Queen Elizabeth's High School
PDF Details

Newsletter QR Code

Morton Terrace
Gainsborough Lincolnshire DN21 2ST
Subscribe: https://www.qehs.lincs.sch.uk/subscribe

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 01427 612354

Alumni News

Filter Content

Alumni News

Welcome to QEHS Alumni News.

If there is an achievement or article you would like to share with the QEHS Community please send it in. The staff are always pleased to hear of your progress or life events.


Since going to uni, I’ve had some amazing opportunities and experiences - but these have only been possible thanks to the teachers, like Miss Spencer, Mrs Crick and the others in DT, who gave me a chance and allowed me to believe in myself while at school.

From being promoted to Team Leader after two weeks while delivering the NCS programme, to having an inspector judge my lesson as outstanding, to working as a Cover teacher in schools across Stoke-on-Trent where I ended up being offered a long term cover role by a school last school year, and then taking up a long term supply position at a 9-13 middle school back in February - I know, more than ever, that I wouldn’t have been able to make the difference and have the opportunities I’ve had within schools and NCS had it not been for the chances that Miss Spencer, Mrs Crick and others gave me.

Next week, I’ll be starting my new job working for a Member of Parliament as a caseworker for them - having got through three stages of interview, and then being offered the role on hours that work around my degree. 

It was the skills that QEHS gave me, and the opportunities given throughout my seven years there, that have allowed me to become the person I am. And, which has already allowed a number of my dreams to come true.

Having spent nearly two years in the classroom myself now, I know it's not always easy, but my teachers here really did make a difference with me - and I'll always be grateful for that.

If there is anything I can ever do for QEHS or the students to help allow them to achieve their dreams too, then I will always be more than happy to do so.

Best wishes,

Finn Swain



We are delighted to report that Isaac Powell is now in his second term at the University of Oxford studying Mathematics. Isaac achieved 3 A* grades in his A Levels last summer, at the age of 16, which is a remarkable achievement and a QEHS record. He is enjoying the challenges of studying at Oxford and being at the same University as his brother, Oscar, who is a former Head Boy at QEHS.   

We would like to wish Isaac every success and look forward to hearing more about his future achievements. Many congratulations Isaac! 


Congratulations to Alumnus and double paralympian Jack Hodgson who competed in the Tokyo Olympics this summer. He has achieved so much success in judo over the years, and we are proud that he is of the QEHS Community.

Find out more about Jack's achievements below:



It is always heart-warming to hear of success stories from our Alumni Community, and you can be sure that staff love to share the good news. Earlier this year Mr Dawson was contacted by former student Richard Bramley with news of his graduation and a message of thanks to the QEHS staff:
"Thank you to you and all the other staff at QEHS for all your time and dedication over the years, I’m staying up North for my foundation training at South Tyneside hospital, but I hope to see you all at some point in the future."
After contacting Richard, he was able to provide further insight into his career path since leaving QEHS. With a higher than average proportion of our students following medical careers, it is great to hear how 'Tradition, Achievement and Opportunity' shine on through the dedication and commitment of QEHS Alumni far and wide.
It has been 12 years since I first became part of the long list of fortunate individuals to join the Queen Elizabeth’s High School community. It should go without saying that QEHS played a thoroughly integral role in my journey and I think I can speak on behalf of many of the alumni, that I cherish the part of QEHS that will continue to remain with me. It was a privilege in 2015 to take up the mantle of Head Boy, gaining a unique insight and perspective into the school that had provided me with so much, using the opportunity to give back and make what I hoped would be positive changes within the place I had come to so respect. 
Following my departure from QEHS in 2016, I was lucky enough to begin studying medicine at Durham University. This course was linked and delivered jointly with Newcastle University which is where our cohort transferred to during our 3rd year of study to complete our clinical years. 
Following graduation earlier this year, I am delighted to say that I will be starting work as a Junior Doctor at South Tyneside Hospital in late July, after being successful in attaining a ‘Foundation Priority Programme’ placement which will include completing an additional FAIMER qualification (Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research) alongside my work next year.
I look forward to the inevitable incoming challenges ahead as I have no doubt that the ethos that QEHS introduced and cultivated many years ago, coupled with my experiences throughout medical school, have forged the optimum tools to tackle these head-on.
If you have a story to share, or like Richard can offer to support future careers events at QEHS, please email [email protected]

It is such an important milestone to leave school and move onto your chosen career path, one which we all consider carefully. This summer we were fortunate to offer a range of careers events, with the Post-18 Careers Day seeing a return of many Alumni in support of the current Year 12 students.

