Views from the Headmistress’ Study – 17th November 2014


Dear Parents,

Apologies for not writing at the end of last week but with the excitement of Prizegiving, time just ran out!

It was lovely to see so many parents, old girls and guests at Prizegiving to celebrate the wonderful achievements and remind ourselves of all terrific events which took place last academic year. Our guest speaker, Kate Bellingham advised us all to snap up opportunities using them as a springboard for bigger and greater things. Check out one of her earliest appearances on Tomorrow’s World (I used to love that programme!)

How our world has changed in 20 years!

At Prizegiving we celebrated a whole year but even one week is busy at More House!  Last week we had netball tournaments,  a science department trip to the Science museum, visit to the West End to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a meeting to discuss the next More House novella. It’s amazing what we can squeeze into a week!

Here are some other highlights:

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Dame Barbara Stocking who is the President of Murray Edwards College (ex New Hall) University of Cambridge. She has just conducted a survey called Women Today, Women Tomorrow in which 1000 alumnae of the college were asked to reflect on their career to date and to reveal the challenges they had encountered along the way. The results showed that it wasn’t the balancing of work and family to be the biggest challenge, but coping with an unsupportive working environment; gender inequality and discrimination, undervalued work and women feeling that they had to over-perform simply because they are female. What the alumnae felt would have been beneficial to have learnt before heading off to the work place, was confidence, leadership and organisational skills. We need to be telling girls that careers aren’t linear. To have the confidence to move around jobs if necessary. If you get yourself in the wrong place don’t worry its all part of learning. We need to encourage our girls to be openminded and encourage them to take risks. We as parents need to speak to the girls about our own career paths and let them know what went wrong and what went well.

Year 9, with Mr Hegarty, have been working on developing their creative writing skills and were set a challenge to develop their vocabulary and poetic writing skills under the title of ‘War on Words’. Taking a broad approach to the topic they brainstormed the idea of conflict and considered the personal, the internal, and emotional conflicts people struggle with as well as thinking about the national conflicts between states. They produced a range of thoughtful and imaginative poetry which Mr Hegarty submitted to a national competition. Their ‘War on Words’ poems are now to be published in the Young Writers next poetry publication – well done year 9!

photo-18It was with great pleasure that we welcomed Sister Jane Louise from the Holy Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, where for centuries pilgrims have been drawn for prayer and inspiration.Sister Jane Louise kindly travelled down to London to speak with the girls at our Walsingham House assembly where she was warmly welcomed by Mr Hegarty and House captains, Natasha Hanif and Olivia Keough. She explained the history and development of Walsingham and how since medieval times it has held a special place in the hearts of both Anglicans and Catholics alike. Walsingham has regular pilgrimages in honour of our  Mary, the mother of Christ. It is a place of contemplation for all faiths and Sister Jane explained how journeys of meditation, prayer and thoughtfulness  attracts very large groups from all faiths bringing a closeness and unity amongst Catholics, Anglicans, Hindus and Buddhists, for example and even agnostics join them at times!  It seems it is the sharing of a contemplative journey that is so important for any pilgrim. Clearly this is a splendid message to deliver to the  girls at a House assembly along with informing the girls about the huge number of young people who attend the youth celebrations there. Perhaps one day we will return the compliment to Sister Jane Louise and make the journey ourselves to the Shrine of Walsingham?

A new lunchtime activity run by Miss Miller is sugar craft club. The girls enjoyed making sugar craft ducks this week, and decorated homemade chocolate cupcakes with them. They got lots of compliments about their handiwork as they walked back to their form rooms and the cakes did not last for very long!

3-1The Year 8 girls have been attending the RBKC Borough Netball Satellite club in recent weeks and on Tuesday were treated to a special guest coach: Lindsay Keable the England Netball GD/GK. She delivered a coaching session on defending and gave the girls some helpful tips for match play. There was also an opportunity for questions within the Q+A session, these ranged from “how often do you train” to “how much do you get paid to be a netballer?!” It was a fantastic opportunity for them to meet an elite netballer and for them to see how tall they are … Lindsay is 6ft 3.5in! The sessions are for Years 7-9 and will run until July where the all important squad will be selected for the London Youth Games.

In other news, we have participated in the local Independent school’s U13 and U14 netball tournaments at Battersea Park. We had some great, closely matched games against Portland Place, Queen’s College and St. Augustine’s Priory. We look forward to the U15 tournament which is being held on the 25th.

What a week- thank goodness for the long weekend!

Amanda Leach


The weeks ahead

Monday 17th November Inter – House Brains Competition3.30pm – 5pm: Senior Chamber Choir3.30pm – 4.30pm: U12/U13 Netball vs Portland Place
Tuesday 18th November Inter – House Brains Competition4.30pm – 6.30pm: Year 10 Parents Evening
Wednesday 19th November Inter – House Brains CompetitionYear 11 Taster Day6pm – 7.30pm: More House Singers
Thursday 20th November Inter – House Brains Competition
Monday 24th November Year 10 Art trip to Tate Gallery3.30pm – 5pm: Senior Chamber Choir4pm – 5pm: U12 – U16 Swimming Gala vs Queensgate
Tuesday 25th November Year 11, 12 and 13 Textiles trip to the Royal Academy
Thursday 27th November 4.30pm – 6pm: U13/U14 Netball League


Prayer of the Week:

I leave my own past to your mercy Lord.

I entrust the present to your love and the future to your providence.


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