Paddy Birbeck, Deputy Head of Senior School MA (Cantab) PGCE
We want children to develop their individuality and we identify their talents in an environment where they feel safe and valued. Ours is a diverse school which thrives on curiosity, challenge, encouragement and kindness; where everyone listens and responds to each other. It is our shared sense of belonging which gives our school its energy, its collective strength, its rigour and its ability to inspire pupils to excel. Excellent teaching in a disciplined environment is at the heart of the School.
In Senior School there is increasing emphasis on developing independent learning. In Year 10 and 11 no groups are larger than 16 and some are as small as 4 or 5, allowing teachers to extend the most able and encourage all to fulfil their true potential.
Throughout Senior School pupils are encouraged and supported by a dedicated team of teachers who are experienced in working with teenagers, and who help to instil confidence and lead by example.
We are an academic community where intelligent children from a wide variety of social backgrounds are given the maximum opportunity to strive for the highest standards.
Those students who show particular academic strengths are encouraged to take some GCSE exams in Year 10 and Year 9 and to extend their knowledge beyond Key Stage 4 during their final year with us.
There has been much to celebrate academically, with excellent GCSE results, scholarship successes and even more Oxbridge offers to former Westbourne pupils.
Westbourne offers scholarships into Year 7 in four categories: Academic, Music, Sport and All-round (Academic plus Music or Sport). Scholars are joined in the "scholarship class" in September by external scholarship winners and other Westbourne pupils who are considered to be well above average in their academic ability. Many Year 11 pupils go on to receive sixth form scholarships to top sixth form schools.
Academic achievement opens the door to further opportunity but that needs to be supplemented with good life skills.
All pupils embark on the "Westbourne Journey", which involves ensuring that they are educated for life alongside their academic success in the classroom. Fortnightly enrichment afternoons allow provision beyond the academic curriculum with pupils’ achievements being recognised in the five foundation areas of Effort, Citizenship, Activities, Events and Community Service.
We very much value parental interest, co-operation and support. Through our unique tutor system, we aim to develop productive links between home and school. We aim to be a supportive, caring and friendly community with the promotion of self-discipline, reflection, social responsibility and integrity at the heart of all that we do.
As well as giving each and every pupil the confidence to ‘give things a go’ with our enviable array of extracurricular activities, we encourage them to discover their talents and grow in self-confidence and self-knowledge. We also try to develop skills of leadership, fellowship and service both for individual benefit and for the overall strength of the community of which our children are an essential part. Westbourne provides an education for life and a lifetime of support through our dedicated staff and former pupils.
There is a strong focus on instilling traditional values, such as respect and manners; these are just some of the many elements that contribute to Westbourne’s friendly, family atmosphere and ultimately to its success.