It was a week of celebration and exhilaration as we welcomed the youngest primary school members of the Westbourne community back to school! Our classrooms were filled with fun and smiles as Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 had the chance, at last, to see their friends and teachers after a long period of lockdown – and we were truly thrilled to see them back.
Our staff are working hard to ensure the highest levels of protection for all students, with regular cleaning of facilities and equipment, and all the necessary precautions taken to make sure our children stay safe.
We continue to work closely with all returning pupils and their families to ensure that every child makes a successful transition back to classroom life. We’re monitoring every pupil carefully to identify any areas where they might need additional support, and to ensure that all the amazing skills they have gained during lockdown are built upon further with us at school.
It’s so wonderful to see you all again!
And it didn’t take long for the fun to commence… Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 had a great time this week making slime in their science lessons. Look at all those happy faces!
During lockdown, Year 2 have been exploring dragon myths and legends. So this week, what better thing to do than to sample a dragon’s favourite food – dragon fruit! It was also a perfect opportunity to do some Maths and revise fractions.
Thank you everyone for your wonderful responses to this story on social media this week.
After hearing of her school friend Nye’s brave struggle with cancer at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Year 2 student, Sofia, wished that there was something she could do to help him or other children going through similar battles.
Lyanna, also in Year 2, who has previously donated her own beautiful hair to Little Princess Trust, told Sofia how they use donated hair to make wigs for children who have lost theirs through illness or treatment, blending maybe four or five lots of donated hair to make one wig at a cost of around £500.
Sofia was so inspired and encouraged by this that she grew her hair until there was enough to cut 12 inch ponytails and also decided to donate £100 that she requested for her birthday instead of gifts.
Any additional donations will be gratefully accepted by Westbourne Prep School on behalf of Little Princess Trust and will be forwarded by Mrs Chinnock.
As part of the topic of superheroes, our nursery pupils have been thinking about real-life superheroes – at a time when there are so many. In a show of celebration, the children decided to make cakes for doctors, cards for firefighters, draw pictures for nurses, and give their teachers a hug! It was a wonderful way to learn more about different professions and the impact they have on the world. Brilliant job!
Moving onto news from our older cohort…
We are extremely proud of IB2 student Anthony, who has once again achieved Gold in the annual UK Chemistry Olympiad 2021, organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry. This is his fourth Gold accolade, after being awarded two in Biology last year and one in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge.
Anthony has been ranked in the top 36 students nationally (out of 7,160 students from 666 schools) and, as a result, has been selected to progress to the second round, which will be run remotely at the end of March. Four of these students will then go on to represent the UK in the final, international round hosted this year in Japan in the summer.
All this, in addition to being accepted to study Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge! Well done, Anthony.
Our languages students who are still learning from home have enjoyed taking part in the British Council’s fantastic ‘Express Yourself in Lockdown’ intiative, run in partnership with the Association for Language Learning. The online event, where language learners have to submit a short poem, presentation, sketch or dialogue in their chosen language, is designed to show how languages are thriving in lockdown. Here are the entries from our Pre-IB German students. Great job, everyone!
Continuing with our ‘Getting to Know…’ series, this week we talk to Form Tutor in the Early Years/KS1, Andrew Murray.
How long have you worked at Westbourne? I have been part of the Westbourne family all my life, from being a pupil here and now working here after graduating with a degree in teaching in Carmarthen University. I have been working here five years and have enjoyed every moment of it.
What’s your background and experience? Being part of a family full of teachers it became apparent that teaching was ‘in the genes’! Since a young age, I found an interest in teaching through working in children’s sports camps. I enjoyed teaching children important sports skills and how to work as a team. Since graduating with a BA Honours + QTS at Carmarthen University in 2012, I have taught in a number of schools but have never felt at home as much as I do at Westbourne.
What’s the best part of working at Westbourne? I have worked in many schools and can see and feel the difference straight away in Westbourne. One of the best parts of working at Westbourne is being part of our amazing team. Westbourne has a ‘family’ feel, we all support and care for each other. It’s always felt like this and it hasn’t changed. I like the way that we know the children as individuals and are able to build good relationships with each child. The children at Westbourne are keen to learn which helps make an exciting learning environment. The parents are amazing and very supportive too!
What does being a Co-ordinator/ Form Tutor mean to you? Being a Form Tutor in the Early Years/KS1 is such a privilege. I believe being a form teacher holds a lot of responsibility and each day you are a role model to the children. It’s great getting to know the class well and providing the support needed to cater for each of their individual needs.
What are you most proud of? I am proud of many things, but I am very proud of successfully qualifying as a teacher with Westbourne being part of the building blocks. I am also proud to be part of the Early Years/KS1 team as it is a privilege to have an impact on the children’s lives at such a crucial point in their learning journey.
How do you relax when you’re not at school? Spending time with family is important to me. Spending time at the beach is also important as I love anything to do with the ocean! I am a keen surfer and paddle boarder. I thoroughly enjoy any sports that involve getting in the sea! I also enjoy travelling and photography.
What’s the most challenging and the most rewarding part of teaching remotely? This past few months have been the strangest times for many. It has come with its challenges – not being with the children in person was definitely one, but Westbourne has dealt with it excellently and have supported their staff throughout.
Children in the Early Years learn through experience and practical activities. It’s important for them to be surrounded by their peers, so this past year has been challenging for us all. It has been great to see and teach the children over Zoom and it was rewarding to see the children’s faces light up on their return when they saw their friends again! Thanks to all the parents and staff for pulling together to make it such a success!
We’ve seen some fantastic work across the Prep School this week, both inside the classroom and at home, and it’s a huge challenge to choose just one star! Congratulations on your achievements everyone!
Early years: Ava for her lovely manners and also her enthusiasm during our slime experiment. Well done, Ava!
Year 1: Isaac for excellent coordination and enthusiasm during our PE team building session this week. Great work, Isaac!
Year 2: Sophia for excellent progress in her reading and for writing descriptive sentences independently! Keep it up, Sophia!
Year 3: Bea for her brilliant efforts with her creative writing this week. Well done, Bea, you’re such a superstar!
Year 4: Tom for fantastic work multiplying three-digit numbers by one-digit numbers. Well done for being so focused this week!
Year 5: Gabs and Peter for writing an awesome poem based on the structure and features of one we studied in our online class. Great job, both!