We are delighted to hear that 3 Old Pinewoodians are playing for the Marlborough College 1st XI this term. Well done to Milo Brooks (OP13), Harry Brooks (OP14) and Will Pembroke (OP16). The headmaster is looking forward to watching you play soon!
We are celebrating the excellent results from our recent ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) Focused Compliance and Educational Quality Inspection which took place just before the Easter break.
Three overall judgements were given in the inspection:
The school was deemed fully compliant
The quality of the pupil’s academic and other achievements – Excellent
The quality of the pupil’s personal development the school – Excellent
Headmaster, Philip Hoyland said:
“Overall we could not be more delighted with the report and credit goes to all of the Pinewood community for their outstanding commitment, dedication and excellence which enabled us to achieve this report. I was particularly pleased that the report highlighted the attention we give to developing children’s resilience, self-awareness and confidence, so that they are well prepared for the next stage of their education and beyond. Outside of just providing the children with an all-round solid and enjoyable education, we want to ensure that we are equipping them well for any situation they may face later in life.”
The report talks of the excellent attitude that the children have towards learning, and credits this to the variety of teaching methods employed and the overarching ethos of encouraging and celebrating all endeavour.
It also identified how the strong foundations in pupils’ learning laid down in the Early Years pave the way for continued success throughout the school.
Director of Education and Head of Pre-Prep, Ruth Hall said:
“Deciding at what point to invest in your child’s education is something parents often wrestle with and obviously there are many considerations that need to be taken into account. That said, we were delighted that the ISI recognised the value of the Pre-Prep education here at Pinewood and felt that the support, structure and syllabus that we teach, really does contribute to their success higher up in the school and indeed later in life.”
The comprehensive enrichment programme at Pinewood was also credited for undoubtedly aiding pupils’ learning. No one pupil is treated the same and ‘the school fully meets its aim to release the potential of every pupil by developing character, curiosity, learning and skills’.
Just before the end of last term, two of our top fencers and their parents flew out to south Poland to compete internationally with other children coming from as far as the United States, India, Israel as well as a host of European countries. Below, Ben and Lottie have written about their experiences.
Ben: During the Easter holidays Lottie and I competed for the second time at Challenge Wratislavia, the largest fencing tournament in Europe for children. It took place in Wroclaw, Poland, and went on for five days, with more than 2000 fencers from all around the world participating. There were many categories, on different days, and I fenced in the Under 13 Boys Foil held on the Saturday. This was the first time I have fenced in this higher age category.
Lottie: I travelled out slightly earlier than Ben as I fenced in Under 11 Girls Epee (Thursday) and Foil (Sunday). At first I couldn’t believe the size of the arena, how many fencers were there and how far they had come from.
Ben: When my competition started, I had to fence 5 people in the poule round, and, if I didn’t score enough wins in that round, I knew that I might get eliminated straight away. It’s a long way to travel if your day is finished in a few hours! My first match was hard because it was the very first match of the day. I lost that 3:1, but then went on to win the next four (3:2, 4:1, 3:2 and 3:0), and was pleased to have enough points to get through to the next round.
In fact, my four wins meant that I was seeded in the top quarter, which gave me a bye through the first round. In the second round, I fenced a Latvian fencer who I beat 12:3. I then met the No 1 seed (out of 263 entries) from Romania in the next round. I took my time and used my footwork to stay out of trouble. Sadly, I lost this match 6:3, but was happy with that result and really proud to finish 51st, and ended up being the second best English fencer in my year group. It was a good experience to fence people from other countries who fence in different ways and I will definitely return next year to do even better. Hopefully as a member of the England team.
Lottie: When the Girls Epee competition started, I had to fence 5 people in the poule round (a Bulgarian and four Poles). I won 2 matches and scored points in all of them. This meant I had enough points to get through to the next round as the bottom third of the entry list are eliminated – elite fencing can be a very tough place sometimes! I was then drawn against a Turkish girl from the Istanbul Fencing Academy. Even though she was ranked 40 places higher than me, I held my nerve, practised what I have been doing with Neil and emerged the winner 8-4. I was thrilled with this result and then faced the 19th seed, who was a Pole. I kept her moving and scored some nice hits before losing 8-3. With my victories and points scored I finished 63rd, the third highest English fencer in the category out of 126 entries. Only three British girls made the last 64 and Neil teaches us all!
