Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 11 November 2022

We Will Remember Them

Today, we observed the two-minute silence during which we remembered those who lost their lives in World War I, and the Armistice that brought that war to an end on 11 November 1918. Students wore their poppies, and we came together as a school community to remember all who have been lost or affected by conflict through the years. 

It is traditional at remembrance services to hear the words taken from Robert Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’: 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. 

Over 16 million people were killed in the First World War, with somewhere around 800,000 these being British. Carole Ann Duffy’s poem, ‘The Wound in Time’, was read on the beaches around the UK and Ireland on Armistice Day in 2018 as part of a nationwide gesture of remembrance and she asks in her poem ‘What happened next? War. And after that? War. And now? War.’ The second World War followed the First all too quickly, and since 1945, the only years without British personnel being killed on operations were 1968 and 2016. This week we remember not just those who died, but all those families affected by the aftermath of service and all those individuals who survived but whose lives were impacted by service. This time to be still and reflect is as precious as the busiest moment of any school day.

Today I wanted to take the opportunity to think about why we should continue to mark this occasion in the 21st century. I have marked Remembrance Day for as long as I can remember and have cherished the unmissable moments of watching our late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II laying a wreath at the Cenotaph, always bringing an immediacy to the act of remembrance for me, highlighting its importance as a moment to reflect upon the high cost of peace, freedom, and democracy, alongside the sacrifices of the First and Second World Wars.

To read the full piece, please click here.

Dr Lee

The Week Ahead

Monday 14 November
Swimming: U9, U10, U11, U12 vs Bedford
Year 11 Consultation – Senior Hall

Tuesday 15 November
Hockey: U15 vs Akeley Wood
Year 7 Parents Evening – Senior Hall

Wednesday 16 November
Women in STEM Engineering Event (Year 10)
Cross County: U9, U10, U11, U13, U15, U17 at District Event

Thursday 17 November
GDST 150th Birthday Assembly
Sixth Form Parliament Trip

Friday 18 November
Cross Country: U8, U9, U 10, U11 at Thornton Trail

Please click here to view the Clubs & Activities timetable for the Autumn Term

Head's Blog: Being 10% braver

As teachers, we often expect students to take risks, to think outside the box, to stand up and read out their work, to have a go even if it’s wrong. We mark their work but always with an emphasis on what they could do to improve, because we know it will help them to develop a growth mindset and grow academically, emotionally, and reflectively.

We tell them, as I often do with my Year 10 Geography class, that it is ‘okay to make mistakes’, ‘we learn best from the mistakes we make’, that they should just ‘have a go’. This is acceptable and encouraged in the classroom.

But what about those occasions when you feel motivated to do something, but fear is getting in the way? There is nothing unusual about feeling trepidation when approaching a challenge. Sometimes, for all of us, it can feel that our courage is not as strong as our fear, and we falter. At our recent open events here at Northampton High, I often explain that the one thing I want for all our pupils is for them to develop the confidence to operate outside their comfort zones and feel completely comfortable in their own skin. If they only do the things they already know they can succeed at, they will never find the edges of their brilliance. However, I understand telling people to face their fears and push outside their comfort zones is easy – how you put this into practice is trickier.

This brings me to a blog that I read from Laura Mclnerney, an education journalist and former teacher, and one simple idea jumped out as something we could all embrace. Knowing that it is normal to be afraid in situations where you feel out of your depth, just try to be 10% braver. This is quite a commonly quoted idea in the world of education and widely used across the WomenEd sector, but it is actually a very practical suggestion. If you are facing something that you are finding a struggle or that you are afraid of doing, ask yourself whether you would do that thing if you were 10% braver. If you think you would, then just go ahead and do it. If you think that you probably would not do it, even if you were 10% braver, then maybe your reservations are more justified, and you can consider the next steps again.

To read the full blog entry, please click here.

Dr Lee

Year 8 Historians enjoy visit with First World War Battlefield Guide & Researcher!

Year 8 Historians were visited this week by First World War Battlefield Guide & Researcher Terry Whenham. Terry is an expert on all things World War One and a charity fundraiser for The Soldier’s Charity (ABF). He also produces a podcast (Tales from the Battlefield) which tries to tell the unheard stories of men who served on the Western Front. Terry kindly gave up his time to take part in our Remembrance Week commemorations at school which culminated in our annual assembly on Friday 11.

