Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 10 July 2020

Dear parents and guardians

We have reached the end of an academic year like no other, and one that we could not have imagined even as we rang in the new calendar year in January. It has been an extraordinary period, and one from which we will all take our own peculiar memories and emotions. Our journeys have been very different and I offer sincere condolences to all who have lost loved ones over the past weeks and to those who have suffered stress as a result of financial hardship or health concerns. Respect, too, for those who have adapted or found a new skill or path in life as a result of this pandemic, and pride in the way that the whole school community has pulled together.

I had spent fewer than 100 days in school in my role as Acting Head and only five in my substantive position when we went into lockdown. Not a first week or year that I would have wished for or imagined and, with an ‘Excellent’ inspection thrown in for good measure, I have certainly been kept busy. Relationships have been formed and built over Teams and Zoom, but I am very much looking forward to some face-to face meetings as we embark on the ‘new normal’, whatever that may mean. I’m looking forward, too, to spending more time with the students in person and to getting to know parents and their wider families, working alongside a team of dedicated professionals as we all work to maintain our happy, positive, productive and caring school community.

At the time of writing it appears almost certain that there will be the opportunity to do this from September, albeit at a distance. With the promise of a return to school for all, with constraints that have been shared with parents in a separate bulletin, it seems likely that we will return to the ‘new normal’ and we are very much looking forward to that time: a new school year, a fresh start and a community reunited. Until then, it is time for a break – and never has this been more deserved: time away from screens and time to travel a little when we can, too.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy summer!

Caroline Petryszak

Sixth Form

6.1 have greatly enjoyed being back in school for the last month of term nimbly negotiating the balance of live lessons and GHL. All are actively researching courses and universities, attending virtual open days and webinars, completing their UCAS forms and drafting their personal statements.

Their ability to remain positive and focused while supporting their families and local communities has been most impressive. We are all looking forward to being back in school together in September and welcoming the new 6.1 cohort. The current challenge is to devise a suitable alternative to the barbecue and social that we usually hold on the first day back!

6.2 have prepared for university by completing University Bridging Courses led by experts from across the Trust, devouring university reading lists and exploring aspects of subjects they wish to study by completing MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, delivered by universities across the world. We enjoyed seeing so many of them and their families on the Zoom call with Professor Sasha Roseneil from UCL last week, asking questions about how universities would be delivering their programmes in the Autumn. We are looking forward to celebrating with them on 13th August when A Level results will be released and university places will be confirmed.

Until then, we wish all the Sixth Form and their families, who have done so much to support them during this challenging time, a relaxing and enjoyable break.

Mrs Cantwell                           Mr Viesel
Director of Sixth Form           Deputy Director of Sixth Form

Senior School

In the Senior School, Guided Home Learning (GHL) has been both a challenge and a real pleasure for teachers and pupils alike, with the defining thread being the power of technology to bring us together in difficult times. We have been hugely impressed by the resilience and inventiveness of the students as they have got used to working remotely. Teachers too have found this to be a revelation in many ways, making the most of new methods of collecting work and providing feedback.

We often talk about the importance of being independent learners and GHL has certainly been a powerful tool in encouraging self-sufficiency. What we have discovered though, is that guidance and individual support is more important than ever. Technology offers us the opportunity to provide assistance quickly and efficiently, and helps to avoid the risk of ‘batch processing’ in our feedback and planning.

A parent remarked to me recently that had the lockdown taken place when she was at school, the feeling of isolation would have been complete. Thankfully, our teachers and students have been able to collaborate consistently in live online environments, and in many ways, we have managed to replicate the school day. But I think we also all know that virtual teaching and learning can never be a true substitute for physically being in school as a human community. What we have learned in the lockdown, however, will not be wasted as we move to a 1 to 1 digital device policy, with a renewed appreciation of how technology can enhance and personalise our teaching and learning approaches at Northampton High.

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head – Academic

Junior School

Thank you to our whole community for your support over this academic year.

It has been memorable in so many senses and we have achieved so much. The girls have been a credit to you and to the school and we are thoroughly looking forward to seeing you all again in September!

Have a wonderful summer.

Mr Bailey
Head of Junior School

A student perspective - Head Girl, Daria

It is beyond belief that this academic year has drawn to a close. After the closure of school in March I think we all expected that Corona would be a distant memory after Easter. Instead, we have all become experts in the world of Zoom, Google Classroom and, my personal favourite, Microsoft Teams.  The idea of Facetiming a teacher just at the start of the year seemed most unbelievable, let alone getting an insight into their interior design!

As 6.1, we have been lucky to return back for some “normal” class teaching, however I can tell you that it didn’t really feel normal – viewing a person in 3D was honestly most bizarre! What has impressed me most was how quickly our school and society as a whole adapted to the situation, although indeed we were left with little choice but to do so. Nevertheless, I recognise that for many students, staff and families, this period has been challenging and it’s easy to understand why some have become overwhelmed. It is with this in mind that we must continue to support one another and be kind to one another; the summer holiday is the perfect opportunity to just take a breather and recharge.

Although GHL has proven successful and, for some, has been deemed more efficient, particularly for older students, what this period has demonstrated is that school is so much more than teaching – it is an experience. It is this experience, the idea of memory-making, which is simply very hard, virtually impossible, to achieve by staring at a screen with the turning of the head removing you from a whole situation.

