Rhubarb 2021

Issue 10: October 2021

‘They will tell you it is very down to earth – we thought it was FLYING HIGH ’ ͔͈ͅ ͇͏͏̈́ ͓͈̓͏͏͓͌ ͇͕͉̈́ͅ ‘Leading the way in educational initiatives is instinctive for this DYNAMIC Oxford school’ ͔͔́͌͒ͅ ͓͈̓͏͏͓͌ ͇͕͉̈́ͅ


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warden’s welcome

A ny new job is an obvious and frequent talking point in conversation. Some of the conversations between my appointment last summer and the start of my time as 14thWarden in September


were structured. I met with almost everyone who works for the School across all departments to ask them what they liked about Teddies, what they wanted to celebrate and promote about the School, and what they were looking to see developed and improved.

Their answers have informed the setting of the School’s strategic direction this year.They were also inspiringly positive: a testament to Stephen Jones’ vision and ambition for Teddies, and to the sense of community which Stephen and Katie fostered during their ten years at St Edward’s.

Conversations with people outside the School were different, not least because I sometimes had to explain that Warden means headteacher. Outside the Teddies community, it otherwise makes people think of prisons and the enforcement of strict rules. Anyone who has found themselves parked in the wrong place on a visit back to Oxford will know what I mean. Seeking the derivation of my new title, I was pleased to find a very different etymology and a relationship between the English word and the French gardien. The idea of the Warden as the guardian of the School – its history, its traditions, its community, its position – seems to me absolutely right. It also fits much better with my conception of leadership. In many schools, headteachers too often use pronouns and possessive adjectives in the first person – my school, my strategy, my staff. Those pronouns should be plural – our school, our community, our strategy, our future. The alumni of a school are a critically important part of that community. Governors and staff – includingWardens – will come and go, making their mark on the School in different ways and to varying degrees.Their legacy will be the impact they have on pupils, through their decisions and through their interactions.Those generations of pupils, however, are defined by their time at school to a much greater extent than those who teach or support them. In turn, through the way in which they work, live their lives and contribute to society beyond their time in education, they will define the school, creating its reputation and determining its standing.

Alastair Chirnside,14th Warden of St Edward’s

I have taken up my appointment as Warden at a time of great uncertainty and change, economically, politically and socially.To lead St Edward’s at such a time is an immense privilege and a great challenge. It is not, however, a challenge to be met alone. Already, through the work of the Governors and those many conversations with staff, the outlines of the strategy for the next phase of the School’s development have started to take shape. I am looking forward to defining them more clearly and to adding the colour that will make the picture complete.That process has started within the School this term, but your experience of the world as OSE – at university, in work, in life – is critically important: we need to know from you what pupils need to take away from a 21st century school. I am looking forward to engaging with you in that context and, more personally, to welcoming you back to Teddies. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy this edition of Rhubarb, with its review of the past, its celebration of the present and its look to the future. To lead St Edward’s at such a time is an immense privilege and a great challenge.



president’s REPORT David Smar t (Field House, 1968-1972) T he last year has indeed been a challenge for all, particularly for schools who had to re-invent themselves overnight. St Edward’s did a

John Wiggins, Hon Sec, David Smart, President and James MacDonald-Smith, Vice President


accessible to OSE living all around the world and will stream as many of our pupil performances as possible.

During lockdown I began phoning OSE over the age of 75 to wish them a Happy Birthday and to make sure they were keeping well. This is something I have continued and although I am not able to get through to all, those I have spoken to have been extremely interested to hear how the School is performing.This has been a most enjoyable feature of my Presidency. Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the 13thWarden, Stephen Jones. Stephen has realised Simeon’s vision of completing the Quad with our magnificent new buildings. His legacy is not just the physical building work that has been undertaken but the progress made over the past 10 years in pastoral care and pedagogical development, with the introduction of a new middle school curriculum, Pathways and Perspectives, which supplements the GCSE programme, and the choice of IB or A level for Sixth Form pupils. Stephen’s leadership and innovation has been outstanding. It was a great pleasure presenting Stephen with a silver salver on behalf of us all to thank and congratulate him. We have now moved onto the next era, having welcomed the 14thWarden, Alastair Chirnside, in September. Alastair, I know, looks forward to meeting many of you during his first year in post. We wish him luck and pledge him our support.

