Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News 11 February 2022

Every Day A School Day

I’ll admit that there is one type of news article that draws a sigh of frustration from me. The type that starts with ‘Schools should teach…..’ and then proceeds to document the latest media story and how experts believe that particular topic should be taught in schools.

A scan at recent news articles leads one to the conclusion that schools should teach: life skills, financial skills, politics, suicide awareness, genocide, racism, LGBTQA+ issues, the climate crisis to name just a few. Notwithstanding the fact that we (and many other schools) do embed many of these topics into our curriculum and wider learning, it is quite a big ask of schools to teach the full core curriculum and then life skills and knowledge of a complex and ever changing world too. However, I feel on balance that the High School offers more than most and I firmly believe that education is about providing tools and skills not just providing knowledge. Or to put it more eloquently “Education is not about the filling of the pail, but the lighting of the fire”, and for each pupil the fuel needed to light their fire is different.

Yesterday, for reasons I do not need to go into here, we were in a position of needing to provide meaningful and educational work for our students without our normal complement of teachers. We worked hard to ensure that each year group had valuable workshops, lessons, seminars and hands-on activities that would develop skills and knowledge as well as giving some wellbeing time too. As I was tweeting photos of some of the work done yesterday, I came across a Tweet from a parent of another GDST school which surprised me. The parent’s Tweet was asking for fees back for the day because ‘Wellbeing, mindfulness and study skills weren’t what I had in mind when I paid my fees’. I was surprised by this statement because actually there is huge benefit to looking after the wellbeing of children and teenagers. The effect of poor mental health, lack of study skills and inability to switch off the ‘noise’ of modern life has a far worse effect on academic performance and long term life chances than a day without ‘lessons’.

Education is so much more than subject based lessons delivering a fixed curriculum in order to eventually pass GCSEs and A Levels (although I would not in any way minimise the huge importance of these exams). Education is also  about helping children to understand who they are, to develop character, and understanding of the world around them. Education is collaboration, playing, Forest School, sport, music, drama, cooking. Education is a connected approach from schools and families to support the child together in all of these aspects of growth.

The more teenagers can learn to quieten their mind through yoga, meditation, mindfulness, sound baths and other means, the less often they will need a small exam room, a table at the front or any of the other increasingly common methods of supporting students with anxiety in public exams. These methods are useful for some, but surely it is preferable to teach young people methods of self-managing worries and anxiety than giving them short term solutions that won’t be continued beyond school?

As I was greeting pupils arriving at school yesterday, two Year 10 pupils were talking with Mrs Nash in reception. They were keen to know what they were doing for the day and mentioned that amongst the things they would like to know were ‘life skills like how mortgages work and self-defence’. Excellent because those were not on Year 10’s timetable for yesterday but will be after half term.

In conclusion, it was not at all easy to be without the majority of our teachers yesterday but that does not lessen the value of the day’s activities one bit. Every single workshop and session yesterday taught students something of value – including the bootcamp for Year 11, run by our Director of Finance and Operations, which aside from the obvious health benefits also taught them that people can do more than one thing. A DFO can be a trained fitness instructor too! And Year 7 learnt that there is a skill to cake decorating and that our catering team – whom they normally just see serving lunch – are skilled and can teach them catering techniques.

Other highlights this week were the Year 5 & 6 Play in a Week performance of ‘Treachery at Traitor’s Quay’ and the Music Composition Recital and Piano Masterclass. Both were spectacular in different ways. Year 5 & 6 learnt the value of working together on a shared project in a short space of time. I thoroughly enjoyed the singing, dancing, acting and ‘Cockney’ accents that were so polished they belied the short preparation time for the project.

I trust that you will all have an enjoyable half term break, whether home or away and that all of our pupils get both rest and fun.

Mrs O’Doherty
Acting Head


Each week in our assembly, girls are invited to share their achievements in activities outside of school. They are listed below for this week:

Jasmine – achieved a distinction in the N.A.T.D. Rainbow Awards for solo singing and a distinction for group singing.

Rayna – awarded a Football medal.

Nellie – moved up a group in Swimming.

Millicent– achieved a badge 7 in Gymnastics.

