WOLDINGHAM News and reviews from Woldingham School and Alumnae 2019
News and reviews from Woldingham School and Alumnae with a focus on our Sacred Heart goal for the year, Personal Growth. This magazine is a carbon balanced publication, where the carbon impact of the production and distribution process has been balanced by the World Land Trust. It has been printed using vegan inks, biodegradable laminate and packaged in a compostable potato starch wrapper.
From the Headmistress
23 years at Woldingham
Sacred Heart Goals
Head Girl Team 2018-2019
From Little Acorns...
Learning for Life
Outside the Classroom
Around the World
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
Sixth Form Futures
Developing a Growth Mindset
Achievements and Awards
How to Give
WSHA Chair’s Report
Dates for your Diary
Alumnae around the World
Business Networking Events
Christmas Carol Service 2018
Old Girls’ Day 2019
Society of the Sacred Heart
WSHA Leavers’ Scholarships
FROM THE HEADMISTRESS It has been a pleasure having Personal Growth as our Sacred Heart goal for 2018-19. It is pertinent to us all and I hope is the lifeblood of what we do as a school. Last year at Prize Day I talked about how we each individually add value to our community, and this year’s goal of Personal Growth is about how we add value to ourselves through a commitment to lifelong learning. I know in my role as Head that every day I learn – about people, about myself, about situations, about leadership and about education – and this makes it an exhilarating journey. Lucy Pearson, our inspiring guest speaker at Prize Day, spoke passionately about personal growth throughout life’s journey. Lucy referred to her favourite poem, ‘Ithaka’ by C. P. Cavafy, and spoke about the importance of seizing and enjoying one’s experiences along the way, instead of focusing too much on an end goal. She encouraged the girls to stop off on their journeys; to enjoy the world, its people, cultures and riches, and to quote Tennyson, “to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield”. What a wonderful ethos to embrace and share!
A key part of our girls’ personal growth is to nurture an understanding of what they genuinely believe in and feel passionate about, and this unprecedented era of economic, political and environmental uncertainty is a rich milieu for them to try out their views. As The Economist says in its advertising campaign, “because fences make uncomfortable seats”, and I hope our girls relish the chance to develop reasoned, educated opinions that they will stand up for and that help them form their own personal philosophy and goals for later life. Momentum continues to gather behind the young women of this generation, and the expectation that the glass ceiling is there for them to dismantle. Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard until 2018, said “I’m not the woman President of Harvard, I’m the President of Harvard.” Her view of learning from the perspective of higher education was that “it moulds a lifetime, it transmits the heritage of millennia and it shapes the future” – what a message for our leaving Upper Sixth to take with them as they step out into life beyond Marden Park.
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other
Being the eternal optimist, I ensure the highs of my role outweigh some of the inevitable lows and many of the real highlights for me are the moments when I am bursting with pride on sharing the achievements of our students. The occasions when I watch an amazing piece of drama and I spot someone in the cast for whom this might be the first time that they’ve been bold enough to take to the stage. When I watch concerts, I am wowed by the soloists but am completely transfixed by the ensembles; by the young people who are learning and practising their skills and are willing to commit to doing so in a public arena. I see sportswomen pushing themselves to their limits. I see debaters learning their art. I see budding young coders sending armies of robots down the corridors in school. I see young people passionate about the environment coming to me with suggestions for how the school can change its ways. Each and every example is Personal Growth in action. 2
Running a leadership session for our new Ribbons Team in June, we talked about the importance of understanding our own strengths and being comfortable with them. Not arrogant, not complacent, but comfortable that there are aspects at which we have grown to excel. The accompaniment to this is an understanding of those areas we may struggle with and the commitment we make to grow in these areas. It was John F. Kennedy who said “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” and I couldn’t agree more. It is only through complete commitment to this philosophy of Personal Growth that our girls will find themselves empowered with the skills to change the world.
Mrs Alex Hutchinson MA (Oxon)
23 YEARS AT WOLDINGHAM!
Mrs Judith Brown, Deputy Head Pastoral
I can remember distinctly when I first visited Woldingham School 23 years ago, having applied to be Deputy Head Pastoral, a brand new post at the time. The enthusiastic welcome I received and sense of it being a warm and happy school were as evident then as they remain today. The overriding sense of family and community spirit, underpinned by the deep love and respect for the Sacred Heart Sisters who established our school, is what has kept me here all these years. WSHA Old Girls’ Day each May has always been a joyous occasion and a time to reminisce and this year was no exception, with Old Girls from 10, 20 and 30 years ago (and some in between!). As we chatted about their life at school then compared to now, they reflected on how we are responsive to change and not reactive. We are a modern boarding school, not ‘stuffy’ and clinging on to old traditions – we move with the times but the ethos and heart remain at its core.
I have had the pleasure of working with five Headmistresses and five Chair of Governors. So what has changed in the past 23 years? When I first joined it was almost exclusively a boarding school and there were only a handful of day girls in each year group. I arrived not long after the opening of Berwick House for Upper Sixth. Year 9 to Lower Sixth were all boarding in Main House with Years 10 and 11 in shared rooms. Marden bedrooms were on long corridors with curtain partitions and bunk beds and Marden girls were allowed to bring pets with them, who were housed in Hamster Hall and Guinea Pig Gallery, two huts at the back of Marden which were removed when we extended Marden for whole school dining. With the building of Shanley House for Upper Sixth, Lower Sixth moved to Berwick, which released space in Main House to allow single rooms for Year 10 upwards. It is clear when talking to alumnae at Old Girls’ Day that routines, facilities and expectations in boarding have changed over the years, as they should, and the fantastic facilities now make it much more a ‘home from home’ than it was back then. There are the big, visible changes, such as building development. Before the Millennium Centre was built, we had a traditional, parquet-floor school hall with a raised stage. All girls sat on the floor with staff sitting on chairs at the sides. The Art Department was based in rooms which ran alongside the length of the hall. Drama was taught in the hall and music in Portakabin type buildings on what is now the Millennium Centre car park. When we were building the Millennium Centre and knew that most whole school events would take place there, we were worried that such a large, brand new building wouldn’t ‘feel’ right – but we needn’t have worried. From the very first day, the Auditorium became the heart of the school and the focus of all our celebrations together. I will never forget the last day of Christmas term and the relatively new but now firmly established tradition of the staff panto and the
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard
‘Twelve Days of Christmas’. Which in turn reminds me of the Carol Service. In my time it has been held in the old school hall, Croydon parish church, in two ‘sittings’ in the Auditorium and now in the magnificent Westminster Cathedral. That exemplifies how traditions can shift and change but they are just as important and memorable in their own time. Another big change was the development of the whole school dining room in Marden. Prior to that, Marden and the Sixth Form dined in a smaller dining hall in Marden with Years 9-11 eating breakfast, lunch and supper in the Main House dining room and staff eating in separate dining rooms in each House. At lunch and supper time, girls had a strict rota by year group and queuing in cramped conditions was not conducive to a relaxed dining experience. All of this seems inconceivable now and having a whole school dining room, with all staff and girls together, has made a huge impact on the sense of a fully integrated school community. A not quite so visible, but just as significant, development, was the installation of the phone mast, disguised as a tree by the pool. Before that, there were only very limited ‘hotspots’ where you could get mobile signal – imagine that! It was an era of blissful freedom from mobile technology but, of course, we needed to move with the times and when the mast was installed life as we knew it in the Valley changed. It opened us up to a world of connectivity and certainly changed things for the girls, especially boarders, who immediately had much more access to keeping in contact with home. Gone were the days of the ‘letter writing’ slot on a Sunday morning before Mass. In this year when we have focused on the Sacred Heart goal of Personal Growth, I reflect on what it has meant to me to have witnessed such change over all these years. Some people find change unsettling but, personally, I have always found it invigorating. Working in a school you learn so much every single day. We talk constantly about the joy of living in a diverse community with students from all over the world and what a privilege it has been to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of varied cultures and customs to support the girls as they navigate their way to mutual respect and tolerance. I have also relished being able to give the girls the experiences, skills and confidence that they will take with them in their lives beyond school.
But it is not just in the teaching and counselling of students that I learned. I have learned something new about art with every exhibition, about music at every recital or concert - I know I will miss the exhilaration of hearing the girls perform live music, whether a classical piece or their own composition. I have learned something new in every lesson observation - about science, geography, psychology, about how to throw a javelin in sports! It has also been inspiring to learn and grow a little each time by the many talks and lectures that we have had at school, from assemblies to Prize Day speeches, from student talks to Dineen Lectures. Being a teacher is a life-long learning experience, but most of all in my job, I have learned so much about people - students, staff, parents, and how they manage challenges which life inevitably throws at us. At times when I think I have seen or heard it all, something new will come in through the door. I will miss the Valley with its beauty, peace and micro climate, the snow days, the deer/badgers/rabbits that frequented our garden at Pilgrims – our very own Wold Disney! I will miss my beloved Drama Department which has been my passion (and sanctuary!) for so many years. For Roy and myself, living and working on site has meant that Woldingham has been not just a job but our way of life for so many years and I will miss this beautiful place and the people in it more than I can say. As my parting words, I wanted a really profound and erudite quote to leave you with, but in the end the best one, in its simplicity, comes from A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh – “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”. 5
SACRED HEART GOALS
Woldingham School has a rich tradition and ethos rooted in the values and philosophy of Sacred Heart Education. The congregation was founded by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat just after the French Revolution at a time when society had been shattered. She was of the mind that she was called by God to create a Society of the Sacred Heart so that the new generation growing up could be, must be, a power for good in its world. The schools were to be the agents of change and today these schools continue to be influenced by the insights and vision of Madeleine Sophie.
Those values which motivated the Society have now been distilled into the Sacred Heart Goals. They were originally drawn up in the USA but are now adopted across the global network of over 140 Sacred Heart schools as a way of emphasising the challenges and principles we all share. The Goals express the key priorities for schools whose ethos is rooted in the Sacred Heart tradition. The Goals of Sacred Heart Education are: Goal 1: a personal and active faith Goal 2: a deep respect for intellectual values Goal 3: a social awareness which impels to action Goal 4: the building of community Goal 5: personal growth. Each year, Sacred Heart schools across the English network highlight a particular goal, focusing a range of activities upon the interpretation of that Goal. This year the focus has been on the Goal of Personal Growth. The Goal of Personal Growth affirms the uniqueness and worth of each individual member of the school community. It aims to provide opportunities for selfdevelopment, self-knowledge and personal formation, as well as to encourage the sharing of gifts and talents for the benefit of the community and society as a whole. Mr Adrian Ross Sacred Heart Co-ordinator
HEAD GIRL TEAM 2018-2019 Looking back over the last seven years I find it hard to comprehend just how much I’ve changed and grown as an individual. On my first day I was an incredibly excitable yet insecure 11-year-old. Education had been defined by my struggles with learning difficulties (dyslexia and dyspraxia), but during my time at Woldingham my teachers took those insecurities and championed me into someone with a passion for leadership, community and learning. The other uniqueness about Woldingham is its emphasis not only on individual growth, but the development and strength of its community; friendships are invaluable to the holistic ethos of the school. One of the key lessons I will take away from my years at Woldingham is that personal growth requires a support system. While I may be leaving the security of the Valley, the network of friends and mentors will continue to be an intangible part of my life. Lily Ellis, Head Girl Woldingham has provided me with the opportunity to grow, not only emotionally and academically, but also as a leader, all whilst providing me with a home to love for the last seven years. The immense support provided by my teachers has been integral to this. I entered the school as an academically curious, naturally loud 11-year-old with a love for creative writing, all traits which Woldingham staff cultivated and enabled to thrive. The extra-curricular opportunities that exist in the school allowed me to set up the Creative Writing Club, which enabled me to develop a relationship with younger students. The leadership skills and confidence I have developed as a result of being Deputy Head Girl will be invaluable in the future. Becky Connolly, Deputy Head Girl I feel that I am leaving the school a changed person, far from the timid and shy girl who arrived in Year 7. Not only have I achieved my academic potential here (with the help of my incredibly supportive and dedicated teachers), my personal growth extends to much more than just results. Woldingham has so much to offer, and I believe that my development is testament to the importance of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and trying new things.
