Parents’ Newsletterspring (1) 2018
This has been a momentous half term for Westbury House School. The school now has a new owner – Amit Mehta, Inspired Learning Group, and we look forward to all that this means for the school. As a result, we are part of a group of schools and can look forward to benefiting from sharing experiences and events together.
Now is a time to think about and celebrate the Morton family and all that Mrs Mary Morton and, latterly, Miss Theresa-Mary Morton, have done for the school. From the very beginning of its life, Westbury House School has been a love affair for the Morton family. This has been a story about a passion for excellence and ensuring that all children who come through its doors are exposed to the best possible experience.
The progress your children make has always been at the forefront of their minds. We are extremely indebted to them that the school and the achievements of its pupils came first for them.
In recent years, Miss Theresa-Mary Morton has devoted an equal passion to that of her mother, and it has been a pleasure and an honour to work with her in moving the school forward. We will all miss her regular contributions to the life of the school and the care she showed in undertaking her duties as the proprietor. At a personal level, I will miss her commitment to the school and the support she gave me in doing my job.
However, we look forward to continuing to welcome her to the many events the school will host over the remainder of this academic year. We will have a celebratory event next term so that we can all show our appreciation to Miss Theresa-Mary Morton for all that she has done over the years to make Westbury House School such a special place, and I hope that you will be able to join us on that occasion. We will notify you of a date as soon as it is decided.
Despite it being a short half term, there have been many events to enrich the children’s education as you will see from the reports below.
Events at school this half term
Yr 3 Boys 6v6 Football Festival - Tuesday 9th January 2018 at Chessington Community College
All the boys in Year 3 participated in a fun festival of football at Chessington Community College. Six other schools were there, and we competed against all of them in a series of 8-minute games. The boys got off to a flying start with a 2 – 0 win over St John’s but then struggled against some very good players from St Mathews and Lovelace. In the second half of the festival, we secured victories against Malden Manor and Kings Oak, but were defeated in a good game against Lime Tree.
We played remarkably well throughout the festival with perseverance, commitment and huge amounts of resilience. We scored goals in every game except one; all players worked hard and had a great time playing football. Congratulations to all boys and to Aksharan in particular, who was awarded Player of the Tournament for Westbury House.
Year 4 Hockey vs Weston Green - Friday 12th January 2018
All of Year 4 played 5-a-side hockey against Weston Green School at their sports ground in Thames Ditton. They gave us a very warm welcome and we split our players into mixed ability teams. Weston Green are a larger school than us and had four teams, whereas we had two.
Our boys played very well, especially because they have not had hockey yet at Games. Our girls demonstrated all the skills they had been taught during their block of hockey. It was difficult to play against some of the Weston Green children because they are regular players at local hockey clubs. However, as the afternoon progressed it was evident that our players were gaining confidence and began to make some great decisions in the matches. We improved steadily and scored more goals towards the end. Congratulations to Hari who was our top goal scorer.
Outer Space Drama Workshops – 17th January
The children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 completed an energetic astronaut training to rescue planet Earth, along with the Little Green Alien from Planet Saturn. They boarded a spaceship which took them to visit planets Venus, Mars and Jupiter. When the children arrived on a planet, they had to be creative in their movements to display the different environments they came across. They eventually found planet earth on the moon.
The children thoroughly enjoyed their adventure while using music and movement to tell the story of their journey to the different planets.
Year 3 visit to Shree Ghanapathy Temple in Wimbledon
On Tuesday, 16th January, Year 3 children visited The Shree Ghanapathy Temple in Wimbledon. We were guided around the temples and were fortunate enough to observe their daily worship. The Hindu temple is very beautiful, with many amazing stone carvings and holy statues. We felt very welcome and learned many interesting things, including seeing the service and the offering of gifts to the gods.
Before we left, we had time to dress in some beautiful traditional costumes. What a wonderful day we had being part of a very special and loving community. A big thank you to Mrs Sivagurunathan for organising the visit and to Kom, our perfect host, who kindly gave to us a beautiful sari and book about the Temple renovation to take back to school with us.
Year 3 Hockey Festival with Weston Green School - Friday 19th January 2018
All of Year 3 from Westbury House mixed together with all of Weston Green Year 3 children to make seven hockey teams. A series of four fun matches were then played on the fantastic Astroturf pitch at Old Cranleighan’s Hockey Club in Thames Ditton. Apart from seeing some great skill displayed, the best part was the way the children from both schools mixed together and became friends. They quickly learned the names of each other in their teams and played some great attacking and defending hockey.
Our Year 3 children are enjoying playing competitive sport with other schools and are developing a good understanding of how to perform in these new situations. This bodes well for the future of sporting success at Westbury House School. Well done to all players.
