Trips

Third Form Art Trip

On Monday Third Formers went to visit the Andreas Gursky exhibition at the Hayward Gallery and the British Museum. The trip was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to find and record inspiration for their current project.

Fifth Form Visit to Tante Marie

Last Friday, our Fifth Form Food Technology students visited the Tante Marie Culinary Academy to prepare them for their three hour assessed practical exam over the next few weeks. The experience provided them with plenty of inspiration to present their dishes with confidence and flair.

First Form Geography Trip

The First Form braved the snowstorms on Monday morning as they made their way to the High Street for their Geography fieldwork to research ‘Why do people shop in Godalming?’ They collected plenty of data from environmental surveys to questionnaires, and are now busy presenting and analysing their results back in the classroom.

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On Wednesday this week, Fourth Form attended the ‘God and the Big Bang’ event at Guildford Cathedral. They heard from scientists about their research into finding better treatments for heart attacks and cancer, understanding earthquakes, and investigating decision making in the brain. These led to some really fascinating philosophical discussions about free will, why God allows natural disasters, and the values that influence investment in different kinds of scientific research. Practical activities included collecting some of their own DNA. Each of the scientist spoke about how their science fits with their faith, with the common message being that faith and science can work together.

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Over seventy budding GCSE Scientists headed to London on Monday for a stimulating Science in Action conference which featured a fascinating talk by Professor Robert Winston on the ‘Wonder of Life’ and ethical issues surrounding embryos.  A Winter Wonderland at the Devil’s Punchbowl was the inspiration for our intrepid art scholars who were privileged to work with Landscape artist Mark Spray.  He explained to the girls how important it is to embrace the physicality and sounds of a landscape before attempting to capture its essence on canvas and to use materials within it, such as twigs and leaves to apply paint and chalk.

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The Prospero Theatre Company transported Fifth Formers to 1950s’ Brooklyn and the close knit Italian community of Red Hook, as they explored various aspects of Arthur Miller’s drama ‘A View From The Bridge’. This is a set text for the English Literature IGCSE and in order to identify and empathise more closely with the play’s characters and themes of illegal immigration, justice and the law and masculinity, the girls undertook a range of tasks both in and out of character.

Ms Teasdale shared photos from the Third Form Technology students’ visit to the Ideal Home Show last week, where they were inspired by cutting edge innovations in Food, Textiles and Design. ‘The exhibition showcases the many opportunities available for those who are interested in pursuing a career in these specialist areas,’ she says.

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Sixth Form History of Art students attended the Association for Art History’s annual ‘Ways of Seeing Conference’ at the National Gallery. This year’s theme was ‘War in Art and Architecture’ and students enjoyed some fascinating talks by speakers from the National Gallery and the Imperial War Museum.

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Head of Geography Ms Treanor reports on a Second Form expedition, ‘investigating the importance of tourism to Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth. This included a trip up the Spinnaker Tower, questionnaires, environmental surveys and an evaluation of heritage features. They are now well prepared for the presentation and analysis of their data back in the classroom.’ The students spent the second part of their day in Portsmouth with the History department, visiting the Mary Rose Museum as part of this term’s topic on the Tudors. They investigated the mystery behind the sinking of the Mary Rose and met Hatch – the skeleton of the ship’s dog – among other discoveries.

Sixth Form students shared their experiences of a half term Art, Photography and Textiles trip to Paris:

 

‘We visited many galleries, mostly by foot, which enabled us to see so much more about life in Paris. A particular favourite was the Musée d’Orsay, which proved to be much bigger than it looked from the outside. There were many floors of paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and other renowned artists whom we have studied in class, but to experience the work first hand was completely different and truly incredible. We also visited the Musée de l’Orangerie where many of Monet’s larger water lily paintings from his garden in Giverny are exhibited. These covered all the walls and seemed abstract close up, but they had a completely different dimension when the whole painting was viewed from further away; they seemed to have transformed, each mark of colour now forming an element of the scene. One of my favourite places was the Rodin Museum where Anselm Kiefer had an exhibition. His paintings were of huge size and very textural in their approach; the layers of materials that covered his canvas were so thick that he had carved the markings into them rather than actually painting.

