The Latest News From UK Schools This Month - March 2024
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The Latest News From UK Schools This Month – March 2024

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All the latest UK school news this month, March 2024, from school events to student achievements and new developments.

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Events

Dulwich College Marks LGBT+ History Month

Dulwich College has launched DC PRIDE, which will give students and staff the change to have discussions that highlight the achievements of members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Pupil wearing rainbow laces

Pupil wearing rainbow laces

It will also look at the injustices faced and how to be a supportive ally.

Pupils and staff were invited to:

  • buy a pair of Rainbow Laces and show their support of LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport
  • browse and borrow LGBTQ+ fiction and non-fiction in the pop-up Library
  • a ‘Knit with Pride’ workshop
  • join Society meetings to hear guests, Keith Noakes (former Head of RS at Latymer Upper School), Stephen Ireton (COO, Rice Partners) and Nick Cresswell (Global Head of Culture and Talent, Orsted) on the theme of the changing political landscape, the nature of sustainability and civil partnerships.  

Oliver Gardner, Head of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Dulwich College said: ‘We hope that DC PRIDE will provide a valuable platform through which to promote the College’s values of Equity for all and Respect for all, whilst preparing our students to excel in our increasingly diverse society’.

St Margaret’s School Open Morning

On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2024, St Margaret’s School for Girls will open their doors to prospective pupils and their families with an open morning.

St Margaret’s School for Girls is the only and oldest school in the north of Scotland catering exclusively for girls.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Inspire Inclusion’ and St Margaret’s continues to support inclusion through their diverse curriculum.

At the open morning, families will have the opportunity to tour the school. The senior leadership and admissions teams will also be there to help with individual tours and answer any questions.

Shackleton’s Memorial Unveiled

On the 150th anniversary of Shackleton’s birth, a memorial in tribute to Dulwich College alumnus Sir Ernest Shackleton, was formally unveiled in Westminster Abbey in a ceremony led by the Princess Royal.

Sir Ernest Shackleton

Sir Ernest Shackleton

The memorial was hoisted to the walls alongside a stone dedicated to Sir Francis Drake and Captain Cook.

Dr Joe Spence, Dulwich College partnered with the James Caird Society and Shackleton to support this project which took almost two years to come to complete..

The memorial is heavy with symbolism, and is made from different kinds of stone taken from near Shackleton’s birthplace in Ireland.

You can read more and watch a film about the extraordinary life of Sir Ernest Shackleton and about the James Caird.

Millfield Hockey Players Chosen To Represent Scotland

Two hockey players from Millfield School have been selected to represent Scotland.

Charlotte Robertson and Cameron Miller

Charlotte Robertson and Cameron Miller

Charlotte Robertson and Cameron Miller, both Lower Sixth pupils, will be playing for the Scotland U18 and U17 teams.

Charlotte was chosen to represent the Scotland U18 team, and has previously played for the U16 squad for the past two years. She commented: ‘Being selected for a national squad undoubtedly gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment as I have always dreamed about it ever since I started playing hockey at age 7.’

Cameron, who will be playing for Scotland’s U17 team, said: ‘The biggest thing that Millfield Hockey has helped me with is my game knowledge and decision-making.’

Looking to the future, Cameron hopes to play abroad for the Netherlands or Germany. While Charlotte hopes to pursue a hockey scholarship in the US.

Pennthorpe School Collaborates With Waterstones

Pennthorpe School have launched a window display with Waterstones Horsham to share work from its Year 6, 7 and 8 students.

Waterstones window display showcasing Pennthorpe pupils artwork

Waterstones window display showcasing Pennthorpe pupils artwork

The artwork was inspired by books promoted for World Book Day this year.

The display also forms part of Pennthorpe’s initiative – English Spotlight Week in which the schools celebrate the English Language and literature. Some of the highlights for this year include author visits, Staff Masked Reader Challenges, Extreme Reading Competitions, Guess The Shelfie Competitions and book signings.

