Issue 4 - Autumn Term 2020
A very warm welcome to our first newsletter of the term.
2nd October 2020
Message from Ben Evans
We have not let the rain dampen our spirits at Windlesham this week and I have been delighted to see pupils even more engaged, motivated and enthused than ever before, if that is possible. It is also encouraging that the school is attracting so much interest from prospective parents and on one of my tours this morning, it was brilliant to see children in all areas of the school inspired by their teachers and clearly flourishing in their learning and the environment. Our visitors were clearly impressed too and commented extremely favourably on the warm, nurturing atmosphere and obviously very happy and welcoming children. The following pages of this week’s newsletter highlight what a busy and purposeful week it has been and I hope you are enjoying the regular glimpse and insight into school life.
For Alex and I, it has been a huge regret that the COVID environment has prevented us from meeting you all in person over the last few weeks, either at the sideline on match day, over a cup of tea in Pevensey or in the front hall at the start and end of the day. Through over 60 individual meetings, I have been able to get to know lots of you, but I realise there are many more parents, including those living overseas, for whom this has not been possible. Therefore, we plan to hold year group virtual meetings before half term to discuss how the term is going, explain our plans for the future and to answer any questions you may have. This will hopefully give us the opportunity to get to know the school community better and strengthen further our home-school partnership. Alex and I look forward to seeing you soon!
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou’s words reflect perfectly our aim for a caring and kind community at Windlesham. My message to pupils this week has been that they all have a superpower – the ability to make someone feel happy, cared for and valued through their positive interactions and treatment of each other. Conversely, if their superpowers are used incorrectly, this can lead to less positive feelings in others and we must work hard to avoid this. An important aspect of every school’s provision must be to ensure that we develop the emotional intelligence of our pupils just as we seek to raise their skills levels and attainment in academic subjects, music, sport, art and drama.
Emotional intelligence, or emotional quotient (EQ), is the ability to understand, use and manage emotions in positive ways which can include communicating effectively, empathising with others, overcoming challenges and defusing conflict. All essential skills at school and for future lives. If we develop our children’s EQ, we allow them to build stronger relationships, succeed at school and achieve their personal goals. Additionally, we can also help pupils to turn their aspirations into actions and make informed decisions with our continued support and encouragement. All goals we strive towards through creating a rich balance of pastoral, academic and co-curricular provision every day.
We have another busy weekend ahead, with the Windlesham Challenge and Diploma programmes and an afternoon of sports training tomorrow. Sunday promises to be another full day with a good balance of activities and relaxation. Please do continue to read Monday’s Information Letter which contains all the information you need for the week ahead and is hyperlinked for ease of use.
My best wishes for an enjoyable weekend.
Message from the Governors
Message from Governor
I hope everyone is fully into the swing of term and enjoying themselves as much as possible. The key to this seems to be to focus on making the best of what is available, rather than agonising over what we cannot control - something children seem to be particularly good at. We have been incredibly lucky with infections - thank you to all parents, pupils and staff for following school guidelines to minimise risk.
Since it seems quite likely that infection rates will rise again, and that government and NHS testing facilities will be put under greater pressure, the school has bought its own tests which apparently provide a 96% accurate test within 20 minutes. The first batch are already in the medical centre. These do not replace formal NHS testing, but they will get us a faster answer than the Government kits we have been issued (72 hours) and will reduce the time in limbo and enable us to act faster to test, isolate or get on with life.
At the start of term we were targeting a SAMBA-11 machine that would also give rapid results, but the costs were prohibitive and as a school we felt this wasn’t a priority .. These new test kits are more cost effective over the short term, and are as accurate as the machine, without some of the technical barriers. Of course, this does not reduce our risk of infection, so please continue to do everything you can to minimise the risk for yourselves and the school so that we can keep providing in person education. We are very lucky to have Melanie Munn leading our team, a highly experienced A&E nurse who has been on the NHS frontline while the school was closed.
Many thanks for your continued support of the staff and school at this time.
Windlesham Challenge, Diploma & Sport
The school took part in the Big Anti-Bullying Assembly 2020 this week during form period time. This was a nationwide initiative set up by the Diana Award, which involved schools across the country. Here are BM form putting their hands up and pledging to put an end to bullying.
