Here are some wonderful pics of the day.