As the children departed for the Long Weekend today amid a flurry of excitement and anticipation, it led me to reflect on a successful start to the summer and how quickly this most unusual of all years is disappearing. The almost uninterrupted sunshine and slight relaxation of our bubbles systems has ensured that the start of this term is feeling more normal than anything we have been used to for some time. Added to this, the measured and cautious return to competitive fixtures next week will be an added bonus and provide an air of familiarity to school life.
This week, as with many others, I received my first COVID vaccination joining a rapidly increasing number now totalling over 34 million people. Whatever one might think of how the pandemic has been managed in the UK, the vaccination rollout has most definitely been a success so far in terms of organisation and output. My experience was impressive – cheerful and reassuring volunteers going above and beyond, faultless efficiency and a lasting impression of an incredible operation and brilliant teamwork. You might be wondering where I am going with all this?! In January, we launched Windlesham Online with the carefully chosen subtitle of, ‘If you want to go quickly, go alone; If you want to go far, go together.’ I am a firm believer that in order to achieve anything worthwhile in any organisation, and especially in a school, teamwork, collaboration and effective communication are essential. At Windlesham, we value hugely the cohesive home-school partnership that is in place and the fantastically strong community which underpins all we do. Your support, encouragement and enthusiasm for all that happens is much appreciated by us all. By working in partnership, we are able to achieve the best possible outcomes for all children and not only ensure excellence in all we do but that the educational journey at Windlesham is enjoyable and memorable.
As the summer term progresses, the opportunities to further strengthen the school community will increase and we can’t wait to welcome parents back on match days, to concerts in the MFT and to various social events. These occasions will allow us to collectively celebrate the successes of this year and after such a tricky and disrupted time, provide stability and positive experiences. I, for one, can’t wait!
It is at this time of year that inevitably some teachers will be planning to move on. Zoe Goss is sadly leaving us at the end of the summer to follow an exciting career opportunity. On behalf of us all, I would like to thank her for her years of dedicated service at Windlesham and wish her much happiness and success for the future.
I hope you all have a really enjoyable long weekend and look forward to seeing everyone back at school next week.
It is so wonderful to have the children back in school after the Easter break and it is made even better with the sun shining and everyone taking the opportunity to spend as much time outside as possible.
This term we are welcoming new friends in Reception and Year 1 respectively and we are excited about the return of old friends. The summer term at Windlesham is undoubtedly one of the best times and we are very much looking forward to and planning for being able to open up a little more as the term progresses.
As I reflect on the week we have had my thoughts turn to two particular photographs that I took during one lunchtime play which really sum up the Pre-Prep children. The first one encompasses the friendships the children have and how much they share with each other and care for each other. Bertie and I were sat on the bench talking about his wonders for the day and he noticed Joseph was alone so he invited him to come and sit with us and share in the conversation. Both boys engaged in a conversation about their ‘wonders’ and shared the facts that they had been researching in the classroom.
I was then called over by Tommy in year 2 to have a look at what he had discovered! Using the sunlight and the large basketball hoop in the field he had created the most wonderful shadow! The excitement built as he invited friends over to give the Alien more arms. Windlesham creativity at its best.
I hope you all have a sunny bank holiday weekend and we look forward to seeing the children back in school on Tuesday.
Smiling faces, giggles and choruses of “Would you like to play with me?” have filled our classroom the past week and a half as the children happily reunited after a lovely Easter break. They have thoroughly enjoyed our new sand table, bug hotel, stage and planting space in our classroom garden and the connected sensory garden.
This space is nice and sunny in the afternoon which makes for a delightful time playing and learning. Making flapjacks, observing lambs in the field, learning animal names in Spanish and gardening have kick started our topic of “On the Farm”.
We have also begun reading “Charlotte’s Web” as our chapter book read-aloud for the term. Everyone has a favourite character so far whether it’s Charlotte the spider, Wilbur the pig, Templeton the rat, the little girl Fern or the silly goose who lives next to Wilbur’s pen. Following the children’s interest in the topic has led to learning more about lambing, predicting which seeds will sprout first, discussing the names of baby farm animals and answering some very big questions including “What do sheep eat?”, “Why do only some sheep have horns?”, “Do lambs grow up?” and “How do spiders make webs?”.
