We have continued to have a steady stream of visitors through the Rose Garden and beyond, following the AppArt trail, which is growing daily as new pieces seem to appear overnight. I have watched out of my window groups of excited children from St Hilary’s and Moss Lane examining the display, and yesterday we welcomed First Form friends and family who came to our Relatives’ Day, one of my favourite Prior’s Field events. The First Form were excellent hosts and tour guides and proudly showed their guests around their school, pointing out their favourite spots and interesting sights – like the Head, for example!
Another treat this week has been to listen to some of Mr Butler’s and Mrs McGarry’s Second Form girls read their creative writing, which was powerful, evocative and, frankly, quite terrifying! I look forward to hearing more after the holidays.
I have had the privilege over the last few days of attending as a guest two local school productions: ‘My Fair Lady’ at Manor House (with acting Director of Music for the show, our very own Mr Pratt) and ‘Hoodwinked’ at Longacre. They were both a complete joy to share with smiling parents and staff. The hat-trick was completed when Mrs Wilcock saw ‘The Jungle Book’ at St Hilary’s, another huge success. Congratulations to everyone concerned with all those shows; the hard work is worth it for the pleasure they bring.
Our own girls who attended the Annual Sports Dinner on Tuesday were both inspired by the speaker, Rachel Morris, and inspiring, as many received awards for their achievements. The celebrations of sporting success that evening were a precursor to our Presentation Assembly this morning, when a multitude of awards for a huge number of activities, both academic and co-curricular, were presented to many girls who were quite rightly beaming with delight.
Last night, our Digital Awareness pastoral evening was an important event with an outside speaker; the parents who came were very engaged and interested. We plan similar talks for the future and I would really encourage you to attend so that we can work together to ensure that your daughter is equipped for life beyond Prior’s Field. We will let you know when we have firmed up the date of our next event.
I am conscious that, for many, the holidays mean revision and I know that girls will be working hard to make progress towards their goals. I do hope, however, that everyone has the opportunity to have a rest. Let’s hope that we see more of the sun than snow in the weeks ahead.
With best wishes for a happy Easter
As I look outside my window, I know that spring is here as there are fascinating and beautiful pieces of art peeping out of bushes and hiding around every corner. AppART is here and this week we have already welcomed several groups of prep and primary school children to wander around the Rose Garden and take part in an Art workshop with Miss Thorpe from the Art department. It was clear from the excited noise in the Oak Hall, when the girls and boys came in for their snack and were displaying their creations, that they had had great fun.
Another real treat this week was Mothering Sunday at the weekend, when the boarders invited me to join them and other invited guests from Busbridge Church Primetime Group. I was immensely proud of the girls who charmed and made conversation with the group of mainly elderly visitors, who would otherwise have been on their own, despite some having children of their own.
On Tuesday, we welcomed several families of prospective pupils to ‘Meet the Head’ and other members of the Senior Leadership Team. They were shown round by smiling girls, eager to show off their school – so eager in fact that one family nearly had a tour of the kitchen!
It was lovely on Wednesday to see so many of the Fourth Form and their parents at Parents’ Evening. I have been fortunate enough recently to have been able to find the time to observe several lessons, across all the year groups, and I have been so impressed by the way in which the girls really do throw themselves into academic study.
As always, however, Prior’s Field girls frequently manage successfully to combine work and play. This week, the U13 gymnasts impressed at their competition away to Guildford High. Yesterday evening, the audience and VIPs, including me and Mr Taylor, at the Rotary Schools Concert at G Live were treated to a fantastic Prior’s Field contribution, including a wonderful ‘Les Misérables’ medley, reminding us just how amazing that production was last term. And finally, today, in a special assembly, seven Sixth Formers received a Young Leaders in Service Award, a testament to their commitment to giving to others whilst developing themselves and their own life skills for the future. It is remarkable that these girls have been able to contribute huge quantities of time for this award, whilst also achieving in their academic studies, music and drama.
Finally, I leave you with the image of the Head very nearly photo-bombing a form group photo! The girls all so enjoyed the opportunity with their friends to capture on camera this special time in their lives – before they move on to the next one!
