Unfolding Spaces

The Unfolding Spaces 2017/18 campaign has only recently been launched but the response has been great with parents getting behind the Sixth Form Centre at Mill Hill and the New Building at Belmont with its superb D&T and IT suites. For more information about the campaign and details of how you too can get involved please visit the Support Our Schools website.

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What’s Happening at The Mount, Mill Hill International?

We have recently launched a newsletter that will be produced each term. This newsletter will keep members of our community up to date with news provided by pupils and staff alike.

Please click here to see our first edition.

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Burns Night

The Scottish poet, Robert Burns, was born on January 25, 1759 in Alloway, Ayrshire. The day of his birth is celebrated on 25 January throughout the world as Burns Night, with Burns Suppers, poems and songs.

Burton Bank saw Burns Night being celebrated in style. Mr Barron and Mr Watterson arrived donned in tartan kilts and delivered both an informative and entertaining evening which was enjoyed by all. Mr Watterson gave a brief History of the kilt and the famous Robert Burns. He then recited, from memory, the words to the poem ‘To a mouse, on turning up in her nest with a plough’, something that he was urged to do by his former teacher, Mrs Gribben of St Aloysius Primary school in Glasgow – you never forget your teachers, and certainly not the scary ones! Mr Barron followed with ‘An address to a Haggis’ reciting the verse below as he thrust his knife into a beautifully prepared Haggis for all to taste, not forgetting the neeps and tatties to accompany it.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

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Visit from Kagoshima Konan School

We were delighted to welcome a group of Japanese Year 12 pupils on their recent visit to Mill Hill School, which included; spending the morning in lessons with ‘buddies’; singing their school song in the Chapel having attended assembly; meeting the Head, Mrs King, over hot chocolate in the Crick Room; touring the campus of Mill Hill School and The Mount, Mill Hill International and presenting to Mill Hill pupils on topics including the eminent Old Millhillian Ernest Satow.

The School was particularly interested to visit Mill Hill due to the connection to Satow, who held a significant post as a British diplomat based in Kagoshima during the years 1862-1869 when Japan was changing from rule by the Tokugawa shogunate to the restoration of Imperial rule. Satow was also a keen student of the Japanese culture and Chinese calligraphy. It is interesting to note that one of his pieces of Chinese calligraphy is held in the British Library under his artist’s name, Seizan. There was an interesting symmetry during the visit, when Tomohisa Yamamoto (Fourth Form), welcomed the visitors both in Japanese and fluent English, demonstrating the cultural transition that he himself had made in moving to Mill Hill from Tokyo in September.

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Mill Hill (Truly) International

At the British Boarding School Workshop (BBSW) which took place from 3-5 March in London, 76 Heads, Marketing Directors and Registrars from British Independent Schools met with 84 agents from across the globe. Flying the flag for Mill Hill were Sarah Bellotti, Head of The Mount, Mill Hill International (MMHI), and Nicola Steed, Registrar, along with Tony Binns, Deputy Head (External Relations) of the Mill Hill School Foundation. Between them they met over 50 agents for individual, scheduled appointments and following the workshop a further 13 agents from Russia, Japan, Estonia, Ukraine, Turkey, Latvia, Taiwan and the UK came to visit The Mill Hill School Foundation as part of a Familiarisation Tour of five schools in North London and Berkshire.

On Sunday evening, over a candlelit dinner at Mill Hill School, with entertainment provided by the charismatic Director of Music, Kevin Kyle, and five talented musicians from Mill Hill School, the agents met further key staff from The Mill Hill School Foundation: Frances King, Head and CEO of The Mill Hill School Foundation; Lindsey Farrant, Director of Boarding and Sarah Proudlove, Deputy Head (Academic) of MMHI. The following morning, the agents took part in various lessons at Mill Hill International, taking advantage of their time at the School to get to know both pupils and teachers, while Nicola Steed, Registrar of MMHI, gave a tour of the site.

