News Archive

Summer 2013

GCSE Success

Many Mill Hill pupils have again secured some excellent results in this year’s GCSE examinations. The A*/A pass rate was over 51%, with 80% of exams being graded A*-B.

49 candidates achieved 6 A*/A grades or better, with 15 candidates securing 9 or more of the top two grades. Special congratulations go to Fifth Former Laminn McLay who has secured a prestigious Arkwright Scholarship for Design Technology.

2013 Arkwright Engineering Scholarships Press Release

“I am delighted that so many Mill Hill pupils acquitted themselves so well in their GCSE exams. We very much look forward to welcoming them and our new Sixth Form entrants as they embark upon their A level courses.”

Dr Dominic Luckett, Headmaster

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Excellent A Level Results

We are delighted to congratulate this year’s leavers on their outstanding A level results.

Our candidates achieved 82% A*-B grades, a new School record, including 44% A* and A grades. As a consequence of these excellent results, the most popular university destinations this year are: Nottingham, Bristol, Birmingham, Bath and Leeds. (View Mill Hill’s top ten University destinations this year ).

Just a few of our successful pupils and their destinations are shown below:

Alycia Bohannon (will be reading Computer Information Systems at Bath). Alycia has won an apprenticeship with Capgemini on their Higher Apprentice programme.

Jinxi Chen (will be reading Geography at Cambridge)

Jack Davison (will be reading Politics and Sociology at Sheffield)

Jessica Loizou (will be reading English at Bristol)

Osman Mirza (will be reading Medicine at Liverpool)

Jake Sachdev (will be reading War Studies at Birmingham)

Amy Welch (will be reading Modern Languages at Exeter)

“I am delighted that this impressive and talented group of young people have performed so superbly. To have secured such outstanding grades and places at Oxbridge and other leading universities is something of which they can be justifiably proud. I congratulate them all.”

Dr Dominic Luckett, Headmaster

Special congratulations go to Benedict Kearns on securing his place to read Music at King’s College Cambridge, with a Choral Award.

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New Head for Grimsdell in 2014

Mrs Kate Simon

We are delighted to announce that, following a rigorous selection process, the Court of Governors have appointed Mrs Kate Simon as Head of Grimsdell with effect from 1 September 2014. She will succeed Mrs Pauline Bennett-Mills who is retiring after a highly successful and distinguished career as the School’s founding Head.

Mrs Simon is a current Grimsdell parent. She read English Literature at University. Between 2002 and 2008 she was Head of Junior School at The Royal School, Hampstead, and since 2008 has been Head of Girls’ Upper School at Garden House School in Chelsea.

During the coming year, Mrs Simon will work closely with Mrs Bennett-Mills and other senior staff in order to get to know the School, its staff, pupils and parents before she formally takes up her post.

Whilst we will be very sorry to say goodbye to Mrs Bennett-Mills in a year’s time, we are very pleased to know that she will be succeeded by someone of such high calibre. Mrs Simon said of her appointment:

‘I am excited about working within the Mill Hill School Foundation community over the coming years and very much looking forward to getting to know the pupils, parents and staff even better during the handover period with Mrs Bennett-Mills.’

Dr Roger Chapman, Chairman of the Court of Governors, is greatly looking forward to working with Mrs Simon, adding that:

‘The Governors are delighted that Mrs Simon will succeed Mrs Bennett-Mills in a year’s time to continue her outstanding work as Head. They are confident that under her leadership Grimsdell will continue to go from strength to strength.’

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Mill Hill’s Sportsmen and Women Excel

For the second year running, our 1st XI cricketers have been crowned Middlesex County Champions beating St Benedict’s Ealing in the final. In other cricketing news the U15s made it to the finals of the Middlesex 20/20 Cup, and both India Whitty and Sophia Dunkley have been selected for the England Women’s Development Programme for U15s.

cricket team

On 2nd July, our U15 pairing of Mizuki Sakurai and Phoebe Dart won the Asbury Bailey Shield at the Independent Schools' Tennis Championships at Eton. The girls beat St George’s 6-0 6-2 in the final – a resounding victory and the first time our girls have ever reached this stage of the competition.

