Wisbech Grammar School is an independent school in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire for ages 4 to 18. It was founded in 1379 by the Guild of the Holy Trinity and is therefore one of the oldest surviving schools. Recent major expansions of the school buildings include a junior school assembly hall, 2 junior classrooms and a sixth form centre building. The school is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
A real cause for celebration at Wisbech Grammar School as it celebrates excellent GCSE results this morning for the ‘year group that does’.
20th August 2020 — A real cause for celebration at Wisbech Grammar School as it celebrates excellent GCSE results this morning for the ‘year group that does’. by Chris Staley Headmaster at WGS
This morning saw a real sense of relief, satisfaction and happiness after days of increased stress and anxiety following the publication of A 'level results last week and a sense of ‘how bad might it be’ for the GCSE results today. With the decision to accept Centrally Assessed Grades for pupils, derived from a huge amount of data collected from teaching staff as well as their innate understanding of the pupils they teach, has resulted in an overwhelming sense of certainty, justification, and joy for pupils, parents and teachers. So much of 2020 has been ‘unprecedented’ and the fact that today pupils have been awarded the grades they deserved has been a particular high point for me since schools were closed and lockdown began back in March.
The results themselves indicate the following:
Level 9: 13% of all exams sat
Level 8 and 9: 27% of all exams sat
Level 7,8 and 9: 46% of all exams sat
With the top 3 grades/ levels making up close to 50% of all GCSE taken, it would be an understatement to say that I am nothing short of delighted and incredibly proud of everyone associated with the results this year. The pass rate is at 98% overall and there are several pupils who have now received an excellent GCSE profile to springboard them onto our 6th form. It has been very easy for those outside education and public life/ news commentators to characterise this year as being one where children have lost out on this and not done that and paint an entire picture of doom, gloom, and negativity. My interpretation has been the polar opposite: I believe it is important to imbue in our pupils and staff that at times of greatest challenge we need to pull together, be positive and look for the opportunities that arise (which they have done and will continue to do so) and make the most of them. We have seen our pupils and staff (ably supported by parents) showing real resilience in the face of adversity, the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, utilise new teaching and learning methods to achieve their learning aims and overcome all obstacles thrown at them- and there have been several and I expect there to be many more as term recommences in a little over 2 weeks time.
Like the A 'level cohort last week, this GCSE year group and to a wider extent the WGS school community has proved itself to be filled with 'people who can and people who do’. Chris Staley Headmaster at WGS
Highlights from results
Eden Chamberlain James who achieved six grade 9's and other fantastic results
Lucy Prior gained ten GCSE's of grade 7 or more ( seven of which were the top grade 9's)
Nestor Bausbacher achieved six grade 9's and all nine GCSE's were of grade 7 or above
Reuben Cartwright achieved five grade 9's making this another pupil who gained all his GCSE's at grade 7 or higher.
Both George Gowler and Luc Widdowson achieved three grade 9's and all of their GCSE's at grade 7 or above
Children in Kindergarten, Reception and Prep 6 enjoy their first week back at WGS
4th June 2020 — Wisbech Grammar staff have worked hard to prepare the school, ready for the return of Kindergarten, Reception and Prep 6 on 1 June. Our focus has been on ensuring that staff, children and families feel confident and reassured by the measures we have put in place. Support and Teaching staff worked tirelessly through half term to make the environment as inviting as it could be under the circumstances.
Teachers also prepared videos for parents and children to show them what the School would look like when they returned on Monday 1 June. The first week has been exceptionally well received by pupils and their families and teachers have been thrilled with the positive feedback so far.
“My child has been really anxious about returning with school being different to normal but after watching your video several times she is actually now excited to be returning. In particular, she loved the number spots going into school, that she will have her own tray and will be able to have lunch on a picnic blanket! We have also been able to talk about you having to wear a mask at times etc. and she was fine with this. Over the past week she has been asking lots of questions but this weekend she hasn’t asked any and I think the video has given her some reassurance of what school will be like. I’m sure there will still be lots of challenges ahead but I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this as it has certainly helped a great deal for us preparing our child to come back”. Parent of Reception pupil
“I am so proud of how well the children have observed the social distancing rules and it was an absolute delight to see them in school, smiling, after 10 weeks at home. Many parents commented on how happy their child had been at the end of their day and were looking forward to coming in again”. Keryn Neaves, Senior Deputy Head of Prep School
The School has implemented COVID-19 control measures by following the 5 main risk areas that the Government advised schools to focus on.
