Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 23 June 2023

Walking in someone else’s shoes

Empathy, as defined by Cambridge Dictionary, is the ability to understand and share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining ourselves in their situations. At the start of this month, 8 June, was Empathy Day. It is a day totally dedicated to celebrating the profound significance of empathy and recognising the transformative role that books and reading play in fostering crucial empathy skills among young people. It also aims to inspire children and young people to learn more about empathy, cultivate their empathy skills and actively contribute to the creation of a more compassionate and united world. 

A key question that often confronts us is: “how can we build empathy towards individuals with whom we may not share agreement?” Even if we identify ourselves as empathetic, we may notice instances where our inherent inclination, natural ability, and desire to empathise are diminished or nearly absent in the presence of certain people or specific circumstances. 

Within our school community, the advantages of empathy abound, yet many of these advantages elude our conscious awareness. For example, when our students express what makes them happy – a sense of peace, connection and perspective – it often stems from their empathetic and genuine understanding of one another’s experiences. Conversely, when stress, detachment and negativity permeate our environment, it often arises from a lack of empathy towards our peers or the situation at hand. 

But what precisely constitutes empathy? It becomes pertinent for us to grasp the distinction between empathy and sympathy. When we are sympathetic, we may find ourselves overwhelmed by a sense of pity for another, it inadvertently creates a distance – be it physical, mental, emotional – hindering us from comprehending their feelings or experiences. Empathy, on the other hand, allows us to truly understand, relate to, or imagine the depth of another person’s emotional state or situation. It implies feeling with a person, rather than feeling sorry for them, derived from the Greek root pathos. Therefore, empathy entails the act of sharing the load and “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes,” in order to understand that person’s perspective, showing care and support as a result. In doing so, it leads to the skill of compassion, which is about listening. It also challenges pupils to solve real-world problems by thinking about the perspectives and feelings of others.

Engaging with characters in stories grants us all unique opportunities to explore the world from different viewpoints and diverse lenses. It bestows upon us to delve into the complexities surrounding thorny topics like gender inequality, and how these intricacies may manifest divergently and in distinct ways based on factors such as race, culture, political, or even economic circumstances. At Northampton High, we believe empathy can be taught, learnt and practised. As such, we have embraced the endeavour of stepping into one another’s shoes, challenging ourselves to do so in order to better understand what each of us may want, how we feel and how we see the world, recognising it is increasingly important in a complex, rapidly-changing and globally interconnected society. 

The pandemic. #MeToo. Everyone’s Invited. Black Lives Matter – these collective experiences vividly demonstrate how important it is to understand what others are going through and the struggles endured by others. They illuminate how powerful it can be when we look out and stand up for one another to improve and heal wounds uncovered. To reconcile is to understand both sides, building upon the mistakes of the past and forging a new future through the principle of “forgive and go forward”, as opposed to simply “forgive and forget”. We aspire for children and young people to harness their superpower of empathy and become catalysts for positive change in the world. 

Cultivating empathy in school is not merely an option; it is a necessity for fostering a strong and harmonious school community. Empathy is the skill that underpins connection, trust, safety and hence wellbeing. To this end, empathy deserves to have a place in every classroom. National Empathy Day beckons us all to focus on other people’s feelings and perspectives and, perhaps most importantly, it challenges us to use our improved lens and understanding to help change things for the better by making an empathy resolution. What will yours be? 

Dr Lee

The Week Ahead

Monday 26 June
School Musical Technical Rehearsal
Year 11 End of Year trip

Tuesday 27 June
School Musical – Performance to Primary Schools
U18 Tennis: GDST Summer Rally

Wednesday 28 June
Year 12 Reach Seminar
School Musical Afternoon Performance

Thursday 29 June
Year 10 Bhaktivedanta Manor trip
Year 7 COaCH Launch
School Musical Evening Performance

Friday 30 June
Welcome Day
Year 12 Reach Seminar
Year 9 End of Key Stage Lunch

To view a list of the summer term clubs and activities, please click here.

Creative Arts Festival

Northampton High School was delighted to welcome guests and members of the community to our annual Creative Arts Festival. Taking place on Tuesday 20 June, this marquee event proved the perfect celebration of our pupils in the world of the Arts, offering friends, families and staff an opportunity to view the excellence of our talented student body.

Welcoming guests into our Senior School foyer, attendees were greeted with the sound of musical performances; from soloists to guitar ensembles, our wonderful musicians wowed their audience and showcased exceptional talent. Following the tuneful sounds through the school, guests arrived at our dedicated Art spaces where various A Level, GCSE and Senior School exhibitions were on display. Parents and grandparents rejoiced at the opportunity to view the creativity of our wonderful students, taking particular interest in the hand crafted sculptures and ceramics projects. Huge praise also came from The White Room, with our fantastic GCSE Textiles Exhibition inspiring many conversations on design and technique. Upstairs, we were proud to showcase our Year 12 ‘studio spaces’ in The Studio, and display exceptional A Level ‘Heritage Pieces’ along the corridor.

