Category Archives: 2019

TES Independent School Awards

TES Awards

We were thrilled to learn this week that we have been shortlisted for the Creativity Award category in the 2020 TES Independent School Awards, specifically for last autumn’s whole school WW1 Centenary Commemorative Mosaic project. Well done to everyone involved in this wonderful project!

National Fencing Bronze Medals

Lottie & Georgia Bronze at National Fencing Champs Nov 19 003

Congratulations to Lottie J and Georgia L who both won Bronze at the Birmingham National Epee Championships. Fencing at the younger end of her age group, Lottie beat the number 1 seed (and GB Number 3) in the quarter finals before losing narrowly in the semis to GB Number 2, who went on to win gold. Georgia was fencing in her first national event and was seeded 2nd going into the direct elimination rounds. Having fenced incredibly well throughout the day, her desire to get stuck in to a duel cost her a place in the final as she lost 10-9 in the semis.  However, double bronze is a very good return from a national event. Well done girls!

Shonda News

Shonda 2

We are proud to continue our support of St John’s School, Shonda in Kenya. The whole Pinewood community has been very generous through collections at plays and the Carol Service, and through buying things from the Shonda stall at the Christmas Fair.

As their school year has come to an end, it is wonderful to hear news of successes at the school over the past year, and areas where they still need our help. Please click here to read the latest newsletter from Shonda.

Finding New Feet For Pre-Loved Shoes!


Sal’s Shoes was set up 5 years ago to collect and redistribute shoes to the world’s most needy children and we want to support them at Pinewood!

300 million children the world over spend most of their lives barefoot, making them vulnerable to infection and injury; 58 million children worldwide are not in school, 29 million of these are because they do not have the means – in many countries you cannot go to school without a pair of shoes. Since the charity started, they have found new feet for over a million pairs of pre-loved children’s shoes in 43 countries.

At Pinewood we are very aware of the impact of our consumer culture and want to support Sal’s Shoes in their bid to create a more circular economy, by collecting your children’s pre-loved shoes and trainers.

There will be a collection box for the shoes in the Wakeham Porch from Monday 11th November to Monday 2nd December. There will also be a donation box in the Office for you to make a suggested minimum donation of £1 per pair of shoes donated (to help the charity with transport costs etc.)

All shoes donated must:

  • Be outgrown, but not outworn
  • Be rubber banded together in pairs
  • Have laces if they need them
  • Have no holes in soles
  • Have had a quick clean (no Pinewood mud please)
  • Be child appropriate, regardless of size (no heels please)

We thank you for your support and hope this can become a regular event at Pinewood.

Bonfire Night

Bonfire 27

An enormous thank you to Friends of Pinewood, and to all the Pinewood parents and staff who supported us and helped to make such a wonderful Bonfire Night on Friday; the rain held off and there was a wonderful atmosphere. We are thrilled to announce that we raised £6,260. This is an incredible amount of money and will enable us to make generous donations to our chosen charities this year: Swindon Night Shelter, Pennyhooks Farm Trust, Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, Threshold, and Oak & Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre.

Each of the school houses along with Pre-Prep has chosen a charity for FOP to support this year, please click here to read more about the charities we have chosen.

To view more photos please go to the Photo Gallery.

The Book Fair Is Coming!

Book Fair

The Book Fair organised by the Travelling Book Company will be visiting Pinewood from Wednesday 6th November to Monday 11th November. This is always a popular event at Pinewood and a busy time in the Library. There will be a good range of quality paperback fiction suitable for all ages. Pinewood benefits from the Fair by earning commission on every sale, in the form of free books for the libraries.

Pre-Prep Opening Times:

The Book Fair will be open in the Multi-Purpose Room at the following times for parents to visit with children to buy books. Monies can be added to the school bill and cash or cheques are  also accepted.

Wednesday 6th November from 8.10am – 8.40am

Thursday 7th November from 8.10am – 8.40am

Friday 8th November from 8.10am – 8.40am and from 3.00pm – 3.45pm

Prep Opening Times:

All children in the Prep School will visit the Book Fair in the Boddington Library with their English classes. They can choose a book if they would like to (if consent was given when completing the consents forms on the Parent Portal. If you are unsure about consents, please e-mail the library for clarification:

The Prep School Book Fair will also be open to parents at the following times:

Thursday 7th November 7.50am – 8.10am and 4.15pm – 5.30pm

Friday 8th November 7.50am – 8.10am

Thank you for supporting the Book Fair.

Friends of Pinewood Charities 2019/20

Pinewood General Oct 15 050

In a change to previous years Friends of Pinewood asked the pupils to choose the charities they would like FOP to support this year; they were encouraged to stay local, and so each house in the Prep School, plus the whole of Pre-Prep have selected their own charities to benefit from FOP donations. We are delighted to announce that the children have chosen the following charities to support this academic year:

Postbridge  – Swindon Night Shelter

Swindon Night Shelter seeks to serve those who are homeless, vulnerable and struggling in our area. They run a Night Shelter every Friday night for anyone who is homeless, where they offer a hot meal, a chance to shower and a bed for the night. There’s an opportunity to relax, chat, receive advice about help and support in the week. They also work closely with the other services in Swindon to provide signposting and support for their guests throughout the week. In addition they run a day centre for those who are homeless, vulnerable and struggling in the Swindon area, as well as working with local supermarkets and other businesses in Swindon, to collect and distribute charitable surplus to those who need and can use it.

