Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 28 April 2023


We hope you are feeling rejuvenated after the Easter break and feel fully ready for all of the excitement ahead, including the Coronation which is only weeks away! It has been a great pleasure to see students and staff back in school for what is set to be a very busy summer term. The school was abuzz with the voices of students returning to lessons last Thursday (first day of term); they all seem to have settled to work with focus and enthusiasm.

Excitement and admiration were also on display this week when we hosted the Spring Art Collective on Wednesday and it was fantastic yet humbling to see so many parents and guardians supporting us by purchasing the artwork produced by our students from Year 5 and above. 20% of all sales were donated to the Art and Creativity at Hope, and we thank you for your generous and kind donations. The event provided an opportunity to showcase the talents of our school community and fundraise simultaneously, and I thank our Creative Arts Faculty for leading such a worthwhile event – and it was an excellent way to build community spirit!

Just a reminder about the Information and Coffee Mornings next week: Tuesday 2 May for Year 8, Wednesday for Year 11, Thursday for Year 9 and Friday for Year 12, all at 8:00am in the Ideas Room. These are excellent opportunities for parents to meet one another and also to ask any questions you may have about important aspects of school life. 

Whisper it low, but summer internal assessments for Year 7 to 10 are on their way and whilst some students relish the opportunity to show off what they know, others find it daunting. For this reason, we try to keep the approach low-key but, at the same time, it is important that students get used to exam protocols and stressors. Anxiety is greatly reduced by being prepared and students can start going through textbooks and online files to ensure their work is in order. Revision lists and timetables for internal assessments will be sent out to students shortly. 

We will be celebrating our school’s birthday on 5 May and I have been pondering: are all-girl schools always better for girls? Why do parents choose girls’ schools? In both the private and state sector, there has been a startling shift away from single-sex as the default; for example, Westminster School is preparing to go fully co-ed – taking girls throughout the school by 2030. Now only 12% of state schools remain single-sex; and less than half of all independent ones. 

One may begin by considering the fact that there are strong modern-day arguments for single-sex education. Teenagers have never been more pressured and poked by forces beyond their control; from hyper-sexualisation to ubiquitous social media. During that frenetic transition into adulthood, there are virtues to any environments offering shelter from the outside world. In this context, the all-girls school feels comforting and valuable. 

So, what actually are the differences between girls’ schools and co-eds? There is plenty of evidence to show academic, social and emotional benefits in single-sex schooling, particularly for girls. When girls are allowed to learn and develop in their own space, they have an opportunity to try out things that aren’t thought of as feminine or female strengths. As such they rarely feel self-conscious speaking up in class and they can vigorously pursue their interests with no concept of “boy” or “girl” subjects, and in doing so, young women can really be themselves.

To read the full entry, please click here.

Dr Lee

The Week Ahead

Tuesday 2 May
145th School Birthday
Year 8 Parent Coffee Morning

Wednesday 3 May
Year 11 Parent Coffee Morning

Thursday 4 May
Sports Awards Evening
Year 9 Parent Coffee Morning

Friday 5 May
Year 12 Parent Coffee Morning

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

The Pursuit of Happiness

The United Nations recently published its latest World Happiness Report, in which the UK has fallen two places, from 17th to 19th. Not bad given our current cost of living fears combined with rising interest rates, sky-high inflation and energy costs. 

The report ranks countries according to six criteria that contribute to wellbeing: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity. All fine things to aspire to but a little statistically opportune for my liking: can happiness really be accurately and reliably measured in such a conveniently mechanistic way? 

As an educationalist, ‘what makes you happy?’ is surely one of the most important questions to ask, not least as it’s the number one thing most schools, and certainly most parents, want for their children. And yet it’s a question that’s been oddly neglected over the years, eclipsed by seemingly more important and relevant questions along the lines of ‘what gets you the best exam results/jobs/income?’

If you ask school pupils what they think will make them happy, most of them would probably identify future wealth as the key factor. In their minds, future wealth is strongly linked to a suitable career which is linked to a good university degree which is linked to an enviable set of exam results at school. Whilst there may well be some truth in this well-worn perception of linear causation, most of us with a little more life experience would probably disagree and I believe there are two reasons for this. 

Firstly, the relationship between happiness and income is a spurious and complex one. There’s been quite a lot of research done in this area and the general conclusion is that happiness does increase income up to a subsistence level at which point one’s basic needs are met, after which the correlation breaks down as other factors become more relevant. Economics Professor Richard Layard of LSE takes this a step further, postulating that the positive correlation returns at higher levels of wealth when people are able to give money to others; something that makes them feel better about themselves. Layard concludes that the key to maximising national happiness is the distribution of wealth from those who have a lot to those who don’t have enough. 

To read the full entry, please click here.

Dr Lee

Spring Art Collective

Proud of the talent in our school community and committed to our pledge to help fundraise for local charities, we were thrilled to host our 2nd annual Spring Arts Collective exhibition on Wednesday. This special occasion provided an opportunity to not only showcase the excellence of the student and staff body, but also to help raise money for the school’s chosen charity – Hope Centre Northampton.

The showpiece event was launched in the summer of 2022 to commence Northampton High’s annual Arts Season, with the aim of giving the school community a platform to not only showcase their excellent artistic creations, but also the chance to sell them to members of the local community too. Pupils from Year 5 upwards enjoyed the opportunity to submit items to the Collective, contributing to a wonderful array of pieces that were on show for a sell out capacity crowd. Our dedicated fashion & textiles exhibit space was transformed into a gallery that wouldn’t look out of place in the heart of London, with the event beautifully accompanied by music performed by some of our talented musicians.

The evening kicked off with heartfelt speeches from our student leadership team, followed by a welcome speech from Mrs Beacroft and Mr Laubscher, with the latter delivering passionate words on how a career in the arts can change your life.