The Diana Award trains school children to be anti-bullying ambassadors to encourage peer to peer support, guidance and improve levels of self and mutual respect. Our three-year partnership will result in there being an extra 10,000 anti-bullying ambassadors in over 660 primary schools up and down the UK.
The game was played by the Year 4 pupils to practise the names of different countries! A brilliantly fun class to be part of and the pupils had lots of fun calling "SPLIT!" when they had won their turn.
Weekend Circus Skills Activity
The pupils have had great fun this week learning new skills that would be used in the circus. They have been learning to juggle, use the diablo and trick sticks.
The Year 6 pupils have been exploring the characters that featured in Italian Commedia Dell’ Arte theatre from the 1600s. They have loved creating their own physical comedy and learning how this slapstick style was born and how it has influenced theatre, film, television and online content right up to the present.
What better way to mark National Poetry Day (October 1st) than to draw your attention to a sample of the marvelous poems produced by our Year 6 pupils? As part of our exploration of the magical novel Skellig we have been looking at the story of Icarus. The children read a fantastic translation of the telling of the myth from Ovid's Metamorphoses and drew inspiration from it for their own poetic retellings. The young boy at the heart of Skellig describes the way his English teacher cries when she tells them the story and the children jumped at the challenge to try and make their own teacher cry with their versions! Some of them succeeded! When you look at these examples you will see why!
The sensitivity, command of language and depth of understanding in these poems is truly inspiring. Plenty of others reached similar heights!
Mr Parkin, Head of English
The Sad, Sad Story of Icarus by Emilia M
The Sad, Sad Story of Icarus by Harry B
Detectives in the lab! The pupils were learning how to distinguish between a physical change and a chemical reaction.
Mrs Emrich, Head of science
Having learned how to calculate the volume and surface area of prisms, Year 8 have been exploring ways of drawing 3D shapes. After completing a series of nets, they then used isometric paper to construct drawings of cube models and optical illusion designs.
Year 8 practised speaking by playing battleships (submarinos in Spanish). They were learning to say 'where they go' and 'who with'. Working in partners, they were saying full sentences to try and find each other's battleships.
Agua = Water! (miss)
Tocado = Hit!
As part of the European Language Day, Year 7 were learning Latin tongue twisters. They had a great time. Watch the short clip:
Madame Rodriguez Garcia
This week in PSHE, the Year 7 classes have been learning about ‘Emotional Intelligence’ which has included introducing them to such terms as ‘self- actualisation’ and ‘interpersonal relationships.’ Helping our young people to articulate their emotions, understand their own needs and those of others as well as recognising their personal potential and building resilience through optimism and flexibility is crucial for their wellbeing today and moving forward.
Following on from the previous weeks, in Year 3 the children have cut their grass seed heads! All are now suitably trimmed and ready to presentation! We are very happy with the progress!
"What is a war correspondent?"
Being a War Correspondent: Mr Harding, Parent
This is someone who is a journalist. They go to and report on conflict and they are close to the action. This is the most dangerous form of journalism.
Why did Mr Harding become a war correspondent?
He read Dispatches by Michael Herr.
Mr Harding was the Defence Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. He reported on Bosnia in 1992, Sierra Leone in 2000 and he was in Northern Ireland in 2005 for 3 years.
How do we get our news? Do we trust the sources that we look at? It is very important as there is so much fake news nowadays especially on social media.
Journalists develop contacts and sources. They will protect their sources at all costs even if it means going to jail. The safest form of transport in many war torn countries is by helicopter as travelling on the rods is unsafe due to the threat of mines and bombs.
What do you need to pack? Just a notebook and a pen.
What is the accommodation like? Tents, mats and ear plugs. One of Mr Harding’s worst night’s sleep was when he slept in the same tent as a member of the Taliban who had been arrested.
Dress code? Traditionally journalists wore blue outfits but unfortunately, this made them stand out to the enemy – they were used as target indicators. As a result of this they reverted to wearing and using the same outfits and equipment as the soldiers. This means that they are camouflaged and they have proper protection.
Equipment? Journalists have to carry morphine and a fully equipped first aid kit. People are fully trained in saving people’s lives and treating limbs that are blown off. Mr Harding explained the crucial importance of a tourniquet in these circumstances.