The night played host to a wonderful array of exciting exhibitions, demonstrations and performances across the Textiles, Art, Food, Drama and Music departments. The wonderful aroma of freshly baked goods spread through the classrooms and into our two spacious courtyards, which were transformed to host drinks and canapies for guests. Beneath the glorious evening sun, groups gathered outside to enjoy a Summer Festival Picnic and watch a Year 8 performance of Macbeth. More fantastic drama performances followed in the Drama Studio, with Year 9 and Year 10 embracing the specialist space and showcasing true theatrical skill. Taking to the stage in the Senior Hall, Year 7 treated guests to a rendition of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’ and Year 9 delivered a performance of ‘The Crucible’. Audiences applauded pupils for their brilliant stage presence and for collaborating excellently.

Proud to display the artistic talent of the entire student body, we were thrilled to welcome family and friends to the Junior School to view the work of our younger pupils. Greeted by more musical performances, guests entered the Junior Hall to enjoy a variety of Art exhibits created by students in each year group; from Mexican amate bark painting and oil pastel artwork inspired by Hilma af Klint, to detailed felt stitching and sunflower paintings inspired by the work of Vincent Van Gogh. Guests were delighted to view such detailed and inspired pieces, expressing their amazement at the wonderful work on display.

It was marvellous to welcome so many lovely guests into school for this special evening. A huge thank you must go to Mrs Beacroft, her team and the many other staff members who helped to put this showpiece event together. A huge congratulations to our talented pupils who make events like this such a joy. It is an honour to proudly display their creations for you to enjoy!

To view pictures from the event, please click here. We look forward to welcoming you back for next year’s festival!

The Wizard of Oz: Spotlight

This year, Northampton High School’s summer musical production is based on the Wizard of Oz!

Our cast and crew are very excited to perform to an audience and showcase all they have been working on over recent months. With only one week remaining until the performance, now is the time to get to know our cast a little better!

How would you describe your character?
I would describe Glinda as kind, magical and caring. Poppy

The Wizard of Oz is very powerful, but he has a good heart! Holly

The lion is a very shy character and an extremely big coward! Sophia

I think the scarecrow is kind, clumsy and goofy! Oh… and he hasn’t got a brain! Kshama

What has been the most enjoyable/memorable moment in rehearsals so far?

We agree that the most enjoyable moment of rehearsals so far was completing the blocking for the play. It was very rewarding and we all felt a sense of accomplishment. The Wizard of Oz, Holly and Glinda, Poppy

My favourite moment was meeting the other cast members and making friends with pupils in other years! Lion, Sophia

Every comedic moment is memorable to me! There have been so many funny times during rehearsals. Scarecrow, Kshama

How has being part of a musical production developed you as a person?

Being a part of The Wizard of Oz production has helped me to develop my confidence. The Wizard of Oz, Holly

This opportunity has allowed me to improve my stage presence and my theatrical skills! Glinda, Poppy

I’ve learned to not be afraid of putting my hand up and sharing my ideas with the class. Lion, Sophia

Taking part in the school musical has shown me that I can collaborate and work as one! Scarecrow, Kshama

Tickets for our performance of The Wizard of Oz can be purchased here. We hope you can join us!

Mrs Marriott
Subject Leader Drama

WOW Week 2023

This week at Northampton High, our teachers have enjoyed the opportunity to visit different lessons, as well as welcoming fellow staff into their own classroom, as part of our WOW week!

This dedicated week is a brilliant opportunity for staff to observe, learn and communicate on various teaching methods and approaches used throughout the school. Our fantastic teachers are specialists in education and embrace the opportunity to share their expertise with one another!

Throughout the week, students and staff have learned about the science of scones with Miss Knight, joined Mrs Hodgetts-Tate in exploring whether the type of chocolate affects its melting point, and joined Mrs Fordham in English and Mr Donaldon in History for an unexpected voyage of discovery!

Undivided Student Forum

Last Friday, we had the amazing opportunity to attend the GDST Student Forum in London, where we discussed inclusion and diversity with students from other GDST schools.

One of the highlights of the day was an interactive workshop with Sudha Kheterpal, a GDST alumnae, musician and startup coach. In this workshop, we practised public speaking, participated in educational debates and researched the work of female activists, such as Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai.

In Sudha’s most recent TED talk, she explains how to unleash your creative potential. Please click here to watch.

