Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 30 June 2023

Do Something Every Day that Scares You: Embracing Growth and Overcoming Fear

Eleanor Roosevelt once famously said, ‘Do one thing every day that scares you.’ These words carry a profound truth about the human experience and the potential for personal growth. While fear often holds us back, stepping out of our comfort zones and embracing the unknown can lead to extraordinary accomplishments on an individual and personal level, and provide us with a lifetime of fulfilment. 

Our comfort zones are important and by definition, when we are in them we feel comfortable and secure. While they provide a sense of familiarity and stability, they can also serve as a prison, restricting our growth and limiting our potential. I’m sure that by this point in the academic year, you will be familiar with Dr Lee’s motto of the year, ‘Be 10% braver’. Whilst phrases such as this may be interpreted as trite by some, in reality their sentiment has enormous value. By consciously putting ourselves out there and being open to challenge, we can push our own boundaries and discover hidden talents or abilities that we did not think were within our capabilities. This gradual expansion opens doors to new opportunities and develops an inner confidence to keep trying new things. 

At this point, I should point out that I do believe Eleanor Roosevelt intended her statement to be taken with a pinch of salt. Fear and anxieties have played, and continue to play, an important role in evolution and in ensuring that we keep ourselves safe, and I am certainly not suggesting that we should be putting ourselves into perilous situations to force self improvement. We must recognise the difference between recklessness and bravery. They are not the same. It is also important to note that bravery, in every form, is subjective and can vary enormously from one person to another. What one individual considers to be a challenge may seem easy for someone else. We, therefore, do not all need to throw ourselves out of aeroplanes or take up other high adrenaline sports to develop bravery and challenge ourselves. Bravery is deeply rooted in our personal values and principles and each of us must decide where to draw the line. I also think that every day might be a bit much. Some days I relish having very little in the way of challenge, and an opportunity to relax and unwind is just as important as those motivating elements that help us to progress. 

That said, this is all about getting the right balance. One viewpoint may be that fear is a powerful emotion which can hinder our progress and hold us back from pursuing our goals. When confronted with fears, if we can be brave and face them head on, we can learn resilience and gain a sense of empowerment. Each time we step into the unknown and try something new we build courage and increase our confidence to face new challenges further down the track. 

Engaging with situations that challenge us regularly cultivate resilience and adaptability. By willingly engaging in these experiences we become more adept at handling unexpected obstacles that come our way. Here at the High School, one of our core values is ‘Risk Taking’. By this, we mean educational risk taking rather than anything more sinister. Providing our students with opportunities to push their limits and explore the unknown in a safe environment provides them with the skills they will need to venture forth into the unknown of the wider world. This practice also allows our students to develop a mindset that embraces change and see setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow. Over time, we are able to better navigate life’s challenges and become more capable of thriving in a dynamic world. If we allow routine and familiarity to be our only form of functioning, we may become complacent and overlook the opportunities in front of us. We are also significantly less likely to be able to cope when a curve ball is thrown our way. Exploring uncharted territories can be daunting, and even scary, but the possibilities that doing so can unlock, and may allow us to tap into hidden potential that may otherwise remain dormant and undiscovered.

To read the full entry, please click here.

Miss Kneen
Deputy Head Pastoral

The Week Ahead

Monday 3 July
Sixth Form – CERN trip
Year 7 Residential – Preston Montford Field Studies Centre
Year 9 Residential – Outward Bound 2023

Tuesday 4 July
U15 Cricket vs Akeley Wood
Year 8 Film Night

Wednesday 5 July
Year 12 Reach Seminar

Friday 7 July
Year 12 Reach Seminar
Parent Afternoon Tea

Saturday 8 July
Alumnae Reunion Lunch

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

Engaging with AI in education and looking forward to Speech Day

As the 2023 exam season drew to a close last week, and we look ahead to the end of term events, such as Speech Day, it provides us with an opportune moment to reflect on the year that has passed. After the impacts of Covid, there has been a strong pull to return to how things were before March 2020 status quo. This sentiment has been echoed by the Awarding Bodies, who have expressed a desire to restore the grading standards of 2019, among other areas. However, simply returning to familiar territory runs the risk of overlooking the profound impact that recent years have had on all aspects of life. It also hinders our progress in adopting a more innovative and forward-looking approach to assessment. Admittedly, there are valid reasons for seeking comfort in the familiar, and effecting change on such a large scale is undeniably challenging, especially at a time when the whole country was having to make significant adjustments just to keep going.

