From 09 Nov and on Monday every 2 weeks until 14 Feb except for 21 Dec
WEEKLY COVID GUIDANCE
A reminder that any student who has Covid-19 symptoms or has someone in their household who has symptoms, or has tested positive in the last ten days, should not attend school. Anyone developing symptoms during the school day will be isolated, prior to being sent home to reduce the risk in school. A link to the current guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection is here:
It is inevitable at this time of year that there are lots of other seasonal viral infections in circulation. Please do not send your child to school if they are feeling unwell with sore throats or other general cold symptoms.
One important part of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of students, parents and our community is testing for coronavirus. We all have a duty to make sure that the right people have access to get tested at the right time. Every time a test is used inappropriately, a person with Covid-19 symptoms may miss out on getting tested.
You should only book a test if your child has any of these three coronavirus symptoms:
A high temperature – any new high temperature where your child feels hot to touch on their chest or back (you do not need to measure the temperature);
A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual);
A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
Your child does not need a test if they have a runny nose, are sneezing or feeling unwell but do not have a temperature, cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste because these are not normally symptoms of coronavirus.
Only the person with symptoms should get a test. You do not need to get a test for anyone else in the household unless they also have any of the three symptoms listed above. All members of the household need to self isolate whilst waiting for the test result.
If the person with symptoms’ test comes back positive, other members of their household should continue self isolating for 14 days and only get a test if they develop coronavirus symptoms.
If a student in a class or bubble test positive for coronavirus, anyone who is advised to self isolate does not require a test unless they subsequently develop symptoms.
REPORTING STUDENT ABSENCE
We have a dedicated email address for parents/carers to report a student absence. Please send details of the reason for absence and expected return date together with student name and form (and your name) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Every Day - Pasta & Toppings, Jacket Potatoes, Potato Pots (v)
Apare unable to give advance notice of this menu
MESSAGE FROM THE HEADTEACHER
I am writing to you at the end of a term of really mixed emotions.
It has been such a joy to be able to have all of our students and staff back in school this term and I have been so impressed with the way that everyone has responded to the very different way in which we are working. I am also very thankful that we have had relatively few Covid-19 cases in school this term and thank you all for your support in working with us to try to keep our whole community safe.
However, it is difficult for us to have to miss out on so many of the activities that we would usually offer to our students and staff this term. We are all aware that the removal of most of the extracurricular activities has left a huge hole for everyone and to not be able to have our annual carol services, form running, live pantomime and general festive celebrations is a great shame. As usual we have tried to be creative to ensure that we can offer some of these things, albeit in a remote format and I really hope that our students have enjoyed the end of term this week.
I also feel incredibly proud of our whole school community, who have pulled together in these difficult circumstances and would particularly like to say a huge thank you to our staff team who have gone over and above to support our students since their return in September. I have shared with them the messages of thanks and support that some of you have sent into school and can say that these have been much appreciated.
Projecting forward to next term, it is clear that there will be little change to the arrangements we have here in school regarding Covid 19 and, with some parts of Hertfordshire moving into Tier 3 this week, we need to be aware that there may be some further restrictions in January. We will inform you of any changes. Please do continue to emphasize the importance of social distancing with your child. It is difficult for them to realise, when they are sitting close to someone in a lesson, that at other times they should maintain good social distancing in order to try to minimise infection risk. We still sometimes see students hugging each other, doing each other’s hair and forgetting the importance of keeping their distance outside the classroom and would appreciate your help in reminding them that social distancing is important.
I will end by wishing you all a restful and happy Christmas holiday. It will be very different for many and for some there will be loved ones missing this year. My thoughts are with you all whatever your circumstances and I wish you all good health and a happy start to 2021.
Frances Manning, Headteacher
YEAR 11 AND 13 STUDENTS AND PARENTS
Earlier this term, the DfE published the arrangements for Public Examinations for 2021. The link for their announcement is given here:
We will be sending out information in January regarding the arrangements for students sitting examinations at Hitchin Girls’ next Summer and as we receive further updates.
HGS CHRISTMAS CARDS
The following Year 12 students' artwork was shortlisted by Ms Wallace for this year's Christmas cards.
Millie's (Bauble with Mask) is the winning artwork and will be used for the cards. Becca (Robin) and Emily's (Christmas Still Life) are runners up.
All three will also receive a Headteacher's Award.
Congratulations to the following students who were nominated and received Headteacher's Awards this term and were awarded with an R5 reward.
