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A very busy week to end the half term

9th February 2018

After a quiet week last week, we have done a great deal this week across the school. The Shell have been thinking about their mock results and revision timetables are emerging from the reflections. The draft public examination timetables are also being checked and this is the point in the year when the next few months suddenly spring into sharp focus. Having analysed the mock results there is much to be pleased about – we are where we would expect to be in most cases and ahead of the curve with a number of girls. What we now need is a focused and hard-working four months until the GCSEs are over and the girls and staff can relax. At least, until the third Thursday in August arrives!

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On the subject of examinations, Study I will be taking school examinations in March and again in June. With all subjects now linear, these examinations will offer the girls their first attempt at the level of questions required by the new specifications and give them a goal to aim for at the end of their A Level course in 18 months’ time. We wish them every success in their preparation and would urge them to focus on the feedback afterwards. Finally on the subject of examinations the public exam season has formally begun, as the A Level creative arts girls have been given their examination question and are hard at work. The A Level mock examinations are also due after half term as a vital measuring stick against progress for the Study II girls.

The Study have been fully engaged this week with the forum on Positive Voice – an inspiring young woman’s account of living with HIV, a magnificent production of the The Kite Runner at the Playhouse, netball against Rye St Antony and the parents’ meeting for those on the Rome trip later this year – much to enjoy, give food for thought and look forward to experiencing. The Shell have been having their one-to-one careers interviews this week and the GCSE musicians attended the music study day at Headington School. The Upper Transits thoroughly enjoyed the Business Enterprise day at Radley College and came away with much of the glory and plaudits. The member of staff accompanying them described them as a shining example of Wychwood girls whose behaviour was exemplary: while we would not expect anything else, we are nonetheless very proud! The Lower Transits took part in their rearranged Astrochemistry Masterclass, given by the National Space Academy and even got to hold a piece of the moon! The Inters attended the Festival of Languages at Chandlings School and loved every minute. No wonder everyone has dispersed to half term feeling fulfilled and somewhat tired.

We are beginning to think about the first Study trip to New York in October half term this year, open to all Study girls from this academic year and next. I know there are some current Study II who would wish to come and they would be most welcome but the trip is mainly for the Study girls in 2018-19 and, hence, the current Shell and Study I. We estimate the cost of this will be somewhere in the region of £1,700 for 5 days in New York. We hope to attend a Broadway show, see the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum, go up the Empire State building and see Ground Zero, as well as have a tour of the finance district, eat in China Town and I am trying to get to Harlem to a jazz club as well. The vast majority of the cost of this trip is obviously the flights which would be the same no matter whether one travels with school or with one’s family and otherwise we are getting the vast benefits in terms of cost of travelling with a school trip. If your daughters are eligible, please do consider this carefully and we will be sending further information out after half term.

After half term, there is a great deal to look forward to – a selection includes the Wingfield Digby lecture, to be given by Dame Ottoline Leyser, former Wychwood pupil and Professor of Plant Development at the University of Cambridge and director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge, on Tuesday 13th March, in line with our theme for the Hilary lectures of Women inspiring Women. Grimm Tales will be performed on 15th March and the last Performing Arts evening of the year will be on 19th March.  Parents, family and friends are always welcome to enjoy and applaud the girls’ achievements. Lastly but not at all least, the Citizens will be running Wychfactor on the evening of 22nd March, and the auditions are in full swing.

Have a wonderful relaxing, recreational but productive half term with your daughters.

Andrea Johnson, Headmistress