Wulfrunian 2016

Page 1








ANIMAL MAGIC From Ants to Zebras Caterpillars. An Entomologist’s 40 year reign

In honour of the fallen THE PERFECT









Meet OW authors making it big in the publishing world




Welcome to the 2016 Edition of the Wulfrunian In this issue we hear from many Old Wulfrunians including Jacqui Oatley (OW 1992), the sports presenter changing the face of football; Graham Lewis, former Maths teacher, sports coach and

Contents In the Common Room

Head of Sixth Form who it seems changed the perceptions of careers in Maths for many; and also Senior Laboratory Technician Rob Walker, the Doctor Doolittle of WGS, who this year celebrates 40 years’ service.


Farewell to the Class of 2016



7 - 22

60 years of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award


Elsewhere in this edition, you will again find the usual mix of

On the Cover - Game changer: An interview with

news, stories and comment. If you are feeling inspired by anything

Jacqui Oatley MBE

10 - 11

you discover within these pages, do get in touch; we welcome

Thirty Six Years of Bliss with Graham Lewis

12 - 13

our alumni’s involvement in School life, be it through donor

A Walk on the Wild Side with Animal Man Rob Walker

14 - 15

Archivists Wanted

contribution, careers support or publishing your stories and


Meet the OW Authors making it big in the Publishing World

experiences for our current and former students. Before we begin, an enormous thank you to all our Old Wulfrunians (OWs) and friends who are supporting the School. Your involvement and engagement helps keep Wolverhampton Grammar the great School that it is.

Stay in Touch


Student of the Great War

18 - 19

In Fond Remembrance

20 - 22

Community, Events and Celebrations

23 - 38

Changes at the Top for the Old Wulfrunians Association


OWs in the USA


OWA Annual Dinner

26 - 27

London Reunion

28 - 29

Sports Festival

30 - 31

Where do you think they are?

32 - 33

Cooking up a Storm with Professional Chef & OW Sabrina Gidda


OW Community News

35 - 38

Post: Development Office, Wolverhampton Grammar School,

School News

39 - 56

Compton Road, Wolverhampton, WV3 9RB

Junior School


Telephone: +44 (0) 1902 421326

Senior School

41 - 47

Art, Drama & Music

48 - 53


54 - 56

Careers and Getting Involved

57 - 63

University vs Apprenticeships


‘Like’ our Facebook pages, search for:

Careers Forum


Wolverhampton Grammar School Official

Interview Tips from the Experts


Old Wulfrunians of WGS

Richard Hancher (OW 1993) Then and Now


Careers Advice from Experts


Email: development@wgs-sch.net

Website: Visit the alumni pages www.wgs.org.uk/alumni for event photos, alumni profiles, events calendar and more.

F Facebook

t Twitter

Into the Dragons Den


Follow alumni and School news, search for:

Meet the Development Team



Giving Back to WGS



Andrew Proverbs: A Truly Fitting Tribute



l LinkedIn Connect with alumni on LinkedIn, search for: Wolverhampton Grammar School (WGS) Old Wulfrunians and Friends

y YouTube Subscribe to our YouTube channel, search for: •

Wolverhampton Grammar School

Tell us your news Thank you to all OWs who have sent us pictures and news items. It is impossible to include everything in the magazine, so all OW news is published on our website www.wgs.org.uk/alumni or available to view in the Jenyns Library Archive Room.

Instagram - search for: •


Wolverhampton Grammar School


Welcome from Kathy Crewe-Read Head of Wolverhampton Grammar School One of the most delicious surprises for me, as I embarked on my journey as WGS Head, a few years ago now, was the fondness with which OWs of all ages regarded School. I am of course well accustomed to that now, but never take it for granted. Robin Cooper (OW 1956), Trustee and great friend of the School encapsulates the alumnus spirit thus: “When I examined what forces had contributed to my success, I had to conclude it was the eduction I had received at WGS, that was responsible”. It’s tremendously humbling to hear our students talk of their education in such terms, and a reminder to all whose lives are at WGS, that our vocation is in transforming lives as well as minds. This edition of The Wulfrunian is a joyous medley of memories, life stories and the bread and butter of current School life. It makes me proud to read it. Proud of you, OWs, who like Robin, have done commendable things with the talents and education you have benefited from. Proud of our fantastic staff, who give unstintingly of their time and expertise both in the classroom and out with. Proud too, of our current pupils without whose enthusiasm and joie de vivre none of what you read of the current WGS would have come to pass. As you will discover in the pages that lie ahead, our archive team is young and vibrant and records of your times at school are being lovingly updated. We are always delighted to hear from OWs, and even happier to entertain you in School, so if you are not a regular visitor to Wolverhampton, do get in touch, and we may well tempt you back! You will see from the dates below, that we hold annual reunions in London, too. If you would like to come to Threadneedle Street in June, and are not on our London mailing list, do simply get in touch with ????? The Merchant Taylors Hall is an elegant venue and we would be delighted to have your company. The School continues to thrive. Visit our website to keep up-to-date with events and news, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to hear more everyday goings-on. I wish you a very happy festive season, and successful 2017.

Kathy Crewe-Read Head, Wolverhampton Grammar School




Big School, Wolverhampton Grammar School

Merchant Taylors’ Company, London

Moreton’s Piece, Wolverhampton Grammar School

Saturday 11th March 2017 - 6.15pm

Tuesday 27th June 2017 - 5.30pm

Saturday 9th September 2017 - 9am

Contact Stewart Ross

Contact Gail Evans

Contact Gail Evans

(email) stewart.sueross@gmail.com

(email) development@wgs-sch.net

(email) development@wgs-sch.net



In the Common Room by Rob Mason

This year saw the departure of Biology’s JeanPierre Camm. Jean-Pierre arrived at WGS in 1991 and immediately made an impact as one of the school’s most charismatic and best-loved teachers. You can read more about Jean-Pierre, or JP as he was affectionately known, in the tribute below from Helen Hills, Head of Biology.

Another long-term resident of the Common Room who left this year was Isabel Raymond-Barker who follows in the wake of her husband Vincent after a decade of service at WGS. Isobel worked in student

Andrew Hymer by Dan Peters

support for most of these years and she will be

When Andrew Hymer joined

school club. Likewise, any of the students

missed for her good humour and self-deprecating

Wolverhampton Grammar School in the

in the long list of English groups across the

charm. Her approachable, caring nature made

January of 2011 many could scarcely

years could easily describe the lengths to

her perfectly suited to her role and we know that

believe their eyes when the Junior School

which Mr Hymer went in order to provide

opened, just nine months later, with a

a bespoke and individualised curriculum.

population of over one hundred. A popular

As a leader, Mr Hymer displayed qualities

and much-loved head teacher, who grew

of compassion, patience, and diplomacy

what was initially a stand-alone Big 6 year

in abundance. The Junior School wish

group into the most sought-after Junior

him well in the next chapter of his career

Kathryn Burden who has left to spend more time

School in Wolverhampton. With a passion

at Warwick, and hope that our U11 rugby

with her young children, Keziah and Joshua. Katy

for cricket and all things English, he could

team continue to remind him, and his new

and her colleagues did a fantastic job keeping the

always be found bowling a few overs in the

charges, that size really isn’t everything.

Music department afloat after the untimely loss of

sports hall on a Friday night with his after-

her students loved her as much as her fellow Common Room members. We wish Isabel well in her retirement and wish her good luck keeping Vincent in check!

Other notable departures this year include Music’s

Andy Proverbs in 2014 and her calm yet cheerful

We also waved goodbye to Maria Laurino-Ryan,

Jean-Pierre Camm by Helen Hills

who will be fondly remembered by students and

Jean-Pierre (or JP) began his teaching

staff for her Italian panache. Maria also of course

career at WGS in September 1991 having

had a foot in the Religious Studies department and

completed a PhD on the Chromatophore

older students might remember Tutti–Frutti club

lobes of Octopus Vulgaris, which led to

presence will be missed in the Common Room.

that she ran so selflessly on Friday afternoons. Finally, we also said farewell to Linda Barnett who made a great impact during her short time in the PE department and I am personally grateful to her for the assistance she provided on some very wet and windy Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions!

him affectionately being known as ‘squid man’. A true academic who challenged and stretched the most able of students and who appreciated his care, knowledge and humour. His humour reflected in the story of the Camm twins. A young form tutor

for the summer holidays, JP would be

It is also my duty to welcome new members to

Mr McKee informed his group of Year 7s,

visiting as many students as he could on

the Common Room and this year sees the fine

that Biology and Chemistry would be taught

their placements. Many therefore owe him a

additions of Ryan Pounder in Chemistry, Beverley

by twin brothers. JP wore a lab coat during

debt of thanks to some degree or another.

Young in Religious Studies and Rachel Young in

Chemistry lessons and his usual suit for

Biology. We also welcome a new Assistant Head,

Biology, they truly believed they were being

JP supported the choir, music tours and

Alex Yarnley, and Bernie Conlon who fills the shoes

taught by two different men!

performances in Big School and in his

of Isabel in student support. I know that all will be great additions to the Common Room.

Finally, congratulations are due to Geography’s Victoria Wiseman who is now known as Victoria Clarke after her marriage over the summer. I am also delighted to report that Charlotte Davies,


latter time took drum lessons and assisted JP embraced all technology and produced

with the Running Club. His cycling to and

wonderful visual, detailed and professional

from school with heavy laden panniers is a

materials for use in the classroom. His

sight that will be missed as will his humour,

expertise helped him organise work

conversation and general willingness.

experience and careers, working tirelessly

widow of Owen Davies, gave birth to baby Max in

for many years to bring in outside

We wish him all the best for a long and

April this year. Max has already paid a visit to the

professionals and universities for the

happy retirement and thank him for his

Common Room and we hope he makes many

annual Careers Forum. When many of us

loyal service to the school and students

return visits as he grows up.

were beginning to think of winding down

throughout his 25 years. Thank you JP!


Isobel Raymond-Barker by Ian Tyler

Maria Laurino-Ryan by Kath Finn Maria served the School in many areas including Languages, Theology, Philosophy and Pastoral Support. Maria’s time with the Theology and Philosophy Department was notable for a number of reasons. She was passionate about the subject, the critical thinking it involves, and the opportunities that it gives students to develop an ‘examined life’. She brought creativity to her lessons and to her classroom through her legendary collage displays. She was as concerned for the well-being of her students as for their academic progress; taking over the running of Peer Support, and she was always prepared to offer a sympathetic ear to those in need. This caring and supportive approach was also

When Isobel joined OpAL as a teaching assistant ten years ago we

extended to her colleagues; in particular her Head of Department. We

couldn’t believe our luck. Here was a fully qualified teacher with a

wish her every future happiness.

wealth of experience supporting children’s learning on our doorstep! I remember her look of patient understanding as I blithely said “you’ll be fine”, when she sensibly asked if there was anything else she needed to know about working with her first charge. Of course she was more than up to the task and soon became someone all staff relied as an outstanding classroom support teacher. What we didn’t realise then was just how dedicated, professional and totally involved she would become as she guided her students through the school to their A Levels, making a hugely positive difference to their lives and the life of the whole school.

Kathryn Burden by Nikki Guidotti Kathryn Burden came to WGS as a budding young music teacher,

When Isobel took on the challenge of developing OpAL Tutorial

fresh out of University. She developed into an admirable classroom

in the Sixth Form, she was again utterly committed to making the

practitioner, oozing patience, kindness and love of her subject.

students lives as pleasant and easy as possible, whatever setbacks

Kathryn will be remembered for her very calm approach to all that

and challenges they faced.

she did, supporting both staff and students with her kind words and balanced energy.

Isobel is one of the best, kindest and wisest human beings you could hope to meet. She gained the love and respect of all of her students

Kathryn moves on to bring up her gorgeous young family, Joshua

(they adored her) and staff. It is, therefore, with a smile and a tear we

and Keziah. She is also continuing to pour her energy into growing

wish her a wonderful retirement and hope that she will continue to

a fledgling church she and her husband Nathan have helped form.

be a regular visitor to WGS where we value her so.

Spain is also on the cards – watch this space!

Welcome to our New Assistant Head Alex Yarnley It seems the staff cricketing 1st XI have just gained a new team member. Joining WGS in September, keen cricketer Alex plays for Bridgnorth Cricket Club where he helps run the Mini Wickets programme. Alex joins us with a background in Accounting, graduating from Hull and with a post graduate degree from Southampton. He worked at Roehampton University prior to training to become a teacher, gaining experience at schools in Petersfield and Oxfordshire. Previous roles have included Head of Year at North Oxfordshire Academy and Head of Maths at Kingswinford School. Alex’s wife hails from the Midlands and they have two young children. Alex says he is lucky to be able to play around with mathematical problems as a job and enjoys helping to grow students’ curiosity and discovery of learning every day.



Farewell to the Class of 2016 Students celebrated another year of outstanding A Level exam results

over a third of students achieving a coveted A* or A grades in one to three

in 2016. Subject areas including French, German, Art, Business Studies,


Biology, Chemistry, Classics, English Language, English Literature, Economics, Further Maths, Government and Politics, General Studies,

Congratulations to the Class of 2016. You are leaving us for an impressive

Geography, History, ICT, Italian, Latin, Music, PE, Psychology, Religious

range of universities including Oxford and Cambridge with a diverse

Studies and Theatre Studies all achieved a 100% pass rate this year with

range of undergraduate degrees ahead of you.






Daniel Gibbons - Accounting and Finance

Josh Firkins - Psychology and Business Niranjana Manoj - Biological Sciences


George Bradley - Accounting & Finance with a Year in Industry

Alastair Carey - Mathematics

Liverpool John Moors

Harry Brueton - Sport Business

Alexander Dmitrewski - Mathematics (with a Year Abroad)

Christian Chalmers - Mechanical Engineering

Pardeep Japper - Physics with Astrophysics with Study Year Abroad. Edward Pinning - International Management and French


Joseph Morris - Mechanical Engineering Loughborough

Arondeep Brar - Social Psychology

Henry Purchase - Civil Engineering

Amandeep Grewall - Automotive Materials

James Bostock - Sport and Exercise Sciences

Paul Griffiths - Criminology and Social Policy

Nikhil Giri - Electronic Engineering with Business Management

Dilraj Samra - Politics with a Minor

(with an Industrial Year)


Charles Willis - Politics with a Minor

Thomas Grainger - Mechanical Engineering with Industrial Year


Nadia Mohammed - Psychology

Andrew Shave - Business Management (Year in Industry) (4 years)


Shaun Alexander - Medicine

Khushbu Sood - Psychology

Benjamin Hollinshead - Geography with Business

Benjamin Timmins - Mathematics

Miranda Roberts - Medical Physiology and Therapeutics

Jack Price-Darbyshire - Philosophy and Politics

Grace Rowlands - Veterinary Medicine

Robert Pye - Chemistry with Study in Continental Europe

Nottingham Trent

Matthew Evans - Law


Melissa McNichol-Antwine - Modern and Medieval Languages


Bradley Jarzebowski - Business Economics


Freya Cunningham - English Language and Literature


Tabitha Bargery - Business Management


Rishi Chavda - Optometry

Emily Round - Fine Art

Emma Hudson - Sport and Exercise Sciences Coventry

Gaurav Kumar - Dental Surgery

William Core - Automotive and Transport Design

Queen Mary London

Kameron Balaggan - Accounting and Management

Harkirit Gill - Aerospace Systems Engineering


Lana Harold - Sociology

De Montfort

Gurjot Sahota - Economics

Sheffield Hallam

Lucaya Darrall - Criminology


Elizabeth Mahon - Medicine

St Andrews

Helen Clinton - Italian and Modern History (year abroad)


Holly Pleydell - History


Manvir Moore - Mathematics.

John Price - Flexible Combined Honours


Katherine Payne - History of Art

Eleanor Wilkes - Energy Engineering


Jack Harris - Biochemistry

Harper Adams

Thomas Aston - Automotive Engineering (Off Highway)


Josephine Dowswell - English Literature


Dhillan Kumar-Kauldhar - Computer Science with Industrial Experience

Uni of Wales St David

Elizabeth Cawdell - Classical Civilisation


Alexander Kemp - Computer Science (Foundation)


Frances Hopson - Mechanical Engineering

Anamika Tura - History


Manisha Kumar - Science & Engineering with Foundation Year


Megan Griffiths - Architecture


Elizabeth Westwood - Child and Adolescent Mental Health


Lewis Batho - Physics (Study Abroad)


Michael Carleton - Computer Science

Hugh Churn - Physics Leeds

Daisy Brazenell - Graphic and Communication Design Emma Deacon - Music Elena Sage - Biology


Stephen Jones - History Isabel Shave - English

Verity Stark - Psychology

Also this year, congratulations go to... UNIVERSITY/ COMPANY



Lydia Manley - English

Bucks New University

Joe Hickman - Football Business and Marketing


Karan Chahal - Economics

DPD Group

Kathryn Seager - Legal Apprentice

Gowling WLG

Abbi Lavillie - Legal Apprentice

Ernst and Young School

Hannah Lea - Legal Apprentice

Leaver Programme 89 Upper Sixth Form students studied towards an impressive total of

271 A Levels 2012 - 2016 NATIONAL AVERAGE VS WGS

WGS A* - B 39% National average A*- A 26%

WGS A* - B 70% National Average A* - B 53%

Over the past 3 years over


gained their Firm or Insurance choice


A* - C A Level Grades

Highest A*- B results of independent schools in Wolverhampton Accurate as at end of September 2016



FEATURES Our former students have a strong bond with WGS: it begins on their first day of School and lasts a lifetime. The memories of OWs, your careers and life

all, in some way leaving their mark, not just on

experiences since leaving WGS are a like an

our community but for future generations too.

archive of useful information, fascinating both to the School and your fellow alumni. In this

Why not reminisce about your time at WGS and

year’s edition of the Wulfrunian we hear from a

share it with us via development@wgs-sch.net

number of OWs as well as current staff who are



WGS and the World’s Leading Youth Achievement Award For the past six decades the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE)

activities, developed life skills and achieved walking expeditions.

has helped inspire and transformed the lives of millions of young people from all walks of life and WGS has played its own small

A DofE award is one of the proudest achievements of many

part in its success.