Priya - 10J - Exceptional poem written about Black History Month
Grace - 13T - Commended Poet in the Young Poets of the Year Award 2020
Lily - 8R - Outstanding achievement in Maths, as part of the Maths Challenge Final team
Hannah - 8R - Outstanding achievement in Maths, as part of the Maths Challenge Final team
Shayna - 8J - Outstanding achievement in Maths, as part of the Maths Challenge Final team
Milly - 8T - Outstanding achievement in Maths, as part of the Maths Challenge Final team
Anouska - 8R - Commitment to the school; invaluable to the running of the remote Maths Challenge.
Headstrong has been a real hit with students this term, with weekly shout outs being a very popular thing to receive. Each week, students and staff watch a video from Mrs Cole and various guest stars in order to learn positive wellbeing techniques such as mindfulness, the importance of sleep, the five ways to wellbeing and keeping physically active - to name but a few.
As part of the programme, we have seen students dancing in the form room, doing yoga, completing crafts and learning what the brain does whilst they are asleep. The importance of being kind to yourself and others has been a thread throughout the term to help everyone manage the very tricky emotional rollercoaster of life during a pandemic.
Mrs Cole is incredibly proud of the proactive approach many forms have been taking and based on the huge numbers of Healthy Schools points which have been logged during the weekly challenge, it seems that lots of forms are embracing the activities each week. The culmination of this term's Headstrong has been the whole school working together to create a Headstrong Christmas tree for the Hitchin Christmas Tree Festival and an end of term quiz, running each morning in the final week of term where forms can enjoy some fun together - laughter is, after all, often the best medicine!
We were delighted that the TES teaching awards recognised the value of this programme by shortlisting Hitchin Girls' School for the mental health and wellbeing award. Whilst we did not win, we were very proud to be the only Hertfordshire secondary school shortlisted in any category. Headstrong is about whole school wellbeing. In order to help parents to understand the activities and techniques we have been teaching students every week, each Headstrong is published on the school website under 'Student Wellbeing'.
Mrs Cole, Head of Learning Support, DSP and Mental Health Lead
Another busy term for students who are observing the impact of current and seasonal issues on the business world – particularly the advertising from companies competing in the Christmas campaigns. We have also been researching the launch of the IPhone 12 and Sony PS5 and how this will affect their competitors and markets.
Year 10 students have been studying Market Research and Mapping. They have been looking at examples of Market Maps and now compiling their own based on a product/market of their choice. They are continuing to develop confidence with their communication skills by working in teams and presenting to the class.
Year 11 and 13 have now finished their mock examinations and we are looking forward to celebrating some excellent results with the students.
Just a reminder of the websites of two enterprises of our A Level Business students (below).
Year 12 students have been working in their ‘bubbles’ to create business plans for local businesses. They presented their plans to the class to share good practice and there was evidence of outstanding research and presentation skills. We hope in the New Year to invite or visit some of the businesses to present our students projects.
‘The Biz Team’ has now formed and students are currently in the process of organising their newsletters and activities to launch later in the term.
A big thank you to the students that gave up their free time to give advice and guidance to some of the Year 11 Business students who are thinking of studying A Level Economics next year.
Mrs Lewis, Business
CAREERS GUIDANCE AND EDUCATION
Our aim at Hitchin Girls’ School is to provide all students with the skills, knowledge and guidance that they need to make informed careers decisions at key points in their schooling. This Autumn term, independent Careers Advisers have started to see Year 11 and 9 students in small bubble groups. These sessions are interactive and cover a variety of topics such as opportunity awareness, self-knowledge, decision making, transitions and support networks. Students are guided and supported to explore jobs and courses through careers packages such as the Job Explorer Database and Higher Ideas.
This term, our new school Careers Zone website has been launched and is available to students via their school gmail login. The link to the site is found under the Careers Guidance and Education section of the school website. Our Careers Zone has been designed to be user friendly and enable students to enjoy researching their careers options in an easy and accessible way. We have provided links to careers sites with searches, videos and quizzes to help students find out about hundreds of different careers and thousands of course choices.
Another of our aims is to encourage and develop our students through careers and work related education. The challenges brought about by the pandemic have meant that we have had to adapt our normal programme of activities. It has, however, been wonderful to see both our Year 11 and 9 students so actively and enthusiastically engaged in workshops delivered by ELSA Next Generation. ELSA has the support of business and community volunteers, ensuring workshop information is current, factual and helps young people reach their potential.
Within these sessions, Year 11's have engaged in discussion and debate on a number of topics, such as: finding out what today’s employers are looking for in their workforce, the application process, the interview, creating a personal brand and networking. Year 9's have been discussing the world of work too and evaluating the skills and qualities needed in different jobs. They have been encouraged to consider how they may develop new skills themselves and to consider their future plans, whilst understanding that everyone's path will be slightly different.
