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Crikey. Here are some dates for Christmas events

Before you know it, it’ll be New Year’s Eve and the preceding Christmas season will be a hazy memory. So while there’s chance here are some dates of forthcoming festive events.

IMG_6853* The traditional Christmas tree light-up will take place this Friday, 27 November, at 4.30pm on George Green. The Salvation Army will be there to make it properly festive. (But slapped wrist to @skyellis666 for this tweet… tut tut. Nice composition, though.)

* School Christmas bazaars this weekend…

  • On Saturday 28 November, Wanstead Church School from 11.30am until 2pm (more details here)
  • On the same date, Our Lady of Lourdes Primary school from noon

* Still on Saturday 28 November, The Duke Christmas Street Party will start at 2pm, with food, live music and stalls. Plus an Apres Ski themed outside bar. Also a sleigh photo booth. Click/tap this image for more details. DukeXMASweb

* On 5 December there will be another Wanstead Makers’ Market at which local crafty folk will be selling their creations, almost as if knowing that people might be in need of presents to buy. It’s from 10am until 4pm and there are more details here, very stylishly illustrated.

* Advance notice of a Santa’s Grotto which will be visiting the Nightingale pub on 12 December from noon until 4pm. It costs £10 per child and entry is by timed ticket – which you can get here. It’s all in aid of the Wanstead Playground Association… which is, in a separate development, hoping people who go to Starbucks will back it in their Red Cup Challenge and help it raise a further chunk of money. More details about that here.

* Wanstead Shops and restaurants are again running a loyalty card this Christmas, with anyone who gets 10 stamps on their card being eligible to enter a draw. More details to come.

* There are also disturbing noises about Wanstead people being encouraged to wear Christmas jumpers on the High Street on 18 December.

Wanstead weekly photo

Geoff Wilkinson writes on Wanstead Daily Photo: “This lovely Morris Minor 1000 pulled up outside the Gallery a couple of weekends ago. I couldn’t resist taking a few shots, it was immaculate, obviously the owner’s pride and joy. Designed by Alec Issigonis, around 1950 for this four door version, I believe he went on to design the world famous Mini which is still going strong in its current form. For a few hours it graced Nightingale Lane whisking us back in time for a while…

John Hayes

John EppingWansteadium is sad to report the death of local businessman John Hayes, aged 55. He died on 8 November after battling cancer for 15-months.

Educated in Wanstead, for the past 10 years John co-owned the Schools Marketing Company, based on Wanstead High Street. His sister Veronica Over says: “He probably ate in more Wanstead Restaurants and shopped in more Wanstead shops than most people have done in their lifetime! Many will know him from his frequent – and always happy –  visits to Provender, Robins Pie & Mash, Gioberti, Ottos, Loon Yee, The Cuckfield and The Duke, and shopping in Londis and Dennis Butchers et al!  He loved chatting about food, wine and sport (he was a lifelong Spurs fan and an excellent cricketer himself) and he loved people – always seeing the best in them.”

John’s funeral will be on Friday 27 November at 11am at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 51 Cambridge Park, London E11 2PR. The committal is taking place at: City of London Cemetery at 1.00 pm, Aldersbrook Road, Manor Park, London E12 5DQ.


Answers to your questions about Wanstead High School

Wanstead High School is celebrating being rated “good” in all categories by Ofsted – a sign of progress since its 2013 rating which said it required improvement. The new headteacher, Bob Hamlyn, who joined the school this year, here makes his debut on Wansteadium – answering questions which were put to him by parents of prospective pupils which were collated by Wansteadium reader David Hartt.

The report is available to download here (along with a copy of the school newsletter). Here’s the summary:

Q. I loved the school when I visited during an open evening a few weeks ago. [However I did have a fear that] my daughter won’t achieve her full potential there, as other schools I’ve visited appear to promise nurturing to full potential. What is the central feature that you believe enables children to thrive and reach their full potential?

A. We have developed the notion of “education with character” here at Wanstead High School: making sure that the curriculum we offer, and the way we deliver it, best matches the needs of our learners. The best way to help young people thrive and to meet their full potential is to make sure we know them well – to have robust tracking of progress coupled with strong teacher / pupil relationships. I was pleased to note in the recent OFSTED report that these things are in place.

