Category Archives: Learning Outside The Classroom

Fly To The Line Competition Regional Winners!

fly to the line winners 1

Well done to our team of Year 5 engineers (Joao Filipe, Jamie, Marius & James) who competed against 9 other teams from Oxfordshire to win the regional finals of the Fly To The Line competition at RAF Benson yesterday.

Calling themselves Pinewood Airlines the boys had to build a brand new glider from scratch. No templates this time, just a piece of paper, a piece of A3 foam, a pencil and a ruler! They worked well as a team to come up with a design that they thought was going to allow their glider to travel the furthest, using specific measurements and precise cutting.

The atmosphere was a mixture of excitement and nerves as we gathered in the hangar for the competition. We were told that the winner would be chosen from the best of 3 flights. The first flight was launched from the catapult at a 5 degree angle. Pinewood Airlines were up third and we stepped up to the launcher with a little trepidation. Our glider was mounted and then 3, 2, 1 GO! Our glider was launched and didn’t stop for a huge distance! It was the best launch of the day! We had some tough competition from 2 other teams and as the competition came to a close we had no idea who the winner was. As the results were checked and verified we waited nervously. Then, finally, the results were announced… 7 schools, 9 teams and only 1 winner: Pinewood Airlines! The boys were ecstatic and, rightfully, proud of their efforts!

Well done, boys, on a great day of engineering work!

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

Year 5 Fly To The Line Competition

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This was the first time that we had run this competition at Pinewood so excitement levels were high!

The aim: to build a glider out of an A3 foam sheet and see how far it travelled when launched. The children had to use their knowledge and understanding of forces to think of the best shape for their gliders.

The venue: the Pinewood Sports Hall, in order to limit any weather variations.

The competition: nail biting!

Joint winners: Fortnite Airlines and The Victorious Age, who will be heading to the Regional Finals on 13th February at RAF Benson, Wallingford, where they will be building another glider and competing against other Year 5 and 6 children from schools across Oxfordshire.

Well done to everyone in Year 5 and good luck to winners in the regional finals!

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

Pinewood Gold Programme – First Pupils Achieve Their Gold Award!

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Well done to Matilda R, Poppy R and Emily P, who are the first Pinewood pupils to complete the Gold Award of the Pinewood Gold Programme. This is a tremendous achievement as the Year 6 girls have completed all three levels in just four terms!

The Gold Programme started in September 2015 and forms part of the Pinewood enrichment programme for Years 5, 6 and 7 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. Bronze, Silver and Gold awards are given at the completion of each level in the challenge.

To achieve their Gold Award, Matilda, Poppy and Emily each had to complete 10 challenges (some of which were completed as part of their Bronze and Silver Awards).

Matilda created two games designed to teach Maths and French vocabulary to children. She then became a natural history explorer and walked the same route five times recording observations of plants and animal life as she went. Finally, Matilda devised a literary tea party for some book characters and made a banana milkshake for Ruby Redfort.

Poppy designed two new book covers for some favourite books. She made a game, adapted from Snakes and Ladders to teach younger children numeracy. Poppy planned a walk around her local area, which she completed five times at different times of the day and in different weather conditions, making detailed observations each time. To complete her Gold Award Poppy created a literary tea party and made some ‘worm’ spaghetti for Mr Twit!

Emily made an explorer scrapbook on Amelia Earhart and a Maths game to teach numeracy to a younger child. She then made a French game called ‘Voyage, Voyage!’ with questions and chance cards. Finally, to complete her Gold Award Emily produced a menu and invitations to a literary tea party and made some marmalade sandwiches and strawberry tarts for her guests, Paddington and Alice!

Well done, Matilda, Poppy and Emily!

Bradfield College Year 5 Science Challenge Winners!

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A mixture of nerves and excitement filled Freddie, Sasha, Hamish and Zara as we made our way into Bradfield College’s fantastic Science department ready to start the Prep Schools’ Science Challenge.

Children from 20 different prep schools started to arrive with similar feelings to the Pinewood team and the atmosphere was tense! The children were briefed that the challenge would consist of 3 practical challenges and a quiz in each science and that they needed to work as a team in order to do well. Our first challenge was Biology, which involved observational skills whilst looking at plant cells through microscopes and studying the behaviour of maggots when put on a petri dish, that was half in the light and half in the dark. The next challenge was all about Physics where the children were tasked with making a loudspeaker out of cardboard, paper and copper wire that would play music from an iPhone. A much needed biscuit and juice break followed the Physics challenged and once the children were recharged and ready to go they headed into their final challenge: Chemistry. Here the children had to identify unlabelled chemicals by mixing them with other, labelled chemicals and observe the reactions between them. This, I was told, was ‘really cool’! Dr Brooks, Bradfield’s Director of Science, who then gave a Whizz, Bang, Pop demonstration that involved hydrogen balloons, liquid nitrogen and a little bit of scientific ‘magic’ that left both children and adults in awe. We then headed over to the quad where we were treated to a Nitrogen ‘bomb’ demonstration and then the all-important results. The children all fell silent for the first time that afternoon whilst Dr Brooks read out 3rd place (no mention of Pinewood), then 2nd place (still no mention of Pinewood) and then, with suspense at its highest, he announced that Pinewood had won!! A huge well done to the Pinewood team, they worked sensibly, scientifically and as part of a team and we are all very proud of them!

