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ALUMNI > Alumni News > Miss Mary Moon 1932-2020

Miss Mary Moon 1932-2020

Miss Moon's headship was a time of considerable development and innovation, when creative work continued to flourish, sciences expanded and academic strength was maintained across the board.
18 Dec 2020
Alumni News
Miss Mary Moon 1932-2020
Miss Mary Moon 1932-2020

We were saddened to hear the news that Miss Mary Moon, Headmistress of Pate’s Grammar School for Girls from 1971-1983, passed away at the weekend of 12th December 2020.

She was an English specialist, who enjoyed painting and drawing as a hobby.  She taught across all year groups – she enjoyed the challenge of the classroom and the opportunity that this gave her to get to know the girls better. She left PGSG in 1983 to return to Manchester, her university city, to be headmistress of Manchester High School where she stayed until August 1994.

Although her headship was dogged by the uncertainty of both the reorganisation of the school and the fact that the school building was owned by the LEA, she made many positive changes to school life. The interchange of sixth formers between the girls' and boys' schools began in 1972; the house system was reorganised in 1973; a new Art & Home Economics block was opened in 1973; the school magazine was revived after a 13 year absence; the strong language programme of Latin, Greek, French, German and Russian was maintained; ’O’ Level Economics was added in 1975 with Sociology and Ceramics following in 1977. University entrance numbers increased, especially in Maths, Sciences and Engineering with frequent Oxbridge successes that were spread throughout the curriculum. It was a matter of particular pride that when, in 1978, the Pate Exhibition at Corpus Christi, Oxford, was opened to both sexes for the first time, it was won by a Pate’s girl. 

The above content was posted on the Pate's Alumni Facebook page and it drew a swift and lively response from PGSG alumnae! Here is just a small selection of the 275 (!) comments:

"She was a fabulous English teacher and a great headmistress"

"She was newly appointed when I first came to the school and we didn't realise at the time how radical she was"

"She had been expected to take her lunch alone in her office as befits the headmistress but refused and instead joined the staff in the staff dining room"

"I still remember the talk she gave on our first day at Pate's in the hall...her speech was quite influential - I knew I was lucky to be there"

"I remember waiting outside her office when I was reading in Assembly and she would swoop out in her gown and I would follow through the bridging corridor into the hall and onto the stage"

"We used to quake in our shoes when she walked the corridors but she always did what was best for the school"

"She was firm but fair and could show great compassion"

"I had such respect for this lady, she was strict when it was necessary and compassionate when she needed to be.  Truly a great headmistress!"

"Such a formidable lady who championed education for girls"

"I have nothing but fond memories of my time at Pate's and remember Mary as a fabulous role model of a strong independent woman"



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