We recognise that each individual has her own dreams and we enable every pupil to reach her goals aspirations. We don't just prepare students for academic success when they leave us, they carry more than just a fine set of A Levels; they are confident and purposeful students who are ready for a bright future and equipped to take their place in the world.
A cockroach, a millipede, a tarantula and a python all join Portsmouth High's Y6
Zoolab enabled classroom encounters of a different kind for Portsmouth High School students.
12th October 2021 — Science lessons came alive for Year 6 yesterday when some unusual visitors came to their lesson.
Philip the cockroach, Sushi the millipede, Buttercup the tarantula and Dolly the python were just a few of the animals from Zoolab who joined the class for a lesson on the science of classification.
What is classification, how do we group animals and why? The answers to these key questions became clearer as the lesson progressed and the girls had the chance to see and touch real-life animal examples to enhance their understanding.
The girls explored the characteristics of the classes of animals and uncovered many of their differences and similarities themselves. Workshop activities encouraged the class to consider wider scientific concepts and relate physical and behavioural characteristics to species survival or extinction.
Lola in Year 6 said:
'I had a lot of fun today holding the animals and finding out all about them. My favourite was the giant African land snail because he was so cute and slimy. His name was Gary.'
Senior school science teacher Mrs Morgan said:
'It is a pleasure to teach Year 6 and it was lovely to see how enthusiastic the girls were when they saw the wide variety of creatures. They were very brave holding them and asked lots of interesting questions. The visit from Zoolab provided us with an in-depth insight into our topic that we are currently studying and allowed an experiential and interactive learning opportunity for the girls. It was an unforgettable experience.'
Portsmouth High School - Lauren Steadman shares her Paralympic success
Paralympic Gold Medalist visits Portsmouth High School Prep School
8th October 2021 — Just back from Tokyo 2020, Paralympic Gold Medalist Lauren Steadman made Portsmouth High Prep School’s assembly her first school stop to share her phenomenol Olympic success.
Lauren is a British Paralympic athlete who has competed in four summer Paralympics, in both swimming and paratriathlon. She competed in Beijing (2008) and London (2012) as a swimmer before switching to the paratriathlon for Rio (2016), where she won a silver medal, and to Tokyo (2020) where she won gold.
Fresh from the buzz of the games, Lauren shared both the tears and joys of training to be a Paralympic athlete.
‘I have spent many years of going to bed early, rising at 4.30am for training, a strict diet and being driven by my dream to win a gold medal’ said Lauren.
‘Mental resilience and determination are vital ingredients for success; if you aren’t good enough at first, keep trying and you will succeed.’
Lauren’s message was particularly relevant at the prep school’s morning assembly, which was led by Year 2 sharing their own personal experiences of failing and not being afraid to keeping on trying until they met with success.
Lauren said ‘It is an absolute pleasure to visit the prep school today to share how I achieved my Olympic success. It is so important to keep on trying and be resilient when things don’t go according to plan, whatever goal you are trying to reach. It has been a joy to see the delight on the girls’ faces at seeing a gold medal and I hope I have inspired them to follow their dreams, whatever it takes.’
Portsmouth High School, GDST: 'Students here learn that there is no limit to what they can achieve,' says Chair of Governors
Portsmouth High School students receive awards for achievements in an extraordinary year
17th September 2021 — Portsmouth High School’s senior students were the proud recipients of achievement awards, certificates and cups this week as friends, family, pupils and staff from the school gathered for an evening of celebration. The evening was attended by many VIPs including the Lord and Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth, the Deputy Lord Mayor, the Mayors of Fareham and Gosport, Stephen Morgan MP, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement and Student Life, University of Portsmouth and Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education, Councillor Suzy Horton.
Last year’s leavers returned to school to receive their awards before starting at universities later this month. Courses they are taking range from Oceanography with Physical Geography to Medicine, International Relations, Business and Law.
The guest speaker was Mrs Krysia Butwilowska, Chair of Governors. Mrs Butwilowska, talked to the audience about success:
‘Success is not final, an end in itself, failure by the way is not fatal and it’s the courage to continue that counts.
‘At this school there is a continuing focus on well-being and helping to build resilience and leadership skills, thus enabling each student to become the best version of themselves because each one matters. The students learn that there is no limit to what they can achieve.
‘Remember, even the greatest achievers were once beginners.’
The evening heard speeches from the school’s cyber ambassadors, Holly and Isabella, who share skills on cyber safety and social media awareness with the younger pupils, last year’s Deputy Head Girl, Ruby, who spoke about taking part in the trials for the Great British Skeleton Bobsleigh team as well as Lauren who spoke about sustainability in school.
