Musings from the Head’s Study – 27th September 2013


What a splendid day last Friday was. The Start of Year Mass was an outstanding experience ~ uplifting, inclusive, deeply spiritual, and musically impressive. I particularly liked the musical contrast of the Senior Chamber Choir with their almost ethereal Monteverdi piece which opened the Mass and the Worship Group leading us in In Christ Alone which closed it ~ If you are not familiar with this modern hymn I thoroughly recommend it to you. As I mentioned in last week’s Musings it was not one with which I was familiar. If you would like to get a sense of what it is like, a version of it can be found on YouTube: There is perhaps one piece of debatable theology contained in the lyrics, certainly in Catholic terms, in the reference to Jesus’s sacrifice being to deflect God’s wrath, but the music and the sentiment are tremendous. Our Chaplain presided over the service and his homily was about new beginnings, appropriately enough, centring on some of Christ’s last instructions to his Disciples ~ Go. Do not be afraid. Serve. Father Michael suggested that this would be a good set of instructions for us all to follow and it is difficult to argue with that. It was also so nice to see so many parents who joined us for the Service.

From St Mary’s by coach to Battersea Park and the annual Inter-House Athletics competition. This was a tremendous day for all concerned, and again it was good to see so many parents there, supporting their daughters and the Houses. The day ran incredibly smoothly, thanks to the impeccable organisation of the PE Department, and even the weather was as Mr Garwood and Ms Minto had promised me that it would be. The girls themselves were on fine form with 10 new School Records being set in Field Events and 14 being set on the Track. The overall competition was closely fought but, in the end, it was impossible to stop the seemingly inexorable rise of the Blue Belles of Iona, under the leadership of the House Captains Anna and Stephanie, and the inspiration of the Head of House, Mr Benson. The final results were:

Canterbury: 557

Iona: 609

Santiago: 420

Walsingham: 409

Given that this was my last Sports Day I was very touched to be presented with a certificate for long service as Official Scorer. If you would like to get a sense of what the day was like you can find a short film on YouTube at:

Next week marks the farewell appearance of our School Counsellor, Ms Clare Keogh, who is leaving following receiving the offer of a substantial lectureship with the University of London. Many girls have worked with Ms Keogh over the longer time frame as well as for short bursts and I know that they have been very grateful for her sympathetic understanding and her very clear, and sometimes very tough, advice. She will be greatly missed but people’s careers inevitably move on. We are currently actively engaged in recruiting a replacement for her, as having a School Counsellor is a real asset to our community.

This Thursday saw the first in our programme of careers events, in the form of the annual Careers Evening organised by Ms Crozier. This year the speakers talked to members of the Senior School about careers in: Teaching; the Royal Navy; Project Management and App Design; Museum Work; Charity Fund-raising; Psychology; the Music Industry. There was also a session on balancing life when at university.

This week has also seen the publication of Even More the annual School Magazine. Your copy has been given to your daughter so do be sure to make sure that she passes it on to you once she has finished reading it herself. It is an excellent publication which really catches the work of the School. Unfortunately, due to a publishing error, the Science Department’s entry was not included but it is being printed as an addendum to allow you to have the full picture. Your daughter will have also received this week her 60th Anniversary commemorative badge as we enter into this our Jubilee Year. As you know we usually only allow the wearing of Badges of Office in school (and a birthday badge on the day of her birthday) but, for this year, your daughter may also wear her Anniversary Badge if she wishes. Members of the Household will also be receiving a special badge commemorating St Thomas More. They may also wear this one as well if they wish.

May I give you a brief reminder that the Minor (lunchtime) and Major (after School) Activities Programme for this Term has been posted on the Blog.

Thursday of next week is our Annual Open Evening. For those of you for whom this is the first experience of Open Evening from the School’s side of the event please be aware of the fact that your daughter will not have afternoon school on that day, unless she is in the Tour Choir when she will have a major rehearsal in the evening. However it is highly likely that your daughter will be needed in School for Open Evening itself. Anticipated numbers of prospective pupils visiting our School are even higher than last year, such is the demand for places with us, and therefore we are going to need even more guides than usual. This will be my last Open Evening and Mrs Leach’s first one as Head-designate and I know that everyone will be keen to make it as good as possible for her. Should the arrangements present any problems for you or your daughter please contact her Form Tutor well in advance to discuss them.


With best wishes for the last weekend in September

Robert Carlysle


The weeks ahead

Monday 30th September 3.30 – 4.30pm Senior Chamber Choir
Tuesday 1st October 2pm: VIth Form Drama to The Globe

4.15 ~6pm: U15 Netball v FH ~ Battersea Park

4-6pm: VIth Form Portfolio Club

Wednesday 2nd October 3.30 -4.5pm Tour Choir Rehearsal
Thursday 3rd October NO AFTERNOON SCHOOL

PM: Music Tour Choir rehearsals

5.30pm ~ 8.30pm: OPEN EVENING

Friday 4th October  
Monday 7th October 3.30 ~ 4.30pm: Senior Chamber Choir rehearsal

4.30 ~ 5.30pm: Swimming v Queen’s Gate ~ Fulham Pools

Tuesday 8th October 4 ~ 6pm VIth Form Art Portfolio Club

Evening: Greece Tour Information Evening and Fundraising Dinner

Wednesday 9th October Morning: HPV Vaccinations Year 8

3.30 ~ 4.35pm: Tour Choir Rehearsal

Thursday 10th October 4 ~ 6pm: VIth Form Life Drawing

7.30pm: More’s Household ~ Celebration of Talents ~ Memory

Friday 11th October  


Prayer in the Chapel this week:

Let us, with a gladsome mind, praise the Lord, for He is kind;

For His mercies shall endure, ever faithful, ever sure.

John Milton

(1608 -1674)

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