Nothampton High School
High News

High News 30 November 2018

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence” –  Helen Keller

 Our annual Events and Achievements celebration, held earlier this month, is without question the single event that best sums up Northampton High School’s ethos and philosophy for me. This is partly because it is designed to fulfil that role, although my perception of why it performs the function so well is broader and more personal. As the event draws nearer each year I am filled with a sense of apprehension and pride, because I know that I will be called on again to list the glittering achievements of so many students. A privilege and also a serious responsibility in anyone’s book. The achievements are extensive and varied, from academic awards to ballet grades, but perhaps the most notable are those we celebrate with the students who left us in the summer and are now busy starting the next stage of their journeys through life. Into higher education, apprenticeships or travelling, but above all into adulthood.

What does our awards ceremony mean then, if it is adequately to do justice to the young people whose lives have been channelled through the school? This is not an easy question to answer, because the breadth of achievement in schools is arguably only matched by the range of human endeavour in the world at large. However, I think that Helen Keller’s words go some way to explaining why this particular event means so much to the students receiving prizes, as well as to the wider community of the school.

Read more here

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

Week Ahead

Monday 3 December
Senior School Assembly – History of the NHS

Tuesday 4 December
U4 Girls On Board Session
Key Stage 1 Christmas Concert
Kipper Room Singing ‘Stay and Play’
Talk on European University Opportunities by David Hawkins
L5 Parents’ Evening

Wednesday 5 December
U4 GCSE Options Assembly
Reception, Year 1 and 2 School Play
U4 Public Speaking Competition
Chemis-tree Christmas Extravaganza

Thursday 6 December
House Assemblies
Reception, Year 1 and 2 School Play
School Production Rehearsals
NT New Views Antony and Cleopatra

Friday 7 December
Senior School Assembly – Sports Assembly
Artemis Charity Fashion Show
1878 Gala Concert

Wednesday 5 December
Hockey Sevens – U11B vs Quinton House (H)
Hockey Sevens – U11D vs Quinton House (H)

Thursday 6 December
Cross Country – U18A vs District Cross Country (A)
Cross Country – U17A vs District Cross Country (A)
Cross Country – U15A vs District Cross Country (A)
Cross Country – U13A vs District Cross Country (A)

Cafe Sci Talk with Dr Robert Neville on Solar Eclipses

On Wednesday 28 November, Café Sci organised a talk on Solar Eclipses titled “Why does the Sun sometimes disappear?”

Our guest speaker was astronomer Dr Robert Neville, who shared his experiences of Solar Eclipses with a fascinated audience. Robert gave a highly interesting presentation on the 2012 Total Solar Eclipse in Queensland, Australia and shared his very own photographs leading up to the 2 minute-long total Solar Eclipse on the 14 November, 6 years ago.

He thoroughly explained each picture and engaged the audience with his playful comments and jokes. Dr. Neville also spoke about the Sun’s corona and its many prominences and explained the science behind this beautiful phenomenon. He also entertained the many questions from the junior and senior students.

He has indeed given all of us at Cafe Sci a renewed perspectives on Solar Eclipses!


It’s all about the Jazz

On 28 November, we were lucky enough to be part of a group of A Level English Literature students who travelled down to London to experience an immersive play version of ‘The Great Gatsby’. Invited by Mr Gatsby himself, we were able to experience first-hand the roaring twenties, complete with vibrant colours, sophisticated jazz and sparkling frivolity. Our time at Jay Gatsby’s party consisted of us floating between scenes and conversing with the characters, creating an intimate reality to the adventures of Nick and Gatsby.

A selected few were whisked away, privileged enough to access the inside lives of the characters, enabling us to develop an unspoken perspective of the narrative. Our personal experience included an invitation to Jay and Rosy’s business meeting, Myrtle’s private party and Gatsby’s very own inner circle. Entrusted with specific tasks, our involvement within the plot made us feel a part of the ensemble and at home in Gatsby’s mansion.

We were awestruck throughout the experience due to its gripping, engaging storyline, complemented by dramatic strobe lighting and stylistic use of props. Our emotional involvement further dramatised the dynamic ending, leaving us mesmerized and wanting more. It’s fair to say we were stunned into silence. Personally, it was the charming, cheeky Charleston performed perfectly by the characters that was a definite highlight from the trip – however, attempting these steps was harder than we first thought. The Charleston, combined with constant comedy from the actors and yellow cocktail music, left the party booming with energy.

Everyone gained their own unique experience and a new perspective on characters within the novel, and we all had a fabulous evening that we will always remember!

Khushi, Poppy and Helena

NHS to be represented at the BT Sport Action Woman Awards 2018

BT Sport run an annual awards ceremony which celebrates the achievements of incredible and inspiring female athletes each year. The BT Sport Action Woman Awards was set up as part of BT Sport’s commitment to growing awareness and participation in women’s sports. Since launching BT Sport in 2013, they have worked with a number of sports federations to bring more coverage of women’s sport to live TV.

