Dear Parents and Students

Although we see the Year 12s coming and going each day to receive assistance from their teachers, and some working on revision in the Year 12 area in the library, the Senior School is a quieter place without our school leaders. We had two tremendous days of farewells, filled with memories, smiles, laughter and tears.

Year 12 Valedictory Chapel Service and Dinner

The Lady Wardle Performing Arts Centre was spectacularly lit for our Valedictory Chapel Service on Wednesday 18 October. Everything about it was wonderful, topped off by three very impressive speeches from Lauren Evans (a survivor), Lucy Wiseman (boarder) and Elena van Kampen (day girl). The service was followed by a dinner, co-ordinated by Year 11 parents, Peter Jamieson and Julie O’Meara, with great support from Megan Jeary and Kristin Clapé, Year 11 parents and girls. Eric Barlette, Chef Manager extraordinarire, and his amazing team, prepared a delicious dinner for the 623 seated guests. It was fantastic.

Year 12 Leavers and Handover Assemblies

The following day came the two assemblies to which the Senior School girls run! The Leavers Assembly, co-ordinated by Senior Day Girl, Ella Brockwell-Mole, was clever and lots of fun. The afternoon Handover Assembly was filled with emotion and excitement. Ashleigh Glover gave an insightful and thoughtful speech, and the reaction of the girls was tremendous. She can be very proud of her year as Head Girl. Next came the announcement of Prefects and Captains for 2018. I look forward to all members of the Class of 2018 being wonderful school leaders and senior students. Special congratulations to Ruby Drake, Head Girl for 2018.

We are immensely proud of the positive and happy manner in which the Class of 2017 concluded classes, celebrated their years at St Mary’s and headed into revision and examinations. We were all excited by the new Elevate Week for our CareerLink students. The response from our 12s was outstanding and we believe that we have a strong and effective programme on which to build next year. Ms Pam Underwood was the key to these changes, with great assistance from Ms Jasmine Iasky.

A special thank-you to the Class of 2017’s teachers, and Head of Year 12, Miss Rebecca Watts, for all that they have done and continue to do for the girls. 

The Governor’s STEM Awards

Both the Junior School and Senior School had visits from the judging panels for the Governor’s STEM Awards for 2017. You will recall that the Junior School was the winning Primary School in 2016 and this year both Junior and Senior Schools are in the list of five finalists. This in itself is a huge achievement. Thank you to all of the staff and students who have presented our programmes to the STEM judges. The work that our girls do is exciting and relevant.

Protective Behaviours for our Girls

In the next two weeks, staff from the Junior and Senior School will be presenting information to the girls that reinforces what they have already learnt in Junior School classes and through Senior School Health Education lessons about how to be safe and what to do if you do not feel safe or know of someone else who feels unsafe. The information will highlight physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse and neglect. Girls will also be reminded about what ‘grooming’ means and looks like. This will be followed by Top Tips for letting the school know about concerns and a follow-up questionnaire to make sure the girls have understood what has been covered. I am alerting you to this because hopefully there will also be good discussion at home.

With every best wish

Mrs Lynne Thomson