Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A School of Conversations – Mr Shoults Discusses Leadership on The Leaders Council Podcast

The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is currently talking to leadership figures from across the nation in an attempt to understand ‘leadership’ and what it means in Britain and Northern Ireland today.  As part of this, Mr Shoults was invited to take part in an episode of The Leaders Council Podcast last week, which also included an interview with Lord Blunkett. Host Matthew O’Neill asked both guests a series of questions about leadership and the role it has played in their careers to date.

Mr Shoults was asked how the current situation had affected the school, including the challenges of remote teaching and the importance of conversations helping pupils feel as connected as they can. The discussion covered his thoughts on the possibility of the government introducing a streamlined curriculum for next year, as well as his views on what ‘leadership’ means and how can leadership qualities be passed on to the next generation.

Matthew O’Neill commented, ‘Hosting a show like this, where you speak to genuine leaders who have been there and done it, either on a national stage or within a crucial industry sector, is an absolute honour.’
Lord Blunkett, chairman of The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland said, ‘I think the most informative element of each episode is the first part, where Matthew O’Neill is able to sit down with someone who really gets how their industry works and knows how to make their organisation tick. Someone who’s there day in day out working hard and inspiring others. That’s what leadership is all about.’

You can listen to the podcast here:



Travel the World Virtually – Science Fun over the Summer!

Our Science Department have come up with a fantastic list of fun things to do this summer, especially if you are stuck inside!

From moon adventures to Dyson Challenges to virtual museum and zoo tours, you can travel virtually around the world to Antarctica, Monterey Bay, CERN,  African safaris and more!

See the full list of activities here. We hope you enjoy taking part! 

Summer Concert Debuts Online!

On June 30th 2020, the Summer Concert was streamed live on YouTube for students, staff, family and friends to enjoy. The concert featured over 60 students from Years 7 to 13, performing either solo items or in one of our nine different ensembles, and was streamed to 600+ audience members! 

After weekly online rehearsals, each ensemble member recorded their part along to a guide track from the music department and sent them in to be stitched together into a virtual ensemble. This is a very different way of making music and we are proud of the girls for adapting to this new method and style. Instead of being the musician alone, they also took the roles of director, sound engineer and lighting technician to make the pieces in this concert successful!

As well as our ensembles, the concert featured stylish baroque solos from Shreya (Y9) and Grace (Y11), followed by Gen (Y9) providing us with a Brazilian flair on her guitar. Eleanor (Y9), Georgina  (Y12) and Stanzi (Y8) all sang wonderfully for us, taking us to the West End with songs from Les Miserables and Wicked alongside a pop song by Bruno Mars. 

A particular mention has to go to Izzy (Y12) and the acapella group ‘Tone Down For What’ – a student-run ensemble who put together their video of the Pentatonix version of ‘Hallelujah’ by rehearsing remotely themselves. This song featured impressive solos from Gwendolyn (Y7), Salem (Y8), Aditi (Y10) and Lewhat (Y9), who also provided rhythmic beatboxing!

Congratulations to all the performers who made this concert a wonderful celebration of music despite the distance between us all.

Some lovely comments were left during the YouTube stream of the concert which we would like to share with you:

‘Thanks for a marvellous concert everyone – true NHEHS spirit and invention.’

‘What a beautiful concert – well done girls!’

‘Amazing work – what a treat!’

‘This is awesome NHEHS!!!’


By Miss Dunne, Musician in Residence



Double School Games Sports Awards for NHEHS

We were delighted to hear this week that we have been recognised for our ongoing commitment and achievement in the School Games Programme during both the Autumn & Spring Terms 2019/20.

Organisers Willow Tree SSP awarded us certificates for our participation in both offline and online events.

NHEHS participated in the following London Youth Games events which Willow Tree hosted this year:

Year 8 Sportshall Athletics Competition 

Year 7 Sportshall Athletics Competition

Year 7 & 8 Ealing Sportshall Athletics Borough Finals

Athletics Sportshall Qualifiers 1

Dance Schools Finals

For the School Games Virtual 2020 Award, we also took part in The London Youth Games Virtual Challenges (8th June to 4th July).

These included daily activities including running, ball skills, batting accuracy, throwing, hockey dribbling, bicycle crunches and learning a dance routine! You can see more on our Twitter account here.


Da Vinci Programme Teaches Critical Thinking

The Da Vinci Programme “taught me to think critically and not just take people’s word for it.”

We were delighted to receive this piece of excellent feedback from one of our Year 10s at the end of the final Da Vinci Programme session last month.

Our TES award-winning Vinci Programme at NHEHS encourages girls to take a cross-curricular approach to learning. Focusing on current events and learning new skills through debate and collaboration, the sessions require no prior knowledge of a particular subject, but an open and inquiring mind is a must-have!  Girls from Year 10 are given a choice of two topics to participate in. 

Topics this year have included:

Pandemic: Engineering Death

Behavioural Economics

Pass the Baton: Conducting Masterclass

The Morality of Cultural Appropriation

Are you the sort of person who would join a Cult?

