Category Archives: Learning Outside The Classroom

Year 1 Trip to the Cotswold Wildlife Park

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On a bright October day, the Year One children went on their first ever school trip, to the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford. The excitement of a coach journey was overwhelming, with many children using words such as ‘awesome’ and ‘cool’ before we even got to the park. The children delighted in watching the penguins being fed and going into the Madagascar enclosure, with many lemurs basking in the sunshine and birds flying up above. The new additions to the Wildlife Park, three lion cubs, were adored by all, and the children were able to watch a giraffe eating hay from very close proximity. The train journey around the park allowed the children to see many of the animals as well as the opportunity to wave at the general public!  The children also had the opportunity to listen to a talk given by a Keeper on ‘owls’, learning about the significance of the colour of owl eyes. We are very lucky that Friends Of Pinewood sponsor some of the endangered species at the park, and we were able to see both the Humboldt penguins and the Morelets crocodile, two of the animals sponsored by FOP. A fun day was had by all!

For more photos from the trip please go to the Photo Gallery.

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.


Pinewood Gold Award Programme

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Congratulations to Gracie Neilson who is the first to gain her Bronze Award for the Gold Programme. Gracie completed three challenges. The first challenge was to design an ‘eco house’ which she picked because of her interest in nature and in caring for the environment. She chose to design ten bookmarks on different countries of the world for her second challenge. Finally she completed a fantastic holiday diary of her summer holidays to get her Bronze Award. Gracie is now starting work towards her Silver.

The Gold Programme forms part of the Pinewood enrichment programme and its aim is to encourage children to explore new areas outside the normal curriculum, to develop intellectual curiosity and to cultivate skills for independent learning. As a voluntary programme, children can choose from 40 challenges all linked to a broad area of the curriculum. It is expected the majority of the work will be undertaken in children’s own time but progress in school will be monitored with regular meetings. Bronze, Silver and Gold awards will be given at the completion of each level in the challenge. We hope this programme, for children from Years 5, 6 and 7, will be enjoyable and stimulating, giving them the satisfaction of thinking and learning for themselves and resulting in a record of their work and achievements.

If you would like to know more about the Gold Programme, please e-mail Mrs Matthews on


Year 5 Trip to @Bristol

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Year 5 visited @ Bristol to complement current teaching on the Earth, Sun and Moon.  On arrival the two working groups spent time either investigating the wide variety of installations in the science museum, or in a space workshop learning about what life has been like for Major Tim Peake in the International Space Station.  The children looked at how water is stored, built towers using robotic arms (similar to the Canada II arm on the ISS), built rockets and tested the effect of low pressure conditions on marshmallows and investigated how to exercise in space without the effects of gravity.

After lunch we enjoyed more time in the museum and watched an excellent 3D space show in the planetarium, visiting each planet in turn and learning about conditions on each before studying stars and moons in more detail. Here are some of the things particularly enjoyed by Year 5:

Tara, I enjoyed playing with the robots.

Grace H – I liked making animations

Poppy D – I enjoyed the bubbles

Toby – I enjoyed playing with the shadow machine

Poppy I – I enjoyed the 3D space show in the planetarium even though I felt sick after.

Hester- I enjoyed the human sized hamster wheel, even though it was quite hard to push.

Zac – I enjoyed all the exhibits- particularly the sports ones that recorded how fast you are or how high you can jump

Katya – the planetarium it was like I was in space,

Lilli  – Planetarium as I learnt what the planets are made of.

Poppy T – I loved playing with the iron filings and the magnets

Minnie – I enjoyed the parachute exhibit and being inside the womb

Emma – I enjoyed capturing my shadow in the tilted room

Raffy – I enjoyed the space workshop and learning what people had to do to go into space.

Caitlin – I loved the tilted room

Sam – I liked the light screen and colour filters that gave you 3 different coloured shadows


La Journée Francaise

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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.


Year 8 Scholars’ Dragons Den Presentations

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This term the Year 8 scholarship group were tasked with developing an idea for a piece of Pinewood memorabilia that could be sold at the Friends of Pinewood Summer Fair on 1st July to raise money for a chosen charity.

After three weeks the four teams had developed some fantastic ideas in response to their market research, found suitable suppliers who could deliver the product in their time frame, thought up imaginative marketing campaigns and, most importantly, prepared their pitch for the Pinewood Dragons.

