The Crucial Role of PSHE in Education
At the heart of every educational institution lies a commitment not only to academic excellence but also to nurturing well-rounded individuals equipped to navigate life’s challenges. This commitment finds its embodiment in the often underappreciated yet profoundly impactful subject: Personal, Social, Health, and Economic Education (PSHE). Today (Friday), our school celebrated its inaugural annual PSHE day, delving into an array of crucial topics vital for the holistic development of our students.
In assembly on Monday, I acknowledged to the students that PSHE is not always their favourite subject and that events such as this one, are often met with a chorus of groans and some olympic grade eye rolling! We are aware that students often find PSHE lessons difficult. Not because the content is too much for them to access, but because the nature of a good PSHE lesson opens the floor for discussion on some challenging and, often, uncomfortable topics. I invite you to imagine yourself now in a room full of your peers, discussing issues on sex and relationships, consent, self harm, discrimination against those with protected characteristics or pornography to name just a few. Now think back to how you would have experienced that as a teenager. Our societal expectations and tolerances for such topics are often still to view them as taboo, restricting the ability of young people to discuss them freely and openly, and therefore the role of PSHE in school is vital.
Exploring these themes in a safe and non judgmental environment is crucial for children and teenagers. So much of the information they receive on these topics is thrust at them from a variety of online sources, many of which are largely inaccurate, to put it mildly, and some of which can be fundamentally harmful to their understanding of the realities of adult life. PSHE offers them the chance to experiment with concepts and allow themselves the thinking time to consider their own thoughts and feelings towards them without pressuring them to reach a solid conclusion. PSHE debunks myths about life that they may have been exposed to via social media or “playground gossip”. And PSHE supplies them with the tools they need, like reasoning, debate and empathy, to navigate the increasingly tricky waters of the outside world.
Some of the topics we have covered in this week’s PSHE day, are topics that we feel are important to our students for their ongoing social development and to better equip them to manage personal challenges that they may experience at some point in their future. Whilst we wish smooth sailing in life for all of our students, we must acknowledge that this is not always the case. Inviting experts into school to discuss some of the grittier areas of the curriculum ensures that our students have an opportunity to consolidate prior learning in the most valuable way. The following themes have formed significant elements of the day:
- One of the primary pillars of PSHE revolves around mental health and self-care. Discussions around self-harm and managing one’s wellbeing are indispensable in today’s world. Our students engaged in conversations that not only fostered understanding but also provided coping mechanisms and support networks for those in need.
- In an age where digital realms dominate, addressing harmful online content, including the exposure to pornography, is imperative. Empowering our youth to navigate the internet safely and responsibly is part of our duty as educators. The PSHE day was a platform to illuminate the potential dangers and promote strategies for responsible online behaviour.
- Understanding consent is paramount in fostering healthy relationships. The sessions on this topic were aimed at instilling respect, boundaries, and the importance of mutual agreement in all interactions. Addressing issues related to sexual violence within this context, further empowered our older students to recognise and combat such behaviours.
- Financial literacy stands as a fundament of adult life. Equipping our students with the knowledge and skills to manage their finances ensures they step into the world beyond school as prepared and confident individuals. These discussions on finance during the PSHE day opened doors to understanding budgeting, investments, and responsible financial decision-making.
Central to the success of these discussions are the skilled professionals who guide and shape these sessions. Lucienne Shakir, Deana Puccio Ferraro and Satveer Nijjar are experts in their fields, adept at tailoring their discussions to be not just informative but also accessible and age-appropriate. Their contributions were invaluable in making the day a resounding success. I must also thank Mr Pietropaoli, our dedicated PSHE Coordinator, who has carefully crafted the arrangements for this day to take place. Without his hard work, this day would certainly not have been so successful. In his letter to parents earlier this half term, Mr Pietropaoli commented,
“The PSHE curriculum plays a vital role in the holistic development of children and teenagers. It goes beyond traditional academic subjects to address the crucial life skills, values and knowledge of which our students need to thrive in today’s complex world. A varied PSHE curriculum encompasses topics such as mental and physical health, relationships, financial literacy, personal safety and much more. Research has consistently shown that a robust PSHE program can have a profound impact on the well-being and future success of our students.”
His commitment and passion to the ongoing development and success of PSHE as a subject is commendable and we eagerly await further progress in this area of school life.
