National Recognition

Being selected as a finalist in the Independent School of the Year is a cause for great celebration at Westholme, which delivers an unrivalled, skills-first education, writes Meena McDonald

Westholme has been selected as a finalist for the Independent School of the Year. This comes after being shortlisted for this prestigious national award last year too.

The Independent School of the Year 2023 Awards celebrate the demonstrable benefits of an independent school education and showcases the ‘life-affirming, future-enhancing student experience’.

Westholme is a finalist in the Careers Programme category and is delighted to be recognised for its enterprising outlook that focuses on the acquisition of 21st century essential skills.

Principal Dr Richard Robson comments: “For every student in the school we look beyond academic achievement. The GCSE and A-Level exam results are the icing on the cake at Westholme. Our pioneering educational philosophy of delivering unrivalled holistic excellence focuses on a skills-first approach, essential for the modern workplace.

“Our academic results are consistently high, but for us the true magic of Westholme lies in our incredible students, who stand out as emotionally intelligent, self-confident, motivated individuals who have their feet firmly on the ground and their dreams in the stars.”

The awards really are a testament to Westholme staying true to its philosophy and delivering what it promises.

From the tender age of four, students are provided with countless opportunities which encourage them to grow in confidence, believe in themselves, become resilient, work on their own initiative as well as in teams and reach their full potential – this all-round education goes far beyond the classroom.

The results of this unique approach to prepare Westholmians for the future is a combination of outstanding academic rigour along with the most rounded, articulate and prepared individuals you could wish for. Each possesses exceptional skills enabling them to achieve whatever career path they desire, as well as help them to navigate through life itself.

This year has seen their largest ever cohort of students applying for and 100 per cent achieving, Level 6 degree apprenticeship places of their choice.

Ten current students have successfully secured prestigious Level 6 degree apprenticeships with a range of multi-national companies including BBC, PwC, ARUP, Jaguar Land Rover and KPMG in disciplines such as accounting, product and marketing, engineering and technology. The students were highly sought-after, with multiple offers made available to most of them – some achieved as many as seven offers for coveted schemes. This is a remarkable testament to the 21st century essential skills each student exhibits.

Eight of the 10 students cited above were awarded scholarships and bursaries to attend the INSPIRED Sixth Form, enabling them to receive the benefits of a Westholme education and the nationally recognised, outstanding careers support. 

This year’s success can be attributed to engaging with students from Year 7 onwards and sparking an interest in apprenticeships and the benefits of choosing different higher education pathways. This early insight enables students to focus on developing the 21st century essential skills as they progress through Seniors and the INSPIRED Sixth Form, which enables them to stand out from the crowd during the multiple assessment stages.

The development of the Westholme Alumni Network over the last two years, including dedicated online platforms and increased engagement, has also improved valuable networking opportunities for students. Engagement and interaction with inspirational alumni role models has been pivotal in broadening horizons, allowing students to make informed decisions about their future.

The Independent Schools of the Year 2023 isn’t Westholme’s only awards success. The school was also very recently highly commended at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Education Business Awards.

Dr Robson continues: “We’re truly honoured to be recognised for our pioneering educational philosophy. Being an independent school provides the freedom to develop our own unique curriculum and we have enjoyed producing our skills-based curriculum that is endorsed by industry. We know that the CBI referred to a dearth of skilled graduates before the pandemic and Westholme provides every opportunity to address this concern and challenge our students to develop the skills that are highly sought after in business. We are passionately committed to continue to pioneer the education of the future at Westholme.

“That is what Westholme is about. We are about nurturing and delivering the most exciting and fulfilling opportunities to every student in an inspiring environment, with emphasis on frontloading experiences to inculcate the 21st century essential skills that prepare our young people for the world of work as well as for life itself.”

Westholme is fast becoming the most sought-after school in the region as more and more parents discover its ground-breaking philosophy coupled with down-to-earth, hardworking, humble and incredibly happy students!

To find out more about how Westholme continues to pioneer the future of education, please contact:

Westholme School
Wilmar Lodge, Meins Road
Pleasington BB2 6QU
01254 506070



Tedd Walmsley

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