Through playing in sports teams, speaking in debates and running the dreaded 1500m at Sports Day, I believe that my acquired self-confidence is a product of risk taking and perseverance, even though at times it was difficult. Woldingham is such a supportive community and it has instilled in me a confidence which has equipped me for the role of Deputy Head Girl and also for life outside the Valley. Taisie Lewis, Deputy Head Girl I arrived at Woldingham in September 2014, having never been to one of the fantastic Open Days. From Mrs Halpin’s legendary 45 minute meetings about the fire drill, to trying to sneak into rooms after lights out, I was soon accepted into the Woldingham community. Leaving the school five years later, I can definitely say that what I have gained most from a personal growth aspect are leadership and communication skills. As well as being a Deputy Head Girl it’s in the little moments like sharing class notes, planning group revision and spending summer weekends by the pool that I have acquired these skills. So one piece of advice I would give to Woldingham girls is to grow through the people you make friends with. Accept each other’s changes as you advance through the years, because no one stays the same as they were in Year 7! Morayo Ogunbenigun, Deputy Head Girl 7
REACHING OUT Work in the community Woldingham School is infused with the charism of St Madeleine Sophie Barat, the founder of the Sacred Heart Order, who once remarked, “for the sake of one child I would have founded the society.” The mission of Saint Madeleine Sophie permeates all aspects of school life and the foundations laid by the Sacred Heart Sisters are lived out on a daily basis within our inspirational and inclusive community. All aspects of school life are structured around the five Goals of Sacred Heart Education and during this academic year we have been living out the Goal of Personal Growth which affirms the uniqueness and worth of each individual member of the school community. Throughout the year students have been given the opportunity for self-development and personal formation and they have been encouraged to use their gifts and talents wisely in serving the needs of others.
Your actions, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world
During this academic year we travelled to Aylesford Priory in Kent for a Day of Reflection for all students in Years 7 to 11 and the focus for the day was based on the Goal of Personal Growth. Students spent time together reflecting on how they have grown as individuals, recognising and appreciating their own gifts and talents and the responsibility they have in serving others for, as St Paul reminds us, “The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for good purpose” (1 Cor 12:7). 8
Year 9 students made a bookmark which they distributed to one another and Vicky Grechukhina wrote on her bookmark ‘let your smile change the world but don’t let the world change your smile’. As part of our Outreach Programme, Lower Sixth students are timetabled to go out on a voluntary placement each week for one academic term. They embrace the community projects which are organised by the Chaplaincy. Outreach activity is rooted in the Sacred Heart tradition and the words of St Madeleine Sophie when she said “Your actions, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world”.
The outreach programmes connect the school to our local community, to Central London and some national and international links. The identity of the school as ‘Catholic’ demands fidelity to the mandate given to us in the scripture that we demonstrate our love of God through our love of our neighbour (Mark 12:28:34). Outreach programmes complement the academic life of the school. Programmes encourage student leadership and community building as well as allowing structured time for volunteering and reflecting on the service experience. Students have the opportunity to work with children, young adults, the elderly, the homeless and people with learning difficulties, whose lives are enriched by their involvement. Gloria Leung in the Lower Sixth visited the Queen Elizabeth Court Nursing Home in Caterham and when she reflected on the Sacred Heart Goal of Personal Growth she said “I have been given the most amazing opportunity to interact with the elderly and care for them. I was able to talk with the residents, paint their nails, organise a photo album and write postcards. I was amazed at the life experience they had and the interesting lives they had led. The experience helped me to appreciate and live out the Goal of Personal Growth by evaluating my relationship with my family, the elderly and the local community. I was able to grow in confidence by chatting to older people and I learnt more about caring for others. By working in a team of students it helped me to work closely with others and made me a more considerate individual.”
We also have close working relationships with the Orpheus Centre in Godstone, an independent college for young adults with learning difficulties. Year 7 and Year 9 students take part in a weekly collaborative musical theatre with students from the Orpheus Centre and they showcased their talents by performing together at our Autumn Concert and the annual Grandparents’ Tea. It was so heartening to see students performing two productions they arranged together and the song and dance routines they had prepared were moving and powerful. Lily Hassett from the Lower Sixth visited the Orpheus Centre for two hours each week as part of her Sports Leadership Qualification and, in terms of personal growth, Lily said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed working at the Orpheus Centre; not only has it improved my leadership skills but it has been an immensely rewarding experience. It has been an eye-opener for me and I have gained many friends. I hope that I can build on our special relationship and encourage more Woldingham students to take part. In terms of the Sacred Heart Goal, I have grown into a positive and more grateful person and I will not take anything for granted. Through the fun, enthusiasm and togetherness we experienced each week I have become a more caring individual”. As Chaplain, I am ever hopeful and encouraged by the students and staff working together in collaboration to develop and foster our Sacred Heart Goal of Personal Growth. It is so uplifting to work closely with students in developing their skills and talents by serving each other and the wider needs of our world. In talking to students I know that they feel they have benefitted from the experience this academic year and my continued hope is that in the years ahead students will go on to assume active leadership roles within the Church and society, benefitting from taking part in our outreach programme and developing their own personal growth. In the words of St Rose Philippine Duchesne, we can all grow personally as we “Preach by the example of your lives rather than words. Example is the very best sermon”. That is the challenge for all of us who are part of the school community as we are called to act justly, love tenderly, serve one another and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). Fr Gerard Devlin Chaplain
FROM LITTLE ACORNS... Year 7 and 8 in Marden One of the highlights of being the Head of Marden is to watch little saplings develop and grow. When girls first arrive into Year 7, they are far from having made the transition to secondary school so they are really Year 6 girls disguised in a senior school uniform! It is astounding how quickly the girls start to find their way around, get to know each other, recognise teachers and settle into new routines. This does not come without effort, there are often a few wobbles and tears along the way, but it’s all worthwhile when you see these young girls develop into authentic Mardeners. By the end of the first term, a huge gap has been bridged and the Year 6 has turned into a confident Year 7: often taller, more self-assured, more independent and oozing enthusiasm. Personal growth doesn’t stop in Marden; it is a lifelong journey but the girls have had some wonderful opportunities this year to really push themselves out of their comfort zone and develop as people. Famous for my expression, “Marden isn’t for sissies,” the girls have often thrown themselves whole-heartedly into the challenges placed before them. Our links with the Orpheus Centre have strengthened this year and around ten of our girls have taken on the challenge of a weekly musical theatre class there. They learned a number of songs and routines from the West End, culminating in their performance of The Lion King medley at the Year 7 Grandparents’ Tea in June alongside our Orpheus friends. They also performed a selection of songs and carols at their Barn Theatre in December. This is a class that is really good fun thanks to the inspiration of Heidi, their Director. She comments, “This club was created to develop self-esteem and life skills such as team work. The collaboration is a fantastic enrichment, which enables all involved to build each individual’s understanding towards disability and the challenges faced by all. Musical theatre, which combines disciplines such as drama, singing and movement, builds confidence through the performing arts, enabling all the students involved to grow and devise meaningful performances, learning throughout the journey. This in turn develops
confidence and self-esteem through working together. I am delighted to lead this musical theatre expression collaboration and look forward to many more performances together.” However, working alongside others with disabilities is not an easy task if it’s something that you have not been exposed to before. The girls threw themselves into it. It is quite humbling to witness able-bodied 11-13 year olds help choreograph and collaborate with young adults in wheelchairs, who are autistic or who have Down Syndrome. I fully commend the girls for their genuine zest for life when they are performing and for breaking down the barriers that can often exist. Friendship and kindness are clearly on display in these sessions and it was delightful when both Mardeners and Orpheus students suggested that we go together to see The Lion King in the West End last April.
In October we had our THRIVE Morning and the Orpheus Centre sent in a number of staff, students and carers to work with Year 8 to create a version of James and the Giant Peach, all in the space of a few hours! We had groups which were either filming a documentary of the morning’s event, composing background music, choreographing some dance, rehearsing their lines, writing performance poetry or making puppets. What the Mardeners and Orpheus students achieved was outstanding and incredibly moving. Rachel, Orpheus Drama Teacher, said, “Our participation in the Woldingham School THRIVE Day was hugely beneficial for our students in that it encouraged them to be outward facing. The nature of the collaboration meant that students had the opportunity to showcase and share skills with the Woldingham girls, whilst learning new things from them and working under pressure to meet a deadline. There were fantastic examples of peer working throughout the morning and a real sense of pride in the work that was performed.”
Mardeners also had the opportunity to push themselves physically and learn about their own characters as they took trips to ski in the US, boarding trips to PGL, which involved assault courses, climbing and abseiling, and a water sports trip at a nearby reservoir! Not all these trips are for everybody but the girls have had to show a more resilient side of their personality to survive them. From an intellectual point of view, Marden girls had the chance to learn more about effective debating, led by Mr Hayward, and some entered competitions, working with older girls from Woldingham; they had to think quickly on their feet to come up with a rational and compelling argument.
Personal growth doesn’t stop in Marden, it is a life-long journey
Our Days of Reflection and Year Mass allowed the girls to become more aware of their spiritual growth and awareness. It is always a pleasure to see so many involved in such things – readings, music, altar serving and the offertory procession. So from saplings, trees develop and by the time the girls leave Marden they have started to blossom into the tree which they will become. They are no longer the little Year 6 that they came as. Poise, confidence and independence are far more pronounced in each of them. They still have a long way to go until the tree that they will become is in full bloom but I know that I can rest assured that the blossom will soon be out. Miss Charlotte Owen Head of Marden 11
LEARNING FOR LIFE THRIVE at Woldingham At Woldingham, THRIVE is an integral part of school life, preparing students to take a full and active part in adult society in the future. Personal growth is a fundamental part of the THRIVE ethos as we strive to provide opportunities for girls to learn techniques to develop habits, behaviour, actions and reactions to the world around them. Young people face many challenges in this exciting, dynamic world, but as things change so rapidly we need to equip them with the skills to face new and demanding situations. Being able to grow as an individual in a safe and supportive environment is vital. Part of the THRIVE programme provides the opportunity to hear inspiring speakers, who help to motivate others to change maybe taking on new ideas and pathways to the future. This helps to build the foundations of a strong, resilient individual who has the ability to develop further. Well-being sessions are an important part of the THRIVE programme and include mindfulness, relaxation and talking about both mental and physical health. Through workshops, talks and sessions with tutors, the girls are given the opportunity to explore and develop as individuals. We focused this year on personal safety and this will be developed further in the coming academic year. The girls learn how to stay safe and be aware of potential dangers whilst out and about - whether girls travel to and from school each day or fly half way across the world on their own at the start and end of each term. As a community we aim to develop and lay down foundations for healthy, whole, centred and grounded individuals who are ready to face the next step in their lives with optimism and resilience. Miss Annie Oâ€™Neill PSHE Co-ordinator
In my time at Woldingham I have really enjoyed the THRIVE sessions and feel that they have helped me with my personal development and growth. An example was when Dr Aric Sigman came in to talk about body image and how it affects girls of my age. It really opened my eyes, and explained the problems of girls worrying about their weight or size, physically and mentally, and it was really interesting to hear the psychological and biological side of the problem. It taught me about the negative influences of ‘perfect model bodies’, and how losing lots of weight and getting rid of all our fat is really unhealthy for us. Another THRIVE aspect which is really helpful are the Health Ed lessons we have once a fortnight. We learn about topics such as drugs, alcohol, CPR etc. and they teach skills that you would not learn normally that are so important. It’s a far more personal type of lesson and I think that having this knowledge for the future The THRIVE programme at Woldingham has informed and is vital and really important to help people grow. supported me throughout my years. With talks ranging It will be useful throughout your whole life. from careers to drugs, I definitely felt more aware about Year 9 Student – Katy the future. The amazing speakers were influential and always had great advice. As I have progressed through the school I feel that the THRIVE sessions have given me a collection of knowledge that I can use when confronted with an issue and this has definitely helped me to grow positively as an individual. Sixth Form Student – Lily
OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM Personal growth through the extra-curricular programme At Woldingham we offer a wide range of more than 100 extra-curricular activities for both day girls and boarders, during the week and at weekends. While the aim is for girls to have the opportunity to develop a range of skills and interests at the same time as having fun, we also want to give them the opportunity to grow personally as individuals. The focus here is on some of the many other extra-curricular activities we offer that are not specifically connected to a subject area.
