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4th July 2024: Issue 59

Welcome from the Head

Welcome to this week’s newsletter, as we reach the end of term and the end of the academic year. Time certainly has flown by since we welcomed everyone to the start of the academic year in September’s heatwave!

The end of term brings with it a vibrant range of events for our community – our Founder’s Assembly, the Commemoration Service in Chapel shared with our fellow Foundation Schools, Celebrations of the Year, Founder’s Day and the Founder’s Concert. I am sure James Allen would approve, 283 years after his vision to found a school for girls to learn ‘to read and sew …’ I hope you enjoy reviewing the myriad activities in this newsletter that have catapulted us through to the end of term, while my separate end of term letter details our staff leavers at the end of this academic year. We thank all our leavers for their commitment to our community and wish them every happiness in their adventures beyond JAGS.

It only remains for me to thank everyone for their energy and enthusiasm in another extraordinary year for JAGS, and to wish you all a wonderful summer break.

With my best wishes

Mrs Alex Hutchinson

Dates for your Diary

  • Monday 2 September – Year 7 & Year 12 return
  • Tuesday 3 September – Term begins for all students

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





Key Stage 3 Update

“That’s All Folks”

It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Founder’s Day Celebration of the year. Thank you for coming along to hear all about our adventures in KS3 this year. It has been a very busy year with so many successes to celebrate.

Year 7 have made a wonderful start to their career here at JAGS. They have been such a pleasure to work with and we have had a lot of fun. Another highlight of my year that I neglected to mention on Founder’s Day has been seeing how much they have enjoyed studying ‘Animal Farm’. We have done everything from close text work, to complex design-you-own-pig projects and we have finished off creating and performing our own farmyard extravaganzas. It is clear that this is a year group that can turn their hand to anything when given the right instructions!

Year 8 have been superb role models for the younger students and I have had so much wonderful feedback about them from open days and tours. They are excellent ambassadors for our school and I want to thank them for everything they have done this year.

It is time for me to say farewell to Year 9 and to hand them over to their new Head of Year – Mrs Thomson. I will watch with keen interest as they move up through the school as they are a seriously talented group of students and I will miss working with them on a daily basis. I wish you all every success in KS4.

All that remains is to wish the whole of KS3 a very restful and relaxing holiday. Read plenty and sleep well. I look forward to welcoming you back in school in September.

Myfanwy Bournon, Head of KS3



Key Stage 4

We have packed so much into these last few weeks of the academic year and have enjoyed the better weather. Year 11 finished their exams and we couldn’t be prouder. Last week, they came in for the 18+ Choices Day, and started focusing on their future beyond JAGS with a variety of workshops. In the afternoon, some of our recent alumnae came back to form a panel, so that Year 11 could quiz them on life at university. Our thanks must go to Mrs Allan and Ms Brooks for arranging such a valuable and informative day.

Year 10 have been equally busy. Specific highlights included the DC Collaboration Day, split across the two sites. A range of engaging and fun activities were on offer for all students, and many new friendships have been formed. Year 10 also experienced a Sixth Form Taster day, spending the day attending A Level style lessons, and finding out more about the experience of life at this stage in their education. The day ended with the ever popular scavenger hunt, and all Year 10s thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

As the academic year closes, I wish everyone the most restful and enjoyable of summers!

Anna Jones, Head of KS4


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Sixth Form Update

Goodbye Class of 2024

When reflecting on the year in the Sixth Form Community, it feels like the #ASixthFormjourneytogether has taken place on a bullet train, so fast has it flown by! The last few weeks have been no exception. Year 13s finished their A Level exams and showed maturity, punctuality and fantastic organisation throughout. This, allied to the intellect and conscientious attitudes we know they possess, bodes well for results day on 15 August. We are looking forward to see them at the A Level results day brunch at 10.30am.

