Head’s Round Up: Friday 10 January 2020
Last term ended amidst a myriad of celebrations. Our Christmas event was a wonderful festival of performance and community, which was both moving and uplifting. I hope you found it as joyful as I did. The RAG day on the last morning of term was great fun. My thanks go to the Sixth Form, and in particular the RAG Committee, for coming up with the idea, turning it into reality, organising the activities for the younger girls and inspiring the whole school, including the entire Senior Leadership Team, to dress up and join in. I confess that I rather enjoyed being Queen for the morning!
That evening, staff were able to relax at our end of term party, where we were superbly entertained by our very own Mr Butler and his band, The Lightning Brothers. Do look out for them – they play fairly regularly now at various locations towards the South coast.
As you know, the term started for staff on Monday; teaching staff listened to a fascinating presentation by Dave Taylor on Creating Effective Learners, looking at memory and the ways in which it can complement and aid learning. Fifth Form pupils were also in school on Monday, starting their GCSE mock examinations; they are also sitting their actual Mathematics examinations. The girls have so far displayed focus and maturity. I am sure their hard work will pay dividends.
Yesterday, Mr Pratt and Mrs Harrison welcomed a group of children from Queen Eleanor’s C of E Junior School to Prior’s Field for a Music Outreach Day. I have already had some lovely feedback from the Head and parents at Queen Eleanor’s who were hugely impressed with the whole experience. The Music Department were assisted by Fourth Formers Mia-Rose, Gvantsa, Hannah and Emily, who were patient and kind with the younger children. We look forward to hosting similar events with other schools in the future.
Our Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award students gave insightful and informative presentations and showcased videos about their expeditions to the Isle of Mull, in August. The audience enjoyed hearing about the challenges faced by each group and how these were overcome by willpower, grit and teamwork. Battles with the rain, cold, insects and the 65 km bike rides were won and all girls gained much from the experience. Questions at the end of each talk gave the audience further insight into the huge personal gains made by all. We sometimes forget how exceptional it is that so many of our girls achieve their Gold Duke of Edinburgh award whilst still at school, when the scheme is open to people up to the age of 25. I am delighted that enthusiasm for the award remains so high at Prior’s Field. We look forward to hearing more about the Gold, Silver and Bronze levels successes in our Duke of Edinburgh assembly in February
Next week the GCSE options process for Third Form begins with a talk to the girls in form time and a timetabled conversation with their Form Tutor. We look forward to seeing Third Form parents with your daughter on Tuesday 28 January at the Parents’/Options Evening.
For First and Second Form, we are launching the Girls on Board scheme next week. We are delighted and proud to be part of this powerful initiative. Please do come along on Wednesday 15 January to hear all about it.
A quick reminder about the imminent PSA officer vacancies: if my letter on Wednesday piqued your interest, please do not hesitate to contact Fiona Konarek, the current Chair.
I am very excited to be accompanying a group of girls at the Annual English Chess Federation Girls’ Chess Championship Semi-Final on Sunday. We have seen growing enthusiasm in school for chess recently and we are becoming increasingly involved in chess tournaments with other schools. Do encourage your daughter to talk to Dr Smith if she is interested in trying this skilful game, beneficial on so many levels. We will let you know next week how the girls got on, under my temporary Chess team management!
With best wishes