Junior News 11 December 2020
Last week I shared with Junior School staff that in my short time at Northampton High, I had noticed that no matter what was happening in our world and, indeed, in our own lives in these ever changing times, what truly shines for me is the deep care and commitment that each member of staff gives to each and every girl.
During my life, I have worked in, and with, many schools, and it is a joy for me to be part of this unique, deeply caring, and warm community that offers such outstanding pastoral care. We have staff members who recently volunteered to undergo specialist training so they further developed the skills to support their colleagues as well as the girls, and as a whole staff we have benefitted from external expert training on how we support the girls through changes, and how best to help them develop their own coping strategies in challenging times.
In my view, there has never been a more important time to demonstrate genuine kindness, compassion and understanding. For me, these are essential qualities of life, whether we share this with our family and friends, in our school and work, and indeed in leadership.
The age-old saying ‘walk a mile in my shoes’ has always been important to me. It is difficult to truly understand how anyone else is really feeling, but through the nurturing environment in our school, we see how the girls are developing empathy and respect for each other, such key principles for life.
The girls rightly hold their own strong beliefs and values but are also so willing to listen to and consider other viewpoints. I feel so proud of your daughter(s) and wanted to thank you for the enormous part you play, as parents, in promoting these important qualities.
Enjoy your weekend, enjoy some fresh air, and let’s all try to give as many gifts of kindness as we can.
Please make sure your daughter brings her Northampton High School fleece hat, scarf and gloves to school each day.
Friday 11 December – All teacher-led clubs (including Multi-Sports Clubs) finish for the Autumn Term
Wednesday 16 December – Years 3 and 4 film afternoon (bring a snack and drink)
Thursday 17 December – Reception, Years 1 and 2 film afternoon (bring a snack and drink)
Friday 18 December – Christmas Jumper/Christmas mufti dress up day
Friday 18 December – Years 5 and 6 film afternoon (bring a snack and drink)
Friday 18 December 3.00pm – 3.30pm – End of day collection and end of the Autumn Term (no late prep or GAP club available)
Monday 21 to Tuesday 22 December – Foundation+ holiday club
Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 January – Foundation+ holiday club
Friday 8 January – INSET Day
Monday 11 January – Start of Spring Term
Monday 11 January – Start of Multi-Sports Clubs
Monday 18 January – Start of Spring Term teacher-led Clubs
The Legends Family Adventure from Google and Parent Zone
Will your child spend more time on tech this Christmas? The Legends Family Adventure from Google and Parent Zone will help you all become Internet Legends – and have festive fun along the way!
The Legends Family Adventure – Google and Parent Zone’s new animated series – is the perfect winter watch for families. It’s part of the Be Internet Legends programme — helping children to be safer and more confident online.
When Lumen’s bear goes missing, the whole family must brave Interland to get it back. Along the way, the family learns lessons from the Legends Code — including helpful tips on what to do with cyberbullies, how to spot scams and set strong passwords, as well as important lessons on kindness. And, Lumen discovers they’re stronger and braver than they ever thought they could be.
Once you’ve watched the films, it is time to test your family’s online safety knowledge by entering The Legends Family Challenge, proving your legendary status and maybe even winning some prizes for our school. The prizes include an international assembly with a school in the USA – and some fantastic goodies to help us decorate our classrooms in 2021.
Embark on this adventure as a family by clicking here
Digital Leader Junior School & Year 4 Teacher
We were delighted to be joined by parents for the third instalment of our GDST Talks series on Thursday 10 December, when we welcomed virtually Destine Lord to speak on the subject of ‘How to talk to your child about racism’. For those who were not able to attend this event, the session was recorded and we are delighted to share the link with you here.
The recording of our second session, ‘What girls need – how to raise bold, courageous and resilient women’ with Marisa Porges, is now available to be viewed online by clicking here.