‘Inspiring and educational’, remarked one of the agents, ‘I had not expected the Year 9 pupils’ English level to be so high.’ After a tour of the Mill Hill School campus, including a visit to Ridgeway House which is home to around a third of Mill Hill’s 150 boarders, the visitors set off for their next destination filled with a sense of having lived the Mill Hill lifestyle. As the School continues to raise its international profile, adding an academic Summer School to its offering this year, it will doubtless be hosting many more such visits in the months and years to come: there will be no shortage of willing participants.

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Edoardo Swings Into Action

The Mount, Mill Hill International pupil, Edoardo Solari, with two pupils from Mill Hill School, Nick Malborough and Joseph O’Donovan, entered The Arkley Schools Golf Open Wednesday 30 September. The team were the runners up in the competition but all played very well in a high quality field of schools from the London area including Aldenham and The Royal Masonic Girls School.

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First Pupils Arrive

The new Head, Sarah Bellotti, welcomed the first international pupils into the newly refurbished School on Wednesday 2nd September. Pupils from all over the world arrived with their parents and guardians to meet their new teachers, tutors and Housemaster, eager to embark on an exciting new educational journey in the UK.

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The Mount, Mill Hill International Gets Ready for the Arrival of the New Pupils

The Mount, Mill Hill International teachers all arrived on Monday August 17 to start their training and induction in preparation of the arrival of the new international pupils on Wednesday 2nd September. Workshops and classes included understanding the needs of the international learner; incorporating Spiritual, Social, Moral and Social education into schemes of work; extension and enrichment opportunities for pupils; and planning the extracurricular programme to enable the international pupils to integrate fully into the Mill Hill School Foundation community. Staff training will continue this week enabling all teachers to become familiar with the newly refurbished school as well as an in-depth understanding of all the new pupils – their cultural and educational backgrounds, interests and aspirations.

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Examination Success

Results day saw our A level candidates achieve Mill Hill’s best ever A*/A grade pass rate of 47.6%. The A* to B pass rate was 76% and 90% of entries were awarded C grades or above. These results do our pupils and teachers great credit and maintain the School’s rising trend of A level results (despite declining national pass rates).

Our leavers are now looking forward to moving on to a range of Russell Group universities and other leading institutions in the UK and abroad. All deserve the warmest congratulations.

Our Lower Sixth AS candidates also did extremely well, with 33% of papers being awarded A grades and 57% A and B grades. Meanwhile, there were excellent performances at GCSE with 54.6% of entries being awarded A* and A, compared to 48% at this stage last year. 65 candidates obtained six or more A*/A grades.

Commenting on the results, Headmaster Dr Dominic Luckett said, “I am so pleased that the hard work and dedication of our pupils and staff have once again been rewarded. That these talented young people have done so well is both tremendously gratifying and all the more impressive in view of the huge extra-curricular contribution that so many of them make.”

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Appointment of the New Chief Executive of the Mill Hill School Foundation and Head of Mill Hill School

Frances King

We are delighted to announce that, following a rigorous selection process, we have appointed Mrs Frances King to be the next Chief Executive of the Mill Hill School Foundation and Head of Mill Hill School from January 2016. Mrs King was appointed from a very strong field of candidates and is the first woman in the 200 year history of Mill Hill to lead the School. Her appointment thus marks another significant moment in the development of the Foundation.

Mrs King is currently Principal of Collège Alpin Beau Soleil, a coeducational school in Switzerland. She began her career in 1984 and has taught at a number of schools, becoming Deputy Head of St Mary’s School, Ascot in 2000 and Head of Heathfield School in 2003. She joined Roedean School as Head in 2008. Mrs King holds a BA (Hons) in Theology from the University of Oxford, a PGCE from the Institute of Education, an MA in Philosophy and Religion from Heythrop College, University of London and an MBA in School Management from the University of Hull.

To find a worthy successor to Dominic Luckett, who has led the Foundation through a most exciting period in its history, was a daunting task. We will be very sorry to say goodbye to Dr Luckett and his family at the end of the Autumn term but are confident that we have found an exceptionally experienced and capable successor. We look forward to welcoming Mrs King and her husband, Tim, to the Foundation community in January 2016.

Dr Roger Chapman
Chairman of the Court of Governors

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Taking Shape

Week by week, progress with the refurbishment continues.