Before they left JAGS the learning institution (but not JAGS the community), for the final time last Tuesday, they enjoyed their “Life beyond JAGS” day, packed full of helpful information for results day, UCAS, migro-aggression management and life skills tips from teachers and recent graduates, (thanks to all who took part). They then embraced their Leavers’ Day, comprising a Leavers’ Service, Leavers’ Photo, “Leavers’ Goodies” distribution, Leavers’ Ceremony, including prize giving, canapes with teachers and parents, all fittingly rounded off with a Leavers’ marquee event in the glorious June sunshine. The hours spent planning the different elements of the day were well worth it when seeing the unbridled joy and happiness of the wonderful Class of 2024. They are well-positioned now to fly off into the next stage of their journey; contented, fun-loving, kind, community-spirited and talented individuals with an unparalleled zest for life. 

Matthew Weeks, Head of Sixth Form

  • Year 12 – Class of 2025

    Year 12 have this all to come and we look forward to continue supporting them on their journey next year. They have ended the year on a high. Alongside continued academic commitment and success in lessons and super-curricular (for example with the ongoing JAGS talks), they have taken an organised, conscientious and reflective approach towards their UCAS Next Steps day and their personal statement writing workshop, delivered by the Life Skills Company. They have also attended numerous university open days and been fully involved in the life of the school through their super work at Founders’ Day and in their roles as student leaders. They certainly deserve a well-earned break over the long Summer holiday in order to return fully refreshed and raring to go at the start of the final year of the Class of 2025’s #Sixthformjourneytogether. We can’t wait to join the ride! 

    Wishing everyone a happy, fun and refreshing Summer holiday! 


The Little Mermaid

We were transported under the sea with the Junior production of The Little Mermaid.  Well done to all the cast on a marvellous performance, to the tech crew for the wonderful lighting, sound and set design. Thank you also to the Art Department for collaborating on the set design providing some fantastic sea creatures.


Founder’s Concert

The end of the school year was marked by the Founder’s Concert which featured performances from The Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, String Orchestra, Bel Canto, Chorale, Holst Choir and Madrigalists. Amongst the many highlights were Safiya’s performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto and the now traditional rendition of Vaughan Williams’ God Be With You accompanied by the giving of roses to the leavers.


Barcelona Trip

We had an amazing time in Barcelona learning about the culture and indulging in many a paella. In Port Adventura we spent about three quarters of the day in a queue, but the rides we did go on were so fun. We visited the Sagrada Familia and raced around the Gothic Quarter on one of the many scavenger hunts. Forced to step out of our comfort zone, we excelled in the art of salsa dancing with the help of a very charismatic instructor. The views from the rooftop balcony were spectacular, not to mention the views from the museum on the hill. But we are sure most will say the highlight of the trip were the muffins in the hostel.  Charlotte & Amy, Year 8

Gordon Ramsay Cooking Academy

On Monday 21st June, we visited the Gordon Ramsay Cooking Academy in Woking. We arrived by train, and took a quick group photo before we were taken into the dining area. There we were introduced to the chefs who would be helping us learn to cook, and led into the kitchens in two groups. After washing our hands (a very important procedure before cooking) we were first shown how to cut an onion. We each had our own knife, cutting board and onion and the two chefs explained the best grip to avoid hurting your fingers while handling knives. I also learnt that a sharp knife is the best way to avoid onions making your eyes water and contact lenses prevent the onion vapour getting in your eye.  Sadie, Year 9

  • Continued

    As we were making tortilla, a Spanish omelette, we next cut up potatoes thinly and fried them in a pan. One of the chefs was very helpful to our group at this point, as we were unsure when the potatoes were done, and we didn’t want the potatoes too brown because they would further cook in the oven. After adding eggs and plenty of salt and thyme our tortilla began frying the pan, and then we put it in the oven to cook. Meanwhile, we started on our second dish – fried chicken with Romesco sauce. One of the chefs explained how Romesco sauce was originally a sauce Spanish fishermen used to put on their fish but now can be used as a dipping sauce for anything. We blended red pepper, apple cider vinegar and paprika and olive oil to form a delicious red sauce. After this we fried our chicken (only I made cauliflower because I’m a vegetarian). The chef taught us that one way to check if the chicken was ready and safe to eat was if the internal temperature was 75 degrees Celsius or higher, so we used meat thermometers to test them. Finally we assembled our food, tortilla, chicken and sauce and took it to the dining room to enjoy together. Sure enough, it was very tasty! The chefs were so kind and helpful and I was so pleased to make such nice food. It was really interesting to make Spanish food, and to learn a little more about Spanish culture. Before we left we were given a little recipe book so that at home we could recreate the food we made. I especially liked this as I don’t cook that often at home, and would love to be able to cook dinner for my family sometimes!

