Guests of Honour: The school was inaugurated by Mr. Anuj Aggarwal - Co-Founder and chairman Board of Governors, Mrs. Meghna Aggarwal, Mr. James Dahl - Master, Wellington College UK, Ms. Resham Chordia- Director, Panchshil Reality & Member of Board of Governors (WCI Pune), Dr. Murray Tod- Founding Master (WCI Pune). The other guests in attendance were Mr. Aditya Burman- OW Representative of India and member of the Board of Governors (WCI Pune), Mr. Scott Bryan- Managing Director (WCI, UK) & Board of Governors (WCI Pune). They were accompanied by Ms. Felicity Kirk- BOG Member (WCI UK) and Ms Helen Stevenson- BOG Member (WCI UK).
The vision for Wellington College International Pune (WCI Pune) is to offer a world-class education, coupling excellence in academic achievement to a progressive holistic outlook. Wellington College International Pune was proud to announce its GRAND OPENING ceremony on 14th September 2023.
WCI Pune is a coeducational day and boarding school for 800 pupils between the ages of 2-18, established on a campus designed by MICA, an award-winning and leading British architectural firm. The School follows the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and the English National Curriculum culminating in International Studies, for which Wellington College UK is among the leading academic schools globally. Nestled at the banks of the Mula-Mutha River in Pune at Kharadi (Wagholi), Wellington College enjoys a lush, serene, and inspiring campus.
The Grand Opening involved the schools’ parents, pupils, governors, staff, teachers, colleagues a host of dignitaries and guests, the board of governors, dignitaries and most importantly all the pupils who have secured admission at the school.
Wellington College International Pune is intended to be the first of several schools planned across India in partnership with the Unison Group.
The Early Years and the Junior School have dedicated outdoor activity areas serving as further learning spaces, providing meaningful outdoor experiences to support the physical and cognitive development of our young pupils. The Early Years studios are equipped with ensuite washrooms and are connected via learning villages. Each studio is 60 sqm and comfortably accommodates 15 to 20 pupils.
The Senior School Block houses learning studios, a dedicated Design and Technology Centre, and myriad facilities such as a Robotics Lab to let them potter and invent before heading to our specially curated Innovation Lab, Science Centre, and other specialist learning spaces.
The school also has an Arts Centre for Performing and Fine Arts with a dedicated Arts Gallery and a Black Box Theatre. In addition to the 400-seat auditorium, there will be a central multi-purpose hall for Indoor Sports, Assemblies, and Examinations.
The Central Dining Hall, with separate seating for the Junior and the Senior Schools and a specifically appointed dining hall for the Early Years, is being designed as per HICAAP standards. Menus crafted by qualified nutritionists and chefs, will aim to incorporate taste, health, and nutrition into each meal catering to diverse taste buds.
The parents and pupils after an orientation session by the Heads of the Schools were invited for lunch by pool side. The parents were happy to interact with the dignitaries. The ceremony began with a traditional lezim dance by the puneri ladies alongwith the traditional tutari. The power packed performance walked the dignitaries, pupils, parents and guests to the entrance of the school gate. A ribbon cutting ceremony was performed with traditional chants and the auspicious blowing of the Shankha. The ribbion was cut by Mrs Meghna Aggarwal, Mr Anuj Aggarwal, Mr James Dahl and Dr Murray Tod. The pupils, parents and guests proceeded towards the Multi-Purpose Hall of the school. The programme began by seeking the blessings of the almighty with the traditional lamp lighting and Ganesh vandana.
All the dignitaries were invited to take the stage and they declared the school open by unveiling the scroll!
Mr James Dahl took the stage talking about the excitement of WCI Pune being the eight school in the Wellington College family of schools. He spoke highly about the reputation of Pune city as the “Oxford of the East” and also mentioned how the launch of the Pune school would be the biggest news this year for all Wellingtonians and well-wishers. He said “Like India as a whole, and Wellington back in the UK, Pune is busy and fizzy, it’s full of life and ambition and the children educated here within this great city at this great school, will become the leaders of tomorrow, serving and helping to shape a better world.
We could not be more excited about the journey ahead, a journey of genuine partnership which we start together today; a partnership so genuine, in fact, that many of the staff here have been assembled from Wellington schools around the world.”
Mr Anuj Aggarwal addressed the audience by thanking the founding families for showing their love and support. He highlighted the various new age facilities that the school will offer and the team is putting their best foot forward to deliver the remaining areas of the building at the earliest possible. He also said “On 14th September, 2023, with the opening ceremony, I am absolutely delighted to have reached this point, opening up our first school in India, with Wellington College as partners - they are world-leaders in educational provision and where they lead, others always follow. Correctly, they are very protective of their heritage and exceptional reputation, and we are all excited by how involved they are in the school's development and how committed they are to quality assurance in every facet of our delivery. I find this very reassuring and I am sure all parents and pupils will too.”
Dr Murray Tod delivered the vote of thanks. He mentioned, “Parental involvement must always be at the centre of our community and I look forward to working with you all, to develop the school and drive our progression forward. There will be bumps in the road, there always are, but working together we will overcome all obstacles and create a powerful and empathetic community. I hope you are all as proud as I am today and, as we rapidly open up new parts of the school campus in forthcoming weeks and look to build up year groups, I know that you will be as impressed and full of joy as we are Thank you to all our Pioneering, Founding Families – we are so grateful to each and every one of you!
To all my colleagues, senior leaders and expert practitioners & all of our equally important non-academic team, well done to you all! Thank you for being so diligent and patient, and illustrating such resilience. You have collectively been superb at creating the environment to open the school and our best days are of course ahead. I have every confidence in your abilities to offer a first-class learning experience to all our pupils. Please join me in commending our Founding Team! Thank you also to the Ministry of Education and Commissioner in Pune and Maharashtra. We are very grateful to you too!”
The pupils, parents and guests had a great time enjoying their refreshments along with the guests of honour on the school lawns and all pupils were looking forward to the first day of school i.e. 15th of September 2023.