Wellington School, Somerset
|Motto||Nisi Dominus Frustra
(The opening of Psalm 127: If God Be Not With Us, Our Labour is in Vain)
|Type||Independent day and boarding|
|Religion||Church of England|
|DfE URN||123930 Tables|
|Colours||Navy & Light Blue|
|Former pupils||Old Wellingtonians|
Wellington School is situated to the south of the centre of the small town of Wellington. It was founded in 1837 as an all-boys school by Benjamin Frost (Headmaster 1837–1848). It was later purchased and run by Frost's wife and William Corner (Headmaster 1848–1879). The school first came into existence on its present site in 1837, as a private boys school. Girls were accepted in 1972.
The school's arms consist of one quarter of the Duke of Wellington's arms, the dragons represent the County of Somerset and the open book represents learning. The school is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
The school opened a new junior school in 2000, having previously only catered for pupils aged 10 and over. In 2003 the Princess Royal opened the Princess Royal Sports Complex, a £2.65 million indoor sports facility.
Since September 2007, there have been no lessons on a Saturday. This has been replaced with activities that incorporate music, drama and sport as well as compulsory activities for the boarders.
The school has rugby pitches, cricket squares, football pitches, an all-weather pitch, all-weather training areas, tennis courts, squash courts, climbing wall and an indoor swimming pool.
Football was reintroduced in the 2003 school year.
Hockey is the most prestigious sport at Wellington. Many students have gone on to represent the school in county and England hockey, national athletics, county and England fencing and county rugby.
The Chapel is within the 'central' tradition of the Church of England, and the College has a full-time Chaplain. Assembly takes place there on Mondays and Wednesdays. There are Sunday services throughout term time for boarders and members of the public; these involve regular performances by the school's chapel choir. The Chaplain prepares pupils for Confirmation annually. Confirmation and all the other occasional offices of the church (weddings, funerals etc.) are open to all members of the school community on request. Wellington School Chapel was built as a memorial to the pupils and staff who died during the two world wars and their names are commemorated around the walls. Each year a pupil from each boarding house remembers one former pupil specifically, researching how and where they died and a basket of flowers is laid in their memory. The chapel is a Grade II listed building.
Combined Cadet Force
The school has its own marching band and active Combined Cadet Force, founded in 1901. The Combined Cadet Force is open to senior school pupils, and boasts upwards of 170 cadets across the Royal Navy, Army and Air Force sections.
The cadets learn military based skills such as drill, weapons handling, map and compass, battlecraft, climbing, abseiling and leadership development. There are various CCF camps, military training weekends and cadet competitions each year, during which the cadets go on field manoeuvres in order to apply the skills they have learned in a practical situation. Wellington School is unique in having three field exercises a year, each lasting three days and two nights. There is a commissioned officer who is a full-time member of staff at Wellington School who runs the CCF. He is assisted by an experienced warrant officer. The cadets are required to present themselves for inspection by the masters in charge of each section on a weekly basis.
Notable former pupils
- John Fraser Drummond, Battle of Britain fighter pilot
- Lieutenant-General Sir Freddie Viggers, KCB CMG MBE DL, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, Secretary to the Lord Great Chamberlain and Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Lords. Senior official responsible for the day-to-day management of the House of Lords.
- Keith Floyd, Celebrity chef, television personality and restaurateur
- Frank Gillard BBC broadcaster and administrator.
- David Suchet, Actor known for playing Hercule Poirot
- Jeffrey Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare, Author, politician
- Simon Singh, Science author.
- Tom Singh, founder of the New Look chain of stores.
- Herbert Gamlin, England rugby union player with 15 international caps between 1899 and 1904, known as "The Octopus" for the strength of his tackling.
- Vice Admiral Duncan Potts, Current Director general of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.
- Sir David Chipperfield, Architect
- Sir Nigel Sweeney, High Court Judge
- David Oxley, Actor, Best known as playing Sir Hugo Baskerville in the 1959 fillm of The Hound of the Baskervilles
- Carly Bawden, Actress, Best known for playing Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady in 2012, Swallow in the 2010 UK tour of Whistle Down the Wind (musical) and Genevieve Emery in 2011 The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
- Tristan Mackay, Singer/Songwriter and No 1 iTunes artist
Notable former masters
- John Kendall-Carpenter, President of the Rugby Football Union (1980–1981), the England Schools Rugby Football Union (1985–90) and Cornwall (1984–87). He was also Chairman of the committee that organised the first Rugby World Cup in 1987.
- "Welcome to Wellington School". Wellington School. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
- "Princess Royal Sports Complex". Wellington School Trading Ltd. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
- "Facilities". Wellington School. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- "Fencing and hockey honours for Wellington School students". Somerset County Gazette. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
- "Wellington Army Cadet Force". Wellington Army Cadet Force. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
- John Fraser Drummond: Background, The Merseyside Few, retrieved 10 September 2010
- "Old Wellingtonian appointed Black Rod". This is the West Country. 28 December 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
- "TV chef Keith Floyd dies from heart attack". Bristol Evening Post. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
- Miall, Leonard (23 October 1998). "Obituary: Frank Gillard". The Independent (London). Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- "David Suchet — Poirot — to open Wellington School facilities". Somerset Gazette. 11 January 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "Simon Singh profile: I think, therefore I will not be gagged". The Times. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- "Wellington (Somerset)". Guide to Independent Schools. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- "Death of Mr H. T. Gamlin", The Times (London) (47736), 14 July 1937: p5
- Wellington School's official website
- Wellington School's Princess Royal Sports Complex
- Independent Schools Inspectorate Inspection Reports - Junior School & Senior School