Foundation Schools MFL Events

I had the opportunity to attend two events at Dulwich College and Alleyn’s about Modern Foreign Languages. At Alleyn’s, there were talks with a variety of guest speakers ranging from music and film studies to linguistics; it was an amazing experience to meet many students, who have the same passion for learning a language and to hear from the guest speakers about their experiences at university and where studying a language can take them. Meanwhile, the event at DC was an introduction to studying a language at Oxbridge. There was a taster lecture, which was interesting to engage in university-like discussions with other students, and the event was topped off by a Q&A, where lots of fascinating questions were answered. I really enjoyed these events! Isobel, Year 12

Russian: The General Inspector

Year 10 students studying Russian took a trip to Marylebone Theatre to see a production of The General Inspector.  This is a key text that students study in Year 13 in A level Russian. Everyone enjoyed the play finding it funny but educational. A brilliant interpretation with a modern twist.

Ksenia Wesson, Head of Russian.


Year 12 End of Year Art Show

Year 12’s end of year show was a wonderful opportunity to experience the flavour of their A level coursework to date.  Using a host of different media including stop motion animation, the exhibition provided a tantalising taste of what we can look forward to next year.


Year 13 Final A level Art Show

Well done to our Year 13 Art students on their last JAGS art show exhibiting the final pieces for their A level.  It was wonderful to have a the chance to see their impressive work and we wish them lots of luck with their results.



South London Schools LGBTQ+ Alliance

Spending a sunny Saturday morning with the JAGS group at Pride was the highlight of my post A Level summer so far! After meeting in a group with other south London schools, we walked from Victoria, past Buckingham Palace and on to the main parade. We followed the music playing from the LGBT+ Fire Brigade Union’s float which was an eclectic mix of classics popular within the gay community like Eurythmics and Lady Gaga. Celebrating gay pride and culture with Mr Roussel, Mme Arora and Mr Gould was such a memorable and fun experience and given that it was my first time at Pride, I was surprised to feel such a strong sense of connection, comfort and joy at the parade. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend with JAGS and I would love to accompany the school group next year if possible!  Fareedat Y13

Religious Studies

Spirited Arts Competition 2024

Year 9 have been busy creating entries for NATRE’s (National Association of Teachers of Religious Education) Spirited Arts competition. The themes for this year include Faith in Humanity “No to racism, yes to respect, Looking Beyond, How Do We Envisage God?, Wise Words? Holy Words?, Green faith, green future? (‘God’s good earth’) and Why do Animals Matter? Students decided which theme they were interested in entering. Each entry required a piece of art and 400 word write-up.  We were impressed with all the students’ work and look forward to finding out how they get along in the competition.


Classical Civilisation

Heracles’ 12 Labours

Well done to Kayleigh in Year 10 on her poem and replica metope (sculpture) on Heracles’ 12 Labours.  Her sculpture shows the temple of Zeus in Olympia, depicting this labour.

Heracles sinned
by killing his kin
during a fit of madness
from Hera, a goddess.

He faced backlash
and agreed in a flash
to face certain death
to redeem himself.

Ten labours had he
to complete to be free,
to live happily
and make a new family

But the first of his tasks
was quite hard to grasp,
as he was required
to stifle a lion.

  • Continued

    But it was quite big
    and he was a twig
    when stood by its side,
    and not as his bride…..

    To Nemea he went,
    for the lion did torment
    the people of that town
    until they had permanent frowns.

    The lion he found
    and had to take down
    with a bow and arrow.
    its weakness he did not know.

    The arrow bounced off
    but the lion did not cough,
    for its fur was so tough
    arrows were not enough.

    He did carry on
    because he knew he was strong,
    and thus wrestled it,
    as if it were a kit.

