Dear Parents and Carers,
We have successfully made it to the end of a very action-packed term, thankfully without any classes having to revert to online learning and there have been times that I felt we came very close to not having enough staff to cover classes!
I am so very proud and grateful to my SLT but also our amazing staff, being positive (in a very good way that does not relate to Covid 😊) with meeting every challenge we faced together and how we could successfully manage staff absences and keep classes open but also providing the best education we could in these circumstances. Fantastic teamwork from all staff – often thinking outside the box, and for me, this is why we have such a great ethos together as a Thinking School.
This term Y3 have been to Butser Ancient Farm and I was lucky enough to be able to join them. Y4 have been on a residential trip to Ufton Court, which I visited too. Y5 enjoyed the Living Rainforest and Sky Studios. Y6 have attended a Building Challenge and succeeded in 1st and 2nd places – An amazing term full of exciting trips!
Finally, we have managed to run two face-to-face parents’ evenings for most classes, whilst also including an online evening for parents who preferred this. Please remember that if you chose this option, you would be very welcome to visit after school to view your children’s books – please just let the class teacher know when you would like to visit.
Thank you for all your continued support and we wish you all a relaxing break with hopefully lots of sunshine!H.West, Headteacher
Thinking Schools – Latest News
It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Oaklands Junior School has been re-accredited as a Thinking School.
Mr Holland was recently asked to contribute to the Thinking Matters Newsletter. The article can be found below:
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Easter Egg Competition
Thank you to everyone who took part in this competition, the entries we received were absolutely fantastic. It was clear that a huge amount of effort had gone into making the displays. We were lucky enough to enlist the help of Mr Bob Elsey, CEO of The Corvus Learning Trust, in judging the competition. Our congratulations go to the following children:
- Year 3 – Winner Poppy N, Runner up Polly R
- Year 4 – Winner Bethany L, Runner up Harry G
- Year 5 – Winner Maisie, Runner up Edward G
- Year 6 – Winner Abigail, Runner up Chloe B
Ukraine Bracelet Sale
Abbie and Eva Rose in Y5 decided that they would like to raise money to help children and families in Ukraine. Such a lovely and thoughtful idea which we supported and were very grateful for the support of parents. They made headlines in the Bracknell News and made a fantastic £460. Click here to read the article in the Bracknell News.
Congratulations to both girls and their families for such an amazing achievement.
In addition, many thanks to all the families who donated gifts for the PTA to send to Ukraine.
Red Nose Day
On Friday 18th March, we once again supported Red Nose Day by wearing either non-school uniform accompanied by a red nose or wearing something red. We are delighted to say we raised a total of £200.80 for this worthy charity.
News From Year 3
It’s been an incredibly busy term!
In the lead up to the Easter break, we have been learning how to write effective instructions and recipes, focussing recently on hot cross buns. We then tested the success of our recipes by making hot cross buns as part of our Design and Technology lessons.
In our History lessons, we have been learning about Stone Age Britain and the changes in how early people lived. We have even used this new knowledge, paired with the book, Stone Age Boy, to create our own gripping, time-travelling stories in English. All this led to our fantastic trip to Butser Farm where we were able to see some amazing replicas of Stone Age housing and we became archaeologists for the day.
Year 3 thoroughly enjoyed our recent Science Week; whether it was imitating gentoo penguins and building nests, creating optical illusions or even charming worms. The children were enthusiastic and keen to engage with every activity, showing great enthusiasm.
In our Science lessons, we have been exploring rocks and soils. As scientists, we have conducted several experiments to test what is in soil and how to represent the rock cycle with chocolate!
Thank you for all your continued support at home.
Have a lovely break!
The Year 3 Team
News From Year 4
What a term!
In Music the children did fantastically well in their “Stop” rap. We were impressed with the enthusiasm and creativity of the children.
In Science, we completed electricity investigations and then experimented with sound, before embarking on an exciting series of investigations in Science Week.
In English, we have studied the story of Beowulf and enjoyed creating our own monsters.
The highlight of the term was Ufton Court and it was really great to see the way the children embraced the challenges of our Year 4 residential trip. During our stay, they learnt so much about the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, from rowing a Viking boat on their way to raid and trade, to developing tactics when fighting with a sword, axe and shield. The children enjoyed identifying mysterious Viking objects whilst preparing to send a Viking shield maiden and blacksmith to Valhalla.
In Geography, children explored the historic mansion and grounds before using map skills on our epic walk around the local area; identifying physical features, comparing locations and consolidating our earlier work back in the classroom.
The memorable Viking Feast took place in costume and without modern cutlery. The experience was made even more authentic with a 2 hour power cut! The children responded magnificently, joining in with a dramatic retelling of the Beowulf story before returning, with tealights to the main house.
