The OWs’ Tree is our newest way of remembering former pupils and staff in perpetuity. We commissioned a beautiful metal tree sculpture, forged by hand by a local Suffolk artist, which is on permanent display in School Hall.
The names of OWs are engraved onto individual brass leaves and hang on the tree as a testimony to their participation in the life of the School.
As well as being a wonderful visual reminder of our alumni the OWs’ Tree will help to grow our Bursary Fund, which is needed now more than ever. Suffolk parents and children need schools which are ambitious for their pupils and able to provide strong academic standards, preparing them for 21st century careers.
One in ten pupils in our Senior School is now on a means-tested bursary, but there are many more young people in our local community who could benefit from a Woodbridge education. In the past, the Direct Grants scheme which was first introduced in the 1940s allowed young people from all walks of life to obtain a good grammar school education, bringing diversity and opportunity in equal measure. This and subsequent schemes have long since been abolished by the government, and so the Seckford Foundation stepped in to provide funding; but we now need to raise new funds to enable us to offer new bursaries, and we are hopeful that the OWs’ Tree will help us achieve this.
Initially we promoted tree idea amongst a small number of our older alumni and we were thrilled with the response. The tree was official unveiled following the Remembrance Service in November 2018. Subsequently we publicised the tree to the cohort of OWs who we invite to the Senior Alumni Lunches each year. Others have learnt about the tree independently and wished to be involved either for themselves or for a family member. We are delighted that it is now sprouting multiple leaves celebrating over fifty former pupils and staff and has raised over £10,000 for the Bursary Fund. We feel it is the right time to invite all OWs to be part of this and very much hope you will agree.
For your name to be engraved on to a leaf, please complete the form below along with your donation to our Fund: a minimum gift of £100 is required; please make your donation via the ‘Make a Donation’ button at the bottom of this page and be as generous as you can so that we can support more young people like Neil:
“All of us have particular points that we consider to have been especially important when growing up. For me, one of these decisive moments was being offered a bursary-funded place at Woodbridge School. Clearly the academic aspect of any school is vital; the education I received at Woodbridge was of the highest level, and led on to me gaining a place at Cambridge University. Beyond academia the extra-curricular opportunities were exceptional and varied, enabling me to pursue interests in both sport and music which I continue to enjoy. I would not have been able to study at Woodbridge without the bursary I received, and the wider encouragement in my personal and academic development made a huge difference to me. I am extremely grateful to all who made it possible for me to attend as I can now say, with great confidence, I would not be where I am today without Woodbridge School.” Neil Alderton OW 2001-2008.