E-weekly Issue 151
Poetry Festival 2021
We were delighted to be able to hold our annual Poetry Festival this week, albeit virtually, and to welcome our wonderful poet, Nina Mingya Powles. Nina ran two sessions for our Years 10 and 11, in which she talked about herself and her work, as well as involving pupils in short tasks to engage them wholly in the art of poetry. She also read some of her beautiful poems which were so well received by her audience.
In addition, Nina judged the Eisteddfod for Years 7, 8, and ESOL pupils. We all watched a video of the finalists performing their poems and then Nina chose the winners. She said how much she enjoyed all the finalists’ performances, particularly the energy they gave to their poems.
The Year 7 winner was Alice for ‘The Watchers’ by Joseph Coelho. Nina commented on Alice’s dramatic and powerful delivery, and the way she captured the atmosphere through gesture and voice.
The Year 8 winner was Onnae for ‘Mirror’ by Sylvia Plath. Nina was impressed with how Onnae caught the essence of the poem and was able to express the precise images.
The ESOL winners were Ines and Charmeine for 'Bluebottle' by Judith Nicholls. Nina said that their timing was impressive and the girls captured the rhymes really well.
The overall winner was Alexa for ‘The Moment’ by Margaret Atwood. As well as producing a clever video, Alexa had great pace and energy, and an obvious understanding of the poem.
We’re all hoping that, next year, everyone will be able to enjoy the Festival live and in person!
Mrs Jane Leslie, Teacher of English
Poems inspired by Nina Mingya Powles
The girls have been writing poems inspired by their study of Nina’s poetry: you can read some below:
Breakfast in Kent
By Year 10 Scarlett
For a morning of coldest smog
Fill the biggest mug I have with steaming hot regular tea, with full cream milk no sugar.
A covered plate of a cooked breakfast. Sausages, fried egg, crispy bacon, baked beans, and grilled mushrooms, all cooked in the same pan to give more flavour. Sit down in the lounge wrapped in a thick blanket, the three dogs grovelling at my plate.
For the morning after a downpour
Cut a thick slice of tiger bread and whack it in the toaster until it turns a slightly golden colour. Slam the handle of the machine down to pop the toast out. Make a nice mug of hot earl grey, and smother the toast with cold marmalade fresh out the fridge. Sit down at the table and begin munching, the marmalade dripping from the warm bread, and dribbling down my arm. The morning sun bursts through the window next to me, it licks the walls and touches my hands and pours into my cup of scorching tea.
A car to drive home in and a parent to drive it. I clutch a Costa cup of screaming hot chocolate. I approach my lips to the small slit in the plastic lid, I take the smallest sip. I burn my lips on the scorching drink, the liquid reaches into my mouth and scolds my tongue with a slap.
For a pink morning in late spring
Pierce the skin of the sweet fruit and watch the sprays of juice flutter in the air and dance among the atoms. With the cool smooth blade I slide the knife through flesh and let the slices of mango, strawberries, and perfect ripe banana plop into the pool of lemon yoghurt in my bowl like a rockpool. Sit on the doorstep with my food, breathe in the warm morning air, watch the birds waltz in the sky.
A Paradox of Sleep
By Year 10 Megan
Ascend the soft clouds of white feathers coated in silk,
Large soft sheets of cotton streaked with moonlight.
Feel the crisp soft piles of fabric beneath your fingers
as you slide into the many layers of comfort.
Allow your body to slowly relax,
Waiting for the moment of unconsciousness.
The moonlight scatters onto the soft cotton in which you are enveloped,
The stars cast long shadows around your room, making monsters of mere books.
You hear yourself breathe, the gentle whisper of air leaving your body,
The echo of each singular clock stroke, a perfect rhythm,
and the rare but deafening hourly chime of the grandfather clock downstairs.
You try to lose the sight of your surroundings as your eyelids droop, closer and closer to oblivion,
Or maybe your eyelids flutter open, perhaps caused by the sigh of the wind, or a tap of rain on the window.
The ultimate paradox of sleep: drifting deep into the darkness, or the seemingly endless restlessness, waiting for the 6 am wakeup call.
