17 Jan 2020

Senior High Notes 17 Jan

Senior High Notes 17 Jan

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.

Good luck to our U13 trampolinists, who travel down to Cardiff on Saturday to compete in the Zonal trampoline championships. Thank you also to Miss Stirland who is accompanying the students this weekend. 

Best Wishes

Art and Design Photography Competition 2019 Winners

We had an incredibly high standard of entries for the competition, from KS3,4,5 and staff, making judging very difficult at the end of last year. Many thanks to our Art Scholars and sixth form art/textiles students who all formed the panel of judges. Entries were highly creative and original. Well done to all those who entered and congratulations to the following winners:


KS3 – Highly Commended, Alexandra U31             KS3 - Winner, Eleanor U41


KS4/5 – Highly Commended, Sora U53               KS4/5 Winner, Grace L6.3


Staff – Highly Commended, Mr Dodson        Staff – Winner , Mr Quichuard

Singershill Orthodox Synagogue

On Thursday 16th January, the L4 year group visited Singershill Orthodox Synagogue in Birmingham with Mrs Driver and Mr Clewes. The students have been studying Judaism in RS lessons and had an opportunity, not only to tour this beautiful place of worship in the heart of the city, but also to ask questions of the synagogue’s education officer, who was very impressed with the students’ prior knowledge of the Jewish religion and with the high standard of questions they asked.


Netball, Derby High School vs Littleover Community School

 The U13 and U15 netball teams played matches against Littleover Community School on Thursday evening. There was some excellent Netball played. Both teams had big squads which allowed for lots of rotations and high intensity game play. The U15 had a great game, playing really well as a team and eventually drawing 13-13. The U13 team were very strong and really tested the opposition, lots of goals and great team work meant they won 19-5.

ARTiculation Internal Heat

So many things to learn and so many questions raised in our ARTiculation Internal Heat. Four of our lower sixth students competed for the chance to represent our school at the Regional ARTiculation heat.  Each student had ten minutes to talk about an artwork of their choice, followed by a question from the judges.  Sarah presented a very emotive talk about the works of Tammam Azzam, her personal comments and empathy with the artist’s aspirations set a very high standard for this event.

Vaishnavi introduced us to an installation artist and photographer, Dyanita Singh.  The idea of spaces and minimalistic approaches to life certainly made me question my own approach to life and how I look at ‘beauty’.

Sophie presented a very passionate speech related to Banksy and the picture that was shredded after being sold.  She posed the question about who owned an art work and wondered what the woman who had paid for ‘Girl with a Balloon’ felt as the picture was destroyed.

Finally, Aman asked us to consider the image of God.  Her visit to the Sistine Chapel had her questioning the artwork that depicts the Creation of Adam and if God should be depicted at all.  Her quiet passion for her subject and her guidance as we followed her thoughts and reasoning made this a wonderful conclusion to a very intense lunchtime.

Our sympathy was with the judges as they attempted to come to a conclusion about which of the students should go on to the next stage of this national competition.  With the help of visiting adjudicator Professor Harrison Moore the result was delivered and feedback given to all competitors.

We are delighted to announce that Aman will now be going on to compete at The Barber Institute in Birmingham on Wednesday 29th January.   Her fellow competitors will be there to support her.  We wish her well.

Careers & Employability

With GCSE options fast approaching, students in Y9 have this week taken the Fast Tomato skills and aspirations profile.  This is a user-friendly but often extremely insightful piece of software, which asks students about what motivates them and suggests appropriate subject choices and career pathways.  Y9 students have lifelong log-ins to Fast Tomato and access to all the information the profile provides.  Parents of Y9 students are highly recommended to look at the findings of the profile and discuss these with students ahead of the Options Evening at the end of February.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about any aspect of Careers and Employability guidance at Derby High School do please get in touch with Mr Lee at any time.

Careers Fair 2020

Another fast approaching Careers and Employability event is our amazing Careers Fair which is coming up on Wednesday 29th April.  We will have a huge range of local, national and international firms and employers present to talk to parents and students about careers in their related field.  We are always looking for new friends and partners to be represented at the Careers Fair – if you would be interested to represent your line of work as parents and friends of the school, do please get in touch with Mr Lee and we’ll try our best to fit you in.

Visiting Speaker

On Wednesday we once again welcomed Professor Abigail Harrison-Moore, Head of School, Art History, University of Leeds.  Abigail was here to help adjudicate in this year’s Articulation competition but she also spoke to our L6 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) group about how valued a qualification this is by Universities and employers.  L6 were captivated by her knowledge and passion for her work and we can’t wait to have her back in!

Watch this space for some more inspirational visiting speakers coming up in the next few weeks or so.

CyberFirst Girls Competition 2020

This year we are entering a team for the first time in this national competition run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is a branch of GCHQ and the Intelligence Services.  Our team of 4, with the catchy name ‘DHS Beanlets’, are working through a series of puzzles and challenges related to Logic and Coding, Networking, Cybersecurity and Cryptography. Well done to Cadence, Josie, Diya and Rowan in L4, good luck in getting through to the next round! 

Engineering Education Scheme Residential

On Monday and Tuesday of this week 6 of our L6 students travelled to Loughborough University for their 2 day Engineering Education Scheme Residential. The team was based at the state of the art STEM lab and the aim was to complete a prototype for their project, which is to design a beach cleaning attachment for a JCB vehicle.  They learned many new skills including mastering computer aided design, using complex manufacturing equipment and working with high spec 3D printers and in the end produced a workable model which now can be fine-tuned in the DT lab back at school. The team also had time to continue with work on their industry standard report which is due in before the Easter holidays.  It wasn’t all hard work as they had some down time in the evening, enjoying a table quiz over their evening meal and meeting students from other schools across the region.  The students collaborated really well over the long 2 days and are well on their way to completing their project in time for their graduation day in Solihull on 1st May. 

Thanks also to mentors Toby and Matt from JCB who were present for expert advice.

Those taking part- Sophie, Suhani, Manal, Aman, Meghana and Rene.


Schools’ Analyst Competition

Hope, Caitlin and Purvi (L6) competed in the Midlands heat of the Royal Society of Chemistry Schools’ Analyst Competition at the University of Nottingham this afternoon. They undertook a three hour practical challenge to identify an impurity in paracetamol. We await the results in the coming weeks!

Joint Choral Concert Advertising Opportunity

On Saturday 7th March we are proud to present the 16th Derby High School and Derby Grammar School joint Choral Society concert.  Set in Derby’s stunning Cathedral, it plans to be a memorable night showcasing the talents of our wonderful pupils. The concert will start at 7pm. Tickets will be on sale soon.

We are currently working on the concert programme and offering local businesses the opportunity to advertise within it. Adverts start from £50 and include 2 complimentary VIP tickets. If you would like more information please call Rachael Cotton, Marketing and Communication Manager, on 01332 514267, or email rcotton@derbyhigh.derby.co.uk.

Safeguarding Corner

Here is a new challenge to try for limiting app time on games and social media. Go to settings, screen time, limit apps and set your limits. See if you can halve your usual usage and use the freed up time to do something else!