The response to the sessions has been fantastic, and we are happy to confirm that GDST Talks will be continuing into the Spring Term, with the next event already confirmed. On Thursday 14 January, we will be joined by Professor Abi Gewirtz, who will be talking to parents on the subject of ‘When the world feels like a scary place’.
Registration for this event is now live, and you can book your free ticket by clicking here. This event is suitable for parents with children in Year 3 to Year 13.
Marketing & Communications Officer
Watch out, Kevin's about!
We are delighted to introduce you to the newest member of our catering team – Kevin the Carrot!
Kevin joined the team this week, and has been helping staff serve lunches to students and help spread Christmas cheer; he was even spotted playing the piano in the Senior School Foyer! However, Kevin has been causing his fair share of mischief too, and was caught tucking into the Christmas chocolates this morning!
We look forward to seeing where Kevin pops up next!
Marketing & Communications Officer
Each week in our virtual assembly, girls are invited to share their achievements in activities outside of school. They are listed below for this week:
Artemisia – badge and certificate for taking the Scout Promise and officially becoming a scout. Badge for one night of camping (indoors in own house, in a home made den!)
Primary Maths Challenge
Sophia – qualified to go through to the bonus round
Safiya – purple belt
Nursery Kipper Room and Elmer Room
We have had another wonderful week in Nursery. Excitement about Christmas has been growing amidst all of our singing in preparation for our performance on Thursday morning. We hope you all enjoy it. The girls have been busy making decorations for our classrooms using stencils, sponge painting and wooden shapes…they have been decorating themselves too!
The Christmas sensory tray has had a lot of interest and some of the group have used the resources to decorate our playhouse. We have welcomed a new friend and it is truly heartwarming to see how the girls have helped to settle her in. Another highlight of the week has been seeing the increasing independence shown by some of the girls, some are now experts at putting on their own coats, others have cracked potty training, well done girls!
Looking forward to next week, we are having a ‘Festive Fun’ day on Wednesday and a ‘Christmas dress up’ day on Friday.
In Pre School this week we have been continuing our Christmas activities. The girls have had lots of fun playing in the snow fairy garden and getting very messy, even with aprons on! We have been making and creating lovely salt dough decorations for our Christmas trees. The girls were really excited when we wrapped cardboard boxes and pretended they were presents. They demonstrated good cutting skills when cutting paper and asked for help when cutting the sellotape.
We have played Christmas music throughout the week which the girls have practised their dance moves too. At group time the girls have been listening to a variety of Christmas stories and have been keen to visit the library to chose a book to take home. They have also had fun running and playing on the big playground where the older girls normally play. They made us very proud singing a range of Christmas songs for our Christmas production.
Next week we will be continuing with our festive fun.
This week our activities have focused around the story ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. The girls have designed their own alien and described it. They have sequenced pictures of the story and re-told it in their own words. If you have been asked to check inside your underpants before putting them on…
Festive activities are underway, and we have also watched a clip about celebrating Hannukah, another festival of light. Using non-fiction books, we found out more information about the sun and moon. At Forest School we were treated to entertainment from some drama students in Senior School.
Please remember to provide your daughter with a snack and drink for a film afternoon on Thursday 17 December.
On Friday 18 December, your daughter may like to wear a Christmas jumper or mufti for the day. (There will not be any Forest School or ballet.)
If you would like your daughter to be part of the secret Santa gifts, then please make sure that you have sent in a wrapped gift up to the value of £5, by Wednesday 16 December at the very latest.
In Maths, we have been looking at numbers to 20. We have started to look at place value and partition the ‘teen’ numbers into tens and ones. In English, we have worked really hard and have been thinking about Christmas time, with a focus on our senses. We thought about what we might feel, see, hear, smell and taste at Christmas and have created a class poem. We have then practised this poem as a class, with actions, so that we can perform it by heart.
