Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 19 May 2023

Skills for the future

A relative quiet has fallen on the High School over the last week, as Years 11 and 13 are sitting their public exams and Years 10 and 12 are in the midst of their summer assessments.

Summer assessments are a fixture of the educational calendar in the UK and have been since the nineteenth century. Much has changed since the introduction of the first public school exams in 1858 and our girls are unlikely to be asked to list in order the wives and children of Henry VIII or to state the “three ways [in which] our Lord [was] tempted in the wilderness”. I understand that these days – in Geography – there is even remarkably little need for colouring pens. But in some ways the system has proved remarkably resilient and our students’ experience today will look and feel much like that of these boys in 1940 Queensland (image courtesy of State Library of Queensland).

The High School’s students have been, and are, working hard. These exams matter, the girls know it and they have been preparing diligently for them. Over the years, we have all read pieces that tell us that exams aren’t fit for purpose and don’t help students prepare for the future. I always feel that this is a somewhat disheartening message for our young people to hear, even if it is well-intentioned (high-stakes exams are too pressurised, etc.). But, despite the drawbacks of the current system, are our students being prepared well? One way to approach the question is through the lens of the skills that employers think will be needed in the future. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report (PDF) is a useful piece of research to consider.

According to the WEF’s 2023 report, the two most important skills for employees to develop and evidence are analytical thinking and creative thinking. Both the GCSE and A Level curriculums naturally demand students hone their analytical thinking skills, while creative thinking must be showcased not only in the more obviously creative subjects, such as Drama or Textiles, but also in Biology or History, where the ability to make insightful inferences and links between topics requires a creative mental agility. These two cognitive skills are joined by three sets of “self-efficacy” skills: resilience, flexibility & agility; motivation & self-awareness; and curiosity & lifelong learning. In all three cases, it seems clear to me that successfully studying for and being examined across multiple subjects lends itself to the development of such personal skills.

But when we look at the wider skillset that employers deem crucial, it’s noticeable how important our school’s wider, expanded curriculum is. For employers, technological literacy ranks sixth, followed by dependability & attention to detail, empathy & active listening, and leadership & social influence. Undoubtedly, some of these skills are learned through the core curriculum, but even more so through the wider opportunities offered by the High School. For example, girls in all year groups demonstrate and develop leadership and active listening, whether they are part of the Student Senior Leadership Team or a form group’s Student Council Representative, a sports leader or a performer in the school’s musical.

The summer exams matter and I wish our girls all the very best over the coming weeks. At least as important as the results, however, are the skills that they have developed at school throughout their educational journey. To the Year 13 students who are leaving us at the end of this term: you are ready for the future and we can’t wait to hear about your next steps.

Mr Viesel
Director of Sixth Form

The Week Ahead

Tuesday 23 May
Senior School Welcome Evening
Wizard of Oz After School Rehearsal

Wednesday 24 May
Year 12 Reach Seminar

Thursday 25 May
Wizard of Oz Afterschool Rehearsal

Friday 26 May
Year 12 Reach Seminar

To view a list of the summer term clubs and activities, please click here.

The Cat Project

On Monday, a group of Year 9 students started a collection of cat drawings in B6 to add a little bit of joy and lighten up other students’ moods before our summer exams.

Over the course of this week, many students have added their own cat drawings, and we’ve even held voting for the best cat award.

We hope this project makes you smile.

Year 9 Students

Summer examinations are in full swing!

This week officially marked the beginning of the summer examination period, and with lots of our hard-working pupils now on study leave, the school has certainly felt a lot quieter!

Students have been committed and focused in their revision and preparation, and we are confident that they will perform exceptionally well.

Congratulations everyone on a successful first week!

Students share memories from this year's Normandy trip

Thank you to Mr Pietropaoli and our Year 8 students for leading Monday morning’s assembly and sharing fond memories from their recent trip to Normandy. The Normandy trip is a long-standing Northampton High School tradition, with this year being the 37th time our pupils have visited!

It was wonderful to hear all about what our students got up to this year, the different landmarks they visited and their favourite moments. Our Year 7 pupils certainly seemed excited to have this opportunity next year!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Cambridgeshire League Cup Champions!

A huge congratulations to Ellie, Lucy and Ava who became Cambridgeshire League Cup champions at the weekend!

Members of the Rushden & Diamonds U13 football team, the group played against league winners Cambridge City in the cup final. All three of our participating students played brilliantly, with Ellie putting in a captain’s performance in centre midfield, Lucy playing excellently down the wing & Ava scoring the two goals playing up front.

The team were elated to win this prestigious cup, and look forward to the NTFA cup final this weekend! Well done girls and good luck!

