Malvern St James Girls’ School

Worcestershire

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  • Category: Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory / Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Girls
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 0 (Boys) 400 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 4 - 18 years
  • Founded: 2006

General Information

‘No 1 independent girls’ school in the Midlands at A Level (ISC data 2016)

Malvern St James Girls’ School is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the foot of the Malvern Hills and is a leading independent boarding and day school for girls aged 4-18. Our values today reflect those of our founding schools, set up in the nineteenth century by pioneering proponents of women’s education. In this inspirational setting, MSJ continues a fine heritage of academic rigour, outstanding enrichment and leadership opportunities, and preparing girls for rewarding careers and lives beyond school.
MSJ is an exceptional place for learning and living. Every girl matters to us, and our size (at around 400 pupils) means that we can offer an individually tailored education. Our focus is on inspiring teaching to deliver excellent academic results; and equally on encouraging intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, considered risk-taking and collaboration that universities and employers will value. Our enrichment programme is as long as it is broad, and has something to fire the imagination of every individual: clubs for budding engineers and scientists, extra-curricular languages, drama, music, Leiths, journalism, photography, sport of every kind, Young Enterprise, Debating and Model United Nations … to name but a few.
Life at MSJ is underpinned by first class pastoral support which makes us a happy and friendly community, relaxed yet purposeful, with a real sense of family. When girls reach the end of their time here, they are thoroughly prepared to embrace life’s challenges. The diverse list of graduate courses at the most prestigious institutions and the competitive career paths that girls go on to is testament to MSJ’s culture of ambition and achievement. Our alumnae network helps our community to forge valuable links for life.
As a school we have a roughly equal number of day girls and boarders, allowing us to offer the best of both worlds and a very flexible boarding programme. We have full, weekly and flexi boarding options, designed to meet the needs of modern family lives. Our position in the town of Great Malvern, situated in the heart of England, means we benefit from excellent transport links and cultural opportunities all around the UK, including a direct train service from London.
Our girls work hard but have fun on the way, making lifelong friends and memories. Please do come and see for yourselves what makes MSJ tick and meet our happy, poised and confident girls and young women, who are free to be themselves and find the things which will instigate a life-long passion for learning.

Facilities

We have cutting-edge facilities with an award-winning STEM Centre; Drama, Art and Pottery Studios, library, science centre and a multimedia language centre. Sports facilities include a state of the art fitness centre, sports fields, Astroturf pitches, tennis and squash courts, climbing wall and indoor swimming pool

The architecture of the five boarding houses varies from Victorian through to modern contemporary. Each House is set in a quiet location adjacent to the main site and has its own garden. Common rooms and recreation rooms are found in every House.

We offer a busy and varied weekend programme of activities to suit all interests, including watersports, rock climbing, abseiling, music, drama, and expeditions leading to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.

Entrance Requirements

Preparatory Department: informal assessment. Senior School: cognitive ability tests (CAT 4) and an English comprehension examination or the Common Entrance examination. Sixth Form: two subject entrance papers and general essay.

Scholarships

Academic, Drama, Music, Art, Riding and Sport Scholarships are available. Scholarships offer fee remission of up to 40%.

Open Days

2017. October (date to be confirmed)

Fees

2016/2017 (per term). Day: £2735 - £6335. Weekly Boarding (from Year 3): £6170 - £11300. Full Boarding: £6855 - £12735

Reports

ISI Boarding Inspection 2013

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mrs Olivera Raraty

Contact for enquiries: Mrs Emily Harris, Registrar

Malvern St James Girls’ School
15 Avenue Road
Great Malvern
Worcestershire
WR14 3BA

[t]: 01684 584624
[f]: 01684 566204
[w]: www.malvernstjames.co.uk

Location Description

It is situated at the foot of the beautiful Malvern Hills in the heart of Worcestershire. Inter-City trains run from Great Malvern, the M5 and M50 are nearby and London, Birmingham and Manchester airports are within easy reach.

To send an email to the school please fill in your details below and add a short message. If you are requesting a prospectus to be sent to you please include your postal address.

School News

Malvern St James independent girls' day and boarding school Worcestershire

Malvern St James Girls’ School, the all-girls independent day and boarding school for 4-18 year olds, is delighted to announce an excellent raft of GCSE

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results for 2017.

Results overall for A*-C are up again this year to 97%, reflecting a three year trend; this is no mean feat in what has been widely declared by all educationalists as a more rigorous exam year.

Twenty girls (39% of the year group) have achieved eight or more A*-A or 9-7 grades, and others have come very close. Four have received double 9s in their English Literature and English Language papers. Overall, 12% of pupils gained the top grade 9 in English, which puts them in the top 2% of students in the country, and means that their ability surpasses the previous top grade of A*. These are the new, reformed – and more demanding – GCSEs for English Language and English Literature, introduced in 2015.

Mrs Olivera Raraty, Headmistress of MSJ, comments, “The cohort of students receiving their results today are the first to be measured under the new specification. The job has been harder for them, and with no coursework, everything hinges on the final exam.”

