Head’s Round Up: Friday 24 January 2020
As I mentioned last week, we were hosts on Sunday to the ISGA (International Schools Gymnastics Association) International 4Piece Championships. Twenty schools, including Prior’s Field, competed, travelling from as far as away as Brussels. 144 children (U9-U13) took part during the day so the school was alive with comings and goings, vaults and floor routines from 7.00am until 7.00pm. The Prior’s Field gymnastics team performed well, winning a medal, though just missing out on third place. Hosting this competition was a huge team effort. Everyone who helped should give themselves a big pat on the back; the event ran so smoothly that we have already been asked to host the competition again next year.
The Spring Term is a busy one for House competitions: the House Music auditions started on Monday and the House Drama competition is on Monday 3 February. I do hope you will be able to join us at one of the House events open to parents: the House Music Final on Tuesday 11 February or the House Creative Arts Celebration Evening on Wednesday 4 March. I know there will be great cause for parental pride on both those occasions.
On Monday evening, Mr Taylor and I joined the PSA for their AGM, at which Fiona Konarek stood down as Chair and Sarah Syson took over the helm. The PSA are still looking for additional volunteers to join the committee. Do contact Sarah via ClassList if you are interested. The PSA reps were treated to their termly breakfast in the dining room this morning, sustenance to aid discussions of the plans for the year, which I know already include the Christmas Fair!
On Tuesday evening, we welcomed the English Speaking Union and two visiting school teams to compete in the Guildford First Heat of the Churchill Public Speaking Competition. Teams from Prior’s Field, Calthorpe Park and Gordon’s School competed, speaking on challenging topics such as ‘You do not have to be personally perfect before you can demand systemic change’ and ‘Margaret Thatcher does not deserve vilification’. The evening was a great success for Prior’s Field girls with Robyn M winning the prize for best speaker and Greta L winning as best chairperson. Although the Prior’s Field teams did not reach the next round of the competition, Miss Watson was proud of some outstanding performances and brilliant contributions by our girls. Special mentions go to Emily A who did an excellent job as timekeeper and Erin R, Matilda D, Freya A and Emilia C who spoke with confidence and eloquence.
The interest in Chess has taken off this term, with 27 girls signed up to do the UK Chess Challenge. Girls will compete on a Wednesday morning for 5 weeks. Dr Smith is delighted with the girls’ enthusiasm for this intricate and fascinating game.
Yesterday was the anniversary of the founding of the school on 23 January 1902. Given Julia Huxley’s legacy of philanthropy, it was entirely appropriate that, in form time, pupils and staff were all involved in creating a coin forest to raise funds to help those currently in need as a result of the Australian fires. The tally currently stands at £435.56 (still rising), which will be split equally between the Australian Red Cross and the Koala Hospital at Port Macquarie.
Last evening, a select audience were fortunate enough to watch a number of Drama A Level examination pieces by the Upper Sixth. I could see that other members of the audience were as impressed as I was by the performance.
Sports fixtures continue apace, hampered only by water-logged or icy pitches. There have been several individual sporting successes to celebrate. Christina K came 3rd in the Surrey Schools Cross Country Championship and has qualified for the National Finals in Liverpool – a fantastic achievement. Emma W has qualified in 1st place for the Regional Team Qualifiers in trampolining – well done, Emma. Lastly, a special mention for Molly B, who, while we follow our daily routine in a mainly grey English January, is perfecting her turns and slices in the Alps as she prepares for her next high level ski competition. Molly competes at international level and is in fact travelling to Andorra tomorrow to represent Great Britain in the junior international races. We look forward to hearing all about Molly’s adventures when she returns to school in April.
Next week, our attention focuses on the future, for the Fifth Form and the Third Form, in particular. The Fifth Form are, of course, examining what they can do to ensure they achieve their examination goals in the summer and they will each have a conversation with a senior member of staff to help them progress and develop their strategy for success. The girls are also now thinking about subject options for Sixth Form and I would strongly encourage them to speak to their teachers to help firm up their ideas. The Third Form, meanwhile, will be considering what subjects they would like to pursue at GCSE. We look forward to seeing girls and their parents or guardians at the Parents’ and Options Evening next Tuesday, to help them on the next exciting stage of their educational journey.