Wellington College awards its first ever Arts Fund grant to Court Moor School, Fleet.
When the Annenberg Performing Arts Centre opened in September 2018, Wellington’s Artistic Director, Simon Williamson, was determined that as well as being a wonderful space for the College’s actors, musicians and dancers, it should be a focal point for the artistic communities of local schools.
To further this aim, Wellington has created an Arts Fund, the money chiefly being raised from ticket sales for College performances such as West Side Story and Sweeney Todd. Schools have been encouraged to apply for grants to enable their own special projects to become a reality.
We are delighted that the Wellington College Arts Fund has just awarded its first ever grant, the recipient being Court Moor School, Fleet. Antonella Edwards, Head of Art at Court Moor, realised that a brand-new printing press would help them start an exciting after-school print-making club, as well as benefiting all Key Stage 3 and 4 children by enabling them to produce better quality artwork. She applied for funding and Wellington was thrilled to provide her school with the means to purchase the press.
The Arts Fund is specifically available for Arts Education projects involving students of school age, and particularly school-based projects. Applications are now invited for the Summer Term, the deadline being Thursday, 30th April 2020. Any applications received after that will not be considered until the Michaelmas Term, that deadline being Wednesday, 30th September 2020.
Wellington College would love to be able to offer more schools the opportunity to apply, so if you would like further details or guidance, please contact the Director of Arts, Simon Williamson, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington College pupil aims to raise thousands to fund life-changing surgery
After a life-changing operation, inspirational schoolboy David Lofthouse is determined to raise thousands to help fund Dorsal Rhizotomy Surgery for another child, like himself, with cerebral palsy by completing a 5K walk at Wellington College.
After a life-changing operation, inspirational schoolboy David Lofthouse is determined to raise thousands to help another child.
When it comes to serious challenges, then perhaps there is none tougher than that which faces sixteen-year-old schoolboy David Lofthouse, who has set himself the goal of completing a 5K walk, at Wellington College, Berkshire. David hopes to draw attention to his campaign to raise £70,000 to fund Dorsal Rhizotomy Surgery for a person, like himself, with cerebral palsy.
Despite the challenging times we currently face, David is just as determined to complete the walk on Tuesday 24th March. In line with new national guidance, we are putting further measures in place to ensure that David will complete the challenge safely.
At the age of two, David was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia, which mean he would never be able to walk independently. However, as a young boy, David underwent life-changing Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery. This treatment substantially improved his condition and quality-of-life. Including accommodation and physiotherapy, the treatment costs a staggering £70,000 per person. In order to help another child who cannot afford such a vast sum David and his friends aim to raise £70,000 for the Cerebral Palsy Trust. The Cerebral Palsy Trust (CPT) has remarkably been set-up by David and his young friends and with the help of international rugby star and media celebrity Will Greenwood.
David’s inspiration for his challenge is Wellington College’s annual 5K Kingsleys race, where more than 1,000 students and staff weave their way through the 410-acre site, culminating in a plunge through Swan Lake.
Next week, David will attempt the full course, including the lake finale. Supported by a small team of close school friends, he will start his challenge at 2am and hopes to cross the finish line 13-15 hours later. David started his training in September when he could barely complete 1k on a treadmill but has been working exceptionally hard and has now completed a 3K walk.
David Lofthouse said: ‘As I had the surgery when I was a young child, I realised the difference it can make to a child’s life. I wanted to give a child, who cannot afford it, the same opportunity I had. With the support of the Wellington College staff and past and present pupils of Wellington College, I knew I could achieve this goal.’
James Dahl, Head of Wellington College said: ‘Those of us who are lucky enough to know David, and see the courage with which he has tackled every school day at Wellington College since he started three years ago, are under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge – but will be cheering him on every hard-fought step of the way.’
David’s story has understandably touched the hearts of many, including some well-known celebrities like Will Greenwood, Ellie Bamber, Dan Carter, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Robinson, Gareth Thomas, James Haskell and Olivia Coleman, who have all sent messages of support. It has in particular caught the attention of, Made in Chelsea star Josh Patterson, who came along to support David in his most recent training walk last Thursday evening.
Josh Patterson said: ‘I can tell you first-hand, he will smash it!’
David Lofthouse and the Cerebral Palsy Trust (CPT) have set an ambitious target of raising £70,000. Please give generously.
To donate to the fund via JustGiving please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cpt
To find out more, follow the trust on Instragram @cerebralpalsytrust
Wellington College Marks 40 Years Since Girls First Joined the CCF
This month marks 40 years since the first girls entered the Wellington College Combined Cadet Force, in September 1979.
This month marks 40 years since the first girls entered the Wellington College Combined Cadet Force, in September 1979. At that stage they were only permitted to join the Royal Naval section, as it was felt that this was “better able to accept them and to provide training in which they were interested”. Today, all sections of the CCF are open to girls and, this year, the senior cadets in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force sections are all female. Emily G, who has recently been awarded an Army Scholarship, will head up the Army section; Molly S takes on the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force section is in the capable hands of Natasha M.
