2023…Westholme’s Centenary Year


Our centenary heralds a year filled with celebration and reflection on our remarkable history. In 1923, Emily Singleton pioneered a new type of education in Blackburn. The visionary grit, determination and aspiration shown by her has been a defining characteristic of all Westholmian boys and girls throughout the last century.

Academic success in the classroom was a given, but the remarkable ethos of Miss Singleton’s vision was rooted in developing the whole child – inside and outside of the classroom. Dominic Naylor (Head Boy 2019/2020) described this education as the ‘best of both worlds’ and it is still the unique factor that sets Westholme apart 100 years on. Miss Singleton’s vision was to provide more than a school, but a way of life.

The first 100 years have been an incredible journey for Westholme. So much has not been included in this brochure but in the end, at Westholme, it is the ordinary that is extraordinary. Dr Robson’s vision for the future of Westholme is to build on the unrivalled holistic excellence set in motion 100 years ago, and also to strengthen the all-through nature of the school and pioneer a new educational philosophy.

Before the pandemic, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) reported that nearly half of all employers found young people were not ready for the world of work. They were calling for broader skills such as real-world experience, creativity, confidence, communication skills, leadership, independence and problem-solving. Our new educational philosophy at Westholme is now rooted in the acquisition of the essential 21st century skills vital for the rapidly evolving modern workplace – and this starts with the very youngest pupils aged 4 years old.

The beauty of inhabiting one site is the seamless transitions between stages and the daily exchanges between Westholmians of all ages – it is always so lovely to see older ones interacting with younger ones and vice versa, demonstrating our exceptionally strong family ethos. With such a plethora of opportunities, all Westholmians experience unrivalled holistic excellence which means we place an equal importance on all activities, subjects and experiences. Students blossom within our forward-thinking, innovative curriculum that develops confident, well-rounded, happy young people. They experience incomparable 1:1 support and guidance during every step of their journey through Prep, Seniors and INSPIRED Sixth Form: one family; one site; one Westholme!

In the new INSPIRED Sixth Form, the A Level provision offered is personalised, inspirational and more akin to university seminars. The relationship between each individual student and teacher is exceptionally strong; this dynamic rapport ensures every student is understood, valued and motivated to reach their exciting aspirations. Our A Level results continue to place us as the highest achieveing school in Lancashire and it is the holistic approach that enable our oldest students to leave with so much more than academic accolades.

We wholeheartedly EMPOWER our Prep pupils through our pioneering educational philosophy that uniquely incorporates the 21st century essential skills into our daily provision. Our communication promise is focussed on developing close-knit relationships so parents and pupils become fully part of our Westholme family, with both feet fully in, to confidently optimise the exciting journey. Our entrepreneurial enterprise initiatives develop passionate, creative, innovative pupils ready to lead and succeed within our beautiful rural setting that is utterly awe-inspiring. The exceptional resources and facilities we have at Westholme, as part of our 4 – 18 School, are fully available and utilised by Prep pupils to provide unrivalled opportunities every day for our youngest pupils. Simply put, the difference is Westholme!

The first 100 years have been an incredible journey for Westholme and we are fully committed to ensuring a further 100 years of unrivalled holistic excellence, benefitting many more deserving children in Lancashire through our new Centenary Bursary Fund. The warmth, family feel, academic rigour and holistic excellence continue to be the defining hallmarks of a remarkable educational journey and we are passionately committed to inspiring many more generations of Westholmians to thrive in the future.