Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 1 April 2022

My favourite break in the school year is the Easter break. Not (only) because of chocolate eggs, but because it always feels like a turning point in so many ways. Already we can hear and feel spring in the air; daffodils and bluebells, gamboling lambs, birds tweeting as dawn breaks earlier than any other time of year.

The Easter break brings the promise of that final, shortest term of the academic year and beyond that the summer holidays. For students in exam year groups, and their families, the Easter break can also bring with it the reality of the impending GCSE and A Level examinations. I think we can all entirely empathise with the irony of having exams at time when others are out enjoying the spring and summer weather. After two years without these exams, their return feels like the last piece of normality returning to our post-pandemic lives though, and I am confident the students are well prepared. I encourage them to take advantage of the Easter revision courses to cover any final areas of concern.

In the meantime, we turn our thoughts to transitions and particularly the moves from Pre School to Reception, Year 6 to Senior School and Year 11 to Sixth Form. Pivotal moments in the students’ lives and, as with any major change, they need careful preparation. The summer term will provide many opportunities for students in those year groups to learn more about the next steps and what to expect, along with those pupils who will be joining the Northampton High School community for the first time.

Before we get there though, I would like to wish you a very good break whatever you are doing over the Easter period and however you are celebrating the official start of summer. I leave you with Philip Larkin’s take on the changing of seasons:

The Trees, Philip Larkin, 1967

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

Mrs O’Doherty

The week ahead

Monday 25 April
Staff INSET Day
Summer Clubs (click here for timetable)

Tuesday 26 April
Summer Term Begins
Summer Clubs (click here for timetable)

Wednesday 27 April
Whole School Photograph
Coffee with the new Head of Junior School – Emily Hair
Summer Clubs (click here for timetable)

Thursday 28 April
Summer Clubs (click here for timetable)

Friday 29 April
Senior School Assembly
Coffee with the new Head of Junior School – Emily Hair
Summer Clubs (click here for timetable)

Dealing with Self-Harm

Last week we were fortunate enough to be able to invite a speaker into school who is an expert on one of the more difficult pastoral issues in school. Satveer Nijjar is a well renowned public speaker on the subject of dealing with self-harm. She has worked for many years in this field and is passionate about removing the stigma attached to the subject, so that we might discuss it more openly as teachers, as parents and as friends.

I’m sure for all of you, the idea of your child engaging in such behaviours is terrifying and something that you would rather not consider. However, sadly, there is a rising trend in self-harm, particularly amongst teenagers, and ever more so since the outbreak of COVID, back in late 2019. It is therefore vital that we, as a community, take on board the information available to us.

Many of you will know that I am not usually speechless at any moment, but the raw and honest way in which Satveer was able to convey her messages, based on first-hand experience, was quite remarkable; directly after the talk I found that I had a lot more thinking to do than talking. She held her audience captive for a full 90 minutes and engaged with us to allow exploration of the reasons for self-harm, highlighting the issues as being the root cause, rather than the behaviour itself. In many cases, self-harm is not medically significant, although we must, of course, be mindful of the clear links between self-harm and suicide. That said, in most cases, self-harm is used as a coping strategy, and when we delved into this further, we discovered that it could be argued that a great many of us engage in ‘self-harm-type behaviours’ from time to time. A large glass of wine after a hard day at work, “just to take the edge off”, or binge watching the entire series of Bridgerton in one go ‘to avoid reality for a short while’, resulting in us being tired and less effective at work the next day, could be seen as potentially harmful behaviours. An interesting topic for debate perhaps!

To read the full blog entry, please click here.

Miss Kneen
Assistant Head – Pastoral Care and Guidance

Sports Presentation Evening 2022

On Wednesday Evening, we were delighted to see the return of one of the marquee events in the Northampton High School calendar; our Sports Presentation Evening.

Returning after a two-year Covid-enforced absence, it was fantastic to welcome both parents and students into the Senior Hall, to celebrate the wonderful accolades and achievements of our students in the world of sport.

