Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 9 July 2021

You may recall we wrote earlier in the year to let you know about some changes to the school day from September 2021, which we hope will help deliver the school’s aim to ensure a vibrant and innovative learning environment. For the first time at the High School, there will be a common lunch break to allow for clubs and societies to take place across both parts of the school, with the intention being that older students will often take a lead in the activities. We are really looking forward to seeing pupils working together on projects such as Eco Team, school magazines, music groups and House activities. In line with our overall ethos for teaching and learning, we think that the opportunities are limitless! 

Another important change made possible by the new arrangements is dedicated time in the week for a new Enrichment programme within the taught curriculum for students in Years 10-12 (Lower Fifth to 6.1). The Enrichment programme will complement other non-examined courses we run in the school, such as the Humanities transferable Skills programme in Years 7 and 8, and our new Global Outlook course offered in Year 9. It will also complement the Electives we offer in the Sixth Form, bringing choice and challenge to students across these year groups in a wide variety of disciplines to suit their wellbeing and future skills needs, without the stress associated with examined courses. Students can then use these as a springboard for further study or opportunities such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) or EPQs (Extended Project Qualifications) in the Sixth Form and beyond. They will, of course, also help them develop as rounded learners and enhance their UCAS university applications.

Initially the activities will be available on Monday and Tuesday afternoons for Sixth Form students, with Year 10 students involved on Thursday afternoons. Games will take place on Tuesday for Year 10 and on Thursday for Year 11 and Sixth Form. While Year 11 students are not yet formally included in the programme, owing to restrictions in their GCSE options, there may be opportunities for some to take advantage of certain active enrichment sessions such as Yoga and Dance during their Games lessons. 

In future, when the programme is fully rolled out, students will have the flexibility to choose from a menu of activities across the days, as long as they take Games on one of them. Year 13 students are free to take advantage of Electives and Games, if desired and where appropriate.

Students in Year 10 will be asked to choose their Enrichment sessions at the start of the academic year and there will then be an opportunity to change areas at the midpoint of the year. For example, a student could choose Yoga from September to February and then switch to Performing Arts enrichment for the rest of the year. Other students may choose to stay in the same activity all year and will be asked to confirm their choice at the midpoint. Sixth Form students too will choose their Electives early in the school year and may also change activities at certain points, however, some electives are not timetabled (e.g. EPQ, Enterprise and Young Philanthropy) and will normally take place across the whole year. All Year 12 students also undertake an Advanced Study Skills course on entry to the Sixth Form.

More information about Enrichment courses will be available in September and we will monitor progress as the year progresses, seeking the view of teachers and students so that we can adapt and grow the programme in the future. For now, as a reminder of the kinds of courses on offer, please see the list by clicking here.

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

The week ahead

Monday 12 July 2021
Lunchtime Year group picnic – U3 & L4

Tuesday 13 July 2021
Lunchtime Year group picnic – U4

Wednesday 14 July 2021
L5 Careers Day
Lunchtime Year group picnic – L5

Thursday 15 July 2021
Year 6 Valedictory Event
Lunchtime Year group picnic – 6.1

Friday 16 July 2021
End of Summer Term

Remembering Mr Bailey

As the weather has been rather fickle of late, we gathered in the Senior School Hall for our ‘Remembering Mr Bailey’ event on Tuesday afternoon, rather than out of doors as originally planned. There was plenty of space for pupils, from Pre School to Year 7, to sit in their separate bubbles. With the doors open and a lovely breeze flowing through the Hall, the scene was set for a time of calm reflection, of shared memories and of thankfulness.

Once everyone was seated, Mrs O’Doherty, Deputy Head Pastoral Care and Guidance, introduced herself and talked about how much she enjoyed working with Mr Bailey when they were colleagues on the Senior Leadership Team. She remembers him as being very energetic and enthusiastic, of how he was always smiling and of how he could be a little naughty, giving the example that he once owned up to eating the chocolates in his daughter’s advent calendar! Acknowledging we still feel very sad that Mr Bailey has died, she went on to say that everyone who knew him will have their own memories of him. Many will remember his enthusiasm for running and football, others will remember how he encouraged a love of singing, and most will remember how he greeted Junior School pupils and their parents at the gate every morning – not because he had to but because he so enjoyed seeing children arriving at school, excited about the day ahead.

Mrs O’Doherty went on to explain that the attractive potted bay tree at the front of the Hall, and now at the Junior School entrance, was a symbol to represent the tree by which we will remember Mr Bailey. The actual tree will be planted in the school grounds at some point during the autumn, when the weather is better suited for tree planting than in the summer months. 

Mrs Purvey-Tyrer, Deputy Head of Junior School, then came forward and talked about how Mr Bailey was also interested in literature and reading. In memory of him, she chose to share a poignant but beautiful poem which made us think about the fact that, just as you cannot judge a biography by its number of pages or a song by its number of notes, the impact of a person who enriches one’s life is endless. So it was with Mr Bailey.

