Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 17 December 2021

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future”.

This quote, although attributed to someone whose only internet entries appear to be inspirational quotes, resonated with me and I am sure will with you too.

It has been a bittersweet end of term; we have held onto all of our live events and celebrations so far, bringing the community together and enjoying being face to face. So it was monumental to have to take the decision to revert two key events this week back to being virtual. It was with ‘courage for the present’ that Mrs Shaw,

visibly upset, agreed with me that it was too risky to bring in an audience, followed immediately by expressing her wish to be the one to break the news to the pupils. 

It was also with courage that the World Challenge 2022 team and their leaders, Miss Knight and Miss Robinson, made sure that their fundraising Christmas Market could go ahead by carrying out risk assessments and carefully organising the event so it met strict Covid guidance. The event provided a wonderful showcase of pupil and staff talent, with a range of handmade items on sale. 

We have, many times, thought ‘with tenderness’, of past Christmases when we didn’t need to worry about whether we should quarantine the class ‘Secret Santa’ gifts or whether a ‘masked’ version of ‘Ding Dong Merrily’ was better than not singing it at all; two accurate examples that would surely have been laughable had we mooted them 2 years ago!  At this stage of the term, it is a little difficult to keep hope for the future, but almost every current conversation ends with a version of ‘let’s hope we can get back to normal as soon as possible’ next year. Thus we must still be hopeful, for to live without hope is to live half a life at best.

Putting aside the imposed restrictions of the last week or so, this has been a wonderful term, filled with hard work, lots of fun and as many extracurricular activities as possible. We have had a gradual return to trips with some day trips and a Junior School residential. We are beginning to look ahead to overseas residentials, with cautious optimism, for next year. It has been a genuine pleasure to have parents and grandparents in school for Junior School assemblies, Parent Talks, Information Evenings and our Open Day in October.

Hearing the pupils singing, playing and having fun in their clubs has really lifted our spirits. On a personal note, I have had tea parties with all of Year 7, 8 and 9 and started a new tradition of Head’s Commendations, rewarding pupils who demonstrate High School spirit in so many ways. I have also recently read a book a week to Nursery children which has been a really enjoyable way of sharing with them some of my favourite books from when my son was that age. 

Staff have generously welcomed my ad-hoc visits to sit in on lessons and ensure I keep in touch with what the pupils are learning about.  This is just a small snapshot of the many ways I ensure I know our pupils and gain an understanding of them.  These interactions with pupils are by far the most rewarding parts of each day – and being able to brighten their day, help solve their problems, listen to their opinions and often just laugh together about a range of things is a unique privilege.  

It is with every hope (and determination) that we plan to revert to business as normal in January but in the meantime, I wish you all a peaceful, healthy and happy Christmas.

Mrs O’Doherty
Acting Head

The week ahead

Tuesday 4 Janaury
Staff INSET Day

Wednesday 5 January
Spring Term Begins
Senior School Assembly
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Thursday 6 January
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Friday 7 January
Year 11 Mock Examinations
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Merry Christmas!

The Northampton High School family would like to wish our students, parents and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We hope you all have a lovely break.

Please click here for a Christmas message!

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Annual Santa Fun Run raises money for Cynthia Spencer

On Thursday afternoon, we were delighted to take part in one of the more memorable school Christmas traditions – the Santa Fun Run!

Teams consisting of staff and Sixth Form students dress in the customary fancy dress, and compete in an obstacle course to see who can record the best time, and ultimately be named the winner! The final this year was contested by two of our Sixth Form teams, and huge congratulations go to Jodie, Steph, Freya, and Shreya who pipped the finalists to the post.

The main winner, ultimately, is the Cynthia Spencer Hospice, the charity to whom the proceeds from this event will be going to help. At the time of writing, an impressive £377 has been raised through generous donations, and we thank our school community for their continued support.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

House Plays dazzle and delight!

The last day of term kicked off in style with our wonderful Celebration Assembly, followed by our traditional House Plays!

We were truly spoilt by four amazing performances this year. Hestia started proceedings, performing Cinderella, followed by Selene with their take on Aladdin. Artemis was up next with Peter Pan before Demeter brought down the curtain with Shrek.

