Principal Guest: Shami Chakrabarti

We held Prizegiving at the prestigious Hall 1 at Sage Gateshead on 12th September. This was our opportunity to celebrate the girls’ success at A Level and GCSE in the Summer. It was particularly important as it was the first Prizegiving for Newcastle High School for Girls.

The evening began with performances from the girls, beginning with a poem, Away and See by Carol Ann Duffy, a powerful rendition of Water of Tyne and a beautiful dance which explored the theme of celebration, hope and the excitement of the journey very much representing Newcastle High’s first weeks.

Mrs French gave her report to the girls and parents. She talked about the challenges and opportunities of the coming decades. She said: “Courage, leadership, vision and the determination to see things through are all essential attributes that we try to instil and develop in the girls and are central to the ethos of Newcastle High School for Girls.”

Mrs French also spoke of the highlights of last year at both Central High and Church High and our involvement with the wider community including our work with Plan UK and the Namayiana Project. As the presentation of the awards got underway, Mrs French also reflected on the girls, saying: “The range of their talents and achievements is breath taking and we can only speculate as to what they will go onto achieve.”

There were two excellent musical interludes including Mozart’s Rondo played by Jemima Simm on Flute and Schumann’s Kindersezan by Rachel Tsang and Emily Harrison on piano.

Awards were presented to Years 11, 12 and 13 by our Principal Guest Shami Chakrabarti who was so impressed with all the girls’ achievements. Shami, who is the well known Director of Liberty, the Human Rights organisation, gave a passionate address to the girls, she both applauded their success and called on them to take up the baton for gender equality not just in this country but across the world.

Davina Nylander, Head Girl, then gave a formal vote of thanks but with a twist as she cleverly moved from her speech into the start of Shami’s favourite song Feeling Good by Nina Simone. Davina was joined by the Sixth Form Choir and School Jazz Band reminding us all how incredibly talented the girls at Newcastle High are.

The evening concluded with the Hymn I vow to thee my country followed by a drinks reception for all our guests.


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