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Winscombe Primary School

Mrs Williams' Blog

Friday 21st July 2017


The End of another Great Year at Sandford!


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 extremely hot and the field being rather uneven following our badger infestation! A good time was had by all. The children also enjoyed a variety of inter-school sporting events; my thanks to Mr Hall for creating opportunities for everyone, irrespective of their abilities.


The PTA team has been as busy as ever, working hard to raise funds for our children, particularly to provide further play facilities. On 10th June, they held the annual summer fair and despite the day being hampered by severe winds, the event was extremely well-attended, resulting in an amazing total of just over £2000 raised for the school – thank you PTA led by outgoing Chairperson, Kate Hatherell!


In June, our Year 3, 4 and 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 and support staff who accompanied Miss Stevens and Mr Hall. A few weeks later, early in July, our Year 6 pupils set off for Morfa Bay where they had a super week of fun by the seaside, accompanied by Mrs Tinker, Miss Stevens, Mrs Callow and her daughter, Emma Callow. Meanwhile, in KS1, Class 1 and 2 thoroughly enjoyed their topic on Kings and Queens, including a visit from Jed the Jester, a Tudor Banquet day and a trip to Caerphilly Castle. What lucky children!


During Term 6, we also managed to fit in induction days at Churchill Academy, Science Day in Class 3, Josh Saker as ‘Headteacher for the Day’, a Viking and Saxons day for Class 3 and 4, a Stone Age day for Class 5, a memorable Leavers’ assembly, and of course – the highlight of the term – the incredible ‘School of Rock’ performed by all our KS2 pupils. “Totally awesome”!


We also received our Year 6 SATs results which showed a continued upward trend. Well done children! Our KS1 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 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 Sandford 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. I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday 5th September, ready for another great year at Sandford.


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. KS1 children are thoroughly enjoying their topic about Kings and Queens, enhanced by a visit from Jed Nurdel, one of Henry VIII’s courtiers! Meanwhile, Class 5 pupils enjoyed an end-of-SATs barbecue, provided by our fantastic PTA and cooked by Andrea Hands, the school cook. They were also treated to a ‘chocolate workshop’ last week- messy but great fun! This week, Class 1 welcomed some very unusual ‘show and tell’ visitors: two beautiful ponies!


In June, our Year 6 children will set off to their residential camp at Morfa Bay whilst Class 3 and Class 4 will enjoy overnight camping at Osprey Camp. In addition, weather permitting, we look forward to Sports Day, to be held on our ‘badger-free’ field – 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 the amazing ‘School of Rock’, currently a hit show in London.


Finally, don’t forget the PTA Summer Fair on Saturday 10th 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


Friday 19th May 2017


Term 5 Update:


As Term 5 draws to a close, we look forward to a short break and hope that the weather will be kind to us, particularly for those taking a family holiday. As you are no doubt aware, this has been a brief but very busy term, particularly so with the annual SATs assessments in Year 6 and Year 2 and end-of-year assessments in KS2 classes. We are very proud of the children’s efforts; they have all worked extremely hard and certainly deserve success. I would also like to thank all the staff for their hard work and dedication to the pupils.


Whilst busy on the academic front, the children have also been involved in lots of sporting events, including: rounders, Kwik Cricket, mini tennis, ’Go Ride’ and of course, the Tag Rugby finals. In class, they have continued to enjoy our creative curriculum, which offers numerous exciting opportunities to extend their learning in the humanities, science and the arts. Recently, KS2 children commenced work on their end-of-year show, this year being the well-known ‘School of Rock’. No doubt you will soon be familiar with the catchy songs from this London musical! As always, the major parts are first offered to Year 6 pupils, then to other year groups through audition. However, as in the past, there is something for everyone and I am certain parents will thoroughly enjoy this entertaining show, this year to be held at Churchill Academy. Further details to follow in Term 6.


Staffing Update:


Class 5:


As you are aware, Mrs Taylor will be taking maternity leave with effect from the start of Term 6. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Dave and Lisa all the best as they await the arrival of their new baby towards the end of June. Parents may rest assured that Class 5 will be in good hands throughout the term until the end of the year, with our team of high calibre teachers.


