Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 17 September 2021

One of the great privileges of being Head of a school is the ability to wander at will around the corridors and classrooms to visit colleagues and pupils. After the first whirlwind week of settling everyone in I have, therefore, enjoyed taking time out to see what the pupils are up to over the last few days.

A hugely enjoyable aspect of leading an all-through school is walking from my office, through the Senior School English corridor, up to the dining room, and then wending my way along the Junior School classrooms until I reach our Nursery. I did just that earlier this week and along the way, I experienced GCSE or A Level literature texts being brought to life, philosophical debates in TaP lessons, and then the murmur of activity in Year 6 and 5 classrooms giving way to the more vociferous excitement of Year 4 selecting their clubs with Mrs Shaw; Reception class creating playdough sculptures and playing with water. A strange silence was to be found in Pre School and, as I made my way to their outdoor area, I could hear hushed whispers coming from inside the teepee; as I quietly spoke with their teacher to find out what they were doing, the most wonderful excited squeals of “there’s a crocodile!” filled the playground and the girls spilled out of the teepee laughing and running in their imaginary play!

Onwards to Nursery, where I found the floor covered in wooden blocks and a group of girls having a ‘tea party’ and inviting staff to “have a cuppa tea”. It would be impossible not to head reluctantly back to my next meeting without a huge smile on my face; to extend the experience I alternate my walks to take in Maths, Science, Creative Arts, or Humanities (and if time permits all of them).

Clubs started this week too and I had a frenetic and fabulous time with pupils from Years 5 to 11 coming along to learn how to knit and having a (k)natter. Clubs have been a topic that Year 7 pupils have spoken most enthusiastically about in our Headteacher’s tea parties this week too, with the only issue being whether they can fit in all they want to do! This brings me to one of our key strategic objectives this year, which is to really consider the importance of character education in schools and supporting our pupils to develop characteristics and skills such as collaboration, kindness, empathy, and resilience. You will hear more about this from all areas of the school during this academic year as we pinpoint and shine a spotlight on the characteristics we believe are of value in our community.

In the meantime, enjoy the weekend and I hope you get the opportunity to hear about the many highlights of the school week from your daughter.

Mrs O’Doherty

The week ahead

Monday 20 September
European Day of Languages

Tuesday 21 September
European Day of Languages
GDST Northern Rally

Wednesday 22 September
European Day of Languages
Year 8 & 9 One Day Film School
GDST Elite Netball Trial

Thursday 23 September
European Day of Languages

Friday 24 September
European Day of Languages
Junior School Macmillan Coffee Morning
Bronze DofE (until Sunday)

Tim Marshall visits Northampton High

It was a huge honour to host Tim Marshall this Thursday in school as he gave a compelling presentation of current world GeoPolitics to a Senior School Hall audience consisting of Sixth Form Humanities students and Year 10 PPE/TOK girls. We use his work both in the Politics & International Relations Elective and in A Level Geography, and it is rare that he gets into schools to talk to students due to his busy media and writing commitments. This was a tour-de-force of Planet Earth and international developments.

There are too many topics for me to cover here but it included explanations of the present and future strategic positions of nations such as the USA, China, Australia, Turkey, Iran, and regions of the world such as the Middle East and Central Africa. Even the colonisation of space by the superpowers was discussed as Tim rattled through several questions from our girls, keen to ask about Germany, Afghanistan, the plight of the Uighurs, and also how renewable energy might affect foreign policy. We very much hope that this has helped our girls to see the world from a different perspective and understand that stereotypically ‘western’ viewpoints of world affairs often fuel misinterpretations of how and why changes are happening. 

Tim began his career in journalism with three years as the Paris correspondent for Independent Radio News before working for BBC Radio and TV, after which he joined Sky News. Tim was Diplomatic Editor and Foreign Correspondent at Sky reporting from more than 30 countries, including many conflict zones. For many of us who have studied Modern History and Global Politics over the past few decades, Tim has been the expert/our ‘go-to’ person/the guide that we have watched and listened to for a real understanding of unfolding events around the world. He spent the majority of the 1999 Kosovo crisis in Belgrade, where he was one of the few western journalists who stayed on to report from one of the main targets of NATO bombing raids, and in recent years Tim has covered the conflicts in Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria.

After thirty years’ experience in news reporting and presenting, he left full-time news journalism to concentrate on writing and analysis. He has written six books, the most significant being ‘Prisoners of Geography’ – a New York Times Bestseller and #1 Sunday Times bestseller, which has now sold more than one and a million copies worldwide and has been published in 21 countries. His latest book, ‘The Power of Geography’ was recently published and is highly recommended reading. I know that several colleagues have already read it and brought it along desperate to get him to sign it.

