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Half Term Highlights

As I write, I am coming off Cloud Nine after watching three glorious nights’ performances of Into the Woods. The tears and smiles on the faces of the cast, crew and orchestra at the end showed just how many wonderful memories they will take away from this experience. I feel lucky to work with staff as talented as Miss Stern and Dr Collisson and all the other staff who helped them. Watching performances like this makes me so proud to be Head of South Hampstead. As one parent commented: “They absolutely nailed it.” I could not agree more.

There are many other moments of which I am incredibly proud of so far this year. Our Sports Department is ‘on a roll’ with U16 and U15 teams qualifying for Middlesex Netball Finals; our Tanzlicht Dance team will represent Camden in the London Dance finals; and only a fortnight ago I watched 113 students in Year 7 and 8 win nearly all their netball matches against Latymer and CLSG. Our ski team were U14 National Indoor ski champions at the end of last term and we came back from the Flaine British Schoolgirls’ Ski Races with a silver medal. Debating is flourishing with outstanding successes in national level debating competitions and the establishment of our North London debating league in partnership with several local schools. 21% of this year’s Upper Sixth students were lucky enough to receive offers from Oxford or Cambridge and whilst UCAS decisions are still drifting in, it is clear that the cohort are doing very well. We were shortlisted for the Mitzvah Day Outstanding Youth Achievement Award for our charitable endeavours and the end of next half-term will see a huge charitable endeavour with our whole-school walk on the last day of term. More details to follow.

But actually, the best day I have had so far this half-term was a day in which I spent the entire day observing lessons and then watching sports matches. Year 8 saw me so much that day they thought I was stalking them, which is perhaps no bad thing. The girls’ energy and that of the staff are a joy to watch in action.

One final piece of news – you will be pleased to know that we have appointed a successor to Mr Collins-Down, our former Director of Finance and Operations, who left in October for a new post nearer his home. Robert Jones, currently Procurator at The London Oratory School, and who holds a Maths degree from Worcester College, Oxford, joins us on 1st June. We had a very strong field of applicants and we are honoured that after 19 years at the London Oratory, where he was a pupil himself, Mr Jones has chosen South Hampstead as his next post. This is a school people want to work at, and I feel very privileged to lead it.

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