Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 18 June 2021

While 2020 was, without doubt, the year when we all adapted to different ways of living, learning, working, socialising, exercising and holidaying, it will also be remembered as the year when it felt as though sport came to a juddering halt. There was no real surprise when the Boat Race and the Grand National were cancelled in the early months of the pandemic but when the Euros, Wimbledon and the Olympics were removed from our calendars, the summer began to look a little bleak. What a different ‘state of play’ this year as we, once again, have the option to enjoy a wide variety of annual events, alongside those originally scheduled for 2020 which have been shoehorned into 2021.

Our pupils have had a similar experience with access to more sporting opportunities this summer term than last. The highlight, of course, was Sports Day on Friday 11 June. It was disappointing that we could not invite families to attend, as is the usual custom, but the event was enormously successful in every other respect. The weather played its part with a damp May, which meant the sports field was in fine condition, and there was some welcome cloud cover on the day itself.

The first real hint of excitement was detected when pupils in Years 3-6 arrived for school, dressed in sports kit and T-shirts in house colours, carrying superbly creative house banners and wearing the widest of smiles! Our brief chats at the gate revealed that some were unsure as to how exactly the day would unfold but all seemed eager to be both participants and spectators.

Shortly after 9am, a line of red, blue, green and yellow made its way to the sports field and settled into the allocated year group areas. The members of each house wasted no time in attracting attention to their fabulous banners. The Junior School track events were soon underway and we watched in admiration as competitors in Years 5 and 6 tackled their 600m races. These were followed by the obstacle, egg and spoon, and sack races, the sprint heats and finals, and finally the relays, for each year group in turn. 

The atmosphere was electric as Mrs Purvey-Tyrer and form staff guided a constant flow of pupils to the start line, and PE staff members, ably supported by Sixth Form volunteers, greeted them at the finishing line with well-deserved words of congratulation and stickers. The shouts of encouragement and squeals of success were infectious and, as the morning flew past, the scores were beginning to rise. These were added to the scores, which had already been awarded for the field events of long jump and rounders ball throw, and the 600m races for Year 3 and 4.

We were very pleased to be joined by Years 1 and 2 for around half an hour. They took delight in showing us their house posters and cheering extremely loudly! Their visit provided ideal preparation for Key Stage 1 Sports next Friday and also for their involvement in future Junior/Senior Sports Days.

Just as energy levels were dropping, the word ‘lunch’ was heard and each year group made its way to the sports hall where members of the catering team waited behind long tables laden with a fantastic spread of picnic goodies. Everyone felt much better after refuelling and as Senior School students prepared for their track events, Year 6 settled down to watch and Years 3-5 returned to the Junior School for an hour and a half in their classrooms. 

As we made our way back to the field for the final few Senior School events and the presentations, predictions were aired as to which house would win. While the final results were being processed a stadium wave was achieved; a lovely symbol of the camaraderie and friendly competitiveness felt throughout the day. 

A huge cheer went up when Mrs Littlewood announced the winner of Junior School Sports and we were thrilled for Eloise, Junior House Captain of Artemis, as she crossed the track to receive the cup from Mrs Newham, Chair of Governors. Eloise said afterwards, “I was really excited when I found out Artemis had won because everyone in the entire school worked really hard and I know everyone gave their best and everyone had fun. I was kind of overwhelmed because I didn’t know it would happen but I was very, very happy”.

The cup for Senior School Sports went to Selene and the cup for combined Junior and Senior Sports went to Hestia. What an exciting moment for Emily, Junior House Captain of Hestia, as she and the Senior Captain walked forward to receive the cup from Mrs Newham. Afterwards, Emily told us, “Everyone really enjoyed it even if they didn’t win a race, there was real House spirit, quite a few people didn’t win any races but there was always a sense of achievement and everyone was really happy with themselves. Some people made up songs which was nice. When Hestia was announced as the overall winner, I was shocked! I wasn’t expecting it and when we had the photo holding the trophy I felt really proud”.

Anya and Lizzie also gave their comments, as Junior House Captains of Selene and Demeter respectively. Anya said, “I think that Sports Day was really fun and, although it wasn’t like it used to be, I felt we made a connection with all the other years because when we were coming back from our races they were really cheering us on, even if they didn’t know us”. And, Lizzie said, “I think that everybody in Demeter tried their best and that is all that matters. And, Year 2 and Year 1 came down to support us which was really lovely”.

I have a feeling that Sports Day 2021 will live long in the memory as a shared experience of sporting endeavour and real joy in celebrating one another’s achievements; all the more special after months of restrictions. I should like to close by echoing Mrs O’Doherty’s words of thanks to Mrs Newham for her support and to the many, many staff members and Sixth Form volunteers who did so much to ensure Sports Day was such a very successful and happy event.

With best wishes for an enjoyable weekend,

Katie Milne
Consultant Head of Junior School

The week ahead

All Week
Virtual Arts Festival Week

Wednesday 23 June
Sixth Form Welcome Day (external pupils)

Thursday 24 June
Silver DofE Practice

Friday 25 June
Virtual Arts Invitational event
Bronze DofE

Virtual Arts Festival - Monday 21 to Friday 25 June 2021

On Monday, we are delighted to bring you one of our premier events of the academic year – the Northampton High School Arts Festival.

