Children at Windmill Primary School in Wokingham had a close encounter of
the Jurassic kind on December 11th when the Dinosaur Dome travelling
exhibition visited the school.
Pupils from Ladybird and Butterfly classes were joined by children from
nearby Wheatfield Primary School as they travelled back in time on a
fascinating journey of discovery and adventure – all without having to leave
their own school grounds.
The Dome’s expert staff taught children about how prehistoric beasts lived
and survived in the prehistoric era, and also some theories about what
caused the ultimate downfall. The children were then given a rare
opportunity to get their hands on some fossils and ancient relics, as well
as studying models of dinosaurs.
After their journey through time, the children were then brought back to the
present day with a picnic lunch, followed by an afternoon watching the
popular animated film Ice Age – with popcorn as a treat.
“Having the Dinosaur Dome come to us here at Windmill Primary has been a
fantastic opportunity for the children,” said executive head teacher Bev
Homer. “The topics of dinosaurs and prehistoric times seem to have an
endless fascination for young children, so to have experts on the subject
come into the school and share their knowledge with the pupils has been
wonderful. They were so excited at the prospect of the visit, and were
absolutely fascinated by what they were told."
Parents and children at Cuddington Croft Primary School have been
watching the future taking shape in front of them as the school’s new build
project continues apace.
More than 400 pupils at the school have painted self-portraits on tiles that
will form a huge mosaic decorating the new building, and in addition over
£3000-worth of bricks have been sold.
After a minor hitch when the framework was not put in place during half term
as planned, work is now well under way and parents can watch the progress
day by day at pick-up time. An open day is planned for the New Year when the
project has been completed.
“This is such a big deal for the school and will have a huge impact on the
children’s education and school life in general,” said head teacher Scott
Maclean. “We believe that the new building really will give their all-round
education a major boost. The way we’re decorating it with their pictures
also demonstrates how much of a priority the children are as individuals at
“The support the project has received from parents and the wider school
community has been fantastic and made a real difference – it’s wonderful
that every day at pick-up time, people can see the progress that is being
made. The building will transform the school, and we can’t wait to be able
to show it off.”
Children at Cordwalles School ensured the term ended with a bang as they put
on four performances of seasonal show Hosanna Rock in the run-up to
Christmas, with a packed performance on the last night.
Some particularly enthusiastic families were even seen to be at all the
performances of the show, and as if that is not enough, they can now enjoy
it from the comfort of their own sofas after a DVD recording was made
available to pupils’ families just in time for Christmas.
“Talk about signing off the term in style,” said head teacher Daryl Power.
“The children and all the staff put a huge amount of effort into the show,
and it really paid off – everyone worked together superbly and it showed in
a hugely enjoyable show.
"Well done to everyone who helped bring about such an energetic and
entertaining piece of theatre. The challenge now is how to follow that in
The children of Windmill Primary School have been doing their bit to
brighten up their surroundings in the second half of term as they took part
in an art project inspired by some of the greatest painters and most famous
painters in history.
Having studied the work of Claude Monet and Wassily Kandinsky, the children
then had a chance to produce their own versions of the artists’ famous
paintings Water Lillies and Trees. The results of their artistic endeavours
have been on display in the school hall, adding a welcome splash of colour
to the school premises.
“The children have absolutely loved this project,” said the school’s
executive head teacher Bev Homer. “Mark making and painting are such key
elements to a child’s basic educational development that they respond really
well to being introduced to masterpieces of art from an early age.
“We’ve talked about what the artists produced, the techniques they used and
what might have been doing on in their heads when they were working, and
then given the children an opportunity to produce their own versions of the
works they’ve studied.
“Not only has it been a thoroughly enjoyable educational experience, but
they’ve also come away from it with some lovely pieces of artwork which have
taken pride of place on the walls, and really brightened up the whole school
and impressed our visitors. Everyone involved has thoroughly enjoyed the
Year Five children at Danetree School already know plenty about the
world of space with classes named Sharman and Armstrong.
But their understanding of the planets and solar system took on a whole new
aspect recently with the Astrodome came to visit the school as part of their
on-going Stargazers project.
Each class got to spend an hour in the four-metre high portable planetarium,
where a combination of visual effects, models and music helped show where
over 18,000 stars are located.
In addition to studying the night sky, a visiting expert explained to
children how day and night and the seasons work, and also enlightened them
on eclipses, the planets of the solar system and their moons and satellites.
Head of Year Five Mrs Joanna Singleton said it was a fascinating experience
for the children. “Having the Astrodome visit was such a wonderful
opportunity,” she said. “Reading about things on the page or looking at them
on a flat screen is one thing, but to find yourself immersed and surrounded
by the stars and planets like this is a completely different matter. In the
best possible way, they really were lost in space!
“There are some subjects you can bring to life by going on an outing to
visit them – obviously that’s not the case when you’re studying the stars
and planets, so to bring them into the school like this was absolutely
wonderful. The feedback we’ve had from the children since the visit has been
hugely positive, so it was definitely an experience worth doing, and
something they won’t forget in a hurry.”
Children from Cuddington Croft Primary School spent time looking at
one of the less pleasant aspects but most necessary parts of school life
recently as part of the Anti-Bullying education and awareness week.
Issues around by the topic were incorporated into regular lessons, as well
as specific activities taking place to educate children about the problem,
and teach them ways to manage, deal with and overcome bullying behaviour.
The project was overseen by Miss Martin, who has spent the last year
completing a Personal Health Social and Education course, dealing with many
of the matters addressed during the week.
“It’s a necessary part of a fully rounded education to make the children
aware of the topic of bullying and the effects it can have”, she said.