OWs and with School now awarded the status of a Licensed Organisation on behalf of the DofE, it’s a collective ambition

Scores of WGS students have achieved bronze, silver and

to give another two million young people in the UK this life-

gold awards. They have experienced volunteering to physical

changing opportunity by 2020.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at WGS by Rob Mason Eighteen months ago Government

in May all Licensed Organisations were

austerity measures forced the school

invited to attend the largest ever Gold

to become what is known as a ‘Directly

Award Celebration at Buckingham Palace.

Licensed Centre’ for the Duke of

During 2016: WGS enrolled

Edinburgh’s Award. Whilst students

114 new


and parents may not have noticed any difference in day-to-day running of the scheme, a lot of work went on in the background to implement this change.

66 WGS students completed

Becoming a Directly Licensed Centre


meant convincing the DofE organisation that we would uphold the good name of their award and promote its core values of personal development, teamwork and resilience. Fortunately, our school values are not so different from DofE ones so the process proved to be a smooth one and we were presented with our licence at the Palace in May.

WGS participation and Pictured Kathy Crewe-Read and Rob Mason with their plaque presented by actors Oliver and James Phelps (George and Fred Weasley in the Harry Potter films) acknowledging WGS’ commitment to DofE.

completion rates have

more than doubled.

“The social value of DofE activities to the local community in

This year the Duke of Edinburgh Award

2015/2016 was calculated to be at least £48,067 based on at

celebrates their Diamond anniversary and

least 6,409 hours of volunteering.” DofE Central England.

DofE: Trip down Memory Lane... Do you recognise anyone in these pictures?



Copious Amounts of Sheer Determination Earliest DofE Wulfrunian records date back to 1985. That year A G Lilley wrote about the Bronze group’s expedition to the Long Mynd – the routes disappointing lack of short-cuts, the formation of two distinct factions – the starving muesli eaters and travelsick fry-up brigade, Andrew Lilley’s stylish eye wear to Wayne Stanford’s survival top-tip scarf mummification, sheer ascents, Angel Delight and copious amounts of sheer determination! Here are some of his memories:

“For the expedition, I couldn’t navigate my way out of an empty room, so I was on cooking duty. Water religiously boiled, freeze-dried cottage pie made. Not bad, if I say so myself. A classmate then dished up dessert. As we tucked in, I asked if he’d boiled the water. “Course not, you can’t have Angel Delight hot…” Turns out he’d got the water straight from a stream which had the carcass of a dead sheep in it. I was copiously sick thereafter for about a fortnight… Writing copious articles for the Wulfrunian every year served me in good stead when I became a journalist! I divide my time between Switzerland and Australia, working as a freelance translator and also writing and commentating on various sports. I play the odd vets hockey game for the Old Wulfs when I’m back visiting my parents in Wolverhampton.” Andrew ‘Drew’ Lilley (OW 1988) (original article author)

Email development@wgs-sch.net with your names and to share your DofE memories.



Game Changer by Charlotte Forrester

Head Girl, Charlotte Forrester had the pleasure of interviewing Jacqui Oatley during the Summer break at her mother’s house in Codsall. She came away inspired and with some valuable advice to help her tackle the next challenges in life.

Her old friends simply thought her football fixation was a way of trying to impress boys. When she did then come to the Grammar however, they soon realised that she was actually crazy about football. Girls are now a very much permanent

I had watched Jacqui Oatley on the television a couple of

fixture at WGS, I joined in 2010 and I’m

times before, when my brothers had been comparing notes

currently studying for A Levels.

on the latest football match and arguing over the outcome of the season. I had also heard about her around

Jacqui’s transition from

school when teachers would tell us about

working in Intellectual

the Old Wulfrunian (OW) who was also the

Property, to taking

first female commentator on Match of the

evening courses and

Day. When I actually met Jacqui though in

hosting hospital radio

the summer to talk about her life at WGS

slots in order to

and her unique career path, I recalled a

break into the sports

memory that my Form Tutor once told me.

journalism industry,

Jacqui had to stay in exam containment at

has provided Jacqui

Mr Browning’s house (former Geography

with an abundance

teacher at the school) due to an exam

of wisdom. Jacqui

clash. However Mr Browning had a slight

offered some valuable

panic as, instead of madly cramming

advice, telling me that

revision notes, she spent her time

you must...

obsessively watching a football match without a second thought to her A

“make stuff

Level examination the next day. “That


was Euro ’92,” she justified when I

instead of just

recounted the tale to her, “That’s why I had to change career because it

waiting - things

felt like an infringement on my basic human rights that I couldn’t watch

don’t have to

every game.” It’s obvious then to

be the way

see that a later change of career

they’ve always

from Intellectual Property to Sports


Journalism was a necessity.

You can see

With her mother and father’s (also

why Jacqui was

an OW) support, Jacqui joined WGS to do her A Levels when

awarded an MBE, as

girls were only allowed into the

well as the title of one

Sixth Form. She had previously

of the most influential

gone to an all-girls school - when

women in sport by The

she was finally in a mixed-sex

Independent newspaper, with

class, she said she spent her first term just

her admirable determination and infectiously positive outlook.

looking round the classroom going...

Instead of giving into the pressures

“Oh my God – there are boys!” 10

of being held as a role model, she treasures the opportunity that she can make a difference in a good way.


She really cares about the future of young

and also actively take an interest in what

people too, as is obvious by the way she

I hope to do in the future, is so

selflessly offered me advice about pursuing

immensely uplifting that you

a career in journalism and sympathised over

can’t take it for granted. It

the challenges of being a student. When her

makes me realise that our

daughter ran in to our meeting dressed in

current students have

Wolves merchandise it showed how strong

so much incredible

her influence can be - even in mere terms of

potential to go on to

loyalty to her beloved local football team.

do great things. Hopefully we’ll be

Her attitude definitely inspires me and we

able to contribute to

were already drawing up plans for a girls’

the history of WGS

football team within the manifesto for the

in a profound way

Senior Prefect team. I think that the fact

too, just like Jacqui.

that our students have Old Wulfrunians like Jacqui Oatley to look up to is really special.

Charlotte Forrester,

Being able to see someone, who sat in Big

Head Girl 2016

School like me, go on to push boundaries

(pictured right)

OLD WULFRUNIANS ASSOCIATION DINNER Saturday 11th March 2017 - Big School - 6.30pm

Please RSVP to Stuart Ross (tel) 01902 846571 (email) stewart.sueross@gmail.com



Thirty Six Years of Bliss by Katie Guest In 1964 when the then Headmaster Ernest Taylor answered an application for the position of Junior Mathematics teacher, little did Graham Lewis former Head of Maths and Sixth Form imagine it would lead to “thirty six years of bliss”. The only member of his family to attend a grammar school, it was no surprise that Graham went on to study Mathematics at university. In his three years at Liverpool University in the early sixties he witnessed the epic rise of the Beatles and was a regular at the Cavern Club rubbing shoulders with the likes of Paul McCartney, Jerry and the Pacemakers, Billy Jay Kramer and the Dakotas.

After graduating Graham was faced with a number of career choices: a PhD, a PGCE (allowing Graham to continue his favourite pursuits of cricket, badminton, soccer and tennis with just a little bit of education on

“Dear Mr Taylor, I have seen the post of Junior Mathematician and I’d like to apply for it”.

the side), a career in the aircraft industry, or the post

(Ernest asked him to park round the side out of sight) and he never looked back.

Graham had the great fortune and luxury to spend his first term shadowing his predecessor. With just two members of PE staff, Shorty Robinson

of Junior Maths teacher at Wolverhampton Grammar

Impressed by his sporting capability and history,

(not a young man who had served in the war and

School even though he apparently had no intention

Ernest Taylor offered Graham the position outright,

a heavy smoker) and Derek Bliss (rugby player

of teaching.

even offering to hold the job open and let him go

from Birmingham), there was heavy reliance on

to Loughborough to complete his PGCE. Graham

academic staff to maintain the School’s many

The call for interview came one evening five weeks

decided to take up the position straight away, rolling

traditions and sporting prowess. Graham’s sporting

after Graham sent in his extensive application.

up to WGS that September in his 17 year old Hillman

talents were therefore heavily utilised.

The Graham Lewis Maths Scholarship Award example of a teacher whose method one wanted to

Hugh Churn (OW 2016) recipient of The Graham

emulate in every conceivable way. I was first introduced

Lewis Maths Scholarship Award 2016

to his precision and clarity of expression when he allowed me to become an official cricket scorer. This

“As someone who has always enjoyed maths, being

distinction was handed to me due to my general lack

awarded the Graham Lewis Maths Scholarship

of ability at the sport and that I was reasonably reliable.

Award was a great confidence booster especially as

The scorebook was historically immaculate and I

I am about to study a Physics degree at Lancaster

endeavoured to keep it that way.

University. I find physics an incredibly interesting subject and one which I think will open many doors

As it became clear to me that my academic future

in the future, possibly in academic research or the

was most likely to be mathematics or physics, his

technology industry.”

influence became increasingly important. Mr Lewis’ Robert Zeps (OW 1988), pictured above, is the

ability to solve complex problems succinctly and with

generous benefactor of The Graham Lewis Maths

clarity were, for me, like watching a magician at work.

Scholarship Award. Graham who inspired Robert to

My nascent interest in science evolved quickly into

pursue maths for a career and intellectual satisfaction

a passion as the explanatory power of mathematics

was the inspiration behind this new award for Upper

revealed the universe to me. It is very easy for me to

Sixth students.

draw a (very tidy) straight line from his lessons to my place in the world today. Academically, he is without


“I enjoyed mathematics from the very beginning at

question the most important figure in my life and for

School and was fortunate to have many talented

which I shall be eternally grateful. I can only honour him

teachers, but Mr Lewis was responsible for the latter

in a small manner with the Mathematics Prize at WGS

years and his influence was always likely to be the most

and more completely in passing on the skills to my son

significant. Luckily for me he was the quintessential

and daughter.”


A Common Room seating hierarchy was very much

fact that it is fundamental to the sciences, he says

The decision to retire early in 1997 came rather

in evidence and the fireside armchairs (today’s bay

it is a standalone subject where much satisfaction

suddenly. Counselling a colleague who had

window) were the domain of the Head of Classics

can be gained in succeeding due to its clinical, black

already made the decision it dawned on Graham

and Head of Music, Graham didn’t dare sit down in

and white nature. Students begin to realise that all

that it was a viable option for him too. Every seven

there for the first six months.

those little pieces of the GCSE jigsaw form one fully

years or so a new challenge (or position) would

integrated and amalgamated picture at A Level.

present itself and after 7 years as Head of Sixth

‘Once an organiser always an organiser’ could

Form it was time for change again, but this time

easily have been the title of this article. Graham’s list

As former Head of Sixth Form he has wise words for

leading out of the School gates. The Wednesday

of achievements is extensive, in fact so extensive

A Level students...

before half term, and following a kitchen meeting

that I can see why he was such an inspiration to so many students. His voluntary work outside of School was as substantial as it was in, and all on top of an incredibly successful teaching career.

with his wife Barbara, he informed Bernard

“Don’t relax, GCSEs are just the first step in your career,

Trafford (Head 1990-2008) of his intention to retire. As you can imagine though he is as busy as ever, never a dull moment or a dull day.

It’s difficult to give a snapshot as over the years

the most important one will

aside from all the sports coaching, Graham ran the

be the next two years. Work

Graham doesn’t stray far from WGS though, life-

town team badminton leagues; was Housemaster,

consistently and engage from

long friendships have been forged with staff and

Head of Maths and Head of Sixth Form; produced a succession of successful Oxbridge candidates;

day one otherwise you will

instigated the Governors versus Staff annual golf

easily become lost. Grab the

tournament and Leavers’ Celebration Dinners;

chance and do not waste the

managed overseas tours; was Chairman of Novus Badminton, member of Shifnal Golf, Coseley Cricket

opportunity that this wonderful

and Tennis Clubs; Match Secretary for South Staffs

School presents. Life is easier if

Badminton Leagues; South Staffs men’s Mixed

you work consistently.”

former students (now spread all over the world) and he is still, much to our delight, a regular supporter of School events.

For more information about forthcoming events go to www.wgs.org.uk/alumni or email development @wgs-sch.net

Doubles, Wombourne Tennis Club Doubles and Mixed champion and more!

One of his proudest achievements was the Fun Run. Who could have known his call to action after assembly one morning in Big School, would lead to 430 runners turning out that first year and raising £4K for Compton Hospice. Graham ran the 13 mile course each year before any of the participants were even out of bed! In just seven years this charitable event went on to raise in excess of £50K, in Graham’s own words...

“typical of WGS students pulling together”. Other highlights have been the 22 consecutive ski trips, meeting the Duchess of Kent, the badminton club French exchanges and playing for the Headmaster’s XI, beating the students for the first time ever with a hat trick of wickets taken with the last three balls of the match. Running out the Bishop of Shrewsbury though was not such a fine moment!

Graham’s legacy as an inspirational teacher has been marked this year by former pupils who wished to contribute to the School and the teacher who helped open up their world of opportunity. One of these was Robert Zeps (OW 1988), the generous benefactor of the new Graham Lewis Maths Scholarship Award. Graham’s love of Maths is clear. Putting aside the



‘Animal’ by Katie Guest Senior Laboratory Technician, Rob Walker celebrated 40 years at WGS this year. Head of Development, Katie Guest talked all things flora, fauna and entomology.

“...it compliments my love of insects” he added. Following my first foray into the Biology

“Very knowledgeable, hands on, friendly, funny, insightful,

prep room on a pre-

reassuring and trustworthy.” All words used to describe our

open day tour route

Senior Laboratory Technician Rob Walker. He joined WGS from


Smestow School in 1976, to follow in the footsteps of senior

mission (a route

technician Bob Andrews. Mr Spurgeon he recognised at interview

never to disappoint

as the man with the ‘guns’ at Aldersley Stadium (he started all the

young visitors)

schools’ athletics races of which Rob, a county runner, was a regular

it became clear that

participant) and this clearly swung Rob’s decision to take the job …or

Rob was a bit of Dr

was that due to the record breaking heatwave of ‘76 and the fact he

Doolittle surrounded

wasn’t expected to wear a tie? With a keen interest in Entomology from an early age, Rob’s career aspirations were simple ‘something in science, preferably biology related’. He wasn’t allowed to keep pets as a child, so satisfied his curiosity with a collection of creepy crawlies collected in reinforced matchboxes. It was a hobby not shared by his brother or anyone in the family for that matter and certainly provided bedroom security flora and fauna style.

Rob soon discovered that there was to be no hiding in the technician room washing test tubes. A greater presence was expected in the classroom assisting with practicals and demonstrations. He found this hands on involvement with the students

incredibly rewarding and appears to be where he gains the most enjoyment from his job. A job which indulges this love of Entomology, the great outdoors and in more recent years a renewed love for photography...



by the many reptiles, bugs and spiders. His

public eye, but Rob would rather champion

“I don’t think there was anyone who went

nickname though is apparently ‘Animal’ after

the less cute and cuddly wildlife of eels,

to the Grammar School who didn’t know

the wild and frenzied drummer of Dr Teeth and

tarantulas and such like and see these

Rob. He provided something for the school

The Electric Mayhem, the fictional band from

projected into the spotlight. A European eel

that I don’t think exists in any other school,

The Muppet Show. A self-professed rocker,

spends its early years in our rivers before

he provided a space, simply referred to as the

who has ridden motorbikes since the age of 17,

heading out to sea, across the Atlantic to

lab. The lab was a space anyone could go to

once a regular at the Springhill (a well known

the Sargasso Sea in the western Atlantic

for any number of reasons, they could visit

bikers pub in Wolverhampton), having sported

near the Bahamas to breed. Their eggs

whatever menagerie of animals were present

(he will say so himself) considerably more hair

hatch into transparent larvae and make

at the time (from the ancient ‘Monty’ python

in his younger days and a champion of the less

the return journey to Europe floating on

to locusts), to getting help with work from

cuddly wildlife, it fits perfectly!

oceanic currents. By the time they reach

an older student, or you could do what most

our shores, they have developed into tiny

people did, which was just hang out with Rob.”

Rob isn’t just a technician he is an intricate

glass eels that swim against the current into

Alex Purchase (OW 2013)

part of the pastoral fabric of the school

Europe’s waters. As you can see his love of

having over the years become a student

the unusual is addictive.

counsellor, St John’s First Aider, helped run squash teams, running club, the angling

Ask Rob about his likes, he says pretty much

team (back in the 1970s) and assisting with

everything and that it would be easier to ask

school trips. Particular highlights being the

him about his dislikes, ‘cats’ and ‘invasive alien

alpine habitat of the Picos de Europa in

species’, the first is quite simple they kill too

Northern Spain, the many geography trips

many other wildlife and there are too many of

(earning him honorary membership to the

them. The latter is more complex, the invasive

Geography Department) and learning to ski!

traits of flora for example: rhododendrons,

His great rapport with the students though has meant that the labs have created a safe haven for many, giving them another purpose and new interests. Rob gains a great deal of satisfaction assisting in the training of new technicians, bridging the gap between the old and new. His training consisted of day release to Bilston College in City and Guilds Laboratory Technicians Certificate, a

himalayan balsalm and Japanese knotweed.

