Issue 6 - Autumn Term 2020
A very warm welcome Issue 6 of the term.
16th October 2020
Message from Ben Evans
I think it is safe to say that both pupils and staff are ready for a very well-deserved half term break. It has been a busy, active and extremely purposeful six weeks of term in which our children have surpassed themselves. They have hit the ground running after many weeks of absence from school and shown great spirit and determination, always giving of their best and making the most of every opportunity. For Alex and me, it has been an absolute pleasure to get to know everyone and we are grateful for the kindness shown by the whole community – it feels like we have been here a lot longer than just a few months!
Our school value this week has focussed on Creativity – the ability to think beyond the obvious, to have original ideas, an imagination and inventiveness. All traits which will ensure that Windlesham pupils can ‘flounder intelligently’, have something to say on any topic, be innovative and distinctive in their outlook and approach. As Einstein said, ‘Creativity is intelligence having fun’ and it must be the aim, through both our academic curriculum and co-curricular provision, to foster a sense of excitement, enthusiasm and creativity in everything we do.
Our children will undoubtedly be global citizens, and we must prepare them to take their place in a rapidly changing world with the skills to be both accomplished and successful. I was interested to read that the Managing Director of the Economic Development Board of Singapore sought to debunk a number of cherished myths within the education sector. These included the long-held need for children to memorise and regurgitate facts in exams as well as the more recent thought that digital and technical skills will be most in demand. Whilst the need for children to be digital natives will, of course, be important, he went on to say that soft skills such as the ability to tell a story, to have empathy, and create connections with others will help people to stand out and differentiate themselves. I couldn’t agree more! Through our careful nurturing of each individual, the building of self-confidence and the promotion of kindness, tolerance and collaborative learning, our pupils will be equipped with the skills to stand out from the crowd and offer something unique and valuable. The Windlesham Challenge and Diploma will further enhance their ability to be critical thinkers, emotionally intelligent and our leaders of the future.
As we head in to half term, the future is slightly uncertain and as a school, we are planning for all eventualities. Rest assured, whatever the next few weeks bring in terms of COVID-related restrictions, we will continue to provide pupils with an exciting and engaging programme of learning. Important events such as Harvest Festival, Fireworks Night and Remembrance Day will all happen, be it in slightly varied forms.
My best wishes to you all for a restful and relaxing break and I hope everyone returns in November refreshed and ready for an exciting second half to the term.
Windlesham Challenge & Diploma
Outdoor Education Challenge
This week Year 7 and 8 pupils got to learn about navigation in the 21st century. After a short introduction to the app What3Words the children were put to the challenge to complete an orienteering course around the school grounds, using the app to find the three word locations which lead them on a course. They used the technology to find the accurate locations the well-known sites both on the school grounds and further afield including their own front door as well as famous landmarks around the world.
It was great to see the children engaged in the challenges but also able to hear the real-world scenarios which they came up with, where this technology would be so very useful.
Mrs Carson and Mr Edwards
Personal Development Challenge
Personal Development activities were undertaken to test awareness, identity and to develop new talents. They each covered three developmental areas:
Physical: Focusing on health and nutrition, fitness and sport; feeling good about yourself and self-confidence.
Be conscious of self, but not self-conscious.
Social: Encouraging pupils to get involved in their communities, work towards common goals and understand themselves and others.
Mental: Stretching their minds, developing good thinking habits, good study habits, pursuing ideas and finding ways to apply them.
Year 6 have been debating the motion, "Being educated in school is the best way to learn."
Originally inspired by our class reading book, Skellig, Year 6 always have a fabulous time debating the issues around home schooling. This year it has been particularly poignant as we all have personal experiences to share.
The pupils were introduced to the formal conventions of debating and wrote some fantastically persuasive speeches. Most impressively, our speakers astonished me by providing insightful, spontaneous rebuttal.
Points of information had to be carefully controlled, as you might imagine! Our Windlesham children were constructively, passionately argumentative. Well done everybody!
Having used colours to mark and label the key features of a circle, Year 7 set about investigating the relationship between circumference and diameter using a variety of everyday objects. On tabulating their data, they drew two conclusions: that ‘circumference is approximately three times diameter’ and that the circumference of a pancake can be dramatically reduced through nibbling!
