Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 8 May 2020

Enriching learning in the Junior School

During the period of Guided Home Learning our teaching staff have been busy providing learning opportunities for our girls across the curriculum.  The girls have responded admirably to the challenge of a new way of learning.  We also recognise that in these unprecedented times, there are so many other enriching learning opportunities available to us all and have therefore tried to supplement our core curriculum with other learning opportunities.

The power of listening to a good story should never be underestimated and it is unfortunate that as a society we often stop reading to children as they get older.  Whether it be classic children’s literature like Kipling’s ‘Just So Stories,’ modern hits such as ‘Gangster Granny,’ amazing picture books like ‘The Arrival,’ poetry, comics, or children’s journalistic journals such as ‘First News,’ primary-age children need to hear stories.  Hence, we have provided a daily dose of audio stories read by either our staff, celebrities or authors themselves.  Do please take a look back through Firefly and revisit some wonderful audio texts and, of course, take a few moments to read to your daughter yourself.

Research suggests that the youth of today are losing the language of the outdoors; tree and flower names, bird types, as well as the ability to recognise a range of fruit, vegetables, and even identify where their meat comes from.  That is why many of our staff and head teacher daily additional challenges have had a ‘nature’ theme, an ‘outer space’ focus or a ‘healthy-eating’ twist.  We need to talk to the current generation of young learners about the world around them, before this language is lost to the past.

Finally, singing is another fantastic way to acquire and embed language; it also makes us feel good!  Our school is a singing school, and there is nothing better than hearing the beautiful voices of our girls echoing through the corridors.  As with stories, there is a huge benefit in revisiting songs of our childhood as well as learning songs with a more modern lilt and that is why we have also provided a daily song for the girls to sing along to, listen to, laugh or smile at.  They are catchy ‘ear-worms’ and are a staple component of any excellent school.

Chris Bailey
Head of Junior School

Enrichment in the Senior School

Students across the Senior School have relished the opportunities for extension and enrichment that have been provided during the Guided Home Learning experience. Exam year groups have been given a golden opportunity to get a head start on both A Level and university preparation. Teachers in school have risen to the challenge magnificently, providing stimulating transition courses for A Level and university style seminars on our guided home learning pages for Upper Fifth and 6.2.

The power of the GDST network has also really come into its own. The Masterclass programme, aimed at the older year groups, has been developed by teachers across the Trust and offers bespoke standalone courses in a plethora of subject areas, from History of Art to Computing and beyond, including a Film course written by Mrs Heimfeld. There are also further online courses now available for Years 11-13, developed in collaboration with a Google Innovator Academy Coach and the TED Ed Talks team.

Many younger pupils have enjoyed enrichment and extension activities as a part of their day to day Guided Home Learning. These ensure that when the ‘normal’ lessons are completed there is a huge range of wider reading and other activities they can take part in. The success of the enrichment pages set up in firefly for the exam students has meant that we are now developing similar pages for all subjects, which teachers are busy populating with mind-expanding challenges to suit all ages.

There is no doubt that this unusual time will be a defining point for young people and their answers to the question ‘what did you do in lockdown?’ will be telling in a competitive world. All students are encouraged to add evidence to their ePortfolios as they complete enrichment work, to encapsulate the range and breadth of their wider activities and to help them demonstrate how they stand apart from the crowd.

Henry Rickman
Deputy Head – Academic

Enrichment in the Sixth Form

The Sixth Form are making the most of this opportunity to expand their horizons and prepare for university using a plethora of new and exciting resources which have been made available to them.

Supercurricular resources on the Raindrop platform provide inspiring reading for those who wish to extend their understanding of an academic area.

MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, offered by universities across the world enable students to learn collaboratively from experts in their field and develop an area of expertise.

The GDST Limitless Learning programme has two components available to 6.2:

Expert led University Bridging Seminars to prepare students for the style and rigour of academic work at university. Students are taught in seminar groups with others planning to study their chosen subject at university from across the GDST.

Real World Ready courses preparing students for other aspects of living independently ranging from an Introduction to Italian, Vegetarian cookery, Budgeting and Personal Finance, Climate Change and Sustainability; from Learning to Action and Documentary Storytelling.

Other bespoke opportunities are available to suit particular individuals including a Masterclass in Language Evolution, participation in the Young Fashion Designer UK competition and the ongoing Minerva programme where experts such as, Roger Eatwell, the Emeritus Professor of Politics at Bath University work with a small group of students to explore an area of interest, in this case, Politics and Populism.

The silver lining for this cohort of students is that they will start their university courses highly skilled in all aspects of working independently and well prepared for the rigours of academic study at university.

