Westbourne House School Penarth

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Coordinates: 51°26′17″N 3°10′30″W / 51.438°N 3.175°W / 51.438; -3.175

For similarly named schools, see Westbourne.
Westbourne School
Westbourne School Badge.jpg
Established 1896
Type Independent Day School, Nursery and prep school
Religion Secular and non denominational
Headteacher Mr Kenneth Underhill
Founder Caroline Ferris
Location 4 Hickman Road
Vale of Glamorgan
CF64 2AJ
Staff 24
Students 162
Gender Co-educational
Ages 3–18

Black and Red

Former Pupils Old Westbournians
Fundraising Society Friends of Westbourne
Website Westbourne School Website

Westbourne School is a small coeducational independent day school, nursery and prep school for children between the ages of 3 and 18 located in the holiday resort town of Penarth, in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales 5.2 miles (8.4 kilometres) south west from the Welsh capital city of Cardiff.

Traditionally the school was strictly boys only. However in the mid 1980s the decision was taken to also accept girls and become a coeducational school. There are currently 162 pupils on roll. Westbourne School opened its new 6th form for the Autumn term of 2008. The school introduced the speciality of the Diploma Programme of the International Baccalaureate Organisation.

The school is housed within two buildings, approximately half a mile apart. The first houses the nursery and infants, the other the prep school and senior school. With 24 permanent staff and 2 teaching assistants the class sizes remain small, varying from a maximum of 17 down to as low as 9 in some subjects. The academic results are consistently excellent and Westbourne School is nationally recognised as a high achieving school. The school is now owned by the Montague Place Group of Independent Schools.[1]



The school first opened in 1895 at Ebenezer House on Westbourne Road, Penarth. However the school's foundation is deemed to be during the following year in 1896 under the headship of Mrs Caroline Ferris. Mrs Ferris renamed Ebenezer House as Westbourne House and the school was therefore retitled as Westbourne House Preparatory School for Boys.

In 1901 the school relocated to the large corner property at 13 Stanwell Road, which still forms part of the current school building.


In 1975 the adjoining property at 4 Hickman Road was also purchased and the combined properties were developed as Westbourne Senior School. The school opened a junior college for children aged between 9 and 11 years of age. It was decided to make the additional purchase of the struggling independent St Alma’s Girls School located in Victoria Road and, with the purchase, the combined school became coeducational.

The school today[edit]

The school in 2009


The Victoria Road facility now houses the nursery school and junior school. The prep school, senior school and the sixth form are located in the main school building on the corner of Stanwell and Hickman roads.

Examinations are held for Years 3-10 during the Summer Term followed by a detailed written report. Examinations for Year 8 and Years 10-11 are also held at the end of the Winter Term. Assessments may also be held at other times during the year, on the basis of which mark sheets are prepared and interviews arranged with parents. GCSE examinations for Years 10 and 11 and Common Entrance examinations for Year 8 are held in May and June.

Westbourne School also benefits from the expertise of occasional visiting teachers and tutors from local Cardiff schools, colleges and universities. School facilities include gymnasium, IT suite, library, science laboratories, sports hall as well as access to high quality local sports facilities including athletics track, Penarth RFC Rugby pitch and the public owned swimming pool.

Sixth form[edit]

The Autumn term 2008 saw the establishment of the school’s first sixth form, housed in a new state of the art Research and Media Centre with its separate sixth form common room and roof terrace.

Westbourne School now offers the internationally recognised Diploma Programme of The International Baccalaureate Organisation – considered to be the modern global ‘gold standard’ in secondary education and a perfect vehicle for achieving the school’s vision for the future of its students.

Educationalists view the International Baccalaureate as academically rigorous, relevant and forward-looking. The range of opportunity that it provides is designed to present students with the best possible chance of success in a fast moving world.


The latest inspection of the school by the ‘’’Independent Schools Council’’’ (ISC) can be found at the ISC website [2]


Results in GCSE exams remain consistently high. In 2007 the school achieved a 100% pass level in over 200 GCSEs, with 98% of those passes at grades A*, A, B and C. The recent banner mounted on the school's fence indicates "1st in Wales, 4th in the UK".

Notable former pupils[edit]