Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 5 May 2023

Happy Birthday Northampton High School!

Emblems and mottos, more than just pictures and words?

Northampton High School is celebrating its 145th birthday this year, a remarkable milestone that highlights the school’s long-standing reputation as a leading institution in girls-only education. Since its founding in 1878, the High School has nurtured generations of bright and ambitious young women, empowering them to achieve personal success and make a positive impact in the world. In this article we take a look at the history of the school and at how the images and words we associate with it play their part in bringing our ethos and values to life.

Northampton High School dates back to the late 19th Century, when a group of visionary women led by Miss Mary Pearson came together with a mission to provide quality education for girls in Northamptonshire. They opened the school in a small premises on Abington Street with under 20 pupils and just a handful of teachers.

Over the years, the school has grown in size and reputation, moving to several locations in Northampton, most notably the buildings in Derngate and Cliftonville, before settling in its current site on Newport Pagnell Road in Hardingstone in 1992. Today, the school is a thriving institution with over 500 pupils from ages 2 to 18, offering a broad and rigorous curriculum that prepares girls for success in a rapidly changing world.

Research has shown that girls-only schools offer many advantages over mixed-gender schools, including higher academic achievement, greater self-confidence and leadership skills, and a more inclusive and supportive learning environment. Girls in single-sex schools are more likely to study STEM subjects and pursue careers in traditionally male-dominated fields, such as engineering, technology, and finance.

Northampton High School’s commitment to girls-only education has been a fundamental part of its ethos since its founding. This approach recognises that girls have unique needs and challenges that can be best addressed in an environment that is designed specifically for them. Teachers who understand and buy into this ethos complete the picture; indeed any school is only as good as the professionals who bring the curriculum to life. We are grateful to have a highly-qualified and experienced teacher body whose high expectations, commitment and belief help our girls develop the confidence to fulfil their potential and achieve their ambitions.

When the beautiful cherry in Derngate courtyard comes into blossom, I know that we will soon be celebrating another year in this remarkable school’s journey. It is my favourite time to be in school. We all love the birthday assembly tradition, when the school’s oldest and youngest pupils cut the cake and we come together as one to celebrate our vibrant community.

Of course, anniversaries and birthdays are important milestones for any community. They allow us to pause and reflect on our shared history, to acknowledge our achievements and our challenges, and to renew our commitment to our core values and mission. The celebration of Northampton High School’s 145th birthday is an opportunity to reflect on the school’s rich history and legacy, as well as its ongoing commitment to providing a world-class education for girls.

To read the full entry, please click here.

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head – Academic

The Week Ahead

Monday 8 May
Bank Holiday

Tuesday 9 May
Wizard of Oz rehearsal (after school)

Wednesday 10 May
Year 8 & Year 9 HPV vaccinations

Thursday 11 May
Year 11 Celebration Lunch
Year 8 Shoe Gallery Trip
Year 13 Champagne Reception

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

Celebrating our School’s Birthday

It’s always nice to celebrate a birthday, and the school’s birthday is a special day for all. This year we celebrate an incredible 145 years of Northampton High, 145 years of girls’ education! Today I spoke to the students, from Year 1 to Sixth Form, in assembly about our school’s rich history and proud legacy. Here’s a precis of what I told them:

At the beginning of the summer term 1878, at the height of Queen Victoria’s reign, the doors of 83 Abington Street, Northampton were opened to twenty-nine pupils with the intention of providing them with ‘a thorough and systematic English Education at a moderate cost’.  The school was founded in 1878 by a committee of local church people. On March 30th 1878, the following advertisement appeared in the columns of both Northampton newspapers, the Mercury and the Herald: 

Northampton Middle-Class Girls’ School
Clevedon Buildings, Abington Street,
Under the Sanction of the Northampton Church of England
Schools Managers’ Association
Headmistress, Miss Mary Pearson
(Certificate of the First Class)
Object: To provide a thorough and systematic English education at a moderate cost

The choice of name for the new school, with its suggestions of a quaint and by now out-dated snobbery, is a direct reflection of the state of female education in Victorian England. 

