Welcome to the Year 8 page. Read our blog below for all the latest Year 8 news. You will find key documents at the bottom of this page.
Mr C Fulwell
Head Of Year 8
Wednesday 28th March- End of Term
Tomorrow will bring the end of Term 4 and another Whole School Assembly, during which many of the achievements of girls of all years will be celebrated and we will also say an official goodbye to Year 11.
I feel I could run an entire hour's assembly on Year 8 and all the excellent work they produce and, more importantly, the superb attitude with which they approach this work.
An example of this is the fish I saw 8 SXM creating with Miss Thursfield; I had to stop the group and photograph them as I was delighted with the designs in front of me as well as Miss Thursfield's description of the group as 'consistently fantastic'. Well done girls!
I wish everyone in Year 8 a well-deserved break and I look forward to seeing you all again in the middle of April.
Wednesday 21st March- Year 8 Continue To Impress
Every day I am reminded of how fortunate I am; the young people in my year group are fantastic, hard-working and friendly and I was privileged to spend some time in quite a few lessons today.
During my visit to Year 8 Science lessons I saw girls discussing the properties of ceramics, analysing the materials used to make buildings throughout the centuries, delving into the chromosomes of the human body (not literally!) and engaging in a lively game in Mr Low-Hong's class where the girls were visually demonstrating whether two magnets would attract or repel each other (pictured- some excellent 'A' and 'R' shapes).
I then had time to visit 8 AEK in History where each table represented a different country around the time of the Treaty of Versailles; under the watchful eye of Miss Tilling there were some excellent discussions taking place. Finally, in Drama, Miss Druce was overseeing some wonderful (and hilarious) mime work with 8 SXD; Eden and Rose were at the pinnacle of a rather energetic performance (pictured) when I walked in. I'm sure we can all empathise with Rose's character's exhaustion at this stage of the term!
Passing Cockcroft Hall I paused and saw the hard-work going into this evening's Spring Concert (pictured) and had the absolute joy of listening to Dotty singing: 'If I Ain't Got You' by Alicia Keys.
I am very proud to be Head of such a terrific, talented, hard-working and resilient Year Group- well done girls!
Announcement: Deadline For Options Forms Extended
In light of the rearranged Parents' Evening we have decided to extend the deadline for the return of the Options forms until Friday 23rd March. I am really impressed with the level of thought and dedication that I have witnessed and the conversations that so many of Year 8 have already had with me about their Options and their future; Year 8 are an educational force to be reckoned with!
Friday 9th March- Year 8 get involved with illustrator Pam Smy
Illustrator, Pam Smy, visits DGS to talk about her book 'Thornhill'
On Thursday 8th March, Pam Smy visited Didcot Girls’ School to talk to Year 8 students about her book, ‘Thornhill’. Pam has provided the beautiful illustrations to accompany many novels, including some by the award-winning author, Linda Newbery. ‘Thornhill’ is a wonderfully gothic book, inspired in-part by some of Pam’s own favourite novels, most notably ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett, as well as Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’. Pam weaves together two narratives, one told as diary entries from a girl writing in 1982, and the other told through a series of haunting black and white illustrations of a girl living in 2017. Students were fascinated to hear about the painstaking hours Pam lovingly spent researching, sketching and model-making, before arriving at the finished piece that is now ‘Thornhill’.
Following this, some Year 8 students took part in a workshop with Pam, focusing on showing emotion in illustration. Students learned about the importance of symbolism and produced some beautiful work conveying a wide range of feelings.
Over lunch time, students were able to meet Pam and buy copies of her book, which she signed and dedicated to them. We were lucky enough to get one of the library’s copies of ‘Thornhill’ signed too! The students were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet Pam and take a closer look at her models and sketch books, as well as ask any questions there hadn’t been time to ask during the talk.
Pam’s visit was the perfect highlight for International Women’s Day 2018, with the illustrator sharing inspirational advice on following your dreams, being confident with who you are and being true to yourself.
