E-weekly Issue 135
Letter from the Headmistress – 29th June
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We have reached the last week of term! Congratulations to everyone who has contributed to making the last couple of months such a positive experience at Mayfield. It has been an unconventional term, of course, but successful in so many ways; some more unexpected than others. I am reliably informed that, across departments, girls are almost all either where they would expect to be in terms of curriculum covered, or ahead. I hope that this reassures them, especially those who are anticipating sitting public examinations in 2020-21. The girls have excelled themselves in their involvement and are to be commended. Many girls have really flourished under lockdown and we are looking forward to continuing to build on these hitherto hidden strengths. Others have found it more of a challenge than they expected, but we will work with them to ensure they are back firing on all cylinders. Across the board, the girls have had to be more independent, self-motivated and think more creatively, which can only be a good thing and of considerable help in the longer term. While this was not the summer we would have chosen, I think we can say that we have all learnt a great deal about ourselves, each other, and technology, much of which can be channelled positively into improving how we work and play in the future.
Exceptional times call for exceptional people, and I do believe that in our departing Upper Sixth girls we have young women who are ready and willing to respond to the challenges we have experienced, and will undoubtedly continue to face in different forms over the coming months and years. Always a particularly coherent year group, each of them has contributed something unique to our School community. They will be greatly missed, but I believe they are ready for the next exciting stage of their education; the next steps on their journey. I hope that Mayfield has given them the tools to navigate and engage with the unknown, confidently and with Faith: in themselves, their friends, and of course, in God.
Every year we have a special celebration for the Upper Sixth Leavers, their parents and teachers: traditionally involving Mass, Prize Giving, and a last supper in the Sixth Form Dining Room. This year it was special in a different way. Having bowed to the inevitable and moved to a virtual gathering, it was appropriate, albeit entirely coincidental, that it take place on ‘National Cream Tea Day.’ It was at least some consolation that the girls could join us while sitting outside in the sun picnicking. As ever, the range of universities and choice of courses is as varied and interesting as the girls themselves: each entirely appropriate for the girl, her interests and expertise. While the girls may not have been able to receive prizes in person, the cups will all be inscribed for posterity. Thank you to Mr Doy, Mrs Davies and Mr Lavery for the engineering, ably supported - of course - by the ever-present IT team. Many thanks also to Mr Whitlock, father of the Head Girl, (now not only the son-in-law, and husband of a Mayfield Old Cornelian, but also the father of one), for his ‘vote of thanks’ on behalf of the parents. For those parents who were not able to join us: he did you proud.
It was lovely to see and hear Year 10 in School at the end of last week, even though I was not able to catch up with everyone. Never have I been more pleased to encounter such screaming echoing around the site! I hope the introduction to A Levels has been interesting and thought provoking: I believe that the question and answer session with our current Sixth Formers was particularly useful. More opportunities for questions this week as the taster lessons continue. We are also looking forward to seeing more Year 12s back in as the UCAS process continues. Unfortunately it is still not possible for us to bring back other year groups in any meaningful way, much as we would like to be able to do so.
However, the Prime Minister’s most recent announcement last week, confidently asserting that all children will be back in schools in September, offers some degree of reassurance that we will all be returning to Mayfield after the holidays. Having said that, we are mindful that ‘there is many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip’ …so we continue to plan to ensure that whatever the scenario in September and over the subsequent months, we will be prepared to respond promptly and effectively. We are welcoming back boarders living overseas who need quarantine provision from 18th August, but as direction can change, I will endeavour to keep in touch at key points over the course of the holiday period to update you of any material changes to our provision. (Don’t worry - it won’t be a weekly letter!) We are keen to do all that we can to facilitate the transition into the new academic year and the ‘new normal’.
As a School community we should all be proud of what we have achieved over the course of the last term, seemingly against the odds. I would like to thank each of you for your support in helping to make that happen. Everyone has had their part to play and we make a formidable team! It is exciting to look ahead to building on advances we have made over the past year, not least in technological terms. As you will have seen from Mrs Bunce’s letter last week, we are making great progress in ensuring a more consistent and effective use of laptops and other devices, to complement classroom practice. If you need clarification on any of the points Mrs Bunce raised, please do not hesitate to get in touch with her.
