There have been many memorable moments this term but for me, being able to walk the whole school to St John’s Church this last week and have all our children, staff and families together under one roof for the first time in several years has been the highlight. The acoustics for singing were truly amazing and I was extremely proud of our choir who sang two songs without any backing – but to be perfectly honest, they really excelled without it. The readers read clearly with confidence and our enormously talented musicians that included a violinist, a pianist, guitarists, recorders and belle plates, truly made this occasion a joy for all.
Thank you to Laura for welcoming us all to her church. My thanks also to Mrs Broadhurst for organising our programme and to Miss Noad for leading our choir. Miss Davidson led our belle plates group to give another outstanding performance, having also played outside Tesco’s in Greenwood Road the previous day.
Thank you also to all the parents who came into school to help walk all the children to and from the church – we could not have done this without you.
Wishing you all a very joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Mrs West & all the Staff at Oaklands Junior School
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.
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 to play an instrument.
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 able to perform our end of term play. We haven’t been able to have our Year 3 play with a live audience for quite some time, so 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!
The 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. Our history topic began with an immersive experience in September with our Roman Day. The children and staff thoroughly enjoyed dressing up and taking part in some arduous army training. As hardened soldiers, they braved some torrential rain, before battling against some marauding Celtic warriors. The children’s Tortoise formation proved invaluable against a vicious enemy! As well as learning about the army, the children designed and created authentic-looking shields and created Roman 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 are just beginning to write diary extracts as the main protagonist, Hogarth. Earlier, a unit about non-chronological reports featured writing linked with our Science topic on Habitats and the ICT topic on Branching databases. 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.
In art, observational drawings of autumn fruits and vegetables were made and presented during the harvest festival. The children have studied the work of Georgia O’Keeffe and painted water colour pictures based on her landscapes. Inspired by Antony Gormley’s sculptures, the children created their own making cubes and cuboids from nets.
This year, we were able to attend the Autumn Extravaganza at Wellington College organised by the Newbury Agricultural Society. During the day, we learnt about different squash and apple varieties, created an autumn palette and tasted apples and different vegetable-inspired recipes.
Even better, our pumpkins (thanks to Mr Hopley for his expertise and care!) won first, second and third prize for being the biggest and the best! Our prize pumpkin was an impressive 14.1kg.
Afterwards, the children spent a day making delicious pumpkin soup with our prize-winning vegetables and were able to taste the fruit of their labours.
Wishing you all a merry and safe Christmas and we look forward to seeing you next term.
The Year 4 Team
News from Year 5
Year 5 have had a fantastic first term and have impressed us with their enthusiasm for taking on new responsibilities as part of the Upper School.
Our English unit started off with reading “There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom”, which proved to be a very enjoyable read amongst the children. They wrote excellent formal letters in role as different characters from the book and even wrote to the author, Louis Sachar. We were impressed with the way that the children used features of letters and formal language.
In History, we learnt about the Mayan civilisation in Central America. The children investigated historical sources to gather information about the Mayan’s occupations, ancient artefacts and ruins and debated the reasons why the Mayans left their jungle homes. A memorable part of this topic was making Mayan masks using Modroc. The masks were extremely eye-catching and imaginative and really brightened up our corridor displays.
After half term, we concluded our Hinduism topic by celebrating Diwali day. In the morning, the children painted Diva lamps, created stick dances and made Diwali cards. We were then fortunate enough to have a dance workshop from West End in Schools, which told the story of Rama and Sita. This was brilliant as it was so engaging and really brought the story to life! We were particularly impressed with the children’s creativity and performances.
Our Science topic this half term has been Earth and Space. The children have shown a passion for learning about the Solar System, including the features of different planets. In English, they have demonstrated their knowledge by writing information texts about the planets, Earth and Moon. We completed the topic with an action-packed Space day, where the children successfully trained as astronauts and enjoyed a visit from the Astronomy Roadshow.
