Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 15 July 2022

It is with a range of emotions that I write this final High News introduction as we reach the end of the school year.

On the one hand it has been a wonderful year, with many trips and other activities back on the calendar post-Covid. On the other, the shadow of the virus is never far away and has still caused its moment of disruption to normal school life.

Pupils have embraced their rediscovered freedoms though and it honestly has been wonderful to see them taking part in so many things beyond their lessons. There have been triumphs in the form of the Arts Festival and Seussical, Outward Bound and Humanities Residentials. There have also been Parent Talks, celebrations for Years 13, 11 and 6, welcome events for new pupils and much much more. Certainly it has never been a more apt time to note that teachers most certainly do not arrive at 9am to teach their classes and leave at 3.35pm with the pupils. The time and effort that planning clubs, trips, events and other activities take is enormous on top of planning and marking, but I am proud that our staff give that time freely and willingly, dedicated as they are to offering the best for your daughters. Following somewhat turbulent recent times for the school, I am pleased with all the school community has achieved this year and thank you for your feedback, support and understanding. 

Independent Schools are businesses of course, where the parent expects good value for money but as every business will find, the customers’ interpretation of ‘good value’ can be quite varied. This is why, in my time as Interim Head, I have tried very hard to lead the school in a way which matches our ethos and values, makes use of the many years of educational experience amongst our staff and following the rule that what is going to get the very best result for our pupils must be at the heart of what we do. If you cannot run a school in the way that every parent agrees with, you can at least do it in a way that in your heart you know is effective and caring, broad and balanced and in our case, in the knowledge that we know the approach to teaching and pastoral care that brings out the best in girls.

I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to get in touch with kind words of thanks this week – it genuinely is incredibly touching to know that you feel I have made a difference during my time at the High School. I have enjoyed every moment of the experience, but it is now time for a new adventure for me. I had not envisaged the adventure would take me all the way to Saudi Arabia but having visited and seen my new school and the city of Riyadh, I now cannot imagine wanting to go anywhere else. I take with me many fond and happy memories of the High School and am looking forward to the opportunity to utilise my skills and knowledge as Head of a brand new girls school. I am sure there will be many similarities and equally differences – an adventure it certainly will be.

I have, today, paid tribute and thanks to pupils and colleagues during our final day celebrations and all that is left is to wish you all a wonderful summer and my very good wishes for the future.

Inshallah, our paths will cross again.

Mrs O’Doherty

Year 7 attend residential in Shrewsbury

On Monday 4 July, Year 7 set off for a residential to Shropshire. We stayed at Preston Montford Field Studies Centre and we all had a great time! After arriving we had a picnic lunch and headed straight to our first investigation at Carding Mill Valley. We enjoyed seeing the natural beauty, such as v-shaped valleys and streams. We focused on how tourism was affecting the landscape and how the National Trust tried to restore any damage to the landscape.  

On the second day of the residential, we visited Snowdonia National Park. We learnt about the historic glacial activity and the very old rocks (some were half a billion years old). Mr Earp especially enjoyed telling us about the many boring myths from around the mountains! The views from around Snowdonia were surreal.  

On day three, our mission was to rebrand Shrewsbury. Although many of us thought the best part of the day was the shopping, we also enjoyed being able to interview locals, students and even tourists. We used the information that we collected to study on the improvements that Shrewsbury would need for the future.  

On our last full day, we travelled to Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge to learn about the history of iron and the Iron Bridge. In the museum we learnt about one of the multiple furnaces used to create the pieces of Iron Bridge. After visiting the Iron Bridge itself, we had time to interview the locals to see how they think the Ironbridge made a difference to their local area.  

On the return journey of our residential, we stopped off at Ludlow Castle; we learnt about how Ludlow was built to defend the people inside. We visited the different parts of the castle and learnt about the different defence systems.  

Overall, we had an amazing time learning about the natural beauty of Shropshire.   

Poppy B
Year 7 

Year 8 attend Go Ape outdoor activity centre!

On Friday 8 July, Year 8 pupils attended Go Ape outdoor activity centre in Coventry. The weather was lovely and despite some nerves the year group were excited – for a day out of the classroom for some, while others were really looking forward to tackling the course!

There were several ‘loops’ on offer for students to try, some loops were shorter than others and some were harder than others. Everyone’s level of challenge is different, but challenge is challenge no matter what it is, and how we control our feelings and respond to others is a key skill to learn. Often one we have to keep learning. Tackling fears at all ages is challenging proving the process of self-development never stops.

