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Reminder to Y13 parents that online Parents’ Evening is taking place this evening.


Day 6 in our advent countdown


Christmas is coming to Food Technology lessons next week, with the SJL Christmas Biscuit Competition for all years currently doing food rotation. Students look out for more information heading your way.


Retweeted From SJL Library

Many SJL students have already grabbed a Christmas read for the holidays from our display. We also have some new cosy festive romance fiction from , and as well as Whiteout - a collection of stories celebrating black teen love in winter.


Retweeted From Oxfam

Amazing! A huge well done and thank you to all involved! 💚✨ - Soph


You are warmly invited to attend our Post 16 Information Evening which takes place on Thursday 19 January 2023.  The information evening registration form should be completed by Monday 12 December 2022.


Tremendous thanks to the Oxfam Group and their fundraising with a bake sale and providing refreshments during the school play intervals last week. Well done to all the students involved.


Day 5 in our advent countdown


Day 4 in our advent countdown


Day 3 in our advent countdown


The second half did not disappoint. Fantastic performances throughout. Huge congratulations to all the students and staff who made it possible.


Superb 1st half performance of Romeo and Juliet.


Year 11: good luck to our Year 11 as they head off on study leave for their mock exams. "Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. " Og Mandino


This week's newsletter is out today...


Retweeted From SJLdrama

Friar Lawrence leads the chorus in Like A Prayer before marrying Romeo and Juliet on our second night


Day 2 in our advent countdown


Have You Met…? Immensely proud of the students who took part in today’s event, sharing their interests with staff and friends


Retweeted From RHS Campaign for School Gardening

Love these colourful decorations, what a great idea 💐


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

Absolutely amazing show! Congratulations to and all the students involved.


Well done to all entrants to this year's Christmas Card competition, there were stunning pieces of work with over 230 entries this year. We'll be sharing some of the excellent designs as go through our Christmas Advent countdown


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

Christmas decorations 🎄in progress!


Last remaining tickets available... tickets available on ParentPay


The stage is set, we cannot wait for this evening’s opening night of Romeo and Juliet


Parents’ Evening for Year 12 will take place on Thursday 12 January online via SchoolCloud. Further information about SchoolCloud and how to book your appointments will be sent home next week.


We are hiring! Join our caring and experienced teaching and support staff, apply now


Retweeted From Send My Friend

Campaign Champions from brought 222 dreams made my their fellow students to Parliament representing the of their friends across the🌏 asking to pledge £170 million to Education Cannot Wait 👉Read on to hear their message📚✨ 🧵1/5


Retweeted From John McLaverty

Young people at wrote 222 calls to action representing the 222 million children out of school because of conflict & emergencies. Today Evie & Anneka represent & are presenting them in Parliament & calling on UK Govt to pledge £170m for


Retweeted From John McLaverty

Anneka & Evie present 222 education dreams from Y8s to MPs & CSOs in Parliament and call for to pledge £170m to This was a massively impressive presentation which put all the cards on the table, as only youth can do


Despite the chillier weather, it is great to see so many students taking part in co-curricular activities in their lunch time


Proud of our students sharing their voice for others who can’t


Retweeted From SJL Library

Since we all loved sharing our favourite Pokémon last week, we've got some book suggestions for you, based on your starter!


Reminder to Y13 parents that booking for online Parents’ Evening closes tomorrow, 29 Nov at 6pm


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

Thanks for for an enjoyable morning of rugby 🏉


Retweeted From SJL PE Faculty

Friday Night preparations for Gym and Dance display well underway.


❄️ World Challenge Winter Fair ❄️ The World Challenge inspires our students to be global citizens, please do come along to support them and also purchase some Christmas gifts.


A warm welcome to Sophie & Ellie from Oxfam who are at SJL today to talk about the impact of global warming, adaptation & climate justice.


This week's newsletter is out today...


Retweeted From SJL 6th Form

Some of our year 12 students attended the St Albans Cathedral ‘Speak Your Mind’ Debate yesterday on the topic of ‘No Platforming & Freedom of Speech’. Speakers included Bim Afolami, Daisy Cooper and Claire Fox.


Year 7 reminder: absolute deadline for Year 7 photographs orders is tomorrow morning - all orders must be received by 8.40am Friday 25 November.


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

Exciting times ahead as we start our botanical art project, making eco friendly decorations. Our dried flowers were sorted ready for next weeks session when we’ll start decorating our Christmas templates.

Governor Profiles

A list of the relevant business and pecuniary interests for our Governing Body can be found here

Katy Wilmshurst

Katy Wilmshurst - Chair of Governors

I have been a governor at SJL since 2014, and was previously Vice Chair, safeguarding-linked governor and a member of the SET Admissions Committee. Before that, I was a governor at Manland Primary School, including five years as Chair.

