When our children Pinja and Patrik joined Westminster International School at the age of 9 and 7, they did not speak any English, or Italian.
Nevertheless, they were warmly welcomed to the school and became part of the caring community from the first day on. They quickly learned the language and made several close friends. Besides that, they became true inquirers, who eagerly learn new things, respect various viewpoints, and confidently share their knowledge with others. The caring environment in Westminster made them alike; now that they are continuing in an international school in Finland, their good manners and high commitment has been noticed. After three years in Westminster, they are fully competent to continue their studies in the Finnish education system, known of its high standard. Furthermore, nowadays it’s no matter to them whether they use English or Finnish at school or with their friends. They have become balanced, knowledgeable and internationally minded students, who have the whole world ahead of them.
Mari and Mika Hartemo
Parsa, Westminster International School Primary Years student 2011-2014
Back in 2011 my family and I were planning to move to Pisa and stay there for a couple of years. Our major concern was my son’s education. He was attending the second grade of a Persian speaking school in Tehran. He knew some English as well. A good friend of mine suggested Westminster International School and I am really grateful for her life-changing advice. Attending that school for three years was indeed a life-changing experience for my son, Parsa.
Westminster is a truly special place. Its atmosphere is one of creativity, caring and growth. It is where professional, dedicated and caring teachers in small classes are able to teach each child with its individual learning style in mind. The school creates an optimal setting that allows children to grow emotionally, physically, and educationally. Most importantly, Westminster is like a truly big family. You can easily feel it as soon as you enter the front doors.
Now we are back in Tehran, but we will forever be grateful to Westminster and Wendy Fish, the lovely principal. As a result of attending Westminster, Parsa speaks fluent English. He also learned at school to speak very good Italian. His shy character is now replaced by an endless appetite for exploration. His reading habit, he picked up at Westminster, is way higher than most other kids his age. He passionately reads novels in three languages, Persian, English and Italian.
Westminster International School at Pisa is a wonderful, diverse, small school and we are happy to be a part of its big family.
Seyed Kamran Bagheri ex Parent
Dr. Seyed Kamran Bagheri,
Innovation and Intellectual Property Consultant
Isabella, Westminster International School Primary Year student 2009-2014
Isabella’s wish to go to Westminster International School was an excellent choice because it provided her with a platform from where she has been able to excel in her new school in Portugal. The Westminster Int’l School offers the International Baccalaureate Program which has enabled our daughter to be open-minded, inquisitive and given her good life traits.
In spite of having transferred to a different curriculum, Isabella is keen to pursue her IB diploma in her final High School years.
Westminster is a small school which provides an intimate atmosphere where the students care for each other, no matter their age group.
The school arranges trips during the school year, which has helped Isabella gain independence and become knowledgable in various fields. We can therefore highly recommend schools with the International Baccalaureate Program.
Tess Walbeck ex Parent
Elisabetta, Westminster International School Primary Years student 2016-2017
Come professore universitario impegnato nella ricerca scientifica avvertivo moltissimo l’esigenza di dare a nostra figlia Elisabetta un’educazione in grado di dotarla di strumenti oggi veramente indispensabili: la perfetta padronanza dell’inglese, una formazione in linea con i più elevati standard internazionali e soprattutto l’apertura mentale necessaria per confrontarsi con successo con problematiche sempre più complesse e trasformare le difficoltà in opportunità. La Westminster International School ha risposto perfettamente a tutte le nostre attese. Elisabetta non ha solo acquisito nozioni e conoscenze: si è impadronita di un metodo, ha sviluppato una personalità che le ha consentito tanto di superare agevolmente gli esami che ha sostenuto come privatista nella scuola italiana, quanto di essere ammessa con facilità in una prestigiosa istituzione scolastica negli Stati Uniti. Non ho alcun dubbio nel raccomandare l’International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme della Westminster International School come la scelta da fare per il futuro dei nostri figli.
Riccardo Lencioni, MD, FSIR, EBIR – EX PARENT
Professor and Director, Interventional Oncology Research
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and
University of Miami School of Medicine, USA
Alessandro, Westminster International School Primary Years student 2014-2017
La nostra figlia maggiore ha avuto la possibilità di poter iniziare la scuola elementare a Londra e di continuarla in una scuola americana a Parigi; questa esperienza non solo le ha consentito di apprendere inglese e francese quasi come fossero altre due madrelingue, ma le ha dato un’apertura internazionale che ha poi messo a frutto laureandosi a Ginevra e proseguendo successivamente gli studi a Pechino e Hong Kong.
