Head’s Round Up: Friday 1 May 2020
Today is May Day, celebrated in many communities throughout the UK with festivals and pageants drawing huge numbers of people. Those celebrations cannot, of course, take place this year. We can however continue to enjoy this wonderful spring season – the new green shoots and blossom in our gardens – symbols of hope and positivity.
There has been a huge amount to celebrate at Prior’s Field this week.
The girls are continuing to impress with their engagement with the remote learning that their teachers are working hard to provide. The Fifth Form and Upper Sixth will be choosing their transition courses today: something different, with a taste of the future, to look forward to after their current courses end. LAMDA lessons started this week and all our wonderful peripatetic teachers have transitioned seamlessly into virtual teaching.
The First Form – of whom Ms Hedley is generally very proud for embracing their new challenges – have been collecting weather data for five days as a part of a Geography weather enquiry. The Geography Department are currently promoting two competitions: the Royal Geographic Society’s annual Young Geographer of the Year Competition and the British Antarctic Territory’s ‘Design a Stamp’ competition. The department will present school awards for the best Prior’s Field entries to both competitions. I would encourage all Geography students to take part.
Mrs Rice received an email this week from thisislanguage.com, an online resource used by the MFL department. One of the features of the site is a weekly Global Leaderboard, where more than 200,000 students across the world complete language exercises to earn points for their class. In last week’s competition, Mrs Rice’s Fifth Form French class came 4th on the Global Leaderboard. The girls were commended for their incredible self-motivation during these challenging times. Well done, girls!
Science lessons this week have included an exciting live Chemistry experiment by Dr Smith for his Fourth Form class yesterday, on the topic of Catalysts. For Biologists with a particular interest in anatomy, particularly those in Fifth Form and above, Ms Allen has shared a link to an exciting interactive TV event – perfect for all students with a passion for medicine, biology and the human body of any age.
Mr Butler’s Word of the Week is still going strong and can be found on Frog. There are merits to be won, girls. Parents are welcome to take part too – any merits will boost your daughter’s tally.
As always, the girls have been producing some amazing creative pieces, both for the curriculum and for their own enjoyment. Please do follow the Creative Arts department on Instagram: priorsfieldart and priorsfieldtextiles. Images are the source of such joy at the moment and you will find many wonderful images on those feeds.
Congratulations go to three more Fourth Form girls who have achieved their Basic Food Hygiene Level Two qualification. Well done to Alexandra N, Frances S and Kaelin V. Ms Teasdale’s Cookery Club has been very popular this week. Next week’s Club of the Week is Inter-House Art Competition, with daily challenges being set by Miss Thorpe.
Congratulations too to Lottie R in the Second Form. Despite being too young actually to take part in the Olympics this year, Lottie was due to take part in trials for selection for the Tokyo games. Although the meet could not physically go ahead, Lottie swam a qualifying time for 50m fly – a fantastic achievement. Congratulations, too, to Ila G, in the Fourth Form, for being accepted by OBO for their junior hockey ambassador programme – wonderful news.
The Sports department have also been demonstrating their creativity this week. The girls are very much enjoying videoing themselves taking part in practical classwork, workouts, plotting cricket positions – learning and keeping active whilst having fun. Mrs Fairhurst has also this week produced a whole school video (accessible via the Parent Noticeboard and on YouTube), comprised of a number of short clips combined, showing a ball (in most cases!) being passed from one person to the next – a fun way of showing visually how we are all still very much connected.
I am delighted to congratulate the Second and Third Form students who received their PF Challenge certificates online this week. The Third Form have completed their Advanced Award (having begun the course in Second Form). Well done, girls – you have demonstrated huge commitment in reaching your goal.
Lockdown challenges are everywhere on social media and the Prior’s Field 5/5/5 and Race around the World House challenges are still very much in full swing. Girls, please do take a moment to take part. Your House needs you! All details are on Frog.
Today is the scheduled date for the Prior’s Field Literary festival. In lieu of the event itself, Mrs Olive has this morning launched on Frog two competitions. The first challenge (entries by 11 May) is to submit a design with a literary theme; the second (entries by the Tuesday after half term) is to submit a photo/film of a student reading to a member of their family, or pet or teddy. Please see Frog for details. Mrs Olive is also joining the ranks of the lockdown quizmasters – look out for her Bank Holiday quiz next Friday.
Mrs McHugh last night joined Northumberland Scouts and took part in their world record attempt of Largest Virtual Camp. It was been a month-long Virtual Camp across April from 1 April until 30 April, culminating last night in an attempt to set the world record for the Largest Virtual Camp. 84,000 people across 67 countries took part. Everyone participating camped at home, either outside in a tent in the garden or indoors in a den. Mrs McHugh was ‘joined’ by ten Beavers, Cubs and siblings and also by her three fellow Beaver leaders. And they did it – a new world record was set – how incredible to part of something so huge.
An update on Lottie C’s fundraising efforts, with her grandfather, for Pancreatic Cancer: having aimed to reach a target amount of £200, their total currently stands at nearly £3,000 – an amazing achievement. I know many individuals within our community have been devoting much time and energy to philanthropic projects, including sewing scrubs and masks for the NHS and care homes – well done to Ms Hedley’s mum beavering away in County Durham.
I have been in contact with our partner school in Tanzania, Tinga Tinga. They closed on 18 March as a precaution, as they were concerned about the danger; everyone is, though, safe and well at moment. Unlike Prior’s Field pupils, the students at Tinga Tinga will have little opportunity to do academic work whilst not at school; they do not have access to technology to enable them to learn remotely. Safety has come first, however, and the members of staff with whom I have been in touch were very pleased to hear from us. The whole Tinga Tinga community are in our thoughts just as, I am sure, we are in theirs.
One beacon of light, hope and positivity throughout this crisis has been Captain Tom Moore, promoted yesterday on his 100th birthday to Colonel Moore. Humble, resilient, determined, altruistic and respectful – he is an incredible role model for us all. First Former Sophia R baked a birthday cake in his honour and our Development and Alumnae Officer, Polly Murray, and a friend have recorded this tribute to Colonel Moore, a re-mix of a David Bowie classic.
Next Friday is of course a public holiday for the anniversary of VE day, so my weekly round-up will come out on Thursday next week. Like the May Day celebrations, the day will not be quite as planned. We are all, however, learning to embrace and work with change and a different celebration will be no less meaningful. The bunting will be up (you may like to make your own), the flags flying, the bands playing and the flypasts cutting through the sky. Just as Prior’s Field life currently – normal, yet positively different.