Issue 7 - Autumn Term 2020
A very warm welcome Issue 7 of the term.
6th November 2020
I hope you all enjoyed the half-term break. Your children have certainly returned to school full of energy and in high spirits. As I write my newsletter introduction this week, I can sense my leg muscles tightening and a little stiffness in my lower back – I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I am suffering a little after today’s Junior bubble and year 6 Inter-House Cross Country. It was, however, a fantastic occasion in the most glorious of weather and it reminded us all how much we have missed the friendly competitive nature of an inter-house competition. Whilst it may not be everyone’s favourite event (even Mrs Evans gave it a go!), I was so impressed with the fantastic effort shown by every pupil and the tremendous encouragement and support displayed by the children towards each other. As I plodded around the course, it was a joy to witness such kindness, resilience and determination. Needless to say, I was beaten over the line by everyone and there were some excellent sprint finishes to ensure this was the case! Well done to all our runners and good luck to years 7 and 8 too; my thanks to Mrs Carson for organising all the races.
The spirit of Windlesham has been on display all week and our Harvest Festival celebrations were certainly no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed leading the Service for years 3, 4 and 5 and seeing the musical accomplishments of the Pre-Prep, Junior Choir, Samba Band and Chamber Choir which demonstrated how much talent and accomplishment we have at the school. Thank you to all the families who have so generously donated to our two local school charities; Stone Pillow and Turning Tides who do such valuable work in supporting the homeless. Next week, we will be commemorating Remembrance Day on the 11th November with a whole school Service of Remembrance on the Front Lawn. This will allow us to adequately socially distance in bubbles, and most importantly for the first time this year, we will have the opportunity to be all together as one school. Covid restrictions have so far prevented this from happening and it is a huge regret for me. The most important aspect of any school is the strength and cohesion of its community – schools should live and breathe this to ensure that every child feels valued and part of something special.
One essential element of any community is kindness and this is an element of our character education upon which we place great importance. As the posters around the school now say, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” and this quote by Aesop will become our mantra. To this end, I am keen to recognise and celebrate acts of kindness and caring by our pupils which I know happen every day and throughout all areas of the school. To achieve this, we have introduced Golden Moments this week and I have spoken to every year group to explain how they will work. When a member of staff sees an act of kindness or caring (or hears about one) which goes above and beyond, they will reward the children with a Golden Moment and a golden ticket which will give them a priority pass into lunch for a week. This benefit of a Golden Moment has certainly caused much excitement! The names and citations will be read out in assembly every week and also be published in the Newsletter – we want to share and celebrate the kindness which happens at Windlesham. My congratulations go to Annabel S who has received our inaugural Golden Moment for noticing someone’s jumper was dirty before assembly and offering them her spare one. Well done!
As we now enter our second national lockdown, it is reassuring to know that life for our children at Windlesham will continue as normally as possible with no disruption to their education. We are determined that school will be fun, purposeful and full of excitement and adventure, whilst also adhering closely to government guidelines. If you have any questions or queries regarding any aspect of school life, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
My best wishes to everyone for an enjoyable weekend – it’s certainly going to be a busy one here!
In English, Year 8 have had the great pleasure of studying the language in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. They have been stretching themselves by making comparisons between the presentation of Original Sin in the Bible and Victor Frankenstein’s horror at his reanimation of the monster. Here we see the children listening to Mozart whilst penning their own first person versions of the moment the creature comes to life.
In Mrs Sutcliffe's Year 6 English class, the pupils have been outside on an Autumn walk. They used Keats's poem, To Autumn to inspire their writing.
The last of the crisp leaves fall from the coatless trees.
The sparkling sun awakens and shines through the rich jewels hanging from the trees’ branches.
A patchwork carpet of leaves lies still on the ground.
And the minty grass shivers in the wind.
Birds fly like planes and stretch their feathery wings in the crisp air, reminding us that Winter is not far away. The puffy clouds dissolve revealing a sea of blue.
Poem by Gigi k, Year 6
Year 5 have started a new topic this week called Properties and Physical Changes. They have been exploring different materials and testing their properties. Amongst other features, they were able to see whether the materials were electrical conductors or insulators. They have had a lot of new keywords to get to grips with this week, and have been focusing on describing materials using ‘scientific language’.
Year 6 managed to get outside to enjoy the autumn sunshine this week. As part of our evolution topic they became birds for a time, and were hunting for the Wooly Windlesham Worms in the Italian gardens. They understood how natural selection occurs because of this, and became clearer on the concept of ‘Survival of the Fittest’!
Our Year 8 Pupils are busy designing robots as part of the 2020 First Lego League Challenge. This year's competition, REPLAY, is an integrated STEM project in which students will be required to develop their own Core Values, design Robots, program their bots to complete different tasks and complete an innovation project. We will give you an update on our progress in a few weeks! Very exciting work.
