AHS Society - Summer edition 2024

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05 09 13 07 11 ALUMNAE TEA PARTY CONTENTS OFSTED BOSUN BOB 15 ARTSMARK Gold Award ALUMNAE PROFILE ARTWORK reconnect with old friends Dive into the remarkable world of Nikki Jamieson A tail of two friends A collection of Year 8 artwork AHS CABINET Meet the faces of today 17












Alumnae profile


Join our community


First illustrated children’s book


Our time at Aylesbury High School


Dear AHS Society

I hope this letter finds you well. As the Headmistress of Aylesbury High School, it gives me great pleasure to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you for your unwavering dedication and support towards our AHS Society.

I am hugely proud of AHS and, in particular, its commitment to delivering its vision of developing uniquely talented young adults and of recognising each student for who they truly are. Many of our students do not come from privileged backgrounds and for these students in particular, the guidance and mentorship you provide to them are invaluable in shaping their futures. Your willingness to share your experiences, insights, and expertise plays a pivotal role in helping them navigate the complexities of the professional world. Your impact goes far beyond mere career advice; you inspire our students to dream big, to strive for excellence and to embrace the challenges that lie ahead with independence, strength and confidence.

We are hugely grateful for your commitment to giving back to our community and also hope that by having such incredible role models, our current students will play key roles in the AHS Society in years to come. #AHSWalksTall.

As we look towards the future, we are keen to further strengthen our ties with our alumnae. I am very sorry that historically there has been some wavering of the School’s commitment to the AHS Society but would like to assure you of our commitment to you all. Please know that we value your kind continued involvement in the Alumnae Society and your willingness to reach out to fellow alumnae which will be instrumental in fostering a vibrant network of support and mentorship. Together, I hope we can create countless opportunities for collaboration, knowledge sharing and mutual growth. And also, that you will all have some fun catching up with each other.

In closing, please accept my sincerest thanks for your dedication and commitment to AHS. Your contributions make a meaningful difference in the lives of our students and for that, we are immensely grateful. I look forward to the continued success of our partnership and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. I also hope to see as many of you as possible at our second Annual Alumnae Tea Party on Saturday 21 September between 2.30pm - 4.30pm; please do share the date.

With warm regards



You are warmly invited to our


Saturday Time:2.30pm
Aylesbury High School Walton Road Aylesbury HP21 7SX
Tea Party September
- 4.30pm



Aylesbury High School receives prestigious Gold Artsmark Award Pupils and staff at AHS are celebrating after receiving a prestigious Gold Artsmark Award.

Artsmark is the only creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England. It supports them to develop and celebrate arts and cultural education across the whole curriculum, bringing learning to life for children and young people. To achieve their Artsmark Award, AHS had to develop their arts and cultural provision to embed a broad and ambitious curriculum. This was achieved by creating an overall plan that was committed to and delivered across the whole school. A huge well done and thank you to Mrs Hughes, our Head of Drama for leading on this, and thank you to everyone who has contributed, by supporting students to achieve Arts Awards in their lessons, taking part in the One Creative Moment challenge or through supporting the Cultural & Heritage Fair. This is in recognition of our commitment to the arts, both in our curriculum and in the extracurricular activities across the School and into the community.

Dr Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, said:

“I would like to congratulate AHS on their Artsmark Award. Becoming an Artsmark school demonstrates that through offering a broad, ambitious and creative curriculum, young people have the opportunity to develop character and resilience, increasing their knowledge, curiosity and skills that will remain with them through to adult life.”

About Artsmark

Artsmark is the only creative quality standard for schools and education settings. It can help unlock young people’s potential, building their confidence, character, and resilience. Artsmark’s clear and flexible framework can be used to embed creativity across the whole curriculum, address school improvement priorities and ensure every young person can access a diverse, high-quality cultural education. Artsmark is open to primary, secondary, and special schools, pupil referral units, secure settings, youth offending teams, hospital schools and sixth form colleges. Artsmark is awarded at three levels; Silver, Gold and Platinum.







As we continue to celebrate and grow our Alumnae community. We would like to reach out to you, our wonderful alumnae, for your contributions to our termly newsletters.

We would love to hear from you if:

Shout out for the Class of 94!

Keeping connected

- You are trying to reconnect with someone from your time at Aylesbury High School and would like our assistance in finding them.

- You have an event or gathering that you would like to advertise to our alumnae community.

- You have any old photos that capture precious memories of your time at Aylesbury High School and would like to share them with us.

- You have funny recollections or stories from your days at Aylesbury High School that you would like to reminisce and share with your fellow alumnae.

- You would like to share your inspiring journey after leaving Aylesbury High School and the accomplishments you've achieved.

