21 Jan 2022

Senior High Notes 21st January 2022

Senior High Notes 21st January 2022

This week has flown by, and for our U5 it has been a busy full week of mock examinations. Our U6 have now completed their mocks and are receiving their grades along with advice, support and targets to ensure they achieve their potential in the summer. Mock examinations are an essential part of school life because they enable the students to experience the closest thing to actual GCSE and A level exams and then to reflect on areas of strength and areas that require development, to ensure they are fully prepared for the exams in the summer.

Today we are auditioning Year 6 pupils for Senior School scholarships in Music, Drama, Sport and Art & Design, with our specialist staff being most impressed by the high standard and enthusiasm of the applicants. Currently, we have a record number of girls and boys sitting the Year 7 Entrance Exam on January 24th, which means that for the second year running we are planning for a 3 form entry in Year 7. We are currently full throughout years 7-11, with waiting lists operating. Whilst we are expanding, we are not compromising on class size, being aware that parents are often choosing us because of relatively small class sizes, and we will be advertising for additional teaching staff later this month. From September 2022, we are adding Computer Science to our extensive range of GCSE subjects, to be taught by our Head of ICT, Mr Steve Williams.

Best wishes

Design & Technology, Guest Visit from Sophie Cartmell

On Wednesday this week, Year 10 had a visit from illustrator and author Sophie Cartmell of 'Duck and Peach'. Sophie taught the students about different forms of illustration, bringing along some fabulous examples of her own work and also a brilliant selection of children's books by other illustrators. Sophie came in to introduce a collaborative project between Derby High and Duck and Peach, which will result in one student having their card and wrapping paper for sale in Sophie's Etsy shop and her store in Belper!



Astro Club, Guest Speaker Dr Susan Cartwright

We were delighted to welcome Dr Susan Cartwright, Senior Lecturer in Particle Physics and Astrophysics at Sheffield University, to Astro Club this week. She gave us a fascinating talk on supernovae, or "what happens when a star dies". Hearing talk of these monumental nuclear explosions in space was truly humbling, and we are all now keeping our fingers crossed that one occurs in our lifetime in our own galaxy, so we can witness one first hand! Hopefully not too close to Earth though, preferably.


The guest speakers are coming thick and fast now, with next week's speaker Dr Megan Argo, Senior Lecturer in Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire, giving us a hotly anticipated "virtual planetarium" talk which should help astronomers new and old navigate the night sky a bit more easily. Sessions start at 1pm on Wednesdays and all are welcome when we have a guest speaker; we will always try and finish the sessions by 1:30pm to allow everyone to get their lunch. Please join the Astro Club Team or email Dr B or Mr D for more information. Clear skies!

Here is a photo of Messier 1, The Crab Nebula, a famous supernova remnant in our own galaxy...

Truly Educated

Thursday afternoon’s L6 Truly Educated this week welcomed the second of our guest speakers from Nottingham University. Following a very informative session two weeks ago, L6 listened to Eleanor Douglas talking about applying to competitive University courses, with a focus on Medical admissions. The session was very informative, providing lots of insight into the requirements of applying to Clinical courses as well as highly competitive subject courses and institutions.

Year 7 Photography Club

The Year 7 photographers spent Wednesday lunchtime exploring how to capture shadows through a muslin screen. They captured some absolutely stunning images.




Spanish Pen Pal Project

This week U4 Spanish students received letters from our Spanish school exchange (Edelweiss school) in Valencia. The students in both schools have the opportunity to practice their listening, reading, speaking and writing skills with native speakers. During this week our students will be writing the letters back to the Spanish students. This project has been done with Maria, our first ever Spanish assistant. It was lovely to see how excited the students were when they received the letters.

A Level Psychology

Learning Psychology isn't just looking at textbooks – our Year 12 had a marvellous time this week using Skittles and M&Ms to work out how to create different samples for their interviews and questionnaire practicals next week. Although the maths was a bit tricky at times, they all pulled through and had the immediate gratification of being able to eat their work!


Intelligence Themed Assembly

Mr Lee presented his second assembly on "Intelligence" this week, looking at our current, much broader understanding of what it means to be "intelligent" and how the concept has often been misunderstood in the past.