Isabella – achieved a badge 6 in Gymnastics.

Grace B – achieved a badge 6 in Gymnastics.

Avani – won a shapes competition and achieved a badge 4 in Gymnastics.

Eliza – achieved her Blue Tag in Taekwondo for ‘front kick double punch’.

Risara – awarded a distinction in a Modern Dancing exam.

See all photos

Playground Stars

Kinara, Avani, Lucy, Angelie and Eliza – thank you for volunteering to get out the toys and games and tidy them back in the shed this week.

Thea, Eloise C and Evette – we had a discussion with some of the girls about using cones to separate the astroturf to make it safer and more fun. We agreed that it would be better to cone off half the astroturf for all ballgames, especially as one of our girls is using a wheelchair at the moment. They found that it helped their football game as they had to be more skillful to keep the ball in.

Amber, Holly, Annabelle, Eloise R, Poppy and Thea – tried a new game where Evelyn was suspended in mid air!

Annabelle, Eliza and Asmi – organised group skipping for all the girls.

Anne – has been tidying away the toys for everyone.

Emily K – was making sure all the girls had a friend to play with.

Unleashing Potential at Northampton High

We are delighted to unveil our new campaign, Unleashing Potential, which will be rolling out over the coming days.

The campaign, part of a wider brand positioning project, showcases our very own students and presents the concept that our fabulous students can plan to pursue their dreams, whatever they may be – championing our ‘WE CAN’ spirit. The creative platform is:

‘At Northampton High School, we believe in a complete education that’s made for girls and young women. Everything about our school is carefully considered from our purpose-built site to our inspirational teachers and our first-class pastoral care. Our school is bursting with spirited students who we encourage to learn without limits.

We’re not here to pigeonhole or conform to stereotypes. Instead, we encourage our girls to be curious and independent, resilient and brave; to lead and be individuals whilst recognising the value of collaboration and teamwork.

In doing so, we turn “can we?” into “we can”, unleashing the potential in a generation of girls and young women who can go on and define a future on their own terms.’

The campaign is two-fold:

  • creative assets for digital and traditional media, and
  • a collection of short films, featuring our very own parents, for use on digital media

You should start seeing the campaign on social media and digital platforms, in print, in strategic outdoor (‘Out Of Home’ – OOH) locations; we will run this campaign to promote our March, May and October open events, to assist us with attracting students to our school. Please do like, share and comment on the social posts!

We are delighted to share with you a small selection of assets created for the campaign here. Should you have any questions or input, please feel welcome to contact me at

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing and Admissions

All Things Reading!

Book Week in the Senior Library has been a busy one as ever, with the focus being on encouraging the girls to look at fiction books in an objective way and trying a genre they might not normally read.

The girls in Year 8 and Year 9 have risen to the challenge of The Reading Game, discussing a selection of titles in any given genre, from fantasy to war fiction in a very impressive and mature manner. The Year 7’s have been thinking about one of their favourite books and producing a creative review in the form of a padlet (a combination of pictures and writing), with an overall winner to be chosen by Mrs Halstead. The competitions, author word searches have also been fiercely contested.   

The highlight of the week was the Harry Potter party on national Harry Potter Book Night on Thursday 3 February, hosted by Mrs Fordham and Miss Buxton. Girls from Year 6 gathered in the Senior Library to enjoy quizzes and craft activities, along with excellent pumpkin juice with very realistic-looking eyeballs! The decorations and fabulous catering, provided by our Catering team, created a suitably Harry Potter-related feeling and helped the party go with a swing! The Harry Potter stories are ever-popular with the girls and a great source of creative inspiration.  

Our assembly on Monday morning reflected on our reading as a community over the last few years, and how it mirrors wider reading habits in the UK. Annika began our assembly, sharing her own poem which supports National Mental Health Awareness Week, then Caitlin, Anushka, Sahitya, and Emma spoke about the stories they were enjoying.  Crime and thrillers featured highly, which reflects the national popularity of this type of story. Mrs Halstead concluded by talking about other popular books in school, The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis, whose popularity has increased since the Netflix series, Black Flamingo by Dean Atta – a good example of diverse British storytelling, and finally, Lark by Anthony McGowan which won the Carnegie Medal in 2019.  