MSJ students take the Mathematics IGCSE paper – not the GCSE (the IGCSE is widely regarded as providing a better step-up to A Level Maths, which many girls go on to study) – and this remains on the old system of A*-E grades. In this subject, 69% of girls bagged an A*-A, 92% an A*-B and 100% an A*-C. This is an exceptional result.

In the STEM suite of subjects, in addition to Maths, girls have performed superbly. Biology sees 76% of girls receiving A*-A and 90.5% achieving A*-B; Chemistry, 71% achieving A*-A and 90.5% A*-B; and Physics, 71% A*-A and 100% A*-B.

In Humanities and Social Sciences, Geography has 86% of entries achieving A*-B; History, 82% A*-B; Economics, 77% at A*-A and 82% at A*-B; and Business Studies, 100% A*-B.

Girls have performed well in Languages with French gaining 80% A*-B; German gaining 100% A*-A; and Spanish gaining 77% A*-B. Nationally, there is a real decline in language take-up, so the school is delighted that so many students are opting for languages, doing extremely well in them and continuing on to A Level.

In Creative subjects – Art, Drama, Music, Product Design, and Food and Nutrition – results are similarly strong.

Mrs Raraty continues, “This shows strengths in subjects across the board, and the breadth of interests and talents of our girls.”

“The girls have performed brilliantly. I’m over the moon for them, as for most this is their first taster of public examinations and it has been extra nerve-wracking being the first to experience the reformed system. They have worked hard and it shows. These results are an excellent foundation to move forward on to their Sixth Form courses, where they will specialise in A Level and BTEC subjects that they love.”

 

Photo: ‘Good Results’ – Girls open their results at MSJ. From left to right: Charlotte Pyle, Emily Lewis, Holly Harvey and Nicola Connell

Malvern St James independent girls day and boarding school Worcestershire

Today, Thursday 17th August, is Results Day for A Level students up and down the country. After many nail-biting weeks, the big reveal is here.

For

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Malvern St James Girls’ School, the all-girls independent day and boarding school for 4-18 year olds, it has been an outstanding year with many exceptional achievements.

Out of a cohort of 61 girls, over a quarter of all A Level entries (28%) achieved A*, over half (54%) A*-A, and over three quarters (76%) A*-B.

There are some very impressive individual performances, with more than one third of girls (twenty-three) gaining three A* and A combinations, four girls gaining four straight A*s and five girls gaining three straight A*s.

Four girls have confirmed places at Cambridge and Oxford Universities to read History and Politics, Engineering, Modern & Medieval Languages, and Biomedical Sciences respectively, with one further awaiting confirmation for Mathematics at Cambridge.

This year’s results represent the highest pass rate in the last four years at 99.5%, and across all grade levels they are amongst the very best achieved in the same period, with A* grades in particular significantly up. Overall, 90.6% of students achieved A*-C grades.

Looking at performance by subject, out of 26 total subjects taken at A Level, three achieved 100% A* grades; six achieved 100% A*-A; 11 achieved 100% A*-B; and 20 achieved 100% A*-C.

Stand-out subjects include Further Mathematics which achieved 100% A*-A grades; German, Geography and History achieving 100% A*-B; English Literature achieving 82% A*-B; Mathematics, 78% A*-B; French, 67% A*; Product Design and Latin both achieving 100% A*; and Extra-Curricular Russian 100% A*-A.

PE (BTEC) achieved 100% Distinction* (regarded as equivalent to an A Level A*) and Music (BTEC) achieved 100% Distinction* and Distinction.

STEM subjects are a real strength of MSJ, with far more girls than average studying these subjects at A Level. In addition to the impressive Maths and Further Maths awards, almost 43% of girls achieved an A* or A in Chemistry and almost two-thirds an A*-B; in Physics half of girls achieved an A*-A and almost two-thirds an A*-B; whilst in Biology, more than a third achieved A*-A and half achieved A*-B.

The school has also seen excellent results for those girls who have taken the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which is becoming increasingly well regarded and advocated amongst universities. It is seen as excellent preparation for study at university and in occasional cases universities will offer on the strength of an EPQ. MSJ has achieved an almost clean sweep of A*-A in the EPQ results.

Such exceptional results mean that the overwhelming majority of students have sailed into their first choice university and course. Over 60% have offers for the top 10 UK universities.

Headmistress, Mrs Olivera Raraty, comments, “I am delighted with today’s results which see our girls heading to the best universities in the UK, as well as some to America and other international destinations. They have worked hard to achieve these results and they are very well-deserved.”

“There has been widespread comment about A Level results this year as Year 13s are the first to sit the new reformed examinations. Media reporting has highlighted the significant uncertainty about outcomes, as these exams are more demanding. In light of this, our results are all the more impressive as they reflect the huge amount of hard work by the girls themselves and very dedicated teachers in preparing for the new specifications.”

“This set of results shows the value-added aspect of an MSJ education. Whatever a girl’s starting point, we will ensure that she has the very best teaching and learning experience which will allow her to achieve her personal best. I am just as delighted for girls who have achieved a B or C in a subject they found difficult as I am for the girls who have achieved straight As. What is important is that each and every girl gets the opportunity to study a course they enjoy and can do well in at university, and the experience is a fulfilling one.”

