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5th May 2023: Issue 43

Welcome from the Head

Dear Parents

Welcome to this week’s newsletter, the Summer Term, and to a sea of Bank Holidays as we welcome in May and celebrate the King’s Coronation. Congratulations to Year 12, who have already successfully navigated their assessments this term, and the best of luck to our Year 11 and Year 13 students in their preparation phase for GCSE and A Level exams. We are all here to support you every step of the way.

It was a pleasure to spend time with our fantastic Parents’ Association last week, who are hard at work in preparation for Founder’s Day. Please do keep Saturday 1 July in your diaries and we will share more details with you as they develop. We welcomed our Year 13 students into the JAGS Alumnae Association last week, as they begin to think about their adventures beyond school. It was also a privilege to have lunch this week with a distinguished group of alumnae and friends of JAGS for our annual Legators’ Lunch – these two events trace a fantastic journey, from those who are just beginning to take what they have learnt at JAGS into life beyond school to those who know only too well the extraordinary platform a JAGS education can bring.

Thursday saw an adventurous group of staff taking on the Sixth Form netballers. Whilst the staff team scored lots of goals, the Sixth Formers scored slightly more … but fortunately it was all for a good cause! And hopefully, as you read this, the school will have been in very safe hands as Myfanwy and Naavya have taken the reins as Heads for the Day. Thank you to them both for making the job look so effortless!

And finally, we were delighted to announce our new Head Girl team in assembly on Thursday, along with our incoming House Captains and School Prefects. Our outgoing team of student leaders, led so brilliantly by Gaby, Emily and Jenna, have shown great integrity, panache and energy and leave a wonderful legacy for our community. Our new Head Girl team of Beulah, Elise, Gaby and Tilly share an exciting vision for their year of leadership, and we wish then every success and happiness in their new roles.

With best wishes for the Bank Holiday weekend

Mrs Alex Hutchinson

Dates for your Diary

  • Monday 8 May – Bank Holiday
  • Tuesday 9 May – Year 7 Online Parents’ Forum
  • Monday 15-21 May – Mental Health Awareness Week






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

KS3 students have returned to JAGS in gloriously high spirits ready to face the challenges of the Summer Term. The weather is improving every day and it has been wonderful to see so many students getting involved in competitive summer sports so early on in the term.

Exam season for KS3 is blissfully short. This will run from Wednesday 24th to Friday 26th May and it will all be over in time for them to take a well-earned break over Half Term. The assessments in core subjects and Latin for Year 7, with the addition of MFL for Years 8 and 9, provide students the chance to concentrate their efforts on a few subjects. This is more about them taking time to consolidate their work and reflect on all they have learned over the year. Revision lists will be going up on their Teams accounts and this will help them to organise their revision timetables.

Myfanwy Bournon, Head of KS3

  • Continued

    Auditions for the Junior production have taken place and it is wonderful to see how many girls have chosen to be involved in Frozen. The KS3 team are really excited about seeing this later on in the term.

    We wish you all a restful Bank Holiday weekend and look forward to welcoming all students back to school on Tuesday.

Key Stage 4 Update

It has been a busy start to the Summer Term and the focus has very much been on Year 11 getting the most from their final days in school before study leave begins. We have all been enjoying some lovely spring weather in our wonderful school grounds, and the Bank Holidays have added an extra break into our routines. Our language students have now taken their oral examinations, and the Year 11 Art cohort have completed their Art GCSE examination.

A huge well done to all involved.

Meanwhile, Year 10 Computer Science students enjoyed a valuable trip to the Science Museum, and the whole Year 10 cohort attended an informative PSHCE talk, led by Dick Moore, on how to maintain good mental health. I hope that everyone makes time for some rest and relaxation over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Anna Jones, Head of Key Stage 4

Sixth Form Update

It has been a very exciting week for our Sixth Form community during which we announced a new team of Student Leaders (see below for the full list of Head Girl team, House Captains and School Prefects) and took the opportunity to thank the outgoing team via tea and lots of cake!

We are thrilled to be working with the new recruits, starting with Student Leadership training on Wednesday afternoon. It is always sad to say goodbye to the Year 13 team – especially when they have been so absolutely marvellous!

Mat Weeks, Head of Sixth Form

  • Continued

    The Sixth Form environment has been relatively quiet since the start of term as Year 12s have been on study leave whilst they sit their Year 12 assessments in order to gain some great practice and benefit from the opportunities to diagnose their strengths and areas for improvement.

