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Newcastle High School For Girls - “A ‘God Dag’ for Year 4!”

A ‘God Dag’ for Year 4!

July 22, 2019

Written by Olivia Connon, Charlotte Woodbury-Smith, Emily Harrison, Eve Peacock and Laila Ahmad

On 4th June, Year 4 embarked on an overnight trip to York. It was really fun and we have so many memories and facts to take from the experience.

The first place we visited was Murton Park. The inviting sign for Murton Park gleamed in the sunlight. A Viking lady named Astrid greeted us with "God dag!" which is a Norse greeting meaning ‘Good day’. She took us indoors to start our learning day.

Astrid taught us about the different types of Vikings jobs which included sailors, raiders, traders, settlers, farmers and craftsmen. We also learnt about the clothes Vikings would have worn. After that, we dressed up as Viking settlers and were put into families with a Mother and a Father.

Now dressed as Vikings, we walked to the Viking village. We assembled outside the Jarl's (meaning Lord) longhouse, and met Emma and Vigdis who were both Viking villagers. The sights were amazing; there were thatched roofs as far as you could see. The ‘Jarl’ suddenly burst out of the hall and started to tell our group about his longboat.

As the longboat came in to sight we all gasped as it was magnificent! It was very well preserved but the thing that interested us most was that real Vikings would have sat in the boat! We discussed Viking food and were shocked to hear they didn't have access to tomatoes and potatoes.

Next, we were sent to work in the fields. We discovered that the Viking children would break up the soil with a hoe so we all gave it a go. It was hard work but very fun. Following that, our family was taken to our small house, made out of wood, mud and poo! One of the Vikings told us about our house; it didn't have any lights, instead it had a fire and candles. Therefore, our first activity was pottery so we could make candle holders. A candle made from animal fat would rest in the cup and the wax would collect in the dish.

"Ding...Ding...". It was the slow bell calling a meeting. We all walked back to the banqueting hall as the Lord had invited all of us to a feast (otherwise known as lunch). The Mothers and Fathers and the ‘Jarl’ sat at the top table and everyone else sat on the long tables. Before we ate, the ‘Jarl’ needed some girls to attend to him. One girl had to carry a bowl of water and someone else had to carry a towel. Can you guess what job the girls had to do? Yes that’s right, they had to wash the Lord’s hands!

Then a third servant had to carry a wooden dish full of chunks of salt for the Jarl to flavour his meal. Half way through lunch the Lord asked for some entertainment. We had dancers, jokers and people who presented riddles. After the performances, the Lord ordered a slave (Mrs Spraggon) to be placed in the stocks and the Lord asked her if she felt motivated to work harder.

Mrs Spraggon said ‘no’ so Emma came up behind her with a jug of water and 3,2,1, Emma, the Viking villager, tipped the water over Mrs Spraggon’s head! The banquet hall filled with noise as we laughed energetically.

After finishing our feast we walked back to the Viking village where we helped to collect firewood and had the opportunity to make bread which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

The first step in making bread is getting wheat and grinding it until it becomes flour. After that, we took the flour and added water to it and kneaded the mixture until it become a dough. The final step was putting it beside the fire to bake. Once it had risen, we removed it from the stones surrounding the fire and it was ready to eat.

Our third and final activity of the afternoon was to train to be warriors. Our family taught us the key points to fighting and we had a few practice fights. We learned different moves and used shields and spears. We also made shield walls in two lines. Our favourite part was being put on lookout duty and the Lord instructed us that if an Anglo-Saxon came we were to say 'Go away you smelly Saxon!' and ring the bell fast to signal an emergency.

Everyone thought we were just wasting time as an Anglo-Saxon would never turn up, surely. Little did we know, a few moments later we were to spot an Anglo-Saxon lurking around the corner. Freya noticed and immediately shouted to ring the bell. We all ran back into our positions as he had entered through the gate. By this time all the other groups were watching us as we prepared to charge. "GO AWAY YOU SMELLY SAXON!" we cried.

We scared him away and, stupidly, he had left his weapons. As we arrived at the meeting point everyone, including the Villagers, were roaring and cheering for us.

After Murton Park, we went to a place called Jorvik which is a specialist Viking centre. On arriving, we immediately met with a Viking who told us about the road we were on and that it was a trading space with lots of goods and slaves to trade. It was a very 'rich' area.

