A delve into the past

Every now and again an opportunity arises to look into something new and exciting for our school. Just before we broke up for Easter I visited the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham which is the main archive for documents and historical artifacts for the whole of Wiltshire.  There I met Claire Skinner, the senior archivist and Ruth Butler, Education Officer for the WSHC and had a most productive conversation about our village and our school from years gone by.

With a little time to spare I visited the WSHC in the holidays and spent some time looking through original school log books from 1882 onwards which was a most fascinating experience. There is so much history to explore and I hope to get back there again soon, but in the meantime, here is an extract from the 1882 school log book, written by the schoolmaster:

1882 school log book

Easter Fun in the Sun!

The end of term is always so full of excitement and fun but it can also get incredibly busy, so it’s only now that I have a few minutes to add the wonderful array of photos that were taken on our last day of term. With glorious weather for the occasion we were, once again, so well supported by our school community that the hall was packed for assembly and the children were on top form with their singing and speaking.

Then it was a swift move outside to enjoy an array of colour as the children paraded around our field wearing their beautifully crafted Easter hats and bonnets that must have taken hours to make! Finally, our perfect Easter afternoon was rounded off with the annual egg rolling competition. Everyone was a worthy winner and with wonderfully decorated eggs flying in all directions, it was tricky to find the furthest roll from each year group but we managed it!

Thank you to everyone who came and joined in the fun of our last afternoon and I wish you all a super Easter break. I look forward, also,  to another wonderful term together when we get back. Here are the photos from the afternoon, thank you Mrs Batten! Happy Easter everyone.

Westwood Gets Ocarina Happy!

This afternoon I had the pleasure of working with our KS2 children, introducing them to the new ocarinas we have in school. Learning simple notation, but most of all, the fun and enjoyment of playing a musical instrument, the children very quickly picked up the skills and technique required and I had two great sessions with Orchid and Lotus class, with us all being able to play London’s Burning by the end of the afternoon – even in the round!

I asked Lotus class to briefly write about their experience and enjoyment of the afternoon in a simple blog post. Please hop over to lotus.westwoodblogs.org to read their brilliant posts.

I also managed to record some of our playing this afternoon,please enjoy what we achieved in just 40 minutes!

Radio Club see the term out with style

This morning radio club broadcast their latest breakfast show with the usual professionalism and fluency that we are coming to expect of our fantastic young broadcasters.  Having planned their own scripts, including top news stories, community news, school events and the weather for the week, all of the children thoroughly enjoyed their time in the studio and showed tremendous resilience and confidence as they were live to the world for almost half an hour.

It makes me proud to see them at work and to think that our village school is making such an impact with its school radio. You can catch up with all of our broadcasts by visiting https://soundcloud.com/westwoodradio or you can download them to your preferred device as we are also on iTunes and also on TuneIn. In the meantime, please enjoy today’s show and we will be back again after Easter live at 2.30pm on Friday 28th April. Happy Listening!

What a Week!

This week we have had such a busy week at our school. Beginning with the wonderful Mother’s Monday when we welcomed so many of our mums and special people in to school, it was the perfect way to start the week. Please see the previous post for more details.

On Tuesday we welcomed back Emma Hodgkins of the Helen Hodgkins Trust to Westwood school to be interviewed for our radio show about her work with providing clean water for families in Ghana through her charity. You can find out all about her brilliant work on http://www.helenhodgkinstrust.org/ So far this year we have been able to donate a lot of money through your generosity to our cake sales, growing £1 events and Ghana cafe. We are planning more events later in the year too, so watch this space!

Here is Emma’s wonderful interview with Izzy, explaining her work and busy life, if you missed it on Friday’s show:

On Wednesday our talented gymnasts took to the floor and apparatus at the Wiltshire School of Gymnastics, taking part in the West Wilts Primary School gymnastics competition. As always, the children performed fantastically, with routines to be proud of and they were a complete credit to our school. Thank you to all of you who took part and enjoyed your day and also a huge thank you to Mrs Hannam for organising the vent and giving the children a great experience.

Thursday saw Lotus class visit Bath Rugby for a Tag Rugby event and they had so much fun going up against teams from other schools, learning some super rugby skills. As if that wasn’t tiring enough, they then came back and ran a brilliant Easter egg hunt for the school, raising over £140. Well done everyone!

Friday was SUCH a busy and exciting day as we welcomed Conservative MP for Chippenham and local area Michelle Donelan to our school. Michelle very kindly took time out of her busy schedule to attend our celebration assembly, presenting the attendance and Westwood Wonders of the Week trophy (complete with drum roll!) and to look around the school, talking to staff and answering some fantastic questions. Michelle then joined us in the Westwood Radio studio to be interviewed by Oscar, Lily and Finn who had all prepared their own superb questions to gain an insight into the life and work of an MP. Michelle was brilliant and gave us a fantastic interview. Here is the full interview:

As if that wasn’t enough of a busy day, we then had a super assembly with Jenny Knight from the Wiltshire Music Service who introduced us all to the wonders of the Ocarina. This is a fantastic little intrusment that we are all going to learn as part of a school project to develop our musical abilities. With Jenny’s energy and skills, we were all singing and playing within no time. Here is a brief snippet of what we were learning. My apologies for my dulcet tones in the background!

So to end this post after a truly wonderful week, here are some photos of our Friday – a great day to end an inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable week and another to be proud of at our school.

Mother’s Monday 2017

What a lovely day we all had on Monday, when we welcomed our mums and special people into school to celebrate Mother’s Monday with us. Before school had even started we had mums in the radio studio to join our radio club with their first ever live broadcast online for the Mother’s Monday Breakfast Show. The children did an amazing job and were so confident and Mrs Batten, Mrs Caston and Mrs Mavridis were superb on the weather, giving us all the information we needed for the week ahead!

Here is the show in full from yesterday with photos:

Our school day then began with a whole school assembly, including a special story and a song just for our mums and then everyone was invited to join their children in class for a day of learning. It was fantastic to see how many mums had taken time out of their busy schedules to come into school and the hall was packed!

Each class had planned a fun filled day, including science experiments, aboriginal art, poster making and even a live link up with Australia to learn more about the country and culture. As I walked around school it was wonderful to see how everyone got so much into the spirit of the day and the warm and positive atmosphere that existed made me very proud indeed. Even at playtime and lunchtime there were mums everywhere joining in with fun and games and even eating their lunch in the dinner hall.

My huge thanks to all of our lovely mums who all came and joined in with the festivities and fun of Mother’s Monday and who made it such a super day. Also, a big thank you to our staff for their hard work in planning and preparing such a plethora of interesting and engaging activities for everyone to enjoy. Another fabulous community day!

Here are some photos of all the fun

History Day

Today we have all been working together to learn about a famous person in History – Louis Braille. We spent the morning discussing his life story and working in pairs, with Thistle class and Clover class working beautifully together to produce a super book of his life story. In the afternoon everyone then got the chance to create some braille patterns of their own and to understand.

Here are the children hard at work and describing what they have learnt in their own words: