Friday, 20 December 2013

'Twas the week before Christmas' Chapter 3

The final day of the term began with the Year 7 Celebration Assembly and one of the highlights was Mr Lipscombe having his ponytail cut off to raise money for the Movember Appeal. It was impressive to see so many students collect certificates for their achievements this term.

                Some students took the opportunity to   
                                                                                           wear Christmas jumpers today.

Some students enjoyed a Christmas breakfast this morning with Mrs Bracher and Mr Davis.  The breakfast wraps were delicious and were followed by some fruit and drinks.

Year 7 and 8 students enjoyed a Christmas Disco, organised by the Team who will be taking part in an expedition to Borneo.  Students dressed up and devoured fruit sticks dipped in chocolate, drinks and danced the evening away.  Thank you to Miss Howe and Mr Reed for making the evening such a success.

Finally, I received the e mail below from Nicholas Cross, praising our students:

'I work for a small Guildford charity the Halow project. We support young people with a learning disability. My colleagues were recently on a bus with a large group of our young people. They were having trouble finding seats and students from your school were truly wonderful. 

They all gave up their seats and were extremely polite and thoughtful. I do not know who they are but I think their behaviour  deserves a level of recognition. 

It is sadly rare to meet people this considerate let alone school children. Presumably your school is enhancing these values and for this we thank you.

If you are able to find out who they were then please thank them on behalf of the halow project. '


Merry Christmas

As the term comes to an end, I wanted to thank everyone who has made me feel so welcome at Winston.  Staff, students, parents and governors have worked together to ensure that Winston is an excellent school for all.  These last two weeks have been a demonstration of all that is good in our school, with activities in the community, for charity and support for each other.  This blog represents a picture of the commitment of all those staff and students who make such a positive contribution and I am so proud of each one and I am sure that parents are equally as delighted. 
Thank you for your support.

I wish you and your family  a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

           Zoe Johnson-Walker


Thursday, 19 December 2013

'Twas the week before Christmas...' Chapter 2

Students from the Music Department enjoyed performing at Stokefields Care Home on Tuesday, at the end of the school day. This activity was organised by Mrs Hazzlewood. Students also visited the Princess Christian Care Home on Wednesday 18th December.  The comments received include: 

'We all loved it today! a Big thank you to you all!!'

Lou   (Princess Christian)

'We just want to say thank you so much for visiting and preforming out our home yesterday it was great and we always love to support schools in the local area. It was a great pleasure.'

'Thank you'              Sophie  (Stokefields)

The Senior Leadership Team enjoyed a superb afternoon tea on Wednesday, prepared by a team of gifted and talented Food Technology students.  The high level of skill demonstrated by these students was impressive, as was the standard of finish and presentation.


I was delighted to be asked to judge the Year 10 Christmas Cake competition, along with Mr Phillips and Ben Piette, of the London House Restaurant.  The standard was extremely high and reflected the high level of care and creativity demonstrated by the students.  I am sure their families will enjoy this traditional festive cake.


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

'Twas the football match before Christmas'...

Winston is buzzing with activity this week, starting with the Celebration Assemblies for every year group.  Students receive recognition for their performance in each subject and special commendation at Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze for the number of achievement points they have been awarded this term.  League Tables of the tutor groups are revealed and photographs and stories of the activities this term are shared.

The Year 11 Boys' Football team played a National Cup match on Tuesday, against Coombe Boys, in the last 32 schools of the competition.  This is the best Winston have ever achieved in the competition, which had a starting line-up of 820 schools.
The match was played in the rain, under flood lights.  Winston were winning 1-0 until the final minute of the game, when Coombe scored to level the match.  The whistle sounded the end of normal time and the team then had to re-group to face extra-time of 10 minutes each way.
Winston rose to the challenge and scored three goals, finally winning the match 4-1 and therefore, going into the next round, in the last 16 schools in the country.  Well done Winston, fantastic performance!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Carols for Christmas

Wednesday evening saw the start of as 'new tradition' for Winston, Mr Donaldson organised a Carol Service at St John's Church.  It proved to be a warm, friendly and thought provoking experience.
Students provided the music and the readings with such confidence and clarity and the congregation had the opportunity to sing favourite carols.  Refreshments were served to round off the evening.  It was great to see so many staff, students and parents present to share this experience.  Thank you to all those involved.

                                  St John's Church

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A Christmas Party

Year 9 Asdan Group

These Year 9 students entertained staff to a festive Christmas Party on Tuesday.  They welcomed guests at the door and took us to our table.  They then took our orders for tea and coffee and ensured that we had plenty of lovely treats to eat.  The team were very impressive, demonstrating their customer service skills and ensuring that everyone had a great time.
Mrs Linehan & Mrs Arthur at the Party.

