Beginning on the 16th September, JAGS has held two weeks of events celebrating girls in education. 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of Edward Alleyn’s charitable foundation, The College of God’s Gift, without which Central Foundation Girls’ School, James Allen’s Girls’ School and St Saviour’s and St Olave’s School would not exist as they do today. All three girls’ schools remain committed to providing the best education for their pupils and over the past two weeks, the schools have joined together to explore what it means to be a female in the 21st century.
JAGS welcomed a variety of high profile speakers during the first week, including space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, journalist and broadcaster Emma Barnett and activist and journalist Caroline Criado-Perez. Diverse subjects were covered throughout the week, and included discussing powerful women in art history, examining growth-mindset, the importance of discussing periods openly and highlighting the extent of gender data bias in today’s society. All of the speakers proved extremely popular, and pupils enjoyed lively Q&A sessions after each talk.
The second week of events has seen all-female dance collective Feet off the Ground take up a week-long residency at the school. They have been running workshops with Year 9 pupils, exploring the representation of women in a strong, physical capacity. A group of pupils from JAGS and from St Saviour’s & St Olave’s also spent the week devising a piece with the dance collective, culminating in a fantastic public performance.
Speaking about the event, Headmistress Sally-Anne Huang commented: ‘This has been a fantastic event, allowing us to celebrate all that has been achieved through the education of women but also to acknowledge the challenges ahead. We were fortunate to have top speakers to come in and address the girls but perhaps the best part was in sharing that with the girls who attend our state partner schools. It was a real privilege to host them and I hope that we can build further on the success of this project well into the future.’
Esther Holland, Headteacher at Central Foundation Girls’ School said: ‘We have been delighted to take part in the ‘Celebrating Girls in Education’ talks at JAGS. These events have been a fantastic opportunity for our students to hear from a range of inspirational speakers, and to have time to reflect on their own aspirations. We are thankful to JAGS for inviting us, and we share the sentiment of forging closer working links with JAGS and our partner schools, to learn from each other in the spirit of empowering all our girls through education.’
Catherine May, Headteacher at St Saviour’s and St Olave’s said: “It has been amazing for St Saviour’s & St Olave’s girls to take part in the ‘Girls in Education’ event hosted by JAGS, in celebration of the 400th anniversary since the Edward Alleyn’s Charitable Foundation was set up. I’ve heard so much from staff and students on how wonderfully inspirational the speakers were across the week and I’m looking forward to strengthening our links through future projects with JAGS.”