Field Notes 2021 - Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

Page 1

September 2020–January 2022

Prior’s Field Old Girls’ Magazine

On the Right Track Award winning Old Girl Dania Akeel pursues her passion for motor racing Page 12–13 Former parents take a look into the life of Founder, Julia Huxley's early university life Page 8

From Taiwan to Italy, Australia to South Korea, Old Girls take on the world Page 16–21

Our recent leavers give us the lowdown on their first few years of university Page 28–29

Head’s Welcome Dear Alumnae, Our anniversary year has begun! In January 2022, I visited Julia Huxley’s grave to pay tribute to the incredible pioneer who inspired so many and who launched us on our journey. We are still here: still achieving, still sending confident and happy young women out into the world, ready to take their next step on their own journey. The Rose Garden has been an integral part of the school and at the heart of everyone’s experiences. As part of our 120th year celebrations, we are delighted with our very first fundraising tree; a beautiful wrought iron sculpture designed to match the tree from the school’s crest. Members of the PF community will be given the opportunity to buy one of its 120 leaves, to raise money for the restoration of our most captivating garden and to restore it to its former glory. Find out more on our charity pages (page 30). We are delighted to welcome daughters of Old Girls into the school each year and if you are considering PF for your daughter, I’d like to remind you of our 10% Old Girl discount.

Happy 120th Birthday Prior’s Field! Tracy Kirnig, Head

Alumnae Newsletters – Reminder Have you been enjoying our e-newsletters? As well as Field Notes, once every month or so we like to keep you updated with Old Girl and Prior’s Field news by email. We have teamed up with the wonderful Tash Fanshawe (OG 1987–1993) to write them. Please let us know what you’d like to see more of.

Please make sure you scour your junk folder for our emails, as we know the pesky filters can often be a barrier to you getting our newsletter straight to your inbox. If you have never seen one of our friendly newsletters, then they’re either going to junk, or we don’t have your email address.


Editor’s Note


Junior Boarding


Your Old School Needs You!


Old Girl of the Year Award


Current Events


Julia Huxley's University Days


Archive Project


Making Connections


Making Memories


Cover Story: Dania Akeel


Welcome Back


Old Girls Overseas


Friends of PF


Making Greener Choices


Women in Business


Old Girl News & Achievements


Two Years On... From PF


Charity Focus


Tying the Knot


Welcome to the World


We Remember

Putting together Field Notes is one of the best parts of my job. I love to collect your stories, memories, news and exciting achievements. It constantly amazes me that we all started off at Prior’s Field, yet we’ve all had such varied and contrasting careers. It’s this diversity that I have really enjoyed compiling for this year’s magazine. In this ‘International’ edition, we celebrate PF as a home away from home for our current boarders, we delve into the lives of our international Old Girls who have led interesting lives back home and also hear from those who have had the courage to set up their new lives abroad. After a particularly difficult couple of years for everyone, we are so relieved to be emerging from the pandemic and starting to introduce a sense of normality again. The events that we had to cancel are slowly but surely coming back, just in time to celebrate the school’s 120th birthday year. We are delighted to be putting on a range of events for you, including 120 Years of Prior’s Field in 12 Treasures at Godalming Museum (22nd September 2022), our flagship event, the Anniversary Ball (22nd October 2022) and so many more for you to enjoy. Now, put the kettle on and get comfortable. We’ve got another action-packed edition for you, thanks to the Prior’s Field Community.


Polly Murray, Alumnae Manager


(OG 1995–2000) Contact us

Email: Phone: 01483 813461 - ring for a chat any time! Web: Follow us Prior’s Field Alumnae @pfalumnae


@pfalumnae Prior’s Field School Alumnae


Home from home in...

Junior Boarding Overlooking the sports fields, framed by woodland on one side and the historic beauty of buildings over a century old on the other, Prior’s Field Junior Boarding homes girls from a multitude of cultures at the heart of the school. One of the most important factors in any boarding setting is the establishment of a friendly and homely environment. This isn’t something that can be forced, but develops through the interaction between pupils, staff and visitors. It is something that Prior’s Field boarding thrives at. The Junior Boarding house is a melting pot of ages, ranging between the child-like nature of playful eleven-year-olds, right through to the more serious sixteen-year-old GCSE girls. Put them together and stir in the comings and goings of girls visiting on a flexi boarding basis and you get a house bursting with familial joy, encouragement and support.

"Friendships for life!" Divine

"Friday nights = friendship and popcorn!" Sara

In the evenings there are games of hide-and-seek, stalk the lantern, making dens in the woods and rounders. If the weather doesn’t play along, girls find themselves immersed in board games, challenging the general knowledge of staff members and they get to know each other through art activities like beading, origami and ceramic painting. The weekends are designed to give girls the opportunity to wind down, gather their wits before another week, but also get involved in British culture, by going on trips to Windsor, seeing the wonders of a local arboretum, testing their ten-pin bowling skills, splashing about in water parks and daring the heights of high rope courses, to name only a few. Prior’s Field Junior Boarding has an excellent academic support system and we strive to bring out the best results from every child without unnecessary pressure or stress-inducing mandates. This does not only apply to the academic, but also to all aspects of life. It is extremely important for us to see pupils develop as a whole and strive for the best, while having fun and staying young for as long as possible. Gideon Van Niekerk, Head of Junior Boarding

When new girls first arrive, they are swept up by the existing girls, who act as mentors to support them and help them settle into this new world they are entering. There are social events, games and trips planned to help them integrate and make friends before the start of term. Once school has started, the fun and games definitely do not stop. Prior’s Field has an enormous range of sport and co-curricular activities that pupils can choose from and as a boarding house we promote the development of pupils as balanced individuals. Everyone finds some sort of club or sport that suits their interests. 4

Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

my "I love being able to decorate ace." room and make it my own sp Zlata

Your old school

Needs You!

Do you have time to help us spread the word about Prior’s Field and what we can offer to girls across the World? We would love to get to know more about your region and how we might increase the number of international pupils. Do you have a little spare time to talk to our Admissions team about education where you are and possible school exchanges? Would you like to be a PF Ambassador representing Prior’s Field in your region? An Ambassador might help to organise reunions, keep the PF community together and be a contact for people wanting advice about good boarding schools to consider in the UK.

Building a

Even if you can only spare time for a brief video call to give an insight into your country or have more time to give as a PF Ambassador – please get in touch for a no obligation chat. We’d love to talk to you:


It is by connecting with our PF community that great things happen. It strengthens relationships, gives opportunities, helps your small businesses and keeps us together. So whatever your connection with the school, it is our number one priority to ensure you hear about our events, read about the successes and feel part of a lively Old Girl community.

Be part of our thriving community and register today...

We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes


Old Girl

of the Year 2021

Magda Salvesen

Magda brushes off the competition and wins the Old Girl of the Year Award 2021 for her dedication to the curation of Jon Schueler's artistic works. No two entries for the Old Girl of the Year Award are the same and this year is no different. Nominated by her cousin, Evelyn Crombie née Salvesen (OG 1959–1963), Magda is a worthy winner of the 2021 award due to her extensive work in the arts and culture sector. After Prior's Field, Magda (OG 1956–1962) went on to study at the prestigious University of St. Andrews, the Courtauld Institute of Art and she then spent a year in the US as a scholarship student at Sweet Briar College before she permanently relocated to New York in 1976 with her husband, Jon Schueler.

Magda has had a varied career, not only in the art world. In 1990, Magda was a lecturer at New York Botanical Garden and a board member of Queens Botanical Garden and is a founding member of its Horticultural Committee. Magda has also lectured for museums, libraries and art clubs throughout New York.

r, "Magda has had a varied caree not only in the art world."

