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17th November 2023: Issue 50

Welcome from the Head

Dear Parents

Welcome to this week’s newsletter which brings you news of a busy fortnight of activities following Half Term, not to mention the adventures of our students who travelled to Berlin, Greece and New York on school trips over the holiday.

Congratulations to all our musicians for a spectacular Autumn Concert last week. It was wonderful to share the energy and skill of the ensembles after their weeks of preparation; our musicians now have their sights set on preparation for the busy Christmas programme of musical events. It was also a pleasure to head over to Dulwich College to see Year 9’s performance of Finding the Folio, as we celebrated 400 years of the first oriented edition of Shakespeare’s collected plays.

The Senior School came together on Friday 11 November for our Act of Remembrance; led by our Year 13 Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Non-commissioned officers, and with readings from the school’s wartime archive, it was a solemn moment for the school to remember the sacrifices of so many. The CCF contingent also joined the Foundation Schools’ Remembrance Event on Sunday.

It has been a pleasure to be in touch with all parents over the past few weeks with updates on our plans for 1:1 digital devices and for our new Pre-Prep buildings. We welcomed parents and members of the local community to view the Pre-Prep plans over the weekend and to hear your feedback. The next step in this exciting project is the collation of the feedback and the submission of our formal planning application.

In other news, we enjoyed celebrating in assembly the achievements of Kimberley in Year 8, who was crowned the K2 U14 British National Champion in Taekwondo just before Half Term. Congratulations to Kimberley on this fantastic outcome!

And finally – a huge thank-you to the JPA for all their work organising a fabulous Quiz Night on Friday. It was a super evening; modesty prevents me from talking too much about the gold-medal winning performance of the staff team!

Mrs Alex Hutchinson

Dates for your Diary

  • Monday 20 November to Friday 24 November
    •  JAGS Eco Week
    • 6pm – Postcard Exhibition (James Caird Hall, Dulwich College)
  • Monday 20 November – 6pm – Senior Strings Concert (Holst Hall)
  • Tuesday 21 November – Year 12 trip to BFI
  • Wednesday 22 November
    • 1.30pm – Chapel Lunchtime Concert (Christ’s Chapel, Dulwich)
    • 7pm – Oxbridge Support Evening (VWA)
  • Thursday 23 November – 7pm – Parent Talk: Inspiring aspirational and lifelong learners (Online)
  • Tuesday 28 November to Thursday 30 November – 7pm – Senior Show Performance (Prissian Theatre)
  • Wednesday 29 November – Years 11 to 13 Computer Science in Action trip




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

To mark Anti-Bullying Week and World Kindness Day on Monday, KS3 have been taking time to think about acts of kindness and the wonderful community that we have here at JAGS. It has been such a joy to see so many examples of kindness in the JAGS community drop into our inboxes over the course of the week.

We would encourage all of the girls to continue to look outward, see beyond themselves and to choose to be kind in all that they do.

In the past I have asked them to THINK before they speak and particularly before pressing ‘send’ on a message to ensure it is True, Helpful, Inspiring Necessary and Kind. When communication adheres to all of these conditions then they can take pride in saying it or sending it as a message.

Myfanwy Bournon, Head of Key Stage 3

  • Dulwich College collaboration

    Year 7 and 8 will be taking part in DC Collaboration events next week, with more information about these days will be coming out via JAGSpost shortly.

    We are really excited to be taking part in these important joint events once more this term.

  • Drama

    Year 9 thespians have been hard at work fortnight. A troupe from JAGS took part in the recent DC Collaboration Scratch production, while students who chose to study Drama gained their first taste of film making.

    The deep well of talented performers across KS3 certainly bodes well for the Junior Show later this year.

  • Autumn Concert

    Last Thursday, I was fortunate enough to attend the Autumn Concert in the VWA. It was fantastic to see so many of the KS3 musicians out in force. The show had everything from sweeping orchestral pieces to sparkling choral moments. Very well done to everyone who took part.

Key Stage 4 Update

The second half of the Autumn Term has been as busy as ever. Last week’s Autumn Concert was magnificent and a chance for many of our Year 10 and 11 students to showcase their phenomenal musical talents. A variety of sporting fixtures have taken place, and I was thrilled to see some Year 10 and 11 student teams participating in the recent JPA quiz night. In form time this week, the focus has been on critical thinking and why it matters.

