University applications update
Wednesday 31 January was the deadline for UK university applicants; applications received before the end of that day must be given equal consideration by universities. I would like to share with you a few highlights and an interesting trend based on our Year 13 students’ applications.
Of our students who have applied through UCAS to university, 80% applied to at least one RG+ course (these are courses at Russell Group universities, the UK’s self-selected research-intensive universities, as well as at Bath and St Andrews). Offers have been received from many of these universities already and we have been delighted to see successful applications across a wide spread of subjects, including Law at Nottingham, Pharmacology at Liverpool and German & English Literature at Cardiff. Additionally, our Oxbridge applicants received offers for Computer Science at Oxford, Medicine at Cambridge and Modern Languages at Cambridge. Many congratulations to them all.
A development that may now perhaps be seen as a trend is a growing number of students looking for specialised courses or less ‘conventional’ routes after school. Of those students who did not apply to a Russell Group university, for instance, the courses being selected were in areas such as Policing, Digital Games Development, Illustration and Acting. Moreover, we have seen a number of students look to pursue specialist courses in Art, Dance and Fashion that are not provided through the university system. This is a useful reminder of the wide range of opportunities that are now open to young people after school, with conventional higher education institutions only one option among many. To that end, I should point out that it is currently National Apprenticeship Week and it may be worth exploring some of the resources available here. Later this month, we look forward to welcoming a former High School girl who is completing an apprenticeship at Mondelez to speak to the Sixth Form about her experiences.
Director of Sixth Form
Tuesday 13 February
Fixture:U14&U15 vs Quinton
Wednesday 14 February
Y8 Classical Film Night
Thursday 15 February
Y9-13 Reach Lecture
U15 NCNA County Plate
Music Composition Recital
Please click here to view the spring term’s Clubs & Activities list and timetable
The strength of knowledge
Three years ago, the Mastermind of Britain competition witnessed its youngest ever champion: Jonathan Gibson. A student pursuing a PhD in modern history at the University of St Andrews at the time. Jonathan described himself as the “black sheep” of a family of lawyers and insisted that the secret to success in quizzing lies not in innate brain power, but in curiosity and dedicated practice. I for one found his enthusiasm and excitement at quizzing rather infectious and the fact that he credited his success down to curiosity, which is one of the five intellectual characteristics that we value at Northampton High School. We believe that with curiosity, we can push the boundaries of our knowledge and relish the discovery of new ideas, and there are no limits to what a Northampton High girl can achieve.
Jonathan, having charmed the nation with his specialist subject knowledge on the musical comedy duo Flanders and Swann, modestly remarked “I wouldn’t say it has anything to do with intelligence in a classical way”. I thought this showed a degree of humility but also was probably a true measure of his own character and intelligence, acknowledging that the more you know the more you are aware of the amount you do not know!
My blog draws inspiration from Socrates, often regarded as philosophy’s martyr. Sentenced to death in 399BC for allegedly corrupting the minds of the youth, Socrates never recorded his thoughts, believing that words lost their meaning. However, we understand his thinking through his pupil Plato’s writing. Plato’s Socratic dialogues feature Socrates in lively conversation on a wide range of subjects, from justice and virtue to art and politics. The central theme in Socrates’ thinking concerns the nature of knowledge, specifically on how most of us have very limited amounts! As Socrates says in the dialogues:
‘True wisdom comes to each of us when we realise how little we understand about life, ourselves and the world around us’.
Socrates encouraged his pupils to question everything (which is why he was suspected of corrupting the minds of the youth) in order to gain deeper insight to a question or to suggest doubt to a previously held truth. By using his method of limitless questioning, Socrates soon discovered that, in fact, few people knew anything claimed to know for certain.
There is much we can learn from the Socratic method, not least to be wise to the limits of our own knowledge and certainty. Certainty can make us feel secure, but it can also be a barrier to intellectual growth and discovery. As such, we need to take the initiative and trust our instincts and we do not accept artificial limits to our potential. The key here is about actively seeking knowledge, constantly learning, and validating assumptions.