Magda's teaching career has always run alongside her love of the history of gardens and the designed landscape. Her travels have always been linked to both subjects, taking her to countries in Europe as well as China and Japan – travelling being a constant inspiration for new courses and expanded knowledge.

Magda's role as Exhibitions Officer with the Scottish Art Council from 1968–1971, gave her the grounding she needed in order to take over the administration of the Jon Schueler Studio and later, his estate in 1992. Magda's late husband, Jon Schueler (1916–1992) was a distinguished second-generation member of the New York School, whose luminous paintings were inspired by the visual and deeply felt properties of the sky. His work became visual metaphors for complex emotional responses to memory, isolation, and the power of the land and sky. With inner energies radiating through layers of seductive colour and light, Schueler's remarkable paintings capture the forces of nature and its diverse moods – from calm to turbulent.*


Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

Thank you, Magda, for taking the time to be interviewed and to record an acceptance speech for us, from New York. Magda Salvesen's sisters and cousins were also at Prior's Field, forming part of the Scottish contingent who travelled to PF on the Flying Scotsman in the fifties and sixties. *Excerpt taken from the Jon Schueler newsletter, written by Magda Salvesen

Please go to the news page of our community website to watch Madga's acceptance video: old-girl-of-the-year-award

Anniversary Ball Canapés & Fizz


Six-Piece Live Band


Three Course Meal


Spectacular Firework Display

22 October 2022 | 6.30pm–midnight To celebrate the school’s 120th birthday we are inviting you to a spectacular, all-singingall-dancing black tie Anniversary Ball on 22nd October 2022. Partners welcome. Tickets: £80 early bird then £90 | Whole table (8ppl): £600 early bird then £640 Book here: or contact Polly Murray 01483 813461. Early bird finishes end of June.

Be Our Guest

Join us for our anniversary events this year

Book all events here:

120 Years of PF in 12 Treasures

Road Trip – PF coming to you

22nd September 2022 | Godalming Museum We're celebrating the school's 120th birthday by displaying twelve treasures from the archive. Items include wooden lacrosse sticks, photo albums from the early 1900s, uniform and the Challenge Shield.

Alumnae Manager, Polly Murray, has been set a challenge to meet 120 Old Girls in the 120th year. She’s getting there but needs your help! Polly is starting in London, Surrey, Dorset and Scotland.

Creative Arts Exhibitions Join us at Prior's Field to view the A-Level and GCSE art pieces on display from 4pm–6pm on the 10th and 17th June.

School Tours We’d love to show you around Prior’s Field. Why not book a tour? Perhaps your teachers still work at PF or you’d like to see how the facilities have changed since you were there. Come and take a trip down memory lane.

Re-establishing Connections in Scotland Do you live in Scotland? We’d love to re-run the Scottish Lunch (last event in 2015) so please let us know where you are based. We’ll organise a reunion for July 2022 – location ideas welcome!

We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes


Julia Huxley's University Days Life Before Prior's Field

Former parents, volunteers and keen researchers, Lizanne Milton and Elaine Sibley, took a trip to Somerville College, Oxford, to learn more about the life of Julia Huxley née Arnold, in her university days. They were met by Kate O’Donnell, the Assistant Archivist and Records Manager, who kindly took them to a reading room in the library where she had laid out the 1879–1907 Somerville College Log Book and some letters written by a student who was at Somerville at the same time as Julia and knew her well. Julia entered Somerville Hall (as it was then) on a Clothworkers Scholarship in October 1880 and left in December 1881, when the scholarship lapsed, and she returned home. According to the log book, Julia was Class 1 in Honours Literature and at that time the Literature school was only open to women. The log book explains how Somerville came to exist, thanks to the determination of several people who formed a committee. It wasn’t until October 1884 that female students could attend lectures at the colleges, and this was also the year that they could finally sit the same examinations as male students.

An association was set up in 1877 to promote the importance of higher education for women. Halls of residence were needed for female students who wanted to attend lectures but lived far away. Julia would have attended her lectures at the Association’s lecture rooms in Alfred Street. There is one other recorded mention of Julia Arnold which was when, on an afternoon in June 1881, she was invited to tea by another student, Frances Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Sheldon. Miss Sheldon wrote “We had Miss Arnold and her bosom friend to tea one afternoon lately.”

"We get a glimpse of what Julia must have experienced at Oxford." In the absence of any further records about Julia, we can get a glimpse of what she must have experienced during her time at Oxford from Lizzie Sheldon’s delightful letters to her family in New York. Julia is mentioned, in passing, by Lizzie in her letters home, "Miss Arnold, Matthew Arnold’s niece, has considerable of the Dickens in her [and plays] kittenish pranks." Lizzie also mentions that Julia 'got my scholarship', by which she means that Julia went to Oxford on a Clothworkers Exhibition or Scholarship. Lizzie’s chosen subjects were English Literature and Philology, German, Latin, Algebra and Arithmetic. In addition to studying diligently, Lizzie enjoyed outings with friends around Oxford, such as to the University Church and Oxford Castle. She enjoyed strolling in the park at Magdalen College, on Christ Church meadows, and on the High Street. She shopped in the market, attended musical recitals, had tea with friends, and made several trips to London. It is important to shine a light on Julia Arnold’s time at Oxford, so that we can learn about the era she lived in as a young woman and how she may have been influenced in her passion for educating girls and her inspiration to open a school later in her life. Thank you to Lizanne Milton and Elaine Sibley for taking time to research the records at Somerville College.


Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

Sparking an interest in the Archive Archive Assembly

PF Archivist, Jo Halford and Alumnae Manager, Polly Murray, led an assembly in October 2021 for the First Form, giving them an introduction to the PF Archive. On display was a carefully crafted magazine donated by Sarah Priday (OG 1970–1977) which showed recipes, fashion and postcards from the day, as well as a former pupil's Festival of Britain diary from 1951, and some textbooks with very neat handwriting and pencil diagrams from the 1950s.

Archive Club

The girls asked questions about the oldest items in the archive and the best temperature at which to store the materials. They were very excited about a trip up into the attic to see the Milton Archive Store Room.

We held our first ever Archive Club in November 2021 in the Old Library for a selection of enthusiastic First Form girls. Over half term, the year group were given a task to write a letter to their future self to be kept in our archive store room in a time capsule until they leave Prior's Field in years to come. The letters contained information like today's house prices, a copy of their current timetables, what they aspire to be when they are older and the current Covid status. We were lucky to be joined by two PF Old Girls, Tash Fanshawe (OG 1987–1993) and Tor Hunter (OG 1983–1991) pictured right, who shared their memories with the group and who enjoyed finding comparisons between their time and Prior's Field in 2021. To round up the session, we all made our way to the Milton Archive Store Room in the attic and ceremoniously put the letters in a special archive box with a label entitled 'Time Capsule 2021' which now sits on top of the 2020's box. We hope to repeat the club soon.

Contact Us

If you have any items you would like to donate to the PF Archive, please contact Jo Halford: | 01483 813461

We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes


Making Connections Trying to find Miss Mitchell

I was a student at PF in the early seventies and had an amazing Latin teacher, Miss Mitchell. I've been thinking of her a lot lately with immense gratitude and wonder if you might have any information on how I could contact her to tell her what a positive influence she had on my life. Barbara Scott (OG 1970–1973) Please get in touch with Polly Murray if you have any connection with Miss Mitchell:

Career Connections

Current pupil Amy Collins has always been interested in the idea of working in residential property and was thrilled to do some work experience with Old Girl Charlotte Merrick-Willson (OG 2007–2014) and her team. Amy says it confirmed that residential property is where her interests lie and will be studying Real Estate at university after Prior’s Field.

