Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 23 April 2021

Hope and Change

Stephen Lawrence was born in September 1974, just three weeks after I was born and I am writing this piece on the 28th Anniversary of his death.  For many reading this piece, the name Stephen Lawrence, needs no further explanation or clarification.  Indeed, the same is true for many of our pupils. But, for others, 28 years ago is well beyond a lifetime for them which  puts the events of 1993 in the category of ‘history’ and as with many horrific acts of history, should we forget them we are doomed to repeat them.

To illustrate this, let me take you back to 17 May 1959.  On that night, 32 year old Kelso Cochraine, a carpenter originally from Antigua was walking home through Notting Hill when he was attacked and killed by a gang of white youths. His murder was never solved and with hauntingly similar reports as Stephen’s death, the police investigation was considered highly flawed.  The public outcry led to commemorative events which ultimately led to the beginning of the Notting Hill Carnival.  I had not heard of Kelso Cochraine until just a few weeks ago when I heard a book review of Murder in Notting Hill (Mark Olden, 2011) on the radio one evening after work.

The impact I felt from hearing the book review led me to stop the car as soon as I could and order the book from Amazon there and then before I could forget. And really, we must not forget. That despite the outcry, despite the inquiries, 40 years later not so far away in another London street another young black man was killed by a gang of white men and the same mistakes were made.

To read more, and to view Miss Robinson’s school assembly, please click here.

Mrs O’Doherty
Deputy Head Pastoral

Researching the impact of GHL

As we reflect on the impact this incredibly difficult year has had on society generally, we are mindful of our responsibility to learn from the situation to make our school a better place for our pupils. For this reason we have been designing programmes to investigate how students and families across the school community experienced Guided Home Learning (GHL) over the two lockdowns. 

Debbie Hill, as Trust Consultant Teacher for Educational Research, has already written in High News about her work, which will also include surveys and interviews of staff members as well as families and pupils. 

As a formal piece of peer-reviewed research, Mrs Hill will be working with the wider GDST community to develop detailed evidence of the extent to which GHL impacted on progress and innovation in teaching and learning. Her research will continue over the next few months to include focus groups and work with selected students and teachers in school. 

At the end of last term, I also ran a shorter research programme with alternate year groups (Years 5,7 and 9) to gather more experiential information about GHL from both students and families. This, less detailed work, will inform our thinking in the coming weeks and will give an insight into the ways we can improve the learning experience of anyone who has to work from home because of the pandemic. It will also help us understand the wellbeing implications of GHL so that we are better able to plan for remote learning if this should be necessary again on a wider scale.

Read more in the latest edition of Headlines (pages 5/6) by clicking here.

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

Charlotte and Ruby donate wonderful portraits of Mr Bailey

A big thank you to Charlotte and Ruby, in Year 7, for thinking about Mr Bailey and his wonderful contribution to the school.

Charlotte, thank you for asking Ruby to paint several portraits of Mr Bailey and donating some of your pocket money towards this project. Ruby, what a talented artist you are – you have really captured the spirit of Mr Bailey in all of the portraits that you have created, and we look forward to displaying them in the Junior School.

Mrs Fordham
Class 6 Teacher

Filmmaking for U5 English students

In English, our U5 students have been making films as part of their ongoing revision. Students have picked their favourite lines from ‘H is for Hawk’, and have created highly imaginative interpretations!

One fantastic example can be found here, with more being available to view on our Twitter feed here:
Great work everyone!

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

GDST's annual Laurie Magnus Poetry Competition

At the end of the Spring term, the English Department received a wide range of submissions to the GDST’s annual Laurie Magnus Poetry Competition.

Students produced work in a remarkable range of styles, from flights of fancy to passionate calls for social change, from light verse to meditative, personal introspection.

The winning entries from Northampton High are by Isobelle A (6.2), Harriet W (L5) and Sonya M (L4). Runners-up were Mo L (6.1), Hannah P (U5) and Anushka T (U4).

Mr Viesel
Teacher of English

6.1 students celebrate National Spinach Day!

On Friday 26 March, the new Student Senior Leadership Team organised an event for 6.1, to celebrate National Spinach Day. We, as a team, encouraged the students in our year group to wear at least one item of green clothing in order to celebrate. Although perhaps motivated by the promise of chocolates, everyone got involved with the celebrations and were particularly pleased by the spinach green balloons.

Thank you to all of 6.1 for being so enthusiastic about National Spinach Day, and for ending the Spring Term on a positive and optimistic note. It has been so lovely to be back in school and we hope to celebrate more national holidays in the future!

Freya T
Deputy Head Girl for Marketing

Students scoop awards at the Royal Society of Biology Challenge!

Outstanding Sporting Achievement

A huge congratulations to Georgie F-W, who has been selected as one of 29 athletes to be named in the 2021 Roses Academy.

Georgie attended a gruelling weekend of trials at Loughborough University last weekend where she participated in fitness tests, drills and skills sessions and hours of match play. The Head Coach said “The Roses Academy Trial was full of exceptional talent and the long squad’s development both on and off the court, over the last four months, was demonstrated over the weekend”.

Georgie and her teammates will attend training camps over the next few months before a competition in July. We wish Georgie the very best of luck on this exciting journey.