Head of English at Pennthorpe, Mrs Grace Partridge, commented: ‘Our Spotlight Week not only celebrates World Book Day but, it also emphasises the importance of English education in shaping curious, creative and confident individuals.’

‘We are hugely appreciative to Waterstones Horsham for providing us with this wonderful opportunity to showcase our work in their window display.’

Swapping The School Bus For A Ski Lift

GB Alpine Ski Racer Ryan, swaps the school bus for the ski lift for part of the year.

GB Alpine Ski Racer Ryan

GB Alpine Ski Racer Ryan

Online schooling at Minerva Virtual Academy allows Ryan to fit his studies around training. He explains what an average day of online schooling looks like:

‘My day usually starts at around 6:15am, I have some breakfast and grab my kit ready to head out onto the slopes. I leave the house at 7 and I’m usually skiing by 8.’

‘I train for around 4 hours with my coach, before heading back to the team house around 12 to grab some lunch.

‘After lunch it’s time for school. I’m studying for my iGCSE’s with MVA so my afternoons are spent doing school work, attending lessons and doing any reading that I need to do for my classes later in the week.’

‘As long as I’ve got my laptop with me, I can study from anywhere so that can mean catching up with my reading on my way up the mountain in a ski gondola or watching some of the lesson videos slope-side if I’ve got some spare time while I’m training.’

Culture Day at Abbey College Manchester

Abbey College Manchester hosted its annual Culture Day. The college was decorated with paintings, symbols and lanterns that represented the diverse student and staff cohort. 

Pupils dressed for Culture Day at Abbey College Manchester

Pupils dressed for Culture Day at Abbey College Manchester

This year’s theme was unity, and pupils were invited to share stories of their own identities.

Activities also included musical performances, a rugby passes competition and a crafting session.

Traditional foods were also shared on the day – including Nigerian suya wings, Scottish tea cakes, Kazakh qurt, Chinese black jelly, Iranian Shirazi salad and Welsh cakes.

Chris Randell, Principal of Abbey College Manchester, commented: ‘This event exemplifies the spirit of inclusivity and mutual appreciation, showcasing the plethora of cultural traditions and heritage that our students and staff bring to Abbey College Manchester.’

Old Buckenham Wins Tennis Award

Old Buckenham Hall School has been awarded the LTA School of the Year 2024.

Tennis at Old Buckenham Hall

Tennis at Old Buckenham Hall

Fifty percent of pupils at the school play tennis from Nursery through to Year 8. The sport is managed by Mathew Perry and his team who offer pupils coaching, the chance to compete in matches and festivals.

Headmaster, James Large, commented: ‘It is wonderful to see Matthew and his team celebrated for the amazing work they do every year. Tennis is one of our national sports and it is lovely to see so many children developing a genuine love for the sport.’

GDST’s Sing! Concert

The Girls’ Day School Trust hosted its annual GDST Sing! Concert at the Royal Academy of Music. This is the first time that over 100 students from all 25 schools have performed together.

GDST Sing! Concert

GDST Sing! Concert

Choristers, including the BBC 2023 Young Chorister of the Year, Natalie Fooks rehearsed together. They performed The Girl from Aleppo by Cecilia McDowall, followed by a solo performance from Natalie who did a rendition of For the beauty of the earth by John Rutter.

Cheryl Giovannoni, GDST Chief Executive, said: ‘Their breathtaking performance of The Girl from Aleppo is powerful evidence that music can be used as an educational tool to break down barriers, and help our girls to better understand the experiences of young people from different parts of the world.’

West Side Story To Be Performed 60 Years On

In 1964 Cranleigh’s performance of West Side Story made the national press for being the first school to perform the production. Now, it is being performed again after 60 years.