In our PSHE lesson, we thought about how different we are, but also, how we should treat other people. In RE this week, we continued to think about Christmas and looked at how people celebrate this time of year, sharing our traditions and listening carefully to each other’s experiences, even if they are different to our own. In Art, we tried sketching this week and had to look carefully at a picture and all the shapes we could see, to try and recreate this image.
What the girls have said:
“I liked playing maths games on the board.” Eve
“I enjoyed Forest School and playing in the dens.” Emily
“I liked finishing off painting our pebbles.” Caoimhe and Grace
For our last week, we will be getting into the Christmas spirit, with lots of Christmas themed activities for Maths, English and of course, crafts.
This week in Maths we finished our work on money. We played lots of different maths games to consolidate our learning and had lots of fun too! In English we wrote a class poem all about Christmas and what it means to us. We have been practising reading it aloud as a class group and we have even recorded it for a Junior School poetry competition.
In Art, we have been looking at portrait drawing. We drew a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and Samuel Pepys to link to our ‘Lovely London’ topic. There were some great drawings!
What the girls have said:
“I liked performing our Christmas poem.” Amelia
“I like doing the Queen’s portrait.” Kinara
“I enjoyed diving in Swimming.” Evette
“I liked playing the Maths games on the board.” Cristina
English – Christmas writing
Maths – Christmas themed addition and subtraction
Art – Christmas crafts
In Maths we have been consolidating work on multiplication and division.
In English we have been reading more from The Pied Piper and looking at how the characters Differ.
In Science we found out that the same poles of a magnet repel each other, we made the magnets dance and twirl round our tables.
In Humanities we talked about the Christmas story and focused on what we would take on a special journey.
What the girls have said:
“I liked it when we recorded our singing for the virtual concert.” Sakinah
“Enjoyed writing and performing our class Christmas poem.” Asmi and Lily
“I liked doing part-whole models in Maths.” Cora
“I enjoyed doing some maths challenges, so I could show my teacher what I could do on my own.” Artemisia
“I enjoyed making Christmas cards in Art.” Maya
“I liked doing 2-code in Computing and making our characters dance.” Leilana
We will be basing our lessons around Christmas activities. Our maths will involve Christmas puzzles, problems and investigations, hopefully we can use the skills we have learnt this term to help us solve them. English will be based around ‘The Pied Piper’ idea of a dilemma and a solution but in the form of group role play.
We also have our Christmas film afternoon on Wednesday, the girls can bring in a snack (not too noisy) and a drink (not fizzy) to enjoy while watching the film. Our schedule for Friday has been sent out. The girls will not need to be in PE kit but please can they either wear or bring in a pair of trainers. Friday is a Christmas Mufti day.
Finally, remember to bring in Secret Santa presents by Wednesday morning if you wish to take part and have a present to take home at the end of the day on Friday.
In Maths we have continued to explore the concept of division as grouping or sharing, focussing on links between the 3x, 6x and 9x table.
In English we wrote a class poem and enjoyed practising how to perform it with style and energy! We learnt about when to use apostrophes and searched our class book for historical references.
In Science we investigated how to create our own switches and tested them in our circuits.
In Humanities we were amazed to learn about the different things you could do when you went to a Roman bath house: watch entertainment, eat food, go to the gymnasium. The different rooms had great names too, the frigidarium, the caldarium and the tepidarium.
What the girls have said:
“I enjoyed practising the Christmas poem with our Christmas hats and jumper.” Maya
“I enjoyed making snowflakes in our club and using the glitter. I really liked making different shapes.” Shreya
“I really enjoyed making a poster about the Roman baths in Humanities and learning about how the system worked.” Ellie
English – stories with historical settings – ‘Thieves of Ostia’
Maths – 7x table and division facts, problem solving activities
Humanities – Roman religious beliefs
Lots of Christmas fun!
This week has absolutely flown by, and the girls have been as busy as ever. I keep thinking that we will get on to Christmas soon, but we have been having far too much fun in all our other lessons. I had so many volunteers to write comments for Junior News this week I had to ask a couple of the girls to save their excitement for next week, so look out for Maths and Music next Friday!
