A Foreword From Mrs Parpworth

Dear Parents,

This is to be my last newsletter, so I apologise for the length in advance.  Please may I suggest you make a cup of tea and settle back to read my final mammoth edition!

We couldn’t have asked for a better end to our penultimate full week of term than our annual Pre-Prep Speech and Sports Day, welcoming everyone together to celebrate the progress and achievements of all children.  It was a fantastic morning with a real feeling of community spirit.  A special thanks must go to Mrs Spencer and her choir; Amelia Foster and Freddie Spencer for their musical performances; Arabella Dolan-Crowley for her Elocution Cup recital; Laura O’Dell for her PFA speech and our Head Boy and Girl, Nicholas and Suri for their final thoughts.  I want to thank you all for the kindness and support you showed me through a very emotional and difficult speech.  As always, your encouragement spurred me on and I hope you know I meant every word.

Mrs Crompton and her team deserve high praise for running such a slick Sports Day.  Every single child deserves recognition for their invaluable contribution to our school community.  We thoroughly enjoyed watching the children compete in their races and much fun was had by all.  Thank you to Mrs Smith for taking photographs and to our PFA for organising ice-lollies.

Moving on to our final few days, we are looking forward to our Year 5 & 6 show (Friday 2pm and 6pm), Prep/Senior Speech & Sports Day (Saturday at 11am), Year 6 Leavers’ speeches (Monday at 9am), Final Pre-prep assembly (Tuesday 9am), Leavers’ celebration supper for Year 8 (Tuesday at 6pm).   On Wednesday we will hold our final assembly and Chapel Service (11.30am) followed by our Leavers’ lunch for Year 6 and 8 at 12.30pm.

I wanted to take the opportunity of recognising the contribution made by some of our staff members who are leaving for pastures new at the end of this academic year. 

As you know, Mr & Mrs Spencer are departing for pastures new and I wanted to reiterate again my thanks to them both for their years of dedication and service to the school.  Mrs Spencer has gained the role of Head of Boarding at the Oratory School and Mr Spencer will take up the post of Head of Geography at Elstree School.  The Spencers have been a significant part of our school community for over ten years.  They have dedicated their lives to the full boarding experience, acting as second parents to hundreds of children, supporting and nurturing countless many along the way.  Not only that, Mrs Spencer’s passion for singing has secured our reputation for outstanding choir provision in the local community.  Mr Spencer has been a dedicated Deputy Head who has ensured that the school has run like a well-oiled machine.   In addition, his talents in geography and general knowledge have prepared students for great success year after year.  I want to thank the Spencer’s for their unwavering dedication to the school, selflessness and devotion to the pupils.  We will miss their familiar and much-loved presence at the school, we will miss Leanne’s beautiful singing voice echoing around the corridors and of course, we will miss their amazing children.  We wish the entire family the very best of luck in their move.

Mr Burleigh, our cricket coach, will retire after 40 years’ association with our school!  During his time at Wellesley he has been a MFL teacher, a boarding House Master and sports coach.  Mr Burleigh has coached countless children in cricket with great success through the generations and we cannot thank him enough for the energy, commitment and positivity he has brought to our school.  We wish him the happiest and healthiest of retirements.   

Ms Jefferies, our Year 3 teacher, will leave at the end of this term as she relocates to be nearer to her family.  Ms Jefferies has worked at our school for over six years, injecting a passion for art and creativity into every aspect of her teaching practice.  Much loved by all, Ms Jefferies has nurtured every little person she cares for into confident people, ready for the challenges ahead.  We will miss her vibrancy, good humour and quick wit.  We wish her the very best for this exciting next phase of her life.  I am delighted to announce that Ms Claydon will step into the role as Year 3 teacher from September.  Already known to many of the families in Year 2, I am sure that her presence and reputation for outstanding care will reassure you all.

