E-weekly Issue 129
Letter from the Headmistress - 11th May 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope that you, your family and friends remain well, having enjoyed the Bank Holiday weekend. I have to admit that I found the VE Day celebrations, especially the national rendition of ‘We’ll meet again’ more emotional than I had anticipated. I surprised myself by how moved I was by the obvious pride of those who had been asked to be involved, tinged with a self-deprecating humour at the absurdity of ‘ordinary’ people in different places coming together to sing their hearts out (some being more accomplished than others), to an audience of millions. A reminder perhaps, that each of us has a role to play, albeit a humble one, and that often we underestimate the power each of us has to make a difference: individual voices combined together, make a powerful noise.
The parallels with our current situation were clear, but I felt that it helped put the limitations on our freedoms into perspective. Most of us, while inconvenienced, are not suffering the extended privations of war, although I appreciate some of our community are suffering and anxious about the future. I hope that we can all be inspired to engage positively with the challenges and uncertainty of the coming weeks, sustained by the support of fellow members of this community. We should be encouraged by, and learn from, the steps taken in other countries in Europe and Asia where things appear to be cautiously endeavouring to return to normal.
I had hoped, after the Prime Minister’s much heralded speech last night, to be able to share with you some real steps forward in terms of directives as to when, and how, we might be able to return to School. Sadly, we are arguably more uncertain now than before. However, there is no point in worrying unnecessarily about decisions that are out of our hands. What we can do is ensure that we all do the best we can in terms of keeping safe and helping the girls continue to learn and keep in touch, during and beyond lesson times. So, we will carry on much as we have been and gradually the unprecedented will become conventional. Cornelia Connelly said in a letter sent from Mayfield in 1879 “God does not always will that which is the most perfect in itself, but the most perfect possible under the circumstances.” I think we can all take heart from this!
It may be that further announcements emerge over the course of the week and as we work our way through the 50 pages of today’s Government advice. Rumours abound about primary schools returning initially, possibly followed by Years 10 and 12 in senior schools. We will endeavour to make sense of the conflicting messages and share with you anything which is officially confirmed. Perhaps some more Cornelian advice will serve us all well: ‘When matters will not bear discussion the only safe way is to put them in the hands of God’. Our prayers should also be for the Prime Minister and his team, and again make use Cornelia’s words (albeit from 1864): “May our Lord … guide you in all that now remains to be done.”
Wherever you are in the world, our prayers are with you as you make your voice heard, and just as importantly help the girls to make their voices heard, over the coming week.
Miss Antonia Beary
School this Week
Mayfield scholars find lots to be positive about
Despite the lockdown, Mayfield girls continue to stretch themselves academically and stay positive. In the Tea Time Talks that we run for all girls as part of the Scholars and Gifted and Talented Programme, Year 7s all the way through to Year 13s, come together to listen to and discuss questions on topical issues. All the girls, whatever their age or ability, are able to access the same material at some level and learn from each other, with differentiation occurring by outcome rather than input. Most recently, Scholars Year 7 Lynn and Year 8 Phoebe, took on the very difficult challenge of reading and reviewing Hans Rosling’s book, ‘Factfulness’, after the last Tea Time Talk on how to choose your news.
Lynn’s review below shows a real willingness to embrace difficulty and persevere, which is something we all need to cultivate more than ever to deal with the challenges of online learning. In addition, the idea that she extrapolated about how essentially good the world still is, couldn’t be timelier and surely made the read worth the effort. Phoebe also found a positive message: “As my previous points have shown, Rosling’s book reminds us that our future is indeed brighter than we are often led to believe. By using Rosling’s ‘Rules of Thumb’ and being mindful and curious consumers of the news and the facts, we will be able to see and enjoy our future, and the potential for opportunities that it can bring.
We hope that all the girls stay positive by choosing their news wisely and stretching themselves while they are away from school. Reading ‘The Day’, a balanced daily online newspaper for teenagers, emailed directly to them each morning can help with this, as can engaging with the Mayfield Lockdown Challenge.
Mrs Kasia Kilvington, Head of ESOL, Gifted and Talented Coordinator
Reading during lockdown
During this time of increased screen time it is more important than ever that we encourage the girls to read, especially as more free time also gives them more opportunity to. A large part of this involves building in specific time for reading, and the girls seeing the adults around them reading and talking about what they are reading. Perhaps you could even create a reading hour at home to mirror their reading time during Friday registration at school?
Food for thought:
There is a difference in reading performance equivalent to just over a year's schooling between young people who never read for enjoyment and those who read for up to 30 minutes per day. Children who read books often at age 10 and more than once a week at age 16 gain higher results in Maths, vocabulary and spelling. (The Reading Agency).
Readers need to know about 98% of the words (they are reading) for comfortable comprehension. Texts that students encounter in School have about 85,000 different words. Somehow we need to ensure that children have a broad enough vocabulary so that they are not constantly colliding with unknown words.’ (Daniel T Willingham, ‘The Reading Mind’).
Reading for pleasure is actually linked to increased progress over time… improved reading ability improves an individual’s ability to learn across the whole curriculum.’ (Sullivan & Brown).
Evidence suggests that reading for pleasure has emotional and social consequences (Department for Education).
