05 Dec 2020

Senior High Notes 4th December

Senior High Notes 4th December

Lessons from geese was the topic of my live assembly with the Senior School today. In certain situations they are seen as pests, however they are intriguing creatures who have an incredibly strong sense of family and group loyalty. Did you know that when a goose flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the birds that follow? By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. From their example we can learn the importance of working together, and that we are stronger and better together than working alone. When flying in formation, geese honk to encourage those in front to keep up their speed. We need to make sure our honking is encouraging, of course, but in groups where there is encouragement, the production is greater. A community that is based on unity, interdependence, encouragement, loyalty and rejuvenation, is a community that will thrive. So my message this week is work together, support each other and encourage each other by honking!

It is feeling very festive around school now, as we hear various groups rehearsing and recording their pieces for the online performances we have coming up. It is impressive how our students and staff have risen to this new and different challenge. We can’t wait to share these performances with you in the coming weeks. 

This week the Sunday Times published league tables for independent and state schools both nationally and regionally, based on 2019 examination results, which were the latest grades externally assessed.  It is a tribute to our staff and students that Derby High has again taken the top position in Derbyshire, as shown in the East Midlands rankings.

Despite the challenges of the past year in terms of Covid, Derby High is thriving, with an increase in our student numbers at every stage across the age range from 3-18, as parents recognise the benefits of our educational provision in these uncertain times. This is particularly positive when set against the background of numbers at independent schools in the East Midlands suffering the biggest year-on-year fall in England. 

Best wishes,

ARTiculation Internal Heat

Today, Charlotte, Lucy M, Hannah and Alice gave an eclectic series of speeches to fellow L6 students in the internal school heat of the ARTiculation competition, an annual, nationwide public speaking competition, focused upon a chosen work of art, architecture or an artefact. 

Charlotte               EX-IT created by Yoko Ono, 1998 

Lucy M                  Guernica by Picasso, 1937 

Hannah                 Plato’s Atlantis Collection by Alexander McQueen, 2010 

Alice                     The Akeley Hall of African Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History, conceived in 1909 by Carl Akeley

Each speaker demonstrated excellent knowledge of her subject and spoke with confidence, engaging the audience with fascinating material.  

Charlotte took first place, and Lucy was awarded second place in this heat.  Charlotte will now go forward to compete in the live online regional final on 25th February, 2021.


U41 Gymnastics

Some creative balance work on floor and apparatus this week from U41. Well done! 





L42 PE

A very happy squad of L42 players this week, who mastered the skills of a combination game of basketball and netball and were judged to be the winners. Well done to Manroop for scoring the goal of the day!


Reading Week

Last week the library was buzzing with chatter about all things literature and it was wonderful to hear staff talking to the students about their reading habits too.  It is fantastic for students to see that as adults, we find time to read for recreation and lifelong learning, as well as fitting it into busy lifestyles by listening to audiobooks and podcasts.

This month in the library there is a "Winter Reads" display, for cosy nights in with a good book! 

Malvern Qingdao Pen Pal scheme

Mrs Fraser started her new role teaching English at Malvern College in China earlier this year.  She has set up a pen pal club and matched her new students to Derby High students from across the Senior School.  We are all very excited at the prospect of making new friends in China!


’12 Days of Kindness’

Tutors have introduced the idea of the '12 days of kindness' as we lead up to Christmas. This includes kindness to yourself, towards others and towards nature.  Ideas such as helping out a home, writing a thank you letter or picking up litter are all included and it should prove to be a truly festive way to welcome in the Christmas period! 


Physics in Action

On Friday, the U6 physicists took part in the annual Physics in Action day. This virtual version consisted of many inspirational speakers who all use physics in very different careers. The students heard from

  • Simon Singh, writer and broadcaster who explained the ideas behind the Big Bang
  • Ceri Brenner from the Science and Technology Facilities Council who talked about her work with the world’s most powerful lasers
  • Tamsin Edwards from King's College London who spoke on Predicating Climate Change
  • Liz Seward who spoke on her fascinating career in the Aerospace industry working for Airbus and
  • Lewis Matheson who gave a talk on visualising physics

 The students also had a session where they were given extra exam advice. All in all it was a very enjoyable and interesting day!


Textiles Club

Due to current restrictions the Textiles club cannot run with all year groups, as previous years. Our Sixth Form Textiles Scholar Hannah thought creativity about how to get students involved in some textiles; so she kindly created Christmas Tree decoration kits for all of U3 to take home for the long weekend. Hannah provided materials and full instructions and these are some of the great creations that were emailed in. Well done U3, especially to those that have never sewn before!



UCAS offers and interview practice

Our U6 students are seeing a flurry of activity from Universities at the moment – Mr Lee and Mr Gallagher have run mock interviews for applicants who have received interview invitations in subjects such as Medicine, Veterinary, Education amongst others.  On Thursday we held Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) interviews online for our prospective Medics with parents Dr Jenkinson and Dr Rutherford.  With the application and selection process being quite different this year due to Covid, we have continued to offer all the guidance and support our U6 need and have been really impressed with how they have performed in the interviews!  Well done!


Social Media Training with U5

We were delighted to be joined today by long-time friend of the school, Mark Saxby of Positive Social.  Mark led a fantastic one hour session of effective and positive use of social media with our U5 students.  Topics covered were privacy settings, the many positive uses there can be when social media is used effectively and safely and the serious implications of misuse of social media.  U5 gave a brilliant account of themselves and Mark will be using their ideas and contributions at the launch of Positive Social as a charity.

Psychology Conference

Our Sixth Form psychology students all took part in an online Psychology Conference on Thursday.  Topics covered included the psychology of athletes, childhood and identity, the importance of rest and what happens to the brain when you dance!  Fascinating stuff!

Derby High Advent Calendar

We hope you have enjoyed watching our Advent Calendar posts on Facebook and Twitter. You can also see our daily Advent Calendar on YouTube. If you would like to catch up on the calendar so far, here are links for YouTube: 

Sunday 29th November – Adoration

Monday 30th November -  Ding Dong Merrily

Tuesday 1st December -  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Wednesday 2nd December – Jungle Bells

Thursday 3rd December – Winter Wonderland 

Please note, Friday is Christmas Lunch and students are invited to wear their Christmas jumper 

Schoolblazer Uniform Sale



A Parents’ Survival Guide to Revision – Some useful tips….

Safeguarding Corner

YouTube - a parents' decision guide

Common Sense Media have put together a guide called 'Parents' Decision Guide to YouTube for Young Kids'.  You can find the guide HERE.