Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 3 April 2020

Dear parents

The end of term is always a time for reflection and never has this been more true than now as we consider the extraordinary situation in which we find ourselves and adapt to a new way of working and of living.

There has been time for celebration, however, and our take on the whole-school photograph that was due to happen this week was a joy to behold, even if it did cause an outbreak of ‘schoolsickness’ amongst our community. If you haven’t had the opportunity to look at this yet then please do. There is still time for your daughter to add her photograph, too, and to join in a whole-school celebration in a unique ‘spring of 2020’ way.

The past few weeks have been incredibly busy and challenging for all and I thank you for your forbearance as we, and GDST as a whole, have dealt with a substantial increase in email communication over this period. Teaching and non-teaching colleagues have worked tirelessly to support you and your daughters and many will continue to work throughout the holiday. For the girls, though, it is time to rest, to take a break from the screen and to enjoy some sunshine before we reconvene for Guided Home Learning on Tuesday 21 April.

Given the uncharted territory in which we have found ourselves in recent days, colleagues have been meeting regularly to review our educational and pastoral provision and to further improve our already excellent offering. After the Easter break there will be a number of changes, including an adjusted Junior School day and bespoke programmes for U5 and Sixth Form which include Extended Project Qualifications (EPQs), Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), as well as subject-specific and university-preparation programmes.

For Senior School students we are making adjustments to the pastoral structure that will assign a small group of girls a named member of staff with whom they can communicate each day. Your daughter’s tutors will still be available, but as they are also involved in face-to-face Guided Home Learning for much of the day, this new system will enable pupils to have quicker contact if needed so that we can quickly address any queries or concerns, both pastoral and academic.

There will be many more changes over the coming weeks, some within our control and others not. Indeed, even as I type I learn that Ofqual has released their information on the awarding of GCSEs and A Levels in the absence of formal examinations this summer and colleagues are working to contact the affected girls and their parents as soon as possible.

We continue to appreciate your messages of support and your comments on our Guided Home Learning provision to date. In order to further tailor our approach, it would be very helpful to capture more of this constructive feedback and I therefore invite you to complete a short questionnaire that can be found here.

I wish you health and happiness for the upcoming break and trust that you will continue to draw strength from each other at this extraordinary time.

Caroline Petryszak

U4 Open Homework

Every year we ask our Upper Fourth students to stretch their imaginations by coming up with individual Open Prep projects.

To keep the projects as open as possible we only set a title, with no other stipulations regarding media or content matter, however, we do ask students to work to a plan and to show how they have researched their projects.

As you can imagine, this leads to some very innovative projects, ranging from films to dance pieces, creative writing to sculptures, and pretty much everything in between. Students are allocated individual teachers to assess  and offer feedback on their work, and they have also saved examples of their

work to their eportfolio websites, to demonstrate their ability to work independently.

This year’s project title of ‘Equality’ was chosen to link both with International Women’s Day and our school Erasmus+ projects. We are excited to be sharing some of the work produced with our partner schools across Europe, for the first time.

Once school has reopened, we will put out a full display of the work produced for everyone to enjoy. For now, though, we hope you like these images of some of this year’s projects.

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

See all photos

School Photograph... with a twist!

On Wednesday this week, the entire Northampton High School family was due to come together for a whole school photograph, a school tradition that takes place every 4 years. Unfortunately, the current climate dictated that this was not going to be possible at this moment in time, but we didn’t want to let the moment pass without having a photograph of some kind!

Step forward, Padlet. Padlet is an online software that lets users upload photographs into a secure area, where they can be compiled together in order to make one big picture. Earlier in the week, Mrs O’Doherty appealed to both staff and students to upload a selfie of themselves to Padlet, in order to make a giant photo collage of our school community.

Above is a snapshot of just a few of the uploads we have received from staff and students, and it’s not too late to submit your selfie; just follow the instructions sent out by Mrs O’Doherty via email in order to upload your picture.

We look forward to sharing the full picture with you!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Art: Guided Home Learning projects

It has been great to see the progress made with our Art Guided Home Learning projects, with students sending through images of their artist studies and drawings.

These images from Isobelle in L4 (above) show her understanding of ceramicist Kate Malone, through research and an excellent drawing of one of Malone’s teapots. We are able to deepen our understanding of ceramics, ready for our return to school when L4 will be working on their own clay sculptures. Alicea-Mae, also in L4, submitted her research of Kate Malone (below), and demonstrated excellent handwriting techniques.

L4 student Hattie has submitted a wonderful drawing of a Kate Malone sculpture (below left) as part of her ceramics project, and Isla in U3 has submitted a beautiful drawing with lovely contour lines and soft tones (bottom right). Nice work, ladies!

