Newcastle High School for Girls - News

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Newcastle High School For Girls - “GCSE and A Level Artists immersed themselves in the world of contemporary art at Yorkshire Scultpure Park”

GCSE and A Level Artists immersed themselves in the world of contemporary art at Yorkshire Scultpure Park

July 7, 2023
On 21st June, our GCSE and A Level Art pupils set out on a trip to the renowned Yorkshire Sculpture Park, armed with sketchbooks, open minds, and a readiness to explore the world of modern and contemporary art. Pupils spent the day immersing themselves in the fascinating work of some of the world’s leading artists and exploring an impressive collection of alternative art forms. As we entered the park we were greeted by a wide range of powerful crafts and multi-media installations, allowing the pupils to foster a much deeper understanding of the sculptors’ impact on contemporary art through vivid, and inspirational narratives. One artist in particular who caught our attention was Damien Hirst, a master of the unconventional, and who challenged our perceptions through his bold and provocative exhibits. Another brilliant addition was Daniel Arsham, whose conceptual ability to create sculptures resembling weathered and decaying artifacts reminded us of the transformative power of contemporary art and inspired us to explore new dimensions of creative expression. After an intense period of rigorous exams, this trip provided the perfect outlet for pupils to reignite their creativity. By exploring the natural beauty of the park and witnessing the works of countless accomplished artists, we were encouraged to push the boundaries of our creativity and explore the distinctive, unfamiliar approaches taken by this diverse range of creators. Following the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, we then visited the Hepworth Wakefield, a prestigious art gallery dedicated entirely to modern and contemporary art. Here, we were exposed to a remarkable range of notable artists including Barbara Hepworth’s own work, which epitomised her distinctive and modernist art style. Hepworth’s sculptures are often characterised by a sense of movement and exude a profound connection to the natural world, enabling us to experience the breadth and depth of sculptural artistry. From monumental creations, to delicate, intricate pieces of art, each piece of work provoked a unique emotional response and served as a fitting complement to our earlier exploration of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park by exposing us to brand new, nuanced art forms. At the end of the day, we returned to our classrooms with fresh perspectives and a newfound willingness to push the boundaries of our own artistic endeavours, further exploring the unique and unconventional viewpoints that we had witnessed that day. By Ella Kovuk, Year 12.
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Junior School celebrate a spectacular Spanish Day”