Mr Bithel-Vaughan, who teaches core subjects to our senior students, is retiring after more than six years at the school.  Mr Bithel-Vaughan’s devotion and commitment to his students is unparalleled and he has worked tirelessly to ensure his students have access to the very best opportunities to succeed.  Results achieved at both Scholarship and Common Entrance more than speak for the impact of his work and on the life chances this has given his pupils.  He truly is an inspirational man, much loved by all families and staff who have had the pleasure of working with him.  I want to wholeheartedly thank Mr Bithel-Vaughan for everything, and we wish him the happiest and healthiest of retirements.  

Mrs Lear will leave at the end of this term and will join Dover Grammar School for Boys teaching mathematics.  We wanted to thank Mrs Lear for her resilience, dedication and flexibility during her year with us.  Our students have achieved exceptional outcomes under her guidance and we want to thank her for creating a nurturing and positive learning environment for all to thrive.  We wish her the best for her new opportunity.

Mrs Moosuddee, our Senco, leaves to fulfil a Deputy Headship at Haven Nook School in Canterbury.  Anna has supported children at our school for several years and we thank her for her calm and steadfast approach; the nurture she has provided our children and for her unwavering dedication.  We wish her the very best for her fabulous new opportunity.

Mrs Harber, our cook, leaves at the end of this term after five years of delicious cooking at our school.  We will miss her fantastic bakes, cheery disposition and helpfulness.  We wish her the very best for her future. 

Finally Mrs Taheri, matron, retires at the end of this term after fourteen years service in the boarding house.  Fiona has diligently cared for countless boarders, keeping their shoes shining and uniform pristine.  She has acted like a second parent to many and cared for children when they are far from home.  She is an amazing woman and we wish her the happiest and healthiest of retirements.  

And, of course I will also leave for pastures new myself.  It has been the most amazing twelve years and it is important you all know how much you have meant to me over these years.  

I am filled with immense pride in all that we have accomplished together over these past 12 years. Yet, there is also a touch of sadness, as this will be my final week as your Headteacher. It has been an honour and a privilege to lead this remarkable school, and I am grateful for the unforgettable memories we have created together.

When I first joined this school 12 years ago, I was immediately struck by the warmth and love I felt in every facet of the school. My feelings on that haven’t changed.  From the very beginning, it was clear that Haddon Dene, now WHD, was a place that would always have a piece of my heart.

So I would like to thank you all for what has been the most exhilarating, challenging and enriching chapter of my life.

To all the brilliant staff at the school. Your commitment, creativity, and care has been the driving force behind our school’s success. You are the people who make the difference every day to our children’s lives.  You create a calm, safe and happy place for our little ones to grow.  You provide our children with the best education so they have a choice of countless prestigious schools to transition to. You foster and nurture each child so that they develop into kind, resilient and determined young people.  You have been amongst the most committed, professional and supportive people I have ever had the pleasure of working with – thank you for every laugh, every hug, every ounce of support and most of all for your friendship.

To our parents, thank you for your unwavering support and trust. You have believed in me and supported our school through enormous amounts of change and have been there to celebrate and support the achievements of our youngsters during the countless good times we have had.  I cannot tell you how much I have appreciated your words of encouragement over the years and I wish you all the very best for the future.

And to our children, you are the heart and soul of this school. Your enthusiasm, resilience, and achievements have been a constant source of inspiration to me. Watching you grow, learn, and become the brilliant people I see before me today has been the most rewarding aspect of my job. You have taught me as much as I hope I have taught you, and I am immensely proud of each and every one of you.

To our Year 6 and Year 8 Leavers, I wish you all the best for your amazing futures.  You are all incredible people with very bright times ahead.  Stay true to our values and grasp every opportunity that comes your way.  Thank you for giving us so many years of happy memories – it has been my privilege to watch you all grow.  Good luck at your next schools!

As I prepare to step down, I do so with a heart full of gratitude and memories that I will cherish forever. This school has been more than just a workplace; it has been a second home, filled with a family that I will always hold dear.