Debating Junior Debating is offered for girls in Years 7 and 8. They choose issues, prepare and debate! Girls definitely grow through the experience of having to speak in front of their peers on challenging topics. They need to respond to points of information, formulate rebuttals on the hoof, and structure arguments logically. They also self-evaluate and learn from their mistakes.
Literary Society The Literary Society offers Sixth Formers the opportunity to explore literature outside the curriculum. From literary criticism and novels to poetry and plays, studentsâ€™ reading is wide-ranging, and they read and discuss these texts in a seminar setting. Students shape the schedule of works discussed and often present texts of their choosing to the rest of the group.
Medical Society In the Medical Society, Sixth Formers debate current medical issues, learn more about the role of doctors and dentists and about different types of courses and entrance exams.
We offer a range of more than 100 extracurricular activities
As part of their personal growth, girls are encouraged to complete an independent research project in an area of medicine. They present their findings to others which builds confidence in public speaking and communication skills. They also discuss how to volunteer more in their local community, which provides vital experience.
Knitting Club Many of our activities are open to all year groups. It is always lovely to see girls of all ages trying new things and supporting each other. A good example is the Knitting Club where girls learn basic knitting skills. They can then progress to more complex pieces, such as the mini hats for Age UK they made last year, which were then sold with Innocent Smoothies to raise money in shops. Talitha also knitted hats for the school Christmas fair. As well as the varied skills developed through knitting, it also provides a lovely opportunity for social development. It is an opportunity for girls to mix with others they do not normally spend time with, and a chance to sit and chat in a relaxed atmosphere.
Mindfulness We offer various activities for the girls to discover ways to take care of themselves and to relax. This is increasingly important with the pressures that young people are under in today’s world. Mindfulness is not only on our school curriculum for Year 11 and Sixth
Formers, we also offer sessions to younger girls as a lunchtime activity. Girls have the opportunity to explore quick and effective ways to deal with stress, strategies for coping with strong emotions and difficult situations, and suggestions for sleep problems. We also practise noticing the positive aspects of our moment to moment experience and focusing on what we can be grateful for. We follow Mindfulness in Schools’ Dotbe programme, designed for 11-18 year olds, which includes breathing exercises, mindful moving and mindful eating. On Frugal Lunch days we sometimes take our soup and fruit to a nearby room and the girls discover that by eating mindfully, a frugal lunch becomes a feast! 15
REthink Although most of our clubs and activities are run by staff, we also encourage girls to take leadership roles. For example, ‘REthink’, Woldingham’s Theology & Philosophy Club, is run by the Sixth Form but attended by girls from Year 7 upwards. The girls find a theological or philosophical issue to discuss and present their opinions on, write about it (two issues come out each year), raise it for discussion and participate in the debate when it is presented. All are welcome and anyone can present or write on any issue they feel passionate about. There is the opportunity for girls to have their thoughts heard and to think deeply about and challenge perspective on an issue. We have had discussions on anything from Love Island to whether St Augustine was sexist!
Languages French Bilingual classes are popular. Year 7 and 8 girls meet weekly to talk in French, sing, and read at the same time as improving their grammar, listening skills and spelling. Last term the girls performed a song in the International Evening organised by Morayo. Although some girls speak French at home all the time, others do this less so it is great to be able to offer the chance to develop confidence and a sense of achievement in French. There is also a French beginners’ class for Lower Sixth students, with several girls attending who speak Chinese and Russian, but who have never learned French before. They enjoy the classes as they are so different from their other studies and, even though it is hard to learn a language from scratch, the girls get a lot out of it, particularly in terms of confidence.
Physical activities Advanced Ballet is a club for girls of all ages run by a visiting ballet teacher. Meeting twice a week, girls can either learn ballet from scratch, or develop skills and artistry in ballet they have some grounding in already. These skills are not only athletic and good exercise, but help the girls to become comfortable with movement in space and aid in exploring their creative ideas through choreography. Ballet builds confidence and the opportunity to perform on stage enables students to cope with nervousness and heightened excitement in a comfortable and fun environment.
Dance Club runs twice a week for girls from any year group to learn routines and to create their own choreography. The girls work on different styles of dance, including lyrical, modern, jazz, and tap dance, as well as musical theatre. It is a great way for the girls to relax and have fun after school, as well as be creative, as it gives them the opportunity to take ownership of their routines, work as a team, and develop their performance skills. Many choose to perform their routines in our annual dance show. There are many other sports extra-curricular activities, often led by visiting specialists, such as Gymnastics, Tae Kwondo, Trampolining, Artistic Roller-skating and Fencing. Besides improving the girlsâ€™ fitness, these all contribute towards their personal growth. For example, Squash provides an intense cardiovascular and muscular workout that improves reaction, agility, and hand-eye coordination due to its closed space and speed of play, at the same time as building courage, resilience and confidence. Year 7 and 8 girls can go horse riding each week. They practise manoeuvres with their horses and build up fitness and muscle strength. The Self Defence course that is delivered by Tatsfield Martial Arts is not only fun, but also teaches life-saving skills and awareness. Stage Combat Training is offered to a group of Sixth Formers in the spring term. The training is provided by RC-Annie, a company which is a market-leader in stuntfight training for performers, and dramatic violence choreography for stage and screen. â€˜Violence in the Valleyâ€™ is an unusual course, however it holds a range of benefits for participants, whether they consider themselves
performers or not. The course enables them to work in a safe environment, developing a sense of mutual responsibility and complicity on stage. It is great for building non-verbal communication skills and confidence in general, but it also allows the girls to confidently play moments of high emotion and peril, which at the end of a stressful day in class is extremely cathartic!
Star Wars Club And finally, Star Wars Club! Girls of all ages enjoy this unusual club in which they review the Star Wars films and study the philosophical ideas behind the stories. They do this through playing Star Wars games and engaging in discussions. Star Wars has many lessons and thoughtprovoking ideas which the girls reflect on. For instance, good versus evil and are we born bad? This is just a snapshot of a some of the opportunities we give to the girls through our extra-curricular provision. We are always on the look-out for new ideas and are delighted when parents get in touch with suggestions for new clubs or activities. The Self Defence courses were introduced following a suggestion from a parent earlier in the year. It is a pleasure to offer such a range of activities to the girls, through which they can develop new skills as well as grow personally, socially and spiritually. It is also fantastic that the girls themselves are so enthusiastic, willing to support each other and keen to try new things. Mrs Catherine Nasskau Extra-curricular Co-ordinator 17
AROUND THE WORLD School trips Educational visits and school trips provide an excellent platform for the realisation of the Personal Growth goal. They provide students with unique learning opportunities, not only bringing to life the learning of the classroom, but providing what can also be a truly formative experience in terms of their personal and social development. From an academic point of view, school trips can make a major contribution to the acquisition of knowledge and increase the depth of understanding on a particular topic. School trips can foster independence, leadership skills and interpersonal skills. They open students’ eyes to the world around them and appreciation of different cultures, whilst also teaching them what they, as individuals, have to
Maine Ski Trip The school ski trip this year was a great opportunity for the girls to challenge themselves in the mountains of Maine, USA. The resort was Sunday River and, as the ski season was drawing to a close, the slopes were fairly empty but well covered with snow and perfect for all ability of skier. As always on a ski trip there was a wide range of ability and experience within the group but the varied ski area and the wonderful instructors ensured everyone was pushed to their limit. The top ski group flew around the mountain, learning new routes and making their guide work hard to keep up. The middle groups focused on their technique and got faster and faster as the week went on. By the end of the week, girls completely new to skiing who were out of their comfort zone for the first few days, were going down slopes they would not have thought possible just a few days earlier. All the girls had to learn to be independent, proactive, and be responsible for their kit and themselves. By the end of the week the girls were both better skiers and more confident individuals. Mr Nick Hillier
offer. These trips build character and resilience, often moving students outside their comfort zone. They give lasting memories and strengthen bonds amongst peers. This year we ran many exciting trips with students participating in field trips, activity days and theatre trips here in the UK. Others went further afield to France, Germany, Belgium and the USA. In all these they have grown as people. In many respects our students are following in the footsteps of Madeleine Sophie Barat who, in her pioneering vision, spread her educational philosophy across the globe. She famously said that developing our character and personal growth is “the work of a lifetime”. Our school trips go some way to assisting students on this journey! Mrs Margaret Giblin
South Africa Netball tour On the South Africa Netball and Hockey Tour in October the girls experienced a rich variety of different experiences and situations. The extreme weather conditions the girls played in meant that they needed to support each other on and off the court and pitch, and the varied cultural experiences lent themselves to the development of their personal growth. We visited the township of Langa, where the girls went to a children’s nursery and listened to the children singing before singing themselves in return. The words of the songs were quite touching and also made our girls think about the types of things that these young children are exposed to that we are not. We had a tour around the township and saw the conditions in which whole families lived; when compared to their own lifestyles this was very humbling. Another excursion took us to Robben Island and we were shown around by an ex-inmate who shared stories of his time on the island during the 1980s. Again, the conditions and stories he told were a world away from those of our girls and they came away fascinated about a part of history which some of them had not learnt about before. Mrs Caroline Treacy
New York Trip At the end of March, a group of students from Year 10 to Upper Sixth travelled to New York for a jam-packed visit centred around mathematics. Few destinations in the world could be more exciting than New York. From investigating the geometric cityscape to exploring the street grid system and considering the mathematical principles behind some of the world’s most iconic buildings, our visit to New York left everyone feeling inspired and enthused for potential future roles within mathematics. Our trip to this fascinating city gave students an incomparable insight into the type of careers that are available in the world of mathematics, whilst also offering a fun learning experience. Mrs Leanne McCabe-Arnold ‘I absolutely adored the trip to New York and I recommend taking part in the coming years... Life in the financial district was definitely fast-paced and the New York Stock Exchange showed how mathematics is incorporated into high-stake trading. The trip definitely gave us a broader outlook on life. I did not see Woldingham and New York fitting together harmoniously in the beginning, but the Wolders took on the Big Apple, and I am proud to say that I was a Wolder who participated.’ Milan, Year 11
Year 7 Trip to the Château du Broutel This year, the Year 7s set off on their overnight trip to the Château du Broutel, in Northern France. The girls had a few days packed with activities, ranging from a visit to a snail farm and to a biscuit factory, as well as the traditional tour of a French market in Rue. Our first visit was to a biscuit manufacturer in Le Touquet, where the girls learnt the precise ingredients and quantities to make the perfect shortbread pastry. They learnt the origin of the word ‘biscuit’, which means ‘cooked twice’. They tasted some biscuits and bought lots of goodies to take back home. The girls also learnt about snail farming, and the farmer explained how this sort of farming can be done in an environmentally friendly way. The girls were bowled over by these little animals and were queuing to take them in their hands. They then settled down to a snail taster session and, despite some initial reluctance, they all gave it a go. Some even admitted that the snails were very tasty! After settling down at the Château, the girls got ready for an evening outdoors. They played games and ate toasted marshmallows round a warming campfire. On Saturday, the girls were thrown out of their comfort zone in the market where French is the only spoken language. They all did very well and came back with lovely sweets, strawberries and even trainers! We returned to school full of wonderful memories, having tried new activities and tasted new food. Mrs Helene Poullain 19
THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S AWARD The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme at Woldingham runs at all three levels. In Year 9 students have the opportunity to complete their Bronze Award, in Year 10 their Silver, and in Lower Sixth their Gold. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award – pushing personal boundaries, gaining new skills and enhancing CVs and university applications for young people in the UK. The award is a balanced programme designed to develop the whole person – mind, body and soul - in an environment of social interaction and teamworking. Girls can join at any stage, missing out previous levels if they join the school later or they do not feel ready for the challenge, but when they do participate it opens a wide range of opportunities for them to embrace. So why should young people join in? What do they get out of doing it? The benefits of achieving your Bronze Award are endless. It is difficult to list them all, but here’s a quick snapshot. Participants... - have lots of fun - become healthier and happier - meet incredible people and make lasting friendships - have amazing new experiences - find talents they didn’t know they had - gain skills that employers value, which can be referenced on CVs - become more confident and independent - stand out from the crowd in college, university and job applications - make memories that will last a lifetime The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a life-changing adventure girls should not miss. It is about going the extra mile – learning new skills for work and life, getting fitter, helping others, and exploring the countryside. Millions of young people in the UK have already completed their DofE, and hundreds of girls have completed their awards whilst at Woldingham.
