Prize Giving ? Principal?s Review of the Year

13th September 2011

JCG Prize giving took place on 9th September.

Jurat Crill, Governors, Parents, our generous sponsors of our prizes, Guests, colleagues and our wonderful students, for the past three years I have stood here and said how honoured and proud I am to be your Principal and present my report. This year is no different.

Indeed, my feelings are deeper and my understanding and admiration even greater. My privilege, and it is a privilege, is built on the excitement and joy I feel each day working with and learning from the incredible people who make JCG the vibrant, intellectually prosperous and happy place it is. I am especially delighted to welcome to our prize giving Jurat Crill, our guest speaker, Mrs Leanda Guy, our newly appointed Foundation Director, Mr Russell Price, new Head teacher at Victoria College Preparatory school and Mr Andrew Willis, our new head teacher and partner at our Prep school.

Our Prize Giving is the perfect opportunity to reflect upon the past 12 months and chart the progress and accomplishments of the college. It is our opportunity to congratulate those who have won prizes and yet it is most importantly the day upon which we can all, as one college, take pride in the achievement of us all. And with that pride, use it to energise us to even greater heights. You must not underestimate or take for granted the support you give one another. There is a deep love of learning present at JCG, a strongly held desire to better ones self and better the lives of others, a delight in the success of others, whatever form that success might take, and the belief that if you achieve what we know you are capable of achieving, you will astound yourself.During this year I have spent time considering what it is we hope you will take from JCG when you leave us, what person you will be, how our values of aspire, inquire, excel and belong become real and meaningful compass points throughout your lives.

Let me try and be clear about what our ambition to create the very best educational experience for every student actually means by reading a pen portrait of a student leaving JCG at the end of Year 13. I hope you will have heard this before. It is worth repeating because it is the context for everything else I am going to say.

You will enjoy life to the full, value your friendships and achieve balance in your life. You will have a thirst for knowledge and already possess a broad understanding of the cultural, historical, geographical and scientific events and ideas which have fashioned your island and your world, and an eagerness to discover more. You will be a rigorous and imaginative thinker.

You will have a good range of hobbies and interests, including the Arts and sport, which you want to pursue. You will leave us with an excellent record of achievement for an academically-demanding course at university or employment which will lead to a stimulating career. You will have the ambition, motivation and staying power which will equip you to study independently and successfully at either. You will apply for internships, work experience and voluntary work in your holidays.

You will have grown as an individual who is happy, well mannered and able to find fulfilment in your service to others. You will be thoughtful, open-minded and be able to lead. You will be conscious of the advantages you have enjoyed and of the opportunities and obligations such advantages should bring. You will want to have a positive impact on your community and the world.

You will have happy and lasting memories of your time at College and an admiration for those people who have nurtured and shaped your learning.

So let us consider those memories.

Let’s begin with House since that is where much of the success of belonging to JCG is centred and from which you achieve incredible things for individuals across the island and around the world.

You filled 397 shoe boxes for families in Romania, to bring some pleasure and a sense of not being forgotten on Christmas Day. We all wore Pink to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer research. You ran the JCG mile, you swam in the swimarathon raising £1000, you sang carols in town, Cavell Auction raised an incredible £2400. You went out for House meals, danced at discos, ran as bunnies, walked in ridiculous fancy dress, cut off Mr Rowe’s beard, held car boot sales and you continue to make and eat enormous amounts of cake.

Throughout this year you have raised money and supported Jersey Hospice Care, the RNLI, Holidays for Heroes, Send a Cow, Headway, Autism Jersey, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Jersey Domestic Violence, Hope and Homes for Children, the Jersey Asthma Society, the Juniper Trust, Breast Cancer UK, Hope for John, the teenage Cancer Trust, Jersey Mustard Seed, Haiti earthquake appeal, Lions Club of Jersey, Comic relief and Children in need. The sixth form also decided to support a charity and chose the Jersey Women’s Refuge taking a leading role in the ‘Be a real Man’ campaign. This is an amazing display of compassion and a clear demonstration of your sense of service to others. What is also staggering is the amount you raised throughout the year. Over £18,000! I would like to thank every single member of the College for this incredible achievement.