The little classroom comments, the jokes which are only funny in person, the extracurricular clubs, the bumping in conversations, the much-missed school lunches are all the things that we have to look forward to, all things which will be restored with time. I am very much looking forward to the day where we will all be reunited under the same school roof and where at least some sort of school experience and memory-making will be reinstated.

In the meantime, I wish you and your family nothing but health and happiness and hope to see you soon.

Head Girl

Transport for the new academic year

We are looking forward to welcoming our current pupils back into school in September, and the many new girls joining a number of our year groups in the new academic year.

Should parents need any assistance regarding Transport to and from school for September, please contact Mrs Cox at Each year Mrs Cox does an incredible job in organising the bus routes in response to our pupils’ transportation needs, ensuring that all girls can safely travel to school and home.

Best wishes and enjoy the summer!

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Erasmus+ - Creativity & Digital Competences

In 2018, when the staff from the five participating schools in Northampton, Amberg, Budapest, Porto and Riga collaborated on our project submission entitled ‘Creativity and Digital Competences for the 21st Century’ who could have foreseen how relevant these skills would become during the Covid-19 global pandemic?

We have seen in our own school community how staff and girls have embraced the challenges, honed digital skills, thought outside the box and produced the most amazing creative pieces, beyond anything we could have imagined.

Our Erasmus+ project should now be drawing to a close, having hosted our own mobility in April 2020. Obviously this did not take place, however, our project has been extended and we hope to share more about this with you in the autumn term, together with a virtual exhibition of our project on Inspiring Women.

Below are some of the reflections from our Erasmus+ ambassadors, whose disappointment about our cancelled mobility just made them even more determined to connect with their friends across Europe.

To read more about our Erasmus+ project, including the thoughts and experiences of our ambassadors Daria, Claudia and Anisha, please click here. We hope you enjoy the below photos from our trip to Riga.

Mrs Hill
Head of Languages Faculty

Message from Mrs Peto

Mrs Peto would like to thank girls and parents for their kind messages and well wishes as she begins her maternity leave.

Mrs Hill
Head of Languages Faculty

High Arts 2020

We are delighted to share with you the annual publication from the Arts Department, ‘High Arts’.

High Arts takes a retrospective look back over the world of Art at Northampton High School over past academic year, and gives us an opportunity to celebrate our students’ accolades and achievements, as well as looking at events held over that time.

To view this years publication please click here. Hard copies of the publication will be available when we return to school in September.

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts

Creative Arts Spotlight

Welcome to the final edition of the Creative Arts Spotlight for this academic year.

We love sharing the work of our students with you each week, even more so over the past couple of months with Guided Home Learning changing the way we teach and learn. The work completed during this time has been exemplary, and we are delighted to close out the year with a bumper edition of the Spotlight.

We kick off this weeks edition with a submission from Maisie in U3 (opposite). Maisie has created this wonderful collage of a flower, which is made up of pictures of different species of flowers!

We have some fantastic examples of still life work to show you in the next three submissions below, as Anna (lower right), Grace (upper right) and Sonya (left) use a great range of skills such as colouring and shading to great effect. Well done ladies!

A plethora of skills are on show in our next entries in the below album, with L4 the featured year group. Eva, Fleur, Lois, Mia, Rishika and Sophie have all produced some wonderful pieces, with examples of painting, collage making, pencil drawing and more all on show. Well done girls!

We have some more delightful submissions from U4 in the next gallery, and Irana (upper right), Heidi (lower right)  and Jasmine (left) have all produced some excellent work. Again a whole host of skills are on show, with the girls showing good knowledge of textiles work, collage making and use of colour in their work.

Our next gallery features work from students in U3, L4 and U4, and again the level of detail and skill showcases is outstanding. Congratulations to Caitlin, Ella, Hattie, Isobel, Lizzie and Vivien for these fantastic pieces, in which we see example of still life, collage making, painting and shading! A job well done!

The next section of this weeks Spotlight features work by Amélia L4, Caitlin U4, Mia L4, Ques Li L4, Shreya U4 and Tara U3. Each girl showcases fantastic skill in their respective pieces of work, which varies from water colour to shading.

Our next two pieces have been completed by Aibhilin U4 (left) and Annie May L4 (right). Both girls showcase a high level of skill in their pieces, with Aibhilin completing a beautiful collage, and Annie May producing a delightful dream catcher drawing.

And with that, we draw to a close the Creative Arts Spotlight for this academic year.

We hope you have enjoyed viewing the galleries each week as much as we have enjoyed putting them together. The consistent level of fantastic work completed each week by our students has been inspiring, especially during the uncertain times they have had to face over the last few months.

As you will have also seen in our new High Arts publication features earlier in the newsletter, The Arts continue to go from strength to strength at Northampton High, and we look forward to that continuing in September.

I hope you have a lovely summer, and as always, you can view full size versions of the images featured in all of the Spotlights by clicking here.

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts

Backchat - Latest edition out now!

We are delighted to share with you the latest edition of our student run magazine ‘Backchat’.

This latest publication is a special release, which celebrates the fantastic work completed by our Year 6 students as part of Guided Home Learning. We hope you enjoy!

Please click here to view the publication.

Mr Viesel
Deputy Director of Sixth Form

Kings Camp Summer 2020

Kings Camp will be operating their Summer Camps at Northampton High for 5 weeks, starting from Monday 20 July 2020.

The Camp is open for students aged between 5-17. For full information, please click here to view the Kings Camp Flyer.

Mrs Headley
Director of Finance and Operations

Summer Intensive Swimming Lessons

Term Dates 2020/21

Northampton High School
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