Goodness, what a busy half term it’s been! The children adapted brilliantly to the new routines and have settled into the new normal of learning. Thank you so much for working with us and our new routines and expectations to keep the school safe. We have just completed a review of the risk assessment and a few minor changes have been made. The review did raise the issue that there are a small number of parents gathering outside KS1 classrooms, particularly at the end of the day. It is really important that parents do not gather, so as soon as you have collected your child you leave the school site promptly. A member of the senior leadership team will be outside from after half term to monitor the situation and to request that parents move on.
Thank you also for your co-operation and support last week when we were filming our promotional video for the school. The video is amazing and we are really pleased with it and we hope you think so too. It is available to view on our website and you can view it by using this link https://www.woodenhill.bracknell-forest.sch.uk/news/?pid=1&nid=1&storyid=1191. Due to COVID, we have been unable to have prospective parents in school for our open mornings so we hope that this video will go some way to show parents how wonderful our school is. If you are able, we would very much appreciate it if you could share the link to our website, and the video, and tell people about our wonderful school and hopefully, prospective parents will choose Wooden Hill School for their child. If your child is in Nursery and will be 4 this academic year, please don’t forget to apply for a school place at Wooden Hill School. Even though your child attends the Nursery, you still need to apply for a place through school admissions.
As you know, reading is really important to us at Wooden Hill. We believe that reading underpins the curriculum and we want children to group up to be enthusiastic and committed readers. Many of you will remember that in the summer of 2019 myself and several teachers read ‘bedtime’ stories that we put on the website for your child to enjoy. This half term, Mrs Sawford is keen to provide more opportunities for children to listen to stories and to develop a love of reading and books. Further details from Mrs Sawford are below. To kick it off, below is a link to me reading a story which links to the virtual assemblies that I have been doing this half term. I have focused on smiling and laughing and how our words and actions can make other people feel good too. There is a half term challenge for children as the middle pages of the book are missing! If children want to write the missing bit, they can either bring it in after half term or even better – if it could be emailed to the new reading email address (see Mrs Sawford’s bit) or uploaded to your child’s google classroom and the teachers will let me know that it is there.
This week brought the first children to my office for a prize for completing the first side of their bookmark. Well done to Shaan in Year 4 who was the first person this academic year. It is wonderful to see so many children reading enthusiastically at home. Don’t forget that we are asking children to do a sponsored read over half term. We are in desperate need of new books in KS1 and sadly, we do not have any money in the budget to purchase new books. The more we can raise, the more good quality books that we can purchase for our school.
On the subject of fundraising, please don’t forget to clear out your wardrobes over the half term holiday and bring in all of your unwanted clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories for our Bags2School collection by Monday 23rd November. Last time this raised the school over £300! We really need as much support in fundraising as possible and are very grateful for your support.
After half term our new Family Support Advisor, Laura Branchett will be starting at Wooden Hill School. She will be in school every day as she is also our new Social, Emotional and Mental Health Support Worker and will be working with children in the afternoons. Laura will be available as the Family Support Advisor during the following times:
Monday 8.30 – 11.30 and 3.15pm – 5.15pm
Tuesday and Friday 10am – 11.30am
Should you need any support or guidance, please contact the school office who will put you in touch with her.
Mrs Hill, who has worked across the school as a Teachers’ Personal Assistant for the last 2 years and more recently in the Year 6 bubbles will be leaving in November as she is moving on to pastures new. We will all miss her very much and wish her all the best in her new role.
Finally, as always; thank you for your on going support. I hope you have a wonderful half term break and a well-deserved rest. I look forward to seeing you on Monday 2nd November.
PS. Don’t forget the clocks go back this weekend!
Reading for Pleasure
At Wooden Hill, we would love for all our children (and teachers!) to enjoy reading. I believe that if you don’t love reading, you just haven’t found the right books yet! This year, I’m hoping to include lots of challenges and opportunities to convince children just how wonderful reading is. We would love to celebrate children reading both inside and outside of school, so we have a new email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for you to send everything reading related to. This could be pictures of children reading, book reviews (hand-written and photographed, computerised or even videos!), pictures or stories that have been inspired by books. Anything! Submissions could be featured on a reading display to be celebrated by the whole school community and may even get a mention in the newsletter.
To feature alongside our Sponsored Read, over half term, we will be uploading videos to Google Classroom for children to watch and listen to stories. We appreciate that getting access to new books can be tricky, particularly with shops and libraries’ restrictions. Teachers have been making time during each school day to read aloud to the children and I would like to continue this. I will be uploading a video every day during the week at 10am to share a book with the children, on their class pages. There will be picture books for Foundation Stage and novels for Key Stage 1 and 2, they will have a spooky/Halloween theme but will be suitable for their ages. There may even be stories from Mrs Lagares and Mrs Critchlow, or other teachers too, so keep your eyes peeled!
