15th December 2023
- Headteacher’s Message
- Safeguarding and Participation Team
- Every Day in School Matters
- Therapy Team
- Sea Lions
- Sea Turtles
- Magna Seals
- Post 16
- Creative Arts
- Forest School
- Friends of Winchelsea
Once again, the children have had a very successful term!
Firstly, huge congratulations to our Key Stage 4 pupils for completing their recent exams. For the first time, pupils accessed their exams sitting together in the school hall. The resilience and maturity they have all shown is a huge credit to them and we are all extremely proud!
Since half term, we have followed the theme of ‘Light Fantastic!’. Pupils have looked at a wide array of topics involving light, ranging from using light switches and torches, to using shadow puppets and reflection.
Next term our theme is ‘Feast for the Senses’. This will involve a journey through the senses, including sight, sound and touch, creating a sensory, exploratory and kinaesthetic approach to lessons. I am hoping that the weather will improve in the New Year, to enable pupils to take part in more visits in the local community.
I would also like to thank everyone who attended our recent Christmas Assemblies. It was nice to see so many of you and we look forward to holding more events next year. A huge well done to the pupils for being so enthusiastic and creative in their preparation and thanks to our great team of staff who have gone out of their way to ensure that we have been able to hold these events. As ever, we are grateful to our satellite hosts, particularly for providing us with venues for some assemblies this term. Finally, a huge thank you to the Longfleet School pupils for providing us with such a fantastic musical accompaniment at the assemblies!
As always, I am grateful to you all for your continued support and kind words.
Please note that, following the Christmas break, school re-opens to pupils on Wednesday 3 January 2024.
In the meantime, I hope you all have an enjoyable Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Safeguarding and Participation Team
Keeping Children Safe in Sport
The NSPCC has a section on their website to signpost parents to all the advice you need to keep your child safe in sport, from choosing safe clubs and activities, to supporting your child in a positive way.
If you're a coach or sports club, you can find further information on engaging with parents on the parents in sport topic page.
Listen Up, Speak Up - NSPCC
Half a million children suffer abuse and neglect a year in the UK. But there's something we can all do to change that. The NSPCC offer a free 10-minute digital training, to empower every adult to know what to do if a child needs help, and where to go if you need support yourself.
Parents Against Child Exploitation
Parents are often the first to notice that their child is being exploited. It is so important to act quickly and intervene early if you suspect your child is being exploited. Listen to some affected parents talk about the changes they noticed in their child.
In an emergency, or if you believe a child is in immediate danger or risk of harm, call the Police on 999.
The National College
A reminder to all parents and carers that Winchelsea School has become a member of The National College - a multi-award-winning online training provider for staff and parents.
As part of our membership, The National College provides dedicated training and resources for parents and carers - particularly, around online safety and keeping children safe online.
Of course, staff will continue to teach children about the risks online. But with the internet so readily accessible, the most effective approach to online safety needs everyone involved, including parents and carers.
That is why you now have access to hundreds of courses, explainer videos and online safety guides to support your awareness of the online world. Topics range from understanding apps like TikTok and Instagram to recognising the signs of online harm and what you can do to help.
Signing up to the platform is simple. Just follow
Cost of Living Help
As the cost of living increases it is important to be aware of the benefits, payments and support options available to you. There are local and national schemes that can help you with rent, food, energy and more.
These pages will be updated as more information and resources become available.
Household Support Fund
The government is providing funding through the Household Support Fund grant for the December 2023 holiday to help families. Under the grant, the BCP Council Family Information Service are able to provide a £30 supermarket food voucher for pre-school age children living in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole that meet specific eligibility criteria.
To be eligible for a voucher children must be aged 0 to 5, have not yet started school and meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Currently receiving Early Years Pupil Premium funding for ages 3 and 4 at an early year setting in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole (Please note that this is different to the Early Education Funding that all 3- and 4-year-old children receive) in the Autumn term.
- Currently receiving 2-year Early Education Funding at an early year setting in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole in the Autumn term.
- Currently open to Social Care and/or Early Help Family Support and of Pre-school.
The deadline for food voucher applications is 11pm on Tuesday 2 January 2024.
The Local Community - Supporting Well-being and Mental Health
Christmas can affect our mental health in lots of different ways. This could be if Christmas is part of your life, or if it's happening around you. It's a time of year that often puts extra pressure on us.
Christmas could affect your mental health if you:
- Wish you didn't have to deal with Christmas, or find it stressful because of other events in your life;
- Feel alone or left out because everyone else seems happy when you're not;
- Feel frustrated by other people's views of a 'perfect' Christmas, if these feel different to your experiences;
- Have ideas about what Christmas should be like, feel as if you need to enjoy it or worry something will disrupt it;
- Feel like Christmas gives you something to focus on and look forward to, and find it difficult when it's over;
- Look back at difficult memories, regret things about the past, or worry about the coming new year;
- Feel overlooked, for example if you celebrate other religious festivals or holidays that get less attention;
- Want to celebrate with someone who's struggling.
If you live with mental health problems, there may be other reasons that you find Christmas tough. For example:
- Your mental health problem might make it difficult for you to spend Christmas how you want;
- Some experiences during Christmas could make your mental health worse, or harder to manage;
- You might not be able to access services that normally help, if they're closed during the Christmas period;
- Your usual routines may be disrupted, which might make it harder to manage your mental health.
If Christmas is a hard time for you, it's important to remember that you are not alone. There are things you can try that might help, such:
- Learn about why Christmas is hard for many people https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/christmas-and-mental-health/why-christmas-is-hard/
- Read tips to help you cope at Christmas https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/christmas-and-mental-health/christmas-coping-tips/
- Find ways to support others during Christmas https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/christmas-and-mental-health/supporting-others-at-christmas/
- Discover useful contacts for finding support at Christmas https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/christmas-and-mental-health/useful-contacts/
Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail - Saturday 25th November 2023 to Tuesday 2nd January 2024
Enter a world of Christmas in Poole, with this FREE Christmas attraction! Be prepared to be dazzled as thousands of twinkling lights take you on a nautical journey.
Immerse yourself in a magical maritime Christmas as you follow the light trail from Falkland Square, through the High Street and onto Poole Quay.
2023 features a number of impressive light installations, including a galleon, walk-through lantern and bauble, an anchor as well as Christmas tree installations including the 13-metre blue sea life tree in Falkland Square.
Also, there are garlands, icicles, beautifully wrapped trees, and a marine 'ceiling of light' featuring fish and starfish.
More information can be found at https://www.poole-christmas-maritime-light-trail.co.uk/
Have a fantastic and most importantly safe holiday.
Adam, Jo, Abi, Kelly & James
Every Day in School Matters
Although an exam mark of 90% is very good, when looking at school attendance, 90% equates to half a day absence per week. This in turn equates to 4 weeks absence in an academic year. If a pupil persistently had 90% attendance over the course of their education, they would have been absent for a whole year of their education.
Please be aware that we have a duty to monitor attendance of our pupils and audits of non-attendance are routinely carried out internally and by BCP Council’s attendance Team. It is an expectation that we contact families regarding attendance on a regular basis.
What the law says about school attendance
The law states that:
- Parents have a responsibility to ensure that compulsory school aged children access an appropriate educational provision;
- The Local Authority have a duty to ensure that parents are fulfilling their responsibilities and if they fail to do so then we have a statutory power to intervene - where appropriate this intervention may be legal action.
Support for your family
5 to 19 Services are there to help families and their children overcome the barriers to good school attendance.
This team is responsible for carrying out the statutory functions held by the Local Authority with regards to school attendance as described above.
Winchelsea School works with the allocated Attendance Support Worker from BCP Council to monitor and promote regular attendance of compulsory school aged children. Together we will:
- Carry out regular attendance audits;
- Meet with pupils and parents in school and at home to discuss any attendance concerns;
- Work closely with families to understand how best to support you;
- Work with other agencies and services to offer you and your family a package of support which meets your needs;
- Implement a range of legal interventions when necessary.
