A fond farewell to IB2

Posted: 23rd April 2021

Celebrating the Westbourne journey

Last Friday, we acknowledged the achievements of our IB2 students with a special celebration. IB2 students were joined by parents and staff, both at school and via Zoom, to celebrate and remember their time at Westbourne. It was a wonderful evening that paid tribute to the strength, character and poise of our graduating IB class, who have excelled in their studies during a very difficult year. We wish them all the best as they embark on the next chapter of their journey!

IB2 celebrations last week, including David’s birthday!

Westbourne has changed me for the better. From becoming more confident, having just moved countries, and making the best of friends. The world-class teaching and encouragement I received improved my academic ability, preparing me for IB…. I will always love this school for giving me opportunities to excel and be a leader.
IB Diploma independent school Cardiff

Safia, our Head Girl

I am very fortunate to have studied with and know some of the brightest minds I have ever met.
IB private sixth form Wales

Head Boy Yaroslav

The truth is that Westbourne is a school like no other. The relationships you build and the connections you make, the fact that everyone knows each other and everyone is here for each other when you most need them, and at the same time everyone is here to share to your celebrations is something I will truly remember.
Westbourne IB student independent school Wales


A student perspective on Covid-19

This week we were delighted to welcome back several of our international students to school.

IB1 student Jayendra returned to Westbourne after isolating in his home country of Mauritius. Here, Jayendra talks about how it feels to be reunited with his classmates and how much he is enjoying being back in the physical classroom.

On my first day back at the school I felt as welcomed as ever with countless smiles and greetings from teachers and friends. Being back has been brilliant, and nothing beats the face-to-face experience that we get at Westbourne. Looking back after two weeks of school I believe I made the right decision to come back to Westbourne and leave my blood family to rejoin my new family in Penarth.
IB Diploma school Cardiff

IB1 student Jayendra

Preparations for Model United Nations

This week, Year 8 Geography enjoyed a lively debate on why their allocated country was a superpower, in preparation for their upcoming Model United Nations work. They looked at land and population size, type of government, military size and trading partners to develop their arguments. Watch this space for more on their first big debate!

Debating independent secondary school

Year 8 presenting their arguments

Independent investigations

At Westbourne, we encourage independent thinking and investigation. Inspired by a Computer Science lesson, Mathias (Year 8) decided to build an electronic flip-flop circuit at home, designing a printed circuit board and enlisting a prototyping company to make this so that he could solder up a permanent version of his circuit.

Mathias took his interest in combining hardware and software much further over the Easter break, creating a remote gas monitoring system from a few sensors and a microcontroller. A career in intelligent systems design awaits!

Computer science private secondary school Penarth

Mathias at work!

Extra-curricular clubs

The school runs a variety of extra-curricular clubs across year groups. This week, Year 6 enjoyed some after school activities including a Maths Booster Club and Running Club. Well done to all who came along for showing such enthusiasm in both endeavours!

Leading independent secondary school Wales

Running Club

Honing research skills

Pupils in Year 5 have really enjoyed researching the causes and effects of flooding this week in Geography, as well as finding out all about dredging! 

Geography class private school Wales

Year 5 Geography

A wonderful week of staying active

With the sun out and Penarth looking particularly lovely this week, what better thing to do than get active outdoors?! Tennis and basketball were in full flow this week across year groups, and Year 2 enjoyed an especially fun class working on the fundamental movement skill of jumping and landing correctly.

Sport independent prep senior school Wales

Year 5 basketball

Prep school Wales

Year 2

Science in action

Year 3 enjoyed learning all about seed dispersal in Science this week, including acting out the different disperal methods. There was some fantastic water, carrying and shaking performances from the whole class!

Prep school Wales

Acting out science

Prep School spring fun

Spring has most definitely sprung in the Prep School, with pupils enjoying making the most of time outside, including outdoor learning sessions to complement classroom teaching, games and breaktimes under the blossom. There is still a real sense of excitement from our students about being back at school post-lockdown and the whole community is relishing being back together in person.

Leading private boarding and day school Wales

Blossom in the Prep School

Stars of the Week

Here are our Stars of the Prep School this week:

Reception: Jacob for a fantastic job with number bonds this week, not to mention getting to grips with writing the numbers 2, 3, 5! Amazing determination, Jacob!

Year 1: Annabelle for a great start to Westbourne life. Annabelle has worked hard with all her activities this week and has been enthusiastic and engaged. Fantastic effort!

Year 2: Mali for an amazing improvement in her concentration and focus. She is working really hard to complete work and present it beautifully. Keep it up, Mali!

Year 3: Danielle for her fantastic creative writing. Brilliant work!

Year 4: Harrison for his impressive work on how polar bears are suited to their environment. Great knowledge, Harrison!

Year 5: Ed and Sofia for working so well researching and writing a persuasive text. Well done both!

Getting to Know….

This week we speak to Mrs Nia John, Psychology and History Teacher, and Year 9 Form Tutor.

Leading private school South Wales

Mrs Nia John

How long have you worked at Westbourne?
I was welcomed into the Westbourne community in 2016 to teach Psychology on a part-time basis, and I loved it so much I am now a full-time member of staff, teaching Psychology, History and Theory of Knowledge.

What’s your background and experience?
I graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Social Sciences. After a year of travelling, I completed my PGCE at the same university. I have taught at secondary level ever since. Until recently, I also taught at Cardiff University, teaching Welsh for Adults.

What’s the best part of working at Westbourne?
The students, of course! And the variety – no two days are the same. I can be teaching Psychology to IB students in the morning, who challenge me every single day with their original and thought-provoking questions, and then being put through my paces by Year 7 in the afternoon! Both extremes bring with them very different kinds of challenges and rewards.

What does your role mean to you?
My role as subject teacher is to ensure that each child achieves their potential and to promote my subject with passion. As Form Tutor, it is my responsibility to help nurture the wellbeing of our students. The past 12 months have been a difficult time for all of them, and I am so glad to have them all back in school!

What are you most proud of?
Getting through Lockdown! I’m proud of myself and my family for navigating our way through the madness of homeschooling, I’m proud of the students at Westbourne for demonstrating such amazing resilience, and I’m proud of being part of a team of such supportive staff, who all made it out the other side!

How do you relax?
I have two young children, so they keep me busy! I enjoy nothing more than a day at the beach, it’s the best way to relax! I think we have all come to realise how important fresh air is recently, so I enjoy making the most of the local beauty spots.

What’s the most challenging and rewarding part of your role?
The most challenging part is to ensure that the high standards and expectations of Westbourne are met, whilst balancing the wellbeing of the students – we can’t have one without the other.

The most rewarding is seeing the students grow and flourish into such wonderful young people. Although I am now based in the Senior School, I have taught in the Prep School in the past, and it has been a privilege to have seen them come from Years 4 and 5 right through to sitting their exams in the Senior School.

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