Spotted in the Lake District

We had a lovely experience one afternoon whilst having tea in The Chalet Tearooms in Portinscale. My daughter who is at Prior’s Field was wearing her PF sports top and our waitress said that she had been to PF herself. AnneMarie Wilson née Bowden (OG 1986–1992) was helping out a friend in the cafe over the summer, and was an amazing advert for the school – such a warm and friendly personality, with time for everyone, despite being so busy.

Neighbours in Qatar

I wanted to flag a surprising Qatar/PF coincidence and a belated positive endorsement for two new girls starting at Prior’s Field. Earlier in the year, new neighbours moved in next door to us in Qatar. They were such a lovely South African family and invited us for a BBQ. We met all three of their teenage girls, who were really friendly and charming. Only a few months after settling in their new house they found out that they needed to relocate to the UK for work. They told me that they would be living in Surrey, so I recommended Prior’s Field. They were already sitting the entrance exam that day! I told them what a wonderful time I had at school and from what I’ve seen, if the school is the same, they’ll get on so well. Henrietta Metcalfe (OG 1993–2000)

Reuniting Old Friends

I would love to hear from my PF year group as, sadly, I have lost touch with all the friends I made: Laura Thompson, Wendy Seddoe, Juliet Benjamin, Francesca Harris, Victoria Jessop known as Jeppy, Emma Schweitzer, Aurelia Cecil to name but a few! I have been happily married to Julian for nearly 29 years and we have four grown up children; Thomas, Edward, Toby and Eliza. I work as a Registrar at a local prep school in Kent. Emma Houchin, née Schlesinger (OG 1979–1982) If you knew Emma, please get in touch with Polly Murray who can make the connections:


Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

Pictured: Rosie Leadbeater (left) and Anne-Marie Wilson

Making Memories Don't Run in the Corridor I can’t get over the photos in the previous magazines of the girls now, compared to us in our grey tunics, red belts, and deadly hair. It was war time too, of course. A different PF in every way to ours and a much better one now, I am sure. Most of us were terrified of Bice as she swept down covered way in her gown. We all had to flatten ourselves against walls when staff went by, Bice particularly, of course. I broke a vase by RUNNING in the covered way, tut tut. I pushed the pieces under the seats. At the end of the evening service, every night in the gym, Bice sometimes had something to

say to the school. That night, "Someone broke a vase today. Will the girl tell me as she says goodnight?" Of course, I went by, shook her hand, said goodnight and did not tell her. The next night the same, but Bice added, "If the girl who broke the vase does not tell me, the whole school will!" I had to tell her. Some of my friends knew it was me of course, so shaking and feeling sick I said it was me and was told to wait. I was quiet and unobtrusive but a good school member so whatever the punishment was, it was not too awful. Bice knew quite well it would have been an accident, but I should not have been running! Mary Habershon née Warren (OG 1944–1949)

Prior's Field to the Rescue! Peter and I were married at Compton Church on Saturday 17th March 2001. It was a fabulous service, everything I dreamed of. It’s where we went to the Sunday service as a full boarder in my grey uniform cloak. Our reception was due to be held in the beautiful Tythe Barn at Loseley Farm. Everything was set, including bowers of hops as decoration, Irish coffees on the menu and Guinness on tap, to welcome my husband and his Irish friends and family. Three days before the big day, a call came through from Mr MoreMolyneux. He was beside himself. He told me that the pressure of the foot-and-mouth pandemic, which was raging across the country at that time, had forced the farm to close to protect their beef cattle. They could not have ignored the threat to their ancient herd. Obviously I understood, but this was a huge blow to the dream day we had worked to achieve. What next? Fraught conversations with my mother on the train, as I sped back to Godalming that evening to try to find somewhere else. Prior’s Field came to the rescue! A most unlikely venue for a party in my mind at the time, but it worked. Drinks in the Oak Hall, photographs in the Head Mistresses office – who would have thought it? Friends and family transformed the rather clinical dining room into an environment for dinner and dancing. It goes down in our history as a fantastic wedding reception with a live band and then a disco into the early hours. Thank you for saving our wedding day, Prior's Field! Peter and I have two children and will celebrate our 21st Wedding Anniversary in March 2022.

e The Brid

ld rior's Fie

outside P

Suzie Tuomey née Whicker (OG 1981-1985) We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes


Cover Story

On The Right Track Dania has been passionate about driving since she could walk and still remembers her enthusiasm when she was picked up for her first driving lesson outside the main door at Prior’s Field on her 17th birthday. She pursued her passion for the road, by getting a motorcycle licence when studying for her Master’s in London and bought a racing bike when she settled in Dubai. In her spare time, Dania frequently visited her local racetrack, Dubai Autodrome, and was encouraged by the racers to take the exam for the racing licence and to join the local National Championship UAE National Sportsbike Super Series. Dania passed her exams and competed in the Ducati Pro-Twins class of the series, and impressively achieved her goal to win the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award in the 2019–2020 season. 12

Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

Dania Akeel

(OG 2002–2007)

Dania’s achievements in motorsport are:

Following an accident on the racetrack, Dania had to take some time out to recover. Using this time as a way to reflect, she wrote about her experiences in the form of short stories and published them into a book titled Freefall which includes a chapter about Prior’s Field called ‘Boarding & Becoming’. Fortunately, Dania made a full recovery and entered the rally world beginning with the Sharqiyah Baja in Saudi Arabia in March 2021, part of the FIA Cross

First Saudi female to hold a National Competition Licence for Speedbike Circuit Racing issued by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation

First woman globally to win an FIA Cross Country World Cup, T3 category 2021

First Saudi woman to complete the Dakar Rally and first Arab woman to finish in the top 10 (result was 8th in the T3 category)

Country Bajas World Cup 2021. She continued the season to complete multiple rounds of the championship in the T3 category and was successful in gaining the points needed to win the cup. In January 2022, Dania participated in the Dakar Rally and was the first Saudi female ever to complete the race, and first Arab woman to finish in the top 10 of her group. Freefall is available on the Amazon Kindle Store.

A successful track record... Having obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Modern History and Politics from Royal Holloway University, in addition to a Master’s degree in International Business at Hult International Business School, academia has played a pivotal role in Dania’s life.

"I would like to credit Prior’s Field for cultivating the foundation of skills and tools needed to continue to advance and grow throughout one’s lifetime and I consider myself blessed to be part of the PF community."

She was fortunate enough to join the C20 Secretariat team during the G20 Summit which took place in Saudi Arabia in 2020.

Dania Akeel

There were eleven working groups to address the different workstreams explored by the G20 leaders and Dania was allocated to focus on both the Infrastructure Working Group and the Trade and Investment Working Group. She was privileged to be part of a team which exercised an inclusive-style leadership under the management of an experienced Policy Advisor. Dania researched the different panels that were received from organisations from all around the world and organised the platform to facilitate the discussions which were proposed. She also helped set the themes and topics for panels created by the C20 Secretariat and sought the best speakers to participate in these panels. Dania, second from left, at the G20

We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes



Welcome Back Visits and Past Events

CV writing workshop

Governor and Old Girl, Hazel Morris (OG 1968–1972), came to the school in June 2021 to deliver an interesting workshop for the Lower Sixth on CV writing and the importance of making it stand out.

