Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 28 May 2021

This week marks the time of the year when U5 and 6.2 students celebrate the end of their formal lessons and, for 6.2, the end of their time at Northampton High School. Not surprisingly, therefore, there has been a lot of fun this week, but plenty of tears shed, too!

Yesterday, the U5 students had a celebratory lunch and 6.2 convened in the late afternoon for their Leavers’ Reception. Sadly, we were unable to invite parents to the event this year, but to have the opportunity to be together as students and staff and to celebrate 6.2’s time at Northampton High School, and all of their individual achievements, was a privilege and a pleasure.

Ordinarily, students in U5 and 6.2 would be going off on ‘study leave’ but, with examinations cancelled this year and assessments completed, all will have the opportunity to engage with the ‘Limitless Learning’ programme after half term.

For students in U5, enrichment sessions include Engineering in Action, Environmental Fieldwork, EPQs, Knowledge Theory, Leadership Skills, History, Current Affairs, Cooking Survival Skills and Book Reviews. 6.2 students will have an equally rich in-school offer with the addition of the GDST-wide courses, including University Bridging and Liberal Arts seminars, Real-World Ready workshops and City and Subject socials that will enable students across the GDST network to meet others intending to move to the same city or area for university, apprenticeships and employment.

More soberly, this week also marks a year since the world was rocked – and somewhat changed – by the tragic death of George Floyd on 25 May 2020.

In a communication this week, Cheryl Giovannoni, CEO of the GDST, reminded us of just how much we have done as a Trust to address the issues raised by this dreadful incident and of our commitment to diversity, inclusion and real change, including setting up the  ‘Undivided’ Steering Group and the Charter for Action “which will serve as our blueprint for measuring progress”.

We have also made progress at Northampton High School, and are moving our agenda forward through our strategic plan, with the input of the Staff Working Group, our Student Council and Student Voice groups, our alumnae, our Parent Forum and our Governing Body. 

I am hugely grateful to Mrs Amanda Wilmot, Director of Marketing and Admissions, who is leading on this, and to all who are directly or indirectly involved in moving things forward. I am also hugely proud of the school that we are, and Mrs Wilmot captures the reasons for this so well on our school’s Inclusions and Diversity web page:

“We are privileged to be members of a diverse community at Northampton High School and we are proud of the fact that we avoid stereotyping, racism, and unconscious bias. Indeed, our ISI inspection report from November 2019 commented on this on many occasions, stating that ‘pupils show extremely high levels of respect for each other, being sensitive to different cultural traditions’ and that they are ‘tolerant and sensitive to each other’.”

There is much to be proud of this week, and not least our 6.2 students who have had the most disrupted Sixth Form experience of any in the school’s 143-year history, yet leave us with confidence and a true sense of self. I wish them all the best for the future and you a wonderful half term break in what (at the time of writing, at least!) promises to be a week of warmth and sunshine.

Very best wishes,

Caroline Petryszak

The week ahead

Saturday 29 May
Hickstead National Championships

Sunday 30 May
Hickstead National Championships

W/C Monday 31 May
Half Term Break

Wednesday 9 June
GDST Elite Netball Trials
Cricket Fixtures (U10 & U11)

Friday 11 June
Sports Day

Fashion is very important

“Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” My favourite quote from British designer Vivienne Westwood. It has been essential to remember this year, working as a teacher of Fashion and Textiles, against the odds through the global pandemic.

In February, the Department for Education issued information on how GCSE and A level grades will be determined in Summer 2021 which stated that “Students should continue to work on their non-exam assessment; NEA will be marked by teachers and will contribute to the overall grade, whether or not it has been completed.” It became clear that GCSE project work did not need to be completed this year in order to make a level playing field for students who had restricted access to resources during lockdown.

I understood the Government’s rationale for this entirely but I was keen for our students to work towards completing their final pieces for their projects. I had two reasons for this: 1) to give our students the opportunity to feel a sense of accomplishment, the kind that only comes with the completion of a finished product, and 2) to showcase the hard work and resilience these students have shown through the pandemic. A culmination of two years of learning new skills through the creative research and design process.

During Guided Home Learning our students set up workspaces in their own homes, their families enduring messy creative spaces throughout this period. For this I am thankful. Our students printed fabric on the kitchen table, dyed pieces in the washing machine, embroidering lengths of silk in the family dining room, cut pattern pieces spread out on the living room carpet, joined online demonstrations, received packages of pattern pieces and resources I sent in the post and all worked hard towards their end goal.

On our return to the classroom the girls have put in extra hours; they attended Saturday sewing sessions and a weekly after school sewing club in order to complete project work. I am in awe of their resilience and enthusiasm and most of all proud of what they have achieved this year. Well done, girls!

The GCSE Fashion and Textiles Class of 2021 that I will never forget.

Roseanna B, Isobel D, Constance G, Amy I, Yasmin Y, Georgia M, Lydia P, Lucy S, Sophia S and Mia W.

Miss Lycett
Subject Leader for Textiles

Equestrian Team are victorious at Bury Farm!

On Sunday 23 May, the Equestrian Team headed to Bury Farm to compete in the County Championship Qualifier Show Jumping.

We had a huge number of girls entered, ranging from the 70cm class to the 1.10m, with great performances from all the girls – both tried and tested combinations and some newer faces. The teams won in the 80cm and 90cm and achieved second place in the 1m, which is an amazing accomplishment. Therefore, all these teams qualified for the County Championships as the best Northamptonshire teams, for the end of August.

Well done to all the girls who competed and we’re really looking forward to the National Championships this weekend at Hickstead, competing in four different classes with 7 girls. Good luck everyone!

