Term gets off to a flaming good start at Chippenham school

This Is Wiltshire: Fire-eater Steve Brown goes through his paces Fire-eater Steve Brown goes through his paces

New students were treated to the hottest act in town on their first day at Chippenham’s Abbeyfield School last week.

Fire-eater Steve Brown performed a host of tricks for the year 7 pupils, including juggling and riding a unicycle.

Advanced skills teacher David Drake, who organised the unusual act, said it was a novel way to welcome nervous new pupils to the school.

He said: “This whole idea really started after we began working with an initiative called the Abbeyfield middle years curriculum.

“It revolves around having a ‘theme’ for each term, and although this year we’re just working with the year 7s, next year we’re hoping to get the year 8 students involved too.”

This year’s theme is ‘risk’, and Mr Drake said it will be rolled out across the new pupils’ curriculum.

“We were thinking about the theme and how we could get the new pupils involved straight away,” he said.

“That’s when we decided to bring in something really exciting for their first day. A fire-eater seemed like a fun way to get children involved. These students are going into a new school, which can be quite frightening for them, and instead of being taught all of their subjects by one person, they’ll have to get used to splitting up and going to different classrooms. Subjects like geography, maths and English don’t necessarily tie together that well, but having a theme running through all their lessons should hopefully link them a bit better.”

Mr Drake said the theme can be used in lots of different ways.

Students could learn about the risks of the internet and how to use it safely in IT, or the risks and dangers in science.

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