Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 5 July 2024

The spirit of transition and the significance of choices

As we approach the final week of the term, it marks the culmination of a highly successful, enriching and productive academic year. This time in school is characterised by transition and progression, embodied by the concept of ‘moving on’: Year 6 students are preparing to embark on their journey into Year 7, and our recent Confidence and Challenge (COaCH) Activity Day at Willen Lake, served as a pivotal moment for our new enthusiastic Year 7 cohort. This activity day not only encouraged them to embrace risk-taking by pushing them out of their comfort zone but it also initiated the essential process of bonding with their new classmates, and preparing for their time in the Senior School. I can already tell they will be a kind, collaborative and supportive year group, with many of them feeling curious and excited about learning new subjects, acquiring new skills, and experiencing more intellectual rigour and challenge. 

Conversely, at the opposite end of our school, our Year 11 and Year 13 students stand poised to embrace fresh challenges and reach new heights. Having admirably navigated their GCSEs and A Levels, which demanded years of dedication and perseverance, they are now ready to embark on the next stages of their academic and personal journeys. Meanwhile, students across all other year groups are reflecting on their achievements and learnings, and feeling rightfully proud of having displayed ability, diligence and confidence across their subjects, and completing the school year with much aplomb and success. 

Reflecting on this theme of moving on, I am inspired to share a much-loved, well-known poem by Robert Frost, ‘The Road Not Taken’. This timeless poem highlights the importance of taking responsible risk, especially when it comes to choices and opportunities in life. The poem poignantly ends with “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that made all the difference”. This encapsulates how the speaker struggles to choose between two roads diverging in the yellow woods on an autumn morning, and epitomises the profound significance of responsible risk-taking in shaping a person’s destiny. 

The poem propels us to consider the paths we choose in life. Our lives gain meaning and purpose through the choices we make, which inherently involves letting go of other avenues. Occasionally, we may look back and ponder the ‘what ifs’ had we taken the other path less travelled, and while our lives may well have been different, we would have missed the experiences and growth that came with the chosen path. Yet, you may argue that each decision opens new avenues of experience and growth, enriching the fabric of our lives in unforeseen and unpredictable ways.

The idea of other lives is explored in the thought-provoking book ‘The Midnight Library’ by Matt Haig, where each book in the library tells the story of the unlived lives that would have followed from different choices made by the protagonists. Each life contains its benefits and costs, illustrating its gains and losses. While they may have been different, it is difficult to discern whether these alternate lives would have led to greater fulfilment or regret. 

At this time of the year, many of our students find themselves navigating the ebbs and flows of change. For some, it may simply mean progressing to the next year at Northampton High; for others, it involves facing choices they have made over particular course options and selections for GCSEs or A Levels. For our Year 13 leavers, it involves contemplating future paths such as moving on to university, work or a gap year. Every step and every decision, significant or minor, involves choosing, and those choices lead subsequently from ‘way onto way’, and so it might mean we do not come back to some things, and prevent a return to the paths not taken. 

To that end, it is all the more reason to choose wisely and sometimes consider the ‘road less travelled’, not the most obvious or usual path, because it could make all the difference. In essence, taking responsible risks and choosing responsibly and courageously may yield unforeseen rewards and define the course of one’s life. 

As we look ahead, let us embrace these moments of choice with courage, bravery and awareness, understanding that each decision shapes not only our futures but also the very essence of who we are.

Dr Lee

The Week Ahead

Tuesday 9 July
Cultures Day

Wednesday 10 July
Speech Day

Friday 12 July
End of summer term – midday finish

Please click here to view the summer term’s Clubs & Activities list and timetable

Message to users of Yahoo mail

We are sorry to report an ongoing issue with our provider SchoolPost which is affecting messaging to Yahoo email servers. Please rest assured that SchoolPost and Yahoo are working to resolve this as quickly as possible and the GDST are aware of the issue.

If you are concerned that you may have missed any essential information, please contact the school on an alternative email and we will review the messages you should have received. All SchoolPost messages are also available via firefly , which can be accessed using the email address registered with the school and the code NORTHAMPTONHIGH if asked. If you have not logged onto firefly before, you will need to follow the instructions attached here.

We very much appreciate your understanding, and we will do our best to return to normal service as quickly as we can.

Conscious of parents who are currently not receiving SchoolPost emails successfully, we would be grateful if parents would share this message with their parent groups to notify them that we are working hard on this issue to resolution.

