Former Silverdale Assistant Head appointed as new Westfield Head of School

We are delighted to announce that we have appointed Mr Joe Birkbeck as the New Head of School at Westfield.

Mr Birkbeck will be starting in September but has already started meeting staff to discuss plans for the future. He will also be attending the Parents' Information Evening on Wednesday 19 July and the Year 6 Transition Evening on Thursday 6 July, where he will be presenting the next steps for the school in conjunction with Roisin Paul, the Executive Headteacher.

Mr Birkbeck was previously an Assistant Headteacher at Silverdale, the lead school in the MultiAcademy Trust currently supporting Westfield. He then moved to a Deputy Head position in West Yorkshire, where he is currently.

He has worked across a number of schools in West and South Yorkshire in very different contexts and with diverse student populations. He has held roles as a History teacher, Head of Department and Head of Key Stage 4, as well as Senior Leadership Team roles as Assistant Head (Progress and Assessment), Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning) and Deputy Head (Curriculum).

Mr Birkbeck said: "I'm keen to work with colleagues, students, parents and governors at Westfield to develop a shared vision for the school. However, my priorities will be simple: to ensure excellent leadership at all levels, and excellent teaching and learning, and to secure brilliant results and outcomes for all of Westfield's students - whatever their background, interests and aptitudes.

My aim is that all members of the school community will feel supported and challenged to excel - that students will gain not only excellent results, but also that they will develop skills to be independent, critical thinkers, and become young adults with a sense of social responsibility, able to make a positive contribution to their local community and beyond.

"I've been impressed by the huge pride that the staff and students at Westfield have in their school, their determination to make the school great and their optimism about the future. I can't wait to get going!"

Roisin Paul, Executive Headteacher of Westfield, said: "I am delighted that Mr Birkbeck is joining our team at Westfield. Having worked with him previously at Silverdale School, I know what a positive difference he can make to a school.

"He is passionate about providing the very best education for young people, and incredibly hardworking. He is very approachable and I know he will be an excellent role model for staff and students alike. His experience and expertise will really help us take the next important steps as we move Westfield towards becoming a good - and eventually - an outstanding school".

Governing Body Update

Following the recent Ofsted inspection, the Westfield School Governing Body commissioned a review of their work, to help ensure that they can be as effective as possible.

The review highlighted some of the good work undertaken already but put forward some clear recommendations to improve the Governing Body's effectiveness.

 They are now meeting regularly to try and implement these actions, which include:

  • improved communications with parents and staff;
  • more targeted training for governors including an annual CPD plan;
  • improvements to the running of governor meetings to make them more businesslike;
  • changes to the structure of the board;
  • clear induction processes and information for new Governors;
  • developing a stakeholder engagement plan.

The Governing Body will be sending further, more detailed information to parents and carers over the coming months.

Year Of Reading

Westfield School is a reading school where everyone encourages, supports, shares and celebrates the joy of reading for pleasure. The teachers at Westfield are setting our new Year 7 students a summer reading challenge. For full details of the challenge please click here.

Westfield’s Year of Reading includes a reading challenge of 50 books all staff and students are being encouraged to read. A list of the books can be found here.

 

Westfield News

Please click here to view issue one of the school newsletter which provides updates for parents/carers of students at Westfield School.

Sheffield Digifest

We recently attended the new STEM learning centre in Sheffield with our Computing Ambassadors and students and participated in a variety of computing activities such as Robotics, Virtual Reality, Python programming with Minecraft and app making.

Students who attended really got a lot out of it and were fantastic all day and we received so many comments from people saying how amazing the Westfield students were. They were all fully engaged in the activities, asking lots of questions to some of the attending businesses and other participants.

Final congratulations go to Jack Underwood on winning 3 awards and to the year 9 Computing Ambassadors for all their hard work this year and participation on the course teaching primary schools throughout the year.

Final congratulations go to Jack Underwood on winning 3 awards and to the year 9 Computing Ambassadors for all their hard work this year and participation on the course teaching primary schools throughout the year.

Y10 Art Students have their work on display as part of the Times and Places Exhibition

Our Year 10 Art students have been involved in an issue based art project creating work about dementia and we have been overwhelmed to see the varied responses and quite touched with how mature and thoughtful the pieces of work are.

We started the project by discussing what the students knew about dementia and they completed written work around the emotions family members may have whilst caring for someone with dementia. We also imagined what a person suffering from dementia may feel.

Students were told this piece of work was to be anything they liked, the only restraint being that it linked to memories or dementia.

This has been a very worthwhile experience and the students have been engaged and interested, enjoying the freedom to express their ideas in a creative way.

The artwork has been on display at the Sheffield Cathedral as part of the Times and Places exhibition, raising awareness of dementia.

 

Westfield Students Impress at The Careers and Enterprise Conference!

Three of our Y11 students, Manny, Laura and Kelsey, recently took a trip to London for the day to take part in a student voice conference with The Careers & Enterprise Company. Not only were our students articulate, mature and professional throughout the meeting, they also made a huge amount of valid and valuable points. The students spoke highly of Westfield School and their experiences within the Student Council and the Student Leadership Team which impressed the professionals around the table. The Careers and Enterprise Company were very impressed with our students and said that their input and suggestions had been incredibly helpful. I have no doubt these students will go far!!

The Sky is the Limit for Westfield Students!

Former Westfield students regularly come into school to talk to Year 10 students about what they have gone on to achieve and the possible career options open to them.

Bradley Cranstone gave students an inspirational talk about how he had the grit and determination to put himself through his pilot's licence.

He was the youngest person to qualify in the UK and is soon starting his career with Jet2 Airline.

Extra Curricular Sports Activity

Did you know that Westfield has a vast extra curricular programme across a host of sports?

We have teams that take part in Sheffield Federation Sport and School Games in Football, Rugby League, Netball, Badminton,Athletics, Trampolining, Swimming, Cheerleading and last year saw the return of Cross Country.

We also have recreational sport on offer on a weekly basis via Table Tennis, Lacrosse and more Football. We cater for our expressive students through a Dance club and host an annual Dance show to showcase their talents.

We also offer clubs directed at targeted groups to increase their participation — namely Change4Life for our SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) students. The Change4Life club is run by willing Sports Leaders each week and has led to us entering a team in IZ Basketball, SEND Cricket and SEND Athletics competions. 

Year 7 Students Are Thinking Hard About Maths

Last week our Year 7 students shone in Maths as they delivered the schools “Thinking Hard” strategy to their peers.

These high ability students delivered challenging Maths tasks to different classes, having taken time to prepare the lesson beforehand. Great work!

Did You Know Our Language Students Teach In Our Community?

Every week some of our Key Stage 3 students go out into our feeder primary schools and teach modern foreign languages to the children there.

They take it very seriously — planning lessons, supporting one another in their preparations and ensuring they truly engage the primary school students.

Many of our students also take part in our afterschool language groups, in both German and Spanish. Sehr gut! Muy bien!

Pop Maths

In March, the Maths department had the pleasure of taking four teams to the annual POP Maths! event at Sheffield Hallam University. The teams hotly competed in an hour long quiz against other schools across the whole of South Yorkshire, and gave them a run for their money.

After the quiz was finished the students also had the opportunity to hear a lecture from Ben Sparks about the Creation of Number which was incredibly inspiring and gave pupils a taste of Mathematics at a higher level.

The day was a huge success, and watching the students come together to work as part of a team was exceptional. Students thoroughly enjoyed the event and they are already looking forward to the competition next year!

History Comes To Life For Westfield Students

Last week Year 10 History students were given a practical insight into World War One.

“Frontline History” ran a series of workshops and presentations using original artefacts from this important historical period. This included medical equipment used to treat injuries — which tied in with their current studies on the Treatment of the Wounded in the Trenches of the First World War. The students learnt about the weapons that caused these terrible injuries as well as the conditions that caused illnesses such as Trench Foot.

We had some really positive responses from the students.

Officially The Best PE Department In Sheffield

Last year was quite simply the greatest in the sporting history at Westfield. Not only did we achieve huge sporting success, we had huge attendance in after school sport and made a real difference in our community. And our PE department won the John Moss Award in Sheffield, earning us the title of PE Department of the Year!

We also have one of the largest Sports Leaders Academies in the city, with over 75 trained students from Years 7 through to 11. The school has built a culture where it is a genuine honour and a sought after position to be a Sports Leader. The Leaders are integral to what we offer within our community. Last year we ran 19 festivals and events and all nine of our feeder schools were involved.

The events ranged from athletics and gymnastics through to Key Stage 1 ball skills and Year 6 transition events. All of these events are led and driven by our Sports Leaders and last year they allowed over 3000 young participants the chance to be active and competitive. Perhaps the highlight was our Olympic Torch relay. Ten schools were visited by our four Legacy Makers who brought with them a real London 2012 Olympic Torch. Each school gave the torch a Rio 2016 style welcome and presented the Legacy Makers a handmade Olympic Torch designed by a selected child.

What the schools produced was quite simply unbelievable. The quality of our Sports Leaders has been recognised by various external organisations. It speaks volumes that we have Sports Leaders involved in the Points Leadership Academy, the Sheffield Academy of Young Leaders and we have volunteers at events such as the British Athletics Championships and the UK School Games. Most recently Westfield was awarded Sports Leaders UK Academy status.

Former Students Hit Top Grades at Sheffield Wednesday

Former students, Owen Ryan and Patrick Stothard, are currently studying the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport through the Sheffield Wednesday education programme based at Hillsborough.

The course focuses on areas such as anatomy and physiology, sports nutrition and sports coaching.

At the end of their first year of study, they have achieved the maximum grades possible and gained Distinctions in all units.

Well done from everyone at Westfield!