Despite four superb performances, there could only be one winner, with the judging panel deciding on the outstanding Cinderella as performed by Hestia! Well done to Hestia, and to all of the Houses for their hard work and for a fantastic morning of entertainment!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Virtual Christmas Concert

We are delighted to share with you the Northampton High School Virtual Christmas Concert.

We were so sorry not to be able to welcome parents, friends, and families into school this Christmas to experience the Concert ‘live and in-person’, but we are excited to bring you a virtual recording for you to enjoy over the festive season.

Our thanks go out to all of our talented students and staff for their hard work, dedication, and for delivering such outstanding performances. To view the concert, please click here.

We hope you enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas!

Mr Nathan
Director of Music

Lizzie performs with Northampton Symphony Orchestra

This week, we were delighted to learn that one of our students performed with the Northampton Symphony Orchestra during their Christmas performance.

Year 7 student Lizzie sang beautifully during The Snowman, and we were extremely impressed to read this glowing testimony from a spokesperson of the Orchestra:

“We wanted to say how brilliant Lizzie was this afternoon in the concert. She has a lovely singing voice and she sang so well with great poise. Her voice sounded really quite mature as she got further into her solo. It was a joy to listen to her singing.

I hope she was pleased with how she sang and she should be really proud of herself and with having sung a solo with a symphony orchestra! The entire audience was spellbound during The Snowman, hanging on every word and note!”

Congratulations Lizzie on this wonderful achievement, we are very proud of you!

Mr Nathan
Director of Music

The Great Christmas Roman Bake Off!

It was the week before the end of term, and not a creature was stirring in D6…until festive Roman bake off arrived!

The Great British Bake Off may have ended last month, but the Saturnalia competition to bake Roman honey cakes in a showstopping spectacular lunchtime extravaganza was only just beginning. Although the technical challenge was the basic Roman honeycake recipe, the showstopper element would come from the decoration and choice of filling. As the teams took their aprons and began prepping their recipes, the excitement rose in the air: who would emerge victorious from the Bake Off classroom?

After the pastry was rolled and cut, the teams prepared their creative fillings and toppings –  from lemon curd and raspberry to cinnamon, honey, banoffee, strawberries, cream, and siracha – all the while trying to cook their pastry enough to avoid the dreaded ‘soggy bottoms.’ Chef skills aplenty were evident around the room, as students caramelised apples, made pastry decorations, chopped their fresh fruit fillings, and piped their cream. After finally plating up, drizzling honey, sprinkling sugar, and with a dash of seasonal spice, the honeycakes were ready for judging.

The competition was close; we are incredibly proud of our students for their team effort, organisation, and planning, especially under pressure in the event itself, as well as the inventiveness of their chosen fillings and decorations (star-piped two tone cream wreaths, anyone?). With Domina Knight standing in for Paul and Prue, our victors were crowned:

1st – Ruby & Millie (Yr 8) – Lemon, raspberry & banoffee: “A very good range of three contrasting flavours (amazing lemon!) whose fillings are very well set, especially as they are deep-filled; a very fresh taste, good pastry cooked well; intricate in detail. Very well organised and presented. Very well prepared and planned. Well done!”

2nd – Sahitya, Lois, Vivien, Mia (Yr 10) – Apple and cinnamon and siracha: “Good combination and range of flavours – sweet and savoury – and quite seasonal. Excellent knife and chopping skills seen, and presentation is very well thought out. Nice crunch on the pastry which is cooked well. The toppings work well, with a touch of cinnamon and crunch from the apple – perhaps add apple sauce for intensity?  The siracha is innovative and a really effective melding of flavours. Good teamwork too.”

3rd  – Scarlett, Abi, Lexi (Yr 8) – Honeycakes with fresh fruit: “Very colourful, arranged well, (and 3 plates!) with a nice mix of fruit and modern seasonal Christmas decoration; the honey taste really comes through well. The filling is very well set. Although the pastry is not quite crisp, and the cakes not quite uniform, they taste and look good.

Special mentions to Natalie and Risha, who had to finish their cakes alone as their partners were involved in the Demeter lunch; Jess, who brought in her cakes for the competition from home, with a very pretty piped, uniform cream decoration.

Congratulations to all our competitors for some very tasty cake creations indeed, and we wish you all some happy festive baking over the holidays!

Domina Peto & Domina Knight

Year 12 visit Oxford Brookes University

On Friday 10 December, Year 12 went on a trip to Oxford. For the first half of our day, we were in Oxford Brookes University and were toured by current and recent graduates. This was most people’s first time looking around a university, which was very exciting and a little scary at the same time.

