Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 1 March 2024

Reflection on the inspection process

Before the recent half-term break, Northampton High School was inspected under the Independent Schools Inspectorate’s (ISI) new framework, which came into effect from September 2023. Under the Framework 2023, schools no longer receive a traditional single-word judgement or grade; instead pupil experience is meticulously scrutinised under four key areas: leadership and management, quality of education, pupils’ physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing, pupils’ social and economic education and contribution to society.

The inspection took place over 2.5 days and entailed a multifaceted approach. Inspectors observed scores of lessons, engaged in collaborative lesson walks with school leaders, met with hundreds of students and a wide range of teaching and non-teaching staff, and held discussions with the School Governing Body and the GDST Senior Management Team. Additionally, questionnaires were sent out to parents, pupils from Year 5 and above, and staff, and responses were analysed.

The inspectors were tasked to gather evidence for evaluating pupils’ progress and outcomes, while assessing how teachers fostered opportunities for intellectual, creative and physical engagement within and beyond the classroom, nurturing self-motivated and independent learners. At the heart of this approach lay a strong emphasis on acquiring new knowledge, increasing understanding, and developing skills tailored to individual abilities across various subjects. In other words, the inspectors were trying to ascertain and delineate the learning ethos and culture fabric of our school, aiming to identify what sets us apart and makes us unique.

The inspection process prompted me to recall and contemplate the proverb: ‘Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick tempered displays folly’. This age-old proverb raises questions of values, moral behaviour, and the essence of right conduct. It resonated with me deeply as the inspectors endeavoured to define and understand the collective identity of Northampton High School and gain insight into what it is like to be a pupil within our precincts.

The proverb points to the importance of ‘great understanding’ and its connection to the virtue of patience. In the absence of a nuanced understanding, similar to the challenge faced by the ISI inspectors, hasty judgments and misinterpretations may ensue. It is only by getting ‘under the skin’ of something, and dedicating time to acquire a proper understanding of a person and their situation thoroughly that we can exercise genuine empathy for them. 

To this end, understanding entails thoughtful and deliberate consideration of a situation, leading to appropriate responses. A fool is not necessarily a person who lacks intelligence but someone who reacts impulsively or loses their temper at the slightest provocation – or even without provocation at all. Reacting from pure instinct without having gathered all the facts is pure ‘folly’. 

Furthermore, it behoves us to distinguish between knowledge and understanding. While schools impart knowledge, and pupils spend a lot of time getting to know a lot of stuff but without understanding the meaning or application of that knowledge, it can be of little use. Knowing is static, while understanding is active, describing the ability to analyse and place those facts in the context of a bigger picture or within a broader framework. It bridges the gap between knowledge and wisdom. When you comprehend the information you have learned, or knowledge you have acquired, you understand it. When you understand the knowledge and learn to apply it discerningly in decision-making and negotiations, you gain wisdom. It is also true that knowledge can exist without wisdom, but not the other way around. One can be knowledgeable without being wise. 

In summary, the inspection process served as a poignant reminder that the right understanding serves as a precursor to acting and behaving wisely. This necessitates patience in listening, seeking informed perspectives, and refraining from hasty ill-tempered reactions. It is a quality essential for fostering greater empathy, deeper kindness, and wisdom in our interactions with others and in navigating the complexities of the world. 

Dr Lee

The Week Ahead

Tuesday 5 March
U12A County Plate Tournament Netball

Wednesday 6 March
U13A ECB County Trials Cricket

Thursday 7 March
Yr9-13 Reach Lecture
GDST Spring Rally
Yr13 Parents’ Evening

Friday 8 March
Whole School Open Morning
International Women’s Day
U15A ECB County Trials Cricket

Sunday 10 March
Yr8 Normandy Residential

Please click here to view the spring term’s Clubs & Activities list and timetable

Eating Disorder Week


When we hear about eating disorders we mostly think about Anorexia and Bulimia ,however this year’s focus is on ARFID– Avoidant/Restrictive, Food Intake Disorder.  ARFID is thought to be a little known and misunderstood condition but one that can have a significant impact on people’s lives. BEAT has acknowledged an increased number of calls about this disorder and that people are struggling to get the help they need.

Anyone can have ARFID – children, teenagers and adults. 

ARFID is more common in autistic individuals and people with ADHD, than in neurotypical people. Signs include an avoidance of certain foods or types of food. Some individuals find certain textures, smells or tastes overwhelming or uncomfortable. Based on previous experiences individuals may avoid foods that may make them choke or feel sick. Restriction in variation of foods or restriction in amount of intake may be an issue. Unlike other feeding disorders or Eating Disorders ARFID beliefs about weight and shape do not contribute to the avoidance or restriction of food intake. Although people with ARFID may lose weight or have low weight, this is not a criteria for ARFID. It can occur at any weight and varies in different people. For more information visit the BEAT website. 

BEAT offers free support online sessions raising awareness and providing information for carers and those struggling with ARFID. You are most welcome to contact the school’s Medical and Wellbeing team if you have any concerns about your child’s eating, for a non-judgemental ear and some support and guidance.

Mrs Dunkely
School Nurse

Year 6 pupil accepts invitation to Buckingham Palace!

This week, Northampton High School has enjoyed celebrating Angelie (Year 6) for her fabulous entry in BBC’s 500 Words competition, which led to her once-in-a-lifetime visit to Buckingham Palace!

Entering the largest children’s story writing competition in the UK, Angelie received news that her submission ‘Nira and the Sphinx Adventures’ had placed in the top 50 of over 100,000 entries. The BBC contest encourages children to write a story they would love to read themselves, and naturally, Angelie constructed a powerful narrative about girls in coding.

