Issue 5 - Autumn Term 2020
A very warm welcome to our first newsletter of the term.
9th October 2020
Message from Ben Evans
Another week has flown by in a flurry of activities, fantastic learning opportunities and our pupils’ customary verve for life and enthusiasm for all things. We are all exceptionally lucky to learn, work, and for many of us, to live in such fantastic surroundings and I try hard never to take this for granted. Not only does our expansive site give us amazing opportunities for learning, sport, growth and development, we also have exceptionally fresh air to breathe! This is definitely something we think little about from day to day but the latest research from Manchester University suggests that in cutting air pollution levels by a fifth, it can boost children’s learning ability by 6.1%. Certainly another reason to consider how fortunate we are at Windlesham and of course, we must also remember that our pupils’ learning ability is boosted on a daily basis by the teachers’ creativity, passion and determination to inspire.
I do understand that the restriction imposed by COVID, and in particular the need to keep children in their bubbles throughout the day, including at breaktimes, does mean the freedom to roam previously experienced is a little limited. However, through the rotation of different areas, children are still able to play in the woods, climb trees, run on the main pitches and wonder through the Italian Gardens; an idyllic childhood. In addition to this, we will also be opening up some indoor areas for those children who would like to have somewhere a little quieter to play games, read or chat to friends. As I walk around the school every day, I am extremely proud of the staff who have worked so hard to ensure as normal a school experience as possible (unlike so many other schools), and of our pupils who continue to enjoy every minute.
As a school, we are extremely aspirational for our pupils. This does not just mean aiming for the highest grades although we do want each child to reach and fulfil their potential; It also means having high expectations in all areas of school life and as Nelson Mandela so accurately said, “There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one that you are capable of living.” I really do believe that every single child who comes to our school is capable of achieving great things. This may be in the classroom or on the games field, it may be in design, music, technology, drama, art, or the myriad other opportunities and paths available to our children. There should be no limits placed on what they can achieve nor any barriers to their full and active involvement. It is essential that we encourage children to take risks, be creative and independent learners, ask questions and seek answers, encourage and support them to step outside their comfort zones, and most of all, provide the
opportunities to experience success, build confidence and raise their self-esteem.
We have a very full and exciting weekend ahead with activities including the Windlesham Challenge and Diploma, a racquets’ festival, walk on the Downs, Worthing beach clean and lots of fun on our inflatable assault course in the pool. A great deal to inspire and enthuse!
Whatever, you are doing, I hope you have an enjoyable weekend too.
Windlesham Challenge & Diploma
Mental Health and Wellbeing
We thought you would be interested to know that the children (and staff) have been rolling out a new mental health and wellbeing initiative this week during form period - Wellbeing Wednesday!
Using an app called Smiling Mind, the children have been given the opportunity to pause for 5 minutes and enjoy a moment of reflection and meditation. Supporting and maintaining good mental health amongst children enables them to make progress in all areas of their school lives.
The Windlesham community is working hard to implement weekly initiatives, such as Smiling Mind, to make this part of the children's routine. It is in its infancy but there was plenty of encouraging feedback from the first session!
On a wet rainy day in the MFT, this week the pupils were shown a variety of different shapes and size tents. Working in groups, the pupils selected a tent they wanted to put up showing their skills in teamwork and communication. Good work!
Windlesham Values Challenge
As part of the Challenge, the year 6 pupils have been choreographing a piece inspired by Windlesham values and their own personal journeys of empowerment.
An extract from a re-imagining of the moment Frankenstein's monster comes to life by Dylan C, Year 8
The deathly moon had just emerged from the clouds. It was blood red and foreboding as if signalling death. I had been working so intricately for the best part of two years, my health and sanity were at stake. I don’t know what I’d do if it didn’t work, if I even had got one thing wrong in those two years he would be a cripple. I think it would have been better for everyone if it didn’t work.
Then it happened, the hand shook! What I felt then I cannot describe for the life of me but I will try anyway, I felt pure joy pumping through my veins it went down to the marrow of my bones. It was pure ecstasy. Then it fell apart and I realised what Professor Waldman had done! He was the source of all my troubles, he was the Snake and I was Eve! He was the demon that set me on this path, he wasn’t tenacious enough to do it himself so he sent me to do it!
A lightning bolt hit the roof and I shuddered, not feeling wholly sane anymore. The monster opened its eyes and let out an ear-shattering scream, I couldn’t fully hear anymore, I felt the blood in my veins stop pumping for a second in extreme dread, I knew then that there was no escape, no relief. I ran to my room cursing myself for being such a fool, I wasn’t even fit to call myself a man. I had created the monster that hides under children’s beds, the one that eats your dogs!
