PhD success for Westbourne alumnus

Posted: 12th March 2021

The Westbourne Weekly View

It’s been another great week of learning and discovery at Westbourne, both in the classroom and online. We look forward wholeheartedly to welcoming all students back to school next week.

As well as celebrating the endeavours of current students, this week we were delighted to learn that alumnus Nicola Gambaro (class of 2017) has been awarded a PhD scholarship as part of the ‘Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet’ Doctoral Training Partnership at Imperial College London.

Nicola transferred to us from another IB school and flourished at Westbourne. He attained full marks for his extended essay, which looked at the environmental impact of mining in the Gesso Valley in Italy – a topic that provided the basis for his university study, starting with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geoscience at Durham (for which he was awarded First Class), and progressing to a Master’s degree in Environment Management and Assessment and, now, PhD at Imperial. His PhD research will focus on developing a model to track the flow of rare metals through the economy.

We hope that Nicola will be able to join us in school in the not too distant future to speak to current students about his achievements since leaving Westbourne.

“Two years at Westbourne School turned my life around. After moving to the UK from Italy at 16, I felt disoriented, unsure what steps to take in life, and not particularly interested in studying.

Studying the IB taught me hard work and, through the support of the teaching staff, made me realise my enthusiasm for environmental science, giving me a clear path for the future.”

PhD student Westbourne School

Nicola Gambaro

Celebrations for IB2

Many congratulations to Andre and Anthony, who received the news that they have received all five UCAS offers.

Anthony has now received offers to study Natural Sciences from Cambridge, King’s College, UCL, Warwick and Manchester, whilst Andre has received offers to study Psychology from Cardiff, Dundee, Royal Holloway, Sheffield, and East Anglia.

We’re delighted at such a brilliant result for both of these students, as they embark on their next chapter at university.

Leading private IB school Cardiff

Andre and Anthony

Artist investigations

Our Year 9 and 10 GCSE Art students have submitted some wonderful submissions for the contextual element of their coursework, in which they have to investigate an artist of their choice. Their work shows really creative presentation and excellent exploration of different media. Great work!

GCSE art private school Wales

GCSE artwork

More Extreme Reading!

This week, Year 8 joined in the Extreme Reading Challenge to mark World Book Day 2021, reading their favourite books in all manner of weird and wonderful places! Amazing creativity (and concentration skills!) from all the students who took part.

World Book Day leading prep and senior school Wales

Year 8 join in the World Book Day reading challenge

International Women’s Day

This week, we celebrated a very important day in the calendar – International Women’s Day. Year 6 spent time writing about inspiring women from history. Barnabe created a booklet about Marie Curie and Evan wrote a first-person recount of Amelia Earhart’s final journey. Wonderful work from everyone, including some very sensitive tributes to such inspirational women.

International women's day Cardiff

Writing about inspirational women

Casting Shakespearean spells!

Year 6 English students have been getting acquainted with Shakespeare this week, focusing on Macbeth. The class created their own witches’ spells using poetic devices found in the play, choosing between creating an evil spell or a good spell. Michael went one step further and created a tea-stained spell…

Shakespeare leading secondary school Cardiff

Taking inspiration from Shakespeare

Another FaBulous week!

From blossom to buds and beaming smiles, our Year 2 and 3 adventurers enjoyed being out in the fresh air this week to look for signs of spring in the natural world. Reception and Year 1 also joined in with FaB School this week, watching Miss Djiallis’ video remotely before heading out together. Great work, everybody!

Beach forest school Wales

Looking for signs in nature

Sponsored bounce for World Down Syndrome Day

The children and staff at Little Westbourne Nursery are doing a sponsored bouncy castle bounce next Wednesday (17th March) in aid of the Down’s Syndrome Association and to mark World Down Syndrome Day 2021.

The charity and raising awareness of the work it does is very important to everyone at the nursery and they have set themselves a challenge to raise as much money as possible, whilst having lots of fun!

A JustGiving page has been set up for the event, which can be found here.

An amazing initiative that we hope raises lots of money for a wonderful cause.

Little Westbourne nursery Penarth

Little Westbourne

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: Jacob for his “can-do” attitude this week! Both his work and his play have reflected his willingness to give his very best. Well done, Jacob!

Year 1: Isabela for great effort with her phonics work this week, and for blending difficult sounds independently. Great job, Isabela!

Year 2: Coco for settling into Westbourne and showing great determination in her work! It’s so lovely to have you in Year 2, Coco!

Year 3: Scarlett for her incredible Geography work on rainforest animals – beautifully presented as well as being very well researched. Great job, Scarlett!

Year 4: Alex for his fantastic effort with his spellings and times tables on EdShed. Well done, Alex!

Year 5: Yousif for writing a beautiful account of why his mum is an inspirational woman to him. Brilliant work, Yousif!

Getting to Know….

We continue our ‘Getting to Know…’ series this week by talking to Mrs Jan Allen, Middle Years Coordinator and PE teacher at Westbourne.

Jan Allen PE Westbourne Senior School Cardiff

Mrs Allen

How long have you worked at Westbourne? I started in Westbourne in 2009, so I’m in my 12th year – time flies when you’re having fun!

What’s your background and experience? I’m one of those people in life who never left education. I went from school to university and straight back to school. I started teaching on the day of my 22nd birthday. I’ve taught in three other schools and my previous post was in Whitchurch High School. I went from over 2,500 pupils and classes of 36 plus to Westbourne, which was under 200 pupils when I first joined. Life couldn’t have been more different.

What’s the best part of working at Westbourne? Having the smaller classes means that you get to know every single pupil and what works for them. Some people are under the misconception that PE teachers only like pupils that are good at sport; simply not true. I admire any pupil that tries their best, regardless of ability and some of my greatest highlights have been witnessing pupils gain confidence and go from strength to strength. I also think a successful school is built around having positive relationships between students, staff and parents – that’s where I think Westbourne excels.

What does your role mean to you? As a PE teacher I want pupils to enjoy sport and exercise and the multitude of benefits this subject can bring, not just in school, but throughout their lives. In my role as Middle School Coordinator I want to ensure every pupil is happy and supported in order to order to fulfil their true potential.

What are you most proud of? From a personal point of view, 3 things, in reverse order: 1) completing a marathon, 2) representing my country in netball, the pinnacle of which was competing in a World Championships and the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, and 3) the most important to me – being a wife and a mother to two amazing children.

How do you relax when you’re not at school? Exercise first and foremost, I love going for long walks and I still play competitive netball for my club, Central, in the Cardiff & District League. However, I absolutely adore cleaning, organising and ironing. If I wasn’t a teacher I would happily clean, tidy and iron all day long whilst listening to Ricky Martin songs!

What’s the most challenging and the most rewarding part of your role? Well Covid has certainly posed some challenges for teaching PE and teaching via a screen is hardly ideal, but I have been so proud of how the students have thrown themselves into it and the resilience they have shown. When I have felt a little tired on my 3rd or 4th session of the day, seeing the pupils’ enthusiasm has given me a huge boost and they have inspired me. I have been very grateful to the parents for taking out their children on long walks, runs and all sorts of activities in the evenings and on weekends. I’ve received photos and videos from basketball to dance to skiing, and their positive approach to exercise delights me. I feel very lucky to be a PE teacher in Westbourne, taking pupils out into the local community for cross country, swimming and games lessons. I have so many positive comments about how the children conduct themselves, I couldn’t be prouder of them!

Categories: News