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Looking forward to our 125 celebrations

Looking forward to our 125 celebrations

In September, St Mary's will be celebrating its momentous 125th anniversary, giving us the opportunity to honour our rich history, celebrate achievements and embrace the future with a renewed sense of purpose.

Since its founding in 1898, our school has provided an inspiring environment for young women reflecting the vision of our foundress Mary Ward, who believed 'Women in time will come to do much'. Through these years, women at St Mary’s have done much. Even our school buildings are involved in the history of education for women and individuals who fought for equality.

Prior to the nun's occupation of The Elms, the building belonged to Dr. Benjamin Hall Kennedy, a professor of Greek at Cambridge University. Dr Kennedy strongly believed in higher education for women and allowed female students to sit their Tripos examinations in his drawing room, at a time in which they were officially excluded from the exam.

Today our diverse and vibrant community mirrors the forward-thinking values of Dr Kennedy as St Mary's girls are encouraged to aim high, challenge injustice and aspire to make a difference in the world. I joined this school in Reception, and over the last 14 years St Mary’s has played a crucial role in helping me grow into my authentic self.

The supportive and empowering environment has increased my confidence and given me a sense of belonging. This anniversary gives us the chance to strengthen our community even more through special events and traditions such as a community tea party in September, Mary Ward Day in January alongside our marking of the International Day of the Girl and International Women’s Day.

Additionally, the 125th anniversary alumnae events will give former students a chance to reminisce about their time at school and share their fond memories with current students.

St Mary’s ethos, characterised by its Christian values such as justice, hard work and integrity, has allowed me to flourish into a compassionate and courageous young woman. During my time at St Mary’s, I have had the blessing of learning about the life and legacy of Mary Ward. Her fight for women’s education despite fierce challenges such as imprisonment and persecution has inspired me to stand up for what I believe in, even in the face of strong opposition.

I cannot wait to celebrate this exciting anniversary and to take full advantage of this chance to come together as a community and look forward to the next 125 years!

Anouk S. Sixth Form Prefect

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