Finally, students have been gaining valuable insights into the world of work with bespoke video presentations from local employers. These are being shown throughout the academic year in form time. Video presentations will also be available for students on the Careers Zone in the New Year.
Should you require any further information about the careers programme at Hitchin Girls’ School, please contact me.
Mrs Ward, Careers Co-ordinator/ Adviser
In KS3 Latin, students have spent this year learning about Caecilius, his family and their life in and ex horto. Year 7 students became Pompeian Tour Guides, museum curators and have attended a Roman dinner party. Year 8 students have enjoyed learning about the theatre and Roman trade. Year 9 students have enjoyed learning about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. We have been particularly impressed by our Year 9’s mature, insightful and reflective handling of topics such as natural disasters, racial tensions, and death in the ancient world.
Year 7 Ancient Civilisation students have enjoyed engaging with the story of Troy. They have made some lovely character diary entries, illustrations of new shields for Achilles and cartoon strips of the action. Classics department would like to thank the students so much for all the lovely work and comments received over the past term - they are clearly loving the story and working so hard.
Year 8 Ancient Civilisation students have studied the mighty Persian empire. The students have engaged in some wonderful discussion, demonstrating that they have really understood what made the Persian empire so unique and progressive.
Year 9 Ancient Civilisation students are now starting their study of Roman history, from its origins to the collapse of the empire. They have already studied the mythical origins, the Roman kings and are currently learning about the Roman republic.
In KS4, Year 10 Latin students have made a great start to their GCSE course in Latin literature and produced great results in their Stage 20 Assessments. Year 10 Ancient History students have made a promising start to their GCSE showing enthusiasm for the course and engaging well with the themes of Ancient Greece and Persia. Well done to the Year 11 Latin and Ancient History students on their hard work in the mock exams. We have seen some promising results and continue to be impressed by their work ethic.
In Year 12, our Latin and Ancient Civilisation students have established effective working relationships and are engaging wholeheartedly in all the activities. Well done to the Year 13 Latin and Ancient Civilisation students on completing their first mock exams; they have all demonstrated that they managed to keep up with learning effectively during the school closure in Summer term. We continue to be impressed by their professional attitude to learning and mature approach.
The HGS Senior Classics Society has spent this term arranging a new production for a performance in March 2021. We are excited to announce that we will be producing a play written by Year 13 Latin student, Phoebe. She has written a witty and thought provoking piece called ‘Atlanta’. Our two directors, Saffron and Charlie, have been making arrangements for rehearsals and are currently in the final stages of casting the play. We anticipate a very successful production next term.
We have been delighted that our Ancient Greek clubs have been able to continue this term. Beginners’ Ancient Greek Club has enjoyed several sessions on the Ancient Greek gods and the connections between Ancient Greek words and their English derivations. We are currently meeting over Google Meets every Tuesday with record numbers up to 31.
We welcomed two Classics trainee teachers from Cambridge University to the department this term: Miss Furlong and Mr Titcombe. The students appreciated their enthusiasm and interesting activities. We look forward to welcoming our new trainee teacher, Mr Moore, who will be joining us in the New Year.
Mrs Coe has successfully passed her Mentoring Level 2 qualification this term. Congratulations! Mr George and Mrs Rowe also gave a very positively received presentation to the National Classics Teachers Conference run by the Cambridge Schools Classics Project.
Mr George, Classics
Bebras Competition - Years 7 and 9, along with the Year 10 and 12 Computer Science classes, took part in this year’s Bebras competition, assessing their computational thinking skills. Well done to everyone who took part and, in particular, to those who achieved Best in School for their age category:
Elite: Rosanna, 12B
Senior: Caroline, 10J
Intermediate: Lucy, 9T
Junior: Niamh, 7B
Year 9 have been learning to code in Python and ended the term creating Christmas cards using the Python Turtle module.
Year 13 having been using various artefacts to underpin some complex computing concepts, including chocolate Turing machines and a half adder made from dominos:
Mrs Abeggglen, Computing
Year 11 have been working exceptionally hard this term and the English department are incredibly proud of each of them. We were able to boost our revision on ‘An Inspector Calls’ with a live stream of the performance brought to us by 'Say Two Productions'. The live stream included a summary of the play's key themes, an adaptation of the play itself, followed by a Q&A session where each class were able to ask the characters a question. We truly hope Year 11 enjoyed this and feel it supported their understanding of the play as a whole. We received some wonderful feedback from the theatre company, praising our students for their insightful questioning. Well done to all!