Proceeds from the event will be going to support Northampton Hope Centre, who Northampton High have been supporting for the last two years. Hope are a charity which helps people experiencing the most acute problems of disadvantage and marginalisation, including homelessness, addiction and mental health, and Fundraising Manager Louise Danielczuk commented, “Hope are delighted to once again be benefitting from the Spring Arts Collective from Northampton High School. Art and creativity are so important to both organisations and both are clear of the incredible benefits art can have on an individual. The Spring Collective will once again raise awareness and funds to support the work of the charity and we cannot wait to once again see the talented artists displaying their work. Thank you to all involved in this project and to all who support the fabulous event”.

With sales from the Collective continuing into next week, early indications show that last year’s sales record will be smashed! Updates of the fundraising totals can be found on our Facebook page, along with updates of the remainder of the schools Arts Season.

Mr Nash
Marketing and Communications Manager

Fashion Show Assembly

We were delighted to hold a very special Fashion Show assembly on Thursday to showcase just some of the incredible and detailed work our Senior School pupils have created recently. Organising our theatre seating to resemble a professional runway, our spectating students waited in anticipation to find out what creative pieces our models would be wearing.

Congratulations to our talented textiles students for designing and producing such skilful pieces and inspiring fellow pupils with their creativity. The morning proved a wonderful celebration of our student body and their fabulous work and it was great to see our spectating students supporting and applauding their peers!

Well done to the wonderful volunteers who demonstrated bravery and confidence, modelling the pieces with pride and showing off the fabulous textiles creations with flair!

Mrs Lycett
Subject Leader Textiles

Sports Personality and Team of the Year nominations

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated for the Junior and Senior Sports Personality of the Year and Team of the Year awards. Voting has now closed and we look forward to sharing the winners with you on Thursday 4 May at our Sports Celebration Evening.

A huge well done to the following students for their nominations:

Junior Sports Personality of the Year – Zoe S, Angelie B, Risara S, Zara J, Poppy P, Annabelle R, Grace P, Harriet S

Senior Sports Personality of the Year – Lilli T, Maddie D, Janice H, Ella N, Eliza A, Lily B, Issy H, Ruby C-F, Katie A, Anna A, Hattie M, Hattie K, Ella D, Jemima C

Junior Team of the Year – U10 Hockey, U11 Netball, U10 Netball

Senior Team of the Year – U14 Hockey, U18 Tennis, U16 Tennis, 1st XI Hockey, Equestrian 80cm team

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Theatre in the Box

This week, I joined Mrs Marriott in the Drama department to learn about the ‘Theatre in the Box’. During my time in the Drama Studio, I watched her carefully unpack this excellent resource and listened to her explain how she uses it in lessons. The box contains a series of flats, wooden mannequin ‘actors’, lighting rigs with gels and stage blocks, all interchangeable in front of the main backdrop.

Mrs Marriott teaches her students to think about stage design and how to manage the transitions in between scenes. Students learn to visualise their stage design, including the positioning of the ‘actors’ in relation to the spotlights and gel colours. They can create projections on their device and slip this in the back of the box to form their backdrop. I was fascinated and could see how these elements benefit teaching and learning across year groups. It is playful, creative and kinaesthetic.

Every day is a school day!

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts Faculty

High Sports: Equestrian News

Our wonderful equestrian team have been very busy throughout the month of April, attending multiple competitions during their Easter break!

Well done Izzy, Lily and Jemima for battling hail, rain and gale-force winds at Dallas Burston for the Beachborough Challenge. Congratulations to Lily who won the 1m competition, qualifying for Hickstead!

A huge well done to Maisie who finished 5th in March’s pop-up dressage. This was the final one of the Winter League and we are delighted to announce that Maisie finished fourth overall, qualifying for the Championship in October. Well done Maisie!

Mrs Hodgetts-Tate
Head of Science Faculty

Book Review

The Eternal Return of Clara Hart by Louise Finch  – shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2023

Spence and Anthony have been friends for years, but it’s only when he witnesses a classmate die in what looks like a tragic accident at a house party that a flicker in the fabric of time helps Spence ‘see’ Anthony for the first time.

When Spence wakes up to the same day again and sees Clara, the girl who died, alive and well, it’s clear he’s been granted a second chance. And a third. And a fourth…

Caught in a loop, condemned to experience the same 24 hours over and over, Spence tries to prevent the terrible events of the party.

To break the spell he has to re-evaluate everything he previously took for granted and find the courage to call out his own and others complicity in events that marked the life and death of Clara Hart.

Find out more about the Carnegie shortlist here: The Yoto Carnegies

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Swap Shop events

We would like to share the forthcoming Swap Shop event dates with you. These events provide parents with the opportunity to buy, sell or donate items of uniform that you no longer require. If you have any items that you would like to sell or donate, please bring them to school for the below dates:

Tuesday 23 May
3.00pm to 4.00pm – Junior School and Senior School Swap Shop, Junior School Dining Room

Friday 30 June
8.00am to 9.00am – Junior School Swap Shop, Junior School Library
11.30am to 12.30pm – Junior School Swap Shop, Junior School Library
3.00pm to 4.00pm – Senior School Swap Shop, Junior School Dining Room

Turning 'can we?' into 'we can!' - Early Years Taster Events, Saturday 13 May

We look forward to welcoming so many lovely families to our upcoming Early Years Stay and Play Event and Junior Arts Morning on Saturday 13 May. The event promises 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

Save the Date: Creative Arts Festival

Save the date: Alumnae Reunion Lunch

Save the Date: Speech Day 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

Community Nursery Sessions

Cricket Coaching in Northampton


Term Dates

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