Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 24 January 2020

I always think that late January has something of a ‘between the wars’ feeling to it in school. As Year 11 students breathe a sigh of relief and head bleary-eyed back into lessons after their mock exams, Year 13 students are girding their loins for the onslaught of their own practice papers. And let there be no doubt, mock exams are a significant hurdle. At first glance, they may simply appear to be a measurement against the exam boards’ yard sticks, but, of necessity, they are crammed into a short period of time, and doomed to attempt the near impossible – to give a picture of overall attainment in courses that are not even completed in many cases.

For teachers, parents and guardians they represent a challenge too. At best, they provide a helpful pointer in terms of likely achievement, but they also often hint at how much more could be achieved if heels were picked up and whips were cracked, ringing alarm bells that can lead to disillusionment. We must help students to see mocks as opportunities for development and reflection that do not merit such draining emotional torments, while also ensuring they take them seriously.

Read more here

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

Week Ahead

Monday 27 January 
Senior School Assembly – Chinese New Year
Japan 2022 Information Evening
Netball: U12A, U13B vs Quinton House (H)

Tuesday 28 January 
Staff and 6th Form Yoga

Wednesday 29 January
Netball: U11A & B vs MK Prep (H)

Thursday 30 January
House Assembly
World Challenge Parents’ Assembly

Friday 31 January
Senior School Assembly – Period Poverty
Classics 6th Form trip – Greek Theatre
Anglian Water Workshop
U11 Netball/ Hockey/ Swimming Tour

Dr Rachel Smith visits school for a Flute Master Class with students

We were delighted to welcome professional flute player, Dr Rachel Smith, into school this afternoon for Part I of a Flute Master Class for a group of Senior School Music students.

Dr Smith, who has many years’ experience as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, has performed at venues ranging from major concert halls, such as the Royal Albert Hall, to weddings and more intimate celebrations. Having studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Holloway, University of London, Rachel has a Doctor of Medical Arts degree in Performance from Salford University.

See all photos

Concerto and recital performances have taken her around Europe and to Japan, Zimbabwe, Canada and the USA. In the UK she has given recitals at the Fairfield Halls, St John’s Smith Square, the National Theatre, the National Gallery, Kensington Palace and the Royal Pavilion Brighton to critical acclaim. Rachel has taught at Junior Trinity, St Helen’s School Northwood, Brighton College, East Sussex and East Sussex Music Services. She gives private lessons for beginners to postgraduate music college and University level and beyond. She has also coached Brighton Youth Orchestra Wind section, participated in workshops with the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Education programme and given master classes in the UK and Japan.

Today’s workshop focused on our individual students’ skills sets and experiences. Dr Smith will coach the girls on specific music pieces in preparation for the Flute Master Class (Part II), which will be part of the Arts Festival season in the summer term. We are grateful to Dr Smith for her bespoke professional support for our musicians.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Jess receives commendation in Sam Hood Translation Competition

We are so proud of Jess C-J for receiving an “especially warm commendation” from the judges of the Sam Hood Translation Competition run by Omnibus magazine, a Classical magazine run by JACT, recently. Jess, who entered the fiercely contested annual competition for U19 students, received a Highly Commended award.

Jess chose a passage of Cicero’s De Verrines to translate, updating the context to Brexit, so that Cicero was attacking Johnson as well as other luminaries from British politics.

Dr Katherine Clarke, Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, celebrated

Jess’ success, commenting “The judges were particularly impressed by [her] reinterpretation of Cicero for a parallel modern context, while not losing sight of the Latin”, congratulating Jess on “an excellent piece of translation”.

What an amazing achievement. Well done, Jess!

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

L5 visit the Natural History Museum

On Friday 17 January, L5  students took part in a very interesting trip to the University of Oxford Natural History Museum.

Students enjoyed three different workshops, learning about evolution and how we have all gained genetic mutations throughout many million years. We saw different fossils and learned about the many millions of species our earth has, including those that are extinct.

The trip was very enjoyable and we would recommended it to all those interested in evolution. 

Mr Attwood
Subject Leader Biology

A week in the life of: Leah

The week of the UWK National Karate championships was one of the most exciting, action packed and pressurised weeks, however I enjoyed every minute of it.

The week started on a high, with me winning two golds, a silver and a bronze. Although I was so happy and relieved that I performed at my best, I was so tired from the long day of travelling and competing.

Monday came as shock, quickly switching back to school mode, and realizing the busy week ahead. I knew I had to organise my time effectively around all my clubs, so I could get everything done.

Planning the week really helped me to feel in control and productive throughout the busyness without being overwhelmed.

Monday, I attended my Further Maths lesson at lunchtime and Spanish revision workshop after school. I then completed my homework before doing Karate training from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. Tuesday I attend PHSEE at lunchtime and Maths revision after school. I have Karate from 6.30pm to 8pm so have to make sure I do my schoolwork before and after it.

