Choir’s stunning performance in Willow Carol Concert

Pupils give a stunning performance in the Willow Carol Concert at St Albans Cathedral

Bishop’s Choir have spent all term busily preparing for the Willow Carol Concert which was held on 5th December in the beautiful St Albans Cathedral. We all felt very proud to be continuing on what has been a very long-standing relationship between BHGS and the local charity The Willow Foundation.

This particular charity is the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days. These Special Days enable them and their families to reconnect and refocus on each other while enjoying an activity of their choosing. Willow was founded by former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter, Bob Wilson and his wife Megs, as a lasting memorial to their daughter, Anna, who died of cancer aged 31. Anna’s love of life and the enriching experiences of her own Special Days were the charity’s inspiration. Our school has a special connection to the Willow Foundation as Anna Wilson was a former pupil of Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School. The carol service this year had an added poignancy about it as Megs Wilson sadly passed away very recently.

On the day of the concert, after a series of rehearsals at school, the 49 members of our Choir travelled to the cathedral for our dress rehearsal in the venue, getting used to its gorgeous acoustics, and then awaited the performance with excitement. The students performed three songs, I See a Star by Gilpin, The Angel’s Carol by Rutter, and a jazzy arrangement of the traditional We Wish You a Merry Christmas. The students sang their hearts out and gave a stunning performance of which they should be rightly proud. All of their hard work really paid off in the performance, and it has been fabulous to hear so much wonderful feedback about how impressed the audience were with the choir’s beautiful singing.

The amazing Herts Chorus also sung multiple carols throughout the service. This was hugely inspirational for us all to hear, and we look forward with anticipation to working again with them and Willow next year to take part in this wonderful annual event which helps to raise lots of money to help such a worthy cause.

To listen to our Bishop’s Choir rehearsing before the Carol Concert, click on the links below:

See A Star Part 1 – Willow Carol Concert 2023

See A Star Part – Willow Carol Concert 2023

We Wish You A Merry Christmas – Willow Carol Concert 2023

Photography: Danny Loo (www.dannyloophotography.co.uk   / Twitter & Instagram: @Danny_Loo / Facebook: www.facebook.com/DannyLooPhotography

Inspiring Alumnae return for a Careers Sector Skills Workshop

You can’t be what you can’t see!

An exciting new Careers Sector Skills workshop day took place for Year 11 and Year 12 on Friday 10th November. The day was one of the first we held in conjunction with Future First, an education charity that helped us upgrade our alumni network with a new digital hub.

Aside from providing a great way for former students/staff to reconnect with their peers, the digital hub allowed us to invite alumni (ex-pupils) to explain their career journeys after leaving Bishop’s to current students. The day also gave our students the chance to consider the various skills required in each career and how they might develop these in the future.

The workshop came at the right time for the students who were thinking about the next steps in their careers. Eight former pupils attended and shared their career paths. From media analysts to forensic scientists, there were relatable role models. Additional sectors included marketing and public relations, nursery and primary school teaching, data analysis, cabin crew and law.

A Year 12 student said, ‘it was so informative and eye-opening to see the many and varied career paths people have chosen. Maybe one day I’ll be back here doing the same thing!’

Alumni are vital to schools and their pupils as career role models, mentors, specialist in-curriculum volunteers, work-related experience providers, governors and sponsors. Our alumni community has grown into a rich network of members in every field imaginable, across the last six decades, some even going back to when Hatfield Girls’ Grammar School opened in 1960.

If you are a former Bishop’s student and have advice, support and guidance you wish to offer to the new generation of Bishop’s pupils – or simply wish to reconnect with your peer group – why not join our network of alumni? Should you know anyone else who attended our school, whether they are your children, neighbours, friends or their children, or if you are still in touch with former pupils or staff, please send them this link and ask them to sign up. Even if ex-pupils have already been on our previous database, they need to actively opt in to the new platform: Join our Bishop’s Old Girls Alumni Network by clicking on this link!

 

Disability History Awareness Month

BHGS recognises Disability History Awareness Month

This half term the pupil Equality and Diversity Committee focused on recognising Disability History Awareness Week Month. Their assemblies this week educated Years 7-10 on the history of discrimination and the fight for equality, inspirational stories, and the importance of inclusion and respect for all. This work was followed-up by form-time activities and a lunchtime event, which highlighted the challenges faced by young people with visible and invisible disabilities. They received much positive feedback, which is testament to the impact and importance of their work. I am proud to support such a fantastic group of pupils who are committed to raising awareness, promoting equality and celebrating diversity in our school community. Miss Maisey, Equality and Diversity Lead.

Spirited Arts Award

Celebrating Student Participation in NATRE’s Spirited Arts Award

At BHGS, we proudly celebrate the creative endeavours and bold expressions of our students. We are thrilled to acknowledge the incredible dedication and talent showcased by our participants in NATRE’s Spirited Arts Award.

This competition lies in the journey of exploration, creativity, and expression that our students embarked upon. It’s an honour to highlight and commend each student who embraced the challenge, delved into the themes, and poured their hearts into their artistic creations.

The Spirited Arts Award is not just about winning; it’s about expressing oneself, to delve into complex themes of spirituality and faith, and to communicate one’s perspective through the language of art. Every submission represents a unique interpretation, a personal reflection, and a testament to the diverse talents within our school community.

Our students showcased exceptional creativity, technical skill, and deep reflection in their submissions. The effort and passion invested in each artwork are commendable, and we applaud our students for their dedication and commitment to the artistic process.

Participation in such a prestigious competition is an achievement in itself. It reflects the courage to step out of comfort zones, the commitment to exploring meaningful themes, and the willingness to contribute to a larger conversation about spirituality and faith through art.

