Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 20 January 2023

There has been a certain hush around the School this week as our Year 11 students have got their heads down with the mock exams. They have worked hard, remained calm and collected, and managed the complex timings well; we hope that those results will be encouraging at the same time as identifying areas for improvement.

Beth Mead recently sent us a wonderful message to inspire our students to work hard and chase their dreams when we spotlighted her book, Lioness: My Journey to Glory, as our ‘Book of the week’. Her positivity and kind words inspired me to consider the parallels that can be drawn between the rise in the achievements of the England women’s football team over the past decade and the educational experience we offer at Northampton High.

We share many of the features that have been identified as key to the rise in the success and competitiveness of England’s Lionesses. We are committed to shared goals and all of our staff want the best for our students just as they want the best they can achieve for themselves; we want them to have the choice and self-determination that come from a healthy stock of qualifications that represents the best they can be. To that end we believe in working as a team, trusting each other, relying on each other, supporting each other. We understand the value of long term planning and long term commitment to what we do. Many of our students are with us for over a decade but whenever each arrives we know that joining the team at Northampton High is a highly significant step in their educational journey and we want to enable them to reach their chosen destinations. We plan each journey from the start and we collaborate with our pupils as we develop plans that best fit each of them. 

At Northampton High, it’s not just about what happens in the classroom. The achievements and development that happens through sport, art, music, and drama are all part of what makes our pupils the fine young adults they become. The expectation of respect, the reiteration of sound values and the kindness they show to each other, the support they give their friends and the funds they raise for charity all form part of our collective identity and provide us with an understanding of how to be. 

So, just with the England women’s football team, the improvements in outcomes have not been accidental, nor have they been mere good luck. Success, in the broadest sense, is our shared enterprise and we stick at it. So, in the coming year, we hope that your children will strive to be the best they can be, grasping opportunities as they come their way, being happy in their friendships, secure in their learning and having a really good time. 

As the great poet Maya Angelou said: 

“Just like moons and like suns, 

With the certainty of tides, 

Just like hopes springing high, 

Still I’ll rise.”

Thank you for the past extraordinary term and for your heartfelt warm welcome – I hope you can feel the sincere appreciation from where you are sitting! We look forward to rising with you as we get ready for the rigours that a new year inevitably will bring. Thank you also for your continued partnership and steadfast support to help us grow and develop as a school that stands firmly by its mantra ‘we believe in our girls, and they believe in themselves’. Since my arrival, I have discovered that this is more than just a strap line: they are the lived experience of the school as well as an ideal to which we constantly aspire. 

You may have heard that the National Education Union (NEU) has announced that teachers in state schools across the UK will be going on strike on selected dates during February and March. Teachers at Northampton High will not be taking part in the strikes because they are not impacted by government decisions on pay. Northampton High will open and operate as normal. There may be cases where our own staff may be affected if their children’s school is closed due to the strikes. Where this is the case, we will do our best to ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum.

In closing, I hope that you will enjoy our weekly High News and Junior News and news on our website which give colourful and detailed accounts of what is going on in each part of the school. They are informative, entertaining and uplifting as we celebrate the achievements and acts of kindness of your children throughout the year. Therefore, if you have any special accomplishments – big or small – that you want to share with us, please do email Mr Nash, our Communications & Marketing Manager

Have a good weekend. 

Dr Lee

The Week Ahead

Monday 23 January
Year 11 Mock Exams (All Week)
Netball: U12 & U13 vs Kimbolton

Tuesday 24 January
Year 11 Options Breakfast
Year 10 Careers Day
Atomic Science
Netball: U14 & U15 vs Akeley

Wednesday 25 January
Theatre Trip to see Wicked
Year 13 Parent Information and Coffee Morning
Netball: U10 vs Bedford Modern

Thursday 26 January
Swimming: U18 GDST Gala
Reach Lecture

Friday 27 January
DofE Training Day
Support Staff Recruitment Day
House Dance
World Challenge Team Meeting

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

Head's Blog: It’s time to think differently…

It is interesting how often we can gain insight into something of wider significance from things that happen in our daily life. It occurred to me recently that there is a lot of debate (and I will stick with the word ‘debate’ rather than ‘argument’) in our house – most of which takes place between my husband and me. We come at things from very different angles, grew up in completely different households, made our way through the education system in different ways and truthfully, don’t even agree on which political party to vote for.

Now this might sound like a recipe for disaster but nothing could be further from the truth. I have often thought how fortunate I am to have someone in my life with such a contrasting set of views: I am forced to argue (I mean ‘debate’!) what I think and believe in a more intelligent way; occasionally my views are changed; and, frequently, I am encouraged to look at things from a perspective that would not otherwise have presented itself to me. Recently, reading Matthew Syed’s book – Rebel Ideas – I have become even more convinced about the powerful outcomes that engaging with diversity of thought and experience can have both on the individual and within teams and organisations.

At the GSA Heads’ conference that I attended last term, Matthew Syed, writer, speaker and broadcaster, was the keynote speaker and he talked about the need for cognitive diversity on leadership teams. Women, who are woefully underrepresented in C-Suites, bring a different perspective which is much needed in the decision-making process. He also made the point that people who want to be perfect will never take risks:“if your self-esteem is bound up in your performance, you cannot contemplate failure”. He suggested that our aim should be to ensure that our students take rational, calculated risks at the right times, as pilots do in a simulator. I love the idea that our classrooms might be like flight simulators, where learners practise their skills again and again, improving them every time.

Read the full blog entry here.

