Views from the Headmistress’ study – 27th May 2016

Dear Parents,

Earlier this week, I managed to grab some of the Upper Sixth who have been School Officers this year, to thank them for doing such a good job. It is at this time of year when it hits me as to how much these young ladies have grown up and how quickly!


It has been an honour to host Prof Schmeidekamp from Penn State, a NASA ambassador and the ‘mom’ of our own Mrs Clench. She introduced us to the latest research photos from the New Horizons mission, really bringing to life to scale of our Solar System. The girls were inspired to learn that a large proportion of the scientists working on this mission were women. The real highlight of the day was the workshop where the girls made a comet nucleus from a range of ingredients similar to those we believe that comets are made from. Here are some pictures from the day so far:

We have had some successful rounders matches this week; Year 8 won 14½  to 5½  against Queen’s College and Year 9 won 13½  to 5½. The Year 10 match against Chelsea Academy was not so successful! Thank you to Molly and Flora for helping to umpire the junior matches.

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On Tuesday afternoon, I was lucky enough to take eight girls from Years 8 & 9, to listen to Angela Duckworth talk about her new book “Grit- the power of passion and perseverance”. Angela is Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and the Founder and Scientific Director of the Character Lab. In 2013, Angela was named a MacArthur Fellow in recognition of her research on grit, self-control, and other non-IQ competencies that predict success in life.

Angela is the world’s leading academic expert on the development of grit and its central role in promoting excellent academic performance. Grit, she argues, is the golden ticket to success – not only academically but in careers and in our personal lives. What Angela refers to as “stickability”; perseverance, stamina, determination in pursuing ones goals over the long term – directly correlates to great grades, great careers and great lives. Her work has been hugely influential across the education sector globally. You can listen here to one of her most recent radio interviews on Radio 4 Today, read a recent article in the Guardian or listen to her TED talk (nearly 8.5 million views)

On Tuesday the 24th of May, Year 10 GCSE drama students performed extracts from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party and Charlotte Keatley’s My Mother Said I Never Should to a live audience. The girls demonstrated outstanding professionalism and impressed the audience with their characterisation and dramatic techniques. The drama department are exceptionally proud of the work that the  girls  produced and are excited to watch them further develop their confidence and skill set.

It was lovely to welcome back to More House, Amy Shuckburgh as our Guest of Honour for the Art Exhibition. Amy left More House in the 90’s and is now a successful local artist. She is the granddaughter of Sir David Willocks (the eminent choral conductor who directed the music at Kings College, Cambridge for many years) When we asked Amy to give us an update on her life since leaving More House, this is what she said ‘I have been painting and drawing portraits for about 10 years. I painted Harold Pinter the playwright, before he died, as well as Benedict Cumberbatch before he got famous!  But mostly I paint or draw babies and young children by commission, using pencil, pastel and oil paint.

I love getting character and features right, but also working with vibrant colour and a freer more expressive style when I get the chance.

I have exhibited in England, America, and Australia, mainly selling still life and landscape paintings.

As well as painting, I have had short stories published and worked for a time in journalism and in the art world.

I vividly remember being encouraged and inspired by the More House art department when I was eleven or twelve and first realised I really loved to draw.

When I left school I studied English literature – my other love – at university and then did a masters degree in curating, but I kept studying painting and drawing every now and again… at the Slade summer school in London, the national art school in Sydney Australia, at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and in St Ives, Cornwall. Having not done a proper fine art degree, I consider myself predominately self-taught and definitely still learning!’ What a wonderful role model for the girls to see and she was extremely complimentary about the Art that was on display. The standard of the art, improves every year and it is always lovely to see work from Year 7 all the way through to the A level work. A big thank you to Miss Beatty, Ms Rigby and Miss Devine for creating such a wonderful exhibition. Congratulations to everyone who had their work displayed and a special mention must go to our Art winners:

Art Prizes 2016

Year 7




Year 8



Year 9




Year 10


Year 11






Year 9 Tent prize


Caroline & Danielle in Year 9 organised a Mufti Day for today. They designed posters, put them up around school and encouraged their classmates to donate money. They raised an incredible £160 for the Make a Wish Foundation. Well done, girls!


Have a restful half term,

Amanda Leach

Monday 30th May – Friday 3rd June Half Term
Monday 6th June UVIth Exam Leave Begins
Monday 6th June – Friday 10th June Exam Week | Years 7 – 10
Wednesday 8th June Race for Life | Battersea Park

Prayer of the week taken from Year 7G’s assembly

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the abilities that you give us, for the strength and wisdom that grows within us. Be with us as we work so that we may do our best. Help us to be encouraging to others. Thank you for the people you have brought into our lives. Bless all men, women and children in the World. And final, Father, remind us that there is no failure, but only growth in the body and mind.


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