Please update your EMAIL with the St Catherine’s Association. We are keen to send more of our communications by email. We currently receive a very high percentage of returns so do please update your details.
DIARY DATES 2009 Friday 20th November Opening night of “Suspended Moments” A selling exhibition of paintings and mixed media works by Jan Dagley, who recently completed her MA at Chichester and has been short-listed for the Baines Surrey Artist of the Year competition. All are welcome. John Palmer Centre 5.00-7.30pm Saturday 21st November Association Choir Concert (also featuring Senior Chamber Choir, Guitar Group & Camerata String Orchestra): Misa Criolla and Navidad Nuestra by Ariel Ramirez; Bachianas Brasileiras V and Suite For Strings by Villa Lobos. Fleur Bray (2002 Leaver), soprano soloist. Holy Trinity Church, Guildford 7.30pm.
ISSUE 12 | AUTUMN 2009
Nobis THE NEWSLETTER OF THE ST CATHERINE’S ASSOCIATION
Oh, what a night! Association Midsummer’s Eve Ball
Corks popped, the champagne flowed and five hundred guests in their finest converged upon St Catherine’s for the Midsummer’s Eve Ball on Saturday 20th June. They were greeted by a riot of pink and orange trees and flowers which transformed the marquee into a glamorous evening wonderland (continued on pages 6 & 7).
w w w. s tc at h e r i n e s. i n fo
w w w.stcatherines.info Friday 27th November St Catherine’s Day Gala Concert Dining Hall 7.30pm Saturday 5th December Senior School PTA Christmas Party Saturday 1st/Sunday 2nd May 2010 Association Trip to the Battlefields Book now on enclosed form to avoid disappointment Sunday 12th September 2010 Old Girls’ Day - 125th Anniversary Year Put the date in your diary now Friday 24th September 2010 125th Anniversary Service for former and current pupils Guildford Cathedral 11.00am
Plenty to Celebrate! St Catherine’s girls past and present have had another great year both in public examinations and other academic achievements. Once again the A2, AS and GCSE results were excellent and all our Upper Sixth girls who applied for university in 2008/9 achieved their first choice place or have elected to apply this year. Other notable academic successes include Tiffany Young (U6) being selected as the winner of the Royal Economic Society’s Young Economist of the Year competition 2009. Gemma Dick (2008) has been awarded an academic scholarship for Biochemistry at St Anne’s College, Oxford.
Cara Laskaris (2008) has been awarded the Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship for the full three years of her Music degree at Oxford University commencing this autumn. Catriona Stephen (2006) won the Porson Prize for Greek verse in her final year reading Classics at Cambridge, the first female student ever to do so. The prize is extremely prestigious and previous winners include Enoch Powell. And, proving it is never too late, mature student Pretafer Houston (Lloyd) (1980) has just graduated from St Andrews with a Degree of Master of Arts (General) (with Distinction) and was awarded The Fife Council Provost’s Prize for the outstanding student on her course.
Pretafer HOUSTON (Lloyd) (1980)
ley atherine’s, Bram
ksgiving An Act of Than of es liv e th for Jane Barnett ok Phyllis Jane Co Wendy Waite
Service of Thanksgiving For the Lives of Miss Barnett, Mrs Cook (Webb) & Mrs Waite
The Chapel Service on Old Girls’ Day, Sunday 13th September 2009, took a special form this year as we remembered with gratitude the lives of Jane Barnett, Jane Cook (Webb) and Wendy Waite. These three former members of staff accumulated 75 years of service to the School between them – a remarkable statistic. We were very pleased to welcome Miss Barnett’s niece and nephew, Ingrid and Per BrookeBarnett, Mrs Cook’s daughter, Caroline Boydell (1970 Leaver), and Mrs Waite’s husband Bill and daughter Karen (1985 Leaver) to attend the service and witness the dedication of memorial plaques. The Service was devised and conducted by the School Chaplain, Rev Canon Colin Tickner. Eulogies were given by the Headmistress, Mrs Alice Phillips, drawing upon contributions from relatives, Old Girls and former colleagues including Rita Lewis, Joy Lowe, Chris Massey, John Palmer and Gillian Soper.
th ptember 2009 Sunday 13 Se
Non Nobis Domine! Not unto us, O Lord, The praise or glory be... The opening of the school hymn Rudyard Kipling
Jane Barnett (left) died on 22 nd June Deputy Head and 2009 Head of History, 1954 - 1983 Phyllis Jane Coo k (right) died on th 4 December Head of Geograph 2007 y, Senio r Mistress and Housemistres s of Austen, 1954 - 1976
Wendy Waite died on 20 th Janua Personal Assistant ry 2009 to four Heads, 1977 - 2001
w w w. s t c a t h e r i n e s . i n f o
Old Girls’ Day 2009 Sunday 13th September
Two groups of Old Girls chose this year’s OG Day to get together for a mini-reunion at St Catherine’s. The structure of the day provides the perfect umbrella for bringing together your old school friends, with children and partners most welcome. Leavers of 1984/86 and 1993 joined us this year and many thanks are due to Penny Lord (Russell) (1986) and Rhian Warner (Thomas) (!993) for being the motivating forces behind these gatherings - providing a first ever visit back to school for some Old Girls. Leavers of the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s were in fairly short supply this year and, whilst the two Reunions held at school over the summer may account for some drop in numbers, it would be particularly good to see some Reunion groups from these age groups next year. Please do not hesitate to contact Katherine Stocks, the Association Director, if you would like any help getting a group together for next year. And please do not worry about joining us under your own steam – we can let you know who is coming from your year as the day approaches and the Old Girls’ Committee are always on hand to welcome you with representatives from every decade.
