E-weekly Issue 143

Foundation Day

Last Thursday, Mayfield celebrated Foundation Day (formerly Cornelia Connelly Day), with a host of fun activities and performances including Inter-House General Knowledge Quizzes, Inter-House Music, Inter-House Hockey, and our first socially-distanced play, 'Scenes from Alice in Wonderland', featuring an inspiring cast of girls performing in various locations around the School grounds.

Scenes from ‘Alice in Wonderland’
37 pupils were involved in Mayfield's first socially-distanced play, a promenade performance of 'Scenes from Alice in Wonderland'. The project began in November 2019, with a view to showing the whole play in May 2020. For obvious reasons, the show did not go ahead as planned, however, Mr Smith and I were determined that the girls’ hard work should not go to waste. A tailored version was put together and another performance date rescheduled. This did not come without its challenges - each bubble was rehearsed separately, and it was only the day before the performance that we brought the whole cast together, maintaining distance. The play included students from Years 7 to 11 taking on iconic roles such as The Mad Hatter, the Mock Turtle and of course Alice herself. The lucky Year 8 audience was escorted around the Chapel and surrounding grounds by the White Rabbit, who encouraged everyone to move onto the next location to watch the next scene. The Year 8s had a fabulous and rather magical time following Alice on her adventures. 

In the evening, the cast performed their scenes again, several times, for the camera. They slightly adjusted their performance skills, while Miss Clark, overseen by the Drama Department, filmed the whole production. The pupils had great fun playing the exaggerated characters and exploring two different mediums, both theatre and film. The filmed version will be available for everyone to watch soon.

I would like to thank the cast for being creative and resilient - the standard of performance was extremely high, and it was a delight to see theatre performed again! I would also like to thank Miss Clark for her patience, and Mr Smith, who worked tirelessly to put the show together. 

Mrs Sally Gerstmeyer, Head of Drama 

Inter-House Music 2020
Inter-House Music was a little different this year, with only the competitors sitting in the Concert Hall, and the rest of the School watching via video link. There was no Ensemble category because of restrictions on girls’ mixing bubbles, so instead we had three tiers of vocal and instrumental soloists from Lower and Middle School, and the Sixth Form. The competitors performed a wide variety of music and the strange new circumstances did not seem to affect their stage presence at all. The whole event, especially the quality of the playing, was a testament to the importance that music plays in all our lives, and to the girls’ hard work, even during the months without lessons during lockdown. The winning house was Bronte, but everyone who participated showed the power of music to raise spirits and keep us going in challenging times. Viva la musica!

The overall results were as follows:
Bronte: 88/100
Curie: 82/100
Glennie: 77/100
Astor: 71/100

Individual section winners:
Junior Vocal: Year 8 Jessica (Bronte)
Junior Instrumental: Year 7 Teresa (Curie)
Middle Vocal: Year 10 Natalie (Glennie)
Middle Instrumental: Year 11 Christina (Bronte)
Senior Vocal: Year 13 Olivia (Bronte)
Senior Instrumental: Year 13 Helena Year 12 and Helena Z (Curie)

Well done again to all!

Dr Matthew Ward, Director of Music

Inter-House Hockey

Last Thursday, among the excitement of Foundation Day, Years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 took part in Inter-House Hockey. It had been a long time since a lot of the girls had taken part in competitive sport, and it was clear to see that they were keen to get going! As a Department, we have made the most of the extra time we have had as we haven’t been able to play fixtures and have been helping the girls to hone their skills. It was clear to see that this time has not been wasted as there was some outstanding hockey on display. It was also great to see the girls’ house spirit thriving with some of the competitors playing Hockey for the first time in three or four years. 

Every year group played well-fought matches and the results were extremely tight. However the final score board was as follows:
1st: Glennie
2nd: Bronte
3rd: Curie
4th: Astor

Well done all!

Miss Emily Starr, Assistant Director of Sport and Head of Bronte House 


News from the Chaplaincy

Confirmation Mass
Last Sunday, 17 young people finally received the Sacrament of Confirmation here in Mayfield Chapel. The service had been due to take place in June, but was postponed due to lockdown. 14 Mayfield girls and three members of the extended Mayfield family were Confirmed by Bishop Richard Moth, with one girl receiving her First Holy Communion as well.

