Category Archives: Pinewood in the Community

EcoBrick Challenge

Ecobrick sofa Jan 20_002

Parents may well remember that at the start of the Autumn Term we put out a request for families to start stuffing old 2 litre bottles with plastic non-recyclable rubbish.  Our hope was that each child would be able to bring an EcoBrick into school, with which we could build different items, including some recycling bins.  The response was fantastic; we were overwhelmed with bricks and quickly went about our building!   Today, in the Hall families are able to see (and even sit on!) our new sofa (which will be moved to the Outdoor Classroom once the weather improves) and will see other bins around the school, all made from our EcoBricks.

Pinewood is passionate about educating our children on how to look after and protect our planet.  In terms of waste around the school we always encourage children to think about where we can ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and to cut back on single-use plastic where possible.   But some non-recyclable waste is hard to avoid and the EcoBricks are a very visual and creative way to show ‘reusing’ of this non-recyclable rubbish that would otherwise end up in landfill.  Around the world people are using EcoBricks to build in a whole new way and are often seen in many sustainable building projects.  Whether it is indoor furniture, gardens and parks, or structures, imagination really is the only limit!

We look forward to sharing more environmental initiatives with you throughout the year.

Sal’s Shoes Collection

Sals Shoes 1 re-size

Well done and thank you to everyone at Pinewood for donating 162 pairs of pre-loved children’s shoes and £42.69 to Sal’s Shoes. The collection is now closed and will be delivered to Sal’s Shoes on Monday. We hope to hold another collection in the not too distant future, so if you are having a clear out, remember to keep your children’s outgrown (but not outworn) shoes for the next collection!

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.

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!

Ridgeway Run 2019

Ridgeway Run Sept 19

We were delighted to sponsor the Children’s Run at this year’s Ridgeway Run in aid of Lambourn Riding for the Disabled Association.

We are very proud of all the Pinewood runners who took part. Well done in particular to the Pinewood adult 10 mile team, who came first, with Mr Newcome coming first overall. Many congratulations also to Emily LT and George L, who came 1st Girl and 1st Boy in the 5 mile race – a tremendous achievement!

Friends of Pinewood Summer Afternoon

FOP Summer 52

An enormous thank you to Friends of Pinewood and all the volunteers who helped them on the day, for such a successful and fun Summer Afternoon last Friday. We are thrilled to announce that the event raised £2900! This is a tremendous amount and, as well as being put to good use within the school, will also help us make generous contributions to our chosen charities this year: Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, Pennyhooks Farm Trust, Julia’s House and Wiltshire Treehouse.

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

Friends of Pinewood Clothes Sale

FOP Clothes Sale

A HUGE thank you to Friends of Pinewood for organising the brilliant clothes sale last Thursday and Friday – what a fun way to shop for new clothes over a glass of champagne and canapés or a cup of coffee and a chat with friends! Thank you to everyone who donated clothes and to all those who came and supported FOP at the event.

We are thrilled to announce that the clothes sale raised £2300 – all of which will be donated to Helen & Douglas House, who provide hospice care for babies, children and young people in Oxfordshire and the surrounding area.