Executive Headteacher News BloG
Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils
Apologies and Pride!
Well I have had another two 'firsts' this week but neither of them positive ones – I missed Sports Day for the first time in my career which I was so sad about as I know it is always a fantastic family event – and of course it was – but I was too poorly to attend!! I also didn’t manage to make the meeting for the parents of all the new children starting in September which I was again really sad about, however my pride has been on my return to school hearing about how well all the staff managed without either me or Mrs. Ross (poor Mrs. Ross' mum is very ill so she is away from school currently). It is always a good sign if the school carries on without me – personally it hurts of course – but I am very proud!
So even if I missed it I have been told by several people that it was an amazing day! At Westwood Farm we are passionate about sport and the benefits that it brings to children. The children performed spectacularly - meeting and beating personal challenges as well as working together for the benefit of their houses. Whether competing or spectating there was a 'real atmosphere of sportsmanship, encouragement and cooperation' – not to mention a fair bit of healthy competition, especially in the mums and dads races!
Parents and staff arrived early to set up the now famous "Gazebo village" but fortunately it did not get too hot, even Miss Hunter managed to avoid her annual sunburn! The FOWFS team were on hand providing refreshments and selling pre-loved uniforms. They organised the ice-cream van and were busy raising money for the book fund (which raised £170 on its own!). FOWFS combined activities raised an amazing £617.86! Thank you to all who dug deep in their pockets again!
Year 6 were also busy raising money. Between competing in races, they manned their mini fayre which they created as part of an 'enterprise challenge' to pay for props and costumes for their end of year play, Bugsy Malone. The activities on offer included apple bobbing, splat the rat, and soak the Year 6er! They managed to raise over £350 so thank you very much for supporting all their hard work!
The sporting events were started with a fantastic performance from the Westwood Farm cheerleaders and went straight on to the Carle class dressing up race – which wins the prize for the most adorable event.
The competition was fierce, but in the end the winning house overall was Air, closely followed by Fire in second place.
Sports day was a true community event and we would like to thank the parents, families, children and staff for coming together and making it so successful.
Photos taken during the KS2 Sports Day will be uploaded to a gallery on our Schools Website.
Year 6 Abernant Lake - Report from the Trip Leader – Miss Hunter
The sun shone brightly for our residential trip to Wales last week which made a nice change from last year when it rained every day! There were a few nervous tears as we got on the coach but as soon as we got to the motorway, the overwhelming feeling was of anticipation and excitement. It did not disappoint - the children took part in a range of incredible outdoor pursuits such as canoeing, stand-up paddle-boarding, rock climbing, zip wire, archery and abseiling. It was wonderful to see everyone trying something new and challenging themselves to achieve as much as they could. Our children really were a credit to our school and there were multiple comments from instructors about how polite, resilient and encouraging they were towards each other. Towards the end of the week, most children were even on time for their sessions and dressed in the correct attire! One of the best things about going on a trip like this is that children are put in groups with others who they would not necessarily choose to talk to or interact with on a daily basis at school and it was wonderful to watch relationships grow and develop over the week between different individuals. All the adults who went on the trip are incredibly proud of how the children behaved and how well they faced different challenges throughout the week. For some children, this was their first time staying away from home and we have been told how so many of them have talked excitedly about their experience for days which really goes to show how important trips like these are for personal development and independence.
Post Script from Mrs Hunter – so I joined the trip after a long drive down on Thursday morning – after seeing the children off on the Monday, I was delighted to see all the tears and concerns were replaced by smiles and laughs! My pride was at its peak again – seeing children tackling their fears and encouraging each other and behaving beautifully! It was also lovely to return back to school after the trip to lots of ‘thank yous’ for the staff from parents – sometimes this is forgotten but it does mean so much at the end of a tiring week!
A big thank you from me to all the staff who gave up their own time to make this such a memorable event for the children – Miss Hunter, Mrs Aluko, Mrs Higgs, Mrs Kirk, and Miss Harrison. However, as Miss Gennard thought it was a good idea to get photographic and video evidence of me with the extra padding of a buoyancy aid trying to stay standing on the paddle-board - I am withdrawing my gratefulness for her!!! 😉
Celebration event for Father’s Day
It was nice to see so many family members in school on Friday for our Father's Day arts and crafts event. We had a fantastic turn out. Thank you to all those mums, grandparents and other relatives who, in some cases, managed cleverly to divide their time between a number of different classes! The main themes seemed to be ties and footballs although one creative class made impossibly tricky cacti! We hope the dads and other male relatives appreciated the results of all your hard work!