“While I was at school, I watched Rob facilitate

Beautiful in people’s gardens but as escapees

‘WOW club’. This essentially meant he would

on the hillsides or by rivers creates a

sit in a room full of books, animals and

monoculture where nothing else can live and

preserved specimens every lunch time, put up

the killing of biodiversity.

with us, and answer any questions me and my friends had on our minds. He taught us about

Dissections are his favourite practical and

all the animals and he regurgitated interesting

with the increasing competition amongst

facts from the books. Over my years at WGS he

medical applicants a necessary skill to be

told me a lot about his experiences in life which

had, the Biology Department are therefore

still resonate with me today.”

planning to increase their occurrence.

Ajit Singh Juss (OW 2013)

Asked how best he would describe himself as a technician “organised, adaptable, calm under pressure and telepathy is a marvellous skill to have.”

qualification now obsolete. Our technicians now flow from the ranks of university science graduates and he acknowledges that both routes have their advantages. The warm and cuddly pandas, tigers and elephants are easy on the media and Six years ago Rob was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML). Normal life expectancy is a reality thanks to the great advances in gene research and he is a walking advertisement for donating to cancer research charities. If you would like to donate please go to www.cancerresearchuk.org



Our Heritage Preserved

Student Archive Group

Zoe Rowley, Head Librarian, with the assistance of Tony Phillips (OW 1959) and our student Archive Group, have spent the year sorting through the growing contents of the Library’s Archive Room. A refurbishment of the display and storage furniture in the room was also completed over the summer has aided the conservation of the many important documents, photographs and artefacts relating to the School’s history.

Tony Phillips (OW 1959) and several students from Years 10 and 11 have been working to expand the Library Archive resources and communicate the School’s history to our current students. The past twelve months have seen them collate copies of the Wulfrunian back to 1885, put names to hundreds of photographs and even created a display in the Jenyns Library which highlights significant information about the history of Wolverhampton Grammar School. Many students have visited the library to learn more about their School’s history. They have also expressed a sense of pride to be part of a community with such a rich and successful past.

Some interesting discoveries included an array of photographs from the Queen’s visit to WGS in 1962, an ornate trowel used

Many thanks to Tony Phillips for volunteering his time to enrich our

to lay the foundation stone to the Gymnasium in 1914 and a key

students understanding of Wolverhampton Grammar School’s history.

presented to Warren Derry at the opening of the Derry Hall in 1960. These items are now proudly displayed in the Jenyns Library and have been a topic of discussion amongst our community.

The Viner Legacy September saw a welcome visit from John Viner, son of the former Head of Art and namesake of the Viner Gallery. John dropped in to The wealth of information this room holds dates back to as early as 1805. If you would like to visit the archives, spend some time looking through the records, help us put faces to names or donate

donate a number of his father’s books, a beautiful map dated 1754 depicting the School’s original site in Wolverhampton prior to its move to the Compton Road.

your own documents or photographs, please contact Zoe Rowley at zer@wgs-sch.net or Katie Guest at development@wgs-sch.net and we will be more than happy to accommodate any requests.

Charles Viner’s’ legacy is as strong as ever in School thanks to James Millichamp’s (Head of Art) work setting up The Charles Viner Society. The Society was formed to recognise the work of the School

Pictured with Zoe is Andy Millichamp (OW 1984), our first visitor to the newly refurbished Archive Room.

programme. With Chair and Vice Chairs nominated from our Lower Sixth, it is their responsibility to promote exhibitions and visual arts

Archiving Lunches

throughout School, coordinating our art students in presenting and

Interested in joining us for an Archivists Lunch? Join John Johnson and Tony Phillips (OW 1959) for a couple of hours and lunch to help date photographs, put names to faces or donate your own mementos – please contact Katie Guest on development@wgs-sch.net for more information.


gallery’s namesake and to emphasise the importance of our gallery

supporting our lecture and exhibition programme and in running activities for our younger students. If you are interested in hearing about the programme of Art, Drama or Music events for 2017 please email development@wgs-sch.net and we will ensure that you are on the mailing list.


Young Aspiring Writers’ are Encouraged by Published OWs One of the main objectives of WGS’

through library research skills lessons,

published works of former students. If you

Library Service is to provide students

regular author visits and creative

are a former student who has published

with the skills necessary to become

writing opportunities. One of the most

work, then we would be thrilled to hear

independent learners, lifelong readers

inspiring and motivational experiences

from you and add you to our library.

and proficient writers. This is all achieved

for our students is to meet and read the

Published Titles from OWs

Blackout, Austerity and Price -

The Boy with the Top Knot -

Genes and Behaviour, Nature-Nurture

Roger Atkinson OBE (OW 1940)

Sathnam Sanghera (OW 1995)

Interplay Explained -

Roger Atkinson returned to WGS in March

Sathnam Sanghera was born to Punjabi

Sir Michael Rutter (OW 1946)

this year clutching not only his new book,

parents in the West Midlands. In 1987 he

Born into a family of medical doctors in Beirut

but his First Form prize, an original 1913

attended Wolverhampton Grammar School

in 1933, Sir Michael arrived in England at the

copy of ‘The History of the Wolverhampton

and graduated from Christ’s College,

tender age of three. With the start of WWII

Grammar School’ by Gerald Mander (pictured

Cambridge with a first class degree in English

approaching and worries about a possible

below), presented to him by Warren Derry on

Language and Literature in 1998.

invasion, his parents reluctantly decided to

Founder’s Day in 1938.

send Michael and his sister to the US for Sathnam’s first book, The Boy with the

safety. There, he was fostered by a loving

Roger’s roaring rendition of Onward Christian

Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies

family with whom he still keeps in contact

Soldiers in Big School was in stark contrast

in Wolverhampton, was shortlisted for the

to this day. On returning to England, he

to the School’s chaplain visit to his parents

2008 Costa Biography Award, the 2009 PEN/

attended Wolverhampton Grammar School

requesting he refrain from singing ‘out of

Ackerley Prize and named 2009 Mind Book

which led him to medical school at the

tune’ in assembly.

of the Year. It is being adapted for TV, to air

University of Birmingham where an unusually

on the BBC in the Autumn of 2017.

high number of his contemporaries also

‘Blackout, Austerity and Pride’, Roger’s book,

became distinguished psychiatrists.

is a social history based on the period from

English Language and Punctuation Booklet

1939 to 1952. Not based on battles, but

- Keith Williams (OW 1951)

In this book, eminent scientist Professor Sir

civilian life during the war and in the years

Keith attended WGS from 1946-51. He went

Michael Rutter gets behind the hype of the

of extreme austerity that followed, but that

on work for Manders, Morlock Industries and

behavioural genetics debate to provide a

nonetheless were lived through with pride.

Hostess Furniture Limited before becoming

balanced and authoritative overview of the

a college lecturer

genetic revolution and its implications for

in Dolgellau, North

understanding human behaviour.

West Wales for 20 years. Keith has kindly donated a copy of his book to the School’s library

HAVE YOU BEEN PUBLISHED? We would love to here about your published works - email us at development@wgs-sch.net

for student loan.



Student of the Great War The Somme. Even the word sounds sombre. But one hundred years

the battlefield for themselves. The locations Tony describes, and

on, it is surely right that the battle is being commemorated in these

the individuals associated with them, will be integral to the visit.

pages, and by the OW who perhaps knows the most about it, Mr

In addition, there is a short piece here about the unveiling of the

Tony Phillips. Tony’s ‘Somme Odyssey’ is much more than a visitor’s

Esclusham Memorial Sculptures. Congratulations to John Perkins

guide. Alongside the topography of the Somme are the human

for designing such a fitting tribute.

stories that make a trip to the battlefield so memorable. Next summer, a party of Year 10 students will visit the Somme, and see

By Russell Charlesworth

A Somme Odyssey 2016 by Tony Phillips (OW 1959) A tour of the Somme more especially in this year

A little further south is Sheffield Memorial Park,

Germans. An instruction replicated all along

the 100th Anniversary of that battle, the images of

a must for any visitor wishing to contemplate the

the line, leading to carnage, unfortunately

which are so enduring, is a humbling experience

task confronting the Pals Battalions in their attack

deemed the appropriate tactics at the time. Just

and even after over twenty-five years of such visits

upon Serre. Stand in the front line trench, shallow

a little further on is Newfoundland Park, with its

never fails to move one. Despite its history and

now, and walk slowly uphill towards the German

preserved trenches and, from the mound, atop

somewhat ominous sounding name, the Somme

line. This the troops did, but they faced a wall

of which is the Caribou monument, a panoramic

region is actually a delightful area, with gently

of lead, with shells bursting all around and the

view of the battlefield.

rolling hills, woodlands and villages through which

smoke of battle obliterating everything.

the rivers Somme and Ancre wend their tranquil

The Newfoundland Regiment was not in the first

ways. A student of The Great War will find it easy,

From the Park it is possible to walk over Redan

wave of the attack on 1st July, but later, at 9.15am,

assisted by appropriate battlefield maps, to chart

Ridge, along the German front line and down into

it went over the top with 780 officers and men.

the course of the 1916 attack from the Gommecourt

Beaumont Hamel. A 360 degree turn at the top

Within half an hour it had sustained 90% dead or

Salient in the north to the Albert – Peronne road in

reveals some ten cemeteries, whilst in the folds of

missing, including all 22 officers. Only 68 men

the south. Over the 15 miles of the L-shaped front

the terrain are a further dozen. The biggest, Serre

were available for roll call next day. This Park and

such success as was achieved was principally in the

No.2 Cemetery, constructed on the front line

Vimy Ridge are the principal places of pilgrimage

southern Fricourt - Mametz area, whilst the northern

contains the graves of 7127 men mostly dating

for Canadians.

sector was notable for horrendous casualties.

from 1916. Given its location, it is small wonder that 4944 are unidentified.

Gommecourt Wood was, although not situated on the usual high ground favoured by the German defenders, a formidable target and the attack thereon was regarded as a diversion from the main assaults further down the line at Serre, Beaumont Hamel, Thiepval.

crossing, thence up to the Ulster Tower, the At Beaumont Hamel, stand at the entrance to the

Connaught Cemetery, the Schwaben Redoubt

Sunken Lane, from where the Lancashire Fusiliers

and the magnificent Thiepval Memorial. Of the

walked into oblivion. A hundred yards away is

latter, amongst the 72000 names thereon, are

the position from where Geoffrey Malins filmed

those of 14 Old Boys, Mill Road Cemetery, created

the Hawthorn Ridge mine explosion. Despite

upon the Schwaben Redoubt is the grave of

the attack being timed for 7.30am, the mine

Pierce Mandeville.

was deliberately fired at 7.20am. The Germans, relatively unscathed in their 30ft deep shelters,

Mouquet (Mucky) Farm and Poziers (both sacred

It failed through lack of support, and not, as was

emerged from the debris re-positioned their

to Australians), Lochnagar Crater, High Wood,

suggested by one irresponsible General because

machine guns and inflicted slaughter upon the

Mametz Wood (of the 38th Welsh Division

of cowardice, a charge long-since been disproved

advancing troops.

immortal memory), Deville Wood (South Africa’s

since dead and dying men hanging on the wire are incapable of further advance. The 46th


The road then leads down the hill to the Ancre

coming of age) and on to Fricourt and Mametz. To cross the road into the Old Beaumont Road,

Scant justice can here be done to the brave

North Midland Division involved in this

a jumping-off point on 1st July, and then turn

deeds of the troops in these

action contained many Black Country

up the hill towards Hawthorn Ridge is another

places. The greatest success

men, as evidenced by reading

sobering experience. No cover; orders not to

was achieved in Fricourt -

the CWGC registers in the nearby

stop to assist the wounded; merely walk towards

Mametz, although still at


the, theoretically, shattered wire and demoralised

great cost.


Legendary exploits, such as the encouragement

now replaced by a stone tablet, upon which they

of his troops at Carnoy by Captain “Billy” Neville

inscribed the following words, arguably the most

kicking footballs into No Man’s Land as he led

poignant of all tributes:- The Devonshires held

his men over the top is one such to be recalled.

this trench. The Devonshires hold it still.

Sadly, he was killed minutes into the attack. Along the whole of the front line ceremonies have

At Mansell Copse is the Devonshire’s Cemetery. Captain Martin clearly foresaw the carnage to be inflicted upon his troops by a machine gun sited at ‘The Shrine’ opposite their position. William Noel Hodgson, ‘The Gentle Poet’, composed a poem, Before Action, two days before the battle, anticipating his death. Despite a degree of success, the action in this area cost many lives.

been held, tributes paid and memorials unveiled.

30 Former Students Killed in Action During 1916 Baker T* - 1st July 1916 age 34 Beal A - 16th May 1916 age 23

During the 141 days of the Battle of the Somme

Bendall A C V - on/around 1st July 1916 age 21

over one million casualties were sustained by

Birch P G - 24th August 1916 age 23

the combined armies of both sides. The German

Castle S - 16th July 1916 age 19

casualties approached fifty per cent of that total,

Christian E C - 11th September 1916 age 21

although estimates do vary. However, one fact must

Court W N - 2nd April 1916 age 20

never be overlooked. The conditions endured, the

Ecclestone E - on/around 4th August 1916 age 20

terrain, the mud, the weather, the privations, the

Edkins P E - 16th July 1916 age 24

slaughter and, above all, the sheer terror and horror

Groves W N - 1st July 1916 age 20

of battle were the same for both sides.

Hoole L A - 20th July 1916 age 23 Hoole R H - 21st August 1916 age 24

Perhaps, when one hears the words of Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’, it is appropriate

In the evening of 1st July, the 8th and 9th Devons

to include in one’s thoughts all the combatants of

laid to rest, in the trench from which they had

this ghastly conflict.

attacked that morning, over 160 of their fallen

Kendrick H M - 18th September 1916 age 25 Lloyd Parton N - 13th November 1916 age 32 Mandeville P*- 28th September 1916 age unknown Mathie W S - 27th May 1916 age 28 Molineux A - 28th July 1916 age 20

comrades, including Captain Martin and William

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

Page R - 1st July 1916 age 23

Noel Hodgson. They erected a wooden cross,

we will remember them. We will remember them

Phipps R P - on/around 18th May 1916 age 19 Piper H - 1st July 1916 age 27 Robinson N J - 4th June 1916 age 20 Summers H - 15th September 1916 age 19 Swallows J R - 8th July 1916 age 28 Voyce T A - 9th July 1916 age 29 Walters H - 25th April 1916 age 25 Warner A F - 29th October 1916 age 21 Webb D S - 21st October 1916 age 19 Whitehouse H - 1st July 1916 age 21 Willcock F N - 23rd July 1916 age 30 Willcock R C - 10th July 1916 age 20

* Former Wolverhampton Grammar School Masters

Invitation to Open Lecture

War Fallen are Honoured with Lasting Tribute Kathy Crewe-Read and James Millichamp (Head of Art) joined veterans of the

The Viner Gallery hosts lectures

Normandy Landings and the Korean War,

for students and guests the first

former service personnel, representatives

Friday of every month. Guest

from the RAF and Merchant Navy

speaker Paul Norgate (OW 1965)

Associations and other invited guests for a

will be speaking about WWI

ceremony at Rhostyllen Memorial Gardens

Memorials and in particular the

to witness the official unveiling of the

work of William Storr Barber

Esclusham Memorial Sculptures.

on the 3rd March 2017. If you would like to attend this lecture please contact Gail Evans (email) development@wgs-sch.net

Eclusham Council wished to mark the WWI centenary commemorations by commissioning sculptures designed by our very own former Head of Art John Perkins (pictured far left).



In Fond Remembrance The following pages remember OWs and former staff who have passed away this year. Written by their family, fellow classmates and colleagues they are a fitting tribute to their memory and connection with WGS. If you know of an OW or former member of staff who has sadly passed away, please do get in touch with School so that we can ensure they also are remembered in future editions of the Wulfrunian.

Peter Fredric Williams (OW 1966)

Mary Elizabeth Wilmot - Former Bursar

Peter Allan (OW 1946)

Sadly passed away 20th March 2016

Sadly passed away 16th June 2016

Sadly passed away 8th July 2016

Peter Williams was a distinguished harpsichordist

Mary joined WGS in 1978 from a solicitors office in

Born in Stafford and educated at WGS between

and a leading authority on the music of Johann

Wolverhampton as an administrator. She joined Mrs

1943 and 1946, Peter served in the British Navy for

Sebastian Bach. Born in Wolverhampton on

Nancy Taylor, Bursar, in the Finance Office as Finance

two years before immigrating to Canada in 1953.

14th May 1937 into a Methodist family; he

Manager in 1994 and in turn became Bursar in 2000.

Settling in Vancouver, he spent his summer’s timbre

moved to the Church of England when he

cruising on Vancouver Island which fostered a love

became a choirboy at St Leonard’s, Bilston. At

Outside of School she was a member of the

and appreciation of nature that never left him and

Wolverhampton Grammar School, where he was

Sorotimists, worked with the Brownies, Haven and

which financed his way through the University of

inspired by Frank Rust, the music master, he was

her local church. Her retirement in 2009 allowed her

British Columbia, earning him a BA and MA in French

a contemporary of Mervyn King. He read Music

time to enjoy her garden, holidaying, Brownie camps,

Studies and PhD in French Literature at the University

at St John’s College, Cambridge, where his PhD

lunches with Annie and other friends and time with her

of Toronto.

was on the church organ in Georgian England.

growing family.

