Christmas has finally arrived and there have been many wonderful events over the last few weeks which have included:
- Our Year 3’s wonderful nativity play ‘Magical Christmas Journey’ performed to the whole school, our Year 2s, parents and grandparents (our Trust CEO Bob Elsey, Director of Education, Stuart Matthews and our Chair of Governors, Charlotte Kieran enjoyed the dress rehearsal)
- Crowthorne Late Night Shopping art competition with our choir and belleplates’ fantastic performances on the night
- Decoration day with so many parents and grandparents joining us
- Our children’s Christmas Fayre fun afternoon
- PTA Elfridges
- Our Christmas Carol Service at St John’s with our choir, belleplates, musicians and readers (many thanks to all the families who helped us walk the children to and from church)
- Games/party afternoons for individual classes
- Christmas dinner day
- Our belleplates performance outside our local Tesco in Greenwood Road
AND we still have more to come on Friday:
- Christmas jumper day for Save the Children (non-uniform day)
- Christmas sing-along at 9am on Friday
On behalf of the school, I would like to say a very big thank you to our dedicated PTA who have run a number of successful fundraising events throughout the Autumn term. Your hard work and commitment is very much appreciated.
Finally, congratulations go to the following Year 6 children who received awards this term: Noah CR – Maths Trophy; Akshitha V – English Trophy; Gregory R and Amelia B – the Daisy Trophy.
May we wish all our children, families, staff and governors a Happy Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year. We look forward to welcoming you back to school for the new term on Wednesday 3rd January 2024.
Mrs. Hazel West, Headteacher
Dates for your diary
For the latest dates for your diary please click here.
News from Year 3
The new Year 3s have settled into the Juniors brilliantly and it has been lovely to get to know them all during the Autumn term.
In English, we have enjoyed reading “A Bear Called Paddington”, “The Lorax” and, most recently, a range of traditional tales. The children have produced some fantastic pieces of writing. Our last piece of work this term was the story of Little Red Riding Hood from the wolf’s perspective, a copy of which we have sent home.
We have had a very creative term in Year 3. During our Art lessons, we created some geode art with zentangle patterns. We have also explored Pointillism, emulating the style of Georges Seurat to create pictures with shade and dimension with fantastic results.
Year 3 have been incredibly lucky to have viola lessons, taught by the talented Mr De Nijs. By the end of the sessions, the children were able to play four songs. We hope that this has inspired some budding musicians to continue learning instruments and that you enjoyed watching the performances together.
In Science, we were investigating rocks and soils. We carried out a variety of experiments and ended the topic by making some effective fossils! The children were all very excited to see their creations.
Finally, we have been very busy recently practising our end of term play. It has been fantastic to see the children perform to the school and their families. The children have put a lot of hard work into learning their lines and songs to deliver a great performance.
We would like to thank you all for your continued support at home; from regular reading to times tables practice.
On behalf of everyone in Year 3, we hope you all have a lovely, relaxing and safe Christmas break. We look forward to seeing you all in the new year!
Year 3 Team
News from Year 4
The children have settled into Year 4 very well and have risen to the challenges that we have presented to them. In history, the children have enjoyed learning about how the Romans invaded and settled in Britain, culminating in our Roman Day. The children and staff thoroughly enjoyed dressing up and taking part in some arduous army training. The children’s Tortoise formations proved invaluable against a vicious enemy!
As well as learning about the army, the children designed and created authentic-looking shields and created Roman-style mosaics. In addition, they also had the opportunity to practise using Roman numerals to crack codes.
In English, the children have been focussing on developing their sentence structures, spellings and use of descriptive language. Initially this was linked with their history topic, but more recently with the reading of “The Iron Man” by Ted Hughes. The children are enjoying this exciting tale and have written diary extracts as the main protagonist, Hogarth. They have also designed some delicious metallic menus for The Iron Man.
In addition, children have thoroughly enjoyed scientifically observing animals and plants in parts of the school grounds; this will be repeated termly. More recently they have begun to learn about electricity and building their own circuits. This knowledge and understanding of circuits will support their DT work when constructing an Iron Man’s head with working lights.
