It’s been another action-packed week of learning, both indoors and out, for those students who’ve been at school this week. We extended the term by a week specifically to support our younger pupils in adapting back to classroom life and to allow them some extra time to make the transition.
We look forward to welcoming everyone back next term!
Aiden from Pre-IB has been selected to represent Hong Kong in the World Fencing Championships in Cairo on 31st March, as a member of the Hong Kong national fencing team. We wish Aiden the very best of luck and huge congratulations on such a prestigious sporting achievement. Follow Aiden and all the news from the championships on the competition website.
Malaika and Markus from IB1 took part in another high-profile debating championship this week – the prestigious Imperial College London debating competition, which attracts all the country’s top teams to take part. They did a fabulous job debating some very tricky topics. Good luck both as we await the overall placings.
David, Simon and Mathias (Years 6, 7 and 8) have been successful in this year’s Glamorgan Music School’s Online Eisteddfod, having submitted videos playing a piece of music of their choice. Congratulations to David, who got an “honourable mention”, and to Mathias and Simon who have been selected as finalists! The finalists’ videos will be showcased on the Glamorgan Music School’s social media and YouTube channel on March 27th and 28th and will be assessed by professional judges. Well done!
Our Year 6 History students enjoyed a tour of the local area this week led by walking tour leader, Peter Walford. He took them on a highly engaging historical journey to learn about the docks’ coal trading ports, the significance of Baroness Windsor Clive and the tales of pirates hiding in the hills. The tour even finished at the highest point in all of South Wales!
On Wednesday morning, Year 6 took part in a National Geographic worldwide lesson all about plastic use. It was a really fun, interactive session which gave the students ideas for their own ways to repurpose and transform plastic.
Year 6 have also been making the most of the sunny weather and being back together in Maths this week, spending time outside to problem solve in small groups.
Year 4 have been very busy measuring this week! They set up some jumping and throwing activities to measure distance, as well as tackling capacity challenges. Everyone had a lot of fun and learnt some important Maths skills….without getting too wet!
Sofia, Year 2, brought ceramic eggs into class this week for her friends to decorate. She talked to the class about the history of Easter eggs in Romanian culture and everyone watched a video clip showing how the eggs were made and how houses are decorated in similar patterns. The children loved learning about a different culture and having a go at copying the Romanian artistic style. Thanks, Sofia!
Reception and Year 1 have had fun in the sun this week hunting for Easter eggs. There was much excitement and rejoicing when the huge golden egg was found by Daniel!
The children have also been planting seeds this week in the school’s new veggie patch. Stay tuned for news on all our wonderful produce as it starts to grow…
Congratulations to our Prep students, parents, friends and teachers, who raised an amazing £340 for Comic Relief on Red Nose Day last week, which will go towards helping vulnerable people and communities in the UK and around the world. Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at Westbourne Pyjama Day…..!
With the end of Term, it’s time for the Prep Form Tutor Awards! Congratulations to all our winners, who’ve demonstrated exceptional hard work and commitment over the course of this term. Well done, everyone!
Stay tuned for our Form Tutor Awards video, with all the action from the event itself…..coming soon!
And the winners are:
Year 1: Isaac
Year 2: Guilia
Year 3: Nye and Danielle
Year 4: George and Ciara
Year 5: Chloe
This week we talk to Ms Deborah Djiallis, Year 3 teacher, Forest & Beach (FaB) School Coordinator, and Computing Coordinator at Westbourne
How long have you worked at Westbourne? I am relatively new to the Prep School team, having joined in January 2020, although it feels like I have been here much longer. It has certainly been a memorable year!
What’s your background and experience? Since graduating from my degree and subsequent PGCE, I have taught in every year group from Reception through to Year 6. When working in Herefordshire, I was a Leading Maths Teacher for the Local Education Authority and worked closely with the LEA’s Computing Team, supporting the roll out of big projects such as the county’s virtual learning environment. Although I have a clear interest in STEM subjects, I am also a qualified L3 Forest School Teacher and enjoy the balance that this gives me in my role as both Computing Coordinator and FaB (Forest and Beach) School Coordinator at Westbourne.
What’s the best part of working at Westbourne? I have been into a lot of schools over the years, however I can honestly say I have never walked into a school that compares to Westbourne. On the day I came to look around, I was greeted at the door by a tiny dog in a Christmas jumper and the joyfulness continued in every classroom I entered! Without a doubt it is the people, both large and small, who are the best part of working at Westbourne. The children have such a great attitude to learning; the parents have been incredibly supportive and the staff are second to none. Mrs Chinnock is a fantastic head who leads by example. She really has created the ‘family feel’ at the Prep School that we are so proud of and it makes for a wonderful working environment.
What does your role mean to you? I love being the Year 3 Form Tutor, the children and their enthusiasm for life bring me so much joy. I also particularly enjoy the FaB Coordinator role. Forest School allows children to take part in activities that might otherwise have been deemed too risky, such as fire lighting, whittling, tool use and campfire cooking. Building a sense of independence, high self-esteem, risk taking, developing confidence and communication skills are the main objectives throughout each session. It is such a privilege watching the children achieving out of the classroom. Our new Westbourne Forest School site has been a huge success and we are really looking forward to commencing visits again after Easter. As Computing Coordinator at the Prep, I have seen a lot of change over the last 12 months: a new weekly STEM session; a new computing suite; a bank of 19 Raspberry Pis and the roll out of iPads to support teaching and learning. My role is extremely varied and never dull which suits me perfectly!
What are you most proud of? I am most proud of my children. Moving from Cheltenham last year was a huge change for them. Leaving behind friends and their home, moving to (and falling in love with) Westbourne only to be almost immediately thrust into the middle of a global pandemic and homeschooling. Throughout everything they have shown resilience, kindness, empathy and maturity beyond their ages.
How do you relax when you’re not at school? I love running and going out on my road bike; I absolutely love being outdoors and visiting new places. Like most people, I’m really looking forward to being allowed to travel again!
What’s the most challenging and the most rewarding part of your role? The most challenging part of my role was definitely teaching online. It was so hard not having the children in the classroom and not being able to support them in the same way as we would normally. I missed the daily interactions and moments of joy the children bring. However, it was so rewarding seeing how the children rose to the challenge and now having them back in person feels like the most incredible gift. Although, having said that, I think we are all looking forward to an Easter break this year!