The “Wallace Way” outlined for class of 2025

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It was a cold morning but over 2,500 visitors were warmly welcomed to Clonevin Park. HE staff and pupil volunteers baked and buttered 1,200 half scones, visitors enjoyed 600 sultana bites and two capacity audiences at the Principal’s presentation heard Wallace Head Boy Patrick Hunter encourage the class of 2025 to work hard, participate in school life and to remember that Wallace is not a building but its people.

Hundreds of students were in school on Saturday morning acting as guides and demonstrators, each and every one proud to explain why Wallace is a school of “ endless possibilities.” Wallace prides itself on the richness of its curriculum and its extra-curricular activities and both were showcased to perfection. An exhibition in the gym illustrated both the wide range of sporting opportunities available for sports enthusiasts and the many curriculum based after school activities: these vary from Art to Lego League, choirs to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, chess to equestrian team, charity to Scripture Union, Chemistry to Technology.

Young visitors are inevitably excited by the prospect of specialist classrooms ; our own pupils were equally excited as they got their first glimpse of both our new teaching block and our strength and conditioning suite. The HE Department aroused pure envy as the class of 2025 will have the pleasure of cooking and baking in areas worthy of the Good Housekeeping Institute; the words “ I’d love to have this at home” echoed around the duck egg blue rooms as visitors admired the sleek lines of Bosch and Neff equipment. More than one visitor fell for the joke that the huge glass display area in Art could be a “ sin bin” for naughty Year 8 pupils but were reassured to know it will feature some of  the award winning work from GCSE, AS and A2 portfolios.

The three science departments had their full quota of exciting experiments on show; many visitors observed they were amazed by the confidence and competence of so many Year 9 and Year 10 pupils who engaged enthusiastically with our young guests. Augmented reality apps in Biology were a fascinating insight into how iPads are utilised in school at a whole range of levels; A2 students currently use an Open University app which allows them to get up close and personal with lots of body parts! History was, as always,  a crowd pleaser with an outstanding display about World War One which included a mock-up of a trench and authentic uniforms; Geography displayed the marvels of all things Icelandic with a superb display of photographs from the A level trip to the land of hot springs and geological wonders.

English offered the weary a chance to sit down in a cosy reading corner illuminated by a light inspired by CS Lewis and The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe. American fiction, a staple of GCSE and A level Studies, was highlighted in an eye catching display and visitors also enjoyed the photo booth with a range of literary props. The department also provided information about the additional specialist qualifications of several of its staff members; it can boast of qualified counsellors, a specialist Access Arrangements assessor and teachers of English to speakers of other languages. Several Year 11 students were kept busy promoting the work of the school’s legacy charity Cancer Fund for Children…the balloons kindly supplied by the charity were very popular with our smallest guests!

Art invited the artistic and the “can’t draw a straight line” alike to contribute to creating a masterpiece with the results captured on a time lapse film.

Music echoed around our corridors and visitors to the Link area enjoyed jazz with their refreshments. We were immensely grateful to members of our PTA for their help with hospitality and appreciative that many visitors chose to make a voluntary donation to Asha, our second legacy charity.

During the Principal’s Presentation Year 8 pupils Aoife Watson ( Pond Park) and Max Kamalarajah (Riverdale) had described ( even in verse! ) their reasons for choosing Wallace. As visitors reluctantly left the building  the Principal’s words quoted by Patrick Hunter “ Wallace is not a building. Wallace is its people” seemed to have found an echo in the warm thanks expressed to staff and pupils.

Principal Mrs O’Hare said

“ Open Morning is probably my favourite day of the school year. It is wonderful to see so many of our students proudly volunteering to share their experiences of the Wallace Way. I was delighted that we were able to show part of our School Enhancement Programme to our visitors and I am sure that the pupils who will meet together in late June for induction will be thrilled to begin their school days at Wallace in these inspiring new teaching areas.  I wish all our Primary 7 visitors well for their AQE results and hope that our Primary 6 visitors were inspired to work hard and dream large.”

Last modified: January 31, 2018