Blog week ending 18th September

Posted on: 17/09/2020

This September we have welcomed a number of excellent new teaching staff; in time you will have the opportunity to meet them in person, but in the interim …

G2Mr Joel Clayton, Head of English.  “I joined Wilmington Grammar School for Girls in September 2020. Prior to this, I worked as Assistant Head of English and Head of IB English at Dartford Grammar School and oversaw the complete restructuring of the School’s IB Literature course, as well as implementing the literacy policy, which is now used school-wide. I am happiest when in the classroom, dissecting a poem and exploring its wider messages and themes. In addition to being a teacher of English, and enjoying trips to the theatre, I am also a qualified Duke of Edinburgh’s Award assessor for the Bronze and Silver levels. I am a keen player of racquet sports, particularly squash, and recently coached the KS4 Badminton team from my previous school to become Kent champions in 2019.”

Mr Preston, Teacher of English and Drama & Theatre Studies.  “In September 2020 I joined the English department at Wilmington Grammar School for Girls. I have been a teacher for five years, most recently at Dartford Grammar School. I left there in the summer of 2019 to go backpacking around the globe, and I managed to travel across Asia, Australasia, the USA, South America, and Europe during my sabbatical. I am very passionate about the study of literature, and there are few things I enjoy more than the introduction and analysis of an exciting range of texts. Before becoming a teacher, I worked briefly as a film journalist and, pending the outbreak of any pandemics, I can still be found in the cinema (when not in my classroom). As a former student of Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, I am very much looking forward to being back in the Trust and having the opportunity to pass on some of the valuable lessons I learned here as a student.”


Mrs Klaentschi, Teacher of Mathematics (including Finance) and Science.  “I have recently made a career change to teaching having spent over two decades in financial services where I worked in global banks including Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse not only in London, but also New York and Tokyo.  I am passionate about equipping our young people with the skills that they need to be successful in their working lives and am particularly interested in data science given the data driven world that we now live in.  Outside of work, I have a young family and we enjoy lots of outdoor adventures, discovering many local bike rides during lockdown.  For those odd moments I get to myself, I enjoy recreational maths doing number and pattern puzzles.”


Mrs Pickstone, Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages.  “I have been a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages for the past seven years. I am a native Mandarin speaker and am passionate about teaching my home language. I believe every pupil is capable of learning other languages and are motivated and driven by their own successes and accomplishments in a consistent learning environment. In my spare time I enjoy reading books and playing the piano.” 



I am delighted to share the news that Miss Dooley and Mr Atkins have been promoted to the senior leadership team and have taken on responsibility for key areas as well as making a valuable contribution to school-wide planning and development. 

G7Mr Atkins, Associate Head Teacher – Teaching & Learning.  “I joined WGSG in September 2005 as a newly qualified teacher as part of the History department. Since then I have had roles in the school such as gifted and talented coordinator and Head of History.  I was appointed Associate Assistant Head Teacher with responsibility for Teaching and Learning in April 2020. After teaching at the school for so long, I have a real passion for making students that attend WGSG the brilliant scholars and citizens that they have the potential to be – often challenging them to get into the ‘struggle zone’ to push themselves to achieve highly. I look forward to driving further innovations in Teaching and Learning in partnership with Mrs Dhaliwal. Outside of school, much of my time is taken up with entertaining my 6-year-old twin boys, which involves Karate, Beavers, Rugby and other activities to wear them out! When I do get a moment to myself, I like nothing better than watching my favourite sports teams, Southampton FC and the New Orleans Saints.”

G8Miss Dooley, Associate Head Teacher – Operations.  “I have worked at WGSG for 21 years.  During this time, I have had a variety of roles in the school such as Head of Mathematics, Head of Technology, ITT Professional Tutor and NQT induction mentor.  I have worked with the SSAT as a STEM Careers Lead Practitioner, enabling me to gain a national perspective of the STEM agenda.  I have also worked as a Mathematics SLE.  I was appointed Associate Assistant Head Teacher (Operations) in April 2020.  This new role includes responsibility for writing the whole school timetable.  Out of school I enjoy an annual skiing holiday and wish I could go more often!  This year I have taken up paddle boarding and kayaking and am looking forward to the opportunity to get out onto the water more in the future.”

Our Year 10 GCSE Food Technology students have commenced their practical lessons, with a tutorial in the preparation and filleting of a sea bream!  All learning stations and equipment were thoroughly cleaned prior to and following the lesson.



WG6 Chemistry students are investigating reaction rates.  In this practical lesson students measured the rate of reaction between calcium carbonate and hydrochloric acid to create data that will enable them to calculate Arrhenius equation in future lessons.



Y11 Expectations Evening 24TH September.  This will be a virtual event which will be shared by video. A letter regarding the Expectations Evening and other information was sent via email.  The letter can be viewed on our website under Correspondence here  .

Virtual Open Evening for Year 6 students 19th October.  We have planned a virtual Open Day for prospective students and their families.  A bespoke video will be filmed to provide all potential new families with a feel for our school and a clear sense of Wilmington Grammar School for Girls values and ethos together with a tour and spotlight on individual departments.

As we are all only too aware, our students’ GCSE and A level examination process was severely impacted as a consequence of COVID.  However, in spite of the obstacles and uncertainty, the results days gave cause for great celebrations for our students and their teachers.  Regardless of individual grades, I would like to pay tribute to all of our students, as their outstanding attitude, focus and commitment during this time has been most impressive.

Our excellent results received coverage across local papers and online, an example of each is included below.

WG6 students pictured; Freya Young (photographer) Lori Squirrell (bottom right) and Jonathon Bateman (left page, top right)




Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS) Emergency Assistance have asked us to raise awareness of some additional funding that has been received from central government to support households that are experiencing financial crisis as a direct result of covid-19.

“KCC’s Kent Support and Assistance Service is administering requests for support from the new Emergency Assistance Grant, which can support those struggling to buy food and other essential items. While this fund is limited, we know that there are support services out there that will continue to support and advise Kent residents longer term.

Whether you know someone who is struggling to provide food and essential items for their family, or if you’re worried about the health, welfare or safety of someone you know – you will find the support lines you need to share with that loved one and help them keep safe and well.”

Please click here for further information.


Best wishes,


Michelle Lawson

Head Teacher



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