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17th June: Issue 30

Welcome from the Head

Dear Parents

As we approach the end of this glorious week of sunshine, it’s been another packed schedule here at JAGS.

The Drama department have been extremely busy and it was a delight to share the Year 9 production ‘Shady Business’. Seamlessly shifting between acts in the 1920s and 1970s, the cast were superb and it was clear how much hard work they had put into their preparation. We are very much looking forward to the Years 7 and 8 production of Snowsfields next week.

Our internal exams are now complete, and a huge well done to all our Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 students for their calm commitment. We are very proud of Years 11 and 13 and their progress through GCSE and A Levels. The final papers are in sight now, and then I hope there will be a welcome break for everyone.

As we look forward, plans are rapidly taking shape for the Year 13 Leavers’ Event on 30 June and Founder’s Day on Saturday 2 July; we look forward to sharing the schedule for Founder’s Day with you in the near future. In addition, preparation hots up for the inimitable Form Song and the Founder’s Concert. Add in to the mix our Ukrainian Coffee Mornings, our collaboration events with Dulwich College, our house events, sports fixtures and Sports Days, alongside all the other enrichment and activities, and it adds up to an exciting three weeks until the end of term.

We are so sorry that the train strikes on Tuesday 21 and Thursday 23 June may bring disruption to your journeys. I have written separately with further details of these, but hope that the logistics are not too onerous on these days.

With best wishes

Mrs Alex Hutchinson

Dates for your Diary

Reporting Absences

A reminder that the system for absences has changed earlier this year in the Senior School. Please use this form to report absence due to illness or to request absence for appointments. This form can also be found on our Contact page.

Teaching & Learning

Alice Mollison

Assistant Head Teaching and Learning

As we approach the last few weeks of term it has been fantastic to see our students enjoying our lovely outdoor spaces, whether it be having a packed lunch in the sun or escaping to the shade of our wooded areas. While our wonderful Year 11s and 13s have been completing public exams and other year groups completing their internal assessments, a number of our teaching colleagues have also been challenging themselves by examining for the major exam boards, across all the subject areas of creatives, Humanities, MFL and STEM. It is a brilliant opportunity for professional development which the students benefit from immensely. Well done to our students and staff for their hard work during the exam season! 

If any of our families are heading to Glastonbury or watching it on the TV, look out for JAGS’ Water Aid awareness banners around the Park Stage, produced by a wide group of our talented Year 7, 8 and 12s. JAGS has supported Water Aid for well over 20 years and this year were approached to design panels on the theme of climate change and the water crisis. The Old Music School was the perfect place to work on the panels over a couple of weeks as they were so big!

Earlier this term we warmly welcomed a new Librarian, Grace Rawlinson, and Botany Manager, Sally Rendel, to JAGS and you can learn a little more about them here.  Grace’s teaching experience and passion for literature has been hugely appreciated in the Library and it has been fantastic to see so many students talking excitedly about the new opportunities that Sally has introduced. A particular favourite was the delicious elderflower cordial made by the ‘Incredible Edible’ club, that students sampled at the Jubilee celebrations before half term.  

‘”Hello, I am Sally Rendel and I joined JAGS at the beginning of this term as the new Botany Gardens Manager. Many of you may be unfamiliar with the Botany Gardens, set up by the botanist Lilian Clarke (of Clarke house) in 1896. They cover 1.25 acres in two areas, one tucked behind the Senior School and the other at the top of the sports pitches. 

I trained and worked as an architect in a large practice on education projects until 2012, also researching and co-authoring a book on the British Modernist architectural practice Connell Ward & Lucas. Since then I have been primarily self-employed, working on a self-build tiny slot house with my architect husband adjacent to our home in Peckham and doing illustration and product design (I went to art school before I did architecture). Crucially for my current role I attended a Wildlife Trust volunteer course in Marsden Road and I have been gardening and designing gardens since.  

This role is just a brilliant blend of the things I am passionate about. It has an extraordinary historic element, some strategic design, lots of gardening with a key focus on biodiversity and sustainability combined with an opportunity to enthuse young people about all these issues. The potential benefits of this unique and incredible resource for the whole school community are powerful, not least in supporting wellbeing and mental health.  

