Monthly Archives: July 2015

A final round up…

Well, here we are at the end of another fantastic academic year and, once again, it is one that has been full of success, celebration, fun, laughter and excellent learning. I am continually thankful for such a committed, involved and supportive parent community that we have at our school. As I have said many times, Westwood is all about the close community and working together and I feel that, as a school, we have done that very successfully again this year and has has enabled us to continue moving forward which is so vital to being the best that we can be. Your questionnaires will form an important part of our staff discussions in preparation for next year, so that we can provide an environment in which children feel happy and confident to learn and that we continue to maintain the strong relationships with parents that we have.

Of course, the end of the year is often a time for goodbyes and I do so again with sadness as we bid farewell to members of our school community. Karen Hobson, who continues to have such close links with our school, has been a wonderful PPA teacher for us and, since I arrived two years ago, I have seen so many children develop, progress and grow in confidence through her teaching. Karen has given so much to our school in many ways, but also in her capacity as a teacher and she will be very missed in September, moving on to pastures new. Thank you, Karen, for all that you have done for us, we all very much appreciate it and will miss you.

We will also be saying goodbye to one of our Teaching Assistants, Daniel Johnson, who joined us earlier this year. Daniel immediately settled into our team and has had such a positive impact on the children he has worked with. Daniel will also be very missed and I wish him every success as he takes up a full time role at his new school. Thank you, Daniel.

I would also like to say goodbye, albeit temporarily and good luck to Rosie Alty who is preparing for her maternity leave in early September. On behalf of the staff, children and governors, can I wish you all the best with your new arrival.

Finally in our goodbyes, I would like to congratulate our fabulous Year 6 leavers, Natasha Batten, Elijah Bennett, Millie Booth, Megan James, Ellie Kearney, Harriet Leeder, Miranda Meldrum, Noah Mondal, Jack Moruzzi, William Nickson, Ben Scott, Kale Turner, Jake Whittaker and Ellie-May Wyartt. I have got to know these children very well over the past two years and their commitment and excellent approach to learning, as well as their sense of fun and enjoyment has been a joy to observe and experience. This, of course, culminated in the success of their SATs, which was so well deserved. We will miss you all very much indeed and I know that you will go on to become excellent students at your respective new secondary schools.. Good luck everyone and please come back to see us sometime! I am looking forward very much to your end of year assembly…!

Since I last wrote to you we have been thrilled, excited and entertained with Lotus and Orchid classes performances of Robin and the Sherwood Hoodies. So much hard work, time and commitment has gone into producing these shows and I was incredibly proud of the children and the staff for what they have been able to put together and achieve, learning over an hour’s worth of songs, lines, stage movements and jokes! Acted and delivered with so much expression and enjoyment, it was a privilege to watch every performance; we all laughed, clapped, cheered and had such a good time. Thank you everyone!

The children have also thoroughly enjoyed an end of year disco with Stuart on the decks to round off a super year. With some slick moves and top tunes, the Friends of Westwood School organised yet another lovely event in which everyone had the best time! I must thank Ann, Elaine and the whole FoWs team for their effort, commitment and dedication this year. Raising a whopping £6000, they have ensured that the school has benefitted so greatly from the generosity of the local community and the events that they have organised have been excellent. I am looking forward to working with them as closely again next year, but in the meantime, please have a restful summer!

All that remains is for me to say a HUGE thank you to everyone – the staff, children, governors and you, the parents – for making this year so much fun, so enjoyable and so successful. I am already looking ahead to next year and wish you all a restful, relaxing and enjoyable family summer together.

KS1 Walk for Water Aid

It’s been such a busy day here at school and this afternoon the children in Thistle and Clover class walked around the school field 10 times to raise money for Water Aid. Carrying a bucket of water in each group, the children learnt what it was like to have to carry water for a long distance without dropping it. Well done everyone, you did really well! Here they all are in action:

Our last celebration assembly!

A time for just a little sadness this morning as we got together for our last celebration assembly of the year and our wonderful Year 6’s last ever celebration assembly at our school.
As ever, there was so much to share and enjoy and I am so very grateful for the support of the parent community. Once again so many people gave up their time to join us and celebrate the children’s many achievements. We have such a talented group of children at Westwood school and Friday assemblies, as you know, are my favourite of the week. It gives us a little insight into the children’s lives outside of school and the commitment they have to their wide ranging sports, hobbies and interests.

It was, also, one final opportunity to celebrate the amazing learning that has taken place this week and the children who have made others feel good. It is always a difficult decision for the teachers, as everyone within our school community is so respectful and thoughtful to each other.

So, until September, we will now wait to celebrate with our school community any further but I must thank the staff, children, governors and parents. It isn’t often that I am lost for words, but today I was when Mrs Hannam presented me with a Making People Feel Good Award! We are blessed with a wonderful staff here and I truly believe that it is the incredible school and wider community that makes this school special.

Here are some photos of this morning:

Westwood Update Piece July 2015

As the word limit is now 250 words for the printed version of the Westwood Update, I have written a longer piece here, as there is so much to report on from this past couple of months…

A big end of Summer term ‘hello’ from us all at Westwood School! This year has fairly flown by but, once again, it has been full of celebration, success, learning and enjoyment.

