Category Archives: Education


Wellington School is delighted to have taken ownership of the former Salvation Army Hall in the town. The lovely building, which sits on the edge of the School’s campus, will be re-developed to create a superb nursery unit for two year olds, which is scheduled to open in September 2016.

The old chapel was the headquarters of the Salvation Army in Wellington for many years. When the Salvation Army stopped using the building and it came on to the market, the School was very keen to acquire it and keep the building in community use. “Its location is ideal for us.” said Mr Adam Gibson, Headmaster of Wellington Prep School. “The building has an important history and with our nursery plans, the building has an exciting future for the School and the town.” The new nursery unit will extend the School’s age range to two-year-olds and the facility will be open for 50 weeks a year, enabling all pre-school children at the School to have access to year-round care and education.

The space inside the beautiful stone building presents a blank canvas and designs are already in place to create state-of-the-art learning spaces, indoors and outdoors, for the children. “We are in touch with local suppliers and manufacturers who will be working with us to develop this wonderful building. The space inside and out will be developed to be among the best of its kind.” stated Mr Jim Pendleton, Estates Manager at the School.

The old chapel’s location at the edge of the School’s campus means that access to the new nursery will be reconfigured. “Changing the access point for parents will mean that the nursery doesn’t cause any additional traffic on Scott’s Lane.” explained Mr Pendleton, who went on to say, “It also means that we can use some of the School’s existing land to create additional outside play space for the nursery.”

The new nursery will be relatively small with capacity for just over twenty children. “We made a determined choice to keep the numbers low in order to maintain the outstanding quality of Early Years care for which we are known.” said Mr Adam Gibson. “From our parents’ point of view being able to offer year round care is a great option, especially as the number of families in the town is continuing to grow. The number of registrations that we have already received suggests that there will be a great deal of demand for places.”

The months ahead will see the redesign of the old chapel into the town’s newest nursery.


The Third Form at King’s College are preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.

In September 2015, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S where they would spend several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March 2016. The seeds have been sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.

King’s College will be one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which they will grow alongside seeds that haven’t been to space and measure the differences over a seven week period. The pupils won’t know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians.

The out-of-this-world, nationwide science experiment will pick up on several areas of the Year 9 biology course, encouraging the pupils to think more about how we might preserve human life on another planet in the future, what astronauts need in order to survive long-term missions in space and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.

Head of Biology Lucy MacAlister says: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our pupils to think more scientifically and to share their findings with the whole school. It also follows the underlying theme of the Discover@King’s science festival last year where pupils got an insight into how collaborative the sciences they study are in real world. It will also enable them to be at the cutting edge of scientific research of their own, that will be of national and international importance.”

Rocket Science is just one educational project from a programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the ISS and to inspire young people to look into careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, including horticulture.

Follow the project on Twitter: @RHSSchools #RocketScience


If you are on Exmoor today at 6.21pm and there are clear skies, look up and you may see the International Space Station with Major Tim Peake onboard. This is one of the rare times of year that you have a good chance in seeing the solar panels in all their golden glory as the ISS flies past around an hour after sunset as they glow in the sun light from over the horizon set against our dark sky. Visible: 3 min, Max Height: 83°, Appears: 35° above WSW, Disappears: 19° above E. (Source: ‘Exmoor’ Facebook page)


A teenager from Wellington School is making waves in the world of rowing.  Edward Fuller, aged 13, from Gittisham, finished fourth last month when he took part in the London British Rowing Indoor Championships in his age category. He rowed a distance of 819 metres in three minutes.

Edward first got into his rowing around 18 months ago and now trains at Exeter Rowing Club where he attends for four sessions a week, both indoors and out on the water.

What makes his achievements all the more commendable is the fact that he also bravely battles a medical condition that would make many an individual settle for an easier life . Edward suffers from severe haemophilia, a condition which means that the blood cannot clot properly.

Although bleeding can be from cuts or grazes on the skin, most bleeding that occurs is internal, into muscles and joints, and is therefore not visible to the untrained eye. To overcome this risk of bleeding, his mother Helen injects him intravenously at home four times a week with a clotting factor which then allows him to undertake most mainstream activities.