Following a discussion in this week’s RS lesson about how and why the poppy was adopted as a symbol of remembrance and after looking at some of the many different badges that are now available to purchase at this time of year in aid of the Royal British Legion; Year 5 set about designing some badges of their own. Lolly, Taylor, Harvey, Ed P and Seb's pin badges are shown.
The pupils have been standing up in front of class joining together to make human sentences! Giving their opinions about teachers and what we like about them and practising grammar for adjective agreements and word order. The pupils have said some kind words about the history teacher. Mr Stephens will be happy! Translation: I like the history teacher because he is fun.
Year 5 have been learning about rivers this term. Recently, they have studied the river’s journey from source to mouth and have identified which features can be found in each section of the river’s long profile. Today they demonstrated their knowledge of the formation of meanders, oxbow lakes, waterfalls, deltas and v-shaped valleys by creating play-doh landforms and labelling them on an A3 poster.
This year’s potential drama scholars are continously working hard on their individual monologues, portfolios and interview questions including an additional workshop just before the end of half term.
It was an enjoyable and highly productive afternoon! Well done everybody.
Happy Harvest Festival
The music teachers have been working with all the pupils around the school to produce some epic harvest festival music videos. Do give them a watch if you have a few minutes to spare!
Watch the wonderful work the pupils have been putting in for harvest season, we have all been learning about sharing and kindness throughout this special time.
Graphics & Textiles
Year 7 graphics & textiles class Teddy & Henry are modelling iPad cases they created with the laser image transfer process. They cleverly adapted them and made long straps so that they could wear them as cross body bags. Fantastic creative work.
Year 4 are learning to make felt for the first time inspired by the autumn colours. Following the processes of layering the wool, we chose to work with Merino wool already dyed in different autumn colours. Using their hands to gently pull the wool apart creating fun patterns, it was very soft.
Year 6 are showing off their t-shirt, bag for life and pencil case along with coloured strings that they are going to make into friendship bracelets. All images were printed onto magic transfer paper and we used a heat press to melt them onto the fabric. The process is called laser image transfer.
It has been a busy week in the cookery room. Year 7 started their Fine Dining topic by making a butternut squash and sage risotto. Year 5 made ‘Trench Cake’ a cake sent to the soldiers in the trenches during WW1. Year 3 have been busy using up the apples left from Harvest by making Apple pasties and the pre-prep have made terrible tusks from the Gruffalo story, blueberry muffins following the food from around the world theme and fiery dragon scones.
Year 5 pupils have made bird tea light holders using a pinch pot technique. When they are dry they will be biscuit fired to 1,000 degrees celsius in the kiln. After this the children will glaze them and the pots will be fired to 1,100 degrees celsius.
Remembrance Day 2020
In Art the year 7 pupils have been painting their own versions of red poppies as a symbol of remembrance and of hope. They really are outstanding!
Year 4 have been using fireworks as a stimulus this week for writing short poems, making calligrams (pictures using words) and practising alliteration.
During the Wednesday Eco-school afternoons, Year 3 have been creating recycled paper using rose petals, lavender and leaves to add colour, impressions and textures.
The children have been learning to paint word pictures using MAPOS -Metaphor / Alliteration / Personification / Onomatopoeia / Simile. They went out to the front of the school to observe using their senses and create word pictures with their paints (MAPOS). The children worked in pairs and were proud to share their imagery with each other.
Some of the vivid descriptions gave Mrs Marchant goosebumps. The finished work will be displayed in the Junior corridor next week! We are beginning to develop some really wonderful writing!
Shooting through the sky.
Shimmering in the pitch-black night,
Flying very fast.
Howling like a spooky ghost.
Bertie, Year 4
More poetry by Year 4
Year 4 are learning about Greek architecture and did a history experiment whilst discussing the benefits of using cylindrical pillars for building Ancient Greek temples, Year 4 decided to conduct an experiment of their own to prove the strength of paper pillars.
The photo shows how just 12 paper pillars successfully supported over 20 books and then carried on to support over 40 hard-back books before finally collapsing. We concluded that this type of architecture was indeed very strong.
The class added over 30 books on top of the paper columns!
Another future riding star, Millie trotting her way through the half term with style and finesse.
The whole school completed their cross country run this year, over two days split in their bubbles they raced to the finish line competing with their friends, cheering on their houses, and keeping the Windlesham spirit live and kicking. Seeing everyone inolved on the field was as always atmospheric and emotional. The effort put in was 100%.
Well done everybody!
