We know that when you are starting a new school, whether in Reception or right up in Sixth Form, there is always lots of information to be gathered and questions to be asked.
We hope that the website provides you with much of this information and we have answered a few of the more popular questions below as well. However, if there is still something you would like to ask, then please feel free to call the Registrar, Miss Heather Fink, in the Admissions Department on 01604 765765.Q. What names do you use for the different year groups?Q. Is there a minimum number of sessions my daughter has to attend in Nursery?Q. Does the Foundation Stage (ages 3 and 4) accept vouchers?Q. Can I pay monthly/termly/yearly/in advance?Q. Are there any junior school scholarships or bursaries available?Q. When do I need to register my daughter for junior school (Reception -Year 6)?Q. When do I have to register my daughter for senior school (Upper Third-Upper Fifth)?Q. What is the difference between a scholarship and a bursary?Q. How do I apply for a bursary?Q. How do I apply for a scholarship?Q. When will I find out if I have been successful in my bursary or scholarship application?Q. Do you offer a dance scholarship?Q. If my daughter is shortlisted for an Upper Third scholarship, when will I find out when her interview time is?Q. When do we find out if we have an offer?Q. What is the process for girls entering the Sixth Form?Q. What extra-curricular activities are open to my daughter in junior school?Q. What extra-curricular activities are open to my daughter in senior school?Q. What extra-curricular activities are open to my daughter in sixth form?Q. What supervised care do you offer outside the normal school hours?Q. What happens if I want my daughter to join mid-year?Q. When am I able to let the school know if my daughter needs to use the bus, is a vegetarian, needs music lessons etc?Q. Where do your buses run?Q. Who do I contact if I have any questions?Q. Who are the GDST?
A. For junior school we use the names of Nursery, Reception and then Years 1 to 6. In the senior school, we use the more traditional names for the year groups. Upper Third is Year 7, Lower Fourth is Year 8, Upper Fourth is Year 9, Lower Fifth is Year 10 and Upper Fifth is Year 11. Sixth Form is then called Lower Sixth / 6:1 and Upper Sixth / 6:2.
A. Girls must attend the Nursery for a minimum of 5 sessions a week . Sessions are 7.45AM – 12.00PM (includes breakfast) and 12.00PM – 3.25PM (includes lunch). We ask that girls be dropped off and left for a whole morning and/or afternoon session and not collected early, unless in special circumstances, to minimise disruption.
A. All three and four year olds are eligible for up to 15 hours of free childcare a week through the government Early Years Grant. We apply for this on your behalf and then deduct this from your bill. We are also registered with many major childcare voucher suppliers, who are used by employers to offer parents childcare vouchers. These can be used either for payment of Nursery fees or after school care but not for school fees in Reception. Please feel free to call our finance department for more information.
A. The standard way to pay the fees is termly by direct debit. You may also pay monthly, though this incurs a service charge which is currently £24 a term. Occasionally parents wish to pay a year or more in advance. If you would like to do this, please contact the Registrar who can talk you through the different options available. A discount is available for parents who wish to do this.
When we offer your daughter a place at the school, we will request that you complete a direct debit to pay for the fees and you can select your payment option at this point. Please note that if you wish to pay by means other than direct debit it may result in a service charge.
The payment of other charges, such as buses, is charged locally by the school. These can also be paid monthly, termly or yearly. You will receive a direct debit form for this as well when you receive an offer letter. No service charges or discounts are given for these extra costs.
A. We do not currently offer any financial help for junior school parents, either in the form of a scholarship or a bursary. The first point of applying for either of these is when the girls join Upper Third. Both internal and external girls entering this year group are asked if they would like to apply for any of these.
A. Girls are all welcome to spend time in the junior school during the course of the year, at a time to suit parents, where they can also complete an assessment. Girls usually stay to meet other girls in their year group and have lunch. We start to officially invite girls into school from January if parents have not already been in touch to arrange an assessment.
As we only have limited spaces in all our year groups, it is always advisable to register your daughter as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. We often receive registration forms years in advance and, at parents’ request, we can test girls early to allow them to secure their place before the Christmas prior to entry.
A. For our September intake, we have a main assessment day which is held on a Friday morning in mid-January. We start to post out invitations to the entrance examination to registered girls in the October prior to entry; the closing date to return your examination invitation reply slip is during the first week in January. This invitation will include details on scholarships and bursaries and how to apply for them.
All our bursaries and scholarships are awarded to girls who sit the entrance examination in January on the examination day. Please note: application forms for bursaries have to be submitted by the November prior to the entrance examination and completed scholarship applications need to be returned in the first week of January. Therefore please ensure you register your daughter in plenty of time to receive the examination invitation, reply to it, and complete the necessary forms where applicable.
A. Bursaries are means-tested, based upon household income and assets. If your household income is less than around £48,000 then you may be eligible for some support. Many factors are taken into account though, such as mortgages and savings. Bursaries are based on a scale of income and can be anything from 100% of fees down to 30% of fees. Priority is now given to families who are eligible for a large bursary and whose daughter is academically able. If a family is offered a bursary, it is confidential. Bursaries are awarded to eligible girls who perform particularly well on the entrance examination or scholarship paper for Sixth Form; not everyone who is eligible for a bursary will necessarily receive one.