Julia Cantwell
Director of Sixth Form

Careers Workshops

At Northampton High School, we have had the pleasure of working with CWR, for the last 6 years, as part of our Inspiring Futures Careers programme. They have delivered many workshops to our girls over the years and are now very kindly offering free sessions to our students during the lockdown. They are accredited careers advisors and support the Gatsby Benchmarks. Each workshop is tailored to focus on a specific practical skill and this week it is ‘Successful Applications’.

The workshops are open to all but are most appropriate for students in Years 11, 12 and 13. Do sign up to get involved if you can. A good number of our girls have already benefited from the last two

workshops and we hope that more of you will join in with future ones. Please see the details below or contact Miss Kneen if you have any questions. This is definitely an opportunity not to be missed!

Rebecca Kneen
Head of Years 10 & 11 and Head of Careers

Happy Birthday Northampton High School!

On Saturday 2 May, Northampton High School celebrated its 142nd birthday. Originally located in the heart of Northampton, before moving to the purpose-built Hardingstone home in 1992, the school’s birthday is a key date in the school calendar, with staff and students finding exciting ways to commemorate the occasion each year.

With the school currently closed to all but a few Key Worker children, this year’s whole school assembly to observe the birthday could not take place, but staff at school were determined to not let the milestone pass without marking the occasion. So, on Monday 4 May, pupils, staff and parents came together for a

special ‘virtual birthday assembly’, looking back on special events in the school’s history and celebrating with students their own ‘lockdown’ birthdays.

The assembly concluded with Northampton High’s signature birthday tradition: With the Headmistress, the Head Girl and the school’s youngest pupil coming together to cut the birthday cake. This year, Headmistress, Caroline Petryszak, was joined by Daria in Year 12, and Elouise in Reception, who all cut cakes simultaneously in their homes to a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’.

You can watch the birthday assembly by clicking here.

Jamie Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Creative Arts Gallery

In last week’s edition of School News, it was fantastic for us to share and showcase just some of the superb work completed by our students during this period of Guided Home Learning. The quality of work that is being submitted is second to none, and we are delighted to be able to showcase more amazing work in this week’s edition.

The first piece of work is this fantastic digital drawing of a guitar from Emma in U4 (opposite).

In the gallery below, we see examples of some beautiful work completed by Tevini in L4 and Yasmin in U4. Tevini shows use of colour and design in her work, with Yasmin using well-observed shapes and contours.

In our next gallery below, we have the work submitted by Hannah in L5, Ques-Li in L4 and Mahi in L5.

We are delighted to share these wonderful pieces from Hannah’s GCSE sketchbook, where she showcases excellent links to music and imagination. Ques-Li has submitted a fantastic drawing of a dandelion, where she has shown excellent precision and dark tones in the centre. Mahi’s painting is superb, and shows great atmosphere with a lovely use of colour.

This week the U3 Textiles groups are producing some lovely work for their Sock Monster project inspired by the creator of Sock Monsters, John Murphy. Miss Lycett has re-written the scheme of work so that all girls can develop Textiles skills using resources that can be found around the home. Upcycling and hand sewing are key whilst still focussing on research skills and design development to realise a final product.

Below are examples of a mood board from Yuka, an image from a live lesson this week where Miss Lycett gave demonstrations on Teams, and a final Sock Monster from Tara.  When we return to school we are hoping to display the Sock Monsters and award a prize for the most creative monster.

We hope you have enjoyed taking a look at a selection of the work carried out by our students this week. A always, if you would like to view full size versions of the pictures, please click here, and we look forward to sharing more submissions with you next week.

Mel Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts

Fun with Science during Guided Home Learning

We are delighted to be able to share with you two lovely pieces of work from our students during Guided Home Learning, firstly from Isobel in U3S.

Isobel is currently studying the topic of light and how to use morse code to send a message. As you will see in Isobel’s video by clicking hereIsobel was able to send the message ‘happy’ by using the light on her phone. Well done, Isobel!

Our second piece of work comes from Ques-Li in L4. Ques-Li and her family have created a model of the movement of the sun, earth and moon in their Science topic about ‘space’. They are all in

costume and Ques-Li is doing handstands! Watch this fantastic video by clicking here. Super work, Ques-Li!

We look forward to sharing more work with you over the coming weeks.

Liz Pearson
Teacher of Biology

'Backchat' submissions welcomed

Backchat, the student-run magazine, would love to share with everyone what is inspiring you. Therefore, we are welcoming submissions from students of all ages for our upcoming edition.

Anyone, from Reception to 6.2, can submit something via this Firefly link, and we would love to hear about what is inspiring you during lockdown.

Mr Viesel & Jess U5H
Backchat Team

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