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Headteacher's update 41

Published on 02/10/20

Good afternoon everyone,

I hope that you and your families are well. Thank you for continuing to give your child and our school such fantastic support as we continue to navigate our way through this difficult period of time. 


We are delighted that our weekly attendance improved again this week, with over 95% of students being present in school yesterday. This is significantly above both the Sheffield and national average. We recently sent out letters to the parents/carers of students whose attendance has fallen below 96% this term, and have subsequently had a number of correspondence regarding these letters. I would reiterate to all parents/carers that there is no threat intended or implied by these letters. As a school we have a duty to keep parents/carers informed about their child’s level of attendance, and the letters are intended to open up a dialogue between home and school if parents/carers are having issues with supporting their child to attend well – this enables us to support improved attendance. We absolutely appreciate that in the vast, vast majority of cases children only have time off school because of genuine illness or, currently, because of requirements to self-isolate. 

Students who are self-isolating will be able to access remote learning via Microsoft Teams. 

Face coverings and clean hands

Thank you for continuing to ensure your child brings a face covering to school with them to wear in corridors and communal areas. We do continue to issue a large number of spare face coverings on a daily basis, at a significant cost to the school. Going forward we will send messages to the parents/carers of students to whom we are providing face coverings to help support and prompt these students to bring a fabric face covering to school with them each day. Guidance on face coverings can be found here:

We would also encourage parents/carers to ensure their child brings with them a small bottle of hand sanitiser to support with our efforts to reduce the risk of COVID 19 spreading within school. 

Remote open evening

Those of you who have children in Years 5 or 6 may be interested in visiting our website to view the resources we have prepared as an alternative to our usual Year 5 and 6 Open Evening. Thank you to those of you who attended Wednesday evening’s webinar on this topic, and to those of you who sent us positive feedback. More information, including a recording of Wednesday’s webinar (available from Monday next week), can be found here:


To help to avoid lengthy queues at lunchtime we have brought in a system for students to pre-purchase ‘grab-bags’ that will include a hot or cold sandwich, a drink and snack. These can be purchased at our breakfast club, which takes place in the dining hall between 08.00 and 08.40 each morning. Grab-bags can then be collected from a collection point in the dining hall at lunchtime. If your child regularly buys sandwiches for lunch at school, please encourage them to take advantage of the grab-bag service – it will help them to avoid queues at lunch time, and help to reduce the time spent queueing for students buying hot food. 

Student planners

Please check your child’s planner regularly and discuss with your child the lessons in which they are earning reward stamps, the home learning they are set, and any comments they have received from teachers. 


Please remind your child that the school library is open for them to use before and after school on the following days:

  • Monday – Year 7
  • Tuesday – Year 8
  • Wednesday – Year 9
  • Thursday – Year 10
  • Friday – Year 11

Students wishing to use the library at lunchtimes on these days should attend the library before form time and be issued with a pass by Mrs Fazackerley. Books can be borrowed to read in school or to take home. 

Bernard Cross

We were sad to learn of the recent death of Bernard Cross, who was Headmaster of Westfield School between 1975 and 1993. A physics and maths teacher, Bernard joined Westfield as Deputy Headteacher in 1971, before becoming Head four years later. He continued to live in the area following his retirement. In retirement, Bernard was the local organiser for Probus, cultivated his extensive garden at his home and spent many happy years travelling with his wife, Annette, becoming her carer for the last few years of her life. Bernard suffered a disabling stroke in 2018 and moved to Rose Cottage in Halfway to be cared for, where he died peacefully on September 15th and a family funeral will take place on October 7th. Bernard’s family have kindly chosen that donations in his memory will go to the Alzheimer's Society, Eckington Parish Church or Westfield School Trust. Donations may be made online at .

Thanks again for your continued support.

Joe Birkbeck
Head of Westfield School