Executive Headteacher News BloG
Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,
Yoimoji Assemblies - Collaboration (Purpura)
During Monday’s assembly both schools talked about what being collaborative means. This is particularly significant as we approach Sports Day and with the Women’s World Cup currently under way. The children were very good at explaining the benefits of working together to achieve their goals. However, in the Junior School we had a number of children who said they preferred working alone. They gave very good reasons and it demonstrated that the children are encouraged to think about how they learn best and reflect on what works for them. We came to the conclusion that there is a time for working collaboratively and sometimes a purpose for working alone, which led to a discussion about competitiveness! There is definitely another assembly on that subject to be had! We also looked at examples of collaboration in the animal kingdom and they were particularly amused by the ants working together to move a piece of bread!
Morpurgo Class Assembly
Judging from their class assembly, Morpurgo class have been extraordinarily busy this term. Their Assembly showed just how jam packed the year 5 curriculum is. The children started by telling us all about their Pharaohs topic. They were amazingly good at pronouncing ancient Egyptian names like Tutankhamun and Hatshepsut (guzuntai!). They also explored the grizzly facts about mummification. To really embed their learning year 5 went on an exciting trip to Ufton court where they took part in a pharaoh funeral as well as finding out about the everyday lives of ordinary Egyptians. Morpurgo class topped this all off by performing a pharaoh rap based on the fresh prince of Bel Air! Who knew the ancient Egyptians were into hip-hop!!
Year 2 trip to Henley River & Rowing Museum
To tie in with their topic of Land Ahoy year 2 had a wonderful pirate adventure on their trip to Henley. We dressed as pirates and set sail on the Thames singing pirate songs in the changeable weather. We had a great time exploring the River and Rowing museum with all the interactive resources. The adults were particularly amazed and excited by The Wind in the Willows. We also had the opportunity to take part in a workshop where we learnt all about boats and even got to make our own. Thank you to the children for all being fantastic throughout the day and for making such convincing pirates. Thank you also to all the adults who came along - you were amazing!
Phonics checks this week for Year 1 and 2
This week myself, Mr Abery and Mrs Martin have all been assessing the children in KS1 in their phonics test. It is a lovely time as we get to spend a short time with individual children and see how much progress they have made in knowing their phonic sounds and blending them together to read words. Some of them are a little tricky – not just the ‘alien words’ which are words the children are unable to work out through any other means than using their phonics! The children have all done particularly well and all have made progress from the start of the year. Well done!
Celebrating Talents and Achievements
As we mentioned last week - we always like to celebrate the talents and achievements of our children and we aim to showcase this even more. A letter should have come home with your child last week which is the opportunity for you to let us know about their achievements and talents that we may not already know about. We have had very little response from parents about this, so this is a reminder, please to return your slips or even email in the information. Thank you for responding – it will really help us with promoting this at Westwood Farm!
In addition to the above and on the same lines, some children may have come home and told you that they are ambassadors for certain subjects. As part of our celebrating achievement, we also want to reward effort and talent. With this in mind, the teachers were asked to select children who have a particular interest or flair for areas of the curriculum. These being, PE, Art, Music and Science. The ambassadors will promote their interest and ability in their subject throughout the school. Other year group teachers can request an ambassador to help support them during lessons by sharing their ‘expertise’ with other children. Research tells us and we know that one of the best ways to show your understanding of a something is the ability to teach it to someone else! We hope they will enjoy their new roles.
Family into school for Father’s Day – Friday 14th June 2019
Thanks to everyone who attended – the schools were very full and it was much noisier in the classrooms than it usually is!! It was lovely to see so many parents, carers and other family members in school covered in glitter and glue! There were a few parents told off by me for helping too much but I think they got carried away...! Thank you for your support.
Details for Sports Day
You will have had a letter by now giving you all the details about the Sports Day and Picnic timings – we hope that the information is clear. We are extending the time a little this year in response to feedback from parents – we are ensuring that every child competes in at least 2 races and we are also inviting all Carle class children in for their race at the very start of the morning.
For the last 2 years we have been worried about the heat and sun – this year we may have to worry about the rain! Sports Day will have to be postponed if it is very wet the day before and/or raining on the morning itself – please don’t be cross and upset about this – we know you will have needed to arrange time off from work but we really cannot control the weather and wet grass can be dangerous for the children. We will endeavour to go ahead if we can as none of us like cancelling such events. We have a reserve date for Friday 21st of June but if it looks like the whole week is likely to be wet again like this week, we may choose a different reserve date.
Please could we still ask for donations of large gazebos as well as offers of help to put them up first thing in the morning before school?! Thank you.
Year 6 Enterprising Project
Roll up, roll up, welcome to the Greatest Year 6 Stalls! To help raise money for the Year 6 production ‘The Greatest Show’, Asare and Shakespeare class have been busy designing and creating different stalls that children can play or buy things from at Sports Day. Stalls will run throughout the day so please make sure you come prepared with some money for your children to spend during the picnic lunch. We look forward to seeing you on the field!
I have made the difficult decision to reduce my hours from September so will be working in school for 3 days each week. I am giving up my School Improvement work so I will be able to focus on Westwood Farm for all of those 3 days and will be away from school less so will be at school for more days than some weeks currently! The decision has been hard for me as I have always been a workaholic and am totally dedicated to the job, but I have realised after nearly 33 years in schools that that takes more of a toll as I get older! I am not yet old enough to retire but I do want to be able to stay at Westwood Farm until then (if you will have me!) and this is the way that I think will help me to be able to stay doing the job I love for longer! In practical terms you may not even notice the difference – Mrs Ross (we seem to have morphed into each other and now cannot be told apart…!) will be taking on the role of Headteacher across the Federation (she is already ‘Head of Schools’ so this is very similar) and I will remain as Executive Head, although passing some of my work to her – she in turn will be passing some of her work to the rest of our Senior Leadership Team. Governors and staff have been very positive and realise it means that there will be actually very little that changes for Westwood Farm; our Chair of Governors was very accepting and practical when she found out stating; ‘We would sooner have ‘a bit’ of you than none of you!’ which was very kind. I hope that you will agree and support the ‘bit of me’ to remain longer.
Thank you as always for your support.
Executive Headteacher Westwood Farm Schools