Category Archives: School News

News about our school

Mother’s Monday 2019

One of my favourite days in our school calendar is when we  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.

Once again It was a real delight to see how many people had taken time out of their busy schedules 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 France, Rome and even Bhutan, each class learning so much about their country and all with extra special visitors. Plus, I got the chance to dress in a traditional Bhutanese Gho to lead our assembly – not something you do every day!

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:

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.

The end of another fantastic term…

Hello again and welcome to the final newsletter of this term. What a busy term we have had with so much amazing learning having taken place and many diverse opportunities for our children to enjoy.

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 choreographed by Karen Hobson, who had put together a  breathtaking routine that told the most wonderful story. The children dominated the stage once again and the performance was inspirational, drawing an enormous cheer from the audience, which was so very well deserved, yet complete silence and awe during the song! My sincere thanks go to Karen for organising, resourcing and planning 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. Such lovely comments were made about you all afterwards.

This term has been packed with excitement too – a hugely successful Story Day, FoWs disco, trip to BETT, drama workshop, Ocarina day and author visit from Joe Berger, which was so much fun and engaged the children so beautifully. Last week, of course, we recognised and celebrated Safer Internet Day with a fabulous assembly  from our digital leaders. As a school we have been having many purposeful discussions around online safety and being kind to each other using the fantastic GoBubble resource, which the children love. It really has helped us to appreciate our online and digital footprint and how to be a good digital citizen.

Just a couple of housekeeping notes. 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 when the fun, excitement and wealth of opportunity continues for us all!

Happy New Year!

Hello again and welcome back to another year at our school. I do hope that you had a wonderful break after, what was, such a magical and exciting term with so much to celebrate. I had time to reflect on what a special place this is to be, particularly at Christmas time, so thank you all for making it so.

So now we’re off again with renewed invigoration and already we have been so busy with our learning,  finding out about our new exciting topics. Sunflower class are learning all about Arctic explorers, Clover and Lotus Class are finding out about trains and have already produced the most brilliant 3d display on their walls and the topic in Orchid class is Earth as an Island. The IPC (International Primary Curriculum) does allow so much creativity, skills development and engagement that teaching and working with the children makes it incredibly exciting and provides a wealth of learning opportunities, led by the children.

Our broadcasters have already been live on air, with two shows broadcast last week – Word on the Street and our Friday Show. Superbly presented, there is such confidence every time the children step into the studio and they are really making a name for themselves in the way they deliver top quality education radio week on week. I am so proud of them and what they achieve. You can listen to all of our shows on soundcloud.com/westwoodradio or you can listen to our station 24 hours a day by downloading the Android or iOS apps free. Links are on our website radio.westwoodwithiford.org

Please also check out all of our class blogs at westwoodblogs.org where the children are sharing so much of their fabulous learning with the world. You are most welcome to leave them a comment and this will inspire them hugely!

As a school we are also working on a number of diverse projects, with some also being planned for the Spring and Summer terms, including a brilliant social media project using the GoBubble app – we don’t like to sit still for too long! Of course, our Westwood Oral History Project continues to gather pace and you can listen to the interviews we have carried out so far on westwoodheritage.uk

With so much to look forward to, I know that 2019 is going to be another amazing year at our school and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Countdown to Christmas

You can always tell it is a wonderfully busy time of year when I haven’t had the opportunity to keep up with my blogging!

We have had a fantastic festive season so far and with just under two weeks left of this magical term, there is still so much to look forward to with amazing Christmas performances, our school Christingle service, Christmas lunches, parties and Carols around the tree.

Here are the children from Clover and Sunflower Class performing superbly in their dress rehearsal this afternoon…

I must begin  with an enormous thank you to our fantastic Friends of Westwood School who, in the last week alone, have organised two super Christmas events. Our Christmas Fair raised an enormous £1300 and with the perfect start to the festive season, the school was adorned with everything Christmas and plenty of cheer to get us in the mood. The introduction of the Christmas Cafe certainly went down well and the variety of stalls, games and activities around the school made for a wonderful afternoon.  I cannot thank you enough for supporting this event which, once again, had such a lovely community atmosphere and sense of occasion in the run up to Christmas. These funds will go towards making school an even better place to be for every child within our school. Christmas stories at bedtime was a calm and thoroughly enjoyable occasion with so many of our children returning in their pyjamas to listen to stories and enjoy some hot chocolate and biscuits together, kindly donated by Sainsbury’s. It was so lovely to share this event with them and I hope that we continue it again next year as it genuinely is one of the highlights of my year.

We have also been lucky enough to have the Jacolly Puppet theatre perform for us. Their performance of Dogworthy’s Magic Christmas Show had us all enthralled and mesmorised, but full of humour and fun. I always think that this is the perfect way to begin our Christsmas celebrations in school. Thank you to Jac and Holly for a magical afternoon. Also a big thank you to our FoWs for funding this lovely event.

Here are a few photos from a truly special afternoon at the theatre:

So with very little time left of this term,  I do hope that I will see as many of you as possible at our Carols around the Tree assembly on Thursday 20th December at 1.30pm. This will be immediately followed by Tea and Mince Pies with the Head in the meadow to round off a successful and extremely enjoyable term. I do hope that you will be able to join me for a festive chat before we all head off to celebrate with our families and have a well earned rest over Christmas.

Sensational Science Week!

The weeks are fairly flying by here at Westwood School and with only four weeks left until half term there is so much to both reflect on and look forward to.

This week we had THE most exciting science week, with the children being given all manner of wonderful opportunities to experiment and investigate with science. With a whole trolley of amazing hands-on science experiments from We the Curious to take into classrooms, along with carefully planned lessons from the teachers, it was a pleasure to wander around school each day, talking to children and listening to them enthuse about their learning. You will probably have heard from your children already about our Explorer Dome day which excited, enthralled and totally engaged every single child!