The Girls U15 Tennis Team (Mizuki Sakurai, Phoebe Dart, Sophie Tingle and Sophie Maihoefer) are Middlesex Champions, having competed in the Aegon Year 10 Schools Tennis Tournament. We started by playing three schools in our group where we had convincing wins over JFS (12-0) and Orleans Park (8-4). In a very competitive match against St Pauls, we just clinched the win through brilliant play by Mizuki and Sophie, having won the deciding championship tie-break 10-8.

This meant we progressed to the semi-final where we had success against St Helens, Northwood where we won 12-0. The final was played against St Pauls who we had previously narrowly beaten in our group stage. However, we all played more consistently this time, winning both of the doubles and three out of four of the singles, making us Middlesex champions. This has been a great achievement for everyone involved and we look forward to the regional stages of the competition which will commence in September.

tennis team

Our golfers have also had a very busy and successful fortnight winning the ISGA National Schools Plate Championships with 16 year old Rishi Khiroya being individual winner on the day. Priya Pankharia came second in the South of England Championships and this week became Middlesex U18 Ladies Champion.

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Overseas Partnerships News

All of our Partnerships groups have departed and are now working in either Tamil Nadu, Nicaragua or Zambia. The pupils are all settled in and glad to be working on their projects, the culmination of months of preparation and fundraising.

We have had a very busy few weeks of fundraising to support our three Overseas Partnerships. Supporting Tamil Nadu, we were delighted to welcome footballing legend Eric Cantona to Mill Hill. He presented prizes to pupils from Cedars House, the winners of the inter-House soccer tournament and then, in the evening, was interviewed on stage in The Large by Peter McDonough. Nearly 300 people bought tickets for the event and they were not disappointed by Cantona who was warm, engaging and hugely entertaining. As part of the fundraising on the evening, Peter Lawson auctioned a Cantona replica shirt for £1,000.

The Zambia Tag Rugby team were supported by another Mill Hill parent, Paul Young. Paul brought his band Los Pacaminos again to The Large for a TexMex Hoedown. The evening was a great success, in no small part to the auctioneering skills of Graeme Turner.

Fundraising activities were rounded off by the annual Fiesta for Nicaragua which was again a great success.

In total, the events raised nearly £20,000.

Update! News from Nicaragua

Today was awe inspiring. These children have absolutely nothing yet I didn’t see one child without the biggest grin on their faces. Happiness is contagious and my cheeks are suffering.

This morning we went around the market buying supplies for the day’s activities. The market was vibrant, every sense was on overload. Bright colours of silk and paint, pungent smells of hanging meat and the fast-flowing Spanish taking over our ears.

Then out came the sun and off came the t shirts. We all went up onto the roof for sunbathing and dancing all excited for the activities that lay ahead. Over lunch we split into two groups, each going to different centres in Nicaragua.

The main section of the day was the visit to the centre where we were inundated with hugs and joy. The activities consisted of cake decoration, ball games and arts and craft. The children’s disabilities ranged from being deaf to being paralysed with a few being mentally handicapped as well. However every single child was super keen to get involved in every activity and I can safely say I have never sweated so much in my life!

Seb Daly, Lower Sixth, McClure

Here’s the link to Seb’s blog.

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Art Success

David Somper’s art piece

Following on from one of the most impressive Art Exhibitions of recent years, we have just received exciting news of notable achievements by Mill Hill artists.

Wai Nam Chong is our first pupil to be accepted at the Bartlett, UCL School of Architecture.

Duncan Loudon, who left us last year, moves on from a Foundation Course at Kingston University to study Fine Art at Goldsmiths College.

Finally, David Somper has been accepted at Parsons School in New York to study Fine Art with a $10,000pa Dean’s Scholarship. An example of David’s work is shown here.

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Fiesta for Nicaragua

Each Summer since 2001, Sixth Form pupils from Mill Hill have been supporting Los Pipitos, a charity in Nicaragua that offers support for disabled children and their families. You can find out more about Los Pipitos here.

In aid of this we are holding a fundraising Fiesta with Music, Dancing and Tapas at Mill Hill School on Friday 14th June from 7.00pm.

Tickets are £15. If you wish to reserve tickets please contact Mr John Murphy (, stating your name and how many tickets you wish to reserve.

