SPR ING 2019
Louise Moelwyn-Hughes – in the Spotlight Pioneers in Science education Preparing for tomorrow’s world Competing for The Governor’s Cup The Everest story
Front cover image: G T Wright (CR 1954-80)
I am delighted that this publication of Marlborough Together has as its focus ‘Firsts’.
The College has a distinguished record of innovation in education, of ‘Firsts’, including the introduction of Business Studies in schools, the creation of the modern day Mathematics and Natural Sciences curricula.
maintaining a passionate belief in the importance of the co-curricular and social aspects of an exceptional education (this term’s recordbreaking girls’ hockey XI and boys’ rugby XV results are testament to our abiding commitment).
Indeed this tradition of looking forward plays a central part in the vision for the College over the next period – to be the top independent coeducational boarding school in the UK and to be recognised globally as a leading light in education. The aim is to unapologetically reposition the College as an academic pioneer, as it was in decades past, while
In keeping with this theme of ‘Firsts’, the College is keen to embark upon what could be the most significant and ambitious project it has undertaken in recent
history and we are hopeful that, with the generous support of donors, we might make our plans a reality. In this project, the historic Newton Science building is to be reimagined and a state-of-the-art Innovation Centre created. Marlborough would once again position itself as an educational pioneer. I hope you enjoy the following articles which beautifully exemplify Marlborough’s significant and lasting legacy. LOUISE MOELWYN-HUGHES MASTER
In the Spotlight Louise Moelwyn-Hughes on her appointment as the first female Master of Marlborough College. “Who built Thebes of the seven gates? In the books you will read the names of Kings Did the Kings haul up the lumps of rocks? The young Alexander conquered India. Was he alone? Caesar defeated the Gauls. Did he not even have a cook with him? Every ten years a great man. Who paid the bill?” In his 1935 poem, ‘Questions from a Worker who Reads’, Bertolt Brecht holds up to ridicule the ‘great man’ theory of history. His issue in this poem is not gender but class : the ‘great woman’ theory of history would be just as risible. For him, those who ‘paid the bill’ – toiled and suffered and died – are the forgotten ones who have been, to a large extent, written out of the story we tell of the achievements of the past. So, the Great Pyramid of Giza is often referred to as the Pyramid of Khufu after the Pharaoh who is deemed to have ‘built it’. It is estimated by modern scholars that the pyramid took 20 years and up to 200,000 workers at any one time to build. At the most, Khufu ordered it to be built; no more than that. Those who did build it have been forgotten.
Of course, while there is certainly something ridiculous about the particular approach to history Brecht critiques, there may also be something comforting. ‘The great’ may take the credit but they also bear the responsibility for failure. So, Neville Chamberlain generally takes the blame for the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s, culminating in the execrable Munich Agreement. Here, ‘the great man’ functions as a scapegoat, one upon whom the vast majority of politicians of the day found it expedient to transfer their guilt and conspire to forget their own complicity. The past is always more complex, ambiguous and complicated than most of our attempts to tell it. We are all the confluence of vast social, political and ideational currents: at times the consequential shifts are tectonic, at other times barely visible. It is a great honour to have been appointed the first female Master of Marlborough College. To be a footnote in the history of this illustrious establishment is a matter of great pride. But it does not seem to me to be a ‘great leap forward’ of earth-shattering significance, merely the crystallisation of processes that have been quietly developing over the last 50 years. The question is no longer male or female but successful or unsuccessful and that story has yet to be told.
The first ... school to offer a Science curriculum One of Frederick Farrarâ€™s first actions as Master was to move Science from an optional subject into the mainstream in 1871, when all pupils were required to receive an hour of instruction each week. The first recognisable science laboratory was built in 1879. By 1932, George Turner recognised the need for proper science laboratories and asked OM architect and winning designer of the Memorial Hall, William Newton (C1 1899-1904) to submit plans. The Newton building, with its radical shuttered concrete design, was built in 1933.
Marlborough paved the way for the uptake of Science as an academic discipline in schools during the 19th century. George Cotton established a stream called Modern School in 1854 offering Natural Science alongside the likes of Algebra, Arithmetic, Modern Languages and English Composition.