Recalling Mr Bailey’s mantra that ‘A singing school is a happy school’, Mrs Davis and Mrs Farrar invited everyone to stand and sing two uplifting songs. I must admit that I didn’t know either song but it was clear that the girls certainly did and their singing resonated around Northampton High for several glorious minutes. ‘Give A Little Smile’ and ‘Lovely Summer’s Day’ really helped everyone to feel more at ease with the mixed emotions of sadness about the loss of Mr Bailey and thankfulness for having known him.

We felt privileged to be joined by the Year 7 students who knew Mr Bailey particularly well and also members of staff from across the whole school. The catering staff kindly provided drinks and cupcakes after the ‘formal’ proceedings and Mrs Davis encouraged everyone to share their memories of Mr Bailey with each other, while they enjoyed the refreshments. I joined several small groups as they chatted and there is no doubt that Mr Bailey will long be remembered as an immensely kind, thoughtful and fun-loving Head of Junior School who cared deeply for his pupils and colleagues. A group of Year 4 pupils delighted in telling me how understanding he was and when I asked for an example they said, ‘Well, you could just turn up in the morning and sing when you arrived, and when we did the run round outside school you could just join in and stop when you needed to, he understood you couldn’t keep running’. 

As the last of the cake wrappers were cleared and everyone drifted back to their classrooms, I was struck by a real sense that Mr Bailey would have been very proud of how incredibly well the pupils, their parents and the staff of Northampton High have supported one another throughout the many challenges of 2020-21. 

Wishing you a good weekend before the final week of this memorable school year,

Katie Milne
Consultant Head of Junior School

Pride Week at Northampton High

This week has seen many festivities taking place around the senior school, to celebrate a belated Pride as the school year comes to an end. The Sixth Form portion of Femsoc met for cake, and a joyous recap of the past year, and, after delegating jobs between students, we got to work planning what was to be Northampton High School Pride Week 2021.

We started the week off with a wonderful assembly put together by members of the Femsoc team. A special mention must be made to Leila B for her wonderful work on the PowerPoint, which covered a broad range of topics and focused on how to use people’s preferred pronouns and what language could be considered offensive to the community.

This assembly also kicked off the school-wide scavenger hunt which saw pupils all the way from U3 to 6.1 touring the school, whilst learning about different identities and sexualities, and competing for a prize. The pupils completed the hunt individually, or in groups, by following the emoji clues to the relevant departments in the school. Each department had one or more influential person attached to them who identified as part of the LGBTQIA+ community; these biographies were displayed in their relevant areas, for example, a poster of Ricky Martin was displayed in the Languages corridor. Once they had visited all the departments, students were able to hand in their answer sheets in return for an edible prize. After talking to some very competitive U3 students who were taking part, I found that they were retaining a lot of the information about the community whilst having a very enjoyable time!

We finished the week with a rainbow-themed mufti day; each Year Group and Faculty was asked to wear a designated colour for mufti – making up all the colours of the  LGBTQIA+ inclusive flag. The donations from this mufti event all went towards Q Space, an organisation for the queer community in Northamptonshire. Upon entering the school on Friday, you were sure to be met with colourful outfits and a flood of rainbow accessories with flags to match. Pronoun and Pride badges were on sale with stickers being given away in the foyer to further raise money for Q Space. Community spirit was clearly visible as groups of friends gathered around to take pictures with Pride flags and accessories galore.

Overall, it truly was very exciting to see our school coming together after the unorthodox couple of years we’ve had, and all of us here at Femsoc are thankful for everyone’s efforts to support what is, for many of us, an event very close to our hearts.

Millie C

Student success in the Junior Maths Challenge

A large number of students from U3 and L4  took part in the recent Junior Maths Challenge, with three pupils reaching the follow-on round (called the Junior Kangaroo).

These students were, from L4, Arna K and Sonia M, and from U3 Himaya S. Himaya was also awarded with a Merit certificate for the Kangaroo, which only a small percentage of entrants achieved. This is a great achievement, especially for an U3 student.

Well done to all of the entrants!

Mrs Harrison
Teacher of Mathematics

L5 Trip to Bhaktivedanta Manor for Religious Studies GCSE

With the sun shining, we departed on our coach heading for Bhaktivedanta Manor, a place of worship for the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, perhaps better known as the Hare Krishna denomination or ISKCON.

We were greeted by Alison and Daya who welcomed us and took us straight to the worship/prayer room. Once we removed our shoes and entered the main hall, our breath was taken away by the beauty of the murtis (statues of the deities) of Lord Krishna, Radha, Lord Rama, Sita, Laxman, and Hanuman. Next, we were treated to a tour of the beautiful grounds. The old manor house was bought by George Harrison (from the Beatles) in 1973 and donated to His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada for ISKCON worship, education, and accommodation.

