Author Archives: Mr Rockey

Busy times, fun times

Hello again! It seems as though the gaps between my posts are getting longer as other things take the time. However, with SATs this week and so much to celebrate and get excited about, I felt that a post was necessary.

I am so proud of our fabulous Year 6 children this week. They have approached their week with the best attitude and have all tried so hard. It has been a pleasure to be in school every day and to talk to them after each of their tests, seeing them smile and speak so positively. 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.

Elsewhere in the school there is also much to celebrate. Everyone is gearing themselves up for sports day which is next Thursday at 1.30pm on the school field and we are all very much looking forward to that! I have loved spending time in classes and seeing what the children have been enjoying learning this term. The staff have planned some amazing topics that have really inspired the children to learn and the classes are looking vibrant.

Also don’t forget our Race for Life, which is taking place on Friday 25th May at 3.15pm on the school field. I’m hoping that as many people as possible will come along and take part. We have all been fully involved in BBC Wiltshire’s Step into Summer, recording our steps and miles each day and, of course, Ben Prater will be presenting the end of his Breakfast Show from our playground on Friday 25th May, so do please join us for that and let’s all keep the healthy summer going!

I can barely believe that we are almost at May half term already, but this term has been so packed with activities that the time has just flown by!

What a week!

At the end of our first week back in Term 5 there is already so much to celebrate. Assembly yesterday morning was a real pleasure with the opportunity to share the children’s successes in their outstanding learning and also the chance to find out who has been helping and being kind around the school.  This is always a particularly difficult decision for the staff to choose between the children as our school community is so positive and everyone works together so well. I do feel proud of our school and the atmosphere that exists in every class as I walk around on a daily basis to see everyone enjoying their school experience.

This week we also had the absolute pleasure of supporting our Westwood Dance Group who, from the entire South West Region, had been one of just 6 primary schools to make it to the regional finals in Bristol. On Tuesday night we all made our way to St George’s theatre to be dazzled, enthralled, excited and simply overwhelmed by the most wonderful evening of dance as 25 schools of all ages competed against each other to try to make it through to the national final in Oxford.

Dancing ‘In the Mind’  to ‘Running with the Wolves’ by Aurora, a contemporary dance choreographed once again by our brilliant Karen Hobson, this was an opportunity to not only feel incredibly emotional but also so proud that every one of our dancers was confident, professional and so impressive in front of, literally, hundreds of people. Furthermore, our school was the only primary school to include children from Year 1 to Year 6. This makes our fantastic fourth place so very well deserved and an incredible achievement on a night when the standard of dance was so very high. I could not be more proud of every single one of our dancers. The experience of dancing at such a young age on a big stage is something  quite immeasurable and something I am sure they will remember for the rest of their lives.

My huge thanks to Karen for her enthusiasm, energy and tremendous professionalism in bringing our school to the big stage and for giving every child such a super experience. To the mums and volunteers who gave their time to paint faces, crimp hair and make the occasion extra special for everyone, thank you so much. Also to our dancers, the stars of the St George’s stage who gave us all the best Tuesday evening out and so many reasons to feel proud. Well done everyone.

Performance Poetry Afternoon

This week has been a special week to be at our school, beginning with Mother’s Monday and ending this morning with a wonderful celebration assembly. It does make me so proud to be head of such a super school community.

We have also had our reading week, with the Book Fair joining us and every opportunity to get involved in reading and enjoying books. So many children are now achieving their Bronze reading certificates, as part of our reading challenge, and it would be so good to see everyone reading regularly at home so that every child is able to achieve 25 reading sessions and achieve their Bronze certificate. It means so much to the children and helps their reading enormously. We even gave away silver and a GOLD certificate this morning!

Yesterday, as part of our reading week, we held our very first performance poetry assembly for the school. Children were asked, as part of their homework, to learn a poem that they enjoyed and to perform it in front of the school. With a stage, microphone and PA system all set up, it made the occasion truly professional and it was such a delight to see so many children exuding confidence and eloquence in their performance. Well done to everyone who took part, it was a real pleasure to listen to you all performing your poems.

I have been able to record and upload this delightful afternoon for you all to listen to, along with some photos of our children’s superb achievements. Well done everyone!

Mother’s Monday 2018

One of the stand out days in our school calendar is when we are able to invite our mums and special people in for Mother’s Monday. It takes place the Monday immediately after Mothering Sunday and is an extension of the celebration where we open the school to mums and special people for the day so that they can come into school and share the learning and enjoyment of a school day with their children.

It was a real delight yesterday to see how many people had given their time to come into school and be a part of another magical day. Linked with an international day, each class focused on a country and learnt all about that country as part of their activities.  We visited Antarctica, Kenya, France and even took part on a Mystery Skype with a class from Ireland! With everyone joining in at playtime, eating lunch with the children and spending as much time as they could in class, it was wonderful to see the school so full and buzzing with excitement.

Thank you so much to everyone who made arrangements to be here yesterday, it was a pleasure to welcome you into school. Next stop, Father’s Friday!

Here are some photos of our fabulous day together:

Another term flies by…

What a busy term we have had with so much amazing learning having taken place and many diverse opportunities for our children to enjoy. My apologies for the lack of posts recently – there has been so much to do!

Last night I was so proud to be able to attend the West Wilts Dance Festival at the Forum in Bath. Once again the children had been expertly trained and encouraged by Karen Hobson, who had put together a fantastic routine.  They dominated the stage once again and the performance was both electric and inspirational, drawing an enormous cheer from the audience, which was so very well deserved. My sincere thanks go to Karen for organising, resourcing, planning and choreographing a spectacular routine that brought the house down and to the children for entertaining; showing such confidence and for representing our school so brilliantly. I was proud of every one of you. So many of my colleagues from other schools came up to me to congratulate our school on such a fantastic performance!

