Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News 11 June 2021

It was National Empathy Day on Wednesday.

I believe that having empathy is a vital characteristic for us as human beings and can help children and adults alike throughout our daily lives, in play, work, and in our relationships. It can help us feel linked to others, dissolving barriers between us and helping us move away from self-interest and into altruistic giving.

So what is empathy?

Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

My own view is whilst I think it is difficult to truly understand how another person is actually feeling, the process of trying to do so can, in itself, give us a better and broader understanding and perspective and can also challenge our own assumptions and thinking. Empathy can also facilitate the development of social competence and enhances the quality of meaningful relationships. Research tells us that empathy is a skill we can practice and learn. Really listening to others is so important in life.

Early theorists suggested that young children were too egocentric and not cognitively able to experience empathy, however, a number of studies have provided evidence that young children are indeed able to demonstrate a variety of empathy-related behaviours. Helping children develop a sense of empathy is a developmental process. So how can we help children to develop this skill? Stories are the most wonderful way to help young children. Reading allows us to view the world through another’s eyes and to ‘walk in their shoes for a while’.

Simple questions when your daughter is reading a story can evoke really good conversations and these can help children really think around an issue and different possibilities. For example,  ‘How do you think this character is feeling right now?’ ‘Why do you think this?’ ‘How do you think you might feel if you were this character’’.

With very young children, helping your daughter to name and understand her own feelings is a great first step in understanding the feelings of others. Caring for animals and plants is another good approach and helps children understanding the role they play in helping another living thing thrive. As an adult, being a role model when interacting with others, in a kind and caring way and showing good listening is a good way of your daughter learning from our example. I recently came across this lovely quote for children – ‘Empathy is the ability to step outside your own bubble and into the bubbles of other people’.

In our constantly evolving and changing world, I believe that developing the skill of empathy is more important than ever and so let’s all strive to look into other people’s bubbles, and not least to try our best to see and understand the world through the eyes of our children.

Wishing you a happy and sunny weekend.

Marissa Davis
Acting Head of Junior School


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:

Lottie – has passed her Grade 2 Flute exam with Distinction.

Phoebe – has successfully auditioned for a place with The Birmingham Ballet Company and will be performing in a theatre production of ‘Alice and the Hatter’ in Birmingham later this summer. During half term, Phoebe was invited to dance at White Lodge in Richmond with Ballet Boost and The Royal Ballet School.

Rithika – has passed her Grade 3 Indian Vocal exam with Distinction.

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Dates for your diary

Wednesday 16 June clubs cancelled – there will not be Year 5 Art Club or Year 4 Nature Club on this date

Monday 21 June to Friday 25 June – Virtual Arts Festival week

Friday 2 July – Welcome Day

Friday 9 July – Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Sports Morning (unfortunately no spectators are allowed due to our Covid risk assessment)

Monday 12 July – Friday 16 July – No teacher-led clubs

Thursday 15 July – Year 6 Valedictory Event

Friday 16 July 12.00 noon – End of term

Nursery - Kipper Room and Elmer Room

It has been a hot week and we have used this as an opportunity to learn about how to keep ourselves cool. We have moved outdoor activities into the shade, pulled down the blinds to block out the sun, turned off some of the lights and discussed the importance of drinking enough water. “It’s spooky in here,” joked Florence.

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The girls have particularly enjoyed paddling barefoot in some cool water in the tuff tray and making ice lollies; these really hit the spot before we ventured down to Forest School. We have made ice shapes using various moulds which have been a very popular sensory experience!

In our Maths area, the girls have been exploring shapes; making patterns and arrangements with 2D shapes, and building structures with 3D shapes. “The triangle is on top of the square,” said Natalie.

Can we please remind you to send your daughter in with a water bottle, named sun hat and suncream for every session.

Nursery - Pre School

Either the warm weather agrees with the girls or they have all matured over the half term but it has been an absolute pleasure to work in Pre School this week (not that it’s not always a pleasure!). There has been a very calm atmosphere with the girls engaging in their own little groups of friends, where they have been caring towards each other after bumps. There has been some fantastic tidying up and it has been hard to choose a dinner winner as everyone has sat so nicely. Thank you all Pre School girls for your wonderful behaviour!

We have had lots of fun with two rhyming stories, ‘Oi Frog’ and ‘Oi Dog’ which the girls can now recite well – good rhymes make good readers so keep it up, girls.