Suzi Hopkins (2000) & Joanna Blacow (2002)
Chapel this year was a Service of Thanksgiving (see opposite) in a departure from the usual Holy Communion. This was followed by coffee in the Dining Hall after which we broke up for a choice of family swimming, tours of the school, music recital by current pupils (Lucia Chan, Hannah Davidson & Peggy Fooks), lesson in Design & Technology or out to the playing fields to watch the annual Old Girls vs. the current school 1st Team Lacrosse Match. This year the school reclaimed the lacrosse honours winning a close match after last year’s defeat by the Old Girls! Very many thanks are due to Jackie Mills for raising and managing the OG Squad and to Vic Alexander, Head of PE for organising the match at school. After a splendid roast lunch (thanks to Andrew Price and his team), presentations were given by the Headmistress and recent leaver Carly Brown (2009) who showed a film she has produced about life at St Catherine’s. We were joined for the film presentation by the Upper 3 girls who were in school for their new girls’ fun day. The programme concluded with the Headmistress and the Association Prefects taking questions and talking about life at school today. Another successful and happy Old Girls’ Day – please do join us next year.
Janet Eastwood (1986) , Clare Gozzard (1986) & Lucinda Soper ( Thorne) (1986) with their daughters
Marjory Bayliss (1946), Jill Lye (Melrose) (1975) & Wendy Buer (Lyon) (1952) enjoying a DT lesson
Emma Zorab (2008)
w w w.stcatherines.info
Graduations in 2009 As we know them so far ... do please let us know if you graduated in 2009. Rosie BEESLEY - Intercalated Degree, Cognitive Psychology, Cardiff Holly BERNER - Criminology & Criminal Justice, Leeds Fleur BRAY - Post Grad Dipl, Music, Royal Northern College of Music Olivia CLINTON - BA, Spanish & History of Art, Manchester Alice CORNISH - BA, History, Edinburgh Nicola DENNISON - BA, History, Bristol Jennifer ENGEL - MA, Art History & Psychology, St Andrews Francesca GEACH - BA, Music, York Katie GOBLE - BA, Classics, Trinity Hall, Cambridge Elizabeth GOLDSBROUGH - BA, American Studies & Film, Nottingham Vicky GREEN - BA, Classics, Durham Pretafer HOUSTON - MA, General, St Andrews Charlotte JACKSON - MA, Sociology, Aberdeen Sophie JONATHAN - BA, English Literature, Durham Suzannah KITSON - MA, English, St Andrews Alexandra LOADER - BA, Interior Architecture & Design, Nottingham Trent Louise MITCHELL - MA, History, Edinburgh Kate MORLAND - BA, Classics, Jesus College, Cambridge Pippa NICKOLDS - BA, Spanish & Italian, St Andrews Toujaara PAKHOMOVA - BSc, Economics, University College London Clementine REYNOLDS - BA, English, Bristol Samantha ROPER - BA, French, Spanish & Portuguese, Nottingham Harriet SAHLSBERG - MA, Classics, St Andrews Catriona STEPHEN - MPhil, Classics, Trinity Hall, Cambridge Caroline STOVOLD - BSc, Chemistry, Somerville College, Oxford Rachel WALDEN - BA, Classics, Pembroke College, Cambridge Jo WATERHOUSE - BSc, International Management & Modern Languages, Bath Jessica WINCH - BA, English, Edinburgh Joanna WOOTTON - BA, Classics, Durham
60th Birthday Lunch
1967 Leavers Liz Chalwin (Garrett), Debbie Gauvain (Couchman) and Jane Smith (Chare) decided that the year in which they all turned 60 would be the perfect opportunity to gather some of their old school friends for a celebratory birthday lunch. All three ladies serve on the Old Girls’ Committee and, rather than hold the party at one of their homes, approached the school to see if it would be possible to hold the lunch at St Catherine’s. The Conference Room was duly booked for them and the ladies liaised with the Association Director for help with contact details for their invitations. They also engaged the school caterers, Harrisons, who put on a delicious buffet lunch for their guests at a very reasonable cost per head. Friday 29th May was a beautiful sunny day during half term so the party practically had the school to themselves! The day was a great success with some guests staying all afternoon and re-visiting old haunts around school. Many of those unable to attend sent their regrets, hailing the party as ‘a great idea’ and saying ‘please do it again!’. If you would be interested in using St Catherine’s as a venue for an event with Harrisons private dining service please do not hesitate to contact the Association Director, Katherine Stocks, for further information on availability and cost.