 All very timely activities with half term in sight, and the prospect of downtime-reading! 

Miss Buxton
School Librarian

Junior Sports

On Friday 4 February, the Year 3 and 4 netball teams travelled to Bedford Modern School for their second netball match of the term. The girls were very excited for this away match with the Year 4 teams playing their first 7-aside matches.

The teachers rotated players’ positions so that each of the girls got to experience multiple positions on the court. All players tried incredibly hard and the girls worked well as a team to play some lovely netball.

The Year 4 ‘A’ team match finished 5-0 to BMS, Annabelle was selected as Player of the Match.

The Year 4 ‘B’ team match finished 4-2 to BMS, Priscilla was nominated by opposition players as Player of the Match.

The Year 3 ‘A’ team match finished 2-2, Player of the Match was Eloise.

The Year 3 ‘B’ team finished 10-5, Player of the Match was Leah.

Well done, everyone! We can’t wait for more fixtures after the half term break.

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

Dates for your Diary

14 February  Half Term
23 February  14.30 – U10A and U11A Netball vs Broughton Manor Preparatory School
23 February  16.30-17.30 – Year 5 Looking Forward to Senior School
25 February  10.30 – U11A Netball vs IAPS
02 – 04 March  Burwell House Residential Trip – Year 3 and Year 4
02 March  14.30 – U10A and U11A Netball vs Quinton House School
02 March  18.30 – 19.30 – Virtual Open Event Meeting – Early Years and Junior School
04 March  09.30-12.00 – Open Morning
04 March  14.00 – U11A Netball vs GDST Netball Weekend
07 March All Day: Virtual Tour of the Globe – Globe Theatre Workshop
07 March  Year 5 Trip to Bletchley Park
10 March  09.00 – U11A Cross Country vs GDST Spring Rally at Bromley
10 March  U11A Gymnastics vs GDST Spring Rally at Bromley
14 March  All Day: Virtual Globe Theatre Workshop
15 March  All Day: Virtual Globe Theatre Workshop
15 March All Day: Rockingham Castle Trip – Year 1 and Year 2
16 March  14.30 – U10A, U11A and B Netball vs Bedford Modern School
17 March 13.00 – 15.35 – Ceramics Workshop – Year 4
17 March 09.00 – 11.30 – Allotment Fayre – Year 6
17 March 12.30 – U9A Netball vs Bedford Modern School
21 March  18.00 – 20.00 – Art Exhibition
23 March  14.00 – U11A and B Netball vs Wellingborough and MKPS Triangular
24 March 13.00 – 15.35 – Ceramics Workshop Part 2 – Year 4
24 March  18.00 – 20.00 – Parent Talk Series: Dealing with Self-Harm
25 March 14.30 – 15.15 – Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea
29 March 17.00 – 19.00 – Junior School Parents’ Evening
30 March Sports Awards Evening
31 March  13.00 – 15.35 – Ceramics Workshop Part 3 – Year 4
31 March 15.50 – 17.50 – Junior School Parents’ Evening


Just as a reminder, the GAP Club phone number is 07816 751456; please do keep this number handy so that you have direct access to the GAP team should you need it.

Class Assemblies

We are pleased to welcome back parents and grandparents/family members to our Wednesday Class Assemblies at 8.35am-8.55am. Refreshments will be served in the Community Room from 8.15am. We do hope you will be able to join us.

Wednesday 23 February 6N
Wednesday 2 March 6H
Wednesday 16 March 5N
Wednesday 23 March 1N
Wednesday 30 March Reception

Nursery - Kipper Room and Elmer Room


This week in Nursery we have been thinking about who is important to us, and who we love to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Monday. We have been using lots of different materials to make heart shapes, from playdough to painting, and have been practising our cutting skills.

In PE this week we have been using our listening skills and turn-taking skills. We have been passing different shaped balls in different ways to our friends, waiting our turn to score a goal, and playing ring games. We also listened carefully to instructions when playing the traffic light game.

