Woodland Middle School

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A values based school

World of Woodland Issue 32

This month's value is: PEACE

Our value for November is PEACE which was chosen because this month, annually, we remember the sacrifice during wars that our soldiers have made. In assembly this week I discussed the 100th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme and showed our pupils Pathé footage from the first day when the troops (all volunteers) went ‘over the top’. Today we have observed a two minute silence at 11am on the playground – with parents who wanted to share the moment. After the pause to remember two of our young trumpeters played the ‘Last Post’ before the pupils returned to their lessons. A small group also attended the War Memorial in Flitwick to lay wreaths they had made.

Last week we welcomed a theatre group to school, to perform an anti-bullying message to all of our pupils. Mrs Payne (our acting PSHCE Leader during the long term absence of Mrs Bean) worked with the group to make sure that the very clear messages about ‘see something say something’ were understood by all. As a school we are fortunate to have very infrequent cases of bullying BUT our aim is to ‘be a hero - get bullying to zero’ and of course to deal swiftly with any reported incidents. Thanks to the PTA for funding the £1500 costs for the event.

Our PTA have also paid for the transport costs for next week’s trip for the whole of Y8 to travel to Birmingham for the Skills Show. Check out their website which is full of exciting careers opportunities for our oldest pupils to start pondering over for their futures. Hoping that next Friday you all have a great time.


Next Friday is also the Children in Need day and because all of our Y8 are missing we will be raising funds for this deserving annual charity on the Thursday instead. Thursday 16th is therefore a non-uniform day which levies a £1 donation for Children in Need. There will also be a cake sale and a giant Pudsey made of copper coins, both by Y5, as this is their chosen charity. We are asking for donations through next week of piles of copper coins – all of which will be counted up and donated to Children in Need too.

Next Thursday is a busy day, as it is our Open Evening. Hundreds of pupils volunteer to show off their school, which is great; however it will mean putting the school uniform back on for the evening. Letters to the parents of volunteers have been taken home and the pupils are required from 5.45pm until 8pm – but further details are included on the letter. This year we will be sending helpers out to their parents (at the end) through the small green gate rather than the main hall, to avoid the annual crush in reception. This differs from the letter so we will send out text messages to advise parents. Thanks in advance for lending us your guides, car park attendants and pupils for a really extended day. Our open evening is followed by a week of tours for Y4 pupils in w/c 21st November – this is a much better glimpse of our school at work – so if you have a Y4 pupil then please do book a tour through the school office on office@woodlandacademy.co.uk

Please check your diary has the following events in as Christmas approaches rapidly. Non-uniform day for Christmas Fayre (collecting donations of items like toys, teddies, DVDs and computer games, bottles, luxury items – see letter and raffle tickets coming out) is on Monday 28th November, with the Fayre from
6-8pm on Friday 2nd December. If you have anything that you or your business could donate as a raffle prize then please contact me directly via email on conquestj@woodlandacademy.co.uk

Our Christmas concert is on Thursday 8th December, a new Christingle service in school for Y5 is on Monday 12th December, the Christmas pop-up shop and Carol Service are both on Wednesday 14th December, Christmas lunch and disco are both on Thurs 15th December and also a new staff panto for the pupils, the panto trip for KS2 to MK and the Christmas assemblies are all on Friday 16th December. The John Lewis advert is out already, so it got me started…

And finally, parents in Y6 please look out for the Y6 parents’ evening letters to book your appointments online. The evening is on Tuesday 6th December. If you need any assistance after reading the letter, please do call or email the school office. office@woodlandacademy.co.uk

An area that we pride ourselves on in Woodland, and one of the School’s many strengths, is our enthusiasm, passion and ‘strong culture’ of reading. As successful reading is an essential part of all curriculum areas, we do try to ensure that a great emphasis is put on regular reading at home. In order for all children to develop their ability to read and comprehend texts these are some of the essential things you should know and can do to support your child:

 Ensure your child reads for at least 20 minutes a day – this does not need to be out loud, although occasional checking that your child is enjoying and understanding what they have read is important.

 In ks2 your child will have the opportunity to read to a teacher on occasions, but it will not be on a daily basis. Reading out loud will take place in the library lessons, which happen once a week, or in class where appropriate– your child will not read to an adult every week which is why reading at home remains essential.

All children in ks2 and ks3 will have their reading monitored through the online programme called Accelerated Reading (AR), which will determine a reading level and direct children to appropriate texts. If you have a child in year 5, a letter and leaflet will have been sent home with more information on how you can access the system. For years 6-8 your password will remain the same as last year.

 e-readers in School
If your child is lucky enough to have an ereader, kindle fire or ipad which they use for reading, they may bring it into school for reading in form time or library lessons. However, if it has 3G capabilities they must be off; the device should not allow the child access to the installed games or apps but instead just the book, and unless it is being used for reading, the device must be stored in the child’s locker for safety, as the school will not be held responsible for breakages or mishaps.

A final thought
There are many staff at the school who are avid readers. Many of us love literature, children’s literature and reading generally. We also see the huge benefits in the classroom for those children who are able to seek pleasure in reading be it for escapism or to find out about something that they find fascinating.

Reading is the backbone of learning and we are single-minded in our attempts to ensure that all children are able to enjoy reading. AR is a tool we use but fundamentally we want all children to love reading and be able to read well, which is why we may, on occasions nag!

Ms E Gibson, Head of English


Flitwick and Ampthill Sea Cadets will celebrate 50 years of changing young people’s live s this year. Cadets from Flitwick and Ampthill will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary in style on 26th November.

2016, by being honored by the presentation of a colour, before leading a formal parade of cadets from all of Bedfordshire, with marching band. The cadets will gather at 2 pm at Flitwick Lower School and Parade through the town to the Sea Cadet Unit in Althorp Close. We would like to invite the people of Flitwick to line the streets to watch our parade as we celebrate our 50 years.

 Sub Lieutenant (SCC) Jake Blackstaffe RNR Commanding Officer, is thrilled to have had such an exci0ng year: “Flitwick & Ampthill are extremely proud to have reached 50 years of enhancing young peoples lives in the community. To top it off we have had another fantastic year! Our Piping Team achieved three gold medals at national competition. One of our cadets was nominated and successfully got through to the final 27 of the Duke of Westminster Award. We took 15 cadets through to national kayaking and came back with 7 medals. In 2013 one of our Cadets Abbie Nye became the first Lord Lieutenants Cadet to represent Sea Cadets in Bedfordshire. This year once again one of our cadets Danielle Ashton represents Sea Cadets for the Lord Lieutenant. This year is  a reflection of the hard work, dedication and passion these young people have invested throughout the year in their respective cadet activities.”

Since 1966 the unit has given thousands of young people in the local area a great head start in life through nautical adventure and fun. We started out in November 1966 as TS Russell, (After Lord Ampthill’s family name) where cadets met twice a week at Redborne House in Ampthill, with CO Lieutenant Commander (SCC) W Hood RNR. Since then the unit has moved three times and has grown in numbers and strength to be- come one of the most successful units in the country.

For more details please visit: www.sea-cadets.org/flitwickampthill


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