Issue 13 - Autumn Term 2020
A very warm welcome Issue 7 of the term.
22nd December 2020
A video message from Ben
I hope you all enjoying our last newsletter of 2020 and a round-up of what has been a busy and successful term despite such challenging circumstances.
The end of term was a real celebration of everyone’s hard work and tremendous achievements. The Christmas Fair, although in bubbles for this year, was great fun for the pupils with lots of House games to play, the POWs tombola and second-hand stall together with the Year 7 and 8 Diploma companies which were a triumph. The children excelled themselves not only with the products for sale (I managed to spend an absolute fortune on presents!) but with their teamwork and leadership skills too. Above all, they had great fun throughout the process. Drama and music have also played an important part in our end of term festivities. I hope, by now, that you have been able to watch Romeo and Juliet, brilliantly produced by Mrs Jenkins with superb acting from our senior pupils. The red carpet premiere of Elf(eves) was a very special occasion and even the paparazzi were there to capture the moment and grab some autographs. My thanks to the Pre-Prep children, staff and Mrs Sutherland for their hard work and the Oscar was certainly well deserved!
Musically, Mr Fitt, ably supported by Miss Tuson have worked wonders in our unusual circumstances this year. Their enthusiasm has been palpable and has certainly inspired pupils and staff in equal measure. I hope you have also been able to watch the virtual Carol Service performed again in bubbles but the end result was no less impressive. A wonderful celebration of Christmas with superb music and specially written readings all in one. In amongst all of these amazing events and productions, the highlight for me has to have been the whole school carol singing on the front lawn. For the second time only this term, we were able to gather together as a community to sing (and in many cases, dance) in a spirit of friendship and festive excitement encapsulating the very special nature of Windlesham. It brought a happy tear to many of the staff’s eyes and left us all with a spring in our step as the school said goodbye for the last time in 2020.
In my final assemblies of term, delivered to all bubbles, I talked to the children about the importance of reflecting on their many individual moments of positive progress and achievement, whether they were in the classroom, sports field, stage or swimming pool. Every one of our pupils has each achieved tremendous things and these must be celebrated and cherished. As we now look forward to the new year and further exciting opportunities, it is essential to set ourselves clear and achievable targets and embrace each new challenge with resilience and determination. 2020 has been a year like no other but I am confident that 2021 will see a much needed return to normality at Windlesham, one in which we can welcome parents back into the school, watch cricket and tennis in the summer sun and come together properly as a community.
In the meantime, Alex and I would like to wish you all a very happy and joyful Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year.
We hope you all enjoy a well-deserved holiday and look forward to seeing everyone back at school in January.
Carol Service 2020
The whole school service
I have great pleasure introducing this year’s Carol Service from Windlesham. In challenging and unusual circumstances, Mr Fitt and Miss Tuson have managed to produce a fantastic celebration of Christmas which I hope you will enjoy watching. The children, as ever, have performed magnificently with some truly wonderful singing and readings. Click on the link and you will instantly be filled with Christmas spirit!
A very busy and happy last weekend of term. The children were involved in a variety of Christmas activities. This included making cards for people in care and decorating Christmas Muffins, we enjoyed Christmas films and the inflatable in the pool. Junk modelling was a hit, with the children designing Christmas scenes, using recycled items.
As Autumn term under COVID has come to an end, Mrs Hallam and junior teachers have reflected on the importance of having closer contact with parents. We empathise with the detachment you may have felt at times, however the pupils have all been absolutely fabulous and we cannot start to explain how well they have been throughout this term, continuously showing kindness, whilst encouraging and helping others.
I feel it was important to show you what Year 3 have been up to these past 3 months. Attached is a 'movie' or rather series of short videos and photos which showcase your children's highlights. I couldn't fit everything in, but I hope that what you see gives you as much pleasure as we had teaching and getting to know your children this term.
We have enjoyed a very magical last week of term in Science with the Year 6 pupils experimenting with the force needed to pop different coloured party poppers. In Year 8 we have been observing the bending of light, they were absolutely fascinated! Overall a super end to a great term with some pupils awarded with the Science Supernova!
Merry Christmas from all of our lovely Year 6 singing along to Jingle Bells in French in the Chapel. They have been practising lots and were very excited to share this with you!
Have a wonderful and restful Christmas!
The Language Department
Hopefully, you will have been following our young stars on social media and here is our final concert of the term and of 2020! We all wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Please find here the senior production of ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ With no possibility of a live audience and every possibility of different groups of children and adults needing to be absent throughout the term, the decision was made to abandon the original rehearsal schedule and film the children scene by scene instead.
You will see how we’ve gone for a ‘site specific’ approach, (not easy in a busy and vibrant school) and we’ve even managed to put in some ensemble scenes. Filmed across different days to accommodate different circumstances, you’ll notice some comedy quick changes and sudden changes in daylight, but hopefully you will also see the children doing their best with very challenging language and in highly unusual circumstances.