Mrs Sinclair, English
ONLINE FOOD CLUB!
The Festive Fun Foodie Quiz contained some really challenging food questions! Well done to the following winners: Annabel (Year 9) and Alice, Fran, Isla, Molly and Ellie (all Year 8). Mrs Hart was amazed by your 'foodie' knowledge! Well done to all who took the time to enter!
Christmas themed baking competitions also took place with some really fantastic entries showcasing brilliant practical skills - judging was very difficult! The standard of entries was so great that winning places had to be shared!
First place was shared by Caitlin (Year 9) with her Christmas wreath made from croquembouche filled with raspberry and chocolate creme patisserie and Laila (Year9) with her chocolate fudge cake and gingerbread decorated Santa village scene. Fabulous creations!
Second place was shared between Caitlin (Year 9) (again!) for her present fruit cake, Molly (Year 8) for her gingerbread house and Fran (Year 8) for her chocolate layered cake gingerbread tree woodland scene. Super work!!
Third place was shared between Nell and Alice (Year 8) for their creative cookie products. HGS Star baker wooden spoons to be distributed. Well done to all!
Mrs Hart, Food Tech
(Above, left) Caitlin's 'Present' Cake
(Above, right) Laila's 'Gingerbread Village'
(Right) Alice's 'Creative Christmas Cookies'
October was Black History Month at HGS. In form time, all students watched an assembly and completed activities relating to Black History: such as researching the lives of important people in Britain and other countries and watching film clips. A number of Year 10 students have set up their own Google classroom group to promote awareness of Black British identity. Below is part of a poem about Black History by Priya in Year 10.
Mr Hanse, History
Black History Month 2020
We've been fighting since 1700 for our rights,
It hasn't gotten anywhere yet we still fight,
Our ancestors were treated like animals as if they bite,
Some people think we are thugs with just one sight,
Racism isn't just against blacks and whites,
We are just trying to bring to light this isn't right,
This month is about our culture and our history,
We don't know anything about our past like it's a mystery,
2020 we are still fighting with no victory,
We talk about it online but never face to face,
How we don't know Claudette Colvin, Alice Coachman, Shirley Chrisholm flew us into space,
They weren't the only ones fighting for race,
Mary Bethune founded the national council for negro women,
So those women could go home and feed their children,
Never got enough credit yet was still driven,
Not driven for fame,
But driven for change,
And that's why we should all recognise her name,
Phillis Wheatley was an amazing poet,
She inspired her people to fight for the anti-slavery movement,
She published her book and she was chosen,
Cause she managed to touch everyone with a level of emotion,
Phillis never wrote about any rubbish,
Which made her the first black poet to ever be published,
This is why we are strong about our culture,
Extensions black, red, white gold, all the others,
This is the way we inspire one another,
There are plenty more people just like these few,
Thousands more than we ever even knew,
It's important to make sure our history is clear,
Which is why we are celebrating Black History Month this year.
The Autumn term has been challenging, but innovative, in the library, with the pandemic creating a whole new way of working. We moved to a new online library management system, Accessit, just before the end of the Summer term. This has proved invaluable as students can search for and reserve books on any computer or phone via the school website. Mrs Goose can be seen most mornings , armed with her blue basket full of books, making deliveries to form rooms. Over 2,000 books, issued pre the first lockdown, have now been returned!
The library is closed at present and being used as a Year 13 study space. Many students are missing all that the library provides, especially at lunchtimes. The Library Goblins in 11A are visited by Mrs Goose, but other reading group members are looking forward to being back in the library soon. We hope it may be possible to to run the North Herts Schools Book Award Event virtually next year.
Please do check out Accessit - the dashboard has short videos explaining how it works, rotating carousels of reading lists, top picks and much more.
We hope that your Christmas lists include some books. Mine include 'How to be more Paddington': a book of kindness and Barack Obama's autobiography.
I am pleased to say that the love of reading is still alive and well here at Hitchin Girls' School.
Mrs Goose, School Librarian
This has been an unusual term for the Music department, without any of our usual clubs or concerts. However, we have been very grateful to students who have sent in recordings of a performance from home. We are hoping to share these via a Music department website soon - watch this space! We have also really enjoyed putting together a couple of Christmas Carols in place of our traditional Nine Lessons and Carols service. Go to the HGS Twitter feed to have a listen. We are very much hoping that our extra-curricular clubs will be up and running again sometime soon but, in the meantime, keep playing, keep singing!
Miss Scott and Miss Atkins, Music
Year 12 have had a very busy and unusual first term, one filled with many virtual opportunities for them to get involved in Sixth Form and school life. Students have felt that Sixth Form is a big change, but they have worked incredibly hard in lessons and around the school to make the most out of their time at HGS and their attitude should be commended. Well done to all!