For more information or to discuss please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Requests for Absence during Term Time and Fixed Penalty Notice
Headteachers are only allowed to grant leave of absence from school in exceptional circumstances. In considering whether or not to authorise a request for exceptional leave of absence in term time, the Headteacher will look at each individual case and only grant authorisation if the circumstances are truly exceptional. Additionally, any request should be made prior to the leave of absence and should be submitted to the school using the Request for Leave of Absence form (available from the school website or from the main school site reception). Parents/Carers may be asked to provide additional information/evidence or meet with the school to discuss the circumstances.
The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are rare, significant, unavoidable, and short. 'Unavoidable' should be taken to mean an event that could not reasonably be scheduled at another time.
Generally, the following scenarios cannot be considered ‘exceptional’:
- Annual family holidays;
- Educational visits arranged by family members during school time;
- Family birthdays or other events;
- Parents’ profession or place of work making it difficult to coincide school and work holidays.
Following an application for term time absence, Parents/Carers will be notified of the Headteacher’s decision at the earliest opportunity. If the circumstances are not considered to be exceptional, then the absence cannot be authorised and the school may need to request that the Local Authority issues a Fixed Penalty Notice.
We request that, where possible, routine medical and dentist appointments are arranged outside school hours as these appointments will affect your child’s percentage attendance. We do understand that some appointments, such as hospital consultations, are not always possible to arrange outside of school hours. However, if your appointment time allows your child to come to school for registration and then leave, this will have a positive impact on their attendance figure. Likewise, if they are able to be back into school for afternoon registration (1pm), this will also have a positive impact.
This half term our curriculum theme ‘Light Fantastic’ is a science topic, which has also led to many great opportunities in STEAM. Pupils have been exploring light in a variety of ways to understand what it is, how it affects what we do and how it might make us feel, as well as performing a variety of scientific experiments to understand light sources, projection and colour.
Some classes have been looking at how we use light in the world around us for functional purposes in the community; to keep us safe and give us important information on the roads. Manta class had a really informative trip to the Royal Signals where they learnt light signals are used for coding and communications.
Reading and stories are a key part of our curriculum with time dedicated each day for this. Classes across the school used this opportunity well to develop the thematic learning and go far beyond the science and functionality of light, but to consider the importance of light in different cultures and religions as well as stories that describe the magic of light in the sky to the colours of the rainbow. There have been many immersive opportunities for pupils to experience light and colour especially through stories and art.
Our school council have been busy working across classes to prepare decorations for the St Aldhelm’s Church Christmas Tree. Some of the council were able to visit the Church to decorate the Winchelsea Tree with thoughtful decorations to represent the school. They were truly immersed in the ‘Light Fantastic’ as they viewed all the beautiful Christmas Trees displaying their lights. I thoroughly recommend a Christmas wander around the Church.
Miss Naomi led an exciting Children in Need Day with a range of activities to develop pupil awareness and understanding of the work of the charity, with most of our pupils joining in with a walk or run to raise money for the charity. We were overwhelmed with the response to sponsorship for the run with the school raising over £1000, thank-you for supporting this event so well.
Lobsters team have taken running the school café to new heights this term by adding to their menu, introducing a take away service and inviting more classes to join the café each week for learning opportunities to handle money and develop valuable social skills with their peers. The café hosted parents and carers for our ‘Children in Need Day’ which involved making over a hundred cakes and selling these in the café throughout the day. We are really proud of the way that Lobsters class have taken on this venture and developing their customer service skills. Well done!
Our Active8 programme is now embedded across all the curriculum pathways, with each class working on activities from their box of resources. Pupils have thoroughly enjoyed having a variety of physical activities that develop their fine and gross motor skills, taught during discrete time through the week.
All classes embarked on an Enterprise Project accumulating in our Christmas Fair. We were really impressed with the standard of products on the stalls, where we have seen such progress since its inception 6 years ago. A great example of Active8 being used effectively to support other areas of the curriculum was the Enterprise project of Dolphins class. They made ‘Gonk’ decorations and not only did these sell out; they took orders for an extra thirty... amazing, well done Dolphin Class!
The Christmas Fair was very successful, despite the weather. We made £741.55p! Thank you for your support.
It was wonderful to welcome so many of you to school for our Christmas Performances, all our pupils thoroughly enjoyed sharing their Christmas experience with you.
I hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas. Our theme next half term is ‘A Feast for the Senses’.
Wishing you a very happy New Year.
What is an allergic reaction?
Allergic reactions are caused by the sudden release of chemicals, including histamine, from cells in the body. The release is triggered by the reaction between the immune system antibodies (called Immunoglobulin and the food or substance (known as the allergen it has been exposed to.
The body will have been exposed to the allergen on a previously, although the person may not have been aware of this at the time. On that earlier occasion, the allergen was wrongly identified as a threat and antibodies were made against it, which means that on the next exposure, a serious reaction may occur. The mechanism is so sensitive that sometimes even the tiny amounts of the allergen can cause an allergic reaction.
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that happens very quickly. It can be caused by food, medicine or insect stings. Symptoms of Anaphylaxis happen very quickly, usually starting within minutes of coming into contact with the allergen e.g., food, medicine, insect sting.
Anaphylaxis is a severe medical condition and can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms e.g., swelling of the throat and tongue, difficulty swallowing, breathing difficulties, wheezing as well as other symptoms.
Anaphylaxis treatment would always need to be sought immediately and will require administration of antihistamines and/or auto-injectors.
Please help us to ensure that all pupils and staff are kept safe by checking all food products sent in to school.
Useful websites for further information
We must remind all parents and carers that we are a 'Nut Free School'.
Unfortunately, despite previous communications we continue to have pupils bringing items to school, in their lunch boxes, that contain nuts. Some examples of products are brioche, pastries, Jammie Dodgers, and various chocolate bars such as Twix and Mars.
As previously advised, we have staff and pupils in school with severe nut allergies, who we must keep safe. We cannot have nuts in school in any form.
Children and adults who suffer from nut allergies can develop a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. If someone has a nut allergy, it is not just eating nuts that can cause a severe reaction, just being touched on the skin or smelling the breath of someone who has had nuts or a product containing nuts can trigger anaphylactic shock (which can cause breathing and swallowing difficulties).
All food items must be thoroughly checked before being sent into school, items with "may contain traces of nuts" or "may contain nuts" or "made in a factory that also uses nuts" MUST NOT be brought into school.
We have recently had a few cases of sickness and diarrhoea within school. If your child has either you must keep them at home for 48 hours following the last bout of sickness or diarrhoea.
Please see the NHS link below for further information.
Head Bump Letters
If your child should receive a head bump whilst at school you will be sent a head bump letter containing information on symptoms to look out for, this will be sent with the accident report on the day the injury happened. Please ensure you sign, date and return to school to be kept for school records.
Please use our medical email address [email protected] if you would like to discuss the following:
Request referrals - Paediatrician, ID-CAMHS, CAMHS, Continence Team, Sleep Clinic, Community Dietician, Dental Service
General enquiry box – to be used for any other medical related issue other than listed above.
We aim to respond to all email enquiries the same day.
If your child requires medication during school time for a medical condition. you must complete an M2 form. This form is available in the Main Site Reception or can be found on the Winchelsea School website, under “Information - Documents” to download.
Paracetamol – please be advised that we have a Medication Policy in place that states we can only administer prescribed medications, which includes Paracetamol.
As always, if the Medical Team can offer any support or advice, please contact us.
Michelle & Jane
Speech and Language Therapy
We have been continuing to support classes this half term with our new social interaction and social communication curriculum. Pupils have been set specific targets for their social communication and we will be able to track their progress next half term.
