The Master, Julian Thomas
What does it mean to be a Wellingtonian?
â€œIn the beginning was an idea, an education fit for the children of heroesâ€? The College, founded in 1853 as a living memorial to the Duke of Wellington, sought to deliver an inspirational education for all of its pupils. And as the school grew, so too did the identity of those pupils. It is an identity built on intellectual curiosity, on true independence, on a generous and far-reaching inclusivity and on the courage to be properly and unselfishly individual. It is, in short, the capacity to be inspired to become the very best you can be. And it is these qualities that are present in the thousands of small interactions that happen all the time here, the little daily miracles that make this such a special place. After all, the school we build is the school we build together, and every pupil who passes through Wellington leaves an indelible mark on our community. When you make your first visit to Wellington you immediately get a sense that it is more than just a school. The beautiful grounds and breath-taking buildings see to that, as does the palpable sense of purpose among everyone you meet. Our pupils and our staff see every day as an opportunity, a chance to grow and a chance to learn â€“ and the journey as a life-long learner begins the moment you start at Wellington. Will you let your child join us on that journey? It could be the most inspired choice you ever make.
“The journey from good to great is never easy; only a few have the imagination to take the first steps on that road.” We hope that all our pupils will find the inspiration to choose to be the very best that they can be, to make of themselves something special, no matter what their talents are. Will they paint the picture, score the perfect goal, play the concerto or perform on stage and think: “I’m not quite sure how I did that - something seemed to take over.” Will they find the spark of inspiration that allows them to transcend themselves and become something more special than ever they thought they could be? And once lit, will that fire burn brightly for the rest of their lives? We hope so, for all we do here at Wellington, both inside and outside the classroom, aims to kindle the spark that is truly transformational.
â€œAll we do at Wellington, both inside and outside the classroom, aims to kindle the spark that is truly transformational.â€?
“We are constantly re-evaluating how we may best prepare our pupils for the challenges of the future” With our pupils regularly achieving well over 90% A* - B grades at A Level, and an IB average of nearly 40 over the past three years, we certainly recognise the importance of stellar exam results. After all, they are the currency that the top universities in the world recognise – and of course we do expect all Wellingtonians to go on to the best universities! However, exam statistics only tell a part of the story and do little to measure a school’s true worth, or the value that it adds to the lives of its pupils. At Wellington we are constantly reevaluating the purpose of education and how that education may best prepare our pupils for the challenges of the future, given the exponential rate of change in both working and social landscapes. All our teachers seek to inspire and challenge their pupils so that each individual becomes both interested and interesting. We want them to keep on asking important questions, and to be fired with a genuine and passionate spirit of enquiry. We believe that any curriculum that remains narrow and introverted – or any approach that sees exam success or league table position as ends in themselves - will be short-changing the leaders of tomorrow. The move towards individuality and the growth of a super-curriculum which allows our pupils to see beyond the narrow confines of the classroom is what ultimately defines a Wellington education – this is why inspection judgements about Wellington are constantly outstanding and why we were recently crowned ‘Best Public School’ by Tatler.
â€œThe move towards individuality and the growth of a super-curriculum allows our pupils to see beyond the narrow confines of the classroomâ€?
“We know we won’t always be there to tell them what to do, but we can help them find their own answers” From the moment we take our first faltering steps we start the slow journey towards self, towards knowing ourselves and making the most of our own special talents. To help our pupils on that journey, we ensure our pastoral care is the very best, with Housemasters, Housemistresses and dedicated Personal Tutors assigned to each child. As you might expect from the school that pioneered Wellbeing classes for all pupils, we take resilience and the acquisition of grit seriously. The Wellington Coaching and Leadership Institute is tangible proof of our commitment to nurturing true independence: we know we won’t always be there to tell them what to do, but we can help them find their own answers. We believe that a proper education is all about the gradual removal of stabilisers, a gentle freeing of the spirit so that one day our boys and girls will be uniquely themselves. After all, you don’t have to be on your own to stand out from the crowd – and maybe that’s what proper independence is all about.
“After all, you don’t have to be on your own to stand out from the crowd”
“Choice lies at the heart of each Wellingtonian’s education” There is only one Wellington College but each and every pupil makes it their very own school. At any given time it seems as if there are over a thousand Wellingtons on the go, for choice lies at the heart of each Wellingtonian’s education. What languages might they study: Mandarin or German, Spanish or Russian, French or Italian? History or Geography, Politics or Psychology? Should they go for A-levels or the IB? Dance or Drama, Design or Photography? Rugby or Hockey, Netball or Lacrosse? Equestrian or Polo? Cricket or Tennis? And that’s not even factoring in the exciting options like swimming the channel, running the Field Gun, joining Round Square, leading the debate or capturing it on film. While they all follow the same core curriculum, the choices that they make ensure a custom-fit education: all our pupils have the space and freedom to become truly individual.
â€œAll our pupils have the space and freedom to become truly individualâ€?
“Wellington is a school which is always striving to look outwards and to the future” When visitors enter the Wellington grounds they are immediately struck by a sense of space and style: the grounds and buildings are simply stunning, and it seems the very essence of a classic English Independent school. It would be all too easy for our pupils to live their life in a bubble of privilege, cocooned from the real world and poorly equipped to meet the changing challenges of the 21st Century. Except Wellington wasn’t founded to be like that: it is a school which understands that with great privilege comes great responsibility, a school which is always striving to look outwards and to the future. We are proud that we are the first Independent School to sponsor an Academy, to lead the way in the Teaching Schools Programme, to be a prime mover in the Independent and State School Partnerships. We celebrate diversity: we have children from over 40 different countries and offer both IB and A levels while our International schools (we have three in China alone) allow for a truly global outlook and regular exchange opportunities, best symbolised by the Mandarin Centre, right at the heart of College. Our Service programme is unparalleled, not only embracing Service Learning but also providing opportunities for our pupils to engage in long-lasting Community projects. Tennyson wrote of the 1st Duke of Wellington, “The path of duty was the way to glory”, and if today’s Wellingtonians do not leave the College with a burning sense of their responsibility to make the world a better place then we have failed them. Wellington is nothing if it is not inclusive.
â€œIf todayâ€™s Wellingtonians do not leave the College with a burning sense of their responsibility to make the world a better place then we have failed themâ€?
Photography and Design: Joshua Moses
Wellington College is the UK’s top coeducational day and boarding school for 13 – 18 year olds, set in 400 acres in leafy Berkshire, just 40 minutes outside London. At the heart of the campus lie the College buildings: several boarding houses, Science and Technology Centres, the Modern Languages Institute, Queen’s Court, the Chapel, the Dining Hall, Social Centre, Christopher Lee Theatre, Music and Art schools and Mandarin Centre. Further out are more boarding houses, the Sports Hall, sports pitches, two swimming pools and a championship Golf Course. All our pupils study GCSEs before choosing to follow either the IB Diploma or A Levels. Over 95% of our pupils go on to Oxford or Cambridge, Ivy League or Russell Group Universities. Wellbeing lies is at the heart of our curriculum and is central to developing the Wellington Identity which ensures that all our pupils are Inspired, Intellectual, Independent, Individual and Inclusive.
It could be the most inspired choice you ever make