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We saw good use of CAD and CAM in the lively art rooms as well as robotics and some well executed design projects and graphics at A level. We were also impressed by the recent fashion show which placed cultural diversity and inclusion at the heart... State of the art laboratories, a science terrace for outdoor experiments (we suspect lots of bangs and explosions) are part of making science fun and accessible. We saw pupils bouncing out of their seats with excitement while using IT to trounce their opponents in an on-line Greek quiz. Girls with no arrogance, buckets of enthusiasm and joie de vivre…

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What the school says...

Senior School at NHSG is more than just broadening your daughter’s intellectual, personal and social horizons. With academic excellence at our core, this stage of her educational career will equip her with the skills to lead a successful, happy life and to forge her own future.

Our Senior School is a forward-thinking, outward-facing dynamic learning environment, firmly and proudly rooted in our city and region. Experts in the education of girls, our approach is focused on how girls learn best and is built on academic rigour and outstanding support for every girl to allow her to achieve excellence.

What this means for your daughter is that she will be both inspired and excited about learning. We'll nurture her intellectual curiosity enabling her to step outside of her comfort zone so that she is stretched to achieve her very best. In doing so, she’ll develop the confidence and the resilience to face challenges, grasp opportunities and acquire the skills she needs for success both at school and beyond.

At NHSG we will empower your daughter to become a strong, confident and grounded young woman, who will stand by her principles and values in an ever-changing world.
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All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

What The Good Schools Guide says


From 2023, Amanda Hardie (acting), previously deputy head academic alongside head of the junior school. Read theology at Oxford, followed by a PGCE from Durham. Has spent all her teaching career here, first at Church High before it merged with Central Newcastle Girls High in 2014 and then as director of studies before becoming deputy head academic at the newly formed Newcastle Girls High senior school.


Typically 90 to 95 per cent of junior girls move to the senior school so progression is pretty much automatic although the girls do sit the school’s entrance exam in year 6 in order to give a baseline assessment. Parents told us that very few don’t move on to senior school. External applicants sit the exam which includes tests of English and maths as well as verbal, numerical and non verbal ability. There’s also an interview with the head or a senior member of staff. The last head says of the examination, ‘It’s rigorous and some don’t get in’.

Entry to the sixth form requires a minimum of six GCSEs at grades six to nine with higher grades required in subjects such as maths and the sciences. Previous head was clear that if a good internal candidate were to miss getting the grades she would be supported to find the right post-16 programme within the school. External candidates are interviewed and previous school reports considered.


More than 90 per cent of year 11 typically move into the sixth form, the remainder go to local state sixth forms and sixth form colleges. Nearly all sixth form leavers head to university. In 2022, 40 per cent to Russell group, two to Cambridge and four into medicine and dentistry.

Latest results

In 2022, 65 per cent 7-9 at GCSE; 51 per cent A*/A at A level ()73 per cent A*-B. In 2019 (the last year when exams took place), 62 per cent 9-7 at GCSE and 55 per cent A*/A (81 per cent A*-B) at A level.

Teaching and learning

The former head’s aim is to provide a completely balanced curriculum with as much of an emphasis on STEM subjects as the arts. When we asked him about the lack of dedicated design technology in the school he was confident that the design opportunities and facilities within the school’s art, textiles, IT and computer science programmes more than made up for this. From what we saw on our visit he was right: we saw good use of CAD and CAM in the lively art rooms as well as robotics and some well executed design projects and graphics at A level. We were also impressed by the recent fashion show which placed cultural diversity and inclusion at the heart of the textiles curriculum. We counted at least seven IT related clubs including cyber security and e-sports. School also offers outreach support to local primaries for app development. NHSG has a successful record of girls winning Arkwright engineering scholarships and each year takes part in the F1 in schools challenge to design and race miniature air powered cars.

Strong emphasis on languages with Spanish taught from nursery in the junior school and Mandarin from year 2 meaning continuity and a good level of challenge. NHSG is a UK hub school for the teaching of Mandarin. At key stage three girls choose from French, Mandarin and German as a second language. Classics are definitely alive and kicking: Latin and classical civilisation are added in year 7. Ancient Greek available as a very popular lunchtime club -- we saw girls bouncing out of their seats with excitement while using IT to trounce their opponents in an on-line Greek quiz.

