Issue 3 - Autumn Term 2020
A very warm welcome to our first newsletter of the term.
25th September 2020
Message from Ben Evans
It is hard to believe that another week has flown by and we are now at our first Exeat of the term. I have been so proud of how the children continue to enjoy every aspect of school life to the full and with great spirit and good humour whilst also adhering to all the new restrictions in place. Whilst these are necessary to safeguard the health of the whole school community, I am pleased that so many of the wonderful Windlesham opportunities eagerly anticipated by the pupils are still able to happen. As I write this, Year 6 are having a brilliant time on their Survival Night which was postponed from last term. Although not the most clement weather, having just visited them I can assure you that their spirits are not dampened and they are being well looked after. The hot chocolate, jacket potatoes and ‘smores’ are all going down well! This will be one of those very special school experiences which they will remember fondly for many years to come and will come home with great stories to tell. I am grateful to Mr Edwards, Mrs Carson and all staff involved for giving them this opportunity.
I am Curious is our school value this week and the following quote from Sir Ken Robinson illustrates perfectly why curiosity is such an important part of school life at Windlesham; “If teachers can keep the flame of curiosity burning in children, then pretty much everything else will follow from that.” Awe, wonder and curiosity are essential elements in every child’s learning journey and will ensure they are engaged, inspired and motivated to achieve their potential – the flame will be lit and continue to burn strongly. At any age, a willingness to ask questions, think beyond the obvious and have an ability to ‘flounder intelligently’ will allow children to be involved, take risks and make excellent and sustained progress. This progress of course, is not purely limited to academic achievement in the classroom, but as importantly will also ensure our children grow as individuals, developing lifelong interests and a passion for creative endeavours together with essential personal skill enrichment. The addition of Wonder Walls in every classroom is a perfect example of our pupils’ inquisitiveness and the teachers’ desire to foster an environment where asking questions is actively encouraged and promoted. It must be our role as a prep school to provide the necessary structure and ingredients, curiosity being one of them, to build pupils’ characters and social skills. Through our co-curricular and extra-curricular activity programmes, I am pleased to see his happening every day.
I hope you all have a very enjoyable long weekend with the chance to rest, relax and recharge for more adventures at school next week. For now, I will leave the final words to Dr Seuss, “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh! The things you can think up if only you try.”
Windlesham Challenge, Diploma & Sport
Year 7 pupils have been working on their life skills. Working together as a large team they lie down and must only stand up one by one without more than one of each pupil standing up at the same time. This challenge uses self-control, patience, emotional intelligence and teamwork.
Saturday 19th September
Working around 'Covid secure bubbles' and 'Ghostbusting' changing room cleans, it would have been easy for Saturday's World Cup Football Festival to get bogged down in the kind of red tape that FIFA themselves would be proud of. That it didn't owe everything to the unbridled enthusiasm and competitive spirit of our young Windlesham sports stars, an impressive 85 of whom turned up to play their part in recreating some of the classic World Cup finals.
Our Year 3, 4 and 5 juniors were first up in a bruising recreation of the 1998 final between France and Brazil. What the children served up was even more epic than the real thing. Lead by captain Taylor 'Dunga' Thom-Watts, the ferocious tackling of Josh Gestetner, Edward Evans, Imperia Tsereteli and well-taken goals from Bertie Messenger and Dexter Spybey ensured that the yellows ripped up the history books, coming from behind to secure a thrilling 3-2 victory.
France are ready!
The Year 6 final pitting old foes Argentina against Germany to recreate the 1986, 1990 and 2014 finals, was a more one-sided affair. Messi (Lissy Hawke), Maradona (Caspar Fleming) and co were run away 5-1 winners, with Gigi Kalbassi notable for her tireless defiance in a losing German cause. In the Year 7 match normal service was resumed, Elliot Jenkins named 'Player of the Match' as Spain saw off Holland.
