Books, reading and Welsh celebrations!

Posted: 5th March 2021

What a week!

It’s been an action-packed week, with the whole school celebrating St David’s Day as well as World Book Day, which proved a fantastic opportunity for our students to showcase how much they love books, reading, telling stories, and creating pictures and illustrations!

A highly creative Westbourne week, both in the classroom at school as well as the virtual one.

Well done, everybody!

World Book Day

This week, pupils from across Westbourne celebrated World Book Day in true style.

Lessons came to life on Thursday, with pupils presenting and discussing their favourite books and literary heroes, as well as dressing up as their favourite characters – from Harry Potter, Dog Man, Matilda and Miss Trunchbull, to Fantastic Mr Fox, Peter Rabbit and the Highway Rat, to name just a few! Sidonie from Year 2 even wrote and illustrated her very own book all about World War II, her current History topic!

Years 4 and 5 enjoyed watching a short film by author Chris Riddell about how creativity can come from illustrations. They were given 12 words that they had to represent as pictures, before writing an interesting sentence for each picture using that word. It was a really enjoyable test of creativity and a great way for everyone to learn more about the power of images to tell a story.

Years 6 and 7 took on an extreme reading challenge by attempting to read their favourite book in an obscure place, with many pupils also dressing up as literary characters. Ms Armstrong even read to class while pegged to a washing line! Now, that’s dedication!

Independent school Wales

Celebrating our favourite books

Leading private school Wales

Participating in the extreme reading challenge!

An unforgettable trip to the other side of the world

This morning, with suitcases packed and tickets at the ready, our Year 7 Geography students were extremely excited to be departing for a virtual school trip to Australia!

In preparation for their next class topic, they will be taken on a tour of The Snowy Mountains, visit rural Australia, go surfing, and explore the Barrier Reef. We can’t wait for the next instalment!

Leading pre secondary school Cardiff

All ready to depart!

Fair Trade Fortnight

To mark Fair Trade Fortnight, Year 7 have been trying out some recipes at home using Fair Trade ingredients. Here is Simon in action making a delicious sweet treat, and Isabella even made red velvet cupcakes decorated with the Fair Trade logo! Great cooking, everyone!

STEM school Cardiff

Simon in action

Virtual Sports Day!

Over the last couple of weeks, Year 6 have been thinking up ideas for a fun-filled Virtual Sports Day.

Using Scratch software and working in teams, they created a range of very impressive (and challenging!) activities including a digital running race, a graphical obstacle course, a CGI egg and spoon race, and a javelin competition during which competitors had to avoid the moon and its laser eyes! 

Wednesday was the big day – it was finally time for the Virtual Sports Day to take place! – and students spent their Computer Science lesson afterwards learning how to use functions in Google Sheets to process the data.

And we have a winner! Congratulations, Michael! Gethin came a very worthy 2nd place, and Evan was a triumphant 3rd. Well done to everyone who took part. What a fantastic show of creativity, teamwork and digital skills.

Sports Day private school Wales

Virtual Sports Day competition

An epic cycle ride

Nils, Year 6, cycled every day in February as part of a challenge with his cycling club, which set out to cover the distance from Barry Island to St Ives in Cornwall (252 miles!). Persevering through rain, wind, snow, as well as some cheering spring sunshine, Nils covered 42 miles in the last two days of February alone in order to complete the challenge on time.

Well done, Nils! What a fantastic achievement!

Cycle extra-curricular independent school Wales

A cycling challenge like no other!

Learning more about energy and climate change

Year 6 had a virtual visit from Tom Van Nuland this week, a Westbourne parent who works for leading global energy company, Exxon Mobil. Mr Van Nuland helped Year 6 to build upon their existing knowledge of renewable and non-renewable energy sources and climate change, and he talked to them about critically evaluating the positives and negatives of each source.

It was a brilliant opportunity for the students to ask questions and discuss these important topics with someone who has first-hand experience of the industry. A thoroughly enjoyable, eye-opening session!

Top independent school Cardiff

Tom Van Nuland discussing his area of expertise

Den building at the Prep School

Years 1 and 2 are so excited to be back at school, with their friends and teachers. And what better way to round off the week than with a fun-filled den building session? Here are some of the children working together to find, balance and assemble a variety of building materials to make the most amazing hiding places! Great teamwork!

Westbourne prep school Wales

A wonderful time outdoors

Celebrating St David’s Day!

Earlier this week, school was transformed with the colours of Wales, decorated with daffodils, dragons and with the smell of freshly baked welshcakes wafting down the corridors (thanks, Little Westbourne!).

Our younger pupils in school enjoyed celebrating Wales’ rich culture and history, with St David’s Day arts and crafts and Welsh language practice, and it was wonderful to see so many of our Prep children dressed up in red or traditional costume.

Life at Little Westbourne was particularly busy, as the children enjoyed making bunting, painting flags, making castles, baking (and eating) lots of delicious welshcakes, singing Welsh songs and taking part in a handwriting competition, before celebrating each other’s achievements with certificates. What an absolutely wonderful week!

St Davids Day independent school Cardiff

St David’s Day

Stars of the Week

There’s been more 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!

Reception: Matilda for her independence in all aspects and also for offering to help with jobs in the classroom. Thank you for your lovely attitude, Matilda!

Year 1: Libby for excellent effort making her handwriting neat and tidy. Libby has started to join her letters beautifully. Well done!

Year 2: Lilia for showing kindness, thoughfulness and consideration for the feelings and emotions of others. She has gone out of her way to make others feel special. Amazing!

Year 3: James for his fantastic effort with his Maths this week. Well done, James, you are such a superstar!

Year 4: Rania for excellent work in Maths this week. She has been completing work to a high standard and challenging herself with the extension tasks. Keep it up, Rania!

Year 5: Charlotte for effort and focus in Maths. Great job, Charlotte!

Getting to Know…

We continue our ‘Getting to Know…’ series this week by talking to Clare Leach, School Secretary and Examinations Officer at Westbourne.

How long have you worked at Westbourne? I’ve been working in Westbourne for nearly 17 years as School Secretary, Examinations Officer and I was also a boarding house parent!

What’s your background and experience? My mother was Reception teacher at Westbourne for many years and my father was also a teacher at Westbourne and then became Principal. I grew up wanting to become a teacher but after spending time covering a maternity post as a secretary in Westbourne I knew this job was for me!

What’s the best part of working at Westbourne? Westbourne is like my extended family! It is so lovely to have a close bond with students, parents and staff. I have also kept in touch with so many ex-parents and pupils over the years and it’s always great to hear from them.

What does your role mean to you? I absolutely love working at Westbourne as you can probably tell, as I’ve been here for such a long time!! I love my job! 🙂

What are you most proud of? My family – I have an amazing husband, 13 year old step-daughter and 3 year old son, who attends Westbourne, and they are my world.

How do you relax when you’re not at school? Spending time with my family and I enjoy keeping up-to-date with Marvel and DC!!

What’s the most challenging and the most rewarding part of your role? The most challenging part of my role is making sure I am there for everyone (staff and pupils) to help out as much as I can and to always work to my full ability. The most rewarding part of my role is seeing the students grow and achieve their dreams. I am not a teacher but seeing what the students can accomplish and being there to celebrate with them means so much to me.

Leading prep secondary school Wales

Clare Leach and her son, Connor

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