12 Jun 2020

Senior High Notes 12th June

Senior High Notes 12th June

The weeks appear to be flying by. Everyone continues to work so hard to ensure that all our students continue to receive high quality teaching and engagement as well as access to super-curricular opportunities which are more important than ever at the moment. The media is not helping our students, parents and staff. Talk of missed work, a lost term and the need for summer catch-up really is not true at Derby High. Our students are completing excellent work showing a real understanding of the topics covered during this period and receiving high quality feedback weekly from their teachers. In many subjects, classes are well ahead in the schemes of work. This is in stark contrast to national statistics which show that 66% of students across England are not engaging in remote learning and the quality and amount of work and feedback is poor.

We are now at the end of a second successful week of our Wrens, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils being back in school. Thank you to those staff, pupils and parents who have been involved in this phased reopening, it has been exhausting but rewarding. In addition this week our L5 and L6 students have had face to face online sessions in all of their subjects. Students in U3, L4 and U4 have had video calls with their forms. It has been lovely to hear positive feedback about these sessions from students and staff.

In line with the announcement from the Prime Minister yesterday we will not open during the summer break for key worker children.

It will come as no surprise that Prize Giving in both Senior and Primary will not happen as planned this term! There is now a really exciting opportunity to do something different to celebrate the creative, curious and impressive work that our pupils have been completing during this period of remote learning. We therefore will be holding a whole school exhibition for parents, pupils and staff to view in September/October. We are still in the early stages of planning, further details will be available in September.

At the end of this term we will be saying farewell to Mrs Emma Smith and Mrs Jackie Fraser. Mrs Smith leaves us to take up the post of Learning Director for KS5 English at Derby Moor Academy. Mrs Fraser will be going further afield to Malvern College, Qingdao, China to teach Psychology.

The pandemic has denied these members of staff the farewell they deserve. I know that you will want to join me in thanking Mrs Smith and Mrs Fraser for the great support they have given to students and staff alike.

I am delighted that Mrs Mel Steer has agreed to continue at Derby High on a permanent basis following her very successful year covering Mrs Jayne Webster’s illness leave. Mrs Webster will be returning as Head of English in September.

Mrs Julia Seddon will join us as teacher of Psychology to start in September. Mrs Seddon comes to us with a wealth of experience both teaching and examining Psychology.

I am delighted to announce that Mrs Rebecca Lesley has agreed to become Head of Music in the Senior School from September. I have no doubt that, under Mrs Lesley’s leadership, Music in the Senior School will continue to go from strength to strength. Mrs Lesley has taught Music to A level both at Derby High and previously at other schools. She will work closely with the new Head of Music in the Primary School. Mrs Sam Cooke will teach Music in Primary and Key Stage 3 and work collaboratively with Mrs Lesley to ensure a strong, continuous music provision throughout the school. Mrs Cooke has previously been Director of Music at Foremarke Hall and Head of Music at Nottingham High Primary.

Best Wishes,

Cycle Mileage Challenge

The results are in!! It was great to see so many students and Mr Dodson from the Senior School getting involved in this challenge. We covered over 2500 miles as a community, with family members also joining in. That’s the distance from Derby to Yekaterinburg in Russia!

Congratulations to Emily U3, Hannah U4, Isabel L4, Morgan L4, Victoria (Kedleston) for gaining the Bronze Award. Congratulations to Alexia L5, Connie U3, Harmony U3 & Mr Dobson for gaining the Silver Award. Congratulations to Alice (Haddon), Callum U3 for gaining the Gold Award. After receiving Sarah’s U6 mileage I felt it necessary to create another level of award as she completed 636.3 miles. Congratulations for gaining the Platinum Award! Fantastic efforts from everyone.

Miss Stirland

The Cup Song is back!

Thank you to all the students who have already sent Miss Stirland videos. Learn the cup song here and send your videos to Miss Stirland via Teams to be involved in the Cup Song Chain video. Remember slide the cup in from your left and slide it out from your right! 

