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Winscombe Primary School

Mrs Williams' Blog

Christmas Update: 19thh December 2017


As Term 2 draws to a close and we look forward to the festive season, I would like to remind you of all the exciting events which have taken place since September. It has been an incredibly busy term with so much happening in every class. The children have continued to work extremely hard but have also had lots of fun – and that is what school is all about; a healthy balance of work and play! Fortunately the weather has been reasonably kind and we have been able to maximize their time in the playground during break and lunchtime, although jackets/ coats are still necessary.


We also approach a key moment in the school’s history. In January 2018, we shall celebrate our fifth anniversary as part of the Strawberry Line Federation! How time flies! We shall mark the occasion later in the year, when the weather is warmer, in a joint event with Sandford Primary school. Details to follow in the new year.


Staffing Update:


As you are aware, we welcomed Miss Laura Vertigans as class teacher in Year Four. She has settled in extremely well and has become an invaluable part of the Winscombe ‘family’. Otherwise, despite a recent spate of illnesses, our staffing situation has been very stable and everyone continues to strive to provide the highest possible standard of education.


Breakfast and After-School clubs are incredibly successful as ever, with excellent attendance throughout the week. My sincere thanks to Jo Horwood, Jan Bull and team, for all their creative efforts, to ensure the ongoing provision of this wonderful service. A big ‘thank you’ everyone! May I remind parents of the need to book in advance. It is very difficult to ensure adequate staff cover and cater for refreshments if children appear at the club with no notice. Thank you for your kind cooperation.


Flashback on Fun! – Terms 1 and 2:


Our academic year started with an amazing ‘Wow’ experience for the whole school: a wonderful all-day session on circus skills which launched our two-week ‘suspended’ curriculum and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. This topic involved lots of mark-making, illustrations and of course, our now ‘traditional’ Poetry Concert attended by so many parents and grandparents.


Since then the children have experienced a wide range of exciting, motivating activities to enhance their termly topics. For example, as part of their Great Fire of London project, the children in Blue Class thoroughly enjoyed their ‘Wow!’ day during which they made all sorts of exciting crafts such as buns and candle holders, culminating in a special visit from Jethro Knuckleskull! Meanwhile, Class Three enjoyed learning about the Stone Age, helped by Professor Robert Jones from ‘Indiana’ University! Going even further back in history, Class 4 explored the world of the Ancient Egyptians whilst in Class 6, the children enjoyed a ‘Victorian’ experience at Hooke Court and studied the text ‘Street Child’ as part of their topic on the Victorians. Pupils in Red Class clearly enjoyed their work on ‘All About Me’, including a special village walk, as well as celebrating Diwali with Class One at Sandford. Finally, Yellow Class continued their focus on ‘The Circus’ and finished the term with their recent work on Aladdin.


In addition to all this, during Term 2, the KS1 children participated in the traditional nativity, this year entitled “Bethelem’s Buzzin’”. What a superb performance! It was amazing as ever and thoroughly enjoyed by the numerous parents and grandparents who attended. As usual, Class 3 and 4 took part in the cluster musical extravaganza: ‘Raise the Roof’ and yesterday, our KS2 pupils visited St James’ Church to participate in the annual Carol Concert. The church was filled to capacity with so many parents and grandparents. The children clearly enjoyed singing carols and the chosen readers narrated the Christmas story beautifully, the whole service reinforcing the real meaning of this special time of the year. Other events this term have included:


Year Six Residential at Hooke Court and Year Six life Skills

KS2 Inter-School Quiz, hosted by Winscombe; Burrington 1st; Sandford 2nd and Winscombe 3rd

‘Digger’ the Reading Dog introduced to the children

Forest School started in Red Class, thanks to Kelly Hardwick

Year Five Bikeability training

Violin Workshop at Churchill Academy

Class Five visit to the Explore@Bristol to participate in the ‘We are Curious’ event

Rocksteady concert

Sport: numerous matches and tournaments enjoyed by our KS2 pupils

Whole –school pantomime – Aladdin – much enjoyed by all!


Another high point of the term was our Ofsted Inspection which took place on 12th October. Although it was a gruelling, intense day, we were delighted with the outcome and the inspector’s wonderful description of Winscombe in his report: a ‘high performing school’, its ‘environment designed to make learning seem like an exciting adventurous pursuit’. He acknowledged Winscombe as a ‘good’ school - ‘a hair’s breadth from outstanding’, and the quality of teaching and pupils’ work as very high indeed. My thanks to all the hardworking staff, volunteers, conscientious and committed governors and you our wonderful parents who supported the school throughout the inspection.


