As the festive season is upon us, I thought I’d use a Dickensian analogy in my final blog of 2018 and celebrate the spirit of NGHS – past, present and future.
I’m really proud of our alumnae network and how often we see and hear from ‘old girls’ who used to attend NGHS. They inspire our current girls with careers talks and tales of their adventures and travels; they’re an invaluable resource and they’re always welcome. What has been lovely over the past couple of months has been to see some of our alumnae in London for drinks and a meal. We’re aware that not everybody can make it to Nottingham for reunion events, so we’ve successfully arranged some reunion events outside of Nottingham and plan to do more of the same in the future. Distance is no object when you’re part of the NGHS family. It was heart-warming also to see our most recent leavers coming back to join us for Christmas drinks and a catch up on Monday.
Interest in the school and its history is still very popular, not only among alumnae but also among current staff and parents, and this was evident by the large number of people who attended our first ever archives event in the library last week. There was so much fascinating memorabilia on display dating right back to the 1800s. We’re very proud of our history and our place in the advancement of girls’ education, and it’s great that former pupils retain a keen interest too.
On a day-to-day basis, our girls continue to astound me with their enthusiasm, confidence, creativity, talent and dedication. The sporting successes go on and on, with a special nod to our Year 7 and 8 football team who scooped the U19 Team of the Year prize at the Nottingham Post Sports Awards in November; what a great boost for girls in football.
The amazing music and drama productions here at school endlessly blow me away, and the charity initiatives are just incredible. I do have to particularly mention here, the absolutely astonishing amount raised by the sponsored ‘Great Silence’ at the Junior School for the Royal British Legion – a staggering £6, 600 plus. This was the culmination of an amazing series of events commemorating the centenary of the Armistice, during which a group of our girls and again, an inspirational alumna, Emma Brown, attended and performed at a number of poignant events across France and Belgium. I am so proud of these girls and of the staff at the Junior School who made it all happen. They’re all such brilliant ambassadors for the school and their efforts did not go unnoticed by the public, and the press.
The end of a calendar year always brings mixed emotions but mostly excitement for the future and new beginnings. We said goodbye today to Miss Hannah from Languages. She has taught at NGHS for just over three years during which she has won the admiration and friendship of staff and girls alike. Miss Daykin leaves us too, after stepping in to provide maternity cover in the Biology Department, from which we also lose Mrs Connick. Seven years as Head of Biology, the final few of which have been as Head of Science, Mrs Connick will be hugely missed. We will miss her expertise, enthusiasm and humour, and we hope that somebody else will take up the gauntlet of organising the Summer Wildlife Photography Competition – a firm favourite among staff and girls. Our best wishes for the future go to all of our leavers.
We’ve had some really successful and well-attended open events during the year resulting in increased interest and applications, and we look forward to reaping the benefits over the coming years, welcoming new girls across the Junior and Senior School and the Sixth Form too.
There are some very exciting new developments in the pipeline which will really boost our provision of an outstanding education and extracurricular opportunities. The funds raised by our generous friends and parents at our Glitter Ball in November will enable us to expand and improve our sports facilities. This is great news as we’re dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of our girls through sport and fitness, as well as nurturing confidence in competition and that winning streak. We’ll keep you informed on the progress of this, and a couple of other things we have up our sleeve.
On a more personal note, I’d like to show my appreciation to those whose support resulted in me becoming runner-up in the Head of the Year category at the Nottingham Post Education Awards which took place last week. It’s a great privilege to be thought of so highly, and I’d like to thank everybody who made this possible. I’d also like to thank everybody who has sent me good wishes for my forthcoming wedding during the Christmas holidays; it means a lot to me, it really does. A special thanks to the girls and staff at the Junior School for their wonderful video of good wishes below – so lovely!
So, exciting times ahead, a new year and new beginnings for lots of us. I hope you all have a lovely restful Christmas break and I look forward to seeing you all in 2019.