As a parent with two children at the school it has been fascinating to see the workings from the other side and fully understand the estate as a whole. Since starting I have been busy trying to grasp all the different aspects of my role. Post-covid the gardens are quite overgrown with a sort of Sleeping Beauty thorny forest of brambles growing through the habitat areas and order beds. I am surveying what is there and dipping into the archives to understand the maverick work of Lilian Clarke and the 300 plus girls she enthused to garden out there. I am engaging with the staff of all three parts of the school – Pre-Prep, Prep and Senior School – exploring what the Botany Gardens can offer every department to inform an overall design strategy for the gardens. I have been developing a small wildflower meadow and experimental ‘dig’ and ‘no dig’ beds. I have also set up Botany Gardens Clubs for Key Stage 3 and 4/5 to explore ‘Incredible Edible’ with some foraging, a bed of edible plants to work on together and also kitchen experiments with produce, the first of which was to make elderflower cordial. We have also had a visit from brilliant local insect specialist Penny Metal to talk to us about the tiniest inhabitants of the gardens. 

For the rest of the year I aim to firm up a strategy for the gardens and to make many more opportunities for girls, staff and hopefully parents to work out there. I want to also forge connections with other local gardens, schools, charities and organisations. There will be a few larger phased projects over time, the first of which – repairing and refilling the dipping pond – we hope to embark on next year.  

It is such an exciting canvas and there is a growing enthusiasm from the girls and staff to get involved. I hope to be able to show you a little of what we are doing on Founders Day.”


“I’m Grace Rawlinson and I’m the new librarian here at JAGS. I grew up in Australia and have a background teaching English and History.

Starting a new job halfway through a school year is always daunting, but staff and students have been really welcoming and there are some avid readers I am already having some great discussions with.

So far in the library we have been very busy cataloguing new books and updating the older stock, creating new displays and working with the Carnegie Shadower group. It has also been exam season so the library has been a buzzing hive of (mostly silent) revision!

In the next academic year, I’m looking forward to setting up competitions and trips. We also hope to work more closely with teaching staff in broadening information retrieval skills; how to decipher what information is ‘good’ and ‘bad’; and helping combat the rise of ‘fake news’.

The library at JAGS is an amazing space with great resources; if there is anything you think we need, please let us know!”


Key Stage 3 Update

This has been a time for collaboration in KS3. Each year group has been able to kick back and relax with their peers from Dulwich College over the past month or so. The Year 9s had a quiz, the Year 8s went to DC for a BBQ and this  evening the Year 7 boys will join us for a  ‘Mamma Mia’ sing along!

It has also been a time for collaborative learning. On Thursday, two forms from Year 7 and 8 made the trip over to DC for a Maths challenge and the boys joined us here at JAGS for a picnic on the lawn and a fun and interactive Linguistic challenge. The girls have had the chance to forge new friendships as well as experience a different learning environment and a good time was had by all. The remaining forms will be given the opportunity to take part next week – no one will miss out.

Four Year 9 students have had the opportunity to experience life in ‘The City’. Mrs Rose and Mrs Brookes accompanied the students and this is what Mrs Rose had to say about the day:

“Four year 9 pupils visited Credit Suisse on Thursday to learn about the work, roles and different career paths on offer at such institutions. Upon arrival, they were each placed in different groups and then got to chat to the other girls in their group over pastries. The first sessions required the teams to decide whether to buy or sell shares of chocolate each day for one week, based upon the content of daily news reports. In session 2, they learnt how to write an effective covering letter for a job application and to prepare for an interview, then learnt about the two career entry points: apprenticeships or graduate entry. After (a delicious) lunch they met apprentices and employees from various branches of the company, and had the opportunity to ask each of them questions. And in the final session they undertook team challenges. It was a very enjoyable and informative day.”

Next week we can look forward to the Year 7&8 production of ‘Snowsfields’ and to further collaborative events concentrating on Modern Foreign Languages.

Myfanwy Bournon, Head of KS3

Key Stage 4 Update

Year 10 finally finished their exam period, and we couldn’t be more proud of them. They have got into great habits, shown themselves to be well organised, complete with buckets of positivity. They are a credit to the school. However, now the exams are over it has been wonderful having Year 10 back in school and back to normal business! The summer weather has put a huge smile on our faces this week, and it’s been wonderful seeing Year 10 enjoy some downtime outside during the lunch hour. Some have even brought in picnic blankets! Making the most of the weather, various tutor groups have taken the opportunity to embark on a form time stroll, and Miss Canessa and I even hosted an outdoor assembly for the year group! We were also hugely impressed to hear of Maryam’s success in the Young Reporter Scheme; she was one of the winners and has been invited to an awards ceremony next week. Well done!

