I would like to extend my special congratulations this week to the Drama Department and all 33 First to Fourth Formers who delivered a simply spell-binding performance of ‘Macbeth’ last week at G Live Guildford, and then again on Monday to Year 6 students at Waverley Abbey Junior School. The ambitious pace continued this week as both the Drama and Music Departments put finishing touches to their much-anticipated production of Les Misérables.
It was a pleasure to meet so many parents this week. Firstly at our detective themed Preview Day where 140 prospective parents joined us for coffee to view a giant photo montage of all the code-breaking fun the girls had cracked during the day. Then again, both at our Senior Leadership Team presentation on Tuesday evening – covering key areas from the curriculum, to uniform, a facilities overview and boarding – and at our Upper Sixth Parents’ Evening. We would be pleased to have any feedback, particularly on the Tuesday evening event – please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to everyone who is working hugely hard on preparations for the PSA Christmas Fair, next Saturday 25 November from 11am to 3pm. From raffle ticket and Christmas pud buying to baking and coming on the day itself, there are many ways to be involved; we are very appreciative of all that the PSA does to make this important event such a wonderful success for our school.
Lower Sixth Former Lucy, one of 30 young dancers selected from all over the UK to join the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) – hosted at Sadler’s Wells – during 2017-18. Under the guidance of Guest Artistic Director Sharon Eyal, one of the most exciting female choreographers working today – the company will premiere its new work, ‘Used To Be Blonde’, in April next year, followed by a UK national tour. The dancers are mentored during four intensive residencies over the year, in order to create, rehearse and develop the new piece. Throughout the dancers’ time with NYDC they are given a unique insight into the dance profession, gaining skills and techniques that open up career possibilities. Many congratulations Lucy.
First Former Evie and Third Former Eliza, who took part in the Surrey cross country relay competition held at Stoke Park during half term. Each athlete had to run 2,000m; as a team they performed really well and were placed third overall.
Second Former Elle and Third Former Emma, who have been selected for the Netball Development Academy and Third Former Eliza, selected for the Surrey Academy. Well done girls on this wonderful achievement.
The Junior Cross Country team competed in the South East Finals at the English School’s team competition. The team performed extremely well, finishing 4th overall, just missing out by 14 points on a place in the National finals; individual performances included First Formers Evie and Christina who finished 6th and 9th respectively.
The U12 and Open Team swimmers took to the pool against St George’s, Licensed Victuallers, St Mary’s and Holyport. The U12’s were placed 3rd overall and the Open Team were placed 2nd. Well done swimmers!
Hockey fixtures have been extremely successful this week. The U15XI team took to the field against Christ Hospital where the team work was fantastic and the end result was a 3-0 win. The U13 A & B hockey teams played against Sir William Perkins School and both teams came away with convincing wins.
Netball matches have been just as victorious. The U15 team played extremely well together and came away with another win against Sir William Perkins School. However, the highlight of the week has to go to the U12 A & B netball teams who played in the annual Tormead tournament. Facing some really tough competition both teams played exceptionally well and returned to school each with a shield as winners of their respective tournament. Fantastic result girls! Parent Rachel Gray took some excellent action shots of the match which can be viewed hereThe gymnasts really enjoyed a competition with Claremont.
Well done to all who took part in House Sport yesterday afternoon. The atmosphere was electric and it was great seeing everyone enjoying themselves. Junior years participated in hockey and football and the senior girls were involved with netball, badminton and table tennis. The results will be announced in the next assembly.
Drama students began the week by performing at Waverley Abbey Junior School, to Year 6 students who have been studying Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. Several of the Year 6 pupils had seen Prior’s Field girls in action last week at G Live, when 33 of our First to Fourth Formers delivered a simply spine-tingling performance from ‘The Scottish Play’, as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival. Such was the quality of the experience, to quote Mrs Kirnig, ‘It was hard to believe you were watching school children on stage’. From the cloying evil of the Three Witches in billowing, black cloaks, to the tension of the precarious relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and Macduff’s terrible grief at the deaths of his family, the performances were mature and captivating. Girls sang and mimed, and innovative staging and costume enabled cast members in effect to morph from trees and castle walls to a cauldron.
Later in the week, staff and students tip-toed past the Drama Studio, as 19 girls performed before a RADA assessor, most for their Bronze Award.
Head of Food Technology, Ms Teasdale described last week’s specialist cookery workshop for Fourth Form Food and Nutrition students: ‘The fish expert, and Personnel Manager, from Godalming Waitrose arrived with two crates of fresh mackerel for the girls to learn how to fillet and skin, before they poached the fish and made them into mackerel pâté. During the workshop, the girls also learned about how to shop for fresh fish and about the nutritional benefits of eating oily fish, sustainability and seasonality. It was a really interesting course and the girls will benefit by using their new skills to make more advanced dishes in the future.’
Head of Geography Ms Treanor reports on a Second Form expedition, ‘investigating the importance of tourism to Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth. This included a trip up the Spinnaker Tower, questionnaires, environmental surveys and an evaluation of heritage features. They are now well prepared for the presentation and analysis of their data back in the classroom.’ The students spent the second part of their day in Portsmouth with the History department, visiting the Mary Rose Museum as part of this term’s topic on the Tudors. They investigated the mystery behind the sinking of the Mary Rose and met Hatch – the skeleton of the ship’s dog – among other discoveries.