From there he became a lecturer at the University

A Professor of French at Mount Allison University in

of Edinburgh, overseeing its Russell Collection of

Mary was a kind, caring, thoughtful, warm hearted

Sackville, highlights being fellowships to Comargo

early musical instruments, organising concerts and

friend who always had time to help others. She had

Foundation in Cassis, France and University of Oxford.

playing snooker in the academics’ bar with Peter

a wonderful sense of humour and never had enough

Higgs, of the Higgs boson. In 1982 he became the

time in the day to do what she had planned. She is

His retirement years in Halifax were spent sailing with

first chairman of performance practice in Britain.

missed greatly.

Judie on his boat “Candide”, volunteering for Canadian Power and Sail, the Tall Ships Festival , leading French

Married for 45 years, Mary is survived by her husband

conversation classes at Stadacona Military Base, a

David, her children Sarah, Emma and Chris and four

fondness for lawn bowling and travelling.

grandchildren. Diane Hartshorne - Colleague and friend

A quiet and unassuming man, albeit with a sharp wit. He loved good food, wine and conversation. He had a deep and enduring love of language and his writing skills either English or French were meticulous. He is

Appointed professor at Duke University, North

survived by his wife of 54 years, Judie, two children,

Carolina, in 1985. A decade later he took up a

two grandchildren and sister Patricia.

senior position at the University of Cardiff. In

Sarah Allan - Daughter

retirement he continued producing reviews and sleeve notes, including for Vladimir Ashkenazy’s recording of The Well-Tempered Clavier.

Peter Williams died on the eve of the anniversary of Bach’s birth and hours after reading the proofs for his final book on the composer.

He is survived by his wife Rosemary Seymour, their two sons, and a daughter and a son from a previous marriage. Edited version of ‘The Times’ Obituary

Members of our community who sadly passed away during 2015 – 2016 Victor Astill Former Teacher Sadly passed away 10th April 2016. Colin H Davies (OW 1956) Sadly passed away 21st June 2016, at the age of 75 years. Suzanne Amanda Hallam (Mandy) Former Teacher Sadly passed away 24th September 2016.


Doreen May Hill (nee Griffiths) Former Governor Sadly passed away 14th January 2016, at the age of 83 years.

Robert (Bob) E Lister Former Senior Biology Master 1955-68 Sadly passed away October 2016, at the fantastic age of 104 years.

Doreen leaves her husband Francis also an OW, and loving family. She is truly missed by all her friends and family.

The Lister Lab here at school was reconstructed in 1962 and named after him. He will be dearly missed by his friends and family.


Dr Stuart Stevens (OW 1980)

Jack Hewitt (OW 1941)

Sadly passed away February 2016

Sadly passed away 23rd December 2015

Stu Stevens was a great enthusiast, who lived life

Jack attended WGS from 1925 until 1941. His final

to the full and inspired others with his infectious

two years at school were in 6th Classical and, at

passion for music. His all too short life was lived

the time of his death, he was still able to translate

in many phases, but music was the consistent

Latin to English without difficulty.

thread throughout. At WGS he played cornet in the school brass band and lead guitar in two

In 1941, articled to T J Wellesbury at Skelding

groups and was active in scouts and venture

and Boucher, he joined the army in 1943 rising to

scouts, where his father Allan was a leader.

the rank of Captain, serving in India, Burma and the Gold Coast. Demobbed in 1947 he rejoined

From WGS he went to Birmingham to study

Skelding and Boucher qualifying as a Chartered

medicine, but dropped out working in a science

Auctioneer in 1950, the same year he married

laboratory, before converting to Christianity and

then PhD. Tragically, Stuart died suddenly in

Betty, and not long after was made partner.

becoming a parish evangelist. He retrained as a

February 2016, before completing his PhD but,

Married for 65 years they had two sons.

radiographer and worked at Good Hope Hospital.

fittingly, Birmingham City University awarded his

Two more bands and music writing followed,

doctorate posthumously.

he still didn’t make the elusive breakthrough he hoped for.

Jack was a founder member, Vice-President and President of Tettenhall Round Table. He gave

It is a sad irony that he was just realising his

46 years’ service to local Boys Clubs and was

musical potential when he died. In recognition

President of the Wolverhampton Clubs for Young

A visit to Ground Zero in New York inspired the

of his life and work, a memorial concert to

People. Initiated into the Old Wulfrunians Lodge

final phase of his life. With no previous formal

honour him and featuring his main PhD piece

7411 in 1967, he became Master in 1978 and 2005

musical training, he submerged himself for

will be filmed and recorded by Birmingham City

and a prominent member of a number of side

months in composing and arranging a piece

University in July 2017 at the new Conservatoire.

orders of Freemasonry.

It was performed by Birmingham Philharmonic

Stuart is survived by parents Allan and Joan and

He dedicated himself to many good causes and

Orchestra at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

by his partner Gordon.

worked assiduously to improve the lives of many

The springboard for a Masters degree and

Simon George (OW 1980)

people without any thought of reward for himself.

about 9/11 for orchestra, choir and rock band.

A social golfer, Secretary of the Old Wulfrunians Golf Society and Captain and President of Oxley

Nancy Taylor - Former Bursar


Sadly passed away 20th February 2016 Squadron Leader Nancy Taylor, Bursar of

Jack had a full and active life, but, in his final year,

Wolverhampton Grammar School for ten years prior to

old age and its associated problems caught up

her retirement in 1997, sadly passed away in February

with him quickly. Those who knew Jack know

this year.

he was true and trusty, held in high esteem by his fellows, exemplary in conduct, courteous in

Nancy was a truly remarkable leader to all who served

manner, easy of address and steady and firm in

her, never suffering fools lightly, strict, dedicated,

principle. Because of these characteristics he

kind and loyal with a wicked sense of humour. Every

became known as “Uncle Jack” and was always

Christmas she would thank all non-teaching staff with

available to offer advice and guidance when

a party, the tables would be groaning with food and a


good time was had by all. It can certainly be said that Jack Hewitt lived She was indeed one special lady whom I will never

respected and died regretted.

forget and will always remember with much fondness.

Ed Humphries (OW 1953)

Marian Greene

Members of our community who sadly passed away during 2015 – 2016 Robert (Bob) Alan Page (OW 1972) Sadly passed away 15th June 2016, at the age of 62 years.

David Pottinger (OW 1948) Sadly passed away 8th November 2016, at the age of 86 years.

Malcolm C Shuttleworth (OW 1957) Sadly passed away 1st December 2015, at the age of 76 years.

He leaves his wife Patricia and daughters Lucy and Amy who are also OWs. He will be missed by all.

Gary Anthony Russell (OW 1989) Sadly passed away 14th March 2016 at the age of 45 years.

William Ewart Titley (OW 1952) Sadly passed away December 2015, at the age of 82 years. C E Peter Windridge (OW 1931) Sadly passed away 5th October 2016.



Trevor Whitehouse

“Trevor stood out as someone who was both

Sadly passed away 29th August 2016 Trevor returned to teach at WGS in 1958 before gaining promotion to Second Master at Dudley Grammar School in 1968. During those ten years he

supportive and realistic in what he expected us to achieve. Not so much a hard task master as a tough mentor who made us realise that with hard work much could be achieved. He always expected the

Order of Service influenced the lives of many hundreds of boys, as a

teacher of mathematics, a CCF officer and shooting

highest standards for himself and his pupils. Teachers are enormously influential in shaping the lives of those they teach and I for one owe a great deal to Trevor”.

Meryvn King (OW 1966) A service of with his continual brightcommemoration good humour and energetic enthusiasm and his ‘can do’ approach to life. He was and thanksgiving for the life Not ofalways known for his punctuality – he was often coach, as Master in Charge of Athletics, but, above all,

Trevor Whitehouse able to bring out the best in boys simply by his warm support for them and the confidence he gave them.

ten or fifteen minutes late for lessons, bursting through the door, usually with three briefcases, one in each hand and one under his arm.

Malcolm Arthur Fisher (OW 1953) Sadly passed away 7th March 2016 A successful student from 1945-1953, winning class prizes and the Combined Cadet Force shooting cup. He may have had mixed feelings about having to do National Service before going to university, but it was while serving at Bradbury Lines in Hereford that he met the love of his life, his wife Beryl.

With a BSc degree in General Sciences from St John’s College, Durham in 1958, Malcolm returned to WGS to take up a teaching post and the Combined Cadet Force, as Lieutenant Fisher.

His ability to ‘charm the birds off the trees’ was another of his endearing qualities. Who else would have been able to take over the Board Room as his personal office during the athletics season? His energy, enthusiasm, attention to detail and high standards promoting School athletics put WGS at the forefront locally and nationally.

This duffle-coated, consulate-smoking, Triumph Herald driving, beer drinking, good humoured, caring, supportive, charming, hard-working, energetic, enthusiastic, mathematically and athletically talented inspirational teacher who touched the lives of so many of us. As former head boy Brodie Dempster wrote, he could not have had a better example to lead him into

Moving into the Further Education, first at Dudley

adulthood and his world feels that bit emptier of good

Technical College in 1961 and later the newly

people now that Trevor has left us. A sentiment with

opened Stevenage College in 1964, first as

which so many others most heartily concur.

Lecturer and later as Senior Lecturer in Maths and

Nick Ward (OW 1968)

26 April 1932 – 29 August 2016

Science, Malcolm was described by many as a

Friday 16 September 2016 Sadly passed away 20th January 2016 11.00 am Many OWs will learn with sadness of the death earlier this year of ‘KGP’Crematorium – Ken Parker, who joined Stourbridge

He took early retirement in 1990 and with Beryl



patient and gifted teacher.

th Kenneth George Parker

and their three children moved to Sutton St Nicholas, Hereford. Working part-time at the local Technical and Sixth Form Colleges, he played the organ at Withington Church and they were happy

the English Department at WGS in 1954.

to have returned to the area where they met and courted.

An inspiring and uncompromising teacher, Ken became Head of English in 1958. For many

In 1995 Malcolm contracted Guillain-Barré

years at WGS he gave unsparingly of his time to

Syndrome, a rare and serious condition which

sports and other extra-curricular activities, and

made it difficult for him to walk and shortly

was a driving force in School and House drama

afterwards Beryl was diagnosed with cancer,

productions. He left WGS in 1966 to become

dying in 1997. Moving to Leominster in 2004 to be

Headmaster of Atherstone Grammar School

nearer his daughter, he continued to collect coins

and, after a distinguished career, retired in 1988

and research his family history. Taking a creative

from his latest post, Headteacher at Arthur Terry

writing course, he turned some of his earliest

School, Sutton Coldfield. In retirement, Ken and

memories into stories and his love of history and

his wife Elizabeth (pictured) moved home to

books continued undiminished as did his wide

Edinburgh, to be near their daughter, Helen.

ranging love of music.

By Paul Norgate (OW 1965)

Rev Dr Ian St John Fisher’s - Son

Full obituaries can be found on the school website: www.wgs.org.uk/wulfrunian-magazine



COMMUNITY, EVENTS AND CELEBRATIONS You and Wolverhampton Grammar School – it’s a unique relationship for life. There are many ways for you to stay in touch with the

The OWA’s Annual Dinner is a highlight of the year and

School and fellow alumni, from reunions and School

OWs can also reunite in London and at the annual Sports

events, to joining the Old Wulfrunians Association

Festival at School in September. If you know of OWs

(OWA), your own dedicated areas of the School website

who are not in touch with the School please urge them

www.wgs.org.uk/alumni and of course your Wulfrunian

to get in contact and share their story – from Albrighton


to Zimbabwe, it’s never been easier to make sure you stay connected with WGS and your School friends. Full details are provided on page 62.



Old Wulfrunians Association Supporting OWs and our School Community would not be possible

was established much later to provide a forum for US based OWs.

without the enthusiasm of lifelong friends, colleagues and the Old

Our US former students also explore ways of supporting the School

Wulfrunians Association and Old Wulfrunians in America.

to ensure it can continue to meet the needs of students now, as it did when they were in attendance.

The Old Wulfrunians Association (OWA) can trace its origins back to the time when the School moved to Compton Road in the late 19th

The work of these two groups, along with the many events, reunions

century. As such, it has provided a valued way of helping former

and support of our OW community helps keep us connected. The

pupils to keep in touch with each other through sporting and social

School is forever grateful for all the hard work and hours put forward

activities, the principal of which is the Annual Dinner held, usually, at

by so many OWs to keep our community alive.

the beginning of March in Big School. Old Wulfrunians in America Inc.

Report from David Cook (OW 1978) Chairman of the Old Wulfrunians Association The last twelve months has seen the Old

in 1974 and has been a permanent fixture ever

Wulfrunians Association (OWA) and School

since – both in the science labs and sports

continuing to work even closer together to

pitch. His wife Lynne ran the School Library for

generate alumni interest.

a number of years and his children Tom (OW 2002 and former Head Boy), Holly (OW 2005)

This coming year will see a few changes,

and Natalie (OW 2008) are all former pupils

President Glyn Thomas steps down at the

and regular supporters of OWA events.

annual OWA dinner in March and Vice

Andrew Husselbee graduating (with a blue

President, Dr Andrew Husselbee (OW 1979)

for football) from St John’s College Oxford,

The next annual dinner is to be held in Big

(pictured), stepping up into the role. We would

famous for his six goals in four Varsity Matchs

School on Saturday 11th March 2017, when

like to take this opportunity to thank Glyn for

at Wembley from 1981 to 1984 (pictured) and

we will take great pleasure welcoming Old

his major contribution to the association, an

infamous for his failure to diagnose his own

Wulfrunian and TV sports presenter Jacqui

excellent job and for his ever wise counsel

broken leg following an Old Wulfrunians game

Oatley MBE, featured earlier in the magazine,

over the past two years.

some years later, is a regular visitor to School

as guest speaker. Don’t delay in booking your

and events. The Husselbee family are well

tickets as this event has been a sell out in

known, Andrew having attended the School

recent years.

along with his brothers, John and David, and in more recent years as parent, to former

Next year’s OWA London Reunion has been

students Freya, Keziah and Tom.

moved back to June. Traditionally held in February we hope to take advantage of the

We are also pleased to report that John

lighter evenings and warmer weather, this will

Johnson has agreed to become our next

be held on Tuesday 27th June 2017 at the

Vice President. John, better known as ‘JJ’,

Merchant Taylors’ Hall, Threadneedle Street.

although not a student of Wolverhampton

This is an increasingly popular event and we

Grammar School can certainly boast a lifetime

would be delighted if you could join us for

commitment to the School. He joined the staff

summer drinks in the city.

1991 Leavers 25th Anniversary The 2017 OWA dinner will be the reunion setting for the Class of 1992, if you haven’t already been contacted by Chris Boyce expect the ‘call’ in the coming months. If you would like further details, please contact Nic Anderson by email on njca@wgs-sch.net

The OWA dinner 25th Anniversary Leavers reunions are definitely gathering pace, last year Nick Berriman (OW 1991) reunited representatives from his Class of 1991. It was great to welcome back Mark Anderson, Greg Asbury, James Oxley, Giles Tinsley, Simon Earwicker and Kevin Rathbone. They were given a tour of the school by Nic Anderson and then joined the other guests for dinner and speeches.



Old Wulfrunians in America Our network of former students continues to spread worldwide and we are delighted to be represented by the official group Old Wulfrunians in America. Becoming a member of this community brings with it an opportunity to share your views, receive regular news updates and benefit from their 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Robin Cooper (OW 1956), the group’s President, writes to former students living and working in the USA.

Dear Old Wulfrunians It is a time of change both in the UK with Brexit and the US’s election

have all the information available to you should you also like

of Trump, but one thing that doesn’t change is the right of a child to the

to make a contribution to supporting the future education

best education and opportunity available to them. Many of our fellow

of financially needy, but bright children to the School. The

Old Wulfrunians were lucky enough to be recipients of the Assisted

more we donate, the more we benefit as individuals but so

Places Scheme and in turn, enjoyed an education at Wolverhampton

does our group and those children we can provide with the

Grammar School that has contributed to our individual successes.

opportunity to reach and succeed as we have done.

As President of the Old Wulfrunians In America charity, I have been

There are lots of ways to give and giving couldn’t be easier.

working closely with the School to ensure that you receive regular

Details are available on the School’s website www.wgs.org.

updates and have the opportunity to share your views. You may or may

uk/alumni or you can contact me direct by email

not also be aware that we are also currently supporting two students


at School who, following financial difficulties out of their control, are continuing to benefit from Wolverhampton Grammar School education.

Let’s see if we can give back to our former school the best

This has made a massive difference to them, their families and their

way we know how… by opening the door to a once in a lifetime

future too and it’s something of which I am particularly proud.

education for a child who really deserves it.

The Old Wulfrunians In America Charity is exempt from tax on the

Best wishes

donations we receive and donations to us may be tax-deductible

Dr Robin D G Cooper, D.Sc., Ph.D. (OW 1956)

to our donors*. With the 31st December tax return deadline approaching we wanted to make sure that, if you want to, you

* seek advice from your financial advisor

Summer Return to the Fold

Kevin Blount (OW 1978) moved to Texas from the UK in 2005 as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Chart’s Energy and Chemicals Group after they

“I took a lot for granted during my time at WGS and as time has gone on I am increasingly appreciative of the opportunities I was given. Each

bought out a division of IMI

time I read a copy of the Wulfrunian

Marston. He left WGS at 16 for

or walk past the grounds I am

a technical apprenticeship with

impressed by how the School has

Dowty Boulton Paul, a decision

changed with the times and yet retained this core of

which was to prove the start of a very successful business career and as he says was undoubtedly aided by his time at WGS. In 2013 he moved into a corporate role with Chart as

excellence.” Nigel Blower (OW 1982) Philadelphia, USA

Vice President of Strategy and Business Development and in January this year joined Energy World as President of its US operations.

