Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 5 November 2021

Welcome back to the second half of the longest term! I trust that families had the opportunity to spend time together during the break and to do something enjoyable. I know from my conversations with pupils this week that theme parks (for Hallowe’en) and trips to London and the coast have been high on many lists.

We return to the darker mornings and evenings rapidly drawing in and, despite the current sunny and frosty days, we are, I am sure, all mindful of the climate crisis brought into sharp focus by the COP26 conference. With leaders from across the globe making dramatic pledges in order to reach goals on reducing carbon emissions as quickly as possible, we shall be encouraging the pupils over the coming weeks to think about what they can do to play their part in rescuing the planet from certain destruction.

Over half term, I committed to cut out single use plastic and also to reuse where possible rather than recycle. To this end (and having only recently moved to Northampton)  I found two fantastic, local places where I can refill my new large glass dispensers with washing up liquid, detergent, shower gel and hand wash. 

The first of these is Smith’s Farm Shop in Chapel Brampton, which also satisfied my wish to buy local produce – win win! The second is a fantastic social enterprise Coffee and Refills housed in the old Salvation Army building in Flore. Here I filled up my own containers (or paper bags if you prefer) with all of the essentials such as pulses, coffee beans, nuts and much more! Even closer to home, I was interested in the new system in the Tesco superstore (and also McDonalds apparently) which uses the Loop app to enable you to pay a small surcharge for everyday products and then receive a packaging refund when you return the bottles to the store.

As a person of a certain age, it rather reminded me of ‘the pop man’ who used to take our glass drinks bottles back for a 5p or 10p refund as a child.  A smaller step perhaps and more in the spirit of recycling, but as Tesco themselves say, ‘Every little helps’. Many of you will already know these places and if you have any more ways to reuse, shop local or reduce packaging, please let us know or tag us on the social media pages for these businesses.  

For my Head’s commendations next Friday it would be right to feature pupils who are doing fantastic things for our environment so do let us know if your family is getting involved in a big way.

In other news, our recruitment for a Junior School Head is moving along very well and our final three candidates, all of whom with excellent credentials, will be in school next week for a day and then back for final interviews in mid-November. As you know from Cheryl Giovannoni’s letter before half term, the interviews for the overall Head will take place at the end of November and beginning of December; we will bring you more news of that later in the month.

Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs O’Doherty
Acting Head

The week ahead

Monday 8 November
Senior School Assembly
Hockey Sevens: U12, U13 vs Quinton House
Clubs (click here for timetable)

Tuesday 9 November
Sixth Form Options Breakfast for Year 11
Hockey: U15 vs Quinton House
Clubs (click here for timetable)

Wednesday 10 November
Parent Talk Series: ‘Why does my daughter…?’
Clubs (click here for timetable)

Thursday 11 November
GDST Rally @ Croydon
Clubs (click here for timetable)

Friday 12 November
Senior School Assembly
Class of 2020 and 2021 Reunion Evening
Clubs (click here for timetable)

Saturday 13 November
Junior School STEM Morning
Early Years Fun Morning
Sixth Form Scholarship Examination (external candidates)
Hockey: U12, U14 vs Princethorpe College

Keep Calm and Carry On Reading

When I was at school reading came under the banner of a ‘good thing’. Other than set texts in English lessons, we were left pretty much to our own devices as to what to read. Fast forward to the third decade of the 21st Century and many things have changed. One of the most striking has been the expansion in books written for children and young adults; the range, number, and quality available today for the average young person would have delighted the teenage me – the choices being endless.

What has also become clearer, though, is how much of a ‘good thing’ reading really is.

Young people who enjoy reading are three times as likely to read above the level expected for their age compared with young people who do not enjoy reading at all. Similarly, young people who read outside class daily are five times as likely to read above the expected level for their age, compared with young people who never read outside class. ref: The National Literacy Trust

It seems obvious that if you enjoy something, you will improve, and the more you practise, the better you become. 

Whilst having a wide choice of material is a positive position to be in, the challenge within a school environment is to encourage students to progress with the type of material they read in terms of content and style.

At Northampton High, we provide varied reading opportunities including the reading scheme, games, and activities in class, author visits, Book Week, book clubs, and much more throughout the school year.

Please click here to read the full blog entry.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Northampton High School hosts New Zealand International Rugby team

On Tuesday 2 November, we were delighted to welcome the New Zealand Rugby Union Ladies’ team to Northampton High School, as they continue to prepare ahead of this Sunday’s clash against England.

