Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 29 September 2023

Nurturing the Seeds of Success: Enjoying the fruits of your labour 

Autumn is my favourite time of year! Woolly jumpers, snuggly thick socks and hot chocolate….. What could be better? The trees have begun their annual display of showing us how beautiful it can be to embrace change and let go of things of the past, readying themselves for a rest before a fresh start next spring, and all the joy and anticipation that this can bring. Autumn is also the time when nature reveals its true bounty. The trees and hedgerows are laden with fruit and gardeners nationwide are filling their sheds, garages, freezers and any other available space with pumpkins, apples, berries and the like. Gardeners, perhaps better than most, understand that in the intricate tapestry of life, the connection between nature and hard work is a thread that runs deep. How then, can we apply that wisdom to ourselves, and our continued quest for knowledge and education. Drawing insights from educational researchers such as Carol Dweck and John Hattie, we can start to understand this important link.

Every great endeavour begins with a seed of ambition. Just as a tiny seed contains the potential to become a mighty oak, your dreams and aspirations hold untold possibilities. When you plant the seed of hard work and dedication, you set the stage for the natural processes of growth and maturation. Just as a seed requires the right soil, sunlight, and water to flourish, educational efforts require the right environment and resources. As our students embark on their journey towards their goals, they will find that hard work and perseverance are the essential tools in their learning tool kit. Nature teaches us that growth is a process that takes time. In the same way, success rarely happens overnight. It’s the daily nurturing of your ambitions, the consistent tending to your goals, that will yield the sweetest fruits in the end. But that takes perseverance! 

Developing perseverance and strong foundations in education is an ongoing process. It starts early and should be nurtured throughout a student’s academic journey. Encouraging curiosity can stimulate a child’s inner interests by exposing them to a variety of subjects and experiences. Encouraging questions and exploration from an early age will teach them to develop their skills and not give up when things get tough.

On the educational journey of our students at the High School, these seasons may not align perfectly with the school calendar, but their lessons are no less applicable. We want to encourage them to embrace the seasons of their life, recognising that each phase has its own unique beauty and purpose. Sometimes, the harsh winters of setbacks and failures are essential for strengthening your roots and preparing for future growth. They help us to recognise that the rewards of perseverance are well worth the wait. When the time is right, and you’ve nurtured your dreams with care, the joy of harvest is unparalleled. Just as a farmer rejoices in a bountiful crop, you’ll savour the satisfaction of achieving your goals. The fruits of your labour may be material success, personal growth, or a sense of accomplishment in your educational journey. But a successful harvest does depend on the work that is put into it. At the start of the academic year, we expect our students to be laying the foundation for success from the word go. 

Dr. Carol Dweck, a prominent psychologist, has extensively studied the concept of the “growth mindset.” In her research, she emphasises the idea that individuals who believe their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work are more likely to succeed than those who view their abilities as fixed traits. Dweck’s work highlights the importance of perseverance in education. When students embrace a growth mindset, they are more inclined to tackle challenges, learn from their mistakes, and persist in the face of setbacks. This mindset shift is particularly significant in the educational context because it fosters a love for life long learning and a willingness to put in the effort required to excel.

To read the full entry, please click here.

Miss Kneen
Deputy Head Pastoral

The Week Ahead

Monday 2 October
U12&U13 Hockey vs Kimbolton

Tuesday 3 October
U18 NCNA County Plate
Sixth Form Senior Maths Challenge

Wednesday 4 October
Y13 Geography Field trip
Y7 Parent Tutor Evening

Thursday 5 October
Y13 Parents Evening

Saturday 7 October
Whole School Open Morning
U14&U15 Hockey vs Nottingham Girls
U18 Netball vs Nottingham Girls

The essence of friendship: nurturing bonds and building connections

At the beginning of a school year, the pursuit of establishing and forming meaningful friendships often takes precedence. Having people to depend on can provide the stability we need in our lives. 

Friendship, once regarded as the highest of virtues by the philosopher Aristotle, was not, in his eyes, a uniform entity. Aristotle understood that not all friendships are of equal value or importance and discerned three distinct types of friendships that encompassed varying degrees of significance. 

To begin with, there are friendships of ‘utility’. In this kind of friendship, individuals come together not out of deep affection for one another, but because they can help each other to accomplish specific tasks, such as collaborating on a school project or working as a team to achieve a shared objective. Each party contributes to the other’s benefit, but the bond tends to be transient, dissipating as soon as the shared utility ceases. This type of friendship is, by nature, self-regarding and selfishly motivated, though mutually beneficial. 

The second category of friendship is one grounded in pleasure. Aristotle declared it to be the friendship of the young. It typically hinges on shared interests or activities that bring joy, whether it be engaging in a sport, sharing an affinity for the same music, or simply finding pleasure from the same things. However, when the enjoyment or interest wanes, so too does the foundation of the friendship.  

