Author Archive

Inspiring Evening at BT Sport Action Woman Awards with the GDST

By Jojo, NHEHS Games Captain

On Monday 9th December Miss Nicholas and I were lucky enough to attend the BT Sport Action Woman awards.

It was an honour to be selected as one of the six girls representing the GDST at the awards. The evening started with drinks and nibbles before we started to see the room fill up with elite sportswomen including the England women’s rugby team, Sky Brown and Jamie Chadwick to name but a few. All the GDST girls shared a table and it was so lovely to get to know them and hear about the sports they all play.

It was fascinating to see behind the scenes of an awards show, from the script that Clare Balding read off a screen, to the countdown to us going live; it’s something I’ve never experienced before and I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to go.

The first award that was given out was the Team of the Year Award; the winners of this were the Solheim Cup winners. The next award was the lifetime achievement award, which went to Mel Marshall who won many swimming medals for GB herself and now coaches World and Olympic champion Adam Peaty. 

Sky Brown was named as Rising Star at age 11 – next year she will be trialling to be part of the GB skateboarding squad which would make her the youngest Olympian in the sport.

Then it was time for the main award of the night, The Action Woman of the Year.

We heard from each of the nominees and it was so interesting to hear about all of their achievements and how they’ve pushed the boundaries of what women have previously done in their sport. The winner of the award was Pippa Funnell due to an amazing 12 months returning to equestrian sport after a 14 year break from the sport.  She spoke passionately about inspiring the next generation in the sport and it was great to hear from such a successful sportswoman.

I am very grateful for this opportunity and thanks again to the GDST for this invaluable experience.

The Boar’s Head Carol – A Unique NHEHS Christmas Tradition

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate a very special and unique NHEHS pre-Christmas tradition – The Boar’s Head Carol.

On Tuesday morning, a boar’s head made of papier mache will be processed down the aisle at St Barnabas Church by the Head Girl, followed by the rest of Year 13, all singing the ancient Boar’s Head Carol.

The Boar’s Head procession has been part of Notting Hill life for over 100 years and has become well and truly established as one of the pre-Christmas traditions of the school.

So far, we have not been able to establish when or why the Boar’s Head procession began here as it is associated with a men’s college in Oxford (Queen’s) and there were no male teachers at the time who could have introduced it.

However, we do know that in 1911, the GPDST Council decided that it was ‘inappropriate!’  In 2010, only three English schools held the procession – Hurstpierpoint College, Millfield and Notting Hill, but it is fairly certain that we are the only girl’s school in the world to have this ceremony.

The Queen’s College version of the carol, which is used at Notting Hill, was published in 1521 and is therefore thought to be the first carol to be printed in England.

The story behind the carol relates to an Oxford student who, while out walking, encountered an angry boar. Fearing for his safety, he rammed the book he was reading down the gaping throat of the animal and suffocated it – ‘sage’ overcoming ‘savage!’

Queens College Version, Oxford, England. First published in 1521.

The boar’s head in hand bear I
Bedecked with bays and rosemary
I pray you, my masters, be merry
Quot estis in convivio

CHORUS: Caput apri defero, Reddens laudes domino

The boar’s head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all this land,
Which thus bedecked with a gay garland
Let us servire cantico.)


Our steward hath provided this
In honor of the King of bliss
Which, on this day to be served is
In Reginensi atrio

The 2018 Boar’s Head Carol is captured on video on our Old Girls’ Association Facebook Page here. 

Year 7 Alex Swims in Nationals

Alex, one of our talented Year 7 swimmers, qualified for multiple events at the Swim Wales Winter championships in Swansea at the end of November.  To mark this fantastic achievement, we asked her to write up how she got on: 

By Alex, Year 7

On the 29th November to the 1st of December I competed in the Swim Wales Winter nationals as one of the only English swimmers competing. I qualified for 9 events which meant I was competing on each of the three days. It was a really exciting experience and I’m very grateful that I could compete.

We left at 6 o’clock on the 28th November, expecting to arrive in Wales at 10 o’clock, but we ended up arriving after midnight and just managed to make it into our hotel room before we crashed onto our beds. This was especially frustrating because we had to wake up at 7 o’clock in the morning so we could get to the gala in time.