Mrs Tinker will continue to teach on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Mrs Hetherngton has kindly agreed to extend her teaching time to cover Thursday and Friday until the third week of June. Thereafter, Mrs Morris will return to her original role in Class 5 for the remaining five weeks of the term. She is obviously known to you all and is highly experienced in this year group.


Obviously, it will be a very busy term, with the Year 6 pupils spending one week at Morfa Bay whilst the Year 5 children enjoy a special week with Mrs Morris and Mrs Clough. In addition, there will be show rehearsals and preparation for the Leavers’ assembly, together with lots of sport and art and the usual transition work for secondary school.


Class 2:


As you are aware, Mrs Morris returned from maternity leave in February to take up a job-share position in Class 2, allowing Mrs Sheppard additional, much-needed time to focus on her SENCo role and the organisation of Year 2 SATs and Year 1 Phonics screening. These will be over by the middle of June, enabling Mrs Sheppard to return to her full time position in Class 2 and affording Mrs Morris time to support Class 5, as noted above. However, parents may rest assured that Mrs Morris will still maintain her link with Class 2 and will be involved in teaching the children from time to time, particularly with the exciting events planned for their topic work on ‘kings and queens’.


Breakfast/ After-School Clubs:


During April, we welcomed two new members of staff to support our Play Leader Mrs Seal: Miss Gemma Wilcox and Miss Paula Williams. As noted in a recent newsletter, Paula will also be taking up the role of School Crossing Patrol in the very near future.


School Field:


I am sure you will have noticed that the school field is thankfully back in use, with new turf laid around the perimeter and the ground levelled, thanks to local company Skanska. The children have been able to use the field during break and lunchtimes, although less so in the past week due to the recent heavy rain. We are hopeful that we shall be able to hold Sports Day on the field in Term 6. Further details to follow soon.




This has also been a very busy term for our wonderful PTA, who continue to work incredibly hard to raise funds for your children. I would like to thank Kate Hatherell and her team as well as you our parents for supporting them in their efforts. All funds raised will go towards ‘Project Play!’: a refurbishment/ enhancement of our playground equipment. The next goal is to recreate a new adventure play area; this will obviously be very expensive and will require a lot of fund-raising.  Please help the PTA to achieve this objective to make playtime an exciting, fun-filled time for your

children. The annual summer fayre will be upon us soon, on Saturday 10th June and much help is needed. Please contact Jeanette Jones if you are able to help in any way.


Term 5 will end on Friday 26th May and I would like to wish you all a very happy holiday. Don’t forget that Monday 5th June is an INSET day so we look forward to welcoming the children back on Tuesday 6th June.


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 Sandford 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 tag rugby, football and biathlon.  My sincere thanks to Mr Hall and staff for all their hard work.


The children have also been busy extending their learning in class, enjoying their various topics such as Transport and Homes in KS1, the Amazon Rainforest in Class 3, Ancient Egyptians in Class 4 and Electricity in Class 5. I am delighted that so many parents enjoyed Class 4’s ‘Ancient Egyptian Museum’ and that KS1’s Colour Run was so well-supported. Thank you! The children have also benefited from a wealth of musical and dance events, including ‘Dance Their Socks Off!’, KS2 Music Festival, Carducci Quartet and of course, performances by our budding violinists, ably taught by Mrs Blundell and supported by Churchill Music. 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 have already watched ‘School of Rock’, in preparation for their end-of-year show. Further details to follow.  There will also be more opportunities for sport, particularly with the Tag Rugby 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. We also look forward to using our field (at last) which is being resurfaced during the holidays, thanks to a generous grant from Tesco.


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

Warmest regards,

Lin Williams


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, Sandford received some great news just before Christmas. Top in the North Somerset Primary School League once again and in the top five hundred in the country! 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 Sandford, we strive to provide a broad, balanced and highly creative curriculum enriched with numerous exciting trips, visits and activities.