Creative Arts Festival 2024

What a pleasure it was to host our annual Creative Arts Festival last week for friends, families and students to enjoy! Taking place on Wednesday 26 June, we were blessed with beautiful weather and even better company, making the evening one to remember!

We take great pride in celebrating the work of our pupils and one of the special things about this event is the opportunity to congratulate girls from Nursery all the way to Year 13! This whole school occasion recognises students for their hard work and personal progress in the world of the Arts and therefore inspires participation across all years!

Upon arrival, guests were guided to the Theatre where they enjoyed an exciting Performing Arts Showcase filled with theatrical and musical talent. Senior Drama students and musicians performed skillful short pieces to their audience, and the Junior Choir sung an array of tuneful and well-rehearsed songs.

As families moved through the school, they were greeted with outstanding displays of Art and Textiles. Each room on the Creative Arts corridor was open for visitors and exhibited the work of our students from the course of the academic year. The recent GCSE and A Level work was particularly impressive and received significant praise and appreciation. The White Room, as always, was a favourite location for guests, homing the exquiste Textiles work created by our Senior and Sixth Form students.

The fabulous Food Department was serving a summer picnic on the night, with every item freshly baked or prepared during the course of the event! This part of the event was raising money for the Hope Centre and we were grateful to receive numerous donations!

Further musical performances took place around Junior School and demonstrated the breadth of talent in our school community. The beautiful sounds coming from various pockets of the school added atmosphere and warmth to an already joyful and uplifting night.

We would like to congratulate every student who was involved in our Arts Festival celebrations. The incredible work on show paid testament to the hard work of our pupils and staff, demonstrating what can be achieved in a school that is Made for Girls. Thank you to our Creative Arts Faculty for facilitating such a brilliant night for all to enjoy, and to our guests for their wonderful company!

Vivien attends Alantra Financial Services Insight event

Due to the growing focus on economics in the news, I chose to take Economics for A Level to further my understanding of such a relevant topic. To better understand this subject, I took advantage of relevant opportunities offered to me, one being the Alantra Financial Services Insight event.

This experience offers GDST students the opportunity to learn more about a career in investment banking. This was an incredibly valuable opportunity as I plan to take Economics further at university. The application process enabled me to gain invaluable skills for the future, such as taking the first step, going outside my comfort zone and using my own initiative. These skills were put into practice through the networking lunch, where we were invited to ask questions to recent graduates. One question which I had thought about before the event was how investment banking will progress in the future, especially with advances in AI. After engaging with many recent graduates and listening to speakers about their educational journeys, career paths and roles, I concluded that AI will not severely impact the skills which investment bankers will require in the future. This is because there is a significant focus on the social aspect of connecting with clients in high risk decision making.

Gaining insight into this career path has furthered my certainty in pursuing a career in the Economics and Finance sector. For this reason, I believe that taking advantage of such opportunities is key in supporting futures and deepening our understanding of ourselves. Without this opportunity, I feel I would not have gathered the reassurance I needed to take the first step into the real world and embark on such a competitive career path. With this insight, I urge parents to encourage their children to take advantage of opportunities, despite no former passion, as it is opportunities like these that deepen students’ understanding of themselves and that open new doors for the future.

Year 12 student

Year 8 have fun at Go Ape!

On Wednesday 3 July, Year 8 grabbed their packed lunches, donned their waterproofs and headed to Coventry to experience the Go Ape Tree Top Challenge at Coombe Abbey. Wishing that summer was still with us, but persevering in spite of the rain, the girls took to the tree tops and climbed, jumped and swung from tree to tree.

Some were unphased by the elements, the heights and the physical nature of the challenge, while others found some or all of these tricky. Whatever their perspective, the girls laughed, cheered and screamed their way around three or four loops of varying styles and challenge rating. They came together as a year, supporting one another whether in their friendship group or not. Some overcame their fears, while others helped them.

The day enabled the girls to practice their communication skills as well as challenge themselves in an adventurous environment. As always, they behaved impeccably and I was proud to receive comments from numerous staff from Go Ape about how well behaved, kind and supportive our girls are. They were a credit to themselves, their parents and the school on Wednesday and I hope they all  gained something from the experience.

Thanks go to the staff who made the trip possible, overcoming their own fear of heights to join the girls, showcasing what it means to be brave. Thank you all.

Miss Fraser
Head of Year 8

High Sports

U14 Cricket and U18 Tennis Rally

On Tuesday 2 July, the Cricket and Tennis teams travelled to Queenswood Tennis Centre in Hatfield for the GDST Rally.