The Year 8s brought the curtain down on the afternoon's world cup action with a fantasy 'Final Four' showdown, pitting England against the three most successful nations across all men's and women's finals. The year 8s were a credit to themselves and their adopted nations with everyone fully up for it and involved. Unfortunately for the host nation England couldn't get the goals their play deserved to finish in the last place, with the USA one place higher in 3rd and the Germans runners-up. That left the Samba gang of Brazil led by Theo 'Cafu' Fleming top of the footballing world once again. My thanks to all the staff involved and the children for their dogged determination, team spirit and sense of fun.
Mr Duncan, Director of Sport
Brazil V France
Brazil's captain makes a break for it!
Brazil saves a goal from France
It's a goal!!!!!
Brazil with their trophy! Well done teams!
France are ready!
We’re back in the labs! Science practical work is in full swing and the children are enjoying our rich programme of experimental work to support their learning in the laboratories. In Chemistry Year 8 pupils were learning how neutralisation works.
This week and most weeks in Ms Wild's classroom her pupils enjoy fun mathematical quizzes and competitions to consolidate new ways of learning, helping the pupils really grasp the complexity and beauty of Maths.
Year 8 have been working really well collaboratively to solve the Latin cases in the English sentences that they made up. They have been consolidating their tenses in Latin and they had a lovely time playing the game ‘Challenge Board’ in Quia website.
'Why Cheat in Sport?'
Mr Farrer explained that this idea goes a long way back. He focused on:
Manipulation - control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly or unscrupulously. For example, blatant diving in football, handballs in football, aggressive behaviour especially in rugby, bodyline bowling and the rolling of the ball in 1981. Robert Muldoon the New Zealand Prime Minister said that this was “the most disgusting incident I can recall in the history of cricket”. Greg Chappell told his younger brother, Trevor, to roll the ball to prevent the opposition from scoring a 6 to win the game. It was not illegal just not cricket!
Applied Manipulation is really awful. Jon referred to when the cricketers used sandpaper to swing the ball, Atherton put dirt in his pocket, Schumacher and the controversy over his first win in 1994, the betting on no-balls in cricket and the fake blood incident in the 2009, Heineken Cup quarter-final between Harlequins and Leinster. Other examples where mind games are evident in sport were discussed: tennis players grunting when they hit the ball, goading players subtly in team sports and overzealous crowd support.
Jon finished off with some definite examples of cheating when athletes take steroids or drugs to enhance their performances. An example of this was the 100m in the 1988 Seoul Olympics where Canadian, Ben Johnson, ran a world record of 9.79seconds. In 1992 he was banned for life for testing positive for illegal levels of testosterone. All of the other race competitors in that particular race have all but one since been involved in doping!
The talk ended with a hugely positive message referring to Diego Mentrieda and James Teagle in the Santander triathlon a few days ago. The Spanish triathlete showed incredible sportsmanship when he let his rival, Teagle, take the bronze medal (as Teagle had taken the wrong turning which had put him behind Mentrieda).
Cheating takes away the challenge and the effort put into sport. It is about protecting the spirit of the game.
The Light Bulb was awarded to Alfie. Well done!
In Year 7 art class they were painting from an aerial perspective inspired by Leonardo da Vinci.
In the Year 4 art class they were painting Roman Mosaics and recording a time-lapse of their work on the classroom Ipads.
With all the restrictions in place at the moment, is has been a far from usual environment in the music department. With no choirs and orchestras and strict bubble separation required to allow practice times for each year group, we have had to be creative! This concert is 10 items long and shows a lovely diverse range of instruments and ability.
Mr Richard Fitt, Head of Music
Watch our talented musicians in the first concert in the term in the video below:
The year 6 survival night took place this week after being postponed in the summer. The pupils were as enthusiastic as ever and really enjoyed every minute!
Everyone gathered round the fire keeping warm on a very windy and rainy evening. The pupils were so brave!