The girls were able to experience a show performed by the older girls in the Senior School hall. The girls enjoyed listening to the singing and clapping to show their appreciation.

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When getting ready for outdoor play and Forest School, we have been encouraging independence and a ‘keep on trying’ attitude, asking the girls to try and put their own coats on as well as their wellies on and off. If you could help with practising this at home, that would be really appreciated.

Nursery - Pre School


Already the last week of the half term and it has been another busy one!

We have been thinking about love this week as Valentine’s Day is coming up. The girls have been talking about who they love and recording it on some heart-related art and craft. Our story of the week has been ‘Guess How Much I Love You’. Throughout the week, the girls have been encouraged to listen to the ‘L’ sound and to find things starting with this sound. “Library!” suggested Anaya.

On Wednesday, we were treated to a wonderful theatrical performance courtesy of the Year 5 and 6 classes. We were immensely proud of how well behaved the Pre School class were as they enjoyed the play. “It’s dark,” commented Rylee on the atmospheric lighting.

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At Forest School, we were joined by the Reception class and we explored the area together, mixing potions, balancing on logs and some even tried to climb the rope ladder. “I can do it!” said Amelia proudly.

We would like to wish everyone a happy half term break.


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This week we have continued with our story ‘Jasper’s Beanstalk’ and have been thinking about the character Jasper, and writing a character profile. We have been watering our own beans and waiting to see any signs of growth. We are hoping to send home the bean as it is going to be the school holiday and we would really like you to continue to watch any growth development. Would you please take a photo of the bean and put it on Tapestry, so that we can discuss this with your daughter on our return to school?

In our topic work, we have looked at the material fabric and had a go at observational drawings of a teddy bear, looking carefully for details. We have also focused on metal objects and enjoyed using foil to paint on and to make pictures with.  Exploring magnets was a highlight, as was finding objects around the classroom that would stick to a magnet. All the objects that did stick were made of …

Phonics this week has been ‘oo’ – Poo at the Zoo!!

In Maths, we have been investigating height and length, estimating, and then measuring objects using cubes.

See all photos

The class thoroughly enjoyed watching the dress rehearsal of ‘Treachery at Traitors’ Quay’ by Years 5 and 6, which was a fantastic performance, giving them something to aspire to in the future!

Wishing you all a restful half term break next week and thank you for your continued support.

Year 1


Year 1 thoroughly enjoyed watching the dress rehearsal of the Year 5 and Year 6 Play In A Week, ‘Treachery at Traitors’ Quay’. Being the audience in a theatre production is such a good experience for them and I was impressed with how engaged they were throughout.

Something I have noticed this week is how much better the class is becoming at understanding the concept of the passage of time. They can now confidently talk about events that are going to happen in the future as well as experiences they have already had. Talking through our visual timetable each morning supports this, along with a focus on using time connectives in our writing such as afterwards, later, and in a while.

It only feels like a couple of weeks ago that we returned from the Christmas holiday, but we are now at half term. Year 1 has once again played and worked very hard and all pupils are ready for their well-deserved break.

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What the girls have said: 

“I enjoyed doing the Maths puzzle because it was really hard.” Rosie

“In Science, we measured how far away we could hear the sound of a waterfall. We used a measuring tape.” Siena-Louise

After half term:

Maths – subtraction crossing 10.

English – beginning our new book and writing about journeys we have been on.

Have a lovely half term.

Year 2


This week the girls were very excited to watch the Year 5 and 6 dress rehearsal on Wednesday. It is good for them to see what they are aiming for as they progress through the school. The performance was wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing girls I have previously taught performing so confidently.

In English, the girls have been editing their own work to check it for punctuation and spelling errors, as well as adding extra detail to improve the content. They have enjoyed being the teacher and using a different coloured pencil to show where they have edited their writing.

In Maths, we have been looking at drawing and interpreting pictograms.

See all photos

After Half Term: 

English – Poetry and The Owl and the Pussy Cat.

Maths – Block graphs and 2-D and 3-D shapes and their properties.

Science – Materials and their properties.

I hope you all have a restful and fun half term week.

Year 3


This week in Maths we have been collecting and interpreting data. We have made tally charts, pictograms, and bar charts.