Students have been working hard in form time when in school, completing the VESPA programme of activities. The VESPA programme can be summed up in a quote by one of our Sixth Form tutors, 'VESPA is great in assisting students in being able to cope with the pressures of Sixth Form. It allows them to think and reflect on their study. If they improve this and become more efficient, they develop good habits. VESPA also aids students in independent learning skills and developing a vision for their future.'
Wednesday virtual assemblies were filmed by each tutor, giving the students masterclasses on study skills to prepare them for the step up to Sixth Form and this first term. More recently, these assemblies have revolved around Unifrog activities to give them guidance and advice on the next steps after A level so that they can make informed choices. After Christmas, they will be having 1:1 careers appointments with our school Careers Advisor.
Students have signed up to be Prefects in their respective Houses and have worked with their Head of House to choose a chosen charity and carry out socially distanced events, where appropriate, such as the Food Drive. All the Heads of House would like to thank you for your hard work this term and look forward to you coming up with imaginative fundraising ideas for next term.
Year 12 have also carried on the tradition of the Panto which, this year, although virtual, is as amazing as ever. It is the first, fully filmed Panto based around a fairy tale theme with a Covid twist in each story. Thank you to all staff and students involved in making such a memorable display of comedy sketches.
Considering the uncertain times we have had, the implementation of new rules and rules changing constantly, Year 12 have done an incredible job of adapting to Sixth Form and shown real resilience and commitment to their school and their studies. I am exceptionally proud of them and everything they have achieved in such a short space of time. They are a real credit to themselves, you as parents and to the school.
Finally, I would like to publicly thank my Year team for their hard work this term and wish students, staff and parents a well earned and safe Christmas break and a Happy New Year!
Mrs Taylor, Head of Year 12
7A - This term, 7A has come together as a form during these difficult times. We do many activities in form time such as Numeracy Ninjas, which challenges our Maths skills, Head Strong which helps us understand what we can do to support our wellbeing, a weekly quiz, as well as many different arts and crafts. This has really helped us come together and get to know each other as friends.
8A - So far this term, 8A have achieved many great things. For example, we have won ‘Form of the Week’. As well as that, we have completed all Headstrong challenges with high scores and had excellent attendance despite lockdown and isolation. We have also been trying very hard with all our recent, many tests while several members of the class have taken Music exams, including Grade 6 piano! We also had a ‘Form Bake Off’ competition, which was won by Winnie and Lydia! Overall, 8A have achieved a great deal.
9A - So far this term, 9A have supported the Food Drive and also made Halloween pumpkins and Christmas star ornaments, keeping up to date with Headstrong. We also supported Children in Need for the non-uniform day and have continued being a helpful and kind form to one another through this time.
11A - This term, our form have undertaken the mock exams – an achievement in a challenging time – as well as having individual successes outside school including Lily achieving a place in a specialist Sixth Form to pursue the performing arts and Rosie undertaking a Grade 8 Singing exam. Overall, it has been a very successful term in 11A.
12A - This term, 12A have been very busy. We have all started to become accustomed to Sixth Form life, which has ranged from adapting to a new way of learning, to establishing new friendships and some of us have taken on Prefect roles too. Due to the current guidance, this year we weren't able to experience the traditional pantomime, so we have spent the last couple of weeks letting our creativity run loose and have filmed our own. Milestones have been met both inside and outside of school, with two of the form passing their driving theory examinations and now on the road to taking the practical test!
13A – We have had a very busy term! Collectively, we have completed the mock exams and begun the process of completing personal statements and UCAS applications. Students are already receiving university offers, which is very exciting!
Ms Gunns, Head of Austen House
I wanted to say a huge congratulation to everyone in Bronte House: you have achieved 52,165 positive reward points this term! It really is an indication of all your hard work. It has also been lovely to see 7B settle so well into life at HGS.
This term, the whole of Bronte House have been involved in a letter writing project where students are matched up with residents in a local care home. Our students have really embraced this opportunity and been busy writing letters, making Christmas decorations and writing Christmas cards to the residents. I look forward to continuing this project over the coming year and building valuable links with the local community. A thank you to Grace, our Bronte House Captain, for her support with this project.
After Christmas, we will also be beginning a charity focus by voting on a charity of choice and coming up with ideas for raising money.
I wish you all a restful Christmas break after this long term.
