The Perse School


Coming together to mark the milestone

In summary

Here is an overview of how we celebrated our anniversary year.

Missed it? If you are an Old Persean, join us at one of our alumni events. If you are a member of the wider community, keep an eye out on our calendar for our free community lecture series; catch one of our fascinating speakers if you can.


September - Anniversary launch

Celebrations begin with a new play that tells the School’s story. 'Around The Perse in 400 Years' is performed by children from the Pelican, Prep and Upper

September - Commemorative Tapestry

A stunning, contemporary two-metre-long tapestry showing our three schools is created by textile artist Charlene Mullen to mark the anniversary

October - Community Lecture

Professor Chris Rapley delivers a lecture on climate change - Confronting the Future: Climate, Energy and People

October - Community Lecture

Author Dr Robert Macfarlane delivers a lecture on words - Zwer, smeuse, a'frug and haze-fire: wonder, nature, imagination and our lost language of landscape

November - Wine and Wisdom

Old Persean and independent wine merchant Noel Young hosts an evening of wine, including The Perse's anniversary wine using grapes from his Magpie Estate in Australia

November - Reception at Free School Lane

We return to our very first home, now the Whipple Museum for the History of Science, for a reception in the original school hall

November - Community Lecture

Economist and broadcast Mr Liam Halligan delivers a lecture on financial mismanagement - The Sub-Prime Crisis, What will future historians say?

November - Concert in King's College Chapel

A gala concert by Perse musicians in the Cambridge landmark

December - Community Lecture

Historian Professor David Reynolds delivers a lecture reflecting on the First World War - Making peace with the Great War: Centenary Reflections

December - Anniversary Carol Service

Grayston Ives’s sparkling 'Gaudete', composed to mark the anniversary, is performed at our Senior Carol Service in St John's College Chapel

January - Old Persean Gala Dinner

Alumni from all generations return for a reception at Gonville Place (former site of the School), followed by a formal dinner at the Upper. Actor Colin McFarlane OP is the after-dinner speaker at this sell-out event

January - Community Lecture

Microsoft Research's Professor Chris Bishop delivers a lecture on computers' ability to learn - Artificial Intelligence: Our Final Invention?

February - Community Lecture

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams delivers a lecture on the role of religion in society

March - Upper Showcase Concert

Our annual event at the West Road Concert Hall includes the first performance of the final movement of our anniversary composition

March - 3-18 Concert

Following months of work with professional composer Rachel Leach, pupils from the Pelican, Prep and Upper perform their anniversary composition with musicians from the LSO

March - Sports Showcase and Dinner

A day of matches played by Old Perseans, staff, current pupils and other schools is followed by a batting masterclass led by England Test cricket captain Alastair Cook, guest of honour at our dinner. Kindly sponsored by the Cambridge Office of Strutt & Parker

March - Perse Players Production

The Perse Players - the longest drama troupe in our history - perform 'Lord of the Flies' at the ADC

March - Founder's Day

We celebrate with the traditional Founder's Cake, plus a whole host of other fun and educational activities

April - Spring Fundraising Ball

More than 700 guests join us at IWM Duxford for our anniversary ball, raising more than £22,000 for our anniversary charities

May - Community Lecture

Adventurer Tori James delivers a lecture on becoming the first Welsh woman to reach the summit of Everest - Attitude and Altitude

May - Community Lecture

President of Wolfson College Professor Sir Richard Evans delivers a lecture on the Battle of Waterloo

June - Family Day

A day of summer fun for pupils, Old Perseans and their families

June - Community Lecture

Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger delivers a lecture on modern morals - What moral choices will the next generation face, for themselves, their parents, their children and the wider world?

June - Benefactors' Reception at Gonville and Caius College

A reception to thank our donors for their support

July - Upper Speech Day

Christel DeHaan, founder of the Christel House Foundation, is guest of honour at this very special annual event

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