Old Girl and top barrister inspires the next generation at Truro Cathedral
An old girl of Truro High, Jessica Jones is a human rights barrister at Matrix Chambers, legal adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-terrorism and Human Rights, and judicial assistant to Supreme Court Justice Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore. She inspired the congregation with a highly entertaining address in which she talked about her own memories of Truro High and the opportunities the school afforded her.
“One of the things that has always struck me about the school is what an inclusive environment it is and how many opportunities it offers to its pupils,” said Jessica. “Truro High is somewhere which encourages girls to pursue the things which interest them, to participate in the community around them and to not be afraid to try something new. There are spaces in society in which we are told there are things we cannot do. Partly because we are people, especially because we are women and particularly when we are young women, but Truro High is not one of those places. It is somewhere where girls are supported on a path that they choose; it is somewhere that nurtures powerful women.”
Jessica has acted for clients at the International Criminal Court, domestic criminal courts, High Court and Privy Council. Before becoming a lawyer, she worked in grassroots politics as a community organiser, including in Ohio during the 2008 Presidential election when Barack Obama was elected president.
She studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University and the school is extremely proud of what she and her two sisters have achieved since leaving Truro High.
Current pupils displayed their own talents during the service. Year 8 Felicity Hood opened the prestigious ceremony playing the bagpipes. Outgoing Head Girl Zahra Dalal, her deputies Tia Joslyn and Freya Martin and Year 7 Hannah Plowright gave readings and String Duo Year 10 Esmée Loughlin Dickenson and Year 11 Olivia Leather performed ‘Prelude’ by Shostakovich. Prep 5 Bryher Gemmill performed a beautiful violin solo of Elgar’s ‘Chanson de Matin’.
The award-winning school’s Prep and Chamber choirs also sang during the event.
“Founder’s Day is always a wonderful reminder of what our school stands for,” said Headmaster Dr Glenn Moodie. “It was in 1880 that the then Bishop Benson picked up his trowel to lay our foundation stone. It was his vision to provide a place where girls would be put first in everything that they did and 136 years later we believe he would be justifiably proud of what he started. Like Jessica, thousands of girls have gone on to enjoy a wide range of exciting careers after completing their school years with us and it’s always a joy to welcome them back and find out what they’ve been doing.”
One of the most important dates in the school diary, Founder’s Day is marked every year with a special service in Truro Cathedral including music, readings, prayers and speeches. This year marks the 136th anniversary of the school’s founding.