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Newsletter, 7th January 2022

Published on 10/01/22

Good afternoon,

I hope that you and your family are well and that your child has enjoyed their first week back at school.


Thank you to the parents/carers of Year 11 students who joined yesterday evening’s online parents’ evening. Our teachers were very positive about having the opportunity to have conversations with so many of you at this crucial point in your child’s education, with conversations focusing in particular on students’ performance in last term’s mock exams, and the next steps each student needs to take to ensure further progress is made in the forthcoming February mock exams.

Parents/carers of Year 11 students will be sent a link to a survey via Weduc as a follow-up to parents’ evening. We are always keen to hear the views of parents and carers and plan to issue surveys throughout the year following the parents’ evening for each year group.


Parents/carers of Year 10 students will be aware that the first set of Year 10 mock exams will take place later this month. Well done to the large number of Year 10 students who attended a Period 6 session in preparation for their English Literature mock exam. This year we have taken the decision that a number of English classes will sit their English Literature GCSE at the end of Year 10, and students in those classes were invited to Period 6 on Wednesday to access extra support. Year 10 have shown an excellent attitude to learning this week and a real determination to be successful in their mock exams.


We were pleased to be able to offer COVID testing to all students before they returned to the classroom this week. We really appreciate the support of all parents and carers in working with us to enable tests to take place at staggered times over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday. We hope that this, along with the wearing of face coverings in school, will contribute to our determined efforts to maintain face-to-face education for all students this year.


We have received confirmation that our colleagues from the NHS vaccinations team will be returning to school on February 8th to administer further vaccinations to students of 12 years and over. This could include first doses for students who have not yet received it, or second doses for those who are already vaccinated. We will send further information to parents and carers in due course.


Teachers of students in Year 9 are looking forward to meeting parents/carers and students for Thursday’s online parents’ evening. Conversations will focus on the progress and Attitude to Learning each child is showing in each of their subjects, as well offering opportunities to consider which subjects students excel in and should therefore be options choices. Please book your appointments, using the Parents Evening System, before 12.00pm on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, owing to the pandemic, we will not be able to invite parents/carers into school for the planned Options Evening on 27th January. We will therefore ensure alternative ways of sharing information about the subjects and pathways available to students. Students will receive their Options booklets with information about all subjects on offer during the week beginning 24th January. Further video information will follow. Y9 parents will receive a Weduc message in the coming days containing more detailed information about the Options process.


Well done to our intrepid Year 9 photography students who yesterday braved the freezing conditions to venture into Sheffield city centre to photograph landmarks in the city as part of their project work. One student told me she had to pause her photography to buy an extra pair of socks to fight off the cold! Well done for your resilience, Year 9!


Our school’s governing body met in December and appointed a new chair and vice chair of the governing body. Our new chair of governors is Liz Perry and our vice chair is Steve Adams. Both Liz and Steve were already governors at Westfield and many of you will remember Steve as Mr Adams, who taught RE and was a senior leader at Westfield for over 30 years, retiring in December 2020.

Liz has shared the following words to introduce herself to parents and carers:

I’m delighted to start the New Year as the newly appointed chair of Westfield’s Local Governing Body. I have been a community governor at Westfield since 2019 and have seen so much positive change and great successes for our students despite all the difficulties of being in a Pandemic. I currently work at Sheffield Hallam University supporting improvements in school attainment and aspirations of young people across South Yorkshire, but started working-life as a Police Officer, before working in the Department for Education for a number of years.

The Governing Board and I are keen to ensure that Westfield continues to deliver high standards and your children leave school well-prepared to take their next steps, having achieved their best and most importantly with great memories of their time at Westfield. I hope you all have a happy and healthy 2022.

We very much look forward to continuing to work with Liz and Steve and the rest of the governing body, who have a key role in supporting and holding to account myself and other leaders of the school.

I am sure you will all join me in thanking Claire Sellars and Sally Williams, who are stepping down as chair and vice chair respectively, for their relentless work to support and challenge our school over a number of years. Claire and Sally will remain on the governing body.


With many thanks for your continued excellent support,

Joe Birkbeck

Head of Westfield School