Prep School Music Skills Day

The inaugural Prep School Music Skills Day was held for trumpet players this week. Over 30 children, from Farleigh School, Andover, St. Peter’s, Exmouth and Dean Close, Cheltenham attended the day, which was led by members of the brass department. The musicians had a fabulously varied day, which included practice skills, musicianship, performance and instrument maintenance. At the end of the day the children performed in a concert at Cedars Hall for parents, playing a range of tunes, including The...
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Strings Cup for Alex

The past few months have been busy and successful for 16 year old Alex, a specialist double bassist at Wells, who is one of ten Wells musicians in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO). Their first residency in Nottingham, just after Christmas, culminated in a series of sell-out concerts, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, in Nottingham and at London’s Barbican Centre. At the end of January Alex performed in three classes at the Oxford...
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British Flute Society Winners

Congratulations to Year 13 flautist Anna and Year 9 flautist Josh, who came second and third, respectively in their age group categories in the prestigious and highly competitive British Flute Society competition at Regent’s Hall in London over the half term break.

Celebrating the Year of the Dog

Students and teachers enjoyed a rousing start to the week as Monday morning’s Cathedral assembly came alive to the beat of Chinese drums heralding the celebration of the Chinese New Year and welcoming the Year of the Dog. Students sat beneath one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac representing their birth year in the nave of the Cathedral; and were treated to a lively and fascinating assembly put together by fellow Chinese students (under the direction of this...
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Trumpet Skills Day 2018

Quilter Hall hosted a Trumpet Skills Day on Sunday, with 45 children, representing around 30 schools, attending from across the South West. The Music from the Movies theme was very well received, with the scores specially arranged by Paul Denegri, head of student performance and brass. Tunes such as The Pirates of the Caribbean and Live and Let Die proved particularly popular with the young musicians, as did the tea time cupcakes courtesy of the school catering team! Nearly 100...
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BBC Young Musician of the Year 2018 Finalist

Meadow, one of Wells’ talented percussionists, has made it through to the category finals of the prestigious BBC Young Musician 2018 Competition. Meadow is one of five percussionists from across the UK to have been selected for the finals, which will be broadcast on BBC4 in March. The grand final will take place on 13th May when three musicians will perform a full concerto with a professional orchestra. At Wells Meadow performs with the school Symphony Orchestra and with a...
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Matt Secures Win at County Cross Country Championships

Congratulations to Year 11 student Matt, who romped home in first place at the Somerset Cross Country Championships at Aldon Hill in Yeovil last week. Matt runs in the intermediate boys category, and was running with the aim of securing a place on the Somerset team. He ran the three laps of the 5.7km course from the front, pulling away at the top of hill with 200 metres to the finish line. Cross country coach, Andy Davies was delighted with...
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New Gardening Tools From the PA

Many thanks to the Parents’ Association for funding the purchase of a set of new gardening tools to be used by the gardening club set up by Charlotte Farmer. The club is focusing efforts this term on the development of the house gardens behind Quilter Hall.

Xavier Selected for Somerset

Congratulations to Year 13 student Xavier, who has been selected for the Under 18 Somerset Football Association Squad. In addition to captaining the school first team and leading them to an incredibly successful season, Xavier plays for Wells Football Club at Under 18 level, along with two other young Somerset players. Xavier’s first representative match will take place against Dorset in the South & West Counties Championships on Thursday.

Primary Schools Christmas Concerts

20 Somerset schools were treated to the combined professional skills of Pete Letanka, composer and animateur, and Wells Director of Music, Mark Stringer, for this year’s primary schools Christmas Concerts. The concerts took place over two nights in Wells Cathedral and involved 250 children from the different schools, each night. The participating schools are sent music for the concerts in advance, so that individual music teachers are able to rehearse in the months running up to Advent. Pete Letanka’s new...
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Mathematics Challenges

Senior Team Mathematics Challenge In the second half of November Wells entered a team of four sixth form students for this year’s Senior Team Mathematics Challenge. There are over 30 regional heats held across the UK throughout November and December attended by state and independent schools as well as sixth form colleges. In this year’s regional heat held at King Alfred’s School in Highbridge the Wells team, comprising Julian, Maxim, Sam and Sam competed against 17 other schools and are...
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Navy Try-Dive

Last Wednesday the cadets in the newly established Royal Navy section of the CCF were delighted to host Lt Collins (RN Dive and AT) for an afternoon of diving. The 14 cadets spent a few hours in the school swimming pool learning the basics of diving and experiencing breathing underwater using SCUBA equipment. The cadets all had a fantastic time, many of them are now suitably enthused to attend the ocean diver course run by the Royal Navy to obtain...
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Clean Sweep for Badminton Team

The Wells Boys’ Badminton team goes from strength to strength, qualifying for Division 2 of the Somerset League following an unbeaten season. Beating the team from Queen’s Taunton 12-4; and the team from Millfield 12-0, the boys rounded off the term in style. Congratulations to John, Year 10; Melvyn, Year 11; Nate, Year 11; and Alex, Year 13, and to their coach Jane Lipton.

