Celebrating our 146th birthday

Northampton High School marks 146th birthday with special celebration

Yesterday marked the 146th birthday of Northampton High School!

Founded in 1878, our school emerged during a time when educational opportunities for women were limited. Initially named ‘Northampton Middle-Class Girls’ School’, it opened its doors at 83 Abington Street to twenty nine pupils. The school’s mission was to provide ‘a thorough and systematic English Education at a moderate cost’ under the leadership of its first Headmistress, Miss Mary Pearson.

The celebration included a special assembly, where the oldest and youngest students performed the ceremonial cake cutting. This was followed by a special rendition of “Happy Birthday” and an insightful assembly by Dr. Lee for students from Year 1 to Sixth Form. Dr. Lee shared experiences inspired by an Old Girl, Eileen Bebbington, who attended our school from 1953 to 1966. After meeting Eileen at the Old Girls’ Lunch in March, Dr. Lee was gifted a copy of her book, ‘Derngate Days’. During the assembly, Dr. Lee read extracts from Eileen’s memoir, which vividly described past uniform expectations, subject and career choices, annual events, and the school’s ethos during her time at the High School.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the day was sharing 591 cupcakes among all the students and staff!

It is remarkable how our school continues to be a magical place where girls learn, grow, and succeed. Eileen has highlighted, “I can assure people that girls at NHS were not aware of a glass ceiling anywhere as Miss Marsden, who was Headmistress in charge from 1937 to 1964, instilled in the girls the expectation of a career of their own, and that a woman’s job is not to marry and become a wife or mother”. More importantly, Miss Marsden also stressed hard work in everything, hobby, sport or lessons, punctuality, service to others and particularly finishing what you started. Eileen’s reflections can easily be seen today where our values, pioneering spirit and unstoppable ‘can do’ attitude still endure throughout.

Taking a day to throw a birthday party for our school allows us to express our gratitude and appreciation. It is a reminder not to take for granted the culture, opportunities, and security our school provides.

Thank you to all our pupils, parents and staff who make Northampton High School such a wonderful place to learn and work. We look forward to celebrating many more birthdays in the years ahead.


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