Giraffe girls flourish and fly to be principled

The latest Junior School Flourish and Fly week, in the first half of term, explored what it means to be principled and the importance of striving to always do the right thing.

Embedded into all aspects of Junior School life, Flourish and Fly is an extensive programme of activities and challenges that complements the highly developed PSHE curriculum and student development programme already operating throughout the school.  Themed around the GDST’s four core values, it is designed to inspire, challenge and embolden pupils to help them discover their individual talents.

This Flourish and Fly week also marked the first birthday of Junior School mascot Fina the Giraffe.

Fina has helped inspire all Junior School girls to Flourish and Fly by being Giraffe Girls who always stick their necks out and look over the excuses wall to try new things.

Throughout the week our artist-in-residence, Darcey from Artists in Schools ( worked with girls across the school to create a beautiful silver giraffe installation that now resides in the playground.

Jenny from the Giraffe Project ( came to speak to the girls about the charity’s work in Nairobi, Kenya.  She explained how the children live in the city’s slums, what it is like for them and how important education as a route out of poverty and their life in the slums.

The British Red Cross helped everyone to understand what this amazing organisation does in a medical emergency and encouraged the girls to not be just bystanders when help is needed.  Each year group undertook a tailored course – from Stay Safe, Help Save Lives and Emergency Action – with certificates given out to each girl who completed their course.

The first Inter-House Cross Country event, won by Gurney House, galvanised team spirit across the school as the girls competed for house points.  Girls in KS1 completed laps of the Astroturf and the KS2 event took place in Crystal Palace Park.

The week concluded with Fina’s birthday party for which all the girls created their own animal masks.  The girls paraded in the resulting cornucopia of eye-catching creations, adding both colour and excitement to the celebrations.

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