We are delighted to announce that Mrs Hackett and Ellie Robinson will be at the event representing Northampton High, and we look forward to getting a glimpse of them on our TV screens.

The event will be broadcast live on BT Sport from 7:30pm on Monday 3 December, and we hope Mrs Hackett and Ellie have a fantastic time.

Mr Nash
Marketing and Communications Officer


Last week’s #Now’sTheTime conference, brainchild of Mrs Heimfeld and curated by the Queen’s Cross Connect team in school, brought together a wide range of specialists in law, diversity, conflict resolution and entertainment to offer a unique opportunity to change future employment circumstances for our Sixth Form students.

The conference, designed to empower young women to start their working lives with the tools to advance their careers, gain equal pay and to progress without a ceiling, featured an impressive panel of professionals to give their insights and share their experiences with 6.1 students and their counterparts from visiting school, Weston Favell Academy.

Guest speaker, Carole Stronach, Executive Director Global Real Estate and Facilities at Avon, addressed the agenda of the conference with her inspirational talk, ‘Empowerment: My journey to defy the odds’. Dr Melanie Crofts, Senior Lecturer in Law at De Montfort University, then took to the lectern to discuss ‘Consent and the law’.

A range of workshops was the next component of this enterprising day, delivered by experts in their fields. Jason Mayfit give an introduction to self-defence session; Martha Muir, of Durham University, delivered a workshop ‘Empowering her voice’, ‘Imagine a day – reclaiming the narrative’ was the title of University of Northampton’s Lydia Collins’ session and Dr Kimberley Hill from the University of Northampton engaged girls through her session ‘Bystander Intervention’.

After a working lunch with a careers panel discussion, with alumna Shona Guha from the National Theatre, Annie Loveday-Hill, professional operatic Soprano, and Margaret Roberts, parent of a High School alumna and Associate Lecturer in Law at the University of Northampton, girls from U5 and 6.2 joined the audience in the hall for the closing Keynote Speaker, Sally Kettle.

Adventurer and alumna of the High School, Sally, addressed the girls with empathy and humour, charting her phenomenal experiences of rowing across the Atlantic (having never rowed before!) in a 23ft wooden board, with her Mum. Her messages resonated with the audience, leaving the memorable motto of ‘making mistakes does not mean failure’. The girls agreed that mistakes enhance learning, and that ‘challenges proffer the spark that can ignite a journey’.

6.1 student, Emily, summed up the day beautifully, “We had some talks from very inspiring women, most of whom started out as ordinary women, like us, and I found it so very inspiring to hear their journeys. The highlight of the day was definitely the self-defence workshop – it was really empowering to know that I could protect myself. Overall, I really enjoyed the day and would love to see something similar be repeated next year!”

Charlotte in 6.1 commented, “The #Now’sTheTime Conference helped me to understand that we can be the change and now is the time. I learnt an incredible amount from the careers panel discussion over lunch. It opened my eyes to the working world and helped me to understand that knock-backs are not uncommon, especially helpful as I aspire to become a vet. The self-defence workshop was also fantastic. It helped us, as women, to feel confident in the way we approach uncomfortable situations. The conference helped open our eyes to real life problems but also how to overcome them. Now is the time!”

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing and Admissions

School Sport

We have had a full on week of hockey this week, following on from a wonderful tour weekend in Bath, where the U14s finished 3rd overall. The girls followed this up by finishing runners up on Monday at the Regional Zonal rounds.

The midweek highlights were the phenomenal 8-0 win for the U12A team against Wellingborough, and the U16 team beating Quinton House School 13-0 on Thursday.

We look forward to matches tomorrow against Loughborough High School, with the U14XI match now at home starting at 9.30am, and the U12 A&B VII’s away at Loughborough, leaving at 7.45am. Sadly, Loughborough have cancelled the 1st XI and the U15 XI matches so these girls have a week off.

Good luck to all girls representing the School this weekend.

Mrs Hackett
Director of Sport


Bath Weekend: We had a very successful week of Hockey at the Bath tour weekend, with only one loss out of 9 matches. On the Saturday, we played our group matches with very strong play in each game which resulted in 2 draws and 2 wins. Coming second in the group led to us being put into the cup tournament. On the Sunday, we played 5 games in the cup with 3 draws, 2 wins and unfortunately 1 loss in our last match. This lead to us coming third in the whole tournament, which, in itself, is a fantastic achievement.

Midlands Zonal: This week, we played 3 games in the second Midlands Zonal round. In our first match, we were all very tired from the weekend tournament in Bath and unfortunately lost, but after waking up we won our next 2 matches 5-0 and 3-0. Finishing 2nd in our group, we unfortunately did not move on to the national round, but still had very strong hockey play and all the girls can be proud of themselves.