Mrs Lowe, Head of Bronte House
This term, Curie House has conducted a vote, selecting a new charity to support alongside Marie Curie Care. Each form selected their own choice to go forward to the whole House vote. As a result, this year we will also be raising money for NSPA which is The National Suicide Prevention Alliance - Year 9's choice. Thank you to every form for selecting a choice and I am sorry we can not raise money for them all.
Each form has voted for their House Prefects and they are beginning to work with the Sixth Form House leads to come up with creative ways in which to raise money for our charities this year whilst sticking to government social distancing guidelines, as well as spreading cheer.
Our Year 13 Prefect team has been busy putting together a Halloween quiz for Year 7 which went down very well. Great job!
Two 7C students have won a Curie star award each. Well done, what a great achievement to win this award in your first term at HGS.
Finally, I would publicly like to thank all my Prefects and form tutors for their hard work this difficult term and wish students, staff and parents a well earned Christmas break!
Mrs Taylor, Head of Curie House
In September, we embraced our new way of working. We warmly welcomed back our students and enjoyed meeting 7F and our new students in 12F. It has been a very busy and, at times, challenging term. Frank students have adapted so well and I am immensely proud of them.
Our Year 13 Prefect team have been working hard, facilitating assemblies and meeting with staff to plan and prepare for our chosen charity, Papyrus, voted in by the students of Frank House. I know that the Prefect team have some exciting charity fundraising ideas and further plans for the New Year - please watch this space! In September, we also welcomed our Year 12 House representatives. Well done and congratulations to all!
This has been a very different year for all and whilst some competitions and activities have not taken place, we have introduced and held new competitions. For example, pumpkin carving, cake decorating, Headstrong and Healthy Schools competitions, weekly quizzes, Numeracy Ninjas, bake offs and a postcard competition, to name a few.
During form time, students from 7F have been engaging with our HeadStrong programme and Numeracy Ninjas. They have been full of life and have certainly developed an exciting form group 'buzz', demonstrating thoughtful gestures for their form tutor and showing their really kind and caring nature.
8F have thoroughly enjoyed quizzes and competitions using Kahoot which continues to develop their knowledge of current affairs.
9F have also engaged with Numeracy Ninjas, our Headstrong programme, and weekly quizzes.
10F have embraced their GCSE studies and have worked so hard making the transition into GCSE. I have had so many positive compliments from staff about their mature attitude to learning - well done! Year 10 have been participating in the Headstrong sessions and not only have they developed the weekly quizzes but are very competitive participants.
11F entered into their academic year with a strong, positive attitude and a determination to succeed. They sat mini mock exams in November and have found the Headstrong programme particularly helpful in supporting them with their physical and mental wellbeing.
12F are successfully making the transition into Sixth Form life, developing study skills which will support their A levels. In addition to this, both Year 12 and 13 have begun the process of thinking about the next steps in their careers, using UniFrog, an online careers platform, to facilitate their research into further education.
13F have also achieved so much, finalising their UCAS applications for university and preparing for, and attending, mock interviews in preparation for their university choice and future career.
I wish you all a healthy and restful holiday.
Mrs Renfrew, Head of Frank House
It has been wonderful to see Jewel House back at school this term. Although we haven’t been able to come together physically, we have had the chance to see each other virtually, enjoying our usual House assemblies. This year, Jewel House has decided to support the charity SARI (Stand Against Racism and Inequality). In the New Year, our Prefect team will be working together to look at the different ways in which we can support this charity. The team of Olivia (House Captain), Kiera (Deputy House Captain) and Estelle (Health and Sports Prefect) have made a fantastic start to their new roles.
It has also been fantastic to welcome 7J to Hitchin Girls’ School. I have been impressed by their enthusiasm and passion for Jewel House, as well as the excellent number of reward points they have accumulated this term. As a House, we await the results of the House Trophy and House Cup.
I would also like to thank Mrs Abegglen for her service to Jewel House, as she leaves 8J this term. Thank you for your dedication to all things Jewel!
7J - Form Prefect, Alexandra, says that 7J have achieved many things this term, both inside and outside of school.
‘We have made a great start to HGS, making new friends and becoming more confident talking to different people. We have also enjoyed fantastic academic achievements and passed Music exams. At home, we have enjoyed cooking dinners, going on long walks and even gaining new family members! One member of 7J was also awarded a Hero of Hertfordshire award!’
8J - For 8J, it’s definitely been a different start to the year, but they have completed lots of interesting activities and they’re glad to be back together. Anna (Form Prefect) explains what they’ve been up to: ‘In these few months in form, we have done lots of things, such as Careers Week which has been very helpful, especially looking into what we class as success. We also donated a lot to the Food Drive, which meant we were the top form in Year 8 for the amount we brought in. Personally, one of my favourite things we do in form is the ‘Quiz of the Week’ on Friday. Headstrong by Mrs Cole also brightens up my week and gives me helpful advice. Finally, thank you to all of the teachers for helping and guiding us through this difficult time, especially Mrs Abegglen who has been there as an inspirational form tutor and teacher who we will miss.’
