Tag: head

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The half term break was a time for rest and relaxation for the First to Third Forms and revision for the Fourth Form (hopefully with a bit of rest and relaxation too!). The Fourth Form exams run slightly into next week; the girls have been focused and working hard, keen to show us what they can do. We look forward to celebrating their achievements.

I had the pleasure of visiting St Ives School on Tuesday and attending their annual Year 6 luncheon. I, Mrs Sapseid and Ms Troup are looking forward to our other visits to primary and prep schools in the coming weeks.

The Art department have this week been working hard in preparation for the GCSE Private View this afternoon. I have had a sneak preview and can divulge that the work on display is absolutely stunning. I would encourage parents of all girls in any year group to come along and see the exhibition, and the A level Private View on Friday 15 June. I am confident you will be impressed by the incredible standard of the work on show.

I and Mrs Westerman, Joint Head of Sixth Form, have very much enjoyed this week interviewing almost half the year group for a position on the Senior Prefect Leadership Team next year. It was marvellous to read the girls’ fluent and mature application letters and wonderful, in interview, to hear the girls talk about how much they feel they have gained from their years at Prior’s Field and their wish to give something back. The girls spoke about how much they admired the girls in the Sixth Form as they themselves moved through the school. They were united in their praise for the current Head Girl and Upper Sixth prefect team, and in particular their efforts with fundraising and volunteering for charity. We have all been thoroughly impressed with the current Upper Sixth as a year group, and their achievements have clearly had a major impact on the Lower Sixth following in their wake.

Finally, this afternoon, we will be saying goodbye to Richard Green as he retires as Chairman of the Board of Governors. This is a chance for the school community to thank Richard for all he has done for Prior’s Field, although there will be a final opportunity at Speech Day on Saturday 7 July, an event which I hope you all have in your diary.

With best wishes for the weekend

Tracy Kirnig

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Our wonderful Chef and Catering Team outdid themselves on Saturday when they provided the most sumptuous Royal wedding picnic for the Boarders. Having seen the menu presented to the Royal family and their guests, I am certain that the Prior’s Field spread was far more impressive! The Boarders thoroughly enjoyed watching the wedding, oo’ing and ah’ing in all the right places. It was a lovely occasion for the Prior’s Field memory book.

This week the First, Second and Third Forms have been sitting their internal exams. The girls have been working hard and keeping calm.  I am very proud of them.

The Lower Sixth meanwhile have been putting the final touches to their senior prefect applications, which have been flying in. The letters of application I have received have been so impressive in their maturity – full of wisdom, ideas and enthusiasm. We have a hard task on our hands to choose between these young women, all so keen to step up and take on an important leadership role within the school.

Yesterday, Ms Troup and I escaped the Godalming rain and went to Buckingham Palace to meet not the Queen but, in our case, the Countess of Wessex, who presented four of our current girls (Katie A, Flora H, Holly G and Georgia S) and three former pupils (Sinead K, Holly D and Sophie P) with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. It was a wonderfully joyous occasion which it was a privilege to attend. Nearly 3 million awards have been achieved since the scheme started in 1956 and more than 275,000 people are currently working towards an award. This transformational scheme promotes resilience and enterprise and builds confidence and self-esteem. I am delighted that Prior’s Field girls throw themselves into it with so much gusto, supported by staff members just as evangelical about Duke of Edinburgh as I am. Please do encourage your daughter to take part and join me on a future trip to the palace!

Finally, today we have said goodbye to the Upper Sixth as they depart on study leave. They have treated us to a wonderful day with a surprise breakfast of cake and personal messages for staff, morning activities organised by the Second Form focussed on giving to others and a delicious lunch for the whole school. We wish the girls the best of luck for their exams and look forward to celebrating their successes in August.

With best wishes for half term

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 

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 

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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Assembly this morning was led by 2A on the theme of Friendship.  A very fitting end to a week in which we have waved off the First Form to Welsh Bicknor, tasked with just one goal of consolidating their new friendships through; fun, challenges and for many, the first trip away from home.

First Form being off-site facilitated the opportunity to run a Sixth Form Taster day for the current fifth form.  I very much enjoyed dropping in on their taster session in subjects old and new, and hearing their thoughts as to how the day had changed or supported their initial A Level subject shortlist. I am delighted that so many girls are considering the additional benefit of applying for Sixth Form Scholarships.

There was a great deal of colour and light this week not only in storm Ophelia’s sky; but from the electrifying neon of the ’80s Cabaret Evening and the truly beautiful reflections of candlelight and illumination which lit the Boarder’s Diwali dinner yesterday evening.

The theme of friendship is also where we end the week by welcoming back the Class of 1977 for a re-union. Over fifteen Alumni are eager to return and re-live happy memories and pore over some of the photographs of their teenage selves in seventies style!  The PF motto of the day: To Live by Admiration, Hope and Love’ is just as relevant today as the Second Form concluded this morning with these words from their assembly:  “We don’t need to be best friends with everyone, but we can be (and are), kind, tolerant, inclusive and make everyone feel valued”

Wishing you a wonderful half-term break

Tracy Kirnig

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Assembly this morning began with a spine-tingling rendition of ‘A Heart Full of Love’ by our cast members of Les Mis to announce the opening of the box office on-line.  The excitement continued as following a dramatic drum-roll, Mrs Horton delivered news of the next PF Production Studios classic – Grease in 2018.
Yet more stunning performances will be aired next week at the eagerly anticipated ‘Electric Eighties’ Cabaret evening on Wednesday; tickets are now also on sale at www.priorsfield.eventbrite.co.uk for  this unmissable evening and of course for Les Misérables.
The site was buzzing with visitors again this week; from a packed tour schedule for our Admissions team to many eager competitors in Wednesday’s Junior Cross Country Competition, to which we welcomed over 150 10-12 year olds from local schools. Their spirit and determination, despite the wind and rain, was fantastic to see and was rewarded with hot tomato soup at the end of the course and a very enjoyable prize-giving ceremony.
Co-Curricular extension and enrichment has been very much at the fore this week with Oxbridge outings to Cambridge; Physics Lectures at LVS Ascot and a Studio Photography Day led by professional David Watts.  Whilst in class, I had the chance to see a wonderful Third Form exploration of characterisation in the work of Edgar Allan Poe; the first GCSE photographer’s dark room session and Fifth Form tackling their final practical pieces in DT.
As we look to next week, the fast pace is set to continue, not least with the First Form’s adventure bonding trip to Welsh Bicknor. A reminder to everyone that next Friday 20 October is a mufti day for all girls bringing in items in support of our PSA Christmas Fair. Thank you, as ever, for your ongoing support.
Tracy Kirnig