Students wishing to study STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at Woodbridge School now have more opportunities following the creation of a new bursary fund for its Sixth Form pupils. The first bursaries have been awarded to two students, Emelia Cole and Jamian Stephan, who both began studying A-level chemistry, physics and maths this academic year.
The bursary fund was gifted to Woodbridge School by former pupil Dr Richard Ward, whose studies at the school from 1942 to 1950 sparked a lifelong passion for science. Richard passed away in November 2014, leaving half of the surplus of his estate for Woodbridge School for the benefit of pupils wanting to study STEM subjects at A-level and beyond, but who may otherwise be unable to afford a place at the school.
Roger Finbow, chairman of the Seckford Foundation which encompasses Woodbridge School, said: “We are honoured to receive such a generous and thoughtful gift from Richard. The creation of the Richard Ward Bursary Fund, as it is known, will enable many generations of Woodbridge School Sixth Form pupils to share in his passion and enthusiasm for science using the excellent Woodbridge School facilities that inspired Richard at a young age.”
The creation of the Richard Ward Bursary Fund has come at a time when increasing numbers of young people are needed to study STEM subjects at A-level and university, to address the UK’s current STEM skills gap. The Bursary will be available for a small number of disadvantaged students each academic year who want to study STEM subjects at Woodbridge School’s Sixth Form, and have the intention of continuing their STEM studies at university.
Neil Tetley, Headmaster of Woodbridge School, said: “This incredibly generous bursary will open new doors for a greater number of young people from a variety of backgrounds, enabling them to follow their passions as Richard did. These young people will become the country’s much-needed scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technicians of the future; it is an excellent legacy for Richard and one which we are truly grateful to offer at Woodbridge School.”