The Destruction of the Past

The Chemical Origin of Life

No-one wants a Knock-Off: Authenticity in Classical Art

Being a Man: Exploring Modern Masculinities 

Other comments from participants included:

“In each session I have learnt something new about each topic which I think is amazing. It has opened my eyes to different issues and topics which I didn’t know much about before.”

“I really liked how you could see how passionate and knowledgeable the teachers were about the subject, as I felt that I was getting a very high-quality lecture . I also enjoyed how it was on a subject relating to what the teacher teaches, but is not on the curriculum.”

“It’s a really important topic that we wouldn’t otherwise have talked about at school and it was really interesting to hear lots of people’s opinions and reasoning.”

“The sessions were engaging as it they interactive and allowed you to be creative.”

“I learned so much. I think that this programme helped me and my peers grasp a better understanding of the world outside of our GCSE curriculum.”

A big thank you to Mr Piesse for organising the programme this year, both offline and online, with the final two sessions taking place virtually via Google Meet. And also to the members of staff who led the individual sessions with such enthusiasm for their subjects.

We look forward to finding out which topics are up for discussion in 2o2o/21!


Year 12 Medical Sciences Career Webinar

For a number of years, we have been running a session of lectures for Year 12 students from Ealing who are considering applying for a medical sciences course.

Organisation for this should have started last December or January but, perhaps not atypically, I was a bit slow to get things moving. When it got to February, we started to put a few feelers out and then came March, the pandemic and lockdown. For about 6 weeks it was just unthinkable to be asking medics and dentists to give up their time, but by the beginning of May we were able to start thinking about what we might do.

We decided that a webinar would enable the conference to go ahead without any concerns over social distancing. This enabled us to open the meeting up to the GDST as well as local Ealing schools. We were really privileged that 6 speakers have gave up their time to pre-record their presentations and be present for live questions and answers on 2nd July. About 140 students registered to participate, from local schools including The Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, Ellen Wilkinson School, Elthorne High School and Dormers Wells High School. Participating GDST schools included Blackheath High School, Bromley High School, Croydon Hig School, Newcastle High School, Northampton High School, Nottingham Girls High School, Portsmouth High School and Sutton High School.

The sessions were expertly chaired by the Year 12 MedSoc reps, Aya Jarah, Kitty Shaw and Milli Datta.

The first speaker was Chamith Halahakoon, a psychiatric registrar who is currently working on a PhD at the University of Oxford. He explained his research, clearly explaining the nature of depression, and his use of MRI to scan the brain and assess the effectiveness of antidepressant drug treatments weeks before this can be done using behavioural assessments. Professor Anton Emmanuel, is a consultant neurogastroenterologist, and until recently was in charge of admissions at University College Hospital. He spoke about the ethos of joining the medical profession and his passion for opening it up to all ethnicities. Two recent Old Girls spoke about their experiences. Sarah Ashraf, a 4th year medic at UCL spoke about applying for Medicine and Hafsa Malik spoke about her route into Dentistry. In the final session, consultant paediatric cardiologist at GOSH, Shankar Sridharan spoke about his varied roles, as clinician, IT champion, and even his occasional work as cardiologist at London Zoo. The evening was brought to a close with Tara Clarke, talking about the crucial role and possible specialities that can come with being a GP.

We are incredibly grateful to our speakers who showed great adaptability and generosity of spirit.

By Dr Sheldon

First NHEHS Virtual Art Gallery

We are excited to announce the NHEHS virtual Art Gallery on our website with access to the end of year Summer Art Exhibition 2020.

Usually at this time of year we would be inviting students, staff, parents, alumnae and friends of the school to view artwork displayed throughout the school building, although this is unfortunately not possible this year. So instead, we invite you to our very first, virtual art gallery.

The annual Art exhibition is a  wonderful occasion for us to come together to celebrate the success of our young artists, their hard work and commitment and to enjoy their artwork. This year is no different, so please take some time and join us to honor the digital portfolios of our A-Level and GCSE students of 2020 on our website here.

Sports Goal Setting Workshop

With the summer term coming to a close, Miss Newman held a Sports Goal Setting Workshop for students last week with a view to thinking ahead to the upcoming sporting season in September.

Goat setting is a mental training technique that can be used to increase an individual’s commitment towards achieving a personal goal. Having a short, medium or long-term goal can encourage an individual to work harder, to be more focused on the task and to overcome setbacks more easily.

The session looked at short term (a time frame of one week to one month), medium term (one month to one to two years) and long term goals (the ultimate aim of what you want to achieve, with a time frame of one to five years, or longer).

Usually your short and medium term goals help you try to achieve your long term goal.

We looked at SMART goal setting principles in all the goals we create – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Our Tips on Setting Goals:

  • Use SMART goal setting principles in all goals you create.
  • Make sure to phrase your goals positively.
  • Goals are created for an individual – they are personalised to YOU!
  • Write down your goals and place them in spaces where you will see them DAILY.
  • Discuss your goals with your coach/parent/trainer – shared focus on what to strive for.
  • No goal is too small or ‘less important’.
  • Set goals for all aspects of sport: Tactical,  Physical, Skills, Emotional/Psychological

We finished the session with tips from eight Olympians on setting goals. 

