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Old Girls Online

The Association has its own section on the School website which includes Births, Marriages, Obituaries, Forthcoming Events, Reunions, Old Girls Day, Association Choir, Travel Awards and more. Please do keep your contact, graduation, professional and personal details up to date on Old Girls Online which is accessed via the website.

DIARY DATES 2008 Saturday 15th November Association Choir Concert: Handel, Parry, Rutter, Vaughan Williams, Poulenc Concerto for Organ Fleur Bray (2002 Leaver) will be the soprano soloist. Fleur is featured on page 8 Holy Trinity Church, Guildford 7.30pm Contact us for tickets Friday 21st November St Catherine’s Day Gala Concert Dining Hall 7.30pm Contact us for tickets


ISSUE 10 | AUTUMN 2008


New Home for St Cat’s Café Where there’s a will, there’s a way! The grand opening of the new Pavilion on the Games Field on Saturday 11th October demonstrated the relevance of this old adage to the St Catherine’s Community. The St Cats Café started as a very low key fundraiser in 2006. Current pupil, Emma Austin, was a member of the 2006 USA Lacrosse Tour squad and her mother decided to raise money for the tour squad by selling burgers at home matches. Food was cooked on disposable barbecues and served from trestle tables. This proved to be very popular, contributing significantly to funds for the tour, and the parents - Mrs Austin, Mrs Bundy, Mrs Cary and other volunteers - decided to keep it going to raise more money and satisfy what had become an expectation of tea and bacon butties at matches. A larger scale barbecue soon had to be found. More parents have become involved since, at first continuing with tour fundraising, but then came the idea of buying a shed for the café. The School got involved at this point and contributed towards a jointly purchased Pavilion which was built in July. Huge thanks go to all the parents involved in this excellent undertaking, from Angela Austin and the founders, to all who staff the café today, and those yet to come…….

Friday 14th November John Palmer Centre 6.45-8.00pm Opening night of participate+PLUS, this year’s November Exhibition, which will display works by Creative Response, an independent arts organisation working with people who experience severe and enduring mental distress. Saturday 6th December Senior School PTA Christmas Party Friday 6th February 2009 Senior School PTA Quiz Saturday 7th/Sunday 8th March 2009 Assocation Trip to the Battlefields Saturday 20th June 2009 Grand St Catherine’s Association Ball ‘Midsummer’s Eve’ Friday 12th June 2009 Reunion for Leavers of 1955-1965 Sunday 13th September 2009 Old Girls’ Day 2010 125th Anniversary of the founding of St Catherine’s School

Members of the 1st Lacrosse Squad who have represented England, Scotland & Wales with Dr Jefferies, Mrs Austin, Mrs Rowson, Mrs Davies & Mrs Disney May

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The Sarahs take Silk Exciting news reached us in January when it was announced that two Old Girls, Sarah Hannaford (1981 Leaver) and Sarah Vaughan Jones (1979 Leaver), were to be appointed as QCs. Sarah Hannaford is at Keating Chambers, a leading Barristers’ Chambers, offering legal expertise to the construction, engineering, energy and technology industries. Sarah specialises in disputes in these industries together with professional negligence and EU procurement law. Sarah took her degree at Lincoln College, Oxford and was called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in 1989. Sarah Vaughan Jones was called to the Bar in 1983 and is at 2 Temple Gardens, one of the leading commercial and civil law barristers’ chambers. Her practice includes clinical negligence, professional negligence, professional regulation and personal injury. Sarah took her degree at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and was awarded the Harmsworth Entrance Exhibition to Middle Temple and the Ede & Ravenscroft Prize. Sarah is also the recipient of the Ver Heyden de Lancey Prize from the Council of Legal Education. The Appointment Ceremony took place in two parts - on 28th March, at the House of Lords (Jack Straw presiding) and on 1st April, at the Royal Courts of Justice. Sarah Hannaford writes: “It was great fun! My 3 year old son particularly enjoyed all the bowing and wigs!”. Sarah Vaughan Jones & Sarah Hannaford

Many congratulations to both Sarahs – your School is very proud of you!

Opening of the CAD Suite The new Computer Aided Design Suite in the John Palmer Centre, funded by the Wolfson Foundation, was formally opened by local architect, Elspeth Beard, on Thursday 22nd May. We were delighted to be joined by Old Girl, Nathalie Crowther (2002 Leaver), who recently graduated from Brunel in Product Design and is now establishing her own business. Alistair White, Head of DT, explained to an audience of parents, governors, current staff and colleagues from local schools what the new CAD facility brings to the teaching of DT at St Catherine’s. Guests were able to observe demonstrations of the computer controlled laser cutter and router and current girls were on hand to answer questions about their work or demonstrate the CAD programmes.

