Head’s Blog

PF Old Girls SnowThis week has been dominated by attempting to anticipate the weather! Prior’s Field seems to have escaped the worst of the snow and we were one of the last schools standing yesterday, with about two-thirds attendance. Today, whilst the forecast beat us and the school was closed, the boarders, for whom the school is of course their home, have enjoyed a varied programme of activities and had the opportunity to enjoy Prior’s Field in the snow, like many girls before them. 

Our Year 6 guests enjoyed their boarding taster last weekend; I very much enjoyed meeting them on Saturday and I know they enjoyed a packed day with the boarding team and the boarders themselves. On Saturday, I also had the privilege of watching the Lower Sixth rehearse for their devised performance exam. The progression between the rehearsal and the actual exam on Wednesday was striking; the audience, comprising parents, staff and other supporters, were treated to an inspiring performance of great power. 

We welcomed two speakers to school on Monday. We are very grateful to Nick Stylianou, son of our very own School Secretary, Mary Stylianou, and Sky News reporter, for coming to talk to the girls and for fitting us into his very busy schedule – although I understand that Nick’s planned assignment on a boat in Devon the following day was cancelled! Laura Bates is a modern feminist writer well-known for her strong views about the need for meaningful sex education and her readiness to speak out for women. She spoke on Monday to the Upper School about her belief that gender equality is right for everyone, a current topic which provokes much debate. Arguably a controversial figure, we were fortunate that Laura, who is currently very much in demand by the media especially, was able to spare the time to visit us. 

We were also pleased to welcome Richard Evans, (above), Head at Great Ballard School who was keen to re-visit the site after a number of years and before some of his pupils join us in September.

Despite the weather, the First Form Parents’ Evening was extremely well-attended. I enjoyed chatting to some of you and getting to know you a little better. 

I do hope that the white stuff lasts into the weekend and that all of us, young and not so young, have the opportunity to have fun in the snow. 

With best wishes 

Tracy Kirnig 

PF Old Girls SnowThis week has been dominated by attempting to anticipate the weather! Prior’s Field seems to have escaped the worst of the snow and we were one of the last schools standing yesterday, with about two-thirds attendance. Today, whilst the forecast beat us and the school was closed, the boarders, for whom the school is of course their home, have enjoyed a varied programme of activities and had the opportunity to enjoy Prior’s Field in the snow, like many girls before them. 
Our Year 6 guests enjoyed their boarding taster last weekend; I very much enjoyed meeting them on Saturday and I know they enjoyed a packed day with the boarding team and the boarders themselves. On Saturday, I also had the privilege of watching the Lower Sixth rehearse for their devised performance exam. The progression between the rehearsal and the actual exam on Wednesday was striking; the audience, comprising parents, staff and other supporters, were treated to an inspiring performance of great power. 
We welcomed two speakers to school on Monday. We are very grateful to Nick Stylianou, son of our very own School Secretary, Mary Stylianou, and Sky News reporter, for coming to talk to the girls and for fitting us into his very busy schedule – although I understand that Nick’s planned assignment on a boat in Devon the following day was cancelled! Laura Bates is a modern feminist writer well-known for her strong views about the need for meaningful sex education and her readiness to speak out for women. She spoke on Monday to the Upper School about her belief that gender equality is right for everyone, a current topic which provokes much debate. Arguably a controversial figure, we were fortunate that Laura, who is currently very much in demand by the media especially, was able to spare the time to visit us. 
We were also pleased to welcome Richard Evans, (above), Head at Great Ballard School who was keen to re-visit the site after a number of years and before some of his pupils join us in September.
Despite the weather, the First Form Parents’ Evening was extremely well-attended. I enjoyed chatting to some of you and getting to know you a little better. 
I do hope that the white stuff lasts into the weekend and that all of us, young and not so young, have the opportunity to have fun in the snow. 
With best wishes 
Tracy Kirnig 

‘We are our choices,’ wrote Jean-Paul Sartre, and in school this week there has been an atmosphere of supporting the girls across the board in making choices and key decisions as they look ahead at the next chapter of their educational journey and beyond school.
At the beginning of the week, the Fifth Formers were busy with their post mock GCSE interviews. These sessions were an invaluable opportunity to reflect and analyse on their performance, and to support the girls in making appropriate improvements to their preparation for their exams later this year. We very much welcomed the opportunity to continue these discussions with Fifth Form parents yesterday evening.
On Monday, the Third Formers were introduced to the process of choosing their GCSE options. Mrs Wilcock guided them through the next steps, which include the Third Form Parents’ and GCSE Options Evening taking place on Thursday 1 February next week.  Sixth Form were also busy reflecting on a huge array of impressive university offers, whilst undertaking a number of academic trips and lectures which support their studies.
Decision making is also at the fore for so many of the parents whose daughter has received the exciting news of the outcome of her application to join Prior’s Field at 11+ or 13+. We look forward to hosting a significant number of them at Open Day alongside our first time visitors on Saturday 3 February.
Continuing the theme of progression and options, I want to draw your attention to a couple of forthcoming events. The first is open to all ages: a fascinating series of Careers Talks on Monday afternoons, delivered by a host of professionals willing to share their path to their chosen careers, and the sense of fulfilment they gain from their work.
The second series of events is aimed at the Fifth Formers, who have been  invited to the Sixth Form Loft to meet the Heads of Department to explore A Level options over a hot chocolate.  And as another more contemporary author wrote – ‘You just need a little perspective. Warmed chocolate can give you that.’ –  Giada De LaurentiisParis!
Have a wonderful weekend
Tracy Kirnig

‘We are our choices,’ wrote Jean-Paul Sartre, and in school this week there has been an atmosphere of supporting the girls across the board in making choices and key decisions as they look ahead at the next chapter of their educational journey and beyond school.