In art, observational drawings of autumn fruits and vegetables were made and presented during the harvest festival. Inspired by Antony Gormley’s sculptures, the children created their own making cubes and cuboids from nets. When working with clay, the children have produced some impressive Dragon Eyes which were then beautifully painted
This year, we were unable to attend the Autumn Extravaganza at Wellington College organised by the Newbury Agricultural Society due to Storm Ciarán. However, we were able to have our AMAZING pumpkin weighed by the Society the following week. It was an incredible 25.8 kg and was the biggest and the best that they had ever seen – thanks to Mr Hopley for his expertise and care!
Later in the term, the Society returned to our school to recreate the Wellington experience. We invited a class from Hatch Ride and during the morning, we learnt about different squash and apple varieties, created an autumn palette and tasted apples and different vegetable-inspired recipes. Meanwhile the pumpkin had been converted into delicious soup which was enjoyed by the children and also offered as a welcome hot drink to parents at the end of the school day.
Wishing you all a merry and safe Christmas and we look forward to seeing you next term.
Year 4 Team
Year 4 Maths Challenge
On 14th November, four of our Year 4 budding mathematicians were chosen to represent the school and go to the annual maths challenge at Lambrook School. They faced a series of problems to solve and were up against nearly 40 other teams (from both state and private schools).
The children (Alexi, Edgar, Oliver and Ethan ) performed brilliantly and received certificates in a celebration assembly to celebrate their participation.
Our Belleplates Group of Year 4 children have been very active this term. Their first performance was at the Harvest Festival where they performed an extract from Dvorak’s New World Symphony, better known to older readers as the music to the old Hovis adverts. They then performed with the choir at the Late Night Shopping Evening. Despite the freezing weather, their efforts were very much appreciated in front of a large audience.
The final week of this term has culminated with performances at the Carol Concert at St Johns’ Church and at Tesco’s Express yesterday afternoon. They will also be playing at the Singalong on Friday and we hope to see many of you there!
News from Year 5
Year 5 have had a jam-packed start to the year with many creative projects and exciting days. Each child has volunteered for many of the new opportunities and responsibilities that come with being part of the upper school and have undertaken their roles well.
In English, we started off the year reading Louis Sachar’s “There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom”. The children enjoyed seeing the changes in the characters and practised writing formal letters inspired by the story. We then moved on to more creative writing with “The Piano”. The children wrote absolutely stunning recounts based on this film clip and have impressed us with their language and ideas. Most recently, we have been writing information texts all about space, linking with our current Science topic.
In early December, for our Space Day, we were lucky enough to have a Space Dome set up in the school hall. This was a travelling planetarium which could show different constellations in an immersive setting. The children asked very insightful questions.
Throughout our Maths lessons, we have had a focus on number, place value and calculation, including introducing long multiplication. These skills are essential for Maths and we will continue to practise applying them in different ways. We have also undertaken some more investigative Maths, looking at factors and prime numbers to see the relationships between numbers.
In History, we have been exploring the ancient civilisation of the Maya. First, we located where the Maya lived and demonstrated some excellent map interpretation skills to identify the different countries in Central America. From there, we became source detectives and tried to use clues and prior knowledge to uncover the mysteries of the ancient ruins. We have learned about the importance of religion and gods and were intrigued by the different ways the Maya show respect: from football-style games to shocking sacrifice! One of the children’s favourite activities was making the Mayan-inspired masks which have been proudly displayed this term.
For our RE topic on Hinduism, we have been learning about the different ways Hindus show their commitment to their religion. All children had the opportunity to cook some vegetarian dishes and we were pleased with how many of them were willing to try something new. During our Diwali Day, we were fortunate enough to have West End in Schools deliver a dance workshop to tell the story of Rama and Sita, which the children enthusiastically took part in.
In Music, we let out our inner 80’s rock personas and learned Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer”. We have also been learning about notation and applying this to creating some memory music using a computer program, Notate.