We were overjoyed to host the five-time world champion Black Ferns, who took part in a training session on our state-of-the-art astro turf, with their sights firmly set on victory ahead of the weekend’s highly anticipated clash. It was also a marvellous opportunity for some of our students to witness elite-level athletes perform up close and in person, with our Year 10 students having the privilege of watching the closing drills of the intricate session. Despite a taxing work out, the squad was more than happy to oblige in a socially-distanced photo with our students, and even gifted the school with a squad signed ball as a memento of their visit.

With their training nearly complete, attention for the Black Ferns is now solely on this weekend’s clash with England on Sunday 7 November, taking place at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens. For tickets and more information, please visit:

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

High Sports: Ellie Robinson visits Northampton High

This week has seen a few very special guest appearances in the Sports Department, headlined by the return of a former pupil!

On Monday, Paralympian Ellie Robinson MBE returned to Northampton High to pay us a visit. As most of you will know, Ellie is a Northampton High alumna, and she visited us earlier in the week to see some of her old teachers and also to watch some of our swimmers and Junior School groups in action. Ellie then shared some tips and advice to the groups in an impromptu Q and A session, and we thank her so much for her time. Thanks, Ellie!

As you will have read above, on Tuesday we were joined by the New Zealand Women’s Rugby squad, who took full advantage of our fantastic facilities ahead of this Sunday’s clash with England at Franklin’s Gardens. We thank the squad so much allowing our students to take in the session, and we look forward to showcasing our new signed ball proudly in the department.

Looking ahead to next week, the U15 Hockey team have a warm up match against King Henry’s on Saturday in anticipation for the GDST Rally at Croydon. Accompanying them will be the U11 Football team and U12 Netball team, and we wish them the best of luck.

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

Acrostic Poem

We are delighted to share with you this beautiful poem, which has been penned by Year 9 students who attend Muse, our enrichment club for English.

I hope you enjoy!

Mr Williams
Head of English Faculty

Parent Talks - Why does my daughter...

Thank you to those families who have already booked their place to attend the next in our Parent Talks series for 2021/22. 

Our next event, Why does my daughter…, will start to demystify the complex journey from girlhood to womanhood, helping families to navigate the many questions this critical time in development brings. The event will take place on Wednesday 10 November from 6pm to 7.30pm. It is designed for parents and guardians of children in Year 4 upwards and will be hosted by our Pastoral and Wellbeing Team. Please book your place for this event here.

The talk will focus on the development of the teenage brain and will discuss things such as risky behaviours, emotional breakdown and communication issues, all of which teenagers face from time to time. We will also touch on how this can impact them in the school environment and how this can often have an impact on the way they deal with their friendships. There will also be an opportunity to ask us questions. We will not claim to know all the answers but we can draw on a wealth of experience across the pastoral team to open up discussions on topics that you feel you need more information on. 

This is a great opportunity to meet with staff and other parents and to share questions and answers. Should you wish to see the full details of our Parent Talks programme, please click here.

Miss Kneen
Assistant Head – Pastoral Care and Guidance

Book of the Week

No One is Too Small to make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

‘Everything needs to change. And it has to start today’

In August 2018 a fifteen-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, decided not to go to school one day. Her actions ended up sparking a global movement for action against the climate crisis, inspiring millions of pupils to go on strike for our planet, forcing governments to listen, and earning her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

This book brings you Greta in her own words, for the first time. Collecting her speeches that have made history across Europe, from the UN to mass street protests, No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference is a rallying cry for why we must all wake up and fight to protect the living planet, no matter how powerless we feel. Our future depends upon it.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Creative Arts Spotlight

This week, the Creative Arts Spotlight shines onto Year 10. The Year 10 GCSE Food students have been making puff pastry this week and used it to make palmiers. They have worked with precision to achieve their outcomes and the all-important layers in their pastry.

They look brilliant – well done, Year 10, and enjoy sharing your palmiers with family and friends!

Miss Knight
Subject Leader Food

Raise Her Up - Turning Eco Anxiety into Eco Agency

With the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 underway, in this episode of Raise Her Up, we address eco-awareness and how we can broach and discuss this with our children without transferring our own anxieties to them.

Our guest this week is Kathleen Hamilton, Programmes & Partnerships Director at Force Of Nature, a youth nonprofit that works to empower young people to turn their eco-anxiety into action, and with leaders across business and education to drive intergenerational solutions. Kathleen suggests ways for us to engage with our children and students to reassure, encourage and mobilise them, hopefully reigniting our own motivation in the process.

This is a brilliant episode that provides practical, positive, and actionable advice for what many of us feel is an insurmountable issue.

Listen here on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Junior School Taster Events - Saturday 13 November 2021

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

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