Scholarships are awarded to girls who are exceptionally talented in a certain area; academics, sports or arts. They are a celebrated achievement. The scholarships awarded each year vary in amounts, we do not offer full scholarships.
It is possible to be awarded both a bursary and a scholarship.
A. Bursaries are usually only awarded to girls entering Upper Third or the Sixth Form.
Girls joining Upper Third will be asked if they would like to apply for a bursary when they receive their entrance examination invitation. We start to send these invitations to registered girls in the October prior to the September entry. Girls entering the Sixth Form will be asked if they would like to apply for a bursary when they receive their scholarship examination invitation also in the October prior to the September entry; girls who wish to apply for a bursary in Sixth Form must sit the scholarship examination paper.
The completed bursary forms must be returned to the Girls' Day School Trust by the end of November prior to entry. Not everyone who applies for a bursary will be offered one; we offer to those who show the most academic potential either in their entrance examination or, in the case of Sixth Form, the scholarship examination.
A. We offer scholarships to girls entering Upper Third, Upper Fourth and Sixth Form. For the Upper Thirds we offer scholarships in the different arts, in sports and a number of academic scholarships. The academic scholarships are awarded to the girls who achieve the highest marks in the entrance examination and so are automatically awarded. The sports and arts scholarships are awarded after application and interview. Girls will be asked if they would like to apply for a scholarship when they receive their entrance examination invitations which are posted to registered girls from October prior to entry.
We offer a number of academic scholarship to girls entering Upper Fourth, which is based on an essay paper. Registered girls will receive their entrance examination invitation from October prior to entry. Within this invitation they will be asked if they would like to stay at school for the afternoon and also sit the scholarship paper.
Girls entering Sixth Form do not sit an entrance examination, they will simply receive their invitation to the scholarship paper in October prior to entry; they will then sit their scholarship paper in November.
You must be registered to receive an invitation to any of the examinations.
A. The outcome of all bursary and scholarship applications for Upper Thirds and Upper Fourths will be included in the offer letter which will be posted to all applicants at the end of the January prior to entry. The offer letter will also state how much of the fees you would then have to pay. Sixth Form applicants will find out if they were successful for a scholarship at the end of November. They will find out if they were successful in any bursary application at the end of January, along with all applicants in other year groups.
A. We currently offer academic, sports and arts scholarships. The arts scholarship covers drama, art, design & technology and music. The best candidate from these four areas will be awarded the scholarship. None of these areas currently covers the medium of dance. However, if your daughter would like to apply for the arts scholarship through drama, please let us know about her dancing interest as Mrs Fieldhouse, Head of Drama, will take this in to account.
A. During the afternoon following the entrance examination, the Registrar, Mrs Heather Berry, will call all parents individually to let them know if their daughter has been shortlisted and the time slot they have been given; which will during the following week.
Q. When do we find out if we have an offer?
A. All offer letters for Upper Third, Lower and Upper Fourth and Lower Fifth girls are sent in the post at the end of January. This letter will state if we are offering your daughter a place, if you have been successful for a bursary and/or scholarship (where applicable) and how much of the fees you will have to pay. Parents are given just over a month to accept a school place.
A. All enquirers will be invited to a Sixth Form Information Evening in October. This is followed by a Sixth Form scholarship examination in November. Girls apply to sit this examination by registering; any girl wishing to apply for a bursary must also sit this examination.
Scholarship offers are posted in November and bursary offers will be posted in January. All girls will also receive a letter in January inviting them to a taster day in February/March. We will also ask if we can contact their current school for a letter of recommendation and their mock GCSE results.
Following the taster day, all successful applicants will receive their official offer letters and an invitation to the induction days which are usually held at the end of June or start of July. Girls can arrange a private tour of the school at any time during the process by contacting the Registrar, Miss Heather Fink.
We only have a limited number of spaces available for sixth form; it is advisable to register quickly and so reserve your place to avoid any disappointment. We take registrations for all year groups months or years in advance of the girls’ start dates.
A. Junior school runs clubs for girls before school, during lunch time and after school. The clubs vary slightly each term. After school clubs generally run up to 4.30PM in the evening. The extracurricular clubs are mostly free of charge. Some of them however are run by external teachers and so incur an extra charge; this is always stated on the list provided to parents. After these school clubs, girls can then join the supervised out-of-school-hours club until 6PM for a small charge.
Towards the end of term, parents are sent the next term’s club lists and are asked to choose first and second preferences to ensure all girls can do at least one club they would like to; there are limited spaces in each group.
New parents also receive this letter in the post before their child starts school. Following this, girls can join other clubs after the start of term if there are still places available.
Please contact the Registrar for an up to date club list.