St Cat’s Goes Green
Monday 5th October marked the beginning of an eventful 5 days. Being a member of the Girls School Association (GSA), St Catherine’s took part on the annual Girls Go Green event to promote a week long initiative for eco-awareness. An impressive range of eco-friendly activities occurred around the School in order to raise awareness of environmental issues and the importance of sustainable development. The week also marked the celebration of the Eco-Committee’s hard work as St Catherine’s has officially been awarded the very prestigious Green Flag Eco-schools status. On the Monday we welcomed a ‘green’ themed mufti day and guest speaker, Mr Mike Smyth from Friends of the Earth, who gave an interesting and thought provoking presentation on how the St Catherine’s generation is the generation who will have to make a difference if the situation of climate change is to be turned around. This was followed by an ECO treasure hunt around the school and we were very impressed with the high number of girls who braved the rain and took part! Tuesday followed with a very successful ‘walk and cycle to school day’ that many pupils and staff took part in despite even more rain! On Wednesday the senior ECO team gave a short assembly to the senior school about our chosen charity ‘Cool Earth’, which works with indigenous tribal communities in Peru to prevent illegal logging and deforestation. There was also photograph competition in association with the Prince’s Rainforest Trust based on the theme of what trees mean to our daily lives. On Thursday the middle school enjoyed a presentation on ‘cool earth’ given by Claudia Fordham- Moss, Dr Lee, Dr Duckworth and Mr Deane (our staff ECO team members to whom we are very grateful) and at lunch time we ran an ECO fashion show – the winners being Sasha, Lilly, Alice, Eleanor, Hannah and Megan who created a plastic bag dress decorated with coloured bottle tops and an original carrier bag handbag. Finally on the Friday, we rounded off the week with a ‘Krispy Kreme’ sale and ‘pledge tree’ where each form promised to help a little bit more towards saving the planet. All in all it was a very successful week and we managed to raise enough money to maintain 12 acres of Peruvian rainforest through ‘Cool Earth’, which was 2 acres over our target and so we should feel proud that our little bit of ‘St Catherine’s Peru’ will stay safe from deforestation and we have helped to keep carbon where it belongs! Amy Price (L5 ECO representative) St Catherine’s will be featured on The Cool Earth Website as the school is now sponsoring more rainforests than any other school in the UK. www. coolearth.org (see schools section)
w w w. s t c a t h e r i n e s . i n f o
Reunion for Leavers of 1955-65
You Can Help Make History! Calling all members of the Association! During the academic year 2010-2011, St Catherine’s will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of its foundation in 1885 and as part of the celebrations, Julian Foord, the Development Director, is researching and writing the history of the School. You have all played a part as day girls or boarders, parents, staff or friends of the School, in making St Catherine’s the School that it is today. Julian is very keen to hear anecdotes, memories and stories of St Catherine’s, both in the Prep. [Junior] School and Senior School. You may remember a fiercely fought house competition, an inspiring lesson, school expedition, holiday trip abroad or even an eccentric teacher, famous or infamous contemporary! Perhaps a house picnic, St Catherine’s Day, memorable concert or drama production? All contributions will provide an invaluable resource for the school archive although, unfortunately, Julian cannot guarantee that all memories will be included in the school history!
The day began with coffee on the front lawn before being called to Chapel by the bell, rung, as by tradition, by former Head Girl Elizabeth Bunker (Gabriel) (1958) who had joined us from Australia. Drinks and Lunch followed in the Gymnasium where some returners were caught by surprise to hear the building they thought of as the ‘new gym’ had reached the end of its working life and would soon be demolished. Both current Head Girls and a number of the prefects and members of the
sixth form had volunteered to help at the Reunion, assisting Mrs Phillips in telling our guests a little about life at St Catherine’s today and leading tours of the school after coffee. A must-see stop on the tour was a fascinating display from the Archives mounted in the Conference Room by school archivists Rosemary Christophers (1960) and her husband Richard. Many thanks to the Christophers for a super exhibition which delighted all who visited it. Everyone met again at tea time for some refreshment and cake before departing. Our thanks to Deirdre Clarkson-Webb for her help in the run up to the Reunion and, whilst it was a great shame that illness and distance prevented all four Francis sisters from attending, it was very good to have Deirdre and Susan with us for the day. We look forward to the next time.
And to whet your appetite, contributions so far include: anecdotes of the time when boarders could only have their hair washed once a week by a Mr Goldring; swimming lessons at Charterhouse before the School had is own pool; St Catherine’s Day Dances in Speech Hall when the only male present was the School Chaplain; the Mediterranean cruise when the ship was requisitioned for the Falklands War and the chamber pots with school motto! Do please write, email or phone Julian with any contributions before Jan 2010: Julian Foord, St Catherine’s School, Bramley, Surrey GU5 0DF firstname.lastname@example.org | 01483 899754
True or false? 1. A member of staff represented England in the long jump at the Olympic Games 2. The longest serving member of staff worked at St Catherine’s for 54 years 3. An Old Girl of St Catherine’s created Muffin the Mule 4. An Old Girl of St Catherine’s was the first female editor of The Guardian 5. In 1922 the Governors decided to fund the Rose Window in the Chapel instead of a swimming pool
Answers: All true except 5 which is rumoured to be true!