By Year 10s Esme, Phoebe, and Annabel
Year 13 Success in Physics Olympiad
Even in these strange times, the girls are still achieving wonderful things, with three Year 13 Physics students getting great results in the Physics Olympiad. The competition consisted of two sections, one of short questions covering a wide range of topics such as resistor combinations, nuclear decay, and black-body radiation, while the second paper comprised long questions that could be selected by the candidates.
Natalie was awarded a Bronze First Class, Helena achieved a Silver Award, and Monami achieved the Top Gold Award and has been invited to participate in Round 2, with a chance of being selected to represent the UK on the international stage. This is an incredible achievement and Dr Corvan feels really lucky to have helped the girls on their journey. Well done all!
Monami said: “The questions encouraged us to see connections between various topics. For example, the question about planets required us to link centripetal motion with gravitational forces. I am glad to have taken part in the Challenge because it has greatly extended my understanding of Physics concepts. Moreover, the BPhO website has many past papers which allowed us to prepare weeks in advance, and this has enabled us to hone our problem-solving skills.”
Helena has also finalised her entry for the Physics Olympiad Experimental project, and some of our Year 11 pupils - Christina, Avery, and Mia - have also entered their experimental project. We wish them every success.
In other news, the Year 12 students are modelling wave behaviour through animated graphs, while the Year 13 students finish off creating their computer simulations of radioactive decay. Both year groups are using Python as we believe that being able to code will be a valuable skill for the future and, after all, we are preparing girls to meet the needs of the age.
Dr Darragh Corvan, Head of Physics & Sixth Form tutor
Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing
Although we are spending more time than usual directly in front of a screen, I highly recommend the programme Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing for the family to watch together. It is suitable for Year 9 and above.
It has been said that Ada Lovelace is the ideal prophet of the digital age, and a most unlikely computer pioneer. In this film, Dr Hannah Fry tells the story of Ada's remarkable life, tracing Ada's unlikely partnership with the father of computers, Charles Babbage. Babbage designed the world's first steam-powered computers - most famously the analytical engine - but it was Ada who realised the full potential of these new machines. It is an enthralling tale of how a life infused with brilliance, but blighted by illness and gambling addiction, helped give rise to the modern era of computing.
It is showing today (Friday 22nd at 2pm on BBC2) and will be available on BBC iPlayer shortly after the broadcast. For international students, it will be uploaded to Mayfield’s Planet e-stream and a link will be sent to all students as soon as it become available.
Mrs Lucy Bartlett, Head of Digital Literacy and Technology
Year 13 Further Maths
This week, our Year 13 Further Mathematicians, Helena, Monami and Natalie, have explored various integration techniques for more complex integrals and graph sketching, involving natural logarithms, trigonometric functions and rational functions. It is always fascinating to see the many ways in which an integral can be calculated, or to discover that you can shorten the process considerably by using substitution at an earlier stage. The challenge is always to better yourself!
Mrs Lavinia Motoc, Teacher of Maths
A Level Art Historians Study Benin Plaque
Year 12 Edexcel History of Art A Level students are currently enjoying the fascinating detail on this Benin plaque, with the severed feet of a bird of prophecy at the top, above the slithering python - visible here: View the Benin plaque
We are looking forward to discovering more about the historical context for this work with the help of the Open University's wonderful free resource, Open Arts Archive, in this short video: Watch video on the Benin plaque
Mrs Joanna Weddell, Head of History of Art
In Biology this Week
In Biology, Year 9 has been looking at how surface area to volume ratio affects the diffusion of substances into and out of cells; Year 10 has been learning about the process of photosynthesis; Year 11 has been evaluating sexual and asexual reproduction; Year 12 has been studying DNA structure and replication; and Year 13 has been learning about the propagation of nervous impulses. This is all very theoretical and leads to girls outlining the processes within. The concepts can be quite challenging, especially when taught remotely, but the girls are rising to the challenge and making good progress.
Mrs Jocelyn Mahon, Head of Science
News from the Chaplaincy
This Sunday’s Gospel: Mark 1:14-20
And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
No encounter with Jesus Christ should leave us unchanged, or unchallenged, but even so- this Sunday’s Gospel seems like quite a big ask. To leave everything we know, immediately, and to follow him? It seems a little unrealistic. How would we make a living, what about our families? Surely it’s unfair to ask us to do this? On the face of it though, this is what it seems like we’re being called to do.
