Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 26 April 2024

Nurturing healthy friendships 

The ability to establish and maintain healthy friendships, communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, resist peer pressure and collaborate are important in life, and in school. However, it is nearly inevitable that during her school years, your daughter will experience some form of friendship issue and encounter the ebb and flow of social dynamics. 

We recognise that the dynamics of friendship typically change at secondary school, as girls gain maturity, social circles evolve and teaching groups change. Girls are better able to assess what is going on as they get older, they can see the potential for destructive situations, so they develop skills to make sure the painful things do not happen. They exercise caution and are more careful in choosing their friends.  

In an all-girls learning environment, their sense of identity and self-worth is partly dependent on the feedback they get from their peers. Girls do not learn well when they are unhappy so an emotional issue can mean they start underachieving.

We share some proven approaches to equip you to best support your daughter to navigate school friendships, and to enable her to thrive socially and academically. 

Accept it is going to happen

Accepting that changes in friendships are inevitable is perhaps the most significant step in helping your daughter navigate these relationships. As children grow and develop, they are changing, expressing themselves in different ways and learning along the way. Consequently, friendship groups will evolve, someone will try and find a new friendship, and one child may feel ignored. Something may go wrong in a group and, in trying to navigate a complex situation, girls can make poor choices and handle it badly. Friendship dynamics can get messy, and if we add social media into the mix with words pinging via messaging and text, and the margin for error is amplified. 

When challenges arise, encourage your daughter to take a step back and reflect on the situation. Ask whether this is just one individual having a fleeting lapse in judgement rather than a deeper problem. Or, perhaps a friendship has become unhealthy and it is time to gradually distance herself and gravitate towards different friends. Acknowledge your child’s feelings and reaffirm that it is okay; people change and grow and will not always remain close friends. Empower her to make informed decisions about her social circles. 

Cultivate open and honest communication

Maintaining open and honest lines of communication between yourself and your child will in turn help to forge stronger relationships with her peers. Find the time and space to listen and let your daughter share her thoughts and concerns.

Do bear in mind you will never get the whole picture and ‘the truth’ is multifaceted and usually does not exist objectively in the way you would like it to be. What we hear is one person’s account of their experience of a situation. Our reflex is to automatically believe our child has been wronged, but be open to the idea that there is likely to be another child feeling exactly the same way. 

Modelling conversation by naming the difficulty is a good way to encourage conversation. This is helpful when dealing with more tricky conversations. In this case, we encourage families to use the rose bud retrospective: what is positive (the rose) and what is challenging or bad (the thorn) and what is growing or is something you are excited about (the bud). Parents can drop this into dinner or bedtime routines to encourage a healthy review of the day, but on the same token, parents must model this and share a review of their own day. 

Champion resilience 

Resilience is the ability to do well despite challenges in life. It helps us adapt successfully and bounce back from adversity, failure, conflict and disappointment. When faced with friendship turbulence and difficulties, resilient children still experience anger, rejection, grief and pain, but they can function and recover. 

Coping strategies and emotional resilience can buffer the effects of any negativity among friends. Help your child develop problem-solving skills, teach them healthy coping strategies, and provide emotional support. For example, empathy is a cornerstone of emotional intelligence and it is a critical skill for building and maintaining positive, healthy and meaningful friendships. We can encourage our girls to consider the feelings of others and to act with kindness in order to navigate conflicts with compassion and understanding. 

Develop self-confidence and self-belief

Promoting assertiveness skills can help girls establish and maintain healthy boundaries in their friendships. Through our COACH programme at Northampton High, where our co-curricular and extracurricular activities and events are designed to help our girls to become confident communicators and critical thinkers, we are engendering a culture where speaking up and speaking out is actively encouraged. We believe that by promoting an environment that values self-expression and autonomy, we are empowering our girls to navigate peer pressure with confidence and integrity. 

At home, encourage your daughter to express her opinions, stand up for herself and assert her personal boundaries. Developing the ability to say no to something that makes a child feel unhappy, unsafe and uncomfortable is important, and can protect them from giving in to peer pressure as they go through school. 

Friendship turbulence, fallouts and problems at school happen and most are, thankfully not due to bullying. Mostly, there is no winner or loser, or clarity around what occurred. Friendships change and can simply get messy. By helping your daughter to practise friendship skills such as listening, sharing, compromising and negotiating can all be effective in addressing friendship issues. Likewise, by supporting your child to navigate the complexities and intricacies of friendships you are equipping her to develop healthy and supportive relationships in life. 

