Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 5 March 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians

My Executive Assistant, Mrs Bodily, is a Northampton High School alumna and, as we walked into the Sports Hall together this week, she exclaimed ‘oh my goodness, I haven’t been in here since I sat my A Levels!’. We were there to join others in setting up a test centre, for sure, but – in this strange world in which we find ourselves – for lateral flow COVID tests rather than public examinations.

Although none of us would choose to be living through a pandemic with the disruption it has caused for all and discomfort and grief for some, we drew many positives as the temporary centre sprang into action on Thursday. Heralding the next turning on this extraordinary journey, it was a chance to reconnect, to ensure the health of all and, most importantly, to ensure that we are safe to open our doors on Monday morning.

For our own students this will be a literal opening of our doors but we were also delighted to open our virtual doors this week during two highly-successful Open Events. As 21 families signed up to attend our Junior School and Nursery event on Wednesday evening and 59 for the Senior School and Sixth Form event on Thursday, it was heart-warming to hear our students speak of their experiences of the High School and to listen to colleagues talk about all that we offer, both within the curriculum and beyond.

During these events we spoke of all of the opportunities available to our students, including trips, residentials, extracurricular activities, fixtures, visiting speakers, assemblies and concerts and we dared to dream that the ability to return to these may now be within touching distance.

It has been an incredibly challenging year but there is light at the end of the tunnel now, and spring is just around the corner, too. In time we will reflect – a lot. For now, let’s just enjoy being back together in a safe learning environment – looking to the future but enjoying the present.

Very best wishes,

Caroline Petryszak

This week in Nursery...

It has been a very creative week! The girls have been exploring making art using different resources, whether this be paint dabbers, painting with brushes or with pencils. Some of the girls have been developing their grip, showing their pre-writing skills, while others have chosen to use their hands and fingers to make marks.

We have had some simple shapes on the tables as well to enhance our shapes knowledge: “That’s a square!” exclaimed Iris. We have been using the shapes to create pictures.

In PE, we tried different ways of moving such as taking giant steps and jumping around the hall; the girls also had lots of fun practising their counting skills by playing ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’; their favourite part was DINNER TIME!

On Monday we talked about St David’s Day, the girls had a very good try at painting some lovely pictures of the daffodils we had out on the table. They were very interested in the shapes and the bright colours of the flowers.

There has been lots of cupcake making in the sand tray this week. The girls were creating their own different and unique flavours and making sure they had all the correct ingredients; Isabella told me “It’s chocolate flavour”; Sahana also said that she had made some apple flavoured ones, alongside some birthday cupcakes.

Mrs Winsor praised the girls for how well they had listened in Ballet this week. The girls are developing their concentration through Ballet lessons, following instructions and completing dance moves in time with the music.

Mrs Bing
Nursery Manager

This week in Pre School...

We started the week with learning about St David’s Day. We learnt about how they celebrate this in Wales. A provocation to invite the girls to explore a vase of daffodils with a selection of creative materials was set up, and the girls looked closely at the daffodils and created their own different interpretations using a variety of resources.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been the book focus this week and the girls have been engaged with activities based on the story. These involved acting out the story with props, reciting refrains from the story or using their imagination to create different storylines. Pretending to be a caterpillar and butterfly using the gym equipment during our PE lesson, the girls moved in different ways following the storyline. There were lots of laughs and gasps as Miss Hillery showed the girls how a caterpillar could move through the tunnel!

A favourite activity seemed to be creating caterpillars using their snack food which was raisins, peppers, cucumber and tomato slices; wonderful creations were made. The girls became caterpillars in their own cocoons (cardboard boxes) and materials – but not just any materials – they requested colourful materials to turn into rainbow butterflies.  We have also been looking at the lifecycle of the butterfly which was a starting point for different conversations and interpretations of what happens in the transformation of the butterfly to the caterpillar.

“Caterpillar eats an apple, pears 1,2”. Aadya

“He eats 1 apple, 2 pears, 3 plums, 4 strawberries, 5 oranges; he’s not a little caterpillar. He is a fat caterpillar. He makes a little home in a cocoon, a nice butterfly”. Maya

“He turns into a butterfly”. Ella

To extend you daughter’s learning at home, you could ask them to retell the story or act it out; let them draw the fruits from the story and then write the number of fruits drawn next to them.

Mrs Bing
Nursery Manager

This week in Reception...

This week our activities have been based around the Julia Donaldson story ‘Tiddler, the story-telling fish.’

Activities have included time challenges, days of the week, making up tall stories, underwater life, making a clock and designing a sea creature.