After we had been outside, the Viking told us to take a deep breath as inside the museum it was smelly. And it was indeed, as smelly as rotten cabbage!

We were told we would eventually go on a ride to experience what it was like in the Viking age but before this we were able to look at the archeological remains of a Blacksmith's hut. It was on the floor, under a thick layer of glass. It was only the bottom layer of the hut but we even saw the remains of a toilet.

Next, onto the ride! It was a bit scary as it was quite dark but we were given a lantern to hold. Once on the ride, we all enjoyed it. We were taken around a Viking settlement which featured realistic Viking robots to show us what they looked like. We could even smell the scents of the different areas of the Village. It didn't smell good!

After the ride, we went into the museum. We saw a skeleton of a lady with a leg problem; one leg was in perfect condition, whilst the other leg was too thin. We had just seen her in the settlement on the ride and she carried crutches made out of bone.

Shortly after, we went to an area where a Viking was standing behind a table. He showed us some artefacts that they had found which included a comb made out of antler and an ice skate made out of a horse’s shin bone that had been found down the toilet. We found that part rather disgusting.

Once we had studied the artefacts, we went to see a coin maker to witness how Vikings made coins. First, you get a stamp that is stuck in a log of oak wood. Then, you place a piece of metal on top of it. After that, you get another stamp and hit the back of the stamp with the hammer. The resulting piece of metal is now worth 16 chickens (true in Viking times but sadly not true now)!

On the second day in York we visited the Yorkshire Museum where we learnt more about dinosaurs, Medieval times, Romans and the Tudors. First we went into the Jurassic exhibition where there were six trays full of tiny shreds of rubber. We started to feel around and we discovered we had to slowly move the rubber to one side to find the dinosaur fossils inside, just like Mary Anning; fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist of the 18th century. Next we were ushered into a grand hall to try on Tudor clothes. There were fighting costumes and also long, frilly dresses with hula hoops attached to make the skirts stick out which were a particular favourite.

We then completed a workshop with a ‘Viking’ called Bjorn. We passed round many artefacts that people had discovered in York. There was a Viking ‘fidget-spinner’ called a buzz burner; a leather shoe that was in one piece (there are only twenty left in the whole world), a comb made from horse bone and a treasure chest key.

We then made belts and buckles. Some girls used a troll symbol to represent these mythical creatures which Vikings actually believed in.

The Vikings also played a game called Trip,Trap,Troll which is where the game Tic Tac Toe originated from. Also, did you know that Father Christmas came from a festival in the Viking times called Yule? A mysterious man came and delivered presents just like Father Christmas.

Finally, it was time to go home after two days of fun. The trip has now officially replaced Jarrow Hall as the best school trip we have ever been on!
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Grease was the word!”

Grease was the word!

October 10, 2020
Grease has certainly been the word around Senior School for the last nine months, with the announcement of the musical in June last year and auditions starting as early as September! Between 30th January and 1st February, NHSG was well and truly transformed into 1950s Rydell High to host our very own production of Grease . Over 1400 visitors crossed the threshold of Newcastle High to watch the four show sensation (with Saturday night a complete sell-out) in the Hall’s impressive auditorium space. The company comprised of two casts; the Burgers and the Milkshakes. Mrs Dobson, Head of Drama and Director of Grease, describes the difficulties she faced with the casting process: “With so much talent and enthusiasm from all the girls, we decided that a recall audition would help to single out the most talented performers. At the recall, I asked the girls to really ‘sell themselves’ and avoid modesty. I felt certain that this would help us to eliminate some of the more hesitant performers. But, NHSG girls lived up to their reputation of being confident and ambitious and then proceeded to wow me with their stunning delivery.” The Performing Arts team deliberated over several meetings and after a sleepless night (quite literally), they realised that there was too much talent and too few parts. There was only one option: two casts! The ‘Burger’ and ‘Milkshake’ teams were born and double rehearsals began. It’s safe to say the two gifted casts brought equal amounts of energy, vitality and passion to the ultimate musical classic and the audience was astounded by the fancy footwork and vocal talent exhibited by each and every girl involved. The atmosphere in School prior to the performances was electric, with many friends and family of NHSG opting to gather in our pop-up diner and bar area to enjoy some pre-theatre refreshments, before exitedly awaiting the call to take their seats! The show did not disappoint, bursting with hits such as Summer Nights , Greased Lightnin’ , Hopelessly Devoted to You and You’re the One That I Want, complemented by fun, high energy choreography. The unexpected appearance of Kennicke’s bright red Ford convertible also made a delightful addition to the show; confirmed by the gasps of surprise from across the audience! The girls really gave it their all and did themselves proud on stage but it was particularly wonderful to learn about the friendships that had formed between cast-members off-stage, cemented by their shared passion for delivering a spectacular musical for our School community. The show was an absolute pleasure to watch, and the good news is, there are only three months to wait until the next big NHSG musical reveal!
Newcastle High School For Girls - “GDST Year 6 Maths Conference stretches girls”