We also enjoyed a visit from the Newbury and District Agricultural Society for National Sausage Week. The children learnt about different types of sausages and even tasted some.
Both classes were lucky enough to have two brilliant visits to Sky Studios, where the children created, filmed and edited news reports on Space Tourism. During the visit, the children were lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes insight in to Sky broadcasting. What an exciting experience!
On behalf of the Year 5 team, we would like to wish all of our families a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year. We look forward to seeing you in 2023.
News from Year 6
Year 6 have had an excellent first term and have settled in well to being top of the school. They have taken on all the responsibilities we have asked of them with great maturity and diligence. The highlight of our first term was undoubtedly the trip to Osmington Bay, where the children undertook several different challenges and activities.
We started off the term in English with descriptive writing influenced by the book “The Water Tower”. We then moved on to study the book, “Tom’s Midnight Garden”, where the children used features of descriptive text to describe the house and garden. The children really enjoyed predicting why the garden changed when the clock struck thirteen!
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.
Our science topic this term has been based around the Biology unit of Living Things and their Habitats. Among other lessons, the children have carried out a number of investigations, including one to test the best conditions for the growth of mould. We have now started our new topic on Light.
The highlight of PE this term has been learning to play the game of Lacrosse. This has taught them several new skills and has introduced them to a new sport. 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 introduced the children to Excel spreadsheets in preparation for creating their own budgets.
Our RE topic has focused around the Five Pillars of Islam, and in French we have been making a shape book.
During Music sessions we have used Charanga to learn the song, “Happy” and have looked at different Chinese folk songs.
In Art, we have continued the theme of the Shang Dynasty by using pen and ink to draw Chinese dragons and we painted Gardens in the style of Gustav Klimt to link to our garden descriptions.
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.
The Year 6 Team
Other News From Around The School
3M and 3L Children
Mrs West would like to thank all the children (and parents!) for her unexpected but very welcome class gifts. Thank you!
Well done for such a brilliant Nativity play! We are all very proud of you.
End of Term Awards
Well done to the following children who received awards today:
Daisy Trophy – Inci O in Class 6N
Maths Progress – Harry G in Class 5H
English Progress – George M in Class 5B
To celebrate Christmas, Tesco Express invited the Belle Plates Group to play at their store on 14th December. Despite the very cold weather, the children performed several Christmas carols to an enthusiastic audience both outside and inside the store. They displayed impressive concentration and technical skills. The following morning during the Carol Concert, the group performed two of their favourite carols at St John’s Church.
Reverse Advent Collection
Thank you for your very generous donations towards our Reverse Advent collection this December. They were gratefully received by Crowthorne Food Bank and we know what a difference they will make to so many families this Christmas time.
To find out more about free and subsidised school milk and how to register your child please visit our website by clicking on this link.
Sandhurst Gardening Club
We would like to say a very big thank you to the Sandhurst Gardening Club who kindly ordered seeds for our volunteer Mr Hopley so that he was able to give every pupil in our school a packet of seeds together with hand written instructions on how to plant and look after them. The children were delighted with the seeds.
School Uniform / Boots
In cold, icy weather, children may wear boots to school. However, these must be taken off once in school, and replaced with normal school shoes. Thank you.
If you have any spare sports racquets, tennis balls, skipping ropes and table top football sets that you no longer need then we would be very happy to take them off your hands. Our children will be able to use these items during lunch times. Please hand any donations you may have into the School Office in the New Year. Many thanks in advance for your generosity.
Reporting Your Child’s Absence
In the interests of safety, parents / carers are requested to either telephone the School Office on 01344 773496 or email email@example.com on the first morning of absence, before 9.15 a.m. when the registers are closed, stating the child’s name, class and reason for absence. This is so that absences can be accounted for. If an illness persists, please contact the School Office each morning. Please be aware that reporting a child’s absence is the responsibility of the parent / carer concerned.
