Woldingham School Magazine 2020

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WOLDINGHAM News and reviews from Woldingham School and Alumnae • 2020

News and reviews from Woldingham School and Alumnae with a focus on our Sacred Heart goal for the year 2019-2020, Social Awareness. This magazine is a carbon balanced publication, where the carbon impact of the production and distribution process has been balanced by the World Land Trust. It has been printed using vegan inks, biodegradable laminate, recyclable foil and packaged in a compostable potato starch wrapper.

















Farewell Alex Hutchinson

Getting to know the new Head, Dr James Whitehead

Karen Connor

Living out the Sacred Heart goal of Social Awareness


Woldingham thrives in the community


Breaking down barriers through performing arts


Playing our part in saving the planet

From Arts Award to Wonderland

Superstars all

What a year!

A tale of two halves

Academic success

Examinations results


University destinations


Diversity, inclusion and anti-racism at Woldingham

How to give

WSHA Chair’s report

Dates for your diary

Careers, carols and COVID

Alumnae memories from around the world

Society of the Sacred Heart


AMASC update


WSHA leavers’ scholarships









House reports

Life in lockdown

Thinking Big



Development events


In memoriam

FAREWELL ALEX HUTCHINSON I grew up hearing tales of Woldingham. Mum had boarded at the Convent of the Sacred Heart from a young age while her parents were posted overseas and Woldingham was her sanctuary. We saw pictures of Mum at school, of her friends, of the nuns, and listened to her many tales. My siblings and I felt as if we knew Woldingham personally. Fast forward a considerable number of years and you find the Hutchinsons moving to south London. Chris was the newly appointed Head of Royal Russell School and I was wondering which direction would open up for me as we relocated. It was then that I spotted Woldingham on the map, a mere nine miles away from our new home. I wondered... might a job become available there? Dreams do have a habit of coming true and in June 2014 I drove down the front drive for an interview for the post of Deputy Head. ‘Keep going’ the Head’s PA had said at the time. ‘Don’t lose heart. You’ll find the school eventually. When you do, turn left at the flagpole.’ And so, in January 2015 I arrived as the new Deputy Head and promptly fell in love with the school. Roll forward to September 2016 and I took up the reins as Head of Woldingham. Needless to say, Mum was beyond proud.


walks over the hills; deer silhouetted in the dawn, and the first glimpse of the valley as you emerge from the woods. Where else can you see nature at its best on the school run? I recall stags clashing antlers in the middle of a prep school hockey tournament and then inquisitively sniffing out the tea tent. The cows escaping - yet again! Having to interrupt a meeting with a governor because there was a kestrel in the fountain that I just had to watch. The longtailed tits perched on the wall outside my office window, and the goldfinches who came to visit on a daily basis to check we were all OK as we approached school closures because of COVID. Let’s recall the traditions that make Woldingham the community it is. I remember my very competitive sledging on our last snow day - it has taken the Year 11 boarders at least two years to recover from my underhand tactics! Pretending we don’t have a swimming pool on Open Mornings. Students thinking they are invisible if they walk across the Pergola Lawn right outside my window and then looking innocently baffled when I politely ask them what they’re doing. Kilts rolled up; ditto the innocently baffled expressions; House Festival; fancy dress cross-country runs; clapping together to Shine, Jesus, Shine in Mass; House feasts; international evenings; Christmas dinner; pancake races; WoldFest and our 175 celebrations; Party on the Pitches and the infamous go-kart racing; Sports Day and the knowledge that whoever runs the second leg of the relay has to run uphill; impromptu singalongs and the strains of Happy Birthday bellowing around the dining hall. The noise, the sheer indescribable noise of the first day of the autumn term as you return from your holidays. Especially Year 9. And a million more shared memories that make our school unique. It would be wrong of me to move on from talking about community without mentioning kindness; I have lost both my parents in my six years here and on each occasion I have been wrapped up in an embrace of love and kindness that has made those difficult times bearable.

Thank you for the trust you have placed in me as Head

I say to visitors to the school that you know you are somewhere special the minute you walk in. Let me remind you of a few reasons why Woldingham casts its spell over us and binds this community together. Is there a more spectacular setting for a school? There is the first glimpse of Main House and its red brick warmth as you reach the end of the drive. The beauty of the surroundings and the early evening sunlight dappling through the trees on the terrace by the swimming pool. It was always my plan to turn this terrace into an open-air theatre. I hope the rabbits won’t mind. The beech tree halfway down the front drive which takes my breath away every time I see it, even after six years. The bluebells. The smell of wild garlic. And early morning 2

It’s hard to reflect on the role of Head. It is so all-consuming; you are the school and the school quickly becomes part of you. Your lives are inextricably intertwined. I can think of few other leadership roles that require one to be (in alphabetical order for ease of reference) an architect, compliance officer, copywriter, financier, fund-raiser, HR expert, lawyer, marketeer, mediator, orator, policy writer, recruitment consultant, strategist, website designer and, more recently, epidemiologist. Yet, most importantly, an educationalist with a vision for the young people of this generation. That vision has been a simple one and each day my aim has been to be a role model for this. The polished version is the one you all know off by heart from the School Strategic Development Plan. Let me attempt a more simple summary for this article. Be busy, in and out of the classroom. Get the best possible exam results you can but remember that so much of life is measured by the person you are and you will gain this from a truly holistic approach to education, from the enrichment trips, activities, clubs and leadership roles that help you to learn about team spirit, loyalty and responsibility. In short, those things that make you well-rounded and broad-minded. Give back to the community and live out the Sacred Heart values. Treasure your precious individuality. Commit 100% to what you do; without the inclination to do this you will just never know what you are capable of. In short, work hard and be nice to people. We know we can always rely on St Madeleine Sophie Barat to sum it up perfectly: ‘Your example, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world.’ We all know there is more to do and recent global events have taught us many lessons. Diversity and inclusion are high on the agenda. The world is recalibrating after COVID-19 and education is emerging blinking into the light following its enforced period of screen learning. It is impossible to quantify the impact that this experience of school closures has had on the community. The searing, shattering sense of loss I felt for the Woldingham community, and most importantly, for our young people, is impossible to describe. Education should be a fundamental constant and I hope future generations will look back and say we did everything in our power at the time to maintain the courageous, compassionate and caring education that characterises us. As the summer term ends, this chapter of my life draws to a close as I move on to the headship of James Allen’s Girls’ School in September 2020. Never in a million years did

I imagine I would say farewell to Woldingham remotely. It has been heart-breaking. Let me finish with a thought I have articulated many times before: this generation of young women is uniquely poised to go out and dismantle the glass ceiling. It has been my responsibility to help pave the way for them to aim high and be afforded the opportunities they deserve. There’s no greater platform for them to go out and change the world. May I take this opportunity to thank you all for the trust you have placed in me as Head of Woldingham. Many of you will know I am the world’s most competitive individual and I have, quite simply, wanted our school to be the best. I haven’t got everything right, but I’ve certainly given it everything I’ve got. It has been the greatest privilege to run this wonderful school, a school so steeped in family history for me, and to have been the guardian and guide for this superb generation of Woldingham students. I hope I Ieave it in great shape, with more students than before, a palpable buzz at the name ‘Woldingham’, a vibrant local and national profile, an exceptionally strong and supportive body of staff, governors, parents and alumnae, a positivity of purpose, a contemporary and energetic feel, exciting plans for the future and a true sense of the importance of a holistic education that strives to bring the best out of every individual. Your support has been invaluable and I will miss this community hugely. It just remains for me to wish Dr James Whitehead and his family every success and happiness.

Mrs Alex Hutchinson, June 2020 3

GETTING TO KNOW THE NEW HEAD, DR JAMES WHITEHEAD How do you feel about being appointed Head of Woldingham School? I feel absolutely delighted and honoured, especially as I have the enjoyable challenge of being the first male Head in the school’s history. I have been aware of Woldingham as a school for many years – since the sisters of some of my school friends were educated here – and I am very much conscious of the duty inherent in accepting the post, to ensure that Woldingham goes from strength to strength as a leading girls’ school, within the Catholic, Sacred Heart tradition.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What are your interests, hobbies etc.? Well, in general, I would say that literature (especially poetry), sport and the outdoor life are my main interests, although I also love spending time gardening and cooking. I try to live a reasonably balanced life, spending quality time with my family, keeping alert to what is happening culturally and politically in the world and also keeping an eye on my spiritual life too. The school holidays will find me walking on Dartmoor, swimming and body-boarding with my daughters off the North Devon coast, enjoying the produce of my garden and playing golf, among other things. I love travel and the theatre as well, so there is always plenty to do!

What is your favourite book, type of music, TV programme and film?

Dr Whitehead with his wife Nicola and daughters Ignatia and Chiara


I have a very active interest in contemporary literature, whether it is the latest collection of a poet like Carol Ann Duffy or Simon Armitage, or a novel by someone like Arundhati Roy, Pat Barker or Sebastian Faulks. Over recent months, unusually for me, I have read quite a lot of non-fiction, including Raynor Winn’s The Salt Path, Patricia Atkinson’s The Ripening Sun and Tamsin Calidas’s I am an Island. Next on the list is Michelle Obama’s Becoming. My PhD was on the work of Thomas Hardy, so I return to his work quite often, but I try to read widely across all periods and genres. I have particular interest in post-colonial literature too. As for music, films and TV programmes, well I try to vary the diet here as well; I am

just as likely to listen to Capital Radio as Radio 3 on a car journey. My favourite films include The English Patient, Life is Beautiful and Hear my Song, and I have recently invested in Sky Q to ensure that I can enjoy all my favourite sport as well as new programmes on Netflix. I also like watching programmes like Our Yorkshire Farm and All Creatures Great and Small, as well as news and current affairs programmes like Newsnight. I don’t tend to watch much reality TV, although every now and then, I do confess to enjoying Gogglebox.

Do you have any pets? Yes, I have two soppy and slightly potty, fox-red Labradors.

Going forward, what are your priorities for the school over the next few years?

KAREN CONNOR We received the very sad news in July that Karen Connor, a former member of staff, had passed away after a long illness. She was the muchrespected Head of Physics at Woldingham for 18 years until her retirement in March 2020. Karen lived the true ethos of the school; she was deeply committed to its intellectual values and was eager to play her role in life beyond the classroom so that the students became well-rounded individuals. Karen with her daughter Freya

Karen believed that physics is a subject for girls every bit as much as for boys. She worked tirelessly to promote the subject to the students, organising and taking many school trips and lectures, including the prized visit to iFLY, the indoor skydiving centre in Basingstoke, which became a firm favourite with the Lower Sixth.

The immediate priority is to steer the school safely through the COVID-19 pandemic, while putting in place the planning work that will develop and deliver ‘Our Future’ strategy. I am keen to maintain and develop the school’s academic strength while also extending our extra-curricular provision in a variety of areas, all the while supporting the spiritual life of the school. At the same time, it is my responsibility to seek out potential commercial development opportunities for the school, which will enhance its financial resilience, in a manner that is in harmony with what Woldingham is currently.

As a Sixth Form tutor she not only looked after the interests of her tutees with professionalism but with genuine care, and the students valued that. They knew that they could trust her judgement, whether that was help with a personal statement or in deciding the best way to raise money for the Stuart House charity.

I believe that the Woldingham experience has much to offer, so making it more widely available may well be part of the project for the future, while also including families in the overall programme we deliver. I will be consulting parents and alumnae about some of the ideas we are generating; the next few years should contain some exciting opportunities for school development and for outreach into the wider community.

When I took up the position of Head of Science Karen provided me with unwavering support and commitment, something for which I will always be grateful. She will be missed by everyone in the Science department and by the students and staff lucky enough to have come into contact with her.

Outside the classroom Karen gave up her time freely to support students from KS3 to A Level and many past students will say that her support helped them to achieve their final grades.

Karen’s daughter Freya (2018) attended the school, and one of Karen’s proudest moments as a mother and a teacher was on A Level results day when Freya received the grades she needed to enrol at Durham University to study physics. Karen also enjoyed partnering Freya in the annual parent and daughter tennis tournament.

Mrs Baldwin Head of Science


LIVING OUT THE SACRED HEART GOAL OF SOCIAL AWARENESS Our Days of Reflection for Years 7-11 at Aylesford Priory focused on Social Awareness and students had the opportunity to reflect and discuss how they could change the world and how they could continue to inspire and work alongside those who are part of their year group. As a community we have celebrated House Masses reflecting on the House patrons and their inspiration today within the school community.

To launch the Social Awareness Sacred Heart goal for this academic year, I invited Stephen Currid from the Cardinal Hume Centre to deliver a talk entitled A Tale of Two Cities: the city of London we see and the one we don’t see. Stephen reminded us of the poverty many face in London today and challenged our students to serve those who need us most. Students regularly visit the centre to help those in need, and we donate our Sunday collection money to support the great work the staff do every day.

