Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 12 July 2019

In contrast to the crescendo effect of the end of term in Autumn and Spring, with House Plays and Singing in the Senior School and Christmas and Easter festivities for the Juniors generating plenty of excitement, the end of Summer term can seem somewhat anti-climactic.  It is true that there is no national festival around which to organise the summer holiday but, at the High School, there is no shortage of rituals to mark the end of the school year.

Some of these are long-established; I am thinking of the Arts Invitational and the the Junior Final Assembly.  Others are relatively new – the Year 6 Valedictory Evening, for example, and the Gym and Dance Display.  For our older students, the focus on Enterprise – through the Bright Green workshops, the Alumnae Networking Lunch and the Lower Fourth trip to Cadbury World – is a particularly welcome innovation as the mental space created by completion of the end-of-year exams allows time for reflection on the transition to a new school year and on exciting futures beyond.  The possibilities and pleasures of learning outdoors have also been explored to the full, whether at West Lodge Farm and Castle Ashby for Key Stage 1, the allotments for Year 3 and Year 6 or under the gazebo in Cripps Courtyard for a GCSE TP class.

As we enter the last couple of days of the school term (and year), girls and staff can look ahead to that period of decompression at the start of the holidays.  The abrupt shift from the intensity of term time at full tilt to the relative spaciousness of holiday can be disconcerting – a psychological equivalent of the ‘bends’!  Soon enough, though, we adjust to the gentler pace of life and the pleasures of setting the prep timetable aside.  I know, from many of my tea parties, that many girls have interesting plans for travel (as explorers rather than tourists, of course!), some have valuable work experience lined up and others are looking forward to being able to indulge their outside interests to their heart’s content.

Whatever the summer break means for you, I hope that it brings you a good measure of joy and fulfilment.

Dr Stringer

Priya speaks at European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Conference!

On the 1 July, I was invited by Dr Sachin Sankar, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Deputy Medical Director for Northampton Health Foundation Trust, and also my research mentor, to present a short seminar on ‘patient and staff factors that cause violence on the children and adolescent psychiatric ward’ at this year’s European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Conference (ESCAP) at the Hofburg palace in the beautiful city of Vienna, Austria.

This was an incredible and rare opportunity particularly at my age, when this conference is aimed at professionals working in the field of psychiatry.

Although I have done numerous school assemblies, nothing truly prepared me for the grandeur of this conference. And certainly, nothing prepared me for the nerves, but also the excitement! Once my nerves subsided, I felt much more confident and luckily, completed my presentation without too many stumbles. The realisation that I had done a good job was when I was rewarded with an echo of applause and, when one of the audience exclaimed that I was ‘wonderful’, a second round of applause was given due to my young age of 16 years old. I was ecstatic and was buzzing for the rest of the day!

From this experience, I have gained vast knowledge and skills in carrying out research, writing in a scientific style and pitching my talk to the target audience of 100 people, made of professors, doctors and researchers. More importantly, I learned how to hold myself during the presentation and being confident in what I was saying. I know this will enable me to further build on my research and presentation skills and give me greater confidence for my research: how music and sport affect stress, anxiety and depression in Year 10 girls at an all girls’ independent school which I hope to publish in October 2019.


Students celebrate Modern Foreign Language learning with special Languages Festival

After last week’s gloomy news on the state of Modern Foreign Language (MFL) learning in the UK, we are delighted that the final few weeks of term here at Northampton High School have involved many celebrations of language learning. With a vast array of events and activities including live performances, poetry recitals and films in French, German, Spanish and Latin, the skills of our students, both creatively and linguistically, were showcased brilliantly in this festival of Language.

Gaia Howell, who played a huge part in the winning submission for the short film competition wrote, “Lucy suggested we should do a fairytale, so we decided to do Hansel and Gretel, because they live in Austria, and speak German. We all love languages and wanted to incorporate the ones we learned in school. The theme was ‘Lost in Translation’ so we thought we could do Lost in Translation in a Forest! We wrote a German script, made some signs in many different languages and filmed. It took a lot of takes and we got some really funny bloopers, but we had a lot of fun and are really proud of our film.” ‘Lost in Translation’ was broadcast around school at the recent Arts Invitational, an event which displayed the artistic talents of the girls here in school of all ages

Please click here to read more

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

L5 trip to Bhaktivedanta Manor

On Thursday 4 July, the Lower Fifth set off on an hour and a half long journey to Bhaktivedanta Manor.

When we arrived, we were kindly greeted by two women enlisted with the job to show us around. We were surprised when we turned around to see a cart appearing to be lead by two oxen! After the short journey in the cart, we went to see a newborn calf that had been born a few hours prior to our arrival. We then moved on to feed some of the cows. A couple of us were hesitant at first but were soon taken by the gentle giants!

Our tour guide then showed us some scripture and engaged in a conversation about reincarnation relating to the scripture shown to us. We were then showed around two gardens: one designed by the hundreds of homeless people the community helps out. The other was in memory of George Harrison, a former Beatles member who paid for the building that the people there still use to this day. His wife designed this garden including all of his favourite plants and flowers.

See all photos

We then entered the temple and were given some ‘ultimate’ philosophical questions to answer in different viewpoints which ended in a very in-depth conversation tapping into our own beliefs. We then moved on to dressing up as the three deities in the trimurti and their consorts consolidating the knowledge we already knew about these deities. All of us then put on saris and went to the last part of the arti ceremony taking place. After lunch we then went to Swami Prabhupada’s rooms located upstairs in the temple. Asking questions relating to the religion such as same sex marriage, the caste system, etc. Having a Hindu point of view whilst learning about the religion was useful to us so we used the most out of this opportunity to understand the parts of Hinduism we weren’t too sure of before walking into Bhaktivedanta Manor.

