Talk Education: Westbourne House is a top rated school by Talk Education.
An idyll of all that is enchanting in childhood – sprawling grounds, woodland playgrounds, acres of playing fields, mucking about in boats on the school lake... Westbourne House has managed to bottle that elusive formula of what makes a prep school perfect: not too big (360 pupils), a small family feel, and yet an immensely large site, fizzing energy and, oh yes, top-drawer academics.
Good Schools Guide: Westbourne House School is a Good Schools Guide School.
Non-selective, high standards and great teaching - a winning combination.
Good Schools Guide
The Week: Westbourne House was named Best for Music in The Week's Best of the Best in their Independent School Guide. Read their full review.
Two orchestras, three choirs, a big band and chamber ensembles make full use of the new performing arts centre which is well equipped with practice rooms and music composition equipment.
The WEEK 2021 UK guide to leading prep schools
The Independent School Inspectorate (ISI) visited Westbourne House in June 2015 (full report) and June 2018 (compliance only).
We have pulled out a few excerpts from their full report that highlight our approach.
World of experiences
Exceptional creative talents are evident in many areas…especially in art, music and drama.
We give children endless opportunities to find their strengths and shine. Designed to be holistic and stimulating, our curriculum is an unforgettable journey of discovery: ceramics, science experiments, field trips, drama, cooking, poetry, music, kayaking as well as many other sports. Plus our innovative English and maths programmes establish deep understanding from the very early years.
Sport, health and extra-curricular activities
There are frequent opportunities for outdoor play and exercise, including the extensive sports programme and many other extra-curricular outdoor activities.
We are passionate about sport and the sense of achievement, leadership and confidence that is built on playing fields. We believe in encouraging children to try things to find out what makes them tick. We ensure that children here have plenty of free time to explore our grounds, some 100 acres of beautiful parkland at the foot of the South Downs, returning with muddy knees and renewed spirit. It’s key to life here because we know that children who spend time outside are happier, healthier and more creative.
Individual tailored learning
Teachers have detailed knowledge of the children, allowing carefully focused support to be provided.
Thanks to small class sizes, we keep a close eye on each child’s progress and ensure that extra support is given where needed, and to spot when a child is ready to push themselves further. We use flexible pacing and grouping, allowing us to cultivate the talents of each child, and put support in place when needed. Everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.
"Pupils with SEND benefit both from the specialist and targeted support they receive and from the increased self-confidence they gain from the whole school learning experience." - ISI Report
Quality of teaching
The teaching encourages the whole-hearted enjoyment of lessons by the pupils.
We hire talented teachers to give children the best chance to experience the joy of learning. As the report comments, our teachers allow ‘pupils of all abilities, needs and ages effectively to acquire knowledge and skills to make excellent progress.’
This excellent progress is reflected in the exceptional results of our pupils.
Pupils' Common Entrance examination results are excellent.
Thanks to our talented teachers and ethos that each child should aim high, our pupils go on to some of the most prestigious schools in the country, including Benenden, Brighton College, Canford, Eton, Harrow, Marlborough, Wellington, Winchester and Wycombe Abbey. Over the last five years, Westbourne House pupils have won over 135 scholarships to senior schools.
High quality experiences in the Pre-Prep and Nursery
All children in EYFS, including those with SEND, achieve well due to the high quality experiences provided throughout the setting.
Our children leave the Pre-Prep confident and enthusiastic about learning, and with the feeling that they can succeed and achieve anything.
Happy, supportive community
A friendly, family atmosphere is evident throughout the school.
There is a deeply-felt sense of family and community here. We really get to know each child: there are many chances to bond thanks to the small class sizes and time spent with staff outside of lessons. As a result, our pupils feel safe, cared for and are open and confident.
Many pupils show exemplary organisational skills and leadership abilities.
Every child has the potential to be a leader and we believe it is never too early to start teaching leadership skills. Our ‘line leader to troop leader’ leadership programme is innovative and involves children from Year 1 to Year 9 in leadership positions.
Discovering and shaping character
Pupils throughout the school demonstrate exceptional confidence.
We believe in developing personal qualities in children that empower them to thrive at school and at home: resilience, learning from setbacks, appreciating their good fortune and thinking of others. It is our belief that this positive mind-set will guide them towards success throughout their lives.
Attitude of pupils
Pupils show initiative and work remarkably well on their own, collaboratively and with their teachers.
The ISI report highlights the positive attitude our children have to learning: eagerness, concentration and the way our pupils show initiative.