Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 18 March 2022

Science Week 2022 at Northampton High

The theme of Science Week this year is growth. Seems a sensible topic as Biology is all about growth and there are many aspects that the wonderful Science faculty could deliver lessons about.   

I wanted to take this a bit further and extend past the ordinary simple definition and grow our Science Week.  This year we have seen Year 7 take on engineering challenges to grow the tallest/strongest tower; Year 8 and 9 have grown their ideas about careers in STEM and found some jobs they didn’t know existed.  Year 11 and some Sixth Formers were treated to a truly inspirational talk from Dr Emily Grossman about her career in science and the performing arts, and how her personal and professional growth has led to her being able to marry her two passions of performing and science as a Science Communicator.  I think I can speak for everyone when I say we were captivated and motivated by Dr Grossman and look forward to welcoming her to school in the future.   

Years 1 to 4 had a workshop with Grace Webb, from CBeebies’ Grace’s Amazing Machines, where they learned about forces and motion (pictured above).  What is this to do with growth Mrs H-T?   

Well, I saw them all grow and refine their teamwork skills alongside their growing interest in a career in mini moto racing.  We have also experienced gastronomic growth in the canteen on Wednesday at lunchtime when we had the opportunity to make some dessert topping from alginate balls made from apple juice.  Move over Heston, here come the High School students! On Friday, we welcomed Dr Sharon Brookes, Lead Scientist for Animal and Zoonotic Viral Diseases at APHA, who gave a fascinating talk on career growth in STEM-based subjects.

To read the full blog entry, please click here

Mrs Hodgetts-Tate
Head of Science Faculty

The week ahead

Monday 21 March
Senior School Assembly
GDST Dance Event
Netball: U12, U13 vs Thornton
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Tuesday 22 March
GDST Dance Event
Sixth Form Options Breakfast for Year 11
Netball: U14, U15 vs Thornton
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Wednesday 23 March
Virtual Year 12 Parents’ Evening
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Thursday 24 March
GDST LEAD Showcase
Parent Talks Series: Dealing with self-harm
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Friday 25 March
GCSE and A level Textiles Research Trip
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Dr Emily Grossman joins Northampton High for #ScienceWeek

“Compassion, in terms of wanting to make a difference in the world in any career, comes from a willingness to also be compassionate to ourselves”.

It was wonderful to welcome the amazing Dr Emily Grossman to school on Monday for #ScienceWeek! Dr Grossman delivered a passionate talk to students, which challenged stereotypes in science and highlighted the importance of women in STEM careers.

With a Double First in Natural Sciences from Queens’ College Cambridge and a PhD in cancer research, Dr Grossman also trained and worked as an actress and singer, and as a Maths and Science teacher. She now combines her skills as a Science Communicator, broadcaster, public speaker, author, trainer and activist.

“I am passionate about changing the perception of what it is to be a scientist and I campaign to increase diversity by encouraging more young people, especially girls, to choose careers in science. I enjoy sharing my experiences as a woman in science – such as challenges I have faced around sexism, lack of confidence, imposter syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD and mental health issues – in such a way that might support and inspire others to reach their potential and attain their goals”.

We hope you enjoy the above clip from the talk, and we look forward to sharing more over the coming days on our social media channels. For more information about Dr Grossman, click here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Students make scientific desserts in the dining room for #ScienceWeek

#ScienceWeek has taken many forms throughout the week, with students taking part in talks, competitions and a whole lot more. One of the unique ways in which we celebrated was with this special scientific dessert which was served up in the dining room on Wednesday lunchtime, Heston-style.

Students were able to top their Lemon Posset with a special Apple Caviar, made via a chemical reaction between sodium alginate and calcium lactate! Pupils had a fantastic time creating the tasty treat, and you can find the recipe here if you would like to make it yourself. Make sure to send us your photos if you do!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

High Drama group perform Miriam Battye’s ‘Find a Partner’

A fabulous effort from our ‘High’ Drama group students who performed Miriam Battye’s ‘Find a Partner’ ,as a rehearsal performance on Tuesday and Thursday for the National Theatre Connections 2022 project.

We were visited by a National Theatre Director and Connections Mentor Monique Touko who watched the show and spoke to the students afterwards, offering great advice to take forward; “What a great show – you should all be proud!”

The students have worked incredibly hard as an ensemble to create the performance and are now looking forward to taking the show to Royal and Derngate on 4 April 2022.

If friends and family would like to purchase tickets to see the performances in The Royal, this can be done by clicking here or by calling Box Office on 01604 624811. Our performance time is 4 April 11:15am.

