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Half the World in Half Term


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China, Russia, Italy! Three amazing trips in two weeks.

Ten days in China

A once in a lifetime opportunity! 41 girls from Years 10, 11 and 12 travelled to Beijing, Xian and Shanghai with five of their teachers in a cultural extravaganza designed to put their enthusiastically learned Mandarin to good use. 

First stop Beijing where the girls visited Tiananmen Square, wandered the Forbidden City, saw the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace (after a boat ride), saw Pandas at the zoo and went to the Olympic Park. They also walked part of the Great Wall of China and learnt to drink tea the Chinese way!

An important part of the trip was a visit to Beijing No 80 High School, with whom NHEHS has an exchange relationship. The girls met their fellow Chinese students for a language exchange (and some Mandarin lessons).

An overnight sleeper train took them to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors. They also cycled along the ancient City Wall, visited the Bell and Drum towers and even had a calligraphy lesson. Another overnight train to Shanghai where they saw the Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai Museum, the Bund, cruised the Huangpu River, spent time looking at the street art in Tianzifang, navigated the subway and experienced shopping in a local supermarket. Mandarin skills were then put to serious test in the local street market where prices for keepsakes were haggled hard and fast!

 

Back to Europe, through Russia

Moscow and St Petersburg next! 23 girls from Years 11-13 travelled to Russia on a 6 day History trip to complement their work in A Level Russian History while for GCSE students it was a chance to see some key Cold War sites.

From Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow, they then boarded an overnight train to St Petersburg, where they saw life through the eyes of Tsars with guided tours of the city and famous palaces such as the Winter Palace. A final night of folk dancing rounded off this amazing trip.

 

And on the way home, via Italy!

Celebrating their love for Latin, 31 girls from Years 9 and 10 took a whistle-stop tour of classical Italy taking in Rome, Pompeii and Herculaneum in just four days! 

In this culture packed trip, the girls revelled in the majesty of the key sights of Rome; the Pantheum, Coliseum, Capitoline museum, Paletine Hill and Spanish Steps. They also made their wishes at the Trevi Fountain and re-enacted scenes from their Latin learning in the Forum. 

From Rome to a beautiful villa in Oplontis and then on to explore the extensive site of Herculaneum with an overnight stay by the sea in Sorento. Final stop, Pompeii for another vibrant snapshot of classical life.

Plenty of time was allowed throughout for gelatos galore, pizza and for chic shopping! When in Rome, after all…!

Watch Out Lord Sugar!


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Putting their leadership skills to the test, our six strong Head Girl Team (Phyllis, Rosie, Cameron, Sharuka, Francesca and Rinda), took part in an Apprentice style team challenge in Bath during the last weekend in September, in a special annual event organised by the GDST, the Young Leaders Conference.

During the three days, “Young Leaders” from across the 25 schools within the GDST listened to inspiring talks by female role models and in a task reminiscent of the popular entrepreneurial TV show, demonstrated their leadership skills by participating in an Apprentice style challenge. Split into groups with girls from other schools, the teams were tasked with devising a campaign for a charity using social media to raise awareness and produce a promotional video. And just as they do it on TV, the girls then had to prepare presentations to pitch their ideas to the charity and to the sponsors. All this in an extremely tight time frame!

“We had from Friday evening until Saturday evening to submit our campaign ideas and then on the Sunday morning, we actually pitched our ideas to the charity and also to potential sponsors” explains Cameron, Games Captain at NHEHS. “It was a really fast paced couple of days because there were so many elements to consider. We also had to find time to conduct market research in Bath”.

Phyllis, Deputy Head Girl added: “We very quickly learnt that we all had to pull together as a team. Tasks were allocated according to our skillsets; putting everyone in their strengths and working to each other’s strengths. We learnt how not to micromanage and how to respect everyone’s roles”.

A couple of the campaigns the girls devised included a #Tap4Tap app to enable Frank Water, a charity installing taps in villages within Nepal and India to easily receive donated funds and a #LeanOnMe campaign for the Rainbow Trust, a charity that raises funds for terminally ill children and their families, using the slogan “we can’t stop time but we can make the most of it”. The social media campaign included a competition asking entrants to take pictures of the people who they have felt supported them to capture the #LeanOnMe sentiment.

As part of the conference, the girls heard from Ann Daniels, one of the first women in history to reach the North and South Poles as part of an all woman team who has been described by The Daily Telegraph as one of the Top 20 Great British Adventurers of all time. They also heard from Ann Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute who said:

“It’s vital we give young women the leadership skills they need early on to fulfil their own potential and unlock the potential in others. The reality of today’s workplace is that young women are faced with a `glass pyramid’ where men dominate the majority of senior roles. Equipping young women with confidence, resilience and the skills to lead, will help give the next generation of female leaders the chance to thrive and benefit from a more gender inclusive environment”.

Full of Fun at the Fair


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The School Hall was bursting with excitement today as the Extra-curricular Clubs Fair got underway. Subject reps across the sixth form were on a serious recruiting mission for a vast array of before-school, lunchtime and after-school clubs.

With a choice of over 60 Clubs covering topics as far reaching as Feminism, Robotics, Philosophy and Coding as well as a huge choice of sport, drama and music, the girls used their creative efforts to promote their passions. A group of drummers lured crowds towards the music department, a team of MI5 special agents promoted the Code Breakers club while a sausage-and-dog combo wondered round advertising the Backstage Pass Club (the Theatre Tech Club). Clever robots were on display to promote the Vex and Lego Robotics Clubs and amazing masks and sculptures were used to encourage sign-ups for the ever popular Art Club. 

Teachers were on hand to help with newer clubs such as “Sapere Aude” and “The Only Way is Ethics”, new philosophy clubs this term which aim to challenge with questions such as “why is it ok to eat animals but not humans”, while the Feminism and Politics Clubs is aiming to bring big issues of the day to life through exciting and thought provoking debate. Cloud 9 Weather, another relatively new club makes use of the School’s very own and unique weather station on the roof to give girls the chance to explore forecasting.

And with a full and extensive gamut of sporting and music clubs also on offer, girls throughout the senior school were spoiled for choice. Sign-ups were impressive and enthusiastically received. The buzz undisputed.

Clubs begin next week.

A Passage to India


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The long summer holidays offer the chance to recharge, travel to far flung places, grab new experiences. For our Assistant Head and Year 3 teacher at the junior school, the summer break offered an opportunity to do all three.

In an initiative organised by the Girls’ Day School Trust, several teachers from the GDST across the UK, traveled to India in August to work with and support the teachers in a school in Bangalore.

Together they spent three and a half weeks working with teachers and over 60 children in the Florida English School. Under the guidance of the Limited Resource Teacher Training team, which runs the initiative, they shared teaching methods and strategies relating to phonics and demonstrated concepts like having a positive mindset in the classroom.

“It was entertaining and also extremely rewarding sharing the phonics songs we teach in the UK. The first time we sang “A, A… Ants in your Pants” to the teachers and children we had slightly dumbfounded faces – they teach reading very differently. But by the end of our three weeks, they were enthusiastically singing along with us. As a teacher, this is very validating.

In a country with limited resources, the emphasis on using creative techniques is really important. In the UK, we revert to google to show pictures of a “zebra” for example. But in India, we had to rely on drawing images to demonstrate our ideas and this makes for a challenging but equally, more creative experience.

For sure, my time in India has made me more confident and creative in the classroom. My year 3 class will definitely be exposed to a myriad of stories this year”.

 


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