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20th January 2023: Issue 38

Welcome from the Head

Dear Parents

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2023, as a very rainy start to the new year has turned into a very chilly one!

It was a pleasure to share our Year 9 Parents’ Evening and GCSE Options webinar with you earlier this week, and we look forward to supporting our Year 11 parents with the A Level options process in our webinar on Wednesday 8 February. A huge thank you too to our wonderful JPA Committee, who met last week and are beginning their exciting discussions of Founder’s Day; please do make sure you have Saturday 1 July blocked out in your diary for the celebrations.

It is a busy schedule for our 11+ candidates, many of whom will be attending scholarship days for Academic, Art, Music, and Sports Scholarships; we wish all our applicants the best of luck. It was also great to see Year 10 shining this week in their production of Bright. Young. Things., a fantastic storyline covering identity, truth and the challenge of finding out who you really are. I also notice the calendar has Popfest scheduled for Friday 27 January; I hope all our band members are tuning up and enjoying their rehearsals in advance of this iconic event.

May I take this opportunity to wish all our families a very happy Lunar New Year this weekend. I hope the weekend will also be restful and relaxing for our Year 11s after the Mock exams; we are very proud of their commitment and focus over the past fortnight.

With best wishes

Mrs Alex Hutchinson

Dates for your Diary

  • Tuesday 24 January – 7pm – Parent Speaker: Vaping in Adolescents
  • Wednesday 25 January – 1.30pm – Alleynian Blues Lunchtime Concert, Christ’s Chapel
  • Thursday 26 January – 5pm – Year 13 Art Coursework Exhibition
  • Friday 27 January – 7pm – PopFest, Holst Hall
  • Tuesday 31 January – 1.10pm – Music Award Holders Lunchtime Concert, Guards’ Chapel
  • Wednesday 8 February – 6pm – Year 11 Options Webinar and Parents’ Evening


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

The students returned after the Christmas break rested, relaxed and raring to go. It has been a Happy New Year in KS3 so far.

They have taken on board the message that Mr O’Dwyer gave them at the start of term about taking care of their uniforms and being proud of their professional appearance. Long may this continue.

On Tuesday, the Year 7 students took part in a Growth Mindset Workshop with a visiting speaker. They have come away with some really useful tips about mental wellbeing and it is our hope that they will heed the advice as they go about their days here at JAGS.

Year 8 attended a special Gothic Tales lecture in The Prissian Theatre on Wednesday. The tension in the auditorium was palpable and the screams coming from the girls indicated that the creepy Victorian Gothic tales of H.G Wells and Edgar Allan Poe were well received!

Myfanwy Bournon, Head of KS3

  • Continued . . .

    Year 9 have been choosing their GCSE Options and will continue to speak to their tutors and members of staff before committing their decisions to paper. It has been exciting to see what they have chosen and to see them taking control of their future educational pathways.

    With the shortest day now behind us we can begin to look forward to more daylight and warmer temperatures on the horizon.


Key Stage 4 Update

The Spring Term has well and truly begun, and a huge well done must be extended to our Year 11 cohort who have just undertaken two weeks of mock examinations. The students have shown great purpose and positivity throughout the whole two weeks. They have been well organised and considerate of each other, and Miss Canessa and I could not be prouder. I wish them a wonderful weekend of rest!

Year 10 have had a busy start to the term, most notably with the Year 10 theatre company, In the Wings, performing their play Bright. Young. Things. this week. It was truly magnificent, and I must extend my huge thanks to all cast, crew and teachers for putting on this wonderful performance.

Anna Jones, Head of Key Stage 4

Sixth Form Update

The first day back after the holidays saw a flurry of activity in the Sixth Form as familiar faces from the Class of 2022 returned to say hello, collect their A level certificates, and discuss their first term at university with our current Sixth Formers.

For Year 13s, who have all submitted their UCAS forms, it was an excellent opportunity to discuss university courses and institutions as they mull over how to order their offers. And for Year 12, as their Higher Education and Careers support programme gets into full swing, it was a great chance to find out more about university life.

We are very grateful that the newest additions to the JAA (JAGS Alumnae Association) were happy to spend time sharing their valuable insights. Thank you!

Mat Weeks, Head of Sixth Form

  • Post JAGS prep

    Since that energetic start to the term, activities, work and events have continued at pace. Year 12s have received more information about the structure of the Higher Education and Careers programme and how they will be encouraged to shape and determine their future post JAGS. Particular emphasis was placed on being reflective, enthusiastic, committed and calm (even if the answers about their future do not come easily).

    Meanwhile, Year 13 students are now seeing their offers flood in. Therefore, it is appropriate that they are thinking about their future whilst also focusing on optimising their academic potential. The first two lectures of term encapsulate this; last week they heard an interesting and helpful talk about the financial aspects of university education and this Thursday benefited from Elevate Education’s ‘Finishing Line’ workshop.


    The PSHCE theme this Half Term in the Sixth Form is communication.

    Last week, students communicated stories from current affairs in which they felt particularly engaged.

    At the time of writing, students in the Sixth Form community are eagerly anticipating tomorrow’s Form Time Multicultural Breakfast as well as discussion about different aspects of their culture – this is always a highlight of the PSHCE year!

