Head’s Round Up: Friday 26 June 2020
Today is Prior’s Field Founder’s Day, normally one of our highlights of the year, when the whole school comes together for Founder’s Day Assembly, followed by Sports Day when we also welcome parents and guardians to join in the fun. This year, the fact that we cannot be together on this special day really highlights the reality of the current situation – today should look and feel very different.
We have, however, tried to replicate normality, insofar as we can. Mr Taylor and I have put together a Founder’s Assembly, which you can watch below. (The keen-eyed amongst you may have noticed that we have entitled today’s assembly Founders’ Day to reflect the emphasis that I have put on the Burton Browns’ contribution to the school.) Given that time seems to have stopped in some sense over the last few months, it seems entirely appropriate to be looking back to the Prior’s Field world of Julia Huxley, Ethel and Beatrice Burton Brown and all our alumnae and to be celebrating both their legacy and our continued connection with our fantastic Old Girl community. I visited Compton Cemetery this morning and laid flowers from my garden on the graves of both Julia and the Burton Browns – those for the Ethel and Beatrice looking quite out of place on the cladding apparently protecting the grave from works currently being carried out on the chapel. I hope the girls have worn a flower at home today, as they would have been encouraged to do at school.
We are excited to announce that, on Monday at 11.00am, we are linking with ToucanTech, a contemporary communications platform, which will assist our connections with Old Girls and the Foundation. ToucanTech is a community portal which will help alumnae and friends of the school stay in touch, share memories, forge careers connections and more. Monday will also see the release of a video featuring the Alumnae Choir, incorporating some former staff, so do watch out for that too.
It is National Boarding Week this week and Sixth Form Boarding have put together a collage to spell out ‘#I love boarding’ using tea and toast, the most widely shared trigger for memories of the girls’ boarding life together, which they have been sharing. We are very much looking forward to the time when the boarding family can be together again, to forge new memories.
Boarding staff are in contact with our overseas boarders regularly. Anuthi K and Melisa K have attended the weekly boarding meeting, from Sri Lanka and Turkey respectively, every week throughout lockdown. Marta V this week shared with Mr van Niekerk an age-old local tradition in which she is really excited to be involved again this year. Whilst on holiday with her family, she will be part of the daily ‘Big Heads Festival’, where teenagers wear very large and decorated heads and run around the streets, mock chasing and tease-punishing people they capture. These festivities are very popular with the youngsters as they run into shops and restaurants where they can find refuge until the coast is clear for more frivolities. Marta has been both on the receiving end and the Big Head in all of this. On the occasion that she was the ‘Big Head,’ she gained quite a reputation for being kind and far too gentle on the children she managed to capture.
Boarding traditionally host a teatime concert in the Rose Garden for members of Busbridge and Hambledon Church’s PrimeTime group this term. It has become one of the highlights of their social calendar and an afternoon where the boarders always do us and themselves proud. This year the Boarding team were keen to keep in touch with their PrimeTime friends and have had to take a different approach. With the help of the Music and Drama departments, they have been able to send PrimeTime the means to listen to a virtual concert: the perfect accompaniment to a summer’s afternoon.
Well done to the First to Fourth Form girls on their assessments. I know that there were inevitably some technical issues and unavoidable distractions. I am delighted, however, at the girls’ diligence and pleased we have been able to ensure the girls are continuing to maximise their learning time right up until the end of term. Fourth Form Triple Scientists have live lessons this week and last on Reactions and Hydrocarbons (Chemistry) and Electrical Circuits (Physics). The Geography Department are very proud of Matilda D and her entry to the Royal Geographical Society’s Young Geographer of the Year competition. The theme this year is ‘The world beyond my window’ and Matilda focused on the River Wey in Guildford. Good luck, Matilda!
Congratulations to Naomi J, who this week received the exciting news that she has been accepted into the Junior GSA Acting Conservatoire from September.
Well done, too, to Lottie C who has been continuing on her culinary lockdown journey. She has been experimenting with ingredients and compiling a file of her recipes. Recently Lottie was in contact with Renshaws, in search of their coloured icing for the rainbow cake she was making to say thank you to the NHS. The resultant email conversation lead to Renshaws including Lottie in their regular blog on their website. Wonderful!
Meanwhile, Molly B is putting her artistic skills to good use and working towards setting up a small business, to help raise money to fund her skiing. Fantastic entrepreneurial skills, Molly, well done.
Miss Curtin’s Top 3 Challenges this week have been Miss Burdass’ British Sign Language Challenge to sign the alphabet in sign language, Mrs Kimber’s set of STEM challenges and Mrs Furey’s MFL lockdown bingo. The girls’ engagement with these co-curricular challenges has been so heartening to see. I would very much enjoy seeing and hearing about the girls’ adventures during the holidays, so do let us know.
Some news from Rosemary, our lead contact at Tinga Tinga: the school will be opening on 29 June and staying open until 18 December, foregoing their normal summer break. Our connection with this school in the middle of Tanzania underlines the global nature of this crisis, and their re-opening after a long period of closure reinforces the hope that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
Finally, we invite you to have your say and vote for your favourites in the Prior’s Field Virtual Garden Show. There are four categories: Best Bloom, Prize Produce, (Most) Gorgeous Garden/Window Box or Happy House Plant Photo and Portrait of Favourite Garden Resident. All you have to do is peruse the photos which you will find on the Week in Pictures page, make your selections and email the category and chosen image number to email@example.com. A fun thing to do over a cup of coffee at the weekend – happy voting!
With best wishes