Friday, 31 January 2014

31st January 2014

The Maths Department organised a Year 9 maths masterclass on Tuesday, after school, for 16 invited students.   The theme of the session was game theory, and they looked at four different theories; Deal or No Deal, The Cake Cutting Game (this seemed to be the favourite!), Rock Paper Scissors and The Pirate’s Dilemma.  The student’s learnt that game theory involves strategic decision making and the choices people make are often based upon what they think somebody else will do.
All students involved enjoyed the challenges they were given, and staff enjoyed showing these students an area of maths that is normally not explored within lessons.


A group of Year 9 students started their Maths Leadership course this week by teaching a group of Year 5&6 students some algebra. About 70 students attended over the two sessions from 7 different feeder schools. The schools involved were Hermitage, St Johns, Goldsworth, Holy Trinity, Knaphill. Brookwood and Sythwood. Barnsbury should be joining us for the next sessions in February.

I am pleased to report that 3 year 11 boys (Keenan, Ryan and Brad) have completed and passed the 2 day NVQ Level 2 Cycle Fit Course.  The course covered:
Fit appropriate cycle to clients
Inspect cycles for wear/adjustment/replacement
Testing the cycle for road worthiness
The boys completed these 2 days on last week’s inset and todays progress review day, down in the small sports hall, with Nathan from Cycle Horizons and Tom overseeing the event.
The boys were attentative and a pleasure to teach.  In fact they have asked if they can do the Level 3 NVQ.

Students planning a trip to Borneo made and sold cupcakes to raise money for the adventure, during Progress Review Day.  The cakes made an amazing display and many customers came back for more.


Assemblies this week have promoted the school production of The Sound of Music.  The cast impressed students, staff and visitors with an excerpt from the performance.  I am looking forward to seeing the production staged in the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking, as I know that students and staff have committed a huge amount of time and hardwork to the success of this project.


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Handball Success


Last Thursday (23rd January) 14 Year 8 students went over to Royal Holloway College in Egham to compete in the Surrey Schools Games Handball Competition. The competition involved  Magna Carta, Thomas Knevitt, Hinchley Wood, Oxted and others. The fourteen students comprised of seven girls and seven boys and all behaved impeccably  throughout the evening and mature enough to organise the teams themselves. In the boys competition we came up against some really tough and physical opposition but they battled all the way to the end and carried on playing with great enthusiasm throughout, only to finish second from last.

In the girls group we demonstrated excellent hand eye co-ordination, learnt from playing Netball,  and went on to win their side of the competition. All seven girls played a full part in a great team effort and they were able to push aside all other schools with a very dominant display, finishing  with a final game, winning 16-6. The girls were obviously over the moon with winning a medal for their hard work and they will now go on to compete at the Regional Tournament in the near future.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Winston Wins Again

The Year 11 Boys' Football Team have won their latest match in the National Cup competition.  The final score, against Hampton School, was 3 - 2.  The team had to work hard in a fast moving game.  Their manager and coach Mr McLeish praised the team for their determination, skill and stamina and is delighted that the boys achieved the outcome they deserved.  The team is now in the last eight teams in the country and the quarter final match has to be played before the end of January. No other Winston team has reached this stage in the National Cup. Well done! 


Year 8 students participated in 'Wasted' on Thursday. This is a drugs awareness programme run by the very experienced Theatre ADAD.  The production is highly informative and gripped the attention of our students and our staff.

The Winston School Association (formerly known as the PTA) needs your help.  You could click onto the PTA website via the main school website, and donate money, offer your time and expertise or shop online to ensure a percentage of your spend is donated to the school.  Please help us to provide the best possible facilities for your child.

Early Closure: a reminder that the school will close early (1.30pm) on Thursday 30th January, to enable progress review to take place.  Progress review is a highly regarded activity, which places the student at the centre of a discussion about how they manage their own learning.

The Woking Studio

On Monday 20th January 2014, the new recording studio with the flourish and expertise of Jamie East and the amazing new sound of 'The Locals'. Jamie East is a television presenter and singer-songwriter.  

Jamie East and 'The Locals'.

The studio was the inspiration of Simon Donaldson, Head of Creative Arts at Winston.  He worked for two years on the concept and bid, successfully, for funding from HR Taylor Charitable Trust.  It is his dedication to raising the profile of Music in the school and the community, that has ensured that students now have access to this fantastic facility.

Monday, 20 January 2014

17th January 2014

Congratulations to all students in Year 7 for the fantastic efforts made to raise money for the Year group's selected charity.  A cheque for £500 was handed over to the Friends of Freemantles School on Tuesday.
Friends of Fremantles raises money for Freemantles School, in Mayford, which is a school for children and young people with Autism. 
The charity was highlighted by Amber Swinerd and students were provided with information about the work of this school before they developed their fund raising ideas.  It is important to note that the year group raised the money between themselves and not with the support of other Year groups.  Mrs Swinerd attended a special assembly to receive the cheques and promised to let the students know how it would be spent.
The Year 11 boy's football team maintain their winning ways with success in the third round of the County Cup. The team played Raynes Park and won 5 - 3, which included a hat trick from Harry Chew, although this was a whole squad effort. The score could have been even more impressive had two penalties not been missed.  They are through to the quarter finals.  
I wish the team success in their next challenged as one of the last 16 in the National Cup, the match is taking place on Tuesday 21st January.