Life After PF: What are your choices ?

Remembrance Day: Helen Milliken

It was an honour to interview Old Girl Helen Milliken (OG 1942–1947) in October 2020 in preparation for the school's virtual Remembrance service, focusing on VE Day. Mrs Milliken remembers the day clearly. You can watch the full video interview on our news pages.

We were delighted to welcome back Old Girls representing the three different categories from when they left PF; World of Work, Gap Year, Straight to Uni. Current pupils were put into breakout rooms on Zoom and could ask questions to inform their choices. Contact details were swapped and current girls have followed them up with the OGs.

Nostalgic November

In November 2020, Alumnae Manager Polly Murray put together an interview a day for the whole month with either a current or former member of staff. We were thrilled with the response to the interviews and you can see them on our news pages of the community website:

Celebration of Life for Madame Rapine

Make a Felt Robin

During lockdown we hosted a live felting class with Georgia Thorpe (OG 2009–2016) in December 2020 and were pleased that members of the whole community attended.

Declutter your Home

Thank you to everyone who joined us during lockdown for the Declutter Your Home webinar with Tash Fanshawe in October 2020. It was great fun and very insightful!


Following the sad news of the passing of French teacher Madame Rapine, we held a Celebration of Life at the school in September 2021 for members of the PF Community to attend. It was a wonderful occasion, full of anecdotes and we were delighted to hear some special readings from Béatrice's close colleagues. Thanks goes to Jill Buckley, friend and former Head of Careers, for helping us organise this special event.

Jenna Farrell née Shurmahi

It was lovely to see Jenna (OG 2004– 2011) during her trip to the UK from Australia in November 2021. Jenna was able to catch up with Mrs Wilcock, Ms Treanor, Ms Troup and Dr Smith who were all really pleased to see her.

Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

Cynthia Fok

We welcomed Cynthia Fok (OG 1994–1997) with her husband and children for a tour of the school in August 2021.

Lucy Napier

Heritage Open Day

Archivist, Jo Halford, designed a self-guided tour of the oldest parts of the school and we were delighted to welcome over 60 visitors in September 2021. Sisters Caroline and Sarah Priday (pictured) and Nicky Bateman also came to see the school.

We were really pleased to have Lucy (OG 2013–2020) on hand backstage during the school's sellout production in November 2021. Lucy is currently studying Theatre Production at Guildford School of Acting.

Tor Hunter

Tor came back to the school as part of an Archive Club in November 2021 and spotted a picture of herself in the corridor!

Make a Felt Snowman

Old Girl Georgia Thorpe returned once again to lead a virtual felting class for the community in December 2021. This time we made snowmen and enjoyed a relaxing activity in the run up to Christmas.

Lottie Bradbury

Lottie Bradbury (OG 2015–2020) certainly covered a lot of ground on her tour in December 2021. Here she is with a selection of her favourite teachers.

Christmas Card Exchange

Valentine's Competition

Old Girls were asked what they loved about Prior's Field in our second Valentine's competition, to be in with a chance to win a set of geo heart cakes made by Old Girl Shree Desai (OG 2007–2014) and a beautiful Valentine's card designed by artist, Liz Shewan (OG 1980–1983).

Lower School Walk

In September 2021, the inaugral Lower School Walk for new families of PF took them on a circular route through the famous Valley of the Leaves. Shree Desai (OG 2007– 2014), Nicola Wingfield (OG 1989– 1994), Molly Fraser (OG 2009–2014) and Georgia Thorpe (OG 2009– 2016) set up stalls selling their artisan products in the Rose Garden.

Industry Advice: Law

Eight Old Girls working in the Law industry were invited to join a Zoom call in April 2021 with current pupils interested in Law. It was a great opportunity for the girls to ask questions in the presence of an Old Girl barrister, senior lawyer, solictors and others helping with the application process.

For the first time, we trialled a community initiative to connect our Global alumnae. Old Girls from around the world sent up to five Christmas Cards to other Old Girls from different year groups and received up to five back to read about their memories of PF. It was a huge success and we'll definitely revisit it next year.

Christmas Fair

We were thrilled to raise over £600 at the ever-popular Christmas Fair in November 2021. Proceeds went to the PF Foundation, with new products attracting our visitors. Thanks to former parent, Roger Murray and some current boarders who helped run the stall.

We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes


Old Girls Overseas We caught up with eight alumnae who shared stories about their lives across the globe.

Sheila Kuo

(OG 2005–2008)

I was the first person in my family to study abroad, although I wasn’t completely unfamiliar with the UK (I’ve visited and attended short term summer language courses before). To study in a foreign land at the tender age of 15 was still challenging, and picking a suitable school was, of course, very important. Prior's Field was recommended to my parents through a long-term family friend but when I first heard 'boarding school for girls', the concept was just so alien to me. I’d never attended single-sex schools and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. All the worries vanished when I set foot in the school, as everyone was just so friendly and welcoming. Of course I still had lots of questions on my mind but I quickly found myself settling in rather comfortably. Being an international student meant that I was a full boarder. I spent so much time living in school but all the staff showed us so much love and care, always asking us if we were feeling ok, or if there was anything that they could help us with.

school "Attending a boarding prepared me for life at university." I still remember how good the food was over the weekends, too. The kitchen staff always tried to cook up something a little different to try to make us feel more at home. There were always activities or excursions for us to participate in, as well as social and sport events, carol services, open days and school trips. I was a little overwhelmed at the beginning because I was unfamiliar with many things but with some encouragement and trials, I realised we were given 16

Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

a lot of opportunities that were great for expanding our CVs and life experiences. Attending a boarding school as an international student really prepared me for life at university. After I moved back to Taiwan, I started working for my father who owns one of the biggest and oldest production companies in Taiwan. I was an Executive Drama Producer and the Executive Assistant to the CEO. In January 2020, I started working as a Production Development Assistant Manager at the Walt Disney Company (Taiwan) Ltd. I’m responsible for the assessment and development of scripted productions (drama series) and will soon be part of the team who oversee and develop original Mandarin content for the new STAR brand under the Disney+ streaming service in the Greater China region.

International Sung Hee Park (OG 2009–2015)

I'm very grateful that I was able to meet amazing teachers and friends at Prior’s Field. The teachers helped me realise my full potential, especially in creative subjects. I was able to experiment freely, strengthening my art practice. The first few years at PF were tough because I had to adapt to school and life in the UK, but I also have many wonderful memories. I was fortunate to make friends from various nationalities – they became my second family,

learning their cultures and ultimately knowing myself better. We also attended many school trips and took part in activities, so I didn't feel stuffy in the boarding house. In addition, the range of facilities allowed me to explore and utilise a variety of art techniques, so I ended up missing these facilities during my time at university. I took a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design course at Camberwell – University of the Arts London and went to study BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. After I graduated from university I came back to South Korea. I had a solo exhibition in my home city, Suncheon, earlier this year and I have also been entering art competitions throughout Asia and preparing for my next solo show. Having spent many of my formative years at PF, it has helped shape the person I am today.

Sarah Helliwell née Harland

(OG 1967–1972)

Three years before Prior’s Field, I had lived in RAF Changi, Singapore. My father was a career RAF officer and we moved every two to three years during my childhood. Singapore was a life-changing experience for me. I attended Changi Junior School, and then RAF Changi Grammar School. At the junior school, our language other than English was Malaysian. We usually went to the street market once a week, and occasional trips to the city. Our house was on the point at Changi, surrounded by mangroves and forest. It was exotic, but so safe; I remember going for a midnight walk around the station one night with my brother on our own. Following in my Old Girl mother’s footsteps (Doreen Harland née Romanis (OG 1935–1939)), I started Prior’s Field in the second term of Third Form in January 1967. I was ahead in Maths and Science and these were my favourite subjects. We cycled to Charterhouse every day to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics for our A-Levels. It was certainly accompanied by an amount of freedom; we didn’t wear uniform and we rode our bicycles between the schools every day. There were three of us in that cohort – me, Alex Kerr and Catriona Lumsden.