Cranleigh’s Head, Martin Reader said: ‘I have always wanted to see West Side Story performed by a school but no-one has ever been brave enough. Just as our school took the risk 60 years ago, I’m proud that our Music and Drama departments took on the challenge to ensure that Cranleigh continues to be a school that will take a risk. Education should push and challenge boundaries. It has to tackle relevant issues.’

Pupils from Cranleigh’s flagship International School in Abu Dhabi will also join the cast as dancers.

England U20 Rugby Player Visits Former School

Current England U20 rugby player Rory Taylor visited his old School, Ryde School, to present his playing school to the school from his fixture against Scotland in the U20 Six Nations.

Rory with the Chair of the Old Rydeians’ Association Mike Hooper and Director of Sport Frank Bagnall

Rory with the Chair of the Old Rydeians’ Association Mike Hooper and Director of Sport Frank Bagnall

Director of Sport at Ryde, Frank Bagnall, said: ‘‘It was a pleasure to welcome Rory back to school as an Old Rydeian and we will be displaying his shirt in the pavilion to inspire the next generation of athletes at Ryde. We wish him the best of luck with his career moving forward and look forward to welcoming him again soon’.

St Edmund’s Marks World Book Day 2024

St Edmund’s School in Hertfordshire celebrated World Book Day with a day based around Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It saw staff and pupils dressed as characters from the book.

World Book Day at St Edmund's School

World Book Day at St Edmund’s School

There was a series of Wonka-inspired activities on offer and after receiving their golden tickets pupils could enter the magical chocolate factory.

Before the official day of celebration, St Edmund’s also had a visit from author Tamsyn Murray who delivered interactive sessions to pupils.

Headteacher at St Edmund’s School, Steven Cartwright, commented: ‘The day was a delight from start to finish, with pupils and staff embracing the opportunity. I’d also like to thank Tamsyn for visiting the school. Her talk inspired pupils and was a great way to kick start our week-long literary celebration.’

Belhaven Hill School Host Cross-Country Competition

The 38th Scottish Independent Schools’ Invitational Cross-Country Championships took place in Belhaven Bay, hosted by Belhaven Hill School.

Pupils getting ready to start the cross-country competition

Pupils getting ready to start the cross-country competition

Fifteen schools participated in the competition this year, with a total of 384 runners.

The three categories were Under 9s, Under 11s and Under 13s. The top three runners of each category were given medals and trophies were given to the winning team in each category. 

Competition organiser, Noel Curry, commented: ‘Belhaven boys and girls practise running every week and trained for the cross country by running relays along our local beach and through the woods in their Patrol (house) competitions.’ 

Belhaven Hill School finished in silver position in the team competition.

Tonbridge School Hosts Science Conference

Tonbridge School hosted its latest Science Conference which involved over 150 students from schools across the UK gathering in the Barton Science Centre.

Tonbridge Science Conference

Tonbridge Science Conference

There were two student presentation sessions, posters were displayed for visitors to discuss and three leading scientists gave keynote speeches.

It was an international event, with students from Jishukan High School in Japan in attendance, in addition to the UK schools, and presentation slides on display from Los Altos High School in California.

Head of Science at Tonbridge, Nick Waite, said: ‘We have been staging the Science Conference for the best part of a decade and this year has seen the greatest number of visitors, bringing with them an extraordinary range of wonderful projects. It has been exciting to witness the students’ enthusiasm and eagerness to ask questions of each other.’

Channing Junior School Publishes Book Series

Channing Junior School has published a series of books based around woodland animals that represent the eight character traits of a Channing girl.

Miss Dina Hamalis Head of Channing Junior School

Miss Dina Hamalis Head of Channing Junior School

The series, named The Channing Characters, was illustrated by cartoonist Paul Solomons.

Miss Hamalis, Head of Channing Junior School, said: ‘We asked ourselves how we could formalise this character education, essentially teaching our pupils the values or virtues that they will use every day to make decisions in their lives, and that is how the Characters came about.’