Junior Race Winners
1st Taylors & Alexandra
2nd Harvey & Olivia
3rd Leo & Sophie
Year 6 Winners
1st Jack & Emilia
2nd Caspar & Gigi
3rd Igor & Clara
Year 7 Winners
1st Samuel & Tatiana
2nd Saveliy & Rosie
3rd Jack & Isla
Year 8 Winners
1st Edwin & Georgie
2nd Guy & Imogen
3rd Alfie & Eloise
Introducing Windlesham's New Boarding Options
We're delighted to let you know that we've increased our boarding options to be more flexible and suit the differing requirements of our Windlesham families. Full boarding will of course remain and is a popular choice with many families.
The new options are as follows:
From Year 3 & Year 4 your child(ren) can board from a minimum of 1 night per week,
As you go into Year 5 & Year 6 your child(ren) can board for a minimum 2 nights a week.
Year 7 boarders have a minimum of 3 nights a week.
You can choose which nights but those nights will stay the same each week.
From September 2021 our Year 8 boarders will also have the flexibility to board a minimum of 3 nights a week, with a commitment to the same night(s) each week.
Children can also weekly board and go home on a Saturday and return either on a Sunday night or Monday morning before lessons begin. They also have the option to go home on a Friday evening from 4:30pm.
If you are interested in finding out more or would like your child to trial board, please get in touch with us.
Adam Pearson Alice Wright
Head of Boys' Boarding Head of Girls' Boarding
As the first frost appeared on Wednesday morning, with the Autumn sun shining, we took time to reflect on how fortunate we all are during our Harvest service. As the whole school came together in their different bubbles the Pre-Prep children learned about the meaning of harvest and heard about the two charities that our donations will be helping this year. Many thanks to all of you who donated with either items of food or financially. The service was interspersed with delightful clips of children from across the school performing and my special thanks go to Wilf for leading with our opening prayer and Jospehina for reading our closing prayer. Both children read clearly and fluently and I was incredibly proud of them.
It has been such a delight this week all being back together. Mrs Hunt and I were shocked at how much some of you had grown in just two weeks time! Monday we came in absolutely bubbling with all the wonderful, exciting and busy things the children had been up to over half term, it made mine seem quite dull! We spent much of the day Monday revisiting our favourite toys, activities and areas in the classroom while chatting with our friends. In the garden, some of the children used sticks and fallen leaves to create a pretend fire which sparked many conversations about bonfire night, hot chocolate and fireworks. The new 100 chart puzzle in our classroom gave us quite a maths challenge and it was incredible supporting you to notice patterns and find where each and every number belonged. Monday also brought many conversations about Halloween which led to a frenzy of Halloween drawing and writing. All week long we continued to write and draw our wonder questions which included “Where do camels live?”, “How are lollipops made?”, “What are marshmallows made of?” and “Do ninjas sleep and brush their teeth?”
In cookery this week, Mrs. Messenger had us making Gruffalo tusk fruit kebabs after she read us the story. Senorita Goss taught us our body parts in Spanish and we played Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Miss Charman was so impressed with the confidence levels in both swimming and P.E. this week! In Drama the children played Traffic Lights and they used their bodies to act out different places you go to.
In the classroom, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we focused on maps and what we knew about them. Most of us associated maps with treasure and ‘X marks the spot’ but we learned maps can help us in all kinds of ways. We had so much fun using Google Maps to see where everyone in our class lived as well as looking at countries and cities further afield. On Wednesday we went on a lovely autumn walk around Windlesham and when we got back we decided to make a big map of all the places we had been. The children added letters to represent each location and arrows to show the direction of travel.
Wednesday morning also brought a truly special Harvest Festival. The class listened so well to the stories, songs and video clips that accompanied the event. It even inspired some harvest and garden-themed play in our garden.
Click play to watch the Harvest videos...
What fun it has been to be back in class with the children! We have been amazed at just how much information has been retained and how quickly everyone has remembered our classroom rules and routines. We have so many new questions for our Wonder Wall, including ‘How many hearts does an octopus have?’, ‘How do freezers work?’ and ‘How does Santa Claus’ sleigh fly?’
In topic lessons his week, we have immersed ourselves in the story of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. The children learned about what happened up to the part where King James was shown a warning letter from a mysterious stranger. The class’ challenge was to then predict what might have happened next on that fateful night. The boys in the class imagined that once King James discovered that something was amiss, one of Guy Fawkes’ gang dressed up as a waiter and poisoned the King’s bodyguards with a lethal drink, while another climbed down the chimney and threw bombs at the King - high treason indeed! The overnight wait to find out the actual ending of the Gunpowder Plot was excruciating for some of our classmates!!
Naturally we also shared our own experiences of Bonfire Night and enjoyed writing some incredibly descriptive sensory poems on that very theme. We are all so sad to be missing out on the school extravaganza this year but our printed paintings of fireworks cheered us up no end - some have even made it into Mr Evans’ office window at the front of the school! We used objects from around the Pre-Prep to experiment with printing techniques and were thrilled with our resulting gallery!