He discussed the research of Harvard University's Dr. Howard Garder into "multiple intelligences", as shown in the visual below

However the main focus was on Emotional and Cultural Intelligence, as illustrated by the visuals below:

If you are curious about evaluating your own levels of Emotional and Cultural Intelligence, there are some quick and easy surveys here: 




A Hard Day’s Night by The Tiptoe School of Performing Arts

Last weekend, seven Derby High students performed in the spectacular show, “A Hard Day’s Night” at Derby Theatre with The Tiptoe School of Performing Arts. They showcased their skills in ballet, tap, modern, street, acro and musical theatre in three amazing performances where they all danced their hearts out and shone so confidently. The students have all worked so hard towards this show and after having their annual show cancelled last year due to COVID, they were all extremely excited.

It was Georgiana’s and Ruby’s last shows with the performing arts school, after being dedicated students at Tiptoe for many years. Mrs Ley, Mrs Martinez and Mrs Liddle were at the theatre all weekend with their own children and they were all extremely proud of all the Derby High Students.


U13 Basket Ball

Our U13 Basketball team made a winning start to the Jr. NBA league with a 13-8 win over West Park School.  The boys showed a growing understanding of the rules and tactics in their first game and got off to the perfect start!  A special mention to William (L4) who rebounded well to secure a total of 8 points for the team. 

The Jr. NBA League was created for 11-13 year olds (Year 7 and Year 8) boys and girls in secondary schools to participate in basketball and represent 1 of the 30 NBA teams, Derby High School are the Phoenix Suns.  The objective of the league is to leverage the excitement of the NBA to inspire more children to participate in basketball through a fun and positive experience with the sport. The league also aims to promote NBA values such as sportsmanship, teamwork, attitude, respect and healthy living through league games and other activities and events.

U15 Netball v Trent College

Congratulations to both of the U15 teams that played on Monday this week, at home against Trent College.  The A team had a really strong first quarter, taking a lead of 10-1, heading into half time the team continued with their effective attack and defence and started the third quarter 15-4. This continued into the final quarter and the team finished with a fantastic score of 29-13. Special mention to Poppy for getting Player of The Match. The B team shared the same success and won their game 13-7. The team worked hard to maintain their lead throughout the entire game and they didn’t let their opposition take advantage of any opportunities to get into the lead. A special mention to Millie for getting Player of the Match. Excellent netball all round, well done.


U3 Netball v Trent College

We visited Trent College for the second time this week to play an A & B U3 fixture. The games were played outside and both teams played 7 minute quarters. It took both teams time to settle into the game during the first quarter and shake off any match nerves. After a team talk and coaching advice, both teams stepped it up and started to play more effectively as a team. Both of the teams’ passing and movement, attacking and defending, improved as the game went on. Although we lost both games, it was clear that if we had played the way we played in the last quarter then it would have been a very close game. Miss Stirland was really impressed with the way the team took on board coaching advice and put it into practise during the game. A special mention to Izzy and Millie who were both given Player of the Match by their opposition. Great progress, well done everyone! 


Sports Scholars - Strength and Conditioning

Our Senior Sports Scholars had their first “Strength and Conditioning” session this week with Mrs Goodman, looking at lower body strength training and specifically the squat technique. The Scholars will be following a 6 week programme to support their sporting development.


Cross Country Success

Congratulations to Annabelle U6 for winning the North Midlands Cross Country League at Berry Hill Park last weekend. Well done, Annabelle!

Safeguarding Corner

From Alan McKenzie's online safety briefing:

Is Your Child Ready for Social Media?

The ThinkUKnow team at CEOP have written a great new blog post to give advice and guidance regarding social media. It's a nice, simple, quick read going into the risks, considerations for whether the child is ready, minimum age requirements and more.  We are aware that a lot of our students are using apps at a much younger age than is recommended, so it is worth familiarising yourself HERE.

Social Media Scams

An excellent new resource from Internet Matters gives information, facts, support and advice in relation to scams on social media. We can all be scammed and the techniques used are often quite simple. You can find the information on the Internet Matters website HERE.

YouTube Supervised Experience

Supervised Experience builds on the historic Restricted Mode, which is essentially a filter allowing users to block content which is deemed for adult users only. There are now 3 filtering levels which are:

•             Explore - for users 9+.

•             Explore More - for users 13+

•             Most of YouTube - all content excluding content marked as 18+.

Importantly, parents manage these settings from their own device via Google Family Link.

There's a really simple and helpful guide HERE. It also includes a walkthrough video (under "Supervised Accounts on YouTube - How do I Get Started?".