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Deputy Head Pastoral
Monday 27 November
U13A&B vs Bedford Modern
Yr12 GDST LEAD event at LSE
Tuesday 28 November
U15B vs Thornton College
Yr11-13 Classical Film Night
Thursday 30 November
Football U14 vs MAA
Yr10 Parents Evening
Friday 1 December
Please click here to view this term’s Clubs & Activities list and timetable
Femsock raise money for the Red Cross appeal
On Thursday, our wonderful Femsock group organised a fundraising sale for the Red Cross Israel/Palestine appeal. Volunteering their time over lunch, the team set up multiple stalls where they sold tasty bakes and pre-loved items that had been generously donated by the school community.
The fundraising sale was extremely popular, with staff and students gathering in the Senior foyer to view and purchase the goods on offer. Our Femsock team demonstrated excellent collaboration skills and did a fantastic job of organising the stands. We are proud to share that £365 was raised during this lunchtime.
A huge thank you to Femsock for all of the hard work they put in to making this event so successful. We would also like to thank everyone who donated goods, volunteered their time, purchased items and raised money for this important cause.
Girls District Cross Country race
We are proud to share some really positive results from the Girls District Cross Country race on Thursday. Jemima C successfully placed 1st in the U17 competition after an outstanding race, closely followed by Lucy H in 14th. Both have qualified to represent the District at the County Championships in Corby in January.
Teacher of Physical Education
Amber celebrates golfing success
Last month, Amber won The Karchargis Trophy (B.L.C.G.A Adult/Junior Cup) with Bucks County Ladies Golf Association. This is an annual county competition played with a senior lady and a junior girl. Amber and her partner, Sharon Dale, scored 37 points to secure a win.
Her success continued in the Junior Girls autumn meet at Buckingham Golf Club, where she placed 2nd place with 36 points. Amber’s recent results are very promising and we look forward to see what the future holds for her golf career. Congratulations Amber!
Director of Sport
Over the last couple of weeks, Year 7 have been investigating castles. In their lesson this week, students presented their work to the class and peer assessed each others work. The castles and information presented were excellent demonstrations of creativity and collaboration.
Teacher of History
Well done to Year 8 who made Danish pastries on Thursday. There were some wonderful defined shapes, with sweet and savoury fillings; hopefully they tasted as good as they look.
Subject Leader Food
Year 7 sounded wonderful in their Singing assembly on Wednesday as they practised their parts to ‘May the Lord Bless You’ and ‘Keep You’. Well done everyone!
Head of Creative Arts Faculty
Classical Art Competition
Calling all students in Year 9 -Year 13 – this is your chance to enter a national classical art competition (with cash prizes!).
The theme is ‘Time and Memory in the Ancient World’. You can create a painting, drawing, photo, photography series, sculpture… You could explore sundials in the ancient world or take a more abstract approach to time/memory – it’s up to you to represent your idea in a creative and exciting way.
The deadline is 20 December. You also need to submit a short piece of text (500 words or less): Imagine your piece is being exhibited in a gallery and write a description of your work, which explains its link to the theme, to be displayed alongside it.
Please read the guidelines carefully, including information on how to enter here. Good luck and have fun!
Subject Lead Classics
Our school community is delighted to be supporting The Trussell Trust in their efforts to stop UK hunger and poverty. The charity supports a nationwide network of food banks and provides emergency food and support to people facing hardship. Between April 2022 and March 2023, food banks in The Trussell Trust network provided almost 3 million food supplies to people in crisis, a 37% increase on the previous year.
Food bank donations are more necessary now than ever, which is why we are asking for the help of our generous school community. We would like to invite students, staff and parents to bring in food donations for our food bank collection. Your kindness is much appreciated and will support those experiencing hardship. Thank you in advance for your help.
World Challenge Fundraiser
In July 2024, 15 Northampton High School A Level students will be participating in The World Challenge project. We will be going on a two week expedition to Vietnam where we will be volunteering and trekking as well as learning many new skills and engaging in new experiences.
To support this expedition the World Challenge team will be holding a Christmas movie night on 13 December in the Senior Hall, showing the animated ‘Grinch’ film (2018). The tickets for this event will be £4.50 and are available to purchase here. Food and drinks, including popcorn, sweets and more, will be available for Senior students to purchase on the night. Please be aware that we can only take card payments.
The film will start at 3.55pm and finish at 5.20pm and the late bus will still be available for those who require it.
All ticket purchases are greatly appreciated!
The World Challenge Team
Music theory and composition tuition available
We are delighted to be able to offer one-to-one music theory and composition tuition. Lessons can involve covering the grade 5 music theory syllabus, focus on composition skills using technology, or a mixture of the two disciplines. This is an exciting addition to our peripatetic music offering. These lessons can take place before and after school as well as during school hours, and are taught by our newly appointed specialist self-employed teacher. Pupils considering GCSE and A Level Music may find these lessons particularly useful. Junior students are also very welcome to take these lessons.
