Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 22 September 2023

School reports – a developmental journey

Parents and guardians may recall that I wrote in the opening Headlines newsletter for this term about a change we have made to our reporting. In a way it is only a relatively small change. We have not altered the style or structure of the reports, nor have we reduced the scope of what are, we hope, supportive and helpful documents for both parents and pupils.

This said, we have reconsidered the language we use to talk about various aspects of pupil performance and attitudes to learning, and, at its heart, this is much more than a minor tweak. As I explained in the newsletter, when we use indicators to offer an overview of pupil achievement and performance, we will now focus on development. We were keen to redefine what might be seen as more limiting and/or critical indicators, such as ‘Good’ or ‘Changes needed’. Instead we are now using the terms ‘Acquiring’, ‘Emerging’, ‘Enhancing’, ‘Extending’ and ‘Mastering’, to refer to pupil progress, prep and attitude to learning. 

The change in the indicators is logical and mirrors the work that has been done in the background over many years to ensure reports, feedback and verbal interactions such as tutorials are more focused on the individual.  These new terms are far more in line with our philosophy and aims. We say ‘we believe in our girls’, and for this to be more than just words, we have to demonstrate that belief in every aspect of school life. Likewise, if we truly expect the girls to fulfil the second part of our motto ‘and they believe in themselves’, we must try to avoid potential pitfalls that may impact negatively on their self-esteem or personal development.

So why is using developmental language so important? Firstly, it helps pupils recognise their strengths. When pupils read positive and constructive feedback about their abilities and achievements, it boosts their self-esteem and fosters a sense of accomplishment. This recognition of their strengths can motivate them to continue excelling in those areas.

Secondly, developmental language provides students with the guidance they need to make improvements. Constructive feedback not only points out areas for growth but also offers specific advice on how to enhance skills. This targeted advice empowers pupils by giving them actionable steps to follow, promoting self-directed learning, and encouraging them to take ownership of their progress.

Moreover, developmental language promotes a growth mindset. When students understand that their abilities are not fixed but can be developed through effort and learning, they are more likely to persevere in the face of challenges. This mindset shift is essential for long-term success, as it cultivates resilience and a willingness to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth.

To read the fully entry, please click here.

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head

The Week Ahead

Monday 25 September
European Week of Languages
Hockey: U12&13 vs Quinton House

Tuesday 26 September
Hockey: U14&15 vs Kimbolton

Wednesday 27 September
Y9 Somme Information Evening

Thursday 28 September
ICGS UK Symposium
Y7 Harry Potter Library Party
Hockey: 1st team vs Quinton House

Friday 29 September
ICGS UK Symposium
LTA School Tennis vs Headington School

Embracing the strength of quiet

‘Quiet’ was the most common description we heard of this business-like Head: ‘quietly spoken’, ‘quietly strong’ and ‘quietly confident’. This was what the recent Good Schools Guide said about me. Yet, it is interesting that they also view this seemingly understated demeanor as my superpower – a calm and serene style of role modelling that profoundly impacts the girls at Northampton High. Inspired by this revelation, I thought it fitting to write a blog to celebrate the power of quiet, or more specifically, the power of introverts. 

I have been reading a book recently by Susan Cain called Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. For a book about quiet people, there are an awful lot of words in the title. Susan Cain’s central message is that the world tends to extol and elevate extroverts – those who exude confidence, expressiveness, social adeptness, networking prowess, and effervescence. These are delightful individuals who can light up a room with a smile or a hearty laugh. They excel at motivating others, thrive in team settings, and are generally enjoyable company. There is no denying the value of extroverts, and nothing Susan Cain says will deter me from appreciating their unique qualities. In fact, many of our students exhibit extroverted traits, and one of the first impressions I had of Northampton High girls was their penchant for conversation. As a group, they possess a treasure trove of ideas, a wonderful sense of humour, and an unshakable, irresistible confidence. 

However, it is equally true that many of our students lean towards the quieter end of the spectrum. They are introspective, serene, contemplative, and perhaps slightly reserved or shy. These individuals are deep thinkers and attentive listeners, relishing the opportunity to learn and think independently – both inside and outside the classroom. This is perfectly fine because as Susan Cain contends (and as my own observations confirm), introverts are just as valuable in any community as extroverts. In fact, she argues that the strongest teams comprise a blend of both personality types, as well as those of us who fall somewhere in between – the ambiverts. Extroverts infuse enthusiasm with phrases like, ‘let’s go for it!’ or ‘we can ace this!’ when morale dips, lethargy sets in. However, introverts contribute valuable perspectives to the table, urging for caution and reflection with questions like, ‘Stop. Wait. Think. What are we doing? Why are we doing it? Have you considered this…?’