With best wishes
Whilst the north-west of England continues to have snow, spring seems to have arrived at Prior’s Field. It is hardly credible that the boarders (and I!) were sledging down the slopes in the school grounds last Friday on tea trays! Some of the girls also took the opportunity to use the wintery background to add to their Art and Photography portfolios with stunning results.
On the subject of snow, or skiing, we were excited this week to learn that, thanks to Molly in the First Form, Prior’s Field now holds the British Inter Schools U12 Grand Slalom title. Molly’s achievements this season are awe-inspiring and a testament to her drive and commitment.
Rock and Pop on Monday was another celebration of achievement. The girls who played and sang were extremely good and gave a performance that was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. It was super to see so many girls invest such a huge amount of energy and emotion in what was, for some, an experience quite outside their comfort zone.
This phenomenal week continued on Wednesday with House Art: an opportunity for girls in every year group to display their skill in Art, Photography and Textiles. Creative Arts Scholars’ parents and invited guests, including the new Director of Watts Gallery, Alistair Burtenshaw, thoroughly enjoyed admiring the pieces before the judges made their decision. Prince Charles, who has been in the press this week, calling for more Creative Arts teaching and learning, would have been more than impressed with the astounding display of talent.
There was plenty of noise in the Drama Studio yesterday when the Fifth Form received their IGCSE Maths results: every girl achieved at least a C grade and 55% achieved an A*. Even the sun came out to celebrate with the girls, as they posed by the unicorn for a photograph. I am very proud of their achievement, and grateful for all the hard work put in by the Maths Department to support them.
It seems that Prior’s Field girls were involved at the start of the global women’s movement celebrated this week on International Women’s Day. A Prior’s Field girl, Margie Wetzler Coit, wrote in the school magazine in 1909 about the International Women’s Suffrage Conference she attended in London. This week, Prior’s Field girls’ achievements seem to embody the advice of one of the speakers at that conference to ‘follow the gleam’!
The First Form trips to the Robertson Nursing Home continued on Monday, and I know how much the residents enjoyed these visits, and how appreciative their families are that our girls are connecting with their family members in this way. This weekend, I have been invited to Mother’s Day lunch with the boarders, and I am looking forward to sharing the day with several members of the Busbridge Prime Time group who are also coming along.
I hope you too are able to enjoy a special time this weekend with your family.
With best wishes
Thank you to everyone who attended our Fourth Form GCSE Information Evening yesterday. I hope you found the guidance useful; please contact Head of Year Mrs Furey (firstname.lastname@example.org) if the evening has prompted further thoughts.
Other events this week included student trips to Shropshire and London, the announcement of House charities and the launch of this term’s ‘Word of the Week’ competition – in celebration of Samuel Johnson’s 308th birthday. Please do encourage your daughter to enter the competition. Not only can the girls potentially win merits and chocolate; it is also a wonderful way to expand vocabulary. Wordsmiths will already know that National Poetry Day falls on 28 September and has Freedom as its theme. The English Department have planned a fitting celebration which will be revealed to the girls next week.
Next week also sees several notable visitors to Prior’s Field, including French actors for Languages Week and a golf professional offering a taster session to all years. We have high expectations for the annual Inter-House Cross Country event next Friday morning, with the theme of Up, Up and Away. We are also hoping for the usual bumper attendance at our autumn Open Day on Saturday 30 September (10.00am-1.00pm). Please do feel free to extend an invitation to friends and neighbours who may be keen to visit the school as prospective parents either next Saturday or for our Sixth Form Open Evening on Thursday 5 October (6.00pm-8.00pm).
The girls have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into the start of term and, every lunchtime, the school has been buzzing with activity in every corner. A reminder that the subject drop-in sessions will start on Monday, providing opportunities for additional one-to-one support or advice, as per the schedule distributed with this week’s parent letters. I would really encourage the girls to take advantage of the opportunity to work individually with a member of staff if they need assistance or wish to extend their progress.
With best wishes for what promises to be a sunny weekend