Monthly Archives: February 2014

And here is the news…

It’s newsletter time again and i thought I’d post my latest piece in case you haven’t had the chance to read it yet and you find yourself here.  I can’t believe it’s the end of the first week again already, but with another great celebration assembly this morning you know it must be nearly the weekend. Well done to those children who were rewarded for their hard work and to everyone who has come back with the same level of commitment and determination to be the best learner they can be. I’m looking forward to this term.

Newsletter No. 12

Welcome back to the second half of our Spring term and I am pleased to say this it does feel a little more Spring like than of late. I do hope that you all had a very pleasant half term with your children.

We are straight back into exciting topics and learning opportunities with the children. Already this week, Lotus class and Orchid class have visited Trowbridge to listen to Michelle Paver; an author; talk and inspire them with their reading and writing. Also this week, Thistle and Clover class have been on a school visit to learn more about their dinosaur topic, which was VERY exciting. Not only that, we have already had an informative and well presented class assembly and we’ve only been back for five days!

Now that we have school meals back at Westwood, they have been very well received with clean plates and happy children. A range of tasty dinners and desserts has meant that our numbers are healthy and lunchtimes have been a sociable occasion, which is something I always looked to do when I arrived, so I am thrilled that it is working so well. Don’t forget, if you would like your child to have a hot dinner, please can you ensure that your order arrives with the office by the Thursday before the week you would like to order them. Thank you.

Can I also say thank you for responding so positively to the letter I wrote before half term about the HASP books in your child’s reading folder. It makes a difference to our time in the mornings if you can leave a note in the HASP book for issues which aren’t urgent, in which case, of course, you are very welcome to talk to myself or the teachers if you feel that it is something we need to know immediately. However, I would hope that most items can be detailed in the HASP books for teachers to respond to, which of course they will.

As a staff we have focused a lot of our time on talking about ways in which we can encourage the children to develop their reading and writing skills, in school, but also at home. Over the next couple of terms we will be concentrating heavily on reading and writing within school and I will be arranging parent meetings to discuss ways in which you can support your child at home, as I believe that an effective home and school partnership will give our children the best possible chance to maximise their potential. In the first instance, can I ask that, where possible, you set some time aside to sit and read with your child, preferably at least three times a week and to use the reading log to record your experiences. Your child will also bring home their homework and they would benefit greatly from some time with you to support them with their writing. By working with your child in this way, you will be both supporting the learning that takes place every day and modelling the fact that learning is fun! Thank you for your continued support.

With this in mind, please remember that Read for my School: http://www.readformyschool.co.uk/ is still going for KS2 children. This is an ideal opportunity to sign up, read free new books and even write a review if they were particularly enjoyable. For the younger (and older) readers, can I also suggest Oxford Owl: http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/reading-owl/find-a-book/library-page. Both are great online resources.

I hope you have a lovely  term and please keep checking the website for up to date events that will be taking place. We will also continue to communicate with you regularly and we always welcome feedback so that we can improve as a school.

 

Well done Orchid Class

We had the pleasure of enjoying Orchid class assembly this morning, which was a fantastic celebration of the learning that has taken place recently. Planned in detail by the children, all aspects of the curriculum were covered and we were treated to an informative and very interesting half hour performance. What a busy week it has been!

Welcome back…

…everyone!  I don’t often share my personal experiences, but this was my view last week in Pembrokeshire and it was incredible. I do hope you all had a wonderful half term too.

atlantic sunset

 

This term has started with a lot of excitement and productivity, once again and even some sun! Two school visits and a class assembly this week, it is sure to be busy. Please keep an eye on the calendar for upcoming events, as although this term is short, we are packing a lot in!

Happy Half Term!

Holidays always seem to come around so quickly, don’t they? At Westwood we have had another enjoyable and productive term and I am not surprised that the children are so tired, they should feel proud of what they have achieved.

After so much rain and bad weather I would like to wish you all a dry and thoroughly enjoyable half term with your families. I will very much look forward to seeing you all back again for Term 4 on Monday 24th February. Have fun, whatever you do!