Mrs Lindsay Hughes, Headmistress at Channing School, said: ‘I am delighted by the creativity and enthusiasm with which the Junior School pupils and staff have developed and embraced the Channing Characters and have thoroughly enjoyed reading these new books.’

Royal Hospital School Celebrate Triumph in National Essay Competitions

Two Year 12 psychologists at Royal Hospital School are being celebrated for their success in national essay competitions.

Bella P and Harriet G, Royal Hospital School students

Bella P and Harriet G, Royal Hospital School students

Bella P won first prize in the national Psychstix essay writing competition. The theme for the competition this year was ‘How should psychologists leverage the recent advances in modern technology in their research and/or practice?’. Her essay will be published in ‘The Psychologist’. 

Harriet G won the Tutor2U competition. Her essay was themed around the prompt ‘Discuss the consequences of culturally biased research and make suggestions on how to reduce culture bias in psychology’. Her essay will be published in the upcoming edition of Tutor2U’s magazine.

Head of Psychology at RHS, Kelly Wilcock, said: ‘The psychology department is absolutely thrilled with the achievements of both Bella and Harriet. They have demonstrated such interest, understanding and ability in this popular and fascinating subject.’

Kingswood Hosts Model United Nations Conference

Kingswood School hosted the 33rd Bath International Schools’ Model United Nations conference, which included 300 pupils from around the UK debating global issues.

Kingswood MUN Secretary Generals

Kingswood MUN Secretary Generals

At the opening ceremony, Freddie W and Layla A gave speeches. Freddie spoke about 2024 being the year of elections and the threats facing democracy. 

The following day was filled with committee based debates and on Sunday delegates were asked to respond to an unexpected international crisis. 

Layla A said: ‘It has encouraged me and the other students to solve problems through cooperation and negotiation and fosters awareness of international relations and world events.’

Mr Craig Woodgate, Kingswood School’s Head of Sixth Form, added: ‘The BISMUN Conference is an excellent way for students to challenge themselves, as often they will be debating on positions that are different from their personal opinion.’

Bishop Stortford Student Wins Olympic Bronze Medal

Bishop Stortford College pupil, Bethany Norton, has won bronze in the Junior Ladies Olympic Skeet at the Amir Grand Prix in Qatar.

Bethany with her bronze medal

Bethany with her bronze medal

Bethany achieved a score of 108/125 securing her bronze medal. She said: ‘Competing in a Senior competition for the first time was surprisingly very different from any Junior internationals I’ve been to. Unsurprisingly the standard of the athletes was much higher.’

Bethany is ranked 34th in the world for Olympic Skeet. Now, she is looking forward to competing in more competitions including the British Grand Prix, the English Grand Prix and English Open.

Christ’s Hospital School Pupils Accepted Into National Youth Music Theatre

Christ’s Hospital School has announced that three students have been offered places at the National Youth Music Theatre.

Rose, Amelie and Omowumi

Rose, Amelie and Omowumi

Rose (Year 9), Amelie (Year 11) and Omowumi (Year 13) will join the company this year..

Director of Music, James Bartlett, commented: ‘We are immensely proud of Rose, Amelie, and Omowumi for securing a place with the National Youth Music Theatre, after several rounds of auditions over the half-term break.’

Taunton School Pupils Becomes Youngest Chosen For Elite Squad

A Taunton School Year 8 pupil has been awarded a place on the Somerset Emerging Players Programme.

Taunton pupil, Megan

Taunton pupil, Megan, becomes youngest player to join the Somerset Emerging Players Programme

The scholarship student, Megan, is the youngest player to join by four years.

Taunton’s Director of Cricket, Pete Sanderson, said: ‘Girls’ cricket is going from strength to strength at Taunton School. Our strong cricketing heritage and our top team of coaches means that everyone has the opportunity to play the game and everyone – whatever their level – has a chance to find their exceptional.’