“When I examined what forces had contributed to my success I had to

Whilst Kevin has always been quietly proud of his time at WGS it was not until this Summer, during a trip to visit family and friends in the UK, that he finally walked back through the doors of Big School.

conclude that it was the education I was lucky to receive at WGS was in

We’re delighted to report he is now back in regular communication

the main responsible.”

and we’re looking forward to further visits. To read Kevin’s full story

Dr Robin D G Cooper (OW 1956)

go to www.wgs-sch.net/alumni

Indianapolis, USA



2016 Old Wulfrunians Association Annual Dinner Over 160 guests filled Big School on Saturday 27th February 2016 for the annual OWA dinner. Former staff, students and guests joined senior staff, School Directors and representatives for an evening packed full of memories, and a lavish three course dinner. Former students from the School (dating back to the Class of 1944 representatives Ben George, Gordon Williams and Basil Palmer) enjoyed time in Big School again as President of the OWA, Mr Glyn Thomas (OW 1959) presided over the evening. After dinner speeches were delivery by Andrew Husselbee (OW 1979) and Head, Kathy Crewe-Read. Nick Berriman (OW 1991) reunited representatives from his class of 1991 and our overseas guests Nile Green (OW 1990) from Los Angeles and Richard Sargeant (OW 1948) from Guernsey. Thanks went again to our OWA representatives, Stewart Ross (OW 1966) and Tony Phillips (OW 1959), for all their hard work in organising yet another memorable and successful event. We are delighted to announce our guest speaker for the 2017 dinner to be held in Big School on Saturday 11th March is Jacqui Oatley MBE (OW 1992). To book your ticket email: stewart.sueross@gmail.com



Were you in the Class of 1992? Greetings fellow 1992 leavers. Can you believe 25 years have

elapsed since our final year at WGS? It is great that many of you are still in contact via social media, but there’s no substitute for


meeting face to face. So here’s a date for your diaries - a ‘25 year

Saturday 11th March 2017

reunion at WGS on Saturday 11th March 2017’.

Big School - 6.30pm

It would be fantastic to get together to recreate the Sixth Form Common Room of ’92 for one night only and share the goings on of the last quarter of a century! If you can make it, it would be brilliant to see you there! If you are a 1992 leaver and wish to attend please contact Gail Evans (email) development@wgs-sch.net

Please RSVP to Stuart Ross (tel) 01902 846571 (email) stewart.sueross@gmail.com

Chris (Boycey) Boyce (OW 1992)



Over Six Decades of Former Students and Staff Reunite in London In February, former students and staff representing over six decades of WGS, came together in the grand surroundings of the Merchant Taylors’ Hall to reminisce, network and hear about plans for the School’s future at the annual London Reunion.

“The OW London reunion last Thursday was a super event and well worth going to – I travelled 5 hours to be there and it was great to catch up with some familiar faces as well as make some new OW friends – there always seems to be a friendly atmosphere at the event so it matters little if you don’t recognise many people – as we all have something in common through WGS. Many thanks for a great evening.”

said to me, and during the evening I was

reminisce, but equally to see how far our

friends from WGS. Looking through really old photographs was a memory jogger, quite literally, there was one of me running a half marathon with JJ; even one of my dad


As a student I remember what my teachers

as a teacher! A fantastic opportunity to

“It was great to meet up with some old

James Evans (OW 1984)

was both at school with and have taught.

reminded about what I have said to students

Becky Lumlock (OW 1991)

from around 1950.”

“It was great to see former students that I

former students have travelled in both their careers and personal lives.”

Nic Anderson, Deputy Head (OW 1990) Join us for the next London Reunion, but this time on a summer’s evening. Book your place at the London Reunion on Tuesday 27th June from 5.30pm. Email Katie and Gail on development@wgs-sch.net or see the website for more information www.wgs.org.uk/alumni


London Reunion Tuesday 27th June 2017 from 5.30pm Merchant Taylors’ Company, London Email development@wgs-sch.net



Sports Festival 2016 The annual Old Wulfrunians Sports Festival is as much an opportunity for current staff and students to play sport as it is a reunion for former students. Despite poor weather (the first time in many years) this year’s event in September had a fantastic turnout, with teams and spectators including staff, current students and OWs dating back to the 1970s. The Sports Festival provides an excellent opportunity to reunite with old friends and colleagues. The day concluded with an evening dinner in Big School prepared by award winning



caterers Holroyd Howe together with a selection of musical performances from OWs. The OW Sports Festival is an enjoyable event for all ages. Why not join us next year? If you can’t get together a full squad come along anyway, there are always OWs, students and staff willing to fill in any gaps and teams needing extra players. Come and join us at next year’s Sports Festival, either as player or spectator, on Saturday 9th September 2017. Look out for further information on our website www.wgs.org.uk/alumni, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter channels, contact Gail Evans (tel) 01902 421326 or (email) development@wgs-sch.net



Search Widens for Past Pupils Reunions don’t usually centre around two separate schools but this year we played host to a unique event reuniting former students of Wolverhampton Grammar School and Wolverhampton Girls’ High School on a Saturday evening in September. Simon Walker, Simon Cartwright (current parent) and Paul Hopkins all from the Class of 1984 were instrumental in its founding. Nearly 100 guests attended the evening alongside former school staff including Jim Chugg, David Lambourne, Graham and Barbara Lewis, Tim and Carolyn Browning, John Johnson, Florence Darby and Lesley Benfield.

“For a number of OWs, this was the first time they had set foot in the school in 32 years. I hope we have started something that can be replicated across other years and also encourage other former students to reconnect with School. It feels quite sad that the reunion is now over, but actually this is just the beginning! I am now a monthly contributor to the School’s Bursary Fund and I hope to help provide opportunity for other students to benefit from a Wolverhampton Grammar education.” Simon Walker (OW 1984)

Katie Guest, Head of Development at School, commented that “The evening was a huge success and helped raise valuable funds towards a future Bursary Fund for the School. Many of our former students have also now decided to use this as an opportunity to give a regular, monthly amount back to School too, so the legacy of this reunion will last for a very long time.”

Reconnecting with School can be rewarding, you can donate your expertise, time or a monthly donation can make all the difference – see page 62 for more information or contact Katie Guest or Gail Evans (email) development@wgs-sch.net





Cooking up a Storm on Saturday Kitchen Live What do you do for fun? I love to eat out, travel and try new restaurants in London. Sometimes it is nice to just sit, read a book and relax. The last few years have been very busy and I find it very hard to switch off unless I am on holiday. Being a chef has become a lifestyle and it is near impossible to step away. What do you most love about your job? I am tremendously lucky to have a job that I love. I have found the thing I was always meant to do – so dedicated every hour possible to making it this far. Bernardi’s was my first restaurant opening, and gosh it was hard. I feel a great sense of pride every day when I arrive – knowing the effort that goes into making it what it is by the whole team

Earlier this year former student Sabrina Gidda (OW 2005) appeared as guest

and that this can be enjoyed by our guests.

chef on Saturday Kitchen. Head Chef at Bernardi’s Italian Restaurant in London and two time Roux Scholarship finalist she talks about her life, loves and dreams. What is your favourite food memory?

What do you eat when you’re at home?

The floating markets in Bangkok as a child

After nearly 9 years in kitchens I still love to

were utterly fascinating, even though I

cook at home - fresh pasta, paella, whole

was very young I remember seeing these

roasted fish. The professional kitchen is

bountiful boats full of exotic produce and

driven by timings, at home I get to cook in a

being totally in awe, but above everything

more relaxed fashion. Are there any foods you just don’t like?

Favourite kitchen equipment or gadget?

The only foods I genuinely struggle with

Razor sharp knives! It is a misconception that

are liver and kidneys. I still try occasionally

more accidents happen with sharp knives.

– as a Chef I think it’s important to try everything. I have yet to change my mind …

treats like pakoras and lamb chops (made by my mother), then steak tartare, followed by linguine with clams and garlic, then a pear tarte tatin. Plenty of champagne, and a great red wine poured by my father. especially good without the amazing company of my friends and family. Where do you see yourself in ten year’s time? I have had a brilliant year since opening Bernardi’s – and no doubt next year will

Best cooking tip for a novice just getting into the business?

Favourite cookbooks?

Only do it if you love it. There is no easy

Anything from the Roux family. The recipes

route to being a chef, the hours are long,

work – from teaching the basics and

the work is hard but the reward is unlike

progressing through to more complex

anything you can ever imagine.

dishes. I love Rick Steins books, his tours through Asia were brilliant. My treasured

Who in the food world do you most admire?

copy of my mother’s ‘Good Housekeeping

I will always have a great admiration for the

Guide’, one of her first books. I love finding

Roux family and the way they have shaped

her little notes and knowing that she

the future of gastronomy. Chefs like Nieves

cooked from it.

Barragan of Barrafina in London, Paul Hood at What is going to be the next big thing in the food world?


My last supper meal would begin with little

Needless to say none of this would taste

cooking and sharing meals with my family.

Social Eating House – the food is incredible.

What’s your ‘Last Supper’ meal?

Essential ingredients?

Rationality is something that is increasingly

I am insistent that no matter which cuisine

popular in London. We now have this

you cook, you will only ever need two

incredibly vibrant scene with specific south

things: salt and lemon. Salt (Maldon

Indian, north Indian, Sicilian, Puglian cuisine

preferably) and a squeeze of lemon can

that’s terrifically exciting. It is a great time to

help correct any dish and enhance it.

be a Chef and also a foodie!


be full of yet more exciting opportunities. I am very lucky to work with some terrifically talented people – who inspire me daily. I would love to write a book and intend on developing my cooking, building my team and have a great time doing it!

OW and the Storyline that Gripped a Nation The dramatic story of Helen and Rob Titchener has had Archers listeners riveted through every twist and turn this year. But did you know that behind it all was an OW who not only created one of the nation’s most gripping storylines but had also joined The Archers as their youngest ever writer? While studying English and Drama at the University of Birmingham Tim Stimpson (OW 1997) became interested in writing. Shortly after completing an MPhil in Playwriting Studies under the tutelage of April De Angelis, and aged just 23, he joined the writing team for The Archers making him the youngest ever writer on the Radio 4 institution. With hundreds of episodes behind him, he was thrust into the spotlight this year as lead writer on the gripping ‘Helen and Rob’ storyline. Tim has also written for BBC1’s ‘Doctors’ and recently joined the ‘Eastenders’ writing team. Theatre work has included Skyscraping at the Southwark Playhouse, One, Nineteen at the Arcola Theatre, First Impressions at Margate Theatre Royal and co-artistic director of Net Curtains Theatre Company. A member of Bold Text Playwrights, a West Midlands based collective who regularly present their work at the Birmingham Rep, he also does some occasional acting and is the Deputy Chair of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.

Former Student Brings Home £1M Worth of Stolen Vehicles Neil Thomas (OW 1980) helped secure a first in the battle against ‘car key burglary’ with the return of one million pounds worth of stolen luxury vehicles back to the UK. The location of the 26 cars in East Africa (all stolen in London during 2015) and including expensive Range Rovers, Audi Q7s and BMW X5s were discovered last May after a stolen Lexus was traced across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, to expose an international car theft ring. Neil is Director of Investigative Services at APU Ltd, and it was his fusion of leading-edge technology and forensic intelligence that allowed the authorities to discover the stolen vehicles and safely repatriate them back to the UK. He couldn’t wait to bring one of the recovered vehicles back to his old School to help highlight the impact and international work of our former students.

Do Something that you Love… it’s that Simple As part of his degree in German at the University of St Andrews, Jack Wootton (OW 2014), is spending a year teaching English in a German primary school in the small town of Haldensleben. Jack says “the Grammar gave me the confidence and qualifications to begin life after school one step ahead of the rest and for that I am very grateful. The teachers and staff motivated me to pursue German to Higher Education, as a career and to pursue something that I was passionate about”. Jack isn’t sure that teaching is for him, but his year in Germany will most definitely open doors. To read more about Jack go to www.wgs.org.uk/alumni



Could I have your Signature Sir? Earlier this year, Dr Chris O’Brien, Head of Mathematics, with his keen interest in WGS history came across two documents dating back to the 1500’s traced by the National Archives and signed by the School’s founder Sir Stephen Jenyns. This is the first time

Improving Children’s Experiences of Learning

After graduating in Psychology and

anyone in the School has seen its founder’s

Genetics at Aberystwyth in 2011,

signature and the documents provide a powerful insight into debt and murder. Dr O’Brien

completing an MSC in Psychology

has skilfully interpreted both documents and they are available to view in the Jenyn’s Library

at Worcester whilst working as a

by kind permission of The National Archives. A full transcript of this comments are also

teaching assistant at WGS in 2012,

available on the School’s website www.wgs.org.uk/alumni Interestingly, Dr O’Brien notes that

Faye Hingley (OW 2008) qualified

his spelling of Jenyn’s might require the rebranding of the School library.

as a Psychological Wellbeing

Former Student Lectures at The Barber Institute

Practitioner (PWP) at University of

In June, Professor Nile Green (OW 1990), now based at UCLA Los Angeles, presented a richly illustrated lecture at University of Birmingham based on his book ‘The Love of Strangers, a New York Times Editors’ Choice. The book is based on the first Muslim students ever to study in Europe. They landed in Great Yarmouth and over the next four years immersed themselves in Jane Austen’s England as part of their mission to understand the industrial revolution taking place beyond the hedgerows of Pemberley.

Birmingham whilst in placement with Kaleidoscope Plus Group in 2013. After completing three years in-post experience, in April this year Faye Hingley was awarded a funded place on the doctorate in Applied Educational and Child Psychology at Birmingham. Many congratulations to Faye who will, after completing the three year course, become a Chartered Educational Psychologist.

Ironman World Championship In October, James Nellany (OW 2006)

an overall time of 9 hours, 50 minutes and 48

lined up at the start of the Ironman World

seconds; 45th of 109 in his Age Group and

Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii,

249th overall. An incredible performance and

alongside over two thousand of the best Pro

a huge personal achievement.

and amateur long distance triathletes in the world. A 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and

“Overall it was an incredible experience that

full marathon, without break, lay before him.

fully justified the time and money spent to get there. I always thought that once I had done

James had to compete against tens of

Kona then I could move on from Ironman –

thousands of athletes over nearly 40

but it’s only made me want to qualify even

qualifying events globally to win his place in

more so that I can do it all again!” To read

what is now the World Championship. With

James’ full article go to www.wgs.org.uk/alumni

WGS 1st XI 1953

Malcolm Burgess (OW 1953), George Turner (OW 1952) and Hayden Palmer (OW 1953 Deceased) attended and played soccer for St Paul’s Teacher Training College in Cheltenham. Malcolm went on to teach Physical Education and became Head of PE at King’s Norton Grammar School in Birmingham for almost 30 years, where Geoffrey Sheen a former member of WGS staff was Headmaster. Malcolm sent us the photograph to the left to be remembered to his Class of 1947 ‘Remove A’ friends and Classical Studies friends from 1950-1953.



Professor Trevor Jones CBE

Kick Down The Black Sheep of the School Sets Forth! Memory Lane

We are delighted to report that Professor

We have in our possession an article by

Wolverhampton Grammar School’s 1st

Trevor Jones CBE (OW 1960) has been

Michael Sargeant (OW 1948), based on

XI Football team were crowned 2016

formally elected as a Fellow of the

his journey as an Engineering Apprentice

Wolverhampton Schools Football Association

Academy of Medical Sciences.

at Henry Meadows Ltd (1949) to running

City Champions. This win prompted former

the Metallurgical laboratory at The

student Ben Thorne (OW 2002) to reminisce

English Electric. His published works

about his team’s 1996 and 1998 wins.

in 1968 received the congratulations of Warren Derry “I took it that Mr Derry

He commented, ”In 1996 we won 4-3 win

had now forgiven me for not making

against Aldersley School with a hat-trick scored

the most of my time at WGS” and his

by Dan Bowyer and John Johnson’s son Tom

success at the Stafford works led to him

breaking his leg. The 1998 3-0 win against

to be appointed Chief Metallurgist at W H

Codsall High was down to Brett Hipkiss’ hat-

Dorman and Co …

trick, although it could have been more if Craig Thomas hadn’t missed a penalty!”

Richard states that his article “… is aimed at trying to slightly alter the course of

It’s great to see Ben Thorne and his team

education. What’s important, is to have

returning each year for the Old Wulfrunians

the confidence to use what’s been taught,

Sports Festival. If you would like to join us for

and that might depend on more practical

this fabulous event or for more information

work being taught alongside theory …”. A

email development@wgs-sch.net

sentiment shared here at Wolverhampton Grammar School and wherever possible we forge links with higher educational establishments, companies and organisations bringing wider learning to Professor Jones is well known internationally

academic and pastoral syllabus.

for his activities in clinical research and drug discovery and development in the

There is much more to read about

pharmaceutical industry. He has served

Richard’s journey and if you would like to

on many Committees including the UK

read his full article please go to

Government Medicines Commission,


Chair of the UK Genetics Advisory Board, the Council of King’s College London an as a Commissioner at The World Health Organisation (WHO). He is a member of several Boards of Pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the USA, visiting professor at King’s College London and has received honorary Doctorates/Gold medals from six universities.

“My time at WGS was the foundation of my career and I am most grateful

Sports Celebration Evening Former student Ben Sedgemore (OW 1993)

Corporate Games and also Executive

returned as Guest of Honour at our recent

Director of the World Corporate Cup of

Sports Celebration Evening. Ben was a

Soccer hosted by Liverpool Football Club.

professional footballer and is currently on the Management Committee of the Professional Footballers’ Association. Alongside his footballer career Ben also has a Degree in Psychology and Law and a Masters in Finance, Marketing and

and proud to have been a student.”

