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The term continues apace!

26th September 2018

I hope you will forgive me for the absence of a blog last week but I had the pleasure of going to Copenhagen with the first Study bonding trip instead. The girls were a real pleasure to be with and, as Dr Williams was leading us, we walked about 10km per day seeing all the sights. The Rosenborg was gloomy in the extreme but lit up by the art, artefacts and the crown jewels while the Amalianborg was by contrast light and bright. One can see why the Danish Royal family never quite moved out after have gone there temporarily some years ago now!   We visited the school who came to see us last year and are forging a link between the staff and pupils which I hope we will foster in the future. The girls had a tour and sat in on lessons and enjoyed the experience. It is a very different place with far more pupils and very modern but we shared an atmosphere of purpose and it was an eye opener for our girls to see how other young people are educated.

We were fascinated by the Design Museum – who knew how many varieties of Danish-designed chair there were? Other highlights included the Round Tower, the Marble church, the boat tour round the canals, Christiania – where we were slightly concerned by the police presence – the magnificent foodhall and I have learned that Sephora is THE place for makeup.  On reflection I think we might not go for a 7.00am flight next year as the 2.00am start left us all feeling a little weary on the first day, although bearing in mind we were all  were happily playing cards till late in the hostel bar on the last night, that feeling did not last long. All in all we had a marvellous time and I think the aim of bringing the two years together was fulfilled and overall we ended up with more than marginal gains. We hope that everyone in the Study years will attend next year’s trip.

While I was away in Copenhagen, the Remove and Inters were in Wales kayaking, playing aeroball, climbing, and much more – a bunch of happy and tired girls arrived back with a great deal of damp clothing but the atmosphere has been good in class since and these girls now feel very comfortable together. In addition the daring and bravery they demonstrated is spilling into their work and we are thrilled.

Since I last wrote we have been busy – the staff very much enjoyed the Welcome to the New School year evening and we hope that you did too – thank you to almost all of you for coming and especially for asking intelligent questions that really help us to know what it is that you need to know. Wychwood Sixth enjoyed a delicious dinner in the hall with their form and progress tutors and advice from the Study II to the Study I on how to manage this important year. Also in the Study we have seen the Study II parents to talk Next Steps: the girls started their UCAS preparation last term but we are now finishing off their personal statements and finessing the applications and this is a time to touch base with parents and check we are all thinking along the same lines. All the Study enjoyed a team building day to help them to appreciate each other’s strengths and remind them that they are all in this Study time together.

Iszi Lawrence, former head girl and stand-up, came to train the Upper Transits and Shell in public speaking and how to present in public. She is hilarious and the feedback was excellent and I hope that the girls will all benefit – after all presentations will be part of their professional life whatever they choose to do. We have also had the first session of Study Skills from Elevate Education for the GCSE girls. It is a truth universally acknowledged (sorry Miss Austen) that a bunch of schoolgirls will listen and act on revision advice from young students much more effectively than the same advice from their teachers and/or parents.

The whole school all went to New Scientist Live and the girls and staff had a fascinating, challenging and thought-provoking day – our thanks go to Sir Bernard Gray for inviting us all.  My thanks also go to the girls who, each and every one, had made the effort to be in school on time and were then kept waiting, which they did with great good humour.

The first Golden ticket night of the year went very well with movies and games and much, much chatter. For the benefit of new parents, the boarders each have a golden ticket or two to invite their friends in for a sleepover in the houses once a term. People do this at home on a regular basis and we feel the boarders should not miss out. The gap students and the house staff do a marvellous job with the girls and my thanks go to Miss Tyers and miss Mack for giving girls of all ages a great evening.

Our first Open Morning of the year also went very well – my heart sank at 10.00am when I was due to speak, as I looked at the valiant four families that had made it on time. However, we delayed starting and the hall filled up very quickly from then on. We will adjust the timings for the next Open Morning accordingly to allow families to get children up and running on a Saturday without too much pressure. The dates for the next Open Mornings have been published in the Wychwood Weekly so please do refer to them and book them into your diaries now. For new parents, the Wychwood Weekly is emailed out on Thursdays and can also be accessed on our website under Information.

Over the holidays we seem to have lost two postal mailings – may I ask if you have not received a green calendar for this year who would like one, bearing in mind that the website calendar is more up to date, to let know and Mrs Morris will give your daughter one to bring home.

Mrs Andrea Johnson