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Prior’s Field has always emphasised the importance of independent thinking, discovery and self expression among its pupils – and activities this week have epitomised this ethos. There have been wonderful opportunities outside the classroom, from debating competitions, to science and sociology conferences, for girls to hear thought-provoking ideas, share their own and to be stretched.

In school too, they have been challenged to think creatively across the curriculum, from engineering ‘emergency shelters’ in Maths to studying ecosystems in the woods. Today’s school assembly saw Mr Butler launch The Huxley Essay Prize 2016-17, inviting students to write an original essay on an aspect of ‘movement’. Why should girls have a go? To quote Mr Butler, ‘because writing is forming a relationship with your mind; because ideas need to be told, not just had; and because some dedicated, personal work is immensely satisfying’. There are also prizes on offer! Do encourage your daughters to enter – in the week of the anniversary of Julia Huxley’s death, original thinking and self expression, aiming high and having a go remain at the heart of Prior’s Field.

Tracy Kirnig.