Skip to content ↓

Newsletter, 1st October 2023

Published on 01/10/23

Good afternoon,

I hope that you and your family are well. As we reach the end of the first month of this academic year, there is much to report from Westfield.

Year 7 Reading Testing

Over the next two to three weeks, year 7 students will be involved in New Group Reading Tests (NGRT) during their timetabled English lessons. These are digital tests which take approximately 30 minutes. These tests are proven to be an incredibly effective way of gaining a deep understanding of reading ability, which can then be used by both teachers and our learning support team to support further progression.


We aim to report to parents and carers the outcomes of the tests along with some guidance of how reading ability can be supported in the home.


Students should not worry in any way about the tests; they are presented in a very approachable way and, being digital, adapt to a student's previous answers to provide an appropriate, but not overwhelming, degree of challenge. We know our Year 7s will approach the tests with the brilliant positive attitude they have shown so far this year!


Planners & Equipment

Thank you to parents and carers for your support in ensuring your child attends school with their planner and equipment each day. As well as providing a vehicle for our rewards and behaviour system, planners are a crucial learning tool. Planners contain A,B,C,D cards, a wipe-board, a periodic table, maps, maths formula and lots of other tools that are frequently used in lessons.


As well as their stationary, it is essential that all students bring their scientific calculator to school each day. Scientific calculators are required to be used frequently in maths and science lessons in particular, and students who become familiar with using their calculator are far more likely to be successful. Calculators are available to purchase from ParentPay and can be collected from school reception once they have been purchased.



We are keen to create opportunities for our students to build on their learning in the classroom with accessible and meaningful home learning. We are increasingly looking to use homework apps as a way of setting home learning activities that students enjoy and can access easily.

  • Maths: Homework for maths is now set using Sparx Maths – homework will be set each Thursday and should be completed by Wednesday of the following week.
  • Science: Homework for science is now set using Tassomai – homework will be set on a weekly basis and should be completed by Sunday each week.


Students have had the opportunity to learn how to use these apps in their lessons in school. Our library is open on Monday – Thursday mornings from 08.00 and after school on Wednesdays for students to complete homework if they are having trouble logging in at home.


We will give further updates on homework from other subject areas in future newsletters.


Behaviour Hubs Surveys

Over the coming weeks, all our students will be invited to engage in a survey about behaviour in school. As part of our ongoing work to keep improving our school, we are working with the national Behaviour Hubs programme. Gaining our students’ views on behaviour will give us powerful information to continue to grow a calm, safe and happy learning environment in school.

Year 11 English ‘Mini-Mocks’

Well done to our Year 11 students who all completed ‘Mini-Mock’ assessments in their English lessons this week. As we have come to expect from this amazing year group, students showed an exceptional attitude that is demonstrative of their determination to succeed this year.


Football Fixtures

Well done to all our footballers who represented the school in fixtures this week. Congratulations to our Year 10 boys’ team, who beat Tapton school in their first fixture of the season. Our Year 9 boys and Year 9 & 10 girls were unfortunately defeated in their fixtures this week but can nonetheless be proud of their effort.


Post-16 Evening

A reminder to Year 11 students and their families that our post-16 information evening takes place on Thursday 12th October. We look forward to welcoming representatives from a wide range of sixth forms, colleges and apprenticeship providers into school to give our students the best chance of finding the best options for future success. We have now rectified an error that was preventing some families from booking, and we look forward to seeing all our Year 11 students on the evening!


Year 7 Settling In Evening

We look forward to welcoming parents/carers of our Year 7 students to their first parents’ evening on Thursday 19th October. Parents/carers and students will have the opportunity to meet with form tutors to discuss the start that our Year 7s have made at Westfield. A further parents’ evening later in the academic year will provide an opportunity to discuss progress with subject teachers.


With many thanks for your ongoing excellent support.


Joe Birkbeck

Head of Westfield School