Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you enjoyed a long weekend last weekend and are looking forward to another this weekend. I know that the strikes this week presented a significant inconvenience to many of you and I’m thankful for your patience. I’ve spent a lot of time supervising Year 11 students on the most recent strike days, and I was very impressed by how seriously they took their work. Well done to them. Since I wrote last time, we have received several donations of chess sets at SWA, enough that I am going to share some with WPA. Maybe we can hold a cross school tournament and see if Year 6 can beat Year 7. Thank you very much to the parents who made those donations.
We’ve been enjoying preparing for the coronation recently, though I’ve been slightly put out by the number of students who think I might have seen the last one 70 years ago. Students at SWA have made bunting for our coronation competition which Dr Geall and I will be judging early next week. At WPA, we are looking forward to an afternoon of activities today and hoping the weather holds. By the time you read this, you’ll know whether it rained or not. Fingers crossed.
Year 6 have been working extremely hard to prepare for their SATs next week. I’m looking forward to being in WPA every morning next week to support where I can. They have done a lot of hard work. All that is left to do is to get a nice early night on Monday, eat a good breakfast on Tuesday morning then come to school and absolutely smash the SATs. Good luck Year 6. You’re going to do amazingly.
Year 7 Parents evening
It was good to have such high attendance at the year 7 parents evening this week. I know some parents were frustrated that it was difficult to get appointments for some classes. The reason for that is that, due to the tricky staff shortages that I have told you about in the past, we have a smaller number of staff doing a larger amount of work. That means that some teachers were trying to see sixty students in forty appointments which obviously can’t work. I think that most people who wanted feedback from teachers have now got it, but if there is a subject you want to know more about your child’s progress in, please get in touch and we’ll make sure you get the information you want.
We’ve been hosting the Curiosity Cube at SWA this week. It is a converted shipping container which travels the world to bring science into the community. It has been a pleasure to welcome the other schools across Haverhill to come and enjoy it with us. If you are interested, you can find more information here: https://www.merckgroup.com/en/news/curiosity-cube-26-04-2023.html
Duke of Edinburgh
Forty student and several staff will be attending the Duke of Edinburgh bronze award practice expedition this weekend. DoE is a great scheme that I fully support – I led the scheme in other schools for many years before I became a headteacher and I’ve seen the positive impact it has. I’m pleased that so many students are taking the award this year and I’m looking forward to recruiting even more next year.
Pupils at WPA are wearing purple today to raise money for cancer research. There are very few of us whose lives have not been affected by cancer in some way, so this is a very worthwhile charity. Many of our older children are carers for parents with cancer or other illnesses and they do an amazing job often very quietly and without fuss. I’d like to take this opportunity to send all of our best wishes to anyone suffering with illness at the moment, and to say thank you and well done to all of our young carers.
Year 9 are going to Thorpe Park next week. We’ve communicated with all parents about that already, but please be sure to read those notes because they contain some important information, including that Thorpe Park now conduct bag searches on all visitors. There is no requirement to remove shoes or belts like you would in an airport, but they encourage visitors not to take open food or drink through the security checks.
The Happy Sheds at both schools are working well. We have been able to support over 40 families across both schools with requests ranging from food to furniture. I want to reiterate that we don’t ask for any evidence of need and we don’t share the details of who asks for help with anyone. We only take a name so we can be sure the support gets to the right place.
We currently have good supplies of uniform and dry food in both schools. Although we have a very small amount of cash funding, we are mainly reliant on donations Currently, we are being asked for bedding and baby equipment. If any of you are able to donate any, I would be very grateful. We are also looking for a stairgate if anyone has one of those they are no longer using.
The Mens’ Shed movement is a national organisation which offers spaces for men to get together and enjoy social time, share practical skills and offer each other companionship and support. The Haverhill Mens’ Shed has been growing for a while and have been looking for new premises. I’m very pleased that we have started discussions over an arrangement for them to use the bungalow at the entrance to SWA as their base for the next few years. It isn’t currently used and it will be great to be able to provide a home for this important community group. If you are interested in joining the men’s shed, you can contact them through their website: https://sites.google.com/view/haverhill-shed/home
Have a great weekend,
Samuel Ward and Westfield Primary Academies