His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester visited Malvern St James Girls’ School on Tuesday 15 March. He toured the school, which he first visited almost ten years ago (October 2006) when Malvern St James was formed by the merger of Malvern Girls’ College and St James’s School. His Royal Highness was accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Colonel Patrick Holcroft. They were able to experience part of a Pre-Prep lesson and a Year 6 Science lesson, followed by a recital by some of our talented musicians. The visit concluded with a trip to Batsford House, our Junior Boarding House, and the planting of a commemorative rose in the Founders’ Garden. The Duke has a close association with MSJ, as his mother Princess Alice (then Lady Alice) attended St James’s School, which was based in de Walden House in West Malvern – now the Headquarters for the Elim organisation.
Malvern St James Old Girls’ Association is this year celebrating the 120th Anniversary of the founding of St James’s School, with a special Summer Reunion and Dinner for Old Girls of the school in June. In advance of this, The Duke of Gloucester planted a rose in commemoration of the School in the MSJ Founders’ Garden. The garden, is planted up in all of the colours of MSJ’s founding schools and features a sculpture by renowned sculptor Ben Twiston-Davies.
A selection of civic dignitaries were also in attendance, including the Chairman of Worcestershire County Council, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Malvern Hills District Council and the Mayor of Malvern. MSJ’s Vice-Chairman of Governors, Rev Prebendary Carl Attwood, gave these guests a tour of the £1 million renovation of the Lower Ground Floor, including the new Alice Dining Room and other facilities such as a Leiths Cookery Classroom and a Senior School Common Room. He was able to talk about the local schools partnership, which sees local schools in the area – primary and secondary – sharing facilities and resources. MSJ has recently hosted a Singing Bonanza, Languages Day, Science Morning, Law Careers Workshop, and Life Sciences Careers Workshop where, accumulatively, the school has been joined by hundreds of pupils from other schools in the area. On the day that His Royal Highness visited, there was a Year 6 Maths Challenge taking place for eighteen local schools.
There was also delight for Dr Sarah Guy, one of MSJ’s chemistry teachers, as her son, Cadet Flight Sergeant Matthew Guy assisted the day’s proceedings as the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet. Malvern St James will be celebrating its Ten Year Anniversary through the academic year which begins in September 2016; plans are underway to create several major events marking the school’s first decade.