Although we were worried that the various Covid-19 restrictions might impair the liturgy, we soon realised that was not the case. Our cantor, Dr Ward, filled the Chapel with ancient chants, and the simplicity of the liturgy made for a very special celebration of the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. Bishop Richard was warm and welcoming, and made our young people feel right at home.

Thankfully, the weather co-operated with our socially-distanced reception and allowed us to share canapés, and get a picture of the Confirmands with the Bishop. Despite the challenges of the day, it was a wonderful, joyful day, and one which the young people had worked so hard and so long to prepare for, that it was quite emotional to watch them finally receive their Confirmation. If, as the saying goes, “Young people are the future of the Church” then the Church is in good hands!

This Sunday’s Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40

Gospel Reflection:
This week’s Gospel is so iconic it needs no reflection. Instead I post it here in its entirety:

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him: "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

During this Half Term, we pray especially for those separated from their families, and for those in our community who have lost loved ones. We ask St Christopher to watch over those who are travelling this half-term, and to bring us all safely back to Mayfield in November:

Prayer to St. Christopher while Travelling

Dear Saint Christopher,
protect me today
in all my travels
along the road’s way.

Carry me safely
to my destined place,
like you carried Christ
in your close embrace.

Mr Ronan Lavery, Lay Chaplain

Pink Day 2020 – fundraising for Breast Cancer Now

Today is Pink Day 2020 and the girls have organised a wide range of fundraising initiatives which we will be reporting back on in the next E-weekly, however, in the meantime, two Year 8 girls, Imogen and Isla, have shown fantastic initiative ahead of the day, raising £190.50 for Breast Cancer Now by baking cookies last weekend and selling them in Lower School.

Well done girls!

Mrs Caroline Gibson, ESOL teacher, Year 11 Senior Tutor, and Modern Languages Coordinator


Fun for Boarders at Bowles

On Saturday 17th October, the PE Department took 52 boarders to Bowles Outdoor Centre to take part in a variety of fun activities. It was a great opportunity for all boarders in Years 7 to 10 to challenge themselves at something new.  

The girls were kept in their separate boarding bubbles throughout the trip and full government Covid-safety guidelines were followed by the Centre, and all staff and girls on the trip. The activities took place outside and we were lucky with the weather, although it did get a little chilly by the end of the afternoon!

The girls in Leeds House spent the afternoon rock-climbing and tried three different climbs, growing in skill and confidence as they went along. Even when they weren’t climbing, they were responsible for the ropes of the other girls in their team, and they learnt all about the safety procedures and equipment used. 

The Year 9 girls from St Gabriel’s House had the choice of Archery and Pool Kayaking, or Bushcraft and the Leap of Faith. The Year 10s were in two groups and either participated in teamwork activities followed by abseiling, or climbed ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ and then tried their hands at Archery. 

Everyone came back smiling and had a great time. We are hoping to be able to take the boarders back to Bowles to try some different activities soon as there are so many things to choose from.

Thank you to all the girls for their outstanding behaviour and attitude throughout, and to all the staff who accompanied the trip. 

Mrs Georgina Fletcher, Director of Sport. 

Cornelian Lecture by Astronomer, Jane Green

Last week, Mayfield hosted the second Cornelian Lecture of the academic year and was delighted to welcome Jane Green, who is currently resident astronomer for BBC Surrey and Sussex Radio, and Uckfield 105FM. Jane spoke to the Sixth Form and Year 11 boarders on the topic of 'Look up. Live it. Love it', which they greatly enjoyed.

Jane has been a guest on BBC Two's 'Stargazing Live', BBC Radio Four's 'Midweek', and ITV's 'This Morning' show. She also regularly appears on BBC national and regional radio. Most recently, she successfully presented for Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Team in the Peter Harrison Planetarium at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich and has co-presented the pioneering theatre show TOUR OF THE UNIVERSE - a UK national tour.  

Mr John Doy, Head of Sixth Form


News from the Music Department

Music Lessons under Covid restrictions
The School has been very glad to be able to provide individual music lessons since we returned after the summer holidays. Our fantastic team of Visiting Music Tutors have worked hard with Miss Ainsworth to ensure that lessons are safe and secure, as well as continuing to be enjoyable and fruitful for the girls. Singing lessons are happening in the largest spaces in the School – Concert Hall, Gresham and the Chapel – as are lessons on wind and brass instruments. Lessons in these spaces rather than small practice rooms have had the unexpected consequence of introducing the girls to performance in more generous acoustics, allowing them to experience the thrill of big reverb and prepare them better for concerts (such as last week’s Inter-House Music).