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Valedictory Service 2013

The recent Valedictory Service in the School Chapel is our cherished annual ceremony for pupils, parents, staff and governors where we give thanks for all that the Upper Sixth leavers have contributed to our School. The service provides an opportunity to say farewell as pupils leave with our prayers and best wishes. This is marked in most poignant way with every pupil’s name being read out by their Housemaster or Housemistress. The occasion was full of both sadness and excitement, but we recalled the words of TS Eliot that, “to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from”. In keeping with the school’s non-conformist foundation, the service was a creative blend of the ‘traditional’ and the ‘new’, with the pupils helping to design a service unique to them. So as well as singing the great traditional hymns – Jerusalem was a must! We also enjoyed wide-ranging musical and literary contributions from the pupils, including an amusing and emotional selection of memo ries of Mill Hill. The Chaplain finished his address with words written by the Senior Monitors themselves – aspirations and virtues which encapsulate the meaning of the school motto ‘Both Virtue and Learning’ and which we hope are the hallmark of all Millhillians. Indeed, they provide inspiration for us all.

  1. Do not be afraid to make mistakes: The virtue of Courage
  2. Do take every chance to be involved because these opportunities may never come round again: The virtue of Enthusiasm
  3. Do not be afraid to expand your friendships and open up to new people in your life: The virtue of Love
  4. Do work hard, as there is no gain without pain: The virtue of Endurance
  5. Do enjoy every moment, as far as possible: The virtue of Appreciation
  6. Do not be afraid of what other people think of you: The virtue of Self-belief
  7. Do turn a negative into a positive: The virtue of Optimism
  8. Do not let yourself or anyone else fool you into thinking you cannot reach your full potential: The virtue of Truth
  9. Do make necessary changes to enjoy life if you are unhappy: The virtue of Innovation
  10. Do live in such a way that you do not have any regrets – either for the things you do, or have not done: The virtue of Integrity
  11. Do not be defeated if you do not get what you first hoped for: The virtue of Determination
  12. Do nurture your talents: The virtue of Creativity

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Foundation Chapel Choir Launch Their First CD

The title Sing Joyfully could not be more appropriate for this inaugural recording of the Mill Hill Foundation Chapel Choir. Not only does the choir sing with immense joy, it also gives great joy to the whole school community by performing wonderful choral music each week, both in Belmont and Mill Hill Chapel services.

The formation of the choir has been one of the most exciting developments in the Foundation during the past three years, and it has quickly become established as a central part of our communal life. In addition to regular week-day services, the choir sings Choral Evensong during the year and performs at Mill Hill’s most significant school events including Foundation Day, the Remembrance Service, and most notably the Christmas Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. Beyond Mill Hill, the choir has a growing reputation, with engagements at national venues such as Westminster Central Hall and York Minster.

The words Sing Joyfully also have deep symbolic associations with a beautiful stained glass window in the Mill Hill School Chapel, where this CD was recorded. One of these windows depicts David, the king and musician who wrote many of the Psalms in which the words ‘sing joyfully’ appear on numerous occasions.

There is no doubt that the singing on this compilation will bring joy to all who listen.

To order your copy, please download the form and return to Mrs Diane Mills Music Dept. Secretary at Mill Hill School at or by post marked for her attention.

Rev Dr Richard Warden,
Mill Hill Foundation Chaplain

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Young Old Millhillians Going Places

Harry Melling Harry Melling

Harry Melling (McClure 2007)

On Friday night I had the great pleasure to watch Old Millhillian Harry Melling acting alongside the wonderful Simon Russell Beale in a revival of Harold Pinter’s dark comedy, The Hothouse. The farce-like production is set in a state-run sanatorium and investigates the issues of government control and state-approved torture. The play has had excellent reviews, with Henry Hitchens, writing in the Evening Standard, particularly praising Harry’s performance, saying, ‘Harry Melling is excellent’ and calling his performance ‘one of the production’s great pleasures’. The production runs until 3rd August.

Jack Weller (Weymouth 2011)

Jack who is studying Classics at Cambridge was recently awarded the Ridley Prize for undergraduates for knowledge of and devotion to music or Greek literature. Jack has also been awarded his half Blue for winning the Varsity at Eton Fives.

Joanna Batty Joanna Batty

Joanna Batty (Atkinson 2011)

Jo has recently won a silver for her Tango bottle design at the Starpack student awards. Starpack are working on behalf of Britvic to design a new Tango bottle for next year.

