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Headmaster's May Blog

4 June 2018

Dear Parents,

Well it feels like the summer is properly here. The school grounds are looking lovely with the rhododendrons in full bloom as you come up Senior House drive and the girls have been out and about playing in the sunshine whenever they can. The warm weather must also mean that the exam season is on us once more and just before half term we had a lovely Leavers’ Assembly from the Upper Sixth who created a wonderful parody video of the staff that we all enjoyed. 

Upper Five have already had two weeks of their GCSE exams and they are bearing up well under the pressure. Our juniors have finished their in-house exams but seniors are about to start a week of them. I’d like to wish all the girls, especially those doing public exams, all the best and I’m sure that all their hard work and dedication will pay off. May started with a real flourish for the school as we celebrated Westfield Day. 

There are many key events that happened during May in our school’s history including the formation of the founding committee, the first meeting of parents with the first Headmistress and the formal opening of Senior House. This year we celebrated in a quiet fashion with a whole school assembly, a birthday cake cut by our youngest and oldest students and a picnic lunch outside.

I hope this event will grow over the years and I would like to thank all of you who offered your support for the day. Another key event at the start of May were the hustings and election of the Head Girl and Deputy. After presenting to the school, an interview with myself and finally a vote from the girls and staff it ended up as a very close run contest with Grace Tibble just edging the vote to become our Head Girl and Abby Hillier our Deputy Head Girl.

I know that they will both do amazing jobs for the school next year and I am sure that you will all join me in congratulating them both on their appointments. The Arts’ soiree was a lovely way to start the month off with performances from so many girls in different year groups; we enjoyed music, dancing and visual arts as girls from Upper One to the Upper Sixth entertained a capacity audience for the evening. 

Much of the artwork on display was seen again later in the month at the examination showcase where the girls’ final pieces are displayed as they will be for the visiting examiners in early June. The day after May Day bank holiday the whole of Key Stage Two set out for a secret destination where they spent the next three days learning to become spies. The whole residential was based around ideas from the novel Stormbreaker, the first Alex Rider story, and the girls studied code breaking, climbing and abseiling, navigation and created their own forged passports! It was lovely to see how excited they all were on their return, particularly about their code names and cover stories. 

Within Round Square we waved off an intrepid team of Lower Five girls for the adventure race, this year held in the Lake District. It was a much tougher course than in previous years but we were really pleased with the grit and determination of all the team as they won the Girls’ trophy. We also welcomed visitors from Belgrano School in Buenos Aries to talk about closer links through Round Square and we are exploring language exchanges with them for the future. The two biggest school day trips this month were the Key Stage 1 all-day workshop visit to the Rising Sun Country Park and Upper Four going to Beamish. 

All the girls had an amazing time on these outings and I have to thank all the members of staff who put such a huge amount of time and effort into planning day and residential trips for the girls to enhance their learning so much. It was great to see such a large turnout for the Children’s Cancer Run in Gosforth Park on Sunday 20th and congratulations to all the girls and their parents who took part in this, raising money and awareness for such a great cause. 

Finally, during half term, it was lovely for Ms King to celebrate her wedding with so many colleagues present and she will now be known as Mrs Smallman-King. I’m sure you will all join me in passing on congratulations to her. I hope that you have all enjoyed a restful and enjoyable half term and are looking forwards to the last few weeks of the academic year. It’s hard to believe that I have nearly finished my first year at Westfield but it has been such a joyful experience I am looking forwards to many more to come. 

Best wishes  

Neil Walker