Head’s Round Up: Friday 8 November 2019
Baby news is always welcome and I am delighted to tell you that, over half term, Mrs Baines, her husband and son have welcomed to the world a new addition to their family: baby Lucas. We send our huge congratulations to them all.
Following a busy half term with several trips, the second half of term has begun at pace. Preparations for Chicago are hotting up with the stage being delivered and installed today. The girls and staff have been working incredibly hard and we are all very excited to see the finished product.
Tuesday was a ‘Frantic’ day for Fourth Form and Lower Sixth Drama students who enjoyed a hugely successful and fulfilling Frantic Assembly workshop. The Fifth Form Art girls were also busy all day at a workshop with a Royal Academy tutor doing life drawing. Meanwhile a number of other Fifth Form girls attended a Young Leaders Conference at Broadwater School. The conference was led by ‘The Bravest Path’ group and based on the ‘Dare to Lead’ programme, created by the author, Brene Brown. The delegates were on mixed tables with boys and girls from a number of schools. The discussion topics included ‘brave conversations’, ‘perfectionism v healthy striving’ and ‘you can’t get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability’. The format was innovative and ‘grown-up’ and a fantastic experience for the girls.
The Boarding community enjoyed their Spooky Supper on Tuesday. The dining room was transformed into a cave of ghosts and black cats. It was lovely to see so many girls take part in fancy dress and prizes were awarded for the best creative and scary costumes and make up. Pumpkin carving, scary Sudoku and a firework quiz kept everyone entertained. Supper was followed by hot chocolate, graveyard cake and a fabulous firework display, organised by Dr Smith, which lit up the gloomy night sky.
There were many sporting successes this week in athletics, netball and hockey. Today the First and Second Form netball A & B teams are off to PGL for the weekend to compete in a netball tournament and take part in outdoor adventurous activities. Over the weekend, the Junior Cross Country team are competing in the South East final of the English Schools Cross Country competition in Tonbridge. We wish them all the best of luck.
There has been a real buzz around the Careers and Enterprise Hub this week. Mrs Taylor has been continuing with the Fifth Form careers interviews and the Investment Challenge Club was very lively when I popped in on Wednesday.
On Thursday afternoon Miss Curtin attended a conference with several other schools at Eton College to discuss inter-school socials. The conference included representatives from Eton College, Godolphin School, Cheltenham Ladies College, Downe House, Heathfield School, St George’s Ascot, St Mary’s Ascot and St Mary’s Calne. Among other things, we discussed the importance of socials, the benefits to our students from these shared events, how we could diversify the type of events held and what values we share. Prior’s Field pupils will also be invited to Eton College in the near future to take part in a student-led discussion on the same subject. We hope that this will lead to some meaningful and diverse social opportunities and will prepare our students for life beyond school.
We welcomed the PSA class reps to breakfast this morning. They are currently preparing for the Christmas Fair. Please do make sure the date is in your diary (Saturday 23 November from 11am to 3pm) and come along to support our very hard-working PSA parents.
Next week is another packed week. On Tuesday the Creative Arts department welcome Old Girl Helena Traill who is launching her book about 100 people and their personal journey in the fight against cancer. The book is a fundraiser – do support Helena here. Tuesday and Wednesday are
clothes swap days, engineered by our New2You Fifth Form philanthropists, raising funds for Tinga Tinga. We have all been inspired to review our approach to clothes shopping.
Wednesday brings another Pastoral and Wellbeing Day with a linked Pastoral Evening for parents in the evening. Do come along – there is a form on the parent portal to complete for numbers purposes.
On Thursday, we are looking forward to seeing Second Form parents at the first Parents’ Evening of the year. The girls themselves will be looking forward to their social with Aldro on Friday.
This morning, we held our annual Remembrance service which was very special. The girls who read did so beautifully and there were stunning performances by the flute group, the choir, Imogen R and trumpet player, Hannah A. Reverend Simon Taylor, rector at Busbridge and Hambledon, spoke about the idea that we each have our ‘story’ and that sometimes they overlap and even seem to clash, and how important it is that we listen to others’ stories. This linked very well to the theme of tolerance discussed by Mr Starnes at the Fourth and Fifth Form assembly yesterday morning. Reverend Taylor picked up on the words, read by Georgia M, of Fifth Former Sheila Mill, writing about the school’s celebration after VE Day in 1944:
‘We suddenly became more serious, not quite so excited as before. I think we realised at that moment that, joyful as it is to conquer dictatorship and barbarism, we had great responsibilities in the making of a new and better world, filled with Beauty, Love and Truth.’
Reverend Taylor set the girls the homework of being a ‘peacemaker’ whenever they can.
I know many of you will be attending a Remembrance service on Sunday. I will be going to Compton War Memorial on Monday with some of the girls and staff who took part in our service today, to lay wreathes there on behalf of the school.