At Wellington, we are fortunate to have a flourishing CCF and much depends on the dedication of our staff, who are brilliantly led by Contingent Commander Ian Frayne. Many members of the teaching staff are involved on Wednesday afternoons and some, like Maths teacher Clare Edwards, go above and beyond.
Clare is a Senior Officer in the RAF section at Wellington, but she is also heavily involved in the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) outside College. As a volunteer on the Air Cadet Leadership Course, held at RAF College Cranwell, Lincolnshire, Clare guides cadets towards their Gold Award, the gold standard leadership badge for cadets. She also volunteers at the South East Area Cadre, held at RAF Henlow, where she trains cadets for the bronze and silver leadership awards. So significant is Clare’s involvement in the ACO that she has recently been asked to take part in a marketing campaign for the RAF section, the aim of which is to encourage more adult volunteers into the Combined Cadet Force.
Clare commented: “Wellington’s core values are Respect, Integrity, Courage, Responsibility and Kindness, and these of course overlap the RAF’s own values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence. As my father had been an officer in the RAF it was a natural choice for me to join the RAF, and I can honestly say it has been the best decision I have ever made”.
Wellington College Danceathon Raises Over £3000 for Mental Health Charity, Mind
Congratulations to sixth former Lottie L for organising a brilliant 24-hour Danceathon, in aid of the charity, Mind.
After delivering a powerful address in assembly, in which she talked about the need to “eradicate the stigma” around mental health, Lottie called for us all to “start talking and listening” to each other. Lottie’s message was a powerful one: “We are living in the 21st century, our technology has advanced leaps and bounds, so let’s not forget about our friends and family”. Lottie encouraged all members of the Wellington Community to join her Danceathon and to “boogie [their] stress away!” After such a rousing speech, it was no surprise that pupils and staff came in their hundreds to support the event.
Throughout the day on Thursday 19th September and into Friday 20th, the Old Gym was buzzing with energy, as people emerged from all corners of the College to join Lottie on the dance floor. By early on Friday morning, there was no sign of the energy levels dipping. This Tweet from the Master sums up the atmosphere perfectly: “With 10 minutes to go, Old Gym is rocking to the sounds of YMCA. Brilliant atmosphere and an amazing cause. Well done, Lottie!”
Thank you to everyone who took part and well done to members of the Combermere Upper Sixth who danced through the night.
Mind is a charity that works to provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing mental health problems. The charity campaigns to improve services, to raise awareness and to promote understanding. Lottie’s original aim was to raise £1,500 through a GoFundMe page and bucket collections, but to date she has raised nearly £3100.
Lottie’s assembly address, along with the success of her Danceathon, has shone a light on teenage mental health, and this is a topic we will revisit time and again this year. This term, a new pupil committee has been formed to promote mental health and, as a community, we will mark World Mental Health Day on 10th October.
In Lottie’s words, “The most important thing to take away from this is to please look out for each other, no matter what time of day. Don’t look down at your phone all the time; look up and see the world and the important issues that really matter. Love and care for each other, be there to hug someone. Tell them it’s OK, because you never know what someone is feeling inside. Only we can change the way we see the world, so start doing it”.
Thanks to the dedication of Delyth Lynch, Deputy Head (Safeguarding) and Head of Running, along with her team of running enthusiasts, the College has been recognised as a #RunAndTalk organisation.
Wellington College has a proud history of cross-country running, stretching back to the 1860s; in more recent years, the College has acquired a name for Wellbeing, being one of the first schools in the UK to pioneer the teaching of Wellbeing as part of the curriculum. This year, these two traditions will combine. Thanks to the dedication of Delyth Lynch, Deputy Head (Safeguarding) and Head of Running, along with her team of running enthusiasts, the College has been recognised as a #RunAndTalk organisation.
#RunAndTalk is an England Athletics initiative supported by Mind, the mental health charity. The idea is to improve mental health through running by getting people talking, sharing their experiences and removing stigma. The #RunAndTalk programme will be a great addition to Wellington’s Wellbeing programme: staff and students will have the opportunity to be trained as Mental Health Ambassadors and Mental Health Champions, providing additional support and guidance to raise awareness of mental health issues. Delyth Lynch and Sarah MacKenzie (HM Combermere and a member of the running club) have recently trained as Mental Health First Aiders and Delyth, Sam Gutteridge and George Wells have completed their courses in Mental Wellbeing in Sport.
#RunAndTalk is the latest in a long line of running initiatives at Wellington and will join such traditions as the annual Kingsleys races, in which more than 1000 enthusiastic students and staff weave their way through Wellington’s 410-acre site, a 5K challenge that culminates in a plunge through Swan Lake. The Boughey Run, a more recent but nevertheless a much cherished tradition, sees 18 gutsy individuals, one from each House, attempt to run from Front Quad to Swan Lake and back in the time taken for the clock to chime twelve (a near-impossible feat, but contested in true Wellington style). This term kicked off with The Welling10K, another annual event, in which pupils, OWs, staff, parents, and members of the wider Wellington Community run to raise bursary funds in memory of a much-loved member of staff, Jimmy Higham. Other events, such as the Waterloo half-marathon and the Pink Pavilion Dash, mean that running remains at the heart of the Wellington experience. This year two way-marked running courses will be set out in the College grounds to encourage students to run as part of their wellbeing and in the Summer Term, the College also hopes to host its very own ‘Park Run’ equivalent for the students, staff and parents.
