Normally a lunchtime duty at this time of year can be expected to be a damp, if somewhat cold experience, with the prospect of some potential situations to resolve. Not so today, or any day recently for that matter. I had the pleasure of being out covering for an MDSA and saw the full play experience that the children can now enjoy each and every lunchtime.
With our PlayPod fully functional and the children experienced in the rules, every corner of the playground was filled with dens, makeshift hammocks and even a train constructed from a pile of unimaginable scrap. Just fantastic. Furthermore, all of our brand new play equipment can now be used and the children are loving it, with a long, orderly queue behind the monkey bars and some incredible gymnastics being performed on the up and over bars. Thank you SO much Friends of Westwood!
One of the joys of my job (there are many) is that no two days are ever the same and I am afforded a great deal of variation in what I do. This week is a very good example and we are only at Wednesday evening!
Yesterday I worked with a fantastic group of children in Year 7 at St Laurence school in an after school club. Making the most of a super opportunity for developing cross-school collaboration, I was able to share the success that we have experienced with blogging with 24 children who were all new to the idea of an online audience and very keen, having volunteered to come along to find out more. Their blog is growing by the day, so please do check it out – y7stlaurence.schoolblogs.org It has already received visitors from around the world and they took time to comment on some of our children’s work too. As a cluster of schools we are always looking to share expertise and this is one example of it in action. I do hope that they enjoy it as much as our children do – I am still astounded by the online presence and audience that we have established.
So, on to today and I had the joy of being outside at lunchtime when our PlayPod was in full swing. It really does give a wonderful dimension to children’s play and the ideas that the children had for using the materials were amazing, Please come along this Friday at 2.30pm for the official opening and get involved with some play – you are most welcome! Then this afternoon I was back in the classroom and enjoying teaching Thistle and Clover class, who were all programming and working very hard. Already I can see such progress in the children’s computing skills and it is what makes the job so rewarding. Here are a few photos of this afternoon’s session and a reminder of what a diverse and enjoyable job I have.
This is probably one of my favourite terms of the year as we have the joy of the festive season to look forward to with our fabulous Christmas performances and so much fascinating learning taking place, which has already begun in the first few days!
You will probably have heard from your children that our PlayPod is now open on the playground every lunchtime for them to use and enjoy. Funded through a lottery grant, the concept behind it is that the Wiltshire Scrapstore fill it with quality, clean and safe scrap materials that the children can use for exploratory and engaging play – den making, office work (!) with old keyboards, the possibilities are endless, truly. I managed to get out on to the playground on Tuesday and it was just so lovely to see everyone involved and loving their play. If you get the chance, there is a photo slideshow on my Head’s blog head.westwoodblogs.org for you to see what we do at lunchtimes. The formal opening of our Playpod will be next Friday 13th November at 2.30pm – just before the end of school – and you are invited to come along and see what is inside the mysterious blue box and have a play yourself! We would love to see you. Here are the children enjoying some more PlayPod fun!
We are also very excited because our brand new play equipment is being installed next to the playground this week. With the money raised from our wonderful FoWs, we were able to purchase some really lovely pieces of equipment for all ages of children and I am very much looking forward to opening it up to the school as soon as possible. Thank you so much to everyone who has worked hard to raise money to make this possible for our school community.
Please don’t forget that we are holding our Parent Consultations on Monday and Thursday of next week, so book your slot if you haven’t done so already. Also, if you are able to come along, I will be running a parent eSafety update meeting on Tuesday 17th November at 6.30pm in the school hall. It will be a useful opportunity to find out how to keep your children safe online. Can I please ask that any Healthy Lunchbox questionnaires are also returned as i am formulating the next stage of our Healthy Schools Plan. Thank you.
All that remains is to wish you a very enjoyable weekend and if you are going to watch fireworks I do hope you have fun!
Welcome back everyone to another exciting term. There is so much to look forward to this term as we move into the festive season and it really is my favourite time of the year.
The playground at lunchtime today was the place to be though, as our brand new Playpod was opened and unveiled to the children. Crammed full of the most interesting and inspiring pieces of scrap, quality materials and items that you would think may not appear to be particularly interesting to primary children. The outcome, however, was probably one of the most rewarding sights and experiences I have had as a teacher. Every inch of the playground was covered with children playing and the quality of their play was just superb. It reminded me of when I was a child and I used to make up games and adventures using items to hand and that is exactly what the PlayPod aims to achieve.
We managed to record this first experience in photographs as you can see below. Look out soon for our new playground equipment, which is currently being installed. Exciting times at Westwood!