Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 11 March 2022

How many higher education providers are there in the UK? And how many undergraduate-level courses do they offer?

Our Year 12 students were asked these two questions by the Oxford Brookes admissions tutor who visited school last week.

The answers are striking: there are 395 higher education providers and more than 50,000 courses in the UK alone! Even the most motivated Sixth Former may find decision-making in such a context daunting (only the choice of outfit for Friday is fraught with similar levels of complexity).

It is therefore key that the High School provides the information and the tools to enable our students to make personal and informed decisions about life after school.

We held a Year 13 Exams Information Evening before the half-term break that examined the wider context of higher education post-pandemic, now that students are beginning to confirm their university offers. Last week’s Year 12 Higher Education Evening provided a broader introduction to applying to and choosing a university course, with support from Oxford Brookes and two of our recent alum – Chloe at Nottingham and Meena at St George’s, London. We followed up on that event with a talk from The University Guys, one of the leading organisations in the UK to offer guidance on study abroad options. Over the last couple of weeks, Year 12 have also had practical sessions to introduce them to writing personal statements, as well as Unifrog and UCAS Hub, two powerful tools to help them to narrow down their choices.

One aspect that I have highlighted in conversations with students is the extent to which competition for the most competitive courses has particularly increased post-pandemic. This is, by no means, a counsel of despair. We encourage our students to be ambitious and to believe in themselves. We pride ourselves on the degree to which they do so. In order to succeed in this changed environment, however, students need to showcase a wide range of skills and interests that go above and beyond their A Levels. The leadership opportunities, Electives programme, extracurricular activities and opportunities for supercurricular extension mean that our students are already well-prepared when it comes to competing for these courses. What our Sixth Formers need to do is be proactive and take advantage of the many opportunities that are open to them. And not forget to check their emails: I have, for instance, recently advertised wide-ranging support through the GDST for Year 12 students looking to pursue higher education in Medicine, Law or at Oxford or Cambridge.

Sixth Form is an exciting time to be making decisions and to be looking ahead to the future. Best of luck to our Year 13s as they make their final choices!

Travel Scholarship

We are delighted to announce that Amari Creak in Year 13 has been awarded one of only 12 GDST Travel Scholarships. These scholarships are open to competitive application by all Year 13 students across the GDST. Amari plans to travel to Canada during their gap year before beginning university studies in healthcare. They will be volunteering at the Montreal Children’s Hospital at first, before traveling west to volunteer with Vancouver Coastal Health. Congratulations!

GDST Medicine Conference

Aspiring medics in Year 10 through to Year 13 are warmly invited to take part in the GDST’s Medicine Conference on Wednesday 16 March. This is an online conference, but with all sessions streamed live in school (Strand A in the Wake Studio from 8.30am; Strand B in the Junior School Science Lab from 9.30am). The full programme and speaker biographies are here. If students would like to attend some or all sessions, please check with teachers whether you can be excused from lessons and email Mr Viesel if you are able to attend.

Mr Viesel
Director of Sixth Form

The week ahead

Monday 14 March
Science Week: All Week
Senior School Assembly
Science Week Dr Emily Grossman – 1pm
Netball: U12, 13 vs Quinton House
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Tuesday 15 March
National Theatre Performance (Year 10)
Virtual Year 8 Parents’ Evening

Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Wednesday 16 March
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Thursday 17 March
Netball: 1st VII vs Thornton College
NT 2nd Home Performance (Year 10)
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Friday 18 March
Performance of Dennis Kelly’s DNA by Quirky Bird Theatre
Year 12 Animal and Plant Health Agency
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Sat 19 & Sun 20 March
(Sat) Netball: 1st II, U12, 13, 14, 15 vs Bablake
(Sun) World Challenge Training Day

Northampton High raises over £2,100 in aid of Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund

Last week in school, the Northampton High community was delighted to do their bit to help raise vital funds for Ukraine by holding a special mufti day.