As part of the showpiece event, we were delighted to welcome school alumna Ellie Robinson back to Northampton High, to deliver an inspirational speech to those in attendance. Ellie was only too happy to take part in a Q&A with the audience, before handing out the prizes and certificates to this year’s deserving winners.

Thank you so much to everybody who joined us for the return of this spectacular event, and a huge congratulations to this year’s winners, a list of whom you can find below.

We are also delighted to share the photos from the event with parents. These can be viewed by clicking here, and if you would like to purchase copies to keep, please click here using code 19652-10984 for Junior School, and 19651-08093 for Senior School.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

High Sports

With our school fixtures finished for the term, we are delighted to shine a line on some of the fantastic external achievements of our students over the course of the past couple of weeks.

Cross Country: Congratulations to Bella F, who ran in the Nations Primary Schools Cross Country race in Market Harborough on Saturday.

Bella put in a fantastic run, made even more impressive due to struggling with her asthma. Well done, Bella!

Netball: Congratulations to Evie F, who, in her last county netball match, was named as the Most Effective Defender. This was as part of the experienced U15’s group, and is a fantastic accolade to achieve.

On Monday, Evie was also recognised on court after her Loughborough Lightning game, now that the season has concluded.

Netball: On 25 March, 5 pupils were afforded the opportunity to train with Loughborough Lightning U15’s Hub; congratulations to Ashana H, Kirsten M, Roja L, Gemma S and Jasmine Y.

We started off the session by doing a half court 4 vs 4. This was welcoming because we got to play together, making us feel more comfortable in this new environment. After that, we played full-court matches so the coaches could see us play properly; in these matches we were mixed with the Loughborough girls. Although we didn’t win any of our matches, it was a good learning curve!

As a result, Ashana and Jasmine were asked to train with the county team. We all had lots of fun and all the girls were so kind and hospitable!

Fitness Suite: Since joining the after school Gym sessions in January, Mia C (Year 10), has made huge progress in learning how to powerlift. From being a complete novice and spending time learning the correct lifting techniques, Mia is now comfortably able to squat and deadlift approx. 90% of her bodyweight; no easy feat!

Amazing progress showing commitment and consistency over a relatively short 12 week period; well done, Mia!

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

Spotlight on Sport: Saesha - Taekwondo

Outside of school, I train and compete in Taekwondo. I am a first degree black belt and am working towards a second degree belt.

This year I have qualified for my first National Competition, in both U17 and U18. I have been training since I was 6, competing at both club and county level. Currently I train at CMBBA, which is part of the International Taekwondo Federation. I owe so many of my accomplishments to my trainers, Cargin Moss MBE, an 8th degree black belt, nearly a Grand Master, and Cindy Moss, at 7th degree; both of whom always inspire me and have even gone to the World Championships!

At the moment I have surpassed fourteen belts prior to my black belt commendation and know eleven patterns. I hold the most gold medals in my favored division, breaking. This is competing to break a wooden board by kick strength with difficulty increasing each round.

I also enjoy patterns, point sparring and continuous sparring. Sparring is similar to combat in action movies like James Bond which is part of the reason I love the sport! Outside of school I am looking forward to attending my club’s annual championships and receiving my 10 years of committed service placard.

I would say part of the reason I love Taekwondo is how it is unlike any other sport. Training completely varies from punching bags and glove-line sparring one day, to extremely technical pattern work the next. For me, it has given me strength – not just physically – and a true talent from what began as just a hobby.

Saesha G
Year 12

GCSE and A Level Fashion and Textiles Trip

Last Friday, our Fashion and Textiles students, teachers and technicians were all excited for the welcome return of our annual research trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Due to the pandemic this trip had been rescheduled twice, and although the V&A had reopened to the public during the Autumn of 2021, it was still restricting admission to school groups until February 2022.

