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Newsletter, 4th November 2022

Published on 04/11/22

Good afternoon,

I hope that you and your family are well. We have enjoyed a successful first week of this half-term, however all our school community has been deeply saddened by the death last week of our friend and colleague Mary Howard.

Mary Howard

Literally thousands of Westfield Students past and present will have very fond memories of Mary, who worked as a lunchtime supervisor here at Westfield for almost 40 years. Mary was devoted to our school and our students – so much so that having joined the school in 1984 she continued working here with us until the age of 82! Through her work as a lunchtime supervisor Mary got to know our students very well, and while she was skilled in a stern word to ensure orderly queueing and safe behaviour at lunchtimes, Mary’s approach was overwhelmingly kind and caring. Mary’s own grandchildren attended our school in the time that I have been working here. Our thoughts are very much with Mary’s family and friends at this difficult time.

I will be speaking to students about Mary in next week’s assemblies, colleagues will contribute to a book of condolence, and school will be involved in Mary’s funeral in recognition of the incredible difference Mary made at Westfield over the course of five decades. She will be very sadly missed.

Year 11 Revision Evening

Thank you to the Year 11 students and their families who attended yesterday’s session focusing on successful revision techniques. As well as considering how our ‘5 Rs’ for Attitude to Learning link to revision, students and parents/carers learnt about a variety of strategies they can use to revise English and maths, and were signposted to some excellent revision resources. We plan to repeat this session over the course of the year for those Year 11s who were unable to attend yesterday, and for Year 10 students to support their preparations for mock exams in the new year.

Year 8 HPV Vaccinations

On Tuesday we hosted HPV vaccinations in school for Year 8s, delivered by our colleagues from the NHS. The team of nurses who administered the vaccines asked us to pass on to Year 8 students and their families how impressed they were with politeness and positive conduct of our students, saying it was the best they’d witnessed of all Sheffield secondaries they have visited. High praise indeed!

England vs. Iran World Cup Match

I have never worked at a school with so many students who are football fans as Westfield! Lots of our students are very excited about the upcoming Men’s World Cup in Qatar, are interested in some of the ethical issues the tournament raises, and are hopeful that the men can emulate the great success of the women’s team earlier this year. Inevitably, lots of students have asked whether they can watch England’s afternoon fixture with Iran in school. As you’d expect, the answer to this has to be sorry, no. All students have important lessons on Monday afternoons, and we do not have the space to enable all students to watch the match in the hall. Therefore, Monday 21st November will be a normal school day, with attendance as usual expected. We will however, put plans in place to show the match on ‘catch-up’ in the school hall at 14.40. We will prioritise seats for those students with a great Attitude to Learning and who always demonstrate exceptional behaviour. We will share more details of our plans with students in due course.

With many thanks for your excellent ongoing support.

Joe Birkbeck

Head of Westfield School