Jingle bells all the way to Woodstar School

12 December 2018

Members of the N10 Choir at CPotential

Members of the N10 Choir at CPotentialThank you so much to our friends from the N10 Community Choir, who came to sing for our Woodstar School pupils today.

Led by musical director Lazina Gheyselinck, the choir comprises local people of mixed ages, backgrounds and nationalities.

Their repertoire includes everything from The Sound of Music to Schubert, My Fair Lady to Mozart. They perform locally but also further afield, most recently, at festivals in Rome and Portugal.

Today, they sang rousing versions of lots of Christmas favourites.  As you can see, the children all enjoyed joining in as part of our pre-Christmas festivities.


“We are here – on wheels” for World Cerebral Palsy Day

10 October 2018

We had a fun day celebrating World Cerebral Palsy Day yesterday (in glorious autumn sunshine).

The children chose personal challenges to achieve on variety of different wheels including bikes, walkers, a wheelchair and scooters in the park next to our Centre.

They not only completed their challenges (such as cycling three laps on a bike or doing one lap independently in a wheelchair) but then kept on going round as it was so much fun.

Wearing the WCP Day colour green, they were joined by parents, staff and John Martin, our Chair of Trustees, who had led fellow cyclists on their own cycling challenge for us last Sunday (donations still welcome).

Marking World Cerebral Palsy Day with its rallying call ‘We Are Here’  is always a special day for us.

As one of our older Saturday Session girls (below) explains: “World Cerebral Palsy Day is important because it’s a day where people can celebrate and learn more about cerebral palsy.”

Jo Honigmann, CPotential CEO, said: “We’re delighted to support World Cerebral Palsy Day because we believe passionately with its campaign to ensure that children and adults with cerebral palsy have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in their communities, be this in the UK or anywhere else in the world.

“The children all loved the activity this year, which was all about being active and having fun on wheels. This is central to our aims to help each child develop their mobility, practical life skills and confidence to be as independent as possible.”

  • With thanks to our friend and ace photographer Helen Rayner for the photos. Click on the grey dots below to see a lovely selection from the day.


Our children are incredible

19 July 2018

After the excitement of our Graduation Day, it was at not quite school as usual yesterday as the children went to Muswell Hill Everyman cinema to see Incredibles 2.

And it wasn’t just a fun end-of-term outing but very much part of our Learning for Living Active Curriculum.

The children planned the trip themselves: they googled where our nearest cinema is, planned the date using the school’s calendar of events, looked up the trailers of the films before choosing this film and picked an appropriate time to go, using an Amazon Echo and computers.

They walked from school to the cinema, with one of the boys leading the group and letting everyone know when it was safe to cross the roads.

At the cinema the children ordered their own snacks and drinks (popcorn and chocolate milkshakes) from the bar and then sat independently on the cinema seats, with low-key supervision by their teachers.

They all thoroughly enjoyed the film – especially one of our pupils who has visual difficulties but was thrilled to be able to see the film on the big screen clearly – and everyone loved the baby Jack-Jack with all his cool powers. For some of the children, it was the first time they had ever been to a cinema.

And how did the children review the outing?

Comments included: “It was so funny – my favourite part was everything” and “This was the greatest day of my life.”

We’re grateful to everyone who came along to help and to the Everyman for their hospitality. That’s all, folks!





So long, farewell…to the Class of 2018

18 July 2018

Confetti at the end of the Graduation ceremony


Parents and friends joined us for a wonderful Woodstar School Graduation Day celebration and party today with certificates, songs, dancing, cake – and surprise confetti.

We celebrated the progress not only of the two young ladies leaving us to go to secondary school but of all our pupils.

Finn Emmerson, Head of Woodstar School, said: “Once again, they’ve all been absolute superstars, pushing themselves to improve in all areas and blowing us away with their progress. We couldn’t be prouder.”

In their speeches, which they wrote and presented by voice and computer, our two graduates said:  “I learnt lots of things here like standing up in my walker and reading. I really loved cooking my lunch and banging the cymbal in music,” and “I’ve enjoyed myself and I’ve made lots of friends. I’ve learned lots like how to speak and do maths. I’m looking forward to going to big school.”

We’ll miss them both and wish them all the very best for the future – and look forward to hearing about all their new adventures.


Fantastic not plastic

4 July 2018

Boy with poster saying Start Recycling

Children learning about recycling with recycling bags

This term the children at Woodstar School have been learning about recycling and doing their bit in the national campaign to reduce plastic rubbish.

