Nothampton High School
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High News

High News 1 December 2017

Brainwave, brainwash or hogwash? What we really know about brain science and education

Should the school day be shorter? Or perhaps longer?

Should we begin the day mid-morning rather than sooner to accommodate the circadian rhythms of the average teenager?

How does drinking lots of water affect learning power?

Or eating sugar?

What difference does physical exercise make to cognitive ability?

The answers to these and other compelling questions about how we might make education better for our pupils represent a promised land for educationalists. They were the key drivers behind the movement to bring the discoveries of neuroscience, one of the world’s fastest growing fields of enquiry, into schools. It is over a decade since the Centre for Neuroscience in Education in Cambridge was set up to do just this and almost four years since the government put money into the enterprise with the establishment of the Education and Neuroscience Project.

So, where have we got to in the quest for answers? The GSA Annual Heads’ Conference in Manchester last week was the forum for a roundup of progress, courtesy of a keynote by psychologist, Bruce Hood.

Click here to read the blog in full.


Week Ahead

Monday 4 December

U4 Full Report available on Firefly

Events and activities

Christmas Chemistry Extravaganza

Tuesday 5 December

U5 Parents Evening

Thursday 7 December

U5 Age UK Christmas Concert

Friday 8 December

U5 Short Report available on Firefly

Sports fixtures

*All fixtures on Saturday 2 December have been cancelled due to the weather.

Tuesday 5 December

Wellingborough School Hockey (H)
U18 1ST XI

Thursday 7 December

Bedford Modern School Hockey (H)

Friday 8 December

GDST Day of Dance (A) U18 U4+

Rotary Chef Competition 2017

On Saturday 18 November we hosted the local heat of the Rotary Chef Competition at school. Annika Dani, Grace Rivers-Lambert and Erin James from Upper Third, and Tilly Poole from Lower Fourth, cooked a three course meal for two people within a two hour time limit. The girls’ parents, the organiser of the competition, the judges and myself were all so impressed with the skills the girls demonstrated, the amount of time and effort they had put into the morning, but also the preparation beforehand. Congratulations to Tilly Poole who won this round! She will now go on to compete in the District Finals. Well done to all the girls; you should be so proud of yourselves!

Miss Knight, Subject Leader Food

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Theatre Trip to see Hedda Gabler

On Wednesday, A Level and GCSE Drama students went to see the National Theatre’s touring production of Ibsen’s classic play, Hedda Gabler at the Derngate Theatre. When I entered the auditorium, the first thing that struck me was there were no visible entrances or exits within the staging. Instead, it was a large, open, modern set, stark in its design, with singular strategically placed furniture to represent how Hedda feels enclosed and isolated. The minimalist set was simple and effective and befitted the contemporary adaptation by Patrick Marber.

Tony and Olivier award winning director, Ivo van Hove treated us to some considered direction, most notably the slow scene shifting by Hedda to represent her boredom and frustration. The use of the large stone modern fireplace as the furnace for Eliert Lovborg’s precious manuscript was a powerful moment that demonstrated Hedda’s manipulation and disregard for the people who trusted her. The shaft of lights through the vertical venetian blinds gave a contemporary and naturalistic appearance of sunlight and the way that Hedda opened and shut them in an almost choreographed and stylised way set to music, helped further reinforce the struggle with her mind, symbolising her unstable behaviour and her feelings of confinement and repression.

As the play was set entirely in the vast grey/white space, the tension was built during the final moments by a ritualistic boarding up of the glass doors,  accompanied by the song, Hallelujah, representing the loss of light and life of Aunt Rina and the foreshadowing that Loverg and Hedda should follow.

Lizzie Watts gave a credible performance of the tormented soul from the opening image of her draped over the piano, to the playful taunting and backstabbing towards Thea Elvsted, and in the final moments, where, with care and consideration, she takes her life using her father’s gun to retrieve her power back.

The candidates took copious notes throughout the play and should have plenty to write about in their examination.

Mrs Care, Director of Theatre

Rotary Youth Speak Competiton

We were delighted to host the first round of the Rotary Club’s Youth Speaks competition on Tuesday. Two Northampton High School teams were pitted against each other in the Intermediate category, while two Northampton School for Boys teams went head-to-head in the Senior category.

For Northampton High, Katie Leahy gave a nuanced yet passionate speech on animal experimentation, with Florence Gundle providing a well-constructed vote of thanks and the team as a whole being confidently chaired by Katie Gibbs. Our other team, speaking on the topic of school uniform, was chaired by Freya Tansley, with Charlotte Morris offering the vote of thanks and Lydia Moselely being the main speaker.