Our fine motor skills initiative, Active8, has been launched across all classes now with Oceans, Harbour, Starfish, Oysters and Octopus each receiving an Active8 box this half term. The Octopus team have said that their pupils are always excited when their Active8 box comes out, Starfish love their box and Oysters have said mark-making and posting are the favourite activities in their class!
We have started a whole class sensory feeding intervention in Octopus class this half term. This involves starting with activities to help with tactile sensitivity with the aim being that pupils are more tolerant of touching different textures. Then each week the intervention focuses on a different food texture.
Octopus class have been enjoying this and have been engaging well in all the activities. A pupil commented “sticky” and “that’s delicious” in one of the sessions, and another pupil in Octopus who received the intervention last year is now eating a range of fruit that they didn’t eat before! Feedback across the school is that pupils seem more willing to try new foods.
We launched a whole school physio challenge this half term, a 'Snowman Sit to Stand' challenge! The video involves repeated movements to work on the strength and stamina of pupils by sitting on a chair and standing up and repeating this to music with different arm movements. Classes have been doing the video daily to earn stickers!
The Fortune Riding Centre reopened this term so we were able to offer Horse Therapy sessions to six pupils from Harbour class to work on physical and communication targets in these sessions.
The pupils made quick progress, from tolerating wearing a helmet and practising horse riding on the barrel, to now all riding Elvis the pony!
We hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday, here is a link to a YouTube video of the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ with Signalong signs: 12 days of Christmas Signalong - YouTube
The Therapy Team
The pupils in Ocean class have had a wonderful half term exploring light in all its’ forms. We have looked at different colours, explored candles and torches, the moon and the sun, and will be looking at stars and all the colours of Christmas as the term comes to an end. The torches were super exciting as we explored them in tunnels, dens and through Perspex prisms.
As we have got to know the pupils, we have rearranged the classroom to better suit their needs and interests. The children have responded well to this and are now enjoying the new climbing and regulation area, including the new egg chair. As a result, the children now have a dedicated and separate ‘play area’ which they love using!
The pupils have enjoyed making smoothies, icing biscuits and cakes, exploring black, white, coloured paint, rice and pasta in different colours, and exploring cereals such as Rice Krispies, Oats and Cornflakes. They have also engaged well using the building bricks and dressing up clothes.
There have been some stand out moments of learning for the children, namely when they immersed themselves in autumn leaves! They really enjoyed throwing them and watching them fall, filling bowls and pots, sweeping them into piles, and watching what happened when they held them in front of the big floor fan. The pupils really explored their own Characteristics of Learning.
During PE the children have started to use the big hall in the main school. This is proving a positive experience for them, especially as it involves quite a big transition! Additionally for PE we have had a couple of successful visits to the park to use the climbing equipment, which the pupils have thoroughly enjoyed.
Next term our topic will be ‘Senses’ where we will be exploring touch, taste, smell, hearing and vision. We are looking forward to lots of opportunities to explore this topic with the class.
Have a lovely Christmas together, relax and enjoy not rushing!
The Ocean Class Team.
Harbour class have had another fantastic half term learning all about light! We have enjoyed focussing on different sources of light, including torches and candles, and have explored lots of different light up toys. We have also looked at how torch beams can be made bigger and smaller and how they can bounce off of mirrors. Autumn has been a fabulous season to link our light topic with lots of celebrations including Halloween, Bonfire night, Diwali and Christmas! We’ve especially liked seeing how a candle can light up a pumpkin and make it look spooky! It’s been wonderful to see how the children have developed their attention skills and have been able to focus so well on the different light up resources that they have been shown.
Linking with light, our sensory story this half term has been ‘Let’s Explore Colours’ where we have been focussing on a different colour each week. This has helped the children to develop their colour recognition as they have listened to the different colours being labelled and they’ve been able to explore lots of different coloured resources and textures. These exploration skills have been further developed during our My Creativity lessons where the children have had opportunities to use their senses and engage with colourful shaving foam, water with food colouring, flour and paints. They’ve also been experimenting with the different sounds that they can make with musical instruments as we sing nursery rhymes together.
Since many of the children have been showing that they like getting all messy, it’s been really useful for them to do lots of practice with their hand washing. The children have made progress with following a jig this half term to help them to follow instructions and sequence the steps of handwashing. Each child has made encouraging steps forward with this which has helped them to further develop their independence and self-help skills. Practicing putting on an apron has also been a part of this for their STEAM and food exploration sessions. The children have had a go at exploring various ingredients including icing sugar, yoghurt, blackberries and ingredients for strawberry pop tarts and cakes. They have done really well to focus their attention to listen to key words such as “mixing” and “scooping”.
The children have also been getting active and having a go at moving their bodies into various positions during our movement songs as well as arctic animal yoga each day, including lying on our tummies like a walrus and crawling like polar bears! We have also been exploring lots of equipment in PE and have a brand new climbing apparatus in our classroom so we can climb up and jump down and burn lots of energy to help keep us regulated. Going to the park for PE each week has also been really beneficial for us to develop our gross motor skills. The children particularly like going on the swings, the slide and the climbing frame.
Our topic for next term will be ‘Feast for the Senses’ and we can’t wait to see how the children continue their fantastic progress with using different senses and body parts to explore various textures and resources! In the meantime, we hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year and that the children come back feeling refreshed and ready to learn in the new term!
We have had a very active and busy half term learning about light and colours through our theme ‘The Light Fantastic’. This thread has flowed through all areas of the curriculum. We have been very fortunate to be able to access the new sensory light room installed at Old Town, this has been a perfect way to explore light in an exciting way alongside the class activities of torches, filters and shadow making. The children have shared and interacted really well with each other during these times.
During our communication session we have focussed on core vocabulary from our story which has allowed for many crossovers with our creative activities to follow instructions and paint in a variety of ways from finger painting snow, carrot painting winter trees to spraying snow scenes for Christmas exploring colours and mixing. Pupils have enjoyed decorating and building a huge number of boxes to create a Christmas fire place for our fab finish.
In problem solving we have continued to develop an interest in numbers, shapes and concepts through counting activities, as well as focussing on handwashing across all the daily and timetabled activities. A favourite activity for the class involved cooking delicious treats which proved to be a great motivator to try the different ingredients as well as enjoying the final product!
We have continued to explore movements in PE with Mr Alex, Miss Hannah and the Jane our Physiotherapist looking at developing core stability, regulation, motor planning, balance and climbing. Our community visit walks to the café have also been another way to support their stamina, this has been hugely successful in preparation for the pantomime.
Oysters class have had a great time with the build-up to Christmas; creating crafts for the Christmas Fair, a visit from Santa, the pantomime, our Winter Wonderland with parents and carers and we are all looking forward to our Christmas Party at the end of term.
Thank you for all your help, support and attendance to the various events.
Have a lovely Christmas, we look forward to welcoming the pupils back in the new year.
This half term Starfish Class have been exploring our ‘Light Fantastic!’ theme. The children have loved immersing themselves in the theme and exploring the different ways in which we can produce and see light.
In My Communication the children have been looking at a story about light. When the adult reads the story, we turn the lights off in the classroom and put our projector on. It is a very calm time and the children are really responding well to the story when read in this way. We have also been continuing to focus on our symbol recognition, understanding and following instructions, PECS and requesting skills, and we are even starting to look at concept words with some of Starfish which is exciting. On top of our light focus, we are also looking at developing the language we use and understand, related to the weather and the seasons so we have been working on key vocabulary such as ‘cold’, ‘snow’ and winter. The children have loved seeing the snow and this created a great teaching opportunity where we made the day all about the snow and had a fantastic time!
In My Problem Solving we are continuing to focus on life skills, especially building independence when putting on and taking off clothing and self-care. Starfish are working on finding their changing clothes with more independence when asked, and for some, putting on shoes and coats is a key focus. With the weather getting colder we are really encouraging understanding that it is cold so we need to wear warm clothes and how we put these on. The children are doing really well in this area and we will continue to work on it throughout the year.
