Newcastle High School for Girls looks to region's past to plot future

A new school formed by the merger of two private girls schools has announced details of its house system

Pupils from Central High and Church High in their new House colours
Pupils from Central High and Church High in their new House colours

A new school formed by the merger of two private girls schools has been looking to the past as it plots its future.

Newcastle High School for Girls, which is being formed by the merger of Central High and Church High, is creating new houses within the school which take their names from Tyneside’s maritime tradition.

The houses - which provide pastoral care for the school’s pupils- are named Acadia, Carpathia, Mauretania and Turbinia: all ships built on the Tyne.

The theme for the houses was decided on after a selection process among girls and staff at both schools. Other contenders included local landmarks, rivers, wildlife, hills and pits.

Headmistress Hilary French said: “We are delighted that the girls have selected these impressive feats of engineering built on the Tyne to represent the four houses of our new school. The spirit of innovation, teamwork and endeavour which went into their design and construction, and the ships themselves, embody a set of values that our girls all have in abundance.

Emma Dodd and Kate Hindmarsh with archived ship plans
Emma Dodd and Kate Hindmarsh with archived ship plans
 

“These range from a sense of adventure, strength and exploration to their creativity, determination and success.

“It is fitting that the house names for Newcastle High are underpinned by the regional history given that both Central and Church High were both founded in the mid-1880s and have strong links to Tyneside’s heritage. The maritime theme also links to our seahorse symbol adopted for the new school and underpins our intention to build on our already strong links with the city and the North East.”

The house system has been established in both existing schools since the 1920s and has evolved to form an important part of each school’s pastoral care system.

This ethos will be taken forward to Newcastle High School where the houses will provide a means for girls to interact and share experiences across all year groups, and create a supportive network where younger girls can seek help from older girls.

L-R Pia Gupta, 10, Church High & April Faldon, 10, Church High
L-R Pia Gupta, 10, Church High & April Faldon, 10, Church High
 

The house system also offers leadership opportunities and encourages friendly rivalry through activities encompassing sport, music, drama, dance and academic endeavour. Pupils and staff at the new school will each be allocated to one of the new houses.

Year Five girls from both Central and Church High visited the Discovery Museum this week to see the original Turbinia – the world’s first steam turbine-powered ship – and learn more about the Tyne’s shipping past.

Carolyn Ball, Discovery Museum manager, said: “We were thrilled when we heard that Newcastle High School for Girls had decided to showcase the region’s rich maritime history through their new House names. These four iconic ships feature prominently in our museum and archives collections and it seemed only fitting that we invited the girls to Discovery Museum to find out more about the ships that will become an everyday feature of their school life.”

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