Languages Celebration Day – Tuesday 21 June 2016

On Tuesday 21st June, Beechwood staff and children threw themselves into the school’s first “Languages Celebration Day”. The aim of the day was to celebrate the launch of Spanish at Beechwood and allow the children to experience language learning (not just Spanish!) in a fun, hands-on way. After a lot of hard work organizing activities and coordinating teachers and TA’s in the run up to the day (with the help of Ellie Baker), it was a huge relief and a proud moment to see the day come together so successfully!

It was amazing, and a great privilege, for me to be able to walk around the classrooms throughout the day and see such great learning going on – everyone, children and staff alike, really was having so much fun with language learning, which was a great sight to see as MFL coordinator! The children were all so engaged in the different activities and a lot of that is down to the energy and enthusiasm being shown by the staff…even on the seventh time of repeating their activity! I’d like to say another huge thank you to everyone involved on the day, as their passion and energy really rubbed off on the children.

The children came to school in a rainbow of different colours  –  representing the flags of some of the countries competing in the Olympic games, as their group names for the day were Spanish-speaking countries competing in the games. They were vertically grouped, Foundation–Year 2, and Years 3-6, and spent the day rotating around a carousel of 7 different activities to do with different languages, including: arts and crafts, music, singing, games, language taster sessions and even sign language! We had a Celebration Assembly at the end of the day, in which several groups of children performed songs they had learnt. We were also treated to a montage of photos from the day, which the children loved watching!

Here is a quick summary of each activity:

Foundation – Year 2

Flag Making (Mr Pechel and Kirstie Williams): the children made little flags attached to straws. They decorated them with coloring pencils and brought them into Assembly to wave at the end of the day. Each group made the flag corresponding to their country group, eg Honduras, Costa Rica, Argentina, etc!

PE games (Mr Sewell and Miss Rowse): the children took part in some Spanish games led by Mr Sewell, where they learnt to move and respond to some basic Spanish words such as “stop”, “go”, red light, green light in the traffic light game. They also moved up and down the playground jumping, swimming, hopping, sliding, jogging, after learning these words in Spanish. The session finished with some fun parachute games, where Miss Rowse taught the children some colours and numbers in Spanish! Great fun!

Spanish singing (Ellie Baker): this was a very noisy, interactive session that the children loved! Ellie taught them various bi-lingual songs, in Spanish and English, where they learnt the days of the week, greetings, some numbers and a song about traveling to the moon (which they performed in the Assembly). Ellie brought various instruments like bells and tambourines, as well as a disco ball and a light show – needless to say, this went down a treat!

Sign Language (Miss Saunders): this activity was particularly popular with the younger children and our TAs! Miss Saunders was so enthusiastic all day and taught the children how to sign various different animals. They learnt call and response several songs with sign language, including Walking through the Jungle (which they performed in the assembly at the end of the day!)

Spanish café (Miss Kelly and Mrs Baker): the children visited the café, where they were treated to various Spanish delights, including Manchego cheese, chorizo, olives, and Spanish tortilla. Miss Kelly taught them some of these food words in Spanish and how to say please and thank you – we were all impressed with the number of children who tried new foods, especially the olives! Children enjoyed “paying” for their meal with their 5 euro note!

French singing (Miss Dolan, Mrs Baldwin/Waingels staff): in this session, the children were led by Miss Dolan and learnt parts of the body in French. They then learnt how to sing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes in French, as well as the classic French children’s song, Aloutte! Great to see such enthusiasm from the staff on this activity….Mrs Baldwin said she was still aching 2-days later!

ICT (Mrs Levis, Charlotte Baker): the children went into the ICT suite where they played a number of different games to do with Spanish numbers and colours. Mrs Levis said she was amazed that the children who came to her in the afternoon knew a lot of the colours and numbers as they had remembered them from activities they had done in the morning.

