Bassett House Partners with Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre

By School House

2 years ago

The sun shone on assembled pupils, parents, ponies and stable staff as Bassett House and Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre celebrated the official launch of their community partnership.

pony centre
WSPC CEO & Founder Sister Mary Joy Langdon and Bassett House School Head Kelly Gray with Sparky the pony

Pupils in Years 5 and 6 are now enjoying riding lessons and ‘living curriculum’ classes at Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre (WSPC), just a few minutes away from Bassett House School (BHS).

As well as learning to ride – on both real and mechanical horses – the children are learning about all aspects of horsemanship, such as managing and grooming horses. There is also the exciting opportunity to take learning out of the classroom; rather than a biology lesson in school, pupils are studying animal science and physiology in the Pony Centre’s dedicated learning centre. 

The school’s support for the Pony Centre ensures its long-term viability and the charity can continue its vital work, providing riding opportunities and equine therapy to students with  physical disabilities or learning difficulties.

The official ribbon was cut by BHS Head Kelly Gray and WSPC CEO & Founder, Sister Mary Joy Langdon. 

Bassett House pupils with one of the centre’s ponies

Sister Mary said: ‘We are so grateful for this community connection with Bassett House School. Long may it last and develop. Who knows, in years to come some of these young people might be working at the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre as grooms or coaches.

‘There is so much more than riding here, so much for young people to gain from coming to the Pony Centre. You young people may be the future of the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre. Thank you, Bassett House School, for supporting what we do here.’

Kelly Gray spoke of the “precious experiences” that Bassett House pupils are having at WSPC; their commitment to community service and their thrill at being with the horses and learning to ride.

She also touched on the wellbeing aspects of the pupils’ experience – WSPC is a registered equine therapy centre and children are taking part in therapeutic exercises during their riding lessons designed to enhance their wellbeing. 

pony centre
WSPC CEO & Founder, Sister Mary Joy Langdon with BHS pupils

Kelly touched on the huge excitement at Bassett House about the Pony Centre. One mother had commented, ‘Millie was buzzing about riding. Totally thrilled, loved the grooming and the riding. She told me all about Magic the pony. I don’t think she drew breath for about an hour!’

One pupil, Hugo, a Form 3 child told his parents and teachers, ‘I have had my best day at Bassett yet!’

This new partnership is a fantastic example of community in action and it has enormous benefits for both Bassett House pupils and the volunteers, staff and other users of Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre. 

See Bassett House’s online listing here.