Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 28 January 2022

When I wrote about the enrichment and extracurricular programmes at Northampton High in my last blog entry, I mentioned how academic lessons in the classroom leading to public exams often dominate people’s conceptions of learning in a school. This is particularly true in a national system which prioritises, or arguably even obsesses about, examination outcomes. Sadly, this is sometimes at the expense of the wider concepts of lifelong learning and personal development that we believe should be at the heart of the school experience. 

I have often said that it is the non-examined element of the curriculum at Northampton High that really gives our learners the edge. Of course, we continue to focus on developing lively and fresh pedagogy for our lessons, where pupils are given responsibility for their own development within a supportive and accepting community of learners. But in order to gain the necessary independence of thought, collaborative abilities and essential subject skills that will lead to excellent exam results, we must allow them the opportunities to find out what this means for them as individuals. This is where a vibrant extracurricular and enrichment programme is so helpful; but arguably the most important ingredient in the wider co-curriculum is our House system, as this brings the whole community together in very tangible ways.

The concept of Houses in schools reflects the ideas of family, teamwork, and belonging. At the High School, pupils are members of Artemis, Demeter, Hestia and Selene; House names taken from Greek goddesses, as originally chosen many years ago in a vote by the students. While House members do not physically live and eat together as would be the case in a boarding school, the concept of spending time together and caring for each other in a special group is very much alive. 

The House system globally has been given something of a boost in recent years with the Harry Potter franchise. Indeed, we were pleased to reward the winning House for the autumn term, Demeter, with a Harry Potter-themed lunch in the spectacularly redecorated ‘Grand Hall’ at Christmas, including special guests Professors McGonagall and Snape! That said, where the audience in Harry Potter might have an emotional response to certain houses, such as a feeling of resentment towards Slytherin, the reality is that ours are equitable and exhibit a gentle ebb and flow over the years. For example, you may find one year that a House is successful at sports while another excels in the dramatic arts. However, over time, everyone gets the chance to excel and enjoy successes, as well as to commiserate with each other, as part of a caring and shared experience.

To read more, please click here

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

Inside the Classroom

The week ahead

Monday 31 January
Senior School Book Week
Senior School Assembly
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Tuesday 1 February
Fixtures: Netball VII vs Pitsford, Netball U14 & U15 vs Akeley Wood
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Wednesday 2 February
Parent Talk Series: Gender Identity and Young People
Fixtures: Netball U11 vs Broughton Manor, Netball U12 & U13 vs Pitsford
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Thursday 3 February
Fixtures: Swimming U12 & U13 @ Warwick 50’s, Netball U14 & U15 vs Pitsford
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Friday 4 February
Senior School Assembly
Spring Clubs (click here for timetable)

Saturday 5 February
Fixtures: Netball U12, U13, U14, U15 1st VII & 2nd VII vs Wellingborough School

Holocaust Awareness Week

This week in school, we have been delighted to mark Holocaust Memorial Day by holding a week-long programme of activities. We are proud to be a UCL Beacon School in Holocaust Education, a dynamic hub enhancing the quality of learning and teaching as part of the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education. This year, the school has extended its remembrance past just one day, by holding a Holocaust Awareness Week.

With a host of informative sessions taking place throughout the week, the whole school community has had the opportunity to engage in many different curriculum events. Year 8 History lessons focused on the Jewish experience in Nazi Germany, Year 9 Geographers explored how conflict affected children’s human rights, Year 7 pupils enjoyed making Matzos in their Food lessons and Year 10 pupils studied Kindertransport – just to name a few of the thought-provoking lessons that took place during the week. Alongside this, the School’s Head of Film Studies, Leona Heimfeld, spoke passionately to students about her family, including her father, Leizer, who was a survivor of more than one concentration camp, bearing witness to the impact of the genocide on families to this day.

Holocaust Memorial Day has taken place on the 27 January each year since 2001, and is used as a day for everyone to remember the millions of innocent people who were killed, and those whose lives were affected, by events during the Second World War under Nazi persecution, and the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The date itself was chosen to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945, and the Northampton High School community is proud to remember this world-changing event with its continued annual awareness activities.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Head's Commendation award

This morning, we were delighted to honour another group of pupils for their efforts with the Head’s Commendation award. Nominated by their teachers, pupils joined Mrs O’Doherty for a celebratory tea party ahead of receiving their certificates as a reward for their achievements.

Congratulations to the following students who were awarded Commendations this time:

Harriet S 5N:  Harriet was nominated for her fantastic diary entry

Ellie JM 5N: Ellie was nominated for her fantastic diary entry

Mya K 7N: Mya was nominated after Mya’s improvement in the speaking retest. Despite feeling nervous, Mya scored a fantastic 9/10 – well done!

Shivani C 8H: Shivani joined Year 8 last half-term and although she had never studied Latin before, she has worked tremendously hard to learn vocabulary and catch up with the language. She is a very positive student and a great independent learner, whose work ethic is brilliant!

Holly H 8S: Holly was nominated by Mrs Curtis for putting a smile on her face with the World Environment poster, and for always being stuck in and positive in her learning.