Our Harvest Festival collection was very well supported and everything collected was gratefully received by the Purley Food Hub. Students from Years 7 and 8 helped to organise the celebration of Christmas carols and mince pies for local parishioners and residents from local nursing homes in school and Sixth Form students travelled to the Sacred Heart parish in Caterham to help organise the New Year lunch where they served at table, worked tirelessly in the kitchen, organised the raffle and cleaned up the hall afterwards. As a community we have celebrated Inter Faith Week and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity where we joined together with churches in the local area. The Sacred Heart year reps met the retired Sisters of the Sacred Heart Order in Duchesne House, Roehampton, and then spent the afternoon at the Sacred Heart Primary School helping the young students with reading, writing, painting and RE. During lockdown students and staff continued to live out the goal of Social Awareness. Students reached out to neighbours in need, volunteered their time and energy to deliver food, acted as a friend to someone in isolation and fundraised for charity through crafts or challenge events. The virus has not destroyed goodness and love, it has actively brought out the best in staff and students who were prepared to go the ‘extra mile’ to be with those who needed help in a time of uncertainty. It has been inspiring and uplifting to see our school community bring ‘light and goodness’ into the world by kind words and actions as we have all tried to live out the Sacred Heart goal and be servants to one another. As St Mother Teresa once remarked: ‘Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.’ Fr Devlin Chaplain

WOLDINGHAM THRIVES IN THE COMMUNITY The THRIVE progamme at Woldingham prepares students to play a full and active part in society. The programme runs throughout the academic year, with a particular focus on taking part in community activities and helping out others. One day in the year in particular is given to all students in Years 7 to Lower Sixth undertaking various tasks to give something back to society. This year’s THRIVE Day took place on Thursday 10 October 2019.

After finishing our various activities, the Year 7s had a tea party with the support staff team. The Barat students served cakes, tea and coffee while everyone else chatted to each other; it was very enjoyable.

Marden On 10 October, the Year 7s took part in our first THRIVE Day. Firstly, we went to the chapel to hear a liturgy from Fr Gerry about helping others and about what our support staff do for us. We then went to our assigned places to help certain support staff. Stuart helped with the gardening, Duchesne made cards and gifts for the staff, Digby helped decorate the dining hall and Barat decorated cakes.

The Year 8s worked with an external company, which came into school and ran an eco-workshop with them so that they could explore the issues of plastics in the ocean and sustainable housing. To finish off the day we had the Inter-House Cross Country event. You could either run 1k or 5k. The races were between Years 7, 8 and 9 and then the older years. Even some of the teachers ran! It was a fun, tiring event but, for the Year 7s, it was a great first experience. Lea Gayral Year 7 7

Year 9 The four Year 9 Houses were split into two activities: Digby and Barat went to local care homes and Duchesne and Stuart went to nearby food banks. Digby visited two care homes in Reigate. At first, a usually very noisy bunch of students fell silent, leaving the teachers to spark conversation, but eventually everyone started to loosen up and interact. Some of the residents were very reluctant but even they eventually opened up to the students. Many of us shared interests with residents and talked for ages, others did jigsaw puzzles. Despite our short time there, no one wanted to leave by the end as we had all had a fantastic time and formed new bonds. It was so rewarding to see the difference you can make, simply by being there and chatting, or just listening to the residents talk about their interests and pasts. Duchesne visited a food bank in Merstham. We were split into two groups for two activities: sorting food and creating food packages. Merstham food bank receives large, frequent donations, however, not everything donated can be passed on. We sorted goods into different categories: dry foods, foods with a ‘sell by’ date, toiletries and urgent food. We had to do this quickly, as it was very close to Harvest Festival, the busiest time of year for food banks. After swapping over with the other tutor group, we packed up food packages for families who had requested them. Depending on the size of the family, their ages and how long it needed to last, we packed food, predominantly cans and dry foods, efficiently into boxes which were sent out that day. It was a very rewarding morning. Martha Bathgate and Immy Denny, Year 9

Year 10 Year 10 visited local churches in Woldingham and Caterham. We divided into tutor groups and set off to our designated parishes, each fulfilling a variety of different activities. At one of the churches, Stuart B did some gardening by clearing a pathway for people to use, as well as cleaning brass pots and decorations inside, while Stuart A cleaned memorial stones to fallen soldiers with large brooms and soapy water. Once we got into it we had fun and even got a bit wet with a very satisfying end result! While some of us were doing this, others were sorting out music sheets used in the Masses. After a break for biscuits and tea we got back to work, some of us continuing the weeding and some vacuuming the pew cushions. It was a great experience which linked well with Social Awareness, our Sacred Heart goal for this year, and gave us all a chance to give something back to the community. Katy North and Isabella Prior Year 10


Year 11 Year 11’s THRIVE Day activity was to help out at some local primary schools. It was a truly wonderful and rewarding experience, and for some people in our year group a lovely chance to go back and visit their old schools. On the day, we set off in our Houses - Barat, Digby, Duchesne and Stuart – for a morning full of reading, writing and maths; a normal morning really, the only difference being that the children were aged 5 -11! We went to St. Francis’ Primary School, Woodlea Primary School, Warlingham Park School and Godstone Primary School where we were met with the faces of smiling, curious children. We soon got to work befriending Reception children, helping Year 1s, marking maths work and sorting out libraries, while others listened to children doing daily reading practice or helping out with arts and crafts. It really was a nostalgic morning bringing back fond memories of our time at primary school, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we all enjoyed helping the children with their learning, while also chatting to them about what they like and don’t like and what their favourite subjects and books are. It was a truly unmissable experience, teaching us many important skills such as empathy, patience and compassion – an apt way to spend our morning on THRIVE Day!


Lower Sixth The annual THRIVE Day was a chance for us Woldingham students to give something back to our community. For Lower Sixth, this meant being allocated to one of three locations: Their Voice HQ, the Whyteleafe Scout Hut and the Kenley Airfield. Their Voice is a charity dedicated to supporting victims of sex trafficking and their families. We had the task of sorting and bagging clothes and toys for children, which would be part of the care packages for the victims and their families. The founder of Their Voice gave a short talk and we were also offered future volunteering opportunities with the charity. Another group was sent to the Whyteleafe Scout Hut to repaint their walls, which turned out to be no easy feat. The walls had to be cleaned of cobwebs and dead spiders before they could be painted, which for our fellow arachnophobes was an obvious challenge! Their courage was rewarded by the biscuits, chocolates and tea provided by the lovely staff. The remaining group spent the morning at Kenley Airfield, cleaning scrub off the heritage site and celebrating their hard work by filming some TikToks!

It was a truly wonderful and rewarding experience

Sophie Denny Year 11

Jing Qiao Soo Lower Sixth 9

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS THROUGH PERFORMING ARTS Woldingham’s partnership with the Orpheus Centre Woldingham School has been involved with the Orpheus Centre in Godstone since 2017, as a result of a desire for Mardeners to be more involved in community and outreach work. The Centre is an independent, specialist college that increases the confidence and skills of young disabled adults through the performing arts. Founded by Sir Richard Stilgoe in 1998, its aim is ‘to give students the self-belief that they can use their skills to live independently’. An initial meeting with Lynn Reddick, Head of Learning at Orpheus, led to agreement that working around song and dance would appeal most to all the students involved, with the idea of them learning collaboratively and breaking down the barriers most often associated with disability. Able-bodied Woldingham students would create showcases with less-abled Orpheus students in a setting where they are considered equals, each set learning from the other.

“I absolutely love Orpheus. It’s a wonderful club full to the brim of lovely, friendly and welcoming people. I look forward to every meeting and enjoy every moment of it. We have great fun dancing and singing to musicals and just enjoying everyone’s company. It’s an amazing club and a great opportunity to have some fun with music and friends.” Lottie Fitzsimmons Year 8

From the start, the students hit it off! Small groups of eight Mardeners typically now spend an hour at the Orpheus Centre each week learning choreographed routines and singing solos alongside our Orpheus friends. Traditionally, the group performs at the annual Year 7 Grandparents’ Tea and Orpheus students have also made appearances at our Autumn Concert, collaborated with our PE, Music and Art departments and use our auditorium each December for their Christmas show. One of the students from the Orpheus Centre also recently took part in a work experience programme based in the school office at Woldingham. The growing friendship and connection between the students give the sense of a real ‘feelgood’ factor. The warmth that is witnessed between them all - one of our students explaining a dance move to someone with limited mobility, a tender hug from one to the other is the real lesson to be learned from this experience, and long may such lessons continue. Miss Owen Head of Marden


“Orpheus is a place where I truly feel welcome and unjudged. It’s a place where anyone can come along to sing and dance, no matter who you are. I’m really looking forward to returning once it is safe to do so.” Katie Corrance Year 8

“I really enjoy working and perform ing with the students from the Orpheus Centre. The sessions are always fun and everyone is always supportive and encouraging of one another, allowin g everyone to contribute to the performances we do.” Grace Giblin Year 8

PLAYING OUR PART IN SAVING THE PLANET Eco Club In 2018 Woldingham School started a project to become more environmentally friendly and created an Eco Committee, which brings together people from various sections of the school such as transport, domestic services, catering, students and teachers, to discuss and put in place policies that will improve our impact on the environment. The Eco Committee has, at heart, Woldingham students who come up with suggestions and who also share what improvements we have made with the school community. The aim of the committee is for Woldingham to be awarded an Eco-Schools Award. Our main mission over the initial period was to reduce waste and usage of non-recyclable materials around the school and equally to reduce paper consumption. After a year of existence, we concluded that we need reserved time for our projects so created the Eco Club, which any Woldingham student can join or just come and participate in individual projects. The students suggest projects, run them and find in our club similarly minded people who will happily help and put them in touch with relevant people around the school. For example, to plant trees we needed to work with the School Leadership Team, who helped us choose the correct locations for the trees, and with our school gardeners who provided us with digging tools, trees and their expertise. To reduce the number of plastic bottles we encouraged students to use their own re-usable bottles and worked with catering to provide large water carriers rather than bottled water for sport activities. We influenced the decision to stop using polystyrene cups around the school, which are now no longer available to students or teachers during breaks. We hugely reduced plastic at the Christmas dinner by replacing crackers and confetti with equally fun but more sustainable accoutrements. The dining hall also now uses biodegradable cutlery when we can’t use normal cutlery and, hopefully, our lockdown experience will result in a stable, positive impact on paper reduction once we return to normality.

There are exciting plans for the next academic year. We are in touch with the Woodland Trust, which is willing to help us plant more trees in the school grounds and, in collaboration with the Geography department, we intend to plant wild flowers for World Earth Day in April. We will also keep promoting environmentally friendly behaviour around the school. Mr Ceska, Head of German

I first joined the Eco Club because of my interest in environmental issues and I wanted to be able to translate my interest into making a positive impact in the school. Over the academic year, the Eco Club was able to produce a display which raised awareness on the amount of food waste that occurred during our meals. We also used applications on our phones to identify species of trees that were in the school grounds and collated the data. Four different species of trees were ordered and planted on the top pitches, with each different species representing a House.

I joined Eco Club with my friend Sofia at the beginning of the school year because I am Jing Qiao Soo passionate about the environment and helping Lower Sixth to make a difference; I thought Eco Club would be a good way to help. It also counts towards our volunteering work for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which means I can do something I love. Another main reason for joining the club was because of Mr Ceska’s inspiring work, determination and fun approach. Since the beginning of the year, we have done a lot of different projects, for example we collected dead pens from around the school to recycle, planted trees in the school grounds, collected crisp packets and cans to recycle, did an assembly and put up a noticeboard to inform people what we were doing to encourage them to help. My favourite thing was when we went to feed apples to the cows in the fields, which was good fun. I’m looking forward to continuing Eco Club in September and seeing what else we are going to do. Erin Higson Year 9

HOUSE REPORTS Barat This year Barat has had a blast, taking part in many House events to raise money for our charity, the Laini Saba School in Nairobi, Kenya. The school is located in Kiberia, the largest slum in Nairobi, and with up to 500 students, many of whom are orphans. With the support of Barat, the school aims to complete the admin block, obtain internet connection and be able to offer scholarship support to vulnerable children. We started the year off in typical Woldingham fashion with House Festival. After a chaotic day of learning dances, the song, getting dressed up in bin bags and tissue paper, then perfecting the runway walk, all around the theme of Hansel and Gretel in the North Pole, Barat was ready to take to the stage and perform. With slick dances were slick, an impeccable storyline and a catwalk worthy of London Fashion Week, Barat came out victorious, additionally winning the prize for the best fashion show! Later on in the year, Year 7 worked with the Upper Sixth to make the guy and banner for Bonfire Night. Barat had the theme of ‘Air’ and created the house from the film Up! Unfortunately, we didn’t win this event but everyone had such fun making it and the fireworks were amazing; for once it didn’t rain! Next came the annual House debating competition and our debaters, Claudia, Tona and LouLou, did a fantastic job in getting through to the final round. Some really impressive debating skills shone through and we have high hopes for future debating competitions with such promising debaters in the House. As a House, we also participated in a quiz, movie nights, the pancake race and many more events, which allowed us to become a tight-knit House, fully supportive of each other. In March, we had the House Feast and Mass, where we celebrated St Madeleine Sophie Barat and all that she did for the Sacred Heart Foundation. The Mass was beautiful and we then went on to enjoy the feast in the Marden dining room, which had been turned into a jungle thanks to Mrs Manktelow. This sparked Barat’s fundraising season, where we had events ranging from Easter egg sales, to pizza and stationery sales. We even planned a


A tight-knit House fully supportive of each other

coconut shy! All the events were popular and everyone got behind us to raise money for the Laini Saba School. The money raised in these events and other events, such as the Christmas carol service, totalled approximately £1500. During the year, we also had the House cross country event where some of us braved the 5k, while others took the opportunity to dress up and run a little less! It was a fun event as usual with many teachers dressing up and getting highly competitive. Special mention must go to Amie Gould, Cara Gould, Lily Olver and Charlotte Proos who came 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th respectively. Also to Mr Hillier who won the staff race. Well done to all of you! We all came together in December for Christmas dinner and the Lower Sixth Variety Show. As per usual, the catering team provided a delicious dinner and we all enjoyed pulling crackers and eating candy canes together before heading to the auditorium to have a good laugh at the Variety Show. We also celebrated Foundation Day as a whole school and enjoyed the Foundation Day Mass with the blessing of the banners.

