23 September 2016 | Edited By Michael Streat | Vol 27 No 3 | online at


With a cooler breeze making for welcome comfort after our blistering week of sunshine, and with the flowers therefore at their best, the Dome rose to the occasion magnificently.  Better still, the Swing Band’s music rose to the rafters, filling the venue with a joyful degree of positivity that carried us through to the end.

The headmaster talked of creativity, its vital importance and how pervasive it is in our society, whether explicit in industry or implicit in the way we all should approach our lives: indeed we should all acknowledge our talents for it, because creativity itself should not be viewed as the preserve of the creative arts and professions, but should underpin our approach to everything we do. 

But creativity needs harnessing, and here the link was beautifully picked up by our guest, Simon Dennis MBE, Olympic gold medallist from 2000 with the GB rowing eight: harnessing talent requires resilience, perseverance and conviction, and teamwork.  Knowing yourself well enough to play different roles at different times, and to acknowledge the importance of the roles and talents of others was instrumental to his crew’s success.  His was a great story with a perfect ending (hung, in closing, proudly around his neck, and much admired thereafter by those brave enough to shake his hand over drinks).  In between we heard of our leavers, and how they had in their school careers nurtured talents, developed creativity, shown resilience, worked as teams and above all had the conviction in themselves to succeed.  And then at the close Laura Graham raised the bar higher again with a brilliantly judged speech on why this environment of Woodbridge works so well: nature versus nurture – wherever you stand on the debated spectrum, there’s no denying that nurture brings out the best. Just make sure you eat your peas.  With Tom’s warm and charming thanks to Mr Dennis ringing in our ears it was time to celebrate another wonderful year – it should have been sunnier outside; but there was plenty of sunshine within.

It really was a wonderfully positive and life affirming day, even allowing for the hardness of the chairs…


Our thanks go to the Reverend Canon Dave Gardner, director of mission for the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich for joining us to celebrate our founders.  It’s a special occasion for the school: a day when all three sites come together to share a moment of reflection, and all three contribute in their own way.  Canon Gardner asked us to think about what keeps us going: he was just back from running a half marathon, and talked of the runner’s ‘wall’.  Carrying on when the going gets tough in this case encapsulated for him the bigger issue of finding a direction for our lives: knowing what to do with our lives and then following through on that, despite the setbacks.  He talked of our uniqueness: we are each of us special: only you can do what you can do – so do it as well as you can.  For him, his call to Jesus, which springs deep within him, and his call to Christianity is the central and guiding thread.  He wished us all good fortune in finding our own calling, whatever it might be. 

Our thanks also go to our readers, from senior school, from the Abbey, and from Queen’s House (up the steps and down again) – all beautifully delivered and keenly listened to.  Thomas Seckford should be immensely proud of what his and his successors’ benefactions put in train.


Nearly 130 Year 7 and 8 pupils went to King Pin in Martlesham to go bowling. Scores for the different tutor groups were as follows Annott- Mr Hillman 999, Mrs Chandler 908, Burwell- Mr Hunt 1,084, Mrs Rix 953, Seckford -Mr Percival 1,055, Miss Mayes 925, Willard -Miss Crossland 1,000, Miss Gallop 1,009. So the overall winners were Burwell, then Willard, Seckford and Annott. The night’s top scorer was Katie Bellhouse in Year 8 with 151,  second was Year 7 James Holliday 138 and third Charlie McCormack with 123. Lots of chips and slush puppies were consumed and much fun had by all. Thank you to the eight members of staff who volunteered to make the evening possible.  I’m delighted to report that there will also be a small sum of money raised to go to a charity.


Wednesday 9 November
Lunchtime Recital- Brass
Music School 1.40pm

On Saturday, Woodbridge School took two teams to the NSEA Championships Showjumping Qualifier at Bury Farm, Buckinghamshire.

This was a huge experience for most of the riders; none had competed in an International Arena before over a full course of imposing fences.

The Team in the 70cms of Fleur Ludgrove, Perdi Ludgrove, Olivia Lubbock and Ada Marson just missed out on qualifying for the National Championships by coming 3rd overall. However, this did qualify them for the NSEA Plate Championship which takes place at Keysoe Equestrian Centre in Bedfordshire in December.

The 80cms Team of Fleur Ludgrove, Tabitha Wilson-Smith, Rowena Wilson-Smith and Francesca Aitchison did exceptionally well, producing four clear rounds and finishing 2nd overall and qualifying for the Main National NSEA Champs at Addington Arena in October.

On Sunday we attended the Grass Roots Qualifiers at Tendring Hundred Riding Club in Essex.

Out of five height classes and teams in each class, Woodbridge gained two team 2nd places, two team wins and one team 4th, as well as numerous individual placings.

