Over the past few months, Northgate has been fortunate to have the support of Dereham Mayor, Hilary Bushell with a number of special events. She wanted to give an insight into the link she has created with the school and wrote the following for us:

‘In November I was privileged to be asked to attend the Remembrance Service at the School. This was a truly wonderful experience to be able to join the students and members of the Royal British Legion and witness the respectful way in which the whole of the service was held. The readings and music performed by the students were inspiring. I was given the honour of placing a Remembrance Cross on behalf of Dereham Town Council, and therefore for the residents of the town.

At the beginning of December, I joined members of the Students Council who were monitoring the traffic on Quebec Road, and ensuring that students crossed the road safely. During my visit I was shown round various aspects of the school and was very impressed with how the students were reacting to their learning. I was made welcome in all the classes that I visited. It certainly gave me an insight into the daily running of such a large school.  It was on this visit that I was welcomed to an assembly in which drama students gave an exciting and interesting show of some of the many topics they had been studying. I loved the drums!!!!!  One very important and lasting image that I will carry forward from this day is that when I walked into two of the senior classes all the Students stood when I entered. WELL DONE. This is a true mark of showing respect to a visitor, and more importantly a lady. Thank you. 

On another meeting which I had to attend I had the pleasure of liaising with Mr. A. Mason, giving me the opportunity of making further ties with Northgate School. It has proved to be a very ground-breaking move.  So we go on with an even closer unity. 

The Students Council were keen on becoming involved in my event of commemorating the Suffragette movement and the 100 years since all men and women over the age of 30 received the votes. The students asked me to give a brief introduction as to what happened over the 60 years of intensive negotiating in Parliament which led to the vote being achieved. It was met with great enthusiasm and it was agreed that they would join me, former mayors of Dereham, George Freeman and a member of the Police Force in celebrating such an epic event. Some of us tried to dress up looking a little more like people from the 1918’s rather than the 2018’s. The press came to take photos for the EDP and Dereham Times. That’s TV Norfolk also came and interviewed and recorded the event. The Students proudly walked through the Market Place supporting their placards showing details of meetings being held in the Assembly Rooms during the 1st world war in support of the Suffragette movement. We were also joined by Mr. R. Groom, a Mason as one of the suffragette meetings were held in the Masonic Hall, a rare occurrence in start of the 20th century. 

The Students really made the people of Dereham look – they marched with their placards held high, and were truly immaculately turned out. Well Done Northgate High School.

During one of my visits to the school, I joined an assembly which was dealing with safety issues on road awareness. The Assembly was given a wonderful presentation on the thoughts and problems that had arisen during the Students Council initiative of road crossing. It was so enlightening to hear young people speaking so eloquently to their peers about such important issues. I was able to present Safety Certificates to students who had achieved outstanding merit within this important topic.

During my visits to Northgate School I have always been well taken care of and guided in the right direction by a very admirable Head Boy, Will, and Head Girl, Rosie, Deputy Head Boy Adam, and Deputy Head Girl Emily , supported by Mr. C. Macdonald, and Mr A. Mason.

I feel I have been very privileged to have been welcomed into the life of such a great school, and the union that has been forged will continue long into the future.

There are many more things coming in the future which we will share, and I know this will continue long after my year of Mayor.’ 

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