magnificent job continuing to provide first class education whilst keeping everyone safe. Quite incredibly not one school bubble had to be sent home for isolation during the entire year.We must pay tribute to Stephen Jones and the SubWarden, Tony Darby, and their excellent teams for protecting all their pupils and staff so brilliantly. At the beginning of lockdown the Society made the decision to hold as many events virtually as was feasible.These includedWine Tasting, a Quiz Night, the Carol Service and several committee meetings. I hope, like me, you enjoyed watching the Gaudy performances online.These can still be viewed by going to www.stedwardsoxford. org/whats-on/ teddies-presents. Despite some remaining uncertainty, we are all hoping this year we will be allowed to resume hosting live events. Following a strategic review we have completely re-evaluated our calendar of events, as you will see on the printed postcard within this magazine. We hope with this significant increase in range and scope of events that there will be something here for everyone to get involved with. If not, please do let me know! We have made the decision to host one very special, large event at Teddies each year to which all OSE and their families will be invited.These large-scale events will be on a three-year rolling cycle starting with a Special Gaudy (Arts festival and sporting afternoon) in June 2022, followed by a Black Tie Dinner in March 2023, and, in June 2024, a Family Fun day including outdoor experiments, art experiences and multi-generational sporting challenges.There will also be new annual 25- and 50-year reunions, at least six Regional Dinners or Lunches (with great thanks to all our Regional Reps), three Teddies Talks career events, University Supper Tours and an annual Inspiring People lecture in the new Olivier Hall.We will also continue to hold quiz and wine tasting events virtually to be

Presentation of the silver salver to the 13th Warden, Stephen Jones, with Simon Talbot-Williams (Cowell’s 1974-1979), President of the Martyrs and David Smart




W elcome to Rhubarb 2021 . I hope you enjoy reading this magazine and celebrating all the wonderful news and achievements from our OSE and School community. We look forward to seeing many of you over the course of this year and please do get in touch if you have anything you would like to share.

After a year of disruption and lockdown it is lovely to see the School busy and full of pupils again. The Beyond Teddies Team have also been busy creating a schedule of events for everyone to enjoy.We are building on the success of some of our virtual events from last year and we also have a number of new in-person events to look forward to. Do check the calendar insert for full details.



As we said farewell to the 13th Warden, Stephen Jones, this summer and welcomed our newWarden, Alastair Chirnside, this September, we have taken the opportunity to look back and remember all the St

We feature some fascinating OSE working in very different industries and two eminent former members of the Common Room, Malcolm Oxley (page 21) and

Tony Snell

Edward’s Wardens in a feature on page 4 . I would like to thank everyone who helped contribute to this historic piece of work.

Tony Snell (page 26) . It is always lovely to hear about the different paths their lives have taken.

The 2020 Crucible production gave us the perfect opportunity to connect with OSE who took part in the same play in 2004 (page 32). We find out what they have been up to and also hear from a member of the cast from the 1964 performance.

We enjoy hearing from current Heads of Houses about School life post-lockdown and marvel at the many School achievements on page 42 . It’s been a busy year!

The Martyrs have enjoyed some thrilling matches and competitions this year despite many of their activities being curtailed (page 58) and there is a full schedule of events planned

Finally we love the news and up-dates on pages 68 and 75, where we celebrate the successes of our many OSE. A record of al l OSE who have passed away thi s year are l i sted on page 82 wi th ful l obi tuar ies avai lable onl ine .

for this year. Do get in touch if you want to get involved.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this edition of Rhubarb . Please keep your stories and news coming and keep in touch – details can be found on the back page.



A BEVY OF wardens This year, having said farewell to Stephen Jones and welcomed our 14thWarden, Alastair Chirnside, we take the opportunity to look back and remember all ourWardens within the continuum of the School's history.We find out about eachWarden, identify their greatest achievements and how they, along with global social change, helped shape the School into what it is today. With thanks to Malcolm Oxley (MCR, 1962-1999), Simon Roche (MCR, 2004-2007/2010-current day), Lorna Roche (Wardens’ PA, 2001-2016) and JudyYoung (MCR, 1999-current day) for their invaluable contributions.


F rom 1863 until 1877 the 376 boys who passed through St Edward’s School knew nothing of Wardens because there weren’t any. Like most schools Thomas Chamberlain’s unsteady foundation of 1863 was headed by a headmaster helped by a clutch of transitory teachers.This headmaster was the Revd FW Fryer, a protégé and curate of the Founder. Under him, the new School never reached 50 pupils in attendance in any single term. In 1870 the more forceful enthusiasm of the second headmaster, the 24-year-old Algernon Barrington Simeon, more than doubled that number and he purchased the School from Chamberlain in 1870, moving it into the village of Summertown and re-opening it with new buildings in 1873. Simeon’s aims were more far-reaching as the

Revd F W Fryer

Thomas Chamberlain

impressive size of the new buildings testifies.The former Wykhamist envisaged an essentially religious community based upon the Anglo-Catholic revival we call The Oxford Movement. But he knew that a school would only attract pupils if it could teach the traditional Classical subjects properly and he knew that his own academic capabilities did not match his religious ones.The answer was to appoint a headmaster to direct the pupils’ studies while he continued to head up the religious foundation itself. So, on 5th June 1877, the day on which the completed Chapel was consecrated, Simeon named himself the first Warden.