9J - Caitlin (Form Prefect) outlines the highlights of 9J’s term: ‘This term our form has coped well through this pandemic with kindness and smiles. We have continued to celebrate birthdays with hand made cards and enjoyed decorating the form room leading up to Christmas. Everyone in our form has had a proud achievement in or out of school this term. We have earned multiple Praise Postcards and rewards and we contributed lots of Christmas treats and canned goods to the Food Drive. Members of 9J won a football match outside of school and Caitlin the Halloween HGS bake off. So a very good term for our form. Merry Christmas!’
10J - Ellen (Form Prefect) outlines 10J’s achievements this term: ‘This term, 10J has earned lots of rewards and participated consistently in the Headstrong challenges, with our Healthy Schools representatives leading the form. Our House charity nomination was chosen led by our Charity Prefect. We also brought in lots of food and Christmas themed items for the Food Drive.’
11J - Beatrice (Form Prefect) highlights what the form have been doing this term: “In 11J, most of our energy has been spent on the first round of mocks. This has been an interesting experience, particularly considering the uncertainty surrounding our final exams but I think that, as a collective, we did our best to rise to the challenge and approach our studying with a conscientious, mindful attitude. Perhaps, even more importantly, we have been spending a lot of time trying to remain well and look after ourselves. Recovering and resting after periods of stress is vital if we want to keep up our stamina throughout the school year. All things considered, I am very proud of 11J and look forward to a hopefully prosperous January!”
12J - Alex (House Prefect) writes: “In 12J, we have been mainly focusing on adjusting to A levels and Sixth Form life. It has been quite a challenging time adjusting to school after months away, yet getting back to a routine has been a relief. In form time, we have been completing VESPA (Vision, Effort, Systems, Practice and Attitude) booklets to focus our attitudes towards schoolwork. The booklets highlight the areas of our revision or work that we are doing right or may need to change to get the most out of the two years. In terms of charity work, we are looking forward to planning House events, adapted for the new guidelines and starting to fundraise for our House charity in the New Year. We hope, as a form, that the rest of the House has enjoyed the last term and that the new Year 7’s are enjoying Hitchin Girls’ School! We hope that all of Jewel has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
13J - Students in 13J have been busy completing their Personal Statements for UCAS applications and preparing for their mock exams. They have done a fantastic job at readjusting to school life and we wish them the best as they continue their final year at school.
Miss Roy, Head of Jewel House
Congratulations to Pankhurst House for winning the House Trophy this term. This makes two in a row following our win last Summer term. Very well done, everyone: this is a fantastic achievement. It was good to be able to have our mufti reward this time.
Pankhurst students have been very busy in and out of school.
7P completed their first full term at HGS. They began the year with a success by winning the House presentation during induction week. This term they accumulated 13,085 positive points! Well done to Isla who achieved 765 reward points. Isla and Samantha won the postcard designing competition, and Ellie received a special commendation for the pumpkin carving competition.
8P were Year 8 Form of the Week four times and won the Year 8 poppy display. Grace and Tilly helped the ‘Feed Up Warm Up’ charity with their drop ins for the homeless in Hitchin. Grace also helped to organise a fun run for 'Feed Up Warm Up' to raise money for the homeless, with over 100 people participating. Tilly took part in the biggest Girl Guiding sleep out for the homeless, where they created a new world record for the number of people sleeping outside to raise money for charity. Bea came third in a creative writing competition.
Various students passed Music exams, including Hannah (Grade 3 piano), Lara (Grade 4 singing), Chloe (Grade 3 guitar and Grade 1 piano), Bea (Grade 8 violin, and Grade 7 piano). Students also celebrated sporting and other extra-curricular achievements, including Scarlett (moved up a Grade in ballet and passed her LAMDA Grade 4 drama), Isla (represented Hertfordshire U14’s at Hockey in a year group older than she should be playing with!), Leila (passed her black belt grading in Taekwondo), Jemima and Bea (came in the top five in the Year 8 postcard competition), Tilly and Bea (shortlisted for a French writing competition), Isla (passed her Grade 6 Dance and will be going onto point soon! Isla’s blueberry and lemon curd meringue muffins were also featured on the school’s facebook page!).
