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“My Favourite Part of this Year” – Year 8 Reflections on their Normandy Residential Trip

mont st michelOn June 26th, 21 Year 8 girls were up bright & early (at school for 4.45 am!) to catch the ferry across to Normandy for their four day residential French language trip. chocolaterie

Given the hot weather, the girls were delighted with the hotel’s location right on the beach & the swimming pool, although that didn’t stop us on Day 2 from climbing to the top of the Mont Saint Michel!

On the last full day we travelled to Bayeux to visit the famous tapestry, a chocolaterie, followed up by the beach, swimming pool and a dance party! There were plenty of opportunities during the trip for the girls to practise their French – asking directions, shopping and particularly as they were tasked with carrying out a survey which involved asking passers-by questions. 

This was our view on the last night at 10.30 pm just outside the hotel – the girls really did not want to leave!

 Here are some of the girls’ reflections:

“I loved going to the beach in the evenings. I feel like we really bonded as a group and would definitely go again!”

 “The trip was great to consolidate our French skills and allow us to gain confidence in our French speaking ability. The activities and places we went to were really fun and really enjoyable.”

“I really enjoyed going to the different small towns in Normandy every day. I found the French trip my favourite part of Year 8 and a good opportunity to test my French.”

 “I thoroughly enjoyed the trip because there was loads of shopping time, I learned a lot about French history. Normandy is a great place for taking pictures too.”

 “I enjoyed going to Normandy a lot. All the places we visited were very beautiful & interesting. We had a lot of free time to shop & eat crêpes and buy souvenirs. The weather was beautiful and the beach was very pretty and relaxing and it was a very laidback trip.”

“The Normandy trip was extremely enjoyable and educational. We had amazing shopping opportunities as well as chances to practise our French speaking. Overall, it was an amazing trip and I would love to go again.”

 “I thoroughly enjoyed the French trip. We never had one minute of boredom in the fun packed trip. We visited many villages that captured the spirit and essence of France. The hotel was better than we would have hoped for on a school trip, set on a stunning beach with beautiful sunsets! I will never forget this trip!”


¡Hola Cantabria!

By Shreya & Sarah-Jane, Year 8

55 of our Year 8 Spanish linguists travelled to Cantabria in the north of Spain for their four day MFL residential trip at the end of June.

Flying into Bilbao, we enjoyed a busy schedule of Spanish culture & language during our stay, starting with a visit to Santander on the first day, where the girls enjoyed taking in the city’s rich history and shopping in the old market.

The next day saw us exploring the beautiful surroundings of the Picos de Europa National Park before riding the vertiginous Fuente De cable car to marvel at the mirador.

From the lofty heights of the mountains one day to deep caves on the next, we enjoyed following in the footsteps of the zinc miners who discovered the geological gem that is El Soplao at the turn of the 19th century. Finally, we took in the wonderful medieval town of Santillana Del Mar.

We also enjoyed our flamenco dancing, practised yoga, beach combing, making new friendships and, of course, managed to practise our Spanish!

We thoroughly enjoyed the Spanish trip. The excursions were very exciting. As well as having lots of fun we learnt a lot about Spain’s culture and language.

One of our favourite excursions was the Guggenheim Museum as we got to see exquisite pieces of art from around the world. Before this we went to a dance workshop, where we learnt two different styles of dance. Our favourite was the Latin American workshop. This trip really sparked our love for the Spanish language and we would love to return.

A Night at the Musicals

Matilda perfornersIn what can be described as a spectacular end-of-term Musical Showdown, our Dance, Music & Drama teams came together bringing the music of over 12 Broadway shows to life.

Musicians, dancers, drama technicians, choreographers, singers, on-stage as well as backstage endeavour across the junior and senior school, all triumphed in a musical rendition of over 20 songs.

Classics from WestSide Story, Grease, South Pacific, Annie, Stomp (using all the schools bins and hockey sticks!), Anything Goes, Hairspray, Billy Elliot, Matilda, 42nd Street and of course The Greatest Showman were all celebrated in an exciting display of talent, musical as well as technical agility.

Year 7 & 8s Design and Model Upcycled Fashions at Annual Charity Fashion Show

By Kira & Kiani, Art Reps

On 21st June, the Year 12 Art Representatives held the NHEHS Annual Fashion Show.

They decided the theme would be ‘Upcycling’ due to its growing significance in the school and today’s world.

Therefore, they challenged the Year 7s and 8s to design and create an outfit by reusing materials. Although, the designing of the dresses and raising the profile of art in the school are big parts of the Fashion Show, what is really special about this event is its ability to raise lots of money for charity.

This year, Year 12 chose to support Kidney Cancer UK and the Ella Fosbury-Hill Fund – two charities which are very close to the hearts of this year group.

All years participated in making the set design which was inspired by recycling and the sanctity of the earth’s natural environment. The set was very impressive and helped inspire the girls to light up the catwalk in their creations.

As with every Fashion Show we have held, we were again honoured to invite back alumnae and special guests to judge the designs.