It has been wonderful to hear the School resounding to the girls’ music-making again, and it is testimony to how important music is to so many that numbers taking lessons are increasing even in these difficult times.

It has been a joy to start rehearsing ensembles again this term. Things have had to operate a little differently, with the Orchestra split into Wind Band and String Orchestra, a smaller, socially-distanced Schola Cantorum, and Lower School Choir operating on a rotational basis. However, the pleasure of making music together remains the same, and these and other smaller ensembles are working hard on a variety of different music, which they hope to share with the wider community one way or another in the coming months.

In the Classroom
Practical music-making has been limited in the classroom, so there has been no singing or group performances this year, however with a new sequencing software (Soundtrap), the Year 8s have been working hard at creating songs based on pop chord sequences. Year 9 students are midway through composing a new picture to join Mussorgsky’s masterpiece ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, and the Year 7s have been learning about the elements of music through Saint-Saens’ ‘Carnival of the Animals’ (which may have involved some can-can dancing…). GCSE and A Level music is also going strong, and it is impressive how well the girls responded to remote learning before the summer holidays.

Dr Matthew Ward, Director of Music

Careers Update

Mayfield Careers Education Questionnaire
Parents and OCs will have recently received a questionnaire as part of the School’s review of its careers education provision. Thank you to the many of you who have already submitted your response.

We would like to have feedback from as many parents and OCs as possible, and so would be very grateful if those of you who have not yet responded could spare a few minutes to complete the questionnaire: Mayfield School Careers Education Questionnaire for Parents and OCs.

If you are a parent who is also an OC, you will have received an additional copy of the questionnaire; there is no need to complete it twice as you are able to indicate in the body of the questionnaire that you have a dual role.

Thank you in anticipation and I look forward to receiving, reading and acting on your responses by Friday 13th November please.

Careers Information Evening – Save the Date
In place of our usual Mayfield Careers Information Evening for Years 9 upwards, we will be hosting a careers talk with a difference from 19:15-20:00 on Tuesday 17th November which is open to all year groups. As with the Careers Information Evening, we expect that all pupils in Years 9 to 12 will join in.

Our speaker is Emma Rosen, an experienced TED speaker, who, three years ago, launched a project to try 25 different careers in one year through work experience, before her 25th birthday.

Her project aims to inspire young people to undertake more work experience, to learn by ‘doing’, and to be more proactive about their careers education. She uses anecdotes from her many placements as a way to give practical advice on how young people can figure out what they want to do when they have no idea where to start. She also covers topics including how to get work experience placements, the concept of portfolio careers, and the future of work. Her placements ranged from archaeology in Transylvania, tour guiding in Venezuela, and investigative journalism with The Telegraph, to being an extra in a major movie, alpaca farming in Cornwall, and assisting the British Council's crisis team during the terror attack on Parliament. 

She has given a TED talk on ‘How to find your passion and make it your job’, published a book called 'The Radical Sabbatical', and generated coverage on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4, The Telegraph, Financial Times, Huffington Post, BBC World Service and Cosmopolitan UK, among others. For more information, please see her website here

Day girls will be able to watch the talk from home with their parents via the Teams link, which has been sent to all girls, Emma Rosen Careers Talk: 25Before25 Tuesday 17 November 19:15-20:00, and boarders will be able to watch in their Boarding Houses.

Mrs Amanda Glubb, Head of Careers

In Physics this Week

Girls across all year groups have been fun in their practical Physics lessons this week, studying a wide range of topics!

Dr Darragh Corvan, Head of Physics


Mathematical Olympiad for Girls

Last week, Year 13s Natalie and Monami took part in the Mathematical Olympiad for Girls. The Olympiad encourages girls to tackle advanced mathematical problems. It is a two-house challenge consisting of five thought-provoking questions, and the answers have to be submitted with full written solutions. 

Here is an example question. Can you solve it? 