‘Thornhill’ is available to borrow from the school library. It has been nominated for the 2018 Oxfordshire Book Awards, and the prestigious Kate Greenaway Award for illustration.
Wednesday 7th March- Superb Netball Effort from Year 8
On Wednesday 7th March, DGS competed at the U13 County Schools Netball tournament in Oxford. The sun was shining and the girls were really looking forward to playing lots of netball. The team included many Year 8 girls. Results from the first round were as follows:
Oxford High 10 - 3 WIN
St Helens & St Katherine's 0 - 8 LOSS
Cokethorpe 7 - 1 WIN
The Dragon School 6 - 3 WIN
Tudor Hall 6 - 1 WIN
Lord Williams 10 - 1 WIN
Bloxham 10 - 2 WIN
The team played some really impressive netball in the first round of games, with lots of interceptions, turnovers and super shooting! We were placed 2nd in our pool and qualified to compete in the semi-final against Headington School. It was a highly competitive game and the final score was 11-2 to Headington. The team showcased a quality level of netball today, earning themselves some fantastic results! We received some lovely comments from both officials and coaches about how well the team played, they really were fantastic DGS ambassadors. DGS were placed 3rd out of 16 schools in Oxfordshire, an outstanding result which the team should be extremely proud of!
Congratulations to Charlotte Taylor, Emma Park, Lily-May Carpenter, Charlotte Lambert, Laura Millar, Rebecca Agg, Millie Jones, Katie Woods, Ellie Coster and Celena Appleby-Prince.
Monday 5th March - Year 8 PCE re-scheduled
Due to the disruption caused by the snow last week, the Year 8 PCE for students in 8FLM, 8SXD, 8LJC, 8AEK & 8NSG scheduled for Thursday 1st March was postponed. Apologies for any inconvenience caused but safety for all concerned was paramount.
Friday 23rd February- Community Spirit and Initiative from Erin Kelly 8 AEK
I was delighted to find out that Erin Kelly in 8 AEK had received a letter from Layla Moran, her MP. Erin had written to Ms Moran to draw attention to the amount of litter at the side of the A34 and was surprised to find that she had been sent a reply! Erin has been invited to the Houses of Parliament where Ms Moran has said she'd be delighted to host Erin and her family for a visit. I am very proud of our Year Group both on a day-to-day basis and at key moments like this: well done Erin!
What do tarmac, plastic bottles, camping gas and petrol have in common? Miss Carter's Year 8 Science class learned how these products and many others are all obtained from crude oil in an excellent workshop on 5th December run by Dave Taylor and Bernadeta Pochopien from BP. The class explored the properties of liquids, examined samples of various oil products, and used role-play to consider the pros and cons of building an oil refinery. In under an hour everyone had learned to appreciate the important role that oil products play in our lives as well as understanding why we need to conserve this precious resource.
We are very grateful to Dave and Bernadeta for giving up their time to provide this opportunity for Year 8.
January 2018- Update from 8 LJC
Hello, we are Maddie and Sophie, two of the year 8 form captains. We want to inform you of the events and achievements of 8 LJC so far.
At the start of the year some students were selected to talk to their local primary schools about the progress and standards of Didcot Girls along with a senior member of staff. We talked about our experiences and why students should consider attending DGS in the future.
Our activities in tutor time are determined by a weekly schedule. So far, our tutor group has borrowed just over 300 books from the library since September and finished over 150! We use our reading chart on our tutor board to keep track of our progress and encourage each other to keep reading. We are looking forward to writing book reviews in the future on the books that we have particularly enjoyed and would recommend.
Every Friday we have a general knowledge quiz written by our quiz monitors. We split into teams and try to get the most points. We are also excited for the return of our tutor group pets, Ace the bearded dragon and our snakes, George and Fanta.
We hope this has given you a taste of our year so far and we are certain that 2018 will bring many more opportunities.
