Everything you know if you went to Ipswich High School for Girls

Apparently our statue inspired the Atonement fountain scene

Yes, the front building was beautiful – but the back buildings were bloody awful

The front building was incredible, and inside was just as pretty, but no one liked the sixties-inspired teachers’ building we seemed to spend our entire youth in. It was a genuine travesty that between the ages of three and 16, you rarely spent much time in the beautiful building.

You almost felt a sense of achievement when you made it to sixth form and could live in the old building.

Hidden behind this beauty were the ugliest buildings known to man

Hidden behind this beauty were the ugliest buildings known to man

When you reached year 10 and could eat inside and no one ever saw you again

Unless you had canteen lunches, students tended to disappear as soon as they got to year 10. Form rooms got smellier and friendship groups got tighter because you no longer had to leave to go and socialise with the masses. It was a great time.

We became inseparable in year ten

We became inseparable in year 10

When it was raining and you had art or DT and the walk was far too long

It was a solid 10 minute walk, and no-one likes that kind of trek from the teaching block to the art building when it’s hammering it down.

When you finally finish the trek to DT

When you finally finish the trek to DT

When the IHS sports chant got turned to ‘I Hate Chess’

Because “IHS”, when you shout it aggressively and quickly, apparently turns into “I hate chess.”

No boys would come to the mixed school discos in years 7 and 8

This was an attempt to get us to socialise with males and it pretty much didn’t work because no-one came. Except the girls obviously. We had a great time.

The sixth formers always took middle school drama way too seriously

When you were in year 7 and 8 and the sixth formers needed this for their personal statement and they were really scary. Like, woah, chill.



The teachers’ panto was the best thing about Christmas

Who knew the science dept was that funny? Or the PE teachers could dance? Christmas at IHS was always a special time, from the PE Christmas Special, which was hands down excellent thanks to Mrs Pineo, to these pantomimes, which were even better when you saw the stricter teachers having some fun.

The talent show was also a highlight of the year

From Usher’s Burn to that Michael Jackson rendition, it was hilarious to watch our fellow pupils entertain us for one lunchtime a term.

We all lived for sixth form prank day

an array of costumes from English Lit

An array of costumes from English Lit

Every year the sixth formers would try and outdo the previous year. From racing around the sports field in our cars to sticking sanitary pads on the toilet walls, prank day was the real deal. Arguably the best prank was the dead mouse on the noticeboard in the corridor by the language labs.



Everyone had at least one photoshoot in the school grounds

Our grounds were beautiful, and we knew it – they even allegedly inspired Ian McEwan’s fountain scene in “Atonement”. So naturally, when we were about 12 to 13,  we took advantage of these beautiful scenes and had lots of photoshoots on the grounds. Bless us.

When you reached sixth form and could finally escape at lunch times

Our school was a solid 10 minutes outside of the main town, but honestly it felt like it was 100 miles out at times. When you reached sixth form and could escape the isolation, the Suffolk Food Hall, the Butt and Oyster, or even Nando’s were top destinations – just an excuse to spend some time together outside of the grounds.


Springtime when all the lambs were born was the cutest time of year

They were just adorable. Our fields either side of the drive would have a lot of sheep, and every year so many lambs were born, and it was just a cute time.

The nurse would blame everything on your period

Oh, you have a headache? Must be your time of the month. Oh, you fell over and cut your knee? Could be your period, dear. You fell off the vault in gymnastics? You know what I think, it must be because of your cramps.

When you finally made it through to the sick beds, you had achieved something with your day

And you got to skip third period Latin and chill in the beds, even though you were never sure how hygienic they were – but it didn’t matter, for you were free. 

The day the school logo was changed to a nipple was the worst day ever

They tried to argue that it was an owl’s eye to represent being wise, or whatever, but we knew better. It was a pink nipple. And it was embarrassing.


Likewise, when everything was changed from cherry red to hot pink

Yes okay we get it, we are an all girls school, but pink everything, really? From the school signs, to the school flag, to the stupid pink bordered letters and school reports, one year, they turned everything turned pink. And it was a bad year.

The science department had the best school trips

Every two years the science department would put all the others to shame and take 30 students to a ridiculously cool destination. From the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador, to the theme parks in Florida, even to a safari in Kenya, the Science dept was actually pretty cool.

Just us chilling in our boat in Ecuador x

Just us chilling in our boat in Ecuador x

No one wanted an effort certificate at the end of the year

It was like an “ah well, you tried and that’s okay, so here’s a bit of paper to make you feel better about how much we slated you in your report” certificate. Thanks a lot.

Prize giving was just an excuse to rate people’s outfit

Literally, everyone that got up on that stage received a rating out of ten, and that was the same for the Head Girl’s speeches too. Prize giving was a horrendous three-hour ordeal, and it was obvious too, when the clap went from hand-clapping to forefinger-tapping after a while.

There were next to no boundaries for closeness

Hello there friend

Hello there friend

I thoroughly blame my need for hugging and TMI on IHS. We had no boundaries and it was honestly quite an amazing thing. No thing was TMI, and cuddles were the norm. Mainly to get you through the pain of day to day life, and the seemingly endless amount of homework.