Adventures in the Red Sea

It’s great to hear about the activities our students take part in outside of school, the skills they learn and the adventures they have. Emma, Year 11, who is part of the Northgate News Team, recently interviewed Head Boy, Milo, to see why he ventured to Egypt in the October half term. It was a fantastic experience by all accounts.

Why did you venture to Egypt? 

I went to Egypt to dive in the Red Sea and complete a further step towards a master diver qualification to further put me in good stead to meet my aspirations of becoming a marine biologist. I completed a survey diver course that involved practical skills like using quadrats, filming both fish and coral wildlife and conducting various survey methods.

Why did you go to Egypt specifically?

As the red sea offers one of the most bio-diverse underwater areas in the whole world, it is an excellent place to be able to complete diving courses that involve the monitoring of underwater biomes. Also, as the ocean world is so unknown, being able to be in an area that delivers so much to study is an incredibly interesting experience.

Could you tell me a bit more about the beach clean-up you were part of? 

As COP-27 was right round the corner (I was in Egypt late October 2022), there were beach clean-ups encouraged by the local people. From the camp I was staying at, we took a 30 minute drive to the town of Quseer and cleaned up the beach there. We all got allocated different types of litter to collect so we could recycle effectively. Scraps of metal, plastic, including cigarette butts which I collected. I picked up approximately 500 cigarette butts on a 30m beach – which shows that it definitely needed picking up.

Here is the before picture on the beach and then after we had completed the litter pick.

Wow, what an amazing and eye-opening experience. Thank you to Emma and Milo for sharing this with us.

Don’t forget, if you have taken part in something outside of school that you think others would like to hear about, please speak to one of the Northgate News Team, who can interview you, or to Miss Theobald.


Northgate Council – January Bulletin

Northgate Council – January Bulletin

We are pleased to introduce our January bulletin. In our bulletin this month there’s updates from our Library, news about our Christmas concert and craft fayre, our KS3 Macbeth performance and Accelerated Reader stars.

We hope that you are able to take some time to have a look at all the goings on at Northgate from the last month and enjoy seeing what we’ve been up to. Please share with your friends and family via our Facebook and twitter pages.

Miss Theobald (School Council Coordinator) + Northgate School Council.

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Northgate News Team – Interview with Mrs Simms

Northgate News Team – Interview with Mrs Simms

Our budding Northgate News Team members Tallulah and Amilie, alongside Miss Theobald, recently interview Mrs Simms. A member of the Science Department, Mrs Simms has worked at Northgate since September 2017. A former Head of House and currently second in Science, here’s what she had to say in reply to the questions.

What is your favourite Science and why?

I really enjoy Chemistry as it is logical, it’s about learning patterns and building a bigger picture.

Who is your favourite scientist?

It would be Dr Sarah Gilbert – She is a Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford. She specialises in the development of vaccines against influenza and emerging viral pathogens.

She co-developed the Oxford AstraZeneca covid vaccine. As of January 2022, more than 2.5 billion doses of the vaccine have been released to more than 170 countries worldwide. In the 2021 Birthday Honours, she was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to science and to public health in COVID-19 vaccine development.

Why did you want to become a Science teacher?

When I was young I enjoyed Science at school. I liked learning about why things happened – I always questioned why. I like working with children and wanted to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for Science with them.

With your knowledge of what the job of a teacher involves, would you choose it again?

Yes, I was the correct career choice for me.

Do you enjoy teaching at Northgate and can you describe Northgate in 3 words?

Yes! I would have to say lively, community and welcoming.

Have any practicals gone wrong in your lesson before?

Yes, i was doing some fractional distillation and the bench caught light. It was all ok though and quickly sorted.

What is your favourite topic to teach in Chemistry?

It would have to be a Year 11 topic – C5 on separation of substances and moles (not the animals!)

Do you have any hobbies outside of school?

I like to do zumba and dance and read when I get a chance. As a family, we like to watch Harry Potter films and Marvel films. I also like gardening.

Have you had any jobs other than being a teacher?

I started in financial services, administrating pensions and then worked with a financial advisor. Next I sold health insurance for Bupa before having a family and going to university. Then I decided to become a teacher.

If you weren’t a teacher, what job would you like?

That’s a difficult one, it changes a lot, but I’d like to be an astronaut or work for the space agency!

What would you say is the most significant scientific discovery?

That’s a really hard question as they all build on each other. Someone comes up with a theory and proves or disproves it, then someone else improves it and so on. More recently though I would say the development of different vaccines.

You run STEM club at Northgate with Mr Fox – why should people get involved?

STEM club means that we can look at fun and challenging topics and projects that are not covered in the Science curriculum. We also have a Science Fair in March which we would like as many people as possible to get involved in.

A big thank you to Mrs Simms for taking the time to be interviewed. We look forward to seeing who the Northgate News Team pick next!

Northgate Council – December Bulletin

Northgate Council – December Bulletin

We are pleased to introduce our December bulletin. In our bulletin this month there’s updates about our recycling programmes as well as awards, a look at our GCSE presentation evening and Remembrance service.