Algernon Barrington Simeon

role as not unlike that of an abbot in a monastery and his ambitious building programme echoed monastic structures as well as educational ones. His great strength was with the pupils and he attracted both respect and affection from generations of them which many sustained as old boys. His celebrated birthday parties, lots of holidays for saints days and a paternal informality strengthened by his marriage in 1883 and happy family life generated a familial atmosphere in the School giving it a reputation for being unstuffy, friendly and unpretentious which it has largely sustained.With adults he was less successful. Clashes with teachers and some dissatisfied parents were not uncommon. His relationship with the headmaster Herbert Dalton, his future brother-

in-law, was disastrous. Simeon was deeply emotional and subject to stress under pressure. His achievement was massive and placed him among the ranks of pioneering Victorian headmasters. Among his achievements was the establishment of a proper constitution for the School in 1889 emotion into the School which he had more or less founded and to which he had devoted so much of his life meant that he remained involved with the School as one of the Councilors and thereafter as a Governor (the titles of those managing the School changed over the years as the constitution was amended) until 1920.This involvement, after he had retired from the wardenship in 1893, was probably unwise. with a governing body. His own investment of both money and


Simeon was the historical driving force behind the School’s survival and eventual prosperity. A not very clever and rather

naughty boy at Winchester, he underwent a total and lasting conversion to Anglo-Catholicism at Christ Church which drove him for the rest of his life. He saw theWarden’s





THOMASWILLIAM HUDSON THIRD WARDEN 1896-1904 Hudson, a historian from Brasenose, was appointed on the strength of his record as Headmaster of Queen Elizabeth’s School, Cranbrook where he raised the numbers from 11 to 55. With the exception of one year (1905) numbers never again fell below 100. Hudson ticked all the boxes of expectations for the growing late- Victorian Public School. Games became ever more important and with them a liking for inter-Set competitions, team photographs and a stress on ‘colours’ for games and uniforms for formal photographs. Rowing flourished and boxing was introduced as a compulsory sport. A rather hearty, even brash, figure Hudson exuded a much-needed confidence and sense of direction. He embodied the growing cult of ‘manliness’ and ‘muscular Christianity’ typical of the period, one of growing regulation and a liking for uniformity.TheWarden was a keen disciplinarian and wielder of the cane. His main enthusiasm was for pig farming. Financially the School continued to live a hand-to-mouth existence and when in 1903 the 21 boys who left were replaced by only seven, Simeon offered his usual diagnosis and blamed Hudson who sensed that the former Warden would pressurise the governing body and got in his resignation first. His old college offered him its best living in rural Berkshire with a 20-room vicarage and 100 acres of glebe land for his pedigree pigs.The Chronicle praised his geniality, heartiness and patriotism.

Some fall off in pupil numbers – in the 80s from 1893 following numbers in the early 100s since 1877 – may have contributed to Simeon’s retirement decision. Hobson fitted well the evolving pattern of Public School schoolmaster/priests, a sound Second from Christ Church, a running Blue, six years


teaching at Tractarian Radley and then at the prestigious Wellington,

he must have seemed ready for a headship. In many ways he was. Eight

university scholarships and exhibitions were gained in less than four years of his tenure, a higher figure than at many larger schools. Higher Certificates gained increased markedly. A fundamental change was that of the introduction of the “Set System” in 1893, the forerunner of the later boarding houses and a basis for a wider contact with fellow pupils not in one’s teaching class and with teachers other than one’s class teacher. It had a big future. Above all Hobson was lucky in that several pupils of the 1890s were fulsome in their praise of him, both as a teacher and pastorally conscious Warden. In 1894 the school joined the Headmasters Conference a step towards being recognized as a public school. But numbers remained low, only 78 in the Summer Term of 1896.This brought financial difficulties which Hobson could not solve in spite of some drastic cost-cutting. Relations with Simeon were bad while the ex- Warden was arguing simultaneously about what he was owed financially.The governing body fumbled while Simeon condemned Hobson as “weak” and led him to resign. Neither the governing body nor the ex-Warden came out of this well.

Sing was the School’s first layWarden and still holds the distinction of having been an assistant master from 1886, a Tutor (housemaster) of Set B from 1893,Warden from 1904-1913, a governor from 1911-20 and Chairman of Governors from 1922-29. He was still ‘helping out’ at the School from 1939-40! With the support of Lord Halifax and the Gibbs family, Lord Aldenham and his son Vicary Gibbs on the governing body he can be justly regarded as theWarden who ensured the School’s survival and possibility for future growth in the twentieth century. Outstandingly that meant that he secured the games fields we have today without which a boarding school cannot survive. Building expansion on some of those same fields has enabled much of the later expansion of the School we see today. He did this in concert with Halifax and the Gibbs family but not without hard-fought disagreements with them over methods and tactics. He persuaded the Duke of Marlborough and his advisors to part with some of their land and, perhaps above all, he showed a masterly tactfulness in dealings with the ageing Simeon, still anxious to protect



boy educated at Magdalen College School, Hudson had employed him in 1896 when he was only 23 and he quickly became a protégé of Sing who, together with Cowell, dominated the Masters’ Common Room. Ferguson was a dedicated schoolmaster unlike so many earlier young priests who took teaching posts while they awaited a parish living.Thirteen years teaching at Lancing, the leading school of the Woodard Corporation of Anglo-Catholic schools, helped him re-assert St Edward’s religious tradition. Within the year the Chapel altar and steps were changed and new furnishings provided with a redecoration. Some rooms were also redecorated including three new dormitories and washrooms.The dining hall and Big School followed, the latter

