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15th March 2024: Issue 56

Welcome from the Head

Dear Parents

Welcome to this week’s newsletter, in a week where we have celebrated both Science Week and Maths Week; the excitement of ‘Hatch Cam’ and the birth of the school chicks has caused much chatter! It was a very fitting week for our Hans Woyda Maths team to win the Southern Plate competition, beating Tiffin Boys in a nail-biting final. In addition, we have celebrated International Women’s Day and are in the midst of the selection process for our new Head Girl team. Congratulations to everyone who applied for the role, and to our shortlisted candidates; it’s always a real privilege working with you at the start of your leadership journeys.

Our musicians have had another busy fortnight, sharing the 200th Chapel Concert in Christ’s Chapel with musicians from Dulwich College and Alleyn’s; our scholars also had a super opportunity to perform amidst the beautiful surroundings at St Bride’s. Congratulations to Desenfans who came home as winners in the Senior House Music competition; thank you to all our participants who entertained the Holst Hall crowds.

The VWA was packed for last week’s Multicultural Evening, with fantastic displays of song and dance, flag parades and fashion shows; a huge well done to our Head Girl team for leading the event, with the great support of Mrs Billington, Director of Drama. We were also treated to a fantastic culinary treat in the dining hall, and our thanks to everyone involved.

Students have been here, there and everywhere, via the DoE Silver Expedition and the Year 12 trip to Spain, and we wish safe travels and an exciting time to our Y7 students heading off to Hindleap Warren for the weekend and to our 38 students heading to Singapore to take part in the Dulwich College Olympiad. Closer to home, it was super to welcome our Year 13 parents to the Parents’ Evening; all the feedback suggested it was a very valuable time post-Mocks to think about the run up to the A Level season. We also welcomed large numbers of Year 5 prospective parents and students to our Open Morning on Tuesday; Year 7 were fantastically exuberant and informative tour guides!

Wishing you a lovely weekend,

Mrs Alex Hutchinson

Dates for your Diary

  • Tuesday 19 March – Year 12 Italian Trip to the Royal Opera House
  • Wednesday 20 March – 5:30pm – Year 7 Parents’ Evening (Online)
  • Friday 22 March – Year 8 French Trip to Paris
  • Monday 25 March to Friday 29 March – Year 12 Geography trip to Lake District
  • Thursday 28 March – Term Ends

Reporting Absences

A reminder to all parents to use this form to report absence in the Senior School due to illness or to request absence for appointments. This form can also be found on our Contact page.

Please complete this form by 8:30am on the morning that your daughter is absent.

Additionally, when informing a teacher of any health issues your daughter may be facing, please remember to cc or School Nurse team on Nurse@jags.org.uk





Sixth Form Update

In recent weeks, it has been wonderful to watch our Sixth Firm Subject Prefects so confidentially and creatively lead whole school assemblies to mark National Science Week, Maths Week and Pi Day.

A number of Sixth Formers were among those students representing JAGS last Wednesday in the 200th Joint Foundation Schools’ Lunchtime Concert at Christ’s Chapel, alongside musicians from Alleyn’s and Dulwich College. It was a truly inspirational concert!

The performances did not stop there, as later that same day we were treated to an incredible Multicultural Evening. The event, spearheaded by our Head Girl team and Drama Department, featured a huge number of Sixth Formers, dancing, singing, playing instruments and appearing in the fashion show.

Mat Weeks, Head of Sixth Form

  • Incoming Head Girl team

    I thought that I could not be prouder, and then this week, Mrs Hutchinson and I had the pleasure of interviewing the 11 candidates who have been shortlisted for the Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl positions.

    The eloquence, kindness and thoughtfulness displayed was astonishing from 16 and 17-year-old students, in both their interviews and in the short films they have produced. Formidable student leadership from Beulah, Tilly, Elise and Gabby this year would appear to be in very safe hands next year, whatever the outcome of the application process!

  • Fencing success

    Finally, on the subject of pride, we were delighted to learn of Amelie’s fencing success at the Public Schools’ Fencing Championships, where she was crowned the Girls’ Senior Foil National Champion!

    Very well done, an amazing feat from Amelie whilst also performing very well in her mock A Level exams.

Multicultural Evening

Multicultural Evening returned last Wednesday for another joyous celebration of the JAGS community.

We are so proud and grateful to our incredible student organisers and Drama Department for staging such a special evening.

Our Head Girl team behind the event, Tilly, Beulah, Elise and Gabrielle, explain below why it’s such a memorable and important date in the JAGS calendar:

“Putting together Multicultural Evening this year was an absolute pleasure! From auditions to the final show, we watched every performer flourish and embrace their unique heritage. The evening itself was a beautiful celebration of culture and diversity, and it was wonderful to see so much support from the JAGS community . . . 

