Welcome back to all of our girls, parents and staff as we reach the end of the first full academic week at school.

I hope that everybody has had a wonderful and restful summer break and is raring to go with another exciting year, it certainly feels like it. I’d like to firstly reflect on the summer, and especially our A-level and GCSE results.

As we all know, there have been various changes which have affected schooling and exams at all levels, with revised structures for A-levels and a revised marking structure for some GCSE subjects. Yes it was a challenge, but it did not faze or daunt our girls. In fact there were more A*s at A-level than last year; more girls awarded A*s in ALL of their subjects, and an amazing 10% of girls going on to study Medicine at university. Our GCSE girls were not deterred either and admirably handled the revised numerical system for marking the harder Maths and English papers, with 25% of Maths and 25% of English Literature marks hitting the elusive top Grade 9. You can read more about our results on our Press Release pages. I’m really pleased with how things have gone and even more pleased that our highest achievers have made the decision to stay at our Sixth Form, where they will continue to get the best possible education that a girl can get. It was evident from the girls themselves and their parents at our lovely Celebration Evening that they too are happy and proud, and ready to face the future at NGHS.

Another really exciting piece of news which has already thrilled so many girls, and staff members, is the addition of Saffy to the NGHS family. I felt that all of the supporting documented evidence and the success and positive impact of Delilah at the Junior School could be replicated at the Senior School. Saffy is amazing. She’s a miniature Labradoodle who belongs to a member of teaching staff but spends her day here at the school, currently being doted on by girls and staff alike. We’ll be structuring more and more activities around Saffy and the girls really want to get involved. Sixth Form girls already spend lots of time with her during their free periods – it’s a great way of giving them some extra responsibilities. And any girls who pass by the Admissions Office always stop by to say hello and pet her – it’s impossible not to smile with Saffy around.

So let’s get on with this academic year. There is so much happening, so many trips, activities and events planned, it’s really exciting. The Junior School continues to implement its ‘Recipe for Success’ about which you will be able to find out more in Mrs Fowler’s upcoming blog. Led by our brilliant new Head of Sixth Form, our older girls are knuckling down to a year of hard work and exciting opportunities. There is a wonderful Head Girl team in place, prefects and House Captains champing at the bit and ready for fun and games to come, supporting the younger girls and building those all-important bonds that make success here a real team effort.