A further highlight of the term was the news that Winscombe had been awarded the Achievement for All ‘Quality Lead Award’ – one of only 400 schools in England to attain such status. Congratulations to Miss Muxworthy and all the staff for this amazing achievement! Also received at the start of Term 1, was our Gold Sports award, for raising standards in PE and maximising pupil participation in sport. My thanks to Miss Perry and staff for this fantastic achievement.


Added to this, the PTFA have continued to work incredibly hard to raise much-needed funds for the school through events such as an entertaining Bingo night and spectacular fireworks at Bonfire Night. My thanks to Chairperson Sarah Gratland and team.


As can be seen above, this really has been an extremely busy but rewarding term with so much to celebrate. The school is now completely full, with 212 on roll (an increase pf 18% over the past five years) and we have had over 60 prospective parents view Winscombe for places in September 2018. A most encouraging picture which bodes well for the future.


Finally, I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the members of our governing body led by highly experienced and dedicated Chair, Melissa Humphry; each one an unpaid volunteer, who collectively work for the good of the Strawberry Line Federation and our 360 pupils. They ensure that the staff are fully supported in their work, to provide a safe, stimulating learning environment and quality educational provision. Together, we aim to achieve the very best for the children.


May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.


Mrs Lin Williams


Friday 21st July 2017


The End of another Great Year at Winscombe!


So much has happened this term that it is impossible to include everything! However, it is easy to see that the children have enjoyed a wealth of activities, trips and events enhanced by many days of brilliant weather. One highlight of the term was Sports day! We actually succeeded in holding it, despite the weather being rather unreliable towards the end of term. A good time was had by all. The children also enjoyed a variety of inter-school sporting events; my thanks to Miss Perry for creating opportunities for everyone, irrespective of their abilities.


The PTFA team has been as busy as ever, working hard to raise funds for our children, particularly to extend our play facilities. On 24th June, they held the annual summer fair and despite the day being a little hampered by unfavourable weather, the event was extremely well-attended, resulting in an amazing total of well over £3000 raised for the school – thank you PTFA, led by outgoing Chairperson, Mark Lincoln!


In June, our Year 5 pupils spent the night at Osprey Camp. They clearly had lots of fun and returned to school ‘buzzing’ with tales of all the fantastic activities experienced. My thanks to those parents who accompanied Miss Perry and Mrs Horwood. Meanwhile, the other classes enjoyed numerous trips and activities associated with their topics, including Year 4 Science/ Dance day at Churchill Academy, Year 3 Bristol Zoo visit, Mini-beast Ball and Noah’s Ark Zoo trip for Red Class, Year 1 trip to Puxton Park, Year 2 excursion to the Matthew and Bristol Cathedral, Year 6 trip to the Weston Sand Sculpture Festival and Wookey Hole Caves, and ‘Bridge to Schools’ (engineering) day for all our older KS2 pupils. What lucky children!


During Term 6, we also managed to fit in induction days at Churchill Academy, a memorable Leavers’ assembly, and of course – a highlight of the term – the incredible ‘Hansel and Gretel’ show, performed by all our KS2 pupils. Wow!


We also received our excellent Year 6 SATs results. Well done children! Our Year 2 SATs outcomes were also great, as were the Year 1 phonics and Early Years Foundation Stage data. My sincere thanks to all the staff, who have taught them so well throughout this year and in the past.

And so we come to the end of another very successful year. The children have worked very hard but they have also had so much fun. That is what Winscombe is all about.


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our parents, children and staff a very happy summer holiday, filled with lots of fun and laughter, and wish those pupils who have left us, good luck and happiness in their new schools. In the new academic year, we look forward to welcoming many new pupils, including thirty Reception children. I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday 5th September, ready for another great year at Winscombe.


Warmest regards,


Mrs Lin Williams

Executive Headteacher

Friday 26th May 2017


Final Thoughts on Term 5


Here we are, at the end of another very busy term. How the time has flown! Much has been accomplished during the past five weeks and the children have worked incredibly hard. Obviously, many of them have been involved in SATs or end-of-year assessments but such is life in every school nationwide. It was pleasing to note, however, that many parents commented on how ‘low key’ it had all been, with minimal complaint from their children.


Apart from assessments, the children have had lots of fun. As a treat after their SATs, Year 6 children were treated to a ‘chocolate workshop’ this week - messy but great fun! You can see the photos on their class page.


