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Manchester High School for Girls

2019: Senior School Year in Review

As we approach the end of 2019, there is lots to reflect on here at Manchester High. Here are some of our Senior School highlights from the last 12 months.

In January, our Founders’ Day assembly marked the centenary of women being allowed into the professions. There was a GCSE Dance workshop, Year 10 and 11 spelling bee, pole vaulting workshop and the regional heat of articulation. Senior Sixth took part in the Chemistry Olympiad and students went to the Greek Comedy Day at Warwick University. January ended with the Year 8 Speech Competition and the House Singing Competition.

Rebecca Trowler QC delivers the annual Founders' Lecture.

Rebecca Trowler QC delivered the annual Founders’ Lecture in February and pupils took part in the house rowing competition. Under 15 Water Polo team came 2nd in the North English School Competition and the Under 18s won – earning them both a place in the national finals. In a first for Manchester High, we also fielded a cricket team for the very first time. The Cabaret Evening was a roaring success and Year 10 artists visited Tate Modern.

In March, Angie Thomas spoke to pupils in Year 8 about her new book ‘On The Come Up’, which helped to inspire their Harry Potter scriptwriting workshop. Junior Sixth historians attended a Tudor Lecture Day and girls from across Prep, Senior School and Sixth Form made their #ProjectPlanet pledges. The Under 13 hockey team reached the North finals of the North West Hockey Competition and Junior Sixth PE students attended the Ashbourne Royal Annual Shrovetide mob football match. 24 students from Year 8 visited Malaga and Junior Sixth students visited Berlin. The annual Dance Show took place – the standard of which improves every year – and the Religious Studies Department hosted a Buddhism Conference for students from local schools. March was also the month of our Year 11 sleepover, a memorable event that has firmly cemented its place in the school calendar.


Making #ProjectPlanet pledges.

In April, Year 8 had a fantastic time at the Stardome event, Junior Sixth visited Parliament, and Year 6 and 7 helped to launch the Netball World Cup at MediaCityUK. The spring term came to an end with the Spring Extravaganza, which raised money for Francis House Hospice, and the Geography and Physics field trip departed for Arizona and Nevada. Prep skiers ventured to Norway and the Spring Concert featured the fantastic Rutter’s Gloria. The Drama department took students to see Much Ado About Nothing at the Lowry, Matilda, King Lear, The Lovely Bones, Macbeth, Death of a Salesman, Antony & Cleopatra, Dr Dolittle and The Animals & Children.

During the year, pupils have raised money for a range of charities. By May, the total funds raised was £6,000. The charities included: Jeans for Genes, Comic Relief, Children in Need, Macmillan Cancer Care, St Monica’s Orphanage, Kibera and the Winnie Mabaso Foundation in South Africa. Pupils donated food, toys, toiletries, clothes and pet food, and Mrs Chisnall and Mrs Whelan organised Daniella Day, in memory of Daniella Sciama. 

In May, several staff took part in a marathon, half marathon and 10k to raise funds for MIND and BEAT, in memory of former pupils Hannah Bharaj. They raised a fantastic £6,000. The Year 9 Football Team became the Manchester School Champions – the first time a team from an independent school have won the trophy. Year 9 also organised an Eco Week, which included a sponsored cycle for Greenpeace, Year 7 visited Chester Zoo and Year 8 went to Cologne in Germany.

Georgia Geupel, winner of the Warburton Music Prize.

Music came to the fore in June, with the Recital Evening and the Junior Warburton Competition. They also played at a service and blue plaque unveiling for Gertrude Powick and the One Day I Will Bursary Ball at The Principal Hotel. .  On Tuesday 18th June, Manchester High School for Girls hosted the AJIS Athletics competition at Longford Park with over 23 participating schools. The end of the summer term is always a busy time and the last couple of weeks we have enjoyed the Year 9 Celebration Evening, the Year 8 music, dance and drama evening, last Friday’s trips day with year groups venturing to Formby sand dunes, Chill Factor-e, Alton Towers and the Crocky Trail. The Summer Soiree brought the year to a close, with some fantastic performances from our musicians.

In August, we celebrated more fantastic A-level results (91.4% A*-B!) and pupils went to a range of universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, UCL, Leeds, Royal Academy of Music, Liverpool, Newcastle and Imperial. The GCSE results were also brilliant, with five students achieving a straight run of grade 9s.

Fantastic A-level Results Day in August 2019.

In September, a flock of new students found their feet at Manchester High and they swiftly made their way to Lakeside, near Ulverston in the Lake District. The PE Department organised a fantastic Sports Dinner and Lola Ellis was named Sports Women of the Year. Our Netball teams took part in the National Girls School Association Tournament and Georgia Geupel won the Warbuton Competition. We welcomed over 100 former pupils back to Manchester High for the Annual and Decades Reunion, which featured former teacher Jan Fordham as Guest of Honour.

The annual Battle of Hastings re-enactment took place in the Rose Garden at the start of October and Year 8 took part in a Creative Writing Workshop. Our open events were incredibly well attended, with families coming from across the world to visit us. Fay Dowker was the guest of honour at the annual Celebration and Awards Evening at The Bridgewater Hall and Classics students had the opportunity to visit Pompei. Closer to home, Sixth Form psychologists stepped (briefly!) behind bars for a True Crime Conference and staff had a training day about Menopause in the Workplace.

In November, Mrs Goddard led a Wellbeing Theme Week of Responsibility and Senior Sixth students took part in the Senior Maths Chellenge. The Inisght Into series of careers talks restarted with former pupils telling us about the world of finance. The undisputed highlight of November was the fantastic production of Sister Act, which sold out on both nights. Year 11 started their Mock Examinations and Sixth Form took part in the Mock Trial Competition at Manchester Crown Court.

December began with the end of Year 11 exams and the beginning of Speech and Drama assessments. The Under 13 played Kingston Grammar School in the Under 13s Independent Schools Hockey Competition and the whole school rocked their Christmas Jumpers in aid of charity. Year 7 watched Peter Pan the Pantomime and the carol service at St Ann’s Church brought staff, parents and former students together in reflection. The Christmas Concert featured Year 7 all the way up to Sixth Form and the annual Staff Pantomime ensured the year ended in humorous style.

Whether you’re a student, parent, alumna, supporter or staff member, thank you for your support over the past year. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!