Junior School celebrate a spectacular Spanish Day

May 5, 2023
On Tuesday 18th April, Junior School celebrated our annual Spanish day which is always a much-anticipated date in our calendar as it is such a cultural and language-enhancing experience for the girls. Lottie in Year 2 captured this sentiment beautifully when she said, “I was so glad we didn’t just have one lesson of Spanish today, we have spent the whole day learning lots of new things!” We were delighted to be joined and supported again by Senior School colleagues from our Modern Foreign Languages department and a brilliant group of Senior School pupils who volunteered to assist us. It was a real privilege to work together and for Junior School girls to have the opportunity to witness and be inspired by such positive Senior School role models. The day commenced in true Spanish ‘fiesta’ style with Señora Shaw leading a whole school flamenco masterclass! The floors and walls reverberated with stomps and claps and everyone left assembly feeling energised and excited for the day ahead. Each Year Group had a different theme to explore and their activities were based around this topic. Both Nursery and Reception centred their activities around the text ‘Lola’s Fandango’ which is the story of a little girl who learns to dance flamenco. The girls enjoyed watching videos of Spanish children dancing and then tried learning some of the movements themselves. Nursery girls then made their own maracas, while girls in Reception created some beautiful pictures and descriptions of flamenco dancers. Year 1 explored the renowned Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudí. They looked at examples of his work including his mesmerising mosaic work before creating their own mosaics. Their next challenge was to make one of his signature lizards out of clay which they painted in his style. Emily said, “I loved moulding the clay to make my lizard.” Year 2’s theme was the life and works of Pablo Picasso. They explored his styles before creating their own interpretations of his artwork which currently adorn the corridors of Chapman House! Gigi said she ‘loved making the abstract art of the weeping woman.’ Year 3 complemented their topic work on rainforests by celebrating the rich culture of Mexico. The girls researched and presented facts about Mexico and explored Mexican traditions and customs before embarking on the mindful task of making a traditional ‘Ojo de Dios’. Yi said, “I loved finding out about the Mexican cultures as I didn’t know much about it before.” The Year 4 classrooms were buzzing after being set the brief to research the Spanish fiesta ‘Las Fallas’. After some comprehensive fact finding regarding the history and traditions of this fiesta, they set about creating their own pictorial ‘hat’ version of ‘ninots’ which represented a theme that they felt needed addressing e.g. war, plastic pollution, air pollution, recycling etc. In true Valencian tradition, these models were ceremoniously burned in the school firepit after voting for one ‘ninot’ to be saved to carry forward to next year. Mrs Donaldson, Mrs Topley and the girls had a very difficult decision deciding which ‘ninot’ to save as all of the girls had really excelled in their thoughtful themes and colourful design. Girls in Year 5 focused their efforts on famous and historic Spanish landmarks and buildings. They carried out detailed research on iconic places of interest such as Sagrada Familia, Alhambra, Mezquita, Parc Güell, The Guggenheim museum etc. Taking inspiration from these sites then allowed them to plan and create their own representations using their ideas and choice of materials. Year 6 girls had the exciting task of researching Spanish food and delicacies before putting their own culinary skills to the test. They created a selection of different flavoured ‘palmeras’, a traditional Spanish delicacy. Once they were safely baking in the oven, they created menus and conversation cards for our after-school café which Year 6 parents were invited to attend. Our intention was to replicate an authentic Spanish café experience with the girls being waitresses and our parents being the customers! The Year 6 girls truly surpassed themselves, not only did they showcase their spoken Spanish skills but many actively encouraged and supported their parents and Junior School staff to communicate in Spanish too. Perhaps the greatest highlight for us all was the delicious Spanish lunch. The catering team at Chapman House tricked us into thinking we were actually in Spain with steaming dishes of paella, patatas bravas and appetising platters of tapas for the girls to try! The mussels were a hot topic of conversation as many girls had never tried them before. Once again, the churros with lashings of chocolate sauce were the talk of the day. Ivy in Year 1 said, “The pudding was out of this world!” Reception wanted to ‘do it all again tomorrow.’ so I think it was fair to say that the day had been a resounding success.
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Wir sind Berliner!”

Wir sind Berliner!

April 6, 2023
"Over February half term, the GCSE and A Level historians ventured off on a long weekend to a city famed for its diverse culture and rich history: Berlin. From sampling the local delicacies like Döner and Currywurst, to exploring its iconic sights, we certainly made the most of our visit. However, one activity that stood out above the rest was our trip to Wünsdorf, near Zossen, which is a sleepy book town (home to many used books and antiquarian bookstores) that is also home to the impressive Maybach I bunker complex and the Zeppelin. It was the centre of the High Command of the German army in WWII and, after the war, it was utilised by the Russians until 1994. It was bought by Werner Lesse, Zossen’s mayor at the time, from the government in order to preserve and showcase the fantastic historical value of the area, and we were led on an exclusive private tour through the history of the Cold War. Very little maintenance work has been done to the complex, leaving it to deteriorate naturally over time. Above ground, the bunkers were designed to look like houses to disguise their military function. Zeppelin - the underground communications bunker - had connections all the way to Paris, Brussel, and the High Command of the Armed Forces in Nazi Germany. It descends into a maze of underground tunnels, which would act as a very fitting set for a zombie apocalypse film. During the Red army’s occupation they made some alterations, including nuclear-proofing the bunker. Additionally, there are facilities to cater for the army’s needs, in the event of a nuclear war. Many of the original features still remain, including the Russian graffiti on the walls. Overall, we found the trip an incredible experience and it was fascinating to visit a city steeped with history so relevant to our course, it made our studies come to life." By Evie and Nico, Year 12.
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Getting ready for Reception – Top tips”