Well done to all students for their fantastic work!

Mrs Marriott
Subject Leader Drama

Ruby wows judges and audiences alike at Crufts

“We did really well and came in 2nd place, which meant that we qualified into the main arena!

On the Saturday, Wilf and I were both nervous, but we managed to perform well and get a clear round. Only three people weren’t faulted, so this is a great achievement. I also competed in the age 12-17 category making it even harder to get to the finals, but we did!

We got second, and in the main ring we got 5th! I am delighted with this; a top five finish out of 50 people overall is amazing!”

Ruby S

High Sports: U13 vs Kings High

U13A: On Saturday we played against Kings High School. We had an unfortunate loss but we all played to the best of our ability. Aiyven was awarded Player of the Match for her excellent defending and determination. We all did our best, kept playing and working hard as a team right to the final whistle. The team’s attitude and effort are to be commended. We know where and what to improve on to help with future matches. It was a tough game, but well done and well-played everyone. Anna C, Captain

U13B: On Saturday 12 March, Northampton High School U13B team played against The Kings High School. There was brilliant match play with great intercepting from both schools and accurate passing. Kings were a very good side and a tough opponent to face. We worked hard throughout the match and made Miss Fraser proud by never giving up. Unfortunately, we lost 3-17, but we all know we put 100% into our playing and enjoyed the match overall. I received Player of the Match for my good defending and teamwork. Savanah, Captain

Miss Fraser
Acting Director of Sport

Year 10 Language Leaders launch new magazine!

Our School Language Leaders have been busy writing a fantastic magazine about all things MFL! The team aims to release the magazine twice a year, and the first edition, entitled ‘Where can languages take you in the future?’ is available to read now.

Why not take a break over the weekend and have a read? Click here to take a look!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Creative Arts Spotlight

This week, the Creative Arts Spotlight falls onto Year 8.

The group made fantastic pizzas during their lesson on Thursday. Ingredients were carefully selected as they had full rein, and these included fresh basil, rocket, goat’s cheese, olives and sundried tomatoes.

The end results were really tasty – well done, Year 8!

Miss Knight
Subject Leader Food

Printmakers Against War!

We are delighted to launch next week’s Printmakers Against War fundraising campaign for the people of Ukraine. Students from Year 7 to 13 can sign up to form a group of lino printers, who will then create designs based on Ukrainian folk art and symbols of peace. We shall be inking up in blue and yellow.

Watch this space (and our social media) for updates and photographs of our progress and sales times. Once dry, we will photograph the prints together with the price range. Payments for prints can be made through the

students using their cards in school, or through donations to our DEC British Red Cross JustGiving page, which you can find here. You can also find out more about the process by clicking here.

We hope you will be able to make a donation and in return, receive a print of your choice.

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts

Book of the Week

Our multi-talented Head of History, Mr Donaldson, is back with the sequel to his first book Rain Town. 

Book of the Week: Rain Town 2: Return of the Raven by Andy Donaldson  

Dark skies loom large over Shigbeth Town and brave, valiant heroes have never been more needed. In this sequel to ‘Rain Town’, the three unlikely and comically ordinary heroes of the Shigbeth Justice League unite again to fight a criminal bringing misery to the local neighbourhood. Delivery van driver and single Dad, Sidney Rain once again dons his 

wellies, cape, and bird mask to become the nocturnal crime fighting ‘Raven’, enlisting the help of his two best friends to join forces and keep the local community safe from harm. Meanwhile, his son Stanley and his friends join together to stop the evil Hardy Brothers, Reggie and Ronnie and bring their reign of terror at school to an end.  

Mr Donaldson kindly shared a few of his thoughts on writing and reading. 

How do you find the motivation to write? 

Like many parents, I used to love reading to my children at bedtime. As we read more and more books, I just found that a lot of the stories weren’t making us laugh as much as we wanted to and they didn’t seem to connect with ordinary lives and characters. So, I thought I would have a go myself.

Where did you find the inspiration for your books? 

Some of the characters are loosely based on people that I have known. I suppose the character of Sidney is a little reminiscent of my Grandfather. That’s who he is named after. Television comedy is also in there as an inspiration. Sid is also part-Del Boy from Only Fools & Horses.

Can we expect more adventures from Sidney and Stanley? 

If I ever get the time, then I might write the third in the series. I’ve got some ideas and some new characters.

Why have you chosen to write for children and young people? 

It was easier. I spend my days with them and so I hoped I knew what might make them laugh and the sort of things they care about.

Would you ever write a novel for older readers? 

