Dear Parents and Carers,
It is hard to believe that this is the final newsletter for this academic year. For the second year in a row it has been an incredibly challenging as we navigated our way through new and uncharted territories and quickly adapted to new ways of learning (and living). I am sure you will all echo my immense gratitude to the staff team for their hard work, commitment and resilience. I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to you too; for your continued support and positivity during these challenging times. I feel honoured to be a part of such a wonderful community and it is a privilege to be planning for the new academic year and working with you and your wonderful children once more.
Over the next few days we are saying goodbye to some of the staff team. Today was Mrs Parker’s last day. She left us once before, in 2019, as she was going to go travelling with her husband. Sadly COVID brought that to an abrupt end and she returned home and came back to us. She is hoping for her travels to continue once again… Next week we will be saying goodbye to Mrs Crouch, who has been our SENDCo for the last 4 years. She has done a fabulous job managing the SEND provision in the school and will be very much missed by the whole team. Mrs Moidu (usually known as Miss Lijya) who works with a pupil will be leaving next week to hopefully travel, and then return to her previous line of work as a copywriter. As I am sure you all know, Miss McGowan will be leaving us next week. She is taking up a new post, closer to where she lives and I know will be missed by all the children and staff. We wish all of them the very best in their new ventures and thank them for their hard work.
We are thrilled to welcome some new members to the staff team from September. Supporting the learning in Year One will be Miss Mistry and Mrs Slade-Baker. Working with individual children will be Ms Burton and Ms Silva Arujo. We are very much looking forward to welcoming all of the new staff in September. Mrs Turner recently returned to Wooden Hill School to support the learning of a pupil and will be continuing in September and Miss Wright has just returned from maternity leave. She is currently working in various classes across the school and is relishing the varied experiences this gives her.
Next week, England moves to stage 4 of the governments roadmap. At Wooden Hill School, we are going to be keeping all of the current measures in place until the end of term. This means that we politely ask that you continue to wear masks on the school site and follow the one-way system around the school. Unfortunately, we still cannot have visitors on school site. The current guidance for September means that we are able to return to some of the routines and events that we had before COVID and these are detailed below. It is important to note though that these may change before the children return in September, in which case I will endeavour to let you know at the very start of September of any changes. We have noticed a worrying rise of positive cases within our school community over the last couple of weeks. I therefore encourage you to remain cautious over the coming few days, in order to protect the start of everyone’s summer holidays.
I truly hope that the summer holidays bring sunshine and laughter and that you all have a wonderful rest and time together. If you are leaving us, on behalf of the staff, I would like to wish your families all the very best in your new schools. For everyone else returning, I look forward to seeing you in September and hearing all about your wonderful summer break.
~ Notices and Reminders ~
Current Year 5 Children (who will be going into Year 6 in September)
Please note that if you are currently in Year 5 and looking into applying for any Grammar schools for their Secondary transfer applications next year, please check the dates for any entrance exams as these dates can vary.
Children return to school on Friday 3rd September.
- The one way system will no longer be in use. The Reception playground will remain locked therefore there will be no access through those gates. We would encourage you to continue to enter through the same gate at the front and exit, either through the gate to Staplehurst or via the back gate that leads to Great Hollands Recreational Ground. The opening of this gate may be useful for those who drive, particularly if coming from the Crowthorne direction as parking at the Pavilion or along the road may be a helpful alternative to ease traffic and parking. We will trial the opening of this gate for a couple of weeks to see if this is helpful to you and would value your feedback if this is useful to you. As some parents will need to return to the front gate by going ‘against’ the current one way system, it is very important that only one parent or carer comes to bring or collect children in order to limit the number of people on site and the congestion on the paths. At this stage we do not anticipate parents and carers being required to wear masks while on the school site but are welcome to do so.
Timings of the school day
- We will continue to use a ‘window’ for drop off and collection. In the morning the gate will be opened at 8.40am and the window for drop off closes at 8.55am. Please note that any child arriving at their classroom after 8.55am will be recorded as late. At the end of the day, the gate will be opened at 3.10pm and children must be collected by 3.20pm. The Nursery timings for the morning and afternoon will remain the same as the main school.
