It was a privilege to welcome HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex to Wellington on Wednesday for the official opening of our new Real Tennis Court, the first to be built in the UK for 10 years and the 27th in the country. We are thrilled to add Real Tennis, the fore-runner of all racquet sports, to the range of sports we offer. The court has been funded by the generosity of nearly 100 donors, both Old Wellingtonians and enthusiasts from the wider Real Tennis community.
Wellington has been more full of younger voices than normal this last couple of weeks: we are right in the middle of the selection programme for the 13+ 2018 intake and, over eight separate days, the Admissions team will have met nearly 500 boys and girls from some 130+ feeder schools. It has been a pleasure to see them, and I’m delighted to know the 2018 intake is already shaping up so nicely. Our two-stage selection procedure has transformed the admissions process and is now being copied by other schools in Berkshire and the South-East: all the children first sit an on-line test at their own schools and have references written about them, before long-listed pupils come to us for a day of interviews, discussions, group activities and collaborative projects. By the end of their day with us we feel we have got to know them pretty well, and are in a much better position to see whether they are a good “fit “ for us, and whether they possess the potential to develop our special Wellington Identity. Just as importantly, they have a real insight into what life at Wellington is genuinely like.
At the other end of the process, our leavers head off to all corners of the globe, but all share the identity that ties them to College. That identity is built on intellectual curiosity, on true independence, on a generous and far-reaching inclusivity and on the courage to be properly and unselfishly individual. It is, in short, the capacity to be inspired to become the very best you can be, and is why the world-wide Wellington community is such an exciting body of inspirational men and women. Some are young, some not quite so, but they all share that unique Wellington DNA whether in Kowloon or Kensington. Indeed to further that inclusive theme our Admissions team is heading off this weekend to make contact with prospective pupils, current parents and OWs in Hong Kong, so do make contact with them if you get the chance!