- Welham Girls School
name = Welham Girls School
| motto = "Artha shanti phala vidya" ("The aim of education is to bring peace")
type = Boarding
head_name = Principal
campus = Dehradun
students = 600
website = [http://www.welhamgirls.com http://www.welhamgirls.com]
Welham Girls School (previously known as Welham Girls High School) is a boarding school for girls located at the foothills of the
Himalayasin Dehradun, India. It has progressed from being a school for privileged girls to being a school that prides itself in encouraging students from across the length and breadth of India and members of the Indian diaspora. The name, Welham conjures up visions of whitewashed buildings, "bajri" along the driveway, the Indian silk cotton in full bloom outside the main school building "Nasreen", the din and excitement of Founder's Day festivities and the anticipation and preparation leading up to it, Bonfire night, the illicit midnight feasts....all a rite of passage in most boarding schools but one that holds special meaning to students who attended Welham. Friendships are forged for life at Welham when 10 year old girls first walk through the gates of Welham where they will live for the better part of 8 years till they graduate from school as confident women with dreams and ambitions in their hearts. The culture and lessons learned at Welham have helped many of these young girls to achieve great success in every sphere and corner of the globe.
Welham was named after the little Irish village from where its Founder, Miss H. Oliphant hailed. A retired English head mistress, Miss Oliphant started
Welham Boys Schoolin 1937. Soon, she was struck by the lack of schools of similar quality for the sisters of these little boys. Fired by the desire to create an equal educational platform for young Indian women in a newly independent India, she acquired a palatial estate called Nasreen adjacent to Welham Boys Schoolto start a small boarding school for girls. There were no funds or staff, and certainly no school buildings. Miss Oliphant recruited another retired English lady, Miss Grace Mary Linnell to run the boarding school for girls. Miss Linnell became the Founder- Principal of Welham Girls School. Under Miss Linnell’s able guidance, Welham Girls’ High School, as it was known then, established itself as a full fledged boarding school. From its initial crop of 10 students, it has grown to a strength of over 600 students.
The Welham Spirit
Welham promotes understanding of all religions and cultures in its students through extracurricular cultural activities and 'greater education programmes. It is also a great leveller because designer clothes, gadgets and fancy home food are frowned upon (and may in fact be confiscated if detected). On Gandhi Jayanti, you will find the girls serving meals to their fellow students, scrubbing dirty pots after the meals and washing windows around the school as "shramdaan" or service to the community as espoused by
Gandhi. It is a liberal institution that believes in instilling a respect for all Indian traditions and customs. Living together at Welham helps girls to learn and appreciate diverse faiths and beliefs and celebrate all major festivals as one family.
Community service is a valuable part of school life too. Students volunteer once a week at Cheshire Homes for the Handicapped, Raphael-school for the blind and other charitable organizations. There is also an organized social service program on campus run by campus officials appointed from the student community. The spirit of community is instilled in students by hosting competitive events amongst the 5 houses throughout the year in the sphere of sports and arts. Students are encouraged to organize and conduct a host of social welfare events and activities in school, which no doubt helps to promote an abiding, life-long sense of social responsibility.
Living in a close knit community (as one does in most boarding schools) also results in one of the most enduring non-academic benefits of the girls’ school experience-lifelong friendships. Girls have been encouraged to set career goals for themselves; to hone their learning and study skills as well as their interpersonal and leadership abilities. There have been opportunities for students to connect with mentors through the school Career Counseling and Life-skills Programmes.
Alumnae of the school have moved along many different followed myriad goals over the years. The Alumni included successful career women such as
Brinda Karat, Radhika Roy, Laila Tyabji, Subhashini Ali, Madhu Trehan and many more well-known women in fields of business, services, art and culture. Alumni have been known to rally around Welham, when the school has been in need of their help. Two members of the Board of Governors are always chosen from the alumnae. In the past, many ex-students have sent their daughters to Welham to be a part of the experience that changed their mothers lives. While the alumni network at Welham is lacking the zeal and strength it should have, it has shown signs of being reestablished by a new breed of successful alumnae. Its success will lie in the engagement and commitment shown by the growing alumnae of the school. As more women make their mark in their various fields, perhaps the alumnae will find the Alumnae network beneficial for their careers.