Motcombe – Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary

The Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary admits & rehomes around 500 animals every year. Since opening in 1967, they have proudly managed to help over 26,000 animals find their forever home. At any one time, they have around 50 dogs, 70 cats and kittens, plus a number of rabbits. They also care for their permanent guests of goats and a horse called Ben. They were founded to be inclusive, understanding and a place where any animal was welcome. Many of their animals come from difficult backgrounds; some arrive with acute behavioural needs and some have immediate medical needs. They deal with each case individually and start by earning their trust and understanding their needs. They will never put a healthy animal down and work to find each one a forever home; where this is not possible, the Sanctuary becomes their home and staff and volunteers give them as close to a pet’s life as possible.

Melchet – Pennyhooks Farm Trust

Pennyhooks Farm Trust provides a unique experience for young people and adults on the Autistic Spectrum: a meaningful, working life on a beautiful, small, organic beef farm, situated on the Oxfordshire and Wiltshire border. Pennyhooks welcomes 50 children and young adults with ASC every week. Some attend weekly, others daily, depending on their needs. All are offered many opportunities to develop social and working skills. Skills such as being part of a team, listening to and following instructions, practising and persevering, through learning a wide range of practical skills and work based activities in animal care, conservation, horticulture, woodwork, rural crafts, baking and more. Our students are given the opportunity both to develop specialisms in particular areas of interest or aptitude and to try new activities and skills.

Farnborough – Threshold

Threshold is a local, independent charity which provides short, medium and long term accommodation to single, homeless people in Swindon. The charity provides a Street Outreach Service, offering support and advice to single homeless individuals and to those threatened with homelessness, and 3 general needs supported accommodation resettlement schemes. Each year over 750 people access their services for advice, support, advocacy or accommodation.

Pre-Prep – Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre

Oak & Furrows aims to provide care for wild animals in need, so that they can be returned to the wild fit and healthy for a second chance. They operate a 24 hour Wildlife Rescue Service, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. Annually the centre takes in over 3,000 wildlife casualties and receives between 6 and 7,000 telephone calls for help and advice, all this achieved by a dedicated team of people comprising of staff, volunteers, friends and supporters, without whom it would not be possible.

In addition to the above charities, we continue to have strong links with Bishopstone Primary School, and we sponsor animals at the Cotswold Wildlife Park and a young student in India through World Vision, as well as donating to ongoing projects at Pinewood (such as the new Outdoor Classroom).

Friends of Pinewood would like to thank the whole Pinewood community for your ongoing support at the events we hold – we couldn’t do it without  you! We look forward to seeing you at Bonfire Night on Friday 1st November!

New Outdoor Classroom!

Outdoor classroom

If you go down to the woods today …

… you’ll find Pinewood’s new outdoor classroom!

Have you discovered Pinewood’s new outdoor classroom? Funded by Friends of Pinewood, it’s hidden away in a magical copse of trees at the very bottom of the playing fields.

Nettles have been cleared, the tree canopy made safe, tons of woodchip laid and an enchanted learning area created. Complete with composting loos, a firepit, benches, bug hotels, and even hand-made bunting, the area is protected by a huge parachute, strung from the trees so it can be used in all weathers.

As many of the building materials as possible are recycled from the woods and grounds of Pinewood, and the composting loos have been constructed with discarded pallets from the building site in the main school.

We couldn’t have done it without the expertise of Johno and Becky Kimberley, and Rob Tyler, who run the Cotswold Forest School near South Cerney. We brought them in to advise us on location and then to create and construct the site. It is their passion and creativity that has transformed this once-forgotten copse into a beautiful outdoor classroom that all of our children will benefit from for years to come.

Huge thanks go to Friends of Pinewood for funding this exciting new area for the school, and also to Phil Overson, Adam and the rest of the Pinewood grounds team for their support, generosity and manpower throughout.

The outdoor classroom will be officially opened just before Half Term. Do take the time to walk down there and see it for yourself!

Old Pinewoodian 1940s and 50s Lunch

Old Pinewoodian 1940s & 50s Lunch Sept 19 085

We were delighted to welcome back Old Pinewoodians from the 1940s and 50s for lunch at Pinewood on Saturday.

Many had stayed in touch, but for some it was the first time they had seen each other or the school since leaving Pinewood over 60 years ago. We very much enjoyed hearing all their tales of life at Pinewood in the 40s and 50s, particularly the stories from the time some had spent at Postbridge, on Dartmoor, where Pinewood was evacuated to for some of the war years.

We look forward to seeing other Old Pinewoodians at future reunions. If you would like to be contacted about reunion events, please email the Alumni Officer, Nicky Dingle on

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