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South Hampstead Wrapped

I have spoken to many of you about the fact that one of the features of South Hampstead school life that I love most is the way in which our commitment to scholarship and academic endeavour is combined with a powerful sense of community.

Today’s whole school charity walk was a wonderful tribute to that spirit of camaraderie as friends chatted together, high-fived staff marshals, and encouraged classmates to go the distance.  The warmth of our community was apparent, as was the unexpectedly sunny weather – an added bonus on a memorable last day of term.  Thank you to everyone who took part and to all who have donated to our school charities. We have already raised over £10,000 and hope we can achieve even more. There is something intangibly magical about the atmosphere of our school and I believe that much of that is down to the bonds between and across different constituent groups, whether that’s the girls, the staff or you as parents. I was proud to see my sentiments corroborated by the results of our recent survey as part of the GDST Undivided Charter for Action; overwhelmingly positive pupil feedback resulted in some of the highest scores seen across numerous measures of inclusivity, including their sense of pride and belonging.

Inevitably, there will be many joyful elements of daily life at the Senior School which you as parents will not see: the inspiring variety of our assemblies, the energy that regular House events bring, and the originality of activities for our many celebratory weeks, such as our recent Book Week and STEM Week. Ever since my arrival here, I have been keen to introduce an event which focuses on bringing everyone together in a joyful, inclusive celebration of everything that South Hampstead stands for.

So, this year, we are hosting a new summer term event at the Senior School, for pupils, parents and staff to reflect upon the entire academic year and celebrate the kaleidoscope of talents, values and passions that make our school community thrive. Whilst our Class of 2024 leavers will have their own valedictory ceremony on Thursday 27th June, before embarking on their exciting new chapters, we hope that parents and pupils from every other year group in the Senior School can join us on the final Monday of the summer term. My vision is to create an event for you and your daughters which captures South Hampstead’s warmth, curiosity, and sheer vitality. This is no small feat, not least in terms of the numbers involved – especially within the confines of venue capacities, and thanks to the vagaries of London weather. Nevertheless, it is extremely important to me as the Head that we find ways to spend time as a community, and to recognise the full breadth and diversity of school life.

My vision is to create an event which captures South Hampstead’s warmth, curiosity, and sheer vitality.

We plan to present pupil prizes at the event, as this will replace our usual September prize-giving ceremony, but the scope of the occasion goes beyond simply achievements and awards. We are aiming to showcase a range of performances, vignettes and montages to involve as many girls as possible – there may even be one or two immersive elements to look forward to! I am delighted that Friends of South Hampstead (FOSH) are kindly supporting the occasion by providing summer refreshments.

When I consulted our 2023/24 Head Girl Team about what to call our inaugural summer term event, they were eager to name it ‘South Hampstead Wrapped’, with a nod to Spotify. Given how our culture is shaped by student leadership, it feels fitting that our Class of 2024 have the last word. As our Head Girl, Emilie, explained at assembly last week: “It’s going to be a really fun and inclusive event where everyone can celebrate everyone… where every note played, every word spoken, and every victory celebrated adds together to create a tapestry of South Hampstead talent!”

So please save the date for ‘South Hampstead Wrapped 2023/24’ on Monday 8th July – more exciting details to follow next term. I look forward to seeing you there, and at many more school occasions before then.

Blog post by Mrs Paul, Head since September 2023.   


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