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Newcastle High School For Girls - “Oxford’s Dreaming Spires Now a Reality for Maia”

Oxford’s Dreaming Spires Now a Reality for Maia

August 17, 2023
With stunning set of A Level grades, Maia Broughton is today celebrating as her place at Oxford University to read Geography at Brasenose College was confirmed. Maia achieved A*s in Geography, Maths, Physics as well as an A in Further Maths and more than met the prestigious university’s offer of A* AA. Admitting to feeling a little nervous this morning, Maia said: ”It’s been a long wait.  My entire school career has been building up to this and then this morning, it’s all been over in a moment.  It’s not fully sunk in!” Maia started researching universities at the same time as her sister, who also attended NHSG and is currently studying an integrated Masters in Maths at York. She said: “I started looking early and I always knew that I wanted to aim for Oxbridge but it was only after visiting and learning more about the course that made the decision to apply to Oxford for Geography.” Deliberating between a Maths and Geography degree, Maia opted for the subject she felt most passionate about explaining that she could read for hours about Geography. “I love the physical aspects of Geography where you have the opportunity to explore the natural environment alongside the human and physical interactions that create the world we live in. What I also love about Geography is that there are so many sectors I could go into in the future.” Looking beyond university Maia can see herself in the fields of sustainable finance or disaster risk analysis, but says she is going to keep her options open and see where the next three years of her degree takes her. Heavily involved in Music and Sport at NHSG alongside her academic too, Maia is also very much planning to continue with these as part of her student experience at Brasenose College. She said: “There as jazz band and an orchestra; and also a piano in the chapel at the college which anyone can play – so it’s perfect for me.” With her school days now behind her, Maia added: “I am so sad my time at school is over. I started at Church High in Reception before joining NHSG and I honestly don’t think I could have got to Oxford without the help of the school. “The school has been second to none and words can’t describe how thankful I am. I want to give a massive thank you to my teachers and the hours they have put in have enabled me to achieve my dreams.”
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Top netball player wins through at A Level”

Top netball player wins through at A Level

August 17, 2023
Grace Larsen, who was recently selected for the Scotland Under 19 Netball team, is celebrating another win after gaining excellent A Level results today. With A grades in Religious Studies and PE, and a B in English Literature, Grace will be taking up her place in September at the University of Strathclyde to study Sports and Physical Activity. As the final of four sisters who have attended NHSG, the path to Grace’s success has not been straight forward. Weeks before her A Level examinations, she suffered a painful ACL injury leading to surgery and a long recovery period. After such a difficult lead up to her exams Grace said: “I am relieved and shocked at the moment as I did even better than expected, and it all feels even more special because the lead up to my exams weren’t as I had planned.” Not only did her ACL injury interrupt her preparations for her examinations but it also meant  Grace wasn’t able to take up place on the Scotland netball team this summer. Despite this bitter blow, Grace’s resilience and determination won through in the end. Grace said: “It was all very tough. I was injured and it was out of my control, but I focused on what I could control. I also am hoping to be able to try out next season for the Under 21 Scotland team but at the moment there’s lots of rehab and time in the gym required to support my recovery.” Grace’s passion for sport started at a young age and she has been encouraged at Newcastle High School for Girls to embrace every opportunity. “I love any sport and I have got involved with every type of sport offered through school.  I am really looking forward to continuing that at University where I am just going to dive in and see what happens. When I visited, I fell in love with the city of Glasgow and the ethos and atmosphere of the university and course.” Grace, whose ambition is to play netball for the Scotland Senior Team, is very grateful to the School for its support: “I just want to say a big thank you to the teachers – I’m over the moon.”
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Healthy grades secure Ishika’s place in Medicine”

Healthy grades secure Ishika’s place in Medicine

August 17, 2023
A career in medicine beckons for Ishika Jha whose place at Nottingham University has been secured thanks to outstanding achievements in Biology, Chemistry and Maths. Ishika said: “Nottingham has the most beautiful campus and their medical course is really unique – it’s an integrated BSc where I can complete my study in five years rather than the usual six.” While Ishika has always known that the sciences would play a role in her future, she’s keen to explore the range of pathways that a career in medicine can take. She said: “I haven’t chosen a speciality at this point because I want to explore all the options that university introduces me to. The one thing I do know, however, is that I want to work with and help people. It might sound like a cliché but it’s definitely what drives me. I’m keen to eventually combine research and practice so that I can enjoy the academic pathway while also working directly with people.” Ishika believes that the NHSG community has shaped who she is today. She said: “There’s a really supportive community and sisterhood at NHSG and, even though we had to deal with Covid during our studies, there was a real sense of everybody being in it together. I couldn’t be more grateful to the teachers and student community for the support I received.” During her time at NHSG, Ishika was also heavily involved in debating – something that saw her land first place at the national Edinburgh debating competition alongside her debating partner. Ishika added: “It was kind of our last hurrah before I stepped back from debating to focus on my A Level study which was a really nice way to finish. I got such a taste for it at NHSG though so I’m really looking forward to taking it up again when I start University.”
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Madi dances her way to theatrical success”

