A jubilant return to the classroom

Posted: 19th March 2021

The Westbourne Weekly

What a week! Students and staff across the whole school were delighted to be reunited this week, as Westbourne reopened its classrooms for all. Students have shown a real enthusiasm to start lessons again, and have excelled in activities both in and outside the classroom, including some wonderful outdoor learning sessions in the Spring sunshine!

Celebrations for IB2

IB2 students celebrated the end of their oral exams this week with a French and Spanish-themed lunch, including Spanish tapas and French fruit tarts! Well done to all our IB2 students for all your hard work and determination over the past months.

IB school Wales

IB2 students enjoying the end of their oral exams

Debating glory

Our gallant debating team, Malaika and Markus, both in IB1, took part in a virtual debating competition run by Bristol University this week. Following an extremely impressive performance, they came 3rd overall (out of 44 teams), with the 2nd place team narrowly beating them by only 16 speaker points.

Congratulations to Malaika and Markus on navigating a very challenging format and some tough motions for which they had only 15 minutes to prepare, including ‘This house believes that progressive female political candidates in liberal democracies should not appeal to traditional female roles in their campaigns’ and ‘This house believes that as an immigrant parent, they would raise their children using the tiger parenting model’. Well done!

Debating Bristol University Westbourne School Cardiff

Well done, Malaika & Markus!

Eco Committee launch

This week saw the launch of the Westbourne Eco Committee, comprised of students from across the Sixth Form and Senior School and founded by Safia and Yaroslav from IB2. Building on the students’ passion to combat climate change and protect our future, the Eco Committee aspires to bring about a more sustainable future and to achieve a Green School Status for Westbourne.

The committee has already run a campaign to raise awareness of Veganuary and plans to do much more! News and updates will be posted on the group’s new Instagram page, westbourneecoclub.

Thank you to Mr Morrison for kindly agreeing to be the committee’s teacher representative.

Eco committee leading independent school Wales

The Eco Committee mission statement

French guinea pigs!

Mrs Jessop set her IB1 French students the challenge of making a fun video to showcase their language skills. The pupils had to use as many of the French “Dr & Mrs Vandertramp” verbs (verbs that form their irregular past tense with a form of “be” instead of “have”) as possible and film a story around their houses. Trevina decided to animate her guinea pigs – what a brilliant job!


Artist study

Wonderful work this week from Year 6 in response to a contextual task on the artist Rosalind Monks. After researching her work, the students produced some mesmerising studies of her intricate patterns. Great effort, everyone!

Art secondary school Wales

Exploring the work of Rosalind Monks

Westbourne heads outdoors!

Teachers made full use of the beautiful weather this week to take some of their lessons outdoors, where pupils from across the whole school, from Reception to IB2, enjoyed a variety of sessions including sport, nature exploration, team building games, and even Maths! Here are some of the highlights…

Sport Westbourne School Cardiff

Year 8 back in action with volleyball and basketball

Penarth Pier forest beach school Wales

Exploring on the beach

Leading private school Wales

Year 3 investigating capacity, using iPads to record their work

Top private school Penarth

Teambuilding games with Year 2 and 5 in their bubble

Outdoor learning independent school Cardiff

Year 4 making nature collages

Leading private boarding and day school Wales

Year 3 and 4 enjoying some free time in the Athletics Field!

Big Grow campaign

It was a fun, green-fingered start to the week for Year 2 as they planted a variety of fruit and veg in support of Innocent’s Big Grow Campaign, which aims to encourage children to grow their own produce. From beetroot and peas, to salad leaves and radishes, we can’t wait to sample the results later in the year!

Innocent grow campaign Westbourne School Penarth

Green-fingered Year 2

Little Westbourne sponsored bounce

Wednesday was a great day at Little Westbourne, as children and staff took part in the sponsored bounce! As well as having a lot of fun, the nursery raised over £4000 in aid of the Down’s Syndrome Association, which is an incredible result. Thank you to everyone who donated so generously – and thank you to our wonderful nursery team and children for taking part!


Art for Red Nose Day

Sidonie (Year 2) and her brother Barnabe (Year 6) recently held an art exhibition from their home, showcasing a display of their fantastic works of art completed during lockdown. Friends and family were able to view the work online and purchase their favourite pieces. Together, they have raised £200, which they have kindly donated to Comic Relief for Red Nose Day. Well done, Barnabe and Sidonie – what a great project!

Art exhibition independent school Wales

Sidonie and Barnabe

Stars of the Week

There’s been more fantastic work across the Prep School this week and it’s a huge challenge to choose just one star! Congratulations on your achievements everyone!

Reception: Alban for being very responsible with his work this week. You are doing so well!

Year 1: Sia for a big improvement in her handwriting and for concentrating on the presentation of her work. Well done, Sia!

Year 2: Isabelle for amazing work answering questions about monster poems in full, detailed sentences. Beautifully presented too! Great job, Isabelle!

Year 3: Grace for her incredible effort and attitude in Maths this week. A super start to school, well done Grace!

Year 4: Zak for his brilliant effort improving his recall of the 7 and 9 times tables. Great work, Zak!l

Year 5: John for his excellent focus coming back to school. Super proud of you, Johnny – keep it up!

Getting to Know…

We continue our ‘Getting to Know…’ series this week by talking to Mrs Joanne Chinnock, Headteacher of Westbourne Prep.

Top Prep school Wales

Mrs Joanne Chinnock

How long have you worked at Westbourne? I have worked at Westbourne since 2005 – so 16 years now!

What’s your background and experience? I knew from a young age that teaching was something I thought I might be good at. After taking my A-levels, I travelled to America for four months to teach hockey. Once I returned, I started my Geography degree in Bristol and then followed that with my teaching qualification. After university, I moved to London and taught in a few schools as a supply teacher, but London was not the place I wanted to settle. In 2005, I moved back to Cardiff and applied for a post advertised in Westbourne. And the rest is history. In those 16 years, I have had two children, who both have attended the school since they were two, and also worked in most age groups from Year 4 to Year 11!

What’s the best part of working at Westbourne? The people. The pupils, parents and staff. I will never know how we do it, but we just have the best people in our Westbourne community.

What does your role mean to you? When I was asked to become Headteacher of the Prep School, I actually thought it was a joke. I felt I was not qualified enough. But what they must have seen was someone who loves their job and what our school represents. My role is not a job – it is part of my life and who I am. I have always been a firm believer that whatever job you do – do it to the best of your ability. I am just lucky that the job I do is one that I truly love and hold very dear.

What are you most proud of? Gosh – that’s a difficult question. On a professional level, becoming Headteacher of Westbourne Prep was a hugely important time in my life. On a personal level – my family. I have the most amazing (occasionally annoying) children, I have a wonderful husband (also occasionally annoying) and I have truly incredible parents and siblings.

How do you relax when you’re not at school? Spending time with my family. My parents and my sisters are like my best friends. I also enjoy running, although I am sadly not great at it!

What’s the most challenging and the most rewarding part of your role? The most challenging part of my role has probably been the last 12 months. The lockdown threatened to stop what Westbourne was all about – the day-to-day relationships. But, it didn’t. From the first Monday after lockdown was enforced – we had a comprehensive online programme to ensure the children stayed connected. It was never really about the academics for me. I knew the children would continue to work hard and flourish. It was all about making the children still feel cared for and part of our school – even when working remotely. And the most rewarding – again, having a job that allows me to work with such amazing pupils, caring parents and incredible members of staff. I live Westbourne!

Categories: News