The Butler Road Gate
All parents / carers are reminded that if the Butler Road Gate is closed they should not open it and leave it on the latch to allow other people to access the school. As you can fully appreciate this is for safeguarding reasons.
All I want for Christmas….
However you’re feeling about Christmas and the weeks ahead, we hope that the following links provide some help and support.
The Winter Wellbeing Toolkit from the Anna Freud Centre provides
- activities for children – 12 days of positivity, winter wellbeing bunting, a mindfulness calendar, tools for managing emotions and a primary self-care plan
- resources for adults – Saying No, Breathing Exercises and Managing Anxiety
New links on the Mental Health and Wellbeing page on the school website include
- Feeling better during the festive season from Able Futures Support for Mental Health at Work
- A Sensory Advent Calendar
- The National Sleep Helpline
Here are some useful links we’ve been asked to share from Wokingham Borough Council:
- ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ leaflet for the public and professionals, giving advice on staying well in cold weather, covering issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyles, the flu vaccine and heating advice
- Cold Weather Plan For England
- A slide deck with all the key messages and actions for cold weather preparedness in Berkshire (attachment)
- ‘Stay Well This Winter’ NHS leaflet
- Advice and recommendations for home improvements using the government website here https://www.gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency
- Advice and recommendations for home improvements using the government website here https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/energy-at-home/
- Connecting Communities in Berkshire (tailored energy advice) https://ccberks.org.uk/our-projects/energy-advice-and-fuel-poverty/
There’s nine top tips for you to access help if you need it. And if none of these apply to you, check more than 90 ways to save from Martin Lewis.
We know Christmas can be expensive so save this email in case you want to access any of this support in the new year.
£400 energy payments
Make sure your energy provider is making Energy Bill Support Scheme payments, £400 between October and March. Contact your supplier if you’ve not received your payments.
Check if you or anyone you support is eligible for pension credit and how much you could get if they are pension age.
More income and planning spending
Wokingham Citizens Advice has tools to help you maximise your income and planning your spending if you’re struggling.
Where to go to stay warm
Warm spaces are up and running across the borough organised by community groups.
Earley, Shinfield, Spencers Wood and Wokingham have support in place, we’ll be adding more as they open up. All libraries are open to provide support this winter too.
If you want to be added to the list or are looking to run a warm space contact our team.
Making Christmas special if you’re struggling
If you’re struggling and worried about marking Christmas for your family, local organisations can help you. We’ve pulled together help at Christmas with organisations who may be able to support you.
The partnership winter warmers project is providing items to those who need them to help reduce bills at home.
Low energy items like slow cookers, air fryers and heated blankets, along with warm clothes, blankets and more. The project is run alongside SHARE Wokingham, First Days Children’s Charity and our Hardship Alliance partners.
Apply through First Days or a charity you already work with.
Grants for essentials
Our Hardship Alliance partners Wokingham United Charities have its Essential Item Grant open for the winter. This is eligible to Wokingham Borough residents to help with items like furniture or white goods if you’re in hardship, services to reduce distress or fees associated with debts.
£120 Household Support Fund grants
If you’re struggling to pay bills or buy food this winter our Household Support Fund can help you with £120 towards costs. There’s specific money put aside for all families with children who receive means-tested free school meals. How to apply can be found on our website.
Watch out for loan sharks in the run up to Christmas
Lenders are looking to cash in as people struggling to cope with rising costs of food, fuel and energy, as well as the costs of the festive period
Advice is available from Stop Loan Sharks if you have borrowed from a loan shark or are worried about someone else.
- Help with money – maximising income and budgeting tools
- Help at Christmas – support for those struggling to celebrate Christmas
- Register for priority services – extra help from utility companiser with service interruptions (eg. power cuts) if you’re pension age, disabled or have a long-term medical conditions, are pregnant or have children under five
- Help with essentials – food and warm clothes
- Tax free childcare support – from toddlers to teens
- Emotional and mental health support
- Emotional wellbeing hub for young people
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