Dr Lee

Northampton High welcomes students into school for Entrance Assessment Day

Today, we were delighted to welcome nearly 50 external pupils to Northampton High School to take part in our annual Year 7 Entrance Assessment Day. Our external guests were joined by pupils from our own Junior School Year 6 class, to take part in a day of fun and exciting challenges.

Visitors arrived at our Theatre Foyer for 9am sharp, and were greeted by Dr Lee and members of our Sixth Form student body, who gave parents and pupils a warm welcome before settling everybody in for the start of the day. We began with the assessment portion of the day, with pupils first taking an English assessment followed by their Maths paper – with a nice break filled with juice and cookies in between to charge their batteries!

Lunch swiftly followed, which gave all of our guests a real chance to get to know each other ahead of the afternoon activities. There was a real excitement in the air and smiles filled the Dining Room, and it was wonderful to see so many new friendships budding amongst the group.

After lunch it was time for the most anticipated part of the day, as the pupils took part in three exciting Senior School workshops! Pupils had the opportunity to enjoy some wonderful Chemistry experiments with Mrs Hodgetts-Tate, an awesome Drama workshop with Mrs Marriott and lots of fun in Art with Mrs Beacroft and Mr Laubscher. Each of the sessions gave the pupils a practical insight into what lies in store for them in our Senior School, and we are excited for them to see the whole picture once they begin in Year 7.

The day closed with refreshments in the Dining Hall with parents, as the pupils received the traditional gift of a Northampton High School teddy bear to act as a memento of their day. It was truly wonderful to welcome so many happy faces in to Senior School, both externally and from our own Junior School, and we can’t wait to welcome them back to Northampton High in September!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Science Week fast approaching!

This week, our Year 7 scientists have been timing model parachutists as they fall into the Senior School foyer! This is in preparation for next week, when they will be designing, making and testing their own parachute as part of a competition.

We are all very excited in school for our annual Science Week. Taking place week commencing Monday 13 March, we can’t wait for the week-long celebration of all things scientific, with exciting activities and special guests all set to join us, we look forward to letting you know more details in the coming weeks!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Book Review: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Sam and Sadie meet in a hospital in 1987. Sadie is visiting her sister, Sam is recovering from a car crash. The days and months are long there, but playing together brings joy, escape, fierce competition – and a special friendship. Then all too soon that time is over, and they must return to their normal lives.When the pair spot each other eight years later in a crowded train station, they are catapulted back to that moment. The spark is immediate, and together they get to work on what they love – creating virtual worlds to delight, challenge and immerse, finding an

intimacy in the digital realm that eludes them in their real lives. Their collaborations make them superstars.

This is the story of the perfect worlds Sadie and Sam build, the imperfect world they live in, and of everything that comes after success: Money. Fame. Duplicity. Tragedy.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Welcome back from the Medical Wellbeing Team

As the students return from the festive break, it is important to be aware that there still remains a risk of winter infections as flu, COVID-19 and scarlet fever continue to circulate. We have stocked up on paracetamol and strepsils and are ready! Please not send your child into school with their own medication. If you will be sending your child into school with medication e.g. antibiotics or other prescribed medication, please do complete a consent form – these are available from Reception.

Professor Susan Hopkins, the Chief Medical Advisor at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued the following advice to help protect your child and others they are in contact with:

  • If your child is unwell and has a fever, you are advised to keep them at home until the fever has passed. until they feel better. During this time, your child should avoid attending school, nursery or having contact with any other person outside the household.
  • An adult who is unwell should also try and stay at home and avoid seeing others.
  • If a person is unwell and they must go out, they are advised to avoid attending a healthcare setting, such as a GP surgery or hospital, unless calling first. Also do not attend a high risk setting such as a care home or nursing home.
  • If a person needs to leave the house whilst they are unwell, UKHSA recommends a face covering is worn at all times to help avoid passing their infection onto others.
  • Good hand hygiene continues to be important to avoid spreading infections through touch. You are asked to encourage your child to regularly wash their hands, with soap and water. Catching coughs and sneezes in tissues then binning them is another simple way to help stop illness spreading.

As you are aware vaccines are the most effective way to prevent diseases. The flu vaccination is still available for all eligible groups including those aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2022, all primary school-aged children and some secondary school-aged children.

For more information about getting your child vaccinated against flu please click here. For more information about getting your child vaccinated against Covid-19 please click here. We also enclose this letter from the Local Authority Public Health Department for your information.

Mrs Dunkley
School Nurse

Support Staff Recruitment Event

We are excited to be hosting a Staff Recruitment Event on Friday 27 January, to give interested candidates the opportunity to discuss our current vacancies with members of staff.

We have a number of exciting vacancies currently available which you will find details of below, which include permanent and casual roles to suit all types of flexibility, age ranges* and experience. (*must be over the age of 16 and have finished Year 11 schooling).

If you would like to find out more, we would be delighted to welcome you to Northampton High on Friday 27 January.

To register your interest, or for more information on any of these vacancies, please email or phone 01604 765765.

Mr Hume
Director of Finance & Operations

Turning 'can we?' into 'we can!' - Spring Open Mornings at Northampton High

We look forward to welcoming so many lovely families to our upcoming Spring Open Mornings on Friday 3 March and Friday 28 April. The events promise to be a superb showcase of life at Northampton High School.

If you would like to come along, please do feel most welcome, and should you have family, friends, or neighbours keen to visit us, please encourage them to book their place here and join us!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Community Nursery Sessions

Reach Lectures: Spring 2023

Hope Centre Donation Box

Term Dates

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