From the Headmaster’s Study
This has been an eventful start to the new term and I have been heartened by the positivity, determination and optimism (as well as good humour, at times) of all within our community as we begin our second innings of Wellesley Online, whilst also catering for our nursery and key worker children on site at Wellesley. Our staff have been buzzing with enthusiasm about the pupils’ efforts in these initial stages. As parents, we thank you for your support and patience as we roll out Wellesley Online. Thank you also for the feedback that we have received. We will continue to review and tweak our programme to suit the needs of our pupils. If you have any questions or concerns throughout lockdown, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Over the Christmas holiday, Claire and I had the opportunity to reflect on the considerable progress that we made as a school last term, in a number of areas, as we look to build on our outstanding provision. Whilst the lockdown poses inevitable challenges for us all, we must together look to make the most of the opportunities that it does provide and our staff will do all that they can to ensure that our pupils remain motivated, learning, inspired and supported.
Townsend Warner History Prize
This term’s Townsend Warner History prize round 1 has been postponed until either later this term or next term. The organisers are very keen for the competition to take place.
A real focus for 2021 is going to be on us promoting reading within our community. Whilst we are in lockdown, for those parents who may be interested, this website provides some really useful ideas and recommendations for children. If you want further ideas on reading for your children at home, please do not hesitate to contact us. We wish you all a very happy and healthy 2021.
Poetry recital preparations
This term we will be holding our annual Poetry Recital for those in JL and above. We hope that pupils have spent some time over the Christmas holiday learning their chosen poem on the theme of ‘Vision’. Every pupil will perform their poem for their class remotely in English lessons and the best performances will then go through to the final round. More details about the finals will be announced in the Weekly soon.
As detailed on page 4 in the Wellesley Online programme, please note that exeat and half term will start at the end of the school day – 3pm for Pre-prep and 4.20pm for Years 4 to 8.
Our first exeat is Friday 29th January and half term begins on Friday 12th February. Further information regarding term dates is available to view on the website.
School This Week
News from Pre-Prep
It’s been great to welcome the Pre-prep children back to school both at school and online and we warmly welcome the new families that have joined Wellesley Pre-prep this term. How delighted we have been to hear from all children that even in a pandemic Father Christmas visited everyone! Children have engaged brilliantly online and those at school have had busy days filled with a range of lessons, storytime, lunches in the Old Hall and a Games session with Mr Waldie each afternoon. We cannot wait to all be back together but in the meantime remain connected through the wonder of technology!
Friends of Wellesley
The Friends of Wellesley are in discussion with Monsieur Latteur about the possibility of organising an online Quiz for later this term. Further details will follow in due course.
Just prior to Christmas, Mr Franklin was interviewed by the Editor of Muddy Stilettos. He discussed the many advantages of boarding at school and you can read the full interview here.
Inspirational talks for pupils, families and staff
Wellington College is hosting a series of Virtual Fireside Talks. With a fantastic range of speakers discussing topics from human rights, arctic expeditions, rugby, poetry, there really is something for everyone.
Success is Not a Finish Line – Fireside Talk with Ben Saunders, Monday 18th January, 5pm
Ben Saunders, Polar explorer and endurance athlete, in conversation with Will Greenwood
My England Days, Then and Now – Fireside Talk with Will Carling, Monday 25th January, 5pm
Will Carling OBE, former England Rugby Union captain
If you would like to join a talk, please click on the appropriate link, you will then be admitted from the lobby prior to the talk beginning.
On Wednesday 20 January 4.40pm – 5.40pm, Downe House is hosting : “Love the Sport, not the Success.” with DH Sport special guest Joanne Jones, Marathon swimmer, British Open Water Champion and open water swimming coach. “I continued swimming because I loved it as a teenager – even when I wasn’t selected for galas and team events – and I now have the prize of a lifelong love of the sport.”
Joanne is an open water swimmer, and is passionate about the importance of finding a sport you love, doing it for the enjoyment and not just the success. She is incredibly inspiring and has so many amazing stories to share. Please click here to register – the live link will then be sent to you by 1pm on 20th January.
Following their hugely popular series of lectures last year, Oppidan Education have launched ‘Brain Labs’. A new, busy series of small group workshops held online, covering off-beat topics not usually included in the mainstream curriculum. Please click here for further information and a schedule of the workshops.
Shrewsbury School has shared two lectures with us, whilst primarily aimed at pupils, parents may also wish to join …
“Chaucer and Creativity – why pandemics are good news for writers”
By Mr James Fraser Andrew, English Faculty, is geared towards the more scholarly and can be seen below.
Also attached is a worksheet to accompany the lecture.
The second lecture includes talks by three Shrewsbury pupils relating their experiences undertaking some sporting and adventurous activity and can be found here.
Senior School Admissions
We have some pupils who are taking part in senior school admissions tests and scholarships over the coming weeks and wish all of these Welleslians well with their various forms of assessments.
Senior School News
Benenden is hosting a series of online Prospective Parent Open Mornings, please click here for dates and further information.
Wellington College very much hopes to be able to welcome visitors soon, however, in the interim please view their Virtual Visitors Day via this link.
The King’s School, Canterbury is holding a live virtual Open Morning on Saturday 6th March 2021 and you can register and request a Digital Information Pack by clicking here.
Eton College has introduced a 45-minute webcast that they hope will serve as some form of a virtual visit; it includes an interview with the Head Master, a tour of the school given by a Y9 boy, an explanation of our admissions process for parents, and a broader video about the school. These are broadcast at specific times via Zoom, and interested parties are asked to email email@example.com in order to book into a webcast. Their prospectus has now been significantly condensed into what they hope is a rather more user-friendly document (and certainly more geared towards Y5 boys and their parents).
Matches This Week
Please always refer to the website calendar as it is the most up-to-date place to check for fixture changes and locations.