Teri Terry Author Visit

The wonderfully named Teri Terry came in to speak to Year 9 on Thursday 2 November. A prolific author of some six novels, ranging from dystopian to contemporary thrillers, Teri’s talk encompassed an array of topics. These ranged from her own literary inspirations and favourites, the science-based and real-life events that informed her books, and her own fascinating life and background as a prolific scientist in her own right. We also learned just why her name is ‘Teri Terry’!

The girls had many questions for her at the end of her talk, and the amount of books sold and signed was ample proof of how successful this event was. Many thanks to Teri for coming in to deliver an inspiring talk to the girls, and to Pea Green Books for their help in organising it.


Tanzania – Return in 2018

Last summer, we completed a library for the KYGN School in Tanzania, a project that was some two years in the making. It was a wonderful experience for the 14 girls involved,  many of whom described it as ‘life changing’.

It was such a moving and affecting experience, and we decided that we couldn’t make our trip there a ‘one and done’ deal, as there clearly was more we could do to help the children of KYGN. As such, it was decided very soon after our return that we would return again.

We have confirmed that we will return to KYGN in 2018. The library building is complete, but books are still needed, and we also want to develop it as a space too, meaning much of our efforts will be focused there. However, we do also want to help with teaching and learning at the School, and a lot of our efforts will be focused on planning lessons and developing resources in line with the Tanzanian curriculum. Our team of girls going to Tanzania in 2018 will be getting stuck in to this when we return after the upcoming summer break.

Our Year 9-11 girls, heading to Tanzania in 2018

We are also still very much involved in fundraising, and are sponsoring Primary Three, one of the classes at the KYGN School. Our crack team of Year 7-8 girls are taking ownership of raising the money required here and both they, and the older girls visiting Tanzania, have chosen a pen pal from the Primary Three class to write to. They have already written to us, so it’s now our turn to write back to them!

Our team of Year 7-8 superstars!

In the coming weeks, the Year 7-8 girls will be going to Foyles Bookshop in London to select some new books for the library, and the expedition girls will be beginning their training for their upcoming trip. Exciting times lie ahead!

World Book Day!

World Book Day celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and fittingly enough we had arguably our best turnout of literary costumes from both staff and students yet, as you can see from the photos included here!

Other highlights of the day included Staff/Sixth Form Mastermind (won by the talented Mr Gibbons), a Harry Potter-inspired lunchtime menu in the canteen, the annual ‘Book Slam’ that took place during Lit Soc and us raising a very large sum of money with which to buy books for the KYGN children of Tanzania, who we built a library for last summer. Thank you everyone for getting in to the spirit of what turned out to be a very fun day!

World Book Day Menu Competition!

Would you like to decide what food you eat in the canteen at lunchtime on World Book Day, Thursday 2nd March?

Of course you would.

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All pupils in Year 7-9 are welcome to enter our competition to design the menu for what will be served in the canteen at lunchtime on World Book Day. You can select any food you like, so long as it is related to a particular book or series of books. You have the option to mix and match books, or have the same theme throughout the menu.

So…Eye of Newt/Toe of Frog soup for starters? Dr Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham for main? Jam tarts from Alice in Wonderland for dessert? The choice is well and truly yours. Use the template below to design your menu. Be sure to include the main ingredients you will need in each dish!

Click here>>>>>>>>>>>> World Book Day Menu 2017<<<<<<<<<<<<Click here

All entries to Mr Humphreys please, either via e-mail or in person. Closing date for entries is 4pm on Wednesday 8th FebruaryGood luck!

Surbiton High School Digital Library now available!

We are pleased to announce that you can now borrow eBooks from the Surbiton High School digital library using the Overdrive app on your catalogue!


To find out how to set this up on your iPad and start borrowing books, click on the ‘Digital Library’ link in the menu above. If you have any questions please contact Mr Humphreys in the library.

Mission accomplished – A library built in Tanzania!

Our three week expedition to Tanzania this past summer was the culmination of two years’ hard work. Fourteen Surbiton High School students, together with Mrs McCool and Mr Humphreys, had been making preparations to build a library for the Kilimanjaro Young Girls in Need (KYGN) School in Tanzania, which involved raising over £8000 and cataloguing 1000 books, among other things.

