The MSJ Bursary Fund Founders’ Awards
A donation to the Founders’ Awards contributes to a transformational experience for talented girls who couldn’t be at Malvern St James without financial assistance.
A Founders’ Award is the School’s most prestigious scholarship, currently available to the Sixth Form only. The scholarship comes with a means-tested bursary, which can go above the usual 40% cap. With more funding, it is hoped that we can increase the level of fee remission awarded to Founders’ scholars, ultimately up to 100% or even 110%. We would also like to introduce the Awards in the Senior School. Please see more information in the £2m Campaign for Fully Funded Bursary Places section.
Girls who receive this award are expected to show all-round excellence in academic achievement, as well as a very significant contribution to extra-curricular school life and student leadership.
The Founders’ Awards are so-called in recognition of the founding schools that make up Malvern St James. As well as the generic Founders’ Awards, there are specific Founders’ Awards in the names of Malvern Girls’ College, St James’s School and The Abbey School, should Old Girls of one of the founding schools wish to donate within these named awards. Bursaries can also be specifically named in honour of pupils or staff associated with the schools.
Have a look at our short video from Founders’ Awards scholars, and the impact it has had on them.
In the video below, you will see a Q&A with Mr Bernard Taylor, MSJ family and donor to the school's first 100% funded bursary place. Mr Taylor discusses the motivation behind making a contribution to Bursaries at MSJ.
Thank you to everyone who has already donated to this ongoing project.
Read below about how your gifts have impacted our girls.
Jess is the Year 12 Founders’ Award holder for 2022. She is studying Biology, Geography and Music at A Level. She participates fully in musical life at MSJ, being an accomplished musician on piano, which she has played since the age of 4. Jess has performed at the Cheltenham Festival and is now about to sit Grade 8. Her second instrument is clarinet, for which she is working on Grade 7. She is a member of the MSJ orchestra, and also sings as part of the Choir and the Senior Vocal Ensemble.
Scarlett joins MSJ from The Chase School in Malvern, a maintained sector comprehensive school. She is studying History, English and Business and is doing an EPQ investigating whether social media algorithms and presentation lead to dependent or addictive behaviours. She is also a member of MSJ’s Young Enterprise team – the national competitive scheme which encourages pupils to think entrepreneurially and to hone business skills.
Next year she will run the MSJ Business Club and she is looking forward to being able to participate in in-person Model United Nations events shortly. (Model United Nations is an inter-school debating forum run along the lines of the real United Nations). She wants to study Business at university and works in the evenings and at weekends at a local independent restaurant where she sees business in action.
Our two Year 13s are on countdown to their A Levels: Marnie is studying Economics, Geography and Spanish; and Lexie, Drama, Psychology and Classical Civilisation.
Both have completed the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), Lexie’s on ‘How does the Criminal Justice System Treat Individuals with Mental Illness’ and Marnie’s on ‘The Process of Setting Up A Small Food Business’.
Lexie is aiming to study Law at Cardiff next year, whilst Marnie will take a gap year before applying for Business Economics. We don’t like to pigeonhole MSJ girls, but if we had to, in this case Marnie would be “the sports expert”, being our Sports Prefect and in the first teams for Lacrosse, Netball and Hockey; whilst Lexie would be “the Arts expert”, being heavily involved with Drama, Choir, Vocal Ensemble and singing/musical theatre. Of course, they are both multi-dimensional, but sport and expressive arts respectively are where their passions lie.Lexie, Marnie and Scarlett.
Both have been involved with community projects whilst at MSJ. Lexie, as Deputy Head Girl, led the Prefect team in their mission to contribute something meaningful to the problem of Period Poverty in our local area. Over 5,000 products were donated by MSJ girls to the Bishop Perowne School in Worcester. Lexie has also been part of a community project working with care homes in Malvern. Covid meant the girls were unable to visit in person, but she was part of a team making Christmas cards for residents, and creating Christmas gift boxes for Malvern Special Families.
