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Posted on: January 4th 2016

The Woodstock Society and Marlborough School: Local History Projects

It isn’t often that we receive a telephone call to school offering our pupils £100 prize money for a project. But this is what happened at the start of our centenary year: the Committee of the Woodstock Society decided to fund a prize of £100, open to pupils from The Marlborough School, designed to stimulate an interest in local history. Pupils were invited to research a local historical topic of their own choosing spanning the 70 years to the opening of the school.

Under the guidance of our librarian, Mrs Joanne Onions, ably assisted by Mr William Kay a historian on our staff, the then Year 8 pupils set about researching the projects, writing them up, and in some cases, presenting them as articles accompanied by illustrations and facsimiles of first source material.

The topics explored were as follows:

  • The Land Girls,
  • The Changing Face of Woodstock,
  • Growth of Woodstock
  • Brief History of Wootton
  • Marlborough School Evolution.
  • Mysteries of Blenheim. 
  • Woodstock’s Industries,

The final projects were submitted to the Woodstock Society Committee in June 2015 and were individually assessed. It proved difficult to choose between them for all showed evidence of hard work and commitment. Of note was the individual nature of the projects, with pupils genuinely leading and pursuing their research with independence and rigour. The final ranking was moderated with the school and the results were announced at the December meeting of the Woodstock Society in the presence of the winners and their parents.

The winning entry was The Land Girls submitted by Ellie O’Sullivan and Skye Drew who each received certificates and £50 prize money. The second place went to Amy Jones and Helena Rittscher, for The Changing Face of Woodstock, and the third place was taken by Oliver Walton and Charlie Bates for The Growth of Woodstock. The runners up also received certificates and book tokens. After the prize giving Mr Hart thanked the Woodstock Society and expressed the hope that the school and the Society could continue their association in the future to the benefit of both.

Please see pages 20 and 21 of 'The Marlborough News December 2015' for more information.