Category Archives: Pinewood in the Community

Friends of Pinewood Summer Afternoon

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We are delighted to announce that we raised over £920 at the Summer Afternoon last week. We are very grateful to everyone who came and supported us and to all those who kindly volunteered their time to help run stalls. We are particularly grateful, however, to 100 Chai Street from Marlborough. Run by the Roy family, they sold their very popular street food from all parts of India. They gave up their time to run the stall at the Summer Afternoon and only charged us for the cost of the food, so all their profits came to Friends of Pinewood. Please do pay them a visit next time you are in Marlborough.

Thank you!

Friends of Pinewood


Pinewood Race For Life 2016

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A big thank you and well done to everyone who took part in and helped at the Pinewood Race For Life on Saturday. The majority of people ran the 5km course, which was a great achievement, particularly for the Year 3s who had been camping the night before!

We have raised over £500 so far for Cancer Research UK, but there is still plenty of time to donate. Please go to if you would like to donate.

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

Motcombe House Charity Morning

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I would like to say a  huge THANK YOU to the parents and children who supported the Motcombe House Charity Day on Thursday 9th June. The house staff and I are so grateful for all who contributed in so many ways and particularly to the parents of the Motcombe children.

Attractions included a slip and slide, bouncy castle, pick and mix, home-made lemonade, hair feathers, cricket net game, pie face, piñata, water guns, water balloons, ice-cream, smoothies, football shoot n’ score, flapple bobbing and so many more. The children were endlessly inventive, energetic and excellent in every way.

It was a huge success and we raised over £1,500 for our nominated charities Cancer Research UK and Dogs For Good.

Mel Hughes – Head of Motcombe

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


Pinewood Year 5 Maths Challenge

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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!


Friends of Pinewood Quiz Night

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A huge thank you to everyone who supported us at Quiz Night towards the end of last term; we are delighted to announce that we raised in the region of £1500, which will go towards  our annual charitable donations and Friends of Pinewood fundraising projects within the school.


Pinewood Sports Outreach Programme

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Our first Sports Outreach morning, which saw local children enjoying a wonderful morning of sport at Pinewood, was a great success. We look forward to building on this and hope to see even more children at our next Sports Outreach morning on Saturday 4th June from 9-11am. The event is open to children aged 7-11 and they will have good, healthy, active fun experiencing many sports including cricket, tennis, basketball and gymnastics.

To book your child’s FREE place please email or call the School Office on 01793 783367.

Kenya Club Link with Shonda

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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


Latest News From The Shonda Project, Kenya

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A huge thank you for all your very generous contributions to St John’s School in Kenya, “The Shonda Project”, throughout 2015.

The school is growing fast and has plans for expansion. It has a great name locally and is producing some amazing results. The most recent academic results in January 2016 show that more children are sitting the end of primary education exam and higher scores are being achieved.

We thought it would be a good time to let you know the latest news from the school and where the funds you have raised have been used. They have recently sent us a School Report and here are the relevant extracts below.

“In the school we are blessed to have three hundred and sixty eight pupils. The pupils are hardworking, cooperative and ready to learn.

The library has been of great importance to the pupils; they make good use of it during their free time and during the library lessons. The school recently purchased new revision text books which have improved the academic performance of the pupils. Thank Shonda UK for the job well done and by making us one of the most well-equipped schools by text books around.

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In our school timetable we have the computer lessons for each and every class. During these lessons the pupils are taught on how to use the computer and carry out different operations. There are some constructions going on in the computer room, this being done so as to introduce E-learning in the room. We can’t forget thanking the UK team for facilitating the same.

The computer laboratory was introduced in 2013 by Shonda UK, since then new things have been coming up. The pupils also enjoy the computer literacy; they find it interesting to use it.   Early this year a projector was brought by our donors, this has helped the entire school. Since it has been easy to teach with it the pupils understanding better when the teacher is displaying pictures on the projector. Also more computers have been bought to reduce the sharing of one computer with more pupils. Two printers were also bought to reduce the school expenses of printing and photocopying from outside.

This month the installation of internet cables will be installed so that the pupils can now learn the importance of using the internet. Many things are about to come in to this project; all we ask for is God to give us strength and life to see this project pursuing well.  Introducing computer knowledge to this school was the best idea. I feel so happy to see my students understanding the basic importance of using computer in their daily lives.

The Nursery.  First of all I thank the Shonda UK for their sponsorship which enables us to expand our knowledge through training. It enables us to cope up with challenges in E.C.D.E. right now we are really enjoying our work. God bless them.  Not only materials but also sanitation has improved. I am once again congratulating the Shonda UK as they sponsored us with funds whereby we are constructing modern toilet for ECDE section and the whole school. God bless UK.

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The feeding programme started some three years ago when Shonda community requested the sponsors i.e. Shonda UK if they could support the programme and then they willingly accepted.

We at Shonda Kenya have the pleasure to extended our most sincere appreciation to Shonda UK for providing and supporting this Shonda project with assorted colourful, brilliant games kits.  Games kits are very much important in the  aspect of games and sports. Games kit has really contributed a lot to our school team every time we involve in any competition internally or externally. As a way of motivation our school team feel motivated while playing in a very brilliant kit. During ball games, athletics and music festivals games kits enable our school team to outshine other schools highly.  In our interschool sports day or fun day games kits with assorted colours create a very wonderful scenery as the competitors enjoy performing both field and track events.  We appreciate and request for more support on the same.

We thank Shonda UK for contribution towards this noble idea of sub-ordinate’s staff uniform.”

Shonda Kenya

Plans for 2016 include the following:

Fencing the school land

Introducing e-learning

Reroofing some classrooms

Upgrading the staff loos

Start building new classes and an administration office

Introducing a school matron to help in the kitchen

We are thrilled that Eleanor Lyon Taylor has set up a communication link with Shonda as a Thursday afternoon activity.  This is a wonderful way for the Pinewood children to learn from the Shonda children and vice versa.  Thank you, Eleanor!

Many thanks again for all your amazing support, it really is appreciated; this past year a staggering £2600 was contributed.  This has paid for a new loo block, the ongoing feeding programme, a teacher’s salary and for a computer teacher, all invaluable at St John’s.

Tans Lawson and Liz Woods