In occasione del nostro trasferimento a Pisa abbiamo appreso della presenza della Westminster International School ed abbiamo quindi voluto dare le stesse possibilità anche al nostro secondo figlio, Alessandro.
Dopo tre anni di vita pisana, dovendoci trasferire in un’altra città, lasciamo la Westminster School pienamente soddisfatti della scelta scolastica fatta per nostro figlio, sia per l’ottimo livello di conoscenza dell’inglese raggiunto da Alessandro, sia per le numerose ed interessanti attività scolastiche ed extrascolastiche in Italia e all’estero oltre che per l’eccellente livello di apertura e curiosità che la scuola ha saputo infondere in Alessandro. Pertanto, sulla base della nostra esperienza personale, riteniamo di poter suggerire questo tipo di esperienza ad altre famiglie che condividono le nostre stesse priorità per l’educazione dei loro figli.
Ringraziamo quindi Ms Wendy Fish, infaticabile ed instancabile anima della scuola e di tutte le sue attività, per l’opportunità offertaci, per il suo continuo supporto e per la costante attenzione che ha saputo dedicare a nostro figlio e a tutti gli studenti della scuola.
Claudio e Rossana Boccalatte
Recensione sulla WIS:
in qualita’ di genitore di un bambino che ha iniziato a frequentare la WIS a meno di 3 anni ed e’ uscito a 10 anni e mezzo, credo di avere gli strumenti per discernere obiettivamente le caratteristiche della scuola e di averne potuto apprezzare le qualita’.
Per quanto intuitivo, l’investimento relativo all’apprendimento della lingua inglese, pur fondamentale, non e’ l’unico tratto distintivo della WIS.
a mio parere i
pregi della scuola sono principalmente 3:
1. La trasversalita’ del sapere, affatto nozionistico e di impronta europea; 2. La spiccata autonomia, responsabilizzazione ed autorganizzazione del lavoro, cui gli allievi vengono educati sin da piccolissimi, in un contesto di disciplina e compostezza; 3. La comunicazione, condivisione e scambio delle culture, facilitate dal tipo di target cui si rivolge la Scuola.
Se a tutto cio’ si aggiunge
l’arricchimento personale frutto dei viaggi culturali e ludici, a cui la Direzione della scuola tiene molto, si comprende come al di la’ dell’apprendimento della lingua in tenerissima eta’, il metodo di studio impartito presso la WIS rifletta i suoi effetti anche sugli aspetti caratteriali degli allievi, rendendoli avvezzi allo spirito e lavoro di gruppo, al rispetto delle regole e del prossimo, anche diverso da loro per cultura, religione, appartenenza etnica etc., in una parola formandoli e preparandoli ad approntare gli strumenti idonei e necessari per affrontare il mondo.
Rossella Quarta ex Parent
I spent five very happy years at Westminster International School, teaching a combined Year One and Reception class.
The school is centrally situated in the historical part of Pisa with easy access to various modes of transport which is a bonus if you intend travelling as part of your Italian experience!
Westminster is a multicultural school which prepares students for the world of learning and work through the implementation of the comprehensive and innovative International Baccalaureate programme.
Having come from a ‘traditional teaching background’ it did take time to adjust to inquiry based teaching. Fortunately the principal, Ms Wendy has a wealth of experience and was always on hand to offer invaluable advice and support. The school also offers professional development through on line courses provided by the I.B.
The I.B. programme encourages the students to express their ideas and opinions and take an active part in their own learning. Ms Wendy is passionate about her school and is fully involved in developing inquiring, knowledgeable, and principled young students with the aim to create a better world through intercultural understanding and respect.
The flexibility and diversity of the I.B. programme allows the facilitator and the students to decide which direction the inquiry should go. The possibilities are endless and the teaching becomes so much more meaningful and interesting. The implementation of the Managebac system revolutionised and stream lined the way of documenting portfolios, planners and reports and proves invaluable.
Education takes place not only inside the classroom but also outside and various cultural trips are organised. A highlight for me was definitely the field trip to La Scala in Milan and a ride in a gondola in Venice.
I gained a great deal teaching at Westminster and I most definitely became a better teacher.
I wish Westminster every success for the future.
Dianne Badham- Thornhill – ex teacher, August 2011 – September 2016
I was employed as a teacher at Westminster International School from September 2012 until the end of the academic year in June 2013.
I found the experience both rewarding and stimulating. The IB Inquiry programme provided challenging and interesting studies which the students embraced enthusiastically. Educational benchmarks were achieved and in many cases exceeded.
I was impressed by the culture of caring, acceptance and cooperation throughout the school.