St Swithun’s Cowned Lacrosse Champions

St Swithun’s under 15 lacrosse side have been crowned the National Schools Champions, after St Swithun’s player, Poppy, scored the winning goal in the final minutes.

St Swithun's Under 15 lacrosse side

St Swithun’s Under 15 lacrosse side (Image credit: Ady Kerry/England Lacrosse)

Team captain, Natasha, said: ‘It was a fabulous day from start to finish, emotions and stakes were high. The positive vibes started right at the start of the day and were intensified after every single match and every single win. But the best feeling in the world was lifting that trophy at the end knowing that the tireless hours of hard work and training in the wet and rain had paid off .’

Lacrosse coach, Tia Hislop, added: ‘I could not be more proud of these girls. They showed incredible resilience, discipline and support for each other in a number of tough games to make the final.’

Taunton School Celebrates Performance of The Addams Family

Taunton School is celebrating their production of The Addams Family: A Musical Comedy.

The Addams Family: A Musical Comedy

The Addams Family: A Musical Comedy

With lots of performances sold out, the school sold 1,354 tickets in total across 4 days. 

Janey Carden, Teacher of Drama at Taunton School and Director of the production said: ‘While an enormous undertaking, this has been one of the proudest events of my teaching career. The response has been incredible, with multiple people commenting on it being akin to something seen on the West End.’

The cast included 51 actors, dancers and singers, plus 17 students who assisted with technical production, music and hair and make-up.

City of London School for Girls Hosts Conference

To mark City of London School for Girls’ 130th anniversary, the school held a conference.

Named Re-imagining our Future, 400 students from across the various City Family schools came together, along with two independent schools and five state schools.

Claudia Winkleman at the City of London School for Girls' conference

Claudia Winkleman at the City of London School for Girls’ conference

Students were asked to think about London in 2050 and create an advertising campaign for the future city using AI tools.

Special guest Claudia Winkleman provided witty commentary and helped judge the submissions. 

The day also included a slam poetry performance, talks, presentations and a panel discussion with guest speakers including Rachel Sylvester and Susie Goldsborough from The Times.

Jenny Brown, Head of City of London Girls, commented: ‘The day was full of inspiring, thought-provoking discussions and activities which were designed to be the catalyst for collective imagination and actionable strategies for students to boldly create the world they imagine for the future.’

Felsted Wins Rugby Tournament at Twickenham Stadium

Felsted’s U18 rugby team have won the Continental Tyres Schools Rugby tournament Vase competition. Felsted won 42-19 against Ivybridge Community College at Twickenham Rugby Stadium.

Felsted U18 rugby team celebrating their win

Felsted’s Director of Rugby, Andrew Le Chevalier, said: ‘The boys were not at all daunted at the prospect of playing at the Home of England Rugby and recognised it as an unbelievable chance of a lifetime.’

‘They had really committed to their training, taken on board the tactical advice and felt ready to face Ivybridge, who themselves had had a very impressive run to the final.’

Felsted pupil, Harry C won the Man of the Match trophy which was presented to him by former England International player James Haskell.

CBeebies Star Visits Rosemead For World Down Syndrome Day

CBeebies star George Webster visited Rosemead School for World Down Syndrome Day, giving a reading of his new book ‘Why Not?’ and running a workshop.

Head of Rosemead, Mr Graeme McCafferty with co-author Claire Taylor, skilled illustrator Tim Budgens and author of 'Why Not?' George Webster.

Head of Rosemead, Mr Graeme McCafferty with co-author Claire Taylor, skilled illustrator Tim Budgens and author of ‘Why Not?’ George Webster (Photo credit: Rosemead)

World Down Syndrome Day is an annual event to raise awareness and celebrate the unique abilities of people with Down Syndrome. 

In the workshop, pupils learnt Makaton sign language and created their own illustrations.

Head of Rosemead, Mr Graeme McCafferty, said: ‘It was an absolute joy to hear George’s story and the message of ‘Why Not?‘ with the children at Rosemead. I hope it inspires them to dream big and embrace every opportunity.’

