Woldingham celebrates the past, the present and the future on 180th anniversary

Woldingham celebrates the past, the present and the future on 180th anniversary

13 December 2022

Woldingham marked its 180th anniversary on Foundation Day, 8 December 2022, with a fantastic range of events at school and around the world as we commemorated the school’s establishment as one of the oldest schools for girls in the UK and took the opportunity to raise funds for bursaries to ensure future generations of students can benefit from a Woldingham education.

Foundation Day began with the whole school gathering for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Mass of Thanksgiving with Principal Celebrant Rt Rev Richard Moth, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton. We were joined by Sister Margaret Wilson RSCJ and other guests from the Society of the Sacred Heart England & Wales Network to remember the founding of the first Sacred Heart School in England, today known as Woldingham, on 8 December 1842.

After lunch, students and staff had fun in the present while looking to the future as they threw themselves into range of ‘180 themed’ activities. These were part of 180 Giving Day, raising funds for bursaries that will enable future generations of students to take a place at Woldingham, students who in other circumstances wouldn’t be able to join the school.

The myriad activities included: shooting 180 netball and hockey goals; conducting 18.0 science experiments; swimming a 180-length relay; making 180 Christmas cards and 180 Christmas decorations; and singing 180 carols. Baking 180 cupcakes was the most popular choice of activity among the students, though recognition for ‘hardiest’ participants should go to the planters of 180 tulips on an extremely cold afternoon. A close second was a hardy group of parents who braved the freezing early morning conditions to travel 180 times along the zip wires in our Outdoor Adventure and Education Centre.

The final whole school activity took place in the Quad at the end of the afternoon, with a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to Woldingham’.

Dr James Whitehead, Woldingham Head said: ‘It seems appropriate, as we celebrate our first 180 years, that we continue to seek to raise money to expand our bursary provision and offer transformational bursaries, which have already changed the lives of so many girls and young women and their families’.

Thanks to the efforts of staff, students and parents and the generosity of the Woldingham community, 180 Giving Day raised more than £65,000. If anyone would like to make a donation, please visit our Giving Day website.

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