19 April 2013
Dear Parents and Friends of Inwoods,
It was a real delight on Monday morning to see the happy faces of children returning to Inwoods looking well rested and eager to start the new term. As we walked to school from Brockwood, they chatted, listened to the birds and then ran enthusiastically onto the grounds. The warmer weather (at last!) has put a bounce in the children’s feet and uplifted the spirits of everyone it seems; a good way to start our Spring Week theme.
In preparation for the Spring Celebration we have been focusing on spring related activities as well as finalising individual and class projects ready for sharing with parents, relatives and guests on the day. The Spring Celebration is an opportunity to acknowledge the buds, birds, blossom and the beauty and life of nature around us. It is an opportunity for the community of Inwoods to come together and celebrate the wonder of learning and the flowering of our children, as well as the living world.
In this special edition of the Weeklies, there are photos to illustrate the activities of Spring Week, an update of the projects the school is currently progressing with, and some upcoming fundraising events.
Please forward this to friends, relatives and those you feel would be interested in supporting a developing small school for young children.
Wishing everyone the opportunity to stop and observe the beginnings of this unfolding season.
Mary-Ann and the Inwoods team
On Trees in Spring
"Have you ever noticed a tree standing naked against the sky, how beautiful it is? All its branches are outlined, and in its nakedness there is a poem, there is a song. Every leaf is gone and it is waiting for the spring. When the spring comes it again fills the tree with the music of many leaves, which in due season fall and are blown away. And that is the way of life."
And important reminders:
- Green Fair: Please look out for an email link to a google doc for coordinating the Green Fair tasks: just 22 more days to go! If you haven't volunteered yourself yet and would like to, please let Mary-Ann know.
- Spring Term Timetable. Please take note of a few changes to the schedule: On Monday afternoons all the children will be involved in drama activities. On Tuesday afternoons all the children will be involved in sports activities at Brockwood (taking advantage of the hard surface of the tennis courts). On Thursday afternoons the Redwoods will be doing art with Mary-Ann. On Friday mornings the Redwoods along with Amelie, Jaya, Sophia and Zach will have a three-hour Open Classroom session with particular emphasis on science experiments, creative writing and cooking. Jean-Loup's group in the
morning will include geometrical drawing, French and maths. On Friday afternoons everybody will be involved in singing. Please speak to any of the teachers if you have any questions about the changes.
- Enrolment: We are still waiting for a few more forms to come back with your decisions for next year.
Student Teachers in the Open Classroom
One of the best factors that help master academic concepts is to teach someone. The ‘Open Classroom’ set up with mixed age groups is ideal for this to happen. In the ‘Oaks’ group there are seven children all together and four of them can read to varying degrees and most certainly all four of them can help the three children who are learning to read. So, each reader chooses a partner to help them in their reading. I am following the ‘Jolly Phonics’ series for children to learn reading. I make picture word cards with a set of words and make up a story with these words and then teach them the sounds and actions of the letters. In this photograph Zeanne (age 8) is practicing the letter sounds and actions with Rufus (age 5).
Botany and Flower Fairies...
The three girls in my group were making daffodil flower fairies. When it was time to make the leaves I asked Tara to draw the daffodil leaves and she drew short, fat leaves. I said, ‘Tara the daffodil leaves are long and slender, aren’t they? But Tara insisted that they looked exactly how she had drawn them. I was curious as to why Tara thought this so I asked her to bring a leaf. She came back with a daffodil petal, for some reason she mistook the flower petal for the leaf and realised that the leaves were indeed long and slender. By then it was felt that all of us should go and have a good look at the flowers and the leaves. Not only did we observe the leaves, the flower and count the petals but we also looked at the stamens and the
pollen that had been dropped onto the petal by tiny insects that were right inside the flower. The opportunity presented itself to go into pollination as well. Then we went inside to finish the flower fairies.
Flower pots for the spring flowers.
Projects in Progress
and how you can help out…
Firstly a big thank you to David for project managing these great developments on the grounds at Inwoods. We are very happy to see him almost at full recovery from the car accident and able to move, lift and be active again.
The following will give you an idea of what is left to be done and how you can help out – either in practical ways, or with funds.
Balance Beam Play Feature
Estimated cost to complete: £300
We are almost there… we need to purchase some outodoor tape, more rope, anti-slip paint, washers, shackles, pegs, more poles, and chains. We need to spread the wood chip for ground cover and safety, shore up the neighboring clay area, collect logs from Brockwood and attach the remaining features to complete it all.
Estimate cost: £330
Left to do is completion of the panels and benches in the log wall, pin down the weed control mats and gravel boards, build the raised beds and fill them with manure and soil, spread the wood chip, build and hang the gates, and install a panel around the oil tank.
Estimated at £200
To do: Finish filling and painting edge of roof, complete timber frames, put up weatherboarding, finish guttering and build workbenches and shelves.
Back field play area and Snake and Tyre feature
Estimated at £160
Deck out tyres, finish tyre stacks, spread top soil on the bank and grass seed, transport soil from Brockwood for digging area, and suspend a rope from tree.
Estimated at £30
Finish building the log store behind the oven, strip off plaster and replace with wood cladding.
Oak Tower and logs
Estimated at £500
Sand and finish surfaces of tower trunk, put on the roof, build a platform, attach a rope inside the trunk and a cargo net to the front of the platform. We are looking to employ a qualified carpenter to build and secure the platform.
Preparing the Spring beds...
Making the table of contents for a personal project about monkeys.
Glazing wheel-thrown pots.
Getting creative with withes they found and tape.
Upcoming Fundraising Events
'Inwoods Cafe' at the Green Fair Sustainability Centre.
Sunday, May 12th.
Parents, staff and children will be baking and serving wholesome home-made cakes and muffins, along with refreshments, soup and Brockwood baked bread at the Green Fair in East Meon. Please come along if you are in the area and take a seat at the 'Inwoods Cafe'. It is a great day out for the family. For more information click here: Green Fair
Summer Workshops at Inwoods,
Monday 5th August to Friday 9th August.
Coordinated and led mostly by parents, former parents and staff, this is an event open to all children whether enrolled at Inwoods or not. The activities offered will include some bush craft, netball, baking, dancing, painting, sewing, singing, and making bee and bird homes. Not only is this an opportunity to raise funds for Inwoods, but it also serves as a way of raising awareness of our existence and recruiting those that are keen to enrol.
Dates for your diary:
Monday 15th April
Saturday 20th April
Sunday 12th May
Sunday 19th May
Half Term Break
27th to 31st May
Tuesday 11th June
Sunday 30th June
End of Term Celebration and Camping
Saturday 13th July
Family get-togethers with an opportunity to dialogue (from Beth and George)
We'd like to suggest Inwoods families have some at-home "get-togethers with a theme" on various weekends over the summer term. If there are several families who are interested in hosting, then hopefully there will be at least some dates which are accessible for everyone. In previous years an enjoyable format has been: bring-and-share lunch, general playing and informal dialogue around the chosen topic. Visiting family and friends and former Inwoods families have also joined in these "open-house" days.
Our suggestion is to take a different theme from the Inwoods handbook for each get-together. The broad scope of topics in the handbook has provided useful 'food for thought' between us as a family in Abi's time at Inwoods, informing and affirming our parenting. It may be useful to revisit aspects together. If you would like to host an open-house please let me know and I will co-ordinate dates. We would like to invite everyone to our house in Petersfield on Sunday 28th April from 12 noon, the particular theme to be decided (ideas welcome).
Beth, George and Abi,
email@example.com 01730 267 971