St Mary’s School, Cambridge appoints new head of juniors

Matthew O’Reilly to take the reins at Cambridgeshire girls’ school

St Mary’s School, Cambridge, the only independent all-girls school in Cambridgeshire, has appointed Matthew O’Reilly as its new Head of Juniors. Matthew takes over the reins from Christepher Hald, the outgoing Head of Juniors, to whom pupils and staff bade a very fond farewell at the end of the Spring Term. Christepher joined the school as Deputy Head in 2011, became Head of Juniors in 2012, and leaves the school to return north to Sheffield with his family, and to take up the position of Head of Juniors at Sheffield High School.

Having completed his teacher training at Homerton College, University of Cambridge, Matthew has been working at St Mary’s Junior School, Cambridge for the past five years. His 10 years’ experience in education includes a number of roles teaching Business English as a foreign language; currently, he is an Assistant Head at St Mary’s School, Cambridge.

Matthew has a strong interest in integrating technology into classroom teaching, and has also introduced a Development Education approach to the curriculum, whereby pupils gain a greater understanding of global inequalities, why they exist, their own situation in the world, and what can be done to improve (or develop) the situation. Learners of all ages are encouraged to explore the relationship between global issues and their own everyday lives. St Mary’s Junior School recently received praise for its unique Enrichment Programme, achieved Fairtrade and Eco-Schools status, and continues to fundraise for worthy causes such as Plan UK and CAFOD.

Matthew commented: “At our school we strive to sow seeds of discernment as early as possible, and to equip the girls with the age-appropriate knowledge and skills they will need to make better decisions for a just and sustainable world.

“St Mary’s School, Cambridge is a school which has a unique focus on ethos and on encouraging each individual to flourish, in whichever way they wish. It is truly the people who make our school such an inspirational and joy-filled place to work. I sincerely look forward to working more closely with colleagues – in the Junior School and across the Senior School and Sixth Form – as we ensure the girls’ transition through the school is seamless, and to seeing the school continue to thrive and develop its excellent education provision for all girls.”

Headmistress of St Mary’s School, Cambridge, Charlotte Avery, says: “I was delighted to appoint Mr O’Reilly to the role of Head of Juniors. His years of experience in tailoring academic, sporting, extra-curricular and pastoral provision to our girls’ needs will be invaluable as he leads the Junior School from strength to strength, having flourished under the conscientious and forward-thinking leadership of Mr Hald, to whom I offer heartfelt thanks for his dedication and commitment, and sincere best wishes for the future.

“Clear and conscientious leadership of a school is essential in ensuring its students are offered an excellent education experience, I look forward to Mr O’Reilly’s contributions as we welcome him to the school’s Senior Leadership Team. His commitment to the school’s ethos and traditions, which he also lives out in the classroom, the school community, and his daily life, will no doubt offer significant contributions to the school-wide academic and pastoral programmes.”

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