We hope that we can use these incredible insights that we’ve gained from this experience to continue enhancing the diversity within our school community.

Natasha B and Shreya S
Year 12

Women's Ashes Guard of Honour Invitation

We are delighted to share that, as a result of her inclusion onto the Blaze EPP, Katie F (Year 9)  has been invited be a part of the Women’s Ashes Guard of Honour on Friday 23 June at Trent Bridge.

This is an exciting opportunity where all players involved will be able to share the field with the English and Australian players at the start of play. Their involvement in this exciting and historic event is testament to her commitment and hard work during the EPP program over the winter and summer.

We are truly thrilled for Katie and would like to congratulate her on this excellent achievement!

Book Review

The Earth Transformed by Peter Frankopan

When we think about history, we rarely pay much attention to the most destructive floods, the worst winters, the most devastating droughts or the ways that ecosystems have changed over time.

In The Earth Transformed, Peter Frankopan, one of the world’s leading historians, shows that the natural environment is a crucial, if not the defining, factor in global history – and not just of humankind.

Volcanic eruptions, solar activities, atmospheric, oceanic and other shifts, as well as anthropogenic behaviour, are fundamental parts of the past and the present. In this magnificent and groundbreaking book, we learn about the origins of our species: about the development of religion and language and their relationships with the environment; about how the desire to centralise agricultural surplus formed the origins of the bureaucratic state; about how growing demands for harvests resulted in the increased shipment of enslaved peoples; about how efforts to understand and manipulate the weather have a long and deep history. All provide lessons of profound importance as we face a precarious future of rapid global warming.

Taking us from the Big Bang to the present day and beyond, The Earth Transformed forces us to reckon with humankind’s continuing efforts to make sense of the natural world.

Purchase through the NHS bookshop here.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Alumna of the Year

Alumna of the Year voting is now open and we are delighted to share that our very own Baroness Manningham-Buller has been shortlisted this year!
Voting closes on Friday 7 July and we would like to welcome all of our students, staff and parents to vote here.

Baroness Manningham-Buller (Eliza) has had a uniquely impressive and fascinating career, which has led her to her current role as a Life Peer member of the House of Lords and Chair of the Conduct Committee.

She is currently also co-president of Chatham House, a renowned Think Tank that helps governments and societies build a sustainably secure and just world.

She is a retired British intelligence officer who worked in the Security Service (MI5) for more than 30 years, principally focusing on international and domestic counter-terrorism. After stints in the US and as Head of the then newly-created Irish counter-terrorist section, Eliza was promoted to the Security Services Management Board in 1993 and later, Director of Irish counter-terrorism. In 2002, she became Director General of MI5, and only the second woman ever to hold this position.

After leaving the Security Service, Eliza served as Chairman of the Council of Imperial College. She was also a member, and later Chair, of the Board of Governors of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation that helps solve urgent health issues by funding curiosity-driven research.

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath (DCB) in the Queen’s 2005 Birthday Honours, and in 2014, the Queen appointed her a Lady of the Garter (LG). In 2011, she gave Reith Lectures on ‘Securing Freedom’ during the tenth anniversary of the United States 9/11 attacks.

Northampton High receives Certificate of Excellence

Sun safety reminder

With the weather getting warmer, please can I remind you to practice safe sun care when spending time outside.

Remaining hydrated, wearing sun hats and applying sunscreen are essential measures in the summer heat and we would encourage everyone to follow these sun safety tips.

Mrs Dunkley
School Nurse

Northampton High School - Where girls learn without limits

Swap Shop events

We would like to share the forthcoming Swap Shop event date with you. These events provide parents with the opportunity to buy, sell or donate items of uniform that you no longer require. If you have any items that you would like to sell or donate, please bring them to school for the below date:

Friday 30 June
8.00am to 9.00am – Junior School Swap Shop, Junior School Library
11.30am to 12.30pm – Junior School Swap Shop, Junior School Library
3.00pm to 4.00pm – Senior School Swap Shop, Junior School Dining Room

Wizard of Oz

Save the date: Alumnae Reunion Lunch

Save the Date: Speech Day 2023

Save the Date: Parents Afternoon Tea - Friday 7 July

We invite you to save the date for this summer’s Parent Afternoon Tea event, which will be taking place on Friday 7 July, from 2 – 3.30pm. The cost for this event will be £15pp, and bookings can be made via ParentPay, with a deadline of Wednesday 31 May.

More information will follow over the coming weeks and months, but we do hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a lovely afternoon.

Miss Hair
Head of Junior School

Children's Activity Morning at Dobbies

Community Nursery Sessions

Kings Camp Summer Activity Camp

Cricket Coaching in Northampton


Term Dates

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