Maths is set in year 7 and further maths is available at both GCSE and A level. We watched a very interesting lesson on probability where year 7 pupils were well engaged with some challenging work. All other subjects are taught as mixed ability. Separate sciences at GCSE for the most able as a guided choice, with triple award being taken by the majority. Science is housed in the spectacular new build which was part of the merger. State of the art laboratories, a science terrace for outdoor experiments (we suspect lots of bangs and explosions) are part of making science fun and accessible. There’s a ‘science is my superpower project’, originally in collaboration with Newcastle University but now entirely run by the school, which sees sixth form girls supporting local primary school science lessons every half term. The girls we spoke to were passionate about physics, clearly inspired by the subject and the teaching, ‘The teachers aren’t just talking at you, I really feel as though it’s me that’s doing the subject.’

As part of VESPA from year 7 onwards all girls are encouraged to be self reflective and identify their own barriers to learning. This encourages them to become more independent and resilient as learners, taking risks and learning from feedback. The year 9 girls we spoke to talked about this process confidently and with good understanding.

Twenty-seven subjects on offer in the sixth form including Latin, classical civilisation, drama, dance, business studies, philosophy and psychology in addition to the usual suspects plus EPQ and a gold arts award. Girls told us that the small classes and plenty of individual attention make it ‘a no brainer to stay on for sixth form here.' Several of the girls we spoke to also got their first jobs through their A level studies, one in dance and film and another as a netball coach. There is a myriad of trips across the school including a study visit to Namibia, sports tour to South Africa, languages trips to France and Spain, history trip to Berlin and many more often linked with other GDST schools, ‘School has guided me to places I could never have dreamt of going to,' said one girl.

Pupils told us how well the school had used technology for remote teaching from day one of the pandemic and that many of the new skills acquired by pupils and staff continue to enhance learning. We saw a great example of IT based collaborative note making in a politics lessons. Laptops are provided for all bursary holders.

Learning support and SEN

Very well qualified SENCO guides staff to support pupils with a variety of moderate learning difficulties from dyslexia to ASD and ADHD. No educational health care plans at the time of our visit. Additional support takes place predominantly within the classroom with each individual department taking responsibility for SEN. Some students with visual and hearing loss and the school site is completely accessible for those with limited mobility.

The arts and extracurricular

Dance, drama and music are all popular at GCSE and A level and each year girls will go to further training and careers in these fields. There is a lovely dance studio with a professional floor and tuition is provided by external professionals. As well as a drama studio and music rehearsal space, school boasts a magnificent auditorium with full stage, lighting and retractable seating. Lots of opportunity for professional standard productions but they also use the Northern Stage venue, great preparation for careers in the performing arts. Shows, proudly single sex and always challenging, include work such as Les Miserables. Very well equipped music facilities on the Brandling site (lots of noisy music is possible well away from other classrooms) with plenty of practice rooms where around 20 per cent of girls have instrumental tuition. There’s also an orchestra, choir and samba band.


Sporting prowess is very evident but school is also proudly inclusive - every girl who comes to a practice will play in a team. At the time of our visit nearly 70 per cent of year 7s had played in a netball team. Head of co-curricular says, ‘Team captains aren’t necessarily the best player, it's a leadership development role as much as a sporting one.' Pupil forum was consulted on the PE curriculum review.

On the main school (Tankerville) site there is a well equipped new fitness suite, an all-weather pitch, four badminton court sports hall and two tennis courts. There is a second sports hall on the Brandling site and two further tennis courts as well as playing fields and an all-weather pitch a five-minute walk away. Lots of sports clubs -- trampoline, hockey, badminton and fitness for skiing in readiness for the very popular ski trip.

Impressive list of sporting successes including under 15 and under 16 Newcastle City netball champions, key stage three Northumberland badminton champions, a member of the Scotland under 19 netball team, a team GB horse rider and the world champion in the 2022 canoe sprint.

Ethos and heritage

NHSG was created from the merger of Church High School and Central Newcastle High School in 2014. While proud of the heritage of its predecessor schools and alumnae, it is very much its own entity. It has quickly developed a unique ethos of ambition and attainment in both academics and co-curricular in order to, ‘Empower girls to be trail blazers and world shapers.' The school emblem is the seahorse which also appears on the Newcastle coat of arms. It is a symbol of patience, generosity, friendship and persistence, qualities we saw in spades as we met the girls. Parents who have seen the school through its change said they had initially viewed the merger with scepticism but that improved facilities and standards won them over.

Senior school is based on the old Church High site. It is a split site with five minutes walk between the two and a further five minutes to the playing fields. There has been extensive investment and facilities are very impressive. Uniform is smart, very practical, modern looking (in teal) and girls were fully consulted about changes; option of trousers or skirts. Toilets are unisex and mostly single units. The whole school is beautifully maintained with the air of a very serene well ordered gallery -- excellent art work is showcased everywhere.