As all the U11 girls stayed in the same hotel, we left together and had a nice evening, though I was rather tired. We then had two days of sight-seeing with my friends Hattie and Emily (from another local school). We visited the old town of Wroclaw and the very large Zoo. It was great fun!
On the Sunday we went back to the venue for the Girls’ U11 Foil event which was even bigger with 158 entries. Again I faced very tough competition particularly from a girl from Singapore who won Bronze and another who came 8th. It was a pool of death! However, I scored hits and won one bout. Sadly on this occasion, it meant my day was over but I supported Emily and Hattie in their rounds. I ended up 133rd.
I loved my fencing trip to Wroclaw Poland and I want to thank Neil for being a fantastic coach. The experience of competing internationally has really boosted my confidence and I can’t wait to get out there again.
Over 250,000 students from more than 3,000 schools took part in the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge in February this year. Pupils had 1 hour to answer as many multiple choice questions as possible. Despite the competition being aimed at children in Years 10 and 11, we congratulate the following on their results:
Max (Year 8) – Best in School and Silver Award
Charlie (Year 8) and Olivia (Year 7) – Bronze Awards.
Our final day on the slopes was a cold one accompanied by some falling snow! The children all finished off their packing this morning before and after breakfast and then we all headed up the mountain ready for our last few hours of skiing. Lots of fun had by all in some potentially tricky conditions but, as ever, the children handled themselves brilliantly.
When we got back to the hotel after skiing we all showered, got dressed and then had a big meal before starting our bus journey home.
This really has been a brilliant week of skiing. As I mentioned last night, the children have all been fantastic and have been a credit to you as parents and us as a school. We, as teachers, hope that the children are returning home with brilliant memories and a thirst for more skiing.
Despite my reservations about whether the sun was going to shine for us today, our luck with the weather continued! More fantastic skiing from everyone today with the beginner groups taking on some more red runs, the more experienced groups tackling some moguls and everyone enjoying yet more perfect conditions on the slopes. This was our last full day of skiing so everyone was keen to make the most of it!
After skiing the children were able to choose between two activities; heading into town for more shopping/crepes/gelato or going to the ‘fun park’ for some fun in the snow. All parties had a great time and enjoyed their apres-ski activity. Once the children had showered and dressed we conducted the final room inspection of the week ahead of the results this evening and, funnily enough, everyone made an extra effort to tidy their rooms tonight!
This evening saw another lovely 3 course supper followed by a presentation ceremony by the ski instructors from Interski. The children received different awards for their efforts throughout the week and the instructors all remarked on how brilliant the Pinewood children had been and what a credit they have been to us as a school; a wonderful way to round off a brilliant week!
We can’t quite believe that tomorrow will be our last day of the trip; where has the week gone?! Great fun has been had and we will all leave tomorrow with fantastic memories from an amazing week of skiing.
More glorious weather today (apologies, that may be getting boring to read each day!) and more fantastic skiing from all groups. The beginner groups carried on working on their parallel turns down some blue runs whilst all of the other groups continued to push themselves to progress even further on the slopes. All of the Interski instructors have commented on how well each group is doing and how impressed they are with the progress that they are making, which has been wonderful to hear.
After skiing we headed straight down into town to give the children some free time to explore and look around the local shops and, more importantly to them, the creperies and gelaterias! We then headed back to the hotel to get showered and ready for supper and then after supper headed out for some ice skating fun! A few children opted to stay in the hotel and get an early night instead of joining the ice skating activity as the busy days of skiing are catching up with them.
There are some thick clouds developing over the mountains tonight so we may not be lucky with glorious sunshine tomorrow but, as we are skiing, some more snow would certainly be a welcome sight!