The Golden Hour? You have one hour to save someone’s life if they have a blown off limb. The key to saving lives is the self-applying tourniquet. Apparently, soldiers have said that applying it is more painful than losing the limb as it is cutting off the blood. Helicopters enable the casualty to be treated quickly. Soldiers will not travel further than a 1-hour helicopter flight.
Mental health – this is taken very seriously in war zones. The military recognise that they have to be open about mental health. They call it TRIM management. Trauma management.
What do you need to be a journalist? You need to be able to write. You need to know the law. You need to understand the moral line.
Is it fun being a war correspondent? Mr Harding said that he had been very privileged. He had travelled on a typhoon jet, been on a submarine, travelled in tanks, aircraft carriers and helicopters and done parachute jumps.
The most erudite question of the evening was asked by Dylan C who was awarded the ‘Light Bulb’:
Were your experiences as ‘good as the book’, Dispatches?
Dylan C won this weeks’ lightbulb award through his question asking Mr Harding to relate his experience as a war correspondent to the book Dispatches by Michael Herr which inspired him towards entering the profession.
An excited group of Year 7 musicians had their first Samba Band rehearsal with Mr Mendoza this week. Look out for them on a bandstand near you in a few months time!
We’ve also loved hearing so many pupils practicing and collaborating together in the department in their free time this week. Classroom music lessons have also been great fun as we start preparing for Harvest celebrations!
Mr Fitt, Head of Music
Eloise and Dasha are working towards an art scholarship award for their next school. They are building up their art portfolios and filling them with some outstanding pieces. They have a natural ability and flair for art and they also have extremely hardworking and have positive attitudes.
Eloise and Dasha enjoy this subject so much it is like a hobby for them and it is something they love to do. We wish them all the best with this creative challenge.
Mrs Clark, Head of Art
It is so so good to be back in the workshop completing practical design technology after the lockdown period of online learning. The children have responded to the new ways of working in the department and are producing some excellent work. The Year 7s are making great progress learning about soldering to make their LED lamps, whilst the Year 6 pupils have been seen traipsing around the school completing their orienteering challenge having coded a compass and step counter on their BBC Microbits.
Mr Edwards, Head of DT
Filming has begun on the senior production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. The children are recording their scenes all around the school as live audiences are still not possible.
Covid-19 couldn't stop the 34th year of Windlesham Survival Night
Whilst the glorious summer days and nights of June were behind the, now Year 6 children. They were just as excited about the prospect of a night under canvas in the school woods. The culmination of a year of planning and making of T-shirts and backpacks as well as shelter building and rustic seat making, survival night is a real highlight in the career of a Windlesham pupil. Last Thursday the children packed their bags and donned their tie-dye t-shirts and set off into the school woods accompanied by horizontal rain - we were off!
The first task was to build a shelter to keep out the worst of the weather and little did we know how important that would become! Then the children got creative with their enamel mug decoration and clay tree masks to ward off any unwelcome visitors from the world of minibeasts.
By 6 o'clock the troops were pretty hungry and so a supper of jacket potatoes, hot dogs and a baked campfire banoffee pie went down very well and they were in great spirits. The dark night made for a great backdrop to play German Spotlight to and from teeth brushing. As the children settled down in their shelters for the night the heavens opened once again. The Year 6 survived the night and woke to clear skies and a hearty breakfast of bacon rolls and pancakes and maple syrup. Once we had packed everything away they were given one last treat of a session on the inflatable (donated by the parents of Windlesham fundraising) in the swimming pool, a good way to clean up before the long weekend. The staff were so impressed with the amazing resilience and character shown by all of the children in pretty uncomfortable conditions.
Mrs Carson and Mr Edwards
With the first long weekend now behind us, the boarding houses have enjoyed a very busy start to the term. Although we are all still adjusting to the changing procedures and routines, the ethos of boarding hasn't changed.
Promoting respect, kindness and tolerance for others remains at the heart of what we do. We have all been forced to adjust and adapt in these unusual times and the children have been an example to us all by taking it in their stride.
As the evenings darken and the weather changes, we are looking at ways to provide the children with more opportunities to relax and unwind after a busy day. We understand that there is no place like home, but we strive to create a comfy and cosy environment that is as close to home as possible.