Marnie has led on our fundraising for Sports Relief, as well as volunteering for the Colwall and Malvern Hockey Club as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award – she is now working towards completing gold level
Three girls – Emily, Freya and Ruby - were been awarded the prestigious Founders’ Award scholarship in 2019 to mark all-round academic and extra-curricular achievement, as well as contribution to leadership and wider School life.
This year’s Founders’ Awards scholars all entered the Sixth Form in September 2019 having achieved excellent GCSE grades. The Award has allowed each of them to stay at MSJ, rather than having to move to local maintained schools.
For Freya, studying French, Spanish, English Literature and Computer Science for A Level would not have been possible at her local school. At MSJ, a more bespoke curriculum means that girls get a wider choice of subjects and can have a more unusual mix. For Ruby and Emily, leaving MSJ would have meant going to a large local Sixth Form, many times the size of MSJ, where both feel that they would have not had the scope to aim for leadership positions or be known and nurtured as individuals. It would also have meant going into a co-ed environment. As Emily says, “A Levels really matter and the statistics show that girls focus and perform better in an all-girls environment.” Freya also comments that in STEM subjects she has really enjoyed being pushed and challenged – “nobody here ever thinks of those subjects as ‘boys’ subjects’.” Emily is studying Biology, Computer Science, Maths and Drama whilst Ruby’s choice is Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Music.
The girls comment on the extra-curricular opportunities that MSJ offers, and this has been critical to all three of them who have very strong interests and talents in Music and Drama, two areas in which independent education excels. Ruby is a Grade 8 singer, pianist and oboist and runs the Ukuladies – MSJ’s very own ukulele ensemble; and all three girls get involved in the MSJ productions and Model United Nations debating.
What do they all agree on about MSJ? “It’s given us confidence, it’s brought out our potential and nurtured our abilities and skills. It’s brought out the best in us.”
Meanwhile, Genevieve, who received the Award last year, will start her degree in Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge University this autumn and Lara, an Award winner in 2017, is now in her second year at Cardiff reading Medicine. Coco and Chloe, who were the first recipients in 2016, are now in their third years reading Physics at Leeds and Engineering at Imperial respectively.
We thank everyone who has contributed to the Founders’ Awards, including those who have pledged legacies, given single gifts and regular gifts, as well as those parents of Year 13 Leavers who have returned their School deposits. Your generosity helps makes this possible.
First published in the OGA News Magazine 2019.
Genevieve Manning is the 2018 Year 12 student who has been given the Founders’ Award.
After excelling in her GCSEs, Genevieve (Vivi) is now studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths at A Level as well as Music AS Level. Her aim is to study Veterinary Sciences at Cambridge.
Whilst Vivi is academically focussed, she has fully embraced life at MSJ and, thanks to her Founders’ Award bursary, is now able to flexi-board. She credits this with allowing her to take part in diverse extra-curricular activities and to balance her academic work and hobbies. She is second soprano in the choir and a Grade 8 piano player, and has performed Evensong at Tewkesbury Abbey and taken part in the Armed Man concert at Worcester Cathedral. She plays in the 1st Lacrosse and Netball teams, and is a talented rider, co-captaining the school’s team. She competes in dressage, show jumping and arena eventing for MSJ and has made it to the National Championships at Addington every year. Her mother runs a livery yard and so her weekends and evenings are often spent at the stables brushing and tacking up, and mucking out.
She’ll be brushing up on her leadership skills next year, too, as it has just been announced that she will be Deputy Head Girl for 2019-20.
Vivi has wanted to be a vet since she was very young. During the holidays, she has been gaining valuable experience on farms near to her home, where she helps with the lambing season.
