Issue Number 10, w/c 23rd September 2013 & w/c 30th September 2013 Science Conference On Thursday 3rd October we were privileged to have two very thought-provoking speakers at our Science Conference: Old Girl Charlotte Sutherell (Heathfield 2000-2007) and Laura Witjens. Charlotte was the first speaker. She introduced her topic by telling us how studying science at school is very different to studying it at university and how exciting she found her lab work. Having gained a first class degree from Oxford, Charlotte decided to stay in research and she went on to tell us about her PhD research in more detail and how working on experiments can be a rollercoaster experience. Charlotte is currently undertaking research at Cambridge University for the charity Cancer Research UK. Her current project, which I personally found really interesting and quite challenging, is looking at how one of the proteins in cancer cells affects the growth of ovarian cancer. Charlotte is trying to find a way to prevent cancer from spreading so it is easier to deal with and told us that there is no cure, because cancer is more than one disease on its own. After she finished, we had a chance to ask questions. The audience asked a variety of questions, exploring different topics, from “How does it feel to study at Cambridge University?” to “How do you deal with negative results in your experiments?” Following Charlotte, we had a very interesting talk from Laura Witjens, who is Chief Executive of the National Gamete Donation Trust. She explained the 11 different types of IVF. Laura talked to us about why people choose to have babies through IVF. We learned about the legal, social and ethical complications people face when choosing IVF, mostly related to same sex couples having IVF babies. Laura’s speech was followed by a plethora of questions exploring topics such as sex selection through IVF, the legal involvement of the surrogate mother to the child and who is officially the biological mother. The talks were very entertaining and educational. We had a wonderful evening and some of us were fortunate enough to enjoy a lovely supper with our two guests. We had fascinating conversations during supper, discussing the speakers’ topics and life experiences. Laura explained to us how different it is to talk to school pupils rather than science specialists as they ask very technical questions, whereas students explore a wider variety of issues with greater imagination as every one of us has different experiences and ideas. Pati, LVI Form Student
JDRF ‘Stole’ the Show On Sunday 28th September we celebrated the feast of St Michael and All Angels, when the Chapel was decked out with gold and silver ribbon and the girls wore their traditional White Chapel dresses. During the Eucharist the Head Girl and her deputies each gave a very impressive presentation in support of a charity and at the end of the service everyone voted for their preferred charity by ‘Stole Voting’ (placing a peg on a coloured vestment). I am pleased to announce that our new School Charity for 2013-2014 is JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). JDRF aims to improve lives whilst finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Fr. T Tregunno, Chaplain
Issue Number 10, w/c 23rd September 2013 & w/c 30th September 2013 Educational Climate Change and how Heathfield is weathering the changes The Government, and in particular Michael Gove, are in the process of changing A Levels and GCSEs in response to concerns expressed by industry leaders, to ensure qualifications are more robust. Here is an explanation of the main changes together with the ways in which Heathfield is looking ahead to ensure your daughters are ready and prepared by the time they face the new examinations. GCSEs From this year, GCSEs will no longer be modular. The practice of being able to study a unit and then take the exam is gone, and from 2015 all examinations taken will be linear. The A* to U scale will disappear to be replaced by an 81 grade system where 8 is the highest and 1 the lowest. There will be more of a focus on extended writing in all subjects except for Mathematics where longer, more problem-based answers will be expected. Grammar, spelling and punctuation have all been a marked component of the examinations for English Literature, Geography, History and Religious Studies since June 2013. There will no longer be sessions for examinations in November, January and March except for a November window for students who missed their English or Mathematics in the Summer to retake their examinations if necessary. A Level For A Level students who do not pass their AS or A2 in June they will no longer have the option to retake in January but will be expected to only retake the following June – a huge burden if they are also taking A2 courses. So what does this mean for our girls?
If linear assessment at the end of the year or two years becomes the norm, we are already looking at the revision skills that we teach and practise so that the girls are used to examinations reviewing all the taught material throughout the year. This will continue.