Elspeth Beard

Demonstrating the CAD Suite

Alistair White, Head of DT

BA (Hons) Dip Arch RIBA AABC

Henrietta gets the Bumps! Henrietta Mair is reading Medicine at Sidney Sussex, Cambridge and has enjoyed rowing during her first year. This photo shows her on the last day of the Bumps when Henrietta and her crew were very pleased to win their blades. Henrietta is the stroke (closest to the cox).

Computer controlled laser cutter



Non Nobis Domine! Not unto us, O Lord, The praise or glory be... The opening of the school hymn Rudyard Kipling

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Russell Baker Welcomes First House Captain We were delighted to welcome Sue Wakefield (Budd)(1976 Leaver) to St Catherine’s on Friday 12th September 2008. Sue was the first ever House Captain of Russell Baker and recalled how the separation between boarders and day girls was swept away in 1976 by the formation of the six School houses, which are so integral to School life today. We met Sue, a science graduate, at the Oxford Reunion earlier this year and it was a great pleasure to show her the innovations and advances made at St Catherine’s in the provision for Science. She was pleased to join the Russell Baker girls for their House activities that day and was presented with a pale blue RB badge. Amy Howell (House Captain), Sue Hall (Housemistress), Sue Wakefield (was Budd), Shu Fei Wong (House Captain)

Sian Allen meets Erika Werner Sian Allen (L5, Middleton) and her family visited Israel this year for their summer holidays and to visit Mrs Allen’s family. The Allens had previously seen the article in Non Nobis (issue 6, Autumn 2006) about the visit of Erika Werner (Grunebaum) to St Catherine’s in May 2006. Erika was born into a Jewish family in Germany in 1924 and remembers Kristallnacht vividly when the SS came to her house searching for her father. Her family fled to Holland and Erika came to St Catherine’s at the age of 15 in May1939, later joining the staff here as stand in school secretary before joining up with the ATS in late 1943. Erika only returned to Holland once for holidays before war was declared, following which she did not see her family again until the end of the war in 1945 when they were finally reunited in Chile. Following the Non Nobis article, it transpired that Mrs Allen’s parents had just moved into the same retirement home as Erika who was, by coincidence, helping Sian’s grandmother learn spoken English. On visiting Israel this summer, Sian and her family asked to meet Erika and took her out for lunch. Mr Allen writes: “Clearly Erika had many fond memories of St Catherine’s and thoroughly enjoyed her visit back here recently during which she was thrilled by your hospitality. She is already talking of coming back again for a special reunion in a couple of years time.” We very much look forward to welcoming Erika back to St Catherine’s whenever she is able to visit the UK. Erika Werner & Sian Allen

Sophie Beesley Sophie Beesley (1999 Leaver) returned to St Catherine’s to give an inspiring end of term lecture on 10th July 2008. Sophie’s ‘day job’ is with the Prince’s Trust where she is Head of the National Business Programme which supports disadvantaged young people starting their own businesses. However, Sophie is the founder of her own charity, Raise the Roof, which was formed following a life changing meeting with health worker Lindiwe on a visit to South Africa in 2004. At the age of only 22, Sophie decided to do everything she could to support Lindiwe’s vision for a stable home for orphaned, needy and abused children amid the chaos of the township. Using her own funds, initially a student overdraft, and later by working in the City in order to fund the project by sending every spare penny to South Africa, Sophie gradually got things underway. The home initially opened its doors to 19 children, many of them AIDS orphans, and today provides housing for 20-30 children and supports 30 more living in the local area. In January 2006 Raise the Roof gained charitable status with the UK Charities Commission. In the news section of the Raise the Roof website (, Sophie has posted the following item: “Sophie recently gave a talk at her old school, St Catherine’s, about Raise the Roof. Although she was very nervous, the event was a success and the girls and teachers were very supportive. St Catherine’s has kindly made a donation to Raise the Roof, so a big thank you from all of us is due. (Sophie was also presented with an amazing bouquet of flowers, which are currently on her desk making the rest of her office very jealous!)” Annie Ward (Head Girl), Sophie Beesley & Ems Plews (Head Girl)

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Graduations in 2008 News in so far!

School Examination Success

Laura Adams - LLB, Law, Kings College, London

Congratulations to all our girls on their success in 2008 public examinations.

