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15th September 2023: Issue 47

Welcome from the Head

Dear Parents

Welcome to this week’s newsletter!

It has been a delight to welcome back our students to the start of the academic year 2023/24 and to hear the school once more filled with the sounds of laughter and learning. The Holst Hall re-design has caused much excitement, and it is a joy to see year groups gathered on the elephant steps, students studying collaboratively in the workspaces and relaxing on the new mezzanine floor. I hope you enjoy seeing the photos of the new space posted further down this newsletter. The newly refurbished classrooms are also being enjoyed by all year groups across the school. With our new timetable now in place, the school community are benefiting from longer lessons, and the travel time means that lessons start in a prompt and meaningful manner. To add to the start of term excitement, all the rooms have been re-numbered; the system of numbering that had organically grown over the past decades has been replaced with a more logical system, so congratulations to all students and staff for negotiating this with such engagement too!

We have very much enjoyed welcoming our parents to our Welcome Evenings; it was lovely to see Years 7, 10 and 12 parents over the past fortnight, and we look forward to the remaining evenings in the coming weeks. In addition, we welcomed back the Class of 2020 Leavers for their first reunion since leaving JAGS in the midst of the pandemic; over the coming weeks we welcome back our alumnae for 5 year and 50 year reunions!

A reminder that it is our whole school Open Morning on Saturday 7 October and bookings from prospective parents are already high. Our Open Morning is a whole school commitment, and in the Senior School we will need all students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 to be present in school to help with tours and activities. Senior School students will be required from 08:30 until 13:00, and further details will be sent out in the next week or so.

I hope you enjoy reading this review of the first fortnight of the school year; we are tremendously excited for all that lies ahead this year.

With my best wishes,


Mrs Alex Hutchinson

Dates for your Diary

  • Monday 18 September – 7pm – Year 8 Welcome Evening for Parents , VWA
  • Wednesday 20 September – 7pm – Year 11 A Level Information Evening for Parents and Pupils
  • Thursday 21 September – Year 13 French to to Paris
  • Friday 22 September – 50 Year Reunion
  • Saturday 23 September – 10am – JPA second-hand uniform sale, Holst Hall
  • Monday 25 September – 7pm – Year 9 Welcome Evening for Parents, VWA
  • Tuesday 26 September – 5pm – Parents’ Information evening for Greece Trip, Lecture Theatre
  • Wednesday 27 September – 10am – Open Morning





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.

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





Key Stage 3 Update

It has been wonderful to welcome our new Year 7 and KS3 as a whole back to JAGS this year. As I told pupils in our first assembly back together; I have genuinely missed them over the summer break and they have certainly been keeping us busy since their return.

The Co-Curricular Clubs Booklet will be released soon and there is already a buzz of excitement about the new offerings introduced this academic year. Pupils have been encouraged to try something new and be bold with their choices!

Pre-season training and trials for our brilliant sports teams are also in full swing and it has been wonderful seeing so many Year 7s getting stuck in.

Myfanwy Bournon, Head of Key Stage 3

  • Author Visit

    Next Wednesday, Joseph Elliott – the author and actor (of Swashbuckle fame apparently!) – will be coming to visit. There is an exciting programme of workshops and events for the youngest members of KS3 while the older members of the lower school will attend a Q&A with the author. Signed copies of his books will be available to purchase and requests for selfies are already flooding in!

    I fear that Swashbuckle may have passed me by, so as well as reading his trilogy of novels this weekend, I plan to catch up on children’s TV!

    As you can tell it is all go go go and pupils have already settled into their new year groups very well!

Key Stage 4 Update

It has been a fantastic start to the academic year as we enjoyed welcoming our new Year 10s to KS4.

In our beginning of term assemblies, we talked with pupils about our hopes and aims for the year, ensuring everyone knows who to go to if they need support. At the time of writing, a full week of lessons has now taken place and we have all been enjoying the fabulous spaces in school, both inside and out, and in particular the new Holst Hall layout.

Clubs and activities have started up and everyone has been in wonderful spirits as we look forward to a brilliant term ahead.

