The Latest News From UK Schools This Month – November 2023

By Anoop Bhuller

7 months ago

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All the latest school news from around the UK this month, November 2023. From fundraisers to sports and new developments.

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All the Latest UK Schools News


St Mary’s Music School: Christmas Concert 2023

St Mary’s Music School is set to host their Christmas concert in December at the Parish Church of St Cuthbert in Edinburgh.

Playing violin at the Christmas Concert

Christmas Concert. Image by Nicola Dove

The concert will take place on Monday 18 December at 7.30pm. Performances will include music from CPE Bach, Wagner and Sibelius.

Cellist and former pupil of the school, Philip Higham, will be directing the String Ensemble in their performance of CPE Bach Cello Concerto in A Major.

The concert has free admissions for those under 18 and students. General Admission tickets are £10.

You can find out more about the concert and buy tickets on the St Mary’s Music School website.

Bede’s Host UK Space Design Competition

Bede’s Senior School hosted the largest regional round of the UK Space Design Competition.

Pupils after winning regionals in the UK Space Design Competition

Pupils after winning regionals in the UK Space Design Competition

Four teams representing nine schools from the South East took part. Bede’s pupils were teamed up with Cardinal Newman School to create the ‘Condor’ team. 

Every team was assigned a CEO to help them with structure and provide guidance. Bede’s alumnae filled these roles, including Rebecca Irving who now works for the UK Space Agency. 

At the end of the day Condor left as winners! Bede’s and Cardinal Newman have therefore gained a spot in the UK Final at Imperial College London in early March 2024.

UK Space Design Competition Organiser, Bill Richards, said: ‘ It was an inspiring event, marking not only a gathering of budding talents but also an opportunity for pupils to explore the futuristic realm of space design, fostering innovation and teamwork among the next generation of space enthusiasts.’

Pupils and Philanthropist Team Up To Plant Coronation Garden

UK school children have partnered with philanthropist George Cornelius to create a Coronation Garden for Food and Nature.

The scheme encourages communities to grow their own food and create spaces in gardens and greenspaces for wildlife. It’s run by The Wildlife Trusts, Incredible Edible, Garden Organic and the NFWI.

Children planting trees for their Coronation Garden

Children planting trees for their Coronation Garden

Children from Loddington CE Primary School planted fruits including plums, cherries and crab apple trees. 

In addition to the new fruit trees, the school has a herb garden and bird hide. George Cornelius and other volunteers hope that the site will attract a new wave of wildlife.

George commented: ‘We’ve seen plenty of birdlife including ducks, grebes, herons and a little egret. In the wooded edges there are badgers and some smaller mammals, but I hope wildlife will return in greater numbers.’

A pupil from Loddington CE Primary School, Xena, said: ‘The nature and plants here are so nice. I’m happy to be able to help them grow more things around the place to make it more beautiful and better. I would love to see robins singing in the trees.’

New Developments

The Unicorn School Purchase Former Premier Inn

The Unicorn School in Abingdon have purchased the former Premier Inn and Oak Mill on Marsham Road, which will allow them to expand the school site.

The Unicorn School are expanding their school site

The Unicorn School are expanding their school site

Pupil numbers will be able to double from 120 to 240 over the next few years.

The school has submitted their planning application to change parts of the former Premier Inn building. 

Acting Head Teacher, Alexander Foster, said: ‘This is a huge day for The Unicorn, the location could not be better for us, being opposite our existing building. The demand for places has risen dramatically over the past few years and school absence due to anxiety, often related to neurodiversity issues, has risen from 4.7% nationally to 7.5% last year.’

More about The Unicorn School

The school specialises in helping children with neurodiversity challenges, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism and speech and language issues. Children between the ages of 7 and 16 are accepted and the new space will permit a sixth form in the future.

Moreton Hall School Announce £1 Million Investment

Moreton Hall School have announced that £1 million will be invested into the school site.

Moreton Hall School site

Moreton Hall School

The money will go towards upgrading and expanding existing facilities. This includes the 25 metre indoor swimming pool which will be refurbished and the walking area and seating area will be replaced.

Principal, Michael Brewer, commented: ‘In addition to improving outcomes for pupils, these developments will increase our scope for outreach and partnership working locally and nationally.’

New Leadership

St Mary’s School Cambridge Welcomes New Head

Current Headmistress of St Mary’s School in Cambridge, Charlotte Avery, is leaving after 17 years of leadership at the school.

From left to right: Headmistress Charlotte Avery and Hannah Hilliar

From left to right: Headmistress Charlotte Avery and Hannah Hilliar

Mrs Hannah Helliar is due to take over the role as Headmistress from September 2024.

Hannah first Joined St Mary’s in 2012 and has worked in a number of leadership roles at the school. She said: ‘ I eagerly anticipate meeting parents, students and staff over the rest of this academic year in my new capacity as we embark together on a journey towards a future as brilliant as the aspirations of our exceptional students.’

Benenden School Announces New Head

The next Head of Benenden School has been announced as Ms Rachel Bailey.

Rachel will start her new position in September 2024 and has experience working within leadership roles at independent and state schools. 

She has a degree in Economics from the University of York and completed her teacher training at the University of Warwick. 

Rachel said: ‘I am very much looking forward to getting to know the girls and the entire Benenden community over the coming months.’

Cranleigh Appoints New Head For 2025

Cranleigh Preparatory School has appointed Will Newman as the next Head.

Will Newman

Will Newman

Will is set to join the school in January 2025 with 24 years of experience in senior leadership.

He has an MA in Physical Education and has an interest in sports and performing arts.

Adrian Lajitha, Chair of Cranleigh’s Governing Body, said: ‘It is clear to the Governing Body that we have found a leader whose values and ethos closely align with those of our school.’

First Female Head Appointed at St George’s School Windsor in 675 years

In September 2024, Emm Károlyi will take over as Head of St George’s School Windsor.

Emma is currently the Head of Junior King’s School in Canterbury and has over 30 years experience in education.

Emma and her husband

Emma will be the school’s first female Head in its 675-year history

She is also a published author of educational resources and a musician who is a member of The King’s Orchestra.

Emma commented: ‘It will be an honour to lead this wonderful and unique gem of a school, deeply steeped in history, heritage and music, and yet so forward-thinking and inclusive in its educational approach.’

Will Goldsmith, the current Head of St George’s School, will be moving to Packwood Haugh School in Shropshire.