On Wednesday, the whole school was off timetable. The First to Fourth Forms and Lower Sixth listened to a talk by Karen Power from Drug and Alcohol Education Services and carried out linked activities with their tutor. Karen also presented to parents on this important topic that evening. I hope those of you who attended found it useful. The Fifth Form and Upper Sixth meanwhile were taking part in an enterprise exercise, led by Mrs Lutwyche, requiring them to plan a festival in a day. Their brief was to come up with a business plan and to create mood boards to portray their ideas. The feedback from the girls following this exercise was hugely positive. They very much enjoyed working as mixed year group teams and having the time to work independently from teachers to design their concept and produce their final piece of work. We are going to judge the mood boards, which will be displayed in school, and prizes will be awarded in assembly after half term.
Love and friendship were in the air on Valentine’s Day yesterday at the First Form’s Lovefest in the Assembly Hall. The girls raised nearly £400 for Tinga Tinga – a fantastic total. The First Form’s enthusiasm for this initiative was impressive.
On our return after the holiday, the Upper Sixth will sit their mock exams. I would encourage them to ‘revise smart’ over half term, making good use of their time and ensuring that they also find time to relax and re-energise. Finding the right balance, which will be different for every girl, is key to performance.
The first week after half term, girls in the First to Third Forms will be able to audition for the Lower School Production. Everyone who auditions will have a part and there is always the option to help backstage if performing is not what you enjoy. Mr Kinder is looking forward to seeing the entries for House Art flood in on the first Monday back. Mr Butler and I meanwhile are eagerly anticipating entries to the Huxley Essay Competition – this year the theme is ‘communication’. Entrants should write an essay of up to 1000 words; the deadline is Wednesday 24 April. There are three categories: First to Third Form, Fourth and Fifth Forms and Sixth Form. The holiday presents the perfect time for aspiring writers to start planning their essay.
Half term therefore is a time to rest and relax and also a time for the girls to think about what they can do to shine on their return to school.
With best wishes for a good break
Open Day was a great success. Despite the weather and the difficult road conditions in many surrounding areas, we were impressed and delighted to see so many prospective parents and pupils. It was business as usual and the girls welcomed our visitors with warmth and enthusiasm, enabling them to have an insight into life at Prior’s Field. Those on the Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition were lucky to be out and about on a beautiful, crisp winter’s day – although I am sure their thermals were an essential piece of kit!
House Drama on Monday was excellent. The girls enjoyed themselves hugely and the older girls deserve great credit for their leadership of the younger ones. My thanks go to the judges: Mr Cryer, Ms Williams and Mrs McGarry. House Music on Wednesday was inspiring to watch. More girls than ever participated. Many of them have only taken up their instrument relatively recently and it was a pleasure to see how they have already made such progress. The two minutes performance rule worked a treat and the judges – Miss Watson and Miss Brown, with keen but unqualified assistance from myself – gave the girls brilliant and constructive feedback. I am very grateful to them and to all involved.
The Surrey U12 and U13 netball tournament on Wednesday benefited from a dry chink in a wet week. Congratulations to all the girls who took part – the high level of play was impressive. There was an atmosphere of excitement and enjoyment court-side.
The whole school has been suffering with a lurgy that has been doing the rounds, and many girls and staff have been under the weather. Well done to everyone for battling through. I hope that we can all recover our strength over half term and come back to school after the holidays with renewed energy.
We have one more week to go before half term, though, and it is a packed week. We are looking forward to seeing many of you at our parents’ pastoral evening focusing on drug and alcohol awareness on Wednesday. On Thursday evening, we will be celebrating the girls’ Duke of Edinburgh achievements at the presentation evening. Do join us if your daughter is receiving an award.
Thursday is Valentine’s Day and the First Form are holding a LoveFest to celebrate love and friendship and to raise funds for Tinga Tinga. They will be selling friendship bracelets and goodies to eat and drink; there will also be a raffle and I understand there will be some glittery girls wandering around school in the afternoon having had their face painted.
Stay warm and dry on what promises to be a wet and windy weekend
With best wishes
January seems to have been a long month, but February is now here in a flurry of snow. Whilst I am not sure it will be here for long, the girls excitedly grasped the opportunity to build snowmen on the field before school began this morning.
Our first ever Prior’s Field ski team saw much more snow in Flaine. They returned triumphant with several medals between them. Congratulations to Molly, Eve and Sasha.
It seems strange in this weather that we will be talking to parents next week about the trip to Tanzania in July. Excitement is building about this adventure and I am delighted that I will be accompanying the girls again this time. It will be wonderful to see the impact of our ongoing support on Tinga Tinga.