I am very proud of all they have achieved and I can honestly say, we had a wonderful time making this film. We hope you enjoy.
Watch the full production here
Here are the winners of our art department Christmas Card competition. I am sure you will agree their designs are super. The snowman design is by Alexandra K, the jumping reindeer is by Emma O and Zachary H in Year 6 made a very good job of drawing Mrs Parkin’s ice skate, not an easy object to draw. Well done to everyone who took part. Dasha Rubina in Year 8 also drew the ice skate as she is preparing for her art scholarship.
Looking back at the term it has been a real reflection of where we have come as a school, as a sports department and importantly how far the pupils have come, how they have been resilient throughout the whole term. We have had our ups and downs all in all I am very proud to say how everyone has simply 'got on with it'.
It has been a great term and particularly how much alternative sport we have been able to play. Saturdays we've had shooting, water polo, lacrosse, volleyball and ultimate frisbee which was something very different to our usual. There has been plenty of fun and competition not short of 22 events being held in just 13 weeks and by some distance the most ever in a term.
Match absence aside, it’s actually been a brilliant sporting term and with it being one of the biggest areas of concern for parents, it's important we shout about the pupils successes because they all have done a fantastic job.
Have an amazing Christmas.
It is incredible to think that after such a long term, we have reached the Christmas holidays having successfully negotiated the Covid-19 restrictions. Whilst maintaining the households we have not needed to send any of our year groups home for isolation, therefore allowing the boarders to continue in relative normality.
We have finished the term with some much deserved celebrations in Year group bubbles. The Year 8 party, junior carol singing and Christmas reading in dorms have been a great highlight. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in the New Year and wish you all a safe and happy Christmas.
The Boarding Team
Thank you all for a great term, it is lovely to see the pupils having fun and getting it right and to see them all joining in the spirit of things. I think balancing the groups rather than giving them a choice of who they went with worked well over the term too. It has certainly opened up new doors between some who wouldn’t usually spend time to work and be together.
What a final week of term it has been!
Monday saw the much anticipated premiere of our Christmas film, Elf(ves). The children and staff excitedly dressed up in their finery to walk the red carpet into the theatre. They were met along the way by autograph hunters and photographers hoping for the shot of the afternoon! On entering the theatre everyone settled down with popcorn to enjoy the show. It was wonderful to see the delight on the children’s faces as they watched themselves on the big screen. Everyone in the department worked so hard in the rehearsing, filming, prop making, costumes, hair design and makeup and my sincere thanks goes out to the whole Pre-Prep team. Watch the full film below...
The fun didn’t stop there. On Tuesday we ate, partied and even had a very special visitor! The children were treated to a Christmas lunch with all the trimmings ahead of partying the afternoon away. A plethora of Christmas jumpers and party outfits were on show as the children took part in a dance off, musical statues, pass the parcel and pin the nose on Rudolph to name but a few. The proceedings then took a magical turn as the children made their way up into Santa’s magical grotto. He awaited with a story and gifts for everyone. Santa answered lots of questions and the children were awestruck by the surroundings.
On Wednesday morning we reflected with Mr Evans on an incredible term of learning and the children were awarded their class prizes for effort, attainment and being good citizens. Congratulations to the worthy winners and to all the children who have worked so hard this term.
We wish you all a very happy and healthy Christmas and look forward to seeing everyone back in January.
Head of Pre-Prep
Players of the Week
James H - For his excellent work in hockey.
Tati G and Lottie M - For outstanding play and commitment in the mixed Inter-House Touch Rugby.
Isaac J, Oliver S, Ethan F, Quben H-B, Lauren B, Sophie C and Gigi K
Musician of the Week
Anne K, Year 7 - For being an absolute ray of sunshine in the music department, for her fantastic singing and for her contribution to the carol service and the end of term concert.
Drama Star of the Week
Georgina N, Year 8 - For an excellent attitude and making significant progress in the final preparations for her scholarship.
Artist of the Week
Skye D, Year 6 - For her lovely flower and bee press print in art and for her amazing clownfish in pottery.
Imperia T, Year 5 - For settling in so well to boarding this term.
Anthony L, Year 8 - For most stars of all boy boarders this term.
The following pupils have been awarded a Science Supernova for their outstanding contributions in lessons or independent work.
Outstanding achievement in Physics mock examination.
Exceptionally diligent and dedicated approach to every aspect of learning in Science.
Working diligently and with determination on all challenges set in class, in addition to attending clinics and assistance in free time. Outstanding effort.
Excellent application in lessons and a great set of mock results.
Superb work about Mary Anning.
Excellent effort in lessons and Preps
"It always seems impossible until it's done"
Christmas Concert & Junior Bubble
End of Autumn Term Videos
As we can't see our children performing live this year we thought it would be a huge shame to miss out. We bring you the end of term concert...
Please find here an uplifting film we have made to show you the junior bubble celebrating Christmas. You will see footage of their Christmas party and lots of choreographed and freeform fun in class and around school. We wish you a safe and a very happy Christmas.