“My parents have made sacrifices for me to be here at MSJ. I think that it has been worth it, especially with all the different extra-curricular activities I do and the GCSE results I achieved. The main goal now is to study veterinary medicine at university. My parents have done everything they can to make sure that I have the best chance at it, and the school has supported me brilliantly. I have been so fortunate to have been helped with day fees through my academic and riding scholarships, and now with the Founders’ Awards, which has allowed me to board. I couldn’t have been a MSJ pupil without this assistance. I would like to say a massive thank you to all of the alumnae, the Old Girls’ Association, and everyone in the MSJ community who has donated. You have made a massive difference to my educational journey.”
First published in the OGA News Magazine 2018.
Holly Harvey (left) and Lara Maylor-Wrout (right) are this year’s Year 12 students who have been given a Founders’ Award, the school’s most prestigious scholarship. The Founders’ programme was launched in 2015 to recognise talent and to give opportunities to girls who couldn’t be at MSJ, or participate as fully, without bursary assistance.
Holly is studying Biology, Chemistry and English Literature at A Level and is undertaking an Extended Project Qualification, for which she is producing a children’s book.
Holly, from Gloucestershire, is a weekly boarder at MSJ and participates fully in all that the school has to offer her. She is in the Lacrosse 1st team, and the Netball 2nd team, and outside of school she is a proficient sailor who has competed in national regattas. She is now aiming to get her instructor qualification.
She participates in the educational ‘top table’ activity of Model United Nations, where debating and critical thinking skills are tested in an environment that mimics the United Nations proper. Students represent countries in topical debates on anything from economics and aid programmes to ecological conservation. Some debates are planned and researched; others are off-the-cuff. Both provide great experience.
Holly is a Senior Vocalist, is in the Chamber Choir, and plays piano. She has leadership roles in the Prep department and at Hatfield House, and is an ‘ambassador’ for the Old Girls’ Association and Model United Nations.
Lara Maylor-Wrout is also involved with Model United Nations and Choir and is an Expressive Arts ambassador for Daring, one of the school ships. She is a Music Scholar and a chorister at Worcester Cathedral, and has performed at Buckingham Palace. Lara’s ambition is to study Medicine. She is studying Biology, Chemistry, Maths and English Literature for A Level and her EPQ is about the future and ethics of genetic screening, and whether it will lead to genetic cleansing, with a focus on Downs Syndrome.
Lara joined MSJ for Sixth Form from Gloucester High School for Girls, a maintained-sector school. She feels that already she is reaping the rewards of an independent education. “Because of my ambition to be a doctor, and to study at Oxford, I wanted good support and opportunities to give myself the best possible chance. There are so many more enrichment activities here. I am a founder of FemSoc (The Feminist Society), and a member of the Medical Society, Debating and MUN.”
“Before, the cut-off for the school day was 3.30pm, and being here and being able to stay later has really helped. I can access the Library and teachers when I need to. There are more leadership roles here and as a keen singer, I’ve enjoyed the many opportunities for public performance, such as Evensong at Tewkesbury Abbey.”
“MSJ is like a smaller version of university. You are given independence to work to your own schedule and on your own initiative, but all the while knowing that the support network of teachers and House staff is there for you. I feel that I am benefitting from more personal attention and this different approach to higher learning.”
Holly agrees. “I am really enjoying Sixth Form, the greater responsibilities, independence and freedom. I am making the most of the drop-in sessions run by teachers and supported prep time to help my academic studies, but I’m also doing loads of other things which are useful and I really enjoy. When I came to MSJ, I was really shy. The opportunities that I have had here have built my confidence, and now I am not fazed by public speaking.”
“Both of us feel very privileged to have been given a Founders’ Award, and to be role models for younger girls at MSJ. We have worked hard and the academic recognition and the bursary support makes a real difference.”
2019 update: Holly and Lara will be taking their A Levels this Summer. Lara, who joined in Sixth Form, is holding an offer to study Medicine at Cardiff, whilst Holly is taking a gap year before applying to study English Literature at university in 2020.
First published in the OGA News Magazine 2017.
The Old Girls’ Association and individual Old Girls have contributed significantly to bursary funding over the years, which has enabled MSJ to help deserving students and their families by way of fee remissions and financial assistance for appropriate academic enrichment activities.