We hope that Year 5 and their families enjoy a well-deserved rest over the break. We look forward to welcoming you all back in the new year, ready for another busy term!
Year 5 Team
News from Year 6
Year 6 have had a brilliant first term and have settled in well to being top of the school. They have risen to the challenge of carrying out the responsibilities given to them this term.
The highlight of our first term was undoubtedly the trip to Osmington Bay, where the children participated in a range of adventurous activities and persevered through the wind and the rain! Before the trip, as part of a Geography topic, the children learned about the Jurassic coast and used maps to work a route from school.
In History, we have been studying the Shang Dynasty of Ancient China. Throughout the unit, the children have used sources to discover information about the Shang Dynasty. The children have enjoyed talking about the different class systems and particularly enjoyed the fact that some of the kings had over sixty wives! Our English writing for the second half of this term has been to write non-chronological reports on The Shang Dynasty and Chinese New Year, drawing upon all their knowledge from this term. We were particularly impressed with the way that the children edited their reports and presented them on a double page spread.
In Art, we have continued the theme of the Shang Dynasty by using pen and ink to draw Chinese dragons and painted Gardens in the style of Gustav Klimt to link to our garden descriptions.
In the final two weeks of term, we have been focusing on winter poetry. We have enjoyed listening to different poems and have been writing a poem about a snow globe, based on The Magnifying Glass by Walter De La Mare. On Thursday we performed the poem, A Visit from St Nicolas, to get the children in the mood and excited for Christmas.
Throughout this term in Maths, one of our main focuses has been fractions. We have been consolidating our learning of adding and subtracting fractions by using chalks on the playground.
Our Science topics this term have been based around Living Things and their Habitats and Light. Throughout these topics, the children have had plenty of opportunities to design and conduct their own investigations, which is a key element of Year 6 Science. They particularly enjoyed investigating the best habitat for mould to grow and observing the changes over time.
We have been enjoying a range of sports and activities in our PE lessons including netball, gymnastics and circuits. We have also started to learn how to play a game of Lacrosse and the skills involved. The children have surprised themselves by finding they are able to catch the ball in the tiny nets on the end of the lacrosse stick!
In Computing, we have been focussing on E-Safety and Spreadsheets; we have introduced the children to Excel in preparation for creating their own budgets. During Music sessions we have used Charanga to learn the song, “Happy” and have looked at different Chinese folk songs using the pentatonic scale.
We wish all Year 6 and their families a Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year. We look forward to seeing you in the Spring Term.
Year 6 Team
Sports News for the Autumn Term
Sports Captains and Year 3 Intra-House Relay Competition
Our sports captains this year got together to plan an intra-house relay competition for Year 3s. On Monday 6th November, at lunchtime, those captains took 20 Year 3 children out on the field for the event. They ran some warm-up drills, a short warm up game and then the relay competition. The Year 3’s were excellent in their behaviour, they love being taught by the captains and they all had a brilliant time. Mrs Alexander was hugely impressed by the way the captains spoke to the children and organised them. The sports captains also helped with PE in the Infants later in November.
Cricket Taster Session
On Thursday 9th November, Ally from the Berkshire Cricket Foundation, came in to take the upper school for cricket. The children learned a new cricket game which was fast moving and great fun. They all had a fantastic time. Next term it will be the turn of the lower school to enjoy some skills and a cricket game.
Sports Hall Athletics
During November Oaklands Juniors took part in two Sports Hall athletic events at Maiden Erlegh School. Years 3 and 4 went first, followed a week later by Years 5 and 6 competing in their competition both against ten other schools. Each team of 9 girls and 9 boys took part in a variety of track and field events. Years 3/4 came 5th and Years 5/6 came 7th. There was a great atmosphere with lots of cheering in the track events, and music to work to in the field events. It was also great to see Oaklands Juniors in their new team shirts, funded by our PTA.
On Thursday 23rd November we had our first Cross country of the year at Lightwater Country Park. The day was dry, sunny and warm, perfect for cross country, and there was only one big muddy patch on the route!
