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3rd May 2024: Issue 58

Welcome from the Head

Dear Parents

Welcome to this week’s newsletter; the Summer Term has started with a bang … and there is a rumour that the sun may be seen shortly after what feels like months of rain! We were delighted to welcome Ms Laura Thomas to the Senior School teaching staff last week; Laura joins the PE team and is quickly settling into the excitement of life at JAGS.

It is the season of exams in school; congratulations to Year 10 and Year 12 for seeing their way through their assessments so calmly. We say a temporary farewell to Year 11 today as they head off on study leave, with Year 13 hot on their heels next Friday. We send all our best wishes to our GCSE and A Level students as they complete their final exam preparation.

The netball season has ended with two spectacular matches for the Senior team, who saw off the team from Dulwich College with aplomb. I like to think that the match against the staff team was a much closer affair, although I fear the scoreline may not reflect that … we’ll be back next year with some intensive training under our belt!

It was super to welcome our fantastic group of Legators who joined us for tea at the Dulwich Picture Gallery on Wednesday; it is always such a special occasion to hear their very special memories of JAGS. We are looking forward to our Alumnae Lunch on Saturday 18 May, when we will be joined by alumnae from across the generations; we very much look forward to extending our warmest welcome to all our guests.

Congratulations to our Year 9 cast of Alice Diamond and The Forty Elephants who performed to packed houses on Tuesday and Wednesday; the atmospheric setting and wonderful ensemble made for a brilliant evening, full of suspense. I am also very much looking forward to tonight’s Chapel Evensong combined with Dulwich College; it will be a lovely moment of reflection after a busy fortnight in the life of JAGS.

Wishing you a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend,

Mrs Alex Hutchinson

Dates for your Diary

  • Monday 6 May – Bank Holiday
  • Thursday 9 May – Russian Cooking Trip for Years 8 – 13
  • Friday 10 May – Year 13 Study Leave begins
  • Sunday 12 May – Trip to Wembley Stadium for Women’s FA Cup Final
  • Monday 13 May – Year 8 Geography Trip to Olympic Village, Stratford

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

The Summer Term has begun with purpose. After a productive Easter holiday, during which students were encouraged to both complete effective periods of work, whilst also ensure that they rested and had some fun, Year 12s have returned to their assessments and Year 13s to revision lessons.

Year 12 students have impressed everyone with their poise, punctuality and preparedness for these assessments, which act as excellent yardsticks against which to diagnose their academic strengths and areas for improvement.

At this time the whole Sixth Form community is, rightly, focused on academic progress. And yet students’ willingness to commit to co-curricular activities, enrichment and fun remains!

Whether that be through the Students vs Staff netball match (well done to the students), the though-provoking Stephen Lawrence Day assembly (thank you Beulah and Tilly), various music rehearsals or even those who found time to sign up for trapeze lessons. The community spirit within our Sixth Form continues to flourish!

Mat Weeks, Head of Sixth Form

  • Outgoing Student Leaders

    We also celebrated a successful year with our outgoing team of Year 13 student leaders on Tuesday. Mrs Hutchinson and I were delighted to be able to say well done and thank you for the varied and important contributions made by the Head Girl, House Captains and School Prefect team (Subject Prefects are warmly thanked by Heads of Department).

    Head of Year 13 Miss Barnes briefly returned from maternity leave with Baby Barnes in tow – making the event even more memorable.

    Wishing everyone a happy, restful and productive long weekend!


Alice Diamond and The Forty Elephants

Audiences were this week transported back to the 1920s and into the world of Alice Diamond and the Forty Elephants – the all-female gang who ruled Elephant and Castle.

Our Year 9 students were excellent as they told the story of how these women, who began life in poverty, were transported into a world of glitz, glamour and crime in the wake of the First World War.
A huge thank you to the hard work of our Drama Department for another stellar production.


Public Speaking Competition

Congratulations to Eunice and Emily (Y10) who recently competed in The Worshipful Company of Educators’ Public Speaking Competition against students from schools such as Alleyn’s, Merchant Taylors’ School and City of London School for Girls

The students were both amazing ambassadors for the school, speaking with confidence, verve and vivacity and fielding a range of tricky questions from the audience.

Emily was Highly Commended for her persuasive speech on why everyone should have a houseplant and Eunice was named overall winner, speaking convincingly about the psychological resilience of track and field athletes.


Young Art 2024

Work from 15 JAGS artists were displayed at the Royal College of Art last week as part of this year’s Young Art exhibition.

Our students were handpicked by judges from over 7,600 entries to appear in the ‘Our Living World’ exhibition which supports vital research into childhood cancer and clinical trials at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

A number of JAGS students attended the exhibition to see their work, described by judges as “exemplary”, on display.

Read more HERE


Dulwich Olympiad 2024

We were delighted to be invited to join Dulwich College last term to celebrate the third Dulwich Olympiad in Singapore. The week-long celebration of art, drama, music and sport fostered cross-cultural friendships and connections, and brought together 134 DC and JAGS students with 757 students from the 12 Dulwich College International schools.

