Head’s Blog

9 February 2024

Can you believe it’s half term already?

The Spring term is always such an engine house of the year. Plans and preparation are in place for the following year as well as full focus on all that is happening in school – and it’s been a busy time.

In the past week, we’ve welcomed our sisterhood of GDST schools for a Year 6/Year 7 rally based around hockey, cricket, water polo and netball. Walking around talking to all the students I was really struck by the common bonds that all our GDST pupils have – the sense of spark, energy and enthusiasm for what they really enjoy. Year 13 performed their devised pieces on Monday and the lower school cast for Mary Poppins have been working so hard in all their free time – I can’t wait to see it.

I have also really enjoyed meeting so many girls applying for scholarships. For the first time, we have opened our Year 9 application process to internal Year 8 candidates as well as external ones and I am thrilled that we have so many students applying who have developed and found a passion as a result of the opportunities they have seized in the lower school. I’m looking forward to interviewing Year 11 for scholarships after half term and am very proud of the way they rose to the challenge of their Mock Exams.

Our Careers programme has been prominent this term too. The Careers evening (with over 600 attendees) was a great forum not just for all of us to hear about potential life avenues such as working within Civil Service or veterinary science but to see our alumnae return and share their journeys with us. It was great to see them making so much of their lives and futures and coming back to inspire our pupils. You will also be aware that one of our foci this year was to increase the support for our Oxbridge candidates. I’m always pleased that so many of our students apply and this year the success rate was the highest in the GDST schools with over 60% of those who were interviewed gaining an offer for subjects as diverse as Medicine, Human Sciences and English. Our Extended Research Presentation evening was a timely reminder of how extensive and broad our scholarship and research opportunities are. I greatly enjoyed presentations as diverse as the First Wave of Feminism in the 12th Century, the use of origami in medical surgery and the best ways of fuelling the astronauts on a three-year mission to Mars. I loved the fact that ‘chocolate!’ was an audience suggestion – only at OHS.

It was great to see so many of you at Dr Kevin Stannard’s presentation following the GDST Girls’ Futures report which identified the benefits of a GDST education. Thank you all so much for supporting our school and an education without limits.

With best wishes for a restful and recuperative half term,

Mrs Gardiner Legge

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