Vicki Wise arrived with us in September 2012 and she has spent 4
productive years here with us. An excellent Science teacher,
invaluable games coach, and committed form tutor, she will be
missed. She started our ‘Teach Meet’ initiative, got to grips with the
intricacies of timetabling and loved all that Pinewood Adventure had
to offer. Vicki and Matt married in the Spring and we wish them both
well at Marlborough Malaysia.
We also say goodbye to Liz Heron-Watson who has been our Ballet
teacher here since 1989. Calm and poised she has enthused
countless children for 27 years and her Ballet productions were
always colourful, beautifully choreographed and professional affairs.
We say a very sad farewell to our long-standing stalwarts; Janey
Nelson, Jim Bischoff and Chris Field. Please see ‘Valete’ reports for
our words on them.
As ever thank yous dominate the closing remarks of my speech. The
Domestic and Catering staff under Susan Clark and Estates
departments under Gary Vaughan do a wonderful behind-the-
scenes job here at Pinewood. The resident team of Parris, Helen and
Annabelle, alongside our nurses Ruth and Xenia do sterling work on
the pastoral and nursing side while Ed Benbow and Henrietta lead a
very good team of staff (including our Gappers) who look after our
130 boarders from supper to bedtime. Parris moves up to a teaching
role next year and Catrin George-Carey becomes the resident
Assistant Girls’ Housemistress. Boarding for Years 5 to 8 remains
hugely popular. The Admin team, including my unflappable secretary
and registrar Sarah Walters, do a wonderful job alongside the IT
support team and Shop Manager.
The Senior Leadership Team of Nicky McAvoy, Jim Bischoff, Andrew
Caird and Hayley Davies all combine to allow Pinewood to flourish,
while Ruth Hall, Colin Acheson-Gray and especially my wife Henrietta
provide tireless support for me in so many areas and ways
Council, under the watchful eye of David Williamson are invaluable in
their dispensation of advice, and skill-sets. Their support for all we
haveachievedhereat Pinewoodover the years hasbeen incalculable.
Today, we say a final goodbye to our Chairman of Governors, David
Williamson. David joined the Governing body in May 2002, just a
term before we arrived and has served Council with distinction, firstly
as chairman of the Finance & General Purposes committee and then
from 2012 as Chairman of Council. As bursar at Marlborough for
much of his time with us he brought a huge level of experience,
wisdom and professionalism to our finances. Pinewood will miss his
leadership and our shared vision for the school and we all wish him
well in future years. Thank you for all you have done for Pinewood
and more importantly for your advice and friendship over the years.
We welcome his successor, Robin Badham-Thornhill – former
Headmaster of Summer Fields.
Finally, thank you as a parental body for your children and support of
this thriving and happy school. Thank you too for your loyalty and
consistent endorsement of all we do here and finally for your
friendship. We remain committed to bringing out the best in your
children and creating an environment in which they can thrive, grow
and be happy. Thank you.
Pinewood Adventure leads on from the Thursday afternoon activities
programme and as always I am grateful to staff who accompany the
children on these residential outward-bound weekends away.
Our ‘Outreach’ initiative continues to benefit the local community.
We continue to fund the local Church, support the Village Hall, and
provide Science, Sports and Maths initiatives to local primary
schools. We continue to support and strengthen links with Shonda,
our Kenyan link school, and many thanks to the Woods and Lawson
families who drive this initiative forwards. Our largest initiative this
year was the construction of the loo block. The school is thriving
Our Foundation funds provide bursaries for 12 children with 4 on
100% and a further 6 receiving assistance of 70% or more.
Our House Charity mornings continue to support local charities and
we raise between £3000-4000 a year for worthy causes. Friends of
Pinewood do a wonderful job, bringing the community together at
certain times of the year – Bonfire Night, the Christmas Fair, Quiz
night and the wonderful Summer Afternoon. Funds from these
events are split and recently the school has supported Splash,
Prospect House, Swindon Women’s Aid and Seesaw. They continue
to support the Cotswold Wildlife Park and World Vision. Funds this
year have also gone to the new-look Pre-Prep garden, the Theatre,
Science and Boarding. Estates are sourcing a second buggy. News
of a new fundraising push will be announced in the Autumn Term.
It has been a relatively quiet year development-wise. The new car
park has come on stream and is a welcome addition, particularly on
match days. The new teaching block has reached the design stage
and we press on with plans to extend our catering facilities, which
now have planning permission.
The Summer Term is inevitably a time for goodbyes: Matt Fuller
joined Pinewood 3 years ago. He has been an excellent form tutor,
a super joint Head of Geography, an inspirational hockey coach and
also fully involved himself in the boarding and musical life at
Pinewood as well as with Pinewood Adventure.
Xenia, one of our 2 nurses, joined us in January of 2013 and has
been an unflappable and calm presence in the Surgery. Medically
and pastorally she has been first-rate and it was lovely to see her
white-water rafting on the Year 8 Leavers’ Trip as well as plunging
into the ice-cold river for a swim.
BLUE & GREY 2016