Announcement of Head of Wells Cathedral School

The Governing Body of Wells Cathedral School is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Alastair Tighe as Head of Wells Cathedral School with effect from 1 September 2018. Governors conducted an extensive and rigorous selection process interviewing a wide range of very experienced applicants. Alastair was the unanimous choice of both the Governing Body and its consultants. He shone at all stages of the selection process. The Chair of Governors, the Very Reverend Dr John Davies DL, says: ‘From...
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Netball Satellite Academy

Congratulations to Year 10 netballers Martha and Amelia who have been selected for the Netball Satellite Academies for Avon and Somerset, respectively. The Satellite Academy is the first step on the England Pathway. County Netball Associations manage and deliver Satellite Academies on behalf of England Netball, delivering about 15 sessions per year. Qualified and experienced Level 2 coaches deliver the training programmes set by England Netball. The emphasis in the Satellite Academy is for young netballers to learn how to...
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Dartmoor Dash!

A group of 18 CCF cadets started the exeat weekend with a brisk and chilly circular walk of the high tors of North Dartmoor. After a night in the NAAFI at Okehampton and sustained by a substantial breakfast from the camp cookhouse, the group started their dash at 7.30am, with the aim of completing the 12 mile route by early afternoon. In a mixture of snow and sleet showers, north westerly winds and some beautiful crisp blue skies the groups...
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Foundation Fellow Ten Year Celebration

Over a hundred guests celebrated the ten year anniversary of the Wells Cathedral School Foundation Fellowship Awards, and witnessed the presentation of the 2017 Fellowships, at Cedars Hall on Saturday evening. The evening comprised a drinks reception in the John Baxter Foyer, followed by dinner and presentations in the Eavis Hall from former head, John Baxter, principal, Elizabeth Cairncross, vice-president of the Old Wellensian Association and former deputy head Charles Cain, and chairman of the Old Wellensian Association, George Bunting....
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An Evening of Wonder

On Monday evening, head of academic enrichment, Charlotte Farmer and drama teacher Shelley Deans, took 19 students in Year 9 to watch the gala preview of Wonder, the newly released film adaptation of the 2012 New York Times bestseller of the same name, by R.J. Palacio. Wells Film Centre put on the special gala performance as part of their 25 year celebrations. The audience were treated to a celebration slice of cake, and Wells trumpeter Luke Lane was asked to...
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Reindeer Parade

Junior school and pre-prep teachers ran a very popular creative craft stall at the Wells Rotary Club Reindeer Parade on the first Sunday in December, helping to decorate 80 gingerbread reindeer and creating beautiful brown reindeer bags for the young recipient of each sweet treat!

National Youth Orchestra

Congratulations to the following Wells musicians who have been selected for this year’s National Youth Orchestra: Theo, ‘cello Meadow, percussion (Principal – Easter course) Lucy, ‘cello Alexander, double bass Fergus, oboe Meggie, trombone Thomas, ‘cello Samuel, ‘cello Daniel, percussion Nellie, violin

Chess Club

Deborah Searle, one of the new maths teachers has introduced an after school chess club for the community. Coached by Chris Strong, the Somerset county chess coach, the first session involved 40 students from across the school, with a particularly large contingent from the junior school!

Last Post Trumpeters

17 Wells trumpeters, from junior school students to the most senior brass specialist, played 20 performances of The Last Post and Reveille at Remembrance Services at Wells Cathedral and in churches, schools and memorials around Somerset, and as far away as the Channel Islands on Friday and Sunday, in this year’s centenary of the start of the Battle of Passchendaele – one of the bloodiest of World War One. Thanks to the head of student performance and brass co-ordinator Paul...
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Wells Remembrance Day Parade

Over 50 CCF cadets from Wells took part in the city’s Remembrance Day Parade on Sunday, led by Year 11 student Polly carrying the school mace and supported by the school drum corps. Wells cadets from across the Royal Marine Band, Navy, Army and RAF sections of the CCF Contingent were represented, and were led by Jonathan Barnard. Year 9 trumpet specialist Luke played the Last Post and Reveille on the bugle either side of the city’s commemorative silence.

Royal Navy expands the CCF at Wells Cathedral School

Commodore Nick Tindal, Commanding Officer of Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, has officially opened a Combined Cadet Force Royal Navy Section at Wells Cathedral School in Somerset. The Naval contingent joins two other successful Combined Cadet Force (CCF) sections from the Army and the Royal Air Force who formed at Wells prior to World War II, bringing the total enrolment up to over 120 Cadets. “The opening of the Naval Section at Wells gives the youngsters an opportunity to assume...
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Sierra Leone Project Trip 2017

During the October break, 15 sixth-formers and three members of staff travelled to Freetown for the annual trip to Sierra Leone. Despite the suffocating and humid heat, the students worked hard, with six musicians and Jack Coward giving daily lessons to the older students at the Ballanta Academy of Music. Other students worked at the nearby JT Reffell French Memorial School, teaching English, grammar and drama through the medium of children’s stories to pupils aged 5 to 16, as well...
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National Youth Orchestra

Congratulations to Year 12 percussionist Meadow and to Year 13 percussionist Daniel who have been selected for the prestigious National Youth Orchestra. Meadow has also been selected as the Principal Percussionist for the section. This is the first time that two Wells musicians have been selected at the same time for the percussion section.  

