School Heritage & Alumni
Willington Independent Preparatory School was founded by the Hale sisters in 1885 and, from the very beginning, we have always had a focus on the individual. Helping every child to be successful on their own path through the crucial years at their first school has resulted in an intriguing array of former pupils. From scholars to adventurers, entrepreneurs to politicians, the presence of such a history gives our pupils a sense of ambition. Our history tells a Willington pupil that they too can become whatever they want ,for all our old Willingtonians were their age once. Along with the memory of past pupils to motivate, our Honours Boards record pupils’ achievements back to the beginning of the school. Our current pupils hope to emulate the success of our past pupils and see their name recorded for future generations to look up to.
The roll call of Old Willingtonians contains a fascinating group of men. Most famous, perhaps, is Captain Lawrence Oates, the polar explorer, pictured here. Academics such as Sir Maurice Bowra, Warden of Wadham College, Oxford, and Francis Whipple, whose mathematical formulae are still in use today, were pupils here. Sir Basil Liddell Hart, whose military theories greatly influenced strategic thinking in the 20th Century was a Willington boy. They are joined by Sir Frank Newnes, Member of Parliament and newspaper proprietor, and the industrialist Sir Robert Renwick. Old Willingtonians Esmond Knight, a highly regarded actor, and Dallas Bower, a director and producer in film and television, are remembered for their contributions to the world of the performing arts.
True to its founding ethos, Willington continues to provide a top class, traditional education to those families who want a rich, broad education for their children that ensures an individual approach. This approach brings out the best in each of the pupils across academic, artistic and athletic endeavours - as well as a sense of wonder, curiosity and an adventurous spirit that enables them to grow in confidence, embrace challenge and thrive in the modern world.