Issue 8 - Autumn Term 2020
A very warm welcome Issue 8 of the term.
13th November 2020
In what has been an exceptionally busy and enjoyable week, my highlight was something that we have always taken for granted – the opportunity to gather together as a whole school which we were able to do at our Service of Remembrance.
Whilst ensuring Windlesham is a Covid-safe environment since our return in September, we have not allowed the restrictions to limit unnecessarily the opportunities for our children but whole school gatherings and assemblies have been one casualty.
For Alex and me it was especially poignant as it was the very first time we have seen the whole school together and we couldn’t have been more proud of the way the children conducted themselves throughout the Service. Tallulah’s performance of 'The Last Post' from the balcony was superb, as was Aston’s reading of 'In Flanders Fields' and Danny’s rendition of 'The Lark Ascending' on the violin. Our congregational singing of 'I Vow To Thee, My Country' does, however, need some more work! My thanks to everyone involved and I am looking forward to more whole school events in the future, when the situation allows.
Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow and all schools should ensure a focus on personal growth, skill development and emotional enrichment for their pupils through providing a creative academic curriculum enriched by a wealth of co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities. This approach is certainly much in evidence at Windlesham. As the early evenings are now dark and cold, it has been great to see the new range of after-school activities take shape and provide so much enjoyment, fun and purposeful endeavour.
The following are just some of the opportunities available:
book club and the list goes on.
The possibilities are endless and we will continue to review the breadth and balance and new ideas from children and parents are always welcome. The spring term activity schedule for paid and unpaid activities will be available at the end of this term for you to sit with your children and decide on their choices.
With the most recent lockdown restrictions affecting us all, it has meant limited opportunities for the much valued and anticipated weekend trips and excursions enjoyed by our boarders. However, this has not stopped our staff ensuring that Windlesham weekends are both vibrant and exciting. Inflatable fun in the swimming pool, walks on the Downs, letter boxing, multi-sports, movies in the MFT and fitness circuits are all regulars with each weekend now having its own special theme. This weekend the special event is Pizza and Disco with other activities such as water polo, cooking, den building, Year 8 girls’ pamper session, cricket nets and art activities. Again, we will be publishing these weekends half termly in advance so that you can plan as a family accordingly. Perhaps the most exciting part of this weekend will be the opening of the new boarders’ tuck shop which I am sure will be a very happy surprise for the children! The newsletter also contains exciting information on our new boarding options.
As the weeks fly, your children continue to delight and impress in equal measure. Their spirit and energy are tremendous, as is their enjoyment of school and desire to make the most of every opportunity. There is much ahead for them to enjoy, much of which will be Christmas themed if it’s not too early to mention that word!
I hope you all have a relaxing weekend.
Following a busy weekend of Bonfire building, ‘Make Your Own’ music video, ‘Letter boxing’, pool inflatables and Sunday morning circuits with the Headmaster, the boarders have also continued to enjoy a fantastic variety of activities during the week. With the addition of sessions such as ‘Just Dance’, Junior Einsteins, Mindfulness Colouring and many more, the children are spoilt for choice! The boarders really are treated to a brilliant array of opportunities by the passionate and talented staff and with the introduction of our new more flexible boarding options across all the year groups, we hope that many more will take advantage of what is on offer.
Of course, these busy days also require an opportunity to relax in the evenings and ‘Boarders Chill’, treat nights and simply time out on their beds each night is always something the boarders benefit from. This weekend we look forward to disco night, takeaway pizza and hopefully the introduction of a ‘Tuck’ shop!
Wednesday night multi-sports for Year 7 is always a big hit. The children can choose between badminton, basketball and street hockey.
See here for Bonfire Night photos
A very busy evening at the start of the week. Fun was had by all the boarders, there was plenty of team sport happening around the school including 6 a side football, Waterpolo, Pool, Snooker, Just dance, Badminton and Netball.
Year 4 have been working really hard in gymnastics and have been finding out different balances they can do with a hoop. Over the next few weeks we will be linking the balances together to make a routine
Mrs Spybey & Mr Franklin
With our increased boarding options we can be even more flexible to suit the differing requirements for the families of Windlesham and full boarding will of course remain and is a popular choice with many families.
