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SGGS Student Leadership

In this week’s blog, we introduce the new Stratford Girls’ Grammar School Head Girl, Juliet, who explains what this responsibility means to her. We also congratulate Charlotte, our previous Head Girl, and reflect on her unique achievements over the past year.

Firstly, introducing Juliet...

My journey at SGGS started in Year 7 and I’m now thoroughly enjoying Sixth Form and studying my A-Levels in French, German and History. I feel lucky that I love all of my subjects, something which should be at least partly credited to the extraordinary quality of teaching at SGGS. It’s inspiring to be in an environment that celebrates learning and makes this so central to core values. I’m very proud to have recently been elected Head Girl.


Proud moments

Aside from academic achievements, some of my proudest moments at SGGS have involved pushing myself out of my comfort zone – something we are regularly encouraged to do.  I’m especially proud of taking part in the Model UN Conference in November. On paper, it was quite an intimidating event, but by throwing myself into it, I know that I gained hugely from the experience. Looking back, I’m grateful I was encouraged to take this on, as the confidence it afforded me particularly in terms of leadership and communication skills has given me assurance for the year ahead. This is quite an intense example though; I’m also proud to have contributed in so many small ways to amazing projects and events, like being part of the ensemble in the school drama production.


Head Girl Ambitions

Applying for the role of Head Girl was the culmination of my rewarding experiences as a student, the pride I have to be a part of this community, and my developing sense of service and engagement. Although it feels surreal to be in this position because I’ve looked up to so many previous Head Girls, it’s a privilege to be able to support the school in this way. I’m excited to be taking on this role at a time when we can start looking forward to some sort of school life after the pandemic. Reaffirming our strengths and what makes our community special will be important, although it must be said that our sense of community has survived school closure incredibly well. I hope to continue and build on the work of the outgoing Head Girl Team, endeavouring to ensure I represent student voice effectively and to bring a positive mindset to all aspects of the role. I think my resilience and sense of humour also prepare me well for the challenges ahead.

I know that I speak for the rest of the Head Girl Team (Ananya and Jasmine) as well when I say we can’t wait to see what the coming year holds! 

Ananya Ryali
Deputy Head Girl

Juliet Donajgrodzki
Head Girl

Jasmine Simon
Deputy Head Girl



Over to Charlotte...

I am very proud to have been Head Girl over the last year, although no one predicted what 2020 would bring! It taught me a lot about thinking outside the box and problem solving, not getting upset about what we couldn’t do and instead focussing on what we could achieve, always responding to the situation at hand.


Standout moments

One highlight for me was being able to coordinate and plan Year 7 welcome meetings, enabling us to greet new arrivals to the school in a socially distanced and safe way. If we had stayed fixed on the idea that everything was unmanageable then no events like these would have taken place. A lot of my experiences being Head Girl have been online, taking up the role in April 2020 mid lockdown. Being someone who was not the most comfortable or confident with technology, making videos was a challenge but a great learning experience for me and a skill that I will take into the future. Being Head Girl affirmed to me that I can rise to the challenge and meet what happens with a smile on my face, even in times of uncertainty.

I am so lucky to have had an incredible team beside me in Hanna and Ananya. They have both been wonderfully supportive and we have built each other up in what has been a complicated and challenging year. 2020 was not easy for anyone but I am so proud of what our school and every student contributed to keeping us safe. The community, whilst being physically apart, has come together in a different way: achieving our goals, showing our strength as a group and in the support of others.


Handing over the reins

It is a bittersweet feeling coming to the end of my tenure as Head Girl, but I feel so excited about what the new team will bring, having taken part in the interview stages. I know that they are going to do a fantastic job. Juliet is going to be a Head Girl to be proud of - I can’t wait to hear the success stories to come!


Finally, a message from SGGS Headteacher, Jacqueline Cornell …

Congratulations to the previous Head Girl team who have risen to the challenge and performed incredibly during the most unique time period any Head Girl team has ever faced.

Looking to the future, we are very excited to be working with our new Head Girl Team. This was a tough field and all of the candidates did phenomenally well. They all demonstrated their potential individually. I am also looking forward to seeing some of those who were not successful appearing in other leadership roles by the end of this process.