Education news - December 2013

PUBLISHED: 14:49 20 December 2013 | UPDATED: 14:49 20 December 2013

Wellington College students had a fantastic trip to Cornwall

Wellington College students had a fantastic trip to Cornwall


Catch up with the news from our local schools and colleges

Now that’s the way we do it!

Having ourselves enjoyed a visit to Wokingham’s Holme Grange School, we’re pretty sure Education Secretary Michael Gove found plenty of inspiration when he popped in. Pupils took him on a tour of the school and he watched them kindle a fire at an outdoor learning zone as well as joining those in classrooms.

If this was a ‘spying mission’ for how the national education system should develop, he couldn’t have found a better place than the independent prep school for youngsters aged three to 13.

Mr Gove was full of praise for head teacher Claire Robinson, the specialist staff, and how pupils respond to – and surpass – the high expectations they encounter at Holme Grange.

And over in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire University Technical College (UTC) welcomed veteran politician Lord Baker, a man who had the education hot seat in Margaret Thatcher’s government. Today he is Chairman of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, which pioneers the development of UTCs.

Lord Baker said: “I was delighted to see the students embracing their academic and vocational training in IT and Construction. We are desperately short of skilled technicians in these areas in the UK and it’s great to meet the next generation.”

Principal Bev Flanagan added: “As we approach our first half term it’s amazing to see what our young people have already achieved. We’ve run some great projects with our employer partners, and the visit from Lord Baker has been an added thrill for them all.”

Wellington pupils inspired by Eden

Students from Wellington College in Crowthorne raised £1,000 for Doubletrees School in Cornwall while visiting there. Fourteen students stayed in Cornwall during an Eden educational programme. Activities included a tour of the Biomes at night, harvesting and buying their own food on a budget and cooking for the Doubletrees students.

The college runs a Junior Social Apprentice programme that involves 14 and 15 year old pupils giving something back to local, national or international communities. Doubletrees School is dedicated to pupils with severe, profound and multiple, or complex learning difficulties. Wellington pupils cleared and planted a vegetable area there, refurbished flower beds and worked in the orchard.

Wellington teacher Sean Farrell said: “I realise how much was achieved and learnt during the five days. This is completely down to the Eden Project, the remarkable programme they put together and the incredibly stimulating way in which it was delivered.”

To find out more about educational programmes at Eden see

Fly to Lapland for a Christmas treat

St Michaels’s School in Sunninghill is offering a spectacular raffle prize at their Christmas Fayre on November 30 – a daytrip to Lapland for a family of four.

The winners will fly to Finland and enjoy a snowmobile trip, husky sled journey, reindeer sleigh ride, meeting with Santa, as well as a two-course lunch and activities including tobogganing, snowballing and snowman-making. Thermal suits and boots will be provided, so there’s no need to worry about the cold.

Return flights to and from Luton are included, with meals on board, all taxes and government air passenger duty, and travel insurance. The trip must be taken on Sunday, 15 December so keep the date free!

The prize is sponsored by Bellway Homes, the builder behind the Claremont development in Beechcroft Close. There will be a selection of luxury hampers for runners-up.

The Grand Draw will take place at 2pm at the fayre. Tickets are£1 and available to everyone, on sale in local shops and also online at

Latest from the Berkshire Life