On one of the days, the group divided into two: Textiles students and History of Art students (the Photography students joined the group of their choice). The History of Art group went to the Louvre, whilst the Textiles group went to two fascinating fashion exhibitions: ‘Fortuny, un Espagnol à Venise’ and ‘La Maison Dior’. Fortuny was famous for using pleats in his designs, and we saw many wonderful garments inspired by classical Greek themes and motifs, but created using modern construction techniques. The beautiful gowns had simple, figure-hugging shapes, but the thousands of tiny pleats meant that they could be scrunched up into a tiny ball and still retain their flowing lines when unrolled, due to the craftsmanship!

‘La Maison Dior’ exhibition celebrated 70 years of Dior fashion. It was breath-taking; room upon room of astonishing garments, showing the progression from the origin of Dior to present day designs. Not only was every garment a masterpiece in itself, but the way they were presented was truly amazing, for example one whole room was decorated with tiny paper flowers hanging from the ceiling and covering the walls, creating an atmosphere similar to being in an enchanted forest.

In addition to immersing ourselves in art, we also found time to sample French culture, enjoying meals at local restaurants, crêpes in little cafés, and visiting the Eiffel Tower. It was a fantastic trip which has seeded our imaginations with ideas which are sure to appear in our future Art, Textile and Photography projects – look out for them in the next Inter House Art Competition!’

‘As a History of Art student, the abundance of galleries and museums that this trip offered provided me with a wealth of experience, being able to visually analyse paintings in the flesh. The Musée D’Orsay hosted many of the works of art included in the A Level course, making the trip here extremely worthwhile. To see them in the gallery setting was invaluable to deepening my understanding of the work and the plethora of works from the same period or artistic style helped to establish more complex art historical connections. Particularly interesting to me was Manet’s Olympia, with the richness of tone and model’s confronting gaze being all the more intensified through the ability to view the original painting.

Understandably, visiting the Louvre was another fantastic experience. Aside from the sheer size of the building, the thousands of artistic works housed there were overwhelming and solidified my understanding of art history. After fighting past the crowds to glimpse the beauty of Mona Lisa’s smile, the hall of monumental history paintings by the likes of Delacroix and David completed my experience of Paris.’

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Head of Geography Ms Treanor reports on a Second Form expedition, ‘investigating the importance of tourism to Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth. This included a trip up the Spinnaker Tower, questionnaires, environmental surveys and an evaluation of heritage features. They are now well prepared for the presentation and analysis of their data back in the classroom.’ The students spent the second part of their day in Portsmouth with the History department, visiting the Mary Rose Museum as part of this term’s topic on the Tudors. They investigated the mystery behind the sinking of the Mary Rose and met Hatch – the skeleton of the ship’s dog – among other discoveries.
Sixth Form students shared their experiences of a half term Art, Photography and Textiles trip to Paris:
 
‘We visited many galleries, mostly by foot, which enabled us to see so much more about life in Paris. A particular favourite was the Musée d’Orsay, which proved to be much bigger than it looked from the outside. There were many floors of paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and other renowned artists whom we have studied in class, but to experience the work first hand was completely different and truly incredible. We also visited the Musée de l’Orangerie where many of Monet’s larger water lily paintings from his garden in Giverny are exhibited. These covered all the walls and seemed abstract close up, but they had a completely different dimension when the whole painting was viewed from further away; they seemed to have transformed, each mark of colour now forming an element of the scene. One of my favourite places was the Rodin Museum where Anselm Kiefer had an exhibition. His paintings were of huge size and very textural in their approach; the layers of materials that covered his canvas were so thick that he had carved the markings into them rather than actually painting.

