And sometimes we just play the world famous (in Cromwell) Sofa Game

Gifted children have a keen need to play intellectual games. It is one of the over-excitabilities that they display, and it works when they play these game with like minded peers.

Here’s the Cromwell favourite – the Sofa Game ( we have to improvise with 4 chairs in a line, but you can imagine a sofa!)

Rules to follow:

sofa game

The rules: (long but worth it!)

This is essentially a memory game. The object of this game is to get 4 members of your team on the “sofa”

To start, have everyone sit down in a circle (incuding the circle) alternating boy/girl/boy/girl. (If there are not enough of one gender, assign someone to join that group and make sure everyone knows… or pick a different qualifier such as seating them team A/then B/then A/then B. It will work as long as everyone knows who is on their team.) This means that two of the 4 designated seats on the couch belong to your team and two belong to the other. Remember the objective is to get the other team out of those seats and your members on.

So, how do you do that?

First, you write everyone’s name on a card and have everyone pull a name out of a hat. Everyone has a different name in their hand (it doesn’t matter if it is their own name). Once everyone is seated and has a name card you can start the game.

There should be one empty chair/place in the circle. Whoever is to the right of that empty place has the opportunity to ask someone to come sit next to him. The first couple people will just guess a name because they do not yet know who holds what name cards. Say the empty seat is next to you and you call the name Jeff… the person with the name Jeff on their card gets up… NOT the person whose name is actually Jeff. Once this “so-called Jeff” comes and sits next to you, you switch name papers. Now YOU have become Jeff and the person who sat next to you has the name you had (which only you know because no one has seen it but you).

Now everyone knows that You are Jeff. There is an empty space where the guy who just sat next to you used to sit. So the person to the right of the empty seat calls another name (Sarah). The person with that name on their card moves to that spot and switches cards with the caller. You now know that the caller’s name is Sarah. You just keep doing this until eventually you call the name (on the card) of someone on the couch and they have to vacate their coveted position.

If the person to the right of the empty spot is on the couch, they will want call someone from their team up to join them. (they will have had to remember from before).

People in the circle will want to remember the name of an opposing team member on the couch, so that in case an empty seat opens up next to them, they can call someone off the couch. A person on the couch will want to remember their own team members’ names so they can call someone on the couch.

Keep in mind however, that YOU may be called onto the couch and be required to remember your own team members’ names as well since it will be up to you to call team members onto the couch.

The only rule of the game is that you can’t call the same name twice in a row. Another note to remember if you are playing boy against girl is that it is the actual gender of the person HOLDING the card that counts, not the gender of the person whose name is on the card. Sarah may be called “Jeff” but she still counts for the girl’s team on the couch.


How do you lead a group that don’t play the game?

It’s all very well learning about leadership and learning what qualities you need, and how to develop them to be a good leader. But leading, by its very nature, means that you have to work with other people to get the best outcome for task, team, and individual. So what do you do when faced with a group that has one member who is passive (always agrees, never contributes), one member who is assertive (always right, fights for own opinions), and one member who is aggressive (takes things personally, offers personal attacks)?

Year 9 all had to lead a group made up of a passive, assertive and aggressive person, to a successful outcome. This involved a lot of fun role play as groups rotated so that everyone got to play each type of group member to:

1. Come up with 5 smoothie recipes
2. Make up a song about toe nails
3. Create the best paper plane

This is what they said:

” I learnt that you have to relate, include, listen and participate in a scenario like that. I liked the role playing and I liked it even more because I knew the people I was with could take it and have a laugh.”

” I enjoyed this activity because it was interesting to see how different types react together in a group. I learnt more strategies to solve problems which will help me in the future as I’m likely to encounter this at some point when at work”.

” I found it difficult dealing with such strong personalities. It has helped with the way I deal with leadership situations in the future”.

” I learnt to value passive people more. I also learnt the power of ignoring aggressive people. Keeping everyone calm is a good strategy. Also, having assertive people on your side works well. “

“It was good to see how everyone in our group handled the different personalities”

” This really tested our leadership skills. I found that by ignoring the aggressor, and concentrating on the passive person helped to have a positive outcome. It was a really valuable exercise”.

” I realised that you can learn ways to solve problems in groups”.

” I liked to think about what other people might be feeling”.

“I realised that in order to make the group work, the leader has to facilitate a way for everyone to get along”

“It was great fun acting different behaviours!”




Time we left the literary stuff behind. Mostly. This term and theme for year 8 is Science, so big and broad and plenty of choice for us all. Students have chosen their science badge topics. Check out this excellent scheme from the Science Award Trust hereĀ Popular choices have been Large Animals, Technology, Home physics, Zoology and Conservation. Students will work on this self- managed programme at home and earn enough points to qualify for their science badges by the end of this term or next.

We’ve also been having a quick look at the brain. here is Liam’s cat’s brain:

Liam - Copy

Doodle 4 Google

Seen the doodle on the Google page? Year 7 and 8 have been entering the D4G competition with their doodle being on the Google web page for 24 hours if they win. the design brief? “If I were an explorer I would….” This competition has shown some very creative and divergent thinking and some clever conceptual thinking and explaining. It has actually turned out to be an excellent competition to get bright kids to really think. Here’s a few:

Exploring Evolution:

If I was an explorer I’d explore not where but when, viewing the evolution of mankind. I’d go back millions of years to when the first marine life had formed to creatures with arms and legs, then all the way to the present where humans have evolved to dominate the universe

Bob evolution



If i was an explorer I would show you how much fracking effects the environment. I am anti-fracking. you can see that there is the earth with a hole in it, an earthquake caused by fracking and dirty water

Lana Fracking



Exploring Olympus, the home of Greek Gods would mean Jupiter’s lightning bolt, Cerberus the three headed dog that guards the underworld, Neptune’s staff and the flame of Olympus

Jordyn olympus


Fantasy and Fiction

If i was an explorer i would explore fantasy and fiction because anything can happen. one minute a Hobbit could be fighting a dragon and Superman could be saving the day; the next minute you could be caught in a slithering snake trap under Hogwarts. With fantasy and fiction it’s up to you what happens and where it goes

Cait fantasy


Problem Gambling

If I were an explorer I would explore inside the mind of a gambler

Darcie gambling