The Mount School, York
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|Motto||Fidelis in Parvo
("Faithfulness in small things")
|Type||Independent day and boarding school|
|DfE URN||121726 Tables|
The Mount School is a Quaker independent day and boarding school in York, England, for girls aged 11–18. It was founded in 1785. Its junior school is The Mount Junior School, and it has a preschool department for girls and boys aged 2 to 7. There are two or three forms in Year 7 to 11 and College (Sixth Form). There are about 9 to 21 girls in each form. Each form has a head of form and year.
The school was founded by Yorkshire Quakers in 1785 in Trinity Lane, moving to Castlegate in 1831 and to its current premises on Dalton Terrace in 1857.
The current headmistress is Julie Lodrick. The school motto is Fidelis in Parvo, meaning "faithfulness in small things". The school is a member of the Girls' Schools Association, the Independent Schools Council and is listed in the Good Schools Guide.
The school has a range of after school activities including creative writing, debating, music, art, jewellery making, textiles, forest school and sporting activities. Pupils also remain to complete their homework.
After activities girls may stay for supper. Boarders are separated into School House and College House, for the College years. Girls are able to stay for one night a week up to every night of the term. There are many boarding activities and traditions upheld by the boarding department including the Christmas 'Carols on the Stairs' and 'Tea Party with the Elderly'.
The Mount School has many long standing traditions throughout the school year. These range from 'Games in the Dark' at Bonfire Night, where Year 11 girls arrange a treasure hunt style challenge for the younger girls, and some older, to take part in whilst parents arrive at the school for fireworks later in the evening. College girls present three events to the school, one at the end of each term. Firstly the College I Pantomime, then the College II Talent Show and finally the Leavers' Play. The Leavers' Play is presented to the school at Leavers' Supper, usually the final Thursday of the year. The new head girls present the old head girls with flowers and College II present the school with a gift, previous years including an award in memory of a teacher and a digital photo frame to show pictures of student trips.
The school holds an end of term meeting both at Christmas and in the summer.
Between these meetings is Family Day. This a usually during mid May and is the main fund-raising event of the year. The school body selects two charities to support each year, one based in the UK and one overseas. The students, sometimes staff, speak about potential charities during Morning Meeting before all students vote for which to support. Family Day is an opportunity for every year to run a stall to raise money, whilst music and drama group offer entertainment. Other activity groups run stalls to raise awareness for the work of organisations such as Amnesty International and Eco-Schools Eco Committee, which in 2011 won the Green Flag award for the school. This represents the highest achievement for an eco-friendly school.
The Foundation Meeting, or Speech Day, summarises the year and introduces the new head girl team. Awards and Scholarships are presented to students from every year group, including Grade 8 Music and Drama awards. Each leaver in College II writes a few sentences about their time at the Mount and their future plans, these are read out as they receive a necklace of the Mount Rose as a leaving gift.
The Mount School has for many years been acknowledged as one of the top independent girls' schools in the United Kingdom. In The Times League Table, the school is ranked 2nd by A-level results in the York area. In the Yorkshire Post, the school was ranked top of an A-level results table for Yorkshire.
Academically the school maintains traditional values and has developed ‘pillars of excellence’ in several subject areas: music, sports, art, drama and foreign languages.
In 2006, a 100% pass rate in A Level was recorded across the academic subjects. Over 33% of the year group gained three or more A grades, and four students were credited with 5 grade As, with three girls securing their places at the University of Cambridge in the following academic year. At GCSE level, 100% of pupils achieved a good GCSE grade in seven or more subjects. Five students gained one of the top five marks in the country in various subjects.
The sporting facilities are 16 acres (65,000 m2) of pitches, an indoor heated swimming pool, a sports hall, and a gymnasium. Girls may opt for activities such as orienteering and fencing. Every year has compulsory P.E. lessons for sports including netball, hockey and swimming in the winter and rounders, tennis and athletics in the summer. College girls are able to choose from a wider variety of sports including lacrosse and using the fitness suite.
Every year has a team for hockey, netball, tennis, rounders and swimming. These teams compete with other schools in the city and county. The school also has teams for athletics competitions and cross country races.
The Mount has an entire block dedicated to Music. Annual concerts include recitals for small groups and soloists. There are teachers available for most instruments and an opportunity for students to join a variety of music activities. Ensembles include Senior and Junior Orchestra and Senior and Junior Choir. There is also a Wind group and Swing Band for woodwind and brass instruments. The school's auditioned choir, Singing Group, is invited to sing at several events outside the school including events held at York Minster.
Drama is an active part in school life as there is usually a whole school play and a College Play every year. Girls are encouraged to be an active part of all roles for these plays including backstage and lighting, front of house and of course the acting itself. The College play is yet another tradition at The Mount. Girls from College II select a play of their choice to direct, produce and organise costumes and sets. Usually girls in the senior years are chosen for parts and teacher input is kept to an advisory role. Previous years have performed Alice, The History Boys and Accrington Pals. The Drama department presents 'I See A Voice' every term, enabling the current Drama students, both academic and extra-curiccular, to showcase their exam pieces to the students and parents.
In 2012, the school became the first in England to introduce the PeaceJam Foundation's Ambassadors programme into the school curriculum, as opposed to as an after school club or extra curricular activity.
The Mount Junior School, including the preschool department, has one of York's few Forest Schools, which is onsite.
Notable former pupils
- Dame Judi Dench, actress
- Rose Neill, BBC Broadcaster
- Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, astrophysicist
- Laura Sayers, Radio 1 producer
- Dame A. S. Byatt, author
- Dame Margaret Drabble, author
- Kate Bellingham BBC technology presenter and engineer
- Anna Walker, BBC Tomorrow's World and Sky presenter
- Kathy Killick, BBC Look North politics presenter
- Kathleen Tillotson, literary scholar
- Mary Ure, actress
- Hilary Wainwright, feminist and Guardian writer
- Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman, former Conservative MP
- Isobel Barnett, radio and television personality
- Elfrida Vipont, children's author
- Jean Henderson, lawyer and Liberal Party politician
- Rachel Howard, contemporary artist
- Cheryl Taylor, controller of CBBC 
Notes and references
- Sturge, H. W. & Clark, T. The Mount School. York, 1785 to 1931. (Pub. 1931).
- Smith, M. F. & Waller, E. A. The Mount School. York, 1857 to 1957. (Pub. 1957).
- The Mount OSA. A register of old scholars, 1931-1932. (Pub. 1932).
- The Mount School Annual reports (annual lists of pupils 1919-1940).
- Old York Scholars Association Annual reports, 1887-1901. OSA Annual reports. (Pub. 1890).
- Sheils, S. (2007) Among Friends, The Story of The Mount School, York. London: James & James.
- The Mount School Official Site
- The Mount Junior School Official Site
- Profile on the ISC website
- Profile at MyDaughter
- Mount Old Scholars Association