Category Archives: School News

News about our school

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.

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:

The most wonderful time of the year!

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:

Christmas begins!

Christmas has now well and truly started at our school with the decorations adorning corridors, classrooms looking colourful and bright and the traditional Advent assembly with just me, the children and a few candles last Friday morning. Magical. It is such a special time of year to work in a school, particularly one where everyone works together so wonderfully well to make each and every occasion just brilliant.

Saturday saw just that, with our amazing Friends of Westwood School, guided by Lee and Gemi putting on yet another showcase event that brought together the entire community and village of Westwood in the most beautiful atmosphere. Having transformed the school on Friday, each area looked so festive and welcoming that it is no wonder people were queueing at the door from 2pm to get in and see the vast array of stalls, crafts  and games on offer. Father Christmas even made a special appearance for the afternoon and set up the perfect grotto in my office. I think I preferred it that way to when I walked in this morning and I might have to change it back!

From racing Santas to the ever popular Tombola, with a widely stocked Christmas Cafe in the meadow to children’s arts, face painting and lucky dip in Thistle class. The children from Orchid class even set up their own stalls again in Clover class, all planned and organised in their own time. Every corner of the school was alive with Christmas joy and it made for such an enjoyable afternoon.

Throughout the fair our fabulous broadcasters also took turns to host a full length Christmas radio show, playing everyone’s favourite songs, children’s wishes for Christmas, interviews and generally had fun taking over the studio for the afternoon! They all did the most amazing job and I am so proud of their ability to keep a show going live on air to the world for that length of time.

Of course, our enormous thanks must go to our brilliant FoWs for their hard work, commitment and dedication to putting on such a super event. I must thank, in particular, Lee and Gemi and also Francesca, who procured some truly stunning prizes for the raffles. Thank you all so very much for your efforts and for giving up so much time to support our school. We raised a staggering £1132 on Saturday and that is just tremendous.

Here are some photos I managed to take of the festivities on the day and also our Christmas Fair radio show to listen again, complete with festive tunes. Enjoy!

Term 2 hits the ground running…

Welcome back to another exciting term at our school and, although incredibly busy, it is always so magical and the perfect time to be working in a school. I have started the term by recording another podcast episode to round up the week, as there is always so much taking place at our school. You can listen to that using the player below and if you ever miss any of the podcast episodes, you can head to  http://radio.westwoodwithiford.org/talk-archive.html I do hope that they are useful and informative and please do email me if you have any questions on westwoodtalk@westwoodwithiford.org.

Have a great week everyone!

Term 1 draws to a close…

If you prefer your news and updates in a more auditory form then this may interest you, a brand new podcast that I plan to record regularly to keep you up to date with everything that is happening at our school. Visit radio.westwoodwithiford.org/talk for more information and head to our Soundcloud Page to subscribe to the podcast or download it to listen offline.

If you prefer your news in traditional text then here’s my latest blog post…

As we arrive at the end of our first term together in this academic year, I do feel that it has been incredibly enjoyable, full of fun and with so much exciting learning having taken place.

Our Harvest assembly was, once again, so very well supported and with many, many generous donations from our fantastic community. It is always such a pleasure to lead and to watch the children perform and join in, celebrating one of our main festivals in the year. Once again, our donations have gone straight to Storehouse Foodbank in Trowbridge, who were delighted, so thank you all so much.

You will be aware that we also held a sleepover for Miranda Meldrum, an ex-pupil of ours and resident of Westwood. Miranda very sadly suffered a brain haemorrhage earlier in the year and now suffers from locked-in syndrome. I am absolutely delighted to annouce that we have so far taken over £563 which will go towards much needed support to aid Miranda’s recovery. Thank you all so much.

Recently, the children had a wonderful time dancing to the mixing and top tunes of DJ Stuart at our Autumn disco. It is always such a fun (and quite energetic!) night and makes for a very quiet Friday assembly the morning after! Thank you to everyone who helped to organise it and run it on the night, our fantastic FoWs were on top form as always!

To complete this round up of the term, it has been so wonderful to see so much fantastic learning taking place in all of our classes on a daily basis. There is evidence of the children’s hard work on the walls and also on the class blogs – westwoodblogs.org.  I would encourage you to subscribe to your child’s class blog – just an email address is required – so that you keep up to date with everything that is going on in school. Also, please do leave comments on the blog posts. Creating an audience for the children to showcase their achievements is so important and we are continuing to succeed with this on a wider scale, but your comments are so important to support children in their learning and to inspire them. You can also follow our day to day learning and activities on Twitter. We are @wwischool and a page is now on the school website to help you get started: http://www.westwoodwithiford.org/twitter.html I must also mention that for those of you who like to keep up to date with everything that is happening at our school but enjoy your news in audio form, I have been inspired by our broadcasters and will be starting a brand new Podcast called Westwood Talk. As head teacher I am extremely proud of our school and I am looking forward to sharing this with you, the community and the world. You will find me on radio.westwoodwithiford.org/talk.

So, as we approach the end of Term 1, I am thrilled that our reception children have settled so brilliantly and all of our classes are working so well together. There is, of course, much to look forward to, as Term 2 brings with it the excitement of Christmas, Performances and so much more great learning.

Can I wish you all a wonderful half term and a lovely, restful family time.