Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 20 November 2020

Over the past few days, several events have come together that have caused me to focus on the school that we are: our school librarian’s recommendation of ‘Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men’, by Caroline Criado Perez, discussions around our response to Black Lives Matter and my virtual attendance at the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) Conference, 2020.

Criado Perez’s book covers a wide variety of issues relating to the theme of gender bias or, perhaps – more accurately – data bias, and it is a fascinating read. In it, she addresses issues from government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, but a theme she refers to again and again is the influence of lack of role models on girls’ self-perception and learning. This includes ‘brilliance bias’ through which she explains that by the age of six girls have often started to doubt their gender and quoting a 2017 paper on the subject:

‘A recent US study found that when girls start primary school at the age of five, they are as likely as five-year-old boys to think women could be ‘really, really smart’. But by the time they turn six, something changes. They start doubting their gender.’

Read more here

Mrs Petryszak

Week Ahead

Wednesday 25 November
Sixth Form Assembly
Upper Third Parents’ Evening

This week in the classroom

School’s fundraising efforts close in on £6,000 after ‘Purple Day’ in support of Pancreatic Cancer UK

On Thursday 19 November, the Northampton High School community came together once more in order to celebrate our first ever ‘Purple Day’, in support of Mr Bailey and Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Throughout the month of November, which is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, our staff and students have been undertaking a host of exciting activities and challenges as part of the charity’s ‘Challenge 24’ initiative. As you will have read in previous articles, we have seen people run for 24 minutes every day, make and sell 24 jars of homemade preserve, face masks and sweetie bags, and lots more.

19 November is World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day, and we saw this as the perfect time to hold Purple Day, a day in which the school turned purple and came together to enjoy fun tasks, take on gruelling challenges, and ultimately raise awareness and show support.

The day kicked off bright and early, with our Director of Sport, Mrs Blake, setting off at 7:30am for her gruelling 24 mile run around the school playing field. Not content on just running 24 miles, Mrs Blake added the extra 2.2 miles to make a full marathon – completing the exhausting run in an amazing 4 hours and 4 minutes – a PB!

Students of all ages took part in their own fun activities, which included the Year 6 students taking on 24 physical and fun activities ranging from ‘hook a duck’ to ‘netball shots’ to our Year 5 pupils completing challenges from their homes, such as ’24 purple pirouettes’ and ’24 songs played on the flute’. It wasn’t just our current students who got involved during the day, with the Class of 2020 gathering for an online Zoom call to catch up, but to also discuss cancer, and how they can raise awareness and help educate those around them.

With fundraising activities set to continue throughout the month, we are looking forward to completing more challenges and ultimately raising more money and support for a fantastic cause. With the fundraising total standing at £5,937 at time of writing – smashing our original goal of £1,000 – we are looking to finish Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month strongly and help this amazing charity as much as they can. To visit our fundraising team page, please click here, and to view more photos from Purple Day, please click here.

Mr Nash
Marketing and Communications Officer

Sixth Form Subject and Elective Choices

We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting with students in U5 and their families this week via School Cloud, discussing our students’ aims and aspirations, potential A Level subject choices and how we tailor support for our Sixth Form students to their own university and apprenticeship goals.

There is so much to look forward to! As a reminder, our subject leaders have prepared short films to assist students in their choice of A Level and Elective subjects.

The link to the videos, the Sixth Form Programme Guide for 2021/22 and much more information can be seen here.

Don’t forget, subject leaders are on hand to answer questions on any aspect of the A Level courses and Electives. If you would like to arrange some time to discuss the Sixth Form in detail, please email and we will be happy to get in touch.

Miss Kneen                                    Mrs Cantwell
Head of Years 10 and 11               Director of Sixth Form

Interested in applying to Oxbridge in the future? Join our event

Bromley High School GDST is hosting a virtual ‘Applying to Oxbridge Insight Event’ on Tuesday 24 November at 6pm to 7.45pm via Google Meet for students (and their parents) from Years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 and has kindly extended the invitation to our school.

At 6pm, Dr Sam Lucy, the Director of Admissions for the Cambridge Colleges, will give a talk about applying to Oxbridge and then answer questions from attendees.

After this, three Bromley High alumnae will talk about their experience of the Oxbridge process.

Kate Norton has just started her first year of studying Biology at Oxford; Rosanna Elliott is now in her second year at the University of Cambridge, where she is studying History; and Lucy McDonald completed her undergraduate studies at Oxford, and is currently carrying out a PhD in Philosophy at Cambridge, focusing on hate speech.

It will be a fantastic opportunity for students and parents to find out more detail about the application process to Oxbridge, benefit from tips and advice from the speakers, and learn more about the everyday experience of undergraduate study at these prestigious universities.

If you would like to attend, please sign up for free tickets on the Eventbrite website here.

