Nothampton High School
High News

Friday 9 June 2023

Teaching Bravery, Not Perfection: Empowering Girls in Education 

I have spent much of May half term reflecting the many and excellent attributes of our Northampton High students. At the start of the break, I found myself engrossed in Reshma Saujani’s compelling 2016 TED talk titled ‘Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection’. In this thought provoking talk, Saujani elucidates the stark contrast between the societal expectations placed upon boys, encouraging them to embrace boldness, take risks and venture into uncharted territories, while simultaneously imposing upon girls the traditional notion of playing nicely, achieving highly and striving for unattainable perfection. Saujani’s captivating delivery, replete with a diverse array of illustrative examples, resonated with me as her message spoke an indisputable truth. Astonishingly, even in the 21st century, we find ourselves perpetuating an archaic stereotype of female perfection, inadvertently stifling the potential and authenticity of girls’ education. 

It is imperative that we start by educating girls that being brave is more valuable than being perfect. When they learn how to be brave, they can learn how to be imperfect, and it will make them happier and more successful. As such, we need to instil in girls the understanding that they don’t have to be perfectly suitable for a job to go for it; they don’t need to possess impeccable emotional regulation to have their voices heard; they don’t have to get every answer perfectly right in class, and most importantly, they should never feel compelled to alter their bodies to conform to the skewed ideals propagated by social media, which dictate what constitutes the perfect female body. 

The cultivation of bravery and the embracement of failure – at times even in a striking and dramatic manner – must assume a prominent position within the girls’ education movement, knowing that it is a stepping stone to growth. As Saujani convincingly asserts, our primary objective should revolve around teaching girls the significance of summoning the courage to attempt new endeavours and to be their unguarded, authentic selves, unfazed by the outcomes or reactions of others. Such audaciousness is deserving of celebration and serves as a testament to their strength of character.

Saujani’s talk serves as a poignant reminder that the aspiration towards unattainable standards of perfection permeates virtually every facet of a young girl’s life: from social media’s emphasis on the ideal female form, to a fear of being assertive, to the hesitancy girls feel when voicing their opinions or ideas within the classroom, and the imposter syndrome that afflicts numerous young women in the workplace. 

So, as educators, what proactive measures can we undertake to effectively counteract these implicit biases? Furthermore, how can we bridge the substantial gap that exists in the approach to educating girls and boys? 

To read the full entry, please click here.

Dr Lee

The Week Ahead

Monday 12 June
Cross-Curricular Fortnight (all week)
Cricket: U13 v Wellingborough

Tuesday 13 June
Wizard of Oz Afterschool Rehearsal
Outward Bound Information evening

Wednesday 14 June
Year 12 Reach Seminar

Thursday 15 May
Cricket: U15 Hardball Regional Tournament
Wizard of Oz Afterschool Rehearsal

Friday 16 June
Year 12 Reach Seminar

To view a list of the summer term clubs and activities, please click here.

Sports Day 2023

Every year, Sports Day is described as a firm favourite in the Northampton High calendar. The competitive nature of the event ensures a buzz of excitement throughout the day, whilst the team spirit across each of the Houses guarantees a supportive and friendly environment.

With the glorious sunshine beaming down on the school, pupils and staff alike were enthusiastic to begin the series of sporting events. Wearing fancy dress and House colours, the school community gathered on the field for a day of fun!

As is tradition at Northampton High, students competed together in their House teams; Artemis, Demeter, Hestia and Selene, in an attempt to win the coveted trophy. We were pleased to see everyone having fun, trying their best and supporting one another!

The day saw plenty of exceptional performances, with personal bests and school records being set. In a school that is full of sporting talent, Sports Day proves a fabulous opportunity for parents and staff to celebrate our fantastic athletes!

Congratulations to each and every one of our students for participating in this year’s Sports Day. The effort and enthusiasm shown by all is a demonstration of what we can achieve when we work together. A special well done to Artemis for being the Junior School winners, and to Hestia for being crowned the Senior and whole school champions!

A huge thank you to our wonderful Sports department for organising a fantastic event enjoyed by all, and to our spirited students who made the day one to remember!