The school was fortunate in its buildings, situated in a central and convenient part of the town. Although no detailed records survive from these early days, it is possible to make a reasonable guess at the curriculum by looking at the timetables of comparable schools in the 1870s. Most schools of this type offered, in addition to basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic, a range of subjects including English grammar and composition, literature, history, geography, Scripture, botanical studies, drawing and music. A good deal had to be learnt by rote, textbooks being comparatively few, and great attention was paid to standards of spelling and calligraphy.

The school day was extremely long (as was the working day in shops, offices and factories) and it was not unusual for lessons to begin at half-past eight in the morning, and continue until six or seven o’clock in the evening. Morning school would be broken by a walk conducted in crocodile, with one mistress leading and another bringing up the rear. The luncheon break (for which pupils brought their own cold meats and pies from home, and were able to buy drinks of warm milk or cocoa to wash them down) was sometimes taken as late as half-past two. 

To read the full entry, please click here.

Dr Lee

Northampton High mark 145th birthday with annual cake cutting tradition!

This morning, our entire staff and student body came together in traditional fashion to mark Northampton High School’s 145th birthday. Leading a wonderful assembly, Dr Lee reflected on the school’s rich history, as well as looking forward to a future of continued excellence in girls’ education.

After a special whole school photograph to commemorate this remarkable milestone, the assembly was concluded with the annual birthday cake cutting! As is tradition, the youngest and eldest students were invited to join Dr Lee and Miss Hair at the front of the theatre, accompanied by Grace and Lilli who also celebrated their birthdays this week!

The occasion proved the perfect celebration of Northampton High’s 145th birthday and it was wonderful to come together as a school community!

Head over to our school Flickr page to see more pictures from the celebration!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Sports Presentation Evening 2023 is a huge success!

On Thursday 4 May, we were delighted to host Northampton High’s annual Sports Presentation Evening, a school-wide event which celebrates students of all ages across Junior and Senior School. It is always a joy to celebrate the achievements of our community both inside and outside of the classroom, and this occasion proved to be no different, as a capacity crowd filled the Senior School Hall for a night of festivity.

This year, we were overjoyed to welcome a very special guest into school for this celebration of sport. Former Arsenal and England captain Faye White MBE, who was capped 90 times for the Lionesses and featured over 300 times for the Gunners in her illustrious career, joined us to deliver an impassioned and powerful speech to an enthralled crowd of parents and budding athletes, before helping the Sports Department distribute the awards. The entire Northampton High School community has been so inspired by the recent and continued success of the England Lionesses, so to be joined by a player who not only represented her country but captained them on countless occasions, proved to be an unforgettable experience for all in attendance.

Huge congratulations are in order for all of this year’s award recipients, including Janice who was named as this year’s Sports Personality of the Year, Risara who was awarded Young Sports Personality of the Year, and the fantastic U14 Hockey team who scooped up the Team of the Year honour. An event of this stature does not come together without the tireless efforts of lots of dedicated people, and a huge thanks must go to Mrs Blake and the entirety of her team, alongside all the other departments and staff members who always come together to help make these events so successful. We thank the brilliant Faye White for giving her time to help make the celebration one that our students will remember forever, and of course our parents, for all of their unwavering support in helping their children to realise their sporting dreams.

We look forward to a summer term filled with sporting fixtures and events, and we are excited to report on the next wave of awards and accolades that our students achieve.

Photos taken by our photographer will be available next week.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Creative Arts Spotlight

This week I found it incredibly difficult to choose which students to highlight as being successful in Drama as they all have been working incredibly hard and going above and beyond. I could easily spotlight both my Year 11 classes who have been completing practice papers or my wonderful Year 7 classes who have created extracts from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in the style of physical Theatre. Not to mention the wonderful off text improvisations created by Year 9 based on the themes and characters from Arthur Millers ‘The Crucible’. So well done to all of those students mentioned above.

