Parents’ Newsletter autumn (1) 2017
The second half of this term has been a veritable smorgasbord of weather: glorious sunshine, bitter winds, freezing temperatures and even, joy-of-joys, a little snow. As we come to the end of an extremely busy term and move into the heart of winter and the important season of Christmas, I would like to start this final newsletter of 2017 wishing you a very peaceful and relaxing time with your family.
Changes at school
The biggest change at school this term has been the new entry system. We now have a camera-entry device so that we can check who is trying to gain entry before opening the door. It also gives added security in terms of preventing our littlest pupils from being able to open the front door.
Please ring the buzzer near the keypad and Mrs McInnes will release the door from her office. If you are outside, push the door and come in. To leave the building, push the green button to the left of the door and make sure to pull the door shut behind you.
We have also added extra hand rails to increase the safety of our pupils as they navigate our two staircases.
We now have red and white stands and chains to rope off the pirate ship when it is slippery. To help us keep them safe, please do not let you children go on the pirate ship when you are dropping them off or picking them up.
We are hoping to start a new calendar system that can be updated regularly. Once it is up and running, it should contain details of all events happening at school as well as details of any trips the children are going on, including details about timings and what they should wear. We will let you know once it is ‘live’. It will be in the secure parents’ area of the website.
Competition success this term
This has been a very successful term for our pupils with both regional and national success in a variety of competitions.
- Vissaali, Y2, started the ball rolling by winning the ISA’s national Art competition for KS1 2-D art.
- Dylan, Y6, then won the competition to design the T-shirt for Barnardo’s young supporters’ concert at the Royal Albert Hall
- Thivina, Y3, came 1st in both Sutton and Woking Arts Festivals for verse speaking
- Iman, Y6, came 1st in her age category to design a Christmas card for our MP
Kingston Arts Festival saw much success for our pupils as you will see below:
- Dylan, Y3, and Anfisa, Y3, won 1st prizes for playing the piano.
- Ethan, Y3, won a 2nd and 3rd prize for playing the piano
- Amelia, Y3, won 1st prize for verse speaking
- Kishen, Y3, won 2nd prize for verse speaking
- Thivina, Y3, came 2nd and Yalana, Y5, came 3rd in solo character study
- Yalana, Y5, came 1st in her singing class
Friends of Westbury
A heartfelt thank you must go to the Friends of Westbury for their wonderful efforts in putting-on fun events for the children and raising money for the school. The film nights raised a total of £385 and the Christmas Fair raised a massive £2,077. These things do not happen without a lot of hard work.
This magnificent sum has bought another 8 Chromebooks to enhance the children’s learning and use of ICT. Thank you.
1st November - Royal Albert Hall – Barnardo’s Young Supporters Concert
Westbury House School Senior Choir was honoured to be invited to sing at the Barnardo’s Young Supporters’ Concert at the Royal Albert Hall on November 1st November 2018, joining forces with about forty other schools from across the UK for a day of rehearsals and an evening concert.
The children could not believe the size of the Hall – there were squeals of delight and awe at the beginning of the day when they took in the sight, from the Balcony, of the huge organ, the stage and the five thousand seats!
We prepared fourteen songs (all from memory) and sent in art work as requested, and were absolutely thrilled when the winner of the art competition was announced – one of our pupils, Dylan Viswanatha, found his design printed on the front of the T-shirts that every choir member was asked to wear for the event and which were on sale to the public!
We all enjoyed the flag-waving during ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ singing with so many other choirs and sitting alongside Hereford Cathedral Choir, hearing some beautiful older voices singing, and had lots of fun singing a broad selection of challenging repertoire in harmony. Our favourite was definitely ‘Meet the Flintstones!’!
It was a memorable day for all concerned and we were so happy to be able to take part.
EYFS and KS1 Visit to Bushy Park
On the dull but relatively dry morning of Tuesday 7th November, children from Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 set off for Bushy Park to observe the changes in nature as we move from late autumn into winter. Children were encouraged to notice the wonderful autumn colours of leaves still clinging to mostly bare branches. They were also briefed about the changes in the animals, especially the deer, and warned to keep well away and watchful of the rutting stags.