Please contact Mr Nathan at email@example.com if you would like to find out more about composition and music theory lessons, or to arrange a trial lesson.
Director of Music
Yoga and wellness classes available
Our experienced yoga teacher, Mrs Eborall, has been helping Year 10 and Year 11 to find a deeper connection within themselves. Using mindful movement to listen to their bodies, students learn useful coping strategies in the run up to exam season. The ability to maintain a healthy mind and body is essential for our wellbeing, and Mrs Eborall is an expert in teaching these important skills.
Delivering yoga and meditation classes throughout Northampton to companies and group classes of all levels, her passion for teaching and practising yoga extends further than the classroom. Mrs Eborall is currently offering morning, afternoon and evening classes to those interested in incorporating yoga and wellness into their life, and would be delighted to welcome parents, staff and members of the community to join one of her popular classes or programmes. To explore the benefits of yoga and meditation, please click here or email Mrs Eborall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman
Shocking news reaches the Thursday Murder Club.
An old friend in the antiques business has been killed, and a dangerous package he was protecting has gone missing.
As the gang springs into action they encounter art forgers, online fraudsters and drug dealers, as well as heartache close to home. With the body count rising, the package still missing and trouble firmly on their tail, has their luck finally run out? And who will be the last devil to die?
Purchase through the NHS bookshop here.
Save the Date: Christmas Fayre
Preparations for our Christmas Fayre are in full swing, with the big day just a week away now on Friday 1 December. We are pleased to share some more information with you, specifically with regard to the Christmas Grotto, the Raffle & Tombola and the Junior School Christmas Games. Please see below:Christmas Grotto: We are delighted that Santa will be making another visit to Northampton High School this year and will be inviting visitors into his Grotto! In an effort to reduce queuing time and allow families to enjoy the entirety of the Fayre, this year’s Grotto will be operated on a pre-booked basis. Slots are available on TryBooking by clicking here. Each slot allows two visitors per session, to enable two siblings to attend together if required, at a cost of £7.50 per child. Each child will receive a lovely gift from Santa. Tickets will be not available on the night of the Fayre, so we do encourage you to book your slots in advance to avoid disappointment.Raffle, Tombola & Junior School Christmas Games: These attractions at the Christmas Fayre will be accepting tokens only, rather than card payments or cash, as we are a ‘cashless’ school. Tokens can be purchased in advance, similar to last year’s Junior School Summer Fayre, and by doing so, we hope this will reduce queuing time and allow you to enjoy these stalls. Attractions taking tokens will be clearly marked to avoid confusion. Tokens can be pre-ordered on TryBooking by clicking here and once ordered, they can be collected from Junior School/Senior School Reception or from the Collection Desk on the night of the Fayre. Tokens will also be available to purchase at the event. Please note that the Christmas Market stalls run by students, parents and staff will take varied forms of payment such as cash, card and PayPal – so please bear that in mind when planning your visit. Our refreshment stations will only accept payment by card. We look forward to seeing you on Friday 1 December for some festive fun!
Marketing and Communications Manager
Christmas Fayre - Silent Auction now live!
Thank you for all of your support ahead of next Friday’s Christmas Fayre.
Presents have been wrapped, reindeers have been fed and we can’t wait to welcome you into school for the event next Friday!
We would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your bottle donations for this Thursday’s mufti day – we are still gratefully receiving these donations if your daughter hasn’t yet brought in her bottle.
Our Silent Auction is now open for bidding, and we have some fantastic prizes up for grabs again this year.
A full list and description of each prize can be found below, with popular prizes from last year such as ‘Be the Head for a day’ and ‘Choose the lunch menu for a day’, returning alongside some exciting new prizes such as ‘Junior School no prep for a week passes’.
To place a bid, please email email@example.com with your bid, name and contact information; winning bidders will be contacted week commencing Monday 4 December. Bidding closes at 7pm next Friday, and there will be the opportunity to place your silent bid at the Fayre.
To see a full list of the prizes up for grabs, please click here.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Bespoke Ballroom Dance & Drama Academy
Bespoke Ballroom Dance & Drama Academy students learn to compete on a National and Regional level, winning and making finals in each age category at the most prestigious DanceSport Championships.
Led by former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff, the Academy offers dance & drama classes in Northampton for every age. For full information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.sooyoga.com/kids-academy
Bespoke Ballroom Dance & Drama Academy are one of the many wonderful businesses that have kindly donated a prize to support our fundraising efforts this half term. We would like to thank them on behalf of the school community!
Diversity and Inclusion Calendar 23/24: November
Northampton High School - Where girls learn without limits
Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
T: 01604 765765 nhsadmin@nhs.Gdst.Net