18 Oct 2019

Senior High Notes 18th Oct

Senior High Notes 18th Oct

It was wonderful to have a full hall last Friday evening for the performance of the Lower School play, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was blown away by the outstanding performances, incredible make-up and costume and the overall direction of the play. I want to say a huge thank you to our Drama Prefects, Lucy C and Shantia who directed the play. It is important to recognise their hard work and commitment in ensuring this production was a huge success.

It was lovely seeing so many of you at Monday’s Harry Potter event. What an incredible evening! Thank you to Jim Kay for an entertaining and interesting talk about his illustrations of the Harry Potter books. A special thank you to Mrs Bussey for organising this wonderful event. 

15 Sixth Form students, along with Chaplain Jo and Mrs Driver have arrived safely in India for a special 10 day visit, where they will be working in a community supporting the work of a local school. Do check our Twitter feed for more updates and photos over the next week.  

Our Geography trip to Iceland departs on Monday, we wish you a wonderful trip. Thank you to Mrs Roe, Mr Williams and Miss Riley for leading this trip – I look forward to hearing about it when they return. 

Our Primary Open Morning is on Friday 8th November from 10.00am - 12.00noon. This is an excellent opportunity for prospective parents to see our Primary School in action, including our Preschool area, and observe first hand the relationships which underpin the quality learning and care at the heart of Derby High School. Please do let your friends know about this event. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that our Preschool offers places, both full and part time, to girls and boys aged 3 and 4, welcoming children from the start of term after their third birthday. Parents and children (aged 2 to 4) are welcome to join us for Stay & Play every Friday afternoon during term time.  

I hope that you all have a lovely half term and that everyone has an opportunity to rest and return to school on 4th November, fully refreshed.

Best wishes,




The day had finally arrived and it was a wonderful one.  Jim Kay, illustrator of the beautiful full colour Harry Potter books, was here on Monday night, to talk to us about his journey, as an artist, bringing to life this iconic series.

His talk was full of warmth and humour and for someone so talented he was very self-deprecating.  Who knew that his pictures were often created with the paint taster pots you would find in B&Q?

We learnt that Jim was born in Derbyshire and that he used furniture he saw at Calke Abbey as part of Hagrid’s Hut.  There is also a picture inspired by Joseph Wright that appears in his latest book.

The evening was full of students, parents, alumni, staff, invited guests and external visitors.  The Loughborough Quidditch team were here and have offered Quidditch matches to our students - so watch this space!

Cupcakes were devoured to give energy while the book signing queue stretched through the library and into the hall.  Jim gave everybody his time and interest and we all went away with the warm atmosphere of the evening still with us.

Ian from Bloomsbury publishers, Annie Everall of Author’s Aloud, Amanda from H & H Spalding Booksellers and everybody at Derby High made this possible.  Great teamwork and a wonderful way to spend an evening.




This week our U14 team attended The Netball City Tournament at Littleover School. We started strong winning our first 2 games. In our first game our defence showed their strength, only letting in a few goals. Then our attack made their presence known in our second game with some dynamic movement in the shooting circle and many goals scored. Unfortunately the competition stepped up and we lost our next game, taking us into the semi-final for The Plate, where our misfortune continued and we narrowly missed out by 1 goal. The team stayed positive and fought to the very last second of the game. Chantal in L5 joined us for the fixture to develop her umpiring skills, I was extremely impressed with her confidence and ability to effectively officiate the games.




Some fantastic volleys, digs and serves!




Sixth form Art & Design students travelled to London to visit the Tate Modern Gallery as well as the International Textiles Exhibition at Alexandra Palace. At the Tate Modern the focus was on Installation Art informing personal investigation studies, whilst at the Textiles exhibition students had the opportunity to view the work of and speak to textile artists, view graduate showcases and see artists in action. A fantastic day was had by all and students travelled back full of knowledge and ideas to inform their personal studies.





On Wednesday, all of U4 went on a Design and Technology trip to the Harley Gallery in Derbyshire. They were all mesmerised by the miniature automatons and the kinetic sculptures made by variety of artists. They also got to make a colourful decoration for the 'tree' on the gallery wall.




This week saw the launch of the Engineering Education Scheme at Chetwynd Barracks in Nottingham. Our team of 6 learned more about what is involved over the next 7 months, had the chance to take part in some team building activities - army style – and were given some useful tips on Project Managing their project.

This year the team is once again working with JCB but the task this year is to design and build a prototype for a beach cleaning attachment for the front of a JCB vehicle. This inspiring brief has already got the team thinking and collaborating on ideas as they get ready to start their engineering meetings after half term.

The team this year is Sophie, Suhani, Manal, Aman, Meghana and Rene.




Some more fantastic group balances this week and further awards for their routines, well done!





Well done to U41 for raising £277 for Make-A-Wish at their Colour Run event, which was held at the end of the summer term. This money will help to make wishes come true for critically ill children.



Following some cryptic posters around school counting down, 11-15 November sees the inaugural "Maths Week England" (https://mathsweekengland.co.uk/) and we are aiming to make it a good one in the maths department. Over the course of the week we are planning the following...

  • KS3 Maths Team Challenge - giving all of our KS3 students the chance to experience the excitement of a UKMT team challenge!
  • Mass maths participation Kahoot - this will take place one lunchtime in the hall for the entire school - mobiles at the ready, a small number of school tablets will be available to pre-book
  • Quizzes around school throughout the week
  • Form puzzles and quizzes
  • Stickers!
  • Maths quiz for parents - look out on HighNotes on 8 November

Roll on the 11 November! Updates will continue on the maths Twitter feed @DHSMaths1 so do follow us for more information.



We are looking for parent and staff volunteers to come and sing Haydn’s Nelson Mass with us in Derby Cathedral next March – please see the separate information letter and sign- up sheet which has been sent out.