A Welcome from PASHA, OUR Head Girl
Having been here since Year 7, I have been lucky enough to see Woldingham’s true, wonderful colours and unique characteristics. Just like most people starting a new school or being in a new and different environment, you’re going to be anxious – which is completely normal! I have to confess that I was pretty nervous on my first day, but honestly, even after your first day, you will not want to leave. The speed at which you make friends and begin to establish your personal routine is quite surprising. Everyone – staff and students across the school – is so welcoming, smiley and friendly which makes it so easy to feel at home and, if you do feel homesick or lost, you are never short of people to talk to. As a result of constantly mixing with overseas and weekly boarders as well as day girls, you get to meet people from all over the world, all from different backgrounds and cultures, each bringing and contributing something different to Woldingham life which creates a real sense of community – something which makes Woldingham so great.
A key thing I have learned during my time here, is that it is impossible to get bored! There is a HUGE choice of extra-curricular activities; from Go-Karting to Scuba diving to Zumba to Horse Riding to Cake Decorating to Drama Workshop – the list is endless! No matter what your passion is, I guarantee there will be something for you. For me personally, the Music Department has done wonders for my confidence and growth as a person. I started the school with a relatively neutral passion for Music and continued individual lessons in clarinet and classical guitar. My dear friend (and Music Ribbon) Gina Salmon practically begged me to try Jazz Band one Thursday afternoon in Year 7, and I have never looked back. I took up the saxophone and started playing in the Jazz Band, Symphony Orchestra and various other ensembles which are available, and now I practically live in the department. Eventually I had the courage to apply for Junior Conservatoire and without the support from Mr Hargreaves (Director of Music) and the school, I would not have had the faith to do it, but I am now a student at Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama and I’m absolutely loving it. I’ve been able to develop skills and confidence I never knew I had, for which I am truly grateful; I have been lucky enough to use this confidence to get involved in unforgettable experiences such as performing at the BBC Proms and being a member of the National Youth Wind Orchestra. Finding your passion and doing it regularly will definitely enhance your experience here.
The House System is something we all take extreme pride in and the variety of House events we have each year contributes to the bubbling excitement and anticipation of adding to our beloved House trophy cabinets. Events consist of the House Festival – the first House event of the year on the first Saturday of term – where each House learns a dance and song; Year 7s are wrapped and dressed in…creative concoctions made up of cardboard, cling film, foil, bin liners and more, all to build costumes according to the annual theme given to each House. We also have the House Music Competition (my favourite!) where an external judge comes to hear musicians of every year group and standard; House debates which are ongoing throughout the year; Sports Day, the Pancake Race and more – the House spirit never dies!
What I love about being a student here, is the fact that working hard is cool. Striving for good grades and working to the best of your ability is a common trait amongst the girls. The amount of support and encouragement you receive from teachers is incredible: they are always happy to devote their time to helping you with any worries you have both academically and generally. Staff and peers have helped me to discover my strengths and weaknesses, and showed me what I can achieve when working hard. I couldn’t ask for a better environment to learn and thrive in, especially during my final year here.
My experience at Woldingham has taught me so many things I will take with me into the future and given so many memories I know I will cherish and never forget; I don’t doubt that you will do the same.
A very warm welcome to you here at Woldingham, and I look forward to seeing and getting to know you soon!