Years 3-6

Spanish café (Miss Anderson and Ms Rabasse): this was the same set up as the younger ones’ café. It was great to see some of the more confident older children role playing as waiters and waitresses, going round and collecting orders from the tables!

German taster (Mrs Jain, Mrs Oldach and Mrs Jenner): This session was full of interactive games where the children learnt some basic German – numbers colours and greetings – “Splat” was a particular favourite with the boys! Mrs Oldach brought in an array of German items, which she passed around and talked about with the children.

Cinema (Mrs Bolton and Bethany Lord): the children went to the “cinema” in 3/4L where they watched a short film narrated by a little girl who is English but moved to live in Valencia. The children got to learn about what school is like in Spain, they looked around a Spanish town and learnt various Spanish words along the way – they were amazed that children in Spain do not wear school uniform!

Spanish craft (Miss Ford): Miss Ford taught the children some basic Spanish greetings and questions (how are you? What is your name? etc) and then the children made fortune tellers/chatter boxes – they used these to go round the class practising their Spanish at the end of the session.

Rangoli Patterns and Hindi (Mrs Dahele): Mrs Dahele was a star and stepped in to help out when Mr Lovegrove was off. Unfortunately the tablets were not working with the Spanish games I had prepared, so Mrs Dahele instead made beautiful rangoli patterns with the children and even taught them some Hindi!

Russian taster (Mr Daniels): This session was very popular and the children loved seeing Mr Daniels in character as a Russian in a huge fluffy hat! He spoke a lot of Russian to them, which was great! They enjoyed learning some basic Russian and grappling with the Russian alphabet!

Spanish signing (Mr Dodd and Waingels staff): The children learnt the Spanish alphabet in the form of a very up-beat, Spanish rap! They loved singing along and trying to put actions to each letter – very difficult to keep up with but Mr Dodd was especially good at it! The performance in Assembly, led by the Waingels teacher, was fantastic!

“Hello” bunting (Miss Timms): Miss Timms used a short and catchy song to teach the children how to say “hello” in various different languages! They had an action for each language and performed this song in Assembly very well. They then coloured in some bunting with “hello” in a number of languages – currently still on display in the hall. 

It was clear to see how much the children enjoyed themselves and I’ve had some very positive comments from both Ellie Baker and the Waingels teachers, who all said how impressed they were at how well-behaved the children were and how much excitement there was around school on the day.

Woodley Carnival 2016

The children of Beechwood dressed up as cowgirls and cowboys for the Woodley Carnival procession on Saturday. This year was the 56th Woodley Carnival and Beechwood joined with many other floats that also included the Reading Sharks roller hockey club led by our own Mr Lovegrove.

Read more in Get Reading:

Berkshire Panathlon Challenge

Beechwood provided the younger leaders (Year 5), for the Bekshire Panathlon Challenge, on Tuesday 7 June at Woodford Park. The children helped run a variety of events and event co-ordinator James Tinney commented. “They all did really well!”

Teaching assistant Sophie Rowse said: “We compete against able-bodied children all the time. It’s lovely to see them helping and interacting with people who are less able than them. They’re only in Year 5, so it’s quite a lot of responsibility for them, but they’ve dealt with it really well.”

Keira Hickey, one of Beechwood’s leaders on the day, reflected: “Today I learned that any person – big, small, blind or disabled – can do anything. Everybody was fabulous.”

All the children enjoyed the experience and were a great credit to the school. Well done everyone!

Berkshire Panathlon Challenge – June 2016

Commemorative Medals to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday

The Mayor of Woodley, Councillor Jenny Cheng, today visited Beechwood to present commemorative medals to all the children in order to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday,

The medals were purchased by Woodley Town Council and are to be given to all primary school children in Woodley.

Mayor Visit - Queens Birthday Queens-90th-Birthday-Coin

Woodley Sports Swimming Gala

Woodley Sports Week continues this week and the Beechwood swimmers today had a very successful swimming gala at Bulmershe Leisure Centre.