Community Sport

Wells hosted this year’s primary school PE conference supporting Jason Hedaux, the School Games Organiser from Somerset Sport Activities Partnership (SASP). Primary school teachers from the Mendip area and beyond discussed the advantages of putting children at the heart of teaching and learning processes through the structure of ‘Real PE’. Much of the delivery resonated with the current drive at Wells junior school to ensure that all our pupils enjoy their PE and that it is delivered at the right...
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The annual school fireworks display went with a bang on Monday evening. The Parents’ Association sold hot dogs, burgers, and drinks, as well as toffee apples to keen students to raise funds for school bids, and the light display was spectacular. Talented Year 11 photographer​ ​James took these photos during the evening.

Save the Children Walk

Over 350 walkers from the school community took to the Mendip Hills to experience the glorious views from the top of Bristol Hill and Ebbor Gorge, as part of the annual Save the Children Walk on Sunday. The sun shone throughout the day and the mud only added to the fun, as far as the students were concerned! Comprising two walks, a shorter 5 mile walk for younger pupils and a longer 10 mile walk for senior school students, this...
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Mendip Junior Cross Country League

The first race of this season’s Mendip Junior Cross Country League took place at Millfield Prep School on Tuesday 3rd October. Wells fielded a determined squad of young pupils, with girls and boys represented in each of the four group categories. The girls teams started particularly strongly, with the upper school girls’ team (Years 5 to 6) currently sitting in second place following the races; and the lower school girls’ team (Years 3 to 4) currently in third place. Congratulations...
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County Hockey Academy Centre Selections

14 hockey players from Wells have been selected to represent Somerset across various age categories at this year’s Somerset Hockey Academy Centres for the forthcoming season. The Academy Centres this year have been revamped from the previous JAC and JRPC as part of the national move to the new England Hockey Player Pathway. The aim in Somerset is to run the Academy Centres in a similar way to the regional Performance Centres to ensure that young players are developed in...
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Under 16 Girls Hockey Squad Make it to Regionals

Congratulations to the Under 16 Girls Hockey Squad who have progressed through to the regional finals of the National Girls’ Hockey Tournament, following a fantastic performance at the Somerset county tournament in Millfield on Wednesday. Ten Somerset schools fought it out in two groups of five for the honour of representing the county at the regionals. Having played extremely well in their group, the Wells team beat a strong Queen’s Taunton team 4-2 on penalty flicks in the semi-finals. As...
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Hockey Masterclass

On Monday head of hockey, James Mayes, took a group of ten Year 8 hockey players to take part in the Prep Schools Hockey Masterclass afternoon at Millfield school. The players enjoyed an afternoon of fantastic technical training from Great Britain Olympic gold medallists Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh, two American field hockey internationals, Scottish international goalkeeper Jamie Cachia and several junior England hockey internationals. Annabel, Mimi, Oskar, Freya, Cameron, Raffy, Devon and Charles were photographed after the session with Helen...
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Podium Place for Tom

Congratulations to Year 11 student Tom, a Rookie Junior Ginetta driver, who won a podium finish at Silverstone in one of the British Touring Car Championship support races last weekend. The finals over the Silverstone weekend have taken Tom to tenth in the 2017 championship, with the last round held at the Brands Hatch GP Circuit and televised live on ITV4 on Sunday 1st October.

Somerset Art Weeks

For the very first time, artwork by talented student artists at Wells is exhibited as part of the Somerset Art Weeks Festival, 2017. The Festival runs from 23rd September to 8th October and features artwork at 120 different venues across the county. The inspiring and eclectic exhibition of artwork by Wells pupils is featured in venue 33, in the John Baxter Foyer of Cedars Hall, our state of the art music, arts and learning venue. Visitors are able to follow...
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Niall Mellis Memorial Match

The Wells first XV rugby team took part in the annual Niall Mellis Memorial match at Wells Rugby Football Club against their youth team on Saturday in a friendly, but keenly fought local derby established to commemorate the life of teenager Niall Mellis. Niall was a pupil at Wells and an enthusiastic member of Wells Rugby Football Club before his death, aged 18, from cancer in 2013. Niall was a passionate sportsman, and later due to his illness, vocal supporter...
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Drum Kit Day

35 musicians enjoyed a lively Drum Kit Day in Cedars Hall on Sunday, led by drum kit teacher and professional musician Andy Tween, with percussion teacher Jon Whitfield and a professional combo. The youngsters participated in a variety of sessions on technique, performance, as well as a talk about life as a working drummer. The trade stand by Ev-entz proved popular and the final concert to parents and friends demonstrated many rhythmic styles including reggae and latin.

