Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 7 June 2024

Why focusing on grades is a barrier to learning? 

It is hard to believe that we have only been back from half term for a week. As one of my colleagues and I were remarking yesterday, term times at school do not ramp up or wind down: they just start at 100mph and continue at that pace until we hit a complete halt for the holidays. With only six weeks until the end of term and the academic year, there is plenty to cram in. Everyone is working hard planning all the activities, events and trips that will take place before we break up on Friday, 12 July. 

However there has been a noticeable level of focus and a quieter atmosphere in school than usual this week. Our Year 11 and Year 13 students, who are more than halfway through their GCSE and A Level examinations, respectively, contribute to this change. Meanwhile Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 are receiving and digesting the outcomes of their summer internal assessments; this process has naturally led to increased stress, anxiety and fear of failure. 

Our pupils are understandably very keen to do their best. This situation reminds me of the findings from the annual PISA study of 2018 which noted that “In almost every education system, girls expressed greater fear of failure than boys, even when they outperformed boys by a large margin, and this gender gap was considerably wider amongst top-performing students. With regards to the UK, the gap between boys and girls was one of the most pronounced. In fact, female students in the UK have the 5th highest fear of failure out of the 79 countries covered in the report.”

It is not failure that students fear. It is the perceived negative consequences that follow the failure that stresses them out. This type of fear can lead to lowered self-esteem, avoidance of challenging tasks, being pessimistic and even cheating. This chimes with our high achieving students at Northampton High who often face high pressure that may be linked to perfectionism as well as fear of failure. As part of our educational goals, we have made it one of our explicit aims to help reduce this fear and I am sure you will be reinforcing the view at home that these are diagnostic assessments, aiming to show us (and our students) what they know, understand and can do, with the aim of identifying gaps in knowledge and areas where skills need to be developed. 

Please click here to read the full blog entry.

Dr Lee

The Week Ahead

Monday 10 June
Fixture: U12 & U13 vs Thornton College

Tuesday 11 June
Fixture: U15 vs Bedford Modern

Wednesday 12 June

Thursday 13 June
Q Space Guest Speaker visit
Fixture: U15 vs Wellingborough

Friday 14 June
Year 12 UoN trip

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

Sports Day 2024

We have enjoyed a marvellous day here at Northampton High hosting one of our favourite events of the year – Sports Day! This special occasion always proves a wonderful opportunity for our school community to come together and have fun. The competitive nature of the event, coupled with the excitement of being off timetable, outside and with friends makes for a delightful day! As is tradition, our pupils competed in their Houses and dressed according to their House colour! The field was a sea of red, yellow, green and blue, with Hestia, Demeter, Artemis and Selene each well-represented by students and staff! 

We were thrilled to bring together pupils from Year 3 upwards, combining our Junior and Senior School to create a wonderful atmosphere of togetherness and support. Our youngest attendees were delighted to take part with their older peers, and our Senior students were brilliant at supporting the Junior girls and encouraging them in their events. The day saw plenty of exceptional performances, with personal bests and school records being set. We are proud to have many exceptional athletes and sports women in our student body, and they most definitely demonstrated their talents at this year’s Sports Day!

Congratulations to each and every one of our pupils for their participation today. The effort and enthusiasm shown by all is a demonstration of what can be achieved when we work together. A huge thank you to our wonderful Sports department for organising a fantastic event enjoyed by all!  An additional thanks must also go to our fabulous staff for helping run the activities, the many families who joined us to show their support, and to our spirited students who made the day one to remember!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Northampton High hosts first Scholars Celebration

On Thursday 6 June, we were delighted to host our first ever Scholars Celebration evening. At Northampton High, we are proud to recognise the full breadth and diversity of our scholars, and this event was created to give scholars the platform to showcase their passions to an audience of their peers, parents and staff.

The evening began with an exhibition of work which was proudly presented in the Theatre. This gave guests the opportunity to sample the excellence of our students in their topic of interest, helping to display the rich tapestry of talent on show in our school. Work from our Flair, Reach and Spirit scholars was on display and was wonderfully received. The second half of the evening gave the opportunity for our scholars to perform live for our guests, with this platform really highlighting the kaleidoscope of interests and passions of our scholars. Students from Year 7 to Year 13 took to the stage to showcase their many talents, which included but wasn’t limited to, breathtaking dance productions, heartfelt musical performances and thought provoking presentations which really  captured the imagination of the audience.

It was amazing to see our students perform so passionately, and we hugely appreciate our scholars sharing their talents with us. A huge vote of thanks goes to our Reach coordinator, Miss Kilby, who worked tirelessly to ensure the scope of the event extended beyond simply achievements and awards, and also to the many other members of staff who made the event successful. Thank you also to our guests, for helping us to create such a wonderful atmosphere at an event that will certainly live long in our memories.

Mr Nash
Senior Marketing & Communications Manager

“If you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need.”

“If you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need”, so says Cicero, better known as a great Roman lawyer, statesman and letterwriter than a horticulturalist.  His famous saying asks us to reflect on a need for balance, between the busy world outside, and the internal world of reflection.