It is no coincidence that the new building at Marlborough heralded a generation of scientists that few schools can match. Best known were Sir Peter Medawar (B2 1928-32), winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1960, Arthur Bell (C1 1918-22), gynaecologist to the Royal Family and Francis Camps (C1 1919-24), professor of Forensic Medicine. A further dozen, or more, OMs went on to become leaders in their respective scientific fields. The inspirational building was matched by inspirational teachers, attracted by the forward-thinking facility and approach at Marlborough. The Science Department expanded beyond the Newton building in the '50s and then again in the '80s and the block as a whole remains a central feature of Marlburian life, with all members of the Lower School setting foot in the building every day. Just as the arrival of the Newton building launched a generation of Marlburians from the '30s to achieve great things in the field of Science our new plans for Science, Technology and Innovation are set to inspire another generation. BILL NICHOLAS â€“ SECOND MASTER
1933: The Science Block ‘The building makes an important contribution to modern school design ... that its modernism is seemly and restrained is a tribute to the architect’s skill in the handling of the new materials and methods that have been employed.’ The Architect and Building News, January 1934
Newton’s original design of 1931, considerably more traditional in design, was vetoed. George Turner appealed to Newton for ‘more accommodation for less money’, a building that would be ‘not so much an academic block, as generally understood, as an elegant factory.’ This was apt inspiration – given at the height of the Bauhaus movement – as it gave Newton freedom to design something entirely different to traditional collegiate architecture. The ensuing ‘structure of concrete, steel, and glass ... a very striking epitome of recent contributions of science to building construction’ lived up to its brief providing ample light, space and modern facilities for Marlborough’s scientists. The building is of reinforced concrete, with concrete floors finished with wood blocks, and interior walls made of concrete slabs. The Trussed Concrete Steel Co Ltd undertook all of the reinforced concrete work. The Science Block was Grade II Listed in 1971. GRÁINNE LENEHAN COLLEGE ARCHIVIST
Our future focus
The keen pedagogical debate around Science and Technology has promoted a re-evaluation, at Marlborough, of the physical environment in which these subjects are taught. While the traditional disciplines (Physics; Chemistry; Biology; Design Technology) are still respected, the new Science and Technology Departments will reflect changes not only at secondary but also at university level, preparing pupils for higher education through their experience at the College.
The Science Department has at its heart the Newton building â€“ which, at the time of its construction in 1933, represented the excitement of a rapidly changing subject and which still, now a listed building, provides a robust framework for 21st century teaching.
Our proposals remove the outmoded lecture facilities which crowd the centre of the building, replacing them with a dramatic central space around which a set of bespoke laboratories enjoy, for the first time, level access for all pupil and building users. This space will be the centrepiece of a group of science buildings, arranged around a new courtyard garden. Though the best of what exists is re-used, the effect will be of an entirely new Science facility. Symbolically, and practically, Design Technology has been incorporated in a separate, though related, building. The opportunity to continue Marlborough’s progressive education has been taken in creating the Innovation Centre – a dynamic facility designed to provide a launching point for cross-discipline thinking and education. Two almost barnlike structures will accommodate the large technology workshops, while their gables face back towards the Science Department, with whom collaboration will continue to be encouraged. PAUL APPLETON – PARTNER, ALLIES AND MORRISON ARCHITECTS
Ultimately, the Science and Innovation Centre projects are intrinsically linked to both their place, their past and most importantly their future as part of Marlborough College’s commitment to excellence in education. If you are interested in knowing more about the plans for Science please contact: Jan Perrins, Development Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marlborough v Clifton ... the first inter-school rugby fixture Then... An unruly sort of football had been played at Marlborough from the start. However, when Charles Bere came from Rugby in 1853 to teach at Marlborough, he brought with him the game of rugby football. A set of rules, based on those drawn up by boys at Rugby, was introduced at Marlborough and in-College fixtures became a feature of school life. Annual prizes for the best drop-kick and ‘place kicking’ encouraged better skills, and in 1860 a new Football Committee was established to manage football affairs.
In spite of victory, Marlborough was left wary of playing another inter-school match and it wasn’t until 1887 that they chanced another – this time against Wellington. In 1891 Marlborough finally resumed with Clifton; this fixture has been an annual event ever since.
By 1864 Marlborough footballers felt ready to compete with their peers from other schools and a 20-a-side match was arranged with Clifton College, to take place at Marlborough; this is widely acknowledged to be the first ever inter-school rugby fixture. Play was to adhere to Marlborough rules, which outlawed ‘hacking’ – or kicking shins to cause tripping and/or loss of the ball. Captained by J A Boyle, Marlborough was considered a strong side and play was centred in the visitor’s half from the start. Frustration set in and Clifton, egged on by their supporters, resorted to the banned tackle. The game degenerated and Boyle proposed to George Bradley that play be stopped. In reply, the Master famously urged Boyle to ‘Win the game first and then talk of stopping.’ Minutes later Boyle himself, gained possession and started for a run. In spite of two hacks he clung on and executed a drop-kick to send the ball flying fair between the Clifton goalposts, thus ending the game in a 1-0 victory.