We held the event last Friday in aid of the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund, and at time of writing we have raised a whopping £2,192! The school became awash with yellow and blue, as the entire school community came together to show solidarity to those in Ukraine.

The Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund is raising essential money to help those in need during the current situation in the country. Money raised by Northampton High’s mufti day and by other events up and down the country will help to support those communities affected by providing access to education, food, medical services and psychosocial support. An estimated 3.4 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in eastern Ukraine, and with the COVID-19 pandemic being an added challenge, these essential funds will go a long way to helping those who need it most.

We began the school day with a poignant assembly delivered by Acting Head, Adele O’Doherty, which gave pupils a clear and concise overview of the history and geography of the region and the current situation. Themed events continued throughout the day, with students and staff alike coming together to show their support.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

International Women's Day

Every year, International Women’s Day provides a powerful and poignant reminder of what everyone at the GDST strives for every day.

In an unequal world where women continue to face many challenges, our mission to reach as many girls as possible, to equip them with the confidence and agency to face the world with courage and conviction, is as important as ever.

In all our schools, girls took part in activities that reinforced what our teachers encourage in classrooms everyday – to have the confidence to take risks; to try, sometimes to fail, but never to give up; to always

get up, dust themselves off and try again; to be fearless when they step out into the world and make the most of the opportunities that the privilege of an education gives them.

We may still feel that progress towards reaching equality is painfully slow. However, it is worth knowing that every single girl in a GDST school has the opportunity to make a difference in the world, for themselves and for others, so that ultimately they make the world a better place for everyone. Every one of our teachers and every one of our support staff who works in a GDST school is part of this invaluable progress.

Women are being forced to flee their homes with their families. And literally overnight, the safe haven of the classroom and the routines that come with being at school every day are being taken away from their children. We are seeing daily stories of the enormous courage women are showing when forced into unimaginable situations and our thoughts are with them today. I am reminded of the quote from Millicent Fawcett, the leading suffragist and campaigner for equal rights for women in the 19th century, which sums up their humbling bravery for us all, “Courage calls to courage everywhere, and its voice cannot be denied.”

To read the full blog entry, please click here

Cheryl Giovannoni
Chief Executive, GDST

Head's Commendations

On Wednesday this week, we were delighted to honour another group of pupils for their efforts with the Head’s Commendation award. Nominated by their teachers, pupils joined Mrs O’Doherty for a celebratory tea party ahead of receiving their certificates in recognition of their achievements.

Congratulations to the following students who were awarded Commendations this time:

Maya A, 4N: Maya was nominated for being extremely supportive and considerate of her friend in a wheelchair.

Caitlin C, 11S: Caitlin was nominated as she has created two beautiful paintings in the last couple of weeks. Well done!

Amy H, 11S: Amy was nominated in French due to her excellent commitment and work ethic, both in preparation for her mock exams and her attendance at extracurricular events in the department throughout the year.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

High Sports: Condover Hall Netball Tour

On Friday 4 March, 18 of our Year 8 pupils headed off to Condover Hall in Shrewsbury.

Condover Hall is an activity centre in Shropshire that offers an organised netball tournament as well as adventurous activities on site. All teams competing were from GDST schools, making it an ideal opportunity for girls to establish friendships with other GDST pupils whom they will continue to meet in years to come at sporting rallies.

It was a jam-packed weekend of netball and activities.

On the Friday night and Saturday and Sunday mornings, the team were able to take part in climbing, a low and high rope course, abseiling, archery, laser maze and laser tag before they played in the first part of the netball tournament.

We faced off against some very tough teams in the first draw on the Saturday morning with the Northampton Sky Blue team qualifying for the cup competition and the Northampton Navy team qualifying for the plate competition on Sunday.

Both teams did extremely well and fought hard against strong opposition. To read individual match reports, please click here.

