Introducing Anya Our OW Graduate Assistant

News 19.10.2023 Whole School

My name is Anya Hutchinson and I’m the newly appointed Old Wellingburian (OW) Graduate Assistant at Wellingborough School. Here I’d like to tell you a little bit about my role and my experience at our recent Senior Open Morning.

After I completed my A levels last Summer and officially ‘left school’, I applied to return to Wellingborough when the position of OW Graduate Assistant was created and was thrilled to be offered the job. My role involves helping to support and develop our relationships with OWs, helping to organise and arrange events and learning how we use marketing to promote the school. It also gives me the chance to build on my transferable skills and give something back to the school after my 11 years here as a student.

As part of my role, I was asked to attend the Senior Open Morning, on Saturday 7th October to take pictures for our Admissions and Marketing department, and to give a speech about my time at school and what made me want to come back to work here. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The last Open Day I had attended was only last year, but being a member of staff this time, I knew it would be a completely different experience. At first, I was quite nervous about my speech as when I arrived, the car park was packed, not only for the Open Morning, but for the Hockey and Rugby matches, which were also taking place. I spoke to a few Sixth Form students and members of staff as I made my way along the Senior Walk, which helped to settle my nerves, and then I was excited for the day.

Our Chapel was the starting point for the visiting families, and the venue for my speech. When I entered, I was greeted by the sight of 52 Sixth Form students, ready to greet families as they arrived and show them to their seats. Later these students turned tour guides for the morning, showing families around the school.

Once everyone was seated, I made my way to the front with the Headmaster, Mr. Holman and Vincent (Year 9). I was feeling incredibly nervous again looking at the rows of parents and pupils waiting to hear from us. Mr. Holman was up first giving a rundown of the school, and what pupils can expect if they come here. Vincent then gave a speech about school trips and talked about how much he had enjoyed the recent visit to the WWI Battlefields sites in Belgium, something all our Year 9s get to experience. In my speech, I chose to talk about the careers department, and the help they offer students when planning their future options and then about the fantastic facilities we have in our Art Department – something important to me as I studied Art at GCSE and A Level. Between us we gave the gathered families a brief insight into life at Wellingborough School and hopefully set the scene for the rest of the morning, and it was lovely that we received a round of applause as we finished.

We didn’t have long before we were ready to do it all again as the next group of visitors arrived. With 62 of our Sixth Form students helping this time and even more families squeezed into the Chapel, I found I was nervous again, but it went well, and we completed our speeches without a problem.

Once the last families had set off on tours, my role switched to taking photographs for social media, which allowed me to look around the Open Morning properly. The Sixth Form tour guides were excellent, talking about life here and telling stories of their journey through the school, and when I visited the different academic departments the students who were helping were both informative and engaging.

The tours finished in the dining hall where our catering company, Chartwell, had set out an impressive selection of taster dishes including bao buns, battered fish bites, crostini and an enticing array of cakes, pastries and biscuits served alongside tea, coffee, and other soft drinks. The food was sampled enthusiastically, and our visitors and staff engaged in lively conversations, with parents appreciating the chance to speak with the Senior Leadership Team and ask all their questions. It was nice to hear later that there were lots of complements about our Sixth Form tour guides and the School overall. This was a great end to a successful morning. I really enjoyed being part of it and hope to be able to do it again.

Anya Hutchinson, OW Graduate Assistant

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