The North-East has a new independent girls' school following the merger of two long-established schools in the leafy Newcastle suburb of Jesmond.
To mark the opening of Newcastle High School for Girls - formed by the merger between Central Newcastle High School and Newcastle Church High School – pupils walked up a special teal-coloured path, the colour of the new school uniform, to enter the school.
This was followed by a special assembly lead by headmistress, Mrs Hilary French and a ribbon cutting ceremony.
A spokeswoman for Newcastle High said the new school aims to be: "A beacon of excellence for girls' education and give girls in the North-East access to one of the best schools in the country."
The new school aims to build on the heritage of academic excellence and pastoral care at both founding schools and will continue to champion the cause of girls' education.
Hilary French, headmistress of Newcastle High, and former head of Central Newcastle High School explained: "We have the advantage of being new, meaning we can design all aspects of the school – the ethos, environment and curriculum –to meet the demands of the 21st Century, but we can also build on the very strong heritage of our founding schools, which, between them, have well over 250 years of experience in girls' education.
"By encouraging the girls to be confident, flexible learners, combined with the characteristics of independence, determination and resilience, they will always be prepared for the challenges of the future.
"We aim to develop outward looking and socially responsible girls who are equipped with the confidence and ability to be the person they want to be and to embrace the opportunities and challenges of adult life. Opportunities will abound to excel academically, develop skills, strengthen character and participate in a wide range of co-curricular activities such as sport, art, dance, music and drama".
Mrs French is also delighted that Central High and Church High achieved excellent A level and GCSE results this year.
"Our outstanding results in chemistry, physics, biology and maths, the so called 'STEM subjects' where traditionally boys have excelled, and the fact that so many of our girls are continuing with these Science subjects to A level is clear evidence of the benefits of educating girls in a single sex environment, and the ability of girls to do well in these subjects if they are given a chance".
From September 2016, Newcastle High's Senior School will be based at Tankerville Terrace, following a major refurbishment of the existing Church High site. Meanwhile the Senior School will be based at Eskdale Terrace, previously the Senior School for Central High.
Newcastle High's Junior School is based at Chapman House, Sandyford Terrace, Jesmond, formerly the Junior School of Central Newcastle High School.