Edge Grove School welcomes Lisa McDonald as its first female head

McDonald takes up the role on the 20th anniversary of girls first being admitted to the Hertfordshire institution

The beginning of the new academic year finds Edge Grove School with Lisa McDonald at the helm, the first female head in the school’s 85-year history.

Appointed last November to succeed Ben Evans, she spent a number of months working alongside her predecessor in a comprehensive handover process.

“Edge Grove is a vibrant, happy and successful school that has thrived under Ben’s creative and forward-thinking leadership over the last eight years,” said McDonald. “As head, I am eager to ensure we sustain the momentum to ensure that Edge Grove strides boldly into its next phase of development.”

Glasgow-born and Cambridge-educated, McDonald was previously the deputy head of an international school in New York.

She takes up her new role on the 20th anniversary of girls first being admitted to Edge Grove.

She said: “The moment I visited the school and met the staff and pupils I felt a palpable sense of school spirit and community.

“The international environment has taught me the importance and value of diversity; both in approaches to teaching and learning, and through having a culturally diverse staff and student body that brings varied perspectives, new knowledge, different experiences and new ways of thinking.

I am committed to ensuring that pupil wellbeing remains at the core of all we do, because it is a prerequisite of academic success – Lisa McDonald, Edge Grove School

“Edge Grove embraces the cultural differences of all of its families, and pupils show a high level of respect for each other. In today’s world, it is vitally important that we play a part in fostering cultural awareness and ensuring that the values of open mindedness, kindness and respect continue to underpin our school community.”

The new head says she was also impressed by the school’s commitment to academic excellence, breadth of opportunity and pastoral care, the latter evidenced by the opening last October of a dedicated wellbeing centre.

“The International Baccalaureate framework gives children the opportunity to achieve the high standards and outcomes set by the national curriculum, but in a way that allows them to be creative, think critically and look beyond their immediate surroundings to develop a broad and open-minded perspective,” she said.

“Pastoral care is a huge strength of the school, and I am committed to ensuring that pupil wellbeing remains at the core of all we do, because it is a prerequisite of academic success.

“We must continue to strive for a broad, sharp and innovative curriculum, and fulfil our responsibility to teach, nurture, support and prepare our pupils for life, as well as the next stage of their education at senior school.”

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