More good news … As you will have read in the newsletter, we have been very concerned about the withdrawal of funding by North Somerset Council for the School Crossing Patrol last July. Thankfully our Parish Council stepped in and agreed to cover the cost for six months up to the end of March. A huge ‘thank you’ to all concerned. From April, the position will be funded by Thatchers Foundation for the forthcoming financial year. Again, so very kind and generous – we really appreciate their support of this worthy cause.


Finally, this Friday, 20th January, our valiant football team will travel to Bridgewater to participate in the Somerset County Football finals. This is an amazing feat for a small school, particularly given the absence of a playing field on which to train! I am sure you will join me in wishing the children and Mr Hall of course, the best of luck in the tournament.


Lin Williams

06.12.16: Welcome to our Family of Fish!


As most of you will have noticed, at the start of Term 2, we welcomed some new members to our Sandford ‘family’! Some time ago, the children decided that they wanted to have some pet fish in the school, so in Term 1, the School Council purchased a beautiful tank. One of our parents, Mrs Stevenson, very kindly prepared the tank, procured the necessary decorative accessories and even donated 17 amazing fish! I would like to thank Mrs Stevenson most sincerely for her generosity and ongoing hard work in maintaining the tank and helping the children care for their fishy friends. What a difference the fish have made to our school community! The children absolutely adore them and spend as much time as possible watching them (between lessons!) and following their antics. I have noticed, however, that children’s visits to the toilet have increased somewhat! One wonders why!


Term 2 has been incredibly busy so far – the children can never say they are bored at Sandford! The term began on a very exciting note with an amazing pumpkin display and cake sale organised by our wonderful PTA, to celebrate Halloween. There followed two well-attended Parent Consultation evenings. Thank you so much for all the positive feedback forms, with such lovely comments as:


“As always, we are delighted with the quality of care and education our children receive at Sandford.”

“There has been fantastic teaching within the school!”

“What a fantastic, nurturing and supportive school. Our child is very lucky!”

“I feel very lucky that all my children have had the opportunity to attend Sandford. Such a lovely ‘family’ feel to the school. Thank you.”


During the same week, we received a visit from Skanska, the local road maintenance company, with one of their new gritters. The children were asked to draw pictures of it and think of a suitable name. The winning entries will receive prizes in the near future. On 11th November, we held a brief assembly on the playground to commemorate ‘Remembrance Day’, with the outdoor stage adorned with beautiful poppy wreaths made by Class 3.


Following this, we acknowledged the annual nationwide ‘Anti-Bullying’ week, with a special assembly, class discussions and our school leaflet sent home to remind everyone of our school strategy. On Thursday 17th, I was ‘demoted’ for the day when Miss Mia Hosford assumed the position of ‘Headteacher’. As you will have noted from her letter, she was kept extremely busy and made some interesting observations and suggestions! The staff and I were certainly kept on our toes!


On the same day, three of our Y6 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 cross-country running, badminton, ‘Kurling’ and swimming. I am delighted to say that our Football team, who came second in the North Somerset tournament, will now go through to the regional finals in Bridgewater! Even without our playing field! Well done everyone!  My thanks to Mr Hall who has coordinated all the events.


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 declared that, “Sandford is a very successful school” and pupils added that: “Lessons are never boring”; that they “enjoy the wide variety of visits and visitors”. They “know that all adults in school will treat them with respect and they repay this with excellent behaviour and exceptional politeness.” Further, “Pupils have excellent attitudes to learning. They try hard and they willingly help each other.”


As we draw near to the end of term, we look forward to two weeks of exciting Christmas activities highlighted by our KS1 Nativity performance: “Lights, Camel, Action!” On Thursday 9th December, the children may wear Christmas-themed mufti in return for a donation for the PTA hampers. Don’t forget to buy your Christmas raffle tickets - lots of super prizes to be won! In the final week, our lucky children will enjoy the traditional Federation trip to the pantomime, Christmas lunch and PTA Christmas parties, whilst KS2 pupils end the week by celebrating the real meaning of Christmas at their Carol Service on 15th 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 all for your ongoing 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.

