Welcome from Jo Duncan

Wycombe Abbey Headmistress with pupils


Welcome back to the final term of the year; I hope that you were able to have a restful break over the Easter holidays. There is a palpable feeling of excitement about being back at School and, despite some ongoing restrictions and the absence of public examinations, it seems that there is a sense of normality which has been absent throughout the past 12 months.

As shared in Wycombe Abbey 125 – Strategic Direction 2020-2025, our vision is to be a world class school at the forefront of girls’ boarding education. I have never made any secret of the fact that I am an advocate of single-sex education and its positive impact. I believe strongly in Wycombe Abbey’s ambition to nurture and develop the female leaders of tomorrow. There is a great deal of research to demonstrate that girls benefit from single-sex environments where there are no expectations that they should fulfil traditional gender stereotypes in the subjects they study, the activities they participate in or the careers they pursue. At Wycombe Abbey, we challenge pupils to break any perceived stereotypes and to consider any career they wish. We have large numbers of pupils going on to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics at excellent universities across the globe. According to the Girls’ Schools Association, girls at single sex schools are 75% more likely to take mathematics A level, two and a half times as likely to take physics and over twice as likely to take languages. Wycombe Abbey pupils are free to pursue academic excellence in any area they choose. There are some further, interesting quick facts on the benefits of attending a girls’ school from The Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia here.

Pupils at Wycombe Abbey have access to all of the leadership positions, every role in School drama productions and musicals and every instrument in the School bands and orchestras. We encourage the girls to participate, lead, compete and take risks; to learn those skills that will aid them not just at School, but in life. Later in this Bulletin you will find an introductory video from our new Head Girl Team, in it they share their passions as well as their ideas for building on all that already exists at Wycombe to make it even stronger.

At Wycombe Abbey, especially at this time following the national lockdowns, we are paying close attention to the wellbeing of our pupils; pastoral care is at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to equipping our girls with skills to manage challenges and difficulties positively and to build resilience. If your daughter requires additional support please do get in touch with her Housemistress, Mr Jones (Deputy Head, Pupils), Mrs Fawkes (Director of Safeguarding and Pupil Welfare) or with me. We are all here to help.

Best wishes

Jo Duncan MA (St Andrews), PGCE (Cantab)