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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Silver Duke of Edinburgh achievers

Congratulations to Gabriella, Hannah, Alice, Aisling and Tayla (Year 11) on successfully completing their assessed silver Duke of Edinburgh’s expedition last weekend. It was tough, but the girls all excelled in every area, with excellent navigation (don’t believe the locals – you know where you are!), being supportive of others in the team, good camping skills and a huge determination to succeed. The assessor complimented all the girls on their ability to cope with all aspects of the expedition, especially cooking in adverse weather conditions.

Mrs Grove said, “You are all stars. Well done and I hope that you rested those aching muscles before coming back to school!”

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“Absolutely Brilliant” Bronze girls

This weekend saw thirteen of our Year 10 girls pass with flying colours  their challenging Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition.

Mrs Grove said, “The girls worked in two groups and both were absolutely brilliant! Great team work,  no complaints, nobody got lost, everyone was on time and where they should be. The Dof E external assessor was so impressed that he asked far harder questions than for a normal Bronze award, and said that the girls were all at Silver standard already! Well done – and thanks to Mrs Wickham for coming along to help, too.”

Our congratulations to Rosamaria, Caitlin C, Caitlin M, Isabelle S, Isabel H, Sophie B, Sophie S, Lucy, Clara, Darci, Faith-Marie, Mia and Rebekah!

Did you know…?

The Bronze D of E expedition challenge involves planning, writing route cards and navigating a 12km walking route along mainly footpaths.  Once the candidates successfully reach camp six hours later, whatever the weather, they set up their own tents and equipment and cook an evening meal on a trangia, a small outdoor cooking stove. The next morning they get breakfast, decamp and walk a second 12km planned route to their collection point. HOHS is an accredited DofE centre and we are very proud of our record of almost every girl in our senior year groups achieving the awards.

Mrs Grove

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Silver Duke of Edinburgh practice

On Friday, our Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award group set off  for their camping practice expedition in North Norfolk.  The weather was perfect as they hiked with their tents and equipment from Binham to Cley and on to Blakeney.  At Morston, they met up with one of our governors, Mr Myerscough, who joined them for lunch. The Bronze group are also out and about this weekend…watch this space for more pictures and reports from Mrs Grove on both adventures!

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13 years of D of E success at HOHS

badge-gold_1In the last 13 years, over 370 girls from HOHS have achieved bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, with 82 gaining the gold.

No fewer than thirteen of our sixth formers received their gold awards at the annual presentation at Sandringham last year – more than any other school within the Norfolk County Council area.

These are rigorous awards involving a variety of tough challenges and are valuable additions to girls’ CVs and UCAS applications.

Mrs Grove and other members of staff work tirelessly to make this a really rewarding part of the senior girls’ experience at HOHS.


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Bronze and Silver D of E

Last weekend the Silver and Bronze (pictured below) Duke of Edinburgh groups went out on their first day practice.

They all worked extremely hard practising their navigation skills. Excellent team skills were seen and they all got back safe and sound without being rained upon!

Mrs Grove

Bronze d of e

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Day 2: Gold D of E expedition

Our Gold D of E girls are making great progress on their second day in the Brecon Beacons!
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Want to help save sea turtles or spider monkeys in Costa Rica?

There are still a couple of spaces available on our once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Costa Rica in July 2016.

Girls in Years 10-12 will be able to explore the country and experience the local culture, hike through stunning cloud forests and enjoy the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. We will also have the opportunity to work alongside locals on one of the four conservation projects below.

Please let me know if you’re interested in joining the expedition.

Miss MannCosta-Rica-map

OPTION ONE: Playa Caletas Turtle Project
Location: Nicoya Peninsula
Duration: 4 – 5 days

This project is run by Turtle Trax, who work to monitor and protect the sea turtles around the coast line of the southern part of the Nicoya peninsula.

Playa Caletas is a nesting site for mainly Olive Ridley turtles but also green turtles and leather backs later on in the season. During the time the team are there you should be lucky enough to see a turtle laying and possibly even baby turtles hatching from their nests. The team will be taught the basic skills for monitoring the turtles and collecting the nests so as to be able to help out with this essential work protecting the sea turtles.

The main part of the project work is with the turtles. The beach is monitored for turtles 3 hours either side of high tide. Once a turtle is found it is measured/ tagged etc. The eggs are collected and put in the hatchery safe from predators. The hatchery also has to be monitored at night for hatching turtles. These are then released into the ocean.

The majority of the work is carried out at night, so generally volunteers relax during the day. However there is always maintenance work to be done at the camp. There is a local project coordinator on site at all times, as well as a couple of long-term volunteers. Other tasks will include litter picking and clearing the beach and general maintenance of the camp and the hatchery.

OPTION TWO: Asis Project
Duration: 4 – 6 days

The Asis Project is an animal sanctuary that has been set up to provide a home for injured, sick, or orphaned wild animals. The project aims to use the animals and the stunning grounds of the centre as a base for educational community workshops. In the past groups have worked on various projects at the centre, and groups will have the chance to get up close and personal with some of the inhabitants of the sanctuary which holds caimans, spider monkeys, sloths, snakes, peccaries, kinkajous, racoons, lizards and hummingbirds.

Whilst working on the project, participants will be able to stay with local families in the community, which provides a great opportunity to gain an insight into Tico life! Families will provide all meals for the group, giving participants the opportunity to taste some authentic local food. Participants will spend a lot of time with their host families, providing them with a fantastic opportunity to learn about family life in Costa Rica.
OPTION THREE: Kekoldi Iguana Project
Location: Close to Puerto Viejo and the border with Panama
Duration: 4 – 6 days

Kekoldi is the indigenous reserve of the Bribri culture and is situated a few kilometres from Puerto Viejo in Talamanca. In 1989 the Bribri people of this reserve set up a small project to help conserve the green iguana. Today the project is self-sustainable from the money gained from tourists.

However, the reserve is in need of a lot of maintenance work. Outlook groups would provide much needed help to build new enclosures, maintain paths and build another hut for visitors.

Teams will also learn about the problems facing the green iguana as well as the traditional culture of the Bribri culture.
OPTION FOUR: Cloudbridge Project
Location: Close to Cerro Chirripó
Duration: 3 – 6 days

Cloudbridge is situated in a beautiful and remote cloud forest on one of the highest mountains in Central America. It is a private nature reserve in Costa Rica created to preserve and reforest an important gap in the cloud forest adjoining the Chirripó Pacifico River on the slopes of Mt. Chirripó.

Project work may include planting trees, maintaining existing trees, renovating existing trails and creating new trails.High_Five_Costa_Rica_monteverde_620