Insights into life at Norwich High Sixth Form from our Year 13 leavers

Posted on 30th April 2024

Year 13 leavers at Norwich High School for Girls Sixth Form.

As we get ready for our current Year 13 students to head off on their study leave next week, it has been great to speak to a few students about their experiences with us, what makes our Sixth Form so special, and what they will miss about Norwich High after they leave.


“I joined in Reception back in 2010. I’m taking Maths, English Literature, French and an EPQ and will hopefully be going on to study a BSc in Economics at UCL. When I leave, the things I’ll miss will be the teaching, the ease with which everyone can share their opinions and present new ideas and the many Norwich High traditions.

Having been at a girls-only school for the entirety of my school life, I think the best thing about it is the confidence I have gained. In lessons there’s never a sense of embarrassment or fear to ask or answer questions and I have found that this has equally translated well outside of school, for example in a work experience environment.”

Selina continued: “The teachers are definitely the best part of the Sixth Form (and the school in general). Throughout my time at Norwich High, I have always found the teaching to be really valuable, and this was especially true during the GCSE years (and the same applies at A Level). The smaller class sizes at Sixth Form alongside the incredible teaching is what motivated me to stay at the school for Sixth Form. Because of the small class sizes, the teachers are able to know the students really well and so lessons are always really enjoyable and interesting. The teachers here are able to really tailor the lessons to each students’ learning style.

There’s lots on offer at Norwich High in preparing for university and higher education. I was able to hear about essay competitions and virtual talks relating to the subject I want to study at university, which became really important when I had to write my personal statement. I also feel like each one of my teachers helped significantly when I was applying for university by giving advice with my personal statement in particular.

On a practical level, the school always offers talks and external speakers who have taught us about things such as life at university and what to remember before going, how taxes work, and even what happens when you want to buy a house. I’m also sure that the confidence gained in an academic environment will be sustained once I leave.

I was lucky enough to go on a trip to Paris twice (once in Year 12 and again in Year 13) as part of French A Level. These were by far the most transformative experiences because I was able to practise my spoken French with people native to the language. The trips were also extremely valuable because we were able to speak to people who were experts in fields that we study as part of the course (such as cinema, charity, immigration and culture). These trips really helped to boost my confidence, not only in speaking a new language but also with general communication skills.”


“I have been at Norwich High since joining in Year 2. I have always enjoyed being at Norwich High so it felt a natural progression to stay on for Sixth Form. I also knew my teachers really well and this helped me be able to focus on my A Level subjects; Biology, Chemistry and Maths. I have developed a keen interest in STEM and have enjoyed the extra curricular activities available from lunchtime societies to our science showcase events and helping with fun lab science sessions offered to local primary school children.

I am really interested in Dentistry and have a place to study this at Manchester University, which I’m really looking forward to. I have also been awarded an Army Scholarship having attended the Officer Selection Board at Westbury. This allows me a place to train at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst straight after University. I am really excited and looking forward to pursuing a career as a Dentist in the British Army.”

Annalise continued: “Norwich High has given me courage, the confidence to tackle new challenges, the ability to work hard and the tools to focus and push myself to reach my goals. The Sixth Form has helped me prepare for life after school by giving me the essential tools from helpful career talks to interview preparation sessions and guidance on the many skills we will need going forward. This has been supported by help from the GDST alumnae network. In particular I remember a talk when I was in Year 3 from an alumna who was working as a Dentist. Her fascinating talk really inspired me; sparking my interest in science and then as a career path as I got older.

In Sixth Form I have had the role of Co-Director of our Big Sister programme. This was something that I enjoyed as it was really rewarding being able to offer help and support to our younger girls. It pushed me to gain confidence in organisational tasks and also have the ability to speak in front of a variety of assemblies and organised group sessions.

I have really enjoyed this environment. I have always felt confident to ask questions in class and we have so many opportunities to study an array of subjects in areas that can be considered as more male-dominated. The best thing about the Sixth Form is the community spirit and the rapport we have with our teachers and form tutor. I will miss the Norwich High community once I leave as it feels like one big family!”


“I joined Norwich High in Year 9 and have stayed into the Sixth Form. I was very happy at Norwich High during the Senior School, and felt that moving away from people and a place I knew and was comfortable in would not be the right move when going into such an important phase of education. The opportunities available in Sixth Form, including the various Captaincies and leadership roles also really appealed to me, as did the small class sizes and wide variety of subject options available. I have enjoyed the combination of the friendly community, countless opportunities, and hot chocolate!

I’m taking Music, History and Psychology, plus an EPQ in Year 12 on handwriting and typing in UK Primary Schools. Throughout my time in school I developed a wide variety of interests, from becoming much more interested in academic music to being a driver for the school’s F24 team!”

Zara continued: “I’m (hopefully!) going to study Music at the University of Manchester in 2025. Before that I am taking a gap year with the aim of gaining as much experience as possible of what life could be like as a freelance musician, as well as developing my technical and performance skills on my instruments. After that I’m hoping to study for a Masters in performance at a Conservatoire, and then hopefully I will make a life out of either performing or teaching music (or both!).

Norwich High has supported me through various sessions focused on careers, university, apprenticeship and gap year options, as well as through individual meetings to discuss what potential routes and opportunities could be available in my areas of interest. I benefited from the opportunity to have a mock university interview with a member of staff at another GDST school, providing me with experience of the interview format and valuable feedback and advice going forwards to my university interviews themselves.

Throughout Sixth Form we have had various assemblies, talks etc on the skills we will likely need in our futures, both academically and practically, and these are all very helpful not just because of the content we get at the time, but also because of the conversations that they stimulate within and outside of school.

For me, the most transformative opportunities I have had during Sixth Form came from music; I had the opportunity to take a leadership role as co-Music Captain which developed my confidence and leadership skills far beyond what I thought was possible. I was a soloist at the 2024 Choral Concert, which was an incredible experience that I’ll always be grateful for.

Education at Norwich High, especially in Sixth Form, has taught me that there is no such thing as not being ‘good enough’ to do something, and that if you want to do it then that means you can – there are no limits to what can be achieved if you put your mind to it.

The main thing that I’ll miss will obviously be all of the incredible people I’ve met through being at Norwich High, but I’ll also really miss the amazing opportunities that we get here, which are really what shape the Sixth Form.”


“I joined Norwich High in Nursery when I was three. Norwich High is such a welcoming and encouraging environment which helps students develop confidence to discuss their ideas and pursue their interests; the community is so kind and friendly and everyone supports each other so much.

I really liked how small the class sizes are in the Sixth Form and I thought that would be useful. Most of my friends also stayed for Sixth Form. Also, I thought it would be nice to study here since I am so familiar with the school, and before Sixth Form I had always looked forward to being in the Sixth Form building. I’m taking Further Maths, Maths, Physics and Chemistry. I think the Further Maths certificate I was able to take at GCSE helped me develop my interest in maths, and inspired me to take Further Maths for A Level, which was a decision I am very happy I made!”

Shaana added: “After school, I will hopefully study Maths at University. In Sixth Form, I have received a lot of guidance and resources, such as webinars and talks I could attend, to help me find what I wanted to study after school. In addition, the GDST network has allowed me to take part in the Space Technology program where I learnt about how coding is used in astrophysics research. It was fascinating to see how coding was used in this area of science, and I was able to connect with students in other GDST schools.”