New Upper Sixth Courtyard opened

September 9, 2018

The official opening of the new Upper Sixth Courtyard took place before nearly 1000 people on Saturday 30th June 2018. 18 months in the building and 6 years in the planning, the Courtyard provides 64 en-suite study bedrooms for the Upper Sixth in five beautifully-appointed townhouses, together with accommodation for residential staff. The Courtyard also includes a light and spacious Pastoral Centre, with a lecture theatre, reading room, meeting rooms, and a studio space that is used for dance classes, yoga, society meetings, and entertaining. The Courtyard opened to its first Upper Sixth residents on 9th September 2018.

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New Headmistress for 2019 announced – Mrs Danuta Staunton

July 18, 2018

The Chairman of Governors is delighted to announce that Mrs Danuta Staunton will succeed Mrs Breen as Headmistress from September 2019. Mrs Staunton is the ninth member of St Mary’s staff to move on to Headship in the last twenty years, and was the unanimous choice of the Board of Governors, a decision strongly endorsed by Council Members.

Mrs Staunton attended St Augustine’s Priory, Ealing, prior to gaining a first class honours degree in English Literature at the University of York. She gained a distinction in her MA in Renaissance Literature, also at York, prior to attaining her PGCE at King’s College London. After a role in publishing with the Ark Group in London, Mrs Staunton joined the English Department at St Mary’s. She has worked as a Year Coordinator, Deputy Head of House and then joined the Senior Management and Education Team with a broad portfolio of academic and co-curricular responsibilities, including external communications. She will assume the role of Headmistress Elect from this September, and will work closely with Mrs Breen over the next academic year to help prepare for a smooth transition in September 2019.

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Time capsule for the new Upper Sixth Courtyard

June 20, 2018

Members of School Council gathered to pack the time capsule which is to be buried beneath the entrance to the new Upper Sixth Courtyard. The capsule contains uniform, photographs, letters which the girls have written to their future selves, and other items from St Mary’s life in 2018. It will be buried beneath the paving stones at the entrance to the Courtyard as part of the opening ceremony on Open Day this year, and remain in the ground for 50 years, to be dug up by future pupils and staff in 2068.

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Visit by Daniel Hannan MP

May 21, 2018

On May 21st 2018, the Sixth Form hosted Daniel Hannan MP, who gave a very thought-provoking and exciting talk about the future of Brexit. Some of the girls studying Politics for A Level enjoyed having dinner with him beforehand in the Staff Refectory, and the opportunity to discuss informally such issues as the electoral system, tax policy, and his personal experience of working in Brussels. Girls from Year 9 upwards attended the talk, which generated a wide range of perceptive questions from an audience that is clearly very engaged in the politics that is going to shape their future.

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Summer Soirée enjoyed by all

May 18, 2018

Parents, girls and staff gathered in the Chapel to enjoy this year’s Summer Soirée on Friday 18th May. Organised and hosted entirely by Sixth Form girls, the concert presented a range of entertaining material, from Handel’s Ombra Mai Fu and a Shostakovich Prelude, to Johnny B Goode and Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind. There were also original compositions by the girls, and ensemble pieces that involved collaborations between girls of all year groups. The event raised over £1200 for the Evelina Children’s Hospital.

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Shrove Tuesday a ‘Roaring Twenties’ success

May 15, 2018

The Lower Sixth staged a wonderful, lively and entertaining Shrove Tuesday celebration this year. The live entertainment included a splendid rendition of ‘My Way’ by our own Father Dermot, followed by the delights of the Lower Sixth films, which showcased six years of footage of life at St Mary’s in all its wonderful variety and joy. The fancy dress competition was inventive and colourful, as always, and involved everything from ‘London Landmarks’ and Mount Rushmore to the complete cast of Toy Story. The girls then organised a fabulous Gatsby-themed evening party in the Refectory.

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Politicians debate the future

May 15, 2018

Girls from year 11 and the Lower Sixth participated in the Model United Nations Conference at Guildford High School on January 13th 2018. Our delegates, representing the US and Ethiopia, debated the problem of nuclear disarmament, and one of our Year 11 pupils won the ‘Highly Commended Delegate’ prize for her contributions. The girls enjoyed the formality of the MUN process, which allowed for robust but measured and respectful debate. They also enjoyed the chance to chat informally with the delegates from other schools over lunch.

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Major singing prize awarded to St Mary’s Music Captain

May 14, 2018

Congratulations to the St Mary’s Music Captain, who has won the Ann Lampard Singing Prize 2018 at the Royal Academy of Music. She performed  a repertoire that included an aria from The Marriage of Figaro, a Strauss lieder and a French cabaret song, and beat an impressive field of the country’s finest young singers to carry off the prize. Having thrilled audiences with her singing in concerts here over the years, and led the school’s music in her last year with professionalism and poise, we also congratulate her on achieving a place at Lincoln College, Oxford, to read Music from September 2018.

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