Family is very important to us at Woldingham and on 3 July 2018, our community was rocked by the news that Jayne Triffitt, Headmistress of our school from 2007 to 2016, had died peacefully having bravely battled leukaemia for the past year.
Jayne was appointed Headmistress of Woldingham in 2007, providing inspirational leadership of the school for nine years until her retirement in 2016. During her time at Woldingham she was a member of the GSA Council, the Catholic Independent Schools’ Conference Committee and the ASCL Council. As Head of Woldingham, Jayne worked with her team to ensure that Woldingham was recognised as a leading Catholic girls’ school; Jayne instilled a widespread respect for learning, clearly building the academic profile of the school. In her time as Head, Jayne invested in pastoral care for girls, families and staff alike.
Jayne was enormously proud of what was achieved by the girls and the staff in the nine years of her headship. She lives on in the Jayne Triffitt Bursary Award, ensuring other girls can have the same opportunities that she did. At her leaving address she said ‘my legacy will lie in the hearts and minds of the girls I leave behind today and in the adults you will become. If I could leave you to love those around you, wherever you find yourself, and expect the best from them, that would be my chosen legacy.’
On Sunday 7 October, we held a Memorial Mass to celebrate Jayne’s life. Hundreds of friends and family attended from all areas of Jayne’s community: staff, governors, former staff, colleagues from other schools, pupils and alumnae, as well as many friends and family. Fr Gerry Devlin regaled the packed auditorium with tales of Jayne’s friendship, humanity and sharp sense of humour. Susie Triffitt reminded us of Jayne’s character and kindness as both Headmistress and mother. The choir gave a mesmerising performance of the school prayer, Winifred Wright and Jayne’s old school friends, Cathy and Carol read the bidding prayers, and the readings, from Mrs Judith Brown and Head Girl Lily Ellis, were warm and poignant. The Memorial Mass was a wonderful and fitting tribute to Jayne’s warmth, loyalty and her significant contribution to Woldingham School.