Management from Loughborough University.

Professor Trevor Jones

He is also Global Games Director at the

Thank you to all OWs who have sent us pictures and news items. It is impossible to include everything in the magazine, so all OW news is published on our website www.wgs.org.uk/alumni or available to view in the Jenyns Library Archive Room.



Dispatches from an OW in China Dr Ashton Barnett-Vanes PhD (OW 2007) provides a flavour of the rise and return of China. A country the size of a continent, with almost a fifth of the world’s population. China’s rapid resurgence has caught many by surprise in what is now oft coined the ‘Asian Century’. But away from the ‘Golden Eras’ and ‘Win-Wins’, what does China mean for ordinary people in the country, and elsewhere - such as here in the UK? This question lay at the centre of my motivation to return to the ‘Middle Kingdom’ I had previously visited once before for one month in 2013. With the support of the British Council I was appointed a UK scholar at Tsinghua University. Based at the Public Health Research Centre, I was able to assist teams working on projects ranging from suicide in elderly rural communities, to China’s engagement

the Provincial Capital (Kunming) and Beijing;

double its high-speed network and build 50

soon a high-speed train route will connect

new airports by 2020.

Yunnan to other neighbouring provinces and the metropolises of the East such as

All good news? Not necessarily.

Shanghai and Beijing. China’s development

Wolverhampton is no stranger to the

is transforming the lives of local people,

community and cultural impacts of rapid

even more so than the international

industrialisation and deindustrialisation.


Similarly, in China many watch with caution as the great waves of globalisation flow

My generation of Chinese contemporaries

through its cities apace, and what impact this

often have competing ambitions. On the

could exert on longstanding professional

one hand, they want to travel overseas and

and personal practices and customs.

experience new cultures and environments – something which Chinese schools, universities and governments are highly supportive of; yet on the other hand, many plan to return and contribute towards China’s rise and fulfil more traditional social responsibilities such as to spouse, parents and family. Almost every road has a new building or development under construction; every field is peppered with the tall concrete pillars signalling the impending arrival of a new high-speed rail line. China plans to

in Global Health governance. This work led to a publication in the BMJ Global Health Journal and discussions with academics, students and others offered an insight into their mind set and motivations, on both a national and international perspective. Alongside my academic work in Beijing, I also had the opportunity to travel to different

I would encourage all with a curiosity of the world to consider visiting China. The country is receptive and accommodating. Learn some Mandarin before you go, avoid all but the most enticing of street food; and take a reading book for the overnight trains.

parts of China. This included a three and a half hour flight to Yun’nan Province in the most south western region of China, and home to several ethnic minority communities.

This voyage illustrated the incredible statecraft of ‘national identity’ that China has established and seeks to maintain. Despite the distance from other parts of China, the people of Yun’nan speak the most common language of the country (Mandarin/Putonghua) and are fully engaged with its developments and ongoings. Planes fly daily between the newly built airport of




WGS continues to be an extraordinary school. You just have to step through our doors to feel the tangible warmth – a warmth created by people who embody community. Our mission as a School is to deliver education that

OW’s are always welcome to come back, take a look at a

transforms lives as well as minds. We do this by providing an

former classroom or simply sit in Big School and remember

education as individual as your child, within an environment

long gone assemblies. Simply contact the School via

that’s like no other. If you can’t make it back to School to


see this work for yourself, we hope these pages provide a colourful snapshot of School life over the last year.



Junior School News The Junior School continues to go from strength to strength, growing in numbers every year. Mr Dan Peters is the Acting Head of the Junior School and, alongside his team of teachers and support staff do their very best to ensure every child makes the very most of every opportunity on offer during your time at the Junior School. Pupils learn how to work hard in the classroom and develop new talents, whether in a club, on the sports field, or in a music rehearsal.

Taking Over the Mantle Andrew Hymer’s departure saw Deputy

Head, Dan Peters, step into the role of Acting Head of Wolverhampton Grammar Junior School. Making it his mission to build on the excellent foundations of Student Leadership and Key Skills Development established by Andrew, the year ahead will see some

Exciting developments are not just

complementary changes. The introduction

happening outside the classroom, a new

of new School Monitors to sit alongside the

subject entitled ‘Academic Enrichment’

roles of House Captain and School Councillor,

has been unveiled for all Year 5s and Big

the children’s Service to the School will be

6s. Subject areas such as Psychology,

tracked, and children that show outstanding

Linguistics, Classics and Archaeology

citizenship qualities will be celebrated and

are now quenching the children’s wider

rewarded. It is also hoped that a programme

academic thirst, and trips to the University

of Big 6 Community Service will be unveiled

of Birmingham’s Lapworth Museum of

before the year is out.

Geology have proved most popular.

Wind in the Willows For two nights, eighty-eight children from

The stage band made up entirely of Junior

the Junior School sang, danced, played and

School children, was a particular highlight

acted their way through seventeen seamless

and accompanied the show throughout

scenes of drama and comedy with great

with Director, Mr Dan Peters, conducting

aplomb. The Year 5 and 6s performance of

and performing on the piano. It showcased

Wind in the Willows provided not only fine

perfectly our fantastic Junior School

renditions onstage, but behind the scenes

community, with the children, staff and

highly skilled lighting and sound.

parents all working together to produce a performing arts highlight of the year.

From Big 6 to Year 7 Wolverhampton Grammar introduced ‘Big

as she already felt older and part of the

Six’ to aid the transition from junior to

Senior school when she moved into Year 7.

senior school life in 2004. Visionary and some might say risky, but as we have seen for ourselves our thriving Junior School and confident, well rounded students speak volumes about its success. Abi Houghton (OW 2014), currently studying International Fashion Promotion at Manchester Metropolitan University, was one of the first influx of Big Six children and said it made the transition so much easier


“I wish I could have started earlier as I loved my time at the Grammar! I don’t think you could ever get bored and growing up with your best friends, why would you ever want to leave? I still see my Big Six teacher Miss Martin when we return for old Wulfs dos which is great!”



Senior School News The Senior School continues to deliver the very best

With over 500 sports fixtures and over 100 co-curricular activities

inspirational teaching to students from ages 11 to 18. The

and clubs to choose from including music, sports, science, current

academic achievements of our students speak for themselves; but

affairs to performing arts and crafts, strategic games, as well as

our teachers are trained to delivery much more than that. Lessons

academic masterclasses and guest lectures, there is something

are lively and challenging, and knowledge here is treasured,

for everyone. Our community thrives on this diversity and the

opening up minds to a love of learning.

following pages detail just some of the highlights.

We Celebrate Our annual Prizegiving Ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate some of the brightest and best contributions made by current students throughout the year. Junior Speech Day and Senior School Prizegiving celebrations continue to provide the perfect opportunity for parents, students and Directors to come together in Big School and St Peter’s Church. For both events, students were nominated by staff for awards celebrating a range of skills including academic achievement, progress, acting, music and sport. Congratulations to all our Prizewinners and a special thank you to our Senior Prizegiving guest of honour, David Mills (OW 1981). For those of you who know David, you will be relieved to hear that this time he attended WGS in an official, invited capacity this year. If you are intrigued, David once posed as a Sixth Former at School to help him as a journalist, write an article about student life.



To Bude and Back The stunning Cornish coastline never fails to disappoint and this year’s A Level geography trip was no exception. The weather unfortunately hampered the group’s start at Heartland Quay, as falling tiles proved to be a safety hazard in the high winds. Sandymouth Bay, Boscastle, Bossiney Cove and Crooklets Beach in Bude were the focus of subjects including flood management strategies, erosional features, coastal flooding and management strategies, sand art, ice-cream tasting and surfing. It appears to have been quote “one of best school trips”.

Rhine Valley Trip 2015 The Rhine Valley trip has retained its popularity with the Lower School and October half term saw 38 students travel for a cultural and language skills visit to this beautiful area of Germany. Koblenz, Burg Rheinstein castle, Rüdesheim, the Frau Grigat shopping challenge in Boppard, a visit to the pleasure park Phantasialand, to the Lindt chocolate museum and cathedral in Cologne. A whirlwind five days from which the group returned with many new friends and fond memories. Thanks go to Mrs Harris, Mr Anderson, Mrs Grigat Bradley and Dr Bradley for their invaluable help and support.



Il Tour Della Squadra di Rugby in Italia

Step Back in Time

In October, twenty three 1st XV rugby

In December, Year 9 were transported

players, accompanied by Mr Ryan, Mr Smith

back in time to the Industrial Revolution

and Mr Taylor, headed off on a six day tour

with a trip to the Black Country Museum.

encompassing some competitive rugby

Experiencing the dark labyrinth of

against Rugby Alto Vicentino and Monsters

mines to hear about the dangers, and

Castellan RFC and visits to beautiful cultural

often fatal, miners’ jobs, the exploits of

sites in Northern Italy.

‘Leggers’ on the canals and punishments and strict discipline of Victorian

The cultural sights included Lake Garda,

schooling! By the end of the trip they

the town of Monselice (15 miles south of

were glad to be living in the 21st century.

Padua), Venice, Schio (in the foothills of the Alps), Verona and Castelfranco Veneto. The

Fundraising Committee

end of the trip came all too quickly.

Our Fundraising Committee surpassed themselves again this year and their dedication and commitment was evident when the European migrant crisis hit the headlines and an additional event was set up to raise emergency funds for ‘Save the Children’. Our students and staff have raised a staggering £6500, nearly double last year’s total, and have supported ‘MacMillan Cancer Support’, ‘Hope and Compassion’, ‘Crisis’, ‘Lords Meade Uganda’ and ‘Cancer Research UK’.

From Obama to Manhattan Fever Thirty students joined Mr Millichamp, Mr O’Malley and Miss Bowater for an Easter art and culture trip to Washington and New York. A tour of the White House Visitor Centre, Air and Space Museum and incredible National Gallery of Art and famous sculpture garden, as well as a leisurely afternoon looking at the presidential memorials including the iconic Lincoln memorial. New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) provided a stunning backdrop to a tour which took the group through the

followed to possibly the greatest museum in the world: The Metropolitan Museum of

beginnings of Modernism right up to the

Art. Their last day was spent honouring those who lost their life at 9/11 with a visit to the

present day. A walk through Central Park

memorial and museum.



Out of Africa

The Greater Kruger National Park is one of the largest and most important reserves in Africa and is home to the ‘big five’ as well as an astonishing range of birds, reptiles and mammals. The northern end of the park in South Africa’s Limpopo province is known as the wilder part as it is more difficult to access, but this didn’t stop eighteen Year 11 and 12 students from visiting in July with Mr and Mrs Hills and Mr Mason in tow. Their aim: to see the wildlife first hand and to help collect data that will contribute towards scientific research and decision making in the area. After this landbased venture, the group travelled south to Sodwana Bay in KwaZulu-Natal which is famous for its pristine beaches and coral reefs. Some learned to Scuba dive but everyone saw an amazing variety of marine life including green turtles, humpback whales, dolphins, stingrays and tropical fish.

Wagrain Ski Trip It is always a relief to see a weary but ‘all intact’ group of students return from the annual ski trip and this year was no exception. This year’s students travelled to Wagrain in Austria to tackle a week of challenging ski runs, bowling, ice hockey and swimming. Mrs Harris commented “After a busy half term the students made life so much easier for the staff who had given up a week’s rest to accompany them. They were a pleasure to be with. Everyone skied well and made good progress in what were, at times, very tricky weather conditions. Many thanks to Mr Johnson, Mr Hall, Mr Mason, Mr Taylor and Miss Wiseman for their help and support. Here’s to 2017!”



Coast 2 Coast Raising Money for Neuroblastoma Charity Staff and students raised over £5,000 for a national Neuroblastoma Charity in honour of teacher, Mr Owen Davies. The students accompanied by a staff led support bus completed the gruelling coast to coast running challenge in just under 26 hours, completing a total of 187 miles from St Bee’s Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire, following Wainwrightís famous walking trail over three spectacular National Parks (the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors).

Year 9 Girls in STEM Day at the University of Birmingham Fifteen talented and ambitious Year 9 students spent the day

at the University of Birmingham, experiencing undergraduatestyle learning in Mathematics and Materials Science first-hand. The event was designed to promote girls’ enjoyment of and achievement in the STEM subjects and give them a taste of what it might be like to study those subjects in Higher Education. They were fortunate enough to hear from Orla Murphy, winner of IET’s 2015 Young Woman Engineer award, and her exciting career as a sound engineer at JLR.

The Wulf

The new student-led newspaper produced

which provides a forum for their opinions, regarding both the School and the current status

by Sixth Form students named ‘The Wulf’,

of world events.

went down a storm when it was published just before Christmas 2015. The group

Topics included the concept of a ‘deterministic universe’, whether a degree in the current

of Sixth Form students come together to

economic climate would still ‘translate into better employment opportunities’, with a future

discuss what they are passionate about

article promising to discuss their views on the Teen Mental Health Crisis.

“The Wulf is an independent student-led newspaper produced by a group of students in WGS Sixth Form, who come together to discuss and write about the things they are passionate about. We feel that having a student-led newspaper is particularly important, as it enables us make both our opinions and the opinions of sixth formers heard, regarding both the school, and the current status of world events. Released just before Christmas 2015, we were pleased to see everyone’s engagement with what we had to say. The publication included: ‘You Were Always Going to Read This’ by Lewis Batho, who explored the concept of a ‘deterministic universe’, as well as an article by Michael Carleton, which considered whether a degree, in our current economic climate, would still ‘translate into better employment opportunities’. Included in the second issue was a review of the brilliantly directed and performed ‘Great Expectations’, plus an exploration of the Teen Mental Health Crisis, and what WGS is doing to tackle the issue of mental health in our school. We hope that our newspaper will be successful for many years to come.” Editor, Verity Stark (pictured)



Best Newcomers at Rockingham Race Season Opener Wolverhampton Grammar School’s

This was a fantastic opportunity for this enthusiastic team of

Greenpower electric car racing team

budding Sixth Form designers and engineers and they have come

put in an exceptional performance

back with plenty of ideas for improvements and modifications. The

at the Rockingham test and season

results of a student led competition will also see the car, named

opener race in May. Their debut outing saw them finish 30th out of

Wolves Warrior, emblazoned with a new logo.

45 racers and win ‘Best Newcomers’ to the project. The day was not without its challenges, a minor collision saw an emergency repair pit

The team are fundraising for transportation, new kit and equipment

stop, but they were able to get back out and finish the race!

- if you would like to help with this please contact the School by emailing development@wgs-sch.net

Arkwright Scholarship Awarded to Hal Wilson-Bett Hal Wilson-Bett (Lower Sixth) was awarded a sought-after Arkwright Engineering Scholarship identifying him as one of the country’s future leaders in engineering and technical design. The renowned Arkwright Engineering Scholarships provide students with a £600 financial award towards their A level studies and a range of activities to enhance their understanding and experience of engineering, with the School’s Design and Technology Department also receiving £200. Hal had to successfully complete a rigorous selection process consisting of a detailed application form, a two-hour aptitude exam and an interview hosted at a top engineering university. The Scholarship was formally presented to him at a prestigious ceremony in London supported by The Institution of Engineering and Technology.



Peer Support “Our Peer supporters are

Everyone feels from time to time that they

fully committed to helping

need someone to talk to. For some, family, teachers, friends and even sometimes a pet

anyone who approaches

can provide the support that they need. At

them, by listening and

other times though, our students might not want to talk to an adult or someone in their

guiding them through

friendship group. That’s where the School’s

their problems. This is a

Peer Supporters come in.

role that they take very

Peer Supporters, identified by their green

seriously and the work

badges, are a group of specially trained students who know the value of talking to

they do nurtures both

someone. Our students can talk to them

self esteem and problem

about anything, from wanting to vent about their day, worries with friendships or perhaps

solving among our pupils

more serious issues such as eating disorders or bereavement. It does not matter, we are

Peer Support

one community here at School and we are there for each other.

when they need it most.” Mrs Mahey, Peer Support Co-ordinator.

Could you offer some help or advice to our Peer Supporters? Could you offer some valuable training and guidance? Contact Katie Guest on development@wgs-sch.net

Parents’ Survey In 2016 we conducted our first parents’


survey which culminated in an amazing 47% response rate and the findings were fascinating. Informed by our Junior and Senior School parents’ views we will keep

Were satisfied with the amount of homework set per week.


doing what is good, and improve it, and address areas where they think we could do better.

their child is happy and feels safe at 97% Agreed School.

They liked: the choice of subjects we offer, the great relationships between staff and students, our range of extra-curricular activities, the fact that our students are

Were confident their child knows who to approach at School if they are worried about anything.


happy and feel safe at School and how the School is led and managed. What they felt we could do better: Better

information about School and policies was 91% Said readily available.

updates about their child’s progress, would like to learn more about our community engagement and more information about

Know who to contact to raise a concern or issue.


some of our more specialist areas like ASPIRE and Study Skills.



Viner Lecture


3rd March 2017 - Guest speaker Paul

THEMATIC: A joint exhibition between


Norgate (OW 1965) will be speaking about

WGS and the University of Wolverhampton


WWI Memorials and in particular the work

Thursday 12th January, 7.30pm - 9pm

Thursday 2nd March, 7.30pm - 9pm

of William Storr Barber. Please contact

Saturday 21st January, 12pm - 3pm

Saturday 4th March, 12pm - 3pm

Gail Evans on development@wgs-sch.net if you would like to attend.