Yet, House is not only about serving others. Let’s not get romantic about this. House is also extremely competitive. Cavell won House Art, Junior and Senior Top of the Pops, Junior Hockey and they were also the house with the most academic merits.

Garrett Anderson won the Tinathon, Y10 Netball, House Rounders, Sports Day, shared senior hockey with Inglis, shared Cup and Medal with Nightingale, had the most participants in World Maths Day and won House Music.

Austen Bartlett won Y8 netball, and had the most number of house merits.

Inglis won Y9 netball, senior netball and shared senior hockey.

Nightingale won junior general knowledge, house chess, house drama, badminton, shared cup and medal and had the most participants in world spelling day.

And Curie-Fry won, yes won, Y7 netball and showed themselves to be the cleverest house by winning the senior general knowledge

The race to win the Cock House trophy was never certain with the top place changing throughout the year. Yet, in the end, Alice Nelson and Lisa Williamson led Garrett Anderson to victory. Congratulations to all the House Captains for leading a great year in House.

The World Maths and Spelling Days continues to attract a huge number of entries from JCG, competing with people from around the world in real time tests. This year Antoinette Tuckwell achieved ninth in the world during the world spelling day. And I am also pleased to report that Miss Douglas made it into the top 100 teachers world wide.

These events demonstrate our strong understanding of what it means to be internationally minded. The Royal Commonwealth Society chose us as their favourite school stating we were ‘global leaders in their essay competition’. We were also privileged to be invited to attend the Commonwealth Observance Service at Westminster Abbey in the presence of the Queen.

JCG continues to be pre-eminent in the incredible number and range of trips and expeditions and you have been great ambassadors wherever you have gone. This year JCG has been soaked in the Lake District, been victorious in Guernsey, watched the sunrise at La Hougue Bie, climbed mountains in Wales, learned from the masters at Wimbledon, and widened your knowledge and appreciation of the aesthetic and historical delights of London on English, History, RE and Design trips. You have delved into volcanic craters in Iceland, lived with families in France, and experienced a life transforming biodiversity expedition to South Africa. Moreover, we have more students than ever participating in the Duke of Edinburgh award with 42 students undertaking their Silver award expedition in the New Forest.

Students, you are indeed very fortunate to have teachers who are prepared to organise and lead these trips and it is because of your superb nature that they do, you make each trip a real pleasure.

We enjoy being together to serve our community as shown by the students who made 70 litres of soup for the Shelter Soup Kitchen event or the students who took part in the Headway Fashion show or the 42 students who gave of their time to train with Autism Jersey to further their understanding of the needs of people on the autism spectrum. Their sense of service was so passionately shown through their joining of the autism befriending scheme.

Parents have also shown their service to the college and we now have a team of 7 parent helpers who assist individuals to achieve their best.

Our service extends to our environmental work too. We continue to recycle cans for Durell, stamps, batteries, plastic bottles to provide wheelchairs, lids and paper. We clean our adopted beach Greve d’Azette. And we have led the island on our monitoring of energy use. Our work has been commended in this area of work by gaining the Eco School Gold award, reflecting our position as the leading school in Jersey in this area. To enhance this further we have created two new senior leadership roles in the form of Eco and Deputy Eco Captains to lead the College towards attaining Green Flag status.

JCG has a huge heart and many of our students have service to others at the centre of their lives. From this September, each student will be expected to serve their community as part of their education at JCG. The combined service we give as a body of students has the power to transform what we can achieve as a College and make a huge difference to our island. While community service will not be compulsory, as that would negate our understanding of service, we know many of our students already give many hours in service to others; we aspire for every student to be involved.

We are introducing ‘JCG Serves’ because we believe service is important for JCG students as we aim for them to achieve balance in their lives and have a range of interests. We value the education of the whole person not just the results achieved in exams. We aim for our students to work well with others and find fulfilment through service to others. We want them to have a positive impact on their own community, island life and our world showing that they truly belong. This service gives them the opportunity to use their skills beyond the classroom to benefit other people. Furthermore, you may find that, through this service, you learn to understand others and even excel in things that you never believed possible.