We were thrilled to welcome the Sixth Form team to our recent section assembly, where they talked about some of the fabulous opportunities there are to study abroad post A Level.

Anna Jones, Head of Key Stage 4

Sixth Form Update

Following a refreshing Half Term break, members of the Sixth Form community came back ready and determined to carry on from where they left off. Year 12s explored ‘Vital Skills for Sixth Form and Beyond’ in a workshop session with the Life Skills Company – time management, interview and presentation skill acquisition has never been so engaging, apparently. Lots of students were appreciative of the tips and pointers to help in these key areas of life. The experience really will benefit their immediate and long-term future, as well as enhancing their juggling skills!

Mat Weeks, Head of Sixth Form

  • 16+ Entrance Day

    Alongside Year 12 volunteers, lots of Year 13 students were exceptional ambassadors for JAGS on Saturday as we hosted Year 11 students from other schools at our annual 16+ Entrance Day. With unprecedented numbers of applicants, we were very grateful that so many Sixth Formers came in to provide tours, mingle and simply be their wonderful selves.

    The inclusivity of the event was matched by the number of smiles all round!

  • Alumnae Talks

    Year 13s listened to three alumnae – Sophie, Helen and Jessie – talk about their careers in public service at ‘Teach First’, ‘Unlocked’ (a prison graduate scheme) and ‘Police Now’ in their lecture last week. Benefiting from the wonders of Slido, students asked a range of interesting questions about their careers to date; it was fascinating stuff.

    Other events have included Sixth Form students taking the lead in the JAGS Act of Remembrance. It was super to see the tradition established by Polly (Class of 2023) continued. There have also been various trips, including a Biology trip and a trip to JP Morgan for a GAIN event at which JAGS students were greeted by Mawuse (Class of 2008). Meanwhile, the Head Girl team participated in a fantastic student leadership seminar with colleagues from other schools in the Dulwich Estate family, through which they took lots of inspiration and practical tips.

    On Thursday Year 12 listened to a wonderful talk from our very own Ms Parker on how she set up and ran AFFCAD – a youth led non-profit organisation founded in 2009 to transform living conditions in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala.

    She included great insights into how to set up an NGO from scratch and explained how students became involved.

  • World Kindness Day

    Looking ahead, the Sixth Community continues at pace, with Friends of JAGS interviews taking place this Saturday and the university offers and news of interviews flooding in.

    Whilst the ‘regular’ academic and co-curricular life of the school continues with zest, enthusiasm and kindness for others – particularly important in the week of World Kindness Day (13 November) which we are marking through multi-coloured paper chains with kind gestures and comments.


David Bima,

Teacher of Design & Technology

Having taught Design & Technology over many years in South London, I feel that coming to JAGS is a great opportunity to join a warm, thriving educational community where I can use my experience to add to that highly productive mix. It’s a pleasure to be working with such dedicated, friendly staff and students who are serious about their learning but also know how to relax and be themselves when the time is right.

I believe that Design & Technology is a subject which brings together all of the skills learnt across the curriculum, giving students opportunities to shine in a variety of ways be it sketching, exercising critical thinking, written evaluations and analysis or hand-eye coordination and physical skills. In short, there is something for absolutely everyone!

I am a passionate believer that D&T offers opportunities to not only express one’s creativity but also to foster higher-order thinking skills and independent thought, both of which are vital for succeeding in modern life. It’s also a huge amount of fun to be in a workshop and make amazing things happen!

Remembrance 2023

Last Friday, the entire Senior School gathered together to mark Remembrance Day and honour all those who lost their lives in war.

Mrs Hutchinson’s speech touched on the experiences and hardships JAGS staff and students went through during World War II and their tenacity to carry on.

This theme was also explored by our Library team in their Remembrance display; the Cartwright House Book of 1942-43 shows how numbers attending the school fluctuated during the war years, while the LCC bomb damage maps book and the JAGS Fire Log both give an indication of the high risk of bombing faced by Dulwich and the surrounding areas.

Friday’s events followed on from a powerful assembly earlier in the week from our Head of History & Politics, Mr Cooper. Students were encouraged to remember not only those who bravely sacrificed their lives but the countless others caught up in conflict through events beyond their control.


