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A note from principal, Richard Settle...
Dear parents,
 
Our Y9 pupils went to watch the film On the Basis of Sex last week.  If you don’t know it, it’s a good one;  a 2018 biographical, legal drama film based on the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The film outlines how Ginsburg as a first-year student at Harvard attends both her classes and her husband’s, a second-year law student, after he falls ill with cancer, taking notes and transcribing lectures while also caring for him and their daughter. He recovers and is hired by a firm in New York. Ginsberg, however, is not allowed to complete her course at Harvard Law School and is forced to transfer to Columbia where, in spite of graduating at the top of her class, she is unable to find a position with a law firm because no-one wants to hire a woman. The film outlines her fight which is ultimately, and happily, a successful one, the final scene shows the real-life Ginsburg walking up the steps of the Supreme Court building.
 
I’d say it’s fairly obvious why we took the students to watch it and I’m sure you’d agree that it needed to be seen by our students, particularly the girls. It’s wonderful that films such as this are being made and it’s clearly part of a wider movement to create a fairer, more just community, one in which stories such as Ginsberg’s are shocking to us and where gender is no longer simply a good or bad luck card dealt at birth.
 
It is also why I’m in favour of co-educational schools.  A mixed school has both girls and boys in it, and as girls and boys are unlikely to be working isolated one from the other in their adult lives this seems wise. I may be wrong but the notion of a single-sex school now seems a bit ‘old fashioned’, from a bygone world in which boys and girls were being prepared for very different roles in later life.  Although we aren’t there yet, we no longer have such a rigid social structure and today’s world, for all its complexities, is striving hard so that no young woman, or young man, thinks that any subject or career is off-limits. So why not, therefore, educate boys and girls ‘shoulder to shoulder’?
 
At Sancton Wood, the school’s core value of ‘the broad and deep worth of each individual’ is important here. It’s the role of our school to liberate our students from any thinking which can hold them back in their crucial formative years, including ones of gender stereotypes.  I hear Mrs Settle, our pastoral lead, reminding the staff that we must be vigilant on this; if we continue to show all our students that they aren’t restricted or limited in any way, then they are more likely to thrive.  With this established, our job then, as school and parents, is to remain consistent with the message and be by their side, loving them all the way through the journey.  Boys and girls alike should leave us in Y11 as equals, prepared for and expecting the same opportunities. 
 
Have a good weekend,
 
Richard

PS: As we are fast approaching winter and the darker mornings and evenings, a reminder to think carefully about safety whilst walking, cycling or driving to and from school. There are a number of really good web sites that give sound advice:
https://www.fia.com/news/stay-bright-campaign-puts-kids-drivers-seat
https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/seasonal/winter
Also, the school’s snow policy is here: https://sanctonwood.co.uk/policies/
 
PPS: See you all for the Quiz Night next Thursday.  Doors open at 7 and the quiz will start around 7.30.  We’re providing a glass of wine on arrival but other than that it is BYOB, there’s a fish and chip supper at half-time.  We should be finished by 10.  Many thanks for your support with this. There are still a handful of tickets left if you would like to join us. 
A note from Nic Henson...
Dear families,
 
Only 8 more school sleeps to go!  Where has this term gone?  Despite the wet, chilly days we will continue the nursery positivity and pack the last few days with fun and festive antics!
 
A big thank you for coming this afternoon to support our Christmas Fayre. Father Christmas was a huge hit, as was the chocolate tombola, play corner and raffle table.  The children all seemed to enjoy themselves and it was a lovely way to end off the week.  I do hope you were able to make a start on your Christmas shopping with all of the wonderful stalls on offer.  A huge thank you to all of the SWPA team and parent volunteers.  Without your support events like these cannot be run for our families.
 
I am very excited to be able to share our Christmas Songs and Nativity Play with you on Thursday 5th December.  The Nursery and Pre-prep children have been very busy rehearsing and polishing their performances.  Please be seated by 1.25 pm at the latest in St Pauls Church.  I look forward to seeing you there.
 
We still have a handful of tickets available for the Parent Quiz on Thursday 5th December. This is an adult-only event and will start at 19:30 and include a fish and chip supper. Details below: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sancton-wood-school-quiz-night-tickets-79716529285
 
We say farewell and good luck to our lovely Mrs Reader who starts her maternity leave today. I’m sure you will join me in saying a huge thank you to her and the best of luck and well wishes to both her and her husband as they welcome Baby Reader into the world. We cannot wait for a visit!
 
Have a great weekend,
Nic Henson
Cambridge City Foodbank

We'd like to pass on a sincere thank you from Cambridge City Foodbank for our recent donation. They were extremely grateful for all of your contributions. We will be collecting again to help those in need this Christmas. Please refer to the shopping list for the items needed most. Thank you for your support. 

