E-weekly Issue 128
Letter from the Headmistress - 4th May 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Well, here we are, going into the third week of term and still none the wiser as to when we will be able to return, but I am proud of how everyone continues to approach life so positively. Thank you to all those who regularly send kind messages and encouragement, and to those of you who continue to contribute to the Hardship Fund. It is very much appreciated and makes more of a difference than you might imagine. We could not manage all that we do without your support!
At School, in between lessons, Mr Rees and Mr Warren have been overseeing the production of PPE (with volunteers such as Mrs Stone also helping!), and have now produced over 700 visors... The Textiles Department, not wanting to be outdone, have not only created a production line – suitably socially-distanced, obviously – for masks, but have also been producing scrubs, particularly for erstwhile retired staff being called back to work. Thank you to those staff, parents and OCs who have contributed resources – practical and financial to help us produce more, or to send equipment for us to distribute. We have been delivering to local hospices, doctors’ practices and nursing homes. I know that many of you and the girls are also doing your bit from facemasks to food banks. Please do let us know what you are doing and send in pictures: it would be lovely to create a montage.
Of course, this is not about making a big fuss publicly. We don’t want to draw attention to members of our School community just for the sake of it. Now more than ever, our motto ‘Actions not Words’ is of the essence, but it is good to have opportunities to recognise how all the small, and apparently insignificant, things that individuals are doing, make a powerful difference when they are combined.
A number of families in our community have suffered a significant bereavement over the past week: they are very much in our prayers, as are all those who continue to make sacrifices; selflessly working – and helping others to work – for the common good, often at great cost to themselves. All around us we are seeing the Easter message being lived in practice; this has to bode well for the future. Please remember them and all those most in need of our prayers. Today, as you know, is the anniversary of VE Day: a timely reminder of historic sacrifices made for a freedom we may have become rather complacent about, but are appreciating more now it is compromised. (Although even a temporary restriction on our movement shouldn’t hamper our freedom of speech and thought!) All the initial fuss over changing the Bank Holiday seems somewhat futile in retrospect. The History Department has produced lots of VE day resources and ideas for the girls, supplemented by some interesting information from the Royal British Legion, (whose Remembrance Education Officer, Sophie, is an OC). Perhaps you might look at some of them together. Can we challenge you to join the sing-along? You have no excuse as the lyrics have been included in Mr Warren’s email...
We have another cause for celebration (and song) as the Prime Minister wasn’t the only one expecting a new baby. We are delighted to announce the arrival of the newest member of the Ward family – a healthy little boy weighing in at 7lb 12oz, named Edmund Henry Dunstan Ward. Many congratulations to the family. As a result, Dr Ward will be on paternity leave for the next couple of weeks, but he will continue to provide work for all music lessons and Miss Le Riche will supervise Years 10 and 12, while Mr Doy will support members of his Tutor Group.
All other lessons will continue as usual. As the novelty may be beginning to wear off, now is the time we may need to help the girls ‘stiffen the sinews... hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit’ and generally keep up their focused application. This is when a self-disciplined approach can begin to become more habitual and embedded. I appreciate that for those of you who are working from home and who have other children accessing virtual lessons, it can be difficult logistically, not to mention a strain on the internet. It may be inevitable that more than one person is working in the same room, but please can you help ensure that girls are not distracted by the presence of adults or siblings seeming to observe or join in with lessons. We wouldn’t allow it in School, so don’t want to encourage it at home. Trusting the girls to work sensibly by themselves, not having to oversee what they are doing (at least during lesson time) should be a basic expectation: this sort of ‘honourable behaviour’ is important for them to practise. Don’t worry: we will be in touch if we feel work is not being done!
It may be that over the coming week we are given a better idea of how and when we are able to return to School... In the meantime, we should continue to remain positive yet realistic, and most importantly, recognise and appreciate the gifts we have. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you remain safe and well. Whether you are simply relishing the opportunity to step outside in Spain or enjoying greater freedoms and cautiously returning to normality in Hong Kong, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
With my best wishes,
Today, 8th May, marks the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Victory in Europe Day, generally shortened to VE Day or V-E Day, celebrates the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War Two of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of armed forces on 8th May 1945. (The war was not fully over as Japan continued to fight – and only surrendered in August 1945, after the dropping of two atomic bombs, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.)
Before coronavirus, plenty of plans were in place to mark the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The government announced that the Early May Bank Holiday would be moved for only the second time in history to the VE weekend of 8th May, so that a spectacular three-day celebration could take place. This would have included processions, street parties and fly pasts. Sadly, most of the commemorations have been cancelled or postponed, possibly until the VJ (Victory in Japan) Day on 15th August. However, there are still plenty of ways you can get involved in VE Day on Friday:
· Remember those who lost their lives in the conflict by joining in the two minutes silence at 11:00
· Host your own VE Day party with your family. Menu suggestions, Lindy Hop dance moves and a Spotify playlist can be found here. Make and display your own VE Day Great British Bunting. Download everything you need here. Or colour in your own VE Day Poster
· Take part in the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 15:00, from the safety of your own home, by standing up and raising a glass of refreshment while saying the following ‘Toast’ – “To those who gave so much, we thank you.”