In an event that spans the course of a week, we delight in showcasing the world of the Arts at the High School. Our students all across the school have completed some excellent work this year, and we can’t wait to share with you what they have produced in the workshops, on the stage, in the kitchen, and everything in between.

In a ‘normal’ year, like in 2019, we host lots of exciting internal events during the week, such as author visits, opera vocal masterclasses, and interactive workshops, but unfortunately, this has not been possible this year due to current restrictions. However, in true performance fashion, the show must go on and we are pleased to share with you our plans for this year’s Virtual Arts Festival.

On each day of the week, we will be focusing on a different area of the Arts, and we will share examples of exemplary work in that particular field on our social media channels throughout the day. We will also be sharing the latest editions of our High Arts and Portfolio publications, ahead of the showcase event of the week, or Virtual Arts Invitational, taking place on Friday.

Normally an ‘in person’ event, the Invitational will delve into the Creative Arts world and will look in depth at the outstanding work our students have completed over the last year. We will be sharing pieces of drama, wonderful artwork, culinary excellence, passionate monologues, and lots more in a feature-length video that will be broadcast on YouTube at 7pm on Friday 25 June (link to follow).

We can’t wait to bring the beginning of the Festival to you on Monday, and we hope you enjoy this showcase.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

6.2 Biologists undertake practical fieldwork in school grounds

The 6.2 Biologists spent 3 days undertaking their practical ecology fieldwork in the grounds of the High School. The weather was gloriously hot and the students worked very hard. They successfully completed a required practical, carried out several investigations and analysed their data using statistical tests.

The students worked superbly, collaborating in small groups. Mrs Hatwood and Mr Attwood were privileged to many conversations showing high-level thinking skills. Group presentations of the mini-projects were excellent.  All have been impressed by the diversity and beauty of the habitats in our

school site, but nobody expected a snake to appear in the school pond on Wednesday afternoon. It was over a metre long and a great swimmer, and we can confirm it was a harmless grass snake (Natrix helvetica).

Mr Attwood
Subject Leader Biology

Girls' Schools Association Creative Writing Competition

Congratulations to Harriet F, who came 3rd in the Key Stage 3/4 Prose category of the GSA Creative Writing Competition, and Risara S, who was highly commended for her entry in the KS2 Competition. We hope you enjoy their entries below:

‘As One’ by Harriet F, L4

It’s morning again and I wake up unenthusiastic. I pull back the colourless curtains and frown as I discover it is dark and drizzly outside. It’s just a repeat, over and over, I hate it.  

School begins and I listen silently to the random glitching of the voices of my friends who I so long to hear in real life, the faint tapping of my fingers on the keyboard trying to finish work quickly and the little voice in my head telling me to give up.  

My head is torn in two; I am angry and hurt, but also fearful for none of us are sure what’s going to happen. What did we do to deserve this harrowing silence that is keeping us all from actually living?  

Lunch comes and I eat alone, and then more work and no one else around to help. My head pounds, I cannot bear to stare at an unworthy screen for any longer, yet I am unable to look away for even when I am not working it is an escape from reality, an excuse to stop socialising, an excuse to hide away.  

The end of the day comes. I shudder in fear at the thought of going back to real school the next day, not because I do not want to but because I have forgotten how to make good conversation, I have forgotten the joy of being part of a team.  

Evening comes, enveloping me in darkness and I stare at the white washed ceiling, a blank expression on my face, until with blinding clarity it suddenly all makes sense- I realise, I am weak and vulnerable by myself, my strength lies in being part of a community and that should never be left behind. 

Alone there is little we can do; together there are a 1000 more possibilities. 

‘Shine Light in the Darkness’ by Risara S, 4N  

In these deep, dark days, we have learnt to be strong even though this pandemic feels like it’s stayed for too long. The clouds keep going so we can too, even though sometimes it feels like we are stuck with glue.

Darkness will stay if we don’t make it light so we must flip the switch and make everything bright. If everyone one is happy the day will shine and all the invisible strings will tug, even mine. Everyday may seem to get more and more boring but you shouldn’t think negative or your happiness may stop calling.

Each day should be made bold and you shouldn’t need to be told and told that… Only light shines in the darkness so always bring in light not dark. 

Mrs Fordham
Class 6 Teacher

Old School Uniform Recycling

We are delighted to report that after a long search for a suitable home for some of the old school uniforms donated to Swap Shop over the years we have just given a selection of old blazers and other items to the organisation Eve. 

Eve is an organisation that provides help to women facing domestic abuse and has been running a refuge in Northamptonshire for the past 35 years; the donated clothing will be available for children in very difficult circumstances so hopefully, this donation will have a positive social impact as well as an environmental one.

We would particularly like to highlight the instrumental role of Elena W, one of our Year 13 students, who was proactive in contacting Eve to arrange the donation and then painstakingly unpicked the old school logos from the blazers to ready them for donation. Thanks very much to Elena for her hard work on this project. Thanks are also due to Mrs Crowley who has patiently organised and stored the old school uniforms until we could identify a suitable organisation to donate them to.

Mr Earp
Head of Humanities

Book of the Week

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Recommended for U4 and above

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in

which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Click here to read more about the Carnegie Shortlist 2021.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Term Dates 20/21

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

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