Earlier in the term a representative from Age UK had attended a school assembly to discuss the charity’s main goals, and what it does on a daily basis. Everyone was keen to raise money that will help make the lives of the elderly more comfortable.
The theme for the day was ‘Back in Time’, with all children paying a minimum of £2.00 to dress up in the clothes many of the Age UK Merton elderly would have worn in their school days. The day not only raised money for Age UK but was also an opportunity to reflect on the school ‘Back in Time’.
All girls assembled in the School Hall where history merged with today, and we learnt that Mrs Nangle, one of our PE staff, was one of three generations that attended Ursuline Preparatory School, either as a pupil and / or staff. During Mrs Nangle’s 35 years of association with the school our Ursuline Sister, Sister Dorothy, has been ever present.
Sister Dorothy, then known as Sister Brendan, joined Ursuline Prep in 1981 as Headmistress. Katie Nangle, nee Redwood, joined Ursuline Prep under Sister Brendan’s Headship at the age of five, enjoying her early education at 18 The Downs before moving across the road to the Ursuline High School, only to return years later as a teacher.
But the link gets stronger. Katie’s mother, Mrs Redwood, joined Sister Brendan’s staff in the late 80s, working for 17 years at Ursuline Prep, including being Head of Pre Prep. In 2008, Isabel Nangle, Katie Nangle’s daughter and Mrs Redwood’s grand-daughter, joined Nursery and, like her mother, stayed throughout her Prep years before progressing to the Ursuline High School.
Sister Dorothy and Mrs Redwood presented at today's assembly. They challenged the girls to imagine school life with only the old house and school hall, when the Pre-Prep classrooms were the playground. That seemed an easier task than to imagine their classrooms with no whiteboards, no computers, no laptops. To give the children a taste of life without these modern day technologies the rest of the morning was spent in traditional Maths, English and PE lessons, a far cry from last week’s Robotic and Coding workshops! Our older girls spent time with the younger ones enjoying a variety of old fashioned games, including pick up sticks, Jacks, Happy Families and Ludo. The finale of the morning brought the school together once again recreating a former Country Dance Festival outside on the Astroturf. A cake and second hand uniform sale added to the monies raising just over £500 for Age Uk Merton.
Mrs Nangle, in addition to her PE duties, is in charge of developing charity links and arranging fundraising events for the girls, so was the initiator of the theme. She says, “My 35 years as a pupil, parent and teacher at Ursuline Prep have been extremely happy ones. Ursuline Prep has an important and special place in my heart and ‘once an Ursuline girl, always an Ursuline girl’. I cherish the never-ending ties I still have with the Church and community as well as the school due to my link with Ursuline Prep. Serivam on our school badge means ‘I will Serve’. I am grateful to hold the Charity organiser role as it gives me the opportunity to give back to the school and the community through organising an example of Serviam to the current girls. #UrsulineServiam.”
Mr Chris McGrath, Headmaster, said of the event “ Days like today, when the school comes together to be of service to others, are so important. The Ursuline Preparatory School takes its inspiration from the writings and lifelong commitment of St. Angela Merici and has a strong and very clear commitment to ‘Serviam’, in generous service to others. Today was all about Serviam and my thanks go to Sister Dorothy, Mrs Redwood and Mrs Nangle for making this such a special day.”