The Rotary Club Youth Speaks competition was held on 15th January.  Unfortunately we did not win - we were competing in the seniors category -  however, the Year 10 team were a credit to the school. The team, pictured below consisted of Robert (Chairperson) Ruby (main speaker) Harry (Vote of Thanks)  It was a real team effort and the students enjoyed the experience, although found it very nerve-wracking!

Friday, 17 January 2014

It's Your PTA!

On Thursday the Winston School Association (PTA) met to discuss a range of items all with the prime purpose of supporting the school and therefore, supporting the students.  This small but dedicated team work to raise funds to provide the extras which benefit huge numbers of Winston's children.  At least four members of the current committee will be leaving at the end of this year and without new members this important element of the school team will be lost and along with it the Year 11 Prom.  Winston needs you to volunteer. If you cannot find time to support every event then even helping with one would make a difference.  If you cannot give your time, then why not make a donation via the website or when ordering online, again via the website, where you will find a huge range of online retailers.  
Help us to support your children. The school is currently seeking funds to improve the Library.
This is your PTA. Why not help us to make a difference?

Friday, 10 January 2014

10th January 2014

This has been a challenging week but students and staff have focused on their work.  The good news received today has lifted everyone's spirits.

The School Council met this week and their main agenda item was the proposals for the new school day.  Students had the opportunity to develop an understanding of the reasons for making the change and then looked at the various merits of the proposals.  Mr Davis has been leading the team that has developed the proposal and listened to the views of all the students who attended the meeting.  The quality of the discussion was impressive, as the council members considered the impact on the whole school and not just their personal circumstances. These views will help to shape the final structure of our school day.

I captured this picture of students playing basketball, in what was a highly competitive game. 

Parents had the opportunity to join staff and their children, on Thursday evening, to learn how mathematics is taught in schools today.  They enjoyed learning together and tackled numeracy topics, such as multiplication. The aim of the sessions is to help parents so that they can in turn support their children. The next session is on algebra and all parents are welcome to attend.

Students and staff continue to prepare for the school production of 'The Sound of Music'.  At least 112 students are involved.  The production takes place from 5th - 8th February 2014, at the Rhoda McGraw Theatre and I trust that you will be able to join us to enjoy what promises to be a wonderful production.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

A School in Waiting

As our school community waits to hear that Billie Dickerson has been found safe and well, I want to recognise the way in which both staff and students have handled a difficult and emotionally challenging situation. Mrs Cotter has gone above and beyond in her work to support the police in their investigation and I am very grateful for her dedication to the welfare of our students.
Our students have been excellent and have come forward with pieces of information to help locate Billie; she is a valued member of our school.
Our thoughts are with Billie's family and friends as they wait for her safe return.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Storm Damage

The wind and the driving rain have caused some damage to the fabric of the school.  Cladding has been ripped off, ridge tiles broken and blown off and water damage can be found in the hall and corridors.  Mark Hill and the site team are working to ensure that the buildings are water tight and that the school is safe and ready to use on Monday.  However, one building will have to be condemned!!  This is the 'props' shed, which the wind appears to have picked up, blown it backwards by at least a foot, and then dropped it again.  The drama department are faced with the soggy job of sorting out their resources, see picture below.

A huge thank you to Mark Hill and the site team for making the necessary repairs in good time to prevent further damage and to ensure that the school can safely open on Monday 6th January 2014.




13th December 3013

Christmas continues at Winston with a number of activities aimed at raising money for charity and our sugar levels!
Year 10 arranged a superb Christmas Fair on Tuesday, with a range of games and stalls selling lovely things to eat and gifts and decorations.  It created a lovely atmosphere at the end of the day and demonstrated how willing our students are to support others.


Chocolate logs have been the order of the day in Technology and the following pictures show the students with their delicious hand-crafted outcomes.


Mr Parsons decided to bring GCSE Stats to life with an innovative lesson on the corrolation between your height and how loud you can shout.  Using the sound proof recording studio and some very sensitive equipment students of all ages were asked to shout the word 'LOUD' and were then measured to enable the GCSE group to work on real live data. As you can see in the photographs below, Mr Davis could not resist taking part!


I was delighted to welcome Martin Ingram, Principal of Woking 6th Form College, to Winston on Wednesday.  He had an opportunity to talk to Year 11 students about their perceptions of the Woking College and was very complementary about the mature way in which our students handled the discussion.