‘Friends come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime’ – Brian A. “Drew” Chalker

I love this quote – the friendships your child has now might be for this moment or it could be for a lifetime, but it is important to know that this will change and evolve. Supporting your child through these times can be joyful but they can also be challenging and upsetting but it is about being there in all those moments to support your child in navigating friendships as they grow.

Dr Lee

The Week Ahead

Tuesday 30 April
Yr10 Parent Coffee Morning
U14&U15 vs Thornton College

Wednesday 1 May
Yr8 Parent Coffee Morning
Mercedes F1 Engineers

Thursday 2 May
School Birthday
GSA Football Festival

Friday 3 May
Whole School Open Morning

Please click here to view the summer term’s Clubs & Activities list and timetable

High Sports

U14A&B v Kings High
On Tuesday 19 March, our U14 teams travelled to Coventry to play Kings High. We knew the games were going to be tough and our players did extremely well under a great deal of pressure.

U14A: Lost 40-16
Our U14 netball team played a hard match against Kings High. Despite the tough competition, we all persevered with a lot of interceptions and turnovers to get the ball to goal. After the first quarter, we had a team talk and made changes to bring it back slightly. Well done to Bella for getting the opposition’s player of the match. Well done everyone for trying hard. Bella (Cpt)


U14B: Lost 34-0
Despite the loss, the U14B team displayed strong passing skills and determination throughout the game against Kings High School. There are still areas for improvement, notably in defensive positioning and overall gameplay, and moving forward we aim to work on getting in front of players more effectively. Overall, the team tried really hard and we returned to school with a couple of injuries. Well done to Mya K and Lily G for being the players of the match.

U18A&B v Wellingborough
On Thursday 21 March, the first team travelled to Wellingborough for a netball match. With many cancellations and postponements this term, this was our first single match against a local school. We knew that Wellingborough was going to be a tough match and we entered with determination. The first half consisted of us adapting to their style of play and improving our own, which led to a fantastic third quarter win. Overall it was a loss, but the game consisted of many amazing passages of play from defence, centre and attack. Well done girls and shoutout to Jasmine for getting player of the match!

U18B: Won 24:15
Some beautiful netball was played at Wellingborough School for the netball second team. Having not played many matches together, the connection in mid court, as well as defensive and attacking combination, worked really smoothly. The first quarter was close with a 4-4 draw, however, as the second quarter progressed, we were able to create a score difference of 4 to put us in the lead. After consistent quarters of brilliant netball, we achieved a well-deserved 23-14 win. Our opposition’s player was Ayven M and our players’ player was Olivia M. The defensive duo displayed great skills throughout, with many memorable intercepts and crucial tips. Other notable moments in the game came from the attacking end, with many accurate passes into the circle and great movement around the circle to create openings for the shooters. Thank you to all who played and what a great way to end the netball season!

House Competitions: Spring Term

Year 7 Netball: 1st Demeter, 2nd Artemis, 3rd Selene, 4th Hestia
Year 8 Netball: 1st Hestia, 2nd Artemis and Demeter, 4th Selene
Year 9 Netball: 1st Artemis, 2nd Demeter and Selene, 4th Hestia
Year 10 Netball: 1st Selene, 2nd Artemis, 3rd Hestia, 4th Demeter
Year 10 Volleyball: 1st Hestia and Selene, 2nd Demeter and Artemis
Year 11 Netball: 1st  Artemis, 2nd Demeter, 3rd Selene, 4th Hestia

Northants Youth Hockey

A huge congratulations to Hattie F, Hattie K, Katie F and Charlotte F who, as part of the Northants U17 team, won the Midlands Hockey County Championships. The U17 Northamptonshire team played in a round robin event with 8 counties: Staffordshire, Notts, Derbyshire, 2 x Warwickshire, Shropshire, and Leicestershire. Winning all games meant that the team came top of the pool!

Netball News
Well done to Northants Storm and Gemma S for receiving coach’s player award for the match!

Inter-County Badminton Tournament
Vivien L played for the Northants team at the Inter-County Tournament league at the David Ross Sports Village in the University of Nottingham. Taking place on Thursday 4 April until Sunday 7 April,
Northants finished 24th out of 29 counties. This was a big improvement from last year, especially since it’s only the second year the county has played at ICT. In Vivien’s words: “It was a lot of fun and a great experience to go as a team and represent Northants”. Congratulations, Vivien!

