Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 21 May 2021

International school – ‘the rights you expect are the rights of all’ (P Weller)

Northampton High has a long tradition of embracing world cultures and the international dimension in all areas of school life. There are structural elements to this ethos, ranging from our engagement with European schools for modern language exchanges, to our Erasmus+ mobilisations and eTwinning projects. We can also highlight our tours and trips, ecological campaigning, charitable work and, vitally, the academic programmes of study across the school that challenge pupils to think globally. However, a school, like a church, is not defined by its buildings, or its curriculum or liturgy, but by its community and spirit. Indeed, the real basis for our open minded and culturally diverse outlook is the student and staff body itself, proudly incorporating multiple ethnicities and bi or trilingual speakers of 20+ community languages. 

I would go on to say that the measure of a school’s success cannot simply be based on its academic outcomes. Although these are important for opening doors, fulfilling careers and lives are built on so much more than academic achievements. A good linguistic and cultural education brings an understanding of how other people live, an appreciation of the things that make us different, and how we can use this information to enhance our contributions at work and home. Employers and businesses are increasingly conscious of the need for original thinking and, at the same time, are sensitive to the global markets they work within. As such, employment practices that recognise the value of diversity and cultural awareness do not just have a moral imperative but a sound business rationale too. 

Playing in the school band in the 80 and 90s, I was influenced by Paul Weller in his various incarnations. I liked Internationalists, a lesser known recording from the time, perhaps because it had a more rocky flavour, like his earlier hits with The Jam. However, relistening to it as I thought about writing this piece, I find I can appreciate it in ways I barely understood at the time. In the light of Black Lives Matter, Weller’s prescience in Internationalists that ‘without the strength of us altogether / the world as it stands will remain forever’, might seem unusual given his roots in working class Woking. But Weller was never a stereotypical rock star and his cosmopolitan image in the Style Council was more than window dressing. Perhaps influenced by this, I went on to study modern languages and lived in France and Spain. While not exactly a globe-trotting experience of young adulthood, it showed me the value of learning foreign languages, and inspired me to see that we have far more in common with other cultures than anything that might separate us.

Read more here

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

The week ahead

Sunday 23 May
Equestrian County Qualifiers at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre

All Week
Summer Exams and Assessments
6.2 Leavers’ Week

Tuesday 25 May
U5 Breakfast

Wednesday 26 May
U5 Enterprise Day
Cricket Fixtures

Thursday 27 May
U5 Last Day of Formal Lessons
U5 Leavers Lunch
6.2 Leavers’ Event – Champagne & Afternoon Tea

Friday 28 May
6.2 Final Day of Formal Lessons
Half Term Begins

Sat 28 & Sun 29 May
Equestrian National Championships @ Hickstead

Action Research Group - Update

We are writing to provide a quick update on the research carried out during Spring Term 2021 into attitudes to learning over the past 12 months; the specific aim of research was to investigate:-

‘How/to what extent has Guided Home Learning affected student attitudes to learning and how will this affect learning and teaching as we move from the digital to the physical classroom?’

An online survey was conducted across a range of year groups selected to represent the range of key stages educated at Northampton High School; specifically, Years 1, 6, 8, 10, and 12 were sampled. Explicit parental and student consent was obtained before the completion of the survey. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all those that consented to participate as overall we sampled 133 students, making the data set representative of the school as a whole.

The open questions, in particular, yielded a rich variety of responses and we have already begun the next phase of our research project, which is to conduct in-depth focus groups with some of the survey participants to explore the factors affecting their attitudes further. In particular, these focus groups will be considering some of the emerging themes from GHL such as independence and resilience, confidence and collaboration as well as pupils’ concerns regarding the return to the physical classroom.

By the end of the summer term, we will have completed our focus groups and will have an action plan for interventions and innovations; our full report will be made available when it has been completed.

Many thanks,

Mr Earp / Mrs Hill / Mrs Curtis / Mrs Fordham
Research Team

Book of the Week

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021

They call me Yanka the Bear. Not because of where I was found – only a few people know about that. They call me Yanka the Bear because I am so big and strong.

Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, Yanka has always wondered about where she is from. She tries to ignore the strange whispers and looks from the villagers, wishing she was as strong on the inside as she is on the outside.

But, when she has to flee her house, looking for answers about who she really is, a journey far beyond one that she ever imagined begins: from icy rivers to smouldering mountains meeting an ever-growing herd of extraordinary friends along the way.

Click here to read more about the Carnegie Shortlist 2021.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Tennis4All Development Programme

We are delighted to offer specialist Tennis coaching to our students across the school with the Tennis4All development programme. The programme introduces children from across Northamptonshire to the fun of tennis, helping participants to have fun and reach their full potential in the game.

The sessions are delivered by Tom Stevenson, a LTA Level 4 qualified Tennis coach, with whom our Junior pupils will already be familiar from his recent coaching sessions; Tom is offering Tennis Camps during the May half term and summer holidays, and after school clubs after half term.

Further details on the sessions can be found on the above flyer (or by clicking here). For more information, including pricing, please contact directly on

We hope you enjoy!

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

Talk with Kay Hannam: Audio and PowerPoint available now!

On Tuesday 4 May, we were delighted to welcome Kay Hammam to Northampton High School, who joined us for a virtual talk where she spoke about her career and her position as the Head of Forensics Services at Thames Valley Police.

Sadly, we were unable to capture the video recording for this event, but are delighted to bring you the talk in the form of a sound recording (please click here), and with Kay’s PowerPoint presentation (please click here). If you have trouble accessing these links, please do let us know and we will happily assist.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Talk with alumna Maddie Skillen on Women in Tech Careers

Term Dates 20/21

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

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