Madi dances her way to theatrical success

August 17, 2023
For somebody who enjoys training and studying so intensely, it was surprising to hear how worried Madi French was about whether she’d done enough to secure her university place. She said: “I was so nervous this morning, but when I opened my results I felt I could breathe again.” Securing her place at renowned performing arts institution, Leeds Conservatoire, Madi is preparing to take her study to the next level as she embarks on a degree in Musical Theatre. She said: “I’ve always loved to perform and, term time, I was probably averaging around 13 hours of dance training each week. So when I was looking at university courses I knew I needed to find one that offered me an intense training regime.” Leeds Conservatoire offers Madi just that. With 33 hours per week of study the Musical Theatre course will satisfy Madi’s desire to fill her time with the very things she loves the most. She said: “I think it’s really important to dedicate a lot of time to training so that you don’t fall behind, and it also gives you more of a competitive edge, so the course at Leeds is absolutely perfect for me.” NHSG nurtured Madi’s love of musical theatre, offering her the opportunity to perform regularly in school musicals, most recently in its ambitious production of Les Misérables. Madi said: “Taking part in Les Mis was really eye opening because it’s such a difficult musical to perform and we had to work really hard. But the encouragement from my teachers, including my dance teacher here at NHSG, has always been great. They have really helped shape who I am today and I owe them a lot.” Having the opportunity to take part in extra curricular dance training though NHSG’s on site collaborations with companies such as Gateway Studios and Phoenix Dance Theatre helped Madi satisfy her appetite for training in and around her formal study. She is now looking forward to raising the bar even higher at Leeds. She added: “Leeds is a wonderful and vibrant city and Leeds Conservatoire does one of the best courses in Musical Theatre so I really can’t wait to get started.”
Newcastle High School For Girls - “A* success for budding legal eagle Lucy”

A* success for budding legal eagle Lucy

August 17, 2023
With two A stars and an A under her belt, Lucy Fernie is delighted to be heading to London School of Economics (LSE) this September to study Law. She said: “I was terrified, really nervous about getting my results. You come out of the exams feeling pretty confident but then you have the whole of summer to overthink it all!” Thankfully, Lucy’s post-exam confidence was justified, and she is now looking forward to studying at one of the UK’s highest ranking institutions for law. It was NHSG’s links with the professional sector that initially fired Lucy’s interest in Law. She said: “Mrs Ridley put on some work experience sessions and invited professional barristers in to talk to us and I remember being really excited by how diverse they said their work was. It motivated me to look into the profession more and I found it really interesting.” With encouragement from her teacher and older NHSG students, Lucy began reading everything she could get her hands on about the topic. “I really love Helen Kennedy’s books and also Chris Daw’s. I think it was somebody in the year above me at NHSG who went on to study Law at Cambridge who suggested I watch one of Chris’ online career talks which was really interesting.” Lucy’s time at NHSG has also involved being part of and, more recently, running the school’s Law Society. She said: “I was able to organise external speakers to come into the school and support younger pupils who were interested in pursuing a career in law.” Benefitting from an all-girl education, Lucy believes that the NHSG environment empowered her and help her to build her confidence. She was able to take part in national debating competitions and said that speaking out became more natural because you knew you would be heard. She’s now excited about heading to the capital city to begin the next chapter in her academic study. She said: “I’ve always thought Newcastle was really busy and lively, but London is something else entirely – it’s the city that never sleeps. I can’t wait to get down there.”
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Emma harnesses the power of words at Oxford”

Emma harnesses the power of words at Oxford

August 17, 2023
Achieving A*s and As in Fine Art, Politics and English A-Levels, Emma is looking forward to a bright future at Oxford University where she’ll be studying English Language and Literature at St John’s College. With a burning ambition to harness the power of words to affect societal change, Emma is contemplating using her love of language to pursue a career in investigative journalism. She said: “I’d love to be an investigative journalist because breaking stories can have a big impact on society. Journalism can shine a light on societal issues, change policy and change how we think, too.” Emma has always been incredibly passionate about English. She said: “It’s by far my favourite subject and I remember even as a young child being given a box set of Shakespeare texts that I worked my way through solidly for hours.” With a particular interest in the way that words and literature impact the world, Emma said: “Books such as Paradise Lost by John Milton have massively influenced the way we think about religion today. It’s responsible for almost every aspect of understanding we have about Satan, and yet many people won’t even know the author’s name or where their understanding came from in the first place.” In addition to studying her favourite subjects at school, Emma also took part in debating competitions and school musicals during her time with NHSG. She said: “An all-girl education completely changed my life. I don’t know who I’d be today without it. There was no pressure to fit into a traditional ‘girls’ role so we were able to be more creative and ambitious and we were introduced to so many different women who were succeeding in so many fields. It’s great knowing that I have a strong network of women that I can rely on.” As part of Emma’s desire to make a difference in society, she was delighted to be introduced to the work of West End Women and Girls’ Centre through NHSG when it was one of the school’s nominated charities. She said: “I still donate to the centre because what they do is so important, so I’d love to continue supporting causes like that through journalism.” Emma added: “Literature isn’t just something that’s separate from the world we live in, it’s part of our world. And words, literally, can change that world.”
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Eleanor heads to St Andrew’s to tackle society’s big questions”