We hope that you are able to take some time to have a look at all the goings on at Northgate from the last month and enjoy seeing what we’ve been up to. Please share with your friends and family via our Facebook and twitter pages.

Miss Theobald (School Council Coordinator) + Northgate School Council.

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Northgate News Team – Interview with Mrs Simms

Northgate News Team – Interview with Mr Hester

Isla and Florence (two of the Northgate news members) recently went and did an interview with a much-loved teacher, Mr Hester and this is what they found out!

Why did you choose History?

I chose History because I began to find it interesting in my GCSE. I was originally convinced that I wasn’t going to be a teacher but when he went to university I bits of teaching in my degree. At that point, I felt it was the most natural option for me to choose.

Have you had any other jobs in the past?

Oh loads. I first worked in a record store selling classical and a few other types of music. I then left and worked for a furniture shop in Norwich. That actually funded my wedding! I then got married and my wife told me that I should just do what I love to do and so it took me to where I am today, a history teacher.

What trips have you been on?

That’s a good question! I have been to Norwich Castle, France, Belgium and even a medical museum! As well as a few geography trips too!

What is your favourite period of time?

I love them all for different reasons about that time, but I would have to say the 20th century because of how many things actually happened during that time.

Do you have any hobbies?

I have found a real interest in music. I have played piano, saxophone and clarinet. I have also been in a choir for a very long time.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Well, I have two daughters so really it is whatever they want to do. I usually take one of my daughters to her football matches/ practice when she has it’

If you didn’t teach History then what would you teach?

I have taught RE and Geography before and really enjoyed it but it would probably have to be RE that I would teach instead.

Who in history do you idolise?

Pretty much anyone who stood up for what was right like Martin Luther King.

Why Northgate?

Well, I actually worked at a school called Hobart as a Head of Year. I later realised I wanted to be Head of History so I went and looked around this school and really loved it. So many friendly faces that made me feel really welcome. Such an amazing atmosphere. I just knew it was going to be this school

What is your least favourite thing to teach?

I love teaching all of the topics really but I would have to go with the Holocaust. After teaching it so many times, it was interesting, yes, but I began to see how sad it actually was. It’s a really important subject to teach and yes, I want to make sure people know about it, but some of the stories are so tragic it can be difficult – the research can be quite emotional.

A big thank you to Mr Hester for answering these questions and to our roving reporters Isla and Florence for coming up with the questions. We can’t wait to hear who they decide to interview next!


Author Lisa Thompson visits Northgate

Author Lisa Thompson visits Northgate

We are lucky enough to have a wide variety of authors visit Northgate throughout the year to work with our students – giving talks and workshops to inspire them in their writing. Our Year 7s were treated to a visit recently from Lisa Thompson. Mrs Gill, Head Librarian tells us about this recent visit.


‘As part of summer transition, and the school commitment to reading, every Year 7 student was given a copy of the fabulous book, Rollercoaster Boy. We were delighted to welcome the author of the book, Lisa Thompson, to Northgate on Friday 11th November, who delighted students with her engaging presentation and interactive code breaking mystery. Lisa was highly impressed with the interesting and thoughtful questions asked and was delighted to sign their copies of the book. Students from Scarning Primary and Garvestone Primary also joined us for the presentation. During the afternoon selected Year 7 students were given the opportunity to work alongside Lisa in creative writing workshops. Using sight, sound and object prompts students delivered some intriguing and talented storylines that were then shared with the class.’ 


A number of our Year 7 Northgate News Team members tell us below about their experience of the day:

Georgina: ‘We did a really cool escape room as that was what Lisa Thompson loved and was also one of the main parts in the book. It was very inclusive and everyone had a lot of fun. She told us a lot about herself and showed that even though she is so successful she still had lots of setbacks. She also told us she had wanted to be an author since the age of 10 and has written 10 books.’

 Anna: ‘It was really exciting to have Lisa Thompson come into school. She talked about her past and when she became successful despite being set back quite a few times. I was in the workshop with her in the afternoon and it was really interesting to be able to write a story with her teaching us and giving us ideas. It was a great experience!’

 Christina: ‘When Lisa Thompson came to our school, I was really excited because she made an escape room which was really fun and entertaining. She told us about when she was a little girl and read all different kinds of books and how she wasn’t always an author. In fact, she has become quite an expert in excuses to not write. Now she has finally decided to give it a go and it has turned out amazing. She has now written 10 books!’


Colette: ‘When Lisa Thompson came in, I was so excited!!! Before lunch we had an amazing assembly where we did an interactive escape room filled with clues. She showed us all of her fantastic books and the books she read as a child, such as Charlotte’s Web, Beno and many more. After lunch I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop with her where I learned lots of tips and tricks for writing. I can’t wait to read more of her books!’

A big thank you to Mrs Gill for arranging the visit and to Lisa for coming into Northgate. We know we already have lots of amazing writers amongst our students, and there may have been a few more inspired by the talk and workshop to give it a try!