On Thursday the girls were super models first thing, where they did some amazing poses for their class photographs – we are really looking forward to seeing them. We then changed into our Forest School clothes and off we went. The grass was long with lots of wild flowers which had grown tall since the last time we had visited. Some of the girls chose to take a sheet and make a picnic in the shade of the tree. Others independently retold the story of ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ going through the swishy grass. Some girls discovered that they could make a seesaw with a large piece of wood and a tree stump. With support, they looked at the side of the wood to find the middle, to make the seesaw balance. They looked at what happened when it wasn’t balanced, and how it balanced with different children on each end.

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Can you please apply sun cream to your child every morning before coming to school.

Due to the long grass, all children need to wear a long-sleeved T-shirt, full-length legged trousers, and a sun hat; they will also need to bring in a water bottle.

We are finding that a number of items of clothing are not named; as we are working on school readiness the children are now responsible for putting their own clothing on their pegs or in their bags. We are finding some items are not always put in the correct place yet, but with no names, it’s not always easy to find the correct owner.


We are pleased to finally have some lovely weather to be really making the most of our garden and outdoor area. Please can we remind you to apply sun cream to your daughter before coming to school and to bring the school sun cap every day.

Our book this week has been ‘Handa’s Surprise’ by Eileen Browne. We have looked at the different fruit that Handa had in her basket and have tasted passion fruit juice and guava juice. The girls have written captions for the story and used props for a story re-tell. They have then had a go at their own version of the story and what items they would take for their friend. We have discussed that Handa lived in Africa and researched some facts about Africa and then thought about similarities and differences between England and Africa.

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In Maths this week we have been learning about sharing equally by doing lots of different practical tasks. When it related to sharing out treats, all the girls knew what was fair and what was not!

Our creative tasks have been inspired by the book ‘Katie and the Sunflowers’ by James Mayhew and Vincent van Gogh. Some fabulous sunflower paintings were created with some unique touches.

Year 1

This week in Maths we finished our work on position and direction and started to look at place value to 100. We have been counting forwards and backwards to 100 from different numbers. We have also looked at partitioning numbers to 100, to understand how many tens and ones make up these numbers.

In English this week, we have been looking at Nature poetry and features of poems. We have noticed rhyme and looked at how to write our own rhyming couplets. We have also explored metaphors and created some ourselves.

In Science, we have started to learn about the weather and seasonal changes. This week we looked at identifying different types of weather, and what season they are likely to be experienced in.

We had a special surprise on Thursday when some of the older girls from the senior school came to throw us a Secret Garden Picnic. We loved playing games with girls from Sixth Form, using the parachute and even enjoying juice and biscuits together. A big thank you to Steph and the other girls who planned, resourced and carried out this special treat for us! We also enjoyed watching the older girls take part in their Sports Day and this made us even more excited for our Sports Day, in July.

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What the girls have said:

“I liked learning about the weather.” Caoimhe.
“I liked using the parachute to show different types of weather.” Rhoda and Grace.
“I liked counting forwards and backwards to 100.” Elouise.

Looking ahead:

Maths – place value to 100
English – poetry
Science – clouds and rain

Year 2

This week in Maths we have been practising telling the time. We have been reading clocks, showing the time, writing the time and we have completed lots of different activities and games to support our learning.

In English, we have been exploring poetry. We have looked at rhyming couplets, repetition, and metaphors. We have had a go at writing some of our own metaphors and followed the repeating pattern of an existing poem all about bugs and written our own versions.

On Thursday afternoon this week, we were very lucky to have been treated with a visit from a small group of Sixth Formers who organised a Secret Garden Picnic for us. We were entertained with lots of different games, cookies, and squash! It was a lot of fun and we even got given a necklace as a little keepsake.

This weekend will see the start of the Euros, so we have introduced a KS1 sweepstake. We have all selected a country and so we will be keeping an eye on the competition over the next month to see who will win!

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What the girls have said:

“We loved playing games at the picnic with the big girls.” Thea and Amber.
“I got Finland and I hope they win, I am excited to see!” Holly.
“I liked telling the time in Maths and playing all the games to help me learn.” Kinara.

Looking ahead:

Maths – time and duration
English – poetry
Science – seasonal changes and weather

Year 3

It has been a busy week in Year 3. We have continued finding out about the Stone Age in English and Humanities. Some of the girls also set up a Stone Age settlement at Forest School and hunted woolly mammoths with spears. We also toasted and ate marshmallows around the campfire and identified trees from their leaves.

In Maths, we have looked at angles and thought about clockwise and anticlockwise turns. We are looking forward to Sports Day tomorrow and seeing the older girls competing too.

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What the girls have said:

“My favourite thing this week was when we went to Forest School and I went on the red swing and toasted a marshmallow at the fire.” Asmi.
“I enjoyed learning about the Stone Age in English and Humanities.” Angelie.
“I laughed yesterday in Forest School when my marshmallow melted so much it dropped off my stick into the fire! I did get a second one to eat though.” Shanaya.

