A Welcome from the Headteacher, Ms Kathryn Pugh
This is a year of new adventure for us all! It is a privilege for me to be leading this extraordinary school and I look forward to it thriving and growing as we nurture and enable your children to become happy, healthy individuals, active, informed citizens, creative thinkers and spiritually-grounded, compassionate young people.
When I joined St Marylebone nine years ago, I wanted to work with the best in the field – and I got that in no small measure. This is a terrifically dynamic, inspiring place to work and learn – and one which invests energetically in the growth of its people: students and staff. My intention is that this energy is maintained and developed: it is because teaching is such a great challenge that our teachers and students thrive – not in spite of it. Here, education is a great place to be.
St Marylebone has never sat still and we will continue actively to seek ways to improve the opportunities we offer our students. Yes, we do get great examination results – but it is pupils’ progress and development, personally, academically, socially and creatively, which is really important. We want young people to thrive by being part of something special, which is why we offer so many clubs, projects and activities beyond the curriculum. The exhilarating whole-school musical West Side Story and the finesse of our Festival of Lessons and Carols in December are just two examples. But our recent triumphs in national debating competitions, regional sports championships and professionally-lauded art exhibitions show how wide-ranging our students’ achievements are. Opportunities abound in sports, politics, philosophy, debating, art, business and design and technology. If you read our weekly School Bulletin, our termly Performing Arts and Specialisms Newsletters or the yearly School Magazine, you’ll see just how much vibrant activity goes on.
This year, as part of our Aspiration and Challenge programme, we will be inviting even more speakers from the arts, industry, politics and the professions to our Bright Ideas speaker series. Last year’s speakers included the former Governor of the Bank of England, the writer Michael Frayn, the philosopher and presenter Alain de Botton, the country’s leading forensic scientist, and Lord Stevens, the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
Keen to inspire our future medics, engineers, physicists and technologists, we are also increasing our offering in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and we are working with the Mercers Company, MEI (Maths In Education and Industry) and The Royal Society of Medicine to do this really well. At KS5, we will be developing a specialist programme for Sixth Formers who demonstrate a particular commitment and aptitude for STEM. And our Business, Careers, Community programme is very active in providing working-world opportunities to our students. We are very lucky to have a Senior Leader and two Independent Careers Advisors dedicated to this.
Our status as a National Teaching School has been celebrated and reconfirmed following a rigorous “redesignation” process. A number of schools did not make it through this stage, so we were doubly pleased with this success. Led by Peter Jordan, Head of the Teaching School, the alliance is growing and is now running a number of courses in best practice teaching, school innovation and leadership.
You’ve probably read about the Government’s proposed curriculum changes in the papers. Be assured that St Marylebone will adapt to these as creatively as possible, putting the best interests of our students first. Over the years we have adapted very successfully to all curriculum change and I am confident that we will respond intelligently to whatever is around the corner.
As ever, St Marylebone could not thrive without the active support of our parent community. I am especially grateful to the PTA for their tireless and triumphant Michaelmas Fayre efforts and for their kind provision of refreshments after Mrs Phillips’ last Carol Service in December – and to the Governing Body for all their hard work and support for the school through this extraordinary time of change and transition.
And so, onwards, to a bright and exciting, Marylebone-green and glorious future!