The girls have continued to think about keeping healthy. They made up their own exercise routine and then gave instructions to their partner to perform the routine. We have also been thinking about number 17 this week. Students found resources around the classroom to create number in artistic form – well done everyone!

Mrs Shaw
Reception Teacher

This week in Class 1 and 2...

This week in Key Stage 1, we have been thinking about how we can become more eco-friendly with a big focus on rubbish and recycling. We have been learning about how much rubbish is produced every year around the world and the dangers our rubbish can pose to the environment if we are not responsible in getting rid of it.

Our focus this week led to us taking part in the very exciting GDST Junior Techathon, where we came together with hundreds of other Year 1 and 2 children from across our family of GDST schools. This event was delivered by ‘get.with.the.program’ and was entitled Eco-Coding. We learnt important language related to coding, such as ‘algorithm’ and ‘debugging,’ and we soon got to work programming our own robots to move effectively, and avoid certain items in a shop that would create extra, harmful waste.

See all photos

In Geography this week, we explored the five oceans of the world. We also learnt about how much plastic ends up in our oceans and how damaging this can be to the sea life. In Science, we looked at different sea life food chains and we discussed the possibility and effects of part of the chain disappearing because of plastic pollution in our oceans. We have taken our learning focus into our Forest School tasks too, and have been helping to clear up litter in our local area to help protect the wildlife. Throughout the week, we have been keeping a recycling record to track how many different household items we use and can then recycle appropriately.

See all photos

We have learnt, discussed, and thought about some very strong messages this week relating to our world and how we can take better care of it. In the words of Sir David Attenborough, “If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us.” We have already seen how the girls feel inspired to do their part for our planet; some have completed extra litter picks, and some have been busy creating posters in their own time to help promote better recycling habits.

We are very proud of how hard everyone has been working this week and we are really looking forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Monday. A big thank you again to Mrs Ramskill for all her hard work helping the girls in school and to all the parents who have been so busy supporting the girls’ learning at home.

Miss O’Mahony and Miss Scott-Evans 
Class 1 and 2 Teachers

This week in Year 3...

As we finish our last week of Guided Home Learning I want to congratulate all the girls on their level of engagement and motivation during this difficult time. I am very proud of every single one of them and feel that, despite this difficult online way of communicating, we have still managed to enjoy lessons, and I have particularly liked our chats during our Show and Tell sessions. This has shown me that the girls are still at the age where they need the opportunity to share their home lives and experiences with their peers and I will be looking where we can fit this valuable session into our timetable.

From Wednesday this week we were supposed to be on our residential trip so I had organised before Christmas that we would go to Forest School on the Wednesday afternoon instead. Well so much for that plan! Therefore, Mrs Waters kindly set the girls some spring challenges for them to do at home instead, which they all thoroughly enjoyed .

In Maths, we have continued with our measurement and length work, looking at perimeters. I have promised the girls that if it is dry on Monday we can go outside to find out the perimeter of the playgrounds and take lots of measurements of objects around school, so they can enjoy a more practical experience. So please remember coats!

In English, we have been writing our own version of Black Dog and the girls have thought of lots of scary creatures that can appear in their stories. We shall be finishing this story next week so please can the girls remember to bring in their story so far if they have it on paper.

Finally, I would like to thank all the Year 3 parents for your support and for the invaluable help you have given to your girls during this time. Let’s hope we can now start returning to a more normal school experience but also look back and realise what we have learnt from this last year, mainly that I need to press unmute if anyone is going to hear me!

Mrs Dadge
Year 3 Teacher

This week in Year 4...

This term, Year 4 are learning to talk about the weather in French. This week they spent time drawing weather symbols for the French sentences they heard me say – and they did an excellent job!

Mrs Morgan
Languages Teacher

This week in Year 5...

This week Year 5 have really embraced the Arts – we had our second session with the GDST Opera Project on Monday, and then on Tuesday we went off to a Globe Theatre Storytelling session on Henry V. The hour flew by!

“When we were listening to the Henry V story it was like the storyteller transported us into another world, and when we were in the bar is was like there was an actual fight going on and it was really nice and really magical!” Rithika

“I loved the play because it was really great to hear about history long before us.” Rianna

“I thought it was like we were in the moment when Henry V did all his things… that we were next to him all the time.“ Emily F

“I think that if I could choose a favourite part it would be when Henry went into the pub and there was a horrible smell and everyone was being really loud.” Darcy

To round off our week, and the end of lockdown-learning, we decided it would be a good plan to have a Christmas jumper day and a final baking afternoon! We can’t wait to be back in school next week, but this term has been pretty fabulous so far!

