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Letter from the Headmaster, Mr Neil Walker

29 September 2017

Looking back at September.


Dear Parents 29th September 2017

I am writing to you at the end of the first month of this new school year to look back on what has been a very busy time. I would like to extend my thanks to all girls, staff and parents for the warm welcome you have given me. My particular thanks go to the Westfield Association for organising the cheese and wine event last weekend. I’m looking forward to future events such as the Bonfire and Fireworks and the Christmas Fayre in the next couple of months.

Upper Three had their residential bonding trip to Broomley Grange under the watchful eyes of Mr Shieber and Miss Lamb. They had a great time, undertaking many leadership, teambuilding and adventurous activities and many strong friendships were formed on this trip. 

As many of you know, Upper Four are on their residential adventure trip to High Borrans at the moment and I hope to be visiting them there tomorrow. This follows a very well attended curriculum evening where the girls and their parents found out how the GCSE options process will work this year. 

Mr Ratcliffe has arrived safely in South Africa with the Upper Five and Lower Sixth girls who are attending this year’s Round Square International Conference. The opportunities that Westfield girls have to be involved with schools from across the world and to develop an international understanding is unique in the area and something that I would very much hope to build on so even more girls can be involved in the future. We are very pleased to be welcoming Alice who is coming on a RS exchange from Australia to study with Abby Hillier for the next five weeks after Abby spent the summer staying with her during our summer holiday.

Autumn is definitely coming to Westfield with the misty mornings but beautiful sunny afternoons. Children in the Early Years have been looking for signs of Autumn in the garden and collecting brightly coloured leaves and conkers. Some of the older girls have been collecting and marking conkers then hiding them in various places before returning in a couple of weeks’ time. They will see which ones are still there and what has happened to them to mimic squirrels’ attempts to gather and maintain a food store for the winter.

Lower One have been out and about in Gosforth High Street and Newcastle Centre being ‘Street Detectives’ with Mrs Baines. They even paid for their own bus fare individually to help them practice an important life skill. 

It was lovely seeing so many of you supporting our Macmillan coffee morning today.   The cakes that were left were sold to the girls at break instead of tuck. 

I hope to see many of you at Harvest Festival next Friday morning at All Saints church at 9.15 am; the collection and all the harvest gifts will be going to the People’s Kitchen (https://www.peopleskitchen.co.uk/), a very worthwhile local charity working for the homeless and vulnerable. 

The girls, and staff, have also been settling into their new school timetable. This alteration of the school day has tidied up loose spots of unused free time where the girls did not really have any useful activity to take part in. We have also managed to increase the teaching time while shortening the day slightly.  In Senior House the biggest difference has been putting in an extra lesson on Wednesdays, meaning that we now have PSHEE being delivered by specialists rather than in form time. This allows the girls far more opportunities to look in depth at key issues that concern them such as careers, social and health concerns, etc.

Across the school we have been winding ourselves up towards Open Day on Saturday 14th. The girls are our best advert for the school and I would like to thank you all for your support in ensuring that they are here, smart and smiling, on that day. Of course if you have any friends or neighbours who you think would be interested in sending their daughters here, please do pass on a flyer to them – these are available from either school office.
It’s been an exciting start to the year and I look forward to the many exciting events and activities that are to come.

Best wishes

Neil Walker 

Headmaster

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