Due to the COVID pandemic, many of the House events in the spring were cancelled, however, Barat still had a great time competing in the events that did happen and we thoroughly enjoyed winning! The House spirit this year has been amazing and we are looking forward to continuing this into next year where, hopefully, we will be able to have all of the House events. A massive ‘thank you’ to Mme Maillot, Mrs Manktelow, Mide and Sparkle for leading Barat this year in raising money for the Laini Saba School and organising the House events to make sure they all run smoothly. Emily Cons and Og Okunbo Barat House Captains 15

Digby This year Digby House has supported The Royal Marsden Hospital on behalf of the charity Harry’s Giant Pledge, which was nominated by Mrs Hogben, our Alumnae Officer, for Harry’s mother, who used to attend Woldingham. Little Harry Shaw tragically took his last breath after a 10-month battle against Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, in June 2019. The Royal Marsden will use the funds raised to support research into a new treatment approach for children with sarcoma cancers. Its mission is to test cancer drugs that have been successfully used on adults so they can be used in paediatric treatment. Harry’s legacy will fund a research team to test this new treatment and help children that suffer from Ewing’s Sarcoma in the future. Mother Mabel Digby once said, “We must be pilgrims upon earth, not tourists,” and as a House we have tried to live by this quote through our fundraising efforts this past year. Marden Digby A organised a doughnut sale and the atmosphere was vibrant as many students queued up to buy doughnuts for friends and family for such a great cause. Madame Emery’s tutor group arranged a very creative 100 square challenge for students and staff to win a prize, which led to a huge number of students participating.

It’s been amazing to see so many creative methods of raising money for such a good cause, with every tutor group having the opportunity to be as inventive as they liked with their charity sales, which also included friendship bracelets, nail painting and a car wash as well as a lot of food! From the sale of home baked brownies, to muffins, pizza, doughnuts, and even candy floss, it’s safe to say Digby hasn’t let anyone go hungry this year. We are grateful to every tutor group for participating so actively in raising money for this charity and embodying this year’s Sacred Heart goal of Social Awareness. We are thrilled to announce that as a result of the generous donations made through these sales, as well as the incredible generosity of those who contributed to the carol service collection, Digby raised £1531.70 for The Royal Marsden.

The House Feast is always a highlight of the year for Digby and it couldn’t be done without all the students, especially the readers and performers at Mass, the heads of tables, our Head of House Mr Rattle, and of course all the catering staff. It was an evening full of excitement and laughter with everyone taking part in informal dance sequences and having a great time! A big thank you to everyone who helped Digby with our fundraising and events this year – we couldn’t have done it without you! Cat Menzies and Ona Sanomi Digby House Captains


Duchesne This year Duchesne House has supported The Pituitary Foundation, suggested by student Charlotte Drew, who motivated us with a heart-warming speech at the beginning of the autumn term. To raise money for our charity, the first half term was full of sales and other fun events. Students and teachers had the chance to decorate their own cookies, buy cupcakes and candy canes and even win a pair of AirPods (Mrs McCabe was the lucky recipient of these!). It was a huge success, as we ended up raising more than £2000. Duchesne is beyond grateful for everyone who got involved. In House events, Duchesne started the year with House Festival, with the interesting theme of ‘Fairy Tales go Wild’ and we had ‘Goldilocks in the Outback’ as our storyline. Mardeners in particular had a blast at House events - they made ‘Anger from Inside Out’ at Bonfire Night and the rest of Duchesne sadly watched it burn in the fire. Another highlight of Duchesne’s year was House cross country (everyone’s favourite!). Thank you to everyone who had the courage and enthusiasm to run the 5km race - don’t lose the House spirit! We also had an Inter-House Quiz run by Georgie and Poppy, which was a great success, with the TikTok round being everyone’s favourite - the whole auditorium knew the answers! In November, we had our House Feast - ‘Back in the 80s’! The House Captains used neon decorations and almost everyone had rave beads on them by the end of the evening. The Upper Sixth ended the night with an impromptu karaoke session whilst helping Miss Banton pack up.


We are very much looking forward to being together as a House again

We came third in House Debate with Imo, Alison, Izzy, Ana and Molly volunteering to debate for Duchesne. In the pancake race, the students gave it their all and, even though we came last, we all cheered and spread House spirit to encourage Duchesne to keep going until the very end. The film Monte Carlo was shown in February for movie night after a tough voting process and we finished the Easter term with an inter-House bake off; highlights for Duchesne were Sophie Vernon-Evans’ (Year 8) London Bus and Sophie Stanford’s (Year 7) Apple. During lockdown, the Heads of House came up with various fun events for students to try. There were nine taskmaster challenges with events such as telling the best joke and five-word horror stories. There was also an inter-House MasterChef challenge and, although Duchesne didn’t win overall, Nicole (Lower Sixth) was the Key Stage 5 winner! Duchesne was second overall in House Music with honourable mentions for five students in different categories, ranging from the best ensemble to the most outstanding vocalist, and first in the Earth Day Challenge. We are very much looking forward to being together as a House again once school re-opens after lockdown. Gemma Ng and Polie Samotoy Duchesne House Captains

Stuart This year, Stuart embodied the Goal of Social Awareness through our support of one another and of our chosen charity, United World Schools (UWS). UWS strives to ‘improve, through education, life opportunities for some of the world’s poorest children living in remote and marginalised communities’ and wishes to see a world where every child has access to education. Since 2008, UWS has given more than 36,000 children a lifechanging education, and the money enthusiastically raised by our House will help to build new schools, train teachers, provide free education, and improve general hygiene for children in these marginalised communities. Our fundraising events varied wildly but were all highly successful, with everyone willing to go the extra mile for such a good cause. Included in the events were timeless classics such as funfair games and ‘guess the number of sweets in the jar’, as well as the ever-popular food sales - this year with baking, Millie’s Cookies, smoothies and even mocktails. ‘Sponge The Teacher’ was one of the most well-received events (though perhaps not for the teachers involved!) and a cluster of eager students gathered on an overcast Wednesday lunchtime to watch their favourite teachers get soaked in the name of charity. Events, such as the raffle to win a giant teddy and the Valentine’s flower delivery service by the Sixth Form, lifted everyone’s spirits and friends and teachers alike received fresh, red roses with heart-warming messages. Finally, Year 7s undertook the intrepid challenge of a sponsored silence. There was not a single word all day from many determined students who used mini-whiteboards to communicate, an innovative compromise that was for the most part very effective. It was certainly a relief to teachers to have their Year 7 classes silent, and the money raised meant that no effort was made in vain.

Alongside all these wonderful charity events, many inter-House competitions brought a great sense of joy and community to every member. Stuart kicked off the year properly with our House Festival performance. We won the fashion show category with our Snow White themed outfits which consisted of Snow White herself, two blue dwarves, and even the magic mirror! The House spirit flourished once again on bonfire night, despite the harsh November weather. Even the COVID lockdown has not been able to put a dampener on Stuart as online participation thrived. We succeeded in having the most entries in the House Music Festival, and the weekly taskmaster videos brought forth every kind of cinematic masterpiece, from cats holding eggs to Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition hiding under some bedsheets. There was even a full re-enactment of Top Gun! All in all, 2019-20 has been a great year for Stuart House, and nobody can say that our community has not grown stronger in the face of a very difficult time. Next year is sure to be even more incredible, and as a House, we look forward to any challenges it may bring. Charlotte Wallis and Lara Anderson Stuart House Captains 21

LIFE IN LOCKDOWN Visors, volunteering and running

Like many things this year, our community programme was cut short due to COVID-19. A Royal Institution Science Day due to be attended by more than 100 Year 5 and 6 students from local primary schools and a performance of the play ‘DNA’, to which we had invited local GCSE students studying the play for GCSE drama as one of the set texts, were both cancelled. However, earlier in the year we were able to welcome students from Oasis Academy in Coulsdon to meet Young Adult author Lisa Heathfield to celebrate World Book Day on 5 March and in November, Upper Sixth students took part in an interview masterclass with students from Wallington County Grammar School. Alongside these, and many other events, we continued our volunteering with the Orpheus Centre in Godstone and Cardinal Hume Centre in London. When COVID-19 hit our community, Woldingham rose to the challenge magnificently. The DT department led the way, producing visors to protect NHS and healthcare staff and raising more than £2,500. to fund production.

The Science department donated goggles, usually used for science experiments, to East Surrey Hospital and, not to be outdone, the PE department ran a fantastic ‘£50k in May’ challenge, raising £2166 for St Catherine’s Hospice. Katie Hogben, our Alumnae Officer, used her sewing skills to make 39 uniform washbags donated to staff at East Surrey Hospital. Perishable food we couldn’t use was donated to a community food project in Forest Row and we gave toiletries to Surrey County Council’s lockdown food bank. There were also some remarkable individual community efforts. Molly Corbett in Year 11 raised a fantastic £1150 for Action Aid by running two half- marathons with her dad, and Mr Hillier of the Physics department ran the North Downs Way 100 (a race of 103 miles!) in August for Harry’s Giant Pledge, a Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Ms Rawlinson Director of Communication

A global pandemic calls for global kindness While participating in the Brave New Wold programme, I endeavoured to raise money for Action Aid, supporting the Coronavirus response in countries less equipped to tackle the virus. Action Aid is a charity dedicated to creating a better, safer world for women and girls by combating poverty and violence. During the pandemic, Action Aid distributed public health information to raise awareness about the virus as well as quarantine kits consisting of masks and hand sanitiser. The pandemic drastically altered our own lives, changing how we learn, work and socialise, but we were the lucky ones in having a National Health Service to clap for every Thursday and continual access to luxuries during this time. Meanwhile, the world’s most vulnerable populations faced a catastrophe of immense proportions, without access to healthcare, sanitation or food. I wanted to help in any way I could to raise money for people in poverty, who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, and decided to do this by running two virtual half marathons in May. After a month’s training, running in between lessons and after school, I completed my first half marathon on a Thursday evening finishing with a sub two hour time. Completing the second half marathon proved more challenging, battling the hot summer sun and the painful recollection of the previous half marathon experience. My training for the half marathons coincided with the PE department’s efforts to fundraise for St Catherine’s Hospice and I eventually completed more than 100km in May to support such a wonderful local charity. In completing the two half marathons, I raised a total of £1,100 for Action Aid, almost doubling my original target and raising enough money to supply 14 families in Somaliland with all they needed to survive a month in lockdown or more than 3,000 surgical masks for frontline health workers in Myanmar.

I want to give a special mention to my Dad, who completed his first half marathons at the age of 47, a tremendous effort for which I am immensely grateful. Also, thank you to everyone who has shown such kindness and generosity in their donations, after all ‘ a global pandemic calls for global kindness.’ Molly Corbett, Year 11


PPE visors, from design to delivery In early February the many technology forums I belong to were busy with ideas and manufacturing techniques to combat the shortage of PPE due to COVID-19. I started to investigate and develop some visor designs of my own. A stock of acetate sheets in the department, which had amazing optical properties and were able to create an effective barrier against viruses and bacteria, were used for the first batches of visors. Once word got out that we were producing visors I was inundated with requests for more and I couldn’t keep up with demand! Coupled with the need to manufacture more visors and trying to ensure that what I was supplying was the absolute safest, I designed my first laser cut design from the High Impact Polystyrene (HIPs) sheets left over from the Year 7 desk organiser project. I shared my design on several forums and it was quickly copied and adapted. Ably assisted by Ms Graham and on-site residential staff, we set up a sterile environment in the Marden Common Room for volunteers to work in isolation in shifts to manufacture the visors. Thanks to the support of staff, alumnae and friends we distributed visors to frontline NHS and healthcare workers unable to get PPE equipment including St Catherine’s Hospice, district nurses, local GPs, care homes, an NHS dentist unit and an opticians providing emergency eye treatment.