The highlight of the tour was probably getting a free energy drink and protein bar, although we were also impressed by the facilities! Once we left the university, we visited the centre of Oxford and could explore the sights of the town (or go to the shopping centre, which was a very popular choice).

The whole year really enjoyed the day and would recommend the trip to years that are offered it.

Year 12

High Sports

The last journey of 2021 to Coventry last Saturday rounded off the autumn term’s sporting action. Hopefully everyone will be returning after Christmas refreshed and revitalised ready for the spring term.

U13A Hockey vs Bablake: On Saturday 11 December, Northampton High’s U13 Hockey A team played against Bablake school, in the final match of the season. The pitch was very slippery and it took a while to get used to the different surface. We had a lot of shots at goal but unfortunately many of these narrowly missed. Charlotte F got Player of the Match and we all did really well winning the match 2-1 against a very strong opposition. Rose

U13B Hockey vs Bablake: The team played really well. Savannah scored in the first minute to help us take an early lead. Poppy made some amazing saves and kept BKHS from scoring up until the final stages of the final half when they drew level. Poppy was awarded Player of the Match.

U12A Hockey vs Bablake: On Saturday, our U12 A team played their last match of the season against Bablake. We got off to a rough start when they managed to get a goal in the first 10 minutes, but we kept fighting and, after a lot of shots and passes around the D, Ava managed to get her first goal for the team right before half time. After half time, we kept going, trying to get another goal but the other team had upped their defence and we couldn’t get that goal we needed. The end score was 1-1. Well done to everyone that played, and well done to Ava for getting Player of the Match and her first goal for the team. Eleanor

U12B Hockey vs Bablake: We lost 2-0 but everyone did amazingly. There were good moments and a lot of shots on goal; and our goalie, Frankie was superb. There were a lot of shots thrown at her and she did really well. Everyone tried really hard; even though the results on paper don’t sound very good, everyone participated and tried their best. Tess

District Cross Country: Following on from the attendance at the District Cross Country event on Thursday last week, we can confirm that the following girls have been selected to represent South Northants at the regional competition on Saturday 22 January at Abington Park. Good luck to all and we look forward to hearing of more successes on the day!

Y5: Risara (11th overall). Y7: Lucy (12th), Lily (18th), Bella. Y8: Grace (11th). Y9: Ella (1st and winner of event).

Football: We are extremely proud of Ella D, who has just been selected for the U15 GDST Select 11 Football Team. She recently attended trials in Oxford and made the team from a strong field of players from across the GDST school community. She will be attending a weekend training event in the new year and will play against, a yet to be confirmed, high-profile team. Congratulations Ella!

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

High Sports - Termly newsletter out now!

The autumn edition of the High Sports newsletter is now available for you to view.

‘High Sports’ takes a retrospective look back at the world of sport at Northampton High during the past term, highlighting successes in each area of the sporting world. We also look at any notable news stories, such as our visit from the New Zealand Black Ferns in November, and new for this edition, the ‘Spotlight on Sport’ showcases and follows the journey of one of our students in their specialist sport.

To view this terms edition, please click here. Hard copies will be available from school, if desired, after the Christmas break.

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

Backchat - New edition out now

We are pleased to share with you the latest edition of the ‘Backchat’ magazine.

This latest issue is entitled ‘Unity’, and is available to read by clicking here. We hope you enjoy this instalment; it comes with the guarantee of being great for cosy evening reading by the fire!

A huge thank you to Jess and the team for this marvellous publication.

Mr Viesel
Director of Sixth Form

Chemistree Christmas Cracker returns with a bang

On Thursday 9 December, the Northampton High School community was treated to one of our favourite festive events – Mrs Hodgetts-Tate’s Chemistree Christmas Cracker! The much-loved event returned to the live stage this year after 2020’s brilliant virtual show, and a capacity audience was left mesmerised from start to finish by the awesome experiments demonstrated.

This year, Mrs H-T and Mr Turney took the audience on a magical journey though the wizarding world of Harry Potter, with each experiment representing a famous spell from the books and films.

‘Aguamenti’, ‘Lumos’ and ‘Bombardo’ were just a few of the spells cast during the show, which helped to demonstrate fascinating chemical experiments and reactions such as the ‘Hydrogen Balloon’, ‘Vanishing Water’ and the crowd favourite, the ‘Whoosh Bottle’!

