Category Archives: 2018

Year 8 Science Fair 2018

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This year our Year 8 pupils have had very little time to work on their Science Fair projects as a result of their exciting end of term programme. Consequently the Science teachers were feeling a little concerned on Thursday morning – we were confident that the children had carried out some excellent projects, but had little evidence of it. We needn’t have worried, Year 8 worked hard all morning and by lunchtime their display boards were finished.

They spent the afternoon telling the judges and senior members of staff about their projects and spoke with enthusiasm and eloquence about their projects. The judges were impressed by the variety of projects and by the children’s understanding.

The following prizes were awarded:

Best Display Board: Marina, Annabel and Lily N who investigated the effect of yeast on the decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide.

Best Verbal Presentation: Sophie, Daisy and Laura who investigated how the cocoa content of chocolate affects its melting point.

Best Project Overall: Jemima and Carmen who investigated the effect of different fizzy drinks on popping candy.

Max, Rohan and Charlie received an honourable mention for the clarity with which they explained their memory testing project.

Well done to all of Year 8 on continuing to work hard into their penultimate day at Pinewood.

For more photos of the projects, please go to the Photo Gallery.

Year 8 Scholars’ Dragons’ Den – Thank You!

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Thank you so much for supporting us throughout our Dragons’ Den project this term. We have managed to sell all the water bottles thanks to everyone who bought one!

We have raised £599.31, which we are donating to our charity. The charity we chose to donate our money to is: Together, which is a charity that raises money for mental health awareness. Together was formed in 1879 and their services meet the different needs of approximately 4,000 adults a month.

We hope you enjoy using your bottles as much as we enjoyed selling them!

The Year 8 Scholars!

IAPS National Athletics Championships

Melissa Watson 1st Javelin at Nationals crop

On a blistering hot day, three of Pinewood‘s athletes travelled up to Birmingham to participate in the annual National Athletics Prep Schools Track & Field Championships. Having qualified through finishing 1st or 2nd in the respective regional events, Wizzy, Poppy and Melissa gave an impressive account of themselves to finish 5th, 2nd and 1st respectively.

Wizzy began the morning with her efforts in the 1500m. From the start of the gun going off, the intense pace of the race made for spectacular viewing. Wizzy finished an impressive 5th; a gutsy performance for one so young.

By lunchtime Poppy had arrived and the Pinewood field events had started. Once again the nerves played their part in Poppy producing three splendid throws. At the end of the third round Poppy had made the final eight. With one more throw left Poppy produced an excellent throw of 26.05m to take silver medal!

Poppy Tulloch 2nd Javelin at nationals crop

In the last round of events in the day came Melissa’s Girls Under 12 Javelin. Once again Melissa excelled in her competition to record a throw of 26m to win the competition. A fitting finale to another successful season of athletics!

A super set of results on a day Pinewood performed amongst the very best prep school athletes in the country. The school are so very proud of you girls! Well done!


Pinewood Race For Life

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Well done and thank you to everyone who took part in the Race For Life in aid of Cancer Research UK on Saturday, it was a wonderful, colourful occasion, as always.

A big thank you to all those who have already donated on our JustGiving page:, we have already raised nearly £600 for Cancer Research UK and the page will stay open for another few weeks, it would be great if we could hit our target of £1000.

For more photos from the event, please go to the Photo Gallery.

Year 8 Leavers’ Trip to Wales

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Replacing the legendary trip to the Pyrenees was a big task, but with some amazing places only a couple of hours away, South Wales did not disappoint. Most importantly our leavers rose to the challenges that were set them. A kind parent e-mailed in a few hours after our return to say her son had enjoyed “ the time of his life”. Certainly many children experienced new activities and they loved every one of them.

Day One saw an easy two hour journey to Porthcawl where we were kitted out with wetsuits. We then travelled another 30 minutes past Neath to Pontneddfechan on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. What a place! Gorge walking was a new experience for most and one I am sure that everyone would want to repeat. The valley was stunning with amazing rock formations, waterfalls, caves and a river. At times we scrambled, climbed, traversed, squeezed through holes and most importantly jumped in! The jumps were epic into cold, deep water. Our wetsuits kept us surprisingly warm, our hearts raced with adrenalin and the children screamed with exhilaration. In the words of the Teletubbies, “again, again”. We travelled on to our accommodation, had supper and just got the TV working in time to watch England in the World Cup. We had a quick quiz which I had prepared just in case of inclement weather, easily won by 8AG. An episode of silly ‘Miranda’ , which Edie almost quoted verbatim, and it was time for bed.