“I would like to thank the teaching staff and house staff who have guided these girls through their Sixth Form career and have contributed to today’s success. Youngsters cannot achieve unless they feel happy in a purposeful and caring environment, and this is a particular strength of MSJ. Girls are challenged and stretched, and always well-supported.”

This year’s A Level students are the first cohort to graduate from MSJ under the leadership of Headmistress Mrs Olivera Raraty, who took up the role in September 2016. Previously, Mrs Raraty was Senior Deputy (Academic) at Notting Hill and Ealing High School in west London and Assistant Director of Studies at Wycombe Abbey School, both high-achieving and sector-leading schools. She has been credited with reinvigorating academic life at MSJ and encouraging innovation in the classroom and beyond.

It has been a buoyant year for the School. In the Spring, the rigorous Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) awarded MSJ the highest rating of ‘excellent’ for pupils’ academic and other achievements and their personal development. The report refers to the leadership of the school having an ‘ambitious vision’ for all of its pupils.

Mrs Raraty continued, “I’m proud of today’s academic results, but I am just as proud of what our Leavers have brought to broader school life. Through their time here, they have shown determination, maturity and a sense of fun. They have been fully involved in our school community and its leadership, as prefects, captains, club and society leaders, and mentors to younger years. They have also shown themselves to be talented sportswomen, musicians, actors, debaters, charity fundraisers, linguists, artists and more. It’s this rounded education and the soft skills it fosters that will equip them for taking their place in the wider world and bring them personal fulfilment. I wish them the very best for the future, and I hope that they will continue to come back to school to talk to younger generations about their experiences.”

Malvern St James Independent Girls Worcestershire Lawnside Reunion

Lawnside School was one of the first girls’ schools to be founded in Malvern in the mid Ninenteenth Century. It closed its doors for the

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last time in 1994, but last week 100 past pupils, from all around the UK and the world, came back to town for an Old Lawnsidians’ Reunion.

Girls who had been at the School from the 1950s through to the1990s came from as far afield as Hong Kong, Australia, the US and Canada to join Miss Duseline Stewart, Headmistress from 1971 until 1990, for the event. Teachers and House staff who still largely live locally, also attended.

Lawnside is now part of the Malvern St James Old Girls’ Assocation, and a Lunch was held at MSJ, followed by the opportunity for Old Girls to wander around Malvern before gathering in the grounds at Lawnside House on Albert Road South for a group photo. Finally, they went for Tea at Elmslie House which was previously part of Lawnside School, known as The Grove.

One Old Girl commented, “I hadn’t been back to Malvern for 30 years and had forgotten what a beautiful place it is. Lots of lovely memories came flooding back”, whilst another said, “Some of us hadn’t been reacquainted for 44 years and it was just like yesterday. Such memories!” Others remembered power cuts in the 70s: waking up to ice on the inside of the windows and having to get dressed under the bedclothes, it was so cold.

For those who returned to see their former classmates and teachers, it was a day filled with laughter, chatter, reminiscing and rekindling friendships. One Old Girl was the last in three generations of her family to attend the school, there were several nonagenarians amongst the crowd, and at least one mother and daughter visiting together. In the words of one Old Girl, “I am still buzzing after such a spectacular day.”

The school was cherished for its creativity, individuality and its strong Arts emphasis – George Bernard Shaw was a famous visitor to the school. Music and drama were always a particular strength of the school’s curriculum. Miss Stewart, who lives locally in Herefordshire, led reminiscences about the School.

She said, “It was so rewarding to meet my Old Girls and find that they were taller and older, but basically the same as they had been at school.” When Lawnside shut, the girls joined St James’s & The Abbey School in West Malvern. Subsequently, St James’s merged with Malvern Girls’ College, to form the existing school, Malvern St James.

Malvern St James Old Girls’ Association and everyone who attended the reunion are very grateful to the residents of Lawnside House for allowing them access to their gardens, and Anna and Bernard Taylor, owners of Elmslie House, for not only opening up their house, but also providing a sumptuous and much talked about afternoon tea.

Next year’s Malvern St James Old Girls’ Association reunion will be celebrating 125 years since the founding of Malvern Girls’ College, which was based in the current MSJ building, and a 40 years on Reunion for The Abbey School which was based in Malvern Wells.

Malvern St James has a thriving Old Girls’ Association and regularly welcomes Old Girls back to the school, not only for reunions but also to give talks and run workshops for current pupils. MSJ girls have recently enjoyed talks by Old Girls Caroline Lucas MP and Gay Haines, both of whom are Old Girls in The Times/Debretts Top 500 Most Influential Britons list. They will welcome Jennifer Kirby, star of the BBC’s Call the Midwife, to present Prizegiving this next week (7 th July).

Malvern St James Girls Independent Worcestershire

 

Malvern St James Girls’ School, the leading all-girls’ school for day pupils and boarders aged 4-18 in Malvern, Worcestershire, has achieved the highest rating of

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‘excellent’ in its inspection report published by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) this month. There are two outcomes assessed by the ISI in its Educational Quality Inspection: ‘the quality of pupils’ academic and other achievements’, and ‘the quality of pupils’ personal development’ and each achieved an ‘excellent’ in the inspectorate’s headline judgement.