After reminding the girls about why we have remembrance at this time of year, we were told the inspirational story of Northampton’s Walter Tull before hearing about other sacrifices made by brave soldiers such as 20-year-old William McFadzean VC and Horace Iles who lied about his age in order to fight and died on the Somme at 16 years of age. Their stories were very moving and brought to life with photographs and sounds. We also heard about Nellie Spindler a young nurse who died in an air raid in Belgium in August 1917 which fitted with our assembly theme focusing on the forgotten sacrifices made by women in conflict. Nellie is the only woman buried in a cemetery of 10,000 men who also died in the war.

There was also a chance for girls to see real artefacts from the Western Front including grenades, shells and even gas masks. Terry then answered questions, explaining why he gives up so much of his valuable time to educate people and raise money for the families of injured soldiers. If you are interested in researching or visiting the First World War Battlefields, then please contact Terry at or school.

Year 8 have been busy over recent weeks learning about the First World War including causation, life in the trenches, the tragedy of the Somme in 1916 and the contribution of people from across the Commonwealth to the war effort. Volunteers have also helped research and produce the Remembrance Assembly.”

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
– Laurence Binyon

Mr Donaldson
Head of History

STEM students visit San Francisco over half term!

During the half term break, Northampton High students from Year 11 and Sixth Form travelled to San Francisco, accompanied by members of staff, for a fun-filled activity-packed STEM trip!

At Northampton High, we recognise the importance of learning outside of the classroom and prioritise providing enriching opportunities for our students. During their time in San Francisco, our students visited many fascinating locations and monuments, spending time exploring some of San Francisco’s most renowned places.

Whilst in America, the students had the opportunity to visit Google headquarters, home to a world-class research team and many incredible projects, providing an inspiring insight into futures in science and technology! The Computer History Museum also proved a great visit, with visual and interactive activities enabling our students to explore just how far technology has developed over time. A particularly fantastic time was had at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where students competed against one another in a ‘cutest picture’ contest, which was ultimately won by Phoebe T for her wonderful photo of a stingray.

It was a busy week for the STEM group, who enjoyed a range of activities and visited some beautiful areas. The students particularly enjoyed taking a cable car over the city, where they could view San Francisco in all its glory at night time. Fisherman’s Wharf was another highlight of the trip, with lots of things to do, areas to eat and places to shop making it some of the students’ favourite part of the trip! Taking a boat to Alcatraz was an unforgettable part of the San Francisco experience, as they were able to explore the famous prison and learn more about the inmates’ living conditions.

We are extremely pleased that our students had such a wonderful time on this trip and have made memories to last a lifetime, connecting with like-minded STEM peers whilst enjoying new experiences together. A huge ‘thank you’ to the fabulous staff members who ensured the time in San Francisco was well spent and fun-filled!

To view a wonderful video slideshow of the trip, please click here.

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Year 13 Geographers head to Preston Monford for residential trip!

From Monday 7 to Friday 11 November, the Year 13 Geography students have been staying at the Preston Montford residential centre near Shrewsbury to undertake their compulsory fieldwork; as a key component of this, students have been collecting primary data for their non-examined assessment (worth 20% of their A Level).

Over the course of the week students have learned a range of physical geography techniques, including how to calculate the amount of carbon stored in trees and soils in order to estimate the effectiveness of forest as carbon stores. They have also learned how to investigate factors affecting flood risk, including how to measure the rate at which rain can infiltrate the ground.

The students have also learned to apply a range of human geography techniques in order to assess the different factors that affect the sense of place for an area; for example they visited Shrewsbury and investigated how the town was portrayed through marketing materials and what the perceptions of local people and visitors were.

In the second half of the trip, students used the skills they had developed to independently plan their fieldwork investigations, including conducting a risk assessment. By the end of the trip they had completed all primary data collection for their coursework, which they will now begin to write up in their Geography lessons.

Well done to Year 13 for being excellent ambassadors for the school and thanks also go to the wonderful team at Preston Montford for looking after us so carefully during our stay and providing expert tuition.

Mr Earp
Head of Humanities

The Affirmation Tree

During my Learning Walk on Monday, I had the pleasure of visiting our newly named Wellbeing HQ. I was really impressed by the affirmation tree which is a display of the students’ positive thoughts and feelings.

It enhances their resilience and confidence whilst encouraging the students to feel good about themselves and others. It also encourages positive self-reflection among students by empowering them to remember their values and their positive traits.