We would like to thank Miss Robinson and Mr Loveday for organising such an amazing trip and we hope future Lower Fifth students to come enjoy this trip as much as we did.


U4 visit Bletchley Park

We had an interesting tour where we learnt about why they based the code breakers in Bletchley Park and about all the different buildings. We learnt about on why and how the code breaking was kept secret, in lots of detail.

We also looked into the Bombe and all it’s amazing technology, and had a chance to try out breaking different codes ourselves, such as Morse code, Pig Pes, Mono Alphabetical Substitution and Caesar Shift. We got to try out a real enigma coding machine too! We were very lucky with weather and had beautiful sunshine so we sat outside to eat our lunches.

In the afternoon we looked around the mansion and Hut 8, where Alan Turing had worked. We also watched a cute video of carrier pigeons showing how they were used in the war. Then we looked around the gift shop until the bus picked us up.

Gaia and Hannah
U4H         U4S

400 girls welcomed for Sports and Science Enrichment Days!

With the 2018/19 academic year drawing to a close, we were elated to welcome dozens of local primary schools into our community here at Northampton High School, for exciting and educational Enrichment Days. Nearly 400 girls travelled across the county to join us for the two events, as young students took part in fun activities designed to pique their interests and explore their curiosities.

The first of these was our Sports Enrichment day, as over 300 girls made their way to Northampton High for the days activities. PE staff from the High School, alongside external coaches from the likes of the Northampton Saints and Northamptonshire Cricket, ran expert sessions on a rotation basis, giving the girls plenty of time to enjoy the many sports on offer. Sport is a huge part of life here at Northampton High, and it was great to see the enthusiasm of all the girls as they tackled the sporting challenges throughout the day.

Please click here to read more

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Creative Arts Spotlight

The Creative Arts Spotlight is this week shining on Mia Watson, Ellie Sentance and Anna McFarland from U4 Textiles.

The girls are very pleased to be modelling their hand made Summer beach bags, which are all made ready for the summer holidays!

Miss Lycett
Subject Leader Textiles

Book Review

The Lost Words, written by Robert MacFarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. These are the words of the natural world – Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children’s minds.

The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

Winner of Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration – 2019

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Request for parents with STEM careers

On Thursday 14 November 2019, Café Sci are holding a STEM Careers Speed Networking event in the Senior School Hall. The event is after school from 3:45pm until 5:00pm, for U4 girls and above. We will have Science, Engineering and Mathematics-related speakers.

The girls will be split into small groups and each group will have about 10 minutes to speak with at least five of the speakers. They will be able to ask questions and the speakers will give them a short talk about their job; how they got to it from school and they will also talk about the different opportunities within their field.

This is a fantastic opportunity to find out about STEM related careers.

As we are still in the planning stages, so if any parents/family friends would like to contribute to this event, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Please contact Mr Attwood for further information at

The Café Sci team

The Natasha Sen Prize for Modern Foreign Languages

Natasha Sen, one of our pupils, passed away in October 2006 following a serious illness. She was a talented and dedicated pupil who had opted to study French, German and Spanish at GCSE. This prize is awarded annually to a L5 pupil in memory of Natasha.

The competition encourages students to explore their language of study further in a creative fashion. All girls in L5 are invited to complete a project at the end of their L5 year on one aspect of a country where French, German or Spanish is spoken.

  • The project should be written predominantly in English; you might however decide to write a few paragraphs in your chosen language – it is up to you.
  • It should be entirely your own work and no more than 1,200 words. Please state the word count at the end.
  • You may include pictures and illustrations and please remember – quality is more important than quantity.
  • You may choose any aspect of the country. For example: a famous person, a moment in history, its geography, food, cinema, theatre, music, art, fashion.
  • These are only a few ideas. We are looking for a personal response to a topic, rather than entirely factual information; something that captures the imagination of the reader, and which has flair and originality.

The closing date for the submission of your project is Monday 9th September 2019, and the winner will be announced in assembly during the same week that we celebrate the European Day of Languages (26th September) with the prize being awarded at Awards Evening.

Mr Watson
Subject Leader Spanish


The Northampton High School Eco Team would like to request your help in raising awareness over the importance of plastic recycling, particularly in light of the recent David Attenborough series highlighting the problems associated with plastic pollution in marine ecosystems.

We are aiming to build a sculpture entirely out of plastic (which will itself be later recycled) as part of an awareness campaign in the Autumn Term. In order to achieve this we plan to make use of the Ecobricks technique, which utilises plastic bottles filled with plastic waste. This link is to a video explaining how to make Ecobricks.

For our sculpture we would welcome plastic bottles of a range of different sizes and therefore any appropriately filled plastic bottles will be accepted. For details on how to make them please refer to the video link above (written instructions are contained below the video).

If these could be brought into school immediately upon return in September and given to Mr Earp or placed neatly in the Breakout Learning Zone at the end of the E corridor then we would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance for your help with our environmental work and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us via

Mr Earp
Head of Humanities

Early May Bank Holiday 2020

Please kindly note that, in line with the change to the national Bank Holiday pattern in May 2020 in order to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, we will observe the early May Bank Holiday on Friday 8 May rather than on Monday 4 May, as originally advertised.

Monday 4 May will be a normal school day and school will be closed on Friday 8 May.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries about the change.

Dr Stringer 

Term Dates

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