GDST Year 6 Maths Conference stretches girls

October 15, 2021
The annual GDST Junior Maths Conference took place online this year on Thursday 15th October. Year 6 pupils enjoyed a range of mathematical challenges and activities and explored a number of key topics including a very timely session on exponential growth which really helped the girls to make sense of current headlines about rising Covid-19 infection rates. Girls started the day by using their pattern identification skills to great effect. They created a Pascal Triangle and found symmetrical patterns as well as a buried Fibonacci sequence. For the next part of the conference we virtually connected with other GDST schools across the country to focus on patterns created by odd and even numbers which resulted in the famous Sierpinski Triangle. The girls were amazed by the pattern which emerged gradually as they worked through the odd and even numbers. Next, Year 6 were tested with a tetrahedron task, developing their learning on complex triangle structures. Teamwork was critical to success with girls having to collaborate when measuring and manipulating balloons then working in even larger teams to create tetrahedrons that could interlock with others to create larger scale tetrahedrons. We quickly realised we were going to need a bigger space at the rate of ‘growth’ as a result of the girls handiwork, but thankfully the Hall provided the space to finalise and inspect the gigantic tetrahedron from new angles! For the final part of the day, the girls aced the virtual quiz against their GDST sisters, using their newly enhanced knowledge of patterns from their week of practical Mathematics. We were so impressed by the way they tackled the challenging questions which were based around real world contexts such as bank statements and financial management information. Well done to everyone involved for a wonderful week of collaboration and mathematical exploration. We would also like to thank the GDST for organising this special annual event.
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Welcome Back, Dr Brash!”

Welcome Back, Dr Brash!

November 26, 2021
On Monday 15th November, we were delighted to welcome Dr Claire Brash, Central High Class of 2011, back to Newcastle High School for Girls to speak to aspiring Medics in Years 12 and 13 about how to navigate the application and interview process for Medicine. During the lunchtime MedSoc session, Claire’s insightful talk was centred on the “10 key rules of survival” from “Learning The Lingo” to “Finding Your Tribe”. The girls were incredibly engaged with her advice, so much so, we plan to invite her back to school for a second session very soon! Dr Brash’s energy and enthusiasm for this field of work is truly infectious and reflected in her impressive career. Claire graduated with BSc(Hons) in Medical Sciences with Neuroscience and Mental Health at Imperial College in 2015 and was selected as Undergraduate Research Trainee by McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Hospital, Canada. In 2018, Claire graduated as a Medical Doctor from Imperial College London School of Medicine and she is passionate about clinical research and the interconnected nature of the brain and mind. Her interests expand to Global Mental Health, Policy and Ethics, competing regularly in Model World Health Organisation Simulations. Notably, Claire won Best Delegate at McGill University’s Montreal Model WHO, National Scholarship to American Model WHO at Emory University and was Chair for Nordic Model WHO at United Nations City Copenhagen, before Co-Founding London Model WHO at LSHTM. Furthermore, Claire was part of the winning Imperial College team at the Institute of Medical Ethics National Debating Competition and on Committee for the Royal Society of Medicine Student Policy Initiative on medical student mental health. In addition, she has worked at Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience, researching Psychophysics on a Nuffield Foundation Bursary and Newcastle University Vacational Scholarship. More recently, Claire was a Co-Investigator for the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 Vaccine Team, at the forefront of global efforts in the development of the AstraZeneca vaccine. She has also worked as Academic Foundation Programme Doctor in the Clinical Academic Office of Newcastle University at the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, conducting research in the field of Dementia with Lewy Bodies, with Alzheimer’s Research UK Pump Priming Grant funding. She is now a Clinical Teaching Fellow at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia at their Johor Bahru campus as well as currently working clinically in London. It was wonderful that Claire was able to see the School’s admiration for her work with her own eyes, her framed portrait sitting proudly among those of inspirational alumnae in Newcastle High’s Main Reception. Our ‘Alumnae Through the Decades’ display honours the fascinating and remarkable women that have passed through the doors of our school, all of whom have played a part in advancing the educational opportunities of women. We are very fortunate to have Claire in our community to share her extensive Medical expertise with current pupils.
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Learning Without Limits”

