Today marks the end of the second week back for the students, with every part of their new timetable experienced at least once. As I walk the school each day, I have the pleasure of observing the students at work in their new classes. The variety of the approaches to learning as I move from class to class is always a joy. Yesterday, for example, in Elm students were engaged in silent reading, group work, circus activities (moving round the room between tasks), discussion and listening to teacher explanation. A most encouraging start to the year.
It was somewhat wet and windy as I went out to the school gates to greet the students, but the weather could not dampen the positive atmosphere as the students arrived. Many girls arrived in the new uniform, and looked immaculate in their grey blazers, white shirt and striped tie. Year 7 arrived with a mixture of excitement and apprehension (often both) but were quickly on the way to their tutor groups, helped along by new friends or older students within the school. I feel for the parents of the new students, particularly when this is their first time of taking their child to secondary school, and hope that our reassurances give some comfort as they see their daughter moving towards their learning communities. Within no time I was in the Clare Library, enrolling students onto Year 12 courses. What a pleasure to greet our former Year 11 students as they return, to see the range of courses that they have elected to take, and the futures that they are looking forward to. By lunchtime I had formally welcomed Year 12 along with Year 13 in the first assembly of this academic year. Then came lunchtime and the opportunity to speak to the girls in their tutor bases, then off to my new Year 12 Physics class for an afternoon lesson. After some impressive practical work it was back up to the gate for the end of school. It is always hard to believe how quickly the school day flies, although there is still plenty to do before heading home. I hope that everyone had at least as much enjoyment as I did today.
A joyful morning with Year 11 as they collected their GCSE results. Hearing the enthusiastic exclamations of the girls as they open and read their results, seeing the reward for all their efforts, is one of the finest moments in the school year. I always enjoy meeting the many parents who come in and join the celebrations, along with the many tutors who come to delight in the achievements of their tutees. Of course it is not just the tutors in attendance. The Senior Leadership Team (including the Heads of the Oak and Elm Learning Community), Heads of Year 11, teachers, learning support assistants and other members of our admin team come together for this important day. I was delighted to see that so many students had achieved the requirements for their planned courses but our excellent sixth form team and Horizons colleague were there to provide support and guidance for those in need of advice. There were so many wonderful moments but I want to mention one student who came to collect a single GCSE result. Having left us last year, this student requested that she re-took her mathematics GCSE at NSG whilst continuing her studies elsewhere. This student has worked so hard throughout her five years at NSG that there was no hesitation in permitting her request. To then see her holding the results, bearing the all-important C grade in mathematics and opening the door to her desired course, and with the largest smile on her face imaginable, was absolutely brilliant. This is yet another moment of my time at NSG that I will always cherish. I look forward to seeing the girls in September when they join the NSG Sixth Form, and wish everyone success in their chosen destination.
A lovely morning with our Year 13 students as they collect their A level results. To see the students embracing their success and looking forward to the next step on their journey is a real joy. My sadness in seeing the students leave us is more than matched in my pride in their achievements and the anticipation of success yet to come. Congratulations to all the students on these fantastic results. I look forward to seeing the students return to us for our annual Awards Evening and hearing about their new courses and experiences.