I have done. Decades ago. Maybe one day I will write another but you need so much time to write a book. It has to be rewritten so many times and so carefully crafted for it all to work. Both Rain Town books have taken years because teaching takes up so much of your time outside of school. Maybe when I retire? 

My favourite book as a child was…. 

The Two Towers by Tolkien. I went on the journey with them as a kid. It felt like I was reading something epic and important.

My favourite classic is…. 

I have been trying to read one a month for awhile now as they passed me by when I was younger. In the last couple of years, I have read classics by Steinbeck, Orwell, Hemmingway, Austen, Bronte. Picking a favourite is difficult (perhaps the Grapes of Wrath?). Some of them I didn’t necessarily enjoy but that’s not the point. I’ve got Dostoevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ to start next…

 My all-time favourite book is…. 

1984 by George Orwell. So many reasons why. A close second is Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

"A system that houses a feeling of belonging"

Our Deputy Head Mr Rickman writes in this month’s All Things Business magazine, all about turning “can we?” into “we can!” through our House system.

Take a read of the wonderful piece by clicking here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Parent Talks: Dealing with self-harm, Thursday 24 March

The next event in our Parent Talks series is ‘Dealing with self-harm’ on Thursday 24 March from 6pm.

For parents of pupils in Year 5 and above, this event will give an insight into why young people may self-harm and how we can support them. It can be a terrifying thought for a parent, and we know that there is an increasing trend for young people to hurt themselves on purpose, as a way of trying to manage distressing or overwhelming emotions and experiences. It can affect anyone at any time, and does not discriminate between gender, ethnicity or social background. Offering opportunities for open discussion is therefore our best strategy for supporting those who need it.

We are delighted to be welcoming Satveer Nijjar into school for this event. Satveer is a public speaker and trainer, experienced in working with professionals, students and parents to not only provide knowledge around this subject, but to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and self-harm.

The event will be held in the Theatre; please arrive at 5.45pm for a 6pm start. Light refreshments will be served and there will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the session. Please book a place to attend by clicking here.

The May event in our Parent Talks programme will take place on Monday 9 May at 6pm. This event will feature Tanya Goodin on the subject of Teens and Screens and is for all parents. Tanya is a trailblazing author, pioneering thinker and campaigner on digital wellbeing and tech ethics, and founder of the digital detox movement, Time to Log Off.

To book a place for the Teens and Screens event, please click here.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Raise Her Up: When The World Feels Like A Scary Place

As events unfold in Ukraine, the world seems to get no less frightening, even as Covid retreats. We welcome South Hampstead GDST alumna Professor Abi Gewirtz to this episode of Raise Her Up to share her wisdom with us.

As Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Psychology, Child Psychologist Professor Gewirtz is well-placed to understand the anxiety and uncertainty our young people have been through in the past two years. Her book ‘When The World Feels Like A Scary Place’ came out last year and has become the go-to for many parents and carers who want to know how to chat to their children and reassure them.

It’s a much-needed episode for so many parents out there. Listen now by clicking here or from wherever you get your podcasts.

Cathy Walker
GDST Head of Education Development
Innovation & Learning 

Inclusivity Bulletin: March

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 bulletin in full, please click here.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Autism Awareness Coffee Morning

We are pleased to be hosting an event to support Autism Awareness later this term. On Friday 1 April from 9am until 10am, Lesley Lock from East Midlands Autism will be hosting a coffee morning exclusively for the parents of Northampton High School pupils. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with Lesley and hear about how the charity supports young people and their families.

Lesley has told us a little about what she does for this charity: “I run 3 autism family support hubs, which are open to children under 11 with or without an ASD diagnosis, and their parents/carers and siblings. These are located in Northampton, Leicester and Loughborough. As part of this service, I also chat to parents/carers about ASD and where to find support, how to manage behaviour they find difficult, how best to fill out benefits forms, and any other ASD related topic that comes up!

I also manage our Northamptonshire Children and Young People’s Service, which runs trips, holiday and youth clubs for ages 8-18 and who must have a diagnosis, as this is the criteria set by our funders. These are for the young people to attend without a parent carer, and my fabulous team and I do our best to make sure that the young people have a wonderful time when they are with us, and can access the same age appropriate activities that their neurotypical peers can. In the last year we have been paddleboarding and raft building, visited theme parks, LEGOLAND, and the Think Tank museum, taken part in a Laser Maze evening, and solved some escape rooms!”

If you would like to attend this event, please would you complete the form here.

We look forward to an informative and supportive event.

Mrs Beezley
Learning Enhancement Co-ordinator

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

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