Key Findings, which summarise the report, state that ‘pupils develop excellent levels of knowledge, understanding and skills … (They) communicate fluently and persuasively and have highly developed levels of numeracy, literacy and ICT skills … (and they) excel in sport, performing and other arts, and a range of extra-curricular activities’. The inspectors also observed that ‘a sense of fun and laughter is rarely far away’.

Malvern St James is led by Headmistress Mrs Olivera Raraty, who joined in September 2016. Previously she was Senior Deputy (Academic) at Notting Hill and Ealing High School in West London and Assistant Director of Studies at Wycombe Abbey, both leading girls’ schools in the day sector and boarding sector respectively. She brings with her a wealth of expertise in all-girls’ education accumulated over several decades.

Mrs Raraty commented, “This report is an endorsement of the quality of learning and life at MSJ and recognises the school’s many strengths in academic attainment, academic enrichment and extra-curricular activities. Teaching at its most effective was observed as ‘adventurous, and models the need to take risks … (pupils) make rapid progress as a result’. Girls were seen to ‘relish’ an academic challenge and to ‘acquit themselves with distinction’. I am pleased that the inspectors noted that our girls go on to study science and mathematics at A Level ‘in large numbers’, that they are well prepared for universities with the most demanding entry requirements, and refer to our ‘carefully tailored programme making available subjects such as Greek, Mandarin, BTEC P.E. and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) for all’. Also noted is the encouragement and support they receive from staff which allows them to ‘excel in teamwork and problem solving, encouraged by abundant opportunities in the classroom and an attitude of positivity’.”

“The ‘excellent’ rating in pupils’ personal development demonstrates how girls benefit from the pastoral support they receive, and the culture of the school and its community ethos. There are many references in the report to the spirit of collaboration, teamwork and a sense of belonging that imbues the school, and I’m delighted that the inspectors saw the sense of fun which is such a big part of who we are. They also observed that ‘even the youngest

pupils are willing to offer a partially correct answer in class rather than remain silent. They are not afraid to make mistakes … teachers establish pupils’ perseverance and resilience through their gentle but firm encouragement’.”

This willingness to ‘have a go’ and not fear making a mistake is a crucial element of the ‘growth mindset’ which is a core part of our philosophy at MSJ. In essence, it is the belief that with a positive mindset, failure forces us to think around a problem and overall it fosters perseverance, encourages innovation and achieves greater progress over time. If girls believe that it’s OK to try and fail, rather than having to be perfect all the time, they are more likely to take intellectual and creative risks and enjoy the ride, which means working harder and going further in the long run.

The ISI report went on to remark that pupils are ‘self-confident’ but also have a ‘highly developed capacity for constructive self-criticism’; they ‘contribute to the school and wider community’ and show ‘highly developed social awareness’. It was noted that girls have an excellent sense of personal and moral responsibility, and preparation for life beyond school is good because ‘although guidance is always available, the choices are always theirs’. Mrs Raraty comments, “All of this is really important in developing young women who are ready to take their place in the world and can do so with confidence but not arrogance.”

She continues, “I am very pleased with the report’s overall findings but no ‘excellent’ school can afford to stand still. There is always something that can be done better. The one recommendation from the report, for teachers to share best practice from the inspirational and excellent teaching found in the school, supports my vision and ambitions for us to be an exceptional place for teaching and learning.”

The school’s boarding provision has also been inspected in the Focused Compliance Inspection for Schools with Residential Provision and met all required standards. There are only two judgements in this inspection: ‘met’ or ‘not met’.

Mrs Raraty adds, “Overall, I think these two reports – Educational Quality Inspection and Focused Compliance Inspection – give all staff and students a great sense of confidence and energy moving forward. I feel a bounce in the step of the whole community: we knew we were doing well and it’s wonderful to have that officially recognised by the rigorous testing of the schools’ inspectorate.”

Malvern St James was formed from the merger of Malvern Girls’ College and St James’s School in 2006. Malvern St James is the only girls’ school in Worcestershire which goes through to Sixth Form. The school has five girls holding offers to Oxbridge this academic year and 60% of its Sixth Form are holding offers for the top 10 UK universities (according to The Times’ best universities league), including one holding a scholarship offer. Four girls are holding offers from US universities, including two scholarships with unconditional offers.

The school’s Senior Maths team recently reached the National Finals in London and they were placed in the top 2.5% of schools in the country. Last month, Flora Barber was commended in Oxford University’s Christopher Tower Poetry Competition – recognised as among the most prestigious literary awards for this age group (16-18 year olds), and earlier this academic year Lucinda Hobden won Cambridge University’s Peter Lawrence Essay Prize in Modern Languages. One of our Young Enterprise teams has won the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Finals, and is now progressing to the West Midlands Final in June.

Alumnae of the school include two of this year’s Sunday Times/ Debretts list of Most Influential Britons – Caroline Lucas MP and Gay Haines, as well as tech entrepreneur Sara Murray, who founded confused.com, and Jennifer Kirby, acclaimed RSC actress and new star of the BBC’s Call the Midwife.