I look forward to seeing all your submissions to the new email address,
South Road Project - Gymnastics Training Facility
Bracknell Gymnastics Club have a planning application for a new facility on South Road in association with Bracknell Town Council. The development would give Wooden Hill children access to a modern and spacious indoor space for their physical education during the school day.
If you have read all of the official documents on this site and are still not in favour then you can also log objections here too.
The children have been finding out about dinasaurs over the last few weeks. They listening to dinosaur stories, such as the Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs series by Ian Whybrow and Tyranasaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson and have looked at information books and found out the names of dinosaurs, how big they were and what they ate.
The children have created some amazing junk model dinosaurs, used figures to develop role-play and have been on a Dinosaur hunt in the Nursery garden, where all sorts of creatures from a T-Rex to a Triceratops were hiding.
The children have also enjoyed helping to plant some seedlings in the nursery garden.
The children in have been busy looking at books by Julia Donaldson in Reception. They have read The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, and Spinderella.
The children have had a lovely time acting out the story of the Gruffalo, using masks to show the characters, and they have been writing in speech bubbles what the different characters said when they saw the Gruffalo. In the Creative area we made our own Gruffalo’s out of playdough. They have also drawn Gruffalo-inspired terrifying creatures and wrote simple descriptive words about them.
The autumnal weather has inspired the children to paint with conkers and make hedgehog collages with leaves. They have also looked at the changes that Autumn brings and learnt some interesting spider facts, in time for Halloween!
Please continue to support your child’s learning by completing their phonics home learning and going on the “Teach my Monster to Read” website, but most importantly let them have a good rest.
Last week the children had a lovely morning at the ‘seaside’ with a beach themed classroom where they got to play in the sand, dipped their toes in the sea, went fishing in the rock pools and enjoyed an ice lolly whilst watching a Punch and Judy show!
This week they have been using their story maps to retell the story ‘The Train Ride’ and the children have been working really hard on their writing making sure they are using finger spaces and full stops.
In Maths, the children have been focusing on ordinal numbers and number lines. Perhaps you could have a family race at home and celebrate who came 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th?
The children have been learning about Autumn and have been on an Autumn walk around the playground and collected lots of natural objects which were used o make trees and hedgehogs. Perhaps over half term you can continue looking for signs of Autumn?
The Year 2 children have had a 'Science Day' where they got to explore the properties of materials and sorted them into categories; shape, colour, size, texture and if they were natural or man-made. Rabbit Class got to go on a nature walk to find natural materials.
Using their new found knowledge of materials, the children got to design and create a toy, fitting in with their toys topic, being careful to choose the most appropriate materials for the job.
The children also enjoyed designing a test to see how strong the different materials were. They had a lot of fun!
This week, Year 3 had a Science day learning all about forces, friction and magnets. They carried out fair experiments using force meters to see how much force was needed to pull a shoe along different surfaces.
They have been using body percussion to make the sounds that you might find on a building site. They worked together to agree the best ways to make the sounds for a plastering trowel, saw, drill and hammer and nails.
The children have been using nature as inspiration in Art using a painting by Van Gogh, and have explored different mark marking techniques to colour in their own tree pictures.
Year 4 have been busy authors this week, writing their own ‘lost something precious’ stories. They have tried to include the different writing elements that they have been taught.
In Art they have been looking at the work of Vincent Van Gogh to help them to learn about how to add texture when drawing. The children used paintings such as the Wheatfield with ‘Cypresses’ and ‘Sunflowers.’
The children have also been learning about forces in Science, doing lots of practical experiments. They carried out fair tests using force meters and magnets to reach conclusions about usually unseen forces.
Year Five have been learning all about the Romans over the last few weeks. They have been taught about Hadrian's wall and Boudicca's revolt. They have found out about the effect the Roman empire had on our daily life in Britain and have also begun preparing a Roman inspired invasion plan with their partners. During this topic they have written some wonderful newspaper articles and diary entries to demonstrate their understanding of events.
Each week, Year Five continue to practise their maths key skills including number bonds, doubling and halving, formal and mental methods for the four operations and times tables. They practise these skills in different ways to improve their speed and accuracy. Time Table Rock Stars is a good way to continue this practise at home.
Having finished 'The Write Stuff' writing unit based on the book 'The Journey' by Francesca Sanna, the children had to begin their own stories. They spent time planning their narratives: thinking about the different plot points, the success criteria they wanted to achieve and the ways in which they could achieve it.
The children have been learning about the similarities and differences between the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons. In DT, the children researched and created their own Viking shields using a varity of methods.