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

High Sports: County Netball Tournaments

U15 County Tournament: The U15 side played extremely well and beat their main rivals, Wellingborough, but could not quite achieve first place. Well done to the whole team for their performances.

U13 County Tournament: We started off with two 4-1 wins, playing really well, although it was a bit scrappy. Then we went on to our second match against Winchester House winning 15-4; we really stepped up our game and we definitely got in our targets we were aiming for. We were way more sharp and polished in this game. Sadly after that we then had a loss – the team we played against had definitely had more experience than us, but we will get there, and we learnt lots from it. The final game was very tight. Both of us had won three and lost one, so we definitely felt under pressure, but we came out with a win. Overall, we came second which we were so happy about. We took lots away from it like slowing the game down and staying in a winning mentality. Well done to everyone today and a special mention to Suki L and Lexie D who came up from the B’s – you had a great day! Evie F also got awarded Player of the Match in the last game. It is looking very good for us in the future, well done! Charlotte F

U12 County Tournament: On 9 March, the U12A team went to the County Netball Tournament hosted by Oundle School. We were very excited to play lots of netball and lots of different schools. The other teams were all very good and we had some very tough games! I think that we did very well, our defenders and attackers did great. We got a lot of interceptions and played the ball quickly up the court to the shooters. Our results were great as we were fifth overall, which everyone was happy about. It was all in all a great day, and we were very happy with the results!

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

'Find a Partner' by Year 10 ‘High’ Drama Students

The Year 10 ‘High’ Drama Students are performing ‘Find a Partner’ By Miriam Battye for the National Theatre Connections Performance 2022.

‘Rehearsal’ performances will take place on Tuesday 15 and Thursday 17 March at 5:30pm, where an audience is invited to see the play being developed. Please note that there is a small amount of robust language with the play and recommended age is 14+.

This is a ticketless event and only those that have requested seats will be admitted; if you would like to attend, please click on the link here.

Mrs Marriott
Subject Leader Drama

Northampton High to welcome Quirky Bird Theatre company for performance of 'DNA'

On Friday 18 March, the Drama department are excited to be hosting Quirky Bird Theatre for their production of Dennis Kelly’s ‘DNA’. We will be joined by six other schools to enjoy the touring performance. We are very much looking forward to the production which has received amazing reviews from the tour in January.

“Quirky Theatre Company’s DNA by Dennis Kelly was an extremely strong ensemble piece. The actors gave a believable performance, all under the direction of Anna Friend. Our students were engaged as soon as the lights went up. They really valued the wonderful Q&A session with both Director and actors. The company were very professional both onstage and off.”

Mrs Marriott
Subject Leader Drama

Northampton High donates food supplies to 'My First Years'

‘My First Years’, an online Northampton-based company specialising in gifts for babies and children, has launched their appeal for food supplies to be delivered directly to the Ukraine. Via our school House system, we are delighted to have collected a bank of food donations thanks to the generosity of the school community. The supplies will be starting their journey to the Ukraine today, Friday 11 March.

Thank you to everybody who made a donation.
Mr Laubscher
Art Teacher and Head of Houses

Miss Knight's Rhubarb Recipes!

It’s forced rhubarb season!

This vegetable, which is mostly treated like fruit, is traditionally grown in the dark and harvested by candlelight in Yorkshire. The season will be coming to a close at the end of the month/early April, so get baking with this tangy and sharp vegetable (it also complements meat and fish!)

Here are some tasty recipe ideas for you to try. Click each link to find out more: Crumble, Cake, Mousse, Pork.

I hope you enjoy!

