I am privileged to be a Governor of RGS Worcester but for many years before that my contact with the School was as a dad whose four sons attended between 1997 and 2013. Like other parents, I spent countless hours on the touchline in all weathers, attending School events, interacting with teachers who were striving to achieve the best possible outcomes for my children, and generally being part of RGSW on a daily basis. This contact enabled me to observe the School evolve into the fully co-educational institution we know today following the merger with The Alice Ottley School in 2007.
Mergers, even where the outcome will likely lead to a stronger and more resilient organisation, are seldom smooth. I was aware of the turbulence as the new school found its feet against the backdrop of the global economic downturn. However, to see the School now is to truly appreciate just how hard so many individuals from both AOS and RGSW worked to make it a success. It is also a credit to the families who backed the School and to the pupils who embraced their new shared identity.
I am exceptionally proud of RGS Worcester, and of the pupils, the staff and the parents that make up the community today. I am equally impressed whenever I meet alumni from both AOS and RGSW, past parents and ex-staff. My pride is matched by my excitement as the School has embraced digital technology ahead of other schools, while our pupils remain imbued with a strong moral compass and sense of genuine equality across gender, race, religion, ethnicity and sexuality.
The pupils have opportunities to explore their strengths in academia, sport, the performing arts, textiles, DT and IT, as well as in co-curricular activities such as Debating, the CCF and DofE, and in social responsibility through charity fundraising. While the award-winning Careers Department helps them to explore how they can shape their lives after RGSW.
Through all of this, these young women and men conduct themselves with confidence, but not arrogance, and with an inner reserve of ‘grit’ that gives them the determination to keep going the extra mile. Undoubtedly, much of this comes from their families but it is also nurtured within the School. Alumni may well recognise these same traits in themselves!
I believe that it is because of all this that it could be an RGSW former pupil who makes a breakthrough in medical science, or creates employment in the industrial heartland of England, or designs energy efficient devices to protect the environment, or raises awareness of social problems through art, or provides solutions to engineering problems, or educates the next generation of children, or demonstrates sporting prowess to a superlative level. Just wishful thinking? Not really, because an RGSW education can release a child’s full potential and widen future horizons.
With an RGSW education behind them, alumni can truly tackle anything. That is why it is so vital that to extend bursary support to widen access to the School for local children. To those who have the ability and attitude to make the most of such a life changing opportunity but whose family finances would make it otherwise impossible.
It is also the aim of the current custodians of this ancient school to ensure its facilities are enhanced to offer the best possible learning space to pupils and staff. Opportunities to support capital projects through voluntary donations will be led by the Foundation.
Whether you are a former pupil reflecting on time spent at the School or a parent of a prospective pupil looking to the future, I encourage you to engage with the RGS Worcester and to consider how you can best support the School through the Foundation.
The School’s motto is ‘Respice et Prospice’ which translates as ‘Cherish the past and look to the future’. This encapsulates what the Foundation is all about.