Meet the head: Jenny Dwyer at Sherborne Girls
PUBLISHED: 16:20 08 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:20 08 April 2016
Jenny Dwyer, head at Sherborne Girls, believes that her girls' great successes are due to studying in a happy, inclusive and kind environment
How do you feel the school has developed during your tenure?
I’ve been here ten years and during that time the school has become much stronger and more confident in every aspect. We have spent £10m transforming the facilities, building and refurbishing boarding and academic space, implementing a student diploma for key stage 3, introducing the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma and embracing the IB philosophy throughout the school and transforming the pastoral care programme.
What are you most proud of?
Creating a happy, purposeful environment and continuing to push academic excellence, but also developing a proper bursary programme and global awareness.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Balancing finding time to support what the girls are doing and to celebrate their successes and those of the staff, whilst keeping up to date with statutory changes and being on top of paperwork.
What makes Sherborne Girls so special?
Everything we do is aimed at treating each girl as an individual and celebrating an ‘all-round’ education, whilst still achieving academic excellence. We are a kind school, our girls have a strong moral compass, and many go on to follow careers that ‘give back’ to society. Our location in Dorset combined with our global perspective also sets us apart. In addition we benefit from a close relationship with Sherborne School. We stand firm to our pedagogical ideals as a girls-only school, yet still value the co-educational opportunities - joint projects, enrichment opportunities and socials – that our collaboration provides. This is ideal for families who want single-sex education as well as having their family close together and the same term dates.
What are the benefits of an all-girls boarding school?
Girls develop at a different pace and need a safe and supportive environment to find their own path. In an all-girls setting, there is no stereotyping of subjects - last year, against the national trend, 70% of our girls’ science A Levels were passed at A* or A and six students were offered places on medical or medical science courses. Similarly, 70% of all arts subjects and 68% of all modern languages were also passed at A* and A. We offer a girls-only school combined with the opportunities for interaction with Sherborne School – the best of both worlds.
What is your vision for Sherborne Girls over the next few years?
We are about to embark on an ambitious new performing Arts Centre project. I also see the importance of keeping up with technology, increasing the careers advice we give, with an emphasis on employability. We will continue to strive for the best possible results without the negative stress and pressure which is a focus of teenage life. Above all we want to maintain the happy, purposeful and kind environment that is the very ethos of our school.
What is your favourite subject?
As a mathematician I have to say maths. I love solving problems, looking for patterns and some degree of certainty.
What do you do in your time-off?
I am not very good at time off but I enjoy running (slowly), going to the gym, walking my dogs (particularly by the sea in Norfolk) but my real love is dinghy sailing.
• Meet the head: Dr Dominic Luckett at Sherborne School - As the new headmaster at Sherborne School, Dr Dominic Luckett is looking forward to inspiring his pupils to even greater success and, when time allows, walking or paragliding on the Dorset hills