To read the full entry, please click here.

Dr Lee

Student Blog

Just before starting Year 12, the thing that worried me the most was doing poorly in my subjects. I’ve always held myself to a really high standard academically, and I was determined to surpass my already large expectations for myself in my A-Levels. Now that the year is over, I feel nothing but proud of myself for what I’ve achieved, and despite feeling undoubtedly nervous for Year 13, I know that if I continue to put my mind to it, I can leave school next year with the same amount of confidence and pride that I have now.

Whilst this may not be a universal experience, I don’t regret the A-Level subjects that I chose. My Dad told me to choose subjects that I firstly enjoyed, and secondly that I was good at, which definitely made my decision a lot less difficult. I chose to take English Literature, History and Business, and whilst the workload sometimes catches up to me, it’s overlooked by the fact that I enjoy them so much. I believe that it’s a combination of my own personal interest in the subjects, as well as the support of my teachers that make the occasional feelings of frustration feel overcomeable.

However, the main thing that has carried me through Year 12, and has made the year as enjoyable as it was, has been the support from my friends. It would be a complete understatement for me to say that I simply appreciate my friends for being there for me this year. Without them, I know that the many deadlines and new priorities that being in Sixth Form brings may have felt overwhelming. I strongly believe that having good friends is one of the most important things in life, whether that’s during Sixth Form or when working 20 years from now, and I know that Year 13 will be far easier in their company.

My ambitions for the future are as certain as they were since the start of Year 12, and remain to be one of my biggest motivators to achieve success once I leave school. I want to go to university to study Marketing and Management, and have enjoyed experiencing what that route could look like through opportunities facilitated by school. This summer, I spent a few days in school doing work experience with the Marketing and Admissions Department, which I hugely enjoyed. This has made me all the more excited about continuing down a similar path after A-Levels, and perhaps less nervous about what the future holds for me.

With Year 13 being only a couple of weeks away, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel slightly anxious. Entering such an important year in my life, that has such a strong sense of finality to it, I mainly hope to enjoy it as best as I can. Whilst I feel excited to be so close to starting the next chapter in my life, I equally want to cherish the little time I have left in school before I leave it all behind. I suppose in a way, that means I’m approaching my last year at the school with mixed emotions, but then again, that’s exactly what life is all about.

Natasha B
Year 13 student

High Sports

Hockey vs Bedford Girls

After a run through of our short corner formations, we started our first 11 a-side game of the year. After the first quarter pushing our limits, a strategic team talk was needed and we were proud to come back stronger in the second quarter; successfully breaking their press and attempting an attack on goal. We kept up the fight in the final quarters, however energy was low and the game finished 6-0 to the opposite team. We fought a hard game and will take plenty of positives from this match!

Well done to everyone who played. Natalie S

For the first match of the season we played Bedford Girls. We knew going into it that it would be a challenging first match, but we had great team energy and positive heads. We started off with liveliness, claiming equal domination of the ball, which eventually led to a chance up in their 25. After being given a short corner, taken nicely by Khushi P, we were ahead by one goal.
After the break, Bedford came in with fierce competition, resulting in a goal from a quick breakthrough. We were given some great chances, but in the end we couldn’t convert and sadly conceded a late goal from Bedford Girls, meaning this match didn’t go our way.
Our player’s player of the match went to Isla N for her great carrying and offloading of the ball. It was an amazing first match and we are all very eager for the season to continue!
Charlotte F

Hockey vs Quinton House

On Tuesday 19 September we played against Quinton House School. It was a tough game with a lucky win, with Savanah M and Izzy S scoring. Isla H got player of the match from the opposition and Izzy S got players player. It was a great game overall and a good learning curve for us all. Anna C

Creative Arts Spotlight

Our new Year 7 students can be seen settling into the music department, working independently and with others as part of a group.

These photos show two of our classes learning to play Ukulele and leaning to sing a musical round in Latin. The pupils have thoroughly enjoyed their introduction to music in Senior School and we look forward to watching them progress over the year!

Miss Smith
Music Teacher

Inktober 2023

In this morning’s assembly, Mrs Beacroft spoke to our Senior School pupils about ‘Inktober’, a challenge created by Jake Parker in 2009.

Initially a personal project to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits, the challenge has since grown into a worldwide endeavour with thousands of artists taking part every year.