Finn Emmerson, Head of Woodstar School, explains why: “Recycling is an important issue in the world and, as we’ve all been made aware recently with the problem with single-use plastic items, we wanted to do our bit.”

After watching a video together about plastic pollution in the oceans the children said they wanted to help save the animals and do something to help the community. They’re already recycling things like lunchtime waste but they learned from the video that they could also reduce the amount of plastic they use themselves.

So the class decided to make ‘bags for life’ for their shopping trips, which they decorated with eco-friendly messages.

They also learnt that recycling means turning rubbish into something new, so they made bird feeders for the school garden out of old juice cartons.  And went, suitably covered up, to our local park to do a spot of litter removal.

Finn says: “This type of Learning for Living project supports each of our pupils’ all-round development – their learning and thinking skills, communication, fine motor movements, being active and involved in the community – and, most importantly, developing as confident members of society while having lots of fun.”


We are the champions

12 June 2018

Children in tug o war

We raced, we rolled, we tugged – we had great fun at the Woodstar School Sports Day today.

The children really put their all into the different activities whether they were competing individually or in teams.

It was lovely to welcome so many parents, brothers and sisters who came along to cheer. Thanks to Mate, our school Conductor, for coordinating the event and to all the teachers.

Most of all, well done to all the children (who wore the new tie-dyed tops they’d made at school). They put in lots of effort in the challenges and they all came out true champions.


Woodstar School’s painters and decorators

7 June 2018

A Conductor and pupil paint a board white.

You’ve got to hand it to them.  This week the children at Woodstar School and nursery joined forces to start work on brightening up the playground. They painted the first base coat on some weatherproof boards.

Finn Emmerson, Head of School, says: “The children had great fun painting the boards. In the next couple of weeks they’re going to decorate them and then we’ll put the finished boards up to hide an old shed.”

The project ties in with the pupils’ usual summer term gardening activities like planting and watering the plants. And it’s all part of our Learning for Living curriculum, teaching the children practical life skills.

Finn explains: “It also helps them understand that things take preparation and time to complete.”

Watch this space to see what our wonderful painters and decorators do next.


Our “lovely visit” to London Zoo

17 May 2018


A giraffe’s tongue can grow as long as 50cm. Just one of the fascinating facts the children from Woodstar School and nursery learnt on their visit to London Zoo yesterday.

They had a great time seeing the animals they’ve been learning about at school – including butterflies, tigers, zebras and gorillas – and ticking them off their checklists.

Kerri Morgan, Woodstar School speech and language therapist, explains:

“Before the trip we gave the children pictures of animals at the zoo. They chose which ones they wanted to see, cut them out and stuck them on to a checklist for the day. On the bus the children also voted to see an interactive talk all about Humboldt penguins.”

The trip was packed full of exciting sights and sounds with lots of opportunities for the children to use their practical Learning for Living skills including using a map of the zoo, meeting the zoo staff, taking turns going to the best viewing posts and taking photos with an iPad.

As well as the wildlife, we came across a tuk tuk – something the children had not seen before but were excited to add to their knowledge of types of transport they’ve been learning about this term.

And the children’s overall response to the day? Their comments included: “I had a lovely visit” and “beautiful” and one of the boys was delighted to have learnt to say “Alpaca” for the first time.

Many thanks to everyone at London Zoo for making us so welcome.


“As-Salaam-Alaikum” from the Woodstar children

16 May 2018

Girl and representative from the mosque

Girl and representative from the mosque


Our Woodstar School pupils had a great time on their trip to the Finchley Masjid yesterday (15 May), on the day before the start of Ramadan.

Our host, Jahed from the Discover Islam School Project educational charity, told us about Islam and how Muslim people pray, and showed us the mosque’s copy of the Q’uran.

The children enjoyed looking at some passages in Arabic and they all had a go at saying ‘As-Salaam-Alaikum’, the Arabic greeting.

We organised the trip as part of our Learning for Living curriculum to teach the children about different cultures. Over this year, as well as learning about Islam, the children have celebrated festivals such as Christmas, Easter, Chanukah and Purim.

The visit was also an opportunity to use their interaction skills, both on the bus there and back and at the mosque, asking questions, taking turns and listening quietly to Jahed.

One of the children said she had had “a very interesting time and that she had never been to a galaxy like that before” and another said she would like to have her birthday party at the mosque.

Many thanks to Jahed and we wish ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ to everyone at Discover Islam and the Masjid.


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