Getting ready for Reception – Top tips

March 22, 2023
Kate Gingles is an expert in the education of young children. She has worked in Early Years education for over 19 years, and after working as an Early Years Advisor in County Durham, joined the NHSG Junior School leadership team in September 2021 as EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) Phase Leader. She has shared her top ‘getting ready for Reception’ tips with us. It’s an exciting time knowing that your child is soon to start school. However, as an early years teacher for 19 years and as a parent of two young children myself, I know that excitement can also be coupled with a touch of worry… are they ready? Can they do enough? Have I done enough? Am I ready?! The reality is, your children are going to surprise and delight you over the next year. All the wonderful things that they have already done in their Nursery setting and all the experiences that you have given them at home in their first four or five years have will pave the way for a great start to Reception, and a lifetime of educational success. These pre-school months couldn’t be more important and I hope you enjoy reading my top tips for a great start to Reception class.
  1. Prepare
Talk to your child about starting school. Once you have made your school choice, show them where the school is. Not once but lots of times! Try to walk past at different times of the day so you can see other children arriving at school or out on the yard. Practise the journey, choose, label and try on the uniform together. Read picture books and watch CBeebies shows about starting school so they can imagine what it might be like. At Newcastle School for Girls we invite new girls for a taster session before they start Reception. If your chosen school offers this opportunity, make sure you take advantage of it. Remember, you know what school is all about, but they don’t yet, and they might have all kinds of weird and wonderful misconceptions. The more familiar your child is with their new school, the more relaxed they will be.
  1. Be excited
Even if you have mixed feelings about this new stage, make it exciting and positive for your child. Your child will mirror your emotions on that first day of school and you want them to feel good. Of course, it’s natural for you to miss them and for them to miss you, so talk about this. Reassure them that you will be back to collect them at the end of the day and remind them how much fun they are going to have. Even if your child has been at Nursery or pre-school for a long time, school can feel very different, so don’t be alarmed if they find the initial transition difficult. They are leaving not only you, but also the setting where they have been so comfortable all this time, so it is a big change. I promise you, even if that first moment of separation at the classroom door is difficult, the vast majority of children are absolutely fine within minutes of being in the classroom. Reception staff know exactly what to do to help children feel relaxed and settled, so trust them and your child will do the same.”
  1. Stand back
Being a parent is hard work. There is never enough time in the day and you will probably find yourself doing things for your child just to speed things along a bit. However, if you can stand back and let your child put on their own coat or shoes, wash their hands, open their snack or tidy their own toys away (with some guidance and instruction of course!) it will really help them to develop their confidence and independence. Your child’s teacher will be seeking to grow and develop these skills in the Reception year, so give them a head start and let them feel like a confident and competent learner from the outset. In addition, encourage them to ask for help if they need it. Let your child know that they should tell the teacher if they are not sure about something, if they need to go to the toilet or if they don’t feel well. Try to find opportunities for them to speak clearly to other adults so that they get used to doing this.
  1. Play
The Reception year is the final year of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which, if your child has been in any kind of pre-school setting they are already part of. A key feature of this is learning through play, and the teachers and teaching assistants in the Reception class will be highly skilled in providing play-based learning opportunities for your child. Don’t feel that you need to sit your child down and work through written workbooks, or practise letter formation before they join Reception. These skills will come in time. Instead, focus on skills such as taking turns, explaining ideas and making decisions as these will all be essential in the classroom environment. As Albert Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research”.  Play develops social skills, problem   solving and thinking skills and important characteristics such as resilience and flexibility. Allow your child the opportunity to play, explore and develop their own ideas and interests so that they are confident to express themselves freely in the classroom and get the most from the activities on offer.”
  1. Read
I don’t mean teach them to read, that’s the Reception teacher’s job and believe me, she or he will do it with great skill and enthusiasm from day one of the Reception year! Read them stories, every day and every night. Just one bedtime story a day equates to nearly 1500 stories by the time your child is four years old! As well as all those opportunities to develop listening and concentration, just think of all the words, sentence structures and ideas that they will have come across. It really is the greatest gift you can give them. At Newcastle School for Girls we don’t expect our new starters to know all (or any) of their letter sounds before they join us as we will be teaching these through our own systematic phonics scheme from the first week of Reception in September. However, many girls do have some prior knowledge of these, particularly the letters in their name. Knowing just the shape of the first letter of their name can be very useful when they need to find their peg, bag or book in the classroom! Alongside reading, playing games such as I spy or singing songs and rhymes together are highly beneficial as these activities develop vital phonological awareness skills that underpin learning to read.
  1. Subitise
In our Reception classes at Newcastle High School for Girls we find that pupils join us with some excellent maths skills, particularly in relation to numeral recognition and reciting the counting sequence to ten, twenty and often beyond! This is wonderful and gives the girls confidence in maths lessons. However early maths is about so much more than this! Subitising is the skill whereby children recognise small quantities of objects without counting them (in the way we recognise dot patterns on a dice instantly) and it is strongly linked with success in maths. Practise this skill with your child by playing dice games and dominoes and most importantly encourage them to notice groups of objects when you are out and about. For example, you might spot a group of two conkers within a larger collection, three parts to a clover leaf or one person walking two dogs. Extend this learning by grouping and sharing real life objects. Children will demonstrate a lot of natural ability in maths when they arrange buttons on a playdough cake or share out four biscuits between themselves or a friend for example.
  1. Communicate
Take every opportunity to tell your child’s teacher about your child. If there are things you are worried or concerned about speak up and if you’re not sure about something, ask! Your child’s teacher will want to get to know them, and you, as well as possible so help them to do that. At Newcastle School for Girls we use an online learning journal called Tapestry and it’s wonderful when parents post photographs and comments about things that the girls have been doing at home, as this helps us to understand the world from their point of view. If your chosen school has one of these systems, make full use of it!  A key principle of the EYFS is that every child is unique, help your child’s school to understand what makes them special. A key principle of the EYFS is that every child is unique, help your child’s school to understand what makes them special. Download our brochure here.  
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Pupils explore virtual reality, robotics and 3D printing at STEM event”

Pupils explore virtual reality, robotics and 3D printing at STEM event

March 17, 2023
Pupils from Newcastle High School for Girls (NHSG) were given the opportunity to explore 3D printing, locomotion virtual reality, renewable energy, robotics and how to create clean water at the school’s recent STEMpowerment exhibition. The exhibition was designed to excite and inspire girls in STEM from an early age as part of the all-girl school’s ambition to tackle the gender imbalance that still exists in STEM based careers. According to a report by the charity Engineering UK which analysed Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data, just 18% of engineering and technology students were female, compared to 57% for all degree subjects combined. Male engineering students have vastly outnumbered female students for years, with Women in STEM reporting a figure of 19% back in 2017. This puts the UK well below other countries such as India where the proportion is closer to 30%. While NHSG has a high take up of STEM subjects at A Level, the forward-facing school remains determined to empower its pupils even further by exposing them to the opportunities open to them. Its inaugural STEMpowerment exhibition saw some of the biggest names in STEM including Proctor and Gamble, Soil Machine Dynamics, EDF Renewables, Rheinmetall BAE Systems and Cummins, alongside the universities of Newcastle, Northumbria and Nottingham, come together to share innovations, offer interactive experiences and give advice on how to progress an exciting career in STEM. Alongside these renowned organisations, NHSG pupils also had the opportunity to present their own innovations at the exhibition including a number of Year 8 pupils who were presenting their sustainable theme park model - an entry for the Industrial Cadets outreach programme whose patron is HRH King Charles. Michael Tippett, Head Teacher, Newcastle High School for Girls, said: “Seeing the pupils’ STEM projects exhibited alongside some of the country’s most forward-thinking organisations was truly inspirational. STEMpowerment has delivered on its aim to further develop the pupils’ confidence in STEM and enabling them to explore the exciting range of opportunities in STEM based careers. “With STEM roles and salaries expected to be among the fastest growing we want the girls in our school to understand fully the opportunities that working in these areas will offer. STEMpowerment is just one of the ways in which we are inspiring and empowering girls at NHSG, meaning that girls attending NHSG will be much more likely to pursue careers in STEM and contribute to change-making innovations and inventions in their future careers." The exhibition also featured a mini lecture programme headlined by NHSG alumna and neuropharmacologist Dr Leoli Telford Cooke who has been at the forefront of drug discovery programmes for diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis. Also among the impressive exhibitors taking part in STEMpowerment were: Alexander Battery Technologies,  New College Durham / North East Institute of Technology, Canford Audio, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Turner and Townsend  and Waterstons. NHSG intends to build on the success of the event by establishing STEMpowerment as an annual event and widening its audience.
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Newcastle High School for Girls showcases budding fashion talent”