Very impressive catalogue of illustrious alumnae from 1870s to the present day including Ethel Williams, doctor, suffragist and social reformer; Wendy Vernon-Browne, Chief Wren; Dr Miriam Stoppard, businesswoman, journalist and broadcaster; Jenny Lucas, professional golfer; Canon Mary Mingins, chaplain to the late Queen Elizabeth II and Nicola Candlish, CEO of British Youth Opera.

Pastoral care, inclusivity and discipline

Strong pastoral system based on heads of year plus a full time nurse and counsellor who work across the senior and junior schools. Girls we met were very socially aware, the majority aspired to jobs in socially helpful careers. Pupil forum has a significant input here, the girls said ‘the staff want to listen to us.' For every job interview there is a pupil panel without a member of staff present. Thriving LGBTQ+ groups, and when we asked about support for trans students, both pupils and staff were clear this wasn’t an issue and would simply be a matter of course. The girls were all consulted about the ‘everyone’s invited’ agenda. The alumnae were also surveyed about their experiences in the school. All this was used to help develop the PSHE agenda. They certainly do listen. The behaviour we saw was exemplary, there’s a relaxed but very purposeful atmosphere. According to the last head, 'There aren’t many specific rules but we have very high expectations and trust and girls live up to this 99 per cent of the time.' Our tour of the school suggested this was the case. One of the things that struck us was that every girl who was supposed to meet with us was on time, clearly not primed to say everything in the garden was rosy and genuinely fond of and inspired by their school. Buckets of enthusiasm and joie de vivre and not a whiff of arrogance. Parents said, ‘It’s a girls’ school so there will always be friendship issues, but school does what it can and is good at getting the girls to find their own way to solutions.'

Impressive new dining area has the feel of a university eatery; girls play a strong part in determining the food offer and have recently instigated ‘no meat Wednesdays’ for all as a celebration of cultural diversity and as part of environmental awareness. House competitions are whole school not just sport, drama, maths challenge, music, debating and more. Houses are led by senior girls and are an integral part of school life.

While the school has some beautiful outside spaces it is constrained by its site and some of the girls felt that despite the fabulous facilities there isn’t a lot of space to go and hang out with friends at break and lunchtime, especially as the playing fields are a 10-minute walk away.

Pupils and parents

Pupils are extremely positive about their school and appreciate the strong mix of academic and co-curricular. ‘It’s more relaxed than some other schools,’ they say. ‘There are so many opportunities with non academic subjects like drama, no one aspect is more important than any other.' ‘There’s a good balance between sports and the arts and community is really important.’

NHSG is situated in the middle of leafy Jesmond, one of Newcastle's more affluent areas. Parents are a mixed bunch but mostly middle class professionals, medics and university lecturers. Plenty of mums who were pupils at the predecessor schools, a lot who are buying into the independent sector for the first time and also several we spoke to who chose this school because girls achieve well but in a less pressured atmosphere than some nearby competitors. Mini bus service (extra cost) runs along seven routes encompassing Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland and Durham and there are shared school bus services into the Tyne Valley.

Money matters

Fees include lunches and all non residential trips; school buses charged separately. Ten per cent of girls are on means-tested bursaries supported by the GDST. Scholar awards of up to 50 per cent fee remission are offered in year 7 on the basis of performance in the entrance examination. In addition there are exhibition awards of up to £1,000 a year for girls who show particular skill and passion in dance, drama, music or sport. There are also scholar awards of up to 50 per cent remission for year 12 girls of high academic ability. In addition, The Reece Foundation funds a number of sixth form bursaries for potential engineers joining from state schools.

The last word

High quality teaching and learning, a broad modern curriculum and every kind of opportunity and challenge. NHSG equips girls to take on a fast changing world with confidence. Superb facilities, strong pastoral care and a very obvious commitment to inclusivity tailored to girls’ needs and interests. It’s a pretty compelling package.

Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

All pupils participate in virtually all mainstream lessons and each teacher has responsibility for ensuring that the needs of every pupil are met. There is an integrated system of support operating within the school designed to cater for individual needs. The SENCO co-ordinates this facility, provides effective liaison between staff, students and parents on these issues, and manages the input, usually on a private contract basis, of outside agencies and specialist staff who are skilled at teaching those with dyslexia or other needs. Limited in-house provision may be available to students on bursaries. A dedicated Learning Centre, equipped with PC's loaded with specialist software, is available for those students who require supplementary support.

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