Miss Knight
Subject Leader Food

Book of the Week

Manifesto – On Never Giving Up by Bernardine Evaristo

2019, Bernardine Evaristo became the first black woman to win the Booker Prize since its inception fifty years earlier – a revolutionary landmark for Britain. Her journey was a long one, but she made it, and she made history.Manifesto is her intimate and fearless account of how she did it. From a childhood steeped in racism from neighbours, priests and even some white members of her own family, to discovering the arts through her local youth theatre; from stuffing her

belongings into bin bags, always on the move between temporary homes, seeking love and eventually finding her soulmate; from setting up Britain’s first theatre company for Black women in the eighties to growing into the trailblazing writer, theatre-maker, teacher, mentor and activist we see today – Bernardine charts her rebellion against the mainstream and her life-long commitment to community and creativity. And, through the prism of her extraordinary experiences, she offers vital insights into the nature of race, class, feminism, sexuality and ageing in modern Britain.Bernardine Evaristo’s life story is a manifesto for courage, integrity, optimism, resourcefulness and tenacity. It’s a manifesto for anyone who has ever stood on the margins, and anyone who wants to make their mark on history. It’s a manifesto for being unstoppable.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Carry on Reading: Part 2

I wrote a couple of weeks ago how book sales have been on the rise; young people have played a significant part in this increase, with the rise of BookTok and other social media channels where teen influencers have helped push books up the sales charts.

In August 2020, Kate Wilson, a 16-year-old from Shrewsbury, posted on the social media video platform TikTok a series of quotes from books she had read, “that say I love you, without actually saying I love you”. Set to a melancholy soundtrack, the short video plays out as Wilson, an A Level student, holds up copies of the books with the quotes superimposed over them.

“You have been the last dream of my soul,” from A Tale of Two Cities. “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same,” from Wuthering Heights. “Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own,” from Jane Eyre. It has been viewed more than 1.2m times.’ The Guardian – 25th June 2021. Read the rest of the article at The rise of BookTok: meet the teen influencers pushing books up the charts | Books | The Guardian.

This influence can be seen in the reading choices of our girls in school: The Magpie Society Books by Zoe Sugg (herself an influencer) and Amy McCulloch is one example. A school-based thriller it ticks many of the boxes which make books popular at the moment. In contrast, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller has become a BookTok overnight success a decade after it was first published

“The Song of Achilles is her first novel and was the winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012. It tells the story of Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, the boys develop a tender friendship, a bond that blossoms into something deeper as they grow into young men.” Anushka T, Year 10

Patrick Ness has long been popular in school but in a similar way to Madeline Miller his books are becoming known to new generations of reader. “My recommendation is More Than This, which I will personally dub as the book of emotional damage.

The book starts with a sentence that had me instantly hooked: “Here is the boy, drowning.” Things quickly become even more intriguing. The boy – Seth – struggling in a freezing, turbulent sea, is thrown against some rocks and dies. But then he returns to consciousness, finding himself in the suburb where he spent his childhood, although it appears to be deserted. He wonders if he has arrived in some bizarre hell. The truth, however, is much stranger and far more terrifying, for the boy is caught between two realities.” Sahitya B, Year 10

Emma B in Year 10 recommends another BookTok sensation.

“In a world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the ‘art’ of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

I really enjoyed reading this series because although it’s set in the future, there are many connections to our daily life and how power can change the way people think and act. The way the book is written is entrancing as you can connect with the fear and regrets of the scythes through reading their thoughts and feelings in specific entries as well as following the apprentices’ journeys through the scythedom.”

On Thursday 3 March we celebrated World Book Day in school by ‘Dropping Everything and Reading’ during form time. The Year 6 and 7 girls were based in the Library; a very peaceful start to the day!

All girls will have received their World Book Day token and these may be swapped for one of the exclusive and completely free World Book Day books (these should be available through your local bookseller). Alternatively, the token can be used to get £1 off any full price book instead. The World Book Day tokens are valid until Sunday 27 March 2022.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Northampton High students appear in Castle Theatre production of 'Oliver'

Huge congratulations to Northampton High students Miley (Year 9), Darcy, Florence and Sophia (all Year 6) for taking part in the recent performance of ‘Oliver’ at the Castle Theatre in Wellingborough on 5 and 6 March.