After Prior’s Field, I went to London and trained as a nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital then went to Southampton University and studied Physiology and Biochemistry. With my degree I returned to nursing with a special interest in nurse education. I married David and soon after our wedding we emigrated to Australia. We lived in a couple of different places in New South Wales before coming to Nimbin and setting up a General Practice here in 1982. We had three children, and I retrained as a High School Science teacher in 1996. I have been working in that field ever since and I am retiring in a couple of months. I have loved teaching. Retirement means moving to Queensland and living closer to our eldest daughter and her delightful son. I can’t wait for travel between states to become a reality and being able to visit family more often. We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes


Layla Hariry

(OG 1986–1988)

I was born in Saudi Arabia to a Meccan father and an American mother and raised between Jeddah and California. For most of my childhood I studied exclusively in Arabic, attending Dar Al Hanan School in Jeddah, the first girls’ school opened in the modern kingdom by Queen Iffat, the wife of King Faisal. I still vividly remember my first arranged marriage proposal, at the age of fourteen. While it was turned down, several of my closest friends accepted similar offers. Instead, I was sent to complete my secondary education at Prior’s Field. My only education in English before Prior's Field was to read fiction for my own pleasure. I started with the Narnia series and Enid Blyton, then eventually took to older classics by Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë. Though I pushed back my own traditional ArabMuslim marriage until age twenty, I received my Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland, married and pregnant. It was while I was on bed rest reading a work by Amy Tan, that my lifelong affinity for escape into the novelist universe of fiction, sparked into inspired novel writing. Soon after the birth of my third child, I relocated to the Boston area and began creative writing night classes and novel writing workshops at Harvard University. Tale of a Modern Concubine: Nights of Arabian Terror by Layla Hariry is now available from Amazon.

Izzy Ledbury

(OG 2009–2016)

After Prior’s Field Sixth Form, I went on to study Spanish and Italian at the University of Bath. We had to spend a year living abroad, which was a fantastic experience. I spent half of the year in a small city called Parma in Italy (where Parma ham comes from) studying History of Art and translation, and then enjoyed the rest of my year in Madrid at Universidad Carlos III where I was studying Political Science and Sociology. Everything was taught in the respective languages and although it was tricky to begin with, I was so grateful when I reached my final year at university because we were then expected to be fluent in both languages. I loved the degree and the entire experience and I hope other girls at PF consider studying languages with a year abroad for their course at university. 18

Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

"I hope other girls g at PF consider studyin ad." abro languages with a year I now work in information services for investment clients, using both languages on a daily basis alongside a bit of French and Dutch which I have learnt on the way. I have noticed that since Brexit it’s been extremely valuable to have a language degree, as so many companies want EU language speakers but struggle to hire them from abroad due to visa requirements.


Gyeongbokgung Palace

Sonia Andreeva (OG 2011–2014)

The start of the pandemic allowed me to re-evaluate the direction of my life, so as education moved online for the following year, I decided to take a risk and do something different. In April 2020, while in lockdown, I took an online Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course and contacted a few agencies that I found online. I chose a big city on the map at random and after some deliberation and family discussions, I picked a school, completed all the paperwork and flew to South Korea. Because of the pandemic, I had to fill in piles of paperwork and I was constantly escorted and monitored by volunteers until I reached my new home in Daegu. Adjusting to a new culture, work environment and country wasn’t easy at first.

The academy that I worked for provided only extra curricular lessons; kids would come after school to better their English. My job was to make it as fun as possible. I would often think back to my PF lessons and the techniques our teachers would use to make them more fun. I made a few friends in the beginning, but it was difficult to find time or even a place to socialise, which led to the cold winter days being pretty mundane. The months got warmer, my circle of friends grew and with it, my adventures. I went surfing, hiked up mountains and visited temples. I went on a three-day trip to the historical city of Gyeongju and spent an exciting week exploring Seoul. The year flew by and my last week was filled with sad goodbyes. At the beginning of the pandemic, I felt like all the doors were shut and that there were no opportunities left for a young graduate like me, but if it wasn’t for the pandemic I wouldn’t have taken the risk to go abroad. We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes


Lusy Koror née Bernard (OG 1994–1996)

I applied for art teaching jobs all over the world and confess that I didn’t really know much of where I was looking, but I am so glad that I did. Always somewhat of a misfit in the UK, despite being British, I feel that I was very fortunate to discover my potential here, in Malaysia. When I arrived in 2014, Penang was a bustling mini-metropolis filled to the brim with arts of every kind. It was easy to make friends on every corner. My friends helped me learn the local language, food and customs. I was eager to learn more, eat more and make more art. I quickly became involved in a month-long annual arts festival, George Town Festival, and spent every free moment outside of work running workshops and activities to encourage accessibility and innovation within the arts. The school I worked for encouraged this, as it showed my students the potential for arts after school, and the importance and joy of lifelong learning. I was fortunate enough to meet and nurture a community of likeminded friends, and we moved in together and opened our home to a plethora of arts activities, from improvised comedy and puppet making to abstract painting.

"I definitely consider ." Malaysia to be my home now Soon, I began to write about art for local magazines and exhibit my artwork in professional galleries. It was a glorious time of colour and magic and the mixed culture and languages of Penang always added extra sparkle to the glow of the city. I met my Malaysian husband at this time, and we are just about to have our second child. 20

Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

Since Covid, we seem (touch wood) to be one of the safest places in the world, despite having problems within the government here. In Malaysia, mask wearing is a totally normal thing (it was actually invented by a Penangite, Dr Wu Lien-the in 1910), and there has been a huge uptake of vaccinations because you need to be vaccinated to go pretty much anywhere and do anything now. Of course, economically, the lockdowns have been damaging. We have lost a lot of important businesses and many of us have had to leave Penang. There is a common feeling here, not dissimilar to the British Blitz comradery of "We will get through this together!" We are also fortunate to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world, both government and private. And the future? Who knows. For family reasons, I do want to return to the UK as soon as it is safe, but I definitely consider Malaysia to be my home. If you do ever get the chance to work abroad, give it a shot. It opens your eyes and regardless of wherever you go, you will never be the same person again because you will grow.

Kiyoko Nagashiro

(OG 1992–1996)


Mrs McCallum (Head 1987–1999), once asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. I said that I wanted to work at a TV station. I vividly remember that moment. That dream came true after 10 years. I started working as a news programme director at NHK, the largest broadcaster in Japan. The job required me to choose topics, shoot the scenes with our camera crew, edit the footage and air the programmes. NHK does not require any specific qualifications to work there, instead, they place us in the branch offices around the country where we learn how to produce TV programmes. I was sent to the Osaka bureau, where I stayed for four years before coming back to Tokyo’s Head Office.

