Clover Class on Westwood Radio

This week Clover class had the opportunity to put together their own radio show and to broadcast live on Westwood Radio and what a show they presented!

With outstanding script writing, huge amounts of confidence and a really lovely way to reflect on their ‘We are what we eat topic’, everyone worked so hard and it was a joy to watch everyone working together. Thank you to everyone who listened and sent us texts. Here are some photos of our fabulous afternoon and a chance to listen again to the show

Today, the Five Sentence Challenge inspires…

Today I had the pleasure of listening to some children in Sunflower Class read their five sentence challenge writing for me. Using a wonderful picture prompt on fivesc.net, the idea is that the children look closely at the picture and write five detailed and interesting sentences based on what they see. This is great for developing writing confidence, engagement and, above all, enjoyment of writing. Once again, I took the opportunity to record this super learning and you can listen to the children perform their writing below.

Also, just this evening, we have been gifted this inspiring ‘toon’ by artist Terry Culkin who has been impressed by the children’s writing and their ability to perform it so well. Thank you Terry!

100wc toon

100wc magic continues to inspire

This first post of the new term comes with a high level of excitement. Many of you will know that I very much enjoy teaching every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon as it gives me a chance to keep in touch with what is going on in the classroom and enjoy being a part of the children’s learning.

Today was a real treat as, not only did the children write some amazing stories for their 100 word challenge blog posts, but we also got to record a number of them as a well. This is something that we haven’t tried before and i was so impressed with the level of expression and how much the children enjoyed presenting their writing. Once again, the 100 word challenge inspired, engaged and excited children in their learning and it was lovely to see.

You can head to both lotus.westwoodblogs.org and orchid.westwoodblogs.org to read some stunning stories and below you will find these stories presented to you by the children in their own unique way.

Well done everyone, Mrs Skinner would be proud!

Simonsbath Day 5

What a week we have had at Simonsbath this week on our residential and we have to finish it as we have been all week and that is with some photos of our fabulous children enjoying themselves on their last morning.

After some swift packing and lunch making, everyone had their dorms looking in fine shape, to ensure that we had maximum time for orienteering before lunch. Emily briefed us on some essential map skills before the children were able to head off out around the entire Simonsbath House site to try to find the clues to enable them to answer a puzzle. As you can imagine, with so much experience of orienteering from their school activities, the children all found this fairly straight forward and impressed the instructors with their skills! With glorious sunshine on a beautiful Autumn day, it was the perfect end to a magical week, with everyone enjoying their last bit of Exmoor fresh air and scenery before a brief lunch and trip to the shop and on the coach to head home.

This week has been just wonderful and everyone has had the best time together, with so many special memories made through activities, experiences and time spent in the great outdoors. I have been immensely proud of Orchid class this week – their behaviour, have a go attitude, humour, sense of fun and above all, manners and respect have been a credit to everyone. They have been super company and the week seemed to fairly fly by, as we were all so immersed in having a fantastic time. Thank you to you all for such a lovely week.

I really must take this opportunity, also, to thank our amazing staff. Mrs Hannam, Mrs Tyler, Mrs Robertson and Miss Bartlett have worked exceptionally hard this week, showing great care, nurture, fun, enthusiasm, humour and of course outstanding organisation to ensure that every single person has the best possible week they can. I am so proud and thankful that we have an incredible team who all work together so seamlessly for our children and it has been an absolute pleasure to share their company this week. Thank you all so much.

On that note, here is the last day in photos and the children’s own words as they describe what they have enjoyed most about their week. Thank you for your kind comments and I am delighted that you have felt a part of our week as we missed you all and wanted to share it with you.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Sensational Science Week!

The weeks are fairly flying by here at Westwood School and with only four weeks left until half term there is so much to both reflect on and look forward to.

This week we had THE most exciting science week, with the children being given all manner of wonderful opportunities to experiment and investigate with science. With a whole trolley of amazing hands-on science experiments from We the Curious to take into classrooms, along with carefully planned lessons from the teachers, it was a pleasure to wander around school each day, talking to children and listening to them enthuse about their learning. You will probably have heard from your children already about our Explorer Dome day which excited, enthralled and totally engaged every single child!

