Reception: 01235 520173

Admissions: 01235 530593

Executive Assistant to the Headmistress: 01235 546502

Bursary: 01235 520657

Communications Office: 01235 546541

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St Helen and St Katharine, Faringdon Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1BE

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Takeover Day

Takeover Day on the 17 November gives some of our students a chance to experience life 'behind the scenes' in the running of the School. It was a highly enjoyable day for all involved.

Alice Y9, Headmistress 

I was lucky enough to be the headmistress for takeover day. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but it was everything I’d hoped for. Along with Mrs Dougall I observed lessons, had meetings with teachers and governors, met some prospective parents and saw an ordinary school day through the eyes of a senior member of staff. I learnt so many new things and saw aspects of the School I never knew existed! I was surprised by the broad variety of things a headmistress does. Whether it was dealing with upcoming events or tasting what was for lunch, we did it all. I would definitely recommend the role to any girl who would love a day of excitement and buzz. The experience was amazing and it will stay with me forever. 

Grace Y7, Attendance 

I have really enjoyed takeover day . I helped out in the general office helping with the attendance and now realise how important it is to sign in if you are late in. I did some jobs like franking post and laminating. I also sat on the front desk for a while letting visitors in and asking them to sign in. I had loads of fun.

Emma Y8, Director of Students

I had an amazing experience as the director of students. It really opened my eyes and showed me how much planning and work is needed for events that we take for granted such as St. Kate’s Day and even school trips! I absolutely loved it and appreciate Mrs Bedford’s packed schedule. The highlight of my day was teaching my class and the meeting with the prefects. Teaching my class was so much fun and now I know what it’s like to be a teacher and why they don’t like distractions in class! On the whole I enjoyed the entire day and it was an amazing opportunity for me. 

Katy Y11, Executive Chef

Takeover Day for me meant shadowing our wonderful Executive Chef Olivier for the day. When we arrived, Sue the pastry chef helped us recover from the 7am start (yawn) with hot chocolate, cream and marshmallows – love Sue! We had a quick team briefing where we discussed what was on the menu that day, then we got stuck in cooking. Part of my role as Executive Chef was to help out whenever needed and the first job was in the salad section. I was determined not to cut myself and was convinced that watching lots of Masterchef meant I had “chef skills”. However, after 10 minutes chopping tomatoes, this turned out to be a misapprehension: I nicked the side of my finger. Embarrassed, I had to ask for plaster, however everyone was really sweet; reassuring me that I was “a proper chef now”.         

The next job was to help make Monday’s lasagne. This meant tipping 25kg of minced beef into a pan the size of a small bath tub and then beating it with a whisk to prevent it from forming a massive meat clump - I don’t think my abs have ever had such an intense workout!
The lunch service was pretty relaxed and everyone knew what they were doing - or if they didn’t, they just stood next to Sue and ate cake (guilty). However, halfway through lunch, Olivier handed us some pomegranates to deseed which was messy work, and by the end of it we looked like we’d been working in an abattoir! Good job we didn’t have to take our chef’s whites home to wash.
I spent a great day cooking and learning about the kitchen and our school’s food. Everyone was super kind and welcoming - and the following Monday’s lasagne was alla Katy and Izzy!

Izzy Y11, Chef

I’ve always enjoyed cooking so getting to do this for the whole day was loads of fun. All of the kitchen staff were really kind and helpful in showing me how to prepare the food, what do to during the lunch service itself and the names for the equipment used that you wouldn’t find in a normal kitchen at home. One thing that surprised me was how much food the school needs to order to serve over 700 people - I knew it was a lot but opening at least 15 huge packets of minced beef showed how much food is required to give so many people lunch. The experience in a whole was very useful and has made me even more confident that working in a commercial kitchen is what I want to do when I’m older.

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