I had promised everyone a stunning view from our hillside lodge, but the cloud remained firmly down on Tuesday and the persistent drizzle endured. However, spirits were not dampened as we headed to Aberavon beach, only 20 minutes away. I say 20 but AG’s Australian satnav had clearly had a couple of tinnies and certainly did not think the grey morning merited some surf. The Headmaster, who had joined us for the day, was slightly indignant that he had travelled from Wiltshire and had been on time! I must admit to have never really understood the appeal of surfing. I do now. Our wetsuits were again brilliant. The water was surprisingly warm, the waves quite big and certainly powerful and when you actually caught one, you flew into the shore. Standing up was almost impossible for the beginners in just one session, but our more experienced surfers were amazingly balanced. Everyone also had a chance to boogie board and hilariously try the six person giant surfboard, which came with its own instructor. Laughter was constant with massive wipe-outs ! On the promenade Mr and Mrs Hoyland were inspired in buying chips for everyone to supplement our packed lunch. The hot salty potato was central heating before we headed back to the relative warmth of the water for the afternoon. A hastily arranged game of Ten Pin in nearby Swansea finished the day. I say nearby ….. Our return journey saw the blue bus of Benbow/Downe  bustle to the front of our flotilla, clearly frustrated by the geographical incompetence of others and the inability of Siebert to get out of third gear. Such fun! The Hoylands returned to Pinewood after supper, the view still grey cloud. Table tennis, giant Jenga and Wii Dance completed our evening. If bedtime on Monday was unsurprisingly less than smooth, the children were contentedly out like lights for the rest of the week.

Wednesday arrived with the mizzle now becoming boring. Our guides were still happy to ascend Pen Y Fan so with clothes aplenty, rainwear and food, up we went. AW finally managed to get somewhere without needing to turn round! The children had to endure a difficult two hours. The views were non-existent, the wind howling at our backs and the rain persistent, if not heavy. Resilience is a word that is banded around in education speak and our 41 boys and girls displayed it in abundance. Our guides were hugely impressed by their fitness and spirit. Some could easily have done more, but having reached the summit of 2807 ft, we quickly descended to the car park, ate lunch and returned to base to find some dry clothes. On our return to Bryn Bettws, the cloud had begun to lift, the view was emerging. We returned to Swansea, the boys in blue seemingly leading the way and disappearing in a cloud of dust down the rough track to the bottom of the hill. We had booked to go swimming and a lazy 90 minutes was spent sliding, jumping (when the wave machine was finally turned on) and then in some beautiful hot showers. Vending machines emptied, the children were able to play outside without structure and finally admire the view.

Thursday had been long in the planning. AW, CAG and SD had all been down last year to recce the mountain bike trails of the Afan Forest Park. Split into two groups, we combined this with a return to Aberavon beach, now bathed in glorious sunshine. What a day!!! The morning bike group enjoyed the skills trail and the lower level trail. Our mountain bike hire company, Afan Valley Bike Shed, were simply outstanding and the quality of their equipment was amazing. We all met up for lunch, with the more experienced cyclists, who regularly go out with Mr Downe on a Thursday, poised for the challenge of the Blue Scar trail. They had the cycle of their lives. AG said it was his favourite activity of the week and the heroic Mr Downe was able to sit on the terrace that evening, take in the now stunning view and contemplate with pride what he had inspired the children to achieve. Meanwhile, on the now stunning beach of Aberavon, the morning cyclists played like little children, dug holes, built sandcastles, skipped, swam under the watchful gaze of the RNLI and doubled the takings of Remo’s restaurant. They had a menu, such was the breadth of ice cream flavours! EB did not talk for several minutes as he demolished Ferrero Rocher and Salted Caramel.

We packed up efficiently on Friday morning and left the stunning location of Bryn Bettws for the final time. The fun was not over as a day at the Adventures Wales centre near Porthcawl beckoned. The sun was now a permanent fixture in the sky as the children rotated between quad bikes, paint ball, climbing and a high ropes challenge. The pace of the day was perfect for the now weary children and staff. SD even had a sneaky kip before springing into life for the final paintball session. EB, CAG and AW all sneaked on a quad bike for quality control purposes. The M4 briefly threatened our return journey, but we were still 15 minutes early returning to base. Happy days!

