Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 24 February 2023

Seeing the Best in People 

Does how we think about other people have an effect on them? Do our views, whether expressed out loud to those individuals or not, have an impact? Is it possible that we have the power to make people kinder or less kind, more or less trustworthy, more or less likely to achieve academic success, simply because of our view of them?

Gandhi is often quoted as saying “be the change you wish to see in the world”. But this is a reductive paraphrasing of his actual words: 

We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do”.

Contained within these words and the ideas expressed is the possibility that how we approach others, our way of being, might be powerful enough to change the ways of others. Gandhi describes that we human beings perceive the world through the filters we impose ourselves. If we want to see a different reality, we need to work on our filtering, and the world will change. Well, probably not the world as a whole immediately, but definitely the way we perceive the world around us. Often you cannot convince someone via speech alone to constructively alter a behaviour, but you can provide a model for emulation by changing your own behaviour.

In the last T-search session ably led by Mrs Debbie Hill, our GDST Trust Consultant Teacher for Educational Research and School Consultant Teacher, we explored the power of the Pygmalion Effect in the classroom and the labelling theory. Our discussion was initially centred around one of the best known experiments conducted by psychologist, Bob Rosenthal, at Spruce Elementary School in South San Francisco, where he split a group of students into those labelled as having high potential and those with low potential. The students were assigned at random and there was no factual basis for the group they were placed into but the adults teaching the students were unaware of this, believing the assigned label. The experiment showed that where teachers had high expectations of their students – believing that the group had excellent academic potential – the students made far greater progress on average than the group of students who had been artificially labelled as having low academic potential. As this famous study demonstrates, the expectations that teachers have of their students are influential in their future academic performance and the challenge for teachers is to find ways to release and unlock the student’s potential, capacity and self belief.

This became known as the Pygmalion Effect – the idea that belief (or lack of) in someone’s potential has a direct correlation with how well they perform. And it’s not just the expectations of teachers that matter. Where there is the will to believe such as where managers have high expectations of workers there is increased productivity, where there are positive expectations of nurses this can lead to patients recovering faster. So, what can schools do to ensure high teacher expectations?

To read the full blog entry from Dr Lee, please click here.

Dr Lee

The Week Ahead

Monday 27 February
Junior School Games Night

Tuesday 28 February
Netball: U14&U15 vs Quinton
Yr8 Classical Film Night

Wednesday 1 March
Yr9 Booster Injections
Netball: U10,U11,U13 vs Nottingham Girls

Thursday 2 March
Yr8 Trip to Northampton Art Gallery and Museum
Netball: U16 vs Quinton
Yr11 Parents Evening

Friday 3 March
Whole School Open Morning
Netball: U11&13 at GDST Netball Weekend

Saturday 4 March
Netball: U11&13 at GDST Netball Weekend

Sunday 5 March
Netball: U11&13 at GDST Netball Weekend

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

School Blog: How can spending time outdoors affect Children’s Mental Health?

Dr Alex George – TV doctor, Youth Mental Health Ambassador to 10 Downing Street and author of Children’s Book ‘A Better Day’ – explained his Top Five Tips for Good Mental Health and Wellbeing. His number one Top Tip? Get outside!

Whether it’s the rows of small wellies lined up, anticipating a fresh coating of mud or the hustle and bustle of children eagerly pulling on their waterproofs, ready to head down to Forest School, here at the Junior School at Northampton High, our passion for the outdoors is evident!

But why is it so important?

In recent years, we have welcomed more awareness of the importance of mental health, including children’s mental health. Since 2015, February has brought with it Children’s Mental Health Week. This year the theme was ‘Let’s Connect’ as it is known that, when we make meaningful connections with others, we stand a greater chance of holding the tools and resilience to be able to navigate the challenges that can affect our emotional wellbeing. 

But did you know that there is increasing evidence to suggest that creating connections with nature can also have a significant positive impact on our mental health? A study conducted by the Government adviser for the natural environment, Natural England, found that ‘people who spend at least 120 minutes in nature a week are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological well being than those who don’t visit nature at all’.

Sadly for many, modern-day life brings obstacles when it comes to children accessing the outdoors for extended periods. Busy roads, concerns of ‘stranger danger’ and fewer green spaces are just a handful of reasons why many children simply do not have the same opportunities to ‘play out’ as previous generations might have done.

To read the full entry, please click here.

