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Junior School celebrates Mary Ward Day

Every year on 23 January the whole school celebrates the birthday of Mary Ward, the school’s foundress, and this year was even more special than usual as we are fast approaching the 120th anniversary of our school. Had it not been for our 'rebel' foundress, we may not have had the opportunity for such celebrations at all!

Preparations began in Monday morning's assembly when Mr Matthew O’Reilly and Mrs Susan McKay spoke about Mary Ward, asking the girls “what made her a rebel?”. The girls described the life of Mary Ward very well and, learning that their mission for the following day was to combine year groups and create a Mary Ward game, the stage was set for the following day’s activities. The girls were reminded of this year's two chosen Mary Ward characteristics – ‘Encouraging hard work and excellence’ and ‘Following in Christ's footsteps’ – and were tasked with incorporating these characteristics into their games. As a HPL school, this task certainly allowed the girls to exhibit many of the ACPs, especially creativity.  

If you were to enter Acton Hall or the Coach House on Tuesday you may have been surprised to see older year groups paired with younger groups. Pupils were working hard devising Mary Ward games, talk was task-driven, and teams were working well together. The end results have been fantastic and the hard task of determining a winner is under way – watch this space for the results.

Year 6 pupils had another job to do on the morning of 23 January. Earlier this year the Junior School was given a book of photographs dating back to the 1920s and 1930s and we decided to recreate some of these photos, featuring our current Year 6 pupils. Analysing the photos, looking at the poses and reminding the girls they were not to smile (something which many were unable to do at first!), we set about creating them. With Ms Jane Freebairn's photographic skills, the girls were assembled and directed into place, ready for ‘lights, camera, action!’. As you can see from the photos the girls thoroughly enjoyed this activity and did an excellent job of recreating the style of the older photos.