Results of note were Zoe Newman and Rosie Hunter-Blair,who were both making their debut as team members. Both were placed individually, and both took 2nd place in their respective classes.

Overall, all riders rode consistent clear rounds with good times, resulting in our excellent team scores.

At one point, we had nine Woodbridge riders walking the course in preparation for their class – quite a sight!

Individual results are available here.


Score: Won 6-1

This was a great first 11-a-side game for the U14A girls' hockey team. Against Langley, away at Harleston, the squad of fifteen played some super hockey.  A brilliant start brought the first two goals before Langley managed to respond just before half time from a short corner.  It was just the spur our girls needed, as they subsequently pulled away to make absolutely sure of the win - by the very impressive score of 6-1. Annie Yates and Flora Pitt played particularly well in central defence, while the three goals from Victoria Burrows who had a great game, two from Ianthe Hill whose linking play from midfield dominated the game, and one from Verity Hobday made for a very cheerful coach trip home.


Score: Lost 0-1

The girls’ first hockey team played a very fast and physical encounter against Ipswich School at Rushmere.  This was a massive test for the team early on in the season and they did not disappoint. Stubborn, committed and sometimes brave defending meant that Ipswich School just could not convert all the possession they enjoyed during the first half. Led by the well-timed tackles of Tildy Paul at the back, every single player in the team made sure that they did not make it an easy afternoon for the home favourites. Closer to the end of the first half Woodbridge started to get isolated counter attacks but just could not string enough passes together to really threaten Ipswich School.

Shortly after half time Woodbridge tried to do the right thing to get out of a press, but just could not execute their skills fast and hard enough. Ipswich pounced on this and won a penalty corner. On the first occasion Woodbridge was saved by the post but Ipswich put away their re-awarded corner when Sophie Little was left unsighted.  Despite this early setback Woodbridge continued to fight and started to put more pressure on Ipswich using their counterattacks a little bit better.  There were signs of good things to come in build-up play in the second half. The players ran their hearts out and looked the fitter team as the match drew to a close but had to settle for a 0-1 loss in the end. A very proud performance showing guts by every player. Well done to all involved.

Joint Players of the Match were Sophie Little in goal and Georgina Warren in midfield. Chloe Outen played a faultless game in defence while Flora Johnston and Alice McLeod Scott were also influential in key areas.


A number of Woodbridge School athletes competed in the Stowmarket Mile on Saturday 10 September. This was the third running of the event with the inaugural race set up in 2014 to celebrate the 60 year anniversary of the first sub 4 minute mile by Sir Roger Bannister.
An open race for all ages with pre-entries sold out at 300 athletes. On the day there were 261 finishers.

There were awards for the open category as well as three junior categories - U11, U13 and U15.

Woodbridge School pupils or siblings won 4 of the 6 Junior trophies.

Full results as follows:
 3rd: Nathan Goddard 4:55 - won trophy for third in the open category
18th: Charlie Turner 5:43 - won Boys U13 category
21st: Amy Graham 5:45 - won Girls U15 Category
38th: Edward Rufford 6:11
40th: Sophie Graham 6:14
48th: Amy Goddard 6:22 - won Girls I13 Category
63rd: Eloise Rufford 6:55 - won Girls U11 Category 
This marks the end of the summer racing, with the first winter fixture for our athletes being the England Schools Cross Country Cup, week commencing  Monday 3 October.


Jack Russell, ex-England wicket keeper recently presented Year 7 Henry Dinwiddy with a prize for bowling at the Minor Counties Cricket tournament in the summer which was a four day residential camp. Henry took six wickets for 18 runs in the Suffolk match against Cleveland. He has just found out that he has been selected to play for Suffolk again next season.

Our heartiest congratulations to Henry.

Queen's House 2pm to 3.30pm        The Abbey: 10.30am to 2pm         Senior School: 1pm to 4pm

Woodbridge School will be hosting its first annual Poetry Festival on Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 November. The festival will comprise  of the Woodbridge  Poetry Competition Prizegiving on Wednesday 2 November, as well as workshops and special poetry readings being held for Woodbridge School pupils during both Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday evening, we would like to invite parents and pupils to a special poetry event that we know will be exciting, original and great fun! Poets Mark Grist and Vanessa Kisuule will be performing at the Seckford Theatre. Both are rising stars in the world of poetry, and we are extremely excited to welcome them to the School. To book your tickets for this event please visit

The Woodbridge School Parents Association (WSPA) has been renamed "Friends Of Woodbridge School".

Please see the sections below for events, and if you click in the red box, this will take you directly to the WSPA Facebook page which details all forthcoming events. Please "like" and also "subscribe" to the page for the latest news and for details of all future events.

Tuesday 11 October
Tuckwell Room


Friday 18 November


Saturday 19 November 

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