This term has been packed with excitement too – a hugely successful Story Day, class trips to We the Curious and the Steam Museum and our first Ocarina assembly which so many of you enjoyed. We also had a wonderful visit from James Smith on our character day so that children in Clover, Lotus and Orchid class could all experience life as an evacuee for their World War 2 topic, which has been just fascinating. Furthermore, Orchid class even met a polar diver too! For such a short term it has been full of fun and great learning and the staff have worked incredibly hard to give the children a vast and engaging range of learning opportunities.

I am also very excited to tell you that our Westwood Oral History Project is now underway and we have a website too! Visit westwoodheritage.uk and you will can listen to the most wonderful first interview with two members of our village, David and Kate Windo, who are talking about growing up and life in the village from their childhood. Eli and Dougie conducted a fascinating interview and Kate brought some amazing photos, some of which are already on the website, with many more to come! If you know of anyone who would like to get involved, do please let us know or ask them to use the form on the website or to give us a call. We will be interviewing many more people over time to build up a detailed archive of memories of life in and around Westwood and photos would be most welcome too. More excitement is that to facilitate our sharing of memories, we have now taken delivery of our portable radio station, enabling us to take Westwood Radio out into the community to broadcast and talk to people. Watch this space for our first live outside broadcast!

This term I have been so impressed with the children’s writing on their class blogs. Much of my teaching time with them has been spent developing our skills using the 5 sentence challenge for our younger writers and the 100 word challenge for our older writers. The results of their hard work has been staggering and I am so proud – some children have even made the worldwide showcase! If you have a few moments, please comment on their work on their class blog – links are from the school website. It makes such a difference to the children to know that they have an audience for their writing. Thank you.

Just a couple of housekeeping notes. As the weather is still quite changeable, please can I ask that children do not venture onto the mud before and after school as it quickly becomes quite damaged. Also, please can everyone ensure that they have the correct school uniform and shoes in school at all times and that it is named. It is always a bit of a challenge to play match the uniform to the child at the end of a PE session!

Can I wish you a wonderful half term together and I look forward to seeing you again in Term 4.

Happy New Year and Welcome Back

Hello again and welcome back to a brand new year and another new term! Already, in the six days that we have been back Thistle Class have been on a wonderful school trip to We the Curious and everyone has been hard at work in class learning about their brand new topic on World War 2.

This term is particularly short and we have a lot to pack in!  Do keep up to date with what is going on in school through our blogs – they are constantly being updated and provide an excellent window into our world, giving you an insight into the teaching and learning that takes place on a daily basis. We would love to see some of your comments, if you can – it gives the children a wonderful audience for their learning and is a lovely way for us to interact with you in school. Don’t forget we also have a very active school Twitter account @wwischool which we use regularly and I would like to try and use this an an extra line of communication, so please follow us if you are a Twitter user.

This term we will discover the outcome of our school bid for Tesco funding to enhance our outdoor play provision and I shall be excited to be able to report back on that and develop it further in due course. Also this term, please join us for our Ocarina Day assembly which is on Thursday 25th January at 2.30 on the school hall. Children will be performing live in their classes and as a school. With Maths Day and the Bath Forum Dance festival to look forward to as well, this term is already looking VERY exciting!

As before the Christmas break, I am planning to record my weekly electronic newsletter podcast – Westwood Talk. This is a round up of the week’s excitement, news from around the classes and everything that is taking place at our school. You can listen to the latest episode below or head to http://radio.westwoodwithiford.org/talk-archive.html to catch up on any you may have missed. Here’s to another productive and successful term together.

Christmas Celebrations!

What a way to end the term ready for Christmas! Yesterday we spent the most magical morning at St Mary’s church in Westwood where we held one of our favourite events of the season, our Christingle service. We were delighted to be welcomed back by Reverend Joanna to celebrate this very special occasion, with each child having made their own Christingle to light.

After a chilly walk down to the church in the December morning air everyone settled quickly into the warm church, full of history and atmosphere, for a super service which included readings of the story of Christingle from the children and some traditional and favourite Christmas songs played beautifully by Mr King on the church organ. With such superb acoustics, the children wounded just incredible as they filled the church with their singing and we all took a moment to reflect when we lit our Christingles and the church was filled with light.

I managed to record the service for you to listen to, so I hope you do get a sense of the wonderful atmosphere and enjoy our children singing beautifully. Just press play to enjoy and here are some photos of the occasion too.

Today saw the end of a long, busy, yet exciting and productive term, culminating with our traditional Carols around the Tree assembly. I was thrilled to see so many people, who once again had packed themselves into our hall with standing room only!. For a small village school, we are so lucky to have a wonderful community who are incredibly supportive, so thank you so much for coming. With traditional Christmas songs and carols, readings, dance and even live music from all of our talented children, I do hope that you enjoyed the service as much as I did, it was an absolute pleasure to lead it and to enjoy the lead in to Christmas together. My thanks to Dave King for accompanying us on the piano once again and providing the most festive atmosphere. Please have a look at the photos from today’s assembly below.

It was so lovely to share Tea and mince pies with the Head after school with you all too and to see in Christmas together. I am very proud of our school community and it is always such a pleasure to spend time with you all.

All that remains now is for me to thank you all for your tremendous support throughout this term. May I take this opportunity to wish you a restful Christmas, full of fun and enjoyment and I hope that Father Christmas brings you what you have asked for…

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