Year 6s getting settled for their evening in the woods looking very cheerful indeed!
Mrs Helen Carson & Mr Stuart Edwards waiting to serve up some warm potatoes!
Survival Night pupils eating their supper under the trees next to the fire.
A Special Mention
Anthony Leong, Danny Biddecombe and Joshua Bernardi played on Tuesday 22nd September in the first live youth music in the County and at String Academy with many children and professional musicians and it sounded beautiful!
String Academy rehearsing face to face socially distanced within government instructions at Sullington Barn - the first live youth music since March!
Anthony Leong, former Windlesham pupil Oskar Parkin and the cellos bing tutored in String Academy at Sullington Barn
The weeks seem to be flying by and the children are now fully immersed in the many routines of the Pre-Prep. It is wonderful to have such happy and enthusiastic children coming up the path every morning with delightful morning greetings. I continue to be impressed with how all the children are displaying our core values; there has certainly been a lot of curiosity throughout the department! The children were once again enthralled in our weekly chapel, listening to the story of ‘The boy who knew nothing’. I couldn’t have been prouder seeing everyone sitting and listening so beautifully.
As week three of Reception ends, I am amazed by how well the class has settled into routines, developed friendships and engaged with the classroom environment confidently and responsibly. This week and last we have had a big focus on our feelings through the story The Colour Monster. In this story, the colour monster feels very mixed up and a kind little girl helps him sort out his feelings into jars - yellow/happy, green/calm, blue/sad, red/angry, black/afraid and pink/loving & friendly.
Your child may come home using this language or telling you how they are feeling as we talk about it throughout the day in our classroom. This awareness will help them to self-regulate, engage in better conflict resolution and communicate with others. We also made a classroom agreement after we brainstormed how we want to feel in our classroom (happy, calm, respectful, settled and safe) and what we can do to keep it that way (using kind voices and kind hands, playing with friends, sharing, being helpful and tidying up).
Following the children’s lead, this week has taken us down the path of making menus for the water kitchen. Some children used pictures to represent their ideas, some wrote beginning sounds and most told the adults their ideas and watched closely as we wrote them down. Making menus also led to discussions about currency, prices and numbers. We had menus in dollars, pounds and euros and some of the prices on these menus were extortionate (100 million dollars for noodle bolognese, a honey cake for 1000 Euros or 100 pounds for a pancake with an egg on top!!) Mrs. Hunt and I ate a lot of food from the menus this week and spent all our pennies as well but it was worth it for some very delicious meals in the garden.
This week Reception also wanted to decorate our corridor display with paintings of their favourite things so the rest of the school could get to know them better. We had paintings of jungles, cats, space, flowers, swimming, ninjas, dinosaurs, families and trampolines with jewels raining from the sky. It’s an honour to get to spend the days with your children getting to know them more each day and being blown away by how much they know and how much more they want to know!
Along with our child-led learning, we have also been focusing on letter sounds j, t, z and d. This week we have also been spending time with your child getting to know exactly where they are on their reading and phonics journey so we can tailor our teaching to them as individuals. We are also focusing on oral phonemic awareness skills such as oral blending, alliteration and rhyme.
As the class really begins to settle into a purposeful routine, we have introduced elements of responsibility awarded to each child. This ranges from ‘Inspector iPad’ who is in charge of ensuring they are fully charged and ready for us to learn, to ‘Cloakroom Critter’ who makes sure our coat pegs are always neat and tidy and not a safety hazard. We have stressed the importance of each and every role in a bid to ensure that our class runs as seamlessly as possible, whilst boosting individual self-confidence. Rest assured that the ‘Job Squad’ will be rotated regularly.
On the subject of jobs, we have been estate agents in class this week, writing property listings about houses from traditional tales. We are learning the art of using words to describe something in its best possible light, so houses have been ‘compact’ not ‘tiny’, ‘full of potential’ rather than ‘rundown’, and ‘characterful’ in place of ‘old’!
