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 - “NHSG triumph in Top of the Rocks competition”

NHSG triumph in Top of the Rocks competition

February 17, 2021

During the final week of January, GDST Junior Schools took part in an exciting Maths competition. The GDST Maths Junior Rock Out 2021 was open to Years 4, 5 and 6 via an online platform. The friendly competition was designed to be engaging while improving the girls’ arithmetic. Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “You will see children delighted with the sense of achievement which comes from mastering mathematical knowledge.”

Each correct answer to a multiplication or division question earned the girls a point for their class and The Times Tables Rock Stars platform calculated the class average. We were thrilled to see NHSG occupying top spots in the league table throughout the competition and they finished in an impressive 5th place out of all GDST schools. Laila Ahmad, Year 6, achieved an amazing individual performance of 2nd place out of every girl involved! 6J gave the best overall performance out of the six KS3 form groups involved.

Well done girls, we are so proud of our NHSG Maths maestros!

Newcastle High School For Girls - “Double dance success in Year 13”

Double dance success in Year 13

February 17, 2021

We were delighted to hear news of two of our A Level Dance pupils winning places at prestigious Dance Schools.

Lucinda Lant - London Studio Centre

We speak to Lucinda Lant in Year 13 who was recently awarded a place on the degree course at London Studio Centre, where she will be studying their Musical Theatre pathway, to find out more about her passion for Dance and plans for the future.

What is it that makes Dance so special to you, and what’s your favourite style of dance?
Theatre makes me feel so alive and I strive to be involved in the Arts in any possible way. This offer fills me with anticipation for the next three years. I love the way that dance allows me to express myself and my individuality, and I adore exploring the huge range of dance styles and the endless possibilities of choreography. I’ve trained at Marian Lane School of Dance since the age of 3 in predominantly Ballet, Tap and Jazz, and there I not only developed my technique and performance skills, but the skills I need to survive in such a challenging industry. I am so grateful! I was also a Royal Ballet and Elmhurst associate from the age of 8, meaning the majority of my training was in Ballet. However, over time I’ve found my favourite style of dance is either Commercial or Contemporary, as I find those styles give me the most freedom and allow me to express myself the most. Ballet is crucial for any style however, as it builds up technique, and I don’t think I’d be as strong in other styles if it wasn’t for all of the incredible training I have had within the Classical Ballet field. I began my training in contemporary dance at Phoenix Academy NE in 2017, where I had the chance to work with so many industry professionals and was given numerous performance opportunities which enabled me to develop my performance skills even further.

What’s your favourite Dance performance memory?
My favourite performance has to be in Grease last year. Cha Cha has always been one of my dream roles and the experience was incredible. Grease is such a fun musical and the music is just so uplifting. I’m so relieved we managed to perform it before Covid-19 hit us all a month later!

Why did you choose your Dance school?
London Studio Centre has such impressive alumnae, including Zizi Strallen, Elizabeth Hurley, Tamzin Outhwaite and Jason Pennycooke, which drew my eye to the school. After further research I discovered that in my 3rd year I’ll get the chance to tour with a company too, which sounds like such a fantastic experience. I think this school in particular will nurture me as an individual, and embrace my unique qualities, in a way that other schools wouldn’t. They also pride themselves on having a huge amount of links with the industry and a clear focus on student welfare, which I think is very important as this industry can be so demanding at times! I also had many discussions with all of my incredible dance teachers, (who know the industry much better than I do). They all agreed that London Studio Centre is the best school for me as an individual, which is so important as each school offers something completely different. It is located near the West End, which means I’ll be able to experience a lot more theatre, which I think is key when training in musical theatre and will also enable me to support the Arts after such a difficult time of darkness.

What are you most looking forward to in the next stage of your Dance journey?
I’m most looking forward to meeting other young people who share the same passion and drive as I do, all working towards similar goals in such a brilliant atmosphere. I’m extremely excited to work daily with industry professionals, expanding my skills not only in styles I’m comfortable with, but also those I haven’t yet had the chance to explore.

What are your ambitions for the future?
The Arts industry is constantly evolving, hence why I find it so exciting. Musicals are being developed as we speak and, who knows, there may be a future role for me that hasn’t even been written yet! Out of all the many musicals that exist, I would love to be involved in Mary Poppins or Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. The choreography in both of these productions is fascinating to me and it would be a dream to be involved in either. I also love acting and any opportunity to participate in acting for screen would be incredible.

Do you have any words of advice for younger NHSG pupils dreaming of becoming a professional Dancer?
Try not to let others affect you. The dance industry is competitive and being an individual is so important, so don’t shy away from being yourself. Not everybody’s going to love the way you are, but it’s better than blending in, I promise!