All of the students wowed audiences during their three performances, which included a matinee with a cast from Top Hat Theatre School. Over the two days, they performed to nearly 1500 people, and were greeted with a well-deserved standing ovation on each occasion!

A wonderful experience, and we are all very proud of you!

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Parent Talks: Dealing with self-harm, Thursday 24 March

The next event in our Parent Talks series is ‘Dealing with self-harm’ on Thursday 24 March from 6pm.

For parents of pupils in Year 5 and above, this event will give an insight into why young people may self-harm and how we can support them. It can be a terrifying thought for a parent, and we know that there is an increasing trend for young people to hurt themselves on purpose, as a way of trying to manage distressing or overwhelming emotions and experiences. It can affect anyone at any time, and does not discriminate between gender, ethnicity or social background. Offering opportunities for open discussion is therefore our best strategy for supporting those who need it.

We are delighted to be welcoming Satveer Nijjar into school for this event. Satveer is a public speaker and trainer, experienced in working with professionals, students and parents to not only provide knowledge around this subject, but to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and self-harm.

The event will be held in the Theatre; please arrive at 5.45pm for a 6pm start. Light refreshments will be served and there will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the session. Please book a place to attend by clicking here.

The May event in our Parent Talks programme will take place on Monday 9 May at 6pm. This event will feature (Tanya Goodin on the subject of Teens and Screens and is for all parents. 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 Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Autism Awareness Coffee Morning

We are pleased to be hosting an event to support Autism Awareness later this term. On Friday 1 April from 9am until 10am, Lesley Lock from East Midlands Autism will be hosting a coffee morning exclusively for the parents of Northampton High School pupils. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with Lesley and hear about how the charity supports young people and their families.

Lesley has told us a little about what she does for this charity: “I run 3 autism family support hubs, which are open to children under 11 with or without an ASD diagnosis, and their parents/carers and siblings. These are located in Northampton, Leicester and Loughborough. As part of this service, I also chat to parents/carers about ASD and where to find support, how to manage behaviour they find difficult, how best to fill out benefits forms, and any other ASD related topic that comes up!

I also manage our Northamptonshire Children and Young People’s Service, which runs trips, holiday and youth clubs for ages 8-18 and who must have a diagnosis, as this is the criteria set by our funders. These are for the young people to attend without a parent carer, and my fabulous team and I do our best to make sure that the young people have a wonderful time when they are with us, and can access the same age appropriate activities that their neurotypical peers can. In the last year we have been paddleboarding and raft building, visited theme parks, LEGOLAND, and the Think Tank museum, taken part in a Laser Maze evening, and solved some escape rooms!”

If you would like to attend this event, please would you complete the form here.

We look forward to an informative and supportive event.

Mrs Beezley
Learning Enhancement Co-ordinator

Community Choir shows solidarity to Ukraine in their own musical way

The ladies of the Northampton High School Community Chamber Choir took a break from their usual rehearsal last Thursday to sing the Ukrainian national anthem, and, in their own musical way, show support for communities and families affected by the latest terrible events. A moving piece, the translation of the anthem states ‘Ukraine is not yet dead, nor its glory and freedom … we’ll live happily in our land’.

Singing this together brought a special connection and solidarity, and the ladies enjoyed the challenge of not only sight-reading but also singing in another language.

The choir is currently preparing for a concert on 31 March. The group meets weekly on a Thursday evening from 7.30-9pm during term time under the leadership of Music teacher Mrs German, and is a mix of parents, teachers and friends, united by a love of singing.

Being able to read music is not a pre-requisite; being able to laugh about things is! A warm welcome is guaranteed – please contact Rachael Eden here or visit our Facebook page (Northampton High School Community Chamber Choir).

Kate Thompson
Northampton High School Community Chamber Choir

Science Week: Growth

Junior Bake Off 2022

Saturday Track Club

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
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