A look back at Devonport High School for Girls through the ages

Whether you’ve just left school or you finished your GCSEs and A-Levels years ago, you’re sure to have some great memories.

As secondary schools break-up for summer, many of us “old DHSG girls” have been feeling nostalgic about our teenage years – and have been reminiscing about gossiping in our form rooms, playing rounders on the field and being part of the annual dance show, charity week events and green day (not to be confused with the band).

While coursework and exams were inevitably stressful, there’s something special about thinking back to the good ol’ days when times were simpler.

Here are some of the quirkier things we remember from our time at Devonport High School for Girls in Plymouth:

Scroll down to see our gallery of photos of students at DHSG through the ages

Brown is NOT the new black

Every DHSG girl can remember the pain of having to wear a brown school uniform (Image: JOHN ALLEN)

About ten years ago, a Head of House and French teacher told many DHSG students: “Brown is the new black”.

Now we hate to break it to you, Mrs C, but it’s not! Brown uniform is AWFUL.

Far from haute couture, knee-length mud-coloured skirts and itchy brown jumpers were the bane of our lives throughout our secondary school journey.

Plus, while many of us revel in the fact we never had to wear a bulky school blazer or even a school tie, our ugly brown school uniform has put us off wearing any brown clothing for the rest of our lives.

SINE LABE DECUS

Not many schools have an official school song, and even fewer make their students sing it every term in whole-school assembly and Speech Day.

But DHSG’s aptly named “School Song” was an intrinsic part of our experience at school, as was our wonderful motto “Sine Labe Decus” which means “Honour without Dishonour”.

And some of us remember the fun (read: shock) when a teacher composed the “rock ‘n roll” version of the School Song in 2008 and made everyone in the school production “Devonport Through the Decades” learn every word.

Marmalade was a wonderful school pet

Marmalade was known to many DHSG students (Image: Hannah Cann)

This gorgeous cuddly cat supported hundreds of stressed out students and became something of a mascot for DHSG.

Sadly, our favourite feline passed away in 2016 – but lovely Marmalade will not be forgotten and will be remembered by those who attended the school between 2010 and late 2016.

Take a walk down memory lane with our gallery of photos from DHSG through the years:

Rounders is the best sport

File image of a girl playing rounders (Image: Surrey Advertiser)

The best sport to play during PE lessons in the summer term or with friends on your lunch break, DHSG girls love playing rounders – particularly in the sunshine.

There’s a special place in our hearts for the sixth form vs staff rounders games or the times the Year 11s challenge the little Year 7s – who often surprised everyone with their skills.

There are hundreds of lamps on the chandeliers in the Guildhall

Every year DHSG students, parents and teachers take their seats in the Guildhall in Plymouth City Centre for the annual speech day awards and prize-giving ceremony.

Sixth formers and recent DHSG leavers don posh dresses and fancy heels and strut across the Guildhall stage to receive their GCSE and A level certificates. Many younger students are also awarded prizes for achievement and effort.

While guest speakers try and keep hundreds of students and parents engaged, often you notice students’ eyes wandering to the architecture and decoration in the guildhall, sometimes a welcome distraction from the long and serious speeches.

Over the years, many DHSG girls have whispered to each other their guesses for how long guest speeches will last and we’ve all counted the number of lamps on the chandeliers time and time again.

Nothing prepares you for a foreign exchange

Hanging out with old friends and new on a school exchange trip to Germany c2012 (Image: Molly Dowrick)

As a specialist languages school, DHSG has always offered a range of modern foreign languages to study, including French, Spanish, German and Mandarin Chinese.

For language trips and Comenius projects, DHSG students were partnered with foreign exchange students to show around DHSG and Plymouth and to visit in their partner’s home country.

There’s nothing quite like being a wide-eyed 15-year-old exploring a new city abroad with your friends and exchange partner.

Adventure International Bude is the best place for a school trip

(Image: Molly Dowrick)

The Year 9 trip to an outdoor adventure centre in Bude is a rite of passage for DHSG students.

A week of exciting team-building activities including abseiling, caving, surfing, kayaking, body boarding and a thrilling high ropes set-up dominates conversation for the months leading up to the trip and for several months after.

We loved getting dressed up in fancy dress for the discos, challenging each other on the dance machines, and having midnight picnics with classmates in our triple-bunk en-suite rooms.

But we all regretted staying up late when it came to the early morning run or morning swim in the sea pool.

Plymouth Live