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6th May: Issue 28

Welcome from the Head

Dear Parents

Welcome to this week’s newsletter as we reflect on the first fortnight of the summer term.

It was a pleasure to announce our new Head Girl team at the start of term, and we wish Gaby, Emily and Jenna every success and happiness in their new roles, along with our super team of House Captains, School Prefects and Subject Prefects. I am very much looking forward to working with the team as they set out their vision for the coming year. We bid a fond farewell and a huge thank-you to the outgoing team of student leaders; the Head Girl team of Sophia, Jhenica and Ore brightened my week with their energy, their thoughtfulness and their positivity, showing such generosity of spirit and their leadership leaves a legacy for the whole JAGS community.

We welcomed back our Year 10 and Year 12 artists from their trip to St Ives, alongside welcoming the SSLP debaters to join us here in school, enjoying the fantastic spirit shown in the Senior House Music and the beautiful music from the Junior Strings Concert. We also welcome Year 9 students from Dulwich College this evening for our joint quiz night. I am sure there will be fierce competition from all teams! The buzz surrounding all these activities is fantastic to share.

On Wednesday we celebrated Stephen Lawrence Day, with a very thought-provoking assembly from our Year 11 students.  It was super to see the enthusiasm of the school community walking a mile for Stephen around the school grounds at lunchtime.

The GCSE and A Level season is upon us, and we wish all our students a calm and purposeful journey through their public exams. We are here to support, and we look forward to welcoming Year 11 and Year 13 parents to our webinar on Monday 9 May at 18:00. We hope this will enable you to better understand the exam season and the support you too can offer.

Plans are well underway for Founder’s Day on Saturday 2 July and details of the day are further down in this newsletter. We look forward to welcoming our JAGS families to celebrate the school year.

With best wishes

Mrs Alex Hutchinson

Dates for your Diary

  • Wednesday 25 May 7pm –  JAGS Parent Talk: Emma Gledhill
  • Monday 30 May – Monday 6 June  – Half term (students taking exams return to school Monday 6 June)
  • Friday 10 June 7pm – Year 8 JAGS & Dulwich College Social Event
  • Saturday 2 July – 9.30am- 2pm Founder’s Day

Reporting Absences

A reminder that the system for absences has changed earlier this year in the Senior School. Please use this form to report absence due to illness or to request absence for appointments. This form can also be found on our Contact page.

Teaching & Learning

Alice Mollison

Assistant Head Teaching and Learning

In our first newsletter of the summer term we welcome our new Deputy Head, Ben Chappell and hear fantastic news from the MFL Department and the SSLP Debating competition.

Firstly, we were delighted to have welcomed Ben Chappell to JAGS Executive Team and the DT department last week. He has been incredibly busy in his first week but has clearly enjoyed it:

Hello all, I am Ben Chappell, Deputy Head Academic and I am thrilled to be joining JAGS. 

I have joined from CLSG (City of London School for Girls) where I was both Assistant and Deputy Head. My background is in staff development, teaching and learning/CPDL and coaching. I am a firm believer in the importance of staff well-being, autonomy and professional development and look forward to discussing this with all the school community in the near future.

I am a passionate about Design and Technology and love seeing students realise their own concepts and ideas in the workshop.

In my first week at JAGS, I have already noticed the community spirit, laughter and atmosphere of ‘relaxed excellence’. I am very excited about the prospect of seeing more teaching and meeting with parents and students. A fun fact about me, I played both rugby and cricket for England under 18s and students.

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    Secondly, huge congratulations to all our students who completed in the national MFL spelling bee competitions before Easter. Cristina Sanchez, Head of MFL, shares their outstanding achievements here:

    I am delighted to share with you amazing news from the MFL Department. Last week the results of the Regional Final for the French and Spanish Spelling Bee were announced and 3 of our Year 7 school finalists have made it to Spelling Bee National Final, which will take place in Cambridge at the end of June. Particular congratulations go to the following students:

    · Zoe  (1st place in Spanish Spelling Bee Regional Final- London)

    · Grace (3rd place in French Spelling Bee Regional Final- London)

    · Avanti (1st place in French Spelling Bee Regional Final-London)

    There were 2428 top spellers in London and only 45 move on to be in the national final. Having 3 of them in two languages from the same school is amazing, particularly as this was the first time we had entered! Special thanks to their parents, as I am sure there was a lot of practice at home and to their teachers, notably Jerome Roussel, Teacher of French and Spanish, who has worked with the finalists.