In June, our Year 6 children will set off to London to visit the Houses of Parliament and see a London show. Class 2 will travel to Bristol to visit the ‘Matthew’, as part of their topic, ‘To Boldly Go’ whilst Class 3 will visit Bristol Zoo to enhance their Rainforest theme. Also in Term 6, Red Class look forward to their trip to Noah’s Ark Zoo and Class 5 will enjoy overnight camping at Osprey Camp. In addition, weather permitting, we look forward to Sports Day - always an enjoyable family affair. Towards the end of Term 6, KS2 pupils will be involved in their end-of-year show. This year, they are performing an entertaining musical adaptation of Hansel and Gretel. More details to follow later.


Finally, don’t forget the PTFA Summer Fair on Saturday 24th June. We do hope you will support this traditional community event, part of ongoing fundraising for the children.


As always, thank you so much for all your support. I wish you all a very happy holiday and look forward to seeing the children back with us on Tuesday 6th June.


Kind regards,


Mrs Lin Williams


06.04.17:  Spring is in the Air!


As we draw near to the end of Term 4, it is wonderful to note a distinct improvement in the weather, highlighting the presence of spring in all its glory. Let us hope that this will remain so for the forthcoming Easter break.


It never ceases to amaze me how lucky we are to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world, the surrounding scenery currently ablaze with the vibrant colours of primroses, daffodils, bluebells and new blossom on the trees. It is so easy to take such beauty for granted.


As you are no doubt aware, life has been very busy at Winscombe over recent weeks. The children have all been working and ‘playing’ extremely hard, making the most of every moment in school. It has been great to see so many children taking part in a wide range of sport, reflecting a significant increase in uptake in extra-curricular clubs and participation in inter-school competitions. I would like to congratulate the pupils on their fantastic success, particularly in hockey, archery and netball.  My sincere thanks to Miss Perry and staff for all their hard work.


My thanks also go to the PTFA who continue to raise much-needed funds for the children. A highlight of the term has been the grand opening of ‘Project Play’ by footballer Scott Murray, providing a wonderful outdoor stage, wigwams and trails in both playgrounds. It has been super to see the children enjoying their enhanced play facilities.


The children have also been busy extending their learning in class, enjoying their various topics such as Space in Reception, Food in Class 1 and 2, Romans in Class 3, Mountains in Class 4, Ancient Greeks in Class 5 and Mind and Body in Class 6. I am delighted that so many parents have appreciated the various trips, visitors and ‘museums’ which have enhanced the children’s learning. The children have also benefited from a wealth of musical and dance events, including ‘Dance Their Socks Off!’, KS2 Music Festival and the Carducci Quartet. What lucky children!

Next term promises to be just as busy, obviously with the annual statutory assessments in both key stages, but in addition there will be lots of fun to be had by all. KS2 pupils will be preparing for their end-of-year show (further details to follow) and there will also be more opportunities for sport, particularly with the Archery finals at the Spring Games. All in all, a broad and balanced, creative curriculum.


Upon our return in Term 5, I would like to remind you that, in anticipation of warmer weather, the children may wear their summer uniform - as detailed in our recent newsletter.


Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Easter.


Warmest regards,


Lin Williams

Executive Headteacher




18.01.17: A Positive Start to 2017


I trust you all enjoyed the festive season and despite the generally dismal weather, have started the new year well. The children returned to school refreshed and ready for Term 3 but several have suffered the usual coughs, colds and stomach bugs, typical at this time of the year. Let us hope that these lessen as we approach spring.


On a very positive note, as you may have noted in the press, Winscombe received some excellent news just before Christmas. Amongst the top schools in the North Somerset Primary School League once again! Obviously we were all delighted and my thanks go to all our fantastic staff for their hard work and efforts throughout the year. They make a wonderful team! Of course it’s not just about SATs performance. They prepare the children thoroughly, not only in academic terms but also in developing core values and skills for life as well as preparation for the next stage in their education. At Winscombe, we strive to provide a broad, balanced and highly creative curriculum enriched with numerous exciting trips, visits and activities.


Already this term, our children have enjoyed lots of stimulating activities to enrich their learning. On Monday, a team of KS2 pupils competed in a Dodgeball tournament; great fun was had by all. Later this term, pupils will participate in Wheelchair basketball and High 5 Netball. Class 6 recently travelled to Bristol, to visit the Create Centre, to learn about Life Skills and also found time to explore Bristol Museum. Blue Class will shortly receive a visit from Warburtons to find out all about bread-making and Yellow Class will have fun participating in African drumming! Life is never dull at Winscombe!