Solihull Schools Shakespeare Festival

The annual Shakespeare Festival at Solihull School attracts around 400 students and staff from schools across the UK.

Shakespeare Festival

Shakespeare Festival

The school arranged a programme of workshops and lectures, as well as presentations from Shakespearean scholars including Professor Sir Jonathan Bate and Professor Helen Hackett.

There was also a Solihull School Dance Company ballet production of Romeo and Juliet.

Charles Fillingham, Executive Headmaster at Solihull, said: ‘School days are a time to discover, to learn and to have fun – the Shakespeare Festival had all three.’

Professor Hackett added: ‘Solihull’s Shakespeare Festival was a magnificent event and a triumph of organisation. I found all the talks fascinating, and evidently the audience did too – they were very attentive and asked excellent questions.’

RHS Secure the UK Women’s National Sailing Championship

Royal Hospital School in Suffolk are celebrating following the UK Women’s National Championship for team racing.

Royal Hospital students with their trophies

Royal Hospital students with their trophies

RHS has two teams, each with six sailors. On the first day, the RHS Grey team won 9 out of 10 races. 

The RHS Blue team won 7 races on the first day, securing 5th in rankings. On day two the blue team won 5 out of 6 races moving up to 2nd in the rankings.

In the final the RHS Blue team emerged victorious, securing the UK Women’s National Championship title. 

Georgie, RHS Blue team Captain, said: ‘It was a really smoothly run, well organised event that had a bubbly friendly atmosphere with great team racing taking place throughout the whole weekend.’

Director of Sailing at RHS, Ed Sibson, commented: ‘We are immensely proud of the RHS Blue team for their remarkable achievement at the UK Women’s National Championship, their victory is a testament to their dedication, teamwork, and unwavering determination as well as the school’s commitment to excellence in sports and character development.’

Break The Rules Day at Highfield and Brookham

Highfield and Brookham School had a ‘Break The Rules Day’ to raise money for Highreach, a charity that provides residential breaks for disabled children. The event raised £1,636.64 for Highreach Holidays. 

Staff dress in full school uniform

Break The Rules Day – staff dress in full school uniform

The pupils arrived at school wearing their home clothes along with jewellery, painted nails, hats and trainers – all of which usually breach the uniform policy.

While the Director of Boarding, Mikayla van den Berg, along with other boarding staff dressed in full school uniform.

Head of Highfield and Brookham School, Suzannah Cryer, said: ‘Like most schools, we take a pretty dim view of flagrant rule breaking, but we also have a strong sense of occasion and we’re delighted to make a fun exception, especially for such a wonderful and much-loved cause as Highreach.’

Brentwood’s Fencing Success

Brentwood School Fencing Department is celebrating after the Public Schools’ Fencing Championships 2024.

Brentwood School's successful fencing team

Brentwood School’s successful fencing team

Brentwood finished second place overall. Pupils Joshua E and Jacob L came third and Calum A came second in the Senior Boys’ Master at Arms.

Mirabelle B came third and Chloe L came second in the Girls’ Senior Champion at Arms.

Ava F placed third in the Mount-Haes Girls’ Champion at Arms. Max Y won the Trophy for Boys’ Mount-Haes Master of Arms.

Christian Galesloot, Master i/c Fencing at Brentwood, said: ‘The Mount-Haes is a small sword replica of Sting from Frodo/Lord of the Rings and it is particularly impressive for someone of Year 8 to win the trophy for overall boys’ champion Years 7,8 & 9.’

Taunton Pupil Qualifies For Team GB Trial

Taunton School’s, Izzy Blackhurst, has qualified for a trial to join the GB Olympic swimming team.

The trials will take place on 2-7 April 2024, where Izzy will compete in a 200m Freestyle to gain a place on Team GB for the Paris Olympics.