The route taken by Year 2 through the bracken, oak, horse chestnut and lime trees proved full of interest in terms of bird life and stages of tree-development. Disappointingly, we only saw one male deer with an impressive set of antlers.
They rounded off the visit with a visit to the children’s play area where they were able to let off steam for a short while on the climbing frames, swings and slides. What an enjoyable morning out in the fresh air!
10th November – Film night Nursery – Y2 and 17th November – Y3-6 Film night
Children throughout the school had a wonderful opportunity to spend time together relaxing and watching a film. Dressed in pyjamas and dressing gowns and armed with pillows and teddies, there was much popcorn eating and fun in the blacked-out school hall. Many thank to the Friends of Westbury for organising these two evenings.
Anti-Bullying Week 2017 13th-20th November
For anti-bullying week the children in the Early Years looked at The Rainbow Fish and The Selfish Crocodile stories to recognise unkind actions and to understand how we can change our behaviour to be kind and thoughtful to one another.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1, the children designed anti-bullying posters. They watched video clips to understand bullying and the different forms in which it can present itself following which they used drama to make up their own scenarios which they then acted out in the class.
Key Stage 2
Each class had a form period where they watched the national anti-bullying video with the message ‘all different, all equal’ and discussed issues to do with bullying. Children participated in an anti-bullying drama class where they looked at the emotions to do with bullying and took part in some role-play activities. Anti-bullying messages were incorporated into other lessons through the week, including English and RE.
Kingston Orthodontics Team
On Monday 13th November we were very fortunate to have three volunteers to visit our school from the Kingston Orthodontics practice. Each class had a ten-minute workshop with the three women, who spoke to the children about how to keep their mouths healthy. The children learnt about the build-up of plaque and how to brush their teeth properly. They also learnt how much sugar you can find in fizzy drinks. It was a brief, but extremely informative, ten minutes and each child received a mini kit bag with further information in it. A big thank you to Kingston Orthodontics, who gave up their time to come to our school.
Year 5 & 6 Qualifying Football 6v6 competition - Tuesday 14th November 2017
Chessington Community College
Our boys’ team entered the qualifying stage of the Borough 6v6 Football Competition, played on the Astroturf pitches at Chessington Community college. Only two teams from eight were able to qualify for the final round of the competition and we faced some very tough opposition from many other school teams that afternoon.
By far, our stand-out player was Ibrahim in goal, who proved to be a formidable shot stopper. Unfortunately, he was left exposed on a number of occasions by our defenders who found it difficult to mark the quick attackers closely. Congratulations go to our goal scorers; Zakir and Usman. We were beginning to play quite well as a team in the latter stages, but this was a little too late to progress further.
16th November – Y4 to visit Metrobank
Once again, Year 4 took part in Metrobank’s Money Zone financial education programme. This began with an in-school session from Lauren, a Metrobank representative, who taught the children all about the role of banks, savings, earning interest and budgeting. The following week, Year 4 travelled to Metrobank in Kingston, where they saw the bank in action. They experienced how debit cards were produced, how to use the ATM machine, how to use the Magic Money Machine to change coins into notes, and were even allowed into the vault to see where all the safety deposit boxes were kept. It was a fantastic experience enjoyed by all.
17th November Y4 boys’ football and Y3+4 girls’ netball against Hampton Court House
The boys and girls went to Hampton Court House School to play football and netball. It was a beautiful afternoon for sport. The football was a very close match, the teams evenly split and the boys ready to play their best for the school. At half time, the score was one-nil to the other school, but we looked dangerous on attack. Unfortunately, we were unable to score in the second half. However, the boys stuck to their game plan in defence and tried hard to release midfield players to build an attack.
We were slightly outplayed in netball by a more experienced team. Our girls have only had a couple of lessons this year but were able to keep the score line to within four goals. Despite the difficulties our girls encountered through their inexperience, they learned quickly during the match and began to mark the opponents very well in the final quarter.
It was great to see so many Westbury House parents supporting from the side lines. We look forward to playing Hampton Court House again in the future.
KS2 English Curriculum Morning – Monday 20th November
Once again, KS2 parents were invited into school to watch the children in action during their English lessons. There were a variety of activities taking place, including a creative writing session, summarising and sequencing work, and grammar activities. Mrs Jackson also taught a reading support session with her Year 4 group. Many thanks to the parents for coming in to see some of what their children experience at school.
