I just had to let you know how impressed I was with 9 of your Year 9 students who visited our Schools Lab in the Chemistry Department with Sam, Nikki and Colin last Friday. They synthesised Paracetamol, an experiment which we usually deliver to 6th formers and they all excelled, asking insightful questions and gaining in confidence with their experimental technique. They are a real asset to the school.
Dr. Joanna Buckley MRSC
RSC Education Coordinator, North East England
Department of Chemistry, Dainton Building, University of Sheffield, Brook Hill, Sheffield. S3 7HF.
"Dear Mr Hicks
I am a tutor at the Cranedale Centre and was tasked with helping your Year 11 geography group with collecting all their fieldwork for their controlled assessment during their recent visit. ( 10th-12th September 2014) I am writing to tell you how incredibly impressed I was with them all.
They were kind, polite, considerate and so hard working. They did everything I asked them to do without any complaint and produced some excellent results. They were always on time for sessions and had a great sense of humour.
I really, really enjoyed teaching them to the point that I really didn't want them to leave. They really are a credit to your school and you and Mr Davey should be proud of them. I wish them all the best of luck in the future and look forward to working with your school again next year."
Re D Day presentation to Junior School June 6th 2014
"Dear Mr Clark thank you so much for your wonderful comments. He put huge effort into the presentation and was particularly concerned that he would be able to show respect for the fallen.
We are immensely proud of him and just so pleased that he is happy and confident in his school environment. We are sure that he is in absolutely the right place to support his incredible progress. Long may it continue!"
Year 6 Parent
XXXXX was a real star at the Greystone's Gig night - she really 'owned' the stage with bags of confidence" Mr Woodward Head of Junior School Music.
"Dear Mr Woodward
Thank you for the lovely feedback about XXXX performance - it's great to know that you were thinking the same things as us - there was always the risk that we were just being biased!
She really did own the stage didn't she? And she loved every second of it… I can't wait for the next one now!
Thank you for continuing to inspire her… you have so helped her find her niche and she is unrecognisable from the girl who joined Westbourne just last year…"
Year 5 parent
"Dear Mr Woodward "Thank you' for the Gig Night! It was fantastic! We had no idea what to expect it but were blown away ! We thought that all bands were brilliant. The children were buzzing when we came home, what a great opportunity for them. Also, it was particularly lovely to see XXXX applying her musical ability to more 'popular 'music!!
Year 5 parent
"To Everyone at Westbourne
It was a great pleasure to visit your school and to witness at first hand the terrific behaviour of all the pupils.
How wonderful to be present when the announcement was made that a pupil of the
School, Jemima Board will be playing for England at Hockey.
I wish everyone an enjoyable and richly rewarding future.
"...I was extremely impressed with my visit to Westbourne and would be delighted for both my children to attend. I was particularly impressed with the range of subjects, pupil behaviour and how the headmaster not only knew the pupils by name, but knew facts about their recent achievements.
I look forward to my family becoming part of such an excellent school.
Prospective parent February 2014
Dear Mr Hicks
"...I really miss the Westbourne world - That was my life for a long time.
We just wanted to let you know that, after 4 more England selection weekends, Maddie has been selected for full & final U16 England squad. One of 26 girls in the country, (& of 4 selected from U15 - her year group).
So, we have an England shirt to add to the Westbourne gallery. And, as I said before - this success is due to two factors:
1: The most amazing hockey skills she was lucky enough to have learnt from two great teachers : Laura Mirfin & Wendy Hammond
2: The Will to succeed. - Most of this is due to herself, but Westbourne has been a massive factor in giving her the ultimate confidence to go & get it.
So, thank you again to all at Westbourne for nurturing Maddie so wonderfully."
Thank you to all the Year 5 teachers for the support you have given to XXXX.
This first term has been a challenge for him with English being his second language but he has really settled in well. We are really impressed with his progress in English and his other subjects.
New Year 5 parent
Dear Mr Clark (Head of Junior School)
….My wife and I are delighted with XXXX progress and good results. These are indicative of how much he enjoys Westbourne which of course would not be possible without the efforts of his teachers, who we would like to thank.
Year 6 parent
Dear Mrs Pritchett
I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to participate in a choral day, singing handle's messiah at the Royal Albert Hall. After a long drive to London on the school mini bus we arrived at the amazing venue, where over 1,000 other children were waiting to sing. We rehearsed a series of pieces from the choral book, and then performed them to a large crowd. It was an amazing and privileged experience which I am sure none of us will forget.
