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This part of Hethersett on the Web features stories that have appeared on this site about Woodside Infant and Nursery School. If you run a community group or organisation in the village and would like your own space contact the editor by e-mailing here.

Bake Off for Comic Relief - Monday 18th March, 2013

The monthly mums coffee morning at Woodside School was turned into a bake off to raise money for comic relief. Pupils and staff donned red noses to serve coffee and cake following the judging of the cakes the previous day with Kerry Short coming top for her lollipop cakes. 

The coffee mornings are a regular  social event at the school on the last Friday of each month and are designed to give mums the chance to have a chat and also to bring the school close to the community - something it achieves very successfully. 

Everything on the special additional coffee morning went very quickly - in fact you could say it sold like hot cakes!  The coffee and cakes raised £125.30 and the donations from children wearing red for the day made £341.19 - making a grand total for Comic Relief of £341.19.

Youngsters Go Green - Friday 15th March, 2013

Green minded children at Hethersett Woodside Infant and Nursery School have been awarded an Eco School Green Flag. You can read about this from the Norwich Evening News by clicking on the cutting above

Woodside's Christmas - December 2012

Woodside Infants and Nursery School kicked off a week of Christmas celebrations with Reception class' production of "Wriggly Nativity" - which tells the festive story through catchy songs, movement and dance featuring Kings, donkeys, lambs and many other characters. The performance was enjoyed by parents, younger children and youngsters from the Ducklings playgroup. It will be repeated at 9 a.m on Wednesday 12th. At 10.30 and 2 p.m on the 12th the Nursery group will be presenting "Whoopsy Daisy Angel." Thursday 13th sees Year One presenting Tinsel and Teatowels which will also be repeated on Friday. Tuesday 18th sees Year Two's production of Christmas Recipe which will then be repeated on 19th (2 p.m each day). The Friends of Woodside held their Christmas Fair on December 7th.


Canary Opens New Play Equipment - 25th January, 2012



Norwich City footballer Andrew Surman officially opened new play equipment on Hethersett Memorial Playing Field on January 25th as part of the village pledge day.

Canary Andrew went on to make his own pledge in the Active Norfolk Pledge Pod in Woodside School promising to help Norwich City stay in the Premier Division.

The equipment and surrounding fencing has been made possible through the hard work of the Hethersett Memorial Playing Field Trust and grants from Veolia Environmental Trust, the Geoffrey Watling Foundation and the South Norfolk Neighbourhood Scheme.  The new equipment includes adventure climbing towers, multiplay units, a carousel, a playhouse, a playbus, a springer, trim trail and a mushroom seat.

Villagers, councillors, representatives from  village groups and children from Woodside School came together to see Andrew Surman cut the ribbon to officially open the new equipment.

Guests were welcomed by Memorial Playing Field Trust Chairman and Hethersett Parish Councillor Simon Floyd who thanked the sponsors for their generosity and highlighted coming community workshops which will be held in March to discuss future use of the playing field. He also pointed out that an Old English fair will be held on the field on June 3rd as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Head teacher from Woodside Infant and Junior School Nicola Cushion praised the new equipment: "It's the first place the children head for when school finishes," she said.

Andrew Surman also praised the efforts of all those involved in providing the new equipment: "This is a great focal point for the village and I'm sure my children will be playing on the equipment for many years to come," he said.

Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Margaret Cobbold said: “It is great to hear that all the work has now been completed and the new playground is already being enjoyed by so many children.

“Playgrounds provide children with a great foundation for development. This new playground will enable children to develop their physical and social skills, while letting their imaginations run wild.”


Paralympian Opens School Fete - Saturday 21st June, 2008

British Para-Olympian Mel Clarke was guest of honour at Hethersett Woodside Infant School annual summer fair. 

Staff, children, parents and supporters braved the drizzle and wet weather for another successful event organised by the Friends of Woodside group. 

The day was opened by Mel Clarke who will shortly be on her way to Beijing to represent Great Britain in the archery section of the Para-Olympics. Mel, from Taverham, has built up a close relationship with the Hethersett school over the past few months. 

The day also included songs from years one and two and the school’s samba band with support from the Norwich Samba group. There were plenty of games and attractions for all the family as well as a well supported barbecue and raffle. 

“The Friends of Woodside work extremely hard every year to raise funds to provide our children with special extras. The limited budgets that schools receive make their efforts and the support that parents generously give to the school increasingly important,” said Head Teacher Helen Lamb. 

It has been a very busy year for the school which reverted to Infant status last September. Improvements have included a new outdoor classroom donated by the Friends of Woodside and the introduction of breakfast and after school clubs. 