Lots has been happening in the science department!
As part of their ‘Living Things’ topic, Year 5 did an experiment on which conditions woodlice prefer. They used Choice Chambers and lamps to give the woodlice 4 options to go to. The results were close with the majority of woodlice choosing dark and damp. All the children did very well with their first practical investigation of the term, though Florence looked like she might pass out when she found a rather large woodlouse crawling up her arm! Mrs Carson may still be finding the odd one running around her lab!
Year 5 have come to the end of their ‘Introduction to Practical Science’ topic. Having looked at all the equipment we have in the lab and learnt how to write up experiments, the topic ended with a simple comparison experiment to wrap up all their hard work. The children were testing to see if salt water would come to the boil faster than tap water. Have a chat to your children to find out how it went!
Year 6 have been using data loggers and iPads to measure and record the temperature change of water as it changed state from solid ice to liquid water, then up to boiling point. The pupils were able to see how modern technology may be used in laboratory-based settings when carrying out experiments.
Science Supernova Awards
For outstanding contribution in Science the following children have been awarded a Science Supernova for work this term:
Henry M: Excellent class contributions.
Caspar F: Excellent effort in the topic test.
Freddie R: Fantastic focus and commitment.
Georgie N: Outstanding effort in classwork and extension work.
Imperia T: Logical thinking and super contributions in class.
Charles H: Outstanding presentation on renewable energy resources.
Isabel P: Outstanding commitment, enthusiasm and contribution in class.
Angelina M: Outstanding work all term & excellent result in end of topic test.
The 14th October 1066 is probably the most recognised date in British history and Mr Farrer’s Year 7 sets have been walking through the key phases of the battle of Hastings. This week marks the 954th anniversary of the battle being fought and the children have been understanding the tactics, weapons and leadership of both commanders.
Here are the Normans lining up for battle, with the minstrel Taillefer heroically starting the battle by taunting the
Anglo-Saxons (up the hill in their shieldwalll).
As part of the exploration of life and study skills, the Year 7 pupils played a range of games and discussed their experiences of time pressure, teamwork, competition and patience and how they can manage different stressors effectively in their day to day lives.
This week in Latin the Year 8 children have enjoyed playing Happy Families to practise translation.
Year 3 have repurposed plastic and created bird feeders. From the
Eco-hub, we are enjoying watching the birds hop about feed and also listening to their song.
Arnon Milchan - A Life in Film
Our guest speaker for Knowledge Night this week was the legendary film producer Arnon Milchan. He engaged and, it has to be said, utterly charmed the children with his reflections on forty years of film producing and the essential life lessons that could be drawn from his experiences.
Asked about what had led him into films, Mr Milchan emphasised his humble beginnings and his sense of passion and curiosity. The child from a poor background who had played ‘football’ with cans in the streets had grown to be an international footballer as a young man. Later this same mix of ambition, self-belief and sense of play had led him to develop what he described as an obsession with artists. From this deep fascination with the artistic process grew the desire to support and collaborate with visionary film makers.
It was highly appropriate that Mr Milchan was talking to the children in a week when they were being particularly guided towards a focus on creativity. He was asked if he agreed with one of our thoughts for the week - Picasso’s observation that every child is an artist and that the key challenge for adults wanting to maintain an artistic sensibility was to retain that sense of childhood. He did indeed agree and extended the idea beautifully to embrace every area of enterprise - ‘Whether you are working in cinema, real estate or pharmaceuticals,’ he said, ‘you are building houses out of Lego.’
Mr Milchan took great time and care to consider his responses to the many varied, fascinating and searching questions asked by the children. In doing this he made it clear that one of his driving passions is the desire to encourage a new generation of thinkers and visionaries. He was careful to point out that there was a strong underlying theme to many of his productions - the desire to make people think and ask questions about pressing social issues concerning justice, freedom and empowerment. This is the thread that links films such as ‘JFK’, ‘Free Willy’, ‘12 Years a Slave’, ‘Birdman’, ‘Little Women’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and the upcoming ‘Everybody Loves Jamie’.