Hockey astro open for business

At the start of the new school year, Wells hockey players christened the newly installed hockey astro turf pitch at Mundy’s Meadow with a lively pre-season training session led by England and Great Britain hockey international Tom Carson. A hardworking striker with an eye for a goal, Tom has a total of 75 caps and has scored 20 international goals for his countries, including the one that saw England through to a bronze medal at the Hero Hockey World League...
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Tom Represents Bristol Rugby Academy

In mid-August, Bristol Rugby Academy took a selected squad of 30, which included Year 11 student Tom, to the Warwick U16 rugby festival, held at Warwick School. Bristol Rugby Academy won two out of their three games, the first game, a win against Leicester Tigers Academy, the second a narrow loss to London Irish Academy, and the third a win against Northampton Saints Academy. Tom thoroughly enjoyed the experience and is working hard to be selected for the next Academy...
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Raising money for the Sierra Leone Project

The group travelling to Sierra Leone in October devised ways of fundraising over the summer. It costs £150 to send one child to the Ballanta Academy of Music for a year to pay for all their tuition and exam fees, so that was Year 13 student Patrick’s initial target. He planned a sponsored bike ride, starting from Langport, along the River Parrett and through villages on the Levels. Patrick and his riding buddy were fortunate that the bikes were loaned...
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Sam Wins Emmy Award

Congratulations to Old Wellensian and Foundation Fellow, Sam Okell, who has been awarded a prestigious Emmy Award, to sit alongside his two Grammys, for Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Programme – The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years. The winners of this Primetime Emmy Awards‘ two-part creative arts ceremony, were announced this weekend, ahead of the main event, which will take place on Sunday 17th September.

Wells GCSE Exam Results Summer 2017

Pupils at Wells celebrated impressive GCSE results on Thursday, with the top A* grade awarded for over a quarter of all examinations taken by the students. Over half achieved A* to A grades, with almost 80 per cent of all grades achieved by Wells students A* to B grades. The pass rate was 99.9 per cent. Molly achieved 11 A* grades, whilst Susanna and Catherine, both students who have focused on their instrumental music, received 10 A* grades. 31 pupils,...
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Strong A-level Performance for Wells Students

Wells students had much to celebrate on Thursday, with a very strong set of A-level results achieved by this year’s cohort. The overall pass rate for the 109 candidates was 99.1 per cent, with over three quarters achieving grades A* to B; nearly 50 per cent achieving grades A* to A (compared to a national average figure of 26 per cent); and almost 20 per cent gaining the top A* grade. Over a quarter of pupils achieved all A* and...
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Papillon Recordings

Senior choristers and Vicars Choral recorded a number of tracks for a forthcoming Hollywood film track in a unique session held in the beautiful surroundings of the Cathedral Chapter House on Monday. Ex-chorister and film composer, David Buckley, has been responsible for a number of high profile films, so it was a real honour for our choristers to work with him on this unique venture.

BBC Inspire Young Composer Winner

Congratulations to Year 11 musician Rebecca, who has been awarded first prize in the Upper Junior category of the prestigious BBC Inspire Young Composer’s competition 2017, with her composition The Death of Lennie Small, a quartet for violin, cello, flute and clarinet. Rebecca’s piece will be recorded by members of the Aurora Orchestra at the BBC Broadcasting House in London on 14th August and then later to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Also as part of the prize, the...
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Tree Dedication

This month the Sierra Leone charity project dedicated a tree in memory of Dr Ahmadu Fadlu-Deen, late husband of Kitty Fadlu-Deen, who co-founded the Ballanta Academy of Music in Freetown. The Ballanta is the only music school in Sierra Leone and where our specialist musicians spend many happy, hot hours teaching music as part of the annual trip. The tree, a Cork Oak, was chosen by head-gardener, Paul Barnett, and is an evergreen oak native to the Mediterranean and north...
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Glastonbury Festival Concerto Performance

26 Wells musicians, from the Wells Cathedral School Chamber Orchestra, joined comedian Vikki Stone on Sunday afternoon on the stage at the Astrolabe Theatre at Glastonbury, for Vikki’s Concerto for Comedian and Orchestra. Photo Credit: Charles Gervais

Medieval Day

A wonderful array of primary school children in costume arrived to enthusiastically partake in the school’s Medieval Day last Monday, with ladies, knights, crusaders, nuns and knaves from St. Joseph & St. Teresa and Wookey schools joining in the fun. Elizabeth Cairncross began the day with a reading of the Anglo-Saxon poem English poem ‘The Wanderer’ in fluent Old English – Wyrd bið ful aræd!* After this the pupils followed a busy programme of stone carving, calligraphy, gingerbread-making and a...
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Mimi Selected for Somerset

Congratulations to Year 7 student Mimi, who has been selected for the Under 12 Somerset Tennis squad, based on her ranking. She will be representing Somerset in the County Cup in early July.