Crucially, we also need to seek knowledge from the best and stay curious, but recognise in humility that we will only ever know a very small amount of what there is to be known. In today’s fast paced world where we are bombarded with information from all sides and we have access to more knowledge than ever before, so many people are quick to accept things as facts without questioning them. Socrates’ quote, “I know that I do not know” is a much needed reminder that we should always be open to questioning our own assumptions and that true wisdom comes from acknowledging that we don’t have all the answers. Questions can therefore help us to define tasks, to express problems and to delineate issues.
To read the full blog entry, please click here.
Dr May Lee
“The human voice is the most beautiful instrument of all, but it is the most difficult to play.” – Richard Strauss
This week marks Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 and our Medical & Wellbeing team have encouraged both Junior and Senior students to embrace Place To Be’s theme for this year which is, ‘your voice matters.’
We each have a voice that matters and we each have a choice in how to express our voice, be that through spoken word, written work, art, music or even dance. Our voice can be found in the expression of our beliefs, values, feelings and the areas that matter to us. Some environments foster the confident expression of voice, whereas others inhibit our voices. Through a series of assemblies across the school, students were invited to reflect upon when they feel more confident to use their voice and which environments make it more difficult for them to use their voice.
In order for us to believe that our voice matters, we also need to feel heard. Therefore students were reminded of the importance of listening as an intrinsic aspect of ‘your voice matters’. To emphasise this, we were delighted to welcome Charlene and Rebecca from ‘The Lowdown’ on Monday lunchtime to launch Children’s Mental Health Week and engage with students, using their meaningful strapline, ‘know us before you need us’. ‘The Lowdown’ provide an extensive array of free, confidential mental health support services for 11-25 year olds in Northamptonshire, including counselling, wellbeing groups and information services. Students got involved by sharing positive habits that support their own mental health. Throughout the week students have also enjoyed sharing what matters to them by creating a wellbeing wall of hearts.
Mental health is not just a priority for this week, but is at the heart of our wellbeing focus throughout the school on a daily basis. Through our wellbeing spaces in both Junior and Senior School, our PSHE programme and weekly wellbeing offerings, including the popular wellbeing walks with Miss Hopley each Wednesday amongst many others, we hope that all students will feel that their voice matters and there will always be space for them to feel heard.
Wellbeing resources for families can be found here.
The spring term is very much a reading term; we enjoyed a wonderful visit from award-winning author Tom Palmer last month, and this week we have celebrated Book Week in the Senior School. It has been a busy week as usual, with the focus being on encouraging the love of reading through a variety of activities and games.
Miss Hopley’s class, 9W very much enjoyed the ‘Cover and Quote’ activity.
The highlight of the week was ‘The Murder Most Unladylike Party’ on Thursday lunchtime, hosted by Mrs Fordham and Miss Buxton. Students in Year 7 gathered in the Wake Wing to enjoy quizzes and various murderous activities. The Robin Stevens books are highly entertaining and a great source of creative inspiration, with a couple of feisty girls solving mysteries over a series of books.
The work of the library very much supports the work of the Wellbeing Team, as stories are essential to maintaining our wellbeing and helping to address mental health problems.
We hope all activities will be helpful with half term in sight and the prospect of down time reading!
Last week, Mrs Beezley and I attended an interesting talk at the Guildhall in Northampton called ‘The Science of ADHD’ by Dr James Brown PhD. Although Dr Brown focuses mostly on adults, there are so many commonalities between adults and children. The subject is close to my heart as I have personal experiences with ADHD within my family and my firm belief is that knowledge is power. I am quite passionate about this area and enjoy keeping up to date with information that can hopefully improve the lives of those with ADHD (diagnosed or undiagnosed) and those people that surround them. There are so many amazing books available, useful podcasts, websites and articles that always gain my attention. However, sometimes it’s too easy to get overwhelmed and coming back to basics is key! It therefore felt appropriate to reach out to the Northampton High community to share my experience, so hopefully you will benefit from reading this article.