Q. What changes are you planning to improve the school?

A. We’ve got a comprehensive and detailed Improvement Plan which covers all aspects of school life, from improved exam outcomes through to developing student voice in the school. However, if I’m pushed as to the single most important thing, it has to be to continue to develop teaching and learning so that there is even more outstanding practice across the school.

Q. From what I understand, children are placed into a mixed ability form group and they then stay with that form group for most subjects throughout their schooling. Therefore what opportunities are there to form other friendships/learn with different children from other form groups? What if a child is unhappy in their given group?

A. There are plenty of opportunities to form other friendships. In Key Stage 3 (up to Year 9) children will be taught in form groups for most subjects, and in some different class groupings (maths and PE for example), as well as all the extra-curricular opportunities we offer such as the Drama productions etc… At Key Stage 4 (Yr 10 and 11) they will be in different classes for nearly all of their subjects. If a child is unhappy in their given form class we’ll try to resolve the issues at first – we have excellent Heads of Year who work closely with parents.

Q. What can you tell me about behaviour and anti bullying policies at the school and what are your plans to manage both outside of the school? In addition what are you doing to combat the negative behaviour after school hours while children are still in uniform and therefore representing the school.

A. We’ve got really robust behaviour and anti-bullying policies and procedures here. We don’t just deal with incidents in the classroom or the playground. For example we take cyber-bullying very seriously and we will investigate and deal with incidents that may have occurred over the internet at weekends, but that still involve our students. Our new behaviour system gives parents instant and regular feedback – including praise.

We do impress upon our students that their behaviour in the community is important. That’s one reason why we insist upon our students wearing their uniform outside of school as they travel home. We do try to patrol the Green and other areas, and try to keep a presence visible after school.

Q: In 2013, Ofsted highlighted the fact that academically bright children, who achieved a level 5 SATS at age 11, are less likely to achieve an A grade at GCSE if they attend a comprehensive school compared with if they attend a selective school. What are your thoughts on that and what does WHS do to stretch its most able pupils to ensure they reach their maximum potential?

A: I’ve just been looking at the data for progress: our most able students do still make better than expected progress – and many go onto successful A level courses and then to Russell Group universities. There’s no reason why a student in a comprehensive school cannot achieve the same as someone in a selective school, other than the expectations of the school itself. We have worked hard recently to raise expectations of all of our students, not just the most able. I expect our school to be competing with the best in Redbridge.

Q: More and more schools seems to be moving away from mixed ability teaching because there is convincing evidence that it is holding back high achieving pupils. Will WHS move towards more setting across the board too?

A: I think it’s more complex than that. Setting by ability does happen here in some subjects (Science in Key Stage 4, and Maths all the way from Year 7). However we need to be forensic in our analysis before we assume that setting is the panacea. Our best performing subject at GCSE level is English – they teach mixed ability from year 7 through to Year 11. Many very high performing schools also have a mixed economy of setting / mixed ability. The key is not necessarily the setting arrangements, but the quality of teaching and the expectations we have of each students.

Q: I feel that many parents (including ourselves) would love to send their children to WHS if only the curriculum would reflect a more academic approach and they felt confident that their child would be stretched to reach their potential. Is there any chance that there will be curriculum changes in the near future? In addition I would like to know if there will be a broader choice of foreign languages, including German, either initially or as a second foreign language?

A: I think we do have an academic curriculum. We offer what are known as the EBACC subjects from Year 7, and these are taken up in higher than average numbers at Key Stage 4. The very large majority of students will study for 10 GCSEs, and a large number will take Triple Science (separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics). We offer 2 languages – Spanish and French, and those with the aptitude for languages will be able to study these both at GCSE level. Our curriculum then feeds into a very broad and balanced Sixth Form offer, which in turn gives students the opportunity to apply for the very best universities. Our curriculum is constantly under review, but the underlying principle will always be to provide breadth and depth.

Q: What is your view on the constant testing in schools? Research demonstrates that children learn through experiential and differentiated learning. Does constant testing serve only to guide the teacher while potentially impeding the development and confidence of the young person?