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts Faculty

Outdoor Easter Challenge!

The Easter Challenge is on!

We have been amazed with the fantastic creativity you have been sharing with us, from Nursery to Sixth Form, and now we throw down the gauntlet and invite you to take part in our, ‘Outdoor Easter Challenge!’

Have a go at creating an outdoor Easter decoration to celebrate this festive time of year. You might turn a pile of logs into a rabbit, create an Easter wreath for the door, plant a planter or decorate a forgotten tree at the bottom of the garden!

Be as creative as you like, involve parents and siblings and of course don’t forget to share your fabulous ideas with us by sending details

and pictures to so that we can post your creations. And yes, there are chocolate prizes for when we return to school!

Be creative, have fun, inspire others!

Happy Easter everyone, from all of us at Northampton High School, to you and your families!

Mrs Fordham
Year 6 Class Teacher

Easter Baking Challenge

To accompany our Outdoor Easter activity, we have one more challenge to throw down to you, to help keep you entertained over the Easter Break.

With Celebrity Bake Off currently on our television screens, we thought that nothing could be better than an Easter Baking Challenge!

We have two different recipes for you to have a go at creating, the first one is an Easter Biscuit recipe which you can find by clicking here, and in true Bake Off fashion, we have a more difficult ‘Show Stopper’ challenge in the shape of a Mini Egg Cake, which you can find by clicking here.

With prizes to be awarded when we come back to school, we can’t wait to see picture of your lovely bakes. Please send pictures of your biscuits and cakes to, so that they can be passed on for judging.

We hope you have fun and enjoy a lovely Easter Break!

Miss Knight
Subject Leader Food

Spring edition of High Sports out now!

We are delighted to be able to share with you the latest edition of our termly sports newsletter, High Sports.

High Sports takes a retrospective look back at the world of sport here at Northampton High, talking about our sporting events, our successes and our victories during the previous term.

To take a look at the Spring Term edition of the publication, please click here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Earth Hour 2020

On Saturday 28 March, Earth Hour took place between 8:30-9:30pm, an event where households chose to switch off their lights and electrical appliances for at least an hour to both reduce energy use but more importantly create mental space to reflect on our environmental impact and the ways we can reduce it.

Despite the school closure I am delighted to say that we have managed to increase the number of people taking part in Earth Hour, with 59 people indicating they took part (a big increase on the 39 people that took part in 2019).

Thanks to everybody that took part and we look forward to growing the success of this event in 2021.

Mr Earp
Head of Humanities

Book Review

Lampie by Annet Schaap

Every evening, Lampie must light a lantern to warn ships away from the rocks. But one stormy night disaster strikes. The lantern goes out, a ship is wrecked and an adventure begins.

In disgrace, Lampie is sent to work as a maid at the Admiral’s Black House, where rumour has it that a monster lurks in the tower. But what she finds there is stranger and more beautiful than any monster. Soon Lampie is drawn into a fairytale adventure in a world of mermaids and pirates, where she must fight with all her might for friendship, freedom and the right to be different.

Miss Buxton 
School Librarian

Backchat - Article submissions welcome!

As many of you from Senior School know, we usually publish a termly Backchat issue. In light of these unforeseen events, we are extending the deadline for submissions until further notice and welcoming submissions from the whole school.

Entries can be in any format whether it be art, articles, videos, music or anything else creative. Prizes will be awarded for the best submissions which can be emailed to We hope this can inspire people to use their time creatively and have some fun!

Thanks in advance,

Jess C-J
Head Editor of Backchat

Invitation to share experiences and photos

We have really enjoyed hearing about our students’ experience of Guided Home Learning. It is, of course, new to all pupils, staff and parents, across the country at this most unique of times.

Our teachers have been doing their utmost to polish their own skills in the digital classroom, while supporting the girls who are also grappling with significant change in routine, teaching and learning styles, their contact with friends and their physical learning environment.

We would really love to hear from our girls and their teachers about their experiences of Home Learning, about how they have found this new way of working, and what opportunities this has brought. It would be brilliant to hear from girls and colleagues from across the school with their views on what they have done differently and what might they would like to take from this experience. 

We are asking our pupils to send a short comment and photographs (photos could be of a lesson, a screenshot of digital working, a project, a piece of work (written or otherwise), the student’s workspace, activities undertaken or snapshots of physical exercise) to or and we will share them over the next weeks. 

We are, as always, impressed and inspired by how brilliantly our school community has embraced and adapted to these new challenges, and look forward to hearing from girls of all ages in the coming weeks.

Stay well and look after each other!

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Open Day - Friday 1 May 2020

Term Dates

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