Julia Bridcut - BA, Modern Languages & Cultures (German and Russian), Durham Alexandra Bruinvels - BA, Politics & French, Bristol Jessica Bugden - BA, Interior Architecture, Oxford Brookes Joanna Buist - BSc, Zoology, Durham Laura Butler - BA, English, Birmingham Nicola Campbell-Clause - BA, English Literature, Newcastle Upon Tyne Kelly Chaplin - BA, European Social & Political Studies, University College, London Marta Ciechanowicz - PGCE, Durham Alisa Duncan - MEng, Aerospace Engineering, Sheffield

This year’s A Level results were very pleasing with 73.3% achieving grade A and 95.9% achieving grade A and B (pass rate 100%). Once again the results reflect the commitment and dedication shown by the girls and the staff in the pursuit of excellence. The AS pass rate was also 100%, with 65% achieving grade A and 84.4% achieving grades A and B. This bodes well for A2 results in 2009. At GCSE the pass rate was again 100%, with 44.8% achieving grade A* and 82.9 % achieving either grade A* or A. We were delighted to receive letters of congratulation from Edexcel for individual girls (below) who had achieved an examination result placing them amongst the top ten students nationally. These included subjects as diverse as Art, Chinese, English, Geography, Politics and Textiles. In addition, Head Girl, Ems Plews (below), was awarded first place in the annual Sixth Form Classics essay competition organised by Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Congratulations to Ems who plans to study Classics at University.

Camilla Ferguson - BA, Law & Psychology, Exeter Alison Fleming - BEd, Primary Education, Edinburgh Felicity Gibbon - BSc, Geography, Nottingham Amy Green - BA, English & American Literature & Film Studies, Kent Alexandra Hall - MA, Ancient History, Edinburgh Polly Hughes - BA, Management, Nottingham Camilla Jordan - BA, Theatre (Contemporary), Dartington College of Arts Jessica Lajtha - BA, French & Italian, Exeter Megan Lawrence - BSc, Education & Psychology, Cardiff Isobel Millsop - BSc, Psychology, Leicester Sarah Northedge - BSc, Politics & Economics, Bath Amie Nowlan - BA, Fine Art, Newcastle Upon Tyne Rosie O’Callaghan - BSc, Psychology, Newcastle Upon Tyne Kathryn Palmer - LLB, Law, Birmingham Sarah Palmer - BSc, Physiotherapy, Brighton Lucy Pavia - BA, English Literature, Newcastle Upon Tyne Rebecca Powell - MBBS, Medicine, Newcastle Upon Tyne Katkin Pringle - BA, Fine Art, Newcastle Upon Tyne Aarti Shah - BSc Economics & Politics, Southampton Julia Shipway - BA, English Literature, Durham Sophie Short - BSc, Geography, Leeds Helen Taylor - BA, English, Exeter Anna Teden - BSc, Cognitive Science, Leeds Eliza Turvey - BSc, Social Sciences, Cardiff Becky Webb - BSc, Psychology, Leeds Lara Wheatley - BSc, Psychology, Cardiff Jessica Wilford - BA, Music, York Caroline Williams - BA, History, Leeds

(Standing L-R ) Fay Lomas, Kerryn Kisbey-Green, Charlotte Flammiger, Pip Tauwhare, Rowenna Trevellyan, Florence Ho (Seated L-R) Ems Plews, Abigail Riley, Olivia Muir, Amelia Gibbs, Cathy Corrie, Annemarie Ko

Nigel Watson Head of Business Studies, Nigel Watson, is one of the authors of the leading A Level Business Studies textbook (with Ian Marcouse, Malcolm Surridge, Ian Swift, Andrew Hammon and Marie Brewer). Nigel writes: “For many years Business Studies students were forced into buying separate textbooks that covered different aspects of business e.g. specialised marketing, finance, HRM etc. Nearly ten years ago we spotted the gap the market for a text that covered the whole of the A Level Business Studies syllabus. Fortunately, our book proved to be a success, selling over 30 000 copies in the first year. Now in its 3rd Edition the text has been completely re-written to take into account syllabus changes. End of chapter case studies have also be up-dated to ensure that they remain topical and relevant.”

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London Drinks 2000 - 2007 Leavers As the bell sounded for the end of teaching on 3rd June 2008, an excited group of staff were to be found boarding a mini coach headed for London. We survived the rush hour and arrived at the University Womens’ Club in Mayfair in good time to meet with a large group of our most recent leavers. This was an extremely happy occasion and a great opportunity for old friends to catch up with each other and their former teachers. Mrs Phillips spoke briefly to the girls about the development plans currently afoot at School and a great deal of slightly envious enthusiasm was expressed at the idea of assemblies in a seated auditorium! With the memory of numb behinds still fresh in their minds, the girls were amused to hear that chair naming opportunities will be available and that this will be an excellent way in which to support their old school! The London Drinks are now an annual fixture in our programme and we look forward to meeting more of our Old Girls in London again next summer.

Emma Howells-Davies, Sophie Thompson, Emma Rawlinson, Nicole Engel

Sarah Williams, Nicola Campbell-Clause, Emma Newman-Young, Victoria Cosgrave

Tessa Broder, Katie Tapp, Alice Phillips, Claire Richardson, Francesca Mitchell, Bryony Gibbs

Georgina Barber, Annabelle Blake

George Atkinson, Helene Goddings, Fiona McEwan

Chris Silver , Sam Long

Our grateful thanks to the University Womens’ Club which proved to be an excellent facility where we were very well looked after. Membership is extremely reasonable for GSA school leavers and graduates. The Club offers very affordable overnight accommodation in the heart of Mayfair and Mrs Phillips recommends the benefits of membership to all Old Girls.