Lucy Stern (Year 8 MAPS)
Dear Mr Hicks
....XXXX has matured and developed exponentially in English over the last two years thanks to Natalie Day. Her passion for her subject has been infectious. She has been an inspiration to XXXX and has shown tremendous dedication, giving him extra help so he can achieve his full potential.
With XXXX being dyslexic, passing GCSE English was always going to be a challenge. I thought it would be beyond him to achieve a C grade, which would make it difficult for him to get a job or continue in higher education.
We walked into Natalie's office for our first meeting with her with very negative feelings about XXXX chances of achieving a grade C or above at GCSE, however Natalie blew us away with her enthusiasm and confidence in his ability.
"XXXX has strengths, don't worry about his weaknesses, if we work on his strengths he will achieve a good pass".
These words will stay with me for many years, she gave us hope.
Whatever XXXX achieves in his English GCSE, Natalie has had a profound influence on his education and we cannot thank her enough. She is a real asset to the school.
All the teaching at Westbourne has been exemplary! XXXX has not always been the most enthusiastic pupil but I feel the move from State school to Westbourne was the correct decision for him.
Regards Year 11 parent
Dear Mr Hicks
"...We really are thrilled with every aspect of Westbourne School. We feel that its more of a "way of life" for its pupils rather than an educational facility they attend daily - I hope you understand what I mean by that."
Dear Mr Hicks
I'm writing to thank you for releasing Michael and Marie so that they were able to be a part of our Hallam Music Day.
Their enthusiasm was contagious and both our infants and juniors thoroughly enjoyed the songs and musical pieces played. Each session was interactive from start to finish and Michael and Marie have without a doubt inspired so many of our children, as well as our staff.
Once again, many thanks for sharing their expertise with our children and staff, we all feel privileged!
Enjoy some of the photos taken on the day and you will also receive some letters from our children soon enough
"After our visit to Westbourne today we came away feeling really positive about your school… We really got a sense that the school supports individuals and has created a family atmosphere. We were very impressed with the amount of information you asked for about our son and felt you would all do your best for him."
"Dear Miss Cox,
Thank you so much for your email. I am thrilled to hear how well you feel Tom is settling in. From our perspective he is the happiest he has ever been and all of our friends and relations have commented on the change in him.
He does not seem worried about the exams. He seems confident in those subjects (like Maths and English) where he has covered the work and seems to think that his teachers will understand if he gets low marks in subjects like Geography and History where he has not been taught the material - is he right that low marks in these won't be seen as a reflection of his ability in these subjects?
It is so lovely to feel he is in a school that values him,
Year 7 parent
"Dear Mr Hicks .....
...All four of our children have had a very happy time at Westbourne juniors, I recommend the school most highly to people who ask and I think Mr Clark is absolutely brilliant!
Year 6 parent
"Ms Julie Scattergood Year 4 teacher
Dear Julie and Students
I was very pleased to receive the wonderful thank you letters form you all, it was a lovely gesture and fully appreciated by the team at JRI. Obviously, you were paying attention and enjoyed the factory visit (especially the silly hats and chocolate cakes).
Your school must be very proud to have such bright and well behaved pupils which are a credit to you.
Everyone at JRI were very impressed with you all and hope to see a few Doctors and Engineers emerge from Westbourne School in the future.
Keep up the good work.
Matt Gallagher - JRI Orthopaedics Limited
"Dear Miss Reid
Thank you for your lovely email. Yes we did receive the good news postcard thanks and
XXXX was delighted with his special mention in assembly.
We had a lovely parents evening last week when so many members of staff were able
to give us positive feedback on XXXX efforts and his achievements.
We are so proud of his hard work and his incredible progress since he started at
Westbourne. His one to one sessions with you have been really helpful and the
level of support and encouragement that you and the other members of teaching
staff provide has, I feel, been crucial in allowing XXXX to progress so rapidly.
After a few years in his previous infant school thinking he couldn't do things, it
has been a wonderful turn around to see him start to believe in himself and to
take such pride in his achievements.
Thank you for all your help - we hope he continues to soar!"
Kind regards, Year 5 parent
Dear Mr Clark (Head of Junior School)
Thank you for the kind words and for making XXXX feel so welcome at Westbourne. It is
reassuring that you all think XXXX is doing well. He really seems like a different boy to us. He is very happy at school, enjoying his lessons and wanting to do homework!The communication has been excellent from school and we are very happy with how things are going. Long may this continue.
New Year 5 parents
Dear Mrs Harris (Year 5 teacher)
Thank you for your lovely email regarding XXXX's reading at the Sheffield Cathedral,
she will be over the moon with your praise.
