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Newsletter, 14th January 2024

Published on 14/01/24

Good afternoon,

Happy New Year! I hope that you and your family are well and that all our students have enjoyed a positive first week back at school. In assemblies this week, we fed-back to our students on the progress they made last term and revisited our vision of Outstanding Achievement for All. We believe that, with hard work and the right support, all our students can achieve incredible things and will grow into respectful, confident adults who can make a difference. We are now entering a busy phase in the school year when many of our students will be thinking about how the decisions they make now, and the hard work they put in now, will help to shape a successful future.

Year 11 Parents’ Evening

Thank you to our Year 11 students and their families for attending Thursday’s Year 11 Parents’ Evening. The evening was one of the best attended we have had in recent years and underlined the determination of our Year 11 students and their families to make the most of this most important year of their educational journey to date. Students went away with lots of advice on what to revise and how to revise for the next set of Year 11 mock exams that begin in February.

Year 10 Mock Exams

For our Year 10 students, mock exams are just around the corner, beginning in just one week's time.  Our Year 10 students have made a very positive start to their Key Stage 4 courses, and we are confident that their first experience of formal exams at Westfield will be a positive one. Mr Lambourne will lead an assembly on Tuesday morning to teach our Year 10s about the expectations we will have of them in the exams, and we will run the exams as we would run real GCSE exams in order to begin to train students in our expectations.

Year 9 Options Process

This half term is an exciting one for Year 9 students as it sees the beginning of the Year 9 options process. The students had an introductory assembly on Wednesday to explain the timeline:

  • Online guidance for students and families, including explanatory videos, will be released via the school website on Friday 19th January.
  • Printed copies of the options brochure and options form will be distributed to students on Friday 26th January during form time. The options form will indicate the suggested pathway; blue, pink, yellow or yellow plus that we are advising students to follow.
  • The Year 9 parents’ evening on 1st February will give students and their families an opportunity to discuss their options with teachers and will be supported by Year 11 students who will provide a students’ perspective on each subject that our Year 9s may opt to study. Parents and carers will book appointments with subject teachers on the evening so that they can gain insight into subject progress as option choices approach.

 The deadline for return of option forms will be 23rd February.

Communications with parents and carers

During the Christmas holidays, our IT and Data Teams were busy moving to a new management information system.  The new system – Arbor – will ultimately help us to communicate more effectively with parents and carers, primarily using email. In the short term, we will continue to use Reach More Parents (Weduc) for most of our parent communications, together with emails for some more specific messages.  This means that we ask that you check your emails for information from school.  Further details will follow about the launch of the new Arbor Parent App that will replace Reach More Parents (Weduc) and supplement our email communications.

Reignhead School Scientists

Well done to the Year 5 and Year 6 children at Reignhead Primary School who this week enjoyed taking on the challenge of carrying out science experiments under the expert guidance of Ms Palethorpe, our Faculty Leader for science. Having now visited children at Mosborough and Reignhead schools, we look forward to working with children in our other feeder schools to help them experience the kind of work they’ll do at secondary school, to secure a smooth transition to Westfield and, most importantly, to develop a love of science!

Westfield School Choir & Samba Workshop

A reminder that the new Westfield Choir will be launching in the next few weeks. Any interested students should speak to Mr Hydes in the music department.

In addition, our year 9 students have an exciting opportunity to join a samba drumming workshop on Friday 19th January. The session will focus on the energetic rhythms of Latin American culture. Students will create a traditional samba rhythm using a variety of instruments and come together to perform as a band. This will be of particular interest to any students considering BTEC Music in their option choices. Any students wanting to participate need to see Mr Hydes, spaces are limited.

Breakfast Update

We continue to offer a free breakfast to all our students, every morning from 08.00 in the dining hall. In response to student feedback this term we have changed from offering free toast to offering free hash browns. All students are welcome every day!

With many thanks for your ongoing excellent support,

Joe Birkbeck

Head of Westfield School