Tag Archives: writing

Year 6 get adventurous

Once again, this afternoon I had the pleasure of teaching Year 6 for the afternoon and today we were writing adventure stories. I always enjoy seeing the thought process that goes into planning and executing a story, particularly when children grow in confidence, which I am seeing all the time. Lots of good ideas and some clear and detailed planning resulted in some stories that I am very much looking forward to reading.

I also had time to wander around the school this morning and see all of the classes in action, briefly, which was enjoyable. On Friday afternoon I was joined by an ex-colleague and headteacher who was extremely impressed with the level of behaviour and commitment that the children showed and commented on this many times as we carried out our learning walk of the school. Needless to say that, once again, I was very proud of our school and our children!

Today’s news

I had a brainwave on the way to school this morning and wondered whether you read this blog, as so many of you clearly do, but do not have time to read the newsletter. So, I thought I’d post my newsletter piece here this week. Please feedback, if you can as to whether this is useful.

Newsletter No. 11

Welcome to the final edition of the newsletter for this term, hasn’t it gone quickly! I would like to begin by sharing my excitement and enthusiasm for the fact that we are now able to bring hot school meals back to Westwood school after this half term holiday.

After lengthy investigation and with the full support of the Governing Body, I believe that we have found a great solution to something that I know many of you have been asking for. We have worked closely with Mrs B’s catering of Frome to ensure that the service that will be provided is high quality, reliable and, most importantly, one which the children will enjoy. With the facilities to now sit everyone together, lunchtimes, I am sure, will be even more sociable. I’m looking forward to not having to make sandwiches again!

I would like to add a couple of reminders to my section this week, please. With the severely inclement weather of late, there have still been one or two children not wearing their coats to school. Please can I ask that everyone brings suitable clothing and footwear, as even on the playground the conditions are quite wet, so covered shoes are essential. I’ve needed my hat and gloves on duty too, so if you have any, it’s really worth sending your child in with some.

Can I also mention the importance of being in school on time each day. When I first started, attendance improved greatly, but I have been noticing a higher level of lateness and currently 23% of the children on roll are below 95% attendance. Therefore, we need to work at bringing our attendance back up again, particularly in light of government guidelines.

I have been talking to the children recently about ways in which we can develop and enjoy our reading. Children from Y2-6 already have the opportunity to Read for my School: http://www.readformyschool.co.uk/ This is an ideal opportunity to sign up, read free new books and even write a review if they were particualrly 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.

Again, there is a very user friendly sign up procedure, but children will have access to 250 free ebooks, many of which we use in school. With the development of our school library and World Book day approaching, it would be good to encourage your children to read and enjoy books as often as possible.

For the writer in you, there is also westwoodwriters.schoolblogs.org, a blog full of prompts and opportunities to develop the children’s writing skills. Just click on reply to a post and leave your piece of writing, which I will moderate and allow for the world to see. It would be lovely to see more people taking part and there are some really good examples from children already on there. I look forward to reading them!

I hope the rest of the term goes well for you and I wish you a restful half term break. One future date for your diary is Easter tea and cake with the Head, which I have moved from Friday 24th February to Friday 4th April, the last day of term 4. I look forward to seeing you there, it is always an enjoyable afternoon.


100 word challenge

Yesterday I had the pleasure of teaching Orchid class and one of the activities that we did was a 100 word challenge. These I have always found as an excellent way to develop literacy skills and use of vocabulary as you literally only have 100 words plus the prompt in which to be creative, descriptive and generally very clever. As Orchid class have been learning about World War 2 this term, I began the session with nothing more than turning out the lights, asking the children to imagine hearing this for real and creating an image in their minds:

Afterwards we briefly discussed what an air raid siren was for and the children then had the following prompt on which to base their 100 words: …as the bombs dropped…

I was very impressed with the responses and ideas to this. I had a go myself and promised the children I’d upload it, but it was not a patch on theirs. Well done everyone.

Bombs at dawn

I woke with a start. The deafening crash of next door’s roof startled me and I sat bolt upright. Outside in the dusky dawn i could hear voices, terror, panic as villagers ran for their shelters. As the bombs dropped I gathered my worldly possessions into a knotted handkerchief and took a long look at my room, wondering if it would be the same again. Carefully picking my way through the desecration, I held on tightly to my dad’s hand, terrified to let go. Number 28 next door was just a pile of bricks. Mr Rogers sat nearby, sobbing. His life ruined.

If you fancy having a go at any more of these, please visit 100wc.net, there are loads to inspire your imagination.

Thursday in 6 photos

I thought that today I’d try something a little different. As always, I’ve been out around the school talking to the children about their learning, but today I took a camera…
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Clover class dancing in assembly      Orchid class cross country          Thistle class gymnastics

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Lotus class RE                             Clover class making biscuits           Pausing to admire Autumn

It’s been a great way to spend a special day.

Whizz, Bang, Pop

Firework night came to Westwood today in the form of the best indoor firework display I’ve ever heard! Plenty of oohs, aahs and shrieks were coming from the hall as Clover class enjoyed a video of a wonderful display. Not only that, with the curtains closed, it made the atmosphere even more like a dark night out! I am very much looking forward to the creative writing that will come from today’s lesson in tomorrow’s big write.

This afternoon saw the long distance athletes of Orchid and Lotus class take to the field for an afternoon of cross country. A few red faces and many deep breaths later and everyone had a fun afternoon in the autumn chill. Once again it was good to see how well the children applied themselves to their learning and taking part in sporting activity.

Time flies

It was one of those occasions today when I actually stopped to think about how quickly this term is going and it’s hard to believe we are almost 7 weeks through. Having been out this morning on a course, I was grateful to be back in school with the children again and the French tones coming from Orchid class were, once again, extremely pleasant, lots of good pronunciation and laughter, which is always lovely to hear. Learning should be fun.

With some intricate images coming through the copier I was intrigued to find out what Lotus class were working on, so took my daily stroll around school to see some fine and detailed art work in full flow. Using pencil only, the children were working extremely hard to replicate their chosen work of art and the shading and concentration was excellent. We do have some super artists. In Clover class pencils were also working furiously, but with control, as they practised their handwriting. I also had the joy of sharing a wonderful piece of work on connectives from a year 2 child this afternoon and it shows how the practice is paying dividends in the children’s extended writing. On a final note, I still can’t walk through Thistle class without smiling at the brilliant rocket they have for their space topic and the way the children use it for role play – it is magical. If you get the chance, pop in to have a look, it’s so creative and imaginative.

Don’t forget the disco on Thursday evening, so get your dancing shoes ready, it’s sure to be a great night!