Malvern St James Girls Independent Worcestershire

Malvern St James Girls’ School’s mock election was given a boost when government minister Harriett Baldwin, West Worcestershire’s Conservative candidate, came to talk to the

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Year 9s and Year 6s about what it’s like to be an MP and key issues on the doorstep. The girls have been focusing on “Facts Matter”, a campaign which encourages everyone to look beyond the political slogans, soundbites and headlines to get to the truth of party policies.

And Harriett had a great message for them, “When I was at school, I would have laughed out loud if you had told me that I would end up as an MP and government minister. In fact, one of my teachers told me I should be a glove buyer at Harrods! It never even occurred to me to think of a career in politics – there were so few women in this area. But here I am.” The teacher who advised her that she should be a glove buyer, should note that the grown-up Harriet is now in command of a £178bn budget for defence over the next decade.

The girls were really pleased to welcome a female politician who has a positive message about encouraging other women to smash the glass ceiling and be part of wider female representation in councils and in Parliament. Harriett commented, “I would strongly recommend politics to any woman. You can influence your community at a local level and at a national level. I was a late starter in this world, not getting involved until my 40s. But it’s great to start young: that’s why it’s so good to see all of you organising this mock election in school.”

Harriett took lots of questions after her talk, which covered a broad spectrum of issues about nuclear weapons, why she chose Conservatism, the best and worst bits about a job as an MP, the economy, and how to combat apathy amongst younger voters.

Harriett’s closing comment was, “The one thing I say – even to my own family – is ‘I don’t mind who you vote for, but please vote for someone’. It’s important to register when you’re 18 and to use your vote as an expression of what you want for society.”

Harriett visited all of the political parties’ stands so she could meet the girls individually and give them pointers on their campaigns and things to think about. Whatever party MSJ students are supporting during the mock election, it was beneficial to meet someone who has walked the walk as an MP, has an insider’s insight into life at Westminster, and is a serving minister under a female Prime Minister.

MSJ’s Headmistress, Mrs Olivera Raraty commented, “The MSJ girls will be scrutinising policies carefully over the next few days, ahead of school’s election which takes place before Half Term. I’m grateful for Harriett’s expertise and her encouragement that, later in life, the girls can be anything they want to be. It’s good to feel that we may be fostering the politicians and MPs – perhaps even the Prime Minister – of the future.”

Malvern St James Girls Independent Worcestershire

Girls and staff at Malvern St James Girls’ School took to the Malvern Hills recently to fundraise for Malvern Special Families. Malvern St James aims

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to raise £10,000 for the local charity, as part of the school’s 10th anniversary celebrations.

A snake of 450 girls and staff, dressed in neon and sporting brightly coloured face paint, walked from Malvern St James, to the Beacon and back. Staff from Malvern Special Families greeted them as they reached the peak.

Malvern Special Families’ Community Fundraiser said, “A great big thank you to everyone for the massive achievement of getting everyone up to The Beacon. We really enjoyed and it was great to be able to be there and congratulate people on making it to the top.”

Mrs Olivera Raraty, Headmistress of Malvern St James, commented, “Everyone felt a real sense of achievement and enjoyed doing this as a whole school community. We’re so lucky to have the hills on our doorstep – what better place to go for a walk, and raise money for a good cause in the process.”

Malvern St James Girls Independent Worcestershire

Malvern St James’s two Young Enterprise teams are celebrating after winning a clutch of awards at the recent Young Enterprise South Worcestershire Presentation Evening, held

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at the Evesham Arts Centre. Both teams now go through to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Final on 9th May and are looking forward to it. It is the first time in seven years that MSJ has had two companies get this far.

The two teams are Dynamic, which won awards for Best Managing Directors and Best Company with their mindfulness and wellbeing book, The Little Book of You and Illuminate, which won awards for Best Use of IT, Best Company Report and Best Company for their locally produced ‘Posh Squash’ cordials.

Dynamic’s The Little Book of You includes contributions from The Mindfulness Project based in London, Olympic Gold Medallist Helen Glover and BAFTA Travel Writer, Steve Backshall. The girls created their book in recognition of the stigma and problems surrounding mental wellbeing today. Since creating it, they have been in contact with a local youth club, aiming to spread their positive message and they have also been working with a Special Educational Needs school in Stratford who have requested a session from the team about Mindfulness.

Illuminate created ‘Posh Squash’, which is available in two flavours (Peppermint and Line, and Blackcurrant), to fit into a gap in the market for upmarket, non-alcoholic drinks. Illuminate have previously won a prize for the best product at the Worcester trade fair in the Autumn due their cordials’ professional branding and the fact that the judges could picture it in a high end store. In the girls’ own words, “Posh Squash is more than just a drink. It brings families together by providing an alternative to alcohol that can be enjoyed by kids and adults.”

Young Enterprise is popular at MSJ, with two thirds of Year 12 taking part. “Many of us started Young Enterprise with the hopes of gaining some business experience and learning the “behind the scenes” work of a firm and we’ve done just that”, said Izzy Lee and Andrea Rugasira of Illuminate.