Maths has seen us learning to compare and measure length, height and mass. We were also challenged to measure curved lines using a ruler and anything else that might help which could be found in the classroom. With a little help from some blu-tack and lengths of wool, we succeeded, although it certainly required perseverance and help from our friends.
In science lessons we have begun observing seasonal changes. We started by identifying the four seasons of the year and have had an autumn to winter focus this week. Conversations about the change in temperature and colours of the falling leaves, the need to wear coats at every play time so far and how dark it is at home time this week, were recognised as indicators of the significant change since summer. Naturally we couldn’t resist an autumn walk, complete with nature scavenger hunt, to liven up a Thursday. The bonfire night inspired hot chocolate was particularly delicious upon our return!
We enjoyed a super harvest assembly on Wednesday morning and were very proud of Wilf for commencing proceedings with a beautifully read prayer.
Our castles topic begins next week. The children have already had such fun exploring our model castle and tent during playful learning time.
London’s burning, London’s burning…
This week, the year 2 children have been time travelling detectives investigating clues around the classrooms to work out what had been happening in the Autumn of 1666. Using a range of evidence they were quick to come to the conclusion that a great fire began in the bakery of Thomas Farriner in Pudding Lane. This led to many varied wonder wall questions which we will enjoy finding out the answers to.
In English we have been piecing together the events of those disastrous four days in London and looking at how newspapers and diary entries enable us to find out information from the past. Each class has created their very own timeline of the events which has then led to a deeper understanding of the fire and how the fire fighting efforts of the era are incredibly different to those we have today as a result. The final element of the week involved sharing the news from our very own modern day news studio, with a little help from a green screen and a camera. The children took their newsreader roles very seriously to share the facts they have been investigating.
Our maths objectives this week have centred around adding a single digit number to a 2 digit number whilst crossing a 10. This has been a tricky process with lots of steps; finding the next tens number, using number bonds to make up that next ten and then finding out how many more we needed to add to get to the final answer. The children have worked incredibly hard using a range of practical resources, number squares and empty number lines to help with the different steps. It can sometimes be difficult to work through all the steps when you ‘just know’ the answer, however understanding the various steps in more complex problem solving will ensure that the children will be able to notice when little errors have been made and adjust accordingly.
Science has of course centred around the element of fire and the children have been learning about the importance of fire safety, how fire can be useful and how it can also be dangerous if not treated properly. In our investigation we learnt that fire requires oxygen, heat and fuel to burn and if one of these are removed, the fire will burn out.
Our Art lesson this week the children explored a range of different media whilst creating flames. Looking closely at artwork from the Great Fire of London the children noticed how the movement in the flames was depicting very clearly which way the wind was blowing. Some wonderful interpretations were created.
Over half term we were excited to hear of the safe arrival of Ms Wild’s twin girls who were born on Tuesday 27th October. Zia Willow Wild weighed 4lb 9 and Joni Autumn Wild weighed 5lb 7, both babies and mummy are doing well. Our very best wishes and congratulations go out to the Wild family.
That just leaves me to wish you all a safe weekend and we look forward to welcoming the children back into school on Monday.
Head of Pre-Prep
Headmaster's Awards & Commendations
Players of the Week
Alfie, Year 8 For great effort in rugby.
Lottie A, Year 5 For hard work in games and continual great results with her riding for the school teams.
Guy H, Lottie M
Caspar F, Kitty A
Ethan F , Florence V
Musician of the Week
Liss H, Year 6
For her general excellent attitude and for her lovely concert performance in the concert before half term.
Junior Teacher Kindness Award
Grace D, Year 8
For being extremely helpful by bringing out the swimming pool equipment before half term.
Drama Star of the Week
Tallulah P, Year 8
For a beautiful and original 'ideas collage' as part of her drama scholarship preparation.
Artist of the Week
Mia C, Year 8
For her amazing bee painting.
Kelvin L, Year 6
For most stars received out of all the boys boarders this half of term.
Rosie L, Year 7
For settling in to boarding so well.
Half Term News
Find out what our pupils were up to!
During half term Sebastian was chosen by his agent to act in a new ITV drama called ‘Angela Black’ (producers of The Missing and Liar) which will be airing next summer. He may be in 3-4 episodes (only short scenes). It was an incredible experience for him working for one of the top film production companies and alongside some well known actors.
Remembrance Day 2020
Our pupils and teachers were busy crocheting these beautiful red poppies for Remembrance Day 2020 to raise money for charity! We will update you next week on how we did!
Check our Facebook page for more details on how to donate!
Happy Harvest Everyone!
'Read on' to watch our final Harvest Samba video!
“One essential element of any community is kindness and this is an element of our character education upon which we place great importance.”