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News from the Senior Department

Update from Mrs Wright

This week in the Senior Department, we are busy preparing for an exciting end of term and the school is buzzing with preparations for the Christmas Festive Fayre. Despite having been hit with a nasty bout of coughs and colds, the Seniors are all very excited that we have now – finally – reached the month of December!

This time of year is the perfect opportunity to give thanks for those who are part of our Beechwood community, and to channel our festive cheer into contributing to a positive environment full of thought and goodwill.

Staff in school have signed up to be Advent Angels to one another, which involves performing a random act of kindness each school day towards another member of staff. It could be making them a cup of tea; covering a duty; or even a class spontaneously breaking into a Christmas carol – orchestrated by the Advent Angel – although I have not yet seen this, I think it would be wonderful! What is so heart-warming is the thought and effort that goes into each gesture. It encourages us to find out a little more about that person and create imaginative ways to brighten their day.

It’s also a lovely way to model thoughtfulness and appreciation to our classes. They get to share in the positivity of goodwill and thought in an upbeat atmosphere.   The thing I love most about it is that it reminds me how fortunate I am to be part of the Beechwood community.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and that I see you at the Christmas Festive Fayre.

Mrs Wright
Head of Senior Department

PS This week in Maths we have enjoyed opening the doors of our interactive Maths advent calendar. Days 1 and 2 have proven to be very popular (even more than chocolate!) so we thought we would share the link with you so that you can find out what is behind days 3 and 4 from the comfort of your own homes this weekend. Simply click on the link here


Early Arrivals

We recognise that, on some occasions, pupils will arrive in school a little early. We would like any pupils arriving before 0800 – who do not have a music commitment – to wait at Front Desk until it is time to go their lockers/form room and prepare for the day. Please ensure you have your reading books!

Ask your form teacher if you have any questions.

Additional Date for Open Swim Session

Due to a number of children being unable to attend the open swim session this Friday we will be holding another session next Friday 9th December between 1645 to 1735 for all pupils in Year 5 to Top Form. Anyone wishing to get timed in order to get into our Year 5 IAPS swim team is welcome to attend.

Senior Art

This is an Oil Pastel drawing by Charlotte R in Top Form.

She has been working hard on it for several weeks in Extra Art, and has practiced blending and proportion in the process. Such a cheerful and colourful piece – well done Charlotte!





Thumbs up all round for Flo C’s brilliant oil pastel jungle picture! 

So much time and patience went into producing this, fantastic work.





Google Doodle – Celebrating Jerry Lawson

These days, if you are lucky,  when you open your favourite web browser at Google’s home page, you often see an illustration where the red, green, blue and yellow logo should be.  If you are even luckier, it’s not just an illustration, it’s an interactive image.  And on rare days like today you feel like you have won the lottery, because the illustration is actually an interactive game-editing tool.

These images used by Google to celebrate lives or special events, are called Google Doodle and there have been many fantastic examples over the past few years.  However, today, the 1st December 2022, would have been the 82nd birthday of Gerald ‘Jerry’ Lawson, and as the pupils of Beechwood Park discovered today, his birthday is a day that deserves a Google Doodle of such brilliance that it truly reflects the achievements of this inspirational man.

As a child of the 1940’s, Jerry was inspired to tinker, to break-and-repair, and to build his own electronics projects. As an African-American, he faced many challenges, but he was inspired by inventor George Washington Carver to develop his own projects that ultimately led to him pursuing a career in electronics.

He developed the very first cartridge-based Fairchild Channel F computer game system (the ‘F’ stood for ‘Fun’!), the sort of which many of you may have played as a child, which was the precursor to the mega-game systems that are now so commonplace in homes today.

All Beechwood’s computing pupils – from Year 4 to Year 7 –  today temporarily set aside the other topics they have been studying in order to learn more about this great man and his legacy, by using today’s fantastic  Google Doodle to build their own 8-bit computer mini-games, and to share them in the same spirit of enjoyment and FUN that Jerry espoused throughout his life.   One Year 7 pupil said: “I am so glad I learned about Jerry, because now I know that someone from the same heritage as my family helped to develop the computer games that have become the incredible ones that we play today.  Without people like Jerry, of African heritage, some of these developments would never have existed”.  Another said, “Would a brilliant day – learning about a computer genius and making games like him by stepping in his footsteps’.

Google Doodle 1 Dec 2022

Oh, and if you are feeling nostalgic, then why not have a go at it yourself?

Mr Buddie
Director of Digital Learning

New Head of Boarding at Beechwood

In January, Rachel Harris will be joining Beechwood at Head of Boarding and Head of Geography.  Parents will have a chance to meet her before the end of term, but in the meantime, here is a short video introduction:

From the Senior Library

Midwinter Burning by Tanya Landman

Landman’s latest novel looks at the story of Alfie Wright – evacuated at the beginning of the war from an unhappy home life things can’t be any worse for Alfie. Happily, gentle Auntie Bell, who runs a farm in rural Devon, is welcoming and caring. Alfie can’t believe his luck. The War seems a long way off, and among the cows and pigs and geese Alfie’s happier than he’s ever been – especially when he makes friends with one of the local boys, Snidge. But Snidge, for all his friendliness, is not all he appears. And the mystery that surrounds him seems to be connected to the Midwinter Burning, an annual ritual held at the Standing Stones, high up on the cliffs. Aunt Bell says it’s all just a bit of harmless superstition, but when Snidge goes missing, Alfie finally discovers who his friend really is and relives the true horror of the legend.


Congratulations to this week’s recipients of Mr Balfour’s Commendations:

Nurture Engage Inspire
Year 6 - - Thomas K
Year 7 - - -
Top Form - - -