Participants create their own programme of activities from the four sections: Physical, Skills, Volunteering and Expedition. Many of the extra-curricular activities run at school can contribute, or some girls have embraced the challenge, stretching themselves outside of school with activities such as boxercise, beekeeping, sailing, pottery, learning Mandarin, cooking, baking and cake decorating to name but a few. Volunteering has included supporting initiatives around the school, such as setting up recycling initiatives for oral care products and stationery, helping in a disabled riding centre, helping with young football teams, young dancers, Guiding and Scouting groups, in a library, at a vets, creating digital media for charity, contributing to work on a fundraising charity dinner and many other roles. These opportunities are designed to challenge participants in a stepwise programme that will inspire and broaden their experiences, contribute to their character development and influence the types of adults they will become in the future. Applications to universities and elsewhere stand out with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participation as this imputes energy, self-discipline, commitment and a capacity for teamwork to any candidate who has been involved. Mrs Fiona Payne Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Co-ordinator
“During my entire Duke of Edinburgh’s experience I really felt that I grew and developed as a person. I took part in the structured programmes where I volunteered, learnt new skills and actually did physical exercise! When I volunteered I understood the values of giving back to the community and helping those in need. I also learnt many life skills that will be great for me in the future such as cooking healthy meals. I did physical activities and interacted with the people around me; I learnt the values of teamwork and encouragement and improved my health and fitness at the same time. To conclude, doing my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has taught me that achieving goals requires hard work and dedication but is extremely rewarding and fulfilling.” Astride (Silver) “By taking part in both Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards I have gained many new skills that will stay with me forever. Personally, one of the most rewarding aspects was the Volunteering section which I completed by helping to coach a football team for younger girls. It was really fulfilling to be able to help these girls develop their confidence through a typically male dominated sport and very inspiring to see their commitment and enthusiasm. The Physical section was also really beneficial: through participating in team sports I learnt valuable lessons about teamwork and leadership and strategies to motivate my team to succeed. In my Skills section I learnt a more practical skill, cookery, which I am sure will benefit me greatly in later life, and the gruelling Expedition section taught me the importance of positivity and resilience. Overall the Duke of Edinburgh experience has given me a massive sense of accomplishment, helped me to develop valuable skills and realise the satisfaction that comes from helping others succeed through volunteering and teamwork.” Molly (Bronze and Silver)
Life doesn’t naturally happen; you’ve got to get involved. What better way to do that than do your DofE? As an employer I want to work with people who have a range of skills and can see things through. Deborah Meaden Entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den Investor 21
SIXTH FORM FUTURES Preparing students for the workplace and university The Sacred Heart goal of Personal Growth is the foundation underpinning our Futures programme. Its aim ‘to provide opportunities for self-development, self-knowledge and personal formation, as well as to encourage the sharing of gifts and talents for the benefit of the community and society as a whole’, encompasses the core goals of best practice in careers education: selfawareness of strengths, interests and values; learning about the wide range of academic and career pathways; and developing the skills and competencies to thrive in the modern workplace. Traditionally, careers education focused on advice. Many reading this article may recall a rudimentary psychometric test which ‘told’ them what they should ‘become’: maybe a lighthouse keeper as in the case of a schoolfriend of mine! It is the focus on personal growth that marks the difference between then and now. Psychometric testing now better described as ‘profiling’ - has moved on hugely and is of great value in starting the conversation about careers for students and their parents. Importantly, it gives students the opportunity to reflect on their individual characteristics, but, more than that, to consider how these characteristics can bring them success and fulfilment in the workplace.
Opportunities To learn about the world of work, there is an important place for information and Woldingham’s Futures programme provides plenty of opportunities to discover more about careers: networking breakfasts, regular careers panels focusing on specific career sectors, workplace visits and careers fairs giving students the opportunity to acquire knowledge about what’s ‘out there’. Our Lower Sixth students relished the visit from PricewaterhouseCoopers who delivered a talk during our Higher Education Conference in the summer term about their degree and school leaver programmes, as well as graduate recruitment. Students also have access to excellent online tools such as Unifrog and Morrisby to help them research career paths and academic subjects. Equally importantly, students are encouraged not just to listen but to engage as much as possible: asking questions, facilitating discussion and networking with guest speakers. The benefits of developing self-awareness and knowledge of the opportunities available in the world of work are constrained without the skills and competencies to access the opportunities, succeed and thrive long term.
Business partnerships A recent business partnership with BlueCrest Capital provided Lower Sixth students with an opportunity to go through an application process, experience a working environment, find out about roles within a financial services institution and how the business works, engage with employers, and reflect on personal learning to increase self-awareness and development. Some lucky students went on to do work experience at BlueCrest over the summer. Networking events give students the opportunity to combine learning about the world of work with developing employability skills. Networking breakfasts are a popular Sixth Form event for students and guests alike. They give students an opportunity to speak informally to alumnae and parents about careers and develop their soft skills over a lovely breakfast. Girls are encouraged not to be too sector specific in their thinking. Modern careers are unlikely to be linear, so the focus is on broad career themes such as career planning and decision making. Practical workshops on public speaking, CV writing and creating LinkedIn profiles help students develop essential skills and confidence. Employers talk increasingly about the importance of ‘competencies’, with confidence, drive, resilience and reflection being the most commonly cited. The Classroom to Boardroom programme, organised in partnership with Entrepreneurs in Action, involves students being set a real-world business challenge faced by a high-profile organisation and is a fantastic addition to our programme this year because it helps students develop a number of these in-demand skills
It is easy to see why these competencies will be so critical for our students as they enter the modern workplace. It is essential they develop the ability to make informed decisions. Woldingham girls benefit from an individual approach to their development throughout their years at the school but in the Sixth Form they benefit from unlimited one-to-one guidance. In this, we greatly encourage personal responsibility for their decisionmaking, by helping them to understand what makes a good decision, to identify and reflect on their personal values and needs, and to conduct personal research through detailed research and university visits. During our Women and the Workplace panel event, a Lower Sixth student asked our alumnae on the panel “what was the most valuable thing that you took from Woldingham into the workplace?” Although each of our panellists had their own take on this, common themes were the cohesion that helped them develop effective working relationships, confidence and communication skills. The blend of the Personal Growth goal and best practice in careers education will continue to give our students the very best start to their careers in the globally connected world of work in the 21st century. Mrs Bodil Chambers Head of Higher Education & Careers
DEVELOPING A GROWTH MINDSET This year on the German Exchange students participated in a long bike ride along the local river. Nothing unusual about that perhaps, but in this case one of the students had never ridden a bike before! They got over the problem by hiring a tandem and tackling the task as a team. In THRIVE sessions, all girls learn about the advantages of developing a Growth Mindset, which helps us to keep trying, look for ways around problems, learn from mistakes and welcome constructive criticism. Activities range from building marshmallow towers to keeping a failure diary, and we hope students begin to see that how they think affects how they work, and how they work affects how they succeed. In addition to this programme, which takes girls from their first days in Woldingham right up into the Sixth Form, we encourage a Growth Mindset through our subject lessons. This might be through concentrating on congratulating them on what they do (rather than any perceived innate talent) and taking the emphasis away from grades (most of the time) and onto challenging but achievable targets. We are thrilled when we get this type of feedback from the girls: “I’ve realised that when work is hard, it takes longer at the time, but you remember it better and next time it will be easier. It has made me more determined to go for it this year.” “We aren’t worried about asking questions if we don’t understand in Maths because the teacher says it shows we are keen to learn.”
“I was really nervous about speaking to the German students in our lesson, because they speak so much faster, but it made me realise I can cope if there are some words I don’t know.” Some departments have devised special Growth Mindset projects over the last couple of years to reinforce this personal development through their subject lessons. This year the Art Department used aspects of the Growth Mindset lessons at the beginning of Year 7, focusing on skills. Combining both skills and creativity the lessons encouraged students to be more willing to challenge themselves and see obstacles as part of the learning process. They allowed the students to work in a completely different way. Working in response to music, the students engaged with more of their senses, to produce lines, shapes, colours, forms and textures. This enabled them to have more freedom in the creative development of the work and made them less frightened of making mistakes, producing exciting outcomes. It gave the students a better understanding of the importance of creativity and taking risks. This was reinforced further when they watched a musical theatre production by the Bauhaus, a German art school (1919-1933). These artists were persistent in achieving their aims, working through problems with real commitment, which ultimately led to success. Mrs Gail Haythorne and Mrs Marie Connery
BROADENING HORIZONS Thinking Big Our Thinking Big lecture series features eminent external figures, staff and - most importantly students. It provides a fantastic opportunity for our students to broaden their understanding of contemporary issues, to challenge themselves and feed their intellectual curiosity. The first event of the year was an emotionally-charged and deeply affecting talk by Barry and Margaret Mizen, parents of Jimmy Mizen, who was murdered in 2008. They spoke movingly of their experience at the time - and since - and told of their journey in being able to reject revenge in favour of forgiveness. “I’m not shouting from the roof top “I forgive” but by not wanting revenge I have an inner peace that a lot of people in our position don’t seem to have. Jimmy’s murder has done a lot of damage to this family and I can’t let it do any more. Our role now is to reach young people before they end up in prison. I believe it is possible for anyone to change and that includes the person who killed our Jimmy.” Barry Mizen We also welcomed the author and Nobel Prize winning Economist Benny Dembitzer to the Auditorium stage. He delivered an impassioned speech on barriers to economic development in sub-Saharan Africa and the solutions, which he encouraged our students to fight for. Judging by the queue of students wanting to buy his book at the end, his message clearly resonated. The highlight of the year, though, is always seeing our girls up on stage, demonstrating the courage and confidence to deliver a 20 minute lecture and take questions on a topic they are passionate about. We have had lectures on climate change, astrophysics and even University Challenge! By the end of the year, I’m delighted to say we had more students volunteering to give lectures than we had slots for, so it’s going to be a busy and exciting schedule next year. I cannot wait! Mr Phil Abbott
Café Scientifique Café Scientifique runs a series of lectures by people working in science and technology industries. The programme provides the students with an insight into possible future careers. It introduces them to cutting-edge technologies and developments in science, to encourage them to pursue scientific careers. This year we had a guest speaker who discussed cancer treatment with a focus on improving imaging of tumours. This is an interesting topic and students were keen to ask many questions. The speaker had also studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, which the students found personally inspiring since many of them wish to study there. Another speaker introduced us to a new method of genetic modification that can insert specific genes into specific sections of DNA. The potential uses for this include prevention of genetic disorders and the highly controversial topic of designer babies. Overall, the students learned a great deal from our guest speakers. They gained exposure to subjects they may not normally encounter in lessons, encouraging them to grow beyond their academic commitments. This programme has stirred enthusiasm in many of the students and shown them that studying science can open up a vast range of opportunities to them. Miss Ceara Kelly 25
ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS Once again, our A Level students achieved excellent results with nearly half of all grades at A*-A, one in five at A* and a quarter of all pupils achieving straight A*-A grades. Needless to say, academic excellence went hand in hand with engagement in extra-curricular activities. Emily Sargent, who joined us in the Sixth Form, threw herself into life at school, taking on leadership roles and performing in numerous drama productions. She has a full set of A*s and will study Drama and Film at Royal Holloway. She follows in the footsteps of last year’s Head Girl, Rachel Oyawale, who has had a whirlwind gap year performing with the English National Opera. Rachel now heads to Clare College, Cambridge to read English. Rachel excelled during her tenure at the ENO and was awarded the Lilian Baylis Award for Outstanding Promise. She was chosen to represent the company when the ensemble of Porgy and Bess won Outstanding Achievement in Opera at the Olivier Awards. Neeti Kumar who studied Art, Art Textiles and History of Art at A Level was awarded a place at Central St Martins to study Fine Art BA (Hons) – a fabulous achievement.