However, for their independence, support and choreography this week I would like to spotlight Holly H, Alex R, Ava-Rose and Scarlett C for their directing skills and dance choreography of the Crows within ‘The Wizard of Oz’. They have attended all rehearsals with focus and enthusiasm so… well done!

Mrs Marriott
Subject Leader Drama

Wizard of Oz preparations!

The Drama department would like to introduce you to a new member… Toto’s prototype!

Preparations are well underway for the up and coming production of ‘Wizard of Oz’. Mrs Sanderson, our talented Creative Art Technician, has already begun creating props for the production, with the prototype of Toto all ready to be transformed into a wonderful puppet. Watch this space for updates and tickets.

Mrs Marriott
Subject Leader Drama

Book Review

Skander and the Phantom Rider by A.F. Steadman

The Island shall have its revenge. Skandar Smith has achieved his dream to train as a unicorn rider. But as Skandar and his friends enter their second year at the Eyrie, a new threat arises. Immortal wild unicorns are somehow being killed, a prophecy warns of terrible danger, and elemental destruction begins to ravage the Island. Meanwhile, Skandar’s sister, Kenna, longs to join him – and Skandar is determined to help her, no matter what. As the storm gathers, can Skandar discover how to stop the Island tearing itself apart – before it’s too late for them all?

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Why choose a ‘made for girls’ education? – Wednesday 7 June

We are delighted to be hosting a special ‘In conversation with’ event, in which our experts will explore how a girls-only education can transform your daughter’s life. Drawing on landmark national research in The Girls’ Futures Report, our experts Dr May Lee, Head, and Dr Kevin Stannard, GDST’s Director of Innovation and Learning, will explore:

  • How girls are feeling at this moment in time. What do they need from education and the wider world?
  • The differences a girls-first ecosystem can make for confidence, careers and skills.
  • Myths and misapprehensions surrounding girls’ education.
  • Helping girls’ thrive at key stages: Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form.

The event commences at 6.00pm with a drinks reception, followed by the ‘In Conversation’ event at 6.30pm. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and explore these vital topics with our experts.

We do hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be an invaluable discussion with pioneering experts in girls’ education.

Please click here to book your free tickets today.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

In Conversation With: Lorraine Whitmarsh

GDST’s next ‘In Conversation With’ event is with Environmental Psychologist and Portsmouth High School alumna, Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh MBE. The event will take place on Friday 23 May, 12.30-1.30pm, via Zoom.

The ‘In Conversation With’ events are open to all alumnae, Sixth Formers, staff, parents, and GDST’s Partnership and Outreach schools. The aim is to engage wider alumnae audiences from all over the world and promote the network and inspire both alumnae and current GDST students with a huge variety of speakers and topics.

More information and sign up for your free spot, please click here.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Alumnae of the Year 2023

We are delighted to announce that nominations are now open for GDST Alumna of the Year 2023.

This special award recognises remarkable individuals and celebrates their inspiring achievements. To find out more and to make a nomination, please find a link to the nomination form here. Nominations close on Tuesday 23 May.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Swap Shop events

We would like to share the forthcoming Swap Shop event dates with you. These events provide parents with the opportunity to buy, sell or donate items of uniform that you no longer require. If you have any items that you would like to sell or donate, please bring them to school for the below dates:

Tuesday 23 May
3.00pm to 4.00pm – Junior School and Senior School Swap Shop, Junior School Dining Room

Friday 30 June
8.00am to 9.00am – Junior School Swap Shop, Junior School Library
11.30am to 12.30pm – Junior School Swap Shop, Junior School Library
3.00pm to 4.00pm – Senior School Swap Shop, Junior School Dining Room

Turning 'can we?' into 'we can!' - Early Years Taster Events, Saturday 13 May

We look forward to welcoming so many lovely families to our upcoming Early Years Stay and Play Event and Junior Arts Morning on Saturday 13 May. The event promises to be a superb showcase of life at Northampton High School.

If you would like to come along, please do feel most welcome, and should you have family, friends, or neighbours keen to visit us, please encourage them to book their place here and join us!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Save the Date: Creative Arts Festival

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

Cricket Coaching in Northampton


Term Dates

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