Mrs Cantwell
Director of Sixth Form

Undivided – Diversity and Inclusion

As you are aware, we held our first Parents’ Meeting focusing on Diversity and Inclusion towards the end of the  summer term. We have our next staff committee meeting coming up shortly, after which we will be reaching out to parents again to further our discussions and start our mutual plans to move forward. I will be in touch about this in due course.

I am confident that, as an independent school, we are fortunate to have the gift to change the curriculum for all our students and we are working to do so through conversation with pupils, parents and staff.  I would like to share with parents the latest progress from GDST on its Undivided steering group; this is, of course, just the start of our journey, but one that we will travel together over the next months and years.

In the summer, the GDST announced its Undivided commitment to diversity, inclusion and real change across the GDST family of schools, in response to feedback from the GDST community of alumnae, staff, parents and students and the challenge set by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Since then, the GDST Undivided steering group has prepared a Charter for Action; this sets out specific commitments, focusing on what the GDST (as an organisation) will deliver.

The GDST promised to consult on these proposals before they were finalised, which is why we’re seeking your views. The Charter for Action is available on the GDST website here. Please do read it and share any comments you may have for the steering group to consider at this stage.

We are also consulting with staff, alumnae and senior school students.

The Charter for Action will be firmed up early next year. That said, the GDST has already started with important work in this area, including training, student and staff surveys, and data collection to help establish baselines and set stretching and challenging targets.

The student survey will be sent to pupils in Year 5 upwards from 1st December. It will ask a range of questions to establish the extent to which pupils feel every child, regardless of their background, is included and well-supported by their classmates and their school. If you have any questions about this, please contact Martin Pilkington at

Thank you for your help and support in making the GDST an even more inclusive organisation.

Mrs Petryszak

Creative Arts Spotlight

This week, the Creative Arts Spotlight falls onto U3W.

I have been very impressed with what they have achieved in the last three weeks. Having only started working on Ukuleles since the half term break, they have all worked hard to learn a variety of different chords and strumming patterns, and now have a repertoire of four songs that they can sing while accompanying themselves both as a whole class and small groups.

In addition to this, they have also created their own chord sequences and chosen the strumming patterns they use during performances. A very impressive start to the topic.

Mrs Smith
Music Teacher

Book Review

Intimations: Six Essays by Zadie Smith – recommended for the U4 and above

From the critically acclaimed author of Feel Free, Swing Time, White Teeth and many more and written during the first lockdown.

‘There will be many books written about the year 2020: historical, analytic and political accounts. This is not any of those – the year isn’t half-way done.

What I’ve tried to do is organize some of the feelings and thoughts that events, so far, have provoked in me, in those scraps of time the year itself has allowed.

These are above all personal essays: small by definition, short by necessity.’

‘As well as offering a new guide to living in a wild, messy and unfair world, Smith provides a reminder that we can use this crisis to imagine a better one’ Evening Standard

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Online Safety

TikTok is a hugely popular app with younger teenagers and although we do not allow it via our school network many of the pupils do use it on their phones.  This week Miss Chapman has told Upper Third pupils that they cannot make TikTok videos in the classrooms during breaktimes. There is much benefit to the creativity the app offers but it also can invade the privacy of others who do not want to be involved or just want some quiet time over lunch.

I have been pleased to see that TikTok have responded to concerns about their app by updating their parent controls.  Parents can now prevent strangers from seeing their child’s TikTok clips, disable direct messaging and make the account undiscoverable by strangers.  If you would like to explore all of the features offered by the new parent controls, there is a summary here.  I do strongly encourage you to make use of the controls in an age appropriate way to enable your daughter to enjoy the benefits of social platforms whilst minimising the risk to inappropriate content.

Mrs O’Doherty
Deputy Head – Pastoral

GDST Talks: ‘Helping your child understand Covid-19'

Next Thursday 26 November at 6pm, we are delighted to invite you to the first in our new ‘GDST Talks’ series of free online presentations.

Titled ‘Helping your child understand Covid-19′, we welcome Dr Deborah Woodman virtually for this event, the first in what will be a series of presentations from distinguished experts, who will share their experience and advice on the pressing issues of the day.

You can find out more about the presentation and book your free ticket for the event by clicking here. More Talks are planned for the coming weeks, including, ‘What Girls Need – How to raise Bold, Courageous and Resilient Girls’ on Wednesday 2 December, and more information will follow about this talk, and others, next week.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Indian Cooking class available to the High School community in support of Pancreatic Cancer UK

A member of our school community is holding a special Indian cooking class, with all proceeds going to support our Pancreatic Cancer UK fundraising efforts.

Meera Tailor, parent to Maaya and Millie, has been teaching classes on Zoom during lockdown, and is delighted to be offering a special Northampton High class for members of the school community. For a donation of £20, all proceeds will go to a team fundraising appeal, as we continue our efforts to support Pancreatic Cancer UK and Mr Bailey.

For more information, please do visit the below social pages, or feel free to contact for more information.

Instagram: meerasmenu
Facebook: Meera’s Menu 

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Term Dates 20/21

Term Dates 21/22

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