The group were abuzz with excitement and anticipation – and perhaps a little apprehension – when we finally departed for Tanzania at the start of the summer holidays, flying in via Abu Dhabi and Nairobi.


The three week long trip started off with a week at the KYGN School, which was a deeply affecting and life-changing experience for the group. It was truly humbling to see these remarkable young Tanzanian children, who lived in poverty and came from troubled backgrounds, always have a smile on their face. This redoubled our determination to make a very real difference to their lives, in the shape of both the library itself and everything else we hoped to do for them.


The girls duly excelled themselves in all they did at the School, not least when they were unexpectedly called upon to do some teaching. The younger children could not speak very much English, so teaching them was particularly challenging, but they came through it!


Undoubtedly, the library itself was the group’s most tangible achievement, and the KYGN children were very excited when we opened the library to them, browsing and borrowing the books with uncontained enthusiasm. It was a reminder that simple things that we take for granted make a very real difference to the lives of those who are less fortunate than us, and that we should never take our own libraries for granted.



It was difficult to leave KYGN, but the remainder of our trip was also highly enjoyable, with highlights including a tour of Tanzania’s famous Northern Safari circuit – where we spotted lots of beautiful wildlife in stunning surroundings – and a three day trek through the Usambara Mountains. These aspects of the expedition posed challenges of their own, such as getting lost in dense rainforest and finding ourselves under attack by a nest of angry ants, and once again the group rose above them.



The girls conducted themselves in an exemplary manner throughout the three weeks, and should be proud of all they learned and achieved. Special thanks go to our trip leader, Richard, and to Wilderness Expertise for helping make this expedition a truly memorable experience. We would also like to thank all members of the Surbiton High School community who have contributed to this expedition in ways great and small. Our work at the KYGN School has only just begun, and we hope to return again in the future. Watch this space!

Kingston Borough Literary Quiz Double Triumph!

Surbiton High School has enjoyed a hugely successful track record in recent years at the Kingston Borough Literary Quiz. This competition, ran by Kingston Borough public libraries, is designed to test the literary knowledge of all schools in the area. In 2015 we won the Year 7/8 trophy, and the year before we achieved the unprecedented feat of winning both the Year 7/8 and Year 9/10 trophies.


This impressive literary pedigree meant we were under some pressure when we took part in the tournament on Thursday 11 February. As ever, the participating pupils were required to answer questions on everything ranging from a series of set books, the Mr Men characters and Children’s Laureates in the picture round through to nursery rhymes and Shakespeare in the always tense, on-the-buzzer general knowledge round.


Remarkably, our two teams repeated the feat of 2014 and won both trophies again this year! This means that we have now won five out of a possible six trophies in this tournament over the last three years, which is a truly exceptional achievement. We now move on to the Inter Borough Final in March and the chance to add even more trophies to our collection. A huge well done to all the girls!


Tanzania Library update

As most people who are reading this are aware, a group of 14 Year 10-13 girls are heading out to Tanzania this summer with Mr Humphreys and Mrs McCool to open up a library for the Kilimanjaro Young Girls in Need (KYGN) school near Moshi.

We have been working hard on this project for the past two years, and so far we have…

  • Raised over £6000 for the library build, through various fundraisers inside and out of school.
  • Catalogued over 500 books.
  • Taken part in two training weekends, where we learnt invaluable teamwork, leadership, campcraft, navigation and organisational skills, and also planned a provisional itinerary for our three weeks in-country.
  • Made other preparations for our time at the KYGN school, including displays/decorations for the library.

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As you can see from the picture at the top of this page, we have achieved quite a lot, but we are not there yet. We still have to do the following…

  • Raise a further £2000 to ensure that the library building can be completed. Fundraisers include Mr Humphreys and Miss Handley competing in a sprint-triathlon in May.
  • Catalogue another 500 books!
  • Finish off all preparations for our time at the school – as well as decorating the library, we need to plan a series of activities for the children, including a whole day of fun sports activities.
  • Make final preparations for the expedition itself, including confirming the activities we will do when exploring the country.

The build-up to the project has been so long that the reality we are heading out to Tanzania in just over five months’ time is only just starting to sink in. Our excitement is increasing with each passing day – we can’t wait!