Originally conceived by Felicity James (Francis) (1963) and former Association Director, Sara Dowell, this Reunion was a long time in the making but on June 12th over 60 leavers returned to St Catherine’s for their long anticipated get together. Old Girls returned from as far afield as Australia, the United States, Ireland, Italy and Spain to name but a few.
w w w.stcatherines.info “That was a fantastic evening, well done all you organisers - the marquee looked stunning, food delicious, auction great, atmosphere great, please pass on my congratulations for a stunning success to the Ball Committee, all the hard work definitely paid off.” “Simply unbelievable - very, very well done to you and all your team on a fantastic achievement.”
Oh, what a night!
Association Midsummer’s Eve Ball, 20th June 2009 After months of anticipation, guests arriving at the Association Midsummer’s Eve Ball were greeted with a glass of champagne and their first glimpse of the marquee. Eco-friendly and the very latest trend, the myriad of pink and orange flowers were made of paper and inspired by an original design concept which pervaded the styling of the Ball - from the promotional logo to the hot pink clipboards. As guests moved to their tables, the actress Pauline Quirke (Birds of a Feather; Maisie Raine) got the fundraising ball rolling by hosting a warm up game of “hit or miss”. Dinner was followed by the Live Auction, brilliantly managed by Mr Chris Mills, and raising an astonishing sum of money. The Silent Auction and Tree of Temptation ran throughout the night and the final total raised by the Ball for equipping the new buildings was a staggering £83,798. As the night drew on live band, CoverStar, got everyone on the dance floor and a fabulous and memorable evening was had by all. The Ball was the result of a year’s hard work by the Ball Committee and subcommittees who worked tirelessly to make the event a success – masterminding the advertising, auctions/auction catalogue, design, catering, entertainment, flowers, marketing, sponsorship, wine and coordinating and supporting the huge number of parents who contributed so much to this event both in time, effort and financially – the flower team, the creative team, the local fundraising team, the tree of temptation team, the auction display team and all the school staff who volunteered to work on the night. A huge thank you to everyone who helped or attended the Ball and made it such an outstanding success. A stunning hard back photographic record of the Ball will be available to view in the Foundation Office (senior school) or Prep School Reception between 8.45am – 5.15pm after half term. Copies can be ordered at www.blurb.com. Individual photographs may be purchased from ImageBank which is accessed via the school website using the password: midleton.
“I just wanted to say thank you so much from our table. I personally had the most wonderful evening (and I was on my own!!). That was one of the best balls I have been to in years. The food was incredible considering the amount of people and everyone on our table wolfed it down. The band was great and it was just so lovely be with all my great St Cat’s friends.”
“Wasn’t the Ball fantastic? I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. The organisation was fab and the marquee looked amazing.”
w w w. s t c a t h e r i n e s . i n f o
w w w.stcatherines.info
Anne-Lise Goddings (2000 Leaver) Paediatrician Being at university for 6 years is both the best and worst aspect to studying medicine – the best because you get to be a student with all its perks for so long, the worst because you are eternally poor. I spent three of those years at Selwyn College, Cambridge before heading south to University College, London for the ‘clinical’ years of my degree. It wasn’t until my final year, when I lived and worked in a rural Ugandan hospital for two fantastic months, that the reality of being a doctor sank in. Even now I get confused at being addressed as Dr Goddings! Leaving university, I was thrown in at the deep end, starting off as a surgical house officer in a general hospital in Hertfordshire. In the first two years after qualification, the ‘foundation years’, all junior doctors rotate through a number of jobs to get varied experience and skills before settling on their chosen specialty. Having decided relatively early on that I wanted to specialise in Paediatrics, I chose to rotate through Surgery, Paediatrics, General Medicine, Accident and Emergency, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and General Practice. It was a hectic whirlwind of long days, night shifts and working weekends, and I loved (almost) every minute. Forgive the cliché, but every day is unpredictable and you really don’t know who will walk through the door next. As a job, it can be challenging, exhilarating and heartbreaking. Last year I was delighted to be awarded an Academic Clinical Fellowship in Paediatrics in London. From September 2008 I have started my specialist training in Paediatrics – everything from extremely premature babies to teenagers. In addition to my clinical training, my fellowship gives me the opportunity to spend 9 months doing medical research. For this I am based at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, and am working together with a group of clinicians and scientists from the Institute of Clinical Neurology. We are currently recruiting for a study looking at brain development through adolescence. We are really keen for volunteers, so if you are a girl aged 11-13 years old and would be interested in having an MRI scan of your brain (you get to keep the pictures!), please get in touch: email@example.com