Safer Internet Day

It makes a nice change to be able to look out of my office window and see sunlight for a change! With so much rain everywhere, the ground has been sodden, but it hasn’t stopped our Reception children in their outdoor learning! As ever, fully coated and booted, they have been out exploring our wonderful grounds and developing new ideas.

Today is safer Internet day and I spoke to the children in assembly this morning about creating a better internet for us all. The children were fully attentive and offered some good discussion points, which we explored as a whole school. The main message I was trying to convey was to keep ourselves safe online by not sharing personal information, treating each other with respect, but above all else, to use the internet safely as the  incredible resource that it is, exploring how we can be creative online.

I am working on an esafety page on the school website and i will add the presentation from today’s assembly, along with that of the parent’s esafety meeting a while ago. You will also find parent resources to help your child make the internet a better place here too.

Today’s news

I had a brainwave on the way to school this morning and wondered whether you read this blog, as so many of you clearly do, but do not have time to read the newsletter. So, I thought I’d post my newsletter piece here this week. Please feedback, if you can as to whether this is useful.

Newsletter No. 11

Welcome to the final edition of the newsletter for this term, hasn’t it gone quickly! I would like to begin by sharing my excitement and enthusiasm for the fact that we are now able to bring hot school meals back to Westwood school after this half term holiday.

After lengthy investigation and with the full support of the Governing Body, I believe that we have found a great solution to something that I know many of you have been asking for. We have worked closely with Mrs B’s catering of Frome to ensure that the service that will be provided is high quality, reliable and, most importantly, one which the children will enjoy. With the facilities to now sit everyone together, lunchtimes, I am sure, will be even more sociable. I’m looking forward to not having to make sandwiches again!

I would like to add a couple of reminders to my section this week, please. With the severely inclement weather of late, there have still been one or two children not wearing their coats to school. Please can I ask that everyone brings suitable clothing and footwear, as even on the playground the conditions are quite wet, so covered shoes are essential. I’ve needed my hat and gloves on duty too, so if you have any, it’s really worth sending your child in with some.

Can I also mention the importance of being in school on time each day. When I first started, attendance improved greatly, but I have been noticing a higher level of lateness and currently 23% of the children on roll are below 95% attendance. Therefore, we need to work at bringing our attendance back up again, particularly in light of government guidelines.

I have been talking to the children recently about ways in which we can develop and enjoy our reading. Children from Y2-6 already have the opportunity to Read for my School: http://www.readformyschool.co.uk/ This is an ideal opportunity to sign up, read free new books and even write a review if they were particualrly enjoyable. For the younger (and older) readers, can I also suggest Oxford Owl: http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/reading-owl/find-a-book/library-page.

Again, there is a very user friendly sign up procedure, but children will have access to 250 free ebooks, many of which we use in school. With the development of our school library and World Book day approaching, it would be good to encourage your children to read and enjoy books as often as possible.

For the writer in you, there is also westwoodwriters.schoolblogs.org, a blog full of prompts and opportunities to develop the children’s writing skills. Just click on reply to a post and leave your piece of writing, which I will moderate and allow for the world to see. It would be lovely to see more people taking part and there are some really good examples from children already on there. I look forward to reading them!

I hope the rest of the term goes well for you and I wish you a restful half term break. One future date for your diary is Easter tea and cake with the Head, which I have moved from Friday 24th February to Friday 4th April, the last day of term 4. I look forward to seeing you there, it is always an enjoyable afternoon.

 

Subtraction to spatial awareness

That’s the diversity of learning you could and indeed I did, see on a walk around school earlier this morning. In Thistle class, the children have been fascinated by the story of Mary Anning a famous historical paleontologist.  Google her, she’s really interesting! Clover class have used blank number lines to successfully practice their subtraction whilst Lotus class were working on their spatial awareness and coordination. I watched and immediately thought I’d have to concentrate a lot!

In Orchid class, the children have been planning their quests for writing about them later in the week. Loads of great and original ideas, so I know that the writing will be of high quality. I’d better go and prepare for some teaching in Lotus class this afternoon. It’s ICT and I can’t wait…