In 1964 Bristol’s Evening Post reported that:
‘Clifton College revenged a century-old defeat in Saturday’s 20-a-side, no-holds-barred rugby match against Marlborough College ... “Hack, hack,” chanted Clifton supporters to the accompaniment of hunting horns, bugles and jeers from the Marlborough contingent.’ In a reversal of the 1864 score, Clifton won 1-0. In this centenary year, the annual fixture was named the Governor’s Cup. Since 1864, the two schools have competed 120 times. The contest has been won by Marlborough 59 times, 53 times by Clifton, and there have been eight draws. GR ÁINNE LENEH AN – COL L EGE A RCH I V IS T
...and Now Fast forward to 2017/18 in an era where the game has developed immensely with considerable focus on both squads utilising specific strength and conditioning teams, a multitude of coaches, physios and video analysis. The direction of schoolboy rugby has developed as much as the professional game and scores of pupils within both squads have also had the opportunity of playing for Premiership academies and increased the level vastly. Yet the importance of this historic fixture is still evident with this generation of the pupils wanting to play rugby alongside their peers, with the supporters and spectators lining the banks to encourage their charges. Michaelmas 2017 – Marlborough College has been through a transitional phase and the team travelled to Clifton with a talented group of players led by captain Dom Coulson (C1 U6), where his ability to kick points from anywhere on the pitch played a pivotal part in a well contested game. Yet it was his opposite number who triumphed by converting a penalty in the last play of the game to scrape a 29-30 win to Clifton. Michaelmas 2018 saw Marlborough turn the tide with a dominant display of rugby from the XV, led by captain and Senior Prefect Toby Hargrove (LI U6). Jude Fry (C2 U6) set the mood for a positive afternoon by receiving a great pass from scrum-half Will Cook (SU U6) to dive over the line within the first ten minutes of the game, whereas the Marlborough captain sealed the win with two instinctive tries in the second half with fly-half Billy James (C1 U6) capping off the afternoon with a creative offload to the ever present and reliable Harry Foster (BH U6) to seal a 30-10 victory and the return of The Governor’s Cup to Marlborough. T E R R Y G I L M O U R – H E A D O F RU G B Y
The first OM to summit Everest
“… the Everest story has a message for everyone, the spirit of adventure can enhance all lives, particularly those of the young.” Lord Hunt
The first summit of Everest’s highest peak in 1953 was led by Old Marlburian and British Army Officer, Lord John Hunt (C2 1924-28), in a team that included Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
In 1956 Hunt was asked to set up the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, now the world’s leading youth achievement award, which has transformed the lives of millions from all walks of life. For many years the College has offered the Gold award for those in the Sixth Form, and, for the first time this year, pupils in the Remove have had the opportunity to enroll for the Silver award. The award is non-competitive, voluntary, and focuses on personal development and achievement. There are four main sections to complete, volunteering, physical,
skills and an expedition. At Gold level, participants add a fifth section, the Residential, which involves staying away from home engaged in a shared group activity. Successful completion of Silver takes a minimum of 12 months, and Gold 18 months. The commitment over such a prolonged timescale encourages valuable personal qualities in young people which are also highly regarded by a range of organisations, universities and employers. BEN GILES – Dof E COORDINATOR
Dof E Gold Award experience Participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold (Dof E) Award has been an amazing experience and one that will stay with me forever. The memories I have are as unique as the skills I developed.
Arabella during her expedition.
For the volunteering section I spent 18 months taking part in EdClub, talking to disadvantaged children living in Nairobi using Skype, and teaching and encouraging them to learn. For the physical and skills sections, I set targets in tennis and developed and improved my singing. I also spent two weeks at a residential Greek summer school with people I initially didn’t know, but who are now, because of the experience, close friends. The expedition is often the most challenging as it requires a group of participants to train for and undergo an unsupported, assessed four-day expedition which a group of us did in the Brecon Beacons. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone and bonding together as you cope with mental and physical challenges was so beneficial to my personal development. It was an experience I can’t recommend enough. The experiences of each section required me to push my personal boundaries and develop new skills and friendships. Everything I have done through Dof E has been rewarding. The activities that I committed myself to, in particular the volunteering, I now find are huge parts of my life. The sense of achievement I gained after completing the Award was very distinctive because I realised that I had experienced something very special. ARABELLA HARRIS (MO U6)
Forthcoming Events 2019 www.marlburianclub.org/events
Tuesday 26th March Digital Enterprises The Antelope, London Thursday 2nd May South West Drinks Reception Bristol Thursday 9th May Class of 1989 – 30 Year Reunion London Saturday 18th May 1843 Lunch Society Marlborough College
Saturday 8th June Class of 1994 – 25 Year Reunion Marlborough College Saturday 15th June 50 Year Reunion Marlborough College
Sunday 16th June Summerfield House Reunion Marlborough College
Friday 21st June Paris Event Paris, France Monday 24th June Devon Lunch Dartmoor Lodge, Ashburton
Friday 26th – Saturday 27th July OM Cycling Club Marlborough College
Remember to send your news to: email@example.com Wednesday 22nd May Summer Drinks Party Lambeth Palace
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