The Friends Group, which has also provided 120 sets of wet weather clothing for pupils, is looking for additional volunteers to take the place of a number of long-serving members who will be stepping down in October.


Ace Re-cyclers - January 2008

Woodside Nursery School is taking part in a national recycling campaign which will see a visit from a leading air pollution expert.

The Bob the Builder Project Renovate is aimed at looking at ways to reduce, reuse and recycle and involves a competition with 12 awards of £5,000 to create a more energy efficient setting.

"Early environmental education experiences help shape children's values. perspectives and understanding of the environment and how we interact with it.

"By starting at this age we hope to help them develop into adults who understand and care about environmental issues. We hope to create a mini environmental education garden in which the children can have fun and get messy while learning about seasonal plants, vegetation and wildlife." said deputy head Sara Johnston.

Scientist and leading expert in air pollution Dr Joanna Ferreira will visit the school  to talk to the class of three and four year olds.

Dr Ferreira said: "Sometimes children can more easily think about how to improve the environment than adults - they are more open minded. Children need to learn from a very early age that the environment has an impact on their lifestyle, quality of life and even their health. Similarly their lifestyle has an impact on the environment."

Christine Says Farewell - July 2007

Hethersett Woodside First School held an open day to say goodbye to secretary Christine Stone. 

Christine (pictured above with year three pupils who will also be leaving the school at the end of term) was due to retire after working at the school for 24 years. 

Staff old and new, along with parents popped in to say goodbye and enjoy a few reminiscences as Christine reflected on almost a quarter of a century of being the “face at the front of the school.” 

Christine was appointed secretary in 1983 having previously worked  for a shoe company and an estate agents. It was at Woodside, however, that she found her true vocation and was able to combine her love of children with her administration skills. 

Over the years she has seen her functions change dramatically. She has served under three different heads but admits that it is technology that changed her job significantly. 

“The job has changed out of all recognition, everything is now electronic and we work with computer databases, not that it’s cut down the amount of paper we have to deal with,” she said. 

Christine admits that it has been fascinating seeing children grow up and have children of their own. 

“Obviously one of the things I will miss is the company of the children, but I’m sure I will see them about the village,” she said. 

Christine hopes to have more time to spend with her two grandchildren and also more time to follow her passion for gardening and travel. 

“I’m sure it will feel strange in September when everyone returns to school. I have lots of fond memories of so many lovely children and so many lovely people over the years. Woodside has been a lovely place to work thanks to some wonderful staff, children and hugely supportive parents,” she added.  


Weather stays kind for annual summer fayre - June 2007

Three year old Rupert Graver has a go at the football competition and Dippy the Dinosaur says hello at Woodside's annual summer fayre.

Hethersett Woodside School held its final summer fayre as a first school before changing to infant status in September. 

The rain stayed away as hundreds of people helped to raise funds at the event organised by the Friends of Woodside. 

The event was opened by head teacher Helen Lamb, chair of governors Simon Cooper and governor Nicky Wardale. 

“This will be our last summer fayre as a first school before we become an infants’ school in September. So today we have mixed emotions. The school was built in 1972 and opened in 1974 by Margaret Thatcher. From September we will be saying goodbye to our year three children who will be moving on to Hethersett Junior School. We will also be sad to be saying goodbye to some staff this year. 

“On the upside, however, we have received a fantastic Ofsted report which has highlighted the high standards, the wonderful children and out excellent staff. The report praised us for being a cohesive team and team-work is the theme of the fete,” Helen Lamb said. 

Mrs Lamb also outlined the importance of the Friends group. Writing in the summer fayre programme she said: “The Friends of Woodside work extremely hard every year to raise funds to provide children with all the special extras e.g equipment and educational events that the school would not be able to provide. The limited budgets that schools receive make their efforts and the support that parents generously give to the school increasingly important.” 

Simon Cooper also expressed his appreciation for the hard work of the Friends organisation and appealed for additional help. 

“We are a very successful and happy school and the Friends group does a tremendous amount of hard work throughout the year,” he said. 

With two year groups moving up to Hethersett Junior School in September, a number of vacancies have become available for parents on the Friends group. One of the Friends’ latest projects is a new outside classroom which will be erected in the school playground. It has been delayed by the recent bad weather. 

The summer fayre featured years two and three’s samba band, line dancing, songs from the children, a grand draw, numerous side-shows and food stands and a very popular visit from Dippy the Dinosaur from the Dinosaur Park.

 Quiz and Footie - May 2007

Friends of Woodside First School, Hethersett, held a quiz and fish and chips evening with 14 teams taking part. 