    It fell to the ground,
    did not make a sound
    and the deed was done,
    the citizens could now have fun!

    He was not satisfied,
    thought he would be gratified
    with the fur of the lion,
    even though he was tired.

    He used all his tools,
    looked like quite a fool.
    though the lion he did slay,
    he couldn’t procure the fur of his prey.

    ‘Til Athena stepped in,
    gave him a big hint,
    and he used the claw
    torn right off the paw.

    The claws worked a dream!
    the fur came off clean,
    and so he was clad
    in a coat that was rad.

    Perserverance he showed
    by throwing his bow
    when when wounds did not show
    on fur with a golden glow.

    But he did not give in
    when he could not pierce skin,
    for he had his hands,
    the strongest of man.

    His bravery is clear,
    fighting the lion in Nemea.
    though there was great danger
    of that he was no stranger.


There have been several notable successes over the course of the academic year 2023/2024. Year 13 pupil Amelie was crowned the Public Schools Fencing National Champion after a stellar performance at Lee Valley, whilst Eleanor in Year 7 came second in the U13 Women’s Epee in the England Youth Championships. The Under 13 football team have performed remarkably well, winning both the London Cup and are also the Sisters n Sport 11a side Plate National Champions. The Under 13 football team also qualified for the ISFA 7a side National Finals and finished in a very creditable fourth place in their group, narrowly missing out on a place in the semi-finals. Our Under 18 tennis team were crowned Surrey Champions for the second year in a row. The Sixth Form Biathlon team also retained their national title and are back-to-back National Schools Biathlon Champions. The JAGS cheerleading team improved on their performance from last year, finishing in 3rd place at this years National Cheerleading Schools Finals. The Under 16 Rugby team won both the London Schools League and also the South East Touch Championships. The Year 9 and 10 athletics team have qualified for the English Schools National Finals, due to be held in July. The Year 9 and 10 Cross Country team also finished as Runners Up at the Cross Country National Finals, held back in December.

Our strategic aim remains to develop sport and activity for all pupils at all levels of participation. This year has seen us play more fixtures (362), in more sports than ever before as we continue to strive for both excellence and high performance, along with mass participation and engagement across all age groups in as many sports as possible. Over 100 Year 7 pupils have played in a competitive school fixture against another school and over 90% of Year 7 pupils have attended at least one PE co-curricular club on a regular basis. Retention rates in individual sports have also remained high, which is a clear barometer for us to check the success of the programme. Pupils representing the school in competitive fixtures in both Year 8 and 9 remain at well over 70% in both year groups.

Michael Golding, Director of Sport

  • End of Year Awards

    • The Gibson Quad Cup Winner:  Izzy W Year 8
    • The Raggett Cup: Amy N Year 8
    • The Head Cup (Athletics): Emilia Year 9
    • The Thomson Award for Sporting Excellence: Olivia Year 8
    • JAGS Team of the Year: U13 Football Team
    • The Junior Sports Girl of the Year:  Emilia Year 9
    • The Senior Sports Girl of the Year: Annabelle D Year 10
    • Junior Athlete of the Year: Pyale Year 9
    • Senior Athlete of the Year: Annabelle D Year 10
    • Junior Cricketer of the Year: September Year 9
    • Senior Cricketer of the Year: Eloise Year 10
    • Junior Tennis player of the Year: Olivia Year 8 
    • Senior Tennis player of the Year: Rania Year 10


JAGS took part in the London Schools Bouldering Competition at the Stronghold Climbing Centre in Tottenham. There were 20 boulder problems ranging in difficulty from V0 – V8+ (quite easy to very difficult indeed). It was a great competition with a really friendly atmosphere. Beginners and more advanced climbers competed together and everybody was cheering their fellow competitors along.

It was the first time JAGS attended this competition and we took students from years 8 to 12. There were two age categories: 13-15 and 16-18 and JAGS got all the podium spots in the younger category and we got gold and silver in the older category. An amazing achievement and testament to Mona, our in-house climbing instructor’s ability to help the students achieve their climbing goals.

Ben Dawlatly

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