Saturday, 27 February 2016

Welcome to Winston

Working in Partnership

When the Goethe Institu asked if Winston would host two German students for a month, I delighted to provide the opportunity.  We welcomed Cosima and Susann to Winston on Monday and they are very keen to get involved with our school and to learn as much as possible about the British education system.

 This is their impressions so far:
Spending our internship at Winston Churchill School was probably the best decision we could have made. We were welcomed by a great staff (special thanks to Ms Finney for helping us with everything!), a huge and modern school, an extremely wide range of very interesting subjects and by really awesome students. It’s an honour to be here and we get more impressed every day by all the things we are able to do and able to see. But enough of this eulogy. We are just really happy to be part of this school for one month and we are thankful that you are having us and that you are taking such a good care of us.
However, our original roots - as some people already know - lie in Germany. Susann’s in Wittenberg, Cosima’s in Berlin, but we both go to the University of Leipzig where we study English and Biology to become teachers one day. That’s basically why we are here. To see how the British / English school system works and to - as a useful side effect -  improve our English and broaden our horizons. And we are also here to help out wherever we can. Of course, in the German department but we don’t want to hide our personal talents like cooking, being creative and supportive, cheerleading (Susann only) and we are also really enthusiastic, which definitively should be mentioned as a talent! 
Hopefully, we can get involved with most of you. Right now we are part of the BBC school report team, which is absolutely awesome! We are super happy to join them and get inspired by there work. It’s such a great opportunity for the  students! Besides this project, you might see us in your after school clubs, during your lessons and in the hallway. Wherever it is - don’t hesitate to say hello or ask us everything you are interested in. We will answer your questions as good as we can - maybe in a funny accent..

So see you soon or as we say in German: Bis bald.

Cosima and Susann

Poetry By Heart

On the evening of Wednesday 10th February, Woking Library hosted a competition entitled 'Poetry By Heart' during which students who had won regional contests, battled for the title of county champion. The participants recited 2 poems by heart, a pre-1914 poem from the Poetry By Heart timeline anthology plus either a post-1914 poem from the timeline anthology or a poem from the Poetry By Heart First World War Showcase. The judging panel included poets Adrienne Dines and Greg Freeman.

During the evening Winston students Adam Grainger, Benjamin Moore and Philip Norman performed instrumental pieces to welcome guests to the event and enhance the atmosphere throughout. Their performance was well received and the organiser has already hinted at a return concert next year!


Thank you from Pond Meadow

The students of Pond Meadow School sent the following thank you letters to Mr Drake and our students.  Clearly everyone gained a great deal from the experience.


Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Whats Happening at Winston?

Swimming Gala

“On Thursday 11th February the Pool in the Park at Woking Leisure Centre was the scene for the annual Woking and District Schools Swimming Gala. We took a team of 19 students from Years 7 to 11 to compete in the event, some experienced and talented swimmers who have done it all before through to those first timers. All students who travelled to the event were a credit to Winston Churchill School, their behaviour and etiquette throughout the whole day was exceptional.

The event itself was a huge success for us and we had some very good individual performers with the school picking up 4 first place finishes and a number of second and third place medals as well, with Molly Robinson winning both of her races to pick up two of the 4 gold medals overall. The competition itself is split into mixed year groups and overall we finished (out of 9 schools) 8th in Year 7, 6th in Year 8, 2nd in Year 9, 2nd in Year 10 and 2nd in Year 11. In the overall standings Winston finished a very respectable 4th behind some extremely strong and experienced schools. A huge thank you to all the students who represented the school brilliantly on the day. Well done!”

Year 10 Boys Basketball

A huge congratulations to the Year 10 Boys Basketball Team for winning the District Basketball Final vs Woking High. After three consecutive District Championships for our local rivals it was Winston Churchill who came out on top with a convincing 48-33 win. A big well done to the boys below and good luck moving into the Counties Finals.
James Oghassabian, Josh Aiyenuro, Callum Hopson, Sam Rawson, Phil Potter, Ben Steer, Paul Goupil,
Tom Judd, George Musselwhite and Jack Mallet.