Throughout this year, we have been fortunate to welcome many visitors to college. Admissions Tutors from Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton and Sussex universities, Dr. Guy Sutton from Nottingham University continues to extend and challenge our Psychology students in workshops on Neuroscience, Forensic Science and Psychopathology. These students also received a workshop on mental health from Philip Le Claire and Stephen McCrimmon.

Our textile students have receive tuition from experts within the fashion industry, fair-trade, and it was wonderful to see Laura Costard, Alice Leedham and Freya Williams all be noted for their excellence in the Eisteddfod. Our English students have heard what cross dressing has to do with tragedy from Dr. Carolyne Larrington from St. John’s College, Oxford and developed the art of public speaking with the help of Simon Crowcroft and Gwyn Garfield Bennet of the BBC.

Our Physics students entered Life in the Nano world led by Dr. Annela Seldon from Bristol university. We have been honoured to have welcomed Wai Hinn a human rights activist and refugee from Burma, invited by our newly formed Amnesty Society. Our Maths and Drama departments combined to invite the Complicite Theatre Company to run a workshop based on the play ‘A disappearing number’ where students actively became jumping patterns and divisible numbers.

Our Historians have heard from Dr. Peter Claus, Senior Research Fellow at Oxford, on the Enlightenment and Romantic Movement and anti-Semitism and globalisation. And our Year 7 took part in a liberation learning day, welcoming Eric Walker, the last surviving member of the Liberation Force. Our Musicians have honed their skills of composition with Professor Adam Gorb from the Royal Northern College of Music. And the entire college realised they could sing and enjoy it through the inspiration and passion of Professor Scott Stroman from the Guildhall school of Music.

And in June, the College was privileged to welcome Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the inventor of DNA fingerprinting to give the inaugural ‘Inquiring Minds’ lecture.

It is intended that this series of lectures are given by eminent academics who are distinguished researchers within their individual fields in the UK and internationally. These lectures will be initially aimed at JCG students, staff and parents who have a interest in the topics being presented. As the lectures develop, we hope to widen access to the island community as a whole. The aim of the lecture series is to allow our students the opportunity to go beyond the confines of their examination syllabus and to build upon the love of learning that exists within JCG. In Sir Alec, we could not have hoped for a more eminent, distinguished and inspirational speaker.

Over a hundred of you entered the Jersey Eisteddfod in French, Spanish, Italian, Music, Drama, Art and Textiles with many winning the prize in their class. You entered the Senior UK Mathematics, reached the final in the Du Putron general knowledge competition, our home economic students worked in the best restaurants in Jersey alongside and impressing top class chefs, you won a raft of prizes with your entries in the Skills for Life Cookery Competition. You created foam monsters in Science club. And you dominated the boys in our annual competition with Victoria College called Us versus Them!

In the Youth Assembly we were the only school to have its proposition passed, that the assembly be made permanent and you are now in discussions with the Education Minister to make it so. Isobel Pedley and Holly d’Anger argued strongly and successfully in the Baker and Partners advocacy competition beating Victoria College in the final. Kate McCallum dazzled with her rhetoric and won the Image PR public speaking competition. You continued to excel in the IOD work shadowing scheme.

You travelled to the UK to display your ability in the Times Spelling bee competition and will now always remember how to spell parenthesis.

You have excelled in your Cambridge Latin exams, learnt the mathematics of bubbles in the Royal Institution masterclasses we continue to host, have exhibited your vibrant art and photography throughout College and beyond. In Design Technology, Jasmine Houze was awarded the prestigious Arkwright scholarship and you were awarded for your design in the JEP skyscraper competition.
Alice Ransome joined the entrepreneurs panel at the jersey International Business School annual conference. Our annual Life Changing Languages event for Year 9 continued to excel. Our Year 11 students heard from prominent local business leaders about the impact learning languages had made on their lives.

You have had one of your most successful years on the Sports field. You won the Jersey Hockey Tournament, Y10 won the Hockey League, the 7B team won their netball tournament, Y8 won the St. Michael’s festival of Sport, our first eleven beat Guernsey Grammar in Hockey and Netball as did our Y9 team. Y7 Netball beat visiting Feltonfleet. Y8 beat visiting schools from Kings, Twyford and Broomhill at Netball. You won the Mignot and Luscombe cups in Swimming, both Junior and Senior trophies in Swimming and Tennis against Guernsey Ladies, the swimming gala and all tennis matches against Guernsey Grammar. And you won the junior and senior girls schools cups in Athletics. Indeed I cannot think of anything you didn’t win!