Dates for the Diary:

Thursday 5th December: Nursery and Pre-Prep Christmas Production at St Paul’s Church 1:30pm start
Thursday 5th December: Parent Quiz night
Wednesday 11th December: Parent reps meeting 3pm
Thursday 12th December: Christmas jumper day; Last day of term
Christmas Holidays: Friday 13th December  - Tuesday 7th January 2020
Wednesday 8th January: First Day of Lent term

Caterpillars
This week the Caterpillars have explored painting using different items and materials.  We rolled toy cars down a large cardboard on a gradient.  Using rolling pins, we explored how we can spread paint and we rolled paint across the paper by rolling balls. The children used their Hands and feet to explore the paint further we had lots of fun.
 
At group time, the “Dear Zoo” story was explored, using toy animals.  We took the words from the story and repeated them during play such as “he was too big” or “she was too grumpy”.  Some of the children were able to join in and repeat the words back.
 
The wet weather created fun puddle play in the big garden , with their wellies and waterproofs on they had a great time jumping and splashing.  On the decking area the children used the rainwater to mix with the sand in the tuff spot. Using the large diggers they transported the wet sand around.
 
On Thursday, a group of children joined the Elmer and Tiger class for a Thanksgiving assembly.  Deborah had created some Thanksgiving resources which she shared with the children, they heard the story about Thanksgiving and sang some songs. They sat and listened really well throughout and were excited to tell their teachers where they had been. We wish an extra special ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ to Oscar in Caterpillars along with, Christopher in Elmers and Mrs Kett in Tigers!
 
Next week we will introduce Christmas with crafts, activities, stories and songs throughout the week.  Our role play corner with become Santas grotto and we will have an interactive tree the children can help decorate.
Elmer Class

Despite the wet and chilly weather we have had a delightful and busy week in Elmer class. The children have been continuing to explore 2D shapes by making shape monsters! We have learned about Thanksgiving through a shared assembly with Tiger class. We have also made paper plate turkeys, heard the story and sang some songs about being thankful, we wish all our families celebrating this a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

This week the children have been really excited to share their leaves for our ‘Kindness Tree’, thank you all so much for sharing these with us, it’s been wonderful to read these out with the children and watch how proud they are!

 

Forest School today was rather wet and muddy, we shall continue to go out each week as the children enjoy it so much and benefit greatly from the learning opportunities, please may we ask that all children have spare clothes, including socks on their pegs as a precaution to needing a change following this! Thank you.

 

We look forward to seeing you at our Christmas performance next week on the 5th December, the children are welcome to wear any party or Christmassy clothes that day, hopefully you are hearing their Christmas songs at home too! Please be seated by 1:25pm at the latest. Collection that day will be from St. Paul’s Church at 1.45pm, after the performance.

 

The last day of term, Thursday 12th December, will be Christmas jumper day and our Christmas party, look out for a food list on the classroom door, many thanks.

Tigers
This week in Tigers we have been enjoying the Nursery rhyme theme of ‘Baa, baa black sheep’ using farm animal themes to support our phonics and maths activities. There has been a growing interest in exploring our maths resource ‘Numicon’. The children have been working hard to order the shapes, recognising the numbers they represent and counting the holes to check. Numicon can be used in a range of ways which the Tigers enjoys such as in water, sand, paint and playdough!
 
The children have worked together to create our  new roleplay area: ‘Christmas shopping’ to build on their current interests of money and shopping list writing. Here they can buy and sell Christmas gifts, write their own price tags and even make ‘hot chocolate and cocoa’ in the shop cafe!
 
On Wednesday Tigers had great fun making smoothies for snack time. Everyone worked together to cut the fruit and put it into big bowls. Tigers were very adventurous in tasting the different smoothie fruit flavours. A favourite was blueberry and banana!
 
On Monday and Thursday we had two special Thanksgiving assemblies. We learnt about the story of Thanksgiving, sang some  songs about being thankful and heard about how Thanksgiving is celebrated today. Thank you to Mrs Haynes for the wonderful resources she created for these assemblies. An extra special ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ to Christopher in Elmers, Oscar in Caterpillars and Mrs Kett in Tigers!
 
In Phonics this week we learnt the letter and sound ‘o’ The Storytime phonics rhyme is ‘o o octopus, socktopus’ ’.The action is ‘link thumbs together and wiggle eight fingers creating the legs of an octopus’. The song is ‘old,orange octopus o o o’.
 
Our Christmas performance is next week! Please support your child to learn the song lyrics (see Tapestry). Children can wear their ‘Christmas best’ for this performance-smart party clothes and/or Christmas accessories. The performance is on Thursday 5th December at 1.30pm. On this day please do not bring a bookbag to school and please have disposable lunch as we will not be taking any extra items to the church with us. We will provide children with cups to drink from OR their water bottles will be left at school if brought in. 
 
Victor Sharko’s  coat is still missing. It is clearly labelled. Please do check if you have this at home by mistake.
 
Please can we remind you that every child should have a named water bottle in school each day and that lunches should be healthy choices and not include  chocolate, sweets, crisps, biscuits, juice or fizzy drinks
 
Due to the changeable weather and our regular trips to Forest School please ensure that every child has a full set of spare clothes in school everyday (including tights and socks please!)
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