Starfish have continued to enjoy forest school and are engaging with it really well. It has been lovely watching them develop their gross motor skills and how they are learning to use the different equipment.
Well done Starfish Class and A Merry Christmas to you all!
Can you believe it is almost 2024!? Where has this year gone? Time has flown in Jellyfish Class so clearly; we have been having lots of fun! We have been making the most of the final months of 2023 and making sure we finish this year on a positive.
This Half Term’s theme was ‘Light Fantastic’ and what a fantastic term it has been! Within this theme, we have been looking at different light sources and how we can project different colours and shadows. We have particularly enjoyed investigating light using torches and disco lights! The Jellyfish adults made a super cool den by covering the den with fabric and adding lights - much to the delight of all the pupils. It is also a great place to listen to the Tonie Box in there and enjoy a story or music. In Art, Miss Tash has been exploring creating different versions of the Northern Lights with the class. Some of the masterpieces I have walked back into the classroom to see have been quite beautiful! In PE, Mr Alex, Mr Callum and I have been supporting the pupils with balancing and gymnastics. Jellyfish Class have been listening to instructions and following them to complete a routine including holding a pose for 5 seconds, travelling along a bench and jumping to land on the mat. We have enjoyed our final sessions of swimming at Rossmore Leisure Centre. The class have continued to persevere with attempting to change independently before and after swimming as well as learn new skills in the water and become more confident in the pool. As I am sure you are aware from the muddy clothes being sent home each week, the pupils have thoroughly been enjoying Forest Schools and have been playing in the forest, crossing the river and pretending to be trolls under the bridge!
In November, we celebrated Children in Need as a whole school. Pupils were encouraged to gain sponsorship for ‘Run Pudsey’ to raise money for this charity. The whole class were brilliant on the day at either running or walking around the playground for 10 minutes. We all enjoyed the lovely café – particularly the adults who munched on Pudsey-themed cakes! The class enjoyed a trip to Hobbycraft to gather resources for making Christmas Tree decorations to sell at the Christmas Fayre. Whilst we were there, we couldn’t resist a visit into Haskins to look at (but not touch) all of the different lights and decorations they had in the store. Jellyfish Class really impressed us with their musical talent and festive spirit when practicing their class song for the Christmas Assembly – I think we have been singing ‘Feliz Navidad’ in our sleep!
Thinking towards the new year, next Half Term’s theme is “Feast for the Senses”. We look forward to exploring ‘smell’, ‘touch’, ‘look’, ‘listen’ and, of course our favourite one, ‘taste’! As we have enjoyed a whole term of swimming in Autumn, we will not be swimming in the new year but we look forward to continuing with our Lego Therapy and developing our group play.
The class team and I wish you a jolly holiday and a happy new year - Bring on 2024!
Miss Naomi, Miss Jo, Miss Hayley and Miss Heather
Having settled so quickly into Dolphin class during Autumn 1, this term we have really pushed on and made remarkable progress across all areas of our Discoverers Curriculum.
As part of My Problem-Solving lessons, we have been working on our routines and transitions into school. This has supported pupils to be more independent and we have begun transitioning into class each morning on our own. Nora has done particularly well at being independent with this transition and organising her belongings each morning. My Problem Solving has also linked well with the theme of light this term, where pupils have developed their understanding of colour concepts, including light and dark colours. This was put into practice perfectly when mixing and changing colours, in order to create some beautiful firework paintings for our class art display.
In addition to the regular work we experience around our class text, ‘Orion and the Dark’ written by Emma Yarlett, this term has seen us focus more on our ability to understand and follow instructions. Tommy set a great example to his classmates, by making sure to follow instructions one at a time and in the correct order, to complete activities such as; firework pictures, Christmas Gonks made of wool and an advent calendar.
We have been working hard on our fine motor skills during our ‘Active8’ lessons and already seeing noticeable improvements with these activities. We have also really enjoyed putting together a class gymnastics routine, by exploring a range of shapes and movements, with Azra producing some brilliant ideas and performing routines accurately.
In My World we have been continuing to learn about this term’s topic ‘Light Fantastic’, where we have been considering the importance of being safe during Bonfire Night, exploring sources of light and enjoyed reading sensory stories such as ‘Little Glow’ written by Kate Sahota. We have also linked our theme of lights with safety, considering how we use traffic lights to help us cross the road safely. Pupils really enjoyed joining in with this active role play in class, whilst practicing ‘red stop’ and ‘green (look both ways then…) go’! Tyler has really shone in this area both during class-based role play and whilst out and about on real roads. I was especially pleased to see Tyler reminding his classmates of the steps needed to cross the road safely.
Our next half-term topic will be ‘Feast for the Senses’. We hope all the pupils and their families have a wonderful break and we look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.
As we move closer towards Christmas and the end of the year, it is an important time to pause and reflect on the progress pupils have made this term. Sometimes, progress in small steps can seem difficult to see, but when you step back, it is exciting to see just how far we’ve already come.
Our theme this half term has been ‘Light Fantastic’ and this has been an opportunity to explore various festivals of light in the build up to Christmas. All the way from Halloween to Hannukah, pupils have extended their understanding of the world, while listening and dancing to a range of music from different cultures and trying new foods. For example, we had success with trying poppadums and chapatis during our Diwali week and marshmallow s’mores in our celebration of Bonfire night. The most important aspect of these sessions is gaining a greater understanding of the community around us and how we celebrate each festival and why. However, it has also helped us to learn additional life skills in sessions looking at the importance of wearing warm clothing in Winter, learning fire safety or seeking out ear defenders independently to help regulate during fireworks.
All these festivals are included in our new book this term ‘Little Glow’ by Katie Sahota which we have had some fantastic success with, including some pupils in class beginning to read adapted versions of the book to adults. One thing is for sure, Octopus Class love stories.
In Problem Solving, we have been investigating numbers in different real-life contexts, for example we have been counting candles on cakes to find out how old someone is, as we have had a couple of birthdays in class. Visiting the school café has also helped to develop understanding of money and requesting. We have even tried these new skills out at the café in The Range to extend our learning.
Octopus Class have stayed very active this term with our 3 PE sessions a week, plus very successful swimming lessons, community visits extending in distance, specific physio sessions and our new Active8 boxes of activities which are utilised every day to develop key physical development needs.
Our social interaction sessions are still going strong with pupils now feeling more comfortable playing alongside their peers. We are now building up more complex group play activities such as parachute games and beginning work on more sharing and turn taking activities. This is an area where Octopus Class are continuing to go from strength to strength.
Two areas that are emerging as very important to pupils in Octopus Class are music, which has been a fantastic way to help calm and regulate while also embedding key learning and phrases. Secondly, ICT as pupils love exploring different technology and this term our focus has been on lights. With the class bathed in colour from finger-lights, cause and effect light up toys and projectors, some pupils even helping to change batteries in torches. We have also looked at ways to save energy so we have been nominating students to help turn lights on and off when appropriate. This is something you could try at home and see if your children will help keep your energy bills down.
Next term our theme we will be ‘A Feast for the Senses’ where we are excited to delve into a whole new range of sensory exploration. With lessons filled with exciting and motivating activities that will continue to engage students in their learning. We hope you all have a great rest over the holidays and we will see you for more fun and learning in the new year.
Shells class have had another super half term! Our theme has been ‘Light Fantastic’, so we have focused on the different lights and colours used in celebrations at this time of year, as well as exploring activities related to light and dark.
In My Communication we have been working on developing our listening and attention skills and following multi-part instructions. The children have listened to descriptions and found the matching items, explored sensory stories related to different celebrations, played attention games where they have had to identify the missing item and followed multi-part instructions in order to make crafts related to Halloween, Bonfire night and Christmas. It has also been really lovely to see their communication continue to develop as they have started to apply descriptive and social commentary to their play.
We have also been developing our understanding of same and different in Problem Solving, matching and identifying seasonal items that are the same and different. We have also focused on recognising amounts in different formats - for example candles on a cake, dots on a dice etc. We have continued to work on our independence in making sandwiches, and many of the children can now independently make their sandwiches and are starting to solve problems that occur.