The landscaping of the central area of the site is taking shape. We now have the long, generously proportioned steps appearing. These will be one of the main features of the garden, and provide a sheltered and sunny place to sit and look down the lawn to the maze beyond.

Work on the Main House is progressing well. The whole building is enclosed by scaffolding, including a temporary roof. This means that it has been possible to carry out internal works at the same time as working on the external fabric. The roof is being completely stripped and restored. The tiles have been removed and are being replaced with new ones, similar to the original, and in line with the building’s Grade II listing.

We are looking forward to the wraps coming off and revealing the renewed magnificence of this splendid old property.

Nick Webb

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Building Work Forges Ahead

Refurbishment work is now well underway and we are on target for the opening of the school in September.

The premises were occupied as a girls’ day school, The Mount, until July 2014, so the appropriate buildings were already in place. The task has been to create the ideal environment for young people from around the world to experience the best of British education. Rivington Street Studio, an award-winning London firm of architects, has been working closely with a team from the Mill Hill School Foundation. The result is a stunning design with cutting edge facilities tailored to the specific needs of an international school.

The main building was constructed in 1875, and is Grade II Listed for its architectural significance. This is now being restored to its former glory, whilst also being brought up to date with the latest technology. The whole building is currently disappearing under scaffolding to enable the roof and brickwork to be restored. Internally, the walls and woodwork have been stripped back, and are in the process of being reinstated with a clean, crisp finish. With their considerable experience in this sensitive type of work, T&B Contractors won the building contract and are now proceeding apace.

This £4,000,000 project also involves the re-landscaping of the grounds, the updating of the science facilities and a new IT suite.

Staff at The Mount, Mill Hill International are currently confined to other buildings on the site. Although these rooms have been newly decorated, they are eagerly awaiting the completion of the refurbishment project.

Nick Webb
Assistant Bursar
Mill Hill School Foundation

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New Deputy Heads at The Mount, Mill Hill International

Sarah Proudlove joins the School from Cheltenham College where she worked as Head of English as an Additional Language and Head of Third Form (Year 9). She is a CELTA qualified teacher, has an MA in Teaching English to Young Learners aged 6-16 and is currently studying for an MEd in Educational Leadership. She is also an external consultant and writer for Cambridge English Language Assessment, delivering conference workshops, presentations and webinars, the latter to a worldwide audience.

Sarah is particularly well versed in developing the skillset of subject teachers to ensure that EAL pupils thrive when being taught their curriculum in English; and the on-going development of the teachers at The Mount, Mill Hill International will be among her prime responsibilities as Deputy Head (Academic).

Sarah studied Modern European Languages at Durham University and spent several years living and teaching abroad, so she has first-hand experience of the challenges facing international pupils when studying in another country. She is passionate about the value of living in an international community; she is dedicated to ensuring that all pupils are supported, respected and integrated both academically and socially, so that they may develop to their full potential. She feels hugely privileged to be joining The Mount, Mill Hill International and looks forward to welcoming the first cohort of pupils in September.

Sharon Mitchell joins The Mount, Mill Hill International as Deputy Head (Pastoral), with the additional responsibility of teaching art and textiles. Sharon has over twenty years of experience teaching art and design in Independent Schools. She enjoys using many different media in her art teaching but has a particular interest in textiles in which she gained a BA (hons) degree. During her degree course, Sharon travelled to India and Indonesia where she learnt about different types of textiles, and where she fell in love with the wonderful colours and patterns she saw.

Prior to her post at The Mount, Mill Hill International, Sharon worked at The Mount School as art teacher for fourteen years. Whilst continuing to deliver art lessons, Sharon became Head of Key Stage 4 and later promoted to Deputy Head (Pastoral). Sharon is deeply committed to pastoral care and to establishing an environment in which pupils are happy, secure, confident, respected and valued. She is passionate about creating independent, resilient young people who take the initiative, think creatively and who are not shy of taking risks. Sharon firmly believes that a balanced curriculum, which includes academic and extracurricular enrichment, is vital for pupil progress and is necessary to prepare them to be confident global citizens, who live in a diverse, multi-cultural environment. Sharon is very ambitious for the pupils at The Mount, Mill Hill International and is excited to be part of this new School.

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