Hyo-Jae An, Holly Berner, Adina Almas, Caroline Rose, Heather Bryn-Thomas

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Old Girls’ Day 2008

Janet Cartwright

After a long wet August, it was no surprise to find that Old Girls’ Day was a showery day! But the cool weather did nothing to dampen the warmth of the welcome as St Catherine’s played host to over 100 returning Old Girls and their families.

Meanwhile, in an action packed day, the swimming pool was enjoyed by a large group of young children and Dads who had great fun splashing around while Mum was otherwise occupied!

The day commenced with Holy Communion in Chapel. Evelyn Tinker (the Jennifer Bate Organ Scholar) had earlier rehearsed a Choir of Old Girls, former and current staff and current pupils who had gathered to sing during the OG Day Service at which Evelyn was also the Organist.

Another highlight was the annual lacrosse match between the Old Girls XII and the current School First Team. The School’s victory last year may have led some to believe the result would be a foregone conclusion but the Old Girls quickly disproved this theory with a resounding win of 9-4. Mrs Phillips was delighted to present the Cup to Jackie Mills, the OG Squad Manager, without whom the Match would not happen. Jackie’s work both on the OG Committee and in raising the OG lacrosse team each year is greatly appreciated.

Chapel was well attended and Canon Colin Tickner delivered a thought provoking address on the theme of ‘Love’. A collection was taken in aid of EnKI (the Education Kenya International Fund), a charity founded by Old Girl Rakhee Dodhia and supported by the Old Girls’ Committee (see page 10 for details of the student currently being sponsored through secondary eduation). Coffee in the Dining Room was a lively affair with many Old Girls and former staff meeting up for the first time in years and, in some cases, introducing children and partners. For a good number of our guests it was their first return to School since leaving and there was great enthusiasm for touring the site, revisiting old haunts and admiring recent additions and improvements – particularly in Boarding! Alistair White, Head of Design & Technology, led an oversubscribed session in the John Palmer Centre where Old Girls and their families were thrilled to make their own St Catherine’s Clocks under his guidance. This proved a very popular option which we shall certainly offer again in future.

Araminta Perham (Napier)

Old Girls’ Day 2009 Why not have a mini-reunion on Old Girls’ Day 2009? Are you tired of waiting for your next decade reunion at St Catherine’s? Would you like to bring your family with you when meeting old friends? Old Girls’ Day is an annual event to which all Old Girls and their families are warmly welcome. This event can serve as an umbrella for your mini-reunion. We can help put you in touch with old friends, organise your group, reserve lunch tables and activities for you all to enjoy together. This year we were joined by a large group of 1982 leavers (many thanks to Valerie Young for instigating this). Please get in touch with Katherine Stocks if you would like to plan a get together with friends at St Catherine’s on Sunday 13th September 2009.

At 12.30pm a large and appreciative audience enjoyed a Music Recital from current pupils Sarah David (soprano), Mimi Whitehouse (clarinet) and Evelyn Tinker (organ). Many thanks to the girls and Geoffrey Field, Director of Music, for his support on the day. We have received many complimentary letters congratulating the girls on the standard of their music making.

During pre-Lunch drinks we shared the Dining Room with the new U3s whose Fun Day BBQ had been forced inside by the unpredictable weather. It was remarkable to have our ‘newest’ new girls enjoying lunch in the same room as so many of their St Catherine’s predecessors – one of whom had joined the School in 1927 and remembers the opening of Speech Hall. Andrew Price and his catering team provided a splendid roast lunch and the Dining Room rang to the sound of happy conversation. When coffee was served, the Association Director said a few words before Mrs Phillips gave a presentation about the structure and purpose of the proposed new buildings. Head of PE, Vic Alexander, fresh from refereeing the lacrosse match(!), was able to talk about the vision for sport, health and exercise generally at St Catherine’s. Many of the Old Girls were particularly pleased to hear that the proposed new sports building will provide opportunities for all pupils to find something within the exercise field they will enjoy. We have received many delightful letters and emails of thanks following this very happy occasion. We should like to thank all the Old Girls and everyone at St Catherine’s who contributed to the success of the day.

Shaking hands after the OG Day Lacrosse match

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Charlotte Ord

Joanna Dunlop (Rolfe)

Anna Demetriades

Nan Brown

Valerie Young

Kate Inchbald (Lilley)

Becky Walker & Katie Creighton

Elaine Hempsell (Shrimpton)

Arriving for lunch in the Dining Rooom

Maureen Hill (Clarke)

Rosalind Philips (Hutton)

Katie Jones

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Old Girls in Performing Arts The Old Girls of St Catherine’s include well known artists such as the late Joan Greenwood and Dorothy Tutin and more recently Juliet Stevenson, Sarah Crowe and Davina McCall. But what of the next generation? We are delighted to feature five more recent Old Girls making their way in the performing arts .......

