2021-22 review

Our 2021-22 academic year welcomed a new Headmaster, saw the return of sporting fixtures, drama productions, music concerts and more, and included incredible academic success for our Year 13.

Our Autumn Term began with Joe Silvester joining Wetherby Senior as our new Headmaster. Mr Silvester’s first term included holding a number of Meet the Headmaster events for current parents, as he settled into life at Wetherby Senior and got to know our strong and supportive School community. Reflecting at the end of his first term, Mr Silvester said: “I already feel very much a part of our School and have had a wonderful time meeting many parents, as well as getting to know our boys and staff. What has been a recurring theme has been the cohesive nature of the community of which I am now a part. Relationships between boys, and between boys and staff, are kind and considerate and grounded in respect.”

Our Autumn Term saw our new Year 7 and our Year 9 cohorts head off on their respective residential trips. Indeed, as the year progressed and pandemic restrictions eased further, our boys were to enjoy a number of different activities outside Marylebone, with our termly Field Days providing a host of exciting opportunities to extend learning beyond the curriculum. While all our Field Day activities would be too extensive to list here, this academic year has seen pupils hiking across the Chiltern Hills for their Duke of Edinburgh Award, examining regeneration in Stratford (and riding on the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the UK’s largest sculpture, at the Olympic Park), undertaking drama workshops before watching & Juliet in the West End, touring the Royal Albert Hall, learning about amputations at the Old Operating Theatre, and being inspired on a literary walk in Hampstead.

Alongside Field Days, staff and boys have continued to make the most of our School’s central London location by, for example, inviting speakers to give talks or run workshops. This year has involved bi-monthly lectures to sixth formers on a range of topics and on careers options, interactive workshops to different year groups by renowned charity Beyond Equality, and inspiring talks to both pupils and parents by one of the UK’s leading mental health campaigners, Natasha Devon MBE, to name just a few. Our boys have also attended lectures at the Royal Geographical Society, undertaken fieldwork days in Brighton, Brixton, and Whitstable, enjoyed theatre trips to see Life of Pi, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The 47th, Blood Brothers and more, and participated in a history tour of Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire.

After the disappointment of our Christmas concert being cancelled, due to Covid concerns, our Music Department were delighted to offer a number of well-attended recitals in the spring and summer, and our Brass Band undertook a successful tour of Jersey at Easter. Talking after our Live Lounge concert in May, which was a chance for our young rock and pop musicians to take centre stage, our Director of Music, Mr Martin, said: “Once again, our Music Department has shown how much amazing musical talent there is amongst our Wetherby Senior boys.”

In addition, our Drama Department has kept pupils busy, on-stage and behind-the-scenes, during 2021-22. In our Autumn Term, our Upper School production of Neville’s Island wowed audiences at RADA while, in our Spring Term, our Trib Drama competition finally took place, making use of a set that had waited in our Drama Studio for two years due to the pandemic! Our Lower School play, The Useless Tree, then impressed in our Summer Term, with some of our youngest pupils performing a piece written and directed by Mr Tibbles, following inspiration from fellow teacher, Mr Hayes.

Sport continued to be a part of Wetherby Senior life during 2021-22, with a return to sporting fixtures warmly welcomed as our School teams competed in football, cricket, tennis and more. In our Spring Term, our PE Department launched a new initiative with one of the UK’s leaders in sport movement, FMS Schools, whose ground-breaking software means each pupil involved is given a personalised development pathway to help improve their movement, mobility, body awareness and physical development. Later in our Spring Term, to complement our existing state-of-the-art facilities at Marylebone Lane (like our fully equipped gym and spin studio), our PE Department also opened our School’s superb new boxercise studio and space to undertake yoga.

Throughout this academic year, our young people have taken part in valuable and important volunteering opportunities which have included boys visiting nearby Marylebone Library to help older people learn how to better use digital devices, sixth formers supporting children’s learning at London primary schools, and our School hosting an afternoon tea for members of the immediate community. In our Summer Term, our Year 8 cohort event slept under the stars, on our Hannah House terrace, to raise funds to end youth homelessness.

Indeed, charitable fundraising has been a strong feature of our academic year, from the donation of 100 shoeboxes of gifts in December to West London Mission, which supports the homeless, to raising over £5,000 for our School’s chosen charities in our first sponsored spin event. Head of Charity, Mr Thornton, explained: “We made good use of our School’s spin studio, with each boy or teacher cycling a half hour slot, from 7:00am to 7:00pm, racing to be the first Trib to cycle 346km or the length of the Thames.”

Now, as Wetherby Senior reaches the end of a busy academic year, we await the exam results of our GCSE and A Level cohorts. Our current Year 13 hold over 120 offers, across 35 subjects, at universities around the UK, including Russell Group institutions, at top universities in France, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands, and at colleges across North America, including NYU, Berkeley, UPenn, Babson, Northeastern, Notre Dame, and Toronto. Mrs Deedat, Head of Sixth Form, said: “These brilliant outcomes reflect the hard work of our sixth formers, plus the advice and bespoke guidance of our Sixth Form team, which includes two US Advisors to support North American applications. Indeed, in just three years, our sixth formers have received forty offers to study in the USA and Canada, at institutions like Georgetown, UCSD, University of Chicago, and UCLA, as well as a D1 Football Scholarship to Akron.”

Current Year 13, Robert, who has an offer for University of Notre Dame in Indiana, echoed Mrs Deedat’s words: “Wetherby Senior fully supported all my university ambitions. In Year 12, each week, we had a lesson dedicated on applying to the US, where an expert explained how we should approach writing our common application essay and our supplemental essays. I was also able to send this advisor my supplemental essays, before I submitted them, in order to get further feedback.”

Another Year 13, Ahmad, who has offer to read economics at Queen Mary, University of London, added: “Staff always went the extra mile to support sixth formers with their studies and university ambitions, from general advice and guidance to handbooks and one-to-one talks, and more.”

Looking back on his first year in Marylebone, Mr Silvester said: “I am incredibly proud of the achievements at Wetherby Senior in the 2021-22 academic year. As well as remaining academically ambitious for our boys, we have provided a host of opportunities – at our School, across London, and beyond – for them to develop and thrive, further enriching their educational experience.

“Congratulations to our Class of 22 on the wonderful array of offers they hold at world-leading universities around the globe. I look forward to seeing the continued success of our young people in the years ahead.”


The Barometer - Half Term 5

Field Day feedback, Trib theatre thoughts, creative writing and sporting...

Headmaster's blog 06/07/2...

We have now reached the end of a busy academic…

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