Manchester International Piano Concerto Competition Semi-Finals

Congratulations to Year 12 student Nick who has reached the semi-finals of the Manchester International Piano Concerto Competition. 78 pianists from 23 countries entered the event and the remaining 20 will compete again at Chetham’s in August. Old Wellensian, Brian, now a first year student at the Royal Northern College of Music, has also made it through to the semi-finals.

HRH the Duke of Gloucester Visit

HRH the Duke of Gloucester visited Vicars’ Close and Cedars Hall last Tuesday, on a joint visit to the school and Wells Cathedral. His Royal Highness was escorted on a tour of Vicars’ Close; the most complete example of a medieval Close in the UK and built 650 years ago to house the men of the Cathedral choir. Later in the afternoon, he visited Cedars Hall, where he met Elizabeth Cairncross, Andy Kemp, Julie Barrow and Cedars Hall architect, Eric...
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Double Mendip Cross Country Winners!

Congratulations to Year 4 pupil Linsey and Year 6 pupil Dimity, both champions in their age group categories in this year’s Mendip Junior Cross Country League, helping to ensure a first and second place podium position for Wells respectively for the Lower School Girls and the Upper School Girls team event, in a thrilling end to the season. A special mention must also go to Year 4 pupil Aeryn, who was runner up in the Lower School Girls category to...
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New Conference Pear for Boarding Orchard

Last Wednesday a conference pear tree was added to the school’s Boarding Schools’ Association orchard, planted outside in Jocelyn Garden. Year 7 students Markus, Alex, Dhanya and Demi were helped by head boy Angus Mitchell and directed by head gardener Paul Barnett and head groundsman Craig Keast.

Trombonist James Wins ROSL Music Competition

Congratulations to Old Wellensian trombonist, James Buckle, who won the Gold Medal at the finals of the prestigious Royal Overseas League Music Competition, held at Cadogan Hall on Wednesday evening – the very first brass player ever to win the Gold Medal in its 65 Year history. The ROSL Annual Music Competition is the centrepiece of ROSL ARTS’ year-round programme of events. The competition offers more than £70,000 in awards with a £10,000 first prize (the Gold Medal) for solo...
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RIBA South West Building of the Year Award 2017

Cedars Hall, the state of the art performing arts centre, situated in the grounds of Wells Cathedral School, was presented with a South West RIBA award, as well as the prestigious RIBA South West Building of the Year Award 2017 for the South West & Wessex region, at the RIBA South West Architecture Awards held in Bristol on Tuesday night. Cedars Hall, designed by London-based architects Eric Parry, and constructed by Shaylor Group, opened last October. With a 350-seat auditorium...
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Share a Pencil Day

Students in Years 6 to 9 took part in the first national Share a Pencil Day last Wednesday under the leadership of Jules Desmarchelier-Arpino. The aim of the day, organised by the charity, HOPE, was to raise awareness of the lack of access to education for 124 million children around the world, as a result of due to conflict and war, poverty, health, family circumstances and lack of resources. Students in Years 7 to 9 were introduced to the issue...
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Geneva Exchange

At the end of March, ten Wells students travelled to Geneva for a week on the first leg of their French exchange with students from the Institut Florimont in Switzerland. Students spent the weekend with their Swiss families, returning to school on the Monday to attend lessons in French and English. Later in the week they went on excursions to the European headquarters of the United Nations, visited the old town, tried out the little Geneva train, enjoyed spectacular views...
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Sylvia Selected for Stanford Summer College Programme

Congratulations to Year 11 Wells International Study Centre (WISC) pupil Sylvia, who has been selected for the prestigious 8-week Stanford Summer College Programme over the summer holidays. The Stanford courses are compressed to fit the eight-week school term, and are designed to challenge students academically as they are more fast-paced and rigorous than traditional high school courses. Sylvia has chosen to follow Intensive Studies as part of her course, which focuses on human rights; as well as Silicon Valley Innovation...
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Silver for Thomas

Congratulations to Year 8 pupil Thomas, who secured a silver medal in the Western Area Devon Closed Judo Championship at the weekend, narrowly losing out on gold to the British Schools 2017 gold medalist in the 55kg category.

Single Reed Day

Last Sunday over forty clarinetists and saxophonists took part in the Single Reed Day in Cedars Hall. Joined by top professional tutors, clarinetist Richard Horsford and saxophonist Christian Forshaw, Wells specialist music teachers Ed Leaker, Andy Tweed and Marie Lloyd combined to enrich the playing and enjoyment of many local young musicians. The group was treated to a concert by the tutors, and all students performed to family and friends at the end of the session. The Peninsula Clarinet Choir,...
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Farleigh Prep School Outreach Visit

The 6-piece Jazz Combo had a productive visit to Farleigh Prep School, near Andover last week. The sessions commenced with a workshop for a group of 20 children, which quickly led to an improvisation lesson and demonstration from Ed Leaker, head of woodwind, whilst the youngsters gamely tried out their solo improvisation skills. The four hour session ended with a finale concert to 25 Farleigh parents, who were very impressed with what their children had achieved.