Achievements were celebrated across the older year groups and girls received awards from sports and drama colours to Duke of Edinburgh Awards, music cups, social responsibility prizes and academic year prizes.
Holly, Year 13, received the newly announced Alisha Zaman Memorial Sixth Form Talent Scholarship. This award has been established by annual donations from the family of the late Alisha Jenni Zaman, a student at Portsmouth High School 2004-2017 in loving memory of her time and growing up as a student from Year 1 to Year 13. This scholarship is inspired by Alisha’s wish to give something back to her school where she passed her childhood and early adulthood.
Also in her name, the Alisha Zaman Memorial Best Art Prize, was awarded to Tabby, now in Year 12.
‘I am so pleased to receive this scholarship in Alisha’s name,’ said Holly. ‘I feel very honoured and grateful.’
The Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Jonas, said:
‘It is, once again, wonderful to see the girls recognised for their achievements and they are all such an enormous credit to Portsmouth High School.’
Stephen Morgan, MP, added,
‘Young people across our city have worked incredibly hard despite the pandemic and continue to do so in these unprecedented times. It has been a pleasure to recognise this and celebrate achievements of all the girls at Portsmouth High School at their Senior Awards event.’
Happy memories of school days evoked as alumnae return to Portsmouth High School
Alumnae from Portsmouth High School, GDST, met up for nostalgia, tours and lunch to remember happy school days at their former school.
13th September 2021 — Up to fifty years since they had left Portsmouth High School, alumnae from the Classes of 1970, 71, 80, 81, 90, 91, 2000, 2001, 2010 and 2011 returned for lunch and tours of the Senior and Prep schools last weekend. The day was hosted by Headmistress, Mrs Jane Prescott, with tours led by the current Head Girls and Senior Prefects.
The ladies rekindled old friendships and reminisced about the times they had spent at school. They made the journey to return to school from as far afield as Edinburgh.
‘It was wonderful to relive stories as we walked around familiar school corridors,’ said Mrs Sue Morvan, née Gamblin, who was Head Girl in 1980. ‘Walking around the school triggered so many memories which we could share with each other, laugh and remember some who are no longer with us.’
‘It was astonishing to see how much has improved and changed and what amazing facilities are now in place for art, sports, drama and science,’ added Mrs Kitty Love, née Gibbs.
Miss Barbara Davies, Class of 1990, discovered the very same Owl costume that she had worn in 1986 when she performed in The Owl and the Pussycat. ‘It’s timeless,’ she said, ‘and evoked so many happy memories. There it was hanging up in the drama studio all ready for the next performance featuring an owl.’
Miss Alison Hawkesworth, from the same Class of 1990, remembered the Great Storm of 1986. ‘We were in an English class and there was an enormous crash and the rain had pooled so much on the roof that some of the ceiling came down. Luckily nobody was hurt but we had to move our classroom for months whilst repairs were carried out.’
‘It was so interesting to meet the alumnae and hear stories about their time at school,’ said Head Girl, Annalee, 17. ‘They talked about the differences in not just the buildings but the classroom layouts and the ways of learning and teaching now. I am very excited when our year group returns in ten years’ time. It was such a privilege to meet them.’
‘It was such a happy day,’ added Senior Prefect, Thalia, 17. ‘It was a lovely opportunity to talk to the ladies about their time at PHS and show them around. They weren’t always good though. Mrs Marilyn Hood, née White, from the Class of 1970, told me that they remembered the studio as their main hall and they all used to stamp their feet up on the balcony in assembly because they didn’t want to be there. Another alumna said they used to make prank phone calls from a phone booth in the old entrance to the school.’
Mrs Jane Prescott, Headmistress of Portsmouth High School, added:
‘As always it is wonderful to have our alumnae return to school. They bring with them a host of memories and stories and have rekindled friendships. As they told us, the ethos of the school remains the same today; to educate and inform but have lots of fun on that journey too.’
Portsmouth High School GDST - GCSE results - 'the girls should be proud to celebrate their successes'
Girls at Portsmouth High School, GDST, celebrated their GCSE successes this morning.
12th August 2021 — Girls at Portsmouth High School GDST were celebrating this morning after receiving their GCSE results.
‘This year, once again, has been very challenging for our GCSE students but they have worked so hard and should be proud to celebrate their successes,’ said Headmistress, Mrs Jane Prescott.