Mrs Sally Howie, Teacher of Maths

Senior Hockey Update

Last Saturday saw the Senior Hockey Squads play a greatly-anticipated internal match. Having split the squads into two teams, one coached by Mrs Fletcher and the other by Miss Nixon, training began a couple of weeks ago. The final score was 1-1 and it was a fitting result. Both teams enjoyed the fruits of their hard work so far this year, with excellent displays of footwork, clean techniques, and good passing by all. Stand out performances came from Grace in defence, Coco in attack, and Poppy and Flo in the midfield.

Well done all!

Miss Emily Nixon, Teacher of PE

Year 12 Farm and Land Management at Froghole Farm

As part of their Year 12 Enrichment Programme, the girls have the opportunity to visit Froghole Farm to learn about all aspects of running a farm. In our first visit this year, farmer Guy Brickell gave us a tour of the farm and explained its history. We met boar ‘Derrick’ and many of his offspring, and learnt that the hardy breeds of Tamworth and Saddleback are best suited as outdoor-reared pigs.

The girls also learnt about different breeds of cows. Guy has diversified over the years and has moved away from the larger milk breeds to Jersey crosses which produce creamier milk. He supplies this to a local dairy to make cheese. The whey by-product is then returned to him to feed the pigs. He also explained that whilst we all enjoyed a glorious few months of sunshine in early summer, it has been very difficult for farmers to grow crops to feed their livestock because of the dry weather. This will have an impact on food prices due to the availability of grain.

Mrs Rachel Davies, Deputy Head of Sixth Form, Teacher of Biology and STEM Co-ordinator


Scary Saturday in St Michael’s House

The girls in Micks had a really fun time on Saturday evening, playing a real-life version of the popular murder-mystery video game ‘Among us’. They all dressed up as characters from the game and then held a costume competition, with prizes for best single and group costumes. There were so many good costumes that the staff had a really hard time choosing the winners! And of course, it was ‘Pizza Night’.

A great time was had by all!

Miss Josefina Ruival, St Michael’s Housemistress


Wednesday Night Crafting in St Gabriel’s House

Year 9 and 10 boarders in Gabs had a lovely time decorating soaps with Mrs Jones last Wednesday night.

Mrs Carol Jones, Day Matron


PE Kit
As the weather is changing, please remember to bring a change of clothes into School with you in case you get wet playing outdoor sport!   

If your daughter is going to be late or absent from School, please email absence@mayfieldgirls.org or phone the direct absence line which is 01435 874671.  

Please can parents drop off and collect their daughters from the Lower School Car Park, and remember not to drop off or collect on the mini roundabout near the Lower School Car Park, as this is dangerous and causes congestion.
Please do not walk around the School Site.

Contacting Staff
If you need to contact a member of staff, please do so by email or phone. If you do not have the member of staff’s email, then the School email addresses follow the following format: first initial and surname@mayfieldgirls.org e.g ngreen@mayfieldgirls.org.

Please do not come into School unless by appointment.  Thank you for your understanding.


Date Time Event
08:11:20 18:00 Boarders return to School
09:11:20 08:45 - 09:00 Year 11 Exam Briefing, Concert Hall
09:11:20 19:30 - 20:30 Yoga for Sixth Form Boarders
10:11:20 08:20 - 08:55 Year 12 'Safe Drive, Stay Alive' Lecture
10:11:20 09:00 - 11:00 Year 10 Drama Workshop - Frantic Assembly
10:11:20 17:00 - 19:00 Music Theory Exam
10:11:20 18:00 - 18:30 Mass
10:11:20 18:00 - 19:00 Year 11 Elevate Webinar
11:11:20 All day

Year 11 - Sixth Form Taster Day

11:11:20 08:20 - 08:55 Sixth Form Inter-House Debating Final
11:11:20 11:00 - 11:02

Two minutes silence in the Chapel

12:11:20 Two days Year 11 Food & Nut Practical Exam
12:11:20 13:45 - 18:00 Russian Pianist Masterclass
12:11:20 16:45 - 17:15 Year 12 Scholars' meeting
12:11:20 19:00 - 20:30 Prefects' Supper, Courtyard
12:11:20 19:30 - 20:30 Russian Music Concert, Concert Hall
13:11:20 16:30 Children In Need - Home Clothes Day



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

Geography - www.instagram.com/mayfieldgeographers      
Mayfield School - www.instagram.com/mayfieldschool

School - www.facebook.com/mayfieldgirls
Alumnae - www.facebook.com/OldCornelians
Spark - www.facebook.com/mayfieldschoolsparkcamps