We have continued to focus on developing our social interaction, and we have been amazed by how much progress the children have made in this area! They are now requesting friends to play with them and initiating interactions, starting to take part in collaborative play independently and working together to achieve a goal. It has been lovely to see these relationships develop between the children and witness their shared play.
On our community visits we have been going for walks in the local area, focusing on the range of colours and lights we can see during different celebrations. We have really enjoyed exploring our local area, and all of the children have worked hard to walk safely on the pavement with a peer or adult, and checking it is safe before crossing a road.
We are so proud of how well the children have progressed this term and all of the wonderful work they have completed. We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas break, and look forward to starting our new topic ‘A Feast for the Senses’.
Shells Class Team
It has been a pleasure working with Penguin class this half term. Our theme has been 'Light Fantastic' and pupil engagement has been amazing. We started by identifying as many different sources of light as we could, pupils were able to think about sources of light inside of our classroom such as lightbulbs and glow in the dark toys, to sources outside of the classroom, such as the sun, stars and fireworks. Penguins learnt about shadows through making shadow puppets, and it was lovely to see how they tried to imitate their shadow puppets on the playground!
In English, our class reading book has been ‘The Very Lonely Firefly’ by Eric Carle. It is a beautiful story of a firefly who goes in search of a group of friends, and the different sources of light that he finds along the way. Penguin class have blown us away with all of the descriptive words that they have found in this text, working hard putting these into sentences. Penguins have continued to work well on their phonics, working on phase 2, 3 and 5 sounds in groups and applying this to their reading. Well done Penguin class for all of your hard work!
In Maths, we began by working on 2D shapes, discovering how many sides and corners different shapes have. We were very impressed when pupils found the sides and corners of irregular shapes such as hearts and stars. Penguin class have been working on size, ordering different animals as bigger or smaller. We have continued work on numbers and counting, finding 1 more and 1 less than different numbers.
As part of our PSHE timetable, pupils have been accessing Lego therapy. Penguins work in groups of 3 to build small Lego sets, each pupil being in charge of a different part of the build. For example, one pupil is in charge of instructions, one in charge of passing the parts and one in charge of building. The class team were blown away by Penguin’s communication skills. As part of our wider PSHE curriculum, we have been working on our cleaning skills. We have identified what items we need to clean different areas, for example, we use washing up liquid to clean dishes, and a dustpan and brush to clean the floor. Penguins have demonstrated themselves to be exemplary cleaners and we have been impressed with how well they can tidy up after themselves!
In RE, we have been working on the Christian story of God’s Creation. After reading the story together, Penguins used clay to make representations of the six days of creation, along with moving pictures to help retell what happened on each day of God’s creation of the world. Penguin class were able to link this well to our topic of ‘Light Fantastic’, identifying the different light sources in the story.
Penguins have enjoyed forest school this half term. We found different insects such as ladybirds and worms with our magnifying glasses, and collected different leaves to preserve. This has been an enjoyable experience, and as the weather turned we got to explore the different autumnal colours around us, and Miss Lynsey, our forest school teacher, even bought down a hammock for us to enjoy!
Penguin class used their Art and Music sessions to create work linked to Christmas. In Art we decorated gift tags to sell at the Christmas Fair, Penguins also decided to sell plants, so we made decorative sleeves for our plant pots! In Music, we worked on learning Christmas songs ready for our performance at Canford Heath Junior School.
The theme for next half term is ‘Feast for the Senses’.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Miss Nancy, Miss Bidd, Miss Kath, Miss Kellie and Miss Claire.
We have had a busy and successful half term focussing our learning on the theme ‘Light Fantastic’. Sea Lions have enjoyed looking at how light travels around and through different shapes, and have used different tools in order to carry out various investigations involving shadows. Pupils have carried out their own experiments to see if different materials and objects are transparent. They have also been looking at what affect light has on an object. Pupils have thoroughly engaged in the topic and had interesting responses to key questions, ‘’Can you switch light off?’’, ‘’How is light all around us?” and “What other sources of light are there?” In STEAM we have explored a variety of science experiments to understand how light travels through objects and how it reflects on water using the light pouring experiment. The class thoroughly enjoyed designing and creating their own lava lamps.
In Maths, we have been gathering data from various group questions, such as pupil’s favourite animals and fruit, they have then successfully collated this information to create tally charts and bar graphs. Working independently and in groups they have been learning how to read this data in order to answer different learning questions. This has helped them to prepare for further number work of 1 more or less on numbers 1 to 100. Pupils have also been looking at 2d and 3d shapes and their properties. Sea Lions have also been looking how we can transfer this shape knowledge to everyday life, by recognising the different 2D and 3D shapes in the world around us. They have been using feely bags, and writing their own clues for shape quizzes with a partner, to reinforce this learning and to secure their shape knowledge.
We have continued to read our class text ‘The Midnight Gang’ in English and have used a variety of strategies including using moving pictures to enable the class to retell the story accurately. The book has also been a good way to explore natural light and colour as we have read about the Northern Lights.
In ICT pupils have been reinforcing skills previously learnt and are secure in their understanding of the core skills of switching on a laptop/computer to being able to change font size when writing text. I have been really pleased with their creativity when using word and purple mash.
Sea Lions have had a mature approach to their work in PSHE where they have been focusing on transferable life skills and teamwork when washing up and what is expected and unexpected behaviour when communicating with different people. This has meant considering how they would greet a friend to what they might need to say to a doctor.
During RE Sea Lions have been looking at the creation story; they have used this knowledge to recount the story of Adam and Eve. Pupils were then tasked with creating their own planets and thinking of things that were important to them, I was impressed with some of our pupil’s thoughtfulness as they discussed how we could look after our planet better.
Next half term we will be focussing on ‘A Feast for the Senses,’ where we will be developing a good understanding of ourselves and our senses and how they help us to navigate the World around us.
We wish you all a very happy holiday and we look forward to welcoming the Sea Lions back in January 2024.
Miss Nic, Mr Saunders, Miss Katie, Miss Paris and Miss Lois
Sea Turtles have had a busy and fantastic second half of the Autumn Term. All of the pupils have engaged really well in their learning, with the biggest highlight of this term, walking, helping to train and giving treats to Teddy - the extremely cute Canford Heath Junior school puppy! We have really enjoyed watching him grow and learn as the term has progressed. We have also really impressed our adults by sitting beautifully in assembly with some of the other Canford Heath classes.
In English we focussed on our class text linked to the theme of 'Light Fantastic' - ‘Orion and the Dark’ written by Emma Yarlett. Sea Turtles made predictions about what they thought would happen in the story with reasons why and used moving pictures to help retell the story accurately. We focussed on our use of prepositions when writing sentences to help make them more interesting to read, with some of us making use of the shape coding structure. When creating our sentences, we looked at using adjectives and more powerful synonyms, as well as the use of prepositions before nouns and pronouns.
Within our speaking and listening lessons, working with a partner, Sea Turtles followed verbal instructions to reach an end goal, moving on to create their own instruction lists to follow.
In Maths, Sea Turtles have been focusing on doubling and halving, looking at how to halve numbers practically using Base 10 equipment and unfix cubes. Sea Turtles also worked on quick recall when dividing and halving numbers up to and over 50. We have investigated 2D and 3D shapes, seeing how many shapes we could already name. We also learnt about some new shapes, such as nonagons and decagons. Sea Turtles used torches to investigate the shadows made by 3D shapes, and the size of those shadows.
Sea Turtles also went on shape hunts around the school environment. We looked at the similarities and differences between the shapes using relevant adjectives and descriptive phrases, for example: ‘’Taller than”, “smaller than”, “bigger than” and “shorter than.” We also used these skills when sorting shapes using different criteria.