Anna Jones, Head of Key Stage 4

Sixth Form Update

The school year has started phenomenally well in the Sixth Form. Incoming Year 12s are rightly proud of their great GCSE results, while the new Year 13s and staff are chuffed to bits for last year’s A level cohort, who achieved such wonderful results.

It was lovely to welcome so many Year 12 parents to the school for the Sixth Form introduction evening. As Year 12 embark on their Sixth Form journey, they have already heeded messages to get involved in school life and have been particularly supportive of younger students, especially those finding their bearings in a new environment.

They seem to be getting to grips with day-to-day Sixth Form life and are making good use of study periods when not in lessons. We wish them all the very best for the next two years.

Mat Weeks, Head of Sixth Form

  • Enrichment

    Enrichment activities started this week with Sixth Form academic societies and Skills for Life courses kicking into action. Students are now looking forward to their CEP or Liberal Studies courses next week.

    The lecture series has begun, with Year 12s hearing a powerful talk on Drugs Awareness and Year 13s benefiting from an Elevate Educate study skills workshop.

  • ‘Zest for life’

    In the opening weeks of term, Year 13s have displayed such a zest for life and willingness to contribute to the school community. No doubt this will serve them well as they excel in their personal development and academic pursuits. We look forward to witnessing their positive contributions, both within school and in the wider community, over the next year.

    Good luck to one and all!


Jessica Blunden,

Head of English

“I am delighted to join JAGS as the new Head of English.

“After graduating with a degree in English Literature from Durham University and MA in Magazine Journalism from City University, my first career was in copywriting and editing; however, after a few years, I realised how much I missed discussing literature on a daily basis and, drawn to its challenging, fast-paced nature, joined the teaching profession. I have been thankful ever since then that I made the move!

“I come to JAGS from King’s College School, Wimbledon, where I was Deputy Head of English. I have been struck by how bright, inquisitive and dynamic JAGS students are: the passion with which my Year 12 A level set, for example, discusses Thomas Hardy’s poetry is truly invigorating, and a reminder about why I entered this profession.

“I am very much looking forward to getting to know more members of the JAGS community, both students and staff alike, in the term ahead.”



Exam Results 2023

A Level Results

Our Year 13 Leavers excelled during this summer’s exams to earn the school’s highest ever A level results outside of the pandemic.

• 46% of results were graded A*
• 96% of results were graded A*/B
• One in four pupils earned 3 A* grades or higher
• One in five pupils received straight A* grades

  • Destinations

    Our Leavers have now set sail for a range of prestigious and diverse destinations.

    • All 21 Oxbridge offers accepted
    • 15 offers accepted for medical courses (including Medicine, Veterinary-Medicine and Dentistry)
    • Dizzying array of courses accepted; from Games Engineering to Midwifery

    A full list of Leavers’ destinations can be viewed HERE

GCSE Results

Pupils’ hard work and determination was rewarded with half of grades at the very highest level.

• 50% of all results were Grade 9
• 75% of all results were Grade 9 or 8
• 89% of all results were Grade 9, 8 or 7 (equivalent to A* or A)
• 1 in 7 pupils achieved 10 or more Grade 9s

In total, a remarkable 13 subjects recorded over 90% of pupils earning Grades 9-7 (A*/A), including Maths (95%), Biology (92%), History (92%) and Art (93%).

Independent Schools of the Year Awards 2023

JAGS announced as finalist

We are delighted to be listed as a finalist in the Independent Girls’ School of the Year category at the Independent Schools of the Year Awards 2023.

The awards are designed to showcase schools’ successes and celebrate the breadth and diversity of life as a student in the independent education sector.

A huge congratulations to all of our staff, pupils and parents. This nomination is testament to everyone’s continued hard work and dedication.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony next month.

Holst Hall

Summer renovations

When we set about renovating our iconic Holst Hall we had one simple mission; to transform it from a transition space, where staff and pupils simply passed through, into a destination.

Judging by the reactions of pupils, who can be found each break and lunch perched upon the elephant steps or relaxing on the sofas, that mission has been well and truly accomplished.

