Guest blog by Marjie Griffiths, Year 1 teacher.

Reflections from a Year 1 teacher at the Junior School, who used to be a pupil here herself.

The whispered conversations in overcrowded hallways
The atmosphere as thrilling here as always
Feel the early morning madness
Feel the magic in the making
Why, everything’s as if we never said goodbye…

Sunset Boulevard – Andrew Lloyd Webber

Bizarrely enough, I was listening to this when I first read the job description that would take me home to my alma mater, Nottingham Girls’ High School. Coincidence? Perhaps, but it was with a strange sense of destiny that I completed the application form. I had found happiness here as a pupil; could I find fulfilment here as a teacher? The answer, of course, was yes.

That said, going for an interview was a frightening prospect. This is one of the best schools in the country. Was I punching above my weight? I thought back to all of the amazing teachers I’d known here and was overawed by the thought that I was asking for the opportunity to be counted among them … Gill Scott, Angela Rees, Julie Kelly, Pip Flewitt … such massive boots to fill!

That’s when it hit me: if those teachers had taught me anything, it was to be the agent of my own success. I know the expectations here. They are incredibly high. But they are also familiar because they are mine. I learnt them here.

I now find myself the happy teacher of an incredible class of girls. Each day, they amaze me with their tenacity, their curiosity and their ability to lose themselves in the fun of learning. Here, learning is its own intrinsic reward and these girls are lifelong learners in the making.

And it’s not just the girls who offer daily inspiration; the staff here are extraordinary! From the Live Egg project to fund-raising Zumbathons, the staff team never shies away from the chance to make school life inspiring. On one of my first days at school, just before the Christmas holiday, the staff team led the whole junior school in a rousing rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas, complete with competitive bellowing and a mania of jump-up/sit-down-in-the-right-order madness. Education is a serious business but fun is the greatest tool in any teacher’s toolbox.

It is this that made the school a magnet for me. The Nottingham Girls’ High School places happiness at the heart of its ethos, declaring that, “a happy girl is a successful girl.” I couldn’t agree more. As a boomerang pupil, I can fully appreciate the impact of this empowering and positive environment. It is a platform for diving headfirst into academia. It is a space to understand and nurture vocation. It is a safe haven to grow into yourself. How lucky are we few who are able to return.

I’ve come home at last!
And this time will be bigger
And brighter than we knew it
So watch me fly, we all know I can do it …

Sunset Boulevard – Andrew Lloyd Webber