We would like to share with you what is happening in our classes. The classes in Woodchester Endowed School are named after trees. Each class has a beautiful wooden carving on the door, relating to it's name. The handle of the school bell, which can be heard every morning, has been made using a piece of each wood naming our classes. This is another example of the rich and meaningful tradition valued here at Woodchester. Please choose a class to visit from the menu on the left, or click on the red links below. Clicking on the leaves will take you to an external page with more information about each tree.
Common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) is found across Europe, from the Arctic Circle to Turkey. It is the third most common tree in Britain. When fully grown, ash trees can grow to a height of 35m. Tall and graceful, they often grow together, forming a light domed canopy. The pinnate leaves comprise 6-12 opposite pairs of light green, oval leaflets with long tips, up to 40cm long. There is an additional singular 'terminal' leaflet at the end. The leaves can move in the direction of sunlight, and sometimes the whole crown of the tree may lean in the direction of the sun. Another characteristic of ash leaves is that they fall when they are still green
Common beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a large, deciduous tree, native to southern England and South Wales. It also thrives throughout central and western Europe. It usually grows on drier, free-draining soils, such as chalk, limestone and light loams. Beech woodland is shady and is characterised by a dense carpet of fallen leaves and mast husks, which prevent most woodland plants from growing. Only specialist shade tolerant plants can survive beneath a beech canopy.
Common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is commonly found growing in hedgerows, woodland and scrub. It will grow in most soils, but flowers and fruits best in full sun. It often hybridises with the UK’s other native hawthorn, Midland hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata). Both species are similar and can be hard to tell apart.Mature trees can reach a height of 15m and are characterised by their dense, thorny habit, though they can grow as a small tree with a single stem. The bark is brown-grey, knotted and fissured, and twigs are slender and brown and covered in thorns.
Common juniper (Juniperus communis) is an evergreen conifer native to the UK, Europe and much of the northern hemisphere. It thrives on chalk downland, moorland, in rocky areas and old native pine woodland. Juniper populations in the UK are shrinking, and the species is a priority under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Common juniper is most often found as a low-growing, spreading shrub or small tree. Its bark is grey-brown and peels with age, and its twigs are reddish brown. The small, needle-like leaves are green with broad silver bands on the inner side, curving slightly to a sharp, prickly point. Mature trees can reach a height of 10m and live for up to 200 years.
Crack willow (Salix fragilis) is a deciduous broadleaf tree and one of Britain's largest native willows. Distributed in the UK, Europe and Western Asia, it is usually found growing along watercourses and around lakes. The crack willow is hard to tell apart from the white willow. Mature trees grow to 25m. The bark is dark brown and develops deep fissures with age, and twigs are slender, flexible, shiny and yellow-brown. The slender, oval leaves are similar to those of the white willow, being long and slender, dark green above and light green below. However the leaves of the crack willow are shorter than those of the white willow, and they do not have a felty covering of fine, silky white hairs on the underside.