Westwood Farm School

Executive Headteacher News BloG

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,


It is a strange but nice thing to be writing this newsletter on a Thursday instead of a Friday – I will, as the teachers will be, working tomorrow but at least we can have a bit of a lie in!  I hope that some of you weren’t too shocked when you remembered school is closed tomorrow – you did have this information at the beginning of the year when all the dates are published – we are not allowed to change these, but I realise some of you may have forgotten 🙁 - I hope you can enjoy the ‘extra’ day’s holiday! 


May Fayre Thank Yous! 

After lots of nagging for help and worries about the weather, the Fayre last Saturday turned into a great success!  Thank you to all of the staff and parents who gave up their time to help and make it a fab day!  An enormous THANK YOU to our small but perfectly formed (!) committee who have been working tirelessly to put it all together and ensure it went ahead and have managed to raise an enormous £4600 (approximately) to go towards our next purchases of books for the children. 

I would like to give a special mention to Holly’s mum, Kimberley – she has been in school almost as often as the staff, but I am worried about Holly’s sister, Anabelle who seems to think that she will be going to the shed every day – the only word she ever says to me is ‘shed’ which is a bit of a worry!!  Sorry Kimberley that you are in there so much that Anabelle thinks that is what our school consists of.....!! 😊 


Assembly – Yoimoji – Semaclaw 

This week we looked at one of the Yoimojis from the UKS2 set of values - Responsibility. We discussed what it means to be responsible and what should they be responsible for.  I was delighted when the first response I had from Chloe in Year 4 was ‘Our learning’ as this was one of the areas I thought I would probably need to work up to – thank you Chloe! 

Elissa in Year 4 also entertained us this week during singing assembly with her guitar playing – excellent job, Elissa! 

‘Footprint’ Visit from the LA 

Yesterday we had a 2-hour long visit from the Principle Advisor for School Improvement in WBC.  We offered to be the first school to undergo one of these before the roll out to all schools across West Berks over next term and during the Autumn term. They are meetings designed to ‘capture’ everything going on in all schools to ensure that if there are any issues that these are flagged-up early but also to be able to plan training and/or specific needs. It only involved Mrs Ross and myself, but we were asked lots and lots of questions about the schools, including data, behaviour, budget, staffing, the curriculum, governance, leadership, etc. etc.  I am pleased to say it was a really positive visit and the LA visitor could see how well we knew our schools and how well we were progressing against the national priorities.  I am as you know, always extremely proud of our staff and pupils and so it was a delight to talk about them so positively and to be told how well we were doing! 


Governor’s Monitoring – Half Day visit 

Another proud moment this week for me was when we had our half day monitoring session for governors.  This time they were given the task of interviewing several of our subject leaders about what they have been focused on, according to the School Development Plan, in their subject. Governors were very impressed in how well the leaders spoke about their focus subjects and how passionate they all were.  Following the monitoring we then went into a 3-hour long Governor’s meeting which was focused on the progress of the SDP as well as an overview in my Headteacher’s report along with reports from the other senior leaders.  Governor’s asked excellent questions and showed good reflection and analysis of the information they were presented with.  I am sure they were all exhausted, but I hoped they all went home feeling satisfied and equally as proud of our schools as I am!  We have a really excellent Board of Governors who really do a fantastic job to ensure our schools are the best they can be!  Thank you governors! 
Offers of Decorating 

I finish with a plea for help – we are putting together a programme of decorating the classes over the Summer holidays as we are really in desperate need in some of the classrooms.  We would obviously love for a qualified decorator or decorators to offer their services for free (yes, this is yet another thing the school has to pay for itself!), but I know in this tough day and age for us all, this is unreasonable....!  However, if there is anyone out there who would really like to make a big difference to the environment of our schools and who could also offer us a discount, we would be really interested in hearing from you.  Please let us know if you or anyone you know would be interested?  Drop us an email or a call to the office after half term.  Thank you in advance! 


Have a really lovely half-term break – I hope the weather is good for you all!  See you back on Monday 3rd June! Looking smart of course for class photos! 


Barbara Hunter

Executive Headteacher Westwood Farm Schools