The Year 5 form have been revising imagery. In this lesson, the pupil is taking the role of Teacher as the children develop similes to paint a ‘word picture’ to replicate the image on the screen in the background. The class produced some truly stunning similes.
Year 4 enjoy starting each maths lesson with a variety of warm-up activities. Here we are using digit cards and dice to help us practise our times tables.
Year 5 have all been very pleased to have secured their Bunsen Burner licenses. This week they have been heating a variety of different chemicals and have been working on making detailed observations, before, during and after. Magnesium ribbon was the runaway winner with the Wow factor!
Also this week, Year 7 have begun the topic of Energy Changes and Transfers and have been busy investigating a variety of energy changes, attempting to identify the different energy forms for the input and outputs of each change.
Year 6 have been investigating ‘Amazing Places’ such as Yellowstone National Park, Svalbard and it’s Aurora Borealis, the Great Barrier Reef and this week, Stonehenge. Pupils have investigated these areas whilst incorporating their skills of global location and research, whilst developing their understanding of relevant topics such as human/wildlife conflicts. They have written speeches, engaged in debates and, this week enjoyed the creative activity of recreating Stonehenge out of Lego or….biscuits!
The Year 7 geography class have been presenting their amazing Haiti 2010 Earthquake research assignments. They have found out what plate boundary this earthquake was on, what the effects of it were on the people and the environment, and they have learnt that Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere! Their presentations have been so good and thorough that they have sent ‘tremors’ through the year group.
Geography Field Trip
Year 8 went on their annual Geography Field trip to Juniper Hall Fieldwork centre this week. This is an important event as the write up of it accounts for 20% of their overall geography CE grade. The pupils were taught how to measure the gradient, width, depth and velocity of the small River Tillingbourne in Surrey. They successfully worked in small groups to acquire the necessary results to launch their projects. The pupils greatly benefitted from this trip as they were able to consolidate everything that has been taught to them in the classroom over the past few weeks and see it all in reality. All pupils were engaged and inquisitive and the staff helping said that they had never known such a cohesive and hard-working group of students! A great time was had by all and they can now look forward to beginning their investigations... ‘Water way’ to have fun...
Year 8 have been working really well collaboratively to work out the Latin cases in the English sentences that they made up.
They have also been playing the Socrative Space race app to learn the future and pluperfect tenses. Year 6 have been creating a song/rap/dance to learn the present tense of 'sum'. All of it was great fun!
Natural World Safaris
How did Will’s journey begin?
In 1994, after attending Marlborough, he took a GAP year in Africa, Western Kenya.
In a year abroad before graduating from Sussex University, Will went to Cameroon and lived with a Bantu family for a year where he organised progressive projects. After graduating, Will became an African tour guide in Morocco, Madagascar, Gabon, Ghana and Sao Tome.
In 2002, he was the first person to carry out gorilla tracking in Gabon. He then set up Gorilla Safaris, World Big Cat Safaris, World Bear Safaris which eventually became one in 2013: Natural World Safaris. Over time Marine Safaris have been added to these adventures.
We were all very privileged to see so many amazing sections of film footage and photos from Will’s amazing travel experiences. He works with and organises travel for the likes of Kate Humble and Steve Backshall. Steve Backshall had been in touch with Will that morning asking if Will could send him to Costa Rica!
What next on Will’s journey?
His goal is to conserve the planet.
Why explore other planets when we cannot even look after our own planet.
He believes his company’s message is to make a small difference, one that is low impact.
Will linked Windlesham to his ‘job’, saying that Windlesham provides the pupils with the opportunities to get outside and to experience different, unusual activities. He advised the audience to not automatically choose the obvious pathway.
If you are not going to make a difference now with the choices that you make, then when will you decide to?
Thomas Worsley was awarded the ‘Light Bulb’ for the thoughtful question, ‘How have your experiences changed you?’ I think that would be a talk for another evening!
As Year 6 finally achieved their delayed right of passage of Survival Night, the new Year Five group began their journey towards next summer’s long-anticipated event.
In COVID times the tie-dye has adapted its usual colour squirting mayhem into frantic elastic band tying Double-Dying , where T-shirts are washing machine dyed one colour one week, another the next, creating a two colour mix.
This week MC Textiles group tied themselves up in knots, experimenting with arm knitting, using their arms as giant needles!!
