Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 13 October 2023

Self-confidence is a super power

You walk into a room of strangers. How do you feel? Do you stride in, smile generously and introduce yourself, or do you have to summon up courage, take a deep breath and do your best?

You are asked to stand at the front of a theatre and speak to a large audience of adults and multiple rows of your peers, perhaps in your professional role or at a large social gathering. Do you leap at the challenge, eager, positive and prepared, or do you hesitate, shudder and make your excuses?

How about standing under hot spotlights, with video cameras focusing on you, watched by a room full of people? Feeling uncomfortable yet? These scenarios would make many an adult turn on their heel and head for the hills, but not so for our students.

Over the past 10 days, our students – the youngest only 2 years old and the oldest 18 – have stood in front of video cameras, delivered their lines, played their roles, with a smile and an inner confidence that is humbling for the most confident of adults. They have been poised at the lectern at the front of the theatre, facing over one hundred students and over double that number of adults and their families – all of whom are strangers – and they have delivered personal, carefully crafted speeches, all their own work, with eloquence and aplomb. They have introduced themselves to visiting families, talked to children, their aunts, uncles and grandparents, and have expertly guided them around their school – navigating large groups of people, speaking to their teachers, describing their experience of the school, which for some has only been for one short month, with pride, honesty and enthusiasm.

This is what I have experienced of our students in my role in just recent days: a film shoot for our new brand film (we can’t wait to show you), pupils delivering talks to large groups of people in our welcome speeches and touring guests at our open morning last Saturday. These displays of confidence – quiet, unassuming and modest confidence – are witnessed every day in our school, from the student-led assembly, to the presentation to the class, from a tackle on the hockey pitch to speaking up and asking for help. 

Confidence is part of The High School Approach – the ‘wheel’ – which outlines the intellectual characteristics we seek to develop at the High School. This confidence is part of our everyday ethos and community culture. We at Northampton High, in all our interactions in and outside the classroom, teach each girl the value of developing and living by her own definition of success. 

Research conducted by the American Association of University Women found that girls in single-sex schools or classrooms reported higher levels of self-confidence and greater participation in class discussions than girls in coeducational settings. The Girls Futures Report* (based on UK research of a nationally representative sample of 1,358 girls in 2022) found GDST-schooled girls to be more confident, more self-assured, more empowered, better able to pursue their ambitions and feel unhindered by their gender. 

Working with a specialist research agency, YouthSight, the GDST surveyed over 5000 young people between the ages of 9 and 18 including a nationally representative sample of girls from non-GDST schools, girls from GDST schools and boys at the ages of 9, 14 and 18. They also carried out in-depth interviews and focus groups with young people and consulted experts in educational psychology, careers and equality. 

Compared to their peers in non-GDST (and mainly mixed-sex) schools, GDST girls report that they feel more confident, less restricted by gender stereotypes, happier to take on leadership positions and more comfortable taking risks, than girls elsewhere. Trends in confidence, positivity and ambition in students at GDST schools are also closer to those of a representative sample of boys in the UK than other girls across the country: from knowing what job they want, to feeling prepared for the future.

To read the full entry, please click here.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

The Week Ahead

Tuesday 17 October
Sixth Form Information Evening
U15 vs Bedford Modern fixtures

Thursday 19 October
Yr10-12 Somme Battlefields trip
Yr7 Storytelling

Friday 20 October
Final day of half term

Reach Reading Weeks

At Northampton High we believe holiday time should equal family time. This is why we do not set prep (homework) over any of our school holidays. While there are some good reasons why Years 11 and 13 might deviate from this important rule, we think that even they should spend at least half their school holidays relaxing with the important people in their lives. 

Reading for pleasure is not prep, however, holidays are a great time to develop and strengthen this habit. As you may have seen in my article in Headlines at the start of term, we are starting formal reading weeks, under the banner of our Reach programme, in the weeks immediately before each school break. The aim is that pupils will continue to flick through their books into the holidays themselves, and beyond, of course!