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

GDST Lockdown Dance Competition

During the Easter break, the GDST Lockdown Dance Competition Finalists were revealed on a Zoom call, hosted by the organiser Mrs Williamson-Jones (Sutton High School) and judged by Kira (a dancer, choreographer and teacher based at Pineapple Studios, London).

The competition was extremely popular with over 250 entries from across the GDST Schools.  The age categories consisted of Y3/4, Y5/6, KS3 and KS4 upwards. Northampton High School was represented by the following pupils who performed some amazing pieces.

Y3/4 – Angelie B, Zoe S, Shreya S, Tami S, Ellie J-E, Harini S

Y5/6 – Sophia B, Anya R

KS3 – Holly H, Carolina F-L, Ques-Li DB

KS4 upwards – Hannah S, Kathryn L

We are delighted to announce that Angelie B (Y3) placed in the top 5 for her age group with an energetic Bollywood performance. Hannah S placed top 5 with her beautiful contemporary piece and Ques-Li D-B won the entire KS3 competition, which is absolutely amazing, with a stunning contemporary piece.

We are very proud of all the entries on behalf of Northampton High and we are super excited about the future of our creative dancers. Well done all!

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

Book of the Week

On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Patrick
Recommended for U4 and above

Donegal, 1976

When a dolphin takes up residence in Carrig Cove, Emer and her best friend, Fee, feel like they have an instant connection with it. Then Dog Cullen and his sidekick, Kit, turn up, and the four friends begin to sneak out at midnight to go down to the beach, daring each other to swim closer and closer to the creature…

But the fame and fortune the dolphin brings to their small village builds resentment amongst their

neighbours across the bay, and the summer days get longer and hotter…There is something wild and intense in the air. Love feels fierce, old hatreds fester, and suddenly everything feels worth fighting for.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Royal Mail 'Heroes' Stamp Competition

I am delighted to offer your daughter the opportunity to enter the Royal Mail ‘Heroes’ Stamp Competition.

This is only the third time in its history that The Royal Mail have launched such a competition. Please see details in the accompanying letter, which outlines how data will be used.

Your daughter can collect a template from school and can hand in their ‘Covid Hero’ work to me in Senior School and their Class Teacher in Junior School. The age ranges are 4-11 years and 12-14 years.

More details can be found on the Royal Mail website or by clicking here and we are launching this in lessons at school so the girls can ask questions about how to create their designs.

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts Faculty

Earth Hour - 27 March 2021

As you will have read in our last newsletter, the Northampton High Eco Team encouraged as many people as possible to take part in Earth Hour on Saturday 27 March at 8:30pm.

The idea was to switch off as many electrical appliances as possible (like lights, televisions, etc.) in order to conserve energy and reflect on ways to try and adopt more sustainable lifestyles, and we are delighted to share this report from Anushka in U4 as to how her family celebrated the occasion:

“On 27 March, my family and I celebrated Earth Hour. We switched off all the lights and electronics in our house and replaced them with all sorts of candles.

This experience made me realise just how much we rely on electricity and electronic gadgets when, in so many parts of the world, they are a luxury rather than a necessity. It also made me realise how much energy I consume daily and how it is affecting our planet.

I hope to do this more often as it was a fun and exciting way to save our planet and take time to appreciate the world around us!”

Mr Earp
Head of Humanities

Virtual Open Events - Tues 4 & Weds 5 May 2021

GDST Talks set for the Summer Term

Over the course of this academic year, we have been delighted to collaborate with our fellow GDST schools to bring our parents the ‘GDST Talks’ series. We have been able to welcome many distinguished talkers into school virtually to speak on a variety of important topics, and it has been great to be joined by so many of our community for these events.

We are now able to share the details of our next two GDST Talks for the Summer Term – our final events of the year:

‘Helping your daughter to navigate friendships’
with Andrew Hampton Thursday 29 April at 6pm

‘Managing the transition from primary to secondary school’
with Grace Barrett Thursday 6 May at 6pm

For more information on both of these upcoming talks, and to book your free tickets, head over to our website by clicking here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

A talk with Kay Hannam, Head of Forensics Services at Thames Valley Police

Staff attend a paediatric First Aid course

This week, myself and various other members of the Junior School team were delighted to attend a paediatric First Aid course.

Provided by Daisy First Aid, the course taught and spoke on many vital areas such as emergency First Aid techniques, CPR, febrile convulsions, how to deal with bumps and bleeds, and choking to name just a few.

Following Covid regulations, Hannah from Daisy First Aid brought in a training device to allow us to practice how to deal with choking, along with manikins for CPR and bandages to wrap our pretend wounds.

This CPD session was fantastic, and we thank Daisy First Aid for their time as we dedicate ourselves to ensure the continued safety of all children within school.

Mrs Bing
Nursery Manager


Please can we remind all parents of students who carry Salbutamol inhalers to double check that they are in date and order a new one, if necessary.

We keep spare inhalers for the girls in the medical room at school, but we politely remind parents that it is their responsibility to check the inhalers that their daughters carry.

Thanks for your continued cooperation.

Mrs Dunkley
School Nurse

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