PE kit and uniform
- Children are expected to wear the full and correct school uniform to school each day (including school shoes, not trainers). On their PE days, they will need to wear their PE kit to school, as they do now. Please ensure that the PE kit is correct and that hoodies do not have any logos or pictures and that shorts, leggings or joggers are black and that the t-shirt is a plain or school logo’d royal blue t-shirt.
- Children will continue to wash or sanitise their hands often, just as they do now.
- As we are planning for things to be much more normal, we have planned for the return to face to face assemblies in the school hall. Each week we will be continuing with the Star Award Assembly and this will remain via Zoom.
Meet the teacher meetings
- There will be an opportunity for you to meet your child’s new teacher and find out more about the routines of their class during the week of the 6th September. We are hopeful that these will be in person however, we will be able to alter these to make them virtual, should we need to. Details to follow.
- Details of how to log into Google Classroom will be sent in September. All children will be expected to complete learning weekly as they do now. This is the platform we will use, should children be required to isolate.
Please ensure that you collect any missing items from your child’s class before the end of term. Occasionally, if items are not labelled or left in the playground, they may be placed in the lost property box at the office. Please ensure all items are clearly labels with your child’s name so that we can ensure they are returned to you. Occasionally, children come home with the wrong item, if this has happened, we ask that these are returned to your child’s teacher so that they can try to reunite them with the correct owner.
During the week of 5th July, all year groups across the school enjoyed getting creative for Art and DT week. The painting that we based our work on was called ‘Men of the Docks’ which was painted by George Bellows in 1912. It is an oil painting on canvas and has been previously used for the ‘Take One Picture’ exhibition at the National Gallery. The children learnt about George Bellows who was an American artist. They talked about what they could see in the painting and shared their thoughts and observations of it. Each year group then created a piece of Artwork based on the painting over the course of the week which was displayed in a glass gallery on the Friday. It was fantastic to see so many different ways that the painting was interpreted by each year group. The children in Nursery made boats to sail, the children in Reception recreated the painting using tissue paper and chalk for the detail. In Year One, the children recreated ‘Men of the Docks’ using textured paint for the water, creating a skyline and adding some origami boats. In Year Two, the children created the background using tissue paper and they then made 3D versions of the buildings. Year Three and Year Six created port holes, they also enjoyed looking at historic photos of New York. Year Four created a fantastic whole class display with 2D and 3D elements using a variety of materials. In Year Five, the children recreated their own version of the painting based on still images they took of themselves in school. They used pastels and blending techniques to add colour.
It was fantastic seeing such a range of skills and techniques used across the school showing how creative and artist our children are! The teachers fed back on how much the children enjoyed their week and how much cross curricular learning came from it. Although we did not get to have our usual whole school gallery this year, the quality of art work was still just as fantastic and we were able to come together as a school whilst still keeping apart!
(Art and DT lead)
Mrs Sawford’s Book Recommendations
A longer wait since the last newsletter (which means even more books to choose from) and the final one of this year, here is my last trio of book recommendations! Please do let me know if you read any of my suggestions, or if you have any of your own (children and adults alike!) you can send your messages to email@example.com – I’d especially love to see any pictures of children reading!
Key Stage 1/Picture Book Recommendation
The Kiss by Linda Sunderland and Jessica Courtney-Tickle
A beautiful, moving story about a grandson's kiss that changes lives, as the recipient shares the joy it gives her. Themes of kindness, patience and forgiveness encompassed with wonderful pictures makes it a perfect book to share with children of all ages.
Lower Key Stage 2 (Year 3 and 4) or read-aloud with an adult
Accidental Trouble Magnet, Planet Omar #1 by Zanib Mian and illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik.
This book is perfect for Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates fans, the combination of Zanib Mian's hilarious text and Nasaya Mafaridik's fantastic cartoon-style illustrations make this a fun read. Omar’s diary is full of doodles and drawings, funny jokes and insights into the life of a Muslim boy starting a new school.