CCF Dinner

On Tuesday evening the third Tonks Memorial Dinner, in memory of Warrant Officer Gary Tonks, was held at the Swan Hotel in Wells. More than 60 officers, guests and cadets attended the Contingent’s ninth ‘Dining in Night‘ a tradition started by WO Tonks in 2009. The proud tradition of British military units holding a ‘Dining in Night’ goes back to the time of the English Civil War and it is seen as essential to maintaining a sense of esprit de...
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French Spelling Bee Competition

This year, the Languages Faculty took part, for the second year running, in the Routes Into Languages National Languages Spelling Bee competition. Over 5,000 students in Year 7 entered the competition in September in the UK and at Wells, around 15 students volunteered to have a go. Each term, students had to learn 50 new French words and and at the end of the term, there was an internal competition, where students had one minute to translate and spell as...
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Daniel Selected for LSO Academy

Congratulations to Year 12 percussionist Daniel, who has been selected for the prestigious London Symphony Orchestra Timpani and Percussion Academy, which will take place at LSO St Luke’s in Old Street in London in July.

Jazz Combo in Hong Kong

Wells Senior Jazz Combo, comprising eight sixth form specialists, travelled to Hong Kong over Easter to present a programme of mainstream jazz standards and their own compositions at a range of venues across the city. The ensemble were welcomed by the Wells Music Society of Hong and by many local jazz fans at venues as diverse as the now legendary jazz club ‘Ned Kelly’s Last Stand’, Grappa’s Jazz Night, Bert’s Bar at the Foreign Correspondence Club and the prestigious Hong...
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Peter Baines, President of the RFU and Old Wellensian Returns to Alma Mater

On Wednesday, recently appointed President of the England Rugby Football Union, and Old Wellensian, Peter Baines returned to Wells to spend time with current Wells sports scholars, watch a school cricket match and enjoy a guitar concert in Cedars Hall by virtuoso fingerstyle player Mike Dawes. Peter, who attended Wells between 1953 and 1959 took an active role across many areas of school life, singing as head chorister at Wells Cathedral, representing the school in rugby and cricket, as well as starting...
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Gregynog International Young Musician of the Year

Congratulations to Nikita who won overall first prize in the Gregynog International Young Musician of the Year competition 2017 on Saturday 22nd April. Earlier in the day Nikita and Nick shared equal first place in the piano section and both played in the grand final along with the winners of the strings, brass and woodwind categories. Other institutions represented included Chets, Purcell and the RNCM. Nikita wins a cash prize of £3000 and a series of concerts.

Emergency Services Training Exercise at Wells

On Monday evening, trained officers from the Wells police, ambulance and fire services took part in a pre-planned two hour simulated emergency services exercise along with school staff and students from Cedars. From 7.00pm, fire engines, police cars and ambulances, along with the command control vehicle for the Wells emergency services started arriving on the school site from across the city, to take part in a simulated fire and rescue exercise in the basement of Cedars House, at the heart...
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Darcie Selected for Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute

Congratulations to Year 13 trumpeter, Darcie, who has been selected to participate on a full scholarship in the Kennedy Center National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) National Trustees Summer Music Institute (SMI) for a month over the summer. The prestigious course will take place between June 26-July 24, in Washington, DC and will include lessons with an NSO or Washington National Opera (WNO) musician; master classes and seminars with music professionals; side-by-side rehearsals with the NSO; and participation in the NSO Summer...
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Simon Singh Visits Cedars Hall

On Thursday afternoon, Somerset-born particle physicist, cypher expert and TV science guru, Simon Singh gave an inspiring lecture The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets to an appreciative audience of students from schools across the south west, their teachers, parents and local guests in a packed Cedars Hall. Simon signed copies of his books for students as well as posing for selfies with some fans!

Cordelia Performs in Messiah

Congratulations to Year 9 student Cordelia, who has been selected to perform the role of Treble in MESSIAH, a co-production between Bristol Old Vic and the English Concert Orchestra taking place at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre between Thursday 6th and Sunday 9th April 2017. The production will be directed by Tom Morris, OBE, producer and co-director of War Horse in the West End and on Broadway. It will be a stage production combining the music of Handel’s Messiah with...
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Intercollegiate Beethoven Competition Winner

Congratulations to Year 13 pianist Adam who won first prize in the prestigious Intercollegiate Beethoven Competition on Sunday. Ten institutions were represented in this annual competition, including Chetham’s School of Music, the Purcell School, Yehudi Menuhin School, Junior Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Dance.

