Week Ending: 20th January

What has been another eventful week at St Martha’s has culminated today in us marking the actual 70th Anniversary of the Founding of our great school here in Hadley Wood. It was wonderful to have our current staff and students as well as former staff and students join with the Sisters, Governors and Trustees and be inspired by the words of Fr Bernard who led our Mass.

Lesson observations have been taking place in the school this week for a focus on those classes in Key Stage Four and Five. It is always a privilege to go into classes and witness the excellent teaching and learning that is taking place. With public examinations drawing ever closer it is more important than ever that girls in those years groups take full advantage of what the staff offer in addition to the work in the classroom.

While I was sat in a Governors committee meeting on Monday evening I was delighted to hear the news that our Indoor Cricket Team had become Barnet Champions. The dedication of our sports staff and the girls to their sport grows every year. This is the team that were runners up in the Barnet Team of Year competition last year so they have clearly built on that success. I was so proud to see them in school on Tuesday morning and be able to recognise their achievement in our assembly that morning.

We had a return visit from Saracens this week as well and the more observant would have noticed a certain England International hobbling along who joined our curriculum group. I am keen to borrow ideas from all walks of life to help make our community stronger and as well as grow and develop. It was inspiring to hear the journey that Saracens have gone through in recent years to get to the point they are at now. I know that all those associated with St Martha’s want us to be the best that we can be but it is important in being ambitious that we do not lose our distinct identify and what attracts staff to want to work with us and you as parents to want to send your daughters to be educated by us.

This week also saw me return to Oxford for another conference. It appears to be the destination of choice this academic year. This time it was the Catholic Independent Schools Conference and it is always good to share experiences and ideas with those working in schools similar to St Martha’s. Although it is difficult being away from school I know that I personally and I hope the school collectively benefit from these experiences. On this occasion it sadly meant me missing the 3rd Form Parents Evening but I have been informed that this went very well for a year group who have just made their GCSE and iGCSE option choices.

We have an extended weekend this week with an early finish today to mark Founders Day. We also look forward to election of the new Heads of House who will join the newly appointed Head Girl and Deputy Head team who were selected this week. The formal handing over will take place on Monday 30th January but I must commit to paper my thanks and appreciation to Emma, Julie and Charlotte who I believe have been outstanding role models to the school community this past year and they have certainly made it difficult for Katie, Akika and Layla to follow but I have every confidence in them.

Next Monday and Tuesday evening sees our school production and I would encourage you all to secure your tickets and ensure that the cast play to full houses on each evening. A lot of time and effort has been invested by staff and the girls in this production and I know they would appreciate our support next week.  

Matthew Burke


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