Jodie W
Equestrian Team

High Sports

It almost felt like a ‘normal’ summer term week here in the PE department. We hosted our first cricket fixture, held three House rounders tournaments and ended the week in our shorts and t-shirts as the sun finally made an appearance. 

The House rounders tournaments were great fun. Every pupil got involved and the matches were played with a highly competitive spirit! The results for each of the competitions were as follows – well done to everyone!

U3 – 1st Artemis, 2nd Selene, 3rd Demeter. 4th Hestia
L4 – 1st Selene, 2nd Artemis, Demeter, 4th Hestia
U4 – 1st Selene, 2nd Artemis, 3rd Hestia, 4th Demeter

We also enjoyed having Y11 for their final afternoon at Northampton High School. We played a huge game of rounders and enjoyed chilling in the sun. The chase was also on to soak a few members of staff with a large bucket of water, however, we were just too fast!

We wish all the Year 11s the best of luck on their next adventures and look forward to seeing many of them return for Sixth Form in September. 

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

Students enter GDST's Key Stage 3 Debating Tournament

On Saturday 15 May, two U4 High School teams entered the GDST’s KS3 Debating Tournament, competing against 42 other teams for a place in the finals.

Students debated a range of topics, from parents’ freedom to remove children from lessons to feminism and fashion. Anushka T and Varnikaa S debated strongly to finish first in one of their rounds.

After three rounds of debates, Mary A and Mia H had excelled to finish first on points among all the ‘novice’ teams, thereby earning a place in the final for novices. Mia also gained a personal accolade after placing tenth on points overall, a fabulous achievement given the number of accomplished, experienced debaters.

Mr Viesel
Teacher of English

'Women in Tech' - guest speaker Maddie Skillen

It was a privilege to welcome alumna Madeleine Skillen as a guest speaker this week as part of the Erasmus+ project mobility.

Maddie, who left the Sixth Form in summer 2013, gave insights into her career path to date, opening up the world of Women in Tech and the various roles and opportunities this sector offers. Maddie, who studied Geography and French at Newcastle University, has had a number of interesting roles in the global technology sector and is currently working for a tech giant in California, thriving in this fast-changing world.

Maddie explored the topic of personal resilience, encouraging her audience to see setbacks and changes to plans as opportunities and ‘the foundation of success’.

A thoroughly enthralling and heartfelt talk – we extend our sincere thanks to Maddie for her perspective and advice to our current students. Colleagues and pupils in our Erasmus+ project schools in Germany, Hungary, Latvia and Portugal will benefit greatly from Maddie’s wise words as they consider equal opportunities in their future world of work.

To view the talk for yourself, please click here

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

GDST Limitless Learning Fortnight: 7-18 June 2021 for Sixth Formers

We are delighted to invite Sixth Formers to a whole host of great activities and opportunities during June, ahead of your next adventures.

Join GDST students from across the nation for a fortnight of events designed to give you a hearty farewell from school and an exciting introduction to the next phase of your life journey. Expect university bridging seminars, Liberal Arts seminars, Real-World Ready workshops, City and Subject socials and unique opportunities to make meaningful connections.

View the timetable and sign up today!

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing and Admissions

Northampton High opens doors to the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts

The popular Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts (PQA) will open at its new venue – Northampton High School – this weekend.

Having run a host of performing arts activities virtually throughout the lockdowns, PQA moves to its new home of Northampton High tomorrow for weekly Saturday school sessions.

We are delighted to welcome PQA and its students to our site.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing and Admissions

School Bunting Project

In order to bring our school community back together after being separated for so much of the last year, the Student Senior Leadership Team (SSLT) have launched a project to help demonstrate our spirit within the school.

We are asking each student and staff member – all the way from Reception to 6.2 – to create a triangle of bunting, showing their experience of the last year in any form they like – whether that be a drawing of their family, collage of pictures or even knitting or crocheting to show a new skill that they have learnt.

Each Form Tutor will distribute the templates to their Forms; please would all students and staff members return their finished flag by Monday 14 June, so that we can piece them together before the end of the summer term.

We can’t wait to see your designs!

Jodie W
Head Girl

Book of the Week

Run Rebel by Manjeet Mann – recommended for U4 and above

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021

I am restless, my feet need to fly.

Amber is trapped – by her father’s rules, by his expectations, by her own fears.

Now she’s ready to fight – for her mother, for her sister, for herself.

But freedom always comes at a price.

A novel written in verse novel – perfect for fans of Sarah Crossan and Elizabeth Acevedo.

Click here to read more about the Carnegie Shortlist 2021.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Summer Term Extracurricular Time Table

We are delighted that we are able to expand our offering of extracurricular clubs after half term. Although different year groups will be attending the clubs together, we will ensure we follow the NGB guidance and the GDST risk assessment are adhered to on return to play, and keep our bubbles separate.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Mrs Blake 
Director of Sport

GDST Talks: Helping your teen daughter navigate post-Covid freedom this summer

Swap Shop

For those of you who may be having a clear-out of old uniform over the half term break, we would like to reiterate that we are happy to accept redundant items of uniform to sell in our Swap Shop.

We would appreciate you washing and labeling the items (labels available from Reception) and please do not send in any sports kit or blazers displaying the old school logo, as we cannot sell these items. In addition, we will endeavour to find any items you require if you email us the size via the school office. Students can take the item home to try on and return the next day or make payment by BACS.

Thank you in advance.

The Swap Shop Team

Medication and medical conditions

Further to our message earlier this term, may we please ask that any medication held by the school for students, or carried by students, is regularly checked for expiry dates. Should you wish to provide new medication for students in school, please send this for my attention.

Equally, should you wish to discuss your daughter’s medical condition or need to update us of any changes, please contact me on

Many thanks for your support.

Mrs Dunkley
School Nurse

Term Dates 20/21

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