You can use all the principles in your academic goals too – they are not just relevant to sport!  We are looking forward to hearing how students have applied these tips over the summer.



Zareen, Freya & Aniya Represent NHEHS in Historical Association’s Historical Fiction Writing Competition 2020

Congratulations to Zareen (Year 12), Freya (Year 11) and Aniya (Year 7) whose work has been selected to represent NHEHS in the Historical Association’s Historical Fiction Writing Competition 2020. All pupils were invited to write a piece of any length, in any format, set in any time/place. National winners are due to be announced in September and October, but each girl has received 50 House Points, and a new trophy goes to Freya, for best overall entry.

NHEHS actually won this competition back in 2016, so fingers crossed that the judges are again impressed by our talented students’ work!

Miss Gordon was incredibly impressed by the engaging characterisation, touching moments, and how each story was firmly rooted in a tangible historical setting.

We asked the three writers about their three very different entries and their tips for summer historical reading.

What motivated you to enter the competition?

Zareen: I have always wanted to be an author, and I really enjoy history, so this seemed like it was perfect for me. Also, in Year 9, I was going to enter this competition, but missed the deadline, so I am glad that I managed to enter this year.

Freya: The competition is usually for Year 7-9 and I enjoyed entering during those years and was disappointed when I outgrew the writing competition. When the Historical Association opened it to older years due to Covid-19 it was the perfect opportunity for me to have something to do over lockdown and be able to compete again. 

Aniya: I decided to enter just because I love writing. I’d never really done anything like this before and I thought, why not have a go?!

How did you get your inspiration for writing?

Zareen: I chose to write about Aeneas at the end of his life, looking back on the time when he left Dido and regretting it, even though he had little choice in the matter. It was the text that I studied in Latin last year, and I really enjoyed it. Their story has inspired a lot of my creative writing.

Freya: I got my inspiration for writing for a mixture of research and music. The setting that I chose (Königsallee in Düsseldorf) was taken from a first-hand account from an old edelweiss pirate whereas many other scenes I thought of as I listened to music – I have a Spotify playlist for my entry which I wrote to. 

Aniya: I chose one of my favourite historical time periods and that gave me all the inspiration I needed. I chose the Victorian time period. I had never had a single lesson at the time so I taught myself.

What was the hardest part of writing it?

Zareen: Entering it. I didn’t feel like it was ready and kept wanting to change it, but in the end I had to believe in it and send it in.

Freya: The hardest part of writing it was the fight scene at the beginning as I find writing action quite difficult. It is hard to have a balance of being descriptive but also to keep the pace and the feel of the fight. 

Aniya: The fact that I’d never really written a fiction story with non-fiction facts before!

Did you have to do any extra research around the time period?

Zareen: I did some research on Aeneas to find out about what we know of his life after he left Dido, and luckily, last summer, I had read the first few books of ‘The Aeneid,’ so I already knew the story quite well.

Freya: I did a lot of research about the time period, with smaller details such as what military commands did Hitler Youth learn as well trying to piece together the life of an edelweiss pirate. There was not a lot of information out there, so I used articles and a few eye witness accounts in addition to more general research into life in Nazi Germany to shape my understanding. 

Aniya: I definitely did have to do extra research and once I had done it, it wasn’t that challenging to write. I wanted to make sure that people knew what time period I was writing in based on the features I included.

What did you learn?

Zareen: I think I have learned to consider both sides of a story, because last year I firmly believed that Aeneas was in the wrong, and caused Dido most of her pain, but, after putting myself in Aeneas’ shoes, I have realised that neither had much choice in the matter. The gods are the ones to blame for their misfortunes.

Freya: I learnt that Düsseldorf and Reading are twinned towns and in the aftermath of WWII where Düsseldorf came under British occupation, the Royal Berkshire regiment helped people who were hungry and homeless and the Mayor invited six German children to live in Reading. They still have ties today. 

Aniya: Altogether I learnt that even if you have doubts about something (like entering a competition) you won’t lose anything. It was also nice to learn about an interesting time period ahead of time.

Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? Can you recommend any historical novels to other girls for summer reading?

Zareen: I do enjoy historical fiction, especially of a classical nature. I would recommend ‘Circe’ by Madeleine Miller, ‘The Penelopiad’ by Margaret Atwood, and (for older readers) ‘The Silence of the Girls’ by Pat Barker.

Freya: I am currently enjoying reading ‘A Gentleman in Moscow‘ by Amor Towles it is set in 1922 and is about Count Alexander Rostov who is under house arrest in Hotel Metropol by the Kremlin and his story. 

Aniya: I definitely enjoyed reading some but mostly writing some. Some novels I would recommend are ‘The War That Saved My Life’ and ‘Chains’.


Good luck to Zareen, Freya and Aniya come the autumn when the results are announced!