Ruby A asked a particularly mature and probing question about the sexual politics of ‘Pretty Woman’. In his answer Mr Milchan identified all of the aforementioned themes, arguing that the Julia Roberts character is empowered by the role she plays in transforming the cynical, exploitative businessman into a figure of compassion and humanity.
In discussing ‘Pretty Woman’ Mr Milchan made the point that it was he who had ‘found’ Julia Roberts for the role. This led inevitably to questions about other major stars whose careers had essentially been launched by him. There were audible gasps as certain names were mentioned, especially when he talked about Leonardo Di Caprio!
While there was an understandable sense of awe about the world Mr Milchan was describing and some of the personalities within it, the overriding impression the children were left with was of the genuine and warm interest Mr Milchan had shown in them. As the session was drawing to its close he made it very clear that he wanted to stay and field more questions. He insisted that he be invited back for a second evening! Naturally, the children were delighted to hear this and are very much looking forward to continuing this ‘conversation’!
The ultimate tribute Mr Milchan could pay to the quality of the children’s questions was to state that it would be invidious to single anyone out for the Light Bulb Award - so this week all those who asked questions can consider themselves winners, perhaps in more ways than one.
Please join us for an online safety course
Online Safety Training for Parents
Digital parenting has become a key part of how we support our children in the 21st Century. At Windlesham, we want all of our children to develop into responsible Digital Citizens who are able to make the right choices with their technology use.
To assist us with this, we run regular sessions for all members of our community. Over the next half term, we are going to be offering training to our Pupils, Staff and Governors - We would also like to add you too.
The link will take you to an online training course for parents is a simple introduction to e-safety which will provide some much needed information to help parents start to understand possible e-safety problems and give them a foundation for making decisions about technology usage within the home.
I would be very grateful if you could take 25 minutes to go through the course which I am hoping you will find very useful.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Click here for an Online training course for parents
Digital Parenting Week
Parent zone are launching a new initiative to celebrate Digital Parenting Week 26th - 30th October. We will be joining them to say a massive thank you to all for all of the support you give to helping us to develop positive behaviours. Keep an eye on Social Media for updates #DigitalParentingWeek
To celebrate the start of the half term break, Mr Fitt and Miss Tuson have put together a short concert. With 13 fantastic performers, from Reception to Year 8 playing their favourite instruments and singing! We hope you enjoy.
Mr Fitt & Miss Tuson
Watch the full viersion here
In Drama, the Year 5 pupils have been learning about improvisation and communication. To help them learn about how theatre can educate and incite change, they had to communicate a ‘warning’ with clear advice.
In cookery this week Year 7 have been making their own sauces using all the vital ingredients from tomatoes, garlic, onions, dried herbs and a variety of spices. The pupils were all very intuitive and told us what they will be making for dinner!
Skye and Daevi in Year 6 - The Fishbowl Project
Powerful tonal images in this weeks art lesson, the pupils were learning how to make an object look three dimensional. Year 7 have been working on their tube tone charcoal and chalk images.
Oliver in Year 7 drawing his tone tube
We had a lovely time in the pottery imprinting clay with autumn leaves. We formed beautiful tea light holders using a slab building technique.
Virtual Swimming Competition
The Swim Squad had the privilege of representing Windlesham in a competitive sport for the first time in 7 months. It was fantastic to see every age group fight for a time and they were exceptional. Every year group got into the house spirit and we also ended with three cheers. It was quite amazing to watch especially considering the last time we had a gala was over 100 swimmers for the IAPS regional round. There were also some records broken by:
- George K - Under 12 50M Freestyle
- Under 12 Freestyle relay team
But more importantly there was some outstanding swimming from everyone. The whole team tried their best and although it had been a while, everyone did better than they thought!
We now have another gala against Ardingly after half term where I hope we can improve on our times.
The girls in Year 7 and 8 have been practising their hockey skills showing some fantastic team work, strategy and competitiveness.
Florence representing Windlesham last weekend.
Well done Florence!
