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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Exam fever strikes

With exam time now upon us we’d like to wish all of our pupils lots of luck and remind them to Keep Calm and Carry On. Why not check out this list of Top Tips to help you get through this stressful time unscathed.exams




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Art inspiration in Cambridge

Last Friday our Sixth Form girls studying art, photography and textiles visited galleries in Cambridge to research exam topics and collect ideas for their work.

Firstly we visited the Fitzwilliam Museum to explore their wide-ranging collections of modern and historic art. We then went to the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology where students were able to find lots of inspiration from the vast collection of artefacts from around the world.

Miss Coughlan
Head of Art


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Seven (and one teacher) go wild at Kingswood

On Friday 7th February, with a terrible weekend weather forecast looming over our heads, seven Sixth Form students and Mrs Grove set off to the wilds of North Norfolk.

After arriving at the Kingswood centre and having our evening meal we went to the lab to learn how to collect river data. Once we all felt suitably prepared we decided to get an early night’s sleep so that we would be ready for whatever the next day might throw at us.

On Saturday morning we headed off to the River Glaven in the sunshine; that weather forecast was obviously wrong! The first site, which was the start of an ever-deepening river,  surprised everyone. Normally the river levels barely come half way up a pair of Wellington boots, but the river was really swollen from all the rain. Thank goodness for waders!  Within a few minutes Katie discovered her waders leaked, but undaunted she valiantly carried on collecting data. When she came out of the river we poured at least a litre of water out of the boots and had to wring her socks out.

Apart from water in the boots, some of us became stuck in mud – providing others with a good photo opportunity. After a tiring day out we returned to the study centre where we used modern geographical information systems to plot our data on maps.

On Sunday the sky was grey and the wind was very cold, a real change from the day before. Luckily we were collecting data in the city.

Well done girls on working so hard and thanks to the tutors at Overstrand for leading the trips so successfully.

See more photos from the trip.

Mrs Grove

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How good are girls?

CRFE168 Support Doc GSA_logo_spot  resize(1)Girls at Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) schools achieve a disproportionately large share of the top grades in Sciences, Maths and Languages and are propping up these key subjects nationally, according to the Independent School Council’s Head of Research, Rudolf Eliott Lockhart.

Girls at GSA schools are 75% more likely to take Maths A-level, 70% more likely to take Chemistry, two and a half times as likely to take Physics and are over twice as likely to take most languages.

The research, looking at the performance of girls at GSA schools, was presented by Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, Head of Research for the Independent Schools Council, at the recent annual conference of the Girls’ Schools Association in Newcastle upon Tyne.

In 2012, there were slightly over seven and a half thousand girls at GSA schools taking A-levels, (5.2% of all girls taking A-levels nationally), but 21.6% of GSA entries were awarded an A*, as opposed to just 7.9% of entries doing so nationally.

The research will show that girls at GSA schools punch above their weight, particularly in STEM subjects and * Modern Foreign Languages*.

Bucking national trends, over 55% of girls at GSA schools take a STEM subject at A-level. Just under two fifths take Maths and just over two fifths take at least one science, with a quarter of girls taking at least one language A-level.

  • In Physics, 13.4% of all entries from girls come from GSA schools, (above the 5.2% baseline), but they are awarded 25.9% of the A*s and 20.5% of the A or A* grades.
  • In Chemistry, girls at GSA schools comprise 8.9% of entries, but they are awarded 19.8% of the A* s and 15.4% of A or A* grades.
  • In Further Maths, girls at GSA schools comprise 15.9% of the entries, but they are awarded 24.7% of the A* grades and 20.1% of the A or A*s.
    And it’s the same story in other key subjects, such as French, where the percentage of entries from GSA schools is 12.2%, but they are awarded 31.7% of the A* grades and 21.1% of the A or A*s.

Rudolf Eliott Lockhart said: “This underlines how important GSA schools are to the national picture. About 1 in 20 girls taking A-levels are at GSA schools, but about 1 in 4 of the Physics A* grades go to them. It’s an astonishing performance.
“Girls’ schools can quite rightly be very proud of these figures. GSA schools, though relatively small in number, are preparing a disproportionately large number of girls to be the scientists, engineers and linguists of the future.”

 GSA President, Hilary French, said: “In a girls’ school, the pressure to opt for the subjects which are perceived as more ‘feminine’ just doesn’t exist and so the potentially talented female scientists, mathematicians and linguists are able to pursue their interests and achieve their full potential.”


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Hard at work in the science labs..

The laboratory was a hive of industry yesterday as the AS students carried out their first investigation, testing the percentage acidity of different vinegars. Everyone completed their practical efficiently and effectively.

Mrs Grove  science3sciencescience2

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Applied Science students visit whisky distillery

scienceAs part of their AS Applied Science studies, students have to investigate different organisations and the science involved in them. We decided that a whisky distillery would be a good organisation to study, especially as we have one close enough to visit!

The chief distiller gave us a talk which was both informative and fascinating – who could imagine there would be so much science in just one place. Educational benefits aside, the smell in the warehouse was also amazing! When whisky evaporates from the casks it gives off a smell known as the ‘angel’s share’.

I’m sure all our girls were more than happy to take part in this particular trip!
See more photos here.

Mrs Grovewhisky-trip2

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Farewell drinks reception for Sixth Form

Our Upper Sixth girls attended a drinks reception yesterday evening to mark the end of their time here at HOHS.