Izzy said: ‘I first qualified back in 2021 when I was 13 but didn’t get the chance to swim in the trials due to Covid-19 restrictions, so it makes qualifying again even more special.’

She is also currently training for the South West Regional Championships.

Beth Mottram, Head of Swimming, said: ‘I have never met a young person as tenacious and focused as Izzy. These qualities alone will be instrumental in her success.’

New Leadership

Minerva Virtual Appoints New Head

Minerva Virtual has appointed a new headteacher, Suzanne Lindley, as the school is set to double in size over the next two years.

Minerva Virtual Academy

Minerva Virtual Academy

Suzanne was Deputy Head of Pastoral Care at the school and has experience in schools in the UK and internationally.

She said: ‘Online schooling has so much to offer and I am proud to be leading MVA into the next stage of its evolution. We want to continue to grow our school community and, in doing so, ensure that each and every one of our students receives the very best education and pastoral support, upon which our reputation is built.’

Hugh Viney, founder and CEO of MVA, commented: ‘I am delighted that Suzanne has accepted our offer to step into the role of Headteacher. She has been a huge asset since joining us’.

DLD College London Announces New Principal

DLD College London has announced James Kidd as the new Principal from September 2024.

James Kidd

James Kidd

James is currently Senior Vice Principal at DLD, and has demonstrated his ability to lead change. With over 20 years experience in education, he also has previously taken on a  leadership role at St John’s School Leatherhead.

He said: ‘The school is entering an exciting era and it is an honour to be able to guide the school through the next phase of its journey.’

Kensington Park School Announces New Head

Kensington Park School has announced Mr Antony Faccinello as Headmaster from September 2024.

Mr Antony Faccinello

Mr Antony Faccinello

Mr Faccinello said: ‘It is a privilege to be leading this ambitious, inclusive and welcoming school community.’

New Head of Performance Sport at Loughborough Schools Foundation

Loughborough Schools Foundation has announced the appointment of Mr Emyr Lewis as Head of Performance. 

Mr Emyr Lewis

Mr Emyr Lewis

The new role was created in response to the LSF’s strategic sports offering, and due to the increased expert coaching and performance support now available.

Mr Lewis will work alongside the Director of Sport, Mrs Jo Hackett and the Heads of Sport and PE.

Player Pathway Programmes in Performance Sport have been launched, starting from September 2025. This will offer enhanced training opportunities.

He commented: ‘As a Foundation we are striving to drive our student athletes to the next level of performance, application and understanding. By working with them through the Player Pathway Programmes, both on and off the field, our student athletes will gain huge benefits from the expertise of the Foundation sports staff.’

Wellington School Announces New Head

Wellington School in Somerset has announced that Alex Battison will be the next Head from September 2024. He will replace Eugene du Toit who is moving to Haileybury School.

Alex Battison and his family

Alex Battison and his family will be moving to Wellington School for September 2024

Alex was previously Senior Deputy Head at Lord Wandsworth College and has lots of experience in academic and pastoral leadership. He is also Chair of Educational Futures as part of Harvard University’s Human Flourishing Programme, a Global Ambassador for HundrED and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Alex commented: ‘I am particularly looking forward to getting to know students, staff, parents and alumni over the months ahead, and collaborate to further inspire the remarkable education that goes on here. My family and I are also very much looking forward to returning to the South West and settling in this Summer’.

Box Hill Appoints First Female Head

Box Hill School in Mickleham has announced the appointment of Ms Hayley Robinson as the first female head. She has started the role immediately, after having been Acting Headmistress since January 2024.

Ms Hayley Robinson

Ms Hayley Robinson

She said: ‘I am profoundly honoured and excited to join Box Hill School as its first female Head.’

‘The atmosphere here is one where every student feels valued, supported, and empowered to thrive – because they can; we all can. By prioritising their happiness and wellbeing, we establish the foundation for academic excellence, personal development, and lifelong success.’