21st November – Y5 trip to Gurdwara
On Tuesday 21st November, Year 5 went to visit the Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Southall as part of their RE studies on Sikhism. Because they travelled by coach, they were able to appreciate the impressive gurdwara and its golden dome from afar.
Upon entering the reception area, they each had to tie an orange scarf around their heads to wear inside as a sign of respect. The visit included a tour around the gurdwara with a very informative guide who also told them more about Sikhism. They also visited the langar where the meals were being prepared. It was wonderful to be invited to eat there and enjoy a delicious vegetarian curry lunch before returning to school.
Y2 Workshop at The Kingston History Centre 21.11.17.
Y2 spent an interesting afternoon in the Kingston History Centre learning about Our Local Area – New Malden. They discovered the meaning of primary and secondary sources through looking at examples of old OS maps and photographs in the process of uncovering more interesting facts about the history of New Malden.
Children compared two examples of OS maps to appreciate the massive changes in population and land use since the construction of the railway station. They also investigated changes in the High Street using two Goad maps. Finally, they were called upon to test their powers of observation and reasoning skills to explain differences in modes of transport and fashion through looking at photographs of the High Street both old and new. The children learned a great deal and thoroughly enjoyed the workshop as they said when thanking the Kingston History Centre staff for all their hard work.
Y3+4 trip to Hampton Court
On November the 22nd Y3+4 had the pleasure of visiting Hampton Court Palace. They arrived safely by train and had a fabulous time discovering areas of The Palace and finding out about Henry and The Tudors. Whilst inside, they listened to special audio units and watched 3 videos.
They were fortunate enough to be joined by Edward, who had dressed as a Victorian. He talked to them about Christmas celebrations and how Queen Victoria and Prince Albert introduced the Christmas tree from Germany and many traditions. They thought about present giving and rich and poor people. They also heard that Oliver Cromwell, when he gained power, banned Christmas for 11 years!
Lastly, they made their own crowns, decorating them nicely to take home to finish.
Year 3 & 4 Football vs Surbiton Prep - Friday 24th November 2017
The boys in Years 3 and 4, accompanied by the girls in Year 4, were split into three teams to play football against Surbiton Prep School’s Year 4 boys at our playing fields.
After a late start, the matches started with Rishaan, Devan and Leo becoming the captains for our teams. The teams were fairly evenly matched. Our B team took an early lead in the first minute of the game and this lifted our spirits. The final score was 4 – 2 to Westbury House; well-done to the B team players. Our C team managed to score a goal but were outplayed by a stronger Surbiton team. The final score was 5 – 1 to Surbiton; well-done to all players. Our A team were victorious in their match but relied on scoring a couple of lucky goals to give us confidence. Our boys displayed great team work and scored one more goal. The final score was 3-0 to Westbury House. Well-done to all players, especially Alex in goal who played an outstanding match.
Turning-on the lights in New Malden with the Senior Choir – 24th Novmber
Westbury House School Senior Choir was delighted to be invited to sing at the Christmas lights 'Turn-On' in New Malden this year. It was a really festive event, with a great atmosphere. Singing on the stage, dressed in their Father Christmas hats, under the Westbury House School gazebo, was a fun thing to do, and we enjoyed showcasing our favourite songs and Christmas carols, ending with our favourite, 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'. It was clear that the crowds and passers-by thoroughly enjoyed our musical offering, and we loved having the opportunity to spot Father Christmas whizzing pass just as we finished!
Fencing assembly – 28th November
Children in Y1-6 were delighted by a fencing demonstration as well as a chance to ‘have a go’. We are very excited about adding this club to our other clubs and look forward to seeing children develop this excellent skill.
Year 4 Visit to Banstead Woods - Tuesday 28th November
As part of their English work on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Year 4 went to Banstead Woods to visit the new Narnia Trail. They met Aslan the Lion, spotted Lucy waiting by the lamppost and even walked through the wardrobe entrance to Narnia, complete with hanging coats. They even got to taste Turkish Delight, just like Edmund did. At the end of the trail, Year 4 were met by the terrifying White Witch!
