Mr Burke 3rd February 2017

Having recovered from the excitement of the various activities that took place on Friday for the inter-house Business Studies Competition the focus shifts this week and next week to the inter-house Languages competition which always proves an exciting, amusing and challenging competition for the houses.

It was wonderful to have our handing over assembly on Monday this week when we paid tribute to the outgoing Head Girl, Deputy Head Girls and the House Captains. They have all contributed so much to the life of the school this past year and now we wish them well in the final stages of their preparations for their A level examinations. From the comments made by Mr McCormick and the Housemistresses it was clear that they will be missed but with the new team now in place the leadership of the pupil and student body is in safe hands and I wish them luck as they take on this additional responsibility.

We had a visit from Haven Hospice in our assembly yesterday and it was so inspiring to hear of the work that they do. We have a long tradition of supporting the North London Hospice and the Sixth Form have really taken a lead in building and sustaining this link. The work of the Hospice movement is so valuable to so many families and they hold such an important place in any community. I am always proud of the way in which our pupils and students respond to positively to helping those less fortunate than themselves and I know that Haven Hospice commented on the attentiveness and thoughtfulness of the girls after their presentation – I always say they are our best ambassadors.

I had to take some time away from school on Wednesday this week for a meeting with the Sisters, many of whom had flown into the UK from around the world to be at the meeting. I am so grateful for the support and guidance they have provided me since my arrival and as we had the opportunity on Founders Day to remember their contribution to our school it is always worth remembering that without them there would be no St Martha’s. Our current resurgence is down to the efforts of our parents, pupils, students, staff and governors but we must not forget the commitment and trust that the Sisters have shown to us since 1903 and it is a link that attracted me to the position of Head of our great school and is a relationship that I hope is as strong as it has ever been since our foundation.

The new Head Girl and Deputies had their first official event this Wednesday when they joined the admissions team and myself at Lyonsdown School for a meeting with the Year 5 girls and parents. It is always a pleasure to attend these events at various Prep and Senior Schools during the year. To hear the positive comments about our great school regarding our academic outcomes but also the strong pastoral care ensures that as a community we are not only growing in number but also reputation. Word of mouth still for me remains the most powerful marketing tool and I would like to thank you all who speak so positively about our community and recommend us to prospective parents and pupils. It has been lovely to welcome new girls into our 1st, 2nd and 4th Form this term and it is my hope that this will continue to be the case as more and more families realise that St Martha’s is where they belong.

Matthew Burke


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