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Head’s Round Up: Friday 28 June 2019

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The temperature has risen at a similar pace to the run up to the end of term.

One of the hottest tickets this week was to our Lower School Production, ‘Alice in Londonland’ on Tuesday and Wednesday. As always, the Drama and Music departments supported the girls in producing a spectacular show, written in-house by Mrs Horton and Mrs Hedley, whose creativity is always so inspiring. I watched the performance on both evenings and it was a real showcase of talent. Unusually this time, a pupil played a crucial part in the technical team; congratulations to Lucy N on her involvement.

Another hot ticket was to the Surrey Schools Tennis League Championship at St George’s this week, where, in the 14&U category, Prior’s Field won! Huge congratulations to Romana B, Jessenia B, Sophie Q, Kira T, Hannah A and Maddy H.

The Boarders laid on a fantastic spread for their Pink Tea for Breast Cancer on Monday. The cakes sold out faster than ever before and over £150 was raised.

The MasterChef competition yesterday was a joy. The girls produced imaginative and skilful dishes, so much so in fact that chief Judge, Chef Ricky, said that judging the competition was the hardest thing he has ever done! Well done to all the girls who took part and in particular to the winners: Anna C and Lucy H, Emily H and Daisy M, Lucy W and Maya L, Yoyo C and Natasha J.

Yesterday was a particularly jam-packed day. In the afternoon, we welcomed members of Busbridge Church’s Prime Time group to tea, cake and music in the Rose Garden.  It was a perfect afternoon and truly magical.  I spoke to several of our guests, including a number of retired nuns from Ladywell Convent, who were all as equally charmed as me. It is a real privilege as well as a pleasure for girls and staff to be able to support the local community in this way.

Thursday ended with the last parent briefing before the Tanzania and Tinga Tinga trip leaves.  The excitement is mounting as the supplies and gifts we are taking with us continue to multiply outside Ms Troup’s office. Having visited Tanzania several times now, I know that the trip will be interesting, inspirational and possibly even transformational for both students and staff.

Lower Sixth parents and guardians came to a Parents’ Evening last night, running simultaneously with a ‘pop up’ Creative Arts exhibition for the year group. This worked really well. Following discussions with their teachers, the girls now have a portfolio of tasks to action over the summer in preparation for their final year at school.

This morning, for Founder’s Day, the school had a special visitor in Micky Burton-Brown, grandson of Ethel-Burton Brown who was Headmistress of Prior’s Field with Julia Huxley and also following her death. The girls sat rapt as staff and girls spoke about Ethel – a very bright girl who, via History at Girton College Cambridge, became a renowned expert in Classical Civilisation who was also at the forefront of progressive education for girls in the early 20th century.  Mr Burton-Brown then painted a touching and humorous portrait of his grandmother and the family connection with Prior’s Field. You will know that I regularly visit Julia Huxley’s grave to mark important times in her life. Today, I went with staff, Sixth Form students and Mr Burton-Brown to place flowers on the Burton-Brown grave, in memory of both Ethel and Beatrice, remembering the very large part they played in fashioning the school we are today. It was moving to see flowers from the school sitting alongside those from the family.

This weekend, the first Activities Week trips depart to Paris, Pembrokeshire and the Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. Next week, girls are looking forward to the Big PF Adventure, water sports at Hawley Lake, three different mystery day trips and the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh qualifying expedition. Meanwhile, in Godalming, a number of Fifth Form are participating in a two day course on ‘Looking after other people’s children’, covering amongst other things focused First Aid, nutritional needs for the young and baby care, involving each girl looking after her own robot baby. The Lower Sixth will be looking ahead to life beyond Prior’s Field at their UCAS Conference. On Monday evening, they will attend the Careers Dinner where alumnae and other speakers will shed light on many potential avenues of exploration for the future.  My thanks go to all the teaching staff who will accompanying the girls on their various activities this week (the Silver Duke of Edinburgh qualifying expedition is already under way on Dartmoor) and next week, as well as to the support staff who have worked so hard to ensure that everything goes smoothly. I am planning to drop in on some of the more local venues and I know I will see happy faces.

With best wishes for a sunny weekend

Tracy Kirnig

Notice:

The funeral takes place today of Mrs Karen Bryant, who worked at Prior’s Field for 34 years. She was secretary to five Headmistresses and eight Bursars.  Her other administrative roles in the school included School Secretary and Centenary Coordinator. In the latter role, Mrs Bryant contributed hugely to the beginnings of our now very well-established archives. The school will be represented at Mrs Bryant’s funeral by Jane Bickerdike, current Head’s PA, and Mrs Mary Claire Cook, who knew her for many years as a colleague.