One of my highlights this week has been working with different groups of girls to create a collaborative Year 5 poem for our House Poetry competition. I know I shouldn’t be amazed by the creativity and enthusiasm that the girls show, but sometimes they really do ‘wow’ me, and it’s a wonderful feeling. The girls are looking forward to recording their entry this afternoon and then it’s off to the DT room to decorate photo frames. The perfect end to a fabulous week.
What the girls have said:
“I really liked doing our Science test this week because I really liked hearing the answers and marking my own work and I did really well for me!” Lucy
“I really enjoyed doing the English when we had to pretend that we were Bess. I really liked being in the shoes of somebody and seeing what their life was like. It was like you were the person and you had your own feelings. When I was being Bess I told my diary that it was like a million butterflies surrounding me.” Florence and Emily F
“My favourite thing this week was going to Forest School and I got to build a den and walk Betty. When we got to hold Betty we made her jump and Miss Brandon-Jones got a really good picture of her in the air. We also enjoyed making potions and playing on the tyre rolling each other around.” Ayana and Esme
- English – completing our ‘Highwayman’ diaries (as Bess) and evaluating use of language
- Maths – measuring area in different ways
- Geography – locating cities and rivers in Brazil and finishing our topic with a ‘True or False?’ quiz
Dates for your diary:
Tuesday 15 December – Computing
Wednesday 16 December – Enrichment Hockey (come to school in PE kit)
Friday 18 December – PE in mufti, please wear suitable shoes!
The girls in Year 6 have continued to impress us with their boundless energy and enthusiasm this week. They have continued to work hard in all areas of the curriculum and we have been particularly impressed with their continued dedication toward their Leadership roles- their boards look fantastic and their ideas to engage the pupils across the whole Junior School are truly inspirational!
This week we would like to shine a spotlight on two girls in particular, for their work in their roles as Magazine Editors. Natalie and Verity have worked tirelessly to produce out very first ever edition of Junior Back-Chat and we are all extremely proud of their achievement. Keep an eye out for this new publication as it will soon be available for all to view!
We would like to also say a huge congratulations to Sophia who has been invited to take part in the Bonus Round of the Primary Maths Challenge – a huge achievement!
Highlights of the girls this week include:
“My highlight of the week was when we did clay fish. My tail kept breaking because it was too thin, so I made it thicker. I liked smoothing the fish and making the patterns.” Sienna
“My highlight was playing House Hockey in the cold. Even though it was freezing, or amazing hockey captain Fern cheered us on. I enjoyed playing in centre-mid and our team scoring goals!” Georgia
“I really liked finishing my clay fish because I was able to do the designs on it and put the final additions on to it. I also loved then House Hockey because we have not played a match like that in ages, so it was really fun because we got to see people playing their best hockey. It was really good to see!” Fern
“I really enjoyed making a poem with the whole class for the House Poetry Competition. It was fun putting all our ideas together and making it one big poem! I also really enjoyed finishing off our fish and putting all the detail on it like the eyes and fins. It was fun!” Anya
“My highlight of the week was when we were doing House Hockey because it was fun to go against other Houses.” Daisy
“This week I loved hockey because we did House Hockey. I was in Demeter and we won all our matches which I was very pleased about! We are doing more matches on Friday which I am excited about me and my team picked out some good strategies.” Elizabeth
“My highlight for this week was when we got to play House Hockey and Demeter (my House) won 2-1 for the first match and 4-0 for the second, which was great. I had great fun!” Verity
Next week we will be multiplying and dividing fractions in Maths and creating our own eco-islands! We will also be enjoying making Christmas stocking tree decorations, water colour Christmas trees and much, much more…..
Have a lovely weekend.
Karen Fordham Nicola Taylor
Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
T: 01604 765765 nhsadmin@nhs.Gdst.Net