At the beginning of the week, the Fifth Formers were busy with their post mock GCSE interviews. These sessions were an invaluable opportunity to reflect and analyse on their performance, and to support the girls in making appropriate improvements to their preparation for their exams later this year. We very much welcomed the opportunity to continue these discussions with Fifth Form parents yesterday evening.

On Monday, the Third Formers were introduced to the process of choosing their GCSE options. Mrs Wilcock guided them through the next steps, which include the Third Form Parents’ and GCSE Options Evening taking place on Thursday 1 February next week.  Sixth Form were also busy reflecting on a huge array of impressive university offers, whilst undertaking a number of academic trips and lectures which support their studies.

Decision making is also at the fore for so many of the parents whose daughter has received the exciting news of the outcome of her application to join Prior’s Field at 11+ or 13+. We look forward to hosting a significant number of them at Open Day alongside our first time visitors on Saturday 3 February.

Continuing the theme of progression and options, I want to draw your attention to a couple of forthcoming events. The first is open to all ages: a fascinating series of Careers Talks on Monday afternoons, delivered by a host of professionals willing to share their path to their chosen careers, and the sense of fulfilment they gain from their work.

The second series of events is aimed at the Fifth Formers, who have been  invited to the Sixth Form Loft to meet the Heads of Department to explore A Level options over a hot chocolate.  And as another more contemporary author wrote – ‘You just need a little perspective. Warmed chocolate can give you that.’ –  Giada De LaurentiisParis!

Have a wonderful weekend

Tracy Kirnig

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God, the Universe and Everything Else
There has been a distinctly astronomic feel to the first ten days of term!  The stratospheric start to the New Year saw the focus on Fifth Form mocks and aiming high as the girls gallantly entered a demanding exam schedule.  Results were out today, and many saw the benefit of their hard work over Christmas, come to fruition. We look forward to discussing the results in more detail at next week’s post exam interviews with the girls and with you at Fifth Form Parents Evening on Thursday.
Elsewhere the Second Form were in Heaven at their chocolate inspired social;  Fourth Form were tackling the taxing issue of ‘God and The Big Bang Theory’ at an event at Guildford Cathedral whilst we are eagerly anticipating next month’s Huxley Lecture which features the BBC’s Face of Space.
Chances to meet an inspiring space Scientist and Broadcaster like Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock only come around once in a Blue Moon and in anticipation of her appearance at the annual Huxley Lecture at Prior’s Field on 20 February, we have been looking at up moon for inspiration. Thrillingly, for the second time this month we are expecting a Full Moon on 31 January, it’s called a Blue Moon and is technically also a Super Moon. We hope there will be an equally super turn out at the event next month! Please invite friends, neighbours and extended family to join us tickets are on sale via https://pfhuxley.eventbrite.co.uk.
Looking forward into next week, our Sixth Form Chemists will visit Reading University to take part in a Spectroscopy Workshop and girls in the Upper School will have the opportunity to hear a fascinating talk giving an insight into the science of Criminology.
Tracy Kirnig

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God, the Universe and Everything Else

There has been a distinctly astronomic feel to the first ten days of term!  The stratospheric start to the New Year saw the focus on Fifth Form mocks and aiming high as the girls gallantly entered a demanding exam schedule.  Results were out today, and many saw the benefit of their hard work over Christmas, come to fruition. We look forward to discussing the results in more detail at next week’s post exam interviews with the girls and with you at Fifth Form Parents Evening on Thursday.

Elsewhere the Second Form were in Heaven at their chocolate inspired social;  Fourth Form were tackling the taxing issue of ‘God and The Big Bang Theory’ at an event at Guildford Cathedral whilst we are eagerly anticipating next month’s Huxley Lecture which features the BBC’s Face of Space.

Chances to meet an inspiring space Scientist and Broadcaster like Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock only come around once in a Blue Moon and in anticipation of her appearance at the annual Huxley Lecture at Prior’s Field on 20 February, we have been looking at up moon for inspiration. Thrillingly, for the second time this month we are expecting a Full Moon on 31 January, it’s called a Blue Moon and is technically also a Super Moon. We hope there will be an equally super turn out at the event next month! Please invite friends, neighbours and extended family to join us tickets are on sale via https://pfhuxley.eventbrite.co.uk.

Looking forward into next week, our Sixth Form Chemists will visit Reading University to take part in a Spectroscopy Workshop and girls in the Upper School will have the opportunity to hear a fascinating talk giving an insight into the science of Criminology.