Eleanor heads to St Andrew’s to tackle society’s big questions

August 17, 2023
Eleanor cried with happiness when she opened her A Level results and realised she had secured a place with her dream university. With A*s and A’s under her belt, she’s preparing to head to St Andrew’s to study Theology. She said: “I’ve had my heart set on St Andrew’s for six or seven years. My brother went there and I remember visiting and falling in love with it. The course itself is also really interesting. It’s a mix of studying the early parts of the bible and the gospels – so you’ll learn Ancient Hebrew and Ancient Greek – but it also looks at different religions, asking all the big questions such as why people believe in God and how religion affects society.” Eleanor’s ultimate ambition is to travel the world and work in a humanitarian role – something that she believes she’ll be well-equipped to do following her course. She said: “When I tell people I’m planning to study theology, they often ask if I’m planning to become a religious studies teacher. Someone once even asked if I was planning to become the Pope! I think there’s a real misunderstanding about what’s involved in Theology and the career paths it can lead to. For example, if you want to work in humanitarian aid in Palestine, you need to have a strong understanding of the religions involved in order to help people.” During her time at NHSG, Eleanor says her burning curiosity has always been nurtured. She said: “Whenever I wanted to ask my teachers a question they would spend time chatting to me and they were so passionate. It’s so much more than a job for them, and you can tell how much they love their subjects. I remember once asking my religious studies teacher the big question of ‘why’ and she spent hours talking to me and gave me about 15 books to read, always recommending new ones as they came in.” Eleanor says she also gained confidence through NHSG’s all girl education, taking part in public speaking activities as the school’s Head Girl, as well as debating, leading school tours and joining the School Council. She said: “I arranged to visit St Andrews for a talk on Theology and, when I turned up, I was by far the youngest and most inexperienced person there. They were all sitting in a circle having this intellectual discussion and I just joined in with it. Even as the youngest person in the room I was curious enough and confident enough to just ask the questions I wanted the answers to. It was amazing. I couldn’t have joined in like that if it wasn’t for NHSG and the confidence I developed during my time there.” Having recently returned from a school trip to South Africa where she was able to visit townships and the Apartheid Museum to learn about history and society, Eleanor is now preparing to put her natural curiosity to good use as she gears up for University life. She said: “How people behave, what they believe in, why they live the way they do and why some people can’t get along – these are all things that religion impacts greatly. Even if you eradicated religion people would still be guided by their moral conscience and foundational beliefs. Religion has changed the world completely in every sense, and I’m looking forward to asking the biggest question we face: why?”
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Trailblazing students at NHSG celebrate successful A Level results”

Trailblazing students at NHSG celebrate successful A Level results

August 17, 2023
There were jubilant scenes as Newcastle High School for Girls once again celebrates a fabulous set of A Level results. Among them were some outstanding individual achievements for the Class of 23 at the school and which will see these young female trailblazers take up a range of exciting higher education courses at the country’s top universities. For the cohort who, due to Covid-19 restrictions, were unable to sit formal GCSE examinations in 2021, it was time to put the past behind them and move onto the next stage of their life as the school reported a 100% pass rate and that over 40% of pupils achieved all top grades. NHSG Head, Michael Tippett, said: “A Levels are possibly the most challenging exams any student will sit – but this is especially true for a cohort who were impacted so heavily during the pandemic when studying for their GCSEs. I applaud their hard work and resilience and am so proud of everything they have achieved.” Mr Tippett, who is concluding his 28 years’ service to the school at the end of August, added: “This year’s students will always be particularly special for me as they are the last A Level cohort I will see complete their education at NHSG, and I could not be more delighted to be spending my final NHSG A Level results day surrounded by the Class of 2023. I wish each and every pupil so much success for the future.  I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to our dedicated teachers who have supported the girls so brilliantly to achieve these results. They really are second to none.” Pupils at the leading all-girl school will be taking up a raft of top flight university and higher education places including Oxford, Edinburgh, London School of Economics and Leeds Conservatoire.  Reflective of the school’s clear ability to nurture skills across a breadth of subjects, they’ll be studying subjects stretching from Environmental Sciences, Medicine and Zoology to Film, Theatre and Music. Amanda Hardie, Deputy Head Academic, and Acting Head of NHSG from this September, is also delighted with the results. She said: “It’s been an excellent morning and wonderful to see the results of the girls’ hard work.” “You simply can’t deny the benefits of an all-girl education – a productive environment that empowers girls to learn without limits and be the girl they want to be. Ambitions are always strong amongst the NHSG student community, and I am sure we will hear this cohort’s names mentioned in the years to come as they go on to achieve great things in their chosen field and blaze a trail of success.”