Category Archives: Thoughts

Our thoughts

The diversity of Headship

One of the things I love most about my job is the variety it brings on a daily and weekly basis.

This week I have had the pleasure of working with most of our wonderful children and count teaching a wet and hugely fun capacity lesson in Thistle class, working with children on using a new piece of software to create images and text with dexterity and skill and even enjoying a live radio broadcast among some of the many activities that I have been involved in this week.

One of the many joys of working in a small school is that you get to know the children and their families so very well and that opportunities for working in the classroom arise regularly. Take in an after school coding club, leading assemblies, touring the school during a busy and wonderfully enthusiastic maths day and writing both a newsletter and a piece for the Westwood Update, it all goes in to making a brilliantly diverse job that I am lucky enough to do.

Of course, I must include all of the amazing people that work at our school, as without the completely dedicated and talented team that we have making each day so much fun for the children. They constantly work hard to provide inspiring learning opportunities and bring so much fun and good humour to the building that it really is a special and unique place to be.

Here are a few photos from this week’s maths day to show you what I mean.

Please don’t forget next week’s Race for Life – it would be lovely to see you there. You can also donate to our school page for Cancer Research on

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Weekend excitement!

It’s not often I blog about my own weekend actitivies, but being a Red Arrows fan all my life, I managed to find out that they were doing a fly past in my mum and dad’s village this afternoon. Armed with a video camera I thought I’d record it – just in case anyone has never seen them. Widely regarded as the world’s best aerobatic display team they are always exciting to watch, particularly from our own back garden! The voice you can hear, by the way, is my dad saying ‘what a place to be!’ and it was. Thanks lads. Saturday made…

What a wonderful day!

Today was one of those magical days that you remember for a long time…
We have been recording a CD of our favourite songs today and I was so proud of the children for their energy, enthusiasm and commitment to singing the best that they possibly could. It has been such fun, listening to them perform, watching them experience the thrill of sitting behind professional recording equipment and considering the fact that they have come a very long way with their singing.

Not least the fact that we needed no more than three takes for any song to get it just right. After all, for most of us, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to record a CD – I certainly know that I won’t be stepping into a recording studio any time soon! I do believe that what we have achieved today will be appreciated, listened to and loved by so many parents, friends, relatives and people associated with the school. I said to the children today that in years to come when they pull out their Westwood with Iford CD from 21st November 2014 to share with their own families, which by then will have been converted to the latest hi tech digital media no doubt, that they can say “I was there” and that “if you listen carefully you might just hear me”.

Well done everyone, I do hope that you enjoyed it every bit as much as I did, you were amazing. I won’t give too much away, but there are a lot of songs, individual class performaces and a staff track, all recorded during the course of the day on the CD to enjoy. I will try to upload some clips over the weekend to give you a taste of what we have achieved, but for now I will just reflect on what a fantastic job the children all did today.

Here is a short video of the four classes recording their individual songs. Have a great weekend everyone.

Is that two weeks already?

Time really does fly when you are enjoying yourself and already we are at the end of week 2. So far the children have been working very hard in all aspects of their learning and the introduction of their new IPC topics has sparked so much interest and engagement. Around the school, too, displays of entry points and knowledge harvests are beginning to appear. Exciting times.

With meet the teacher sessions this Tuesday and the promise of a pupil newspaper later in the week, it looks to be another rewarding and stimulating week. I’m looking forward to it already.

Have a great weekend everyone.

A year passed by in a flash…

What a year it has been. I thought it pertinent to write tonight, after our final day of the summer term. A day in which we said a very fond farewell to Rachel Heard, our fabulous TA who, after 11 years of giving so much to Westwood school will now be progressing to teacher training. I know that Rachel will make an excellent practitioner and we all wish her every success, but with sadness to see her go. We also said goodbye to our fabulous Year 6 children and what a super group of children they are. Full of personality, humour, respect and hard work, it has been a joy to see them grow this year and i know that they will do well at St Laurence. Today we also said goodbye to four of our school community, Jemima, Josh, Robbie and Arthur who are off to pastures new. Good luck to them and they will also be missed.

The end of the year is a great time to reflect on what has passed and so much has been achieved at Westwood this year. The school community welcomed me so warmly into the post of head teacher and I have never looked back, working with a wonderful staff team, super children, supportive governors and parents alike. It seems a long time ago in some ways that my first foray into FoWs life was the Ceilidh back in October and that set the tone for so many exciting things to come. We are so lucky to have our Friends and their ability to raise so much money for the school to benefit the children in so many ways.

So now, as we go our separate ways for 5 weeks, can I thank you all for your kind words, enthusiasm and for not leaving me to drink coffee and eat cake on my own each term! Your attendance at both tea with the head and our weekly celebration assemblies says so much about the strength and support of our school community.

Have a wonderful summer and fingers crossed that the good weather stays for at least a week!

A fabulous day at the beach

What a super trip we had with Thistle and Clover class to the beach today. As part of their topic on Hooray, it’s a Holiday, we all took off to West Bexington in Dorset and had a wonderful time. The children tried their hand at sea fishing, pebble castle building, cricket and sports on the beach. We then all had the customary ice lolly before it was all too soon to get back on the coach.

Here are some photos of our day – you can tell that everyone had fun!

A day of ICT conferencing

Every now and again I manage to attend a conference and some are always better than others. Today I attended the West of England ICT conference in Bristol and came away feeling inspired. With the new computing curriculum about to become compulsory in September and a real shift more towards the coding elements, today was about listening to experts in their field and to discuss some thoughts I’ve already had in preparation for the new academic year.

Our first keynote speaker was Andrea Carr, managing director of Rising Stars, who I managed to meet up with later in the day. You may well recognise the brand as these are the fantastic and wonderfully presented exercise books that the Year 5 and 6 children have been working with since the Spring term. I wanted to pass on our feedback and thanks to Andrea as these have undoubtedly had a huge impact on the children’s learning and have helped raise standards significantly by complimenting the teaching and learning in class.

I also went to see David Mitchell, a blogging specialist and inspiration who has used blogging as a means of digital literacy and, again, has seen this result in significant gains in writing. As I have been blogging myself for a few years and have followed him on twitter @deputymitchell, I was keen to bring away some more ideas to use in school, which I undoubtedly have,

With so much information on exciting ways to code with the children and to make ICT, or Computing, as it will now be, exciting and accessible, it was one of those days that I am so glad I had and can see such potential for our children in September.

Then, of course, it was straight back to the end of year disco and what better way to see the night out than watching the children having such a fantastic time dancing, singing and getting incredibly hot with resident DJ Stuart at the helm. It’s a great job being a head…