Virtual Open Event FAQs
We have included below some of the questions often asked at our Open Evening and Mornings. If you have a question which is not answered below, please use the Submit a Question Form. We will update this FAQ page as further general questions are received.
How many students join in Year 7?
The Published Admission Number (PAN) is 210. If there are more applications than places, the criteria used to allocate places can be found in the Admission Arrangements 2022/23.
Where is the priority area for the school?
The priority area for Hitchin Girls’ School is based on the following towns / parishes / unparished areas: Codicote, Graveley, Hexton, Hitchin, Holwell, Ickleford, King’s Walden, Knebworth, Langley, Letchworth Garden City, Lilley, Offley, Pirton, Preston, St. Ippolyts, St. Pauls Walden, Weston, Wymondley
How do I know whether I live in one of these parishes?
You can find your parish by referring to your Council Tax statement. Alternatively, the Find Your Nearest School service on the Hertfordshire County Council School admissions section allows you to input your address and the result will show your parish.
NOTE: The website application will show the nearest school as the closest co-educational school. It does not take single-sex schools into account. This does not affect your application.
How many children were allocated places from my parish last year?
Information on allocations is available in the Hertfordshire County Council School Allocation Summary Report.
Where can I find out what is taught in each subject?
Information on the curriculum is available in the Curriculum and Departments pages of our website. Here you will find details about the curriculum, teaching styles, homework and extra-curricular activities. Under the Key Stage 3 heading, there is further information regarding topics covered. You will also find a detailed Key Stage 3 curriculum map.
Are students put into ability sets in Year 7?
Year 7 students are set from the start of the September term in Mathematics, French and Science. Students are taught in mixed ability groups for other subjects.
How much homework will I get in Year 7?
In Year 7 you can expect up to one hour per week for English, Maths and Science and up to 30 minutes per week for other subjects. Your teacher will give you advice on how long you should spend on a task. Further information is available on our homework page.
What sports are played in Year 7?
Physical Education lessons in Year 7 will give you the opportunity to develop skills in a number of sports. This will include netball, hockey, badminton, basketball, gymnastics, dance, athletics, tennis rounders and cross-country. Rugby is added in Year 8 and football and trampolining in Year 9. Clubs exist at all levels and for all years in netball, hockey, football, badminton, basketball, trampoline, athletics, rounders, and tennis, with three tiers of gymnastics, and rhythmic gymnastics clubs and a further five clubs for dance.
What careers support and guidance is provided?
A programme of high-quality Careers Education opportunities and Guidance is available to students throughout their time at HGS, provided by both school staff and external organisations. Events include our Careers Fair, Careers Days, Take Your Daughter to Work Day (Year 8), Options talks, Careers Interviews, Apprenticeship Talks and interview support. Further information is available on the Careers Guidance and Education page.
What are the average sizes of classes?
At Key Stage 3, most subjects are taught in tutor groups and their average size is 26/27.
At Key Stage 4, numbers vary slightly more depending on the options choices made by students. The average is 23/24, with some having 15/16 students and a small number having 28/29.
Do students in Year 7 require a Chromebook?
Yes, students in Year 7 are required to bring their own Chromebook to school each day, to support learning in class and at home. This can be purchased privately or through a scheme offered by the school. These digital devices will not replace the teaching that takes place in our school, but will enhance what we already do well.
Why have you chosen Chromebooks?
There is a wide range of tablet and laptop-style devices available on the market. We have conducted extensive research when considering the type of device that would be best suited to students in our school, and for the specification and cost this is by far the best one. As a Google school that has been using Google Classroom extensively for the last 3 years, we consider that Chromebooks are the best devices for us to use.
What support is provided for students with additional needs?
Our Learning Support Department currently has five Learning Support Assistants and along with the SENCO, they provide coordination of needs and some in class support. There are a range of smaller group interventions which take place to support a range of different learning needs. We approach support through providing high quality teaching for all and individual class teachers are supported by the Learning Support Department to differentiate work as appropriate.
Further information is available on the Learning Support Department webpage.
What clubs and societies can students take part in?
Clubs and societies vary from year to year, and reflect the interests of our students. They are often led by members of the Sixth Form. To help you see the range of activities available, details of the clubs running during
Autumn Term 2021 can be found here.
Can I start to learn or continue to learn a musical instrument?
Our Music department is based in Highbury House which is also the base for the North Herts. Music School. Instrumental lessons are available on the piano, keyboard, recorder, drum kit, guitar, voice and the normal orchestral instruments, e.g. strings, woodwind and brass. Group activities include Senior and Junior Orchestra, Clarinet Group, String Quartets, Recorder Group, Keyband, Flute Group and Guitar Group. All lessons occur during school time and are provided weekly on a rota system so that you don't always miss the same lesson in school.
Whether you have instrumental lessons in school or not, there are many opportunities for you to participate in extra-curricular ensembles on all instruments. The Junior String Orchestra, Wind Band, Keyband and Junior Choirs are an excellent way for students to develop their ensemble playing and enjoy making music. The Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra and Wind Band are long established groups that perform regularly in and out of school.
What trips and visits take place?
A variety of trips and visits are arranged throughout the school year. These vary from year to year. Recent overseas trips have included Classics trips to Italy and Greece, History trips to Berlin, Business Studies trip to New York, Spanish trips to Barcelona and Granada, Design & Technology trip to Paris, a Geography trip to Iceland, PE sports tour to Holland. The Biology department has also arranged expeditions to Tanzania and Malawi via Operation Wallacea. We were the first UK school to be invited to be members of the highly prestigious Student Global Leadership Institute which are two week Summer programmes in Hawaii and India.
In the UK, there are visits to museums, galleries and the theatre in support of the curriculum along with field trips in Geography. Year 8 have a 3-day residential event each October.
Is there bullying at HGS?
Most of the time our students all get on well together but occasionally there are fallouts and where this happens we work to close down any friendship or bullying issues as quickly as possible. However, we can only do this if we know about it and we encourage everyone in the school to support us to be a “telling school”. We encourage students to tell us if someone is being treated badly by others or if things are not right for them and we can then support and intervene at the earliest opportunity with the help of our tutors, Heads of Year and Pastoral team.
Do you have a rewards system?
We have an extensive reward system in place to recognise and celebrate success in all aspects of school life. Reward Points are collected, certificates and stickers are given for reaching set targets and students are encouraged to earn a place on the end of year trip. Achievement is also recognised through a system of rewards including Department and Year/House Awards and Headteacher Awards, culminating in our half termly House Celebration Assemblies and end of term Year Celebration Assemblies.
We also run a House Cup where students can earn points through participation in a variety of House activities and events (sporting and non-sporting) that take place throughout the year.