Category Archives: Academic

Year 8 Christmaths Challenge

maths 11

Year 8 squeezed into the Drawing Room for our 6th Annual Christmaths Challenge. The competition comprised of a Science round followed by a Maths problem solving relay race. There was a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm and it was fantastic to see the whole year group enjoying the Maths puzzles. Nora, Tom, Ferdie and Lily L won the Science part of the competition and the overall prize winners were Eliza, Ned, Alec, Millie and Reuben.

I’m very grateful to Mr Benbow, Miss Poyntz and Mr Smith for helping with the marking and Mrs Lyon Taylor for the Science round. Another thoroughly enjoyable competition – well done to the whole of Year 8!


For more photos, please go to the Photo Gallery.

Old Pinewoodian News

Pinewood General March 16 003 edit

Congratulations to Connie Campbell-Gray (OP15), who has been awarded an Academic Scholarship at Marlborough College in recognition of her excellence in this area throughout her time at Marlborough.

Year 6 at the Clifton College MFL Day


Twelve pupils from Year 6 were invited to a special language day at Clifton College in Bristol on Monday. They had brief taster lessons in Russian, Mandarin and Spanish, as well as a French themed treasure hunt. Snacks and lunch were provided in the language café in the very smart languages building. It was a really interesting day out and the children were admirable in their enthusiasm to tackle some new languages. Russian was particularly hard! They really enjoyed writing Chinese characters and singing in Spanish. Clifton College really looked after us well and we were all very impressed with the facilities they had there.


Year 8 Science Fair

science 12

Year 8 took part in the third Science Fair for Pinewood leavers this week.  Since their return from their trip to France Year 8 have been working in small groups on independent science projects investigating an area of science that appealed to them.  This year the variety of projects was extraordinary, ranging from investigating the relationship between body mass and ability to do pull ups, to finding the best launch angle for a long distance rocket.

Within a relatively short time each group had to organise their equipment, carry out the experiment, collect and interpret results and produce a display board.  The display boards allowed the pupils to show their understanding of the projects and principles of scientific investigation.

At the fair each group had to discuss their project with our judging panel of senior school science department heads: Mr Bliss from Abingdon, Mr Clegg from Bradfield and Mr Townley from Cheltenham.  The judges were really impressed by the originality of the projects and enthusiasm of our pupils when describing what they had done and found out.  The display boards were well presented and provided a visual reminder of what had been done.  As always the judges made suggestions and pointers on how the projects could have been improved, but all the pupils spoke with confidence about variables, fair testing and what investigations they would like to do in the future.

The following were awarded prizes for their work:

Best Overall Project: Flora Fletcher, Olivia Redman and Alex Taylor, who demonstrated that girls have better peripheral vision than boys.

Best Discussion: Alfred Beadman, Alexander Hankinson, Gregor Hawkes and Henry Woods, who discussed how the concentration of soap solution affects the height of a bubble tower.

Best Display board: Kitty Graham, Charlotte Hannon, and Meredith Powell-Turner, who showed that a ROKIT launched at an angle of 35o travelled the furthest.

In addition the judges were impressed by the following groups:

  • Harry Fuller, Alex Ross and Charlie Robinson’s investigation into short-term memory.
  • Max Owen, Henry Pritchard and Tom Pritchard’s test on the effect of hydrochloric acid on different foods.
  • Rose Dillon, Claudia Campbell and Imo Koe for the exuberance with which they described their experiment on Cola Bear sweets.
  • Emily Conner also received an honourable mention for presenting her Skittles investigation with confidence and clarity, despite being on her own at the fair.

Miss Wise and I were delighted with the way in which all the pupils approached the challenge and worked diligently into their penultimate day at Pinewood.  All deserve congratulations for their efforts. Well done! We hope that the Science Fair experience is one of the many special Pinewood memories that the children take with them as the leave us for the challenges of senior school.


For more photos from the Science Fair, please go to the photo gallery.

