Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 26 March 2021

Dear parents and guardians

I have been fortunate to work with many inspiring colleagues over the years, but Chris Bailey was a giant amongst them.

He was a force of energy, a brilliant teacher, a great leader and – above all – a wonderful human being.

Every Junior School and Nursery parent will remember him for his sunny nature and his daily presence on the school gate, welcoming all to a new day because he wanted to, and not because it was a duty.

As a colleague, an educator and a friend, I could not have wished for better. He will be sorely missed by all in this community, and beyond, but it was a privilege to know him, even for a short time.

Caroline Petryszak

Sixth Form Student Leadership Team and Diversity Student Council representatives appointed

The news above reminds us of just how important good leadership is, and this week we had the opportunity to thank the outgoing Sixth Form Student Leadership Team (SSLT) for their dedication, resilience and unwavering spirit and energy during what has been the most challenging of 12 month period for all.  

As our SSLT prepare to step down from their leadership positions to focus time on their studies and planning for the next chapter in their lives, we took the time to celebrate their achievements and to thank them for all that they have done.

We thanked Daria (Head Girl), Shri (Deputy Head Girl for Partnerships), Sophie (Deputy Head Girl for Student Services) and Ellen (Deputy Head Girl for Marketing) for their inspiration, leadership and commitment to their roles, and wished them, and all of our Year 13 students, every success for all that their future holds.

We were extremely fortunate to have a very strong field of candidates from Year 12 who expressed interest in joining the next SSLT, to undertake responsibilities such as representing the school at formal occasions, organising and chairing the Student Council, representing the High School at GDST Council meetings, developing the school’s partnership programme with external organisations and developing the Venture Team.  

These Year 12 students have worked hard to impress during a stringent election process, preparing election speech videos and canvassing their peers to win votes.  Shortlisted candidates were interviewed by members of the staff Senior Leadership Team, and we identified four collaborative, energetic and innovative students, extremely worthy of their new positions on the 2021/2022 SSLT. 

I am delighted to announce that this week we appointed the following students into SSLT roles.  Please join me in congratulating them on their success.

2021/2022 Sixth Form Leadership Team: Steph, Deputy Head Girl for Partnerships, Freya, Deputy Head Girl for Marketing, Shreya, Deputy Head Girl for Student Services, and Jodie, Head Girl.

If you watch or have watched the SSLT introductory videos, you will see that they have high aspirations: a desire to rekindle relationships within school and across our local community; to take forward student ideas when marketing the school to get to know the student body and to take steps to rebuild our great school atmosphere, now that we can physically be together again.

These students are studying A Levels in History, English Literature, Spanish, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Geography, with hopes to secure degree places in Law, Medicine, International Relations and English.

I am also delighted to congratulate Millie from Year 12 and Rutendo from Year 5 on their appointments as the High School’s Diversity Student Council representatives on the GDST board.  Millie and Rutendo will commence their roles as we begin the Summer term, sharing ideas with students from across the GDST at their first meeting in April.

GDST are focusing upon equipping our students with an understanding and compassion for others and the skills and resilience to challenge behaviours and practices which are inappropriate, to improve our society.  GDST has formed a Student Council for Diversity made up of representatives from all GDST schools.  The role of representatives, including Millie and Rutendo, will be to share what is working well in their schools and collaborate to develop strategy and resources to build awareness and change behaviour.

I thank all of the above for all that they have done and will do in the future, and commend all students for the way that they have coped during this challenging time. It has been wonderful to be (physically) back together again for a few short weeks, but all are ready for a break now and I very much hope that it will be a good one – for them and you.

Very best wishes,

Caroline Petryszak

Andrea Leadsom visits Northampton High!

On the morning of Friday 19 March, the Sixth Form had the privilege of taking part in a virtual Q&A session with the Rt Hon. Andrea Leadsom MP.

The former Leader of the House of Commons spoke to us about pursuing a career in politics, highlighting the ‘honourable’ nature of devoting oneself to a life in public service, while acknowledging the personal challenges that flow from being continually scrutinised. Our Sixth Form students promptly underlined this latter point by putting some rather challenging questions to Mrs Leadsom (who, to her credit, it must be said, answered direct questions with direct answers)!