I was not surprised that Year 8 were fabulous. Some whizzed around the course laughing and screaming with joy, others were cautious but determined and worked their way methodically around. Some found the physicality of the course tough, some had to work through their fear of heights, or enclosed spaces. Whatever it was, they all found a way.

Some pupils were hesitant to begin with and then unstoppable, some thought they were fine and found one part incredibly challenging. Everyone’s experience was different, and they will each have learned something and have memories and experiences to take away and reflect on. It might look fun to find things easy, but growth comes from the tough times and the hard moments. It is what happens when we learn what we can do in spite of our reservations, fears or negative inner voice. This is the message of the COaCH programme and I hope is something everyone who came along has taken from the day.

Miss Fraser
Head of Year 8 & 9

Year 9 visit the Lake District for Outward Bound

Last Week, Year 9 embarked on an unforgettable trip to the Lake District to take part in Outward Bound.

As part of the trip, we got to take part in many activities such as gouge-scrambling, tunnelling, an expedition, cliff jumping and much more. We all got to know ourselves and others more over the course of the week and everyone faced their fears in many different ways. People were pushed out of their comfort zones on many occasions, but we all came out stronger on the other side.

A big ‘thank you’ to the Outward Bound Trust and to Mrs Laubscher, Miss Robinson, Mrs Forsyth and Mrs Hopley for taking us for the week and treating us to ice-cream whilst we were there!

Hattie K
Year 9

Year 12 Oxbridge Conference

Last weekend, three of our Year 12 students attended the GDST Oxbridge conference at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Amy and Kathryn give an account of their experience:

Amy: I arrived at St Anne’s College feeling fairly nervous and unsure. We started off with an introduction to Oxford and to each other and an overview of the weekend ahead. There were also talks from previous alumnae. After this, we had trial lessons in our desired subject. For medicine, we went through individual cases, from taking a history to treatment and prognosis, which I loved. Then we had talks about admission tests, which made me a little less nervous, as I now have a better idea of what to expect. When we had free time we went to tourist attractions surrounding St Anne’s. The networking dinner was next, where we made some new friends and had some interesting pea soup! The next day we had lectures on ‘principles into practice’ and ‘where will an Oxbridge degree take me?’ as well as two more subject sessions. I found this trip really useful and interesting and I am very happy I signed up for it.

Kathryn: I found this conference very informative and, actually, surprisingly fun! The conference was at Oxford University’s St Anne’s College and lasted for two days, so we had the chance to stay in the uni accommodation overnight. I really enjoyed meeting all the other students in the GDST who were also considering Oxbridge and was relieved to find that everyone was just as stressed as me! We had many talks relating to the application process and uni life and also many chances to ask questions, but what I found the most useful was the three subject sessions. These were seminar-like lessons with three or four students and a tutor. I really got a sense of what classes in uni would be like and also had a mock interview-like session. We ended up making lots of new friends and also gaining such a great insight into life at Oxford.

Mr Viesel
Director of Sixth Form

Year 8 complete marine life project in Art

This term, Year 8 have spent time and care building up their clay sculptures, and we are delighted that many of those are now emerging out of the kiln, fully glazed and looking amazing!

Well done to the entire year group for their imaginative ideas and excellent use of tools and techniques in ceramics. We are looking forward to our exciting display in September, which will showcase all sculptures nestled in their plastic reef.

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts

Hattie qualifies for Nationals at Wimbledon after tournament success!

In the searing heat last Sunday, Year 9 student Hattie K enjoyed a fantastic victory in the Northamptonshire LTA ‘Play Your Way to Wimbledon’ finals day competition. Hattie was victorious in the girls U14 tournament, which confirmed her entry into a week-long National finals event at Wimbledon against girls from all over the UK from 7 August.

It’s been a super season for Hattie on the court so far this year and a busy summer awaits with a week-long tour at the Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament already booked in, and now a week at ‘the home of tennis’ pitching herself against some of the very best U14 players

in the country. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a lesson in resilience and determination after Hattie finished runner up in the same competition in 2021, missing the chance to compete on the famous grass courts – and immediately made it one of her targets for this season. She has worked incredibly hard to move on from last years’ disappointment to now preparing for a dream come true moment in a few weeks’ time.