On one of the days, the group divided into two: Textiles students and History of Art students (the Photography students joined the group of their choice). The History of Art group went to the Louvre, whilst the Textiles group went to two fascinating fashion exhibitions: ‘Fortuny, un Espagnol à Venise’ and ‘La Maison Dior’. Fortuny was famous for using pleats in his designs, and we saw many wonderful garments inspired by classical Greek themes and motifs, but created using modern construction techniques. The beautiful gowns had simple, figure-hugging shapes, but the thousands of tiny pleats meant that they could be scrunched up into a tiny ball and still retain their flowing lines when unrolled, due to the craftsmanship!
‘La Maison Dior’ exhibition celebrated 70 years of Dior fashion. It was breath-taking; room upon room of astonishing garments, showing the progression from the origin of Dior to present day designs. Not only was every garment a masterpiece in itself, but the way they were presented was truly amazing, for example one whole room was decorated with tiny paper flowers hanging from the ceiling and covering the walls, creating an atmosphere similar to being in an enchanted forest.
In addition to immersing ourselves in art, we also found time to sample French culture, enjoying meals at local restaurants, crêpes in little cafés, and visiting the Eiffel Tower. It was a fantastic trip which has seeded our imaginations with ideas which are sure to appear in our future Art, Textile and Photography projects – look out for them in the next Inter House Art Competition!’
‘As a History of Art student, the abundance of galleries and museums that this trip offered provided me with a wealth of experience, being able to visually analyse paintings in the flesh. The Musée D’Orsay hosted many of the works of art included in the A Level course, making the trip here extremely worthwhile. To see them in the gallery setting was invaluable to deepening my understanding of the work and the plethora of works from the same period or artistic style helped to establish more complex art historical connections. Particularly interesting to me was Manet’s Olympia, with the richness of tone and model’s confronting gaze being all the more intensified through the ability to view the original painting.
Understandably, visiting the Louvre was another fantastic experience. Aside from the sheer size of the building, the thousands of artistic works housed there were overwhelming and solidified my understanding of art history. After fighting past the crowds to glimpse the beauty of Mona Lisa’s smile, the hall of monumental history paintings by the likes of Delacroix and David completed my experience of Paris.’

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During and following on from half term we have seen a succession of exciting and enriching trips

Upper Sixth Former Bethan relates the experiences of a recent History trip, visiting sites associated with Henry II, Richard the Lionheart and the Wars of the Roses: ‘During the second week of half term, Sixth Form historians set out on an epic Medieval History road trip with Dr Goldsmith and Miss Scott, covering Kent and Northern France. In two cars, we visited Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle, Chateau Gaillard, Rouen, Fontevraud Abbey, and Chinon Castle – each of which are relevant to our course – and saw the Bayeux Tapestry before having a picnic lunch at Caen Castle and heading home. The trip was a busy one, packed with information, wonderful places, and a selection of shockingly bad History jokes; and fuelled by the joy of seeing the places mentioned in our textbooks, and the type of excitement induced by castles that only historians know…and plenty of snacks, of course. The trip made our syllabus come alive, and was a brilliant way to round off the half term.’

Mrs Furey reports on a French trip to Montpellier over half term: ‘The French Department took 26 girls to Montpellier, where they stayed with very welcoming and kind host families and had to speak French 24/7! In the mornings, there were 3 hours of lessons followed by activities such as a guided tour of Montpellier, a visit to the beach and to Nîmes and finally photomania and shopping time. The girls learnt about French culture and history while developing their language skills. It was an extremely fun and unforgettable experience.’

Lower Sixth Formers attended a ‘Chemistry in Action’ Conference in London, participating in sessions from leading chemists in academia and industry, with a special session on exam success. Favourite lectures included: ‘From Breaking Bad to making good – the chemistry of drugs’ by Professor David Smith from the University of York, who explained how drugs work, how they can be obtained from natural sources or made in a lab, why gin and tonic became a popular evening drink and how nanomedicines can be used to treat cystic fibrosis; ‘Indestructible Energy!’ by Dr Jamie Gallagher, whose interactive talk included live experiments, including a Kahoot quiz about Energy in which Dr Smith came 3rd!

