Executive Headteacher News BloG
Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils
I do hope you have all set aside some time this weekend for a long read…..?! This is our longest newsletter for a long time – be prepared and don’t miss a bit!
STOP PRESS….. We currently have a vacancy for a Lunchtime Assistant in the Junior School – please let the office know if you are interested. Thank you.
Being Kind – our Yoimoji for this week – Wingo and Longpod
The children have responded very well to our PSHE and assembly work on values this week – certificates have gone out today to reward those showing these values in a specific way.
Next week our focus is on being brave and what this means and how important it is to learn to be resilient in life.
‘Cruella’ with Year 3
I had a ‘fabulous’ time on Monday this week pretending to be the villain, Cruella de Vil for the Y3 topic ‘Heroes and Villains’! The children had planned their questions for me very well – some of them were quite difficult for me to answer! It was very tricky for me to pretend to put fashion before love of animals but I enjoyed the dressing up bit and I loved being nasty to the children……!!! Hopefully they enjoyed their learning too as it obviously wasn’t all about me….!!!
Year 5 Tudor Workshops
Year 5 have enjoyed a lovely time at ‘Westwood Manor’ preparing for the arrival of Queen Elizabeth I "God save the Queen!"
"We have learnt what Tudor houses used to look like and what they used in the kitchens. Also what they used to fight in battles. We were able to play lots of games Tudor children would have enjoyed playing. It was interesting to hear about different symbols you would find in Tudor portraits and what they meant."
Sophie Sim and Melisa Cosan.
WW2 Ufton Court workshops for Year 6
On Monday, Year 6 became evacuees in World War II. We had lots of fun trying on gas masks, singing wartime songs in the air raid shelter and trying out 'make do and mend' activities. We are all enthusiastic about our new topic!
Report on learning
On Thursday we made papier-mâché and it was fun! We stuck glue on the balloon then stuck paper on, we put on two layers of paper. It was very messy and hard but we did it. On Friday we will be making sock puppets.
In Maths we are learning formal division and I some of us got up to Prove It! It was very hard but it is our favourite.
Our topic is Heros and Villains - we have been learning a Superman text and Cruella De Vil came into class so that we could interview her!
In music we learnt a song called Cruella De Vil by Selena Gomez and me and my friend made a dance.
By Isabella Roddy and Jacob Dix
Parent Council Information
Parent Council Points arising from the minutes of 12th December 2017 9am
- Discussed how parents with relevant skills or knowledge could be approached to help with Cornerstones topics.
- Parents would appreciate Cornerstones topics to be available earlier so topics can be looked at and perhaps relevant trips be made in the holidays. The school have actioned this and there is more information now on the website for each topic.
- Possibility of lists of useful local venues for different Cornerstones topics being put on the website was raised.
- EHT (Executive Headteacher) discussed the RE (Religious Education) syllabus is being changed soon in Berkshire. Advertising dates of cultural celebrations and involving parents with celebrations at school was discussed. Also, the possibility of having a published Cultural Calendar.
- EHT spoke about an International Day of Languages to be held this year. Request for parent help to be put in the newsletter.
- Piano Lessons at school were raised: EHT actioning.
- Oracy was discussed. EHT explained that it is part of the curriculum and each class has an assembly each term where pupils present on learning. These skills are also used in the classroom and there is progress through the school as pupils become more independent.
- Show and Tell was discussed. EHT explained that there is less time in the day for this than there used to be and it was difficult to find time to fit into the curriculum. It is done when possible and still done in early years. There are opportunities in the day to present learning. At any time, pupils can be asked to articulate their learning, it is part of day to day learning and imbedded in the curriculum.
- The celebration/show and tell aspect of assembly where pupils can celebrate awards and achievements will be publicised in the newsletter- EHT actioned.
- Reading activities – EHT explained that extra reading clubs were part of the School Development Plan last year to raise the profile of reading. Challenge packs are still available but staff are planning how to increase their use and will update parents about this soon.
- Identifying more able pupils (AGT) is an ongoing action for the school. The focus has changed in this area nationally and children have appropriate provision within class. However this continues to be an area where there is more work to be done.
- Reading Book Colour Coding and information on reading for parents to be re-issued. EHT to action.
- Requirement to update new children’s ‘starter’ booklet for parents and republish. Foundation stage reps to action with support from PC.
- Maths Café – Mrs Ross to restart this at the request of some parents.
- Learning at home discussed and the use of a key question. Also if students have done topic work at home how this can be showcased. An exhibition of learning at the end of each topic was discussed, perhaps when parents go to visit the classroom following a class assembly. Need to celebrate home learning and to be consistent in celebration.
- More detailed information on Cornerstones topics will be made available on the website – EHT has actioned.
- PC reps to start discussion on Facebook regarding ideas of places to visit/home learning ideas in relation to Cornerstones topics.
- School to produce an annual list of dress-up days. EHT to action
- School start time was discussed – doors are shut at 9am in order to ‘close’ the registers. Parents in FS2 who have transferred from the Nursery are reminded that the start time for school is 8.50am.