Thank you to our Alumni (through Future First), local businesses, parent supporters and universities who joined our event, making it so worthwhile. This is such an important event in our calendar as it affords an opportunity for students to connect with the wider community as they research and plan their next steps, which would not be possible without your support.

It was an amazing event offering expert advice on future studies and careers ranging from estate management, dance, financial advice and YouTube, to radiography. Thanks to all of the visitors who gave their time.
This event was very well received by our students, with some very positive feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back next year!
Mr J Kingdom
Assistant Headteacher
Year 12
Science Laboratory Refurbishment Update – Phase 1 Complete!

Following our successful grant application to the Wolfson Foundation for laboratory refurbishment funding, we are really pleased to announce that this first phase of refurbishment is now complete. After a great deal of planning and many pandemic-induced delays, the refurbishment was finally able to start in April 2021. Labs 8 and 64 had been identified as the two of our twelve labs most need of refurbishment and these are now complete.

We are delighted with the result. The new labs are bright and spacious areas, each suitable for teaching of biology, chemistry and physics to current A Level standards. Whilst it was sad to see the historic and characterful lab benches go, the new facilities provide a greatly improved environment for teaching and learning, enabling our students to continue to achieve the fantastic results they deserve. 

We have proudly gone from this...


...where little had changed in the last 100 years! - as shown in the 1954 photo album, (courtesy of the Old Girls' Association Archives at Gainsborough Heritage Association).

To this...
Lab 8
Lab 64

As you can see, the students are already thoroughly enjoying use of the new labs. The development won’t stop here, however. Plans for Phase 2 are already underway, with the designs for the next three labs now being finalised.

Exciting times lay ahead for the budding scientists of QEHS!

We do have twelve labs to refurbish in total and so anticipate this will be a long-term refurbishment project needing further investment and fundraising to see it through to fruition. If you are able to support our lab refurbishment project and would like more information, please contact Mrs Kerry Peaker via [email protected]. Any contribution towards this very rewarding and worthy project will always be very gratefully received. More information and a link for contributions will be available on our “Support Us” webpage shortly.


Mrs K Peaker

Director of Finance

School Event
Since 1920 Gainsborough has had a High School, originally for the education of girls, the school moved to our site in 1921. (There has been a boys' grammar school in Gainsborough since 1589, moving to the current site in 1940.)
Thanks to the Gainsborough Heritage Association we have been able to display some of the archive materials which have been donated from members of the Old Girls' Association and other ex students over the years.
Original 1921 photo of the 'First 50' girls, photo albums from 1954,1966.
GHS_display.jpg    GHS_display_2.jpg
Technology: Make Do and Mend!


Gainsborough High School is 100 Years Old (1920-2020)

“On 5th October 1920 North Sandsfield House (College House), Morton Terrace opened as a school for girls, formally establishing secondary education for girls in the town. Every year on the school’s birthday the girls left lessons 15 minutes early for a drink, and some rare relaxed conversation with the staff, (everyone brought their mug to the (Lower School) hall and the teachers walked along the line pouring tea). As a mark of the annual celebration there was no prep on that evening, and the girls went home early in high spirits! “  

Reference: A History of the Gainsborough Girls High School, (1920-1983) 

Gainsborough High School motto: ‘Courage, Gaiety and the Quiet Mind’

Traditionally the girls brought in a flower bulb from home annually on this date, to plant on the school grounds, which are still seen along the drive to College House. Ask your relatives if they can remember the planting!

This year to commemorate 100 years of education for girls, on this site, we will invite members of the school community, past and present to join us in planting bulbs representing our 1218 students, which have been generously donated by Pot Belly Garden Centre and Nursery; (whose family have attended the school over 3 generations).

On the birthday of the school, some of the staff were able to plant bulbs to mark the occasion. Mrs Celia Lord, (Cover Staff, Alumnus and previous Chair of the Old Girls' Association) joined Mrs Faye Clarke, (Head of English, who runs the QEHS Gardening Club). Head Girl Erin later joined Alumnus Mrs Rachel Haldenby (Assistant Headteacher and Head of Sixth Form) to add to the future flower display.

When the bulbs flower in the spring, they will show the school colours (red, blue and yellow) next to the Never Ending Bench - where every QEHS student's name appears during their time at the school.

