Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 16 February 2024

Pupil wellbeing and pupil voice

Last week was Children’s Mental Health Week (5-11 February 2024) and the theme this year was ‘My Voice Matters’. The event is run and organised by the children’s mental health charity Place2Be, and the theme focuses on encouraging children and young people to feel confident that they can express themselves.

The charity says that allowing young people to speak up has a positive impact on wellbeing and that children who feel that their voices are heard are more connected to their communities, which can raise their self-esteem. Demonstrating to young people that their views and experiences matter improves their sense of belonging and helps them feel like valued members of the school community. It promotes feelings of empowerment and agency and is a vital way to understand and meet the needs of pupils. It also means that wellbeing initiatives are more likely to become part of the fabric of school life. 

In practice, achieving this requires more than handing out surveys designed by adults once a term. It also means going further than just asking the ‘usual suspects’ for their opinions. Rather, there are many ways for all children’s and young people’s voices to be heard when they feel they need to express something. Taking a whole school approach and championing a culture of openness and dialogue around mental health and wellbeing is the foundation to creating an environment in which children are empowered to speak. The opportunities at Northampton High for inviting and hearing pupil voice are numerous and woven through every aspect of the school.  

Firstly, and fundamentally, the ethos of the school supports the importance of pupil voice, as pupils are known as individuals, are personally supported in their educational and pastoral journey through school, and every pupil has the opportunity to be heard, on any topic, every day.   

We have a structured, sustainable approach: Meaningful pupil voice initiative is more than just a one-off event or meeting; it’s a sustainable process that’s integrated into the school’s culture. This requires a structured approach, with clearly defined processes and regular opportunities for students to express their thoughts and ideas.

Our school is organisationally structured in a way to provide dedicated and focused support to pupils – from the class teacher and form tutor structures to the Heads of Year roles, from the Wellbeing Practitioner, Mrs Giordano (fondly known as Mrs G) to the School Nurse, Mrs Dunkley, and Nurse Assistant, Mrs Brown, there are adults in school with expertise to support the mental health and wellbeing of all students. Throughout Children’s Mental Health Week, the team delivered assemblies, drop in sessions, visits from The Lowdown, a local mental health charity providing free and confidential support services for 11-25 year olds in Northamptonshire; there have been lunchtime ‘walk and talk’ mentoring sessions, opportunities to express feelings of wellbeing via an anonymous sticky note collage, and much more.

Inclusivity is key and is at the heart of meaningful pupil voice. Every student, regardless of background, should have equal opportunities to be involved and express their views. 

To read the full entry, please click here.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Admissions & Marketing

The Week Ahead

Monday 26 February
Yr8 Cross Curricular Week
U12 Netball vs Nottingham Girls

Tuesday 27 February
Yr12 Higher Education Evening

Wednesday 28 February
Yr11 Parents’ Evening

Thursday 29 February
Yr9-13 Reach Lecture
U18 Netball vs King Henry VIII

Saturday 2 March
Alumnae Reunion Lunch

Please click here to view the spring term’s Clubs & Activities list and timetable

Key Stage 3 Cross-curricular weeks: Time for deeper learning

Last year I wrote a blog about our integrated vision for teaching and learning based on higher order thinking skills (HOTS). This is reflected in the High School Approach wheel, in particular via the learning characteristics we value and highlight across the school. One of these, collaboration, is particularly important during our Key Stage 3 cross-curricular weeks. These run in Year 8 in the week beginning 26 February with the theme ‘Memory’, and in Years 7 and 9 in the week beginning 11 March with the theme of ‘Time’. This is the same theme as for Science week which takes place during that week too.  

We firmly believe that our cross-curricular weeks help our HOTS agenda by empowering pupils to analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from diverse sources. Through engaging in interdisciplinary projects students cultivate critical thinking, creative problem-solving abilities and the practical application of their learning to real-world contexts. This holistic approach fosters independent thought, ignites intellectual curiosity, and equips students with the essential skills for lifelong learning.

During the cross-curricular weeks pupils will also participate in ‘Open Prep.’ This initiative, which will be known to many parents, replaces the usual academic prep and allows pupils to showcase their learning through independent projects. Over the years, we have witnessed a diverse array of creative work, including written pieces, films, dances, and musical compositions. The projects also involve formal documentation, research, and referencing, and students maintain electronic portfolios to record their progress. Each student is supported by a designated teacher mentor and completes a self-assessment sheet to reflect on their work. 

We look forward to sharing some of the excellent work that will go on during these weeks with you in due course.

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head

Head's Commendation

A huge congratulations to the students who received a Head’s Commendation today!

This special award recognises pupils for their outstanding achievements, demonstrations of kindness and dedication to school life and we were delighted to celebrate the recipients for this half term!