9P achieved 23,380 reward points, with Emma achieving 260 points, Joely achieving 270 points and Tess achieving 275 points. Momima , Simran and Mathilda didn’t receive any behaviour points at all - very well done to all of you.
I am delighted to announce that Pankhurst House will be supporting the SARI (Stand Against Racism and Inequality) charity this year. I am looking forward to working with you to raise money for this worthy cause.
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you back safe and well after the break.
Mrs Rowe, Head of Pankhurst House
Rosa students have settled back into school. 7R participated fully in induction week and had a lot of fun creating their mascots and presentations on Rosa Parks. Well done to Kareena for achieving 685 reward points this term. A large number of students in the form were not given any behaviour points - very well done! 8R and 9R have enjoyed participating in Numeracy Ninjas, the Headstrong activities and weekly quiz. Well done to Alice in 8R and Elodie in 9R for achieving 805 and 505 reward points, respectively, this term.
I am delighted that Rosa House students have adopted Children with Cancer UK as their House charity this year and I look forward to working with you on your fundraising projects.
Many of you will be aware that Mr Mottershead will be leaving us at the end of term. I’d like to thank him for all his work with 8R and wish him all the best for the future. I’m very pleased to welcome Mrs Symeou to our team as tutor for 8R next year.
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you back safe and well after the break.
Mrs Rowe, Head of Pankhurst House
It was great to be able to welcome all the Teresa students back to school in September as well as welcoming our new additions in Year 7 (7T) and Year 12 (12T). At the end of last academic year, our new Year 13 Prefect team was appointed: House Captain - Izzy, Deputy House Captain - Belle and Health and Sports Prefect - Jenna. This term, we have also appointed our additional Year 12 Prefects: House Prefect - Isabelle, Sports Prefect - Eleanor, Wellbeing and Healthy Schools Prefect - Katarina, Charity Prefect - Saran and our School Council Representative - Delphine.
In our first House assembly this year, forms were asked to nominate charities that they felt Teresa House should fundraise for and support this year. Following a very close (remote) vote using Google forms, the resulting charity was WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature). Students have begun thinking about fundraising events that we can do despite the restrictions placed upon us with current circumstances.
But what have the individual forms been up to in tutor time since September?
7T have had a splendid start to their HGS career, taking part in a range of activities from the pumpkin carving competition, to making Christmas decorations and, their greatest success, bringing in the most items for the Food Drive. Mrs Kiani, form tutor, commented, 'they are super generous and very kind'. Well done 7T!
In 8T, for registration they have been doing a range of fun activities. The Kahoot quizzes have been enjoyable for everyone. They have also been participating in Headstrong every week, as well as news quizzes to keep up to date on current affairs and general knowledge. 'Everyone has a great time in form and they all thoroughly enjoy it' (direct quote from a member of 8T!).
This term, 9T have been (very!) busy completing lots of different activities, for example:
Numeracy Ninjas - their form average is now 27.7 out of 30 and it has increased consistently each week since September;
Headstrong tasks - they have completed these every week and are confident that they will achieve this term’s certificate. For example, they did Halloween themed activities like making pumpkins, cut out ghosts and spiders for decoration and ate spooky chocolate and sweets!
Weekly quizzes - their general knowledge is definitely improving and they love the competition of trying to beat their own scores;
Bake Off - as a form, they each drew out of a hat to represent one of the bakers and the lucky winners. Supporting Peter were Molly and Leni, who each got their choice of sweet treat from Miss Johns;
Winning the 'kindness competition' - one of the Headstrong challenges was to complete random acts of kindness and Mrs Cole selected their form as one of the winners;
Regularly being the Year 9 form with the fewest number of consequences and/or the form with the most reward points - amazing, 9T!
10T have enjoyed starting their GCSE studies. They have been participating in the Headstrong sessions and are very competitive participants of the weekly Year 10 quiz. 11T had mock exams in November and, to support them in this, they have spent tutor times considering their physical and mental wellbeing, as well as taking care of themselves in the run up to their exams in the summer. 12T have been talking about study skills to support the step up to A level studies, as well as getting to know UniFrog, an online careers and further education platform. Finally, 13T have been completing their UCAS applications for university and considering what they will do when they finish their exams in July.
Thank you to all the Teresa House tutors and Miss Norgan, Cover Supervisor, who has been working with 8T. I wish you all a safe and restful Christmas. Let's hope 2021 isn't quite as 'unprecedented' as 2020!
Useful ideas and resources from @JustTalkHerts to support student wellbeing over the school holidays, including helplines. apps and websites. #mentalhealthmatters #wellbeingwednesday #MentalHealthAwareness #Wellbeing https://t.co/KJnwIa4WBZ