Our end of year examinations will be administered under the same formal arrangements for the actual exams so that the girls are completely used to the process.
The increased requirements for spelling, grammar and punctuations mean that every teacher at Heathfield will be assessing the girls’ literacy skills as part of our continuous assessment.
Finally, resourcing, processing, organising and compressing two years of written material and notes into a couple of essays is a skill and we will be focusing on examination skills and practice, practice, practice to ensure that every girl leaves with the qualifications and skills that she needs. We may not be able to foretell the future, but we can make sure that we imbue every girl with the skills she needs to face with confidence whatever happens. Mrs M Furniss-Roe Director of Studies
Charity Car Wash
Geography Trip to Christchurch Bay
Last week, Somerville organised a charity car wash to raise money for their newly chosen House charity, SOS Children’s Village International: http://www.soschildrensvillages.org/, an organisation which strives worldwide to ensure that every child grows up in a caring family environment. Forms I, II, and III along with several senior volunteers and a few teachers set to work in the staff car park, washing and drying cars whilst trying not to get too dirty themselves! The House demonstrated great teamwork and efficiency by proficiently cleaning a number of cars, raising an impressive sum of money for charity and having some fun along the way. Well done to everyone who took part!
Form V Geographers spent a day at Christchurch Bay learning about coastal management on the very beautiful but fragile Dorset coastline. They learnt skills such as field sketches and measured wave frequency at various stages between Highcliffe and Mudeford Spit. There is no better way to appreciate coastal morphology. It was just a shame about the rain in the afternoon!
Mr A Valner, Teacher in Charge of Classics and Deputy Head of House – Somerville
Mrs B Mason, Head of Humanities Faculty
Issue Number 10, w/c 23rd September 2013 & w/c 30th September 2013 Reunion Dinner Class of ‘82 A year ago Joanna Meeson (Old Girls’ Co-ordinator) set me a tantalising challenge: Heathfield would host a reunion dinner for the class of ’82 if I could guarantee enough acceptances. That was never going to be a problem and the burgeoning number of positive replies generated more and more interest. Eleanor Wylie (Heathfield 1975-1980) booked her ticket from Los Angeles immediately and others from far flung places made commitments to be there. On the evening of 30th September, 25 of us walked into the drawing room and were welcomed wonderfully with Prosecco. Talk about a step back in time. The atmosphere was electric as we locked eyes and then exclaimed how much – or, more often, how little – someone had changed. Laughter continued as members of the UVI generously took time out to take us all on a tour of the school. We were all very impressed with the new theatre and relieved that all our old dormitories like Buttercup were still intact, albeit more luxurious now. It was a relief to see the showers too because in our day we were on a rota of two baths per week! The highlight of the evening had to be finding our names in Chapel which had been such an important focal point in our school life. Dinner was a complete delight in the glorious dining room. Looking down the long table, it suddenly dawned on me that this was Heathfield’s greatest legacy. For a relatively small school, most of us are still tightly linked: as godparents to each other’s children; as supporters in happy as well as not so happy times. Heathfield taught us the art of friendship and let it flourish and I bet it continues to do so today. The leitmotif then and now is laughter and I fear we unleashed it at full volume on that unforgettable night! Thank you Heathfield. What a perfect way to mark our impending 50th birthdays! Emma Brett née Denison-Pender (Heathfield 1975-1980) Ambassador for the Class of ‘82
Shine London Marathon Walk The event was brought to my attention by a radio advert I heard on the way home from work, and as soon as I heard it I knew I had to take part. My father died on September 20 th 1999 from what turned out to be bowel cancer and my sister has recently had a major operation and is on the long road to recovery from the same diagnosis. I just thought it was something I could do to help raise money for anyone suffering from this dreadful disease and hopefully towards a cure as most of us know, or have known, someone who has been affected by the disease. I arrived at Battersea Power Station at approximately 8pm and checked in through the gates to be amazed at the amount of people already there. We were called forward in groups, power walkers first (definitely not me) and then striders, the group which I fell into, and after that the strollers. We eventually set off at approximately 9.40pm and an air of expectation went around as we started the first of the 26 miles which lay ahead. The route took us past many famous sights including Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Tower of London and The Shard. I crossed the finishing line with a massive sense of achievement at about 5am and received my commemorative medal giving me a time of approximately 7hrs 20mins and very much looking forward to a hot bath and a cup of tea. The estimated overall amount of money raised on the night by all that took part will be in excess of £4million for Cancer Research UK. Here’s to next year…….. Mr I Parham, Maintenance and Grounds Manager