Stephanie B 13B: Stephanie was nominated for all her hard work at the end of the term. She organised the wreath-making event for Year 13 and the Christmas market for the whole school, and both were greatly appreciated and extremely successful.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

High Sports

On Saturday 22 January, we were delighted to take part in our first weekend fixture of the Spring Term against very strong Princethorpe sides. We hope you enjoy reading the below match reports, written by our Captains.

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

U18: On Saturday 22 January, the Netball 1st team travelled to Princethorpe, much earlier than we would have liked! We had a very strong defence throughout the match however theirs was even better. Unfortunately, we did lose 42-2, but 2 is better than none! Throughout the quarters, we improved on our footwork and obstruction and as a team we grew. Erin P was our star shooter, scoring both of our 2 goals with Eloise’s support. We worked on our centre passes, both attacking and defending. Player of the Match was given to our centre, Katie H, which was well deserved! Our team Player of the Match was awarded to Issy H, she played extremely well in defence, holding our team together. Overall, we are very proud of our team and aim to win our next match. Shout out to Aneesa for entertainment during the match e.g. falling over very dramatically. 

U14A: In today’s (Saturday’s) match we suffered a tough loss against Princethorpe School. Even though the team tried so hard we, unfortunately, didn’t win. Throughout the team, everyone played amazingly; the players worked so hard when the ball was in our possession. Well done to all team members: Isla, Arianna, Ashana, Hattie, Roja, Lucy-Mae, Gemma, Abigail and Jasmine. The first Player of the Match was Jasmine who played as GD, WD and GK – she was very good at getting the ball from the other team and turning it over to get it down to our end where the shooters were. I’m so proud of the team and can’t wait until further matches. Well Done to everyone who played! Gemma S

U14B: Year 9 had a great match on Saturday 22 January against Princethorpe. I think we had a great match with some fantastic goals by both Isobel and myself. Phoebe was awarded Player of the Match and I think she really earned it. I think our attacking and defending really rose to the challenge during the second half. Overall, it was a great day with lots of fun and a great game! Tara

Ready, Steady, Bake!

As part of the year-long celebrations of the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall, the Classics Department is holding a cake baking and decorating competition on the theme of Hadrian’s Wall (which could cover: the wall itself, Roman walls in general, Hadrian, soldiers at the wall, walkers at the wall now, Robin Hood at Sycamore gap, archaeology, etc.) with a deadline of Friday 11 February for photos to be received.

Any type of cake – large, small, middling – or decoration (or even deconstructed cake, to show rubble..!) is acceptable. To the victor the spoils (and chocolate reward!)

Maxima felicitas, or best of luck!

Mrs Peto
Classics Teacher

Book of the Week

After the War: From Auschwitz to Ambleside by Tom Palmer Summer 1945

Reading age 8 years and up, dyslexia friendly – The Second World War is finally over and Yossi, Leo and Mordecai are among three hundred children who arrive in the English Lake District. Having survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps, they’ve finally reached a place of safety and peace, where they can hopefully begin to recover.

But Yossi is haunted by thoughts of his missing father and disturbed by terrible nightmares. As he waits desperately for news from home,

he fears that Mordecai and Leo – the closest thing to family he has left – will move on without him. Will life by the beautiful Lake Windermere be enough to bring hope back into all their lives? Inspired by the true story of the Windermere Boys.

The Missing: The True Story of My family in World War II

Reading age 10-12 – This is the true story of Michael Rosen’s search for his relatives who “went missing” during the Second World War – told through prose, poetry, maps and pictures. When Michael was growing up, stories often hung in the air about his great-uncles: one was a clock-mender and the other a dentist.

They were there before the war, his dad would say, and weren’t after. Over many years, Michael tried to find out exactly what happened: he interviewed family members, scoured the internet, pored over books and travelled to America and France. The story he uncovered was one of terrible persecution – and it has inspired his poetry for years since.

Both these stories, one inspired by true events, the other a powerful account around finding the truth about your family history are tools for talking to children and young people about the Holocaust. We read, remember and honour those who survived.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Creative Arts Spotlight

This week, the Creative Arts Spotlight falls onto Lucie C.

This is for her excellent dramatic reading of an extract from ‘Dreams Of Anne Frank’ by Bernard Kops, and also for her devised performance with Caitlin A, where both students produced an emotional and refined performance.

Well done!

Mrs Marriott
Subject Leader Drama

Parent Talks

Thank you to those parents who joined us for our recent Parent Talks event, on the subject of ‘talking about sex and sexuality with your growing child and teen’. If you were unable to join us live for the event, we are delighted to be able to share a recording with you, which can be accessed by clicking here, and using the access code: nw*umz2R

On Wednesday 2 February 2022, from 6pm to 7.30pm, we will be hosting in school an event for Senior School parents (however parents of Junior School pupils are most welcome to attend) on Gender identity and young people. Refreshments will be served from 5.30pm.

In a society where young people are freer than ever to express their true selves, this session considers how the school deals with gender identity issues, how parents can support their children, and why gender identity is an important topic for us all today. There will also be opportunities to ask questions. To book your place, please click here.

Should you wish to see the full details of our 2021/22 Parent Talks programme, please click here.

Mrs O’Doherty
Acting Head 

School Blazer Sale

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

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