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December 2013 Issue 32 Dear Parents, Girls and Friends of NGHS I hope that you have been able to attend some of the Christmas celebrations at school and are beginning to get into the festive spirit. We have enjoyed some superb Christmas activities with the girls, from outstanding musical and dramatic productions at both senior and junior school to the sale of Christmas gifts for charity. The girls have done a wonderful job.

In single sex schools girls do not experience the gender stereotyping that can happen in a coeducational environment. At NGHS curriculum choices are made in a context in which our girls are given every opportunity, without prejudice, to explore and fulfil their potential - there are no such things as girls’ or boys’ subjects at NGHS. At the end of this term we have to say goodbye to Miss Harris who is leaving the English department to pursue an exciting opportunity abroad. Miss Harris joined us in 2011 and has been a valuable member of the English department. We wish her well and thank her for her hard work and dedication.

NORSACA; the largest specialist autism charity in the East Midlands, and hope that the money will be used to buy new media equipment.


The girls did an amazing job raising over £650 for charity. The Year 10 PSHE groups also made and sold items with a Christmas theme, including cakes, decorations, jewellery and cards.


The Sixth Form entertainment was once again extremely funny and the girls have worked very hard to put together some imaginative sketches.

THREE PEAKS CHALLENGE Our Michaelmas concert at St Peter’s Church was extremely well attended and provided a superb start to the festive season with a wonderful medley of music and songs performed by the senior choir and orchestra. This was followed by our Mistletoe and Wine concert which showcased the wealth of musical talent in the school. The girls entertained family and friends to a wonderful evening of festive favourites.

Many of you will be aware that there have been some concerns raised in the media about the poor uptake of science and mathematics subjects by girls. I thought that you would be interested to know that we are bucking this national trend at NGHS. We have very large numbers of girls studying Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Out of a Sixth Form of just over 200, 52% study Biology, 41% Chemistry, 39% Mathematics, 7% Further Mathematics and 19% study Physics.

During half term a team of nine Sixth Formers and five members of staff set off on a truly adventurous expedition, the three peaks challenge. Their mission - to walk the length of a marathon over the highest mountains in Scotland (Ben Nevis 1344m), England (Scafell Pike 987m) and Wales (Snowdon 1085m) driving the 750km between them all.


Congratulations to ‘Heart and Sole’ one of Project 10 finalists who scooped the award for creativity and innovation at the recent prize-giving ceremony at the Antenna Media Centre, Nottingham.

From start to finish the team completed the challenge in under 30 hours which was a truly remarkable achievement given the dreadful weather they had to endure. The girls raised £900 for

Schools were asked to put teams forward and raise money as part of a fundraising programme for Nottingham City Hospitals. Each team was given £10 to start a business and the team which made the most money became the overall winner.

CRYSTAL PRIZE DEBATING COMPETITION Congratulations to Yifei Painter and Olivia Dadge, Year 11, who represented the school at the semi final of the Trust Crystal Prize debating competition. Both girls did incredibly well and Yifei will now represent the school at the final to be held at Notting Hill and Ealing School in March.


We welcomed over 100 senior citizens to our annual Christmas party. Entertainment included a pantomime, carol singing, musical performances and, of course, the all-important visit from Santa!


Our Year 12 A Level food group enjoyed going to the Good Food Show and meeting Kimberley from the last series of the Great British Bake Off.

PARENT AND STUDENT SATISFACTION QUESTIONNAIRE AUTUMN 2013. This term we conducted a whole school parent and student questionnaire. We had a very good response rate from both parents and girls. 97% of senior parents said they were generally happy with NGHS and 95% of parents were pleased with the progress their child is making at school. 91% felt that the school achieved high standards of behaviour and 96% said their child is happy and feels safe at school. 91% of students felt they were making good progress and 95% agreed ‘My teachers help me learn’ and ‘I am encouraged to do things for myself and to work independently’. 99% of junior parents said they were generally happy with NGHS and 91% are happy with the progress their child is making at school. 99% said that their daughter is happy and feels safe at school. 91% of pupils felt that they are making good progress with their work and 98% of girls agreed that ‘My teacher helps me to learn’. 100% of girls feel that they are encouraged to do things for themselves and work independently. In response to students’ opinions, we have set up sub committees of the Student Council to look more closely at ‘Rewards and Sanctions’, ‘Food and Catering’, ‘Enrichment’, ‘Teaching and Learning’ and ‘Digital Learning’. Each form is encouraged to send a representative to each group so students’ opinions can be heard and suggestions can be acted upon.

JUNIOR SCHOOL What a fabulous term this has been in the Junior School. Beautiful weather and an amazing array of events and visits. The girls have sustained incredible cheerfulness and focus even when energy levels are getting low. I would like to thank all the Junior School staff for their continued dedication and hard work and wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. I look forward to seeing everyone after the well-deserved holiday.

BONFIRE PARTY Year 1 entertained their parents with a sparky Bonfire Party. They enjoyed dressing up, singing songs, dancing and retelling the stories of the Great Fire of London and the Gunpowder Plot.


Our hardy Reception girls headed off to Attenborough Nature Reserve in early November. They had a really enjoyable time exploring the outdoors as nature detectives and had lots of fun bird watching with binoculars!

The pupil questionnaire comments will be discussed in more detail with our Junior School Council, Eco Committee and Food Forum reps next term.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. With best wishes Susan M Gorham, Head

Thank you to all who took part, particularly if you filled in the space for comments at the end of the questionnaire. We are very grateful for your comments and suggestions as they help us reflect on ‘what we do well’ and ‘what we could do to improve’. Thank you for providing us with valuable information about our school.