Finally in our news, this week JAGS welcomed 48 students from 8 Southwark Schools Learning Partnership (SSLP) schools to take part in the first SSLP Debate Mate debating competition, supported by the Worshipful Company of International Bankers. Students from Year 7 to 13 competed, with many of them new to debating and having never done public speaking before. Debates included themes around the role of artificial intelligence and the possibility of moving to Mars. There was a great atmosphere in Holst Hall throughout the day and all the students were a real credit to the Southwark community, with their team skills, growing confidence in speaking in front of others and support for their opponents, with lots of cheering and clapping throughout the day. It was wonderful to see so many awards given out for progress and creative thinking shown throughout the day. However, huge congratulations to the JAGS team who went on to win the final debate!

Thank you to Alison Holmes-Milner, Teacher of English, for the encouragement she has given our students:

The JAGS team of Esme, Daisy  (both Year 12), Fareedah (Year 11) and Qi Qi, Emily  and Beatrice (Year 7) edged out Dulwich College to contest a hard-fought final against St Michael’s Catholic College where they discussed the motion that a new universal language should be adopted around the world. Victorious, they took home the cup and many compliments on their ability to think on their feet and respond with speedy, stylish eloquence. The debate clubs at JAGS run in Room S6 on Tuesdays (Senior debating, Year 9 upwards) and Fridays (Junior Debating, Years 7 and 8). Everyone is welcome!

Here are Esme’s thoughts, her final comment sums up what a fantastic partnership the SSLP is:

The SSLP debating competition was a fantastic event and I absolutely loved taking part. All of the motions argued were very thought-provoking and with excellent feedback from the Debate Mate judges, the team certainly learnt a lot throughout the day! Winning the competition felt amazing, but I think my favourite part of the day was being able to connect with other students from different schools – I left having made many new friends!

Key Stage 3 Update

The weather has certainly started to improve and there is a definite sense that summer is on its way. The KS3 students have been making the most of the outside space and have been eating their lunches in the Quad with friends and roaming the grounds in their free time.

This week, notices have been sent out about the KS3 end of year assessments and it is important to remember that these are simply for the girls to demonstrate the fantastic progress that they have made this year and to give their teachers an indication as to how they are doing. They must not be a source of stress or worry but seen as an opportunity to get feedback from their teachers.

All of KS3 got involved in the Stephen Lawrence day events and it was wonderful to see so many of them dressed in orange and walking around the fields together to honour Stephen’s memory. Teachers have also taken the opportunity to deliver lessons centred around diversity, unity and inclusion so that the lessons learned from Stephen’s tragic death are foregrounded and become, for us all, a way of moving forward with added purpose.

Myfanwy Bournon, Head of KS3

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    Year 7 English students went ‘Into the Woods’ this week and performed scenes from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with only 45 minutes of rehearsal time. Bringing Shakespeare off the page and onto the stage is so important and the performances they produced were enthusiastic and very funny indeed.

    Year 9 students have been learning how to do African Drumming and it was wonderful to hear the lively beat and laughter coming from the VWA last week.

    Year 8 have had their meeting with Mrs Alonso in which she lets them know how the form groups will be put together for Year 9. Shuffling the forms at this stage brings a refreshing change to friendship and learning groups and is a wonderful opportunity to create new bonds within the JAGs community.

    The summer term is well under way and as the KS3 students enter week 3, I would like to encourage them to take the opportunity to get books out of the library so that they are balancing their work with some private reading and also to spend as much time outside enjoying the fine weather as they can.