Heart-Shaped Cushion Making As a member of Austen House, it was my turn to organise one of the weekend activities for the students. I thought I would do something different and, with the approval of Madame Lankshear, we decided to get Form II girls involved in a local initiative, supporting a charity that collects and donates heart-shaped pillows to women who are going through treatment for breast cancer. The cushions are made to a specific shape which fits under the arm and helps the recovery after a mastectomy. Please read the following article to find more out about the project: Heid's help for Berkshire mastectomy patients It seemed a worthwhile cause and a way of working together as a team whilst using textile techniques. We turned it into a bit of a working party with popcorn, chocolate cookies and music while cutting and stitching away. I thought if we could put maybe ten pillows together that would be a great achievement. Well, I had not considered what the II Form girls could do… not only did we have a great time, but they managed to work so well together that in just under two hours we made twelve cushions! They looked fabulous and the girls even managed to add handmade cards to accompany each cushion and wish the patients who will receive them a quick recovery. Hopefully they will bring a little smile and some comfort to all those ladies. Well done Form II! Mrs A Rutilli, Teacher of Art
Issue Number 10, w/c 23rd September 2013 & w/c 30th September 2013 Austen Weekend 28th & 29th September Austen had organised plenty of activities to keep the girls busy over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, a bird of prey display team came to school to introduce a range of spectacular birds to the girls. Forms I and II were able to handle and feed beautiful owls, kestrels and falcons. Soon the junior girls were joined by girls from the older years and everyone listened intently to the birds’ owners as they talked about the birds on display. The girls discovered some surprising facts about the different species and how some of them can live up to 80 years. Mrs Rutilli ran a heart-shaped pillow making workshop with the Form II girls which allowed them to get involved with a local initiative, supporting a charity that collects and donates heart-shaped pillows to women who are going through treatment for breast cancer. Their pillows looked fantastic and were donated to the charity. Form III visited the Body Shop in Reading where they were given a hand massage and also heard a talk about fair trade products. At the end of the talk the girls received vouchers so they could try the company’s products. On the Sunday afternoon the Lower School had great fun playing on an inflatable obstacle course. Madame R Lankshear, Senior Head of House – Austen
A Level and AS Level trip to Ibsen’s A Doll’s House; Duke of York’s Theatre It seemed that the theme for the term was going to be akin to Rabbie Burn’s sentiment that the best laid plans o’ mice and men often go astray as 26 UVI and LVI English and Theatre Studies students and staff set off to London for the first Theatre outing of the year on 27 th September. Our plans to grab a bite to eat started to look a little wobbly as we hit a dreadful tailback on the M4 but fortune smiled and with our orders phoned through in advance we were able rush past queuing diners, and as our meals were served and we were then able to pop round the corner to our seats in the theatre with only minutes to spare! The show that we were so anxious to see was a production of Ibsen’s classic story of the breakup of a marriage, A Doll’s House. One of the set texts on this year’s AS Level Drama and Theatre Studies, this particular production had transferred to the Duke of York’s theatre following two sold-out runs at the Young Vic. Award-winning Hattie Morahan in what has been hailed the ‘performance of a lifetime’ (Sunday Telegraph) played Nora Helmer, alongside the ‘excellent’ (Daily Telegraph) Dominic Rowan, who returns as her husband Torvald. The play was ‘Beautifully directed’ (The Times) by critically acclaimed Carrie Cracknell in a ‘savagely funny version’ adapted by Olivier AwardWinning Simon Stephens, with an ‘exquisite set’ (Daily Telegraph) by Ian MacNeil. The production certainly did not disappoint. It will stand all the students in good stead in terms of a point of reference in their exams. A late night home but well worth it! Mrs S O’Connor, Director of Drama
European Day of Languages 26th September was The European Day of Languages. It was a great opportunity to highlight in our Assembly the diversity of languages spoken around the world and explore why it is important to learn another language and multi-cultural diversity.
