A round up of a super week

This week has been so much fun! Already we are at the end of Week 2 of this term and it feels as if the term is fairly racing by. Probably because we are so busy with so much exciting learning taking place. Topics such as The Magic Toymaker, Bright Sparks and The Holiday Show are exciting and enthralling our children with some fascinating and wonderful learning. I have had the pleasure of seeing all classes in action and they are so keen to learn and further their knowledge.

Our radio show continues to innovate and push new boundaries with the children showing tremendous confidence behind the microphone, attracting praise from many people. I am so proud of them all and this week I was thrilled to start our first radio club for those children who would like to learn more about how school radio works and are not currently broadcasters. Their first recording is below. Please do give them a listen, they were superb!

I have also started a lunchtime darts club this week to teach our children a new sport and also to sharpen our mental maths skills. With safety at the forefront of our session, the children all listened brilliantly and we were able to have a lot of fun whilst developing hand-eye coordination and some great mental arithmetic without even knowing it. I’m looking forward to this week’s club already!

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When I read on social media how so many Heads are finding the job  increasingly difficult I do count my blessings that i work in an incredibly supportive community with wonderful parents, amazing children and committed, brilliant staff. We are in the Wiltshire Times this week so please do check out the article. http://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/inyourtown/bradfordnews/15024021.Westwood_with_Iford_Primary_School_bursting_with_ideas/

Christmas Production Perfection

Once again this week we were treated to another magical Christmas performance by our Reception and Key Stage 1 children. Having worked so hard for the past few weeks everyone gave their absolute best and put on a show that was magical, emotional and just perfect. The hall was filled with the sound of beautiful singing as the children sang their hearts out to the now familiar songs of ‘Born in a Barn’ and with fantastic performances from everyone and lines delivered superbly, every one of us who attended a performance was able to enjoy a fabulous half hour of perfect school production.

I must thank Mrs Hannam, Miss Williams and their teaching assistants for all working so incredibly hard to help the children to be performance ready. It takes a lot of planning and preparation and I am lucky to have such a wonderful team who all work together so brilliantly. Thank you also to our parent community who, once again, supported us and the children so strongly, providing a receptive and grateful audience. It was, as always, so good to have so many people there. Thank you.

Here are the photos I took from this week’s performances:

Another fantastic Christmas Fair!

This afternoon the school was once again filled with the smells, sounds and atmosphere of the magic of Christmas time as we held our Christmas fair. Superbly organised by our dedicated and simply brilliant Friends of Westwood School, there was something for everyone, from hand made crafts to a feast of festive treats and even FC himself dropped by, taking time out from his busy preparations to talk to our children.

It is always lovely to see the school buzzing with excitement and I always feel proud that so many members of our community join us as we kick off the countdown to Christmas in style. My enormous thanks go to everyone involved in making this event such a tremendous success. We are so lucky to have the unwavering support of our FoWs who always give up so much of their time and energy to put on such fantastic fundraising events. Thank you everyone for such an enjoyable afternoon. Here are some photos (thanks Jo!) of the fun we had:

Christmas Stories at Bedtime

Once again last night our brilliant Friends of Westwood School organised another fantastic and very magical event in our first Christmas Stories at bedtime. With children invited to return to school at bedtime in their pyjamas (teddies and soft toys optional), everyone settled down to an hour of gentle Christmas stories, all with a VERY festive theme,  many of them brought in by the children themselves for us all to enjoy.

In total, 68 of our school community and some parents came to share a very festive evening, made all the more special by the addition of a mug of warm hot chocolate and marshmallows with a biscuit part way through – what more could you ask for? The children were so well behaved and it was such fun to sit and read to so many for so long – a rare treat that I am not often able to do. With Christmas candles burning to infuse the hall and tealights to set the mood, I think everyone had a good time and went away feeling, I hope, just a little bit more christmassy.