Careers Week for Years 5 and 6 – 22nd-26th January 2018
All pupils in Years 5 and 6 were able to learn about a range of jobs during this year’s Careers Week. We are very grateful to the Hon Sir Ed Davey, MP for Kingston, who came to school to talk to the pupils about his life in politics and how he arrived at such a career choice. Mrs Rameshwaran talked to the children about a career in the law and Mr Rameshwaran talked to the children about a career in ICT. We are very grateful to all three for giving up so much time to inspire all our pupils and open the door to such exciting possibilities in their futures.
Local Police visit to Westbury House School – 24th January 2018
As part of our Careers week, our local police officer and community support officer visited Westbury House School. They informed the children of their role within the community and how they help to keep us all safe. The children had the opportunity to feel and handle the handcuffs and wear the police hat. Instead of restricting this to only Y5+6, the whole school was invited to different talks so that they could all learn about these important parts of British culture.
PC Daniel talked about his training to become a police officer and the children were able to ask him questions. The KS2 children were informed of PC Daniel’s other talent which was being a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent as a body popping dancer. He even demonstrated his dancing skills which created a lot of excitement among the children.
Year 5 trip to Museum of Bank of England - Tuesday, 30th January.
Year 5 children enjoyed a stimulating trip to the museum of the Bank of England. Whilst there, we looked at the many fascinating exhibits, tried to pick up a gold bar and enjoyed a workshop all about money, its security features and how to use a bank for saving and borrowing.
Children were able to handle sheets of pre-cut money as well as sheets of cotton paper onto which are printed £50 notes. The trip ended with a quick visit to the shop.
Klassical Kids – Thursday, 1st February
Children in Nursery and Reception and their parents or grandparents were treated to an excellent music concert performed by top professional musicians. This is a termly event and gives the children a chance to develop a love of and appreciation for classical music.
The second concert was given by the same musicians for the community. They performed to a packed hall of under-5s and their parents/carers, stimulating a pleasure and enjoyment of some wonderful music in a relaxed atmosphere.
NSPCC Numbers Day – Friday, 2nd February
Friday 2nd February saw us, once again, celebrating NSPCC Number Day at Westbury House. The EYFS children ‘dressed up for digits’ and involved themselves in counting, ordering and singing number related rhymes and songs.
The older pupils participated in a range of fun activities with a Maths theme: quizzes, puzzles, measuring competitions and various cross-curricular activities.
£138 was raised for NSPCC and Childline.
Key Stage 2 curriculum morning for parents – Monday,5th February 2018
Parents of children in Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) were invited in to school to watch the children being taught Maths. This was a chance to see what happens across the key stage both in terms of approach to the subject and what each Year group is doing.
Year 5 trip to the Houses of Parliament
On this most important day, 6th February 2018, Year 5 pupils from Westbury House attended the Houses of Parliament, where we were able to share in the celebration of 100 years since women were given the right to vote.
After an inspirational video, we had an extensive tour of the Palace of Westminster, including the Queen’s robing room, the Princes’ Chamber, the House of Lords and the central lobby. We arrived in the central lobby in time to witness the procession of the Speaker of the House, John Bercow, process through with supporting officials as he moved to open Parliament for the day. During the procession, he took the time to greet our pupils and welcome them to the Houses of Parliament, which was very exciting.
Poetry performance competition – Wednesday, 7th February
This week, we hosted the final of our school poetry competition. The week before, each child had been given the opportunity to learn a poem and present it to their classmates in the class heats for the competition. Each class had some wonderful poems recited but only the best three could go through to the final. The whole school gathered in the hall to listen to the finalists, which made it a very special occasion. Each finalist performed their poem with enthusiasm and conviction, but only one could be chosen from each class. This meant we had eight worthy winners who all received a book of poetry as their prize, which had been generously donated by Regency Bookshops. Congratulations to all those who took part, and especially to our winners: Affan, Abi, Iyla, Krish, Amelia, Arun, Yalana, Ahrutheii.
EYFS Bake Sale – Friday 9th February
Just before half term, we hosted an EYFS bake sale for the whole school. There were lots of delicious cakes brought in by our very generous EYFS children. Every single cake was sold, and we raised £81.04. All of this will go to the Deaf Health Charity, based in south London. This is a very worthwhile cause and our children were able to learn some sign-language, in case they ever meet a deaf child or adult.
This half term
The second half of the term will be at least as busy as the first half, but please support our school play, Alice in Wonderland, on 20th-22nd March, which promises to be a highlight of the term. Even if your child is not performing in it, please prioritise attending and supporting the cast.
Please also note that parents’ evening for Nursery to Year 4 is on Monday, 26th March. Parents’ evening for Years 5+6 is on Tuesday 27th March. Please try to prioritise these dates. In such a busy term that includes many trips and visits as well as the commitment of a school play, it might not be possible to find a time to meet with teachers if you can’t make these dates.
Term ends on Wednesday 28th March at 3.30pm. There will be no clubs this day and no after-school care.