One area that particularly warrants reconsideration is the traditional examination style. The days of lines of students sitting in exam halls, to be tested on knowledge rather than skills, in a way that does not replicate the workplace well, seem to be increasingly numbered. The advent of technologies such as Chat GPT and other similar tools means that the traditional approach to coursework could also be set to change. Many universities are already adapting their approach to assessment, and it is essential for schools to follow suit and embrace this trend in the next few years.  

A study conducted by the University of Warwick identified the top five skills that employers are looking for: problem solving, teamwork, communication, adaptability and interpersonal skills. Surprisingly, subject knowledge came in 10th place on the list. Traditional exams, on the other hand, focus primarily on subject knowledge and the ability to learn, neglecting the development of crucial skills that are highly valued in the professional world. As the importance of knowledge continues to decline, it is evident that the current examination style does not adequately prepare students for the future. The purpose of credentials based on subject knowledge and pen and paper tests is to ‘categorise’ young people into specific groups, many of them destined for ‘professional’ careers. However, the relevance of these credentials may diminish if universities and employers adopt AI to develop their own assessments. 

Moreover, the sheer number of exams, particularly at GCSE level, is a concern for young people’s mental health. The pressure to perform well in numerous exams can take a toll on students, leading to increased stress and anxiety. The manner of assessment itself is becoming outdated, as it fails to capture the holistic development of students and places an excessive emphasis on rote memorisation. To address these concerns, it is fundamental that we explore alternative assessment methods that prioritise well-being and a more comprehensive evaluation of students’ abilities. 

To read the full entry, please click here.

Dr Lee

The Wizard of Oz

Northampton High School’s Arts Season plays host to a series of special events which aim to celebrate our students in the world of the Arts. In a school that is bursting with creativity, musicality and theatrical talent, our annual school production remains a calendar favourite; encompassing all of these wonderful passions!

We were delighted to invite guests and members of our school community to this year’s highly anticipated production of The Wizard of Oz. Taking place on Thursday 29 June, Northampton High welcomed a near-capacity audience into school to watch the efforts of our cast, crew and orchestra come to life. 

Situated in our state-of-the-art theatre, which was skillfully transformed into the magical Land of Oz, crowds were seated and transported into Dorothy’s fictional world. The beautifully constructed set, designed and created by Mr Laubscher and our talented Art Faculty, proved the perfect setting for our cast to shine! Entering the stage with confidence and composure, each student embraced the opportunity to perform for the school community, delivering excellent interpretations of their characters.

Audiences were wowed by the cast’s hand-crafted costumes, commenting on the accuracy and detail of each outfit. Miss Lycett and a group of volunteering students worked tirelessly to produce an entire wardrobe of excellent pieces and it was fantastic to see their marvellous work on stage. Group dances, music ensembles and solo performances were brought to life by our wonderful orchestra, led by Mr Nathan; comprising talented students, dedicated staff and returning alumnae! Musical talent is nurtured at Northampton High, and our orchestra’s continued passion and commitment to our school performances is evidence of this.

In a night filled with talent, joy and applause, it was wonderful to see pupils from each year collaborating well and making memories to cherish! Excelling in their roles and supporting one another, the true brilliance of our student body was on show. A huge thanks must go to Mrs Marriott for her skill, dedication and genuine love for musical theatre which shines through every year. Mrs Marriott continues to produce phenomenal productions for audiences to enjoy, all whilst equipping students with the skills and professional experience required to succeed on the stage!

