During the course of this academic year, Nottingham Girls’ High School has been celebrating its 140th anniversary in a variety of creative, fun and educational ways. Proud of its provision of an outstanding, expert education for girls only, the school’s history has been peppered with innovative and ground-breaking events, some of which have been captured for posterity on memory sticks and placed into a time-capsule buried by Junior School girls for future generations to unearth.
On Friday 27 May the Junior School held a garden party attended by over 300 parents and guests. The festivities included Maypole dancing, musical performances and cream teas, and the time-capsule was buried at the foot of a giant totem-pole carved by chainsaw sculptor and furniture maker, Peter Leadbeater. The totem pole has been a collaborative project incorporating designs by Junior and Senior girls chosen by Peter to represent key elements of the school’s history, including the origins of the four Houses and the owl symbol which has featured in school insignia over the years. As well as the memory sticks, the capsule contains 140 items including photographs, books, pieces of work and other school memorabilia which will give future generations of pupils an insight into how things were done back at the school’s original launch, right up until its 140th year. Head, Julie Keller, commented: “We’re really proud of our history but also of how far we have come since those early days; the progress we’ve made in girls’ education has given them the best opportunities they’ve ever had. It would be nice to think that girls being taught here in the future could look back on all of this and recognise our success for what it is.”
Miss Keller then sealed the capsule and threw in the first spadeful of earth before the hole was filled and a Gingko biloba tree planted to mark the spot.
The Senior School also marked the 140 years by basing one day’s lessons around the theme of the number 140, which the girls really enjoyed. History classes looked at the struggles faced by women 140 years ago; Biology had a Biodiversity day during which girls had to identify 140 different species around the school site, and other lessons focussed on similar goals around the number with some interesting and imaginative results.
Nottingham Girls’ High School has expanded massively over the years since its inception in 1875, occupying more sites and providing high-end, purpose-built facilities to ensure that girls benefit from the education on offer exclusively to them, and their exam results reflect this, always featuring among the top in the country. A wonderful year of celebrations is nearly over – here’s to the next 140 years!