After six years as Principal of The Mount, Adrienne Richmond intends at Christmas 2021 to retire from the teaching profession after 33 years, and as the school’s 19th Principal since 1831 when the school moved to Castlegate. The school moved to its current location in 1857.
During her six years with the UK’s only all-girl Quaker School, Adrienne has made an immense contribution to the development of the School, helping to define and position the value of girls-only education. Adrienne has been integral to ensuring that the School is rigorous in its approach to educational quality and safeguarding issues. In November 2018, the School was rated excellent, the highest-grade attainable, following an Independent School Inspection.
Adrienne has steered the School with exceptional agility through the unforeseen challenges posed by Covid-19. This included enormous upheaval caused by the cancellation of public examinations and the introduction of Centre Assessed Grades. The School’s excellent A-Level and GCSE exam results last year were a tribute and testament to all the hard work of Adrienne and her team in managing that process and supporting students.
Whilst we are understandably sad to see her leave, The Mount School wishes Adrienne Richmond all the best for the next stage of her life, returning to her family and home in Newcastle. The Mount School’s Governing Committee will now lead the recruitment process to identify the 20th Principal of The Mount School York. The Mount is a truly special school, and we are confident we will attract another exceptional leader to take us to our next stage of development.
Like many schools and businesses across the world The Mount adapted to a new way of working and living with the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout both lockdowns the high-quality education provided to girls remained the School’s highest priority. Teaching staff and the School’s Leadership Team pulled together to provide Remote Learning whilst remaining open for children of Key Workers. The Mount has been using specialist devices and educational software for teaching for seven years and teachers were able to quickly adapt their teaching to provide continuity in learning at home for girls of all ages. The high-quality provision provided for girls has continued to attract new pupils with girls joining throughout the last year across the Senior School and Junior School.
We were delighted to welcome back all our pupils as soon as we were allowed. At The Mount we are very fortunate to have a spacious campus with large classrooms, dedicated study areas and ample outdoor space. Social distancing has been effectively implemented across the site, no bubbles have been required to isolate and we successfully passed a spot check Health and Safety Executive Inspection in October 2020. Girls are provided with a safe and secure environment for them to continue their education with very little disruption. We continue to teach our full bespoke curriculum, from Early Years to Sixth Form. We still offer music and drama lessons, sport and games, extra-curricular activities, and our unique Global Thinking programme. Through these opportunities girls continue their personal development, learn new skills, challenge themselves, build confidence and have fun!
The Boarding community at The Mount and across UK boarding Schools, have predictably been impacted by the travel restrictions in place, with many girls not being able to return to School. Staff have stepped up to continue providing our high-quality education provision for those girls, leading to lessons taking place not just in School but around the world! Mount Staff have virtually visited many countries including Hong Kong, Thailand, Nigeria and China to promote the School and recruit new boarders for September 2021. The Boarding House is currently undergoing a refurbishment with bedrooms being decorated and updated ready to welcome back international and weekly UK boarders in September.
Throughout the pandemic The Mount School has continued to drive forward its strategic plan. This has enabled the School to invest in our sports facilities for both the School and the wider York community. Last Summer the Netball courts were resurfaced, and new flood lights fitted. The courts are not only being enjoyed by Mount girls, in April we announced an exciting partnership with the UK’s newest Netball Academy, Elite Netball, offering an exciting new programme for Mount girls and local netballers of all abilities.
All of this has been made possible by Adrienne Richmond’s steady leadership of this truly extraordinary school.