Westwood Update Piece July 2015

As the word limit is now 250 words for the printed version of the Westwood Update, I have written a longer piece here, as there is so much to report on from this past couple of months…

A big end of Summer term ‘hello’ from us all at Westwood School! This year has fairly flown by but, once again, it has been full of celebration, success, learning and enjoyment.

Since I last wrote to you we have all moved into new topics, as part of our International Primary Curriculum and have visited new and exciting places to further our learning. Salisbury museum, the Life Skills centre in Bristol, the Living Rainforest, the Egg Theatre and even a ‘behind the scenes’ trip to Sainsbury’s have been destinations for our classes to widen their knowledge and they certainly all come back with many more ideas and good questions.

We have found that, with the introduction of the International Primary Curriculum over the past year, the children’s understanding of life beyond Westwood and the UK has been extensively broadened. All of our classes now have links with schools around the world and we have been using technology effectively to talk to children in other countries; sharing culture and daily routines with children in the USA and talking to children in France in our best French, that we have been learning. It really has been a fantastic year for learning at our school. We have also managed to fit in a maths and art curriculum day in the past two months, both of which were incredibly inspiring and fun.

You may have been keeping up to date with what has been happening at school through our blogs. They can be found either at our website www.westwoodwithiford.org or at www.westwoodblogs.org. With a combined readership of nearly 20,000 visits over the past year, the children’s learning and our school have developed a truly global audience, which is so exciting. Please do visit us and leave comments on our work – we always read them. I also keep my Head’s blog up to date for that ‘window into our world’ experience and that can be found at www.head.westwoodblogs.org.  You are all most welcome to come along and see what we do!

At this point can I say a huge thank you to both the organisers and members of our community who took part in the amazing Scarecrow Trail. Once again it was a really lovely experience, with scarecrows of the highest quality and a family day out not to be missed. With your generosity, our school now has a fantastic £730 to use to enhance our playground with exciting equipment for all of our children to use all year round. Thank you so much.

With fundraising in mind, I must, once again thank our Friends of Westwood School who, once again have worked tirelessly to organise such fabulous events. Our Summer Fair was incredibly well supported and, I felt, was a really lovely family afternoon out with a true community atmosphere and feel. Plenty of stalls, activities and events to entertain and enthrall, whilst in the arena we were all treated to displays from Westwood Dance group, Warrior Academy and even some maypole dancing. Thank you for coming and supporting our school and for making it such an enjoyable afternoon. With nearly £2200 raised for the school, that is an incredible achievement. Thanks to the generosity of our Friends, the children have also enjoyed a fun activity day in school with sports activities, bouncy castle assault courses and lots of fun along the way! Look out for the many Friends of Westwood events that will be taking place next year, we  very much appreciate the community support and  would love to see you there!

Once again in school we have welcomed our dads and special people for Father’s Friday and what a day we had! Taking part in all the learning opportunities on offer – phonics, dance, mental maths to name a few, everyone threw themselves into the spirit of the day and it was so lovely to see so many people here. With a full football match in swing at playtime and lots of dads staying for lunch, it was a day to remember and we will look forward to next year when we can welcome mums and dads in again.

Our sporting stars have been busy once more this term, taking part in rounders tournaments, the annual cluster schools swimming gala and, eventually after a rain postponement, our Sports Day. Always well supported and full of fun and celebration, this was an afternoon to savour, taking us all back to our childhood with traditional races and even the parents and toddlers taking part.

Now, as we rapidly approach the end of term, we look forward to next year and already we are welcoming our new reception children for their induction visits. We very much look forward to seeing them in September. It is also a time to say goodbye, however and I must do so with a HUGE well done. Our Year 6 children, who we will miss terribly, performed so well in their end of year SATs and should feel tremendously proud of their achievements.

With September in mind, I am excited to let you know that we are now able to offer wraparound care at Westwood with Iford School with a breakfast club, taking place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and an After School Club on a Monday and Tuesday after school. Details can be found on our website. We are also holding an Open Morning on Tuesday 22nd September from 9am-12pm. This is an opportunity to come and view our school and ask questions if you are considering us for your children. Everyone is most welcome.

Finally, next year at Westwood School we are looking to develop and enhance our reading provision even further and I am appealing to the local community for willing adult volunteers who are prepared to come in to school and listen to children read on a regular basis. You will be given guidance and direction with the approach to reading, but just your time and support would make a huge difference to children’s confidence when reading books. Please contact the school on 01225 862408 if you feel you would like to come in.

On behalf of the children, staff, governors and parents, can I take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support for our school. We all feel so privileged to work within such a fantastic community and can I wish you all a restful and enjoyable summer with, hopefully, much more sun to come!

Ian Rockey
Head teacher


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