Georgia Morrow - Urdang Academy

Georgia Morrow was awarded a place on the degree course at Urdang Academy, also in London, where she will be studying BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre. Here are her thoughts on her future plans.

What is it that makes Dance so special to you, and what’s your favourite style of Dance?
I have been dancing and performing since the age of 3, and there is simply no better feeling then being up on stage in front of an admiring audience. The joy that I feel when dancing is something I just can’t put into words; therefore, it was probably one of the easiest choices I had to make when deciding what career I wanted to pursue. My favourite style of dance would have to be Musical Theatre Jazz. The choreographer Bob Fosse has always inspired me and watching some of his work such as Chicago has inspired my ambition to be in one of his Musicals.

What’s your favourite Dance performance memory?
My favourite performance memory would have to be when I performed at the Sunderland Empire. We were the first act in the second half; therefore, the curtain was down whilst we were on stage ready to perform. As the music began, the curtain started to rise and to see such a beautiful theatre full of people was a moment I will never forget.

Why did you choose your Dance school?
I chose to study at the Urdang Academy as it’s one of the UK’s most renowned conservatoires for training in professional Dance and Musical Theatre. It is based in the heart of London, home of the West End, and therefore full of exciting opportunities. Also, one of the academy’s key values is ‘Everyone, Individual’ which has stuck with me since reading it. I am so excited to be a part of a college with such an accepting ethos at its core.

What are you most looking forward to in the next stage of your Dance journey?
I can’t wait to start my professional training every day in specialist studios, taught by industry professionals who are still working in the art form. I’m really looking forward to moving to London and making new connections with like-minded people who enjoy the craft just as much as myself.

What are your ambitions for the future?
One of my biggest ambitions is to move to Paris to be a part of the Moulin Rouge cast, performing on the stage of the most famous cabaret in the world. For my 16th birthday, my Mum and I travelled to Paris for the weekend. We watched the production one night and I have been in awe ever since. The movement combined with the costumes was truly inspiring and something I’d love to involved with.

Do you have any words of advice for younger NHSG pupils dreaming of becoming a professional Dancer?
Always ask questions! Don’t be scared to ask anyone questions if you don’t quite understand something, even if they are older than you or you feel intimidated. Also, involve yourself as much as you can in activities relating to your craft to get your name out there. Even if someone doesn’t recognise your face, most likely they will remember your name and will be drawn towards you because of that. The Musical Theatre and Dance industry are relatively small, therefore the more connections you make early on in life, the easier it will be for you when you want to enter the industry professionally.

Newcastle High School For Girls - “A very merry morning with the Early Years”

A very merry morning with the Early Years

December 20, 2020

The Nativity story is such an exciting one for young children to learn about. The work leading up to the play focussed on countries and the setting in which the story took place.

We discussed in detail whether the story was from recent times or a long time ago. We then talked about advent and the girls created a calendar and learnt why we count down to Christmas. The girls explored the Nativity story further through the lyrics from the songs and acted out the main characters in the role play area where the relevant props were introduced to consolidate their understanding.

The EYFS Nativity at Chapman House on 12th December opened with a song to welcome the huge audience of friends and family into the story. Different girls took to the stage to tell the all-important narrative, demonstrating their confidence and understanding by speaking their words so clearly. Mary (Freya Brignall), Joseph (Anya Niven) and the donkey (Yasmin Egred) were so entertaining, particularly as they went about their journey to find a room to stay!

The leading Angels played by Grace Ledgerwood and Thensia Sinthujan were supported so well by the rest of the rhythmic Nursery angels.

The singing by all of the girls, both on-stage individually and as a whole group, was outstanding and made for some really uplifting performances.

Nursery and Reception demonstrated all the characteristics that make them effective learners; independent, confident, composed, communicative, courageous and collaborative NHSG girls.

The girls asked the audience to partake in a final rendition of We Wish You A Merry Christmas to conclude the Nativity and there was a wonderful feeling of Christmas cheer to end a very special term.

Newcastle High School For Girls - “A Festive Farewell”

A Festive Farewell

December 17, 2020

The NHSG Senior School Carol Service is a treasured event in the school calendar for many of us and we just couldn’t imagine ending the Autumn term without our traditional festive send-off. With this in mind, we set about getting special permission from St. George’s Church to film a carol concert in a safe and socially distant manner to share with our wider community.

With permission granted and all the necessary precautions in place, the NHSG Choir and staff from the Music Department performed a selection of carols in the stunning setting of St George’s on Monday 14th December. The atmosphere at the Church is what makes our Carol Service truly special so we hope that this comes across as you enjoy the Carols from the comfort of home. In addition to the carols, you will also have the opportunity to view the work of our Senior School pupils as they showcase their Music, Dance and Drama skills. The girls and staff in the Performing Arts department have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to pull this reel of talent together for you so we hope you enjoy it. A special thank you to Miss Penny and Mr Newey for masterminding the logistics behind this wonderful project.