Our Sixth Form students were on hand to explain the all-important chemistry to the crowd, whilst the experiments were being conducted, as they sought out willing volunteers from the audience to help with the magic by casting the spells and chants from their seats. The show was closed in traditional fashion, with Mrs Hodgetts-Tate’s ‘Marauders Map’ revealing a heartwarming Christmas message from Mr Turney.

Another unforgettable afternoon of entertainment that is certain to live long in the memory. A huge thank you goes to our enthusiastic audience, our superb Sixth Formers, and, of course, to Mrs Hodgetts-Tate and Mr Turney for all of their hard work in making the event a reality. We are thrilled to have captured the event in video form this year, and you can view it for yourself by clicking here.

Until next year; ‘Mischief Managed’.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Eco Team Bird Food Appeal a huge success!

On behalf of the Eco Team may we please thank everyone who generously donated to the Northampton High Bird Food Appeal. We set an initial target of £55, which we exceeded by raising a total of £78!

The Eco Team has spent £60.96 of this to purchase the seeds, nuts and mealworms (disgusting, but the birds just love them!) we needed for the winter months; these will be delivered soon to reception. The balance of funds will be transferred into the Eco Team account at so that we can make future bird seed purchases.

Thanks again to all that contributed to the cause; the Eco Team cleaned out and refilled all the bird feeders last week, and those not involved in the House plays this week were topping them up on Thursday lunchtime, ready for the holiday.

Have a great Christmas!

Mr Earp and the Eco Team

National Theatre New Views

On Friday 10 December, Northampton High students took part in an online playwriting workshop with Omar Bynon, professional writer, actor, and workshop facilitator from the National Theatre.

The National Theatre New Views writing programme has enabled students to write plays and film scripts. In previous years, Northampton High students have been shortlisted, attended writing masterclasses, and have gone on to study Creative Writing at university.

If you are interested in taking part, the New Views Playwriting Club takes place on Fridays at 12.30pm in B3.

Ms Heimfeld
Subject Leader Film

Book of the Week

Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or some sketches. The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how all the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the

dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house!

Sometimes the Polar Bear would scrawl a note, and sometimes Ilbereth the Elf would write in his elegant flowing script, adding yet more life and humour to the stories.

Written to his children between the 1920s and 1940s, Tolkien’s letters and drawings encapsulate the magic of Christmas perfectly.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Staff News

We are very sad to be saying goodbye to Mrs Humphrey at the end of this term. She has been such an integral part of the pastoral team over the last few years and has built wonderfully positive relationships with so many students across both the Senior and Junior schools.

Mrs Humphrey leaves us to explore new opportunities in her career as she takes up an exciting post with the Children’s Trust in Northampton. We thank Mrs Humphrey for her support and contribution to the life of the school, and wish her every success for her future; we know that she will be missed by students and staff alike.

Parent Talks - Relationships & sex education: The new curriculum and Gender identity and young people

The next events in our Parent Talks 2021/22 series will take place early in the new year.

Relationships and sex education: The new curriculum will take place on Thursday 13 January 2022 from 6pm to 8pm as a webinar (online). This event is suitable for parents of pupils in Year 4 upwards and will be led by Emma Gleadhill. 

The session will provide parents with information on the new RSE curriculum, and discuss talking about sex and sexuality with your child. To book your place, please click here.

On Wednesday 2 February 2022, from 6pm to 7.30pm, we will be hosting in school an event for Senior School parents (however parents of Junior School are welcome to attend) on Gender identity and young people. In a society where young people are freer than ever to express their true selves, this session considers how the school deals with gender identity issues, how parents can support their children, and why gender identity is an important topic for us all today. There will also be opportunities to ask questions. To book your place, please click here.

Should you wish to see the full details of our 2021/22 Parent Talks programme, please click here.

Mrs O’Doherty
Acting Head 

Join Our Team - Minibus Drivers Wanted

At Northampton High, we are proud to have a pristine fleet of school minibuses, and we are very excited that this will be expanding in 2022. We are therefore looking to appoint several drivers for transporting pupils on morning and afternoon school runs, Monday to Friday.

If you are interested in joining our team we would love to hear from you.

For more information and to apply please click here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
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