During PE, we have been exploring different types of movement and developing our gymnastic skills. Sea Turtles have been focusing on balancing skills as we moved around the equipment and floor space. We have been holding our gymnastic shapes and holds for up to 10 seconds and have been working hard to exercise our cores and help our muscles to be stronger. Towards the end of term, we chose several different poses and joined them together in a routine.
At the start of our ‘Light Fantastic’ topic, Sea Turtles created their own amazing dark room. We used lava lamps, fairy lights, disco balls, glow in the dark materials, battery powered candles, torches and a small laser machine. This showed us several different types of light and the really interesting effects that can be created. We have looked at what people used to create light before electricity was invented and discussed how our modern world is full of lights!
We spoke about the Sun and how dangerous the Sun can be to us and to our planet, but at the same time how much our planet needs the Sun to survive. We have looked at how the Sun orbits the Earth and what that entails. We’ve investigated how the sun casts a shadow on Earth, and tried to explain and demonstrate the difference between night and day and why night and day happen.
Sea Turtles have been looking at the Christian creation story and how Christians believe that the Earth was created in seven days by God. Sea Turtles have looked at the seven days of creation and what happened on each day. We have discussed how we thought that some of the things created on Earth could have taken God longer than only one day to create! We finished by designing our own planet, including all the things that we thought was important for a planet to have.
During Forest School, we have been cleverly using our maths shape skills in the different woodland areas. Sea Turtles have noticed shapes everywhere! Including, on the path, in the trees, in the playground, in the classroom and when looking at lots of different signs around and outside of school. We have also found leaves in a huge variety of shapes, colours and sizes – including oval and triangular! We had fun focusing on the different types of shadows that appear within our local environment. We’ve looked at branches, trees, leaves and different types of flowers. We also looked to see if these objects were transparent or not.
We really loved making our flower seed bombs ready to plant in the spring - even though they were a bit smelly! We looked at what types of pollinating plants would be ideal for the spring.
We have also created the Sea Turtles version of the green man, using natural materials that had already fallen from the trees and found on the ground to create different face designs. We focused on the main facial features such as eyes, nose, lips and face shape.
We have had so many EXCITING steam lessons that have created some truly amazing effects! Firstly, we created our own lava lamps using oil, water, food colouring and a magical fizzy tablet. We shone torches into the lava lamps to create some fantastic glittery effects. We loved observing how the combination of ingredients reacted with each other. Sea Turtles have also created light projectors, using cardboard tubes and cling film. We used permanent pens to draw a design on the cling film and shone light through the cardboard tube onto the design. We investigated if the projector created different effects if the torch was nearer or further away from the projector.
One of our favourite STEAM lessons was our glow stick dance party! We watched videos for inspiration and then decorated our bodies and created our own dances!
In Art we have been looking at split pin figures and how they are created. We made several pieces based on characters from our class text, ‘Orion and the Dark' by Emma Yarlett. We then looked at a Christmas story about elves and a talking snowball! We created these characters using split pens so that they had movable arms, legs and heads and then we created our own shadow puppet stories using cereal boxes as stages.
William - “I really liked making the lava lamps and getting the lights to shine on them. It was so cool!”
Jacob - “I really liked making the flower seed bombs ready to plant. I liked mixing all of the mud with my hands and getting messy!”
Haydon - “I really liked PE. I liked making all the different shapes.”
Theo - “I really liked all the different songs in music.”
Cris - “I really liked doing the rubbings in forest school and creating the green man faces.”
Seli - “I really liked making the lava lamps and watching them.”
Sea Turtles are looking forward to starting our next topic ‘Feast for the Senses’ after the Christmas holiday. We will focus on our five senses and explore the function of different parts of the body in relation to our senses.
We wish you all a safe and happy winter holiday and a Happy New Year.
The Sea Turtles Team - Miss Lisa, Miss Alanna and Miss Sarah
What a busy half term!
We have had a great time in Puffin class learning all through our topic “Light Fantastic”.
All pupils have worked so hard and we are so proud of them!
In English, we have been reading the book “Orion and the Dark” by Emma Yarlett. We talked about characters and described what we thought of them. We made predictions and talked about our favourite parts in the story and why. We talked about how the characters would have felt, and what they may have been thinking. We linked this to our own experiences using sentence stems to support our speaking and listening and wrote sentences using our phonics knowledge and paying attention to punctuation. We learnt about onomatopoeia and read a poem by Roger Gough called ‘The Sound Collector’ we matched sounds to rewrite the poem and then chose our own to create our own poetry. We then performed our poems to our class, using excellent oracy and performance skills.
In My world, we have been learning about ‘Light and dark’ we investigated different light sources, used torches to investigate shadows, discussed how they are formed and how they change. We made shadows using our own bodies on a sunny day and identified the direction of the light.
We used Venn diagrams to sort reflective and non-reflective objects and identified what they had in common. We then linked this in ICT and presented our findings using Purple Mash.
We discussed job roles and the qualities and skills people need for certain jobs. We came up with thoughtful questions to interview different staff at Winchelsea, including: Mr Geoff, Mr Adam and Peter.
In Maths, we have been developing our problem solving and reasoning skills around number and using number facts to apply to larger numbers. We have identified 10s and 1s in numbers and used this in real life spending of money to buy treats in the café. We have explored 2D and 3D shapes, using language to describe and identify them. We came up with criteria to sort shapes.
We linked maths and careers on our trip to Broadstone to see different places of work and used a tally chart to find the most and least popular, we then used cubes to make a bar chart and answered questions about our data.
In RE, we have been learning about ‘Christianity and Humanity', with a focus on the creation story. We read the story and we talked about the different religions, and ordered and re told the story. We used water colours to depict our favourite day and explained why and whether we agreed that it would only take 6 days. We then put ourselves in God’s shoes and used our creative thinking minds to create our own planet.
We have developed our own ideas to create gymnastic sequences using different body shapes and movements. We listened carefully to feedback on how to improve and then added this to our routines. We have made excellent progress in our physio sessions, building, strength, balance and resilience.
As always, we use the zones and our tool kits when needed. We celebrate each other’s successes, and always encourage our friends to do really well and have a go - our motto is: ‘If at first you don’t succeed try and try again and never give up!’
Our next topic is ‘Feast for the Senses’
Have a lovely Christmas holiday!
Silvia, Sammy and Emily
Lobsters have had another amazing half term and have really enjoyed our ‘Light Fantastic’ topic. As part of this, we have been looking at different sources of light. We have looked around the school to identify all of the lights which are used in day-to-day life; we have also been exploring shadows. The class have enjoyed making shadow puppets in STEAM, by using torches to explore how shadows can change size and move. We have also been thinking about how some clothing is designed to reflect light and how this can keep us safe when out in the dark.
In Forest school, we have been developing our technical skills using saws, hammers and sand paper, ensuring that we are thinking about how to use these tools safely. We have been impressed with how the pupils have improved their skills in these areas. We have also been working on our balance using ropes, large tubes and tree stumps. Linking to our topic, we have been exploring the Anderson shelter, thinking about how dark it would have been and how the people would have felt during the war.
In cooking, we have been making a range of tasty treats to see which we would like to add to the café menu. These have included cranberry and raisin cookies, rice cereal treats and chocolate chip cookies. Through this we have been building on our measuring skills, as well as ensuring that we stay safe in the kitchen when using knives and the ovens.
In our English lessons, we have been writing instructions on how to complete tasks associated with the café. We have been taking photos of the process and using these to help order the steps, ensuring that we are writing clear and concise instructions. In Maths, we have been measuring length and weight accurately - talking about the importance of this when cooking, and measuring objects around the house. All the staff in Lobsters are very proud of those students who took their entry level exams this half term. They all tried hard and handled this unfamiliar situation with confidence and determination to do their best.
We are excited to see all the amazing work we know Lobsters will produce next term during our topic ‘Feast for the Senses’.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Laura, Paula and Ellie
Welcome to Seahorses, Autumn 2. Our theme has been ‘Light Fantastic’.