  • Continued . . .

    “Some highlights included an exciting, fast-paced dance from Tamil Society, a Japanese song from Safiya in Year 13, a high-energy Afrobeats dance and an impressive Francophone medley with over 30 performers! Another success was the abundance of cultural food enjoyed between the acts.

    “Audience members were transported across the world, enjoying a delicious variety of gyoza, chicken skewers, Swedish meatballs and more!

    “Multicultural Evening provides a special opportunity for both students and parents in the audience to see an uplifting expression of their own culture.

    “We were so grateful to be able to provide this opportunity to so many, and we look forward to seeing diversity continue to thrive at JAGS.”


Hans Woyda Maths Competition


Huge congratulations to our team of young mathematicians who were crowned Southern Plate Champions of the Hans Woyda Maths Competition.

The victory caps off a journey which began before Christmas, when two wins and one loss at the league stage earned the team a second-place finish and a ticket to the knockout stages of the Plate Competition. League winners went on to compete for the Hans Woyda Cup.

Our team fought off tough competition from Trinity School and Sir William Perkins’s School to earn a place in the final against Tiffin School. While JAGS took an early lead, the scores were level as the team entered ‘The Race Round’ – where pupils in the same year go head-to-head. A steely performance from each member of the team secured victory for JAGS with two questions to spare, with a final score of 48-42.

Mrs Rose is very proud of the team, consisting of Navieinaah (Y13), Katie (Y12), Raphaelle (Y11), Arabella and Julianne (Y9).

The competition was established in 1980, and was named ‘Hans Woyda’, in 1981 to commemorate Mr Hans Woyda, a senior maths teacher at Kingston Grammar School who died that year.


The Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award

Despite the wet, windy and muddy terrain, there were smiles all around as our DofE students battled the elements during a weekend away in the Sussex countryside for their Silver expedition.

International Women’s Day 2024

Last week, we celebrated the amazing women who have changed the world and recognised how ‘Inspiring Inclusion’ can forge a more equitable world for all women.

In the lead up to International Women’s Day a whole host of events were organised, this included two wonderful talks from Helen Fielding, Thomas Graham Professor of Chemistry at UCL.

In the first, Professor Fielding shared her inspirational journey from A Levels to her career as a laser spectroscopist and the second, a demonstration showing how lasers can be used to watch molecules in motion!

Follow the link below to learn what Elyssa (Y12) made of the event: 

  • ‘An inspirational reminder of the pathways available’

    “Professor Fielding gave two very engaging and fascinating talks! The first one, about her career journey, was a really inspirational reminder of the many different opportunities and pathways available, especially in the scientific field. Secondly, her practical demonstrations, showing fluorescence and chemiluminescence, were really interesting and gave some amazing colours!

    “She also gave scientific explanations for these results, and although they touched on quite complicated concepts, she explained it very clearly so we were all able to understand! I really enjoyed both of her talks, and learnt lots of valuable tips and advice.”


Senior House Music

Last week, the annual Senior House Music competition returned with a series of wonderful lunchtime performances over two days.

Staff and students were treated to an eclectic mix of songs, with everything from Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill to Wheatus’ Teenage Dirtbag, and judges were left with some tough decisions to make.

The final results were as follows:

  1. Desenfans
  2. Clarke
  3. Holst
  4. Bettany


Desenfans Charity Day

Students from Desenfans House were busy baking delicious treats for their bake sale on Wednesday in aid of mental health charity Beder.

The final total is still being totted up and will be bolstered by the Teacher Olympics taking place at the end of the month.

  • Comic Relief

    The fundraising continued on Thursday with Comic Relief, as students gathered in Holst Hall to donate money and create their own Red Noses.


Hatch Cam

It was a pleasure to welcome some new visitors to JAGS this week, with their arrival providing a clear signal that Easter will soon be upon us.

Since Monday, the entire school has been captivated by our Hatch Cam – a live feed from our Biology Labs broadcast across the school which allowed us to track the journey from egg to chick.

We will be making the most of our time with the chicks before they are rehomed via The Happy Chick Company in a few weeks.


As ever, the JAGS Careers Department has been busy organising valuable networking events and work experience to help our pupils as they contemplate their next steps.

Follow the tabs below to find out more:

  • Cambridge Marshall Society Economics Conference

    Monica in Year 12 successfully applied for a place offered by GAIN (Girls Are Investors) at the Marshall Society Economics Conference at Lady Mitchell Hall, Cambridge:

    “The conference provided me with valuable insights into what it would be like to study Economics at university. Personally, it was helpful discovering my interests within the broad subject of Economics, thanks to the of topics discussed in the talks. These ranged from the paradoxical future of industrialization in the global South, to the economic trends behind less-educated people remaining single.”