    We have all been so impressed by the diligent, organised and focused (and very punctual!) way in which they have tackled the papers. It certainly bodes well for their future.

    Meanwhile Year 13s have returned to school with a vigorous and tenacious approach to their studies. There is a great deal of positivity and kindness in evidence on their #sixthformjourneytogether and we know that they are being sensible, pragmatic and conscientious in their approach, ensuring that they are working productively, rather than over-zealously, to achieve success.

Head Girls team

Congratulations and welcome to our new Head Girls team:

  • Head Girl: 

Beulah (Desenfans)

  • Deputy Head Girls:

Elise (Clarke), Gaby (Clarke), Tilly (Desenfans)

And of course, a huge thank you to our outgoing team of Gaby, Jenna and Emily for your incredible contribution to life at JAGS!

  • House Captains

    • Bettany:




    • Clarke




    • Desenfans




    • Holst




  • School Prefects

    • School Prefects: 

    Allegra (Desenfans)

    Amelie (Clarke)

    Beulah (Clarke)

    Charlotte (Holst)

    Jimena (Bettany)

    Manu (Desenfans)

    Maryam (Clarke)

    Maya (Bettany)

    Millie (Desenfans)

    Phoebe (Clarke)

    Sarah (Clarke)

    Sofia P (Clarke)

    Sofía (Clarke)

    Sophia (Holst)

    Trisha (Holst)

Edward Alleyn Award

On Wednesday evening, Polly (Year 13) received the inaugural Edward Alleyn Award recognising her outstanding contribution to life at JAGS.

Dulwich Estate launched the initiative this year for students that have demonstrated the Alleynian virtues of creativity, enterprise and philanthropy.

Congratulations Polly!

Each Foundation school was tasked with choosing a recipient of the award, follow the link below to learn more about why Polly was chosen this year: 


  • ‘Inspirational student’

    Polly has been an inspirational student this year at JAGS. She has contributed enormously to the life of the school as a School Prefect associated with Sixth Form cohort, ensuring that wellbeing, fun and community continue to be at the heart of the student journey, for example by introducing and helping to organise a Year 12 Sports Day at the end of the Summer Term.

    In addition to representing the school at a student leadership conference on building an inclusive community and civil discourse alongside others from JAGS, she has also represented the school at a variety of sports and plays rugby outside school. Her enthusiasm for charity fundraising, sport and fun was demonstrated by her organisation of the annual JAGS / DC netball match.

    However, the initiatives that really showcase her qualities and attributes relate to the energy, integrity and enterprise she has demonstrated in her role within the Dulwich College CCF. She is the first ever JAGS student to be elected as Regimental Sergeant Major. Through her role within the CCF, along with a peer, she was instrumental in persuading the JAGS community that there should be a significant Act of Remembrance on Remembrance Day.

    The result was a very special service on the JAGS playing fields in which the whole senior school gathered to pay their respects in a ceremony led, fittingly, by Polly. Her drive and determination, combined with the utmost integrity and humility make her a most deserving recipient of this award and we wish her every success in the future as she leaves school to pursue a gap year.

HMC Visit

As the Spring Term drew to a close, JAGS had the pleasure of welcoming Dr Simon Hyde, General Secretary of The Heads’ Conference (HMC).

HMC is an association of Headteachers drawn from some of the world’s best schools. Founded in 1869, it was the world’s first Heads’ association.

Dr Hyde spent an afternoon catching up with Head Alex Hutchinson before enjoying a tour of the school courtesy of our brilliant Head Girl team.



In 1953, an anthem by Ralph Vaughan Williams called O Taste and See was sung at the Coronation of Elizabeth II. Avid readers of this paragraph will not need reminding that Vaughan Williams was a music teacher here at JAGS at the beginning of the 20th century, so we are thrilled that Holst Choir will be singing this beautiful, prayerful piece on the eve of King Charles III’s coronation in Christ’s Chapel at a prayerful Evensong – a joint occasion with Dulwich College Chapel Choir.

2023 is the year that falls between Vaughan Williams’s 150th anniversary last year and that of our other famous forebear Gustav Holst, 2024 being the 150th anniversary of the latter’s birth. It is easy to forget that Holst Choir is named after one of our two world-renowned composer-teachers so, later in term, Holst Choir will be whetting everyone’s appetite for #Holst150 at the Founder’s Concert with five songs actually dedicated by Holst “to the Choir of The J.A.G.S.” in 1905 – settings of extracts from Tennyson’s epic 19th century poem The Princess.