This week in boarding
Half term is upon us! What a truly memorable first half of term it has been. This week has seen the filming begin for a whole school video and it has been hugely enjoyable watching some of the children contribute with their own experiences of boarding at Windlesham. When asked what they enjoy about boarding, the overwhelming majority focus on the fun they have and free time they spend with friends.
Throughout the first half of term, the boarders have enjoyed various activities such as; table tennis and multi-sports, Knowledge Night, games evenings, Boarders' chill and the new 'Party Night' for those lucky enough to celebrate a birthday during term time!
We look forward to more of the same after half term and wish everyone a safe and restful break.
The Boarding Staff
Boarders enjoy a walk on the downs
Celebrating several birthdays
Indoor games evening
Quiz and party games, Year 3 to 6
As we find ourselves at the end of the first half term, there is much to celebrate. The children have continued to impress their teachers in all aspects of their school lives. Friendships have been cemented and learning has taken off in so many remarkable ways. It was only yesterday when I received a knock on my door to find four glamorous Reception visitors dressed up and off on their ‘flight’ to swim in America. These are the moments when the spirit of the Pre-Prep comes alive, the children are all incredibly happy, confident and full of this week’s value; creativity!
It is hard to believe that our final week of half term has come and gone. It has been so lovely getting to know the children and watching them adjust to our classroom, routines and each other. On Friday last week we had a lovely morning at Forest School finding worms, making cakes, climbing trees and pretending to have special powers. This week we have been focusing on formulating questions about things we wonder and answering them using a variety of sources such as asking an adult, asking friends, using books, using the internet and watching videos. Many of us have been asking “How” questions such as “How are unicorns made?”, “How are people made?” “How are leaves made?” “How is everything in space made?” “How are sharks made?”. Many of those proved quite tricky to answer succinctly so we have been learning more about where, when, why and who questions to help guide our thinking.
Following the children’s interests this week had many questions about space and we took a walk to see the large telescope at Windlesham. It was locked up to keep it protected but was very interesting to see! It was also conveniently located near some little hills perfect for rolling down - some of the children named this “Apple Rumble” which had us all giggling. We also had a new 100-piece puzzle in our classroom that the children enjoyed working on together. They paid attention to the details on each piece to guide them and sorted the pieces into edges and middles. We investigated the idea of floating, sinking and weighing this week with mini pumpkins, apples and oranges - we thought they would sink but they floated! Then we played with them in water which led to lots of pretend cake, crumble and pie making - yum! This also sparked many conversations about Halloween, pumpkins, costumes and decorations.
In phonics we focused on four new letters this week o, e, k and r. We have been looking at the letters in printed form as well as pre-cursive letters that have leads and tails but are not joined together. The children have deemed these letters “The Windlesham Way” so if you hear them referring to these letters, they are our pre-cursive letters that go with our handwriting program. This program will begin after half term at which point I will send you a copy of the letters so you can reference them at home. All of the children have been working so hard to write their names every day and practising to do their best!
In maths lessons this week we focused on the skill of 1:1 counting and number recognition by playing a birthday candle counting game where we counted each candle and found the correct number to match our counting. The children loved this game so much they wanted it available during playful learning time as well! In PSED we have been working on using our words to express when we don’t like something and in turn, respecting our peers who say “Please stop, I don’t like that”. They’ve really been trying hard to be kind and respectful to one another!
The children have had another busy week of swimming, cookery, drama, library, Spanish, music and P.E. Mrs Messenger had us making cakes for Halloween and decorating them with spooky eyes and icing. Mrs Jenkins had us working on our facial expressions and actions to convey different emotions. Mr Fitt taught us two lovely harvest songs and recorded them for the Harvest Festival after half term.
Our final week of our first half term together has been just lovely. I was thrilled to find myself struggling with who to award certificates and mascots to, as the children’s efforts have been so significant and their output so pleasing. In particular, the whole class’ efforts with their ‘Windlesham’ handwriting has been nothing short of impressive.
In English lessons, we have been writing our own versions of the Goldilocks story but with some rather unusual plot twists. Our characters and settings have been amended to include mischievous fish, deep wavy oceans and even mermaids and scary waterfalls - wherever our imagination has taken us! Please do ask your child about their own version of the traditional tale!!