Moroti and Henry G had a lovely time in the pottery imprinting clay with autumn leaves. We formed beautiful tea light holders using a slab building technique.
The current Year 7 and Year 8 project is called Creative Community Responsibility and it is a Bee Awareness / Conservation project that is happening in the Art department.
A big well done for all of your hard efforts and creativity on the Bee project. Some beautiful art and talent has been demonstrated.
Clay Project in Art
The clay cats has been a hands on project the Year 4 pupils are working on by Sophie C, Ella S and Florence C.
In this week’s drama lesson Mrs Jenkins' Year 5 form were challenged to tell the story of the ‘Three little pigs’ without using any words or sound effects. The children worked hard using mime, physical theatre, facial expressions and clear characterisation to bring the famous tale to life.
It’s been great to see so many of our musicians in the department before the start of school each day this week! We have loved hearing all the beautiful music that you are creating and look forward to seeing performances from many of you in remote concerts in the future!
Mixed Football and Rugby
On Tuesday, the Year 8 girls and boys held an indoor five-aside mixed football tournament; the first of the season! Later in the week Year 6 joined forces for a mixed rugby training session – a first for Windlesham!
Indoor athletics for Year 4 working on agility, speed and teamwork and having great fun!
We had four Windlesham girls competing in the NSEA competition at Coombelands. Congratulations to Lottie A, Lottie M, Kitty A and Florence V for competing and putting some very good efforts in! Keep up the fantastic riding!
We had another action-packed weekend in Boarding.
The boys took a little while to warm up to Just Dance, but once they got into it there was no stopping them! Year 8 love Treat Night on Friday nights which is always a happy way to start the weekend.
The Boarding Team
Year 7 boarders did a general knowledge quiz and some problem-solving games
The wet weekend kept us indoors and cosy in the kitchen. Our boarders enjoyed cooking pancakes with lots of their favourite toppings!
The girls in Year 7 produced that wonderful night sky with a balloon and bridge together. They wanted to give Mr Evans something to welcome him and his family to the school. They created it entirely from scratch and worked so beautifully together.
The group of boys were really proud of their ‘splash’ painting.
Some girls were so happy to just work quietly on their drawing and produced a wonderful picture.
This week, our core value has been ‘I contribute’ and the children have been thinking about how many different ways they can contribute in their daily lives; from offering ideas, thoughts and answers in lessons to contributing to the wider world around us. As I walk around the department I am constantly impressed by the learning the children are experiencing and how they are always so keen to share what they have been doing.
Today marks our farewell to Ms Wild as she leaves us to begin her maternity leave. The children have been busy creating secret cards and messages for her whilst also making some wonderfully creative name suggestions. We wish Ms Wild all the very best with the imminent arrivals and we look forward to sharing the news of the twins when they are born.
As a staff we have enjoyed the opportunity to speak to all our parents this week, please do not hesitate to contact class teachers if you have any further questions.
This week, we decided to switch things up and have the boys and girls help write the newsletter. Here is what they have remembered about our week...
Jasmine and Bruno remembered how we made a wormery from a recycled plastic tube, soil, sand, water and leaves. On Thursday, we looked for more worms in the rain to have in our wormery. We found some eggs. We don’t know what kind of eggs they are. Bertie recalled how we played with the penguins and the water. George shared how much he loved playing with our new sharks and making pretend homes for them. Ted spoke about playing, snack and morning meeting where we learned our letters. Zaky enthused about playing Bear Hunt outside with his friends and playing Simon Says (we still find following the rules of this game a bit tricky!). Tassia recalled reading the recipe book together to find ideas about what to make out of playdough. Montagu remembered painting flowers to make a card for Ms. Wild. Felicity and Dulcie spoke about the healthy breakfast porridge they made with Mrs Messenger. They remembered using oats, seeds, milk and banana. Summer remembered the book she made and the writing she practised. Arthur enthused about Spanish saying Estupendo! It reminded us of the Spanish phrase we learned to say “How are you?” and “sad, okay, amazing and good” Fintan recalled building a tower so high and that Summer helped him. Joseph remembered our maths lesson where we rolled dice and practised writing our numbers. Zaky explained how swimming was special this week because everyone went at the same time and used flippers and pool toys. He said “There was big floats and we went on them and kicked.” Felicity and Jasmine tipped their hats to the chefs for the yummy cheese pasta this week!
We also had our first library session this week where we were lucky enough to select a book to take home and return again on Thursday next week.