We were joined on the call by High School alumna, Olivia Brittain, who applied successfully for the post of apprentice case worker in Mrs Leadsom’s parliamentary office last year. It was fantastic to hear Olivia so confidently recount her experiences both in the constituency office and, lockdown restrictions permitting, in Parliament. She has clearly had an amazing year, one that will give her the perfect start to studying Politics at university this coming academic year.

Applications for this year’s apprenticeship scheme are open now and interested High School students are encouraged to apply (the closing date is 31 March).

Mr Viesel
Deputy Director of Sixth Form

University of Cambridge Economics Day

The 6.1 Economics group have been busy this week, by participating in a virtual study day with the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge. Professor Tony Cockerill (whose wife Janet is a former student) invited us to join the day which includes a lecture entitled ‘The UK economy after Brexit’, which provided the students with some detailed current analysis of our economy including the impact of the global pandemic.

The students then worked in groups to produce a short presentation which is to be delivered via Zoom to a panel of experts from the University of Cambridge, Manchester Business School and the University of East Anglia as well as other teachers and students from the other invited schools.

Our teams picked the following topics for their presentations:

1 – How can the level and rate of growth of productivity (output per hour) be increased so as to drive faster economic growth? Dominic Cummings, formerly Prime Minister Johnson’s Chief Adviser, argues for an Advanced Research and Science Agency that is completely independent of Government and the Civil Service.  Do you agree?

2 – What can be done to repair the damage that is being done to education and to students’ life-chances by the Covid-19 recession?

At the time of writing the girls are linking with their colleagues in China and those working from home to prepare their presentations with the assistance of some well-deserved cake!

Mrs Tansley
Subject Leader Business & Economics

High School alumnae deliver Deaf Awareness and British Sign Language presentation

This week, two former Northampton High School students and Erasmus+ ambassadors, Claudia Pieczka and Rosie Saxton, delivered a presentation on Deaf Awareness and British Sign Language as part of our Erasmus+ virtual mobility on the theme of Equal Opportunities.

They spoke about their own experiences as hearing impaired students which gave much food for thought and then delivered a class on the British Sign Language alphabet and useful phrases. Unfortunately we were unable to offer this as a live session, however, the beauty of a recording is that the presentation can be paused in order to enable the viewers to practise and rewind if necessary!

We are hoping that the students from our partner schools in Amberg, Gondomar, Riga and Budapest will be able to practise their signing before they attend some of the virtual social events planned for next term, as Claudia and Rosie will be joining them.

I would like to thank Claudia and Rosie for their fantastic presentation and for their continued commitment to our Erasmus+ work, even though they have now left Northampton High School.

Mrs Hill
GDST Trust Consultant Teacher for Educational Research

6.2 Business 'Pecha Kucha' Presentations

6.2 Business students have been busy researching the UK Take Away and Restaurant Industry as part of their preparation for their Paper 3 assessment. Unfortunately, this has not been as interactive as we would have liked it to be – as we had dreams of visiting Borough Market to experience the street food stalls in person! In Mrs Hymers’ lesson this week, the students delivered some fantastic ‘pecha kucha’ presentations on three giants of the industry – McDonalds, Domino’s and Greggs.

A ‘pecha kucha’ presentation shows 20 chosen images on a subject for 20 seconds each and literally translates as ‘chit chat’ in Japanese. The presenters have 400 seconds to deliver their story, guided by their choice of images. A selection of their chosen images are shown here.

The area for research was the promotional methods used by the three firms and the girls undertook some useful and thorough research into this area. They spoke confidently and eloquently about how these businesses use a range of promotional methods and social media to survive in a dynamic and competitive market.

Well done girls!

Mrs Tansley
Head of Economics & Business

U4 students create 'word art' in German lessons

We are delighted to share with you some examples of the fantastic word art created by U4 German pupils this week, in what was their final lesson before they begin their GCSE Language options.

Their brief was to create word art using vocabulary from the topic we have been studying – shopping and food, and we are delighted with the results!

Well done everyone!

