Monthly Archives: September 2017

Learning, Blogs and Radio

Another week comes to an end and with so much wonderful learning taking place throughout the school it is so good to see the children engaged and enjoying their brand new topics and the teachers have worked very hard to ensure that the walls are already filled with super work.

As well as the learning in class, children have also been developing new skills out of the classroom and if you see anyone riding their bikes responsibly, safely and sensibly around the village and community, that is because our older children have been learning the skills of the road through their Wiltshire council Bikeability course! Well done to everyone for their fantastic listening skills and for being a credit to our school. Our younger children are also now well equipped to walk out and about in the community, having worked with our Wiltshire Road Safety Officer this week, practising the Green Cross Code to cross roads safely and to look out for cars and vehicles. Well done to everyone for listening so well and don’t forget to show off your new skills and knowledge to your parents! Next week is Science week so look out for photos, reports and excited children who are all learning some really amazing Science throughout the week…

Please don’t forget that next Thursday 28th September from 9.30am – 12pm is our Open Morning and a chance to see the school in action. If you know of anyone who has a child starting school in September 2018 then they are most welcome to come along and talk to us. I would be delighted to show potential new families around and introduce them to our wonderful children and staff.

Another date to look out for is next Friday 29th September when I will be hosting a Coffee (and tea of course!) and cake morning for MacMillan. As you may know, this is a charity that is very close to my heart and, as I have discovered, many other peoples too. The coffee morning will take place straight after celebration assembly in the Meadow and everyone is welcome to join me; it would be lovely to see you and if you are willing to donate any cakes that would be fantastic, thank you so much.

I am delighted that our blogs are up and running again with so much quality content. Please do visit them, subscribe to them and comment on the children’s work. An audience provides the very best inspiration and motivation for the children to aim higher and a few minutes to leave a comment would make such a difference. To help you with this I have created a page on our website for parents and children to use, including how-to videos, which I hope will help you get started. Please visit http://www.westwoodwithiford.org/blogging which is under the Parent Info tab of our website.  

A starting point for reading our blogs is our central landing page at westwoodblogs.org or you can visit our school website and follow the links from the Blogs & Radio drop down menu.  We have become a truly international presence on the web, so feel free to join in the fun!

I am sure you will have noticed how our radio station, Westwood Radio, is going from strength to strength. We think we are the only primary school in the country to broadcast LIVE every week, with high quality shows put together and presented by our talented broadcasters, ranging from Year 3 to Year 6. What we have achieved so far is quite staggering and I am so proud. We would love you to join in our shows though, so if you are able, please listen every Friday at 2.30pm and get in touch with the show via email: radio@westwoodwithiford.org, text: 078600 17404 or tweet us on Twitter @wwipradio. You can include #westwoodradio in any tweet, too and we will see it. To listen, you can click on the link on the homepage of our website, press play on the player on our radio website, radio.westwoodwithiford.org or listen via the TuneIn App, so if you are out and about you can still listen in! We always read out messages from the school community and our listener base is growing by the week. As a school we continue to be as innovative as we can, providing our children with opportunities which, we hope, they will remember for a long time.

I was delighted to welcome back Russell Prue today, an experienced broadcaster who is a top professional in education radio. Russell installed our radio station and trained our children almost a year ago and continues to support our work hugely. He returned today to train our latest group of broadcasters and to take part in our show, so if you weren’t able to catch it, you can always listen again to any of our shows at https://soundcloud.com/westwoodradio. There is a full report and photos over on our Radio Blog.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Supporting creative writing

Last week seems to have flown by and already we are at the beginning of week 3 with a distinctly autumnal chill in the air.

Despite only a week having passed, there is a lot to celebrate and so much great learning is taking place in all classes, with new topics having been introduced to excited children!

One of the areas of learning we are focusing on this year is writing, particularly using creative writing to inspire our children to become authors, using all of the skills that we are using in class every day to write on our class blogs. For this we are using the brilliant 100 word challenge and 5 sentence challenge, which your children may have come home and told you about.  This is a very clever idea which engages children through writing in response to a prompt but gives them complete independence and opportunity to be creative. You can find out more about these learning opportunities at 100wc.net and fivesc.net In addition to helping them to become more confident and expressive writers, children may also be selected for the weekly showcase from hundreds of pieces of writing submitted from around the world!

As an opportunity to develop global links and foster an audience this is wonderful and gives children great confidence and pride to know that their writing is being read by someone from elsewhere in the world. Of course, the audience doesn’t always have to be global and we would LOVE it if parents and members of our community commented on the children’s writing also. If this is something you have not tried before, fear not! Here is a poster explaining some of the terms you may have heard your child discussing (please click on it for a bigger version) and I have also produced a video for parents as a step by step guide to leaving comments on children’s work and it would be great to increase the participation of our community in the work the children are producing on their blogs. I do hope you find these tools useful and I will be holding a blogging evening for parents soon or you are most welcome to come and see me if you need any further assistance.

Good luck and thank you!

Blog- poster

Welcome Back!

Hello again and welcome back to another exciting academic year which, I am sure will prove to be just as successful, rewarding and fun as the last four! It is amazing to think that this year I will be going into my fifth year of headship here at Westwood School and I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute. With a fantastic school community, wonderful children and such dedicated staff, I do feel that we are lucky to be able to work under such pleasant and enjoyable circumstances.

If you are joining our school this year, a very warm welcome to you and thank you for choosing us to look after your most precious gifts of all, your children. We do try our very best to nurture them, support them and develop every single one of their many skills, talents and abilities in the time that they are with us, so I very much look forward to accompanying you on your journey with your child through school life.

I try to write regularly on this blog as I like to think of it as a window into life at our school. There are so many activities and special moments that occur each day, this will, I hope give you an insight into our day to day lives. This may be through photos, text or even audio, so please do check back regularly to see what busy things we have been doing.

In the meantime, I hope that you all had the most wonderful summer and do join me for celebration assembly on Friday when we can all enjoy the achievements of our children.