Our morning meeting continues to be a space for developing our reading and writing skills especially this week when our daily message had so many missing letters and keywords we needed to fill in ourselves. Mrs. Hunt and I have been very impressed with the children’s literacy skills and it is a huge credit to the work and reading done over the Easter break!
In maths this week, we have been looking at doubles and after we learned the doubles to 10 using the Numicon, the class had bigger ideas that took some careful thinking and problem-solving. Bruno wondered what was double 16, everyone loved learning double 50 made 100 and Joseph wondered about double 58 (this took some big thinking!!).
Numbers over 100 are definitely our favourite at the moment! We have also been learning a new card game to help us with ordering numbers to 10 and understanding the position of numbers in a ten frame. Our maths photo of the week also had us using our maths brain to consider the patterns, numbers, shapes, arrangements and addition/subtraction we could see in the image.
Our first full week, reunited for the summer term has been a joy! We have also been thrilled to welcome another new addition to our class, who is settling in superbly. Our theme of the week has been ‘journeys’. We discovered Aaron Becker’s wordless book, Journey, the first in a trilogy, and have been interpreting it together. A lonely little girl with a magical crayon creates her own adventures by drawing things that come to life. At one point, she drew a magic carpet to escape; it seemed only fitting that we should ride on our own magic carpets and see where they took us! Thank you to the dining room team for lending us our ‘magic carpets’ - the lunch-time trays!
We revisited our use of the first formal written method for calculating numbers, the empty number line, in maths lessons. We are learning to count up & down it to help us solve addition and subtraction number sentences. On Wednesday we braved the rain and went out into the woods in search of rocks to paint. We created a long traffic jam of different types of transport that sit on our window sill - just like the awful Storrington jams of this week! Thank you for the incredible homework posters - the children have LOVED sharing their pictures with friends and they are proudly displayed on the wall to celebrate modern transport.
It’s been a wonderfully creative week in Year 2 and we’re very happy about this glorious weather! It has presented us with the perfect start to our ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ topic and we’ve certainly been making the most of the sunshine. At the beginning of the week, Mrs Sutherland and Miss Rickaby sneakily slipped something into our water bottles which shrank us all to the size of a lolly stick! Whilst this was quite alarming at first, we then enjoyed exploring the Italian gardens from a very alternative viewpoint and we snapped plenty of photographs of our
mini-mes hiding amongst the towering flowers and scaling the ENORMOUS walls. This in turn inspired some wonderfully imaginative writing which we are excited to use in our very own shrinking stories next week. We then carried the shrinking theme into our art lesson where we began working on a mixed media piece of artwork in which we will hitch a ride on a creepy crawly!
In our maths lessons, we have focussed on finding fractions of shapes and we are now feeling far more confident when dealing with halves, quarters and thirds. It’s been lovely to see the children transferring this language into their own conversations in talking about dividing and sharing when playing together.
In our science lessons, we have been finding out about the large blue butterfly. We were fascinated to hear about how it was once extinct in the UK but, with a little help from conservationists in the UK and Sweden, you can now see this beautiful butterfly flying across parts of the UK again. Over the next few weeks, we will be growing our very own butterfly garden from a collection of caterpillars to support our understanding of life cycles and habitats.
Miss Rickaby and Mrs Sutherland
Oliver G for making some excellent contributions to class and showing perseverance in his understanding of the topic.
Matthew R for attentiveness and effort in class discussions and contributing so many ideas and answers.
Poppy G for her determined effort to develop circuit drawing skills.
Rosie L for being top of the class in the topic test.
Teddy E for being top of the class in the topic test.
Anne K for being top of the class in the topic test.
Alexander C for contributing excellent answers in lessons.
Oliver F for achieving 98% in his recent Electricity topic test.
British Science Week Poster Competition
British Science Week poster competition was on Innovations for the Future. We greatly enjoyed seeing all of the wonderfully creative entries and are delighted to submit the following entries for Windlesham House School:
Year 8: Antony L
Year 2: Alfie & Tommy, Nathaniel C, Thomas & Ben, Kenzi & Ottilia
Huge congratulations to all those who took part and to our Windlesham winners who will go on to participate in the national competition.
Click on the winning posters to view larger
Antony L, Year 8 Winner
Alfie & Tommy, Year 2 Winners
Alfie & Tommy, Year 2 Winners
Thomas & Ben, Year 2 Winners
Kenzi & Ottilia, Year 2 Winners