Finally, may I remind you all that Parent Consultation evenings will take place on Tuesday 28th February and Thursday 2nd March. Please keep the dates in your diary.


Lin Williams




06.12.16: Busy as ever!


Term 2 began on a real high with the PTFA Bonfire Night on Friday 4th November, now very much part of Winscombe’s many traditions. What an amazing display of fireworks – certainly the best I have ever seen! I do hope you all enjoyed the event, with its accompanying range of delicious refreshments. Many thanks to our hardworking PTFA members who spent hours preparing for the evening, then repairing the field the next day. During that week, we also received many feedback forms from parents following our Parent Consultation evenings just before the half-term break. Thank you so much for all the positive feedback forms, with such lovely comments as:


“Really happy with the school, it’s a lovely environment and both my child and I are very happy. All the teachers are fantastic!”

“As always, we are really pleased with the standard of education. Our child is really happy!”

“We are so pleased with Winscombe Primary school …..we are very grateful for the hard work of the teaching staff.”

“We are really pleased with the outstanding education our child is getting at Winscombe.”


The following week, our Year 5 pupils took to the road on their bicycles, as part of their ‘Bikeability’ training. After two mornings of intensive tuition, they endured a day of assessment on the roads near school. Well done all! A few days later, we received a special visit from Skansa, the local road-maintenance company, with one of their new gritters! The children had the opportunity to view the gritter at close hand and draw pictures of it. They then had to think of a suitable name for the gritter! Winners of the best pictures and names will receive prizes in the near future. The week ended with Remembrance Day, always acknowledged with a brief moment of reflection and a special poem read by Year 6 pupils at the service held in Winscombe village.


‘Anti-Bullying Week’ took place during the third week of term, and like all schools nationwide, we held a special assembly, class discussions and our anti-bullying leaflet was sent home for parents to discuss with their children and remind them of our school strategy. To end the week, three of our Year 6 pupils participated in the Youth Speak competition at Churchill Academy. I was so proud of them and how well they spoke - full of clarity and confidence. Although not amongst the winning teams, they really were fantastic ambassadors for the school and looked so smart too!


Since September, our children have experienced a wide range of sporting events, including football, cross-country running, badminton, ‘Kurling’ and swimming. My thanks to Miss Perry who has coordinated all the matches. To support lunchtime and break-time play, as part of ‘Project Play’, the PTFA have been busy repainting all the line markings and several new designs have also been created. More recently, climbing walls have been erected in both playgrounds and further activities will be implemented in the new year. Thank you PTFA!


On the academic front, we recently had a whole-day review, assessed by an experienced, external advisor. Following a succession of lesson observations, work scrutiny and pupil interviews, she reported that, “Pupils say that Winscombe is a really good school. They like the big classrooms and the enjoyable things they do in the classrooms. They like their teachers because they know that they can trust them.” She also added that:


“Pupils love their learning. They say that they enjoy the wide variety of clubs they can attend and they enjoy working with the expert coaches and other adults who come into the school. They say that the topics they learn are really interesting. They love the visits they make which they say are ‘amazing’ and they also enjoy the special days when they dress up.”


Further, she noted that:


“Pupils’ behaviour is excellent. They (pupils) say that they cannot think of any times when other pupils’ behaviour has stopped them from learning. They know the expectations and they willingly meet those expectations because they think that the rules are fair. They say that pupils who are always good are recognised and feel rewarded. They have in-depth knowledge about different kinds of bullying. They believe that there is no bullying in the school because ‘we just don’t do that’.”


As we draw near to the end of term, we look forward to two weeks of exciting Christmas activities highlighted by our traditional KS1 Nativity performance - always a favourite with our parents. In the final week, our lucky children will enjoy the Federation trip to the pantomime, Christmas jumper day and of course, our special Christmas lunch. However, KS2 pupils will start the final week on a more serious note, by celebrating the real meaning of Christmas at their Carol Service on 12th December. We do hope you can join us at the church.


The term ends on Friday 16th December, leaving us all plenty of time to prepare for Christmas day itself. May I take this opportunity to thank you for all your support and to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.


Lin Williams

21.10.16: How Time Flies!


It’s amazing to think that it’s already the end of term! How time flies when you are having fun – and indeed, what fun the children have had throughout this term.