Fleur Bray

Sarah Wilson Stage name Sia Berkeley

Sarah left St Catherine’s in 2003 having done superbly well in winning one of RADA’s fiercely contested acting degree course places. Since completing her training in July 2006, she has been forging ahead with her career including parts on television in ‘Skins’ and ‘The Bill’. She is currently filming a movie called ‘Wild Target’, a very dark comedy starring Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt and Rupert Everett. This is a really exciting project for Sarah and will probably come out early next year. She has also filmed a new ITV production of Wuthering Heights (playing Frances Earnshaw) which will be shown before Christmas. Sarah has kindly agreed to speak to some of our current girls in due course and we look forward to welcoming her back to St Catherine’s, although Sarah writes: ‘I am not sure the school will be so pleased if I convince them all to become wayward actresses!’ Congratulations to Sarah on all her success.

Fleur Bray (2002 Leaver) was the holder of the sixth form music scholarship during her time at St Catherine’s and is now training as a professional opera singer. Fleur spent four years studying at Cardiff University, successfully completing a BMus (Hons), specialising in performance, composition and musicology, and continuing onto a MMus in Composition, for which she was awarded distinction for writing a contemporary opera. During her years in Cardiff, she became an increasingly prominent singer, winning the David Lloyd Vocal Scholarship and the Sir Geraint Evans Prize for best degree recital. She was also a central figure in the Contemporary Music Group, working under the direction of composers Professor Anthony Powers and Dr Arlene Sierra, combining her singing with writing music. During her Master’s year, she wrote an unstaged opera, which she intends to premiere in the near future.

Le Feu in Ravel’s ‘L’Enfant et Les Sortileges’

Barbarina in Mozart’s ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’

While at Cardiff, Fleur trained with soprano Helen Field and secured a place on the Royal Northern College of Music vocal and opera course. Fleur is now in her second year at the RNCM studying for a Post-Graduate Diploma in Performance. She studies with Sandra Dugdale, and at the age of only 24, has already enjoyed great success as a young singer. Recent UK concert performances include singing with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic 10/10 Ensemble in James Macmillan’s Búsqueda, as part of the 2008 Liverpool City of Culture Festival. Since starting at the RNCM, Fleur has secured the role of Head Hen in The Cunning Little Vixen and Noémie in an excerpt from Massenet’s Cendrillon. In her second year, she also enjoyed singing the role of Miss Wordsworth in an excerpt from Britten’s opera Albert Herring at the RNCM and was a key chorus member in this year’s RNCM spring term opera, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, sung in Russian. Fleur also took to the concert platform with the RNCM chorus and Manchester Camerata in an emotive performance of Mozart’s Requiem under the direction of Sir Colin Davis, at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. This year Fleur has secured principal roles in both the opera productions at the College. In December, singing the role of Barbarina in ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ by Mozart, as well as touring with the production to Lancaster and Liverpool, and more recently singing the virtuosic coloratura role of Le Feu in Ravel’s ‘L’Enfant et Les Sortileges’ in March. Fleur also played the role of Despina in an excerpt from Mozart’s ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ and the title role in a scene from Handel’s ‘Alcina’ at the RNCM, and, lastly, the cover of Frasquita and chorus in Bizet’s Carmen at Clonter Opera Company in Cheshire. Fleur has won the Ann Lampard Recital Award for singers aged 23 years and under and, in recent competitions, Fleur was selected for the highly acclaimed finals of the Joyce and Michael Kennedy Prize for the singing of Strauss. She was also a finalist and award-winner of the Dame Eva Turner Award in Manchester. Fleur has also been awarded the ‘Drapers’ Baroness De Turckheim Vocal Scholarship’ in recognition of her potential as a young singer, and is highly grateful for this support during her studies at the RNCM. She is also thankful for her vocal award from The Humphrey Richardson Taylor Charitable Trust, and for their kind support this year.