The Founders’ Awards are a new bursary initiative, launched in 2015. The Award is actually a scholarship – the School’s most prestigious; recognising academic excellence, extracurricular commitment and community leadership. This scholarship is awarded in conjunction with a means-tested bursary and, unlike any other scholarship the School offers, it has an open fee remission, meaning it can exceed the usual maximum 40% cap. The Awards are specifically targeted at the Sixth Form, although we hope, in time, to extend them to the Senior School (Years 7-11). The School will launch a fundraising appeal very soon to increase the number of awards we can make to bright and talented girls.
Girls apply for the Award in Year 11. Some applicants are girls who are currently at school elsewhere and wish to come to MSJ for the Sixth Form, whilst others are at MSJ already, but either need financial assistance to complete Sixth Form, or who would benefit from becoming boarders rather than day girls. The latter allows them more access to the School’s facilities in the evenings and at weekends, and brings them the full boarding school experience, encouraging independence, and characteristic ‘grit and determination’.
The first Founders’ Awards were bestowed at Prizegiving in Summer 2016, to two exceptional students, Chloe Parker and Coco Chernel, who moved into Sixth Form in September.
Coco Chernel is studying Maths, Physics and Geography for A Level and is undertaking an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) where she is developing a toy to enhance the cognitive development of 9-18 month olds. She is involved with the school Charities Committee, writes for the students’ magazine, The Chronicle, plays lacrosse for the County, is a STEM Club mentor (helping younger girls with their projects), is about to complete her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, participates in Model United Nations, and is currently working on her Speech & Drama Grade 8.
Before receiving her Founders’ Award, Coco was a Day Girl. She says, “My Award has allowed me to become a boarder and this means that my work ethic has gone through the roof. The environment has really helped me focus on my grades, but also socially I have made friends with so many more girls in my boarding house. I’m thinking about my future, and my plan is to study Engineering at Bristol or one of the top Russell Group universities. I have always been interested in the way things work and how we can improve upon them. Ultimately, I think I would like to specialise in Aeronautical or Aerospace engineering.”
Chloe, too, has benefited from boarding as a result of her Founders’ Award. She says, “I’m really enjoying Sixth Form so much more because boarding allows me the opportunity to be far more sociable, to enjoy more evening events such as lectures or the ability to stay in the DT Lab till late, as well as really getting involved with boarding house life.” Chloe is studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Product Design and working on her EPQ which involves making a Victorian dress. Looking ahead, she intends to study Physics at University and she is interested in specialising in nuclear physics at a later stage. “Everyone in my Maths class is a boarder, and discussions about our curriculum and extension work often goes on in the house, so it’s great to be a part of that. Our Physics teacher also lives in the house (he is the husband of Housemistress Ms Pardoe) so he regularly helps out with some of our bigger scientific problems. He has also brought in Oxford tutors to help us practise interview questions. It has all been really useful, and brings another dimension to our learning.”
Chloe is the youngest MSJ student to receive her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. She is also part of the Charities Committee, a Subject Mentor for Design & Technology, a mentor for the Junior STEM Club, and plays lacrosse and netball.
We are very grateful to everyone who has already contributed to the Founders’ Awards. Gifts of all sizes are gratefully received, and all have an impact. Our ability to give amazing opportunities to amazing girls is dependent on your generosity. Please help us create transformational experiences for more girls now and in the future.
2019 update: Chloe has completed her first year at Oxford University studying Engineering Science; after much deliberation, she has decided to transfer to Imperial College London to read Mechanical Engineering starting in September. Coco has enjoyed her first year at the University of Leeds studying Physics. Coco also represents the university lacrosse team. She says, “It is a stimulating and engaging course which challenges me to explore concepts in further detail than ever before. I am hoping my degree will provide a strong foundation for a career in renewable energy, a subject which I am extremely passionate about.”