Anne-Lise at London Drinks for 2000-2007 Leavers last year
Medical Professions Samantha Gilchrist
Consultant Dermatologist Having spent a very happy 11 years at St Catherine’s (1983 Leaver), I studied medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital, University of London. This was a well trodden path also taken by my father and eldest sister Susie (also ex-St Catherine’s and Merriman House Captain!). At medical school I was able to continue lacrosse, tennis and drama all of which I had enjoyed at St Catherine’s. After five years at medical school, my training posts included A & E, rheumatology, cardiology, gastroenterology and chest medicine before I embarked on a career in dermatology. I was soon pleasantly surprised by the variety this specialty offered. Traditionally one of the Cinderella specialties of medicine, dermatology has a low profile and attracts little research funding. However it encompasses many chronic diseases such as acne, psoriasis and eczema plus skin cancer, allergy and cosmetic science, so there is much potential for research. An average skin Sam & Professor Martin Black clinic will include patients of all ages from young babies with eczema to teenagers with acne to elderly patients with skin cancer. Skin disease is common and dermatology accounts for one in four of all GP consultations. I have learnt the importance of sun protection, of which my family are reminded on an almost daily basis! Inspired by my mentor, Professor Martin Black (pictured above), I developed a research interest in skin diseases in pregnancy. I also married Sean (a non medic) and spent two years working towards my MD thesis. 1996 was a productive year and I was lucky to be awarded with my MD, Consultant post and first child (Natalie) all within the same week! I now have two daughters Natalie and Claudia and a son, Ben, aged six. I am delighted that our two girls have now joined St Catherine’s, and it is a tribute to the school that so many Old Girls choose to send their daughters there. My Consultant post is at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey where I have developed my interest in obstetric and paediatric dermatology as well as minor surgery and risk management. I have been able to continue working part time three days a week which I find helps me to achieve a good work-life balance. I often ask myself the question “Would I do medicine again knowing what I do now and with all the pressures of the current NHS” and the answer is undoubtedly “Yes”. There are few jobs that combine the fun of diagnosis (detective work), basic sciences, management, teaching, practical skills and the observation of human nature, all of which are endlessly fascinating. The job satisfaction of medicine can be huge. Medicine is a great career and opens up many opportunities. Dermatology offers an excellent choice for women wishing to work part time and combine work with family life. With the increase in allergies and skin cancer it is a growing speciality.
Carys Bannister, OBE Neurosurgeon Now retired, Carys Bannister (1951 Leaver) was one of the country’s first and only female neurosurgeons and is the author of ‘Current concepts in spina bifida and hydrocephalus’ (with Brian Tew). She was born in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil and taught at home by her Mother using a correspondence course before coming to St Catherine’s at the age of 15, following a short stint at an American Graded School in Rio de Janeiro. At the time only 20% of the intake into Medical Schools were women and Carys was not offered a place at Charing Cross Hospital Medical School until she had won a State Scholarship. Carys took a job at the Department of Neurosurgery in Edinburgh to see if this was the right specialty for her. There had only been one previous woman Neurosurgeon so she was aware it would not be easy but was eventually appointed to the Neurosurgical Units in North Manchester. Her major interests in neurosurgery were diseases of the blood vessels of the brain and development conditions causing abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. In June 1999, Carys was honoured to be presented with an OBE for services to neurosurgery in Manchester.
w w w. s t c a t h e r i n e s . i n f o
Rhian Warner (Dobell)
I left St Cats in 1997 and after a first gap year spent doing a psychology course and travelling in Africa, and a second working as a healthcare assistant in a local hospital, I decided on becoming a nurse. I set off for Nottingham University, graduating 4 years later with a Masters in Nursing.
I left St Catherine’s in 1993, having enjoyed my seven great years there as a boarder, Head Girl and netball fanatic. I always knew that I wanted a career in the medical field, having had the opportunity to do work experience with doctors and physiotherapists. Perhaps it was the sporting side of me that led my down the Physiotherapy route!