Boarding options are as follows:
- In Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 your child(ren) can board a minimum of 1 night per week.
- From Year 6 the minimum is 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, get in touch.
Adam Pearson Alice Wright
Head of Boys' Boarding Head of Girls' Boarding
Reading to a dog
The idea of reading to a dog is promoted to help improve children’s reading and communication skills and also it teaches them to love books and reading. When reading to a dog, a child does not worry about making mistakes and they associate the act with feeling secure, calm and ultimately happy. It has been proved that reading to a dog is also good for a child’s well-being.
I have a new chocolate Labrador puppy and I have decided to start training it to be ‘read to’ by bringing it into my Year 5 library lessons. Digby, the Labrador visited my Year 5 English class and he certainly made everyone very happy.
It was not a particular calm atmosphere, but it was the best library lesson we have had this term. We definitely all felt very positive at the end of it.
Year 5 have been working on creating pictures with words and imagery. Here are the finished pieces of writing. The children are describing what they saw as they stood at the front of the school.
Click here to see the whole class poems
Year 5 have been learning about rivers of the world this week. As well as using the atlases to locate key rivers, playing Rivers Top Trumps as their Starter Activity was a particular highlight of the lesson!
Year 6 started their STEM CLUB this week. This terms topic will see the students exploring how they can improve their learning environments. Using sensors, Raspberry PIs and Microbits, the club will be gathering data which they will then be using to present their design solutions. They look forward to sharing their ideas with you all.
Year 4 started their ‘States of Matter’ topic this week. They enjoyed looking at different materials to determine if they fell into the ‘solid, ‘liquid’ or ‘gas’ category, having the most fun with the oobleck! They also enjoyed the chance to make their own self-inflating balloons.
Year 5 have been introduced to the ‘sol’ words in Science this week. They have been investigating to see which substances are soluble or insoluble. If they have a soluble substance, they then have to work out when mixed with water, which parts are the solute, solvent and solution! It’s been a tongue-twisting week for these guys!
Year 6 have been looking at acids and alkalis. They made an indicator out of red cabbage. They then tested it to see what colour it would change to with different acids and alkalis.
Religious Studies & History
Within Religious Studies and History this week, Year 3 have been learning about the poppy flower as part of Remembrance and the significance of it. We also created a large piece of art work to conclude this week’s learning.
In Latin we have been learning about the English words that come from the Latin to help the children to learn their vocabulary during this week in Years 6, 7 and 8. Children have been discussing the origins of the words and working out the similarities between the languages they learn (Latin, English, Spanish and French). E.g. equus (from the Latin meaning horse)
This week in Year 2 drama, the children were learning how to be instructors and presenters. We learned from each other how to do a cartwheel, ‘ the worm’ and the perfect cha cha!
The pupils needed to give instructions clearly and kindly and make their activity seem inviting and fun. They all did really well!
Filming for ‘Romeo and Juliet’ continues all around the school. Here we can see an enraged Tybalt, a madcap Mercutio and Juliet between Lady Capulet and the Nurse being persuaded to marry Paris. We are looking forward to our full cast filming day at the end of the month.
The giant poppies were made from chicken wire pressed between large sheets of brown paper with lots of glue (so a chicken wire sandwich). Books were then put on top of the paper and wire layers for a few days to flatten them down. Fabric and glitter was used in the centres and ribbon was attached to the backs to float in the wind. They looked lovely during the Remembrance service. See 'Remembrance' section for finished poppies!
The video below is a jam packed 90 seconds of the highlights of a day of lessons in the drum room with our new teacher Mr Randon. A longer concert video will follow soon, but I thought you’d all enjoy seeing how the drummers across the school are progressing!
Have a great weekend!
As part of their Stone Age topic, Year 3 have created cave art images using traditional methods using felt and also making their own silk, painted lavender bags using lavender they harvested from the dried flowers.