In English we have been reading ‘Lights in the Mirror’ which fits nicely with our topic. We have been concentrating on revising for our exams, practicing with adjectives and compound sentences, using ‘and’, ‘so’, ‘but’ and ‘because’. We have been looking at reading comprehension and our ability to be able to find information we need from within a text.
During Maths, we sat exams, we prepared well for these, revising and completing practice exam papers so we had an experience with a real looking paper and what to expect under exam conditions. We revised 2D and 3D shapes - their names, the number of faces, and the number of vertices and edges a shape has. The Seahorses team are so proud of all pupils in Seahorses as they are the first students in the HISTORY of the school to sit exams in the hall, due to there being such a large cohort of us this year. They have amazed so many people in the way they have conducted themselves throughout this experience, especially as so many of them haven’t sat exams before. Well done!
As part of our Maths curriculum, we have been completing finance lessons where we have been looking at shopping on a budget, identifying items that are necessary and items that are nice to have but not essential. We have also used some of our maths sessions to work out costings for our Christmas Enterprise project and then work out profit and loss as a cross curricular link to careers.
In R.E. we have looked at the creation story and created our own world. We have learned about Moses and the 10 Plagues of Egypt. We have looked at Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution.
R.S.E. has seen us investigating friendship and relationship rules focussed on healthy and unhealthy relationships.
ICT has seen us designing logos, Christmas cards and posters for our Enterprise project which we printed and also sent an electronic copy to Miss Paula by attaching a copy to an email.
In Careers, we went on a shopping trip to The Range to buy our supplies. Over the last couple of weeks, we really got ourselves in the Christmas spirit playing Christmas music while, being busy little elves making our cards that we sold at our Christmas Fair on the 7th December.
In STEAM we have been putting circuits together, with batteries, switches, buzzers and bulbs linking with our topic “Light Fantastic”. The children really enjoyed this experience.
From all the Seahorses team we hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
How is it the end of Autumn 2 already?! Magna Seals have had a wonderful half term and it has been a pleasure to see the pupils make meaningful links to their learning through the theme ‘Light Fantastic’!
In English, we have been reading ‘Coming Home’ by Michael Morpurgo. Both classes have explored retelling the story using moving pictures and comic strips as well as changing the story to create a version of their own. We have also been working hard on extending our sentences to include different types of words, such as adjectives in order to make our sentences more exciting and interesting to read.
Maths has focused on our addition and subtraction skills as well as our weighing and measuring skills and shape understanding. Mrs Meachin’s class enjoyed creating their own mocktails and both classes put their measuring skills to good use to create tealight holders to sell at the Christmas Fair.
In our My World and STEAM sessions, we have been fully immersing ourselves in everything ‘Light Fantastic’! Both groups have been exploring light by creating reflections using mirrors and making periscopes, investigating what different sources of light are as well as how shadows are made. Seals A have extended their understanding of light to building and using circuits to see how they can create light.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our cooking slots at main site every Wednesday. We have made pancakes, banana and cinnamon muffins, porridge and cookies - all using oats as a main ingredient! We have also started to have a Junior MasterChef from each class, based on their progress that week when making a recipe.
We hope you have all enjoyed the Christmas festivities over the last couple of weeks and have a safe and Happy Christmas and New Year.
Manta class have had a very busy half term, they have worked really hard across all subjects and in particular in their Functional Skills Exams in Maths and English. They produced some amazing results and they should be incredibly proud of their achievements.
Our topic this term has been ‘Light Fantastic’ and in our My World and STEAM lessons we have explored and created a variety of circuits using lights and buzzers and we have explored reflection and refraction of light. We completed the topic by making our own Lava Lamps.
We visited the Royal Signals Museum taking part in code breaking activities and exploring a variety of ways in which the Royal Signals used signals to communicate in the past, including, reflecting light and using Morse code. Manta also used a programming app to control a variety of robots which they enjoyed very much.
In RE we have been looking at the story of Creation and considering whether God could have created the world in seven days. We compared and contrasted this to the Theory of Evolution and researched facts about Charles Darwin.
In ICT we have started our Laser Qualification in ‘Using Emails’ learning how to write formal emails, creating and attaching documents and developing an understanding of how we can manage our emails. Manta have looked at how to stay safe online and what to look out for to check if emails are genuine.
In RSE Manta have been looking at different types of relationships and what qualities we should look for in a friend or partner. We have looked at trust and how we can value and respect each other.
In PSHE we have focused on Life Skills using the facilities in the Life Skills flat. We have carried out a variety of activities including changing the duvet cover and pillowcases, cleaning the microwave, hoovering the floor, using the washing machine, washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. We have ordered from a menu, served food and drinks to each other, including, bacon sandwiches, hot dogs and toast!
We held an Art Exhibition as part of the KS4 Creative Arts project and the music group wrote and recorded a Christmas song while working with a professional musician!
Our Careers topic ‘Undertaking an Enterprise Project’ has taken up a large part of the term. Manta decided to make sweet cones and hot chocolate cones to sell at the Christmas Fair. We carried out some market research, looked at the cost to produce the cones and identified the cheapest way to buy our resources. We visited Hobbycraft to buy the materials that we needed. We considered what price we should charge for our items and looked at what our potential profit could be. It was a great success!
We hope that you all have a brilliant Christmas and we look forward to seeing our students back in the New Year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Manta Class Team (Paula, Sarah and Ruth)
Orca have had a busy term preparing for interviews, sitting exams and planning enterprise projects.
It is clear that Orca class are now preparing for life beyond KS4 and, as a result, the pupils have begun taking the idea of Post-16 studies very seriously. We have had a number of pupils visiting colleges and other Post-16 provisions as well as learning what Winchelsea has to offer, also experiencing mock and real interviews.
We have to commend pupils on their brilliant efforts during the exam period. They sat exams in English and Maths from Entry Levels to Functional Skills Level 2. We were extremely impressed with their conduct in exams and throughout the preparation.
In other areas of the curriculum, Orca have explored the science behind light, continued to develop their life skills in areas of the home and continued working on essential social skills.
Orca have enjoyed conducting various experiments in STEAM and My World where we have discussed the importance of variables and keeping experiments fair. We have learnt how to make predictions and analyse results. In STEAM, we have created our own lava lamps.
In RE, after learning about the creation story we then considered the theory of evolution and survival of the fittest. During these lessons, Orca were very engaged and have shown a keen interest in the theories and discoveries of Charles Darwin.
Our Careers lessons have had a real focus on the school enterprise project for the Christmas Fair. The class decided they would like to make chocolate brownies to package and sell. Throughout the project, the group worked together to design the product, research costing, buy the ingredients, make the brownies, package the items and design the stall. It was a fantastic team effort and very successful.
Two highlights of this term have been our trip to the Royal Signals Museum and delivering an assembly to the other KS4 classes. Our trip to the Royal Signals Museum was a great opportunity for us to see how signals have been used to communicate in war throughout the ages. We had a great workshop where we learnt about the different signals and then got to try sending our own Morse code messages to each other. We also had a code breaking workshop where we were given a number of cryptograms to solve. It was tricky but really enjoyable.
As a class, we gave an assembly to the rest of KS4 on the theme of light. We decided to focus on ‘light in nature’ and bioluminescence. We planned and wrote our assembly, created visuals and practiced our presenting skills. It was a very successful assembly and the team were very proud of all of the pupils. It was wonderful to see them standing at the front of the hall in front of their peers sharing what they had learnt.
It’s been a hard but enjoyable term so we hope that all of Orca have a very well-deserved rest over the holidays. We look forward to seeing them all in January when our topic will be ‘Feast for the Senses’.
What a great half term Post 16 have had. It has been a busy one though, preparing for exams and sitting exams, ranging from Entry Level 1 to Level 2. The students have been amazing throughout.