Natalia Glazman won the prestigious European Commission Translation competition, Juvenes Translatores. This competition rewards the best translators in the European Union. Natalia translated a piece from Spanish to English triumphing over students from 73 UK schools; a feat that is even more remarkable since her first language is Russian. Natalia takes up a place at Imperial College, London where she will study Biochemistry with Spanish. This year’s Head Girl, Sarah Adegbite, has seen recent success in two prestigious essay-writing competitions. She received a highly commended award from the New College of the Humanities for her essay entitled ‘What kinds of inequality, if any, are unjust?’, having been shortlisted from over 3,600 entries. She was also runner-up in Keble College, Oxford’s Theology and Religion essay competition with her entry entitled ‘Is it meaningful to say God loves me?’ and has been invited to attend the Awards ceremony in Oxford later this term.
It is a great testament to students and staff that the girls are able to excel
Multi-talented Upper Sixth student Carol Huang also achieved success in The Royal Society of Biology’s intermediate Olympiad where she gained a much coveted Gold Award. Woldingham girls have excelled in the new GCSE qualifications for the third year running. More than a quarter of all Woldingham’s GCSE grades were at the highest 9 grade, 45% of grades were at 9-8 and half the year group achieved seven or more 9-7 grades. One in five girls achieved nine or more 9-8 grades. Ria Aihie, Imogen Barry, Charlotte Baxter, Cat Menzies, Jemima Wengraf-Townsend and Milan Wood all gained straight 9-8 grades. Imogen and Milan showed early STEM promise, winning the national Teen Tech Award in 2016 for their innovative educational app. Milan’s aptitude was also rewarded more recently when she and Grace Main were awarded Arkwright Scholarships in June. Grace will certainly be busy as she has been awarded a place on the
National Youth Theatre Technical Theatre Programme and our Drama Scholars won the Best New Writing Award at the Leatherhead Drama Festival. Woldinghamâ€™s mathematicians also had a very successful year. The annual Hans Woyda competition saw very close matches against Nonsuch High School for Girls and Reigate Grammar and a fabulous win against Wallington Girlsâ€™ School. In the UKMT Maths Challenges the Juniors achieved four Golds with Caitlin Prior awarded Best in Year 7 and Best in School and Cindy Zhang Best in Year 8. The Intermediate Maths Challenge saw a fantastic ten Golds, Anna Wang was awarded Best in Year 9 and Best in School, Xinran Wang Best in Year 10 and Luna Li Best in Year 11. At Senior level Luna repeated her success, gaining Best in School, with Sarah Adegbite Best in Lower Sixth and Miranda Piana Parra Best in Upper Sixth. It is a great testament to students and staff that the girls are able to excel in and outside the classroom. I look forward to another busy year! Ms Nicole Weatherston Deputy Head Academic
EXAMINATION RESULTS GCSE Subject
3 5 6 4 1 19
74 95 100 100
90 93 97 97
15 7 5 1 1 1 30
16 9 4 1 30 53 83 97 97 100 100
2 5 3 2 1 13
77 92 100 100
Design & Technology
6 7 3 1 1 18
89 94 100 100
2 2 4 5 7 3 1 24
33 54 83 96
English as a 2nd Language English Language
12 13 18 13 8 4 1 69 68
13 7 18 19 9 2
10 5 3 2 1 2 23
78 87 91 100
6 5 9 8 6 2 36
56 78 94 100
3 2 2 2 2 2 13
54 69 85 100
9 1 7 4 5 26
65 81 100 100
5 3 1 1 1 11
82 91 100 100
9 16 13 11 9 9 4 71
Mathematics (Statistics) 1 1
0 100 100 100 100 100
1 4 1 1 7
86 100 100 100
1 1 1 1 1 5
40 60 80 100
PE (Short Course) 1 1
0 0 0 100
16 9 2 1 1 1 30
90 90 93 97
Science (Double Award)
16 7 6 3 2 34
85 94 100 100
21 11 6 14 9 4 6 71
184 128 125 101 82 43 22 689
More than half the year group achieved seven or more 9-7 grades
45% of all GCSE grades were 9-8
A Level Subject
5 2 3 10 50 70 100 100 100
Art History Biology
2 6 4 3 3 18 11 44 67 83
Business Studies Chemistry
3 7 3 1 1 15 20 67 87 93
100 100 100
Chinese 5 2 7 0 71 100 100 100 Classical Civilisation
Design & Technology
1 6 5 1 13 8 54 92 100 100
3 4 3 5 2 1 18 17 39 56 83
9 3 6 1 1 20 45 60 90 95
1 1 100 100 100 100 100
1 3 1 2 1 8 13 50 63 88
Govt. & Politics
1 4 4 2 2 13 8 38 69 85
Latin 1 1 1 3 0 33 67 100 100 Maths
2 7 3 3 1 1 17 12 53 71 88
Maths - Further Media Studies
1 2 1 4 25 25 75 100 100
Music 1 1 0 0 0 100 100 PE 1 1 0 100 100 100 100 Physics
1 1 3 1 6 17 17 33 83 100
Psychology 2 1 7 11 0 18 27 91
2 2 100 100 100 100 100
1 1 1 1 1 5 20 40 60 80
41 63 61 38 15 3 222 18 47
80 100 74
100 100 91
of all A Level grades were A*-A
UNIVERSITY DESTINATIONS 2019 leavers Name University Course Khushi Aggarwal
Business and Management
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Drama
Amani Baroom UWE Bristol
Business and Events Management (with Foundation Year)
Chemical Engineering inc. an Industrial Year
Sorcha Blackshaw ALves
Social Sciences (Sandwich)
Physiotherapy with Integrated Master’s
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Business Management (Marketing)
King’s College London
Economics and Management
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation
Property Development and Planning
Central St Martins
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
King’s College London
European Studies - Spanish Pathway
Amelia De Serpa Pimentel
Biochemistry with Spanish for Science
Sports Strength and Conditioning
Paris College of Art
Marina Kaloyeropoulos SOAS
Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Central St Martins
Fine Art - preceded by accelerated Foundation
Business and Management
Religion and Theology
Chemistry with Research Abroad
Politics and International Relations
Miranda Piana Parra
Queen Mary, London
Business and Management
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Royal Holloway, London
Drama with Film
Accounting and Finance
Theology and Religion
San Francisco School of Art
Spanish and Classics
Psychology with Professional Placement
Criminology and Psychology
English and History
Chartered Accountancy Apprenticeship
Central St Martins
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
of students gained a place at their first or second choice university
2018 post-qualification applicants Ana Casanueva CorbalĂĄn
Law with Hispanic Law
Social Policy and Sociology
Geography and Politics
UVMP Kosice (Slovakia)
OUR FUTURE School Strategic Development Plan 2019-2024 Over the last year we developed a new five year strategic plan. Written with input from girls, parents, staff and governors, the six objectives outlined within the strategy are outlined here.
Woldingham is a strong, forward-thinking and active community where empowered students and staff thrive. Through their actions, students make a difference to the world.
Woldingham is at the forefront of girls’ education. Our students’ educational outcomes benefit from our enriching curriculum, which allows for a community of learning in its fullest sense, both in and out of the classroom.
Developing Ethos and Community
Woldingham treasures its Sacred Heart heritage, and our community lives through the words of St Madeleine Sophie Barat, “Your example even more than your words will be an eloquent lesson to the world.”
Developing Infrastructure & Operations
Woldingham’s future plans make best use of our unique space and beautiful setting, and respond to our changing educational landscape.
The decisions we make are for Woldingham’s sustainable future. As the school grows, so do our aspirations.
Woldingham celebrates its reputation as a leading school at the forefront of girls’ education.
The ‘Woldingham 175’ development plan will see additional investment in our People, our Facilities and the girls’ Futures. Our primary focus is developing people and, as such, our fundraising activities are directed towards the provision of transformational bursaries. Through these fully funded places, the Woldingham School bursary programme offers life-changing opportunities for girls to follow their dream of a Woldingham education.
We believe in nurturing a diverse and dynamic community where all our students thrive. Within this mix, many of our bursary students take on positions of leadership, some being elected Head Girl, others gaining entry to Oxbridge. We have received overwhelming support for transformational bursaries this year. We are immensely grateful for the generosity of parents and alumnae. Thank you so much to everyone who has made a gift or attended a fundraising event.
...she could only attend Woldingham School because of her bursary ...[she] graduated last week from Durham University with a Master’s Degree in Economics... hope that many more girls will get the opportunity our daughter had. Parent of a recent leaver and bursary recipient
BURSARIES We are thrilled to announce that a fourth Jayne Triffitt Bursary Award, a 100% bursary, has been awarded to a girl who started in Year 7 this September. With your ongoing support, we hope to award a fifth Jayne Triffitt Bursary Award as well as launch a second transformational bursary, both of which will be awarded in September 2020. In addition, our alumnae in the US have pledged to fund a new transformational bursary over the next five years, further increasing our ability to transform more young women’s lives. Your support, at whatever level, will make a significant impact on the lives of talented young women entering our school. We have forged relationships with a number of local primary schools, who help us to identify talented girls through our Year 5 Enrichment programme, developing a pipeline of prospective bursary students. In return, our Sixth Form students offer classroom support to the primary school children as part of our community outreach programme. The development effort will continue to support the school’s strategic plan with new initiatives launching in the next five years. For more information or to offer your support, please contact Mrs Camilla Mair at firstname.lastname@example.org
…she was privileged to have been given a bursary to complete her studies. Her time at Woldingham was amazing and has helped her to accomplish all her dreams. Parent of a recent leaver and bursary recipient
DEVELOPMENT EVENTS Christmas Shopping Event and Workshops Many of you joined us at our first Christmas Shopping Event last November. Main House took on a decidedly festive air with twinkling lights and Christmassy aromas! Shoppers browsed and purchased from more than 20 fabulous stalls selling a wonderful array of gifts, accessories, clothing, food and drink. Each stallholder kindly donated a prize to our very popular raffle and there was a keenly contested silent auction for a Gilbert match rugby ball signed by the England team. Before the shopping began, there were two highly enjoyable workshops, where guests learnt how to make Christmas wreaths and beautifully decorated Christmas cakes. Thank you to everyone who came along to this lovely event in support of the Woldingham School bursary programme. We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Christmas Shopping Event which will take place on Thursday 21 November from 4.00pm - 7.00pm, with Christmas workshops from 2.00pm.
Thank you for putting so much effort into these events...
Move over Glyndebourne The last Sunday of June saw a fabulous afternoon of glamorous picnics on the Pergola Lawn, followed by Surrey Opera’s wonderful performance of The Barber of Seville with the amazing natural acoustics of our beautifully cool auditorium. ‘We just wanted to say thank you so much for a lovely evening. We thoroughly enjoyed eating our picnic in beautiful surroundings and then, of course, the opera, which was fantastic. Thank you for putting so much effort into these events, we really appreciate it.’ Woldingham parent The auction and raffle, with prizes donated by parents and Old Girls, raised more than £5,500 for the bursary programme. Thank you to everyone who came along to support.
Alumnae Telephone Campaign In July, nine recent leavers were trained for our first telephone campaign. They spoke to more than 490 Old Girls, securing an amazing £78,804 worth of donations. There were many wonderful conversations, reminiscing about their time at Woldingham, telling stories and remembering friends and staff. We are very grateful to our fantastic calling team, for their commitment and dedication to ensure the campaign was a success. A huge thank you to all our alumnae who took time to chat and offer their support for the bursary programme. If you are a recent leaver and would be interested in joining our calling team this summer, then please do get in touch at email@example.com
Valentine’s Ball Please join us at our fabulous Valentine’s Ball on Friday 14 February 2020 at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel, London. It promises to be a very glamorous event with live jazz in our Love Lounge by Southern Beauty, a three course gourmet dinner, dancing, auction, raffle and much more. Tables of 10 or 12 available. Tickets £100 each. To book please use this link https://tinyurl.com/y6ql9axh
HOW TO GIVE Support of our bursary programme is growing substantially. Our aim is to be able to offer two transformational bursary places in September 2020. We will offer the fifth Jayne Triffitt Award in as many years and we also intend to offer a second 100% bursary for another talented girl entering Year 7. The value of a transformational bursary is approximately £155,000 over seven years. You can offer your support in any of the following ways:
Single gift Regular gift
A single donation of any size to the bursary programme will help to change lives. e.g. a gift of £10,000 is actually worth £12,500 to the bursary fund with Gift Aid applied, but the actual cost (to a 45% taxpayer) is £6,875.00. A regular monthly, termly or annual gift will help to create sustainability for the bursary programme. e.g. a monthly gift of £12.50 is worth £1,000 over five years with Gift Aid applied; but actual cost (to a 45% tax payer) is £750 over five years. Here are some illustrations:
Total Donation Value to Bursary Fund including Gift Aid
Donor claim Actual net cost - from HMRC - 45% taxpayer 45% taxpayer
Annual net cost over 5 years 45% taxpayer
£15,625.00 £34,375.00 £6,875.00
£7,812.50 £17,187.00 £3,437.50
£3,125.00 £6,875.00 £1,375.00
£1,562.50 £3,437.50 £687.50
£781.25 £1,718.75 £343.75
We are welcoming new members to the 100 Club this academic year. For £100 per term, you will be supporting the bursary programme PLUS have the chance to win our annual cash prize.