Mrs Cartlidge
Class 6 Teacher

Northampton High commemorates Neurodiversity Week

To commemorate this year’s Neurodiversity week (13-17 March 2023), we are delighted to be welcoming two specialists to Northampton High School. Lesley Lock from East Midlands Autism and Annie Burnett, a trustee from Northampton and Buckinghamshire Dyslexia Association (NBDA), will each be hosting their own coffee morning exclusively for the parents of Northampton High School pupils. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with both Lesley and Annie and hear about how their charities support local young people and their families.

East Midlands Autism – Lesley Lock – Wednesday 15 March from 9:00 am until 10:00 am

Lesley has told us a little about what she does for this charity: “I run 3 autism family support hubs, which are open to children under 11 with or without an ASD diagnosis, and their parents/carers and siblings. These are located in Northampton, Leicester and Loughborough. As part of this service, I also chat to parents/carers about ASD and where to find support, how to manage behaviour they find difficult, how best to fill out benefits forms, and any other ASD related topic that comes up!

I also manage our Northamptonshire Children and Young People’s Service, which runs trips, holiday, and youth clubs for ages 8-18 and who must have a diagnosis, as this is the criteria set by our funders. These are for the young people to attend without a parent carer, and my fabulous team and I do our best to make sure that the young people have a wonderful time when they are with us and can access the same age-appropriate activities that their neurotypical peers can. In the last year we have been paddleboarding and raft building, visited theme parks, LEGOLAND, and the Think Tank museum, taken part in a Laser Maze evening, and solved some escape rooms!”

Northampton and Buckinghamshire Dyslexia Association – Annie Burnett – Friday 17 March 9:00 am to 10:00 am

 Annie has experience of being a primary school teacher for 20 years and a SENCO, Annie now runs her own business as a dyslexia specialist teacher offering tutoring and diagnostic assessments. Her passion about dyslexia extends to the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire Dyslexia Association where she is a trustee running a parent support group and working on the helpline.

If you would like to attend this event, please would you complete the form here. We look forward to an informative and supportive event.

Mrs Beezley
Learning Enhancement Coordinator

Student Senior Leadership Team: Hustings 2023

We had an exciting start to the week here at Northampton High, with our annual Student Senior Leadership Team hustings taking place on Monday.

Each candidate took to the assembly stage to deliver passionate and inspiring pitches about why they should be a member of our SSLT. Their carefully considered speeches included their visions for the school and provided an insight into the actions they would take in their desired positions.

Well done to each of the students for their fabulous pitches. Our Senior School pupils certainly have lots to think about ahead of casting their vote!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

The Great Pancake Race

Tuesday saw the return of The Great Pancake Race and the competition was fierce!

Pupils from Years 5, 6 and 7 worked in their Houses to design their own frying pans and then lined up to take part in the race itself.

Lots of fun and laughter was had by all as pancakes were flung in the air, often falling with very little grace to the floor.

In the end it was a close race. However, it was not the fastest team who won but the team who managed to end with the most pancake left in their designer frying pan!

In the end Selene was awarded 250 House Points for 1st place, Artemis 200 points for 2nd place, Demeter 150 House Points for 3rd place and Hestia 100 points for 4th place.

Well done to all the pupils who took part and a special thank you to Mr Pietropali and my Year 11 volunteers for helping to contain the excitement.

Mrs Fordham
Head of Year 7

Inside the Classroom: Humanities Transferable Skills

In our non-examined academic core we have Humanities Transferable Skills, developing higher order thinking skills and supporting learning in all subjects.

Here pupils are investigating bias and validity across websites to improve research skills.

Mr Rickman
Academic Deputy Head

Reach Lecture: Life Lessons from the Ancient World

What can we learn from the Ancient Greek philosophers about happiness and how to manage our emotions? A lot, according to Miss Kilby in our Reach lecture on Thursday!

Miss Kilby explained that optimism can in fact be learned and we can train the brain to be happier.

Our weekly Reach Lectures continue to spark fascinating discussions, reveal different interests within our students and build their learning skills. You can see what lecture is next in the Reach series by viewing the poster later in the newsletter.

Mr Rickman
Academic Deputy Head

Children's Mental Health Week fundraising total

We are delighted to confirm that Northampton High School raised £91 during Children’s Mental Heath Week for the charity ‘Place to Be’.

During the final week of half term, the school came together to engage in various wellbeing activities. It was wonderful to see the students enjoying the programme of events taking place, each focusing on this year’s theme, ‘Connections’.