Learning Without Limits

January 11, 2022
Firmly established as the leadings girls’ school in the North East, Newcastle High School for Girls fuses the traditional with the contemporary to create a learning experience that meets the needs of a 21st century. NHSG is uniquely placed in its innovative approach, not least because it is the only North East school that benefits from being part of the wider Girls’ Day School Trust, the leading family of independent girls’ schools, enabling every pupil to learn without limits and be whatever – and whoever – they want to be. Despite the challenges of the past two years brought by the pandemic, NHSG has ensured that girls have continued to progress extremely well academically and to benefit from NHSG’s enrichment and pastoral programmes. During this period of national and world-wide uncertainty, staff at NHSG are committed to providing stability, excitement, creativity and hope in and out of the classroom. In turn, the girls have demonstrated their GDST spirit through grit, determination and a can-do attitude. Throughout the periods of Covid-related restrictions, the school has remained unwavering in its approach to exceptional teaching and learning, alongside it’s high quality pastoral care. The girls have been challenged and stretched in new and exciting ways, including through its academic extension – ‘Bright Sparks’ at Junior School and ‘Proten’ at Senior School – where they explore academic subjects way beyond the curriculum. The introduction of Junior School Leadership pathways for the youngest pupils provides further opportunities for girls to develop leadership style skills as they establish foundations for their transition into the Senior School and beyond. Technology has played a critical role in ensuring the seamless delivery of a diverse curriculum and co-curriculum amidst a landscape of unpredictability. At the beginning of the pandemic, NHSG was able to deliver online live lessons immediately by drawing on its already established and innovative use of technology for teaching and learning. Being ahead of the game meant that the pupils were immediately connected and learning. Since then NHSG has continued to harness innovative and future-proofed digital strategies into the classroom. All areas of school life have continued apace from timetabled lessons, assemblies, clubs, careers and House events, GDST-wide conferences to pastoral-led initiatives such as dedicated Diversity and Mental Health awareness weeks. Video conference tools continue to enhance the taught aspects of the curriculum and co-curriculum, while websites, apps, shared files, online quizzes, video response tools and digital exercise books allow girls to respond to and submit set work entirely online. Most importantly, in the face and pace of significant change, the girls have been able to connect with one another not just in their class but across the school, which is critical to their social and mental wellbeing and the basis of a strong education. The learning curve has been steep but challenges have been met with resilience and fearlessness as well as a resounding commitment to the ‘new normal’. Consequently, the school is an incredible force for change and girls at NHSG are equipped with the expertise and confidence to navigate an uncertain future. A future in which they are prepared to accept a greater degree of change and find their place in an ever-evolving world. Discover more about limitless learning opportunities at Newcastle High School for Girls or begin your daughter’s educational journey with NHSG now by registering for the Year 7 Entrance Examination on Saturday 15th January. Visit www.newcastlehigh.gdst.net/admissions or contact Admissions on 0191 2016511.
Newcastle High School For Girls - “We’re All In This Together!”

We’re All In This Together!