Mrs Olivera Raraty said, “All of the girls have worked incredibly hard and getting through to the Final is a fantastic achievement for both companies”.

Malvern St James Girls Independent Worcestershire

Malvern St James’s Flora Barber (Year 13) is celebrating after being named one of six winners of the prestigious Christopher Tower Poetry Competition, run by

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Christ Church, University of Oxford.

Flora’s poem, Snowdrops, was Commended, winning her a prize of £250.

Flora attended the competition’s Award Ceremony at Christ Church on 19th April, with her parents, and MSJ English teacher, Mrs Karen Hubbard. The ceremony included lunch, a winners’ recital and a special tour of the College.

The Christopher Tower Poetry Competition, open to students aged 16 to 18, is the UK’s most valuable prize for young poets. This year’s theme was Stone and the competition was judged by poets Sarah Howe and Vahni Capildeo.

Flora commented, “When you enter a poem against over 1,000 others, you are all sharing something that is unique and precious, a part of you, before it is then shared with someone who you most likely will never meet. This has been an extraordinary opportunity and to be a prize winner at such a prestigious competition, meeting young poets and sharing our work (as well as being filmed for iTunes U) has been absolutely fantastic. Having Mrs Hubbard’s support at the event, as well as that of my family, made it very special. I can’t wait for the next creative writing challenge!”

“We are absolutely delighted for Flora,” said MSJ’s Headmistress, Mrs Olivera Raraty. “Poetry is so often side-lined, yet it is a powerful and important part of English Literature. I’m delighted that young students, like Flora, are creating a buzz around poetry and helping to bring it to the cultural forefront. Flora has already been recognised locally for her poetry, having won the BBC Hereford and Worcester Poetry prize last year and having received a Distinction in the 17 and Under Write and Speak a Poem Class at the Worcestershire Competitive Arts Festival in March. It is fantastic that she has now been recognised in a national competition and placed with some of the brightest young talent of today.”

Malvern St James girls' independent day and boarding school Worcestershire

Malvern St James pupil Linnea Gannon (Year 12) is celebrating after organising and running the Tough Schools Race – a gruelling 12-hour non-stop running event

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– for her Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

Linnea is a keen sportswoman and having worked with Malvern Special Families as part of her involvement with MSJ’s Charity Committee, and inspired by how physical exercise can help people psychologically, she came up with the idea for her event.

After a great deal of hard work and organisation, Linnea’s Tough Schools Race took place on Saturday 18th March at the MSJ Sports Field. Forty-six people, including girls, staff and families, ran, walked and even cartwheeled to raise over £550 for Malvern Special Families.

Linnea said, “The event was a success, with a build-up of excitement before, during and after the race. I wanted to leave a mark on MSJ and with the help of all those who supported Tough Schools, I feel I have done that. MSJ has given me the opportunity to grow and reach beyond the boundaries of A Levels.”

Dr Rebecca Jones – Learning Enrichment and Support Co-Ordinator and Librarian – runs the Project Qualifications programme at MSJ and explains what an EPQ is: “The Project Qualifications are a great opportunity for girls to flex their research, enquiry and curiosity muscles. In Year 10 students can do the Higher Project Qualification (HPQ) and in Year 12, the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). Project Qualifications are incredibly flexible and enable our girls to pick a topic they are passionate about and decide how they want to pursue it. The girls can write an extended essay or produce a written report or an artefact, which can be a piece of art, website, short film or a podcast. Students learn how to reference and utilise a range of resources effectively including databases that are similar to those at universities. EPQs are equal to 50% of an AS Level and they are a talking point on a UCAS application as they show students’ ability to think laterally.”

 

 

Malvern St James girls' independent day and boarding school Worcestershire

Girls at Malvern St James Girls’ School took part in a variety of workshops, lectures and activities as part of this year’s British Science Week.

Dome

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in a dome

Years 7 to 9 had an exciting time discovering all about the solar system and black holes when a visiting planetarium came to MSJ. It was rather fitting that the dome planetarium was set up inside MSJ’s very own Edinburgh Dome!

“I really enjoyed the Science Dome and learnt so much! The 3D effects were very cool and I loved flying around the solar system and learning about the stars and their names. I particularly enjoyed the rollercoaster through Saturn’s rings and the black hole clip! My favourite thing about the experience was the fact we were in a dome and it felt like things were happening all around us. It was amazing and I would love to do it again as I love learning in new and exciting ways.”

Cicely Gallagher (Year 8)

 

Year 10 Oxford Engineering Workshop

Oxford University’s Engineering Department Outreach Officer brought a team of female engineers to deliver hands-on workshops for all girls in Year 10. The main purpose was to improve the girls’ understanding of the variety of different roles that engineers take in our society. The workshops were also to encourage our girls to consider careers in engineering by providing positive role models. The session focused on applying the techniques of origami to engineer structures with increased strength, or to be deployed in situations such as for solar panels in space or constructing emergency shelters for refugees.

“It was really interesting to learn that the origami structures could be used in space. Making the structures was fun and a new experience. It showed me more about the different types of engineering that exist. I found the afternoon exciting and very enjoyable.”