The judges enjoyed this team’s touches of humour and were impressed by the confident delivery of all three. They go on to compete at the next round of the competition in January.

Mr Viesel, Teacher of English

Salvation Army Collection

Build your Christmas spirit by helping The Salvation Army to spread some Christmas cheer and transform the lives of less fortunate children. This Christmas, we are collecting any unwanted toys that are in good enough condition to give to a child who may not otherwise receive a present. We will be collecting the gifts in the Junior and Senior School foyers from Monday 4 December until Tuesday 12 December. Christmas is as much about giving as it is receiving.  Thank you in advance for your support.

Bethany Saunders, Head Girl Team

NVQ in Level 2 Food and Kitchen Services

I am delighted to report that two members of my catering team have passed their NVQ in Level 2 Food and Kitchen Services. This process has taken Emma and Piya almost a year to complete and I am very proud they have done so well in gaining this qualification; especially balancing it alongside work and family commitments.

Mrs McCue, Catering and Hospitality Manager

Charity Quiz Fundraiser for Plan International UK

The Senior School will be holding a Charity Quiz Fundraiser event on Friday 19 January 2018. The event will begin at 6.00pm in the Senior School hall. Tickets will cost £10 per adult and £6 for students.

To enter as a team you will need a maximum of 8 people per table. The entry fee will include pizza and hot dogs during the interval, and a Peroni beer or canned drink of your choice. On the night, there will be a raffle taking place and a licensed bar. The evening is likely to finish by 9.00pm.

All of the funds raised from the evening will go towards the whole School charity, Plan International UK: Because I am a girl.

Plan International UK is a children’s charity that strives to advance children’s rights and equality for girls all over the world. 58 million girls have been reached through their global ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign and 93,000 children in 50 countries are currently being sponsored through Plan International UK. As a school we are currently sponsoring Monique Boni Dassogui, a 12 year old girl from Benin, West Africa. Our sponsorship has enabled Monique to attend a primary school which takes her less than 30 minutes to reach. As a result of our sponsorship, we have not only benefited the life of Monique, but also the area of PU Nord by investing in projects for the whole community that include:

• Provision of medicines and supplies
• Activities to raise awareness on the health of children below 5 years of age
• Training for adolescents on reproductive health
• Provision of play and arts materials for schools
• Capacity building and support to women’s self-help groups

Please order tickets by Friday 12 January at the latest. To place an order for the tickets, please email We look forward to seeing you there.

Bethany Saunders, Head Girl Team

National Theatre New Views

On Monday afternoon, Paula Stanic led a workshop on creative writing for the National Theatre New Views group. Paula is an award winning writer who is currently attached to the National Theatre Studio, and has written for the BBC, Soho Theatre and The Bush. The students were given a range of stimulus material to inspire their ideas including newspaper articles and current events. Paula will read and provide feedback for the students’ first drafts and their final drafts will be submitted to the National in the Spring. Anyone who is interested in developing their skills as a writer, please join the group on Tuesdays during form time in C2 or see Ms Heimfeld.

Ms Heimfield, Teacher of English

Theatre Uniform

L5 were delighted to receive and fashion their new Theatre uniform this week. This will enable them to comfortably undertake practical exploration during the lesson time.

Mrs Care, Director of Theatre

Christmas Dinner Menu

Christmas Dinner Menu – Wednesday 13 December 2017

Chilled Orange Juice
Roast Breast of Turkey served with Pigs in Blankets, Sage and Onion Stuffing Balls, Thyme Flavoured Roast Potatoes, Roasted Parsnips, Glazed Batons of Carrots, Button Brussel Sprouts, Minted Peas, Cranberry Sauce and Fresh Gravy
Vegetarian Option: Oven Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable, Feta Cheese and Sundried Tomato Filo Pastry Parcel served with Thyme Flavoured Roast Potatoes, Roasted Parsnips, Glazed Batons of Carrots, Button Brussel Sprouts, Minted Peas and Fresh Gravy
Chocolate Yule Log served with Seasonal Fresh Winter Berries and Whipped Cream or Steamed Traditional Christmas Pudding served with Fresh Custard
Warmed Mince Pie
After Dinner Mints and Chocolates

WANTED - An expert in the global confectionery market

The Upper Sixth Business students were delighted this week when the context for their Paper 3 exam was confirmed – what could be a better market to study than the Global Confectionery Industry?!

The girls have to undertake some research into this market focusing on the current trends in manufacturers including investment, growth and takeovers; influences on the market; the competitive environment facing producers and retailers; human resource management in the UK chocolate confectionery industry and marketing and promotions in the global industry.

