Hethersett Old Hall School (HOHS) blog – an independent day and boarding school near Norwich, Norfolk.

For girls and boys from Nursery to Sixth Form – discover the difference.

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Following in Grandmother’s Footsteps…

We were delighted today to welcome family members of our school’s original founder as they enjoyed a nostalgic visit to Norfolk from their homes in North Norfolk and Hampshire.

Gladys Andrews founded the school at Hellesdon House in 1928 to educate her own children, moving to Hethersett Old Hall in 1935 when it outgrew the space.  Three of her grandchildren and a great-niece were amongst today’s visitors, some of whom have strong childhood memories of the Old Hall.

Grandson Michael (pictured below, left) recalls staying here often as a small boy. “My parents would drop me off at the beginning of the summer holidays to stay with my grandparents here”,  he told us. Looking around the upstairs boarding area brought back vivid memories:  “I recognise this fireplace”, he said, “ and remember going up these stairs in the mornings to my grandparents’ room to get dressed – I would have been about eight years old at the time.”

Jenny Youngs (nee Perowne, third left in the larger group photo below) is a great-niece of Mrs Andrews and a former pupil here. “ I was here from 1967-71 as a Prep boarder when Miss Lewin was Head ”, she said, recognising one of the current boarders’ common rooms as her first dormitory.

The family – some of whom had followed in their grandmother’s footsteps to become teachers –  looked through old photos and other artefacts and posed for pictures outside the headmaster’s study before enjoying a tour of the school and grounds with Linda Jones. We hope they enjoyed their visit as much as we did!

Hellesdon House was the first home of our school – from 1928 until 1935 when Mrs Andrews bought Hethersett Old Hall.

The three grandchildren of our founder Mrs Andrews who visited today: Michael (left), his sister Caroline (right) and their cousin Sophie (centre). Sophie’s mother “Barbs” was Gladys Andrews’ daughter – herself a pupil and, later, a governor of the school.

The family group included Jenny Youngs, nee Perowne, (third left), a great-niece of Gladys Andrews. Jenny boarded as a Prep pupil at HOHS from 1967-71.


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Where are they now? Francesca “Froggy” Warner

Former HOHS pupil and 2011 Head Girl Francesca Warner visited on Wednesday to give a wonderfully inspirational careers talk in assembly.  Now an emergency theatre practitioner at the Norfolk & Norwich hospital, Francesca – known since school as “Froggy” – studied A Levels in Chemistry, Biology and Maths and A S Levels in Spanish and Drama and an EPQ before taking her nursing degree at City University London and the famous St Bartholomew’s Hospital.  She particularly emphasised to the girls the benefits she had gained from completing all levels of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which, she said, “really helped me kickstart my career, particularly my leadership and team work skills and keeping calm under pressure”.

Francesca worked in various London hospitals before accepting her current role back home in Norfolk, where she specialises in anaesthesia and is involved in all kinds of emergency situations, from removing an appendix  (“I am surprised there are any left in Norfolk, we take so many out!”) to serious traffic accidents.

Francesca’s younger sister, Jess, was also a pupil at HOHS and is now a successful swimming teacher – she even taught Mrs Grove to swim a couple of years ago!

  • We are always delighted to welcome old Hethersettonians for a look round their old school! If you are local, why not come along to our seaside-themed summer fete next Saturday, 12th May, from 11am-3pm and have an informal tour?


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Where are they now? Felicity Watson…

We always love to welcome former pupils of HOHS to their old school, and over the Easter holidays were delighted to catch up with Felicity Watson, who came for a tour and a chat while visiting Norfolk. Felicity, now in her mid 20s and living in London, told me, “I have such happy memories of my times here. I was at HOHS for ten years and sometimes boarded as my family travelled – it is such a warm, friendly school, I loved it!”

Felicity achieved three A Levels at Grade A and currently works as an events supervisor for the National Trust, based at Eastbury Manor House near London. She is also studying for a Masters degree in Heritage.

“I honestly think I got my love of old buildings and heritage in general from HOHS”, she said. “I loved boarding in the  old attic bedrooms at Hethersett and the buildings themselves always fascinated me!”



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Former HOHS pupil inspires girls to study science

It’s wonderful to see former HOHS student Joy Chianu promoting science subjects to young women in this video from the prestigious McGill University in Canada. Joy, who won a scholarship to study chemical engineering there, achieved outstanding results in her biology, chemistry, physics and maths A Levels at HOHS, as well as in her EPQ. We are very proud of Joy and how she is encouraging other young women to study STEM subjects.

• We love to hear how our former students are getting on so if you have any exciting news, please get in touch with us.

Watch the video here

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Former Head Girl Jess inspires HOHS Seniors

Last Wednesday, former Head Girl Jess Withey, who left HOHS in 2009, gave an inspirational careers talk to our senior girls.  Jess talked about her own experiences at school, where she studied A Levels in geography, history, politics and maths, and about her route into a career as a solicitor. After taking a law degree at the University of Kent,  she gained a training contract with Birketts, a regional law firm, and has stayed there, specialising now in addressing the legal needs of private clients, often dealing with wills, powers of attorney and tax issues. Jess explained how varied her day can be and emphasised the importance of communication skills. She told the girls that having a wide spread of A level subjects, determination and a willingness to undertake relevant work experience helped her land the job she now loves so much.

  • Former pupils – do YOU have news that we can share on our blog? Contact marketing@hohs.co.uk – we’d love to hear from you!



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Where are they now? Alex Calton…

We are always delighted to see former pupils and this week our Head Girl from 2015-16, Alex Colton, came in to see us – the day before she excitedly set off to begin a degree course in Interior Architecture at the University of Lincoln. Alex has taken a gap year to raise funds for her studies. “Coming from Zimbabwe means the fees are much higher than if I was a UK citizen, so I needed to raise some money towards my studies,” she explained. Since leaving HOHS after achieving good A Level results in 2016, Alex has worked at Marks and Spencer, latterly in the home department. It was an experience which she says has helped her to develop skills and knowledge which will help on her course, particularly in design and colour co-ordination. We wish Alex every success as she embarks on her next exciting chapter.

Alex is pictured second from left, below, collecting her Gold Dof E aard at Buckingham Palace in May this year with other recent HOHS leavers.

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Where are they now? Catherine Lovick…

We were delighted to catch up with former HOHS pupil Catherine Lovick, who called in to see us yesterday.  Catherine studied A Levels in Textiles, Biology and Maths at HOHS and has just graduated with a First Class BA Honours degree in Contour Fashion at De Montfort University in Leicester. The course is one of only two fashion and textile programmes in the UK specialising in intimate wear – underwear, swimwear, nightwear and corsets.

“When I left Hethersett, I wasn’t sure what to do next so I took a gap year and worked as a lifeguard at Riverside Sports Centre in Norwich for a while,” said Catherine,  pictured below with HOHS textiles teacher Mrs Ling. “But Mrs Ling told me about this course – she used to teach at De Montfort – and it appealed to me. I looked at lots of others but kept coming back to this one, and am so glad I did.  The course has given me amazing opportunities including an internship at bridal designers Caroline Castiligiano.”

Catherine, who aims to work in sportswear or swimwear design,  created the yoga wear collection pictured below for the final catwalk show and heard only today that she has been awarded a First Class degree. Well done, Catherine! We wish you all the very best for the future.

  • Former pupils – do YOU have news that we can share on our blog? Contact marketing@hohs.co.uk – we’d love to hear from you!


DMU Contour GFW 2017 Catherine Lovick