Category Archives: School News

News about our school

Performance Poetry Afternoon

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!

Mother’s Monday 2018

One of the stand out days in our school calendar is when we are able to 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.

It was a real delight yesterday to see how many people had given their time 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 Antarctica, Kenya, France and even took part on a Mystery Skype with a class from Ireland! 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:

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!