Wellington College Peace & Conflict Institute: a year to remember
Denise Brown, Head of the Wellington College Peace and Conflict Institute, shares her thoughts on a year of reflection, discussion and active engagement.
Following our successful trip with Sandhurst School to Rwanda in February 2018, the WCPCI started the 2018-19 school year with a larger group coming to the Wednesday afternoon sessions to learn how genocidal conflicts grow in conditions of ignorance, indifference and denial; and how as individuals we can make a difference to the lives of others and our own society’s future by informing ourselves about power, privilege and propaganda, and by challenging intolerance when we see it.
We studied how the ways people deal with conflicts around identity can be manipulated by bad actors to create toxic environments in institutions and societies, creating the conditions for hate crimes and, ultimately, genocide. Preparing for a planned return visit to Srebrenica, the site of Europe’s most recent (1995) genocide, we examined parallels between 1930s antisemitism and the all too many examples of contemporary hate-crimes committed against Jews, Muslims and Christians in their places of worship. After the Christchurch mosque shootings, we wrote letters of solidarity to the local mosque in Camberley; we were shocked when we went to deliver them to find it under police guard, but our letters opened a dialogue on which we are keen to build over the next school year.
In discussions about how the media can generate and magnify attitudes of intolerance, we examined how the press covers incidents of gender-based violence and homophobia as well as racism. Conversely, journalists who challenge public ignorance and apathy about the human suffering caused by conflict featured largely in our ‘role models for peace’ series, and the tragic murder of journalist Lyra McKee in April brought this home as we considered the possible consequences of Brexit for peace in Northern Ireland.
The politics of the global refugee crisis also featured largely last year. In the Michaelmas Term WCPCI pupils befriended Syrian refugee children living in Bracknell, inviting them to Wellington for regular help with their English and Maths, some art, and a game of football. More Wellingtonians wanted to get involved in practical work for refugees so, over the final weekend of term, 13 Wellingtonians and three teachers made the trip through Eurotunnel to volunteer for Care4Calais, working in the warehouse and going out to meet people in camps in Calais and Dunkirk. We were shocked by what we saw and heard there about the violence and political instability people are fleeing in their home countries; seeing the consequences of the UK government’s ‘hostile environment’ for ourselves filled us with resolve to spread the word at Wellington and other schools, to go and help, challenge all too familiar damaging narratives around immigration and use the privilege of our education and connections to act as advocates and friends for those suffering the effects of conflicts we hardly even hear about in the news.
We are delighted to announce that Wellington College won the Boarding Research Award at this year’s Boarding Schools’ Association Awards.
This award recognises the brilliant work of Delyth Lynch, Deputy Head (Safeguarding), who has recently completed a BSA research fellowship, exploring what makes boarding schools vulnerable and what we can do to create a safer culture.
The BSA Research Award recognises ‘research undertaken by a school or individual into how to continue to improve the boarding sector and better meet students’ needs’ and Delyth is a worthy winner. Her research was conducted across numerous boarding schools, and the questions she raised, and the subsequent discussions, have already had a significant impact on the culture at Wellington.
During her career, Delyth has made a significant contribution to the cause of boarding. The impact she has had at Wellington College over the twelve years is undisputed, but her reputation and influence reach far beyond the College gates. With this accolade, Delyth has cemented her reputation as a thought-leader in safeguarding. Not only will her work continue to improve the experience of our boarders, but it will undoubtedly serve to improve standards across the sector.
On 20th and 21st June, the educational world descended on Wellington College for the 10th Festival of Education. Record ticket sales, a stellar line-up, and a footfall approaching 7000, made this a birthday to remember.
On Thursday, the G.W. Annenberg, home to the festival main stage for the first time, saw a diverse line-up of speakers, from hip-hop artist and social entrepreneur, Akala, to Baroness Estelle Morris and Lord David Blunkett. Day two saw Gyles Brandreth tapping into a Wellington favourite with his talk on ‘Making “Wellbeing” Happen’. Elsewhere, classrooms, tents and lecture halls hosted seminars on everything from curriculum innovation to cultural mobility. As always, there was something for everyone. As the festival tagline neatly puts it, ‘EdFest’ is the place “where those who inspire find their own inspiration”.
Julian Thomas, as he opened the 10th Festival of Education, said: “At this time of year, at this event, my belief and excitement in education receives its annual booster shot. I see, hear and meet people from all sectors, age ranges, countries and schools coming together with a single common purpose in mind: to make things better; to serve and educate the children of this country, for the future of this country, as well and as effectively as we possibly can. At this time of year all barriers come down. What really excites me is the sense of collaboration, the way in which we work together to create a better system for all. We don’t protect our patch. We give and receive. We listen and we learn from each other”.
Happy birthday, ‘EdFest’!
Forthcoming Open Days
Sorry. No Open Day dates have been provided by the school.