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Newsletter, 2nd December 2022

Published on 02/12/22

Good afternoon,

I hope that you and your family are well. We are entering a really exciting time of year for our students for many reasons: So many of our students are enjoying England’s success in the World Cup, and are keen to discuss the chances of an English victory; Christmas is around the corner and students are excited about all that comes with it, including next week’s Christmas Concert in school; our Year 10 students are excited about the prospect of finding a work experience placement by the end of January in preparation for their two-week experience in spring; and our Year 9 students are beginning to think about which options they will preference to study in Years 10 and 11.

Toast for Breakfast

During the final two weeks of this term we will be trialling providing free toast to students in our restaurant for breakfast each morning. Our catering partners Mellors have kindly offered to fund the provision of toast until Christmas and if the trial is successful we will be looking for sponsors to continue with this offer in the long term. We recognise how important it is that our students can have a positive start to the day, and ensuring they’ve had a filling breakfast is part of this. We also recognise that the current cost-of-living crisis is a real concern to many families in our community and hope that this offer will provide some small comfort to families who are finding things difficult. Students will be able to enjoy their toast between 8.15 and 8.30 each morning!

Christmas Concert

All students and their families are invited to attend our Christmas Concert on Thursday 8th December at 7PM. The concert is organised and performed by our BTEC Music students as part of their course, and we are looking forward to performances from talented musicians from across the school. In addition, students in Year 7 who have been part of the ‘Big Challenge’ enterprise project will be at the event to promote their new businesses and sell their wares! A donation of £2 on the door is asked of anyone who wishes to attend on the evening.

Football Success

Congratulations to our Year9/10 girls football team who progressed to the next round of the national cup competition in an exciting game against a school from Nottinghamshire. In an hard-fought home fixture, our girls won by 4 goals to 2. Good luck in the next round, girls!

Rewards Trip

Well done to those students in Key Stage 3 who attended this week’s rewards trip to the theatre to see a pantomime! The trip recognised those students whose Attitude to Learning and behaviour has been ‘chart topping’ over the course of this term. We are working hard to keep improving the way that we celebrate our students’ successes, and our students told us reward trips was one such way to do this. All students have an opportunity to earn their place on future trips by showing an exceptional attitude to learning and excellent behaviour.

Cards for Care Homes

Over the past few years students from our school have made a special different to the Christmases of elderly care-home residents in our community by making and sending them Christmas cards. Any students who wish to take part this year are invited by Ms Hornby to room 102 after school on Monday 5th, Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th December to make their cards.

Culture of Respect

Next week in assembly myself and Mr Griffiths will speak to our students about how we can all contribute to creating a culture of respect in our school. When we speak to our students during ‘student voice’ activities they recognise that Westfield is a safe and happy school, but also emphasise to us the importance of continuing to ensure that no-one in our school community is disrespected, for example through discrimination or bullying.

In response to this feedback from our students the assembly will outline the work we are doing to reinforce and grow our culture of respect in school. We will talk about how our curriculum promotes respect for our community and diversity. We will give examples of how our approaches to celebrating success, and our rules on behaviour promote respect for achievement and learning. We will share plans for a focus on mental health in January and February to grow our respect for self and each other. And we will share plans to ensure our students understand how they can respect their school environment – and in particular student toilets which can often be the part of school that can be damaged and disrespected by a small minority of students, meaning the vast majority are without the facilities they deserve.

Attendance and ATL

Our recent analysis of our exam results from 2022 confirmed to us just how important excellent attendance and exceptional attitudes to learning are in ensuring our students have success in their exams. The analysis showed that Westfield students who attended well and who showed a great attitude to learning performed brilliantly and better than their peers nationally. In contrast, for those with low attendance and who demonstrated a poor attitude to learning in Year 11, exam performance was significantly below-par. In two weeks’ time your child will receive their second ATL report of the year, which will also give you their attendance percentage. Thank you for supporting your child by ensuring they attend school every day, and by discussing with them how they can demonstrate an exceptional Attitude to Learning.

With many thanks for your excellent support.

Joe Birkbeck

Head of Westfield School