It is fair to say that Autumn is well and truly upon us and the children have embraced that change in the weather; rain leaving wonderful puddles to splash in at playtime and leaves changing colour adding contrast to natural collages in the woods. The values focus this week has been ‘We care’ and there have been so many instances whereby the children have demonstrated this.
On Wednesday there was delight in the department for our first Pre-Prep house meetings. House parents came and told the children all about their house mascots and challenged everyone with working hard to achieve lots of stars. I wonder who will be this week’s winning house?
It’s been another busy week in Reception! Last Friday we enjoyed an afternoon up in the woods playing in dens, pretending to live in the trees and making pretend campfires with sticks. Friday also had some of the children developing an interest in playing doctors and patients so we dug out the stethoscopes and pretend syringes from the cupboard. The children also enjoyed using clipboards to make patient notes and schedules for appointments. They asked if we could keep the room quiet for their important work and if we could set up some chairs for a waiting room. We had many diagnoses of “cracked hearts” which required injections and rest although they also did perform an operation on Mrs. Hunt who luckily survived it!
This week had us focusing on name writing using whiteboard pens, copying our names onto our paintings and tracing our names with a paintbrush in coloured rice for a more sensory experience. Everyone can now recognise their names when they sign in each morning and everyone has enjoyed recognising their friends’ names too. We have also been working hard to tidy up after ourselves before we move on to a new activity and also during the big tidy at the end of the day. We have also been focusing on the sounds g, h, a and l. We learned that many children have the letter a in their name and it was easy to spot that letter around Windlesham. Many children have continued to show an interest in making books that they illustrate and caption then Mrs. Hunt and I scribe the words they need.
Our topic of Ourselves and Our Families had us graphing the number of people in our family and using black pen to illustrate our families. We had so many lovely conversations about the people who live in our houses and the pets we love dearly. Wonder Wednesday had us answering Montagu’s question of “What is the moon made of?” This led to more questions about the sun, planets, earth and space so a few children went to the library with Mrs. Hunt to gather non-fiction books to add to our reading area. Thursday also prompted a discussion about what we are thankful for and many children listed their families, Windlesham, their friends, swimming and lunch (me too!).
In cookery, Mrs. Messenger had the children digging up potatoes, learning how to make chips with a cutting machine and then baking them in the oven or using the frying machine. We sampled some at lunch and they tasted fantastic! Felicity told us “They did puff up magic!” On Monday we were lucky enough to have Mr. Evans come to see our painting wall. Everyone was very confident in introducing themselves and explaining the paintings they had done and the interests they have. In P.E. on Friday the children moved like different animals to the music and it was quite a sight to see fourteen elephants stomping all over the sports hall.
Little Red Riding Hood was waiting in class for the children when they arrived on Monday morning. We shared the traditional tale and discussed the fact that everyone knew slightly different versions of it. Jeremy and Landon’s book had her carrying cakes to her Granny, while others took fresh flowers on their visit. Upon retelling the tale using our puppet theatre, Julian was heard exclaiming, “What big eyes you have, darling!” Needless to say, we enjoyed the performances immensely!
We have been sneezing out adjectives this week too! A tricky word to remember, the ‘a-a-a-adjectives’ seemed to help the class to remember the term. Ferocious, fearless, courageous, confident all came up as amazing adjectives to describe the storybook characters. These were much in demand on Thursday as unfortunately the wolf had escaped and was on the loose around Windlesham! Luckily Year One made brilliant Wanted posters and displayed them around the school. Watch out for the impressive rewards you get if you catch the big, bad wolf!
We have focused on addition in maths lessons this week, learning new vocabulary such as plus, make bigger, altogether, and enjoyed making the symbol shapes of + and = with our bodies. We used number lines to count along and discovered the secret that rulers act as perfect number lines when we run out of fingers to count on!
We learned about the Impressionist artist Monet and his love of painting garden landscapes. We took photos of our favourite parts of Windlesham and then tried to recreate them using paint. It was great fun trying to create our own artwork in his Impressionist style. We will be learning about Van Gogh next week!
The Egg… what excitement has been afoot in Year 2 this week?
