Views from the Headmistress’ study – 24th February 2017

Dear Parents,

Looking back on a week at More House is one thing, but looking forward to the next highlights what a vibrant community we are in.

Don’t miss out on:

LAMDA performances on Tuesday evening from 5.30pm.

Liturgy of the Word at 8.30am in the Dining Room on Ash Wednesday (1st March). Please email our Head of RS, Mr Green (sgreen@morehousemail.org.uk),  if you wish to attend this service.

Miss Dale’s Multicultural evening full of food from around the world and entertainment – Thursday 2nd March 7pm. Purchase your tickets here.

And the following week,

MHPA Quiz Night! Purchase your tickets here, and have a look at the email sent out earlier today for more information.

So back to this week,

On Monday Year 8 adventured to the London Symphony Orchestra Education Centre to experience a variety of workshops. Firstly, they embarked on a journey to Bali by learning to play the Gamelan (traditional instruments of Bali). The girls experimented with the different Gamelan instruments and quickly learnt how different music can be. In the second workshop the girls explored different sounds and loops on Garage Band. They came up with some brilliant compositions, using pre recorded looping and composing sections themselves on the piano. Overall, it was a fabulous day full of many different educational activities.

Mr Hegarty took some of the Sixth Form English students to a performance of ‘Twelfth Night’ at the National Theatre. The play is part of their A Level studies. Their studies cover the comic genre and this Shakespeare play is one, which demonstrates many of the comic techniques they are studying, banter, wit and word play. It also has terrific examples of physical comedy; with lots of knock about humour, slap stick comedy, misunderstandings and confusion, as people appear to be one thing but turn out to be another. It is a play that is both funny and cruel and the girls were intrigued not only by seeing the play come alive in performance but also appreciated the elaborate set design as well as the contribution music can make to the production.

It so useful to see the plays the girls are studying as it informs their writing responses in a very positive way. More House Is so lucky to have access to a range of high quality theatre productions on our doorstep.

On Tuesday, the Year 10’s got the chance to go to the Central London Synagogue to speak to a chazan (cantor).

This is Elena’s account of the trip:

‘We travelled by tube, from Sloane Square to Great Portland Street. Once we got there, we were greeted by Chazan Steven Leas and welcomed into the main part of the synagogue. We had the opportunity to look around and take notes on some key features of the Jewish place of worship.

We then sat down and had a short summarising lesson on the main beliefs and traditions in Judaism.

As we had already studied most of the topics in school, we were able to expand our knowledge and get a deeper insight as to why some traditions are carried out and what they symbolise.

The thing that amazed me the most was learning that on Shabbat (the Holy Day of the week), Jews are not allowed to carry anything with them, as well as not doing any work. This is because God created the World in six days and rested on the seventh, so Jews believe in dedicating Shabbat to God and praying with family and friends.

Another impressive moment was seeing the Ark being opened: inside it were multiple Torah scrolls, all beautifully decorated with ornaments, silver and breastplates – these symbolise the clothing of the first rabbis and are treated like royalty.

Most of the Torah scrolls are made of wood and weigh about 30 kg! This is very astonishing as the Torah scrolls have to be lifted up in front of the congregation twice during the services!

It was a really informative and helpful trip, as we’re studying Judaism as a part of our GCSE course. We were able to ask questions to the chazzan and get a brief insight into what it is like to be an Orthodox Jew today.’

On Tuesday evening we were entertained by singers and instrumentalists from all years, in our informal concerts. It was a wonderful evening to see new talent coming through the school and how much confidence the girls have gained in their performance skills. A sad occasion too, as this was Anahita and Matty’s last informal concert. However there will be more from them before they go- watch this space!

During a Science lesson 8SG popped out to the Natural History museum to see the Variety Show. They had the chance to encounter the museum’s largest, smallest and possibly some of the most beautiful specimens.  The girls got to learn how different organisms are adapted to their environments and why scientists classify life!

‘The Secret of Nightingale Wood’, published last year to much critical acclaim and voted ‘Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month’, is a book that holds a special place in our hearts here at More House. It was penned by one of our former English teachers, Lucy Strange. Girls in Years 7 and 8 have been reading this wonderful book, and were delighted to have the opportunity to meet Lucy on Wednesday afternoon. She gave a fascinating and inspiring talk about her journey to becoming a published writer and the importance of following our dreams. Girls had the opportunity to ask questions about their own creative writing, as well as the world of children’s literature as a whole, and were treated to a book signing to top it all off. What a treat!

Lucy emailed after her visit and said: ‘It was SUCH a wonderful day yesterday – so utterly lovely to be back and see you all – thank you so much for having me. I loved talking to the girls and hearing all their brilliant and bonkers ideas, and felt honoured to be interviewed by your BBC reporters too!’

Have a restful weekend,

Amanda Leach

Dates for the diary:

Tuesday 28th February LAMDA Presentations from 5.30pm
Thursday 2nd March Multicultural Evening from 7pm
Sunday 5th March KS3 Play Rehearsals
Tuesday 7th March Year 7 Parents’ Evening

Prayers and Reflections of the Week

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