Particle Physics Masterclass

On Tuesday 15 sixth form physics students had the opportunity of taking part in a Particle Physics Masterclass at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories in Oxfordshire. In the morning the students were given the opportunity to process real data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and search for the elusive Higgs Boson. In the afternoon the students were given a tour of ISIS (a neutron accelerator). The students relished the opportunity to see the applications of the physics they have...
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UK Maths Challenge Gold Award

Congratulations to the group of students who gained Gold in the Intermediate UK Maths Challenge in February: Harry and Amber in Year 9; William, Jonathan and Danni in Year 10; Lulwa, Samuel, Maxim, Miranda, Jane, Jason and Samuel in Year 11. In the Senior UK Maths Challenge, six Wells students were awarded Gold: Year 11 student Samuel, Year 12 students Connie and Samuel; and Year 13 students Herman, Phoebe and Benjamin. Congratulations to all of the students.

Lulwa Plays at Opening Ceremony

Congratulations to Year 11 student Lulwa who was invited by The Ministry of State of Youth Affairs, Kuwait to perform live at the opening ceremony of The Gulf Youth Festival, held in Kuwait on the 9th of March.

Beyond the Seven Seas

Pupils in the pre-prep and nursery classes gave a series of vibrant performances of Peter Pan-inspired musical, Beyond the Seven Seas, to audiences of junior school pupils, parents, friends and family in mid-March, a joyous culmination of their work in music and drama over the last two months. Beyond the Seven Seas was written and directed by our very own Penny Lambert, and featured mermaids, pirates, native American Indians, the Lost Boys, crocodiles, as well as Peter Pan, Captain Hook,...
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Taunton Young Musician Competition 2017

Congratulations to Year 12 cellist Ian who has won first prize at the prestigious Taunton Young Musician Competition. As well as a significant cash prize, Ian has been awarded a glass trophy and will perform with the Taunton Sinfonietta at one of their annual concerts. Wells pianists Nick in Year 12 and Nikita in Year 11, came second the third, respectively, in the competition, also winning cash prizes. A clean sweep for Wells musicians. The photo shows, from left to...
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Curtis Institute Summerfest Selection

Congratulations to Year 12 musician Daniel, who has been selected as one of only 12 students worldwide to attend the Curtis Institute’s prestigious Summerfest conductor programme in July and August. The Curtis Institute of Music, based in Philadelphia, is renowned as one of the world’s finest music academies, pairing tradition and innovation to educate gifted young musicians of the highest caliber. The three week young artist summer programme, which Daniel will attend, comprises a rigorous conservatory schedule involving private tuition,...
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Year of the Rooster

The senior school celebrated the Chinese New Year in the cathedral in style on Monday; with a moving song about returning home, a Chinese flute solo, prayers in Chinese, sitting according to our zodiac signs, and an inspirational talk about our outward, inner and secret animal characters from head of EAL, Julia Bird. The celebratory assembly was concluded with rousing percussion and an energetic dragon dance. Congratulations and thanks to students Meadow, Edwin, Alex, Kelvin, Phoebe, Aileen, Stan and Kelly...
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British Physics Olympiad

Congratulations to eight Wells students who participated in the British Physics Olympiad Round 1. This gruelling paper challenges the 2000 most able physicists in the UK to solve problems well beyond the school curriculum. Particular mention must go to Year 13 students Orlando who achieved Gold, and is in the top 10% nationally; and to Benjamin who achieved Silver, and is in the top 25% nationally.

English Speaking Union Public Speaking

On Thursday a public team consisting of Year 11 student Angus, Year 10 student Frances and Year 9 student Benjamin took to the stage to impress the judges in the annual Taunton and District Final of the ESU public speaking competition. Angus spoke with passion and expertise on the subject, ‘Are referendums a pure form of democracy?’ and answered many challenging questions with agility and confidence. Ben chaired the presentation superbly and was awarded the coveted ‘best chair of the...
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University and Music College Offers

Sixth form students have enjoyed a successful start to the new year, with well over a hundred offers of places at Russell Group universities, including six offers for students to study at Oxford or Cambridge University. For those hoping to continue with their studies at Cambridge, Emilie has an offer to read Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Trinity College; Blandine has an offer to read Natural Sciences, along with an organ scholarship, at Queen’s College; Kaia has an offer to...
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Wells Young Chef

Congratulations to Year 9 student Saskia, who has won the local round of the Rotary Young Chef Competition, held at the Blue School in mid-January. Year 10 student Mya came joint second; and Year 9 student Ben also took part. Saskia’s winning menu consisted of Kandala curry, poppadoms and rice, served with a tomato and onion side dish. Her dessert was mango mousse with lime biscuits. Saskia will be going on to the district stage of the competition at King...
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Wells Rotary Club Young Photographer

Congratulations to Year 11 photography student Archie Agabani, who has won the senior class in the local round of the Wells Rotary Club Young Photographer Competition. His entry, one of nineteen in the class, was judged to show excellent interpretation and also to show his skill, not just with the camera, but also with Photoshop. His entry will now be submitted into the regional round of the competition.