Mrs Natasha Evans, Head of English
Mayfield’s E-Drama Extravaganza
I would like to invite all Mayfield girls to learn a short monologue or poem and perform it whilst recording it onto Teams. The Drama Department, with quite a lot of help from Miss Clark in the IT Department, will then edit your work into our first-ever Mayfield E-Drama Extravaganza. You will then be able to access the full performance via a link that will be sent out. We will be awarding House Points to all girls taking part.
What do I need to do?
· Choose a monologue or poem from a play, screenplay or book. If you feel ambitious, you could even write your own!
· The length of the performance must be no shorter than one minute and no longer than two minutes
· The extract must be suitable for a family audience
· Once you have chosen your performance piece, email it to the Head of Drama, Mrs Gerstmeyer at Sgerstmeyer@mayfieldgirls.org
· Mrs Gerstmeyer will then include you on the Teams class E-Drama
· Once you have been added to the class E-Drama, you can then put your filmed monologues into that class on Teams
Filming, what do I need to do?
· Before you start performing, state the title of the play or book, and the author. Then give a brief explanation of your monologue to give it a little bit of context
· Try to direct your performance at the camera, that way you connect a little easier with your audience
· You can wear a costume, so long as it is suitable for your character and for a family audience
· Stay ‘in character’, speak clearly and enjoy it!
· It can only be recorded on Teams
· It is not to be shared outside of Teams
· You must not film it in your bedroom
· You and your parents/guardian must consent to the recording and showing of the performance.
· All monologues need to be submitted to Mrs Gerstmeyer by 14:00 on Friday 22nd May
· All performances need to be uploaded on the E-Drama class, Teams by Monday 1st June.
Mrs Sally Gerstmeyer, Head of Drama
Whole School ‘Keepy-Uppy Cricket Challenge’
The PE Department has organised a ‘Keepy-Uppy Cricket Challenge’ which is open for anyone to take part in (but compulsory for all girls who played in A teams last year) and there are prizes to be won. Don’t worry if you don’t have a cricket bat, you can be inventive use something similar (I found a pencil case and screwed up ball of paper works).
The Challenge is to see how many ‘keepy uppys’ you can do with your bat and ball before you drop it, and anyone who beats Miss Starr’s score of 343 gets 300 House Points! All you need to do is film yourself doing the Challenge and send it to Miss Starr. If you are unsure about how to do this, we have made an explanatory video which any member of the PE staff can send to you via Teams.
The prizes are as follows:
1) World Cup Shirt signed and worn by Amy Jones (England wicket-keeper and batsman)
2) Cricket ball
3) £10 Hub voucher
4) 250 House Points
5) £5 Hub voucher
6) 100 House Points
The current Leaderboard is as follows:
1) Year 9 Lizzie
2) Year 7 Jessica
3) Year 9 Lara
4) Year 7 Paloma
5) Year 7 Alicia
6) Miss Sophie Auer
Miss Emily Starr, Teacher of PE
What’s been cooking this week?
The girls have made lots more wonderful bakes this week. It has been really lovely to see some VE Day baking and more savoury meals being trialled!
Miss Emily Theobald, Head of Food and Nutrition
News from the Chaplaincy
School Charity for 2020-2021
Normally at this time of year (I'm told..!), we begin thinking about charities to be adopted by the School for the following year. A number of charities are nominated, then voted for, by the School community. However, I thought this year we might like to promote and encourage smaller, grass-roots charities.
Many of you are, I'm sure, affiliated with a charity or cause close to your heart. Many of you will be regular donors/fundraisers. Some of you will be founders, or board members of (possibly) lesser-known charities. So this year, I would like to ask the girls to support causes close to the heart of the Mayfield community. Causes we are involved in. Maybe even causes arising out of our experiences over the last few weeks. If you're involved in such a charity, and would like to nominate it as a School charity for 2020-21, please get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org before Half Term. A shortlist will be compiled and voted on by the girls after Half Term. I look forward to hearing from you.
This Sunday’s Gospel: John 14:15-21
“On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” Here Jesus tells us plainly that we are all more than merely human. We each contain a spark of the Divine. It is an immutable, unchangeable, part of who we are.
How do we deal with this truth though? Do we try to quell the little voice that tries to guide us, or do we quiet ourselves to the rush and concerns of everyday life, and listen to the Divine speak? Do we dare to allow ourselves to be enough?
How does this truth affect our relationships with others? Does it change how we look at people, how we treat them, or how we value them, knowing that they too possess that divine spark/And finally, how does this knowledge affect our relationship with God? Perhaps we can take some time this week to quiet ourselves, to sit in silence, and to allow ourselves to feel God, the ever-present Spirit in our lives…
And finally, how does this knowledge affect our relationship with God? Perhaps we can take some time this week to quiet ourselves, to sit in silence, and to allow ourselves to feel God, the ever-present Spirit in our lives…
"I don't want the world to define God for me. I want the Holy Spirit to reveal God to me" - Aiden Wilson Tozer
Mr Ronan Lavery, Lay Chaplain
Textiles Department PPE
Mrs Budden’s enterprising team has sewn their next batch of scrubs to be sent out! Well done all!
Charleston Literary Festival
This year, Charleston is running a series of online literary events in lieu of its usual Charleston Festival. The line-up is filled with inspiring speakers and is sure to make for good viewing. For further information, please click here.
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