During my training I developed a fascination for bizarre bugs and nasty diseases so I leapt at the chance of Staff Nurse job in the tropical medicine, infectious diseases and HIV unit at University College Hospital, London. It was fantastic… I loved every minute of it (well, almost every minute!) – the eclectic mix of patients, the night shifts, the occasional stomach churning ward rounds but most of all, the team spirit, the dark sense of humour and satisfaction of a long day’s work done well. In 2005, I was sponsored by the Trust to do the Diploma in Tropical Nursing at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine which further enthused me about all things tropical and the idea of working abroad somewhere someday began to take shape. With a few more teaching and assessing qualifications completed and a short spell as a Practice Development Facilitator to gain some additional adult education and training experience, I applied to Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) and in early January 2007 found myself accepting a 2 year contract out in Malawi! The position was as nurse tutor in a College of Health Sciences with responsibilities for both teaching in the classroom and working with students on the wards. I packed up my London life, squeezed my suitcases shut and hopped on the plane. After a few weeks of orientation in the capital city and a month working in a government hospital, I travelled down to Malamulo with another volunteer who was also working at the College. Together we got stuck in - scratching away on a dusty chalkboard in front of a class of 40, whizzing about the wards, slipping down muddy mountain sides to help dig water wells, fund-raising, fund-spending (!) and generally helping out with anything and everything. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. The contrasts were extreme - pleasure in seeing the students learn and develop their skills compared to the frequent and intense sadness of the unnecessary suffering and deaths. The freedom of wide skies and sun on my back as I walked to work but desperation at the all too evident poverty and constant struggle to survive. Life was basic but very beautiful. The endless power cuts, cold bucket baths and yet another meal of beans and rice were all forgotten when watching the sun rise over the mountains or fireflies dance in the dark, the wide smiles and waving hands of the village children and endless sea of green tea fields that surrounded us. After a year an opportunity to work with the Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi arose, following a government request that all regulatory healthcare bodies implement Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes for their members as soon as possible. I packed up my suitcases again and made the journey back to the capital city, Lilongwe, where a whole different set of challenges awaited me. I’ve spent the past year helping the NMC to create its CPD programme by preparing in-service education and training manuals, facilitating workshops, sensitising the nursing population to the idea of CPD and convincing anyone who’ll listen why continuing education is so important! The programme will be launched nationwide in 2010 but realistically is going to take a good few years to be widely accepted and properly integrated into the Malawian healthcare system. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to train someone from the NMC to take it over once my time comes to an end. If not, I’ll be staying in Malawi a while longer!
I went to King’s College, London and studied a BSc(Hons) in Physiotherapy, graduating in 1998. I continued with netball there and was President of the Netball Club for two years. I started my first job as a Junior Physiotherapist at St Helier Hospital, South London. In the summer of 2000, I moved out of London to Berkshire as I had met my future husband and spent the next few years working in both the NHS and private hospitals in Berkshire and Surrey, deciding on whether I wanted to be a clinician or manager. I have to say this was a very difficult decision to make as I have a real passion for rehabilitating the elderly, particularly following falls. I am now the Physiotherapy Manager at The Berkshire Independent Hospital in Reading, part of Ramsay Healthcare UK, an Australian owned healthcare group. I have had such fantastic career development opportunities and was one of twelve people selected companywide to attend a two week leadership/ management development programme. I still get to treat patients, whilst also having the challenges of managing a £1m+ revenue stream and looking at ways to enhance/develop the services that we offer. I have to say that no two days are the same, it can be hard physically and mentally, but the patients that I treat are always my highlight, from those who have just passed 100 years of age, fought in a World War, won multiple Olympic medals..... I live in Warfield with my husband Jim and daughter, Arella, who is eight. My closest friends are the girls I met at St Catherine’s and we all see each other on a regular basis even though we are not just around the corner any more.
Life as a volunteer is an amazing mix of feelings and experiences. Working within a completely different culture is very challenging but the opportunity to learn from people who you may never have had the chance of meeting is an incredible privilege and I would recommend it to anyone! I still keep in touch with many friends from St Cats and enjoy indulging in long reminiscing sessions when we get together - it doesn’t seem possible that I’ve known some of them for over 20 years! It feels like yesterday… lining up for Super Ted vitamins before breakfast, racing for the red chairs in Symes to watch Doogie Howser MD, doing group revision on the field and tripping across to Bronte after lights out. D of E expeditions and ‘taking prep’, Long Parli on the last day of term and desperately wanting to drive through the arches once you’d passed your driving test!!
Rhian & her husband, James
w w w.stcatherines.info
News from the Prep School Prep School Headmistress for a day
School achieves Highest Award of the Eco- Schools Project
One of the very popular items in the Silent Auction at the Midsummer’s Eve Ball was the opportunity for a girl to be the Prep School Headmistress for a day. This was much sought after by parents for their daughters and, in the end, the prize was shared between Isabella Farrell and Johanna Jeffery who started their day on duty at the Front Door of the Prep School to welcome girls into school. It was ‘business as usual’ for Isabella and Johanna, referred to throughout the day as Miss Farrell and Miss Jeffery, who helped
make decisions in meetings with various members of staff. They also led morning Assembly and showed a prospective parent around the school. Additional highlights of the day were meeting Mrs Phillips in her study followed by a site visit to inspect Project 125 and eating lunch with the staff. The girls had a wonderful experience and went home exhausted but very happy. When asked about their experience as a Headmistress, the girls commented; ‘it was a day full of meetings’ and they had no intention of ever becoming a head themselves – it was far too much hard work!
For the past 3 years both the Prep and Senior Schools have been working towards making the schools more eco-friendly and, at the end of September, St Catherine’s was inspected and awarded the highest accolade of Green Flag status. This achievement in the Prep School was the result of numerous projects and initiatives by the girls and staff led by a team of Eco-Warriors. Projects in the Prep School have included recycling, walk and cycle to school days and a wildlife garden. The Eco-Warriors spoke to the inspector about their lunchtime club where they have made insect homes and bird feeders and told her about the two environmental audits of the school they have undertaken and how they have written the school’s Eco Action Plan. To celebrate this wonderful achievement the Prep School held a Girls Go Green week which included a mufti day when the girls were encouraged to dress up as an endangered animal or in green clothes in aid of the World Wildlife Fund. During the week there were also activities such as bulb planting and writing a tree of personal pledges. Many congratulations to the Eco Warriors, past and present, for all their hard work, enthusiasm and commitment.