Thank you to our wonderful guests and school community for joining us on an adventure along the Yellow Brick Road! We hope you enjoyed this wonderful production of The Wizard of Oz and the opportunity to view the work of our pupils in the world of the Arts.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this year’s magnificent production, we look forward to next year’s show!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Year 7 Induction Day at Willen Lake

On Thursday 29 June, our new Year 7 pupils enjoyed an induction day at Willen Lake!

This was the perfect opportunity for the girls to meet each other and have fun! In an activity-packed day, the group enjoyed katakanuing, archery, sailing and raft building!

It was wonderful to watch the girls work together and form friendships ahead of starting Senior School in September. We look forward to welcoming them in the autumn term!

Eco Team update

Our wonderful Eco Team have been very busy over the last few months and we are very proud of their continued efforts to help the planet. Through the organisation of fundraisers and events, we are proud to have helped various charities and supported local wildlife.

Marine conservation society bake sale: On Wednesday 22 March, the Eco Team ran a bake sale to support the Marine Conservation society, a charity that removes plastic from the ocean to protect the UK’s coastlines. Thanks to the help of all our members, we raised £144!

Green Flag application: We are currently applying for a renewal of our Green Flag, an award that is given to schools working hard to protect the environment. The Eco Team always works hard on the application, spending many meetings completing the paperwork to prove our school’s amazing environmental work!

Litter picks: The Eco Team goes on at least one litter pick a term, going round the whole school to remove any waste. We make sure there is no litter on site so that no waste ends up hurting animals.

Bird feeder update: Recently, we fundraised using Just Giving to buy more food and feeders for the birds. We raised over £50 which has gone towards new feeders and new varieties of food, such as fat balls, to encourage lots of birds to the school. We still have some money left and it is being saved for food in the autumn and winter when it becomes cold. Thank you to anyone who donated!

One Tree Day bake sale: On Wednesday 21 June, the Eco Team held a bake sale at break time for One Tree Day, a charity that plants one tree for every £1. Thanks to the amazing sweet treats provided by the Eco Team, we raised over £100.

Year 9

Alumna of the Year

Alumna of the Year voting is now open and we are delighted to share that our very own Baroness Manningham-Buller has been shortlisted this year! Voting closes on Friday 7 July and we would like to welcome all of our students, staff and parents to vote here.

Baroness Manningham-Buller (Eliza) has had a uniquely impressive and fascinating career, which has led her to her current role as a Life Peer member of the House of Lords and Chair of the Conduct Committee.

She is currently also co-president of Chatham House, a renowned Think Tank that helps governments and societies build a sustainably secure and just world.

She is a retired British intelligence officer who worked in the Security Service (MI5) for more than 30 years, principally focusing on international and domestic counter-terrorism. After stints in the US and as Head of the then newly-created Irish counter-terrorist section, Eliza was promoted to the Security Services Management Board in 1993 and later, Director of Irish counter-terrorism. In 2002, she became Director General of MI5, and only the second woman ever to hold this position.

After leaving the Security Service, Eliza served as Chairman of the Council of Imperial College. She was also a member, and later Chair, of the Board of Governors of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation that helps solve urgent health issues by funding curiosity-driven research.

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath (DCB) in the Queen’s 2005 Birthday Honours, and in 2014, the Queen appointed her a Lady of the Garter (LG). In 2011, she gave Reith Lectures on ‘Securing Freedom’ during the tenth anniversary of the United States 9/11 attacks.

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Northampton High alumna awarded prestigious national award

‘Diligent, thorough, independent and a much-liked member of the team’

Northampton High School alumna, Veena Shivakumar, has gained a top prize in the prestigious 2023 Dr Falk Pharma/Guts UK Charity national awards.

Currently studying at the University of Sheffield, Veena has won the Medical Student Prize for her research project, which examined the safety and efficacy of a new form of oesophageal investigation (gastroscopy) when using a capsule rather than a camera.

The project, entitled ‘Capsule Endoscopy is Safe, Effective and Avoids the Need for Gastroscopy in a Varices Surveillance Programme: An Observational Cohort Study’, was carried out at the Academic Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, whilst Ms Shivakumar was intercalating for a BSc in Medical Research BSc in Medical Sciences. She has now returned to medical school where she is in her 4th year.