· Watch the Queen’s address to the nation, at 21:00 on BBC One
· Then open your front doors and unite with the whole nation after the Queen’s speech to sing Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ – Lyrics and video here
· Watch Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s speech announcing the end of the War
· Investigate your own family’s experience during the Second World War. Why not video call older relatives who lived through it and ask them about it. Or take your enquiry further by exploring all UK historical records available. Ancestry.co.uk will be free for the public from Monday 4th May until Sunday 10th May, giving people the opportunity to uncover the personal stories of the Second World War and the roles their families played
· Join the Royal British Legion’s VE Day Livestream here
· See how the nation celebrated in 1945 with this video
· Learn more about VE Day here
· Learn more about World War Two here
As we face some of the most challenging times since the end of the Second World War, now more than ever, it is important to unite in recognition of service to the nation, just as communities did 75 years ago, and remember the heroes who fought and died for the freedom which we may have taken for granted in the past, but are now so desperate to get back to.
Mr David Warren, Head of History
Stem Hero for May
Mayfield’s STEM Hero for May is Dr June Almeida, a Scottish virologist who discovered the first coronavirus in a nasal swab from a schoolboy in 1964. The virus was named ‘corona’ because of the crown-like halo around its surface.
June was a very bright girl but her family could not afford to send her to university, so she got a job as a lab technician and went on to become an expert in using the electron microscope. Her first photographs were dismissed by her peers as bad images of flu, but were later recognised as a new microorganism. She has played a pivotal role in the combat against viruses, for example taking images of the HIV virus.
The UK’s leading microbiologist, Hugh Pennington said: "Without doubt she is one of the outstanding Scottish scientists of her generation, but sadly largely forgotten, though ironically, this COVID-19 outbreak has shone a light again on her work.”
Mrs Rachel Davies, Deputy Head of Sixth Form, Teacher of Biology and STEM Coordinator Sixth Form, Teacher of Biology and STEM Coordinator
School this Week
Many congratulations to..
Dr and Mrs Ward on their new baby boy, Edmund Henry Dunstan Ward, who arrived on Tuesday, weighing in at 7lb 12 oz. We are delighted to welcome him to the Mayfield Community!
Students in Year 9 have been researching the lives and writings of famous First World War poets. They have written their own poems in response to war poets’ experiences and works – a selection of which can be found below.
Miss Joanna Staunton, Teacher of English
Born and raised in London
Born and raised in London
This is all too sudden
All my hard work gone
Do you remember me? Anyone...?
This is Robert Graves
Poems as calm as the waves
WW1, what have you done?
Tonight, the war has begun...
Middle class, middle class, middle class
Poisonous and as sharp as glass
The day of August 1914,
The day I didn’t know what my life would come in between
(Written by Chelsea, Caroline and Issy)
Mortem – death
Our raving leaders,
Will never take a step back,
And realise that this bloody war,
Is not just one attack.
The dying soldiers try to live,
Like birds try flapping in a drowning sea and swim,
Until the crashing, chasing waves
Of life and death, life and death go dim.
The silent night gives birth to
Screams of agony and fright,
Of torture unknown,
And death, death and death.
The whistle exploded and Sargent shouted "Over the top lads. GO!"
We didn’t need telling twice,
The fear was enough to get us over
And shot in a trice.
The machine guns fired,
Non-stop at our heads,
The gamble of pain and torture, the game of luck.
The gamble of life and death. Life and death.
"Not me" said I, I will not die,
Hiding behind a fly infested dead horse,
And I'll go back when the enemy falls asleep
Then the next round begins without remorse.
Lads screamed and cried for mummy,
Others had no voice to scream,
No heart to beat,
And no life to live.
We dropped dead,
Death was a bloody common cold.
Because mortem wins again.
(Written by Lizzie and inspired by 'How to Die' by Siegfried Sassoon)
Do Not Worry
Do Not Worry
When you get back
All will be waiting
Glory, Honour, and Grandeur
Will receive you
Do Not Worry
You will not be alone
No matter where you go
Death or home
Do Not Worry
The price is only a
Do Not Worry
You don't get to choose.
(Written by Sahana and inspired by Sassoon’s ‘They’)
Year 7 Tudor Projects
Year 7 Historians are having a great time continuing with their Tudor projects. Skye has made a Tudor style dress and created a written project containing information on Tudor fashion, and Jess demonstrated Tudor make up as part of her final project!
Mrs Lucy Lawson, Teacher of History, Year 11 Form Tutor
What’s been cooking this week?
The girls have been doing VE Day cooking this week, using the 'old fashioned' balance weighing scales that they have at home, and thinking about food rationing. The results look pretty good!
Miss Emily Theobald, Head of Food and Nutrition
It has been an interesting time for everyone, and many challenges have had to be overcome. The PE Department has had to adapt to working out how best we can teach the girls remotely, ensuring we are keeping them active at a time when their mental and physically well-being is paramount. Mrs Fletcher has even purchased a mini piece of astroturf to get weekly pre-season hockey skills training sessions going for the senior team!
Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that keeping active is of paramount importance to physical and mental health, aiding learning, and making us happy. For the girls at School, it is also an opportunity to play games both against and with their peers, so the Department has been planning ways for the girls to stay connected to each other and the School community. We have created video resources to help guide the girls through their work-outs, and Lower School PE is still being taught live, in a greatly-appreciated joint effort between Mayfield residents, Mrs Whitby and Miss Starr.
The girls, in true Mayfield fashion, have stepped up to the challenges and taken them in their stride. They are registering for lessons in Teams and keeping us updated through their activity diaries, and the large number of Lower School girls continuing with PE lessons on Wednesday afternoons, remind us of Wednesday afternoons in School - with the repeated knocking on the PE Office door! Year 7 Jess even had a go at re-making her own version of the PE staff ‘welcome back’ video!
We love hearing from you and seeing your pictures and videos, which give us a good insight into what you are up to and how you are adapting. We would love to hear more so please feel free to share your achievements through Teams or email. I know that lots of you are missing team sports and playing games, as am I, and I have found that getting my family involved in some fun team game play in the garden has helped ease this a bit!
We hope that we will be back teaching you all sooner rather than later, but only when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, keep going with your House Challenges! I reached the top of Mount Snowdon today! (It has taken me three weeks).
Mrs Georgina Fletcher, Director of Sport
Mr Warren and Mr Rees-Moorlah have been continuing their wonderful efforts with the 3D printers and have now produced over 700 face visors in total. These have been distributed to:
· Hospice in the Weald
· GP surgeries in Mayfield, Tonbridge, Bexhill, Heathfield, Buxted
· Covid-19 Hubs in Eastbourne and Hastings
· Brighton Hospital
· Chichester Hospital Intensive Care Unit
· Holy Cross Priory Care Home
Mrs Budden and her Textiles team have made eight isolation gowns and scrub bags for a local hospital so far, and they now have 100m of green medical-quality cotton which they are preparing to turn into 30 hospital scrubs and bags for distribution to hospitals and doctors’ surgeries in the Wealden area. 30 fabric cotton masks are also being sent to Apley Grange Care Home in Harrogate, North Yorkshire – an SHCJ Care Home where Mayfield’s beloved Sr Anne and Sr Teresa Joseph are spending their retirement.
News from the Chaplaincy
This Sunday’s Gospel: John 14:1-12
Trust in God, and trust in Me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house.” What a comfort these words can be in these times. Jesus has gone before us, to prepare our place in the Kingdom. Speaking just before his Passion and Death, Jesus reassures the anxious and confused Apostles. He is not leaving us, he is not abandoning us - he is going ahead of us to prepare our welcome into the Kingdom of Heaven. Then Thomas - literal Thomas - asks for directions, to ensure the Apostles can find exactly where they’re supposed to go - “Lord, how can we know the way?” Jesus’ reply demonstrates God’s love for all humanity, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life…”
This verse has been used in the past as an exclusive ‘you’re not in the club’ statement, to separate those who have been saved from those who refuse to accept Jesus as the Way. But this does an incredible injustice to the words of Christ. Here we are told that Jesus is all we need. We do not need a convoluted road map, or complicated instructions to find the Way - we just need to be open to Jesus. And if we know Jesus, we know the Father. All that Jesus has said, and done, and taught, comes from God and show us who God is. God is Love. So let us remember, that we all have a room prepared for us in the Father’s house. And the way to the Father, is through a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Salvation is not about rules, it is about relationship. Wherever God acts, God is. This week, let us ask God to work in us and through us, sharing his love and compassion with all – particularly with those in mourning.
Mr Ronan Lavery, Lay Chaplain
Library News - Audio Books Now Available
You can now borrow eAudio books, as well as eBooks, on the Wheelers ePlatform. Please take a look the video at C:\Users\jgabriel\OneDrive - Mayfield School\How to borrow an audio book from Wheelers E Platform.mp4 which shows you how to borrow eAudio books from Wheelers. If you have any problems, please let me know.
Mrs Julie Gabriel, Librarian
Reminder from the School Office
We would like to remind you that we send out a large number of School emails via our InTouch system. These messages will not look like the normal messages you receive from us but come from 'firstname.lastname@example.org'
Please check your Junk, Clutter or SPAM mail boxes to see if they have gone in there and make this email address a ‘safe sender’ to ensure that you receive all of our messages.
Thank you very much.
The School Office
Mayfield Social Media Accounts
For up to date information on School events and activities.
Mayfield School - @Mayfieldgirls
Mayfield Geography - @MGeographers
Mayfield Economics - @MayfieldECON
Mayfield Food and Nutrition - @MGFoodandNut
Mayfield Music - @MayfieldGirlsM1
Mayfield Drama -@DramaMayfield
Mayfield STEM - @MayfieldGirlsS1
Mayfield Careers - @MGCareersDept
Mayfield Sport - @MGPEDept
Mayfield Spark Camps - @SparkCamps
Mayfield Library - @MGLibraries