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eNews Issue 84, Friday 24 January 2014

Australia Exchange 2014

We bade farewell this week to Third Years, Isabella Loughlin and Antonina Kudryashova as they jetted off to Australia to spend a term at St Catherine's School in Melbourne. We hope that they have a fantastic time on their Exchange. We look forward to getting updates throughout this term, and to meeting their exchange partners who will be spending a term here at St George's in the summer.

Harrow Caledonian Society Social Members of the Upper Sixth has a wonderful evening at Harrow on Saturday 18 January, attending their Caledonian Society Dinner and Ceilidh in Honour of Robert Burns. Accompanied by Mrs Dourountakis and Miss Brown, the girls enjoyed a 3-course meal including Haggis 'neeps and tatties', Cranachan, and for the full Scots experience they were piped in for supper! The meal was followed by dancing which the girls enjoyed immensely and they look forward to a return visit soon.


Neasden Temple Third Year RS Trip

On Wednesday 15 January 2014, all of the Third Year went to visit the astonishing BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden (“Neasden Temple” for short). BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a vibrant Hindu Temple that cost £12 million to build. The Mandir was built and funded entirely by the Hindu community. The construction of the temple was completed in 3 years which landed them in the Guinness World Records. The quickly-constructed temple was gorgeous inside and out. There were stunning statues carved out of pure gold, silver and lots of beautiful metals. When we were entering the temple it was almost like we were entering Buckingham Palace. When we got inside, we all had to go through an airport security style entrance. Luckily we didn’t set off a lot of beeps. As we got through we all had to take off our shoes because we had officially started walking on Hindu holy ground. We also had to wear a sarong because in the Hindu religion, women and girls have to cover their legs. Sarongs are long pieces of cloth that are wrapped around the legs. Once we’d adhered to the dress code, our lovely Hindu tour guide ushered us into a large room with a beautiful multi- coloured carpet that stretched across the room. He introduced us to the temple and he told us all about how the temple was built and why it’s so popular. We learnt that the Neasden Temple was the very first temple to be built outside of India. A lot of Hindus contributed to the building and the funding of the temple. The many statues in the building were hand carved by Hindus themselves. Later on, we went upstairs in the temple for an exhibition. It was glowing white room with tons and tons of statues. Everywhere you turned, there were statues staring at you. One statue even gave me a bit of a scare. There were so many different gods in one room it was unbelievable.

I saw an orange by one of the statues. At first I thought someone was too lazy to eat the orange but it turns out it was an offering. Hindus offer fruits, coins and anything they have to these statues. There were also paintings downstairs which were just as good as the statues. Many of the paintings were in 3D so were almost lifelike. The paintings were all about the gods in Hinduism and how a good Hindu should live their life. Every painting had a different message and a different meaning. Lastly, we went back upstairs where we experienced a Hindu service. We all had to sit on the ground as every Hindu has to do in an actual service. They opened up the gates that three statues carved out of pure gold were placed behind and a Hindu man lit a candle and started spreading the little light all around the statues. They played some holy songs in the background which were in a different language, but the way in which the Hindus were singing it more or less explained the whole song. When the service ended, the candle that had been moved around the statues, was brought to the front where we were supposed to exit the room and we were allowed to receive a blessing if we wanted. To receive the blessing you put your hand around the candle and then gently pushed the air from the candle towards you. This meant that the gods blessing was upon you. Overall, I thought the trip was excellent and I learnt a lot about being Hindu and how they like to live. The architecture was definitely one of the best things about the temple, though it was also quite amusing to see some girls tripping over their oversized sarongs! Olivia Aluko 3X


The Hunger Games: Classics Competition

5 Minutes with … Mrs Helen Dorey BA (Hons) (Wales) PGCE (Oxon) Job Title: Housemistress of Knatchbull, English and Drama teacher

Have you read the Hunger Games books or seen either of the two films? Did you know that many of the ideas in the series come from the classical world? If you think you know the series well enough, then have a go at our competition. The winner will received a £30 Amazon voucher, 2nd place a £20 Amazon voucher, 3rd place a £10 Amazon voucher. The competition is open to girls in the Second-Fifth Year and the deadline for entry is Friday 14 February 2014. Please see Mrs Phipps for more information.