“Sit down! Stand up! Take your shoes off! Put one on your head!” The children thought I had become very bossy this week when I began barking orders at them. In fact, we were learning the importance of imperative verbs in order to write instructions clearly. We also enjoyed a treasure hunt around Pre-Prep seeking out time conjunction clues so that we could learn to order our sentences correctly. Jeremy had great fun describing what would happen if we got dressed in the wrong order - pants on top of trousers caused much merriment amongst the class! We later shared the story of ‘The Gingerbread Man‘, joining in with its repetitive phrases, and went on to bake and decorate our own gingerbread characters before writing up a set of instructions applying all that we had learned.
Our study of plants has continued in science lessons. This week we classified wildflowers based on their properties, and we really enjoyed taking a walk out and about to identify deciduous and evergreen trees in our Italian gardens. Our favourites were the fir trees and the holly bush where talk turned very quickly to Christmas! In class, we have continued to diligently water our ‘cress heads’ and our crazy green hair is beginning to look appropriately ridiculous! Our seeds that we planted in the first week are also growing thanks to all the wet weather we have had!
Julian lost a second tooth this week which prompted a serious counting session of just how many teeth each classmate has left (followed swiftly by the inevitable hand-washing session). In fact, we have been counting up and down number lines (rulers) in maths this week too, recognising vocabulary linked to subtraction and making the symbols with our bodies, as remembering the equals sign when recording number sentences is proving a little troublesome. Please do encourage your child to ‘count the jumps’ when practising counting up or down a number line at home.
Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ cityscape has been the inspiration for this week’s artwork, in direct contrast with Monet’s colourful garden landscapes last week. We painted dark night skies with moody lines and vivid swirls and layered a silhouette of a city with twinkling lights over the top. Developing fine motor coordination with scissors is another skill we are working on at the moment.
It’s been a wonderfully imaginative week in Year 2… we’ve been immersed in our very own dragon stories and these are coming along brilliantly. They are bursting with powerful adjectives, time conjunctions and interesting details. It’s been such a treat listening to them developing.
In Maths we’ve been comparing numbers with the help of Charlie crocodile. Charlie helped us to develop our understanding of ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ and, later in the week, we also had a go at some tricky missing number puzzles.
We’ve been combining our Science and Design Technology this week to plan the making of dragon heads with light-up eyes. We’ve thought carefully about how we can use an electrical circuit within an egg box and the results look like they’ll be quite something, if not a little bit fiddly! The dragon theme has certainly captured the children’s imaginations.
In Art, we had a wonderfully calm Wednesday afternoon during which we used clay to create beautifully intricate dragon eyes. We sculpted tiny details and added additional markings using a collection of fine tools. The results so far are stunning. The next step will be to add colour to our pieces.
The children are so well settled now and the Year 2 classrooms are buzzing with exciting ideas and imaginations. As we whizz towards the half-term break, we’re all feeling really creative, excited and inspired.
As ever, there are many enchanting photographs of the children at work and at play that have been captured this week; please click on this link to view the slides.
We hope you have a super weekend and we look forward to welcoming the children back into school on Monday. Our values focus next week will be ‘I create’ and I am sure there will be plenty of creativity to share with you in the next newsletter.
Head of Pre-Prep
Headmaster's Awards & Commendations
Players of the Week
Oliver W, Year 7
Fantastic Effort and Commitment in the Two Rugby Sessions, Showing Impressive Progress.
Hon Mentions: Aston S, Alex S, Laith B, Wilf F
Imperia T, Year 5
For Hard Work and Commitment Throughout.
Hon Mentions: Tallulah P, Lauren B, Mirabelle W, Evie J
Musician of the Week
For His Contribution to Open Day, But Also in Recognition of the Astonishing Progress He Has Made Over Lockdown.
Junior Teacher Kindness Awards
Iniabasi A, Year 7
For Helping Clear Up the Sports Hall Over the Weekend.
Oscar B, Year 7
For Helping Clear Up the Sports Hall Over the Weekend.
Drama Star of the Week
Alfie L-B, Year 7
For Extraordinary Focus and Maturity During all Drama Lessons and Rehearsals This Term.
Artist of the Week
Dasha R, Year 8
For Her Excellent Free Time Sketchbook Studies.
Joshua K, Year 4
Clara P, Year 6
For His Insightful Knowledge and Ability to Communicate a Deep Understanding During the Windlesham Diploma.
“The latest research from Manchester University suggests that in cutting air pollution levels by a fifth, it can boost children’s learning ability by 6.1%.”