Our artists sought inspiration from local architecture, artist studios and the National Gallery to produce works ranging from jewellery and embroidered hoodies to canvas painting and copper pipe twisted lamps. Drama students spent the week preparing for an astonishing collaborative performance of The Odyssey, incorporating scenes and styles from a range of cultural influences. Our musicians played in small chamber groups and a joint DC-JAGS symphony orchestra, as well as the magnificent massed choirs and orchestras who performed Holst and Vaughan Williams in the Gala Concert. Over 600 athletes competed across swimming, badminton, basketball and football, as well as spending a day at the Singapore National Stadium.

Throughout the week our students represented the school with enthusiasm and skill, as well as being excellent company. We had an incredible week and are hoping to be invited back in four years’ time.

Rhona Muir, Senior Deputy Head

Learn more about the trip from Izzy (Y8) below and read our News Story to find out how our athletes found the experience. 

  • ‘One of the most amazing experiences of my life’

    “The 2024 Dulwich Olympiad trip to Singapore was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I made so many wonderful memories from coming third in basketball through to buying ice lollies with the Dulwich Beijing students.

    “I have made lifelong, new friendships with JAGS girls, Singapore students and many other participants from around the world. On the first day we visited Universal Studios Singapore and, with a big party of JAGS girls and DC boys, had the best time flying about on roller coasters and getting drenched on the water rides.

    “When we arrived at Dulwich College Singapore, we were greeted by the bright smiles of the Junior School who lined the track as we completed our ‘Olympic march’ through to the opening ceremony. Here, our ears were enriched by the inspiring words of the Headmaster and our eyes entertained by the dragons and dance culture of Singapore.

    “During the days I enjoyed the balance of competitiveness and fun that was embedded in the sports. In the evenings I loved going out for dinner at places like the Hawker Markets and Gardens by the Bay. The food was delicious everywhere.

    “On the last day of the Olympiad there was a barbeque and DJ, everyone had a great time dancing and running around outside which counteracted the thoughts that we would be leaving. I could tell that after such an incredible week, nobody wanted to go home!” Izzy (Y8)


On Tuesday 16 April, we were delighted to welcome Anna Ashford to the JAGS Archives.

Anna’s mother and aunt, Barbara and Norah Shalders, attended JAGS in the 1920s and 1930s and we were able to locate various items from the Archive which featured them both, including whole school photographs, registers and various issues our school magazine.

Norah and Barbara were admitted to JAGS in September 1925. The fees at that time were £5 per term and Norah, the elder of the two sisters, remained on the roll for four years. Barbara attended for just over seven years.

Given their period of attendance at JAGS, they would have been taught by Dr Lilian Clarke. Anna was able to tell us that both Norah and Barbara were active gardeners throughout their lives and our being able to tell her about Dr Clarke’s practical teaching in the Botany Gardens helped her understand how they had acquired their skills!

Helen Stein, Head of Library and Archives

  • Continued . . .

    Another thing we were able to tell Anna about Norah and Barbara were the sports they participated in here at JAGS – rounders and netball, among others – and that they were both in Linley House. All this information came from the magazines, which are a very rich source of detail about life at JAGS.

    Finally, Anna was able to spot both Norah and Barbara in the 1927 whole school photograph and Barbara in 1932 version. This was particularly lovely as we have so few names to put to all these faces from the past.

    We were thrilled to receive from Anna her mother’s tunic, complete with sporting and prefect badges. As we begin our Summer Term here at JAGS, this tunic, and Anna’s visit to our Archive, has provided a nice story from our School’s long history for our Year 7 students in their History of JAGS Curriculum Plus lessons.


Fundraising Netball matches

Since returning for the Summer Term, our Senior Netball Team has been busy competing against unconventional opposition all in the name of charity.

The team racked up back to back victories with wins over Dulwich College boys last week (to support Ukraine Action) and JAGS staff members this week (to support London’s Air Ambulance Charity).


JAGS Alumnae

One and Five Year Class Reunions

We are delighted to announce that our One and Five Year Class Reunions will be taking place on Friday 30 August 2024 and Friday 27 September 2024 respectively. We look forward to welcoming back the Class of 2023 for their One Year Class Reunion and the Class of 2019 for their Five Year Class Reunion. Both events will be wonderful opportunities for the alumnae to catch up with friends and staff over drinks and nibbles.

For more information visit our Events page.


Year 13 Presentation & Donut Day

We had the wonderful opportunity last week to introduce the Year 13 students to the JAGS Alumnae Association (JAA) and all its benefits including class year reunions, professional and industry networking events, the annual To Read & So Magazine, the newly relaunched JAA website and so much more! We are aiming for a record sign up to the JAA from the Class of 2024, so we can stay in contact with them and be kept up to date on their news in years to come.

As an extra treat for the Year 13 students, we’re doing Donut Day along with a special prize draw again this year to celebrate their sign up to the JAA!

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