Head’s Round Up: Friday 31 January 2020
Over the weekend and this week, the GCSE Drama students have been working hard preparing for their examination performance. I was fortunate enough to be in the audience for their final run through and wish them all the best for their examination today. The GCSE Food Science and Nutrition students are also currently in the midst of their GCSE practical examination. Half of them have taken the examination this week and half will do so next week. For this Food Preparation and Nutrition module, the girls must have researched the Government guidelines and have to design, plan and cook a three course meal for someone with type 2 diabetes in just 3 hours. Good luck to those taking the examination on Tuesday.
The Fifth Form this week have met with a senior member of staff for a one to one discussion of their mock results and how to take their studies and revision forward to ensure they achieve their potential later in the year. I hope the girls have found the meetings positive and constructive. It has been a pleasure for staff to talk to so many girls who are clearly on track. We are looking forward to seeing girls and parents at the Fifth Form Parents’ Evening next week, where teaching staff will provide targeted guidance.
We very much enjoyed seeing the Third Form pupils and parents and the Parents’ and Options Evening this week. It is an exciting time for the girls, looking forward to GCSEs and beyond.
Please be reassured that we are keeping up to date with developments with the coronavirus. I attended the GSA Boarding Committee in London on Wednesday and the subject was high on the agenda. Please do read the letter on the Parent Portal today; it contacts useful advice.
The boarders’ Chinese New Year celebrations began last weekend, when they made a selection of traditional pork and vegetable dumplings. The girls had help through Skype from older members of their families back home and the whole House enjoyed tasting the products of their labours in the evening, whilst watching a film. The girls also went ‘donutting’ and enjoyed the thrill of racing down a dry ski slope – luckily the weather held out and the girls enjoyed themselves hugely.
On Wednesday, boarders and residential staff were treated by the catering department to a sumptuous culinary feast for the Chinese New year. Sixth Form boarders turned the dining hall red and gold and, with the addition of music, the evening was a wonderful, cultural festival and celebration. Everyone dressed up in red and gold; two junior girls, Ella W and Cindy H, really shone in gorgeous traditional dresses, showing off the special flair of Chinese New Year.
The Fifth and Sixth Forms enjoyed the visit on Thursday afternoon by the dynamic author and poet, Laurie Bolger, who worked with the girls on their creative writing, helping them to be relaxed and creative, unintimidated by the blank page. She used various methods to help them to identify interesting things to write about and make inventive use of language. She also read from her book of poetry, which displayed the sort of everyday themes she is interested in, and showed the girls how our relationships and everyday lives can be beautifully reflected in this medium.
This morning, yoga teacher Laura Lychnos led a mindfulness assembly for First to Fourth Form, with an introduction to yoga – in our seats! Any girl interested in doing more yoga is invited to join yoga club at 1.05pm on a Tuesday lunchtime. Please do talk to your daughter about this opportunity.
I and a group of staff and pupils were enthralled this morning by Millie W’s EPQ presentation on music therapy and PTSD. It was clear that Millie had researched her subject thoroughly and the presentation – in terms of both content and communication – was outstanding.
Eco committee met this morning. Ms Treanor reported that the meeting was really productive. Lucia M reported back on the success of the reusable lunch boxes that the Sixth Formers now use, dramatically reducing unnecessary waste in the dining room. She also talked about the new scrap boxes in many rooms, designed to help us all make better use of our paper and reduce waste further. Freya W and Mabel O shared the result of their energy survey, highlighting a need for a real push on energy conservation. Ideas for revamping the ‘PF Planet Pledge’ were discussed as well as more ideas for reducing food waste.
Netball, hockey and gymnastics fixtures have been on the sports calendar this week. In the U12A county hockey tournament, the Prior’s Field team came 3rd overall. Well done, girls.
One of the highlights of my week was hearing the national anthem playing in my office – more than once – from a video of Molly B being presented with her gold medals for winning several events in her age category, representing Great Britain at the international junior skiing competition taking place in Andorra this week. We look forward to hearing all about it when Molly returns to school next term.
Next week is a busy week. The term’s House events start with a bang on Monday with House Drama, always so impressively directed and acted by the girls. Wednesday sees the return of the annual Brain Day when Upper Sixth girls Psychologists and Biologists will have an introduction to Neuroscience, and all Sixth Form girls will enjoy a lecture on the subject. On the same day we also will be welcoming Dr Agnes Grunwald-Spier who will speaking to the Fourth and Fifth Form about the holocaust, particularly pertinent given the recent memorial events. On Thursday, the Third to Fifth Form mathematicians will be in action in the Intermediate Maths Challenge, perhaps energised by the doughnuts on sale earlier in the day to raise funds for rock and pop.
Finally, of course, we are looking forward to seeing many prospective parents and pupils at Open Day on Saturday 8 February. I know girls and visitors enjoy interacting on these occasions. I am grateful to the girls for their contribution to what I am sure will be a very successful morning.
With best wishes