We have launched a new appeal to help Wells pupils whose families need extra support with bursary funding – The Quilter Scholarship Fund, named for the late Alan and Sheila Quilter, who recreated this school, and who influenced generations to ‘be what you are’ with intellectual, musical, creative and physical challenge, flexibility and care. When financial circumstances change, or families are unable to afford all the fees, means-tested bursaries can provide transformational support to enable students to continue their education and have access to world-class tuition.
We’re delighted to have raised over £8.7m for our Cedars Hall project (with less than £770,000 still to raise to reach our target). Now we must make sure gifted musicians and children with other amazing talents have the opportunity to benefit from these world class facilities, and teaching, without financial barriers. Please think about giving generously!
Elizabeth Cairncross, Principal of Wells Cathedral School
We have established a fund to help keep Alan and Sheila’s vision for Wells Cathedral School alive. Alan Quilter (Headmaster from 1964 to 1986) forged two significant developments at Wells Cathedral School, which have propelled its success over the following generations.
First, the move to co-education was a pioneering advance for institutions that had relied on single-sex education; secondly the introduction of a specialism – in Wells’ case music – has helped to redefine the school and give it national and international pre-eminence with some national government funding.
We have never looked back.
It was Alan and Sheila’s vision, energy and sheer grit that recreated Wells Cathedral School and made it sustainable. We owe them and their family so much.
Following the dedication of Quilter Hall in February 2017, we have launched the Quilter Family Bursary Appeal in memory of Alan and Sheila. The bursary fund will help provide the opportunity for a local gifted and talented child to enjoy the benefits of an education at Wells, something Alan strived to make a reality. We invite you to remember Alan Quilter by considering making a one-off or regular donation to this special fund.
If you would like to find out more about how to donate to our Quilter Family Bursary Appeal, please contact Rebecca Roberts, Foundation Finance Officer on [email protected]
Every year our talented specialist musicians act as ambassadors across the world, showcasing the breadth of musical activity and diversity that the school has to offer. So many of our musicians receive awards to study with us and their own backgrounds and financial circumstances simply do not extend to ‘extras’. The provision of additional funding through our Music Travel Bursaries allows gifted children, as advocates of Wells, to experience a world of difference across the globe.
Our athletes are encouraged to tour and take their team talents far and wide. We make no apologies in creating ambitious opportunities for all our sporting individuals; they act as ambassadors for the school community by taking the international language of competition and the skills of team playing and leadership wherever they go.
Every year up to 80% of our pupils receive financial support to enable them to attend the school. Through our bursary funding we try to support those wishing to study music and mathematics as specialists, choristers, aspiring athletes and academic all-rounders.
Music – As one of only four specialist music schools in England, we are part of the Government’s Music and Dance Scheme. This means we receive 78 means-tested funded places. This enables us to bring to Wells gifted children from across the country – and increasingly the world – whose family circumstances would put a place at Wells beyond reach. However, competition for these limited places is intense and without additional bursary funding we risk turning away exceptionally talented musicians.
Maths – Our Specialist Mathematicians’ Scheme, is a pioneering programme that provides for the special needs of gifted young mathematicians and is already over-subscribed.
Sports – As part of the school’s curriculum, sport plays an integral role in the students’ lives and many of our pupils compete at county and national levels. It develops key skills in teamwork, negotiation and leadership – values that are central to the school’s ethos and benefit the wider community. We want to continue to offer bursary awards to enable skilled sports students the chance to benefit from our rich sports programme and new leadership courses at the school.
We are fortunate to receive financial donations from a number of key individuals and small trusts who already support our bursary scheme. In Hong Kong, where we have a sister charity, The Wells Music Society of Hong Kong, trustees work tirelessly raising funds for a Hong Kong Scholarship Scheme. This enables children with musical talent to benefit from an education in our music faculty which otherwise their families would never be able to afford.
The America Friends of Wells also have launched their own scholarship fund which is working towards supporting a deserving pupil at the school, enabling someone, in their own words, to have all the chances we had and enjoyed.
Our 909 Legacy Society, run by a former School Captain, is helping us to build an endowment that will become a foundation for the future. It is already helping us with general bursary funding support.
Bursary support transforms lives. We now look to our friends and benefactors to help us further our work with bursaries and to give generously to create and sustain a new generation of Wellensians.