Mr Donaldson
Subject Leader History

Year 7 enjoy Pizza & Disco Evening

The Year 7 students had a wonderful first week in Senior School last week, and what better way to celebrate than with a Pizza and Disco evening! The girls danced to some fun songs and played games like the limbo, with many thanks to our DJ, Nicky.

Midway through the evening it was time for pizza which was provided by our Catering department. And to add to the excitement, our World Challenge 2022 team were selling cakes, brookies, sweets, and jewellery to raise funds for their trip to Tanzania. I think it’s safe to say everyone had a brilliant time.

A massive thank you to all the staff involved, and well done Year 7 for such a successful start to the new school year!

Miss Knight
Head of Year 7

Raise Her Up - GDST Podcasts

We are delighted to let you know that the GDST launched its podcast series, ‘Raise Her Up’ on 8 September.

This podcast builds on the success of last academic year’s GDST Talks programme and will feature fortnightly episodes, focusing on broad topics around wellbeing, health, parenting and equality which as parents and educators we are bound to encounter. Forthcoming episodes feature expert guest speakers covering subjects such as gender equal parenting, Generation A, the teenage development journey, navigating the ‘new normal’ post-Covid, and dealing with eco-anxiety – amongst other topics which we hope you will find relevant, informative and engaging.

The trailer and first episode, on ‘Learning To Live With Covid’ are available here; going forward, new episodes will be available fortnightly Wednesdays on this same link, as well as on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon, Google and any other platforms usually used for podcasts.  You may find it easier to subscribe so that you are more easily able to access new episodes.

We would welcome your feedback on any topics you’d be interested in learning about; please email the podcast host Cathy Walker on to share your ideas.

Mrs O’Doherty

High Sports

Welcome back to what we hope will be a normal year and a return to a full sporting programme.

Whilst Mrs Blake is enjoying time with her new son, Miss Fraser and Mrs Littlewood will be in charge of the Sports Department. 

We would like to welcome Miss Wall as our newest member of the team. We are very lucky to have such an experienced new member; Miss Wall was previously the Director of Sport at Akeley Wood. She is a Netball and Football specialist and outside of school she has particular interests in hiking, surfing and playing futsal. I am sure you will all be most welcoming when you see her in the Sports Centre and around school.

Finally, we are allowed to return to a full fixtures programme. This is accessible on SOCS and can be accessed by parents/students by inputting your username and the password NHSsport.

We start with a bang! Our first rally in the third week of school, taking two Hockey and one Tennis team to Newcastle High School, as well as the first Saturday fixture on the 18 September taking place at Bedford for the U13 Hockey teams.

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

Sports Celebration

We would love to share with you a few of the sporting achievements of our students and former students over the summer holidays. If you have news, please come and tell us in the Sports Department – we would love to hear about and share your news and successes.

Gemma W – Gemma and her pony Renkum Bombadier have been competing this summer at British Eventing Pony Trials and achieved a 4th at the BE International CCIS-2* at Cirencester Park and an 8th at Belsay International CCIS 2*BCP British Pony Championships.

She was then invited to compete at the Land Rover Blair Castle International as Captain of the Home Pony International White Team. Gemma jumped a lovely double clear to be individual 10th and was Captain of the winning White Team. We are delighted that for 2021 Gemma was recognised by British Eventing as part of the Pony Elite Squad 2021 and for 2022, British Eventing has selected Gemma and Renkum Bombadier to be on the Pony Development A Squad – one of only four combinations nationwide.

Ella D – Ella has been selected for the Northamptonshire Football Association Girls Talent Pathway this season. The Northamptonshire FA Girls Talent Pathway provides talented girls across the county with the opportunity to gain additional training and support alongside playing their club football.

They will be posting highlights across the season on their social media on Twitter (@Northantsfa_GTP) and Facebook (Northamptonshire FA Girls Talent Pathway) so feel free to follow their progress during the season.

Issy H –This year Issy successfully trialled for the Wasps U15 long squad; she then trained throughout the summer at the University of Warwick, and had the opportunity to represent Wasps at a match against Mavericks.

Hattie – Hattie took part in a number of Northamptonshire County Closed Tournaments and achieved the following placings: 

  • 14 & under singles = Runner Up
  • 16 & under singles = 3rd place
  • 18 & under doubles = WINNER
  • 14 & under mixed doubles = WINNER

Hattie also competed in a National LTA competition – “The Road to Wimbledon” – where players progress through club rounds to reach their County finals day with each County winner being invited to play a tournament on the famous Wimbledon grass courts.