According to Aristotle, a majority of the friendships that many of us cultivate fall within these two categories. In both cases, the other person is not being valued “in themselves” but as a means to an end. Although Aristotle did not necessarily denounce them, he did recognise that their superficial nature and depth limits their quality. 

The third and most precious form of friendship, as outlined by Aristotle, is the friendship of the ‘Good’. This type of friendship forms the cement that has the potential to hold both our personal spheres and the broader world together. 

In contrast to utility or pleasure, this kind of friendship is rooted in a deep appreciation for an individual as they are, with all their flaws and imperfections fully acknowledged. In fact, it is the ability to be open and vulnerable to one another that makes such friendships so special, gives their unique value, and instead of being short lived, these friendships endure. These are the individuals we can turn to in moments of adversity as well as times of celebration, and they, in turn, can confide in us. Such friendships are the most precious. Aristotle lamented the rarity of such friendships, but noted they are possible between two virtuous people who can invest the time needed to create such a bond. They also take trust and commitment to cultivate. In reality, we may count them on one hand, at most. 

To read the full entry, please click here.

Dr Lee

European Day of Languages Week

At Northampton High, our academic calendar is filled with lots of exciting and enriching activities for pupils to enjoy. This week, we were delighted to celebrate European Day of Languages with a bespoke week-long programme of events!

Along with a host of other leadership opportunities, select pupils take great pride in becoming Language Leaders and do an exemplary job of championing the importance of language learning in school. Commencing the week-long celebrations, the group, whose ages range between Year 10 and Year 13, presented a fantastic assembly to underline the cognitive advantages of language acquisition and the value of multilingualism in present and future endeavours. With more than 20 different home languages spoken across the pupil body, the school community highlight the cultural and educational value of language learning, and the professional opportunities this may bring.

Pupils whole-heartedly embraced the celebrations, with the week playing host to a series of exciting workshops, including Turkish and Russian taster sessions, German dance classes and creative flag workshops. Extending further than European languages, students also enjoyed a Punjabi taster session and a salsa dance class for beginners! We have enjoyed a fantastic week at Northampton High, celebrating lots of different languages and cultures!

A huge thank you to our wonderful Languages faculty for facilitating such an enjoyable and educational week!

GDST Northern Rally

On Thursday 21 September, we took 40 students to Nottingham Girls High School for the annual GDST Northern Rally. We participated in the Senior Hockey, U15 Hockey, Tennis, Badminton, Fitness and Swimming competitions. 

We had a fantastic day out, coming away with some very respectable results. The Senior Hockey team finished as runners up confirming their place in the GDST Finals, which we look forward to hosting on Tuesday 10 October. Our U15 Hockey team had an incredible day winning all of their games to secure first place and their place in the GDST Finals to be held at Croydon in November. Both our Tennis and Badminton teams also finished as runners up, which is excellent.

All of the students who participated in this rally tried exceptionally hard and they always make us proud. These competitions really do emphasise the importance of our GDST Family and we always look forward to the next one. Well done everyone!

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

Last Thursday, we went to Nottingham High to play in a five team qualifiers tournament. For the first match, we played with great energy and effort, working as a team to score goals and win 2-0. The second match was played against a harder team and needed a lot of team work. In the final minutes, the ball was worked very well from the halfway line to Anna C who scored from a great position! In our two final matches, we used every bit of energy we had and secured a win in both. This was helped by amazing ball carrying by Katie F and Isla N. The day was very positive in all aspects, especially being this close to the start of the season. Amazing work was shown by everyone, and our player’s player went to Katie F for her great dodging of players!

Charlotte F – U15 Hockey Captain

High Sports

U13 Hockey vs Quinton House

The U13 A team played a Hockey fixture against Quinton House School on Monday 25 September. We played much better than in our previous match and it was good to see the team implement what they had learnt in our practice sessions. We won the match 3-1, and there were many more shots on goal which their keeper saved or which just missed the post. Next time, we need to work on converting more opportunities into goals. Mollie M was awarded player of the match.


Parent Session - Self Harm

We are delighted to be able to offer an online opportunity for parents to gain some insight into a difficult topic, self-harm. The session will be delivered online on Tuesday 3 October, at 6.30pm and a link will be made available to all parents next week. Please do feel free to join the session if you are able.

Self-harm is something that is an increasing issue nationwide and many children, teens and young adults engage in these behaviours as a way of signalling that something else is wrong. It can be a scary and emotionally painful thing for parents to discuss with their child and so this opportunity offers parents the chance to learn how to cope with this if it affects their child in any aspect of their life.