The main problem she has is that she can’t wear her usual colourful outfits and will have to be decked out head to toe in white only! Good luck Hattie!

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

High Sports

PC Challenge Cup: Many of our hockey players will be aware that the pathway for elite performance in hockey is tough. Recently however, two members of our school community have excelled and have been selected to represent the South Midlands at the Performance Centre Challenge Cup Competition in July.

Just under 288 girls have been selected from across the country to complete, and this will form the culmination of months of endeavour for players and coaches at Performance Centre level, providing a competition format to demonstrate technical and tactical development against other Performance Centres from across England. The final trial consisted of a gruelling 4-hour training session on Sunday 10 July, and we are pleased to recognise and congratulate both Ruby CF and Harriet F for being selected.

This is a fantastic achievement, and we cannot wait to hear how it went in the new academic year!

Athletics: Last Friday, Ella D attended the English Schools Championships at Sportcity, Manchester, in what is one of the highlights of the Athletics Calendar. To attend this event, you have to be selected via the County Schools Association, and have either reached or come very close to the performance standard set out by the English Schools. 

Ella came 5th in the 300m which is incredible in itself and even more so as she had been on the Outward Bound Expedition that week. Well done Ella on a fantastic achievement!

Cricket: To round off this year in sport, each year group participated in our house cricket events. After a day of fun-filled competition, we congratulate Artemis who were named as the overall school winners. Well done Artemis!

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

High Sports summer newsletter - out now!

The latest edition of the High Sports newsletter out now!

High Sports is a termly newsletter which takes a retrospective look back at each term’s sporting events and activities – and what an action-packed term we have had! With events such as Sports Day, the Gym & Dance Extravaganza and much more, this edition is certainly one not to be missed!

To view the summer term edition, please click here. Hard copies will be available in school in the autumn term.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Year 7 and 8 Junior Maths Challenge

A large number of Year 7 and 8 students took part in the Junior Maths Challenge competition at the end of April, with 4 students reaching the follow-on round (called the Junior Kangaroo) which took place in June.

These students were, from Year 8; Himaya S, Suki L, Atmaja T and Inaaya A. Both Himaya and Atmaja were awarded with a Merit certificate for the Kangaroo which only a small percentage of entrants achieve so this is a great achievement.

Well done everyone!

Mrs Harrison
Teacher of Mathematics

Book of the Week

Skander and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman

Thirteen-year-old Skandar Smith has only ever wanted to be a unicorn rider. To be one of the lucky few selected to hatch a unicorn. To bond with it for life; to train together and race for glory; to be a hero. But just as Skandar’s dream is about to come true, things start to take a more dangerous turn than he could ever have imagined. A dark and twisted enemy has stolen the island’s most powerful unicorn – and as the threat grows ever closer, Skandar discovers a secret that could blow apart his world forever…

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Raise Her Up - Flex Appeal

For a special, final edition of Raise Her Up for 2021/22, we are delighted to be joined by influencer, instagrammer, DJ, writer and flexible working campaigner Anna Whitehouse. Anna, aka Mother Pukka, talks about how she came to launch the FlexAppeal campaign, motherhood, equal parenting, work life balance and much more!

You can listen to the episode for yourself by clicking here, or downloading from wherever you get your podcasts.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Inclusivity Bulletin: July

We are delighted to share with you the latest Northampton High School Inclusivity Bulletin.

The above graphic outlines what will be happening throughout this month, but to read more and to view the July bulletin in full, please click here.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Join our team!

At Northampton High School, we currently have a number of exciting employment opportunities available as we look to grow our team, with vacancies available to join our team of mini bus drivers, our site supervisor team and more.

If you are interested in joining the Northampton High School family we would love to hear from you! For more information and to apply, please click here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Community Nursery Sessions

Tennis4All Summer Camps

Join Tom, Imogen, Steve and the Tennis4All team for 3 days of tennis fun in the summer holidays, from Monday 15 to Wednesday 17 August, between 10am and 1pm.

The tennis camp follows a clear daily structure, focusing on the technical, tactical, physical side of tennis taught in a fun and engaging way. Children will be put into groups depending on age ability. For details on how to book a space, please contact Tennis4All by clicking here.

Mrs Rose
Sports Centre Administrator

What's on your mind?

The Pauline Quirke Academy Northampton - Drama Summer School

Rugby & Northampton Athletics - Saturday Track Club

Term Dates 22/23

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