International Women’s Day (IWD) on Friday 8th March delivered some outstanding work from girls who took part in our annual competition designed to recognise trailblazing women over the decades.
Girls submitted films, poems, essays and dance choreography on the female they felt has done the most to empower girls and advance women’s rights in the last 100 years. The standard of entry was exceptional with submissions covering the lives of women such as Emily Wilding, Malala and Claudette Colvin.
Entries were judged in assembly by the International Women’s Day prize sponsor, Mrs Margaret Vane, whose daughter is an alumna of the school, alongside Helen Dalby, Senior Editor and Head of Digital at Reach plc which includes the Chronicle, Journal and Gazette, also an alumna of one of NHSG’s founding schools, Central High.
Connie Hayward, Year 9 was crowned the winner for her moving entry on suffragette Lady Constance Lytton. Connie, also a talented violinist who was recently awarded a coveted prize from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, produced a 6-minute film with a moving soundtrack, about the life and work of the Constance, an influential suffragette activist.
Other winners in the competition were as follows: in fourth place was Maya Torres, who filmed an emotive dance in honour of ‘Every Woman’ that has contributed to women’s rights. In third place was Imogen Davies, who created a poster and wrote on essay on the achievements of sailor Susie Goodhall. In second place, was Grace Heron’s beautiful poem on Civil Rights Movement pioneer, Claudette Colvin, who refused to give up her seat to a white woman on a crowded, segregated bus.
Also to mark IWD, girls had fashioned a cloak of red pom-poms which they wrapped around our signature seahorse statue in the Pupil Plaza. This was part of the Period Positivity movement and replicated a similar event taking place in Newcastle city-centre on the same day, whereby campaigners turned Grey’s Monument ‘red’ with a similar garment!
Meanwhile, a talented troupe of NHSG GCSE and A Level dancers travelled to Gateshead to open the Shared Interest #BalanceforBetter event. The girls performed a moving reading of Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou, set to music and choreography. Some of you may remember seeing this excellent piece at Prizegiving in September 2018. The afternoon was a celebration of Shared Interest’s investment projects and it was amazing to learn how their work has changed the lives of women across Africa, South America and Britain, including Newcastle.