Views from the Headmistress’ study – 27th January 2017

Dear Parents,

The week started off with a visit from Google Expeditions. Girls in Years 7-9 were taken on virtual journeys to Antarctica and the ocean. The Sixth Form Geographers were the ‘guides’ pointing out interesting sights along the way and asking the girls thought provoking environmental questions. It was a strange experience being in the dining room but being transported into another world! Thank you Google for bringing to us this amazing experience, the girls loved it and shrieked with delight.

We have been taking full advantage of London’s theatres this week. On Wednesday all of Year 9 and Year 10 GCSE Music students went on a very ‘Wicked’ trip. They first went to Pineapple studios in Covent Garden for a singing workshop with the Assistant Musical Director of Wicked. The girls learnt the tricks of the trade of Musical Theatre and performed a song from the musical. In the afternoon we were lucky enough to watch the Matinee performance and witnessed some truly ‘Defying Gravity’ singing and dancing.

On Thursday, the Household and GCSE Drama girls went to see Mark Haddon’s novel, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ brought to life, on stage. It was an amazing production and very moving to see how they portrayed the main character Christopher, who has autism. The special effects were stunning as they helped the audience understand what he was experiencing when feeling distressed. As always, our girls were outstanding and very appreciative of being taken to the theatre to enhance their learning. They all seemed to enjoy the experience greatly.

8T had the amazing opportunity to visit the Hunterian museum this week where they got to see various soft tissue specimens of different organisms.  “Cool but creepy” is the phrase I believe was used to describe how they felt.

It has been a week of mixed results for the PE department. The girls faced some tough netball matches, and although they played well, they did unfortunately lose. However, we did draw in our U15 hockey match last night against Francis Holland Regents Park. Congratulations to our goal scorers – Honey and Juliette, and to Lily H who made an excellent debut in goal.

Weekly I receive a briefing from a specialist Safeguarding consultant and this week there was a very interesting piece on ‘Understanding Terms and Conditions’, which I would like to share with you:

‘Internet Safety: Understanding Terms and Conditions’ by Andrew Hall

Many of us, maybe even all of us, ignore what is written in the terms and conditions of the internet and software services that we use on a daily basis. This is a gross misjudgement, but who has time to do that and don’t we trust those companies to look after our data properly.

We tell children to be careful online, but as adults we ignore many of the rules, so why would children be any different?

The Children’s Commissioner published a report recently called ‘Growing Up Digital‘. The report makes interesting reading, but one aspect particularly caught media attention.

Around half of 8 – 15 year olds use Instagram. The ‘Growing Up Digital’ report authors asked legal firm, Schillings, to look over the 17 pages of Instagram’s Terms and Conditions, written at a level that could only be understood by a graduate. Schillings own lawyers simplified the T&C to help children (and the rest of us probably) understand what they mean.

Here are two of the reader-friendly clauses:

“Officially you own any original pictures and videos you post, but we are allowed to use them, and we can let others use them as well, anywhere around the world. Other people might pay us to use them and we will not pay you for that.” (or put more simply, we can sell the stuff you upload without asking you or paying you.)

“We might send you adverts connected to your interests which we are monitoring. You cannot stop us doing this and it will not always be obvious that it is an advert.” (or put more simply, we can send you stuff and you won’t know its an advert.)

I think both of these clauses are astonishing. We all have a right to know about this, and children need educating about it.’

The Year 7’s are currently doing some work on Internet Safety in their ICT lessons. However, regular reminders to all of the girls never do any harm and might keep them safe.

Don’t forget that Mrs Boulter is running the KS3 book fair until Wednesday. The girls will be able to purchase lots of new and exciting titles in the Library during break and lunch times. Prices start from £2.99, and as Elena commented this break time, there are some real bargains!


Have a restful weekend,

Amanda Leach

Friday 21st  January – Wednesday 1st February KS3 Book Fair in the Library
Monday 30th January – Friday 3rd February Assessment Point 3
Monday 6th February Year 7 & 8 Young Voices Event
Monday 13th – Friday 17th February Half Term




During Form times the girls follow our Spirit and Truth Programme. This week the reflection and prayers made us think about Women and Wealth:


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