Malvern St James Girls' School Forces Families

Forces Family


Mr and Mrs Williams - Daughters Year 8 and Year 9

"Upon reaching a decision point for an extended ‘second’ career in the Army, as a family we recognised that opting for boarding school for our two daughters would be a critical enabler. A future move was inconveniently forecast to coincide with our eldest starting GCSE’s. My wife has also worked in defence, so her employment can usually synchronise with mine.

Due to a previous overseas posting we were unable to visit potential schools and rationalise our choices when selecting a ‘forever’ school. Our eldest daughter started at an extremely large local comprehensive school in Year 7 on our return to UK. Our collective experience of this setting has since, only galvanised our decision of why we opted for boarding in the independent school sector, specifically MSJ. 

We chose MSJ primarily due to a glowing recommendation from family friends who are also a fellow military family. Moreover, the single setting at MSJ suited our girls, where other schools we shortlisted had geographically separate prep and secondary settings, which for our eldest felt like a step back having already completed Year 7 in a regular secondary. Additionally, separation of the sisters was something else that would only add unnecessary worry.

Our daughters are both soon to complete their second year boarding at MSJ, 7 & 8, 8 & 9 respectively, and we highly commend the entire team for making the girls feel at home!  If it was dealing with those early homesickness woes, to managing the inevitable occasional fallout between girls amicably, right through to the outstanding level of tuition that also continued faultlessly during the pandemic.  The latter saw a full MS Teams timetable of education executed within days of the first lockdown utilised both at home and centralised in a boarding house ‘bubble’. The girls dipped in and out of boarding as my operational commitments dictated if I was unable to work from home, all only possible with the support of MSJ.

Opportunities at MSJ? Well, I don’t even know where to begin and just too varied and wide in scope to list here, the MSJ ethos of developing young women in all areas not just academically is certainly evidentEven during the pandemic with MSJ participating in numerous extra-curricular digital events too, some globally. Our youngest daughter was a nationalist finalist in TeenTech awards with the project and prizegiving all completed virtually.

Both girls now view MSJ as their home, as we are inevitably about to be assigned somewhere new again, for us with wider family support nearby, it really completes the package. The sporting opportunities, extra-curricular activity and the caring, loving nature of the boarding houses all set in the fantastic surroundings of the Malvern Hills really makes MSJ the independent boarding school of choice. In summary, the academic and boarding provision at MSJ completely alleviates most if not all of the concerns and worries of what it is to be a military family!"