Please don't hesitate to contact us with any of the above. Your contributions will help us create a vibrant and engaging newsletter that celebrates our shared experiences and keeps our alumnae community connected.

You can reach us at secretary@ahs.bucks.sch.uk. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing your stories in our upcoming newsletter!

Warm regards,

Aylesbury High School Alumnae Newsletter Team

Joining our Alumnae community



Aylesbury High School is delighted to share the outcome of its Ofsted inspection in December, being rated as ‘Outstanding’ in all categories.

Quality of Education - Outstanding

Behaviour and Attitudes - Outstanding

Personal Development - Outstanding

Leadership & Management - Outstanding

Sixth Form - Outstanding

The Report commends Aylesbury High School, stating that pupils ‘meet its exceptionally high expectations, excelling academically and flourishing into wellrounded individuals. Pupils love learning and embody the school’s values of ‘boundless aspiration, resilient bravery, curious engagement and selfless generosity’. The Report further shares that ‘The school is unashamedly ambitious for all pupils. A meticulously crafted curriculum ensures that pupils build new knowledge and skills at an impressive rate. Teachers’ subject knowledge is excellent.

This means that pupils benefit from very clear explanations, helpful adaptations and rich discussions in lessons.’

Aylesbury High School is particularly proud of the recognition of the strength of its community, the focus of the School to work sensitively and proactively with all pupils to ensure their development, both academic and personal, empowers them in their successful next steps.

Headmistress, Marieke Forster, expressed her gratitude to the pupils, staff, and parents for their unwavering support and commitment to excellence. She states, "We are incredibly proud of this Outstanding rating, for the recognition of our brilliant ‘calm and joyful’ School. The report is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire school community and we will use it as a guide to further enhance the educational experience we provide for our students. #AHSWalksTall"

The Report concludes ‘This is a highly effective school that is constantly adapting and evolving to provide the very best for its pupils and staff.’

#AHSWalksTall 09


Head of Scrum Masters and Technical Business Analysts Centres of Excellence and the Change Academy in Finance & Risk Technology, NatWest Group. I’m remote based ie work from home with offices in London and Edinburgh.

" N i k k i m e e t i n g O l y m p i a n g y m n a s t M a x W h i t l o c k a t a w o r k e v e n t " ALUMNAE PROFILE 10
“Has potential but must pay more attention and stop talking“

“Has potential but must pay more attention and stop talking.“ Have you ever had that written on a school report? I had it a lot … I also now have a (very late!) diagnosis of Combined ADHD and Aspergers/ASD level 1 … finally my life and relationships make sense! Why is this important? Firstly, understanding your strengths and challenges makes it easier to build strategies to help navigate ‘tricky situations’. Secondly, ‘differently developed brains’ can provide other skills. I have the following on my work email signature: I’m AuDHD so my brain developed differently to a neurologically typical person, and this has given me great creativity, alternative perspectives, problem solving/continuous improvement, energy and learning capacity. I show empathy by sharing similar experiences and am highly passionate about things I care about. My written/spoken communication is usually direct and without ‘hidden meaning’ –that is a common Autistic trait. I value autonomy, honesty and loyalty. I’m delighted to see the excellent way AHS now handles all diversity, equity and inclusion. My home life didn’t provide me with a ‘network’ to help me with jobs and I made some unusual choices at times!

But I was bright, just like YOU and AHS gave me confidence, even when it felt uncomfortable, to make my own networks. These ‘top tips’ can apply at School, at Uni or at work wherever your future takes you, give them a go:

Join a Society, Volunteer and Attend Events – taking part in group activities and social gatherings allows you to meet new people you might not otherwise meet. Be brave at events and approach new people, they’ll most likely be delighted you did!

Follow up - message people to say you were happy to meet them or follow up on a topic you discussed.

Show appreciation - say thank you when it’s appropriate and acknowledge others’ contributions. People are more likely to remember people who appreciate them and made them feel good. Be authentic - be yourself and show a genuine interest in others.

Be patient - building meaningful connections takes time. Be patient and persistent… and start practicing now, you’re in a safe environment. Pretend you’ve never met your friends - how would you go about it now?


Be the amazing women you are destined to become!

British and Regional Medals in Korean Karate won by Nikki"
#resilientbravery 11
Nikki back then (doing thumbs up, short skirt)

Bosun Bob is a beautifully evocative tale of a tenacious sea-faring dog and his adventures at sea. Written in rhyming prose and beautifully illustrated, this classic nautical tale is a perfect accompaniment to children’s bedtime.