"I hope to continue to deliver the important messages to make our lives better." I met all kinds of people within the job, from Nobel prize winner, Yoshinori Ohsumi, to local farmers and even Brad Pitt on one occasion! I flew to the US to report on the presidential election, to China to report on the food safety issue, industrial transitions as well as the Olympics in 2008. Thanks to the teachers and my friends at Prior’s Field, people in the US seemed to be excited to meet an Asian girl speaking with a British accent! NHK is the only public broadcaster in Japan. We constantly asked ourselves, what messages do we want to deliver through the programme? Are we really unbiased? Have we got enough facts to support our message? In this integrated and yet divided world we live in, there is no absolute right or wrong, or black or white, but rather, it’s grey. I hope to continue to deliver the important messages and contribute to make our lives better. I produce a three minute expert interview segment where we ask experts’ insights on various hot topics in the news. Please tune in: asianview I have recently been having English lessons with Mrs Gay (Staff 1974-2009) since 2021, on Zoom. It’s nice that I’m still in touch with her and the lessons have been great. We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes



Friends of the school encompass former parents, former staff, former governors and anyone closely associated with the school. We hope you feel welcome in whichever capacity you are connected to us. It has been difficult to say goodbye to such important teachers who have been at Prior’s Field for so long and in December 2021, we waved goodbye to Bruno Di Mario who was in the Art and Photography department for 19 years. Read an interview with Bruno on our community web page: https:// community. priorsfieldschool. com/news

Goodbye Mrs Ali It is bitter-sweet news that Head of Biology, Nadia Ali, will be leaving us at the end of the Spring term 2022 after eleven years. As popular teachers go, she is right up there at the top! Please join us in congratulating Nadia for her new role as Science Lead and Special Education Needs Coordinator at Fernways school in Windlesham. Please get in touch if you have any memories of Mrs Ali.

Memories from the 1980s We were delighted to hear from former staff member, Janet Harvey, who regales her memories of Prior’s Field in the 1980s.

not sure I would be able to give 100% commitment. How could I refuse when she said "Janet, 50% from you would be like 100% from anyone else."

I came to Prior's Field for my interview in October 1987, in the aftermath of the Great Storm. It was a weird experience. The place was windswept and desolate, all the girls having been sent home and only Headmistress, Mrs McCallum, there to welcome me.

More than ably supported by three stalwarts – Nicky Gunn, Jenny Carter and Marilla Ferguson, we took two homestay trips to Saumur in the Loire Valley. Staff were lodged with Madame Héreau, who was a stickler for correct French grammar and kept us on our toes. She leant us bikes which we took to of an evening, to visit the girls in their rural host families.

I was shown into the Oak Hall where a fire was blazing and the interview was conducted sitting in comfy armchairs, in a relaxed atmosphere. I was offered the post of teacher of French, gradually taking on Spanish as the Head of Languages, John Reed, approached retirement. I was more than happy to get stuck into the Spanish, but very sorry to lose John who was a highly talented Cambridge graduate and very kind indeed. My other linguist colleagues were Béatrice Rapine and Nicolette Gunn who became firm friends. When John Reed retired, Mrs McCallum asked me to take over as Head of Modern Languages. I hesitated as I lived 25 miles away, had a young child and was

I stayed another eight years and then moved to Churcher's College, near home in Petersfield where I stayed for ten years. We returned to our beloved Derbyshire and I took up a role as a guide at Chatsworth House where, pre-Covid, I took many tours in Spanish, French and English. Apart from PF it is my best job. Janet Harvey, Former Staff


Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine


Committed to helping others make greener choices Alice Moore (OG 2002–2009)

In 2019, a group of like-minded colleagues set up a ‘Green Team’ at my workplace – Garston Veterinary Group. We have already made huge steps forward in reducing the practice’s carbon footprint. The hard work is fuelled by a passion for the environment and here are a few examples of how Garston’s Green Team have already helped others make easy, greener choices:

1. Inspiring the next generation of environmentalists Children of staff have made ‘bug hotels’ to attract more bees into their gardens.

4. Offering alternatives All Garston’s branches now offer staff a choice of locally produced dairy milk or oat milk for tea or coffee, encouraging greener alternatives.

What’s next? Our Green Team have many exciting projects in the pipeline, which we hope will continue to help others make greener choices. As educated and well-respected professionals, vets have a duty to lead, not lag, when it comes to sustainability. I will use my voice to demonstrate, encourage and educate. For more information and ideas, follow #GreenTeamVet on social media.

2. Empowering people to plant trees with every internet search We have all switched our search engines to Ecosia; they use ad revenue from internet searches to plant trees around the world.

3. Making recycling as easy as possible We have spent a huge amount of time labelling and configuring our bin systems to help recycling become second nature for everyone.

Alix Chan (OG 2000–2002)

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) took place at the beginning of November 2021, where countries worldwide have pledged to move away from fossil fuels and towards cleaner sources of energy for our future. I work in the energy sector and am glad to witness this energy transition first-hand. During the last decade, major economies have embarked on a journey to increase the use of renewable energy and shift towards more sustainable, low carbon models. Interest around COP26 this year shows many people globally, not just a few of us in the energy industry, care deeply about sustainability and the future of our planet.

Alice Moore

Presently, my work focuses on two areas: utilityscale renewable energy and next-generation clean technologies investment. I identify, negotiate, and appraise investment and divestment opportunities. Every day I consider new products and new markets. Challenging the status quo and asking myself and my colleagues 'what-if' is a big part of my job. The energy sector changes rapidly. Ever-increasing demands for energy and the need for cleaner energy sources are being met with new technologies and investment. New ideas can improve the lives of millions around the world. Renewables is one of the best careers to find real, personal and professional purpose. My work makes a difference in the world, and I am proud to be a part of the change for the better. We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes


Women Business in Here at Alumnae HQ (the Old Library!) we pride ourselves in supporting PF Old Girls’ businesses however we can. If we know about your business, we can help promote it here, on our dedicated Women in Business pages of the Community website and on our social media, reaching thousands of Old Girls. Add your business as a listing and join our other Old Girl entrepreneurs and business owners. business-directory

Some of our Old Girls have even given generous discounts on their products or services, so let’s build a brimming directory and in doing so #SupportPFOGBusinesses! Here are just a few examples: 10% off prints on Victoria Watson’s website

Pictured: Feather & Field, Nicola Wingfield's handpoured luxury candles

5% off accommodation in Asia or Africa if you choose Bushbaby Travel, Abigail Shaw’s travel company 10% off Feather & Field luxury candles and diffusers, by OG Nicola Wingfield and her family

We have kept in touch with the wonderful Helena Traill (OG 2008–2015) who has accomplished so much since leaving PF. It’s because of this connection that we have teamed up with her design company who has freshened up the design of Field Notes for this edition. Thank you Helena and her team.


Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

Juggling Motherhood and Menus...

Abigail Balan (OG 2001–2003) and Claudia Duffy (OG 1998–2003) met at Prior’s Field in 2001 and their friendship has clearly made the grade. Claudia explains, "After many years of talking about possible business ventures together, in the thick of the pandemic we really started to put pen to paper to sculpt our vision of what we wanted ‘When Abby Met Claud’ to be. Our dream of opening our own restaurant finally came true and in September 2021, almost exactly 20 years to the day after we met, we opened the doors of our new London restaurant. We wanted WAMC to feel exactly like our friendship; fun and welcoming, a place to celebrate achievements or to forget the stresses of a difficult day. We aimed to create a fun dining experience and atmosphere that can easily take you from brunch to dinner, right through to late night dining and cocktails until the small hours. The neon sign in the restaurant 'Oops...I did it again' was a term often used by us after years of ‘We’ll just stay out for one’ type of evenings."

