Well, what a year we have had and I find it truly hard to believe that we have arrived at this, the final edition of our Newsletter for the academic year. My first year as Head teacher of Westwood with Iford School could not have been made more welcoming or enjoyable and I am thankful for such a committed, involved and supportive parent community that we have at our school. I have quickly learnt that Westwood is all about community and working together and I feel that, as a school, we have done that very successfully this year and have moved forward significantly in many ways. Your questionnaires have been well received and will form the basis for our discussions as we move into next year. I believe that any school should always be striving to improve and provide the most engaging and stimulating environment in which children can learn and that its relationship with parents is fundamental to its success.
I have so many thank yous and also some goodbyes to include in this edition, which is always sad. After 11 years, Rachel Heard will be leaving us to undertake the next stage of her professional career, a PGCE. Rachel has given so much to the school, often going above and beyond her role and I am sure that everyone will join me in wishing her all the very best. Rachel will, undoubtedly, make an excellent teacher and will all miss her presence at our school. Thank you, Rachel, for all you have done for us. Rachel has kindly donated a beautiful hand made sign and arch for the entrance to our wild area, a place where she has often spent time with groups of children. I think it is a wonderful way to be able to remember her and we will be able to enjoy it for many years to come. Thank you Rachel, that was so kind of you.
I would also like to thank Phillippa Lowton and Jo Batten, our outgoing chair and secretary of the Friends of Westwood. I know that between them they have given many, many hours to raising funds for the school through a broad spectrum of events, in order for our children to benefit. In my first year I have worked very closely with FoWs and I have seen how committed they all our to giving our children the best, so thank you Philly and Jo for your commitment to our cause! This of course, culminated in the final event last Saturday, when the Friends all joined together to paint our school hall. It looks really super and a lot of hard work clearly went into the day. Thank you to everyone who was involved, we all appreciate your efforts very much.
Finally in our goodbyes, I would like to congratulate our Year 6 leavers, Issy Armstrong, Leah Bennett, Tom Caston, Flo Cooke, Lauren Fear, Sophie Fear, Jasmine Green, Harry Hazell, Alfie Neathey, Thomas Scott, Ekin Seet and Rumi Wijesena, not only for their brilliant success in their SATs this year, but also for the hard work, commitment and personality they have given to our school. We will miss you all and I know that you will go on to become excellent students at St Laurence. Good luck everyone and please come back to see us sometime! Just as a reminder, our leaver’s assembly is next Wednesday 23rd July at 9.15am. Everyone is, of course, welcome. After the success of our induction day, I also know that the rest of our children are now excited about moving up to their new class, or indeed moving year group and staying with their teacher. I would like to wish everyone all the very best as they move forward in their educational journey.
This week we have been thrilled, excited and entertained with Lotus and Orchid classes performances of Pirates of the Curry Bean. So much hard work, time and commitment has gone into producing these shows and I was incredibly proud of the children and the staff for what they have been able to put together and achieve. We all laughed, clapped, cheered and had such a good time. Thank you everyone!
With entertainment in mind, tomorrow is the Westwood Church Fete, so if you are available, our choir and dancers will be performing at the event. Thank you for giving up some of your Saturday afternoon to perform and represent the school and thank you to Karen Hobson for, once again, organising the choir and dance group.
You may have seen the letter I sent out earlier in the week about a meeting I will be hoolding on Monday 21st July at 6.30pm in the school hall. From September, the children will have the opportunity to develop their digital literacy skills and creative writing through computing and blogging and Monday’s meeting will be a chance to find out what it is, how we approach it and how you can help at home. It would be lovely to see as many of you there as possible, as blogging offers an excellent window into the learning that takes place at school and you can encourage the children’s writing by being the wider audience. More will be revealed on Monday! If you would like to have a look at our class blogs, they can be found from the school home page by navigating to the School Blogs page or going to www.westwoodwithiford.org/school-blogs. I will be adding videos shortly, explaining how to add comments and how you can take part.
Next week, please look out for a letter about our Westwood Summer Reading Challenge and our Mathletics Challenge. For our reading challenge, the children will all be able to borrow up to 5 books each for the summer holiday and certificates will be awarded for those children who write a review about their book or books, either online, on a blog or written and returned to their teacher. More on this and the mathletics challenge next week. Can I please ask, though, that overdue books are returned asap. There are a number outstanding and if you receive a reminder, could you please bring it back so that others may borrow it. Thank you.
All that remains is for me to say a HUGE thank you to everyone – the staff, children, governors and parents – for making this year so much fun, so enjoyable and so successful. I am already looking ahead to next year and wish you all a restful, relaxing and enjoyable family summer together.