Page 34 - Independent Schools Magazine
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 Royal visit
His Royal Highness, The Earl
of Wessex, unveiled a plaque
to commemorate the start of
Trent College’s 150th anniversary celebrations as he visited the Long Eaton school and met students and staff, past and present last month (September).
Opened in 1868, Trent College, Nottinghamshire, formally marks its 150th year this academic year, and Prince Edward was met by the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Mr William Tucker, before being escorted on a tour of the school’s campus by Trent College Head, Mr Bill Penty.
A long-time Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Trustee and himself a Gold Award holder, Prince Edward observed students taking part
in a number of DofE and team building activities, before of cially opening the school’s new Food and Nutrition Suite.
This year no fewer than 135 Trent College students are expected to complete their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards across the three levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold. DofE is an integral part of Trent College school life for its role in promoting the
life skills and character strengths
New era
A merger with Ashdell Preparatory School has allowed Shef eld High School for Girls to expand into the former girls only prep school site on Fulwood Road and operate a dedicated pre-school and infant school for the  rst time ever.
The merger means that Shef eld Girls’ can now provide specialist teaching spaces for younger pupils in science, art, music and modern foreign languages for its increased 2017-18 intake of over 950 girls.
The additional facilities, plus the forthcoming launch of a new £2.5million investment in a new gymnasium, mean the school, a member of the Girls Day School Trust, will set the new school off on its 140th year.
Valerie Dunsford, Headmistress said: “The start of the 2017/18 term
34 School Buildings
young people need to  ourish in the fast-changing, competitive world in which they are growing up.
Mr Chris Rawles is Trent College’s Co-ordinator of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Expeditions. He said: “Many desirable life
skills, such as team work, problem solving, resilience, determination, communication, leadership and con dence, are embedded through taking part in the DofE activities. There is a lot of research on the positive outcomes of outdoor education on wellbeing. Con dence is a key factor in positive mental health in young people, while the feel-good factor from learning new things, achieving and making a positive difference can be signi cant too. This is why DofE Awards are still so relevant.”
Trent College  rst opened its doors in April 1868, with just 53 male students. Since then the school has grown to become one of the top co- educational independent schools in the region and home to more than 1,300 students. Prince Edward’s
visit was the  rst of a number of celebration events planned over the next 12 months.
was a signi cant moment in the school’s history. Our merger with the last remaining girls’ preparatory school in Shef eld, means we are the only choice for all through girls’ education in South Yorkshire. We are now operating across three closely located sites and have
some amazing new facilities for academic studies, sport, music and performing arts.
Chris Hald, who became Head of Shef eld Girls’ Infant and Junior School in September 2016, and
will lead the merged school said: “We provide an all round education for girls. Alongside developing academic performance, we have
a clear focus on pastoral care and aim to equip all our girls with life skills to enable them to become con dent and resilient.”
Pupils and staff at Epsom College, Surrey, were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester, to mark the of cial opening of the state-of-the-art Lower School.
The £3million red brick building has created a modern and progressive space for Year 7 and 8 pupils to study. It was highly commended
in the 2016 Education Business Awards for the most technically advanced building constructed for the purpose of teaching current and future pupils.
His Royal Highness was accompanied by the Royal party
of HM Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Mr Michael More-Molyneux; Chairman of Surrey County Council, Peter Martin; Mayor of Epsom & Ewell, Councillor Liz Frost; Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP; Police & Crime Commissioner, David Munro; and Epsom College’s Chair of Board of Governors, Dr Alastair Wells, and Headmaster, Jay Piggot.
During his visit, Prince Richard, grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary, was given a tour of the Lower School building, and observed a range of lessons which demonstrated the breadth of opportunities available to pupils.
Guests took part in a Mandarin lesson, observed a rehearsal of the Lower School choir; and listened in as pupils debated the impact
of social media on young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
The Duke also observed one of the College’s STEM lessons – which introduce pupils to the interdisciplinary potential of science, technology, engineering and maths – before visiting Epsom’s art department, housed
in the John Piper building which is named after one of the College’s celebrated former pupils.
The visit concluded with The Duke unveiling the plaque, and being presented with gifts by two Year 8 pupils – Sophie Norman and Arthur van Grondelle. The Duke said: “Any time that a building is developed
it is a sign of success and growth. This new Lower School building
is a sure sign of Epsom College’s continued success – it re ects the College’s outstanding reputation.”
Speaking at the event, Headmaster, Jay Piggot, said “It is a great pleasure to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, and to invite him of cially to open our new Lower School by an act of unveiling the plaque.
“One year on, and the Lower School is having an enormous impact upon the College: enquiries and registrations have trebled over the past year and we are poised
to receive record numbers for the entrance tests next January.
“This building has helped us to address the balance of girls and boys at Epsom; for the  rst time in the history of the College, we have two year groups in the Lower School that contain slightly more girls than boys.
“Most importantly of all, this building is helping to shape an educational experience for our pupils that is happy, engaging and aspirational.”
Epsom College’s Lower School welcomed its  rst cohort of pupils in September 2016 and is now at capacity at 132 pupils across Years 7 and 8. The Lower School is fully co-educational, with an equal number of girl and boy pupils.
Duke of Gloucester opens Lower School

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