Once word got out that we were producing visors I was inundated with requests

I was constantly looking to make use of materials within the department and the school community. We had a massive injection of acetate sheets from the Geography and French departments, however, our slick manufacturing ‘machine’ was consuming materials at an ever-increasing rate. At one point we were producing 120 visors per day! Once we had exhausted all onsite resources, we set up a fundraising website with an initial target of £200 and I put out a plea for donations on my personal Facebook page. I was astounded as we smashed the target within a few hours. I quickly found a range of suppliers and changed from the HIPs to Polypropylene and the acetate visor elements to PVC. This made the technical specification far superior than it had been at any point and we were now able to ‘clean’ the masks with alcohol. As we reached the last £100 of our fund we were still struggling to keep up with demand so I opened up the funding page to the staff at Woldingham and this was when things went crazy! Three days later we had raised £1700 and although limited to staff, news travelled fast and parents and students also contributed. Word then reached the local community and residents of Woldingham village held a ‘Books in Boots’ sale which contributed £700 to the fund.

Then, DISASTER! The day after the biggest materials order of the entire project had been placed the government instructed the NHS to stop accepting ‘DIY’ PPE and only accept PPE that carried a CE mark, ensuring it was meeting correct testing requirements. I spent the next three days producing the technical specification to try and fast track our visors through the accelerated testing mechanism that had been set up for COVID-19. Once submitted to the British Standards Institute I was told everything looked very promising until the costs involved were made apparent. The cost to submit one design (we had two) was in the region of £4500 but as we were distributing for free we would receive a discounted price of £3000. Clearly this was cost prohibitive for us and would have completely wiped out our donations. Consequently, I started to shut down production, but the responsibility of the significant donations and the promise of providing visors for the NHS sat heavily, so I started to look at other options. Eventually I found an Irish company selling fully CE marked visors at the very competitive price of £2 each so I used the remaining donations to purchase these. We gave them to local NHS establishments including Purley Hub and nearby care homes. It was an absolute pleasure working on this project and I am thankful for the opportunity to have been able to help. In the end £2517.05 was raised and 2003 visors donated. I would like to thank everyone who gave money to buy materials and assisted with assembly, distribution and fundraising. Mr Wahab Head of Design Technology

‘Please can you unmute’ - teaching and learning during lockdown


2020 will come to be known as one of the strangest years in Woldingham’s history and indeed in world history. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the academic year had to be changed and adapted, however, Woldingham is more than 175 years old and the core of what we do did not change: the teaching and learning continued to be innovative, robust and tailored to the circumstances we found ourselves in. The whole of our learning community - teachers, students, support staff, parents and governors - responded to the challenges presented by COVID-19 with strength and innovation. From a teaching and learning perspective, moving to remote learning was one of the biggest tests we have faced. We all had to learn new skills very rapidly and phrases such as ‘please can you unmute’ and ‘please post your questions on chat’ became commonplace in our learning. However, the teaching and learning which took place was outstanding in the face of all these challenges. In many ways the whole experience brought us closer together. In the words of St Madeleine Sophie Barat: ‘Courage, you are not alone in the struggle, even though you may feel lonely and weary.’

Leave every (lockdown) lesson with more than you went in with...

We centred our approach to teaching and learning around our WOLD model, which sets out our expectations of what happens in every lesson, and learning remotely was no different. Willingness to work hard and make mistakes. Opportunities to maximise all learning. Learning is a life-long process. Determination to succeed. We aimed for every student to simply ‘leave every (lockdown) lesson with more than you went in with...’ We learnt that remote learning is not the same as face-toface, but this did not stop Woldingham remaining true to

the core of what we do, and with 86% of parents saying they thought Woldingham’s remote teaching and learning in lockdown was good or excellent, we know that our teaching and learning rose to the challenge. I would like to spotlight some examples of the great teaching and learning experiences which took place across some of our academic departments and show how they adapted to the situation. With the interest in the media in the sustaining aspects of nature during the lockdown period, the English department changed the rather sombre Year 9 poetry anthology Conflict to an anthology of poems reflecting the more uplifting features of the natural world, looking especially at Thomas Hardy’s poem The Darkling Thrush. This poem expresses Hardy’s own sense of disillusionment and loss of faith as the last few hours of the nineteenth century draw to a close but in the final stanza he sees a glimmer of hope in the joyful song of the thrush that spreads out into the gloom. In Design and Technology, Years 9 and 10 explored organic modelling, sketching and CAD. These areas were the most challenging to deliver remotely, yet the most rewarding. Several students made use of the departmental ‘pastry recipe’ as an alternative to modelling clay to model their 3D designs before quickly moving on to the next challenge of working through instructional on-line videos on organic sketching. With the final hurdle of not being able to access our industry standard CAD package remotely, students relished the challenge of learning a new online CAD package to present their iterations whilst away. Perhaps somewhat ironically, the History department embraced all the advantages that 21st century technology has to offer with Year 10 students embracing the novelty of electronic polling (was America or the USSR more responsible for the Cold War?) and throwing themselves wholeheartedly into online debating. Year 11 students embarked on their new studies preparing for A Level, making excellent use of Netflix accounts to compare the portrayal of 1950s Britain in The Crown to their own research on the era and considering, through Vox videos online, how the US Republican Party went from Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump in just over 150 years. These are just some of the excellent examples of our approach to remote lockdown learning. The delivery may have changed, but the learning remains.

The Darkling Thrush I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was spectre-grey, And Winter’s dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires. The land’s sharp features seemed to be The Century’s corpse outleant, His crypt the cloudy canopy, The wind his death-lament. The ancient pulse of germ and birth Was shrunken hard and dry, And every spirit upon earth Seemed fervourless as I. At once a voice arose among The bleak twigs overhead In a full-hearted evensong Of joy illimited; An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, In blast-beruffled plume, Had chosen thus to fling his soul Upon the growing gloom. So little cause for carolings Of such ecstatic sound Was written on terrestrial things Afar or nigh around, That I could think there trembled through His happy good-night air Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew And I was unaware. Thomas Hardy

Mr Bohanna Senior Teacher (Teaching and Learning) 27

Brave New Wold All these months later, I am still unsure whether naming the post-Easter programme of study for Year 11 and the Upper Sixth after a novel about a dystopian future was unnecessarily bleak or rather prescient. Either way, it was clear that it could not be business as usual after the prime minister dropped his bombshell about the cancellation of public examinations back in March. For the wellbeing of our students at a time of unprecedented change and disruption, it was clear that we needed to keep them in close contact and give them reassurance, structure and mental stimulation, so – against a ticking clock - we set about devising a new, bespoke timetable for each year group. The Year 11 students were able to embark upon their A Level subjects, tackling bridging tasks and independent research projects with genuine enthusiasm and intellectual vigor, which was a joy to observe, and won many students prizes from the Headmistress. Alongside this they had weekly sessions from Mrs Chambers to get them thinking about their future in terms of both university and career success, as well as talks from Mr Abbott and Miss Whitworth on how to take the transition from GCSE to A Level in their stride. Finally, they undertook an independent project set by Young Enterprise on responsible consumerism.

Just as the Year 11 programme served as a bridge to Sixth Form, the Upper Sixth programme focused on the next step to undergraduate study and independent living. Students were able to begin pre-reading for their degrees and exploring particular areas of interest through online talks, podcasts and forming small discussion groups. Mrs Chambers delivered weekly sessions to the Upper Sixth on making the most of university study and the opportunities for building career prospects while still an undergraduate. To aid independent living, there were both online courses and face-to-face sessions delivered on everything from shopping on a budget to car maintenance - and cookery sessions delivered by MasterChef quarter finalist Erin Peyman! I am enormously grateful to staff who willingly gave up their time to contribute sessions to the programme, especially in the ‘Life Lessons’ element where students were able to go beyond their comfort zones and learn some of the basics of: philosophy, art appreciation, macroeconomics, sign language and molecular chemistry to name but a few. Both programmes had time allocated for ‘Lockdown Learning’ with students encouraged to pursue new hobbies and interests or learn new skills and many threw themselves into painting, knitting, baking and learning musical instruments, which was great to hear because, as we say at Woldingham, you should always leave a lockdown with more than you went in with! Mr Abbott Head of Sixth Form

THINKING BIG Food for thought Our Thinking Big lecture series went from strength-to-strength this year with members of the Sixth Form and staff delivering some fascinating 20 minute lectures with titles including Extravagance: Vice or Virtue?, Political Pandemonium and The Perceptions of Africa through Western Eyes prior to lockdown. Designed to encourage students to broaden their horizons by researching an area of interest and increase their public speaking confidence, two students here describe their experiences.

I read a book called The Sun Does Shine, by Anthony Ray Hinton. In 1985 Mr Hinton was arrested and spent 30 years on Alabama’s Death Row for crimes he did not commit. His story resonated with me so strongly it is not only a demonstration of the shocking reality of America’s legal system and its loopholes, but also a powerful expression of faith and forgiveness. For me, the argument against the death penalty, on the grounds of the execution of the innocent, outnumbered all arguments in favour of capital punishment. I decided to make it the topic of a Thinking Big lecture.

I gave a Thinking Big lecture with the title Diplomatic Immunity - a Crucial System of Protection or one used to Abuse and Exploit? I scoured the newspapers for inspiration and found a story that made me furious. It was about the tragic death of Harry Dunn, a teenager who was killed by the wife of a US Diplomat. She escaped back to the US claiming diplomatic immunity and avoided all prosecution and consequences for her actions. I researched the laws of diplomatic immunity to build an argument and read a wide array of articles in which diplomatic immunity had been used and maybe abused. I loved researching the subject and it enabled me to discover something about a subject that I wouldn’t ever think about or cover in the school curriculum. I found it daunting delivering the lecture on the stage but I learnt a valuable lesson - the benefit of preparation. I had prepared thoroughly, which allowed me to step up with confidence, feeling that I really knew my subject. It also made me challenge myself as I was not a confident public speaker previously. It provided me with the space to practise publicly in a supportive environment and feed my intellectual curiosity. Eliza Warfield Lower Sixth

Firstly, I gave an overview of the US death penalty situation, saying that it is estimated that for every 10 people on Death Row now, one is innocent. Then I introduced Mr Hinton’s story, speaking about his remarkable spirit and how he found moments of joy in what must be the darkest space on earth. I was fortunate to have such a warm and responsive audience, and hearing that the presentation had resonated with individuals, many of whom planned on reading Mr Hinton’s book afterwards, made preparing and delivering the lecture so worthwhile. Getting up on stage can feel daunting, but I would encourage every student to push the boundaries of their comfort zone and find an issue they connect with to present. Sofia Rooke-Ley Lower Sixth


FROM ARTS AWARD TO WONDERLAND Art review The Art department has celebrated another exciting year of creativity and achievement. Particular congratulations go to Millie Tyler for gaining direct entry to BA(Hons) Fashion at Falmouth, Marie Hilgers for her acceptance at Central Saint Martins for art foundation, Fasai Chainuvati for gaining a place at UCL and Ediss Jing to Cambridge, both to study architecture. They all worked tremendously hard and we are hugely proud of them. It has been a buzzing year in the Art department, with students making some very exciting work in school and during virtual learning. We enjoyed trips to St Ives with Year 11 and to Tate Modern and the V&A with the Sixth Form. Year 9 had a theatre set workshop with Ken Walker from Chelsea, Camberwell, Wimbledon Art School. The school became the catalyst for strange and unusual stories that were transformed into theatre sets of all kinds. It was a fun day full of laughter and brilliant ideas.

It has also been the first year that we have run the Arts Award (which is like a D of E for Art) for those in Years 7-9. The students learn and share new skills and discover artists and exhibitions, all done during virtual school. I have been very impressed with the level of work and independence shown. In lessons, Year 7 worked collaboratively to make fabulous, crazy wearable sculptures responding to music and the Bauhaus. Year 8 explored portraiture in paint and mixed media collage, merging self-portraits with animal imagery that they felt reflected their animal alter-ego!

Year 9 responded to the theme of Wonderland in drawing, ceramics and painting, creating risk-taking, dynamic work packed full of ideas and wonderful stories. The virtual task for KS3 challenged the students to create a 180/360 degree drawing of an interior or their garden; they then responded to the work of Betty Woodman to produce sculptures, which were creatively photographed in many different sites. Year 10 produced some beautiful drawings, paintings and ceramics and we were hugely impressed with their independence during virtual school. Lower Sixth thrived working in more conceptual ways, collaborating on stop motion animations, making sculptures that sting, designing chairs and honing their skills and thinking. What a year for Year 11 and Upper Sixth! I am so sad that we didn’t get to celebrate your achievements with an exhibition of your wonderful work, nevertheless we are extremely proud of all that you created, the insightful tutorials we had, and the fun and laughter experienced in the department. We wish you the very best of luck for your future studies. Lastly a huge thank you to members of the Art team for their enthusiasm, kindness, hard work and inspiration. Miss Reay Head of Art

SUPERSTARS ALL Drama review It has been another busy and theatrical year in the Drama department. From the moment the academic year began, all the way through to remote learning, both students and staff have exhausted the opportunities to ‘get creative’. The department launched the year with various new clubs to accompany the already wellestablished extracurricular drama opportunities, providing everything from Arts Award to The Arden Theatre Company for KS3, Technical Theatre Club to The Glee Club, and more. With the introduction of these new opportunities, the department was delighted to welcome more students into the world of performing arts.


