Tag Archives: celebration

What a last week!

So. here we are at the end of another wonderful year at Westwood with Iford School. It’s hard to believe that it has gone so quickly and this newsletter is always bittersweet for me as it is a real mixture of emotion. This week we have had the most incredible FoWs Fun Day and British day – a true celebration of the Queen’s 90th and all things British and a really lovely end to our term and academic year. 

On the one hand it is a great opportunity to reflect on all that we have achieved, the amazing learning that has taken place, our successful Ofsted inspection and, particularly, a celebration of our fabulous Year 6 children who have worked so hard. They will, of course now continue their journey in to the next phase of their education so to Mia, Flo, Izzy, Ruby, Tilly, Felix, Isaac, Theo, Edward, Wilf, Tom, Honor, Bella and Lily we say a HUGE well done and thank you for everything that you have given to our school in the time that you have been here. We will miss you all and I hope that you will come back and visit us sometime soon.

Of course we also have to say a very fond and emotional farewell to two much loved and long standing members of our staff team. Mrs Cook has been with us for 18 years this year and during that time has taught and worked with, literally, hundreds of young children. With her care, understanding, patience and dedication she has shaped and inspired so many children to go on to great things. Always teaching with such dedication and commitment, Mrs Cook has nurtured children through the door on their first days at school and has ensured that every need has been met, allowing them to blossom.

Mrs Purkiss has been with us for an equally substantial 16 years as a teaching assistant but has been associated with our school for longer than that. Helping with swimming, listening to readers and volunteering, she has given so much time to our school which has always been so very much appreciated. Of course, Mrs Purkiss has worked closely with many children in class, in groups and on a 1:1 basis, taking time to support, understand and listen, always bringing the very best out in children with her warmth and humour.

We often speak of our school community as a family, particularly our staff team and today we will be sadly saying goodbye to two of our key members. Thank you Mrs Cook and Mrs Purkiss for everything you have contributed over the many years to our school. You both leave a tremendous legacy that will be appreciated by so many for years to come. I am sure that you will join me in wishing them both a restful and thoroughly enjoyable retirement with their families.

I would very much like to thank our amazing Friends of Westwood school who, led by Ann as Chair and Elaine as Secretary have raised an incredible £7500 this year for us. This is a truly staggering achievement and a testament to everyone’s commitment and generosity in the time that they give. Ann and Elaine are stepping down this year and they have worked incredibly hard so I am sure you will join me in thanking them for their organisation and dynamism.

Now all that remains is for me to say a HUGE thank you to everyone – the staff, children, governors and you, the parents  for making this year so much fun, so enjoyable and so successful. I am already looking ahead to next year and  wish you all a restful, relaxing and enjoyable family summer together.

To end our year together, here are some photos of the Fun Day, our British Day and a special edition of our podcast, followed by interviews with staff members both retiring and joining us in September.

And here is the news…

It’s newsletter time again and i thought I’d post my latest piece in case you haven’t had the chance to read it yet and you find yourself here.  I can’t believe it’s the end of the first week again already, but with another great celebration assembly this morning you know it must be nearly the weekend. Well done to those children who were rewarded for their hard work and to everyone who has come back with the same level of commitment and determination to be the best learner they can be. I’m looking forward to this term.

Newsletter No. 12

Welcome back to the second half of our Spring term and I am pleased to say this it does feel a little more Spring like than of late. I do hope that you all had a very pleasant half term with your children.

We are straight back into exciting topics and learning opportunities with the children. Already this week, Lotus class and Orchid class have visited Trowbridge to listen to Michelle Paver; an author; talk and inspire them with their reading and writing. Also this week, Thistle and Clover class have been on a school visit to learn more about their dinosaur topic, which was VERY exciting. Not only that, we have already had an informative and well presented class assembly and we’ve only been back for five days!

Now that we have school meals back at Westwood, they have been very well received with clean plates and happy children. A range of tasty dinners and desserts has meant that our numbers are healthy and lunchtimes have been a sociable occasion, which is something I always looked to do when I arrived, so I am thrilled that it is working so well. Don’t forget, if you would like your child to have a hot dinner, please can you ensure that your order arrives with the office by the Thursday before the week you would like to order them. Thank you.

Can I also say thank you for responding so positively to the letter I wrote before half term about the HASP books in your child’s reading folder. It makes a difference to our time in the mornings if you can leave a note in the HASP book for issues which aren’t urgent, in which case, of course, you are very welcome to talk to myself or the teachers if you feel that it is something we need to know immediately. However, I would hope that most items can be detailed in the HASP books for teachers to respond to, which of course they will.

As a staff we have focused a lot of our time on talking about ways in which we can encourage the children to develop their reading and writing skills, in school, but also at home. Over the next couple of terms we will be concentrating heavily on reading and writing within school and I will be arranging parent meetings to discuss ways in which you can support your child at home, as I believe that an effective home and school partnership will give our children the best possible chance to maximise their potential. In the first instance, can I ask that, where possible, you set some time aside to sit and read with your child, preferably at least three times a week and to use the reading log to record your experiences. Your child will also bring home their homework and they would benefit greatly from some time with you to support them with their writing. By working with your child in this way, you will be both supporting the learning that takes place every day and modelling the fact that learning is fun! Thank you for your continued support.