Please join us at our fundraising events throughout the year, where you can offer your support for the bursary programme as you socialise with your Woldingham friends. We gratefully accept offers of high value prizes for our auctions and raffles.
If you have time to offer in support of our fundraising activities, our careers and networking events, our work placement scheme or our Thinking Big lecture series, we’d love to hear from you. All gifts over £1,000 will receive a personalised engraved leaf on our WSHA Bursary Trees. Thank you in advance for your generosity. For more information about how you can offer your support, please visit woldinghamschool.co.uk/supportus or contact Mrs Camilla Mair at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01883 654308.
Thank you for making a gift to the Bursary Fund, part of the Woldingham School Foundation *
Standing To the Manager of Order Address of bank / building society
Name(s) of account holder(s)
i.e. 100 Club
Gift Aid declaration I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations it is my responsibility to pay any difference. (See www.woldinghamschool.co.uk/supportus for more info.)
I want to Gift Aid my donation of £ and any donations I make in the future or have made in the past four years to Woldingham School
Signature Date Recognising your gift Woldingham School would like to recognise the names of its supporters to thank them. How would you like your donation to be recorded? Recorded as
(e.g. Mr & Mrs Smith)
i.e. 100 Club
Amount details Date / amount of first payment (Please allow 10 working days for receipt)
**Termly payments for the 100 Club will be made on 1st September, 1st January and 1st April respectively
I would like to make a gift of :
Frequency of payment :
Please pay from my/our account to : Barclays Bank plc, PO Box 95, 1 North End, Croydon CR9 1RN Account Name: Woldingham School Foundation Account number: 33849120 Sort code: 20-24-87 How often are the payments to be made?
* Woldingham School Foundation is part of
Woldingham School, Charity registration no. 1125376
Please choose one of the following two options: 1. Date and amount of final payment DD/MM/YY
2. Until further notice
Amount £ (Payments will be made until you cancel this instruction)
Cheques payable to the Woldingham School Foundation. To make a gift by Debit Card or Credit Card, please contact the Development Office on +44 (0)1883 654308. A fee is charged to the school on Credit Card transactions. You can transfer your gift directly to our bank Electronic account via an electronic fund transfer. For this Fund Transfer purpose you will need our bank details as follows: Barclays Bank plc, PO Box 95, 1 North End, Croydon CR9 1RN Account Name: Woldingham School Foundation Account number: 33849120 Sort code: 20-24-87 IBAN: GB70 BARC 202487 338491 20 Swift code: BARCGB22 PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO REFERENCE YOUR NAME IN THE TRANSFER
Please return this completed form to: Development Manager, Woldingham School, Marden Park, Woldingham, Surrey CR3 7YA
Thank you for your support
WSHA CHAIR’S REPORT It is, once again, my pleasure to introduce the alumnae section of the magazine. As I sit down to write and reflect, I am thrilled to report that it has been another wonderfully busy year for WSHA. You will have seen from the regular WSHA email updates, there has been lots going on. As ever, the Carol Service at Westminster Cathedral was a fantastic event attended by the whole school, parents and alumnae, and for those that were unable to attend, it was streamed live on the internet. On Old Girls’ Day we welcomed more than 300 alumnae and their families to Woldingham. It was a super, sunny day that began with Mass in the auditorium, followed by a lovely lunch at Marden. The afternoon saw face painting, a treasure hunt and the chance to catch up with old friends, sharing reminiscences over tea and cake. The crowning moment of the day was a presentation to Deputy Head Pastoral, Mrs Judith Brown, who, many of you will know, retired at the end of the summer term after 23 years at Woldingham. On behalf of the alumnae, WSHA presented Judith with two gorgeous roses bearing her name, as a gesture of our appreciation. Many Old Girls returned to Woldingham for the first time since leaving to share Judith’s special day – a day of shrieks and tears, emotion and laughter. Once again, we send Judith our very best wishes for the future. We have also enjoyed business networking events, more milestone year group reunions, and a glorious midsummer Glyndebourne-style opera, complete with picnics on Pergola Lawn. There’s more on these fabulous events – and photos – in the magazine. Looking to the future, WSHA is looking to harness the immense potential of our alumnae community. Many of you will have received a letter from Alex Hutchinson, Headmistress, and a subsequent telephone call from a recent Woldingham leaver. This contact presented the chance to engage with Old Girls, share memories, update contact details and ask for support for our development and fundraising activities.
Our callers did a fantastic job, raising more than £75,000 from our alumnae throughout the two-week telephone campaign. We are extremely grateful to everyone who supported this initiative, all donations received are hugely important in funding our transformational bursaries. These bursaries offer the opportunity of a Woldingham education to girls identified as having great potential to excel, but unable to attend without financial support. In the past, this ‘giving back’ ethos has been exclusive to boys’ school alumnae associations – but as societal stereotyping has been turned on its head, with women on a par with their male counterparts in the workplace, girls’ school associations are looking to catch up. Should you be interested in supporting WSHA in any of its endeavours, or simply have a question, please contact the WSHA team via email email@example.com As a reminder, we are always looking for new members to sit on the committee (it’s not an arduous task, I promise… it’s simply – in the best Woldingham tradition – a lot of chatting!). There are a host of other ways to contribute, that all benefit current and former students. You could share your professional insights with the girls at a careers breakfast, attend one of our business networking events in London, or just come along to an event and reconnect with friends. It is the people involved and their interactions which make our special Woldingham community what it is. As always, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank committee members for their valued time, dedication and support this year, and particularly Katie Hogben and Camilla Mair for their invaluable efforts on behalf of WSHA. On behalf of the association, my thanks also go to Alex Hutchinson for her continuing support of WSHA in her role as president, and to the school for hosting our committee meetings and events throughout the year, and for allowing us to play a role in life at Woldingham. I look forward to welcoming you to one of our many events planned for this coming year. With my very best wishes, Ms Jenny Coote WSHA Chair
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 2019-2020 September 2019
Careers Breakfast Tuesday 15 October, Woldingham School USA Development Visit 15 - 21 October, NYC and California
October Woldingham School Bonfire & Fireworks Friday 8 November, Woldingham School
Careers Breakfast Tuesday 12 November, Woldingham School Women and the Workplace Event Tuesday 19 November, Woldingham School
Year Reps Dinner Monday 2 December, Woldingham School
Christmas Shopping Event & Autumn Concert Thursday 21 November, Woldingham School Christmas Carol Service & Drinks Reception Monday 9 December, Westminster Cathedral, London
Valentineâ€™s Ball Friday 14 February, The Chelsea Harbour Hotel, London
March Afternoon Tea / Networking Event Thursday 12 March, The Goring, London TBC
May Old Girlsâ€™ Day Sunday 17 May, Woldingham School
June WSHA AGM & Committee Meeting Thursday 18 June, Woldingham School
For more information on any of these events, please contact Katie Hogben at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01883 654307 43
ALUMNAE AROUND THE WORLD USA - October 2018 In October we had a fabulous trip to New York to meet some of our US based alumnae. It was wonderful to reconnect with generations of Old Girls and chat about all things Woldingham. As a group, we discussed creating a US based alumnae network and collaboration for funding a transformational bursary. We also met the development team of our sister school, Convent of the Sacred Heart 91st Street in Manhattan, to share insights (and learn a lot) as well as having a tour of their beautiful buildings overlooking Central Park, featured in many Hollywood movies.
USA - October 2019 We are really looking forward to our trip to the USA this October. We hope to meet as many of our Old Girls as we can and encourage them to get involved with our US campaign, ‘Women in Business – supporting the next generation’. We will be hosting networking events and a fundraising dinner with guest speakers in New York City on Thursday 17 October 2019 as well as a Thank You lunch and networking brunch in California on 19 and 20 October 2019 respectively. In 2020 we hope to cover more US cities on our trip as we have alumnae based all over the USA. For more information, please contact email@example.com
Hong Kong - November 2018 Last November we hosted Woldingham’s inaugural fundraiser dinner in Hong Kong at the prestigious Shek O Country Club, courtesy of one of our alumnae who is the Lady Captain. It was a wonderful evening where we presented our bursary philosophy and discussed how Woldingham’s Hong Kong parents and alumnae could support transformational bursaries for future generations of Woldingham girls. We also held a ‘sealed bid’ auction open to our entire Hong Kong community of more than 200 people, featuring some very generous prizes donated by community members. The auction raised a substantial
amount for the bursary programme. Our grateful thanks to everyone for your ongoing support and involvement. We look forward to our next trip to the Far East.
Far East - 2020 We are planning a trip to Asia in 2020, where we will host events to meet as many of our alumnae, parents and past parents as possible in our Asain communities. For more information about this trip, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENTS The WSHA Business Network represents nearly 150 different businesses run by our Old Girls. From hedge funds to fashion labels, barristers to travel consultants and interior designers to MPs, the breadth of talent and experience among our alumnae is boundless. By joining the WSHA Business Network you are able to list your own business, job or enterprise for free. We hope that the WSHA Business Network will become the first port of call for the whole Woldingham community when looking for a business connection. In March we held our fourth WSHA Business Networking Event at The Grosvenor Hotel, London. Alumnae from lots of different industries attended and we had a great presentation from The Return Hub. We also have WSHA Business Networks in the USA and Hong Kong. If you would be interested in attending a networking event in the future, please contact email@example.com
If you would like your business, enterprise or job listed in our WSHA Business Network for FREE, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org
CHRISTMAS CAROL SERVICE 2018 More than 1,000 members of the Woldingham community, including students, staff, parents, grandparents, governors, alumnae and guests came together for the annual carol service at Westminster Cathedral. Mrs Hutchinson welcomed everyone and expressed her thanks for their commitment and support. She also reflected on Woldingham’s 176th anniversary, just two days earlier, and said that she was sure the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, such pioneers of girls’ education, would be delighted to experience Woldingham in 2018 and see its all-round education in action. Before his opening prayer, Fr Gerry described the service as an opportunity for everyone to pause and reflect on what Christmas means to us. He also said that, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we should radiate a sense of joy to others, by our words and kind example, and take the time to open our eyes to those around us, to help and to heal, to comfort and to befriend. All of the readers, who included a Year 7 student and a Hong Kongbased Old Girl, were outstanding, and the service was filled with sublime music. After this joyful celebration of Christmas, many of the congregation gathered at The Grosvenor Hotel for mince pies, mulled wine and a chance to catch up with friends, old and new.
You’re invited: This year’s carol service will be held on Monday 9 December at 2.30pm at Westminster Cathedral. We do hope you are able to join us.
