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A typical busy week at Wychwood

23rd January 2019

Img 20190119 133938On a lovely frosty morning it is a pleasure to review the last week – Shell mocks are nearly at an end and the sense of quiet achievement on many faces is a pleasure. Next week will bring both pleasure and pain as the results come through and we work on the plans for the next months to reinforce the pleasure and remove the pain. The senior geographers are attending the Oxford Geographers’ Association lectures at St Edwards this term and last week brought Tropical Cyclones: current predictions and projections by Dr Nicholas Klingaman, Principal Research Fellow, National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading. These feature many preeminent speakers in their field and are designed to stimulate thought and discussion. Thursday last week was a busy day across the school with the Spanish Play by the Onatti group bringing its annual dose of fun, cultural education and extension work for all the girls in Key Stages 3 and 4. Later in the afternoon most of the Study II History of Art students took the opportunity to present in the internal ARTiculation finals – our branch of the national competition that challenges art history students to talk about a piece of art that they find fascinating. For those of us who have seen those young women grow and develop, in some cases over 7 years, listening to their poised, well-researched, individual and, yes, articulate talks is a real source of pride. Then in the evening the senior Youth Speaks team went to Rye St Antony to talk about the Power of Indifference. After another poised, well-researched, individual and articulate speech by Anais, well supported by Ash as Chair and Georgie as the Proposer of the Vote of Thanks the girls are to be congratulated on being the runners up.  I, of course, am not biased at all, but for me they were the winners and, again, a source of great pride!

The boarders went to the UK’s only Crocodile Zoo – Crocodiles of the World at the weekend and loved every minute of it, particularly enjoying the risk assessment which stated ‘PLEASE BE SAFE:  do not stand, sit, climb or lean on the enclosures. If you fall, crocodiles will eat you and that might make them sick.’ Can I just remind everyone that day girls are always welcome on these trips as well and they need to speak to the staff taking the trips in order to get the appropriate permissions? On Saturday the boarders baked, enjoying access to the school kitchens as always and those who are staying this exeat weekend are particularly looking forward to being given free (supervised) rein to make their own suppers this Saturday.  The menu will include a variety of foods from Russia, Switzerland, China and the Middle East and sounds absolutely delicious – this is true fusion cooking!

Monday brought the Remove to Lower Transits trip to Young Voices at the Genting Arena in Birmingham, the culmination of many weeks of practising; the staff tell me the girls were a credit to the school and to their parents and were in great voice and as for the dancing – they are ready for raves! Attendance at such a large-scale event is a real eye-opener for our girls who come from such a tiny environment and they tell me it was really worth being tired on Tuesday!

May I just remind parents about who to contact in case of absence or indeed being in school unexpectedly: if your daughter is going to be out of school for a day or significant section of a day, please ask me for permission. If your daughter is going to be out of lessons or prep briefly or at short notice when we are expecting them to be in school please use the attendance@ email. Finally, if your daughter wants to board or you want to discuss boarding arrangements, please use the permissions@ email. If your daughter leaves school when she is expected to be in school for whatever reason, then she must sign out in the staff room. This applies to lesson times and club and activity times. Please do not email an individual housemistress or member of staff as the house staff have time off duty during the week because they work at weekends and may not be looking at their emails. In addition, the staff tend to be teaching and cannot look at their emails. It is really important that we know where the girls are from a safety point of view so, while we recognise that plans change and life happens, please tell us.

Mrs Andrea Johnson