Mowden Hall School

Leading Co-Educational Independent Prep School For Children aged 3-13 Years

End Of Term Letter

End Of Term Letter

13th July 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Overall, we have enjoyed a highly successful Summer Term. The restrictions have remained in place longer than we had all hoped for, but on the whole we have operated relatively normally, with plays, fixtures and trips all going ahead to some extent. 

As we come to the end of the academic year, we can look back with pride on our achievements, progress and determination. The School has come together brilliantly, and that unity has made so many things possible. 

Mowden has been the ultimate team this year. We have all faced new challenges, some of which we have had absolutely no experience of before. We have had to make decisions, not knowing if they are the right ones; and every step of the way we have had to trust and rely on each other. We have truly lived through unprecedented times and I am so incredibly grateful to work with such a dedicated and talented group of people. Throughout it all the children have remained purposeful, enthusiastic and understanding. In typical Mowden style they have made the best of a difficult situation and I am incredibly proud of them all.

At the end of the second world war, King George VI sent a message to every school child. It was dated 8th June 1946, and said the following:

Today, as we celebrate victory, I send this personal message to you and all other boys and girls at school. For you have shared in the hardships and dangers of a total war and you have shared no less in the triumph of the Allied Nations.

I know you will always feel proud to belong to such a country which was capable of such supreme effort; proud, too, of parents and elder brothers and sisters who by their courage, endurance and enterprise brought victory. May these qualities be yours as you grow up and join in the common effort to establish among the nations of the world unity and peace.

We have the opportunity to now move forward in our lives demonstrating courage, endurance and enterprise. Qualities that will equip us well; it is impossible to go through life without facing some hardship, sadness or disappointment. At Mowden, we will always encourage our children to face any challenges bravely and positively. 

Despite the lockdowns and the disruption, Common Entrance in Year 8 has gone ahead and the pupils have gained some stunning grades. Indeed when one compares these grades with historic grade patterns, we have just enjoyed our best ever crop of CE grades in recent history, in spite of the educational crisis gripping our country. In total, 83% of our pupils achieved either an A*, A or a B and all pupils achieve their desired destination. We also achieved a competitive entry to Eton, Radley, RGS Newcastle and Rugby for all those pupils who had applied. We must applaud our pupils for their diligence and determination in making this one of the most successful years in the School’s recent history, in spite of the monumental challenges. I would also like to mention our scholarship success. Congratulations to Sam P, Stowe; Clover J, Ampleforth; Alfie G, Ampleforth and Oscar R, Barnard Castle. I know some still have scholarship assessments to face as they arrive at their senior school. We wish them the very best and look forward to hearing how they fare.

  • Kit BC - Common Entrance to Sedbergh School

  • Eliza B - Common Entrance to Oundle School

  • Jack B - 13+ Entrance to Barnard Castle School

  • William B - Common Entrance to Oundle School

  • Keira C - 13+ Entrance to Queen Elizabeth High School

  • Thomas C - Common Entrance to Ampleforth College

  • Sebastian DS - 13+ Entrance to Barnard Castle School

  • Alfred G - Common Entrance to Ampleforth College (Sport Scholarship)

  • Lilly G - 13+ Entrance to Dame Allan’s School

  • Joseph H - 13+ Entrance to Barnard Castle School

  • Connie HA - Common Entrance to Rugby School

  • Steven I -  Common Entrance to Rugby School

  • Clover J- Common Entrance to Ampleforth College (Sport Scholarship)

  • Thomas J - 13+ Entrance to Barnard Castle School

  • Marcel L- 13+ Entrance to St Andrew’s College, South Africa

  • Grace N- Common Entrance to Oundle School

  • Fergus O - Common Entrance to Shrewsbury School

  • Samuel P - Common Entrance to Stowe School (Sports Scholarship)

  • Oscar R - 13+ Entrance to Barnard Castle School (Sports Scholarship)

  • Harry SH - Common Entrance to Uppingham School

  • Poppy S - Common Entrance to Ampleforth College

  • Sophie S - Common Entrance to Oundle School

  • Philip W - 13+ Entrance to RGS, Newcastle

  • Anna Z - 13+ Entrance to Westfield School

Congratulations on your achievements; you have made us all very proud!

