Views from the Headmistress’ study – 20th June 2016

Dear Parents,

It is always a strange feeling waving goodbye to the Activities Week trips as school is extremely quiet without the girls here. (Year 7 have set off for Germany, Year 8 went to Spain yesterday, Year 9 are on their way to Dorset and Year 10 stay closer to home in Sussex)

Last week the girls continued to fill their days. Cecily in Year 8 was part of the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations along the Mall, representing the Girl Guides. Here is her account of the day:

‘On the 12th June I took part in the patron’s lunch parade. I am part of Girl Guiding, an international charity where they give girls an opportunity to be themselves, make friends and learn valuable skills and try out new activities. When I was given the chance to take part in this exciting event, I jumped at it! Luckily, I was picked out of many girls by our Guide Leader.

The big day started very early. Security was very tight so getting through easily was a big relief. There were so many other organisations taking part, which made the atmosphere a lot more uplifting.

We did two parades- one which was a practice and then the real thing. Everyone was holding a sign which said the names of the organisations that the Queen is patron of. The crowd was buzzing and fortunately the rain stopped. Even though my feet were aching and we were all damp, it did not make the experience less exhilarating. I feel very lucky to have taken part and it is a memory I shall never forget.’

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I was also excited to hear that the Hall sisters; Charlotte and Gabriella (Year 10 and 7) were treading the boards at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as part of the Southwark Youth Theatre at the Shakespeare’s Globe. They were part of a company of 37 young people, performing Romeo and Juliet.

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The rain did not dampen the girls’ spirits when they headed off to Thorpe Park on Monday for the day. This is annual trip, led by the Music Department, to thank all members of the choirs for their hard work during the year. They returned to school, high as kites, carrying a multitude of luminous toys that they had won, bigger than themselves!!

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Unfortunately on Tuesday, the rain beat us. Miss Minto set off to Hyde Park with 70 girls and staff to complete the 10K Challenge. They got as far as the café by the Serpentine and there they had to shelter for the next 30 mins while the most brutal of showers came down. They returned to school, looking like drowned rats, to be greeted by hot chocolate and dry T-shirts.

Mrs Hunt invited Phil Williams, eco-warrior and BBC wildlife film producer to come to Pont Street to share how we can become More Green in a hard-hitting fact-filled launch to the Senior School of our exciting new programme: More Green. This is an initiative Mrs Hunt and Mr Robertson will be leading over the next couple of years.

Phil was joined by Sharon Gaffney of Wenta who will also be working with us on this exciting programme.

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From September we shall be committing time and energy to increasing awareness and educating ourselves throughout the school on environmental issues that we can affect in a positive way to benefit our pupils today and equip them for the future. This links to the academic and pastoral curriculae as well as to the extra curricular programmes that we are able to offer our girls, in supporting their development as rounded, future, global leaders.

The juniors, through the Eco committee, will be working on environmental audits of the school and putting in place resource saving policies and programmes that change our behavior to ensure we are fully conscious and respectful of our environment. Not wanting to second guess the outcomes of their projects, we shall have to wait till the autumn to discover how we are becoming More Green.

The senior school will be involved in a series of leadership and fundraising events to support our environmental programme, and some pupils will have the opportunity to go to the Amazon with Phil and his team to meet the indigenous and native tribes, to witness the mass deforestation of the rainforest and understand the impact that has on the global environmental issues that they learn about, especially in geography, science, economics and business studies.

Upon their return from the Amazon, the girls will create various awareness media, blogs, apps and possibly a film and write up their experiences. The outcome beyond experiencing this fantastic and rare opportunity will also enable them to achieve a level 3 NPQ, equivalent to more UCAS points than an Alevel.

This will be a longterm programme and will run cyclically enabling our girls to participate as they grow up the school.

It was lovely to welcome the new cohort of Year 7’s to More House on Wednesday. They met their Sixth Form mentors and spent time getting to know their way around the school. I think we are going to have lots of fun with them!

The Science Department were in full action on Thursday. Mrs Scott (Head of Science) had been busy baking during the week and raised over £105 for the Alzheimer’s Society by holding a cake sale at break time.

Miss Seconi put together a wonderful evening, where her budding scientists presented their science projects. The girls were buzzing about their experiments and you could see the hard work and pure enjoyment that they had got out of the whole process. I now know which music to play to spur me on, have a look at my iPhone when feeling tired, put my seeds in the freezer before planting and know to go to Kayla when I need waterproofing!! They will now take their projects to the regional finals of the Big Bang Science Fair. What a great bunch of scientists- good luck to them all!

Due to Activities Week, we had to bring forward our Feast Day to last Friday. Miss Minto had been watching the weather forecast all week and even on Friday morning, we still were unsure if we were going to remain dry down at Battersea Park. However, after a lovely St Thomas More Mass, led by Father Stewart and with the Servers; Emily, Sylvia and Sophia, we headed down to Battersea. We had a wonderful day and the sun even started to shine during our delicious feast, prepared by Brahim. Iona and Santiago seemed to be battling it out for the trophy all day and in the end Iona were victorious. Well done to everyone for such great team spirit and being so well behaved.

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Don’t forget about our Summer Concert next week – we look forward to seeing you all there.

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We wish all the girls safe travels this week.

Amanda Leach

Monday 20th – Friday 24th June Activities Week
Monday 27th June UVIth Leavers Drinks | 6pm
Tuesday 28th June Summer Concert | St. Barnabas | 7pm
Wednesday 29th June Sportswomen’s Dinner | 7pm

 

Prayer to St Thomas More

O Lord, give us a mind that is humble, quiet, peaceable, patient and charitable, and a taste of your Holy Spirit in all our thoughts, words, and deeds.

O Lord, give us a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervent charity, a love of you.

Take from us all lukewarmness in meditation and all dullness in prayer. Give us fervor and delight in thinking of you, your grace, and your tender compassion toward us.

Give us, good Lord, the grace to work for the things we pray for.

Amen.

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