Of course the term is not over and we have a busy week ahead of us. Sport features quite highly and we are looking forward to more singing, celebrating and eating of cake… if not together in person then at least virtually and in spirit.
If we had all been in School today, the feast of St Peter and Paul would have been our last School Mass of the year. These powerful yet diverse pillars of the Church are a source of much inspiration, particularly at a time of continuing challenge: individuals from contrasting backgrounds, working together to share the good news and communicating a message of hope and unity, thereby producing great things and effecting lasting change. We have much to learn from them!
With my prayers and best wishes for a positive and constructive end to the term.
Miss Antonia Beary
School this Week
Virtual Sports Day
On Wednesday 1st July, girls in Years 7, 8, and 9 participated in Mayfield’s first-ever Virtual Sports Day. They were given the option to participate in two or more of eight different events – two of which were designed for the girls to enjoy from inside their homes.
The events were:
· 1500m run
· Egg and Spoon Race
· Sneaker Stack
· Cushion Stalk Stand
· The Tennis Ball Toss
· The Toilet Roll Jump
· The Standing Broad Jump
Everyone had great fun and the PE Department was hugely impressed with how many girls joined in and 'had a go' at different events. Even though we only needed two girls from each Competitive House to compete for the score board, many more took part, earning bonus points for their Houses the more they attempted.
Well done all!
The overall results are as follows:
Thank you very much to everyone who took part, to the PE Department, and to the Heads of Houses, for all your hard work in making this great afternoon happen.
Mrs Georgina Fletcher, Director of Sport
Year 13 Leavers’ Celebration
On Friday 26th June, the Year 13s had their Virtual Leavers’ Celebration and Prize Giving during which Miss Beary gave a speech recognising and rewarding the contributions each girl has made to life at Mayfield. Lots of the girls and parents got together in small socially-distanced groups outside of School to enjoy the celebrations in the sunshine, with cakes and other assorted refreshments. As is traditional, Mr Whitlock, the Head Girl’s father, gave a speech paying tribute to all the staff at Mayfield, and explaining his personal highlights from Mary’s time at the School. We were also able to enjoy a Leavers’ Film made by the girls, which included a lot of dancing and falling over, as well as recorded messages from a number of teachers! The celebration was rounded off with a blessing from Father Dominic and a performance of ‘Summertime’ by Schola, recorded in lockdown but edited together to produce a fittingly bitter-sweet end to an enjoyable and unique Leavers’ Celebration.
We wish all the girls the best of luck with their next steps, and wait in hope and anticipation for A Level results day on 13th August.
Mr John Doy, Head of Sixth Form and Teacher of English
Year 12 UCAS Applications
Our Year 12s were in School on Monday 29th June for half day sessions on their UCAS applications. Via a live link up, they were able to take part in a session led by Laura Drinkwater, from the University of Exeter, on how to write a good personal statement, as well as learning more about Russell Group Universities from Iwan Hopkins at the University of Cardiff. Students unable to make it in for the day were also able to access the talks remotely. The girls then enjoyed some time playing tennis, cricket and rounders in the School grounds to let of a bit steam. It was great to have students back in the School again and we look forward to seeing everyone back in the next academic year.
Mr John Doy, Head of Sixth Form and Teacher of English
This year, Year 9 girls have enjoyed a new subject called ‘Innovate’. This aims to introduce them to the exciting world of technology, and help to prepare them for the changing world and job market into which they will enter after leaving Mayfield. The girls have engaged with projects including robotics, coding, electronics, 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD), and 3D printing. The tasks they have been set over the year have been challenging and required plenty of teamwork, problem-solving and resilience, but we have been impressed by their enthusiasm.
This term, the girls have been learning how to use 3D CAD software and have designed objects/tools and devices that could assist individuals with specific disabilities. They have used their imagination to create some interesting designs, including braille labelling systems and key holders, devices to add a bag hook to crutches, and another to store them neatly in School, and also tools to assist those who have difficulty writing. Some of the girls’ designs have been brought to life using the School’s new 3D printer. Below are some examples.