As well as his rowing prowess Edward also plays hockey.

In terms of the youngster’s hospital care, that is looked after by a team of consultants, physiotherapists and haematologists at both Exeter Hospital and Bristol Children’s Hospital.

The British Rowing Indoor Championships is an indoor rowing event which began in Henley-on-Thames attracting 200 competitors. It is currently the world ‘s biggest indoor rowing event attracting over 3,000 participants and is and Britain’s biggest mass-participation indoor sporting event. Olympic rowing gold medalists Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent have won open titles at the event in the past.

The races are separated Men, Lightweight Men, Women, and Lightweight Women – with these further split into age categories. All competitors over 16 race 2,000 m (the Olympic rowing distance) with shorter time-based events for Juniors.

There are also team races where teams of four race 4,000m as a relay. The event is now held at the Lee Valley VeloPark.


PHOTO TOP: Edward Fuller at the London British Rowing Indoor Championships

MadisonAnother Wellington School pupil has performed exceptionally well in a renowned cycle race.

Evan Richards (on the right in the photo), in Year 9, competed in the National Mens’ and Junior Mens’ Madison Championship Support Races. The British National Madison Championships are held annually as part of the British National Track Championships organised by British Cycling. There were two separate championship events for amateur and professional riders. This race takes its name from the famous Madison Square Garden in New York. Teams of two riders compete over a whopping 50km – 200 laps of the track! Evan and his partner finished 2nd overall against the best Madison riders in the UK, which is fantastic as he is still only a first year Under 14.



Budding Poet Wins Ted Hughes Prize

elliot poet from wellington schoolWellington Prep School pupil Elliot Owen has won first prize the Ted Hughes Young Poets Award.

The Year 2 pupil wrote the poem ‘My Animal A-Z’ and submitted it to the competition set up in memory of the late poet laureate. The competition was judged by acclaimed poet Katrina Naomi. Elliot is the first prizewinner in the 6-10 age category, and, in addition to the prestigious award, has also won a prize of £ new balance

There will be a prizewinning event at the Ted Hughes Festival in October in Hughes’ birthplace, Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire, at which Elliot will be able to read out his winning poem.

“We are so proud of Elliot’s achievement. To win first prize against such a huge number of submissions is a tremendous accolade”, says Adam Gibson, Headmaster of Wellington Prep School. Our Year 5 pupils are currently studying the works of Ted Hughes, so it is especially pertinent for us at present.”

Katrina Naomi is a poet, tutor and poetry mentor. Her poetry has appeared in the TLS, The Poetry Review and The Spectator, and on Radio 4. She is working towards a Creative Writing PhD at Goldsmiths.

PHOTO:   Elliot Owen, Year 2. Winner of the Ted Hughes Poetry Competition.

Success for Dulverton Middle School Students

Dulverton Middle School children have achieved 100% pass rate in a nationally-recognised vocational award. 

Worth half a GCSE, the students have studied a Practical Environmental and Conservation Skills course. The pupils have been working in Burridge Woods, the school grounds and with local landowners. Their skills in hedge laying were recognised and rewarded recently through the Exmoor Hedge Competition when the group were presented with a Novice Award for hedge laying within the school grounds from Susan May of the Exmoor Trust and Dr Nigel Stone, chief executive of Exmoor National Park Authority.

Clive Goulty, the teacher in charge for the last three consecutive years said:”The children have been a pleasure to teach and their skill development over the year has been rapid. Exmoor National Park has a long standing partnership with the Exmoor Curriculum at Dulverton Middle and the VRQ course which is internally moderated by Dave Gurnett.

“The young people were also delighted to have received the hedgelaying award and can be justly proud of themselves.”

Dave Gurnett commented: “The sustainable progression of local students’ skill development together with increased knowledge of the area is of great value to the Authority and will hopefully add to their confidence as they go forward.” nike air max thea

Planning Permission for West Buckland upgrade

West Buckland School in North Devon has secured planning permission for a new Study Centre and Sixth Form Boarding House.  Construction works on the £5m project will begin in July, with the development to the school campus transforming the study environment for all senior school pupils along with the living arrangements for sixth form boarders when both buildings open in the Autumn Term 2015.