We began by visiting the permanent Fashion Gallery at the museum. This gallery houses an unrivalled collection of fashion and costume pieces dating from the 17th century to the present day. Our students set about making primary recordings through sketching and photographs which will form project research in the months to come. Students then explored galleries of their choice ranging from the Japan and Asia galleries to Sculpture, Ceramics, and Jewellery.

In contrast to our contextual studies, we then visited the iconic London store ‘Liberty’ for some more contemporary research. Here, students were able to get up close and personal with elaborate couture pieces and luxury branded clothing, accessories, fabrics and furnishings.

For students who are considering careers in the creative industries, fashion, business or retail management I would like to recommend some essential television viewing: ‘Christmas at Liberty’ available on Channel 4 catch up. This is a fascinating documentary which explores behind the scenes at this luxury retailer. It focusses on range of high-profile positions within Liberty, which are all currently held by dynamic and inspiring women. Roles featured in the documentary include Buying Manager for Interior, Lead Creative, Visual Creative Concept Manager, Chief Marketing Officer, and Global Head of Content.

Miss Lycett
Subject Leader for Textiles

Enterprise Club

Last week saw the culmination of this term’s work for Enterprise Club and the Young Enterprise 10X Challenge. The students (from Years 5 -9) spent the first half of the term researching and planning their mini-enterprises. The week before half term saw them being issued with their £10 loan capital to buy their resources. Then the real fun began…

The girls have been trading their goods on a Monday and Thursday lunchtime since half term at the Pop-up Enterprise Market at the end of the Humanities corridor. Products have ranged from stickers, stationery, hand-painted wall plaques and well-being stones, scrunchies, jewellery and key rings. Lots of the products were handmade showing just how creative our students are!

I am pleased to say that everyone paid back their loan capital this week with everyone making a profit (some more considerable than others!). One group had picked a charity ‘Action Aid’ to support by donating a share of their revenue for every keyring sold.

Thank you, girls, for all your commitment and hard work. It has been a pleasure to see your plans and money-making schemes come to fruition.

Mrs Tansley and Mrs Langhorn

Verity claims award at Rotary Chef Regional Final!

A huge congratulations to Verity, who took part in the regional final of the Rotary Chef competition last Saturday.

Verity won two rounds to get to this stage with her winning menu, and on the day won ‘dish of the day’ with her sea bass main course. Verity is a very talented chef and a fantastic representative of the school.

Well done, Verity, I hope you are up for donning your apron again for next year’s competition!

Miss Knight
Subject Leader Food

Teachers for Tomorrow (T4T) - Sixth Form Elective

Students in the Sixth Form are coming to the end of their T4T elective (Teachers for Tomorrow). For those interested in teaching as a future career, it has been a valuable insight into the profession, helping them develop their confidence and communication skills. For some it has also been beneficial in securing place on their chosen university course.

Here is what it was like for Mo, Year 13.

“I have always had a passion to teach, and the T4T elective has allowed me to do this and has become the highlight of my time in Sixth Form.

As part of this elective, I take on a TA role in various Junior School classes (including a variety of subjects ranging from Year 1 to 6) across 3 days per week. Near the beginning of the year my role in the classes was mostly observing and providing support when needed, but as time went on, I began designing starter activities, creating resources, and even leading the lesson occasionally. Knowing I’m headed to the Junior School in the afternoon always keeps my spirits up and gets me through the day.

Looking to the future, I have a place on a primary teaching course at university, and besides being a valuable mention in my personal statement, T4T has helped me feel much more comfortable teaching a room full of children. It has also allowed me to really hone some of my teaching techniques and discover the kind of teacher I want to be.”

Ms Eldridge
Teacher of Theology & Philosophy

Book of the Week

When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2022

1941. War is raging. And one angry boy has been sent to the city, where bombers rule the skies. There, Joseph will live with Mrs F, a gruff woman with no fondness for children. Her only loves are the rundown zoo she owns and its mighty silverback gorilla, Adonis. As the weeks pass, bonds deepen and secrets are revealed, but if the bombers set Adonis rampaging free, will either of them be able to end the life of the one thing they truly love? Inspired by a true story.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

High Sports - Spring Edition available to read now!