Since I last wrote to you we have all moved into new topics, as part of our International Primary Curriculum and have visited new and exciting places to further our learning. Salisbury museum, the Life Skills centre in Bristol, the Living Rainforest, the Egg Theatre and even a ‘behind the scenes’ trip to Sainsbury’s have been destinations for our classes to widen their knowledge and they certainly all come back with many more ideas and good questions.

We have found that, with the introduction of the International Primary Curriculum over the past year, the children’s understanding of life beyond Westwood and the UK has been extensively broadened. All of our classes now have links with schools around the world and we have been using technology effectively to talk to children in other countries; sharing culture and daily routines with children in the USA and talking to children in France in our best French, that we have been learning. It really has been a fantastic year for learning at our school. We have also managed to fit in a maths and art curriculum day in the past two months, both of which were incredibly inspiring and fun.

You may have been keeping up to date with what has been happening at school through our blogs. They can be found either at our website www.westwoodwithiford.org or at www.westwoodblogs.org. With a combined readership of nearly 20,000 visits over the past year, the children’s learning and our school have developed a truly global audience, which is so exciting. Please do visit us and leave comments on our work – we always read them. I also keep my Head’s blog up to date for that ‘window into our world’ experience and that can be found at www.head.westwoodblogs.org.  You are all most welcome to come along and see what we do!

At this point can I say a huge thank you to both the organisers and members of our community who took part in the amazing Scarecrow Trail. Once again it was a really lovely experience, with scarecrows of the highest quality and a family day out not to be missed. With your generosity, our school now has a fantastic £730 to use to enhance our playground with exciting equipment for all of our children to use all year round. Thank you so much.

With fundraising in mind, I must, once again thank our Friends of Westwood School who, once again have worked tirelessly to organise such fabulous events. Our Summer Fair was incredibly well supported and, I felt, was a really lovely family afternoon out with a true community atmosphere and feel. Plenty of stalls, activities and events to entertain and enthrall, whilst in the arena we were all treated to displays from Westwood Dance group, Warrior Academy and even some maypole dancing. Thank you for coming and supporting our school and for making it such an enjoyable afternoon. With nearly £2200 raised for the school, that is an incredible achievement. Thanks to the generosity of our Friends, the children have also enjoyed a fun activity day in school with sports activities, bouncy castle assault courses and lots of fun along the way! Look out for the many Friends of Westwood events that will be taking place next year, we  very much appreciate the community support and  would love to see you there!

Once again in school we have welcomed our dads and special people for Father’s Friday and what a day we had! Taking part in all the learning opportunities on offer – phonics, dance, mental maths to name a few, everyone threw themselves into the spirit of the day and it was so lovely to see so many people here. With a full football match in swing at playtime and lots of dads staying for lunch, it was a day to remember and we will look forward to next year when we can welcome mums and dads in again.

Our sporting stars have been busy once more this term, taking part in rounders tournaments, the annual cluster schools swimming gala and, eventually after a rain postponement, our Sports Day. Always well supported and full of fun and celebration, this was an afternoon to savour, taking us all back to our childhood with traditional races and even the parents and toddlers taking part.

Now, as we rapidly approach the end of term, we look forward to next year and already we are welcoming our new reception children for their induction visits. We very much look forward to seeing them in September. It is also a time to say goodbye, however and I must do so with a HUGE well done. Our Year 6 children, who we will miss terribly, performed so well in their end of year SATs and should feel tremendously proud of their achievements.

With September in mind, I am excited to let you know that we are now able to offer wraparound care at Westwood with Iford School with a breakfast club, taking place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and an After School Club on a Monday and Tuesday after school. Details can be found on our website. We are also holding an Open Morning on Tuesday 22nd September from 9am-12pm. This is an opportunity to come and view our school and ask questions if you are considering us for your children. Everyone is most welcome.

Finally, next year at Westwood School we are looking to develop and enhance our reading provision even further and I am appealing to the local community for willing adult volunteers who are prepared to come in to school and listen to children read on a regular basis. You will be given guidance and direction with the approach to reading, but just your time and support would make a huge difference to children’s confidence when reading books. Please contact the school on 01225 862408 if you feel you would like to come in.

On behalf of the children, staff, governors and parents, can I take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support for our school. We all feel so privileged to work within such a fantastic community and can I wish you all a restful and enjoyable summer with, hopefully, much more sun to come!

Ian Rockey
Head teacher

 

FoWs Activity Fun Day

On Friday the children were lucky enough to have a fantastic fun day in school. Paid for by our wonderful Friends of Westwood School, there were sports activities, games, a giant bouncy castle assault course and staff from Active Trowbridge on hand to keep the children busy and active! Thank you to everyone who has helped to raise money this year, the children had a marvellous day, as you can see from the photos!

Sports Day 2015

Once again we kept everything crossed for Sports day take 2, as our original attempt back in May was rained off! The children had been practising so hard and with many people taking time to join us for the afternoon, we wanted to try and go ahead, so, with a sharp intake of breath and a ‘Go For It’ approach we did and what a fun afternoon we had. Children across the school gave their very best to every race and we even had mums, dads, toddlers and a staff egg and spoon race to finish. Once again, my sincere thanks to all who came and made the occasion so special. Here are some photos of the event…