Post 16 have been using Broadstone Youth Centre and Bourne Community Hub, as well as Winchelsea School to extend their learning. In Broadstone we have been lucky enough to go to The Junction, Sports Centre and use the gym on a weekly basis. This helps the students develop their fitness levels, they enjoy trying to build up their time on each piece of equipment they use.
Our whole school theme has been “Light Fantastic”. We have been looking at Christmas lights, natural and artificial light.
In Maths we have continued looking at money and recognising coins and notes used in everyday life. We have also been practicing telling the time, to help students know the importance of arriving on time for school, work or appointments.
In English we continued looking at informal and formal letter writing and persuasive writing, concentrating on spelling, reading and using a dictionary to help find out how to spell a word if unsure. The students accessing the Library at Broadstone where they choose a book to read.
We have enjoyed cooking pitta bread pizza, chocolate microwave cake and carrot cake. Students are supported the first week with a new recipe then the second week they try to read and complete the recipe independently. This has gone really well!
We ran the café at the Christmas fair, and sold a biscuit designed especially for this occasion. All designs were amazing!
We have been out to a number of shops including Tesco to purchase items for our cooking lessons and also The Range café, so that the students can build on their social interaction skills, communication, using money and appropriate behaviour when out.
Have an enjoyable, relaxing and well-deserved rest over the holiday and we look forward to seeing you all in January when our topic will be “Feast for the Senses”
Michelle and Karen - Post 16 Learners Team
As we look forward to the Christmas break, it is a perfect time to look back on a really fantastic Autumn term. For several of the classes, we have been learning about the aurora borealis (northern lights). We have looked at how the northern lights sweep across the landscape and create a magical skyline. Jellyfish have wowed us all with their creations, they have worked in a variety of mediums to produce an impressive final piece. I am sure when they bring these home, they will sit pride of place on the fridge!
‘All Is Calm’ in the Options Group
Each week we have a relaxing and productive atmosphere in our Art options group, we are lucky to have 8 very talented students who come together each week and work on their ongoing projects. During the past few weeks, we have been focusing on our festive baubles which we have made for St Aldelm’s Church at Branksome. We chose a theme of ‘Chromosome Christmas’ and we used this idea to make interesting and unusual designs! These can be seen hanging on the trees in St Aldhelm’s Church throughout the festive season.
Dolphin class have also been looking at the northern lights and other skylines. They had a great time splatting paint around! They have also been working on their tracing skills.
Starfish class have been exploring concepts such as ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ and have enjoyed weekly playdough that Miss Tash makes. This week we had candy cane lane playdough; white and red playdough which the children twisted and shaped into klong candy tubes! Starfish class have been busy making little Rudolphs to take home as a festive offering! It is so lovely to see them grow in confidence to try new things.
Wow! We are delighted to tell you that Winchelsea School were asked to decorate hanging lanterns which can be seen adorning the Lighthouse in Poole foyer until the new year. Go and have a look!
The classes that have contributed are Starfish, Jellyfish, Dolphin, Puffin, CHJS, Seahorses, Magna, Orca, Manta and our Arts Options Group.
These are not named but the Christmas Elves have told us they are the best!
Wishing you all a very Merry Creative Christmas!
Autumn in the woods has been beautiful! The students have really been admiring the warm autumnal colours and enjoying playing amongst the fallen leaves. We have seen lots of fungi popping up around the woodlands and we have been watching the busy birds getting ready for winter.
This half term we have been learning about why the plants need sunlight, what changes in the autumn making the leaves fall off the trees and why fungi is vital to the woodland ecosystem. Some of our younger students have been enjoying light play, including shining torches through leaves to see all the veins.
Many of our students have been continuing to develop their tool-handling skills. They have been embarking on small craft projects to take home or display on our Christmas tree this year. I am proud to say that the students have shown great perseverance with their projects from choosing their design, gathering their natural materials from the woods, cutting the wood and decorating their final piece. They look great!
With pupils of every age and curriculum pathway accessing Forest Schools, we are constantly expanding, developing and refining what we offer and the sessions are universally loved by our students.
With the prospect of temperatures dropping significantly and a hard winter ahead of us, there may be a winter wonderland for pupils to explore after the Christmas break and we have lots of great ideas and activities to help them get the most from what the New Year brings.
The Forest School team wish you every happiness over the festive period and look forward to telling you about what pupils have been doing very soon. All the best.
Autumn term has been a busy one for the PE department, and we also have many future events to look forward to in the Spring Term.
Our Discoverers pupils have been busy working on their key gymnastic skills, including balance and jumping.
Here you see Tommy, Azra and Charlie balancing using their arms to help them.
After balancing, pupils progressed from this and completed a full routine with a hold, bench transition and a jump.
Tommy said “It’s fun. I like the holds”
Azra said “I like it”
Charlie said “It’s good; I like jumping off the bench”
Our Enquirers’ pupils have been working on their more advanced gymnastics skills, including starting and finishing a routine, bench transitions and complete gymnastics routines.
Our accreditation KS4 classes have been continuing their sessions on rugby and have also been completing further work on their fitness, as part of their accreditation.
Sadly, due to a very frosty day, we had to postpone our football and basketball matches against the The Lion Works School, however we will hopefully reschedule the matches in the New Year.
Wishing you all the best for the Festive Season!
Alex and Callum
Friends of Winchelsea
A Fond Farewell and Exciting New Beginnings!
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am pleased to announce that last term’s summer fair was a tremendous success despite the frankly appalling weather, raising nearly £4,000! This achievement is a testament to the hard work, creativity, and passion of everyone involved. Thank you to each and every one of you who contributed your time, support, ideas, and enthusiasm to make it such a fantastic event.
As my term as the Chair of Friends of Winchelsea comes to an end, I want to take a moment to recognise the incredible support and dedication of our amazing team over the past years. Specific huge thanks go to Steve Coates, our outgoing Treasurer for his many years of support to the PTA in this role. Without Steve’s commitment and tenacity, the Friends of Winchelsea would have folded long ago. Thanks also to Allana Turner and Sue Fallon whose continued support and dedication was absolutely vital to delivering our summer fairs.
I am pleased to introduce the new committee who will be leading Friends of Winchelsea into the future. They bring a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to continue the work that our team has accomplished. Please join me in welcoming:
Clare Fulbrook, Chair
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you all as I take over the reins as Chair of the Friends of Winchelsea from Lucy. My name is Clare Fulbrook and I am a proud mother of 3 amazing children and live with my husband in Christchurch, where I work as a teaching assistant at a local school. In my spare time I love to keep active and spend time with my family. My youngest son Lucas, has been a pupil at Winchelsea for the last 4 years where we have seen him grow into a confident young man. I am looking forward to continuing the amazing work that the Friends of Winchelsea have achieved over the last 4 years and will soon be reaching out to you all for support at the summer fair next year.
Karolina Warszton, Treasurer
Hi my name is Karolina and I’m a mum of one who has Jordan Syndrome but is such an amazing boy! I work for an investment company on a full-time basis so have little time for myself, however in my free time I like traveling with my girlfriends, reading books or just watching TV. I’m taking over from Steve Coates to be Treasurer which will be a challenge to fulfill his departure.
My name is Emma Harris and I’m really excited to be the secretary of the Friends of Winchelsea PTA. Our daughter has just started her school journey in Ocean class so I’m keen to get involved with both fundraising activities and supporting building a sense of community for parents and carers.
I’m sure that under their capable leadership, the Friends of Winchelsea will continue to positively impact our school community. To the new committee, I extend my warmest wishes for a successful and fulfilling tenure. Your dedication to the PTA and the school is commendable, and I have no doubt that you will bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to the role.
The success of Friends of Winchelsea relies on the continued support of our parents and carers. If you would like to get involved, share ideas, or contribute in any way, please feel free to reach out to the new committee at [email protected]
I look forward to witnessing the continued growth and success of the Friends of Winchelsea under the new team.
Outgoing Chair, Friends of Winchelsea