Virtutis Fortuna Comes
Wellington College is one of the UK’s — and indeed the world’s — great coeducational boarding and day schools. It seeks to provide young people with the knowledge, skills and character to serve and help shape a better world. Its innovative and interesting use of technology in the classroom combined with its emphasis on pupil-centred learning ensures that Wellington is at the forefront of educational advance.
An exciting fusion of heritage and modernity characterises our educational philosophy. Our curriculum, facilities, and teaching methods are constantly adapting to the challenges of preparing young people for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. Wellington College is a school which is dynamic in every sense of the word, and yet all that we do is rooted firmly in our five College values — Kindness, Courage, Respect, Integrity and Responsibility — values which underpin every aspect of life at Wellington.
The College is celebrated not only for its academic achievements but also for its world-renowned sporting, artistic and dramatic provision. Stellar examination results, a richly varied co-curriculum, and a raft of national accolades contribute to the College’s national and international reputation.
Wellington has won many awards for the pastoral support it offers its pupils. There are 17 boarding houses, each with its own dedicated team of HMs, Tutors, Matrons, and domestic staff. A newly built co-ed Sixth Form house will open in 2024. Pupil and staff-led mental health initiatives and our nationally recognised Wellbeing curriculum not only help our pupils successfully navigate their teenage years, but also prepare them for healthy, happy, and successful lives after school.
House life lies at the heart of each pupil’s experience, and it comes as no surprise that every Wellingtonian is convinced that their House is the best. Housemasters and Housemistresses, dedicated tutor teams, matrons and housekeepers all ensure that the House truly is a home away from home.
A focus on mental health with both staff and pupil ambassadors, a unique Mental Health Day for parents and pupils, several national awards for Safeguarding, a recent educational initiative on Sex and Consent, and a newly appointed Head of EDI help ensure that Wellington provides a safe and healthy environment for pupils and staff.
Our nationally recognised Wellbeing curriculum (we were the first school to introduce happiness lessons) focusses on embedding growth mindsets and building grit and resilience: the positive coping strategies that our pupils learn not only allow them to make the most of all the opportunities available to them at Wellington, but also prepares them for healthy, happy, and successful lives after school.
Wellingtonians study GCSEs, followed by the IB Diploma or A Levels and, whichever route they take, results are superb: in 2022, at A Level, 22 students achieved straight A*s; 39% of all grades awarded were A*, 76% were A*/A and 95% were A*-B. The IB cohort achieved an incredible 41.3 average, with twelve students achieving the maximum 45 points and 75% scoring more than 40 points. At GCSE, 75% of all grades awarded were 9/8 and 91% 9-7. 100 Wellingtonians have been offered Oxbridge places over the past five years, while 20-25 move on each year to American universities, including several to Ivy League universities.
The College has an outstanding reputation for sport for all pupils, with nearly 30 different activities offered with the emphasis equally placed on both performance and participation. In 2021/22 the College fielded over 200 teams across sports, with nearly 2,000 fixtures played, a genuine reflection of our desire for sport to be available to everyone.
A strategic focus in 2021/22 to raise the profile of girls’ sport led to the addition of Friday evening show piece sporting events in Hockey and Netball: matches under lights, street food for spectators, live commentary and music created a brilliant atmosphere that saw the girls take centre stage.
After two disrupted sporting years due to COVID, this year was an incredible one on the field, with Wellington represented in 12 national finals across a range of sports, with wins or placings in Netball, Hockey, Golf, Rugby, Rackets, Climbing and Fencing. Whilst these team and individual performances are stunning, we are equally proud of teams such as the girls’ U14C hockey team who had an unbeaten season and our girls’ cricket team taking on the MCC for the first time.
The year also saw many individuals gain national or international honours across 11 different sports, with several going on to take up professional contracts, scholarships at US universities, and places on UK-based performance squads, particularly in Target Shooting, Gymnastics, Rugby, Skiing, Fencing, Triathlon and Hockey.
