Nothampton High School
High News

High News 1 February 2019

Should ‘Be More Kind’ Be the First School Rule?

“There is a momentum in kindness, that beats the momentum of no tolerance”.

In these last few dark days of a seemingly endless January, it would be easy to be even less optimistic about some of the challenges in caring for the wellbeing of young.  Many school staff (and parents too) face a huge challenge in trying to gain support from overstretched local services whose job is to offer advice and guidance.  And with the opening of every newspaper, teachers discover yet another 21st Century problem could be fixed by simply ‘teaching it in schools’ (mobile phone safety, financial skills, cooking, resilience – you get the picture – many of those things that communities used to teach their children). So I was delighted to discover that my cold journey to the ASCL Pastoral Conference, in the shadow of Blue Monday, was to prove a refreshingly positive experience.

Pastoral Care is a tough one; it encompasses all of those things that are not the nuts and bolts of academic work. To name a few strands, we are talking about health in all its guises, including mental health, extracurricular offerings, happiness and resilience, behaviour and rewards, safeguarding and online safety. Countless things that are so important to the wellbeing of our pupils, and that make such a difference to their potential to thrive and succeed.

Read more here

Mrs O’Doherty
Deputy Head (Pastoral Care & Guidance)

Week Ahead

Monday 4 February
Book Week
6.2 Mock Examinations
Fundraising Week for Children in Yemen
Senior School Assembly – Chinese New Year
Badminton – U16A vs Bedford Girls’ School (H)
Badminton – U14A vs Bedford Girls’ School (H) 

Tuesday 5 February
Book Week
6.2 Mock Examinations
Fundraising Week for Children in Yemen
Netball – U15A vs Thornton College (A)
Netball – U14A vs Thornton College (A)

Wednesday 6 February
Book Week
6.2 Mock Examinations
Fundraising Week for Children in Yemen
Languages Festival
U5 Parents Evening
Netball – U11A vs Broughton Manor (H)
Netball – U11B vs Broughton Manor (H)
Netball – U11C vs Broughton Manor (H)
Netball – U13A vs Beachborough (H)
Netball – U13B vs Beachborough (H)
Netball – U13C vs Beachborough (H)

Thursday 7 February
Book Week
6.2 Mock Examinations
Fundraising Week for Children in Yemen
Intermediate Mathematical Challenge
House Assemblies
6.1 Chemistry Sanger Institute Trip
School Production Rehearsals
Swimming – U13A vs Warwick 50s (A)
Swimming – U12A vs Warwick 50s (A)

Friday 8 February
Book Week
6.2 Mock Examinations
Fundraising Week for Children in Yemen
Mufti Day: Wear Blue for UNICEF (fundraising for Yemen)
Senior School Assembly – Book Week
L5-6.2 Trip to see Oedipux Rex

Saturday 9 February
Netball 1st VII vs Ratcliffe College (H)
Netball 2nd VII vs Ratcliffe College (H)
Netball – U15A vs Ratcliffe College (H)
Netball – U15B vs Ratcliffe College (H)
Netball – U14A vs Ratcliffe College (H)
Netball – U14B vs Ratcliffe College (H)
Netball – U13A vs Ratcliffe College (A)
Netball – U13B vs Ratcliffe College (A)
Netball – U12A vs Ratcliffe College (A)
Netball – U12B vs Ratcliffe College (A)

U16 Netballers qualify for National Schools Netball Finals

Northampton High School’s U16 Netball team has already enjoyed a stellar start to the 2019/20 season. As a result of being crowned County Champions in November, the School team qualified for the Regional Finals, and a squad full of optimism travelled to Leicester last Saturday to test themselves against the best players in the region.

The girls knew that progression to the final of this tournament would see them qualify for the National Finals, and the squad arrived at Soar Valley determined to reach their goal. Inspired and driven, the team fought back from a 4-goal deficit to draw 11-11 against a strong Derby High, one of the day’s many highlights, as the girls produced some outstanding Netball to win the remainder of their group games, finishing unbeaten and qualifying for the semi-finals.

The semi-final was a well-fought affair, but the heart and perseverance of the High School girls was too much for their opponents and, with the game going to extra time, the team scored 2 important goals to seal the match, confirming their place in the Regional Final! Unfortunately, Loughborough High just edged the U16 squad out in what was a hotly contested final, but that was not without the best efforts from a very talented squad.

Reaching the final, however, means that qualification for the National Finals is secured – just reward for what has been a remarkable campaign so far for the girls. With the finals taking place on 16 March in Welwyn Garden City, and as the only school from Northamptonshire qualifying for this prestigious tournament, the girls are as determined as ever to work hard and go for gold.

An unbelievable achievement. We are very proud of Mrs Ford and the whole squad’s accomplishments so far; the best of luck for more accolades in March.

Mr Nash
Marketing and Communications Officer

International opera and concert soprano delivers Voice Masterclass

A strong technique builds confidence in any vocal specialisation”.