Mrs Katie Wood, Head of Year 11, added:
‘We are so proud of the incredible resilience and determination showed by these pupils particularly over the last two years of GCSE studies, the majority of which has been hugely disrupted. They have risen to every challenge, worked quickly to acclimatise to new teaching and learning methods with their characteristic good humour and ‘can do’ attitudes. They have supported each other and remained positive throughout this whole process. They deserve every success today and as they embark on their A-Level studies; they are a truly remarkable cohort.
Twins Tabby and Tilly, 16, were thrilled with their results with 5 A*s, 14 9s and an 8 between them.
Tabby said: ‘I’m extremely happy with my results. All my hard work was worth it. I’m really grateful or the support from my amazing teachers. Thank you!’ Tilly added: ‘I’m thrilled with mine too and their reflection of all the effort I put into exams and classwork.’
Tasia, 16, was celebrating with a string of 9s, 8s, A*s and As. ‘I was not expecting these results and am so pleased,’ she said. ‘I’m going to be staying at Portsmouth High School for Sixth Form studying, physics, mathematics and chemistry.’
Diyaa, 16, too, was celebrating with 9s, 8s and A*s. ‘It’s been a hard year but we’ve all managed to get through and I am just so delighted with these results and so happy for everyone. I’m going to be taking mathematics chemistry and sociology with possibly a thought to being a pharmacist in the future. I’m now off to a celebratory lunch with friends and a meal out with family tonight.’
‘I am so pleased with my results of a mix of 9s, 8s an 7s,’ said Sophie. ‘I’m off to celebrate with family for a meal. I’m staying at Portsmouth High School to study biology, chemistry and geography for A Levels and really excited about coming back in September’
Annice, with a mix of A*s, 9s and 7s, added: ‘I am really excited about coming back for Sixth Form to study geography, psychology and sociology. My friends have played a massive part in making the last couple of years enjoyable. The teachers have been so supportive and have always been just an email away and so helpful.’
Mrs Jane Prescott, added: We are delighted that our students can celebrate their hard work and we look forward to welcoming them back to Portsmouth High School Sixth Form in September.’
Portsmouth High School GDST – from mathematics to medicine – pupils move to the next stage of their educational journey
Portsmouth High School GDST pupils enjoy success on A Level Results day.
10th August 2021 — Despite another extraordinary year surrounding the A Level results, it has been tremendously successful for Portsmouth High School students.
‘After a second year of coping with COVID-19 the students have shown how resilient they are and how a pandemic has not deterred them from pursuing their onward journeys,’ said Headmistress, Mrs Jane Prescott.
Isobel Seal, 18, was awarded A*A A, and is heading to Nottingham University to read Veterinary Medicine. ‘I have always wanted to be a vet since I was about 4 years old,’ said Isobel. ‘I love animals and I love science so this is a dream come true.’
Phoebe Carlile, 18, a St John Ambulance Cadet and the Lord Lieutenant’s cadet in 2020, was awarded 3 As and an A in her EPQ. Phoebe was offered a place to read medicine at St George’s in London. ‘Being the Lord Lieutenant’s cadet was a great opportunity to represent St John Ambulance and was a fantastic experience to be able to talk about at my interviews for university,’ said Phoebe.
Hannah Woods, 18, was awarded a place at Durham to read mathematics having been awarded 3 A*s. ‘This last year has been a challenge,’ said Hannah. ‘It was very nerve-wracking not really knowing how the exams would work but I am so excited that I have got my place at Durham.’
Mahera Chowdhury, 18, was overjoyed to have her place at Kings College London secured with 2 A*s and an A and an A in her EPQ. ‘I am going to read International Relations but today I am going to enjoy the sun and the seaside,’ she said.
Ruby Dale, 18, with 2 A*s and an A, hopes to join the Royal Navy. Ruby applied for the Olympic British Bobsleigh team this year and got down to the last 22 but unfortunately broke her arm in the final trials. ‘The team have asked me to apply again for the Olympics in 2030 so I might well do that,’ said Ruby.
Head of Sixth Form, Mr Rob Smith, said:
‘A key part of Portsmouth High School's A Level offer this summer was a programme of pre-university courses and seminars rolled out for all Year 13 pupils. It was devised in a bid to focus the energy pupils would have used for revision, in a proactive bid to prepare them for further education. The initiative brought more than 1,000 students together from across the Girls' Day School Trust.’
Mrs Prescott, Headmistress of Portsmouth High School added:
‘The pupils, aided by the experienced staff, leave Portsmouth High School equipped for the next stage in their journeys and ready for university, the world of work and for life.’