Cicero uses his garden both as a retreat from politics and as a sanctuary to reflect on the nature of ‘nature’ itself.  However, the link between learning and nature goes deeper – our external environment can shape and influence our internal psychology. Without a calming natural oasis, are we capable of great leaps of intellect?

Far from being a sanctuary, nature today is more often a cause for concern for both old and young but most especially the young, with over 75% describing the future as ‘frightening’ because of the effect of climate change. From the forest fires in Europe and record breaking monthly temperatures in the UK to the ubiquity of micro-plastics, air pollution or the endangerment of remote islands (or even cities here in the UK) from rising sea levels, Mother Nature affects us all. But how best can we look after her, and can we help ourselves at the same time?

One of the best and easiest ways is by looking after the green spaces around us, and in so doing, we look after our wellbeing.  Whether it be a local park, a garden, a roof top terrace, balcony, windowsill or yard, ‘green exercise’  – as gardening and other forms of exercise outside have become known – can contribute to an increase in physical and mental wellbeing. As little as five minutes can make a difference, and mowing, digging, planting and pruning can all count towards the 30 minutes of ‘moderate’ exercise recommended daily by the UK government (equivalent to the same duration of yoga or even badminton!).

In 2021, the RHS released research that revealed those who garden every day have wellbeing scores 6.6% higher and stress levels 4.2% lower than people who don’t garden at all. Green exercise can benefit mental as well as physical health: given that “up to 20% of people visit their GPs for what is primarily a social rather than a health problem”, the creation of pioneering social prescribing schemes at places like RHS Bridgewater can help people who need connection to improve mental health, rather than just focusing on medication alone.

The conclusion? Get outside, and get involved!

To read the full blog entry, please click here.

Mrs Peto
Teacher of Latin

Deputy Head Girls fundraise for Cultures Day


A huge well done to our Deputy Head Girls, Samiha and Shruthi, for organising a fabulous fundraising sale over lunchtime on Thursday. As the student representatives for Undivided and Partnerships, they were keen to raise money for our upcoming Cultures Day!

With the help of other Sixth Formers, the pupils raised £115 to buy supplies and decorations for the highly-anticipated event. There were many wonderful items on sale, including cupcakes, books, clothing items and fashion accessories (as modelled by Mr Viesel)!

Our Cultures Day event is a calendar favourite for both staff and students, and we cannot wait to celebrate our wonderful and diverse community together on Tuesday 9 July!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Revision Guide Reuse

With the end of the exam season beginning to appear on the horizon, the Eco Team would like to take this opportunity to seek donations of any unwanted, second hand revision guides for either GCSE or A Level subjects. The Eco Team plan to arrange a sale of these second hand books in the autumn term to any students that have started a GCSE or A Level course and therefore might find them helpful. All proceeds raised will be donated to an environmental charity (exact cause to be determined, but in the past we have donated to Toilet Twinning, the WWF and the Marine Conservation Society).

Should anybody have suitable revision guides in a reasonable condition for second hand sale, then please could they be left in the clearly marked red box that will be placed in the Senior School Foyer from Monday 10 June until the end of the exams period.

Many thanks in advance, on behalf of the Eco team, for any donations received.

Mr Earp
Head of Humanities Faculty

Swap Shop donations

Swap Shop offers a sustainable option for families who wish to donate old uniform or purchase new items of clothing for their daughter. It is particularly well received by new parents of the school and relies on donations from current or past parents. If you have any items of uniform that your daughter no longer wears, please can we encourage you to donate them via the Junior or Senior School receptions. All items will be gratefully received, particularly Junior School summer dresses, as we currently have very little stock remaining! Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Swap Shop Team

Book Review

Code Dependent: Living in the Shadow of AI by Madhumita Murgia

AI is changing what it means to be human. This is the unrivalled investigation into the impact of AI on how we live now. Through the voices of ordinary people in places far removed from Silicon Valley, Code Dependent explores the impact of a set of powerful, flawed, and often exploitative technologies on individuals, communities, and our wider society. Madhumita Murgia, AI Editor at the FT, exposes how AI can strip away our collective and

individual sense of agency – and shatter our illusion of free will. AI is already changing what it means to be human, in ways large and small. In this compelling work, Murgia reveals what could happen if we fail to reclaim our humanity.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Save the Date: Annie

We are delighted to invite you to this year’s musical production of Annie!

As always, we are thrilled to be hosting our much loved family-friendly production this term, and would love the pleasure of your company at this special event. Our cast and crew are working exceptionally hard and it promises to be a night to remember!

Tickets are available to purchase here and we look forward to welcoming as many guests as possible!

Creative Arts Faculty

Save the Date: Arts Festival

Save the Date: Sports Awards Evening

Save the Date: Cultures Day

Save the Date: Speech Day

Diversity and Inclusion Calendar 23/24: June

Sunrisers vs Central Sparks Cricket

The One Day Film School

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