The previous Head, Mr Lowde, left the school to pursue his interest in artificial intelligence.

St. James Senior Boys’ Appoints New Head

St. James Senior Boys’ School has appointed Mr Rick Clarke as their new Head.

Mr Rick Clarke

Mr Rick Clarke

He will succeed Mr David Brazier who will be leaving at the end of the Summer term.

Mr Clarke has previously worked at Cheltenham College, Brighton College, Wellington College and Warminster School. As well as being Head of Frensham Heights School in Surrey.

He said: ‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead St James Senior Boys’ School, a school at which boys are given the tools not only to succeed academically but also to change the world for the better as compassionate, sensitive and caring young men.’

New Opportunities

Millfield Announces GCSE Equivalent

Millfield School has become one of the first schools to offer a ‘Baccalaureate style’ GCSE equivalent.

Millfield students working

Millfield School to offer GCSE equivalent option

The Project Qualification (PQ) Baccalaureate will offer student-led research on topics beyond the usual curriculum. It includes having to create an essay, presentation or artefact. The qualification also involves independent learning, which will help students with their future educational endeavours. 

Those in Year 10 in September 2024 will be able to explore this new project. They can choose a qualification as one of their options, in place of one GCSE.

More able students will study 8 GCSEs alongside this new qualification. They will be awarded two external Higher Project Qualification certificates and a baccalaureate-style qualification from Pearson.

David Brooke, Deputy Head (Academic) at Millfield said: ‘Millfield has a history of disrupting educational norms and we are delighted to be pioneering a new course, as an alternative to a GCSE. This is an exciting opportunity for student-led inquiry with the explicit teaching of research skills that will prepare students for A level, EPQ and beyond.

‘With the development of AI, it has never been more important for students to develop critical thinking skills and engage with real-world content with rigour and integrity.’

Roedean Now Offers Means-Tested Boarding Bursaries

Roedean School is now offering means-tested bursaries to UK families who are interested in their girls boarding at the independent school in Sussex.

The bursaries are open to girls at 11+, 13+ and 16+.

Headmistress, Niamh Green, said: ‘With the hundreds of clubs and activities we have on offer, boarding can be a great way of getting the most out of Roedean during the week yet still having the comforts of home at the weekend. I also think boarding can be incredibly useful in sixth form in terms of knuckling down with your studies as those all important 18 months are crucial for shaping the next few years.’

New Developments

St Catherine’s Bramley Announces New Pre-School

St Catherine’s, Bramley is opening a term-time Pre-School for girls in September 2024.

Music at St Catherine's Bramley

Music at St Catherine’s Bramley

The school will offer literacy and numeracy play-based learning and specialist teachers for ballet, music and PE and specialist STEM activities, the Pre-School offers an exceptional start for three-year-old girls.

There are limited spaces, book now by contacting prepadmissions@stcatherines.info or Sarah Waller on 01483 899665.

King Edward’s School Opens New Gym

King Edward’s School in Bath has opened a new gym which has been very popular with students so far.

Tom Fisher, who leads Strength and Conditioning at KES, said: ‘The new gym works as one open space, but it can also be split up into three separate areas- each with a different function. The ‘Blue’ gym contains a variety of aerobic equipment, the ‘Black’ gym contains a variety of resistance training equipment, primarily barbells and dumbbells, and the ‘Green’ gym is an astroturfed area which also contains a large, versatile rig.’

Students using the new gym facilities

Students using the new gym facilities

‘The gym has been incredibly well received by pupils and staff. The morning sessions for Years 7 & 8 have been well attended and the feedback from the pupils has been incredibly positive, especially since the introduction of the monkey bars. Pupils in Years 9, 10 and 11 have been able to access the gym at lunchtimes and after school for coach-led strength & conditioning sessions.

‘The Sixth Form has been given more independence in their use of the gym, as they are able to access it during their free periods, as well as after school.’