Category Archives: International

Catching up!

Please forgive the lack of posts recently – I’ve been busy teaching and doing lots of other exciting things with the children – more on that later….

This term there has been so much to celebrate so far, with some fabulous learning taking place.

Clover and Lotus classes both recently enjoyed a wonderful, informative trip to the Roman Baths as part of their Romans topic, allowing them to extend their knowledge and ask some superb questions. Once again, our diverse and exciting curriculum provides so many opportunities for the children. Just this week I have enjoyed seeing children in Orchid class learning vast amounts of fascinating knowledge about Bhutan and our youngest learners in Sunflower class have enjoyed discussing the difference between some very old and new toys. It is always such a pleasure to walk around our school and to see how everyone is immersed in their learning. Plus, of course, I get the chance to teach every class each week and enjoy for myself the enthusiasm and commitment that everyone brings to every day.

Thank you all for your donations that you gave to Comic relief last week. As always, the day was a success, with over £80 raised for this worthwhile cause.

Next week, and for the following 10 days, our school is taking part in the Sustrans Big Pedal 2019. This will be an opportunity for as many of us as possible to cycle, walk or scoot to school. Each day a record will be made by the teachers at registration of those who have travelled to school in a healthy way and we will then enter our school’s overall data to the challenge. This is a great opportunity for us to reinforce our school’s Healthy Schools values and principles and to get out in the fresh air on our journeys to school. I will be taking part by cycling to school as many of the 10 days as I can and I’m looking forward to it very much! For more information, please see the posters that will be up around school or head to https://bigpedal.org.uk/

Monday 1st April is, of course, our hugely anticipated Mother’s Monday and International Day 2019, which has become a real favourite in our school’s calendar year. This is a fantastic opportunity to invite all of our mums and significant females into school for as little or as much as you would like and to take part in the learning with your children, which is always such good fun. We will, of course, begin the day with an assembly,  before heading back to class and enjoying a day in school. I always look forward to this day very much and can’t wait to see as many of you there as possible.

As a staff we are continually striving to maximise every child’s progress and attainment and we work hard to look for as many exciting learning opportunities as possible. Two of those key skills are reading and writing and we are continuing to encourage a real love of English amongst our children. However, we do need you to continue to support your child at home, so that the homework and reading they are given to consolidate their learning in class will enable them to embed these skills. We have noticed that a number of children have very few comments in their reading logs and are not practising their spellings, writing or times tables; simple activities which take little time but support the amazing work being done by our staff to teach the children in school. Can I ask, please, that when your child reads at home, that you comment in their log to let us know, as we do in school, and to say what they enjoyed. Also, please support your children by encouraging them to do their brief homework activities as it really does make such a difference and will further their progress.

Finally, don’t forget our radio station apps for Westwood Radio are free to download to your smartphone or tablet from radio.westwoodwithiford.org. We would love to expand our listening audience even further, so please tell everyone you know that we are on air on a Monday at 8.15am for our Breakfast Show, Thursday at 2.15pm for our boys ‘Word on the Street’ show and our Friday Show at 2.15pm. We love texts and emails, too and with our app it is easy to listen in and enjoy the incredible talents of our broadcasters. Please let them know by texting 078600 17404 and emailing radio@westwoodwithiford.org. We are also on air 24 hours a day, so you can listen any time. People around the world already do, at all times of the day and night!

So, as a final footnote, last week, our good friend Freda Ferne, who has been working extensively with Orchid class recently, came in once again to share her wealth of experience on Bhutan. Freda has given so much of her time to work with the children and immerse them in the sights and traditions of Bhutan and last Thursday I had the opportunity to dress up in authentic Bhutanese male costume and what an experience that was! I think I’ll let the photos tell the story, but my thanks, once again to Freda, for coming into to give the children a fantastic experience.

Quality International Learning

I’ve made it one of my goals this term to blog more regularly about the fantastic things that are taking place at our school. Today was another of those days when I had the opportunity to integrate technology and innovation to make the learning fun, exciting and different for the children in Clover class.