My thanks, as always to our wonderful FoWs who all work so hard to put on these really super events for the children – we are very lucky to have you. With our Christmas Fair tomorrow to look forward to as well, this is going to be a fun festive week at Westwood School and I always think this is such a fantastic time of year to be in school with the children.

Here are some photos of our magical evening last night:

Storybox Theatre

Once again we started our festive period in style with a visit and performance from the Storybox Theatre this morning. I have a long association with Rod and the Storybox that stretches back to the early days of my teaching career and I can honestly say that year on year, Rod’s energy and performance is always at the highest level. With the ability to captivate the audience, from reception children to adults with his beautifully crafted story, humorous asides and spectacular puppets – all of which he made himself – we were, once again treated to a magical hour of story telling in the comfort of our own school hall and no matter how old you were, you always feel as if you are totally immersed in the performance.

As you can imagine, everyone loved today’s tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. The children all sat superbly, listened intently and joined in with enthusiasm and enjoyment. It really was a fantastic morning at the theatre. Once again, can I thank our Friends of Westwood school for funding this event again. It is such a treat for the children and provides them with opportunities to write creatively in their follow up, but also to watch a traditional performance away from the fast pace and digital age in which we live and I think that is crucial. Thank you also to Rod for, once again giving us a magical start to our Christmas.

Here is what we were able to enjoy:

Another lovely week – and they are racing by!

This term seems to be racing by already, with the end of November almost upon us and the beginning of Advent just around the corner. A timely reminder is always the sound of Christmas production songs drifting through the school and we have also started practising our school Christmas songs as well.

Last week it was lovely to see so many of you at the parent consultations and thank you for completing your parent questionnaires. I am aware that communication between school and home is still something that some people find could be improved so from now on we will be sending an email on alternate Fridays to the newsletter with upcoming dates and activities. I do hope that this will help in your forward planning as I know that so many of you are busy working parents.

With advent starting next week, there is so much to look forward to and our visit from the Storybox Theatre on Tuesday will start us off in style – we can’t wait! Of course we also have stories at bedtime, a mufti day next Friday with donations for the Christmas Fair and the school council hot chocolate sale on Tuesday after school with the school council.

Yesterday our fantastic broadcasters put out yet another excellent performance, so do please have a listen on our radio website if you missed it yesterday. It is incredible to see how, each week ,their confidence and professionalism grows with every show. I am so proud of them. Some of us are also doing a Christmas Fair show on Saturday 3rd December during the Christmas Fair! Listen out for that both online and in the fair itself to keep you going all afternoon. 

As always, thank you all so much for the fabulous way in which you support our school. I always enjoy this time of year so much when we all come together as a community to celebrate a magical time of the year. Have a great weekend everyone.

Westwood Radio visits the BBC

This week I had to get a blog post down as it has been incredibly exciting for us in school. On Monday our incredible broadcasting team we’re invited to visit BBC Wiltshire and to take part live in Marie Lennon’s morning show, which was just brilliant!

Emma Colman, who works for the Marie Lennon show on BBC Wiltshire 9am – 12pm weekdays, learned of our children’s success with their radio broadcasting and visited us in October to interview some of the children. Emma was even interviewed for one of their shows whilst she was here! Having had their piece played out live on air following Emma’s visit, the children were then invited to the BBC Wiltshire studios in Swindon on Monday where they took part in a live show with Marie, explaining what they enjoy about their radio station and how they are able to connect with their audience in the community and beyond. Of course, we all had to ask how Marie plays the jingles and fades the microphones in to see how it compared with our studio back at school. What was fascinating to watch was how the children were so engaged and interested in the technicalities and running of a professional radio station and Emma and Marie were just so lovely, answering all of our questions and making us so welcome.

Showing the same level of confidence, respect and professionalism that they do every week on air, the children were superb and a real credit to the school. They also got to meet some of the other presenters and the brilliant team behind every BBC Wiltshire programme. It was certainly an experience and a day to remember for our budding presenters and our huge thanks to Emma, Marie and the team at BBC Wiltshire for giving us such a wonderful day.

Here are some photos and clips of our magical day: