Academic pursuit beyond the curriculum.

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Academic Pursuit Beyond The Curriculum

At Wellington every student enjoys rich opportunities for academic extension and challenge.  Nobody’s potential is fixed; everybody can develop and transform his or her capacity for learning. Each and every member of the Wellington community has the opportunity to develop a genuine and lifelong love of learning.

This webpage provides details of the different ways that you can stretch and challenge yourself academically at Wellington. You can find out about weekly clubs and societies, and one-off talks, lectures and demonstrations. There is information about competitions within and beyond Wellington, as well as links to reading lists, online courses and holiday activities. Where will you take yourself?

Notable Events

W/C 10th February


MONDAY 10th February

  • 16.30-17.25: Weizmann Safe cracking – Engineering/Physics national competition, students prepare safes with the virtual assistance of Weizmann Institute doctoral candidates. Local competition with final in Israel in Easter. 5th & LVIth form. DET dept.
  • 16.30-17.25: Cakespeare. Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage …. All welcome but particularly suitable for 3rd & 4th form. English Reading Room
  • 16.45-17.25: Environmental Society –  All welcome. Cultural Living Room
  • 17.45-18.45: Classics Societyreading group of Classical texts in translation. 5th form upwards. Classics Atrium.
  • 20.00-20.55: Fireside Lecture – Andrew Noble, British Ambassador to Romania, considers the impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall in his talk “30 Years of Freedom”. All welcome. Great School.

TUESDAY 11th February

  • 16.30-17.25: Bountiful Biology Bonanza – can you even pipette? Using £300 pipettes competitively. 5th form upwards. B6
  • 17:45-19:15: Tricky Chemistry – learn how to make water glow (part 2). LVIth form. CH3
  • 17.45-18.45: History Clubdiscussion, quizzes, movies and cake! History dept. All welcome
  • 17.45-18.45: Tricky Physics. stretch your understanding of the physical world in this advanced group. Physics dept. LVIth form
  • 18.00-18.45: Intro to Economics & Businesscurious about Economics and Business and want to find out more about the financial crisis. 3rd-5th Form. Library (Moral Room)
  • 18.00-19.00: Crest Science Award: design your own science investigation and apply your knowledge to real-world problems to achieve a Crest Science Award. All 4th form welcome. CH8

WEDNESDAY 12th February

  • 14.30-16.00: Arkwright programme engineers: turning a mobility scooter into an autonomous robot. 5th form. DET dept.
  • 16.00-17.30: Art School Applications. Sixth Form. Art School
  • 16.30-17.25: Mandarin Club – learn to speak Mandarin. All welcome. MFL.
  • 16.30-17.30: Debating society (Juniors) – hone your debating skills with expert tuition and practice. All 3rd & 4th form welcome from beginners to experts. Library (Moral Rooms)
  • 17.45-18.45: WCPCI – Concerned about the crisis in Hong Kong or refugees in Calais? Join the Wellington College Peace and Conflict Institute for talks and trips abroad.  All welcome. PR1
  • 17.45-19.15 and 19.30-20.30: Debating society (Seniors) – hone your debating skills with expert tuition and practice. all 5th & 6th form welcome. Library (Moral Rooms)
  • 17.45-18.45: Disrupt Hugo Hardman, Managing Director of Chalk Stream Foods, talks about the lessons he has learnt from running his own business and answers students questions. All welcome. DLR
  • 20.00-21:00: Spanishfocusing on tricky Spanish grammar. All welcome. MFL10

THURSDAY 13th February

  • 16.30-17.25: Biology Book Club thought provoking discussion on a biology related reading. Bio Harkness room. 5th and 6th form welcome.
  • 17.45-18.45: Creative writing – practice your writing skills under expert guidance. All welcome. Library.
  • 17.45-18.45: Set Zero Mathsmaths extension and competitions. Puzzles and problem solving.. All welcome. M10.
  • 17.45-18.45: Science Society Matthew Gollock – Zoological Society of London: Marine Conservation (sharks and rays). All welcome. B5
  • 17.45-18.45: Phil-Thy society Thubten, a Buddhist monk from the Samye Ling monastery, will talk about the work he has done with large corporates such as Google on Mindfulness. All welcome. PR1
  • 20.00-20.55: Economic Affairs – debate controversial topics at this student-led Economics discussion group. All welcome. Library (Moral Rooms)
  • 20.00-20.55: Dance Technique sessionto support the performance elements of the GCSE Dance. Old Gym.

FRIDAY 14th February HALF TERM

W/C 17th February


Lecture Programme

Every Monday evening the Master opens up the sitting room of his house and invites in an outside speaker to share their experiences. The main aim is to make the students think and question their preconceptions, rather than teach them about a particular topic. The Q&A, that is a major element of the talks, is often animated, drawing questions from students from all year groups.  Please bring a cushion.

Lent Term 2020


Monday 13th (ML)
Dr Ashley Fegan-Earl, consultant forensic pathologist
Inside the World of Death Unexplained

Monday 20th (GS)
Afua Hirsh, Guardian journalist
What Does it Mean to be British?

Wednesday 22nd (GWA)
Master’s Lecture: Mary Berry
An Evening with Mary Berry

Monday 27th (GS)
Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham
What Leadership Means in Today’s Political debate


Monday 3rd (ML)
Matthew Gordon, naturalist television producer
Making the Spy in the World Series (title tbc)

Monday 10th (GS)
Andrew Noble, British Ambassador to Romania
30 Years of Freedom

Monday 24th (ML)
Becky Smethurst, Physics Research Fellow at the University of Oxford
Astrophysics: From the Lab to Your Living Room


Monday 2nd (GS)
Stuart Block, Director of Outreach & Academic Partnerships, St Paul’s
Beyond the Bike: Experiences of Cycling Africa and Asia – observations on the world economy from the back of a tandem

Monday 16th (CLT)
Chris Budd, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bath
Can Maths Save the Whales and Cure Cancer?

Monday 23rd (GS)
Mark Pennington, Professor of Public Policy at King’s College London
How Current Thinking on Public Policy is Wrong


ML – Master’s Lodge
GS – Great School
GWA – G.W. Annenberg
CLT – Christopher Lee Theatre

Michaelmas Term 2019

Highlights during the Michaelmas Term 2019 included Oxford university history professor Peter Frankopan. He asked the students to question why they focus so much on UK specific history, such as Henry VIIIth’s wives, rather than looking at the history of China and South Asia and considering the perspective of the rising powers of the East.

Former England cricket captain Sir Andrew Strauss discussed how to achieve the seemingly unachievable through marginal gains, breaking a mission down into achievable steps.

Talan Skeels-Piggins was left paralysed from the mid chest down after an accident, but he explained how he set about his goal to represent GB in the Paralympics. His determination and sheer will power were inspirational – “Its what you do that defines you”.

Prof Matthew Goodwin explained the rise of national populism and the need to engage and deal with challenging issues in our society.

Gareth Patterson QC outlined his role as a prosecutor, working with police to build a case and prove a suspect’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt, by working through some of high profile cases.

Clubs & Societies

Our co-curricular programme encompasses a wealth of opportunities in music, drama and dance as well as a full range of academic clubs and societies, from the ever-popular Phil-Thy society to Russian for beginners.

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