Words spoken by Alison Roddy, international opera and concert soprano, who came to school last week to provide a Voice Masterclass for our girls. Alison, who has recently performed as soprano soloist in Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs, Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne and Mahler’s 2nd, 4th and 8th Symphonies, as well as in Handel’s Messiah at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, is an expert singer and teacher of the Italian bel canto method, demonstrated how one excellent vocal technique enables singers to move seamlessly between opera and musical theatre.

Alison was warmly welcomed to School by the Singing Stars, a young group of enthusiastic singers from Junior School. Alison discussed health and safety of the voice and demonstrated ways to ensure a safe vocal technique.

Opening her Masterclass singing the beautiful aria, ‘O mio babbino caro’ from the opera Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, Alison continued with a work well known to High School girls, Climb every mountain from the well-loved musical The Sound of Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Our Senior soloists were given a thorough insight into the world of singing professionally, each student being given bespoke advice for their individual voice and technique. The sheer vocal and musical rigour demanded of singers was highlighted through the Masterclass, and Alison reminded the girls that there were no microphones in opera; indeed using a microphone demands yet another vocal skill.

Impressed by the sheer potential she heard in the girls, Alison closed her workshop by suggesting tailored repertoire for each participant to master, and then sing in the follow-up event, taking place in June.

The June Masterclass and Recital, part of the School’s 2019 Arts Festival Season, will be open to the wider community, allowing girls, families and guests to catch a glimpse of the technical rigour required to be a great singer, and, moreover, will be an opportunity to hear the flourishing High School talent, as the girls perform their vocal pieces.

Mrs German
Music Teacher

High School students selected to represent the County in Netball

At Northampton High, we are proud to say that we have some very talented netballers who are part of the Northants County Netball squad. Jane S, Jane A, Jess P, Lily K and Phoebe H are training with the U15 squads while Evie K, Issy H and Ariana H train with the U13s. The girls train every week for 2 hours and play in matches once a month against the rest of the East Midlands county squads, travelling all over the region (with some very early starts on a Sunday!). All the girls are making great progress and we look forward to their continued success.

The next step for a young netballer after the County system is to try out for the Superleague Franchise U17 squads. In our U5 and currently playing for the 1st VII, we are proud to have Gemma U and Hannah Wh, who are currently training with the Wasps U17 Hub in Northamptonshire, and Georgie FW who is in the Loughborough Lightning U19 squad, training at Loughborough University. All three girls are working hard to improve their netball and aiming to take the next step to the Franchise NPL (National Performance League) squads in the future. They train hard, playing for school, club and Franchise whilst also studying hard for GCSEs.

We wish them the best of luck for this season in netball  and their exams – keep up the hard work girls!

Mrs Ford
Teacher of P.E

U5 visit Anglian Water

On Tuesday 29 January, U5 were lucky enough to participate in a workshop with Anglian Water. Instead of our usual science lessons, we received a fascinating insight into the workings of how the water we use is treated, the microorganisms involved with this water treatment and how the water is reused. In one of the sessions, we had mini-debates about where water is most needed; in industry, agriculture or domestic settings. It was interesting to get to know different peoples’ perspectives and how population growth is impacting the rate at which our water must be treated.

Many of us were shocked to discover how many microorganisms were used in the treatment of sewage water, and how closely they have to monitored. It was fascinating to know how physics, biology and chemistry all interlinked in a process few of us fully understood before the workshop.

In another session, we were taught about the water treatment cycle in greater detail, including how chlorine, ozone, sand and activated carbon are used to make water suitable for human consumption. This was a good example of organic chemistry in action.

In the final session, we were taught how microorganisms are used and monitored to clean water. We also learnt about how environmentally friendly the whole process is; most byproducts are used in other areas of life. For example, the biogas produced by the microorganisms is used to fuel other parts of the process and biosolids are sold to farmers to be used as fertilisers.

Overall, the workshop was very interesting and has helped us to understand more about the water treatment process, as well as specific areas of our biology and chemistry syllabi.

Elena and Hannah G

Fashion Show in aid of Zanzibar 2019

On Wednesday 13 February, the Global Action Zanzibar group will be holding an event in the Senior Hall from 7.00pm. There will be a fashion show with the girls modelling clothes from the company SOS. Brands sold on the night include ASOS, M&S, New Look, Miss Selfridge, Next, Topshop, Boden and many more. These will be sold at a discounted price of up to 75%. There will also be a tombola and refreshment stalls to make a fun and enjoyable evening.

Going to Zanzibar will be a life-changing experience. We will have the opportunity to take part in conservation projects, working closely with wildlife such as native turtles, butterflies and other endangered species. We will also be working with the local community, in schools to help teach English as well as spending time in an orphanage. This will be a rewarding and eye-opening experience.

Tickets are £5 sold before the event and £7 on the door on the night. Please buy tickets at the school reception or buy online at

Mrs Carr
Science Teacher

Creative Arts Spotlight

This week’s Creative Arts Spotlight falls onto Ashmita in L4, who has created this colourful interpretation of Islamic art. Great work, Ashmita!