Young Enterprise Our Young Enterprise company, Vibe, is to take part in the Wokingham Trade Fair on Saturday 8 February 2014. The stall will be operational in the market place from 11.30am until 1.30pm and we would be delighted to see any St George's families who can support us.

Amnesty International Our Amesty Group have made a fantastic banner to help raise awareness of Womens Rights in Afganistan. Please see Mrs Magill if you wish to join.

What did you do before St George’s? Before St George’s I worked with my husband at Bethany School, a boarding & day school in Kent. My husband was Headmaster there for 13 years and I taught English and Drama and was an Assistant Housemistress in a girls’ house catering for girls age 11-16. What is your greatest achievement? Professionally, I have really enjoyed producing Junior Drama. At St George’s I have put on two pantomimes and The Canterbury Tales. In the past I wrote and produced my own adaptation of ‘The Hobbit’. I love the enthusiasm of these budding thespians and I always feel immensely proud of their achievements. I am also very proud of our two sons, now 24 and 27. How would you describe yourself in 3 words? Positive, cheerful and enthusiastic. Who is/was the most influential person in your life? I’m going to be greedy and choose two. My grandfather was an art lecturer and a prolific artist himself, who was heavily influenced by the French Impressionists. He not only taught me to see and appreciate the beauty in the natural world but also to see and appreciate the inner beauty of people. The second has to be my husband. He also has the ability to always see the best in people and that has made him a great Housemaster, Deputy Head and Headmaster. Added into the bargain, he’s a great Dad and hubby. What was the last book you read? As an English Teacher, I have a bad habit of having several books on the go at the same time. I am currently reading ‘Wolf Hall’, ‘Death comes to Pemberley’ and with my classes ‘Coram Boy’, ‘Holes’ and ‘Carrie’s War’. If money was no object where would you travel to? I would travel to Australia – frequently - to spend more time with my younger son who fell in love with our gap student next door four years ago. He now lives in Tamworth NSW. What is your ultimate Desert Island Disc? ‘Spinning Yarns’ by the Sheffield band, The Mother Folkers. This is the group my elder son was in, now sadly disbanded as they have gone on to do things like PhDs or to become doctors or architects! Which person alive or dead would you most like to spend a day with? Having watched the Mandela film recently, I would have liked to have had the opportunity to meet the man himself. It is his endless capacity for forgiveness that I find so inspiring. What makes St George’s so special? Undoubtedly it’s the people that make St George’s so special. The girls are friendly, full of fun and enthusiastic. The members of staff are caring and supportive, not only to the girls but also to a relative newcomer like me.


Looking Forward...

Boarding Life!

Friday 25 January 2014 Exeat Begins

The girls have had a fantastic start to the year, with activities ranging from a making Chocolate Slabs in Cookery Club, a walk round Virginia Waters and decorating Cookies.

Sunday 26 January 2014 Headmistress and Governors' Dinner for Fourth Year Parents 8.00pm, Dining Room Thursday 30 January 2014 Lower Sixth and Fifth Year Oxbridge Information Meeting 3.15pm, Chapel Lower Sixth Parents' Meeting 4.15pm, Sue Cormack Hall Sunday 2 February 2014 Candlemas Service 7.15pm Chapel Saturday 8 February 2014 Confirmation 2.30pm, Chapel Sunday 9 February 2014 Bugsy Malone Full Dress & Technical Rehearsal All Day, Sue Cormack Hall Tuesday 11, Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 February 2014 Bugsy Malone 7.30pm, Sue Cormack Hall Friday 14 February 2014 Fourth Year Parents' Meeting 4.15pm, Sue Cormack Hall Half Term Begins at 4.15pm Scan the QR codes below using your smart phone to go directly to the web page you need.

School Website

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Enews issue 84 24 january 2014