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A very fond farewell

A very fond farewell

This year’s three-week long Leavers’ Programme has been a huge success thanks to the forward planning and meticulous organisation of Mr Jones. Within 10 hours of arriving back from the fantastic French trip, the Leavers’ plunged into the School Pool to commence their Channel Challenge whereby they swam the equivalent distance of the English Channel (1,665 lengths of the 20m pool) in relay teams to raise money for the charity Lepra. Buoyed on by bowls of sweets, but hampered by plastic bottles planted in the pool, the Challenge was met within 60 minutes raising £1,445. Friends and parents watched the challenge from ‘the bank’, enjoying the spoils of a French café and Ye Olde Winchester House Arms.

The programme continued at a similar pace, with a visit to Silverstone Race Track, lazer questing in Northampton, cardio tennis with parent Dan Voyce and a day spent canoeing along the Thames from Marlow and enjoying both raft building, archery and a field lunch of oven baked pizzas alongside. A day trip to London took in the BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, a picnic lunch in Trafalgar Square, the street artists of Covent Garden and a matinee performance of ‘School of Rock’. Their inner-engineer was brought out in Mr Leach’s workshop on designing a proto-type motorised vehicle whilst the return of Mr Gillam introduced them to the musical ‘Oh! It’s a Lovely War’ which they produced within four days and performed to both parents, alumni and the School to rave reviews. The Macfarlanes kindly threw a pool and tennis party at home and the McGowans provided much needed down time at their farm after the final CE pens were put down.

Guest speakers have provided food for thought, with talks by Andrea Leadsom MP, alumnus and Sea Cadet Sam Keating and Channel swimmer Carlos Glencairn-Campbell. Alumni Amber Capurro, Julian Baring, Maggie Baring, Emma Grayson, Squidge Grayson, Amelia Merritt and Matilda Wade kindly returned to School to talk about the senior school transition. When combined with the wonderful Leavers’ Ball organised by Sam Hartigan, Louie Leigh and committee, Section Supper and Ceildh, tour of the School Tower, Leavers’ Brunch and Chapel Service and the various parent versus child cricket, rounders, tennis and hockey matches, their feet have hardly touched the ground. To ensure the year’s sporting talents were put to full use, they hosted a mini Olympics and BBQ for over 150 children from three local primary schools.

With fantastic Common Entrance results into their next schools, the Leavers’ should be incredibly proud of all they have achieved at Winchester House. It goes without saying that we will miss them but wish them all the very best in the future and look forward to welcoming them back as fully signed up members of the Winchester House Association!