Monthly Archives: October 2016

The end of another fantastic week

I really enjoy my job and one of the things that I find most fun is the diversity that each day brings. This week was a really good example of how we can cram so much exciting and engaging learning into five days. Combine that with visits from members of our local community and a sprinkling of innovation and there we have a great week.

Straight off the blocks on Monday morning, Clover and Thistle class were lucky enough to be visited by Jayne Gibbons, a practicing vet, as part of their ‘People who help us topic’ With really super listening and some great questioning, the children learnt so much from the session and were able to leave with a real understanding of what Jayne’s job involves and how hard she works to look after animals each day. Then on Wednesday Steve Riddle from Wiltshire Air Ambulance visited us to give us a brilliant insight into his job and how he spends his days up in the Air Ambulance, speeding to casualties to help them. As a paramedic he enthralled the children with his presentation and discussion and it was another fascinating and wonderful opportunity for the children to learn about people who help us. Here are some photos of Steve with the children:

This week also saw a fabulous cake sale by our brilliant School Council, which raised nearly £70. Thank you all so much for coming along and for your generosity in supporting the children who worked hard to make cakes and put on the event. The first school disco of the year was also held this week by our amazing FoWs and raised over £270 for our school, which is tremendous. With such a large turnout from our children and Stuart on top form once again on the decks, it was another evening to remember at Westwood school! I must also say an enormous thank you to you all for you kindness and generosity in supporting our Harvest celebrations this week. You donated in your bag loads, all of which will be going straight to Storehouse Foodbank in Trowbridge to provide short term help for families who are less fortunate. It is such a strong reminder of what a thoughtful and supportive community you are and we belong to as a school, thank you.

So finally to the innovation side of the week, with a live broadcast to the school from our team at Westwood Radio. I am incredibly proud of this innovative project we have embarked on to connect with the community and from next Friday we will be live online, bringing school, community and local news to you via our online radio station. You can already listen to our previous shows on radio.westwoodwithiford.org but if you are around at 2.30pm next Friday, please join in the fun of our first online live broadcast. You can email the show on radio@westwoodwithiford.org and you can even text us on 078600 17404. We will include shout outs and emails during the show, so please get involved – the children would love to hear from you. This will take place every week from now on during term time and we will be looking to involve as many people as we can in our broadcasts, providing content that will appeal to all. Here are some photos of last Friday’s show:

With one more week until half term, I can hardly believe where this term has gone. Tea with the Head is on Friday with the usual fun and beverages, so please join me for a cuppa and a chat. See you there!

Newsletter #3 Round-up

The weeks are fairly flying by here at Westwood School and with only two weeks left until half term there is so much to both reflect on and look forward to.

We recently opened our doors to prospective new parents at our school open morning and, once again we were delighted to welcome some new faces to look around school and enjoying seeing our wonderful children at work. Such was its success, we are holding a second open morning in Term 2 on Tuesday 22nd November from 9am-12pm. If you know of anyone who has children starting school next September, please let them know, particularly if they missed the first open morning.

Our children have had many exciting oportunities recently to enhance their learning, both in and out of the classroom. Year 6 marvelled at their day to the Wiltshire festival of engineering and manufacturing where a very hands-on, practical and fascinating day was had by all. So many happy faces returned and with so many free resources packed into their goodie bags, including an LED torch they made themselves! For more on this wonderful day, please visit orchid.westwoodblogs.org and read about the fun they had.

Thistle and Clover class have also had the opportunity to welcome visitors and to go on an off site trip, learning more about the people who help us for their topic. Last week they were lucky enough to be visited by a Paramedic team from Great Western Ambulance Service, complete with fully stocked, all bells and whistles primed, ambulance. A morning of fun learning, great questions and fun in an ambulance ensured that everyone learnt so much from the opportunity. Both classes have also been to Trowbridge Fire Station this week to learn all about the fire service. With the opportunity to  go in a fire engine and work the actual hose, excitement was at very high levels and some real quality learning experienced by all of our children.  Furthermore, next week Thistle and Clover class will be welcoming a Vet and Wiltshire Air Ambulance to talk to them. What a fun term they are having! Thistle.westwoodblogs.org is where you will find some terrific videos of the fire station trip.

Our Friends of Westwood School are back with the same brilliant enthusiasm and commitment to our school, having held their AGM this week. With so many new members and offers of help, I know that this is going to be another fantastic year for fun activities, family and community get togethers and some super fundraising opportunities. My sincere thanks to everyone who continues to support our school in such an amazing way, we really do value your support so much.

I would also like to thank so many of you who came along last Friday to my Tea with the Head for Macmillan Cancer. As always, you were all so generous with your cake and financial donations and we raised a magnificent £61 for a worthwhile cause. This year from two of these events we have raised £125 which will allow more people to benefit from the incredible support that they provide to families. Thank you so much.

Can I please remind you that you are most welcome to join us for our Harvest assembly next Friday at 9.15am in the hall. This will be our usual seasonal celebration, with poems and sings from the children. Can I also please ask that children bring any donations in next Thursday or Friday. These will then be boxed up and delivered to Storehouse, Trowbridge who are always so grateful.

I am very excited to tell you that we now have our radio station in school and we will be broadcasting to the school this Friday for the first time! After a day’s training, our broadcasters are now ready to take over and run the show themselves, so do watch out for their recording, which will be online from Friday night. Our new Westwood Radio website is also now live at radio.westwoodwithiford.org. All of our archived shows, as well as our latest shows are there, along with photos and ways to contact the show. We will be going live to the world in the near future, so please look out for how you can interact with us and listen live at home. This is a wonderful, innovative opportunity for us and  encourages excellent speaking and listening skills and confidence building, whilst establishing strong links with our community through interviews and guests. Every single member of our school community will take part and the facility will allow us to provide fantastic cross curricular learning opportunities too.

Finally, we continue to create a large audience for our children’s brilliant work through the use of our class blogs. So much inspiring writing has been posted recently, along with reports, photos, videos and a real insight into what we are doing here at school. Please visit westwoodblogs.org as a starting point and then browse all of our blogs and their content. Do please also follow us on twitter, either at school @wwischool or our new radio twitter handle is @wwipradio. We are trying to interact, promote and celebrate as much as possible through as many channels and your support and input makes such a difference, so if you have a few minutes, please do leave a comment on some children’s work. It does mean so much to them.

I hope you all have a really lovely weekend.

Westwood Radio

This week has represented the beginning of a very exciting and inspirational journey. On Monday, Russell Prue of Anderton Tiger Radio returned to Westwood School to professionally install our brand new radio station in our library room.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, we are extremely lucky to have studio standard radio equipment that will allow us to broadcast to the world online from our own school! Also, with so many opportunities for developing confidence, speaking and listening skills and resilience, the impact on learning will be huge. 17 very keen and enthusiastic broadcasters, all raring to go, then spent a day training with Russell so that they are able to both run and present their own shows on a weekly basis. With Friday’s show already planned, we will be broadcasting LIVE to the school at 2.30pm tomorrow and a recording will be available to listen again by tomorrow evening. Do please listen and we hope you enjoy it.  We also have a brand new website for our Radio Station – radio.westwoodwithiford.org where you can find our details for how you can contact the show.

Here are some photos of us getting very involved and learning our new skills: