Already we are two weeks into the final term of this academic year and I can barely believe we are half way through June already! This year seems to have fairly raced by and coupled with the vast array of exciting activities and learning opportunities that have been taking place throughout the school we have had lots to celebrate and enjoy.
On Monday of this week we were delighted to welcome Ms Helean Hughes, the Wiltshire Director of Education and Skills, to our fabulous school. Helean spent considerable time with me walking around school and talking to children about their learning, which made me very proud indeed. Helean also kindly gave some of her time to be interviewed by our radio team, an interview that you can hear on today’s show. It was lovely to hear Helean speak so positively about our school and she clearly enjoyed her visit, so thank you everyone for giving another very special visitor a Westwood welcome.
In the past week Orchid class have been off site on a fantastic educational visit to Stowford Farm. Getting involved with the wildlife, riding in a tractor trailer and helping on the farm all made for a perfect day in the country. Plus there was an opportunity to play an inter-school football match, which the children won. It was yet another super learning experience outside the classroom and a lovely part of their curriculum.
This term I have been running a lunchtime maths club on a Wednesday for children to consolidate their interest in maths and learning through the use of Doodlemaths, Mathletics and TT Rockstars. I have been delighted with the number of children that have been attending and can see what a difference just a few minutes each week is making to their mental calculations and maths skills. Don’t forget that you can access these fantastic resources from home and the children do love to challenge themselves!
We do love our sport at Westwood and this week the Chance to Shine Cricket coaches began a 6 week course in which everyone in Lotus and Orchid class will be honing their skills. So much fun was had in the hall on a very wet afternoon with everyone making the most of this PE opportunity. I’m really looking forward to seeing some games outside in the coming weeks and I hope all of our children have a great time.
Today of course saw the return of our Father’s Friday event. Once again I must thank you all for joining us and for making the day such tremendous fun and so successful. With a vast array of international learning taking place, everyone who came along immersed themselves in the true spirit of the day and the atmosphere was fantastic. We are so lucky to have an incredibly supportive parent community who work so well alongside our school. We have all thoroughly enjoyed welcoming you to school today and it was such a delight to see so many people having fun around the building. We even welcomed some our visitors into the Westwood Radio studio for a live show.
With so much still to come this term, it proves to be another exciting and busy few weeks, as the Summer term often races by through all the fun and excitement. I hope to see you at many of our forthcoming events and thank you all for your continued and valued support. Please remember our Summer Fair on Saturday 22nd June from 2-4.30 where there will be another opportunity to enjoy another fantastic Westwood community event which really is one of the highlights of my year!
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!
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…
Christmas is always such a magical time of the year in school and never more so than when our children from Thistle and Clover class perform their Christmas nativity play. This year it was a Tale of Two Birthdays, a wonderfully traditional story of Christmas.
Having worked so hard for the past few weeks everyone gave their absolute best and put on a show that was just perfect. The hall was filled with the sound of beautiful singing as the children sang their hearts out, with fantastic performances from everyone and lines delivered superbly, ensuring that every one of us who attended a performance was able to enjoy a fabulous half hour of school production perfection.
I must thank Mrs Hannam, Miss Williams, Mrs Rosier and their teaching assistants for all working so incredibly hard to help the children to be performance ready. It takes a lot of planning and preparation and I am lucky to work with such a wonderful team – all lovely people who work together so brilliantly. Thank you also to our parent community who, once again, supported us and the children so strongly, providing a receptive and grateful audience. It was, as always, so good to have so many people there. Thank you.
Here are the photos I took from this week’s performances:
What a wonderful day we had on Friday! After the enormous success and delight of Mother’s Monday earlier in the year we welcomed our dads, grandads, uncles and special male members of our family into school on Friday to share the children’s learning and to taker part in another fun day at Westwood School for our annual, and ever popular, Father’s Friday.
Beginning with one of the most packed celebration assemblies I think I’ve ever seen, it was a real pleasure to be able to share many successes with so many parents and friends of the school. Then, as always, our visitors were invited to go into class to sit with their children to find out what a day at school involves. It was super to see everyone taking a full part in the learning, supporting their children, playing football and running around the field at playtime and even joining us for lunch in the hall. So many dads and members of our school community were so generous in giving up their time to join us, I cannot thank you all enough for making the day so special.
For those children who are broadcasters and had their dads in school, 2.30pm was an opportunity to take them into the studio to take part in our live broadcast. A brilliant time was had by all – so much fun and even an interview with our visitors live on air made for the sort of afternoon that makes working in a school such a delight. You can listen again to the show here. I highly recommend it!
Also, here are some images that captured a wonderful day. Thank you everyone for coming.
Today, for the first time ever, we held a school Race for Life in aid of the fantastic charity Cancer Research UK, to support the wonderful work that it does. With an open invitation for anyone to join in, have fun and see out the term together for a good cause, it was the most perfect afternoon with so many children and adults taking to the field to run the 1km or 2km course that we had set out.
The amazing thing about our school is the sense of community. Combining my termly Tea with the Head with the Race for Life and a brilliantly timed and organised ice cream sale from our FoWs, made a warm afternoon in idyllic surroundings even more special with so many people taking time to stop by, join in and chat over drinks and cakes. I must thank my wonderful mum who, once again, put in an enormous amount of effort to bake cakes for every single runner and adult who came along with even some left over. I am lucky to be supported in so many ways by my family and the success of today’s Race for Life meant a lot to all of us. With a whopping £61 raised from donations for cakes alone and another £118 online already before sponsor forms are returned, I would like to thank the generosity, kindness and fabulous support of the parents and community of Westwood. Another super afternoon spent in the best company. Thank you.
If you would like to donate to this very worthwhile cause, our fundraising page is http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/wwipschool
Here are some photos of the event, which I know we will hold again next year:
The end of term is always so full of excitement and fun but it can also get incredibly busy, so it’s only now that I have a few minutes to add the wonderful array of photos that were taken on our last day of term. With glorious weather for the occasion we were, once again, so well supported by our school community that the hall was packed for assembly and the children were on top form with their singing and speaking.
Then it was a swift move outside to enjoy an array of colour as the children paraded around our field wearing their beautifully crafted Easter hats and bonnets that must have taken hours to make! Finally, our perfect Easter afternoon was rounded off with the annual egg rolling competition. Everyone was a worthy winner and with wonderfully decorated eggs flying in all directions, it was tricky to find the furthest roll from each year group but we managed it!
Thank you to everyone who came and joined in the fun of our last afternoon and I wish you all a super Easter break. I look forward, also, to another wonderful term together when we get back. Here are the photos from the afternoon, thank you Mrs Batten! Happy Easter everyone.