Earlier in the day a team of young footballers from the school took part in a  six a side competition at Little Melton School Fete. They reached the semi-finals after beating Larkman 2-0, but then lost to eventual winners Cringleford. 

Woodside’s annual summer fete will take place this year on June 23rd.


Ofsted Delight for Outstanding School - March 2007

Hethersett Woodside First School is top of the class after a stunning Ofsted report which ranked it as “outstanding” in 26 out of 27 categories and “good” in the 27th

Staff and pupils are celebrating the achievement that puts them in the top 5% of schools nationally. 

The school was praised throughout the report for its consistently high standards and outstanding achievement, with all pupils making very good progress whatever their starting point. 

There is also praise for “outstanding teaching and an exceptionally rich curriculum contributing to pupils’ huge enjoyment of learning with learning being made very interesting.” 

The children are singled out for special mention: “Pupils volunteer ideas and opinions with remarkable maturity. They have a strong sense of justice, their behaviour is impeccable and their understanding of mutual responsibility and healthy lifestyles is extraordinary for their age. 

Head teacher Helen Lamb’s leadership is described as “excellent and exceptionally skilled and supported highly effectively by other managers and governors with the governors keeping an exceptionally close check on the school’s work.” 

The school received “outstanding” for every single overall category – overall effectiveness of the school, achievement and standards, personal development and well-being, quality of provision, curriculum and other activities, care, guidance and support and leadership and management. 

“This is an outstanding achievement for our school and we are very proud. I’m very pleased that Ofsted recognised that we go the extra mile to support every single pupil. Our school aim is excellence and enjoyment and that is reflected 100% in the report. 

“The success is a tribute to the hard work and excellence of strong teamwork with children, parents, staff and governors working together with superb results, it is truly a privilege to be part of it, “Mrs Lamb said adding that the school was also very proud of its close links with the local community. 

The Ofsted inspectors have written to the children to thank them for their hard work. 

“We enjoyed meeting you enormously. Thank you for being so kind, considerate and helpful. We know you rate your school highly and we agree with you and your parents; we think you go to an exceptionally good school.” 

The Woodside Ofsted report follows closely on the heels of impressive reports for Hethersett Middle School and Hethersett High School. 

The full reports for all three schools are available on the Ofsted web site which can be accessed by clicking here. 


Going For Gold - March 2007

Chairman of the Parish Council George Beckford and Head Teacher Helen Lamb plant the "Going for Gold" tree

Children and parents from Hethersett Woodside First School joined head teacher Helen Lamb and chairman of Hethersett Parish Council George Beckford to plant tree to help launch Anglia in Bloom 2007. 

A 12 foot Whitebeam was planted in the school’s grounds and pupils from the school council also planted a number of perennials and shrubs around the tree. 

The symbolic planting co-incided with similar events throughout East Anglia to help launch this year’s competition: 

“Despite the cold this is the official first day of spring and the launch of Anglia in Bloom which saw us receive a silver award last year. This year we will be going for gold,” Mr Beckford said. 

Over the past few months the school has been working closely with the Hethersett Environmental Action Group (HEAT) with volunteers helping to tidy-up the grounds as well as installing hedgehog boxes and making a variety of other improvements.   

Parish Council Chairman George Beckford with children at the planting.

“HEAT and the Friends of the School group, along with scouts, brownies and guides have been working very hard to improve the environment both at the school and in the village,” Mr Beckford added. 

Mrs Lamb praised the efforts of HEAT: “It is very important for our school to be part of the community and involved in the excellent work that HEAT are doing both at the school and in the village,” she said. 

Other improvements already carried out in the village include new flower beds on the B1172 to help add a splash of colour. Numerous other projects are planned before the Anglia in Bloom judging  takes place in the summer.

The Heat Is On - February 2007

Environmentalists and children in Hethersett are uniting to help clean up the local environment.

The Hethersett Environmental Action Team (HEAT) is made up of volunteers who, for the past six years, have been carrying out numerous environmental improvements to the village. 

Now they are looking to do more and for some time have been helping Woodside First School to clean up, place bird boxes and plant flowers and shrubs. 

“Only a few of our members can manage school hours, so we are hoping to extend our support by uniting with the Friends of the School group,” said HEAT member George Beckford. 

Their first job has been arranged for Thursday 1st March at 9.30 a.m when they will tidy up the lime walk, place hedgehog boxes and plant more shrubs. Any volunteers are welcome. 

“We are also looking to unite with others. Scouts and Guides have both indicated their desire to assist and we are looking forward to our community uniting so that everyone can benefit from what we do,” Mr Beckford added.


A Busy Christmas - December 2006

It's been a busy Christmas period for children and staff at the school. To read about what they have been getting up to click here.