Newcastle High School for Girls - News

News from NHSG

Read our latest news stories, or explore our archive - it's a great way to learn in more detail about some of the activities at NHSG. There's always something happening!

Newcastle High School For Girls - “MHAW 2019: Tackling the growing issue of Body Image”

MHAW 2019: Tackling the growing issue of Body Image

May 28, 2019

Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) is an increasingly popular initiative designed to bring awareness to mental ill health in our society.

This year’s MHAW took place 13th-17th May and the theme was body image. Body image is a complex psychological construct but, simply put, it encompasses how we think and feel about our bodies. We are all affected by ‘body image’ to a certain degree but the extent to which it manifests itself in our behaviours differs across individuals.

A number of activities have been running this week, including a fascinating talk by Dr Ana Javornik from Newcastle University on the effect of ‘augmented reality’ on self-esteem. We also held an assembly on body image showcasing the work on confidence completed by
Year 8 in PSHE. Our pastoral team ran a mini social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter, providing daily top tips on how to promote a healthy body image which could be seen on display screens in School throughout the week.

On Wednesday, Nurse Wilson and our counsellor Miss Stewart held a stall at lunchtime which was a hit with girls who crowded around the tables to take part in various interactive activities. One particularly popular feature was a gallery of staff images - before and after they had been cleverly doctored (by Nurse Wilson) using a Snapchat filter. This was created to demonstrate the way in which social media does not always show accurate images of others, which can then affect the way we perceive ourselves.

We were grateful to Dr Ana Javornik for returning to NHSG specifically to join our MHAW stall and she led discussions around the use of filters, and their impact on self-esteem and body image. Dr Javornik remarked that the girls raised some very interesting and insightful points regarding their understanding of body image.

Girls were also invited to answer questions such as ‘How important is it to look good?’ and ‘Is body image everything?’ to provoke deeper thinking on this topic. Some even tried Nurse Wilson’s special ‘self-worth scales’ which did not concern weight, but identified what girls were made up of, which led to pleasing responses such as enthusiasm, care, loudness and fun!

There were a lot of body-positive comments on how girls feel about themselves.

Meanwhile Miss Bowman and Miss Hefford ran a ‘What Can Your Body Do?’ exhibition where girls showed off their wonderful talents such as flexibility, wiggling eyes, ears or tongues and amazing body contortions! Mrs Edmonds was also on-hand to demonstrate the Positive app and how this online platform can be used to help track self-esteem and a positive mindset. Not all online media is bad for body image!

Overall, the week served as a great reminder that, with the correct support, we can reduce and in some cases, reverse, the effects of ill mental health in our community.

Newcastle High School For Girls - “Goodbye to the next cohort of GDST girls – but hopefully not for long!”

Goodbye to the next cohort of GDST girls – but hopefully not for long!

May 28, 2019

On Thursdsay 16th May we held a very special event to thank our Year 13 parents for their support and Year 13 girls for their hard work at NHSG and wish them farewell and good luck for the next chapter of their lives.

Mr Tippett and Head Girl Alice Larsen gave heart-warming speeches of thanks and reflected on the Class of 2019’s years at school. Some of Year 13 have been pupils at founding schools Central High or Church High since Nursery so it was a very poignant evening for parents in attendance, as reality began to sink in that their daughter’s educational journey at NHSG was coming to an end.

Mr Tippett also remarked on the choice of seahorse colour for this year’s tier of the Scholars’ Fund chandelier (read more about our Scholars’ Fund on page 18). Quite in contrast to last year’s selection of teal blue, Class of 2019 have chosen a vibrant neon orange! It will certainly leave a lasting impression on those who lay eyes on the soon-to-be updated chandelier, just as the girls themselves have on NHSG.

Everyone raised their glasses to toast Year 13 and their parents before tucking into delicious BBQ style food. You will notice from the photographs that there was an eclectic dress code on display, as some girls remained in their costumes from Thursday’s chosen theme of ‘celebrity’!

We have no doubt that the girls in Year 13 will go on to achieve great things and we hope to see them at NHSG reunions in the years to come.

The many photos captured on the evening have been uploaded to the Newcastle High School Alumnae page which we invite the girls to follow as part of their introduction to the NHSG Alumnae network.

Remember, girls, NHSG and GDST for life!

Newcastle High School For Girls - “Dramatic evening of Dance at A Level and GCSE Dance showcase”

Dramatic evening of Dance at A Level and GCSE Dance showcase

May 28, 2019

While the photographs of our Dance Performance Evening on 1st May are fantastic (special thanks must go to Mr Younger!), it’s quite impossible to capture the sophistication and complexity of the A Level and GCSE dance choreography that was performed by our talented dance pupils.