A: There’s a difference between constant testing, and on-going assessment. Of course we do have regular exam points in our calendar – the Yr 11 Mock exams for example are a vital indicator for us so that we know who is performing well and who needs further intervention. We also regularly capture data from teachers so that we can keep parents informed of their child’s progress, as well as catching any underperformance as early as possible. I don’t think you can separate teaching from assessment: a good teacher will be doing both at the same time, without negatively impacting on the young person’s development.

Q: What is your vision for Wanstead High School, what areas do you see as priority in the short term and in the long term?

A: I’ve attached our vision, which includes our objectives for the next 2 years. These clearly set out our priorities.

Q: WHS has facilities that would be the envy of most state and some private schools e.g, science block, sports facilities (including a large field) and drama/dance studios. What plans do you have to maximise the potential from these facilities for students at WHS, both during and outside of the school day.

A: Yes, we do have some great facilities. At the weekends we have lettings which use many of the spaces, but during the school day they are well – used. This includes lunchtime and after- school when we have a lot of sports, Drama, Dance and Music going on for our students.

Q: The fabric of the school is quite dilapidated in places. Is this something you are looking to address, and do you think the local authority would be supportive of that?

A: I’ve already had several meetings with key council officers from Redbridge. The site does boast some great facilities, but there is also a need for some investment so that the building reflect our own high aspirations and the value we put on education. In the current financial climate we do need to be aware that capital investment in schools has been reduced. However, we will continue to press for further funding, both from the local authority and from central government.

Q: What do you think is the primary issue preventing WHS from performing academically in the same way as the highest achievers in Redbridge and what are you doing to address that?

A: I don’t think there is anything we cannot overcome that should prevent Wanstead High School from being the best performing school in Redbridge. We have already made recent, rapid improvements, and we now need to keep the momentum going until we achieve Outstanding and beyond. There will always be challenges, but with the support of the local community, and the continued commitment of our staff, this school can go on to further success, both academically as well as in the broadest sense.

Still the best way to help Wansteadium

There’s one very simple way to keep Wansteadium on the road, and it doesn’t cost you a penny.

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Wanstead Social Diary

4:30 pm Wanstead Christmas Light-up
Wanstead Christmas Light-up
Nov 27 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Wanstead Christmas Light-up @ George Green, Wanstead
With carols sung by Wanstead Church School, accompanied by the Salvation Army Band. The lights will be turned on by the Pearly King and Queen at 5pm. All are welcome.Share[...]
9:00 am Wanstead Flats 5K Run
Wanstead Flats 5K Run
Nov 28 @ 9:00 am
Weekly timed runs on Wanstead FlatsShare this:EmailFacebookTwitterGooglePrint
10:30 am Wanstead Walks
Wanstead Walks
Nov 28 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Wanstead Walks @ Outside Wanstead Place Surgery | London | United Kingdom
Residents are invited to join walks exploring Wanstead. Walks generally last an hour. Organised by Redbridge Sport and Physical Activity Team. Call 020 8708 0952 for details.Share this:EmailFacebookTwitterGooglePrint
11:00 am Wanstead Church School Christmas...
Wanstead Church School Christmas...
Nov 28 @ 11:00 am – 2:30 pm
All the festive fun of the fair. Grand opening at 11am with Theo the Leyton Orient dragon. Mini Christmas market – Santa’s grotto – pop-up bar from The Duke –[...]
11:15 am The People’s March for Climate, ...
The People’s March for Climate, ...
Nov 29 @ 11:15 am
Meet outside Wanstead Tube Station at 11.15 and we will travel to the march in Central London together with the Wanstead Banner! Fancy dress and face paints encouraged. For more[...]
6:45 pm Adult Yoga Class
Adult Yoga Class
Dec 1 @ 6:45 pm – 8:00 pm
 Share this:EmailFacebookTwitterGooglePrint
8:30 pm East Side Jazz Club
East Side Jazz Club
Dec 1 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm
East Side Jazz Club @ Leytonstone & District Ex-Servicemen's Club | London | United Kingdom
The East Side Jazz Club is East London’s premier jazz venue hosted Tuesday evenings by drummer Clive Fenner. All gigs are cash on the door – no membership or reservations.Share[...]
8:30 pm What’s Cookin’ Music Night
What’s Cookin’ Music Night
Dec 2 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Bluegrass, country and rock ‘n’ roll musicShare this:EmailFacebookTwitterGooglePrint

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