Millie Pope (Year 10)

  

The Big Bang

On 20th March, MSJ welcomed Professor David Evans of the University of Birmingham, who gave a lecture entitled: Recreating the Big Bang with the world’s largest machine – the LHC at CERN. The lecture attracted over 200 visitors to the School, who learnt about virtual particles, high energy physics, recapped about atoms and forces, as well as finding out about anti-matter. Daisy Jauncey (Year 12) commented, “I thoroughly enjoyed learning about how we use the LHC to discover what happened a billionth of a second after the Big Bang!”

 

Bubbles and a gecko

Girls in the Prep Department enjoyed taking part in Science Week with a fabulous workshop with one of MSJ’s Senior School Science teachers over in the Science Lab. The girls had fun trying to make bubbles and learning about surface tension. Everyone was very excited to meet Sahara the gecko too.

 

Design Technology Morning

MSJ welcomed a number of schools – Dormer House School, Hanley Swan C of E Primary School, Hatherop Castle Prep School, Ashperton Academy and Ruckleigh School to a Design Technology Day. Pupils enjoyed taking part in projects on the subjects of Graphics, Resistant Materials, Food and Nutrition and Textiles.

 

Malvern St James Girls Independent Worcestershire

Malvern St James Girls’ School is celebrating after its Catering Team were awarded a prestigious Gold Healthier Choices Food Award. The School is now the

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very proud recipient of not only the Gold Healthier Choices Food Award but also the Level 5 Food Hygiene Rating. It is rare to achieve top ratings in these two areas and the School is delighted.

Mrs Anita Fisher, Head of Catering, and her dedicated team work hard to ensure that nutritionally balanced menus that cater for all preferences, nationalities and special dietary requirements are available to the girls and staff at MSJ.

All of the food used at the School comes from a small family supplier in Gloucestershire, which sources a lot of its products from the local area. Mrs Fisher and MSJ’s Head Chef, Mrs Chris Doogan, have even been to visit the farm where MSJ’s pork comes from.

MSJ has a lot to be proud of – all meals are produced and cooked on site using fresh meat and vegetables; healthy drinks, fresh fruit and daily homemade vegetarian soup are always on the menu and breads and desserts are cooked on site. A more refined menu with smaller portions, smaller plates and less spice is available for younger girls in the Prep Department.

Examples of menu items include Caribbean chicken and pumpkin curry with jasmine rice, Normandy mushroom wellington with chunky fries and garden peas, sweet chilli beef stir fry with mixed leaves and vegetable Cumberland pie with farmhouse vegetables. A salad bar, usually themed on Mediterranean or Tapas dishes is also available each day.

“It’s a fantastic achievement and a wonderful accolade for Mrs Fisher and the Catering team, who do an exceptional job in providing us with delicious and healthy meals on a daily basis. The award is validation of what we have known for a long time about MSJ’s catering.” Mrs Olivera Raraty, Headmistress.

Malvern St James Girls Independent Worcestershire

The New Year has brought much to celebrate in the Malvern St James Sixth Form, as last week drew to a happy end with five

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students receiving Oxbridge offers.

Three girls have been successful in their Oxford applications: Margo Bondarchuk has an offer to read History and Politics at St John’s College, Elaine Chen has an offer from St Anne’s College to read Engineering and Angela Liu has an open offer to study Biomedical Sciences.

Angela said “I am so thrilled to receive an offer from the University of Oxford and I can’t wait to start university life there! At the same time, I’m so grateful for the huge amount of support MSJ staff and students have given me. MSJ has truly provided me with the platform to fully exploit my potential.”

Successful Cambridge applicants are Lucinda Hobden, who was delighted to be offered a place to study Modern and Medieval Languages at Gonville and Caius College, and Xing Zhou, who is holding an offer for Mathematics at Trinity College. Lucinda’s offer follows her hugely impressive track record in Cambridge competitions last year, when she won Corpus Christi’s Christopher Marlowe prize in English and came third in The Peter Lawrence Essay Prize in Modern Languages.

Lucinda explained “It’s definitely been a long few months with the application process – first, sweating over my personal statement, then admissions tests and essays, before I finally made it to the dreaded interviews! But when I opened the acceptance letter from Gonville and Caius last week, it all felt worthwhile. For me, applying to Cambridge has never been just about the kudos that goes with the name; what I’m most excited for is the chance to study French and German, taught by world-leading professors and surrounded by other passionate students. It’ll certainly be a challenge come October, but I’m looking forward to it!”

Mrs Olivera Raraty, MSJ’s Headmistress, said, “I am thrilled for the girls who have worked so hard to achieve this success and my thanks go to our teachers who have supported the girls’ ambitions. It is a very exciting and a wonderful way to start 2017.”

“As well as the Oxbridge applicants, I am delighted for all of our Year 13 girls, who are receiving more good news on an almost daily basis about where they will be heading to next. They should be really proud of their achievements, securing places on the most popular courses at the best universities in the UK.”