Newcastle High School For Girls - “Catnaps Circle Ice, Icecaps Ant Circle, Calcites Carp Nice, Icecaps Tan Cleric”

Catnaps Circle Ice, Icecaps Ant Circle, Calcites Carp Nice, Icecaps Tan Cleric

December 15, 2020

Have we caught your attention? Did you work out the anagram for the real title of Practical Science?

While it has been a little challenging for schools to provide practical scientific experiences during times of social distancing, Year 4 have found lots of creative ways to learn about Solids, Liquids and Gases as well as Sound.

The girls have completed many investigations and concentrated on the skills surrounding investigative work. Firstly, observation skills were introduced to Year 4 by emptying a fruit teabag into a glass of water. The girls watched in amazement as particles floated, sunk, then floated back up again and swirled around, leaving a trail of pink behind. The demonstration was also filmed allowing slow-motion analysis of the event to take place later on in the lesson. It is amazing how a few tiny particles of fruit can lead to unbelievable theories and discussion!

Other skills Year 4 have learned in Science include using a thermometer when investigating melting points. While it is obvious to adults that water freezes at 0°c and boils at 100°c children need to see it with their own eyes and experience it first-hand. Girls in Year 4 also measured how much salt will dissolve into different temperatures of water followed by an investigation on which substances do and do not dissolve. One class were very creative in sourcing ingredients to dissolve from kitchen cupboards at home! The basic principles of investigative science were kept throughout as the girls identified the variables in each experiment and which ones would remain constant to ensure fair testing conditions.

In this year of incredibly challenging firsts, the foundations of STEM learning have been firmly established in Year 4 and we are so proud of them for soaking up all of the Scientific knowledge available to them. N-ice work, girls!

Newcastle High School For Girls - “Becca Braves The Bald!”

Becca Braves The Bald!

December 11, 2020

Rebecca McGowan, known as Becca, joined Year 12 in September and immediately demonstrated the defining hallmarks of a GDST girl; in particular, courage.

Rebecca had been thinking about shaving her head for some time but said that moving to NHSG, a different school to her identical twin, finally gave her the confidence to take on this challenge in aid of a really important cause. On 29th November she decided to shave off her long blonde hair so she could donate the money raised to the charity, Samaritans. She explained the significance of this charity: “Mental health is very important to me and has affected me and my loved ones, so Samaritans felt like the right option.Samaritans offers a 24-hour helpline for those facing a crisis.”

In the run-up to the big day Becca admits she felt nervous and “scared about what people would say“ but also incredibly excited, helped by the fact that she was encouraged by friends and family.

How does she feel now she has ‘done the deed’? “Everyone around me has been so supportive. I honestly feel fantastic, despite my head feeling like Velcro!“

Her goal was to raise £500, an ambitious target in itself, but within 24 hours of her JustGiving page going live she had already doubled it. She has now raised over £2800 which she says was “Beyond my wildest expectations!”.

Looking ahead to the future she says she can definitely imagine herself doing something similarly bold for charity but will need some time to think of her next challenge!

There’s certainly no rush, we’re hugely impressed by Rebecca’s brave actions and think she should take some time to reflect on her inspiring achievement. A huge well done from NHSG.

Newcastle High School For Girls - “Year 7 Make A Splash in STEM Club”

Year 7 Make A Splash in STEM Club

December 3, 2020

On Thursday 3rd December, Year 7 spent their lunchtime as Marine Engineers. They enjoyed a live virtual session delivered by a STEM Coordinator from the Marine Society and Sea Cadets and learned all about density and the Archimedes principle which states that the upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid, whether fully or partially, is proportional to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces.

The girls were introduced to the engineering design cycle and then put their knowledge into practice as they planned their own design for a cargo boat. Then it was time to bring their designs to life. The girls had great fun building their boats to specific dimensions from card, tape and foil and there was some fantastic variation in the resulting vestles. Next it was time to test their boats to see whose could hold the most mass. The excitement in the room was tangible and the girls were delighted to find that their boats, constructed from such fragile materials, floated (well, most of them!) and could withstand a great weight. In many cases we ran out of masses to sink the ship because the designs were so robust!

Sink or float, we all had a great time designing and testing our creations and Year 7 proved that they have all the potential to become magnificent Marine Engineers in future.

Newcastle High School For Girls - “Introducing Our Head Girl Team 2020”

Introducing Our Head Girl Team 2020

November 13, 2020

Samantha Rocks - Head Girl 2020-2021

Hi, I’m Samantha and I am currently studying Biology, Chemistry and Religious Studies at A Level, as well as studying an EPQ about the world of Parapsychology.

