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  • A British International School

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Elizabeth Westwood


Deputy Head of Primary

My name is Elizabeth and I have been living in Shanghai for the last 6 years with my husband, Joseph. I grew up in Oldbury, a small town on the edge of Birmingham, where I sang in the Church Choir and was a Girls’ Brigade leader. I was a life guard at University and I also qualified as a swimming teacher. Before living in China I lived and worked in Oman as well as in the UK. I love teaching and helping children experience new things. I have been lucky enough to teach in both Primary and Secondary schools and last year had very different experiences teaching both EAL in Year 1 and Theory of Knowledge to Year 13.

I enjoy travelling and visiting different countries and cultures. I have a degree in world religions and so love to visit places of worship throughout the world. My favourite places to visit, so far, have been the Taj Mahal in India, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman. I am looking forward to returning to the Middle East and exploring further. 

I graduated from Westminster College, Oxford with a degree in Theology and, following my PGCE at the University of Birmingham, I taught in a range of subjects in schools across England. I completed a Master’s Degree in the Psychology of Education at Bristol University in 2007. This gave me a further insight into cognitive development and led to me developing more of an interest in special educational needs. I have been an inclusion coordinator in two different schools and have really enjoyed this aspect of my teaching career.

After making the decision to move internationally I taught in Oman before moving to The British International School of Shanghai. I began as Year 6 teacher and SENCo before becoming a Year 5 teacher and Phase Leader for Upper Key Stage 2. For the last two years, I have been a member of the Senior Leadership Team and Assistant Head of Primary. My teaching role has been mainly been teaching EAL to children across Years 1 – 6 and this has been wonderful. 

I love to travel and visit different countries and cultures. I am fascinated by how different people live and how different societies function. In my spare time, I read a lot and also run. The highlight of my running so far was completing the Shanghai Half Marathon and I hope to compete in some more events in the Middle East.

In a recent pupil voice survey, my students said:
“I like Mrs Westwood’s ‘fascinating facts’ because she always has something new to tell us.”
“Mrs Westwood is very good at making us think and we work very hard.” 
“Mrs Westwood is nice and very funny as long as we are being good.”

I am most looking forward to working with new people at NAISAK and the mix of Qatari and expatriate children.