On 5th October, the children enjoyed a special Harvest lunch provided by Lynn and her team in the kitchen. It was lovely to welcome so many parents of pupils in Red Class and hear their positive comments about the food. During this week, we also had the wonderful news that Winscombe Primary had achieved its Bronze School Games Mark award in PE! This acknowledged the fantastic efforts of our children in various sports. Many thanks to Miss Perry!


Blue Class have been finding out all about the Great Fire of London and to help them in their research, on 6th October, they spent an entertaining day with ‘Jethro Knuckleskull’, who was apparently Samuel Pepys’ servant!


Ending the week on a high note, on Friday 7th October some Year 5 pupils participated in a Maths Challenge at Clifton High School - great fun and lots of learning was had by all.


The following Friday, 14th October, Winscombe held a very successful Open Day for parents of prospective pupils for Reception in September 2017. It was extremely well attended with numerous positive comments about the vibrant learning environment, high standards and the children’s excellent manners and behaviour. It was also great to have the support of our PTFA who were there to provide further information about life at Winscombe and to tell them about their fantastic achievements.


During the final week of term, many of our KS2 children took part in a Cross-Country competition at Churchill Academy. I am told that they all performed superbly.  Well done everyone! All in all, a great start to the year!


May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very restful, happy holiday, whether you are staying at home or flying off to the sun. Enjoy the time with the family. We look forward to welcoming the children back again after the break on Monday 31st October, ready for another busy term ahead. I would like to remind you that with the weather recently turning rather chilly, it’s time to turn out the winter uniform!  The children will also need a warm coat or jacket for break and lunchtime play. Thank you all for your kind cooperation.


I hope you will be able to support the PTFA with their Bonfire Night on Friday 4th November – all to raise funds for your children. It’s always such a fantastic occasion and great fun for all the family. If you are able to help the team in any way please contact the office.


Lin Williams

It’s all action at Winscombe!

The past weeks have been warm overall and the children have had the chance to play outside for much of the time. It has also been action-packed, with so much happening in every year group. On Friday 16th, numerous parents and grandparents enjoyed our traditional KS1 and KS2 Poetry Concerts – thank you so much for all your encouraging comments. It was a wonderful conclusion of our two week focus on Roald Dahl.

On Monday 19th, Year 6 set off on their Residential trip to Hooke Court. They seemingly had a fabulous time and returned on Friday afternoon ‘buzzing’ with excitement. A huge ‘thank you’ to Miss Muxworthy, Mrs McClean and Mrs Griffin for organising such an amazing week. On the same afternoon, a team of KS2 students participated in a ‘Festival of Sport’. My thanks to Miss Perry and those parents who accompanied the children. A great time was had by all, affording the children the opportunity to try out many different sports, even including wheelchair basketball!

On Thursday evening, I was delighted to meet with many of our new Reception parents, when Mrs Pemberton, supported by Mrs Mistry, led a highly informative session about life in Red Class, all part of our comprehensive induction process. This was followed by an excellent PTFA AGM meeting during which new members were appraised of the amazing events and achievements of the last academic year and members were elected for the key positions. My thanks to all the PTFA team, led by Chair Mark Lincoln, who also made our new parents feel very welcome with generous refreshments. Watch out for the PTFA new newsletter ‘Strawberry Source’ which contains details of all the PTFA activities and forthcoming events.

On the subject of the PTFA, don’t forget - next Friday evening, 30th September is Bingo Night at Winscombe! Hope to see you there!


Mrs Williams

Thursday 15th September


Great start to the year!


Welcome to my blog where you can read all about the wonderful things that have been happening at school.  A special welcome to all of our new children and parents who have joined the Winscombe family.  It’s amazing to think that the Reception pupils have only been in school for just two weeks and they are already coping incredibly well with their new environment and routine.


As part of our whole school theme, the classes have been enjoying the fantastic world of Roald Dahl, exploring all his fantastic books. On Tuesday this week, the children thoroughly enjoyed an exciting Science day, as well as celebrating 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl. On Friday 16th, parents will have the chance to attend our annual poetry concert to enjoy hearing more about this incredible author.


On Monday 19th September, our Year 6 pupils will set off to Hooke Court for their residential camp. I hope they all have a super time!


Next Thursday, we shall be holding a special meeting for our new Reception class parents to find out about the EYFS curriculum and life in Red Class.  This will be followed by the AGM of our PFTA – hope to see you there.


What a great start to the year!


Lin Williams