Westbourne School 1885-2010 Celebrated 125 years of excellence
Some things never change...
Back in 1885, the year of Westbourne's foundation, the local newspaper cheered its readers with this outlook on the year ahead;
"We fear there is no escape from the conclusion that we have before us another year of languishing trade, small profits and declining wages…"
Perhaps not the best time then to start any new venture. Yet undaunted, the founders went on to create an establishment "for the education of the children of Sheffield gentlemen".
It wasn't the snappiest title, nor was it the most accurate, since the school opened its gates only to boys. This select band were schooled in the essential disciplines of the time - Latin, French, arithmetic and drawing. The priorities outside the classroom were clearly stated in a set of printed rules, which sternly reminded pupils that "no boy is excused cricket unless for some sound reason".
Fast forward a little over a century, and Westbourne is unrecognisable from the establishment created by its idealistic founders. It is Sheffield's leading co-educational independent school, and is ceaselessly pursuing a programme of continued development for the future.
Yet it remains proud of its long history, and is working actively to strengthen its bonds with former pupils from past decades. The creation of a Westbourne association not only enables old boys and girls to stay in touch with their former school, but opens up the benefit of their experience to current pupils. To find out more about the former pupils' network, click here.
The association with Westbourne is one our ex-pupils can look back on fondly for the rest of their lives. It's part of the reason our mission statement is "educating girls and boys for life".
It's an ideal of which we think our founders would have approved.
The First Hundred Years 1885 - 1985
Westbourne School opens it doors to girls in all year groups. The first girl was Laura Bramall who was featured in a TV documentary.
New Senior School opens in the adjacent Ashdell House, offering co-education to GCSE (age 16).
The then Lower and Upper Schools (combined as Junior School in 2007) were refurbished and the outside yard was roofed over.
The retirement of Headmaster Colin Wilmshurst and the arrival of his successor John Hicks. In the same year the school received an outstanding report from the Independent Schools' Inspectors.
Opening of the extension to Senior School in the former Radio Sheffield Headquarters, Ashdell Grove. New Junior School library and early years play areas were also opened.
Stephen Moore pictured with portrait of Thomas Moore which hangs in the Town Hall Sheffield
From Stephen Moore (Great Great Grandson of Thomas Moore)
...Thomas Moore had 'Ashdell Grove' built and added the tower section at a later date. He was Mayor of Sheffield four times (1868, 1869, 1870 & 1871) and as noted in Pevsner Architectural Guide to Sheffield : "Opposite the end of Southbourne Road, in Westbourne Road, a large Gothic house, No. 60 Ashdell Grove of 1857, which had a ballroom topped with an oriel and a castellated top, added in 1870 by Flockton & Abbott for Thomas Moore in preparation for entertaining in his mayoral year".
The Listed building entry for Ashdell Grove also makes interesting reading noting the interior has a dogleg cantilever wooden stair with ornate cast-iron balustrade etc. etc.
After Thomas Moore died in 1880 when both Ashdell Grove and his house and small farm, Moscar Grange, were both up for sale. The description in detail of the various rooms and contents of Ashdell Grove is fascinating.
September - launch of the Westbourne School Sheffield facebook page
February - ISI Inspection. Our Early Years, once again, got outstanding throughout.
May - 125th Anniversary Year Celebration Service in the Sheffield Cathedral.
January - Pre-School opened for children aged 3-4 years.
June - Westbourne aquired a new building 'Westbourne Place'
Westbourne School announces major expansion to meet growing pupil numbers
SHEFFIELD independent co-educational school Westbourne is embarking on a major expansion project.
The school in Westbourne Road, Broomhill, has acquired a neighbouring building, Westbourne Place - formerly the headquarters of accountants Atkin Macredie.
The site will now be converted to create seven new classrooms. This is the first expansion for the school since it bought the neighbouring former BBC Radio Sheffield studios in 2007 and it reflects the way in which Westbourne has continued to expand in the past decade.
Following the conversion work, the new block is expected to be in use by Senior School pupils and some older Junior School children by the end of this year.
"This is an exciting time for the Westbourne community," said Headmaster John Hicks.
"As Sheffield's only co-educational independent school from 3 to 16 and also the only independent school to operate an academically non-selective policy we are delighted that
our reputation continues to grow and that we are having to expand to meet a rising demand for places.
"Last year saw us opening our hugely successful Pre-School but this new development is aimed specifically at allowing growth across the whole school and to develop larger spaces for performing arts.
"It will lend itself to the needs of all our pupils and to our provision of new subjects in Key Stage 3, ensuring that all pupils have the space and the facilities they need to fulfil their individual potential.
"We are receiving record numbers of enquiries from families both in Sheffield and the Peak District and this new development will enable us to meet those requests more successfully.
"It will also enhance our central policy of small classes and personal support for every pupil."
January 2015 saw the opening of the new Pre-School extension
June 2015 John Holt High Sheriff of South Yorkshire officially opened Westbourne Place
September 2015 saw the launch of the new Senior School uniform