On the final day, the children re-enacted a series of battles between the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons, proving to be ferocious fighters but also gaining a keen understanding of events and tactics used by the competing sides; whilst having fun!
Have a relaxing break.
The Year 4 Team
News From Year 5
What a busy term we have had in Year 5!
Our Spring term started off with a fabulous trip to The Living Rainforest, where the children got a first-hand experience of the sights, sounds and climate of a rainforest. We got to observe a range of fascinating plants and animals and learnt how they have adapted to their environment. The Living Rainforest staff commented on how knowledgeable and enthusiastic the children were and we were very proud to see them representing Oaklands so well.
Back at school, we used our experiences from the trip to write descriptions of the Amazon Rainforest and the city of Manaus based on our class read, ‘Journey to the River Sea’. We learnt about the different layers of the rainforest which the animals inhabit and the tribes who call the rainforest their home. We then compared the climate of the rainforest to the UK by interpreting a range of line graphs. In Art, we learnt how to layer and collage, before creating our own rainforest collages inspired by the work of Henri Rousseau. The finished products make a beautiful and colourful display down our Year 5 corridors. Finally, we ended the topic on a more sombre note, learning about the devastating impact that deforestation is having on our planet. During a P4C enquiry, we shared our opinions on whether cutting down trees is necessary.
Throughout this half term, we have been fortunate enough to have a series of gymnastics sessions run by Katie and Emily from Pinewood Gym. Through their brilliant support and guidance, the children practised their hand stands, cartwheeling, forward rolls, jumps and paired balances. It was a fantastic opportunity to be coached by specialists and was great to see the progress that the children made throughout the lessons.
On the 14th March, we started our Science week. Throughout this exciting week, we watched two live sessions; one for Mars Day and another on Life Cycles, where we got to watch a calf and lamb being born. We also completed a variety of activities including: a traffic survey; designing and sculpting a creature that could survive on Mars; observing optical illusions and building nests for Gentoo Penguins.
Finally, our term ended with another trip: two brilliant visits to Sky Studios, where the children created, filmed and edited news reports on Climate Change and Animals. During the visit, the children were lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes insight in to Sky broadcasting. What an exciting end to the term!
Wishing you a fantastic Easter break.
The Year 5 team.
News From Year 6
We have had such a busy and fulfilling term in Year 6!
In English we have been looking at Shakespeare’s Macbeth. We focused on the Scottish battle against the Norwegians led by Macbeth. The children loved incorporating drama by going out to the field to re-enact this battle complete with rulers. They then wrote rousing speeches that Macbeth would have said to his troops just before, to boost their morale. The children had a great time shouting these speeches to each other on the field.
This half term our topic focus is WW2 and we have created diaries from Anne Frank in English, learnt to dance the Lindy Hop in PE and visited the RAF museum for History to learn about the Battle of Britain.
In Maths we have enjoyed learning some new things, in particular algebra which the children found challenging and fun.
One of the highlights of this term has been the Year 6 Building Challenge. The following is a report written by some of the Year 6 pupils who attended.
On Friday 11th March, we went to Owlsmoor Primary School for a building challenge. There were five schools in all, some brought two teams and others just one. The challenge consisted of Maths, Science and Design Technology, also known as STEM. The aim was to build the most accurate replica of a building by memorising the colour and position of blocks set up in another room – the architect’s office. We assigned ourselves jobs: project manager, site engineer, quantity surveyor, planner, general foreman and builder. Only the manager and engineer were allowed to visit the architect’s office and they were only allowed 30 seconds in there at any one time! They then told the surveyor and planner how much of each block type and colour was needed and they then ‘bought’ the supplies from the ‘shop’. After that, the builder and foreman were told where to put the blocks to replicate the one in the architect’s office. In the end, Oaklands 1 (6A) came joint first and Oaklands 2 (6B) came joint second. We really enjoyed our trip to Owlsmoor and even got to go on their adventure playground!By Abigail, Suvali, Grace and Izabel.
We do hope all the children have a relaxing Easter holiday – they have all earned it.
The Year 6 team.
On Tuesday 22nd March we held our annual Governors’ day. This gives our team of Governors the opportunity to come into school and see the curriculum in action. This year was a particularly special day given the last two years of events; the Governors were unanimous in their delight to be back in the school environment. Governors spoke with children from every class, across every year group; we think parents and staff should be extremely proud of the children, who spoke with confidence and comprehensively about what they were learning, their individual targets set and what they needed to do to achieve these targets. Oaklands Juniors children demonstrated clear knowledge of what they would do if they had a problem or worry – speak with their class teacher, teaching assistant or Mr. Holland, were great examples. Children also shared their favourite thing about school; maths, geography, and history being top of the list. The children had great ideas about what they would like to do to improve school, including a ‘pets at school’ day.