Key Stage 4 Update

It’s been a wonderful start to the term, and members of both Years 10 and 11 have been busy and productive. Stephen Lawrence day was particularly significant for our section as three members of Year 11 led a whole school assembly: huge thanks to Fareedah, Beulah and Rachel for taking the lead on this and for presenting an informative and thought-provoking message to the whole school. It was brilliant to see everyone out on the field at lunchtime walking a mile for Stephen. Meanwhile, members of the Year 10 Art group enjoyed the residential trip to St Ives over the Bank Holiday weekend and were a credit to the school – seeing our students go out on trips again, after so long, makes them even more special, and we are so grateful to our staff for arranging these opportunities once again.

Year 11 leave us next week to begin their Study Leave, and we wish them well as they begin the examination stage of their GCSE courses. Whilst revision is important, both Year 10 and 11 have been reminded in a recent section assembly that self-care is equally important, and to remember to factor in plenty of rest and relaxation whilst preparing for exams.

Anna Jones, Head of Key Stage 4

Sixth Form Update

It seems unthinkable that – at the time of writing – we have only had 5.5 school days of the new term; so much has been achieved and announced. We said thank you and well done to the outgoing team of student leaders. In their capacity as House Captains, School Prefects, Subject Prefects and members of the Head Girl team, or as respected and valued members of the Sixth Form and school community, Year 13s have contributed enormously to all areas of school life, helping to foster the community spirit and support younger students. We are very grateful to them all!

We have also said congratulations to Year 12 students who have been appointed to the various student leadership roles. The standard of application for all positions was very high and demonstrated kindness and student willingness to give back to the school community. In particular, a massive well done to Gaby, Jenna and Emily for their appointment to the Head Girl team.

Mat Weeks, Head of Sixth Form

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    To continue the theme of ‘well dones’, there was an incredible student charity concert on Friday evening organised by Sofiyah. It certainly showcased the talent and enthusiasm of several members of the Sixth Form community in a joint concert with Dulwich College. And they succeeded in their aim of raising money for Syrian and Ukrainian refugees.

    Amongst other achievements from sixth form students, we have been able to congratulate Georgia, Grace, Masha and Louise on a successful completion of an arduous Gold DoE expedition in the Easter holidays, Saskia’s printmaking award from the Royal College of Art and Bella and Esme’s winning film for the Cambridge RS film competition.

    May the success, commitment, and most of all, fun, continue for the rest of the term!

    Well done to everyone and I hope that rest, recharge and relaxation follows in the Easter holidays in order to have a productive, successful and enjoyable summer term.


Well done to all the JAGS pupils whose work was selected for the Young Art 2022 exhibition at the Royal College of Art.  Work from students in the Pre-Prep to the Sixth Form made it into the show. Particular congratulations to Saskia in Year 11 (now Year 12) who won the Printmaking prize for her print of her brother cleaning the toilet which she created at home in lockdown.

More details can be found here.


The Summer Term at JAGS is always lots of fun, the pupils are already working hard in their lessons currently doing athletics, tennis and cricket. We also still have our extensive PE Extra-Curricular offering running throughout the term, your daughters have been sent this via Teams.

We are excited for the future major athletic events; Southwark Inter Schools, ESSA Track and Field Cup and the Combined Events held at Lee Valley. Competitions are already under way for tennis and cricket, the Year 11 and Sixth Form tennis squad narrowly missing out on a place in the regional final after incredibly close matches against Alleyn’s and Woldingham, the team consisted of; Shaan, Elise, Emily, Emily, Isabel and Sofia. On Wednesday 4th May, we travelled to St George’s, Weybridge for the annual Surrey Tennis Festival. This competition is a doubles competition, with only two pupils allowed to play per year group. The teams battled well against some high quality opposition. The Year 10s stole the show reaching the semi finals, before narrowly losing a tense match to RGS. Well done to all the pupils involved; Kritika, September, Annabelle, Rania, Rachel, Imogen, Hana, Sophie, Emily and Sofia.


