Monthly Archives: May 2019

Another term ends…

Once again we have reached the end of another term, albeit a short one, but one in which there was so much to enjoy and celebrate.

As I blogged about recently, our young, talented broadcasters had the best day at The Young Aria awards and whilst we didn’t win, it was such an achievement to have made the award ceremony at Broadcasting House in London.

Last week, our magnificent Westwood swimming team represented us at the Cluster Schools Swimming Gala. Whilst we didn’t win every race, all of the children gave a tremendous effort and competed with commitment and determination. Well done everyone, I know that you had a great time and we can look forward to next year! My thanks to Mrs Hannam for organising the event and for giving our children another wonderful opportunity.

For the first time in many a year, we invited a touring theatre company into school to perform for us. The fabulous M&M theatre company put on the most brilliant performance of The Railway Children, which everyone loved. We hope to be able to bring them back again in the future!

Sports day was another memorable occasion, full of fun and celebration in the Westwood sun. In the morning the children worked in mixed age groups to enjoy a sports carousel with the staff. In the afternoon and wonderfully supported as always by our parent community, there was the full range of traditional races, from flat races, to hoop races, egg and spoon and even a relay; it had it all. There was even a chance for the adults to shine, with a mum’s race, dad’s race and we all finished with an ice cream sale, hosted by Mr Bennett and the digital leaders.

To end the term we concluded with our now annual Race for Life for Cancer Research. Thank you all so much for your tremendous support and for joining in this event to ensure that we raise as much money as possible for this vital charity work. It really was another super afternoon at our school and a lovely village occasion. With cakes alone, we are already up to £146 raised, which is brilliant!

Finally, some of our wonderful broadcasters joined me for a special radio show live from the Westwood Scarecrow trail on Bank Holiday Monday. Interviewing trailgoers as they passed through our school grounds, presenting reports and features, as well as off script chat and a very fluid 2 hour show, the children were just amazing and I must thank Matthew, Emily, Lucy and Benedict for giving up their time to join me. To the Westwood Scarecrow trail committee, also, huge thanks and congratulations on such a fantastic community event – it looks as if this year will be even more successful than last.

Can I take this opportunity to  thank you all so much for your support again this term and I wish you a wonderful half term with your families.  We are back on Tuesday 4th June for another term of fun…

Westwood Radio at The Young Aria Awards

Westwood Radio continues to grow, both in listeners and also in profile. With three live shows every week and top teams of broadcasters producing outstanding content and radio, education radio has a large place in our curriculum for developing confidence, resilience and literacy skills.

This week, the hard work of our children was recognised nationally as, having entered our broadcasters for a national radio competition – The Young Arias – our Word on the Street boys radio team were nominated and shortlisted to just three for a prestigious award. On Friday we made the journey to London via GWR to experience something that none of us, myself included, had dreamed we would have the pleasure of attending.

Held at THE BBC Broadcasting House, we were made so welcome from the minute we arrived and it was an absolute delight to see the boys faces as they came face to face with a building that they had only ever seen on TV. A further treat for us all, was that our good friend Russell Prue of Anderton Tiger Broadcasting, who has supported us from the very beginning with his radio station,  joined us for the day.

With the sort of military precision you would expect from such a well oiled machine, we were security checked and given the obligatory gold wristbands, which all made us feel very important. The awards ceremony itself took place in the BBC Radio Theatre, home to so many live performances and famous broadcasts over the years. Our hosts were the super talented Matt Edmondson from Radio 1 and Daisy Maskell from Kiss FM whose professionalism and personality made for a wonderful afternoon.

In true awards ceremony style, each category had it’s own celebrity to read out the nominations and we even had the added comedy factor of gold envelopes to open that were stuck so tight they added to the suspense! It’s a mixture of both excitement and nerves when your category comes up and although we didn’t win, we were all very pleased for Newington Primary School and congratulate them on their well deserved award. To have actually made the final three and be able to attend the award ceremony, for me, is a massive achievement in itself and I could not be more proud of our broadcasters and our school. From the hundreds who entered, we, a school of less than 100 pupils made it there and the experience is something what we will all hopefully remember for a very long time. We saw celebrities such as Sara Cox from Radio 2, Mollie King from Radio 1, Alex Baker from Magic and a host of stars, executives, CEOs and major players in the radio industry.

To everyone at Radiocentre and the BBC who made us feel so special, so welcome and so inspired, I cannot thank you enough. You gave us the most magical experience possible and we are now all looking forward to making more outstanding radio in the hope that maybe we can come back again one day for another amazing awards experience.

Our broadcasting team were a pleasure to take and made me so proud all day long. Thank you for such a lovely day. Thank you also to Russell, as without his inspiration, guidance and support, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Here are some photos of our experience:

SATs Superstars

This past week across the country thousands of children in Year 6 were taking their end of year SATs. At Westwood we always try to make SATs as low key, relaxed and even as fun as possible and I am so proud of our fabulous Year 6 children this week.

They have approached their week with the best possible attitude and have all tried so hard. It has been a pleasure to be in school every day and to see them smiling, laughing together and taking everything in their stride, showing tremendous resilience and commitment. As I said to them in their letter last week, the tests only measure a small amount of what they can do as individuals and every single one of them is so incredibly talented in so many ways.

I am also so very proud of our staff at the school. Once again they have prepared the children in the best way possible, ensuring that they are confident, settled and ready. Thank you all so much for your commitment, hard work, empathy and professionalism. Another stunning team effort and one which makes me incredibly proud.

Time to catch up!

It seems like a long time since I’ve been able to write a blog post and catch up with everything that has been happening at our fabulous school this term and already we are in week 4!

In the very first week of term, some of our amazing broadcasters had the opportunity to join our friends at BBC Wiltshire for their breakfast show from Wiltshire Heights, which we visit regularly, to broadcast from with the residents. Joining Ben Prater live on air throughout the show as part of their 30th birthday tour, the children were, once again, model professionals and made me so proud. You can still catch the show on BBC Sounds at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p075y868 Here are some photos of us with the team on the day too:

You may also have noticed our wonderful new play equipment and all weather path that has been installed on our school field. This will broaden the children’s healthy outdoor play opportunities and will also enable the equipment to be used all year round. Huge thanks to our amazing Friends of Westwood School for again donating some of their funds towards the resurfacing of the path. It will make such a difference.

Speaking of our incredible FoWs team, we have already seen three brilliant events this term  which have raised an outstanding £1000! Our Smartie challenge, where children took an Easter tube of Smarties, ate them (of course!) and then returned the tube full of 20p coins raised a staggering £200, as did our very first jumble sale. Also, just last weekend we held our annual and extremely popular quiz night. Once again I would like to say an enormous thank you to Becky and Jeremy, who always put on such an enjoyable and entertaining quiz where there is something for everyone.  The news from our FoWs team is that the quiz night raised a staggering £600, so thank you so much to everyone involved and to everyone who came to make the evening such a success. It really was another wonderful Westwood community occasion.

So to this week and I must say a huge well done to our brilliant Year 6 children who are taking their SATs and are such a credit to the school. As always they work incredibly hard and we could not be more proud of them or the dedicated and simply amazing staff who work so hard to ensure that SATs week is a success and as stress-free as possible.

Finally, thank you if you have taken the time to listen in to our radio station, Westwood Radio. Our listener figures are booming and we have also been nominated for a Young Arias award! We will be heading to BBC Broadcasting House this week to a special awards ceremony, so watch this space!