Monthly Archives: November 2013

Ice and the blitz!

After a thoroughly enjoyable day teaching in Clover class yesterday, full of five sentence challenges, problem solving , dissolving investigations and so much amazing learning,  today has been a little quieter, but I had to share some pictures of my walk around school.

With Clover class and Orchid class at @Bristol on their trips, I wandered into Thistle class to be greeted with this:

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Four of our girls exploring the touch and feel of ice! hands-on learning at it’s very best and they were clearly having a wonderful, if slightly chilly, time. Brilliant.

Next stop was Lotus class where  artistic talents were on show as the children created their own blitz pictures. Highly engaged, the children were taking great care to produce their best work and it looked very effective. i will look forward to seeing those up on the wall somewhere. here they are in action:

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BAFTA performances and our Library opened!

It’s been an exciting 36 hours at school! Yesterday morning we were all treated to a BAFTA (surely!) nomination performance from Lotus class, who had put together a wonderful assembly, showcasing their learning from this term. A very well written script by the children and a well acted and narrated performance left us all wanting more. Well done everyone.

This morning we were given another world dance premiere, this time from Clover class who, under the expert instruction of Mrs Hobson, performed a skilled and well timed routine based on their space topic. It was lovely to see so many parents join us for the occasion and for celebration assembly and I always love it when the school community gets together. The dance video has been uploaded to the video page, please follow the link from the main website. You should all feel proud

And finally…this afternoon we formally opened our school library and were joined by Friends of Westwood school, past and present to mark the occasion. So many people have donated so generously to make the library a fantastic learning space and it was good to see Gill, from the former FoWs, cutting the ribbon and saying a few words. Books are such an integral part of our learning and development, I will ensure that the library continues to be well used in as many ways as possible. Here we all are commemorating the opening of the library, with a few words from Gill:

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So now to the weekend and a well earned rest for everyone. Have a great time, whatever you decide to do…

 

100 word challenge

Yesterday I had the pleasure of teaching Orchid class and one of the activities that we did was a 100 word challenge. These I have always found as an excellent way to develop literacy skills and use of vocabulary as you literally only have 100 words plus the prompt in which to be creative, descriptive and generally very clever. As Orchid class have been learning about World War 2 this term, I began the session with nothing more than turning out the lights, asking the children to imagine hearing this for real and creating an image in their minds:

Afterwards we briefly discussed what an air raid siren was for and the children then had the following prompt on which to base their 100 words: …as the bombs dropped…

I was very impressed with the responses and ideas to this. I had a go myself and promised the children I’d upload it, but it was not a patch on theirs. Well done everyone.

Bombs at dawn

I woke with a start. The deafening crash of next door’s roof startled me and I sat bolt upright. Outside in the dusky dawn i could hear voices, terror, panic as villagers ran for their shelters. As the bombs dropped I gathered my worldly possessions into a knotted handkerchief and took a long look at my room, wondering if it would be the same again. Carefully picking my way through the desecration, I held on tightly to my dad’s hand, terrified to let go. Number 28 next door was just a pile of bricks. Mr Rogers sat nearby, sobbing. His life ruined.

If you fancy having a go at any more of these, please visit 100wc.net, there are loads to inspire your imagination.

Thursday in 6 photos

I thought that today I’d try something a little different. As always, I’ve been out around the school talking to the children about their learning, but today I took a camera…
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Clover class dancing in assembly      Orchid class cross country          Thistle class gymnastics

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Lotus class RE                             Clover class making biscuits           Pausing to admire Autumn

It’s been a great way to spend a special day.

Back in the classroom

This morning I had the pleasure of being back in the classroom teaching Thistle class and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Not only were the children engaged in their learning, but they were keen to demonstrate what they had been learning recently. We started with a fun phonics lesson and I noticed that already some of the children are beginning to join their handwriting, which is great. Thistle maths today was all about subtraction – not the easiest concept to master when you are young, but the children worked methodically and sensibly, taking advice and building on their learning. English was all about being bossy with our vocabulary to write instructions and I always find it fascinating to see how well children pick up new words and enjoy using them. All in all a very enjoyable morning and a treat to be teaching.

Now, as I sit here temporarily in my office it is beautiful autumn sunshine outside – we do have wonderful grounds – and I can hear some French from Orchid class taking place. Elsewhere children are listening intently and working feverishly on a gorgeous Tuesday afternoon as another teaching session gets underway.

Just a note about this Friday’s Children in Need day. You will receive a letter about it tomorrow, but it will be a non-uniform day with a donation of £1 to go to Children in Need.

Lest we forget

At the end of a long day I felt it fitting to acknowledge an important date in our calendar. I always find children so thoughtful and respectful on Armistice day and today was no exception. It is not an easy concept to understand, the fact that nearly 100 years ago the great war took place, in fact the notion of war itself is, thankfully, not something we have to discuss often. But a light touch assembly and an awareness of why we wear poppies is enough for the children to show great respect and understanding and a perfect silence for two minutes allowed us all to remember. Well done everyone.

It was good to see so many parents at parent consultations this evening too. I do hope that you had the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and that the progress report you received on Friday was helpful. I look forward to seeing many more of you on Wednesday. You are, of course, always welcome to come in and make an appointment to discuss your child with your class teacher, we operate an open door policy at Westwood, so please do not feel that it has to wait until parent’s evening.

One final note. Dance club was in full swing again tonight and for the first time I heard some festive tunes emanating from the hall. It must be that time of year and obviously something special to look forward to…

Whizz, Bang, Pop

Firework night came to Westwood today in the form of the best indoor firework display I’ve ever heard! Plenty of oohs, aahs and shrieks were coming from the hall as Clover class enjoyed a video of a wonderful display. Not only that, with the curtains closed, it made the atmosphere even more like a dark night out! I am very much looking forward to the creative writing that will come from today’s lesson in tomorrow’s big write.

This afternoon saw the long distance athletes of Orchid and Lotus class take to the field for an afternoon of cross country. A few red faces and many deep breaths later and everyone had a fun afternoon in the autumn chill. Once again it was good to see how well the children applied themselves to their learning and taking part in sporting activity.