Art With another incredibly busy and exciting year of events behind

Parent and community support for events held at the Viner Gallery

us, Wolverhampton Grammar School continues to exhibit the

has been overwhelming, with over 300 visitors alone attending

value placed on the creative arts, hard work of our students and

the annual Art Exhibition opening night in the Summer term. If you

expertise of our specialist teachers.

would like to attend any of our future events please contact Gail Evans or Katie Guest (email) development@wgs-sch.net

Strange Fascination

Hands On

‘Strange Fascination’, a solo-exhibition by

Students from Wolverhampton Grammar

regional Artist Adrian Clamp, kicked off

School exhibited alongside one of our

the Autumn term. His work explored wide

partnership schools, Q3 Academy in

ranging themes including attitudes of social

Birmingham. The exhibition entitled ‘Hands

issues, identity, fantasy and genetics and

On’ opened in the Design Centre at Q3

included work responding to environments

Academy in September, it then moved on to

over the past two decades. Adrian hosted a

the Viner Gallery in November with a public

live Q&A session during the exhibition.

viewing in December. The work on show was a celebration of the fantastic talents of students from both schools, showcasing a range of techniques and styles including oil painting photography and textiles. Hidden in Plain Sight Adrian Clamp, professional artist and art educator returned to School during the Spring term to an exhibition entitled ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ alongside five other artists including our very own Head of Art, Mr James Millichamp, at the School’s Viner Gallery.






Thursday 9th March 7.30-9pm

Thursday 27th April, 7.30pm - 9pm

Saturday 1st July, 12pm - 3pm

Saturday 1st April 12-3pm

Saturday 6th May, 12pm - 3pm

‘Legs’ A Level final piece by Holly Pleydell, former student & Chair of the Charles Viner Society

Heavy Metal: Art and the Black Country

Forging Art Links

The School’s 45th Annual Art

During the Spring term the Art Department

Students from across Year 9 have also

The Viner Gallery played host to the Annual

followed the journey, heritage, landscape

been involved in a new Bronze Arts Award

Art exhibition opening its doors to a very

and aesthetics of our great industrial

in collaboration with the Black Country

appreciative audience at the beginning of July.

region. Year 9 artists explored a range

Living Museum and the New Art Gallery

of media to illustrate scenes from the

Walsall. This pilot project involved students

On display were AS, A Level and Year 9 ‘Heavy

industrial past. The students’ work was

visiting both museums for workshops

Metal’ pieces, Merchant Taylors’ Photographic

exhibited for public display in the Viner

and a live casting with company Thomas

Exhibition entries, Design and Technology

Gallery with our Year 9 students acting as

Dudley Limited, upon return to School they

product design pieces and the winners of the

curators and guides for the exhibition.

then delivered their own workshops and

Junior School Festival of Ideas and House Art

exhibition in the Viner Gallery.


School Recognised in Artists Quarter

Exhibitions Around the City


The end of the academic year also signalled

The School’s Art Department was proud to

the beginning of some young and hopeful

support the sixth annual Junction Festival

careers in the visual arts with many of our

which will took place in Wolverhampton

students exhibiting across the City. Year 10

during July. The festival centred round Chapel

photographers featured alongside professional

Ash, the newly recognised Artists’ Quarter

artists in an exhibition at the Newhampton Arts’

of Wolverhampton. The Artists Quarter is an

Centre, Year 11 and Lower Sixth students took

initiative by Creative Wolverhampton and

part in a week long workshop and exhibition

Mental Spaces to recognise the arts scene

at the University of Wolverhampton’s School

that has arisen in and around Chapel Ash in

of Art and Emily Haynes (Year 10) exhibited

the past few years.

in Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s summer long exhibition ‘The Art of Drawing’ and won the ‘People’s Award’ and was presented her prize by the Mayor of Wolverhampton.



Drama Drama at Wolverhampton Grammar School continues to produce

and keen follower of Dickens’ work, Michael T Rogers (OW 1966),

a wealth of performing talent and this year’s productions did not

for his first visit to the Hutton Theatre and even more so to

disappoint. We were fortunate to be joined by former student

receive his review of our adaptation of Great Expectations.

The Expectations were Great… and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The WGS production of Great Expectations

important scene, which was one of the

was highly successful and entertaining. The

highlights for me.

permanent set featuring nineteenth-century playbills including Great Expectations, and

The eccentric, embittered and self-tormenting

piles of luggage back-stage surmounted

Miss Havisham cannot be an easy role to

by a sailing ship – was ideal in conveying

take on, requiring considerable empathy

the action, themes and symbols of Dickens’

from any actress, and Freya Cunningham’s


interpretation was very persuasive, both in conveying eager obsessiveness and in

From the outset it was obvious that the

her ultimate realisation of the harm she

actors thoroughly enjoyed participating in this

has done to Estella and Pip. Both she and

ambitious venture, and it was good to see the

the two actresses taking the part of Estella

whole Company on stage together at times,

(Emily Doyle-Gibbons and Mollie Bate) are to

especially in some of the musical numbers.

be commended on the authenticity of their approach.

Josh Bradshaw (younger) and Jay Godden


(older) were extremely impressive as Pip.

The part of Mrs Joe, though not subtle,

Biddy’s quiet dignity in contrast to Pip’s

nevertheless requires a consistency of

tactlessness and condescension reveals

ill-temper, spitefulness and cruelty, which

her genuine fondness for him. Nadia

Josie Dowswell maintained throughout!

Mohammed (Biddy) and Jay performed

Jaggers too is a complex character and I

most sensitively and movingly in this

thought Isaac Plowright engaged with the


Legendary Grimm Tales An exceptional Lower School cast put on a truly stunning (and hysterical) performance under the superb direction of the English Department’s Mark Benfield and Mark Payne. The Hutton Theatre was transported back to 1942 for this production of Carol Ann Duffy’s adaptation of four ‘Grimm Tales’. With the cast reminding the audience of Duffy’s pertinent observation that “we’re all ex-children”, we were transported back in time to the tangled woods of European folklore and demonstrated what happens when you stray from the right path. Set during the second world war and deep underground, they expertly portrayed a local community who came together to fill their time and tell stories while waiting for the all clear from the air-raid siren above.

character excellently, consistently assuming

and parents. Congratulations to Ray Curran

exactly the right manner and tone. His

on his original music for the Blacksmiths’

clerk Wemmick (Archie Hamilton) was

song Old Clem and on the lyrics and music

also effective, relating the story of Molly

for other numbers, and to him and Lana

movingly, and advising Pip on money-

Harold for singing the duets so beautifully.

lending, both in his ‘professional’ and in his ‘private’ capacities, the one hard and

Finally, congratulations to the directors,

ruthless, the other completely humane.

Ian Tyler and Jon Wood, without whose

Silas Lawrence showed very dramatic

tremendous commitment, vision, energy

sense in his performance as Magwitch,

and time the pupils would not have had the

and the atmosphere between him and

opportunity to participate at all. This was

Jay Godden on the night of his return and

my first visit to the Hutton Theatre - in fact,

his bomb-shell of a revelation to Pip was

my first experience of WGS drama for many

excellently sustained.

years, and I am delighted to have been present at such a triumph. Charles Dickens

The indisputable success of this

himself was an accomplished actor and

performance depended not only on

I am sure that if he could have seen this

all the acting company, but on the live

dramatisation of one of his finest novels

music, stage crew, costumes department,

he would have been lavish in his praise.

lighting, choreography, carpentry and

Congratulations to everyone who played a

construction and much more - not least the

part in this triumph.

encouragement and support of school staff


Theatre Studies Performances Another year of brilliant Theatre Studies performances by the Upper Sixth in their original production ‘50 Thousand Thoughts’, an amusing, dramatic and thought provoking examination of how young people are affected by their environment. Finally, the Lower Sixth presented a storming production of Dr. Faustus; full of songs, laughs and the dark deeds of Mephistopheles. Two fantastic shows which received outstanding A Level grades.

Upcoming Performances Senior Play: The Government Inspector 15th - 18th February 2017 from 7:15pm Lower Sixth Theatre Studies exam performance: 30th March 2017 from 7:15 pm Middle School Play: 24th - 26th May 2017


Music Wolverhampton Grammar School’s Music Department is located at the heart of our campus, and with over 200 students receiving individual instrumental tuition and a plethora of choral and orchestral groups, music is at the heart of many of our student’s lives. Parents, students and members the local community of Wolverhampton came together to form a Community Choir at School this year. Their performance of Puccini’s Messa Di Gloria and Mozart’s Horn Concerto in E flat in Big School in March brought the house down as they were joined by professional singers Robert Tilson (tenor) and Dominic Bowe (baritone).

Jazz Spectacular “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know” said the great Louis Armstrong, and if you were in Big School in June this year there was no mistaking that it was the annual Jazz Spectacular. A packed programme full of student (and staff) talent delighted a sell-out audience. Every musical taste was catered for, from spellbinding acoustic sets to Big Band numbers and of course, the traditional conga which must have caused great amusement to anyone walking past the School.



Merchant Taylors’ Schools’ Concert The opportunity to perform with pupils from other Merchant Taylors’ Schools, has only been manifested twice before and the lure of singing Puccini in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall was one which was too good to miss. Students and staff performed in the orchestra and choir, with our musicians in prominent positions. WGS has been asked to host Schools performing at the 2018 Merchant Taylors’ Schools Concert at Birmingham Symphony Hall. .A Masterclass in Singing

School Strings Day

Students attended a singing masterclass

Junior and Prep Schools from across

with award winning performer Themba

the West Midlands and Shropshire sent

Mvula in the Spring term. Zambian-born

budding musicians to Big School in

baritone Themba Mvula studied Music at

January to take part in a Strings Day.

Birmingham Conservatoire. He gained a wealth of experience during his time there

“There was inspirational playing with

performing regularly in musicals, operas,

masterclasses to help students with

recitals and competitions. He was the

their technique and performance skills”

winner of the Gordon Clinton English Song

commented Francis Murton, Director of

Prize and regularly performs as a soloist


and with vocal groups.



Girls’ Sport These Girls Can

In the year of the Rio Olympics the girls delivered another

their sights and just fell short of their target losing to

exceptional and successful year in sport and physical

Bromsgrove in the regional semi-final. The local league,

activity. Dominant at the County Netball Championships,

allowing every year group’s B team to compete, saw the

the U14 and U19 squads were crowned County winners.

U12As win the City competition.

The U14s trained tirelessly with the Nationals set in On the hockey pitch the U12s and U13s were crowned County

Played Sport




regional tournament. October half term saw the Year 8s and






9s head to Newcastle-upon-Tyne for a netball and hockey tour.











runners up and displayed excellent skill on the pitches at the

Playing local schools and clubs across both sports our teams were kept busy both on and off the pitch. Within our individual sports opportunity programme the girls took bronze at the City Swimming Gala and medals at the City Gymnastics Championships. We were represented at Midland Fives Championships and engaged in some new ventures this





Anya Rogers

U13 county netball squad

year including dance and indoor cricket.

Katie Goodridge U13 county netball squad

Our Year 7 netballers and Year 9 rounders players became Black Country School Games’ champions, with our Year 8 athletes collecting silver medals. City rounders titles went to Years 8 and 9 and for the first time in over 7 years we took gold in the track and


field team competition. Behind these performance successes we saw exceptional displays of leadership from those students engaged in the WGS

U15 county netball squad

Alex Bryan

U15county netball squad

Deenah Ahsan

U15 tier 1 JRPC

Katie Naylor

JRPC Goal-keeper

Emily Naylor

JRPC outfield player

Individual sports Anya Stojanovic U15 national squash

Leadership programme. Year 9 and 10 students hosted the Junior Schools’ Multi-skills competition, 7-a-side Netball Tournament and

Elanor Charlson National Modern Pentathlete

annual WGJS Sports Festival. The latter saw over 80 junior school

Izzy Gillott

County swimming

children from several local schools join WGS to engage in a day

Isobel Lickley

National Dressage

of sporting activities led by our senior students. Sport




Megan Griffiths

U19 England Rounders squad

Emma Hudson

U19 England Rounders squad

Jordan Russell

U14 England Rounders squad

Jordan Russell

Inter County 100m/shot/




Jordan Russell

Amelia Kerr

Inter County 100m/200m

Elizabeth Marshall

Junior County 1500m

Darcie Gibbons

Junior County 200m

Jada Nesbeth

Inter County 100m/200m


Boys’ Sport

From Grassroots to Champions You only have to browse through old editions of the

Nigel Crust, Head of Boys’ Sport, has a mission to try and

Wulfrunian to realise the important role sport has played for

provide as many opportunities as possible, for all students

boys at School.

to represent WGS at all levels, in as many sports as possible.



A busy and successful season for the 1st XI produced fine

The Senior team, led by Alex Dmitrewski, lost out to a strong

performances against tough opposition. Under the leadership of

Wilmslow side in the first round of the Nationals. Under the

Dan Gibbons the team beat Heath Park in the City Cup Final in

captaincy of Harry Froggatt who was unbeaten in his singles

March. The U15s battled hard all season and captain Will Gibbons

game, the U15s battled a strong opposition. Gaining valuable

represented the full ISFA side in this age group. Also tasting

experience the U13s promise to come back stronger next year.

cup success were our U14s with a hard fought victory against Heath Park in their Cup Final, with team member Alex Smith

Cross Country

also representing the full ISFA side. The U13s played well in the

Entering both the City League and SSAW Cross Country

ESFA competition, with our U12s making encouraging progress

Championships, all our runners competed with distinction. Oliver

throughout the season. Both U15 and U13 squads enjoyed a

Mason (Yr 8) remained unbeaten throughout the league season.

fantastic trip to Villarreal over the Easter break. Badminton Cricket

The school badminton club continues to flourish as an extra-

Under the captaincy of Alastair Carey the 1st XI had a productive

curricular club, and the teams produced some encouraging

season with some impressive performances. The side benefited

performances in the Leagues. The U14 team grabbed the

from a number of experienced Sixth Form cricketers and the

headlines winning the City League, then the Black Country

whole team should be proud of their early season successes.

Games and then on to representing the Midlands in the National

They faced touch opposition in the latter stages from KES

Finals in Milton Keynes - a first and fantastic experience for WGS.

Birmingham and RGS Worcester. Archie O’Hara (Year 10) was again particularly impressive with the bat. Facing a tough


qualifying group in the National 20/20 competition, they lost to

The stand out performance in the Indoor Athletics season came

Shrewsbury School, but did beat Newcastle under Lyme in an

from Year 9, who came runners up and again in the Black Country

epic contest.


The U15s battled hard and a number of the squad showed 1st

The summer term saw them finish second in the final standings of

XI potential for next season. A good season throughout for the

the SSAW Athletics Championships. Oliver Mason was selected to

U14s, with what looks like a useful U13 side reaching the county

represent Wolverhampton in the West Midlands Championships.

cup semi-final. A tough season for the U12s as they faced some strong teams, but with a great attitude they reached the county cup semi-final. Rugby Under the leadership of Jack Price-Darbyshire (standing in for the injured Henry Purchase) the Seniors competed well all season. They put in notable performances in the County Plate Competition, just losing out in the final to John Taylor High School, and in the County 7s, where they were plate runners up. The Junior sides made excellent progress playing with spirit and plenty of courage over the two terms. Hockey Facing a tough fixture list the 1st XI approached the season in a positive fashion. Led by Hugh Churn, the 1st XI competed well gathering momentum as the season progressed. The U15s, led by Ammar Ahsan, gained some valuable experience in their fixtures, with Ben Ward and Harvey Palmer (Year 8) both impressively playing up two age groups.



International Badminton Champion

National Ranking for School Sport

The Summer term saw Stephen Jong (Year 8) win both U13 single

Wolverhampton Grammar School has been placed 14th in the

and mixed double championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.

country for being a top independent sports school of 2015.

Steve Clancy, Head of Year 8 and Teacher of Boys PE and Games

School Sport Magazine made the announcement to celebrate

commended Stephen on this achievement “To see Stephen’s

schools who enter and compete at national level. Mrs Alison

hard work and dedication to his sport paying off is really

Causebrook, Head of Girls’ Games congratulated everyone

pleasing. Displaying the maturity to go abroad and compete

who played their part, “It’s been a great year for sport at

is testament to his level-headed approach to both his studies

School including incredible successes at national, county

and his sport!” Stephen is pictured meeting one of Badminton’s

and regional championship level in a whole range of sports”.

international stars Peter Grates (pictured).

What a ‘Steel’ for Brothers at the Wado-Kai Karate World Cup Tom (Year 11) and John Steel (Year 10) were selected to represent England in the Wado-Kai Karate World Championships, Japan and the Wado European Championships in Hungary. The brothers who train at Ikon Martial Arts in Bushbury were selected by the Squad Development Officer. Both boys made the semi-finals at the World Championships in Japan, with John winning bronze, but then both brothers went on to win gold in the European Championships in Hungary.

Howzat?... for Cricketing Star Archie Rising star Archie O’Hara, who at School, City and at County level, was named ‘Most Promising U16 Cricketer’ by the MCCC (Midlands Club Cricket Conference). Archie has been at the School for over five years and his natural ability was spotted early by Head of Boys’ Games, Nigel Crust, and he has proved a firm fixture in the School’s prestigious First XI Cricket team. Mr Crust added “Archie’s skills as a batsman have earned him the title of most promising U16 – an impressive and quite honestly astounding achievement for someone so young. His runs during the last season recorded him with the fifth highest total in the county.”