“We’ve tried to make it as enjoyable as possible, though, rather than
anything too downbeat – for example, Year Two focused on spies and villains,
and how they’re like bullies, so we created our own villain characters and
then made bully-catching devices.”
She continued: “We have a responsibility to get these kind of messages
across to the children, and activities like this are often the best way. At
the end of the week, the work the children had created was on display,
which is good because not only does it show parents what their children have
been doing in class, it also gives them the reassurance that the school is
teaching their children these very necessary lessons.”
Children from Danetree School did their bit to make Epsom a happier
place in the run-up to Christmas whilst also raising money for charity when
they went carol singing in the town’s busy Ashley shopping centre.
Over the course of 45 minutes, the school choir sang its Christmas
repertoire and raised more than £135 for Epsom Hospital with a performance
which organisers called ‘angelic’ and ‘beautiful’.
The choir is run by Mrs Olivia Chaffe and Mrs Natalie Sweeney, and in
addition to the upcoming school carol service, they already have
performances lined up for next year at the Epsom and Ewell Festival and
“I couldn’t be more proud of how the children performed,” said Mrs Chaffe.
“The reaction to their singing and the money raised for the hospital shows
just how much members of the public really appreciated their efforts.
“Being part of a choir is a wonderful thing to do, and I hope the memory of
what they’ve done this Christmas will inspire them to carry on signing in
the future and also encourage others to come and join us. We’ve always got
room for a few more members!”
Whyteleafe School received recognition for its inspiring educational environment when it finished runner-up in a competition to find the country’s inspirational school library.
Whyteleafe was shortlisted alongside primary schools from Northumberland,
West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire in the competition organised by the
School Library Association.
Although it missed out on winning the top prize, school librarian Wilma
Baugh did win a runner’s-up prize of a £100 voucher from award-winning
writer and illustrator Chris Riddell at the ceremony at London’s Hotel
The School Library Association said the award was in recognition of ‘showing
inspiration, innovation, creativity and resourcefulness in design… what
matters is not how big the library is, but what is achieved with the
“This is something that everyone associated with the school can feel really
proud,” said Whyteleafe head teacher Anthony Marsh.
“The children’s physical environment can have a huge impact on their ability
to learn, so such high-profile endorsement of what we’re doing at Whyteleafe
is a sign that we’ve definitely made the right choices.
"Mrs Baugh has worked brilliantly to build somewhere which makes learning a
more enjoyable experience for everyone involved – and as a result we now
have an extra £100 worth of books as well. In this situation, everyone wins”
The run-up to Christmas may be a time when many children start to think
about what they might find under the tree on December 25, but pupils at
Marden Lodge Primary School, in Caterham, had lessons specifically about
thinking about the needs of others, rather than themselves.
The theme of the final month of term was Thoughtfulness – being selfless and
putting other people’s wants and needs ahead of your own. The topic was
addressed in the classroom, with specific lessons about how children can be
thoughtful towards their own friends and family, and how to react in
situations when they see the opposite behaviour being displayed.
Lessons were not just confined to the classroom, the weekly school
newsletter explained to parents the role they can play in reinforcing the
messages learned at school with further discussions on the topic at home.
Some of the Year Six prefects also put their lessons into action by helping
out Morrisons’ Text Santa campaign, assisting supermarket shoppers by
packing their bags for them. Over the course of just one hour, the
children’s hard work raised over £200, with another £150 coming from the
school’s Christmas Jumper day, in aid of Save the Children.
“At this time of year, children are on the receiving end of so many messages
about wanting and asking for things, we thought it was a particularly
appropriate time to encourage them to take a step back and think about other
people and what they might want,” said head teacher Mrs Kate Denby.
“It’s a lesson that parents can really help with too – find out what the
children have been learning at school, discuss it with them and then ask
them how they might put those lessons into action in the home. As the
children’s wonderful work at Morrisons shows, this is one lesson whose
messages have spread far beyond the walls of the classroom.”
Glyn School’s Headteacher, Jon Chaloner, has announced he is to
step down from his post in August 2015.
Mr Chaloner’s nine years in charge of the Ewell-based school have seen a
sharp rise in the school’s academic standards, culminating in two
outstanding Ofsted Reports, in 2009 and again in 2012.
Since 2012 Mr Chaloner has also served as Chief Executive Officer of the
rapidly expanding GLF Schools group – of which Glyn is the founding member -
and it is the growth of this role and its demands that have brought about
“This was an extremely difficult decision but it is one that has to be made
now that Glyn is one of 12 schools within GLF,” said Mr Chaloner. “Being at
Glyn has been an enjoyable and successful part of my professional life, and
I am delighted with the school’s success over the years. Glyn is now a
Leading Edge School, a National Support School and a National Teaching
School – these accolades confirm the work that staff at Glyn share with
colleagues in other schools”
“My role at GLF means that I will still have a connection to Glyn, but it
also provides me with an opportunity to try and help lead similar
improvements at our other member schools.“
The Chair of Glyn’s governors, Paul Carpenter, paid tribute to Mr Chaloner’s
‘exceptional’ contribution to the school’s development over the last nine
years, and reassured parents that Glyn would continue to flourish.
“Mr Chaloner’s contribution to Glyn School is remarkable,” said Mr
Carpenter. “Under his charge, standards have been raised, facilities have
improved, teaching is better and more opportunities are available to
“The governors have a structure in place to find his successor, and we have
advertised the position. We will ensure that we have a new Headteacher
installed for September to write the next chapter of the Glyn School story.”
Barking Dog Media
We provide a range of media services to help you promote, market and represent you or your organisation, club or business in public.