    It also provides the Head Girl team an opportunity to request ideas and enthusiastic volunteers to assist with the school’s Multicultural Evening on Thursday 16 March. This was a superb event last year and we know it will be equally fantastic this year.

  • A great term ahead . . .

    Our first assembly of the term encouraged us to change habits as opposed to making short-lived resolutions and to make the most of all situations by seeing everything as an opportunity.

    We know that members of the Sixth Form community will have a great term, full of kindness, commitment, punctuality, hard work and fun.


Bright. Young. Things.

Our Year 10 theatre company, In the Wings, staged two incredible performances of Georgia Christou’s Bright. Young. Things.

Cast and crew alike treated audiences to stellar productions of the acclaimed play on Tuesday and Wednesday evening – testament to the weeks of hard work and preparation.

The play follows six child geniuses vying for the title of ‘Britain’s Brainiest Child’ on a popular TV show. As the pressure mounts,  the funny and face-paced show explores identity, truth and the challenge of finding out who you really are.

  • ZooNation

    This week our Year 7 pupils have been treated to a series of unbelievable dance workshops, courtesy of ZooNation. 

    The pupils were endlessly inspired learning how dance can be used to tell stories.

  • K-pop dance workshop

    Pupils from across all year groups enjoyed an incredible K-pop dance workshop on Wednesday evening.

    We can’t wait to see the final routine at the upcoming JAGS Dance Show!

Society Spotlight

Knitting Club

JAGS is brimming with a diverse range of co-curricular groups and activities for our pupils to enjoy, many of which are created and led by the pupils involved. We wanted to celebrate these societies and clubs which so enrich the fabric of our school life.

This week, we have the Knitting Club.

Members enjoy attending this popular Thursday lunchtime club as it provides an opportunity to learn and develop a new skill in a relaxed environment.

Pupils say they enjoy the community aspect of the club, making friends across different year groups and chatting about their days.

The sessions, led by School Counsellor Susie Pinchin, also provides a therapeutic respite among the busy day-to-day rush of school and home life.

During the weekly meetings pupils work on their own individual projects, crafting scarves, hand warmers and clothes for younger siblings.



Think Maths

At the tail end of last term, pupils from across Years 7 and 8 gathered to take part in the Think Maths ‘Merry Mathsmas’ online event.

We enjoyed a fun-filled webinar where we learnt (among other things) all about the Fold and Cut Theorem.

Did you know that it is possible to cut out any shape (with straight sides) using just one snip of your scissors, as long as you fold the paper correctly first?

In keeping with the Christmas theme, we managed to create elf hats, presents and even stars using the techniques we had been taught!

Jessica Millar, Teacher of Mathematics





Sustainability drive

To ensure the library is in line with the school’s sustainability values, we are offering our older and duplicate stock  for free to staff and students to take home.

This saves the books from recycling or landfill, plus the carbon emissions in transporting them. Pop into the library and you might find a free hidden gem!

Grace Rawlinson, Librarian 

  • Gothic Literature

    In the library, our Gothic Literature display coincided with the Year 8 Gothic Tales English lessons. Some of the older classic texts have been transformed into graphic novels, breathing new life into the genre and engaging readers with both prose and illustrations.


The pupils have started the Spring Term with great enthusiasm and energy, despite the less than ideal weather conditions. The sudden chill has meant many clubs and fixtures have been changed and adapted at very short notice, as always though, our pupils took this in their stride and gave their all to everything.

Hockey and football have been most affected by the inclement weather, but we have managed to play a couple of hockey fixtures, with a fantastic U15 performance against The Harrodian School the highlight; comfortably winning 4-0 and dominating the game. All postponed football matches have been rearranged and hopefully we can progress in the cup competitions coming up.

Follow the links below to learn more about pupils’ sporting successes:

Michael Golding, Director of Sport




  • Biathlon

    Just before the Christmas holidays, we received fantastic news that 23 of our pupils had secured enough points during qualifying to earn a place in the British Schools Biathlon National Finals. The finals are due to be held in Redditch on Sunday 12 March and the pupils are already training hard to be in the best physical shape possible.

  • Netball

    Our U19 and U13 netball teams have progressed in their respective plate and cup competitions with brilliant victories over Surbiton High (U19) and Kingsdale Foundation School (U13). To still be in Cup and Plate competitions in mid-January is very impressive and we are hopeful that these age groups in particular can keep up their good form and momentum over the rest of the term.

  • Upcoming trips

    There are a number of Sport trips coming up this term; Miss Smith is organising a trip to the Copper Box Arena to watch London Pulse netball team play a Superleague fixture on Monday 13 March. A Teams message and JAGSPost have gone out regarding this trip.

    Mrs Tappenden is in the process of organising two football trips; one to Selhurst Park (home of Crystal Palace FC) to watch the Continental Cup final on Sunday 5 March. Please look out for more information over the coming weeks about this.

    The final trip currently being organised is our annual trip to the Women’s FA Cup final, taking place at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 14. May. Again, a JAGSPost and full information regarding this trip will be coming out shortly.

  • External success

    As always, please continue to send any success stories from outside of school sport. The PE Department love hearing what our pupils are getting up to.

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