Views from the Headmistress’ Study – 2nd May 2014

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Dear Parents,

It was lovely to welcome everyone back last week, the sun was shining and there were lots of cheery smiles as the girls and staff came through the door, even though I know that the majority of girls had had their heads in their books revising over the holidays!

It has been a busy Easter holiday with the Ski trip hitting the slopes of Sunday River in Maine, USA, revision sessions in school for the exam groups and some major external and internal decoration to the school.

I started off the term with an assembly on ‘Change’, although one thing we did not change was a rousing rendition of Jerusalem.

There were lots of happy faces outside Mr Keeley’s office as they collected their music certificates for their recent music exams. Well done to everyone as they all passed, practise obviously made perfect!

The Art GCSE exam and A2 textile exams have been taking place, with the girls putting all their ideas into their final piece. Please make sure you have 18th June 4.30-6.30pm in your diary, as no doubt it will be a stunning evening.

Last friday all of yr8 and the GCSE yr10 classical civilisation group went by train to visit the Roman Baths in Bath. They had workshops and lectures on ‘An Introduction to Aquae Sulis’ and ‘Bathing and Beauty’. They were able to handle a strigil and amphora (read the Bath blog to find out more) and even tasted some of the natural spring water- although I heard it did not taste particularly pleasant!

I had the pleasure of sitting in on some of the yr11 presentations for their Extended Project Qualification which is worth half an A level. These are the girls who took the RS GCSE a year early and have spent this year completing a piece of research on any area that they choose. The range of subjects, standard of writing and quality of their presentations, showed how much hard work and thought had gone in to completing them. One girl had even been in contact with a Harvard Professor, discussing her chosen area of research. The subjects ranged from ‘Women in Fairytales- damsels in distress or heroines?’, ‘Is Capital Punishment justified in the USA?’ to ‘Has the internet negatively impacted on the music industry?’.

It was lovely to see so many parents at the Activities week meetings. If you were unable to make it, please make sure that the information packs which the staff had put together for each trip, make their way home to you.

On Tuesday evening was the Lower 6th Drama A level examination. The first two performances were created by the girls themselves and are based on the works of Bertolt Brecht. Brecht’s performances always wished to challenge the audience’s perception of what ‘theatre’ is and the Lower 6th rose to that task with two very cleverly written pieces. The first was called ‘Arabian Nights’, written and performed by Biba, Riddhima and Elizabeth. The girls performed a piece intended to challenge our concept of innocent until proven guilty. This gritty and unpredictable performance invited the audience to make a judgement on two stereotypes, a soldier and an exotic dancer, who is guilty and do we trust the final judgement?
The second devised piece, by Lizzie and Domenica supported by the use of modern projection and film editing, transported the audience into the midst of conflict, war and questionable leadership. The audience were asked to question their opinion and conception on familiar images of war and oppression.
The last performance was an extract from ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller where the girls followed the work of Constantin Stanislavski. Stanislavski treated theatre-making as a serious endeavour requiring dedication, discipline and integrity. He believed in a naturalistic style where the audience would ‘believe’ in the performance and would frequently become emotionally involved. I am certain that the examiners will be impressed by the excellent performances.

Miss Minto had the U15’s A and B teams out playing rounders against Francis Holland and although the scores weren’t in our favour, there were some strong individual performances. The first rounder in the U15 B team game came from Alana demonstrating excellent batting skills. Fareedah (U15 B team player of the match) caught FH’s star batter out in the U15B match and Millie made an exceptional catch for the U15A team. Also, congratulations to Amara (U15 A team player of the match), who nervous in her first game, ended up being the top scorer!

Miss Beatty hosted this term’s Food for Thought lunch which was attended by members of More’s Household and staff. She got us all to think about our preferred method of looking at art; at an exhibition, in a book or using technology? We could see the enjoyment that people got from all three but felt that there was something quite magical about the feel, smell and flicking through a beautiful book, showing the history behind an artist. A number of staff and girls had visited the Matisse exhibition and it was fascinating to look at how he created the most ‘simple’ but inspiring pieces of work, even from his bed! Miss Beatty then showed us a number of artists, Matisse, Miro, Manet, and how art is a continuum from one artist to the next. A fascinating way to spend a lunchtime.

The week was rounded off by the Dance club putting on a display in assembly. I know how nervous they all were beforehand but, wow, what a performance!

I wish you all a lovely Bank Holiday weekend (remember no school on Monday)

Amanda Leach

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The weeks ahead

Monday 5th  May  Bank Holiday
Tuesday 6th May 4pm – 5pm: U12 & U13 Rounders vs Francis Holland
Wednesday 7th May A2 Art Exam
Thursday 8th May AS & GCSE Study Leave

A2 Art Exam

9.30am – 4.30pm: Year 7 Trip to Wetlands

4pm – 5pm: U14 Rounders vs Francis Holland

4.40pm – 5.40pm: U15 Rounders vs Queensgate

Parents Association Jubilee Gala Dinner

Friday 9th May A2 Art Exam
Monday 12th May GCSE RS Module

3.30pm: Senior Chamber Choir

4.15pm – 5.30pm: U12 & U14 Rounders vs Queensgate

Tuesday 13th May Science GCSE Year 10
Wednesday 14th May AS Art Exam
Thursday 15th May AS Art Exam

Music Competition

Science GCSE Year 10

 

 

Prayer of the Week:

Dear Lord,

We ask you to guide our minds and hearts with your wisdom this day

Amen

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