Fly on the wall photos of Year 7 industriously teaching each other knitting loom techniques, some in preparation for the online Christmas Fair. Along with the school’s two dog mascots wore purple felt poppies, made by pupils to remember the animals who were lost in service.
Mrs Hallam & Mrs Scordoulis
Remembrance Day 2020
Tallulah playing The Last Post
Danny playing The Lark Acsending
As another week draws to a close and we reflect on the learning and experiences the children have had, we should take the time to congratulate the children for the manner in which they participated in the whole school remembrance service. In their classrooms, the children had been writing the names of the Windlesham pupils who sadly lost their lives on poppies to take to the service. All of the poppies have now been sent home for you to share a moment with your children thinking about those men.
As always, it was another busy and wonderful week of Reception! The highlight was the brilliant behaviour of Reception class throughout the whole school Remembrance Day service. They carried their poppies with pride, did their best to sing along to the hymn and stood quietly for the moment of silence - no easy feat for four and five-year-olds. We shared a Remembrance Day story called “A Poppy is to Remember” and we had a few very poignant and thoughtful questions and conversations which was lovely. Ted, our resident expert who has been to the Imperial War Museum, shared that there was once a Great War and a Second World War. We all agreed that a peaceful world would be best and that we wouldn’t like anyone we love to have to fight or get hurt.
Some of the other learning that has occurred this week has been an introduction to Harriet the Cow who eventually will help us to learn our tall cursive letters. Our handwriting program is called Think Write and all of the letters are grouped together and have an animal associated with them (Harriet the Cow, Georgia the Pig, Rupert & Zac the Sheep as well as Pippa Rabbit). We are beginning our program by meeting the animals and learning more about the shapes, motions and directions associated with the animals in preparation for learning the cursive letters. In due course a letter will be sent home outlining this program. Our math focus has been strategies for 1:1 counting such as lining up the objects, making a pen mark over them or moving them as you count. We also focused on sorting by different attributes such as colour and size or even sorting with two attributes at a time such as shape and colour. During play, we have had many bookmakers this week who are keen to write and draw as well as many builders who have used different materials to make homes for the plastic bears, delightfully referred to as “our gummy bears”. We had so much fun this week filming our classroom tour even though some of us went a bit camera shy!
Specialist lessons round out our days with a successful swim and drama games such as Horse Race, Cross the Circle and Bear Hunt on Monday. I was very impressed with their Spanish skills on Tuesday when I walked in to see them all asking each other’s names and introducing themselves totally in Spanish! Music with Mr. Fitt was Christmas themed, as it takes a good deal of practice learning all the songs for the festive period. On Friday, Miss Charman continued helping Reception with this term’s topic of ball skills where they were throwing and catching up a storm!
Our focus this week has been on learning about the history of castles. We went right back in time to 1066 where William the Conqueror ordered the building of a number of Norman castles in order to protect his armies. Billy changed his name back to William for the week, as soon as he found out that William, Duke of Normandy, had won the Battle of Hastings! It prompted lots of creative play involving kings, queens, knights and princesses! We also learned about wooden motte and bailey castles, as well as the sturdier stone keep castles. The structure of UK castles has fascinated the class and they are gradually picking up technical vocabulary such as ‘portcullis’, ‘gatehouse’ and ‘battlements’. We labelled our classroom castle and Imogen was very quick to point out that ‘moat’ had one of our ‘oa’ spelling digraphs in it! We are really enjoying finding out about different jobs within the castle at the moment and will be turning to a geography focus of castles around the UK next week.
Where to begin?! It’s been such a busy and exciting week in Year 2. As official experts on the Great Fire of London, we’ve been sharing our knowledge during our English lessons in the form of fact-filled, fabulously informative posters. These are full of questions and answers and have been beautifully illustrated. Should you have any questions about the fire of 1666, you know where to come! Having understood that the fire was eventually stopped by the removal of houses using gunpowder, we’ve been investigating fire breaks in our science lessons. We made our very own forest of trees (paper ones!) and created a clear fire break as a fire precaution. When we set light to one side of the forest, the fire break successfully prevented the fire from spreading to the other side.