Alcina in Handel’s ‘Alcina’ Photographs supplied by kind permission of RNCM, photographer Tony Redmond

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Emma Odell Emma Odell (2000 Leaver) writes: “After leaving Leeds University with a 2:1 in English in 2004, I didn't have much of an idea of what sort of career I wanted to pursue. I tried some work experience and internships in PR and Publishing and ended up working at MGA a small but perfectly formed marketing agency based in Loseley Park. During my time there my boss - who shared my love of all things musical - dared me to audition for Hartley Wintney's amateur production of My Fair Lady. I did it, not really expecting much, and was given Eliza Doolittle - a dream part. From that day on I haven't really stopped - I went to work in London at the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in 2006, but soon realised that unless I had a proper go at becoming an actress, I would still be a boring frustrated artist (you know who you are) in 20 years time! So I did the rounds of drama school auditions (horrible), and decided to take a place at the London School of Musical Theatre in Borough, beginning in September 2007. I won a BBC Fame Academy Bursary in 2007, which helped a long way to paying for my fees, and had the most wonderful year of dancing, acting and singing. During my time there, I was given many opportunities to perform for West End actors and directors in a number of parts, and played the Baker's Wife in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods in my showcase in May. Alongside my course, I played Helen in Loving Art at the Landor Theatre in June, and I performed in the final of the Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year Competition at the Trafalgar Studios. I left LSMT at the end of July with a wonderful agent, and have been auditioning ever since. I am just about to begin rehearsals for Sweeney Todd at the Union Theatre in Southwark which will run through to the beginning of December, and will be performing at the Palladium in a charity performance of Me and My Girl - a show which will be blocked, rehearsed and curtains up in just 48 hours(!) in a few weeks' time. I’m also available for weddings, christening etc, and Andrew Lloyd Webber – if you’re out there….!”

Vanessa Caswill Vanessa Caswill (2000 Leaver) has a theatrical background, having studied drama at the University of Birmingham. Towards the end of her degree, Vanessa, now 26, persuaded her tutor to let her make a short film instead of performing for 20 minutes - and has never looked back! She is now an emerging filmmaker and won a prestigious 4Talent award (Channel 4’s awards for the UK’s most exciting young creative talent) for her short film ‘Pudding Bowl’, marking her as one of the hottest young talents of 2008. ‘Pudding Bowl’ has been screened at numerous festivals including Cannes and Clermont – Ferrand Short Film Festival as well as earning her a Best Visual Film award and a Film Of The Night award at the Limelight Film and Arts Awards 2008 and Best Film in the Foreign Category at ‘Corto Di Donne’ Film Festival. She has recently been signed with Annex Films and is currently working for them as a promo and commercial Director. Since then she has shot an inspirational fragrance video with Creamer and Lloyd for Unilever and music videos for Artists including Revere, The Ryes and Lisa Mitchell which was featured on David Reviews. Vanessa has also just completed her next short film, ‘Fish Dance Kid’ , one of this year’s Digital Shorts for Screen South which was part funded by the UK Film Council.

Polly King Readers of the Surrey Advertiser may have noticed Polly King (1996 Leaver) on the front cover of the What’s On magazine as she is currently appearing as Mrs Lovett (photo above) in Sweeney Todd at Guildford’s Electric Theatre. Polly trained classically, dancing with a number of ballet companies, before moving into professional theatre and touring with Chapterhouse Theatre Company for two seasons in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Polly currently works at Guildford School of Acting and has been a freelance dance teacher for a number of years following four years with sole responsibility for ballet teaching at Sue Thompson Dance School and the Lorna Benson School of Dance. Since starting a family, she has become more involved with the amateur theatre circuit in Guildford. Polly chairs one of the societies and has directed/choreograped/ staged various productions in the area. Since 2002, she has had her own media production company (Cheeky Monkey Productions) and, since 2005, a theatre production company (

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EnKI Update Since the last issue of Non Nobis, Julius Komu has been identified as the student the Old Girls’ Committee of the St Catherine’s Association will sponsor through secondary school in Kenya. Julius had a difficult early life with his father passing away while he was still young and ended up living on the streets and taking drugs. He was eventually rescued, successfully rehabilitated and admitted to our link school, St Catherine’s Primary, in the very deprived Mukuru area of Nairobi. Julius did well in his exams (KCPE) despite the problems and challenges of living in a vegetable kiosk where he had to assist in the business until late at night leaving little time to study. EnKI has arranged for him to board at Muguga High School where all is going well and his marks are steadily improving. Sister Sally of St Catherine’s, Mukuru, who recommended Julius for this opportunity, writes: “This has been going very well and the very needy boy, Julius Komo, from our St. Catherine’s has proved to be very determined and focused in his studies”. Julius writes regularly and promises: ‘I will do my best by working hard in both academic and sports. The only gift I can give you is to thank you for what you have done for me. May God bless you.’