Year 8 Girls Volunteer To Clean The School Minibus
The weather may have been very cold recently but that hasn't stopped Carys Sharp, Clara Zabell and Emilia Forster from 8 FLM from getting stuck in and cleaning the school minibus; the girls didn't think the minibus lived up to the standard of the school so were proactive in their suggestion of cleaning it over the course of two tutor times. Well done girls: a real example of going above and beyond!
January 2018- Update from 8 LGM
This year, individuals in 8LGM have achieved some amazing things since September! Here is just a small selection of these achievements…
Maddi Claridge - Maddi has successfully received a bronze at the UK Tae Kwonv Do championships, for sparring. She has also raised and donated £1,150 to charity, for cutting 13 inches off her hair!
Emily Tinson – Emily has successfully given a homeless person a home. Well done Emily!
Jazmine Selby – after a small break, Jasmine has returned to kickboxing and is persevering and trying her hardest to get her brown belt. Good luck, Jazmine!
As a group, 8LGM have improved on things such as attendance and test marks, some people even scoring double marks than in their previous tests. Girls are even moving up sets; this is a huge achievement for us!
Overall, this year, we have seen 8LGM to be supportive and successful, and we are enjoying every moment! 8LGM has been described as welcoming to new members, friendly, supportive, ‘people looking out for each other’ and always happy. Well done 8LGM - we are sure great things are yet to come!
Jenifer Heard and Bekah Riley.
Impressive Charity Fundraising from Maddi Claridge 8 LGM
Madi decided to cut her hair for two very good causes. Firstly the hair is to be donated to The Little Princess Trust which make wigs for children suffering from cancer and alopecia. She had 13 inches cut off- quite the sacrifice!
Secondly the sponsorship money is going to be given to a couple who are now bringing up their 6 year old niece after her parents sadly passed away. Maddi and her fundraising group have raised over £980- a phenomenal achievement, well done Maddi!
January 2018- Updates from 8 LXM and 8 AEK
Happy New Year’s from 8 LXM!
2018 is finally here! After the long, relaxing Christmas holiday we kick off the first week of 2018 with a fresh new school year. With the start of a new year, we try to put our best foot forward and make promises that we intend to keep for the next 12 months. This new beginning is usually also started with a new year’s resolution. A new year’s resolution is almost like pressing the universal “reset” button on our old aims and goals which we might have already completed. These new resolutions help us to try and aim better every day, it’s more like a challenging aim or goal. As a tutor all of us like to try and push ourselves and try to work harder by challenging ourselves, here are some of our 2018 resolutions:
Make sure I’m more organised – Lottie Pink
My aim for 2018 is to revise more before tests and work harder on homework – Rebecca Agg
My Goal for 2018 is to be top midfielder scorer in my club - Talia Sanders
My resolution is to eat healthier and to exercise – Liberty Wicks
As a tutor and as a year group we have many successes but it is now a new year so we hope to do better, aim bigger and to try harder.
We aim above the mark to hit the mark – A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson
In 2018, 8 AEK have set ourselves out for a great year, striving to achieve greatness both inside and out of school. We have put together our new year’s resolutions to help make 2018 the best year yet. Our goals range from learning foreign languages, to swimming in British nationals, spending more time outside, reading more books, eating healthier and aiming to try new things.
Though we have our own personal goals, one thing we all would like to do is to put a positive spin on this year and not give up. Being more resilient with whatever life throws at us will help shape us into better stronger people.
Monday 4th December- High Standards for Year 8 in English
I had the privilege of visiting some Year 8 English lessons and was impressed at the quality of work as well as the concentration and work ethic I saw. In Mrs Martin's class I was informed that Miss Costar, our English intern, found the girls' analytical paragraphs to be at a standard not normally found until Year 10! In Mr Cross's class (pictured) I saw girls paying very close attention to a detailed analysis of Great Expectations with, of course, many colours of highlighter. Well done girls, keep up the hard work!