You can choose to make a single gift, a regular commitment by Direct Debit, or ask your employer about Give As You Earn. For more information about how to give, Gift Aid or for any other queries, please contact Wells Cathedral School Foundation by telephoning 01749 834254 or emailing [email protected]
A legacy is one of the simplest and most flexible ways of making your gift, and may enable you to support Wells Cathedral School in a way in which you may not be able to do during your lifetime. The tax benefits of a legacy gift to a charity are considerable – all such bequests can be made free from Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax, so you could reduce the total tax burden levied on your estate to your family.
We believe that those who have chosen to support the school with a legacy should be thanked in their lifetime. All those who have made provision for Wells Cathedral School in their wills are invited to become members of the Wells 909 Society, and will be invited to Wells 909 Society lunches hosted by the Head.
Wells is an extraordinary place to be educated and creates wonderful, influential opportunities for its pupils. Preserving and progressing this environment requires constant investment. I believe the school must build up a reservoir of wealth that will become a foundation for the future. Leaving a legacy in your will is a tax efficient way of contributing to this future without any impact on your present finances. I am honoured to be Chairman of the Wells 909 Society and to have made my own legacy commitment in favour of this fine school to which I owe so much.
Jeremy Brade, Chairman Wells 909 Society, Old Wellensian (1972-1980)
To find out more about how you can leave a legacy to the school, please call the Foundation on 01749 834254 or email [email protected].
Wells Cathedral School has built a world class performing arts venue, Cedars Hall. Designed by leading London architect, Eric Parry, this has been the most audacious development in the school’s history.
Cedars Hall provides sought after rehearsal, teaching and performance space for the school’s 200 specialist musicians and serves as a hub for its significant community outreach, which provides music education, including workshops, concerts and master classes, for thousands of primary school children, elderly and disability groups in the South West each year.
With capacity for audiences of 350, the main recital hall is a flexible and modern performance space; it accommodates an orchestra of 60 performers and an audience of 250, with other configurations possible through adaptation of seating and platforms. Whilst the hall’s award-winning design has been devised to give chamber musicians the very best acoustic experience, the flexibility of the technical specification means that this venue is accessible for performers of every discipline – for amplified music, dance, drama and lectures.
Cedars Hall includes three further teaching and practice spaces, each adjoining unique observation facilities as well as a foyer, bar and storage. Featuring state-of-the-art recording facilities, Cedars Hall is a venue for broadcast quality production, reflecting industry standards.
Our sports pavilion, which has been built by local construction firm Biggs, was part of an innovative new complex on Cedars Field, which included the new maintenance building (also built by Biggs) and Cedars Hall (built by Shaylor).
The pavilion was designed by award-winning architect Eric Parry and includes two changing rooms on the lower floor, with separate changing facilities for referees, showers, a disabled lift between floors and lots of room for kit storage. The upper level includes spectator seating with stunning views across Cedars Field and a meeting reception room and bar.
Built to Sport England Guidance Standards, the sports pavilion has used materials which complement the character of Wells and has been finished with timber.
On match days the reception room is used to provide lunch or snacks and drinks for up to 30 people. In the evenings, it is a space where players and friends can relax and socialise together. It also serves as a headquarters for Old Wellensians where former students have enjoyed meetings and social gatherings.
The pavilion was inaugurated by Old Wellensian Danny Nightingale, who cut the ribbon on 21st June 2015, at an event attended by a host of donors, Old Wellensians, parents, pupils and friends.
The fundraising efforts were led by former parent Phil Lemanski, whose committee of volunteers supported the Foundation’s fundraising target of £600,000.
When I arrived at Wells Cathedral School as an 11-year-old my passion for sport was already deeply rooted. But the encouragement I received at Wells helped me develop and go on a gold medal as part of the British Olympic Modern Pentathlon team in Montreal in 1976. I have the great honour to be Wells Cathedral School’s highest achieving Old Wellensian in the world of sport and am proud to be patron of the sports pavilion appeal.
For the past 22 years I have worked as a physical education teacher, helping young people discover the joy of sport. It is vital in a child’s development to give them the opportunity to try as many different sports as possible. For a young person to excel at sport the joy of participation must first be there and is then nurtured with encouragement and support.
To develop those children with innate talent, and to encourage all children to love sport, they need the best facilities.
The sports pavilion provides just that.
Olympic Gold Medallist 1976
British Modern Pentathlon Champion (1976, 1977, 1978),
Wells Cathedral School Foundation Fellow
Honorary Freeman of the City of Wells
The Cook building in the Laundry Garden was opened in March 2010 to provide mathematics classrooms and social and play space for children in the Lower School.