The Pinewood Approach ~

Making Learning an Adventure

We would like to think that Pinewood is a little different. What makes it so is intangible, but nevertheless apparent in the atmosphere that permeates the school, is embodied in our vision, aims and values and evident in our approach to life.

Here at Pinewood two strongly held beliefs underpin that approach. Firstly that learning can only be fostered in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect and within an environment where fear of failure is banished. We start with the premise that you can do nothing with an unhappy child. Create the right atmosphere of care and respect and accept that children will and should ask questions, push boundaries and occasionally transgress, and you establish a school where children start to trust their instincts, recognise the relationship between action and consequence, and begin to take responsibility for their own development. Pinewood children have often been described as possessing a ‘relaxed exuberance’ but we would hope their attitude is one that recognises, respects and abides by the core values of decency, good manners, honesty and a consideration for others.

Further to this they need to understand the ideals of service, duty, compassion and tolerance.  If, above all, we manage to teach them anything, we would wish them to be kind, be brave and be bold.  Secondly, we hold fast that education is not confined to the classroom.  Our mission statement alludes to the importance of Art, Drama and Music as well as our Sport, Activity and Outdoor Adventure programme. This remains at the heart of our holistic approach to education at Pinewood.

We are proud of the part our grounds play in developing our children’s learning – from the basic play structures in the Pre-Prep play area to the Assault Course in Big Woods. Along the way the children will experience the Pre-Prep outdoor arena consisting of year-grouped gardens, an outside classroom, a poly tunnel and the Story Teller’s stage as well as the Musical Corner. In later years, the Little Woods, the grounds and the pond play their part.

Visiting workshops and speakers, our educational outings, and the Saturday Kaleidoscope hour, all add richly to the diversity of education offered. A further strand encompasses our Activity and Adventure programme. The first named being Pinewood-based where children are given the opportunity to try anything from ballet to bowls, polo to judo, fencing to model boating. Complementing this is our off-site programme for Years 4 to 8 which gives children the chance to visit Somerset, Shropshire, Chichester and France.

Weaving all these strands together allows Pinewood children to experience a real breadth and diversity of education and allows us to offer them a wealth of opportunity both in and out of the classroom. It engenders an atmosphere that challenges our children and reminds us that ultimately it is not the answer that enlightens but the question.

Philip Hoyland, Headmaster

“By the time pupils leave the school, they are mature, confident and thoughtful, due to the great care and attention the school gives to their personal development.  A strong, supportive ethos, together with staff who set an excellent example, ensures that pupils are respected and valued.  Within this climate they grow in self-belief and self-esteem.  Pupils’ self-confidence and maturity are demonstrated in the great pride and enthusiasm with which they described their school.” 

ISI Inspection Report

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