Girls that have particularly enjoyed their work in Innovate are strongly recommended to join STEM Club next year, where they will have the opportunity to devise and create a project of their own making, in order to explore some of these technologies at a more advanced level.
Mr David Warren, Innovation Project Coordinator
News from the Geography Department
Year 7 Erin created this fantastic poster on the theme of 'Plastic Oceans' as part of her Geography investigation into global problems.
Mr Steve Gough, Head of Geography
Year 10 musicians have been looking at traditional music, focussing on the Blues. They have been learning about the 12-bar Blues and were tasked with creating their own version. You can listen to their fantastic version of Elvis Presley’s ‘Hound Dog’ here: Year 10 - GCSE Music - Hound Dog - a particularly impressive achievement as the girls are currently based all over the world!
Mrs Lynette Le Riche, Teacher of Music and Director of SPARK Camps
ESOL Time Capsules
This week, all our ESOL students have continued working hard on their Coronavirus Time Capsules. The Time Capsules include their favourite lockdown objects, a fashion show, love letters to Mayfield, and letters to their grandchildren. We are really proud of what the girls have produced, and hope that they will print off their Time Capsules to look at in the future.
Mrs Anna Maimi, Teacher of ESOL and Spanish
Year 7 English
Isla wrote this wonderful piece of creative writing from the perspective of an evacuee in response to her class work on Nina Bawden’s novel ‘Carrie’s War’.
Mrs Natasha Evans, Head of English
It was wet, the sky was wet, people's clothes were wet, his tears were wet. He stood there all alone as people rustled and barged past him sending him stumbling to the ground. He was used to being on the ground. He was small, skinny, fragile and malnourished. As he slowly got up, the train came whistling in at a slow breezy pace and skidded to a halt.
"Are you alright?" cooed the ticket officer. The ticket officer was almost the complete opposite of the boy. She was round, chubby and had bright blue eyes and bouncy blonde hair. Her smile was kind as she whistled her merry tune. "In you get then," she practically sang as she ushered the small boy on the train.
The boy wasn't very stable on his feet and, yet again, he went careering towards the ground, but this time a pair of chubby hands grabbed him round the waist and hauled him upwards. The ticket officer put him back on his feet. "Can't have you on the floor can we?" she chuckled, "go on, in the seat you go," she said as she wandered off down the carriage.
"Thank you," the boy muttered barely above a whisper.
As he inched down into the seat, the train veered to life as it shot off towards the tunnel. The boy's sickly pale hands clamped around his case as he was thrown backwards and forward in the tunnel. As it grew dark, the sound of planes and crashes could be heard overhead. He was so tired that in spite of his fear, the jolting of the train soon rocked him to sleep. The boy woke up to the sound of humming nearby. As his eyes fluttered open he caught the scent of perfume and as his senses came back he spotted the ticket officer.
Following National Writing Day, Miss Staunton challenged her Year 7 students to write two 24 word-stories, each in seven minutes, starting with the words ‘One day’ and ‘I was’, inspired by their current reading or in response to recent events. The results were very good!
Mrs Joanna Staunton, Teacher of English
One day, my father said to me, make the world your own, create a life that will suit you and you alone. Imagine it!
One day I thought why am I here, what was the point, why did I get placed here, why was I born, just why?
One day covid19 came,
The sadness and depression fills rooms all around.
Take what you can from it, for this is your life, whatever happens.
One day I went sailing on the English Channel, there was a great storm! I said "Never Again".
Although I went the next summer.
One day a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse
wondered if the universe ever ended.
So they went off to discover it.
One day we will stand without fear, sit without fear, breathe without fear, sing without fear, listen without fear, we will be without fear.
One day we will see each other again
But not today.
One day, I will hopefully realise that it is okay to not be okay, but it is just not okay to stay that way.
I was quiet but I wasn’t blind. It didn’t mean that I had nothing to say. When it’s time, my voice will be heard.