Upcycling model Fashion ShowThis year from the alumnae we invited Antonia Krakowski who is currently a Group Fashion Editor for the Express group of Newspapers and Magazines and Phoebe Syms who is a Marketing Executive at River Island. As well as our guest judges, Sally West has worked as a childrenswear designer for Monsoon and Popsi Kundi who currently works in the Chiswick Auction House in charge of the Fashion Department. Having these inspirational women really meant a lot to us and inspired the girls.

Thank you to both Mrs Fisher-Black and Ms Cagnino as well as the Caretaking Team for making this event possible.

Welcome to our New Head Girl Team Blog!

Head Girl Team NHEHSHello everyone! We are your new head girl team, and we wanted to start a blog to keep everyone updated with what we are up to. In this first post we wanted to discuss our aims and values for the year ahead.

1. Increasing the awareness of Mental Health in the School

Although Notting Hill does a great job in advocating for mental health, our recent mental health week being just one example, we all believe that there is always more that we can do. We identified further raising awareness and reducing the stigma around mental health to be a key aim for us as a head girl team.

We feel like the values that we stand for as a school, such as connectivity and respect, mean that it is crucial we make mental health a talked about topic, so watch this space!!

2. Integrating years

As a Head Girl Team we value the relationships built between girls of different year groups and think this contributes hugely to the community that we all know and love at NHEHS. We want to allow more girls from different years to get to know each other in a social setting. To do this, we thought of internal sports tournaments with mixed year group teams competing together. This would be a fun and engaging way to get girls to work with girls that they may not have spoken to before.

3. Creating and reintroducing events

A huge part about NHEHS are all the creative and unique events. In previous years, the Head Girl Team have done an amazing job at bringing new and inventive events, and we definitely want to keep this going. We have so many fun festivities at Christmas Time, from the Christmas Assembly to the Boar’s Head Carol, and one of our main aims is to introduce some new events throughout the year. The Talent Show was a great way for everyone to showcase their talents as well as appreciating other people’s gifts. We would love to make this an annual event and have even more people participating next year! As well as the Talent Show, we have many new ideas for events to introduce (and re-introduce) to school.

4. Allowing girls to push back boundaries

Pushing boundaries means thinking outside the box, and doing things which seem impossible. Having been inspired by Daria in year 7 and her Swimathon, we realised the importance of allowing all girls, regardless of their age, to be able to bring about change. To make this accessible for everyone, we would like to implement the initiative of an ideas box, allowing anyone, from all years, to suggest ideas they’d like to see happening in school. This will be crucial to allowing everyone’s voices to be heard, so keep an eye out for it!


We would love to have the chance to introduce ourselves to you all properly, making sure you are comfortable approaching us whenever you have a spontaneous new idea or even just need some advice. As mentioned, soon to come in the Portrait Room will be a suggestions box for you all to put any of your ideas in, ranging from eco policies to new events. There will be an option for you to keep this anonymous, or for you to write your name and form so we can contact you about progress or to brainstorm more ideas. We will also have a noticeboard above this box to introduce ourselves and will constantly update this with new events and our favourite suggestion for each half term. Lastly, make sure to check out our Firefly page as we will keep you updated with exciting events news on there, including the summer suggestions from our assembly!

Have a great summer and we can’t wait to start working closely with you all next year!

Immi, Dedan, Anna, Emily, Dhruti & Jojo

An Evening of Celebration and Friendship at Year 13 Leavers’ Ceremony

Y13 Leavers Ceremony SpeakerOn 18 June, we welcomed Year 13s back to school for an evening of celebration and friendship at a Leavers’ Ceremony. Also attending were the entire Senior School teaching staff and Leadership Team, plus parents and other family members, all keen to wish Year 13 all the very best for their undoubtedly bright futures.

Leading the proceedings was Miss Bushell, Head of Sixth Form, who introduced Chair of Governors Sue Blythe, who added her words of encouragement and Y13 Leavers Ceremony Audiencecongratulations to the girls. Headmaster Mr Shoults then shared anecdotes about the leaving class as well as offering words of advice and wisdom such as these from the first female US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright: “You have to learn to interrupt. The bottom line is active listening. If you are going to interrupt, you look for opportunities.”

After all girls received their Leaver’s Certificates and prizes were awarded to worth recipients, the evening drew to a close with an inspiring speech given by Guest of Honour, Ann Francke, the CEO of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Ann, whose daughter is a GDST girl, shared stories of her many successes and failures and spoke to the shocking statistics on gender inequality still occurring in business today. Ann talked about how important it is to translate the GDST ‘Girls First’ mind set into the world of business, saying ‘You’ll never get it if you don’t try’ and that girls must ‘Be bold and speak up’ and never lose the will to be fearless. She also spoke the strong GDST alumnae network and encouraged the girls to ‘embrace the opportunities and learn along the way’.

Head Girl Frankie Wilson rounded up the evening’s speakers by thanking her fellow classmates, NHEHS teachers and support staff, and of course, Year 13 parents and family members for their support.