Assembly this Week

Our assemblies this week have been led by Mrs Nettleton and focussed on the importance of literacy skills and reading.  As you will be aware a major change has taken place at Winston with regard to the promotion of reading and the use of the library, through Mr Fisher, our Librarian.  We are all looking forward to World Book Day on Thursday 3rd March and expect everyone, students and staff to spend the last 10 minutes of the day enjoying reading a book.  There is also the opportunity to purchase a boo using the £1.00 voucher provided.  Books will be available for under £5.00.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Our School

Site Improvements

This half term a number of activities have been planned to improve our school site.  Further work is being completed on the pipework and the water supply, as well as new gas safety valves.  The sports centre has paid to replace the damaged fencing around the Astroturf and has increased the height to reduce the loss of footballs!  Surrey County Council have replaced our old flood lighting with new, energy efficient LED lighting.  Some classrooms are being deep cleaned and display boards are being introduced in various areas of the school to display the art work of our students. 
Mr Hill has also arranged for a clear out around the site, as well as the replacement of some damaged flooring.  All of the automatic doors are also being serviced.
The aim of all of this work is to improve the environment for your children. Thank you to the Site Team for all of the thought and effort that goes into creating such a good, safe school.

The Astroturf Fencing

New LED Lighting

Refurbished Toilets

Classroom Cleaning

Improvements to the Lunch Pod


New Display Boards for Art

Repair to Damaged Floor

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Friday at Winston

Jonathan Lord MP Visits Winston

I was delighted to welcome our local MP the RHon Jonathan Lord, MP to Winston on Friday 12th February. 
During the visit I was able to discuss the plans to develop an exciting new learning environment for our students and we observed the Grammar Stream and Aspire Groups in their Maths lesson and in Music.  Students in these groups are taught Maths using the Harkness Method, an enquiry based approach which encourages the development of independent learning and problem solving skills.  During the visit Jonathan was able to see a workshop being run by Theo Fennell with our Design Technology students, taking place in our library. There are more details below about this work.
We were then able to see the Year Grammar Stream 8 students in a music lesson, again being stretched with complex rhythms and vocabulary, that they needed to use to create their own music.

Jonathan was very keen to talk to the students about their experience and I was also able to raise a number of challenges facing schools.

Working with Theo Fennell

This was a really successful day, where we had three master classes with students from year 9 and 10 who are particularly talented in Technology, working with Theo Fennell.  Theo taught the groups the principles of drawing and perspective and also gave insight into the industry of jewellery design in an interview with Emily Dowding, Holly Kitcat and Jake Spiller for the BBC school report.
Theo discussed with each student their designs they had submitted to be a part of the day and set each group the challenge of designing either a part of cufflinks or rings that could be opened to reveal a surprise, much like his trademark style. The students came up with some amazing ideas, such as opening fridge doors to display lots of luxurious foods, an egg which opens to reveal a baby bird and a beach hut which opens up to an ocean paradise.  
The students have all been tasked to take these designs away over half term and work on their ideas; they then need to bring them back to Miss Blackman to send off for Mr Fennell to judge, before possibly winning a place on a trip to his studio in Fulham Road and then the best three designs might be made in his workshop.
This was Theo’s forth year working with Winston students and each year gets better and better.   We appreciate Theo's time and expertise and  cannot wait for next year's event!


Thursday, 11 February 2016

Making a Difference

Visiting Poet

Year 9 students were treated to a special performance from the London poet, Adam Kamerling, in assembly this week, to coincide with their study of poetry in English. He demonstrated to students that poetry as an art form is still alive and well, and that they consume it every day through song lyrics and rap, perhaps without having realised.  Poetry is present through humorous and relevant verses presenting 'current' themes such as hunger and homelessness. 
Adam led workshops with two groups of students, elected by their teachers as a reward for their diligent class work, challenging them to create their own pieces while considering voice, character and perspective, with excellent and thought provoking results.


Preventing Meningitis

Students born on or after 1st September 1999 will receive their vaccination via the school by late summer 2017.  Older children may be called in for a vaccination by their GP.  The poster above provides contact details for further information.

Assembly this Week

Assemblies this week have been delivered by Mr Byrne on the theme of  resilience and how you can make a difference to you own life now and for the future.  That each student has the ability and opportunity to make a difference to the lives of others. This was a powerful message.


Below are the photographs of a Year 10 Design and Technology project to produce bookends.  This mixed-media project combined traditional wood work processes with the use of acrylic and the laser cutter. 

McLaren Challenge 

Miss Blackman held the McLaren challenge heats today, in the Design and Technology Department; four teams participated and the winners, by a long distance, was a team of girls. However, there is a special mention to the boys, who came up with the slingshot idea. We look forward to developing the car with them and bringing back the trophy in March!