But perhaps the challenge of this week’s Gospel is a little more familiar, and a little less intimidating than we first think. Jesus approaches four fishermen, who had, presumably, been fishing their entire lives, and offers them the opportunity to use their talent for fishing to lead people to the Good News. Had he met a group of carpenters, he might have said, “Follow me and you will build my Kingdom.” Perhaps if he’d encountered farmers, he might have suggested that they “Feed my flock”.
So this week’s Gospel suggests to me that we have all been given gifts and talents. Yes, we are called to follow Christ. Yes, we are called to lead people to him. But we are not called to do it in a way that is alien or unfamiliar to us. Instead, we must do what we’re good at, do it well, and do it for the Glory of God.
‘Be careful how you live your life; you might be the only Gospel some people ever read.’
Mr Ronan Lavery, Lay Chaplain
Sixth Form Enrichment
Year 12 Awujo has chosen to take Event Management for her Sixth Form Enrichment and she would like to invite submissions for the Mayfield Variety Show 2021:
“The Show will be a little different this year and our theme is to celebrate and share as many aspects as possible of the girls’ different cultures. My main ethos for this Variety Show is to bring home a little closer to those girls who may not have been able to go home recently to their families, as well as to celebrate our heritage, and what makes us, us. This is also an opportunity to acknowledge how we have all come together this year in the face of adversity.
The idea is to host a 'virtual' Variety Show by creating a video which encapsulates all of the above ideas. I would really like to know if you have anything relevant happening in your lessons or in extra-curricular activities, which I could come and record or take pictures of. Anything which you think expresses culture including music, fashion, literature/poetry, art, dance and anything you feel would express a variation of cultures.
I hope to collate all the images and footage for a virtual celebration later in the year, so would be looking to document anything between now and February Half Term.”
Please email her if you have any suggestions!
Netball looks slightly different this term for obvious reasons but the PE Department is ensuring that the girls stay fit with Live HIIT sessions, and that their Netball knowledge does not suffer with Theory sessions.
Lower School have been HIITing the gym with Miss Jones and Miss Starr on a Wednesday afternoon, and it has been fantastic to see the whole of Lower School working out and having fun together (with cameras on!!). Year 9 has also been enjoying their live sessions with Miss Nixon and Miss Auer who have HIIT the ground running this term.
Alongside these live sessions, all year groups have been encouraged to take part in a 'Mindfulness' session each week. This could include a yoga session, walking whilst listening to a podcast, or a daily stretching routine, to keep their mental health as fit as their physical health.
Miss Emily Starr, Assistant Director of Sport
Food and Nutrition
Mrs Davies’ Year 8 Food & Nut pupils made a selection of lovely savoury horseshoes this week. They look delicious!
Mrs Claire Davies, Teacher of Food and Nutrition
The boarders who remain in School had a lovely ‘Leeds House lockdown weekend’ with bacon and eggs for breakfast, home-made smoothies, games of Uno and Monopoly, a candlelit liturgy in Chapel on Sunday, and they baked scrumptious cookies. Lockdown could be worse!
Mrs Charmaine Smith, Head of Sixth Form Boarding
|25:01:21||08:20 - 08:55||Competitive House Meetings|
|25.01.21||09:00 - 10:00||
'An Inspector Calls' virtual workshop
|25:01:21||13:45 - 14:00||Rosary Service|
|26:01:21||13:45 - 14:00||Rosary Service|
|27.01.21||All day||Year 12 Career's Talks|
|27:01:21||13:45 - 14:00||Rosary Service|
|28:01:21||All day||Year 12 Career's Talks|
|28.01.21||08:20 - 08:55||Tutor time|
|28:01:21||13:45 - 14:00||Rosary Service|
|28.01.21||16:30 - 18:00||Year 10 Scholars' Tea|
|29:01;21||09:00 - 09:55||Year 9 Elevate|
|29:01:21||13:45 - 14:00||Rosary Service|
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