The OPA Reunion 2018 was held on Saturday 24th March 2018 at the: Restaurant and Sixth Form Centre, Upton Court Grammar School, Lascelles Road, Slough. SL3 7PR. This is the (increasingly less) new building where the former tennis courts were, and where recent OPA Reunions have been held. If you weren’t there you missed out!
Apart from OPA Committee members, the meeting was attended by the Mayor of Slough (Councillor Ishrat Shah), the Head of UCGS (Mark Pritchard) and the CEO of the Educational Trust (Mercedes Hernandez Estrada).
Welcome: Ron Fidler, OPA chairman, opened proceedings by welcoming those present. He was pleased to note an increase in the number attending this year’s event and outlined the fundamental aims of the OPA stressing the need to attract new members by building relations with current students.
Whilst previously the OPA had focussed on donating books to the library, this year the OPA had instead supported a number of projects of benefit to current students. An OPA Water Fountain and the donation of wireless headsets not only provided a benefit to the students but also significantly raised the profile of the Old Paludians Association. It was also hoped that the Association’s move to a new website might facilitate improved links with students. These initiatives were strongly supported and assisted by the School. Finally, Ron thanked members for their generous donations without which none of this work was possible.
Website Development: Ian Cairns provided a short history of the Association’s website. It was felt that this had now served its purpose and that a more modern version was required to engage the next generation of students. This was being developed by Rajesh Sharma, who proceeded to describe key aspects of the new site. While retaining much of the historical data held by its predecessor, the new site would need to be more dynamic, providing a forum for interaction between users. Membership should be available via the site, as should the facility for donations to be made. Members were invited to provide feedback on the new site.
Headmaster’s Report: The new head Mr Pritchard emphasised the importance of producing future leaders and stressed the School’s key values: Unity, Curiosity, Growth and Service (UCGS). UCGS was the best attaining school in Slough and had achieved the position of 10th best school in England.
The Head Girl, Rana Galgal, described a number of opportunities which the School had provided outside the curriculum: advice on cancer treatment and surgical infection reduction by visitors from Royal Holloway, University of London; Shakespearean productions by visiting groups; an Outward Bound course in Wales, emphasising teamwork and leadership; plus a skiing trip and maths challenges.
Before and after the AGM there was time for members and guests to enjoy a cup of tea, meet with old friends and view items from the archives. There were the usual generous donations of raffle prizes.
Full minutes will be available elsewhere on this site.
The next AGM and Reunion will be on Saturday March 23rd 2019