If you are in Notting Hill, please go and visit 24 Pembridge Rd, London W11 3HL

ter we met "20 years to the day, af ed the en at Prior's Field, we op nt." doors of our restaura Ruby Jeans Coffee Shop Olivia Garriock (OG 2000–2005)

My partner and I took over Ruby Jeans coffee shop in Shirehampton, Bristol, in November 2019. We originally wanted to expand the business and open it as a bistro during the evening, as we’d already hosted some supper clubs, but we had to change our plans because of the pandemic. Thinking quickly, we had the idea to turn the cafe into a local shop which in hindsight was great because we became better known in the area. Our cafe became a shop almost overnight, because we could still get things from our suppliers that shops were struggling to source; things like baking ingredients, bread and the basics. We offered a local delivery service and we operated like that for a few months throughout the lockdown. We did takeaway supper club meals and delivered to local people who were shielding or who didn’t feel safe going out.

Abby Balan has hospitality running in her family as daughter of the late Prady Balan of Balan’s of London and has grown up in the restaurant industry. "I was a Marketing Executive and feel strongly about the importance of being a fully female-owned business. Female solidarity is really important to us, and we are thriving to make WAMC a great example of what can be achieved when women support women, and as mums proving that we can do it all, despite being exhausted at all times! It's taken a lot of hard work and there is still much more to come, but any PF girl who survived 5am fire drills on the field, has surely built up the resilience needed!"

If you’re in the area, please come and visit us: 3–4 The Parade, Shirehampton, Bristol, BS11 9TS

I was furloughed from my job working for a private chef company and at that point I was 26 weeks pregnant. We spotted an empty NatWest bank site on The Parade in the centre of Shirehampton and decided it would be perfect for our next venture because it has such a nice community feel about it. There are so many young couples, so we knew there would be an appetite for a family-friendly restaurant, opening for breakfast and brunch and then a 40 cover restaurant with a menu of small plates to share at night. It's been a long slog, but we finally opened our restaurant in December 2021 and with our young daughter, I have never felt tiredness like it! We feel very proud and a huge sense of achievement. We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes


Old Girl

News & Achievements Lauren Auletta-Croker (OG 1995–2000) From front page to

inside feature, PF Old Girls have it covered! Huge congratulations to Lauren, personal stylist, who was featured in Harper's Bazaar in October 2020 alongside PF Old Girl and film star, Lily James (OG 2000).

Emily Armstrong (OG 2010–2015) I am doing my

Psychology Master's at the moment alongside working full time in a nursery with the aim of becoming an educational psychologist in the near future. I am currently training in a SENCO role, and look after the social/language development of the children who have English as an additional language.

Sana Hussain (OG 2016–2019)

I am currently studying Dentistry at King's College London, which is the top dentistry school in the world. PF definitely encouraged me to apply.

Kari Webb (OG 2011–2018)

I am very happy to announce that I have achieved a First in my third year of Biological Sciences at the University of Exeter. I am especially proud to share that I accomplished a score of 82% in my dissertation - 'A study into how larval age affects coral (Acropora millepora) settlement location and presettlement behaviour'. I am looking forward to joining ISS Facility Services UK for the fourth year of my degree.

Anna Kingsbury (OG 2011–2018) I completed my

placement year at BMW Group in the Brand Communications team. I have had an incredible year despite the challenges of the pandemic. I will proceed with my final year at Oxford Brookes University.


Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

Paloma Badenhuizen (OG 2007–2014) I am pleased to share that I have started 2022 by passing the CII Level 3 Certificate in London Market Insurance (Chartered Insurance Institute). I am looking forward to the next challenge.

Thanisara Ongvodtithum (OG 2011–2014)

Congratulations to Thanisara (Perth) who has been working on the front line helping people to get vaccinated in Thailand.

Anja Cox Cunningham (OG 2011–2018) I managed to find

a short placement as a graphic designer at Akuma sports in Kneilworth through a staff member at university. It was a really interesting experience that gave me an idea of the kind of job and environment I would love to work in when I graduate this summer.

Wunmi Sackey-Acquah née Owoade (OG 1995–1997)

W.NMi is my design company that focuses on events of different scope and interior design. I started W.NMi in 2011 designing invitation and thank you cards which then evolved. I am currently based in Accra, Ghana, but frequently visit the UK.

Florence Lace-Evans (OG 2009– 2014) I graduated from Royal Central

School of Speech and Drama with a First in 2019, so was fortunate to have completed everything just before lockdown. I now have an agent and I am hoping for my big break!

Molly Fraser (OG 2009 –2014) I graduated with a First

Class Honours degree in Costume for Theatre and Screen from the University of the Arts London: Wimbledon College of Art.

Helen McCabe née Jones (OG 2004–2009)

Samantha Best (OG 2016–2018)

I have learnt so much during my 13 month placement, both professionally and personally. I won the Best Placement Student 2021 Cardiff Business School award. I cannot recommend a placement and the opportunities it will provide, enough!

Congratulations to Helen who has completed her Postgraduate Award of Proficiency in Assessment for Access Arrangements which has enabled her to start her new role within the Learning Support team at Prior's Field. Helen now assesses whether pupils need extra time for exams and also runs one to one and group study skills sessions.

Emma Stewart (OG 2014–2019)

Congratulations to Emma Stewart who was selected for the U18 England hockey team.

Katie Piper (OG 2009–2014) In September 2021, I started my PhD in experimental Particle Physics. For my PhD I am working on the ATLAS experiment, one of the particle detectors at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. In the summer, before starting my PhD, I graduated with a distinction in my Master's degree in Physics from the University of Leeds.

Alice Syson (OG 2013– 2020) I have received and

accepted an offer to join the John Lewis Partnership in their Own Brand Strategy team for my Industrial Placement, starting July 2022. Second Year BSC Business Economics with Industrial Experience at the University of Exeter.

Michaela Holmes (OG 2012–2016) I will be graduating from Durham University with a First Class Honours degree in Economics. I look forward to starting my career at Macquarie’s Green Investment Group this summer.

Emily Workman (OG 2016–2019)

I have come back to Prior's Field as a Gap Assistant. It is great to be back at PF!

Rachael Skingle (OG 2011–2018) I am overjoyed and only slightly giddy to say that I achieved a First Class Honours in Fashion Communication and Promotion from Nottingham Trent University, including 100% in my selfdevised project on fangirls and shame.

Treenie Best (OG 2013–2015)

I applied to medical school and was very fortunate to have been given an offer during my first year of applying. I am currently enjoying my second semester at St George’s University of London. I continue to work as a Physiotherapist, part time, and received a further promotion to a Band 7 Physiotherapist at the beginning of this year.

Caroline Underwood née Macfarlane (OG 1973–1980) It was great to see

that Rebecca Haworth had interviewed Captain Tom in Field Notes 2020 and it inspired me to share my picture with him. I have helped the family to set up the Captain Tom Foundation to continue his legacy of hope and inspiration and had the privilege of meeting him and his family at his home in 2020.

Melanie Chow (OG 2008–2010) I started a new

job at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust as North Central London Sub-regional IAP Coordinator/ Neurology. It is interesting and even better if I can contribute by changing systems to make them better.

Holly James (OG 2014– 2019) In December 2021

I completed a course in Copy Writing at City University London, and am now starting out as a freelancer.

Desirée Roderick (OG 1934– 1937) Pretty and very much still

in the pink at 100 years of age is Prior's Field's Old Girl, Desirée, celebrating with some blooms from PF in 2021. Congratulations!

We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes


Two Years On From Prior's Field

Rebecca Haynes


(OG 2012–2019)

The University of St Andrews has a small medicine cohort which has allowed me to get plenty of support from tutors and lecturers.