Dr Lee

Book of the Week: Just Sayin’ - My Life in Words by Malorie Blackman

Before her BAFTA award wins, her OBE and appointment as Children’s Laureate in 2013, Malorie was a young girl from South London who fell in love with books and found a home in her local library and a world of words at her fingertips.

From embracing her alternative way of seeing the world and all its fascinating differences and possibilities; to her desire to share that passion with others by becoming an English teacher but being told no by her careers advisor because of her race; to the doctor who told her she would be dead by thirty when she was diagnosed with sickle cell,

and the eighty plus rejection letters she received from publishers before her first ever children’s book was published.

Her life’s journey – has been an eventful one – marked by trauma, trials, and triumph, yet in spite of all the many setbacks in her life, she held fastidiously on to her dream of becoming a writer.Malorie charts her life not in a succinct order of events, but against the principles which have motivated her journey and reasons for becoming a writer – wonder, loss, anger, perseverance, representation, and love. Each tenet has played a unique role in inspiring her writing, her deep resolve and infectious zest for life.Through this lens of extraordinary experiences Malorie offers insight into the nature of growing up in post-war Britain, why we must protect the arts, the fraught navigation of our healthcare system, and surviving structural and societal racism.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Rehome Pudsey Bear for Children in Need!

With Children In Need around the corner, we are excited to help raise money for this wonderful cause. This year, as part of our fundraising efforts, we have a special guest in school who we would like to rehome!

Pudsey Bear, pictured above helping Dr Lee with her work this week, is looking for a new home – and that could be with you! By clicking this link you can help our fundraising cause by donating the sum of £2 for a raffle ticket, and if your number is pulled out on the 18 November Pudsey will be yours!

We love doing what we can to support this wonderful cause. Together we can help support children and young people across the UK to rebuild their lives.

Thank you for your continued support – and good luck if you choose to enter!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Children in Need: Friday 18 November

KidsAid named as Northampton High's school charity for 2022/23!

We are delighted to announce that Northampton High School’s nominated charity for 2022/23 is KidsAid! KidsAid was selected by the school’s staff and students following a vote, and we are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic cause this academic year.

The Northampton-based KidsAid is a child-centred charity. They focus on prevention, healing and empowerment for children and families affected by abuse, family breakdown, illness, and bereavement through to anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide. They take a three-pronged approach to their work with children that includes therapeutic support for the individual child, support for parents or care-givers and support for professionals working with children.

Money raised from our upcoming Christmas Fayre and from other fund raising efforts throughout the year will be going to support KidsAid, and we look forward to doing what we can to support this wonderful charity.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Christmas Fayre - Friday 2 December

New look for parent FireFly dashboard!

The school’s FireFly dashboard for parents has recently undergone a revamp and an upgrade! We hope that our parents will find the information platform to be user-friendly and accessible.

If you have any questions or have any feedback on the upgraded portal, please do get in touch.

Mr Rittler
IT Operations Manager

Raise Her Up

The new episode of ‘Raise Her Up’ is here, and this week the GDST are joined by Amanda Owen aka the @YorkshireShepherdess. Amanda shot to fame when she and her family appeared in Channel 5’s ‘Our Yorkshire Farm’ in 2018. She is also a best-selling author, presenter, photographer and mother of 9.

Airing to coincide with #COP27, this episode includes Amanda discussing her relationship with nature, and the need for us to see ourselves as ‘custodians of the land’, protecting it and passing it on to future generations – as well as some great Ravenseat Farm anecdotes which you won’t want to miss!

To listen to this brilliant edition, please click here, or download from wherever you get your podcasts.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Flu Immunisations - Tuesday 29 November

We kindly remind parents that flu immunisations for students in Reception to Year 9 will be taking place on Tuesday 29 November.

Please can we ask that you sign and return the sent out consent form, being mindful that the consent period closes 72 hours before the date of immunisation.

If you have any questions, please do get in touch.

Mrs Dunkley
School Nurse

Community Nursery Sessions


Festive Wreath Workshops - Adults Only

We have arranged for an excellent florist (Bouquet Chic) to deliver wreath-making workshops for any interested staff, parents, friends and family members. 

Why not book a place to enjoy making a festive creation along with friendly people and a supportive and talented instructor? Spaces are £65 per person which includes everything you’ll need to make a fantastic, impressive wreath for your door and refreshments during the workshop. 

Join us on Tuesday 5 December 5:30-7.00 on Wednesday 6 December 12:15-1:45. To book a space for yourself and/or friends and family members please contact

Miss Hair
Head of Junior School

Term Dates

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