Monday 4th December- Celena Appleby-Prince 8 LXM Selected for England Fencing Squad
I am delighted to announce that Celena Appleby-Prince 8 LXM has been selected for the England Fencing U15 squad and will be competing at international level next year! Celena has shown she has very high expectations and works very hard to succeed. Here's a picture of Celena taking bronze in a recent competition. Well done Celena!
Tuesday 28th November- Fantastic Charity Work- Grace Abrams 8 SXD
It is always a pleasure to hear about the generosity of spirit shown by so many of our girls both inside and outside of school. I recently heard about a really lovely and selfless act by Grace Abrams in 8 SXD: Grace had a not inconsiderable amount of her hair cut off and donated it to The Little Princess Trust, a charity which makes real-hair wigs for children who have lost their own hair. To make such a decision is very impressive: well done, Grace!
December 2017- update from 8 NSG
On Friday 24th November it was Takeover day here at DGS! On Takeover day, you can apply to takeover a role/job in or out of school. This is always a great success and many students took part and had a great time. Me and my friend Freya Haines took over Deb, our School health nurse. We both had such a fun day and we feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to take her over. During the day, we made and presented an anti smoking campaign, outside Cockcroft hall. It was a big success and lots of people came to have a look, probably because we took it in turns to wear a giant cigarette costume! We would like to thank the year ten students who participated alongside us for being so nice. And of course, thank you Debs for making it such an enjoyable, fun day.
-Emily McBain 8 NSG
Friday 24th November- Update from 8 FLM
Term 1 has been an incredible start to the new year for 8 FLM! Engaging, Enthusiastic and competitive, FLM has set an example to all the other tutor groups especially the new year 7s.
The house opening ceremony got the whole school excited and we went mad with the dressing up and the competition! In the obstacle relay for year 8s we used team cooperation and won the relay, helping Adie win the competitions overall.
Our team spirit has pushed us to reading a lot in the ‘Challenging reads competition’ that the reading ambassadors are running alongside Mrs Barnes in the library. We are doing an excellent job with reading many challenging books, and we all love being read to by Miss Maiden in tutor time on Mondays.
Furthermore, in tutor time we have been getting creative with our colouring and have been attaching our pumpkin pictures, and now Christmas trees and snowflakes, to our decorated tutor board that is now filled with Christmas spirit!
FLM shows a confident and engaging spirit. The dance show was a huge success where we had a solo from our tutor group, and many confident students showed courage through auditioning for Grease, the whole school production. Three of our group have got through and are working hard for the show in February.
Emilia Forster, Anna Shorter, Rhiannon Barker and Clara Zabell took part in a dance presentation on Tuesday 21st November, and performing one solo, a trio and a big group dance between the four of them. They really appreciated the support of those who could attend as it was a fundraiser for Ellie in year nine to go and compete in the Tapathon Olympics.
Both Carys Sharp (form captain) and Emilia Forster (deputy form captain) are now engaging with lots of other students by running Socratic club for debating, and hope to soon compete with St. Birinus Boys’ school.
Overall a massive well done to 8FLM for their amazing achievements in only the first term.
Clara Zabell (deputy form captain)
Thursday 23rd November- Charity Secret Santa
It is a real pleasure to see and celebrate the year group in assembly every week and if I were tasked with documenting every single positive moment in the school life of every single girl in Year 8 I don’t think I’d ever leave my computer, however this particular assembly blew me away and I felt I had to share it. Megan Hughes (8NSG) and her older sister Courtney who is an ex-student of DGS organise a Christmas Charity Secret Santa every year for vulnerable people including those who may spend Christmas alone and/or in hospital. I was hugely impressed with the commitment of the girls; the campaign now receives and distributes approximately 6,500 gifts which is absolutely superb and really makes a difference to people’s lives at a time of year which can be very difficult. I’ve attached the presentation from the assembly and would urge you to have a look and donate if you can. Well done, Megan!