Other prestigious institutions where girls are holding offers include Kings College London, London School of Economics, University College London, Exeter, Warwick, Imperial, Bristol, Birmingham, Durham and York for courses as diverse as Mechanical Engineering, Law, English Literature, Criminology, International Relations, Geology, Psychology, Classical Studies, Physics and Electrical and Electronic Engineering. One girl is holding an offer for Veterinary Medicine at Liverpool, and two further Medicine applicants are interviewing shortly at Glasgow and Leicester.

Malvern St James girls independent day and boarding school Worcestershire

Dr Caroline Lucas MP, the UK’s only Green MP and co-leader of the Green Party, visited Malvern St James Girls’ School in November to deliver

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the Old Girls’ Association lecture. Caroline was delighted to be back on familiar turf and spent a while having a look for her old classrooms and favourite haunts before her talk started.

Caroline left Malvern Girls’ College in 1979 before going on to Exeter University. She became involved in the Greenham Common peace camp, and reading Jonathon Porritt’s book Seeing Green was her “lightbulb moment”. The girls were enrapt as Caroline spoke about topics as wide ranging as Brexit, Proportional Representation, closing the Westminster gender gap, what she thinks about her colleagues in the House, the things she most wants to see achieved in her political lifetime (electoral change, proper action on climate change and cessation of fracking) and how she relaxes (walks on the Downs with her huge rescue dog).

Caroline is a powerful and compelling speaker and her politics come “from the head was well as the heart”. Her campaigning work for local and national charities has brought many accolades and awards from high-profile organisations such as The Spectator, the Environment Agency, and The Observer. The girls found her very warm and accessible and, as a woman who has cut a swathe through Westminster politics, a powerful role model. MSJ students took to heart Caroline’s closing comments that politics “needs more women, fired up and wanting to change things.”

Year 13 student, Lucinda Hobden, who interviewed Caroline on stage, commented “This was such a good experience and definitely something I’ll remember for a long time to come.”

Malvern St James girls independent day and boarding school Worcestershire

Malvern St James’s Prep Department welcomed a special visitor to school on Friday (18 November) when Pudsey Bear made a surprise visit with the team

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from BBC Hereford and Worcester to celebrate Children in Need. The girls were thrilled to meet Pudsey, who joined in with their Morning Movement dance routine.

Poppy Blandford (Year 4) presented Pudsey with a cheque for over £360, which was raised by pupils and staff at MSJ, with more money still coming in. All sorts of fundraising activities took place at MSJ to raise money for Children in Need. These included a treasure hunt around the school and the sale of Pudsey Bear-shaped biscuits. MSJ’s Charities Committee team also came up with the idea of making pirate hats, eye patches and bandanas to celebrate BBC Hereford and Worcester’s pirate theme. The girls and many of the staff also came to school dressed as pirates, which added to the fun and excitement of the day.

Mrs Olivera Raraty, Headmistress, said, “This year the whole school came together to raise money for Children in Need. We were thrilled to support such a fantastic charity and the pirate theme captured everyone’s imagination. Pudsey’s visit was the highlight of the week and I’m sure the girls will remember his visit for a long time to come.”

Malvern St James independent girls' day and boarding school Worcestershire

U21 Faldo Grand Final (golf)

Lucy Walton (Year 13) finished in 6th place in the Under 21 Faldo Grand Final held at Stoke by Nayland Golf

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Club in Leavenheath, Colchester. The competition took place over three days, with competitors from Brazil, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Italy and Slovakia, as well as Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Lucy scored rounds of 76/76/73, with her final day’s score being the best of the day out of all of the competitors.

This is the second time Lucy has competed in the Faldo Series and she was delighted to meet Nick Faldo again and to learn from both him and his coach at bespoke coaching sessions throughout the week.

 

Photo: Lucy and Nick Faldo

 

Medal for Lottie

Lottie Trevethan (Year 9), from Malvern, had the opportunity to meet two Rio Olympians recently at Pentathlon GB, held at the Sports Village at the University of Bath. Having secured silver medal position in the U15 category, Lottie met Bronze medallist Emily Diamond (4 x 400m relay) and Jamie Cooke, who is a very successful Modern Pentathlete and a source of inspiration for Lottie.

Lottie’s event comprised a 200m swim followed by a 1600m run and gave her the opportunity to swim in a 50m pool, rather than the standard 25m. In a close competition, Lottie achieved a very impressive score of over 2000 points. She is now hoping to qualify for the British Biathlon Championships later in the year.

 

Silver Medal for U11 Football Team

Malvern St James’s Under 11 footballers made the long journey to LVS Ascot school (on Thursday 13th) to participate in the inaugural ISA Girls’ Football Festival. The girls, who have only been playing football for four weeks, played fantastically well. They contested three group matches, drawing two and losing the other. This was enough to qualify the team for the semi-final of the Plate competition, a match they won 2-0, Grace Downey (Year 6), from Malvern, scoring both goals. In the final the girls again played really well. The match ended 0-0 after extra time, with MSJ girls ultimately losing only on penalty kicks. In their five matches the girls conceded just one goal and were one of only two teams to score two goals in a game in the whole tournament. A special mention goes to Isla Wall (Year 3), from Ledbury, who played with and against girls considerably older than her and was the only one of (three) MSJ girls to score in the penalty shoot-out.

 

 

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