Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 22 January 2021

Digacy – redefining ‘normal’

When we launched the ‘Digacy’ programme nearly 2 years ago, with the vision of bringing all things technological together under one banner, the aim was to ensure our students have a healthy and holistic understanding of their digital personas and are ready for the changing world of work.

Of course, the pandemic and associated lockdowns have pushed technology even further to the forefront of our thinking, and really allowed us to indulge our curiosity in all things EdTech related. 

Students’ access to 1 to 1 devices both in school and in Guided Home Learning (GHL) has prompted the use of some amazing resources that can only really work electronically. For example, we have used intelligent quizzes from Kuizical and students have improved their language skills with allows for rapid reviews of understanding, and is great for those with a more visual style of learning. Poll Everywhere is a tool to help teachers gather instant feedback from students, as is Padlet, while Seneca Learning offers online courses to complement our own resources. There are also great software add-ons that enhance the Google Classroom approach. One of these is Mote, a tool that delivers teacher’s oral feedback to student work, and Jamboard, which opens up collaborative opportunities in virtual lessons.

On the flipside, there have been concerns about screen time overload in lockdown and we have been working to mitigate this. To borrow the words of educationalist Doug Lemov, we aim to ‘dissolve the screen’, i.e. make learning as close to the real classroom experience as possible. We are experimenting with screen ‘timeout’ periods and activities that require students to get out of their chairs, such as scavenger hunts. And, of course, the sport and wellbeing curriculum continues to thrive, with our expert teachers ensuring that students can take part in physical activity, safely, at home.

When we can make a safe return to school, I am confident that the best parts of the ‘new normal’ will return with us to the classroom. Through the Digacy programme, we can embed the best EdTech into the curriculum, to ensure students not only love learning in the technological age, but have the right skills to face a changing future. 

Henry Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

Testing at Northampton High

The in-school Covid-19 Lateral Flow testing team has been established, fully trained and is raring to go!

The Lateral Flow testing programme has been rolled out in school for staff and Senior School-aged pupils this week. All staff and Senior pupils in school are offered a voluntary weekly Covid-19 screening test, to identify anyone who may have the virus but showing no symptoms.

The tests are being scheduled each week and provided and processed in School. The process was piloted and reviewed last week and the testing team has successfully carried out the first week of testing this week.

Guided Home Learning In Action

Junior School Achievements

We are delighted to share with you some recent achievements from our Junior School students:

Angelie in Y3 has completed her first year of learning the guitar and received a report from her teacher, showing she has made excellent progress despite most of her lessons being online.

Well done!

This week in Nursery...

This week in Nursery we have practised our ball skills in PE, catching, throwing, rolling and kicking. Our story of the week is Big Blue Train, following the interests of the girls who have been making trains with the chairs and pretending they are going on a train journey on holiday (wishful thinking during lockdown for us all, ha ha!). “All aboard!” Annabel said as she sat on the train.

During Forest School, we found some big puddles to splash in and watched how the wind blew the trees and listened to the noises it made. We have also talked about what we need to wear to keep warm when we go outside – our hats and gloves if we have them – and doing up our coats, asking for help if we need it.

This week in Pre School...

During PE we observed the effects of exercise on our bodies we talked about how cold we got walking outside to the hall. We listened to our breathing, we felt our hearts beating and tried to find our pulse, then we did some jumping, running round the hall and relay-type race, after which we felt much warmer! Our breathing was faster and we could feel our hearts beating strongly.

Later in the day, some of the girls told Mrs Bing about their hearts and she extended their learning using the internet. We looked at the heart in more detail, looking at the four sections and talking about our blood; how it has red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, and each of the jobs each part is responsible for.

We have also being talking about Storm Christoph; then Lily asked when is it going to be Storm Elsa, to which Emily quickly responded that will be a snow storm. Mrs Waters made kites with the girls so they could experience Storm Christoph first hand.

Voice of the child: Ella looked at the pictures of the blood moving around the body and said “ugh, that’s disgusting”. Emily looked at her wrists, “are these my veins, why are they blue?”

This week in Reception...

This week, Reception are focusing on the traditional tale of The Enormous Turnip. The girls used plasticine to make characters from the story to great effect!

Mrs Howell

Hello from the Year 1 & 2 bubble!

This week in Year 3...

Year 3 have been working exceptionally hard on their Guided Home Learning, as you can see from the photographs. We even have them dressing up like rock stars to work on Times Table Rockstar!

We have all been learning new skills and many have used Powerpoint presentations for the first time to display their research on ‘Shoes through the ages’ and ‘Healthy Eating tips’. I am very proud of them all.

Mrs Dadge

Year 4 enjoy Bollywood dancing!

This week in Year 6...

Another week has flown past and Year 6 have worked extremely hard, as always, showing great resilience and humour throughout.

This week we thought we would share some of our student’s thoughts about Guided Home Learning.

“I think Guided Home Learning in Year 6 has gone well because we get to see the teacher lots and if we get stuck on a question, we can just ask them for help. I’ve really enjoyed making musical instruments in Enrichment because we all got to play them at once, like an orchestra, at the end.”

“I have found Guided Home Learning really motivating because we can discuss things on Teams and learn together.”

“So far I have really enjoyed Guided Home Learning. Of course, I would rather be at school, but I really liked learning about fossils and dinosaurs because they are very interesting topics, and I also enjoyed working in a small group in Maths on Teams.”

“I think Guided Home Learning has gone very well for the first two weeks as we have some good experience from last year. I feel more focused on work as we are on the Teams call for the whole time we are learning.”

