We find out how pupils at Millfield School forge links with their near neighbours – and what benefits the community gets as a result…


Millfield Lower Sixth pupils worked with Elmhurst Junior School pupils on a joint art project

Community spirit at Millfield
Millfield School is a remarkable place. From its foundation in 1935, with six princes brought from India, Millfield is today one of the leading UK independent schools for boys and girls, aged 2-18 years, writes Headmaster Gavin Horgan.

The school is grounded in the strength of relationships that are the bedrock of all great communities, and we are proud to have a long association with the local community as active members of Somerset and the South West region. The school does this by widening access through financial support, sharing facilities, resources and knowledge with local state schools, involvement in community projects, teacher development and offering life changing opportunities to disadvantaged children.

The school also brings significant economic benefits. Last year, the school surpassed £73 million in contributions to UK GDP (Gross Domestic Product), with £38 million contributed to the Mendip area in 2017/2018. This equates to 2% of GDP for the whole of the Mendip area.

Community and state school partnerships
Millfield is committed to developing partnerships with state schools and has opened much of our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme up to teachers from other schools.

In recent years Millfield has developed mutually beneficial relationships with both staff and pupils at local state schools including Elmhurst and St Dunstan’s schools through art, music and sport projects and further expanded the established volunteering programmes in the local area including activities with organisations such as Shapwick Moor, Street Harvest, Southlawns Care Home, South West Volunteers and Cheddar Vale Gateway Club. In addition, Millfield welcomes local teachers to join its teacher training programme.

Millfield also assists local state schools and colleges in the following:

  • Cyber Security and Lego learning festivals for local secondary school pupils.
  • Inviting schools to attend lectures, conferences and competitions.
  • Robot Workshop with High Ham and Kingsbury Episcopi Primary Schools.
  • Outreach Tennis courses held at local primary schools.
  • Hosting the Somerset UK Chess Challenge and UKMT Team Maths Challenge regional final.
  • Hosting work experience for trainee teachers and providing initial teacher training in association with Mid-Somerset Consortium.
  • Providing facilities for SAT test candidates for US university entrance.
  • Taking local children and teachers to Worley Hill for guided walks and conservation experience.

In further collaborations, two of Millfield’s Governors are Governors of the Bobby Moore Academy, a free school in London which was set up as part of the David Ross Education Trust. Together both schools are forming a range of educational and sporting links to benefit the pupils in Tower Hamlets.

With regards to sports partnerships, Millfield’s various disciplines open their facilities and expert coaching to the wider community in a variety of ways. For example, our male and female cricketers in Sixth Form have the opportunity to assist in the development of young cricketers in the local clubs through the ECB “All Star” scheme for 4-8 year olds.

Current and former Millfield pupils Emily Bayliss, Marcus Critchley, Brad Currie and Andy McCallum have all taken cricket activator roles at Butleigh Cricket Club and Street Cricket Club in the last two years. Other examples include:

  •       Millfield Coach Danny Manlow runs Somerset County sessions at Millfield, with those sessions including girls from local Somerset state schools from under 8 years old and upwards.
  •       Millfield Fencing Coach Antonia Cord also runs a Millfield Modern Pentathlon Community Club for Laser Run and Fencing – a grassroots gateway club to multi-sports and Modern Pentathlon.

A sixth form student at Millfield School volunteers at South Lawns care home

Scholarships and bursaries
On a national level, in addition to Millfield’s commitment to make education more accessible through transformational bursaries, we are part of the SpringBoard Foundation and Boarding Schools Partnerships programmes, which each seek to open up opportunities for young people at independent schools across the country. Scholarships and bursaries enable access to the school for talented pupils who would benefit from an education at Millfield, by offering fee discounts of up to 100 per cent.

Scholarships may be supplemented with means-tested bursaries, to uphold our powerful principle of diversity that is the Millfield Mix, making sure that those children who would best benefit from a world-class Millfield education and outstanding opportunities are able to do so, regardless of the financial circumstances of their parents.

Every child matters, and at Millfield we are passionate in our goal to identify the potential in each individual and do everything we can to ensure their success. In the year to 31 August 2018, the total value of scholarships and bursaries was £5.7 million, and Millfield also has its Foundation, which is an independent charity set up to raise funds for the provision of scholarships to pupils at the school.

Millfield has always been an active member of the local area and we are proud to be both a leading employer and a keen participator in community and educational partnerships.

Our work on a local and national level seeks to promote accessibility and collaboration at all levels and I look forward to expanding our relationships still further in the future and encourage everyone across the country to do the same. Together we can make a difference.

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