Events & Reunions

            

FOUNDATION DAY 2018 

Sunday 23 September

On Sunday 23rd September 2018, over 150 members of the St. Catherine's Association gathered to celebrate the school's birthday. The afternoon consisted of a chapel service, tours of the school and an amazing behind the scenes talk from Mr Philip Friend about his experience as a contestant on Britain's Best Home Cook.

This was followed by afternoon tea where we enjoyed some birthday cake and delicious canapés made by Mr Friend. 

Foundation Day : A recipe for a celebration

Philip Friend, Senior Maths Teacher at St Catherine’s School, Bramley, and finalist on the BBC’s Britain’s Best Home Cook 2018, was the keynote speaker at the School’s Foundation Day.  To celebrate its opening on 25th September 1885, guests were invited to a special service in the School’s own Chapel and a birthday afternoon tea.

Regaling the 150-strong audience with tales from behind the scenes, Philip talked about his choice of dishes and Claudia Winkleman’s mischievous interventions and revealed that the food was cold by the time we saw the judges tasting the dishes.  He showed clips from the show and ended with a demonstration of how to create simple canapés, which he had created so memorably on the TV Show.  Samples of these were enjoyed with a cream tea afterwards.  With tours of the School and a dip into the School’s archives, members of the St Catherine’s Association had a recipe for a very enjoyable afternoon.

It was a lovely atmosphere, service and fab speech and canapés. I brought my parents this afternoon and my Dad has just text me to say that he was struck once again by the ‘joy’ of St Cat’s!

Past Events

Boarding Sleepover!

Saturday 7th- Sunday 8th April 2018

In April, we welcomed back 47 alumnae from 1980-2015 for a last chance to sleep in their Sixth Form rooms before we pull down The Unit and the Barbara Platt (BP) to make way for a new three storey Sixth Form building.

Masha Alieva (1999) writes: When I learned that the school was organising a boarding sleepover, I knew I had to go. Despite the dates not matching my son’s Easter holidays, and disputes in Russia, I found myself booking a red eye flight to England for one night in the place I spent 8 years of my life. Was it worth it? Absolutely.  

Upon arrival we found St Cat’s goodie bags and sweets waiting for us on our beds, which made us feel so welcome, whilst a delicious cream tea with teachers gave us a chance to catch up with Miss Youens and Mrs Silver. As a keen squash player, the highlight of my trip was seeing the remarkable 

Mrs Blake, who appears not to have aged a day since we left in 1999!  We all missed Miss Garcia (now Mrs McQuade), as sadly she was not able to attend the event, but she thoughtfully sent us a sweet video message. Then, we wandered around the school admiring the incredible new classroom and sports facilities, and even shed a tear outside Symes; how long ago was that?! 

Before the candlelit Compline service, we happily joined the choir and had a quick, but fun rehearsal. We sang as if we had never left.  We remembered every word by heart. I even recorded the service on my phone to take the beautiful memories back home. After Chapel, we explored Keller and Bronte, bursting into every room full of nostalgic stories from the past. 
We still knew every little corner; I could walk around with my eyes closed. In the evening, we all enjoyed pizza and wine back in the sixth form common room. It was lovely to catch up with the staff and to meet older girls and hear their stories. This event was incredible and totally surreal. Whether we considered 

St Catherine’s our home or not, this is where we grew up, where we met our friends for life and this is where we became who we are today.

Alumnae Carols by Candlelight, December 2017

It was wonderful to welcome over 80 alumnae back to St Catherine's for mulled wine, mince pies and a hearty dose of carol singing!  There was much laughter and fun in the 'Aquarium' before the service as recent 2017 leavers caught up with friends and news of University life and a real buzz as past and current parents, staff and alumnae from the 1960's all mixed and shared memories of St Catherine's life.  Once the candles were finally lit we all enjoyed those Christmas carols that received the most votes and the warm and special atmosphere of Chapel by candlelight.  This event has grown year on year and we look forward to filling Chapel again next year.

Hong Kong Reception, October 2017

Over 70 of the Association Community in HK gathered at the Regal Hotel for a joyous and noisy Reception!  Past and current parents, alumnae and some current girls on Half Term, enjoyed meeting each other, swapping tales of School life, updating each other on their careers all whilst sampling a delicious buffet. Mr Albert Alonzo, Governor, Mrs Alice Phillips, Headmistress and Ms Pippa Carte, Development Director were thrilled to receive such a welcome and to have the opportunity to meet so many of the community.  The event was an opportunity to share with the HK community the School’s exciting plans to 'Create the Future' at St Catherine's.  For those that were unable to attend you can view a video here of the speeches.  We had alumnae from 1972 to 2015 at the event and the year groups of 2006-2009 made it a reason to gather with over 8 of their number!  The hours flew by, and there are many photographs which you can view here.  Our grateful thanks go to Mrs Andrea Chan and Mrs Susanna Mok for their support.

Beijing Reception, October 2017

The Association Community in China were invited to join Ms Carte, Development Director for drinks at the Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing. Parents gathered and news of School was shared and the girls interest areas discussed and potential careers explored.   A parent WeChat group was formed on the night to connect the St Catherine’s community in China!  If you missed the Reception and would like to be included, do email pippa.carte@stcatherines.info  A photograph of the reception gathering can be viewed here.  Ms Carte also received a very warm welcome from a number of families in Beijing during her visit and she is most grateful for the hospitality of the St Ctherine's communi

2002 15 year reunion 

On Saturday we welcomed back 10, Year of 2002, alumnae celebrating their 15th anniversary. The event was coordinated by Jo Adams (Martin) and she brought along her 6 week old baby daughter.

The event started with a glass of bubbly and the girls looking through various items from the archive. In particular there was much laughter at both their U3 mug shots in houses and their sixth form photos. Even in 15 years they could not believe their hair styles and clothes!

After a tour of the school through their old classrooms and a long time in front of the wall of tiles outside the front office, until everyone could find the tile they had made to mark the millennium, they enjoyed a moment of peace in the chapel – which now has cushions!! Before ending the tour looking at their house boards and checking that there were still toilets at the end of the long run.

It was then off to either the home economics room for a baking lesson with Mr Friend or a game of badminton with Mrs Folley.

The afternoon finished with a delicious cream tea in the dining room. 

 

Golden Girls' Reunion - Leavers of the 1940s & 1950s

Friday 23rd June 2017

On Friday 23rd June we were absolutely delighted to be joined by 82 alumnae of the 40s and 50s who came from Italy and the four corners of the UK for this very special reunion. 

View the videos from the day of happy School memories here and memories of boarding here.

We began the day with a Chapel service where we celebrated the long connection the ladies have with the school. Mrs Zena Skinner (1944) and Miranda Greenway (nee Johnston) (1960) read the lessons and 3 current pupils from L6 and L4 gave a wonderful music concert on the piano and violin.

A delicious lunch was enjoyed by all in the gym, followed by a walk around an interesting display of photos and memorabilia from the School archives.  We were delighted that many of the girls had brought photos and reports from their days at School to the reunion, so these could be scanned and added to the archives. 

The ladies enjoyed being shown around the School by current pupils, visiting old haunts including School Block and boarding, as well as the new Anniversary Halls and Speech Hall Library.   We were also very pleased to capture some of their memories on video, as they toured the School.  All these stories really help to bring the School’s history to life.
Any ladies who were unable to make the reunion are most welcome to come and visit the School.  Do get in touch so we can arrange a visit with you.  

Dawn Pilkington, Association Director either on 01483 899751, email: association@stcatherines.info