E-weekly Issue 130
Letter from the Headmistress – 18th May 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As we approach the last week of Half Term, I had been hoping to be able to write to you with better news and clear guidelines as to how we might return to School after Half Term. Unfortunately, as you may be aware (if you can bring yourself to watch the news any longer), there remains confusion as to whether or not we should return to School and how and when we might do this safely. While primary and prep schools are being encouraged to welcome some year groups back, insofar as that is possible, guidance to senior schools is more vague.
The Department of Education informs us that ‘From 1 June 2020, we expect that secondary schools and colleges will be able to offer some face to face contact with Year 10 and Year 12 pupils. This will not be a return to full timetables, or pupils back in school or college full time, rather some support to supplement pupils’ remote education. In line with implementing protective measures and reducing contacts, schools and colleges should limit the attendance of the Year 10 and 12 cohort in the setting at any one time and to keep students in small groups’.
It would appear that many state schools have limited, if any contact with their pupils and for them face to face meetings, on-line or in person, would be a significant improvement on their current provision. While we are not complacent, we are confident that the daily academic and pastoral support our girls receive is ensuring that they continue to learn - as normally as possible - so will not be behind when they return to School. We are endeavouring to ensure that not only are our girls as well-prepared as ever for GCSEs and A Levels next year, but also that those girls in other years will not be disadvantaged when their time comes to sit exams.
The guidance indicates that we are not expected to bring Years 10 and 12 back to School to teach them a normal curriculum. Therefore, after Half Term we propose to continue to teach lessons remotely, as we are currently doing. However, we are keen to find ways to bring back girls to spend some time together, as I know that for many this time with their friends is one of the greatest deprivations of lockdown. (We are missing them too!) We do not want this to impact too heavily on the teaching timetable, but we are proposing to organise a number of days for the girls to come into School, if it is possible. For Year 12 we are intending to provide the usual UCAS preparation and also considering subject-specific seminars and leadership training. This should allow girls to come together in small groups and remain with the same teacher, thus adhering to the current guidelines. Similarly for Year 10, there will be the opportunity to come together in small groups with a programme that will be valuable, and allow for social and pastoral engagement. Insofar as it is possible, any additional support will also be available online for those who are unable to return to School, for whatever reason, so they are not disadvantaged. We also want to be able to provide similar opportunities for girls in other years to come back in to School, as soon as we can. Year 11 and Year 13 have transition work available and we are hoping that they might be able to come in for guidance with these projects. I remain keen to ensure that there is a chance for Year 13 to have time together for their final farewells, if it is in the least bit feasible. However, under the current guidelines this is not yet permitted.
I hope that it goes without saying that we are following all the advice and guidance to ensure that the School is as safe as possible for girls and staff whenever they return. However, while our class sizes are already considerably smaller than those of state schools, we could not assure current social distancing requirements without further splitting-up classes. While we are looking at implementing one way systems through the School and staggered lunch times, it will still be difficult to ensure that girls are socially distanced at all times in corridors and we will need to rely on them to be mature and sensible. We will also expect girls to take greater responsibility for keeping their own belongings and areas of the classrooms clean (no bad thing and a useful life skill in itself!). Similarly face-masks are under discussion. I know that for many of our overseas families, covering faces is a fact of life. The current directive from the Department of Education has stated that they are not necessary in schools, but this may well change over the coming weeks. We are looking at how we can ensure that, when we do have girls back, we are able to keep them and all our staff as safe as possible. I know that the girls are keen to be together and while the appropriate social distancing arrangements may be at odds with the girls’ natural instincts, adhering to these, insofar as it is possible, is the price we may well have to pay in order for them to spend time together.
You will be aware that directives and guidance change regularly and we have to adhere to Government advice. We will keep in touch with you to update you when we have a clearer idea of what is possible. We are all keen to have the girls back in School as soon as we are able, although we do not want to be bringing them back just for the sake of it, especially if that were to be to the detriment of their education and wellbeing. We are interested in hearing your views as well as what the girls think, so I would encourage you to take the time to fill in the questionnaire on the link below by 09:00 UK time on Thursday 21st May:-Parents Remote Learning Questionnaire The girls will also receive a version - please can you remind them to respond as it is important that we hear as many perspectives as possible.
We are lucky that the current system of remote teaching is working, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our provision. Your ongoing support is immeasurably appreciated: it is reassuring that we all have such a supportive community on which to rely in such times of trouble. I found a prayer of St Teresa of Avila which I think is appropriate for all of us at the moment and, as she was Spanish, I include it in the original and in translation for those of us who haven’t had time to learn a new language during lockdown!
“Let nothing disturb you, Nada te turbe,
Let nothing frighten you, nada te espante;
All things pass away. todo se pasa.
God never changes. Dios no se muda.