'In Conversation' with Dr Lee and Dr Stannard

In a bespoke event dedicated to exploring girls’ education, Northampton High School invited guests to learn more about the differences that a girls-first ecosystem can make for confidence, careers, and skills

As pioneers in girls’ education, Northampton High invited guests into school to discover how a girls-only approach can transform their daughter’s lives. Leading the conversation, Dr May Lee, Head of Northampton High, and Dr Kevin Stannard, the GDST’s Director of Innovation & Learning respectively, shared their expert knowledge on the topic, disproving myths and misapprehensions that surround single-sex education and explaining why Northampton High School is ‘made for girls’. As specialists in education, the pair whole-heartedly believe that a girls-first philosophy in schools is the most beneficial approach and were delighted to communicate their viewpoint  to an audience of parents.

Taking place on Wednesday 7 June, Northampton High welcomed guests to the event, with individuals from both inside and outside of the school community eager to learn more. Commencing the evening with a drinks reception, those in attendance were able to enjoy refreshments whilst speaking with like-minded parents about girls’ education, ahead of the main discussion.

Situated in our state-of-the-art theatre, guests joined Dr Lee and Dr Stannard for a discussion on their field of expertise. Referencing themes of the landmark national research, The Girls’ Futures Report, the specialist speakers explained the benefits of all-girls schools to their engaged audience. Exploring trends in data, the pair drew evidence from the national survey conducted by the GDST, which was completed by 1358 girls aged 9-18 from across England and Wales. The overarching findings that the research concluded was that pupils who attend all-girls schools, and particularly GDST schools, are comparatively more confident about their future and feel more prepared to lead lives without limits than girls from co-educational schools.

Opening the discussion to their audience, the expert speakers invited guests to share their views on the subject in a conversational question and answer format. Delving deeper into the differences in girls’ ambitions, careers and skills in the latter part of the evening, the session provoked interesting discussions, with guests developing a further understanding and belief in a girls-first ecosystem.

Accompanied by Dr Lee and Dr Stannard, members of the audience enjoyed final refreshments whilst reflecting on the insightful event. In a school that is made for girls, Northampton High School emphasises the importance of a tailored education for girls and consistently seeks to engage individuals in this vital topic.

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day

Northampton High School has been raising awareness for Menstrual Hygiene Day in an attempt to highlight the issues faced by those experiencing period poverty. The campaign underlines the importance of menstrual hygiene and aims to educate people on the issues faced by those who don’t have access to sanitary products.

This week, our Femsock team organised various activities to break the silence and stigma surrounding the topic. With the help of Ms Eldridge and Mrs Kaur, pupils created posters and displays to encourage others to learn more about period poverty in the UK and around the world. Sanitary product collection points were also set up around the school to encourage staff and students to donate products in support of a local charity. 

On Thursday 8 June, we held a special mufti day dedicated to the campaign. It was wonderful to see our entire Senior School community wearing red or pink in support of this movement and coming together to raise awareness. During lunchtime, the Senior School foyer was transformed into a nail-painting, glitter-tattoo station for other pupils to enjoy. This initiative saw the group raise money in support of our chosen charities and inspired several conversations around menstrual hygiene.

Thank you to Ms Eldridge, Mrs Kaur and the entire Femsock team for their dedication to this project and for being the change we wish to see!


SSLT deliver their guide to a fabulous final half term


In our Monday morning assembly, our wonderful SSLT welcomed fellow students back to school following the half term break!

After explaining more about their roles as members of our Head Girl team, the group shared enthusiasm for the weeks ahead and spoke passionately about their ambitions for the next academic year.

With our fantastic Arts Season approaching and many other exciting events coming up, the Student Leadership Team delivered their guide to a fabulous final half term!

We look forward to updating you on all that happens at Northampton High over the coming weeks!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Robert Walker Law Essay Prize recognition

We are delighted to share that Eliza A (Year 12) has been awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2023 Robert Walker Law Essay Prize, organised by Trinity College, Cambridge.

The ‘Highly Commended’ class is reserved for the top 10% of entries in this competition and the judges comment that they were impressed by Eliza’s “well-researched and comprehensive essay, which engaged deeply with some of the difficult conceptual issues inherent in the question”. She has been invited to the prize-giving ceremony at Trinity on 6 July.

Miss Kilby
Reach Coordinator

Wizard of Oz Spotlight: Tinman

This year, Northampton High School’s summer musical production is based on the Wizard of Oz!

Our cast and crew are very excited to perform to an audience and showcase all they have been working on over recent months. With only a few weeks remaining until the performance, now is the time to get to know our cast a little better!

Take a look at what our Tinman had to say about being a part of our musical production…

How would you describe your character?
Polite, brave and a gentleman to Dorothy.

Are there any qualities of your character that you can relate to? How and why?
Bravery, because I always try to be 10% braver.

