Dear Parents and Carers,
It seems like a long time since I last wrote to you, partly because of the longer half term break. I know that there will be a full evaluation of the impact of that break in the spring, but in the meantime if you have a view or opinion on that extended break, please feel free to email me. I will collect and pass on your thoughts.
A long-term staff absence on the senior team at SWA has meant that I have spent much of my time for the last four school weeks there instead of splitting my time between SWA and WPA. I’m enjoying spending more time here again but missing the staff and students at WPA a lot. It was lovely to see some groups of Year 5 pupils over at SWA recently making use of the cookery rooms to bake Smørrebrød. Whatever that is, it smelt delicious.
Last Friday we held a minute's silence in assembly to remember all the lives lost at War. Lots of our children took part in Haverhill's Remembrance Parade on Sunday and represented the schools brilliantly. Students at Samuel Ward who are members of a uniformed organisation were invited to wear their uniforms to school. Thank you to all those who did – they looked rightly proud of their organisations, their uniforms and themselves.
Attendance is a big focus for both schools. It seems clear to me that there are two substantial drivers for student to be successful. Firstly, we need to get the best teachers we possibly can delivering our lessons. Secondly, we need to make sure that children are engaged and working hard. You can’t do that if you aren’t in school. A colleague from another school told me that last year, children with attendance above 95% achieved on average one grade better in every subject than children with attendance of below 95%. Some days we are just too ill to get out of bed. Mostly, we can get to school. It is really important that we do.
Westfield Charity events
On Tuesday we celebrated National Diabetes Day by wearing blue and today we are raising money for Children in Need by having a crazy hair day. From myself and all the staff at WPA, a huge thank you to our Westfield community for supporting all our events.
SWA and HC6 Awards Evening
The Awards Evening this year will be held on 19th December. Invites for students and parents will be going out over the two weeks. If you are invited, I urge you to attend. It is a lovely way to end the term.
The SWA Christmas Concert this year is on Wednesday 20th December at 6.00pm. For the first time, we are very much hoping that the choir from Westfield will join that performance. We also have a lot of students from SWA who want to perform, and it is going to be a job to get everyone in. What a lovely problem to have. Tickets will be available through ParentPay closer to the time.
A small group of Year 10 students will be travelling to Croatia in spring 2024 and will be involved in conservation work for the Blue World Institute with the key focus on marine conservation. They will also be taking part in trekking and sea kayaking which will challenge their fitness and mental endurance.
The students have spent the past 18 months fundraising for their trip and are now on the final push. They, with the support of their parents and Samuel Ward staff, will be hosting a quiz night here at school. I’ve been asked to host – I feel very privileged.
That event is on Friday 24 November 2023 starting at 7pm. It costs £12 per person including fish and chip supper or £5 per person without a meal. You are invited to bring your own drinks and snacks.
Teams up to 6 players and there will be a raffle held on the night.
You can book places by emailing email@example.com
Please do join us for a fun evening.
We are making some changes to the way we ask students to use their study periods. Where students are using those study periods well and are on top of their work in all their subjects, we will continue to let them manage their own independent study. Where they aren’t, we will expect them to attend directed study periods. That new arrangement will be in place next week.
Have a good weekend,
Samuel Ward and Westfield Primary Academies