Life in PPIII PPIII is the last year in Key Stage I. It is an important time for the pupils as they are the oldest children in the Pre-Prep department and they take a lead in most activities, from the Nativity Play to Sports Day, as well as the day to day life in the department. At the end of PPII the two classes are mixed up to encourage new friendship opportunities. The girls are expected to be a little more independent. They still have a lot of adult support, but they are beginning to move around the school with less supervision and are given more responsibility for themselves and their classrooms. The focus is still on activity-based learning, with special days dedicated to topic related activities. The girls have a Barnaby Bear Day and, on a Katie Morag Day, they delight in dressing in tartan and trying Scottish Dancing. There are also two educational visits during the year. The first trip is to Pizza Express and Pottery Café, as part of the Design Technology topic. The second is to Brighton, as part of the Geography/History topic on the seaside. Towards the end of the year, the parents of PPIII pupils are invited to an informal meeting with the Headmistress to discuss the transition to Form I. By this time, most girls are very excited at the thought of moving to Key Stage II. This is a chance to talk about the changes in the pupils’ daily routine, discuss any worries and to prepare parents for the new approach in Key Stage II.
w w w. s t c a t h e r i n e s . i n f o
Birtley House Tennis Match Last Summer Term, St Catherine’s took part in a match against Birtley Tennis Club in Bramley. There were 3 pairs participating from each team, each playing the best of three sets against each pair. We started off convincingly against the second and third pairs winning 6-4 4-6 7-5 and 6-0 6-0 respectively. Our last match against the first pair proved much more of a challenge as we lost the first set 3-6 but we fought back winning the next set 6-4. We had a bad start in the final set as we were losing 2-5, but our teamwork pulled through by Louisa’s determination and consistency at the back of the court and Frances’ aggression at the net, not letting anything pass her. Overall, we won the last set 7-6 after going into a close tie-break.
David Weightman Congratulations go to Mr Weightman who is currently exhibiting his photographs alongside a giant sculpture of Naomi Campbell at Somerset House in London. Mr Weightman, who can often be spotted with his camera at major school events, made his work for the ground breaking fashion website SHOWstudio. com. As well as teaching the A-level Photography course here at St Catherine’s, Mr Weightman’s own wedding photography continues to go from strength to strength, so much so that he’s been chosen by Brides Magazine as one of their photographers of choice in 2010. More of Mr Weightman’s work can be seen at: www.marriedtomycamera.com
A special mention to Vicky Gavins, Gaby Gavins, Sophie Ellis, and Charlie Bergqvist for their great play and also to Mrs Blake for organising the match. Overall it was a great event and we look forward to playing again in the future. Frances Bird and Louisa Carruthers
The Art of Caring At the tender age of 23, Charlotte Amison (2003 Leaver), combines two very different occupations as both co-director of Yorda Adventures (www.yordaadventures.co.uk), providing care and respite for children and young people with disabilities in Greater London, and her work as a qualified fine artist who has staged several successful exhibitions. Yorda Adventures is a community interest company currently seeking charitable status. Charlotte first became interested in working with children when she got a job while still at University as a playworker in an after school club and later worked at Barfield Prep School as a playleader. Seeing an advert for special needs play support, Charlotte joined Yorda as deputy playleader of the after school club and six months later was made a Director of the company. Kingston County Council fund the after school club and weekend and holiday projects are funded by Help a London Child, the Co Op and other grant giving organisations. The company has to survive on whatever funding it can secure and direct lump sum payments as part of the family support system pay for individual children to attend. A ‘lottery system’ operates whereby eight spaces a day are made available for which 30 to 40 applications will be received. Charlotte and her colleagues work as playleaders to children aged 5 - 19 years old. The activities the children enjoy include swimming, bowling, riding, climbing, art, shopping, companion cycling and gym sessions. Charlotte studied art at university and art therapy is an enduring interest which she uses at work – winning a borough community prize with the children in her care for a ‘stories into art’ competition. As far as her own work as a fine artist is concerned, Charlotte has had recent shows at a gallery in Cobham and a show at the CornerHouse in Kingston. Charlotte’s work was chosen by Kingston Arts Council to launch this year’s summer arts season and can be viewed at: www.charlotteamison.com
Ribbon Walker Toppy Wharton (1985), PA to Alice Phillips, raised a magnificent £1,225 taking part in the 20 mile Ribbon Walk for Breast Cancer in the grounds of Petworth House and on the South Downs in June. Well done, Toppy!
w w w.stcatherines.info
It’s a wrap! Vicki Moore (Montgomery) (1989) runs her own business producing personalised chocolate bars for all occasions - birthdays, weddings, thank yous, christenings, Christmas, New Year’s Eve parties to name but a few. They are also perfect for charity events and corporate use as logos and photos can be included on the wrappers. Vicki designed and produced a special bar for the Midsummer’s Eve Ball (see pages 6-7) which the Association used to thank the girls of Stoner and Russell-Baker who won a House Competition to collect prizes for the Ball. The girls report that the chocolate was delicious! Vicki’s background is as an accountant and she was previously a Finance Director of a plc. She lives in London with her husband and daughter, Lilia, with another baby due in March.