The hall, which sits at the very heart of the school, now provides the perfect space for collaborative lessons, lectures and events.


School House Magazine Awards 2023

JAGS has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Sustainability category at the School House Awards 2023.

Judges were impressed by the positive strides the school has already taken on its journey to become Carbon Neutral by 2030 and the strategic plan in place for the years ahead.

  • ‘Great to see hard work recognised’

    Speaking of the nomination, Sustainability Lead Priya Hira, said: “It’s great to see the hard work of our pupils, parents and staff recognised in this way.

    “The enthusiasm from our pupil population, in particular our wonderful Eco Champions, has been key to our successes these last 18 months as we sharpened our focus on sustainability. We thank them all for their continued support.

    “We know there is still work to do but this nomination gives us even more motivation to improve and build on what we have achieved so far.”


Over the summer, a number of our Sixth Formers took part in exciting work experience opportunities.

Follow the tabs below to learn how they got on:

  • Commerzbank

    Two Sixth Form students spent a fantastic week immersing themselves in the Client Verification Team at Commerzbank’s London office.

    “My experience at Commerzbank has taught me a lot about the departments within an investment bank and how they must work together to produce the best result for clients.

    “Working within the ‘Know Your Customer’ department specifically, was extremely interesting as I had not thought about the process of choosing the right client to work with.” Maria, Year 13


  • Psychiatry Summer School

    Four very fortunate Year 11 students were offered a place on the South London and Maudsley three-day Psychiatry Summer School. Rebecca and Rebekah share some thoughts on their experience:

    “It was an excellent opportunity to learn about psychiatry, both from experts in the field, but also patients who had benefited from the support psychiatry provides. After the course I am more aware of different specialties within psychiatry, as well as the steps I must take, such as the process of applying for medicine, in order to become a psychiatrist.”  Rebecca, Year 12

    “The Psychiatry Summer School was an insightful and incredible opportunity which I would definitely recommend. I heard from many psychiatrists, who specialised in a wide array of different fields from perinatal to forensic psychiatry. What I enjoyed most about the experience was hearing personal accounts from patients that had suffered with mental illnesses. I finished the summer school with a greater interest and understanding of psychiatry as it was a highly engaging and thought provoking experience.” Rebekah, year 12

  • NatWest

    NatWest Female Trading Insight Day 

    “Throughout the day, we were exposed to the diverse nature of the trading floor and conversed with the different types of traders about their careers and what their day-to day job entails.
    “This included the chance to shadow a trader and take part in a trading simulation, based on estimates and interpreting many types of economic data.
    “We also then learnt about the different products offered. The most memorable part of the day was experiencing the fast-paced nature of a career in Finance, debunking intimidating myths within the sector and learning about the many different backgrounds that the traders were from. Overall, the opportunity highlighted the importance of finding a career that is best-suited to an individual’s skills.”  Manasvi, Year 13 


  • Dentistry

    InvestIN Dentistry Summer Work Experience 

    “I was fortunate enough to win a scholarship to attend the InvestIN dentistry summer experience. Over the duration of the course, I benefited from the various lectures and practical activities that would not have been possible without this opportunity. Visiting a dental clinic for the day and practising restorative work on phantom heads were just some of the invaluable experiences that further confirmed my desire to study dentistry. Meeting in an environment with current dental students allowed me to gain an insight into what studying dentistry would be like as well as the overall application process. I found it to be a very multifaceted course and am grateful to have been selected for it.Lily, Year 13


International Literacy Day

In honour of International Literacy Day last Friday, Head Librarian Helen Stein provided a run down of some of the best books for pupils in KS3, KS4 and the Sixth Form.

Read the full list HERE


It’s great to be back again for the start of a new school year. As pupils return we head straight into the start of the pre-season period. So many pupils have been getting involved, with over 500 attending the sessions to showcase their ability and skills.

This pre-season period has focused primarily on our traditional sports (Hockey, Netball, Swimming) and we look forward to our full co-curricular timetable commencing on Monday.

Michael Golding, Director of Sport

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