Here we are at the start of another school year and we welcome all our new reception pupils in to Oak Class or, as they are fondly referred to by other pupils, our new ‘Oakies’. Our year six pupils now hold the mantle of being our ‘seniors’ and have the responsibility of setting examples for all our younger children which we have no doubt they will do admirably.
At the end of last term, we were very pleased to announce that Mrs Fletcher, our year two teacher, accepted the post of ‘Acting Head’ while the search continues for a replacement full time head. Mrs Fletcher has been with the school for 6 years, we first knew her as Miss Burrell, and during her time with us has been an active member of the FOWPS committees, our Literacy Coordinator and a very active member of our Senior Management Team. She has been responsible for many of our nativity plays, Book weeks, the introduction of our library and the bedtime story sessions.
Before joining us at Woodcote, Mrs Fletcher had been working in London where she held various roles including ‘Assistant Head’ at a large primary in Peckham, ‘Senior Teacher’ in a Bermondsey School, she has been chief coordinator of ICT implementation and Literacy coordinator in various schools as well as undertaking ‘Leading Teacher’ work for Southwark and Oxfordshire councils where she has helped other schools raise their achievements in these areas. We are very lucky to have such and experienced teacher on hand to fill these shoes.
Apart from all the children settling in to their new classrooms, getting to know their teachers and the teachers getting to know them, the packed curriculum for this term has already included a Mini Woods project which is run by the Riverside Centre for Outdoor Learning involving . This involves 8 lucky year five students and aims to build confidence and provide opportunities for children to take part in practical activities; including team building tasks, bushcraft learning (outdoor survival skills) and navigation skills with one of the final sessions being an opportunity to climb a bouldering wall. Each week will involve outdoor cooking in some form.
Another group of year 5 and year 6 children have been team building and bell boating at the Eyot Boat Club in Henley. This was a competition organised by the Langtree Sports Partnership with 4 local schools competing in riverside team building exercises, which we won and the children were awarded certificates. Well done to everyone who took part.
We had the Music for Schools Foundation come in and talk to our pupils about playing a musical instrument. There was lots of excitement and plenty of screechy noises and children who have signed up to learn to play the trumpet, the cornet, the clarinet, the flute or the saxophone. There are going to plenty of parents buying ear plugs but this should also make our carol concerts, assemblies and other performance very interesting!!
Our Harvest Festivals took place at the beginning of October and we collected fresh food, tins and packets which all contributed to a beautiful display in the hall. We sang songs and celebrated and prayed with the help of the Rev. Linda Smith and we learnt all about what harvest means to us, both historically and today. This food was then boxed up as gifts and delivered by our year 6 pupils to some of the older members of our community in Woodcote.
Groups of children from years 3, 4, 5 and 6 competed in an inter school cross country competition on a very challenging course in Stoke Row. The final straight was all up so they couldn’t even get a sprint on coming up to the finishing line. Well done to everyone who competed. The year 3/4 girls came 5th, Year 3/4 boys came 2nd with medal and certificate going to Toby-Joe McBride who came 2nd in his race. Year 5/6 girls came 2nd and Year 5/6 boys came in 3rd place with medal and certificate going to Adam McBride who came 2nd overall in his race. This is the first race in a league so watch this space – our scores WILL get better!