The well attended talk covered a multitude of areas from what ADHD is and more importantly what ADHD isn’t. Breaking down myths such as ADHD is a ‘trendy bandwagon’, ‘ADHD isn’t real’ and that ADHD is ‘overdiagnosed’. There are different types of ADHD- inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Dr Brown stated that ‘ADHD is a complex lifelong neurological disorder’ which is why a thorough assessment is important to understanding an individual’s struggles, it is not as simple as, ‘When you have met one person with ADHD you’ve met one person with ADHD’. Unfortunately there are long NHS waiting lists for a diagnosis, however if you have concerns there are actions that can be taken prior to diagnosis including looking at a sleep routine, good water intake, eating regularly and making good food choices, regular exercise and time outside.
Signs of ADHD can range from difficulty sustaining attention, talking excessively, exhibiting poor organisation, blurting out answers, being forgetful in daily activities and time blindness to name a few. If left unmanaged, this can go on to cause further issues ranging from problems with relationships, low self esteem and mental health issues. Over the last 3 years there has been an increase in public awareness about ADHD which, in my opinion, can only be a positive thing. Even without an official diagnosis there is education available for both the person and the family, coping strategies and lifestyle choices freely available online.
If you have any concerns please see your GP for a referral or for more information look at NHS-ADHD, Psychiatry UK and www.adhduk.co.uk. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you feel appropriate to do so.
U13 IAPS Netball vs Uppingham School
On Friday 2 February, the U13 netball team went to Uppingham School for a tournament. We played 3 matches in the pool stages. Against St Johns College we lost 7-2, against Spratton Hall we narrowly lost 5-7 and against St Hugh’s we lost 3-16. In the next round we faced Witham School losing 3-10. Although we did not have the chance to move up to the next stage in the tournament, we progressed well as a team. Well done to our goalkeepers, Esme and Jasmine, for making some great interceptions and saving many goals. Also to Peony and Safiya for some amazing shooting, despite the wind, in our first couple of games. Everyone played well and I hope in the future we have the opportunity to develop our skills and win some games in the coming season. Amelia N, Captain
U16 Netball Regional Schools Finals
On Saturday 3 February our U16A team competed in the Regional finals, after placing 2nd out of 6 schools at the regional qualifiers. Going into this competition we knew there would be some hard games. We competed against schools such as Stamford who were the biggest competition in our pool. Our defence, consisting of Jasmine Y, Kirsten M and Olivia R, put up a good fight for the ball. In centre court we had Evie F, Roja L, Tanishqa T and Isabelle S who put in their all and delayed play very well. Special mentions to Evie and Isabelle for playing in a higher age category. Olivia displayed some great diversity of play when she played as shooter, and together we made a great shooting duo. Unfortunately, the schools we played were very good, and despite everyone in the team pulling their weight, it was not quite enough to proceed to the next round. I am very proud of everyone who played and they all deserve to be recognised for their outstanding effort. Well done to all, I can’t wait to see where the netball season takes us! Gemma S, Captain
Regional Cross Country at Burghley House
Well done to Emily who represented Northamptonshire at the Reginal Cross Country competition on Saturday 3 February. Despite being unwell, Emily persevered and ran a great race! We are currently awaiting the results and look forward to sharing them shortly. Mrs Littlewood
U12A&B Netball vs Quinton House
U12A – The A team were really good in attack and played fast attacking netball. Grace F was solid with her shooting and made some great lead runs and accurate feeds into the circle. We were delighted to win 11-3 against a combined U12&U13A team from Quinton. Well done to all who played! Zoe S, Captain
U12B – On Monday 5 February, the U12B team played the 2nd and 4th quarters of a netball match against Quinton House. Everybody played a great game, especially Anashe who was voted player of the match. Charlotte also played well and was a great asset to the team. Overall everybody did a great job marking their players and running into spaces. Across the 2nd and 4th quarters the score was 2-1. Great job everyone. Francesca G, Captain
U14A&B vs Kimbolton School
U14A – On Tuesday 6 February, the U14A team had a netball match against Kimbolton. The match went really well with brilliant play from everyone. Throughout the game we showed perseverance, finishing the match 19-12 to the opposition. As the season has only just started, we can use this match to improve our play and learn from our mistakes; this season has a lot more to bring us! Congratulations to Emily K who was our player of the match. Bella F, Captain
U14B – The U14B team also played Kimbolton on Tuesday. We all tried our best and were unfortunate to come away with a 19-4 loss. Our player of the match was Ava S. Well done everyone! Lily G, Captain
This week, we received lots of fantastic match reports from our team captains. To read more sporting updates, please click here.