The latest instalment of our High Sports newsletter is available to view now! The termly publication takes a retrospective look back on all the goings on in the Sports department at Northampton High over the previous term, and we are delighted to share the spring edition with you now.

In this issue we look back at the Condover Hall Festival of Netball, look ahead to the summer term, shine the spotlight on external sporting successes, and review each of our spring term sports.

To take a read, please click here. Hard copies are available from Reception if you would like one to keep.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Backchat - new edition out now

We are delighted to share with you the latest edition of the school magazine, Backchat.

This edition is titled ‘Nostalgia’ and we hope you enjoy this latest instalment. Whether it be creative writing, current affairs or even the arts, we hope this magazine provides something to suit your interests.

To view Backchat – Nostalgia, please click here.

The Backchat Team

Success in recent Intermediate Maths Challenge

A large number of Year 10 and 11 students took part in the recent Intermediate Maths Challenge, with 3 students reaching the follow-on round (called the Kangaroo competition).

These were: From Year 11 – Shreya S and Risha B, and from Year 10 – Mia L. Mia was awarded with a Merit certificate for the Kangaroo, which only a small percentage of entrants achieve, so this is really impressive.

Well done, everyone!

Mrs Harrison
Teacher of Mathematics

Printmakers Against War

Thank you so much for all of your support so far with our Printmakers Against War campaign.

Thanks to your generosity and support, we have so far raised a fantastic total of £318 to support the Ukraine Crisis Appeal. If you would still like to purchase a piece of artwork and donate, you can do so through our DEC British Red Cross JustGiving page, which you can find here. You can also find out more about the process by clicking here.

Thank you once again for your continued support. Have a lovely Easter!

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts Faculty

Swotly: Trial reminder for Years 8-12

I wrote to families of Year 8 to Year 12 recently with details of a trial we are running with educational technology provider Swotly, whose innovative platform helps parents engage with their children’s learning using voice technology. The concept is that, using an Alexa smart speaker or mobile app, you will be able to enquire about what classes, clubs or fixtures your children have coming up, as well as academic information such as assignments that are due.

You can find more information on Swotly’s website; the deadline for joining this limited pilot is 8 April 2022, and you can indicate your interest by accessing this Google form. Once the product has been fully tested and approved we would hope to be able to make it available to all families.

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head – Academic

Parent Talks: Teens and Screens

The May event in our Parent Talks programme will take place on Monday 9 May at 6pm.

This event will have relevance for all parents and will feature Tanya Goodin on the subject of Teens and Screens.

Tanya is a trailblazing author, pioneering thinker and campaigner on digital wellbeing and tech ethics, and founder of the digital detox movement, Time to Log Off.

To book a place for the Teens and Screens event, please click here.

Mrs WilmotDirector of Marketing & Admissions

Inclusivity Bulletin: April


We are delighted to share with you the latest Northampton High School Inclusivity Bulletin.

The above graphic outlines what will be happening throughout this month, but to read more and to view the bulletin in full, please click here.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Easter Hockey Camps

Pauline Quirke Academy: The Little Mermaid

PQA Northampton & VCL Productions embark on their latest musical spectacle as they journey under the sea. With fabulous costumes, special effects this is a theatrical event not to be missed!

Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above, bargaining with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs.

But the bargain is not what it seems, and Ariel needs the help of her colourful friends, Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea.

With music by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs, including Under the Sea, Kiss the Girl and Part of Your World.

Join us at the fabulous Theatre at Northampton High School – Hardingstone, NN4 6UU for performances on the 22 May at 12pm & 5pm! To book your tickets, please click here.

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
T: 01604 765765 nhsadmin@nhs.Gdst.Net