U14 Cricket: In our first match against South Hampstead, we lost with a score of 115 runs to 135. The Bowler of the Match was Clara and the Batter of the Match was Daisy. In the second match against Northwood, our bowling improved massively but we still lost, scoring 198-211. In the third match versus Sutton, our bowling was further rehearsed and more accurate, but unfortunately Sutton were a strong team, beating us 137-125. In our final match against Newcastle, our practice paid off and we displayed much more confident bowling. We won 147-128! Overall, there is still lots to work on but we played well. Well done girls!

U18 Tennis: On Tuesday 2 July, the Senior Tennis team competed at the GDST Rally in Queenswood. All matches played in the tournament were doubles, with our three pairs consisting of Emma N and Rose N, Lucy N and Andra T, and Mollie M and Lydia M. In the group stages, all three pairs showed great strength and determination, and we won almost all of our matches. In the afternoon stages of the tournament, each pair was placed in a specific category depending on their performance in the first round. Our 1st pair, Emma and Rose, had won all three of their matches and were placed in the top category. They were closely followed by our 2nd pair, Lucy and Andra, who had also won all of their matches and were placed in the top category for 2nd pairs. The competition grew fiercer and the team grew in confidence as we began the afternoon matches. Match highlights include an impressive comeback from Lucy and Andra. After losing the first set, they worked hard to win the second set and third set match tie break 10-4. Emma and Rose fought hard against Wimbledon High School, a very tough team, managing to break the pair during the opening game, and subsequently taking the second set to tie break with some big serves, long cross-court rallies, and a positive attitude. Playing on the show courts, they attracted a crowd in the form of the U14 Cricket team and greatly enjoyed the support. Mollie and Lydia performed excellently, winning all of their matches in the 3rd pair category. At the end of the tournament, the team had placed fourth overall, a brilliant result, especially for such a young team. We are all looking forward to competing in the rally next year, and we hope to bring back the shield.

Mrs Littlewood
Teacher of Physical Education

High and Junior News survey

We kindly ask for your feedback in regards to our weekly school newsletters, so that we can improve this service to best meet our parents’ needs. We look forward to reviewing your responses, which will steer the direction of this function from September. Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts with us. Please find the survey here.

Highly Commended Award

We are delighted to share that our Science Faculty has been HIGHLY COMMENDED in the category of Excellence in STEM (SENIOR) in this year’s Muddy Stilettos School Awards. We would like to congratulate our wonderful Science team on this very well deserved achievement.

GDST Alumna of the Year and Trailblazer Awards

It’s that time of the year once again!

Voting is now open for the annual GDST Alumna of the Year and Trailblazer Awards. To find out more information about this year’s fantastic finalists and details on how to cast your vote, please click here. Voting closes on Friday 12 July, and we really appreciate your support.

Good luck to all of this year’s amazing nominees!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Book Review

Less by Patrick Grant

We used to care a lot about our clothes. We didn’t have many but those we had were important to us. We’d cherish them, repair them and pass them on, and making them provided fulfilling work for millions of skilled people locally.

Today the average person has nearly five times as many clothes as they did just 50 years ago. Last year, 100 billion garments were produced worldwide, most made from oil, 30% of which were not even sold, and the equivalent of one bin lorry full of clothing is dumped in landfill or burned every single second.

Our wardrobes are full to bursting with clothes we never wear so why do we keep buying more?

In this passionate and revealing book about loving clothes but despairing of a broken global system Patrick Grant considers the crisis of consumption and quality in fashion, and how we might make ourselves happier by rediscovering the joy of living with fewer, better-quality things.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Save the Date: Cultures Day

Save the Date: Speech Day

Diversity and Inclusion Calendar 23/24: July

Open Athletics Event

Northampton Hockey Club Junior Summer Camp

Junior Camps for the summer are open! Northampton Hockey Club are running camps for 5 to 13 year olds on the 5th, 6th and 7th of August. Olympic Gold medal winner, Stephen Batchelor, is the Head Coach running all of the club’s camps this year, and with 20 years experience in the London area, he brings a wealth of experience.
Steve will lead the camps with a team of Saints coaches, and if you are lucky he will bring his gold medal! Steve will talk about what it takes to be an elite hockey player, but above all, the camps will develop young players’ skills and be a lot of fun! The price is £32 and will include a hot lunch on each day. To book a place, please click here.

Kings Camp

The Lowdown Wellbeing Event

Northampton Swim Club Intensive Course

Code Ninjas Northampton

PQA Stage & Screen sessions

Made for Girls

Term Dates


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