Annie H. Murray – ex Teacher
TTC B Ed Advanced Diploma of Teaching
Post Grad Diploma of Special Needs Resource Teaching RTLB Diploma Teaching English as a Second Language New Zealand Qualifications
I was employed at Westminster International School from 2008 until 2010 as a classroom teacher and PYP Coordinator.
The school is small and very friendly. The students are kind, curious and the working atmosphere balanced and stimulating.
Professional development is taken seriously at the school – I was given the opportunity to attend several PYP Workshops, visit various schools in Italy and implemented in-house training as well. Moreover, I was supported in my research studies, which I completed at WIS.
Pisa is a beautiful place to work and live. The city is lively, full of wonderful bars and restaurants. The beach, Lucca and Florence are very close by. You can easily explore Tuscany and the rest of Italy by train or car.
If you are looking for a small and exciting place to work and live – you found it!
Jessica Kelleher – ex teacher/IB Co-ordinator
Westminster International School situated in the heart of Pisa provides a global education program In a small friendly environment. I have taught at WIS on two semester contracts. I enjoyed working with happy and motivated students who actively embraced the inquiry based learning provided. Expectations of students were high and individual progress closely monitored. Students well being and safety were always the ultimate priority.
Mignon Mayer – ex teacher Australia
Two alumni who are now finding success at university.
‘I attended Westminster International School for the first five years of my primary education and this experience has truly made a long lasting impact on my life. Currently, I am studying Information Management for Business at University College London, following graduating from the International Baccalaureate with 38/45. WIS has been a great opportunity that paid back both in the long and short term as the skills that I learned as a child have proven extremely useful through the course of my life. Learning English from such a young age allowed me to have an international perspective and by keeping it in practice I have achieved the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency. But what I believe made the difference in my success is the practical approach to learning through hands on activities and brainstorming that I really enjoyed and help me develop an intrinsic motivation to the various subjects. The positive learning environment was very supporting, but at the same time we were given responsibilities and tasks that prepared me for independence. Playing and working with students from all over the world when I was a child made it natural for me to be flexible and adapt quickly to different backgrounds and successfully work with diverse groups. The emphasis on values stimulated me in behaving ethically in my dealings and be determined to find and peruse my personal mission. My dream is to work as a consultant in IT and contribute to the development of innovative solutions to the world’s greatest issues’.
Alumni – Giulia Gandolfo
‘I attended Westminster from the last year of preschool and all the way through elementary and then I joined the Italian system. When I went into the Italian schools system I felt the different approach to the subjects that we studied: in WIS you have a practical approach to the subjects, which sometimes the Italian school misses. Also at WIS the classes aren’t so large and this permits you to have more care from the teachers. I think one of the best things that WIS teaches is how to study, and I can say with the WIS’s method you can study everything easily! Now I am in university and I have never found any difficulties with any of the subjects that I have studied, and also now I feel well prepared for my future. If someone asks me to spot a difference between a student from WIS and a student that went to the Italian school I can easily find one: the student from Westminster knows English much better than an Italian student and English is very important in our society. I can sincerely confirm that going to WIS prepared me to deal with not only the Italian school, but many aspects of my life’.
Alumni – Christian Lambiase
Alumni who are now attending Italian High Schools.
‘I was a student from 2.1/2 years old until Year 5. I then went into the Italian schooling system. Westminster prepared me well. I am now very independent, not like my Italian classmates. I am confident because during my time with Westminster I had the opportunity from the age of 7 to travel abroad and I now am able to confidently travel abroad without my parents. I am self-motivated because Westminster gave me these skills. Also I learnt how to be generous. In Year 4 in our Inquiry Unit we organised activities, such as baking, snack bar and car cleaning, to raise money. We earned €700 which was donated to an African community. I will never forget this’.
Alumni- Marco Mangiavacchi
‘My childhood in Westminster was wonderful. I had a great time and learnt to do most things by myself. At the age of 7, I started going on school trips and these helped me be more independent and responsible. Before then, I was very attached to my parents and I would not go anywhere without them, but the many experiences taught me to count mostly on myself. Nowadays I am able to organise my school work independently and nobody has to tell me to work hard on my studies. I am still too young to say that I am ready for professional success but I have obtained many skills necessary for it, thanks to Westminster International School. ‘I am an ethical person: I always try to listen to others and I recognise that viewpoints, beliefs, religions and ideas may differ from one to another and I am willing to grow from this experience. I accept people despite their nationality or colour of their skin. Thanks to activities such as “show and tell” and assemblies, I am able to speak correctly without being shy in front of lots of people, expressing my ideas clearly and logically. This will certainly be useful in the future; to believe in myself and my abilities’.
Alumni- Alice Branca