Ms Shivakumar received her award and £1,500 prize, at the annual meeting of the British Gastroenterology Society (BSG) on Tuesday June 20.  The ceremony took place during a special dinner at the Hope St Hotel, Liverpool with the awards presented by the Chair of the BSG and attended by other illustrious names in gastroenterology medicine along with the CEO of Guts Charity UK.

The Dr Falk Pharma/Guts UK Charity Awards are dedicated to encouraging research and promoting patient care in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology. Since 2007 they have rewarded over 140 dedicated young healthcare professionals, including medical students, junior doctors, nurses and dietitians. This year for the first time, pharmacists have also been recognised.

Ms Shivakumar explains, ‘Traditionally, those with liver disease are screened for varices (enlarged blood vessels in the oesophagus) using an endoscopy – a small camera on a tube. However, this procedure is invasive and generally poorly tolerated.

‘Pillcam UGI is the latest generation of upper GI capsules which are used as an alternative to gastroscopy. It is non-invasive, can be performed remotely and has a greater field of vision and higher number of frames per second compared to previous models.

‘This study aimed to look at the safety and feasibility of using Pillcam UGI as an alternative to endoscopy/gastroscopy for varices surveillance as well as evaluating the impact it had on further disease management. Our study concluded that overall, Pillcam UG is a safe and a feasible alternative to endoscopy for varices surveillance.

‘Working on this project has highlighted the positive impact that new medical developments can have on both patients and hospital practice. It has also allowed me to gain a personal insight into gastroenterology and the opportunities available in this field whilst winning this award has developed my confidence in my own research abilities.’

Book Review

Greenwild: The World Behind the Door by Pari Thomson

Daisy Thistledown has escaped from boarding school and has a mystery to solve. Her search for her missing mother will lead her across London and through a hidden doorway to another world, filled with plants and bursting with magic: the Greenwild.

But all is not well in this astonishing land. Before long Daisy finds herself confronting a dangerous presence that threatens green magic on both sides of the door.

Daisy must band together with a botanical genius, a boy who can talk to animals, and a cat with an attitude, to channel the power that can revive the Greenwild and find her missing mother – and save her own world too.

Purchase through the NHS bookshop here.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

European Day of Languages

We are already looking ahead to celebrating the European Day of Languages in September and are planning an exciting week long programme of events in the week beginning Monday 25 September. We would also like to be able to showcase careers involving languages (or those who studied Langauges and have gone on to do something different!)

If you, a member of your family, a family friend or an alumna of the school feel able to contribute, we would be very grateful!

Please contact if you can help.

Mrs Peto
Classics & Latin Teacher

Swap Shop is changing

Following our email to you all last month we would like to remind you that the sale today was the last time parents can receive money from the sale of their second-hand uniform through Swap Shop. For those of you who haven’t requested their items be returned to them, we would like to thank you for donating them to Swap Shop. We will now begin the process of repricing all items with their new lower price. All proceeds from future Swap Shop sales will now be directed to school.

We will be working on getting cheques out to parents as soon as we can but please be patient; there is a lot of work involved to achieve this.

If you have items of uniform that you would like to donate, these can be brought into school and left with Junior or Senior School reception. No labels are required but items should be clean, in good condition and current uniform only.

Should you wish to sell your items, we will be putting in place an online platform for you to advertise your items and sell them yourself. You will be able to donate some of the proceeds to the school or keep the money for yourself.

The Swap Shop is run by parent volunteers, and we are always looking for helpers. You can email your interest to for more information.

Thank you for your support.

The Swap Shop Team

Northampton High receives Certificate of Excellence

Sun safety reminder

With the weather getting warmer, please can I remind you to practice safe sun care when spending time outside.

Remaining hydrated, wearing sun hats and applying sunscreen are essential measures in the summer heat and we would encourage everyone to follow these sun safety tips.

Mrs Dunkley
School Nurse

Northampton High School - Where girls learn without limits

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

Kings Camp Summer Activity Camp

Cricket Coaching in Northampton


Term Dates

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