The enthusiastic support of our OWs makes an important contribution to the success Wolverhampton Grammar School enjoys today. Whether you need opportunities to network, or can offer

As well as making sure you connect with School, there are

work experience and your expertise to a current student,

other practical ways that you can continue your support

WGS is on hand to help make the transition from School

and thank you if you are considering making a donation,

to employment.

gift or legacy to Wolverhampton Grammar School. Your support will make a difference and all donations are used to

OWs represent a whole range of careers and

ensure the continued improvement and accessibility of our

backgrounds and there are lots of opportunities for you


to support current students including guest lectures and masterclasses; our annual Careers Convention; Work

Giving back to the School has never been easier, visit your

Experience placements; careers advice and talks. WGS

pages on the School website www.wgs.org.uk/alumni,

also has a thriving LinkedIn community and many former

contact any one of our staff in the Development Team or

students use our reunions and events as an opportunity

email development@wgs-sch.net for more details.

to network with like minded people.



Careers Who better to tell you about the pros and cons of university

The experiences OWs share with us are invaluable. Keep talking

life vs apprenticeships than two OWs who were destined for

to us about your career experiences – in a competitive jobs

university life until the opportunity to work and study came their

market your expertise is a valuable resource to share with

way. Likewise, our OWs flooded us with their advice when we

current students and fellow OWs.

put a request out on social media for top interview tips.

University Versus Apprenticeship It is an unfortunate fact that these days a degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a good job, and some might say that years of study don’t necessarily equip you for the career of your choice. The majority of our students head for university but each year we see more and more considering the apprenticeship route instead. Two former students, Hannah Lea and Abbi Laville (OW 2015), featured in the Independent Magazine (www.wgs.org.uk/newsevents/newsletter) at the beginning of the year and talked about their decision to follow the apprenticeship route. Hannah joined the professional services firm Ernst and Young’s School Leaver Programme and Abbi became a Legal Apprentice with Gowling WLG, formerly known as Wragge Lawrence Graham and Co. Both were dissuaded from the university path at the outset by the thought of huge debt, attracted by the professional environment afforded by an apprenticeship and liked the opportunity to get a head start on the career ladder. If I had to give any advice to students, it would be to disregard

One year on we went back to see

the snobbery that surrounds apprenticeships as an alternative

if they would have done anything

decision. I achieved AAB at A-Level, could have gone to a Russell

differently …

what I’m doing will put me in better stead in future.” Abbi Laville

to university. Do what is right for you, and be confident in your Group university, but I really do believe that where I am now and (OW 2015)

“My first year at Gowling WLG has exceeded every expectation, I have so much responsibility and a huge amount of client contact

“Taking up an apprenticeship with Ernst and Young was definitely

which I never expected. The day-to-day work is so interesting and

the right move for me. For a career in Accountancy I don’t feel it is

I stand by the fact that you have so much more motivation to study

necessary to enter with a degree already under your arm. Many

when you can see it coming alive around you and why you’re

graduates enter the firm with completely unrelated degrees and

actually learning what you’re learning.

those who do have a degree in Accounting and Finance get just a couple of exemptions from exams.

I don’t think I gave much thought as to what else would come with


a job at a law firm, in terms of life outside of the office, there’s a

I am now on a six month secondment, with potential for a permanent

real community here and always something happening whether

role, within the Tax Controversy and Risk Management team of Ernst

that’s Friday night drinks or playing for the firm’s netball team.

and Young’s Tax Department.” Hannah Lea (OW 2015)

Dealing with companies rather than individuals has given me

Hannah and Abbi both support the School’s careers programme

exposure to all the commercial aspects of my work; building

and regularly return to give talks and support the annual Careers

relationships with clients and advising them on the best

Forum. If you would be interested in helping with our Careers

commercial decisions. It’s not just law – it’s a lot of business too.

Programme, contact Katie Guest on development@wgs-sch.net


Careers Forum The February Careers Forum gave our students an opportunity to explore the different career choices available from over 45 universities, companies and industries nationwide. Support came from over 70 representatives in engineering, optometry, law, finance, business and management, veterinary, health, journalism and the creative arts, to name but a few career sectors. Universities in attendance included University of Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, LSE and Nottingham offering a wide range of courses. The student and delegate feedback was valuable in maximising the impact of next year’s event to be held on Monday 6th February 2017. If you would like to get involved in our careers service please contact Katie Guest email development@wgs-sch.net

Interview Tips and Advice With a wealth of national and

Nigel Cox (OW 1974) – Sales Director –

Andrew Hailes (OW 1986) – Domestic

international experience in our LinkedIn

Europe, RS2 Software plc

Bursar, Cheltenham College

Group we asked for interview tips and

In any interview there will always be another

Don’t quote the text book, use your

advice for our students. Here are some

person as qualified as you. What will set you

experience to showcase what you have

snapshots of their answers, could you add

apart is your motivation and how you convey

done. Be prepared, show interest in

anything more? Join our LinkedIn Group

it. Be the most enthusiastic, be the best

your potential employers business and

‘Wolverhampton Grammar School (WGS)

researched, show that you have planned for

be genuine. Make sure you answer the

Old Wulfrunians and Friends’

success in the interview.

question and don’t waffle.

Jim Poole (OW 1985) - Head of UK

Sally Brown (OW 2003) – PR Consultant,

Clare Anderson (OW 2007) – Hydraulic

Business Unit at Omnis Consulting Inc

Ogilvy Public Relations

Modelling Engineer, Welsh Water

Don’t over analyse or get upset about one

Have a mantra! Have one thing, above all

Taking a portfolio of your own work

unsuccessful interview, think about trends

else, that you want your interviewer to walk

relevant to the role can help as you will be

from several. Selecting the right candidate

away thinking about you. Base that mantra

more memorable. Don’t be afraid to sit and

requires the board to perform well, not just the

a bit on what you know the interviewer

think about your answers especially if you

candidates and anyone can have a bad day.

wants, but mostly on what you want to be

get asked one you haven’t prepared for.

known for in your next role. Paul Gainford (OW 1978) – Owner,

Steve Taylor (OW 1989) - Tax Consultant,

Gainford Inventories

Sir Michael Griffiths (OW 1970) – Director,

The TACS Partnership

Focus on preparing concrete examples of

SMG Education Limited

An interview should be seen as a two way

what you can do or have achieved in the

Be yourself, be prepared, be confident,

process - you are also interviewing the

past, and how you did it. If you have several

show yourself as a team player, keep

person across the table to see whether

that you have rehearsed, then you can

answers short and to the point (more

their organisation is right for you.

trot out the most appropriate one for any

people talk themselves out of jobs than into

question you are asked.

them) and above all else smile.



Richard Hancher (OW 1993) KPMG promote careers in professional services through a

to equip students with skills they will find invaluable throughout

number of routes, the KPMG School Leaver programme (where

their career. Here former student and Director in KMPG’s

students are put through a degree whilst being paid a salary);

Government and infrastructure business, Richard Hancher (OW

the KPMG360 and KPMG Work Experience programmes all aim

1993), talks about his school experiences and the years since.

How did you end up at KPMG?

How do you spend your free time?

The last piece of graduate training at

I’m a triathlete and race up to Ironman

Rolls-Royce involved working with a group

distance, so with a training schedule in

of management consultants. The variety

excess of twenty hours a week at its peak

provided by consultancy prompted me

on top of work there isn’t much time left for

to apply to Capgemini’s management

anything else. I love travelling – and still

consulting practice. After 5 years KPMG

have far too many places in the world I’ve

began rebuilding their consulting business

yet to see.

and watching a number of colleagues join

What was your biggest influence whilst a student at WGS? Not realising it at the time it is amazing the influence your teachers have across your school career, especially in later years. I often find myself handing down advice to others given to me by my teachers – and it is at times like that I truly realise the significance. Who were my advisers you might ask, Tony Bennett my Sixth Form tutor and Peter Hills my A Level Maths teacher. When you left WGS did you know exactly what you wanted to do? I thought I did, but then ended up doing something completely different. As a bit of a childhood plane spotter I wanted to work in aviation and as a consequence went into engineering. Wanting to gain more varied experience in different industries I moved into consulting after a few years and found a career I loved and have stayed. What has been your career highlight to date? Two years working with the KPMG practice in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, a steep learning curve working in a different cultural/ business environment, but a fantastic experience both from a work and personal point of view. Rewriting and passing a piece of Government Legislation in just a

them, knew it would be a good fit and here

What has been your greatest personal

I am 11 years later. I worked across the US,


Middle East ending up in the Government

My first Ironman distance triathlon back

and Infrastructure arm – something I never

in July, with the months of training and a

would have predicted a few years ago.

little over twelve hours cycling and running by yourself, crossing the finish line was a

What do you enjoy most about your

bit emotional. Being particularly hopeless

current role?

at sport at school and even when I got

The variety of the work and people I meet.

into triathlon in my late twenties, I never

There is never a typical day, projects can

thought I could achieve that.

be manically busy with quieter patches inbetween and I thrive on this level of

What is on your bucket list?


Completing an Ironman was on the original list, that has now changed to improving my

Working with our clients is truly fascinating,

personal best! Always having raced in the

we get to help fix their most difficult

UK, my aim is now the international and

operational problems - often big news

age group circuit. Plenty of places left to

stories. In Government and Infrastructure

travel, South America or Australia, and I’d

one of the most interesting challenges is

like to learn to fly …that has been on the list

making improvements to public services

since my childhood.

whilst balancing the books. I am responsible for the career development of 600 staff in my business unit – from recent graduates to fellow Directors and being able to aid someone’s career gives me a real buzz. What do you think is next for you? More of the same! The great thing about this job is that no two projects are the same – the business environment and challenges facing our clients is always changing. It’s been a couple of years since my last stint overseas – so a secondment in another country would be good.

matter of months would almost certainly have taken years in the UK.



Career Advice and Guidance from the Experts …Old Wulfrunians In March three former students, Claudia Gilmour (OW 2008) first class honours fashion graduate now Head of Creative Learning and Education at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre; Jonathan Crawford (OW 2014) former professional footballer now studying automotive design at Coventry University; and Shobhan Dhir (OW 2011) MEng Mechanical Engineering graduate, returned to talk to Year 7 and 8 students about life after School. These talks formed part of the School’s ASPIRE programme, which aims to build confidence and widen our younger students knowledge of life beyond School. Our former students brought to life the fact that your career may take many turns and that taking opportunities as they present themselves is just as important when you leave as it was when you are in School. If you would like to assist our careers programme then please contact Katie Guest on development@wgs-sch.net

Lower Sixth Students Enter the Dragons’ Den July saw nine teams of budding inventors

year’s competition saw the launch of a

Dr Gavin Smeilus, Senior Innovation

and entrepreneurs preparing pitches

unique partnership between the School,

Consultant at University of Wolverhampton

on a range of innovative product

University of Wolverhampton and City


ideas, based on four of the Eight Great

of Wolverhampton Council and which

“The students were very capable

Technologies – health, digital, low carbon

continues into 2017 with a programme of

and food, from a protective cycling helmet,

masterclasses and lectures in business

and the quality of their proposals

medical and storage apps, scanner to

management, product research and

aid visual impairment and light reactive

development in preparation for next

windscreen to a panel of Dragons. This

year’s event.

exceeded my expectations, with most products addressing a genuine problem.”

Five ways you can get involved: 1. Provide work experience placements 2. Give a careers talk 3. Become a student mentor Programme?

Wolverhampton Grammar School (WGS) Old Wulfrunians and Friends

5. Join our new LinkedIn group

Join the official Wolverhampton Grammar School

4. Does your organisation offer a School Leavers

(WGS) Old Wulfrunians and Friends LinkedIn group. If you would like to offer your services please

Network with fellow Old Wulfrunians and the wider

contact Katie Guest, Head of Development – tel

School community both past and present, receive

01902 421326 or email development@wgs-sch.net

invites to networking events, school events and offer careers assistance and advice.



Welcome to the Development Office Lifelong friendships are formed at Wolverhampton Grammar

The School has always valued the role you play in helping to

School and it is warming to see how much our former students

keep us Wolverhampton’s top independent school. With this

and staff remember their days here with such great affection,

in mind we have taken the important step of expanding the

visiting us regularly and attending the many events that go on in

Development Office to provide yet more opportunities for you to

School each year.

engage in school life. Katie Guest, with nine years’ experience of independent schools’ marketing and admissions, joins Carrie Bennett and Gail Evans to make the third and newest member of our Development Office.


Meet the Development and Alumni Team Carrie Bennett - Director of Marketing & Communications

There are a whole range of ways for you to stay in touch or reconnect with, not only us, but each other. We are always happy to hear, or even receive a visit from Old Boys and Girls, ex-staff and parents and receive ideas for events or assist in hosting your own reunions.

As Director of Marketing and Communications, Carrie is responsible for all marketing, recruitment and admissions, communications and development activities.

Email development@wgs-sch.net Post Development Office, Wolverhampton Grammar School, Compton Road, Wolverhampton, WV3 9RB

Gail Evans Alumni Relations & Marketing Officer Gail is our events organiser, assists with the management of the alumni database. Gail has day to day contact with our

Telephone +44 (0) 1902 421326 Website


Visit the alumni pages on the School website www.wgs.org.uk for event photos, alumni profiles, events calendar and more.

Katie Guest

F Facebook

Head of Development

‘Like’ our Facebook pages, search for:

Katie has responsibility for fundraising activities and engagement with our

Wolverhampton Grammar School Official

Old Wulfrunians of WGS

alumni, parents, staff and the local

t Twitter


Follow alumni and school news via Twitter, search for: •




l LinkedIn

Wolverhampton Grammar School (WGS) Old Wulfrunians and Friends

Connect with fellow alumni on LinkedIn, search for: Wolverhampton Grammar School (WGS) Old Wulfrunians and Friends

Join the official Wolverhampton Grammar School

y YouTube

(WGS) Old Wulfrunians and Friends LinkedIn group.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel, search for:

Network with fellow Old Wulfrunians and the wider

School community both past and present, receive


Wolverhampton Grammar School Instagram

invites to networking events, school events and offer

search for:

careers assistance and advice.

Wolverhampton Grammar School


Support us The School is about to embark on developing a Fundraising

If you would like to support WGS by making a financial

Strategy to ensure an WGS education is available to as many

contribution, then this never been easier and thank you. Making

children as possible. If you would like to be involved in this work,

a donation, gift or legacy to Wolverhampton Grammar School

please contact the School – it’s only by hearing from OWs about

makes a real difference and all donations are used to ensure the

how WGS changed your life can we make sure that we include

continued improvement and accessibility of our education.

what’s important to you.

There are a number of ways you can offer your support: UK Online donations or Cheque Payments

are a UK taxpayer and satisfy the required

like Wolverhampton Grammar School

You can use Personal Online Banking to

criteria. Please print the Gift Aid Declaration

(Registered Charity Number: 529006)

make a transfer to the school or to set up

and return it to the School. If you pay tax

or to Wolverhampton Grammar School

a Standing Order. Alternatively cheques

at a higher rate and Gift Aid your gift to

Independence Appeals Fund (Registered

may be made payable to Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton Grammar School, you can

Charity Number: 507487) is also exempt

Grammar School Ltd or Wolverhampton

claim tax relief in your Self Assessment tax

from inheritance tax and may help reduce

Grammar School Independence Appeals


the overall amount of tax that must be paid

Fund. Please contact Gail Evans email:

on your estate.

development@wgs-sch.net or tel: 01902

Payroll giving

421326 for further details.

Under the Payroll Giving Scheme,

Changes made to the UK Inheritance

employees can authorise their employer to

Tax law 2012 could benefit your primary

Worldwide Giving

deduct charitable donations from their pay

beneficiaries: by leaving 10% or more of

Gifts from overseas can be made by

before calculating Pay As You Earn tax. This

your estate to charity, the inheritance tax

electronic transfer and in some countries

means that the employee automatically

payable on your net estate reduces from

it is possible to make a donation to the

gets tax relief on donations at his or her top

40% to 36%.

School in a tax-effective way. To find out

rate of tax. There is no limit on the amount

more about making electronic transfers

that can be given under the scheme. To

If you would like to discuss a donation,

or making a tax-effective donation, please

find out more about Payroll Giving and

whatever the size, or plan to remember

contact the School Development Office. If

if your company operates the scheme,

Wolverhampton Grammar School in your

you are based in the US, you can make a

please contact your Human Resources or

will, please contact Katie Guest, Head of

donation via Old Wulfrunians in the USA.

Personnel department.

Development email development@wgssch.net or tel: 01902 421326.

Again, please contact School if you would like more details.

Leaving a Legacy Leaving a legacy to Wolverhampton

Every gift makes a difference. Please

Gift Aid

Grammar School is one of the most

consider giving whatever you can.

Please remember to Gift Aid your gift to

powerful ways in which you can help

Wolverhampton Grammar School if you

future generations. Money left to a charity

Andrew Proverbs: A Truly Fitting Tribute Thanks to your generosity, the memorial

Thanks to your overwhelming response,

window in honour of Director of Music,

the fund will be ongoing and we will

Andrew Proverbs, who sadly passed away

continue to support Andrew’s legacy

in 2014, has now been installed and looks

through the work of the Music Department.

resplendent in Big School.

Please do contact us if you would like the opportunity to take a look at the stained

The final design, created following

glass window in Big School. The Music

conversations with his family and closest

Department is also planning a fundraising

friends at WGS depicts his beloved piano,

concert in Andrew’s honour next term and

a musical score written by Andrew and

is looking for OWs who would like to get

a Blue Bird – a personal symbol chosen

involved, please contact the School if you

by his family. The stained glass window is

would like more details.

in keeping with the other windows in Big School and sits just above the main stage – Andrew’s spiritual home.



Wolverhampton Grammar School Compton Road Wolverhampton WV3 9RB 01902 421326 www.wgs.org.uk t @WGS1512 F Wolverhampton Grammar School Official Wolverhampton Grammar School l Wolverhampton Grammar School (WGS) Old Wulfrunians and Friends



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