Hattie played brilliantly but was edged out in the Northants RTW County final, but was then invited (as were all the runner ups across the country) to an exclusive training session – at Wimbledon – with Tim Henman. This was invaluable for Hattie’s development and she learned a huge amount,  particularly about match preparation, strategy and mental focus. 

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

Paralympic Games - Tokyo 2020

The highlight of the Games so far seems to be the interview given by our former Northampton High student Ellie Robinson after the women’s S6 50m butterfly final.

How passionately she talked about her pride in finishing fifth and what a tough year it had been for her; it was the emotion that came out when she said she would have crawled to the pool if she had to, because she wanted to finish the Games on her terms. We are so very proud of you Ellie!

Please click here to view the video of Ellie’s speech.

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

Creative Arts Spotlight

This week, we are delighted to shine the Creative Arts Spotlight onto Year 8 student Indi.

Indi has responded brilliantly to her marine life Art PREP, and I am sure you will agree that she has created a beautiful first page in her book.

Great work Indi; a riot of colour under the sea!

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts

Excellence in the Languages

The Languages team would like to showcase this excellent piece of work. This wonderful cartoon was created by Year 7 student, Lyra, who used the structures and vocabulary we introduced in the first French lesson to make this wonderful piece.

Well done Lyra!

Mrs Morgan
Subject Leader German

The Orchestra - Autumn Term Recruitment

We were delighted to hear the Orchestra playing this week as the lunchtime rehearsals for the Christmas concert began. The Music Department was on hand to support our musicians as they worked through each piece to familiarise themselves with their parts. A broad range of year groups was present and we are very keen to recruit new members to achieve the right balance between instrument sections. We are particularly in need of more brass and woodwind! 

We are an inclusive musical community with exciting opportunities on the horizon this year. The Orchestra is open to all musicians from Year 5 onwards, with older pupils supporting the younger ones as part of our approach to celebrating our shared musical experience. Not only do we have our concert at All Saints’ Church to look forward to, but we are also re-launching our postponed musical ‘Seussical’, and the Orchestra will be playing in this production. Please do encourage your daughter to join us!

Mr Nathan
Director of Music

Book of the Week - Part One

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Recommended for Yr 9 and above

Nora’s life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived.

Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Book of the Week - Part Two

Anita Rani – The Right Sort of Girl

Recommended for L4 and above

I’m a girl and northern and brown, didn’t you know? A triple threat!” Trying to navigate her Indian world at home and the British world outside her front door, Anita Rani was a girl who didn’t ­fit in anywhere. She was always destined to stand out: from playing Mary in her otherwise all-white nursery nativity to growing up in eighties Yorkshire with her Punjabi family.

Anita shares the lessons she wishes her younger self could have known: ‘Freedom is Complicated’,

‘You Will Fall in Love and Be Loved’ and, most importantly, ‘Your Anger is Legitimate’. How did she manage to become the powerhouse she is, whilst battling against being too white inside her home and too brown outside of it?

This story of a second-generation British Indian woman up north is also a tale of tenacity and a life lived with positivity and humour. If you have ever felt alone, different, or just not the right sort of girl, this is the book for you.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

NMPAT return to Northampton High

We are delighted to announce that Northampton Music and Performing Arts Trust will be returning to our school with their weekly Saturday Morning Music Centre. The Centre provides groups and ensembles for a range of instruments:

  • Strings
  • Woodwind
  • Brass
  • Guitar
  • Ukulele
  • Rock and Pop

The Centre takes students from Year 3 upwards, and no prior experience is needed. Sessions run from 9.15am-12.15pm every Saturday morning during term time within our own school Music department.

If you are interested in joining, the main sessions will start on Saturday 18 September. There is a link attached for you to register, and there are more details provided, including a link to the Saturday Centre’s Facebook page.

The first term is fully funded, and we are delighted to inform you that Northampton High students will receive a 50% discount off any fees due for future terms from January 2022 onwards.

Mr Hume
Director of Finance and Operations

Car Park Safety

In our continued efforts to monitor and improve safety around the car park area of the school site, we are delighted to have installed new digital speed limit signs.

Thank you to all parents for your continued support in helping to make this area as safe as possible.

Mr Stubbs
Operations Manager

Macmillan Coffee Morning - Friday 24 September


We are excited to hold a Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday 24 September! Cakes and biscuits will be available for 50p each, with hot drinks available to adults between 7.30am-8.30am.

if you would like any more information, please contact Miss Brandon-Jones. We hope to see you there!

Miss Brandon-Jones
Year 5 Teacher

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

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