Year 2 had great fun during their Medieval Day. They were visited by Master Paul and Mistress Jill who explained to the girls what life would have been like in medieval times. During the day the girls dressed up in medieval costumes, were shown how to play medieval instruments and taught how to dance.


Year 4 had great fun during their Roman Workshop. Throughout the day the girls took part in a range of activities and as a finale they fought Boudicca’s enormous army and emerged victorious! A fantastic day was had by all.


Year 5 joined together with boys from NHS to take part in an acting workshop and interactive performance of Twelfth Night. The cast from the Young Shakespeare Company put the Year 5s’ acting talents to the test as they helped them to create scenes and play a variety of Shakespearean roles. The afternoon’s performance was brilliant – yet again proving how relevant Shakespeare is to a modern audience. As one member of Year 5 exclaimed, “I never realised Shakespeare could be so funny - it was brilliant!”.



Many congratulations to all of the girls who performed in the Winter Lights concert. The standard of music was quite spectacular, demonstrating the talent and potential of the Junior School girls. The concert ended with an emotional Year 6 performance of ‘Always in our Hearts’ the song they wrote in memory of their dear friend Rose Whittle.


The Junior Hall was transformed into medieval England. The girls enjoyed a range of exciting activities in the morning including candle making, singing, dancing, visits to the Tudor doctor, embroidery and calligraphy. The day culminated in a spectacular Tudor Christmas banquet with entertainment provided by the girls.


Girls from Years 1 and 2 had great fun performing their nativity to family and friends. They sang beautifully and delivered their lines confidently and really appreciated the huge round of applause they received from the audience.

The Year 3 girls put on a spectacular evening when they entertained parents, friends and relatives in an evening of ‘Old Time Music Hall’. The acts were many and varied and each girl performed either as a soloist or in a small group and this was a fitting end to their ‘Victorian hard times’ topic.


Thursday 5 December saw the official release of ‘Always in our Hearts‘ - A Song for Rose. The release of the song caught the attention of the media and the girls appeared on the radio, local TV and on the front page of the Nottingham Post. The campaign was further boosted by the annual busking expeditions to John Lewis and various locations in the city centre, raising over £1000 for E39, the Children’s Ward at Nottingham Children’s Hospital. The buskers continued to promote Rose’s message on the E39 ward and will be appearing at the National Ice Centre on 19 December. A memorable time for all involved.


Twelve girls were chosen from our thriving cross country lunchtime club to attend this year’s Highfields School Cross Country event. Our U9 team was made up of Year 3 girls and their super team effort saw them finish an admirable 4th. The U11 team also had a great afternoon to finish in 3rd place overall.


This year’s EYFS nativity was Mary’s Knitting. The girls looked wonderful in their costumes and delivered their lines loudly and sang brilliantly.

Always in our Hearts, a song for Rose is available to buy from For donations to the E39 charity, visit: Best wishes Faith Potter, Head of Junior School


Over half term a dressage team of four girls (Mollie Summerland, Eloise Eggington, Ellie Rycroft and Emily Wheelhouse) competed in the National Schools Equestrian Association National finals at Addington Manor, Buckinghamshire. The team did very well coming 8th out of a field of 30 teams. Mollie Summerland came 11th in the individual elementary dressage and Eloise rode a personal best in her round.


Our Year 8/9 and Year 10/11 teams both won bronze medals in the City Badminton finals.


We are delighted to have been short listed for the above award and look forward to the ceremony in January.

Many congratulations to all girls who have represented the school this term.


Our U14 Netball team are County runners up and now go through to the East Midlands Tournament in January.


In the City Cross Country League the Year 10/11 team finished in first place and the Year 7 team finished third.

Tuesday 7 January Spring Term begins Friday 10 January Reception trip to Conkers Year 9 trip to Beth Shalom Tuesday 21 January Year 2 trip to Skegness Tuesday 28 January Junior School ‘Come and see us at work’ day 9.15am - 12.15pm Thursday 6 and Friday 7 February Production of ‘Little Women’ Drama Studio 7.00pm


Many congratulations to Rosie Rudin, Year 11, who is the new World School Games champion in the 400m Individual Medley. Rosie also won silver in the 4x100m IM relay and bronze medals in both the 200m IM and 200m backstroke.

Wednesday 12 February Rising Stars concert, Senior Hall, 7.00pm - 9.00pm Friday 14 February Non uniform day

The World School Games were held in Brazil and Rosie beat the current European Junior champion Farkas Adel, from Hungary, to win gold in her favourite event, the 400m IM.

Opening times

Whilst away, Rosie was named the Nottingham Post Sportsperson of the Year and Student of the Year at the Post’s Student Awards.

Saturday 11 January 10.00am - 12.00 noon

UNIFORM SHOP Mondays, term time only 1.30pm - 4.30pm


Congratulations to our Year 9/10 team who have been playing in the Central Venue League over a five week period and look forward to the Year 7/8 team starting their league in the New Year.

SOCIAL MEDIA Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest school news and events.


Our Years 9 - 11 Table Tennis teams did well finishing 3rd and 4th in the recent City individual tournament.

The Girls’ Day School Trust is a Limited Company. Registered in England No.6400. Registered Charity No.306983. Registered Office 100 Rochester Row London SW1P 1JP Nottingham Girls’ High School 9 Arboretum Street, Nottingham NG1 4JB t: 0115 941 7663 f: 0115 924 0757

Insight December 2013  

The December issue of the NGHS newsletter

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