One day, the moment the universe was here, plans and jobs were parcelled out to all of the animals and beings living on earth.
One day, I stopped focusing on the story, and started looking at the puzzle. I began listening to the sounds, the smells, the tastes.
Anyone for tapas?
Year 10 Spanish students have risen to the challenge of creating some wonderful Spanish dishes from home. I am thoroughly impressed with their efforts! Not only did they support each other with their cooking in our lesson, they also learnt some valuable language relating to gastronomy.
Mrs Ana Fernandez, Teacher of Spanish
Hurdling Success for Phoebe
We are delighted to see that our athletes are continuing to be dedicated to their training away from School. Year 9 Phoebe has taken her Hurdling seriously after her fantastic success in breaking the School record last year in the 75m with a time of 13.2 seconds. Given that she has had no competition due to the current situation and has been running on grass, she is delighted with her improvement over 60m with breaking a time of 9.7 seconds.
Well done Phoebe.
Miss Sophie Auer, Teacher of PE
From the Art Department
A collection of Year 7 and 8 artwork using coffee to create their pets and other animals portraits.
A selection of Year 9 flower drawings, still life photographs and water colour paintings inspired by Angie Lewin.
Remote Food and Nutrition
A big “well done” to all the girls for working so hard in their Food and Nutrition lessons this term. Whether they have made the recipes themselves, or learned about how the ingredients are grown and farmed, they have gained many life skills.
In our final lessons of the term, they have been making a range of international recipes or being creative with napkin folding, ready to set beautiful tables for their mealtimes. Also congratulations to Year 10 Sarah who has made beautiful choux pastry swans!
I wish you all a relaxing summer, and hope you continue to enjoy cooking delicious meals and treats for yourselves and your families.
Miss Emily Theobald, Head of Food and Nutrition
News from the Chaplaincy
This Sunday’s Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
The yoke Jesus speaks about here is an analogy for the oppressive religious laws imposed upon the people. Once again, he stresses that we are not called to follow a bunch of rules, but to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus himself. He is not a cruel master, but a friend and confidant. He urges us to learn from his example - to learn to be ‘gentle and humble in heart’. This is, therefore, what it means to be Christ-like. Let us take on that gentleness and humility, and so discover just how we can free ourselves from the burdens of our world. Let us find rest in our loving relationship with Christ. And as we do so, let’s look around for those who are struggling under cripplingly heavy loads, and shoulder some of their burden.
This weekend, our challenge is to ‘come to Jesus’. Rest with him, spend some time with him, and allow him to take our burdens. Let’s ask for his help to become gentle and humble, and for the strength to help our friends and loved ones find the same rest.
And as the students of Mayfield begin to (deservedly!) shut their laptops, log out of Teams, tidy books away, and lay down their burdens, let us begin the Summer holiday with a prayer. Let us thank God for the gift of Summer, and the certainty of His Creation, as we relax, and find rest in Him:
Father, Creator of all, thank You for summer.
Thank You for the warmth of the sun and the increased daylight.
Thank You for the beauty I see all around me and for the opportunity to be outside and enjoy Your creation.
Draw me closer to You this summer. Teach me how I can pray no matter where I am or what I am doing.
Warm my soul with the awareness of Your presence and light my path with Your word and counsel.
As I enjoy Your creation, create in me a pure heart and a hunger and a thirst for You.
Have a great Summer everybody!
Mr Ronan Lavery, Lay Chaplain
Zoom Dance Classes
As part of her BBO Dance Teaching Diploma, Year 13 Leaver Anna Hamann is currently setting up a Dance Teaching practice with the help of her teaching qualification organisers. She is planning to offer Mini (Year 4 and under), Junior (Year 5-8) and Senior classes (Year 9 and over) in Lyrical Jazz, Jazz, and Ballet, via Zoom, with separate groups for experienced dancers and beginners. The lessons begin in July and will be 40 minutes long, costing £4. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
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
School - www.facebook.com/mayfieldgirls
Alumnae - www.facebook.com/OldCornelians
Spark - https://www.facebook.com/Mayfield-SPARK-Camps-106408654402451