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

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Hannah and Alice at the Palace!

Two of our former sixth formers had an exciting day at Buckingham Palace yesterday where they received their Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Awards.  Hannah Bacon and Alice Handley Howorth, who left our upper sixth last summer, were selected from the HOHS girls who gained their Gold awards in 2016 to attend the event, together with their parents and Mrs Grove and Mr Crump.  They were among more than 1,000 young people who were presented with their awards by around 60 celebrities including Anna Friel, Ben Cohen, Ronan Keating and Anton du Beke, who had all been drafted in to help Prince Philip and the Earl and Countess of Wessex hand out badges and certificates. The event was the largest ever held for the award scheme, which is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary this year.

It was Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing (pictured) who presented our girls with their certificates and Mrs Grove and Mr Crump with a plaque. He spoke eloquently about life’s opportunities and how you should take them with both hands. He also advised the award holders to have an open mind and listen to advice from people with more experience (this comment was much appreciated by the parents!)

Warm sunshine enabled us to enjoy the wonderful gardens with beautiful azaleas in bloom.  In total there were around 7000 people at this celebration including the award holders, parents and managers of operating authorities. It was a lovely day and very relaxed. Hannah and Alice at Buck Palace wareing_2858545b



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Emily Meets Princess Royal

Last Tuesday, Emily (Year 12), attended a St John Ambulance Young Achiever’s Reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Princess Royal. She writes:

“First I went to the St John Gate Museum in Clerkenwell, where I met other cadets who had been selected to attend the reception. We were prepped on how to curtsy and address the Princess. We then travelled across London to the Palace. It was really busy outside, and exciting to go through the gates and to the Grand Entrance. Once inside we were offered lots of lovely food and drink, and got a chance to look at the beautiful decor of the Ballroom, whilst we waited for Princess Anne to arrive. With handshaking and curtsying out of the way, the Princess was really keen to chat to each of us and find out about our experience with St John Ambulance. She asked where I was from and a little bit about my division, she then asked what made me want to join the organisation and where I have used my first aid skills. She is very passionate about young people getting the opportunity to treat on duties, and remarked that she has experienced that cadets often have better first aid skill than some doctors! It was a really special day and such an honour to meet the Princess Royal, who has done so much for the organisation, and to see how passionate she is about the work of cadets within it.”

Emily E at Buckingham Palace2 Emily E at Buckingham Palace1

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Emily to meet Princess Royal

Emily Edwards, Year 12, has been selected to attend a Young Achievers’ Reception at Buckingham Palace in recognition of her outstanding work within St John Ambulance.

The reception, on March 15th, will be hosted by the Princess Royal, Patron of the leading First Aid charity. It will celebrate the individual achievements and acknowledge the hard work of around 70 young people from around the country.


Emily says, “I feel very privileged to have been selected by the panel  to attend, although it feels strange to be recognised for something that I don’t think of as being extraordinary, as I absolutely love doing it!”

Emily’s modesty conceals a longstanding  commitment to the St John Ambulance youth programme which has seen her rise to the most senior level of its Cadet scheme to achieve the Grand Prior Award, with leadership responsibilities within her local unit at Stoke Holy Cross.

Her work as part of the St John Ambulance team takes her to a variety of events, including the Royal Norfolk Show, V Festival and London Marathon, and she has kept a cool head while assisting with First Aid emergencies from a heart attack to dehydration, severe cuts and other  injuries.

The Grand Prior award also requires other subjects and skills to be studied at different levels (bronze, silver, gold), including finance, animal care, child development, cookery and medical conditions.

Emily hopes to continue her involvement with youth leadership within the St John Ambulance when she joins the adult unit on turning 18 this September.


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Who have you written to lately?

As a finale to a unit on letter writing, the children in Year 6 were given the opportunity to write a ‘real letter’ to someone of their choice. The lucky recipients of their letters included Her Majesty the Queen, President Obama, Michael Morpurgo, Jessie J, Rachel Riley, Nathan Redmond, Lana Del Ray, William Fox-Pitt, Tom Daley, Selena Gomez and The Vamps!

The first in the class to receive a reply was Sophie, a huge fan of Michael Morpurgo! Year 6 were equally excited when a very posh-looking envelope, addressed to Ben, arrived from Buckingham Palace! The most recent reply came from Tom Daley who kindly sent Emma a signed postcard!

Who’ll be next, we wonder?! Here are some of the children’s thoughts so far:

‘Michael Morpurgo has inspired me to write lots of stories so I wrote to him asking how he writes his stories and where he gets his ideas from. In his reply he said ‘Live an interesting life. Go places. Meet people. Keep your eyes and ears and your heart open so that you drink in the world about you and fill up the well from which you will be drawing when you write. Read a lot, and widely. Learn from the masters.’ (Sophie)

‘When Mr Peace told me that there was a letter on his desk, addressed to me, I was really excited! When I opened it, I could see Tom Daley’s autograph! I was so happy to get a letter back!’ (Emma )

‘When I woke up this morning, I didn’t expect to hear that I had received a letter from the Queen! But that’s exactly what happened! I went with my class to collect it from the school office for the ‘big opening’! The Queen thanked me for my letter and sent me some leaflets.’ (Ben)Year-6-letters2Year-6-lettersBen-with-letterletter-Queenletter-from-Queen

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Year 7 help decorate Buckingham Palace

The ‘Face Britain’ project, run by The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts, encouraged children to use their artistic talents to help celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. More than 200,000 self-portraits were projected on to Buckingham Palace, creating giant images of the Queen.

Year 7 (Class of 2011) created a self-portrait of themselves as a Queen and these works of art were sent off to become part of the ‘bigger picture’, securing them all a place in the history books!Year-7-artwork-portrait1(Class-of-2011Year-7-artwork-portrait-(Class-of-2011article-2131920-12ACE883000005DC-329_966x452