Tracy Kirnig

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The school has undergone a magical transformation this week into the spirit of Christmas and celebration and giving.
I have been truly bowled over by both the creativity of the girls and indeed their generosity as they have shared their talents; their ideas and their time in all of the activities this week.  Which include:  masterminding the House Quiz; taking up the challenge of the Festive Window Competition; championing charitable causes and taking to the stage to create wonderful harmony at last night’s Celebration of Christmas concert.
The transformation was completed this morning as the Hogwarts Express steamed into reception and outpoured a cacophony of Harry Potter clad characters and a cauldron full of fantastic RAG activities. Professor Dumbledore, Bellatrix Lestrange and a life size golden glowing snitch were among the more memorable transformations.
Next term begins on Tuesday 9 January. I know that some girls will be revising during the holidays; it is important though that everyone has an opportunity to recharge their batteries. I hope the girls return refreshed and ready to learn and grasp more opportunities.
I wish you all a joyful and peaceful Christmas.
Tracy Kirnig

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The school has undergone a magical transformation this week into the spirit of Christmas and celebration and giving.

I have been truly bowled over by both the creativity of the girls and indeed their generosity as they have shared their talents; their ideas and their time in all of the activities this week.  Which include:  masterminding the House Quiz; taking up the challenge of the Festive Window Competition; championing charitable causes and taking to the stage to create wonderful harmony at last night’s Celebration of Christmas concert.

The transformation was completed this morning as the Hogwarts Express steamed into reception and outpoured a cacophony of Harry Potter clad characters and a cauldron full of fantastic RAG activities. Professor Dumbledore, Bellatrix Lestrange and a life size golden glowing snitch were among the more memorable transformations.

Next term begins on Tuesday 9 January. I know that some girls will be revising during the holidays; it is important though that everyone has an opportunity to recharge their batteries. I hope the girls return refreshed and ready to learn and grasp more opportunities.

I wish you all a joyful and peaceful Christmas.

Tracy Kirnig

Christmas may be around the corner, but the focus this week has been on mock GCSE Maths and Art exams and mock A Level Photography. Sixth Form EPQ presentations have also been a key part of the week, as girls presented the culmination of hours of individual research on topics linked to their intended degree. The chosen topics have been truly fascinating and have included:  Internet censorship in China; the future for road transport since  the introduction of driverless vehicles and an examination of the links between increased use of social media and teenagers seeking counselling.
Adolescent mental health is a topic very much at the fore at the moment and one I am passionate about. I was delighted therefore, to have the opportunity to speak at the Equality and Diversity in Schools Education Conference yesterday and to share my many years of experience in working with teenagers and best practice ideas that can be utilised.  I was both honoured (and slightly fearful) of taking the stage alongside Professor Tanya Byron, renowned consultant clinical psychologist specialising in child and mental health.
Professor Byron outlined the many complex issues surrounding teenage mental health and talked about the importance of government green paper to be launched on Sunday by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.   In turn, I spoke about how important it is for schools to enable every child to be comfortable in their own skin and the rewards of seeing a teenager blossom and thrive despite the complexities of adolescence.
Yesterday’s Second Form parents’ evening was an important opportunity for us to share feedback with you on your daughter’s progress within and outside of the classroom and equally to hear feedback from you, which we always welcome.
Meanwhile, the Community Choir has been in rehearsal ready for next Thursday’s Celebration of Christmas evening; and many thanks to our Gap students who have created their very own Christmas tree challenge for boarders, who will be enjoying a special Christmas supper tonight. A happy weekend to you all,
Tracy Kirnig

Christmas may be around the corner, but the focus this week has been on mock GCSE Maths and Art exams and mock A Level Photography. Sixth Form EPQ presentations have also been a key part of the week, as girls presented the culmination of hours of individual research on topics linked to their intended degree. The chosen topics have been truly fascinating and have included:  Internet censorship in China; the future for road transport since  the introduction of driverless vehicles and an examination of the links between increased use of social media and teenagers seeking counselling.

Adolescent mental health is a topic very much at the fore at the moment and one I am passionate about. I was delighted therefore, to have the opportunity to speak at the Equality and Diversity in Schools Education Conference yesterday and to share my many years of experience in working with teenagers and best practice ideas that can be utilised.  I was both honoured (and slightly fearful) of taking the stage alongside Professor Tanya Byron, renowned consultant clinical psychologist specialising in child and mental health.

Professor Byron outlined the many complex issues surrounding teenage mental health and talked about the importance of government green paper to be launched on Sunday by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.   In turn, I spoke about how important it is for schools to enable every child to be comfortable in their own skin and the rewards of seeing a teenager blossom and thrive despite the complexities of adolescence.

Yesterday’s Second Form parents’ evening was an important opportunity for us to share feedback with you on your daughter’s progress within and outside of the classroom and equally to hear feedback from you, which we always welcome.

Meanwhile, the Community Choir has been in rehearsal ready for next Thursday’s Celebration of Christmas evening; and many thanks to our Gap students who have created their very own Christmas tree challenge for boarders, who will be enjoying a special Christmas supper tonight. A happy weekend to you all,

Tracy Kirnig