Head’s Blog

‘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

This week marked both the 109th anniversary of Prior’s Field founder Julia Huxley’s death, and the 174th anniversary of Gertrude Jekyll’s birthday; together with Julia’s husband, Leonard, renowned horticulturist Jekyll created the design for our school’s original gardens. It was fitting therefore to pay tribute to both these exceptional women, by placing flowers midweek on Julia’s grave in Watts Cemetery.
Julia Huxley’s pioneering spirit and belief in the importance of independent thinking have been embodied in many ways this past week – not least by the success of our First to Third Form in the London Junior Debating League, exceptional entries on the theme of ‘Freedom’ to the English Department’s poetry competition and Sixth Form EPQ presentations to an invited audience. Her ambition ‘to send out confident young women, ready to take their place in the modern world’ lives on.
Congratulations to the Lower Sixth Form for wonderful orchestration of today’s fundraising events in support of Tinga Tinga primary school in Tanzania which include a ‘Name the Giraffe’ competition, donations for a Christmas Jumper Mufti and a truly Olympic challenge undertaken by Sixth Form to row across the English Channel.  Lower Sixth Form students( and staff) took on the mammoth challenge of rowing 37,600m – the distance of the English Channel – in Reception – thank goodness that experienced rower and Head of History Dr Goldsmith was on hand to put in many of the miles. Just after midday the news was in that they were safely ashore and had taken the decision to row back ! Thank you to everyone who supported today’s events and it was a truly lovely start to December to see festive knitwear in every corridor, classroom and office , completed by the odd pair of reindeer antlers too!
Tracy Kirnig

This week marked both the 109th anniversary of Prior’s Field founder Julia Huxley’s death, and the 174th anniversary of Gertrude Jekyll’s birthday; together with Julia’s husband, Leonard, renowned horticulturist Jekyll created the design for our school’s original gardens. It was fitting therefore to pay tribute to both these exceptional women, by placing flowers midweek on Julia’s grave in Watts Cemetery.

Julia Huxley’s pioneering spirit and belief in the importance of independent thinking have been embodied in many ways this past week – not least by the success of our First to Third Form in the London Junior Debating League, exceptional entries on the theme of ‘Freedom’ to the English Department’s poetry competition and Sixth Form EPQ presentations to an invited audience. Her ambition ‘to send out confident young women, ready to take their place in the modern world’ lives on.

Congratulations to the Lower Sixth Form for wonderful orchestration of today’s fundraising events in support of Tinga Tinga primary school in Tanzania which include a ‘Name the Giraffe’ competition, donations for a Christmas Jumper Mufti and a truly Olympic challenge undertaken by Sixth Form to row across the English Channel.  Lower Sixth Form students( and staff) took on the mammoth challenge of rowing 37,600m – the distance of the English Channel – in Reception – thank goodness that experienced rower and Head of History Dr Goldsmith was on hand to put in many of the miles. Just after midday the news was in that they were safely ashore and had taken the decision to row back ! Thank you to everyone who supported today’s events and it was a truly lovely start to December to see festive knitwear in every corridor, classroom and office , completed by the odd pair of reindeer antlers too!

Tracy Kirnig

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Tonight will see the cast and crew of ‘Les Misérables’ come together one last time, to give their fifth and final performance of the week. What an astounding achievement these performances have been. Each audience – and at the Tuesday matinée this included over 110 pupils from local prep schools, as well as 10 former members of staff and several visitors from Busbridge Church’s Prime Time group – was dazzled by the professionalism, realism and emotion of the performances. Huge congratulations to everyone involved – this was a massive and brave undertaking to which our girls rose with aplomb! In order to do this fantastic production justice there will be a highly pictorial review piece in next week’s newsletter.
Prior’s Field will be a hive of activity tomorrow. On the crest of our U12A and B success at Tormead last week, the PE Department is welcoming schools for a netball tournament first thing in the morning. From 11.00am to 3.00pm, doors will open for our PSA Christmas Fair, which promises to be both a fun and effortless way to pick up imaginative Christmas presents. A special mention to those boarders who have spent their evenings this week making wrapping paper packs, decorations and notebooks for sale at the Fair, all proceeds going to charity. Do support this event by coming along tomorrow, if you can.
Tracy Kirnig