Looking ahead:

English – continue with our book ‘The First Drawing’ by Mordicai Gerstein and explore the characters and how their lives may have differed from ours today
Maths – learning about horizontal, vertical, parallel and perpendicular lines and recognising and describing 2D and 3D shapes
Science – finding out about the parts of a plant and their function
Humanities – researching and discovering the activities of a Stone Age child

Year 4

In Maths, we have looked at how to use the information presented in line graphs to answer questions.

In English, we have enjoyed reading our new text ‘Odd and the Frost Giants’, and using this as a stimulus to write in role and create noun phrases.

In Science, we learnt all about Gerald Durrell and his conservation work in Madagascar. We set up a really interesting investigation to learn about deforestation and soil erosion.

Friday’s fun was Sports Day and, as usual, Year 4 were motivated and well-behaved participants.

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What the girls have said:

“In Science I enjoyed learning about how bad cutting down trees is for the environment.” Harriet.
“In Science we learnt about the problems in Madagascar. We did an investigation about how soil gets washed into the sea.” Ishani.
“I enjoyed doing PE this week because we were practising for Sports Day. We practised the relay race around the whole field. I like running.” Zoe.

Looking ahead:

English – using relative clauses to add detail, writing a descriptive opening passage that sets the scene
Maths – compare and order angles, understand triangles
Science – investigating Alexander Graham Bell
Geography – locating the Equator, Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere

Year 5

What a lovely start to this new half term – warm and sunny, inside the classroom and out! The girls have just finished their Science lesson and are sitting in their House groups making banners and posters for Sports Day tomorrow.

It really is fabulous to see how far their teamworking skills have come this year, the noise level is absolutely fine and there is a wonderful mix of intense concentration and excited creativity. It’s going to be a super term!

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What the girls have said:

“My favourite part of the week was making my Origami Yoda – we have started a new book in English and it’s about a boy and his Origami Yoda helping and saving people from being embarrassed at school. A really like the way the book is relatable because it’s like what kids actually do.” Florence.

“In Maths my favourite thing has been angles and how they can be used in some things. I didn’t know how to use a protractor before so these lessons have kind of helped me measure angles properly. Today we also did drawing angles which was amazingly fun… awesome to be exact!” Vivienne.

“My favourite part of this week was preparing for Sports Day. I really liked it because we got to do lots of running and a sack race… and I tripped over at the end which was really funny. I am excited for tomorrow because this will be my first Sports Day at this school.” Tendo.

Dates for your Diary:

Tuesday 15 June – Computing
Wednesday 16 June – Cricket

Year 6

Following on from the excitement of the Poetry Extravaganza before half term, Year 6 have made an excellent start to their last phase in the Junior School. They have reflected on highlights of the year so far, of which we realised there are many, despite the disruption Covid-19 has caused to all our lives.

During these discussions our girls once again proved their resilience and determination to make the best of what life has to offer, and this is a key quality that we know will serve them well in the future. We have also enjoyed meeting with the Student Senior Leadership Team to discuss an exciting new project where each year in the school have been invited to create their own individual piece of bunting reflecting the positive aspects of life during ‘Lockdown’, as well as discussing the excitement of Sports Day and transition into Senior School.

Other exciting activities have included building their own circuits as an introduction to the topic of electricity in Science, finding out more about France in Humanities, and being victorious in both matches against Spratton Hall.

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Highlights of the week:

“This week we really enjoyed making circuits using wire, batteries, switches, buzzers, motors and lights. We even got to try making our own switch out of cardboard and paper clips. It was fun to have a challenge in groups because the teachers let us solve our own problems and be independent, it also helped us use our team building skills. One of our favourite components was the reed switch; it worked by using a magnet to pull the metal beams together completing the circuit.” Verity and Sophia.

“My highlight of the week was when we were learning all about France and researched a place called Dordogne. I loved learning all about their culture and their way of life.” Eloise.

“My highlight of the week was talking to the Senior Leadership team; I enjoyed talking to them because they were fun and cheerful, they also answered our questions in great detail even the ones they weren’t sure about.” Ameyal.

With so much going on in the next few weeks please could we remind you to complete the form for the Valedictory Event, email book requests to us and order hoodies as soon as possible.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Karen Fordham and Nicola Taylor

Cricket Match Report

On Wednesday 9 June, we played Spratton Hall School and we won by 22 runs. We were really good at communicating while batting and we were all supporting each other. We think we need to improve on our aiming while bowling and our speed while fielding.

Overall we think our team did really well and we are very happy about our first victory and hope we have many more!!