I am extremely proud of her and Tuesday was a fantastic opportunity for the school and parents to see that she is not just a talented athlete but a bright, articulate girl too.
She absolutely loves school and did very well in the recent exams which is
obviously down to her hard work and commitment but also down to the fantastic
support she gets from all the staff and her friends at school.
I hope you have a very happy Christmas time and a restful break.
Very best regards
"Dear Mr Hicks,
I just wanted to let you know that I was extremely impressed with the teachers I met at XXX 's parents evening last night.
They were all engaging and enthusiastic about my daughter and also in their overall approach to school and learning.
They are an inspirational team and are all having a great impact on my daughter's approach to learning, her confidence and her enjoyment at life at Westbourne.
I have met many good teachers during my children's education but none were so impressive as the Westbourne team.
So, thanks to everyone involved in creating this team and such a positive learning environment.
Parent of Year 11 student
"Dear Mr Hicks,
As you are aware, our son XXX joined Westbourne at the start of this half term and now that he has completed his first month at the school we just wanted to thank you and the staff for making him so welcome. He is absolutely loving the school and is really happy and settled and making lots of new friends.
Given the upheaval we had with the move from Canada and then XXX changing schools again after only a half year we were concerned that he would find the transition difficult, but we need not have worried. The school definitely seems to suit him and everything about the move has far exceeded our expectations.Please pass on our thanks to the teaching staff for being so welcoming and for helping him settle in so well.
Dear Miss Twitty (Head of SS Science)
Thank you again for all your help and hospitality when I visited Westbourne again for the forensic science day. There is a special atmosphere about the school that makes it particularly enjoyable to visit. I thought the students contributed extremely well - they were attentive, spirited and very original - and were a real credit to themselves and the school.
SCI-HIGH science events
Dear Mr Hicks,
I would also like to let you know that XXX has settled into Westbourne so well, we can't believe the change in him. I thought I would share a few of his comments with you. At the end of last week he said, "I feel like I can be myself at Westbourne" When we asked him if he was happy he said "completely".
Having had such a desperately unhappy child for a year, who never wanted to go to school and would count down the hours before he had to go back to school at the weekends and in the holidays! The change in him is dramatic and we are in no doubt we have made the right decision in sending him to Westbourne.
Current Year 6 parent
"Dear Mr. Hicks,
XXX and XXX are looking forwards to joining Westbourne School.
You may be interested to know that we took the two boys for a taster day at another independent School in Sheffield, and both passed the entrance exam and were offered places. In discussion with the boys they both said they preferred the Westbourne welcome, the attitude and behaviour of the children they met and the friendliness and enthusiasm of the teaching staff.
The fact our boys are looking forwards to joining you, and have positively chosen Westbourne, has eased the management of our relocation of them and we feel confident that you will indeed do your best to help both our boys achieve their potential as individuals.
"Initially the most striking thing about Westbourne is the elegance of the building and grounds, and the smartness of the children and staff, but these things pale in significance to the powerful sense of belonging that gives the school its unique atmosphere. No one at Westbourne is, or can be, passive. Instead, everyone is active, child and adult alike. Even as a temporary visitor, there is no option but to run along with the vibrant tide of energy that courses through the corridors and out onto the playground and wider community. The way that each person in the school contributes to this energy is different, but that difference is nurtured in a genuine manner which really seems to help children to succeed in a way that is meaningful to them. This notion of meaningful success can be imagined to stretch further along the life-course to help shape young people and adults who continue to make a difference in the world by being a part of the things around them.
I feel lucky to have spent a term at Westbourne, not just because the Year five children and teachers have helped me so much with my research, but also for the pleasure of spending time at the school and the remarkable things I have learned while being there. Since the day of my first visit in early March, I have learned to juggle, written a Kennen, played a ukulele, and sung more often than ever before.
Reading back through the notes I made while observing activities in school during my research, the quality of adult-child interaction is what crops up most often. Adults at Westbourne talk to children. This may not seem out of the ordinary, but as someone who studies the differences between the social world's of children and adults, the talk that goes on between adults and children at Westbourne is indeed out of the ordinary. Children's ability to give their thoughts and opinions is practiced and honed through interaction between children and adults which is never patronising, always authentic and usually humorous. This makes talking to a Westbourne child such a lovely experience, and was particularly useful for me when asking children about the ways they experienced and understood their bodies. The data I collected from the creative research sessions was rich and plentiful, and I was so impressed by how much children seemed to enjoy and make the most of their time at school. I will definitely be back."