Its the Hard Knock Life - Natasha Charlesworth, Shu Fei Wong, Katy Allison, Poppy Drayton, Veronica So, Sarah David

‘Annie’ - Sixth Form Musical The 6th form musical this year was ‘Annie’, a heart-warming tale of a young orphan searching for her parents in 1930’s New York. Performed, directed, and produced by a dedicated L6 team, fresh from their AS levels, ‘Annie’ presented a challenge which we took up with great enthusiasm! In the mere two weeks we had to put it together, the entire year group took over the art department, music block, and speech hall to produce an amazing New York skyline, learn a host of songs and choreograph challenging dance routines. Despite being slightly hectic, the time was greatly enjoyed by all. Written by Alex Courage (Director), Caroline Brown (Co-Director) & Shu Fei Wong (Co-Director)

EnKi is a small registered charity set up in 1997 by Old Girl Rakhee Dodhia (1990 Leaver) and exists to arrange sponsorship through secondary school. If you would like to find out more about the work of EnKI please refer to the website or email

“Oh Sandy!” - Lucie Crawford

Easy Street - Isabella Weyman, Hannah Fisher, Holly Dempster

Baroque Performance During the Summer holidays, we were contacted by Jessica Wilford (2004 Leaver) who was looking for a venue in the Surrey area in which to stage a performance on baroque violin with harpsichord (to be played by her boyfriend Sam Sytsma). Jessica has just graduated from York University with a degree in Music.

Julius Komu (right) at Muguga High School

Further information... If you know of anyone who has not received Non Nobis and has a connection with the School or require further details about the Association or would like to visit the school, please contact Katherine Stocks, the Association Director on 01483 899751 or by email:

Mrs Phillips was delighted to make available the School Chapel where Jessica and Sam gave a bravura performance of a fascinating programme on Friday, 29th August. The assembled audience much appreciated hearing an authentic baroque sound in the atmospheric surroundings of our beautiful Chapel. Following this delightful performance, Jessica wrote in to tell us: “It was a very special occasion for us and a wonderful opportunity for me to visit St Catherine’s again”. Jessica enclosed with her letter a donation to Enki, part of which was donated by audience members at the performance. She hopes this contribution will “help to create greater opportunity for the young man the Association is supporting through EnKI” (see above left).

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Prep School News Prep School Achieves Silver Award The Prep School has done so well with its environmental incentives that it has achieved a Silver Award from the National Eco Schools programme. In order to achieve this the school’s Eco Warriors had to complete a formal Environmental Review of the whole school and write an Action Plan based on it. The girls also had to write an Eco Code which sums up the main points of the plan and this is on display around the school for all the girls to follow. The Prep School also had to demonstrate progress in two of the points on the Action Plan. The first area in which the girls have made considerable progress is recycling, which includes not only paper but also cardboard, plastic bottles, newspapers and magazines, ink and toner cartridges, and the composting of fruit and other kitchen waste. In addition the Prep School PTA has provided funds for outdoor play equipment including an outdoor stage with seating, musical instruments and a playhouse made from a redwood tree cut from a sustainable forest in Devon. In order for the school to achieve its Green Flag (the highest level), all girls in the Prep School need to be involved and committed to making St Catherine’s an environmentally friendly school. The Eco Warriors are currently designing a wildlife garden and the School’s target is to make sure that more than 40% of the girls share a lift on Walk and Cycle to School days. In the past 12 months the Prep School has managed to increase car sharing on these special days from 15% to 33% so the signs are positive. Every class from Year II in the Prep School has an Eco Monitor, the school has three Environmental Monitors and six Eco Warriors all of whom are working with the staff to achieve the targets by Autumn Term 2009.

Citizenship in the Prep School One of the four key aims in the Prep School is to be responsible citizens. We help the girls throughout the school to explore what citizenship means to them and initiate opportunties to increase their awareness, understanding and participation in ‘politics’ in the widest sense. Citizenship is part of every aspect of school life. It is covered at school level, within the local community, at national and global levels through assemblies, PSHE, Tutor Groups, the curriculum (including global education) through practical service in the community, as well as charitable support and giving. Last year we were delighted that the Mayor and Mayoress of Godalming were able to help girls in Lower III to gain a better understanding of local government. The girls enjoyed a visit to the Council Chambers, hosted by the Mayor, and previous to this the Mayoress (Councellor Gordon Smith) came to school to give a very interesting and informative talk. She covered how democracy was established in England and how we all can make contributions, as citizens in the local community, regardless of our age. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the interactive session and joining in discussions. The Lower III girls also participate in the Surrey Junior Citizenship Day which covers different aspects of citizenship. It focuses on raising the girls awareness of different peoples disabilities, the work of the different emergency services - The Police Service, the Fire Service, The Life Boat Association and St John’s Ambulance and the girls’ roles in the community. Girls from a number of years sang and played a variety of instruments for local senior citizens at the Chilworth Ladies Lunch in May. In October girls sang to senior citizens at Blunden Court in Bramley. Both these events are annual activities in which the girls participate , and at which they thoroughly enjoy mixing and talking with the senior citizens.

