I often comment how pleased I am to welcome the girls back to school after a break or a holiday; staff involved with the Fourth Form girls on their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition on Saturday were pleased and relieved to see the intrepid explorers reaching their planned finish point, whether or not they had overcome navigational challenges! We are fortunate to have so many staff willing to give up their weekend to support the girls in this adventure. Each year girls lower down the school are inspired by the achievements of those in the Fourth Form and beyond.
It cannot be overemphasized how important it is for children to pursue activities outside the classroom, whether at school or at home. I have been struck this week by the breadth of the sporting opportunities offered at Prior’s Field during the school year. The calendar is full of fixtures – tennis, athletics, cricket and rounders feature heavily at the moment. Do remember that you are very welcome to come and support your daughter and her team mates. It really is a joy.
We are all currently very aware of pressures on children and young people due to exams and, with the internal exams for First to Third Formers next week, I would reiterate that a sensible balance between revision and breaks is essential to ensure your daughter’s emotional and physical wellbeing. I cannot promise this year to provide what the Head at another school in Surrey has arranged to remind his pupils to have fun (a fairground on school grounds). We will, however, be aiming for all the girls to give their best without feeling overwhelmed by expectations. The Upper Sixth’s Give Back Day is a wonderful occasion for the school to look forward to at the end of next week.
The Lower Sixth were thinking beyond exams this week when they experienced an evening of mock job interviews with a selection of parents and friends of the school. These interviews coincided with the final days running up to the deadline for prefect applications. The ability to interact with a potential employer or third party in an interview scenario is now crucial for our young people. The Sixth Form team work very hard to continue to equip students with the skills they will need when they leave school. I hope the girls enjoyed the experience and took away from it some tips and techniques on which to build. We are very grateful to the volunteer interviewers.
Our entertainment this week seems to all have a common connection: food! Junior Boarding had an Open House on Monday. We all enjoyed cakes baked by the girls, who were very excited and proud to show us around their domain. Classics and Cakes last evening had a fantastic programme and I was very sad to miss it. I understand, however, that the performances were stunning. These regular mini-concerts provide a valuable opportunity for the girls to perform to a small audience, thereby gradually gaining more confidence – part of our toolkit for life beyond Prior’s Field.
Our final entertainment of the week will be tomorrow, when the Boarders are celebrating the Royal Wedding in style with a wonderful picnic. I will be donning my wedding hat and enjoying the festivities with the girls on what promises to be another sunny day.
With best wishes for the Royal weekend
Mrs Kimber reports, ‘On Saturday we took sixty girls out on a Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s award training day around Compton and the surrounding area. Given the forecast for a very wet day we were exceptionally lucky, although it was very cold and drizzly at times we managed to escape any major rain. Each group embraced the challenges and successfully navigated their way around the local countryside. They learnt all about maps, compasses and teamwork. Especially when navigating through the mud. Most of the students came back on top form and are now looking forward to the practice expedition in May.‘
On Tuesday night, the Upper Sixth girls gave their Gold Duke of Edinburgh presentation. This was the final part of the expedition section of their Gold Award. They shared their experiences of last summer’s expedition to Albania, where they undertook a 4 day circular walk in the Balkan Mountains which included crossing the border into Montenegro. They impressed an enthralled audience with their adventures and gave advice on what, and what not, to eat while on expedition. There were also number of certificates awarded for Bronze, Silver and Gold Award completions, including ex Prior’s Field Sixth Former Sophie, who returned to collect not only her Gold Duke of Edinburgh brooch, but also her own certification as a qualified Duke of Edinburgh Assessor. We were pleased to welcome Cath Tanton, Operations Officer for the South East Region who helped give out the awards.