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    The internal ‘JAGS Wimbledon’ competition is up and running, this competition sees pupils from all year groups drawn against each other in a doubles competition that is played and organised by the pupils. It has been great to see so many pupils embracing this competition, with some fantastic matches already taking place and some great wins for our younger pupils against the older years.

    The PE department would like to congratulate our U13 netballers Ava and Olivia and our U16 pupils Eloise, Gaby, Chanelle and Ruby who all participated in the Junior County League tournament on Sunday for their club. This was an all-day event with all teams in the Kent league playing against each other in quick 15 min matches. We are happy to report that the U16 team came 2nd overall out of 15 teams and U14 Development came 6th.

    In the actual Junior County league which lasts for the whole netball season; October through to March, the U14 development team came 1st and received a plate and medals. Unfortunately, the U16’s came 2nd and were just beaten by a Kent club. Eloise, Gaby, Chanelle and Ruby played for both the U16 and U18 teams, who also came 2nd.

    Ruby and Ava received Star player awards for their age group having achieved the most ‘player of the match’ nominations from the opposing teams across the whole league season. Huge congratulations to those pupils involved.

    JAGS pupils recently competed in the Dulwich Interschools Cycling Championships, all competing in the U16 category. Well done to Myfanway for finishing 3rd, Nerys for finishing 8th and Orna finishing 11th in their pool. A great achievement, congratulations to all three pupils for representing JAGS in our first ever cycling competition.

    In other news, our Senior rowing team have worked extremely hard and are all set for the Ball Cup this weekend. This is a phenomenal opportunity for our senior team and a moment in history for JAGS pupils; competing and representing their school for the first time ever at Eton under British Rowing! Good luck to Caitlin, Kaat and Caoimhe in your races!

    As always, if your daughter is competing in any sport outside of school, please do pass on this information to Director of Sport, Michael Golding via email; Michael.Golding@JAGS.org.uk It is important to us all that we know and can recognise and appreciate all our pupils sporting efforts both in and outside of school.




Very well done to Esme and Bella in Year 12 who have won this year’s Cambridge Religion on Film competition with their short film ‘How We Respond to Suffering’.

This annual competition is run by the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge and is based around the themes of the series Cambridge in Your Classroom which aims to answer some of the big questions of religion, philosophy and ethics.

“Our competition entry had to be inspired by one of the Cambridge in your Classroom videos posted during the pandemic. We had both found studying the problem of evil and suffering in the religious context very interesting and were immediately drawn to the video ‘Is God our Intimate Stranger?’ and the tale of Krishna and the Milkmaid Gopis. We were particularly interested in religious discussions around the problem of evil and suffering in the context of COVID 19, and so decided to explore this further in our video. The process of making the video was hugely enjoyable as we were working together on a subject that we both found fascinating. The hours spent researching, writing the script, drawing the illustrations, and making the animations were very rewarding.”

Esme and Bella’s winning film can be viewed here.

Founder’s Day

We are very much looking forward to Founder’s Day on Saturday 2  July. All students in Years 7 to 10 and their parents are warmly invited to celebrate everything that our pupils have contributed to our wonderful school community this year. The day will run from 9.30 to 14.00, with a more detailed programme of events available before half term. Our Year 12 students will be integral to the successful running of the day, and we thank them in advance for their help. As we are asking pupils to come into school on Saturday, Friday will be a half day, with school finishing at lunch time.


We have two new arrivals at JAGS. Say hello to our new recycling bins and our bicycle tool station and pump.

JAGS is implementing projects and changes to make our learning and working environment more sustainable. This is just the start to becoming a sustainable school.

The bicycle pumps can be found at three locations, namely by the two bicycle storage areas and opposite the sports centre reception. All staff and students can pump their bicycle tyres and can fix their own bicycle onsite using our tool station.

In other news, well done to our Yr 10 student who interviewed two young climate leaders who participated at the 26th UN Climate Change conference (COP26). ‘However big or small, we all have a part to play and it’s time we learned a thing or two from young people’. Read more here.

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