  • InvestIN Young Lawyer Experience

    “At the InvestIN Young Lawyer experience I gained an insight into criminal and corporate law, both of which were explored through small debates and discussions.

    “For example, are Jaffa cakes biscuits or cake? On the face of it this does not seem like a complex legal question, however we found out that this formed part of a legal battle to determine whether tax was payable on Jaffa Cakes. These debates allowed me to consider how to argue a side of a case that I do not necessarily believe in- a skill that was emphasised as vital in the profession- while meeting other aspiring lawyers.

    “We were also led through an interesting murder trial by a barrister before forming our own investigation ideas. Overall, the day allowed me to consider the different aspects of a law degree and the profession itself which will be very useful when making further education choices in the upcoming months.”

    Maryam (Y12)

    “I found the InvestIN Young Lawyer Day very interesting, fun, and informative. We were encouraged to actively participate in all of the scenarios we did, both with the speakers and our peers. I found them all very enjoyable and the event extremely informative, with the speakers giving us advice on where to look for work experience, books to read, and information on the different paths to becoming a lawyer. I particularly enjoyed the criminal law case we did because the resources were great and I learned a lot about how cases like that work.”

    Alannis (Y12)



  • Year 12 Careers and Higher Education Day

    Earlier this term Year 12 students were off timetable for a full day of Higher Education and Careers activities with visiting speakers and JAGS staff on hand to help them consider the range of progression options available to them when they leave school.

    The day started with a fantastic Employability Skills session with Johnny Rich, Founder and CEO of PUSH, a not-for-profit organisation that supports school leavers to make well-informed decisions about their futures.

    Students then had the opportunity to attend a choice of workshops depending on their plans at this stage ranging from Creative Courses to Law, Oxbridge to Overseas, Acting to CVs and lots more. In the afternoon we had our ever-popular Uni Panel Q&A which included representatives from Bath, Durham, Cardiff and UCL.

    The day has made me really consider my super co-curricular activities and strive towards being the best that I can be. It was really inspirational and helpful, especially the talk by Johnny Rich, which really awakened my creativity.” Betiti (Y12) 

    This day cleared up a lot of things I was worried about, the Q&A panel was particularly helpful! Thank you! Khadija (Y12)


JAGS SSLP Law Talk: Life as a Barrister

We were delighted to welcome JAGS Alumnae Freddie Onslow and Helen Morton for our Biennial Law Talk which was attended by students in Years 10-13 at JAGS and at other schools in the Southwark Schools Learning Partnership.

“I wanted to find out more specifically about the life as a barrister, since that is the type of lawyer which I would want to be, and I hadn’t found much information online.

“Learning about the different routes that the speakers went through was very helpful, as it confirmed for me that a law conversion course is the best option as Physics is also a major possibility for me after A-levels; I didn’t want to completely shut off that possibility.

“Hearing about the clear steps you need to take to become a barrister has also let me know how much I need to prepare, which is useful as I feel more aware about the necessary courses and exams that I would need to take.”

Bititi (Y12)

  • So, you want to be … a Filmmaker

    We were delighted to welcome JAGS Alumna, Kyoka Seguchi as our guest speaker for the So, you want to be…. a Filmmaker, talks on 27 February. These live webinars, hosted by Sixth Form students are aimed at students in Years 7-9, and Year 6 students from the Junior School were invited to join us.

    “I loved having the opportunity to host the film making conference. Hearing from Kyoka about her experiences in the industry was inspirational to anyone interested in working in the creative sector, like me!”

    Thalia (Y12)


It’s been a busy period for the Sports Department; not only have we been competing against various other schools but have faced a constant battle with the weather. Unfortunately, for the first time in a long time, we have seen a large number of events postponed.

Nevertheless, students have continued to train hard and faced every challenge head on.

As always, if your daughter is competing in sport outside of school, please do let us know, we love hearing your success stories.

Michael Golding, Director of Sport 

  • Biathlon

    Congratulations to the following pupils who have qualified for the Schools National Biathlon Finals, which will be held at The University of Bath on Sunday 24 March. A fantastic achievement!

    Year 7: Ella S
    Year 8: Idil E, Alexis L, Elleni G, Willow E, Izzy W, Arabella M, Olivia C
    Year 9: Martha W
    Year 11: Ciara D-M
    Sixth Form: Isobel S, Zoha J, Jane Jee P

  • Fencing

    A number of JAGS students recently competed at the Public Schools’ Fencing Championships.