To view her design and for more details please visit their website.

Matthew Stubbs (Priestley 2005)

Matthew graduated from St Bartholomew's Hospital and the London/QMC with a triple first and the Principals Award for the highest academic achievement of his year; circa 400 students. He obtained an academic F1 position at London North Deanery (one of only 2 academic posts allocated in the year and the only one to a London deanery). He has just started his third F1 station, being anaesthetics at Barnet Hospital. He will then spend the following three stations at the Royal Free.

Peter McDonough (Deputy Head)

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A Storming Start to the Cricket Season

Saturday 11th May saw another amazing cricket day for the School with all our teams playing John Lyon either home or away. The 1st XI played superbly with a very disciplined batting display from Benedict Relf (83) and Will Harley (49) putting on over 100 for the second wicket. Mill Hill ended up with 161 off 35 overs. Although John Lyon were 70 for 1 at one stage, once the spinners came on the match changed dramatically and we bowled them out for 105 with Tom Harley taking 6 for 30.

The 2nd XI had a very dominant win away from home, winning by 7 wickets. The U14As won by 9 wickets and the 14Bs scored a very impressive 198 off 25 overs (Jamie Stewart unbeaten on 79).

The closest game however was the U15As. They won by 22 runs having scored 88 all out and bowled John Lyon out for 66.

This success comes off back-to-back wins against Latymer Upper, Highgate and UCS for most of our teams, the only exception being the U15B loss against Highgate on the first day of the season.

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Mill Hill School Combined Cadet Force Annual General Inspection

Captain Philp Wilson

The School’s Combined Cadet Force held its Annual General Inspection on Wednesday 1st May 2013.

The Reviewing Officer was Old Millhillian Captain Philip Wilson AAC (McClure 2003) who was welcomed to the School by the contingent’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Dominic Luckett. The Newcastle Drill Competition was judged by Warrant Officer (RSM) Fritz Albrecht. Due to the excellent weather, the parade took place as planned on the Quad with guests from both Mill Hill and Mill Hill County High Schools.

Turnout for the Newcastle Competition was high with 11 teams taking part. The Newcastle Shield was won by the Ridgeway House squad ably led by Cadet Joshua Jackson. This is a particularly significant achievement as the last time Ridgway won was 1962. Leading Hand Holly Gibbons was awarded best squad leader.

Newcastle Winners – Ridgeway House

Dr Dominic Luckett with the RAF Section

The final parade was of an impressive standard. Both the victorious Newcastle squad and the Corps of Drums delivered accurate and thoroughly entertaining marching displays and the Corps of Drums ended their musical performance with a superbly crisp routine. Captain Wilson was visibly impressed and warmly congratulated all the cadets upon their performance as he addressed the contingent at the end of the parade.

Afternoon activities were undertaken by the Army, Navy and RAF sections and included shooting, rope work, first aid, chart work, flight simulator, mast assembly, field craft, canoeing, skill at arms and Bosun rigging. The activities were mostly planned and conducted by cadets and all were delivered to a high standard.

In addition, a march and shoot competition took place involving nine teams. This comprised of a one mile lap of the School followed by a grouping shoot in the indoor range. The competition was thoroughly enjoyable for spectators and the effort delivered in the march and the standard of shooting by team members were commendable. The competition was won by the McClure House team closely followed by Murray and Ridgeway.

Best Cadet Holly Gibbons, School House and Newcastle Comp Winner Joshua Jackson, Ridgeway House

This year’s AGI was hugely successful and portrayed the Contingent in a very positive light. Such an excellent outcome would not have been possible without the support of those many parents and staff who helped ensure the delivery of such a high quality and rewarding event. We are extremely grateful to the cadets, staff and parents for their hard work and support, and to the inspection parties for their time, care and genuine interest in our contingent.