Miss Brandon-Jones
Year 5 Teacher

This week in Year 6...

Another action-packed week has ended and, as always, Year 6 have responded enthusiastically to all the challenges they have faced. From solving equations in Maths, exploring the developing role of women in the 17th, 18th and 19th century in Humanities, designing bird beaks to test Darwin’s theory of evolution in Science and debating the power to live forever in English, our brain cells have had a full workout!

However, our biggest highlight of the week was taking part in the Henry V storytelling event in conjunction with GDST and The Globe Theatre, in London, where we were treated to a fun-filled re-telling of this gripping tale and transported back to the battle of Agincourt in 1415!

Next week we look forward to returning to school and enjoying being together again in the classroom!

Reflections on home learning:

“I have found my home school station very useful; I have everything I need and it is accessible. My favourite lesson here was definitely English, I have enjoyed the creative writing and drama. In breaks I’d like to sketch sitting at my window”. Georgia

“Home school has been OK but I would like a change of scene. I’m really looking forward to going back to school on Monday!” Emily

“I have really enjoyed home learning because we are safe at home and it’s a different experience to be in. I am so excited about going back to school. I can’t wait to see the lovely teachers, the classroom and the most important, my friends”. Frankie

“Home schooling has been an enjoyable experience, but I cannot wait to return to school on Monday!”. Anya

“I cannot wait to see my friends next week!”. Isla M

“GHL has been an original experience with highs and lows. I have enjoyed many things but GHL cannot ever be as good as being in the classroom with all my friends”.  Elizabeth

Have a good weekend!

Mrs Fordham and Miss Taylor
Year 6 Teachers

Students take part in GDST Henry V Storytelling

The Henry V storytelling was incredible and I felt like I was actually in the Globe Theatre, on the banks of the River Thames. The story included romance, fighting and peace between two countries, England and France. What more could an eager audience ask for? 

I was part of the the front row audience and got the chance to act, speak and answer questions which was great fun. We also got to draw moustaches on our fingers and talk in a French accent.  

There were over 1000 pupils there from the GDST participated and all those people could see me and the other girls chosen to represent their school! 

The storyteller, Fiona, was absolutely amazing and she cleverly brought the story of Henry V alive on our small laptop screens. We learnt a lot about Henry V, how he won against the French, even though the French outnumbered him; how he brought the two countries together by marrying Catherine, the daughter of Charles VI, the French King.  

Henry V was an amazing experience and I am glad I could do it.  

Elizabeth A
Year 6

All ready for lateral flow testing!

We are so looking forward to welcoming our pupils back to school next week!

We are now all ready for the lateral flow test processing to start, with the Sports Hall taking on a completely new look!

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

GDST Get Active!

Well done to all of our pupils, families, staff, alumni and friends of the school for taking part in the GDST Get Active Competition during February. This was a fantastic event where we could take some time out of our busy days to get outside and go for a walk, cycle or run.

We had an excellent number of you taking part and providing evidence of your workouts. Below we wanted to mention the top pupils and staff who have logged the most kilometres over the month to congratulate them on their super efforts.

Ques-Li DB,  Aarna T, Santina S, Esme B, Gemma U, Louise B, Imogen B, Lucie H, Atmaja T, Anabel D-J, Jodie W, Ellie S, Miss Fraser, Alex R, Lucy S, Harriet F, Rebecca J, Anna M, Arna K, Mrs Vizor, Rosie D, Meenakshy Y, Aby D, Isla A.

As a whole Trust we completed an amazing 846,308.24 km, which is fantastic! A really positive campaign to help get us through a difficult month.

We also decided to make the Get Active challenge a House Competition and we are delighted to announce that the House in first place was Artemis, closely followed in second by Demeter, Hestia in third and Selene in fourth place.

Well done all! We hope you enjoyed Getting Active.

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

Kirsten and Aiyven’s Experience on Steph’s Packed Lunch

We had the amazing good fortune of being invited to feature in Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch – Small Business Market Kids Special. It was going to be in Leeds! During Lockdown! It all happened on Tuesday 23 February. They’d seen us the week before in the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express where we were featured because of our subscription box business Happier Every Chapter. Our mission is to promote literacy and diversity in middle-grade literature and also to create an engaged community of readers through our box.

The night before our trip to Leeds was very busy. After school, we spent the evening packing boxes, books, lifestyle items and props, for our table on the show, prepping for the actual show and doing our hair. It’s safe to say that night was a very hectic one! It was late before we left Northampton and that meant our hopes to have a McDonalds treat as extra dinner were dashed! However, we stopped at a service station and got sandwiches and crisps. We are not really sure what happened next as we had to go to sleep but the next thing we knew, we were walking into the hotel.