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

Match Report - IAPS U13 Football

On Tuesday 16 May, the U13 football team travelled to Portsmouth to play in the IAPS 7 a-side tournament.

We played some great football and worked really well as a team, making some great passes and getting back to defend. Overall, we finished fourth with three 0-0 draws against Hazelwood, St Neots, and Edgeborough, a win against St Edmonds, and one loss against Danes Hill.

Well done to the entire squad for delivering some brilliant performances.

Eleanor J

Book Review

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Cristian has lived his entire life in the grip of a repressive dictatorship. The country is governed by fear. When the secret police blackmail him, Cristian has an impossible choice. Save the life of his sick grandfather by informing on his family, or risk his life – and all of theirs – by resisting?

At 17, Cristian dreams of being free but doesn’t know where to turn. In this climate of constant suspicion, can he trust his best friend, his girlfriend or even his family?

Closely based on the real events of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, this is a powerful, heart-breaking thriller from the author of Salt to the Sea, winner of the Carnegie Medal. Find out more about the Carnegie shortlist.

Recommended for year 8 and above.

Purchase through the NHS bookshop here.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Hay fever season

We have seen an increase in the number of students requiring medication for hay fever symptoms. Please can I encourage you to give your child medication prior to coming to school if they are known to suffer with hay fever symptoms, as this will mean they spend less time waiting to see a member of the medical team and feel well throughout the day.

Can I also remind you that students are not allowed to carry their own medication in their bags, excluding emergency medication, e.g. inhalers or adrenaline devices. Sixth Form students are permitted to carry one dose of analgesia or antihistamine.

If your child is required to take medication whilst at school, it is to be kept in the medical room and a consent form must be signed.

Thank you in advance for your help with this.

Mrs Dunkley
School Nurse

Why choose a ‘made for girls’ education? – Wednesday 7 June

We are delighted to be hosting a special ‘In conversation with’ event, in which our experts will explore how a girls-only education can transform your daughter’s life. Drawing on landmark national research in The Girls’ Futures Report, our experts Dr May Lee, Head, and Dr Kevin Stannard, GDST’s Director of Innovation and Learning, will explore:

  • How girls are feeling at this moment in time. What do they need from education and the wider world?
  • The differences a girls-first ecosystem can make for confidence, careers and skills.
  • Myths and misapprehensions surrounding girls’ education.
  • Helping girls’ thrive at key stages: Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form.

The event commences at 6.00pm with a drinks reception, followed by the ‘In Conversation’ event at 6.30pm. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and explore these vital topics with our experts.

We do hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be an invaluable discussion with pioneering experts in girls’ education.

Please click here to book your free tickets today.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Northampton High School - Where girls learn without limits

In Conversation With: Lorraine Whitmarsh

GDST’s next ‘In Conversation With’ event is with Environmental Psychologist and Portsmouth High School alumna, Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh MBE. The event will take place on Friday 23 May, 12.30-1.30pm, via Zoom.

The ‘In Conversation With’ events are open to all alumnae, Sixth Formers, staff, parents, and GDST’s Partnership and Outreach schools. The aim is to engage wider alumnae audiences from all over the world and promote the network and inspire both alumnae and current GDST students with a huge variety of speakers and topics.

More information and sign up for your free spot, please click here.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Alumnae of the Year 2023

We are delighted to announce that nominations are now open for GDST Alumna of the Year 2023.

This special award recognises remarkable individuals and celebrates their inspiring achievements. To find out more and to make a nomination, please find a link to the nomination form here. Nominations close on Tuesday 23 May.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Swap Shop events

We would like to share the forthcoming Swap Shop event dates with you. These events provide parents with the opportunity to buy, sell or donate items of uniform that you no longer require. If you have any items that you would like to sell or donate, please bring them to school for the below dates:

Tuesday 23 May
3.00pm to 4.00pm – Junior School and Senior School Swap Shop, Junior School Dining Room

Friday 30 June
8.00am to 9.00am – Junior School Swap Shop, Junior School Library
11.30am to 12.30pm – Junior School Swap Shop, Junior School Library
3.00pm to 4.00pm – Senior School Swap Shop, Junior School Dining Room

Save the Date: Creative Arts Festival

Save the date: Alumnae Reunion Lunch

Save the Date: Speech Day 2023

Save the Date: Parents Afternoon Tea - Friday 7 July

We invite you to save the date for this summer’s Parent Afternoon Tea event, which will be taking place on Friday 7 July, from 2 – 3.30pm. The cost for this event will be £15pp, and bookings can be made via ParentPay, with a deadline of Wednesday 31 May.

More information will follow over the coming weeks and months, but we do hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a lovely afternoon.

Miss Hair
Head of Junior School

Community Nursery Sessions

Cricket Coaching in Northampton


Term Dates

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