The Story

Bob sets sail at dawn, leaving the safety of his harbour for the open ocean. He meets a series of mysterious and sometimes frightening sea creatures before his ship is wrecked in a violent thunderstorm. Bob is rescued from an untimely end and meets an unlikely shipmate in the process.

What readers say:

“This beautiful story and stunning illustrations really celebrate our ocean and the fascinating creatures who call it home. A book for children and grown-ups to enjoy together and treasure for generations to come.” Andy Cooper, Editor, Coast magazine

“A beautifully written book, wonderfully illustrated, with engaging characters that jump out of the page. Very much enjoyed by our grandchildren who eagerly await Bob’s further salty adventures.” Reader review.

A limited first edition of one thousand copies has been printed by Langrove Publishing and copies are available to buy online. Langrove Publishing has worked closely with Exeter printer Pollards to print a sustainable, recyclable book, supporting local jobs and minimising transport miles and environmental waste.





year, I’ve reflected on how much I’ve grown as a person and how AHS has made me who I am, with all the amazing opportunities and incredible people I’ve had the chance to meet. Having been Head Girl this last year has only solidified the brilliant experience I’ve had here and I’m so glad I could do my part and give back to such an inclusive and welcoming community.

I remember being an anxious Year 7, so confused at the map they gave us on the first day, to now just walking on autopilot chatting with my friends to my next lesson. I've learnt a whole number of things, from Chaucer to Integration, and while academics have been the running theme of the last few years, all of it would have been worthless without the valuable, supportive relationships I've built along the way, and the lessons I’ve learnt about life with them all alongside me. I am sad to move on, but these 7 years stay with me, and I hope I’ve done my bit for AHS and it continues to be a place of exciting opportunities and experiences for everyone after me. - Daphne Michelle


My time at AHS had flown by and I don’t think I could have asked for a better 7 years! One of my fondest memories of school is all of the sports that are on offer, which have allowed me to befriend both older and younger peers. Having these connections to other year groups has helped me to feel more integrated within the school community and will make me miss it more when I have left. One of my biggest achievements from school is being in the cabinet. This position has given me a sense of pride from the fact that younger years can look up to me as a role model, and I hope that the students who succeed me enjoy AHS as much as I have. - Daisy Moore

I was terrified to make the move to secondary school in year 7. And I’m terrified to make the move to university now. But I truly believe AHS has equipped me to take advantage of everything that’s on offer now, just as they made me feel part of something, a community, when I first came here. I’ve been shaped and supported by teachers and friends alike, encouraged to be who I am and pushed out of my comfort zone to realise my potential. If you’d told me in Year 7 that I’d have spent a week with a host family on the school Spanish exchange, not speaking a word of English, and would be going to study Modern Languages… I would have laughed. I never would have believed I could do that. And the reason I can is down to AHS. I hope that whilst being in the Cabinet, I’ve shown younger years that they too can have big aspirations. - Hannah Bush


My time at AHS has been such a rewarding journey and experience, culminating in amazing memories that are built to last. My favourite aspects of my time here have been school trips, fundraising week, which we as a cabinet had the pleasure of participating in this year, and finally seeing my own skills and confidence grow as I have grown up alongside AHS. Realising my time at AHS is coming to an end, means that I will grow to miss and be nostalgic of things I never realised I would be, such as the ever crowded language block or the irreplaceable history department energy. But, despite this, I am looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life, which I know I am as prepared as I possibly could be for, thanks to all the advice given to me by various teachers, for which I am extremely grateful. Overall, I definitely recognise that without AHS I would not be the person I am today, and I would advise any people in the younger years to take every opportunity given to the fullest and remember to relax and enjoy your time here, as it all comes to an end far sooner than you realise. -Jomana Maani

Walking into Year 7, I was extremely shy and nervous, but from the very first day I felt as if I had found a place where I belonged. From the textiles classrooms where I met my best friends, to all of the house events which instilled me with confidence and pride, AHS has truly been an incredible journey. I have been provided with opportunities unlike any other, such as trips to CERN in Switzerland, to dance and leadership roles, which as a whole have provided me with an arsenal of transferable skills I can utilise in the bigger world beyond AHS. Being a part of Cabinet has allowed me to make noticeable changes that are close to my heart, and has helped me to realise that anything is possible when given the right support system. From Year 7 to Year 13, I have grown in a way that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise and I truly hope that those who succeed me continue to build these relationships and take advantage of the wonderful platforms provided to us by the school. - Zaeema Assad