All year we have been regularly linking up with our friends in Room 104 of Georgetown Elementary school in Hudsonville, Michigan as part of an international project to share learning, social and cultural experiences and just enjoy talking to other children from around the world. Today was the last time we linked up as our friends in the USA finish for the summer on Friday. We’ve loved talking to them and learning about what they learn, where they live and how the weather differs! Here we all are for one last time in a Google Hangout together and we also asked and answered questions through CoveritLive.

Live Blog Westwood and Georgetown Final International Learning Session 2018
 

International Christmas Around the World

This week we went global at Westwood with Iford School with an international day focused completely on Christmas around the World. After the success of Clover class link up with Room 104 of Georgetown Elementary school on Wednesday, sharing Christmas traditions and wishes face to face, Thursday was a fantastic opportunity for everyone to learn about how other countries celebrate Christmas.

All of the children throughout the school were put into groups and spent a session together with each teacher learning about how Christmas is celebrated in Germany, Scandinavia, China and Iceland. What was so lovely was that our school family worked so wonderfully together, supporting each other and enjoying the opportunity to work with friends that were both older and younger. The teachers all planned a super day for everyone that was enormous fun and so informative. My huge thanks to the staff for another brilliantly planned day and to the children for their outstanding behaviour and sense of fun. We all agreed this is something we would do again soon!

Here are some photos I was able to take of the children working together on International Day:

Mystery Skype – where in the world?

Today we took another step into Mystery Skype, a brilliant way to practice geography and map skills by live skyping someone from somewhere in the world, but not knowing where they are. Intrigued? We were too, but the children in Clover and Lotus class, who I was working with today, turned super sleuths. More information on #MysterySkype can be found on our website

Armed with atlases, Chromebooks and Laptops to access Google maps and a good level of questioning skill were able to narrow down our new acquaintance and Microsoft Innovative Expert, Ms Chaba to Gurgaon in India. What a fun time we had, along with some fabulous international learning and a good sharing of knowledge and facts as Ms Chaba kindly allowed us to ask her some questions in order to learn more about her home country. Our huge thanks to Ms Chaba for hosting and for a fun and enjoyable afternoon. Here we are in action today:

Ghana Cafe

Today after school the hall was transformed into the most colourful and delicious smelling Ghana Cafe as Mrs Robertson and children from Orchid class worked hard and sold cakes, Ghanean themed fruit kebabs and drinks in aid of the Helen Hodgkins Trust – http://www.helenhodgkinstrust.org/

As a school we always try to support organisations and charities that make a difference to people’s lives and the Helen Hodgkins Trust is doing exactly that, by funding clean water projects in Ghana, where the quality of water is often full of germs and also hard to come by.  Quite simply this would mean that with clean water lives would be saved and regular, clean water would be available, a basic need that we often take for granted. I am delighted to tell you that, thanks to your generosity once again, the children and Mrs Roberston have raised at least £100 for this brilliant charity. Thank you so much for supporting our school community, I do hope you had fun at the cafe – the atmosphere was lovely.

Here are our cafe staff in action:

International Day 22.6.16

This year we have really reached out to further our international links and global audience and I can truthfully say that I feel we are far more connected than ever with children and professionals from around the world.

Today we held our last international day of the year with each class taking their own focus for learning and exciting learning. Thistle learnt lots of interesting facts about India and read a super elephant story and Clover class wanted to know more about Canada. Clover also had the opportunity to link up with Mr Hamilton and Grade 4 of Bayridge School in Kingston Ontario to learn face to face with our international friends, which was super fun.

In KS2, Lotus class looked at France once more and Orchid class focused on Ghana – they also have a cake sale coming up next week, so please come along to that to raise much needed funds for charity.

Everyone had such a fabulous international day and we have pulled everything together into s slide show below. The children also explained what they have been learning throughout the day. Do have a listen!

Our last link up this year

Today was our last chance to link up with our friends at Georgetown Elementary School, Hudsonville, Michigan, USA in Room 104. Clover class have loved talking to them this year and learning more about their school and what they like to learn.  Sadly they finish for the summer on Friday but we took one last chance to meet up, share our holiday plans and to say good bye. Thank you everyone, we have really enjoyed meeting you and you have been great!