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 http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/wwipschool

2017-05-18 09.58.31 2017-05-18 11 2017-05-18 102017-05-18 09.57.23 2017-05-18 09.57.20 (1) 2017-05-18 09.57.15 (1)

 

Another week has passed us by already…

As I write this to you we are already almost two weeks into a very short term yet we always have so much to celebrate and look forward to.

I would like to begin with some thanks to our brilliant FoWs who, once again, organised a super disco for the children last week. DJ Stewart was on his usual top form, playing all the favourites and with dance club leading the way with their routines it was another thoroughly enjoyable evening. We are very lucky to have so many people who give up their time to staff these occasions, so my thanks to everyone who came along and helped last week. The FoWs raised another £166 for the school, which is amazing.

We are so grateful to our FoWs and to our parent community for their unwavering support and generosity and I would like to update you on how we have used some of the money that has been raised already this year. Through a large donation from our FoWs, we have now been able to fill our iPad trolley so that we have 16 devices, allowing more children to use them and a whole class to work in pairs. These devices have been hugely beneficial in supporting the children’s learning and are used on a daily basis. Thank you to everyone for allowing this to happen, we are all incredibly grateful.

Our gardening and pond and patch group have been working incredibly hard and we now have a fabulous pond in the gardening area. This has been fenced off for safety, but I would like to draw your attention to it so that we can all work together to ensure that everyone continues to remain safe around water. I must thank Ms Brown and Mrs Millen for organising this development and look forward to seeing it used on so many ways throughout the coming months. To support this, we also have obtained another grant from Tesco which will go towards adding a polytunnel to our gardening area, allowing outdoor learning all year round.

Westwood Radio continues to go from strength to strength and we are now up to our 25th live weekly show, which is such an achievement. The children are just brilliant and broadcast with incredible confidence, which makes me so proud. If you are unable to join us for the live shows on a Friday afternoon, you can always listen again from the website http://radio.westwoodwithiford.org/latest-show.html or you can catch up with everything that is going on in the studio via our blog, http://radio.westwoodblogs.org/ We are very excited as next week, 12th May, we will be joined for the whole show by Ben Prater from BBC Wiltshire’s Breakfast show, who asked if he could come along. We will be live on air from 1.30pm.

Finally, I would like to wish all of our wonderful Year 6 children all the very best for next week in their SATs. We are all so incredibly proud of you and all that you have achieved, both in and out of the classroom and I hope that it is just another lovely week at our school, as it should be and that you are able to enjoy your breakfast club and fun with your friends.

Have a super weekend everyone

A cracking live show

Today was our first live show after the Easter break and WHAT a show it was. From the very opening jingle to the end, everyone was on fine form with superb broadcast skills and fantastic expression, putting together a half hour of highly enjoyable radio.

We also had a world exclusive on the Westwood Scarecrow Trail as Lilly Webb and Bryony Green joined us in the studio earlier in the day for an interview to  give us the very latest on this year’s event, which is sure to be even bigger than last year! Here they are being interviewed behind the mic

IMG_2526

We also spiced things up a little today by including two, yes two songs instead of one and with a huge amount of audience interaction through email and Twitter we all had a super afternoon in the Westwood Radio studio.

If you missed today’s show, fear not as here it is for you to enjoy in full

A delve into the past

Every now and again an opportunity arises to look into something new and exciting for our school. Just before we broke up for Easter I visited the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham which is the main archive for documents and historical artifacts for the whole of Wiltshire.  There I met Claire Skinner, the senior archivist and Ruth Butler, Education Officer for the WSHC and had a most productive conversation about our village and our school from years gone by.

With a little time to spare I visited the WSHC in the holidays and spent some time looking through original school log books from 1882 onwards which was a most fascinating experience. There is so much history to explore and I hope to get back there again soon, but in the meantime, here is an extract from the 1882 school log book, written by the schoolmaster:

1882 school log book

Easter Fun in the Sun!

The end of term is always so full of excitement and fun but it can also get incredibly busy, so it’s only now that I have a few minutes to add the wonderful array of photos that were taken on our last day of term. With glorious weather for the occasion we were, once again, so well supported by our school community that the hall was packed for assembly and the children were on top form with their singing and speaking.

Then it was a swift move outside to enjoy an array of colour as the children paraded around our field wearing their beautifully crafted Easter hats and bonnets that must have taken hours to make! Finally, our perfect Easter afternoon was rounded off with the annual egg rolling competition. Everyone was a worthy winner and with wonderfully decorated eggs flying in all directions, it was tricky to find the furthest roll from each year group but we managed it!

Thank you to everyone who came and joined in the fun of our last afternoon and I wish you all a super Easter break. I look forward, also,  to another wonderful term together when we get back. Here are the photos from the afternoon, thank you Mrs Batten! Happy Easter everyone.

Westwood Gets Ocarina Happy!

This afternoon I had the pleasure of working with our KS2 children, introducing them to the new ocarinas we have in school. Learning simple notation, but most of all, the fun and enjoyment of playing a musical instrument, the children very quickly picked up the skills and technique required and I had two great sessions with Orchid and Lotus class, with us all being able to play London’s Burning by the end of the afternoon – even in the round!

I asked Lotus class to briefly write about their experience and enjoyment of the afternoon in a simple blog post. Please hop over to lotus.westwoodblogs.org to read their brilliant posts.

I also managed to record some of our playing this afternoon,please enjoy what we achieved in just 40 minutes!

Radio Club see the term out with style

This morning radio club broadcast their latest breakfast show with the usual professionalism and fluency that we are coming to expect of our fantastic young broadcasters.  Having planned their own scripts, including top news stories, community news, school events and the weather for the week, all of the children thoroughly enjoyed their time in the studio and showed tremendous resilience and confidence as they were live to the world for almost half an hour.

It makes me proud to see them at work and to think that our village school is making such an impact with its school radio. You can catch up with all of our broadcasts by visiting https://soundcloud.com/westwoodradio or you can download them to your preferred device as we are also on iTunes and also on TuneIn. In the meantime, please enjoy today’s show and we will be back again after Easter live at 2.30pm on Friday 28th April. Happy Listening!