cricketer, seemed ideally set for a successful wardenship but the Great War intervened.The chapel had been lined with wood panelling to take the expected memorial plaques which Imperial wars would bring and, in due course, the heavy toll of the Great War would be added. OSE complained of poor teaching and a sharp decline of discipline against a background of strictures like the rationing of bread and meat.There was, as usual, not enough money to do much about these background deficiencies and probably it was only the low fees charged which kept the numbers up at all, £90 in 1920 to Radley’s £165. Though Ferguson employed a bursar and gentle increases of the fees were tried, £125 by 1922, it seemed to be a losing battle. Paradoxically the School was not equipped enough to house its Ferguson was clearly stressed and, for a time, was ill and twice bereaved by the deaths of both his brother and sister. Possibly he overestimated the difficulties and with the governors’ support urged that St Edward’s should associate itself with theWoodard Corporation.This affiliation seemed likely to hand over ultimate control to the Corporation. Passing judgment on Ferguson is difficult. FewWardens have attracted such praise for their piety, troubled years for the School. His later success as Warden of Radley seems to stand in sharp contrast to his travails at St Edward’s. He remains something of an enigma. increased numbers and not rich enough to do anything about it. tolerance, approachability and competence and yet they were


his legacy and his investment. In short, Sing was not just a clever Classics teacher but a clear-headed and hard-headed man of business.This was the era of the Rifle Club, the armoury and shooting range, athletic competitions and sporting ‘colours’, violent exercise and ‘school runs’. In 1909 a uniformed Officer Training Corps was formed and the new Imperialism was reflected in the renaming of dayrooms such as Natal, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica and Ceylon. 81 OSE had fought in the Boer War. But something of the School’s informality and unpretentious atmosphere survived intact, possibly because its numbers remained small. Termly numbers from 1904-1913 ranged from 99 to 130 and were regularly at 114. If the School looks rather muscle-bound in these years we have to remember Sing’s scholarly attainments as well. During his time at St Edward’s there were 41 awards at Oxford and Cambridge. Sing was not a warm man but the respect he commanded was universal.

with a new lighting system.These apparently mundane achievements may have helped to increase pupil numbers for Ferguson took over a school of 114 boys and left it in 1925 with 229, a considerable achievement for it must be recalled that St Edward’s had not added any serious building projects since the 1880s while many more prosperous schools had been able to expand with ambitious accompanying building programmes. However, the School was still left with inadequate facilities for a well-ordered education. Frequent complaints were made about the gas lighting inadequate for reading and study, too few baths and lavatories



Kendall, a 36-year-old housemaster from Shrewsbury and former naval chaplain, was to be Warden for

William Ferguson’s appointment must have seemed the natural thing to do as he was the only candidate. A local Oxford

described as ‘Hell’. Ferguson, a distinguished musician and keen



29 years during which 3,129 boys passed through the School and 80 masters were appointed. By 1954 few could remember a St Edward’s without him. He had started a new House at Shrewsbury based upon the cultivation of an inward-looking group loyalty and a mixture of competition and bonhomie. Kendall was an adroit manager of both adults and pupils. These skills he transferred to his leadership of St Edward’s. He generated a uniformity of appearance and conduct while cultivating an approachability which commanded affection as well as respect.The old “Sets” were quickly converted into geographically-based Houses in the manner of the large Public Schools. In January 1925 he hastened to withdraw the School from its affiliation with the Woodard Corporation. St Edward’s would be its own master. At the same time he purchased a whole regency mansion and estate, Apsley Paddox (Later Field House), a swashbuckling act.Then he concentrated on expansion of games facilities with a new boathouse, tennis courts and

levelled lower fields. A new gym and school shop followed and what became Lower II was purchased. May 1928 saw the Subway to the fields opened, the most fundamental construction ensuring the School’s future development on both sides of theWoodstock Road.The Memorial Buildings (Tilly’s), planned by Ferguson and opened on Kendall’s arrival, was soon joined by the Dining Hall extension, new ante-chapel and a classroom block.Two substantial purpose-built houses (Cowell’s and Segar’s) followed in 1936.The School was physically transformed and its extent increased from 25 acres to 97 acres between 1927 and 1929. Pupil numbers soared, still attracted no doubt by the low fees charged and were steady between 350 and 400, and after 1945 always higher than 400. Kendall’s School was famous for games, a certain heartiness and an irrepressible loyalty within the School and from its old boys and friends. It was famous, too, for its war heroes and these somehow captured the spirit of Kendall’s School more than the adequate but never spectacular academic results.