In English, we have been researching information all about tea to create a non-chronological report. We have found out the history of tea, how it is made, different types of tea, and where it is grown.

In Geography, we used Google Slides to create a poster to showcase all our learning about India so far. We had to think about human and physical landmarks, their location in the world, and the Indian culture. We managed to include many facts as well as pictures to make our posters eye-catching!

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What the girls have said: 

“We liked using the oil pastels in Art.” Lucy and Leah

“I enjoyed using the computers to make a poster about India.” Kinara

“I liked using the iPads to research.” Eloise C

Year 4


In Maths, we continued investigating equivalent fractions.

In English, we finished our unit on Cinnamon, focusing on dialogue and creating multi-clause sentences.

In Science, we learnt all about the water cycle. We made a model to show the water cycle in action, which the girls have brought home. Do ask them to explain it to you.

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What the girls have said: 

“I have enjoyed Humanities as we are working on PowerPoint.” Yilin

“I have enjoyed Maths this week as we played some fun Maths games.” Hester

“I really enjoyed Forest School, making the towers with marshmallows. Ours was 5cm.” Poppy

“I also enjoyed Forest School, but my favourite part was building the obstacle course, especially going round the tyre without stepping in the water.” Maya

Looking ahead to next term:

English – new text: The Lion and the Unicorn.

Maths – adding and subtracting fractions.

Science – Scientists and Inventors: (Deforestation, conservation and soil erosion).

Dates for your diary:

Burwell residential 2nd – 4th March. Please check the firefly page for further details: 

Year 5


Apart from, perhaps, taking part in the Winter Olympics, there’s nothing quite like a Play In A Week to get that heart-pounding adrenaline rush. The girls should all have a massive sense of achievement right now; they were amazing and we, their teachers, were bursting with pride by the end of the night! I took lots of photographs during the dress rehearsal on Tuesday afternoon which are on Flickr, so have fun going through them with your daughter.

We hope you all enjoyed the show and are looking forward to a really well-deserved half term holiday.

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What the girls have said:

“We really enjoyed doing the play! The Year 5 girls had some extra parts like being home guards, air raid wardens and joining the Year 6 evacuees. It was great because we weren’t just sitting around, we were standing and doing things and saying extra words.” Ellie and Zoe

“I enjoyed doing the marching song for ‘Go Home Hitler’ and the dance for the Jitterbug. They were my favourite bits.” Preesha

“It was strange having no teachers yesterday but we still had a lot of fun. We did some poems together and I did a bird drawing which I was really proud of.” Shreya and Jessica

Dates for your Diary:

Monday 7 March – Year 5 trip to Bletchley Park

Year 6


We have been extremely proud of the resilience and strong work ethic shown by the girls during our Play In A Week project, ‘Treachery at Traitor’s Quay’.

They have approached the project with great enthusiasm and we are sure you will agree that their hard work and effort paid off!

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What the girls have said: 


Treachery at Traitors’ Quay was an amazing learning experience. We have learnt to be resilient, support each other to overcome challenges, problem-solve and above all, ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’! It was fantastic to perform to such a great audience and we hope you enjoyed our brilliant dancing in the ‘Jitterbug’, wonderful singing and great acting. All-in-all it was a great experience and we cannot wait until the summer term, when we will have the opportunity to perform again in our Poetry Extravaganza, with other schools in the GDST family.


We were very excited when we found out that we were going to do a ‘Play in a Week’. Although it was really fun, it required lots of concentration to act, sing and dance. One of the highlights was dancing ‘The Jitterbug’, which was choreographed by Mo from the Sixth Form. On the night, we were all quite nervous but we managed to put on a great show!

Have an enjoyable break!

GAP Club


We decided to have a gaming and puzzling week this week and set challenges.

We also made bumble bees, dumplings and pigs with the bread dough we made using stale bread and PVA glue. Pupils made treats using crushed biscuits, raisins, icing sugar, and chocolate and bracelets in preparation for Valentine’s Day.

Hope you all have a lovely half term.

See all photos

Junior Bake Off 2022

School Blazer Sale

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

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