This strength is borne form the dedication of your teachers and the talent and commitment of you as individuals and your steadfastness as a team.

We continue to contribute significant numbers to island teams including 25 students in the island netball squad. Moreover, Rachel Hayden, Hannah Scriven, Georgina Bourne, Lucy Le Lievre, Sophie Hamon-Cole and Hannah Jones have been selected for the Channel Island hockey squad. Romy Smith attended the U17 England Netball trials and Gemma Gothard competed in the U13 national cross Country being placed 15 of 300 competitors.
Ella Dias, Vicky Barnes and Natasha Studdart competed at the Island games and Ella swam at the Youth Commonwealth Games. Isabelle Bougeard, Rhianna Donaldson, Lilly Carter, Vicky Brown, Charlotte Pollard and Mary Perkins competed in the Jeux des Isles in Scilly. Indeed, Isabelle has national rankings in 100m, 200m long jump and triple jump.

In Music, the quality and ambition of your talent seems unstoppable. With now 145 students receiving weekly lessons through our in-house music tuition programme, Polyphony, combined with the equally large number receiving tuition form the Jersey Instrumental Service, combined with the huge numbers involved weekly in our choirs, bands and orchestras, combined with the involvement of everyone in House Music, Music plays a central and fundamental role in the success of the College. Our summer concert aptly demonstrated this. An eclectic programme including compositions from Natasha Ronayne, Victoria Rees and Lucy Le Marquand with the beautiful performance of ‘Songs of Sanctuary’ by Karl Jenkins as its finale.

In Drama, the House plays were exceptional in their quality as was Year 8 in their Shakespeare competition. Yet, I am sure everyone will see the highlight of this year and one of the great accomplishments of this college as the production of ‘Sweet Charity’. Involving over 150 actors, musicians, production crew, parents and volunteers it was truly breathtaking in its sheer brilliance. A delight to watch and a magical experience to be involved in. Thank you. If ever there was a room full of people left astounded, it was here watching Sweet Charity.

This high level of achievement outside the classroom was reflected in it and this year’s exam results clarifies the excellent standard of your academic accomplishments. The A level results were the best the College has ever achieved:

A* – A grade = 45.7% (up 4.7% on 2010)
A* – B grade = 75.1% (up 9% on 2010)
A* – C grade = 92.6% (up 7.4% on 2010)
A* – E grade = 100%

What is especially pleasing is that 16% of all grades were at the A* grade.
18 students achieved all A* and / or A grades
And 2 students gained straight A* grades:
– Harriet Christie
– Olivia Corbridge

Over 80% of our students are shortly leaving for university with subjects as diverse as Optometry to Industrial Design and Technology.
Especial mention goes to:
Lucy Crossman and Harriet Christie who go up to Cambridge to study Medicine and Natural Science respectively

This year, our GCSE results were again outstanding with 18 departments achieving 100% A* – C
21 students gained all A* – A grades and 54 students (58.7%) gained 5 or more A* / A grades

A* – A grades = 57.6
A* – B grades = 84
A* – C grades = 98.2

And 98.9% of our students gained 5x GCSEs A* – C.

These are incredible results and demonstrate the ability and hard work of our students, their support for one another, their relationship with their teachers and the high academic ethos of the College placing JCG within the top 4% of all UK schools

The progress in the wider aspects of College life has equally been rewarding. We have published a new prospectus and website. We have built a much needed and long awaited Drama Centre. We have seen the Foundation becoming reality and through the energy and dynamism of its director will grow to become a vital support to students and the College by extending our strong sense of belonging to our alumni.

And most importantly of all, we have joined with our prep school to become one College, from 4 years old through to 18, with shared values, direction and ethos and I thank Mr Willis and the Prep staff for the strong, open and productive partnership which now exists.

This year has also seen much greater external consideration of our organisation, especially the value we give for the money we receive. And so it was very pleasing to receive external assessors who concluded that not only are we providing good value, the pervading culture, climate and ethos of the school are outstanding, the relationships between students and between students and staff exceptional and that there exists a tangible relish by all for learning and celebrating each other’s achievements.
This external view was further verified by our professional partner who concluded that the College provides an outstanding all round education.