Monday 20th November- Update from 8 SXM
As Form Captains, we take on responsibilities that develop our leadership, commitment and organisation. During tutor time in the mornings we are sometimes given some extra tasks and responsibilities. We need to make sure that girls in our tutor group are happy and that everything is good. We lead activities within our tutor like ethos and games.
The school year is fantastic at the moment. Girls in our tutor group have been participating in the school's amazing activities such as science club, drama club, gymnastics, Burnet news club, basketball club, fencing, school productions and much more. We have asked the students in our tutor what they were proud of achieving this term and last term. We were really pleased in hearing that they have been advancing on the leadership ladder and earning many merits. Girls have said that they were proud of the homework that they are giving in and the amazing marks that they received for it. We have had many reports on the fact that they were doing their work both in and outside of school to the best of their ability. Girls have told us that they had thoroughly revised for assessments and were thrilled with their results. We were also told that the drama lessons that they have been attending have improved their confidence and they can perform with more assurance.
During tutor in the mornings we have the opportunity to read, work and develop confidence in ethos. Reading really contributes to our vocabulary and some of us have already read over 20 books!
Being Form Captains is an amazing opportunity that we thoroughly enjoy and love being part of.
By Auriane. A and Jazmin. O
Friday 17th November- More Year 8 Success
One of the best parts of my job as Head of Year is hearing about all the great things that Year 8 get up to outside of school; I'm really pleased that more and more girls are making the time to let me know about their interests and achievements.
Jeni Heard is one example of this: Jeni recently became the first junior female to earn a black belt in taekwondo from Phoenix Taekwondo Club. The determination and discipline which are required to earn this are not to be underestimated- well done Jeni!
Tuesday 14th November- A blog from 8 CRS
Welcome to the Year 8 Blog contribution from 8CRS.
This term we have come up with a class motto that represents the tutor of CRS: We are Creative, Resilient Students, we are CRS! Our attendance this term has been great and we have achieved 98% so far, putting us in 1st position on the Year 8 leader board. Our target as a year group is 97% so we are doing pretty well so far in ensuring that we are in school as much as possible.
The tutor group have been enjoying the new tutor time layout and have found the silent study time particularly useful for catching up on homework. We have created a homework chart which keeps track of the homework we have due, ensuring we meet all the deadlines.
On Monday mornings in reading time, CRS have collectively been reading, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” by Mark Haddon. As well as reading as a group, we are also recording the books that we have been reading at home too, on our reading chart. CRS are hoping to have read a total number of 150 books by Easter. Currently our total stands at 49.
The tutor group have been involved in a wide range of many different clubs including: Young Voices, Dance, Public Speaking, Gymnastics, Orchestra, Badminton and several members are on the School Council.
Monday 13th November
Sporting Success- Amber Luker 8 NSG
I was very proud to bump into Amber Luker this morning as she showed me her Silver Medal from the Uk Open Taekwondo Competition. I am always delighted to hear about students' efforts outside of school, sporting or otherwise. Well done, Amber!
Wednesday 1st November
Sporting Success- Celena Appleby-Prince 8 LXM
I am really pleased to report that Celena Appleby-Prince has had great success in fencing in recent weeks. Celena took part in the GB U17 Competition and placed in the top 16 out of 47 competitors; I was even more impressed when I learned that Celena was one of only three U13 gilrs in the competition. Well done Celena!
Tuesday 31st October
Student Success- Carys Sharp 8 FLM
I am delighted to report that Carys Sharp came first in the British Schools' Orienteering Championships Year 8 Girls Competition; I am very proud to say that we have a national champion in Year 8: well done Carys!
Tuesday 10th October
Year 8 Continue To Impress
I have been delighted with the Year 8 lessons I have had the privilege of visiting this week; the girls show a great attitude to learning and were working on some sophisticated mathematical concepts and, in music, some energetic performance work.
