Once more Westbourne students have showcased their incredible curiosity and thirst for knowledge with an exceptional take up of our new AI learning platform, Century.
With 21,000 questions answered across Year 3 – 11, within launch week alone, student engagement has been phenomenal, just one part of a vibrant week of fully engaged online learning across the school.
From imaginative architecture with the creation of superhero skyscrapers at Little Westbourne, sublime artwork and mathematics displays at Westbourne Prep, engaging study across the Senior School and a showcase of exceptional work across our IB students, it’s hard to imagine that somehow Miss Phillips and a dozen of our IB boarding students found time to move into our new Sixth Form accommodation No.5!
An exceptional week, Westbourne, congratulations to you all on your commitment and continued enthusiasm.
As we continue our series of discovering a little more about our staffing team, this week we turn our attention to one of our newer members of staff, Mr Huw Duggan. Mr D joined the Westbourne team in 2020 and currently teaches philosophy for children (P4C) across Years 3 – 5 and English to students up until Year 9. In his own words…
What is your background and experience?
I began my teaching career as a learning support assistant in a difficult inner-city school in Leeds. Since then I have taught in number of roles in the private and public sector in both England and Wales. I was formerly a head of a cohort one teaching school in Oldham, and Strategic Advisor for the Central South Consortium, in Wales.
When not teaching in Westbourne I’m an associate lecturer in Cardiff Met and run my educational business called the Right Learning Company whose aim is to provide high quality support for schools in Wales. I am also an Estyn Team inspector and in normal times I would regularly take part in school inspections.
What is the best part of working at Westbourne?
The best part of teaching in Westbourne is without a doubt the people. The rapport and warmth between pupils, staff and parents is unlike anything I have experienced in any other school. It truly is like being part of a very special family, except the Westbourne family is a truly global family. I really enjoy my role as I get to teach in both the preparatory school and also the senior school, so I experience depth and breadth of the challenging curriculum on offer within the school.
How do you relax when not teaching?
When not teaching or spending time thinking about developing educational pedagogy, I am a keen cyclist and skier (as the image shows)! My turbo trainer has kept me sane through lockdown as I have been living my life vicariously through virtual cycling workouts from the garage.
What is the most challenging part of teaching online?
The most challenging part of working remotely aside from obvious technical difficulties has been the lack of contact with people, and how to provide activities which are engaging and practical online, when pupils may not necessarily have the required resources at home.
Amongst lessons and activities this week, a host of our IB Boarding students, alongside IB Coordinator, Ms Phillips have somehow managed to find the time, amongst the essays and the marking to move home.
We are delighted to open the doors, with huge thanks to the hard work of our intrepid maintenance team, Steve and Seymour, to No.5, a Sixth Form only home stay literally next door to the school, location No.4!
The week has seen Year 6 busy learning about the ethics of fast fashion as part of their humanities studies with Miss Armstrong and what better way to learn than to talk directly to someone in the industry.
Sharing her first-hand experience of working at the cutting edge of high street fashion, the class were lucky enough to be joined, via Zoom, by Jess Pinkett, pictured below, from clothing company White Stuff. Answering a wide range of questions about how fashion companies are looking at more sustainable and ethical choices, her first-hand experience was invaluable.
As we know nothing stands in the way of PE lessons taking place…even a lockdown!
An active timetable of lessons throughout the week has seen a broad range of activities and skills training taking place, joined by students both online at home and key worker children in the classroom. As the images show, Year 3 and 4 are clearly enjoying the exercises.
Hurray – FAB School is back! With Reception and Year 1 first up to enjoy our thriving Forest School this term, a huge thank you to Mrs Djallis for ensuring we all get to enjoy and learn in the great outdoors throughout this time.
Online learning may present a unique set of challenges however our fabulous teaching team have been working tirelessly to deliver above and beyond, with incredible student engagement.
As Year 4 demonstrate, pupils across the school have been working collaboratively on a wide range of subjects, in this case, Maths with Mrs Doidge, with some excellent results, Well done Year 4.
The level of focus and productivity that our younger students have shown when studying remotely is incrediblee, right down to wearing their uniform each day to class.
Our teachers are working continuously to create engaging material and have been grateful for the support they receive from parents. It is great to know it all pays off when we see just how immersed children are in the educational content.
Don’t forget about our helpful guide with tips for online learning.
Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 made some incredible paintings this week as part of their Learning Live Art session with Mrs Edwards. Studying the work of Hokusai the went on to create some beautiful wave pictures demonstrating line and movement.
We’ve seen great work across the Prep School this week and as always it is a huge challenge to choose just one star! Congratulations all on your achievement this week.
Early Years: ⭐ Tony for being so positive and enthusiastic with his work this week!
Year 1: ⭐ Sia for excellent measuring in maths this week and for creating her own balance weighing scales. Great effort Sia!
Year 2: ⭐ Lyanna for including wonderful attention to detail in all of her work.
Year 3: ⭐ Huw for his exceptional descriptive writing based around The Iron Man. Excellent effort all round Huw, well done!
Year 4: ⭐ Ciara for her excellent effort and improved confidence with expanded subtraction.
Year 5:⭐ Finlay for an incredible start joining our year 5 class in lockdown.
For those at Westbourne Prep who may be missing our resident pooch, Paul, he has obligingly donned his smartest togs and struck a friendly pose…he like all of us, cannot wait to welcome you all back to class sometime very soon.