There are enormous benefits to young people when they allow themselves to rest and relax, leading to improvements in mental health and academic performance. Reading too has immense value in shaping well-rounded, informed individuals. By combining reading and relaxing in holidays and the weeks before them we are keen to tap into the positive possibilities of both.

Reading weeks before half-term breaks will be based on non-fiction books and articles, while the weeks in advance of the main term holidays will focus on fiction. For non-fiction reading weeks, teachers will make recommendations based on their subject areas and pupils should aim to pick out around 3 or 4 to investigate. For the fiction reading weeks, the English faculty and the Library will join forces and recommend age-specific texts to fire up the imagination.

Of course, there is something of an ulterior motive behind our reading weeks. Non-fiction texts provide pupils with factual knowledge, fostering critical thinking and research skills. They learn to discern reliable sources, evaluate evidence, and form informed opinions. This equips them to engage with the world intelligently and make well-informed decisions. Likewise, fiction serves a vital role in nurturing empathy and creativity. It exposes pupils to diverse perspectives, cultures, and emotions, helping them understand the complexities of human experiences.

They develop strong analytical and interpretive skills and learn to appreciate the nuances of language and storytelling, which enhances their own writing abilities.

We very much hope that our new reading weeks will encourage a love of reading, transcending the confines of academic requirements and providing an avenue for personal growth and enrichment. Reading both fiction and non-fiction works contributes to a holistic education, preparing students for academic success and offering them a deeper understanding of the world. Furthermore, we believe reading can play a pivotal role in moulding intellectually curious, empathetic, and culturally aware individuals, ready to tackle the challenges of an ever-evolving global society.

If you would like to find out more about the Reach reading weeks programme, please feel free to contact Miss Anna Kilby, Reach Coordinator, or me.

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

Outward Bound 2023

We were very happy to welcome Pippa Charles from Outward Bound UK to celebrate our 25 years of association with this amazing organisation. 

Pupils from last year’s trip spoke eloquently about their experiences and how they had grown as a result; from conquering their fears and building resilience, to forming connections with friends and making memories to cherish.

Reflecting on the highlights of the trip, the group encouraged our current Year 9 pupils to embrace this opportunity when it arises in the summer term. Well done to the students who led this wonderful assembly and a special thank you to Pippa for joining us this morning!

GDST Sports Rally

We were delighted to host the GDST Sports Rally at Northampton High School this week! As always, it was a pleasure to host our sister schools and we would like to say a big thank you to the 500 students and staff members who joined us for this special event! 

The weather was on our side throughout the entire day and pupils thoroughly enjoyed competing against their GDST peers under the beautiful October sun.

With lots of matches taking place, we were extremely proud of our students for their perseverance and energy, both when playing and supporting their team mates. Congratulations to our U18 Hockey Team for their fantastic efforts in the semi finals resulting in shuffles and an unfortunate loss. Our netballers and footballers also played super well and came away with some impressive results!

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

On Tuesday, our U15 football team took part in the GDST rally. We played 4 games in total, against Nottingham (2-0 loss), Sutton (0-0), Notting Hill (2-0 win) and Blackheath (1-1). We played very well as a team against some tough opponents, and even though we had many rough games, we pushed through. Eleanor J

Creative Arts Spotlight

In Textiles, Year 8 are exploring the work of Mexican Textile Artist, Victoria Villasana. In the spotlight this week are Holly and Lara showing off their digital mood boards inspired by the artist.

Miss Lycett
Subject Leader Textiles

Birtwistles guests join students for cooking demonstration

On Thursday 5 October, we welcomed Jill and Jake from Birtwistles, our meat suppliers, to carry out a chicken portioning demonstration with Year 11 GCSE Food students.

Jake was the primary demonstrator and showed the girls how to successfully portion a chicken whilst also discussing food miles. This is a high skill students can demonstrate in their cooking exam.

