Skip to content ↓

Headteacher's update 66

Published on 25/06/21

Good afternoon,

I hope that you and your families are well. It has been a number of weeks now since I last wrote to parents/carers to offer on update from Westfield. In school this has been a tremendously busy two weeks. After the exceptionally hard work our Year 11 students put into assessments in the run-up to our last half-term break, teachers have been working relentlessly to mark and grade these assessments in order to reach fair, evidence-based ‘Teacher Assessed Grades’ (also known as TAGs). We finally submitted our grades on Friday of last week, and have this week begun the process of sending evidence of students’ assessments to exam boards for checking. We are confident that our students will achieve the excellent grades their hard work deserved.


Year 10 Mock Exams

Our Year 10 students will begin their mock exams next week. All Year 10 students have been issued with exam timetables and supported through PSHE lessons to develop effective revision techniques. This morning they attended an assembly in the exam hall to familiarise them with the expectations during mocks. I would repeat the message to parents/carers of Year 10 students that, while we very much hope that we will have a ‘normal’ exam season in 2022, we nonetheless must recognise that in the past two years students’ mock exam grades have been taken into account when reaching final grading decisions. It is therefore essential that our students work hard with their revision and in their exams to achieve the best grades possible. Any support parents/carers can give their children with revision would be hugely appreciated. For further guidance on how to revise effectively please visit:


UNICEF Rights Respecting School

At the start of this term we reiterated to all our students that all students are welcome at Westfield, and that as a school we will work relentlessly to challenge any prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour, for example racism, homophobia, sexism or disability discrimination. We firmly believe that our school curriculum should be about teaching both the knowledge/skills linked to academic success, as well as the skills our students will need to shape their own futures. Learning to celebrate our differences and to work positively alongside people who are different from us is a key skill for all of us to learn. To this end, we are excited that over the coming months we will be working to achieve the UNICEF ‘Rights Respecting School’ kitemark. More information can be found here:


Community Concerns

We know that the vast majority of our students are caring, respectful, conscientious young people who always make a great impression when they are out and about in the community, and in particular when making their way to and from school. Recently, a number of parents/carers and others from the local community have raised concerns about the actions of a small number of individuals on their way home from school. These concerns have included students not taking care when crossing the road and putting themselves in danger, students littering and students engaging in some anti-social behaviour. I would re-iterate that this involves a tiny minority of students, however it is not always possible to identify these students and address the issues with them directly. Please could you discuss the importance of behaving responsibly outside of school with your child. Like all schools, our behaviour policy extends to issues that occur outside of school, and in particular to issues that occur on the way to and from school. We cannot allow the actions of a small minority of students to undermine the good reputation we are building together.


Issues with Year 7 atlReports

Unfortunately a technical glitch led to some inaccuracies on the recent ATL (Attitude to Learning) reports issued to families of Year 7 students. Please accept our apologies for this error, and thank you to those parents/carers who highlighted this issue to Mr Lambourne. Revised, accurate reports have now been shared with parents/carers of Year 7 children.


Transition/Summer School

Unfortunately, owing to the most up-to-date advice from Sheffield’s Public Health team we have taken the decision that we cannot run our planned Year 6/7 transition days in July. This decision has been taken in conjunction with the headteachers of our local primary schools. We will continue with our other planned transition activities, including face-to-face visits for children with special educational needs. In addition, we will open school to only students from Year 7 and Year 11 on Monday 6th September to allow our Year 7 students a quieter environment to settle into school.

Owing to planned works to our school building over the summer, we will not be able to host a summer school. However, we have worked with partner organisations to provide alternative activities for both our incoming Year 7 students and our existing students. See below.


Summer Swimming Opportunities

Westfield School, working with Points Learning Network, have managed to secure a significant amount of funding from the 'Opening School Facilities Fund' to run swimming lessons for children over the school holidays at our swimming pool. There will be no cost for children to attend these lessons.

There are two types of swimming courses on offer:

  1. 1-week Intensive Course – this will involve your child coming to a 30-minute lesson each morning for one entire week. In total your child will receive 5 x 30 minutes lessons. You will be able to choose which day of the week and which week you want your child to attend.
  2. Weekly Sessions - Attend a lesson one day a week for 3 minutes each week of the 6-week holidays. You will be able to choose which day of the week you would prefer (subject to availability). In total your child will receive 6 x 30 minutes lessons.

The lessons are suitable for any school age children who have either no swimming experience or still are unable to swim 25 metre unaided. Further details are available at:


With many thanks for your continued excellent support,

Joe Birkbeck
Head of Westfield School