We have had a geography focus in our Topic lessons this week, with our investigation of the more unusual style of homes around the world. We learned about Inuits and igloos, the Yanomami people of the Amazon and their shabonos, as well as Mongolian nomads and their portable gers.
Young Master Messenger helped us with our study of the French artist, Jean Metzinger, as their surnames sound so similar! We planned landscape pictures using squared paper and then created mosaic representations of them in the Cubist style for which he is well-known.
Familiar names also played a key role in our learning of 2-D shapes and their properties this week. When sorting shapes into those with straight sides and those with curved sides, we learned that the former are called ‘polygons’. We all imagined Julian’s mummy waving us goodbye; “Polly’s gone!” the children shouted when asked to identify shapes made up of straight lines! We also went outside to make 2-D shapes using natural objects, such as sticks and stones, then ended the week making pictures with a Tangram.
I am sending the children’s crazy cress heads home for the holidays for you to enjoy, as well as their lovely shoebox rooms, which have been proudly displayed in school this term.
What a wonderfully creative final week of the half term! We have been painting, cutting, sticking, writing, illustrating, glazing, decorating and the end results are quite spectacular!
Our dragon heads with light up eyes were an intricate but impressive pairing of physics and design technology. The adults were hugely impressed by the resilience and problem solving on show as the children managed to combine electrical circuits with egg boxes in a complicated tangle of creativity!
Our clay dragon eyes have been beautifully decorated and are really stunning. The children worked hard to mould and carve intricate details and these have been carefully painted and varnished.
And our dragon stories… we are so proud! The children have worked REALLY hard to edit their work this week and illustrate their wonderful stories. These will be coming home (along with all of the other dragon paraphernalia!!) to be shared with the family. We hope you enjoy a little story time courtesy of your Year 2 authors.
In Maths we’ve been working on finding 10 more and 10 less and also on addition strategies. The children have demonstrated their ever growing mental maths skills.
Our Fire and Fantasy focus on dragons has really captured the children’s imaginations. At the beginning of the week we received some very exciting news from Mrs Spybey, who sent photos of a bearded dragon she had reportedly found in the Windlesham woods! We concluded that this must have come from one of the eggs we had found in an abandoned nest earlier in the term. Spike the dragon is being cared for by the Spybey family and we enjoyed looking at some photos and watching a little video of Mrs Spybey’s findings.
The staff and I wish you and your families a restful half term break and we look forward to welcoming everyone back for another fun filled six weeks leading up to the inevitable Christmas celebrations!
Head of Pre-Prep
Headmaster's Awards & Commendations
Players of the Week - Boy
Quben HB, Year 6
For excellent work in sport
Olivia M, Year 5
For hard work in swimming and tennis
Rose C, Year 8 Isla SD, Year 8
Max FK, Year 8 David D, Year 8
Ini A, Year 7 Millie E, Year 6
Lottie A, Year 5 George M, Year 3
Musician of the Week
Immy M & Isla SD Year 8
For making such beautiful music together in their free time, fully independently, showing great musicality and maturity.
Junior Teacher Kindness Awards
Tallulah P, Year 8
For being extremely helpful by picking up all the golf balls without being asked at breaktime.
Isabel P, Year 7
For comforting another child when they were homesick.
Artist of the Week
Georgie N, Year 8
For her amazing bee watercolour image.
Harry S, Year 7
For maintaining a positive attitude and being great company in the house.
Anastasiia M, Year 8
For supporting a new girl and settling well into dorms.
Charlie Short Award (top progress report score)
Millie E, Year 6
Lissy H, Year 6
Arden Q, Year 3
Robin R, Year 5
Patient helpfulness to staff and children and for being an excellent virtual host.
Samantha W, Year 7
For doing amazing work online - for being completely engaged and involved and submitting excellent work.
“Our children will undoubtedly be global citizens, and we must prepare them to take their place in a rapidly changing world”
Happy Half Term and Happy Harvest
Read on to watch the
Cauliflowers Fluffy Lip Sync
With love from the Music Department x