Christmas at Winston

The Christmas Tree has been decorated in Winston red and silver and we have experienced the Winter Concert.  So now is the time to collect your tickets for the Carol Service on Wednesday 11th December, at St John's Church, starting at 7.30pm.  I look forward to meeting you at this event.

Christmas lunch will be on Tuesday 17th December, ticket need to be purchased in advance, see the poster below.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

6th December 2013

If you have been following my blog you will have realised that every week is different and busy at Winston.  The diverse range of activities enriches the experience for students and staff.  The highlights this week included:
Students making jewellery in an after school club.
This was inspired by the visit from Theo Funnell, an exclusive jewellery designer who ran workshops for our students.  Each week the students make a charm for a bracelet, using a different technique.

 Examples of the charms.

Our Year 11 boys football team achieved success in the ESFA National Cup, winning 4 - 1 against Steyning Grammar School.  Rob Atkin scored one goal and Harry Chuw scored a hat trick. They are now in the last 32 teams in the country, a record outcome for Winston.  We wish them every success in their next game.

The Winter Concert provided an opportunity for students to demonstrate their musical talents in both solo and in groups. I am in awe of the confidence and skill of the young people at Winston and the commitment that they show towards their school.  The Technical Team were essential to the success of the evening and can be seen in the photograph below.

Year 11 students have experienced a Drive Smart presentation.  It is a very hard hitting and thought-provoking session around decision making and consequences.

Drive Smart

Students in Year 9 were challenged by a number of issues in the Be Smart Be Safe Day which took place on Friday in place of the traditional timetable.  The day covered a number of social problems including drugs, alcohol and domestic violence.  The sessions were taken by a number of visiting health professionals and we are very grateful for their support.

PC Craig Matthews working with a group of students.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Winston Winners

This is the amazing Winston staff football team who turned out on Friday evening to play a charity match in aid of Movember, against staff from Woking High.
Their performance was spectacular, if not elegant and most importantly Winston won the match 3 - 1. I trust they will be fit for school on Monday. 
Well done to the team but also a big thank you to all the students who turned up to support, their behaviour was outstanding and I was very proud of them.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Year 6 The Science of Food

It was great to welcome some very talented Year 6 scientists and their parents to a Master Class looking at Food Science.  Students engaged in a number of practical activities and learnt about how substances behave in different conditions.  There was a competitive atmosphere in the lab and that was just the parents.
                                    Thank you all the staff involved in the preparation and     
                                                                   delivery of the evening.
The parents hard at work!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

29th November 2013

Wednesday evening proved to be the highlight of the week, as the Creative Arts Department celebrated the range of talent across the school.  Awards were made in Art, Music and Drama and included recognition for technical support, without which none of these events could happen.  Parents, Governors and staff all joined the students to focus on the commitment and creativity of the young people from both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

The Award Winners
Nominees for Best Actor
Nominees for Best Actress 

The Inset Day focused on Active Learning, introducing a range of strategies to engage young people in their learning to enable them to make good progress.
Progress was also the focus of the Year 10 Parents' Evening.  This is the first one I have experienced and I was very impressed with the conversations that were taking place between staff, students and parents.  Thanks should also go to Our Head boy and Head girl, Harry and Lily, for organising the Senior Prefects and the timing of the evening.

There is a delicious smell around the school recently, as the Year 10 Catering Groups baked their Christmas Cakes.  The rich mixture was carefully prepared and are now awaiting marzipan and icing.  

Monday, 25 November 2013

Radio Woking

I was privileged to attend the launch of Woking Radio at The Winston Churchill School.  Following a great deal of planning and hard work by Justin Coll, Simon Donaldson, Helen Bracher, John Parsons and the team, the radio station was officially opened by the Mayor of Woking, Cllr Anne Roberts.  We were joined by Rick Buckler, drummer with the Jam, as well as the Head of Media from Farnborough College of Technology, Lawrence McGee.  This is a fantastic new facility in which students host their own radio programmes, along side more experienced DJs.  The aim is to ensure that the radio station becomes a community facility, so if you are interested in supporting us please contact Justin Coll at the school. The students plan and deliver a diverse range of shows to meet a variety of interests and tastes.
To listen in, click on the link below or on the school website:

Thank you to everyone who made this project possible.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

22nd November 2013

Please support our staff as they do their best to grow a moustache to raise money for prostate cancer and cancer research.
 They have created a page on the Movember website for their team ‘The Winston Churchill Whisker Growers’ and you can donate to the charity on here. Just look for the team by following this link :

This week has been Anti-bullying Week and staff and students have been raising awareness, as well as raising money to support anti bullying charities.  Below you can see a picture of the Year 7 students in the Anti-bullying Assembly, taken by the ABC Group who work to challenge bullying in school.