OLD GIRLS’ DAY 2019 We were thrilled to welcome more than 300 alumnae and their families to our annual Old Girls’ Day in May. This was our largest reunion in a number of years and we were delighted that some former members of staff and Sisters from the Sacred Heart were also able to join us. The day started with Mass which, with a congregation of around 360, including our boarders and choir, was held in the Auditorium. After Mass, guests made their way to Marden House for a delicious lunch and the dining room resounded with laughter and chatter. After lunch Jenny Coote, WSHA Chair, gave thanks on behalf of the alumnae community to Mrs Judith Brown, Deputy Head Pastoral, on her retirement after her 23 years’ service to Woldingham. Jenny also presented Judith with two pink rose bushes, her favourite flower, named ‘Judith Brown’– one rose will be planted in the school grounds and Judith will plant the other in her own garden. Then everyone headed to Main House for class reunions, a treasure hunt and afternoon tea. Lots of reminiscing was enjoyed, and group photos were taken by the pond and on Pergola Lawn, while children were kept busy
with face painting, plate spinning, games and a bouncy castle. The leavers of 2014, 2009, 1999, 1994 and 1989 had their milestone reunions – some meeting for the first time since they left! It was a fantastic day and we hope to see you at Old Girls’ Day next year. You’re invited: Old Girls’ Day - Sunday 17 May 2020, 10.30am - 5.00pm
Class of 1949-1964 On Thursday 15 November 2018 a group of us met at The Bridge at Barnes and were envisaging a very enjoyable time as usual. We were expecting about 14 people. A film was being made in our regular dining area so our table was in a different part of the pub. This gave us a change of view! We were not sure if Sister Dorothy Bell could come, as she had spent some weeks in hospital earlier in the autumn. When we heard that she was keen to join us we were delighted! Mary Pertwee was away at the time so was unable to pick her up from Duchesne. Pippa offered to collect her and had use of her disabled card, which was very convenient. 50
Sister Dorothy thoroughly enjoyed the event. We were so glad she did because, as you all know, she died on Ash Wednesday this year. Indeed, we all have very special memories of that lunch. Ann and Caroline Russell were planning to come. They were going to bring their sister Eve who lives in France, but was over here on a visit. However, Caroline called in alone to tell us Ann had been rushed to hospital that morning, so none of them would be present. Sadly, Ann died in May this year. We are fortunate to have seen her at this gathering for several years. I can report that our rather depleted group had a very pleasant time and are so happy to have been there. Deo Gratias! Fiona Wright (1959)
50 year reunion - Leavers of 1969 It was the best of all reunions, possibly because the passing of 50 years brought on a rush of memories, many of which had been buried since we’d left Woldingham. This anniversary reunion on Saturday 19 June was held at Margaret Johnson’s house, where 22 of us spent a long afternoon eating and drinking in her beautiful garden. Some of us hadn’t met since leaving school, but there was no holding us back from diving into conversations, eager to learn what we’d done since launching ourselves into the real world. We pored over albums with photos of our younger selves, nuns in full habits, and the occasional teacher taken unawares striding to class. Among the memorabilia were a selection of holy pictures with scribbled messages marking a special occasion, a tie and a couple of ribbons.
We swapped stories about misbehaving Latin teachers, games on foggy afternoons, and argued about the teachers who inspired us, or sadly did the opposite. Frances Crichton Stuart challenged our memories with a quiz full of wicked questions. Some answers left us nonplussed. During the afternoon, we revived friendships that had sustained us through the best and worst days of school life, and I suspect that most of us left feeling rejuvenated. When the day eventually came to a close, we promised to meet up again, but much sooner. Rosalie MacFarlane (1969) Back row L-R: Gina Hardinge (née Fleming); Caroline Brown; Mary Rose Gearon; Annabel Portsmouth (née Fergusson); Corinna Liddell-Gordon (née Liddell); Veronica Myles (née Wauters); Elizabeth Manners; Frances Crichton Stuart; Bridget Smyth (née Gibson); Celia Soucek (née Webb); Margaret Studd (née Johnson); Frances Ross (née Hunter Gordon); Victoria Raymond (née Mather). Front row L-R: Kris Colangelo (née King); Lucinda Nicol (née Kavanagh); Eugenie Young (née Hunter); Jill Hughes (née Neville); Sukey Roxburgh (née Don); Georgie Livingstone (née Allen); Rosalie Macfarlane; Mary Ring (née Taylor); Monica Wambold (née Gerard Sharp)
REUNIONS 40 year reunion - Leavers of 1979 A huge thank you to Callie (Green) for the use of her beautiful flat in Knightsbridge as the venue for our 40th reunion. Biss (Fiona Bisset, our Year Rep) and Callie organised a wonderful feast with plenty of wine and food. The evening’s entertainment was provided by watching a group of women in their late 50s making it up five flights of stairs! About 30 of us turned up to reminisce about our time at Woldingham and it was a wonderful occasion filled with laughter and a plethora of memories of a childhood spent together in both Marden and Senior House. It was difficult to catch more than a few moments with everyone. Many of the ‘79ers have gone on to have interesting and rewarding careers with plenty of success stories in a wide variety of different disciplines.
We missed the many people who couldn’t make it, were sorry that we had lost touch with many others and Claire (Inch) encouraged us to raise our glasses to ‘absent friends’ which also, sadly, covered the five people from our year we have lost: Antonia Williams, Laila Merchant, Mandy Hudson, Teresa (Tetty) Sandeman-Charles and most recently, Sarah Okell. What always strikes me most at these reunions is what a genuinely warm, wonderful bunch of women Woldingham turned out. Everyone was rather sad to think we shan’t see each other again for perhaps another ten years, by which time there will undoubtedly be more grandchildren and many of us will be happily retired! Fiona MccGwire (née Bisset,1979)
30 year reunion - Leavers of 1989 Some important milestones in life require celebrating, alongside toasting those unable to be there. One such event, our 30 year school reunion, evoked the question ‘How did that come around so quickly?’. For 45 of us, the answer was ‘too quickly’ as we gathered in May from all corners of the world - France, America, Hong Kong, and a last minute decision to come from New Zealand. The allure of meeting after 30 years was strong and worth the 19,000km flight! Our reunion weekend started at a London pub and finished with a visit to Woldingham for Mass, lunch and a tour, all testament to our appreciation for school days where fond memories and bonds formed and continue to transcend time.
From a hug 30 years on to historic slide shows, from jokes on old times to tales out of school, from reconnecting with old friends and loved teachers to meeting the families of those with whom we spent formative years, this 30 year reunion was a precious gift for us all. Roll on, though not too quickly, our 40th! Maria Frost (1989)
20 year reunion - Leavers of 1999 Thank you Woldingham for having us back to the Valley for our 20 year reunion. It started in January with trawling through our old year book and then a frantic gathering of phone numbers on social media and repetitive stress syndrome in the thumbs adding everyone to the WhatsApp list. But it resulted in a most stupendous turnout of our beautiful class of 1999 coming from all corners of the globe, from Mexico City to Bangkok, from New York to Geneva - Old Girls came from far and wide to gather and celebrate. We caught up in London on the Friday night, taking over a pub in Westminster with decibels of delight and laughter as we 54
greeted each other and reminisced - for many, it was the first time we’d seen each other since Prize Day in 1999. The volume of voices and the energy of the chatter was no different from being back in the Fifth Year Common Room. On Sunday morning we celebrated a poignant Mass in the Auditorium singing the old Our Father with gusto (but no longer hitting the high notes - we are sopranos no longer!). Woldingham treated us to a fabulous lunch in Marden with speeches and a glass of wine and then we whiled away the afternoon watching the next generation play games on the lawn by the pergola, with bouncy castle, face paints and treasure hunt as we Old Girls chatted and wondered where all the years had gone. We don’t feel (or look!) a minute older! Stephanie Fityan (née Duke, 1999)
10 year reunion Leavers of 2009 The class of 2009 reunited at Old Girls’ Day on Sunday 19 May for a beautiful sunny day back in the Valley. It was somewhat surreal walking back into Marden for lunch, which has certainly become more sophisticated since we were all there! We had the chance to explore the old corridors and even found Sister de Groot in the Health Centre. It was a lovely trip down memory lane and with the benefit of ten years behind us, it struck us all how lucky we were to have had access to such fantastic facilities when we were younger and to have grown up with lifetime friendships that are stronger than ever. Kathryn Kerr (née Jessup, 2009)
5 year reunion - Leavers of 2014 Secondary school seems like just yesterday. That is, until you’re attending a reunion that has come upon you much too fast. It did come as a shock, the realisation that five years have passed since our last emotional prize day and the dreaded results day when we were sent off into the future to form our own paths and explore the world. That is what we have done and it was exciting to hear the different routes everyone is exploring, from medicine, to acting and to further study. Everyone has accomplished so much in such a short period of time, and, even more importantly, everyone seemed really happy! But, while things have massively changed in some ways, at the same time it seemed that nothing is different. They say the best friendships are those where, when you see each other, it feels like no time has passed. I am amazed to say that is how our school reunion was. There were girls I hadn’t seen in years but who I could chat with like it was only yesterday. All in all, it was a great day. We were even able to channel the spirit of sports days past with a game of rounders! Jennie Matthews (2014)
SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART Last October, Amy Micallef Eynaud, who is a member of Duchesne Community, celebrated her 100th birthday. She was born in Malta in the final years of the First World War and came to England in 1939 Amy Micallef Eynaud to join the noviciate in Roehampton, just before the outbreak of the Second World War. She has lived through some historic events and great changes in society. As she said recently: ‘...the advice I would give to anyone... is to be open and ready to receive.’ Last November there was an International meeting in the Philippines focusing on Justice, Peace and Care for Creation. Representatives from every Province gathered to discuss and plan a direction for the Society in these areas of concern. They affirmed that JPIC ‘is in the depths of our being as educators... JPIC is a style of life, of relationship, of caring. It is the living out of our commitment to Jesus and to those who are close to His Heart... we want to commit ourselves to renewing hope wherever we are.’ This resonates with a prayer posted online from Soboba Indian Reservation, USA, remembering the life of Philippine Duchesne. It ended ‘O holy woman, who prays always, we ask your blessing. Bless us, your Indian children, and stay with us always. Bless our land, Mother Earth, given by Creator. Bless all people who walk on Mother Earth. May we live together in peace. Amen. Aho.’ Dorothy Bell died at Duchesne House on Ash Dorothy Bell Wednesday, 6 March, at the age of 94. In 1935 Dorothy went to school at the Sacred Heart Convent in Roehampton. She enjoyed her school days, despite the disruption of wartime evacuation to Rugby, and eventually became Head Girl. After joining the Society, she spent much of her working life first at Woldingham and then as Principal of Digby Stuart College, Roehampton. 56
In 2015, when she celebrated 65 years since her First Vows, Dorothy wrote ‘65 years a religious of the Society of the Sacred Heart, now aged 90 - a pretty good innings and not out yet!’ At the end of June, Jane Maltby completed her term as Provincial of England/Wales - a responsibility she had carried for the last six years. After a few months break, she will take over as the non-residential Provincial of Egypt, working with a team of Sisters from that Province. This is a new, experimental style of leadership introduced into several Provinces where there is no one at the moment ready to carry this responsibility. Jane has been succeeded as Provincial by Catherine Lloyd who has recently returned from a sabbatical following time in Rome as a member of the previous Central Team. The last six Provincials
In preparation for the Special Chapter 2021, the Society is engaged in an ongoing process of ‘catching the dreams’ - in discerning who we are called to be and what we are called to do in our current reality. As Helen McLoughlin said in opening the 1994 General Chapter: ‘The Spirit helps us to dream dreams; without dreams history does not change.’ The dream catcher symbol is a dynamic Native American representation of the Circle of Life with the breath and air essential for it, and the call is: “to move out of our comfort zone - and allow ourselves to dream.” Towards this, Barbara Dawson observed “Three things strike me as essential to this journey - to increase our capacity to listen to the Spirit, to open ourselves to dialogue with the other, and to let go of those preoccupations, attitudes and life choices that block new life from happening.” Sr Monica McGreal
AMASC REPORT In the last year two wonderful occasions have taken place. The first was in October 2018 where AMASC members met at the Hurlingham Club for the annual dinner. Barbara Vesey, the Sacred Heart Societyâ€™s archivist was invited as guest of honour. Members enjoyed meeting Barbara and sharing memories and photos with her. Barbara invites all Sacred Heart Old Girls to send her photos, memories and artefacts from their school days for the archives. These are held at Digby Stuart College, Roehampton University. Barbara can be contacted by email at email@example.com The second special occasion was in early October 2018, when many AMASC national presidents met in Joigny, the birth place of St Madeleine Sophie Barat, to vote for a new world president. President Marisa Moreno from Mexico was retiring having completed her four-year term. Paola Del Prete from Italy was unanimously voted in as new world president for the next four years until 2022. The newly appointed World AMASC team are developing a four-year plan with a focus on developing Young AMASC and setting up a new AMASC website which can be found at https://www.amasc-sacrecoeur.com/ Trish Frisby
WSHA LEAVERS’ SCHOLARSHIPS Natasha Finch During my last year at Woldingham, I decided to defer my entry to university. I wanted to take this time to gain more experience in the workplace while also trying to push myself outside my comfort zone. I spent my gap year trying to adopt an array of skills that I had previously regretted not having. I decided to travel to Peru and Brazil. Throughout this trip, I experienced the vast biodiversity of these countries from visiting deserts to rainforests. It was an extraordinary experience with highlights including Machu Picchu and Iguazu Falls. I gained an internship at the Institute of Economic Affairs. This internship expanded my knowledge of the dynamic world of politics, from taking part in debates to media publications to the operations aspect of a think tank, broadening my skills for the workplace. At the same time as my internship, I attended some Italian evening classes. I have always wanted to learn a language, envying those around me who could speak more than one language. My Italian is currently far from fluent, however, I am making steady progress and look forward to carrying on these lessons while at university.