This brings me neatly on to another charity venture, this one very much driven by some highly motivated girls in the Lower Sixth. Alice S, Emma K and Lucy N amongst others deserve huge credit for the energy with which they are leading the school in our support of Delight – the charity which channels pre-loved books to children who have limited access to books at home. I am very proud of them.
Rehearsals for House Drama have been occupying the girls’ spare moments this week. I am looking forward to watching the performances on Monday. From what I hear, they should be very entertaining. On Wednesday evening, there is another treat: the House Music Final. Do come along if you can – it promises to be a fun evening. To complete a trio of House events next week, the House Choirs will be vying for points on Thursday lunchtime. I am sure they will be much foot tapping and coordinated dance moves!
This week we welcomed Third Form parents and girls to talk about their progress as well GCSE options. This week, on Thursday, it is the Fifth Form’s turn. This is obviously an important Parents’ Evening, as the public exams approach. I hope that the post-mock interviews the girls had with key staff this week will have highlighted areas for focus; the conversations on Thursday will provide subject context. I know that A level options forms have now been handed in. I hope all the girls are excited about the opportunities lying in store for them beyond the summer.
We are looking forward to hosting our visitors in school tomorrow at Open Day – our intrepid Fourth Form Bronze Duke of Edinburgh girls on a practice walk will appreciate the favourable, if slightly chilly, forecast.
With best wishes
The cold weather this week has reminded us that it is still winter, despite the bulbs trying to convince us otherwise.
The girls have been focused and hard-working. The Fifth Form received their mock results on Tuesday morning; there were some excellent performances. The girls will each have an individual interview with a key member of staff next week, to talk about where they should focus their attention going forward. As a year group, they have coped well with the whole mock process; I hope it will give them reassurance and more confidence in the final push towards the public exams in the summer.
The school has been busy with rehearsals for House Drama and House Music. On Monday, Mr Kinder launched the House Art competition in Assembly. Entries need to be in straight after the half term break in February. These competitions are always highlights of the year for me and I am very much looking forward to watching the results of the girls’ hard work.
Last evening, a number of the Upper Sixth made their EPQ presentation to an appreciative audience. Unfortunately, I was returning from an inspection and was unable to be there. I have heard wonderful reports, however; the girls definitely made the most of their opportunity to share their EPQ journey.
Next week, we are looking forward to seeing Third Form parents at the Parents’ and Options Evening on Tuesday. The choice of options is an important one for each girl and we hope the evening will help to solidify your daughter’s thoughts and ideas.
Open Day at the end of next week will give us all the chance to celebrate our achievements and hopefully convey to our visitors the essence of Prior’s Field. Wednesday this week was the anniversary of the founding of the school and I like to think that Julia Huxley would be proud of all that Prior’s Field continues to be.
Good luck to our first ever Prior’s Field ski team – Sasha C, Eve M and Molly B – who, accompanied by Miss Scott, are en route to France where they will compete at the British School Girls Ski Racing Championships. I hope the girls going on the U15 hockey weekend have an equally exciting trip, without the snow!
With best wishes for the weekend
The first full week of term has been a busy one.
We have this week sent out offers to 11+ and 13+ applicants for September, which is very exciting. I have had conversations with several prep and primary Heads, all of whom have asked me to pass on their best wishes to the girls who left them in the last few years and made their way to Prior’s Field.
The Fifth Form’s mock exams have come to a close. I hope that, when the girls receive their results on Tuesday, they will be proud of what they have achieved and clearer about where they need to focus their attention in the months to come.
It was lovely to see so many of you at the First Form Parents’ Evening on Wednesday. We are very much enjoying having your daughters with us. Now they have been here a term, I am sure they will be very confident and proud on Open Day, when they will be part of the home team and can enjoy showing off their school to our visitors.
This morning Ms Hedley presented a wonderful assembly to the Second, Third and Fourth Forms about value. The girls, and staff, were encouraged to be affirming of each other and positive about themselves. It is crucial to young people’s wellbeing that they are able to believe in their own worth and we take every opportunity to facilitate this for the girls here.
There was much excitement yesterday morning when we saw a brief though impressive flurry of snow. As you know, we have plans in case of bad weather. The younger girls may be pleased to hear, however, that their first task, if we do close for a snow day, will be to play in the snow!
Finally there is chatter around school about sightings of street art that has appeared in various locations. The photos have been put up by Darci O, who will be assessing reactions to the graffiti as part of her Photography coursework. There has been no sign of an original Banksy yet, but we remain hopeful!
With best wishes
Memories are made of this: First Form were armed with go pros at their autumn bonding adventure and tasked with the challenge of creating a video to capture the essence of the trip. After many hours of editing and selecting a sound-track, the winners were crowned this week. Well done to Lily C and Isabella M.