The first day at the gala was really nerve-racking because I didn’t know what to expect of the competition. My first event was the 200m freestyle which I was particularly anxious about because I hadn’t gotten a PB in a while and it isn’t one of my strongest events. I ended up getting a 5 second PB (2:23) and coming second in my heat, which I was pleased about. My next event (200m Backstroke) was soon after. Although I didn’t quite get a PB, I was happy with my technique which I felt really improved since the last time I did it. My last event of day 1 was the 50m butterfly. Again, no PB but a reasonable performance. 

On day 2 I raced the 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke and the 800m freestyle. In the 100m freestyle I got a PB of 1:06 which I was proud of. In the 50m backstroke I got 35 seconds which is a PB. I was very happy with this because I hadn’t gotten a PB in a while. Lastly I had the 800m freestyle which I was really nervous for because it is a 32 length race. I ended up getting a 25 second PB which was extremely surprising because I had only gotten my last PB for that race 1 month before. This race has put me 2nd in Middlesex and in the top 5 in London.

On day 3 I wasn’t too nervous because I already knew what the competition was like and I wasn’t swimming any really long or tough races. My first race of the day was the 50m freestyle. I got a PB of 30.64 which was 2 seconds faster than when I swam it 2 weeks before. My next race was the 100m fly, which I sadly didn’t get a PB in. My last race was the 100m backstroke where I got a PB of 1:15.24 which has put me 5th in Middlesex.

Overall, I’m proud of my performance in Swim Wales and I’m very grateful that I was able to compete in this national level event.

Dance, Hypnosis, Music and Psychology

On December 3rd, 12 students from Year 12 attended a Science and Psychology Conference at Friends House in Euston. 

The students really enjoyed the whole day with its variety of activities ranging from a hypnosis workshop to a session on how synchronising dance can improve wellbeing and connections with others, to another which demonstrated the speed at which we pass motor responses from one person to the next. Particularly popular was the ‘Boogie on the Brain’ lecture from Dr. Dance who demonstrated the power of movement on our mood and relationships with others.

The day was an excellent way for our psychologists to learn about psychology beyond the specification and hear about how psychology research is conducted.

NHEHS Weekly Sports Update November 29th – December 4th 2019

Football, netball, gymnastics, hockey, swimming and trampolining were on all the agenda for our sports teams this week!


Our U12A and U13A footballers hosted West London Free School on December 3rd at Trailfinders, but lost 0-4 and 0-2 respectively. 


St Paul’s School for Girls were our visitors on December 4th for an U14 netball fixture. Our A team lost 8-18 (MVP Genevieve) , the Bs won 17-12 (MVP Katherine) and the C team drew 13 all (MVP Harneet).

Gymnastics & Trampolining

On December 5th, we travelled to Godolphin & Latymer for a gymnastics and trampolining fixture for our U12, U13, U14, U15 and U16 teams. Results tbc.


Also playing away at Godolphin & Latymer were our U12 A and B hockey teams, who lost 1-2 and drew 1-1 respectively. The U13 hockey teams travelled to St Augustine’s Priory for some high scoring fixtures, with our A team losing narrowly 3-4 (MVP Ana) and our B team winning 6-1 (Annabel and Uma).


On December 2nd we welcomed Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park for a swimming gala. Our U12A and U13A teams took the win by 119-81 points.


Murder Mystery Mayhem at Parents’ Guild Evening

The Senior School Dining room was transformed into a 1970s folk rock club last Saturday for an evening of murder mystery mayhem.

This Parents’ Guild event saw professional acting troupe The Murder Maestros, ably supported by some intrepid parents, acting out a fiendishly complicated ‘Whodunnit’. Between scenes a delicious Thai curry was served and our guests competed to solve the mystery.

There was no outright winner so prizes were awarded on the basis of best costumes and limericks. The parents had made a stupendous effort in dressing up, including an entire table of KISS band members and another of David Bowies.

The event raised over £1000 to fund equipment for the school. Thanks go to all who helped on the night and of course those parents who supported us by attending!