Following my internship, I decided to do a Marine Conservation Project. I have always taken an interest in marine biology since watching Blue Planet on repeat with my dad at weekends. For this project, I travelled to the Seychelles, where there is currently a process of coral bleaching occurring that is destroying the coral reefs. The project entailed collecting conservation-related surveys aimed at providing data to the local government on coral reef research, and assisting with marine plastic pollution clean-ups. This trip was truly breathtaking. It would not have been able to happen without the help of WSHA. The WSHA scholarship contributed to the cost of my flights and enabled me to participate in the project. I cannot put into words the impact this trip had on me and cannot say ‘thank you’ enough to WSHA for helping to make it happen. This coming year I will be studying politics and economics at the London School of Economics. Equipped with the skills I have gained during my gap year, I feel prepared to start this new chapter.
Emma Davies I was fortunate enough to receive a WSHA Leavers’ Scholarship in 2018. It allowed me to have an incredible year in which I made memories for life. After completing my UKCAT exam for medical school and sending in my UCAS applications I had the opportunity to spend a month and a half volunteering in a clinical environment in a large teaching hospital as part of a BBC documentary. This provided vital experience that I could call on later at interviews for medical school and allowed me to feel confident with my decision to continue forward in my chosen career path. Later in the year I found myself missing some form of education and decided to move to Paris for five months where I put the scholarship money towards the school fees for studying French. I always loved French at GCSE and the opportunity to study it in Paris was very special and a lot less stressful as we didn’t have any important exams! I start at Exeter Medical School in September. My gap year, which was so generously supported by WSHA, allowed me to experience a year free of important exams after A Levels before heading off for a further five years of intense studying. I have met so many friends from all over Britain and the world during this time and am very grateful for the scholarship’s support.
Maya Suen Throughout the years, Woldingham School has supported me with my musical achievements, and I was very happy that this could continue with the WSHA Leavers’ Scholarship. With the funding, I have completed my final performance diploma for piano, FTCL. Completing the diploma allowed me to explore a greater depth of piano playing through both expression and technique. I gained a deeper understanding of various composers and their pieces and, most importantly, how to draw out their intentions via the understanding of the history, making the performance more convincing. The experience was valuable to me, and I was grateful that I had the opportunity to do so. I will maintain music as a hobby alongside my chemistry degree at Imperial College.
WSHA LEAVERS’ SCHOLARSHIPS Rachel Oyawale I’ve had an absolutely extraordinary gap year, filled to the brim with opera and the arts. I applied for the WSHA scholarship to support my growth as a singer. Receiving it proved to be incredibly helpful during the encounters I had. On 20 August 2018 I began rehearsing as the youngest ensemble member in English National Opera’s multiple award-winning production of ‘Porgy & Bess’ where I was able to receive coaching and singing lessons from internationally acclaimed opera singers, Nicole Cabell, who sang the role of Bess, and Keel Watson. The night before ‘Porgy’ opened, ENO held a 50th anniversary gala where I was overwhelmed with shock, awe and joy to have been given the Lilian Baylis Award for outstanding potential. Both my mum and my singing teacher from Woldingham, Barbara O Neill, attended. The entire run of ‘Porgy & Bess’ was joyous from start to finish. I felt inspired and blessed every day being around such incredible, hardworking, sunny individuals.
Things got very busy when we began rehearsing Britten’s ‘War Requiem’, and we joined with the resident ENO chorus. It was a deeply moving piece and I learned a great deal. After Christmas I had the thrilling experience of living and performing abroad when ‘Porgy & Bess’ transferred to Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam where we remained for a month and a half. A week after arriving back in February, I began rehearsals for the premiere of Odaline de la Martinez’s ‘Imoinda’ which filled the entire month. Despite each one of my professional operatic engagements having involved singing in English, I made the decision to spend three months working in Italy as an au pair while learning Italian and having singing lessons with an incredible teacher. I stayed in Trento, near Lake Garda and I gained a real insight into a number of things and had a wonderful time immersed in the culture. My singing came on in leaps and bounds as I began to develop my technical skill. The WSHA Leavers’ Scholarship enabled me to fund these invaluable sessions. I made a short trip back to London where I had the dazzling privilege of accepting the Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Opera’ alongside my colleague on behalf of the ‘Porgy & Bess’ ensemble. The experience was so extraordinary it hardly feels as if it really happened. I am deeply grateful to have been a recipient of a WSHA Leavers’ Scholarship. My gap year was the most life-changing, exciting and joyful period of my life so far and it meant so much to be able to go through it knowing I carried with me the support of WSHA and Woldingham, an association that I am so happy and proud to remain a part of.
Marden Park Your own country mansion for a day M
arden Parkâ€™s magnificent mansion and elegant function rooms are available for weddings, christenings, parties and formal functions. As a member of the alumnae you are eligible for a 25% discount on venue hire. The chapel creates a romantic setting for Catholic ceremonies, whilst the stunning rooms are licensed for civil ceremonies and provide the perfect Surrey wedding venue. Exclusively your own country mansion for a day, including a professional in-house catering team, fully licensed bar and no corkage charges. For availability phone 01883 654185 or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/WoldinghamSchoolEvents www.instagram.com/mardenpark www.pinterest.com/mardenentltd
ANNOUNCEMENTS Births Samantha Clark (née Chitty, 2004) and her husband were pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Georgia Willow Clark, on 28 October 2018. A sister for Jack.
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Olivia (née Jackson, 1997) and Mike Bristow were thrilled to welcome two tiny (identical) twin boys born 2nd November 2018 at 34 weeks. Archie Hunter Louis Bristow and Freddie Rupert Albie Bristow, brothers for Monty (3) and Darcey (2).
Michelle (née Cheung, 1998) and Paul Choi welcomed the arrival of their son, Julian, in September 2018. Now a gorgeous one year old!
Marie (née Pears, 2003) and Matthew PearsPiggott announced the arrival of a daughter, Beatrice, on 6 September 2017 and the arrival of a son Sebastian on 26 May 2019. Nicola (née Gerrett, 2003) and Sam Colegate welcomed a baby boy, Rupert James Colegate, on 31 July 2018. He is their first baby, although the dog may say otherwise!
Cordelia (née JohnsonGilbert, 2001) and Giles Renouf welcomed another little boy, Monty, to their family on 14 September 2019. A brother to Henry, who will be two in October.
Celina (née Kelly, 2009) and Eddie Ritchie welcomed a boy at the Aga Khan Hospital on 20 March 2019, weighing 5lbs 13oz. Miles Ritchie.
After the death of her second husband in 2016, Patricia Wheatley Burt (1970) was fortunate to meet and marry Richard Roney. Between them they have five children, one step child, 11 grandchildren and two step grandchildren. Elizabeth Karani (2007) married Kiwi and fellow opera singer Thomas Atkins at Lapstone Barn on the 31 August 2019. A get together of Woldingham girls and their babies (Class of 2009): Nico (son of Sarah Coleridge Cole, née Tucker), Thomas (son of Harriet Lloyd George, née LorraineSmith), Rory (son of Anna McCafferty, née Lewis), Alice (daughter of Elizabeth Rous-Eyre, née Featherby) and Miles (son of Celina Ritchie, née Kelly). Katherine (née Howard) and Michael Mifsud joyfully welcomed their daughter Rosetta on 15 March 2019. Her older siblings, Raphael, Lucia and Leonardo, are over the moon.
Kathryn Jessup (2009) married William Kerr on 19 May 2018. They met through a fellow Woldingham alumnae, Clemmie Pearce (2009), and got married at Chateau Soulac, a small village in the Dordogne region of France. The bridal party was nearly all Woldingham girls. Zanna Stoker (2009) even flew all the way from Australia, which made the day extra special for everyone.
Marie-Lise Burnett-Godfree (née Mouat, 2000) and her husband Tom welcomed baby Milo in May 2019, a little brother for two-year-old Bjorn. Laura (née Burnett-Hitchcock, 1998) and Henry Keighley, welcomed a son on 15 April, Hector Montgomery Charles Eden, a brother for Artemis. Eva McGovern (1997) was delighted to announce the arrival of a baby boy in April 2018.
Weddings Ana Bushell (1971) married John Drew-Bear on 23 September 2016. Their second wedding... and very happy that they did. Emily (née Robinson, 2003) married Toby Charles Brook on 12 August 2017 at Chelsea Old Church, London. Bridesmaids were Fenella Spendlove (2003) and Zita Moran (2003).
Luli Pesqueira (1995) married Alfonso Rico in 2017. They welcomed their first daughter, Julia, in Mexico City in summer 2018. Luli works for WWF Mexico in the climate and energy team, where she coordinates the Renewable Energy Corporate Sourcing program. Maria Contreras (1998) married Pedro Arrechea on the 16 June 2017 in Madrid. They welcomed a baby boy on 29 June 2018, León Arrechea Contreras.
IN MEMORIAM A message from our Headmistress, Mrs Alex Hutchinson: Jemima Cookson (née Medlam, 1959) died 9 September 2019. I’m so sad to let you know that Mum died aged 78 following a long spell in hospital this summer. Many of you will know that she was an old girl of Woldingham, and she held such fond memories of her time here. As her parents were at the time posted overseas, Woldingham provided Mum with stability and security. We all loved her tales of boarding school life, the escapades, the plays, the sport, the unpalatable food and the redoubtable nuns, who made such an impression on her. When I became Headmistress in September 2016, I thought Mum would burst with pride. I asked her what Woldingham had meant to her, and her reply was immediate: “the ethos by which one lives one’s life, the beautiful surroundings in which to grow up and the friendships that have lasted a lifetime.” She loved visiting the school and, when she couldn’t make it to events in person, she would always be the first to log in to watch the Carol Service or Prize Day on the live streams. She always made me promise I wouldn’t mention her – which I duly ignored – and sang along to the familiar hymns and carols. I recently found a holy card that she had lovingly saved. The inscription read: ”Jemima Medlam – Prize for the Best Dormitory – 1950.” I will cherish it, along with all the wonderful memories my siblings and I share of, quite simply, the loveliest person.
Sad passing of Anne Neely (née Cave, Hove 1949) on 3 October 2018. Sophie Mardini (née Keith, 1979) and Fiona Pimentel (née Keith, 1985) announced the loss of their sister, Sarah Louise Keith, on the 28 May 2019, aged 54 and their mother, Rosemary Enriqueta Keith (née Treays, 1952) on the 3 July 2019, aged 84. Tricia Morris (née Nolan, 1971) announced the loss of her mother, Margaret Nolan (née Noyes, 1948) on 28 April.
Past staff, parents, friends of the school Ita Coughlan, past member of staff, sadly died in her 90th year, peacefully, in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda Co. Louth in November 2018. On 6 March 2019, and after a short illness, God called Sister Dorothy Bell to the fullness of life. She was 94 years old, and had been in the Society nearly 72 years. She made her first vows in 1950 at Woldingham School and then returned as teaching staff and subsequently was put in charge of the curriculum of the school, and its implementation. June Sandwith (née Howeson, 1966) sadly announces the death of her husband David. They were together for 22 years. David died on 5 March 2019 at the age of 74. In June, five-year-old Harry Shaw passed away after a ten-month battle against Ewing’s Sarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Our thoughts and prayers go to Harry’s family, Charlotte (née Terry, 1999), James and Georgia Shaw. https://www.justgiving.com/ fundraising/harrysgiantpledge Jane Humberstone passed away peacefully on 5 July. Much loved wife of the late John, mother of Philippa (1995) and Eleanor (1998) and grandmother of Isabella, Fredrick, Rory and Cecily.
Woldingham School, Marden Park, Woldingham, Surrey, CR3 7YA T: 01883 349431 E: email@example.com www.woldinghamschool.co.uk