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Smooth Newt Found in Pinewood Pond!

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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!

Year 7 Race For The Line Competition

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Yesterday morning Year 7 were finally able to see their foam rocket cars in action in Pinewood’s first Race for the Line competition. This is part of a national competition to inspire interest in STEM subjects by getting pupils to work in teams to design, build and race their model rocket cars based on the Bloodhound model.

The race track was built in the lower car park by Staff Sergeant Helen Jones and her team from MOD Corsham.  The cars were racked up and loaded with charges.   After an enthusiastic count down for each car the charge was ignited and the cars shot off down the race track.  Each car was timed at top speed as it passed through a light gate before crashing into some foam lagging at the finish.

We were delighted (and relieved) that all the children’s designs met the safety criteria for racing and all survived ignition, reaching the finishing line intact.  The fastest cars travelled at over 13 m/s (an impressive 47 km/hour) but variations in time were affected most by how well the cars travelled along the guide wire.  Cars that travelled straight and ran well along the ground pulled least on the wire and so were not slowed by friction.

It was great fun seeing all the cars whizz past and we are delighted that The Flameingoes have qualified for the regional finals in May!  We are very grateful to the team from MOD Corsham for making race day possible.   Well done everyone!

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The results are shown below.

For more photos please go to the Photo Gallery.

Team Name Time (ms) Position
Poppy A, Amber 76.1 3
Phantom, Edward L & Tom F 77.7
Toby, Alfie, Ben C 76.9
Benny, Kiki (Super Duper Fast Car) 77.6
Ines, Ollie C, Atticus (Black Panther) 74.6 2
William, Milan (MOWAMZ) 83.8
Grace, Poppy I, Ottilie (Toastin) 91.8
Minnie, Amelia, Tabbie (The flying rocket mat) 87.2
Bella, Caitlin, Oliver, Yasha 89.9
Georgie, Max, Tara, Alice, Poppy (The Flamingoes) 71.9 1
Cecilia, Grace, Iona, Poppy, Rosa (Speeding Speedos) 78.6
Raffy, Katya, Alexandra, Samson (Bob the builder) 77.3

Stargazing at Pinewood

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A huge thank you to the parents of the 2017 Year 8 Leavers who generously gave the school an amazing telescope. After many failed attempts at stargazing due to bad weather and the lunar cycle we were finally able to show some Pre-Prep and Year 7 pupils a close up view of the moon on Thursday evening.  We hope that this will be the first of many star and moon gazing opportunities.

Thanks are also due to Chris, Pinewood’s Database Manager and resident stargazing expert for sharing his technical expertise and enthusiasm.

For more photos please go to the Gallery.

 

Pinewood Weather Station

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Pinewood now has its very own weather station, kindly paid for by Friends of Pinewood.

You can track the data from the weather station by going to: www.weatherlink.com. Login and password details can be found on the Pigeon.

The weather station will allow us to track rainfall, temperature and wind speed/direction amongst other things and will be a very useful real life tool for our budding geographers.

Neverland Week in the Library

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Follow the second star to the right and go straight on till morning to arrive in Neverland in the Boddington Library!

The Reading Group who meet during activities on a Thursday afternoon have been reading the story and creating lots of decorations to turn the library into the magical island, complete with a mermaid lagoon and Indian village with tepee and totem pole. Children have visited to take part in competitions, try on a pirate hat or Indian headdress, search for fairy dust and see the story come alive through nine different 3D scenes from the story.  They have been able to transform themselves into different characters from the story including the dastardly villain Captain Hook. Pre-Prep have also visited to take part in the fun. It’s been a busy week in the library and children who took part in the competitions have enjoyed a piece of pirate treasure, of the chocolate variety!

Thanks to the Reading Group for all their hard work this term and for helping to make this such a successful event.

For more photos please go to the Photo Gallery.

 

Pinewood Year 8 Science Fair

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This was the fourth Science Fair that we had held for the Year 8 leavers.  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 making slime, launching match head rockets and finding out the quickest way to move an After Eight chocolate mint from your forehead to mouth!

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: Dr Chris Flaherty, Head of Science from Cokethorpe, Mrs Phaedra Gowen, Housemistress at St Edward’s, Oxford, Dr Alix Waine, Head of Chemistry and Mrs Louise Carter, Housemistress and Head of Biology, both from Stowe. 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.

Prize Winners

Best overall project:

How Haribo sweets, RedBull and exercise affect the rate of reaction?

Lara Capps, Nathan McAvoy, Nora MW and Sasha Wolcough

Best display board:

How temperature and age affect how quickly you can move an After 8 chocolate mint from your forehead to mouth.

Ollie Samuel, Lizie Birch and Amelia Stevens

Best verbal presentation:

How different volumes of glue affect the bounciness of a ball

Luca Malikov, Josh Tate and Hugo Lawson

Mr King and I were delighted with the way in which all the pupils approached the challenge and worked diligently into their last week at Pinewood.  All deserve congratulations for their efforts. Well done! We are also extremely grateful to our judges for coming to Pinewood and putting the children through their paces.  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.

ELT

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