The figures have been carved from standing deadwood by a talented chainsaw sculptor, Ella, from The Tree Pirates, making use of the site’s own existing natural resources. Additional sculptures are to be added in the near future.
The children not only enjoyed seeing the sculptures but also took full advantage of their surroundings to play in the woods, run through fields, enjoy the stunning views and get very muddy!
Under-5 Jive – 30th November
Thursday 30th November saw our first ever ‘Under-5 Jive’. This was an event in two parts. Part 1 was for our children in Nursery and Reception with their parents/carers. It was an opportunity to dance and enjoy themselves with the wonderfully talented Miss Emma leading the session. Part 2 was for the community when 20 under-5s and their carers also enjoyed an energetic session bonding together under the encouraging eye of Miss Emma. It was a wonderful, if exhausting, event and we will be continuing with ‘Under-5 Jive once a term from now on.
Year 3 & 4 Football Vs Surbiton Prep Yr 3 - Friday 1st December 2017
All the boys and girls in Years 3 and 4 were split into four teams, A B C and D, to play against the Year 3 boys from Surbiton Prep. Every game turned out to be extremely close, with only one goal separating each team in every match (apart from the D’s who were separated by two). It was unfortunate that we did not win or draw any of the matches, but the children enjoyed themselves and are becoming better all the time.
Congratulations to the captains of the teams – Arun, Aksharan, Harry and Anfisa – who all did a great job in warming up and organising their teams. You will be able to read their match reports on the Sports' noticeboard when they have been written.
Once again, it was super to see so many parents supporting our players. It adds such a positive atmosphere to the competition and the children love to show off their skills in front of an audience!
Surbiton’s Head of Games, Mr Hopkins, commented on what a great improvement he saw in our players since he came to play us last year. Praise indeed - well done to everyone from the children to the coaches and referees.
Saturday, 2nd December saw the school decorated beautifully for the Christmas Fair. It was a warm and welcoming occasion with a happy atmosphere. Children and parents enjoyed the various games, visits to Santa and delicious food. A huge thank you to the Friends of Westbury for their amazing efforts in putting-on such an enjoyable and festive event.
Nativity Plays – EYFS and KS1
On 5th and 6th December, parents and grandparents of children in Nursery – Year 2 were treated to a very special morning. Nursery and Reception staged their Nativity play called ‘The Landlord’s Cat’, whilst Years 1 and 2 staged their Nativity play, ‘Babushka’. It was a heart-warming morning where we were enchanted by accomplished acting and beautiful singing – a lovely way to start the festive season.
Year 5 & 6 Football and Netball Vs Hampton Court House School - Tuesday 5th December 2017
The senior Football and Netball teams travelled to the beautiful setting of Hampton Court House School on a lovely, calm afternoon. We were greeted with the usual warm hospitality and prepared for the matches as soon as we arrived. Sankara and Daniel, team captains, took charge of the teams and ensured every player was properly prepared. The football took a promising start, but our attacks failed to convert into goals. The opposition, however, fared much better and we struggled to defend against two very quick players. Final score: 5 – 1 to Hampton Court House School.
Netball was a very close affair. Last year the score line was 6-5 when we met but this time the game was drawn at 7-7. Six of those goals were scored in the final quarter of the match!
Well done to all players for working hard and sticking to the game plan.
On Friday, 8th December, we had the final of the Talent Show. There were three finalists from each House, who had been voted for by their Houses during the auditions a couple of weeks previously. The finalists had been practising hard and certainly gave us a memorable show. Each class from Key Stage 1 and 2 was represented, and we were thrilled to see such a range of talent and entertainment. The audience was extremely supportive, and it was a difficult decision for the judges. Eventually, the winners were selected. In third place was Rohan in Year 4, who performed magic tricks for Victory. In second place was Daniel in Year 6, who played beautifully on the piano for Mary Rose. The winners were a family dance group called the 'Siva Divas', made up of Leshanii, Rishaan, Kishen and Ahrani, representing Cutty Sark. They wowed the audience and the judges to scoop the top prize. Congratulations to them and to everybody else for taking part.
