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Newsletter, 21st May 2023

Published on 21/05/23

Good afternoon, 

I hope that you are all well and that you have been able to enjoy the lovely weather this weekend. With a week to go until our half-term holiday, there is much to update you on. 

Year 11 GCSE Exams 

Well done to our brilliant Year 11 students for successfully negotiating the first full week of GCSE exams. Overall, our students have felt their papers have been fair, and have felt able to answer lots of questions, indicating that they have prepared well. Exams continue next week and for several weeks after half-term.  

Year 11 Leavers Assembly and Half-term Revision 

As there are no exams scheduled for Friday 26th May, we have chosen this day for our Year 11 Leavers Assembly. Year 11 students will attend school for the morning only and will be able to enjoy the tradition of ‘shirt signing’ as well as an emotional final assembly! Year 11 students and their families have already received details of this event, as well as opportunities to access school to revise over the half-term break.  

Exam Logistics 

Thank you to students in Years 7 – 10 who have shown great understanding of the need to keep areas of the school quiet during exams, and for their support in finding different ways to navigate the building when certain corridors are closed off to create these silent spaces. And thank you to those students who attended school in PE kit on Wednesday of last week when we needed to use our sports hall for exams, meaning PE changing rooms could not be accessed. Our PE team will send out further communications to let groups of students know when to wear PE kit to school owing to further planned use of the sports hall for exams.  

Year 8 Parents’ Evening 

It was a real pleasure to welcome parents and carers of our Year 8 students into school on Thursday evening for an incredibly positive parents’ evening. I know that students appreciated the opportunity to show their work to their parents, and that there were many opportunities for meaningful conversations about learning and progress. As ever we look forward to receiving feedback from parents/carers of Year 8 students so that we can continue to improve our school – we would encourage all parents/carers of Year 8 students to complete the survey that has been shared with you. 

Exciting Trips 

Many of our students have continued to access exciting opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting some of our Year 9 students in Derbyshire as they embarked upon their expedition for the Duke of Edinburgh Award. And this weekend our Year 8 and Year 9 girls and boys football teams are enjoying a trip to Manchester, including opportunities to train in professional facilities and take part in tournaments against local teams.  

Safe Use of Toilets 

We have responded to student and parent/carer feedback about anti-social behaviour in school toilets by ensuring toilets in school are better supervised by staff. This has involved opening fewer toilets during lesson time and ensuring a staff presence outside of toilets at social times. We have already received feedback from students and parents that this has reduced instances of students feeling intimidated by large groups gathering in the toilets. Thank you to our students for their co-operation, understanding and support in ensuring all students can use the toilet safely in school.  

Year 7 Parents’ Evening 

A reminder to parents and carers of students in Year 7 that parents’ evening will take place on Thursday 8th June. Parents/carers will receive a separate message with details of how to book appointments with teachers. We will again ensure that students’ work is available to families to look at as part of our efforts to ensure better communication about what students learn at school.  

With many thanks for your ongoing excellent support. 

Joe Birkbeck 

Head of Westfield School