Mrs Morgan
Languages Teacher

House Netball Competitions

During this last week of term, we have been delighted to get outside and take part in House Netball competitions. Pupils had a great time getting back out on the courts for friendly yet competitive action, and we are pleased to share the results with you below:

U3 1: 1st – Artemis, 2nd – Demeter, 3rd – Selene, 4th – Hestia

U3 2: 1st – Hestia, 2nd – Demeter, 3rd – Artemis, Selene did not enter

L4: 1st – Demeter, 2nd – Artemis, 3rd – Hestia, 4th – Selene

U4: 1st – Selene, 2nd – Artemis, 3rd – Demeter, 4th – Hestia

L5: 1st – Hestia, 2nd – Demeter, 3rd – Selene, 4th – Artemis

In addition to the Netball competitions, we also held Fitness and Badminton events which the students really enjoyed taking part in. Results are as follows:

U4 Fitness: 1st – Selene, 2nd – Artemis, 3rd – Demeter, 4th – Hestia

L4 Fitness: 1st – Artemis, 2nd – Demeter, 3rd – Hestia, 4th – Selene

L5 Badminton: 1st – Demeter, 2nd – Hestia & Selene, 3rd – Artemis

A selection of photos from these events can be found by clicking here. We are really excited for the Summer Term, where we look forward to hosting more internal sporting events and activities.

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

Northampton High School's Cooking & Baking Diary

We know that many people across our entire community enjoy cooking and baking, so we thought it would be nice to have a space where everyone could upload a photo of their outcome(s) and share what they have been up to. Therefore, we are delighted to introduce this Padlet!

The link to the Padlet is here, and it would be great to see pictures of your amazing home bakes and dishes over the Easter break! Padlet is very simple to use, and instructions can be found here.

Important information:

  • Please upload a photo of just your outcome(s) (see example on the instruction sheet attached)
  • You won’t see your submission on the Padlet board until we have approved it, so don’t worry if you can’t see it immediately!

Happy cooking and baking –  we can’t wait to see your photos!

Miss Knight
Subject Leader Food

Book of the Week

A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee

Twelve year old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. (Oh, and she’d also like to make it through seventh grade with her best friendships intact and learn to run track.)

But in junior high, it’s like all the rules have changed. Now she’s suddenly questioning who her best friends are and some people at school are saying she’s not black enough. Wait, what?

Shay’s sister, Hana, is involved in Black Lives Matter, but Shay doesn’t think that’s for her.

After experiencing a powerful protest, though, Shay decides some rules are worth breaking. She starts wearing an armband to school in support of the Black Lives movement. Soon everyone is taking sides. And she is given an ultimatum.

Shay is scared to do the wrong thing (and even more scared to do the right thing), but if she doesn’t face her fear, she’ll be forever tripping over the next hurdle. Now that’s trouble, for real.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

New edition of Backchat out now!

The new edition of Backchat is out now for your reading pleasure, just click on the link here to take a look!

If you are interested in joining the team for our next issue, please feel free to get in touch – the more the merrier! In the meantime, if you need another Backchat fix, head over to our WordPressTwitter or Instagram for bite-sized articles.

Happy Easter and stay safe!

Jess and the 6.1 Backchat Team

Creative Arts Spotlight

This week, the Creative Arts Spotlight falls onto Ruby in U3, who has shared this outstanding piece of artwork she is currently working on at home!

Ruby is painting a picture of her Nan’s dogs using watercolours and acrylics, and is using a large canvas to fit all 3 of them on! Ruby has spent around 4 hours on the piece so far, and this video shows her amazing progress – well done, Ruby!

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts 

6.2 Biology Intermediate Olympiad

The Royal Society of Biology recently ran a ‘Biology Intermediate Olympiad’ and we are delighted with our students’ achievements in this event!

We came away with Silver, Bronze, Highly Commended and Commended Awards, and we are really proud of the team for their efforts.

Mrs Pearson
Teacher of Biology

Earth Hour - Saturday 27 March

The NHS Eco Team would like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in Earth Hour on Saturday 27 March from 8:30-9:30pm.

The idea is to switch off as many electrical appliances as possible (like lights, televisions, etc.) in order to conserve energy and reflect on ways to try and adopt more sustainable lifestyles. We have participated in this event for a number of years and would like 2021 to break out previous record; we are aiming for at least 100 people to take part (we’ll send out a survey after the event).

If you would like to know more then please click here for the official site.

Mr Earp
Head of Humanities

Mr Reynolds' Music Club

Mr Reynolds' Music Mindfulness

Term Dates 20/21

Term Dates 21/22

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