During lunchtime on Wednesday, the nominated pupils and their teachers joined Dr Lee in the Senior foyer to commemorate this special achievement with certificates and sweets. A big well done to the group for their hard work and positive contributions to school life!

Cristina S-R – I have nominated Cristina for her exemplary behaviour and kindness to others. I was particularly struck by her extremely polite manners, holding doors open, saying thank you and showing gratitude. She is a very kind friend to her peers and is always described as such by her friends. Cristina is always respectful and even took the time to wish me a lovely day last week. Mrs Giordano

Sofia G-H – I nominated Sofia for her gripping entry for the G.D.S.T Creative writing competition. Sofia has explored the theme of kindness in a thought provoking and engaging way. During this task Sofia demonstrated the ability to think independently, persevere to ensure the best possible outcome and take risks to ensure that her story telling was original. Mrs Fordham

Artemisia U – She always makes an effort to include everyone and goes out of her way to ensure no one is left out. Mrs Dadge

Bahar C – Bahar has just started Latin as a new joiner this term in Year 8, so works independently on language in class – her prep is exceptional with painstaking research going far beyond the norm for Quintus’ school report and hero research. Mrs Peto
She cannot swim, has never been in a pool before and on her second swim lesson was travelling 10m on her back with floats showing a reasonable technique. This is excellent progress showing bravery, perseverance and focus. I was very impressed! Miss Fraser

Izzy S, Aiyven M & Poppy MYesterday, at the end of the match against Kimbolton, these girls made their way to the pavilion before me. Instead of sitting down, they went to the kitchen and began making squash and serving it out to the opposition. It was the most fantastic example of kindness, respect and mucking in to help out. I was so proud of them. Miss Fraser

Jasmine C – Jasmine has just started Latin as a new joiner this term in Year 8, so works independently on language in class – her progress so far is exceptional! Mrs Peto

Evie F – Evie started the year with a real lack of confidence. Reluctant to put pen to paper and even have a go at times, so scared of getting it wrong. She has totally turned this around and is now putting her hand up to answer and completing all tasks with pride. Amazing change in attitude and effort demonstrating true perseverance. Mrs Hatwood

Chanel exhibition visit and annual Textiles Research trip to the V & A

We were very privileged to be able to secure tickets to the Gabrielle Chanel Manifesto exhibition and last week Year 10 and 12 Textiles students attended the exhibition.

The exhibition is a wonderful immersive experience, beautifully curated and a fascinating piece of fashion history.

“In a career spanning 60 years, Gabrielle Chanel made an indelible mark on fashion. She laid the template for what became the modern woman’s wardrobe through the 20th Century and beyond. Designing first and foremost with herself in mind, Chanel created clothes that reflect both her own self presentation as a smart businesswoman and the times in which she lived. Her consistent vision and her capacity to balance form, function and elegance is what has kept her work timeless and still relevant today.”

It was a valuable research trip which inspired us all.

Miss Lycett
Subject Leader for Textiles

On Tuesday 6 February, we travelled by train to the Victoria and Albert museum in South Kensington to visit the Gabrielle Chanel Manifesto exhibition. Together with Year 10 GCSE students, myself and fellow A level students spent the day gathering research for our current textile projects. 

We first visited the Gabrielle Chanel exhibition which displayed a historical timeline of dresses, jewellery and perfume designed by Gabrielle Chanel. I would recommend the botanical jewellery section where it displayed costume jewellery inspired by nature. I found the timeline showing the origins of Chanel perfume interesting as well as the gallery displaying all the extravagant dress designs. 

We went on to explore other areas of the museum such as the Japanese gallery, Jewellery gallery, paintings and drawings which were all useful primary research for our personal projects. I was inspired by the Japanese gallery in particular and I took many photographs of Japanese prints, kimonos, the culture of buddhism, and traditional tea drinking ceramics. Ava B, Year 12

High Sports

Swimming Gala vs Thornton
The High School had the first gala of the year against Thornton College on Monday. It was a very successful outcome as we won all age groups and subsequently won the overall gala. There were some very tight races, notably the U14 age group with a very close competition, but the girls swam fast and won in the end. The relays were all well coordinated, resulting in the end result which the girls deserved. There was lots of great swimming so well done to everyone who competed. Hattie K, Captain

Three teams competed and the results are as follows:

The U12 team won 43 -25; notable performances from Lily F 25m back and free and Deleena G 25m breaststroke
The U14 team won 36 – 32: notable performances by Poppy B 50m back and freestyle and Ellie J 50m fly. The relay team dominated their race.
The U16 won 39 – 29: notable performances from Hattie K 50m breaststroke and Anastasia 50m back.