We began the week by thinking about dragon stories and exploring the settings and characters of familiar books. We read The Egg by MP Robertson where a young boy finds a huge dragon egg to look after. Later, when the egg hatches he finds himself with a pet dragon to raise, taking off on wonderful adventures together. In our dragon-themed forest school session on Wednesday, we were very excited to discover signs of dragons in Windlesham’s forest.
We followed a trail of dragon scales, dragon tears and claw marks to an abandoned dragon nest, with two beautiful dragon eggs inside! After discussing how we knew it was abandoned, we agreed it was safe to take the eggs back to the classroom to look after and study closely. The children have been fascinated by the eggs and have busied themselves reading the egg some stories and commenting on any changes they noticed. Apparently the Egg has regrown some of it’s missing scales, a very reptilian feature! The children will be using their experiences as a stimulus to write their own dragon stories later on.
We also enjoyed working creatively in teams at forest school to create our own dragons out of natural resources which, to be successful, involved organising ourselves effectively and good communication. There were some amazing results!
In maths we have been consolidating our knowledge of addition and subtraction through a variety of investigations and challenges. Amongst these, the children have solved missing number problems, real life word problems and investigated the equals sign in a calculation: Is the calculation 16 = 10 + 6 correct? Why or why not? We enjoyed using balances to test our ideas.
We also loved our science this week where we got to make our own simple circuits to make a light bulb light up; using our best scientific reasoning as to why it did or did not work.
Continuing our understanding of how dragons appear around the world in cultural traditions, we have been learning about the legend of the Welsh dragon and how it came to be part of the Welsh flag.
Next week our values focus will be ‘I contribute’ and we are looking forward to Ms Wild leading our Pre-Prep chapel service.
Have a wonderful weekend and we look forward to another busy week next week.
Head of Pre-Prep
Headmaster's Awards, Commendations & Citizen of the Month
Player of the Week - Boy
Edwin L, Year 8
For excellent attitude and commitment in training.
Honorary Mention: Joshua T, Billy E and Ander H.
Player of the Week - Girl
Immy M, Year 8
For an excellent work rate and attitude in Senior Hockey Training
Honorary Mention: Imperia T
Musician of the Week
Marni H, Year 3
A great musical start to her time at Windlesham. Showing great enthusiasm in her Violin Lessons and Classical Music.
Junior Teacher Kindness Award
Emilia M, Year 6
For being extremely helpful and displaying a positive attitude during survival night.
Junior Teacher Kindness Award
Joshua K, Year 4
For being very helpful with the younger children whilst being off games.
Drama Star of the Week
Quben HB, Year 6
For finding his smile and his confidence in Drama this week and for making the whole form smile.
Artist of the Week
Eloise R, Year 8
For outstanding work and the volume she has done.
Boy Star Boarder
Edwin L, Year 8
Girl Star Boarder
Anne K, Year 7
Lolly O, Year 5
Going above and beyond during prep and for always being kind to others.
Leo J, Year 5
For going out of his way at break time to make sure another pupil was coping well.
Lukas A, Year 7
For being polite, patient and a model musician in our photo shoot for Marketing.
Eloise R For always being helpful and cheerful every morning and being an amazing citizen around school.
David D Off to an excellent start to the year in terms of hard work in lessons. A great team member of Mr Franklin's form and general maturity around the school.
Dylan C For organising the room so well.
Grace D For always looking out for others.
Tessa O For being an invaluable member of the form, always looking out for others.
JJ C For always being helpful and in great humour. JJ sees the best in all his peers and has demonstrated that he is a kind and well meaning pupil.
Masahito A For always being very kind and polite to all.
Sebastian C A great form host and supportive to all new starters.
Ethan F For being kind and helpful at all time and showing resilience in the past week.
Charles W For being iPad monitor and diligently using hand Sanitiser and then handing out iPads.
Gigi K For being unfailingly polite and offering to help in the classroom unprompted.
Florence V For impeccable manners and for always being first to put herself forward.
Shion M For always trying to include others, looking after new pupils and pushing himself out of his comfort zone to open those doors of opportunity.
Bertie M For being very helpful towards members of his form and for his excellent work ethic.
Christina F For supporting her peers to move around the school site confidently.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”