We are very proud of our fundraising efforts and would like to thank everybody for taking part!

Mrs Giordano
Wellbeing Practitioner

Inspirational Woman of the Week: Anita Roddick DBE

Throughout the Spring Term, we are choosing an ‘Inspirational Woman of the Week’ from the selection that are displayed in our Junior School corridor and spotlighting them.

This week, we have chosen Dame Anita Roddick DBE, who was a successful business woman, human rights activist and environmental campaigner. Roddick was best known as the founder of The Body Shop, a cosmetics company that played a fundamental role in shaping ethical consumerism and standing against animal testing.

Dame Anita Roddick DBE features on our Junior School Wall of Inspiration to remind our girls that ‘We Can’ be kind and make a difference!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Year 7 Skills Session

Our Year 7 students love spending time in the library and developing their reading!

This week they enjoyed a great skills session, learning skills that will benefit their studies for years to come.

In the words of one of our pupils “It’s easier to find what you need in a book because books usually have a focused subject and certain pages devoted to certain things’.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Book Review: The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews

Norfolk, 1643. Reluctant soldier Thomas Treadwater has been summoned home by his young sister in a letter accusing their new servant of improper conduct with their widowed father. By the time Thomas reaches the family farm, his father is on the verge of death, Esther is near hysterical and their new servant is in prison, facing charges of witchcraft.

Thomas prides himself on being a rational, modern man and is confident that he can free their servant, a beautiful if peculiarly self-possessed young woman, and reassure his sister that there is

nothing further to fear now he has returned. But as he begins to unravel the mystery of what has happened to his family, he uncovers a tale, not of witchcraft, but of something dark and ancient, linked to a shipwreck many years before…

Something has awoken, and now it will not rest.

Recommended for Year 9 and above.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Turning 'can we?' into 'we can!' - Spring Open Mornings at Northampton High

We look forward to welcoming so many lovely families to our upcoming Spring Open Mornings on Friday 3 March and Friday 28 April. The events promise to be a superb showcase of life at Northampton High School.

If you would like to come along, please do feel most welcome, and should you have family, friends, or neighbours keen to visit us, please encourage them to book their place here and join us!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club: 5 week course

Dance Festival - Wedensday 29 March 2023

We warmly invite you to save the date for our annual Dance Festival, which will take place on Wednesday 29 March.

This year our show will take you ‘Through the Decades’ and include performances from students across the school from Reception to Sixth Form. Pupils have also been invited to attend auditions should they wish to perform a solo, duet or group dance with their peers.

Our PE Staff will be working with Junior School classes, as part of the curriculum, to create and rehearse an exciting display of class dances.

We are also incorporating our House System into the Festival, to showcase a House Dance and involve pupils from Year 5 upwards to collaborate and work together.

We have some superb Dance Leaders choreographing the House Dances and I am positive the evening will be an inspiring performance of talent and expertise in the Arts.

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

The Knight Frank Schools Triathlon Series

We are delighted to have been invited to take part in the The Knight Frank Schools Triathlon series, hosted by Oundle School and organised by Restless Development, on Sunday 14 May.

7 events ran last May, with over 6,000 children taking part from 120 prep schools such as Cheam, Cothill House, Dulwich Prep, Farleigh, Feltonfleet, Port Regis, St Hughs, The Dragon and Thomas’ Battersea. The children raised an incredible £1.2 million for both the organising charity and each prep school’s chosen charity.

The events are for Senior and Junior School pupils in Years 3 to 8 and there has been a fantastic response from schools to date, with both the pupils and parents really enjoying the day. It is first and foremost a fun event, with a team element rather than the normal individual triathlon format. The children form teams of 4, come up with suitably amusing team names, with all 4 teammates performing all 3 disciplines as a relay. This has really appealed, not just to the keen sporting pupils, but also to those who want to give a triathlon a go with their friends in a safe and fun environment.

Maya, from Restless Development delivered an assembly for our pupils in Years 3 to 8 on Tuesday 7 February to inform pupils about this fun opportunity. This is a parent-led event, with parents registering the children directly and taking them on the day. Any questions from parents can be sent directly to

We hope that many of our students will choose to be involved in this fun, physical, charity event.

Miss Hair
Head of Junior School

Tuesday by Alison Carr - Thursday 14 March 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

Junior Bake Off: Applications now open!

Community Nursery Sessions

Reach Lectures: Spring 2023

Home Start Northampton: Volunteers needed!

Term Dates

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