Apsley Paddox (Field House)



style. He understood the public schoolboy and was conservative in the value he set upon games and a competitive spirit while sensing that such schools still had much to offer the nation’s education. He sensed that there had to be a dialogue between the old values and the new emerging post-war ones. He seemed familiar with every facet of school life, knew every boy’s name and was seemingly omnipresent as well as omnipotent. Arguably he kept alive the spirit of the Kendall years while subtly harnessing the School to the post-war bandwagon.


A former pupil at Repton where his father was headmaster, Fisher returned there as a housemaster after a distinguished war record and study at


Clare College Cambridge. His father became Archbishop of Canterbury but Frank never took holy orders and was therefore the second non-clerical Warden. If Kendall built up the School from within Fisher was, from the start, conscious of the School’s position in the wider post-war world. His reputation was established as much in the wider realms of private education as in his very considerable achievements at St Edward’s. He was a national figure. Improvements were

committed to learning, to history especially, and to literature, producing literary magazines and plays. He was probably the most intellectually active of all theWardens considered so far. Temperamentally, too, he was distinguished by an active social conscience he had acquired from his father who was a Prison Commissioner and Director of Borstals. He was potentially a great innovator. He naturally consulted his staff, a delicate skill he did not always get right. Innovation and consultation can be seen as threatening by those entrenched in their ways, including pupils. He wrote ‘I want to re-affirm that I do not believe education is a matter of clapping pious blinkers on willing horses’. He did not avoid linking his policies to his active Christianity, almost a novelty by now. Shaking up many of the teaching arrangements was due and carried through, and simultaneously he fought and won the battle to stop a spinal road being run across our fields. Student and general teenage angst was a feature of the period but amounted to little in schools but sullenness at what were seen as unnecessary restrictions. Bradley engaged with these incurring the disapproval of a few colleagues and many pupils. Sadly, his private life led first to separation and then divorce and he resigned. He went on to be a most successful headmaster at no less than two prestigious North American schools. I described him in A New History of St Edward’s School as “The Lost Leader?” I stick by the phrase and withdraw the question mark.


Bradley stands out as embodying all the desirable interests and skills for sixties Britain. A committed sportsman (rugby,

continuous, the highlight being the sale of the old Apsley Paddox and the building of two new boarding houses (Sing’s and Field House) on the fields. He took the brave step of raising the fees from £275, still very low, to £305 and a new salary structure was introduced. Managerial changes like these were well planned and thought out. He was outstanding as a planner not least in his steady stress on improving the School’s academic achievements with the appointment of young academically committed staff. His actions were managerial and so was his

hockey and athletics) he had held a commission in the Royal Marines, enjoyed climbing mountains and, at Tonbridge, where he ran the house most in demand, he also commanded the CCF and encouraged Arduous Training. All this would suit St Edward’s. But he had other qualities. He was not just intellectually capable but deeply



appreciated by many who recognized his genuine warmth and feeling for people. He left a School less at odds with itself.

boarding Houses, plus the addition of the new Corfe House. Phillips had introduced Sixth Form girls into his house at Charterhouse and it was a major aim for St Edward’s and a fundamental contribution to its history. He left the School thriving with numbers approaching 600.


A mathematician and former King’s Scholar at Westminster and Exhibitioner at Trinity College Cambridge, Christie was the first Warden who was already a headmaster of an established



Phillips, aged 50, had a curriculum vitae not unlike that of Bradley. He had spent 26 years at

HMC school, Brighton College. If the governors sought a steadying hand after what some saw as a period of disruption, they had chosen wisely. A conservative traditionalist he was well equipped to damp down any sense of protest or disruption, to steady the ship in fact, an image well chosen given his enthusiasm for all things naval after his successful war service. He displayed all the virtues of cautious conservatism. He exuded optimism, a cheerful almost avuncular presence. He knew when to pause and give credit.To him everything was “splendid”, his favourite adjective. Under his guidance the School thrived. In 1971 numbers exceeded 500 and never again fell below that figure. Pupils enjoyed a lavish new Hall, a Big School converted into a splendid library and the visual arts improved further with the conversion of the former Memorial Library. Aged 54 the navy called him to be Director of Studies at Dartmouth. His inclination to leave well alone was

Charterhouse where he ran the CCF, the History

Department and its most successful house. He was hugely popular with his pupils and had a temperament which favoured informality and enthusiasm. He had played cricket, hockey, football, fives and the flute. He sailed and he painted. He collected oils, watercolours and prints. Academically he had promoted the study of local and industrial history and time was to demonstrate his deep commitment to a marriage of technology and design. This culminated in the new Cooper Quad with its lavish Art, Design and Technology centre and a purpose-built Maths block.This was after fundraising had brought about the new Douglas Bader Sports Centre and an extensive modernization of five of the School’s