The inn was posh, everything was shiny and clean, and we could even see the studio from the foyer! We were too sleepy to admire how fancy it was as we bustled into the lift with all our boxes of books and other things from our website. When we got into our hotel room, however, we weren’t tired in the slightest and we whispered into the night about everything that could go wrong and how to prevent it.

To read the full story, please click here.

Kirsten and Aiyven

World Book Day - 4 March 2021

World Book Day has been rather different this year for obvious reasons, though everyone’s commitment to promoting books and the love of reading has not changed with children and young people still being eligible for the £1 World Book Day token, which is a gift from booksellers. Your daughters’ digital token should have been received via SchoolComms.

Even though we were not in school, we wanted to mark the day, and Drop Everything and Read happened during form time exactly as if we were in school.

The school community also contributed to a ‘shelfie’ padlet.

From English lessons and Book Clubs, it has become apparent that the girls are running low on reading material and our return to school is timely, being able to hand over a recommended book not just waving it at a distance. There will be a selection of book and author-related activities happening over the next term which will continue the celebration of reading and authors that World Book Day marks.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Book Week Competition Winners: U3 - Padlet Competition

The task was to create a padlet based on a favourite book and competition was fierce this year with Mrs Halstead having a tough job choosing our winners, who are as follows:

Isla N for her stylish presentation on To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, reflecting the themes covered in the book with interesting quotations.

Alex R for her colourful board on Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens accompanied by her own thoughtful comments.

Himaya S’s beautifully presented board on The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.

Ruby S for the wide-ranging images she chose to represent La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (the first story in The Book of Dust cycle), illustrating both the plot and ideas which Philip Pullman explores in his story.

Well done to all our winners! Your prize will be with you shortly.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

L4 students 'Drop Everything And Read' virtually!

For World Book Day we traditionally ‘Drop Everything And Read’ (DEAR) in the morning, and we were not going to let a small issue like lockdown get in the way!

Here is Mlle Orvoen’s Y8 form enjoying their books together!

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

ACM Recycling Tips for Home

This leaflet has been produced by ACM (our waste management company), who are working with the Northampton High Eco Team to try and promote sustainable waste management practices.

Following a discussion we had with ACM, they have produced this leaflet of five specific ideas. The Eco Team would love it if people could have a look and ideally try out some of the ideas listed in the above, and then give us some feedback (to my email of of any ideas you try.

We look forward to hearing how you get on!

Mr Earp
School Eco Team

Book of the Week

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell – recommended for U4 and above

On a summer’s day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins,

and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker’s son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Creative Arts

Over the last two weeks, U3 students have been learning how to render form through applying layers of colour.

I am delighted to share with you Holly’s work, which shows depth and sensitivity. I am looking forward to seeing all of the girls’ work when we return on Monday!

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts Faculty

U3 Art Club during GHL

It has been wonderful seeing Ruby and Alexis leading their U3 Art Club during GHL, excellent presenting from both students. Last week, Alexis worked through digital tools such as smudge, blur and selecting the appropriate brush. The group worked together, creating their eyes through different layers. Well done, everyone!

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts Faculty

Science Week at Northampton High

Next week in school we celebrate Science, and we are delighted to hold a special ‘Science Week’ for our students to enjoy.

With special in-lesson activities, competitions and more, we are happy to take this opportunity to celebrate all things scientific! Alongside the many in-house events we have planned, we are also excited to welcome a host of very special guests to the school for virtual seminars and talks! Distinguished in their respective fields, we are delighted to welcome these guests to Northampton High at lunchtime every day next week, and we are sure that our students will find this to be an invaluable experience.

To view the list of guests we are welcoming to school, alongside their topic of discussion, please click here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Pinky Lilani celebrates International Women’s Day

Pinky is founder and chair of a number of awards which recognise influential women and leaders. We are very fortunate to have Pinky talk to us on International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March at 1.30pm on Zoom.

Please feel most welcome to join us!

Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 977 9303 5713
Passcode: 8uZyMJ

We really look forward to welcoming Pinky to Northampton High!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Foundation+ Provision in the Easter Holidays

We are currently looking at the Foundation+ provision for the Easter break. We will be in touch shortly with further information.

GDST Talks Events

We are delighted to announce the next GDST Talks event:

Emma Gleadhill on Getting your Daughter through Puberty will talk place on Thursday 18 March.

This event is suitable for parents with children in Years 6-13; to book your place, please click here.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Term Dates 20/21

Term Dates 21/22

Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
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