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Headteacher's update 40

Published on 18/09/20

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Good afternoon everyone,

I hope you and your families are well. Thank you for continuing to support your children and our school so brilliantly as we negotiate the challenging early weeks of our return to school. I am pleased to report that the start to the term continues to go well:

  • Our students continue to work with us with regards to the measures we’ve put in place to make school as safe as it can be, such as cleaning hands on entry and exit to classrooms, wearing face coverings in corridors and communal indoor areas, and not mixing with students from other year groups before school or at lunch time.
  • We have seen excellent levels of engagement in lessons, and our students continue to produce outstanding work across the curriculum.
  • Our Year 11 cohort have continued to attend their additional Period 6 lesson each day, and show a fantastic attitude.


Attendance, Self-Isolation and Absence

Our excellent attendance in the first week of term has now dropped away somewhat because of the inevitable need for students to self-isolate, either because they or someone in their household is showing symptoms of COVID 19. To date we have no confirmed cases of COVID 19 amongst our students and staff. Our attendance remains above current national averages for the year to date.

We are aware that many other schools in Sheffield and beyond have been significantly impacted by the pandemic already this term, and we are prepared for the possibility that Westfield may need to close to some or all students at some point, either because of a confirmed case in school or because of staff shortages owing to levels of self-isolating amongst staff. Should we be advised by Public Health England of the need to close to some or all students, we will inform parents/carers as quickly as we can using Weduc. This may entail sending students home during the school day. Please discuss with you child what they should do if this is the case. There will be opportunity for students who cannot travel safely home during the school day to stay in school until they are collected.  

We understand that the guidance on when to self-isolate, and when to return to school can be somewhat confusing. We have produced a resource - available through our website - that you may find helpful in taking you through the sometimes very complicated guidance:


How can my child continue to access work if they are self-isolating or if school closes to some or all students?

We will be using Microsoft Teams for both home and remote learning. If your child is self-isolating you will be able to find work for them to complete on Teams, following their school timetable.

We have been supporting your child already within school on how to use Teams so they already know how to access it.

If you haven’t already you can download the Teams App for free via their website. (A google search for “Microsoft Teams app” is the quickest way to do this). Teams can be used on any smart phone, ipad, laptop or computer.

To sign in students will need their email address: (the start is your child’s school IT username)

Usernames are as follows:

{Year child joined the school} {First 3 letters of the SURNAME} {First 3 letters of the FIRST NAME}

The password is the same as the one your child uses to log onto the school IT system.

Email and Teams sign in example –

Anne Student is in Y8, so she started in 2019. Her email address would be:


Face Coverings

Thank you for ensuring your child attends school wearing their face covering. Please check our website for advice on which face covering your child should wear. Please could we encourage you to continue to check that your child brings a face covering to school every day – we continue to issue a significant number of single-use face coverings to students each day. While we understand that coverings will sometimes become broken, lost or dirty in school and need replacing, this does come at a significant cost, both financially and environmentally:


Year 7 ‘Settling In’ Information & CATs testing

On the 8th October we had planned to hold our annual ‘settling in’ evening for Year 7. We hope parents/carers of Year 7 students will understand that this will not be possible this year. We will nevertheless ensure we contact all parents/carers of Year 7 students who will no doubt be keen to hear from their child’s form teacher about the start they’ve made to Westfield. We will share specific details with Year 7 parents very soon.

Towards the end of this half term, Year 7 students will take three assessments to support the school in understanding their current ability levels. CAT4 tests are nationally recognised cognitive reasoning assessments which can be used to inform how we best plan learning and to estimate expected GCSE grades. This is especially important this year in light of the absence of Y6 SATs. All schools in Chorus Education Trust will be utilising CATs tests to help establish end of year targets and final exam targets for current Y7 students. More information will be issued to parents and carers from the Y7 team via the school’s website.


Tram Replacement Buses

Parents have kindly advised us that unfortunately the buses currently operating as a tram replacement service are not presently stopping at the bus stop opposite the Westfield tram stop. Any students requiring the tram replacement bus for their journey home will need to walk to the Halfway tram stop. Please remind your child of the need to wear their face covering and socially distance when using public transport.


Thank you once again for your continuing excellent support.

Take care,

Joe Birkbeck
Head of Westfield School