A. Senior school runs many clubs for girls before school, during lunch time and after school. Girls sign up for these clubs within their first week of school. Girls joining mid-year can discuss the options with their new form tutor and then sign up. There is no limit to the extra-curricular activities girls can partake in although we do recommend they do not join everything but allow themselves some lunch times free to relax. The activities offered do alter slightly each term. They are almost always free; should one be set up that incurs a charge, it will be stated on the list provided.
Please contact the Registrar for an up to date club list.
Q. What extra-curricular activities are open to my daughter in Sixth Form?
A. Our enrichment programme offers the young enterprise scheme, the community sports leadership award, a Sixth Form magazine, yoga and games and the opportunity to learn some ‘survival cookery’ or take an NVQ certificate in food safety. There is always a Duke of Edinburgh’s gold award group and Sixth Form girls make up the majority of those who undertake the biennial world challenge expedition.
As well as all the existing senior school clubs, including the top sports teams, Sixth Form girls have taken the initiative to set up their own activities for themselves and younger girls, including classics club and an amnesty international group. They edit and distribute their own magazine, Sixth Sense.
The Social Club runs a lively programme of activities outside school that all girls get involved in, including regular theatre trips.
Sixth Form girls also take on increased leadership roles by standing for election for the Head Girl team or Head of House. They co-ordinate the senior school Student Council and their Charities Committee organises charitable fundraising across the senior school.
Please contact the Registrar for an up to date club list.
A. All girls may enter the school from 7.45AM onwards.
Girls in junior school spend time with their friends or have breakfast until school starts (sometimes with their mum or dad who has breakfast with them before going to work). The cost of breakfast is currently £2.30 a day (2012/13).
We also run a junior school out-of-school-hours club until 6.00PM where the girls take part in fun activities and have a snack. The cost for this is £8.70 for the whole session or £4.90 per hour (2012/13).
We do not always run holiday clubs, although occasionally we do have an activity running and we also often have companies who hire parts of the school to run their own holiday clubs. Please contact the junior school for more details.
Senior girls can have breakfast when they arrive early or relax in the library until registration. Late prep is free, supervised homework time for senior girls and runs until 4.30PM or 5.00PM. Girls cannot leave this early; they must stay until one of these times to minimise disruption. Girls can also go to the Library or IT Room. Girls sign in to late prep at the start of the school day so that we are aware who is in the building after school has finished.
The senior school closes at 5.00PM. If girls are still waiting to be collected they must join in the out-of-school-hours club in the junior school where a member of staff is present.
A. It is possible for girls to join the school mid-year, subject to availability. All girls, from Year 1 upwards need to take an entrance assessment (junior school) or entrance examination (senior school). All assessments take a morning, with the exception of the examination for girls joining Lower Fifth, or late in Upper Fourth, whose examination takes a full day. Girls are always welcome to stay for lunch, if they wish, where they will meet some girls in their year group. It is also possible to stay for afternoon lessons.
It is sometimes possible for girls to join in year groups that are currently studying for their GCSE or AS levels, for example mid-year in Lower Fifth or Lower Sixth. However these families need to come in to school to discuss this with either the Director of Studies or with the Head of Sixth Form. We will only be able to offer a place to these girls if they are academically capable of making such a change and continuing their studies without too much disruption. If you are enquiring about joining mid-year into these year groups please find out the examination boards your daughter is currently using at her present school for each subject so that can see how well we can accommodate those courses.
A. All parents receive a welcome pack before their daughter starts school, which includes lots of information; such as the parent handbook. It also includes a booklet with return slips where we ask about dietary requirements, medical information, buses and ballet and music lessons.
In junior school, welcome packs are given to parents during the welcome day at the start of July. In senior school, these are given to parents during the welcome evening which is held in May and in Sixth Form they are given to girls during their induction days in June.
A. We run eight bus routes servicing many surrounding areas. More information on these can be found on our Transport page.
A. Before your daughter starts school, if you have any queries at all please contact the Registrar, Mrs Heather Berry, who will find out the answers for you. Please call 01604 765765 and press option 4 for Admissions.
A. The Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) is the largest group of independent schools in the UK. It is a charity which owns and runs a family of 26 schools in England and Wales, and reinvests its income back into these schools for the benefit of the pupils.
The GDST is a major player within education in the UK and has an outstanding track record in helping students achieve their full potential in every aspect of their lives. The hallmarks of a GDST school are consistently high academic standards, superb pastoral support, an enviable culture and the self-evident success of the students.
Girls who join Northampton High School are all part of the GDST family and every Sixth Former automatically becomes a lifelong member of the Minerva Network, a networking and communications channel for former pupils of GDST schools. This service provides alumnae with career information and advice, work experience, mentoring and much more.
There are many further benefits of attending a GDST school, for example the GDST arranges a CareerStart programme for all GCSE and A level students to help them gain transferable business skills to complement and extend their academic and extra-curricular experience. It also runs, with HSBC, a summer programme where students from the UK and China develop their creative, leadership and teamwork skills in a pioneering independent/state school partnership.
To read further about the many benefits of being part of the GDST, please visit the website at www.gdst.net.