I followed a music degree at Manchester University with a performance diploma at the Royal Northern College of Music and then started my career as a violinist and teacher in a variety of orchestras and settings. I have lived in Harpenden with my family since 2001 and currently work for the Hertfordshire Music Service as a violin teacher in a number of local schools as well as being head of Baldock Music Centre. I also freelance as a violinist.

Having had two children educated at SJL, I’ve seen close-up the outstanding teaching and opportunities on offer to its students and as Chair of the Governing Body I look forward to supporting the school’s future growth and development.

Libby Montgomery Jan2019

Libby Montgomery - Vice Chair of Governors

Having studied Medieval Italian and French and lived for a while in Italy, my professional background is in Marketing and Communications and I have worked in a wide range of industries from sports marketing to real estate investment management.  

I have previously held several positions on school Governing Bodies, having been Chair of Governors at Batford Nursery School for 9 years and an additional Governor at schools in St Albans.  I am currently also Vice Chair at Manland Primary School.  I served as a Strategic Leader of Governance for Herts for Learning, assisting other Governing Bodies to carry out self evaluation and work on strategies for improvement.  I find being in schools really interesting and stimulating and am proud to be part of the Governor community at SJL. 

I have a daughter at SJL and my son will be joining in September.  Outside of work, I assist our scout group with organising camps, taking care of all the equipment.  I am a keen squash player and regularly play for local and county teams, with varying degrees of success and now take longer to recover after a match than I ever did before!

Jocelyn photo

Jocelyn Angrave

Having studied French and European studies at University I went on to do a master’s course in the United States in Political Science.  There I met my husband and ever since we’ve lived in Harpenden.  I went on to have a career in international marketing and product development and in 2001 set up my own business. We have two sons, both of whom have left school and gone on to higher education.

I was first involved in supporting SJL in 2015 when I set up and initially chaired the Friends of SJL.  After that I was elected as a parent governor and have been the Governor link for various areas including curriculum, learning and inclusivity, and am  currently the Safeguarding Governor link.  I also have some involvement with the Scholars’ Education Trust by serving on two of its committees.

During this time, I’ve come to know SJL well.  It is a progressive and inclusive school which constantly strives to meet and exceed the highest standards in all areas reflected by the SJL ‘ACE’ - ‘Achievement Care Excellence’. I am delighted to be able to support it and its dedicated staff as a governor.

Christopher Armitage

I have been involved with the Governing body, on and off, for over thirty years as a Teacher Governor. I now serve as a Foundation Governor on behalf of the Harpenden Secondary Schools Trust. In that time I have seen our school transform from a school with a poor reputation to the outstanding school that we now all enjoy today. It is a pleasure to serve on a Governing Body that works very hard to support the Headteacher and her staff. I am currently the governor for Careers Education and Guidance.

Both my children were educated at Sir John Lawes. They are now both teachers so it must be in the blood!

During my time on the Governing body I have served on several committees, been involved in capital build projects, represented the Site team, involved in the bid for our first Specialism, worked in the working groups when we faced closure! So my role has been varied and most enjoyable. Long may that continue.

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Sarah Austin

I have lived in Harpenden for much of my life, having grown up in the town since age one and moving back here when my second child was born 12 years ago. I am fortunate to have attended SJL myself as a pupil all the way from year 7 to year 13 and had a fantastic experience at the school. I am now a parent of two boys at SJL in the lower school, and also work as Literacy catch-up tutor at the school one day a week. I am a trained Speech and Language Therapist having qualified from Sheffield university over 20 years ago. Having worked in the NHS for 10 years (mostly in Ealing, London), I now work independently around Harpenden and the local area with children of various ages with a range of Speech and Language difficulties. I am also a Makaton tutor and regularly run training for nurseries, schools and day centres in Makaton to help them support communication at their settings. I also worked for several years as a Registered Intermediary, supporting children and vulnerable witnesses with communication in the police interview and court processes. 

In my spare time I enjoy playing tennis, running and singing in a community choir, and I am a Sunday school leader at our local church. I am delighted to join the governing body of SJL. Being in the uniquely fortunate position of ex-pupil, parent and staff member, I’m looking forward to now serving as a parent governor at this progressive and inclusive wonderful school. 

L Gillot

Lyndsay Gillot

I have been Head of Music at Sir John Lawes School since September 2014 and am in my tenth year of teaching.  I am hugely committed to the school, its students, and its staff.  Through initiatives such as the staff music challenge and staff choir, and involvement in the wellbeing group, I have made a sustained commitment to the school community. 

I am passionate about my work, hard-working, enthusiastic and always willing to go above and beyond - with a smile!

Leila Guerra

Leila Guerra

I have worked in higher education for over 20 years and am currently Vice Dean (Education) at Imperial College Business School. I'm passionate about the power of achieving positive impact through education, empathy and global awareness. I'm also part of international educational Advisory Boards. I hope my experience in education can be of use to support SJL with their inspiring mission and was delighted to be appointed as a parent governor. 