The team of Governors reflected on the day, with further comments about the outstanding captivating classroom displays, to support learning and spark interest, and the level of engagement in lessons from the children. All the children we spoke with were genuinely excited about sharing their school life and learning journey.
Our sincere thanks to all the wonderful Oaklands Juniors staff and to your fantastic children who spoke to us so eloquently about their thoughts and experiences at school.
Charlotte Kieran – Chair of Governors
As outlined in our January News Update, the school will once again be used this year as a polling station despite our many objections. Whilst corresponding with Wokingham Borough Council on this matter, they have asked us to advise parents that the decision on where polling takes place is not down to the councillors. Although they have tried very hard over the last few years to resolve the problem, the decision can only be made by Andrew Moulton, the Electoral Returning Officer and main monitoring officer, a paid officer of the Borough Council. They have had many a long discussion with him, putting forward all sorts of possible options, but in the end they have to legally abide by what he decides, as it is he that makes all such decisions, based on the rules set by the Electoral Commission.
Oaklands Kitchen Garden
Miss Green will be starting a gardening club after the Easter Break. As we shall be starting our plant beds from scratch, we would appreciate donations of resources. If you are able to help we will need outdoor paint to jazz up our wooden planters, new top-soil to refresh the beds (even a contact for a supplier may be helpful), seeds/seedings of edible plants/vegetables and if there are any parents who wish to come in and help by sharing their wealth of knowledge and expertise in this area it would be lovely to get as many people involved and create an Oaklands Gardening Community.
If your child is attending a school trip, please remember to cancel any pre-booked school meals you may have ordered for that day. This can be done directly with IFG either via email email@example.com or by phone on 0204 542 7211. Thank you for your help with this matter.
Activities over the Easter period
Magical Maths Club is on-site over the Easter holidays with the only difference being that this is not just about Maths. For more information go to: https://oaklandsjunior-school.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Magical-Maths-Holiday-Camp.pdf
Crowthorne Parish Council have organised an art competition to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. Budding artists can find the entry form on the following link: https://oaklandsjunior-school.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Platinum-Jubilee-Entry-form-children.pdf
You can find information on other activities that are taking place in our local community on our website – simply use the following link https://oaklandsjunior-school.org.uk/local-community-information-activities-events/
We also have a number of clubs, either currently running or due to start after Easter, which can be accessed by using the following link: https://oaklandsjunior-school.org.uk/info/clubs/
Staff vacancies within the Corvus Trust are posted on our website which can be access via the following link: https://oaklandsjunior-school.org.uk/staff/vacancies/
We now have sports reports on our website. Go to the News tab and drop down to Sports Information for a Sports Report on the Cross Country at Braywick and a short report about our Cricket Taster Days.
On Monday 28th March we took 16 year 3 and 4 children to Luckley House school to take part in a Touch rugby tournament. Mr Holland and Mrs Jones were incredibly impressed with the amount of enthusiasm and focus our young children brought to a new sport. We were proud to have them represent our school. We had some difficult matches but we held our own and some fantastic scores and defensive moves were made. We have lots to build on and take forward. The size of the smiles by the end of the games were a real testament to a great time had by all.
Mental Health Matters: Building Resilience Through Play
If you enjoy listening to podcasts, try ‘Building Resilience Through Play‘ from The Brain Architects at the Center on the Developing Child. Researchers from Harvard University explain how children build resilience through play and how attentive adults can notice and help. They finish with these three tips for parents to support healthy child development through play:
- When really young infants have that brief period of quiet alertness and they’re cooing, coo back at them. They’re really learning about turn-taking which is an important skill for language development.
- If you let children explore on their own, they are much more active and joyful about discovering things than if parents are too enthusiastic at demonstrating.
- Reading, singing and just letting children play are really important. Children love playing with everyday objects, pretending that they’re adults, e.g. baking, gardening.
If you’d like to find out more, lots of resources are available on their website developingchild.harvard.edu.
SEN For Parents of Children That Have Additional Needs
SEND Voices of Wokingham have just published a guide of local services that you may find helpful if you require any support with your child who has additional needs.
Please follow the link below: www.sendvoiceswokingham.org.uk/news/send/ local-offer-guide-2022
Tue 19th – Back to school
Thu 5th Polling Day – School Closed
Fri 27th – Inset Day
Mon 30th May – 3rd June Half term
Mon 6th – Extra day for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
Tue 7th – Return to school