Every day as Head of Year 8 is a hugely rewarding one; I look forward to visiting more lessons in the coming weeks. Keep going, girls!
Tuesday 10th October
8 AEK Feature In Mr Dingley's Success
I would like to join in the celebration of Mr Dingley being awarded Oxfordshire County Music Service Music Teacher of the Year Award, not least because the picture in the Didcot Herald features our very own 8 AEK! Both myself and Miss Kyriakides have brought the group's celebrity status to their attention to a wide variety of reactions from the girls. Well done 8 AEK, and well done Mr Dingley!
Friday 29th September
After a whirlwind-like start to the academic year I have been able to grab a few minutes of quiet reflection regarding Year 8, my role as Head of Year and the next few months.
This is my third year at Didcot Girls' School and, as cliched as it sounds, I have enjoyed working here more and more as time has progressed. Before I joined DGS I worked at a school in Reading as a maths teacher and before this I was a private tutor in London. I can honestly say that this is the best school I have ever seen and an enormous proportion of this positivity is due to the students. The girls here are loyal, kind, funny, curious, interesting and honest (sometimes very honest!). I am greeted by warm smiles wherever I go and coming to work is a genuine pleasure despite the early mornings and long days.
Last year I was Deputy Head of Year 9 before my promotion to Head of the current Year 8; whilst I enjoy working and conversing with all students in the school I have to admit I am now biased. People think I am merely being kind when I brag about my year group being the best in the school; I assure them I am serious and firmly believe in the potential of each and every one of the young people in Year 8. I look forward to helping them reach this potential in the coming years.
As Mr Tamplin has already mentioned, I am very grateful to the large number of people who attended the Parents' Information Evening on Tuesday. It was terrific to see so many parents taking such an active interest in their daughters' education and I had several useful, positive conversation both before and after the event.
This year will be very busy but has the potential for growth, excitement, creativity, rewards and the chance to deepen the feeling of community which I think is so strong in this school. I look forward to sharing and celebrating as much as I can with you all; Year 8 have an awful lot to shout about!
Head of Year 8
Friday 29th September
Thank you for your attendance at Tuesday's Parents Information Evening. I hope the evening was informative and useful to you as parents. I have uploaded the PowerPoint from Tuesday onto the bottom of this page. Please get in touch if you have any questions relating to Year 8 at DGS.
Have a lovely weekend.
Mr A Tamplin
Assistant Headteacher of the Lower School
Monday 25th September 2017
After a busy first few weeks of the school year I was privileged to be able to watch some of Year 8 play football for DGS in the first round of the national cup. I am delighted to say that the girls achieved a resounding 8-0 victory against The Oxford Academy; I saw strong defence, good teamwork, clear communication, passion, determination and an absolutely glorious half-volley from Talia Sanders. Well done to Mrs Walker, Mrs Gilbert, the rest of the PE Department and, most importantly, to our fantastic football team!
I look forward to celebrating the many successes of Year 8 throughout the year.
Mr C Fulwell
Head Of Year 8
Monday 18th September 2017
A wonderful start to the year by Year 8.
Mr Fulwell and I have visited a number of lessons and have been impressed by the impeccable behaviour for learning that we have seen.
I was particularly inspired by the Art, Drama and History lessons I dropped into. It was interesting, creative and the girls were really engaged.
Although I am writing this as the former Head of Year, I will continue to keep a close eye on this group of kind, considerate and hard working students.
Just a quick FYI from Mr Fulwell - The girls will be bringing home letters inviting you to our Parents Information Evening, which is being held on Tuesday 26th September from 6.30 until 7.30 in Cockcroft Hall. We would love to have you in attendance as we provide details of how to support your daughter this year.
Looking forward to seeing you on the 26th.
Mr A Tamplin
Assistant Headteacher - Lower School (Standards & Culture)