‘White Christmas’ CD in aid of Age Concern Surrey Ian Young, Head of Percussion and Contemporary Music, was approached by Mr Tony Lee, Chief Executive of Age Concern Surrey, with a view to producing a CD for Christmas 2010 in aid of the charity. The music was to feature Ian’s Jazz Quartet and vocalist Kelly Appleby performing a selection of Festive Musical Favourites. Ian and Kelly were appointed as producers of the CD and invited the schools they both teach in to be included in the project. Featured on the CD are two groups from St Catherine’s, both directed by Tia Kuchmy. Recorder Consort 1 perform a very intricate arrangement of We Wish You a Merry Christmas and the unique Early Music Group featuring the Crumhorns give us a very stately version of Joy to The World. Both groups performed as well as any group of professional musicians would have done in a recording session even with a very vocal blackbird, singing in the tree outside the speech hall on a late July evening during the recording session. The blackbird finally gave in and allowed us to record the Christmas music in peace. Ian Young Age Concern Surrey is an independent local registered charity which has been working with older people throughout the county since 1963. The many and diverse services continue to expand to meet the growing needs of an aging population.
The Advice and Information Department can help with community care issues, housing needs, welfare benefits, support for carers and much, much more.
The Advocacy Service is county-wide and specially trained volunteers can help get ‘your voice heard’, can help provide information for you to make your own choices and offer support with letter writing or filling in forms.
The Counselling Service offers older people the opportunity to talk in confidence to an experienced counsellor. If you are an older person who has an emotional problem you find difficult to deal with feel unable to talk or ask friends or relations to help, then our counsellors will listen to what you have to say and help you explore how you feel and help you find ways of coping or changes that may be made.
Age Concern Surrey’s Hometime Service, provides help with housework, shopping, pension collection, prescription and laundry collection. All the Home Helps are caring , reliable and trustworthy with references taken and checked. The client pays the Home Help directly for the work at a competitive hourly rate. Products and Services include Home & Contents/Travel and Car Insurance. Energy Services (gas & electricity) Aid Call Personal Alarm/Funeral Plans/Lottery/Charity Flowers/Over 50 Life Plan and Legal Services.
Additional services include, Gardening, Befriending, Footcare and the walking and cycling programmes offered by the GO50 Department. The new Lottery Funded ‘Fit as a Fiddle’ programme for the South East is co-ordinated from these offices. The Riverside Centre offers hot meals, recreational activities and the computer drop-in.
Fundraising and Legacies. The Charity relies very heavily on voluntary contributions and legacies to fund these services and we are very grateful for the support we get in this respect.
To order a copy, please go online at www.acsurrey.org.uk and follow the link. The cost of the CD is £7.99 + postage and packing. Proceeds go to Age Concern. Telephone: Fax: e-mail: http:
01483 503414 01483 454614 firstname.lastname@example.org www.acsurrey.org.uk
All profits benefit Age Concern Surrey Registered Charity No 1036450
Kelly Appleby and The Ian Young Quartet, The choirs of The Royal School & Highfield School and The Early Music Group at St Catherine’s School.
And so it begins… No tears were shed when the outdated Gymnasium and West House were demolished in July – finally making way for the laying of foundations for the new Sports Hall and Performing Arts Centre. As girls and staff returned for the new academic year, work was well underway with much of the initial groundwork having been achieved during the holidays. The next major step will be completion of the huge steel frameworks, revealing the scale of the finished project for the first time. Brickwork will commence in the new year. Excitement is building as the new facilities become a reality and opening celebrations are planned for the 125th Anniversary Year 2010 /2011. The School is enormously grateful to all who have kindly donated to the Development Fund, enabling the construction phase to get underway. But our efforts are not at an end as funds are still required in order to equip and commission the Performing Arts Centre. Finances currently run only to construction of the shell. Julian Foord, the Development Director, would be delighted to hear from you or meet you to discuss any aspect of the project or how you might contribute to the Development Fund, helping us towards the long cherished goal of commissioning both buildings in the Anniversary Year. Former Deputy Head, Gwen Bucknall, gets the demolition of West House under way!
“Let us go on ...” St Catherine’s Association, Bramley, Guildford, Surrey, GU5 0DF Tel: +44 (0)1483 899751 Email: email@example.com Web: www.stcatherines.info Headmistress Mrs A M Phillips MA (Cantab)
St Catherine's School, Bramley Association Newsletter