WISBECH: New head pays tribute to pioneering predecessor of Wisbech Grammar School
THE new headmaster of Wisbech Grammar School has paid tribute to a pioneering predecessor who led the institution into the independent sector 25 years ago. On the silver jubilee anniversary of that decision Nicholas Hammond told an audience of parents and
THE new headmaster of Wisbech Grammar School has paid tribute to a pioneering predecessor who led the institution into the independent sector 25 years ago.
On the silver jubilee anniversary of that decision Nicholas Hammond told an audience of parents and pupils at the annual speech day ceremony yesterday that Dr Douglas Anderson and his colleagues had paved the way for an outstanding chapter in the 600-year history of the school.
Mr Hammond said: "It is 25 years since Dr Anderson made the no doubt difficult decision to leave the maintained sector. It would appear that he and his colleagues have been proved right.
"It is the dedication of staff over the last quarter of a century that has made this the most successful school in the Fenland region and due in no small part to a decision that we celebrate today.
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"The class of 2008 are worthy heirs of the independent pioneers of 25 years ago and they have benefited from the fine education that bold move has brought."
Mr Hammond highlighted excellent examination results in the summer, including an A Level pass rate at grades A and B of 63 per cent and a number of A* clean sweeps at GCSE.
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In the face of the credit crunch and a society in confusion, the school's pupils were being given a framework of skills and beliefs that would see them through - and he was confident that in future years they would play pivotal roles in positions of leadership.
The boys and girls at the school reflected president elect Obama's philosophy of 'We can do it' and, perhaps more importantly, Bob the Builder's mantra, 'Yes we can.'
Mr Hammond said it was important for the school to cherish its independent status, but it was also vital to be mindful of its role in the community and he was pleased to report that 26 of the sixth formers were this year giving up their own free time to engage in community projects.
He said: "The school has raised well over £3,000 for good causes this term alone and more will be forthcoming. This is no ivory tower: our students are fully conscious of the privilege they enjoy and it is to their credit that they are ready to put something back into their local communities."
Outside the classroom it had also been a strong year for sport and drama, and Mr Hammond singled out the members of the first girl's rugby squad, who had recorded significant winning performances in their maiden season.
Guest of honour Dr Francis Pryor, the celebrated archaeologist who discovered the Bronze Age site at Flag Fen and who regularly appears on Channel 4's 'Time team', told the pupils that it is hard work rather than luck which brings rewards.
He said that the people who appeared with him on 'Time team' were all very, very good at what they do. Their prize was through a lot of steady, hard work