The children enjoyed meeting Harriet the cow who is helping them to write the six tall, straight letters: l, b, f, h, k and t. See if your child can show you how we always start from the line when we lead in to form letters from this family.
In maths, we have represented numbers using objects and pictures. The children have been learning the importance of lining things up when they want to count a lot of items and touching them as they say each number. Some are counting faster than their little fingers can keep up with so we encourage you to let them count things at home to really fine-tune this skill.
Thank you for all the lovely homework letters we have received at school so far this week - the children have been full of smiles having received a real piece of post from their friends!
It’s been another busy week in Year 2! In literacy, we have been looking at the story of Saint George and the Dragon. This has opened up some fantastic conversations about fact and fiction, myths and legends. We thought carefully about how Saint George may have gained such a gallant reputation and how the story of the dragon came about. Having become familiar with the story, we then created character profiles for George and carefully labelled pictures of his dragon-slaying attire. Our whole class reading sessions this week have focussed on a new firm favourite – “There’s No Dragon in this Story!” The children have been building their vocabularies and making valid predictions using the information gathered from the text.
During our topic sessions, we continued to explore compass directions and have begun looking at maps and landmarks. Having created our very own dragon hunting map, we used the coordinates to provide directions for a brave dragon hunter. As well as writing about dragons and dragon hunters, we have also been drawing dragons. We have worked hard to create some stunning watercolour dragons which will be displayed for the rest of the Pre-Prep to admire in our classrooms. These were the result of several drafts and some very helpful feedback from our friends. We have some budding artists among us!
Science has been all about investigating electricity and exploring battery-powered appliances. There has been some excellent problem solving when thinking about circuits and the flow of electricity and we are looking forward to building circuits next week in preparation for our dragon-themed design technology project!
In Maths this week, the part-whole model has been used to help us understand addition and subtraction fact families. With the help of our number bond knowledge, we have been writing number sentences to demonstrate the relationship between addition and subtraction. The quick recall is impressive and the children have really grasped the link between these inverse calculations.
Due to the weather this week the Year 2s have been inside showing us their dance moves. They have been working on the contrast between travel and gesture; have been working on moving in time to a beat. In pairs, they worked on short movement phrases that showcased their own step patterns and gestures. They worked in unison with their partner.
We are looking forward to more exciting learning opportunities next week when our core value will be ‘We Care’ and the children will be taking part in their first Pre-Prep house meetings.
Sarah Sutherland, Head of Pre-Prep
Headmaster's Awards & Commendations
Parent's of Windlesham - Boy
Zachary Hughes, Year 6
For working hard in training and playing well in the Football Festival on Saturday.
Parent's of Windlesham - Girl
Gigi Kalbassi, Year 6
For working hard in training and playing well in the Football Festival on Saturday.
Musician of the Week
Melody Ji, Year 7
For incredible improvement over the summer. She played guitar and sang beautifully over the weekend and even taught others how to play the guitar.
Junior Teacher Kindness Award
Masahito Awata, Year 7
For being extremely polite, well mannered and kind to others.
Drama Star of the Week
Evie Jackson, Year 8
For an outstanding effort on her Drama Scholarship Portfolio.
Artist of the Week
Ruby Allenby, Year 8
For her fantastic watercolour painting of a Bee.
Boy Star Boarder
Finley Trigg, Year 6
Girl Star Boarder
Alexa Naylor, Year 5
Tristan Dickinson, Year 8
For showing gratitude and sincerity towards staff after an activity. A great role model.
Michael Tadman, Year 8
For showing great kindness and generosity of Spirit.
"Awe, wonder and curiosity are essential elements in every child’s learning journey."
Thanks to everyone who joined Macmillan Coffee Morning!
If you would still like to help us raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Send your donations into us or scan the QR code below.
Parents enjoyed a coffee morning at Spring Gardens, raising £55.