Inktober has become an annual occasion at Northampton High School, with more students and staff getting involved each year! We hope that this year’s prompt list inspires you to pick up your drawing tools next month and create something special!

Northampton High is an established Pony Club Centre!

Northampton High School has become the first school in the country to be recognised as an established Pony Club Centre! 

The Pony Club is an international, voluntary youth organisation for young people, where members enjoy coming together to participate in a range of fun activities! Despite the name, no pony is required; furthermore, no interest in ponies, horses or other animals is required! It is an all-inclusive membership club that promises lots of fun and an opportunity to earn badges and certificates!

The Pony Club is a new extracurricular activity for our students to enjoy and takes place every Monday at 12:15pm in S7. We would like to encourage as many pupils as possible to find out more about this wonderful opportunity, and we look forward to watching the club grow!

To learn more, please email, or pop along at lunchtime on Monday!

Mrs Hodgetts-Tate
Head of Science Faculty

Join our Equestrian Team!

Does your daughter ride? Does she have access to a horse/pony to compete? If so, the school’s equestrian team would love to hear from you!

We have riders competing in dressage and in showjumping at 40cm to 110cm. For more information please email

Mrs Hodgetts-Tate
Head of Science Faculty

Book Review

In the Shadow of the Wolf Queen by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The earth is stirring . . .

Ysolda has lived her life in the shadow of the wolf queen’s tyrannical rule but, safe in her forest haven, she has never truly felt its threat.
Until one day when a mysterious earthquake shakes the land and her older sister Hari vanishes in its wake.

Accompanied by her loyal sea hawk, Nara, Ysolda embarks on a desperate rescue mission.

But when she is forced to strike a bargain with the wolf queen herself, she soon finds herself embroiled in a quest for a magic more powerful – and more dangerous – than she could ever have imagined …

Purchase through the NHS bookshop here.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Medical notice

As we head into cough and cold season, please can I share with you the current NHS guidance about when to send your child to school.

It is usually appropriate for parents and carers to send their children to school with mild respiratory illnesses. This would include general cold symptoms: a minor cough, runny nose, or sore throat. However, children should not be sent to school if they have a temperature of 38°C or above. We would encourage you to read the NHS guidance.

Please email if you have any other questions relating to medical or wellbeing issues.

Mrs Dunkley
School Nurse

Swap Shop

We are delighted to share that we will be hosting Swap Shop every Friday from 2:00-3:30pm in the Junior School Hall.

Uniform for students of all ages will be available to purchase.

School Transport parking

We would like to kindly ask our parents/visitors to avoid using the bus parking bays at the front of the school when picking up and dropping off.

These parking bays are exclusively for school transport vehicles and we ask that, for the safety of our passengers, pedestrians and school community, that these are kept empty. Thank you for your cooperation.

Mr Stubbs
Operations Manager

In Conversation with... Emilie Weaving

The GDST’s next ‘In Conversation’ event features Shrewsbury High School alumna, Emilie Weaving, who will be speaking with Darren Payne, Head of Shrewsbury High via Zoom on Monday 23 October, 1-2pm.

Emilie was a finalist in the GDST Trailblazer of the Year Competition 2022. At age 31, Emilie has certainly paved her own way in the traditionally male-dominated world of engineering. As a Mechanical Engineer, Emilie has eight years of development and testing experience, from diesel engines to motorcycle helmets and military vehicles. She is passionate about encouraging women to pursue a career in the field, and writes about her STEM lifestyle in her blog, The Female Engineer.

If you wish to attend this virtual event, please click here.

What's on - Autumn Term

Save the Date: World Challenge fundraiser

Join us on Friday 13 October from 6:45-9:15pm for Northampton High School’s first rock concert!

We look forward to welcoming students (Year 5 upwards), siblings, parents and staff to the event and hope to raise funds for World Challenge Vietnam 2024. To book your tickets, please click here. Thank you!

Laura, Hattie and Emma
Year 12 students

Children's Activity Morning at Dobbies

Kings Camp

We’re excited to have Kings Camps return with their Sport and Activity camps, giving children an active and screen-free week this October!
30+ years’ experience in operating sports and activity holiday camps, @KingsCamps get 5 – 17 year olds active, having fun and learning together! There’s over 30 sports and activities for children to get involved in throughout the week!

For dates, prices and booking visit or call Kings Camps Membership Team on 01142632160.

Northampton High School - Where girls learn without limits

Term Dates


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