This was the question the Heads of Department at Wellington College asked themselves during a morning break meeting last year and, after many hours of debating, typesetting, editing and proof-reading, ‘Synthesis’ was born – our own anthology of essential reading.
This incredible collaborative effort led by Head of Maths, Aidan Sproat, marks another Wellington first, and the project has generated a great deal of excitement. Over the next few weeks, copies will be given to every member of the College community, marking the beginning of a year’s celebration of reading.
The 400-page anthology, places such canonical favourites as ‘Ozymandias’ next to Dominic Sandbrook’s account of the early days of The Beatles from Never Had it So Good. Topics on everything, from bees to breakfast, and words from Dickens, Darwin, and Duffy sit alongside snippets of music, texts in translation, and thought-provoking illustrations.
The Master, Julian Thomas, commented: ‘I am delighted to see this project come to fruition. ‘Synthesis’ is a treasure-trove of great writing, bringing together the best fiction and non-fiction, classics and contemporary works, as decided by our staff. I am incredibly grateful for the time and enthusiasm that has gone into creating something truly unique for our community.
Reading is an academic priority for the whole school this year and I am excited about the part ‘Synthesis’ will play in inspiring students to explore beyond the confines of the examination specifications. This is a cross-curricular anthology – our own super-syllabus without limits. One of my favourite features is the ‘Whence and Whither?’ section at the back, which makes each page a springboard to something else. I look forward to some interesting discussions with staff and students over the coming year.’