"The outstanding range of interesting and stimulating extra curricular activities provide excellent opportunities for pupils to take initiative and extend their capabilities. Throughout the school the personal development of pupils is exceptional."

Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, 2010 (Girls’ Division)

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Jean Hemingway (nee Haslam, 1949-1957)

Jean wrote to us recently of her memories, after reading an article in the Magazine about her old Classics teacher, Mr Fisher.

"He joined the staff about the time, I think, that I entered the Sixth Form, and taught me for the two years of A-level Latin.  At that time, Miss Sturrock was Head of Classics, and also the School Librarian. I became Library Prefect in my last year at school, and have employed ever since the skills she imparted in that setting.

"Mr Fisher was familiar with a number of modern foreign languages and would show how the vocabularies were related.  Or he might write on the board a sentence in a Slavonic language in which there were no vowels, just vocalic consonants. Another topic was the wealth of rules for turning Latin into French.  I studied Philology as part of my BA degree, and I am sure that Mr Fisher's asides from Latin declensions stimulated my interest at that later stage.

"His sense of humour was delightful, always generous and never bitter.  Once, when I wrote an English-into-Latin translation, I missed off the last clause of the final sentence from the neat copy.  In red biro he completed the paragraph thus: "...........fed oop?"  It made me laugh, but I was more careful after that.  And it was he who reminded us that but for the disastrous fire at the great library in ancient Alexandria, our studies at A-level could have been far more onerous.  Quite a contrast from the earnestness of girls' school teaching in those days.

"I cannot say I was a very successful student, although I did pass the exam, but I can say that I became aware that there was a lighter and less-rigid side to learning, and that the examination syllabus was not everything."