Mr Laubscher
Teacher of Art & Drama

Friends new and old enjoy this year’s Reunion Lunch

Over 120 guests travelled from near and far last weekend to share this year’s Reunion Lunch at the High School.

Former pupils and staff of the Derngate and Hardingstone sites delighted in catching up, creating an atmosphere filled with palpable excitement, felt from the minute guests walked through the door. Guests recognised and located friends from their year groups, and caught up after what was, for some, over 30 years since they had seen each other. The lively conversations continued until the very last moments of the event, with former pupils and staff reminiscing over their own special memories at school.

Once again, a superb lunch was served, and Mrs McCue, Catering Manager, commented that she loved the annual occasion, and looked forward to catering for it every year.

Dr Helen Stringer, in her welcome, referred to the precious friendships made during school years, emphasising their importance, and encouraging former and current pupils to value and nurture them. Friendships made at the High School endure, and can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

Our thanks go to Carolyn White, former Maths teacher and Chair of the OGA, and the dedicated OGA Committee, for making the lunch yet another successful highlight of the Alumnae calendar.

Please click here to see the Flickr gallery.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing and Admissions

Book Review

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – recommended for U4 and above 

I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart”.

In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.

Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.

So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

School Sport

What an amazing week of Netball!

On Saturday, we saw the U16s come runners up at the Regional tournament, which now means the girls have made the National Finals in March this year. This is a massive achievement and we wish Mrs. Ford and the girls all the best!

On a busy week for the U12 and U13s Netball squads, they were firstly both triumphant against Thornton on Monday. Next came Bedford Modern on Tuesday, and the U12s won an impressive 20-3. The U13s game was much tighter with end to end action. It all came down to the last seconds of the game with us winning 23-22!  On Wednesday came Bilton Grange, with the U12s impressively winning 25-2! The U13s played a very strong Bilton Squad and, despite a gallant effort, couldn’t seal the win.

Next week we wish the U14 and U16 Badminton squads good luck for their match against Bedford Girls’ School. All the best to the U12 and U13 Swim teams at the Warwick 50’s and the various Netball fixtures throughout the week.

Mrs Williamson
Deputy Director of Sport


Having won our first match last week, the team felt confident but a little nervous as we were up against our rivals Wellingborough. With 2 new players, Phoebe and Evie , joining the team in preparation for our Regional Tournament on Saturday, we felt we had a great chance of winning. However, we didn’t start particularly well with some messy passes and it took us some time to get into the game. Evie and Jess worked well together in the circle and Evie’s shooting was excellent, rarely missing a shot.   Although we were winning after the first quarter, the team weren’t playing as well as we knew we could and unfortunately the second quarter didn’t get much better – however, we did hold on to our lead and at half time we were ahead by 4 goals.

In the second half, Phoebe played brilliantly at Centre and helped the ball through the court, making some great interceptions, getting us the turnarounds we needed. At last the team got into our stride and played the netball we know we can play. The team used the court space well and the defence prevented many more goals being scored by the opposition. Jess & Evie continued to shoot really well and scored some lovely goals extending the score to 24-11 by the end of the match. Overall, the team played well and we hope to play even better at the Regional tournament on Saturday. Player of the match deservedly went to Evie – a great achievement for her first match with the U14s – well done Evie.

U14A Captain


The next external Badminton event is the ‘American Youth’ tournament. The tournament for the U12s and U16s takes place on 3 February, with the tournament for the U14s and U19s being held on 3 March.

All players can register now on and if you require and assistance or would like any more information, please feel free to contact us.

Mrs Hackett
Director of Sport

Cats production rehearsal schedule

With auditions and casting now complete, we are excited to press ahead with the rehearsals for our production of Cats!

Please click here to view the schedule and if you have any questions, please do get in touch.

Mrs Care
Director of Theatre

"New Way" participate in the Milton Keynes Young Enterprise Trade Fair

Our Young Enterprise company, New Way, have broadened their entrepreneurial horizons by participating in the Milton Keynes Young Enterprise Trade Fair. The all-day event took place in the Centre:MK and provided an opportunity for companies from schools and colleges across the UK to market their products and services.

New Way have adapted their product of LED bottle lights to focus on forthcoming celebrations such as Valentine’s Day, Mothering Sunday and the wedding season. They have produced some beautiful, handcrafted designs which would make wonderful gifts or just a stylish addition to any home’s dining table. A selection of the current designs are illustrated below. They are also able to produce individual personalised designs made to customer specifications.

If you are interested in placing an order, then please do not hesitate to contact the company via They also have a website and can also be found on Twitter @newwayye and Instagram

Mrs Tansley
Subject Leader Economics & Business Studies

Chinese New Year menu

Open Day is fast approaching

Vacancy for Science Technician

We wish to recruit a part time Science Technician (Biology specialism) to join our team from February 2019. Northampton High School has an excellent Science Faculty with large numbers of students studying A Level Sciences in well-equipped laboratories. We seek to appoint a laboratory technician who has the knowledge and skills to provide technical support for Biology, up to A Level standard.

Please find full details, along with how to apply, here

Mrs Gates
HR Officer

Term Dates

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