Patience obtains all things. La paciencia todo lo alcanza.
Whoever has God lacks nothing; Quien a Dios tiene,
God alone suffices.” nada le falta; solo Dios basta.
With every good wish for the coming week, and the approaching Half Term holiday. Wherever you are in the world, please take care and remember every member of the extended Mayfield community in your thoughts and prayers, as we all navigate these choppy seas.
With my prayers and best wishes,
Miss Antonia Beary
Dramatic Success for Year 12 India
After going through a rigorous audition process, Year 12 India has recently been accepted into the prestigious National Youth Theatre (NYT). The company was established in 1956 as the first youth theatre in the world and, over the past 60 years, it has nurtured the talent of young people and continues to be recognised as a world-leading youth arts organisation. Prestigious alumni include Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Catherine Tate. India is absolutely delighted and looks forward to starting with them in the summer.
Well done India, we are really proud of you!
Mrs Sally Gerstmeyer and the Mayfield Drama Department
School this Week
Year 8 Maths
Girls in Mrs Motoc’s Year 8 Maths class have enjoyed carrying on with their traditional codebreakers. This week, they undertook their first probability codebreaker: “What are the advantages of origami for beginners?” Answer: “It is two-fold.” Well done to Pippa, Edith, Katie, Olivia, and Iulia who achieved 100% and received a House Point.
Mrs Lavinia Motoc, Teacher of Maths
This Half Term, Food and Nutrition lessons for the girls have included written tasks, based on the recipes they would have been making if we were in School. Initially, there were many issues regarding sourcing food ingredients for many families so there has been no expectation to cook. However, more girls are now sending over photos of their baking and have expressed an interest in cooking during their lessons, so after Half Term, we will be trialling practical based lessons.
There is still no expectation that girls will be able to complete the recipe, and written work for lessons will still be provided for those unable to cook at the time. Girls wishing to cook will need parent / guardian permission to do so each week. Recipes will be emailed to the girls and posted in Teams at least one week before their timetabled lesson so that there is time for ingredients to be sourced. However, we will try to make recipes as family-friendly as we can, with modifications possible regarding fruits, vegetables and flavours. Teachers will be available during the lesson as normal to answer questions about the recipe. It is important that the girls still attend their following lesson on time and lateness due to ‘Food and Nutrition cooking’ will not be an excuse!
Where there is more than one daughter in a household in our lessons (or the same year group), it may be that they need to take it in turns to cook each week, or they can change the recipe to something similar so it is not too much repetition or pressure on your ingredients. The practical cooking lessons will be trialled for the first week and if there are too many issues then we may have to return to our theory written tasks.
Please still send in photos of the lovely recipes being made at home – they look amazing and it is great that so many of the girls are enjoying cooking and developing their skills at home. If you have any queries please contact me on email@example.com
Thank you for your support.
Miss Emily Theobald, Head of Food and Nutrition
Here are some more photos of what the girls have been cooking this week!
It’s Competition Time!
The Mayfield Athletics season has launched this week with three different opportunities for the girls to get back into some competitive sport. Lower School girls have been out in their gardens/parks/any space they can find, competing individually and in their form groups (virtually) in the Junior School Athletics Competition. This comprised three events per girl: a throw (of a wellington), a jump, and a timed run (four minutes). House Points were awarded to the top competitors in each year-group, overall, and to the best forms.
For Years 9 to 11, we have entered an athletics team into the Remote Diamond League hosted by Hurst. 28 girls across the three year groups were selected for this week’s events and they were tasked with finding space and equipment in order to be able to compete and record their events.
The Mayfield Remote Triathlon is open to ALL of the Mayfield community this Bank Holiday weekend. Details have been posted on Teams to all year groups and staff, and we would love as many girls, parents, staff and families as possible to have a go at one of the distances, and send their results to Mrs Whitby (pupils and siblings), or Miss Jones (staff and parents).
Mrs Georgina Fletcher, Director of Sport
At the start of this Half Term, the PE Department launched inter-house challenges for all year groups, designed to get the girls moving and maintain the friendly competition that inter-house events bring. The results from each year’s competition will be combined with other inter-house events held throughout the year, so it really is all to run/cycle/swim/ride and climb for this term!
Year 7 - Race to Tokyo
Year 7 has been tasked with travelling the 8,110 miles from Mayfield to Tokyo. They can walk, swim, cycle or run, as long as they record their distance travelled. It is an exciting race to watch unfold, with the current standings in play:
4th - Astor with 175 miles completed
3rd - Curie with 238.5 miles completed
2nd - Glennie with 482.8 miles completed
1st - Bronte with 602 miles completed.
Well done to Matilda who has individually completed the most miles in her year group, having covered 244! Keep up the good work girls and we'll see you in Tokyo!