1 - Minimising contact with unwell people. We are temperature screening for all staff and pupils. Staff have access to PPE equipment and there are smaller groups of staff and children; each group staying in their own teaching bubble.
2 - Cleaning hands. Pupils are being encouraged to wash hands regularly and use the hand gel in their section of the School.
3 - Catch it, kill it, bin it. This advice is something that the school encourages at any time, particularly during this Covid outbreak.
4 - Cleaning. The school is being cleaned on a rota during the days and evenings, and our cleaning and maintenance team have been focused on cleaning the sections of the school that are being used by the bubbles. Every night these areas are also being sprayed with a virucidal fogger which offers an extra layer of protection to every surface in those areas.
5 - Minimising contact and mixing with others. Alongside our pupil groups being separated, the children are being given their own personal equipment to use and where helpful, can also bring in their own items from home.
The biggest challenge was always going to be the younger children in Early Years but we have certainly underestimated their resilience and understanding of how they need to behave in School. Mrs Oram, our Reception teacher, summed this up beautifully; “I’ve had an incredible few days with the children and I am so amazed and proud of all them. They have adapted so quickly to the new classroom environment and been so happy to be back at school playing and interacting together and yet apart. It was truly humbling to realise how adaptable and resilient such young children can be and I feel privileged to be able to spend my day teaching and caring for such wonderful children”
WGS pupils chosen to play for the Lambs U18 National XV
WGS 1st XV Vice-Captains George Dady (Wisbech) and Will Gowler (March) along with 1st XV Captain Henry Mair were selected to play for the Lambs Midlands Side against the other Lambs Divisional teams this season. Following this, all three were chosen to play for the Lambs U18 National XV.
22nd May 2020 — WGS 1st XV Vice-Captains George Dady (Wisbech) and Will Gowler (March) along with 1st XV Captain Henry Mair (March) were selected to play for the Lambs Midlands Side against the other Lambs Divisional teams this season. Following this, all three were chosen to play for the Lambs U18 National XV.
George went on to play in all five of the Lambs National XV fixtures, the only player to play all five games. George played against the Irish Exiles, Crawshays Welsh, Bristol Academy, Nottingham Academy, and Coventry Academy. Following these performances, he was Nominated for XV Rugby, Schools County Team of the Year, and made the Midlands team. This has been an amazing season for George, and these are marvelous achievements.
Will Gowler made four appearances for the Lambs National XV, playing against Irish Exiles, Crawshays Welsh, Bristol Academy, and Coventry Academy. This has been a fantastic way for Will to end the season.
Henry Mair has regularly trained with and played for the Coventry U18s Academy side (Championship), this year, and he has captained the side on two occasions, an excellent achievement for Henry. He also represented the Lambs against the Irish Exiles.
We would like to congratulate all George, Will, and Henry on these incredible achievements this year, as well as thanking them for the excellent contribution they have made to Rugby at Wisbech Grammar School.
Pupils sent a touching video to say thank you to staff; why not share your own messages of gratitude to those people who have supported and helped you the most. This is why this week is #wisbechgrammargratitude week
4th May 2020 — Staff were surprised when Senior School pupils sent a video to show their appreciation of all the work that teachers and support staff have been doing with support and remote learning. It has been a learning curve for teachers, pupils and parents to embrace this new way of learning and there have certainly been some challenges along the way. WGS is focused on offering the best education to all pupils across Prep and Senior School to ensure there is access to academic learning, pastoral support, and guidance whilst children are learning at home. Our WisbechGrammarCommunity pages have been showcasing the interesting things our pupils have been doing and the latest video has prompted the school to start #wisbechgrammargratitude week.
On the back of this video, we have invited pupils across the school to send their own personal messages of gratitude to people they would like to thank. We are encouraging the wider community to get involved to share their own personal messages of thanks. #wisbechgrammargratitude week.