Furthermore, you will have received communication regarding trips for Years 3 - 5 and preseason opportunities at the start of next term. Please do get in touch if you have any queries about any of these events.

We hope to reintroduce the minibus from Newcastle in September, but this will be confirmed nearer to the time.

Prep for Years 6 - 8 will be compulsory from the start of next term. Children in Years 3 - 5 are very welcome to access Prep sessions if required. 

Saturday afternoon Games sessions will remain optional for all Prep School children, unless they have a fixture. There will always be a Games session available for children who wish to remain in school until 4pm. 

In addition to the arrangements for our full boarders, we are having specific year group boarding events next term. These events are proving popular, so please can you contact Miss Serbrock at the earliest opportunity to confirm if you would like your child to attend.

Staffing update

The end of the Summer Term signifies not only endings, but also new beginnings. 

We say goodbye to Mr Murray-Usher, Mr Grant and Miss Lovell, who have been simply brilliant Gap students. We also say goodbye to Miss Humble who has given many years of dedicated service to the Music department at Mowden. We wish them all the very best for the future. 

Our current LAMDA teacher Mrs Phillipson will be taking on a full time teaching role at Mowden from September. She will be replaced by Mrs Price, who has a wealth of experience in both performing and facilitating drama. Mrs Price trained at The Arden School of Theatre where she studied and performed the works of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Orton and Brecht (amongst others). As well as being a qualified teacher, she has the necessary skills to teach drama, poetry and public speaking. Miss Humble will be replaced by Mr Jedrzejewski, who is an experienced guitar teacher having taught children and adults for over ten years. In addition, he is an active performer, both as a soloist and also for big bands. 

In addition, we welcome a new member of staff to the Prep School. Mr Gareth Townley is an experienced teacher, who is currently a Key Stage 2 teacher at St Bede’s Catholic Primary School in Marske-by-the-Sea. He was educated at Hereford Cathedral School and is looking forward to working in the independent sector. He has specialisms in Maths and History, and has had previous senior management experience. In addition, he is working towards the Chartered Teacher Status offered by the Historical Association and is an aspiring author. He also enjoys being actively involved in extracurricular activities, most recently cricket and football.  

I am delighted to say that Mr Wainwright and Miss Trevelyan will be staying with us next year, and we are also welcoming two new Gap students. One will be very at home here as she is an Old Mowdenian herself (and Sam Percy’s big sister) and the other, Miss Davenport, will be joining us from Glenalmond College.

We also welcome Miss Anson back to Mowden, following her maternity leave. She will return in a part time capacity, working with the younger children in the Pre-Prep. In addition, I am delighted to inform you that Miss Pemberton will be continuing in her role as Nursery teacher. 

In addition, Mr Shaw-Kew’s job title will change to Assistant Head Co-Curricular.

Teen Tips

Teen Tips ( launched last year with the aim of providing pupils, staff and parents throughout the UK with online resources to promote better emotional health and wellbeing. The WellBeing Hub, that will be accessed online, will offer amongst other things, advice, webinars and talks. The aim of the service is to give us all the tools and knowledge to help support our children as they navigate their way through life.

Maintenance works

We have significant maintenance works scheduled for the holiday period. These include:

  • A new roof for the main teaching block

  • A new dehumidifier in the swimming pool

  • A new swimming pool cover and roller

  • Whole site fixed wiring checks

  • Installation of a fire suppression system in the kitchen

In addition we recently replaced two areas of roofing in both the Pre-Prep and Prep School, as well as making some improvements to the Drive.

Charity Support

As a school, we are incredibly fortunate, and we will always do our best to support a range of charities. This year we have supported:

  • The Charlie Waller Trust

  • The Captain Tom Foundation

  • Wylam Foodbank

  • North of England Children’s Cancer Research

  • Comic Relief

This year has been a challenging one for us all, and I remain so grateful for your continued support and loyalty. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and look forward to seeing you all in September. As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch ( if you have any concerns or queries over the break.

Best wishes,

Mrs K Martin