Ms Treanor reports on an A level Geographers expedition, ‘exploring Compton as part of their ‘Changing Places’ topic. We began with a visit to Watts Gallery and The Studio, where we met with local volunteers who explained the influence that Mary Watts had on the village until her death in the 1930s. Our investigation aims to link people’s lived experiences of Compton in the past and the present, with a focus on economic change and social inequalities. So the girls then set off through the village, to collect data and consider their own perceptions of Compton, in addition to interviewing people who live there. They also interviewed the Heritage Officer from Watts Gallery who provided them with some specific information about the links the Gallery aims to make both locally and internationally. Back in lessons they will now delve deeper and analyse census and other data to help draw conclusions.’

Upper Sixth Form Sociologists attended a ‘Sociology in Action’ conference, here described by Head of Department Mrs Haddock: ‘Students were both entertained and challenged by a series of speakers on a range of subjects from crime to disability and educational aspiration to racial prejudice. They were warned about bias in the media by the writer and columnist Matthew Parris, as well as encouraged by a charismatic poet and professor to see university as a place for social action against racial prejudice – including the tearing down of statues of Rhodes. Other topics questioned common assumptions about how disabled people are restricted, not by their physical impairment, but by the limitations imposed by public structures such as inaccessible transport and buildings. In a similar vein, students were presented with research evidence showing that a lack of opportunities in the education system, such as failing schools and restricted subject choices, rather than a lack of aspiration, prevents pupils from reaching university. We left exhausted, but feeling impassioned and informed, and headed to get some well-deserved refreshment from the local Starbucks!’

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We have very much missed the company of the First Form in the last few days.  They have been based in the Welsh Borders near the River Wye on their Bonding Trip, aptly named to mark the end of their first half-term here and aimed at ensuring all of the girls have truly got to know each other and made firm friendship bonds for the future.  With an opportunity to climb, abseil, kayak and undertake a series of ‘Mission Impossible’ tasks we are looking forward to welcoming them back and are confident they will have achieved much  and have great memories of that trip for years to come.

Congratulations to… Second Former Romana, a former U12 top 10 UK tennis player, who has been short-listed for the U14 GB National Team. A member of Prior’s Field’s tennis academy, Romana won a Grade 3 tennis tournament last weekend and will shortly play in a Grade 2 tournament in Bolton.

The Science Department broadened perceptions on Monday, with a thought-provoking assembly on the types of career to which studying science can lead. From polar researcher to tropical environmental scientist, aerodynamics engineer, working for the police, in sports nutrition and even…as a teacher, the big message is that you don’t always end up in a lab if you opt to study science beyond GCSE.

From scientific to sporting, talks and trips abounded this week. A level Physics students and some Fifth Form attended a lecture at LVS Ascot on the theme of ‘Our Dynamic Sun’; Drama GCSE and Lower Sixth students enjoyed a dynamic, visual and accessible National Youth Theatre production of Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, directed by Frantic Assembly; U14 and U19 inter-school netball tournaments were hotly contested, as well as an U12 A and B team friendly hockey fixture against Sir William Perkins’s School, and girls ran in the first round of the English Schools’ Athletic Association cross country competition at Caterham.

PE scholars took part in an Enrichment Day at Surrey Sports Park, attending a Nutrition Workshop before spending the rest of the afternoon taking part in a series of Fitness Tests. These tested a range of components such as agility, speed, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and reaction time. Analysis was then performed to determine each scholar’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as a programme to improve and develop any areas that need focus.

The Art Department welcomed to Prior’s Field photographer David Watts, who ran a photography studio workshop for 10 Lower and Upper Sixth Form students of the subject. The Department is making final preparations for its trip to Paris next Thursday, when 16 Sixth Formers will further their photographic and artistic studies in the French capital.

Miss Curtin reports on this week’s Second Form assembly, tackling online behaviour and safety: ‘We talked to the girls about their use of social media and discussed what was appropriate to be sharing and how to be safe online. Our discussions included the importance of talking to parents and staff about any concerns. We are encouraged that a number of girls have spoken to us for advice. We have planned a PSHEE lesson on Monday to continue with this theme and would encourage you to talk to your daughter (all ages groups) about their online life. The app Zipit is one that we encourage your daughters to make themselves familiar with and use; our safeguarding newsletter will be sent out at half term with further guidance. Please do contact your daughter’s Head of Year, Mrs Sapseid or Mrs Picken is you would like further information.’