With this in mind, please remember that Read for my School: http://www.readformyschool.co.uk/ is still going for KS2 children. This is an ideal opportunity to sign up, read free new books and even write a review if they were particularly enjoyable. For the younger (and older) readers, can I also suggest Oxford Owl: http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/reading-owl/find-a-book/library-page. Both are great online resources.

I hope you have a lovely  term and please keep checking the website for up to date events that will be taking place. We will also continue to communicate with you regularly and we always welcome feedback so that we can improve as a school.


It’s Friday again!

Firstly, my apologies for not adding anything to the blog this week. I have been training and up and down the country gaining new ideas for taking the school forward. Whilst this has been both fun and useful, I do miss being in school with the children.

Celebration assembly this morning was a lovely reminder of just how hard the children are working every day and how this is reflected in the awards that the staff are giving. I also felt extremely privileged to share the children’s out of school achievements, of which there were many – and so diverse!

This morning it was great to be back in the classroom again teaching Clover class. It is always Big Write day on a Friday and today’s excitement was writing dinosaur stories. As always there was good commitment from the children towards their learning and the results are super. They have clearly listened to the teaching that they have shared with Mrs Charleton this week. Well done everyone.

I’m looking forward to seeing the results of our Westwood writers as I know that Orchid class’ homework is to add to the Westwood Writers blog. Everyone is welcome to contribute, so follow the link at the side to see what we are doing and leave a comment if you’d like to. I did have great fun in Orchid class on Wednesday afternoon. We were learning about Google sites and everyone was able to create their own simple website for the class to see in an afternoon. The level of technical understanding is great and really does promote the use of collaborative learning. Ask your child to log into their Google account and you can have a look at the results.

As I write this Lotus class are outdoor learning and, from the sounds of it, having a fantastic time. Mr Bennett mentioned that it was an orienteering exercise to begin a new unit of work. I am sure the children will enlighten you – I don’t want to spoil the surprise…

I must mention before I sign off that Thistle class, after their concerted efforts this week, won the Westwood Wonder trophy by the biggest ever margin. A HUGE 24 points saw them romp home with the trophy to enjoy in their class. Well done to all of you!

Now we are half way through the term, which is something of a reality check. Have a super weekend.

The Snow Child and Christmas Jumper day!

What a 24 hours at Westwood we have had with Thistle and Clover class treating us all to  incredible performances of The Snow Child. Brilliantly masterminded, cast and directed by Mrs Cook and Mrs Hannam, this year’s performance had everything – amazing acting, delightful dancing, superb speaking and spine-tingling singing. I was so proud of our children and I know that so many of you who came were rightly proud of them too. They have all worked so hard and deserve every accolade for providing us with a magical start to our Christmas.

I would also like to thank Mrs Purkiss, Ms Brown and Mrs Alty for their tireless work behind the scenes making scenery, tying head dresses, cueing music, making sure children were in the right place and for just generally being super organised. Thank you too, as parents, for your support with costume making and for coming to support the school as you always do and in such tremendous numbers. This year’s performance was certainly one to remember. I have added a lovely comment I received from a parent. Please feel free to give your opinion as well.

So today was Christmas jumper day and we all looked fabulously like Mr Darcy from Bridget Jones, which was great! The children loved it and it was another super Westwood tradition that I shall look to keep going. Plenty of colour, fun and excitement, just as it should be.

Have a lovely weekend everybody. Only one more week, where has it gone? Don’t forget carols around the tree next Friday at 9.15am.

Christingle magic

What a lovely morning we had this morning. Another first for me was the Christingle service at Westwood church and a wonderful occasion it was too. Reverend Joanna kindly opened her church to us and after an unexpected stroll in the rain, we enjoyed a traditional service, with some KS2 children confidently sharing the meaning behind Christingle and some readings. As ever, I was immensely proud of the children, all of whom sat beautifully, sang strongly and made our first official Christmas engagement one to remember for a very long time. The sight of 96 lit candles with a church organ in the back ground carried me nicely through my training course for the rest of the day. Thanks everyone, what a super day.

Here are some photos to remind us of what we enjoyed…

Christingle2 Christingle3 christingle5 christingle 4 Christingle1

An exciting 24 hours…

…it most certainly has been. This time last night I was learning some moves from the Year 5 and 6 children at the brilliant FoWs disco. Stuart worked the crowd well on the decks and Philly, Jo, Karen and the FoWs team once again did a fantastic job at organising such a fun event, thank you to you all.

The children certainly enjoyed it and I wasn’t a bit surprised to see some of them a little jaded this morning. Not that you would know it as we had a very special performance in celebration assembly from Orchid class and dance club who have all been working hard with Mrs Hobson to learn some complex dance routines. Bags of energy, perfect timing and so many huge smiles, it made me very proud, not to mention the large audience of parents and friends that were in attendance. Thank you to you all for coming and making it a memorable morning for us all. Add to that some wonderful Big Writing and a fun and very varied afternoon throughout the school, today has been a great end to a lovely week.

Have a great weekend everyone.