I have 2 children, and my oldest has just started at SJL. Harpenden is our home, although I do have quite an international background having lived in 8 countries. Outside of work and school I love to travel and also being outdoors with the family. 

D hassall 1
David Hassall

I have a scientific background in biochemistry having obtained a PhD at the Royal Free Hospital, School of Medicine, University of London working on blood platelets.  Since then I have worked both in the academic and commercial environments in research and development during my career, including cardiovascular and respiratory based medicines.

I am a parent governor and have been for the last six years, working on various aspects of teaching and learning for the school curriculum committee  and more recently as chair of the schools specialisms committee for media and science. I am married with three children, two of which have since left Sir John Lawes for University.

Danielle heley
Danielle Heley

I thoroughly enjoy being part of the Sir John Lawes community and I'm privileged to be appointed staff governor. I commenced my teacher training at Sir John Lawes in September 2002 and was appointed as an English Teacher in September 2003.  In 2005 I became Head of Year, a post I held until I had my first child.  Since then, I have worked as an English Teacher on a part time basis and in September 2017 I was appointed as Literacy Co-ordinator.

I have 3 children all of which are now primary school age. Having served a term as Parent Governor at Crabtree Infants School, I look forward to building on my skills as Staff Governor at Sir John Lawes.

JRO governor

James Robertson

I was very pleased to be elected as a parent governor for SJL in 2021. I have two children at the school and have lived in Harpenden since 2014.

Professionally I have been a civil servant nearly my whole career, working in a variety of government departments in Whitehall and overseas. I currently work on youth policy - overseeing the government's support for teenagers outside of school, working closely with organisations such as Scouts, Girlguiding, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, UK Youth and the National Youth Agency. Our work is all about giving young people access to opportunities to develop themselves outside of school and to get them engaged in the issues that affect them.

I also have a particular interest in adolescent mental health issues and am involved with a Mexican charity that aims to break the inter-generational cycle of violence towards children.

I hope to bring these perspectives to bear in my role as a governor, and in particular to help strengthen the links between SJL and the wider community in Harpenden.

Mike Stevens

I have lived in Harpenden with my family for most of the last thirty years. With six children, I first became involved as a Parent Governor at a local primary school in 1999. After living in Berlin for 5 years, where I was an elected Parent class representative in my daughter's German primary school for a couple of years, I returned to Harpenden and was re-elected for a second term as a parent governor. When my youngest daughter transferred to SJL I took the opportunity to become an LEA Governor at another Primary school.

My older three children went to St Georges and the younger three to SJL - four of them are still studying at University. I am very excited to have been elected as a Parent Governor at SJL - the experience I have previously gained as Governor and from bringing up my own family will help me contribute to the work of the Governing body.

I have worked in the Public sector throughout my career. I am currently involved in developing Government Policy on Justice and Home Affairs issues.

What little "me time" I have, after my family, is spent involved in the local branch of the Institute of Advanced Motorists' motorcycle section. I am a keen biker - it is great for blowing away the cobwebs!

Ellie Butterworth - Head of School

I am beyond excited to be representing Sir John Lawes as Head of School this year, and I feel honoured to have been given this opportunity. I look forward to working with the Governors, students and staff to give back to a community that has made my school experience so enjoyable.

I am studying Maths, Biology and History at A-level and I hope to study Biology at university.

Growing up in SJL has been unforgettable due to the extensive extra-curricular activities that the school offers. I have taken part in every theatre production – a highlight being my role as stage manager in our performance of ‘Oliver’. SJL has allowed me to continuously challenge myself to develop both my confidence and leadership skills, including taking part in the ‘Youth Speaks’ competitions, running ‘History Mystery club’ as well as many campaigning activities.

Outside of school, I am an avid member of a local drama group and go to the theatre as often as I can. I am interested in politics, the environment and how we can bring about positive change.

I look forward to using my platform to raise awareness, represent the voices of all students and to the best of my ability continue to bring excellence to SJL. 

Harrison Whiting - Head of School

I am extremely proud to have been appointed as a Head of School at Sir John Lawes for the upcoming year. This has gifted me the opportunity to give back to such a talented and supportive school community, whilst working in tandem with governors, staff and students alike. Such a prospect extremely excites me and I can’t wait to see what we are able to achieve alongside the prefect team as a whole.

Currently I am studying English, Media and Politics at A-Level.  I hope to study Criminology at university.  As one of my subjects is taught at St Georges, I also have the role of politics consortium ambassador. Within school I have contributed extensively to the house system, acting as a Britten form rep on numerous occasions as well as House captain in year 12.

Outside of school I am actively involved in numerous sporting teams including cricket, as well as captaining a football team for several years. This coupled with my SJL experiences has developed my personal leadership skills.

Over the course of the next year, I look forward to using my platform to develop student voice in the SJL community and assist in developing the outstanding opportunities that SJL is able to offer.

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