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News & events from Mayfield School
Antonia Beary has been the Headmistress of Mayfield School since September 2008. She was educated in the state sector before reading English at Trinity College, Cambridge. Prior to taking up the headship at Mayfield, Antonia was the school’s Deputy Head for Pastoral Care and Boarding and a member of both the English and Religious Studies Departments. She has also been Head of Sixth Form at New Hall (2004-06) and the Housemistress of the first girls’ boarding house at Ampleforth College (1998-2004).
Who/what inspired you to become a teacher?
I am passionate about the fact that single sex education helps give girls the confidence and resilience to fulfil their potential and broaden their horizons. I wanted to dispel the myth that co-education was the only or necessarily the best education. Also because I believe that good faith schools provide an opportunity to build tolerance and respect, and give students a sense of perspective and wellbeing crucial for the world we live in today.
What achievement are you most proud of as Head?
That each year we send out Upper Sixth leavers who are confident, competent, creative and well-rounded individuals, and just as importantly, are fun to be with. They are ready to take on the challenges of the world they live in, but know that they can rely on friends who will continue to support them. They are grateful to their teachers for the opportunities they have been given and want to share that with others. Who could ask for more?
What does a successful school look like to you?
One where girls work hard and play hard, where they are neither afraid to pray nor to eat cake (though neither is compulsory) and there is much laughter! I want girls to enjoy being stretched and challenged in the classroom, not to be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them, but also be able to find and celebrate their own and others’ strengths outside the classroom. Creativity should be part of everything that happens and success appreciated in whatever form it comes. Most importantly fun and friendship are valued. A diversity of intake means that girls from different nationalities, and backgrounds (from royalty to 100% bursary)can make friends based on their own qualities, and understand how different perspectives and experiences are form an individual. I want every girl to find her own unique strengths and have the confidence and integrity to be herself and value her peers for who they are and what they contribute to the community.
What is the most important quality you want every child to have when they leave your school? And why?
Faith and reason. I know technically that is two, but they should be inseparable.
They help you to be confident in who you are, to think and act independently, based on informed opinions, but also be understanding and tolerant of those who do not share your views.
Please give 5 words to describe the ethos of your school.
Creative, joyful, aspirational, individual and ‘actions not words’.
This school is independently managed and its admission criteria may be selective. There is no set catchment area as pupils are admitted from a wide variety of postcodes and, in the case of boarding schools, from outside the UK. Contact the school directly or visit their website for more information on Admissions Policy and Procedures.
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