In my third and final year of my BSc in Medical Sciences, I will be working alongside one of the research scientists on a project to improve cancer diagnosis. I recently found out that I will be going to St Bart’s Hospital and the London School of Medicine for my final three years, which I am delighted about. Covid has meant that during the past year I have had reduced clinical experience but this is set to increase in my third year, when inperson placements will resume now that we are fully vaccinated. The course has been very challenging and science-based, but recent exams have included more practical elements. Prior’s Field certainly helped me become a more independent and confident person which has allowed

Martha Simmonds

Aside from studies, I am part of the 1st team for hockey; the training is time-consuming but the lack of matches this year has allowed me to find more time to make the most of the university’s unique coastal location. I have enjoyed swims in the outdoor sea pool, pier jumps, beach bonfires, coastal walks and visits to the driving range. One of the famous traditions at St Andrews is the May Dip, where students get up at 3.45am so as not to miss the sunrise, and run into the sea at East Sands. It is meant to give you luck for your summer exams. Something I won’t forget!


(OG 2012-2019)

After two years, I’m still thrilled with my degree choice; I can’t imagine any other degree that would suit me better. I first heard about Materials Science on a school trip to Oxford in the Fifth Form and my GCSE Physics teacher, Mr Jones, encouraged me to explore it further. It has a really good variety of science, from Quantum Physics to large-scale industrial processes even with Polymer Chemistry and Computing thrown in! 28

me to thrive at university, despite all the restrictions over the past fifteen months.

Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

My college, Corpus Christi, has a stereotype of being the 'small and friendly' one, which reminds me of PF! I am currently the Junior Common Room Treasurer for Corpus Christi, as well as social secretary for the Materials Society which so far has involved organising virtual games nights and a summer picnic. I am also involved with the Oxford Energy Society and the Clay Pigeon Shooting Club, which has been really useful to help me meet people outside of my subject and

college. All my lectures were moved online for my second year but luckily we’ve been able to meet with our tutorial groups in person. The small class sizes and friendly teachers at PF set me up really well for being confident in tutorials, where there are only two to three of you with a professor. I’ve been really fortunate in that I still managed to complete a summer internship during 2020, at a nano-engineering spin out from Queen Mary’s, looking at aerospace components. I’ve

Imogen Rowe

(OG 2013-2020)

The past two years at the University of Cambridge have been filled with countless opportunities for musical performance and academic experience. As my first year was largely online, I only really saw the potential of the musical scene at Cambridge at the end of the Summer term. In July, I performed the premier recording of Isabella Leonarda’s ‘Paremus nos, fideles’ and was awarded a place on the renowned CAMRAM scheme; meaning that I now take performance classes at The Royal Academy of Music, whilst I study my academics at Cambridge. I have also enjoyed many opportunities through my choral scholarship, such as being able to sing at the University Sermon and the Minerva Festival. I am conscious that Prior’s Field taught us a fair amount about putting ourselves out there. Some sound advice from Mr Pratt always rings in my ears when I feel doubt in reaching for new opportunities; "Well, why not?" This mindset has proved beneficial to me.

recently become more interested in science start-ups and have had some work experience from both the business side as part of a sustainable venture capital internship, as well as the research aspects from my degree. Having said that, I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do yet and luckily I have two years left of my Master of Engineering before I have to make that decision. I am really enjoying university life at Oxford and collecting as many different experiences as I can.

"I am really enjoying university life at Oxford and collecting as many different experiences as I can."

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, MUSIC I recently became a columnist for Varsity, the main student newspaper in Cambridge, and during the time I was thinking about accepting an offer to write my first review on the University Symphony I thought, "Well, why not?" Cambridge has made me more confident in my own abilities, but it is the drive that PF taught me that seems to keep me going the most.

"Prior's Field taught us a fair amount about putting ourselves out there." I am incredibly excited to be cast as ‘Dorabella’ in Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte, which is taking place in April 2022. It will be my first principle role in an opera, as well as my debut performance as a working singer and I cannot wait to collaborate with many of the other singers/ musicians in Cambridge for this production. Additionally, in July 2022 I will be embarking on a tour of Rome, performing at venues such as The Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican as a Choral Scholar with the Fitzwilliam College Choir.

I feel incredibly grateful to be where I am now, when I think back to March 2020 just before the pandemic when we all packed up and left PF. I am working with fantastic academics who are so passionate about their specialisms and I am grateful that I have become a more confident version of myself. Imogen’s article in Varsity:

We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes


y t i r Cha

Turning a new leaf

in the Rose Garden We were thrilled to receive our beautiful Fundraising Tree in March 2022 which has been specially made for us, as a replica of the school’s crest. With each leaf that is purchased, the sculpture evolves into a flourishing tree and the money raised will help to restore one of the school’s most beautiful assets – the Rose Garden. We know that many overseas boarders who came to visit for the first time when deciding which school to choose, made the decision because of the beautiful grounds. We also know that the current pupils love to wander through and play there and in addition it is home to wildlife and ancient trees, and this is why we want to ensure it is restored to its former glory.

Buy a leaf! If you are inspired to buy a leaf, to help us raise £20,000 for the restoration, please go to our Give Back page: https://community. Bronze – one line of text – £75 Silver – two lines of text – £200 Gold – three lines of text – £500

Jo Halford, archivist, has done extensive research in the archive and as well as help from local gardeners, we have a plan in place to bring the garden back to life, but still in keeping with the original design, thought to have been inspired by Gertrude Jeykl. We are so lucky to be able to draw inspiration from accounts in the archive and with your help we will transform the garden.

"The garden has looked beautiful all through the term and was at its best for the two garden parties. The first of these took place on June 10th, when the pinks and the laburnums were better than we have ever seen them before… The second garden party was on July 4th, when, the chief features of colour were the roses and flame-coloured antirrhinums." Excerpt from the PF Magazine, Summer Term, 1914


Field Notes – Prior's Field Old Girls' Magazine

Lupins in long boarder, 1908

The Prior's Field Foundation

The PF Foundation was set up to be able to offer a PF education to girls who could never normally consider an independent school, but who would thrive at PF. The Foundation currently offers a fully-funded Sixth Form boarding place to one or two girls each year. These girls are selected for their determination and desire to do the best they possibly can and for their recognition that this opportunity is likely to transform their futures. To date, eight Sixth Form girls have been funded by the Foundation and two are currently at Prior’s Field.

The Foundation Trustees really want to involve the whole community. Since the initial funding, the Foundation has received contributions from PF staff, Old Girls, Friends of PF, Current Parents, and the PSA; we really hope to see this continue to grow. We are working in several areas to promote the Foundation: Girls are being encouraged to consider the Foundation as a worthwhile charity when they do fundraising events in school Parents are being informed about the charity and encouraged to consider setting up monthly donations PF are promoting the Foundation at PF events wherever possible PF are running some events specifically to fundraise for the Foundation Our current goal is to raise £60,000 per annum, enabling a new Foundationer to join our Sixth Form each year. A huge thank you to those of you who already donate to the Foundation. It is your generosity that enables us to continue. Fiona Konarek, Chair of the Foundation Trustees

£ive for Five

Help us sow the seeds for a girl’s future! Join the £ive for Five campaign. If each member of the Prior’s Field Community gave £5 per month for five years, they would fund a boarding or day place for a Foundationer in the Sixth Form. This equates to only one glossy magazine, glass of wine, pint of beer or large cappuccino per month, but for a girl it could transform her life.

We can do it to


We live by Admiration, Hope and Love – Field Notes



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