Inter House Sport Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 - Friday 8th December 2017
On a bitterly cold and windy afternoon we braved the weather to play tournaments in the sports the children have been studying this term. The girls played hockey and netball whilst the boys competed in rugby and football.
Hockey – 1st Mary Rose, 2nd Golden Hinde, 3rd equal Cutty Sark and Victory
Netball – 1st Mary Rose, 2nd Golden Hinde, 3rd Cutty Sark, 4th Victory
Rugby – 1st equal Mary Rose and Victory, 3rd Golden Hinde, 4th Cutty Sark
Football – 1st Victory, 2nd Golden Hinde, 3rd Mary Rose, 4th Cutty Sark
House points are awarded as follows:
Mary Rose – 70
Golden Hinde – 55
Victory – 50
Cutty Sark – 30
Well done to all players and referees.
Year 2 Puppet Show at New Malden Baptist Church - 13.12.17
Year 2 were invited to the New Malden Baptist Church for an interactive performance of the Nativity called the “Christmas Journey”. On arrival, they were offered a light snack of biscuits and a drink after which children travelled back in time to Nazareth to meet Mary.
They saw the Angel Gabriel announce that Mary had been chosen to have a special baby whom she and her husband, Joseph, should call Jesus because he was God’s son. Children also met a shepherd, the baby Jesus and Joseph and talked to one of the wise men. They learned something of the Christian symbols of Christmas with its message of joy, sorrow and hope. The final activity was a craft-making session.
Thank you to the staff of the Church for organising this event which reminded us about the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas Carol Service
Wednesday 13th December, our children in Years 1-6 shone during our carol service. It was a deeply moving occasion with magical singing, beautiful playing, clear Bible readings and well-presented poetry. Each of the choirs that sang created a very special atmosphere, and we were privileged to have been involved in such a memorable celebration as we move towards the Christmas holidays.
EYFS and KS1 theatre trip – 14th December
The children in the EYFS and KS1 thoroughly enjoyed the theatre production, Santa’s Mixed-up Martian. It was a lovely interactive show where the children had the opportunity to join in with some dancing and action songs.
Ellie the elf and Rudolph the reindeer had a special visitor from outer space: a friendly multi-coloured mixed-up Martian, who had made an emergency landing on Earth. The children had to help Santa and Ellie the elf find a way to get their confused visitor back to his home planet of Mars. At the end of the show, the children were given a present from Santa, which was a lovely surprise for them all.
Years 3-5 travel to Winterland at the Rose Theatre – 14th December
On Thursday, Years 3 to 5 were transported to a wonderful Winterland to join Alice, The Mad Hatter and The Cheshire Cat, to name a few! At the Rose Theatre, children were taken down the rabbit hole and transported to a magical place where time stood still! There was an angry Queen, a cheeky dormouse and the Bandersnatch, all helping the brave and beautiful Alice to put things right. What a fabulous time everyone there and what a magnificent group of actors that were able to bring the story to life! A BIG thank you to Mr Hamilton Turner for arranging the visit. If you do get the opportunity to see the show...beware of the fearful Jabberwock!
Christmas jumpers and discos – Friday 15th December
On the last day of term everybody wore their Christmas jumpers to school. This was a national event arranged by the charity 'Save the Children', but it was brought to our attention by Aaria, who is our Year 6 Charities Prefect. So, we thank Aaria very much for that. We each donated £1, or more, to wear our Christmas jumpers and this money has gone to helping underprivileged children around the world. There were lots of fantastic jumpers worn across the school and they certainly put us in the festive mood, ready to start our holidays.
Between morning break and lunch, the children were also able to get into the holiday mood by taking part in our Christmas Discos. The first disco was held for the children in the Early Years and Key Stage 1. Lots of Christmas hits were played and the children loved the opportunity to dance and have fun with their peers. The second disco was for the Key Stage 2 children where lots of enthusiastic dancing took place and fun was had by all. There were also a few lucky children, at both discos, who won some of the games that were played, such as musical statues.
January onwards is, typically, a very cold time of the year. Please make sure your child has a full winter coat and navy base layers for Games. If they have the right kit, they will be warm enough.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
INSET day for staff – Friday 5th January 2018
Children return to school – Monday 8th January 2018