With seamless electric choreography, pitch perfect vocals and dynamic acting by an amazing cast from beginning to end, it was supported by a professional touring set, heavenly backing vocals, a band to rival any West End orchestra pit and expert technical theatrical operations. This triumph of a production had the audiences on both nights rising to their feet. It moved all who experienced it – cast, creatives, musicians and audience, a true testament to the limitless capabilities of Woldingham students.

One of the greatest theatrical challenges ever undertaken

From this positive start the department joined forces with the Music and Technical Theatre departments for what was possibly one of the greatest theatrical challenges ever undertaken at Woldingham. With the musical Jesus Christ Superstar celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, as a Sacred Heart School it seemed the most fitting piece of theatre for the Sixth Form production.

The Drama and Music departments then moved quickly on to our fifth Face the Music. With more than 60 students involved in the production both onstage and behind the scenes, this spectacular performance, rehearsed in only three weeks, was proof that Woldingham School loves musical theatre! With excerpts from well-loved Woldingham classics such as Annie and Les Miserables, to new favourites such as The Wiz and Hairspray, it was performed and received with praise from all. Parallel to the larger scale productions, the groundwork continued with practical and theory lessons and the GCSE, A Level and Trinity Speech and Drama practical exams,

which turned the studio into a small black box theatre, enabling the students to showcase their creative ideas and thoughts through the medium of performance. Throughout the spring term, rehearsals were underway for the Year 10 production of DNA by Dennis Kelly, the Key Stage 3 production of Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle and the new end of year theatrical event – The Wold Fringe Festival. Then the news about COVID-19 struck and immediately everything came to a grinding halt. In true Woldingham fashion, the creative wheels began to turn, and remote learning projects were launched in scriptwriting, monologue performing, live ‘online’ theatre appreciation and lockdown movie production. Trinity Speech and Drama exams moved online and more students took up the Arts Award Bronze Level to certificate their digital artist journey through the pandemic. The students embraced the new challenges with gusto and it has been evident that this moment in history has not dampened their spirits and that they will return in September still well and truly bitten by the theatrical bug! Miss Williams Head of Drama

WHAT A YEAR! Music review 2019-20 was another year of highlights and successes for our students. We started with the Junior Choir Festival, inviting choirs from eight primary and prep schools in for an afternoon of workshops and competition - Hornsby House triumphed again! The Scholars’ Concert is always an exciting opportunity to hear how our young musicians are progressing, as well as introducing our new music scholars to the school: Sophie Du, Isabel Lee and Dido Everitt. The scholars performed in ensemble in the Autumn Concert with Jess Ostler leading the line in Classical Gas. This concert featured many soloists within ensembles, the first half being dedicated solely to a performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. Carina Fan, Leila Akhavan-Zanjani, Clemmie Arnold, and Caitlin Prior shone as the duck, bird, cat and wolf respectively in this timeless musical tale. We were led through the piece with narration by Mr Ian Belsey, international baritone and one-time foil to Hinge and Brackett. The concert also featured our orchestras, choirs and chamber groups, with music ranging from Brahms, Grieg and Mozart to Alan Menken, A-ha and ABBA.

I’ve wanted to stage Jesus Christ Superstar at Woldingham ever since I joined the school in 2010. One of the great pleasures of working here is our collaboration with the Drama department. I have enjoyed working with Emma Love (Oh What a Lovely War), Catherine Nasskau (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), and of course my dear friend Lyn Mann, with whom I worked on many shows, including four Face the Music showcases. However, working with Stacey Williams on Jesus Christ Superstar was the highlight of my time at Woldingham so far. It was a production that showed the Music and Drama departments, plus our dedicated and talented theatre technical team, at our best. It was quality, ambition, collaboration, shared purpose and utter commitment and our students really showed us all what they are capable of. I am still incredibly impressed by their singing (on stage and in the backstage vocal booth), acting, movement, dancing and playing. Everything seemed to come together for this show: music, drama, lighting and sound.


Three days later our students excelled again in leading the singing at our annual carol service in Westminster Cathedral. The cathedral is such a very special place, at the heart of Catholicism in this country, and a great sense of occasion and ceremony is felt by all involved in performing the music for the service. It was very special to start this year with a setting of Os Mutorum by Olivia Hardy (Year 10), sung by Amaris.

Jesus Christ Superstar was the highlight of my time at Woldingham so far

Christmas came and went. The new term started with frantic preparations for our fifth Face the Music. Each time we’ve produced the show something has changed or evolved. What started as more of a cabaret developed into heavily themed shows by the third and fourth outing. This time we explored the cabaret side again, but with more diverse, up to date and interesting material, mainly from the world of musical theatre. Unfortunately, this was the last event we staged before the COVID lockdown. Jazz Night, the Spring Concert and our Easter tour were quickly abandoned as we said goodbye to collective music making.

It was difficult to know how to keep things going at such a distance from each other. The House Music Festival, which had been moved to the summer term, seemed like an opportunity to try and make connections. I wasn’t disappointed as I received many audio and video recordings from our global Woldingham community. Some had collaborated with friends thousands of miles apart to send in an ensemble performance. Rosie Whitfield, the Director of Junior Guildhall, enjoyed adjudicating and the accolade of Most Outstanding Musician 2020 was awarded to Olivia Hardy. I was also inundated with recordings from choir and orchestra members as we slowly rehearsed, online and in private, pieces for the Prize Day video. These seemed a fitting end to an unusual year. Mr Hargreaves Director of Music 35

A TALE OF TWO HALVES Sport review It has been a tale of two halves in sport this year. During the autumn and spring terms the students enjoyed a wealth of fixtures and training across our netball, hockey, swimming and cross-country programmes. Each of the 27 hockey and netball teams had several winning fixtures and there were superb individual performances in swimming and cross-country. The Seniors enjoyed their tour to Cheltenham in September, which involved matches against Cheltenham Hockey Club, Cheltenham Ladies College Netball and St Mary’s Ascot for both sports. The students also enjoyed team building at South Cerney where they built and raced rafts before abandoning them and swimming back to shore singing the Sacred Heart Prayer! The U13 squads went on tour to Reading in September and enjoyed some great fixtures but sadly had to return early due to Storm Dennis. Then COVID-19 hit and, like all the other departments, sport as we knew it changed! This gave us new challenges to embrace towards the end of the spring term and for the duration of the summer term as the PE department set about embracing sport and PE in our #VirtualValley. PE lessons went online with videos produced for the students to reference during their allocated PE time before moving to live lessons, which I have loved! Firstly, we set the students challenges each day, from learning to juggle, to throwing a ball into a bucket, then on to the more creative ‘timing how quickly you can change into your PE kit!’ After half term we kept the students updated on 30-day challenges that the PE department took on, alongside sharing our favourite Olympic memories in what should have been an Olympic year. We also continued to run our extra-curricular programmes ‘after school’ with Leaderboard Challenges, Pass it On videos and the Stair Climb Challenge. Perhaps our most successful challenge, however, has been the 50km in May Challenge, raising funds for St Catherine’s Hospice. Students and staff ran (or walked) a minimum of 50km in the month of May to keep us all active but also to help others. We ran more than 4000km in total and raised in excess of £2,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice.


We continued to run our extra-curricular programmes ‘after school’

A highlight of the summer term is usually our annual Sports Dinner, which sees our athletes and their parents coming together to celebrate everything that has been achieved in sport throughout the year. I felt passionately that our students should not miss out on this, particularly those who have excelled this year and those who are moving on from Woldingham. So, as with everything this term, we went online and hosted our first ever virtual Sports Awards. We presented awards and heard from our guest speaker, Vicky Gosling CEO for GB Snow Sport. It was a wonderful evening. The other highlight of the summer term for PE is Sports Day, another opportunity for the whole Woldingham community to come together to watch and celebrate sporting talent. As I write, we are currently in the process of arranging a sports day with a difference which we are calling ‘The Lost Sports Day!’ Students will compete in a variety of light-hearted events linked to all the sporting events that have been lost this summer due to COVID-19. Mrs Treacy Director of Sport


ACADEMIC SUCCESS The achievements of our 2020 GCSE and A Level students are something quite extraordinary... with their opportunity to sit exams in the normal way taken away by the COVID lockdown, they remained resilient and positive throughout. The GCSE and A Level results awarded to our students were exceptional, reflecting their hard work and dedication, not only this year, but throughout their time at Woldingham, as well as the expertise and support of our staff. We have to take care in comparisons to previous years as grades were awarded differently this year; following a change from OFQUAL and the UK government, students received Centre Assessed Grades. However, this should not detract from the achievements of each and every one of them.


The GCSE and A Level results awarded to our students were exceptional

A fantastic 89% of students gained a place at their preferred or second choice university, in part a testament to the personalised support provided by our higher education and careers team and careful consideration of the right options by each student. Exeter University is the most popular choice for Woldingham students with nine students headed to Devon this autumn. Four students have secured a place at Cambridge University, with another five at Bristol and five at Warwick. A huge well done to all our A Level students and I look forward to hearing about their successes as they start the next part of their lives beyond Woldingham. Dr James Whitehead Head


Maths challenge Our students achieved astounding results in the national Intermediate Maths Challenge. Students in Years 9-11 gained a record 24 Bronzes, 26 Silvers and an incredible 11 Golds! Gold winners were: Lily Martin and Agnes Yau (Year 11); Emily Jian, Rosanne Lui, Christine Ng, Wendy Qi, Anna Wang and Hebe Weng (Year 10); Julia Lin, Jiyu Park and Mashiro Yasuda (Year 9). In addition to this, 12 girls qualified for the kangaroo and three girls for the Olympiads in the next stage of the competition.

Young Money Challenge Edwina Fung and Ploy Wimonsopapan were delighted to be chosen Overall Winners in Category Three for young people aged 11-19 in Young Enterprise’s Young Money Challenge, investigating responsible consumerism and the impact it can have both on the environment and our own finances. The judges were ‘so impressed by their beautifully vibrant and eyecatching poster as well as their simple and achievable solutions to food waste’.

Cambridge essay success Deputy Head Girl Misan Temi-Omatseye entered the prestigious R A Butler Prize for essays in Politics and International Studies, jointly organised by Trinity College Cambridge and Cambridge University’s Department of Politics and International Studies and was very pleased to be longlisted. The judging panel commented that her entry ‘draws on an impressively diverse and well selected set of examples to make a balanced and interesting argument’. Lower Sixth student Sophie Denny entered the Cambridge University Immerse 2021 Essay Competition during lockdown with an essay entitled ‘Literature is elitist, do you agree?’ and was thrilled to be placed as a runner-up and awarded a partial scholarship for the English Literature programme with Immerse Education in 2021.

Le Prix de la Paix Le Prix de la Paix is an annual French language essay competition for Sixth Form students, run by Caterham Rotary Club. The topic for the essay is always related to peace and this year the question was ‘Is the rise of antisemitism a (real) threat to world peace?’ The competition, and a prize of £100, was won by Upper Sixth Former Lily Woodhead. Claude Bertin from Caterham Rotary who judged the essays commented on the high standard of French demonstrated by all the Woldingham students. He also complimented the students’ knowledge and their considered views on a difficult topic. 39


9 8 7 6 5 4 3 Total %9 %9-8 %9-7 %9-6 %9-5 %9-4


6 8 9 5 28 21 50 82 100 100 100


29 8 4 4 1 46


31 10 2 3 46 67 89 93 100 100 100

Computer Science

6 6 3 2 2 19

Design & Technology

4 7 1 1 13 31 85 92 100 100 100


6 11 7 4 1 1 30

20 57



93 97

English as a 2nd Language






English Language

38 17 14 3 2 1 75

51 73



99 100

English Literature

27 18 14 10 5 1 75

36 60



99 100


9 3 2 2 2 18

50 67



100 100


6 8 4 7 2 27

22 52



100 100


1 1 2

50 50 50 100 100 100


14 6 7 4 4 35

40 57


9 3 1 13 69 92 100 100 100 100


13 19 20 11 15 5

Mathematics - Further

4 6 10 40 100 100 100 100 100


1 3 2 1 1 8

13 50


1 3 2 6

17 67 100 100 100 100


34 6 5 1 46 74 87 98 98 100 100


1 1

100 100 100 100 100 100


36 14 20 8 3 2 83

43 60



98 100

Science (Double Award)

10 14 15 8 9 8 64

16 38



88 100







Science (Single Award)






