April was a very busy month in our alumnae calendar with various events including our alumnae London gathering which hasn’t happened in over 10 years, and an old girls vs our Under 18’s netball match, as well as the traditional Spring Lunch at school.

We’re very conscious that not all of our alumnae are based here in Nottingham and the local area, but many live and work in London, so it seemed like a good idea to hold an event right there and give them the opportunity for a reunion on their doorstep. Initial plans to hold the event on a date in March were going really well, until the ‘Beast from the East’ made it impossible to continue, and we had to put our London gathering on hold. The revised April date went ahead and the resulting reunion was a lovely event with 25 alumnae attending from all over the UK, including North Yorkshire, and spanning 60 NGHS years from 1955 to 2015. Among the group were two sets of sisters, and a couple of reunited year groups who used the evening as a great way to catch up, which is something we really encourage and are happy to accommodate if anybody else would like to meet up with friends from their year group again outside of Nottingham. It was great to see medical student, Sophie Holmes, who left us in 2015 and is training at St George’s where Channel 4 documentary ’24 Hours in A&E’ is filmed. Incidentally, the programme is made by TV producer Rebecca Coxon, also an NGHS alumna, who is going to be the guest speaker at our Year 13 Celebration Evening at school. The whole group had a great time and enjoyed a glass (or two) of fizz with their friends at Henry’s Bar in Piccadilly, sharing their memories of NGHS days. We’re keen to make our reunion events as inclusive as possible so that alumnae from all around the country can get together easily, and we would LOVE to see lots of you at any future London based events so we plan to do more – just watch this space!

The event here at school on the following Saturday 28 April was a wonderful day of fun and friendship. The day began with a netball match during which our current U18 team took on a team of leavers from 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017, many of whom competed in the National Schools netball finals. We were thrilled to also welcome back Jane Skinner who retired from our PE department last summer – she loved seeing the girls again, and the feeling was mutual. The match was fantastic and felt like a Commonwealth Games final, and the resulting score was 45 – 42 to the U18 team – well played to all involved. These matches are really popular and we want to do more of this kind of activity, so if you’d like to get involved, just contact us on friendsofnghs@not.gdst.net as we are planning an alumnae netball tournament in the autumn term.

The Spring Lunch was the usual mix of delicious fayre, reminiscing, touring the school and looking through our extensive archive materials including school magazines ranging from 1937 through to 2015, and prizegiving magazines from past celebration events. Everybody loved looking through these, spotting themselves and their friends, and remembering just what special experiences they shared here. This particular element of the reunion event seems to attract those alumnae who are celebrating big milestones, such as 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years since leaving school, and this is such a fantastic way of celebrating these big anniversaries. We even heard all about a GDST cruise which took place in the 1970s – definitely something we need to suggest for the future!

The 2008 leavers formed a large group of 40 on this day, at a special event organised by Holly Curtis. We also welcomed back Geography teacher and Sixth Form tutor, Judy Couch; it was so good to see her again. They all enjoyed prosecco and canapes in The Space, which was merely an idea in its infancy when they were still at school. They were suitably impressed by this fantastic venue, and had a fabulous time and a lot of laughs as they sat through their leavers DVD from ten years ago – such great memories.

All in all it’s been a brilliant month and we’ve seen lots of alumnae back here at school, and in London. There are lots of ways to celebrate your school days with your friends and former staff, so please do just get in touch if you have any ideas you’d like us to help you with, and keep your eye on these pages and social media for more updates from us about future events. Take a look at some photos on our flickr gallery.