29 Jan 2021

Senior High Notes 29th January 2021

Senior High Notes 29th January 2021

It was lovely to see so many of our senior students enjoying the wonderful snow that we had on Sunday. I really enjoyed seeing images of snowmen, children sledging and generally having fun with their families in the snow. Now that the snow has passed, it is important to keep in mind the importance of balancing work and a healthy dose of play and exercise.

From this week teachers will not be setting homework. The wellbeing of our students is at the forefront of this decision. Instead, teachers will set an optional, super-curricular suggestion, written on a post on the Teams chat for reference. Students are free to do this or anything else that captures their imagination. This should alleviate both the pressure on screen time, the exhaustion of intense learning followed by homework and maintain the super-curricular academic curiosity which was such a feature of Lockdown 1.

This week the Prime Minister announced that schools will not reopen after half term as hoped and that the ambition is that there will be a phased reopening from Monday 8th March. Whilst it is very disappointing that we will be unable to welcome our students back to the school site soon, I am delighted to report how well our students are progressing with their learning in their virtual classrooms. We are fortunate to have the technology and a dedicated staff whose positive approach and professionalism are ensuring not only that students are engaged and enjoying a variety of tasks and activities, but also are fully supported in their wellbeing. Our weekly survey for students helps us to support individuals and identify areas which are working well.


Best wishes,

Remote Learning Survey

Thank you to all the parents who completed our survey two weeks ago on our Remote Learning provision. We appreciate all feedback from parents and students, as it all helps us focus on what is working well and consolidating good practice as we move forward.  

Outstanding Work This Term

Once again, we are celebrating outstanding work by our students across the curriculum, in extra-curricular and super-curricular activities. A snapshot of the fantastic work is now available for parents and students to view at https://www.derbyhigh.derby.sch.uk/gallery/index/126



L4 History

L4’s history lesson this week was inspired by the weather! Dr Mathews asked the students about weather and historical events, such as the crushing defeat of Napoleon’s men and horses due to severity of Russian weather. Then L4 were tasked with recreating any moment from history by going outside! Here are some of the brilliant and imaginative moments they created, including the Battle of Hastings and Vikings arriving in Mercia in 874.


U6 Spanish

During the last week U6 Spanish have been researching the role of the Catholic Church and religion in Spanish society. Today Ana (our lovely Spanish assistant) has hosted an exceptional debate discussing if Spain is a religious or secular country, how religion is taught at school and their taxation. Excellent research carried out by the students with superb use of the language. Un debate excepcional chicas! 

L5 Art

Mrs Martin-Smith taught L5 live from the park on Monday morning! A very special art lesson inspired by Andy Goldsworthy snow pieces and photographs exploring the beautiful light.



L42’s Ear Projects

L42 have been working extremely hard in physics completing their Ear Projects. With materials from Lego to garden peas to Play-Doh and employing all their creativity.  They have produced some brilliant models to accompany their reports, all using their knowledge of the human ear and how we hear. Well done!

Senior House Music

We are delighted to announce that this year, House Music will be going online!

Students are invited to take part by making a video performing a piece for one or more category.  All categories are individual. Students may submit an unaccompanied performance, or they can use a backing track.  Video performances must be sent to Mrs Lesley by 3.30pm on Friday 19th February. Full details of all the categories and tips on how to video the performance have been sent to all students today.

House Points will be as follows:

Entry – 5 points

Highly commended – 10 points

Winner of category – 15 points

Good luck to all the performers!

DHS Geography Quiz

Mr Gallagher runs a weekly DHS Geography Challenge, a 10 question online quiz.

There was an impressive 80 players in total and some great scores. This week’s top 3 were all in U5, as follows:

  1. Ruby
  2. Saleha
  3. Darlina

Well done!  Next week’s quiz will go out on Monday.  Good luck!

Virtual Instrumental Ensemble

Mrs Lesley will be starting a Virtual Instrumental Ensemble on Tuesdays 1.30 - 2pm. The ensemble will learn to play Toreador's Song by Bizet from the Carmen Suite.

There are parts for all instruments and at different levels from beginners up to more advanced so students can find the right part for them to join in. Mrs Lesley has sent a link to students to join the ensemble today, do sign up if you are interested.

DHS Go the Distance!

Last week our Sports Captain, Poppy, asked students to walk, run or cycle from Derby High School to the Eiffel Tower by adding together all the miles we achieve as individuals at home.  We smashed that target and have now set a new target to get to the Colosseum in Rome! 

Students can submit their contribution to their House Captain. Just send in evidence of completing a walk, run, cycle or anything else that covers a distance and eventually we’ll get to Rome!

Your evidence can be a screenshot from a tracking app or smartwatch, or a photo of a fitness machine. Here is a link to a free tracking app which you could use: https://www.strava.com/onboarding . If you don’t have access, let your House Captain know.

The distance you complete is absolutely your choice, it’s a fun opportunity to make your daily exercise interesting and have a break from online learning, which is always a great idea. 


Virtual Choir

On Wednesday lunchtime Mrs Lesley launched our virtual choir. The choir will be learning a song by listening to a backing track together and singing along with microphones. The first song the choir will learn is ‘Feeling Good’.  We can’t wait to hear it!


Be Safe Online - Cyber Crime Competition 2021

Nottinghamshire Police are running a very interesting Cyber Crime Competition for students aged 9-13.  See the link below, you will need to scroll down for details of how to enter and the resources.

Safeguarding Corner

NSPCC Keeping Children Safe

The NSPCC have a brilliant collection of resources for parents on a variety of topics; do check it out! https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/

Next week is Children's Mental Health week. Place2Be has some very useful resources for parents who are concerned about their child's mental health https://www.place2be.org.uk/our-services/parents-and-carers/supporting-your-child-s-mental-health/