Year 8 - Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Year 8 has the mountainous task of climbing enough stairs to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro, a whopping 2,578 flights. Progress is steady in this year group, with the current standings:
4th - Astor having climbed 440
3rd - Bronte having climbed 837
2nd - Glennie having climbed 941
1st - Curie having climbed a fantastic 1,549 flights of stairs.
Well done to Breanna, Ayla, Greta, Becky and Rebecca, who have all logged stairs climbed each week, and particularly to Izzy who climbed 400 flights of stairs last week. 412 flights is the equivalent of climbing Scafell Pike (in the Lake District) - perhaps a target for someone this week? Other high climbers are Georgina on a huge 203, and Zara, Rebecca and Freya, who each logged over 100. Did you know there are 107 flights of stairs to reach the top of Canary Wharf in London? Keep climbing!
Year 9 - The Three Peaks Plus
In Year 9, the girls have taken on the herculean task of climbing Mount Snowdon, The Three Peaks, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount Everest - all in flights of stairs. All four Houses have completed climbing Mount Snowdon and are ranked as follows:
4th - Glennie with 755 flights climbed
3rd - Bronte with 1178 flights climbed
2nd - Astor with 1605 flights climbed
1st - Curie with 1690 flights climbed.
The top four climbers are Ella on 560 flights, Scarlett on 455, Liv on 543 and Lucy on 395. Curie and Astor have completed all Three Peaks, with Bronte 296 flights away from completing the Three Peaks, and Glennie 719 away. The race is truly on to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro!
Years 10 and 11 - March to the Malls
Years 10 and 11 are undertaking a tour of some of the biggest shopping malls in Europe, ranging from Bluewater to Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, and back again. Currently all Houses have reached St David’s Centre in Cardiff as follows:
4th - Bronte with 359.6 km travelled
3rd - Glennie with 384.4km travelled
2nd - Curie with 431.3km travelled
1st – Astor with 1038.1 km travelled.
With Astor needing 42km, Curie 359km, Bronte 437km and Glennie 63km to reach the next stop, Dundrum Centre in Dublin, the race is on! The top travellers in Year 10 are currently Sophie with 589.9km, Isabel with 270km, Florence with 233km, and Evie with 62km. The top travellers for Year 11 are currently Sofia with 55.3km, Tabitha with 60km, Emerald with 31km and Harriet with 26km. A fantastic effort from all the girls so far, and one which will surely continue over the break and into next Half Term!
Keep stepping, cycling, swimming and running!
Miss Emily Nixon, Teacher of PE
From the Library and English Department
At Mayfield we highly value personal choices in the reading of fiction. Reading has been shown in studies to be one of the greatest factors in a pupil’s academic success in all subjects, as well as being an enjoyable activity. Your daughters are continuing to read in their English lessons and, we hope, at other times. However, we are aware that some girls are running low on books.
With this in mind, we would like to remind you that all pupils currently have access to nearly 1,500 eBooks, via our ePlatform `Wheelers`, which is accessible through the School Library links. This stock is frequently updated and provides a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles to support those following the Champions Read Scheme, or just reading for pleasure. Videos explaining how to locate and borrow books on this platform are available for the girls to view in the Library Team and on Planet e-Stream. Please contact Mrs Gabriel, Librarian, if you have any queries about eBooks.
Mrs Julie Gabriel, Librarian
Week 1: 20th – 24th July
Week 2: 27th – 31st July
Week 3: 3rd – 7th August
Please follow our new SPARK Camp Facebook Page - like and follow to get the most recent updates. Alternatively, please see our Twitter or Mayfield SPARK Camps pages on the School website. If you have any questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Lynette Le Riche
News from the Chaplaincy
This Sunday’s Gospel: John 17:1-11
This Sunday, we are privy to an intimate and tender conversation between God the Son and God the Father. It is a very special moment, as it reveals so much about what God wants for us. Jesus has been given authority over all humanity, and has shown us how that authority, that power, is to be exercised - with humility, tenderness and compassion. With love. In a world where people are increasingly viewed as commodities, statistics and currency, Jesus reminds us that Eternal Life is to be found, initially, in glorifying God, and in recognising God in the eyes of people we encounter.
Let us pray for the courage to be wise, and compassionate leaders. Let us pray for the strength to be kind and forgiving, as we strive to understand what other people might be going through. Let us respond to challenges with generosity, instead of bitterness and anger. And let all our actions, and all our lives, aim to give glory to God.
Mr Ronan Lavery, Lay Chaplain
British Red Cross First Aid Home Learning
If you are interested in learning First Aid while you are studying from home, the British Red Cross has a number of excellent resources available at https://www.redcross.org.uk/first-aid
Mrs Niamh Green, Deputy Head
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