This year we said goodbye to Miss Mackay, Miss Farren, Mr Evans and Mrs Stewart Jones, and we thank them especially Mr Evans and Mrs Stewart Jones for their long service and unwavering commitment to this college.

Looking forward, this year will see the development of the College Foundation, the introduction of JCG Serves and the arrival of our Musician in Residence Mr Gerard Le Feuvre thanks to the generous and substantial donation by a local charitable trust. We will extend the range of our parental information evenings to support parents in their support of their daughter. We will continue to plan, lead and host the Ogiers Gifted and Talented programme for the benefit of students across the island. We will go on expeditions to India and Madagascar and we will also develop a close link with a school in China in preparation for a teacher exchange in 2012.

We will continue to examine and develop our Key Stage 3 curriculum to ensure it excites and cultivates a deep intellectual inquisitiveness. We will continue to build closer links at sixth form level and I would like to thank Mr Watkins, the Head of Victoria College, for his partnership in this process. Our primary focus will continue to be your learning, progress and achievement so that you totally immerse yourself in everything College offers and continue to excel and understand at a deep level that you belong.

Today, JCG is a happy, thriving, confident, prospering place. We would not have been able to do what we have done without the student leadership team, led by two very special people, Lucy and Laura. Their service to the College beyond their studies has been immense. They have been a delight to work with and their hearts and minds have always been focused on what they can do for you and the College. Their leadership and work with the prefects, music captain, sports captain, house captains, in their work completes that circle of cohesiveness to ensure we that we all are known and that we all feel known. On behalf of the College, I would like to present Lucy and Laura with a little gift as a thank you.

Every single thing I have said today, every single event, club, visit and result also demonstrates the incredible care, dedication and skill of your teaching, administrative and support staff. I know that students and parents appreciate the effort they receive, because they tell me. And I want to take this opportunity to thank publicly all of the staff for their passion, energy and for the many, many hours they give to enable you to have a fantastic education. Thank you.

In leading this great College I am in turn indebted to the support and patience of my colleagues on the Senior Leadership Team and I wish to thank Mrs Stewart – Jones, Mr Jewell, Mrs Slater, Mr Timothy and Mr Marett for their contribution, their commitment to excellence and their leadership during the year.

I am also indebted to the leadership provided to me by our Governing Body throughout this year. Without the work, commitment and skill these individuals selflessly give the College would not function to the level of ease and success it achieves. The contributions of our Governors during the sensitive discussions with ESC have been immense and I would especially like to thank Mr Philip Taylor as Chairman for his wise counsel, advocacy and leadership, Mrs Vicky Scarborough for her unwavering support and attendance at nearly every College event and Mr Peter Funk for his prudent and careful chairmanship of our Finance sub-committee.

The Parents’ Association and Old Girls have likewise given unstintingly of their time and enhanced the life of the school, either through the provision of plants on the terrace or honours boards to celebrate student achievement or the JCG Silver Charm as designed by Charlotte Pollard in Y8 and on the cover of your programme. Moreover, the work of these bodies ensures the strong sense of Alumni and belonging to JCG irrespective of your connection to it. I would personally like to thank Jane Delap, Margaret Stone, Penny Carter and Katherine Bolton.

Events like today can sometimes seem to just happen. Yet, there is an immense amount of work behind the scenes and I would particularly like to thank Margaret Moore, June Fosse, Jo and Dave for their immense work in organising this day and for the many other events throughout the year. Thank you.

In writing this review of the year, I wanted to make clear that what you do each day for your selves and for each other is astounding. You are good people, you are kind and you care and together you possess an energy that transforms, motivates and makes us happy. That is the real achievement and it is something you do each and every day and for that you should all be proud.

And finally, thank you for making my job so pleasurable.

My many congratulations go to you all and for those leaving the island shortly or going into employment, please remember the last line of our ambition for you,
‘You will have happy and lasting memories of your time at College and an admiration for those people who have nurtured and shaped your learning.’ I hope you do.
We do miss you and we pray you lead a long, healthy, happy and contented life.

Thank you.


 Prize list – click here