Nurturing teachers to inspire students

By Alison Sefton, Norwich High School for Girls
Examination results will always be an important factor in choosing the right school. However, more and more, when I chat to parents, they talk about the environment they want for their daughters.

Published in Norfolk Director Magazine Winter 2023|24

Education: Alison Sefton, Norwich High School for Girls

They want somewhere where they can grow and learn beyond the classroom and become future-ready; where they can experience opportunities that enable them to leave school as confident, ambitious and positive individuals. They want them to thrive and to be the best version of themselves.

Our approach to teaching encompasses a strong learning ethos that focuses on girls developing independence and confidence in their learning.

To support this approach, we are lucky to have a team of dedicated teaching staff. A great teacher is someone who cares about their students and wants to see them succeed, but they also need to be adaptable and open-minded to developments, not only in education, but in the wider world.

“There is an amazing community feel here – amongst staff and with the students too. I have never worked in a school with this supportive, friendly and proactive atmosphere before.”
Norwich High staff member

However, in order for a teacher to nurture their students, they too need to feel nurtured by their work environment.

Our staff training benefits from our joined up approach to our learning ethos from Nursery to Sixth Form. In order to prepare our girls for the future, we need to ensure that all of our teachers continue to be aware of developments that will impact the way your daughters live and work in the future.

Our teachers are connected beyond Norwich High School for Girls, engaging in academic and pastoral groups across the Girls’ Day School Trust who look at key developments in their subject areas and share resources and ideas to support our broader community of students.

Hazel Packer, Director of Sixth Form

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“I’ve spent nearly all of my teaching career at Norwich High working in different roles before taking on the Director of Sixth Form role in 2012. Very early on in my time here I had senior members of staff offering me the opportunities to gain more responsibility. I am now being supported through a master’s degree alongside my role on the Senior Leadership Team.”

Matthew Bradshaw, Assistant Head (Academic)

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“In September of 2021 I made an application to the IGCS Global Action Research Collaborative, a two-year programme where Action Researchers from across the globe come together to train, share experiences and research on key aspects of educational change and development. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to the International Coalition of Girls Schools Global Forum in both Boston and Cleveland.”

Louise Ryan, Head of Product Design and Norwich High alumna

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“Coming back to Norwich High seventeen years after I left Sixth Form, it has been incredible how much the special atmosphere of the school has still had an impact on me. I am now undertaking a Level 5 Middle Leaders development programme this academic year alongside my teaching and Form Tutor responsibilities.”


“As a member of staff of Norwich High I feel valued, which in turn allows me to
be in a prime position to add value in what I give back.”
Norwich High Prep School staff member


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Get in touch

Alison Sefton, Head of Norwich High School for Girls
T: 01603 453265
Or visit

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