We had a huge number of children attend this event and we would particularly like to thank parents for waiting patiently at the school gates to collect their child. As you can appreciate, we need to make sure this is done properly with the children’s safety in mind. I am also so grateful to those wonderful parents who helped the event to run smoothly by taking children to the start, marshalling or walking/running the course as a back maker. Without you, it would not have been possible as Mrs Alexander was organising the event.
The children did so well and we came 2nd out of 11 schools! In both the boys Year 3/4 race and the boys 5/6 race we came 2nd. A special mention to Gregory, Blake, Jacob, Mason, and Eliza who all came in the top 10 or their races. The next cross country event takes place on Thursday 18th January, and meanwhile Mrs Alexander would like to encourage children to come along to the running club with their trainers on Friday lunch times.
Inclusive Sports Festival
On Monday 4th December, six children took part in the Inclusive School Games at Loddon Valley Sports Centre. The day consisted of a rotation of activities, including boccia, table tennis, badminton, kurling, dance and time in the soft play area. The children really got involved in all the activities, cooperated well with children from other schools and were very proud to be awarded medals at the end of the day.
This season, we have entered both the mixed team league and the girls’ leagues in the Wokingham FA competition. Altogether, 36 children have represented the school in a football match this term.
The girls have played two matches, with a third match, against The Coombes, being cancelled as the opposition were unable to raise a team. Results have been balanced, with a 2-1 loss to Hawkedon followed by a 1-0 victory over Sonning. Both goals from Oaklands Juniors were scored from the penalty spot, by Janeanne and Neve.
The mixed team have had a similarly mixed set of results. A close 1-0 loss to Robert Piggott was followed by well-deserved 6-3 win over Dolphin School, with goals coming from Henry (2), John, Joey (2) and the opposition! The final fixture this term was a 5-1 loss to Sonning, with Toby scoring our only goal.
New Menu From Culinera
Culinera’s new menu for January 2024 will be live from 27th December. To view the new menu please click here
Berkshire Music Trust Newsletter
To view the Berkshire Music Trust Newsletter click here
“It’s that time of year which for some of us is exciting: meeting and catching up with friends and family, putting up glittery decorations and sparkly lights, giving and receiving shiny gifts, parties, dressing up, singing songs and watching TV specials!
Yet for many children, young people and adults, this time of year can be filled with emotional and sensory overwhelm. An increase in noise, multiple voices, crowds, social expectations, changes in routine, flashing lights, different textures brought into the house, loud and busy music and surprise gifts.
So, what can we do to ensure a more joyful, or tolerable time for ALL the family?”
Managing the Christmas Sensory Overload has top tips for managing celebrations, food, lights, noise, gifts and changes in routine, helping to create a more peaceful holiday period for children and adults alike.
Why not have a look at the ‘Christmas’ section of their resources page, which has lots of helpful advice for taking the stress out of Christmas, including The Christmas Ad Christmas: An Alternative Survival Guide?
Recommended by Louise Mullier, our Educational Psychotherapist
If you have any unwanted tennis rackets, hoops, tennis balls, table top football games or skipping ropes that you no loner need, we would be very pleased to make use of them here at school. All such donations can be handed into the School Office.
Local Community Information, Activities and Events
In the build up to Christmas there are a number of activities, clubs and church services taking place in and around the local community. You can also find information from Wokingham Borough Council on free festive film showings and cost of living help. To find out what’s on offer please visit our web page below which is updated on a regular basis.
Headteacher: Mrs H West
Address: Oaklands Junior School, Butler Road, Crowthorne, Berkshire RG45 6QZ
Telephone: 01344 773496
Parent Support Advisor: Nikki Lenon
Telephone: 07748 415 285
Chair of Governors: Charlotte Kieran
Oaklands Junior School Governing Body
The Governing Body is ambitious for all children and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables outstanding outcomes. We oversee financial performance, challenge, support, and focus on the strategic direction of Oaklands Junior school.
If you want to raise a concern, please speak with your class teacher in the first instance. We welcome your feedback if you wish to contact the Governors, please email Charlotte Kieran, Chair of Governors.
Raising a concern
Governing Body team