U15 Netball Plate
Today our U15’s participated in the County Plate Netball tournament. Teams were split into two pools, in which the top two teams from each pool would continue to the semi-final. We began with a match against Quinton House School, finishing excellently with a high score, and proceeding with the aim to play as well as we did.

We played together very well with many different combinations working wonderfully. Everyone was getting lots of interceptions – a particular well done to Aiyven M for all the tips and intercepts, and great discipline. In shooting, Charlotte D’s space was very good and her communication was great with the other shooters. I think as a team we have really improved our passing and footwork.

We finished our pool with 6 wins, successfully winning all our matches. As we were one of the top two teams in our pool, we went through to the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, we defeated Moulton securing us either the silver or gold medal. We then played a tough match against NSG, in which we lost 5-0. Overall, Evie and I are very proud of the team for their great performance and adaptability to different teams. Well done everyone! Issy S and Evie, Captain

Alumnae News: Sadie Lauder to host pop-up store

Since leaving Northampton High School in 2019, Sadie Lauder has been pursuing a career in the world of film, TV and editorial make up. Having received demand for prints of her work, she has now created her own brand – Pucker™ Threads – showcasing these prints across clothing, bags and posters!

Sadie will be opening her first pop-up shop in Shoreditch, London on Tuesday 20 February until Sunday 25 February, and would like to invite you to join her for the event! This is an opportunity to view the incredible work of a former pupil, purchase exclusive in-store designs before their official website launch, and support Sadie on this exciting new endeavour!

Neurodiversity Parent Coffee Morning

As part of Neurodiversity Celebration Week, we are delighted to be hosting a Parent Coffee Morning on Wednesday 20 March, 9-10:30am.

The theme for this session is ADHD, and we are delighted to be welcoming ADHD Wise UK into Northampton High to lead the discussion. All parents are invited to join us for this engaging and informative talk, exploring how best we can support our neurodiverse pupils.

Whole School Open Morning - Friday 8 March

We look forward to welcoming so many lovely families to our upcoming Whole School Open Morning on Friday 8 March. The events promises to be a superb showcase of life at Northampton High School.

If you would like to come along, please do feel most welcome, and should you have family, friends, or neighbours keen to visit us, please encourage them to book their place here and join us!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

What's on at Northampton High - Spring Term

Book Review

What Are You Doing Here? My Autobiography by Floella Benjamin – Baroness Floella Benjamin is an inspiration, an actress and much-loved children’s television presenter who is a member of the House of Lords. But how did the girl from Trinidad end up lunching with the Queen?In What Are You Doing Here? Floella describes arriving in London as a child, part of the Windrush generation, and the pain caused by the racism she encountered every day. It was offset by the love of her parents, who gave her the pride in her heritage, self-belief and confidence that have carried her through life.

From winning a role in the groundbreaking musical Hair (while clearly stating she would not take her clothes off) to breaking down barriers on Play School, from refusing to be typecast in roles to speaking out for diversity at the BBC and BAFTA, she has remained true to herself.She also reveals how she met husband Keith, became a mother of two, was befriended by Kenneth Williams, hugged President Obama, and found a purpose that would underpin everything she did – campaigning for the needs of children. Sharing the lessons she has learned, imbued with her joy and positivity, this autobiography is the moving testimony of a remarkable woman.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Save the Date: Alumnae Reunion Lunch

We are delighted to share the date for our 2024 Alumnae Reunion Lunch. This special lunch is always a highlight of the school calendar, and we are thrilled to be hosting this year’s event on Saturday 2 March at 12:30pm.

We hope to be joined by as many alumnae as possible from both the Hardingstone and Derngate sites, as well as former staff and friends of the school for a delicious two-course lunch and the opportunity to connect with friends old and new.

For more information and to book your tickets, please click here.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Admissions & Marketing

Save the Date: Spring Art Collective

Reach Lectures - Spring Term 2024


The weekly Reach talks are an opportunity for students in Years 9-13 to explore areas far beyond the school curriculum, broadening their horizons and developing their skills of curiosity and critical thinking. We are excited to offer this programme to our students and are very grateful to all our speakers for giving up their time to share their expertise with us.

Any parents who might be interested in contributing to the Reach lectures in 2025 are encouraged to email

Miss Kilby
Reach Coordinator

Diversity and Inclusion Calendar 23/24: February

Saturday Athletics Course

Moulton College are hosting a 5-week athletics course available to children in Year 3 to Year 10, beginning on Saturday 2 March.

A high resolution copy of the flyer can be found by clicking here.

A link to the registration form can be found here.

Mrs Littlewood
Teacher of Physical Education

Code Ninjas Northampton

Northampton Swimming Club: Intensive Course

PQA Stage & Screen sessions

EFC Football Development Camp

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