Meanwhile, Year 11 continue with their GCSEs, but the busiest weeks are finally out of the way, and their determination and positivity have also been evident before and after the different exams. We are so proud of them all!

Anna Jones, Head of Key Stage 4

Sixth Form Update

At the time of writing we have just welcomed Year 12s back in to the day to day life of the school as they return from study leave and taking the end of year exams. It was a pleasure to be able to congratulate them in assembly for their resilience, poise and personal organisation throughout the six days of exams and we look forward to supporting them as they understand their academic progress and maximise the benefit from the opportunity to diagnose their strengths and areas for development. A big thank you from the 6th Form community to all the teachers who have set and marked exams and then given great feedback. Year 12s are now looking forward to a packed and fun few weeks with various Higher Education and careers activities, their own mini sports day and a Year 12 ‘BBQ and fun’ event to round off the year. 

Year 13s are impressing everyone with their stoicism, resilience and composure throughout their A Level exam period. As ever, they do so with our admiration and best wishes. We are really looking forward to celebrating with them with their Leavers’ Chapel Service, Ceremony and Event on 30 June, which follows a day of activities geared towards their transition to a life beyond JAGS. 

Mat Weeks, Head of Sixth Form



This has been a busy and very successful period in PE and sport.

In cricket, the Year 7 Soft Ball team attended a tournament held at Eltham College. They won one match and lost one match, thoroughly enjoying the day and the experience. Our year 7 ‘B’ Team won against Streatham and Clapham High School, in a thrilling fixture this week. The Year 8 ‘A’ team beat Broomwood Hall 63-52 and played brilliantly.

Anna, Tallulah and Lily in Year 8 have been selected to represent Southwark Hockey in the London Youth Games, we would like to wish them the best of luck with this!

We have now reached the Quarter Finals in the JAGS singles and doubles Wimbledon competition. So far, we have seen some brilliantly contested matches with some fantastic comeback wins. The finals for both competitions will be held on Founder’s Day, and we cannot wait to watch them!

  • The Surrey Tennis Leagues have now been completed with JAGS just missing out on a place at the finals day in the U13, U14 and U15 age groups. The pupils have played so well this year and there is definitely high hopes for next tennis season – Also parents and pupils should be on the look out for the launch of our new JAGS family tennis competition to be played next summer!!

    In the Branston Shield, the quartet of; Hana, Sofia, Emily and Isabel have progressed to the final for the first time in JAGS history and will play the winners of Surbiton and Gordon’s who are due to play on Saturday 18th June. The final for the Branston Shield will be held at St George’s, Weybridge on Saturday 25th June.

    We want to congratulate Temi in Year 10 for being selected for the U15 Netball Pulse Squad. We are so proud of her achievement.

  • Our J18 rowing team competed this week at The Star Regatta in Bedford. Our novice team raced so well and finished 2nd behind Bedford who have been racing for a lot longer than us and know that part of the river so well.

    It has been a busy week in athletics. On Saturday at the London Championships, Sophie Year 8, Sophia Year 9, Megan in Year 10 and Chanelle in Year 11 all competed in individual events. Sophia has qualified for the English Schools’ Championships in the 800m, a phenomenal achievement and we are looking forward to seeing her performance in Manchester on July 9th.

    Year 7 and 8 have competed in the London Schools’ Athletics Championships, Emilia in year 7 came 2nd in the 100m, Florence in year 7 was 1st in the 1500m, Ivy (Year 7) came 1st and Marley (Year 7) in 3rd place in the 200m final, Marley also finished 1st in the High Jump. Pyale in Year 7 finished 1st in Long jump, Sophie (Year 8 came 3rd) in the 1500m, just being pipped over the line for second place. The Intermediate team (Year 9 and 10) competed in the ESAA Track and Field Cup Regional Cup B Final on Wednesday and placed 7th. A huge congratulations to all athletes who competed this week!

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