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Ingestre Hall Residential Experience

The excitement was palpable as we stepped off the bus at Ingestre Hall (and that's just the staff!)  The Hall – an imposing Jacobean mansion – was to be our home for the week, complete with enormous gold-framed paintings and 27 acres of Capability Brown landscaped gardens.  As residential experiences go, this was quite different from your average trip!

Fifty-five year 6 children quickly settled into their dorms and got stuck into their first workshop, which was either dance, drama, music or art.  The practitioners, who were so friendly and welcoming, quickly put the children at ease and allowed their creative talents to shine through.  We all thought it was going to be a case of straightforward activities taking place (that was until we came across an abandoned caravan in the woods).  It provoked lots of discussion and the staff at Ingestre decided to take the children back to the caravan later that evening to see what all the fuss was about.  None of us expected to be greeted by a strangely attired, travelling storyteller called Clara who invited each of the groups into her caravan.  The inside was covered from top to bottom with books, scrolls and maps and beautiful fairy lights were strung inside, creating a cosy and welcoming environment.  Clara told each of the groups a wonderful tale of adventure and intrigue and we all came away feeling as if something magical had taken place.

The rest of the week was based on our visit to the storyteller and the staff at Ingestre, led by the children's ideas and suggestions, created a piece that was presented to parents on our final day.  Each and every child contributed to a fantastic showcasing of their talents, which made all of the teachers from Windsor extremely proud.  Seeing children blossom over the course of a few days is nothing short of magical and all of the children who went have benefited enormously from the experience.  We just hope that we can take a little of the magic back to Windsor and, who knows, Clara may well pay a visit to us in the future!

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Pirates Numeracy Academy

Year 6 students at Windsor Park Middle School had a splashing experience this week as they embarked on Captain Cullen's mathematical journey.

First port of call was using their mathematical skills to design, create and paint a pirate flag using tessellating shapes.

By day two the perilous pirates were getting peckish so they were sent to the galley to bake a batch of scrumptious ship biscuits.

Day three saw the children treading the treacherous waters of navigation with work on angles, bearings and maps.

Day four, land ahoy.  Students reached the end of their mathematical journey and were rewarded with their share of the pirate bounty by our Chair of Governors "Admiral" Johnstone.  Prizes were awarded to the students, including, for the best design of flag, best coordinate activity, best biscuits, best pirate map, most enthusiastic pirate, most mathematical pirate, and the finale was the best dressed pirates.  "Admiral" Johnstone said, "I was delighted to be asked to present so many awards as the students had worked so hard.  Plus, I am pleased to report that nobody 'walked the plank'!".

Mrs Cullen, Numeracy Across the Curriculum Co-ordinator said, "The students thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Pirates Numeracy Academy learning lots of new mathematical skills along the way."

 

 


Children in Need

Here at Windsor Park Middle School, we fully support this excellent cause and over the years have raised lots of money for Pudsey Bear which helps towards improving the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

This year we supported the charity by asking our children to be 'Champions of Change'.  This was an exciting initiative as it puts the children in charge!

Through Champions of Change, children across the UK were empowered to plan and run their own events to raise money for BBC Children in Need.  Through tailored lesson plans and the help of exciting, adaptable fundraising tools, children developed new skills, had lots of fun and raised money to help young people everywhere have a safe and happy life.

Instead of raising money just on the day each house form was asked to come up with a charity challenge that took place over a number of days.  This also became a challenge between the forms to see who raised the most money.

As always, there was a special 'Children In Need' assembly held on Thursday, 19th November, when our Senior Student Leadership Team and School Councillors shared some of the highlights of the day with the children.  This showed them what happens to their money and the significant difference it makes.  There was also a prize for the house form who raised the most money – this was Alton 4 with £141.78 – form members took part in a sponsored silence, students guessed how many miles Mr Smith cycled in an hour and another activity was to guess the number of sweets in the jar.  Well done!

Other house charity challenges were Pudsey & Blush selfies, pin an eyepatch or bow on Pudsey & Blush, raffles, guess the teacher from their baby photographs, selling cakes, guess the weight of some sweets, selfie booth, a wembo competition and welly wanging, guess how many items were in a jar, penalty shoot and netball shoot.

Well done to everyone – in total our 12 house forms raised £718.59 for Children in Need.  Thank you to everyone for your support in raising this fantastic amount.

 

 


Science / Literacy CSI WOW Day

Students arrived at Windsor Park Middle School recently to a 'crime scene' as part of their Science / Literacy CSI WOW Day.  In the early hours of the morning a theft had taken place, the whole school were gathered in the hall as the details were revealed.  Luckily during the week a number of possible suspects had been captured on film, students were asked, can you spot who the culprits might be?

The criminal has cut themselves and left behind clues in the form of blood drops.  Year 5's experimented dropping fake blood from different heights and comparing it to the suspects' measurements, to try and work out who could have left the trail.

Two sets of finger prints had also been left at the crime scene.  Year 6 dusted for prints to match them to staff fingerprints to narrow down the suspects.

A note had been left at the scene of the crime.  Year 7 used chromatography and handwriting analysis to work out who wrote it and which pen was used.

Samples of a white powder had been taken from the suspects.  Who had cake ingredients on their person?  Year 8 carried out chemical analysis on the samples taken from the suspects.

Students remained in their teaching groups to write up CSI style lab reports outlining their forensic work and findings.  They then returned to their mixed year tutor groups to compare findings, identify the culprit and write up their final crime report.

