Annual Fund 2013


Withington raises funds annually for the Enhancing Opportunities Annual Fund, key projects identified by girls and staff which are designed to enhance the learning opportunities of all girls in School. The Enhancing Opportunities Appeal aims to raise funds every year to fund new educational projects for completion the following year.

The Annual Fund was established and launched in 2012. Selected projects in 2012 included a residential creative writing course for 16 budding writers, guided by some of the UK’s most gifted published writers at the Arvon Foundation; a concert Pedal Harp to bring Withington’s harp department up to a standard rivalling those in specialist music schools and a state-of-the-art laser cutting machine, an industry standard piece of equipment which offers the girls an exceptional opportunity to interact with materials and resources and learn crucial skills used in industry.

We are delighted to announce that thanks to the generosity of parents, former parents and alumnae, we raised £50,000 to purchase the first set of Annual Fund projects. The Pedal Harp is already in use by our music students and we have taken delivery of the laser-cutter while the residential creative writing course has been booked for early 2014.

Projects selected for 2013:

In 2013 we set a target of £30,000 to buy three new projects designed to enhance the girls’ learning:

A Programme of External Speakers

Understanding which extends beyond the curriculum. It has been designed to enhance the opportunities of girls at university entrance interviews and broaden their future career understanding and options. In order to succeed in an increasingly competitive higher education and work environment our girls need to demonstrate their knowledge and commitment to a relevant subject.

“ Our aim is to help extend the girls’ subject-related knowledge through an intensive weekly programme of interactive seminars, giving the girls an opportunity to formulate new ideas and informative discussions. The speaker programme will be led by leading external academics and professionals in their field, from science, humanities and the arts, and there will also be a focus on professional skill sets. The audience will primarily be Withington sixth formers, but we would like to open up the sessions to pupils from other schools in the Manchester area who will not have access to this resource.”  Dr Cristina Vilela, Biology Teacher

London Speaker event

Geography Fieldwork Mobile Technology

Nexus Tablets. 21st Century Technology for Enhancing Geographical Fieldwork.

The tablets will be combined with the most powerful GIS (Geographical Informational System) software and will provide an all-in-one data collecting and recording tool for use out in the field, whilst at the same time allowing instant web access to knowledge about the places being studied. Pupils will gain the advanced technological skills and knowledge needed at A-level, but it will be programmed to run simpler programmes for younger pupils at Key Stage 3 [Year 7, 8 and 9]. Sixth formers will produce complex cartographic representations of their findings that will enhance analysis and understanding. It can be applied to complex environmental decision-making processes, for example the possible location of a Wind Farm site.

“ As a learning tool, it will help students become independent and enthusiastic leaders of their own learning. This will certainly be bringing geographical study into the 21st Century.”  Mrs Julie Buckley, Head of Geography

nexus tablets

Physics Spectrometer

An Atomic Line Spectra is an essential part of the advanced study of Physics. A digital spectrometer and data loggers for the Physics department which will connect to the computer, allowing students to advance their studies using the most up-to-date equipment. This piece of equipment has already been funded thanks to a generous donation from a friend of the School. 

“ Currently our pupils spend hours staring down a small telescope in the dark to see spectra. On the AS Physics course we look at the electrons in atoms existing in discrete energy levels. Electrons can make transitions between these levels by either absorbing or emitting electro magnetic radiation. A digital spectrometer would enhance the girls’ learning of this topic as we could interface the spectrometer with a computer to display the spectra on a screen to enable clear viewing by the whole class simultaneously. We could also take direct and precise frequency measurements from this which we could then use in calculations where we could then determine the value of the energy levels. ”  Dr Dave Verity, Physics Teacher


 ActivExpression Wireless Interactive Devices.

Empowering 100% class participation, fast, fun and easy.

I have been fortunate to use an ActivExpression system for full class participation and engagement throughout the entire lesson. Similar to a smart phone it offers students a hand held fun tool, it can open a whole classroom dialogue by encouraging students to engage, interact with and contribute to lessons, resulting in stimulating discussions and lively, insightful debates. Students build confidence with every answer and can track their learning progress through instant feedback and scores over time. The teachers have the opportunity to instantly gauge student comprehension and adjust lesson plans based on needs.”  Dr Cristina Vilela, Biology Teacher and SHINE Coordinator (the School’s Saturday morning community school science programme)


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