Cricket Team

Junior students enjoy Secret Garden picnic and games

On Thursday, students in Years 1 and 2 were treated to a special afternoon of fun and games, courtesy of the new Sixth Form Head Girl team. Head Girl Jodie was accompanied by the rest of the team, Freya, Shreya, and Stephanie, and fellow members of the Sixth Form student body, as they planned a wonderful afternoon for the younger children.

Remaining in our socially distanced bubbles, students started off the afternoon by playing some fun games with the parachute, ahead of moving on to playing some party games such as giant Jenga, hula-hooping, limboing, and more, amongst festive decorations in the Junior School playground. It was then time for cookies and juice to recharge the batteries, before heading on to Forest School for more exciting challenges!

In an afternoon that saw our oldest students and some of our youngest come together for shared fun and laughter, we thank Jodie and her team for organising this fantastic event, which was thoroughly enjoyed by their younger peers – they can’t wait until the next one!

To view more photos from the afternoon, please click here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Office

Sports Day 2021

Today, Friday 11 June, saw us host one of our favourite events in the school calendar – Sports Day. It is always great to see the student body come together for an action-packed day full of sporting challenges and competition, with students battling it out to bring home the trophy for their respective House – whether it be Artemis, Demeter, Hestia or Selene.

Last year, we hosted our Virtual Sports Day, in which students completed challenges either socially distanced in school or in the comfort of their back gardens. Although this was a fantastic event, it was amazing to see our community back together (albeit in their respective bubbles) this year for the full Sports Day experience. Competition was fierce, with pupils giving it their all to secure vital points for their Houses; it was great to see everyone in such high spirits and enjoying the glorious weather.

A huge thank you goes to Mrs Blake, Mrs Littlewood and team for orchestrating this wonderful event, and also to our students, for their fantastic enthusiasm and attitude making this year’s event one of the best ever. We look forward to bringing you a full report next week, but please do enjoy this selection of images here and on Flickr in the meantime.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

School Bunting Project

In order to bring our school community back together after being separated for so much of the last year, the Student Senior Leadership Team (SSLT) has launched a project to help demonstrate our spirit within the school.

We are asking each student and staff member – all the way from Reception to 6.2 – to create a triangle of bunting, showing their experience of the last year in any form they like – whether that be a drawing of their family, collage of pictures, or even knitting or crocheting to show a new skill that they have learnt.

Each Class Teacher in the Junior School will distribute the templates to their Classes; please would all students and staff members return their finished flag by Monday 14 June, so that we can piece them together before the end of the summer term.

We can’t wait to see your designs!

Jodie W
Head Girl

GDST Talks: Helping your teen daughter navigate post-Covid freedom this summer

This year’s final speaker event in the GDST Talks series will take place on Thursday 17 June, when award-winning former editor of Elle and Style magazines, Lorraine Candy, will share her post-Covid summer survival guide for parents and teens, in conversation with GDST CEO Cheryl Giovannoni.

Speaker Lorraine Candy, mother of four and award-winning journalist with over a decade of experience writing about parenting in national newspapers and magazines, including columns with the Sunday Times Magazine and Daily Mail is co-host of the chart-topping lifestyle podcast Postcards from Midlife, which features the stories of spirited midlife women and tackles parenting adolescents. Lorraine will be sharing her own experience and advice as captured in her forthcoming book, Mum, What’s Wrong With You? 101 Things Only Mothers of Teenage Girls Know, out in June 2021 (4th Estate).

This event is suitable for parents with children in Years 6-13. To book your place please click here.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Clothing Reminder

A reminder about our clothing recycling facility at school. We have teamed up with Starlight Children’s Foundation, a charity that brightens the lives of seriously and terminally ill children, so that for every kg of clothing and other items recycled, Starlight receives 10p and the Friends of Northampton High School (FoNHS) receives 20p. Through our recycling efforts over the last seven years, we have raised nearly £3000 for FoNHS, so a huge thank you to everyone who uses the facility – over 5.5 tonnes of items going to good use (and possibly saved from landfill) and a huge boost to FoNHS funds at the same time; we are also supporting Starlight’s incredible work with every kg of items we recycle.

So if you can, please do consider using the recycling facility whenever you have a clear-out. The collection ‘bank’ is bright yellow and is situated on the pathway alongside the Junior School car park. The recycling company accepts all men’s, ladies’ and children’s clothing, paired shoes (tied together please), handbags, bags, ties, belts, towels, and bed linen. Any uniform carrying school or team logos is sadly not accepted. Please put all items in a plastic bag before depositing them in case the bank is not watertight.

Thank you very much.


Term Dates 20/21

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
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