We were given a tour which included the beautiful flower gardens, lake and goshalla (cow sanctuary) where we were treated to a short Ox-cart ride and an opportunity to feed the cows. Following a delicious lunch of tomato and pea curry with paneer (cheese), chips, rice and a puri (fried bread) we were set some group work and discussion tasks by Alison and gained further knowledge and understanding of the beliefs, teachings and practices of Hinduism beyond our studies in the classroom! Finally, we dressed up in saris and enjoyed face painting with flowers and patterns – we truly experienced kama (delight in the senses) and bhakti (loving devotion) as our hosts were so wonderfully generous and kind.

On our way out we managed to catch a glimpse of preparations for a Hindu wedding which looked incredible! A great day was had by all and we have definitely all learnt something new about Hinduism from the experience.

Miss Robinson
Subject Leader Theology & Philosophy

Year 6 students present fantastic French presentations to U3 pupils!

This term, Year 6 students have produced some fantastic work on inspirational French speaking figures in their lessons with Mme Morgan and Mme Abu.

Yesterday, the current U3 cohort was lucky to be invited to attend their presentations in the Senior Hall, where the Year 6 pupils introduced their figures and explained why they found them inspirational. We were impressed with the quality of their work and the confidence displayed speaking in a foreign language.

The Languages Faculty

Psychology Research Project

Over the past two weeks, the A Level Psychology groups have been learning all about the practical side of conducting research.  Their project has been to investigate the Stroop effect and they have tested fellow students, members of staff and family members on their ability to say what colour ink a word is written in, when the meaning of the word and the colour ink are the same – it is not as easy as it looks!  It is actually very difficult for people who have learned to read to switch off their automatic reading response and focus on the colour of the ink instead.

The students have written up their research findings in a formal research report and this has given them the opportunity to put all their knowledge of Research Methods to practical use.  The report has involved writing hypotheses, procedures and statistical analysis of the results, together with a critical discussion of the study’s strengths and weaknesses from a methodological and ethical point of view.

It has been a  really fun way to end the term and apply the knowledge acquired during the first year of the A Level course.

Sheila Thomas

U3 Palette Knife Landscapes

In this display you can see how the students experimented with mark making through palette knife work. Acrylic paint was applied to the palette and then students selected different shapes and edges of knives to vary the length, quality and width of lines.

We used words such as swipe, stipple, blend, marble and scratch to describe our work. Not very complex words but nonetheless, important considerations when using these tools.

The work, I hope you will agree, is refreshing, energetic and expressionistic, with a new approach for Year 7 artists in their landscape painting. Moving away from realistic colour and blended brushwork was fun and has broadened our horizons into Fine Art processes.

I hope that everybody is looking forward to the holidays and perhaps packing their travel watercolours on a local walk or staycation?

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts

Ruby's portrait using acrylics and watercolours

We are delighted to share with you this magnificent piece of artwork completed by Ruby S.

Titled ‘Portrait of Eddie’, this portrait was completed by Ruby for a friend using acrylics and watercolours, and I’m sure you will agree the finished piece is fantastic!

Well done Ruby. We hope you all have a lovely summer with your pets!

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts

Book of the Week

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

Recommended for U4 and above

As his tale begins, Orlando is a passionate young nobleman whose days are spent in rowdy revelry, filled with the colourful delights of Queen Elizabeth’s court. By the close, he will have transformed into a modern, thirty-six-year-old woman and three centuries will have passed.

Orlando will not only witness the making of history from its edge, but will find that his unique position as a woman who knows what it is to be a man will give him insight into matters of the heart.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Lucie secures place at Royal Ballet School for summer intensive course

We are delighted to learn the exciting news that student Lucie C has been successful in gaining a place at the Royal Ballet School summer intensive course for two weeks this August. Lucie will be boarding at White Lodge, Richmond Park in London for the duration.

This is an incredible achievement as the school receives thousands of applications a year from all around the world, including China, Australia, America, and only a small handful of applications are successful to ensure the numbers are low. Lucie started her ballet at school but now trains at Mayhew School of Dance, Rambert Ballet School in London, and has attended associate classes at Elmhurst Ballet School and The Royal Ballet School.

Congratulations Lucie, we all hope you enjoy this wonderful experience!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

End of Term Arrangements

On Friday 16 July, the final day of the Summer Term, the Senior School day will be finishing at 11:50am. There will be no after school supervision, and buses will be on site at 12pm for a prompt departure.

Many thanks for your cooperation.

Mrs O’Doherty
Deputy Head Pastoral

Holiday Athletics Course

Term Dates 20/21

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
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