Wells Brass Skills

On Sunday, the brass department ran a successful brass skills day at Cedars Hall, involving 31 students, and five tutors leading five groups of different skill levels. Headed up by head of brass, Paul Denegri, the day comprised performance skills, practice tips and technique as well as exam preparation. Trombone teacher Andy Fawbert led a group of eight trombone, tuba and euphonium players, including three adult players from Wells City Brass Band, including Wells EAL and maths teacher Geoff Baker-Hytch....
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Douglas Motorsport signs Tom for Ginetta Junior Championship

Year 10 karting star Tom has graduated to car racing with the Douglas Motorsport team, having signed to contest the 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship as part of the Toca package which includes The British Touring cars Championship, with all rounds being televised on ITV and trackside spectators of up to 40,000. In 2016 Tom finished as runner up in the Rotax Euromax Winter Cup, in Valencia, Spain, 3rd in the BNL European Junior Max Championship and also achieved 3rd in...
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Record Number of Somerset Selections for JAC

A record number of Wells hockey players have been chosen to represent Somerset in the Junior Academy Centres this autumn. 26 hockey players from the school will represent the county at training and regional matches through the forthcoming season. Under 14 Poppy Harry Amber Jack Alex Harley Lily Under 15 George Callum Matthew Hugh Jacob Megan Amelia Under 16 Benjamin Maxim Andy William Samuel Jasmine Under 17 Archie Toby Phillippa Madeleine Alasdair James

Reaching Everest Base Camp!

15 sixth form students, accompanied by Martin Swarfield, Lisa Jarvis, Pippa Maple and Alex Battison experienced an exhilarating 19 day expedition over the October break that included 13 days trekking in the Himalayan mountain range to reach Everest Base Camp and summit Kala Pathar at 5,363m. On the descent, the expedition visited the temple at Bodhnath Stupa and Swayambhunath, the monkey temple, in Kathmandu. They also enjoyed an We also enjoyed a thrilling day’s rafting on the Trishuli river to...
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Sierra Leone Trip

Eleven Year 13 students, led by Michael Meally and Jules Desmarchelier enjoyed an inspiring trip to Freetown during the October break along with Old Wellensian Johanna Harrison, a mezzo-soprano who travelled to Sierra Leone in 2010, as part of one of the first Wells trips to the country. The students spent time working in our partner school, the Ballanta Music Academy, teaching one-to-one instrumental music lessons. They also held formal concerts for members of the British diplomatic corps, including the...
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We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Year 6 pupil, Ozzie, is part of the cast of an adaptation of the children’s classic story book Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, an animated film which will be screened over Christmas on Channel 4. The film is being produced by Lupus Films, a London-based animation company who brought The Snowman to life in 2014. Ozzie plays Max, a four year old boy who sets off, with his siblings, on an intrepid bear hunt during which they...
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Fanfare for Darcie

During the October holiday, Year 12 trumpet specialist Darcie played principal trumpet for the English Schools Orchestra of Great Britain, at Cadogan Hall. The complex programme included Brahms Academic Festival Overture, Hindemith Symphonic Metamorphism, Mussorky Pictures of an Exhibition and a new composition by Sebastian Skelly, named 1926, to celebrate The Queen’s 90th birthday. Darcie also auditioned for the CBSO Youth Orchestra in the summer, successfully gaining a place, and she is looking forward to the course in February, where...
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STEM Roadshow

On Tuesday, junior school pupils in Years 4 to 6, along with lower school students in Years 7 and 8 took part in a fantastic interactive STEM lecture from the BAE Systems Education Roadshow.

Student Photography Competition

Creative arts student leader, Hugo, invited students to take photos for our first student photography competition over the summer holidays. Winners for each of the three categories were: Alexander, Year 9; Benjamin, Year 13; and Isaac, Year 13. The winners were presented with a book and their photo, mounted and framed, will be displayed in Cedars Hall.

Jazz Skills Day

The first jazz instrumental day took place in Cedars Hall in November, when over 30 players enjoyed a fantastic day with tutors Iain Ballamy, Ed Leaker and Jack Coward. The concert for parents and friends demonstrated improvisation; whilst the ensembles were accompanied by a keen professional rhythm section comprising Andy Tween and Anders Olinder.

Wells Brass Department Cements Partnership with Dean Close

Dean Close prep and senior schools invited Wells brass students to Cheltenham as part of their plan to encourage new pupils to start learning brass. The Wells musicians put on workshops for current brass pupils, ending the day with an early evening concert for Dean Close parents. It provided an ideal opportunity for Wells pupils to impress as performers as well as to learn facilitating and teaching skills. The day was organised by the new head of brass at Dean...
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Wells Festival of Lit Sponsorship

Wells Festival of Literature 2016 has been a great success for the city, with scores of speakers and thousands of visitors. This year, the school sponsored Monday evening’s talk at the Bishop’s Palace by Times and Spectator columnist, Matthew Parris, who spoke with razor sharp wit about his book Scorn, a collection of the funniest, rudest and most vicious insults in history. From ancient Roman graffiti to the battlefields of Twitter, and drawing on bile from such masters as Dorothy...
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