Peter Gritton, Director of Music


  • Continued

    Tradition can become a tired and dusty word in the present age in which change seems to happen at a furious rate. Here at JAGS we never take for granted the inspiration that we still feel from our association with Holst and Vaughan Williams.


Year 12 Snowdonia Trip

At the end of the Spring Term, Year 12 geography students set off on a residential trip to Snowdonia, Wales.

Whilst we had a very wet and windy start to the trip where many waterproofs failed to protect us, we ended the trip with blue skies and sunshine.

Year 12 geographers worked hard to collect primary data for their non-examined assessment – either exploring the rural village of Llanberis or the relict glacial landforms of the Nant Ffrancon Valley.

Emma Bailey, Head of Geography


From over 7,000 entries, 10 JAGS students featured in the Royal College of Art exhibition which took place between April 25 and 28.   

Congratulations to Millie and Tilly, both currently in Year 12, for their award-winning works.  

Millie was awarded the Printmaking Prize for Year 10 & 11 entries, while Tilly won first place overall in the age category.  

To learn more about the inspiration behind the winning pieces, follow the link HERE 


Italian trip to the Bay of Naples

Year 8 and 9 students studying Italian enjoyed a fantastic trip to the Bay of Naples over the Easter break.

Over the course of four fun-packed days students flew to Naples, stayed in Sorrento, visited Amalfi and took the ferry to Salerno, enjoyed a Pizza-making (and eating) workshop, climbed Mount Vesuvius, visited Pompei and shopped in Sorrento!

Students benefitted from the linguistic exposure and felt a great sense of achievement when they were able to communicate and respond in Italian, although Year 8 students probably felt less confident as they have only just started learning the language.

  • Continued

    Students impressed as they took responsibility and navigated successfully around Amalfi and Sorrento when they had free time within the safe framework set by staff.

Russian dancing workshops

Year 8 and 9 pupils studying Russian kicked-off the Summer Term with an enjoyable session learning about the history, dress and meaning behind traditional Slavic folk dances. They also had the opportunity to try their hand at the dances themselves, learning key elements of the complex routines.

History of Art

Year 12 and 13 Art Historians visited the National Gallery’s outstanding exhibition on the Renaissance Sculptor, Donatello. Donatello: Sculpting the Renaissance is the first substantial exhibition of the Florentine master ever mounted in Britain. The exhibition focused on Florence as a revolutionary centre of Renaissance Art and Donatello a genius of linear perspective, particularly in his carved reliefs. This was a fantastic opportunity for the Year 13s to revise in front of the artworks!

Rachel Dow, Head of History of Art


Hockey and Netball – Barbados Tour

A beachside hotel, 30-degree heat and perfect sunshine. The Netball and Hockey Barbados tour was a hard sell but lucky for us our students were kind enough to volunteer their time to represent the school.

And, as ever, they made us incredibly proud.

Our Netball team racked up an impressive full house – recording eight wins from eight! The Hockey team likewise clocked a series of spectacular wins. Incredibly, Hockey played four matches with four different goalkeepers, one being former goalie for the Barbados national team, while others stepped up with no prior experience and saved the team from the jaws of defeat time and again.

Away from the sports action, students and staff made full use of the breathtaking Caribbean settings. Highlights included a speedy jeep tour of the island, a day spent lounging on a catamaran and snorkelling with turtles and four-foot tarpins.

Chess Club

During the Easter break our Chess Club participated in the National Schools Chess Championship. Their hard work and determination earned a terrific sixth place finish in the Girls’ Championships.

A great effort from all involved – well done!

Below Esme (Year 13) explains how the competition unfolded:

“On the weekend of 15th April, the JAGS Chess Team travelled to St Catherine’s School in Bramley to complete in the English Chess Federation U19 National Girls’ School Chess Championship Final. We had qualified for this exciting event by competing in the semi-finals in October 2022, and the team were very excited to take on even tougher competition.

“Over the weekend we each played a total of seven games against various schools from across the country. Between games we played and discussed our previous games and received excellent advice from Dr Larski. As a result of this, we all felt our chess improved a lot over the weekend.

“Overall, we finished 6th nationally, which we were thrilled with. It was a very enjoyable experience, and huge thanks to Dr Larski for taking us to this fantastic event!”

Royal Coronation

In the lead up to the Coronation of Charles III this weekend, our fantastic archivist has been admirably digging through the treasure trove of JAGS history to reveal what life was like at the school 70 years ago during the last Coronation.

Follow the LINK to learn more about how the school celebrated the 1953 Coronation of Elizabeth II and what pupils of the time made of the whole affair.


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