So here we are at the start of a new school year and you won’t have failed to notice a few changes – welcome back to the brand new look NGHS.

After a lot of research, thought and deliberation, consultation with, and feedback from, our stakeholders and parents, it was agreed that the image of our school would benefit from a bit of freshening up in order to ensure that it is accurately represented as the modern, forward-thinking and innovative school that it is – and we are delighted with the results. Our new crest, website and the new style of imagery featuring on all of our marketing and publicity materials have had a smart, fresh makeover and we think you’ll agree, it looks stunning. Of course some things will never change: our commitment to an all-girls education, our provision of first rate teaching and learning, the opportunities we provide, the exciting enrichment and outdoor activities, and the dedicated pastoral care are all still here and always will be.

A rebranding exercise and decisions to make such big changes are never taken lightly, and we have not merely dispensed with our tradition and heritage but focussed instead on the aspirational rowan tree element of the old school crest and given it a twenty-first century feel. The colours are bolder, the look and impression more contemporary, and the message is clear – we mean business.

We would like to assure parents that this does not mean having to replace any uniform or items bearing the old crest. This will of course be phased out over some considerable time as the new design is introduced, but it is not something for parents and girls to be concerned about. The old design still holds the same status, it has after all been part of the school for such a long time and has been instantly recognisable, as we’re sure the new one will soon become.

Times and trends change and we cannot afford to be left behind. The school has so much to be proud of, including of course our fabulous exam results from the summer, and we have so much to offer – rebranding is one way of putting our message across and keeping us recognised in today’s busy society. We’ve been here for a long time and plan to be around for a lot longer, providing the best education possible and ensuring that girls have a happy and fulfilling time at school preparing for a successful future.

So welcome back everybody, and welcome to all of our new staff and girls too. I hope you’ve had a great summer. Well done to those who have been busy over the holidays – the London to Paris charity bike ride was a tremendous accomplishment, as were the D of E expeditions, the wonderful Music tour to Italy and the hugely successful Netball tour to Antigua.

I can’t wait to get started on this, my first full school year, and look forward to working with Laura Fowler, our new Head of Juniors, and all the wonderful staff here who work so hard to make our girls happy, successful, extraordinary. Let’s do this!