The Houses are: Bulbuls, Flycatchers, Hoopoes, Orioles and Woodpeckers. The houses were named after popular birds that were widespread residents in Dehra Dun at the time when Miss Oliphant and Miss Linell set up Welham.
In a residential public school, the House System has a special significance. There is friendly rivalry between the houses to be the best in every field of arts, crafts, academics and sports. There are regular competitions amongst the five Houses, which compete on the sports field and in a wide variety of other disciplines such as dance, music, debating, quizzing, dramatics etc.
New girls who join in Class 5 live in a separate hostel called Holding House which gives the younger girls a feeling of closeness and confidence before they join the main dormitories with senior girls. Junior and senior girls have separate hostels.
Welham has an exchange programme with the
Millfield Schoolin England. Millfield is located in a small town called Street in Somerset. Every year, two girls in class 11, the second senior most class from Welham are chosen to spend a term at Millfield. Thereafter, two girls from Millfield come to India for about five weeks in the summer. Millfield is one of the premier educational institutions in England. It is a co- educational residential school.
The girls spend some time with their two exchange partners and their families at the beginning and end of the school term. During our five weeks stay, they are put up in the boarding houses inside the school campus. The boarding houses are very comfortable and luxurious. Each house has about fifty girls. A room is shared by two girls. The very efficient and hospitable house parents manage everything.
Millfield offers a variety of sports and activities like
canoeing, rock climbing, scuba diving, horse riding, fencingand many more. The exchange students are free to try whatever they are interested in. The academics system is very different from the one in India and is a good exposure for students from India who find the curriculum quite easy.
The Welham- Millfield exchange is not only about seizing great opportunities. It is a good way of meeting new people from all around the world and adapting to their way of life.
The clubs and societies
* Nature Club
* Quiz Club
* English Literary Society
* Debating Society
* Hindi Literary Society
* Music Society
This is abbreviated to "activities" by staff and students. Each student is expected to take up 2 activities each term thus encouraging a proficiency in two spheres during the students time in school.
These activities include:
* Audio Visual
* Paper Recycling
* Computer studies
* Folk Dance - bihu dance no.1
Sports form an integral part of the school routine with regular house competitions culminating during the Annual Sports Day, the day before Founders Day. School days (except Sunday) begins with early morning exercise or aerobics, yoga or karate. In the late afternoon, the girls are required to play games for two hours. The girls are free to choose from
* Table tennis
The School magazines, News and Views in English and Kshitij in Hindi, are published in alternate months. There are also two issues of “The Wall” magazine and “Clip Board” each year. Additionally, the English Literary Society produces its own literary publications, Chrysalis, twice a term. The School Annual is published in summer each year.
Student editors, under staff guidance, are largely responsible for each of these magazines from start to finish: they collect articles, edit them, and work the entire layout of the magazine on the computer.
Welhamites in various professions
**Harsha Kumari Singh
**Mala Sen (The Bandit Queen)
**Advaita Kala (Almost Single)
*Writers and Journalists:
** Tavleen Singh
** Anupreeta Das
** Mahima Kaul
** Neha Kirpal
** Mandira Nayar
*Wildlife Biologist/Conservation Scientist:
**Hinnah Mann (equestrian)
**Shuchi Thakur (Rally driver)
**Shiraz Singh (Golfer)
**Neelam Mehra (Hotelier)
**Anjum Mehra (Special Ed)
** Anita (Dayal) Soin - www.ibexexpeditions.com
* [http://www.welhamgirls.com Official school page]
* [http://www.welhamgirlsalumni.com/ Welham Girls Alumni website]
* [http://www.welhamboys.org Welham Boys' School Official School Page]
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/xwelhamite/sets/72157594326549577/ Photographs of Welham Girls School]
# [http://learning.indiatimes.com/school/pages/homepages/othercity/othschvz/dehwghs1.htm History of Welham from India Times Learning]
# [http://www.theipsc.com/directory.php The IPCS Directory]
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