Upper Key Stage 2 (Year 5 and 6)
The Castle of Tangled Magic by Sophie Anderson
A heart-warming, whimsical story from the talented Sophie Anderson, who brings another level to Russian magic stories. The sweet Olia and her family live in Castle Mia, the heart of their community until it's threatened, along with their world's very existence, by another magical world. Olia quests to defeat the evil destroying both worlds, making friends along the way, great for fans of the magical worlds from J.K. Rowling or Michelle Harrison.
This half-term, our theme in Nursery has been water.
The children have had a wonderful time investigating capacity by testing different containers. They experimented with a range of objects to test if they would float or sink and made their own boats. We also used gutter pieces in water play.
We began the half-term with a pirate theme. The children enjoyed developing imaginative play through dressing up and using the pirate ship climbing frame. We had lots of small world pirate toys too, including pirate ships, figures and a Treasure Island. We shared lots of pirate stories.
The children created lots of items to add into their role-play, such as pirate hats, masks, telescopes and eye patches.
Later in the term, we introduced mermaids into our water theme. We added mermaid figures to the water tray and mermaid tails into the dressing up area.
We shared mermaid themed stories such as 'The Singing Mermaid' and Little Miss Trouble'.
The children created collage sea pictures, and we talked about textures. They also used a wax resist technique to draw and paint underwater scenes.
We have been extremely busy with lots of other activities too. We took part in the team sports day and the school art week.
The children who are moving on to Reception classes in September began taking part in Read, Write, Inc phonics sessions this term. We have been very impressed with how quickly they took to the scheme and have begun to use the language.
Click here to see all the Nursery news.
We cannot believe we are at the end of another school year. Voles and Moles have been an amazing group of children to teach and we are all very proud of the young people they have all become.
This last term has been a lot more settled and the children have all made progress in their learning. We have had so much fun, experiencing Science week, Arts week, Sports Day, culminating in Pirates Day, when we dressed up as pirates, walked the plank, decorated biscuits, had a scavenger hunt and sang lots of pirate songs!
The children are more than ready for their next steps into Year 1. They have visited their new classes and are all very excited.
We will all miss Voles and Moles next year….but don’t worry Mrs Andrews and Mrs Atkinson will be with you in September to make sure the fun continues!
Thank you for all your support this year, it is very much appreciated. Have a lovely summer,
The Reception Team.
Click here to keep up with all the Reception news.
Year 1 Roundup
What a fantastic Summer term we have had in Year One! Despite the restrictions that have been in place, we have still managed to have several fantastic experiences, which we hope the children will remember for years to come! From our ‘Houses and Homes’ local area walk straight after Easter to being lucky enough to have some exciting visits from a police officer and a paramedic. We have also enjoyed Seaside Day, Sports morning and a trip to the local park. The children’s positivity and enthusiasm for these experiences has been wonderful.
Within the classroom, the children have also continued to blow us away with their hard work and this is evident in the progress they have made. We have seen huge improvements in reading and writing and an increase in confidence in Maths when working with larger numbers.
We have focussed a lot on emotional wellbeing throughout this challenging year and we are so proud of how well the children have coped and adapted with all the obstacles this year has thrown at them.
We would like to thank you for all your support this year and we wish you all a fantastic Summer holiday.
Mrs Kelly, Mrs Saunders and Mrs Steel
Click here to keep up with all the Year 1 news.
Year 2 Roundup
What a busy half-term it has been in Year 2! We really hope that the children have some brilliant memories of their year, we are so proud of how far they have all come!
Year 2 have been fully immersed in their learning about Kenya. They have researched the country, explored real artefacts, made clay pots and even said ‘hello’ to some children at a Kenyan school over zoom! A highlight of the final half-term was our ‘Kenyan Themed Day’. The children met some real African animals and took part in a drumming workshop. They were full of questions about the animals and each and every child was full of enthusiasm playing the drums.
The children also took part in Sports Day and Art Week. Sports Day was a huge success, we are sure you will agree after seeing the photos on Google Classroom. During Art Week the children created their own 3D pictures based on ‘The Men on the Docks’ by George Bellows.
Over the year, the children have shown so much resilience and have grown so much. We know that they will have another brilliant year in Year 3.
Click here to keep up with all the Year 2 news.
Year 3 Roundup
What a final term it has been; full of amazing learning from an amazing year group!