The day ended with the whole school once more gathering in the hall, whereby each tutor group identified who was responsible for the crime.  Finally an unexpected twist was revealed with the real culprit stepping forward and confessing their crime and motive.

The culprit was revealed as Mrs Collins.

Children were enthralled from start to finish; their questioning nature and zest for learning were given free reign all day and the buzz of creativity around the school was electric!

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Photography Workshop

The theme of the fifth photography workshop was landscape and nature.​​

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Numeracy WOW Day

We held a 'Numeracy WOW Day' on the 14th October.  The theme this term was the Rugby World Cup.  Students took part in various activities in all lessons.

The French department incorporated place value and ordering numbers into their lesson.

The children's Learning for Life lesson combined ordering, highest & lowest and averages.

Our DT department showed their symmetrical skills by using the flags from all the countries competing in the Rugby World Cup.

During Geography lessons Maths was definitely on the map as the children located various countries within the world.

Art added a splash of colour by combining paints with ratio and proportion into their learning.

An alternative game of bingo was held in one of our Maths lessons.  The students worked out the relevant numbers being called from the following rugby scores.  Try = 5  Drop goal = 3  Penalty = 3  Converted try = 7.

Our PE department integrated statistics into their lessons.  They used tally charts in a group activity counting the number of consecutive passes in games of netball and rugby.

Our Music department took Maths to a whole different level when they looked at creating their own musical beats.

In English, students imagined how they would feel when they walked onto the pitch at the World Cup and produced some wonderful descriptive writing.

In RE, Year 5 had a discussion on the various countries flags whilst incorporating a times table activity.

Year 8 in DT continued their option block lesson looking at the importance of accuracy and ratio when placing drink orders.

Our successful day ended with a selection of children chosen for their fantastic outfits.​​



​Year 6 French Trip 

Despite a postponement to the start of year 7, our "year 6" French trip to Boulogne-sur-Mer was greatly anticipated.  In KS2 Windsor Park Middle School provides a fun-filled flavour of French culture involving an overnight stay.

Forty-four students and five staff left Windsor Park at 6.30am and arrived back the following night at 9.30pm, but what happened in between?

Students experienced travel on Eurotunnel and a visit to Boulogne taking in the castle, cathedral, hôtel de ville, shops, market stalls and the bakery.  In the evening, at the centre in a lovely town called Hardelot students had a typically French meal and the opportunity to taste snails.  Afterwards, they made delicious crepes for themselves.

Next day, after a continental breakfast the group headed to Nausicaä, a marine centre situated right by the beach.  All too soon time to come home!  For some students, this was their first time abroad and one that all pupils found an enriching experience.

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Entrust poetry competition

During their English lessons in the summer term, children took part in a county-wide poetry competition on the theme of adventurers and explorers.  We were delighted that one of our students was chosen as one of the finalists with his poem entitled ‘The Oceans’.  He won a highly commended award at the Entrust poetry competition.  Top 5 out of 500 entries.  He said, “It was a great event and I was very happy to win an award, the new headquarters were really cool too!” 

The Oceans 

I used to sail the ocean blue,

Corals, fish and otters too.

The fateful day was soon to come,

My end of travelling and drinking rum.

I set sail from the bustling docks,

Away from the boats and jagged rocks.

I reached the sea and stood in awe,

Watching the waves and the puffins caw.

 

The fateful hour was soon to come,

Birds were quiet and I was glum.

Rain came pelting down on me,

The land was gone – not a single tree.

 

A storm was upon me – huge and flashing,

It wouldn't be soon before my boat was crashing.

It tipped me into the freezing sea,

The waves crashing on top of me.

 

My times were over – my galleon spent,

The ship was ruined, its mast was bent.

I was covered by water – freezing and blue,

The ocean was sleeping – It buried me too.


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Staffordshire Fire and Rescue

Students have been learning about fire safety at home and out in the community as Uttoxeter Fire and Rescue paid a visit to Windsor Park Middle School in preparation for the firework season.  They arrived at the school in a fire engine which a lucky few students had a chance to inspect with Andy Minor, Crew Manager and John Campion, Fire Fighter.  During assembly time Simon Poole, Fire Fighter taught them about the dangers of fireworks, what the fireworks code says as well as how to deal with a potential house fire.  The fire crew modelled some of the equipment they have to wear as well as showing a few pieces of equipment that they use in different situations.  

Student, Amelia Wray said, "From the information we were told I now know what to do it there was a fire in our house."

It is the second year running that Uttoxeter Fire Station has visited the school not only to teach the students basic fire safety in the autumn term but also winter safety around lakes and frozen water in the spring term.  This community link is in addition to the safety lessons the students already have in school through Learning for Life.

Jack Bright, student commented, "I very much enjoyed being shown around the fire engine and looking at all the equipment."

Simon Poole, Fire Fighter said, "The students were very interested and well behaved.  They asked relevant questions to the subject talked about."

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Second Photography Workshop

The theme of the second photography workshop was fine art / still life photography.

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English Department

Inspiring posters in the English corridor reminding us how much we love reading.

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Photography Workshops​

Fantastic work so far in the first photography options workshop.  Students were focusing on portrait for their first activity.​

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'Outstanding'  SIAMS, July 2015

View the report.

 

HMI Inspection Report 

'Good with Outstanding Features'

View the rep​ort.