Customised Clothes Challenge

Art Prefect, Emily, kindly organised an art challenge for the students to do whilst the school buildings have been closed. Emily set the challenge to customise an item of clothing to fit with the theme of 'Nature'. There were some incredible responses including paint, embroidery and tie dye. It was very difficult for Emily to choose a winner. After much deliberation Emily is now pleased to announce the winner is Aimee, with Kate and Bethan as runner up. Below are their entries. Click here to view the gallery on the school’s website of all the fantastic entries.

Aimee                                       Bethan                  Kate 


CERN Virtual Visit

We were very disappointed not to get to visit the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva this Easter but on Monday morning some of the Sixth Form who had missed the opportunity had a small glimpse of what goes on there. Dr. Mick Storr who works at CERN gave the students a very engaging and insightful virtual tour around the 4 different detectors as well as talking about the history and the all-important future of the LHC.  There was also plenty of opportunity to ask and answer questions about the work of CERN and the physics involved in this dynamic field. 

Our thanks go to Dr. Storr for a very enjoyable morning.


EPQ Headstarters

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is one of the most popular and successful qualifications we offer at ‘A’ level.  Mr. Lee (EPQ Coordinator) has been running a “Headstarters” group via Microsoft Teams with our current U5 / Y11 students who are intending to take the EPQ when they join the Sixth Form and has had a brilliant response from the students.  Some amazing ideas for projects – let’s hear from some of the students themselves!

Maisie says “For my EPQ I’m planning on looking at how far gender stereotypes in the UK affect men’s mental health (and, as such, whether any other factors have a greater impact). By attending Headstarters meetings I’ve learnt a variety of things about what the EPQ entails. I particularly enjoyed the session on presentation and discussion as I learnt what the ideal presentation looks like… and that I shouldn’t be scared of difficult questions! All in all, I’m finding the Headstarters sessions very beneficial and I feel more confident about my EPQ now that I have knowledge on the process.”

Isobel says “The EPQ Headstarter Sessions have been really interesting as it gives me the freedom to research a subject I'm interested in that isn't covered in the syllabus of the subjects I plan to study at A-level. The project is useful as it gives me something to do now I have no actual lessons to do. My subject is about different voting systems and what makes one more effective or fairer than another.“

Connie says "I have really enjoyed taking part in the EPQ Headstarter group, it has given me something to work on independently on a subject that I am interested in. I especially liked finalising my topic even though it was difficult to choose, as I had lots of ideas and topics which interested me. I have now decided on my topic which is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).JIA is chronic inflammation in one or more of your joints which occurs before your 16th birthday. JIA is not a well-known condition, it affects around 12,000 children in the UK. I am particularly interested in the topic because I have chronic joint pain for which I am undergoing tests. I also want to advocate the awareness for unseen illness and that arthritis is not just a condition for the old."

U3 Spell-Poem

This week U3 were asked to write a spell-poem. Here’s Beth’s poem which made Mrs Bellman smile!

A spell to get rid of coronavirus:

This is not the place for you, and it is time for you to leave,

A hefty dose of soap and water will help we believe,

Two metres of social distance will stop your evil spread,

Unlimited PPE to protect the face and head,

Of our wonderful doctors and nurses saving lives every day,

If we all stick to this recipe we can make you go away.

UCAS and Apprenticeship Advice for Parents

Please click the links below for some useful resources.  If you have twitter, please also follow @derbyhigh6th for up to the minute information.



Derby High School: A View From the Sky

If you are missing our school buildings and grounds you may like to watch our new video called “Derby High School: A View From the Sky”. This drone footage was taken just before our half term break. We hope you like it!

To view on Facebook – click here.

To view on YouTube – click here.


Co-Curricular Bulletin

This is our second week of working on the BBC Young Reporter activity - those who have contacted Mrs Smith about the BBC Young Reporter competition have been added to the MS Team. If anyone is wondering about a focus, you might like to reflect on the UK’s response to events in the USA.

Safeguarding Corner

Think U Know have created videos to support parents during Covid-19 and the closure of schools to many children.You can find the videos here: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/Support-tools/presentations-for-parents