Time really flies, from the little confused Year 7 to the still slightly confused adult! One of things my AHS experience has given me was the chance to meet lifelong friends who played such a vital role helping me become the person I am today. However, it’s not just my friends who helped me recognise my potential but also the wonderful teachers who have continuously offered me support. Even with the little things, like cheering me up with an inflatable lightsabre on days that were particularly stressful or when they willingly giving up their lunchtimes to help me go through all my queries. The AHS environment truly makes me feel like I'm in Barbie land, I can be myself and I have the opportunity to try an endless amount of activities, for example I had the chance to go to Panama to help the climate and it taught me so much about myself. Similarly, with my role in the Cabinet, it’s taught me that I capable of achieving anything I put my mind to and has greatly impacted on my level of self esteem! It’s truly upsetting thinking about the fact my journey will soon come to an end, I’m forever grateful for everything AHS gave me. I hope the future of AHS continues to shine brighter and better. - Aditi Sharma

Despite only joining AHS for the Sixth Form, I’ve found my two years here extremely enriching. From Muon solenoids in CERN to watching MPs speak in the House of Commons, I’ve found my experiences outside the classroom just as rewarding as my experiences inside the classroom. I have found AHS to be an environment that nurtures and grows students and it is through the challenges and encouragement of both my peers and the staff that i’ve been able to have a fulfilling sixth form experience. I can say with full confidence that my short time at AHS will be two years that I will look back on fondly, as an important part of the formative years of my life. -

19 #curiousengagement

As 2025 will mark 50 years since I left AHS, I would like to try to arrange a reunion for as many of my former classmates as possible i.e. those who left in 1975 (or from the 5th form in 1973).

Kind Regards

Sally Wheeler (previously Sally-Ann Read)


Exciting news, AHS Alumnae Lindsay Jayne Kemp (1987 - 1995) has been awarded an MBE for Law Enforcement in the Kings New Year’s Honours list.

Congratulations Lindsay! AHS Society


Were you in the 1969 to 1976 AHS cohort? We’ve traced about 50 girls from that group and many of us have met up a few times and would love to find others. The years just melt away and it’s like we’re all back in the best of the 1970s. Here are some of the names that have come up, but it’s not a definite list, we’d love to contact anyone in the cohort: Susan Thackray, Clare Parker, Stephanie Dixon, Wendy McClure, Sally Anne Maxwell, Helen Dixon, Caroline Doyle, Janet Robinson, Sarah Jane Parr, Christine

Oliver, Anya Payne, Linda Rowe, Melanie Rose, Victoria Woodford, Barbara Perry, Jane Minogue and Gillian Hall.

We’re next meeting on Friday 28th June in Haddenham, would be great to see even more familiar faces.

For further information regarding the events, please contact: Hilary Osgerby secretary@ahs.bucks.sch.uk



We're excited to invite all Aylesbury High School Alumnae to join our ever-growing community, showcasing their incredible accomplishments. We would like to ask for your support in sharing your invaluable knowledge and experiences with our current students. Your insights on the skills, knowledge, and pathways that lead to success in various careers can truly make a difference! There are various ways you can support us, like participating in the annual apprenticeship and technical qualifications assembly or recommending someone who can contribute.

We also have exciting annual events like the November Careers Fair and our Alumnae Fair in June, focusing on the skills needed in different careers. Over the past few years, we've been working hard to build a strong community of Alumnae who are willing to come back and share their wisdom with the next generation of students.

If you feel like you can make a difference and require more information on how you can lend your support, please feel free to email us at: secretary@ahs.bucks.sch.uk



The STEM faculty of the Open University, have just announced some paid research internship opportunities that may be of interest to our Alumnae community.

The internships cover a range of STEM subjects, including computing, engineering, maths, physics and biology, and offer the opportunity to work with professional researchers for 10 weeks over the summer. For some projects this will be in-person at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes, for others it will be remote or hybrid working. The candidates should usually have completed their penultimate year of undergraduate study in a STEM subject, and they should have a right to work in the UK.

Full details are available here: https://www5.open.ac.uk/employment/vacancies/stem-researchinternships-stem-internships




new chapter

Train to Teach with the Astra SCITT

Whether you or someone you know is a recent graduate or potential career switcher, teaching offers a rewarding, challenging and varied career. Aylesbury High School works in partnership with Astra School Centred Initial Teacher Training to provide training for new primary and secondary teachers.

"Leaders take great care to make sure that trainees ‘do not just survive but thrive’ during their training and on into their teaching career."

Astra works in partnership with over sixty local schools and all courses lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and most applicants also study for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Do contact Astra (hello@astra-alliance.com) if you would like to know more, or contact Sarah Jeffreys at AHS: sjeffreys@ahs.bucks.sch.uk

We offer School Experience Days here at AHS and would love to welcome you and for you to find out more about life as a teacher!

See www.astra-alliance.com for further information about teacher training and how to apply.


Aylesbury High School OFSTED 2023

Aylesbury High School


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