I would like to give a huge thank you to Mrs Tyler who organised, resourced and planned a completely brilliant and fascinating week for us all, including lunchtime and after school club experiences. Once again, science week was one to remember!  I would also like to thank the teaching staff for planning wonderful lessons and also the children who were a pleasure to work with. Here are some photos of the week’s experiments and our radio club recorded a special science week show, highlighting what they enjoyed:

In other news…thank you so much to those of you who have taken the time to comment on your children’s work on their class blog, giving them the audience that they so richly deserve for their efforts. I am delighted that our blogs are constantly filled with so much quality content. Please do visit them, subscribe to them and continue to comment. An audience provides the very best inspiration and motivation for the children and a few minutes to leave a comment does make such a difference. To help you with this I have created a page on our website for parents and children to use, including how-to videos, which I hope will help you get started. Please visit http://www.westwoodwithiford.org/blogging which is under the Parent Info tab of our website.  With an international readership of thousands, literally, we are well known for our blogging, so join the fun!

I am also delighted to announce that, through the work we have been doing with a class at Georgetown Elementary School in the USA, as well as our many international projects, we have been awarded a British Council International Award at Intermediate level! I am so pleased as this highlights the way in which we have been developing children’s internationalism so widely in recent years.

Please continue to listen to our fabulous broadcasters on Westwood Radio, it really is going from strength to strength. We would love you to join in our shows too, so if you are able, please listen every Thursday at 2.15pm and Friday at 2.15pm and get in touch with the show via email: radio@westwoodwithiford.org, text: 078600 17404 or tweet us on Twitter @wwipradio. You can include #westwoodradio in any tweet, too and we will see it.

To listen, you can click on the link on the homepage of our website, press play on the player on our radio website, radio.westwoodwithiford.org or listen via the Android app from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.radio.m285e9b0b3 or on the Apple App from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ww-radio/id1437625739?ls=1&mt=8, so if you are out and about you can still listen in!

Have a super weekend everyone

Welcome Back

Can I begin by both welcoming you back and welcoming you, if you are a new parent, to the new school year. I hope that this week your children have settled well and are enjoying the many exciting learning opportunities that they are experiencing. The school seems so settled, calm and full of fun as I walk around and catch up with everyone on how they enjoyed their holidays.

Even though we are just over a week into the new term, already the children are finding out about their new topics and entry points for their International Primary Curriculum learning. If you are unfamiliar with this, as a school we teach the IPC as a way of engaging children effectively and enabling them to enjoy using a skills based approach, where a broad range of learning styles are catered for. Furthermore, the opportunity to extend their international mindedness and to learn about other cultures has been fascinating and with every class looking to establish a range of international link for the year, I can see this developing into a very exciting prospect. Watch this space and look out for a letter coming home soon with details of the new unit of work in your class and what the children will be learning!

A few dates are already booked in to look out for and you will also be receiving a list of school dates for the year to enable you to plan ahead as we aware that you are all very busy people. Having listened to parental feedback we will always try to give at least a week’s notice with communications of upcoming events from now on to allow you to attend our many school events. In the meantime, on Thursday 20th September we will be holding our  Meet the Teacher session. This will take place in two short sessions, from 2.20 – 2.40 and from 2.40 – 3pm, so that anyone with more than one child in the school has the opportunity to visit both class teacher sessions. It will be an opportunity for you to find out what you can expect from us as a school this year and what you can do to help your child in the Home-School Learning Partnership. Teachers will be happy to answer any questions you may have so that we start the year effectively.

Also, if you know anyone who has children starting school next year or may be looking to move their children at some point, we will be holding our Open Morning on Tuesday 25th September from 9.15am-12pm. This will be a chance to drop in and see the school on a normal working day, whilst asking any questions that you may have to find out more about us. We will look forward to welcoming many new faces!

As a reminder and an introduction, we are continuing to hold our Celebration Assembly every Friday from 9.10am in the school hall. This is open to everyone each week, so please come along when you can, you are always welcome. As a school, our ethos is firmly built on the celebration of skills, talents and achievements and we will be enjoying finding out what the children have achieved both within school and out of school, so if your child takes part in an out of school activity, sporting or otherwise and they have an award , certificate or something of recognition to share, then please bring it along and we will look forward to sharing it with them.

Tea with the Head is back again! On Friday 28th September, in conjunction with Macmillan Coffee Morning, I will be holding our first Tea with the Head in our Meadow after celebration assembly. Please come along and share a drink and a cake and an informal chat. It is always a pleasant occasion and very well supported.

Westwood Radio is back again and bigger than ever! With three live shows every week planned for this year and new broadcasters joining the team, do please listen in on a Monday at 8.15am, Thursday at 2.15pm and every Friday at 2.15pm. The children write their own scripts and completely control the content and broadcast of every show. We are proud of our innovative, groundbreaking radio station and hope that many more of you will listen in and interact via text and email. Head to our website, radio.westwoodwithiford.org for more information and you can listen from the homepage. PLUS, you can now download the Android App from the Google Play store to listen to us 24 hours a day. The download link is on the radio website homepage. The iOS app will be coming soon, so watch this space!

You also may be aware of my podcast that I record every week, Westwood Talk. Very much like a digital newsletter, it is a round up of all of the exciting news from every week at our wonderful school. Click play to listen below, or head to soundcloud.com/westwoodradio for lots more!

I am very much looking forward to another successful, happy and productive year. I do believe that we have such a fantastic school community and I very much look forward to catching up with you all in and around the playground.