Head’s Round Up: Friday 3 July 2020
So we have come to the end of the most unusual term of my career – a term that has presented challenges for all of us and one that has ultimately seen so many girls shine in a situation that all of us have found difficult at times. This morning, at our virtual Awards Assembly, girls from every year group gained awards in a huge number of different areas, both academic and co-curricular. It was a real joy to be part of this event, celebrating the girls’ achievements. One of my favourite things to come out of lockdown is the special award made to several girls this morning, our lockdown stars:
First Form: Lottie C, Rosie L, Libby M, Isobel M and Mia S
Second Form: Georgia C, Charlotte M, Phoebe T, Alice T and Marta V
Third Form: Hope K, Eleanor K, Lucy P, Erin R and Amelia S
Fourth Form: Yoyo C, Mola C, Charlotte C, Sky E, Freya S and Lara T
Fifth Form: Emily B, Lottie C, Ella L, Dixie M and Eloise R
Lower Sixth: Freya B, Issie F, Lotti H, Lucia M and Havana P
Upper Sixth: Eden C, Imogen R and Grace W
Well done, girls and those others whose lockdown contributions have already been acknowledged.
Another first for this term were the girls gaining certificates and special mentions for their Fifth Form or Upper Sixth transition courses. Teachers have been really delighted by the quality of the work produced as well as the level of discussion and debate. It has been a pleasure for the staff to watch the students develop. I do hope that many of the Fifth will develop an aspect of this work into an EPQ with the help of a supervisor.
My second appointment of the morning was a virtual Head’s Commendation Celebration with more than 100 girls – again such a pleasure. As I said to the girls, teachers do not award a Head’s Commendation unless they are very impressed with a girl’s work and the number of Commendations that have been awarded in this half of term is testament to the girls’ commitment to their studies and activities this term.
In Geography this week, the Third Form have been investigating biocapacity and estimating their own carbon footprints. WWF has a really good carbon calculator that you may all find of interest. The Geography Department are looking forward to making use of the research from our MSc placement student, Mack Craighead from the Centre for Environment and Sustainability at Surrey University, when we return in September too. Mack spent some of the Spring Term with us investigating the school’s carbon footprint. We will use his research to guide our Eco Schools work next term. This has all complemented the Environmental Science webinar, from the University of Plymouth, that our GCSE and A Level students had the chance to join remotely.
The Geography Department have been impressed by those girls who have gone beyond what we manage in our lessons. This week we would like to congratulate India M for her fantastic entry into the Young Geographer of the Year competition. She has been working hard on Wednesday afternoons to research her investigation into the geography of her local area. The Department are also encouraging everyone to take a well–earned break from their screens and to pick up their cameras instead, so they can snap pictures of the physical geography they encounter over the holidays, and enter our next competition with prizes from the Geographical Association.
In French, the Fifth Form have done their Independent Research Project. Sylvie O spoke about Impressionism in France, its birth in Paris and its impact today in the Art world. Charlotte P spoke about the French riots of May 1968 in France, where students and the working class demanded higher pay and a holiday allowance. It shaped the French politics and Unions of today. Both girls made a 2 minute presentation and then conversed knowledgeably in French for 10 minutes with a member of the French Department.
If your daughter is interested in STEM subjects, please do encourage her to visit the Big Bang 2020 conference on Tuesday 14 July – a great way to see how STEM careers have been impacted by or had an impact on COVID-19.
The range of clubs and activities offered this term has been huge. My thanks go to every member of staff who has been involved with keeping the girls busy and engaged, particularly the Heads of House and Miss Curtin. I think we all recognise how valuable it has been for the girls to be occupied during this strange time. Miss Curtin’s Top 5 this week were a Lyrical Jazz Challenge, a British Sign Language related to food, bike maintenance, a Science assignment and a literacy challenge – a great mix with something for everyone.
Food has featured heavily in our activities and news this term so it seems entirely appropriate to share with you that the Fourth Form Food and Nutrition students ended the term with a cake bake.
Congratulations go to the girls awarded the Lions Young Leader in Service award: Alice Syson, Emma Konarek, Caitriona K and Katy G, Tatiana B, Isabel P and Natasha J. A fantastic award to have on your CV – well done to you all.
Well done too to all 18 girls who participated in the Chartered Management Institute course – and passed their Level 3 Certificate in First Line Management. It is a great achievement; the girls should be really proud of themselves.
Thank you for Mrs Jacques and Ruby Kinder for responding to the request for masks for the Catering team. We nearly have sufficient and, if we go over our target figure, the additional masks will be donated to a local care home.
Mrs Horton and Mr Pratt are delighted with the response to the announcement about our production of ‘Joseph’. A message has been sent to all those who have expressed an interest in either ‘Joseph’ or the Colour Cabaret, so do look out for that.
Ms Troup and Mrs Picken have produced some pastoral and wellbeing advice for parents which is accessible on Frog, via a public access link. The aim is to update the pages as frequently as possible and to keep them fresh and relevant. Please do pass on any feedback.
You can now access the Prior’s Field community website launched on Monday. Old Girls, former teachers and staff, former parents and the wider community will all be able to read alumnae and other news, sign up to the new PF Mentoring Scheme, find class friends, browse hundreds of photos, sign up to events and much more. Please do also follow this link to watch and listen to the first ever recording by the Alumnae Choir.
I mentioned last week that Tinga Tinga have now re-opened their doors to their pupils. We have been collecting donations towards food resources for their community and will be sending them off shortly. During lockdown we have been unable to fundraise for Tinga Tinga in person and our usual year group fundraising events have been cancelled. If you would like to continue to contribute, please do sign up to easyfundraising, All you have to do is go through the easyfundraising website or App whenever you shop online and we’ll receive a % of your spend as a free donation, at no cost to you or us.
So tomorrow is Speech Day. It has become a familiar refrain to say that, this year, it will be very different. I do hope you enjoy the event, virtually. It is our attempt to capture some of the key features of our usual celebration and to wave goodbye to our Upper Sixth. I am so proud of the girls, staff and the whole school community and I very much look forward to welcoming everyone back in September. We will be inviting back all our leavers, staff and girls to say a proper goodbye.
With best wishes for a glorious summer