Today, the Oxford High School GDST community comes together to celebrate the many and varied achievements of our Year 11 students. Whilst there is no doubt that their results continue the legacy of academic excellence at OHS, this year it is important to focus on more than just grades and statistics; it is a time to recognise a cohort of students who have truly gone beyond the curriculum and achieved under the most challenging of circumstances.
Oxford High School’s guiding principle is to empower every student to pursue their individual passions and causes, supported by their committed teachers. Over the course of their GCSE years, our Year 11s have truly embodied the spirit of individuality and giving back which characterises our school. This has included charitable initiatives: themed accessories days to collect money for Women’s Aid in the UK and the Red Cross in Lebanon; a student donating 41cm of hair to the Little Princess Trust and raising nearly £400 in the process; five students doing a six-day walking challenge on the Isle of Wight generating £800 for the Stroke Association; and a charity bike ride from Wales to Witney which raised £3000 for Cancer Research, completed by the three students in spite of the rather inclement weather conditions! Extraordinary personal successes have accompanied the charitable work, from the student who entered and won her category in the GDST Laurie Magnus Poetry Competition to another who achieved Gold in the UK Linguistics Olympiad and took part in the national final. This sample demonstrates that our students are forever giving us reasons to feel proud of them, and we recognise that today’s fantastic results are only the latest in a long list of accolades and endeavours.
We would also like to take this opportunity to praise each and every one of our students on their tenacity and resilience in overcoming the obstacles of the last 18 months; with isolation and loneliness going hand-in-hand with the pandemic, it has not been a straightforward journey for most. Add to this the personal challenges some of our students have faced, from incidents of bereavement to cases of illness and family economic trials, and their results are all the more impressive.
From Marina Gardiner Legge, Headmistress of Oxford High School GDST:
“Congratulations to all students everywhere who are receiving the results of their hard work back this morning. They are a real testament to your hard work and dedication, of course, but also to the support of parents, school staff and Governors. We are really proud of your resilience and tenacity – qualities that will stand you in good stead as you continue to go beyond and make the most of all the opportunities available to you at a school where young women learn without limits.”
From Mari Girling, Head of Year 11:
“This is a lovely group of students who have really tried to stay cheerful and positive and look outwards even when they perhaps didn’t feel like it – well done to all of them.”
Our Year 11s certainly have bright futures ahead of them. More students than ever before have chosen to continue their education at Oxford High School Sixth Form and, bolstered by such excellent GCSE results, they now have the perfect launching pad to catapult them into the next stage of their lives, to A Levels and beyond. Based in our new Ada Benson Building, students will experience a Sixth Form programme built around their needs, with a dedicated support network to help them realise their aspirations. We look forward to seeing them thrive and flourish over the next two years.