‘We visited many galleries, mostly by foot, which enabled us to see so much more about life in Paris. A particular favourite was the Musée d’Orsay, which proved to be much bigger than it looked from the outside. There were many floors of paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and other renowned artists whom we have studied in class, but to experience the work first hand was completely different and truly incredible. We also visited the Musée de l’Orangerie where many of Monet’s larger water lily paintings from his garden in Giverny are exhibited. These covered all the walls and seemed abstract close up, but they had a completely different dimension when the whole painting was viewed from further away; they seemed to have transformed, each mark of colour now forming an element of the scene. One of my favourite places was the Rodin Museum where Anselm Kiefer had an exhibition. His paintings were of huge size and very textural in their approach; the layers of materials that covered his canvas were so thick that he had carved the markings into them rather than actually painting.
On one of the days, the group divided into two: Textiles students and History of Art students (the Photography students joined the group of their choice). The History of Art group went to the Louvre, whilst the Textiles group went to two fascinating fashion exhibitions: ‘Fortuny, un Espagnol à Venise’ and ‘La Maison Dior’. Fortuny was famous for using pleats in his designs, and we saw many wonderful garments inspired by classical Greek themes and motifs, but created using modern construction techniques. The beautiful gowns had simple, figure-hugging shapes, but the thousands of tiny pleats meant that they could be scrunched up into a tiny ball and still retain their flowing lines when unrolled, due to the craftsmanship!
‘La Maison Dior’ exhibition celebrated 70 years of Dior fashion. It was breath-taking; room upon room of astonishing garments, showing the progression from the origin of Dior to present day designs. Not only was every garment a masterpiece in itself, but the way they were presented was truly amazing, for example one whole room was decorated with tiny paper flowers hanging from the ceiling and covering the walls, creating an atmosphere similar to being in an enchanted forest.
In addition to immersing ourselves in art, we also found time to sample French culture, enjoying meals at local restaurants, crêpes in little cafés, and visiting the Eiffel Tower. It was a fantastic trip which has seeded our imaginations with ideas which are sure to appear in our future Art, Textile and Photography projects – look out for them in the next Inter House Art Competition!’
‘As a History of Art student, the abundance of galleries and museums that this trip offered provided me with a wealth of experience, being able to visually analyse paintings in the flesh. The Musée D’Orsay hosted many of the works of art included in the A Level course, making the trip here extremely worthwhile. To see them in the gallery setting was invaluable to deepening my understanding of the work and the plethora of works from the same period or artistic style helped to establish more complex art historical connections. Particularly interesting to me was Manet’s Olympia, with the richness of tone and model’s confronting gaze being all the more intensified through the ability to view the original painting.
Understandably, visiting the Louvre was another fantastic experience. Aside from the sheer size of the building, the thousands of artistic works housed there were overwhelming and solidified my understanding of art history. After fighting past the crowds to glimpse the beauty of Mona Lisa’s smile, the hall of monumental history paintings by the likes of Delacroix and David completed my experience of Paris.’
Congratulations to the Lower Sixth Form who spearheaded a bake sale during Thursday’s House Sport, raising funds for Tinga Tinga primary school in Tanzania.
Also in support of Tinga Tinga, the Third Form masterminded an ‘In Her Shoes Day’. Pupils from all years contributed £1 – many from their own pocket money – to wear shoes of their choice today; many of the students at Tinga Tinga go bare foot or have ‘shoes’ made from tyres, and the funds raised will go towards buying them comfortable, fitting shoes that will improve their experience of walking to and from school – often an hour each way.
Head of Sociology Mrs Haddock sent a message of thanks to those in the school community ‘who so kindly donated colouring books and pens for the hospital in McKeni, Sierra Leone where my daughter works. All went to good use and gave the patients in the children’s ward much delight in an otherwise bleak situation; not even in the school do they have access to colouring books. It was especially moving to witness Santigie’s first smile in 6 months – after a fall from a mango tree had left him paralysed – when we gave him his presents, although I think the lollipops helped somewhat! Similarly, the gift of baby clothes went some way to give the mother of twins a little hope for the future of her babies – even if she put the boy in a dress because it was blue and the girl in yellow T shirt and shorts. There were so many other children and their parents who benefited and, in a country where many have nothing, your donations made a huge difference. Thank you.’
Mrs Alisha to Fourth Former Carlota and Lower Sixth Former Rachel, for spending all of Saturday morning helping out in the Food Department for Prior’s Field’s 11+ Preview Day: ‘Nothing was too difficult and every job was done with a smile on their faces. We were really grateful for their help.’
Mr Butler to Fifth Formers Freya and Tatiana, for reading brilliantly the respective parts of Catherine and Beatrice in ‘A View From The Bridge’, really helping it to come alive for the rest of us; to Fourth Former Myfanwy, for ‘wonderful creative writing’ and a second commendation, for superb English Coursework.
Mrs Horton to Fourth Formers Isabella, Maddison and Phoebe for outstanding commitment, progress and performance as Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Macduff respectively, in last week’s performance at G Live.
Mr Butler says… ‘
This week’s Word of the Week is
It’s easy to work out how the meaning of last week’s word, prosaic, developed. From the Latin ‘prosa’, it means literally ‘writing that is not poetry’. By the late 17th century, however, poetry was considered the most beautiful and important writing, and ‘prosaic’ developed its modern negative connotations; nowadays it means ‘unromantic, dull and unimaginative’ – a good word to use instead of the ubiquitous ‘boring’ or ‘normal’ in your writing. Winner was First Former Summer; she gets chocolate and a multitude of merits.’
Parent Staff Association (PSA)
Year 5 Dinner/Disco, Saturday 25 November at Charterhouse
Details to be sent out by Prior’s Field.
Christmas Fair, Saturday 25 November 11.00am to 3.00pm
This is a great chance to do some serious present shopping: gifts range from soaps and candles to cashmere wraps and ceramic table ware. There are over 55 external stall holders at the fair – please look at the PSA web pages for details