It was heartwarming to welcome back lots of smiley, happy children to Westbourne House School after half term. Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils returned to join the key worker children at school. The children made the most of the blue skies and wonderful outdoor spaces.
Mr Fisher, Deputy Head, said: "As they arrived, the children were visibly excited. When asked which part of returning was most important to them, the children all replied 'seeing friends'."
Parents praised the school for all the hard work that has gone into enabling the various years to return.
My son came out of school this afternoon the happiest I have seen him in ages, full of tales from his day and saying that he can’t wait to come back tomorrow. It sounds like the staff have ensured just the right mix of lessons and outdoor breaks. He said having lunch with his friends under the trees was brilliant. Thank you.
Parent, Year 6
The children enjoyed reconnecting with teachers and spending time with their friends. In their groups of 15, pupils had a balanced mix of lessons and outdoor breaks, including a picnic lunch under the trees.
For children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1, lessons are now led by class teachers. For all other years, Westbourne House's subject specialist teachers and form teachers continue to deliver high quality academic, co-curricular and pastoral lessons online via Westbourne House at Home.
Pupils from Years 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, are greeted by their teachers online each morning in pastoral time, after which they follow a varied and exciting timetable of live and recorded online lessons.
Mrs Langford, Deputy Head - Academics, commented: "I have been constantly impressed by the originality and intellectual playfulness of the pupils. Given a wide range of tasks and assignments via the online classroom, they have produced extraordinary work in extraordinary circumstances"
Sam Pollock, Head of Pastoral Care, added: "One of our key aims, when creating Westbourne House at Home, was to support our children's wellbeing during lockdown, essentially to be there for the children each school day. Significant pastoral time was created, bookending each day with face to face time with form teachers. These are forums for normality, for discussion, give perspective on life and allow the children to support one another. For children who need extra TLC, further contact time was put in place."
Whether at school or at home, children are following the same timetable and coming together regularly online. As one parent commented: "The children very much feel that they are part of the school community."
The effort that has gone into on online learning from Westbourne has been phenomenal and many outsiders from other schools have commented on this in comparison to what they are receiving, which is a huge accolade.
Jo Norman, Parent