Henry Williamson Society

Schools Writing Competition

The Henry Williamson Society holds its prestigious Schools Writing Competition every two years. For 2023, the theme was ‘Nature, the Seasons and the Natural World’.

Congratulations to Tabitha in Year 10, who entered the contest during the last academic year, for receiving special mention from judges for her writing submission and excellent accompanying painting.

In preparation for the writing, Mrs Ferrar’s Year 9 English class embarked on a wonderful guided nature walk around the Copse and JAGS Botany Gardens with our Botany Manager Mrs Rendel.

You can read Tabitha’s entry in full HERE



Classicists from Years 10 to 13 enjoyed a fabulous and inspiring trip to Greece this Half Term. After a very early morning flight to Athens, we headed straight to see the sights: the oldest surviving known theatre in the world at Thorikos, where Mrs Hyde treated us to a dramatic performance of the opening of Oedipus Turannos. Next, we visited the stunning temple to Poseidon at Cape Sounion, where we spotted some native tortoises taking shade in the undergrowth and looked in vain for Lord Byron’s graffiti on one of the temple pillars.

The next day was spent exploring the majestic Acropolis and the remains of the Agora, as well as a visit to the superb Acropolis Museum. That night we had a guided coach tour of Athens, including a stop at the modern Olympic stadium. For students of GCSE Classical Civilisation, our visit to the National Archaeological Museum was a huge moment, as we finally got to see the treasures we had studied, such as the Mask of Agamemnon and the Lion Hunt Dagger. Our visit to the Bronze Age sites of Mycenae and Tiryns were similarly significant as we measured ourselves against the huge boulders of those Cyclopean Walls and posed at the famous Lion Gate entry to Mycenae.

Mrs Hanif, Teacher of Classics 

  • Continued

    Other highlights included the awe-inspiring sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi, experiencing the other-worldly atmosphere of this mountain retreat, where the ancient Greeks and Romans would journey to consult the oracle of Apollo; we also visited the sanctuary of Asklepios, Greek god of healing and medicine, at Epidaurus and marvelled at the architecture and design of the theatre there, testing out its world-famous acoustics!

    These are just a few of the places we visited on our hugely memorable and action-packed tour of some of Greece’s most important and inspiring sites!

History & German


On the final Friday of Half Term, thirty-six Year 11 students studying GCSE History and/or GCSE German, along with four teachers, boarded an early flight from City Airport to Berlin.

Though battered by strong winds and pelted by quite some rain from the moment of our arrival, we made the most of a historic city tour taking in the most iconic sights of Germany’s capital city like the Brandenburg Gate and the attractive Gendarmenmarkt. Fortunately, the weather changed overnight and we enjoyed sunshine for the remainder of our visit.

Over the next three days we visited a number of historically significant locations, including; the German Parliament, the former HQ of the East German department of State Security and experienced a sobering visit to the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp.


  • Continued

    We also sampled an enjoyable performance of Mozart’s opera Idomeneo at the Beliner Staatsoper and lots of great food, including the legendary Berlin Currywurst.

    Students and staff enjoyed their stay in Germany and returned with a lot of nice but also illuminating memories.



Year 7 Catapult Competition

The annual Year 7 Catapult Competition returned to the bridge on Wednesday.

So much time and effort had obviously gone into the creation of the catapults for what proved to be a very closely-contested battle!

Congratulations to Amelie who took the top spot with her giant catapult!

Computer Science

Bebras Challenge

Over 400 students took part in the Bebras Challenge this week.

The Bebras Challenge is a national competition designed to develop problem solving, thinking and analytical skills, which are in great demand, across a range of industries and professions today. Students have 40-minutes to solve a range of puzzles and challenges, with increasing difficulty.

Results will be available in early December.

JAGS Alumnae


We are delighted to share our new Support Us page highlighting the importance of our JAGS Bursaries and the various ways you can support. This includes the wonderful Easyfundraising initiative – just in time for Christmas shopping! Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be raising free donations for the JAGS Bursary Fund through EasyFundraising? There are over 8,000 brands on board ready to donate – including Sainsburys, Tesco, Amazon, M&S, John Lewis, ASOS and Booking.com – and it won’t cost you a penny extra to help us raise funds.

