Year 8

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

Thursday 25th February

DGS Poetry and Song-writing Competition

We are excited to announce the first DGS Poetry and Song-writing Competition!

Entries should be written from the point of view of a book character, and students will perform their entry to our Patron of Writing, Elaine Baker, in Cockcroft Hall on Thursday 1st March - World Book Day.

Competition poster for website 2

We are also offering students the opportunity to take part in a song-writing workshop with our Patron of Reading, Jo Cotterill, and Mr Dingley on Tuesday 20th February, in which they will work on their entries. If your daughter is interested in taking part, please see the letter below, and ensure that the reply slip is completed and returned to Mrs Barnes in the library by Friday 9th February.

Click here for more information on Jo Cotterill, Elaine Baker, and the school library.

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.


Dr Nickerson

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 parapgraphs 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!

English JFCEnglish Highlight 

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!

Celena Dec 17

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!

Grace A

Friday 24th NovemberUpdate 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)


FLM board

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!

Mr Fulwell

Secret Santa


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!Jeni H


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.

8 CRS Board

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!

A.L. Medal


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!


Mr Fulwell

Serious musicians at workImpressive concentration in maths


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!

SXD with AEK
Mr Dingley with the wonderful 8 AEK (as featured in The Didcot Herald)

Mr Dingley with the wonderful 8 AEK (as featured in The Didcot Herald)


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!


Mr Fulwell

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)


Page Downloads Date  
Charity Secret Santa Oxfordshire 2017 24th Nov 2017 Download
Year 8 Parent Letter Homework and Snapsh... 31st Jul 2017 Download
Year 8 Options Assembly.pdf 31st Jul 2017 Download
Song-writing Workshop Letter 23rd Jan 2018 Download
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