While this chapter of my life is coming to a close, I am confident that the future holds even greater things for this wonderful school. I leave knowing that our school is in capable hands, with a strong leadership team and a community that is committed to our children.

Thank you for the trust, support, and love you have shown me over the past 12 years. It has been an extraordinary journey, and I am deeply grateful to have been a part of it.

I wish you all the very best for the future.  Goodbye for now!

Mrs Jo Parpworth

JDRM Gavin Portraits-2

School Last Week

Music Afternoon

Thank you to Mr Redwood and Mrs Spencer for organising such a fabulous afternoon of music.  All classes from Year One to Eight took part, entertaining us with many classic songs.  There were so many stand out performances but we must pay a special mention to Juelle in Year 5 for her version of ‘Valerie’ by Amy Winehouse and Year 4’s rendition of Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’, which was absolutely fantastic.  Daniel Dong from Year 5 played the drums for several of the tracks, simply smashing it!  It was a fun and informal afternoon and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. 

Year 1 & 2 Trip to Wingham

Years 1 and 2 had a marvellous day out at Wingham Wildlife Park on Tuesday 25th June. The children enjoyed an educational talk on climate change and the importance of recycling materials in the correct manner in order to save the animals and environment. We then all explored the park taking in all the sights, sounds and smells (many smells!) of the various species. The classes also took time to read the information texts about the animals which fitted in with our topics in Science and English. Although it was a hot day, the children had a brilliant time and behaved very responsibly.

Year 5 Leadership Speeches

Congratulations and well done to all our students who stood for student leadership election this week.  They delivered their manifestos with confidence and clarity.  We are delighted to announce that our student leadership body for September 2024 is:

Head students: Darcey Owen and Hector Halton

Deputy Head Students: Arabella Chhabra and Pearl Dunbar-Brunton

Heads of House: Viking – Darcey Owen; Stone – Emmy Dobbs; Joss – Izzy James and Kingsgate – Rebecca Segawa

Sports Captains: Darcey Page, Hughie Hughes and Rebecca Segawa

We have no doubts that these students will be impeccable role models and ambassadors for our school.

Pre-Prep Sports Morning & Speech Day 

On Friday morning, we celebrated the achievements and progress of our youngsters.  We commenced proceedings with Speech Day and thank you once more to everyone who contributed to the morning.  Every child was recognised for their contributions but we would like to give a special mention to the following children who achieved a commendation award:

Year 1


Tilda Hempstead


Monty Cracknell / Eva Roberts


Bella Kane


Dominik Foster


Bella Kane 

Year 2


2N- Rez Gardner

2C- Joseph Wake 


2N-  Arabella DC/ Ezra Jeffrey

2C- Teddy Beattie/ Felicity O’Dell


2N- Reggie Smith

2C- Roland Dilkes 


Arabella Dolan-Crowley


Freddy Mulvihill

Remy Watson


Catalina Marsh-Gonzalez

Indigo Gaspa

Year 3


Aziza Foster-Troy


Emilia Foster

Marlo Montila


Lara Davies


Lucas Alifrangis


Marlo Montila

Afterwards, we enjoyed a morning of sports where our Pre-Prep children took part in skill races, flat races and relay races.  Thank you to our Street Dance performers for launching the event.  We hope you enjoyed watching your children compete in a friendly atmosphere.

The winning houses were:

1st Joss – 137 points

2nd Stone – 127 points

Joint 3rd Viking & Kingsgate – 126 points

The links for the photos will be shared on Dojo.

Choir Performance St Peter’s Summer Fete

Our choir performed at the St Peter’s Church summer fete on Saturday morning.  They entertained the local community whilst showcasing their talents. Well done to all involved!

Parents vs WHD Cricket match

Our Year 8 leavers enjoyed an afternoon of cricket against family members on Saturday afternoon.  Umpired by our resident legend, Mr Burleigh, the students beat the adults by a narrow margin and much fun was had by all.

