Contact Details
Magdalen Court School
Victoria Park Road
Exeter
EX2 4NU

Tel: 01392-49 49 19
Fax: 0870-7051-321

E-mail: Admin@MagdalenCourtSchool.co.uk

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History


Magdalen Court School was started by Mrs Jacqui Jenner.

Jacqui started her career in teaching founding her own dance school in reading in 1950. She initially started her school in an old army shelter, but as the school grew, she quickly outgrew this and purchased her own premises. A lovely old town house next to Reading swimming baths. Her husband John, who ran a property development business, designed and built a dance studio in the larger gardens of the house, which enable the dance school to grow.

Jacqui toured around England as an examiner for the Royal Ballet, as well as running her dance school. Pupils of her dance school including her husband appeared on the BBC Come Dancing program, the dance school quickly grew to be the largest independant Dance School in Reading.

When after this time their first son John Jnr. was born, and the couple were unimpressed with the nursery schools on offer in Reading at the time. So Jacqui trained as a Montessori teacher and opened a nursery school in the Dance studio & house they had purchased. This was a wonderful symbiotic relationship, as the dance lessons were mostly evening and weekends, which meant the premises were free for the nursery school during the day. The nursery school also grew to be the largest independent nursery school in Reading.

In 1975 they moved from Reading to Devon so that John could follow his dream of owning a farm.  While John was running the family dairy farm Jacqui completed an Open University Degree and then a Teaching Degree with Marjons University in Plymouth before working in state primary and secondary schools.

In 1990 Jacqui was approached by several parents to home tutor their children and John converted an old shippen into a classroom and Magdalen Court School as we know it now came into being. The small school quickly grew and after only two terms they purchased a very large manor house in Exeter, Southlands House in Heavitree, which the school still owns. Mrs Sarah Wrightson (our current Deputy Head) joined the school and the school went from strength to strength. Sarah’s daughter, Holly attended Magdalen Court, completed a degree in Speech and Language Therapy and now runs her own business supporting children with Speech and Language difficulties and is one of the specialists we draw on to support some of our pupils in Magdalen Court.

In 1995 Jacqui’s eldest son, who also followed mum into teaching moved down from Bristol where he completed his Teaching degree and his first teaching post in Chipping Sodbury Secondary School to take up a post at Colyton Grammar School as IT co-ordinator, Jacqui’s school was quickly outgrowing Southlands house and so she purchased Uplands House, a mere 200m meters down the road and next to the then maternity hospital and now Waitrose supermarket. It was at this time that John Jnr joined the school as a Design and Technology and ICT Teacher. Although Uplands House was considerably larger than Southlands, it was apparent it was not going to meet the needs of the expanding school. John and Jacqui looked at purchasing the Territorial Army barracks in Barrack road and were well on the way to completing this purchase when the former Mount St Mary’s Convent school came on the market. This was a fantastic opportunity to purchase a purpose built school, sports hall and sports facilities, the site was huge, 2 acres in the centre of Exeter.

In 1996 our current Headmaster joined the school Mr Jeremy Bushrod, just like Jacqui and Sarah Wrightson, all Jeremy’s children have attended Magdalen Court. It’s testament to the school that the teachers of the school choose to send their children to Magdalen Court.

You will have noticed how the school attracts highly skilled and motivated teachers, who life becomes the school. To this end the Sister’s of the Presence of St Mary, who formerly ran the school as Mount St Mary’s, have retained a strong connection to the school. Sister Stella is still a key member of our staff supporting our SEN pupils. The sisters also invite the school into their private chapel each term for a service, which we also use for music ensembles & poetry reading for the pupils. Magdalen Court is a non denominational school, which also has close links to the CofE church in Heavitree St Michael’s and all angels Church.

John Snr retired from Farming in 1992 and then worked as a Commercial Retail developer, at this time he also took on the role of Justice of the Peace at the Teignbridge courts until 2005. For his long term commitment to this post, he has been allowed to retain his suffix JP, which normally must be given up when they cease to practice as Justice of the Peace. At this time John took on the ever growing role as school bursar in 2005 and still performs that role to this day.

Jacqui and John purchased Mount St Mary’s Convent school in 1997 and moved in just before Christmas. The school has flourished in it’s current setting, not that it has not needed a lot of remodelling, for one, it was a girls school and Magdalen Court is a mixed school. It’s surprising how much work that took. John Jnr. took on the role as Deputy Head as well as developing the school rich Outward Bound activities and swimming club.

In 2000 Jacqui & John’s younger two sons (Jeff and James) took over the running of the Nursery at Magdalen Court and combined this with the three nurseries they were running in Worcester, where James (Jim) had an illustrious career as number 8 in their rugby team. To keep it in line with the three other nurseries they ran in Worcester, the name of the nursery at Magdalen Court was changed to KinderKare. The nursery manager appointed to run Kinderkare at Magdalen Court was Kim Brady. Kim started working at Jacqui’s personal assistant in 1995, her two daughters both attended Magdalen Court School, in fact the youngest is still with us now. Kim completed an Open University Degree in Early Years and continues to manage the Kinderkare Nursery at Magdalen Court.

John Jenner Jnr. took over as Principal in July 2014 although Jacqui now Deputy Principal still has a very large guiding influence in the day to day running of the school.

Magdalen Court is run by a Proprietorial board which is made up of: John H.C.Jenner JP and Jacqui J.Jenner B.A. Hons. BEd. Hons and their three sons: John JC Jenner BEd. James W.C.Jenner LLB Hons. Jeff M.A.Jenner LLB Hons.,

In 2015 the school undertook some extensive work to build an outdoor all weather playing pitches, remodeled the carpark and adventure play area. John Jnr’s eldest daughter Lucy graduated university with a 2:1 in Criminology and daughter number two Alice (he has 4 daughters) is an undergraduate in Early Years education, following the family tradition in education. Daughter number 3 Jas is looking to train as a Paramedic in the Navy and at only 11yrs old, it’s too early to say with Issy!

The school today is stronger than it ever has been, with pupils, parents, Devon and Somerset County Council recognising the unique ethos, support and education the school offers. The future looks bright, with an ever expanding hugely dedicated teaching team to facilitate this.


 

Last Updated: Saturday, 02-Sep-2017