Hockey Captain


Thursday 22 November marked the annual event of the Warwick 100s Swimming, which we attended with U14 and U18 teams. Both teams swam extremely well, with the U14s, comprising Ellie Chinnock, Anna Johnson, Rebecca Lowe and Amelia Murphy, placing 3rd overall in their category. Rebecca Lowe also placed 1st in the 200m Individual Medley. The U18 team, made up of myself, Bryony Bird, Charlotte Fletcher-Stables, Chloe Mercer and Eleanor McNicholas also had a strong performance, with special mention going to Charlotte for placing 1st in the 100m backstroke event. We finished the day with a well-earned match tea – fish and chips! Congratulations to all girls!

Swimming Captain

Ezri represents Eastern Region at Army Cadets National Swimming Championships

Last weekend, I travelled to the Liverpool Aquatic Centre to represent the Eastern Region at the Army Cadet Force National Swimming Championships.

The competition was fierce, especially from Scotland, so I could not help being extremely nervous. However, when the 4x50m freestyle relay came around, I focused myself on the goal: gold. With my teammates, I took an early lead, and we finished in 1st place, a length ahead of the 2nd placer.

Guttingly, we were half a second off the national record! Our victory, combined with the fantastic results of our other team members, meant that the Eastern region were the overall winners! The feeling of being National Champion is really special, and I will always look back on the moment with pride.

Swimming Captain

Charlotte represents Northants Senior Ladies in Tennis Winter County Cup

Last weekend, Northampton High student Charlotte represented the Northamptonshire Senior Ladies’ team at Tennis in the Winter County Cup!

Charlotte, who Northants Tennis believes to be the youngest lady to ever represent the Senior Team at just 12 years of age, put on a fantastic display of Tennis as she faced off against South Scotland, Isle of Man and Cornwall – winning all three of her singles matches.

Competing with ladies much older and more experienced than herself, Charlotte played with a real desire and passion, recovering from a set down in two of her singles matches to claim victory, with the standout result being against Cornwall, which she fought back from one set down to win 7-5 in the 3rd set after being 2-5 behind!

Also representing the team in the doubles matches, Charlotte had an integral part to play as she played as number one pair, clinching the match against South Scotland 11-9 in the 3rd set tie break – a real pressure moment and Charlotte certainly delivered!

Charlotte’s excellent performances helped Northants to a successful weekend of Tennis, where they beat eventual winners Cornwall on the last day. Cornwall gained promotion just ahead of Northants on number of sets won, and Charlotte and the rest of the team look forward to another succesful campaign.

Congratulations Charlotte, we look forward to seeing you progress.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

School bids farewell to Sarah Middlebrook after 23 years' service

Sarah started work at the High School in 1995 and has worked here for a total of 23 years, starting initially as a Catering Assistant when her daughters were small children. She held this position for eight years before being promoted to a Chef.

Sarah was a Chef for eight years before being promoted to Head Chef in 2011, where she held the post for six years. For the last fifteen months Sarah has worked as Chef in the department.

During her long service at the High School, Sarah has cooked a lot of dinners (rough estimate of 1,755,000!!), has had three different line managers, and seen the Catering department thrive, with Sarah contributing immensely to the growth we have enjoyed.

I would like to thank Sarah for her hard work, commitment and wonderful food she has cooked, and particularly for her flair with event catering. The whole team will miss her greatly and would like to wish her well in her new post as Chef at Little Houghton Nursery, where she starts in early December.

Mrs McCue
Catering & Hospitality Manager

Book Review

Milkman by Anna Burns – Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2018

recommended for the U4 and above  

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.

Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

140th Birthday Gala Concert tickets available

On Friday 7 December at 7pm, we are delighted to host our 140th Birthday Gala Concert at All Saints’ Church in the heart of Northampton. The concert is a collaboration between pupils and staff of Northampton High with The Orchestra of the Swan, an English professional chamber orchestra of international renown, based in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The Orchestra of the Swan is the Resident Orchestra at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and we have enjoyed a number of collaboration events with this ensemble at Northampton High in the past.

This event promises to be a magical musical celebration, hosted at All Saints’ Church, which was historically the spiritual home of the High School.  Northampton High girls and the Northampton High Community Chamber Choir will be performing alongside Concert Master and violinist, David Le Page, and Rebecca von Lipinski, making for an evening not to be missed!

Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions (children and seniors) and are limited, so please secure your tickets as soon as you can. Tickets are not required for girls performing in the concert. To book your tickets, please go to:

We look forward to spending the evening with you at this finale event of our 140th Birthday Year.

Mr Nash
Marketing and Communications Officer

Upcoming School Events

Christmas Dinner Menu

Term Dates

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