20 December 2020
We are delighted to announce that Mrs Joanne Christian has been appointed as Head of St Mary’s Junior School, Cambridge, starting in post in September 2021.
In our school, our pupils embrace learning, discover their talents and explore how to make a positive contribution to society. Currently catering to girls aged 4-18, the school will be opening a Preschool in September 2021, which will expand our existing provision to provide an exceptional education for girls from the ages of 3-18.
Mrs Christian will take over leadership from Mr Matthew O’Reilly, who is leaving St Mary’s after 10 years with us, to take up the headship of Stamford Junior School. During his time at St Mary’s, Mr O’Reilly has contributed to helping the school gain ‘World Class’ status as a High Performance Learning school and has, more recently, co-led our digital strategy. This was a role which really came to the fore when the pandemic hit and, under his leadership, he ensured we made a seamless transition to online learning so that our pupils continued to receive a full education, and an exceptional digital provision, in highly unusual circumstances.
Of her new appointment, Mrs Christian said: “I am delighted to have been asked to lead the Junior School at St Mary’s, Cambridge, where the girls are at the heart of everything we do. Each girl in our school is unique, something to be celebrated, and I look forward to working together with our families and teachers, in this welcoming and nurturing environment, to enable all girls to flourish, and develop the attributes and skills for the next chapter of their educational career.”
Mrs Christian originally hails from Lancashire, where she attended an independent Christian girls’ school. She has a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham, where she also achieved a PGCE in Physics. She has taught in several different (and outstanding) secondary, primary, special needs and independent schools, and most recently she has been at Bedford Preparatory School for the last 13 years. In this time her roles have included Head of Academic Support (SENDCo), Head of Enrichment, Head of Academic Improvement and most recently Assistant Headteacher (Academic, Teaching and Learning).
Mr O’Reilly commented: “I have really enjoyed my time at St Mary’s. The decade I have spent here has been full of so many memorable moments that I will cherish, from our annual charity Fun Run to the inspirational ‘Festival of Ideas’ I introduced here two years ago. I relished the challenge of introducing High Performance Learning to the Junior School during my headship, as well as the challenge of leading the school through the lockdown earlier this year. I warmly welcome Mrs Christian to her new role at the Junior School; I am sure she will continue to inspire the girls and ensure that the Junior School has a very bright future.”