I have been visiting lessons this week and have enjoyed a number of the activities I have seen. In Art students were looking at natural forms and enjoyed sketching and in Geography students were working in pairs, sitting back to back, to describe and challenge each other in terms of information.


The following was read out on BBC Surrey, the James Cannon Breakfast show:

 Hi James


My husband and I were on the bus from Woking to Camberley this

morning.  On board were about a dozen teenage school pupils from

Winston Churchill school. At 11 am the bus stopped and the bus driver

switched off the engine and asked the passengers to observe 2 minutes

silence. We were absolutely amazed at the respect shown by all

passengers including the school children until we resumed our journey.

After having numerous bus trips spoilt by rowdy children, it was so

uplifting to witness the impeccable behaviour of these young pupils

from Winston Churchill school. Well done to the school and its pupils!




Jean and Nigel from Addlestone

Well done to our students, although this is the standard of behaviour we have come to expect from the young people at Winston.  It is lovely that Jean and Nigel felt so strongly that they wrote in to the show, thank you.

In a second act of respect students in Mr McLeish's class have raised £50 for the Movember Appeal.  It reminds us that young people have the capacity and maturity to become citizens of whom we are very proud.

Friday, 15 November 2013

15th November 2013

Year 11 have completed their first week of Mock Examinations, which will help to inform students, staff and parents of the areas to work on to ensure future success. 
I had the great privilege of watching last year's Year 11 collect their certificates at Awards Evening. Our special guests included the Mayor and David Smith. The evening, organised by Mrs P. Taylor, my PA, was an outstanding celebration of a record breaking set of results.  Mr Reed, the Year Leader, introduced each student and there was an opportunity to remember the outstanding contribution they made to our school community.
Several members of staff are supporting 'Movember', I hope to bring you some photographs of their efforts in a couple of weeks, including one of Mr Burrows.
The new Catering Manager continues to develop the range of food on offer in the Dining Hall.  Staff and students have commented on the improvements made.


Year 7 students were developing new skills this afternoon in Technology using both food and textiles.  I believe that parents will be enjoying a delicious pasta sauce this evening.  The accuracy demonstrated when preparing the vegetables was excellent.

These Year 7 students have been learning to use the sewing machine and ways of enhancing fabric with the application of colour.  The students were learning how to sew a zip into their pencil cases.  I was impressed with the enthusiasm to complete the task and the precision displayed.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

8th November 2013

On Tuesday I was privileged to see The Winston Churchill School being presented with a Sports Award at the Surrey Sports Park.  The main speaker at the event was Baroness Sue Campbell, who addressed the issue of developing a sustainable model for sport through the primary sector and on into secondary schools.  Winston, under the leadership of Mr Fricker, achieved the highest number of gold medals in the county.
Mrs Zimmerman, a new Parent Governor, visited the school on Thursday to talk about future developments and to tour the site.  We were able to visit Science, Technology, English, Art and languages in the time available and observe a number of inspiring lessons. 
I was interviewed by Rachel Saker, from the Woking News & Mail on Friday, providing an opportunity to talk about the school and plans for the future.
Several appointments have been made this week, to address staffing needs in the short term.  A new member of the Maths Department will start on Monday 18th November and our new Drama teacher will be in school from the end of November in a supporting role.
Year 11 students will be taking their mock examinations over the coming two week period.  These examinations are important indicators and inform both teachers and students of the work that needs to be completed before the final GCSEs next summer.  
Preparations are also underway for Awards Evening, which takes place on Thursday 14th November, and is our opportunity to celebrate the success of our students and their record breaking results.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Comedy of Errors

I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Shakespeare Schools Festival at the Camberley Theatre on Thursday evening.  I watched a total of four commendable performances but the Winston finale of a Comedy of Errors shone out in terms of its professional presentation, comic timing and outstanding performance of our talented students.  Under the direction of Mr. Donaldson and Mr. Jolly our students created this abridged version , making Shakespeare accessible to all. Well done Winston!!  The photographs show the elated students after their performance.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Winston's Got Talent

I hope you have all managed to vote for the Winston Churchill School Firework Safety Radio Advert.  If not the the web link is:

Please help our students to win this competition.

The week ended on a high note with the GCSE Music Recital. Each member of the group performed a solo piece to entertain family, friends and staff.  Yet again the wealth of talent in Year 11 was impressive, the quality in each performance and the confidence with which it was performed outstanding.  Well done to everyone involved.  Images below.
There was an opportunity this week to hold a staff meeting, to discuss a five year strategic plan for the school, to focus on the style of questioning used in the classroom and to highlight the range of data being used in the school.  It is great that all staff, not just teachers, attend these meetings.