63 80 32 63


16 39


89 79

77 63 75

98 89

89 76 88

100 100 100 100


100 100 94


100 100



17 6 9 6 38 45 61 84 100 100 100


305 180 143 80 48 22 1 779

62% 40

of all GCSE grades were 9-8

39 62





of all GCSE grades were 9-7


A Level Subject

A* A B C D E Total %A* %A*-A %A*-B %A*-C %Pass


4 3 1 1


44 78


100 100


9 13 4


35 85


100 100

Business Studies

2 6 5 2


13 53


100 100


8 7 4


42 79

100 100 100

Computer Science

1 1 2

50 100 100 100 100

Design & Technology

2 2 4

50 100 100 100 100


4 7 2 2


27 73


English Literature

6 7 1


43 93

100 100 100


7 3 10 70 100 100 100 100


1 2 1 2


17 50



2 3 3


25 63

100 100 100


2 2

100 100 100 100 100


2 6 4

17 67


100 100

100 100

100 100 100

History of Art 3 1 4

0 75 100 100 100


1 1

100 100 100 100 100


13 8 9 1 1 1 33

39 64




Mathematics - Further







Media Studies

1 1 1 1


25 50


100 100


1 1 1


33 67


100 100


1 1


50 50


100 100


3 2 2 1


38 63


100 100


2 2 4 1


22 44


100 100


5 4 6 1


31 56


100 100

Religious Studies

3 5 1 1


30 80


100 100


3 3

100 100 100 100 100


4 2 2

50 75





100 100 100

Textiles 2 1 3

0 67 100 100 100

Theatre Studies

3 1 2


50 67

100 100 100


92 92 51 19 1 1





of all A Level grades were A*-A





of all A Level grades were A*-B


UNIVERSITY DESTINATIONS 2020 leavers Name Sarah Adegbite Isabel Aghahowa Ryiana Agyemang Canaan Akintunde Charlotte Alexander Estelle Alexandre Iona Anderson Hetty Arnfield Tara Baker Caitlin Barry Frederica Bennett Brookes Corinna Bertazzoni Harriet Bigwood Margot Birch Eleanor Bristowe Lucy Bull Georgie Cannock Fasai Chainuvati Grace Chan Ruby Chapman Olivia Devery Charlotte Drew Madeleine Eldred Megan Elliott Carina Fan Ayomide Fowora Amelia Fox Annabel Fricker Keisha-Faye Frimpong Emily George Poppy Hancox Lily Hassett Tara-Jane Healy Marie Hilgers Carol Huang Alina Hussain Ediss Jing Nicole Johnson Lara Kekwick Jessica Kennett Caitlin Ladell Gloria Leung


University Course Cambridge Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion UWE Bristol Film Studies Loughborough Politics and International Relations Keele Forensic and Analytical Investigation Birmingham Biomedical Sciences Warwick Global Sustainable Development and Business Exeter Biological Sciences Durham History Exeter History York English Bristol Politics and International Relations UCL French with Management Studies Falmouth Business Management Reading Primary Education Newcastle Politics and International Relations South Wales Medical Sciences Durham Geography UCL Architecture Warwick Education Studies York Political and Social Science Kent Sociology Exeter Economics King’s College London War Studies Bath Mathematics UCL History of Art Leicester International Relations Birmingham Computer Science with year in industry Nottingham Liberal Arts Edinburgh History of Art Newcastle Chemistry Nottingham Geography with Business Trinity College Dublin Geography with Social Sciences Nottingham Religion, Philosophy and Ethics Central St Martins Art Foundation Bristol Plant Sciences Leicester Psychology Cambridge Architecture Oxford Brookes Sociology Nottingham Trent Fashion Marketing and Branding York Business Management Bristol Neuroscience University of Hong Kong Biochemistry

Grace McGurran Liverpool Izzy Mico Loughborough Rosie Miller St Andrews Alley Mu Warwick Angel Mulenga Exeter Jemima O’Brien Edinburgh Olivia O’Keeffe Bristol Katie Palmer Tiffany Theatre College of Performing Arts Mariia Paraniuk LSE Ciamhe Percival Liverpool Channel Poku-Amankwah Warwick Ksenia Potapova Imperial Frederica Prime UWE Bristol Bonnie Qi Imperial Amelia Reid Leeds Pariyapat Ruangkanchanasetr Warwick Tiffany Siu Chinese University of Hong Kong Sparkle Sparshott UEA Ruxu Tang LSE Jade Taylor Exeter Amelia Tyler Falmouth Shivani Vigneswaralingam Edinburgh Amina Wang Guildhall School of Music Evie Ward Sussex Charlotte Watt Exeter Lily Woodhead Exeter Carina Wu Leeds Christine Yau Exeter Tracy Ye Cambridge Kylie Yip Coventry Alexandra Yushina London South Bank Federica Zammitt Bristol

2019 post-qualification applicants Charlotte Blane Nimi Ogunsolire Isabelle Ondruch Catherine Strong

Nottingham Trent King’s College London Exeter Cambridge

Psychology Product Design and Technology with placement year History Education Studies Law International Business with Spanish Geography Performing Arts Diploma majoring in Musical Theatre Finance Criminology and Sociology Sociology and Criminology Biological Sciences Business and Events Management Biological Science Politics Chemistry with Industrial Placement Medicine Medicine Language, Culture and Society Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences Fashion Design Biomedical Science Music Drama and Film Studies Biological Sciences Modern Languages Languages, Cultures and Economics Law Economics Occupational Therapy Architecture Philosophy and Spanish (4 years)


of students gained a place at their preferred or second choice university

Psychology with Sociology Psychology Sociology and Anthropology English


DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND ANTI-RACISM AT WOLDINGHAM Woldingham aims to be an inclusive, kind and welcoming community where racism and discrimination in any form is unacceptable. Our Sacred Heart ethos with its focus on personal growth and social awareness is at the heart of our desire to support our community to listen to and respect each other and value the diversity of all members of our community. In the light of the Black Lives Matter campaign in spring 2020, and feedback from alumnae and students, the school issued a joint statement confirming Woldingham’s position on diversity and inclusion. This was followed by an online diversity forum in June comprising Woldingham’s current Head Girl team, six recent Head Girls and Deputy Head Girls representing our body of alumnae and four senior staff. There was an excellent discussion, which led to the forum agreeing six key areas for improvement. These have been adopted by the school.


During summer 2020, these six key areas were developed into an improvement programme, each led by a senior member of staff.

I am pleased we have a clear plan for the future of diversity and equality at Woldingham, which is in keeping with our Sacred Heart ethos, ensuring that our school community is welcoming and full of generous loving-kindness. I strongly believe in the value of a curriculum that explores all aspects of our shared cultural history, in a manner that educates young people for life in the modern world. Dr James Whitehead, Head

Diversity and inclusion improvement programme 1 Training and awareness for staff and students, including listening and learning from the experience of BAME students, staff and alumnae 2 Ongoing curriculum review 3 Exploration of how we recruit and retain a body of staff which better reflects our community 4 Analysis of key data to understand trends and issues 5 Policy review 6 Members of the Board of Governors appointed to be responsible for diversity and inclusion.

The improvement programme is now being implemented and Judge Ifey Munonyedi and Mr Tim Woffenden have been appointed as lead governors for diversity and inclusion. Some initial actions at the start of the autumn term in 2020 included a series of events linked to Black History Month run by the History department, the publication of a new reading list prominently displayed along the English corridor, a wider selection of fiction and non-fiction texts available to students and staff in the library, and workshops for students with the Drama department. The English and History departments have also started a curriculum review.



Our Development focus continues to our people in line with ‘Our Future’ strategic plan. We are committed to changing the lives of young women through our transformational bursary programme funded by donations to the Woldingham School Foundation. Our school community thrives on diversity and equality and nothing epitomises this more than our bursary programme. Many of our bursary students take on positions of leadership, some elected Head Girl and others gaining entry to Oxbridge.


We will continue to engage with our parents and alumnae as well as our students and staff in our development initiatives, ensuring the whole Woldingham community is involved. We are extremely grateful to everyone who offers their support, time and encouragement. If you would like to know more about how you can get involved, please contact Mrs Camilla Mair, Development Manager at development@woldinghamschool.co.uk.

The Foundation isn’t just about bricks and mortar. It is about giving opportunity to young, ambitious and smart girls who might not otherwise get the opportunity... to be the best that they can be. Past parent


BURSARIES £1m raised for bursaries via the Woldingham School Foundation We have been both humbled and overwhelmed at the support for the bursary programme over the last four years. Five students are now benefitting from fully funded places at Woldingham thanks to the generosity of our parents, alumnae, staff and friends. The fifth Jayne Triffitt Bursary Award, a 100% bursary, was awarded to a student who started Year 7 in September 2020. Thank you to everyone who has supported the bursary programme so far. We hope that many more will join our giving community this year to help make a difference and change lives.


If you’re thinking of donating, don’t underestimate the impact that it has on the people that receive the bursary because it really is life-changing. Parent of bursary recipient

DEVELOPMENT EVENTS Upper Sixth mums’ lunch On a blustery day last October, we were delighted to host our annual lunch for Upper Sixth mums. The atmosphere was warm and jovial as we enjoyed a delicious meal. Mrs Hutchinson assured parents of the school’s unfailing support for their daughters in their final, and most important, year at Woldingham and wished them every success with their university applications and upcoming A Level examinations. She also illustrated how leaving families might choose to support the school’s bursary programme with a gift of their original deposit, to offer the opportunity of a Woldingham education to the next generation of students. We are very grateful to families who chose to make a gift to the bursary programme.

USA trip In October half-term, Mrs Hutchinson and Mrs Mair went to the United States to meet alumnae and members of the Sacred Heart community to raise awareness of the newly launched US development plan. In support of the Woldingham School bursary programme, ‘Women in Business – supporting the next generation’ is a networking platform for our US based alumnae combined with a collaboration to fund a transformational bursary over five years. In New York, they met Heads from two Sacred Heart schools in New York and Connecticut, and shared stories and similarities with our Sacred Heart colleagues. They also hosted our first Women in Business panel discussion at the Harvard Club of New York City with a brilliant group of alumnae who shared their workplace experiences. This was followed by a fabulous fundraiser dinner, filled with enthusiastic and insightful opinions about the working world and wonderful memories of Woldingham.

Mrs Hutchinson and Mrs Mair also travelled to California, hosting an alumnae lunch and brunch. We are extremely grateful to the alumnae who took the time to meet us or hosted an event. We are delighted so many have offered their support to the US alumnae-funded transformational bursary. Thank you to all our alumnae for your ongoing support.

Christmas shopping event This year’s Christmas shopping event was held in the lighter, brighter exam centre with a wonderful array of stalls. Not surprisingly, the cupcakes were extremely popular with the students while the Altitude Gin and Squerryes sparkling wine stands were a hit with staff and parents alike. In the afternoon, parents turned their hand to festive pursuits, either decorating Christmas cakes or creating beautiful Christmas wreaths. Thanks to Woldingham parent Mrs Prime and Alumnae Development Officer Mrs Hogben for giving their time and expertise to run these workshops once again. We are delighted that more than £2,500 was raised for the bursary programme and extend a heartfelt thank you to all our supporters.

Valentine’s Ball Love was in the air at our fabulous Valentine’s Ball on Friday 14 February at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel. Following a sparkling reception to the wonderful jazz sounds of Southern Beauty, the guests took their seats for dinner. Welcomed by Chair of Governors Mr Robert Parkinson, guests were treated to a heart-warming video of recent Woldingham leavers who were bursary recipients, who thanked our supporters for their generous support. This emotive film was followed by a fabulous live auction of amazing prizes donated by parents and alumnae. The ball raised more than £30,000 towards our bursary programme and we are grateful to everyone who came along and supported this dazzling fundraiser. We are so grateful to everyone who attended our fundraising events this year - your support will help to change lives. Thank you.

We will be holding a series of events throughout the next academic year, many of which will be virtual to allow more of our parent and alumnae community to take part. We look forward to seeing you there. For information about how to offer your time, experience or support for the Woldingham School Foundation, please contact Mrs Camilla Mair, Development Manager at development@woldinghamschool.co.uk or +44 (0)1883 654308. 49

HOW TO GIVE Support for our bursary programme is growing substantially. Since 2016, we have raised £1m in gifts and pledges. We will continue to offer the Jayne Triffitt Award each year and alongside this we hope to offer a second bursary for another talented student entering Year 7. The value of a transformational bursary is approximately £155,000 over seven years. You can offer your support in any of the following ways:

Single gift Regular gift

A single donation of any size to the bursary programme will help to change lives. e.g. a gift of £10,000 is actually worth £12,500 to the bursary fund with Gift Aid applied, but the actual cost (to a 45% taxpayer) is £6,875.00. A regular monthly, termly or annual gift will help to create sustainability for the bursary programme. e.g. a monthly gift of £12.50 is worth £1,000 over five years with Gift Aid applied, but actual cost (to a 45% tax payer) is £750 over five years.

You can also offer your support in other ways:

100 Club Events

We are welcoming new members to the 100 Club this academic year. For £100 per term, you will be supporting the bursary programme PLUS have the chance to win our annual cash prize. Please join us at our fundraising events throughout the year, both physical and virtual, where you can offer your support for the bursary programme. We gratefully welcome offers of high value prizes for our auctions and raffles. Sharing your experience with our students or networking with other parents and alumnae is extremely rewarding for all concerned.


If you have time to offer in support of our fundraising activities, our careers and networking events, our work placement scheme or our Thinking Big lecture series, we’d love to hear from you. All gifts of more than £1,000 will receive a personalised engraved leaf on our WSHA Bursary Trees. Thank you in advance for your generosity. For more information about how you can offer your time, experience or support, please visit woldinghamschool.co.uk/supportus or contact Mrs Camilla Mair at development@woldinghamschool.co.uk or 01883 654308.