Newcastle High School for Girls showcases budding fashion talent

February 16, 2023
As fashionistas gather in New York, London, Milan and Paris for the start of the Fashion Week season, young designers of the future from Newcastle High School for Girls (NHSG) have presented their own annual Art and Design Fashion Show. Showcasing their fashion collections inspired by themes such as race, medicine, the human body and Formula 1, alongside inspiration from the work of a variety of artists, the designs took centre stage in the school’s highly anticipated annual catwalk show. Taking place on Wednesday 15 February, the fully choreographed show highlighted the creative talent of over 80 pupils representing years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Audiences, including staff, pupils, parents and the general public, were treated to five final year collections from NHSG’s Textile Design A Level cohort – a unique academic offering that enables students to design and create a fashion collection from initial concept through to garment-making and runway show In addition, girls from years 9 to 12 showcased their work during the event – a culmination of their creative endeavours during the school year, with Year  9  pupils producing work inspired by acclaimed artists, and Year 12 pupils individually interpreting a shared theme of ‘past and future’. While the design and fabrication of all garments has been done entirely by the girls, the Fashion Show also demonstrated their skills in event planning, staging, music and lighting. NHSG, which has an outstanding reputation as a centre of creative excellence, sees many of its pupils following Art and Fashion related courses. Among the final year students presenting their collections was 17 year old Macey Mennell whose beautiful designs have been  inspired by Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Macey, who is from Durham, said: “My collection is based on Alice in Wonderland, a story that I have loved since childhood. I love all of Tim Burton’s films. I love the sci-fi element, the features, and particularly in Alice in Wonderland, the whimsical nature, dimensions and size swapping between large and small. I wanted to create a collection that would be fun and keep me entertained throughout the process. I was so excited for everyone to see my collection for the first time at the Fashion Show. I am hoping to go on to study Fashion Design, with the aim of designing colourful collections and styling for a big brand, or maybe even my own label one day, who knows.” Joining Macey in the catwalk was 18 year old Evie Ford who is from  Bedlington. Her arresting 70s style collection was more than impressive and she hopes to use the experience to work at one of the Big Four fashion shows in the future. Evie said:  “I’ve been obsessed with faces since Art and Design GCSE going on to study Graphics and Textiles at A Level. I love the eyes in particular, and the patterns and light of each individual pair of eyes. That’s why I have created my Fashion Show collection called ‘Optical’. It combines optical illusion with neon lights in a sort of 70s style. I am going on to do Fashion Marketing after my A Levels, hopefully at UAL. The dream would be to work on the world’s fashion weeks, like London, New York and Paris.” Many NHSG alumnae have gone on to enjoy successful careers in fashion, a highly competitive industry that contributes over £29 billion to the UK economy.  Among the school’s former pupils are Lauren Anderson, Charis Younger, Evie Turley, Jenni Moore, Chloe Cooper and Caroline Legg, who all currently work in fashion or are studying for a degree in fashion.  Highly successful designer Fiona Sinha also attended NHSG before going on to study fashion at the prestigious Central Saint Martins, where she met design partner Aleksandar Stanic and, together, under their label SinhaStanic, they went on to work for Alexander McQueen’s McQ label. Alison Goldie, Head of Art at NHSG, said: “The Fashion Show is always one of my favourite parts of the academic year. I am always so proud of and inspired by the students and enjoy seeing how all of their hard work throughout their course accumulates in their final pieces for the show. It really gives them the opportunity to showcase their ideas and how they have imagined and created their work not only as a highly creative outfit, but also as a performance piece.”
Newcastle High School For Girls - “High Acclaim for NHSG’s Production of Les Misérables”

High Acclaim for NHSG’s Production of Les Misérables

February 8, 2023
Raised to even higher levels after hearing that Andrea Riseborough, and former NHSG pupil, has been nominated for an Oscar, the NHSG cast, musicians and staff delivered a stunning and powerful performance of this epic musical staged in our performing arts venue on Thursday 2nd February – Saturday 4th February. This much loved musical, written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel and Herbert Kretzmer and based on a novel by Victor Hugo, is well known as a challenging production for cast and musicians as well as for the audience as they follow the lives of the characters who capture hearts from their first appearance on stage. The story of Les Misérables, set in France in the early 1800s, follows the character of Jean Valjean, who is released from prison after serving a nineteen year  sentence for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving niece. He breaks parole and goes about creating a new life for himself, seeking redemption as he evades the police inspector, Javert. The musical climaxes in the Paris June Rebellion of 1832. In partnership with Gateway Studios, around 60  pupils from across Senior School brought the story to life in three phenomenal performances. Mrs Dobson, Head of Drama and Director of Les Misérables said: “This has been the most challenging musical we have produced to date. Les Misérables teaches us about the power of love. We see through Jean Valjean, the transformative power of love and how it can inspire individuals to make positive changes in their lives and in the world around them. “Most importantly, I think, it teaches us about the human spirit. Les Misérables shows how people can rise above adversity and find hope and strength in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I think this fabulous company of actors and musicians are the greatest example of the human spirit. Their tenacity, perseverance and stamina make this one of the most memorable productions I have had the pleasure of working on.” Mishka in Year 12, was just one of a superb line up of acting and singing talent on stage and explained why she loved playing police inspector Javert, who pursues Valjean relentlessly; she sticks up for his character eloquently. “He’s seen as the villain, but I don’t think he’s a villain in the traditional sense. He’s a complex character with a strong moral compass. The hero, Valjean, was a criminal so it’s interesting to explore the sense of right and wrong we’re offered in the show.” The powerful music score was at the heart of the NHSG production and Maia in Year 13 had the opportunity to accompany the orchestra of professional musicians on the trombone. “Playing alongside professionals is really great  because with their experience they can help you,” she said. “Practising on your own, it can sound a bit weird playing a couple of bars and then resting, but when it came together with the vocals it sent shivers down your spine.” The acting, choreography, music and staging were outstanding and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house by the end of the show as the pupils brought the 1,100 plus audience to their feet night after night for a very well-deserved standing-ovation. Here’s what some had to say: “A truly spectacular show – best I’ve ever seen! Epic, uplifting and amazing.” “I was literally blown away by this. It was the most amazing show I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen the professional one!). In awe of the talent on stage. Outstanding.” “An incredible performance. Very talented singers but an amazing orchestra too. I can’t praise them enough.” With the music and words of ‘Do you hear the people sing’ still echoing in our minds, we are very proud to say that The Arts are thriving here at NHSG.
Newcastle High School For Girls - “Newcastle High School for Girls invites public to enjoy its most ambitious stage production yet”

