Monthly Archives: January 2019

A visit to BETT 2019

Every once in a while we get to do something just a little bit different but VERY exciting. Another of those opportunities came around last Friday when I was invited to take a group of broadcasters to the largest education technology show in Europe, BETT, at the ExCeL centre in London’s docklands.

We had been lucky enough to have been invited to present a live radio show on the NetSupport stand with our very good friend Russell Prue of Anderton Tiger Broadcasting, at the invitation of NetSupport CEO Al Kingsley and what a day we had.

From the very off, excitement levels were at their peak as we travelled by GWR from Chippenham to Paddington, stopping prior to joining the Tube at Paddington for a quick snap with Paddington Bear, of course! I cannot praise the children highly enough, as for many this was a new experience and travelling on London public transport is never easy. However, everyone was so sensible and stayed as a group to ensure that we were safe at all times.

If you have ever been to the ExCeL centre you will know that it is vast and the BETT show is always full of hundreds of the biggest IT companies in the world. Just the place for a wonderful experience and to gather as many freebies and merchandise as possible! Everyone at BETT was so welcoming and gave the children a super time, handing out everything from t-shirts to pens and stress balls.

But our main reason for being at BETT, other than the experience, was to broadcast a live Westwood Radio show from the Netsupport stand. Al Kingsley, their CEO, is a great supporter of our station and generously invited us to attend and present on their radio station. Once again we got the opportunity to work with the brilliant Russell Prue, who guided us through a rehearsal and gave so many top tips that when we went on air at 3pm, the children were brimming with confidence and ideas. It was amazing to see them at work, in the middle of a packed show floor and being watched by, literally,  hundreds of people passing by, all of them so impressed by the professionalism and quality of the children’s presenting. After an outstanding hour’s broadcast I could not have felt more proud of everyone’s confidence, resilience and professionalism. They were all such a credit to our school. I must also thank so many parents and friends who listened in and contributed via text and email too, which made for a fabulous experience.

With just time to pop by a VR stand – I cooed over the Back to the Future DeLorean whilst the children were immersed in virtual reality – before heading back to Paddington and home. Tired, but with so many special memories and experiences from the day, everyone was just brilliant. To everyone who came with me, an enormous thank you and also a special mention to Karen Hobson who gave her day to join me and make sure that everyone stayed so safe and had huge fun. As did we.

Here are some photos of the day and a chance to listen again to the children’s show:

Story Day

As we approach the end of week 2 already (!) there has been so much to celebrate again at our school.

Yesterday the whole school took part in a wonderful story day where each class read and enjoyed their own story and then the entire day’s teaching and learning focused on that book. Sharing stories such as ‘The Wolf that cried boy’ and ‘The day I swapped my dad for two goldfish’, all of the children were so immersed in their learning and our love of reading and literature as a school really showed.

At the end of the day we all came together for an assembly and it was a real joy to see how much the children had learnt from their day in the way that each class presented their stories. Thank you to the staff for their hard work and preparation in making days like these a success and to the children for working so hard. I think we all found out something new about a book we might go and read now…

Happy New Year!

Hello again and welcome back to another year at our school. I do hope that you had a wonderful break after, what was, such a magical and exciting term with so much to celebrate. I had time to reflect on what a special place this is to be, particularly at Christmas time, so thank you all for making it so.

So now we’re off again with renewed invigoration and already we have been so busy with our learning,  finding out about our new exciting topics. Sunflower class are learning all about Arctic explorers, Clover and Lotus Class are finding out about trains and have already produced the most brilliant 3d display on their walls and the topic in Orchid class is Earth as an Island. The IPC (International Primary Curriculum) does allow so much creativity, skills development and engagement that teaching and working with the children makes it incredibly exciting and provides a wealth of learning opportunities, led by the children.

Our broadcasters have already been live on air, with two shows broadcast last week – Word on the Street and our Friday Show. Superbly presented, there is such confidence every time the children step into the studio and they are really making a name for themselves in the way they deliver top quality education radio week on week. I am so proud of them and what they achieve. You can listen to all of our shows on soundcloud.com/westwoodradio or you can listen to our station 24 hours a day by downloading the Android or iOS apps free. Links are on our website radio.westwoodwithiford.org

Please also check out all of our class blogs at westwoodblogs.org where the children are sharing so much of their fabulous learning with the world. You are most welcome to leave them a comment and this will inspire them hugely!

As a school we are also working on a number of diverse projects, with some also being planned for the Spring and Summer terms, including a brilliant social media project using the GoBubble app – we don’t like to sit still for too long! Of course, our Westwood Oral History Project continues to gather pace and you can listen to the interviews we have carried out so far on westwoodheritage.uk

With so much to look forward to, I know that 2019 is going to be another amazing year at our school and I look forward to sharing it with you.