Bulb planting
This week we celebrate with the Year 7 and 8 students, who will all plant daffodil bulbs along the front of the school, making a visual display to add to the legacy of the next 100 years.
Although the pandemic has restricted the number of Alumni visitors we hoped to invite, a few special guests are invited to join Sixth Form students and staff, later in the week to mark the occasion.
Y8_1.jpg       Y8_2.jpg

Pictured below: the 'First 50 Girls' and original Headmistress Miss Catharine M Hargrave.
GHS First 50 Girls  GHS_first_Headmistress.PNG
Thank you to Gainsborough Heritage Centre for use of the archive photos.


School Event


My name is Amy White, and this is how I started working to help save our oceans during my gap year.

I was a Year 13 student at QEHS last year and due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the exam marking situation I ended up taking an enforced gap year to get my dream place at Oxford University.

With travel completely out of the picture, and wanting to make the most of my time, I contacted a handful of ocean conservation charities in search of an opportunity to help out in an area I am passionate about.

An organisation called Just One Ocean responded and we began working together on a TikTok social media campaign. The campaign is called #Justoneswap and aims to promote small but effective changes we can make to reduce the amount of plastic we use. The driving force behind the idea was knowing that the oceans are essential for our existence on this planet, and if they are full of plastic, and not functioning as they should, we are not only hindering our survival but the survival of all marine organisms.

The process of shifting to a greener, more plastic-free lifestyle is an overwhelming adjustment and therefore my goal was to promote simple swaps, such as swapping from shampoo bottles to shampoo bars (which work just as well), to make the change progressive and gradual. I hope to encourage a ‘#justoneswap at a time approach’, as every change we make significantly reduces how much plastic enters our oceans as plastic pollution. If you would like to have a look at the campaign, and maybe implement some of these ideas into your daily life, head over to the Just One Ocean TikTok account or click the link below:


QEHS Alumnus David Fawcett helps to mark the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim Separatists leaving this area for America on the Mayflower.

The Gainsborough Choral Society have once again resumed rehearsals and are enjoying learning 'A Sure Refuge' by @choralwork. This new piece marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 and will see the first performance at a rescheduled event later this year. Our area is steeped in history surrounding the epic journey of the Pilgrims, with our very own Alumnus Anna Scott promoting events for the community, as the Mayflower 400 Officer for West Lindsey District Council.

With grant funding the council were able to  commission David Fawcett to write the cantata. Visit https://davidfawcettcomposer.com/a-sure-refuge for further details about the new work and to hear extracts. You can hear the full concert on Saturday 13 November at All Saints' Parish Church, Gainsborough. For further information and tickets keep an eye on Gainsborough Choral Society website or @GainsChoralSoc.


The concert will form part of this year's fantastic Illuminate event, which if you have attended before, it is a special occasion for the town and well worth taking part in. Further details will be shared by  discovergainsborough.com, @Discover Gainsborough, or follow the local Mayflower 400 news and events @PilgrimRoots.




Queen Elizabeth’s High School has been providing outstanding education for the children of Gainsborough and the surrounding areas for over 430 years. We have approximately 1200 children and have managed to maintain our excellent educational offer in recent years, against a backdrop of ever-increasing costs, but reduced revenue.

Queen Elizabeth’s High School has previously proudly appeared in The Times Top 200 Schools in the country and in 2018 was ranked 7th in the top ten state secondary schools in the East Midlands, (Parent Power Schools Guide for 2018, issued by the Sunday Times).


Did you miss the news?

To read the full report from Lincolnshire World click here.


It is with great sadness that the staff heard recently that 3 ex-colleagues had passed away.

Our thoughts are with the families of Mr Sergent, (Geography), Mr Moxon (Chemistry) and Mrs Wilson (Geography, Biology).

Fond memories are shared on the following Facebook groups:

Queen Elizabeth’s High School, Gainsborough: Alumni

QEHS Gainsborough Old Farts Association

GHS Old Girls Association

It should also be acknowledged that from the OGA Facebook page, it was shared that Mr Greenaway (English) also passed away earlier in 2020.

The Facebook pages are a great way of keeping in touch with the QEHS community and will often share great photos that jog our nostalgic memories. If you would like to report a momentous occasion, achievement or write an article for the Alumni Newsletter, please submit content at the top of this webpage or join the Facebook groups.

Please keep sharing!