I would like to give a huge thank you to Mrs Tyler who organised, resourced and planned a completely brilliant and fascinating week for us all, including lunchtime and after school club experiences. Once again, science week was one to remember!  I would also like to thank the teaching staff for planning wonderful lessons and also the children who were a pleasure to work with. Here are some photos of the week’s experiments and our radio club recorded a special science week show, highlighting what they enjoyed:

In other news…thank you so much to those of you who have taken the time to comment on your children’s work on their class blog, giving them the audience that they so richly deserve for their efforts. I am delighted that our blogs are constantly filled with so much quality content. Please do visit them, subscribe to them and continue to comment. An audience provides the very best inspiration and motivation for the children and a few minutes to leave a comment does make such a difference. To help you with this I have created a page on our website for parents and children to use, including how-to videos, which I hope will help you get started. Please visit http://www.westwoodwithiford.org/blogging which is under the Parent Info tab of our website.  With an international readership of thousands, literally, we are well known for our blogging, so join the fun!

I am also delighted to announce that, through the work we have been doing with a class at Georgetown Elementary School in the USA, as well as our many international projects, we have been awarded a British Council International Award at Intermediate level! I am so pleased as this highlights the way in which we have been developing children’s internationalism so widely in recent years.

Please continue to listen to our fabulous broadcasters on Westwood Radio, it really is going from strength to strength. We would love you to join in our shows too, so if you are able, please listen every Thursday at 2.15pm and Friday at 2.15pm and get in touch with the show via email: radio@westwoodwithiford.org, text: 078600 17404 or tweet us on Twitter @wwipradio. You can include #westwoodradio in any tweet, too and we will see it.

To listen, you can click on the link on the homepage of our website, press play on the player on our radio website, radio.westwoodwithiford.org or listen via the Android app from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.radio.m285e9b0b3 or on the Apple App from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ww-radio/id1437625739?ls=1&mt=8, so if you are out and about you can still listen in!

Have a super weekend everyone

Welcome Back

Can I begin by both welcoming you back and welcoming you, if you are a new parent, to the new school year. I hope that this week your children have settled well and are enjoying the many exciting learning opportunities that they are experiencing. The school seems so settled, calm and full of fun as I walk around and catch up with everyone on how they enjoyed their holidays.

Even though we are just over a week into the new term, already the children are finding out about their new topics and entry points for their International Primary Curriculum learning. If you are unfamiliar with this, as a school we teach the IPC as a way of engaging children effectively and enabling them to enjoy using a skills based approach, where a broad range of learning styles are catered for. Furthermore, the opportunity to extend their international mindedness and to learn about other cultures has been fascinating and with every class looking to establish a range of international link for the year, I can see this developing into a very exciting prospect. Watch this space and look out for a letter coming home soon with details of the new unit of work in your class and what the children will be learning!

A few dates are already booked in to look out for and you will also be receiving a list of school dates for the year to enable you to plan ahead as we aware that you are all very busy people. Having listened to parental feedback we will always try to give at least a week’s notice with communications of upcoming events from now on to allow you to attend our many school events. In the meantime, on Thursday 20th September we will be holding our  Meet the Teacher session. This will take place in two short sessions, from 2.20 – 2.40 and from 2.40 – 3pm, so that anyone with more than one child in the school has the opportunity to visit both class teacher sessions. It will be an opportunity for you to find out what you can expect from us as a school this year and what you can do to help your child in the Home-School Learning Partnership. Teachers will be happy to answer any questions you may have so that we start the year effectively.

Also, if you know anyone who has children starting school next year or may be looking to move their children at some point, we will be holding our Open Morning on Tuesday 25th September from 9.15am-12pm. This will be a chance to drop in and see the school on a normal working day, whilst asking any questions that you may have to find out more about us. We will look forward to welcoming many new faces!

As a reminder and an introduction, we are continuing to hold our Celebration Assembly every Friday from 9.10am in the school hall. This is open to everyone each week, so please come along when you can, you are always welcome. As a school, our ethos is firmly built on the celebration of skills, talents and achievements and we will be enjoying finding out what the children have achieved both within school and out of school, so if your child takes part in an out of school activity, sporting or otherwise and they have an award , certificate or something of recognition to share, then please bring it along and we will look forward to sharing it with them.