The Study Centre will be equipped to enable students and teachers to use the latest technology for independent learning and teaching.  The ground floor will house a classroom, open plan study spaces, library, IT resources and a careers and higher education area.  The first floor will provide a classroom and dedicated sixth form study area and further IT resources.   The design will enable students to work in a similar environment to the one they are likely to experience at university.

The boarding house will provide 70 en-suite single bedrooms for boys and girls along with a variety of social spaces.  Both buildings will be located in close proximity and have been designed to create a dynamic new hub to the campus that encourages interaction and integration between day and boarding students.

Headmaster John Vick says: “Our new Study Centre will provide pupils with an outstanding environment, enabling them to learn independently and fulfil their academic potential.  The Sixth Form Boarding House will be a superb facility and combined with the Study Centre, will help our senior students prepare for university and enjoy their full experience in the West Buckland Sixth Form.

“This development is one of the most significant in West Buckland’s 150 year history and demonstrates our continued ambition and commitment to provide all of our day and boarding students with the best facilities and learning opportunities.”


School Submits Plans for Campus Upgrade

perspective boarding house and study centreWest Buckland School has submitted plans for a significant upgrade to its campus. The application from the North Devon independent school details a new study centre which will house open-plan learning spaces, library and IT resources over two floors. It will be used by all students across the senior school and will include a dedicated Sixth Form area. The application also details plans for a state-of-the-art 70study-bedroom Sixth Form boarding house.

If the plans are approved, work on the project will begin over the summer with the development completed and ready for students in September 2015. West Buckland School Headmaster John Vick explains: “This is an incredibly exciting and ambitious project that will bring many benefits for every day and boarding pupil at West Buckland School. We want to provide our students with the very best facilities and the study centre will provide a first class learning environment for students across the senior school. The boarding house will be a superb facility, with single bedrooms and en-suite facilities for boys and girls. The buildings will be in close proximity and are designed to create a dynamic new hub to the campus that encourages close interaction and integration between our day and boarding students. This development will provide students with a remarkable environment in which to learn, live and study. I am confident that if our plans are approved, we will provide the best facilities for sixth formers and younger pupils to be found anywhere in the South West and further afield.

The Exmoor Moorland Classroom springs into action with new sites, free resources and school travel bursary

Dave Weatherly, Curriculum Advisor,  with local children exploring Moorland Classroom sites.
Dave Weatherly, Curriculum Advisor, with local children exploring Moorland Classroom sites.

The Moorland Classroom has now engaged with over 6,000 pupils and this spring sees the launch of two new Moorland Classroom sites in Exmoor National Park. 

The new sites are Grabbist, overlooking the medieval village of Dunster, and Winsford Hill, above Tarr Steps.  Dulverton Middle School has recently returned from Winsford Hill as teacher Sophie Hanson from the school highlights: “Winsford Hill is a great resource. It covers many curriculum areas and is very hands-on with The Punchbowl, burial mounds and Tarr Steps all with easy walking distance of each other.”

Grabbist and Dunster also provide a great package and with plenty of wet-weather options. Curriculum Advisor for the Moorland Classroom, David Weatherly, stresses how the “Moorland Classroom is an ideal mechanism for delivering the new curriculum for 2014 – cross-curricular, engaging and challenging. It provides a real context for meaningful outdoor learning linked to places and issues that will inspire children and young people. Throughout there is an emphasis on enquiry based investigative learning and teaching which encourages children and young people to take responsibility for their own learning.”

David Rolls, Moorland Education Officer for the Heart of Exmoor Scheme, says: “To get your local school involved just google ‘Moorland Classroom’ and remember thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Exmoor Trust and the Exmoor National Park Partnership Fund, our travel bursary can help schools with travel costs.

“A big thank you to all the schools that have helped us develop these resources for use in both the classroom and out in the National Park.”