05 Mar 2021

Senior High Notes 5th March 2021

Senior High Notes 5th March 2021

It’s now three years since we announced our decision to welcome boys into the Senior School, after 125 years of educating girls only from the age of 11. The success of the decision to move to welcoming boys throughout was clear right from the beginning, with boys joining the Senior School both in Year 7 and the Sixth Form in 2019.

This week saw the deadline for responses to our offers of places to join Year 7 next academic year, and I am delighted to confirm that we have sufficient acceptances to be in the very positive position of creating 3 forms (compared to our usual 2) in Year 7 in September 2021. Whilst we experienced an increased number of external applicants of very high quality this year, we were also pleased with the usual high retention figure of those boys and girls currently in Year 6 in our Junior School.

We have created a new position of Head of Year 7, whose job it will be to support academically and pastorally all Year 7 pupils as they transition into the Senior School. I am delighted to let you know that Miss Allum, Head of PSHE and teacher of PE will be our new Head of Year 7. This increased focus on Year 7 is particularly important this year, as the children have had two years of interrupted education prior to moving up to Senior School.

In my many conversations with parents regarding recruitment and retention of children, I am hugely proud of the strength of Derby High’s reputation in the local community. Parents appreciate that our core focus, embedded in the Derby High ethos and values, of the personal and academic development of our pupils remains at the forefront of everything we do. Each one of our teachers expects and achieves high standards, valuing each pupil’s individual journey, resulting in a very vibrant, happy and successful school.

I wish to thank all of our senior school students and parents today who came into school for our LFD tests ahead of coming back to school on Monday. A hugely efficient process run by Mrs Peake, Mrs Forbes and Mrs Orpwood ensured that our students were able to efficiently and safely move through the testing. All staff and senior school students will be able to take LFD tests twice a week, adding an extra layer of safety to our precautionary measures.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming all of our pupils back to school on Monday.

Best Wishes

Virtual House Music 

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Virtual House Music Competition.

We received over 80 entries and the total points for each house are:

  • St Andrew:  290
  • St David:  125
  • St George: 90
  • St Patrick:  300

The overall winning house is ……… St Patrick!

Feedback for all of the performers is provided by our adjudicator, Mrs Jack.  She was very impressed by the standard of entries and had the difficult job of awarding winning and highly commended places in each category.  Well done to all of our musicians.  Overall individual awards this year are as follows:

Intermediate Musician of the Year is awarded to Esther M 

Senior Musician of the Year is awarded to Ben M

Special Commendations go to Alexandra, Bethan M and Lucy M

Congratulations to all of our winners and to each and every musician for taking part.  It was wonderful to see our talented musicians sharing their music making and we look forward to sharing some of these musical highlights soon.   

Virtual Music Ensembles. The Toreador’s Song and Feeling Good

Music making has continued to thrive at Derby High during lockdown.  Along with our virtual house music competition, students have been busy participating in virtual ensembles.  

The virtual vocal ensemble has recorded Feeling Good by Newley and Bricusse. Click here to watch.

And the virtual instrumental ensemble has created a performance of The Toreador’s Song from Carmen by Bizet. Click here to watch.

Well done to Sophia, Lucy, Bethan, Esther, Jessica and Alice for their fantastic performances. 

We hope you enjoy watching and listening to “The Toreador’s Song” and that it leaves you “Feeling Good!”

This Week’s Astro Club Speaker, Dr Margherita Molaro

We were delighted to welcome Dr Margherita Molaro from the University of Nottingham to our last on-line astro club session this week.

Margherita first briefly spoke about how her career as a research cosmologist has allowed her to work in many countries, including Germany and South Africa as well as the UK. The main part of her talk went into detail about how the first 3 minutes after the Big Bang led to the creation of 98% of the atoms in the universe and how this very early stage influences many physical processes studied today. It provided a deep and fascinating insight into this popular topic and, as has been typical with our other speakers, our students had many excellent and probing questions. We finished astro club in lockdown on a high note!



Last Week’s Astro Club Speaker, Julia L5

I had a proper look at the night sky for the first time a few months ago and was astonished by the amount of stars I could see through my binoculars. A star cluster called Pleiades particularly caught my eye and so I decided to make a presentation about it. I presented it to everyone in Astro Club and I received some very good questions in return, such as what sparked my interest in this star cluster.  I really enjoyed sharing my findings with everyone. Julia L5.

Astro Club Moon Competition

Our first ever Astro Club speaker, Mr Dan Pye from Kielder Observatory, kindly judged our Moon Photography Competition. He was extremely impressed with the quality of all entries to the competition. After much deliberation we can confirm the winners are:

For technical merit and overall winner: Zainab 

For artistic merit: Rose

Highly commended, Alice H and Alice W


World Book Day, Thursday 4th March

The day kicked off with a thought-provoking assembly by Emily and Vaishi in U6, who told us that the origins of World Book Day can be traced back to 1923, in Catalonia, with the giving and receiving of books between friends and family members, also that reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator for success in life.  They explained how reading can develop empathy, expand language skills and enhance our imagination.  They also showed us how diversity in literature is empowering, not only because children can see themselves represented upon the page, but because their world view is enhanced by reading about children who are different from themselves so that a collective narrative is created.

Students across the year groups enjoyed responding creatively to their favourite books and characters.  There were many passionately argued nominations for the Derby High Book of the Year.  Voting is soon to follow.  

Mrs Huskisson has "World Bookified" the library homepage.  Students are invited to pop along and take a look Derby High School (accessit.online).

Below is a link to enable parents to redeem their £1 book token in store. Please note, not all stores will accept the token on a phone or tablet screen and the parent will need to check before taking the token in store.

World Book Day, “Guess the Character”

For World Book Day, staff set students a 'Guess the Character' challenge, providing a photograph either of themselves in costume or of a collection of items related to the character. With thanks to Emily W for co-ordinating the challenge, here are the answers below.

1) Mrs Goodman, Saucepan Man from the Magic Faraway Tree.

2) Mrs Coggle, Miss Honey from Matilda.

3) Mrs Roe, Raynor Winn from the Salt Path.

4) Miss Riley, Anne of Green Gables from Anne of Green Gables.

5) Mrs Webster, Alice from Alice in Wonderland.

6) Mrs Supran, Molly Weasley from Harry Potter series.

7). Mrs Steer, Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre.

DHS Geography Challenge

The final DHS Geography Challenge for now saw 50 players partake. Well done to all who have got involved during this period of remote learning but a special congratulations to this week’s top 3:

  1. Ruby H (U5)
  2. Evie W (U4)
  3. Diya R (U4)

Safeguarding Corner

Returning to school

Some children will undoubtedly find the transition back to being in school tricky at first.  We have extra support in place from tutors and the pastoral team, but of course, your child may need support from you too.

There are some useful tips in this article: Psychologists' tips: preparing children for return to school | Schools | The Guardian and here from Youngminds Supporting a child returning to school after lockdown (youngminds.org.uk) And finally, some help and advice from Childline here: https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/school-college-and-work/school-college/school/

YouTube - More Parental Controls

YouTube state these new features are available for families to help them to monitor what their children can see:

Explore - videos suitable for children 9+

Explore more - suitable for children 13+

Most of YouTube - almost everything on YouTube except videos marked as 18+ (this is the current Restricted Mode on YouTube).

If you want to read more, there's an in-depth guide HER