Tea with the Head is back again! On Friday 28th September, in conjunction with Macmillan Coffee Morning, I will be holding our first Tea with the Head in our Meadow after celebration assembly. Please come along and share a drink and a cake and an informal chat. It is always a pleasant occasion and very well supported.

Westwood Radio is back again and bigger than ever! With three live shows every week planned for this year and new broadcasters joining the team, do please listen in on a Monday at 8.15am, Thursday at 2.15pm and every Friday at 2.15pm. The children write their own scripts and completely control the content and broadcast of every show. We are proud of our innovative, groundbreaking radio station and hope that many more of you will listen in and interact via text and email. Head to our website, radio.westwoodwithiford.org for more information and you can listen from the homepage. PLUS, you can now download the Android App from the Google Play store to listen to us 24 hours a day. The download link is on the radio website homepage. The iOS app will be coming soon, so watch this space!

You also may be aware of my podcast that I record every week, Westwood Talk. Very much like a digital newsletter, it is a round up of all of the exciting news from every week at our wonderful school. Click play to listen below, or head to soundcloud.com/westwoodradio for lots more!

I am very much looking forward to another successful, happy and productive year. I do believe that we have such a fantastic school community and I very much look forward to catching up with you all in and around the playground.

And finally…

Hello for the final time this academic year and what a year it has been. If you attended one or even both of our assemblies yesterday, thank you so much. I am very proud of the fact that, as we reflect on the year that has just passed we think of so many things to celebrate. We have a school community that is bursting with talent, from fantastic writers to talented mathematicians to inspiring artists.

Outside of the day to day curriculum we also have so many incredible dancers, a raft of sports superstars, future professional musicians and our confident and eloquent broadcasters. Every single person has their own talent and it is always a real pleasure to walk around school on a day to day basis watching the children enjoying their learning  and celebrating their many achievements on a Friday in assembly. Of course, I have also had the pleasure of teaching each class this year and I am continually impressed and excited by the learning that takes place and the wonderful atmosphere there is in which to grow and develop.

I am incredibly proud of our children and the thoughtful, kind and committed approach that they have to every day. It makes my job such a pleasure and, once again, I have so many fond memories of another year in which we involved ourselves in so many activities.   I know that I am very lucky to work with such a fantastic staff team who bring so much enthusiasm, knowledge, skill and humour to our school each and every day. The topics that the teachers plan, activities they arrange and the level of attention and detail to making sure that every single child in their class is provided with the same high quality teaching and opportunity to succeed is considerable. Supported by a wonderful non-teaching staff team and our brilliant admin staff, who make sure that everything runs smoothly, this year has been another example of how everyone works together seamlessly for the benefit of the children and for that, I thank you all.

This time of year is always a particularly emotional time for us all, particularly since we have to say goodbye to a wonderful group of people who we have all got to know so well. This was highlighted in yesterday’s assemblies and is a real indication of the huge impact that  Josh, Isaac, Oscar, Jay, James, Ruby, Lily, Eleanor, Georgie, Izzie, Kieron, Dougie, Charlie, Archie, Alfie, Fred, Ellie, Daniel and Eli have all had on our school. Many of them have been together since nursery school and over the past five years I have watched them all grow into fine young people with an amazing sense of fun, dedication, respect and togetherness. They truly deserved their assembly and send off celebrations yesterday as thy have all given so much to our school community and will be sorely missed by us all in September. Congratulations on everything you have achieved and an enormous thank you from us all for everything you have given to our school, please come back and see us sometime.

Of course, yesterday was a complete day of celebration for our Year 6 children, as once school was out for the summer they partied into the evening at the Parish Rooms and what a super occasion that was. Hawaiian themed with games, BBQ, disco and huge amounts of laughter and enjoyment, this was the perfect end to an outstanding school career at Westwood with Iford. Here is a flavour of their final day:

As we all go our separate ways for, what I hope for you all is a restful and enjoyable summer break, can I just say a huge thank you to you all. Our parent community is so strong and immensely supportive and this is what makes our school such a special place to be. I very much look forward to seeing you all again in September when we can do it all again.

Have fun everyone, happy holidays…