The session will be led by Satveer Nijjar, who we were thrilled to welcome to the High School a few years ago, and we are very much looking forward to her coming back to visit us again in November this year. Satveer delivers extremely successful self-harm awareness sessions to parents; these are often held in secondary schools and this one will be delivered online for parent convenience. The session is open to all parents, not just those who have been personally affected by self-harm.

The aim of the session is to improve understanding of self-harm behaviours and how to respond appropriately. Satveer’s aim is to remove the stigma associated with self-harm, so that we are able to help more individuals open up and seek the help they need. Her session will cover the following:

  • What is self-harm?
  • What can lead a young person to self-harm?
  • Functions of self-harm
  • Supporting a child who is self-harming.
  • How can self-harm make you, the parent feel?
  • The support that is available for you and your child

The session that Satveer will lead in school for our students will differ significantly from the parent session and will be age appropriate. It will focus much more on general and emotional wellbeing, as well as touching on supporting your friends and how to seek help if you need to.

If you have any questions about this session, please do reach out to Miss Kneen. Further information about our PSHE day for students will come out to parents just after half term.

Miss Kneen
Deputy Head Pastoral

Northampton High is an established Pony Club Centre!

Northampton High School has become the first school in the country to be recognised as an established Pony Club Centre! 

The Pony Club is an international, voluntary youth organisation for young people, where members enjoy coming together to participate in a range of fun activities! Despite the name, no pony is required; furthermore, no interest in ponies, horses or other animals is required! It is an all-inclusive membership club that promises lots of fun and an opportunity to earn badges and certificates!

The Pony Club is a new extracurricular activity for our students to enjoy and takes place every Monday at 12:15pm in S7. We would like to encourage as many pupils as possible to find out more about this wonderful opportunity, and we look forward to watching the club grow!

To learn more, please email, or pop along at lunchtime on Monday!

Mrs Hodgetts-Tate
Head of Science Faculty

Book Review

What You Are Looking For Is In the Library

What are you looking for?

So asks Tokyo’s most enigmatic librarian, Sayuri Komachi.

But she is no ordinary librarian.

Sensing exactly what someone is searching for in life, she provides just the book recommendation to help them find it.

In this uplifting book, we meet five visitors to the library, each at a different crossroads:

– The restless retail assistant eager to pick up new skills
– The mother faced with a demotion at work after maternity leave
– The conscientious accountant who yearns to open an antique store
– The gifted young manga artist in search of motivation
– The recently retired salaryman on a quest for newfound purpose

Can she help them find what they are looking for?

Purchase through the NHS bookshop here.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Medical notice

As we head into cough and cold season, please can I share with you the current NHS guidance about when to send your child to school.

It is usually appropriate for parents and carers to send their children to school with mild respiratory illnesses. This would include general cold symptoms: a minor cough, runny nose, or sore throat. However, children should not be sent to school if they have a temperature of 38°C or above. We would encourage you to read the NHS guidance.

Please email if you have any other questions relating to medical or wellbeing issues.

Mrs Dunkley
School Nurse

Swap Shop

We are delighted to share that we will be hosting Swap Shop every Friday from 2:00-3:30pm in the Junior School Hall.

Uniform for students of all ages will be available to purchase.

In Conversation with... Emilie Weaving

The GDST’s next ‘In Conversation’ event features Shrewsbury High School alumna, Emilie Weaving, who will be speaking with Darren Payne, Head of Shrewsbury High via Zoom on Monday 23 October, 1-2pm.

Emilie was a finalist in the GDST Trailblazer of the Year Competition 2022. At age 31, Emilie has certainly paved her own way in the traditionally male-dominated world of engineering. As a Mechanical Engineer, Emilie has eight years of development and testing experience, from diesel engines to motorcycle helmets and military vehicles. She is passionate about encouraging women to pursue a career in the field, and writes about her STEM lifestyle in her blog, The Female Engineer.

If you wish to attend this virtual event, please click here.

What's on - Autumn Term

Save the Date: World Challenge fundraiser

Join us on Friday 13 October from 6:45-9:15pm for Northampton High School’s first rock concert!

We look forward to welcoming students (Year 5 upwards), siblings, parents and staff to the event and hope to raise funds for World Challenge Vietnam 2024. To book your tickets, please click here. Thank you!

Laura, Hattie and Emma
Year 12 students

Children's Activity Morning at Dobbies

Kings Camp

We’re excited to have Kings Camps return with their Sport and Activity camps, giving children an active and screen-free week this October!
30+ years’ experience in operating sports and activity holiday camps, @KingsCamps get 5 – 17 year olds active, having fun and learning together! There’s over 30 sports and activities for children to get involved in throughout the week!

For dates, prices and booking visit or call Kings Camps Membership Team on 01142632160.

Northampton High School - Where girls learn without limits

Term Dates


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