- There was a discussion about presenting all parents with a simplified version of the School Development Plan which is the key plan that all actions by the school are based on. There was discussion about aspects of this as the EHT asked for feedback from the PC about how we could present this to parents. This is still a work in progress and there is a wish for transparency but also a need to ensure that parents can understand the timeline for some actions and the need for working on more challenging areas needing more time etc. This will be an ongoing item for the Parent Council to discuss and agenda items and feedback from parents will feed onto the plan over time.
- EHT asked for specific feedback from parents on the format of the new end of term summary reports that parents received in the last week of term- to be discussed at our next meeting Tues 16th January.
Change of Menu on Thursday 18th for Census Day – Prize for KS2
As we have already advised there is a change of menu next Thursday and in order to encourage as many children to take up a hot meal on this day we are again running our prize draw for KS2 children. We have about a 95% uptake of school meals in KS1 currently which is hard to beat but we would like to encourage more of our older children and as mentioned previously, we do get more funding for greater uptake on census day so please help us out and be in with a chance of winning a Kindle Fire!!
FOWFS May Fayre – 19th May
For those of you who are not aware, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to get married on the same day as our FOWFS Fayre!!!!! We will be rescheduling the May Fayre and will let you know as soon as a new date has been confirmed.
New dates added to the School calendar
World Book Day on the 1st March is a Dress Up day – advance notice so you can start planning your book character costumes now!!
Dads into school for Mothering Sunday on Friday 9th March.
Mums into school for Father’s Day on Friday 15th June. These will be our traditional afternoon slots to come and make something nice – more details to follow but advance notice if you need to book a sneaky afternoon off!
Please note some changes to Class Assembly dates and times.
Mosaic Competition Exhibition
There will be an exciting exhibition of the children's wonderful Mosaic Pathway entries and a chance for all parents, staff and pupils to contribute ideas towards the vision for the schools outdoor areas over the next two weeks. The exhibition will be up in the Infant School next week (Monday 15th January - Friday 19th January) and in the Junior School the week after (Monday 22nd January - Friday 26th January). Alongside the exhibits there will be initial plans for the Sensory Garden and a chance for everyone to have input on the overall vision. If you are in the school during the day, do take a look and scribble an idea on a post it note. We want contributions from everyone please, green fingered or otherwise!
Alternatively, why not pop in after school on one of our Tea & Coffee ‘drop ins’ for a chat, we would love your thoughts and ideas for improving play and learning in the outdoors in our fabulous school. We will be chatting about everything from Forest School to sensory gardens and tree planting and want YOUR input.
The drop in days are:
Infant School - Monday 15th & Friday 19th after school
Junior School - Monday 22nd & Friday 26th after school
If you have some ideas and can't make the drop in days, please send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or join the chat on the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/westwoodfarmgardeners/ Everyone is welcome!
Didi Rugby for FS1 and FS2
As hoped, we have managed to bring this to Westwood Farm for our Foundation Stage children. It was wonderful to see children from Carle, Donaldson and Milne classes enjoy these sessions on Thursday morning – this will now be a regular feature for them!
Please see below for didirugby before school club information.
Premier Sports Clubs
Repeat of our Parentmail info on Weds this week;
All children attended an assembly on Wednesday about our new Sports Clubs being delivered by Premier Sports. They were all very enthusiastic about the clubs so we are providing the details again in case you would still like your child to sign up.
For FS2 & KS1 children
FUNdamentals – Multi Skills Tuesdays 3.30-4.30pm £24 for 8 sessions
Gymnastics Wednesday 3.30-4.30pm Course FULL
For KS2 children
Gymnastics Tuesdays 3.30-4.30pm £24 for 8 sessions
Fencing & Archery Wednesdays 3.30-4.30pm £24 for 8 sessions
To register a place for your child please book online at www.premiersport.org
All sessions will begin next week as a starter/taster however, if there are insufficient children signed up by next Friday 19th January the club will unfortunately have to be cancelled - you will be notified of this straight away and a full refund will be given (including the cost of the one session that will run next week anyway).
We do hope that your child will want to take part in one or other of these clubs.
More Club Information
We are currently looking at all our out of school activity clubs and we are about to launch some more for this term. As well as the Premier Sports Clubs we also have the possibility of two more paid clubs to offer for the Spring and Summer terms.
As you know, didirugby launched in school with our FS1 and FS2 children today and we would like to know if there are any parents of Year One children who would be interested in their child attending this before school (approx. 8.15am) on a Thursday?
Reading Football Club - These sessions were very popular with some children in Yr5 and Yr6 last term but dropped off due to insufficient numbers. We would like to reinstate this on a Friday after school – we need a minimum of 10 to make this happen!
We will also be asking the children this question but please tell us which clubs you would like to see here at WFS? Also tell us when you would like the clubs (i.e. before or after school) and whether you would be willing to pay and how much? That way we can continue to look for what you would like and how viable it would be.
Please see the end of this newsletter for a tear-off slip for you to print out and return to the offices to register your interest or you can email your interest to us at the office email address;
Contact WFI: email@example.com
Contact WFJ: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you as always for your support.
Executive Headteacher Westwood Farm Schools