What has been your most memorable moment of rehearsals so far?
Finding out my role; I was super surprised when I found out that I would be playing the Tinman!

What are you most looking forward to the most for the Wizard of Oz?
Performing for everyone. Sometimes I feel stage fright during rehearsals or backstage, but when I am on the stage I become the character.

How do you feel that being part of a team and a musical production has developed you as a person?
Team work makes the dream work!


Ruby attends World Agility Open Championships

Last August, I was lucky enough to be one of the 4 juniors selected to compete at the World Agility Open Championships for Team England! After a long wait following a successful selection process, the championships finally took place a few weeks ago. 

I can safely say it was the most amazing experience! Throughout the week I had to run many courses and perform consistently well throughout. There were roughly 30 countries competing there and we did well enough to earn a Bronze medal in the junior category! 

Amongst thousands of competitors in the adults category, we managed to keep a top position until near the end, until finally finishing 5th in the Biathlon class!


Indi awarded rosette at Princethorpe riding event

Congratulations to Indi for her efforts at the Princethorpe National Schools and Riding Club’s 2-day event earlier in the week.

We think she did amazingly in her first 2-day competition and we are proud to announce that she achieved 4th position in a mixed-school team!

Indi had a wonderful time and gained lots of valuable experience!

PE Department

New school mini buses

Our brand new school mini buses have arrived and we think they look fantastic!

Our school transport programme is a convenient option for many families, and with our flexible routes serving over 150 bus stop locations, the opportunity for students to be more independent in their commute to school has become increasingly popular!

We welcome you to learn more about our transport programme here:

Mr Hume
Director of Finance & Operations

Book Review

But What Can I Do: Why politics has gone so wrong, and how you can help fix it by Alistair Campbell

‘Your country needs you. Your world needs you. Your time is now.’

Our politics is a mess. We have leaders who can’t or shouldn’t be allowed to lead. We endure governments that lie, and seek to undermine our democratic values. And we are confronted with policies that serve the interests of the privileged few. It’s no surprise that so many of us feel frustrated, let down and drawn to ask, ‘But what can I do?

That question is the inspiration behind this book. It’s a question regularly posed to Alastair Campbell, not least in reaction to The Rest is Politics, the chart-topping podcast he presents with former Tory Cabinet minister Rory Stewart. His answer, typically, is forthright and impassioned. We cannot afford to stand on the side-lines. If we think things need to change, then we need to change them, and that means getting involved.

But What Can I Do? provides each of us with the motivation and the tools to make a difference. It explains how we can develop our skills of advocacy and persuasion. It draws on Alastair’s long experience to offer practical tips on putting together and leading a campaign team. It provides priceless advice on developing confidence and coping with criticism and setbacks. And it sets out the practical steps by which we can become political players ourselves.

Purchase through the NHS bookshop here.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Northampton High receives Certificate of Excellence

Sun safety reminder

With the weather getting warmer, please can I remind you to practice safe sun care when spending time outside.

Remaining hydrated, wearing sun hats and applying sunscreen are essential measures in the summer heat and we would encourage everyone to follow these sun safety tips.

Mrs Dunkley
School Nurse

Frank Knights Schools Triathlon

A handful of students in our Senior School recently participated in the Frank Knights Schools Triathlon at Oundle School. If you wish to view photographs from the event, please click here. To view the event video, please click here.

Northampton High School - Where girls learn without limits

Swap Shop events

We would like to share the forthcoming Swap Shop event date with you. These events provide parents with the opportunity to buy, sell or donate items of uniform that you no longer require. If you have any items that you would like to sell or donate, please bring them to school for the below date:

Friday 30 June
8.00am to 9.00am – Junior School Swap Shop, Junior School Library
11.30am to 12.30pm – Junior School Swap Shop, Junior School Library
3.00pm to 4.00pm – Senior School Swap Shop, Junior School Dining Room

Save the Date: Creative Arts Festival

Wizard of Oz

Save the date: Alumnae Reunion Lunch

Save the Date: Speech Day 2023

Save the Date: Parents Afternoon Tea - Friday 7 July

We invite you to save the date for this summer’s Parent Afternoon Tea event, which will be taking place on Friday 7 July, from 2 – 3.30pm. The cost for this event will be £15pp, and bookings can be made via ParentPay, with a deadline of Wednesday 31 May.

More information will follow over the coming weeks and months, but we do hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a lovely afternoon.

Miss Hair
Head of Junior School

Children's Activity Morning at Dobbies

Community Nursery Sessions

Cricket Coaching in Northampton


Term Dates

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