Jacqui Szlachetko on behalf of the Parents’ Guild Social and Fundraising Committee

“The Best School Trip of My Life” & 10/10 for Year 4 Trip!

By Aneesha Gupta, 4C

On Friday 22nd November 2019, Year 4 went on an extraordinary trip to the Science Museum and the Royal College of Music. I personally think this was the best trip of my life.

Firstly, we went to the Science Museum with my class and two extra teachers, Mr McLaughlin and Dr Raguz. I could not contain myself as Science is my favourite subject and I had never been to the Science Museum before! I was literally jumping with excitement.

We were given sheets to find information. We looked around Science City and the Clockmaker Gallery.

Next we went to the Royal College of Music.

It was a spectacular show where we learnt about sound and how it travels through sound waves. They played us some lovely music and showed us compression, rarefactions and vibrations using salt and a metal pad. It was amazing. The salt took many awesome shapes and the Rubens tube was outstanding. It was put on fire and was connected to music. Different flames burnt at different times. Then we connected two speakers together with a human chain. Finally, the show came to an end and we had to leave.

I would suggest this trip to the world. I enjoyed every second and would definitely go again with my family.

It was fun learning about frequency. It was the best day of my life, rated ten out of ten.


Top Marks for Year 12s at UKMT Senior Team Maths Challenge Regionals

On Monday 2nd December, four of our Year 12 students: Diana, Chloe, Emily and Isabella, travelled to St Paul’s School for Boys. We ventured to the school in order to compete in the UKMT Senior Team Maths Challenge Regional Finals 2019/20.

After scoring full marks in the group round and dropping only 2 marks in the crossnumber round, the team went into the 3rd and final round in a great position.

After a misread question early on in one of the relays, we anxiously awaited the final team positions.

We were delighted to find out that our girls came 3rd! Behind only Tiffin Girls and the host school. An incredible achievement!

The Maths Department is very proud. 

Miss O’Connor

It Takes Ten to Mango!

This Wednesday, December 11th, 10 students from Year 12 will be dancing the night away to raise money for The Mango Tree Project, starting from 2.30 pm.

Over the course of 2019/20, they will be fundraising for the Mango Tree Charity, in the hope of raising enough money to buy a school bus for the school located in Kenya, to help students in their journeys to and from school.  This coming summer of 2020, the group will be visiting the school in August and participating in their summer program, doing lessons and activities with the students over the two weeks. Fundraising events are planned throughout the year, which kicked off successfully at the school’s Christmas Bazaar last weekend, where they ran two stalls for selling cakes and sustainable items along with raising awareness for the charity, as well as over £500.

But next week the group face their biggest challenge so far – a 10 hour danceathon! We asked how preparations were going.

Have any of you done anything like this before?

None of us have ever done any exercise for this long before! Over half of us do dance shows/classes out of school, which is an advantage but we’ve never danced for longer than a couple hours, so it’s definitely a challenge!

What style of music are you dancing to?

We have a collaborative dance playlist that is over 12 hours long, containing a real mixture of styles, from musical ballads to 90’s pop and a lot of ABBA!

Are snacks allowed?

Yes, we will be providing our own snacks, which will hopefully keep our energy topped up!

Is sleeping/napping allowed?!

We are going to take shifts dancing, but we aim to have at least a handful of people dancing at one time. In these breaks, we can take naps, but to be honest it’ll be quite hard when there is blaring music and maybe some singing!!

Who is the motivator among the team?

I think we all motivate each other! We have two designated team members who aren’t dancing, but they will be staying with us the whole time, motivating, DJ’ing & controlling our social media accounts

What will be the hardest thing about it?

We all think the hardest part will be keeping our motivation high, rather than the physical aspect – as it is such a long time, so we need to keep spirits up and remember the great cause we are doing it for!

Do you have a name for your Danceathon dance troupe?

We’ve had discussions about our dance team name, and we’ve come to the conclusion of ‘It takes 10 to Mango’ – it’s a bit long, but we tried to combine the charity name with the dance, and that’s what we came up with!


If you would like to donate to The Mango Tree Project, please visit our Just Giving Page. Please follow our progress via Twitter.  Thank you! All support is very welcome. 

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