In 2022/23 we aim to continue to deliver a world class sporting experience for all pupils, ensuring both challenge and support at all sporting levels: Wellington remains committed to add to its reputation as one of the UK’s strongest and most diverse schools on the sporting front.
Performing Arts are equally strong. Music and drama are stunning, with 60% of pupils taking instrumental or LAMDA lessons with some 1,000 lessons taking place each week. During the recent pandemic the Arts have been as active as ever, releasing content on our YouTube channel and performing concerts and competitions to audiences via Live Stream. In the past year, our choir has been on tour to Northern France and recorded and videoed an anthem especially for the Diamond Jubilee. There have been orchestral and a cappella recordings, two musicals, a student-written play, Shakespeare productions and imaginative and inclusive junior plays as well as a bumper-packed Arts festival, with a spectacular film-music concert including performing music to live gaming. Dance is thriving with two spectacular shows each year playing to packed houses as well as many activities and individual lessons. House competitions are also very popular with the House Singing competition a student highlight. Indeed, student-run events are a very important feature of the arts provision and a feature of the student ambassador and scholarship programme.
Leadership, service to others and developing an international outlook are also central to the College’s core values which is why co-curricular activities include CCF, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and a pioneering Global Social Leaders scheme, in which pupils learn to create and run innovative social action projects, tackling local and global issues.
Clubs and societies range from Green Power Racing to the Field Gun team, from WTV (Wellington’s own television company) and its pupil-run radio station DukeBox, to a full range of more traditional pastimes such as Photography, Creative Writing, Debating and the Model United Nations society.
Widening access to Wellington is at the heart of the Governors’ and Master’s vision for the future of the College. All financial aid in terms of fee reduction is therefore awarded via a means-testing procedure (details on our website and from the Chief Operating Officer’s office). Our aim is to enable an increasing number of families, who otherwise would not be able to afford the fees at Wellington, to send their son or daughter to the College. Means-tested fee assistance may be up to 100% of College fees, depending on individual family circumstances.
Means-tested Fee Assistance
For children with exceptional talents whose families would not be able to afford the full Wellington fees, we offer awards ranging from 10% to 100% of fees. Eligibility for an award is generally assessed – via means testing – at the time of an offer being made so that a family can accept the offer knowing that the required level of fee assistance is available.
An average year might see 20 pupils be admitted (at 13+ and 16+ entry only) with an average of award of c. 50% remission. Any family wishing to make an application for fee assistance will be invited to apply as part of the broader admissions process. A confidential ‘statement of financial position’ form will be sent after the registration deadline to families requesting fee assistance. Fee-assisted places are not always linked to scholarships but some are named, such as the Jimmy Higham Award (supporting a talented sportsman or sportswoman), the Seb Foundation Award (for talented rugby players) and the Sir Anthony Seldon Arts Award (for talented performers, musicians and artists).
The Prince Albert Foundation
The Prince Albert Foundation is a scholarship programme aimed at widening participation to families who would not normally consider or be able to access independent education, and for whom we can offer a genuine shift in opportunity. Currently there are 10-15 fully funded Prince Albert Scholarships awarded each year and we are aiming to increase this in the coming years. Children who are eligible for Prince Albert Scholarships are those whose families are on national average income or below; there is often a further relevant need for boarding.
Candidates must meet our minimum criteria for entrance, and we will assess potential as well as current achievement. The Prince Albert Foundation is not a programme designed to recruit pupils with specific talents. It is very unlikely that a pupil who already attends an outstanding or selective school or one already in the independent school system would be eligible.
Very generous remission, including free places based on means-testing, are available for the sons and daughters of deceased military servicemen and servicewomen and of others who have died in acts of selfless bravery, subject to entry requirement and according to the rules of the Foundation. Further details are available from the Chief Operating Officer’s office.
“Wellington just seemed to be more colourful – more music, sport and societies” The Good Schools Guide
“Thoughtful, contemporary education and first-class leadership” The Good Schools Guide
“At the forefront of every educational innovation” Tatler