Some of the girls had completed their Dance examinations that very morning so were performing for a second time that day - not that you could tell, energy and excitement levels were tangible all evening.

It was lovely to see so many friends and family in the admiring audience, including some of our NHSG Alumnae who, now well into their university studies, were there to support younger siblings and fondly reminisce on their own Dance Performance days!

The evening concluded with a lovely farewell from Miss Bowman to this year’s Dance Captains, Abigail Spann and Charlotte Swinyard, who have been a super source of support for the Dance Department, helping with a plethora of dance clubs throughout their time at NHSG and, of course, the annual musical production.

We wish Abigail and Charlotte good luck and farewell in the next step of their educational journey, and all of our dancers, the best of luck with their Dance examination results!

Newcastle High School For Girls - “A visit from ‘Great Women’ author, Kate Pankhurst”

A visit from ‘Great Women’ author, Kate Pankhurst

April 17, 2019

Kate Pankhurst writes delightful books about women who have achieved remarkable things, and she illustrates them in her own lively style, making them fun to read as well as inspirational.

When Kate visited our Junior School in February, she gave a talk to Junior girls from Years 1 to Year
6, and covered a wealth of achievements by women such as Junko Tabei, the first woman to climb Everest; famous swimmer Annette Kellerman; hot-air balloonist Sophie Blanchard; nature artist Maria Merian; and Suffragettes, like Kate’s famous ancestor. She provided costumes for girls to dress up as the subjects of her talk, and had all the girls draw a picture of Junko Tabei along with her.

All three of Kate’s books are in the Library, where they are hugely popular, along with our great collection of biographies written for young people.

Newcastle High School For Girls - “International Women’s Day 2019”

International Women’s Day 2019

April 17, 2019

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.

Newcastle High School For Girls - “A hive of activity at the Higher Education evening”

A hive of activity at the Higher Education evening

April 17, 2019

With the myriad of course and university choices open to girls at NHSG, our Higher Education Evening on 20th March proved to be an outstanding success. We were able to bring over 40 Higher Education institutions from around the country together in the Main Hall, giving girls and parents of Years 10-13 an unrivalled opportunity to ‘visit’ universities and other organisations in just a couple of hours.

Among the universities that joined us were those from Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrew’s, for example, as well as those from much further afield such as Liverpool, Bath, and UCL.

As well as the individual exhibition stalls, we also offered a selection of ‘drop-in’ talks which proved very popular. These included a very well attended talk by Edinburgh University, followed by a talk about ‘Competitive Courses’ from the University of Bath, and finally a talk from a Durham University Professor, specifically on why choosing a Modern Foreign Language is so beneficial in the long-term.

Later, talks were delivered by the University of Liverpool, Sunderland, Glasgow, and a final session on Art Foundation Courses with Newcastle College. We were also very fortunate to have ArtEd (Acting & Musical Theatre) deliver a drama workshop to some of our pupils prior to the conference on the afternoon of Wednesday 20th March.

The event was also attended by companies promoting their degree apprenticeships and school leaver schemes, for pupils looking for an alternative to university education. These businesses included EY, PwC, Accenture & Europa Worldwide.

Numerous subject areas were covered and the event provided a unique opportunity for our pupils to explore the wide array of courses and additional opportunities on offer in the next stage of their educational journey. We hope this has inspired our girls to explore the many options available to them and begin their research early.

It was great that we were also able to extend an invitation to other local schools so that their pupils could also benefit from this opportunity.

Newcastle High School For Girls - “NHSG’s first Mother and Daughter Science Fair”

NHSG’s first Mother and Daughter Science Fair

April 16, 2019

STEM Discovery Week 2019, 6th -15th March, is an international initiative that encourages projects, organisations and schools across Europe and around the world, to celebrate careers and studies in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

As part of recognising this initiative, Miss Williams organised NHSG’s very first Mother and Daughter Science Fair, inviting girls and their mums to work on a Science project of their choice and display their findings at an afternoon exhibition of all-things Science on 9th March.

The variety, and quality, of the research was fantastic, covering a vast number of topics in great detail; from chemical reactions, electricity-producing lemons, homemade hovercrafts and everything in-between - it was clear that girls and their Mums had invested a huge amount of time and energy investigating their topic.

Mrs Waton, Head of Science at Senior School, was in attendance to award prizes for the best work, a task which the rest of the teachers did not envy! It was an extremely difficult decision but winning prizes were awarded to Lily Roberts, Amy Sutherland, Elizabeth Voysey and Wizda Qasim. Runners-up were Jasmine Bell, Poppy Charlton, Charlotte Hardie and sisters Caitlin and Emily Doran.

Well done to all the girls and Mums who took part.