Christie embarked, as it was to turn out, on the longest wardenship since Kendall’s and, like him, he made the School firmly

his own. A Scot and an economist he was devoted to the Enlightenment in general and the Scottish Enlightenment in particular, about which he had published. His remarkable 18th-century book collection indicated his intense bibliographic interests alongside his devotion to golf. He had trained teachers at Moray House, taught at GeorgeWatson’s College and ran the Economics at Winchester. His commitment to Education as a subject of study was furthered by spells of teaching in both Sweden and at the European School in Luxembourg. He was a man of ideas, forceful and decisive, earning an admired reputation among fellow heads. Aware that reality



forged their love of theatre within its walls. Indeed, it was a time of considerable growth for the school.The Martyrs Pavilion was opened in 2009 and this, too, was unique in its scope; designed by celebrated architect John Pawson, it heralded a golden era of cricket at St Edward’s which continues to this day. In the same year, the Ogston Science Building was opened providing a magnificent eco-friendly space for life sciences, and the School acquired the


AndrewTrotman arrived at St Edward’s in 2004 after nine years as headmaster of St Peter’s,York. He had close connections with Oxford: an undergraduate at Balliol,


forces compromises on us all, he nevertheless liked to shape policies from first principles. ‘What is our objective?’ was a question he frequently posed.These were difficult times when fluctuating economic conditions and the vastly increased interference by the state in the affairs of private schools posed challenges for all headmasters. In 1997 he completed the move to full co-education with all that implied for the School’s future. It presupposed a building programme to cope with this change and an enlarged School. By 2003 there were 646 pupils on the roll and rising. Rising too were the academic standards. So crucial and successful were these years of growth that the governors asked Christie to extend his stay until 2004. On retiring from the School, David Christie served on the Board of Ecclesiastical Insurance and became its Deputy Chairman. He also acted as Education Adviser toThe Haberdashers' Livery Company which, in addition to its well known independent schools, runs a number of Academies. He is currently a Trustee of St Andrews Links Trust which looks after the seven golf courses in and around the town.

he had taught at Radley and Abingdon School and had relatives living in and around the city. A kind and courteous man who was known for his humility and innate decency, he was committed to the Arts in general and English in particular. He taught all Shells English so that he got to know every Shell pupil to some extent by the end of their first year. Andrew built strong links with many prep schools and made a particular point of visiting as many of these as possible, keeping a large map in his study marked to show the schools he had visited.The completion of The NorthWall in 2005 was the realisation of a long-term vision and what was most outstanding was the ambition at its core: a leading Arts venue in Oxford which would produce its own works and synthesise this professionalism with the artistic endeavours of our pupils. It has achieved this and more, and notable luminaries of the stage and screen

Lemon Tree and Jack FM building in 2010. Andrew oversaw the introduction of the International Baccalaureate in September 2008 which transformed our academic offering at Sixth Form. It continues to be a popular option alongside A Level with 50% of the School’s Sixth Form choosing it. After St Edward’s, Andrew went on to be acting head at two other large schools, became an educational advisor for two charitable trusts and formed a company in Oxford which specialises in school leadership and leadership development.

By Simon Roche and Lorna Roche

By Malcolm Oxley

David Christie with Douglas Herd MP

The North Wall



including recruitment, managing (and being managed by) a governing body and dealing with parents.There was always a slight frisson of excitement when Stephen talked at parents’ meetings because one never knew quite what might be coming next. His addresses at school assemblies and his speeches at school dinners were equally idiosyncratic, but never failed to inform his listeners of something they had not known before, whether it was about sailing, terriers, US generals or the virtues of keeping a diary. His most striking act in the assemblies between 2014 and 2018 was to read out the names of those OSE who had fallen in the Great War in the equivalent weeks a hundred years earlier, as if they had only recently left the School. However, although his pupils will remember all the above and more with gentle affection, it is not for this that history will judge Stephen’s

Wardenship. The last 10 years have been a time of growth in many directions.There has been a substantial increase in numbers (from 654 in September 2011 to around 780 in September 2021), a hugely successful and expanded academic programme, some of the most ambitious building projects the School has seen since 1863 and further provision for boarding.The building of the Ogston Music School in 2018 highlighted the School’s commitment to the co-curricular arts.The Olivier Hall (2020), stunning in its conception, seats 1,000, enabling the whole School to meet together in comfort.The new Christie Centre with the elegant Oxley Library and the stunning collegiate-style Roe Reading Room (also both 2020) go hand in hand with the continuing success of the International Baccalaureate and the innovative Pathways and Perspectives Courses. The expansion of boarding includes not only the building of Jubilee (2013) and co-educational Cooper Lodge (2020) but also co-educational Sixth form boarding in Sing’s and Apsley Houses. Of course, none of this was down to Stephen alone, but the Governors had faith in him and he, in turn, had faith in his staff. One of his strengths was a knack of not only picking and deploying the right staff for the job but then standing back and letting them get on with it. Another strength was that he was very kind, with a real understanding of the human condition in adults as well as pupils. Stephen ended his Wardenship under the cloud of the Covid pandemic but it is greatly to his credit that his optimism, drive and pragmatic approach helped to steer the School through a very difficult time with more success than many other boarding schools.To his great disappointment, the pandemic denied him the ‘Grand Opening’ of all the new buildings but history will not worry about that. History will remember him for achieving what he often spoke of in Common Room meetings – “Our aim must always be to make this school ‘Bigger, Better, Stronger’”.