25th October 2013

It's has been a great week at Winston.  On Monday students had the opportunity to work with Theo Fennell, famous jewellery designer, who designs and makes beautiful, unusual pieces for the rich and famous. His talk was very interesting highlighting the difference between fashion accessories and pieces of art.  The workshop session revealed the talent that is within our students.
This was followed by an inspirational Sports Awards Evening.  This was my first experience of this annual event and I was overwhelmed by the number of young people involved in the Gifted and Talented Sports Programme.  The dance and gym demonstrations were an opportunity to showcase some of the students and their skills.  This event highlights the range of clubs and teams that the PE Department run, including 123 extra curricular activities each year.  The commitment of both students and staff is impressive.
I was able to walk the school with Dr John Trigg MBE and Ian Saunders, colleagues with extensive experience of other schools, who commented very favourably on the students and their appearance and took a particular interest in the new Music facilities, including the recording studio.
Below are images of the Warhammer Club.  I was invited to observe the action and was delighted to see the more experienced students teaching the younger ones, not only how to play the game but also how to paint the models.  The club has been very successful in National Competitions.  If anyone has any items that they no longer want the club would be able to make great use of them.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Food Glorious Food

Today the special in the dining hall was curry.  The new recipes proved to be a great hit and I was able to sample the dishes which were delicious. These curries will be available every Tuesday, alongside a home baked chicken pie with fresh vegetables.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

18th October 2013

This morning's assembly was taken by Mr Parsons and addressed the issue of image using the start point of 'judging a book by its cover'.  Year 7 linked the ideas together and then made the connection with the Winston Way.
Catering Academy have introduced a new chef into our kitchen and we look forward to a successful partnership.  
I met with Martin Leigh of the Rotary Club this week to discuss the opportunities that our students could become involved in.  The first of these is to be the Youth Speaks Competition in January, where up to two teams of students will compete, against other schools, in a public speaking competition.  We believe the first round will be held at Winston.
Developments with the Radio Station and recording studio are underway and this will provide more opportunities for our students to have their work in the public domain, requiring that they ensure the quality and meet deadlines.  These are skills which will serve them well in the workplace.
A number of Governors have been in school this week, supporting the appointment of new staff and observing the work of the school. Parents will receive a letter next week which outlines the strategic plan for the school which has been developed by the Governors and the Senior Leadership Team.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Bradford Business Game

Year 10 had the opportunity to develop their own business through an enterprise experience set up by Surrey SATRO this week.  Each group of students had to create stationary items around which they developed a business plan.  They had to work with the bank to gain access to funds to invest in the production of prototypes; they then had to make a pitch to the buyers to create a market for their items.
Students at the end of the day presented their business model.  We could not provide this experience without the help of volunteers from the business world; the students and staff appreciate the support through the time you have devoted to the day.  Thank you.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

11th October 2013

It has been a very positive week at Winston, as two appointments have been made to the teaching team; one in Science and the other in the Drama Department.  We look forward to our new colleagues joining us in the near future.  The 'Effective Homework' evening which Mr Phillips organised and which was aimed at our students for whom we receive Pupil Premium Funding, proved to be very successful, as well as entertaining.  Key messages revolved around that 'can do' approach and how to break down large volumes of information into manageable segments.
Students, staff and parents are all talking about possible changes to the school day.  Work has only just begun and I will keep you up-to-date with the progress being made.  All partners will be consulted, including the Parental Forum.  I am sure everyone will have a view, the aim is to structure a day that will facilitate effective teaching and learning, as well as introducing a little more time for communication.
I have enjoyed visiting our local primary schools to talk about how we can work together to support students as they move into the secondary sector.

Year 9 Rugby Success

Year 9 students were very successful at a tournament involving three other local school on Thursday 10th October.  They had wins against Collingwood and Tomlinscote.  It was very cold afternoon but I enjoyed watching the students create opportunities and work as a team to overcome the opposition. It was good to meet some Winston parents cheering from the sideline.
The pictures below highlight their skill with the set piece.  Well done!  I look forward to the next game.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

4th October 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed my first Open Evening at Winston Churchill School. The staff and students demonstrated to parents and Year 6 pupils just what Winston is all about, high standards and enthusiasm in everything we do.  The students were able to show off their school with pride and were confident in their roles as tour guides.  Thank you to everyone who took part and to the families that took the trouble to write in, thanking the students for the informative tours.  We look forward to seeing you again for a tour during the working day.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Henry VIII has a Jeremy Kyle moment

Students at Winston explore the issues of the divorce of Henry VIII from Catherine of Aragon in a Jeremy Kyle style show.  Each group presented the arguments for and against the divorce, creating a dynamic piece of theatre which both informed and amused the audience.