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International Women’s Day at Queenswood

Friday 8 March 2019

Queenswood pupils and teachers are marking International Women's Day across the curriculum.

Geographers in Year 11 and the Upper Sixth are investigating the statistical work of Florence Nightingale. She refined a graph called the rose diagram, which is particularly helpful in Geography.

It can be used to show quantities and directions in one graph eg. where the wind comes from across a month or where people have travelled from to get to a certain place.

The Music department are honouring IWD by screening this inspiring video featuring Barbican soloist and friend of Queenswood Melanie Marshall (and her little niece Alicia). The empowering song is titled 'Twenty-first Century Woman'.


Year 9 are learning about the life and work of Ethel Smyth, the suffragette who composed March of the Women in 1911, as part of their Amnesty International Protest Songs project.

Members of the Queenswoodian editorial committee have been investigating the pioneering work of some of Queenswood's most eminent alumnae.

In Japanese, Year 8 pupils have been looking at Hina-Matsuri, which is celebrated on Japan on March 3. It is a festival dedicated to the healthy growth of girls.

Meanwhile, Spanish students are learning about Frida Kahlo, and French students are tackling a quiz about female French role models.

The PE department are celebrating the achievements of women in sport, including gymnast Simone Biles, swimmer Rebecca Adlington, tennis player Serena Williams and the England Women’s Hockey team.

In Design and Technology, students have been looking at the work of female designers and inventors such as Hedy Lamarr, Stephanie Kwolek, Tabitha Babbitt, Ruth Wakefield, Mary Anderson, Josephine Cochrane, Orla Kiely, Vivienne Westwood and Mary Quant.

In Classics, Year 7 are researching impressive, powerful, and influential women from Classical Mythology. They are learning about the brave and stubborn Antigone, who defied the laws of Crete to bury her brother, the clever Ariadne who helped Theseus survive the Labyrinth and fight the Minotaur, the brave Andromeda who willingly sacrificed herself to save her city (even though she was rescued!), and the powerful witch Medea who wouldn’t let a man tell her what to do!

The English department are celebrating the work of influential women writers such as Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood and Carol Ann Duffy, and the Creative Writing Team are involved in special IWD-themed sessions.

Earlier this week, GCSE Drama students staged extracts from Daisy Pulls It Off and Numbers, two plays with very strong female characters. Daisy is a pastiche of 1920s adventure stories set in girls' boarding schools, while Numbers explores the rivalries and tensions between a group of schoolgirls in the hours before a new Head Girl is announced.