Over the Moon….. On Saturday 17th May 2008, 15,000 women and men set off at midnight to power walk the annual Playtex Moonwalk marathon around London wearing decorated bras. Our own Annie Daniell, Prep School Registrar, was one of them! Ten days before the Moonwalk, Annie was feeling a little apprehensive: “I have to admit that I’m getting a bit nervous but we are training hard and determind to enjoy ourselves - and get there! I am hoping that this lovely weather will last so it’s not too cold as we walk the streets overnight in our bras!!” Undaunted, Annie set off on the Saturday evening and duly completed the walk. The following week she was delighted to report to her supporters: “I DID IT! And no blisters. A HUGE Thank You to you all for your support. In total I managed to raise £2,600 which made the cold, sleepless night very worthwhile.” Many congratulations to Annie for raising such an amazing sum for this great Charity. Walk the Walk came into being ten years ago through what was expected to be a once only fundraising event but which has blossomed into a thriving charity raising to date in excess of £43million for breast cancer research and cancer care. If you are interested in taking part in the next Moonwalk on 16th May 2009 or in finding out more about the Walk the Walk charity, please see the website:

Ken Pate’s Memorial Bench A bench in memory of former school carpenter, Ken Pate, was unveiled on 2 September in the presence of Mrs Wendy Melinn, Ken’s niece. (L-R: Chris Silver, Mrs Wendy Melinn, Mark Pearl, Harry Pearl, Rui Ferreira, Alan Collett, Brigadier Dick Hume (former Bursar), Lidia Ferreira, Hector Barrios, Kirk Melia, Tony Gouveia, Alice Phillips)

Urban Regeneration Dr Jennifer Bate OBE We were so pleased to learn that Jennifer Bate was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday List this June. Jennifer Bate is an internationally-acclaimed organ virtuoso with wide experience in educational work. The Jennifer Bate Organ Academy is an annual residential course run at St Catherine’s for young women organists aged 13 – 21. The course is led by Jennifer assisted by a team of outstanding specialists including our own Director of Music, Geoffrey Field. Participants have the opportunity to develop their all-round performance expertise and the course provides excellent training for those considering university scholarships and conservatoire applications as well as the higher exams and diplomas. Jennifer is also Patron of The Jennifer Bate Organ Scholarship which was founded in 2004 as a joint venture between Guildford Cathedral and St Catherine’s School and funded by the School. The scholarship offers invaluable experience to further the careers of women in church music and/or as professional organists. The current recipient is Evelyn Tinker (U6) who performed on Old Girls’ Day (see page 6).

Old Girl, Philippa Bloomfield (2001 Leaver), gave a fascinating and topical lecture to Guildford Geographical Association on Urban Regeneration. These talks are designed for the Sixth Forms of all the local schools and are well attended. After graduating from Durham in Geography, Philippa has worked for English Partnerships and is now based in East London. She explained that English Partnerships is a Government Agency, soon to be called the Homes and Community Agency. It targets strategic brownfield sites, creating projects that are both community linked and sustainable in nature. She is involved in two major rebranding projects in Greenwich, one being the exciting Greenwich Millennium Village development, which she used as one of the case studies in her lecture.

Olivia Blake (L6) (left) will join Philippa (right) at English Partnerships for her work experience week

Funding the Future Launched in July at Speech Day by the Headmistresses (, click on School Development for their speech), Funding the Future has begun in earnest with inspiring contributions from the Association. One of our most senior Old Girls (1929 Leaver) is supporting with a regular monthly standing order, as is another who clearly remembers the Speech Hall being opened in 1935. A third, who had benefited from the Assisted Places Scheme, is supporting because she believes that current success in her chosen career is thanks to the skills learnt at St Catherine’s. Husbands of Old Girls are also supporting St Catherine’s! Despite the way in which the economic picture has changed since July, the enthusiasm of parents for the planned developments has been very palpable and practical. Former parents, seeing their daughters flourish at university or establishing themselves in their professions are pledging support; current parents are contributing at a range of levels; former and current staff are involved in donations. All governors and former governors have given their personal support. A huge thank you to all who have given so far. If you have not yet done so, please consider any way in which you, too, could be part of the future of St Catherine’s. All gifts, of all kinds and at all levels are significant and do so much to help drive forward the provision of facilities for current and future generations of girls. (, School Development and follow the link to Funding the Future). 2010 marks the 125th Anniversary of St Catherine’s. Any memories or anecdotes from old girls or former staff, or memorabilia, photographs or documents, would be most warmly welcomed as contributions to the History of the School which I am writing for publication in 2010. Julian Foord, Development Director or phone 01483 899754

Many congratulations to Tony and Alexandra Gouveia (members of the maintenance and housekeeping team) on their marriage in Madeira on 9th August

“Let us go on ...”

St Catherine’s Association, Bramley, Guildford, Surrey, GU5 0DF Tel: +44 (0)1483 899751 Email: Web: Headmistress Mrs A M Phillips MA (Cantab)

St Catherine's School Non Nobis Autumn 2008  

St Catherine's School Association Newsletter Autumn 2008

St Catherine's School Non Nobis Autumn 2008  

St Catherine's School Association Newsletter Autumn 2008