East Midlands U17 Volleyball Selection
During the Easter holidays, Emma B found out that she was selected for the East Midlands U17 volleyball squad, following a round of difficult try outs. This is an exciting opportunity for her, as she will be competing in a two-day Inter-regional tournament in May. Training with the squad is quite intensive but very fun, and she is excited to see how far her volleyball journey will progress in the future. Well done Emma!

U14 Football News
Ellie J, Ava S & Lucy H’s football team, Rushden & Diamonds Girls U14’s, have reached the County Cup final for the 3rd year running. The final is on Sunday 12 May (9am KO) & is being played at Sixfields Stadium which will be an amazing experience for the team. They play league rivals Netherton United and it should be a great game of football. If anyone would like to come and support the girls on the day, please follow the link here for tickets.

ECB Regional Indoor Finals U15 Cricket Team
The U15 Indoor Cricket Team attended the University of Cambridge Sports Centre this week to represent Northamptonshire at the Regional Tournament after qualifying last term as best in the County. The competition was fierce with many of the greatest teams in the country competing for a spot at the National Final taking place at Lords Cricket Ground.


We were drawn against high quality opponents in our group; playing Spalding, The Leys and Kimbolton.

Our first match was against Spalding. We chose to field first and Abi S bowled a fantastic first over, taking three wickets with her first three balls. An excellent team performance lead to Spalding finishing the innings on 75-6. Katie F opened the batting and retired having scored 15 runs, this was followed by Charlotte D doing the same and a confident batting performance saw the girls finish the over with 108-2. A convincing win for Northampton.

The second game saw us face Kimbolton, a school we know well and for the first time in the whole competition, we lost the toss and were in to bat first. This seemed to impact the girls and a touch of nerves saw us lose three early wickets. Rather than demonstrating our usual aggressive batting style, the team chose a more considered approach which lead to a good build of runs, but the team finished the innings all out for 49. We knew we had a tough fielding act to follow but Northampton were confident in our ability to field well, and we did, taking 3 wickets and keeping Kimbolton’s score low. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite do enough and Kimbolton won the game 66-49.

Our only hope was to win our final game versus our group leaders, The Leys. This was a very experienced side who had beat Kimbolton by 57 runs earlier in the day. Again, we opened the batting and had a positive start, communicating well to hit the ball and run to score ‘threes’ and playing bigger shots when possible for ‘fours’ and ‘sixes’. The team displayed a brand new confidence opening the batting and came together to achieve a potentially game winning score of 91. Northampton then took to the field, and played as a team to rally and stop extra runs. We took 5 wickets and slowed the rate of runs against some excellent batters. They were on for the win right up until the last ball where The Leys hit a three and stole the game.

A fantastic final performance from the girls, one they should be very proud of! We are looking forward to the U15 and U14s fixtures later on this cricket season and seeing what they can achieve there.

Please keep us posted on performances and any news as we love to share these with the NHS community. 

Mrs Littlewood
Teacher of Physical Education

Dance Festival 2024

The rhythmic pulse of excitement filled the air on Tuesday March 23, as Northampton High School’s annual Dance Festival unfolded with a fresh format. This year’s event embraced a new structure, blending performances from students across all age groups. From graceful ballet to energetic hip-hop, the stage became a canvas for students to showcase their creativity, passion and skill. It was an absolute pleasure to see the amazing achievements of all of our students and the PE staff were incredibly proud of their classes and all of the dancers who performed.

Female empowerment was the theme of the night with performers selecting music by inspirational female artists or tracks which make them feel empowered themselves. As the curtains drew to a close on this year’s Dance Festival, the echoes of applause were a testament to the collective dedication and community spirit. We are looking forward to next year’s performances already!

Mrs Saunders-Wall
Acting Director of Sport

Year 4 visit Senior School for Ceramics Workshop

Miss Sanderson and I were delighted to welcome Year 4 to the Senior School Art department for our annual Ceramics Workshops. This year we have turned to the natural world and lighting as inspiration for our clay project. We made sea urchin tealight decorations and they look fabulous, worthy of any interior. Students learned new sculptural processes including coiling, hollowing out, slipping and scoring and creating negative shapes. Year 4 added decoration and surface texture using a range of tools including rubber kidneys, wooden modelling tools and of course the best tool for ceramics – our hands! We are excited to see the results after these stoneware sculptures have been biscuit fired. We will then begin the process of applying glazes – watch this space for a progress report! Well done girls on another successful workshop. We cannot wait to see them on display for The Arts Festival on Wednesday 26 June.