This week was unusual because I wanted to do my Sports Scholarship on Wednesday and my NEA project was on Friday. This meant that I had to do my Chemistry test a day early and do my Geography test at the weekend. I had to reorganise my evenings to catch up on the lessons I missed and do strength and conditioning-based Karate training as I was attending a selection trial for the World Championships on Sunday.

On Saturday, I had some down time, giving me the balance and energy I needed for Sunday and the following week. I also caught up with the missed work and ran through my Karate skills (without doing anything too physical so I was prepared for the next day).

What could have been a stressful week gave me a sense of pride and achievement because I was always on the go and able to concentrate on each task, making me feel productive. The balance and organisation meant that I wasn’t drained and was able to revise for my Physics test on my way home from the selection day. This took the pressure off the following week.

I recommend that all students organise and plan for busy weeks so that they are less stressed and overwhelmed, allowing you to achieve everything you need and want to. I trained for Karate every day except Wednesday and this allowed my mind to be clear and focused.


High School Sport

We’ve had a busier week of fixtures this week, beginning with the Cross Country at Abington Park. Well done to all of our runners and especially Ella who won her race. She will now go onto represent the County at the Anglian Trophy meet on Saturday 1 February and we wish her the best of luck.

Our U19 and U15 Netball teams had a friendly vs Samuel Whitbread Academy to prepare for the Regionals this weekend. Some excellent play was seen by both teams and the U19s came away with a win. Our U13 A&B and U12 A&B Netballers played Bilton Grange on Wednesday and, despite some fantastic movement and team work, we lost the matches.

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

Cross Country: Following on from their successes in the District Cross Country Cup in December, six girls attended the County round on Saturday 18 January, with near perfect conditions allowing the girls to compete at their best.

Most notable performance must go to Ella who came first in the U13 race, securing progression on to the next round, representing the County in Boston, Lincolnshire, in two weeks time. Well done to all who attended: Ella, Hattie, Abigail, Ruby, Lucy and Nisheeta. Mrs Littlewood, Deputy Director of Sport

Netball: On Saturday 11 January, the U13B Netball team faced off against King Henry VIII school. The team consisted of Alice, Bella, Annie, Emma, Laura, Arianna, Nikki-Lily and the Captain, Ruby. The team played exceptionally well, winning the game 7-3. Well done girls! Ruby, Team Captain

Creative Arts Spotlight

This week, the Creative Arts spotlight falls my U5 GCSE Food class.

They completed their cooking mock exam on Tuesday and had to produce three dishes in three hours. They plated up some great quality dishes and considered presentation.

Star dishes were Lottie’s mini palovas and Olivia’s soup with homemade bread rolls.

Miss Knight
Subject Leader Food

The spotlight also falls onto Flora this week, one of our six form students.

Flora has been working on a mix media piece depicting a family outing of her dad and aunt rowing a punt in Oxford. Flora aimed to create a nostalgic picture with yellow hues and colours reflecting the time of the activity.

She has combined acrylic paint with collage and pastel work.

Mr Laubscher
Art Teacher

Book Review

Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly – recommended for L4 and above

‘In an ancient city by the sea, three sisters – a maiden, a mother, and a crone – are drawing maps by candlelight. Sombre, with piercing grey eyes, they are the three Fates, and every map is a human life . . .’

Stepsister takes up where Cinderella’s tale ends. We meet Isabelle, the younger of Cinderella’s two stepsisters. Ella is considered beautiful; stepsister Isabelle is not. Isabelle is fearless, brave, and strong-willed. She fences better than any boy, and takes her stallion over jumps that

grown men fear to attempt. It doesn’t matter, though; these qualities are not valued in a girl. Others have determined what is beautiful, and Isabelle does not fit their definition. Isabelle must face down the demons that drove her cruel treatment of Ella, challenge her own fate and maybe even redefine the very notion of beauty . . .

Cinderella is about a girl who was bullied; Stepsister is about the bully. We all root for the victims, we want to see them triumph. But what about the bullies? Is there hope for them? Can a mean girl change? Can she find her own happily ever after?

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

The Kitchen adopts 'Piggy Power'!

As part of our continued efforts to minimise food waste, the kitchen are now adopting a new approach – Piggy Power!

Mrs Brockwell’s father owns pigs, so each day we collect our food waste in the kitchen to be given to the pigs to enjoy! It’s good to be able to reuse and recycle.

Mrs Jones
Senior Chef

Chinese New Year Menu

Northampton High Film Competition

Style Exchange: Friday 31 January

Join Our Team

We have a number of exciting vacancies available here at Northampton High School.

Please click the below link to view, and feel free to contact us if you would like further details.

Mrs Gates
HR Officer


Term Dates

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