St Edward’s seems to place significant weight on the use of the ordinal number that often precedes the word Warden and in


doing so sets the position firmly within a continuum. By definition, there have been previous Wardens, who each in turn enabled the School to survive and thrive under their leadership. By implication, there will beWardens to come, successors who will continue to carry the School forwards. A first impression of Stephen Jones, the 13th Warden, might be of a typical old-style headmaster but he is very much a man of our time. He carried the School forwards in no uncertain terms, while still making sure it continued to look back to its roots. Educated at Hurstpierpoint and Durham University, where he gained a first in Philosophy, backed up subsequently by an MA in Mathematics and an MLitt for a thesis on the Philosophy of Mathematics, he came to St Edward’s after a seven-year stint as Head of Dover College.This gave him invaluable experience of headship,

By Judy Young



ALASTAIR CHIRNSIDE FOURTEENTH WARDEN 2021 A lastair Chirnside, formerly Deputy Head at Harrow, becameWarden of St Edward’s on 1st September 2021. Alastair was brought up in Oxford and attended the Dragon, winning a Scholarship to Eton where he later taught. He took a Congratulatory First in Classics and Modern Languages at Merton College, Oxford, where he also won a Lightweight Rowing Half Blue. ‘There has never been a more exciting time to join St Edward’s.There is the strength of the community, grounded in a spirt of inclusion and built on an ethos of collaboration.There is the range of opportunity, from the choices in the Sixth Form to the depth of the co-curriculum.There is a vision for modern boarding which both mirrors life at home and allows time for pupils to be at home.There is momentum in examination results, in ideas and in admissions. It is an honour for me to have been appointed 14th Warden of St Edward’s and to have the chance to build on the achievements of the last ten years. My philosophy of education aligns with the excellent developments put in place at the School by my predecessors.There must be opportunity for all to take part and for all to excel. Children’s happiness and their ability to recognise what will make them happy are more important than anything else. Teachers need not only to impart knowledge and to teach skills, but also to allow children to be themselves. Education is a profoundly personal enterprise, founded on good relationships and most successful when teachers and pupils can chart their own course.That philosophy has driven St Edward’s recent success and it will provide the foundation for the School’s future – a future which I hope we will share in Oxford.’ ‘Alastair and his wife Zannah have two daughters, so his extensive experience of educating boys is matched by a passionate interest in the education of girls. He shares with me and my fellow Governors the ambition to build on the achievements of the 13th Warden, Stephen Jones, and to secure St Edward’s place as an undisputed leader in co-education.’ Alastair Chirnside


Chris Jones, Chair of Governors (Field House, 1968-1972)



beyond teddies Partnership: Community: Fundraising B eyond Teddies embraces the entire St Edward’s community, creating an environment of friendship, support and learning for all. We believe that learning doesn’t stop when you leave the classroom, in fact, it never stops.


can drive change and it can inspire. We believe our community can help inspire and support the young people in our community, and not just those fortunate to come to St Edward’s, but those within our partnership schools too. The Beyond Teddies team creates many and varied melting pot initiatives! Working with great people at School and within our parental and alumni body, events, communications and networks are in place and growing, to give everyone something they might be interested in. If there isn’t, let us know, and you can help us create it!

Learning is ignited by people. Beyond Teddies brings together all different types of people from across our whole community to learn together and to share with each other. That melting pot of people is exciting, it can drive ideas, it

The Beyond Teddies team comprises of three areas, each independent but reliant on each other :

What ties all these areas together is impact: impact for pupils, alongside our partners for our whole community, facilitated with the help of fundraising. P artnership: Community: Fundraising

David Smart, President of the St Edward’s School Society; Ellie Parker, Beyond Teddies Assistant; Emily Rowbotham, Engagement Manager ; Rachael Henshilwood, Director of Development and Partnerships; Emma Grounds, Database and Gifts Manager ; JohnWiggins, Hon Sec of the St Edward’s School Society. Photo taken at the 2020 Leavers’ Garden Party, September 2021



O ur location is one of the many great strengths of St Edward’s which enables us to play a central role in working with many charities and state schools in the North Oxford area.These partnerships enable us to extend the social and cultural education provided within the School gates and offer service led leadership opportunities within organisations who gain from our support. Par tnership:

These projects include but are not limited to: Holiday support with Cutteslowe Community Centre, Readers make Leaders in local primary schools, volunteering at Farmability (city based farm working with clients with severe autism), language collaboration projects with AsylumWelcome, Sixth Form Sports Leaders providing coaching with local sporting clubs and schools, performance opportunities and company to our local care home residents, art and cookery classes with Endeavour Academy (a residential school for those with extreme disabilities), school catering working with Oxford Mutual Aid to provide hot meals to families in the local area, and many more.