World Tapas Day
Sunday 29th September marked the second anniversary of World Tapas Day. This was a special event organised by the organisation ‘Tasting Spain’, and it celebrated Each pupil and member of staff was invited to twenty Spanish tourist enrich our European Day of Languages tree by destinations known for their gastronomy. This year World Tapas Day was launched internationally. writing on a leaf a word or a message in a different language. On that occasion, our international students added an extra Heathfield celebrated World Tapas Day on Friday 27th September dimension to the day by teaching their by presenting an Assembly, giving the girls and staff an opportunity classmates words and phrases from their own to taste tapas at lunchtime and a striking display board was put up languages. in our newly renovated academic corridor. The girls enjoyed learning more about the Spanish culture and the country’s Madame F Rayner renowned cuisine. Subject Leader MFL Mrs A Pullen, Teacher of Spanish
Issue Number 10, w/c 23rd September 2013 & w/c 30th September 2013 Lacrosse Coaching with Lois Richardson Heathfield lacrosse players were extremely fortunate to welcome Lois Richardson for a day’s coaching. Lois is an England International Player & Captain for over 20 years, playing in five World Cups and coaching in four. The day was split into three sessions with the first being made up of Forms I and II, the second Form III and the final session Form IV. The girls had a great day, and it was super to see Lois’s enthusiasm rub off on all of them. The coaching certainly gave them plenty to think about for the rest of the season. “It was a great opportunity to be able to have a lesson with Lois. She taught us the main skills that we would be able to use in defensive and attacking areas. Everyone had a go at playing in defence so that they understood how the opposition moves and would be comfortable playing any position. We also worked on our communication which is a major part of teamwork. We all did well at this but needed to remember to be loud and clear. We were also reminded of the importance of supporting and backing up your team. And Lois gave us a good tip: warm up in the direction you are going to play”. Katy, Form IV Student Ms W Reynolds, Director of Sport
Politics Trip to the Houses of Parliament On 27th September the LVI Politics girls visited the Houses of Parliament as part of their A Level studies of parliament. Firstly they were treated to a tour of the House of Commons, a select committee and the House of Lords, the latter being a great deal more ornate, with gold leaf adorning everything. Our guide explained the scrutiny function of both Houses and Alys (Form LVI) was able to accurately display her knowledge of this in a question and answer session. After the tour the girls took part in a debate with other schools about the effectiveness of select committees in scrutinising the government. The trip provided the girls with a wealth of knowledge which they can now apply to their A Level course. Mrs N Holsgrove-Jones Subject Leader History and Politics
U14 Netball Team crowned SE Berkshire Plate tournament winners Congratulations to the U14 netball team who beat six teams to become SE Berkshire plate winners. The team only conceded 8 goals throughout the whole tournament and scored 34 goals which enabled them to win the event. The whole team played exceptionally well but there were some notable performances from Ella as Goal Shooter, Bota as Wing Defence and captain Emmy who played Centre. Emmy and Amber (Goal Keeper) were both spotted by an Eagles Netball Club coach as possible new recruits – well done to both of them. Ms W Reynolds, Director of Sport
De Valois House Outing On Thursday 26th September the girls in De Valois House went for a meal at Pizza Express in Sunningdale. The outing was to celebrate the House winning the House Shield in the Summer Term last academic year. Each term the four Houses compete for the House Shield and the overall winner is announced in the final assembly of the term. As well as receiving the House shield, the House also gets taken out for dinner. Congratulations De Valois – I wonder who will win this term? Miss J Talbot Head of House – De Valois & Teacher of PE