Category Archives: Teaching

Time for a round up…

Time is fairly racing by, with only two weeks left of this term. It has been a busy couple of weeks, with a lot of exciting learning taking place and some new and different activities for the children to enjoy.

Last week, the children in Thistle class spent an enthralling morning in the company of James Smith, an ex-head teacher and talented story teller. With the use of instruments, bags of enthusiasm and a great attention span, the children were treated to a morning of stories. Not only were they captivated by James telling them stories, but they also had the opportunity to take part and become immersed in them as well. The sound from the hall as I sat in my office was one of excitement and engagement and certainly a session that sounded fun to be a part of.

This week, Clover class have also had the wonderful experience of listening to Emma Purkiss tell them Greek Myths, again in keeping with their ‘The Stories People Tell’ unit of work from our International Primary Curriculum. With her wealth of knowledge and experience, Emma was able to teach the children all about stories that they possibly would not have heard before. I have been thrilled with the impact that the IPC has had on the children’s learning at our school. The staff have carefully chosen topics that have engaged and inspired the children throughout the year and it has been a pleasure to share the learning with the children and to listen to them talk about it as I walk around the school.

Earlier this week I had first hand evidence of this during a lovely afternoon in Lotus class who, prior to a fabulous visit to the Ashmolean museum yesterday to end their ‘Egypt’ topic, worked hard to share their learning during an entire afternoon of planning, scripting and presenting for the camera. With no research, it was clear to see how much the children had learnt from their topic and they all showed super confidence when talking about their knowledge and understanding of their chosen theme. I have uploaded their video below, do have a look and share the amazing impact that their learning has had on them and if you have a moment, do leave them a comment.

On the subject of blogs, all of our school blogs continue to receive vast numbers of visits. Between them all, we are now topping a combined 15000 visits (and growing, as I type!) My blog alone, which started as a window into life at our wonderful school is now beyond 5000 visits, so thank you if you have been one of them.The use of computing in balance with the core skills of teaching and learning has encouraged all learners to share their thirst for knowledge with a world audience, quite literally through Google Hangouts and Mystery Skype – check out the post below. That audience has also been key for ensuring that children remain inspired and enthused. I would ask that, as a parent community, if you could take some time to subscribe and leave comments on our blogs it would ensure that you know all about the fascinating days in school that the children experience, which are vastly different to how I remember them from my school days and will provide a platform on which to involve you all fully in the day to day life at Westwood.  A starting point is westwoodblogs.org, or follow the links from the school home page. All comments are securely moderated and we love them, so please join in!

I must take a moment to thank our fantastic Friends of Westwood School once again for another great disco. With £133 profit raised and Stuart on the decks with his usual brand of top tunes and enthusiasm to keep the children dancing and spirited, our FoWs ensured that another good night was had by all. Thank you to everyone who helped and took time on the night to look after the children.

I am thrilled to say that, after much investigation and planning, we are now in a position to offer a breakfast club, details of which you will have already received. This is something that has been on our agenda for a long time and I hope that it will provide the service and opportunity that has been requested, adding another string to the Westwood bow, so to speak!

Lastly, thank you for supporting today’s sponsored skip through your donations to the worthwhile cause of the British Heart Foundation, whilst having fun and keeping fit at the same time. I hope that the children all had a super day.

Best wishes for a restful weekend.

Year 5 DJs

This afternoon I had the pleasure of working with Year 5, who were creating and mixing music as part of their ‘They see the world like this’ topic. Thank you to Lily for the music that you can hear whilst the video is playing.

A couple of lovely days teaching

The last two days I have had the opportunity to get back into the classroom to do some teaching with Lotus and Clover class. Every chance I get, I like to grab with both hands as it lets me  see how the children are enjoying their learning first hand. I can honestly say that it has been a joy and a privilege. The children have all worked hard, committed to their learning and we have had a lot  of fun too.  It has been very diverse, also, with some super IPC learning on Electricity with Lotus class and today in Clover class we have been writing questions.

The reason? It’s quite exciting really. Tomorrow I am back in Clover class and the children will be asking their questions to some Y1/2 children in Georgetown Elementary School, Hudsonville, Michigan to find out what the weather is like there and the sorts of clothing they need. I thought it would add a little more excitement the already brilliant All Dressed Up topic that they are doing. Watch this space!

Below I have added some audio which I recorded of the children describing what they had learnt in their own words. Just to note that in Clover class today the children practised asking me questions, hence some of the responses!

International Day

Today was the first of our International days. Each class has chosen a country and has linked up with a school from that country to discuss cultures, learning and what it is like to live there. We have had an extremely fun day’s learning today, with different continents being studied. Visiting Thistle Class I was taken to India, with ladies in traditional dress, rice rangoli patterns and a warm Indian Greeting! In Clover Class Thai dress was the order of the day, with beautiful silk traditional costumes laid out for the children to see and explore. It was bonjour to Lotus Class who are studying France this year and I saw them blogging to the International School of Toulouse, which was fabulous and in Orchid Class, children were learning how to get by in New Zealand, their chosen country, by looking at some of the vocabulary used there.

It was a truly wonderful experience to see so much hands-on, engaging and exciting learning taking place. Here is a flavour of our first International Day.

Music on a Monday

Monday is always strings day with Daniel and I just managed to record the last part of our brilliant Year 3 session, which was their first violin session using a bow. Well done everyone!