It has been an exciting time for all things Drama at Prior’s Field. Last week, Lower Sixth students performed part of their A Level exam practical component. The piece was inspired by and based on the American religious cult leader, Jim Jones, and the disturbing events which took place in 1978 – made relevant for today. The girls’ performance was moving, chilling, thought-provoking and clever. In complete contrast, the Lower School production is gathering pace; we are all very much looking forward to watching ‘Alice in Londonland’. Finally some of Prior’s Field superstars have been out and about, performing in a variety of shows at the Mill Studio in Guildford with The Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre. Well done to all the girls involved and thank you to all parents for keeping us updated as to your daughter’s experiences and achievements out of school.
The Rotary Schools Concert at G Live on Wednesday evening was stunning with incredible performances from individuals and the ensembles. We received many compliments from other Heads. I was very proud of all the girls.
The Boarders are looking forward to welcoming members of Busbridge Church’s Primetime group to lunch on Sunday. This has become a regular event and is always a lovely occasion.
Set up for the annual AppArt exhibition begins in the grounds on Sunday, which is very exciting. The view from my office will once again be complemented with incredible artwork of all shapes and sizes. We will be welcoming local primary school children to look at the display and to do a workshop with the Art department. Please do plan to come along yourselves from 6 April, when the exhibition opens to the public.
Next Thursday we are holding a Life after Sixth Form evening for the Lower Sixth, intended to inform them about all the options available to them and how to access them. The Sixth Form benefit hugely from sessions such as this and from the all-round support and advice we offer. I do hope as many of them as possible attend.
Last week, a new initiative – Girls on Board – was launched with the Second Form. Girls on Board is an approach to help girls between the ages of 8 and 18 navigate the often troubled waters of friendship problems. The approach empowers girls to find their own solutions, giving them more self-confidence and developing their emotional intelligence. Today the girls have come together in their form groups for a photograph – some in international dress, as the result of an idea from Lyba and her friends in the Fifth Form. I hope all the form groups have had fun together planning for their photo and I look forward to seeing the results which promise to be colourful and joyous.
With best wishes
I feel I should start today by reassuring you that my team succeeded in finding a team name for the PSA Quiz last Friday – not much thought required, as we took it straight from my blog to you last week: ‘answers on a postcard’. Although we were not wholly successful with all the questions set, we thoroughly enjoyed the evening which ran very smoothly with the brilliant quiz master from QuizQuizQuiz making sure it was fast-moving and fun. I would very much encourage you to come along next year. My thanks to the PSA for their perfect organisation of the event and also as usual to the Catering team – the amazing curry with the many and varied side dishes was delicious; they even provided containers for take away portions to enjoy the next day.
This week has been an exceptionally busy week, even by Prior’s Field standards.
The House Art on Wednesday was outstanding. It was a joy to see contributions from Art scholars and from girls less established in the subject. There is huge talent in school and I know the judges found their decision hard. Thank you to all those who helped with the judging – we appreciate the time and commitment that you gave – and also of course to the Art department for staging such a wonderful exhibition.
On Thursday, the Fifth Form girls who took IGCSE Maths earlier this term received their results. I am very proud of all the girls, some of whom will bank their fantastic result and some of whom aspire to a higher grade in the summer.
Rock and pop last night was fabulous. It is always such a pleasure to see girls whose performance skills have developed over the year, as well as those who have hidden their musical talent under a bushel and suddenly decide to share it. They were all inspirational.
This weekend, our U16 netball team will be competing in the schools county final tournament day at Croydon High. I know the girls would be thrilled to make it through to the regional tournament. I wish them the best of luck.
Next week looks no less busy. On Tuesday, we will be welcoming several prospective Prior’s Field families to our Meet the Head event and, later in the day, I look forward to seeing many of you at the Upper Sixth parents’ evening. The Rotary Schools Concert at G Live on Wednesday promises to be a treat, as always, and the music continues on Friday, with the House Choir competition – a fiercely fought battle. The girls are very excited about their Form group photos which will be taken on Friday. Friday is also International Dress Day so the girls will have plenty of options in terms of potential outfits for their photos. My week will end at Farnham Heath End School, who have invited me to their production of ‘Grease’. Their Head of Music and Head of Drama attended our own production in the autumn and were inspired by what they saw.
Yesterday, we hosted a representative of the Tatler Schools Guide. She was treated to a full tour of the school, conversations with pupils and staff as well as some of Chef’s creations. Before she left, she gave us wonderful feedback, having been struck by our uniqueness and friendly feel. Most of all, she was impressed with the girls she had met, their openness, their support for each other and their self-confidence. Today is International Women’s Day and it seems entirely appropriate to celebrate how, as this week clearly demonstrates, Prior’s Field encourages talent and helps girls to achieve great things – it is something of which I am very proud.
With best wishes
International Women’s Day – a thought provoking assembly this morning on what does it mean to be a woman in 2019?
This week there has been so much to enjoy and celebrate.
On Tuesday, it was a pleasure to welcome the new Head of Amesbury, Sheina Wright, to Prior’s Field. It was a beautiful day for Sheina to see Prior’s Field at work.
On Tuesday evening, I joined other members of staff accompanying the Third and Fourth Forms to an interesting production of Macbeth at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. It was not a surprise, but I was struck by the girls’ immaculate behaviour, both on the coach and in the theatre, particularly given the length of the evening.
The U11 Gymnastics Festival we hosted on Wednesday was amazing. It was a privilege to present the awards to such talented and joyful performers. I would challenge anyone not to have walked away with a smile on their face. The Games staff did a wonderful job but it was particularly pleasing to see girls from Second to Sixth Form recording scores and judging alongside their teachers.
I was invited by Alistair Burtenshaw, Director of Watts Gallery, to represent Prior’s Field at a private view last evening of the new exhibition at Watts Gallery: Raymond Booth 1929 – 2015: Detailing Nature. I would highly recommend the exhibition to anyone interested in this area. Earlier in the week, a group of Prior’s Field girls were at the gallery to see the work of Sally Marriott, who is currently carrying out conservation work on our painting by John Collier of Leonard Huxley, Julia Huxley’s husband. It was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to see a real specialist in action. We look forward to having Leonard back hanging above the Oak Hall stairs very soon.
University offers are continuing to come through for the Upper Sixth, who were busy with their mocks this week. Many girls will have to make a difficult decision in the face of a plethora of exciting possibilities.
At lunchtime today, girls enjoyed our first ever Head’s Commendation Celebration, hosted by Mr Taylor and me – a new tradition sealed with hot chocolate, Chef’s special chocolate cake and strawberries.
This evening, staff and parents will pit their wits against each other at the PSA Quiz. I am grateful to the PSA for their continued support. The most difficult question of all, of course, will be: what is our team name? Answers on a postcard.
Next week, we look forward to House Art and Rock and Pop. I hope to see many of you on at least one of those evenings.
Finally, I cannot finish without mentioning Polly Murray, our Development and Alumnae Officer, herself an Old Girl, who was honoured this week at a reception in Farnham Council Chamber for her outstanding contribution to the community of Farnham. The medal awarded to Polly is in recognition of her work in setting up a community choir which has now been running for ten years and which has had real impact on the lives of its members, as well as raising money for local causes. Huge congratulations to Polly – we are all very proud of her.
With best wishes
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