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‘I remember walking into my room for the first time and thinking ‘here goes nothing’ and I still can’t believe how much I have changed since I started boarding in Sixth Form. I love the friends that I have made, I love the atmosphere of the House, I love the dogs barking to greet you good morning on the way to breakfast. I have been given so much support in my studies but allowed the independence to make mistakes and get things wrong. I have learned that sometimes, it’s ok to get things wrong, you learn from it!’ – 6th Form Boarder, 2014
Boarding at Prior’s Field is a unique and fulfilling experience. The Sixth Form House is fun, friendly and very much a part of the wider boarding community at school. Sixth Form Boarders have the opportunity to visit the Junior boarders and help organise and take part in events for first form up to sixth form. It is a very energetic place to live and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.
Our main priority here in the Sixth Form House is to provide a home away from home for the girls. We offer great academic support within the House. With many teachers covering boarding duties at night there is always plenty of opportunity for the girls to seek help and support in their studies; whether it be asking for advice, reading a piece of work or testing the girls on their revision! We also make sure there is time to chat about life in the Sixth Form in general and we are always looking for new ways to improve. We also enjoy having fun in the House! Although academic study is important, it is equally important for the girls to have some rest and relaxation time! We have themed suppers where all the boarders dress up, we enjoy turning our brand new state of the art common room into a cinema and eating copious amounts of popcorn, we have a Zumba instructor who comes in once a week, we bake, we sing, we laugh and sometimes we even cry too!! It is very important to us that the girls get the balance right and yes we work hard, but we also love to play hard too!!
During the weekends our boarders will often take full advantage of our close proximity to Godalming, Guildford, London and Brighton to name but a few! We encourage the girls to be independent, to travel and explore. As long as they are up to date with their work and follow the school procedures on leaving school and have a purpose to their trip- we rarely say no to them venturing away from school. It is a great way for them to become more confident and independent and to explore new cultures and ideals. . It is the perfect environment for the girls to spread their wings. We provide the safety net and barrier but also the springboard that encourages them to leap up high and reach their full potential.
Erin Barlow – Sixth Form Housemistress
As Sixth Form Housemistress I live in the house with my husband Alun. We also have Bruno the dog and Archie the cat- both of which are always available for cuddles in the Sixth Form House and can often be found in the arms of the boarders! We also have Miss Eve Watt, Assistant Sixth Form Housemistress and Ms. Tiffany Teasdale, House Tutor. They both live in the House and take part in boarding events. All our boarding staff have the relevant qualifications and training and the school is a member of the Boarding Schools’ Association. I studied Sport Science and then completed my PGCE at Newcastle University, Having taught to A Level and been a Form tutor I was keen to develop my pastoral role in boarding and joined PF in 2013 and teach PE across the school.
I know I have said it before but I will say it again, I feel extremely fortunate to be part of such a vibrant, fun and caring community. Every day is different in the Sixth Form House, the girls never cease to amaze and surprise me. I love to watch the girls come into boarding in lower sixth as girls who have just finished their GCSE’s and then leave after two years as young women.
Eve Watt, Assistant Housemistress – Sixth Form
I arrived at Prior’s Field to take up the role of Assistant Housemistress in September 2014 having already worked as a Matron at a neighbouring school for just over two years. Prior’s Field is more than a place of work for me, it is my home and the staff and girls are my family. I live in a flat in the Sixth Form house with my dog Dixie; Dixie has lived in a boarding house almost as long as I have and loves the attention the girls shower her with. She is almost always available for a walk and a cuddle.
My role is to assist Mrs Barlow with the day to day running of the house and to take the helm when she is teaching of having some much deserved time off. I can generally be found either in the Office, in my flat or running around the surrounding countryside with my muddy pup at my heels. I love the unique position working in boarding offers, there aren’t many places of work where you can one minute be talking through University applications and the next taking boarders to see new born calves or for a walk after school.
Between leaving school and starting work I took a few years out and had one or two adventures including Sailing round the world at 18 and moving to the Middle East. Although I now spend a lot of my time at work I still try to make time for new experiences. I recently completed a gruelling 11 mile “Tough Mudder” and am now looking out for my next challenge; hopefully I will be able to share my next adventure with some PF girls!