Year 6 Leavers’ Party

Thank you to all the parents involved in organising a wonderful party for our Year 6 leavers.  The tropical themed party involved a surf simulator and outdoor games.  The children danced the night away and enjoyed this final celebration of their time with us.

School This Week

Year 4 Class assembly – Tuesday 2nd July

Year 4 will deliver their assembly at 9am in the Old Hall.

Top Up Shop Opening – Wednesday 3rd July 

Join us at 3.30pm on Wednesday in the Sports Hall where our Top Up Shop entrepreneurs will open their business selling a range of luxurious eco-friendly products.  This will be their last opening for this academic year so do come and stock up on essentials! 

Year 3 & 4 Archaeological Dig – Thursday 4th July

These children will join Dr May and the Canterbury Archaeological Trust on a dig in Canterbury.  Will they find some Roman coins?  We are sure they will have lots of fun and learn lots of interesting facts during this step back in time. 

National Transition Day – Thursday 4th July

Year 6 will attend their new secondary schools on this day.  All children from Year R upwards will also spend the morning with their new class teacher. Year 3 and 4 will spend the morning with their new teacher on the 3rd of July.

Year 5 & 6 School Show – Friday 5th July

Please save the date.  We will be holding two performances at 2pm and 6pm.  This is set to be a spectacular production showcasing the amazing talents of these classes.  This is not a ticketed event but we will be raising money for Great Ormond Street so any cash donations on the day will be most appreciated. 

Prep & Senior Speech & Sports Day – Saturday 6th July

We look forward to celebrating the many achievements of our students this year and welcome everyone for an afternoon of family sporting fun.  The itinerary is as follow:

Date: Saturday 6th July, 2024

Location: The playing fields of Wellesley Haddon Dene, outside the dining room

Dress code: Summer casual for parents (remember hats / caps and suncream);  WHD Best uniform for children in Year 4 to Year 8

Parking: Through the barrier on the main playing field and turn right – you will be directed where to park

Wet weather: In the event of rain, Speech Day will be held inside

Running order:

09:00 Year 7 & 8 in school as normal

From 10:15 Year 4, 5 & 6 children arrive and report to form tutors in classrooms.  Coffee near the outdoor stage for parents and guests

11:00 In seats and Speech Day and prize giving begins

12:20 Family picnics (with your children – there is no school lunch on Speech Day, so you must cater for your own children – full boarders whose parents cannot attend will be catered for) on the main cricket ground

13:30. Athletics events begin for all children (PE clothing to be worn by pupils so please make sure this is in school) with parents supporting as directed by the staff

14:15 Tea and cakes served from the gazebo

15:30 (approx) Athletics prizes and depart

Future Events

Year 6 Leavers’ Speeches – Monday 8th July

Join us in the Old Hall at 9am where our children will speak of their memories and experiences with us.

Year 8 Leavers’ Dinner – Tuesday 9th July

Our senior leavers will be treated to a banquet in recognition of their time with us.  Starts at 6pm.

End of Term Chapel – Wednesday 10th July

Everyone is welcome to attend our final Chapel of this academic year starting at 11.30am.

Leavers’ Lunch for Years 6 & 8 – Wednesday 10th July

We look forward to welcoming all our parents in Years 6 to 8 to say a final farewell and goodbye to our wonderful school.  Families of these year groups are most welcome to join us in the dining hall from 12.30pm onwards. 


End of term reports will be published on the portal in the final week of term.  If you need a password reset, please contact the office or Mr Knights.

School Calendar

Please click here and scroll through for the most up to date calendar of events for the term.


This week the kitchen will be serving menu week 2.

MenuWeek 1Week 2Week 3


Matches This Week

2.00pm start unless otherwise stated


Cricket v Sunningdale: 1st XI (a)


Cricket Dynamos Finals: U11 A Girls (a)


Cricket v Parents: U11 and U9 (h)

Matches Last Week


Cricket v JKS: U11 A Girls

Won by 43 runs

Cricket v Dover College:  1st XI

Won by 101 runs










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