“I really enjoy doing online school because it is a new experience. Some of my favourite things that we have done are: making instruments using nature and recycled things, and learning about fossils.”

“I enjoyed making musical instruments, as I like making creative things. I made 2 different instruments; for one I used sticks and string and for the other one I used a tube, Sellotape, pasta and rice.”

“I really enjoyed making musical instruments with recycling and things outside. I made a banjo. I made the banjo out of a jam lid, a rubber band, lollipop sticks and lots of tape. It was fun seeing everyone’s instrument. My instrument made a very weird noise, but I was still pleased with it!”

“This week we have made musical instrument out of nature. I made a shaker that had rocks, leaves, flowers, grass, and moss then I decorated it. At the end we all came back on screen and showed each other our masterpiece. Everyone`s looked amazing then we all played our instruments and it sounded amazing. We could all be in a band!”

Mrs Fordham and Miss Taylor

GHL in the Senior School

As we continue to learn and thrive under Guided Home Learning here at Northampton High, we are loving seeing the examples of the work our students are creating from their homes each week. We are delighted to share some pieces of work with you here, and you can also see examples throughout the week on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

This week in TP, Anushka in U4M spent time peer-teaching the rest of the class following her recent travels to India where she attended her uncle’s Wedding. It was wonderful hearing Anushka’s account, as her denomination of Christianity is useful for our understanding in the GCSE course. Miss Robinson

Earlier in the week in Art, L4 students spent time working on their marine life collages. Despite not being physically in the classroom, you can see examples of the fantastic work being created – well done all! Mr Laubscher

In Science, U5 students have been making models which demonstrates polymerisation. We are delighted with the outcome and are happy to share some examples with you here. Miss Parboteeah

Year 8 Science Lesson on Microbes and Disease

My sister, Tina Etemadi, who graduated from studying her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Reading and is currently doing her Master’s degree in Infection and Immunity at the University of Leicester, came to speak to our Lower Fourth Biology class about how her interest started and how she got to where she is now.

She spoke about what she would like to do in the future and what she has been currently studying in her Master’s degree.

We discussed some of the different topics she learnt about whilst being at university, as well as the variety of practical experiments she has completed.

Tina also studied at Northampton High School, from Nursery through to 6.2, and encouraged us to love Biology as much as she does!

Tara, L4

Creative Arts and Guided Home Learning

This week in U4, Textiles students have been exploring the theme of costume design, in particular the work of designer Colleen Atwood for Alice in Wonderland.

The level of work produced by the girls has been fantastic, and we are delighted to share with you examples from Mia and Jasmine here.

Miss Lycett
Subject Leader Textiles

This video shows Tara E demonstrating her potato printed background for her Bisa Butler design. Fantastic work, well done Tara!

Mr Laubscher
Teacher of Art

Students cook tasty treats at home in Food Technology!

As part of our Guided Home Learning for Food, our students across the Senior School have worked really hard and have produced some wonderful, tasty treats over the course of this week!

Covering lots of different food types, the level of work produced has been excellent, and we have been reliably informed that the finished dishes taste as good as they look; we are delighted to show you some completed meals here!

Firstly, here are some pictures of the ‘Brilliant Bolognese’ produced by our Y7/U3 students. Some of the key learning points practiced in creating this dish were: Preparing and frying vegetables, handling and cooking raw meat (if using) and boiling and simmering. Well done!

Another amazing (and equally tasty) dish produced by students this week were these fantastic Spring Rolls made by Y9/U4. The presentation shown here is wonderful, with the key learning points here being: Finely chopping/grating vegetables and spices, stir frying, accurately wrapping and rolling, and modifying the recipe. Great work!

Miss Knight
Subject Leader Food

Book Review

Snowflake, AZ by Marcus Sedgwick – recommended for U4 and above

Ash has lived in eight states in as many years. Mom has gone walkabout, but stepdad Jack is like a father, and stepbrother Bly the best anyone could wish for. When Bly goes missing too, Ash sets off to search for him – and finds something much bigger: the sickness of the world.

Arriving in Snowflake, Arizona, Ash discovers Bly living with a community 6000 feet high in the wide red desert. They call themselves the Canaries and all suffer from some kind of environmental illness.

They are ostracised by modern society, as it continues to ignore climate change, global warming and so much more of our self-inflicted poisoning of the planet. When Ash takes ill, the doctor’s response is, ‘it’s all in your mind’. In a story spanning seven years with triumphs and tragedies, Ash learns how to live as the world is pushed to a point of no return. This humane and deeply thoughtful novel is about resilience, trust, family and love.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

GDST Talks: How to be a tech role model for your child

We are delighted to confirm that our next GDST Talks event takes place on Monday 8 February, at 6pm. For this talk, our speaker is digital rights activist and YouTuber, Charlotte Robertson, and to mark Safer Internet Day 2021, she will be giving a presentation on ‘How To Be A Tech Role Model For Your Child’.

For more information, to book your free ticket, and to view the recording of our last GDST Talk with Professor Abi Gewirtz, please click here. We look forward to welcoming you to the talk on the 8 February.

Mr Nash
Marketing and Communications Officer

GDST Junior Schools Presents: Top of the Rocks


Next week in Junior School we are joining in the GDST Maths Junior Rock Out 2021. This is mainly for Years 4-6 but the younger girls are also enjoying access to the Times Table Rockstar website to try to improve their knowledge of the multiplication tables in a fun way.

We want as many of the girls as possible to take part and answer as many questions as they can in the week.

Mrs Dadge
Curriculum Co-ordinator, KS2, 3N

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