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Newsletter, 23rd June 2023

Published on 23/06/23

Good afternoon,

I hope that you and your family are well. In the fortnight since I last wrote to you in our newsletter the action hasn’t stopped here at Westfield, with so many important and exciting events taking place every day. This week’s newsletter is therefore crammed with reflections on some fantastic events, and important news about the weeks to come.

Year 6 Welcome Evenings

It was a pleasure to welcome 300 Year 6 children into school with their families on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings as they continue their induction ready for September. These children have been visited in their primary schools already by our transition team and took the important step on Tuesday and Wednesday evening of meeting their new class and teacher.

The evening also provided an important opportunity to build on the excellent relationship our school enjoys with families and the wider community. I spoke to all parents/carers of our new students and reaffirmed our determination to keep improving our school. In return I asked that parents/carers continue to support our school by ensuring their children are ‘Ready’, attending on time, every day, in their uniform; ‘Respectful’ by supporting school in promoting politeness, celebrating diversity, and by being positive about education; and that they ‘Read’ either fiction or non-fiction regularly, knowing that children who read succeed!

NEU Strikes

Unfortunately the ongoing dispute between the National Education Union and the government over teachers’ pay and conditions continues without resolution, and as such the NEU have announced dates for further national strike action on Wednesday 5th and Friday 7th July.

As such school will be closed to students on these dates, with the exception of those students attending the GCSE geography field trip on Wednesday 5th July, and joining the Duke of Edinburgh expeditions on 6th and 7th July. We will send further communications to the families of students attending these activities.

Alton Towers

Well done to the many students whose exceptional Attitude to Learning has earned them a place on our Alton Towers trips. The first trip for students in Year 11 took place very successfully on Monday of this week, with further celebratory trips taking place next week on Monday for Year 9 and Wednesday for Years 7 and 8.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Congratulations to our Year 9 Duke of Edinburgh Award students who completed their qualifying expedition for the Bronze Award last weekend in the intense summer heat. And good luck to our Year 10 students who are preparing for their Silver Award expedition early next month.

Sports Leaders

Thank you to our wonderful Sports Leaders for the excellent work they continue to undertake with younger students from our local Family of Schools. The summer term is a busy time for our team of Sports Leaders who not only plan and host many exciting sports events here at Westfield, but also visit many of our local schools to facilitate their Sports Days.

Uniform Clarification

Thank you for your ongoing support with the changes to our uniform that we will implement from September. There has been some concern raised that students wearing plain black or white polo shirts without a Westfield logo would be required to wear their logoed Westfield jumper, even in hot weather. This is not the case. We simply ask that students wear either a plain white or black polo shirt, or a Westfield branded black or white polo-shirt. We do also ask that students have a black sweatshirt, jumper or blazer with the Westfield logo, although there will be no expectation that this should be worn all the time.

A reminder that our current and future policy allows students to wear school shorts, but that these should not be sports shorts or cycling shorts. School shorts can be worn by all students as an alternative to school trousers or a knee-length school skirt.

Year 10 Mock Exams

Our Year 10 students have made a flying start to their mock exams, which began this week. It is understandable that some students find their papers challenging given that they are GCSE papers, and that students still have a year of learning to go. That said, our Year 10s have shown the exceptionally positive attitude we have come to expect from them. Once the mocks are complete teachers will use their assessment of the papers to ensure students’ areas of strengths are built upon, and that areas for development are addressed through future lessons.

Year 11 Prom

It was a joy to see our out-going Year 11 students dressed so smartly at yesterday evening’s prom, showing off their individuality, and yet uniting as one year-group to celebrate their time at Westfield. As well as being a great party, with lots of dancing and laughter, it was also a great advert for the inclusivity that has been established in that year group, and that continues to grow in the wider school.

‘Big Bang’ Science Fair

Ms Marchant and Ms Gambles led a very successful trip to Birmingham this week for Key Stage 3 students who attended the Big Bang Science Fair. The students enjoyed taking part in lots of scientific activities and came back inspired!

Coming up…

Our students can look forward to the following events in the coming fortnight:

  • Alton Towers Trips on Monday 26th June (Year 9) and Wednesday 28th June (Years 7 & 8)
  • Humanities trip to London (Year 9) on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd June.
  • GCSE Geography field trips on Tuesday 4th, Wednesday 5th July,  and Tuesday 11th – Thursday 13th July.
  • Duke of Edinburgh Silver Expeditions on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th July.

With many thanks for your ongoing excellent support.

Joe Birkbeck

Head of Westfield School