Building a reputation empowering girls to flourish

By Alison Sefton, Norwich High School for Girls
Norwich High School remains true to its founding principles – we offer girls excellence in education, experience and opportunity, and we have always been keen to embrace fun and allow them to flourish.
Published in Norfolk Director Magazine Summer | Autumn 2023

Education: Norwich High School for Girls

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It’s difficult to imagine a society without education for girls. In 1873, a group of Norwich citizens, discussing the lack of girls’ education in the city, were faced with such a society and approached the Girls’ Public Day School Trust. The result was Norwich High School for Girls, which opened on 22 February 1875 at Churchman House, St Giles, initially to 61 girls with Miss Benson as Headmistress.

Since that day, through our move to Assembly House in 1876, and then Newmarket Road from 1932, we have upheld our founding principles and reputation as experts in educating girls. Reputation continues to be cited as the main reason given by prospective parents considering the school.

So what contributes to building and maintaining a good reputation in a competitive market?

I believe it’s our unique girls-first environment, warm community spirit and focus on wellbeing, which lets students be themselves and supports them in following their own pathways. As an all-through school, we provide continuity, a comprehensive and shared approach to learning, mutual values, and consistently high expectations from every member of the school community.

Our strongly inclusive culture is led by students who have a limitless outlook. There are no gender stereotypes to conform to; students are bold in their choices. Our inspirational staff support students to find their niche. Our outward looking girls contribute to and benefit from our wider community. We are committed to sharing our facilities, expertise and time, creating opportunities for collaboration beyond our own students.

We have built a strong communications platform through our campaign, ‘Made by Girls’, celebrating the bold, confident and curious individuals who make our school such a special place. Working initially with Norwich agency, borne, the campaign puts the student at the centre of the creative. Norwich High School is the facilitator, in an environment which empowers girls – our students were also involved in the campaign’s creative development.

The approach is working. In December, we were named The Sunday Times East Anglian Independent Secondary School Of The Year in the 2023 Parent Power League. The school was commended for jumping 141 places in the national ranking since 2019.

I feel very proud to be the Head at Norwich High School and am inspired every day by all the members of our community. As we work towards our 150th anniversary in 2025, I am confident that the foundations we have built and work to reinforce will endure and continue to contribute positively to our school community, the Norwich community and beyond.

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Alison Sefton, Head of Norwich High School for Girls

T: 01603 453265

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