St Peter's 13-18
We celebrated International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March with a special online event, in conversation with the first five girls to be educated at St Peter’s School.
The event was broadcast live on Zoom, and was hosted by Head Master Jeremy Walker and Old Peterite Victoria Inness, who left St Peter’s School in 1990 and was the first female Head of School.
Jeremy and Victoria were joined virtually by Sue Miller (née Elston), Louise Denison (née Stansfield), Louise Morales (née Adams), Nicky Goodwin (née Jesper) and Zoe Jones (née Jackson), the first five girls who joined St Peter’s for the Sixth Form in 1976.
They spoke about their first day at St Peter’s, the warm welcome they received from other pupils, society’s changing expectations, their subsequent careers, and their happy memories of St Peter’s School.
Speaking of their first day at school, Zoe Jones said “we all remember singing the first hymn, because our voices were so much higher than everyone else’s”, whilst Sue Miller remembers that “it was very daunting, walking into a school of boys.”
Louise Morales recalled: “We were on show, we were in the limelight, we were really conspicuous, we were really standing out.”
Louise M also reflected on the opportunity to study at St Peter’s School: “It was a great opportunity, and it’s only now that we realise how lucky we were to be able to do it... St Peter’s has a sense of history that is so wonderful, and we were so privileged to be able to study there... St Peter’s gives you the foundation for a fulfilling life.”
The women also answered questions from the audience, including why they wanted to come to St Peter’s School, what surprised them the most, how they think they will be remembered, what advice they would give their 17-year-old selves, and what message would they give pupils on International Women’s Day.
Louise Denison said: “Enjoy school, seize every opportunity, and if it takes you outside of your comfort zone just go for it!”
Jeremy Walker, Head Master of St Peter’s School, commented on how the five women had blazed a trail for girls joining St Peter’s. He said: ‘It can’t have been easy, but it is quite astonishing to look back and consider that you were the ones who opened the doors for all those generations of girls and women who followed you... You were the pioneers but now there is a great sense of legacy and history of girls being at the school.”
Today, St Peter’s School is fully co-educational and provides an outstanding day and boarding education for girls and boys aged 2-18. From just 5 girls in 1976, St Peter’s now educates over 500 girls!
The event was recorded and is now available on the St Peter’s School YouTube channel.