Having gleaned lots of ideas from recent lectures by Old Pinewoodian, Mr Tom Maurice of SunHouse Creative on marketing  and Mrs Sarah Mace from Primaljoy on starting up a new business and launching products to market, the teams were eager to get their hands on the money Mr Hoyland had promised to invest. On Thursday 26th May the teams spent 15 minutes each trying to persuade the judging panel, made up of Mr Hoyland, Mrs Parr (Pinewood Marketing Officer) and Mrs Dalton (Pinewood Finance Manager) that their product was the best idea and had the potential to raise the most money for charity.

All the presentations were very impressive; the teams had researched their products thoroughly and had a good understanding of the costs involved in getting their product to market.  They spoke passionately about the charities they had chosen to support and had estimated how much money they would be able to raise through the sale of their product.

After the judges had deliberated about the merits of each project, the winners were announced.  Unexpectedly two projects were chosen to share the money.

The New Wave and Relay Marketing will proceed with their projects, raising money for The Rainforest Foundation UK and Brain Tumour Research Campaign respectively – products available soon!!


Team Name Group members Product idea
Relay Marketing Alfred Beadman, Olivia Lawson and Henry Pritchard Pinewood sunglasses
The Innovators Alexander Hankinson, Dorothy Johnstone, Henry Woods, Pinewood phone amplifier, stand and charging point.
The New Wave Henry Fitzpatrick, Imogen Mason and Tom Pritchard Pinewood thermos cup
Veni, Vidi, Vendidi Tom Gardener, Gregor Hawkes, Max Owen Pinewood personalised onesie




Year 5 Trip to the Oxford Natural History Museum

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We went on a school trip to the Natural History Museum in Oxford. We were split into groups and the first activity we did was a treasure hunt using ipads. We had to find certain objects in the museum; for example, we had to find a cave hyena and when we went near the picture it played a noise like an elephant. The ipad then gave us a question with three possible answers – we got it right! We then watched a video on how the hyena adapted to the cave and how they don’t live in caves any more, but now they live in hot, sunny deserts.

After the treasure hunt we went into a smallish room, where we watched a slide show, but before the slide show, the man asked us “What is your favourite animal?” I said that mine was a monkey and he said “There are millions of species of monkeys!” When everyone had said their favourite animal he moved on to the slide show. He talked about how Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace (who people don’t really know about) had discovered evolution. He then passed around animal fur, so that we could see and feel how they adapted.

My favourite part of the day was the treasure hunt, because it was really fun and we got to learn about animals and how they adapted to their environment. I also liked the part where we got to feel the fur, not just see it. Overall this has been one of my favourite school trips!

Ava Bolton

Year 7 Potential Scholars Maths

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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.

Talk by Auschwitz Survivor, Freddie Knoller

Freddie Knoller

Another fantastic term at Pinewood and lots of staggering events that will blow your mind, but there was one that clearly caught my interest: Freddie Knoller – he was one of the most interesting men that I have ever met. He honestly inspired me because he was such an inspiration from his survival through the Holocaust. He is now in his nineties and still remembers his life before the world war. He is the man that I shall never forget.

By Oscar Wray

Ninety-four year old Freddie Knoller is a person that we will never forget. All the things he has been through are just unbelievable. The BBC film that he used was based on an interview with him; it was very sad and heart rending.  I am amazed that Freddie Knoller was close to death so many times but still never gave up. He has been an example to us and I’m so glad that he came and talked to us. After about all the things he has seen and been through while people died around him I am going to look at life in a different way now.

By Harry Fuller

Kenya Club Link with Shonda

1516 Kenya Club

This term during Thursday afternoon activities pupils from Year 6 and 7 have been talking via Skype to pupils from St John’s School, Shonda in Kenya.  Each week the children were set a learning task by the children in Kenya and did their own internet research to find the answers.  The following week children swapped information, teaching each other about the chosen topic.

This is a technique devised by Professor Sugata Mitra and he has shown that enquiry based learning can be a highly effective tool when children are encouraged to work as a community to answer questions using computers with internet access.

The children discussed water conservation, cooling mechanisms, art, politics, climate and geography with their friends in Shonda.  The project was great fun, but occasionally hampered by a poor internet connection in Shonda.  When the connection was poor we resorted to learning Swahili and are now able to greet each other and sing a few simple songs.  It was really interesting to find out more about life in Shonda.

Mrs Lyon Taylor, Tom Cole & Lara Scudamore