    Huge congratulations to Amelie (Y13) who won the Girls’ Senior Foil competition to become National Champion.

    We also had a handful of other pupils compete over the course of the competition and all pupils performed incredibly well, often against pupils at least one age group above them. A special mention to Eliza (Y7) who finished joint third overall in the Mount-Haes Epee competition, narrowly missing out on a place in the final.

    Year 7: Eliza A, Indigo W
    Year 8: Sophie B, Zoe T
    Year 13: Amelie T

  • Cross County

    On a very wet and windy afternoon, 24 cross country runners attended the London Schools Championships at Wormwood Scrubs Park.

    Despite the testing conditions, students put on some excellent performances. Congratulations to Ines, Florence, Sophie, Zoha and Eva, who qualified for the English Schools Finals this Saturday.

    A special mention to Issie M in Year 7 who finished in third in the Junior B race.

  • Football

    Football continues to go from strength to strength under the watchful eye of Miss Huggett.

    We have made good progress in National Cups and our Year 7 and 8 students recently participated in a Friday Night Lights Festival of Football at Alleyn’s and also hosted a similar tournament against Thomas’s Clapham.

    Miss Huggett said: “The number of pupils attending training, particularly in Year 7 and 8 has been amazing to see. Not just the number of pupils, but the quality of play on show and the development the team have made has been incredible to see.”

  • Hockey

    The U12A and U13A Hockey teams remain unbeaten in their Tier 2 London Schools qualifying events.

    Both teams now move into the London Finals, where they will be hoping to continue their good form and bring the trophy back to JAGS.

  • Water Polo

    The U15 Water Polo team competed in the ESSA Water Polo National Qualifying event.

    Unfortunately, despite some very promising play, results didn’t quite go our way and we narrowly missed out on qualifying for the National Finals for the second year running. The U13 team are still preparing for their qualifying event and will hopefully have another couple of friendlies lined up before their competition.

  • Swimming

    The Year 7 and 8 swim teams competed in the London League B Final, held at JAGS and finished a very creditable third place overall.

    Well done to all the swimmers for a fantastic year of swimming.

    We still have a couple of galas lined up for this term, including the Foundation Gala, which will be held at Alleyn’s in the last week of term.


  • Netball

    Netball continued their strong season with some high quality play and results at the Regional Finals. The U13s also qualified unbeaten in the London Youth Games event and head to Redbridge to represent Southwark next week.

    We also hosted the U12 and U13 Surrey Prelims for the first time in many years, a fantastic opportunity to show off our new courts.  The day went exceptionally well and full credit goes to Miss Whyte for her hard work and commitment to netball in enabling this day to run as smoothly as it did.



Netball Trip to Copper Box Arena

On Saturday 2 March , JAGS netball attended the London Pulse v Loughborough Lightning match at the Copper Box Arena. Prior to the game, Chloe (Y8) had the opportunity to walk out onto the court to present the match ball – a wonderful experience!

It was a very tight game, but London Pulse took the win 53 v 52.

Thank you to Miss Gio and Mrs Walton for helping Miss Whyte take the trip!

JAGS Alumnae

JAA Medical Society Dinner 2024

We were delighted to welcome over 70 guests to the JAGS Alumnae Association Medical Society Dinner on Friday 1 March.

As the first Medical Society Dinner since 2018, it was a wonderful gathering with alumnae and parents in attendance all of whom are studying or working in medicine. A number of Year 13 students going on to study medicine also joined for the occasion and had the opportunity to gain valuable insight into university and working life in medicine.

  • Continued . . .

    Guests were welcomed into the Vaughan Williams Auditorium, where they networked and caught up with friends old and new. Laurence Wesson (Teacher of Biology), and Karen Doyle (Head of Development & Alumnae Relations), spoke to guests to highlight the long history of medicine at JAGS and all the work being done to expand the events and communications offering for alumnae.

    Karen also had the honour of introducing our guest speaker, Professor of Transplant Surgery at the University of Edinburgh, Honorary Consultant Surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and JAGS alumna (Class of ’84), Lorna Marson. Lorna gave an inspiring presentation about her journey into medicine, the importance of purpose in life and work and her experience in the field of transplant surgery. We are incredibly grateful Lorna for her time and coming all the way from Edinburgh for the occasion!

    Guests then moved into the Dining Hall and were treated to a magnificent three course meal thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. The dinner was hosted by the Head Alex Hutchinson, who spoke to attendees about life at JAGS today, the incredible developments taking place at the school, and the importance of bursaries and why support is so vital to the school.

    A fabulous time was had by all and we didn’t want the evening to end! We look forward to planning the next Medical Society Dinner.

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