Common Entrance News

Pinewood General March 16 003 edit

Following on from the 100% success rate of our CE candidates, congratulations to the following, who have received awards from their senior schools for outstanding achievements at Common Entrance:

Max Fraser – Common Entrance Physics Prize – Sherborne

Will Taylor – Common Entrance French Prize – Cheltenham College

Ed Hartley – Common Entrance Geography Prize – Cheltenham College


La Journée Francaise

french 117

The whole school turned red, white and blue on Friday 17th June. A truly cross-curricular French Day took place. We began with an assembly with Madame Parmentier introducing the day in her best French. We even had some ballet, brilliantly improvised by Adelaide. Then the children were off to a series of French themed lessons. The Science department went to town with French bubbles. DT saw tower building. Art had a surrealist theme. Music was either Carnival of the Animals or Disney songs in French. The French Revolution was studied in History, Mr Bischoff held an inspired house Geography quiz. Mr Downe used Pascal’s triangle to do pizza toppings in Maths and the sports hall saw a Euro 2016 football tournament interspersed with boules on the balcony. The IT room saw some France inspired research and the drawing room was transformed into a bistro with Mr Hawley making a welcome return as a waiter.

The photos of the day, brilliantly taken by Mrs AG, tell the whole story, but the children seemed to genuinely enjoy themselves. There was time at break for a pastry and a house sing song in French, Postbridge stealing the show with “La Grenouille Verte ” and its associated actions !

Huge thanks to the staff who went out of their way to make things work. Particular thanks to Mrs Matthews who was inspired in the bistro and to Mrs Cochrane who organised with precision the events in the Pre-Prep.


Pinewood Year 5 Maths Challenge

IMG_20160524_145212 CROP

We had 7 teams from local schools for the second Pinewood Year 5 Maths Challenge, with the 4 members of each team excited and eager for some mathematical puzzles to get stuck into! The first round was a mental arithmetic round of 10 questions – 10 points for each correct answer. The teams then had 8 challenges to complete, including making a tangram shape, creating the tallest tower of marshmallows and straws, solving a code and finding a way through an ABC maze. All the teams were thoroughly engaged in each challenge and the amount of teamwork on display was excellent. The final round was the Alpharace, where teams had to solve Countdown style questions or arithmetic questions – the first to solve the problem was able to take the letter off the wall – 5 points per letter! Huge thanks to our visiting schools and the teachers who brought them, as well as a big thank you to the Year 8 Scholars, who very ably assisted each team through the afternoon.

In the final reckoning, Longcot and Fernham came third, Pinewood second, and Holy Family, Swindon a very well-deserved first place!

Here is a question from the mental round for you to attempt:

In 5 years’ time, Jim will be twice as old as he was 3 years ago. How old is Jim now?

BONUS 1): I think of a number, square it, then double this and finally add 3. I get the same result if I square my original number, treble it and then minus 13. What is my number?

BONUS 2): The two long sides of a rectangle are (3x + 2y)cm and (4x – 3y + 5)cm and the two shorter sides are (x + y)cm and (2x – y – 1)cm. What is the area of the rectangle in cm²?

Answers to to win a point up for your child!


Year 7 Potential Scholars Maths

maths 7

As part of our work on circles, the Year 7 Potential Scholars were exploring the area enclosed by and the distance of railway tracks. We discussed using our circle knowledge – πr² and 2πr – with tracks, and then the children split into groups to make their own train track and work out the perimeter and area. They then had a chance to explain their working out and answers to CE Maths Set 1. This was a great opportunity for all groups to use a topic, learnt in the classroom, in a hands-on and practical way.


For more photos, please go to the Photo Gallery.

Success for Pinewood Pupils in UKMT Junior Maths Challenge

Pinewood General March 16 003 edit

Pupils from Years 6 to 8 took part in this year’s Junior Maths Challenge, run by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust. They were awarded 5 gold awards, 15 silvers and 6 bronzes.  Particular mention should go to Nathan McAvoy for gaining the best in school; Alfred Beadman (gold) and Izzy Bidwell (silver) for best in Years 8 and 6 respectively. Lara Scudamore, Tom Pritchard and Tom Gardener also gained gold awards. Nathan also did well enough to be entered into the next round, the Junior Kangaroo on June 14th.

Here is a question from this year’s paper. Answers to

The musical Rent contains a song that starts “Five hundred and twenty five thousand six hundred minutes”. Which of the following is closest to this length of time?

A: a week            B: a year               C: a decade         D: a century        E: a millennium

BONUS: If the song said “Five hundred and twenty five thousand six hundred seconds”, and you started counting these seconds at 00:00 on 1st January, when would you finish?