Caroline Oglethorpe, Head of our Pre-Prep, discusses the incredible things we can achieve when we work together.
Unity is key whether it be in the classroom, in a year group, in the Pre-Prep, on the sports field or across the whole of the Westbourne House community. Unity means togetherness and gives us the chance to build on our strengths, share skills and create a sense of belonging.
At Westbourne House, there has always been a strong sense of community and this, along with our shared experiences, is one of our significant strengths. This term has been no different and in fact, the quantity and variety of whole school events has created a vast wealth of opportunities for all our children, from 2 ½ to thirteen years old. It has emphasized the togetherness of the Pre-Prep and Prep School and demonstrated the adage that teamwork and collaboration lead to greater success for all.
Our collective work this term has resulted in many successful ventures, starting with a vibrant International Week, during which the children were able to celebrate and learn about cultural diversity and the world around them. A few weeks later a Shakespearean Book Week immersed the children in great literature and aimed to inspire enthusiastic and independent readers and writers for years to come. Science also had a special focus this term during British Science Week and the subject was brought to life with extraordinary assemblies and daring displays.
The Pre-Prep and Junior activity afternoons centred on peer-to-peer projects when the pupils from Years 1 and 2 collaborated with Years 3 and 4 to design and build bridges, as well as develop and practice new art skills. The Year 7 pupils have spent time in the Pre-Prep developing their leadership skills and supporting their younger peers as reading buddies, happy helpers and welcoming children into the Pre-Prep in the mornings. The annual Dragon’s Den-style contest – Young Enterprise - saw Year 7 and Year 2 working together to produce marketing pitches for new inventions. Whilst Year 7 worked on their leadership skills, Year 2 pupils were gently guided and trained by their older peers to present the pitches to the whole school during assembly.
Prep School musicians continue to visit the Pre-Prep to enthuse and inspire the children about music. It is a friendly atmosphere in which to perform and an environment that encourages the younger children to enquire and question the musicians about their instrument and engender a love for music.
As we introduce High Performance Learning across the school from September, pupils will benefit further from life-skills learned during these positive shared opportunities and this is something we all look forward to.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
You might be interested to read a recent review of Westbourne House written by the editor of Muddy Stilettos (an online urban guide to the countryside). You’ll note that she immediately recognised the positivity of our whole school ethos and commended the interaction between the Pre-Prep and Prep School.