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts Faculty

Allergy Awareness Week

As it’s allergy awareness week, I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about hayfever. For some students, hayfever can be debilitating and affect not only their day to day activities, but also their overall performance at school. This means it is especially important, particularly for those in Year 11 and Year 13, that symptoms are managed. Symptoms can vary from sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes to headaches and feeling tired. Symptoms can last for weeks and even months.

For those that suffer with hayfever, please give medication prior to leaving home so students do not need to wait to be seen for medication during the school day.

There are many preventative measures that can be adhered to that can help with symptoms, including obtaining medications (tablets and nasal sprays available) from a pharmacist or GP. To stop pollen getting into the nose and eyes, consider wraparound sunglasses and a hat, application of petroleum jelly or a similar product under the nose to trap pollen, keeping windows shut on high pollen days and vacuuming regularly and dusting with a damp cloth. Monitoring daily pollen forecasts and avoiding time outside when able to do so. On high pollen count days, washing hair and clothes after being outside and avoiding drying clothes on the line if the pollen count is due to be high helps. For more information see Allergy UK-hayfever information and The allergy team information

If any medication needs to be stored in the medical room, please obtain a consent form from Students are not allowed to carry their own medication without discussing this with a member of the team first.

Mrs Dunkley
School Nurse

Creative Arts Spotlight

Year 9 have been exploring the different aspects of Music GCSE content. So far, we have analysed a section of Defying Gravity from Wicked, looking at key features of this and comparing it with a contrasting extract. We are now aiming to become familiar with the music scoring software, Sibelius, learning how to input music which we will then develop by exploring how different arrangements of familiar music can be created.

Mrs Smith
Music Teacher

Clothing donations for 'Annie' the musical

The Drama and Textiles departments are asking if you have any checked or floral pyjama bottoms that you could donate to us for our up-and-coming performance of ‘Annie’.

These can be any size and colour and they will be cut up and altered, therefore they will not be returned. Please bring these to Miss Lycett in the Creative Hub. Thank you.

Annie Production Team

Classical Art Competition

All students in Y3-13 are invited to enter a regional Art Competition on the theme of Landscapes of Roman Britain. The judges are looking for creative entries that explore Roman Britain in a visually interesting way, using any medium from pencil to collage, oil, watercolour, ink or photography. As well as your art piece, you need to submit a description of your work (up to 500 words), explaining how it links to the theme.

There are cash prizes for the winners! The last date for entry is Monday 3 June. For information on how to enter, pupils should check their email from Miss Kilby. Get creative and have fun!

Miss Kilby
Subject Lead Classics

Duke of Edinburgh Award: Volunteering in the Library

As part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award, Year 10 students often volunteer in the library as a way of giving back to the school community.  General house keeping tasks such as shelving books are part of their volunteering routine, but they can also choose a more creative way to support the library’s work here in school. They have the opportunity to create displays or a presentation which is then added to the screen in the foyer. Atmaja in 10H took advantage of this opportunity and has created a promotional presentation recommending books to the Year 7 and 8 pupils. Atmaja’s choices cover different genres and levels of difficulty, along with age recommendations. To view her presentation, please click here.

In Conversation with Negeen Yazdi

The GDST is delighted to be hosting their May ‘In Conversation’ event with South Hampstead High School alumna and film industry expert, Negeen Yazdi.

Negeen is a TV & Film producer for Popcorn Storm Pictures, led by the award-winning filmmaker and director of Peaky Blinders, Tom Harper. She has held senior positions at Universal Pictures, the Weinstein Company, Endeavour Content and most recently, Fifth Season where she produced the highly successful series’, Killing Eve and Normal People.

Negeen will be speaking with the Head of South Hampstead High School, Anna Paul, sharing her stand-out career moments, school memories, and top tips for those wishing to enter the film industry. The online Zoom event will take place on Tuesday 7 May from 12.30-1.30pm and is open to all students, staff, alumnae and parents.

To book your place, please click here.

Save the Date: Cultures Day

Save the Date: Speech Day

Diversity and Inclusion Calendar 23/24: April

The One Day Film School

Code Ninjas Northampton

PQA Stage & Screen sessions

Made for Girls

Term Dates

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