Tag: Heads Round Up

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 

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I hope the half term break brought everyone an opportunity for calm and time to recharge the batteries. We have certainly started back at an exciting pace.

The Upper Sixth began their mocks bright and early on Monday morning. This week will make the approaching public exams seem much more real. I am sure that the girls will benefit greatly from the mock experience, in terms of awareness of both where they are now and where they need to be in a few months’ time.

Meanwhile, a group of First Form were visiting our neighbour, the Robertsons Nursing Home, on one of a series of trips connecting with the First Form PSHE programme, encouraging altruistic thinking and broader communication skills. Julia Huxley would be thrilled that the spirit of philanthropy she so valued is still being nurtured, even in our youngest girls.

On Monday evening, the Boarders enjoyed a wonderful themed supper for Chinese New Year; we were treated to a feast which most of the girls bravely attempted to negotiate with chopsticks – with varying results! The planning that went into the evening was superb. My thanks go to the Boarding staff and our wonderful Catering team.

We were thrilled on Tuesday to welcome Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, MBE, to speak at our Julia Huxley Lecture. At a pre-event drinks event, staff and Governors chatted with invited guests, including Perdita Hunt, formerly Director of Watts Gallery, Professor Gao of Surrey University, Jane Whittingham (Head at St Hilary’s) and Matthew Bryan (new Head at Longacre). Later, everyone present sat enthralled while Maggie spoke to us about her own personal journey, via thirteen schools and accompanied by the challenge of dyslexia. She left us in no doubt of her passion for her subject (astro-physics and engineering) and her enthusiasm for encouraging more young women to explore the possibility of a career linked to science. Her vivacity was infectious and her advice to reach for the stars, whatever your personal stars may be, resonated with the entire audience. The Head Girl, Beatrice, spoke eloquently for us all when she thanked Maggie for inspiring us all to think beyond the obvious.

On Friday, we are hosting a sell-out boarding taster experience for Year 6 girls. We are very much looking forward to welcoming them back following their entrance exams and the boarding team are very excited about the programme of activities which are planned.

One of my favourite tasks this week will be judging the Huxley Essay Competition. Thank you to all those girls who have entered this time. I am always so impressed by the girls’ appetite for these contests which, married with the growing interest in debating across all year groups, is a testament to their ability to construct and present arguments, listen and exchange views – life skills so essential for the future. Prior’s Field Partners in Learning, involving the Lower Sixth and younger girls and now under way, is another initiative which will bring so many benefits to all the girls involved.

Lastly, I must congratulate all the girls who are currently putting so much time and effort into their sport. The calendar is bursting with fixtures, and training sessions. Sport is a crucial part of a rounded education and I am delighted that, at Prior’s Field, we recognise its importance and value, and will continue to do so despite changing academic pressures. Do come along and support the girls if you can. It really is a privilege to witness their talent and enthusiasm.

With best wishes

Tracy Kirnig

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I hope the half term break brought everyone an opportunity for calm and time to recharge the batteries. We have certainly started back at an exciting pace.
The Upper Sixth began their mocks bright and early on Monday morning. This week will make the approaching public exams seem much more real. I am sure that the girls will benefit greatly from the mock experience, in terms of awareness of both where they are now and where they need to be in a few months’ time.
Meanwhile, a group of First Form were visiting our neighbour, the Robertsons Nursing Home, on one of a series of trips connecting with the First Form PSHE programme, encouraging altruistic thinking and broader communication skills. Julia Huxley would be thrilled that the spirit of philanthropy she so valued is still being nurtured, even in our youngest girls.
On Monday evening, the Boarders enjoyed a wonderful themed supper for Chinese New Year; we were treated to a feast which most of the girls bravely attempted to negotiate with chopsticks – with varying results! The planning that went into the evening was superb. My thanks go to the Boarding staff and our wonderful Catering team.
We were thrilled on Tuesday to welcome Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, MBE, to speak at our Julia Huxley Lecture. At a pre-event drinks event, staff and Governors chatted with invited guests, including Perdita Hunt, formerly Director of Watts Gallery, Professor Gao of Surrey University, Jane Whittingham (Head at St Hilary’s) and Matthew Bryan (new Head at Longacre). Later, everyone present sat enthralled while Maggie spoke to us about her own personal journey, via thirteen schools and accompanied by the challenge of dyslexia. She left us in no doubt of her passion for her subject (astro-physics and engineering) and her enthusiasm for encouraging more young women to explore the possibility of a career linked to science. Her vivacity was infectious and her advice to reach for the stars, whatever your personal stars may be, resonated with the entire audience. The Head Girl, Beatrice, spoke eloquently for us all when she thanked Maggie for inspiring us all to think beyond the obvious.
On Friday, we are hosting a sell-out boarding taster experience for Year 6 girls. We are very much looking forward to welcoming them back following their entrance exams and the boarding team are very excited about the programme of activities which are planned.
One of my favourite tasks this week will be judging the Huxley Essay Competition. Thank you to all those girls who have entered this time. I am always so impressed by the girls’ appetite for these contests which, married with the growing interest in debating across all year groups, is a testament to their ability to construct and present arguments, listen and exchange views – life skills so essential for the future. Prior’s Field Partners in Learning, involving the Lower Sixth and younger girls and now under way, is another initiative which will bring so many benefits to all the girls involved.
Lastly, I must congratulate all the girls who are currently putting so much time and effort into their sport. The calendar is bursting with fixtures, and training sessions. Sport is a crucial part of a rounded education and I am delighted that, at Prior’s Field, we recognise its importance and value, and will continue to do so despite changing academic pressures. Do come along and support the girls if you can. It really is a privilege to witness their talent and enthusiasm.
With best wishes
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

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

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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