Westwood Farm Rocks
We had amazing support for our Westwood Farm Rocks competition with 170 entries! Every child who found all 20 rocks was eligible to enter the prize draw to win a book voucher. We are pleased to announce that the winners were Jessica Jennings from KS1 and George Fosker from KS2. All children who took part in the Westwood Rocks competition will be receiving a small prize in the next couple of weeks.
Report on Learning
In English this week, Year 4 have been learning how to use the features of a suspense narrative. We have noticed that some suspense stories use short sentences to create tension. They also may use sentences of three. We have also learnt about different sentence types. In Maths we have been learning about converting fractions into decimals, equivalent fractions and short multiplication. A lot of our maths is based on our class text, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. In topic, we learnt a new word - viscosity - which means how easily a liquid flows. Does honey have a high or low viscosity? We also did an experiment to change a solid into a gas. This was fun! Of course, the main event of this week was our Sports Day. We had lots of fun and enjoyed going home early! We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped to make it a great day. Naidoo Class (they did it together as a class!)
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. They dressed as pirates and set sail on the Thames singing pirate songs in the glorious sunshine. They 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. They also had the opportunity to take part in a workshop where they learnt all about boats and even got to make their 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 went along to help - you were amazing!
Rosen Class Assembly
Last week, it was the turn of Rosen Class to share their learning from their topic ‘Gods and Mortals’. It was lovely to see how much they’d grown in their confidence and delivery in their last assembly for Year 3. They started by informing us about their trip to Ufton Court, where they spent the day immersed in Ancient Greece. They managed to cover everything from making fire to Helen of Troy, which was especially interesting as the children had created their own mini version. They showed us various pieces of art which they had created and talked through a timeline of Ancient Greece. In English, they had been working on myths and shared some of their favourites. They read out parts of their innovated hot write, which was based on Perseus and Medusa. It was fascinating to hear how they linked the Yoimoji of the week - resilience, to their learning throughout the topic. Fantastic work Rosen Class!
Year 2 Swimming Gala at The Oratory School in Goring
On Monday Ben Alexander, Molly Mitchell, Evie Bridges and Jessica Thompson represented our school in a Swimming Gala competition, where they took part in a variety of swimming races. They were competing against three other schools; Birch Copse, Downsway and Purley Primary School. Our children did extremely well - they put a lot of effort into each race; they showed excellent agility, stamina, resilience and good sportsmanship. Purley School were overall winners and Westwood Farm children came second! It was a great result and we were extremely proud of Ben, Molly, Evie and Jessica. Well done!
Year 5 Educational Workshop 'Meet the Stinkers'
On Tuesday Year 5 took part in a workshop called "Meet the Stinkers." This interactive puppet show enabled the children to discuss the impact of smoking on our bodies. The children enjoyed the humorous elements of the show and gave positive feedback.
New FS2 Parent Meeting
Mr Abery and the Foundation Stage teachers reported that it was great to meet the parents of our new FS2 cohort and to introduce them to our ‘Farm Family’. There was a lot for them to take in while crammed into a hot sweaty hall but there was a good atmosphere and it was a privilege to be able show off our lovely FS classrooms and outdoor area - we look forward to welcoming them all to our wonderful school in September.
Touch Rugby tournament – KS2
On Thursday 21st June, Westwood Farm took part in their first touch-rugby tournament. There was a lovely atmosphere as the children were able to learn as they were playing through the coaching from the referees. The boys teams started positively, winning their first game but then lost the remaining two matches. A special mention goes to Nathan Sherman who scored all their tries and received ‘Most Valuable Player’ for the team. The girls team really got to grips with their tactics and defended brilliantly, drawing two games 0-0 and winning one game 3-1! The participation and teamwork from all the girls was phenomenal and made choosing their MVP extremely difficult. After many tied votes and re-votes Caitlin Burden was elected - well done!
Willian Paxford, Alfie Willcock, Nathan Sherman, Taylor Potter, Jack Seward, Joseph Harrison &
Cerys Thomas, Phoebe Endean, Ellie Manners, Caitlin Burden, Lily Alexander, Alicia Farmer & Laurie Webb.
Thank you for your support – as always.
Executive Headteacher Westwood Farm Schools