Obviously this type of research can be done using secondary sources, but there is nothing like a real person with real experience to bring an industry to life. If there are any parents with contacts to this industry, who may be willing to spend an hour talking to the students about one or some of these topics, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact me by email:

I look forward to hearing from you.

Mrs Tansley
Subject Leader Business & Economics

Sports Centre Christmas Offer

Christmas Special Offer – One month trial for only £15 as a one off payment, open to all over 16s. This great offer is available to purchase from Friday 1 December until Friday 5 December, giving you membership until 23 December – that’s less than £1 per day!

Please look for the special offer rate on our website: or contact the Sports Centre on 01604 547884 or

Mr Robinson-Smith
Fitness Centre Manager

Book Review

My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley

‘You are my sister now,’ Victoria said, quietly and solemnly. ‘Never forget it. I love you like a sister, and you are my only friend in all the world.’

Miss V. Conroy is good at keeping secrets. She likes to sit as quiet as a mouse, neat and discreet. But when her father sends her to Kensington Palace to become the companion to Princess Victoria, Miss V soon finds that she can no longer remain in the shadows.

Miss V’s father has devised a strict set of rules for the young princess, which he calls the Kensington System. It governs her behaviour and keeps her locked away from the world. He says it is for the princess’s safety, but Victoria herself is convinced that it is to keep her lonely, and unhappy.

Torn between loyalty to her father and her growing friendship with the wilful and passionate Victoria, Miss V has a decision to make: to continue in silence, or to speak out.

By turns thrilling, dramatic and touching, this is the story of Queen Victoria’s childhood as you’ve never heard it before.

Miss Buxton, Librarian

Sports News

This week has started with the amazing performance at the GDST hockey weekend for the U14 team who ended the whole weekend as overall champions. They continued with this winning formation against Akeley Wood winning 7-0 on Thursday. The U12 girls played some strong hockey against Wellingborough School with both teams winning. We are looking forward, weather permitting, to our last Saturday matches of the season tomorrow against Loughborough High School.

Mrs Hackett, Director of Sport


On Friday 24 November to Sunday 26 November, the U14 hockey team enjoyed the national GDST tournament. The tournament started with the team traveling up to Bath on Friday afternoon without a goalie and without subs, but Mrs Hackett and Mrs Littlewood had a plan and told us not to fret. After getting a little lost, we finally arrived at The Royal High School Bath. After arriving we had time to hastily trek up to the astro pitch for are first matches of the tournament, where we won convincingly with 3-0 against Newcastle, both sides playing extremely well, despite the pitch being nearly frozen. After that we went on to play our final game of the day where we won 7-0 with a hat-rick from Esmé Ellis. After a hearty breakfast we walked into the beautiful city of Bath to enjoy the Christmas market and some retail therapy before a hard day of hockey! Our next match was against Portsmouth, where we enjoyed further success beating them 7-0 and then, despite best efforts, we lost 2-1 to Wimbledon. The girls were then treated to an inspiring talk from Kate Richardson-Walsh, former England and GB Hockey Captain and the most capped female hockey player in her country’s history. The next day the team beat Croydon with a score of 2-1, and then beat Norwich, winning 1-0. We went though to the finals and faced a hard match from Nottingham with a 0-0 result.The girls braved a penalty shoot out where Zoe Bradley (Captain) helped the team out by stepping in as goalie, and Suzie, Izzy and Jodie all supported by taking the shuffles. All of the girls scored. A special shout out to Suzie Gibson who scored in the top corner, and Zoe Bradley who stopped a goal, leading to a victory meaning we won the whole tournament! Thank you Mrs Hackett and Mrs Littlewood, and well done to Zoe Bradley (Captain), Lucy Ramskill (Goalie 1), Lucy Shepherd (Goalie 2), Charlotte Morris (Goalie 3), Suzie Gibson (Goalie 4), Anraj Mahil, Esmé Ellis (top scorer), Lydia Mosley, Jodie Welton, Izzy Pearson and Scarlett Moore.

Molly Roberts-Crawford


On Sunday 19 November some of our equestrian team went to Aston-Le-Walls for an arena eventer challenge. Abbie Hill competed early in the morning in the 65cm; she did very well as she was riding an old pony, but unfortunately got eliminated at the water jump. Then our 80cm team comprising Lily Roberts, Meg Bazeley and Eloise Harvey competed. They all did well; Meg had a clear round, Eloise only knocked the joker fence and Lily had a pole in the show jumping and unfortunately a fall at a fence, but managed to get back on and continue to complete successfully. It was a challenging course so everyone did really well, but sadly we were not placed. Alexa Dykes then competed in the 90cm, also knocking the joker fence. Overall, everyone did their very best and we are ready and excited for the next competition.

Alexa Dykes

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