Head’s Round Up: Thursday 7 May 2020

In the UK, we are used to having a Friday public holiday every year, on Good Friday. We might also have one at Christmas, depending how the dates fall.  A Friday public holiday in May, though, is an anomaly which does not seem quite right. It is, of course, very right and appropriate. 75 years ago today, at 2.41pm, the Nazis surrendered – the Allies had won the war in Europe.  It was many more weeks before fighting ceased in Japan and even more before the Japanese formally surrendered. 

In this shorter week, the girls have continued to work hard. I continue to be so impressed by everything the girls are managing to achieve.  We have had a great deal of feedback from both parents and the girls themselves.  Thank you for writing so positively to staff.  At this time, in particular, your encouragement and appreciation are particularly valuable.  

Today would, in the calendared course of events, have been the last day of ‘normal’ school for the Fifth Form and Upper Sixth. The girls have had their last lesson in each of their subjects and I know that many girls and staff will feel quite emotional. Mrs Furey finished with a cookery class in French – croque monsieur is such a useful dish for a student to have in their repertoire. Meanwhile, Mrs Horton’s class surprised her with some Horton-cloning, as they each channelled their inner Head of Drama – I can only imagine the on-screen view. I am assured, though, that pictures will follow.  

We had great plans for today – special assemblies and a barbeque outside for the whole school. At the end of assembly, the girls would have processed out in front of the whole school for a round of applause. Like so many things we have missed as a result of the COVID-19, it is a great shame that the events scheduled for today could not happen as planned. The current Fifth Form and Upper Sixth cohorts each comprise a particularly fabulous group of girls. We are very much hoping that we will have the chance to come together, especially to say goodbye to those girls who are leaving Prior’s Field and also to celebrate the end of era for them all, as they move on to the next stage of their lives and their educational journey.  

Instead of saying goodbye today, however, I know the girls are very much looking forward to starting their transition courses on Monday. Everything is set up ready to go and the girls seem excited about embarking on this new adventure, devised specially for them. 

In PE, the girls have been responding in fabulous style to challenges set by teaching staff. The Fourth Form Sports Leaders, in particular, have produced some extremely imaginative and clearly explained video responses. Ms Fernandes has launched a new challenge for the weekend: ‘Just loo it’ – harking back to the bathroom shortages that now seem so long ago. Do take part girls – and encourage the rest of your family, too.  

Remember, too, Mrs Derrick’s Classical Greek course, open to all, which starts on Monday – it promises to be engaging and fun. Last call today – if you would like to take part, please email Mrs Derrick. 

Congratulations to Christina K, who completed, without stopping, a 12K Run for charity ‘Run for Heroes’ over the weekend, with a great finishing time. Congratulations, also, to Fourth Formers Amelia A and Noor M for passing their Basic Food Hygiene examination. 

Miss Thorpe’s Creative Arts Club has been hugely successful this week. Photos of the girls’ creations and other images will all be included within a bumper Week in Pictures next week. Next week’s Club of the Week is a Business and Enterprise Club. 

Prior’s Field creativity has continued in full flow. On Prior’s Field TV this week, you can see the Drama department’s debut with the world premiere of a brilliant portrayal of the Bard’s “All The World’s A Stage” which has a truly contemporary edge. A moving and melodic piece from PF Music Dept motivated us all on Monday morning to ‘Rise Up’ and embrace the week. There is also another foot tapping instalment from the Pratt/Maynard Production duo and our very own PF Jazz Band who want you all to be ‘Happy’. 

We are delighted to share on the website a newly formatted Happy and Achieving Wall which has many new features and a sea of familiar faces.  We would love to feature some more photos of the girls; please do send your images and videos in to news@priorsfieldschool.com

The thoughtful and altruism of Prior’s Field girls, parents and staff are being captured in the Prior’s Field Campaign of Kindness. Kindness is such a fundamental quality and critical to our wellbeing at this difficult time. I am proud of everyone in the school community thinking of others, in however small a way. 

So, tomorrow will be a day of national celebration. I wonder how you plan to commemorate the occasion. The weather is set fair and I am sure there will be bunting and flags flying by 11am, when the country will fall silent for two minutes – remembering and contemplating. 

We are fortunate to have gathered together our own school memories in the Prior’s Field Archive Online. I will leave you with the diary entry of a Prior’s Field girl for Tuesday 8 May, 1945. Enjoy tomorrow and I hope that, in the midst of a very different but no less challenging global crisis, you make some new happy memories. 

VE Day 

II woke up on Tuesday, May 8th, to find I had a most peculiar feeling inside me. When I had stayed in bed looking out of the window it all came back to me, that it was VE Day. I at once bounced out of bed and went into the passage to find that some girls had already been making Union Jacks and putting them on the doors. I rushed through my dressing that morning, and went downstairs and made a flag. At breakfast that morning Miss Burton-Brown told us that Mr. Churchill was going to broadcast the Proclamation that all hostilities in Europe were to end at one minute past midnight that night, so therefore we could have a whole holiday. We were all very noisy at breakfast, and the minute we had finished we all rushed out into the garden to pick a buttonhole of a pansy. At half-past nine we had a short Service in the gym. Later in the morning those who wanted went swimming in the Charterhouse baths, and as it was the first time we had been that term it was a great excitement. We had an extra special lunch that day, with oranges and lemonade. At three o’clock we all went to the Girls’ Hall to listen to Mr. Churchill on the wireless. We could do what we liked for the rest of the afternoon: some of us played tennis and the rest were free in the garden. After tea some of the Forms organized a rounders match, which was great fun. After supper that evening we all went to the gym. to find that the VI. Form and Miss Burton-Brown had decorated it with flags of the different nations and laurel wreaths; then we had dancing until just before nine o’clock, when we went to the Girls’ Hall to listen to the King. After that we all went to bed, having had a very happy day.  

Best wishes 

Tracy Kirnig

PRIOR’S FIELD, Priorsfield Road, Godalming, Surrey GU7 2RH United Kingdom

01483 810551