We started off our summer term learning all about Ancient Egypt and even had a visit from Cleopatra herself. The children learned all about the mummification process and were full of fantastic questions with a passion for finding out all they could about the Ancient Egyptians.
For the last part of our summer term, we completed a topic all about dragons. The children had great fun in Art, creating a set of dragon wings for each class and their very own dragon eggs. We finished off the year by creating dragon castles making sure to include levers and pulleys too.
Every child has put so much effort in to all their work this year, and we couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them!
Click here to keep up with all the Year 3 news.
Year 4 Roundup
Year Four has finished the school year with a lot of creativity! We have had the topic of ‘How do you look after a dragon?’ and created dragon wings, made dragon eggs and finished our topic with making our very own dragon castles. All of our castles had to have a working draw bridge. This meant that we used pulleys and leavers.
We also had a great time during our Art week, where we imagined looking though the porthole of a ship, out at the docks of New York!
Click here to keep up with all the Year 4 news.
Year 5 Roundup
Well Year 5, what a rollercoaster of a year we have had! I can’t believe it is now the end and you will be moving onto Year 6 – the final year of primary school.
You have all been an amazing year group to work and learn with over the last year. From lockdown learning, to bubble classes, to being together properly again.
This last term, you have all matured and grown up so much. We’ve had a brilliantly fun time with our sports morning, the project on child labour and art week, too.
We truly hope that you have a wonderful summer break, you certainly deserve it after this year and we can’t wait to see you in September as Year 6’s!
See you soon,
Miss Bolton and Miss Carter
Click here to keep up with all the Year 5 news.
Year 6 Roundup
As the Summer term draws to a close and an exciting new chapter for the children of Year Six beckons, it is an opportune time to reflect on the experiences and achievements of what has been a very exciting and eventful time.
With all the children having returned to school before the Easter holidays, it was fantastic to start the Summer term with two full classes, and what better way to begin than with Science week! The children launched into their learning with energy and enthusiasm, relishing the opportunity to work as a team again by getting hands-on (and a bit wet!) when designing and testing materials for boats.
It wasn’t their only opportunity for splashing about this term as we were delighted to receive the news that swimming lessons were able to resume and that the children could enjoy weekly sessions at the Bracknell Swimarium. The instructors were genuinely impressed not only by the progress all the children had made, regardless of their individual ability, but commented regularly on how their positive attitude and resilience in the face of challenge made them a pleasure to teach.
There was more good news when Grittleton House confirmed that our residential trip could go ahead. The children had a fantastic time trying out a huge range of activities that tested not only their physical abilities but their problem-solving skills and their ability to work as a team. There were many laughs had, new friendships forged and lots of memories to take away.
Having enjoyed a well-earned half-term holiday, the children returned revitalised and ready to begin rehearsals for the Year Six Production. This year’s performance would be Cinderella Rockerfella – a rollicking modern take on the classic fairy tale packed with catchy tunes, corny jokes and traditional pantomime action. The children had a great time putting it all together: learning the songs, getting into character and creating the props that would bring it all to life.
Art week gave the children an insight into the works of the impressionist painter George Bellows and his eye for the gritty social-realism of New York, and they enjoyed exploring photos and historic maps before creating their own piece inspired by ‘Men of the Docks’ with a focus on using one-point perspective.
With the finishing line in sight, the children did themselves proud once more in their final Sports Day at Wooden Hill. Although it was a different format to previous years, the children nevertheless rose to the occasion and gave it their all in a range of activities and ended with an exhilarating relay race. Despite the cheering and screaming, the children thankfully managed to save enough of their voices to perform the Year Six Production!
Filming of Cinderella Rockerfella has now been wrapped up and the children should be immensely proud of their efforts. Now, in the last few days remaining at school, Year Six are planning and creating their Leaver’s Presentations to celebrate their time here at Wooden Hill. There have been so many experiences, so many lessons learned, so much laughter that it will be exciting to see what makes the cut - we predict there won’t be a dry eye in the place!
Click here to keep up with all the Year 6 news.
Wooden Hill Primary and Nursery School
Staplehurst, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 8DB
T: 01344 421117 E: firstname.lastname@example.org