Payment methods Standing To the Manager of Order

Thank you for making a gift to the Bursary Fund, part of the Woldingham School Foundation *

Address of bank / building society

Your details

Title Initial(s)


Name(s) of account holder(s) Surname Account no.

Home address

Please pay from my/our account to : TEXT PAGE 51 Bank plc, PO Box 95, 1 North End, Croydon CR9 1RN Barclays Account Name: Woldingham School Foundation Account number: 13041573 Sort code: 20-24-87 How often are the payments to be made?

Postcode Email


Your gift

i.e. 100 Club

Single gift



Gift Aid declaration I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations it is my responsibility to pay any difference. (See www.woldinghamschool.co.uk/supportus for more info.)

I want to Gift Aid my donation of £ and any donations I make in the future or have made in the past four years to Woldingham School

Signature Date Recognising your gift Woldingham School would like to recognise the names of its supporters to thank them. How would you like your donation to be recorded? Recorded as

(e.g. Mr & Mrs Smith)


i.e. 100 Club


Amount details Date / amount of first payment (Please allow 10 working days for receipt)

Amount £



**Termly payments for the 100 Club will be made on 1st September, 1st January and 1st April respectively

I would like to make a gift of :

Frequency of payment :

Sort code

* Woldingham School Foundation is part of

Woldingham School, Charity registration no. 1125376


Amount £

Please choose one of the following two options: 1. Date and amount of final payment DD/MM/YY

2. Until further notice

Amount £ (Payments will be made until you cancel this instruction)

Signature(s) Date


Debit Card

Credit Card

Cheques payable to the Woldingham School Foundation. To make a gift by Debit Card or Credit Card, please contact the Development Office on +44 (0)1883 654308. A fee is charged to the school on Credit Card transactions. You can transfer your gift directly to our bank Electronic account via an electronic fund transfer. For this Fund Transfer purpose you will need our bank details as follows: Barclays Bank plc, PO Box 95, 1 North End, Croydon CR9 1RN Account Name: Woldingham School Foundation Account number: 13041573 Sort code: 20-24-87 IBAN: GB15 BARC 202487 130415 73 Swift code: BARCGB22 PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO REFERENCE YOUR NAME IN THE TRANSFER

Please return this completed form to: Development Manager, Woldingham School, Marden Park, Woldingham, Surrey CR3 7YA

Thank you for your support

WSHA CHAIR’S REPORT Sitting down to write the introduction for the WSHA section of this year’s edition of Woldingham magazine, I was determined there would be one word I wouldn’t use – but, how can I not? The arrival of COVID-19 has affected our lives in so many ways, big and small. I can only imagine the huge challenges that the school has had to overcome to re-open for the new term. On behalf of the alumnae, I congratulate the whole team at Woldingham for it’s efforts and wish everyone – staff and students – a happy and successful school year. I also take this opportunity to welcome Woldingham’s new Head, Dr James Whitehead. What an incredibly challenging time to assume such a mantle - WSHA wishes you good luck as you take the helm! Turning to the year at WSHA, our events calendar was severely truncated by things COVID. The fabulous carol service at Westminster Cathedral seems an age ago, and was our last ‘get-together’ as an association. Since then, both Old Girls’ Day and the AGM were postponed indefinitely. So, it is with optimism that I look forward to many lovely days in the near future when we can see each other again, face-to-face, and exchange news and hugs. In the meantime, please do keep sending in your news and photos to Katie Hogben – now, more than ever, keeping in touch is so very important. As always, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank committee members for their valued time, dedication and support this year. Despite having only been able to meet once, we have been keeping in touch to ensure that association business is ticking over. Many thanks to the panel that sifted through the Upper Sixth Leavers’ Scholarship applications (and congratulations to the successful applicants – we look forward to following your progress!). Thanks also to our office team, Katie and Camilla, for their invaluable efforts on behalf of WSHA.

Finally, on behalf of WSHA, my heartfelt thanks go to outgoing Headmistress, Alex Hutchinson, for her support of the association in her role as president. Alex, it has been such a pleasure to work with you, and we wish you every success in your new role, and look forward to welcoming you back to school as a WSHA member! With my very best wishes to you and your families, Ms Jenny Coote WSHA Chair


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 2020-2021 WSHA AGM & committee meeting (virtual) Thursday 1 October 2020, 6.00pm

Upper Sixth networking event (virtual) Tuesday 13 October 2020

Upper Sixth networking event (virtual) Tuesday 10 November 2020

Year Reps drinks (virtual) December 2020 (TBC)

Christmas workshops (virtual) w/c 30 November 2020

Women and the Workplace Spring 2021 (TBC)

WSHA AGM & committee meetings Spring and summer terms (TBC)

Old Girls’ Day 2021 Sunday 16 May 2021

For more information on any of these events, please contact Katie Hogben at alumnae@woldinghamschool.co.uk or call 01883 654307

CAREERS, CAROLS AND COVID Great opportunity for Sixth Form at networking breakfast Students in the Upper Sixth were able to hone their networking skills during the two networking breakfasts in the autumn term. We were lucky enough to have a fabulous group of parents and alumnae who helped make these networking breakfasts a great success. Not only did they offer perspectives from their own professions, they provided advice on the essential skills you need in the workplace such as resilience, positivity and creativity.

Lower Sixth and alumnae discuss Women and the Workplace Our fourth annual Women and the Workplace breakfast was once again a fantastic success, enjoyed by Lower Sixth students and guests alike. The event is designed to raise and discuss issues facing working women, and to offer valuable insights to our students as they start to think about their own career aspirations. Four Woldingham alumnae, from the classes of 1997 and 2006, and recent graduates at the start of their careers from the classes of 2014 and 2015, joined us as panellists. Each gave a short talk describing her career journey so far, and then answered questions from our students. We are very grateful to our alumnae who gave up their time to join us. If you would like to take part or support our careers programme, please do contact alumnae@woldinghamschool.co.uk


Carol service at Westminster Cathedral The final week of term began with Woldingham’s annual carol service in the wonderful setting of Westminster Cathedral. Students, staff, alumnae, governors, parents and guests gathered to celebrate Christmas with a special service of carols and readings. Headmistress Mrs Hutchinson warmly welcomed everyone. The cathedral soon resounded with the joyful singing of the whole congregation. It was also watched live by more than 100 members of the community who were unable to be there in person. The reception held after the service at the Grosvenor Hotel was a lovely opportunity for members of the Woldingham community, past and present, to catch up over mulled wine and mince pies.

And then COVID happened... We started the new year with a full diary of careers, networking and reunion events, but as COVID took hold across the world, we began to realise that many of our planned events could not happen. At the end of March we went into lockdown and I was furloughed from the school for five months. It was a very strange time and I certainly missed the Valley and the Woldingham community. I’m not good at sitting still so decided to do something for those that were working silly hours to help keep us safe. A close friend works at East Surrey Hospital and she told me they needed uniform bags. These were essentially pillowcases with ties they could put their uniforms in after a shift and then throw everything in the wash. So I dusted off my sewing machine and started making these bags. I asked my neighbours to donate pillow cases and sent 40 bags off with my friend to work. Having remembered how much I enjoy sewing, I then started making masks for friends and family. Probably over 50 have been made so far and I’m still going!

It was good to spend time at home with my family, but I was pleased to be back in the valley at the beginning of September. Mrs Katie Hogben Alumnae Development Office,

St Catherine‘s Hospice Throughout the pandemic, at St Catherine‘s Hospice, where I am Medical Director, we have continued to focus on helping local people who are facing the end of life. Dealing with COVID-19 hasn’t been easy. We had to adapt quickly. Changes made included limiting visitors to the hospice, offering video consultations for people at home and, of course, wearing personal protective equipment. We were so grateful to the Woldingham Design & Technology department which made and donated visors to help keep us safe. COVID-19 placed a huge strain on hospice income, with all our usual fundraising events for the year cancelled and our 15 charity shops temporarily closed for three months. Thank you to the Woldingham PE department which organised a challenge for us during lockdown and all the students and staff who participated, raising £2166. It was heartwarming to receive this support and see messages of encouragement from the Woldingham community on social media. Friends from my geographically scattered year group connected, posting details of their whereabouts, and offering to look out for school friends’ relatives local to them. Despite the amazing support we have received, we still project a drop in income of £1.5million this year and expect this to continue in subsequent years. So, with the Government only funding about one third of hospice care, we need our local communities more than ever. If you are in a position to support your local hospice, please consider doing so. To find out more about St Catherine’s Hospice or to make a donation please visit: www.stch.org.uk/donate or call 01293 447361 Dr Patricia Brayden (1985) Medical Director, St Catherine’s Hospice

ALUMNAE MEMORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD We asked our Facebook followers to share where they are in the world and what memories they had of their time at Woldingham Ellen Cusick (1988), Portland, USA Most of the best things I remember shouldn’t be shared, but I did make some lovely friends that I cherish to this day.

Charlotte Walker Olivier (1991), London Socks down round your ankles. Never pulled up to the knee!

Niamh Waldron (Past staff, 2001-2011) So many happy memories of living and teaching at Woldingham - Head of Mayne House, Sports Day, House talent shows, Spanish Summer Camps, the Great Storm of 1990. My son’s christening with the girls and staff; duties with Sixth Form; gymnastics; getting girls to lessons after lunch and Neighbours! Stunning grounds, wonderful people, friends for life. Steffie Spillars (née Sharpe, 1979), Greensboro, North Carolina Marden House playing jacks and letter writing and eagerly waiting for the post to be put out and to see if I had a letter from home. And Sister Goddard, Senior House and the smoking rooms(!), umpiring tennis matches, playing hockey matches. To this day still in touch with dearest friends.

Lucy Perceval (1987) Art classes and Dr Tuffil.

Phillipa Sequeira (née Rampling, 1984), Singapore I’m still talking to my friends today especially in this difficult time - we have had Woldingham Zoom sessions... There used to be a fallen log out the back of our rooms in the trees - what amazing conversations we had there.

Sharon Alston (1988), Ireland Happy days - Hamster Hall, sneaking in my squirrel, adder by the pond, freezing cold pool, big knickers on the donkey field, crazy nuns and lovely wonderful ladies. 58

Francesca Potter (née Sorby, 1980), Mallorca The gardens, running wild in them. Handstands on the lawns. Hiding under the weeping beech tree near the sunken garden. Sneaking up to the pool for midnight swims. Hamster Hall. Naomi Shairp (1988), Ireland Great friends, amazing women! Matty Quinonez (1976), El Salvador The annual processions to Our Lady where we wore veils, held candles and sang in Latin.

Michelle Gravett (née John, 1991), Sanderstead Mr B, Worth dances, tennis galore, Miss Lucas and Latin. Beautiful grounds and rounders on the donkey field!

Jenny Coote (1994), Horsham I remember my clan of fantastic, intelligent, witty, courageous friends, many of whom I’m still in touch with now!

Victoria Harrison-Cook (1994), Carshalton Beeches Being called into Dr Dineen’s office and called a ‘street woman’ at the age of 14 for dyeing my hair. Sarah Windle (née Pascall, 1980) Sr Goddard’s feast day, bun break - doughnuts were the best! The fantastic garden, the giant snowball that got out of control and broke the window in the cloister. So many wonderful memories, it was an amazing time.

Kate Bond (née Blatherwick, 1994), London LBC on Monday night’s with Trisha Kreitzman after dark with the whole dormitory laughing in unison. Hiding in my locker to escape night prayers. Tess Lee (née Ticao, 1984), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Wonderful memories. Tennis lessons with Mrs McHugo - she really believed in my game.

Aude Rodrigues-Pereire (2007), Switzerland Being caught on the roof - oops! There are so many memories to choose from! Faye Clews (née Beamont, 1990) Marden club nights! Astronomy to be precise. We were given bits of cane and string to set up some star gazing experiment. Michaela and I made bows and arrows instead! Yes we were caught and told off! Parichart Thongyai (née Intharasombat, 1988), Bangkok, Thailand It was hard at the beginning being a foreign student. After I made friends, it was so much fun. I have lifelong friends, some who have been to visit in Thailand. Maria Pisani (née Gatt, 1988), Malta Tobogganing down St Michael’s Mount, helping down at the farm, guinea pigs in Hamster Hall, rambling in the woods with Sr Goddard. Picking brambles and having bramble pancakes and cream for dessert, kippers for breakfast. Rebecca Marshall (née Rudd, 1994), Cape Town So many incredible and lasting memories. Hot orange squash on weekend evenings, the whole dorm laughing at lights out, roller skating in the undercroft, tuck boxes, sleeping in ‘The Ship’, Ribbons, concerts, Mr B, Woldingham covered in snow, the chime of the clock tower through the night, laundry numbers.

Francesca Potter (née Sorby, 1980), Mallorca Singing the Immaculata, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception 8 December. It started “Sancta Mariiiiiiia, Sancta Dei genitrix, Ora pro nobis, Ora pro nobis...

Charlotte Pearce (née Gregory, 1994), Perth, Western Australia Amazing friendships created that still exist today and Sister Austin at the tuck shop.

SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART Since our last contribution to the Woldingham Magazine, our lives have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have, too, been made very conscious of the effects it is having, particularly in poorer, more vulnerable parts of the world. During our lockdown, creative and imaginative ways to keep in touch have emerged. Among them, two members of the Province each sent a daily email to us all to raise spirits - Margaret Wilson with a photograph of a flower, tree, something beautiful that had caught her eye, and Sheila McNamara with creation-centred reflections/ poems, which took on an added significance and poignancy in our current circumstances. A fragment from one of them, written by Odette Provost, read: ‘Live today; God gives it to you, it is yours. Live it in God.’ They have been a meaningful back-drop to the gradual unravelling of our plans, as we have all experienced.

On 23 May, Joan Docherty, who was a member of Duchesne House, died following a long illness. She initially trained as a teacher before joining the Society in 1955. She spent several years teaching in Malta before moving to Newcastle where she made the transition to Community Bursar. This role was well suited to her gifts and in 1968 she became Bursar at Digby Stuart College, Roehampton, before returning to Newcastle in the same role. Following a sabbatical in Boston, Joan returned to England where she continued in the role of Bursar. With diminishing health, eventually in 2017, she moved to Duchesne House where she was lovingly cared for by the staff and sisters, who accompanied her on her long, final journey to God. Writing in May, following the decision to postpone the Special Chapter until November 2021, Barbara Dawson, our Superior General wrote: ‘...in the midst of the unknown future and the need for confidence, we want to keep open to the unknown, to stay walking forward in our discerning process with open minds, open hearts and open wills. We realise now that extending the date of the Special Chapter allows us to have a more human and sacred space for the preparation, giving us more space for depth and realistic creativity.’ A few weeks later, for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Barbara wrote: ‘Just as Sophie lived her moment in history and listened to the calls of her time, COVID-19 and the state of our world shout to us to PAY ATTENTION to our moment in history.’ The Province came together on Zoom that day, to celebrate Mass for the Feast.

The celebrations for VE Day on 8 May came as a welcome break. The 75th Anniversary was celebrated in style by Duchesne House Community - most of whom had lived through the Second World War. It became a day of festivities, memories and wartime songs, together with a celebration tea party including scones, egg sandwiches and sausage rolls! 60

Technology will again play a part when we ‘attend’ the Province’s Special Chapter in the same way. The work done then will contribute to the Special General Chapter of the Society which has now been postponed until November 2021 and will be held in Malaga, Spain. Maybe the words of Janet Stuart have a message for us, too, as we go forward: ‘Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement and transformation... It is continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, teaching you to see clearly and deeply, helping you to listen to your intuition. Life faces you with courageous challenges every step of the way.’ Sr Monica McGreal, RSCJ

AMASC UPDATE AMASC supporting worldwide RSCJ projects In recent years, AMASC supported RSCJ’s request to contribute to the building of a small primary school on Kyamusansala Hill, Uganda, which more than 500 students now attend and all are able to access high school. Across Uganda nationally only 30% of girls attend high school. Currently, AMASC are using the mandate of 2018-22 by supporting RSCJs to offer a future to the children of Bougoudang School in Chad, where life has worsened since the global pandemic. Visit www.amasc-sacrecoeur.org for more information. Mrs Trish Frisby

Our virtual Sacred Heart world AMASC also supports the Uganda-Kenya Province which provided for workshops in sewing, making devotional candles in pilgrimage sites in Kampala and a school supply store for Mbikko School and later for the entire village. RSCJs in Argentina requested the support of AMASC to help teenagers and young people in Villa Jardin, a suburb of Buenos Aires, where there are high levels of social degradation including violence, drug addiction and trafficking. Educational projects, including workshops, cultural activities, reflection and community based events, were set up for all the young people of Villa Jardin.

Keeping connected virtually with our global Sacred Heart family is now so easy. Here are some links to explore: www.societysacredheart.org.uk Read about the spirituality, charism and life of the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart (RSCJs) and their educational mission. www.rscjinternational.org www.sacredheartattheun.org Find out how the Sacred Heart community of RSCJs work as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at the United Nations. www.rscj.org (Province of USA and Canada) www.rscj-anz.org (Province of Australia and New Zealand) www.amasc-sacrecoeur.org (connecting alumni worldwide)

WSHA LEAVERS’ SCHOLARSHIPS Miranda Piana Parra My first year of university after leaving Woldingham has been a steep learning curve but also an incredible year, packed with memories I will never forget. I started at Barts and The London School of Medicine last September and, having now completed my first year of medicine, it is evident to me how rewarding this experience has been, both academically and socially. Starting university was like being thrown in at the deep end - suddenly I had more work to do than I ever had before, whilst also trying to get involved in other aspects of university and life in London. From countless hours of lectures and seminars, to doing solely whole body dissection for two weeks, I have learnt more in one year than I thought humanly possible. I am very grateful for the WSHA scholarship, which helped me buy my stethoscope, textbooks and other medical equipment.

One of the best decisions I made was joining the medical school’s netball team. We had matches against other universities every week, but also numerous social events, such as balls and tours, through which I met some of my best friends. One of the things I am most passionate about is theatre, and being in London allowed me to fully immerse myself in this world. I went to see as many shows as I could, but I also worked at the ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Wicked’ theatres for a few months. This is a hobby I am sure I will continue pursuing alongside my medical degree. This has been a very busy and exciting year, and I am very grateful to my teachers at Woldingham for getting me to where I am today and, once again, to WSHA for the scholarship’s support.

Khushi Aggarwal As I write this, I feel it was only yesterday when I was walking from Pergola Lawn to the coffee bar but, in reality, I am entering my second year as a business and management student at Durham University. Although initially I thought about pursuing economics, I soon realised I am more interested in business naturally since it runs in my blood (everyone in my family has studied it). Words will not do justice to describe how much I love Durham and the amazing experiences I have had in just a year. I have not only made some lovely friends but also developed new hobbies such as rowing and singing in concerts at Durham Cathedral. I have specifically admired the Formals and the collegiate system that makes Durham unique. I am grateful to WSHA for providing me with a scholarship. It helped me to purchase academic books, which enriched my business knowledge. The WSHA scholarship money also contributed towards my Mandarin lessons at university as I always wanted to learn a new language! Since this year has been different in many ways for all of us, I had to return to my home country earlier than usual and was able to book my flights with help from WSHA money during such adverse circumstances. India was in lockdown but that did not stop me from learning.

I completed online internships, data science courses and started learning the ukulele. After the lockdown was lifted, my mother and I distributed PPE masks and sanitisers to people who couldn’t afford them. I also managed to raise around £1,000 through crowdfunding to support a family financially during this pandemic. I truly understand now how it feels to help someone and the smile it brings to their face remains priceless. I would like to thank the WSHA team and also appreciate that Woldingham gave me such a caring environment where I was supported throughout but also let me thrive and be the independent person I am today. All the business networking events set an excellent foundation for me to step into the business world with confidence. It was indeed a beautiful journey and I would like to thank all those who were a part of it.

WSHA LEAVERS’ SCHOLARSHIPS Georgia Barnes In 2019, I graduated from Woldingham School and was kindly granted a WSHA Scholarship to assist with my ventures into higher education. Woldingham was such a wonderful experience for me, and something I look fondly back on into Conservatoire years. I now study composition and voice at Trinity Conservatoire. With the help of the WSHA Scholarship, I received Italian pronunciation lessons and an iPad as a way of improving my pursuits in opera. In February, my opera ‘A Time of Empty Tales’ was commissioned by opera company Tête à Tête for its summer festival. This is being performed on the 14 September at The Cockpit Theatre in Marylebone. I composed and directed this opera with the help of repetiteur Guy Murgatroyd and singers Alex Akhurst, Olivia Bell, and Alex White. Tête à Tête is a DCSM pilot organisation, so, rather excitingly, we will be one of the first live performances indoors after lockdown. I have also had the privilege of working with British Youth Opera on their Directing Scheme, assistant directing with the ROH’s Thomas Guthrie, and singing in the chorus with Opera North on La Traviata (performance cancelled due to COVID-19). Hopefully, some exciting experiences to come as well!

WSHA LEAVERS’ SCHOLARSHIPS Talitha Wengraf-Townsend I was overjoyed to hear that I was one of the lucky people who would receive a WSHA scholarship, especially since the school supported me throughout my entire time at Woldingham with a bursary. I decided to study Psychology and Criminology at the University of Southampton. In my first year, I learnt about all sorts of things, ranging from how your brain works while you sleep to legal proceedings. I used my scholarship money to become a member of the British Psychological Association; this membership has been invaluable because it has given me access to a variety of papers by thousands of researchers that I could use to support my arguments in my essays throughout my first year. I also used the money to buy textbooks, which are always surprisingly expensive. These textbooks allowed me to complete the required reading and gave me the knowledge to develop my arguments and ideas. My favourite essay to write so far has been an essay about the impact of nature and nurture on personality because I got to delve deep into many studies and think about them critically.


Marden Park Mansion M

arden Park’s magnificent mansion and elegant function rooms are available for weddings, christenings, parties and formal functions. As a member of the alumnae you are eligible for a 25% discount on venue hire. The chapel creates a romantic setting for Catholic ceremonies, whilst the stunning rooms are licensed for civil ceremonies and provide the perfect Surrey wedding venue. Exclusively your own country mansion for a day, including a professional in-house catering team and fully licensed bar. For availability phone 01883 654185 or email venuehire@woldinghamschool.co.uk www.facebook.com/woldinghamschoolvenuehire www.instagram.com/woldinghamschoolvenuehire


Births Nicola (née Biles, 2000) and Edward Plumley welcomed their daughter, Ottilie Françoise Rose, on 28 June 2019, a sister to Charlie. On 19 September 2019, to Anna (née Farnes, 1999) and Charles, a daughter, Georgina Elisabeth Nella.

Rachel Vinton (née Bromilow, 2004) announced the safe arrival of Oscar William Floris at the beginning of December 2019.

Matt and Grace Bench (neé Freeman, 2003) welcomed Alice Mary Olivia to their family on 17 December 2019, a little sister to Max. On 5 May 2020, Charlotte (née Terry, 1999) and James Shaw were delighted to announce the safe arrival of Florence Annabel, a sister to Georgia.

On 27 May, Susann (née Wiese, 2004) and Hannes welcomed their first son, Hadrian Frederic Heinze.

Engagements Miranda Keymer (2006) got engaged to Charlie Turner in September 2019. In November 2019 Olivia Milton-Thompson (2009) got engaged to Martin on an eight-hour hike in Madeira. In January she completed her PhD in Engineering, so is now officially a Dr!

Vinton family

Josh Gambrill

Alice Bench

Ed and Alex Gambrill (née Furness, 1999) welcomed Josh Charlie on 8 June 2019, three weeks after Old Girls’ Day. A little brother to Toby and Imogen.

Olivia Milton-Thompson



Charles Jencks passed away in October 2019. He married not one, but two alumnae. Charles and his second wife, Maggie (née Keswick, 1950s), co-founded Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. His third wife, Louisa (née Farrell, 1966), was Head Girl and mother to Martha Lane-Fox. Charles van der Lande, father of Joanna Wilson (née van der Lande, 1984), father-in-law of Harriet van der Lande (née Wylie, 1984) and grandfather of Tabetha van der Lande (2018) died on the 10 November 2019 – he will be much missed by all his family and friends. Sheila Stephens (1963, née May) slipped away peacefully at home on 12 November surrounded by her family. Claudia Scott Moncrieff (1962, née Petre) passed away on 14 October peacefully at home. Our thoughts and prayers go her family. Penny Weisweiller (1978), daughter to Rudi and Pam, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully on 27 December, aged just 59. Rosemarie Blandy, died on 30 September 2020 in Estoril, Portugal, after a prolonged illness which she confronted with the support of her faith, family and friends. Beloved mother of Andrew and Katrina (1991), grandmother to Edward, Jamie and Isabella. 68

Elena Troake (1978) died peacefully in July 2019 after a long and courageous battle with MS. Sukey Roxburgh (née Don, 1969) died peacefully at home, surrounded by her family, on 15 January 2020. She was at Woldingham from 1962-1969 and was fortunately well enough to join her classmates at their 50th reunion lunch last June. She will be sadly missed by her husband, William, and their children Clare, Kay and Will, as well as her grandchildren. Rose Edith (Bunty) Ellison (née Gillow, 1940) died at home but not alone at the grand age of 97 on 1 August 2020. She found a warm and happy welcome when she was sent to the school, then in Roehampton, by her loving second mother Kathleen Gillow, after her own mother died when she was only 11. At the outbreak of the war she moved with the school to Newquay and then supported Kathleen, who was a medical doctor in Carlisle and worked in the Carlisle infirmary. At the end of the war she married Philip Ellison and together they raised five children. The three girls, Philippa (1971), Sarah (1974) and Katy (1980), all attended Woldingham School.

Woldingham School, Marden Park, Woldingham, Surrey, CR3 7YA T: 01883 349431 E: info@woldinghamschool.co.uk www.woldinghamschool.co.uk