During the first week of October, we had the wonderful news that Sandford 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 Mr Hall! In that same week, some Year 5 pupils participated in a Maths Challenge at Clifton High School - great fun and lots of learning was had by all.


Following that, our Year 5 children completed their Bikeability course, ending with them venturing out on the roads around Sandford. Wow! This week, 44 KS2 children took part in a Cross-Country competition at Churchill Academy. Many of them finished in the top twenty in their age group and Talia Hughes came first in the Year 5/6 girls’ race. Well done everyone! The week ended with two amazing trips. On Thursday 20th, Class 5 travelled to London to visit the Houses of Parliament and ‘The Railway Children’ at the theatre, ending with a delicious meal at Planet Hollywood. Finally, today our youngest children in Class 1 enjoyed a super trip to Westonbirt to see all the trees in their autumn colours. What lucky children!


We also recently 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.


All in all, a great start to the year! May I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy holiday, whether you are staying at home or flying off to the sun. We look forward to welcoming the children back again after the break on Monday 31st October, ready for another busy term ahead. Don’t forget to support the PTA with their pumpikin carving competition and Halloween cake sale on the 31st. As Linda Barwick has reminded you, with the weather turning rather chilly, it’s time to turn out the winter uniform.


Lin Williams

30/09/16 : Another busy week at Sandford!


On Friday 16th, most of our Year 1- Year 6 children travelled to the Eden Project in Cornwall, accompanied by teachers, support staff and several parents. Although it was a long day, they clearly had a fantastic time and were buzzing about all the wonderful activities provided. Thank you to the staff who organised the trip and to all those who escorted the pupils.

Last week began on a ‘high’ with what has now become a tradition in our calendar – our annual Poetry Concert! We offered two sessions, one on Monday, the second on Wednesday, to cater for the many parents who wished to attend. It was certainly very ‘cosy’ in the hall! The children excelled, as always, performing their class poems with amazing confidence and enthusiasm in front of an audience – even our new Reception children. This year, the poems were about plants, bringing our suspended curriculum to a fitting conclusion. I do hope you all enjoyed this special event.

The week ended with double fun! On Friday afternoon Mr Hall took a team of KS2 pupils to the Festival of Sport at Hutton Moor, where they participated in a range of games not part of our usual curriculum, including skipping, curling and even wheelchair basketball! Later in the afternoon, the PTA held its first event of the year: Frisbee Golf! It was extremely well-attended and thoroughly enjoyed by both children and adults. My thanks to all the PTA members who organised the activity and to Mendip Activity Centre who kindly provided the venue and refreshments.

On Monday, there was yet another opportunity for sport; this time our football teams participated in a Cluster tournament at Churchill Academy. Both teams played really well and a great time was had by all. Thank you to Mr Hall and parents who came along and assisted the teams.


Mrs Williams


15/09/16 : Great start to the year!


Welcome to my blog where you can find out about all of the wonderful things that have been happening at school.  A special welcome to all of our new children and parents who have joined the Sandford 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 – even coming into assembly with the big children!


As part of our whole school theme, the classes have been exploring the fantastic world of plants, investigating questions such as: “Why do plants have colour?”  and “Why do plants have a scent?”. As part of our topic, this Friday there will be an amazing whole school trip to the Eden Project.  What lucky children!


On Monday and Wednesday afternoons next week, parents will have the chance to attend our annual poetry concert to conclude our special theme: ‘A Plethora of Plants’. 


Earlier in the week, many of our new parents attended a special meeting to find out about the EYFS curriculum and life in Class One.  It was lovely to meet such an enthusiastic group of parents.  This was followed by the AGM of our PTA, one of the best attended in many years.  Congratulations on the election of Chairperson Kate Hatherell, Vice Chair Tor Eddins, Treasurer Noreen Austen and Secretary Dinah Hill-Adams.  In addition, we have numerous parents who have volunteered to organise the many events which will take place during the year – all for the worthy cause of raising funds for your children. Thank you everyone!


What a great start to the year.