Newcastle High School for Girls invites public to enjoy its most ambitious stage production yet

January 26, 2023
With a cast of 60, a full professional orchestra and a newly lifted restriction for single sex schools to be able to perform Les Misérables, staff and pupils at NHSG are about to embark on their most ambitious stage production yet. The performances will take place between 2nd – 4th February at our Senior School from 7pm, where other pupils, family members and the general public will see the extravagant production brought to life by an all-girl cast. Anna Dobson, Head of Drama and Director of the show, said: “We’ve wanted to stage Les Misérables for years but it’s only been very recently that single sex schools have been able to obtain the license to perform it. So as soon as that restriction was lifted we were straight on the case! “We’ve got 60 pupils taking part of all ages, from Years 7 through to Year 13, and the orchestra has invited two of our very own pupils to play with them, which is clearly a really exciting opportunity for them. Everyone knows Les Mis has a challenging music score but the girls are determined to wow their audience.  They have been working incredibly hard in rehearsals and I know they are going to blow everyone one away when they come to perform live. We’ll be performing in our school’s performing arts venue and the professional staging, sound and lighting will add to the occasion. “At NHSG we’re proud to give our pupils the opportunity to build on their practical experience and future CV in addition to providing a first-class academic curriculum. Bringing a taste of the professional world into the school environment is a really effective way of preparing pupils for life after study.” Two pupils taking part in the orchestra are Maia in Year 13, who plays trombone and Elizabeth in Year 9 who is playing violin. Maia said: “Being part of the orchestra for the school musical is a highlight of the year, and I am thoroughly enjoying Les Misérables this year. Having played in the orchestra and band for the musicals since Year 7, I always enjoy the opportunity of working alongside the professional musicians. Not only is it great fun, but it has also improved my playing significantly, and I have learnt a lot about different techniques and mutes! I am sad that this is my last year, but I look forward to participating in orchestras and jazz bands at University and maybe even playing in local productions whilst I’m there!’’ Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling and emotional story of justice, injustice, love, redemption and revolution, accompanied by some of the most memorable soundtracks in theatre history, including ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ and ‘On My Own’. Anna added: “Most of the musicals we have previously performed have included some dialogue, whereas this is all sung, so it’s a real challenge for everyone taking part. We can’t wait to share the finished product with the world.” Charlotte, an NHSG Drama Scholar, is taking on the role of Gavroche. It will mark her first performance in Senior School although she’s no stranger to theatre, being a member of Acting Up in Gateshead and playing Dorothy in our Junior School production of The Wizard of Oz. Charlotte said: “I am really looking forward for my first Senior School production. It has been an amazing experience and I have really enjoyed the rehearsals. I can't wait for the show days.’’ NHSG is staging the school edition special adaptation of Les Misérables licensed by Music Theatre International and Cameron Mackintosh (Overseas) Limited. The original music was written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, based on the book by Victor Hugo. Tickets range from £13 - £15 with a 10% discount when purchasing four or more. To book visit