The RE Department eagerly looks forward to future submission as we plan for the 2024 submission.

Pupils support the Lionesses in Wembley!

First ever school trip to Wembley for BHGS to watch the victorious Lionesses

On Friday 1st December, 87 pupils went by coach to Wembley Stadium to watch the England Women’s Football team – the Lionesses – compete in the Nations League vs The Netherlands.

For a lot of our pupils, this was the first experience of a live women’s football game, let alone an international fixture at the home of English football.

The first half was hard to watch, as despite having lots of possession, England conceded two goals in the 12th and 35th minute respectively to go in at half time 0-2 down.

As England started to use possession a bit more intelligently in the second half, the crowd of 71, 632 fans really found their voices and (to the delight of our pupils) an almost continuous round of Mexican waves! The Lionesses had made some changes at half time and this seemed to pay off as Georgia Stanway scored their first goal of the night on 59 minutes, closely followed by Lauren Hemp a minute later to equal the score at 60 minutes.

A tense half an hour followed with both sides creating chances through exciting phases of play. As the nominated nation to qualify on behalf of Team GB for the Olympics in Paris next year, England need to win their Nations League group and reach the final – or finish third if Olympic hosts France make the final – in order to secure a place.

Luckily, Ella Toone saved the day (and the match) when she fired in a dramatic late goal and received a roar of celebration from the home crowd.

The pupils and staff left for the coach ride back to school and were ecstatic, a little worn out(!) and freezing cold after temperatures dropped below 0 during the December evening.

As always, every pupil on the trip was a credit to BHGS and it was a pleasure to organise and run this trip to a live women’s sporting fixture. On the way back to the coach, plenty of pupils asking when the next trip was going to be, so the PE department hope there will be another chance to attend a sporting fixture later in the year.

A huge thank you to the following staff for giving up their time to organise and supervise the pupils at this fixture – Miss Cameron, Mr Griffiths, Miss Nelson, Miss Rollings, Mr Kench, Dr Lota, Miss Andreone and Mrs Martin. The trip would not have possible without you giving up your time, hopefully you have warmed up and can feel your fingers and toes again now!!

Arts Challenge Achieved

Year 10 Arts Award students achieved great success with their arts challenge projects

The 15 students who are working towards their Arts Award qualification have successfully completed their first unit: the arts challenge. For this unit students set themselves an arts based task that challenges their artistic skills and abilities. The task could be anything arts based so there was a wide range of work taking place; from costume making, set designing, painting, photography, sketching, script writing and performing. A lot of this work was completed independently, with pupils having to problem solve and learn new skills. Help was provided by staff but the majority of the planning, organising and making was completed by the students. Working on their challenge since the beginning of October, the students shared their final product yesterday. Not only did they have to show what they had made but they also needed to give a presentation about the process. The class showed great ambition and perseverance during the challenge and this is evident in their final pieces. They also demonstrated their wonderful artistic skills and talents.

Well done Arts Award students! Work shown is by Mia Canter, Issy Barnett-Hall, Amunpreet Kaur, Charlie Ody, Wafia Najm, Jolana Hewitt, Olivia Cox, Evie Porter, Jaymee Venter and Zoe Atsutse-Asamoah.

Students investigate True Crimes

On Monday 4th December the University of Law provided an interactive session to students from A-Level Sociology and A-Level Law

Sociology and Law students were brought together by teachers in the Social Sciences Department to highlight the complementary nature of the two courses. Crime and Deviance forms an important part of the Sociology curriculum and Criminal Law is one of the three main topics studied in Law so the session enabled the students to discuss issues from both legal and sociological perspectives.

The session included real-life crime case studies, including the Gypsy Rose case and Jack the Ripper. A discussion of sentencing was followed by considering what constitutes a miscarriage of justice and the case of the Bridgewater Four, who were wrongly convicted of the murder of paperboy Carl Bridgewater. Following the success of the event, the Social Sciences Department hopes to hold further cross-curricular events in the future.

BHGS supports Hatfield Food Bank

Bishop’s pupils and staff pull out all the stops again to donate food and toiletry to Hatfield Food Bank in a Reverse Advent Calendar initiative

During the month of November, our staff and pupils brought in food and toiletry items for the Hatfield Food Bank as part of our Reverse Advent Calendar initiative. The Hatfield Food Bank is a charity that we as a school really value and support. On average, 682 people in our local community of Hatfield are fed by the Food Bank each month which means they require approximately 5000 kg of donated food a month to be able to cater for everyone who needs them. Hatfield Food Bank has fed 3,366 children in the last year and we as a school always do all we can to support them.

The students pulled out all the stops to try and get as many donations as possible and also enjoyed the House competition element of the initiative by decorating their boxes as a chance to win House Points for their House. We were absolutely delighted that we managed to donate 452.4kg of food and toiletries. We are incredibly proud of the children and grateful for our whole community’s generosity. Each Form’s Captain and Charity Representative helped us to take the boxes down the hill to the Food Bank and donate them in person. Thank you to them for giving up time in their morning to do this.

House Points were awarded by Dr Venz for the best decorated boxes and the winners were as follows: Year 7: 1st Hadid, 2nd Parr, 3rd Austen Year 8: 1st Hadid, 2nd Austen, 3rd Seacole Year 9: 1st Austen, 2nd Hadid, 3rd Parr Year 10: 1st Parr, 2nd Franklin, 3rd Seacole Year 11: 1st Parr, 2nd Austen, 3rd Hadid

Well done to everyone who contributed to this initiative!