Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 7 May 2021

Northampton High School’s 143rd Birthday, 2 May 2021

At the beginning or 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, initially advertised two-months earlier as “Northampton Middle-Class Girls’ School” and which was later to become “Northampton High School for Girls” was born just five years after what was to become the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), of which the school is now a member and at a hugely important time in changing the way in which young women were educated.

By the spring of 1879, just one year after opening, the school was renamed “The Clevedon School – A Church High School for Girls”, the ‘High’ fashionably emphasising that the school offered more than just an elementary education, and fees were 12 shillings per term for the under 12s and 28 shillings for the over 12s.

By the end of 1881, the school had its third Headmistress (just) in the shape of Miss Waldron, her predecessor having been in post for just one month. An early leader but one of many, including Miss Alice Straker, who led the school for 21 years from December 1890, introducing the motto ‘‘The Utmost for the Highest”, and overseeing the name change to “Northampton High School for Girls” in 1898.

Miss Elizabeth Mary Wallace served as Headmistress from the autumn of 1912 and was the first of its leaders to hold the equivalent of an honours degree. She found new premises that would meet the requirements of the Board of Education and the school relocated to Castillian House, at the corner of Castillian Street and Derngate, for 5 years from 1914.

To read more, please click here

Caroline Petryszak

Celebrating our 143rd Birthday

With Northampton High School turning 143 years old on Sunday 2 May, we were delighted to mark the occasion with a special celebration in school at the first opportunity, on the Tuesday following the Bank Holiday weekend.

Students and staff were treated to the sight of balloons and bunting adorning our Junior and Senior reception areas in the morning, ahead of our special celebratory assembly, in which the birthday cake was cut by Mrs Petryszak, our Head Girl and our youngest Reception pupil.

Pupils were treated to delicious doughnuts at break time as the festivities continued, with students spending time reminiscing about their favourite school moments, some of which are captured below:

“Almost all my memories of the school’s birthdays involve some sort of cake or sweet treat shared at break time! However, the one that stands out is the 140th birthday celebrations, with the entire school gathering for one big assembly and the youngest and eldest in the school cutting a cake together.

One of my favourite memories of my time here is the excitement I felt to watch the Senior House plays as a Year 6 student; I remember clearly wanting our Junior play to be every bit as exciting as theirs looked. The fun of it definitely lived up to my expectations!” – Evie B, 6G2

“I have been at Northampton High since Nursery and I’ve made so many lovely memories over the years. The school birthday has always been an occasion I’ve enjoyed; I can remember one year there was a big, beautiful cake on display with these amazing decorations, and of course every year we would all get cupcakes to celebrate.

I think generally my favourite memories at school are those when we all come together. For example, Sports Day and all our House events. The atmosphere is so joyous and everyone always has so much fun. I will definitely cherish all these memories when I leave”. – Shri K, 6G2

“My first recollection of the school birthday was probably when I was around 6 or so, as the Headteacher in Junior School at the time (Mrs Nugent) let me light one of the candles in assembly and I was utterly thrilled to be using matches in school!! Having been here for 15 years, many of my fondest memories have taken place here, from learning to read and count as a rambunctious toddler, to despairing during A Level lessons as a lethargic teenager!

I especially remember the utter terror we had of walking through the lunch hall in our little blue summer dresses with seemingly giant and very noisy Senior School girls milling around everywhere – an interesting juxtaposition to now, where we’re more liable to complain over the tiny Year 7s completely ignoring general school etiquette and getting in our way!” – Ruby H, 6D2

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

School's Oxygen for India fundraising total continues to soar!

In last week’s edition, you will have read about how our school community came together to help raise vital funds for the current Covid crisis in India with a special mufti day.

Throughout the week the fundraising total has continued to rise, and we are delighted to report that our Northampton High School family has raised a whopping £3,381 to help this important cause. We would like to thank all of our students, parents, staff and friends for their amazing, continued support.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Nova Hodgetts-Tate: Service Dog in training!

We are delighted to introduce you to Nova, the chocolate Labrador!

Nova will be in school for some days in May and June and will be experiencing life in school to start her training programme. In the future, she will become a service dog and we are very lucky to share this journey with her.  Nova will be in Lab 6 most of the time, but will have a little walk around the grounds from time to time.  As Nova has specific training modules to complete, we will be recording her training on video as and when she completes tasks. If you have any questions, please do ask.

We look forward to having Nova with us here in school!

Mrs Hodgetts-Tate
Head of Science Faculty

Book of the Week

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds – Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021

When the bell rings and school is finished for the day, the walkers are finally set free. For ten blocks they have no-one telling them what to do; they can talk, skateboard, plan dramatic escapes, make jokes, face bullies, and hear about the school bus that fell from the sky… In ten stories (one per block), find out what really happens on the walk home from school, when there are no parents or teachers to supervise (or stop the fun!). From hilarious escapades to brave challenges, join the walkers for one journey and many, many detours…..

Click here to read more about the Carnegie Shortlist 2021.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

GDST Talks: 'Healthy Eating for Positive Mood and Positive Study'

For more information on both of this upcoming talks, and to book your free ticket, head over to our website by clicking here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

The Time Out for Parents - The Teenage Years

For your information:

The Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years course is an 8-session course for parents of children aged 11-19. The organisation Care for the Family, will cover topics such as helping children stay safe online, communication and handling conflict well. This is a fantastic course for those parenting teenagers, and for those who are nearly there!

Date and time: Tuesday evenings, 7 – 9pm from 11 May – 6 July.

Cost: £20 per household including accompanying parent handbook (RRP. £9.99) and additional resources and goodies. Bursary places are available for parents who qualify.

To get tickets please visit: The Teenage Years.

Mrs O’Doherty
Deputy Head Pastoral Care and Guidance

The Time Out for Parents - Handling Anger in the Family

For your information:

Handling Anger in the Family is a short 4-session course for parents of children aged 5-16 years. This course from Care for the Family will look at how one can manage and handle anger in a safe and healthy way, starting with oneself as a parent and carer and then with helping children. This is a really popular course and the organisation has  added extra dates due to demand, so they expect to fill all 12 spaces. If you are interested, please book ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Date and time: Tuesday mornings, 9:30 – 11:30am from 15 June – 6 July.

Cost: £10 per household including accompanying parent handbook (RRP. £9.99) and additional resources and goodies. Bursary places are available for parents who qualify.

To get tickets please visit Handling Anger in the Family

For more information contact Louise Willis on 07784 333825 or email

Mrs O’Doherty
Deputy Head Pastoral Care and Guidance

Term Dates 20/21

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