Huge thanks must go to the children. They were praised everywhere they went for their manners and their fortitude. We had urged them to show a level of spirit, cooperation and teamwork that they had previously not displayed. Invigorated, motivated and with a big smile on their faces, they nailed it!

Finally, I must thank my colleagues profusely. I may have organised the finer details of the trip, but they were the ones that made it all work. Miss Parris had the unenviable task of surgery. Georgia had a satnav that actually worked, Mrs Hoyland calmly reassured at all times, Benbow kept spirits raised, Siebo has a future career in logistics, Mr Downe threw himself into everything and secretly wants to ditch Maths for cycling full time and Mr AG has been a sounding board throughout this whole process offering his wise counsel and unstinting support for whatever decisions were made.

Replacing the Pyrenees was quite a task. The Welsh dragon is breathing fire !


For more photos of the trip, please go to the Photo Gallery.

The Year 8 Leavers’ Trip So Far

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Monday: Journey / easy

Gorge walk / stunning

Jumps / epic

Children / exhilirated

England / victorious

Bedtime / eventually !

Tuesday:  Weather / still drizzling

Surfing / exciting

Giant surfboard / hilarious

Hot chips / inspired HM !

Waves / perfect

Ten pin / competitive

Satnav / unreliable

Bedtime / instant !

Wednesday: Weather / still rubbish

Pen y fan / shrouded

Path / climbing

Children / stoic

2807 ft / conquered

Clothes / sodden

Swimming / soothing

Evening / sunshine !!!

Children / playing

View / pretty

Bedtime / instant !

Thursday: Children / still sleeping

Fitness freaks / running

Weather / promising

Mountain bikes & beach / later

For more photos please go to the Photo Gallery or see our Twitter feed. There will be more photos when the trip returns.

FOP Summer Afternoon – Volunteers Needed!

FOP is putting together a fabulous afternoon of fun for all Pre-Prep and Prep children after the Inter-House Athletics on Friday 29th June.

But … There will be lots going on and we need your help! Please!

If you are able to help for just 30 minutes between 1pm and 5pm we would be extremely grateful.

We have created an online system for you to sign up to:

Any questions, please email:



Smooth Newt Found in Pinewood Pond!


Year 7 are enjoying their Cross-Curricular Week and this morning were very excited (although not as excited as Head of Science, Mrs LT!) to find a smooth newt in the pond when they went pond dipping. Mrs LT said it is the first time she has ever seen one at Pinewood!

National Fencing Champion!

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Congratulations to Lottie, who is now the U11 Epee National Fencing Champion, after competing at the England Youth Fencing Championships at the weekend.

Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June saw the England Youth Fencing Championships take place at the University of Hertfordshire Sports Village just outside London. Four of our top fencers attended the day, with Zac fencing in both foil and epee.  Ben fenced foil on the Saturday, coming 9th in his first year at U13. On the Sunday, Randeep fenced in the U13 sabre, the first time at the championships and in a higher age group.  Lottie fenced in the U11 girls epee, where the pools were split into groups of 6.  She was unbeaten in this round, scoring 22 hits  against only 5 received.  This gave her the number 1 seed, something she wouldn’t relinquish all day.  With her ranking she then had a couple of byes, waiting for the last 16 where she won 9-2.  The quarter final was a lot tighter, but she pulled ahead at the end to win 10-8.  Her semi-final bout was her Everest, as both girls took it in turns to create a lead, only to be pegged back by the other.  However at 7-7 Lottie’s opponent scored two quick hits to bring her within a point of victory.  Lottie composed herself, learnt from what was happening and ensured she capitalised the next two times to bring a 9-9 draw when time ran out. Sudden death.  One minute fencing and if no hit is scored then the result goes to the toss of coin which happened before the bout started.  Lottie lost the toss so had to score to win. She waited………..and waited………slowly getting closer to her opponent……….30 seconds passed……….she waited……..another 10 seconds…….then another 8 and then she struck – ONE LIGHT and victory to Lottie!  She was in the final!

She had to wait almost an hour for the final, but kept calm and ensured she warmed up whilst the final before hers took place.  She faced the number 2 seed and controlled the bout throughout with excellent distance and formidable hits to the arm and shoulder.  The bout went into the last period but there was only one winner as Lottie won 10-6 to take the title of U11 Girls England Epee Champion!

Lottie also won Gold at the Dunstan Epee Championships the previous weekend, well done Lottie!

Well done also to Ben, who was part of the England team, who won Silver at a team event in Avignon over Half Term.