Year 10 Science Spirit Club talk about Valentines Day
Our Year 10 Science Club have been talking about Valentines Day, discussing topics such as ‘Why do your pupils dilate when you see someone you love?’. A full account can be found in the adjacent flyer, along with a tasty red velvet cupcake recipe!
A high resolution copy of the flyer can be found by clicking here.
We hope you have a wonderful Valentines Day!
Whole School Open Morning - Friday 8 March
We look forward to welcoming so many lovely families to our upcoming Whole School Open Morning on Friday 8 March. The events 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!
Marketing & Communications Manager
What's on at Northampton High - Spring Term
What It Takes: My Playbook on Life and Leadership by Sarina Wiegman – As FIFA’s most decorated female football manager and a former player, Sarina Wiegman has led both the Netherlands and England women’s national teams to historic victories. She stands out as a true pioneer in the game, and her coaching philosophy has earned her a reputation as one of the most successful coaches in football history.
This personal account of Sarina’s life journey begins with her early passion for football, and covers her key moments on the pitch as well as her ascension to the top of the coaching world.
Join Sarina as she talks us through her rollercoaster ride of victories and challenges, the tough decisions she had to make both on and off the pitch, and the relentless pursuit of excellence that saw her rise to become an indomitable figure in the world of sports.
And, it’s not just about the game. In a world where football has become more competitive than ever, Sarina’s revolutionary approach to leadership, mentorship, and performance management has garnered global attention. In What It Takes we gain invaluable insight into Sarina’s unique philosophy, as she shares how she fostered an environment that values determination, teamwork, and mutual respect. A strong advocate for women in the sport, she outlines a transformative and inclusive future for football where everyone has an equal chance to shine, irrespective of gender.
Save the Date: Alumnae Reunion Lunch
We are delighted to share the date for our 2024 Alumnae Reunion Lunch. This special lunch is always a highlight of the school calendar, and we are thrilled to be hosting this year’s event on Saturday 2 March at 12:30pm.
We hope to be joined by as many alumnae as possible from both the Hardingstone and Derngate sites, as well as former staff and friends of the school for a delicious two-course lunch and the opportunity to connect with friends old and new.
For more information and to book your tickets, please click here.
Director of Admissions & Marketing
Save the Date: Spring Art Collective
Reach Lectures - Spring Term 2024
The weekly Reach talks are an opportunity for students in Years 9-13 to explore areas far beyond the school curriculum, broadening their horizons and developing their skills of curiosity and critical thinking. We are excited to offer this programme to our students and are very grateful to all our speakers for giving up their time to share their expertise with us.
Any parents who might be interested in contributing to the Reach lectures in 2025 are encouraged to email email@example.com.
Diversity and Inclusion Calendar 23/24: February
Saturday Athletics Course
Moulton College are hosting a 5-week athletics course available to children in Year 3 to Year 10, beginning on Saturday 2 March.
A high resolution copy of the flyer can be found by clicking here.
A link to the registration form can be found here.
Teacher of Physical Education
Northampton Swimming Club: Intensive Course
PQA Stage & Screen sessions
EFC Football Development Camp
Northampton High School - Where girls learn without limits
Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
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