February 15, 2022
The talented Performing Arts pupils of Newcastle High were thrilled to return to the bright lights of the big stage for four staggering shows of High School Musical on Thursday 3rd February - Saturday 5th February. High School Musical (HSM) at Newcastle's Northern Stage was NHSG's first major production since Grease which took place in early January 2020 at school, just before Covid struck. Time away from Musicals made our school community appreciate it all the more and High School Musical, with its fast-paced, feel-good energy, proved to be the perfect choice to get the audience back into the spirit of live entertainment. The story follows two high school students, Troy Bolton, captain of East High School’s basketball team, nicknamed the Wildcats, and Gabriella Montez, a shy top student. Both of them try out for the lead roles in their school’s musical (and quickly fall in love in the process) despite the lack of support from the rest of their classmates, one of them being Sharpay Evans and her brother sidekick Ryan. Over 75 pupils from different Year Groups in Senior School worked together to produce the spectacular show resulting in two equally brilliant casts: Team Tiger and Team Lion. Families and friends flooded to the Northern Stage for the four performances in Northern Stage's main 450 seat auditorium and had the pleasure of watching the pupils sing and dance to their hearts' content...Something that Zoom could never recreate! Mrs Dobson, Head of Drama and Director of HSM, had her reservations about this Disney-based musical comedy until she remembered just how catchy the uplifting numbers were and the power they have in bringing everyone together. "On the surface it may seem like an easy, cheesy little show but this has been one of our most challenging musicals to date! Not a day goes by when one of us isn't singing as we walk down the corridor. It may not be Ibsen but it is a tale about friendship and being true to yourself. What's so bad about that?" We look forward to NHSG's next theatrical triumph with great anticipation.
Newcastle High School For Girls - “A fundraising day in the sun at our Spring Fair”

A fundraising day in the sun at our Spring Fair

March 30, 2022
The annual Spring Fair took place at the Junior School on Saturday 26th March. This year, we were raising money for DEC Ukraine Appeal, and together we raised nearly £3000! We were blessed with glorious weather at the stunning site of Chapman House, with staff and pupils from both the Junior and Senior School coming together for a fabulous day filled with fun, games and lots of ice-cream. We even had an appearance from the Easter Bunny! A splendid afternoon indeed. A highly anticipated event on the annual school calendar, we very much look forward to next year’s Spring Fair.
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Art and Design Fashion Show returns after two years”

Art and Design Fashion Show returns after two years

April 6, 2022
The annual Art and Design Fashion Show took place on the evening of April 6th, where the girls returned to the catwalk to showcase the very best of designs from Year 9, those studying GCSE and A-Level Art and Design, as well as Textiles. This is one of the many eagerly anticipated events in the school calendar, even more so because the last show was in 2020. It certainly lived up to all expectations with professional lighting and choreography, providing the perfect stage to present the excellent deign looks culminating in the presentation of the Year 13s own design collections.

Year 9 showcased their work and designs inspired by ‘Gustav Klimt’, ‘Organic Structures’ and ‘Science Fiction’. Year 11 GSCE pupils and Year 13 A Level Textile pupils made their collections inspired by their own chosen topic, whilst Year 12 Textile pupils were inspired by ‘Monochrome’ for their designs.

Rebecca McGowan, a Year 13 Textile pupil said, “taking part in the fashion show is important to me as it is a little taster into the fashion industry as I get to create my own outfits, choose music, select models and choreograph my own piece. When I see my friends wearing my outfits I get an enormous sense of pride as I have been working for the last two years to get to this point, and due to COVID last this year we were unable to have a fashion show which makes this one extra special. The fashion show will help me in my further studies because it teaches me how to organise myself and work within a time frame.”

A fabulous evening Indeed!

For press coverage articles, please have a look at the links below:

Chronicle - https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/fashion-show-girls-high-school-23627063
Luxe magazine - https://luxe-magazine.co.uk/2022/04/inside-newcastle-high-school-for-girls-2022-fashion-show/
Independent Education Today - https://ie-today.co.uk/sector-events/fashion-show-returns-to-newcastle-high-school-for-girls/
Fashion Days Outfits - https://fashiondaysoutfits.com/fashion-show-returns-to-newcastle-high-school-for-girls/
K Q Education Group - https://kqeducationgroup.com/fashion-show-returns-to-newcastle-high-school-for-girls/
Chronicle - https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/fashion-show-girls-high-school-23627063
Luxe magazine - https://luxe-magazine.co.uk/2022/04/inside-newcastle-high-school-for-girls-2022-fashion-show/
Independent Education Today - https://ie-today.co.uk/sector-events/fashion-show-returns-to-newcastle-high-school-for-girls/
Fashion Days Outfits - https://fashiondaysoutfits.com/fashion-show-returns-to-newcastle-high-school-for-girls/
K Q Education Group - https://kqeducationgroup.com/fashion-show-returns-to-newcastle-high-school-for-girls/