All our swimmers qualified for the finals and congratulations to Maddison won a race off against Earley St Peter’s to claim first place for Beechwood!

WSW Swimming - May 2016 (15) Copy

Woodley Sports Week – Irish Dancing

Have a look at our Year 3 and 4s performing today in the Woodley Dance Festival.

They were representing Ireland with Irish Dancing and did very, very well! Miss Ford

Queens 90th Birthday Party

To celebrate the Queens 90th Birthday, Beechwood held a tea party on Friday 13th May. All the children came in to school dressed in red, white and blue. The weather was lovely and sunny allowing the children to be outside.

Queens 90th Birthday Tea Party – May 2016

India (Year 1) wrote the following fantastic account of proceedings…

Beechwood’s Celebration for the Queen

On Friday (13th May) at Beechwood Primary School in Woodley, we celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday. She’s been ruling for many years and will hopefully be for many more to come. We all came to school wearing red, white and blue clothes, which was fun! 

We celebrated by having a party with lots of food and the whole school was there. It was very sunny and hot in Woodley, so we got to enjoy lots of sun as we were outside in the big playground. 

All the children were there and you had to sit together in your class. We all sat on the big tables from the hall, except for reception that sat on blankets and the year three children that sat on benches. 

Mums, dads, granddads, grandmas, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunties and uncles could all come to the Queen’s birthday picnic to celebrate. The Queen didn’t come to the picnic because she was too busy in her castle. 

We then all had to stand up and sing Happy Birthday to the Queen and listen to the National Anthem. 

If the Queen could read this I hope she will enjoy her birthday. 

Written by India
Beechwood Primary School 

Year 1 
Age 6 ½ 


The Fruit Drink Study Newsletter – University of Reading

What has been happening at Beechwood School?

Researchers Katie and Gabbie from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading have been conducting a fruit drink study with children from Years 3, 4 and 5 at Beechwood School. This exciting new study explored whether flavonoids found naturally in blueberries could improve memory, attention and reading ability in 7 – 10 year olds.

What did we do?

Overall, 55 children from Years 3, 4 and 5 successfully took part – approximately 30 of these children were from Beechwood School. Consent was given by all parents before the study began, and children were asked to sign a consent form stating that they understood what the study would involve and that they were happy to take part. This study was approved by the University of Reading Ethics Committee and DBS checks were approved.

To read more please view the newsletter produced by Katie and Gabbie: The Fruit Drink Study Newsletter – University of Reading Survey

Book Fair

Beechwood is to have a Book Fair on Wednesday 20th April 2016 to Monday 25th April 2016 at 3:15pm in The School Hall.

The school receives FREE books when you buy a book!Book Fair Flyer

ICE – Institution of Civil Engineers

ICE – Institution of Civil Engineers

ICE Bridges to Schools came to Beechwood on Monday 22 February. The year 5/6 children were given a brief presentation about the project and then experienced building a 12m long model of a cable-stayed bridge, while wearing hard hats, high-vis vests, gloves and goggles. All the children got to walk across the bridge and test their engineering skills.

Having completed the task and tested it they then got to de-construct it.

Safer Internet Day 2016

SID2016_logoSafer Internet Day 2016 will be celebrated globally on Tuesday 9th February with the slogan ‘Play your part for a better internet’.

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

The UK Safer Internet Centre – a partnership of three leading charities; Childnet, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation – provide resources for children, schools and families, and tools for getting involved at

Globally, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over a hundred countries, coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet Centres across Europe.

The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet. Get involved to play your part!


Beechwood is expanding in 2016

We were delighted to hear that Wokingham Borough Council has approved a project to expand the school which will allow us to have 60 pupils in each year group.

This will help us both financially and organisationally. The first intake of 60 pupils will be in September this year.

Rob Wilson, the M.P. for Reading East, who visited the school recently tweeted “Good news of expansion at @BeechwoodPri. It’s a great school & more places are needed in Woodley.”

Rob Wilson MP1      Rob Wilson MP2