Book now for our Open Day on 16 March

We have ended our week with a wonderful display of spots, Pudsey Bear and Blush Bear ears and Pudsey outfits. Thank you for helping us support Children in Need. Monday was our Year 10 Parents Evening and that was another great opportunity to say hello and chat to so many of you. I ‘m sure Year 11 will have an equally successful Parents Evening on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I won’t be there due to attending the GSA Headteacher Conference, however, I am continuing to meet with parents of Year 6 and 11 pupils to discuss Transition, so will be able to chat with you then. I know how precious time is and appreciate that you are able to meet with me. It is a real pleasure talking about your daughters.

Year 11 and Upper Sixth were able to take part in a Revision Workshop, delivered by Elevate and funded by our Parents and Friends Association. We are very grateful for the great work they facilitate to enhance opportunities for our girls. The girls will be able to use the techniques explored, whilst revising in the run up to their Mock Exams in January. I wish them all good luck as they begin their preparations. All other years will have their workshops in March, allowing time before Exam Week in May.

There has been much excitement this week in Year 6, 7 and 8 as they received their new laptops and began using them in classes. It has been fantastic seeing them engage so excitedly and I look forward to seeing the development of activities in classes over the coming weeks and months.

On Thursday I was immensely proud of our Upper Sixth girls. There was a mixture of nerves and great anticipation as they prepared for their mock interview to discuss their aspirations and university applications. Our volunteer interviewees were extremely complimentary regarding how they rose to the challenging questions they were asked and how focused and articulate they were.

As ever, we have had a busy week in Sport across the whole school. Well done to all girls and staff involved. You certainly showcase Sport at the High School.

Help at the Christmas Fayre

The Christmas Fayre is almost upon us, but we need your help to make it the amazing event that it is. This year we have tombolas, lucky dips, hoop a bottle, face painting, craft making, Santa’s grotto and hot dogs, cakes, tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Our external stalls this year include Body Shop, Usbourne books, The Mad Hatter and the M&R Florist with her beautiful wreaths and festive florals. But, we need volunteers to help set up, man stalls, bake cakes and help to run the cafe! If you are able to help, please email [email protected] at your earliest convenience.

Laptop rollout

We are thrilled that this week we started the roll out of new one-to-one devices in Years 6,7 and 8. This is part of our wider digital strategy, enhancing the educational experience of our girls.

Show Jumping Competition

Camille and her horse, Jimmy Mac, competed in a Show Jumping competition at Ivesley Equestrian Centre last weekend. She achieved two clear rounds and two second places. Well done to Camille and Jimmy Mac!

Sport Update

We are delighted that our U14s were named County Netball Champions this week. It was a brilliant result for the team, who won all their matches against St. John’s (21-08), Durham School (27-9) and Whitburn (14-13). Well done on this tremendous achievement girls! There was also a fantastic performance by our U19 Netball Team at the County Schools’ Tournament. They showed great determination. They won 15-5 win against Harton and 28-3 win against Durham School, with a 15-15 draw v Durham Johnston and an 8-10 loss v Whitburn.

In football, there was an impressive performance from the U15 Football Team against Macmillan Academy on Tuesday, with an entertaining 4-4 draw. It is wonderful to see the progress they have made since the start of the season.

Winter Bugs

As autumn and winter approach, it is likely that there will be increasing numbers of people affected by typical winter illnesses, such as diarrhoea and vomiting, flu, COVID and other respiratory viral infections. The usual, familiar measures for reducing transmission of infections are particularly important during periods with high levels of circulating infection. These include:

  • Stay at home – pupils and staff who are unwell should follow the exclusion advice outlined in NHS guidance: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/
  • Good hand hygiene – regular handwashing with soap and water particularly after using the toilet, before eating and after using a tissue to cough or sneeze remains a highly
    effective way of prevention infections from spreading. Hand sanitisers are not as effective against some of the viruses and bacteria that cause diarrhoea and sickness and are not
    suitable as an alternative for cleaning hands after using the toilet.
  • Cleaning – we continue to operate a robust cleaning strategy which ensures frequently touched surfaces such as desks, doors/door handles switches, toilets, washrooms etc. are
    regularly cleaned throughout the day to prevent spread of infection.

October Half Term Consultation

Thank you to all parents and staff that responded to our October Half Term consultation. The response from parents was 50-50, with the majority of staff responded in favour of a return to a oneweek October half term. The main reason for this was that a two-week October half term results in examination classes missing a teaching week at a time of year when it is needed most. As a result, we have taken the decision to revert back to a one-week October half term for the 2024-25 academic year. Therefore, the term dates for next year will be as follows:

AUTUMN 2024

INSET DAYS: Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 September
Induction Day for
Year 7 and Lower Sixth Wednesday 4 September
Term begins: Thursday 5 September
INSET DAY: Friday 25 October
Half Term: Friday 25 October – Friday 1 November
Term ends: Friday 13 December at midday

SPRING 2025

INSET DAY: Monday 6 January
Term begins: Tuesday 7 January
Half Term: Monday 24 – Friday 28 February inclusive
Term ends: Friday 4 April at end of School day

SUMMER 2025

Term begins: Monday 28 April
May Day Bank Holiday: Monday 5 May
Half Term: Monday 26 – Friday 30 May inclusive
Term ends: Friday 4 July at end of School day