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Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE gives inspirational speech to pupils

Pupils at Rendcomb College were visited by Playschool presenter and children’s rights campaigner Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE on Friday, 25 May.

Baroness Benjamin giving advice to Rendcomb College Sixth Formers.

As part of the school’s Founder’s Day celebrations, Baroness Benjamin gave rousing speeches to the children, speaking about her childhood experience of coming to the UK aged 11 from Trinidad in the 1960s and encouraging them to go the extra mile, consider those less fortunate and face challenges head on.

Baroness Benjamin, who earlier in the week had won gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for her Windrush Foundation Garden, had some words of advice for the pupils in the form of the ‘three Cs.’ She said: “Be considerate and have empathy; be contented in your heart and don’t be jealous or envious; and have confidence, don’t ever be afraid of tomorrow or ashamed of what you did yesterday.”

The pupils and their families gave Baroness Benjamin a rapturous applause. She stayed at the school after her speech and spent time talking to the pupils one-to-one.

Speaking about Rendcomb College, Baroness Benjamin said: “I can feel how much your teachers care about you. They walk the extra mile for all their pupils.”

Baroness Benjamin with Rendcomb's Noel Wills Scholars, Head Boy and Head Girl, Head of College, Head of Juniors and SpringBoard Scholar.

Founder’s Day is an event held to remember Rendcomb College’s founder, Frederick Noel Hamilton Wills, who opened the school in June 1920 for 12 boys from Gloucestershire. Almost 100 years on, the school now educates nearly 400 children from around the world. Remaining true to the founder’s vision, the school continues to offer scholarships and bursaries to those whom an independent education would otherwise be unaffordable. There is also a special ‘Noel Wills Scholarship,’ a 100% scholarship for one pupil each year joining Year 7 from a Gloucestershire state primary school. Rendcomb also works with the Royal National Children’s SpringBoard Foundation, the UK’s biggest boarding school bursary charity providing life-transforming opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Guests at this year's Founder's Day were also treated to a lunchtime concert in the Reading Room. Pupils performed a varied programme of classical and popular pieces on a number of instruments.


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