Curriculum is a balance of subject-focused and student-centred activities and at Wellingborough School we like to think we do both well. We have a variety of opportunities which progress as students progress through the school. At Wellingborough School our co-curricular programme blends inside the classroom with outside the classroom, the academic with the non-academic, and it is part of what makes the school so special.
Leadership and teamwork underpin these activities – many of which are student led – and research shows that a vibrant co-curricular programme also helps to cultivate creative thinking, amongst other skills.
School Educational Visits sit hand in hand with the co-curriculum and together they add to the overall experience with visits from the usual annual ski and adventure training trips to subject-based visits to CERN, New York, Iceland and Sri Lanka, to name just a few.
Our lunchtime enrichment sessions are compulsory for Years 7 to 9 and then from Year 10 onwards the students begin to lead the activities themselves, these vary from dance and musical theatre to debating, chess and forensic science club.
All students are also offered the opportunity to participate in the Big 5: Sport, Drama, Music, the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award.
As well as the traditional sports of rugby, hockey, football, netball, tennis and cricket, older pupils can choose to do a range of sports such as cross-country, climbing, trampolining and even karting – a student led initiative which resulted in us placing well in our first British Schools Karting Championship.
There is an extensive sports tour programme and most recent visits included Portugal, America and Dubai. Although we have been unable to participate in fixtures in recent months, the department has been alive with in-house practices and matches.
Our drama department produces annual productions at the local theatre which can vary from Les Miserables and Sweeny Todd to A Winter’s Tale. Smaller scale, but no less worthy, productions include the Sixth Form plays, such as the gothic tales of Dracula and Frankenstein.
The music department boasts a chapel choir, multiple ensembles and a vibrant concert band and orchestra. We are delighted that music lessons and ensembles have continued remotely throughout lockdowns during the pandemic and whilst in school, lessons are face-to-face in a COVID secure environment.
Steeped in history is the School’s Combined Cadet Force – a source of great tradition and pride. We are one of only seven schools in Britain with four active sections: the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Army and the Royal Air Force. Wellingborough School has produced some distinguished servicemen in both World Wars and in peacetime four Generals.
In 1937, Wellingborough School was the first in the country to form its own Air Section. A highlight came the following year, when a group of cadets was inspected by Air Marshal Lord Trenchard, the ‘Father of the Royal Air Force’ himself. In more recent years, our cadets have been awarded the highest honours as top cadets in the UK in the Royal Marines, the Army and the Royal Air Force. Our focus continues to be very much on leadership and other essential life skills; we have competed in the National Cadet First Aid Championships for over ten years, coming National Runners up in the prestigious Inter-Services Championship and in the top five in the CCF most years.
We have our own indoor range at Wellingborough, so shooting also features highly, with success at Bisley and CADSAAM. Annual camps are always a source of great joy and our cadets have been to summer camps and adventure training camps around Britain, with one of the highlights being flying in a Sea King over the Northumberland coast.
The school DofE programme offers the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards and takes direct entrants at all levels. Whilst the award is based on completing four sections, the expedition is always the section where the most excitement occurs, and camaraderie is experienced. We are pleased to offer three modes of travel at Gold Expedition level: walking, canoeing and cycling. Training continued remotely during lockdown and challenges such as bicycle maintenance and first aid were overcome. During expeditions, students have travelled the length of Britain and canoed the stunning Great Glen, cycled the formidable North York Moors and walked in the lofty heights of Snowdonia and the Lake District; memories have been made to last a lifetime.
So, whether visiting the fjords in Iceland, rain forests of Sri Lanka, dancing, canoeing, climbing, shooting or studying forensic science, we like to think there truly is something for everyone at Wellingborough.
Find out more about Wellingborough School at www.wellingboroughschool.org