Crusaders By Frances Poet, Performed By WGS Theatre Company
Crusaders by Frances Poet, performed by WGS Theatre Company
10th March 2020 — Building on our reputation for new and original writing, the Drama Department was delighted to be accepted into The National Theatre’s Connection programme in October 2019. The Festival has been an annual event since 1995, with the NT commissioning ten new plays each year. All of the 300 national and international companies made up of youth groups, schools, and theatre clubs perform at their own venue, then move to a professional partner theatre to be part of a local festival so we will be at Norwich Playhouse on Thursday 28 April, and then one inspirational production of each play is invited to perform at the Connections Festival in London in June. Participation in such a prestigious undertaking such as Connections automatically widens our pupils' experience of physical venues, industry-led collaboration, and perhaps most importantly, to experience the transformative effect of standing in someone else’s shoes.
Frances Poet, the playwright, was inspired to write this powerful play following her research of the ill-fated medieval Children’s (or Innocent’s) Crusades, and the energy created by the more recent Youthquake movement. Serendipity, and an increasing urgency for global action on climate change, then made us, as a populace, aware of Greta Thurnberg and youth activism; thus art mirrors reality in poignant relevance.
The challenge of the play is to effectively communicate the epic vision of physical, geographical and emotional distance given in the text. Energy is required from both the company and members of the audience. The structure means that each scene starts in the middle of an episode or a conversation, so the audience needs to catch up. This is not a passive affair, nor is it, unusually, a final offering. From these performances, we shall continue developing and rehearsing with the help of our Communications Director Kash Arshad, in preparation for the next phase in Norwich.
The play takes place over the course of one week: Monday in Wisbech, Tuesday on the American Mexico border, Wednesday on the Gazza Strip, Thursday in the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Friday in India, and the weekend finishes on Jebel ash Shaykh, referred to in the Bible as Mt Hermon. How these different locations could be presented was an exciting task for the creative team but the essential structure from the playwright was that ‘transitions from one scene to another should add nothing than the time that is necessary’ therefore set changes, costume alterations, and role-changes had to be minimal. We, as an ensemble company, have tried to harness this energy wave and have used little to suggest a lot. This is also practical considering the necessity to tour the production to Norwich, and we have drawn on our experience of Edinburgh Festival Fringe venues to keep the technical effects as enhancements rather than drivers of the piece.
After the premiere on Monday night, the audience were asked to join in a Question & Answer session with the company and it was wonderful to hear the pupils talking so confidently about the process so far. This is a young company but the short biographies in the programme show just how much experience they are have already achieved. Perhaps the greatest compliment to our collective ambition was a member of the audience who said: “you couldn’t really say who had the leading role, there was nothing between them, the whole company made it such a strong piece.”
WGS U18 Boys Hockey crowned East Regional U18 Hockey Champions
U18 Boys Hockey crowned East Regional Hockey Champions with the National Finals being held on 24 March at Reading Hockey Club
9th March 2020 — Wisbech Grammar U18 Hockey Boys have been crowned Regional Champions at the East Tournament at Redbridge Essex on Thursday. The first match was against Stamford School who they played and beat in the first round of the cup, just before half term with 5-0 win.
Their second opponent was Spalding Grammar School. This was a really close game with both sides playing well. James Kerry GK made some excellent saves to keep the scores level. But just before half time, WGS found the net after a great counter-attack. Spalding then levelled the score after a slip in concentration. It was very tense throughout the remainder of the game with lots of great hockey on display. WGS missed several shots on target which took the final score to 1 – 1
The third and final game was the most competitive of all with a lot at stake for the Wisbech Grammar School boys. The game started with the Hitchin team applying early pressure and moving the ball around very well. In the last 2mins of the game, WGS won the ball and drove it into the circle and put it on the foot of a Hitchin defender. The final whistle went and WGS pushed all their players up to the circle with clinical precision hitting the ball through the GK’s legs to win the game 2 -1.
"Winning this final game enabled WGS to be crowned East Regional Champions 2020, they now progress to the National Finals on 24th March at Reading Hockey Club. This is a huge achievement for the Team as this has not been accomplished at the school for many years. Everyone at WGS is incredibly proud of the team and we can't wait for the finals". Andrea Glover, Head of Hockey
Team Were: Sam Landles (Captain) King's Lynn, Matt Goodley from Spalding (Ass.Captain), James Kerry from King's Lynn, Ross Clarke (Wisbech), Jack Robb (Wisbech), Tim Bateman (Wisbech), Shen Wei Lim (King's Lynn) Joe Reed (Hunstanton), Josh Porter (Wisbech), Josh Bell (Wisbech), Bailey Slender (Ely), Toby Twite (King's Lynn)