The evening ended in the Dining Room, with drinks and delicious canapés provided by the catering team, as girls personally thanked their teachers and collected signatures in their Year Books. We will miss you, Year 13 and hope to share in your success on A Level Results Day.

Brand New Percussion Group are a Hit at Junior Summer Concert

percussion and orchestraThe Year 6 Percussion Group got the Summer Concert on July 2nd off to a flying start with their “Notting Hill Stomp.” Making their debut, the group of 12 was newly formed this year but enchanted the audience with a dramatic performance, with musicians positioned all around the Main Hall, before gathering to play together on the upper walkway.

The pinnacle of the music calendar at Junior School, the Summer Concert gave the musicians the opportunity to demonstrate all their hard work in the practice room, early morning sessions and lunchtime ensembles.

The percussionists were followed by the Junior Super Strings, comprising mainly girls from Years 4 & 5, but also some Year 3s who were playing in front of a sizeable audience for the first time. The Super Strings lived up to their name & played their trio of pieces (Bow Rock, Back Scratcher & Return to Earth) with great aplomb.

The Flute Ensemble played a very calming Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” followed by the dramatic “Music for the Royal Fireworks.”

Our three cellists or “Celli Beans” played Purcell’s “Trumpet Voluntary” and Lafferty’s “Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God” beautifully, before the Year 6 Quartet took the stage for a faultless performance of the Rondo in C by Mozart.

NHEHS Junior Wind bandSince the introduction of brass instruments into the Junior School last year, the Wind Band (primarily flute & clarinet) has been boosted by girls playing the trombone, the French Horn & the trumpet. We thoroughly enjoyed the full range of instruments in “Yesterday” by Lennon/McCartney.

The Junior School Orchestra with 38 musicians then played two contrasting pieces, firstly “Papageno’s Song” by Mozart followed by the upbeat “Can Can,” which built up to a fantastic finish. NHEHS Junior orchestra

Making their first appearance at a school concert were the Junior School Singers, a group of Year 5 & 6 girls which was only formed last September. They performed Lin Marsh’s “Believe” followed by “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton.

The final performance was by the Chamber Choir who reprised the three pieces they had sung so beautifully at the Final of the GDST Junior Choir of the Year in March, where they only narrowly missed top spot. Chamber choirFrom the wonderful harmonies of “For the Beauty of the Earth” to the lively “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” and “The Lullaby of Broadway” with added choreography, the choir had the audience clapping & tapping their feet all the way. 

Mrs Silva congratulated the girls on their performances and thanked parents and staff for their support, particularly the individual instrument teachers, Ms Ashton, Ms Robertson, Mr Draper, Mrs Liefkes, Mrs Jackman, Mr Aston (piano accompaniment) & of course, Mr McLaughlin, our Director of Music.

The finale was the Duetto Buffo di Due Gatti (the comic duet of two cats) performed by the Chamber Choir who sang with huge smiles on their faces as they sang “Miau!” over and over!



Howzat?! NHEHS Juniors 6th at GDST U11 Cricket Tournament

Junior gdst cricket teamLast Thursday the Year 6 NHEHS A Cricket Team took part in the annual GDST U11 Cricket Tournament in Northampton. A total of eighteen GDST schools from around the country were involved. The schools were divided into three groups with each school playing five matches before the quarter finals.

All the girls were looking forward to the matches and NHEHS got off to a good start, winning their first two matches, then narrowly losing their third match against BowlingSydenham by 5 runs. The girls quickly put this result behind them, to go on to win their last two matches in their group. They were hoping to top their group but unfortunately NHEHS were on the same points total as Sydenham so it came down to who had the highest run total. Much to our surprise Sydenham’s run total was higher and therefore NHEHS had to play the winner of Group A in the quarter final which was Norwich.

This was a tough and very close match with both teams bowling accurately and displaying some brilliant fielding skills. cricket at gdst tournamentNHEHS’ batting was varied, hitting the ball in to space away from the Norwich fielders. Despite playing so well NHEHS narrowly lost to Norwich 228 runs – 234 runs. All the girls were disappointed at losing such a close match as they now had to play for 5th /6th place
against Portsmouth.

Just as the match started, the rain arrived, making difficult playing conditions for both teams. NHEHS’ spirits were somewhat dampened by the previous loss and they never really recovered finally going down to Portsmouth by 3 runs, putting NHEHS in sixth place action

It had been a great day of cricket which all the girls thoroughly enjoyed.


NHEHS Weekly Sports Update July 5th 2019

U15 Rounders NHEHS teamRounders

On the 1st of July, our U12 rounders teams took on West London Free School at home, with the A team winning 18.5 – 8 and the Bs victorious by 12.5 to 6.  Three days later, we played St Augustine’s Priory with our U15A team taking the win 18 – 8, the B team 20 – 8.5, with just the Cs losing narrowly 11 – 13. Well done to all taking part!

TennisNHEHS Tennis & rounders teams

West London Free School were also our opponents in tennis last week, with U15 & U13 matches taking place at home also on July 1st. Again, our U15s won, this time 104 – 87 and our U13s winning by 96 to 48. Congratulations to both teams!



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