Dear parents, students and all in the community of Mougins School,
Whether you are returning to Mougins, or joining the school for the first time, I wish you a very warm
welcome to the new academic year. All the team here is very much looking forward to seeing you, after
what I hope has been a happy, safe and relaxing summer.
It is an unusual and challenging time to be taking over a school, but on a personal level I have been very
touched by the numerous emails and calls I have had from parents welcoming me and wishing me well.
Thank you so much. Equally, the warmth, kindness, professionalism and optimism of colleagues has been
really uplifting. Whatever the year brings, we will do our utmost to give your children the very best
education we can, and we will be a strong, resolute and caring community.
Uppermost on all our minds, of course, is the safest possible return of students and staff in the context of
the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. I write more fully on our plans and precautions in the appendix at the end
of this letter. Before I do, I would like to share with you quite a bit of happier news.
Summer 2020 examinations results at A-level and IGCSE
No one involved in the education of GCSE and A-level students can have missed the debate, government
U-turns and untidiness of this year’s ‘Centre-Assessed Grade’ approach to the award of examination results,
nor be insensitive to the disorienting stress it inflicted on students (and their teachers and parents.) Good
sense and fair play finally prevailed, with the Examination Boards ultimately accepting the grades which
teachers, who know their students best, originally submitted, without algorithmic interference. And despite
unusually demanding and stressful circumstances created by lockdown and remote teaching and learning,
the 2019-20 examination results of Mougins School students were really impressive.
The results, as always, are not definitive until the end of the appeals process (late October), but here are
some provisional headlines.
At A-level, out of a total of 108 examinations sat, 51% were graded A/A, 78% graded A – B, 91% A* – C
and the pass rate (A* – E) was 99%.
At IGCSE, which is either graded on a scale of 9 – 1 or A* – E (where 9 and 8 are equivalent to A, 7 to an A, 6/5 to a high/low B and 4 to a C), 208 separate examinations were taken, of which 47% were graded A/A,
67% A* – B, and 87 % A* – C.
These are very strong results indeed, and are testament to the hard work and commitment of students and
teachers. Very many congratulations to all on a huge achievement in such difficult circumstances.
Jane Ayerst, who succeeds Jamie Beckwith as Head of Sixth Form, and I have been working hard to support
(former) Form 13 students with their University applications, and the range of University courses Mougins
students have enrolled in is impressive. Once we have comprehensive final details we will publish
destinations on the website.
Finally, for those who didn’t get the grade they were hoping for, there is the opportunity for resits. I
encourage students to register for them with our exams officer, Ms Lois Downes, via Subject Leaders, very
promptly. We will do all that we possibly can, of course, to support students retaking.
Teaching staff news
Perhaps it is unsurprising in an International School, given the context, that we have said goodbye to a
slightly greater number of staff than usual. I am delighted, however, to welcome a very strong group of new
colleagues, whom I list below.
Emma Griffiths took her BA in Education, with a Masters in Special Needs at the University of Wales. Emma
will head up the Learning Support Department across the whole school. Further details about Emma’s role
Early Years and Primary
Having taken her first degree at ISCOM, Toulouse, with an HND in events Management, the lure of the
classroom proved too strong for Zoé Bennett , who joins as Nursery assistant. Carys Coverdale took her
honours degree in Primary Education at Trinity College Carmarthen, and joins as the Form 1 teacher. Daisy
Petrequin , who read for her Bachelor’s degree at Oxford Brookes and completed her PGCE (Post-Graduate
Certificate of Education – Primary) at Buckingham University, is looking after Form 4a. Jade Fineman took
her first degree at Southampton Solent, and her PGCE (Primary) at Bath Spa University. She joins Mougins
to teach Form 5b. Hannah Larsen read for her first degree at Oxford Brookes, with her PGCE in Education
with English Literacy specialism at the Institute of Education (University College London). She will be Form
6a’s form teacher. Sally King read Geography at King’s College, London and studied for her PGCE in Primary
Education at Brighton University. She will be teaching Form 6b. And Dulcie Kellner joins Mougins School to
teach Primary Music. Dulcie read Music at the University of Liverpool, followed by a PGCE at Liverpool Hope
Jeanette Dawson has an Honours degree in Business Studies from the University of Humberside and
Lincolnshire with a PGCE from the University of Hull, and joins (unsurprisingly!) to teach Business Studies.
Faye Gossedge graduated with a Master’s degree in Music from the Academy of Music, Krakow, and
completed her QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) at Durham University. Faye joins Mougins Secondary as Head
of Music. Elizabeth Hernandez Freites read Modern Languages at the Metropolitana University of
Venezuela, and for a Master’s in Foreign Language Didactics from the University of Sophia Antipolis. Finally,
Kate Ryder joins the English Department. Kate read for her MA in English Literature with the Open
University and her PGCE (Secondary English) at the University of Plymouth.
All new colleagues (including myself) arrived a week ago, and have been settling in and learning the
Mougins systems. We are all very much looking forward to the new year.
The Senior Leadership Team
After a tortuous return to his home in New Zealand, brought about by Covid restrictions, Glen Horsfall took
the tough decision not to return to Europe for the new school year, and he leaves with our understanding
and best wishes. I have been in touch with him and am pleased that I will be covering much of his role as
Head of Secondary – which is my area of expertise – along with Headship of the whole School. Christine
Bearman continues as Head of Primary, as does Patricia Moon as Head of Early Years/Foundation Stage. I
have already mentioned that Jane Ayerst becomes Head of Sixth Form, with a particular focus on Sixth
Form Study Skills and University Support. I am delighted, too, that Robert Cooke joins the SLT as Designated
Safeguarding Lead and Head of Pastoral Care. The SLT has been meeting frequently, by Zoom and latterly
together in person, to prepare for the new year, and I am pleased that it is a strong, cohesive group,
committed to the success and wellbeing of students, the support of the teaching and operational staff, and
to the evolution of the school. I will write later on in the term of the development of the executive of the
I thought parents would like to know that in the Continuing Professional Development week, just before
the beginning of term, teaching colleagues have engaged in a range of training. There has been a
presentation on Safeguarding and Student Welfare (following the re-issue of the UK’s statutory guidance,
Keeping Children Safe in Education ). We have had breakout discussions and plenaries on what we have
learnt from remote teaching, and how we will take our knowledge forward to put it to good use. We have
also completed online training on bullying, inclusion and discrimination and e-safety. We have also drafted
an inclusion/anti-discrimination policy which is being finalised by the SLT and which we will publish on the
In other staff news
Before the professionals have ridden the course, our very own David Derham has just completed the entire
Tour de France circuit by bike, raising money for charity. Huge congratulations to David! We will post on the