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
Thursday’s Relatives Day was a great success, the First Formers welcomed over 160 of their relations into school for a personal tour and tea. It was heartening to see many of the girls and their grandparents and other family members exploring the beautiful AppArt sculptures in the Rose Garden. For many of the relatives, it was the first opportunity they have had to visit the school, and it was plain to see that they cherished being shown around by their special tour guides. We received some super feedback, one parent wrote ‘I just wanted to email in to thank you very much for organising Relatives Day. My mother, who lives alone, called me when she returned home to tell me how much she had enjoyed the day. She also remarked how the school had such a lovely atmosphere and that everyone was so friendly and she feels comfort knowing our daughter is in such an environment. The day meant a lot to her as I am sure it did to other grandparents’.
It has been wonderful to finally have some sunshine this week and what better timing than for our House Sports event on Wednesday.
In the glorious sunny rays – First, Second and Third Formers took to the netball courts while the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Form girls showed off their skills in hockey and football. The atmosphere was fantastic with everyone either participating or cheering each other on. Each house took wins throughout all the different tournaments which has led to some very close results.
1st – Austen (26 points)
2nd – Frank (22 points)
3rd – Pankhurst (17 points)
On Tuesday evening we welcomed the inspirational Rachel Morris as our guest speaker at the Annual PF Sports Dinner. Growing up in Farnham, Rachel is our very own local Paralympic heroine who has overcome many challenges in her personal life. She initially started competing as a Paralympic cyclist before suffering a horrific accident which subsequently led to Rachel changing disciplines and becoming a rower. Along with winning several World Titles, Rachel has also won two gold medals and a bronze medal. She achieved her gold medals at the Beijing Olympics as a hand cyclist as well as in Rio in the women’s single sculls rowing and her bronze was won in London for cycling.
The girls thoroughly enjoyed Rachel’s talk and were extremely interested in the message she delivered. They asked plenty of questions and were really keen to learn and understand as much as possible. Thank you to everyone who attended the evening, which was fantastic, and well done to all those who received awards on the night.
The House Music and House Choir results are in! Mr Pratt has announced the following winners of the competition that took place back in February. Well done to all the winners!
Overall Results :
|Best House Final :||Austen|
|Most First Round Entries||Frank|
|Most Entertaining Choir :||Frank|
|Most Musical Choir :||Austen|
|Best Rehearsed Choir :||Frank|
|Best Choir Director :||Sixth Former Sammi B (Pankhurst)|
|Best Overall Performer :||Sixth Former Chloe P (Austen)|
|Best Austen Performance :||Fifth Former Millie W (Austen)|
|Best Frank Performance :||Third Former Kelsi T (Frank)|
|Best Pankhurst Performance :||Fourth Former Evelyn M,violin (Pankhurst)|
|Best Vocal Performance :||Fifth Former Imogen R (Frank)|
|Most Promising Vocalists :||Second Former Alice W (Pankhurst)|
|Third Former Lottie C (Pankhurst)|
|Most Promising Pianist :||Third Former Phoebe A (Frank)|
|Best Woodwind Performance :||Third Former Poppy D (Pankhurst)|
|Best Brass Performance :||Fifth Former Brydie A (Austen)|
|Most Promising String Player :||Second Former Megan R (Austen)|
|Best Vocalist Instrumentalists :||Second Former Mia B (Austen)|
|Second Former Ella (Pankhurst)|
|Best Ensemble :||Third Formers Izzy & Eloise (Frank)|
|Director of Music Awards :||Fourth Former Daisy E (Austen)|
|Third Former Katie G (Austen)|
|Third Former Boe T (Austen)|
|Sixth Former Emily B (Frank)|
|Fourth Former Tallulah H (Frank)|
|First Former Robyn M (Frank)|
|Sixth Former Holly G (Pankhurst)|
|Second Former Phoebe J (Pankhurst)|
|Fourth Former Grace S (Pankhurst)|
Before they spent time at an important UCAS presentation looking forward to their exciting futures, the Sixth Form organised a fun run with a twist on Wednesday to raise money for Sport Relief. They draughted in some teaching legends to take part in a ‘High Heel Race’. The winner by a square mile in speed and style was Ricky, our Head Chef, who got off to a cracking start, wearing a beautiful pink dress! It was a good effort from all the other competitors; Mrs Allen, Mr Butler, Mrs Horton, Mr Marrison and Mrs McGarry but the pack couldn’t catch up with the breakneck baker!
Mrs Haddock reports ‘After a successful rendez-vous under the clock at Waterloo Station I and a select party of Sixth Form Historians headed off to be enlightened on the finer details of Russia’s rulers at a revision conference on Russia 1855-1964.
The speakers were all leaders in their field and provided some fascinating insights into Russian History as well as some top tips on question analysis. The talks covered key examination questions including the collapse of Tsarism and the success or otherwise of Stalin’s rule. Inevitably, comparisons between Stalin and Putin were made and we came away with the depressing thought that, perhaps the very nature of Russia and its people, leant itself to some form of strong leadership. The discussion that followed was testament to the intellectual ability of the girls and their capacity to absorb lots of information over a short time period. A day well-spent!’
On Monday the Mathematics Department welcomed Zoe Griffiths. Zoe delivers the Mathematics programme at the Royal Institution. Her favourite number is ∏ and she has been known to bake mathematical cakes.
Whilst at Prior’s Field she gave a talk to Fourth Form on the “Hidden Mathematics in Technology” looking at bar codes and pixels showing how maths is everywhere. The Third Form were challenged with “Freaky Probability” where they investigated the chance of winning tossing a coin three times to obtain a certain combination of heads and tails and the likelihood of scooping the Lottery!
Zoe was then the guest at a Sixth Form Mathematicians lunch and enjoyed finding out about the combinations of A levels being studied and the future plans of the girls to use their mathematical skills. The lunch gave the Sixth Form a chance to meet our Fifth formers planning to study maths and to tell them the (mostly) highs and lows of the A Level course. They were excited to all chat about our forth coming trip to Thorpe Park to study the mechanics, scaling up and business maths of Derren Brown’s ghost train ride!
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
Prior’s Field girls were truly “Ready to Go” on Thursday night as they opened the Rotary Guildford District Schools concert at G Live with a rendition of the Republica track belted out by the Sixth Form Rock Band with Eleanor on vocals. A stunning showcase of musical creativity, professionalism and talent followed. Fourth Former Evelyn delivered a vivacious and lively violin solo of Csardas, while the 75-strong choir proved themselves very able to entertain with a complex a cappella arrangement of Shawn Mendes’ “Stitches” led by Fourth Former Grace C. The Jazz Band blended beautifully with the soulful tones of Emily B in Adele’s “Hello” while the 10-minute “Les Misérables” medley mesmerised the audience with its strength in singing and its slickness between songs. The Prior’s Field set ended with a powerful performance of “I Predict a Riot” by Kaiser Chiefs. The girls were performing alongside fellow schools within the Guildford District and as part of the Rotary Club’s programme of initiatives which aim to provide opportunities for schools to showcase their work and have the opportunity to perform in a mainstream theatre with professional stage management. A huge well done to all girls who took part; their stagecraft and transitions were seamless and their performances truly fabulous!