In Maths this week, we’ve been building upon our addition skills and using expanded column addition. This method has really helped us to understand what is happening to the numbers when they are added together. We’re quite the mathematicians these days!
Last week in Art we were exploring a range of mediums to create realistic flames. This week, we then created a London skyline and added the flames to recreate the Great Fire. These were very effective and we were really pleased with our final pieces.
The Remembrance service was extremely moving this week and, like the other pre-prep classes, we were so very proud of the Year 2 children’s behaviour. They listened attentively to the speakers and shared the moments of silence in peaceful reflection. It was a beautiful service and the children took the day very seriously.
We are aware that during these restrictive times you as parents are unable to come into school to see your children’s classrooms and therefore visualise where they are during the day. Therefore, in place of a slide show this week, each class has put together a virtual tour of their classrooms for you. The children have thoroughly enjoyed putting these together and we hope you enjoy taking a glimpse into their learning spaces.
I hope you all have a super weekend and we look forward to welcoming everyone back into school on Monday for another busy week.
Head of Pre-Prep
Year One Tour
Year Two Tour
Miss Rickaby's Form
Headmaster's Awards & Commendations
Players of the Week
Saveliy S, Year 7
Outstanding performance in the inter-house cross country.
Mirabelle W, Year 7
Exceptional performance in the inter-house cross country.
Hon Mentions: Andrew, Igor, Gertie, Eloise R, Seira, Sasha
Musician of the Week
Tallulah P, Year 8
For the hard work she has put into preparing and delivering the last post for remembrance this weekend.
Drama Stars of the Week
Teddy E, Year 7
For an excellent performance in the 'realism' genre with an advanced and challenging text which showed real progress.
Anoushka N, Year 7
For picking up the role of Juliet after a long absence with truly impressive poise, maturity, clarity and sensitivity.
Artist of the Week
Jimmy C, Year 7
For his amazing poppy painting.
Alfie L-B, Year 7
For a great start to this half of the term as a new boarder.
Anna G, Year 7
For always being willing to help when asked.
Science Supernova Award
These are awarded for outstanding effort and commitment to an aspect of Science that the child has demonstrated in their lessons and independent work.
Teddy T Gaining self-belief and great input in group discussions.
Oliver S Fantastic engagement in the lessons.
Sasha Great commitment and focus in lessons and in preps.
Gertie Continued excellent written work in Science.
Anna G Determined effort and excellent lesson preparation.
Enzo A focused and dedicated approach with excellent results.
Edward E Creating a super revision booklet and for great passion for the subject.
Golden Moments Award
Last week when a pupil was struggling to get their iPad to work Lydia saw her fellow pupil having some difficulties and stopped what she was doing to help them, putting their needs ahead of her own.
For giving their own protective gloves to another pupil and then working on the wildlife garden project without any.
Selflessly offering another pupil their clean spare jumper for assembly and getting it for them.
For helping tidy the Year 7 boot room and clearing the mud from the floor without being asked to do so.
2nd Raleigh 44 stars
Dulcie C - for working so hard on learning her letter sounds and creating a brilliant map of Windlesham
4th Drake 41 stars
Benjamin G – for trying really hard with his Great Fire of London poster
Joint 5th Bader 36 stars
Poppy H – for working really hard in maths, showing excellent perseverance when faced with a tricky maths problem to solve
3rd Hunt 43 stars
Apollo KK – for working hard in maths adding two digit numbers independently
Joint 5th Scott 36 stars
Landon N – for choosing an item from the poppy shop that he could also share with his brother
1st Grenfell - 50 stars
Genevieve H-H – for making excellent progress with her reading
Citizens of the Week
Ted B – for showing such respect and interest in our Remembrance Day service
Billy B – for showing such enthusiasm when learning about William the Conqueror and the history of castles
Tommy G – for bringing in his own pocket money to buy his sister a gift from the poppy box to replace the one she lost
Ivo D – for always showing impeccable manners in the classroom and when moving around the school
You helped us raise £550 for harvest!
The food and money are all being donated to stonepillow homeless charity.
“In what has been an exceptionally busy and enjoyable week”