Major Anthony Norrington

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Charity Committee Trip to Capital FM

On Wednesday the 8th May, four members of the charity committee were invited into central London to visit Capital Radio to learn about the Help A Capital Child Project which is supported by the radio station. While enjoying some nibbles and looking out over a fantastic view of Nelson’s column from the 6th floor, we learnt about some of the amazing things that the charity does for some of the children with the most challenging lives in London, as well as meeting some of the children themselves. We were blown away by the drive that they had, as well as the immense pride that their parents showed for their children. To finish off we had the privilege of being shown around the Capital offices and were even lucky enough to see Greg Burns broadcasting his afternoon show! We all enjoyed ourselves immensely and thank both Capital Radio for inviting us, and Mrs Sanchez for choosing us to go along with her.

Mill Hill School Charity Committee

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Crick Dinner

Saturday 8th June 2013, 7:30pm
Mill Hill School

Old Millhillian, Francis Crick (Ridgeway, 1930-34) pictured, was a molecular biologist, physicist, and neuroscientist. He was one of the discoverers of the structure of DNA in 1953, following which he, James D. Watson and Maurice Wilkins were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

The inaugural Crick Dinner is to be the highlight of our celebration of Mill Hill’s most famous scientific alumnus and his contribution to scientific discovery. It will also highlight the investment the Mill Hill School Foundation is making in its science provision as demonstrated by the refurbishment of the Science Building at Mill Hill, a new building including state-of-the-art labs at Belmont, our Prep School, and the dedicated A Better Chance fund which supports a Sixth Former wanting to do medicine at university. Part of the ticket price will go towards this fund.

The main guest speaker at the dinner will be Professor Jim Smith FRS, Director of the National Institute for Medical Research. We will also be joined by other distinguished individuals with strong Crick connections.

Tickets are £70 per head. If you are interested in attending, please contact Karen Willetts on 020 8906 7865 or or complete and return the reply form.

We look forward to seeing you then.

Download the Crick Dinner 2013 reply card PDF

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Young Old Millhillian Wins National Prize

The School are delighted to announce that Ella Jakubowska (Cedars 2010) has recently been announced as Female Undergraduate of the Year (sponsored by Rolls Royce) at the 2013 TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year competition.

The winners were announced by Sir Trevor McDonald at a glittering ceremony in Canary Wharf, London. There were 1,100 applicants in this competition where students climbed mountains, set up businesses, won numerous other awards and raised thousands of pounds for charity.

The Undergraduates of the Year come from degree backgrounds ranging from anthropology to chemistry and from universities from Glasgow to Exeter.

Ella is studying English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds and at 18, she became one of the youngest organizers of Crisis at Christmas homeless shelters. She is a qualified RAF Lance Corporal and Non-Commissioned Officer and has volunteered as a drama co-ordinator for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and swimming teacher for children with autism.

Her prize is a ten-week paid summer placement with Rolls-Royce, an opportunity to shadow a senior female manager for a day, and an Apple iPad.

Ella is in the front row, third from left

Undergraduate of the year 2013 winners website.

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French Debating Competition

On Wednesday 20th March 2013 the French Department at Mill Hill School hosted its first inter-schools debating competition. Schools came from far and wide to take part in this inaugural event that we intend to keep going for quite some time. Our pupils had to debate some very complex ideas in French and faced some very stiff competition indeed. Our two pairs were Naomi Kendal and Thomas Levy as well as Omar Ahmed and Nikita Anosov. Whilst neither pair reached the semi-final, it is certainly worth noting their triumphant effort in the face of some very stiff competition. In the initial stages of the debate, our pupils had to debate France’s ecological policy in relation to the TGV and nuclear energy, the legalisation of Euthanasia as well as the EU being the scapegoat for the problems that we face in contemporary society. It was a marvellous opportunity for our students to use their linguistic capability in such manner and was testament to their commitment and academic rigour. The semi-final motion was about affording equal rights to homosexual couples whilst a very tense final between City of London Boys’ School and Haberdasher’s Boys’ School centred itself on the motion that London is no longer a symbol of or for Great Britain. The boys in the final were superb ambassadors for their schools and the quality of their arguments in combination with the quality of their French, made it a pleasure to watch. Finally, I would like to thank the pupils and staff that attended the event and I think it was an excellent venture.

Chris Lowe, Head of French

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Old Millhillians Feature on Royal Mail Stamps

Available to purchase now are stamps commemorating the life and achievements of two Old Millhillians.

Pioneer radio and television journalist Richard Dimbleby is featured as one of the Great Britons series.

Patrick Troughton appears as part of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary set.

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