Sports camp in partnership with Cutteslowe Community Centre

Our School Charity 2020-2021

Our School Charity this year was The Oxford Gatehouse. Although many of the pupils’ usual fundraising initiatives were curtailed many individuals and houses rallied and have provided much needed funds for this valuable organisation who provide critical resource to the many homeless clients in Oxfordshire. As well as fundraising, some of our students have also been volunteering at The Gatehouse sorting out food parcels, clothing gifts and toiletries, and sourcing old laptops so clients can access important resources on line.

Some of our local partners.

Volunteering at The Oxford Gatehouse




T his past year has seen a step change in the events and communications that the Beyond Teddies Team have been able to assist our community with. We look forward to developing these initiatives further over the coming year ahead with both our Parental and OSE bodies.


FROM DAVID SMART, PRESIDENT OF THE ST EDWARD’S SCHOOL SOCIETY: “ As you will have read in my report on page 2, last year has been one of virtual innovation, collaboration and hope as we started to witness the re-emergence of in-person events towards the end of the Summer Term. The calendar of events for this next academic year illustrates that we are embracing a new hybrid model in recognition of the location, age span and time restraints of our diverse OSE body. Our hope is that there is something of interest here for everyone, and if not, please do let me know! ”


“ Last year, despite the many lockdowns and disruptions, we have managed to grow the Committee and offered some wonderful events to parents and OSE with the help of the Beyond Teddies Team.

We have taken advantage of the wonders of Zoom and rolled out a host of virtual events: A regular Book Club that we are lucky enough to have the Author attend each month; a Wellness Wednesday programme that saw a selection of experts give talks from Mindfulness and Nutrition to Yoga and Personal Styling; two popular

International Parent Coffees; we also hosted a Virtual Wine Tasting and Virtual Quiz with the OSE, both well received and look set to remain on the calendar again this year.

The OSE and your families are very much a part of the Teddies Friends' community and if you have any questions or suggestions, please do get in touch.We hope to ’see’ you at The Wine Tasting or Quiz or indeed the monthly Book Club (next meeting in December) which you are warmly invited too, all the details available on the Friends’ Page on the School website or email friends @ stedwardsoxford.org. ”




An independent education however, is no longer an option for many and to make sure our pupil community is representative of the world we are preparing them to enter bursarial support and partnership projects increase in their educational criticality. S t Edward’s is not just a great independent school, but first and foremost, an educational charity. Our charitable objectives drive our approach to education and the place of responsibility we have within our local community. Fundraising helps enable this to happen. In an ideal world the School would have a significant endowment built up over many years to fund such endeavours, but as a relatively young school which has grown significantly over the years, that is work in progress. We have however, got ambition! Ambition for growing a meaningful endowment; Ambition for growing means-tested bursaries; Ambition to fund impactful partnership schemes.


This ambition provides opportunity. Opportunity for you to get involved and to be recognised for the transformation you can affect. There are three ways you can help:

Bursaries Critically during these uncertain economic times, the School is ambitious to make ever greater efforts to address the growing inequalities that are becoming increasingly prevalent in the wake of the pandemic. As an independent education becomes more of a The Governors have therefore decided to address this by re-investing the Endowment Fund investment returns (previously capped at 4% drawdown) for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, all unrestricted donations including legacy donations will also be invested in the Endowment Fund to further enhance its growth, such that in the medium term it can achieve sufficient size that more meaningful proceeds can be drawn down to support the charitable purposes of the School. 2 1 stretch, if not an impossibility, for so many it would benefit, the Governors have committed to growing the number of substantial means-tested bursaries available.There are currently 14% of pupils receiving on average 70% means-tested fee remission and we would like this to grow to an ambitious 20% of pupils receiving 75%+ fee remission.This is a very substantial goal, particularly in a school with a growing pupil population, but is a genuine statement of intent to transform the lives of more pupils than ever by enabling them to access the exceptional educational opportunities that Teddies provides. Endowments, Bursaries and Partnerships. Endowments As at end of May 2021 the Endowment fund was valued at £4,759,934.The annualised return over the past three years has been 7.9% and 11.1% over five years.When compared with many similar schools, the Endowment Fund at St Edward’s is decidedly modest.

“ St Edward’s has significant plans for the next decade. It is critical for the long-term future that the School has an endowment to help support those ambitions.Whilst past returns on current school assets have been good, investment returns alone will not provide the necessary funds going forward.We will work hard to ensure prudent investment decisions to maintain these returns are made but we are now asking our community to also help us grow the endowment for the long-term benefit of all pupils. ” PHILIPWINSTON | GOVERNOR | CHAIR OF THE INVESTMENT COMMITTEE | CURRENT PARENT

“ Teddies gave me so many opportunities to become involved in many aspects of school life: acting, rowing, being a member of the Choir and the Close Harmony group, the

Combined Cadet Force – and eventually I became Head Girl. I shall always be grateful for the support of the Teddies community who helped make it happen. My Teddies friends will be friends for life. ” ANNABEL | STUDYING PSYCHOLOGY AT DURHAM UNIVERSITY | CORFE, 2014-2019


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