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the JPA for making fundraising even easier and more accessible through this great initiative. Whether you are a parent, alumna, member of staff or friend of the School, you can help provide even more educational opportunities for children by getting involved in EasyFundraising.

  • How to get involved

    All you need to do is:

    1. Click HERE and join for free.
    2.  Every time you shop online, go first to EasyFundraising to find the site you want and start shopping.
    3. After you’ve checked out, the brand will donate to the JAGS Bursary Fund at no extra cost to you whatsoever.

  • A Message from the JPA

    “As parents, we understand the importance of education and the transformative impact it can have on a child’s future.

    “By supporting bursaries at JAGS, we can help to create opportunities that break down financial barriers, foster a more inclusive learning environment, and empower students to thrive and reach their full potential regardless of their economic background.

    “This is what makes JAGS such a diverse and enriching school for our daughters to experience. All support is greatly appreciated – Thank you.”

    The JPA Executive Committee.

  • A message from the Head

    “The school is so appreciative of the JPA’s commitment, hard work and enthusiasm in helping to raise funds in support of transformational bursaries. Thank you, as always, for championing new ways to fundraise and engage the JAGS community”

    Mrs Alex Hutchinson, Head

New JAGS Alumnae Association website launch

We are thrilled to launch the new JAGS Alumnae Association website as a hub for the 7,000+ strong alumnae global community to connect with each other and the school. The new look site has a raft of new features including regular alumnae and school news updates, the relaunch of the Take Ten Q&A feature including new teacher editions, a host of new alumnae event listings, brand new careers and clubs sections and so much more providing the opportunity to reconnect with classmates and JAGS, network at events and support current students through volunteer opportunities.

Please click HERE to view the new site.

Botany Gardens

Restoration of Botany Ponds

As we returned for the second half of the Autumn Term, it was incredible to reflect on the progress our wonderful Botany Team have made in restoring our iconic Botany Ponds since the summer.

These before and after photos capture the hard work that has gone into the project.


Once again, it has been a busy and successful fortnight of Sport with students competing across a number of disciplines.

Follow the links below to learn more:

Michael Golding, Director of Sport

  • Sport Scholars

    Our Sport Scholars enjoyed a trip to The Advanced Performance Lab in Guildford to take part in baseline testing.

    The pupils are currently following specific training programmes designed by the lab which compliment, enhance and work alongside their own sporting programmes outside of school.

    Year 12 pupil Hana, commented: “The day was so exciting and beneficial. The testing allows us to track our progress throughout the year and gives me a real focus when training both in and out of school.”

  • Netball

    The U19 netball team competed in the National Netball Regional qualifying round at Shirley High on Sunday 12th November. The standard of competition on the day was incredibly high and the team played some good netball to earn a 5th place finish, narrowly missing out on the next round of the competition.

    Our good cup form continues across our different age groups with our U14s and U19s both having convincing wins against South Hampstead to progress.

  • Hockey

    Our U15 hockey squad made the long trip to Bristol and put on a tremendous display against a very talented Redmaids’ School side (who had a number of England Pathway players in their side).

    Unfortunately, Redmaids’ were a little too strong for us and we exited the National Hockey Cup.

  • Cross Country

    A huge congratulations to both our Junior Team (Years 7 and 8) and Intermediate Team (Years 9 and 10) who have qualified for the ESAA Cross Country Cup National Final on Saturday 2nd December.
    This is a massive achievement for this group of pupils and we are now training hard and looking forward to the National Finals.

    Our Senior team also raced well on the day and finished in 5th place overall in the Regional Final.

  • Football

    Miss Huggett has recently joined the department and has taken on the running of the football programme.

    Her first fixture was a comprehensive victory with the Year 7 team, winning with a clean sheet at Streatham & Clapham High School. The U15s also played against SCHS in a match which will live long in the memory – unfortunately we were on the wrong end of a 7-goal thriller.

  • Windsurfing

    Congratulations to Rosie (Year 12) who was recently selected as one of the three female sailors in the British Youth Performance Squad for Windsurfing.

    Speaking of the achievement, Rosie said: “This selection is a significant milestone in my sailing career as it opens up many more training opportunities. I am optimistic that this will advance my performance, hopefully leading to me achieving higher scores in the upcoming European and World Championships in 2024.”

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