I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded the position of Head Girl. I have deep respect and warmth for what Newcastle High has to offer, and I profoundly feel that our school offers not just academic development, but moral and spiritual growth. The school presented me with a plethora of impressive opportunities, from going to Australia on Sports tour to volunteering for Shine and Science Is My Superpower, programmes in school which aim to spark a love for science for children from underprivileged areas. I currently help to run a relaxation and organisation club, as well as tutor younger girls. I hope to be a dignified, professional and kind role model who paves the way for younger girls and embraces differences within our school community. I am also striving to build stronger bridges between Year Groups.

Truly, Newcastle High has encouraged me to reach for the stars, I believe it is now my role to ensure every girl appreciates their time here and aspires to be the best version of themselves, just as I do. In the future I hope to study Law at university, and eventually fulfil my dream of becoming a barrister.

FUN FACTS ABOUT SAMANTHA!

My favourite book is ...
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

My happy place is…
Walking with my dogs on a rainy day in Jesmond Dene.

I relax by...
Going to cafes with my Mum.

I love to watch…
Period dramas.

If I could eat one meal forever it would be...
Vegetable stir fry with gyozas.

Any phobias?..
Deep water.

Weird and wonderful fact about me...
I have two pet budgies named Honey and Pea.

My favourite quote is...
“The cost of procrastination is the life you could’ve lived.’

Maya Torres - Deputy Head Girl 2020/2021

Hi I’m Maya! I am currently studying Dance, History and Spanish, and I’m hoping to audition for Drama schools in the coming months to train in Performing Arts after leaving school. I am hugely passionate about all my subjects, but also our incredible school community as a whole.

When I’m not practising Dance, Drama and Music both inside and outside school I can often be found with Sam and Hafsah in the corner of the Common Room planning our next project or initiative. Having been lucky enough to assume a number of leadership roles in school from the more traditional like House Captain and Forum Rep to getting to co-choreograph last year’s whole school production of Grease, I was enthusiastic to apply for the Sixth Form leadership team and consequentially the Head Girl team, excited by the prospect of being given the platform to enact whole-school positive change and development. Undoubtedly this has been a term like no other but it has pushed us to work creatively and find new ways to reach the girls and ensure the NHSG community remains as vibrant and buzzing as ever.

We are working hard in a number of areas, specifically diversity and inclusion in line with our strict anti-prejudice policy, and mental health support, especially given the turbulent conditions we find ourselves in at this time. I am greatly looking forward to the coming months as Deputy Head Girl, as I hope you are too!

FUN FACTS ABOUT MAYA!

My favourite book is ...
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu is my go-to feminist book.

My happy place is…
The Dance studio.

I relax by...
Being creative in some way.

I love to watch…
BBC dramas

If I could eat one meal forever it would be...
A veggie burger.

Any phobias?..
I’m scared of school having to close again! I just love it too much.

Weird and wonderful fact about me...
I can sing (almost) all of the periodic table!

My favourite quote is...
“Someone else’s beauty is not the absence of your own.” Hafsah told me this one a few years ago and it has always stuck with me since.

Hafsah Shah - Deputy Head Girl 2020/2021

Hi, I’m Hafsah and I am currently studying Chemistry, Biology and Psychology A Level as well as an EPQ about climate change and infectious disease. I hope to study Dentistry at university.

I have always been enthusiastic about everything that NHSG offers, from Drama productions, public speaking and school forum to Duke of Edinburgh and Go Green society; I truly think that I’ve relished every opportunity. The empowering nature of NHSG has always fuelled my motivation to overcome boundaries and challenges. Our community is truly inspiring as we all strive for our individual and collective success. The endless amount of support available has created such a safe and comfortable environment. I am so grateful to have experienced this during my high school years and I hope that every student at NHSG feels the same way. Being Deputy Head Girl is a wonderful opportunity for me to represent the school and contribute to this positive community. It is so exciting that I can inspire and act as a role to younger girls in the same way that previous Head Girl Teams did for me.

As Deputy Head Girl I hope to create more opportunities for girls to integrate with other Year Groups and create an even more comfortable and friendly environment for everyone.

I am very proud of everything our team has done so far and look forward to everything we will achieve moving forward.

FUN FACTS ABOUT HAFSAH!

My favourite book is ...
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

My happy place is…
Exploring new places with my family.

I relax by...
Baking cookies with my sister.

I love to watch…
Disney movies.

If I could eat one meal forever it would be...
My sister’s Katsu Curry

Any phobias?..
Open water.

Weird and wonderful fact about me...
I really enjoy pottery!

My favourite quote is...
“Nothing worth having comes easy”.