In a beautifully written piece, Angelie combined her interest in computer science with her knowledge of the wider world and the perception of women in society. Her story follows the protagonist, Nira, an 11 year old coding-enthusiast who feels isolated and ignored as the only girl in her coding club. After Nira simulates Ada Lovelace, history’s first computer programmer back to life, the 19th century mathematician discovers that Charles Babbage has been credited for her work. The characters – nearly 200 years apart in age – connect over their struggles to be recognised in a male-dominated field.

The striking entry, conveying an impressive understanding of gender inequality and feminism across the centuries, won Angelie a sought-after invitation to Buckingham Palace for the 500 Words final.

During her visit to the palace, Angelie was ‘buzzing with enthusiasm’ and shared her delight to be amongst the other finalists. Angelie met a number of famous faces at the event, including Queen Camilla, who can be found standing beside her in the picture!  The final took place on Wednesday 28 February and was filmed for a special 500 Words programme with The One Show, which will broadcast on Thursday 7 March to mark World Book Day 2024. We are looking forward to watching the programme next week with the hope of spotting Angelie on our TV screens!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

High Sports

Year 8 Cross Curricular
As part of the cross-curricular topic ‘memory’, Year 8, in their games lesson, took part in a challenge which involved teamwork, fitness and a good memory! Working in small groups, each team had to complete a table of 32 items which were hidden under a bib out on the field. They had to run out to the items on the field, remember the location plus the colours and items hidden underneath, run back and record the information back with their team in the sports hall. Students were commended for completing the challenge the quickest and most accurately, showing excellent teamwork and encouraging others.

U13 Netball County Tournament
In our pool we competed against six teams; Wollaston, Prince William, Abbeyfield, Quinton House, Sponne and Lodge Park. Our first match against Wollaston was a tough match at first. In the first quarter the score was 1–2 to us, but we were able to pull away with the final score being 5- 3.

Our second match was against Prince William which we won quite comfortably with a score of 8-2. After that match we played Abbeyfield, and again we won quite comfortably with the score being 18-0.

Our next match was against Quinton House and it was quite tough, but we managed to pull through and the final score was 5-3. After that we had a tough match against Sponne who were at the top of the pool. We were able to beat them 8-2!

Our last game was against Lodge Park Academy which we won 4-0. After this we were the top of the table and qualified into the semi finals against Moulton. We were able to beat them 10-0 which took us into the final against Sponne who had defeated NSG in their semi final. As we had already played them, the coach said that we could take the win. I am very proud of my team for playing really well and we are now the County Plate Champions! Elise R, Captain

Sporting Successes
Badminton – Vivien L continues with successes in badminton. Over the half term break on Saturday 17 February she competed in a U19B doubles tournament at Weavers School, winning a Bronze medal with her partner. We look forward to hearing of more successes in the future.

Volleyball – After trying volleyball for the first time in a games lesson in March, I found the sport so much fun and decided to join a club outside of school. By regularly attending training sessions, taking part in any opportunities given to me in the form of matches, umpiring and volunteering at competitions, and doing extra training in my own time, I managed to learn a lot about the sport and gain a lot of skills. As a result of this, my coach nominated me for tryouts for the girls East Midlands U17 volleyball team which chooses players to take part in a national competition in May against the best teams in the country. I attended the first tryout session in December with around 40 girls and only 2 days later I heard I was invited to the second session. This felt like such a big achievement to me as many of the girls going to the tryouts are much more experienced and have been playing for years. In January, I attended the second tryout session with around 30 girls and again I was invited to the third session where only less than 20 have been invited. As well as this, I was asked to attend my club’s National League women’s training sessions which I have started going to and this has greatly improved my playing and confidence. I look forward to my next tryout in March and I am very much hoping to make it onto the team. Emma B

Neurodiversity Parent Coffee Morning

As part of Neurodiversity Celebration Week, we are delighted to be hosting a Parent Coffee Morning on Wednesday 20 March, 9-10:30am.

The theme for this session is ADHD, and we are delighted to be welcoming ADHD Wise UK into Northampton High to lead the discussion. All parents are invited to join us for this engaging and informative talk, exploring how best we can support our neurodiverse pupils.

Whole School Open Morning - Friday 8 March

We look forward to welcoming so many lovely families to our upcoming Whole School Open Morning on Friday 8 March. The event promises to be a superb showcase of life at Northampton High School.

If you would like to come along, please do feel most welcome, and should you have family, friends, or neighbours keen to visit us, please encourage them to book their place here and join us!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

What's on at Northampton High - Spring Term

Book Review

One Day by David Nicholls – TWENTY YEARS, TWO PEOPLE, ONE DAY – 15 July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that?And every year that follows?

One Day was first published over a decade ago but has lost none of its ability to enchant and entertain us as we follow the lives of Dexter and Emma from their last days at university before heading off into the adult world.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Save the Date: Spring Art Collective

Reach Lectures - Spring Term 2024

The weekly Reach talks are an opportunity for students in Years 9-13 to explore areas far beyond the school curriculum, broadening their horizons and developing their skills of curiosity and critical thinking. We are excited to offer this programme to our students and are very grateful to all our speakers for giving up their time to share their expertise with us.

Any parents who might be interested in contributing to the Reach lectures in 2025 are encouraged to email

Miss Kilby
Reach Coordinator

Diversity and Inclusion Calendar 23/24: March

Saturday Athletics Course

Moulton College are hosting a 5-week athletics course available to children in Year 3 to Year 10, beginning on Saturday 2 March.

A high resolution copy of the flyer can be found by clicking here.

A link to the registration form can be found here.

Mrs Littlewood
Teacher of Physical Education

Code Ninjas Northampton

Northampton Swimming Club: Intensive Course

PQA Stage & Screen sessions

EFC Football Development Camp

Northampton High School - Where girls learn without limits

Term Dates

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