The girls then had a go themselves and ended with roasting some of their chicken in herbs and spices. This was a fantastic opportunity to learn from a specialist, and we are very thankful to Jill and Jake.

Miss Knight
Subject Leader Food

CSCP's Ovid Competition for Year 7 students

Year 7 are invited to take part in the annual national Ovid Competition run by the Cambridge Schools Classics Project (CSCP). Students can compete individually or in a group of up to 4, across four categories – artefact, animation, performance or creative writing – inspired by one of Ovid’s stories from the Metamorphoses, such as Midas, Pandora, Prometheus, Orpheus and Eurydice, Demeter and Persephone and more.

Students should speak to their teacher in the first instance, and must submit their work internally by Friday 10 November so that the school can submit their entries by the external deadline on Friday 17 November.

For more information on the competition, please click here.

The Classics Department

Book Review

Black and British: A short, essential introduction to Black British history for readers of 12+ by award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga.

When did Africans first come to Britain? Who are the well-dressed black children in Georgian paintings? Why did the American Civil War disrupt the Industrial Revolution?

These and many other questions are answered in this essential introduction to 1800 years of the Black British history: from the Roman Africans who guarded Hadrian’s Wall right up to the present day.

This children’s version of the bestseller Black and British: A Forgotten History is illustrated with maps, photos and portraits.

Purchase through the NHS bookshop here.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian


Senior School
Pupils will have the choice to remain in their sports kit following their first engagement in a sporting activity (lessons or lunchtime clubs) for the remainder of the day.
Pupils must be wearing the full, correct sports kit.
Between October half term and May half term pupils will be expected to wear either the sports leggings or tracksuit bottoms whilst wearing sports kit and not partaking in sporting activity.
Pupils must have a change of uniform with them to allow them to change should they get wet.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Swap Shop

We are delighted to share that we will be hosting Swap Shop every Friday from 2:00-3:30pm in the Junior School Hall.
Uniform for students of all ages will be available to purchase.

Let’s Talk Menopause: Norwich High Women’s Night in Association with Norfolk Menopause

Building on the success of their two previous Women’s Nights events, Norwich High School have partnered with Norfolk Menopause for their next free event on Wednesday 18th October at 7pm. Norfolk Menopause is a Norwich-based group of specialist GPs and gynaecologists who aim to transform your menopause journey and empower you to take control.

Norwich High warmly invite you to join the event via livestream for a 45 minute myth busting talk from Norfolk Menopause: Emily Cary, Susanne Ahlund and Hannah Healey who are all GPs with specialist menopause training. They will also be joined by Tim Duncan and Paul Simpson who are consultant gynaecologists at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

To join the livestream, please click here.

In Conversation with... Emilie Weaving

The GDST’s next ‘In Conversation’ event features Shrewsbury High School alumna, Emilie Weaving, who will be speaking with Darren Payne, Head of Shrewsbury High via Zoom on Monday 23 October, 1-2pm.

Emilie was a finalist in the GDST Trailblazer of the Year Competition 2022. At age 31, Emilie has certainly paved her own way in the traditionally male-dominated world of engineering. As a Mechanical Engineer, Emilie has eight years of development and testing experience, from diesel engines to motorcycle helmets and military vehicles. She is passionate about encouraging women to pursue a career in the field, and writes about her STEM lifestyle in her blog, The Female Engineer.

If you wish to attend this virtual event, please click here.

Futureprint Netball Club - October workshops

To book your session please click here. To find out more please contact

Mrs Jennings
PE Teacher

Athletics Club - Autumn Running Club

Kings Camp

We’re excited to have Kings Camps return with their Sport and Activity camps, giving children an active and screen-free week this October!
30+ years’ experience in operating sports and activity holiday camps, @KingsCamps get 5 – 17 year olds active, having fun and learning together! There’s over 30 sports and activities for children to get involved in throughout the week!

For dates, prices and booking visit or call Kings Camps Membership Team on 01142632160.

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