Monday, 11 December 2017

Celebrating the Arts

Arts Awards Evening

Our evening to celebrate the amazing ability of our students within the Arts Faculty took place on Thursday 7th December.  Successes in Art, Music and Drama were led to a significant number of awards being made in a range of categories. We were entertained by some exceptional music form both the junior and senior session bands and we enjoyed remembering the great performances of our students in each area of our work.  A huge thank you to the staff team who ensure that these opportunities are available for our students.  You are the reason that the numbers engaging in the arts at Winston are increasing year on year, ensuring that our students thrive.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Making a Difference

Time to Reflect and Celebrate

Music is an essential feature of our lives and our Music Department continues to grow and thrives on the opportunity to share their music with you. Regardless of your beliefs, please consider coming to share some beautiful music made by our lovely students.  It would be great to see you at any or all of the events below.

Making a Difference

I was delighted to hear that Chloe, who has appeared on my blog before for her amazing fund raising for the Woking Hospice, was at the opening ceremony for the Hospice and was chosen to present the bouquet to the Countess of Wessex.  Chloe has worked tirelessly to raise money for this charity which touches the lives of so many people, including a number of families at our school.  She achieves this in a quiet and unassuming way and she has our respect and thanks for the great work she is doing for others.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Learning at Winston

Innovative Work

The Religious Studies Department have had another productive Autumn term.

Our Year 7 classes have completed their Primary School Catch-Up unit they have been focusing on a half-term of Old Testament study. A memorable homework was summarising our knowledge of Abraham into a song and then performing it in class. We had lyrics to the tune of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know; Abba's Knowing Me and Knowing You as well as the Spiderman theme tune. This technique of putting revision notes to music is called Acoustic Coding and is explained on the GCSE Revision Tools site on your Frog page. Students were so keen to perform we had to use some of our PSHCE lesson to squeeze all the performances in! The Religious Studies department are planning a Key Stage 4 competition in a similar vein in the Spring term so watch this space.

Year 8 classes have been using a Flipped Classroom approach this half-term, which means they learn a specified topic for homework using a specially designed Frog page and then use their knowledge in practical activities in the classroom. One lesson for example, provided students with the challenge of designing merchandise for the Muslim Council of Britain which would educate people on the differences and similarities of Sunni and Shia Muslims. 

Meanwhile on Monday 4th December twenty Year 10 students were invited to an A'Level Philosophy Masterclass with Joshua Block, a Philosophy teacher from Woking College. The one hour session after school saw students make ethical decisions about whether their mind/ soul or physical body made them who they are, as well as nominate a famous person or character for the Goodies Award. An eclectic mix of Captain America, Emma Watson, Robin Hood, the Queen, Mahatma Gandhi, former President Obama and Mother Teresa competed for the top spot. Students debated what the idea of good was, and whether this crazy mix of individuals had anything in common. We are really thankful to Woking College for allowing Joshua to visit us and are really looking forward to making this a termly event. If you missed out this time and are interested in Philosophy the Religious Studies Frog site has numerous resources for you to read and watch under Year 9 Autumn 2.

Science Lecture Style

Year 11 have been experiencing science lectures this week.  We have planned that they will have a lead lecture in the main hall, followed by workshop sessions, including experiments, in the classroom.  The feedback on post-it notes has been very positive.  Thank you to the Science Team for planning and delivering the lectures and to the Site and IT Teams for organising the hall.

Friday, 1 December 2017

This week at Winston


Mr Drake led an assembly on the theme of innovation.  Wearing a blanket that has been redesigned to enable you to keep warm and read a book, Mr Drake engaged students in the idea that you need to think outside of the box to move forward.  Students were taken on a journey of innovation by considering life without key products.  This was then developed further by taking each product and thinking about how it had been enhanced over the years to improve its impact on our lives.

Mr Drake used Lord Kelvin, the President of the Royal Society of England as an example, as he had made a declaration that,  "Heavier than air flying machines are impossible''.  If others had followed hi lead then transport today might look very different.  Students were encouraged to be innovative in all aspects of life and were able to enjoy an innovative piece of music written and performed by one of our Year 11 students.

Be Smart, Be Safe

This week students and their parents have had the opportunity to attend sessions around the areas of internet safety, drugs and wellbeing.   I was really pleased that so many parents were able to attend the session on 'On Line Safety' delivered by Sharon Girling.  One parent said that she would attend as many sessions as possible as it was so up-to-date and informative.  Students in Year 7 and 9 have then had sessions to help them to use the internet safely.

Our Library

I was able to visit the library on Friday morning to view the progress being made.  The floors have been finished and the windows are being put in. All the cradles for the cabling are in place.  The glass for the curtain walling is being fitted over the next two weeks and then the dome will be built on the first floor.